01.11.23 - When Smaller Is Better
Excerpt from the February Issue of THE MEMO
Today I’m sending you an excerpt of the intro for next month’s Consulting Memo. Each month, my office sends training, frameworks, and experiments from our portfolio.
You’ll get ideas to test & ways to grow monthly. In addition, we do live trainings in our community for Memo subscribers. We call them “Call-Ins” and they’re excellent.
I think you’ll enjoy this excerpt… let me know in the comments if you can relate.
FEBRUARY ISSUE: When Smaller Is Better
I asked a client last month, “Why did you become a client?”
Important question, by the way. Sometimes we get so “busy” that we forget to do the simple things. Simple as in, ask people questions instead of trying to guess… we’re building some new systems and I wanted to know from a few of our top clientele — what made you ‘jump’ as opposed to wait?
Now this particular human is a genius and they’re doing quite well (8 figures/year, team, great reputation, all of it). He’s worked with some of the best… eventually they all come home, though, to where it all started.
I’ve seen most of what people are throwing around as “frameworks” today and I think most of them came from me in 2018. Just old stuff with new names… in a recent ad my team published, the opening script: “I am the greatest consultant in the world.”
I had them change it: the history of the world…
They thought that was funny. I was being serious.
I don’t want to play for 2nd best or “one of the best,” if you’re not going to go Michael Jordan, why play at all? That’s for another day - back to the story.
This client responds on audio and I start listening. There’s gym equipment in the background, he’s obviously training and fitting his response into a pre-blocked “workout” slot — which made me appreciate the feedback twice as much.
That’s another thing to be noted: my clients, once they become clientele, typically don’t become “less busy,” they just become less stressed.
Don’t let the headline here fool you. Yes, sometimes SMALLER IS BETTER – but that doesn’t mean we don’t work… or earn our living. This client is earning it physically, mentally, and emotionally, every single day.
He responds: “I have seen you build several times through several iterations. This time seemed different. You were building & growing extremely fast — but it was stress free. I needed to have that.”
8 figure revenues
Brilliant team & CEO
Near perfect reputation in the market
…but stress. Ugh.
Chronic stress will kill you. It will take your drive and break it down, slowly, steadily, 24/7 without reprieve. Too much stress for too long and you’ll want to give it all away (like I did). If you don’t fix it in time, you will give it all away (like I did).
There are “MODELS” that run this business:
Tier 1 teams
NEW: Wealth codex
NEW: “100 Clients” model
Burn to cashflow (epic for keeping your P&Ls healthy)
Rev per head (great to know if you’re overstaffed)
The 4 phases
We don’t just “fix problems,” we look at the problems that are repetitive, and we create MODELS to fix, and then prevent them.
I’m not afraid of anybody.
There is no competition anywhere that has any chance if going head to head. But it’s not really about competition, not anymore. You can tell the “maturity” of a leader, when they stop concerning themselves with competition (market share) and begin obsessing over durability (happiness).
I posted in a group the other day this poll:
Option A: Small, agile, FUN, net stress @ zero; $3-5M/year ☕️
Option B: Big, “bold,” chaos, net stress high; $15-20M/year 🤑
Most (overwhelmingly) chose option A. The world is feeling it… a collective “sigh of relief” when you think about the ability to REST. The need for “margin” has never been higher.
Politically, financially, emotionally, we have all been “mobilizing” for several years. Constantly pushing the RPMs towards the invisible target at the top of the mountain. Only to get there, realize the mountain could have been higher, and deciding to go for the next one…
What about your kids?
What about your spirit?
What about your friends?
A few of you will read this and think “I don’t care about the other stuff right now — I want to PUSH.”
That’s fine… you fit into category B. But like the client I opened this issue with — the chances are high that once you get it, your only craving in life will be to reduce & remove the stress…
I can’t tell you how many people have resonated with the opening issue of these memos from many months ago (dancing with my daughter). I had no idea… I thought I was alone… that’s how resistance works, by the way.
When you’re in the darkness, you are convinced you are the only one there. But you are not. Turns out, many (MANY) people feel the same ‘urge’ to push PAUSE… reset priorities, and build something healthy, fun, profitable and BALANCED.
At some point you have to realize when you’re winning the little battles but somehow still losing the war… margin will fix that. I’m reminded of the German short story, originally published in 1963:
A businessman is sitting on the beach of a small fishing village when he sees a fisherman approach the shore with his daily haul. Impressed by the quality of the fish, the businessman asks the fisherman how long it took him to bring in his catch.
“Just a short while,” the fisherman replies.
“Why don’t you stay out longer to catch more fish?” the businessman asks.
“Because this is all I need.”
“But then what do you do with your time?”
“I sleep late, catch a few fish, play with my kids, take a nap with my wife, and then join my buddies in town to drink wine and play guitar,” the fisherman responds.
The businessman is shocked. He explains that he has an MBA, and that if the fisherman follows his advice, he could help him grow his business. “You could buy a bigger boat,” the businessman says, “and use the proceeds to open your own cannery.”
“Then what?” the fisherman asks.
“You could move to the city to open a distribution center.”
“And then what?”
“You could expand your business internationally and eventually take your company public,” the businessman says. “When the time is right, you could sell your shares and become very rich.”
“And then what?”
“Well, then you can retire, move to a small fishing village, sleep late, catch a few fish, play with your kids, take naps with your wife, and join your buddies in town to drink wine and play guitar.”
Here’s the update to the story:
When Covid-19 rages and the world “shuts down,” when you’re no longer allowed outside of your house to fish — you need the ability to withstand the rugged wins of chaos. This story is great, but it is incomplete.
To live on “today’s” production and only today’s production is unwise.
This is why our model teaches all the way through Phase 3 (multiplication) and Phase 4 (harvest). In Phase 1 your job is founder. In Phase 2 your job is CEO. In Phase 3 your job is investor. In Phase 4 your job is a board member who should be spending time on LEGACY plays.
This is the way.
This is safe. And also, healthy.
—THE END (full memo released in February to subscribers)
This is the year of healthy growth.
You’re never too late to begin. You’re never too early, either…