There is only one direction we would like to go with our businesses and that is up. No matter how long we have been in business, we always crave for that continuous growth. Ken shares the three main points to grow our business, the MPM: model, partner, and mold. He goes deep into each one of these stages that you must take up in order to improve and even track your business growth. Ken challenges every business owner to brand themselves with separation, highlighting archiving their business, getting a coach, and doing something different.
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Growth By MPM
I drop a lot of nuggets that use technology. We have 800 plus websites generating millions of dollars a year in passive revenue. We share that revenue with website partners that fund these deals. A lot of what I cover has a strong slant to the web. However, my wife and I were asked to go coach and mentor a couple dozen people in Martha’s Vineyard at a private retreat. I found myself this time, two-thirds of the advice that I found myself throwing out, and this is pretty rare, but was very old-school, very traditional growth consulting firm. Our first decade in the ’90s, and maybe it was happenstance timing the group, but there was definitely one instance where I remembered looking around and people were taking more notes, feverishly, than in any other one-hour episode that we had.
I took some notes on the flight home to remind me to podcast about this. I want to talk about growing with what’s called MPM, like Mary Paul Mary. It’s growing with MPM. There was an incredible couple there that were growing about 40% per year. They’re up in Canada. They have a great real estate business. They do buy and flip. They do buy and rent. They do both commercial and residential. They have a substantial business. We were doing like a campfire setting and I said, “What’s your biggest growth challenge?” They said, “We want to grow a lot faster.”It doesn't take age to be an ambassador, it takes wisdom. Click To Tweet
I said, “What are you growing at?” She said, “40% a year” and the husband confirmed. I go, “That’s pretty fantastic.” They were like, “Yes, but we have a bigger appetite. We’d like to grow for a couple of years at 300%. Do you have any suggestions?” I didn’t even pause and I said, “You could use MPM.” I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve said this phrase, but it came out of me. I want to walk you guys through what is MPM. The first M is model. First of all, their goal is to have a goal of 10X, but they’ll settle for 3X, meaning 300% growth.
They do have a big goal of growing ten times in a one two-year period of time. I said, “The first thing of the MPM model is modeling. Is there a company in Canada less than 100 miles from you that is at this point, ten times bigger than you?” Instantly, they named the company and I said, “Get out a notebook. Go to a website called Archive.org and I want you to put the name of the company. Have they been around for at least ten years?” They said, “Yes, about fifteen.” I said, “You’re going to model this company.” They said, “How are we going to model them we’ve never met them? They’re a competitor of ours. We don’t want to communicate.” I said, “You’re not going to model them from inside. You’re going to model them from outside.”
I looked at the group of twenty people I said, “Everybody sitting here can do this, so I recommend getting out a notebook. This is Q-tip moment where you want to clean out and listen close. The first thing you do with Archive.org is you put the name of the competitive website that you’d like to model in there. Then you’ll see quickly once you hit run that it gives you a timeline going back to the date that website started. It shows you what that website looked like fifteen years ago, twelve years ago, ten years ago, eight years ago, six years ago, and last year. It does about a snapshot a month on average.”
The question is, “Who cares what it used to look like?” You don’t want to look at this website from the physical structure, the design layout. You don’t even care about the verbiage they’re using on the homepage. What you’re looking for is their press room, their media, their pictures, their hires, their comments. Follow me on this. Would we all agree that that company that’s ten times bigger than this company, fifteen years ago, wasn’t that big, ten years ago, wasn’t that big, five years ago, it wasn’t that big? Take our company, Income Store. You click the press room, you can dig into our press room and you can see the dozens, if not hundreds of times we’ve been interviewed in the media. If you read all these articles, especially the multiple Inc. 5000 listings and all this, you can track our growth.
You can see what positions we’ve hired at what time. You can see why some of these private equity firms, these larger groups are throwing money at us. You can see why an individual who just sold a home for has an extra $60,000 laying around. Why would they want to throw that at us to get a money making website? You can do the history and do a reverse diagnosis of any company through Archive.org. I go, “I want you to do a timeline of every major person they hired.” Immediately the guy goes, “This is brilliant. It will tell us every step of the way as we’re growing who we need to hire, we need to get a comptroller. We’re going to need to get a scout.”
“You got it. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You have physical evidence of the pain points of this prior company going before you. When they got in pain, they hire that person. When they got in pain, they hired this person. When they got in pain, they hire this person,” because you know all great hires come from either pleasure or pain. When a company is kicking butt and killing it in the beginning, they usually go, “We’re growing fast.” Get an advisory board. That’s a pleasure hire or they’re growing fast, but they’re bumping into walls. They’re running out of cash. That’s a painful hire. Either way, most people hire in a moment of pleasure or pain. I said, “I want you to focus on the pictures and the press.”
They’re like, “Why?” I said, “When you look at the pictures and you see twelve years ago when they were maybe your size, you can see what type of buildings they were building, what type of buildings they were buying, what type of buildings they were flipping and renting. As they got bigger and they tripled in size, you’ll see they jumped up to small hospitals and commercial properties.” The gal said, “This is genius.” Bottom line is MPM starts with model. Who can you model to find out the critical hires and the critical moves at critical times? Everything leaves a digital footprint, everything. That’s why our events annually twice a year are called Digital Footprint because this is how we grow every business and every website. Let’s move on to the P. Quite frankly, the P is far more important than the model.
As a matter of fact, it’s by far the most important in my book. P stands for partner. I said to this couple and they’re in their 40’s, “If it was me and you wanted to grow 10X, I would get a set of eyeballs so that you don’t ever step on a landmine.” They were like, “What are you talking to?” I said, “Why don’t you go to an 82-year old man or an 82-year old woman that just completed a 50-year career in commercial real estate, a 50-year career in buying and flipping, buying and renting. Do you think there’s some 80-year old to 85-year old out there who still has ten years left in them, if not twenty, they are still vibrant, but they just sold their business and retired?”
In their mind a year or two ago, “We’re done with real estate.” They wanted to spend time with their family. How many of these 80 to 85-year-olds though came face-to-face with the reality of retirement where they’re bored silly, but most importantly, they came face-to-face with the famous Christopher Columbus statement that, “We live life in three compartments.” First, we learn and we learn, then we earn and we earn. Phase three is ambassador. You’ve got to take what you learned, take what you earned and you’ve got to give that away to other people. I go, “Once people hit anything, even as early as 60, I’ve interviewed so many great people that are in their 60 plus and they would love to sell their business so they could mentor ten people, not even their own kids.”Wisdom is learning from other people's experience. Click To Tweet
They want to mentor ten people that want their wisdom. You don’t have to be 60. I ambassador all the time. There’s a lot of people reading this blog who are in their twenties, but they’re ambassadors to their family right now because their parents are still in a job. There are a lot of people that understand what I’m saying. The point is this. It doesn’t take age to ambassador, it takes wisdom. Experience is learning from your own mistakes. Wisdom is learning from other people’s experience, other people’s mistakes. People crave saving people. Saving them from what? Anything. Disaster, a bad relationship, a bad financial move, buying the wrong property.
If this couple who’s in their 40s who have a great track record could find someone who’s 80 that could join their advisory board, one person board, just them, and you approach this person and say, “Would you be willing to meet once a month for an hour if we bought you a lunch, a dinner, or a whiskey? I’ve been tracking your career for years. We’ve been following you. I know you don’t know us, but you know we’re actually trying to replicate what you did. We saw the fruit on the tree. We saw that you recently retired. We want what you have and we also want to go on the same journey. Would you mind coaching us and giving us some counsel?” I promise you, that person is going to start to cry.
I’m almost crying giving this podcast. You are going to melt this person’s heart. They’re going to want to adopt you and they would never take any of your money. They would do it for free. They would love to do it. You also might bump into a crotchety old person that’s in pain. They might have cancer. They’re not going to tell you and they don’t want to get in bed with you to disappoint you. My guess is if this couple models this company ten times bigger on Archive.org and then partners up with a senior, some senior statesperson of their industry and then jumps into the final M, which is mold, break the mold, do something slightly different. It’s so easy to do. Here’s what you do, and this is the Blue Ocean Strategy from the famous book Blue Ocean Strategy.
All you have to do, so you could do something a little different in your space is jump into a website called BuzzSumo.com and type in the major key phrases of your industry. Do this every Saturday. This website will show you all of the content that went viral worldwide in your industry and then you read all the content. Then you plug in 30 to 50, if not 100, phrases into a tool called Google Alerts. It’s a free tool. You’re going to type in all of the common phrases that people might type in either to find you, get coaching from you, or talk to you. For this couple, I said, “If I were you, I would put the phrase in Google Alerts, commercial real estate, commercial real estate Canada, residential real estate, residential real estate Canada, residential real estate market, fast flipping, flip homes, fast buying hold commercial property.” All the phrases that they may Google in the middle of the night.Break the mold, do something slightly different. Click To Tweet
Searching for data in their regular day-to-day operations, plug in about a hundred of those into Google Alerts and then Google will email you every new piece of content that comes out with that phrase in the title Worldwide. Then you read it all. Within 90 days, this couple is going to spot a trend in another city that they could bring into Canada or they’re going to slowly start mapping it out in their mind and their mind works like a puzzle. As they read these articles, they don’t necessarily overlap or even match but over time, they become so fed with this data that all of a sudden, they’re going to spot something missing in their space. They’re going to creatively go, “What if we try this? Look what’s working over here in residential.
What if we did that in commercial? Look what’s working over here in commercial. What if we did that in residential?” First of MPM, find something ten times bigger than you and model it via Archive.org. The P, partner with someone who is your senior. If you’re twenty, you don’t want to go to an 80-year-old, you want to go to a 45-year old. Find somebody that has been there, done that in your space that would probably tear up and be honored if you ask them for guidance on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. Finally, M is mold. Break the mold. Do something slightly different and brand yourself with that separation. Hope this helps. Take care.