Andrew’s Blog: Hold the Mirror Up

Business leaders who do too much rarely hold the mirror up to themselves (metaphorically) for self-reflection, there may be too much confrontation! The idea of taking time out may reflect things back that we don’t want to see.

It’s a reality we’d rather ignore.

It took me a long time to go deeper and notice my weaknesses and what was holding me back at an unconscious level.

Don’t avoid the pain, lean into it. Find purpose in your pain and weaknesses and you will access real strength and power.

When you tap into this you learn how to scale your business without burning out and truly level up your leadership.

Ignoring the wounds will lead you to fall short of your full potential.

How do you take time out for personal reflection?

Andrew’s Blog: Make The Right Choice

Business leaders who are maxed out in their work are so lost in the day to day activity that they forget they have choices.

In many cases, it is easier to blame client demands or the economy or we say things like “I’m not good enough, so I have to keep digging deeper” It’s a paradox between being the hero and playing the victim.

You need to see your workload for what it is – a mountain of tasks that you have created. It’s important to recognise that you do have a choice and to remind yourself daily that every decision is your own.

Once you connect with the idea that the choice is yours as a business leader – work will become playful, joyful and meaningful.

Otherwise, you will become a character in someone else’s story, living a life that is not your own.

What character do you want to play in your life story?

Andrew’s Blog: Nice Guys Come Last

Business leaders who do too much are often generous with their time. We promise so much, that it is impossible to fit it all into a 12 hour day.

As a result, we end up giving a lot less.

I would give so much of myself that I would end up angry, disappointed, and in some cases a failure in other people eyes. Whilst I was well-intentioned – it was impossible to meet the standards I had set for myself and others.

As a business leader, you must not hide behind your promises to avoid showing what you do not have.

When you take control of your diary and stop focusing on pleasing everyone you can start to serve those who truly need your leadership.

Otherwise, you put the true meaning into the phrase “nice guys come last”

Agree?

Andrew’s Blog: I’d Rather Be a Plumber

We often reward status more than the outcome. We look to those in high end jobs such as doctors, scientists and Nobel Prize winners – but what about the simple work of a plumber?

My ego often pushes me to want more, be more, and I believe it’s important to strive for more.  We should aim to be better than we were yesterday. I believe in that.

But sometimes I would like go back to the beginning of my career and be a plumber. It’s good wholesome work.

In many areas of the world a plumber will save more lives than a doctor by providing access to clean water, disease control and better water conservation.

A barista who makes an exceptional cup of coffee could change the direction of your day!

Do good work and remind yourself of the effect you have on the world – and it will be reciprocated, in some way, I promise.

If you can’t change your mindset around the work you do, then change the work you do.

Is your work purposeful?

Join me next week for my FREE 4-day challenge – reply for more information.

Andrew’s Blog: Empathy Is Your Superpower

Technology, A.I. and automation are removing emotion from the process. Whilst developing these systems are essential in growing and scaling a business, we must not lose sight of the human touch.

After all, it is the human mindset that created the machine in the first place.

Let’s remind ourselves of our unique ability and gift to connect emotionally, be intelligent and make sense of others thoughts and emotions.

Remember how you can make a scared child feel safe, help mend a friend’s broken heart or care for someone in pain. This is what makes us extraordinary human beings.

Relying on technology to keep us objective is useful, but not if it replaces our innate ability to empathise and be truly human.

What is your superpower?

Andrew’s Blog: Don’t Project Onto Others

Ambitious hyper-achievers have high expectations, not only of themselves but also of others.

We think others should be aligned with our values and work ethic – we believe everyone wants the same level of power, wealth and independence.

I projected onto my first daughter. When she started skiing I told her she could be an olympian, when she started playing the guitar I told her she could be a rockstar.

Some people may say it’s inspiring and motivating to help people see their true potential, but in reality, we steal the playfulness away from the actual activity.

Let’s make sure that we set expectations for ourselves and not superimpose them onto others.

And we do set expectations on ourselves, let’s make sure we are doing things that make us happy in the long run. This is what creates true happiness.

Rather than setting expectations in ourselves or others just to make us look good.

Andrew’s Blog: Play To Your Strengths

Playing to our strengths seems too simple. But how many of us as business owners and leaders are doing things that we are not good at?

I learnt this early on in my sports career – my problem was overcomplicating things. I found it hard to keep things simple. The best athletes stay in their lane and play to their strengths.

Write a list of things that you do well in business and write a second list of things you don’t do well. Then explore how many tasks on the second list you are doing daily. The more you are doing on the second list – the slower your business growth will be.

It is fundamentally important to focus on your strengths as a business owner and leader.

Denying that you have weaknesses and that you aren’t good at everything will make you average at most things.

How will you play to your strengths today?

P.S Have you taken The 4 Quiz yet? HERE

Andrew’s Blog: Design The Life You Want

Many executives and business owners believe money or the next promotion will set them free. However, it has been proven over and over again that this is a myth.

In reality, both status and money enslave us and make us feel overwhelmed with fear that we will lose it all or not win the race to the top.

Money has enslaved me, not because I was obsessed with making as much as possible, but because it scared me and therefore I would sabotage my own income – If I spent it all no one could take it away from me.

For some people it’s the opposite – they become scrooges, living in fear that they will wake up to an empty vault.

Take a moment today to reflect on how you want to design your life – consider the future ahead and acknowledge that it is not too late to build a life on your terms.

Take a hard look at some of the choices you are making.

Success is measured by how you live life your way.

If we don’t connect with our heart and only make decisions with our heads we will miss out on a multitude of opportunities and increase the chances of burnout.

How will you design your life?

Ready to Scale Up Your Business?

As you reflect over this Easter weekend, you may be thinking about growing your business?

Especially as we start to break free of the Covid restrictions. Now get ready for the next challenge: how to scale your business without burning yourself out so you can enjoy the rewards and have some fun on the way.

Even if you manage to grow fast you’ll soon have another problem: Staying on top of your health, relationships and mindset.

I have recently taken on a client who inspired me to write this article. He has scaled during the last 10 years to an 8 figure business. But he tells me his marriage has broken down, his waistline has expanded and he is mentally exhausted – Now he’s not sure if it was worth it.

So if you are embarking on growing and scaling your business during the next ten years what do you need to do to avoid this happening to you?

Scaling your business is about capacity and capability. Do you and your business have the capacity to grow? Will your operational systems accommodate growth? And do you have the right team to deliver the strategy?

If there is a bottleneck in your business because of a lack of clarity or what I often refer to as the ‘mist’ –you’re going to have unhappy customers and growth will not happen. This is usually because orders fall through the cracks, customer service is falling short, incompetent staff and a poor communication strategy.

As a small business you can get by with manual processes, but because you want to grow manual processes won’t let you move fast enough. You’ll either be dealing with problems rather than generating sales or desperately trying to operate in multiple areas of the business. All of which will lead to burnout and poor health, and ultimately poor results.

To grow your business you will need to create a solid platform to launch your growth plan. It means having the ability to scale without becoming overwhelmed and maintain clarity along the way. It requires planning, money and systems.

Here are 5 critical steps to take to ensure you scale without burning yourself out.

Get clear about where you are today and create a game-plan

This can be uncomfortable as you need to analyse exactly what is happening in your business today. You need to take stock of where you are so you can understand what needs to change going forward.

You will need to be optimistic about the number of sales you will create and be clear about the strategy you will implement. Do you have the right team and systems to deal with those sales without lowering your customer service? This is key to creating a robust plan for growth.

Here are three simple weekly metrics I ask my clients to focus on:

  1. Leads generated
  2. Sales call taken/made
  3. Deals closed

Create a spreadsheet that breaks the metrics down and measure performance against them every week. Be as specific as you can. Then create an expense forecast, which includes hiring new members to your team, new technologies and systems to handle all those new sales leads, and especially how you onboard new clients. Look at all items on your current P&L to see how they might be affected.

You will have to anticipate when, where and how your expenses will increase. Create an expense spreadsheet that breaks down the investment needed to meet your sales forecast.

This is where you need to go deep into your business and forecast real costs, which will make your game-plan stronger.

Get Investment or Bootstrap?

Scaling a business requires money, it is the fuel for your growth.

Do you need to:

  • Hire staff
  • Increase your marketing spend
  • Invest in tech
  • Purchase new equipment
  • Create reporting systems

How will you find the money to invest in growth? I have bootstrapped my businesses in recent years, however, Burnout Boss and Team Head Coach are now global coaching businesses, so we have decided to get investment to accelerate our growth during the next 5 years.

There are also small business grants available, I started my first business in 1998 with the Prince’s Trust which enabled me to build my first six-figure coaching business at age 22. Banks may provide funds to accelerate your growth such as a loan or an overdraft, or even credit cards if you’re smart with them.

Get Clear About The Customer Journey

When deciding to scale your business, you have to be optimistic about what you will achieve in sales, but you must have a structure in place for a slick customer journey. Look at your sales process from end to end.

Consider the following:

  • How will you get attention and generate leads?
  • How will you know what marketing tactics are working?
  • Do you have a sales team to book calls and close deals?
  • Do you have a robust customer onboarding process to delight your new customers?
  • Do you invoicing or billing function to follow up to ensure invoices are done in time?

Invest in Technology

Growing your business with the right technology will make it easier to scale faster. You can gain huge economies of scale and more throughput, with less labour with the right tech. By investing wisely in technology and automation, you’ll gain better economies of scale and reduce labour costs.

  • Invest in minimising manual work with automation
  • Make sure your systems integrate before you start splashing out the next shiny piece of tech. Most companies are using multiple technologies and systems. If they don’t integrate or talk to each other your company will have problems in the future.

Take time to evaluate new technology on the market that can save time and money, and allow higher volumes in every area of your business. Find a good CRM that is the right fit for your business plan, implement a marketing automation solution, and consider what sales management, accounting, HR, and other technology systems will be needed.

Be sure to evaluate your networks and hardware such as servers, computers, printers and telephony equipment to make sure you have the right tech for your future business. An IT expert of virtual CIO can come in very handy here if you are not tech-savvy.

Whilst technology can be a game-changer in your business, you still need to ensure you have the right people on the bus. And make sure they are in the right seats playing to their strengths.

  • What are the industry benchmarks for delivering exceptional service in your sector? Ensure you have the right customer team to deliver on your promise
  • What is the typical ratio in your industry for a sales/operational person to customers? Think about the number of people who are responsible for the delivery of your product or services.
  • What process will you put in place to hire talented people? What will keep them motivated and ‘sticky’ in your business?
  • Build a management team that can deliver the strategy. This will help you work on the business rather than in it. Also if you want to exit in the future there may be an opportunity for a management buy out, or if you want to sell – a buyer will want to be sure that you have a solid management team to continue growth.

Depending on the level of investment you have or the pace you want to grow, you may consider outsourcing to a partner rather than hiring internally.

As the leader in your business you will have to make tough decisions about what you will focus on personally, there may be things you love to do and doing them could hold the business and your team back. Be honest with yourself about what role you will play in your company.

Rather than hiring a team too quickly, which is a big investment you may want to find a reliable partner to outsource, this can help scale way more efficiently. There are great companies who specialise in this. Trying to build a team internally may require too much investment and slow down your growth in the long run.

These are five key areas to work through when scaling your business.

Maybe you have grown a business in the past and you resonated with the client I mentioned at the beginning of this article?

Are you ready to scale up your business without burning yourself out?

Andrew’s Blog: Maintain Boundaries

Many business owners are unaware of the conflict they have with work and the underlying stress it creates.

We often talk about learning to say no to others requests, but what about the demands in our own heads?

How many times have we said no to the telephone, or turning on the laptop when spending time with our families or friends, then find ourselves having a quick peek to check on things?

Before we know it, we are lost in a conversation with a client that could have waited two days or even a week.

Let’s make sure we are in control of our free time and how we experience it.

When we set boundaries with ourselves and say “I am not available today or this week” we learn to find harmony in our professional and personal lives.

Otherwise, we are allowing other people to own our diaries and steal precious time, eventually leading to increased overwhelm and potentially burnout.

Enjoy the Easter holidays – let’s make a commitment to taking a real break.

How do you set boundaries?