Welcome back! Last week I talked about a little thing called hopium. If you need a quick refresher; hopium is a slang term for “irrational or unwarranted optimism”. Kind of like buying a few shares of stock and expecting to be a millionaire by the end of the year. Last week we went over what hopium is and how not to get addicted to it but in broad strokes. This week we’re going more in-depth, with more specifics and quotable advice direct from our CEO Daniel Ramsey. He himself fell victim to hopium, years ago when he was growing MyOutDesk and dabbling in other ventures too. But he learned how to direct his focus to what matters, and create a realistic, sustainable vision for the future of his brand. So without further ado, here are the 7 steps every entrepreneur needs to avoid hopium and build an executable strategy plan.

7 Steps To Anti-Hopium

1. Love your existing business, clients, model, who & how you serve.

You need to first analyze how you currently make money, and also why you do. It’s not enough to just assume that you’re successful because you have a good product and you sold it well. To grow that success you need to understand why it worked for you when it didn’t work for others. Plenty of people has had great ideas and great products yet still faded into obscurity. Something about your business model is working, and you need to understand exactly why. Then you can truly appreciate and love that win, which so many others never had.

2. Talk to your customers.

Ask your clients why they use you, but come from a place of gratitude and understanding. What benefits do your customers receive by working with you, and why do they refer their friends & family? What value do you and your business bring to the world? Understand who your clients are and why your product has served them so well. What is it about you specifically that has endeared them? Then, be proud of that. Don’t take it for granted. Loving what you do, and then knowing why others love what you do, is imperative to giving the people what they need next.

3. Look at your model (gross margins, expenses, team members, marketing dollars, sales process)

Get a clear understanding & document it all.  So, how are you doing today?  Your team and your business; how is it all performing right now? Most people never print out their P&Ls! You’ve got to really look at your company margin, and understand the cost to acquire a new client. BTW, this is the hardest part of being an entrepreneur – really understanding your business model. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it often doesn’t happen naturally either. You’ve got to sit down and dig in, devote some time to crunching the numbers yourself. Having it all laid out in front of you, every turn, stop, and speedbump, will help you more than you realize. You can’t know where you’re going without a map.

4. Ask yourself: what would be amazing?

Without constraints, without money issues, people issues, process, and system issues; the question is if I could BUILD anything that would supercharge my existing business, what would that be? Who would need to be on my team? What do I need to start doing? Here’s the answer…. MORE! Dream big, dream without constraints – then narrow down to 1 or 2 initiatives that will deliver. One of Daniel’s favorite questions is, “if I waived a magic wand and you had to double your business how would you do that?” You should be able to answer that without coming up with some whole other endeavor unrelated to your business.

HINT: When you are under 1 million in revenue – #4 is typically more Sales & Marketing, at 1-10 million in revenue it’s about Systems & Processes and the right accountability, at above 10M – Team (the people) & Vision is the accelerator. 

5. Don’t forget to model the big boys!

You are not alone; there are a ton of creators, brokers, managers, and tech founders out there. Find 2-3 examples of someone who is already successful and copy them!  Study their path to success and learn from it. BUT only pick a competitor that is right ahead of you, someone just out of reach. DON’T look at the way Mark Zuckerburg is doing it if you’re a tech founder. How a trillion-dollar company does it is very different than how you’ll get to the next step in your development. Think of it like racing in NASCAR; if you’re just staring at the guy in 1st place from back in 5th place, you’re gonna crash into 3 other cars trying to catch up. Take it one car at a time.

6. Ask for help!

Cliche quote coming right up: Rome wasn’t built in a day! In fact, Rome wasn’t built in one lifetime, and it was never built by only the emperor. He had help and you should too.  A coach, mentor, therapist, attorney, investment advisor, peer group, etc. There are so many resources out there to take advantage of, and absolutely no one worth your time will look down on you for reaching out. Truly successful, real leaders often love to pass down their wisdom. And a good community loves to support and see each other win.

7. Build a plan.

I mean a real one, a plan that is likely to be successful. Baby steps at first, methodically – and then execute! Scaling a business isn’t magic,  it isn’t surprising, and it’s never an accident. Growth comes from a carefully thought out plan, and the discipline to stick to it(even when you may not have immediate results). Executing with grit even when there are roadblocks or failures or setbacks(there will be). And know that everything takes longer than you expect, but the results are always worth it.  

Conclusion

Once you’ve accomplished these steps, to the best of your ability, then you can call yourself a true CEO. A proper leader who provides an income for a whole team of people, and sells a product or service that truly helps their customers. No shortcuts, no tricks, no fluff, and no BS. Then comes the best part of all; when you walk in the front door to your family, you can hold your head up with pride because you had the courage and knowledge to grow & scale your business. The right way, the sustainable way. 

And now for the shameless plug; MyOutDesk! If you follow those 7 steps above, per our CEO’s advice, you should find yourself in the perfect position to grow. The next step(the bonus 8th step) would be to reach out to us about getting some virtual assistant help. We specialize in matching an eager, qualified professional from our pool to the needs of any business experiencing growth. Tasks that typically pain any successful business, like administrative assistance, customer service, marketing, sales, billing, etc. We have loyal professionals with the experience, education, and talent to do it all. So use the link below to request a consultation with one of our experts. We’d love to hear about your business and see if it’s a good fit. 

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