The Right Way to Scale A Business
(and Other BS We’ve Been Told)
I read a book recently that said the reason one business or entrepreneur is successful over another is because the successful one had been willing to do the things that the other did not.
That statement really pissed me off and had me with a litany of questions about the one not deemed as successful. Mainly, because my definition of success and yours could be completely different. Both of those businesses and entrepreneurs could be what each considered to be successful.
Instead, society’s (and business coaches) standards for “success” come when you have millions in the bank, big houses, crazy vacations, a business that runs without you lifting a finger, and basically any of the things that anyone could potentially want. In theory at least.
And if you’re an entrepreneur like me, one who has a constant thirst for knowledge, then reading books in an effort to learn more about business can also become something that infiltrates your own perspective on how you run your business. To a certain degree that is the point, right? We read books in order to learn things we didn’t know and decide how they can apply to our business or lives.
The key element of this practice though is not to let what you read about overshadow the values upon which we have built our business to this point. I’ll give you a specific example directly related to this business, DCM Communications.
How I’ve Been Told to Scale a Business
It would seem to be that the way everyone says you scale to be a seven-figure business is through team members. There’s no way one person can do this entirely themselves. You must have full-time staff, and you should set it up in a way that you become a figurehead and don’t need to be involved in the day-to-day in order for the business to run.
What if I WANT to be involved in the day-to-day?
What if the reason I created a business is because I actually like doing marketing and copywriting and website design and teaching, and not because I wanted to reach a certain income level and spend my day managing other people who do those things?
What I Actually Want To Do
I’ll admit, I do want a seven-figure business. Money buys freedom. That’s a fact. And I want the freedom to work from whatever city I decide, even if that means renting an Airbnb for a month. I want the freedom to take vacations when I feel like it and donate massive amounts of money to charities that I care about. (I’m looking at you American Heart Association.)
At the same time, I also want to work in my business. I very much baulk at the idea that in order to be successful or hit a certain revenue goal you need to only work on your business and stop working in it.
But here’s the thing:
I did not create a marketing and PR agency in order to do management of other people on a daily basis. I created it in order to do marketing and PR on a daily basis.
Now naturally there are elements of management that happen throughout the day. Project management, account management, contractor management…you get the idea.
There are also plenty of days where I get to block out the world and build an entire website in a single day. There are days where I don’t have those managerial tasks and I get to simply create.
I create lesson plans for the DCM Collective programs. (And actually teach them LIVE! Shocker I know.)
I create social media posts to share the awesome things my clients and I have been working on.
I create blog posts in order to teach others lessons and tactics I have learned that could help other people’s businesses.
I create marketing campaigns to bring attendance to my clients events.
I create new ways to run my business more efficiently so I can help more people and (here’s the kicker that seems to separate me from the current crop of those who went from 0 to seven figures in one year or less) still give each client my attention.
What I’m Not Willing to Outsource
I may not be the one who handles every aspect of their project (I love my contractors and they are AWESOME at what they do), but everybody gets my strategy, input and guidance. And I like that. Working with my clients, getting to know them as people and entrepreneurs, and being there to help celebrate their successes is what I love. Oh, and those moments when they see their goals achieved or dreams coming to life? That is my favorite part of my business.
I don’t want to outsource that. I don’t want to sacrifice that connection with my clients in order to reach seven figures. I may not know exactly how to do this yet, but I am confident it can be done. (I did grow by 33% last year so that’s a solid indicator I’m on the path to figuring this out.)
My Reminder to Us All
All this to say, as much as you may have a thirst for knowledge the way that I do and want to learn from people who have come before you (a solid quality I think it’s just important for life in general), it’s just as important to let the information simmer in your gut and make a decision that is right for YOUR business.
You don’t need to build my business. You don’t need to do exactly what [insert know it all coach here] did to build their business. Their values and skills may be different from yours. Instead, I challenge you (and myself) to scale your business by figuring out by learning what others did that worked (no need to reinvent the wheel after all) and then deciding what aligns with your values and business’ foundation, then doing that.
Not all the things. Just the right things that align with YOUR business values and personal goals. If we lose our values and priorities along the way, who will we share that financial freedom with? Money may not be able to buy happiness but it can buy an easier, less-stressed life and THAT is worth striving to achieve.
Achieve it on your terms though. It’s your business after all. Don’t let anyone else’s ideas of what you “should” do cloud that.