Momentum Podcast: 294
The Pain Of Hitting Seven Figures
by Alex Charfen
The seven figure transition is tough! It can be so difficult because you can't keep running your business in the same way you always have.
If you try to go through the seven figure transition alone it will chew you up and spit you out. The element of the business that has to transition the most is you, the entrepreneur.
Full Audio Transcript
The pain of hitting seven figures. I know this sounds crazy because so many of us as business owners have our eye on the seven figure prize. We think if I could just hit a million dollar business, everything would be so much easier. It would be so much better. It would be so incredible. It's just like when I talk to somebody who's just starting out and they say, oh, as soon as I get to six figures, I know everything will be so much easier, and I chuckle because the six figure businesses is so painful. It's so small. You have to do everything yourself. There's not enough revenue coming in for you to hire anyone to help you, and so you do everything.
Now, if you're fortunate enough to get through that six figure transition and head towards seven, here's what's happened. From six figures to seven figures, you have dug in, done what you had to do, made things happen. In fact, as you grew the business, you did everything. Isn't that just fact like you have to do everything and then as you approach seven figures, you can no longer do everything, but here's the problem. In order to grow the business, you do everything successfully growing the business conditions you to do everything. So as you approach seven figures, you hit one of the most painful transitions we hit as entrepreneurs. There's a reason why only three percent of entrepreneurs ever exceed $1,000,000 in gross revenue, only three percent, and there's a reason why a significant percentage of those come right back down to under seven figures in revenue and do not continue growing.
The reason is when you hit seven figures, you can't do it all yourself anymore, and here's what I mean. Probably, if you're at seven figures as an entrepreneur you've probably gotten some help along the way. You've had some contractors or maybe an assistant or maybe a few people who have helped you get there. Maybe some people who fill some tactical roles, but when you hit seven figures, things have to change. Your mentality has to change. You have to go from doing it all yourself to having a team do it with you and you have to go from being responsible for everything to not just delegating tasks like you would to a contractor and like most people do on the way to seven figures, but now you have to start delegating the actual responsibility of getting things done and the seven figure transition is so difficult because you have to build systems around what you do well and then hand those systems off to other people to be able to make them move forward.
And here's the issue. We have psychological conditioning all the way to seven figures that tells us the more we do, the bigger the company gets, the harder we work, the faster we grow, the more we do everything, the more success we experience and that conditioning will crush you because if you try to go through the seven figure transition the same way you got there, it's a meat grinder.
It's a sausage grinder. It will chew you up and spit you out. It will be painful. You will feel like you are moving backwards. Every single day will be an exercise in futility because once you hit seven figures, you can't possibly do it all yourself.
Now, I will put this one caveat out there. In today's world, seven figures, you might hit that. You might hit this limitation above a million dollars because there's actually programs out there and systems out there that can help entrepreneurs today accelerate past the seven figure threshold still working like we used to work in seven figure businesses.
Like click funnels. Click funnels can help an entrepreneur accelerate to one, two, maybe even $3,000,000 without having to go through this transition, but when you have to go to the transition of doing it all yourself to building a team, that's where it is so difficult and it hurts.
It's painful. It's frustrating, and it can be demoralizing. In fact, here's what I see all the time, is that entrepreneurs grow their business to a million, million, five, somewhere around there and then start telling people they're happy with where it is. They don't want to grow anymore. They don't want to make it any bigger. They feel like they're comfortable with their business and they're just going to stay there, and here's what I can tell you. Every time an entrepreneur says that in the back of my mind, I know what a massive amount of denial they are going through because here's what I know about you and every other entrepreneur I've ever worked with. You can't turn it off. You're not going to stand still. You never heard [inaudible 00:04:29] in your entire life and you're not going to start now, and the fantasy that we can somehow reach a level of success and just hang out there without trying to do anything different is just that. It's a fantasy.
Now, there are caveats to that or exceptions. If you grown your business to a million dollars and you're raising your kids or you have a medical emergency or there's something else that takes your time and your effort, your energy, your focus, then that's different, but if you're working full time in your business and you think you're just going to park it at some level of success, let's be honest. That is never going to be satisfying to you. In fact, after a while, you'll start to sabotage that business. You'll start to bring it back down so you can build it back up and that is a pattern I've watched my entire career. Entrepreneurs going from 350 up to 1.1 million back down to $500, back up to 900, back down to 750, back up to 1.4, back down to 400, back up to 700.
It's like if that was your pulse and you were in an operating room, they would be getting out the paddles and yelling, clear. None of us want to go through that rollercoaster ride of success, but so many of us do, and here's why. You have to break the psychological conditioning that you're doing everything for the company to be successful. You have to break that belief system that is by the way 100 percent true, up to a million or up to the threshold where you need to duplicate people and systems around you and you can't do it all yourself and you have to give up that feeling that it is all on you and start sharing the responsibility for the other people around you.
And so at that million dollar transition, it can feel like everything's breaking because a million dollars is big enough that you have to start building a team, but it's not big enough where you can build a true leadership team and fill every position and get as much help as you really need. So you're going through this threshold where systematically you have to build systems and processes around what you do well. Then you have to delegate responsibility, not tasks. That means you have to give people clear outcomes and then at the million dollar transition as entrepreneurs, we go through one of the most significant changes we ever will.
We go through this, change, this shift, this transition where we go from being responsible to our company and our clients to being accountable to our team and for a lot of us, that's an uncomfortable transition. Entrepreneurs don't like to be held accountable. We don't like to have responsibility. We don't like to show up at the same time everyday. We don't like to be in meetings when they're planned. We don't even like to have meetings on our calendars. Let's be honest. We don't like all of the bureaucracy or seeming bureaucracy or the bureaucratic feeling of growing a business, but here's the reality. If you want to get past $1,000,000 and go to eight figures, you must start building the team and show up for them and be accountable to them.
And throughout my career I've watched wildly talented entrepreneurs who could have grown massive organizations stay small because they weren't willing to make the transition of accountability to a team. They weren't willing to show up when it was necessary and do the work that it takes to actually build the organization and they weren't willing to change their behavior so that their business could scale and grow to the largest point it possibly could.
And so if you're one of those entrepreneurs who knows that seven figures isn't enough. If you're one of those entrepreneurs who knows in your heart of hearts, in that voice in the back of your mind that talks to you and says you're meant for more. You're meant to do more. You're meant to be more. You're meant to leave more behind than you, like me, know exactly what I'm talking about that you're never going to be satisfied with a seven figure business. You might be excited that you hit it, but it's not going to bring you satisfaction.
In fact, you will only be satisfied when you go out and make your greatest contribution and the way that you do that. The way you get through that seven figure year transition is by being responsible to your team, by being accountable to your team, by giving them the responsibility, and coaching their success along the way, and the only way you can do this is if your team knows where they're going. If you have a strategic plan.
And so the reason seven figure transitions are so difficult is because we can't run our business the same way we always have. We must start forward planning. We have to start predicting our success on a monthly basis and making sure we hit it. We can't just run with this ridiculous structure that so many people suggest of some huge mission where the team just works on it every day without any type of strategy, without any type of planning, without any type of clarity.
If we're going to make it through the seven figure transition, the element of the business that has to transition the most is us. It's you. It's the entrepreneur. We have to change our behavior and make the commitment to working with the team and sharing the responsibility with everybody there and then being accountable to them.
I know you can get through the seven figure transition whether you work with somebody else or with us. You should have a clear forward planning strategy, clear transparent metrics, and accountability for every member of your team and if you're willing to show up and be accountable to your team. If you're willing to go from being responsible for everything and doing everything to create success. If you're willing to let go of that conditioning that every one of us goes through in order to get up out of the water and actually start hydroplaning our business and make it work. You can grow your business from seven to eight figures.
And here's a promise I will make to you. If you're willing to make that shift from being accountable only to yourself to being accountable to your team. If you're willing to make that shift from doing everything, to sharing the responsibility and giving your team clear outcomes. If you're willing to make that shift from doing everything to having your team support you and you supporting them, and if you're willing to be in the right place at the right time and set up a communication system and have a strategic plan, not only will your business continue to grow and move towards the contribution you've always known you should make. Here's my commitment to you. You will grow more than you ever thought possible because the seven figure transition is transformative not just for our business, but for us as entrepreneurs.
It's an entirely new level of accountability in the world, of skill sets and behaviors, and responsibility we step into as leaders and as entrepreneurs. So if you're one of those people who knows you've always been meant for more, there's more opportunity on the table. You're leaving opportunity on the, aside and you know you could be making a greater contribution. The transition is where you're accountable to you and you become accountable to your team.
The pain of hitting seven figures stops a lot of entrepreneurs. I don't want it to stop you because my sincere belief is if you've hit seven figures and you're in a viable market, then you can hit eight. All you have to do is change your behaviors and your team will follow.
If you're ready to rock it past seven figures. If you want to start growing eight figures, then you should come to our billionaire code summit in September. We help entrepreneurs install the systems and the processes and practices that help you grow fast. Go to billionaire code.com forward slash summit and check out our event details. It's September 13th and 14th here in Austin. We have a boutique hotel that we partnered with. It is an incredible event. It's incredibly. It's very convenient for any entrepreneur who attends. You take one uber from the airport, go to the hotel. It shares a parking lot with a Whole Foods, with tons of restaurants, with department stores. We've made it as convenient as we possibly can for you. It's fully catered and my commitment to you is you give me two days and I will permanently change your business and your vision of what is possible in business. Go to billionaire code.com forward slash summit and join us.
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