In the previous post in this series, I told you that the first key to climbing the mountain was to minimize slipping backward. Rock climbers use the “three points of contact” rule: They put their left hand and both feet on stable ground before they reach out with their right.
Now let’s talk about moving up.
Your Assets: Audience, Cash and Time
First, you want to look for activities that generate cash with the least possible effort.
You don’t want to start from scratch with a brand new idea. Leverage the audience you already have or the cash currently at your disposal.
To leverage your existing audience (your greatest asset):
1. Help people solve a larger problem or a different problem. If everyone at your gym also needs nutrition help, launch a nutrition business. This is a tiny example. A larger one might be child care. Or health insurance. Or coffee. Solve the problem that the greatest number of people in your gym people have.
2. Look for the option that requires the least amount of your time. For example, adding a rentable asset like a float tank or infrared sauna requires investment but no time—you just set it up and charge for its use. Conversely, a coffee bar requires a lot of time for a very, very small return.
3. Help someone from your team open a second location. Create an investor, license your brand, and mentor the person.
4. Invest in a client who wants to open a business. Be very careful with this one: The client probably doesn’t see the hard parts of entrepreneurship, and if the venture fails, you’ll lose a friend. I’ve had to learn this lesson many times, and each time it’s been very painful.
To leverage your cash (your second-greatest asset):
1. Invest in long-term cash flow (like buying buildings and renting them to others instead of flipping them). This could be commercial buildings for your business or other businesses or it could be rental properties like Airbnbs.
2. Invest in other people’s businesses (through the stock market or other funds).
Your third-greatest asset is your time. To maximally leverage it:
1. Do the effective hourly rate calculation: Divide the hours you work in a month into your net owner benefit (NOB, or what you’re paid). Two-Brain clients: You can work through this exercise step by step in the Value Ladder workbook on the Growth ToolKit.
2. Buy yourself time: Hire someone to replace you in your lowest-value role.
3. Set up a 90-day sprint to work solely in a higher-value role. How many new clients can you gain in 90 days if you only work on marketing?
4. Stay focused on that new project until it can run without you.
5. Leave deep tracks so a staff person can take over.
The Two-Brain Tinker Program
Our Tinker Program is for entrepreneurs who have made their first business successful and are starting to think about the next phase of their ascension.
We bring in speakers to help you optimize your time, teach you to lead better, help you mentor your team, build cash-flow assets, duplicate your first business and serve more people.
We work in groups with other high-level entrepreneurs who are at the same stage (and, sometimes, already at the multi-million-dollar mark). We meet in person and online, and we travel to do interesting things.
You have levers that can produce growth. They are your audience, your money and your time. But the fulcrum on which all levers pivot is people: You have to be around the right people. And you have to follow the right people—I mean receiving mentorship, not just reading their books.
In the Tinker Phase, knowledge is not enough. You must immerse yourself in success to get further.