What can delay a startup… derail growth… or even cause a small business to implode?
There are a lot of factors, says business coach Scott Beebe, but it boils down to submitting – usually unwillingly – to the chaos of business.
Even if you think you’re in control, Scott wants you to ask some key questions to figure out if you really are.
There is one thing you definitely must have a handle on – in fact, it’s the foundation for everything you do after and what your team does too.
We talk about that, as well as…
- Building a business with purpose – how and why to do it
- What you must do with your big picture goals (a mission statement isn’t enough)
- Why vision without this next step… means nothing
- How to ensure your team understands and internalizes your vision enough to implement it
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
Adam Lean: In this episode, we’re going to talk about how to be liberated from the small business chaos. We’re going to talk to a business coach who helps free business owners from the chaos of working in their business and enjoy the freedom of working on their business. This is P is for Profit.
Adam: Welcome to P is for Profit. My name is Adam Lean and I along with the rest of the team at The CFO Project are passionate about helping business owners improve the profitability of their business. My guest today is Scott Beebe. Scott is a business coach, trainer and strategist who works with small business owners to help uncover the things they cannot see and build actionable strategies that mobilize them to live out their business with purpose. Scott, welcome to the show.
Scott Beebe: Adam, man thanks so much. It is rainy at the time of this recording as I know it’s up where you’re at as well. I’ve not seen this much rain and yours. So I feel like the flood is returning.
Adam: Yeah, tell me about it. Oh man, I can’t wait to dive in and learn more about what you do. You help business owners build a business on purpose, which is actually the name of your website. But tell us sort of about your background, what got you into this and what you really do with business owners.
How Scott Assists Business Owners
Scott: Yeah. Well, thank you for asking. I’m a, I’m kind of a geographical mutt here in the US. I’ve grown up all over the country. Started in DC. Charlotte, Houston, lived in Portland, Oregon for a number of years growing up and then finished high school, actually just up the road from where you’re at in Greenville, South Carolina and then went to university right where you’re at in Columbia, and was able to graduate from there. I got to play football there. And it was just a great treat. And then after that actually went to grad school in Fort Worth Texas.
Graduated from there with a theology degree of all things, and then did the most logical, sensible move after that. I went and sold pharmaceuticals. So I was a legal drug salesman with a theology background. So anyway, did that. And then from, let’s see, 01 until now, well, probably 2015. Actually, our anniversary, five year anniversary of our business was this past Monday. And so from 01 to 2015, I kind of migrated in between for-profit entities, kind of large multinationals, and then small, very small non for profit.
Church faith-based organizations, predominantly in Nigeria, even though I was based here in the US, I was back and forth to Nigeria quite a bit. And so between all of that I was able to grab so many pearls, you know, from the world of the big macro multinational to the worlds of the really, really micro, nonprofit, and kind of put all of those things together. Did a number of things in terms of leading other people, really just friends and acquaintances in development of vision, mission and values for organizations. And that’s what led into a few years of leading in a nongovernmental in Nigeria.
And then on February 27, of 2015 we had, I got to see the underbelly of kind of dealing with a board, and I was the executive director answerable to the board. I wasn’t a member of the board and so I just had to kind of watch all this stuff happen. And I left unemployed that day. I was 39 years old and married, three kids. And it was a really lonely flight back from Dallas, to where we live here on the east coast. And, man, that was a Friday and that Monday, we actually started Business On Purpose. I’d actually already had the podcast going.
It was just a podcast. I was interviewing business owners who merged and intersect their faith in their work because I didn’t know many people like that I want an excuse to be able to talk to guys and ladies like that. So that’s how the podcast started. But then we ended up turning our business into that. And so now what we do is we work with business owners and key leaders to build systems, process and purpose using our proprietary and game-changing Business On Purpose roadmap. All with one focus, Adam, and that is to liberate business owners from chaos. We are obsessed with that.
Adam: Yeah. So what does that mean, Business On Purpose?
Scott: Yeah, I think it goes back to kind of that core mission of what we do. The reality is, is that business, I love business. I love commerce. If you go back to a ton of antiquity and history and these sorts of things, you’ll find that commerce is not new. Commerce has been around almost since the foundation of the world. In fact, if you look at the world’s major religions, if you look at the world’s major ideologies, a lot of times those ideas, those concepts, those transformational ideas transported through business, through commerce.
And so commerce is actually an incredible opportunity for us to be able to live out neighborly economics and neighborly love to our friends and to our neighbors and all of this. In what we’ve found so much of is what ends up happening is we turn business into this kind of rocket fuel for our own propulsion, for our own success, rather than leveraging that platform for the value of other people. And because we do that, we find ourselves being completely submitted to the chaos of business. We’re constantly behind the eight ball. You’ll appreciate this as a virtual CFO, but we don’t know our numbers.
And because we don’t know our numbers, we’re in this constant chase over and over and over and over again. And I’m recently reading a book. It’s a powerful book by a lady named Lynne Twist, and the book is called The Soul of Money and it would be a great book for you to read. But in the Soul of Money, Lynne writes this statement, she says this, for me and many of us, our first waking thought in the morning is I did not get enough sleep. The next one is I did not have enough time. We don’t have enough time. We don’t have enough rest. We don’t have enough exercise.
We don’t have enough work. We don’t have enough profits. We don’t have enough power. We don’t have enough wilderness. We don’t have enough weekends. We don’t have enough money, ever. We’re not thin enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, educated, successful or rich enough, ever. And then we go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and we wake up with that reverie of lack. And when I read it, the business owner popped into my head because that is so much of the mindset of a business owner is this constant chase and never arriving. And that’s a submission to chaos.
And so what we wanted to do was we wanted to build a business that worked obsessively to liberate business owners from chaos and instead, allow them to build a business that actually has some level of purpose. It’s got some articulated, written purpose. And so just first thing this morning, the first client I met with today, we walked back through their vision story. And by writing things down, Adam, I heard this somewhere, it said, if you don’t write it down, it does not exist. If you don’t write it down, it does not exist. I even see you here writing things down.
And so we capture that stuff. When we don’t write things down, like our vision, like our mission, like our values, like our processes, our systems, our numbers, all these things, when we don’t write these things down then what we do is we make a volitional choice to be submitted to chaos. But when we write them down, and with great repetition, follow up with them, all of a sudden, we can take that, combine it all together, and that’s our purpose to our ultimate destination.
What’s your ultimate destination might be Boise, Idaho, it might be a $27 million a year business. It might be a child that you, you know, you put out of the house into the world who loves to have coffee with. I don’t know what your definition of that vision is, but for everybody, it’s going to be a little different. But here’s what I do know, we all have to write it down. And by writing it down, it gives us that purpose so that we can build a business that begins to serve that end goal rather than a business that is constantly serving chaos.
Adam: That makes sense. So how important is purpose, writing down, thinking about and writing down your purpose and vision and mission? And here’s why I say that. A lot of people talk about, oh, you have to have a mission statement, vision statement, but a lot of that goes on a document, sits on the shelf never to be seen again. What’s the difference?
Create an Actionable Vision With Purpose
Scott: Yeah, well, a couple things. First, let’s define those, Adam. So a lot of times here’s what we found in vision, vision, mission and values land, is somebody will write down a vision and it will sound something like this. We want to be the world’s most dominant company, flying around on unicorns, eating jelly beans with rainbows, you know, in sunny skies, right?
And that’s the vision. Then they write down the mission and the mission sounds something like this. Underneath sunny and shining skies with white puffy clouds, we want to ride around on unicorns eating jelly beans so that we can dominate the world. They just took the vision, turned it upside down, restated it and called it the mission. And then the values go something like this. In fact, I can go ahead from memory and state the values of probably 80% of the companies in the world. Excellence, respect, integrity, rights?
I mean, just keep going well, excellence, respect, integrity, and there’s one other I forget what it is, is that we’re actually three of the core values of Enron. And so like, what do they mean? And so, what we’ve done is we’ve walked through, and what I tell people is, yeah, you need to have a vision, but what you really need to have is a written vision. And it’s a vision story. It’s not a statement. It’s not a sentence. It’s not a paragraph. It’s one or three or five pages in duration.
And we’ve got a whole process. To go to the front page of our website, actually, there’s a button there that says, Get Your FREE vision story here. And people can go to mybusinessonpurpose.com and that button will take them to a 20-minute tutorial, and a seven-step template that we have used literally since the beginning of our business. And so we’ve taken hundreds of businesses through that vision story process, so that when they come out, they know exactly what they’re looking for their family, their freedom, their finances, their product, their client, their team and their culture. It’s all written out there.
And it’s not a kind of a goofy sentence. It’s something that you can really sink your teeth into. So that’s the vision. The mission is basically your vision in miniature. And so we’re going to take all those concepts in the vision which is the ultimate destination of where you’re going, we want to distill that down into this little drop. You live in the south, so you’ll appreciate this. Kind of the metaphor of moonshine.
You know, I’ve never had moonshine, but I’ve heard it packs a punch. And I’ve also heard because I’ve watched a documentary on it, where it’s this big vat of mash, I think is what they call it. So consider that your vision story, right? So all this content, It’s in this big vat. And then we heat that up. And by heating it up, it creates condensation and that little distilled drop that comes out on the other end, that’s your mission. And so, Adam, if we had never met, you met me out on the street and said, Hey, Scott, what do you do? I would not tell you that I own Business On Purpose.
I wouldn’t tell you I’m a business coach. I wouldn’t tell you any of that. What I would say, Adam, simply is we liberate business owners from chaos. That’s our mission. That’s that drop. Now, here’s the beauty of having a tight less than 10-word powerful mission, is when I answer you with instead of I’m a business coach, and we sit down with people we got this right roadmap and we walk them through vision, mission, value, systems, process, job roles, I’ve lost you at that point.
But instead, what I can say is, Adam, we liberate business owners from chaos. If you have interest, you will then ask me the follow-up question. Well, how do you do that? If you don’t have interest, I’ve just saved both of us a lot of time. And so your mission really does allow you to kind of cut through so that people can see clearly what you’re doing. And then that leads to your values. And your values, Adam, are nothing more than curbs on the side of the road to make sure you stay in bounds of what you’ve set out.
Adam: Now, that makes sense. And you’re right, the mission, I mean, you liberate business owners from chaos. I mean, that speaks to a heart factor. And that invokes feelings to people that it resonates with. That makes sense. So vision, mission and values and if you go to your website is mybusinessonpurpose.com, click that to get the vision, mission and values. Then what. Say they, say that somebody documents that. I’m assuming that the next step is your roadmap. What is the next step for a business owner?
5 Foundational Cornerstones for Every Business
Scott: So there’s five foundational cornerstones for every business. Adam, if you’re selling silks on the silk trade in the Near East 1000 years ago, 2000 years ago. If you’re selling bricks in Egypt 3000 years ago, if you’re selling ice cream, today, you’re selling printing presses.300 years, doesn’t matter what you’re selling.
Every business has five foundational cornerstones that we found. The first three what we just mentioned, vision mission, values. The second might surprise you a little bit and I’m sorry to say none of these have to do with numbers. So but that’s part of the foundation down the road. But these five foundational cornerstones, this is not the slab of concrete, this is the cornerstone underneath that concrete. The other two number one is team meetings and huddles.
Team meetings and huddles. And this is usually where we start to get some rolls and go, you gotta be kidding me. Team meetings in huddles, here’s a reality. I’m married. Been married 21 years as of now, going on 22 in here in the next few months. Ashley and I, we talk all day, right? Text, little phone call, whatever, we talk all day. I get this a bunch from our clients when we talk about team meetings.
Well, Scott, we don’t need to do that. We talk all day. Well, yeah, Ashley and I talk all day. But if our marriage was based on those little one minute and three-minute conversations and little texts and emojis and all that kind of stuff, we would not be married very long. So instead, what we have to do is we’ve got to set aside time in the evenings, what we call chair time, we get in our two little chairs like old people, and we sit there and nothing’s on and the TV’s not on. We do have the radio on and we just sit there and talk.
And that’s our kind of meeting and we do that multiple times a week. We do that with our kids, not every night, but we do that with our kids on a regular basis. And then a couple of times a year, we take our kids away on a weekend and we have our vision stories of family. And we walk through that as a family together. And so we’ve got these intentional times to sit and reconnect, because quote, talking all day is not a health strategy for communication. So that’s that fourth element of those five foundational cornerstones.
The fifth may even be more bizarre. And that’s your hiring process. Your hiring process. And the reason that’s got to be a foundational cornerstone is because as a part of your hiring process, you’re going to share your vision, you’re going to share your mission, you’re going to share your values. You’re going to share how you communicate as a team, and you’re going to talk about your culture. If you hire wrong, which most people do, if you hire wrong, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of chaos in your business.
Adam: Yeah, absolutely.
Scott: So that foundational cornerstone, we’ve got to go ahead and root that out right away. Now there’s a sub-foundation that sits on top of that, or I guess an exo foundation, if you want to call it that, with about 13 other ingredients. That’s where we get into a subdivision of bank accounts and dashboards and all that kind of stuff. But those five foundational cornerstones, vision, mission, values, team meetings and hiring process are foundational.
Adam: Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. Let me ask you this. If two business owners, what separates the successful one from the one that always seems to struggle?
Scott: The short answer would be vision, or excuse me, the implementation of vision. Joe Callaway, I read this in his book, I don’t know if he said he got it from somebody else but he said vision without implementation is hallucination. Vision without implementation is hallucination. What we have found over and over and over and over and over again, are really talented people, for the most part, pretty driven people, for the most part, very competent people in their craft, as you said earlier.
Where there is a massive gap is in the articulation of a vision so people can follow. There’s a great Jewish quote, it says write the vision down so that those who read it may run. Write the vision down so read it may run. It was spoken about, I think probably about 3000 years ago. And the beauty of that is, once we write things down, now what we’re offering to the world is an invitation. Do you want to run with me? Or do you want to run away from me? And either one is equally as valid, by the way.
I need to know who’s running with me and I need to also know who I cannot count on to run with me. Not mad at them. They’re not bad people. It’s just they’ve made a decision that their destination looks different than mine. And that’s okay. But when we write these things down, and so, the reason I use the phrase the implementation of vision is because, Adam, I could walk you through our entire roadmap, top to bottom, and it’s all really good stuff.
And so just imagine it’s like a toolbox. And I put all these tools in the toolbox. And then I hand you the toolbox and say, there you go, Adam, it’s your toolbox. And then I come back in a year, and I look in your garage and go, Hey, Adam, where’s your toolbox? Like, man, I haven’t moved that thing in a year. Okay, I can’t do much at that point. So, the difference between the two entrepreneurs or the business owners that you’ve talked about is one implements vision, one just talks about the implementation of it.
Adam: Yeah. implementation, execution of the vision is, makes so much sense. And, you know, people, employees are really anybody want to be led. They want to follow somebody that has a vision that excites them. And I love that quote that you
Scott: So I got this text, let me we pull this up, I got this text from one of our clients the other day. He was at, now it did make me cringe because he was at Clemson which for any of you folks can stay South Carolina or outside know that coming from a gamecock, I should have deleted this text but I didn’t. Anyway, he said, and he’s the landscape architect, he said, I’m at the Clemson career fair working on my hiring, or working my hiring process.
All of our clients, we actually make them do a six-step hiring process, we intentionally slow them down to hire. The first candidate he talked to said this, and this is a quote, everyone else tells us what cool things that they have done. They don’t tell you why or how. I appreciate your vision and core values. That was a college student who said that. People are so desperate for vision. We had one of our clients, who, quite candidly is really bad at the implementation of vision. And so what we did is we put together a quarterly event for he and his team.
It’s a bigger company. It’s actually about a $40 million company, but we put a quarterly event together for he and his team and the first 25 minutes of the event are just him standing up in front of the room, talking about where the company is and where the company’s going. And Adam, I wish you could physically see the team members in the room. They are hungry. They’re like sponges, desperately waiting to be fed with vision.
Adam: Absolutely. And once your employees or your team understands your vision, then they can take that to their respective roles and they’ll know what direction they should go with it. And they’ll be more motivated to accomplish your vision.
Scott: Yeah, we’ve actually got our business owners now sharing their vision with subcontractors, vendors, partners. Sometimes we as a business, we hire outside or outsourced, you know, companies to come help us, you know, build a website or whatever. We actually don’t start with the product that we’re needing from them.
We start with our vision, and we tell them, Hey, this is where we’re headed as a business. This is our mission. These are our values. So before we get into any deliverables, you need to know what we stand for because this may not be a fit for you. So, and they love it. Every time hands down, they make a comment around the fact man, nobody ever shares this stuff with us.
Adam: So, specifically on creating a vision, so somebody listening right now, they get it, they want to have a vision, they want to be able to lead their team and inspire their team and their customers, employees, you know, whoever. What is their first step? Like what are some tactical things I can do to come up with an inspiring
Seven Tools For Successful Vision Implementation
Scott: Yeah, let me do this, Adam, the first step is I’m going to go on the backside of it. Because really, I think the important part is the implementation of it. So here’s the first step, I really would go, I’ll give you the seven things right out of the gate so people listening can just write them down if they want to. The first is defining the term. How far out is your vision? We usually recommend no more than 18 to 36 months.
Five years is way too long. Just think about this, six months ago, there was no coronavirus. Today, our economy is about to shut down. You know, and I’m obviously speaking in hyperbole but the reality is five years is a real, it’s too far. So 18 to 36 months is a good term. The second is your family and freedom section. With the vision of your business 36 months from now, what do you want for your family?
So for instance, for Ashley and I, it’s in our vision to date once a week, to go away once a quarter, and then to do a two-week family trip once per year. That’s in our vision. And so we’ve got that written down. What about your freedom section? So about three years ago, I wrote my vision that I wanted my Fridays to have zero appointments. And instead, I wanted to go to Bojangles in the morning by myself and have a biscuit, fries and a fountain drink.
And you can judge me all you want, but at about 7:30 in the morning, that’s what I do on a Friday morning. And it’s just me sitting looking very awkward and very weird by myself. Sometimes with a notebook, sometimes with nothing at all. I’m just sitting there staring. And but that was a part of my vision three years ago, and it’s taken me a couple years to get there but I’m finally there. And I protect them like a hawk because of that vision. So what kind of freedom? Do you not want to work, you know, 70 hours a week? What are those freedom elements you want from your business?
The third section is your finances. So we got term, family freedom as your second section. The third is your finances. Adam, this is where I’ll let you dive in headlong from your background. But basically, what kind of profit do you want to draw out of the business? And in order to get to that profit, what kind of revenue you’re going to have to generate based on your expenses. So you just write those raw numbers down. The fourth section is what kind of product or service do you currently offer and want to offer in the future?
And remember, your product and service has to get you to your total revenue. So if you want to make, you know, if you want to do a million dollars a year, but you’re selling, you know, $2 widgets, just remember that. You’re going to have to think through that and what that looks like. The fourth section is your team section. So I want you to see how this builds our personnel. You got to define the personnel that you have to have to service the product and service to generate the money to liberate you from that family freedom section in that amount of time.
So these are all building on each other. So we define our existing team in the future team that is going to take to service our future product. After that, the sixth section is the client section. Who do we want to serve? And probably more importantly, who do we not want to serve? You and I were talking offline before this about who do we work with individually, we both kind of articulated down. You said how our sweet spot’s kind of the 750 to $2 million range. And I told you that our sweet spot’ s kind of under five million. So we’ve zeroed in on who we want to work with.
But you get even more specific than that. I want to work with people who aren’t going to try to do it themselves. I want to work with people who are not going to think they know at all. I mean, those are things we literally have in our vision. And then the final section is the culture section. And we answer the culture section like this. If I were to walk into The CFO Project domain, if I were to run into Adam, if I were to run into one of your team members, if I were to come into one of your meetings, what would come out of my mouth in response to seeing or hearing you? Whatever you want to come out of somebody’s mouth, that’s what goes into the culture section.
And so that’s, those are kind of the framework. Again, if you go to our website, I’ve got a 20-minute tutorial, walking you in-depth through that whole thing. And there’s a template there. So let me focus more on the back end. The back end is how do you implement it? And so the easiest way to implement your vision story, number one, is you share it with every stakeholder you’ve got. Team members, family men and by the way, you can create a public version of this. You can strip out the finances, you can strip out the family freedom section.
Obviously, if you don’t feel comfortable sharing that but share what you feel comfortable sharing with everybody you can get in touch with. We’ve got a lot of our clients now as I mentioned, they’re actually hosting subcontractor lunches for the sole purpose of sharing their vision at the subcontractor lunch. Subs want to know where are you going because are we going to hitch our wagon to you or not? And so they’re starting to do this. And so the implementation is you begin to share with everybody you know, you insert it in your hiring process, it becomes the very fit, you don’t talk about role on your first interview at all.
You talk about vision, mission, values and culture. Because if this isn’t a place you want to be, there’s no use in us talking about the job. And so we save that because I want you to go home and talk to your spouse or wherever you live with and decide if this is a place you want to be. So embed it there. The other place you embed it is your team meetings, your weekly team meetings. Now, you don’t want to review it every week. It’s too long for that. But about once a month, you just want to pull it back out, highlight a couple sections of it in one of your weekly team meetings.
And your team meetings have to be every week. But you only need to review the vision about once a month. The final way is we have all of our clients do an annual letter. We have them write an annual letter. If you want to look something up fascinating, go look at 1997 Jeff Bezos shareholder letter to answer the Amazon shareholders and you can model your letter after that, his 1997 shareholder letter. And you talk about powerful, we’ve had clients doing this for a few years, and to see them looking back on last year’s letter, and to see how it aligns with their vision is really, really powerful.
Adam: Wow. I can say that. Wow. Man, Scott, this is amazing information. I know we’re almost out of time, you know, but one last question, what last piece of advice or wisdom would you want to leave this audience?
Write It Down, Or….
Scott: I think I’ll go back to that statement that says if you don’t write it down, it doesn’t exist. If you don’t write it down it doesn’t exist. Listen, I mean, we’re inundated with concepts and ideas and podcasts and books and periodicals and blog posts and all the like, right? The reality is, I could give you a copy of E Myth, I could give you a copy of Traction, I could give you a copy of my book, Let Your Business Burn, I could give you a copy of all those.
What the difference, I just picked up a copy of Grant Baldwin, I’ll plug him in, Grant Baldwin’s got a new book out. I don’t even know him. I think it’s called the speaker, something, The Successful Speaker, I think the name of it. I got it this weekend and I’ve got a whole Google Doc summarizing the things that I took away with it.
And I’ve already started to send the email out to speaker coordinators to get on there. I’ve set up my website the way he’s got it. The difference between the success of that book and the lack of success of that book is really down to me. It’s not down to Grant Baldwin, he’s done the work. It’s down to me, am I willing to implement it? And then I’ve got to take his stuff and write it down. And so that’s what I’ve done. So I’ve got a higher probability of implementing his stuff because I simply wrote it down versus not writing it down.
Adam: Yeah, no, that makes sense. And
Scott: I wish it was more profound than that, but
Adam: Tell us your website again.
Scott: Yeah, if you go to mybusinessonpurpose.com and also if you go to BOP Webinar, like Business On Purpose, bopwebinar.com our, whatever upcoming webinar we have that anytime that you’re listening to this, it’s always linked to that link. bopwebinar.com. And so typically, we do about a monthly or every other monthly webinar. And we just give and we just walked through delegation roadmaps.
Actually, this month, the month of March at the time of this recording, we’re talking about delegation. I’m not sure when the podcast will come out, but we’ve got some others that will be coming up as well. Last month, we did start hiring the right person. And then the month before that, we actually taught people how to build out a weekly schedule. So they’re very pragmatic. We have people roll their sleeves up, and we get a lot done during those.
Scott: Adam, man, you have gone through so much labor to put this podcast and not just this episode, but the whole platform. So I’m a podcaster. Thank you. I know how much work it is. So thank you for allowing me to be a part of that.
Adam: No, I appreciate you. So anybody listening, if you’d like to see if Scott and his team can help you have a business on purpose, feel free to reach out. Go to those links get his vision planner on his homepage. And again, I’ll put these links in the show notes. But thank you so much for listening and remember, the goal of your business should be to make more profit than last year and to turn that profit into cash that you get to keep. Thanks for listening.