Last year I met with over 300 founders and CEOs, worked deeply inside 30 businesses all over the U.S., and spoke to thousands of people at conferences and events. Despite that, my own business wasn’t a cakewalk and many things didn’t work out the way I had planned.
My biggest lesson was the reality of being a one-man small business.
I was very busy as a consultant and occasional speaker, which didn’t leave much time to work on my own business and chisel away at big projects, like writing my book, producing useful content to share, and launching new programs.
I spent 75% of my work time last year in conversations with founders and their teams, but I didn’t have a team of my own to strategize about business ideas, get stuff done and keep up the momentum.
Eventually, I sidelined big visions, scalable programs and testing new ideas since I was the sole creation and production team. “Entrepreneur Greg” was great at devising ideas and strategies, but “Employee Greg” could only execute so many tactics. This is normal for small service businesses, but it was new to me.
My entire career had been about accomplishing big things with small teams that eventually grew into larger teams. Now I was the one-man band in startup-survival mode finding my way and “doing things that don’t scale,” as Paul Graham says.
I finally admitted to myself that the early form of Scaling Point business was valuable for my consulting clients and rewarding for me, but wasn’t scalable in its current form. Ironic, eh?
I needed to make more progress in developing products and leveraged services that don’t require me so much every time. That was my original plan.
Like many of you, I envision a bigger business that can create national and international impact. There’s still a large crowd of able founders who have the same big problem that isn’t getting solved.
So I’m changing three things this year to make progress faster:
- I hired a rockstar marketing and operations executor who deeply understands startups, founders and software products, and strategy. She can get a lot done and be a thought partner on the business with me.
- I’m scaling back my consulting a little so I can spend more time creating products and scalable services.
- I’m working on my book every day.
I’m very grateful for my new (and old) friends and hard lessons learned last year
Keep moving forward.