My Biggest Problem in Business
Seconds and Cents, Episode 11. Today is Monday, July 13, I am absolutely pumped right now I'm coming off of a huge victory in my business and getting something that wasn't working to work. I love fixing code problems. And so we finally got to work, which was great. And today what we're going to talk about is not related to code, what we're going to talk about is we're gonna talk about kind of my largest challenge in business, what are the things? What is the thing that I spend the most time thinking about? What is the thing that keeps me most awake at night? The thing that causes the most stress in my life? And how can you transform that sort of danger, that threat into an opportunity? So my focus for the listener is quite simply, just what's going on, in my mind, what's going on in my life? What's the biggest struggle that I face on a daily basis? And what are the steps that I take in order to mitigate that? What are the ways that I think about it in order to mitigate that, and my largest challenge in business is every entrepreneurs largest challenge in business which predictable growing cash flow, cash confidence, it's knowing that next month we are going to make more money than we did last month, or in some cases of my business next month, we're going to lose less money than we lost this month. Right. And so the life the lifeblood here of the business, is sales and marketing. the lifeblood of any business is sales and marketing. What are the ways that I view sales and marketing? What are the ways that I've used cash that I've used cash flow, especially in different timelines? And how is how is cash really how is cash for that customer? How is cash for you? And how do I deal with this challenge really, what is this challenge? So, first, we have to define a couple of things we have to define kind of what cash flow means, we have to define the time of cash flow. So cash flow is in the past and cash flow operates in the future cash flow does not operate in the present. It's only accounted for in the present. So cash flow is never in the present. In the past, well what's that mean? That means that you provide value as an entrepreneur you provide value up front, before you ask, I provide value upfront before I asked whether that value is clarity on the prospects bigger future or that value is a trial and a product that we have. Or that value is sample content as it relates to lead AI, hey, here's what we would have published last year. Ultimately, we provide value upfront before we ask for anything in return. That's just how entrepreneurs work. That's how the market works is you always have to provide value up front, even if you're Nike, and you've never bought an IQ probe and the prospect that you're looking for has never bought a Nike product before. Ultimately, they have to have the right advertising campaign that inspires you to go buy a Nike product, or they have to have the right shoe already made for you and in the right spot in the right store for you to go buy that product. Right and so there's always value upfront that has to take place before the buying decision can take place or To enable the prospects to be able to, to make that buying decision. And then secondly will How is cash flow in the future and this is bigger cash flow, bigger cash flows in the future because of customer loyalty and customer trust. And really, people think, well, the customer trust is such a big thing, we're going to build a relationship with our customer. And that's great. But really, your customers don't necessarily care about a relationship with you or they don't care about a relationship with me, outside of my unique capabilities, being used for them to have a bigger and better future, my helping them create a bigger and better future. And every product that we sell, helps our customers create a bigger and better future and it helps accelerate that bigger and better future becoming the present. And everything that we talk about with our customers is about a bigger and better future. That's what's inspirational. That's what gets a prospect to go from a prospect to a customer and ultimately from a customer to an advocate. And so this customer trust this customer loyalty piece is
Really about? Well, they trust that I do business in a fair manner, although it is and that's a stepping stone towards what we're really looking for, what we're really looking for is we're looking to be in the transformation business, and we're looking to help customers create their bigger and better future faster.
So how is cash flow in the past? It's in the past, because as any business owner has to do, you have to provide value upfront for you ask for something in return. And how's it in the future? Well, if I can help create a bigger and better future for my clients now, then there's a really high likelihood that they're going to include me in their bigger and better future in the future. And so cash flow really is about well, is my customers future going to include me? Or is my customers future not going to include me and if it's going to include me, then cash flow is safe and cash flows is secure. Secondly, let's talk about sales and marketing. So sales and marketing are just simply the lifeblood of the business. They are the oxygen that keeps the business running and I've seen a lot of amazing, amazing process.
Products leave the market because they didn't have good sales and marketing. And also a lot of average products have succeeded greatly. Honestly, Facebook should not have beaten MySpace overall, except that Facebook Of course had like the best execution strategy of all time, they were really well capitalized. Ultimately, Facebook succeeds because of the network effect. Facebook succeeds because everybody else is also on Facebook. There are plenty of Facebook alternatives out there MySpace being one of them, at the time that Facebook was launched MySpace was by far the superior product. But ultimately, Facebook had better sales and marketing Facebook was better capitalized, and they were better able to provide that oxygen into the business that was gonna grow Facebook, from a million users to a billion and from a billion users to 2 billion while Microsoft right mice, Microsoft, MySpace didn't have that.
So in my four years as an entrepreneur in my four years as being a business owner as caring about cash flow in my business, My business, my biggest challenge every single year has been creating has been creating predictably growing cash flow predictably growing cash flow, here's what I can sell one on one, I can create great products, I can deliver great products. But ultimately, my unique ability is to find patterns and to create automations. So my unique ability is to find patterns in the world, find ways that I can take something that exists in the world and automate that thing or teach a computer how to do that thing. so that people can spend more time doing what they love to do and less time doing things that are kind of my new show or doing things that they don't really love to do or doing things because they have to in order to be able to keep the business running. That's what I love to do. That's in this podcast. That's what's come out the easiest and everything that I've said I've stumbled over my words a bunch of times, that's what's just easiest for me and I absolutely love doing it if I can do it every day what so I spend all my time doing that. I don't spend In my time, creating enormous marketing strategies for my business. I don't spend my time creating enormous sales strategies for my business. Ironically, one of my products does create sales and marketing strategies for other people's business. But selling other people's business and selling your business are two very, very different things. Creating a bigger future for your clients and creating an understanding yourself well enough to create a bigger future for yourself are two very, very different things. And so for me, I spend most of my time dissecting the world dissecting my client's future and figuring out how I can make that future bigger for them. And that's really what I'm great at. doing that for my own business is very difficult. It's like going to a barber or going to a hairdresser. Every time I enter the barber shop, the people with the worst haircuts are the barbers, right? And ultimately, my focus is always on how can I find the right people in order to predictably grow cash flow. And I want to be very clear, I have stumbled over this word already today, the word sustainable. I do not like the term sustainable cash flow. Sustainable cash flow is the amount of cash that you need in order to get by. It's the amount of cash that you need in order to keep the doors open. Sustainable is not what any entrepreneurs going for. every entrepreneur is going for abundance, they're going for freedom. Part of that freedom includes freedom of money. And so I really make sure that I avoid the word sustainable. Everything is predictable, predictably growing cash flow. Not only do I want growing cash flow, but I want to know how much it's going to grow. And I want to know what dials I can turn in order to make that cash flow grow more or less, depending on my mood or the market or anything else. And that kind of leads me to how I've gotten to the point where I'm at, which is, I find people whose unique capabilities is growing. cashflow, I find people whose unique capabilities is figuring out how you can create more predictable higher growth cash flow. And the reason for that is because my biggest learning experience is trying to do everything at once. It's trying to do sales and marketing, and creating my own PR strategy and creating my own marketing strategy and creating my own content and creating my own copy and creating and servicing products. I love creating and servicing products. I love going to client meetings where we're going to figure out how we can make the product work even better for them. But ultimately, every time I do both, I lose money. I lose money fast. It's a lot of money that I typically end up losing, I lose it fast. It's been a tough learning experience. Every single time I've done it, and actually over the last couple of months, I have flat out rejected for the rest of my life, that I will create a sales and marketing strategy for my own company. I'm happy to do it for other people's companies. I'm happy to help create other companies, bigger and better futures but ultimately I will Never do this for my company again. And that's because it's just not what I'm wired to do. I'm wired to make sure that my customers futures are far bigger than their pasts are, and I'm wired to focus entirely on my customers futures, and allow somebody else to help me take care of mine. And I think that's a real customer obsession. It's a real customer focus that builds the loyalty. It builds that cash flow and future tense.
But ultimately, it's just not what I'm going to be able to do for my own business. And Norwich isn't what I want to do. I don't wake up every day saying, well, I can't wait to make more money for myself. I wake up every day saying, Wow, I can't wait to make more money for other people. I can't wait to help this industry or this company, or this agency or whoever it is make a bunch of money for themselves so that they can have a bigger and better future and they can include me in it. I just want to be along for the ride with them. And really, that is the thing that gets me awake fastest in the morning. And so lastly, and this is kind of the big point that I Think about I've been thinking about a lot over the last week. I'm going to be continuing to think about for a while, but it's about choosing the problems that you face. And growing predictable cash flow. Growing predictable cash flow in the past and in the future is a really interesting problem because every business faces problems. When I started out, I had different problems than I did when I was growing. I had different problems than I did. Once we had kind of found our footing. I had different problems than I do now. Now that we scale and we expand, and ultimately the Prop, it's a question of, would you like to have growing cash flow problems growing customers problems growing scale problems? Or would you like to have struggling cash flow, struggling customers struggling scale problems. And I think if you have to choose your problems, you might as well choose the ones that are the most lucrative and the most fun to solve. scaling the business is by far more fun to solve than dealing with a business that can't scale or grow. cash flow and growing customers really quickly is far more fun to deal with than struggling to find customers and struggling to find cash flow. And so I'm thinking quite a bit about, well, how can I create? If I'm going to have to deal with problems? I'd like to create the problems that I'm going to deal with. And so who can I put in place to create those problems? Who can I put in place that challenges the scale of my business or challenges the resiliency of my business, in a really high changing marketplace? Or who can put in Who can I put in place that will really stress test the viability of our solutions across industries, the viability of our solutions, across country borders, across continents and oceans. And so I'm really interested to talk about this. I'm really interested to do more deep dives on this topic because I think cash flow affects everybody every entrepreneur is thinking about cash flow all the time, the only two problems that are faced by every end of entrepreneur Individually, our cash flow and how you spend your time. And so I think this is going to be a really interesting topic to continue to do a deep dive on.
The above is an AI transcription of Evan’s Seconds and Cents podcast.