Momentum Podcast: 198


by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

30M – 100M.  70,000 business at this level.  This is where things change dramatically.  Your ability to lead a cohesive leadership team and ability to duplicate decision making becomes the biggest driver of your company.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, 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. 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.

Investor. The next level of the Billionaire Code is investor. 30 to 100 million dollars. At this level there's only 70,000 of these companies in the United States. This is where things change dramatically in every way for an entrepreneur. I've coached dozens of entrepreneurs through this journey, and through this incredible place where what really happens is, your ability to lead a cohesive leadership team, and your ability to duplicate your decision making now becomes the biggest driver of the company.

Your ability to find the right people, to bring in the right organization around you, is what's going to drive your business when you get to 30 to 100 million dollars. Because, it's been so long since you could do it all yourself, that at this point you have to lean into the team. The team around you, your time, it's interesting 'cause the owner, you had to give up autonomy of time. You had to tell your team to tell you where they needed you. Well, what happens in investor is this. Everything you had to do at owner, your team now has to do at investor. Your executive team now has to do. Here's why, at 10 to 30 million your executive team was running a business that was like a leader business, where they needed to learn transformational leadership.

Well now, when you look at from the sheer scope of your business, when you get to 30 to 100 million, your executive team. If you look at what they're responsible for, they're responsible for a much bigger organization, so they now have to be able to give up autonomy of time. So, now with your time at investor, you coach and support your team to give up autonomy of time.

Here's why at investor, you must have created a strong team around you at the owner. Because, an investor at 30 to 100 million, your executive team will make or break you. Because, here's what happens. When you get to investor at 30 to 100 million, everything scales exponentially in your company. Your need for systems goes up. Your need for clear communication goes through the roof, 'cause there's a bigger population of people. It's like that telephone game where you say one thing into someone's ear, and they say it into the next persons ear. I used to do that at events, even though it's a kids game. I used to do that at events with high level CEO's, sometimes that had 30 to 100 million dollar companies, to show them that if the communication system wasn't clear, if they were expecting people to tell each other stuff, if they weren't repeating the same thing over and over again. It just didn't, it wasn't going to work in their organization.

Well, at investor, that's where as a CEO, everything changes for you. Because, your executive team now is running ... Now you have executives, and in some cases you'll have directors beneath them, and in some cases you'll have managers beneath them, and in some cases you'll have people beneath them. But, you might have team leads, then people. So, you're further and further away from the people who are doing most of the work in your organizations. Here's why it's so confusing for people like us. I want you to just feel this, especially if you're someone who's crossing out of the 10 to 30 million. I have a couple of teams that are getting there right now.

Here's what happens, when I say volume creates complexity. When I say size creates complexity, here's what happens to the 30 to 100 million dollar level. Your business grows, but if we just imagine the traditional organizational chart with the CEO at the top, and then the next level, and then the next level, and the next level. As you know, imagine it in your head. It builds like a pyramid. Here's why organizational charts build like a pyramid, is because over time most organizations end up needing more of something done. Organizations end up needing more of whatever it is that they do done. Then you have teams that grow in fast growth companies and organizations. You have teams like customer service, and your entry level teams, or your entry level people in any department. Your sales teams, all of those teams grow exponentially as you go 30 to 100 million dollars.

And, your entry level layer now becomes the biggest layer in your company. Think about what that means. 30 to 100 million is exponentially more difficult because now, there's more layers of leadership in your company. If your communication systems aren't crystal clear, they're going to crack when it gets to another level of leadership. When they have to pass over one more level. If the way that you hold a meeting in your company isn't regimented, and clear, and everybody does it the same way. You're going to have hundreds of different meetings where no one knows what's going on. If you don't have clear communication to the team where they know what to expect from you, know when to expect it, know when they're going to see it, know exactly what's expected from them. Then, your team's going to suffer, and at this level that is where pain gets huge. Because, as the CEO, if you have to jump back in and run a department at this level, it can twist the entire company sideways, and it can get harder and harder to recover from issues like that.

And so, when you get to investor, you have to start looking at the business. No, you don't have to, sorry. When you get to investor, you have to continue to reinforce everything that you put in place levels ago. And usually, a long time before. I've got some teams that are going through these levels in months instead of years. But, for most companies, it takes a while. And so, that consistent communication system, that cadence that we teach where you talk to your team when they expect it, and they know what's coming, and there's a schedule. This is why we teach such a regimented system. This is why I recommend the CEO's who work with me don't change our system, they just apply it, and then really think first before they changed it.

Because, as the company scales, the system scales with them. Then, each new level of leadership communicates exactly the same way, so you can walk into any meeting at any time and talk to anyone in the meeting, and just look at the agenda, look at the waterfall for the team, look at the document in front of them that shows what their 90 day targets, their 30 day goals, or weekly commitments are. Or, their 90 day targets, and their 30 day goals. You'll be able to look at the weekly commitments and know within a second what's happening in that meeting. And you will be able to run a much larger organization, with a much higher level of competence, and a much higher level of confidence.

The way that you create a bullet proof executive team, is you create a team that is adaptable. Because, you need a team that can adapt to market conditions, 'cause at 30 to 100 million, you are feeling every market condition. You need a team that is adaptable to the challenges within a business, because at 30 to 100 million, I got news for you. If you think you have HR problems when you're at one to three million. At 30 to 100, HR is a daily issue. I've been there. It's literally a daily freaking issue.

In fact, as the CEO at 30 to 100 million, that's the level where you absolutely have to insulate yourself from all of the HR issues, because if you hear the play by play on all of them, it will kill you. There's far too many. You now need to get a weekly roll up, because up until 30 to 100 million, most CEO's are talking about every single HR issue. I usually get my clients out way earlier than that. Weekly roll up is enough. You don't need the play by play. There's too much that goes on in a company.

The systems that you create early on when you get to 30 to 100 million, the better they are, the more everyone in the company runs them, the more every meeting is the same, the more every time someone discusses a 90 day target, they knows it's the next three months. A 30 day goal ... They know, or 90. They know it's three months and a quarterly. A 30 day goal, they know it's a monthly measurement. A weekly commitment, they know what you're talking about. You have a language that everyone in your business speaks.

Because, if you haven't installed it yet at 30 to 100 million, here's what happens. Here's where subtle challenges, and subtle changes can take your company sideways. Here's an example. In some cases, the phrase, "Quota," is used in different ways in different departments. In some companies, a quarterly target means something they are trying to hit in one department, and in another department, it means something you better hit. What happens is, there isn't a clear definition of these things. There isn't a clear way that the company plans forward. There isn't a clear way that goals are set. There isn't a clear way that everyone agrees and consensus. And, there isn't a clear way that, that cascades or waterfalls throughout the organization.

What happens is, each department becomes a different management system, because whoever's leading it uses theirs, which is a train wreck when you're at 10 to 30. But, at 30 to 100, that is where the train will come off the tracks, and you won't find it. Here's why. At 30 to 100 million, your team is managing massive businesses. They're managing businesses that are now tens of millions of dollars. Or, they're managing a percentage of business that represents tens of millions of dollars as you get to the high end of this.

You have to have crystal clear communication systems, so that everyone on the team knows what's going on with everyone else on the team. If there's any departure from exactly the process every single team should be using. Then what happens is, the company is going to become unwieldy, and here's why it becomes a company that is incredibly vulnerable. If you have an executive leave running what represents tens of millions of dollars in business, and there isn't a clear communication structure, there isn't a clear forward planning structure, there isn't a clear meeting cadence, there isn't a clear understanding of what goals and objectives are, and how they are hit, and how they are measured.

When you put another executive in, they have to rebuild all of those things in a multi million dollar department, or position that is now an eight figure, can be even multi eight figures, and that is incredibly difficult to do. In fact, it's known as a turn around. Unless you early on, before you get to 30 to 100 million, install a bullet proof communication system, a clear forward planning strategy, a clear way that your team operates, and you have a culture of performance. It will kill you at this level.

But, here's why getting to investor is so incredible, because you're now just deciding where you're going to invest your time, because your focus is leadership development systems. It's developing the leaders you have, it's developing the leaders below them, it's developing the people around you, because that's how your business is going to succeed. At owner you asked, "How does my team get further ahead?" At investor we ask, "How do we help others get ahead?"

Your team has now expanded. It's not just executive team and leadership team like at owner. Like I said, this is executive. Department teams, leadership teams, maybe even team leads, then people. It's a much bigger structure. At investor, we want to create the leadership development systems that support the movement that you are creating as a business. So, now your leaders are now proxies to your movement. 'Cause at 30 to 100 million, the people in your movement will know the people who work in your business. You have to look at everyone in that way.

Every single person on your executive team, you want an adaptable executive team. You want a team that can get around market conditions, and challenges from inside. Here's what that takes. One, transparent communication. You have to create an atmosphere where you're ... This is, you better do it before you get to investor. But, you have to maintain it at investor, and then you have to push this several levels deep. You have to create an atmosphere where there is transparent communication, where everyone tells each other what's really going on so that everyone knows what's going to happen, and the teams can adjust. So that nobody just comes in at the last minute and says, "Hey, we're going to miss a deadline." People are communicating along the way that there might be a challenge, and the teams all know.

Because, if you have the type of team where there's transparent communication, they will adapt, and they will move forward. You want a team where there's professional respect. Here's what professional respect means. That means if somebody says, "Hey, I tried to do this and I couldn't." The team says, "Okay, we understand." Because, that happens on every single team. Then the team tries to make sure they help that person moving forward. Now, if that happens over and over with the same person, that's a different story. But, professional respect is where we trust that what happens around us, and that's the third thing that it takes to create an adaptable team, is trust.

Now, here's why that communication system is so important. Here's why every time you have an annual meeting it should be choreographed exactly the same. Here's why every time you have a quarterly meeting it should be choreographed exactly the same. Here's why everyone should understand the definition of how you plan what you do, exactly how your daily huddle runs. Because, the system that is clear, and that can be trusted, and that creates lateral pressure will create that atmosphere of trust, it will. And, the level that you execute that system, is the level with which your executive team will trust each other.

Because, at 30 to 100 million, any issues you have with communication scale, and they don't scale linearly. They scale exponentially, because any issue you have with communications, is now scaled across a larger bottom level of your pyramid. As the business grows, if your communication system isn't bullet proof, if you're not training it, if everybody doesn't understand it. If they don't know when they're going to hear what the next months goals are, if they don't know when they're going to hear when the results are, if they don't understand what's going on in your daily huddle, here's what happens. As you scale your business 30 to 100 million, the communication just does not trickle down. It trickles down to a ... It misses a larger and larger population.

Now, here's the converse. Here's why it's exciting to get to investor. Not only are you investing your time, at this level you are having increasingly higher levels of strategic conversation. In fact, you're now talking to people who are leading people, who are leading people. This is a place where if you are a really forward thinking entrepreneur, you are going to thrive if you do things right. If you surround yourself with people that make you feel comfortable. If you surround yourself with people who trust each other, and make each other feel comfortable. If you surround yourself with a team that communicates, and you show them a structure that's clear, and you make sure that, that structure is there. This can be one of the most exciting places for an entrepreneur. I know. I know, because I've coached so many people through this. It's like, it's where we hit this incredible life supercharger, and entrepreneurs just see things differently because there's this massive organization around us. And, every one of us has a fantasy in the back of our minds about being a superhero.

I think back Iron Man, and putting on the suit, and having every capability physiologically extended, and increased, and made greater, and ... I mean, who doesn't want to feel that feeling? Well, as a CEO, when you build this level of organization around you, that Iron Man suit you have around you. You know what that organization is? Here's what people don't realize. Because, the average person looks at each level of management and says, "Oh, that's just a level of complication." Well, you know what? They're right. They're right. But, if you do things right, and you create a communication structure, and you create trust on your team because everyone's talking about what's going on. You reinforce transparent communication where people can make mistakes, you recover, and you move on.

You make sure that everyone understands that if there's a problem, it's the process, not your people. Here's what happens. That Iron Man suit you're wearing, is extended in a way you can never imagine. As an entrepreneur, you will feel your capabilities extended to an entirely new level. If you install the communication structure early, you will be blown away at how much you can get done with how little you do. In fact, no joke, a lot of the entrepreneurs that I coach here come to me and say, "Hey. I feel like I don't have enough to do." Because, with the systems and the structure we put in at this level, you are so highly specialized. And, your structure and your systems are so clear, and you're talking to people in leadership who are handling really most of the issues, because you're one level removed from even, you're not even ... You're two levels removed from entry level.

The noise level actually, interestingly, can go down if you build things right. If you have a clear structure, this is where you can feel like you really are in that Iron Man suit at an entirely different level. Just remember, as you go up the Billionaire Code, the rule is it becomes entirely less about what any one person can do, and it becomes more about how everyone can communicate what's going on with each other, and get more done together as a team.

Because, what really makes us feel like we have superpowers as entrepreneurs, is we can get things done quickly. When we can get massive amounts of things done. When we have leverage, when we're having a massive impact, and a massive effect. When see it getting bigger, when we see it having an increasing effect in the world. None of us likes to stay still, none of us likes to go backwards. I mean heck, entrepreneurs have trouble buying smaller cars. Once we go out and buy a big car, we have trouble stepping into a small car. I know I did. I mean, you think it. We don't like to buy smaller houses either. We like ... There's things, we don't ever want to make less one year than we did the year before. Everything for us has to be in an ascending curve.

When you put the right structure in your business, and you put the right investment in your people, and you hit this investor level, the 30 to 100 million. It's one of the most exciting, and one of the most incredibly places to be as an entrepreneur. I want you to get there.

If you are an entrepreneur who is ready to put the right systems and structure in your business. If you want to put a cadence in your business like I talked about today. Regardless of what level you are, we start much earlier with some of our online products. We have even for those who are starting out, if you're the seeker or the startup level, and you want to put the system that you can use all the way to get to the end of the Billionaire Code. Do me a favor, go to, and one of my team will reach out to you, and make you aware of how we can help you. Get some clarity around exactly how you're going through the Billionaire Code, and understand the system and the structure that you can use at every single stage to have the ultimate clarity as to whether you're going forward, or just standing still.

Because, when people like us have a clear outcome, an understanding of what we have to do to move forward. And, a scoreboard that matters to us, we always end up at the top. We can show you our cadence, it's exactly that structure to help you get there.

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