From the archive: This episode was originally recorded and published in 2019. Our interviews on Entrepreneurs On Fire are meant to be evergreen, and we do our best to confirm that all offers and URL’s in these archive episodes are still relevant.
Steven Clayton is an serial entrepreneur who has started 5 successful businesses in the last 15 years (all still running and profitable). These businesses generated over $17 million in the last 12 months. In addition, within the last 4 years alone, Steven (and his partners) have trained over 10,000 new entrepreneurs.
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Secret Mindmap – Get Steven’s blueprint, PLUS a mind map – for free! – that will give you an action plan to build your business! (Sorry! This link was active when this episode was first published in 2019 but is no longer an active offer.)
3 Value Bombs
1) Hope is not a good strategy.
2) Figure out what you love to do and do more of that. Figure out what you don’t enjoy doing and do as little of that as possible.
3) There is a direct correlation between most successful entrepreneurs and those who are in touch with their happiness recipe.
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**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: The Secrets Behind Moving from just DREAMING about being an Entrepreneur to Actually Becoming One.
[01:21] – Steve shares something interesting about himself that most people don’t know.
- He was a pilot.
[03:18] – Steve gives us his origin story.
- He worked at a corporation that was a Fortune 500 company and ended his career there as VP after 18 years.
[04:48] – What are the 5 reasons why people don’t start a business?
- People think that they need a lot of cash. The truth is there are business models out there where you don’t have to have cash.
- People feel like they can’t carve out enough time, so they don’t even bother to start. That’s a huge disservice to people because it doesn’t matter if you have 1 hour, an entire week, or 5 hours a day. If you can do a little bit, you can move the ball. That’s all that really matters. If you can move the ball from one day to the next, you’re going to wake up in a place you want to be.
- Third is the fear—False Evidence Appearing Real. The big fear is to try and fail. The other unconscious one is the incredible fear that you’ve lost your dream.
- If you look at any successful entrepreneur, the one thing that they have in common is that they have failed.
- People have to understand that just because something doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean the dream is dead.
- Fourth is confusion around just how to start or which business model to pick.
- Lastly, is the ability to execute. People feel like they don’t have access to the right training, right instruction, or the right resources.
[12:00] – You believe there are 3 big reasons why some entrepreneurs start businesses but inevitably fail. What are they?
- The first one is slow results. The root cause of this is that people don’t take the time to understand benchmarks
- Hope is not a good strategy.
- Be smart about understanding how long we really should be waiting.
- Second is cashflow and being able to pull money out of the business.
- Third is losing faith in yourself. It’s easy to just give up and lose faith. You are just not seeing the results you want fast enough – you don’t understand what your benchmark should be.
[19:02] – The 5 critical elements that can help you move towards success when you’re just starting your business.
- Have a quality product or service.
- It just takes one bad review to completely tank a successful product.
- You’ve got to have a trusted source of information and execution details.
- Third is market demand and the access to that market.
- Fourth is avoiding fads, pop culture, and making sure that your product or service can be there for the long run.
- Fifth is that you have a business where you can continue to sell to your customers over time. In some way, they bring recurring revenue.
- People who look at these critical elements before they even begin are the most successful. Be prepared and put yourself in the best position to be successful.
[30:50] – A timeout to thank our sponsors, HubSpot and ZipRecruiter!
[33:01] – Why is it critical to understand WHY you’re looking to start a business?
- It’s important to come up with your recipe for happiness.
- Figure out what you love to do and do more of that.
- Figure out what you don’t enjoy doing and do as little of that as possible.
- Reassess regularly, because things change.
- What stops people from doing what makes them happy are:
- Most people are stuck on autopilot. They just exist.
- People don’t want to be introspective. It’s harder than you think to be honest with yourself and ask what it is that you really want to do. It’s usually easier to figure out what you don’t want to do.
- You’ve got others, maybe a spouse or your parents, who have put expectations on you, and you don’t want to go against those because you’re living in somebody else’s recipe.
- People are reluctant to put themselves first. They think it’s selfish to put together their happiness recipe.
- There is a direct correlation between most successful entrepreneurs and those who are in touch with their happiness recipe.
[41:02] – Steven breaks down the “Holy Grail of All Business Models” that will ensure the best chance for success!
- If you can achieve all of these, then you’ve got the Holy Grail of All Business Models. You should use this criteria when you’re evaluating every single opportunity that comes down the pipe to you!
- Short time to see results. You want something where you can see actual results really quickly.
- High profit potential for year one, because you want to get that cash flow going. You also want high profit potential for year 3 because that’ll indicate that you’ve got something that scales well.
- High margins are better.
- Low fix costs.
- Predictable and repeatable success. You want some way to be able to have really good benchmarks, really good training, trustworthy data, and information about how the business is gonna go and how to repeat it.
- Cashflow—make sure that you can take money out when you need to.
- Low customer count. There’s a lot less work in dealing with 10 customers than thousands of customers, especially when you can generate the same amount of revenue in both scenarios.
- Outsourcable management—you’d want to make sure you can get out of the way. One of the dirty little secrets of entrepreneurs is they are great at starting businesses, but not necessarily great at running businesses.
- You’ve got to have that huge demand and access to market. Do not ever make allowances on that because you can never fix it.
- Repeat customers and recurring revenue.
- Secret Mindmap – Get Steven’s blueprint, PLUS a mind map – for free! – that will give you an action plan to build your business! (Sorry! This link was active when this episode was first published in 2019 but is no longer an active offer.)
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