The Newsletter Pro October 2018

#120 in the 2015 and #343 in the 2016 INC. 500 | 2016, 2017, & 2018 Best Place to Work in Idaho | Marketer of the Year | 24K Club Winner

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As Seen On:



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There is a massive difference between being a business owner and being the CEO of your company. At some point, you have to make the transition, or your growth will stall. The reality is that anyone can be a business owner. For years, that’s exactly what I was. I had a number of small businesses that relied heavily on my involvement. If someone called in sick, I was up. Something broken? Call Shaun. If a decision needed to be made, no matter how big or small, everyone knew who to call. If we needed a plan or a new system, good news: That was my responsibility as well. Can you relate?

With 26 million businesses in the U.S. alone, you really are in an elite group of entrepreneurs if you hit any of the above milestones. But revenue alone doesn’t mean you’ve made the transition from business owner to CEO. To make the transition, you need a skill set that is not taught by many. You need systems and processes for running a business. For example, I used to have a 60 percent success rate with new hires, meaning that for each person I hired, only 60 percent of them would still work for me in six months. It was much worse when we looked at the employee retention rate 12 months after they were hired.

You may even blow up at them from time to time. You hope they’ll get the message, but no matter how many times you get pissed, they never seem to pick up what you’re putting down. Finally, you’ve had enough, and you bring them into your office and proceed to laundry-list all the things they’ve done wrong over the last few months. You can feel your blood pressure rising as you list dumb mistake after dumb mistake they’ve been making. Seriously, how could they not know these basic things? The employee might fight back a little, but ultimately, they feel so bad about themselves that they start to cry, and that’s when you let the hammer drop and tell them they’re fired. They shrink into their seat. As they sit there crying, you feel super guilty. This is a small office, and you know they’re a single mom with zero savings. As the guilt of firing them kicks in, you need to remind yourself why you’re firing them, so you share with them a few more areas where they’ve messed up, done a poor job, violated unwritten company policies, and cost you money.

This is how nearly all businesses start and end: with the business owner doing it all.

My crap abilities at hiring meant I had to use another skill I sucked at: firing people.

Because of this reliance on the business owner, you get to a point where the business stalls. This inability to transition from business owner to CEO is why only 4 percent of businesses ever make it to a revenue of a million dollars or more, less than 0.5 percent of businesses ever get to $5 million in revenue, and 0.1 percent of businesses grow to $10 million and above.

Tell me, have you ever had this experience?

You have an employee who isn’t cutting it. They are frustrating you on a regular basis, you start to lash out with your comments, and basically, any minor mistake made by this person can put you in a bad mood.

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