Businesses move and change with time. What you’ve accomplished from the start up to this point depends on what you’ve done and how well you’ve done it. Ken talks about the effects of time on business. He shares how his company has grown by taking the principles of Danny Sullivan when he mentioned the year seven. In business, you will find yourself after this long stretch of time battling with various things, but things will happen in this magic year seven.
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Time Take 2
I am in the middle of a killer study on the word time and its effect on business. I’m prepping for a talk at RockStar Marketing and I’m telling you, the effect of time on business is fascinating. This episode could be subtitled, Just Hang in There. I have learned so much of what I knew, tiny little nuggets on the surface when it comes to time. I’ll never forget a few years ago I was hanging with a gentleman named Nick Nanton. Nick and I became friends. He’s got a sizable PR type company and his business is a couple of years ahead of our rebranding from 2009. I’ll never forget we were at lunch, sitting across from each other in New York and I said something like, “How are things going?” He goes, “It’s amazing. Like I was coached, year seven is magical.” I said, “There’s a group around us.” He said, “What do you mean by that?” I said, “It’s very clear that you’re talking about something specific, some kind of business principle.” He said, “I was coached by Danny Sullivan from Strategic Coach.”
For those of you that don’t know, Danny is a private guy. I was at Danny Sullivan’s honorary night when he got the Lifetime Achievement Award for marketing or coaching or mentorship. It was an amazing night. He is amazing. His concepts through a Strategic Coach are brilliant. He’s coached some of the greatest minds in North America. Danny Sullivan apparently teaches the concept that year seven in business is pure magic and it’s got a lot to do with different timing elements. I’m doing my own little study and I mentioned this one quote on the last episode. I’m going to bring it back in for this and then I’m going to filter down some of what I’m finding about timing and time when it comes to business. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over,” Sir Richard Branson. He’s saying there isn’t a rule book when you’re a toddler and you can’t read anyway. You fall down, you hurt yourself, and you get up and do it again because you feel you should be walking.'You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over' – Richard Branson Click To Tweet
That’s how entrepreneurs are. I know that’s how I’m built. When I was 22 years old, I had no idea why I so badly wanted to own my own business, but I did and I knew I would. It’s like walking. We knew we were going to walk. I want to cover some of the nuggets that I have seen over and over in all of my homework studying this incredible word called time and how time is a factor in business. On the previous blog, I talk about a fundamental concept that back in the day time was both good and bad. I believe I said something like, “The bad is it takes a long time to establish word of mouth.” I was referencing 1975 before the internet and that was bad. The good though was once you established word of mouth, it would take eons, if not decades for a company, an entity or competition to take that word of the mouth away from you.
Let’s fast forward to 2017 and time’s effect on business. I want to bring in some of Danny Sullivan’s major points in referencing year seven in business. I’m talking to those that might have just started a business or you started a business, a new division, a product or a new company a few years ago. You could be battling right now. Your head could be hitting the wall. You could be short on cash, short on friends or short on employees. What has happened in and through a company, which typically takes until year seven is the following.
By year seven, if you have survived six years and 51 weeks and hit the magic of year seven, here’s what we know in business. You have mastered hiring and partnering up with people. For those of you cringing right now, those are very often weaknesses in a lot of leaders. I was a terrible hire for my first fifteen to twenty years. I hated it. I hated taking the time. I hated getting sandbag on resumes. I would just assume and do it all myself than take the time to train somebody knowing they’re going to quit eventually. I hated hiring with a bloody passion. Now with 102 employees, we’ve come to love it because it’s the right thing to do. By year seven is when you master hiring and partnering with people.
On the revenue stream, you’re probably on revenue stream number two or number three and why is that? If you’ve read any of my prior blogs, I live, walk and eat and breathe S-curves. I’m put on planet Earth to educate people on S-curves. What all of the stats are showing the world right now is you’re going to rip through revenue streams every two to five years. Every two to five years, companies are going to move their main source of income. It’s going to physically shift because the world of business is like building stuff on shifting sands. Who could have been in 1995 to 2000 predicted that three of the five largest banks in the world would no longer exist in five to seven years? It’s like, “No way.” If somebody were trying to sell that to the world, they would have been smoking crack.Often companies struggle walking that fine line of doing it themselves. Click To Tweet
The bottom line is if you’re in your seven, you’re on revenue stream number two, number three, or starting number four. By year seven, you’ve got your banking, your accounting, and your number crunching processes solid. It’s a tremendous weakness of our company for years. We were okay at forecasting, okay in the banking arena and okay at best in the accounting arena, but in the number crunching processes area, we were terrible. We were so busy moving forward and sprinting we seldom stop to review crunched numbers and process things. We’re amazing now, but we’re past year seven.
By year seven, you’ve either brought marketing in house or you’ve 100% pushed it out to the experts. Up until year seven, often companies struggle walking that fine line of, “We’ll do it ourselves. I don’t trust those guys.” Marketing as fast as you can, you either bring it in-house and do it or you push it out and you manage other people doing it. Finally, by year seven, you have learned how to parent employees and you’ve learned how to parent customers. This is from David Corbin. The customer is not always right, but the customer is always the customer. Where are you in the benchmark of the miracle year seven because if you know these, you can escalate these faster.
We launched a new brand in 2009 and 2004, Nick Nanton said to me, “Just wait for year seven.” I thought, “We’re mature. We’re fine. We’re cranking. We’re not going to be growing any faster in year seven than we’re growing right now. We were an Inc. 5000 company.” In 2016, we exploded. We went from 55 to 100 employees. Our numbers blew up. We grew so fast in the seventh year of our new brand. We mastered hiring and partnering in our new brand. We were on a revenue stream four, five and six. We were banking and accounting, number crunching, processing, apps, tools in-house, done, solid. We had brought marketing both in-house and still trusted outside mentorship, and we learned how to parent employees and customers. This episode is called Time Take Two, Just Hang in There. I hope this helps. Take care.