Happy Thursday. (And, if you’re in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving.)
Today we’re moving on to the fourth and final part of The Durable Business framework — scale & optimize.
During the discover phase, we defined a minimum viable audience (MVA) that we seek to serve and we identified 1-3 significant problems (or meaningful desires) we can charge money to help that audience solve (or fulfill).
We then validated potential solutions — eventually expressed as mafia offers — paying attention to the bright flashing indicators that our solutions match our MVA’s needs.
Next, we built the minimum viable infrastructure required to act on insights gained from discovery and validation. (Minimum is the critical description in that phrase.)
This is the point at which we begin to see real results, including (most likely) our first revenue.
‘Scale’ and ‘optimize’ are overused (and often poorly defined) terms.
For The Durable Business, we define ‘scale & optimize’ as finding the upper performance limits of whatever you have discovered, validated, and built so far.
Read that sentence again.
You’ll notice that context is critical.
Your first time through the TDB framework, scale & optimize will be very different than your tenth time through (remember: our framework is circular, inspired by Jim Collins’ flywheel concept).
The first time through, for example, you might scale what you’ve built by increasing your advertising budget for the first ad you created…
Or, you might increase your ad budget and create a second ad (or landing page) variant to test.
As your validated infrastructure expands, so too will your opportunities for scale and optimization.
The guiding principle for scale & optimize (and TDB, in general) is simplicity creates velocity.
We’re not trying to identify ten things we could do that might increase / improve our results. That’s too vague and too slow.
Instead, we want to identify the most impactful action we can take, and then do that quickly, deliberately, and effectively.
Often, scale & optimize is a thinking exercise framed by this question:
What is ONE thing I can do next to increase the number of happy customers my business system is producing?
That question is particularly important early in the development of a new (durable) business when the primary goal is to reach a predetermined financial goal.
For example: if you’re creating a business to replace a full-time job, determining the shortest path to income (and income stability) are critically important.
(That’s why we’re framing TDB in the context of growing a business from $0 to $100,000 in revenue.)
Over time, however, you may find that ‘scale & optimize’ is more of a lifestyle choice than a purely revenue-based decision.
This is an important (and often overlooked) nuance — there are many opportunities for growth and optimization that have nothing to do with revenue.
Only you can determine what’s most important to you.
That might be how your approach your work, how often you work, where and when you work, who you work with, etc.
Over time, these lifestyle decisions become far more important than optimizing only for revenue and income. As that happens, your questions will evolve too.
What is ONE thing I can do next to increase the amount of time I’m spending doing only work that I love?
What is ONE thing I can do next to work less in the next 90 days than I did in the previous 90 days and still increase my revenue by 20%?
The opportunities to ask great questions (and make your answers real) are endless. Identify what is most meaningful to you each time you ‘spin the flywheel’ and that will guide your way.
So far we’ve described The Durable Business by focusing on the parts of the process — discover, validate, build, and scale & optimize.
However, it’s important to understand that the results that matter are not produced by the parts. Instead, results emerge from the whole system.
That is the critical insight from systems theory and a foundational principle of TDB.
The first few times we ‘spin the flywheel’ we’re focusing on the parts to learn how to take action and build our skills. Over time, however, the parts become less important and the real power of TDB emerges from the whole system.
That’s difficult to explain until you’ve experienced it — the best way we can describe it is a feeling of friction-less progress, doing the right things the right way at the right time.
The doors open for The Durable Business enrollment tomorrow…
We’ve also published a list of ‘questions and answers’ to our product page. We want to draw your attention to one in particular: question #2:
Q2: I see at the top of the page, TDB is Rated G (accessible for all ages). Does that mean I can put my ten-year-old through the training?
André and Shawn
Enrollment will open for The Durable Business tomorrow, Nov 27, 2020 and will close at midnight PST Monday, Nov 30.