Entrepreneurs are great at creating something out of nothing.
In the early years of a venture, we thrive because what drives the growth of the business is entrepreneurial intuition, improvisation and breaking through barriers to create momentum.
What we are great at, and how we are wired, perfectly align with what the business needs in order to grow.
However, we get to a point, usually around the $1M – $3M revenue mark (sometimes sooner, sometimes later) where we find ourselves managing HR issues, CRMs, processes, cash-flow, P&L’s, buried in spreadsheets and tech platforms that are clumsily taped together. There are three fundamental things that are wrong with this:
- This is not what you’re good at
- This is not why you started the business
- This is not your highest and best use in terms of what you could be contributing to the growth of the company
As the CEO you have become the Operations Manager at best, and the Admin Assistant at worst.
Entrepreneurs are alchemists. In our natural state, we build businesses with drive, tenacity, ingenuity, and creativity, not policies and procedures. We see a market opportunity, join the dots on how to best approach it, and bring together the resources required to address market demand.
Typically we have deep empathy for our consumer and have a great sense for what they want, how they want it, and how our business could best deliver it.
In the beginning years of a venture, throughout the seed stage and startup stage of the business, this skill-set is exactly what is required. We are navigating a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) environment, and this is where we really shine.
The business is still of such a size that one person, namely you, can wrap their arms around it, and get by on entrepreneurial intuition, brute force, and making it up as you go along. Here, the true entrepreneur is in their element.
However, we get to a point where this is no longer enough. The business has grown. You now have more staff that need to be managed, higher wages, greater expenses, a bigger office, more complex operations that require policies and procedures, more customers that need to be delivered to and looked after, multiple projects at any given time, and cash outflows that can no longer be managed with a finger-in-the-air-type approach.
You find yourself buried in operational detail. The growth of the business plateau’s, or worse it continues to expand without the necessary foundation in place and your growing customer base becomes increasingly unhappy.
You find yourself working harder, doing more, and earning less. What was once your greatest strengths are now the very characteristics that are holding your company back.
One thing is clear, what got you to where you are is not going to get you to where you need to be.
Welcome to the seven figure ceiling. And, sincerely, well done on getting here – most never do.
While it is imperative you keep the entrepreneurial dynamism that has brought you this far, we now need to underpin it with the necessary structures that enable you to build a self- managing company.
One that can grow sustainably without you being operationally involved. And this is a journey that can be incredibly enjoyable when done right.
The good news is that the seven figure ceiling is inevitable, these very challenges are universal, and there’s not many of them which mean by learning the fundamentals, you can make huge ground toward building a business that can grow beyond you.
In fact, I recently wrote an eBook where I share exactly how to do this, and not just in a way that helps you break through the ceiling, but in a way that enables you to build a business that gives you the freedom you have always worked toward – whether that is the freedom to simply work more in the areas of your HBU (Highest & Best Use), or freedom to build a lifestyle and spend more time with your family.
You can download the full eBook here: 8Figure Blueprint.