The 7 Secrets to Growing Your 7-Figure Business Without Burning Out!

by | Jun 18, 2019

If you’ve successfully grown a 7-figure business, you’ve achieved something that most entrepreneurs never experience.  While the exact number is hard to nail down, somewhere in the neighborhood of 95%-97% of businesses that are started never make it to $1M in annual sales.

So, if you are one of the 3 or 5 out of 100 business owners who were able to build a business up to $1M in revenue, you are an elite entrepreneur.

As an elite entrepreneur, you learned how to manage your time and how to get enough leads to turn your side hustle into a job that would support you.  Then you had to master sales enough to be able to hire a couple of people to help you.  Finally, you figured out how to create enough of a consistent marketing machine and fulfillment process to grow to $1M+ is sales.

You’ve learned a lot in order to get where you are.  When you started your business you probably had no idea that you were about to embark on a never-ending journey of personal growth.

Unfortunately, what got you to a $1M in revenue are not the things that will get you to $10M.  You have to learn – and do – some new things.

But, you may be thinking to yourself, “How can I possibly do more?  I’m tapped out as it is.  I had to throw this business on my back and scrape and claw and grind to get where we are today.  I can’t see how I could possibly do more.  I am inextricably linked to the success of this business and it is burning me out.”

That’s where learning (and applying) a growth hacking strategy comes into play. We’ve worked with hundreds of business owners like you over the past 7 ½ years.  There are specific things you must do if you want to grow your 7-figure business.  The good news is that if you employ these 7 secrets, you can grow your business without burning out.  Really.  It IS possible.

7 Secrets to Growing Your 7-Figure Business WITHOUT Burning Out

Table of Contents:

  1. Set the Vision
  2. Build the Team
  3. Implement a Strategy Planning Method
  4. Establish an Operating Rhythm
  5. Master the Head Game
  6. Co-create Plans that Align
  7. Give Ownership with Accountability

Set the Vision

The definition I use for Vision comes from Jim Collins.  It isn’t actually a vision statement.  Rather, leaders who are good at Setting the Vision help their companies get really clear on their Purpose, their Values and their Mission.

Said another way, effective leaders help everyone involved with their business understand the ‘Why’ (Purpose), the ‘How we do our work’ (Values), and the specific ‘What we are up to right now’ (Mission).

One of my favorite quotes from Simon Sinek that illustrates the effect of Setting the Vision with your team is, “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money.  But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”

Setting the vision powerfully for your company is the foundation on which you will build your 7-figure business, and it changes the way your employees show up every day.

Build the Team

Once you’ve set a powerful vision for your business, you can build the right team to make it happen.

A phrase we like to use that speaks to the relationship between the vision and the team is “Hire, Lead, and Fire to the Vision.”

We all intuitively understand that the teams with the best talent win.  However, we’ve all seen situations where very talented individuals didn’t fit the culture or the system of a certain team, resulting in disappointing team performance.

You must hire A-players but not just any A-players.  You must find A-players who are excited about your purpose, who fit with your values and who are the right talent to help you achieve your mission. In other words, hiring the right people doesn’t always mean hiring the person who appears to be most qualified.

The good news is that when you set the vision correctly, it is a LOT easier to attract the right people to join the team.

Leading to the vision simply means that everything you do as a leader points back to the vision and that you are growing yourself and your people to achieve the mission.

Unfortunately, there will be times when you have to make a difficult decision to let someone go who isn’t a good fit with the purpose, values and mission.  However, you can find comfort in knowing that a difficult firing decision makes life better for everyone else who is still connected to the vision: your employees, your customers, your partners & vendors, your investors, and even your loved ones.

Jim Collins once shared with our leadership team that “B-players take time away from the people you love,” and it’s totally true.  When you have a team player that doesn’t fit or who isn’t performing well, you have to expend extra energy working through that or compensating for it.  Translation… time away from the people and things that you love.

Implement a Strategy Planning Method

The best vision and team are ineffective without a good strategy.  I don’t care what method you use, but you must figure out the approach you will take to create a winning startup growth strategy to achieve your mission.

We like to use a ‘strengths’ framework for setting strategy.  Once you’ve done a comprehensive scan of the environment (competitive landscape, market dynamics, trends in technology, demographics, etc.) and have taken inventory of your own strengths and weaknesses, you are ready to identify the strategic issues for you business.

Then you can whittle down the list of strategic choices down into 2 buckets:

  1. What current strengths do we have that we will want to continue to leverage in order to achieve our mission?
  2. What new strengths must we develop in order to give ourselves the best chance of achieving the mission?

The real trick with cultivating the best growth strategies, assuming you are super clear about the dynamics of the game, is narrowing down your choices to the 3-5 strategies you will employ.  In other words, of all the things we could possibly do to try to achieve our mission, which relatively few give us the best chance of winning and creating a sustainable, competitive advantage?

I recommend no more than 3-5 strategies (strengths to leverage and/or strengths to develop).

Establish an Operating Rhythm

The 4th secret to growing your 7-figure business without burning out is actually a companion to the 3rd secret.  You must establish an operating rhythm to keep your business focused on executing the vision.

It goes without saying that the best strategy in the world is insufficient.  Without competent and consistent execution, a good strategy has absolutely zero impact.

As you know, business breeds chaos and confusion.  The discipline of a good operating rhythm enables you to turn that chaos and confusion into clarity and confidence.

The planning and execution operating rhythm you need can be scheduled well in advance and should be religiously adhered to.  The frequency should look like this:

The annual and quarterly planning meetings are more strategic in nature.  The weekly and daily meetings are more operational and tactical.  The monthly check-in bridges the strategic and the operational, addressing any gaps in either.

What your specific operating rhythm looks like isn’t as important as having one that you stick to no matter what.  Developing the discipline to methodically plan and execute will serve you well and is a key factor in your ability to scale your business without burning out.

Master the Head Game

Creating something from scratch as an entrepreneur can be exhilarating!  That aren’t many people on the planet who successfully take an idea and build a business out of it.  As I mentioned earlier, that’s why you qualify as an elite entrepreneur.

Similarly, there aren’t many people who understand the burden and costs that come with starting and growing a business.  There is financial risk, but the full impact of the decision to start a business can affect personal relationships and significantly impact physical, mental and emotional health.

I’ll only address the mental health costs here because mastering the head game is one of the secrets to growing your 7-figure business.  The head trash that comes with being a business owner can be destructive and debilitating.  Some of the negative thoughts that can creep into your mind may sound something like this:

  • “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
  • “I’ve never done this before.”
  • “Who am I kidding?”
  • “This whole thing could collapse at any time like a house of cards.”
  • “Maybe I should take the advice of my family and friends and just get a real job.”
  • “I’m not sure I can hold this together much longer.”

If you can’t find ways to keep your mind in a positive place, you won’t have the creativity and mental toughness needed to keep moving forward.

Co-Create Plans that Align

One of the lesser-known or talked about keys to growing your 7-figure business is the need to enroll your people in the process of defining both what the future will look like and how you will get there.

Often leaders mistakenly believe one or both of two erroneous ideas:

  1. That, as the leader, it is their sole responsibility to declare the vision and how the team will get there, and/or
  2. That they are the only ones smart enough or capable enough to figure out the higher-level or big-picture stuff.

If you are even partially guilty of embracing either of these ideas, I invite you to course correct quickly!

Leaders who fail to involve their people in a co-creative process to both define the destination and build a plan for how to get there unwittingly pay a tremendous cost.  Business owners who successfully grow their 7-figure business without burning out are, in part, able to do so because their team was involved in building the plan.  You get automatic buy-in from people when you involve them in the creation process.

If you want to see your business soar, learn to enroll the hearts and minds of your people by inviting them into the direction setting and execution planning for the business.  You will see more passion, more innovation and more discretionary effort.  You will see your company grow past previous plateaus.

Give Ownership with Accountability

Finally, if you really want to grow your business without burning out, then you must learn how to take chunks of responsibility off your shoulders and give ownership of that work or those outcomes to someone you trust.

Let’s face it – many, if not most, successful entrepreneurs are control freaks!  Of necessity, 7-figure business owners were largely able to get their businesses to that point by being superhuman doers.  You might be able to relate.  Looking back on your own path to $1M in revenue, were you an effective organizer of work and a good delegator, or were you running around making sure everything happened and that it was done the right way?

Your business will only grow to the level of your capability to lead it.  Read that again and let it sink in… your business can only grow as far as you are personally able to take it.  You must make the transition from entrepreneur to CEO if you want to grow your 7-figure business.

Clate Mask, CEO of Keap, talks about this need to move from doer to leader in this way, “Entrepreneurship is an exercise in relinquishing control.”  If you want to grow a business that requires people, you must learn to become a leader of people, and you will only do that confidently if you can give them ownership with accountability.

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