Momentum Podcast: 857
Freedom, Community, and Impact - Live Q&A with Alex Charfen
by Alex Charfen
This episode was created from a live Q&A inside of the Simple Operations Facebook community, held by Alex every Thursday, and hosted by community manager Yhennifer Santos. In this Q&A, Alex and Yhennifer discussed what it means to have true freedom in your business, how to build a high quality community, and how to build deep company processes and feedback loops for both your team and your clients.
If you'd like to join one of these Q&A's live, they're hosted every thursday at simpleoperations.com/community. Join now and submit your questions for this week’s conversation.
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
Welcome to a very special episode of the Momentum Podcast. This episode comes from a live Q&A in our Facebook community held by Alex and hosted by our community manager, Yhennifer Santos. In this Q&A, Alex and Yhennifer talked about what it means to have true freedom in your business, how to build a high quality community, and how to build deep company processes and feedback loops for both your team and your clients. If you'd like to join one of these Q&A live, they're hosted every Thursday at simpleoperations.com/community. I hope you enjoyed this episode.
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.
Yhennifer: Hello, everybody. Hello amazing Simple Operations community. Yhennifer and Alex here. We're so excited to be chatting with you all today. Alex, how are you? Where are you?
Alex: I'm actually in California. I am in Redondo Beach
Yhennifer: What are you doing there? Tell our people. I'm pretty sure they want to know.
Alex: I'm just seeing my family. And so, you know, when you have a business, where do you put the systems in place, you can get away a lot. And during the summer, I would say Cadey and I probably take maybe half the time off of the summer, just with all of the different days and times that we take off. And when you're running your business by personality, that causes panic. And when you're not, you can vacation and do what you want to do. And I wasn't going to do this. Yhennifer was like, “Hey, you know, we'll figure something else out”. But I just like answering these questions a lot. It's very grounding for me. So even though we're out here, I still wanted to do it.
Yhennifer: Yeah. You're like when you're answering these questions for our awesome people. But I want to, kind of like, extend that part of the conversation because that's very important, because entrepreneurs feel most of the time they have to be there to do it all, do all the things. But you mentioned obviously having processes in place will help the visionary go into that passenger seat and that's kind of like the goal. Everything that we do here. And I know that literally last week you were on another vacation. So when you came back, that's my question. How did you feel while you were trying to peek at Slack, and then you're like, I don't really have to be there.
Alex: So, yeah, no, I mean, it kept happening when we were on vacation. I would see messages coming in and then I would look at my phone and there'd be an issue and I'm like, ‘Oh, I'll come back to that issue and I'll answer it in 20 minutes’ or something like that. And then every time I came back, everything was just getting resolved. And so it was this lesson. One of the lessons that I share with entrepreneurs is like, once you have a team, the more you solve, you're not really serving your team, solving is not serving, letting them solve, figure things out, understand things. That's where you really grow a team to the place where you don't have to be there every day. And so, you know, I've been doing this for, I've been running businesses for over 30 years and coaching entrepreneurs in the systems that we teach for about 13 or 12 or 13. 12, I think right now and still I have the same habits every entrepreneur has, like wanting to jump in, wanting to fix things, wanting to make sure everybody's okay. And the more that you allow your team to do those things, the more your team will do those things. You know the phrase I always like the mantra I have in the back of my head is if you want someone to be responsible, you have to give them responsibility. And what happens for so many visionaries is that we partially transfer responsibility. We transfer responsibility for, like say we're going to give it to people, but then we're watching them. We're hovering, we’re micromanaging things. And that makes it so that your team won't take responsibility. So even for me, like every time I take time off or leave, there's lessons there.
Yhennifer: For sure. For sure. Well, guys, we're going to jump into your, that was my question for Alex. I want to make sure because he's on vacation. And last week, that was a conversation and one of our team meetings, we talked about that, like how, you know, you were so grateful that these processes are in place that allows you to spend time with your family, allows you to take this time off and not have to worry that the business is going to burn down or something like that.
Alex: Yeah, I mean, it's more than that. It's not being worried that the business is going to burn down and having the confidence that when any visionary steps away from the business, that they're not going to be needed. It's not that the business is going to burn down because that's like an extreme case. And yeah, I mean, when you're early on in businesses, do you think about going out of business all the time? It's kind of like one of those things. In fact, it doesn't matter what size your company ever gets to. Like in the back of your mind is like, ‘Oh, it could all go away’. And I think we all have that. But having the confidence say, if you step away for a few days or, you know, a weekend or a long weekend like Cadey and I recently did, that kept getting longer. We intended to go Friday to Tuesday. I think we went Friday to Thursday, and next week I go, or two weeks from now, I go to Costa Rica for two weeks and I'm super confident that if anything comes up that's really important, I'll get a text message. But other than that, because we have a process in place, because there's a structure, because I know how we execute as a team, I don't have to be there. I was in Canada recently and this really well known somebody who I admire, somebody who I really respect, a woman who runs a really successful company, leaned over to me and she's doing extraordinarily well. And we were writing down what's the biggest question you have in your business? And I kind of just like in school, I was reading her paper and she wrote down, ‘How do I grow my business without losing my shit’ or something like that. It was very close to that. And I leaned over and I was like, “Hey, I can help with that”. And I recently talked to, I think she's going to join our membership, but I said, “I can help with that because” and she said, “How do how do I”? And then she rewrote the question, or maybe the original question was, ‘How do I trust my team so I can step away?’ And I told her outside of a process, we won't trust our teams. It's not until we have an operating system in the business and we plan forward. We execute with our team. We consistently see it working. The more consistent that it's working, the more that system, that process of seeing it work over and over again creates the trust. And I think so many visionaries, so many entrepreneurs have actually, have to take a deep breath, because I remember when I ran a business like this where I felt like if I stepped away for even a minute, everything fell apart. And the reason is because it did. Because I was coming in every day and making sure everybody was doing the things. And instead of a process, it was personality management. And personality management, like the symptoms of personality management,I know them so well. Your to do list never ends. You don't feel like you can get away. It's the death of a thousand paper cuts. It's like questions, got-a-minutes, clarifications, approvals like you're basically the hub of everything going around and through the business. And you know, you might get to the place where it's like, “Oh I finally broke off sales, but now everything but sales is going through me for the business”. And that is because your team is accustomed to you using personality management to manage the team. And when you make that transition to having an operating system and you go from personality to process, that's when you can step away. It's dysregulating. It's funny so often I call some entrepreneurs using our systems and they're like, ‘Okay, I'm having anxiety because the business doesn't need me anymore’. And so it's actually it's dysregulated to get there. But once you adjust in and you realize, ‘Hey, this is why I ran, I started a business. I wanted freedom, I wanted time, location, freedom to do what I wanted. And I didn't want to be running it day to day. And you can adjust to the disorientation of not being needed constantly. It's just a totally different way to live. You know, I was so on priorities. You can't have it all. There's too many people out there saying that the only way to grow a business is through some massive level of sacrifice of your family, your relationships, your health, your body, you know, your sanity and whatever. Somebody says something like that. I just wish that the other side of that story was being told, that if you're willing to make some behavioral changes and put some process in place, sacrifice doesn't have to be a huge part of the equation.
Yhennifer: Mic drop right there. So, so good. Because it's so true. It is so true. Okay. I see we have some people jumping on the live and you're here live. Let us know where you're tuning in from. If you're watching the replay, let us know as well. Alex, we have a question from Michelle. She said this kind of like a three part question. Yeah, we might have to step into like three questions, but she wrote that her question is about launching a product. We just launched our membership, relaunched our membership last week, literally. But she wrote, I'm a product based and I have a niche that I want to focus on. I already have been serving my clients and how much this niche is needed and is in the basis for some struggles they have. And I have tried, I have tried and have found the true solution is going to be a 30 day program that includes a specialized kit of products to use for their transition and several questions with that. So number one, that says, how do you figure out what's the best name for your program? I'm going to let you answer them one by one. But what do you think about that?
Alex: So I think when it comes to naming a program, I've made the mistake way too many times of going for like high, I can't remember what it's called, but like high concept names, high like, you know, like I'm going to get a really high concept name, like this cool name that's going to make everything so cool. And it's made everything confusing. You know, the most successful product that Cadey and I had online of selling products, and this goes for, it doesn't mean just online, but this is for ecommerce or anything else. If you can find a name that indicates what the product does, it makes life so much easier. So as an example, Clickfunnels, you click and you get a funnel, it's Clickfunnels and we had this product in the distressed property market, Certified Distressed Property expert. So we had a designation, we became a certified distressed property expert. I was just about to say that's the product with Cadey and I did about somewhere around 70 million in a few years in about six or seven years, and it was because the product told you what it was doing. Our member, Benzion Sadigursky, one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs. I just love talking to him and how he thinks he has a product called Loop Lasso, and it's literally a loop that acts like a lasso, and it has like this little kinetic engine in it that keeps strings circling. But like once you hear a loop lasso, you never forget it. And I think what happens so often in the entrepreneurial world is we want these really cool names. And so I had this product at one point, the way we introduced a lot of our products was in a class called Lead. I was like, It's just going to be called lead experience. People were like, lead, lead, you know, what does it mean, lead what? Is it a leadership program? This was like a business growth program. And so now when you look at our higher level membership, it's called Grow and Scale. It's going to show you how to grow and scale your business. And our membership today is just called the Simple Operations membership, and we help you install the Simple Operations system. And so the more that a name tells people what the product does, the easier it is to remember, the easier it is to refer, the easier it is for them to say, “Oh, that's what I need”. And so I would caution you against big names. Like I look at Alex and Leila Hormozi. What do they do? They acquire parts of businesses and help them scale. Company name: Acquisition icon. What's the name of the book where Alex shows you how to build your offers? You can go work with that $100 million offer. What's the book they're about to release in six weeks? $100 million leads. I bet you can guess what that book is about. And so make it a name that makes it easy for people to understand what you're doing.
Yhennifer: That is good right there. She's on the line. Michelle So I hope to answer your question. So part two, because she got a three step series. And number two. It's a Facebook group question. So she says, ‘I have a Facebook group of 400 people and it's pretty dead in there. It’s my fault for neglecting them. I’m thinking start a fresh new group or ditch the group. Do you want to answer that or do you want me to answer that?
Alex: Well, I mean, you know, I think I'm going to default to Michelle [Yhennifer] because Michelle's [Yhennifer’s] our community manager. And she actually wrote the designation for Facebook for community managers. So it would be silly for me to give you any type of input. I mean, I don't think ditching the groups is going to be the answer, but I don't know. So what do you think, Michelle [Yhennifer], or sorry, Yhennifer?
Yhennifer: The answers for Michelle. But what do I think? So yeah. So I am a Facebook group, community manager, certified by Facebook. And this would be my suggestion for you and your dead group. That's a great question, actually, because people ask that all the time about communities. I would keep the group the same. I would change the name back to a simple name., Like a simple name that is going to attract the people that you want to serve. Like, for example, this group, right? Like we have a simple name. Everybody that comes to this group knows exactly what they're here to learn. So change the name. And the reason why I say change the name is because once you change the name of the group, it gives a notification to everybody in the group. So that way you can start weeding out people. If they see that the group name changed and it's something that doesn't interest them, they will leave on their own. And that's great because you don't want people that don't want to be in your community and they're not tied to your vision and what you're trying to do there. And if they end up staying, that means they're actually still interested in that topic of whatever it is that you changed your group to. So that's your Facebook group answer. Number three, does Alex have a simple and effective launch strategy for businesses with a small team.
Alex: You know, I don't. I don't want to, I don't want to have too much input in a place where I don't feel like I have a super high level of expertise, I think. And the qualifier small team is not really like the important qualifier. I will tell you how to look for the right line strategy is to look at people who are doing something similar to what you're doing and deploy something similar to what you're doing and see if there's something out there that's successful. You know, I think when it comes to first time launchers,, when you're first putting something out there like a beta, what we've always done is we've gone to our list, we've gone to our group, we've gone to people we know. Because we want feedback and we want people who are already coming towards us. And so I think sometimes with a brand new product launch, people try to go out to the whole world. And if you do, it can get kind of noisy and you might not get as much feedback as you would if you go to people who already know you, love you, trust you, follow you, know who you are, and then get a ton of feedback.This is for me, the most important thing about a launch is not that how big our launch is. The most important thing about a launch for me is how much feedback do we get and how much information do we understand about the product and how much can we improve the product that we're putting out there through the feedback that we're getting from the launch? And so I don't have a specific strategy, but there are some things for you to think about when you're launching, especially with a small team and maybe with a smaller part of your community.
Yhennifer: Thank you, Michelle, for your question. We have Roberto Carlos Paez. He said, I have a big goal of gaining 34 clients in the next two months, something we've never done before. For context, we run a relationship coaching business where we help powerful, high achieving women learn how to love and trust after a life altering heartbreak and have this big goal. I'm curious if you have any suggestions on how to make it happen
Alex:I think, you know, is there any other context on the size of the business there, Yhennifer?
Yhennifer: No. And Roberto. Let me see if he’s here. Roberto, I don't think he's here. No other context other than their relationship coaching.
Alex: And how many units?
Yhennifer: 34 clients in the next two months. And they said that they've never done this before. So I don't know where the business is now. Okay, I think that's all we got.
Alex: Okay. Yeah, I can. I can still give some input on this. You know, I don't think it matters what price a product you're selling. If you're selling something like relationship coaching or you're selling a coaching product or you're selling a product that promises an outcome, when you're in those early days, you want to have a lot of contact with people and you want to understand your customers and have them have very easy, fast ways to get in touch with you. You know, the product thing I was just talking about that did $70 million. Cadey and I, for the first 500 or a thousand people, most of them had our cell phone numbers. We were like, If there's any problem, we want you to tell us. And it was an automated course where eventually we sold over 50 or almost 50, almost 50,000 units. We sold over 49,500. And now it's over 50,000 because a new person who owns it has sold so that it's in excess of 50,000. But what was important was in those early days of the first 500 to a thousand members, we got massive feedback. And again, when you're doing something like this for the first time in order to sell these people, I would say like if they need to jump on a call, I think everybody talks about automation and funnels and having it sold for you. And you know, if this is brand new, you want to talk to as many people who are looking for this solution as possible. You want to have a discussion with them about where they are, where they want to go, and what challenges they see in the way that if you know those three things, if everybody you get on a call with, you're going to start seeing similar, similar patterns and similar opportunities with the the group that you have. And so those sales calls are really almost like Avatar re-interviews where you might get paid and doing that, having really close personal contact in the early days of a product when you're doing that first big push. Bend over backwards for those people and tell them that they can get in touch with you if there's any type of issue and then start making clear documentation of everything that comes up.
Yhennifer: Documentation is the key. I think we got, Spencer here. Spencer’s actually just joining the membership program. Literally like two days ago. We just got our onboarding card today. So welcome, Spencer.
Alex: That's awesome. I think Spencer was a referral from Lauren, right?
Yhennifer: Yes. Awesome referral from Lauren. I was actually telling Spencer that so many people come to us from like actually implementing the support system in their business and then they're like, I need to tell all my entrepreneur friends. And it's just so amazing to watch because it's like they're both friends in this mastermind. They're all together, learning and growing. So it's pretty, pretty awesome. Michelle said, Thank you for the advice. That was wonderful and makes so much sense that she feels so relieved by your answer. So let's see, do we have any other questions? Spencer said that Lauren rocks. Yes, she does. She is absolutely amazing. We love her up in here.
Alex: Yeah. Lauren is like, the best professional client I've ever had. And I really do think she has, like, probably, you know, SOPs for being a really awesome member of society.
Yhennifer: He’s with us, girl. Share that, share that. Oliver is here too, he's part of our membership. Hi, Oliver. How are you? Okay, we actually have oh, we have Kyrell here. Kyrell is the operator for Spencer, so he just jumped on the live and he actually has a question here. Okay. Let's see what we put here. Hi, I’m the operator in training. I love that operator in training. Working with Spencer, happy to be here. Are there modules for how to document what you're learning for customers? Okay. I think we need a little bit more information on that. Kyrell would you elaborate on your question or the modules on how to document.. Go ahead, how to document their processes.
Alex: Yeah. Yeah. So there is not a specific module on how to document feedback, but Eddie and I actually started outlining that module recently. I was sending up a module around feedback loops and how you create those feedback loops. So in the absence of a module, let me give you some pointers that were really helpful to us and remain helpful to us today. So first thing is, I want all of the feedback to be going to the same places If we can. Like people are going to give you feedback on Facebook and Instagram, they're going to text message you and email you. So the first thing we try to do is on the way in, we train all of our members that they can email support@simpleoperations. They can go to our member Facebook group and they can jump on our support calls. And so we know where they're going to be going for support. And so we redirect them from however they originally contacted us, because a lot of times it comes through social media or through an email or through a friend or a text message or, you know, a group message in Messenger or any of the other places I mentioned. And so we redirect them now so that things are coming into three different places. And in those three different places, when things come into our support email, they go into a program called Helpdesk, and there's a ton of different programs out there like that. We just chose Helpdesk and that way we can inventory and understand what those things are. And then we tell people to post in the Facebook group and we can inventory and see exactly what those things are. And then we have three live calls a week where our members can get support and somebody is hosting. When I'm hosting those calls, Yhennifer is making sure she knows what all the questions are. And so then we can take all three of those, those different sets of data, combine them, and we can see like, hey, is this one person that was confused on something? Or are a lot of people getting confused around this? And, you know, we can start saying, there's this issue that comes up over and over again. And so we're looking for those. And any time we find one of those, it's like, what's the solution? Do we need to shoot a video? Do we need to change a module? Do we need to put something in place so that the customer really feels like they're being carried from one interaction to another? I obsess over that. And so I would recommend you look at consolidating your feedback loops and putting them all into the same destinations if possible. And that'll really help you understand what's going on with your members. And then as far as a module on building process, because this is a process in our platform, there is in your situational courses, there's a module called, is it still called Deep Process, Yhennifer?. I think it's called the Deep…
Yhennifer: I think I have it open because I did share that with them on the onboarding call, we have it called Building Company Processes.
Alex: See even easier. So I had the really confusing name of Deep Process and that's what it was. And then Yhennifer went in and was like, ‘Hey, this is just building company processes, so you can totally check out that module and it will give you an overview on how to build any process. And then you can use that overview in order to build your customer feedback loop process.
Yhennifer: And he wrote in the comments, that’s exactly what he wants to learn. Systemized feedback loops is exactly what he wants to figure out. So I am so grateful that that answered your question, Kyrell. Welcome to our membership. Thank you so much. Let's see if there's any other questions on here. I think that is it for today, Alex. How can our members in our community get a strategy call with our team? How about we talk about that?
Alex: So any member of our community who or so any member of this community, if you're interested in getting on a call with our team, you can go to simpleoperations.com and use the link on the home page and there's a short survey and then you'll get a calendar to set up a call. And those calls, we call them strategy sessions, because here's the goal of the call. We really want to help you understand kind of what I was saying earlier, like where is your business today? And probably ask you questions that you haven't been asked in a while or maybe you've never been asked. And where do you want your business to go? And we will assist you in getting really clear on that. Like so many people have told me, these calls, even though it's an interaction where we have a product offer for sale. So many people tell me that like the one our strategy session is like a consulting session because we get you clear on where you are, where you want to go. And then we have trained our team and we have a process through which we ask the appropriate questions so you can discover all the bottlenecks and friction and challenges and anything that's in your way. And so if you get on that one hour Strategy Session with us from the beginning to the end, you will have a different perspective of your business and have a lot more clarity. And then if our solution is right for you, we'll share it with you. And if we feel like there's a better solution out there for you, we will share that with you as well. So it's simple operations.com, click right there on the button on the home page and jump on a call with us.
Yhennifer: I can't wait to chat with you guys. We have two more questions that popped up, and I want to make sure we get to them. Let's do it.
Alex: It's always when you say there's no more questions, and then we get more questions.
Yhennifer: Yeah, we have two more. So this is Akrim. He says, any thoughts on building the brand when you have two visionaries or co-founder, build two personal brands or build a business brand or build both. That's the first question. And the second part to that is we're pushing to get more clients at the moment, which are brands that are reaching $1-3 million that their avatar. How important is it to build a brand simultaneously? So should they do the personal business, both? What are your thoughts on that?
Alex: I would look at out of the three options. Okay. So you have a whole bunch of options. I can't remember what we the third power is, is that 27 options because you could something like that. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I think it's three to the third power and then to the second power. So maybe I have 18 options, but you could do one person's brand and the company brand, you could do the two individual brands, you could do all three, you could do the company with the other person. Maybe there's not as many options as I thought, but it doesn't matter. Here's what I would recommend. If you're just getting started, is that you pick an outcome and focus everything on that outcome. Because if you're trying to build two individual brands and a business brand, that is a lot of building all at the same time, that is a lot of whatever you're doing, that's a lot. And so if you're in the early stages and in the early launch stages or in that place where you're figuring out what the brand of the company is going to be, I would start there and put the energy behind the business. Have both of you put the energy behind the business? Unless one of you has a really significant following already that's going to fit the brand, you know, promotion, then focus on that one person for a period of time, get it really working and then come back, focus on the company and maybe the other person or maybe the other person and then the company. Again, I would say what I said earlier, you know, try and find a brand that is indicative of what you do, that explains what you do. It makes everything easier when you're marketing. And then as far as if you're pushing to get more clients at brands between 1 to 3 million, when you say how important is it to build the brand simultaneously? You know, if you're in the early stages and that's the avatar you're selling, what is going to build the brand is your sales. And so if you can sell without having a fully fleshed out brand name, go get more sales, go prove who you are, Listen to what your customers say, see what they call you. And if you're in a place where you really feel like you need to have a brand and you can't just sell a solution as a partnership, you'll find out by trying to go out and sell it. I think by going out and then and trying to sell, you'll discover whether there's a question there is to license the company behind this. I think there's a lot of people that would give different answers to that. But I think when it comes to branding, not a branding expert, but what I've watched for too long is people get caught up in brand building and they don't do enough product sales. So they build a brand with a product that doesn't really work or they build a brand. They put a lot of time into building a brand and an impression and logos and, you know, Instagram and everything else. But the product didn't get enough attention. If you are in the early stages, put a ton of attention on the product. Have a brand name, but don't get distracted by the activities of quote unquote branding. Sell your product and get into as many people's hands as you can in the beginning. Set up the feedback loops like I talked about. Get input and then improve that product. It'll become a number one into your product in any world. I don't care what you do. Your product should be your number one marketing vehicle because it's so good. People can't help but tell their friends about it. Like Spencer Wright, who's on this live, was referred by Lauren Tickner, who has referred a ton of people to us because she came into our product and the product's so good she can't get on a call with entrepreneurs and they go, Hey, how are things going? And she just ends up having to talk about how much her life has changed because she's in our product. That is invaluable when it comes to sales and when it comes to anything else, like when you've got one person telling another person about a brand, that's how you build a brand that is indelible.
Yhennifer: I love that. That was a great question. Thank you for asking that. Then we have Jeremy, wat recommendations do you have for software to create a dashboard for the core functions of your business?
Alex: You know, Jeremy, this comes up so often, and I think that there's this entrepreneurial dream we all have where we will get up one day and we will pick up an iPad and we will, you know, Tony Stark into it and like give it our thumbprint or whatever you do now, your face ID and we're going to have this perfect dashboard for our business that shows us exactly what we need to do. And it's like all the things we need to see. And I can't tell you how many members I've had, how many clients I've had, how many friends I've had that have been on this pursuit for years, for years. Like they're going to build this perfect dashboard. And I just don't think that that software exists. Here's why. As the CEO of a company, there are multiple inputs you need in order to understand how to manage that business. Now, numbers are an important part of it. And, you know, I think when you look at your web data and your metrics there, you should go look at Google Analytics and, you know, can you pull some of those into a spreadsheet? Sure. Can you pull them into a software program? Kind of not as well as just going into Google Analytics. And when it comes to your CRM software, going into the CRM software and looking at the numbers, can you pull some of those into a spreadsheet? You can, but not as good as signing into the software. So I would add and the software changes and shifts in the numbers, you look at change and shift. And so what I would recommend is you pull some stuff into a spreadsheet, get used to it, then figure out how you want it to have somebody on your team pull it each day. That's what we do. And then eventually we might put it into some type of software that consolidates it automatically. But I don't want to take the time to do that right now, because so much in our business is shifting and growing and changing and moving in a different direction. And when it comes to making decisions in a business, the thing that makes me really uncomfortable and what I caution against for our members and for the people that I work with directly is don't get so caught up in just looking at the numbers of the business. The numbers of business are important. But what happens is as entrepreneurs when we look at the numbers, we feel like we're done. But when there's a decision making process, we have what we call the CEO toolkit or the CEO dashboard, and it's all the things you need to make decisions in the business. And let me explain what that means. So first, you need to have a strategic plan that tells you where to allocate resources and where you're going to spend your money, what you're going to invest in, what you're going to be doing as a team. And so that is a forward looking part of the toolbox. It's also you can look backwards and say, how did we do as a team? What are we capable of moving forward? Then you have to have an org chart. You know, a plan tells you what you're going to do. Then an organizational chart shows you the command and control, the management structure, the leadership structure of the people who are going to execute the plan. And then, what I would recommend is you have a six month rollingP&L that says this was our plan. This is who did it. This is the financial results we got. We have what we call CEO metrics, where we have a single dashboard, where we pull together some high level information into one view that also is part of a decision making process. So I'm not anti dashboard. We actually train our members to build one. I just want to caution against that being the only thing you look at because we also have what's called the minimum monthly spend that doesn't show up anywhere else. It's what have you committed on a monthly basis to to get what you want to get done? And so when you look at it, those inputs all together, when you are doing strategic planning for your company, looking at the plan you had for the plan you're going to create, looking at your organizational chart, looking at your financial results in a rolling P&L, looking at your minimum monthly spend. What are we going to spend on a monthly basis? What have we committed to spend on a monthly basis comparing it to your actual spend? So you know what was variable or what was discretionary? And then looking at your CEO metrics, that high level scoreboard that together for me is the dashboard. We look at it, it doesn't fit on one page. In fact, you have to have multiple tabs open. But as a CEO, if we're not taking all of those inputs, once we're building a team and we're just looking at data, we're looking at data in a vacuum of everything else. And so that's why we train the process that I just shared with you.
Yhennifer: So I put in the comments here. I was like, Company dashboard is in our program. Let us help you build one. Okay, so Kelsey's on here. Hi Kelsey! She wrote, SOS member here. SOS is like having an operational dream team in your business. Step by step, you follow the process and always know what your next step is. And then when emergencies happen, you have a whole team you have, Alex, Cadey, Eddie John, Yhennifer in your corner to help you solve them. Oh, thank you, Kelsey, for sharing that. We love to have you on our and our membership. You are a rockstar operator. Everybody needs a Kelsey. Okay. All right. We have another question. Okay. We have like the highest amount of members in our lives, in the last three lives. So that's amazing.
Yhennifer: Honing in and is the best way. Okay, What is the best way to get in front of these business owners outside of just trying to tap through our existing network? Any suggestions? So this is Akrim, their target market is the people that have businesses between 1 to $3 million and they help people with their brands, growing their brands.
Alex: Yeah. So Akrim, when you're looking at 1 to $3 million businesses, that's the same population we work with. And it's a difficult population to identify because only 3% of businesses will ever get to $1,000,000 a year. And so what I would recommend is that you look in your network for where do people have similar markets to yours? Where do people that have similar avatars that they have and do they have memberships in their products that they've sold? You know, who already has a population of these people that you can access through working together with somebody that knows you and trusts you. And that's for us that's been the most effective way to find that avatar to $5 million plus business owners because million dollar plus business owners are successful they don't tend to do a lot of the things that the average entrepreneur would do. They tolerate a lot less. They spend less time on social media in general, not not always, but in general. And so finding partnerships and finding introductions is really something where I would put a tremendous amount of focus.
Yhennifer: Thank you for the question. And then we will wrap up with Oliver.He shared some insights here of what he loves about the SOS. I love praise. I love the praise and we love to help you guys. Okay. He wrote, one access to an incredible community and consulting from truly veteran and experienced entrepreneurs such as Alex, Cadey, Yhennifer, Eddie and the other epic people on the S.O.S. team. And then two he put the actual system, which is definitely a big lift to install it however it gets installed. The evidence is installing it paysIt is over time. And I love what he showed here in the bottom because he said the key word is simple operation system not easy operating system for once it is installed. It is powerful.
Alex: Yeah. What I always tell entrepreneurs is, you know, people ask me, how difficult is it to get this up and running and realistically to install our system? You know, we always work with an operator and the entrepreneur. And realistically, in your first few quarters with us for the operator. It's going to take probably 4 to 6 hours a week. And for the entrepreneurs, somewhere between maybe three and 4 hours a week, including meetings with your team. So we're going to put a system in place where you have really targeted interactions rather than meetings with your team. You have really effective interactions. So there's a lot less of them, but they are hyper focused and clear and everybody knows what's going on, so everybody in the room can win. And we'll show you how to install those in a way that creates massive momentum in your business. And so including the time with your team in those interactions, which reduces the amount of interruptions and connections and time they have to spend with your team outside of those. That's the time we're talking about. It's about 3 to 4 hours for the visionary and about 4 to 6 hours for the operator. We have people come in that put in three or four times that much and they do it much faster and see results quicker. But to get an operating system in your business that over the course of a few quarters will dramatically reduce the time you need to have in the business. And over the course of your first year, maybe your first couple of years in our program, a lot of our members, most members stay with us somewhere between 24 and 36 months. You get two and they usually end up leaving the membership when they are doing so well that they don't feel like they need the support anymore. And they really have separated themselves tactically from the business. But if you could do that in the next two years and then you could apply it to any business you ever owned, what would your future as an entrepreneur look like? It changes everything, so it's worth the time investment up front.
Yhennifer: Agreed, agree. And thank you so much for all your questions. You guys are amazing. And you guys are watching the replay and you have any other questions, Just make sure you put them here in the comments to add them on to the queue for the next Q&A with Alex. And Alex, any last minute words before we wrap up this live? This was so much fun.
Alex: Yeah. This was awesome, Yhennifer. So just. I just have a request. If you're watching these lives, if you're getting something out of them, we want to build this community and we want to help as many entrepreneurs as we can. We typically work with entrepreneurs, like I said, starting in the mid to high six figures, depending on margins, if you have a high margin business. We work with entrepreneurs as low as $250,000 a year. But you know, really where we normally start working people is around the million dollar mark and we help people go into the 3 to $10 million range. And then, you know, a lot of companies that we've worked with have gone to eight figures plus. And the reason for this group is we want to help you get to the place where you have the confidence in us to join the membership, but also get your answer to, you know, get questions answered along the way and let us support you along the way. So if you know any entrepreneur, if you're watching this and you could go and by three by ten and by 20 people that you know could benefit from this group, we would all really appreciate it. I really love supporting entrepreneurs in any type of format, but this has been a lot of fun and we're going to keep doing it on a weekly basis. And even when I'm out of town and on vacation, my team will be doing it and you'll get to interact with them and get really high strategy answers from a team that lives in our system and from a team that has a ton of experience in business.
Yhennifer: And I want to add to that, also when we say live in our systems, like we use these processes for our, you know, our meetings. Our cadences, our strategic planning, the annual planning, the quarterly planning. We use everything that we teach inside of our membership program. So I'm excited for those sessions. Those are coming up soon as well. You'll be chatting with the coaches on our team too. So Alex, thank you for being here. Thank you for taking time out of your day. Go enjoy your vacation. You don't have to worry about anything because you have processes in place and a team that you're confident about that they're going to go and execute and you can go spend time with your family. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you, everybody, for being here. We're so excited to continue to come and do this. And we'll see you guys on the next one. Bye everybody!