It’s 2020. No, not the year. Well, yes, the year, but also vision. Stay tuned.
Welcome to the Client Whisperer™ Show. I’m your host Tony Banta, and I am the client whisperer. I’ve spent over a decade running multiple six- and seven-figure client businesses. And I’ve learned that the secret to success in a client business comes down to one thing: leadership. Bad client behavior is the enemy. And with the right curriculum, infrastructure, and mindset, you can lead your clients to great success and scale your business the easy way.
I’m a dad now. I’ve been a dad for several months, so it’s official. I’m allowed to make dad jokes. So, it’s 2020. Let’s talk about vision. Jonathan Swift, who, you might remember, is the author of Gulliver’s Travels and a few other books from back in the day – Swift said, “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” And you have it. If you’re an entrepreneur, if you’ve started something, if you’re leading clients, then you can see what’s invisible to them.
But I have a question for you. Can you see what’s invisible to you? How much time do you spend nurturing your own vision for the future of what’s possible for you, not just what’s possible for your clients? Because you probably spend a good amount of time telling clients what’s possible for them, talking about what’s possible for them, but what about what’s possible for you?
If you’re like so many digital entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants, course creators, service providers, then you’re probably in a little bit of a grind. If not, you might just be starting out and that’s fine too. You might be ramping up to that point where it’s a grind, but no matter what your revenue level is, burnout and grinding don’t really care about revenue level, which is the funny thing – we think it does.
It’s really easy in our minds for us to think that more work is going to equal more stress, more pain, more of a whole lot of the things the grind gives us, at least at a lizard-brain level. That’s why we often argue for our own limitations and push away some of the success that we know is possible. Same thing happens to your clients by the way, but what is very interesting is that burnout doesn’t care.
You know, these things don’t care about the grind, the churn. It doesn’t care about revenue levels. So I’ve seen business owners who have a couple hundred thousand dollars in revenue or less and are really close or past burnout. I’ve seen business owners who are at a few million in revenue and they’re at that same point. They’re at that same point where they’re fed up, so it doesn’t matter.
And what about this burnout, what usually causes that? What’s usually sitting underneath that is either an inability to envision a world where that’s not the way that it has to be, or an inability in the team, in the practice, in what you’re doing every day to be able to move closer to that. Rarely do I see an entrepreneur who can zoom out and see the big picture and see their vision and how that connects to where their business is. Now. Rarely do I see them burned out because if we’re making progress, even if it’s slow progress, we have something to work towards. We have something to go towards.
So, vision. What’s yours?
Do an exercise with me. Close your eyes and picture your perfect day. Picture a day in which you wake up without worry or stress. Picture a day where you get to spend time with the people that you love, with the people who light you up, with the people that are energizing, and think of this day with no judgment. If those people aren’t your family, that’s okay. If those people aren’t your clients or your employees or your coworkers, that’s okay.
What’s your perfect day? What are you doing? What are the activities that you’re filling the day with that light you up? Now, I’m not talking about a one-off vacation day, right? And if you’re stressed out and if you’ve been working for too long, you might be yearning for that vacation day. You might be thinking of that because you want that to be today. You want that to be this perfect day. But think beyond that. Think, what would you not mind doing five days in a row or three days in a row? What would you not mind doing a few months in a row where every week was made up of a few of these days? What would that look like?
What are some of the things or people or activities that you have to let go of because they’re not in that vision, they’re not in that picture? In your vision of the future, what are some of the activities that you’re going to fill it with? These activities, these people, these things that you love, that fill you up, that light you up. I want to say to you in all sincerity that what you just envisioned is 100% possible. I also want to say to you that as crazy as it might seem, what you just envisioned also might be informed by some of the limiting beliefs, the limitations that you’ve set on yourself, the limiting ideas around how work is now. So one of the things that I want to say to you is with no judgment, what you just envisioned can absolutely happen. You can absolutely make that happen.
Step-by-step, it might take months, might even take for some of you a few years. Some days when I close my eyes and I picture that, I picture the house that I want my wife and I and our growing family to live in. I can see the windows, the big windows. I can see that the hillside in the mountains that we have as a view out those windows. I can see the big kitchen island. We want one of those big kitchens with, you know, two great big islands. So the whole family can come together to bake Christmas cookies and to make holiday meals together. Well, there’s music playing in the other room, kids playing, that sound, the kind of murmur of kids playing in the background. I picture that for special occasions.
I picture waking up in that bedroom, a bedroom that has bigger windows than TV screens, that has brighter light flowing in from the outside than the backlight of our iPads or laptops or phones. I picture the beautiful bathroom after I wake up that I get to walk into, that I get to step into and I get to step on a beautiful marble floor that’s been heated on a timer because it knows when I wake up. It’s heated so when I step on it feels nice and warm and comforting and like the house is working for me rather than me working for the house. Hmm…that’d be nice.
When I think of this vision, I think about getting in my car and driving to the office. For some of you, you might want to work from home. You might have pushed to work from home. I’ve done that – I’m actually recording this episode right now in our office space and I always want an office space, but I also have this vision of the office space that I want to build so that we can have a local team, we’ll still have contractors and we’ll still have team members who are all over the place, geo-locationally speaking. Not all over the place from an organizational standpoint, but we’re still gonna have that, we’re still going to have remote team members. I’m sure we’ll want that, but we also want people around us so that we can collaborate.
I love beautiful conference rooms. We already have a pretty great conference room, but we’ll have a beautiful conference room with a great Zoom room so that we can bring in those remote team members and remote clients occasionally when we’re working collaboratively on projects.
I want our office to have a gym so that we can work out there and not have to spend that time driving to the gym to meet a trainer. We can have fitness professionals like that come to us, spend time with us there so that we don’t have to leave. We’ll have beautiful showers, sauna, all of those additions so that being at work doesn’t only have to be work. We can also take care of ourselves.
I get some great ideas when I’m working out, and I’m also sad to say that I haven’t done that very much lately because between being a new dad and having to go to a gym, it’s just not super convenient. So I want that there. I think of Joe Rogan’s studio, how he talks about having built it out with all of those things right there in the same building for him.
It’s exactly my vision. A little bit different interior design maybe, but exactly my vision for where we’re going, that it’s a hub of collaboration, a hub of activity that we get to go there and I get to split my time still having some client-facing activity, but also working on the systems much more of the time because we have team members serving clients, who might even be doing a better job than me. This is all part of my vision.
When I envision that perfect day, what’s missing is, I don’t have any dread – not that I have that much now, but it happens occasionally. It might happen quite a bit for you, that dread when you look at client meetings or clients where the relationship has just gotten out of control.
I’ve been there, where we haven’t set good boundaries and so the clients are asking us for more and more and more and we know that the secret to their success is that they really need to change something outside of what we’re doing for them. I’ve been there too. We share most of what we’ve learned around fixing that with you on the show, but my vision is a time where that doesn’t happen at all. The time where I’m able to lead our own team members to make sure that that doesn’t happen for them either. That’s my vision for the field.
My vision for that perfect day means this idea of having amazing clients. We have some awesome clients now, don’t get me wrong, but having some amazing projects that we get to work on and sink our teeth into and that I get to work on personally at an even deeper level. That’s exciting to me. That lights me up. That’s my vision. My vision includes getting to work with my wife, and she’s amazing. She handles most of the operations for Venture Greatly, our company, and even a bunch of the back-office operations for some of our partner offers and companies. But my vision has us in a place where she’s able to only work on those parts of operations that she really loves and not work on all of those that she is right now to help out on our way towards that vision.
So that’s included in my vision. I mentioned partner offers. We have partners right now. It’s one of the ways in which we’ve scaled our business beyond just helping clients build out their fulfillment. We have some partners where we’ve partnered with them on the fulfillment of their offer. I’ve talked about it a little bit before. We’re actually going to have some of those on as guests in the coming weeks, which is super exciting. We’ll have some bonus episodes to drip out a little bit of some best practices.
One of the offers that I’m most excited about is we have a legal services offer, and it’s exciting because it helps people with a real need, with a real challenge that they have, so that’s part of my vision. Even more of those kinds of offers that help people, that accelerate for our clients so that when we have a client in one of those offers, we get to help them in multiple ways, take care of more of the areas of their business that are going to hold them back or slow them down.
We get to create more value. What does that mean? Higher lifetime client value, but it also will inevitably mean more successful clients because we’re able to help them in more ways. They don’t have to source all of those different options, right? They’re able to do more of that between our partners, either named partners or strategic partners that we’re able to refer people to and we get to collaborate and build things together. That’s all part of my vision.
I haven’t talked about it much, but we have a software product that’s in private beta right now. We have a number of clients using it and in 2020 we’re going to launch it publicly. I’m sure I’ll share more about that when that time comes, but that’s part of my vision down the hall.
We have the software team and they get to work on all of the amazing features that are going to help all of our clients in that software achieve more and more. That’s part of my vision. I can see all of it. Some of our partner offers, by the way, we’re not launching to keep forever. And that’s part of the plan. That’s part of the vision. You know, we have one partner offer where we’re very targeted to get it to 20-plus million dollars in revenue a year.
We’re on our way. We’re doing okay. We still have a ways to go there, but to get it to $20 million-plus at least $10 million in what’s called EBITDA earnings before depreciation, interest taxes, appreciation, I think is in there as well. I’m not the financial expert, but we want to get it to a level where there’s at least $10 million of EBITDA because businesses like that can commonly sell for five times the value on the low end of EBITDA, which means we get to sell that business for $50 million or more to our partners and ourselves all. We’ll walk away from that with an eight-figure payday. When that happens, what does that do for the foundation of everything else that we’re trying to build? It’s incredible. That’s all part of my vision.
Here’s why I’m sharing these pieces of my vision with you. I can see them clear as day. See the hillside where the house is built. I can see the industrial park where the office is. I could see the cars in the parking lot. I can see the balance sheet with the numbers and how high some of those expenses will be, but also how high the revenue is, how high the client value is that we’re able to generate that translates into that revenue. I can see that. I can see all of those pieces and I don’t want to share this vision for the purpose of telling you that this needs to be your vision. It doesn’t, and it would be really boring if we all had the same vision, but these are parts of ours. These are parts of where we’re headed.
These are parts of what we’re trying to do to make the world just a little bit of a better place, to leave our clients and our communities better off than when we found them and to leave ourselves in a place, when pieces of this vision are realized, to leave ourselves in a place that rewards us for our efforts and also creates that platform from which we get to build the next era of what happens. That house that I envisioned, our kids are going to go through middle school and high school in that house, depending on what our kids choose. Some of our kids might get married on that land where that house is built.
They’re going to learn amazing things there. They’re going to have breakups there. They’re going to sneak around from us. We’ll see if we have a camera system. It’s hard to minimize that, but they’re going to sneak around on my wife and I in that house and do all kinds of kid shenanigans. We’re going to yell at them in that house. I’m going to reprimand them. We’re going to help them with some of the discipline to make sure that the ways that they’re sneaking around and the things that they’re doing don’t hurt them too badly, don’t get them in too much trouble. All of that is going to happen in that house, I can see it.
And in our office, if we’re lucky and all the stars aligned and we’re able to let go of our egos and manifest the full vision that we have there, what’s going to happen in that office is we’re gonna change the face of client work. We’re gonna change the way that people talk about it and people think about it. We’re going to change the way that people think about client success and getting results. We’re going to change the way so much of the industry talks about coaching – even when it’s not a coaching offer – and leadership and how to lead clients. We’re going to run events in that space.
We’re going to bring people in so that we can help make them better, so that we can help them clarify their vision in that space. I can see it. I can see the rare piece of dirt on the floor, rare because we use these kinds of leadership practices in our own business and even the maintenance team buys into the vision of where it’s going. So it’s rare, it’s an anomaly to see dirt somewhere. I can see it, I can see all of it.
And if you haven’t taken the time for yourself and for your business to step back to look at the vision – some of this is a multi-year vision for us. We’re not gonna achieve all of that this year, not even close. Some of these things we know are going to take several years, you know, getting that one offer to the point where it’s ready to be sold.
That’s a five-year plan and we’re six months into it. The house for my wife and I, we have our eye on some land. Hopefully, we’ll close on some land by the end of the year. Maybe the beginning of 2021 sees the office. I have some drawings, I have some ideas, but I need a lot more people to bring in to make that a reality. So that’s probably late 2021-2022, somewhere in that range where we’ll start to break ground on some of those endeavors, some of those adventures.
But the point is that I can see it. The point is that none of it’s capricious. None of it’s on a whim. None of it’s a reaction. I do that sometimes, or I react, but this vision, everything I’ve shared with you comes from a place of integrity, comes from a place of our values and the natural extension of our values.
And it comes from a good amount of time of quietly thinking about what we want, what I want, what my wife Suzanne wants, what we want to be able to provide for our family, what we want to be able to provide for our clients, what we want to create for our team members, the kinds of opportunities that we want to create. It’s all been intentional and there’s room for change.
Who knows what will happen? Who knows how that’ll shift and grow over time, right? Every now and then, my wife and I look at each other and we’re like, should we just go back to it? Just being us? Every six months we have the conversation of should we just burn this all? Like, should we just cut everything else besides what you and I can do ourselves in 20 hours a week and then have that be it? But our values keep us from doing that. It’s not to say that wouldn’t happen. I could see a reality where that could happen too, but that’s not right for us now. That’s not what we want now. It’s not in keeping with where our values and where our wants and desires are headed now. So that’s our vision.
You need to have a vision for where you’re going because the absence of vision means drifting endlessly, and who knows where you’re going to end up? Who knows if it’s going to be where you want to be or not? Who knows? Right now you might be the victim of that drifting. You might have been drifting for a while and you might be in a spot where you’ve ended up and you’re not thrilled with where it is.
So I have an offer for you now. I’m not pushing this offer in any way, but if you want us to look at your business with you, if you listened to my vision and to some of these things that I’ve shared up to this point and you’re saying to yourself, “That sounds really nice. Ah, I’d like to have a clear vision like that in my business.”
If you’re saying that to yourself, then we have client success audits, client fulfillment audits, where we look at the operations of a business and we look to optimize for client success because we see that as the largest leverage point. If clients are succeeding systematically, then it’s easy for you to delegate that. It’s easy for you to step out of operations. It’s easy for you to hire people, it’s easy for you to get more clients. It’s easy because we’ve maximized the lifetime client value so you’re not a victim to the whims, the ups and downs of running ads and only having to rely on cold traffic. You have recurring revenue.
If that’s something that you’d like us to look at with you and we can lend you some of that vision of ours, I’m happy to share my vision for you, and I’m even doing them myself.
So, if you liked what you just heard, I will talk to you about a vision like that for your business. I’m not going to push my vision on you. That would be malpractice. I want to find your vision. I want to hunt around in your mind and see where that is. If you want that too, then go to clientsuccesscall.com to schedule a time for a call with me. It starts with a call. I’ll see if the audit is the right move for you. We actually have a money-back guarantee on our audit. So if you get to the end of the audit and we do not find at least three times what you paid for it in low hanging fruit, low hanging opportunities for you to increase client value, we’ll give you your money back. Give it right back.
That’s how confident we are. Because I don’t want your money if we can’t highlight where you can make things better. So clientsuccesscall.com or it’s in the show notes. Book a call. If you want to chat about vision, if you want to talk about your vision for where things are going, sign up for a call. We’ll have a chat. Be well, have a wonderful weekend. I will see you next week for our very first interview on The Client Whisperer™ Show. We’re starting our Legends series on legendary client fulfillment. And next week, we’ll hear from a good friend of mine who goes to the ends of the earth for her clients. I can’t wait for you to listen to that interview and check us out on social media. Links will be in the show notes as well. I post on my Facebook page and on LinkedIn teasers for those episodes. I will be posting a teaser there for you as well. Awesome.