How did I scale my business from zero to 8 figures in less than one year?
Right now there are many entrepreneurs and business owners wondering how they can scale their business to new heights.
They may be sitting at the 6 figure or 7 figure mark and planning or strategizing about what they need to do to get to that 8 figure level.
It’s a common problem. You’ve worked hard to get yourself to a certain place and then BAM! You hit a ceiling, and no matter what you do you can’t seem to break through. I had the same problems.
My success and failures are well documented. I always make a point of telling people the number of businesses I’ve failed at over the years. How many times I tried this business or that business. How many times I fell flat on my butt.
So, why do I say it? Why do I talk about losing all those times, about wiping out? Because I’m proud of it. That’s right, proud. I’m proud of what I went through, and all the ups and downs that came with the experience. Without them I would never have made it.
My failures are the reason I eventually became successful. The reason I was able to grow my global education business to where it is now. From zero to 8 figures in less than a year.
Without all those failures, the hardships, the brutal life lessons I learnt along the way, I would never be where I am today. And the thing is I was just another stat.
I was one of those failures. One of many who tried to make it, had a go at it but fell flat to rock bottom. Sometimes lower than that.
As an entrepreneur it comes with the territory. We know the dangers of building your own business. Of carving your mark into the world. It’s what electrifies us and terrifies us all at once. It’s what motivates us, keeps us going and gets us to do the things that most people never will or even think to do.
For many the idea of building something that generates 6 figures, 7 figures, 8 figures or more, is beyond their wildest dreams.
For those brave enough, strong enough, determined enough to do so, it can be done. If you’re reading this and you’re one of those people, stay tuned. I’m going to share some of the key things that allowed me to scale my global education business from zero to 8 figures in less than a year.
The 8 Figure Blueprint
Before I get on to the core components of scaling to 8 figures, let me first focus on the basic principles for each level of your company’s growth. From my experience, there are certain fundamentals to growing your business, and they are actually quite simple. It’s like this:
- To go from $0 – $1 Million, you need to focus on your Offer, Sales & Marketing.
- From $1 Million – $10 Million, you need Financial Literacy, Leveraged Systems & Leveraged Processes.
- And $10 Million – $100+ Million, it then becomes about Culture, Leadership & Strategic Decision Making.
Now, I won’t talk about step one, those processes are the fundamentals that every business knows and should be doing every day. If you don’t know how to create an offer, market it and then sell it when you get your leads, then you’ll never get to the next level. End of story.
Likewise, I won’t go into what it takes to go from 8 figures and higher. To do that requires a whole different level of entrepreneur. All I’ll say is, that’s where I’m at now. I don’t touch the technical part anymore. My focus is on building high level relationships, creating brand equity, making key decisions and creating culture.
Now, if you’re stuck at the 7 figure mark, that’s okay. There are a lot of entrepreneurs or business owners who are right where you are. They’re stuck as well, wondering, “How do I grow, how do I get to 8 figures?” So that’s where I’ll focus.
You see, the bit that most people struggle with, that ceiling they find the hardest to break through, has these three parts to it:
Being able to read your numbers is important. Do you know what’s going on with your top line? Your bottom line?
How am I investing my money, where in my company is it going, what are my overheads, expenses etc. These are all questions you should be able to answer or have an understanding of, so that you can manage your money and allocate resources to achieving your 8 figure goals.
You can’t scale your business without systems in place. With systems you can create constant, consistent results for you, your team, and all areas of your business and business relationships.
When you have that, you can track how effective you’re being. How efficient you are. How profitable. It also makes sure your product quality doesn’t drop as you grow.
You need to have the right infrastructure, the right processes in place behind the scenes, so you can do what you do without getting involved. To me, out of the three, this is the most fundamental to scaling your business.
Take my YouTube videos, for example. If I shoot a YouTube video, I come in, I sit down, I’m told what we’re shooting, I do it, and I’m done. And that’s it. I don’t have to worry about it after that because it will get sorted.
We know the videos we’re going to film, the set we’re going to do the filming in. After we film it goes to the team for editing, animation, after effects etc. And we use the right software so my team can organize it all and track where everything’s at every step of the way. Everything.
And once that is done, we have our schedule. We know when it’s going to be released, how it’s going to be optimised, what text to add. And then that piece gets repurposed on Instagram, Facebook etc. It’s a 10 – 12 step process, and that’s for one piece of content.
I don’t do a video and think, “Right, let’s just do a video and see what happens”. It’s all planned. I don’t have to run around chasing anyone. “Is it done? Is it finished? What’s happening?” I don’t see it. It’s all happening behind the scenes.
That’s the power of leveraging process.
Once you get that and the other aspects of your business nailed, then you’ll have that solid foundation to build on and you’ll find it so much easier to grow.
Zero to 8 Figures: New Levels Bring New Devils
Now here’s where it gets interesting. One of the first things that I’ve learnt over the years is that there are many challenges, many devils, you have to face along the way. To go to the next level, the first one you have to face is you.
Now, I’m not just talking about the usual grit and determination and hard work you need, that everyone talks about. That’s a given. It comes with the job. If you don’t have those things then you shouldn’t be in the game in the first place.
What I’m talking about is the realization, the understanding, that what got you here, won’t get you there. What first motivated you, what inspired you to create a business in the first place and got you to the 6 or 7 figure mark, isn’t necessarily going to get you to the 8 figures you’re after.
Why do I say that?
Well, it’s like this. For most people, at the beginning, they may have just wanted to be a lifestyle entrepreneur. They wanted to work from home or be a digital nomad. Sitting with their laptop on the couch or on a beach somewhere, free to go and work as they please. Be their own boss, see the world. That’s what a lot of people start out doing. And that’s perfectly okay, that’s great. It’s what I wanted and how I started at the beginning. I never thought about running an 8 figure business or being where I am today.
But once you start to grow, as you try to do more and get bigger, to get to the next level, you will realize that the mentality that you need, the skill set that you need, who you are as a person, is very, very different.
Zero to 6 figures, it’s just you. You’re basically self-employed. You do pretty much everything yourself, make all the decisions, pick up all the pieces. And maybe the jobs you can’t do, you outsource to other people.
As you start to get bigger though, you don’t have the time or resource to do those things anymore. To build to the next level you need a team around you. I’m not talking about a virtual team. That’s like having a group of mercenaries working for you. There’s no real commitment. There’s no loyalty. They can be working for you and be working for loads of others at the same time, they can be here one moment or gone the next.
Going into business is like going into war. When it’s just you, no one really notices. You can be more nimble, go where you like, avoid the big fights. But as you get bigger and you want to go head first into battle, you need people beside you who you can trust, who have your back.
Not only that, you need a group of people who share your vision, so you’re all working towards a common goal.
For instance, if you look at my organization, I am the leader, the brand, the visionary. But it’s my team that makes the brand work. You may see my name and my face everywhere, and you buy into my message, but behind the scenes there’s this massive team of individuals all working together to make the Dan Lok machine run at 100%.
To Get to 8 Figures You Need Top Talent
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” — Phil Jackson
It’s my job to lead, to strategize, to make the tough decisions. And it’s also my job to hire the right people, to recruit talented people who are the right fit for my business.
I believe the 21st century is not a war on customers, it’s a war on talent. It’s not about who can get the most customers, it’s about who can get the best team. You need to have people that are going to drive the business beyond just you. This point I learnt the very first time from Jack Ma.
When Jack Ma came up with the idea for Alibaba, it was just him and 17 other people. This was back in the late 1990’s. He was only paying them $80 dollars a month each, which was nothing, but it didn’t matter because they all had the same goal.
When he went public on the New York Stock Exchange it was the most successful IPO (Initial Public Offering) in history. Those 18 people grew that idea into a multi billion dollar company serving all of China and used around the world.
So, as you can see, you need that core group of people. That core leadership team, I call them my executive team, are very, very key. Because everything is built from there. It shouldn’t just be you losing sleep over the business. All of your leaders, they should be losing sleep too, thinking about how to grow the business.
Now, you might be thinking “But Dan, where do I start?”. Good question. It all depends on what you want to do. It could be that your first goal is to increase revenue, so the first step may be to bring on a Director of Sales, or it could be to bring in a Director of Marketing.
If you want to tighten up your finances, the first stage, before you get a CFO, is to hire a Controller, the one who looks at your numbers each month and goes “Hey, Dan, maybe you’re being a bit too aggressive here with the marketing. Your cash flow is not too good.” They’re telling you to look at your numbers each month right? Holding you accountable.
That’s what having a great team is like. Surround yourself with the right people, the right support, and you can achieve anything.
Money Follows Attention
The other crucial party to scaling my business to 8 figures so quickly is that I get people’s attention. That’s right. Attention.
If you want to build your brand, if you want to build your business, you need to get attention. Most businesses fail because they’re not getting attention in the marketplace. Attention is the new currency.
I’m sure you can think of other products or services in the marketplace, in the industry, that aren’t as good as yours, that are maybe less quality than what you’re selling, but for some reason they’re selling more. Have you seen that before? Of course, all the time, right?
Why is that? How are they getting more of the market share even though what they have isn’t so great? It’s simple. It’s because, even though they have less quality products, they’ve committed to getting attention.
There’s so much noise in the market place you can’t just put one or two things out there and expect the sales to start rolling in. You need to do as much as you can. If you’re going to tweet, don’t just do one or two. You need to do ten tweets, a hundred tweets, a thousand tweets. If you’re going to make videos, you make a lot of videos.
For instance, my YouTube channel has over 1500 videos. On top of that, I have a podcast. I give interviews. I’m on facebook, instagram, twitter. I write blogs and articles. And that’s not even how I make my money. That’s what I do in my spare time to promote my product, my brand.
If you include all the books I’ve written, events I hold and partnerships I’ve formed, you start to get an idea of how much content I’m putting out into the market.
There’s a lot of competition out there and you’ve got to fight to stand out. Oh, at first they’ll ignore you, they’ll laugh at you, they’ll think you’re nothing. But soon they’ll start to notice, they’ll see you, hear you, read about you more and more, and they’ll fight back. But by then you’ll be winning.
You’ve got to get out there, push your name, make people pay attention. Why do you think I used to dress in a red suit? To get attention right? Most people when they think of me they still think of that red suit. That’s the power of grabbing someone’s attention.
You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going. Most entrepreneurs or businesses in general, are busy procrastinating. They try to get things perfect. If you want to grow your business, remember this very important point, and again pay attention because this is very important: Perfection is the enemy of progress.
To scale your business to 7 or 8 figures you need to be able to move fast. If you write an article you don’t like, who cares, upload it. Creating a video you don’t like? Upload it anyway. If you write a post you don’t like, who cares, upload it. Tweet the crap out of it. You need to stay agile. The minute you slow down, your growth will slow down.
There’s a great quote that I love from Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn:
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
These are the core reasons I was able to scale my business from zero to 8 figures in less than a year. But that’s just scratching the surface. There was a lot more to it, as I’m sure you can imagine, but it would be too much to go into it here. If you’d like to know more about how you could possibly achieve the same results as I did, how I was able to grow my business so quickly, I’ve created a special 12 week program specifically designed to help businesses reach 7 figures, 8 figures and above, just like I did. To find out more click here.