Category: Leadership

The Four Seasons of Business Growth – 5 of 5

TRANSCRIPT

In this fourth and final video about understanding your business season, we’re going to talk about the fourth stage of growing any business, your winter or your legacy.

The three key ingredients for leaving a positive legacy at your organization are succession, mentoring, and empowerment.

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My wife’s grandfather started a company in 1975, and as he grew the company he started bringing in members of his family and the company grew. One of the things that I’ll never forget is how he retired from the organization. Five years before leaving the organization, he set out a plan and he systematically removed himself from different responsibilities and functions at the organization.

There’s a popular book on the market called The E-Myth. The book says that one of the ways to measure the success of your organization is to ask yourself, what does the organization look like when you’re not there? If you go on vacation for a month, does the organization still maintain its level of excellence? So many business owners are so tied into every aspect of the business that they have no way to untangle themself and if they leave, the organization has a serious detriment. Having a plan will create a transition that is so much better and smoother for every person in the organization.

The second ingredient in your winter or legacy season is mentorship. This isn’t being mentored by somebody else but choosing who you’re going to mentor with the skills and tools that you’ve picked up in your business. Another friend of mine also had a grandfather who started a small business, and that business actually turned into an international corporation. He inherited tons of money from the business. But when you talk to my friend, the mentorship and the lessons and the values that were taught to him by his grandfather were so much more valuable and important to his life. When you grow a business, you learn so many lessons that can save a young entrepreneur years, maybe even decades, of frustration or doing the wrong thing. There is so much potential in choosing people that you can mentor and invest in. This is a wonderful tool to leave a positive legacy with your business.

The final ingredient is empowerment. If you learned what you needed to to start the business, launched that business, and were able to leverage or scale that business, then you have resources that you’ll be able to give away and empower others.

I’ve had the incredible privilege of visiting more than 20 countries on more than 30 trips studying global poverty. And one of the lessons that I’ve learned is that the biggest need to really help someone is not giving them a handout. The biggest need to really help someone is to give them a hand up. As an entrepreneur, don’t just give charity without thought. Really think about, how can I leverage my gift to make the maximal impact? Think about your giving like an investment and put as much scrutiny as you do into a business investment into a ministry investment.

If you’re growing an organization, think about what you want the legacy of all of your hard work to go into. And then create a succession plan, mentor others, and empower those with a hand up instead of a handout, and you will be greatly satisfied with your work.

Thank you for watching these videos about understanding your business season. Please visit growability.net to see more videos like this about common and not so common business questions and answers. Thank you for your time.

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The Four Seasons of Business Growth – 4 of 5

TRANSCRIPT

What does an organization look like that’s about to maximize it’s talent and explode its growth? Imagine Ray Kroc as a multi-mixer milkshake salesman, going in to talk with the McDonald brothers. What did he see in that organization that helped him know, this thing is about to take off?

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As a business consultant and investor, I’m looking at three key ingredients, that are good indicators that an organization is about to explode. These key ingredients are, purpose, expertise and partnerships. What does it mean for an organization to have purpose?

Purpose is really different than passion. The thing about passion is, passion is about you. What are you into? What are you excited about? What are you willing to suffer for? Purpose, on the other hand, is really about others. How does your organization serve society? What is your function to society? What do you accomplish through your business? An organization that has passion is great, but an organization that has purpose is better.

It’s interesting to look at the transformation of Microsoft with Bill Gates. When I used to think about Microsoft, I kinda felt like Bill Gates was kind of like the business nerd. Steve Jobs is like cool, he’s got Apple, this is cool and Bill Gates is kind of like the nerd. Now when I think about Bill Gates and I think about Microsoft, I think about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and all of the amazing work that’s being accomplished in Africa and fighting Aids and Malaria and the good that they’re doing. An organization that has purpose creates excitement and buzz in society.

In addition to purpose is expertise. We live in a ridiculously competitive society, particularly in the marketplace. It’s not good enough to be good, you have to be great in order to really thrive and grow.

There are a lot of forms of expertise at an organization. You might have an expert team or you might have expert technology. One of the key ingredients for expertise that I look for in an organization is, does that organization have an expertise in systems? It’s important for organizations to have their best team members take what they do intuitively or through the experience that they have and systemize that expertise. How do you extract that intuition of an employee into a system that other people can use?

The third indicator that an organization is ready to scale is partnerships. Who does your organization partner with? When I was in the litigation industry it was very difficult, almost impossible, to set up a meeting with a partner at a large law firm because they didn’t want to associate with someone who was a nobody. Eventually, I was able to set up some meetings and sell a technology to these law firms. Well, one of the firms that I was working with used the technology on a 60 million dollar lawsuit and they won! Now, instead of saying I wanna give a presentation at your firm about how to use legal technology, I was saying, I want to show you what this firmed used, that won this 60 million dollar lawsuit and we’ve been happy to serve them as a client. Well the doors were open.

There’s a proverb that says, whoever walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm. When you see a business leader who surrounds themselves with other great business leaders, it’s a great indicator that that organization is going to grow.

If your organization has the purpose, you are a true expert in the field and you have great partnerships, these are really good indicators that your organization is going to grow and you’re going to maximize the potential of your organization. They’re also great indicators if you’re an investor and your looking to buy into a good business.

If you’re a business owner that’s looking to leverage your business, go to growability.net and check out our consolation services. You can also get a copy of the Growability workbook. This workbook is designed to teach organizations how to grow leaders and leaders how to grow organizations. You may also want to check out our Daily Business Question video blog, where you can have common answers and not so common answers, to business and non-profit questions delivered directly to your e-mail inbox.

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The Four Seasons of Business Growth – 3 of 5

TRANSCRIPT

Continuing in our conversation about understanding your business season, in this video we’re going to talk about the second of four business seasons, your summer or launch. As a business consultant there are three key indicators that let me know that an entrepreneur is ready to start a business. These indicators are passion, experience, and a unique methodology.

Now there’s a big difference between an idea and a passion. The problem with ideas is they come and go, you might do them, you might not. A passion is a lot more than that. The word passion actually comes from Latin pati which means to suffer. Do you love that idea so much that you’re willing to suffer for it?

The second ingredient in your launch or summer season is experience. There’s a great story about two wood cutters that have a competition to see which one can cut more wood. One of them is an old man, the other is a young man. At the end of the day they stack the two piles of trees together to see who was able to create more logs. The old man’s pile was three times larger than the young man’s pile, and the young man said, “How is this possible? “I’m stronger than you, I’m talented. “How did you get three times the amount of wood “while you were off taking breaks every hour?” And the old man said, “Oh, I wasn’t taking breaks, “I was sharpening my ax.” You can have all of the talent in the world but if you don’t have experience it’s very difficult to grow a business.

The final indicator that you’re ready to launch a business is what I call a unique methodology. In the education system we’re taught to have a great balance, you know? I need to get a B-plus average across all of these fields. In business, that’s not as important. What’s important is can I do one thing exceptionally well? And it’s those organizations that really create that unique methodology to do one thing exceptionally well that do great in our economy. Think about going into a Home Depot or a Lowe’s. When you go into one of those stores what’s interesting is they’re all set up pretty much the same. There’s an electrical aisle, there’s a plumbing aisle, there’s a lumber aisle, and even if I drive a hundred miles and go to a different Lowe’s or Home Depot they’re going to have basically the same format. Well what they’ve discovered is a great recipe to stock the shelves and to build their stores. When you’re launching your business, do you have a recipe that can be multiplied or recreated like a Home Depot or a Lowe’s?

If you have a passion to grow your idea into a business, and you also have the experience necessary to overcome obstacles and hurdles in running that business, and you have a unique methodology, a playbook, that can give you exceptional results, it’s pretty good indicator that you’re ready to launch a business.

In the next video we’re going to talk about leveraging or maximizing your business in the fall, or leverage, season. If you want to maximize your business launch check out Growability.net and get a copy of the Growability Workbook. This workbook is designed to help organizations grow leaders, and leaders grow organizations. While you’re there, check out the daily business question video blog where you can get answers to common and not-so-common business questions delivered directly to your email inbox.

The 4 Seasons of Business Growth – 2 of 5

TRANSCRIPT

Okay, continuing our conversation about the four seasons of business growth. In this video, we’re going to talk about the first of those seasons. The spring or the learn season.

I can always tell an entrepreneur that’s in the learn season because they’re primarily talking about the idea. What is the big idea? How am I going to change the world? One time I was at a business seminar for a very well known business author. At the end of the presentation, there was a time for Q&A. A man raised his hands and he started asking the question, what do I do if I have a phenomenal business idea for the auto industry? He was asking basically, how can I sell my idea without putting any work into it and make millions of dollars from the great idea. What the speaker said was, in essence, continue to follow your dreams. What I wanted to say to the man was, your idea isn’t actually worth anything. Until you put legs on an idea, it’s just an idea.
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When I talk with an entrepreneur with a great business idea, the first question I’ll ask is, what talent do you have that can help that idea come to fruition? For example, you might have the idea of becoming the next star on American Idol. But if the reality is that the voice in your head doesn’t sound as good as the voice that comes out of your mouth, then there might be a problem.

The third question and the third thing to think about during the spring season is, what education do I need to be able to move that idea into a product or service?

When you think about creating a product or service that are three fundamentals. The first is creation, what does it take to create your product or service? The second is production, what does it take to produce that on a major scale? And the final is distribution, how do I get that product or service into the hands of my customer?

Let’s say you’re a songwriter, you might write an amazing song in the shower. The fact that you can write a good song doesn’t necessarily mean that that song is gonna get played on the radio. Before you can get that song to the radio, to your customer, you have to first create it and then you take it to a studio where the song is produced. Now you’ve got drums and vocals and all the background music. But even if I produce my song excellently, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to get played. Now I have to connect with an agency or a distribution channel, maybe it’s an online streaming mechanism so that my song can get heard by my potential customers. Turning an idea into a business, you have the creation phase and the production phase, and the distribution phase.

If you have a great idea, great talent, and the education necessary to create, produce, and distribute a product or service, now you can start thinking about launching your business.

In the next video, we’re gonna talk about the fundamentals necessary to launch a business. If you need help launching your business, please visit growability.net and get your hands on a copy of the Growability workbook.

This workbook is designed to help organizations grow leaders, and to help leaders grow organizations. While you’re there, check out the Daily Business Question video blog. Where you can get in your email inbox, answers to common and not so common questions for growing a non profit or for profit organization.
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The Four Seasons of Business Growth – 1 of 5

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, I’m Joshua MacLeod. Founder of the Growability model. Did you know that there are 12 fundamentals necessary for cultivating health and accelerating growth at your business? Today we’re going to talk about the first fundamental, understanding your business season.

When my wife Sarah and I bought our first house, everything was perfect. Except this one little spot in the front yard where there was no grass growing. Apparently the builders have dumped some debris and things in the front yard when they built the house and so, the grass hadn’t grown. I researched the internet, I looked at what kind of grass seed to get in our area, I looked at how to aerate the lawn, I got the grass seed, I got the fertilizer, I aerated and then I began to water the lawn. After two to three weeks, nothing happened. Four weeks, nothing happened. And I was so frustrated because I had done all of the right things and still, the grass wasn’t growing. What I learned is that if you plant grass in late summer when it’s really hot in Tennessee, there’s no chance that you’re gonna get your grass to grow.
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This taught me a really important lesson in life but particularly in business. It’s not enough to do the right things. You have to do the right things at the right time. If you are starting a new business, or adding a new product or service to your business, there are four stages that you will go through to bring that product to market. I call these the four business seasons. The first stage is where you learn what to do. I call this spring. The second phase is where you launch your initiative or your business. This is the summer. The third stage is where you leverage and you maximize what you’ve put into the business so far. This is your fall. And finally, there’s your legacy stage or your winter.

It’s really important to understand what business season that you are in so that you can understand what you should be focusing on right now in your business.

Before launching a business, you should always start with the spring or a learn phase. The primary question to ask yourself if you are in the spring or learn season is, can I create, produce, and distribute a product that someone will buy? If you can’t answer each one of these questions, don’t start a business. So many people launch into initiatives that they can’t really sustain and that’s why our statistic for failed businesses are so high.

The primary questions before you launch a business or move into the summer season, can I deliver the product and service I’ve created with convenience and consistency? In our market, people are ready to have products come to them. It’s not enough to make a great product, it has to be easy for the customer to acquire that product. And consistency in any business is a must. I can’t just make a really great hamburger, I have to make a really great hamburger 1,000 times over and have ’em all taste exactly the same.

The primary question of your fall, or leverage season is what can I do to maintain a competitive advantage? If there’s not a lot of competition in your space, there’s a good chance that there’s not a lot of demand for that product or service. If there is a lot of competition in the space, you have to ask yourself, what can I do to set my services? What can I do to make my business perform better than those others? I mean, you might, for example, give away really amazing free business videos so that people will buy your workbook or get consulting.

And finally, there is your winter or legacy season. This is where you’re thinking about what’s next? What is the legacy that I want to leave with what I’ve done at my business? I don’t know about you but I am a fan of movies where they have a really great ending. Like every Star Wars movie, just everything seems to work out. When I go to a movie and it has a terrible ending, I leave the movie theater just totally depressed. I mean, everybody dies? This is how you wanna end the movie? In business, you don’t wanna have a bad ending. You spend your whole career doing this thing where you put so much effort into this product or service. What are you doing to leave a legacy, to hand this off to the next person? Having a plan is critical. In the next four videos, we’re gonna take a deeper dive into each one of these business seasons and think through what you should do in each season.

If you wanna maximize your business growth, visit growability.net to get your hands on a copy of the Growability workbook. This workbook is designed to help organizations grow leaders and leaders grow organizations. While you’re there, please sign up for the daily business question video blog. This blog is designed to answer common and not so common business and non profit leader questions. We set it up to come directly to your inbox. Thanks for watching.[/read]