Momentum Podcast: 506

Part 4: 5 Reasons Why Companies That Should Scale, Don't - Projects

by Alex Charfen

Introduction

Being an entrepreneur has a ton of challenges, but one of the most demoralizing is when you select a project for you and your team to complete. You crush it, you knock it out of the park, you get the project done, and then you turn around and there's no results in your business. 

In fact, you do what you think you should have done, and you just gained zero momentum. It's like it barely moves the needle. This can make us want to take our toys and go home. I know when it's happened to me, that's exactly how I've felt. If you don't have a system to select the right project at the right time, this can happen to you, and that's what this podcast is all about. 

Episode Description

Having a system to select the right projects is crucial to any business. First, analyze your business to see what projects you should be doing. If you don’t have a consistent system for analyzing what projects to do, you’re going to do them randomly, haphazardly, and they’re going to hold you back. 

Projects build the infrastructure of your business. When you select the right project, at the right time, based on your company needs, you will feel momentum. You will also gain perspective as to what your team can do, which will improve over time. Tune in to part 4 of the five reasons why companies that should scale, don’t! 

Full Transcript Below

Alex Charfen: Being an entrepreneur has a ton of challenges, but one of the most demoralizing is when you select a project for you and your team to complete. You crush it, you knock it out of the park, you get the project done, and then you turn around and there's no results in your business.

In fact, you do what you think you should have done, and you just gained zero momentum. It's like it barely moves the needle. This can make us want to take our toys and go home. I know when it's happened to me, that's exactly how I've felt. If you don't have a system to select the right project at the right time, this can happen to you, and that's what this podcast is all about.

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.

This is the fourth of the five reasons why companies that should scale don't, and as you know, we've already started. The first one was most companies don't have a strategic plan. If you don't have a plan, you don't know where you're going. Then the second one communication system. Are you communicating to your team so that they know what's going on, when it's going on, what their responsibilities are. And then the third one, a system to select the right processes and as I said before, we use the five core functions for that and now a system to select the right projects. This is so crucial in any business because here's the issue that I see over and over again in the entrepreneurial world. This especially when I go to events and masterminds and listen to people, is that most entrepreneurs decide on the projects they're going to do based on feel or based on the last event they went to or who they were listening to or a mastermind or what somebody said on stage.

It becomes a good idea when you hear it. Then you put it down on paper, the next thing you know you're executing it and here's the challenge with doing business like that. Once you've grown a business to the point where you're already successful, analyzing the business will tell you what projects you should be doing, and you will know what you really need. The problem is when you're doing it on feel, not analysis, not data, what happens is you can have a project that you have massive success with, so you'll think you have a good system. Then the next project you'll get barely anything out of. Then the next project, maybe will be somewhat so successful. Then the next project, not that great. Again, here's why. If you don't have a consistent system for analyzing what projects to do, you're going to do them randomly, haphazardly, and it's going to hold you back.

This is how it relates to the clients we work with. You know, we watch this all the time. We have clients come to us that have been plateaued for years. In fact, one of the most impressive is Wallace and Ashlyn Nelson, they run a supplement company that's actually a family business. When they came to us, that business had been at $5 million for years. It wasn't growing. It was plateaued, it was stalled out. It was constrained, and you can feel that kind of constraint. You know when entrepreneurs aren't winning, when we're not setting another bar up on the scoreboard, if feels like we're standing still. When Ashlyn and Wallace came in, used a system to analyze what projects to do, used a system to understand what to do next. Built a strategic plan, put the communication system in place, chose the right processes, chose the right projects, and here's what happened.

They went from five to almost $10 million in eight months, in just eight months, not even a full year. When clients lineup the right projects, we watched them go from being frustrated, upset, sometimes really excited on a month, but then the next month being right back there to moving forward consistently fast, to being able to predict the future and being able to know what is going to happen next. And here's part of this. You know, if you've listened to the last few podcasts, you know that having a strategic plan is going to help you figure out what projects you need. Having a communication system when your team's giving you input is going to help you understand what your team needs. When you're documenting the right process is it makes it even easier to select the right projects. And here's the epiphany we need to have about projects. This is crucial. Is a good project done well at the wrong time, will create no momentum.

I want that to sink in because here's what I watch constantly in the entrepreneurial world. I watch people like us go to events and walk down the aisle of a showroom floor and make commitments to put projects into their business that are massive. I watch people buy websites on a showroom floor without any motivation having done that, coming into the room and they're buying a website, which is a massive product for a business or a new CRM or a new solution of any kind. Every time you walk through a show floor, most of the decisions you're going to make are going to create a new project. And here's how I want you to do it moving forward is I want you to have such a clear strategic plan that any project that isn't on it feels like a distraction because you know you're in momentum.

I'll share with you a quick story of a friend of mine who runs a business. I'm not going to use his name, but he's here local and a really great guy, a friend of mine who has grown a business from an idea to over $1 million this year. And for the last few months he's been working with another consultant who is in the field that he's in and getting advice from that person. So we hadn't talked in a while and I ran into him at an event and I was catching up with him and I said, "So, hey, you know, tell me what you've been working on, where things are going, how are all the projects going on?" He said, "Well, you know Alex I've been really just overwhelmed with this whole cap table thing." And I said, "What do you mean by a cap table?" He said, "Well, the consultant I'm working with has me working on a cap table so that I can assign ownership shares to the people on my team, to him, to a couple of our clients who are in our ownership group."

And I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. How the heck did you start looking at a cap table? You're a brand new business and just over a million dollars, why would you be making these types of decisions right now? This doesn't make any sense at all." And so we had a conversation where I was, I would say somewhat animated and maybe a little bit more than somewhat, I was defensive and frustrated and wanted to have a nice long conversation with the consultant that sent him down this absolutely unnecessary road because here's what happened to my friend. He's been distracted for months by this ridiculous conversation over who is going to go give ownership to, which by the way happens on that list, happens to be included the consultant who figured we should get a cap table together. Don't tell me there wasn't any personal motivation there and it was infuriating.

I told him like, "You need to cancel this, stop this. Go back to the five core functions and figure out what you really need for this business and stop talking about nonsense like giving away ownership. You're not even in $1 million, you don't know who should be on your executive team. You don't have an executive team. You don't want to give ownership at this point. Those people are going to be married to you for the rest of your life. You don't need a cap table, you need to fire the consulting you're working with. Go start looking at the five core functions of your business and actually do what's going to make your business grow." I don't want you distracted with your business like my friend was because he lost months on something that's never going to grow the business and at a million dollars to be putting together a cap table.

The only reason to do that is if you're a consultant and you want a percentage of the business, you encourage the business owner to do that and include you in the process, which like I said, I want a nice long talk or a few minutes alone with that consultant. So here's why this is so important. Projects build the infrastructure of your business. Processes are the infrastructure of your business. Projects that build the infrastructure, the project to get your website done, the project to get a new funnel done, the project to launch a new product, create a new outcome, whatever it is, that is how you build the infrastructure of your business and so you must repeatedly analyze your company and look at what are the right projects to do at the right time. Second, projects advance the five core functions of your business. Remember, what are the five core functions? Lead generation, the act of getting a lead that will let you market to them. Lead, nurture, the act of nurturing that lead, talking to that lead, emailing that lead until they're ready to buy.

Conversion, the act of the actual sale, which might happen on a webpage, on a phone call, in person, however it is for you. Delivery, the act of everything you do to deliver your product. And then the fifth one, retention, which is the act of getting them to keep your product. Resell, selling them something again, getting them to sign up again and then upsell, selling them something of higher value. The five core functions of the business will show you what projects you need next. So if you analyze the five core functions and you're low in lead generation, that's where your projects should be for the next 90 days. If you analyze your five core functions and your low in nurturing conversion, that's where your project should be for the next 90 days. And so by selecting the right projects, using the system of the five core functions of your business, you will consistently have the right project at the right time based on company needs. And here's what happens. When you select the right project at the right time based on your company needs, you will feel momentum.

The one place we also look is it the billionaire code? If you haven't yet, go to billionairecode.com and put in your name and email. You will get the billionaire code matrix and it will show you what level you are as a company based on revenue and what you should be focused on at that time. What are the right places to focus your time, effort, energy, focus and cash. Because those five currencies, we only have so many places we can spend them. Don't overspend and make sure you're putting them in a place where you're going to get momentum. So here's what you need to know. Number one, in order to know what projects to do every quarter, analyze the five core functions of your business. Rank yourself on lead gen, nurture, conversion, delivery, retention, resell and upsell. Start from the left and whatever the lowest number is, moving right, start there and put focus every quarter on wherever you're lacking in the five core functions.

And if you haven't yet, go back and listen to my podcast on the five core functions so you have a more detailed view of that analysis tool. Number two, commit to projects for the next 90 days. This is one of the hardest things for entrepreneurs to do, is to take a step back and commit to projects for the next 90 days. Because you know what we want to do? We want to have endless projects. We want to be able to add projects, remove projects, make them happen again, we want to be able to just throw a project into our team in the middle of the quarter. Now, can you? Sure. And in our system it happens, but what I want you to do is commit to most of your projects for the next 90 days. I talk to entrepreneurs all the time that tell me something like, "Well, this month we're going to launch a funnel. Next month we're going to," and I'll say, "Whoa, one second. You're going to launch a funnel in a month, but are you going to optimize? Is it going to work? Do you know it's going to be converting?"

Launching a funnel can take months of testing and measurement and making small changes and small tweaks and seeing what improvements you get. So commit to a project for 90 days. Give yourself time, not just to launch it, but to optimize it. Makes sure that it's not just done but it's actually working. And then here's the last thing you need to know, minimize or eliminate black ops. I want you to know this is something that I struggle with all the time. In fact, on my computer there is a post it note, it says, "No more random ideas," for me to stop calling my team, messaging my team, telling them that there's an idea I have because we already know our strategic plan is incredible. Our team has gone through analysis, we've taken time to do it. We've prioritized together. We've looked at it together. We've decided together that the items on our strategic plan are going to create momentum of our team.

So if I throw a random idea in, I'm literally taking a wrench and throwing it between the gears of a machine that is cranking in forward momentum. So no more black ops, no emergency changes. Does it happen to us every once in a while? Sure, we'll have an opportunity come up. It never fails that when I record a podcast I get a phone call. So sorry about that, I was lucky enough to block it quickly, but so you know, I want to make sure that I don't throw off my team. I want to make sure that we stay on our waterfall. I want to make sure that month after month we build perspective as to what our team is really capable of. And if I throw in black ops and make emergency changes, it doesn't work.

Now does it happen? Yes. Occasionally we will have an opportunity that is so big, we just have to jump on it. So you know what? Our team will put up with the occasional interruption. They will put up with the occasional change to a waterfall. We can still maintain perspective if we have an occasional change, but if your way of working in your business is constantly changing the process, going into an event and telling your team you have all new projects, throwing new things at them on a monthly and daily and weekly basis, you are just managing chaos. You're not actually going to ever be able to predict the future and really get your entire team into momentum. So here's what will happen if you allow this to work, you will have perspective as to what your team can do and it will improve over time. Now that sounds really simple, but let me tell you how crucial that is.

See, if you commit to projects quarter after quarter, if you watch those projects and you see what you can complete, if you see what type of success those projects created, that will create an entirely new perspective for you. And I recently interviewed Emily Hirsch, can't wait for you to hear the podcast that comes out from her. It's going to be titled My team is my Superpower because that's actually something she said out loud on our podcast and what she said is that there is so much momentum in her team right now, but part of it is because she's using the cadence. She has perspective, she knows what her team can commit to, so on a monthly basis they're actually doing more, they're improving, they're putting even more out, they are making more happen and it's all because there's clarity around what they set out to do, what they actually did and it gives them perspective on what they can do again, this is completely and totally crucial if you are going to create momentum moving forward and move your company forward as fast as you can.

Now, if you want help with understanding the projects, if you want to understand the five core functions at a deeper level, if you want to be able to build what I talked about a couple of review podcasts ago, build that strategic plan, we have an opportunity for you. We have a new product that is just going out in beta. It hasn't even officially launched, so we have a massive discounted price on it right now. If you go to billionairecodefoundation.com you can check it out and here's what you'll find at Billionaire Code Foundation, our foundation product is a strategic planning product that will do the following. It will help you understand your critical number, the five core functions of your company, your client centric mission, and help you build a strategic plan for the next year that will create massive confidence for you and your team and will give you perspective as to what you can really get done.

When you have a strategic plan, you now have clarity as to where you're going. You can step into transformational leadership. You will get smarter, your entire team will get smarter because you will know where you're going. So go to billionairecodefoundation.com check it out. Here's something I want you to know, you should check it out now, because this is going to launch at the beginning of July and for the first six weeks I am doing the group coaching calls. I'll have Deanna there to back me up, but I'm doing the group coaching calls. I want to be able to give as much support to this product as we possibly can. And if you're thinking right now, "Well, I probably can't afford it if Alex is involved," this is the lowest price we've ever sold a product with live coaching from me. First time we've ever done it, it will probably be the last time. Go to billionairecodefoundation.com and check it out. I can't wait to see you in the program. Billionairecodefoundation.com.

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With gratitude,

Alex

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