I want to share a personal story with you that I haven’t shared in public before. It’s a story about how I transformed my self and my business into what it is today.
You see it all started 8 years ago.
I was a single mom entrepreneur with a business where I worked like crazy. My income went up and down like a yo-yo, going up and down in a feast or famine cycle.
It was at that time that I met a person who would have a profound impact on my business and ultimately my life.
I had met someone who would become my business advisor, my mentor, and later a friend. He used to advise the CEOs of billion-dollar businesses, had lectured at Harvard and MIT, and his lessons on business would eventually be read by a million people a year.
He’s been a guest commentator for Fox, and his wisdom has been quoted repeatedly in TIME, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.
Needless to say, he was not accustomed to working with someone like me with such a small business. Yet, for some reason he agreed to mentor and teach me.
(At the time, I was too afraid to ask him why he said, “yes”. I was too afraid he might change his mind!)
With his mentorship, there were several key transformations that I made in my business. I’ll share with you the lessons I learned that help me transform my business so that it may help yours.
Lesson #1: Being Busy Is Not the Same as Being Productive
Apparently, I was so bad at learning this lesson that my mentor printed up a personal-sized billboard to remind me of this lesson.
See this photo, circa 2007.
Lesson #2: The Most Profitable Businesses are Incredibly Boring to Run
You see 8 years ago, my business life was incredibly chaotic. There were feasts. There were famines. Not surprisingly, I was barely able to pay the bills.
Today, day-to-day my business has no drama, no chaos, and no intensity. Internally, everything runs like clockwork – in many cases, with minimal involvement from me.
This gives me the freedom to run off to Florida with my girl friends for a week of fun, to support my daughter’s Hollywood career, and more. While I certainly earn more than enough to pay my bills, I’ve really enjoyed having the freedom and financial resources to live my life as I choose.
Lesson #3: The Small Business CEO’s #1 Job is to be a Good Decider
I didn’t realize it at the time, but making profoundly wise decisions about my business had a huge impact on my income, lifestyle and stress level.
At the time, I thought of myself as self-employed. After all, it seemed silly to think of myself as the CEO of what was a 1-person company back then.
But that was exactly my mentor’s point.
If you don’t develop the decision-making mindset and skills of someone running a bigger business, your business will forever be stuck in the solo entrepreneur zone. My mentor calls these “founder-centric businesses” – because everything revolves around you – the founder of the business.
Sometimes it’s literally a one-person business. Other times it’s the founder surrounded by a very small staff where everything goes through the founder – that’s you.
It took me some time, but my role, sense of identity and my attitude towards my business changed. I shifted from doing everything myself to thinking incredible carefully about what activities in my business I should do personally, versus having others do for me.
I also developed standardized and repeatable systems and a management control process.
So why am I telling you all of this?
You see, I recently had a reunion with my mentor.
We fell out of touch a few years ago when he moved out of state. We caught up recently and reminisced about old times.
During our catch up conversations, I asked him if he would be willing to teach you and my other readers some of the things he has taught me over the years.
He graciously agreed.
When we discussed which topic to teach, I mentioned that many of my clients are in billable hours service businesses, wanting to switch over to purely Internet-based businesses.
When I mentioned this, he said, “Ahh… that’s an example of a business model change.”
Many of his clients have made business model changes on their way to making the Inc 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America.
After much debate, we settled on a topic and I’m pleased to announce that I will be hosting a special free webinar on:
The 3 Secrets to Inc 500 Caliber Sales Growth:
A Guide to Big Breakthroughs, Mindset Shifts, and Business Model Shifts
This is a transformation that I’ve made more than once in my own business, and one I know my mentor has made repeatedly in his as well.