Alex is an entrepreneur, writer, marketing leader, and co-founder of Webprofits, Australia’s largest private digital consultancy. With 17+ years experience, Alex stays at the forefront of digital innovation and growth.
Alex Cleanthous – Subscribe to Alex’s email list and get access to 95% of his best life hacks!
The Growth Manifesto – Get a copy of Alex’s book for FREE and learn how to drive growth in a fast-changing digital world!
3 Value Bombs
1) The challenge in scaling a service-based company is about being excellent in your service and balancing between sales and profit.
2) The hardest part of your journey is constant learning and constant change.
3) It doesn’t matter where you start from; you can achieve amazing things by being persistent and dedicating yourself to lifelong learning.
Thrivetime Show: Looking for a business coach who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs just like you to increase their profitability by an average of 104% per year? Schedule your free consultation today with Clay Clark at ThrivetimeShow.com/fire!
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: From Zero to 8-figures – How Alex Cleanthous Overcame a Stutter & Built a Global Digital Agency
[1:10] – Alex shares something interesting about himself that most people do not know.
- He plays the piano.
[2:36] – What’s your formula to start as an entrepreneur?
- Be persistent.
- Surround yourself with good people.
- Constant learning.
[4:21] – How do you find your “secret sauce”?
- Digital Marketing is essential.
- Through the internet, you can do amazing things.
- Start with Google Ads, a good website, good email support, and be good at it.
- You can help other small businesses and that will be your jumpstart to getting a retainer income.
[6:19] – How did you scale over the years to meet the growth of different kinds of businesses?
- The challenge in scaling a service-based company is about being excellent in your service and balancing between sales and profit.
- Changes may come as you grow and scale.
[11:01] – How do you balance personal and professional growth as you build a business?
- It will be challenging to balance personal and professional growth.
- You have to ensure a balance in your life to grow continuously.
- The hardest part of your journey is constant learning and constant change.
- Learn to relax and have fun.
[13:46] – What advice do you have for setting goals and increasing growth?
- Begin with defining what you want.
- Write your goal in SMART Methodology.
- Write your goal on paper every day.
- It is ok to change or swap a goal, but it is not ok to not have a goal.
- Have a short term and long term goal.
[15:53] – Alex’s parting piece of guidance.
- It doesn’t matter where you start from; you can achieve amazing things by being persistent and dedicating yourself to lifelong learning.
- Do not underestimate the importance of the people around you and take action.
[17:34] – Alex’s call to action.
- Alex Cleanthous – Subscribe to Alex’s email list and get access to 95% of his best life hacks!
- The Growth Manifesto – Get a copy of Alex’s book for FREE and learn how to drive growth in a fast-changing digital world!
What's shaking fire nation. JLD here with an audio master class called from zero to eight figures. How Alex Cleanthous overcame a stutter and built a global digital agency. Alex fire nation is an entrepreneur writer, marketing leader and co-founder of web profits. Australia's largest private digital consultancy. With over 17 years of experience, Alex stays at the forefront of digital innovation and growth and fire nation. Today, we are talking about finding your secret sauce, how to scale and meet the growth of different kinds of businesses. We're talking about growing to 100 employees plus in different marketing strategies and how to balance the personal and professional growth that we all experience and so much more fire nation.
When we get back from thanking our sponsors, looking for a business coach who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, just like you to increase our profitability by an average of 104% per year, all for less money than would cost to hire a full-time minimum wage employee. Schedule your free consultation today with clay Clark, a former small business administration entrepreneur of the year at thrivetimeshow.com/fire thrivetimeshow.com/fire. Alex say what's up to a fire and nation and share something interesting about yourself that most people don't know
1 (1m 21s):
What's up fire nation, excited to be here today. Something that people don't know about me is that I play the piano and it's not something that people often think about when they see me or when they're talking to me because I'm a quiet, fast and quite aggressive in how I just move in general. And so piano is much more of a relaxing, calming, soft experience. And so when people send me to play the piano, they're like, wow, I would just wouldn't have picked you as playing the piano.
0 (1m 52s):
Is that a lot of people who I do talk to have some form of interesting creative outlets and you know, it can be an all these different areas I've actually found for me recently. And this is very recent as you and I are talking. It's actually been a sport has been pickleball, and I've really gotten into this new sport. I've been playing all the time, but for me, it's really been this outlet away from work away from, you know, just the, the rise and grind kind of mentality. So I can picture you Alex at a piano, just strumming away, making beautiful music. So that's really cool stuff. Environ nation, as I shared in the intro, we're talking about going from zero to eight figures and Alex had to overcome a stutter and he was able to do so.
0 (2m 35s):
And he built a global digital agency. So let's talk about starting as an entrepreneur, you have a formula Alex, I would really love for you to share with fire nation.
1 (2m 47s):
Number one, to be persistent. I, I certainly wouldn't say I'm the smartest person. And I certainly wouldn't say that I'm the best across the board, but I am very persistent. So I think one persistence, I think number two, surround yourself with good people. A big part of my success is through my co-founder and kind of finding through a number of ventures, the importance of having the right co-founder and number three is just continuous learning back when I was at school, I didn't do too well. And I thought that I didn't like learning. And it was only after I started my first business that I was like, I think I got the book selling for dummies by Brian, Tracy, because I was like, I should learn how to sell.
1 (3m 35s):
And I did this book and I was like, wow, I actually really love learning. And that kind of started this lifelong experience of learning when I was like, actually learning can be fun. It's not what they told you at school
0 (3m 46s):
Nation. Be persistent, surround yourself with good people in consistent learning. I mean, honestly, that's why I still love doing these podcasts after all these years, because I'm sitting here, I'm learning from Alex. I'm learning from the guests that I'm talking to and having conversations with, and guess what? I'm also surrounding myself with good people and being persistent. That's something that we all have to work on. We all have to work on that persistency. So I love that. Let's talk about the secret sauce. I mean, I love the formula that you shared, but you have something that sets you apart and you call it your secret sauce. So it's not going to be secret anymore, Alex, cause you're talking to fire nation and this is a massive audience.
0 (4m 27s):
So break it down for us brother. You're just gonna have to call it the sauce from now.
1 (4m 31s):
The sauce, the sauce marketing for me has been the thing that has helped to get through to the other side, you know, because I've had to start a, since I was very young talking has always been a challenge, right? And so one of the reasons I went on to the internet is because of the starter is like, okay, well, if I can't talk to people, how can I influence them without talking? And then I, through a long journey, I found the internet and through the internet, you can do some amazing things for me. The simplest place to start is for Google ads, with a single page website and a good email sequence, and just become really good at that.
1 (5m 18s):
If you become really good at that, you can really help a lot of small businesses out there. And that will get you the start that will get you, that the retainer income, that cashflow that comes in. And for me, that, that combination of Google ads, a good website and, and the good emails support to that sequence was key. And that was kind of the start of the agency that I built. And obviously it's become a lot more sophisticated than that. And the company has become a lot larger since had that secret sauce, but that's, that's something that still works nine times out of 10, for most organizations out there,
0 (6m 7s):
You grown to a hundred plus employees with different businesses that you've started. You've had to employ a lot of different marketing strategies at different levels of that game. I mean, your marketing strategies are different for a 10 person company than they are for a 210 person company. So how did you scale over the years to meet the growth of these different kinds of businesses?
1 (6m 29s):
What's challenging in scaling up a service based company like an agency is that it's not like SAS. It's not like a commerce where I can sell unlimited product or unlimited subscriptions, right? It's a people business. And so there's a very fine balance between people between sales and between profit and so scaling up people which doesn't sound the right way, but scaling up that kind of business is slow and hard and it's a grind, especially scaling up without, without outside funding.
1 (7m 10s):
And so you need to be really, really good in the service. And so for us having a subscription model helped us with that, you know, and so we quickly found that if we could charge clients on a monthly basis and if we were good enough that they would stay with us for years, we would grow. And then we could reinvest to the company, to the sales teams, to the production teams, to the marketing, to continue to expand out our service offering and stay at the forefront of excellence. If that makes sense,
0 (7m 44s):
Makes sense. And fire nation. I just want to reiterate that point is that you're not the same company when you're a solopreneur, as you are, when you have five employees, as you are, when you have 20 employees, as you already have a hundred employees. And there's a lot of times, by the way, where you're not the right person to run a company at a hundred employees, that you were the right person at 10 employees. So just realize that changes may have to come as you grow and scale. And that's not the worst thing in the world. And we have some really important things. We'll be talking about focusing on personal balance with professional growth. When we get back from thinking our sponsors fire nation. Let me tell you about my secret weapon for learning new things, because I get it.
0 (8m 24s):
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0 (9m 4s):
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0 (9m 52s):
Yep. Even through the great recession. And he does it for less money than would cost to hire a full-time minimum wage employee at a time when Inc magazine reports that by default 96% of businesses will fail. Within 10 years, clay is helping businesses like yours to grow on average by 104% annually. How's this even possible clay only takes on 160 clients. So he personally designed your business plan. Plus Cleese team helps you execute that plan with access to graphic designers, Google certified search engine, optimizers, web developers, online ad managers, videographers workflow, mappers and accounting coaches visit thrive time show.com/fire, to see thousands of video testimonials from real people, just like you, who clay has helped over the years. That's right.
0 (10m 32s):
Do your research and view thousands, not hundreds of proven, documented and archived video testimonials from real people, just like you at thrive time, show.com/fire, thrive time, show.com/fire. Then schedule your free consultation with clay himself to see how he and his team can help you thrive. So Alex, we're back in, you been able to balance personal and professional growth. I mean, you may have had struggles, I don't know for sure that you have or have not. So I'd be curious to know if you've ever had struggles in that balance, but right now you've figured out at least some form. And that's why you're succeeding at the level that you are. So how does one balance personal and professional growth as they're building out that business?
1 (11m 13s):
Interesting is that with the example that you had given before, where you cannot be the same person to run a company of five people as a company of 50 people as a company of a hundred people, right? So to continue to grow, you need to, to grow both professionally, which is easier. And then personally, so changing actually who you are. And that is the hardest part of this whole journey is that, that, that constant learning, that constant change, that constant challenging who you are, that identity that you think you have, right? And that changing that consistently and staying with it and being persistent.
1 (11m 59s):
And if you're good enough, you will grow. And if you are not good enough, maybe you need to find someone else to help you to grow to that point. In terms of the balance between professional and personal life. Look, I put way too much into the professional side of things. That's part of the reason why I started to play the piano. I was like, look, I have to do something. That's just not for achievement. That's just to relax, just, just to have fun, if that makes sense,
0 (12m 28s):
Makes a lot of sense to me. I think that kind of outlet fire nation that we were talking about towards the beginning of this episode is really important to dive into. And again, it was something that I feel like I was missing for years. And I had pickleball now, which I feel like is this really fun outlets? Alex has a piano and you know, and these things can shift and change over time for sure. But, you know, having that outlet, you know, that's going to really make sure that you are being able to achieve that level of balance to the L to the degree that we're capable of doing, you know, as high performing businessmen and business women as entrepreneur.
1 (13m 5s):
But if I can just say on that as well, that John, in my first seven years, I think I worked 1720 hours a day. So it wasn't until a bit later that I was like, I got to do something else because this is going to keep going forever right now.
0 (13m 18s):
Totally. And I actually fell into that as well. I mean, I remember looking after a couple of years, post-launch of entrepreneurs on fire and saying, man, I've never been this unhealthy. I've never been this out of shape. I've never slept worse. Like there's a lot of bad things are happening in my life. Like, yes, my business seems to be doing really well right now, but at what cost. So let's talk about setting goals because this is where I actually was able to say, I'm going to start setting some goals to get healthier, to get more sleep, to prioritize how to prioritize relationships, to prioritize some fun in my life. So what do you have for us advice wise for setting goals that also allow us to increase our growth?
1 (13m 58s):
Yeah. This is something I'm extremely passionate about. And I'm also like, I also have like a few people who I mentor as well. And the first thing that we always start with is like, just to figure out what you want, right. Just to pick something. And if you're not sure pick something until that is refined. Yes. So pick something, create the goal and write the goal down, like in the smart w they call it the smart methodology, which is specific. And it's measurable it's as if now it's achievable, which results based and it's time-based right. So you do those parts and have a goal. And then this is the part which I found really, really important.
1 (14m 42s):
I learned this one from Brian, Tracy, who knows him 20 years ago, let's say now, and is to write them every day to write them on paper every day. And I still write every day on the wall. I try to write them every day on paper. I'd say maybe 70% of the time I do. And they're constantly being refined. It's okay to change a goal. It's okay to swap a goal, but it's not okay. Not to have a goal. So, so for me, and for everybody I advise is to write down some goals and to have some goals and stretch yourself, have short-term goals, have long-term goals too. And so that you're seeing, and you're feeling the achievement in terms of the short term goals.
1 (15m 22s):
And that will give you the confidence for the longer term goals as well.
0 (15m 26s):
You know, I'm a huge, massive believer in this. I mean, that's why back in 2016, I created the freedom journal, which is all about mastering in accomplishing your number one goal in 100 days. And as a physical, full leather gorgeous journal. So you can do just that. You can write down your goals every single day. Boom. You see it? Boom. It's there gratitude, accountability. It's all right there. It's such a big focus. Now, Alex, you've shared many, many value bombs today. What do you want to make sure fire nation really gets from our conversation, like really take us home strong here. Like what is the message that you want to get through to our list?
1 (16m 5s):
It doesn't matter where you start from, you can achieve some pretty amazing thing these days with persistence and with this approach to lifelong learning, you know, like I couldn't say my name at age 17, 18. I couldn't order a big Mac because I couldn't say the word big. So then I would order something else. Right? And so from that point, to being able to hire people and speak to clients and start a podcast and all these other things, which I've done just happened because I thought of it and I went towards it. And so that's number, that's the first one. I think the second one is you cannot underestimate the importance of the people that are around you.
1 (16m 47s):
They're going to have a bigger impact than anything else. If everybody that you were hanging out with were CrossFit enthusiasts, you'd be exercising in six weeks time and you'd be, become super healthy, right? So this that's just those two things, right. Can have the biggest impact and you can achieve amazing things, but you need to try. It's it's so much about action. You have to take action every day. It can be small, it can be wrong. It can be the wrong thing in the wrong direction, but action will lead to growth. And that's where it's at
0 (17m 25s):
Fire nation. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with AC and J L D today. So keep up that heat. Alex, take a second. Share where fire nation can find out more about you, how we can connect with you, any gift or giveaway. You have any call to action. Break that down now.
1 (17m 46s):
So you can subscribe to my email list, AlexCleathous.com, which is spelled C L E A T H O U S.com. I also have a book called the growth manifesto, which sells for $30, but for the listeners of this podcast, they get it for free. So what they have to do is go to growth, manifesto.com forward slash fire. And they'll get that book for free, which retails for $30 us.
0 (18m 13s):
Wow, fire nation, make sure to head over to eofire.com and type Alex in the search bar in the show notes page for this episode will pop up with links to everything that we've talked about. And again, you're going to get that growth manifesto for free. If you just take action and head over to growth, manifesto.com/fire fire nation, this is a gift. Take it cherish. It, love it. The growth manifesto email@example.com/fire. And Alex, thank you for sharing your truth, your courage, your passion, your value with fire nations today, for that, we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip
1 (18m 53s):
Side. Thanks so much, John. This has been fun.
0 (18m 56s):
Hey, fire nation today's value bomb content was brought to you by Alex and I've created a treasure trove of free courses for you. Fire nation. I teach you how to podcast run a mastermind, create funnels that actually converts into so much more. All you need to do is head over to eofire.com, EOFire.com/resources and start learning today. I'll catch you there, or I'll catch you on the flip side, looking for a business coach who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, just like you to increase their profitability by an average of 104% per year, all for less money than would cost to hire a full-time minimum wage employee. Schedule your free consultation today with clay Clark, a former small business administration entrepreneur of the year thrivetimeshow.com/fire thrivetimeshow.com/fire
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