One year ago, the first episodes of the FastForwardAmy Show went live, and naturally, we're going to celebrate that in today's podcast episode.
To do that, we will be looking back at everything that happened in the past year.
But I'm not alone in today's show. My team member and COO, Laura Van Steen, is joining me to take a trip down memory lane. Together, we will share 4 of the most critical turning points that took me from being a solopreneur with a virtual assistant and running a 6-figure business to running a 7-figure business with a team of full-timers.
Truth be told. It hasn't been easy. Growing hurts like hell and is freaking hard! At first, everything felt totally off balance, but we adjusted what needed adjusting, and now we're here. We did it!
Apart from the 4 critical turning points, there's one thing that made the difference: communication. Everyone communicates with respect, trust, and transparency. This is a no-brainer, a non-negotiable, and one of the main reasons we made it this far.
But apart from clear communication, we'll tap into 4 other practical turning points that got us here.
- Build a scalable product
- Listen, learn and improve
- Get fucking organized
#1 Build a scalable product
The coaching program that really cemented the FastForwardAmy brand is undoubtedly the Business Freedom Mastermind™ (BFM).
I had already been running this for a few rounds and thought about running another round, but something was holding me back. I started feeling like something was missing in the program, and I knew I could add more levels to business coaching than what I was offering at the time. My clients were looking for more.
Letting go of the BFM was so scary! It meant stepping away from a successful program that I had been running for 1,5 years to stepping into the unknown. Usually, this was my safe space, my darling.
But to scale, level up the business, and make an impact on even more people, I had to kill my darling to launch our new coaching program, the Business Freedom Elevator™ (BFE™). Thanks to Laura's tenacity, we moved forward even though I was dead scared and got cold feet at times.
This switch allowed us to move from a 6 to a 7-figure business, and on top also resulted in a 1-million-dollar launch.
Therefore, always think about scalability when you create a product or launch a service. Don't be afraid to kill your darlings. Most of the time, this is the only way forward!
Maybe you're also interested in this: 6 Key Mindset Shifts to Hit 10k Months.
#2 Listen, learn and improve
If you've been following me for a while, you know I often talk about iterative development, and we do this for everything, whether it has got to do with marketing, coaching, or sales.
For the Business Freedom Elevator™, this has been critical, too. We strive to continuously improve and evolve, and you need to do the same if you want to move your business forward.
Don't be afraid to be confronted with change.
Listen to your clients. Ask for feedback. Improve.
In a nutshell, action is the driver, and taking action implies imperfect action. But that's the whole point. You can always improve. Don't stick to things because you've decided on them in the past. Evolving and improving involve making uncomfortable decisions at times, and you need to be OK with that if you want to grow.
#3 Get fucking organized
And as we're talking about growing. This is probably what has hurt the most. My dad always says I have to stop calling it ‘growing pains' because it implies something negative. So, I stopped, but it didn't make it any less challenging.
You probably recognize this. You're used to doing a certain thing a certain way, and suddenly you get to a stage where you feel like you're failing at everything.
That's how I felt. It was like I didn't know what I was doing. We both felt this at times, and it was exhausting.
Still, you shouldn't be afraid to do this. Setting up your business, organizing everything better, and creating the right building blocks will ultimately help grow your business in the future.
Sure, it will feel challenging, but you need to give it time. We took a range of action steps to get organized, and you can do the same.
Plan an organization retreat
Before the organization retreat, we were stuck in chaos. All our projects and plans were getting out of hand because we simply didn't have enough people and systems in place to help deal with everything.
But once we took the time to figure it out, everything changed. The organization retreat was a game-changer for us, and it can be that for you, too, if you take the time that's needed.
This is a moment to dive deep and look at where you want to be in 3 years, even 5 years. Look at where your business is headed, revise your mission, and define what you want to accomplish. This will help you get back in touch with where you want to go and eventually make decision-making a lot easier, too.
Look at your departments
Another thing that helped us get organized was to look at our different departments.
Looking at your departments will help you get a clear view of where your bottlenecks and gaps are. Identify your sales, marketing, finance, or any other activities you're working on and map it out. Visualize it to get an even better idea of where you put your time.
After this exercise, the biggest realization was that we finally understood why we were both so tired every day. We worked in every part of the business and continuously switched between different phases—from planning to analyzing, from strategizing to execution.
Document your processes
This is a critical step if you want to get organized and scale your business. And despite the sound of it, documenting your processes doesn't have to be a cumbersome task.
We asked everyone to look at their tasks, document them, and identify which part of the organization they belong to. It helped us understand why miscommunications sometimes happen and why the many switches between different roles.
You can do the same. Map out what you're doing, and maybe you don't think it's necessary at the moment, but wait till you start hiring, then you're going to thank us for this tip!
Define the phases in your businesses
Often, we talk about the difference between working in your business versus working on your business, which becomes super relevant in this context.
For instance, we looked at the business phases we're going through to define the differences between planning and analyzing, designing and making decisions, creating and developing things, and implementation and testing.
The result of this exercise is the Business Elevator Life Cycle™, which you can learn more about in the Business Freedom Elevator™. We found this to be the missing piece of everything—from communication and results to improvements.
Track your time
It's so easy to lose track of time whether you're working in or on your business. We've experienced this firsthand. So, we started tracking the time of everything we did to identify the time spent on different tasks and get an idea of where we could optimize ways of working.
Doing this will give you insights into where you spend your time and reveal gaps in your processes, so you know when it's time to hire or switch up things.
Hiring is naturally part of the process of getting organized, but at the same time, it's a whole topic on its own.
Having hired additional team members the past year, we know this can be tough, and we want to be there for you.
To help you stay the right course, Laura and I previously did an episode on hiring, and you can find it right here. We share several tips on outsourcing and delegating effectively. Definitely check this one out if you're about to make your first hire.
Now, that's it. This is literally how we did it. Scaling from a 6 to a 7-figure business doesn't happen overnight, but with commitment and hard work, you can get there, too. It's everything if you want to scale your business.
Are you looking to expand your business? Laura and I have created a 7-Figure Organization Guide that will help you:
- Streamline your organization to 10x your growth.
- Create the departments and phases your company goes through on a day to day bases.
- Eliminate unnecessary communication and streamline your way of working.
PS. If you want to get back on track and get shit done in 2021, don't miss the free webinar on time coaching. We call it our Productive Power training.
Register for Productive Power here: www.fastforwardamy.com/timecoaching