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You’re listening to the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast, simplified strategies to grow your service business and launch a life you love faster with business mental and entrepreneur activator a probate Back to the show and welcome to a very special two-part episode here on the Sweetlife entrepreneur and business podcast, episodes, number 2 38 and 2 39 coming straight at you. As a matter of fact, these episodes are so good.
I didn’t actually set out to take the value today’s guests offers and break it up into two shows, but it was so great. There was so much information and I want to make sure you have an opportunity to absorb and implement it, that we did break it into two shows for you. So welcome. If you are a new listener here, I’m April beach,
founder of the Sweetlife company host here of the Sweetlife entrepreneurial podcast and everything we do is to help entrepreneurs design, launch and scale their business online since 2006. And we are so glad that you are here in tuning into today’s show. Today’s guest is somebody, let me be really honest that I have totally fan girl over four years. And if you know me,
I don’t fan girl often like ever actually it takes a lot to impress me, but I totally fell hard for this one woman because of her scaling systems. When I first found her back in 2013, and I have followed learned from it admired her ever since this is Rachel Cook MBA. If you do not know her, I am super excited to be the one to be able to introduce you to her.
She is literally a systems genius and all the way back in 2013, 14, her lead magnet guys lead magnet, it was called fired up and focused was so good that I put my entire team through her lead magnet. So let me give you a formal introduction into who Rachel is. She’s an award-winning business strategists who believes entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be so complicated over the last decade.
She’s helped thousands of women, entrepreneurs, design, predictably, profitable businesses without the hustle in burnout. She’s the author of Amazon bestselling books fired up and focused and your business sweet spot and hosts a weekly podcast promote yourself to CEO. She’s a sought after speaker on entrepreneurship, marketing productivity, productivity. Look, I can’t even flow through that word because Rachel is so amazing.
She’s just going to make everything so much more productive on this show. And her work has been featured by the us chamber of commerce Ford’s coaches, council, fast company, and more, and we are going to dive right into today’s because I want to give you an opportunity to truly focus in on what we’re talking about, implemented in your business and walk away on the other side,
changed and transformed by what you applied from, what you learned today. At the end of this episode, you’re going to learn the difference between growth and scaling. You’re going to understand why the best sales starts with subtraction little puzzle there. You’re totally going to understand what I’m talking about at the end of the show. And you’re going to gain confidence that you really don’t have to be everywhere,
online to be profitable. So all of the show notes can be found by visiting Sweetlife co.com. And let’s go ahead and dive in to episode number 238. All right, you guys, I am super excited to be joined by this very, very special guest. And you need to know a little bit about why this woman is so special to me. First of all,
maybe eight years later, she never knew how special she was to me and how powerful she was to our business Intel. Like right now, this is the one person I can say that I have probably fan girl over for almost a decade in this space. And so here’s a story why, okay? She said here, I’m telling embarrassing her behind the scenes,
but here’s the story why you guys know I’ve been in all my business for a very long time, since 2006, but inherently, I am not somebody that thrives by creating systems. And so 2013 was coming around and although we had our online offers, we didn’t have the systems in place that we really needed to scale. And I came across this amazing woman who’s here today and literally her lead magnet back in 2013 was so amazing.
I put my entire team through it and it completely got our business organized and in place. So that’s the intro. This is literally very surreal for me to be here with this woman that I have found, because what she teaches has literally changed our business. And I know it will change your suit. Welcome to this. And we live podcast, Rachel Cook.
I’m so glad that you, Oh my gosh, April. I think I need that little intro to just come with me for every interview and every talk that I give from now on. Thank you for having me. This is going to be a fun conversation. You are amazing. Okay. So tell everybody let’s like take it back. Was it 2013?
Is that how long ago was, yeah, It was end of 2013, beginning of 2014 when I created the fired up and focused challenge. And it’s still around today. Yeah. Everybody, what that was and the situation, the circumstances in which you created it, because that’s what makes it even more bad-ass than it already is. Oh gosh. So the circumstances for me creating the fired up and focused challenge is I was at that point,
it was actually going into new year’s 2014. And I had already planned this very fancy online marketing launch for my, at the time signature course, I had hired a videographer. We had done the three-part video series. I had a makeup artist, I got my hair done, all the things. And about a week before I was set to release that very professional,
fancy looking launch, I was just getting this feeling like this. Isn’t what I want to talk about. I don’t think this is as relevant to my community right now. So I sent out an email. It was like that quiet week between Christmas and new year’s. And I was like, Hey, I’m just curious as I’m creating content for the new year,
what is your biggest challenge when it comes to getting things done in your business? And I sent that little quick email out. I said, just hit reply. I did not realize that within a day I would have hundreds of replies. And I went through all of the responses and just saw that there were these themes coming up. And what I realized was,
you know what? Entrepreneurs have no shortage of great ideas. We have no shortage of creativity. What we tend to have a shortage of though is follow through is the sticktuitiveness to actually implement those big ideas and to get to the other side so that we can see these goals become reality. And that’s when I decided I was going to create the fired up and focus challenge,
because I realized where a lot of people were getting stuck wasn’t that they didn’t understand the opportunities in front of them or ideas for how they wanted to grow their business. They were simply running out of time and didn’t know how to manage your time and didn’t know how to structure their schedule. They didn’t know how to structure their team. They didn’t know how to structure much in their business.
And unfortunately, when you hand a bunch of creative people, no structure, not much gets accomplished of really good at starting things, not so good at finishing them. So we created the fired up and focused challenge. I remember my son who was born earlier that year was a baby, which means I was up probably to one or two every morning. I was only a couple of days ahead of recording the challenge and releasing it at the time.
It was 28 days. It’s now 10, but it became such a huge pivotal piece of work that I’ve created because it was a moment for me where I realized things that I had learned and had intuitively or, you know, implemented in my life and my business that I took for granted for how I was approaching my work and how I was approaching my business.
Other people didn’t know those. And I think it comes back to what comes easiest to you is often your best asset, because it comes easy to you because you have mastered it. You have a level of mastery over it. And that is something a lot of times other people want and need is someone who has that level of mastery to show them how,
or to help them do things at that level. So, yeah, so we created this challenge. It skyrocketed my business. It totally took me on a different path because up until that point, I hadn’t really been talking as much about systems and productivity and the operations and internal structure of businesses. I had been talking a lot more about just marketing and sales and I realized that marketing and sales is what draws often a lot of people in,
because let’s face it. It’s very sexy to talk about marketing and sales, but when you have the operations in place, that’s when you actually have a scalable, sustainable business. Right. And that’s a perfect flow into what we’re going to talk about today. And really that challenge. I went through all 28 days, all of my team went through the 28 days,
like I said, and we ate up every single bit of it. And it was amazing. And that’s exactly what we needed at that point of time as a company. Yes, we had, you know, we had the marketing down, we have the offers down, but there’s this middle place. And I can’t wait to talk about it today where,
you know, everybody says, they want to scale. Scale is sexy, right. You know, scale is what we do. But, you know, without these things in place, it’s going to be a bottleneck for your business. And oftentimes companies fail. And like the word that you use behind the scenes that we were recording was like, they implode on themselves.
So now this is something I’m so glad that you’re here on the show, because I don’t think that you’re saying that yeah, the marketing brings people in the marketing and the sales is what everybody wants to talk about, but what really people struggle with or the systems, the actual systems to scale. So first of all, did you ever watch that thing?
I don’t even remember. I just was so into the fired up and focused challenge, what did you do with your, did you still want your signature program? Yeah, it was actually our best lunch ever. It was my first six-figure launch after that very first time running the challenge. But you know, it’s interesting is fast-forward I turned that challenge into a book,
into a podcast and two signature talks it’s turned into multiple other things. The challenge continues to be one of my biggest assets and I give it away pretty freely just because I know it’s so valuable to people. Yeah. Let’s tell everybody where they can find that before we move on because listen, you guys seriously. It is absolutely amazing. Amazing. It really is.
It’s very clear, very precise, very like pinpointed to what people need to do. So how can they Find that fired up and focused.com? You can go there and get access to the full 10 day version of the challenge and it’s available on demand. So you can go get that at any time. You guys totally go get that, especially for those of you,
for our listeners. If you’re in phase one or two of our business growth system, if you’re a listener to, you know, our different phases. So it’s really planning really the launch or you’re in that launch phase, moving on to scale, you guys need this. So I think that’s a great asset and resource. Okay. So we have a problem.
We globally here, you know, we have a problem. The problem is systems systems to scale systems to grow the teams systems, to manage the marketing, all of the systems that really make a well-oiled machine, whether you know, our listeners have just themselves on their team or they have a team of eight or they have a team of 80 systems are still necessary.
So what do you feel like right now? And we’re going to dive into your most important systems to scale here. What are you seeing? It’s 20, 21. There’s a lot more online businesses now than there were, you know, back in 2013, what are you seeing now are like the biggest bottlenecks that your students are experiencing when it comes to growing their business?
Yeah. Well, one thing when it comes to systems at scale is remembering that scale does not equal growth. They’re not words that you can just transpose and think they mean the same thing in business growth can happen where it takes just as much effort to achieve each level of growth. So you can bring in more revenue in your business by just working harder,
putting in more hours, bringing in more and more team scale comes from economy of scale, where you’re actually having less resources produce higher results. So that’s where you’re getting to the point where the growth is more exponential with less resources, less time, less energy, less money, less team going into achieving that higher level of revenue. And I think that’s a really important discernment because oftentimes I find people think that scaling their business just means working harder,
just means throwing more at it. And those two things couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s not about working harder. In fact, if you start talking to CEOs of businesses that are making multiple 6, 7, 8 figures, you will find that they get to the point where they prioritize their thinking time, just as much as they prioritize time that they’re in their office,
because they know how important that time away is in order for them to show up and lead and be creative and be strategic. So it’s not about more time and energy and efforting. That’s not what scale is about. It’s also not about just throwing more at it. Scale is not about adding it’s about subtracting scale is about taking away all the excess. And this is something that I think when we’re in earlier stages of business,
we have to try out a lot of things to find out what works. Because with each thing that we’re offering, we have to have a marketing system, a sales system, and a customer delivery and experience system in place. So for each offer, you have, it doesn’t matter if it’s working one-on-one or having an online course or having a product, you have to market it,
sell it and then deliver it. So when you add more and more and more offers, which is often what happens for a lot of people, they they’re like, oh, I have an idea for another program. I’ll have another thing for this next thing. And what happens is each time they’re adding a new thing, they’re not adding one thing, they’re adding three.
So they’re adding layers of complexity. And when you add layers of complexity to your business, it makes it harder for it to run efficiently. It makes it harder for you to reach economies of scale in any area. And it also makes it harder for your team because your team never knows what’s the priority. What are we focused on? Where should my time and energy be?
What is the goal right now? Because there’s too many things going on behind the scenes in the business, cause it’s too complex. So if you want to scale, if you want economies of scale, the key really is to do less, to hone in and look at your metrics, look at your numbers, figure out what’s actually working and double down on what works and strip away anything that is extraneous to that we don’t need to just keep adding more and more and more.
So I often see this happening in, like, let’s say in marketing, there’s always something new happening in the world of marketing, right? And so what you’ll start to see is people who, and this is one that’s easy to see what’s happening just because it’s very obvious when people are trying out lots of things, right? We see them suddenly. They’re not only on Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn,
but now they’re on Tik TOK and they’re on clubhouse and they’re doing all of these other channels. And if you try to do too many things and spread yourself too thin, it is very, very difficult to do any of them. Well. But what if you find one that you started as just an experiment like April, you found clubhouse is working really well for your business.
Well, if clubhouse is working great, but you’re getting nothing really off of Instagram and Facebook. Yeah. Then the scalable approach would be okay. The channel that works best for us is live audio. So I’m going to strip away anything that is not aligned with live audio. And I’m going to take that time and energy and resources and apply it towards the marketing channel that is working for us instead of saying,
oh, clubhouse is working, let’s go do Tik TOK and this and that. You know, I really, I love that you said that because one of the things that is really being spoken about so much as Omni presence of needing to be everywhere and all the channels, and it’s this old, you know, Gary V approach to crushing it. And it’s really,
really tempting. And it does make entrepreneurs and small business owners feel like they need to be everywhere and they need to be doing everything. And so I just think that this is, so this is so fundamental to building profitable companies. And I love that. I love that you’re sharing this. I also love that you showed the difference between growth and scaling.
We talked about that a couple of weeks ago on the podcast and actually did a clubhouse room on this. Nobody I asked when I started the room, like, do you understand the difference between growth and scaling? Not one person could define that. And so it was really interesting. So when we’re in clubhouse together talking about this episode, we should talk about that because it’s,
it’s really, really important in that. Have you heard of the rule Of ones? The rule of ones? Yeah. So I, I didn’t come up with this. I, I heard this Program, one client, one marketing tool, one sales strategy. Yeah. That’s pretty much the approach I take is I have one core, one core strategy for each area of my business.
And I use a framework that I teach a lot, which aligns your marketing and sales with the customer journey, where we have one attract strategy, one engaged strategy, one nurture strategy, one invite strategy, and one delight strategy. And once we, once we figure out what our primary one in each of those are, I just doubled down on those and try to avoid anything that is taking too much effort away from each of those.
Yeah. The rule of one, I haven’t heard it that way in a long time. Yeah. All that. It’s super old and that’s why it’s like old is good, but you know, and yeah. I was wondering that. Yeah. And so, and I think, I mean, we’re not old, but when, I guess when we think about online business,
we’ve been an online business for like we’re old on my business. People we’ve been online business for a long time. And so yeah, as you were saying that, I was like, oh yeah, this is like that rule of lens. This is really great. And it’s so smart. So when we’re talking about scaling and we’re really talking about these systems and thank you so much for sharing your method,
if you guys should pause this episode, rewind it 20 seconds. And listen to Rachel’s method. I have her like five or six steps of whatever that was. I was genius. Let’s talk about these scaling team, scaling, marketing, you know, scaling client experience. Let’s jam on each one of those a little bit. Can you dive in and help our listeners understand when we’re talking about scaling with teams?
What does that mean? And where can they start in this process of doing this and what are the problems I’ve shared this before on the show? My greatest weakness is delegation. I have been a terrible person to work for for years, and I have amazing people that work for me. Not because I don’t honor a value them, but because I don’t stop and think about what I’m doing to best communicate and to empower them.
And about seven years ago, I had an amazing woman working for me who loved me enough to say, Hey, listen, I don’t want to quit. Cause I love you. But you know, you’re not good at this. You’re a terrible boss. And I knew it. I knew it, but I didn’t know. I guess it was more than seven years ago.
Cause it was before I found the fired up. It was like 2010, 2011. And so I say this to say that I think are a lot of leaders like me who struggle in this area. At least I’m conscious about it now. And I work really, really hard at that, but it does not something that comes naturally To me. It is not something that comes naturally.
And I think, again, as entrepreneurs, we have a lot of those double edged sword parts to our personality and our kind of mindset. It’s like, we’re really great at what we do because of this. But it’s also the thing that holds us back. So being raised by entrepreneurs as I was, I had a built-in mentor in my dad and he told me the most important lessons in leadership that I could’ve ever learned.
And he said, your job as a business owner is to fire yourself from every job in the company. It’s to fire yourself as quickly as you can. And some people are like, well, what do you mean if I fire myself, then what am I doing? You’re being the CEO and the business owner. You’re not being the marketing director and the project manager and the assistant and the bookkeeper.
You’re not doing all those things, but this is really hard for entrepreneurs to embrace because especially for those of us who are building our businesses from the ground up, our businesses are built on our experience and expertise and our intellectual property, our passion, the thing we care about the most, it can be so hard for us to pull ourselves out of our business.
And when we are really bad at it, what tends to happen is we get in everyone’s way, every person who we try to hire on the team, we end up getting in their way. And that’s where they’re emailing you finally and being like, can you just get the hell out of the inbox? Because I am trying to do my job here.
And can you just let me do my job, right? So you have to learn how to fire yourself. And this is one of the most important lessons when it comes to scaling your business is every time you bring someone new into your business, it is changing your job description as the CEO, because you’re no longer the CEO and whatever their role is that you just brought in.
You’re eliminating again, you’re taking things off, you’re taking things off your plate. So one of the exercises I always have people do that are working with me inside of the CEO. Collective is whenever they’re bringing new people into their business, I make them rewrite their job description as CEO. Now this is an exercise that most people have never done because we go out there and rewrite job descriptions for everybody that we’re bringing on the team.
But we never sit down and say, what is my role as the CEO of this company? What are the most important things for me to be focused on? And each person is going to be a little bit different because we all have our own different strengths as the CEO of our business, right? We all have something a little bit different to bring to the table,
but you have to get really clear on what your role as CEO is. And when you hire people in, you have to reevaluate, okay, what is most important? So for me and the CEO of my business, my top three tasks that drive results, that I only allow myself to focus on content. So my business is built around my intellectual property.
So I’m either creating content free or paid my clients really diving in and understanding who they are, what their needs are, what their challenges are, having a deep understanding and connection to my clients. And then connection, connection drives my business. I am not here to be an influencer and make a small impact in lots of people’s lives. I’m here to be someone who makes a big impact in fewer people’s lives.
So I know that that connection is what drives my business. And so each time I bring somebody on my team, I’m like, okay, those tests are off my plate. What do I need to stay focused on? Is it related to these three things? If it’s not related to these three things, then it should not be where I’m spending my time and my energy.
And that has prevented me from doing things like getting into the inbox or making graphics in Canva or editing podcasts or, you know, any of those things that we start to do when we are like itchy to get our hands back in the day-to-day of our business, you’ve got to get used to pulling yourself out of it. And a huge part of that when it comes to bringing on your team is just knowing that you have to be constantly firing yourself.
And re-evaluating your role. And even as you reevaluate your role, you will have to be constantly asking yourself, what is my zone of genius versus my zone of excellence? Because for a lot of us, we’ve had to get really good at lots of things, but it doesn’t mean it’s what we’re best at. Like I can put together a really great slide deck.
Is it what I am best at? No. Is that the highest and best use of my time? Absolutely not. If I am bored and I don’t know what else to do with myself, will I sit down and start getting into Canva? Absolutely. That’s my favorite way to procrastinate doing the real work that I’m supposed to be doing is to be getting into Canva And say,
Canva black hole mine. It is, It totally is. But if I talk to my team, they’re like, well, why did you do that? Why didn’t you record something new? Why didn’t you go take some time off so that you can have that thinking space. We know that you need, why didn’t you write the first chapter of the book that you’ve been putting off for six months,
because the canvas is easy and right there, and I’m pretty good at it. That’s why. So we have to be aware of that and really get into, as you’re growing your business, you’re pushing up against your growth edge as a CEO in your own leadership. And it is uncomfortable and it’s not always easy to sit down and do the higher level things that we know will move our business forward.
Like sitting down and writing my book is more likely to move my business forward, then making another slide deck in Canva. But I’m more comfortable making the slide deck in canvas than I am sitting down and figuring out what do I want to say right now? Right? And when you do say it, I want to be on that team. So make sure whatever,
whatever you put out there, I’m waiting. And I think that’s important to know too. So let’s talk about it from my perspective, everything you said is so, and you guys now know why leverage heal so much, right? And like, yes, that is exactly what is happening in my mind right now. I’m thinking the exact same thing. I do the exact same thing,
but then they put me on perspective as somebody who’s learned from you, I need your content. And I think that, that is like sometimes I think that helps me as a CEO to think like, I’m the only one that can do this. Right. And I know that there’s somebody out there that literally needs to hear what I’m going to say, whether your books about whatever,
raising kids or systems or whatever you write about, I don’t care because I’m going to read it because I, I appreciate everything that you say and I resonate with it. And so I think that that has been a driver for me to push through that. And I feel that there is, it’s almost like walking up a river, like upstream, like your thigh deep,
and you’re walking up upstream and you really want to just go to the side and sit on a rock and work on canvas because it’s fun. But instead you need to get back out in the middle of that river and walk upstream in think like my husband always says, she’s like the hardest work that we do as entrepreneurs is, is that thinking it is for sure.
Absolutely. And so I, I appreciate everything that you just said. And because I, I literally, that is me you’re is resonating and with our listeners too. I know. So this team aspect of it, where we’re talking about scaling with teams, let me ask you, how is it, how many people do you have on your team if you’re willing to share that?
I think we’ve got about 15 right now. Okay. Yeah. I mean, we have seven, eight now and I mean, I honestly, it’s like a shared, like, that’s hard for me to help each one of them, Brad, just because of who I am as a leader. How do you pick people for your team? Like how do you know they’re the right people?
I know we could do a whole, I think I just did an episode with this on it and somebody else, but I love asking these questions because I think it’s very important when we talk about scaling. I know that the selection of team members is a bottleneck for leaders. How do you navigate That? It is because you have to be able to not just outsource and delegate,
you have to be able to give ownership and that’s a whole different level. And this is one of things. It does prevent a lot of people from scaling because they will hire someone to delegate the marketing or to delegate the launch process or to delegate all the onboarding their new clients. But they always end up in a bottleneck because if all you’re doing is delegating,
it means those people are going to be coming back to you to ask questions and for decisions to be made. And if you are the only person in your organization that has clarity about where the business is going, that understands the values that you have and your purpose, and that understands your kind of internal framework for making decisions. Then you will always be the bottleneck because you will always have people coming back to you to ask a thousand things.
They will always need things from you. So building a self managing team is like a whole nother level. Another show about that. I mean, it is, it’s a whole nother thing, but for me, when it comes time to hiring people, I mean, I have people on my team. Who’ve been with me for over 10 years now and they’ve grown with me.
And the biggest reason why I think I’ve had so many people, I mean, I hear all the time people saying, I can’t find a great assistant. I can’t find a great project manager. I can’t find this. I can’t find that. And they’re like churning through people. And I’m like, do you have clarity on what your purpose is and your business and who you’re really trying to help and how you really want to show up and what your business stands for.
Because if you don’t have clarity on any of those things, it doesn’t matter who you try to bring in. Because at the end of the day, you can train anybody to do just about anything from a tactical practical perspective, but you can’t train people to care about your business or about your clients or about why at any of it matters. So when it comes to hiring great people for your team,
it takes time and you just have to know, it’s just like dating the first person you’d go out on a date with might not be the love of your life. You might have to kiss a few frogs and eventually you find the right person. And maybe sometimes you end up with somebody who’s great for a while, but then you kind of grow apart and you need to go find somebody else.
Like it’s a relationship. So like any other relationship you have to spend time having clarity about who you are showing up as and who the ideal person is. Who’s going to be that good compliment for you in the role that you’re looking for and take your time and finding that person, just know that it’s, it might not be the first person you talk to,
or the first person you hire. You might have to try a few different times, but if it’s a fit and you’re willing to invest in the person and in the relationship, then the delegation part of it becomes easy because they understand who you are, what you stand for and how you would make a decision about something. So they can take ownership over that.
Thank you so much for sharing your, your perspective on that. I know our listeners are already thinking about that. The processes we’re talking about delegating the team. So I think that that was really, really helpful to share that All right. You guys, that was an amazing show. I know we cut it off there in the middle. And as I said,
we didn’t start out this interview to actually break the show up into two episodes. But Rachel was so generous with her expertise and she delivered so many tangible things you can take right now and apply to your business. I really wanted to make sure that you had an opportunity to actually do that. So make sure you tune in with us next week on episode number 239 to catch the second half of systems to scale your business.
And again, all of the show notes, all of the resources and all of the ways that you can connect with Rachel directly can be found by visiting Sweetlife co.com and simply click on the package. All right, guys, talk to you next week. Bye bye. For now.