The Happiness of Pursuit Podcast – Episode #82
3 Keys to Scale a Business: Money, Motivation, & Mindset
I recently had an opportunity to speak at an AGM to help kick off a new business unit. During my research for the keynote, I looked how successful businesses were able to scale and the common traits behind their founders. After reviewing over 75 interviews and reading 50+ books on entrepreneurship, personal development, and motivation, I kept coming back to three simple principles: Money, Motivation, and Mindset.
While there’s a constant argument over whether, or not, money can provide happiness – in business, it is essential for growth. If you look at the reasoning behind why most businesses fail, it is rarely from a bad idea. More often, it is a result of cash flow. Businesses either don’t have enough money to get started, or they grow too fast and can’t keep up – yes, they grow too fast!
So, as much as I like to talk about purpose and passion. It is fundamental to understand that in order for you to fulfill that purpose and live your passion, you need money.
Now, most will use that as an excuse to prevent them from starting a business. This is where “understanding money” becomes vital to your success as an entrepreneur. We all have access to money (or capital), here are a few examples:
- OPM (Other People’s Money) – what companies have similar goals to you and how can you add value or partner [Suggested Reading: Disrupt You – there’s a whole chapter dedicated to this]
- Part-Time Hustle – start your business on the side, or work a second job and keep your capital in your business [Suggested Reading: Shoe Dog – Phil Knight, Founder of Nike worked full time just to support Nike when it was getting started to keep money in the compay]
- Grants – there are millions of dollars that go un-used. Research what grants or tax credits are available within your industry. There is a lot of funding for young entrepreneurs, women run business, minorities, and rural businesses
- Traditional and Private Loans – there is no shortage of business loans available right now. These tend to have higher interest rates because of the inherent risks associated with a business. Make sure you talk to both a legal and fiduciary (professional money manager) before going down this road.
- Venture Capital – if you can show a strong value proposition, there may be an opportunity to take on investors. The catch with doing so, you give up a portion of your company to gain the capital.
- Friends and Family – This may be common in Silicon Valley, however, this is not something I would recommend. At the end of the day, family and friends are more valuable than any business.
The majority of my posts, especially on Instagram (click here for the Daily Motivation), focus on motivation.
Motivation is the cause by two things, pain and pleasure. The more pain we experience the greater the need for change. The more gratifying the pleasure, the more we want to change. – Tony Robbins
Tony Robbin’s definition of motivation is one of the most simple and easily understood. Within the definition, he explains two subtle difference NEED and WANT. When a pain is great enough we NEED to change, however when the pleasure is great enough we WANT to change. There is a massive difference between a want and a need.
This is why, in order to scale a business, you need to understand the motivation, both for yourself and for your potential customers.
When you are solving a true “pain point” for a customer, the greater the pain, the greater the value of your solution and likely the greater the customer is willing to pay. However, when you are dealing with a “want”, your business will require significantly more money to create demand.
For example, in order to survive we NEED clean water to drink, however, we may WANT a $7 Blonde Vanilla Latte (with a teething child I might argue we need the caffeine to survive some days).
When you get really clear about the problem you are solving, it becomes much easier to acquire customers when your focus aligns with a true need. It will also empower you to continue and survive the difficult times (even when money seems scarce), which lead to the third principle, mindset.
This year has been filled with underdog stories; Donald Trump winning the election, New England Patriot’s Heroic comeback win at the Super Bowl, and most recently Sergio Garcia’s win at The Masters.
One thing they all have in common: a belief they would win.
[Also Read: The Underdog’s Secret To Winning]
There is a mountain of research that supports positive thinking, and I have personally experienced the power a positive mindset has had. This past year alone, adopting a positive mindset led to interviews with three billionaire entrepreneurs and industry icons, which I previously would have never thought possible.
The hardest part about succeeding in any business is the leadership that is required in the hardest of times. The times when money is tight and the team is deflated. This is the time when your business will need that ‘Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday’ type pep-talk.
Motivation will become irrelevant, and money won’t matter if you don’t have the right mindset. The way you think is the difference between you succeeding and failing, “between winning and losing…” [in my best Al Pacino voice].
No matter if you think you can or think you can’t you are right. – Henry Ford
I wish you all the best of luck in your entrepreneurial journey as you try to master money, motivation, and mindset.