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I am calling this SOU growth, which stands for State of the Union. As you are aware, the August issue came out of Inc. Magazine and we came in number 1,489 out of eighteen million US companies. All that means is out of all the companies, especially the tens of thousands that submitted their growth over four years, we apparently have been growing faster than most of the eighteen million. Almost all of them except there happens to be 1,488 companies growing faster than us, which is great. It’s our fifth time hitting the list. It should have been the sixth but in 2014, I forgot to fill out the paperwork and it was our most explosive growth year.
We’re technically in our 27th year. My brother, Bill, has been with us since ‘96. Mike Engstrom has been with us since 2000. How does a mature company continually change products and still have a pretty decent substantial growth? This is going to cover something I’ve never covered before. I don’t know why, it’s somewhat of an exhaustive subject, but it’s time. I view growth around the four Ps. There are four Ps or four pillars that anchor all explosive growth. Quite frankly, they anchor all growth. I don’t know how you’re going to grow consistently without each of these four Ps, getting an A or an A+, people, principles or values, products, and process.
Most people are unaware of the four Ps or they prefer to ignore one to three of the four Ps. It is my strong opinion after being a growth consultant for 25 years that most entrepreneurs and most leaders want to focus on products or process. It’s fair to say that many people think, “If I just nail this process, this product is going to take off. Or if I keep tweaking the product, the product will sell itself.” I’ve heard a lot of comments around the four Ps. I’ve even heard so many entrepreneurs when it comes to people say things like, “Truth be told, these 60 people that work for us, we could move them out and put another 60 and if they apply our process, we’re going to be just as successful.”
I beg to differ. People have a lot to do with it. Principles and values have a lot to do with it. I’m going to cover a little bit of the behind-the-scenes things that we do from a physical and psychological standpoint that assure each and every year, regardless of the products we are moving, and we are very conscious of our products, we’re going to continue to grow. I want to cover them. First, one more little psychological nugget. This is probably going to sting a lot of people reading this and that’s a good thing. That is growth often comes from the illumination of the four Ps put under a microscope. I’ve talked many times of my friend and mentor, David Corbin. He wrote a definitely famous book and it’s in its tenth year anniversary called Illuminate.
Whatever you shine a light on can be seen a little bit better and definitely more clearly. Click To Tweet
I highly recommend if you haven’t read David Corbin’s book, Illuminate, and you own a business, you need to make that your next book. That book has changed our company. The concept is whatever you shine a light on can be seen a little bit better and definitely more clearly. A lot of people, they don’t want to shine a light on their people because they know some of the people working for them are not great people, either as people or in their process and how they implement. They don’t want to review their numbers because they’re afraid they’ll fire them.
I have met a lot of strong entrepreneurs who are deathly afraid to shine a light on their people. That’s not so good. What I want to do is I want to cover a thing, a method, almost a process that can, in essence, force you to illuminate your four Ps no matter how big or small your company is. The way I do it is on an annual basis, I create a State of the Union address. I did a new one. You can find it if you go to IncomeStore.com and click on the press room.
What I do is in this video, I shine a very bright light on our people, on our principles, on our products, and our process. I strongly urge everybody reading this blog to watch this State of the Union address. I don’t want you to listen to what I’m saying specifically. I want you to outline it as I cover different talking points. I want you to write, “Now, Ken’s covering his people. Now, Ken’s covering the principles of his company. Now, Ken’s covering the new product set, the new process.” I want you to see if you can find clearly the four Ps. I want you to ask yourself every two to three minutes why do you think Ken built the video this way? Why is he showing these pictures? Why is he showing these graphs?
See if you can get in my head a little bit, but I’m telling you upfront, the concept is I’m reviewing the four Ps and I’m doing this so that clearly, I can see the four Ps myself. I also have an understanding that my employees need to see this video. They need to know where the company’s at and where the company’s going. My customers need to understand the four Ps of our company to understand us, to continue to buy, to continue to know, like and trust us. The four Ps are people, products, processes, and principles. When it comes to people, and I’m definitely not going to give this away for you at all but you’re going to see that I shared some of the special leaders that used to work here and now that they’re gone, what did we do?
In exposing the people side of things, the changes in the last year or two, it exposed a huge principle, which I’m not going to give away here, but it is one of the guiding reasons. It’s like the bumpers that guarantee growth. We have a guiding principle that when someone leaves this company, there is something specific that we do to ensure a quality replacement for that person. I strongly recommend that you watch the video and you embrace that concept, that principle and bring it into your own company. If you do that one step, just that one little nugget from the whole video, I can assure you your company will grow faster, be more stable, and have way more opportunity than you have today. You’re also going to notice I am very particular and also very clear in describing our product set and the process in which we are going to grow.
Most growth comes from phenomenal habits. Click To Tweet
I am very clear in this video and I’m strongly recommending that you be very clear in your videos to yourself, to your customers, to your employees, and to your board of advisors. You are very clear about your current and new products set but you’re also very clear in the process in which you are going to grow those product sets. I want this video to be a template for your annual State of the Union address to yourself and others. Most growth comes from phenomenal habits. By now, the loyal followers of this podcast, you know that we’re an eight-figure company. We doubled again. If we can double one or two more times, we’re going to be a very stable nine-figure a year company and then some days we might hit the big ten figures, which we will.
Conceptually, what’s the point? There is no way you can keep growing at the rate we’re growing. Our personal letter from the editor of Inc. Magazine puts us in a very rare company of how many people have hit the Inc. 5000 not just a couple of times but five. They literally named off the very few companies that have done that. It’s pretty special. I made this particular podcast because I kept saying, “Is there a habit or a character set that goes into what we do?” It’s so funny that I had got done cutting the annual State of the Union address, which was due out. I kept finding reasons to put it off. Finally, as you’ll see in the video, I was taking photographs of our new building, the before and after pictures of the remodel and I got so sentimental and I caught myself and I said, “I’m still making excuses of why I haven’t stopped my life for one Sunday and just cut a State of the Union video for all of our followers, fans, employees and advisors.” I’m hoping you take the time to check out that video. I’d love any feedback you’ve got if it helps you in any way with your business. Send me an email, Ken@IncomeStore. I love to hear from you. You are awesome.