Or, “want to grow your business? What got you here won’t get you there…”
I’ve written about leverage before, and I guarantee I’ll do it again. it’s become one of these fundamental principles for my business as I’ve been focusing on growing it into not just something sustainable, but something that can have a bigger impact than I ever imagined.
The Power Of Leverage
I shared this on Twitter earlier this week and have been thinking about it a lot the last few days:
It all starts with a desire to change the way your life looks. Maybe you no longer want to work for a boss, or want more freedom of expression, more control, more opportunities, more growth.
That desire sparks an idea – what if I started my own creative business?
So you start executing. You get up earlier, stay up later, and start working on your project whenever you can.
You’re often trading “time for dollars” – play a gig, get paid.
Take someone’s photos, get paid.
Film a video, get paid.
Write an article, get paid.
Then at some point, when you realize that, “hey, I’m actually good at this!”, you decide you want to turn it into a real business.
So what do you do? You work harder.
This is the point that separates those that succeed and grow their business and those that struggle for years and years with their creative business.
When you look back on that tweet, is the next step “Execute Harder”?
The way to grow your business from a few thousand dollars to a real business that can pay you a full-time salary is not to work harder. Execute more. Make more of whatever it is you make.
NO – the way to grow your business from this point is to build systems.
What does that mean?
It means that your business can grow without you needing to directly work on it.
You’re no longer trading time for dollars.
Maybe you create an email list, so that when people visit your website they can sign up to get something valuable from you – a download, a checklist, an ebook, an email course – and then they automatically get a series of emails over the next few days or weeks. That email system does a lot of the work for you, so that you don’t have to send every single email manually.
That email system, when it’s operating properly, can start delivering new clients to you.
You set up the system once and it works every day, every hour, even when you’re sleeping.
That’s just one example. You can have systems for getting leads, getting sales, marketing, content, and more.
The sooner you can shift from more work to better systems, the sooner your business will be free to grow.
But, what then?
Many – I’d even argue most creatives – would be happy to make $100-200k a year and have a great life. In most parts of the world that level of income for your business means that you can pay yourself enough to have a house, a car, provide for a family, save a portion of what you make, and retire happy.
But some want more. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – maybe they want to reach more people. Serve more, create more, provide more.
At this point, the answer to get there is not building more systems.
It’s not working harder.
It’s not coming up with a new idea.
At this point, you need leverage.
There are a very small number of one-person businesses that make $1M per year.
The reason is that you need systems and leverage to get from that six- to seven-figure level.
Leverage means that when you do something, the result is 10x greater than that same effort without leverage.
For example – I created my own course in April 2020. It sold about $1,000 in that first month.
Now, in May, I released a course with a partner. Same amount of work to film and edit the videos, create the website, and launch the course.
However, because I leveraged her audience, which was 10x the size of mine, she did $10,000 in that first week.
Same amount of work, 10x the results. That’s leverage.
I see this often with my friends that create videos on YouTube. They build a system that helps them release a video a week on their channel.
Unhappy with the results, they decide to work harder and release two videos a week!
Their results, however, merely double.
It’s still not enough.
It’s not until they apply some leverage that their channel begins to grow. They reach out to bigger channels to collaborate, tap into their audience, and see massive growth from subscribers and views.
Where Are You And Where Do You Want To Go?
So, where are you right now? Are you doing a few hundred a month in your business? A few thousand? Low five figures?
Where do you want to go next?
The way forward is not to do MORE of what you’ve been doing. The way forward is to understand whether you need an idea, more execution, better systems, or more leverage.
They also have to happen in order. It’s much harder to get leverage at the beginning when you haven’t put in the work yet or built any systems. That leverage is way more effective when it’s added on top of that hard work and systems that you’ve built.
What if you wanted to 10x your business next year? How would you do it?
Let me know where you’re at in the process. I’d love to see how I can help you get to that next level.