This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Carl Gould. Carl Gould is a worldwide leading authority on business and entrepreneurship. He is an entrepreneur who built three multi-million-dollar businesses by age 40. His company, 7 Stage Advisors, has mentored the launch of over five thousand businesses. Some of the companies he’s helped are companies like Allstate, American Idol, USA Olympic Track, IBM, McGraw-Hill and the US Army.
Carl created the farthest-reaching business mentoring organization in the world, and his methodologies are in practice in 35 countries. He has trained, certified or accredited over 7,000 Business Coaches and Mentors since 2002.
He has also written multiple books on the subject of business strategy, leadership and sustainable growth. He co-authored “Blueprint for Success” with Stephen R. Covey and Ken Blanchard; and his best-selling book, “The 7 Stages of Small Business Success”, lays out the formula for HyperGrowth. Needless to say, Carl is a wealth of entrepreneurial wisdom and I’m going to do my best to get everything I can out of him in our time together.
Free business analysis to show the true potential of your business – can get it on the site.
Carl’s journey started in college. He was an accounting and finance student. He broke his leg pretty badly in his second year and had to leave school. He found himself with a broken leg that took 6 months to get better, broke, and needing to make money.
He started a design/build landscape company and doubled it every year for 7 years then sold. Then in the early 90’s, he started a construction company and grew it to 2004. He started coaching in 1990 after going through certifications. It was his side hustle in the 90’s. He then started his coaching/strategy business in the early 2000’s.
His passion is coaching and guiding small business owners. He still invests in other companies, real estate, etc.
What is the one thing you think matters most for success as an entrepreneur?
- Absolute 100% dogged determination.
- Among all the traits of entrepreneurs, resilience and determination are most critical.
- Adversity is always there, and the key is to keep getting back up and doubling down on yourself, your business, and you clients.
- If you keep showing your commitment that you will serve no matter what, you will see it through.
At the 8:30 mark, Carl shares his view on the short attention spans we have and how he sees it in context of success…
- The level of content has gotten so good that people are better educated consumers.
- People don’t cancel what they love, they cancel what stinks and is boring.
- They can see through it.
- It’s exciting because you have to be so on your game, but are rewarded, almost unfairly when you are.
- People are hungry for greatness.
Take us through the 7 Stages of Growth and Business Success…
- Carl developed this in the 90’s. It is model that has been validated over the years.
- Stage 1: Strategic Planning Stage. You need to have a compelling and inspiring vision and plan for the business.
- Stage 2: Specialty Stage. This is where you build your expert authority in your niche.
- Stage 3: Synergy Stage. This is where you build a team that is aligned with mission, vision, values, and purpose.
- Stage 4: Systems Stage. Document and build out the ecosystem to scale the business.
- Stage 5: Sustainability. You are starting to be known for something other than the utility of your product or service.
- Stage 6: Saleability. You maximize the value of your business and it is now an asset. There is also where you are mature and doing things like buying other companies or going public, etc.
- Stage 7: Succession. This is when a legacy business is born and is lasting.
- Sequence matters. You have to go through each stage and maximize it before going to the next one.
How does and entrepreneur execute in each stage?
- It is like going through the years of school.
- You have to fully immerse yourself in each stage.
- You have maximized stage 1 if you can answer the question, “What is so compelling about my business that my customers would be willing to leave from where they buy from now and buy from me and pay a premium? Would my competitors’ employees be willing to come work for me and earn less?
- In stage 2, you know you an expert when someone reaches out to you unsolicited and asks you for advice on your niche that is in the same industry.
- In stage 3, you know you have maximized if people are fully bought into your vision and do whatever it takes to help the business successful.
- In stage 4, you make the internal commitment to systematize every area of your business and have “your company way.” Once, it is fully documented and mapped out, you’ve done.
- In stage 5, you’re like a franchise and can expand and duplicated what you’ve done.
- In stage 6, you are building your management team to run the business instead of just you, the owner.
- In stage 7, when you can fire yourself and the next generation can take over, you’ve done it.
What are some of the biggest traps entrepreneurs fall into and how do we avoid them?
- Stage 1 planning is typically inadequate.
- Entrepreneurs fall in love with their product instead of falling in love with their client. They should focus on the client first.
- Pricing is also a trap/mistake entrepreneurs make. You need to charge what your value is. Don’t get people to “just pay for your service.” You need to be a premium because you are bringing tremendous value – where you need to be good is at articulating the value.
Best advice for building rapport and influences? What are some of the best practices?
- The basis of any relationship is your ability to build rapport.
- There is a science of how we build, maintain, and nurture rapport.
- First, know your client by knowing behavior and personality styles (DISC, etc.)
- Rapport is the relationship of sameness, likeness, and commonality and it is an involuntary response – getting someone to like you.
- How we do anything is how we do everything – remember that. People have tendencies and are creatures of habits.
- Your ability to align with people’s tendencies and habits helps you build rapport.
Thoughts on leadership and how to be a successful leader?
- You need to be willing to do whatever you’re asking of someone, or have done it.
- You need to be willing to let someone else take the lead.
- You can be a leader from the front or the back (you can go first paving the way, or go last letting everyone else get the credit)
- You walk the talk without the talk. Do it and demonstrate the principles you want followed.
Anything else we should know?
Best Quote: Hustle. You can hustle your way to success. 96% of entrepreneurs never make it to $1 million in revenue. You absolutely can hustle to more than that.
- Outsourcing and building remote teams is a very important skill to learn.
- Your ability to “staff to valleys and are prepared for the peaks with variable costs.” This may be having contractors ready during peak times and not using them during slow times to help you manage the business better.
- The best way to remain nimble is to be good at expanding and contracting the business as needed to maximize your business.
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- Hustle. You can hustle your way to success. 96% of entrepreneurs never make it to $1 million in revenue. You absolutely can hustle to more than that.
- There is less competition for the #1 slot in your niche. Go for #1. There is the least amount of competition to the be the best. Your clients will see this and love you for it.
- I hereby decree, I hereby promise that I will not discount my way to market share. I will charge accordingly for my value.