This past weekend, I had the good fortune to attend a workshop hosted by someone who shared his story of ruin and success.  It goes something like this…

Upon graduating from university Greg went to work in his father’s business. Eventually his father said: Greg buy the business from me, I want to retire.  Greg bought his father business.  Over the next few years, Greg worked really hard to expand the business …. then, along came the recession.  The business almost went bankrupt.  Greg was fortunate to be able to restructure the business. Today it is a million dollar plus training business.  Like many entrepreneurs, for Greg, success didn’t happen overnight – in fact, it took 25 years!

Here are some of the lessons learned…

Greg shared the lessons he learned including these:


1. Success comes from failure.

During the restructuring after the recession, Greg learned how to run a lean and profitable company.  He explained that these lessons were critical in how he runs his business today!!!  Without the failure, he wouldn’t have learned them!  Greg learned to measure his metrics and keep watch of the profits; not just the revenue.  He learned the business model he was growing (with several offices over North America) was not profitable.

Are you constantly monitoring your profits?
Is your business model scalable?  Is it profitable? 
What key metrics should you be monitoring regularly?

2. If you want to grow your business, you have to stop acting like an ‘employee’ in your business.

As Greg was re-structuring his business, he realized that the original model for the business was that he delivered the majority of the training which meant he was on the road delivering training most of the time.  He had no time for family or to work ON his business.  He felt he had created a JOB for himself.  The model for his business wasn’t the model that would allow the business to grow & scale; nor would it permit him to lead the lifestyle he desired!

Want to learn about the 4 stages of business growth: from glorified employee, to manager, to CEO, to Legacy…. Click here.   
What stage of business growth are you currently in? 
Are you at the stage you want to be?
If not, what will it take to get your business to that stage of growth?

3. Focus on the ONE thing your company does really well.

Greg shared that originally his company offered at least 10 different programs which meant that not only was it difficult to train a variety of trainers for all of these programs, but it also meant that the programs were constantly being tweaked & adjusted for each new client.  Now he sells a core program, 2-day training for supervisors of manufacturing facilities (a specialized niche).  He also has various upsells which he can add to the program 

What is the ONE THING that you want your business to be known for?
How can you simplify your business?
What is your core offering?
Do you have an up-sell, cross sell or down sell?

4. Become the CEO of your company in order to scale.

Over the years, Greg tweaked and systematized his training program so that other trainers could deliver it for him while he went out to sell the programs; but if he was delivering programs, he wouldn’t have the time to sell.  Today he focusses his time on only what he does best … selling.

You are the CEO of your business – what activities should you NOT be doing?
What are your strengths?  Are you spending time doing those things?

5. You don’t grow a multi-million dollar organization by yourself.

Greg shared not only about the mentors that he has had in the past but the consultants that he has hired to help him scale, systematize and automate much of his business.  His growth is a perfect example of ‘what got you here, won’t get you there’.  In other words, business is always changing and so must how you do business change.

What habits could you change? 
What activities could you systematize, automate or delegate?
Are you doing your own social media when you should be delegating it?
Are you making your own travel arrangements? 
Are you handling all of your own email?

I’m curious … has this story and the questions inspired you to look at your business and see what you might want to change.  Or do you feel that you have no idea what to change so that you can start acting more like the CEO of your business rather than the employee?

If you’d like some support to step into your CEO role, you might want to check out my upcoming workshop …. The Road to CEO (here)

Stepping into your role of CEO involves a whole new way of looking at your business and a new way of operating your business!  I’d love to help you become the CEO you were always meant to be!


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