Leave Nothing to Chance | Simon Severino | Strategy Sprints

 

How do business owners wear multiple hats simultaneously to accelerate their businesses when time is their most precious commodity? John Solitaire welcomes Simon Severino, the CEO and founder of Strategy Sprints. Simon talks about how his method and book, Strategy Sprints, help business owners increase their revenue while running their businesses more effectively. Tune in to this episode and learn some tips on running a business with limited resources and time.

 

No Catch! No Gimmicks! Get 3 Free Leads a Day for the Next 10 Days! That’s 30 Free Instant Live Leads. CLICK HERE!

 —

 

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

This is going to be a real privilege. I want to welcome to the show a new friend, somebody whose work I’ve been looking at consistently here, and that is Mr. Simon Severino.

‐‐‐

How are you?

I’m excited to be here. 

Consistent Sales Increase

You’ve done so much in your short career. In a couple of decades, you’ve been such a huge influence on so many businesses. I’d like to start at the top. Over $2 billion in increases in sales over the years. How in the world have you done that?

In 21 years, you have multiple chances of doing that. I had multiple chances. It started with this. The client calls and says, “Sales is taking longer. Can we make it faster?” or, “I’m having price pressure. I feel like everybody wants to negotiate the price. I would like to charge more rather than less. Can we position our offer better?” or, “I want to increase the sales motivation and sales power of my team. Can you help me hire people? Can you coach our people and train our people to have better tools and be more motivated?” This is how it starts.

For 90 days, we do a one-on-one coaching. In these 90 days, we improve three things. We increase by 25% the price that they can charge for the same offer, but improving the positioning. We then increase by 25% the frequency of their sales, which means to shorten the sales time, or increase the retainment and expansion sales. It’s the second set. The third one is to increase the win rate. It’s the same amount of conversations they have per week, but the win rate is higher by 25%. When you have these 3 increases of 25% each, this compounds to plus 99% in revenue. Over 21 years, you do this with enough hundreds of teams and it compounds to a big number.

Work ON Your Business Vs Be IN It

That’s a great formula. It sounds a lot simpler than it is. It’s amazing what you’ve done. I’ve read some of your client comments as well. This is real stuff, so take note of what Simon has to say. This leads me to my second question, which is how to work on your business instead of in it. I’ll give a caveat to that. It’s so easy to walk into somebody else’s store or business and see what you would change. When you’re in the business, you don’t see those things because you’re there every single day. I loved when I read that you had written about that and spoken on that, but I’d love your thoughts on how to work on your business instead of in your business.

I love that you said that because this is a question that I ask myself often. I block an hour of time in my calendar and go for a walk. It says, “Executive Time.” On that walk, I ask myself, “If another CEO came in and took over my firm, what would they do?” You can actively look at it from that perspective. If somebody else looks at this, what do you tell them to do? What would they do? You are advising yourself.

If another CEO came in and took over your firm, what would they do? Share on X

It’s important that you don’t work in the business alone. If you work only on solving the client’s problems, who is solving your problems? You have the pricing problem, the scaling problem, and the hiring problem. You have all these 100,000 little technical problems, legal problems, and IT problems. Don’t get me started. We have 100 problems every week as a business owner.  If we are continuously eight hours a day solving our client’s problem, when are we solving ours?

Leave Nothing to Chance | Simon Severino | Strategy Sprints

Strategy Sprints: Don’t just work in the business alone. If you work only on solving the clients’ problems, who is solving your problems?

 

Hiring alone is a full-time job. I hate it, but I had to do it to grow my business. That’s a practical example. If you have to hire and you don’t have time to hire, what do you do? You have to start delegating something. Our process of delegating, and we teach this also, is you start writing down your business and how you do stuff in marketing, sales, and operations. How do you do marketing? Write it down. How do you do sales? Write it down. How do you do operations? Write it down. That’s the first step.

The second step is removing yourself from having each ownership. You say, “Who owns marketing? Who owns sales? Who owns ops?” You start putting in there the first owners that are non-founders or non-yourself. It sounds hard, but it’s not that hard because you can start with freelancers. There is something written already, so the system stays. People can come in and out. It doesn’t matter that much. The processes are solid. That’s important because the processes stay over the next decades. You’re starting to systemize your business. You have a playbook with SOPs or Standard Operating Procedures. Maybe it’s 5 sentences, but that’s the 1st step.

Since you are handing over tasks that are working already, you have time to focus on the next higher leverage tasks, like hiring, writing maybe a book about your method, talking to people who can be your big affiliate partners, large platforms that can start selling your offers, referral teams, affiliate partnerships, IP lending, or a franchise. Making it a franchise and scaling it in different ways is your job. Whenever you have solved something, we know how to do LinkedIn posts. Write it down, hand it over, and move on to the next task.

Reclaiming 14 Hours A Week Of Your Time

How do you reclaim fourteen hours a week of your time?

You have written down marketing, ops, and sales. If you think ops alone, in my case, it was 50 hours a week. Ops means the client work. I’m a consultant. I have to immerse myself in the client’s problem. I have to solve them. I have to be in their spreadsheets and their CRM. I’m like, “Let’s improve the sales material.” That alone was 50 hours per week because it’s 40 plus documentation, preparation, etc. Sometimes, you even have to commute.

When I started writing down, “What do I do? If I have a new client, what happens in week 0, week 1, week 2, and week 3? I started roughly writing it down and then started handing it over. I was training my colleagues. Pick one of those, marketing, sales, or operations. Personally, I started with operations. I recommend everybody to start with operations. If it’s not possible in your field, you might start with marketing or sales. Pick 1 of those 3, write it down, and hand it over. You then have feedback loops or supervising loops first daily, then weekly, and then monthly where you say, “How is it going? What’s your plan to improve this? Do you need any help?” If you do that for operations, you probably have freed up more than ten hours per week.

Strategy Sprints: The Book

Time is money, especially as we get older because time seems to compress as we get older. The more time we have for the other things in our business or in our lives, the better off we are. You have a best-selling book that I can’t wait to read. It’s called Strategy Sprints. Tell us about it. How long has it been out? Are all these strategies in there? Are there new ones that you are going to do in the next Strategy Sprints II? Tell us about the book and also, more importantly, where to get it.

It’s on Amazon. It’s not a best-seller. I wish it was the best seller, but it is helping the people according to the reviews, the letters, and the feedback that we get. It is helpful as a very practical tool for people. It’s getting translated into Chinese, so it seems to have some impact. It is like a cookbook. It’s a very practical thing. Chapter one is about the marketing processes. If you are a business owner, it is how to do marketing in a way that works. Chapter two is sales, and then operations.

Leave Nothing to Chance | Simon Severino | Strategy Sprints

Strategy Sprints: Strategy Sprints: 12 Ways to Accelerate Growth for an Agile Business

The last chapters are 2 chapters about hiring because 1 chapter wasn’t that enough because hiring is so much work. It starts before you do the job posting that you think about the next role, which role to hire next, and what is the ideal manifestation of that role. The second step is the job post and interviewing them, selecting them, and onboarding them. It’s two full chapters about hiring, the last two chapters. Each chapter is a practical cookbook. You can open it, do the steps, and then close it and do something else. I have it here on my desk. Sometimes, if marketing’s not working, I go back to the marketing chapter and remind myself, “What should I do next? Here it is.”

Let me ask you this. You’re a busy guy. You do triathlons competitively, I understand. You’ve got three kids. Kids are fairly young still?

They’re one, five, and eight.

Managing Your Day And Time

You’re a busy dad. You’re running a business. You’re working in other people’s businesses to help them to advance their businesses. How do you manage your day and your time to have not only those extra fourteen hours but also the time for all the different hats that you have to wear on a daily basis?

Delegation to software and delegation to people. This is the main thing. I use my calendar heavily. There are blockers for family, workout, team, and business. That’s blocked. It’s sacred. If it’s date time with my wife, nothing can change that. That’s on Friday night. Morning is deep work, and afternoon is things like interviews, team discussions, etc. There is a certain structure of my week. The most important ingredient is delegation to software and to people. It starts with writing down marketing, sales, and operations processes and then every week handing over some of those to software and to people. That’s your only chance.

Let me ask you a couple of questions. Our audience is primarily self-employed people. There are some that have a business that they work on a part-time basis and some that they work on a very serious full-time basis. We’ve got other readers, but two markets for the most part. One, are people involved in the network marketing industry, whether they’re distributors like I have been for 41 years where I do consulting work and all sorts of other things as well and it’s been a career, or whether it’s something they started to say, “Let me make that additional money that the bad economy the last few years has taken away from me that I need to pay the grocery bill, the light bill, etc.”

My second readers are people in the insurance business. I’ve been involved in the insurance industry off and on for over 40 years as well. I have a lot of people from that industry that tune in. Here’s my question. We have miscellaneous people, so I apologize to the people who are not in either of those careers. I know we’ve got other readers. You’re all welcome to be here as well. You can gain from Simon’s incredible leadership on this question.

What To Eliminate From Your Day Or Week

How do they work themselves to the point where they get the discipline to really be self-employed? What I mean by that, and you know what I mean because you are an IM, there are certain disciplines. What do they eliminate from their day or their week to put their time and focus into their respective business, whether it’s a startup or even a very established business that they want to take to the next level?

I use a tool for that, and I’m happy to share it with your audience. It’s one of the free tools on our website. I will point them where to find it. It’s called the Daily Flow. Every day, I write down, “This is what I’m doing at 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, etc.” I write down my day. In the evening, around 6:00 PM, I start closing my computer, but before I close it, I review the Daily Flow.

It’s asking me two questions. It’s asking, “Which of these tasks that you did will you delegate next? If you would leave more intentionally and more freely, what would you do?” I quickly review that. It takes me five minutes. I write it down and close the day. I write down what I’m going to do tomorrow, and then the day is gone. It’s in the calendar. I’m moving on. The next day, I come to my desk and the Daily Flow is ready. The flow of the day is already designed. I do all of that, and then in the evening, I review those two questions.

My invitation is to everybody who is self-employed, you go to StrategySprints.com, download Daily Flow, and do this for three days. It’s not much more work. It’s these two reflective questions. What will happen is you will find patterns in what you do. You will find that there are some things that you are doing that are not the highest-leverage tasks.

Probably a software or a person, like a freelancer, can do it instead of you. This is where you will start having support. It will make your life so much easier. If you go, “I don’t have enough revenue to have a freelancer,” double-check. If it’s a higher-leverage task, then do it. If it’s a task that somebody else can do for 1/3 of the hourly rate that you can produce in that hour, then it’s time to delegate it.

That One Thing To Change

That’s a brilliant answer. I love it. Let me ask you this. If there were only one thing a person could change that is not achieving the level of success that they feel that they are worthy of, what would that one thing that they could institute be?

Have fun. That’s the single differentiator. If you look out there, what are your buying decisions? You’re looking for software. You’re looking for a consultant, you’re looking for a coach. You’re looking for an insurance advisor or a financial advisor. What makes the difference? I give my money to people who are happy. If they’re having fun, I want them to manage my money. I’ll say, “I’ll buy from you.” They’re like, “Why?” I’m like, “It’s because you are having fun. You seem to have something that’s working. You are having fun, so you will do the best with my money.”

That’s such a simple answer. I love your answer. I think of Starbucks. Starbucks only hires happy people. I don’t even drink coffee. There’s a Starbucks I could walk to from my house here. Sometimes, I’ll go because I want somebody to say, “Hello,” and have a smile on their face. There are other businesses you walk into and you feel like you walked into a mortuary. It’s like, “I don’t want to be here.” Set that energy. I love it. Let’s flip that aside. That’s the one thing, being happy is a positive. What’s the one thing that they can eliminate that they’re doing? By making that change, they gain some of what they need to be doing to grow their prospective business.

This is so highly individual that they will need to do 2 or 3 days of the Daily Flow to find it. It’s different for everyone. For me, the first thing was to get rid of bookkeeping. I hate it. I’m not good at it. It’s not a high-leverage activity. How did I realize it? It was by writing it down and I saw that I was spending hours on that, and I don’t like it.

My recommendation is to get the Daily Flow. It’s StrategySprints.com. You write down two days. At the latest, after three days, you find your pattern. You see, “This task, I hate it. I’m not the best at it. Let me outsource this, cut this, or delegate this.” It’s highly personal because if you’re great with numbers, you want to outsource the story kind of work. If you’re great with story, you want to outsource the numbers, the spreadsheets, and the tech kind of work. It depends on what gives you energy and what your superpower is. Keep those and delegate the rest.

Leave Nothing to Chance | Simon Severino | Strategy Sprints

Strategy Sprints: It really depends on what gives you energy and what your superpower is. Keep those and delegate the rest.

 

I love that phrase. That’s the superpower because whatever you do best, do it and let somebody else do the rest, right?

Exactly.

Solopreneurs Vs Fortune 500 Companies

I have two questions. For the first question, is there a difference working with a small entrepreneur that’s running a business I described, like a small insurance agency, a small real estate agency, a network marketing, a sole proprietor, or maybe it’s mom-and-pop where it’s a husband and wife team versus the Fortune 500 company level people that you work with? How do you work with them differently? How do you work with them the same?

In different worlds, there are different problems that they have to solve. The Strategy Sprints method is built for solopreneurs and small teams because they have limited resources and limited time. For them, sales is vital. They have to have a full pipeline because if the pipeline dries up, it’s existential. They don’t have much runway. They need cashflow. The Strategy Sprints method is for solopreneurs and small teams. It optimizes time and cashflow.

We also work with the big brands there. There, the problems are completely different problems. It’s more around alignment. They have much more resources. They have cashflows. It’s really about alignment, simplification, and making them more nimble and more agile, so it’s stripping away stuff. They’re two completely different problem sets.

Are you using a lot of the new AI tools in your business and advising folks at both, the solopreneurs or the Fortune 500 executives?

Absolutely. A lot. It goes back to delegating things to software and people whenever you can. There is great software, an AI, that can take work from you. One example that I’m using every day is software with AI built in that has our eight steps. The Strategy Sprints method has eight steps for closing the deal. We gave the AI those eight steps. It’s coaching me live. If I have a sales call, it’s live showing me if I’m talking more than 30% or less than 30%. In our method, a good sales call is when the seller is talking less than 30% of the time. That has a much higher win rate. It’s showing us live during the call the percentage.

On the right side, we have our own battle cards, so objection handling battle cards. On the left side, it shows me the eight steps and if I’m skipping one. If I’m saying the price too early, for example, it’s like, “You are at step two. Don’t say the price. The price is step six.” That’s one example of an AI. If you would have a sales coach doing that, first, they can’t do it live. They watch the recording afterward. Second, it’s super expensive to have a sales coach for every single person on the sales team. This is one example where AI really helps and can be more efficient and much cheaper than humans.

This is my final question. How do people reach you? They can get Strategy Sprints on Amazon here in North America, Europe, or wherever you are tuning in. It’s in English and soon to be Chinese. Any additional languages?

It’s on Amazon.com. It’s Strategy Sprints. It’s coming out in Chinese. If people want to find me, it’s StrategySprints.com. they can push some buttons there and land on my calendar. I’d be happy to take it from there if they have more questions.

This has been a pleasure. If you can hang on for one minute, we’ll do our little housekeeping at the end. Any final comments for our audience before we close?

The winners are the teams that stay in the game long enough to see their competitors go insolvent. You don't have to be amazing. You just have to keep liquid enough to go one more round. Share on X

I have one. Don’t give up. Times are tough. Keep rolling. The winners are the teams that stay in the game long enough to see their competitors go insolvent. You don’t have to be amazing. You have to keep liquid enough to go one more round. Your competitors will give up. You keep rolling. 

Thank you so much. It’s been a privilege.

 

Important Links

 

About Simon Severino

Leaving Nothing to Chance | Simon Severino | Strategy SprintsSimon Severino has created +2B in additional sales for his clients over the last 21 years. As an advisor who became CEO, he had to learn the importance of working ON the business more than IN it. Now, he shares his proven templates with high-ticket entrepreneurs. They reclaim 14 hours per week using the Strategy Sprints™ Method and enjoy sales that soar.  Author of “Strategy Sprints”, Podcast Host Ranking Top 2,5%, TEDx speaker, Forbes contributor, Triathlete. Has appeared on over 1300 podcasts. When he is not supercharging sales, you’ll find him swimming, biking, running and tricking his 3 kids into outdoor activities so they can’t escape his annoying shrinky questions.