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Outsmart the Hustle

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Well, hello 2018! One of the things I do at the beginning of every year is to tally the primary patterns that have been surfacing for business builders in the prior year.

 I spend much of my workday coaching and strategizing with independent entrepreneurs. And when you’re with your clients and potential clients day in and day out, you start to notice a few patterns.

Here are five things I’ve noticed as I’ve spent hundreds of hours with business builders who are trying to create more stability or scale their businesses:

1. They don’t have a system that consistently generates leads. Almost all of the entrepreneurs I speak with are working really hard to remain the world’s best-kept secret. That’s because many of them have been relying on referrals to make ends meet. They have gotten so used to other people sending them clients, that they have no idea how to set up a system that would grow their audience significantly with people who are their true ideal clients. And if I’m being completely honest, this was one of my biggest lessons in 2017. For nearly two years my coaching business was at full capacity with a waiting list. Until it wasn’t!

2. They are leaving money on the table by not having an assistant. Most of the people I talk to don’t have anyone on their team to delegate tasks to. And those that do have someone helping them out seem frustrated with the support they are getting (which is worse than not having help at all). Instead of spending time writing, speaking, being a guest on podcasts, hosting events, having sales conversations, connecting with potential partners, or otherwise doing tasks that will get them in front of their ideal clients and generating revenue, they are trying to handle everything themselves.

3. They are not leveraging their assets. As independent entrepreneurs, our most limited resources are time, energy, and money. If we don’t leverage these things intelligently, our businesses will suffer. Leverage is the key to growth, and the thing that all of us already have and can leverage are the assets in our business. Yet most of the business builders I speak with don’t have a clue what their assets are, let alone finding ways to leverage them. Most continue to sell and deliver one-on-one services only. This means their calendars are constantly full and they have no free time to leverage all of the intellectual property they’ve likely developed as a result of working with so many clients. They only make money when they are on the clock, and they can only be on the clock so much. That means the amount of income + impact they can make is severely limited by their own personal time and energy.

4. They are leaving money on the table by not charging enough. If all you offer is one-on-one services and then you also undercharge for those services, you’re on the hustler’s hamster wheel of doom. You work constantly, and yet you’re still not making enough money to be financially stable. It never ends. Typically, the reason entrepreneurs undercharge is that they don’t believe their clients will pay more. And the reason they believe this is usually threefold. They are either; a) desperate for clients, b) talking to the wrong clients or c) not talking to enough clients. How do you solve this problem? See #1.

5) Their businesses are way too complicated. This is the cause of an immense amount of completely unnecessary stress for independent business owners. Many of the entrepreneurs I speak with are selling many different offers to many different clients. They have a workshop that they sell to corporate clients. And then one-on-one services that they sell to individual clients. And then this one random client needed that one random thing, so they invented a new package for that. And before they know it they have 5 different types of clients, and they are offering 12 different kinds of services. How incredibly exhausting! How do you think things would change if you had ONE core offer for one type of client and focused ALL of your energy on selling and delivering that one (or few) thing(s)? Doesn’t that sound a lot more doable?

I’m curious — if you were to rank your top 3 challenges, what would they be?
Email me at michael@thestartupsessions.com and let me know.

So, what’s the result of these five patterns? It’s feeling overwhelmed and exhausted every single day. It’s living a life that doesn’t fit. It’s doing business in a way that doesn’t fulfill us. This is not what most of us signed up for when we set out on our own as entrepreneurs and independent business owners.

So what is the solution?

There are really just two things you need to do, depending on the stage of business that you’re in:

  1. Create Stability in your business ($8k – $15k/mo) by simplifying and getting really good at delivering and selling ONE primary thing.

  2. Scale towards impact with a proven model/framework that you can leverage.

That’s it!

 Whenever you’re ready, there are two ways we can help you create stability and then scale towards impact:

1. Participate in the upcoming Council of Visionary Business Builders

I’m putting together a new cohort that’s going to start in April… stay tuned for details. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about how the Council can support you with creating stability or scale in your business, just grab a spot on my calendar and we’ll have a quick chat. Or, email me at michael@thestartupsessions.com and put “council” in the subject line.

2. Work privately with me

If you’d like to work directly with me to create stability or scale your business, just grab a spot on my calendar or email me at michael@thestartupsessions.com and put “private” in the subject line. Tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and we’ll take it from there.

Live bravely,


Latest Episode of the Podcast

Click here to listen to the episode.Stephanie Hayes

In this 2018 jumpstart episode, Stephanie Hayes, Serial Entrepreneur & Business Strategist, rolls up her sleeves with me to discuss her process to align the things that make us happy, where to focus our time & energy, and combining it all to create a business that complements the life we want to live as an entrepreneur.

Get ready for 2018’s first content-packed episode!


  • The tell-tale signs of a burned out entrepreneur (4:01)
  • Lesson #1: Make a mess! (11:01)
  • Dealing with frustration when your strategic plan is limiting (14:00)
  • The epidemic of mindset prohibiting growth (18:10)
  • Connecting vision with action (23:30)
  • Why gaining clarity around alignment and business model is critical (30:59)
  • The importance of having a strategic, outside perspective weigh-in (36:40)
  • The myth that bigger business creates less freedom (43:15)

Listen to the episode & gain access to listener-only bonuses here.

Is Your Core Offer Strong Enough?

You need ONE product or service that delivers amazing results for your clients, and you must have a solid game plan for selling it.

You’ve heard me say this before because it’s just THAT important to finding entrepreneurial success. In January, I’m meeting with individuals to help them re-assess, revamp and recreate an offer that ratchets up their income in a sustainable, honest, and impact-driven way.

Is your core offer delivering $8-$12k/month consistently AND giving you #timefreedom?


What's your breakthrough business model?

This guide contains the need-to-know facets of each business model so you can strategically plan your entrepreneurial journey.

Wanna learn more about working together?

#LessHustleMorePlay #OutsmartTheHustle