January 28, 2021
Now, for the entrepreneur out there who is burnt out, whose wheels have been spinning because you’re doing ALL the things. You’re a one-woman show and you’re tired, you miss your kids, don’t have time for your spouse or partner? You started your business to give your life freedom but right now it feels like your business is running you?
If that’s you, my friend, we sat down for a conversation with Simon Severino to talk about how YOU can design a business that can run itself without you, which will increase your profit and scale your business more than you could ever imagine. Simon is the CEO of Strategy Sprints, Europe’s leading remote Growth Advisory. His global team of Certified Strategy Sprint coaches do only one thing: double the revenue of service-based businesses in 90 days. Simon also teaches Growth Strategy in select business schools and is the host of the Strategy Show podcast.
Are you ready to be challenged? It’s going to require you to loosen the tight fist you have on every aspect of your business. Simon breaks down why it’s SO important as an entrepreneur to stop thinking you’re the star of the show, and instead switch to a galaxy mindset (you’ll understand that more when you listen!) He chats practical steps of what to do to get started expanding your team, what to look for when finding the right people for your team, and how to successfully replicate your magic.
If you’re sitting there in your solopreneur office, stressed out of your mind, but afraid to hire on a team of associates to expand your business? Simon is going to challenge you today because the reality is if you’re a service-based business and you’re just doing it yourself, there’s only SO far you can grow. So let’s get your life back and learn how to strategically build a team of avengers ready to take off into the galaxy!
CEO of Strategy Sprints helps service-based businesses double their revenue via coaching worldwide. Simon is based in Vienna, Austria with his wife and two boys. He started teaching business in San Gallen, Switzerland with his professor who was running the MBA and Masters of Management for executives. He was currently in the middle of executive education but jumped right in and took every chance that was given to him.
Learning a ton about business in different fields by doing market entry strategy for some countries and strategy roll out with other countries. He was in the middle of consulting and 30% of what they did was teaching in the Masters and MBA program on what they had learned in the field. Finding it extremely creative, he saw the appeal of being out in the field, seeing stuff, trying it, building, and then sharing. It was a craft. He loved seeing happy and successful clients. He was getting great feedback and wanted more so he continued and it was seventeen years later that he became his own boss.
Having always done the mix of consulting and teaching, but then he had kids and preferred to play with them then fly anywhere in the world. Realizing he only had 24 hours in a day and with clients in many different countries from Australia to the US, was limiting him. He had to find a smarter way of doing business or just be done but he couldn’t imagine doing that to the people he was helping.
Simon had a problem. He had to solve that problem. He had to face one thing, booking a business coach and explained his problem. Not a solid business model where he does everything, the teacher, consultant, CEO department of sales, accounting, EVERYTHING! No one can do that 24 hours. His business coach told him, “Simon you have to go from ego to eco”.
You have to fire yourself from fulfillment. You have to fire yourself so you can build your certification program so that you can then teach and certify others to continue. Bring in stars to build your galaxy. It took Simon three years to build it but now they teach others how to do it in 90 days.
Have a galaxy mindset. At Strategy Sprints they refer to their team as a bunch of superpowers that have come together. Everybody has their unique superpowers and there is no second Simon, and there is no need. Everybody brings different superpowers to the table and that is exactly what your job needs to be.
Say you fire yourself from fulfillment, then you will go and build the certification program and look for the other stars. Who else is a star in photography and has not yet built a big brand but would like to be part of one? Who’s on your mission?
First step you write down your values. Your core values. What matters to you. What does this brand bring into the world? Why is it important? Why would the world miss it? Those are your core values and make them transparent to attract the other stars. Describe the story, values, mission, where will you be in three-five years. How does it feel to be a part of your team? This will make people want to be apart.
Then bit by bit you start the certification program, you create a business model around that and now you have new relationships. Not to the clients anymore but the people you certified. You serve these people now so that they can serve your clients.
It’s not an associate photographer or just associate, it’s a team with superpowers. A team of avengers that are all different.
Don’t employ people, you make them less material than they are. They are stars like you are but they have different superpowers. Stars want to be apart of something bigger because then they are apart of a team. Stars are usually lonely, so now they are a part of your mission, your team and you have either better or bigger clients or better-paid projects.
This is the win-win-win situation that you want to create. It has no risk on your budget because when you have more clients you can deliver by having your stars.
That’s because you think you are the impact. You are not the impact, you are overvaluing yourself. The impact is in your work, your tools, that you can see and create a composition but that is not you as a person. That is your work.
You will teach the technique, the guiding principles, and the craft because that is what’s in you and that is the magic. From there everyone on your team can execute because they know the guiding principles and the craft. When people touch the magic they don’t touch you they touch the technique, the composition, and the guiding principles of your work.
First step: get it out of your head. Ask anybody to interview you and have them ask you how you do it: what is the first thing you do, the second, what do you care about? So then you tell them and they write it down, so now you have the first draft of your certification process. Of course, you will refine it many times, but that’s the first draft. The first thing is getting it all out on paper, you have those checklists and all of it up in your head. You just don’t realize it because you have never written it down.
Second step: create the process to ensure the quality. For Strategy Sprints, every Monday they have coach meetings. Each coach has one slide and on that slide are the three goals of the clients, the current revenue, goal revenue, and how many clients that week. Whatever your KPI’s are to ensure that the quality is at the right speed. Measure every seven days, so every Monday all coaches come together and Simon as the head coach and discuss every single client. That is how he ensures the quality. He is near to his clients even more than when he was delivering because now he has the time to create missing pieces to the puzzle when they pop up. He is of even more value to them now.
You know so much, but you don’t see how much you know so you have to get it out in front of you. Get it out of your head.
That was the foundation, now we can go more advanced. Now that you have time as the business owner and you are not the business operator anymore now you have time to work on the form, fit, and function of the sales system. That’s now really important.
The first part of the sales system is making sure people know who you are and want to work with you. Start with a marketing system. There are three levels: attract people, educate people, and ask them for work. Now that you are not hunting for clients anymore you want to create a way for clients to find you. Create attractive moments that could be a Youtube channel, a podcast, videos, or whatever is most relevant to your business. These are the attraction pieces.
Now you have to link the attraction piece to what happens after you have their attention. How do you get them into your email list or the next step for them to be educated about what you do? And where you can bring them. Most people don’t even realize where your service could take them, so educate them! What can a photographer do for them?
Then you need eight to fourteen contact points where you nurture this relationship and then at the end, you say all these things you can have and this is how you can have them. That is the third piece, ask for work. Now when they click there they are on the page of the sales team and the job of the sales team is to close them.
This is also a craft, it’s a piece of art to build this foundation. You are building an experience. You are building a journey. Every word is yours and you get to choose. This is a unique experience with you and you create that. What is more art than creating an experience for real people?
You can still use your face as the main ambassador for easier recognition of the brand. It is much easier to build and scale a personal brand than a brand that is hard to relate to. Keep the personal brand, you don’t have to change anything in the brand.
For example, Simon’s YouTube channel, you will still see Simon Simon Simon, people like it. It is easier to connect with one person than an entity. Keep doing your stuff and style.
He would advise that the name shouldn’t be limited to your last name, make it about the idea. Not about yourself. The idea is bigger than yourself. The idea is what people connect to.
But in terms of branding and marketing, it is better if you have one person talking. It is easier to connect with Simon than a strategist.
Step one: write your manifesto. What do you stand for?
Step two: make a time analysis and cut out what bugs you.
First, you do your manifesto, what do you stand for? That is how you want to move forward and what you stand for. Then post it, post it, post it! Tell your audience. Check the show notes for templates to help you get started!
Now make a time analysis. Write down the last two days of what you did, minute by minute. Then you analyze every single task that you did by plus or minus. Did it give you energy or did it suck the energy out of you? Then you pick the first minus and say, “Who is going to do this even better than me?”.
The manifesto will automatically make people want to reach out to you. Second, you know exactly which tasks now to handle, because they are the ones you have identified.
You can actively find people but it is much more powerful to talk about your manifesto and have people come to you who believe in what you are doing. It’s enough if you know 100 people and you start there. We all started there; nobody started anywhere else. You need one person, one hundred times to create a business that runs itself. One person, one hundred times. You don’t need 100 clients, you just need one.
Look for competence and character. But competence is only if they are willing to learn what is needed to learn and to be honest. On Simon’s team they Google, “how do we do…”. And that is okay, that is competence, you know how to find knowledge. We live in an age where every week technology changes, so you will move from that technology to the next technology. Then there is the character part, are they fitting to your core values, and do they have integrity.
It is not to ask what people want but to observe what people do. And then build it relentlessly. Whatever it is keep building it.
Clients only wish for improvements from their current state, but you know how you can bring them to the next level or gear, but don’t ask what the next gear is. You know it, you are the pro so go build it.
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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