SFR 235: Focus, And Systems – Stephen Larsen

SFR 235: Focus, And Systems

Apr 19th, 2019 anchorwave

This is how I only focus on one thing at a time AND keep building what I want…

A while little ago, in my Facebook group, someone hit me up with a question.

The question was:

“Stephen, would you have made $1 million faster if you’d just focused on ONE business?”

…the question shocked me.

Steve Larsen business systems

Because …*I ONLY EVER FOCUS ON ONE THING*

So, I started thinking about how it can look like I’m doing MORE than I actually am… and it has EVERYTHING to do with how I focus and what I focus on.

So if you wanna get a crap ton done, (without burning out), this is for you!

BECOMING THE OFFER GUY

At the beginning of 2018, I had no product, no business, NOOOTHING. I only had ONE focus…

My first product was in the MLM space. I built a product and a high ticket offer.

Steve Larsen MLM business systems

Then, I spent two to three months just putting the systems in place and testing them to see if they worked…

I didn’t take my focus from that ONE area until the systems in place to run it.

But I was kind thinking:

“Hmmm, I love offers, and frankly, no one else really geeks out about ’em as much as I do. I’m gonna be the offer guy.”

Russell said: “You should be the offer guy!”

Dana Derricks said: “You should be the offer guy!”

I realized that there hadn’t really been a full-on Offer Creation King since the early 1900’s #Claude Hopkins…

Claude Hopkins business systems

…so I was like, “Yo, I’ll be the offer guy!”

BUT… that didn’t happen until September 2018.

BUILDING BUSINESS SYSTEMS

Thankfully, by that point, the systems I’d been testing in my MLM business were ninja awesome.

Ninja business systems

Unless we’re launching something, I spend only about an hour a week on maintenance… so, now my MLM product is kind of my back-end business.

I’m not gonna shut in down…

We put $1 in and we get $8 to $10 back out. Why would I shut those ads off?

It helps a lot of people, the content is good. It delivers and people make a lot of money from it.… *if they just do it*

  • It’s something people want.
  • It’s extremely valuable.
  • No one else is doing it.

I’m not gonna turn my MLM business off, but I don’t have to maintain it that much either.

On my side, it’s all automated and systems are in place.

I have:

  • Support.
  • Fulfillment.
  • Phone people who chat with customers.

BUT…

I’m NOT touching the business on a daily basis. I’m the orchestrator.

Business systems orchestrator

Once a week, I’ll check in, but I don’t really do that much of that anymore…

Coulton handles the majority of stuff over there, and now he’s got systems and people in place to free him up too.

That’s what’s soooo funny about the whole argument that I would have made more money if I’d only focused on ONE thing. I ONLY EVER DID!

I only focused on ONE business.

HERE’S HOW IT WENT DOWN…

#1: I left my job

  • January – March: I focused solely on just that main MLM product.
  • For the next two months, (up until about the end of April): I set up systems and teams to take over what I was doing.

#2: The one thing on top of that was that I’m still pretty involved in the ClickFunnels space.

So that might be the thing that some of you guys might try and slap my hand about… I DON’T CARE.

ClickFunnels business systems

I love Clickfunnels. It’s like my second home. Heck, I even have Russell stickers on my phone 😉

So, I was contracted as a 2 Comma Club X Coach. I was creating a lot of content for ClickFunnels, and I was doing a lot of events and stuff still…

In August, we did the first One Funnel Away Challenge, so we were developing that content as well.

However, so much on the MLM side was already automated, so that I didn’t really have to touch it.

Do you understand?

For the One Funnel Away Challenge, I go live once a day for 30 minutes to an hour, (except for two or three days each month when it’s a little bit more than that), and honestly, I just enjoy it.

I tell EVERYONE to start coaching. People overcomplicate thing. If you start coaching, after a while, you’ll notice patterns, and see the BIG problems people have…

Then you make that a product that solves that problem. BOOM!

Diversification in business problems

That’s the real reason why I coach. It keeps me sharp. I’m not gonna stop that.

I’M NOT THE FUNNEL GUY

By about September, I started thinking:

This MLM stuff is fun, but what is it I wanna be known for?”

  1. I’m not gonna be the funnel guy, ( even though I’ve built a whole bunch of funnels), that’d be dumb. Russell is the funnel guy. He’s the category king of funnels.
  2. How can I create a business that’s complementary to funnels, but not in competition with Russell?

Diversification in business people

Well, I freak out and dive into offer creation more than anything else.

I just bought another book called The Science of Emerging Markets; it’s super nerdy, and I’m so excited about it…

My fifth bookshelf is topping out. I geek out, man. Offers are my jam. I love just offer creation.

I’m trying to be the offer guy.

… but that decision wasn’t official until September.

MY OBSESSION

You have to understand that when I’m putting a product together… no other product exists in my mind.

I have CRAZY FOCUS. It’s obsessive, (probably too obsessive), kind of focus.‘I can’t sleep that much for six weeks’ kind of focus. And, honestly, it’s not that healthy, but it’s how my brain works.

Diversification in business obsession

I go in these cycles of insane focus… I go dead to the world. Besides my podcast and blog, no one hears from me. I barely leave my office:

  • I’m building
  • I’m crafting
  • I’m creating
  • I’m very meticulous
  • I’m very methodical about the things I’m putting together

Diversification in business focus

That was true for the first 2 Comma Club Coaching program that I helped to develop at Clickfunnels.

It took me six months to create that… and for the first six months after it launched, I was NOT really doing my own stuff. Besides my podcast – *NOTHING*

I was solely focused on tweaking and improving the program

  1. Did it provide what customer thought was gonna be there?
  2. Was it delivering the result that I was trying to deliver?

If the answer was:

  • No?
  • This is not clear yet!
  • I should plug up that hole.

…then I filmed more training. I plugged any holes up.

So that’s what I was doing for the first half of 2018 in my own business.

By the second half of 2018, I had:

  • Systems in place
  • People running things for me

I spent almost no time, no energy, no effort, or mental capacity thinking about that MLM business. I just ran, cash flowed and I made money.

Why would I shut that off? It’s NOT a second focus, though!

I HAVE A PLAN

I have a few buddies who run several multi-million dollar companies, and they can do that because of systems.
Think about Warren Buffett, how many companies does that guy own?

Did you know that he only has a small team of about 30 people… and he runs all of those businesses.

I’ll bet he has some kick arse systems in place!

Kick arse business systems

You have to understand, I’m not a launch business.

I’m NOT just launching new things all the time… I know it can look like that, but I’m building out the value ladder.

It’s very thought-out. I’m extremely methodical with what I’m launching.

It’s NOT a second focus; I’m building the same thing.

Everything is connected and intertwined all paths lead to the same goal.

  • The book.
  • The summit, (I have offersummit.com).
  • My events.

…they are all part of the same value ladder.

(I’ll do an episode talking about my value ladder and how I structured it and how I thought through it, at some point in the future)

I’m also very excited to announce something extremely special at OfferMind on which is September 2nd – 3rd, 2019 but it’s all part of the same value ladder!

BECOMING A CEO

I cannot run two content teams, but a system can. I cannot run an internal funnel building team, but a system can.

The whole point I’m trying to say is that I started as a marketer, but I’m also becoming a CEO.

A CEO is in the business of systems.

I am a marketer who’s also a CEO.

For Example:

My internal funnel team built 80%-90% of my OfferMind Funnel. Then I plug in all the holes, edit the copy, and stuff like that. It speeds me up like crazy.

A lot of you guys are marketers, but you’re not CEOs yet. That’s okay, but you gotta understand that a CEO is in the business of systems.

I build a product, and then I put systems in place so that the time I personally have to spend maintaining it is very small… and if I can’t create effective systems, then I don’t build the product.

Management skills

That is a HUGE lesson!

I’ve actually changed a lot of the methods I use before I design a funnel.

I no longer just design the funnel, the offer, and the sales message…

In fact, designing the actual funnel is ONLY on the top diagonal corner of my whiteboard

On the other bottom diagonal corner, I design the fulfillment and the systems, so that when my product launches, it launches with fulfillment.

Then, I sit back and I think to myself, “What’s my input required for that product?”

I still wanna solve the problem that product is solving. I still wanna deliver the value that the product and the offer are promising, but I don’t wanna marry it…

Steve Larsen management skills

…and my guess is you don’t either?

What I’m doing is very thought-through. I’m not just launching stuff. I’m NOT the guy juggling multiple balls, and I’m NOT the circus guy with the spinning plates. I don’t do that.

I develop a business. Not a hobby product.

I look at each one of these things:

  • What fulfillment is required?
  • How can I over-deliver?
  • What’s the system that will do that?
  • Is it a process or is it a who?

Business management skills

A hobby product is one where *YOU* are still the business.

If you are the person doing it all, you don’t have a business. Your process will die if you go on vacation.

This is one of the reasons why most businesses will NOT succeed.

STAYING IN YOUR ZONE OF GENIUS

My job is to stay in my zone of genius. So the question I have to answer is:

How can I operate in my zone of genius… while still delivering everything else?

Management skills zones of genius

In My OfferLab, there’s a workbook that walks you through EVERYTHING piece by piece.

Each person needs to consume largely the same material, which means I would be saying the same thing every single time, so I make a course and a workbook for them to walk through. Sweet!

To provide more hand-holding, I brought in in a who.

That who is with them pretty much daily, answering any questions and guiding them through.

I’m NOT trying to take the human out of the machine, (especially with my high-ticket stuff, I’m extremely involved with OfferLab), but I ALWAYS looking for ways to stay focused in my zone of genius.

My role in my business is to facilitate my own zone of genius.

… and it is NOT by me answering support emails.

It is NOT by me going when someone asks, “Where is this resource?” That is NOT something I should be doing.

Delegation management skills

THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE

If you’re busy launching your product, and you’re doing all the stuff on your own, it makes sense why you would look over at me, and be like, “How is he doing all that?”

The Answer is: *I’M NOT*

I have ghosts in the machine. I build machines. I build systems. I’m the systems guy.

Steven Larsen business systems

I’m a marketer first, but I’m also a systems guy. I like to set things in place so that I know the same three-four things that I have to do to keep the machine moving.

#Monday = I launch products… because I love Mondays so much.

I love launching projects to my team: I don’t do it all. Instead, I say:

“Hey funnel team, this is what I’m gonna go launch, and here’s what you’re gonna do. I need you to do this. I need you to do that…”

… and I run through it all with them.

#Tuesday = is my content day.

#Wednesday = is becoming my systems day.

It’s where I focus on my business systems; whether that’s setting a finance structure so that we’re protected legally, or whatever…

I literally write out systems that say, “ Hey Mr. Support Person, every time this happens, do this.”

… this is very much the piece that has helped increase my leverage in this past little bit here.

>>This is very important key stuff to understand <<

NO HEADLESS CHICKENS HERE

So, while it looks like I am running like a chicken with its head cut off, I’m not.

Headless chicken business systems

There’s a lot going on right now, but I’m chill about it.

Leads are coming in, and people, processes, or funnels are closing and fulfilling.

My job is to see:

  • How much more the product can over-deliver for those who are buying?
  • How can I get more leads coming in?
  • Let me see what the closers are saying to those leads coming in?
    .
    Maybe that’s where I tweak the process?

I am a process tweaker. That is my role. That’s what I do. I’m a systems tweaker. I’m a systems creator.

LEARNING MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Learning business systems

Your role starts to shift once you have a cash-flowing product, but Entrepreneurs usually have a hard time letting go.

I’m not saying that I don’t have a hard time letting go. Sometimes it sucks.

The ONLY way I can let go is by putting systems in place that allow me to feel:

“Okay, I’m cool with someone else doing the 80% of what I normally would do.”

I need to tweak my system until I’m happy enough with the process to let go and give up some control.

Entrepreneurs are in the business of solving problems. A CEO is in the business of systems, systems tweaking and systems building.

It’s not that you shed or get rid of the marketer or entrepreneur side… you just kinda take on the CEO role as you move forward.

More traditional companies just have CEO… and someone else is in charge of marketing. I think that’s a major mistake.

Every person in my company is a marketer. That’s how I want it to be, and that’s how I’ve set it up.

Marketing is the king.

THE BIG TAKEAWAY

You need to understand the difference between your product and your business.

Understanding business systems

Start looking at your business, NOT your product. Your product is not a business.

Your business is nothing more than a set of systems that:

  • Generates leads
  • Converts leads
  • Fulfills
  • Continues to support
  • Upsells

… that’s basically what a business is. That’s all a business is. It’s NOT a logo… or anything else. I’m not saying you can’t have those things, but they are NOT a business…

Do you understand what I’m saying?

… and if you are the ONLY one who’s getting the lead, fulfilling on the lead, closing ’em, upselling, supporting…

You don’t have a business!

Vacation without business systems

…just try going on vacation, and see what happens!

EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE

My business is a set of systems that allow me to achieve a crap ton without running myself ragged.

So yeah! It looks like I’m going all over the place, but that’s NOT how I run anything.

Steven Larsen management skills

My job is to set up systems with the eyes of a marketer… and it’s been working really well.

In fact, the more I’ve set systems up and removed myself, (especially in the last six months), the more our revenue went up…( #50%). It was crazy.

I stopped interfering so much and let the system do the thing I built it to do.

My system includes:

  • People
  • Processes
  • Tools

A special shout out to James Friel and Alex Charfen. THANK YOU! You’ve been amazing!

James Friel business systems

  • I learned how to sell from door to door sales and Grant Cardone.
  • I learned how to market from Russell Brunson.
  • I learned how to build systems a lot from Alex Charfen and James Friel.

Alex Charfen business systems

These are the exact steps you need to learn to transition from entrepreneur to CEO.

  • Become a marketer
  • Sales
  • Closing
  • System Building
  • How to remove yourself from the business

Your aim is NOT to stop delivering for your customer.

You remove yourself so you can look at it from a 30,000-foot view and be like, “Oh my gosh, this piece isn’t working. What shall I tweak?”

… just like you would with a funnel if an upsell wasn’t working:

  1. “Crap! This piece in my business is not working very well.”
  2. You lift it out to look at it and tweak it.
  3. You plug it back in and see if it works.

So to answer the original question:

I don’t have two focuses. I ONLY focus on ONE thing at a time. I’m able to run several things… because I’m NOT the one running them; the system is.

One business systems focus

I just looking at the system and ask: “Is the system running that business well?”

I am NOT the system. I’ve built a business to support my funnels, and that’s why it looks like I’m doing so much stuff.

I am doing that much stuff, but it’s the systems that are doing it for me

Hey, just real quick:

A few months ago Russell asked me to write a chapter for a secret project he was doing. I had to write a chapter for a book, this was the letter I got from him.

He said:

“Hey Stephen, let me ask you a quick question…

You suddenly lose all your money, along with your name and your reputation, and only have your marketing know-how left.

You have bills piled high and people harassing you for money over the phone.

You have a guaranteed roof over your head, a phone line, an internet connection, and a ClickFunnels account for only one month.

You no longer have your big guru name, your following, your JV partners. Other than your vast marketing experience, you’re an unknown newbie…

What would you do from day #1 to day #30 to save yourself?

Russell Brunson

Hey, if you want to see my answer and a bunch of other marketers who also answered that in this amazing book and summit, just go to 30days.com/stephen.

Steve Larsen One Funnel Away Challenge

You can see the entire summit, you can see the book, you can see what we wrote in there and each of our detailed plans. Just go to 30days.com/stephen.

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