Unlock the secrets of simplified, agile business growth with Simon Severino, the innovative mastermind behind Strategy Sprints. This episode promises to provide not just a conversation, but a transformative journey, as Simon takes us through his unique approach to simplifying complex business operations, right from the palm of your hand.
Prepare to be enlightened as we venture into the world of strategy sprints, an easy-to-use business operating system, and learn the importance of adopting a winning mindset in today's fast-paced business environment. We'll tackle the fundamentals of scalability, the incredible concept of 'return on luck', and the power of being consistently present for your community. Finally, we'll wrap up with a deep dive into the secret ingredient for a thriving business—a simplified sales system. Join us for this mind-expanding episode with Simon Severino and accelerate your business growth one sprint at a time.
This episode is NOT sponsored. Some product links are affiliate links, meaning we'll receive a small commission if you buy something.
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Welcome to the Elevate Media Podcast with your host, chris Anderson. In this show, chris and his guests will share their knowledge and experience on how to go from zero to successful entrepreneur. They have built their businesses from scratch and are now ready to give back to those who are just starting. Let's get ready to learn, grow and elevate our businesses. And now your host, chris Anderson.Speaker 2:
All right, welcome back to another recording of the Elevate Media Podcast. I am Chris Anderson, your host, so we're going to dive right into it. Simon Severino is on the show today. We're going to be talking about strategy sprints and how that can help us increase our businesses, keep them more agile. So, simon, you do a lot. You are CEO and founder of Strategy Sprints, ford's business council member, contributor entrepreneur magazine, a member of Duke corporate education and the author of Strategy Sprints 12 Ways to Accelerate Growth for an Agile Business. Who could have done anything with your career, with the direction, with the book, and you wrote Strategy Sprints. Why Strategy Sprints? Why did you choose that?Speaker 3:
Strategy Sprints came out of my own frustrations when I was a business owner first time and I was looking for help because there are so many moving parts. There's marketing, there is client onboarding, client delivery, sales, it, legal and I was doing all of these things and I was getting overwhelmed. So I was looking for a coach. Hey, can somebody help me? And I find specialists for different things. Yes, I can help you with cold emails. Yes, I can help you with LinkedIn. And I realized, wait a moment, if we break it down that way, I will need like 120 coaches. Are you kidding me? Where is the actual help for a business owner? I need an operating system. Tell me what works in marketing, in sales and in operations. Let me start there. I didn't find that broken down in those three buckets. Then I found it and they had to fly to my city or I had to fly to their seminar, and so I was waiting 30 days and I was in planes and I was starting to become a father, so I didn't want to be in planes anymore and I go. This thing is broken. So if a business owner needs a coach, a business owner is busy. They're in action, they're like Ironman, they're doing stuff they don't have time. I'm telling Captain America right, you know it, avengers are busy. If you want to coach them, you don't say hey, stop fighting, come for eight hours in a room in a Hilton, we'll talk for eight hours. Ironman goes are you kidding me? I have to break through that wall and then I have to rescue that city and then I have to fly to the next city. Do you have an idea of what my life looks like? I don't have time to read books, to come to your courses or to talk to 110 different specialists. So either you have something that works or you haven't. And if you have it, please let me have it right now, here on my phone. The phone is the only thing that I have with me all the time, and so strategy sprints was my answer to these frustrations. I need a coach now that makes things simple Just marketing, sales and ops and how to do that. And I want to reach them. I don't want to stop being in action. I stay in action and I can quickly go. Hey, coach, should I kick this door or that door? And they go. Oh, let me have a look. Do the left door? And then, hey, coach, should I send this email subject line or that subject line. Oh no, no, no, that goes to spam. Try this one. So sometimes I will have five questions per minute, and sometimes I will have three days no questions at all. I'm in action. I was missing that as a business owner, and this is how entrepreneurs start when you're missing something, you go OK, let me build it. And so I built it.Speaker 2:
So what was that process like? Obviously, when you build anything, there's going to be challenges, obstacles, struggles. How did you overcome the obstacles that were part of that journey?Speaker 3:
You know that there are almost no obstacles into building right now. You don't need money, you don't need knowledge. Actually, the only thing that I needed was Wi-Fi, the willingness to ask people what they actually need. So it's a mindset Wi-Fi and mindset. It's all you need.Speaker 2:
Yeah, can you break that down? So what does that mindset look like? To be able to succeed and build something.Speaker 3:
Break the script. So if everybody thinks that coaching must be in a specific way, go back to first principles and say let me forget everything that I know about coaching. If I would design the coach that I really need, how does that look like? How do I contact them? Oh, I click on the phone. Are they a human being or a robot? Or they are a human being? What did they do before they have scaled a small business themselves? Because otherwise they have no clue. And so if you start from first principles, then you realize wait a moment, I just need something that works on the phone, has a human being on the other side who was scaling something themselves and is in the same time zone so that guys can reach each other. And then that person needs a set of tools that's ready so you can pull them Videos, google Docs, google Sheets. So when you ask me, hey, I have an outbound system, but I don't have an inbound system, how do I build an inbound system, my first inbound sales system Then you pull from the Sprint University in this case, I built the Sprint University. You pull that and say, hey, do this and put in 30 minutes max. Show me your first draft, upload it on your phone. I will give you feedback. You implement the feedback, then you ship it to three clients, then we review and I hope that's in two days, three days, if you can make that, that would be amazing. Yes, it's about the responding to what is instead of planning, instead of setting up a project, responding to what is. We are entrepreneurs. I don't know what I need tomorrow. If you are my coach and we are scheduled for tomorrow, I will know what my question is to you, coach, 10 minutes before the call, because maybe an hour before my CRM dies or my team or I realized that my team is not calling anyone. So then the agenda changes. So if you are a good coach, if you really want to help me, the best thing is next week you show up without an agenda and you ask me what do we need to solve right now? And I will tell you oh my God, nobody on my team is calling anybody. And then you say, all right, let's look at the script, let's look at how you run the meetings, let's look at your overall process. And because we have to find what makes them so low energy, low motivation.Speaker 2:
Yeah, like basically what you're saying is there's no real cookie cutter or waiter approach things. You have to be fluid and able to adapt to what needs done.Speaker 3:
Yes, I think a good coach is like a tailor. Every week they measure your stats Again. Every week they say, okay, tell me your marketing number, sales number, ops number. Where is the problem? Where should we focus this hour? And then you say, all right, marketing is fine, sales it blew up in my face. I don't know what to do. Oh, I have this opportunity in three days. I have to pitch. Can I show you my plan and you poke holes into it? That's a really good coaching process for an entrepreneur.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I think that's a good way to look at it, because I think we can sometimes get put in boxes or put in specific. This is what this person did exactly and that might not work for us. So being able to really break those things down and see where there are the issues and find a unique solution to those problems is, I think, really important.Speaker 3:
Oh, my God, thank you for saying that, because what I'm seeing right now is a virus which is doing what the others do because the others do it. So I have 12, 13 people who jump on my calendar per week. Simon, I need more leads. Okay, why do you think you need more leads? Yeah, because everybody's doing this lead gen thing now. With this, now you can insert Clubhouse with X we linked in insert whatever you want. It's usually the newest shiny thing. And then I say, okay, maybe you need leads. But before we go there, let's look at your current funnel. I don't have a funnel. Okay, let's map it out. People who you talked to over the last three months past clients, current clients, friends of your current clients who also happen to need what you have, people who came to one of your events over the last six months. And then we map them out and we realize, oh my God, that's 700 people. Are you sure you need 700 more, or would you prefer to call those 700 first? And since it's 700, what about we onboard somebody? You call 350, they call 350. There is half a million in your funnel right now. You don't need an additional system, just a proper follow up system a basic sales system.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I think a lot of times we want to add things on instead of fixing what the root of the problem really is, that bottleneck.Speaker 3:
Yes, and people they look for far away and hard to get goals, and I help them and say, hey, let's sit down for a second, let's breathe. Now tell me about the ground you are sitting upon. So that's usually their pipeline. Maybe there are already some flowers here. They just need a little bit of water. And then I go check list people who are in your events, people who watched your podcast, people who downloaded something from your website, people who subscribed to your email list oh yeah, but I don't have their phone numbers. It's easy to find their phone numbers. Should we show you how you do that? So that's basic follow-up systems with a six-stages relationship funnel, like interested people, engaged people, people who did something, people who jumped on my calendar, people that I know what they need, people that I know what they need and are willing to invest in, and then it's either closed or not closed. That's a sales funnel and now you bring in your relationships into these six stages. You have already pretty good situation to run a small business.Speaker 2:
Yeah, and that's a good point. Keeping it simple is, I think, really key. We sometimes make it way too complicated, especially at the beginning, and a lot of times with that. You hear some of these really successful individuals mention the luck a lot within their journeys and I know you coined the term return on luck within your systems. So break that down what is return on luck and how can we get a little bit more lucky?Speaker 3:
Yes, return on luck was coined by Jim Collins and I loved the term, and he started asking the question everybody's giving their best. Why do some teams crush it and other teams don't? And so I continued looking at teams that I meet every week with that land, and if you go back to that example, you have 700 people basically in your CRM, in your world that you are related to. Who do you think will win? The team that calls, though that splits them into 350, 350, okay, it's two people, let's call them over the next 10 days. Or the team who says let's build a complicated funnel and buy some software and have experts coming in, do an analysis of a month and then an implementation month. The first team will win, and the reason is they go the direct path. They have more surface to the client, to the possible client, to the possible chiking, and so when you have more surface area to the chiking, this is what's going to happen, because where you bring your attention, energy goes. Where energy goes, stuff happens. So it's really only exposing the surface area to the possibility of winning deals. That's why I love sales so much, because sales is the direct path. I have fun with marketing, I like marketing, but sales is the chiking. If I had limited resources and limited time, I would just focus on sales, because this is where you create your surface area and sales might be just calling all past clients. Hey, how are you doing what's up right now? Can I help? Oh no, I can't. Do you know somebody that needs my help? Oh cool, yeah, can you introduce us? That's it. Do this a couple hours a day. You have a sales system. Use our templates that you can get free from our book, from our website. You have a repeatable sales system.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I think being able to replicate something is crucial as well, especially as you are scaling and bringing people on, because it's easily digested by a new person and they can follow those steps. Again, going back to keeping it simple, I think that's another reason why that's so important as well. So simplicity and scalability are two huge pieces.Speaker 3:
Yes, if it's complicated, your team, you in the first place. You are not gonna consistently doing day by day, week by week, you will stop doing it. A great example is you go with this fancy CRM. Oh I have hot. Okay, you have hotspot. I know already, in three months you are gonna stop using it. It's too fancy, it's too complicated. Yeah, I go with the very cheap, very simple ones that cost 20 bucks a month per seat and that work on the phone, because you will be mostly using it on the phone, like you use your favorite social media and especially if you're like me, you have three kids, Most of the stuff I do on the phone, because that's realistic. If you keep it simple, you increase the probability that you will do it every day. If you do it every day, you will do it every week, every month. That compounds and that creates a reliable sales pipeline. You are also at some point you will bring in a team, Like I am scaling across countries right now in my company. So the team looks at Simon. We have every Tuesday and every Friday we have our sales meeting. They look at my behavior because I am a role model for them. So if every time they tell me about an opportunity and I put it in our CRM in front of them sharing screen. They are also more likely to do it on their phone. So now we are five people and everybody has this habit of starting conversations, following up on conversation, writing down what they want to talk about, following up a couple of days later. Now you are multiplying yourself. You have five people doing a repeatable sales process. Now you have a resilient I might say even a company. Now you are a company five people with a culture of opportunity creation and a culture of follow-up. You are two steps ahead of your competitors. You have a resilient system. Whatever happens out there recessions, stock flesions, pandemics you have something that works. You will navigate all waters and all weather with this simple system Five people starting conversations, following up on conversations. Your competitors will go insolvent year by year. You will stay in the game.Speaker 2:
Why do you think so many starting out? I did, when I started out, but from your perspective, why do you think people overcomplicate it so much? What do you think that is?Speaker 3:
I think that's human nature we get bored quickly.Speaker 2:
Yeah, at the great point, I think we want results so fast sometimes that we think that we need to implement something else instead of just keeping going with what works. But it works long term more than the short term.Speaker 3:
Look from my own ADHD. I could just buy an apartment per year and have that compound, or put every month whatever surplus there is into S&P 500 and have them double every 10 years. But it is so boring that I look at Tesla every day and what they're doing. And that's the biggest position, why it's much more interesting. It's adrenaline, it's risk reward and human nature is not just looking at flowers and enjoying them grow. That's plant being. But human being is actually Avengers Champions League. Will Tesla fail or not? Can they create the first self-driving cars? That's exciting because it's a bet on humanity and humanity's evolution. So it's exciting. It's tribal. It's we, the innovators. Will we win or lose against the other forces that don't want innovation? It's excitement. It's competition in a positive way Science competing, scientists competing, engineers competing which team will win? It's like a Champions League. It's exciting. We like that excitement. Human nature is not just being, it's also evolving, exploring, daring adventures. I think that's our nature.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I think I'm with you on that for sure. So, simon, this has been a great conversation. As we wind this down, we'd love to ask you one more question. It's off topic a little bit. It has to do with what most entrepreneurs are about Making a difference, leaving a mark, changing the world, things of that nature For you. When everything is said and done for you here on earth and you could have and leave any mark, be known for anything or be known for doing whatever what do you hope that mark is?Speaker 3:
So it's like what people write on my, on my grave, yeah, what what?Speaker 2:
what difference in the world Will you make if you could do anything and be remembered for it? What would that difference be?Speaker 3:
Oh, that's a great question and I can only answer it week by week, day by day. So this week, I am absolutely proud that Two of my three children will run a marathon with me this weekend their first junior marathon and we woke up yesterday in the morning Before breakfast there eight and five and before breakfast they they were doing their marathon training with me 500 meters the five-year-old and 800 meters the 80 year old, and I was so proud of them and I was proud of myself because in the end, my legacy, it's not in my control. If they become good citizens Not so good citizens, good scholars, not good scholars that's absolute, outside my control. What is it? Of course I want them to be decent human beings and be fun and Contribute to a better planet, but it's not in my control. What is in my control is when do I wake up? Five, eight, eleven, that's in my control, so I prefer five and I do that every day. Then what is in my control? What do I do after waking up? Is it emails or is it yoga and running, running with with friends, with family, and then breakfast, and which choices I do it's a healthy breakfast or not so healthy. That is actually in my control. So if you ask me what is the legacy when I'm gone, it's what I'm doing today in the morning when I wake up, tomorrow in the morning when I wake up, and that Will compound love it.Speaker 2:
I appreciate you sharing that. Again, simon, thanks so much for this conversation. I think it's been a a good one. To help entrepreneurs understand not to complicate things. Keep it simple, take action and just use what works. So if you want to reach out to you, connect with you, where's the best place for them to do that?Speaker 3:
If they like reading books strategy sprints. The book is on Amazon and it's a very practical Set of tools how to do marketing, how to do sales, how to do client on boarding and how to do hiring. If they want to talk to us and see if we might be their Jarvis, their coach, then they go to strategy sprintscom and and click to talk to us, lend on our calendar and then we can explore.Speaker 2:
Yes, everything. If you're interested, check those resources out, get connected with Simon and his team. Again, simon, thanks so much for being on the elevate media podcast today.Speaker 3:
Thanks so much, chris, for showing up for your community with consistency Over long period of time.Speaker 2:
Absolutely appreciate that. So thanks again. We'll talk soon.Speaker 1:
Thank you for listening to the elevate media podcast. Don't forget to subscribe and leave a review. See you in the next episode.