Momentum Podcast: 518

Simplify to Scale

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Most entrepreneurs have a hard time scaling businesses because they don’t make things easy enough on themselves. To scale, you need to simplify. Typically, businesses start with one person doing everything. As the company generates more success, it’s difficult to jump out of the place of doing everything yourself to outsourcing work. Once you get to the level of success where you are no longer able to do everything alone, evaluate your business. Look at where you are struggling and how you can make things easier.

In our coaching program, the clients who have experienced fast growth have a common denominator. They simplified like crazy. As entrepreneurs, it’s difficult for us to make things easy on ourselves. Complexity, work, and struggle all feel natural to us. As we grow, everything becomes more complex, and the success we achieve creates a deficit. It’s important for you to know that simplicity scales naturally, and it’s nearly impossible to scale complexity. Here are three things you can start simplifying today in your business: tighten up your avatar, streamline your delivery, and clarify the promise you provide as a company. Trust me, when you simplify everything gets easier.

Full Audio Transcript

As entrepreneurs, one of the hardest things we ever do is get our business off the ground, get it up and running, and actually productive with a client that we get a result for. Now, we want to scale that business and grow it and make a massive impact and get to the income levels we've always wanted. Here's one of the biggest challenges I see with entrepreneurs scaling businesses. We just don't make it easy enough on ourselves.

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is The Momentum Podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, 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. And 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.

Here's what I mean by the... what I said in the intro about how most entrepreneurs have a hard time scaling businesses because we don't make things easy enough on ourselves. And I mean this 100% literally. It is so true that most entrepreneurs never simplify so that they can scale.

See, here's what happens to us as entrepreneurs, we start a business and we're doing everything. We try and make everything happen. In fact, to start most businesses, if you started a business, the way you probably did it is by literally doing everything. Unless you were working with a spouse or a partner that was involved, at the beginning you must do everything.

And we become conditioned to doing everything and to making it all happen so that we create success. And then the business starts becoming successful. And here's what we normally do not do. We normally don't stop and say, "How do I make this easier? How do I make this clearer? How do I simplify the effect that I'm doing? How do I simplify what I'm doing in general so that I can scale this thing?"

Because here's what happens with far too many entrepreneurs. Far too many entrepreneurs try and scale complexity and they end up in a place of overwhelm, of burnout, of frustration, of adrenal fatigue and worse. Because when you scale complexity, nothing is easy. It feels like every single day you are either pushing your business or pulling it up a hill.

It feels like your team is always interrupting you, always frustrated. It feels like things aren't happening fast enough. Scaling complexity is debilitating, and crushing, and frustrating, and causes anxiety for us as entrepreneurs. And here's how I know this. We now are, have coached hundreds of businesses to grow and scale. We're currently coaching a ton of businesses around the world who are growing like crazy. And here's what I can tell you is consistent with the fastest growing clients we have.

They have all simplified like crazy in order to grow and scale fast. In fact, let me share just one story with you. Molly Kaiser and Aaron [Silvernale 00:03:28], a married couple that we work with. Molly and Aaron actually live here in Austin now. They've become close friends of Cadey's and I. They own a company called Booty Shorts where they have these certified professional boudoir photographer designation.

When we started working with Molly and Aaron a year and a half ago, they had seven or eight different products for their photographers. They had a product on how to shoot. A product on how to get people involved. A product on how to build your business. They were doing about, I think five or $600,000 a year in business.

We took all of their products and combined them into one to the certified professional Boudoir photography. We got really clear on who Molly and Aaron were talking to. We got very clear on their deliverables, on the promise that they made. They shut down all of their other products in a moment of huge anxiety and concern. They were both like, "Oh my gosh, what's going to happen?" And then we did all of that and they went from a $600,000 a year business to now they're approaching over a $2 million a year business. Why? Because they simplified.

Here's why this is so crucially important. It's difficult for us to make things easier on ourselves as entrepreneurs. I want you to understand, this is the epiphany, the discovery, the change you need to go through thinking. See as entrepreneurs, complexity, work, struggle, climbing uphill, that all feels natural to us. In fact, it's such a huge part of who we are as human beings. It's such a huge part of who you've always been. However, once you start growing a business, you have to simplify in order to make it easier on you, to make it easier on the people around you, to make it easier on everything we do.

And so, here's what's interesting about entrepreneurs. When we're growing a business, we always say we want to make things easier. We want to make things faster. We want things to grow faster, but our actual actions don't match up with that. Rarely do we actually simplify. Let me tell you how to do it in just a second. First, I want to reinforce why this is so important. Number one, it's near impossible to scale complexity. If you have a business, it's under a million dollars, and there's already complexity there. When you scale, you will scale complexity and it's going to happen anyway.

Here's what I want you to know. Growth creates deficit in a business. Scale creates complexity. The more you grow, growth creates deficit. Just by growing, just by making things happen, just by going out there and getting more clients, you're going to create deficit. You're not going to have a big enough team. You're not going to have a big enough delivery system. You're going to have to modify what you're doing. The systems in your business will have to change. So, growth creates complexity and, or growth creates deficit and success, sorry. Growth creates complexity and success creates deficit. The more successful you are, the more deficits your business will have.

So the more you simplify, the easier it is to actually grow the business. Secondly, simplicity scales naturally. The more simple something is, the more it will actually scale, and the more it will grow, and the more easier you make it for people to buy, for people to have a success, for people to understand. It actually grows naturally.

When we make something complex, we have to overwork it. Every stage of customer engagement to get them to be successful.

When we simplify and make it easier, it actually makes success easier. It makes success more naturally. And here's the last one. Your organization, your team, the business you're building is going to become more complex with size. So if with scale everything is going to be more difficult naturally. So you have to simplify like crazy in order to offset the complexity that your business will have.

And here are the things that you should do to simplify. These are the three biggest things we see our clients do in order to simplify so that they can scale fast. And remember, most of the clients in our coaching programs are either, are growing their businesses every single year.

In fact, the majority of them that are implementing our content and moving forward are more than doubling their business in the first year. And here is a big part of it. There's three steps to simplifying your business like crazy. These are high level.

Number one, tighten up your avatar. Get really clear on who it is you serve. What type of person do you serve? Who are they? What do they need? If you can simplify any more than you already have it, if you can clarify any more than you already have it, you're going to simplify everything behind that. Here's why, the avatar, the person that you're selling to drives your product, drives your product creation, drives your customer service, drives what you're doing as a company.

So tighten up the avatar, simplify it as much as you can and scaling will get easier. This is one of the hardest things for people to do because what we all want to do is expand the avatar, and we feel like that will grow the business. Just like with Molly tightening up the avatar, simplifying the deliverables will make everything easier.

And that's step number two is simplify delivery, like I talked about with Molly and Aaron. See they tightened up their avatar because they went from an avatar that was willing to buy one of seven different products to somebody who wanted to become a certified distress boudoir photographer. They went from having seven different products that they had to explain each one of them to only having to explain one, to having to make a funnel for one, a sales process for one, a delivery system for one, the promises for one.

Simplifying delivery as much as you possibly can will make your company infinitely more scalable. So number one, tighten the avatar. Number two, simplify delivery. And then number three, clarify and simplify the promise or outcome you provide as a company.

See, your product exists to provide an outcome, to fulfill a promise. Clarify and simplify that promise as much as you possibly can. You know, when we started working with Molly and Aaron, they had one product. The promise was, we'll get you business. Another product the promise was, we'll show you how to be a photographer. Another product the promise was, we'll show you how to set up your business. Another product... So you go through all six or seven of those products.

It was promise, after promise, after promise, after promise. Molly and Aaron combined them all into one. We will show you how to become a certified professional boudoir photographer, get into this business and be successful. One promise, tighten the avatar, simplify delivery, and Molly and Aaron grew their business more than 300% in under a year and a half. You can do this too.

It is completely counterintuitive for us as entrepreneurs to get up in the morning and say, "How do I simplify things? How do I make it easier? How do make it easier on me? How do I make it easier on my team?" However, this is one of the biggest puzzle pieces to unlocking scale and growth and impact and income and legacy for you and your business.

When you simplify, everything gets easier. In fact, simplicity scales much easier than complexity and that might be the most obvious statement you've ever heard. However, when you watch entrepreneurs growing businesses, you would think that if they want, the way they intended to grow and scale was to make things as difficult as they possibly could.

So this is me giving you permission, giving you license, giving you the inspiration to go and simplify your business like crazy. You can't scale complexity, simplicity scales naturally. And your organization is going to become more complex. Don't forget, success creates deficit and growth creates complexity. You have to be making space for what's coming.

Simplify like crazy. Tighten your Avatar. Simplify delivery. Clarify your promise and you'll see your business grow faster than maybe you even thought possible. If you want help with this, if you want to grow your business, if you'd like to join the group that Molly and Aaron are in and experience similar results, go to Answer a few questions from my team and set up a call so that you can understand exactly what we do.

We will help you analyze your business, understand what you need next, and if we're the right solution for you, we'll explain our products and how we support entrepreneurs every day, growing, scaling, and changing the world, We look forward to connecting with you.

Thank You For Listening!

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