What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- Identifying your biggest bottleneck is
- Knowing if you are actually having leadership and management issues
- Doing ‘self-growth’ and then growing your business
Related Links and Resources:
My 'Profit Priorities Punchlist', it's a weighted scoring system of how to figure out which bottleneck solutions are best to implement now. It's www.bbg.li/punchlist
Today I’m digging in with Josh Long of BottleneckBreakthrough.com. Josh has been helping business owners unlock sustainable growth since 2008 when he worked with Chet Holmes to help launch his consulting agency. He quickly became the marketing director of Business Breakthroughs International with Chet and Tony Robbins, and has since worked with other thought leaders like Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, and Perry Marshall.
Here are the highlights of this episode:
1:17 Josh’s ideal Client: B2B companies, somewhere between 2-10 million whom I worked with most. I've worked with larger than that, I tend not to work with smaller than that. Once they get into a million, they tend to get into some leadership and management issues coming up that need to be dealt with. Everybody used to come to me thinking that they have a marketing problem, but in reality, it becomes a management and systems problem so often. I can do both, I enjoy marketing but it doesn't seem to move the needle that much, once you get to that 7-figure range.
2:04 Problem Josh helps solve: The biggest thing is that they don't know how to identify their biggest bottleneck. It's the 'peter principle' right? We all grow into our level of incompetence and we don't know what we don't know. Most often they 'bootstrap', they know everything about their business, they can do all parts of it but that's not the solution anymore. Working harder, grunting it out, trying to direct all their staff how to do exactly how they want, is not the answer. So, it really becomes a leadership and management problem that most small business owners have to transition from that 'hairbrained' to 'do everything entrepreneur' to that organizational leader that can grow and be the business owner and get out of the way and develop management, develop staff that can make decisions and give results.
3:10 Typical symptoms that clients do before reaching out to Josh: The big issue is, they are feeling really trapped by their business. I really never found anybody with a 5 million company that's happy. It's because up to that point, they used to play 'whack-a-mole' everyday; problems come out at them, they whack them, they knock them out, they go on. But once you get to that 3,4,5 million-dollar range, the problems are bigger and you can't solve them with quick response, you can't just 'shoo' them away. And all of a sudden, all of your staff are stuck waiting on you as the owner because they're not equipped, they're not empowered, they don't feel confident in making a decision and getting it done. And so, everything grinds to a screeching halt that is growth oriented. And everybody becomes focused on maintaining the status quo. It's really that frustration; you start getting lethargic, you start thinking about other businesses, you start having other hobbies, you start sabotaging it, and in reality, you are just a little shift away from mocking more growth and really getting into 10 million and beyond. It's all a leadership management problem. Many business owners hit that spot. They're just frustrated, they start viewing their staff as 'flaky', they think that nobody can make decisions, nobody can do as well as them. It's that classic "might as well do it myself" and they get stuck with nothing.
4:54 What are some of the common mistakes that folks make before finding Josh and his solution: The bigger problems are that they try something and it doesn't work immediately then they move on. and because they're not certain that it's going to work, they're constantly trying different ideas and bouncing around. Wants you get out of your debt, the uncertainty of what to move forward with causes everything to be a short test, short experiment. There's no game plan, there's no real project management of what we are measuring, what we are going to improve, what are the milestones that we have to achieve to make sure that this is on the right track. I always tell people to at least give it three tries, don't just try it once and if it fails you give up on it. Because most strategies that you think over are proven that it worked with some other businesses. But just because it doesn't work for you the first time, doesn't mean it's a complete failure.
6:01 Josh’s Valuable Free Action (VFA): I really like Toyota's '5 WHYs process' that asks why as many times as you need to get to the root. I talked about it in my book, and it's one of those things of zero-based thinking of saying "if we have to start over today of what we know, what we're doing, what we're continuing, and then go through of why not, what's the problem, why is that the problem" keep on asking on why is that the problem. A great example in the book is that I had a client that their marketing was failing, they thought "well, we just need to come up with a new promotion" why is the new promotion the solution? "well, our trade shows have been horrible" why is that? "Sally our marketing director is on maternity leave" it's been following by the business owners "why are you doing that?".. keep going until reality is, they just don't want to replace Sally and they just needed somebody an interim that can take over because the two business owners were too busy.
7:15 Josh’s Valuable Free Resource (VFR): My 'Profit Priorities Punchlist', it's a weighted scoring system of how to figure out which bottleneck solutions are best to implement now. It has a number of factors on timing, speed, likelihood of success, budget, and upside. I take all of my clients through this, we put all of the potential solutions in there, we weight their average scores so we know what to tackle next. In that way, you're not guessing or bouncing around chasing new ideas of what to do. Because there's plenty to get done and focusing on what's the most leveraged idea and strategy in your business is what's going to produce the greatest result. It's bbg.li/punchlist
8:19 Why don't more businesses grow that have potential? I think the reality is, a lot of business owners are hammered with the idea of growth, but they really don't want to grow pass a certain level. That thermostat, that comfort level inside. And the reality is, every business causes every owner to have to grow internally, because you can't lead beyond your own capabilities. If you're one of those business owners out there that's constantly talking about 'oh, we need to focus on growth" but you're not working on yourself internally, then ask yourself "do I really want that growth and what's it going to require of me" because it's a lot of work. To me, the people that find that path of internal growth, it spreads throughout your life, not just in your business. To me it's a totally worthwhile investment. But I think that's the part of some business owners that aren't honest with them about, is that they don't want to really become what their business needs to grow at a significant level.
“The people that find that path of internal growth, it spreads throughout your life, not just in your business. To me it's a totally worthwhile investment" – Josh Long