Those are all outcomes, not root-cause issues.
Here’s what I mean:
A real estate company said they needed “more marketing”.
Turned out already they had hundreds of leads coming in, but the saleswoman receiving the leads didn’t have the time and skill necessary to convert leads into sales meetings.
The company could have doubled their marketing, but that would have only led to even more leads being ignored and lost. After trying to give her sales training, they ended up hiring someone new.
Was “marketing” really the problem?
“We need more sales!”
The Owner of a near-bankrupt $2M company approached my mentor, Keith Cunningham, for help. The Owner’s original solution was – you guessed it – ramp up sales!
Then Keith entered. Upon examining the company’s financials, Keith discovered the Owner was sucking out $750,000/year from the company for personal expenses, and didn’t even know it.
Pool repair, yard service, the maid, vacations, car insurance for the kids’ cars….
This crushing load of personal expenses, all buried in the company, had creeped up over the years and was killing an otherwise healthy company.
Was “sales” really the problem?
After 5 years in business together, two friends grew apart and their relationship became crusty. Their perennial deadlock meant important new hires never got chosen, which caused tens of thousands in losses.
Eventually, one partner agreed to buy out the other, which cost the business $20,000 in legal fees.
The remaining Owner restricted growth during the following 12 months to minimize profits (and therefore payouts to the departing partner), further suffocating the business.
Was “profit” really the problem?
See what I mean?
Too often, we Entrepreneurs – me included – are either unaware or ashamed of our true issues. It’s humbling but true.
= The Problem With Typical Masterminds =
In almost every Mastermind I’ve ever been in, the hot seat started with, “So, Tim, what can the group help you with today?”
Then the group supported me in talking about what *I* wanted to talk about.
Over the course of 30-90 mins we generated a ton of ideas, came up with solutions to a bunch of problems, and everyone felt excited and empowered at the end.
But did we actually tackle the MOST IMPORTANT problems?
Did we identify the ROOT-CAUSE ISSUES that needed to be solved in the next 90 days?
Usually not. That’s not the role of a Mastermind.
Most Masterminds focus on either tactics or networking.
Masterminds focus on “in-the-business” stuff like Facebook Ads or discussing a new product idea.
They’re about meeting other Entrepreneurs to JV with, and/or somehow build your list. Hearing a few interesting speakers to get a smorgasbord of new ideas.
Getting the latest trends, forecasts, issues related to your industry. (What’s happening with Facebook Ads these days?)
I’ve been to many Masterminds and enjoyed most of them.
My team and I I will probably join more in the future as our needs call for more tactics and networking.
A Mastermind, though, is inherently unequipped to unearth your biggest issues. Mainly because:
* Mastermind members usually don’t share Financials amongst themselves
* Most Mastermind participants would struggle mightily to read Financials even if they were supplied (if you can relate to this, keep reading till the end…)
* Masterminds usually focus on what the issue of *today*, completely missing the importance of of historical performance, trends, ratios, industry benchmarks
* Masterminds usually tackle the superficial issue and solve it with a tactic, instead of doing root-cause analysis and solving it with a strategy
Which leads me to this 80/20 Question:
= = = = = = = = =
What group could you join (or build) which would allow you to:
1) get true clarity on your financial performance including crucial trends and ratios;
2) go deep to get clarity on your one or two true root-cause problems, the true Top-5% which is holding your 95% back;
3) help you identify a going-forward strategy (not just tactics) for the coming 90 days to get traction on your Top-5% issues;
4) hold you deeply accountable to doing the necessary (sometimes unenjoyable, uncomfortable) work to improve the health, profitability, and sustainability of your company?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Personally, my solution was to join a high-end program.
Cost me $32,500 USD for 2017.
I understand that isn’t in everyone’s budget. That’s okay. Do your best with what you got.
The process alone of joining (or building) a group like this will force you to do many crucial 80/20 tasks like getting your financials cleaned up, and learning how to read an income statement and balance sheet.
Curious about joining a program like this?
For 2017, I’m leading a year-long “Board of Directors” program, If you’re curious to know more, email support (at) profitfactory.com and I can share program details with you.
Onwards and Upwards,
P.S. When you join (or build) a “Board of Directors” group, you’ll know it’s a good start when the first question is *not* “What can we help you with?” but rather, “May we see your financials?” Hope that helps!