Momentum Podcast: 88
The Only Way To Grow Multiple Millions
by Alex Charfen
Last week, I had massive, overwhelming anxiety. Here's why, I was sick. I was actually sick from before the 1st of July, until about Saturday or Sunday, so over seven days.
Getting a business to $1 million is easier than it ever has been in the past. There is more leverage available to individual entrepreneurs today than any other time in human history.
There is more leverage available to individual entrepreneurs then there ever has been. The marketing automation platforms available today cost millions of dollars a year to maintain just a few years ago. Growing a business to sustainable multimillion-dollar revenue is just as difficult as it ever has been.
There is a reason, every entrepreneur hits the point where it is no longer about them, it is about what their team can do. This requires a complete shift in behavior that most entrepreneurs don't make.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire-builders, game-changers, trailblazers, shot-takers, record-breakers, world-makers, and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny; we define it. We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution, and we always will be.
Welcome. This podcast is entitled "The Only Way to Grow to Multiple Millions." You know, today, there is ... It is easier to get to a million dollars than, I believe, at any time in history. Cadey and I started an information products business in 2007, and we had to hire programmers. At one point, we had an entire team of programmers, and a CTO, and a quality assurance department, and so seven people were programming, we had two people doing QA at one point, we had a full-time CTO, we had a development manager. That department, I think it peaked at around $1.6 million for the year, just to run that department, and what they did is now replaced in our business with Software as a Service companies like ClickFunnels, my friend Russell, and several other ones where we pay, I don't know, a few thousand dollars a month now for that same ... Essentially the same thing that we were doing with all of those people.
And for us as entrepreneurs, there is so much leverage available in the way of contractors, and people to help you, and people to help you move forward, and so today, there's more entrepreneurs than ever reaching a million. In fact, there's probably some that are sneaking into the $2 million, the $3 million range. But what eventually happens is this. See, growing a business to sustainable multi-million-dollar revenue is just as difficult as it ever has been, because it's not about the systems, it's not just about the leverage that you can get, it's not just about you anymore. It actually is because at that point, for a multiple-million-dollar business, it's now about the team. And there is more contracting and more help available than there's ever been, and so for any of us who are growing a business, we can get there, but this takes a tectonic shift for you to start thinking from how does the team get you ahead to how can you help your team get ahead.
Because here's the shift that most entrepreneurs make, and just to prove this with the statistics, only four out of a hundred companies ever make it to a million dollars, and only four out of every thousand companies ever make it to $10 million. There's a reason, because that difference between $1 and $10 million, that precipitous drop requires massive behavioral change on the part of the entrepreneur, for you. And it's a shift in behavior that most entrepreneurs don't make, because you have to go from building the company to building the team. You have to go from doing everything to specializing, and letting the people around you start doing their thing. You have to go from telling people exactly what to do to, now, showing people the outcomes you want, and having them help you get there.
One of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs have is when they get to a million, they don't commit to actually really building the team, and so many are one foot in and one foot out, and don't realize that if you start really helping the people that are working with you, if you lean in and start understanding what they need, and what it is that they need to be successful in their position, if you start sharing decision-making and talking to them about what you're doing as you grow the business, and, most importantly, as you put in place systems and processes so that they feel safe, they get communication from you routinely, they know what to expect, and they can win on a consistent basis, the people who work with you will always be in momentum. And when you develop the systems where you actually listen, and you hear what they need, and they tell you, and they can expect that you actually react to what they need, people feel confident in growing their business, and growing your business.
One of the most important ways to build your team, and to grow them, and to have them understand how to help you grow the business even further, is to let them know where you're going. And the behavioral shift from you carrying everything around in your head to sharing everything with the team, and letting them know what's happening, and creating a communication system where you can show people where you're going and the steps it takes to get there, that changes everything. And for anyone who's gotten to a million, there is a very high likelihood you have the ability to get to multiple millions, or even eight figures. I help people do this all the time.
However, if you don't make the shift in behavior from focusing on yourself to focusing on the team, from doing personal development to leadership development, from hustle to really leaning in, and understanding your team, and helping them get ahead, and knowing what they need, and putting those things in place, and providing them with resources, and helping them create more momentum, if you don't make that shift, multiple millions is near unsustainable. You can get there. It takes a long time. You see some really longstanding businesses that have gone there by consistently increasing the level of their customer, and increasing their fees, and increasing the level of customer, and increasing their fees, and they finally get to multiple millions that are sustainable, but there's so much more potential there, because if only that person would build the team, if only that person would create the leverage that would actually help them do what they really want to do, and sustain the multiple millions, and get to that place.
And so, if you have gotten to a million, lean in to your team. Find out what they need, create communication systems and a structure so that they know exactly what to expect from you, and make sure that they know where your company is going and what your expectations are. 99% of the problems in a marriage, in a family, in a business are due to miscommunication of expectations. People challenge me on that, but it's 99% of problems, might be 99.9, are due to miscommunication of expectations. And if you start getting more clear with your team, and you can cut that ratio down, everything changes, and that's when businesses take off.
I watch this happen all the time, and I remember, in one of the businesses that I'm coaching right now, there is an incredible COO, and early on in this process, she had just hired her first two or three people, and we were ... The team that they have has an incredible business model. It's called Gym Launch, and Leila Hormozi is the CEO, and they are changing the entire fitness industry. It is incredible to watch. Like, I actually think I'm witnessing history with what they're doing. I know they're one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States, because we were on that list, and they are growing so much faster than Cadey and I did, and we were at 21 out of 5,000.
Leila and I were talking, and she said, "How do I keep getting help? How do I get the right help?" And she's operating their business, and I said, "Leila, you keep asking yourself where you're uncomfortable, and you go fill that gap, and then let the team member know how they can help you, and then help them be successful." And we just kept doing that, and over the course of the last six or seven months, she's hired over 20 people. There was a point in the process where she was doing this so aggressively that she actually left me a message and said, "Alex, I have a question. I've been able to get some help, and I've been able to onboard the team members, and I'm wondering, once they all get here, what is it that I'm going to do?"
I was so excited, because when a COO gets there in a fast-growth company, you know that there's a period where they have truly let their team support them. I remember telling her, "Leila, that is not something you have to worry about in a fast-growth company, because as you offload where you're uncomfortable, you're going to grow the business, and then you're going to have new owner challenges, new COO-level challenges to contend with." And that's what's happened. She's gone from hiring a small team to now hiring a much larger team. She's gone from doing all the interviewing to now having to get help with the interviewing, because as you grow, the pyramid that is an org chart, the bottom grows exponentially faster, so as you grow your business, you have an exponential need for people to come in, you have an exponential need for support, you have an exponential need for people that can sell, you have an exponential need for people who are on the team, and so your need for people goes so high you can't do it anymore.
When you understand this, when you understand that there's a shift to helping a team get ahead, there's a shift to coaching your team, to leaning in, to making sure you know what they need, and what it is that will help them go forward, everything in your business will change. And fast-growth companies are almost always driven by incredible teams. I know ours was. We had a phenomenal team that got us to number 21 on the Inc. 500, some of the most talented people I've ever worked with in my life. And some get on the list because they have a really incredible product, but the vast majority of them are driven by highly functioning, incredibly communicating, pulled together, culturally tight teams. We met a lot of them, and each time we were on that list, we met tons of other people who were on the list, and that's exactly what you found.
And so, if you want a business to grow to multiple millions, if you want a fast-growth company, once you get to a million, start thinking, "How do I help my team get ahead?" and you will get there. It's a shift from them helping you, to now, you coaching and helping them back, now that the business is up to a million, because each time you help anyone on your team, that provides you leverage for the entire time they work with you. So the people that you're paying for today get more valuable over time, because you're coaching, you're leaning in, you're helping. This is the only way it works.
You know, I was in an event recently where a pretty well-known speaker said something like he intended to be the first self-made billionaire who never had to build a team. And first, I thought, "Wow, what a sad statement, that somebody would want to go through the behavioral change, the transitions, the metamorphosis it takes to become the person worthy of creating a billion dollars in wealth by themselves." In every history of every entrepreneur I've ever read, there's this massive transition they go through because they have the reflection of positivity from their team back to them. You look at entrepreneurs that started out rough early in life — like Bill Gates was in a fight with the entire world, he was suing half the United States, and seven or eight countries in the world — and then you see this shift as they work with their team, as they coach people, as they help people. You literally see a personality shift.
And for me, the way that an entrepreneur becomes long-term successful the fastest is to successfully and sustainably build a team, because anyone who works on their own, or anyone who's gotten to a million and is shoestringing it together, and they don't ... When I say "shoestring," I mean as far as having help, and you don't have a plan to get more help, that is one of the most precarious and painful places to hang out. So start thinking, "Where do I help my team get ahead?" Start thinking about how you build that first cohesive team, that then some will become a leadership team, because in those two ... In growing that team, in having that one team around you, that's how you get to the next level as an entrepreneur, because they will help offload enough from you so that you have a team who can do what you do well, and then it's all about scaling.
Because right now, when you look at everything, at a million dollars, you're probably still doing way too much in the business. 99 out of 100 times, you are. You probably have way too many different responsibilities in the business. That's just how it works, growing a business. In order to grow a business from startup to million dollars, you, at one point, had to do everything. The problem is, you've hit a million dollars, and that's conditioned you to do everything. And so, the more you offload to your team, the more you build that team, the more you coach them to success, the more you tell them how you really want things, the more time that you spend independently with them on helping them understand the company better, helping them understand what you're trying to do better, helping them clearly through communication systems know where you're going, that's how you truly grow a sustainable multi-million-dollar company.
There are exceptions to every rule, but if you're an entrepreneur, and you're in the place where you're at a million dollars, and you're doing way too much, and it's starting to feel like all your systems are breaking at once, and you're having challenges across the board, I want you to know, one, that is absolutely normal and natural, and two, you can work yourself out of this by really leaning in with your team. This is exactly what we help people do in our Grow and Scale Mastermind, and if you're an entrepreneur that's grown a business to close to or at a million dollars a year run rate, so you've achieved ... We like to start talking to people around a 60 or $65,000 a month minimum, but most of the people in this program are in the multiple minimums.
If you know that you have more opportunity than you're taking advantage of today, and you know that if you had more support and infrastructure, you could definitely grow the business, then we should talk, because ... And just send me a message on Facebook, and either me or one of my team will make sure that you get it set up so that you can go through our process. Because if you're in the place where you have more opportunity than you can take advantage of, we can help you build an infrastructure within your business to help you move it forward and create new, much higher outcomes, and build a foundational team that will help you offload where you're uncomfortable, and help you become a transformational leader.
Because you've beaten the odds — you've gotten to a million dollars, and only four out of a hundred companies do that — I know you can get past that. I know you can create more momentum even more than that. I know that you can grow your business, grow your contribution. If you know the opportunity's there, let's talk, because there's a lot of people that can show you how to generate more opportunity, and unfortunately, if you're in the place where you know that it's there, just seeing about more opportunity is only going to make you more agitated. At this point, it's about building the infrastructure, and the delivery systems, and the communication systems that are going to support that team that really builds this business.
And when you shift from asking, "How do I get ahead?" to "How does my team get ahead?" everything changes, and we have the structure and the tactics and the system that will help you do exactly that. So, if you're in that place as an entrepreneur, don't stay there. Let us help you. Reach out to us. Thank you for being a listener to the Momentum Podcast. I appreciate all of you. We've had some record days lately, and we just crossed the 75,000-download mark, so I just want to let everyone know I know that's because you're referring us to your friends, and you're posting these episodes on social media, and you're posting them on Instagram, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it, so thank you, and I will talk to you again tomorrow.