Lessons Learned from 6 Months of Advising with Co-Founder of WP Curve, Alex McClafferty

Over the past 20 months, I went from being a consultant to running a productized service, generating over $50k MRR. During the first 6 months of that time, I worked with my advisor, Co-Founder of WP Curve Alex McClafferty, and I am currently working with him again.

During those 6 months, I took a total of 120 pages of notes from our calls. After each call, I would go back and highlight my key learnings and insights.

Recently, I decided to read through all 120 pages of notes and pull out the key insights.

Alex didn’t ask me to write this post. This is 100% my decision because I know that by re-teaching these concepts, they will ingrain further in me.

Each insight is shared and summarized in the article below.


The questions Alex asked at the start

Prior to even engaging in advising, Alex asked me these questions which really forced me to think things through on the front end.

    • What does success look like for you in this venture? $, day-to-day, what will “enough” be?

    • What are you building? Cashflow, an asset or both?

    • What has held you back from scaling out of your previous business?

    • Why/how is this business different?

    • Assuming that any biz you touch will be a “success” (defined from the first question), why do you want to go after this business?

That last question was probably the most thought-provoking to me. Instead of wondering if I will succeed at this, Alex flipped the question. He said, “Assume success. Now, why this business?” That was a massive mindset shift for me that happened on day ONE.

In further conversations, Alex dove deeper into this point. He described how you need to understand why this business is important to you, because at some point you will hit a bump. If you don’t have a connection or passion behind the business, then you will let the first bump in the road stop you.

Checking your commitment before you dive in ensures your motivation to get to the other side once things get hard.


You are the worst person to do every job in your business

Most entrepreneurs come into a business with the mindset that they are the genius and no one else can do anything as good as them. Instead, you need to flip that on its side and realize that you are the worst person for every job in your business.

You need to realize that in order to scale, you must eventually fire and replace yourself for every single role in the business.

Often, entrepreneurs want to be the “hero” and come in and fix everything that goes wrong. That’s a terrible mindset to have and instead you need to build systems and processes that your team can be successful at.

This was a hard mindset shift to make at first, but soon I began to realize that if I didn’t outsource something from myself, I would eventually become overwhelmed and fail at it.


You are the tollbooth bottlenecking traffic- build lanes around you

To expand on the above concept even more, Alex used the analogy of a tollbooth.

At the start of the business, you are running a single lane tollbooth and everything runs through you. You are bottlenecking everything and as a result, there is limited traffic that can get through.

As you grow, you build more lanes. Hire team members to help you go from a single lane into a 20-lane tollway. Soon, there will be no bottleneck and traffic will pass through without you even needing to handle it.

This happened for me in Lead Cookie in several ways. First, when I handed over operations to Jeff, I let him own that. Suddenly, he was making operational decisions and growing this department without my involvement.

Second, I eventually hired a Lead Account Strategist. This meant that I was no longer essential to the delivery of our service in any way.

Third, I handed over accounting to another team member which completely removed me from clients.

As I built more tollways, less and less traffic came through mine. As a result, I was able to build and grow new parts of the business.


Use your own network to get 3-5 early customers signed up fast

When you start with your own network, it’s low pressure and you can get people in the door fast.

If you can’t sell to 3-5 people within your network, then you probably don’t have a great value proposition or you are playing with an idea that is outside of your core competencies.

While you beta test these first 3-5 customers, use this as a “shakeout period”. Ask yourself: What are the unanswered questions? And what are the unknown challenges I am going to hit?

In Lead Cookie, we ran into so many problems with organizing our campaigns at the start. We had to switch technologies 4-5 times before finally hiring a developer to build a plug-in that did exactly what we needed.

We tried several different CRMs and other tools to organize our clients’ leads all before finally figuring things out.

We didn’t over-engineer it; we just went fast and broke stuff.


Don’t over-engineer too much at the beginning

Some personality types love to start trying to tie all of their software and systems together from day one. They want the perfect solution right out of the gate.

Alex’s advice was, “Don’t over-engineer at the start. You want predictability, not efficiency at the start.”

This proved true time and time again. We would do processes manually that probably could have been automated, but then we would hit a challenge a few months in and have to change everything.

If we had over-engineered that system, then everything would have broken and it would have been hard to change. By doing things manually, or keeping it kind of ugly for a while, you are lean and can quickly adjust processes as needed.

Alex described this as a concept called “Minimum Viable Process.” What is the most basic process I can create right now to fix this? Start lean and then build on it later.

“Wait until it hurts to start automating.” This was another piece of advice from Alex. We would consistently follow this until we reached a point where we had no other choice but to automate.

This advice is so powerful and is one mistake I do see many early entrepreneurs make who get obsessed with their tools.

An example of this was our invoicing system. For the first 5 months, we built a recurring revenue service by sending invoices every month… This is not ideal for a recurring revenue service, but it simply didn’t hurt enough to change.

When we found ourselves chasing customers with invoices and having cash-flow problems as a result, then we knew it was time to change to a recurring auto-billing system. We waited until it hurt, then we made the change.

Hold check-in calls with early customers

Get fast feedback from your pilot customers so you can adjust and tweak the service to fit their needs and pain points. Get on the call and ask them:

  • How has the experience been?

  • What could be improved?

  • What else could we do to support you?


What to expect from the first 90 days “shakeout”

Alex referred to the term “shakeout” often in the first 90 days. He helped me set expectations and understand what I was in for.

First, things are going to blow up. You are going to totally screw up and piss off a customer at some point. It’s going to happen, so expect it, and don’t be taken off guard when it happens.

Second, you and your team will make mistakes. These are inevitable. Your systems aren’t refined and your team is still in training so mistakes and screw-ups are going to happen.

Third, your systems will break. As mentioned in the Don’t Over-Engineer section, be prepared for your systems and processes to crumble or have to be replaced.

All of this is OK because you are learning. Expect it, anticipate it, and don’t get upset when it happens. It’s all part of the “shakeout.”

Instead, ask yourself: What would I need to accomplish to feel really good at the end of 90 days?

For me, that was getting operations to a point where we could handle 15 customers at once with minimal mistakes. That validated that this business could scale to serve a decent amount of customers and that we could produce results for them as well.

At the end of 90 days, we had many blowups, a lot of mistakes, and a long way to go still, but we had achieved quite a bit.

Analyzing risk and reducing anxiety

Early on, I had a lot of fears of all the things that could go wrong. This gave me anxiety and doubts in our business model.

I feared the fact that we are focused on LinkedIn.
I feared mistakes on our clients’ accounts.
I feared technologies we are using would get shut down.

These were all very valid risks to our business model.
But instead of mulling over these, Alex taught me an exercise in risk mitigation.

  1. List out all the fears you have. Think of anything that could break, blow up, or damage your business.

  2. What is the chance that this will actually happen?

  3. What is the control for the issue or how can you prevent it?

This simple exercise was a game changer. It showed me that my biggest fears were so unlikely that I shouldn’t even worry about them.

It also showed me that many of my smaller fears were things we could prevent through systems or processes.

As a result, I improved our business processes and reduced my anxiety at the same time.


Never hire someone to solve a problem you have not solved yourself

I have made this mistake time and time again in the business and it’s one I constantly have to keep reminding myself of.

My job as an entrepreneur is to go around and build up various systems and departments. Whenever I hire someone, I should have a playbook and processes of exactly what they need to do to succeed.

Let me reiterate that. When you hire someone- They should have clear processes, expectations and a definition of what success looks like.

That means I need to figure out the solution and get my shit together before I hire someone else.

Example Mistake #1
I have made mistakes a few times with this. First, I tried to promote one of our account managers to Customer Success Leader. I had not figured out what “customer success” looks like, and to be honest, I am still figuring it out to this day.

She hated it, felt she didn’t understand how to succeed in the role, and eventually asked to be moved back to her original role.

I didn’t figure out the systems before I moved her there and as a result, she was not set up for success.

Example Mistake #2
I tried to outsource my own LinkedIn responses to one of my team members. I gave him about one hour of training and sent him off to handle it on his own.

After a few weeks, I realized we hadn’t converted a single call from LinkedIn which was unusual.

I went back and looked at his responses. I saw that he was doing a terrible job at converting leads.

Once again, I gave someone an entire role without setting them up for success on the front end. As a result, my team member failed and I had to take this back.

Example Mistake #3
I hired a team member to handle all of our inbound leads and schedule calls for our lead strategist. I took him through several hours of training and then let him go right to handle all of these leads.

But I never gave him scripts, and I never set clear expectations for how and when to follow-up with leads.

As a result, he started using scripts that I was not at all happy with, and he didn’t have time to handle all the follow-ups since we only hired him on as part-time.

--

I find myself doing this over and over. Almost anytime we are having a problem in the business, it’s because I have given someone a task or role without clear expectations for success…


How to incentivize your leadership team without equity

My Head of Operations, Jeff Markle, has been with me as basically an assistant and almost business partner for the last 3 years. As we were ramping this up, I was having discussions with Alex about whether I should offer Jeff equity in the company.

Since I own 100% of the company, I preferred not to do this for the sake of keeping things simple, so Alex gave me some great advice on incentivizing your team.

Basically, Alex said to “tie their incentives to outcomes in the business so that they are motivated to grow and hit key milestones along the way.”

For Jeff, that meant we incentivized pay increases once we had so many active customers running on operations, and when certain processes or business milestones were hit.

In addition to the pay incentive, we came up with a big incentive for long-term growth.

When we hit a specific business milestone, the company is going to pay for tickets for Jeff, his wife, and kids to travel to New Zealand. His family loves New Zealand and they want to work remotely from there for as long as their visas will allow, so this was quite the motivator.

Drive ownership over key parts of the business

Early on, Alex challenged me to hand over service delivery to Jeff and make it clear that he was responsible and owned this domain. While I would help him build and figure out process challenges, it was his responsibility to implement and run the service delivery.

When I handed this over to Jeff and made it clear to him that it was his responsibility, it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. By combining this handoff with Jeff’s incentive plan, he took this responsibility and ran with it.

Even more amazing, Jeff has never run operations or had a role like this before. But by empowering him and giving him the authority to build and run this, he has grown, developed and become an incredible operations director.

By believing in him and giving him autonomy, he has grown in his leadership and maturity levels beyond any role he has had before. I’m super proud of him and what he continues to build on this side of the business.

Jake’s key nugget: You don’t have to hire expensive people. Find great people who fit your culture with a desire to grow, give them autonomy, and watch what they can do!

Can you fix a problem with a process instead of with a person?

Due to my agency background, I kept seeing every problem we encountered as a role or new hire we needed to make. Alex consistently challenged me by asking, “Can you fix that with a process instead of a person?”

In some cases, we could. For example, our customer success has been built by using processes and the existing team that already have contact with the customer, instead of a finding a new hire.

An example that Alex shared with me (that they used at WP Curve) was their decision to have a support@ email instead of having account managers. If there were account managers for each account, that tied a person to the end-customer and created variability in their process. Instead, they routed everything through a ticketing system that would delegate the task out to whichever team was on duty at the time. They fixed their problem with a process instead of a person.

For our business, we still use account managers and strategists so I haven’t been able to take this advice into account yet but regardless, this is a golden nugget that can apply to other models.

Different phases of the business

Building - You accept a level of overhead and debt while you don’t over-engineer systems. It may cost more to execute, but you are lean and nimble to change as you need to.

Optimize - Once your systems are refined, you optimize to drive costs down and profit margin up. You do this once systems have been broken and rebuilt several times. Once something has been standard for several months, you can optimize.

Build your financial projections early and update them as you learn

In those first few months, Alex challenged me to rebuild my financial projections several times. While I had built a model at the start, it was very rough and basic.

Each month, I learned new things, took on new costs, and began to have a more clear vision of what this business would look like. As a result, he challenged me to keep rebuilding my projections every couple of months based on what I learned to ensure that I was charging enough and that we could become profitable.

Slow down new client onboardings at the start

Early on, we were signing customers like crazy. It quickly hit a point where it was impossible to onboard all of those new customers in a week.

Eventually, I had to start telling customers, “Demand has been insane. We are just getting started and we want to make sure everyone has a good experience. Therefore, we can’t get you started until [this] date.”

Moving from the chaos of starting customers all of the time to just doing 2 per week was a huge relief. It made my weeks more predictable and my workload more manageable. It also made my team happier as their workloads and weeks became much more predictable as well.

Slow down at the start. People will understand you are young and it’s better to go a bit slower than to make too many mistakes.

Is it necessary?

Early on, I had a lot of ideas for service additions. Daily digests, metrics updates, training videos, etc.

Alex challenged me and said, “Do your customers actually care about this? Is this necessary?”
While eventually we did create many of those items, at the time it would have been a distraction. It wasn’t the core focus or thing that they cared about. While we now do metrics reports for our clients, they didn’t need it in those first few months; they just wanted a good and reliable service that didn’t make mistakes!

Hire ahead

Be comfortable front-loading money from the business and putting it back into the business.

Unless you are going to be homeless, it’s often worth it to hire someone a bit in advance of when you fully need them so you can get the work off your plate and give them time to ramp up.

Push back on your customers’ requests

When you are running a productized service, you are going to get all sorts of requests from your customers. Just because they request it, doesn’t mean you should implement it.

Ask yourself:

  • We could do this, but is this really something we want to do?

  • Does this serve my goal of stepping back from the business?

  • Is this dependent on the expertise of a single individual? Or could this be scaled?


Keep your mindset right

This one was SO important. Many weeks, I would hop onto calls with Alex in a complete panic and feeling overwhelmed. One of the best pieces of advice he gave me was:

“Instead of telling yourself ‘I am overwhelmed’, wake up and tell yourself ‘I get to wake up each day and build something awesome. There are kinks and bumps in the road, but I am privileged to be able to wake up every day and build this.”


Build an onboarding checklist

Create a checklist of everything that needs to be done, and everything that you need to educate a customer on in the first 30 days.

Map out that journey and turn this into a repeatable process. Then give someone ownership over it.

I eventually handed over the entire onboarding process to Jeff and let him own it. As a result, I know that this gets done and done right every time.

Reframe your internal conversation

When we signed our 12th customer, I wrote a note to Alex explaining how I feared if we would be able to handle all of it.

He wrote back, “Reframe that into a motivator. 12 customers down, 88 to go!”

100 customers is a goal point for our business as that puts us well beyond the $1M per year mark.

Check in on your goals

As I kept hitting milestone after milestone in those first 6 months, Alex asked me to check in on what success meant for me and what my goals were.

He talked about how success and growth can become a vicious cycle that people get addicted to.

The simple question “how much is enough?” can go a long way.

In those first 6 months we were growing so fast but at some point, I realized this is going well. I can probably afford to slow down a bit and actually enjoy life instead of working so hard.

Remember to check in on your goals and don’t get too addicted to hyper growth. Slowing down for a bit to focus on life-balance can be a good thing.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

I believe this quote is from Peter Drucker but regardless, the point is true. There are so many intangible benefits of building a great organizational culture.

I did this through implementing a culture deck, adding jokes to our weekly standup meeting, using nicknames in Slack, and being very conscious about who we hire. As a result, our team feels like a bunch of friends that could all hang out a company cookout together!

At one point, we had to let a team member go because they were not the right cultural fit. It was hard to do but ultimately the right thing to do.

It’s hard to fully encapsulate all of this in writing, but all I can say is that CULTURE MATTERS and it’s worth the time investment to build.

Nicknames in Slack

Alex suggested it and as silly as it is, it made a huge difference to our culture.

  • I am Lord Pandabear

  • Jeff is Great Eagle

  • Shellie is Honeybadger

  • Kelly is Dragon

  • Amber is MamaLlama

  • Rick is Woodsman

  • Jess is La Tigress

  • Wilbert is WuWuu

  • Etc.

It’s silly, but super fun.

Hire someone with the right attitude and culture fit over skill set

You can train someone on skills if they have the right attitude.
You can’t change someone who isn’t the right culture fit.

Reframe how you look at your VAs and overseas talent

Don’t just view your overseas talent as cheap labor to do a single task. Look at them as part of the team, family, and culture.

If you treat them like more, then they are more committed. They’ll show up and do more for the business.

In our business, we see this in how they perform. When we just treat someone like a cog in the machine, they just do the actions even if they aren’t right. On the flip side, as we invested in this and brought our overseas team into the culture, we saw results improve as people started catching mistakes, coming up with ideas for improvement, and even referring other talent to the team.

In addition to that, many of those team members have taken on additional roles and responsibilities over time and helped move the business forward.
Treat your team overseas just like do your onshore team. You will be amazed at how it changes things.

Make your metrics and KPIs positive

Early on, I had a metric for Jeff that focused on the number of mistakes that happened on accounts per month. This was ultimately a terrible metric because he just feared and thought about mistakes all day.

Instead, I eventually reframed this around the quantity of accounts we have up and running smoothly. With this metric, Jeff still reduced mistakes and built processes to improve operations, but he was focused on a positive metric instead of a negative one.

Another example is that I recently flipped our “churn” metric into “renewal rate.”
When you look at how many customers cancel every month, you are focused on the negative.
Instead, if you focus on how many customers renew, then you are looking at the positive side of that same exact thing.

Pricing

Raise your prices and experiment early on. Build up the ROI and value for what you deliver and keep pushing upmarket.

Alex pushed me to realize that the customers I sold to in the beginning were not the customers who were going to be long-term fits. Our target customer has shifted and evolved over time, so as a result, we have been able to raise our prices because we deliver more value to these larger companies.

Find the right customer

When your service fails for a customer, tell yourself: It’s not that I have a bad service. It’s just that the service wasn’t a right fit for this specific customer.

Learn who those bad fit customers are and eliminate them as you seek out your ideal customer.

A lean process for training team members

Show them how to do the work.
Have them shadow you while you do the work.
You shadow them while they do the work.
You let them go off on their own with regular check-ins.
As they succeed, check in less often and give them autonomy over the task.

One-on-ones with remote teams

In a remote work environment, it’s easy for a rift to form between you and your team members. They can easily interpret a Slack message different than you meant, or they may be getting frustrated with something and not be able to voice it via text.

This is the price you pay for being remote. When you don’t have an office, you are unable to have those water cooler conversations or pick up on non-verbal cues and body language.

“One-on-ones” help you close that gap and get on the same page.  

I hold one-on-ones with anyone who reports directly to me. Jeff holds one-on-ones with anyone who reports directly to him.

Some questions to ask in one-on-ones:

  • How are you doing? (This is an open question to let them vent on what's working, what isn’t and what’s bugging them in life or business)

  • What else do you need from me? How can I support you?

Your goal is to treat this like a coaching call where you level the other person up and invest in them.

Two great articles Alex shared with me that dive deeper into this are linked below.

Staring down the barrel of success

A few months into Lead Cookie as I was seeing rapid traction, Alex said, “You are staring down the barrel of success. All you need to do is keep going forward and as a function of time you will get there.”
This was a crazy idea to me. In my mind, I had gotten used to the idea that I would screw things up and stumble backward. It seemed to happen in every other business I had ever had. So this concept of “succeeding,” as long as I kept going forward, was mindshifting for me.

To keep me motivated, Alex proposed that I fast forward a year or two and think about:

  • What will my day-to-day look like once I hit my key milestones?

  • How much money will be in my bank account?

  • What will I do to stay entertained?

  • How will I give back?

Thinking on the future keeps you motivated and focused on the work in front of you. Once you realize you have something great, and it’s just a slow and steady progress forward, it’s quite a mind shift.

For educational content, you need to sell your customers on the content

Early on, we gave our clients a CRM and a video on how to use it, yet few of them did.

Alex challenged me to “sell my customers” on why they needed to use it. We started telling customers that customers who use their CRM see 2-3x more success in converting leads from our service.

It’s a simple thing but to make customers successful, you often have to sell them on doing the work on their part.


Design

At the start, keep it rough and cheap with the design.

But at a point, design matters. Make sure you invest in quality design once you can afford it.

Replacing yourself

Out of the gate, no one will be as good as you. They won’t be as good as you for a long time. Their ability to succeed in their role and become better than you is a function of how much time you invest in them.


The “Master Splinter” concept

Early on, I got frustrated with so many of our customers who just sucked at selling or would say stupid things back to their leads and just blow the opportunity.

Alex reinforced an idea and said, “You are like Master Splinter from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He knows all of the things and is constantly annoyed at the turtles for being such idiots.”

You must realize that you have all of this inherent knowledge that you take for granted, and what is easy for you can be hard for your customers or team members.

For example, we had a customer who we were massively successful with. We teed up about 50 conversations in the first week- and literally had the directors of design at Red Bull, Box and other massive companies who wrote, “You look really interesting. We should hop on a call to talk more.”

Our client froze up and didn’t answer them. He let those messages sit there for weeks as he literally didn’t know how to respond to these kind of messages.

That was when we realized that the sales knowledge I have is inherent- and we needed to train our customers on how to respond .



Set a 3-month minimum

There are so many tire-kickers who will sign up and churn after one month. That's a lot of time investment for a customer who leaves after 30 days. Require a 3-month commitment which will prevent those tire-kickers and reduce churn significantly.

Prevent customers from pausing

The true value is to get plugged into someone's business process where they rely on you as a partner. You want to set up your business so that if the customer rips you out of theirs, it makes a huge impact on them. Make yourself sticky so it’s hard to rip you out.

Customer success

When building a Customer Success plan, there are two aspects to consider:

Milestones-based actions - These are Customer Success actions triggered by certain milestones that the customer may hit.

Time-based - These are actions triggered by specific points in time with the customer.

Business will eventually get boring- that is the goal

At a point, Alex and his business partner Dan had built up WP Curve to a point where the model worked. All they needed to do was keep improving the service and signing new customers. It became boring and simple, but that is the goal.

Many entrepreneurs are used to the rollercoaster ride. But in reality, you want a simple, predictable business that does not throw you curveballs every day. It may be boring, but that’s predictable and profitable.

Surround yourself by the right people

Look at all of the situations where you are the one furthest ahead in the room in business. Ask yourself: How can I get in situations where I am surrounded by people ahead of me who inspire me?

Alex often did this through conferences.

I’ve done this through building relationships with podcast interviews, joining Masterminds, and building mentee relationships with key individuals.

Stay focused, avoid distractions

Along the way, I came up with several other tangible business ideas that I could launch and  service additions I could add to Lead Cookie.

Every time, I would ask Alex, “Is this a good idea to diversify? Or a distraction?”

I knew the answer before he said it each time, but his response was always “A distraction.”

Stress test the business

Once you reach a point where you believe this is possible, set up a time where you are completely unavailable for a week and see what happens.
I did this at about 3 months in and took a week-long vacation. I was totally unavailable most days and just did a couple check-ins throughout the week. Everything ran without me and nothing burned down.

Ask yourself: What is the worst thing that could happen while I am out?

Answer that question and it will give you peace of mind, and help you prevent against whatever that worst-case scenario could be.

Don’t neglect your health

It’s easy to just work, work, work and neglect your health, but you need to find a balance as staying healthy gives you the power to produce more in your business.

The best way to do this is to schedule the time into your calendar. Block it off so it becomes a priority just like a meeting.

Shatter your beliefs

Alex shared a ton of examples of how he had these belief systems built up in himself that held him back. He had Impostor Syndrome (as some would call it) and didn’t believe that he could build up a business like WP Curve.

Building awareness of those beliefs shines a light on them which is the first step. Then, asking yourself the hard question: Why don’t I think I can do that?

For me, the belief was that I could actually keep going and succeed with this. Over the past few years, I had gotten into the habits of several false starts with a business that looked good at first and then crumbled backward into nothingness.

I had to overcome that belief, and realize that slow-and-steady work moving forward would lead me to the success I was looking for.

Track your wins

Alex shared a simple concept of setting up a private Tumblr to track 3 “wins” every day. I’ve seen this idea around many other places-  it’s extremely powerful.

This keeps you focused on a positive perspective and looking at the good in every day. Even when we have a day where 3 customers churn, I look at the wins and positives in that day.

Eventually, I created a #win_wall channel in Slack where my team and I can post wins. This has become amazing for culture and keeping everyone in a positive attitude.

Your team becomes a mirror of yourself

If you are stressed and worried, your team will be.
If you are manic and working too much, your team will too.
If you are calm and level-headed, they will be too.
They are a mirror, so you must put out what you want to receive.

Assume Success

It’s going to be weird to grow the business. You start hitting your goals to grow the business and then you think, what now?

It’s easy to mentally wreck that, or think you are going to fail, but keep up with that positive mental track and assume success.


Get your team’s input on vision planning

The biggest mistake you can make with vision planning is to set these lofty goals that are unrealistic and then share them with the team, because they either won’t believe them or buy into the vision.

Get their input and make sure your goals feel achievable.

Expect things to take 3 times as long as if you did it yourself

Whenever you start delegating, you can’t expect people to do things as fast as you do. A good estimate is 3x the amount of time commitment in the start, but over time as they get better, that number will drop.

At the start, it is hard no matter how good you are

You are going to make mistakes.
You are going to learn a lot.
You are going to work a ton of hours.
It is going to be overwhelming and stressful at times.
Stress and burnout are common for everyone in that 0-6 month mark.

But eventually, you hit a threshold where the scale tips and you have massive freedom. You can grow into a completely different position. You just have to power through the hard part.

For me, that came when I finally got an account strategist in place. It took almost 15 months. It was freaking hard, but as soon as I got that strategist in place, it changed my life.

I went from working in the business, to working on it.
I am able to write and blog like this again.
And I am able to focus on the areas where I am uniquely talented.

When you are overwhelmed, remember who is in control

Always remember that you are building this, so don’t get negative or down. No one is going to come in and save or fix this for you. You are in control of fixing the situation every day.

Often you hear founders say, “It’s like a rollercoaster,” but the truth is that means they are putting themselves in the passenger seat.

Instead of being on a rollercoaster, you want to think of it more like a rally. You are the driver and you are in control.

Know your numbers

Build a dashboard and get clear on the key metrics driving your business. Keep those metrics positive and check in on them weekly or even daily once you can automate them.


Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Alex hit on the fact that he wished he had asked more people or advisors for help at WP Curve. Business is hard and you need that outside opinion at times to move you forward.

This is extremely true as, for years, I had no mentors or advisors. I was stagnate and didn’t make much progress in business.

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In 6 months of working with Alex McClafferty, he taught me more than I had learned in the past several years and leveled me up as a business owner. Seek out advisors and seek out help.

Trying to do it on your own is letting your ego get in your way.