Your CEO Phase explained

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Phase 1: The Start Up CEO

This phase is all about testing the waters. 

You need stamina, grit, a whole lot of hustle, and flexibility. Embrace trial and error—you’re going to mess up a lot in this phase, and that’s okay.

You’re typically making less than $2k a month (possibly not anything at all…yet)

Because if you’re at the very start of this phase, you’re doing a lot of work for free just to gain experience and build up social proof and testimonials.

As a Start up CEO I was a hot mess. In addition to working on my business, I was holding down a full-time corporate job and back then, I had just had my son.

Yes, crazy as it sounds, I started my business on maternity leave and I was running completely on passion and drive, not on experience and certainly not on education.

But the upside of all this was that I was constantly moving…

Observing from the inside how various businesses were run, overcoming my personal challenges of time and ability.

I also realized that, despite the crazy, working on my own business felt more right than any of the big, fancy Investment banking jobs I’d had in the past. 

I was betting on me.

Now your mindset is crucial in every phase, but it plays a particularly big part of Phase 1.

Your self-doubt will tell you that you’re too inexperienced, too young (or too old), that you don’t have the skills or knowledge you need, that you’re not worth what you’re charging people…

In short, that you don’t have what it takes and no one will listen to you.

And so, you then start to think that you’d better jump ship and go back to your old job if you can.

The only way to combat this voice and get your mind right is to listen to the other voice…

The one that motivated you to start your business in the first place. 

The voice that told me, “you were made for this”, “your success is inevitable” and “nothing and no one can stop you”

Because deep down, I knew I wasn’t meant to work for anyone else. 

That was really the thing that drove me past all of those emotional and psychological hurdles that we all face. 

I knew I had to make this work because I tried the other route and that just isn’t me. 

Main Focus of Phase 1: Offer Validation and Your 1st Few Clients

So many of us start our businesses out of the real desire to help people.

I know I just wanted to figure out how to work with people who I could create real results in their lives.

But at first, I didn’t know how.

The worst thing would have been to just guess, get it wrong, and have negative reviews…

Instead of the social proof and testimonials I so badly needed, to get more customers.

The answer? Beta Testing!

This was the best thing I could have done.

I simply offered my course to my ideal clients, for free…

 To gain the confidence and experience I desperately needed…

Plus amazing testimonial from the testers and feedback each week to make my offer even better.

I was simultaneously validating that there was a demand for what I wanted to offer…

And creating the content week by week, based on the weekly feedback I was receiving…

Removing the risk of simply creating what my audience wouldn’t buy.

I wasn’t gonna do that again.

I had previously learnt the hard way from completely creating a product from start to finish that when I launched… 

And paid thousands to be at an exhibitor show for 3 days…

How many did I sell?

Zero, zilch, nada!

The wasted hours, so much money and all that stress…

Damn, I ugly cried that night!

But then I was resolved that I was not going to make that mistake EVER again!

So now I pre-sell or beta EVERYTHING!

And I’ve now developed an even more powerful way to run beta tests… and get paid!

Yes, my bankable beta framework (which you can find in the Beta System Course inside this Inner Circle), leverages on the law of reciprocity whereby just offering part of your offer for free, makes your beta test more likely to feel to a small degree “indebted” to you, that you can upsell the whole offer at a reduced price.

You can tweak your offer, improve your framework, and refine your craft and still get paid. Can you see how powerful this phase is? 

This has been a gamechanger for some of the ladies who have taken that approach

Now even once a successful beta test is over…

The majority of your time should be focused on only one thing: 

Marketing activities that will get you clients and then delivering your service to them.

Ok, that technically 2 things but together they make up what I call “Profit Generating Activities” a.k.a PGAs

But PGAs are not often the priority for the Start up CEO as they typically feel lost in this process, this is probably why…

  1. She doesn’t know what marketing activities will generate money the fastest. 
  2. She doesn’t know what order (or how often) to market to her ideal clients.
  3. She doesn’t know what the end result is supposed to look like, or exactly how to get there. 
  4. She’s probably a one woman band, mainly working on her own so constantly second-guessing herself. 
  5. She doesn’t have a true roadmap to follow, so she keeps going around in circles wasting precious time. 

I know this last one was me for sure.

And I only broke free from that cycle, when I decided to follow what I now call my Easiest Path to Profit. And I did it, one frustrating day after ANOTHER attemps was just not working, by answering this one important question 

What will make me…

the MOST profit…

in the LEAST amount of time…

with the LEAST effort?

So whatever idea you validated in your beta, think about the business model that would be the easiest way to get it out there.

So breaking this question down…

What will make you the most profit? Services where clients have the most access to you e.g. 1:1 coaching, done-for-you services, freelancing 

In the least amount of time? Instead of pre-recording courses and lessons, it’s quicker to offer live calls on Zoom, created packages where you start from a template, services with no prep required

With the least effort? Instead of diving headfirst into complicated auto webinars or 3 part webinar series, try to leverage free traffic sources like your existing network, social media audience and even FB groups… yep they still work

You’re not gonna to build a 7-figure business off these strategies, just get started and those first few sales so you can have the money to start outsourcing (yep even Start Up CEO can get affordable help on Fiverr)

And transition into the next phase…

Danger Zone of Phase 1: Playing Business

Focusing and prioritising validating your offer, understanding your market and building your list to start selling to isn’t half as sexy as… I dunno… designing a logo! (sigh)

But it’s activities like these, you know…

Things like naming your business, coming up with a logo, choosing brand colours, what I call “playing business” that are the little tasks that somehow can steal hours out of your day…

And is a waste of precious time when you’re new in the game.

I can’t tell you how many logos and name changes I’ve had in the last 3 years alone!

But what I can tell you is that none of that stuff makes you any money, and a business that doesn’t make any money is just an expensive hobby (ouch!)

So don’t fall for the trap and focus on what will actually move your business forward.

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Phase 2: The Come Up CEO

This is the Phase where the biggest transition happens…

You’ve validated your offer, you know your niche and have already had success with booking clients or making sales.

You should be so proud of yourself as it takes a lot to get a viable offer off the ground and into profit …YAS!

And if you’ve been a savvy CEO, you’ve not done it all yourself.

You’ve spent money on copywriting, graphic design, or on a VA (not necessarily all three)

As you’re beginning to understand that you can’t do everything…

And even if you could… you shouldn’t!

But income is still inconsistent…

The dreaded feast-and-famine cycle still haunts you and you’re getting more and more burnt out… especially if you’re still trading time for dollars

And in an attempt to make consistent income, we catch a bad case of Shiny Object Syndrome…

Y’know, following every guru and new fad that promises to make bank, creating endless offers, a million freebies and getting frustrated in the process

This split of attention means you have so many half-finished projects and no streamlined system in place to consistently make money.

 

Main Focus of Phase 2: Your One Power Move

The antidote to Shiny Object Syndrome is simply… FOCUS

It’s the only way to shorten this phase so that instead of it taking you 3 years, you could hit 6 figures in less than 1!

And the fastest way to do this, is to drown out the noise, not split your focus and waste your energy but instead scale with ONE marketing funnel that includes… 

ONE Ad

ONE Lead Magnet

ONE Converter

ONE Offer

Just think about it, if you were on a riverbank, trying to get to the other side…

Would you get there quickest, trying to build 7 bridges at the same time, or if you put all your energy into building one? 

That’s your One Power Move…

That’s what is going to get you to the other side of this phase the quickest…

To a 6 figure CEO!

So dedicated 6 months to filling in the elements to create your One Power Move marketing funnel is your best use of time in this phase

 

Danger Zone of Phase 2: Not getting help and comparison-itis

It’s likely that you are getting some level of help but to really soar in this phase, a simple VA may not be enough.

Once your business starts to expand, it’s vital to break the habit of running your whole business in your head.

It’s not just enough to delegate tasks, you need to get to a place where you can delegate decisions so you stop being the bottleneck in your business and can actually start to step back a bit #FreedomCEO

So it’s because most of us start off as a one-woman show, running the whole ship from our minds…

You have to learn to articulate your vision very clearly so that you can delegate effectively. 

You need people on your team to see the vision of where the company is going, so that they can help you get there.

This is what it takes to transition from a one-person show into a thriving company. 

Another danger is the green-eyed monster, envy!

You can so easily get stuck comparing yourself to others who seem to have reached the kind of success that you can only dream about, which seems so far out of reach in this Phase.

It’s even more annoying that you’ve got some level of success but you’ve not yet hit that elusive 6 figures 🙁

Rather than get down on yourself thinking they have done it already, and there is no room for you, use their success as inspiration. 

As my Nigerian dad used to always ask me in these situations, “..the person who’s done it, do they have 2 heads?” – definitely a strange analogy, but also true.

Remember, you can’t compare your step 1 with someone else step 20!

They would’ve started somewhere… 

So keep your head up, because you’re on the “come up”!

And realize if someone else is successful that means success is possible.

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Phase 3: The Scale Up CEO

The other 2 phases have taught you to refine your offer, and given you a killer reputation and awesome client testimonials… 

Plus they’ve grown your confidence and helped you learn to automate and streamline your offer like a boss. 

So it’s only natural then to move into this phase, where you stop selling one-to-one, if you haven’t already, and really build out your product suite and team for scaling domination.

You’re making anywhere $10k – $50k+/mo consistently and seeing steady growth quarter by quarter.

By the end of this phase, you’re hands-off, you’re automated, you’re scalable, you’re able to reach way more people than before and YOU’RE FREE! 

You can travel, you can have a lifestyle you love, you can get out of that time-for-money cycle that was eating at your soul. 

This phase is incredibly powerful… so even if you’re just tiptoeing into the start of this phase, you’ve earnt it!

 

Main Focus of Phase 3: Systems and Multiple Streams

It was hard, but you stayed focused and executed your One Power Move.

So this is the Phase where you put it all on autopilot so you can now introduce other income streams (both lower and higher) that take you from 6 figure years to 6 figure months.

But to do that, there has to be the systems in place so that you stay at the visionary level and your team make it happen.

And that is another system that needs massive development in this phase… the Dream Team!

Without a team of loyal legends, making this all happen, you’d be back stuck in burnout, trying to do it all.

So developing your team that can run without you is crucial.

Now that you have your main offer that has established you in Phase 2, you want to think of those higher ticket offers…

Like Masterminds, Retreats and Bespoke Done-For-You services (that are now 100% executed by your team) and generally higher-level services that you can transition those existing clients to the next level of working with you.

This will usually have direct access to you again (see how it comes full circle) but with the following and reputation you’d have at this level you can charge a real premium and be super selective to only work with your dreamiest clients.

And at the other end, you want to really scale in volume, and give those who maybe don’t have a large budget, or simply haven’t built the know, like and trust factor, a chance to sample your offers

A perfect example of that is a passive income product like my Email Cure.

It directly feeds into what it is I offer and believe, is at the super affordable price of $37 and was effectively just templates taken from a selection of previous courses I had created.

Now a passive product doesn’t only have to be done in the Scale Up Phase…

This could have been your One Power Move in Phase 2…

But it’s a great addition and easier to implement when you have the team and resources to create the funnel and repurpose previous content from you Phase 2 offer into a passive product.

 

Danger Zone of Phase 3: Being Unbalanced 

You have to remember why you started down this path.

Yes many of us do want the limitless earning potential that working for ourselves can open up, but that is ultimately so we can have MORE FREEDOM.

More freedom to spend with our kids and spouses…

More freedom to travel the world…

And more freedom to do more of what we love, when we want.

So to be at this level and still be so consumed in the day to day running of the business and not enjoying those freedoms is a tragedy.

We would have lost sight of the biggest goal.

So it’s important to stop and smell the roses every once in a while…

And build a lifestyle that matches the business success we’ve achieved instead of our lifestyles being drowned by it.

So there you have it!

Everyone’s journey looks different, and your transitions through the phases may play out differently to someone else, but what I know is this: 

You can’t skip a step. 

If you have, I want that to be a big part of your 6-month plan that we’ll work out in a bit. 

You might need to step back for a few months to have success at a previous step, and craft an offer there first. 

When you move through them in order (or go backwards for a little bit to catch up), everything will work a lot smoother, and honestly… 

You’ll get to the money faster. It won’t be a long, hard slog with no momentum… 

So, what phase should you be focusing on in 2020? 

It’s time to make the decision, and stick to it 🙂 Over in the Execution Guide, based on the Phase you’re in, we’re going to be working out what your One Power Move should be for the next 6 months. 

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