The major thing to help employees thrive is to give them 100% clarity on what is expected of them. What is their role? How are they being measured? What do they own and lead? What is expected? How are they doing on things? Employees are often in the dark about these things. Entrepreneurs think that everyone can (and should) read their mind, but they can’t. We have to clearly explain and lay out what someone’s role is if we want them to thrive. We use what we call a Job Scorecard to help with this process, which we originally got the idea from the book, Who by Geoff Smart.
I had the pleasure to interview Austin Netzley. Austin is an investor, entrepreneur and bestselling author. He is the Founder and CEO of 2X, a company specializing in helping 6 and 7-figure entrepreneurs more than double their business in just 90 days by focusing on creating a systematic, scale-able business. Austin is a former collegiate athlete and the #1 international bestselling author of Make Money, Live Wealthy, which has been downloaded and sold over 60,000 times. Austin also has also founded an investing company where he created his own day-trading algorithm and automated it, as well as a book marketing company Epic Launch that moved over 1.7 million books in less than two years for entrepreneurs all throughout the world. Austin has been featured on many of the world’s largest business websites such as Entrepreneur, Yahoo!, BusinessInsider, ABC, NBC, The Washington Post and more. For more information about Austin and 2X, please visit: Scale2X.com
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I had a few businesses before I got into coaching/consulting others on their business. In my first businesses, I was trying to figure it all out on my own and definitely stumbled most of the time.
It was stressful… and often NOT profitable. Even though I was putting in the hours and work, I wasn’t getting very far.
After big burnout, having anxiety attacks and needing to call 911 (thinking I was going to die), I learned that there just HAD to be a better, simpler way to becoming ’successful’ in business.
So, I went on a mission to figure that out, and applied those principles to create successful businesses. Then I saw the opportunity to start helping others do the same, as the right way I found to build a business wasn’t talked about nearly enough.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Early on with our company, when our growth had stalled and some things weren’t developing as we had planned, one of my employees asked me, “Have you ever thought about hiring someone else to be CEO while you run operations?”
This was a shot to the gut. And my ego.
But it was a great question, and had me really think about my role as CEO. Was I doing well in this role? What could I do better to drive growth? If I did hire someone to be CEO, what would they do?
I took this question to heart, became a better leader of our company and CEO, and ultimately started acting more and more like a true CEO would.
Many small business owners get caught up in the day-to-day and aren’t great at driving growth as a true CEO would, and I’ve caught myself in that situation more times than I’d like to admit. But now, we’re scaling fast and driving growth with me still as CEO.
So my questions to you are: Are you doing a good job as CEO of your company? If you hired someone else to be CEO, what would they do that you’re not?
These two questions will hopefully provide some good insight into your growth plan much like they have for us.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistake we’ve made is not putting ourselves through our own growth program. We got to the first level of success and then to scale to the next level we started joining other programs and seeking other consulting.
We learned some valuable things there, but we then put our company through our own growth program and started to get the type of traction and results that we help clients drive.
So, the point is: If you have something that works, USE IT!
The grass is always greener, but tap into the best resources at your feet and it’ll be a lot easier (and cheaper!).
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
What makes us stand out is really the focus on Systems as the key to scale.
The way we see it, most small business owners can’t grow because they don’t have the time, cash, or structure to drive the growth they know is possible.
The key that we’ve found to help with this is systems. Systems for your business, life outside of business, money, team, etc. This is the central part of what we do, and it allows for more time and scale.
By having much better operations and time management, the entrepreneur can then work on actually growing the company. The results? Our clients have generated over $44 million while in our program in just the first 10 months of our company’s existence even though we aren’t focusing on sales and marketing much at all.
Systems will set you free, and they’re your best friend as you try to scale.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We have a really proven methodology and program that we want to do a lot more of it. So, to do so, what we’re doing is turning our consulting program to also have a higher-end program that is much more done-with-you.
We’ll fly to the entrepreneur’s location and work with them and their team directly to help implement the key things needed to grow rapidly.
This will be a lot of fun because we have the proven methodologies, and with this approach, we can start to drive results within a matter of days instead of within 4–10 weeks.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
The major thing to help employees thrive is to give them 100% clarity on what is expected of them.
What is their role? How are they being measured? What do they own and lead? What is expected? How are they doing on things?
Employees are often in the dark about these things. Entrepreneurs think that everyone can (and should) read their mind, but they can’t. We have to clearly explain and lay out what someone’s role is if we want them to thrive.
We use what we call a Job Scorecard to help with this process, which we originally got the idea from the book, Who by Geoff Smart.
How do you define “Leadership”?
Leadership is the ability to drive results through the efforts of others. It’s about taking ownership of the issues, and giving credit for the victories. It’s about leading by example, setting the tone for the culture that you craft for your company, living those core values out every single day.
And it’s also in my opinion about empowering other leaders. As entrepreneurs, it’s tough to let go of many things — from tasks, to the praise, to ownership. We often want to do it all. But the best way to grow fast is to let go and create other leaders that can drive things forward.
What advice would you give to other CEOs about the best way to manage a large team?
The Job Scorecard is the central place for all of our employees. On that Scorecard, it makes things black and white, and ultimately has every employee’s performance right in front of them (and you) in black and white. This makes things so much easier.
One of the key elements of all that we track on this Scorecard, are the KPIs for that role. If you can simplify your business, and for each role, down into a few key metrics, this will help tell you exactly what is going on so that there are no emotions. This is better for them… and WAY better for you.
Master the metrics and business (and leadership) will become much easier.
This also helps a lot when there are multiple layers of leaders/managers involved.
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?
I’ve had many people that have helped me along the way, and I’m sure many more that will help in the future. The first that comes to mind is my first business mentor Tom, who is now the CEO of a large pipeline company.
On my second or third day in the corporate world, he brought me into a conference room. I was scared as can be because I’m an introvert and he was an intimidating figure.
But he taught me a lesson then that is now one of the keys to success in what we teach in helping people turn their business into a systemized and optimized machine.
I will never forget that moment and that lesson, that is too long to explain without some visuals. 🙂
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
We believe that entrepreneurs are more often than not the ones that lead our communities, and ultimately our society, so if we can help these leaders have more success, then the ripple effect and the amount of people that we impact through them is extraordinary.
We help people get a lot more time, control, and a lot more growth… all of which allow them to have more success in what they do.
So, with this effort, we have started a massive movement of improvement for a lot of people, and we have a lot more that we’ll grow this movement with over the coming years and decades.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Slow and controlled growth is best
Most entrepreneurs are impatient and even a bit unrealistic in their goals. I’ve definitely been that way with my first few businesses. But what I’ve learned is that the fastest way to have big growth is when things are slow, methodical and controlled.
Instead of the big swings, the ups-and-downs, it’s been much better to have much more stable and consistent growth. This has been better for cash flow, and really for the entire stress level of our team. We’ve made much better decisions and still have had big growth over time. We’ve still grown to 6-figures per month in our first year of business even with this mentality as we’ve made much stronger strategic decisions by not trying to explode ‘overnight’.
2. Compare yourself to yourself
It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game on social media and looking at other big success stories. There is ALWAYS going to be someone making more money or having more success. Instead of focusing on them and feeling bad about our own progress, it’s definitely best to focus on the process of success and just commit to getting better each and every week.
If you do this, I’ve found that it not only adds up quickly (much like in lesson #1 above), but it also makes the mental rollercoaster of entrepreneurship a lot smoother.
I am not on social media much at all. I’m much more focused on our own business than our competition, and again, this has led to the most balanced growth and year of business I’ve ever had.
3. Do less. Even less than that.
Entrepreneurship is tough. But it doesn’t have to be so hard…
The key I’ve found is to constantly be cutting out what is non-essential (which most of what we do isn’t essential at all). With clients, we always find 20–40% of what they’re doing to be a distraction that just isn’t worth it. So, we cut these things out completely and that makes business substantially easier.
Spend time each and every week to think: What can you stop doing that just isn’t essential to helping you accomplish your goals?
My guess is that you can find 20–40% of stuff, as well. The path to scale starts with Simplifying. Do less, just do it better.
4. Do more of what works
The grass is always greener for entrepreneurs, and we often get caught up in thinking that the solution is something “new”. So we keep trying new tactics to hope for this big break… When in reality, most of us already have things that work.
So, the key is: do more of that!
Cut out what doesn’t work; double down on what does… and you may soon double your business, as well.
5. Systems are the solution to most problems
The saying, “Systems will set you free,” is absolutely true.
Most small businesses are built around one person, so the key to delegating and the key to scaling is to create systems to allow things to actually grow without that person.
These are something we’ve gone all-in on mastering and by doing so, have an extremely scalable business that doesn’t need me to drive all aspects of the business.
If I had learned this earlier in my career, I definitely would have made millions more in sales.
Systems are one of the key pillars for a successful business, and I’ll never build a business again without this at the center of our success.
You are a person of great 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. 🙂
I would start a school for small business owners to teach them what I’ve learned working with so many entrepreneurs that there is a much better way to build a business.
Most have only created more stress and don’t ever generate any wealth for themselves, and they don’t have any time for their family, that we have to teach entrepreneurs all over the world a simpler, better way to build a profitable and successful business that does NOT require 80 hour workweeks or years to create.
This would have such a big impact because a large portion of our society are small business owners, and their success would help stimulate the economy, middle class, and opportunities for so many.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“20 Years from now we’ll be more disappointed by the things we didn’t do than the one’s we did.”
We spend so much time being afraid. This quote will have you think long-term, and take the necessary “risks” in the moment to ultimately create the life and business that is possible.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment 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 🙂
I’d love to have breakfast to talk about entrepreneurship, growth, optimization, and helping others become the best they can be with Kobe Bryant.
He’s a legendary basketball player that is on the fast-path to being a legendary entrepreneur and creator, as well.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Follow me on Facebook by searching Austin Netzley (Facebook.com/austin.netzley or Facebook.com/scale2x).
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
Main website: https://scale2x.com/
Images also there on that link