Momentum Podcast: 301
The Million Dollar Myth
by Alex Charfen
The million dollar myth. These days, more entrepreneurs are getting to a million dollars in revenue faster than I believe at any time in human history. There are tools and platforms and resources and shortcuts available to entrepreneurs to get to a million dollars there just never has been before.
I've been running businesses for over 30 years, I started in my teens, and today the resources and tools available save multiple millions of dollars in putting together a seven-figure business. Heck, I was just up at ClickFunnels, and you walk the halls of that company and there are hundreds of 2 Comma Club plaques for people who have achieved million dollar businesses using ClickFunnels, so getting to a million dollars is something that is now tangible.
It's reachable. It's something that entrepreneurs can actually see from where they are, when in history getting to a million dollars seemed like this massive thing that was going to take a tremendous amount of time and a lot of energy.
“I just hit a million dollars, let me show you how!” Is this an advertisement you've seen recently? The marketing tells you once you've hit that million dollar mark you've made it, you'll have the mansion, the exotic car and it will all be so easy. The perfect million dollar business is a myth. The reality is growth creates complexity. When you hit a million dollars the demands to you for the business are off the charts. Without systems and frameworks around you it just gets harder. When you understand strategic planning and can build an infrastructure you don't have to stop at a million dollars. You can keep going and make the impact you've always wanted to make on the world. Getting to a million dollars is a milestone, not a destination.
Full Audio Transcript
The million dollar myth. These days, more entrepreneurs are getting to a million dollars in revenue faster than I believe at any time in human history. There are tools and platforms and resources and shortcuts available to entrepreneurs to get to a million dollars there just never has been before. I've been running businesses for over 30 years, I started in my teens, and today the resources and tools available save multiple millions of dollars in putting together a seven-figure business. Heck, I was just up at ClickFunnels, and you walk the halls of that company and there are hundreds of 2 Comma Club plaques for people who have achieved million dollar businesses using ClickFunnels, so getting to a million dollars is something that is now tangible. It's reachable. It's something that entrepreneurs can actually see from where they are, when in history getting to a million dollars seemed like this massive thing that was going to take a tremendous amount of time and a lot of energy.
And today the marketing around getting to a million dollars is really interesting to me. You know, I see people marketing, "I just got to a million dollars. Let me show you how," and these days I think you know what ads I'm talking about. It's the person standing in front of a Lamborghini or a Ferrari with a nice suit on, and they look like ... I don't know. Sometimes they look like they're either a mafia boss or maybe a drug dealer. It's always a weird juxtaposition for me, that now somehow exotic car equals successful business owner. The reality is that getting to a million dollars is one of the hardest places to be as an entrepreneur. The marketing myth is that you made it. Everything is going to be so great. It's going to be easy. I'm going to have the Lamborghini and the mansion and all of those other things. The reality of getting to a million dollars is that growth creates complexity and volume creates deficit.
And when you hit a million dollars in most businesses, not all, but when you hit around a million — you might be able to get to two, it might happen to you at 700 — you hit this place where suddenly the demands of the business exceed the infrastructure you have and on a daily basis, as you grow, that equation does not improve unless you proactively have a system to do it. And when you hit a million dollars, here's the place that most people get. Again, it's a range, but when you hit around a million dollars, the place most people get is that you're in a place where the demands of the business are getting harder and growth creates complexity, so things get more difficult. They get more complex. There's more questions. Volume creates deficit, so on a daily basis you're discovering things that you need to add to the business.
When I talk to most people who have just reached a million dollars, I ask them, "So does it feel like everything is broken? Are you losing sleep? Are you okay?" And the answers I get are consistent. As soon as I say, "So you hit a million dollars, and does it feel like everything is broken?" Business owners look at me with this sigh of relief, this acknowledgement that somebody understands that just because you've hit a million dollars doesn't mean everything is great. Here's the issue. As soon as you start telling people you have a million dollar business, they think you make a million dollars a year, and the reality is that when you hit a million dollars the demands for you, to you, for the business are off the charts, and without systems, structures, and frameworks around you, it just gets harder.
I want you to understand that this myth of having an incredible company that has all of your problems solved, where everything is great at a million dollars is just that. It's a myth. Just in the last a couple of weeks I was talking to a person who's probably going to join our high-end mastermind. I think we're having the last call with him today. I haven't gotten permission to use his story, so I'll do it in the abstract, but at Funnel Hacking live last year, about seven or eight months ago, his business was doing between 10 and $20,000 a month. He figured some things out, started delivering a different type of product, and he's hitting $100,000 a month. Well, he has that million dollar run rate business. He's going to be in the 2 Comma Club in a year. He's got a business that everybody looks at him and says, "This is incredible. He's hitting a million dollars. I want to get there."
But behind the scenes, the conversation we had was that the team isn't the right places. He doesn't understand how to communicate so things can get done. He finds himself all day, every day trying to tell his team what to do, then trying to fill in what he's doing, and he feels completely and totally overwhelmed. That's why we were talking. That's how it feels when you hit a dollar dollars, and so if you're in that place I want you to know you are not alone. And if you hit it at 500 or 700, like I said, in one of those businesses where the pressure comes earlier. If you've hit two million or three million and you're not quite feeling it yet, you might be one of those businesses where you can extend the runway, but sooner or later the myth of the million dollar perfect business comes crashing down on you.
Whenever I see marketing that says, "Let me help you get to seven figures," and it's supposed to make all of your life better and everything feel okay, I always feel sorry for the people who believe it, because while it's incredible to get there, just getting there is not enough. See, once you hit a million dollars you have to dramatically change your behaviors in running your business. You have to elevate above the details of the day-to-day and start getting help with the business, or you'll be working 100 hour weeks, like the person who I talked to that was at ClickFunnels and went to $100,000 months.
He's working all day, every day. He told me he's working 16 hours or more, six or seven days a week, and he's completely overwhelmed. We had a long discussion, and then he sent me a message a couple of days later and said, "We really need to get this wrapped up so that we can start working together. I just signed a few more clients. I don't know when I'm going to get any time off." That's really how it feels, and here's how you get yourself out of it. Here's how you start to build the infrastructure around you so that you don't feel overwhelmed. Here's how you start getting help so that day-to-day you can actually grow the business not just to a million dollars, but well past a million dollars, and here's why I push this.
See, I don't think you or any other entrepreneur wants to grow a business to a million dollars and hang out. One, it's not the level of conversation we want. I have a question for you. Haven't you always been a strategic thinker? Haven't you always been one of those people that thinks at a higher level than the people around you? Haven't you always been one of those people that likes strategy, that likes the process, likes to elevate to the 20,000 foot level and see what's really going on? Then elevate to the 50,000 foot level and see opportunity? Aren't you creating the future, not the minutia of the day-to-day?
See, I know that's who we are as entrepreneurs, and the way we become more strategic and build the company that we have is by doing exactly that. We literally become more strategic. There's three requirements for making yourself feel like you have a solid million dollar company, that you can grow to the next level of the billionaire code, that you can get up to the three million and then go from three to 10, then 10 to 30, then 30 to 100, but here are the requirements that you must put in place to move forward from a million dollars to get into the eight figures and to keep going.
Number one, you have to have a forward looking strategic plan. See, at a million dollars it's harder and harder to tell people what to do. Transactional management will absolutely kill you. It will drain you. It will make you feel like you don't really want the business. You'll want to shut it down. You'll want to go back to doing it all yourself. You'll have fantasies of being able to do it all yourself, because when you don't have a strategic plan, you are the biggest bottleneck in your business.
People will always have to come to you. When you don't have a strategic plan, when you can't see where you're going, you won't understand what your people are doing, so you'll always assume they're not doing enough. When you don't have a strategic plan, you will consistently be frustrated with the business, because it's not moving fast enough, because without predicting where you're going, measuring where you're going along the way, and seeing how far you get and knowing what the people around you are doing, you won't have the right perspective as to your business. So you will be challenged to grow if you don't have a strategic plan.
The second thing you need to be able to do is communicate that plan, but if you're like most entrepreneurs, you're not great at communicating. You know, that transactional management that crushes you, that's when you tell people what to do, check that it got done, and tell them what to do again. And for all of us, that is draining. It crushes us. It feels tedious, it feels like we're doing busywork, it feels like we're micromanaging, because we are. Until you can tell your people where you're going, you're going to have to help them every step of the way, and it's exhausting. But when you have a strategic plan and then you add in a communication cadence, instead of just trying to communicate every day ...
We're not good at that. Let's be honest. You know and I know we're not good at that. We're not good at the day-to-day talking to people in a way that is easy for them to understand what they need to do, but what we can do is create is strategic plan, know where we are going, and then participate and reinforce your communications cadence, where you're meeting with your team at predetermined times for predetermined reasons, where you know they're going to hear from you, where they know when they can get help, where they know when they can get momentum from being with you.
And a communications cadence where it's telegraphed, it's choreographed. Everyone knows what's happening so that they can win. When the people on your team show up to a meeting, we call them targeted interactions, they should know the intention of the meeting. They should know the outcome of the meeting. They should know the exact choreography, what you're going to do step by step, and they should know exactly what follow up they need to do to win. When your team knows that, you won't just get past a million dollars. You'll continue even further than that.
Then the third thing you need is not just a strategic plan and the communications cadence. You need a process and structure for building the infrastructure of the business around what it needs today. You should be constantly analyzing. The tools I use are an organizational chart, so I look at a standard org chart to see who we have, and then I look at four of our documents. Those are documents we create for each person on our team that spells out their role, responsibility, the results and the requirements, so what is that they're doing? What are they responsible for? What results should that create? And what requirements do they have with the position? I'm constantly reviewing that and asking, "Who do we need on the team? How can we get what we need done? What's the most effective and efficient and cost-effective way to get what we need done? Then we have processes to fill in those positions with people who are true believers and excited to help us grow.
Getting to a million dollars is a milestone, not a destination. It's a measurement you should use along the way to your ultimate success, and if somebody has just gotten to a million dollars and they're promising to coach you to get there, you should run away from that person, because if they don't know how to get past it, they might be able to teach you how to get there, but getting there without having a plan to continue is excruciating. It's so frustrating, and I talk to entrepreneurs in that situation every single day. But when you understand strategic planning, when you have a communications cadence, when you can build an infrastructure, you don't have to stop at a million dollars. You can keep going, build your business, have a bigger impact, make more money, and create the change that you know you're restlessly agitated to make in the world. Getting to a million dollars and having the perfect business is a myth.
If you're ready to grow your business, if you're ready to get to the next level as an entrepreneur, if you're ready to get some help and understand exactly how to create that strategic plan, participate in the communication cadence and reinforce it for your team, and build the infrastructure around you so that you can continue to grow without stopping, stalling, or feeling the frustration that most entrepreneurs do, then go to billionairecode.com. Answer a few questions, and while you're there, set up a call with a member of my team. If you've got a business that's over $300,000, we have coaching programs where we can help you do exactly what I just discussed. So let us help you get to a million, and if you're at a million dollars or more, we have coaching programs that can help you rapidly build the infrastructure around you so you can take advantage of the opportunity you've created.
The myth of the perfect million dollar business is just that. Create a strategic plan, a communications cadence, build an infrastructure, and you'll see everything grow, and you'll see yourself grow as a leader as well. Go to billionairecode.com. Answer a few questions. Let us tell you where you are on the billionaire code, and set up a call with a member of my team. Let us show you how to move forward, fast.