Speed of Implementation: Double down on your dream; implement it with even more speed when the going gets tough. If it feels impossible to succeed, you are much closer to your goal than you think. Have faith in yourself and your business; a creator is looking after you.
As a part of my series called “Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ruble Chandy.
Global entrepreneur Ruble Chandy is the author of the international bestselling book on conscious business strategies, 90 Days to Life: A Journey from Turmoil to Triumph, and the creator of Online Business Accelerator™ workshops. Marrying eastern wisdom with western know-how, Chandy built three tremendously successful, seven-figure businesses before retiring at the age of 38 to pursue his passion for helping businesses accelerate growth using the same principles and strategies that propelled his own success. Fluent in three languages, Chandy has consulted with entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Ruble: At the age of 19, I was forced to start a business out of necessity. We had 30,000 dollars debt in India; a 90 dollars a month job was not going to help me get out of that kind of debt. But things got worse when I failed in two businesses by the age of 24 and accumulated 60,000 dollars in debt. Massive failure became an enormous learning opportunity for me. Fast forward to today- I have built three, seven-figure businesses and am now helping businesses in 14 countries scale to 7, 8, and 9 figures.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
Ruble: This was in the earlier stages of my business career. We were working with the United States Airforce in Kuwait on a half million dollar custodian contract. The security procedure for getting onto the American base takes 30 to 60 days. Many of our employees’ entry passes were denied, so we had a huge staffing shortage. We were not able to provide the value we had promised to our customer, the USAF. My partner and I went to the air force base and covered for our staff. I convinced the captain of our quality assurance and the unique nature of the situation. My business partner cleaned the offices, bathroom, and replaced the toilet paper. That is how we over-delivered and won back the contract for five more years.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Ruble: Yes. My Dad and Mom. My dad gave me the freedom to explore the world and make mistakes. He accepted me and supported me even when it felt impossible to succeed. My mom gave me a sound spiritual background that augmented my dad’s support. It created the ideal space for me to fail forward and win the game of life and business.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Ruble: “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” This has been a guiding force for me as I built multiple businesses. The focus in life and business has always been to do things that matter and only those things. We use four questions in our organizations to find out if something is of value. Does this have the potential to create high income now or later? Can it make a big impact for others? Are we passionate about this project? Are we proficient in this space? If the answer to these is yes, then we go ahead and take that project on.
Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. We’d love to learn a bit about your company. What is the pain point that your company is helping to address?
Ruble: We created Business Accelerator to help small and medium businesses scale to 7, 8, and 9 figures. The central pain point these businesses have in common is they don’t have a sustainable, step-by-step scaling strategy. If they are below seven figures, they usually have a problem with branding, marketing, and client acquisition. If they are between seven and eight figures, they typically have innovation and optimization problems. If they are above eight figures, they primarily have optimization problems.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Ruble: We stand out because we consistently under promise and over deliver. We sincerely care for our customers’ success. Our premium clients have private access to me for any issues they might have, business or personal. One night I got a call at 11:00 pm from a 50 million dollars CEO who was rattled and scared. I told him to get on Zoom and stayed with him for two hours, helping him sort out his issues with a family member. We eventually helped him grow his company to 90 million dollars, but that was not the most impactful thing he remembers. He always talks about the time I stayed up with him until 1:00 am on one of the most challenging days of his life.
When you first started the business, what drove you, what was your primary motivation?
Ruble: When I started my first business, my intention was to make a lot of money to pay off the loan sharks and support my family.
What drives you now? Is it the same? Did it change? Can you explain what you mean?
Ruble: What drives me today is other people’s success. I am focused on adding massive value for my clients and helping them succeed big. Over the journey of my own entrepreneurship, I learned that it is never about me or my business! It is about being selfish for the client. Always give more than you receive in value, and you will generate a lot of wealth.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Ruble: One of the major reasons I run my business is to help fund my project to educate the poorest children in the world’s most impoverished countries. In the next 12 months, we plan to help fund the education of 100 kids. Our moonshot goal is to help educate a million kids in my lifetime. It also includes a plan to teach these kids to be entrepreneurs so they can generate more wealth to build a sustainable model for educating even more children.
The topic of this series is ‘Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue’. Congratulations! Seven figures is really a huge milestone. In your experience what was the most difficult part of being able to hit your first million-dollars in sales revenue?
Ruble: I got lucky in my first two successful businesses because the average price for the service we offered was between 100,000 dollars and 500,000 dollars. What I learned from my earlier failures and later successes is not to be caught up in the day to day firefighting of the business and lose sight of your dream. The name of the game is to keep your dream alive even when you feel you are stagnant. I also believe that the speed of implementation is an entrepreneur’s superpower even when they are struggling. Lastly, if you want to reach seven figures, make sure you don’t run out of money. Even if you drive a Ferrari, if you run out of gas, you will be calling AAA with an embarrassing look on your face. A seven to nine figure business is a cash flow game driven by a vivid dream and robust implementation.
Could you share the number one sales strategy that you found helpful to help you reach this milestone?
Ruble: The number one sales strategy we stand by is to abandon the old insurance ABC salesmodel- Always Be Closing! Today’s buyer is much more sophisticated and can see through your tricks, gimmicks and manipulative techniques. We call the new mantra our team has embraced the ABC of persuasion, which is Always Be Caring. Once you become your prospect’s trusted advisor, closing becomes a natural progression. Everyone hates to be sold, yet shopping or buying is their favorite hobby! When deep trust and rapport is created, the customer will even close the sales for you.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you or your team made during a sales process? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Ruble: This happened in 2006. A major US Government contractor needed satellite internet in Afghanistan and Iraq. One of our team members promised that we would provide internet. It was not as easy as he had thought. A person from our team would have had to have gone to these dangerous places, install some devices, and test the satellite internet before we could commission them. Since the promise had been made, I found a satellite company and negotiated a deal with them to not only provide the internet but also to send a technician to install it on our behalf, still making a decent profit from it. What I learned from the ordeal is that if you are committed to your clients, you can always find a solution, even if you do not see it in front of you immediately.
Does your company have a sales team? If yes, do you have any advice about how companies can create very high performing sales teams?
Ruble: Yes, we do. If you want to build a high-performing sales team, you must decide to hire only A+ players as your sales team members. Topgrading for Sales is a great book to use as a tool to create a high performing sales team. The nutshell is to first define measurable success criteria for the sales job and then ask potential candidates to clearly fill their career history form and self-certify it. This process, when done correctly, eliminates a lot of misfits and attracts the right ones.
Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue”. Please share a story or an example for each.
Ruble: I have failed in two businesses, built 3 businesses to seven figures, and am helping multiple businesses to grow to 7 to 9 figures in several countries. I will share my best strategies from all of these, unfiltered.
One — Create Raving Fan Customers: Under promise and over deliver more value than anyone else in your industry and do it consistently. My entire consulting business was built on this premise.
Two — Power of Anticipation: Make Innovation the Bedrock of Your Business by adapting to the changing needs of your clients. An eight figure business I help was struggling for cash flow when I met them. The had many products but none of them stood out in the market. I helped them innovate a new product that postioned them in the online space in less than twelve months. Anticipate the needs of your clients and solve them in advance.
Three — Speed of Implementation: Double down on your dream; implement it with even more speed when the going gets tough. If it feels impossible to succeed, you are much closer to your goal than you think. Have faith in yourself and your business; a creator is looking after you.
Four — Scaling Strategy: Have a step by step strategy to Scale and Celebrate Your Progress. When I started my first business I had no clue how to scale my business. If you grow your clients by 33%, average sale price by 13% and repurchase frequency by 33%, your business will not be growing just by 79% but 100%. Why is that? This is because they are cumulative and complement each other. We used this strategy to build our technology business to seven figures in a few short years.
Five and Most Importantly — Cash is the Queen: Measure and Optimize Cash Flow, Cash Flow, and Cash Flow. When I work with companies that grow from seven to nine figures, the most common disease that causes them to die early is cash flow problems. Cash flow management issues stop them from scaling to the next level. In fact, most small companies don’t even create a cash flow statement. When I failed at my first business I was counting money using fingers. Two of my three seven figure businesses had solid cash flow management plans. This is one of the most important real growth indicators for a company, no matter how big or small you are.
What would you advise to another business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill? From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth or sales and “restart their engines”?
Ruble: I really need to understand the business’s particular situation to give more specific advice. My general advice for a company that initially enjoyed years of success but has now reached a standstill is to understand that your problem is not primarily marketing and sales. If it was, you would not have had your initial success. Your problems are most likely due to not anticipating and adapting to your customers’ changing needs quickly enough. Likely, you did not innovate your product or service to meet their current and future needs and wants. Simultaneously, you will most likely have many accounts receivable on your balance sheet. Strengthen your balance sheet by proactively collecting cash to reinvest in innovation, followed by marketing, to restart your engine.
In your specific industry what methods have you found to be most effective in order to find and attract the right customers? Can you share any stories or examples?
Ruble: The first step in attracting the right customer, regardless of your industry, is to define your ideal customer. Once you do, you will realize 4–20% of your customers are your ideal customers already. Find them and start giving them a premium experience. In my experience, one of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to focus on the bottom 20% of customers who are the biggest pain with the least reward. I am asking you to do the exact opposite. Once you give a premium experience to your ideal customers, they become your raving fans. When they do, tell them you want to work with people like them. They will be your evangelists and introduce you to the customers you want.
Based on your experience, can you share a few strategies to give your customers the best possible user experience and customer service?
Ruble: As I mentioned earlier, the strategy here is to promise silver and deliver gold. I am not asking you to lose money. I am asking you to find creative ways to deliver more value than your customer expects from you and to surprise them while making a profit. Most of the customer “surprises” are negative these days. Poor quality and late delivered products or services are common now. Stand out from the ocean of mediocracy by providing better quality than your customer expects, and ahead of schedule. Do it consistently.
As you likely know, this HBR article demonstrates that studies have shown that retaining customers can be far more lucrative than finding new ones. Do you use any specific initiatives to limit customer attrition or customer churn? Can you share some of your advice from your experience about how to limit customer churn?
Ruble: I already covered how to create a raving fan customer; here is how you keep them. It is not the customers’ job to appreciate what you do for them. It is your job to teach them to appreciate what you do. You need to give world-class experience to your clients and prove to them that what you do is serving them immensely. Once you do both of these, your customers will become lifetime fans.
Wonderful. We are nearly done. Here are the final “meaty” questions of our discussion. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Ruble: There is only one gold coin needed to catapult the growth of a world-leading country or business. One side of this coin is innovation, the other side is education. If I could inspire a movement, I would encourage people to get educated to innovate. Since Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the next avenue of innovation, first I would inspire you to invest time and resources to innovate farming and agriculture using AI, so all of God’s children have food in their mouths. Then I would inspire someone else to innovate healthcare using AI to ensure a legitimate means of providing wellness and longevity for all citizens. Then I would inspire yet someone else to innovate energy using AI to sustainably and abundantly generate energy. Finally, I will inspire all of us to innovate education using AI so that it comes full circle and we can sustainably repeat this cycle. These innovations will generate a new brand of capitalism that will provide equal opportunity to all of humanity, not just developed nations.
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Ruble: I would love to have a private breakfast with Chamath Palihapitiya, whom I think will be the Jeff Bezos of the next decade. His initiative, Social Capital, could revolutionize the way business is done in the world with a focus on long term solutions to the problems we created through the disease of short-term thinking. On a personal note, I was born in the southernmost state of India called Kerala, and Chamath was born in Sri Lanka, which is around 500 miles from my home town.
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!