10 Lessons From The Trenches (Part 2 of 3)

If you watched/listened to last Thursday's episode, then you know that we’re sharing some behind the scenes action from one of our 2-day client intensives.

Here is part 1.

In part 2 we continue sharing our personal lessons and principles for success.

Let’s get to it.

​Transcript / MP3

You probably already know that adding an online education or a coaching arm to your existing agency would two to three X year your revenue and even profit. So why aren't you doing it yet? If you want to launch your first group coaching program that compliments your existing agency services and get your next five to 10 clients in the next 90 days, then visit system dot L Y forward slash foundations to learn a little bit more about our program and how we can walk you through a proven process that we've now taken over 150 agencies through to launch their group coaching program as an additional revenue stream that can really over time exceed and replace your done for you service revenue. If that sounds like something that you are interested in, visit us at system dot L Y for slash foundations. Schedule a call to talk to myself and or someone on the team to see how it can apply to you and your business. Let's get into today's episode. Hey, what's going on everybody? So we are jumping back to part two of 10 lessons from the trenches, which if you missed the last episode, episode 55, uh, go ahead and check that out because we brought you behind the scenes into the room for one of our two day client intensives that we have currently three times a year with our coaching clients for our leverage program, which is a 12 month coaching and accountability program. And like I mentioned in the last episode, we kind of share lessons that we've learned, mistakes that we made over the previous 90 days and kind of how we're going to course correct moving into the next 90 day sprint. So, uh, in the last episode, we shared the first three lessons. So in this episode we're gonna jump into sharing a handful more before closing it out with part three of this little mini series, bringing you behind the scenes, 10 lessons from the trenches.

Let's get a gun. We talked about this yesterday. Become the person that makes fast decisions. So, um, at my table, I talked about this a lot. I'm not sure if everyone came around to my table. But, um, we, we decided that the best way to sell beverage was based off this one day event called the scalable service business intensive. Uh, and a few people that are in leverage right now came from that event. So like the event worked and after it worked we're like, alright, let's do more of these. Uh, and then we realized like after signing the contract at the hotel for the hotel that we, it wasn't the best decision, especially as we were bringing foundations back cause we were diluted in our focus and like we canceled the event, we canceled those events really quickly, but we also made another decision to like merge them because we were trying to like not lose the money that we were gonna lose by canceling it.

So we were like, Hey, we had these three dates on the calendar, can we like move them into one date? And we basically like tried to create a new product on the fly just to, for those three days, it wasn't a new product. It was like basically foundations but delivered live. And like we made that decision quickly and then like we started promoting it and everyone that was we were trying to sell it was actually buying the regular foundations and we're like, alright, like we're, I don't know how many days out from the event, like cancel the event. We're not even doing anymore. I actually just got a message from someone like, Hey, like I can't find the link to the August event. I'm like that's cause the August event no longer exists but we can do it virtually. Do you want to talk about that?

And he's going to be scheduling a sales call. So like, Hey maybe maybe that, maybe that's like a new marketing tactic. Like Hey we got this thing and then just stop talking about it. And I just like bring it back. But if that turns into the close, that'll make another good ending to the story. But like I think once we started getting some of this moment momentum and we realized that that was just another example of like trying to save ourselves, save ourselves into wealth and we're like, wait, how much money are we going to lose? If we just cancel this and it ended up being like total of three grand but we already paid 1500 or something like that. Or is it just 1500 so it was just 1500 but if we pursued the event and we only got one person, we would've lost 13 grand.

So it's like, man, like we got to sell at least this many people. Like it's really slow. Everyone's rather taking the online version. Like why are we trying to sell these two different things at the exact same time? Like it's hard. It's confusing. I don't like the online one actually costs more. So like I'm not going to stop them from wanting to get it. Like let's just keep going. And this is like, all right, like this is cut it. And I think from a lot of the other lessons and the things we talked about yesterday is like as you get clear on your vision and start asking yourself better questions, like you can make decisions faster and get out of just motion and, and move towards something that is actually useful. So, yeah, we ate 1500 bucks, but like we could have ate a lot more and wasted a lot of other energy.

Um, when I hear make decisions faster, I always think about like, making positive decisions going in a certain direction. But what I'm hearing is that make decisions faster means don't be afraid to make a decision to go away from the decision that you've already made. Right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Russ talked about this also. He, he's a huge proponent of this. Um, he, uh, this dude makes decisions so fast. It's insane. Like he's like, we're launching a podcast. It record 12 episodes. They launched an episode. It's like we're done with the podcast is over. And it's like, literally like the, it just came out. I'm like, Whoa. Like he's like, we're launching this product, we've made a bunch of money. We refunded everybody cause we don't want to do it anymore. It's like, what the hell is happening over here? And like, and he, his, his kind of, you've, you've heard me say this recently is like, the feedback that you are looking for is on the other side of the decision. Right. And so like, whether it's good feedback or bad feedback, like, Hey, if he comes to the podcast and like his entire community was like, where the hell is the podcast?

Bad decision. Let's bring the podcast back. But nobody said anything. It's like, Oh, it's like I was spending all my time doing this. The production, like having all the team involved, the expense of doing that and like it wasn't, people didn't, people didn't even notice it was gone. Right. And so like, until he made the decision, like he wouldn't know. And so, you know, we made it like we weren't getting anyone interested. We in our minds over 60 days ago said we weren't interested in doing it. And I get a message, you know, last night someone looking for the event, you know, it's like, well, one person, like it's still will probably or could eventually turn into a sale. But like for 60 days, no one, no one seemed to care that this event was gone. Like we had been talking about it, spending time thinking about it, coordinating with the hotel, figuring out what workbooks we need to create, designing those and like spending money on that.

Like turning, you know, it cost money to do this thing, right. So like it was gonna be another three day thing just like this, like 60 days away and like we had no one coming. Um, so yeah, I think to that point it's like you don't know if it's going to be positive feedback or negative feedback, but the, you need the feedback and like, yeah, to make the next decision. Like that was a good idea or that was a bad idea. Like I shouldn't have done that or I should've done that. But like you actually know because you did it right. And so there's probably things that are, you know, you've been waiting to make a decision on or like you've been thinking about. And it's like the, the, the real data on like, is my ad gonna work is, will people click on it?

And will people opt in. That's the feedback that you need right now. Like launched the ad, you know, like I launched my, I worked on my copy for awhile, launched the ad and two days later I was changing it. I was like, Oh crap, I forgot to do this. Let me fix it, relaunch it again. Like I've launched five iterations of that ad since I launched the first one. And like it's just boom, boom, boom, boom. Like understanding like what you're looking for. Okay. That's the fee. No feedback is feedback, but is that, how is that going to um, educate your next decision? Makes sense. Anyone you have any else to add on that? I can jump into the next one. Yeah. Cash box. Oh, it's right in front of

something you said to me right at the very beginning that made this lesson really clear was don't solve problems you don't have yet. And that it was just, I mean, so simple but true. And it really let me start making decisions quickly and just doing things and not worrying about where this happens and what this happens. And you know, we never moved as quickly in the past couple of months. You know, we never moved that group because of that. So yeah, not celebrating, you're not solving problems you don't have yet.

Yeah, that's actually a problem. I actually probably should have been [inaudible] cause I haven't seen that a lot. Totally. Who's trying to solve problems that they don't actually have yet? Yeah. Stop. Like wait until it's a problem. Like you can't forecast, there's some problems I think you can forecast, but I think marinating on it forever is a waste of your time. Like don't assume people are gonna have problems. All right, next one. Um, focus all your energy on the biggest bottleneck. This is something that we're, I'd still say a student of and really doubling down on. Um, uh, so like when we looked at, when we were like, all right, let's not save our way into wealth. We got to double down on this thing. Like, well, why are we like, why are we, why is Greg not confident in the messaging right now? Why are we, you know, gun shy on ads?

Why are we all these things? And when we just kept asking ourselves that question, it was like the messaging isn't clear, the messaging isn't clear. Like, and you've probably seen me start saying the word agency a lot and like I've been very hesitant to use that word. Um, because I never necessarily called myself an agency, but like everyone that essentially comes to us is in some way shape or form has been an agency and it's like, man, like other peers of mine were like, dude, you serve agencies. Like if you just said agency in that messaging, like that thing would've made so much more sense. I'm like, God damn. I was like, I don't want to like resist it. And so hired a messaging consultant, we're finishing up with her work right now and like literally coming out of that, she was like, you should just be saying agency, like stop saying agency service provider consultant just like that.

Just as like [inaudible] she's like you just say agency. And if someone is like, even the people that make might not consider themselves agencies, they'll still probably resonate. Just because you said the word agency. So like a lot of our refinement of messages, like all right, like what's the bottleneck and me moving this thing forward is like we don't feel clear on exactly who we're speaking to or how, like how do we figure that out? Like let's go get someone that knows what the hell they're talking about that like can give us outside perspective. So when you have a bottleneck, whatever, wherever your bottleneck might be. And we talked about yesterday, like looking in those five core functions of your business, lead generation, lead nurture, sales fulfillment and retention, resell, upsell, like when you need to fix it. There's really only three ways to fix a bottleneck.

One people who is going to get you through this bottleneck. We hired Lacy who's a messaging consultant like so the solution for us was hire someone that knows how to do this better than we do to get us through this bottleneck. The second is a process like what process needs to be put in place in your business in order to like solve the bottleneck. Like, maybe it's like, Hey, this, every time we get on a sales call, like these people have no idea what we're even talking about. Like go watch the application to close training. Like start there. Like that's a process, like take ours, modify it, like start with something. And the last one is a project, which is usually like the combination of possibly people and process. Like maybe you need to install some technology, maybe you need some people to help you with that.

Like we just moved in from infusion soft active campaign. Like that was a project that that encompass people and um, and process, right. So literally those are really the only three ways you're gonna fix the bottleneck. And so like figure out what's your bottleneck is and is it going to be a person that's going to come in and fix that problem for you? Is it a process that needs to be created, documented, um, and, or possibly a project that like involves a couple of those different things all at once. So, um, and now that's unlocked us. Like we're running ads. Like, I feel more confident, my messaging and like our emails are getting better. Like my training feels like way clear when I talk to people and like how we're going to evolve the training, et cetera. Like is all getting clear just because we hired someone to help us on getting clarity on our messaging.

So like, I guess to take this to you guys, like, I mean I already know that you've said it all yesterday. Like you guys are all focused on way too many things all at once, right? And like expecting to move mountains as like if you just focused on the one thing that like is really preventing you from moving forward, like you'll actually move forward. Um, and you can also trick yourself. So like, my mistake on this was, and I think I've said this story before, um, like I'm a product person. Like, I mean I was talking to you guys like I want to continue to make the training the support better. And so like when our ad stopped working, I'm like, the product must be broken over to fixed product. And like, that wasn't the problem. It was like, no, just our ad stopped working.

Like, like I should have just stayed over there and fix that. Right. But I'm like, no, this is where I feel comfortable. And like that was like a three month waste of time. Right. Um, so that spun us into worse decisions. Right. Or not worse decisions we learned from those decisions 100%, but like understand like maybe where you might be comfortable cause like you're like this is the bottleneck, but like maybe it's not actually the bottleneck, it's just where you feel comfortable and like that's why you're going to go there and like, so maybe ask some other people like, is this don't solve a lead generation problem with a product solution right now that might not help. So anyone have anything? Aha. Is insights on that that you want to share or I could carry on the book the goal. Yeah. If you haven't read the book, the goal, um, I don't know what your reading style is or preference. Definitely a, I could see it would be a challenging read for some people. Although it's very storytelling. It's like, well, I thought, yeah, we're like system's brain. Like it's like throughput and bottlenecks and like, like literally on like I feel like I need to like be diagramming what they're saying in this story right now, but it's actually a really, really good book. Um, kind of an old school book I believe. Um, do you know the name of the author off the top of your head? Yeah, that's it. Um, check it out.

Yeah. Gold, gold something. Yeah. Megan, maybe you can find the link on Amazon. Just drop it in. The drop that in the, the group that I don't, I need to set sign up for that. Was that right? Lead generation, lead nurture, sales fulfillment or delivery, whichever term you use for doing the thing that you do. And then the last, then the fifth one is a combination of retention. Resell, upsell. Keep, keep clients pain, get them to buy again, get them to pay more. And then the other two, and this is like something Alex Charfen actually talks about, but like those are the five core functions. There's also, there's also finance and there's also HR. Those just don't get added as core cause they're not like moneymaking activities. They don't necessarily keep the business running or are growing. There's kind of a necessary thing. Um, I'd say I argue that like, you know, to dumb it down, maybe this isn't dumbing it down, but like lead generation is traffic like paid partner organic.

Um, nurture is like your marketing activities like your podcast, like your, your emails, you know, your, your webinars, like those sorts of things. And then obviously sales is your sales process. What's that one conversion method? You guys are all selling over the phone for the most part. Um, obviously fulfillment is your signature service and how you choose to deliver that. And then retention, resell, upsell. Like how does Tim get people from, you know, major gift intensive into his backend program? How do we get people from foundations in the leverage, right? How do you get someone that buys a website with you to like buy the marketing package or whatever you have on the back end, right? How do you get someone that goes through your workshop to buy into editing services, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, right? Yup. Is there, well, you're welcome. Um, all right.

This is one for all of you and myself. We need to be reminded more than we need to be taught. So, um, the story for me, it was like, you know, many of you, like some of the changes you're seeing today are like a result of like we're like we, we're releasing new training after new training and like many of you guys weren't coming to it or consuming it. If anything, when we started doing the research, I was like, man, I'm like, I got this game plan and like this new trains comes out and like it doesn't really feel like it's tied to my game plan. But like now I feel like I'm missing out or like now I'm overwhelmed and it's like, why are we keep releasing new training? Like when they should just keep doing the shit that they were supposed to be doing when they started.

Like, and it kind of just got me thinking like one, that's why we are experimenting more with this where it's like, let's talk about the things that you're dealing with versus like necessarily having to like create a new training every single month. You know Greg was doing a training then you know we have the back office calls. Like we had all these things. I was like shoving more and more content down your throat that like I'd argue is still good content but like we probably don't really need it. I just need to be like, Hey Chris, do the thing that I told you to do when you started. Like you know, cause you're not done with it yet. Like keep going. Right. Like, and then bring those questions to us about that and like let us like help you keep implementing. And I wrote this post on Facebook the other day is like when I look at like the people that are like, you know, ahead of me or like where I want to be or really just anyone kind of successful.

Like they never stopped doing the fundamentals right. It's like cool, you go from foundations to leverage. Like that doesn't necessarily mean like you need tons of new content. It's like you actually just need to like double down on the things that you were doing and like get better at them and start scaling them up. Removing yourself from some of those things, right? Like it's still the same thing. Like you still need to market, you still need to sell, you still need to serve your clients. Like maybe there's some, you know, few advanced trainings here and there, but like we want to make sure we're not just like having you learn stuff just to learn stuff and like that it's applicable to like what you're working on. So like that's for us part of like what we heard from you guys and saw from you guys and also we were feeling and we're like, man, I'm like, we're suffocating them. Do you have anything to add on that? I feel like every time we've talked about this lesson we kind of talked about it a little bit differently. Did I nail it like you were hoping or, yeah,

so it's, you know, we just overwhelmed too much content, pain, too much tension to lots of different things instead of focusing on what um, you should be doing. And so just being reminded yourself, your team reminding you what's your goal, where are you, what are your targets, where are you actually trying to do and not getting distracted by shiny objects. Yeah.

Anyone have anything on that you want to Molly, you got the box right there. It's convenient. This whole table is just keep the box over there. You guys.

Um, I think that you guys only, not externally us as clients is one thing, but I think that's also kind of true internally. Um, you know, like as we've honed in on like, and I guess in Katie adequate if she was necessary, but like as we've honed in more on like what we're doing from like our signature service and we've like pulled out things that we're not doing anymore. Like it's, it's so much easier to like, like this is how we came up with this exact situation, AB and in pay and like we can create those templates. So like not just, um, trainings like externally trainings internally too. Like for your team that you have, you know, like, do they really need to know that if you're not going to do it in,

yeah. Like if you revert back to the last intensive, there was a a, like we talked about the first 90 a 90 day client experience and like there was that worksheet you guys filled out of like what? Like what is the absolute minimum that they need to get to the result that they want? And like, all right, can they like, and you list out the things that they need to know or the things you need to build. And it's like, all right, like is there any scenario where they could do all of those things and not get the yes. Okay, well then what else needs to be added and available for them in order to get to the result? And then you'd go back into your archive or figure out what you need to create and put it in there. But like you want to like really focus on the, on those things and like, you know, we, I think just kept creating content, trying to keep it fresh for people.

Hey, like I know it's there, but like, almost that was, I think in some ways more of like a negative thing. At least we felt and like, Hey, guess what, now if we remove some of the need to having to do that like we can double down on how we offer support to you through the things you're actually working on. Instead of like us having to plan new content every single month. It's like, all right, like, what are you working on? How can we help you? Like, let's do that. Like, let's figure out that. Right. So that was kind of how this played out for us. And like, again, you're all really, really smart people obviously because you chose to be here. Uh, but like in so many ways, like you already know what you need to do. And like, I think part of why you're here is like, you, you knew that and like you kinda just need someone to like keep reminding you and I think we don't need to remind you by creating more content.

We need to remind you about like, reminding you to do the thing that you haven't done yet that you're supposed to be doing. So you're probably gonna see, we're gonna, we're gonna have more questions for you, you know, over the next few months as like, like I said, I'm starting to like, do some interviews. Like I think Lisa will probably chat with some folks, like, like team members, like how can we focus on getting you like the stuff that you need to get done done versus like shoving more content down your throat. Um, so that's that lesson. Anyone else have anything you want to add to that? How that plays out in your own world? Josh C still at the table

pocket table. Um, yeah, just one quick thing. It's, it's kind of a sidecar. This is how exactly what you're saying here is something I experienced recently. My personal life is that I'm kind of a bookie can. I'm always looking for the next school book to vouch or whatever and I just stopped buying more new books and I've started going back to the bookshelf and reading the books that I have that actually I liked it and I thought helped me and reading those books with the eyes that I have now had to do lies and seeing more stuff that I get different things from those books. And so it's like, you know, you don't need to take your content. Just go back to some of the basic stuff like traction or influence or some of the things that like how did I miss that the first time around? I just wasn't the same person. I looked at both of them at the time and now he's a totally different everything.

Yeah. Like I mean this goes back to this kind of like the idea of the bottleneck, right? Like once you figure out the bottleneck is whatever, say sales, like if you're going to consume anything, go consume stuff about sales. Right? Like don't go learning about whatever book. Just because like about leadership, if like that's your issue right now has nothing to do with leadership like go solve sales, like all of your energy, like fixing your sales process, like working on your sales skills. Like a lot of times when you have a bottleneck it's the the, I'd say it's like in many ways it's like the deficits of a skill that you just need to go acquire. It's like how do you go acquire that skill? Well shit, there's probably some training in the members area that you don't even know exist that's going to help solve your bottleneck.

If we just knew what your bottleneck was, we could at least point you in the right direction. Right? It's like to at least start helping you acquire that skill, but you know, reading back on that book as it relates to the topic that you need to focus on, like that's the get informed, get the skills that you need to solve that bottleneck and everything is focused on that until you fixed it. Like as as the owner of the business, like literally everything's your fault. Like whether it's actually true or not. Like in many ways it is. And like the second you start acting like anything that goes wrong with the business is your fault. Like that's the ownership that you need to have in order to start moving things forward. Like, cause it's so easy to like, Oh well like that person didn't do the, you know, implement the thing or they miss that thing.

It's like, well they probably missed that thing cause like your process sucks or you tried to manage a task or you didn't give them enough information. Like there's always a way that it's going to come, like it can come back to you. So it's like the sooner you just accept that responsibility, like even in situations where it's like, I still can't figure it out how this is my fault. Fuck it. It's my fault. Like how do I, how do I make sure it's fixed? Like what, how do I need to show up differently to fix it? Right. And usually it's going to be like, how do I lead the team differently? Or you know, maybe they don't have information that they should have. Um, like, which you know is where, how it boils back up to like it's your fault. Like own it. Like anything that had like client doesn't have a good experience and it was like they were interacting with someone else.

It's your fault like period. Why did that person say something wrong to the client? Like you probably never didn't set, set appropriate expectations. Like there was some way where always come back to, to come back to you as the owners like and I think this applies to like you want the people, everyone in your team to like just feel like it's their, their fault. Like it's, they're like they own it. Like this is on me. I got this like Megan's doing this a lot now. It's just like that was on me, that was my bad. And I'm like actually like in the real scheme of things it's probably my bad cause like I didn't equip you but like cool. Like that's, that's the mentality that you need to have I think like for people to like want to take that stuff and run with it. If I give you five to 10 new clients, would you or your agency break if so, your current agency model is broken? I struggle with this too, until I found a better way. By adding online programs, training, and coaching to our agency, we doubled profits without adding more hours. If you want to work directly with me and my team to transform your agency, visit my scalable business.com to learn more.

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