Momentum Podcast: 145
Build a Real Company with Molly Keyser
by Alex Charfen
As an entrepreneur, I think it's every one of our goals to build a real company. But what does the really mean? What is a real company? The way I look at it, a real company is a company where you know what's going to happen. You've got predictable results. You understand the system and the process through which you're running the company and you lower the chaos that's felt inside the organization.
You have immediately have set yourself up as the channel of communication. Rather than communicate with each other, and your team will communicate through you.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how.
While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few, who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be.
Build a real company. As an entrepreneur, I think it's every one of our goals to build a real company. But what does the really mean? What is a real company? The way I look at it, a real company is a company where you know what's going to happen. You've got predictable results. You understand the system and the process through which you're running the company and you lower the chaos that's felt inside the organization.
See, here's one of the big important parts about growing a company is that you have to make your business non-chaotic. You have to make your business the calm, the steady, the reliable, the expected place for everybody who works with you because our clients, our team, our advisors, our affiliates, the people that we work with, our partners all work in a dynamic market, which is chaotic.
And the challenge with most entrepreneurial companies is that they mirror the market in the level of chaos and in the level of confusion that they run in. Most small businesses are completely and totally chaotic. I know because we've done hundreds, maybe thousands of surveys within entrepreneurial companies where the teams have told us that they're utter chaos. In fact, it's often that when you talk to a team member in an entrepreneurial company, and you ask, "So, how's it going? Tell me how it is to work here?" They'll say things like, "Well, we're just trying to survive," or "Put out fires as fast as we can," or "Hope that we understand what's going to happen next," because that's how teams really feel, but that's not how it has to be.
See, when you add minimum effective dose processes to your company, when you have the right types of meetings, not the ones that suck that everybody hates. But when you have targeted interactions where you know why you're going in, why you're coming out, what you're going to accomplish while you're there, your team can act like a well-oiled machine. They can crush it. They can actually get into a room, and work together, and build a real company. And when you have the right systems in place, and you communicate in the right way, and you let people know what's going on, they will actually recognize it.
One of my clients, Molly Keyser, and her husband, Aaron Silvernale, are just awesome. They own a company called Boudie Shorts, Shots ... you know, I always screw this up ... but they own a company that helps photographers become boudoir photographers. I'll be honest. Every time I say the name of their company, I feel like I'm saying something dirty, but I know that it's not. However, I absolutely love working with Molly because she is incredibly aware, and she cares about her clients like crazy, and she was a photographer who changed her life with exactly this strategy. And that's why she's out showing entrepreneurial photographers how they can make as much money in a day as they would make in two weddings, and be in and out.
Boudie Shorts is a complete revolution in photography for the photographers who want to help women see themselves as the rest of the world sees themselves, and feel sexy, and feel desirable. And I think it's one of the most dynamic, most intense companies because Molly is out there to change the world of photography. She wants to save photographers, help women feel better, and do it all at once, just like everyone of us does.
We've been working together for a while, and she recently left me a couple of messages that I want to share with you because I thought they were absolutely fantastic. And they demonstrate what I'm explaining so very well, that when you put the right systems and the right structure in place, you'll build a real company. You'll reinforce that stability with your team. And you might even surprise yourself.
I wanted you to listen to the message that Molly left me. And as a coach, you don't get a ton of messages where your clients are just telling you how great everything's going, but this one was extraordinary, and I want to share it with you. Molly Keyser: Awesome. Thanks, Alex. I also just kind of wanted to give you an update to let you know what we've all implemented and how it's going because ... I don't know ... I just feel like it's going really well. And I know as a coach, it's fun to get updates and see how the stuff that you're teaching is working.
Basically, we have implemented the weekly meetings, and we've been doing those for a while now. And we also have been doing the daily huddle with just the three key players, but we just announced it to the team, we're going to be doing it with everyone going forward. And I've been using that project map and the OTAs, the planning system, and all that stuff, and I just gave our project manager all the plans for March.
We're actually, finally ahead. Usually, it's the last week of the month, or I'm scrambling to get everyone the project plan. And I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things are starting to get automated. Lead generation is starting to get scheduled. That five core functions, I feel like I can take that assessment again next month and my answers would be completely way higher.
So yeah, I mean, we've just ... And then the hiring process, we're going to be filling a new position. I just feel like things are just ... Even my ... I just had a meeting with our executive assistant ... well, /project manager, and she ... I was like, "Man, isn't it crazy. This meeting, I feel like I'm running a real company." And she's like, "I was just thinking that yesterday, how when I started with you, it was ..." She's like, "It's just like every other company I work with, like total chaos." And she's like, "I feel like I work for a real company now."
Anyways, I just thought I would share that with you. Everything is just ... Yeah. I just can't wait to see where we are six months from now. This is so awesome.
Alex Charfen: You can probably see why I love working with Molly. She cares about what she's doing. She cares about her team. She cares about her clients. And she implements like crazy. And we've only been working together for a few months, and these are the results she's getting. Her team feels like they're working with a real company. She's growing her business faster than she ever has. She and Aaron are working hand in hand together and just crushing it on a daily basis, and helping their clients, and helping their team, and increasing the level of organization, and above all, they're building a real company. And you heard Molly say, her team member said, "I thought this was just like every other company, complete chaos."
I want you to understand what it means when you show your team where you're going. I want you to understand how important it is when your team members understand what's going to happen next in your company. Here's the dynamic shift that occurs. Team members no longer feel like they're walking off a cliff every day. Let me explain that.
See, as the entrepreneur in charge, if you have a team, every day you know where you're going, so you have confidence because you can see what's going to happen next. Maybe sometimes it's not a hundred percent clear. Maybe sometimes it's not perfect, but you can at least anticipate enough of what's coming next so that you move forward. But what you're asking your team to do, until you communicate where you're going, is to show up each day, take a step off a cliff, and hope that land fills in underneath them. Can you imagine doing that?
Think of yourself standing at the side of the Grand Canyon, and taking a big step off of the side of the cliff, and hoping that it gets filled in magically below you. I know that isn't the most comfortable feeling, and I know that metaphor may seem like an exaggeration, but I want you to know in all of the discussions we've had with team members, we've actually had people say things exactly like that, like they feel like they come in, jump off a cliff every day, and hope that something's going to happen before they land.
You can make a dynamic change in the life of everyone you work with, and everyone who works with you, and everyone that your company affects. By forward planning and putting the right structure in place, you now start letting your team anticipate where you're going, get them out in front of you. You're no longer the biggest choke point. You're no longer the biggest bottleneck. And everything in your business, and just as importantly, everything in your life will start to flow from a place of strength, will start to go from a place of certainty, will start to grow from a place of anticipation rather than reaction. And just like Molly, within just a few months, you may see such a massive change in your business, that even your team members are pointing it out to you.
When you build a real business, you build a business that'll survive. You build a business that will be profitable. And you build a business that, as an entrepreneur, you have fun running rather than feeling like sometimes the business is running you.
If you're an entrepreneur who's ready to grow your business, to move things forward, to build the infrastructure to take advantage of the opportunity you have, and stop feeling like you're leaving money on the table, reach out to us. You may qualify for one of our coaching programs, where we can help you grow and scale your business. And we would love to talk to you because I want to help you build a real company.