Leverage for Growth Podcast

Episode 149: Susan’s Story of Growth & Selling Her Agency

Episode Date:Oct 7, 2023

In this special edition of the Leverage for Growth podcast, Jesse P. Gilmore delves into one of the most inspiring stories featured in his upcoming book, The Agency Owner’s Guide to Freedom. Susan, a client and the author of the foreword in Jesse’s book, shares her candid journey that is nothing short of a rollercoaster of trials, transformation, and triumph.

Susan’s tale is a testament to the power of resilience, strategic mindset, and impeccable systems. She takes us through her initial struggles, the moments of almost surrendering and then, an awe-inspiring turnaround – thanks to the implementation of growth-oriented systems and leadership principles. Her agency didn’t just survive; it thrived, doubled, and eventually, became an attractive acquisition.

This episode encapsulates the essence of overcoming adversity, the importance of the right guidance, and the unyielding spirit of entrepreneurship. It’s a precursor to the wealth of wisdom and actionable strategies that await in Jesse’s new book.

Susan’s real-life narrative exemplifies the transformation and freedom achievable through the principles laid out in The Agency Owner’s Guide to Freedom. If her story strikes a chord, if you see reflections of your own challenges and aspirations, then this book and the accompanying launch event on October 14th are tailored for you.

Discover more, be a part of Susan’s journey, and get ready to embark on your own path to freedom. Dive into this episode, and see first-hand the metamorphosis from struggle to success that awaits.

To attend the book launch event, visit nicheincontrol.com/book. If you’re eager to dive right into the transformative content, pre-order the book at nicheincontrol.com/preorder.

Sit back and get ready to be inspired, for this is not just a story of business growth but a narrative of personal evolution and triumph against the odds.

Join Us For Our Next Live Event!

Show Notes

Episode Transcript

You are now listening to Leverage for Growth. Hey, everybody, This is Jesse E.P. Gilmore, founder of Niche and Control and the creator of Leverage for Growth and the author of the Agency Owner’s Guide to Freedom, which you can find at niching control dot com slash book. Welcome to the Daily Leverage Edition. Today’s topic is this Susan’s story of growth and selling her agency.

Sit back, relax and welcome to today’s Daily Leverage. So this morning I was getting excited about the book launch event on the 14th of October and realized that I get to share more about our client case studies and how specifically we help them create more freedom in their lives. One story that you’re going to hear about is Susan’s.

My client, Susan, wrote the foreword in the book and has quite the story to tell. Instead of me summarizing it on this podcast, I’m going to let Susan tell her own story from her case study video. Before I do, if anything in Susan’s story resonates with you, you can check out more and our case study video at niche incontrol dot com slash case study.

Here is Susan said before working with Jesse on the leverage for growth program. I had sort of been spinning. I had been an agency owner since 2015 on my own. Previous to that, I had a partner and we had gone through several of what I would call, like the industry guru methods for owning a creative business, a creative service business, and being able to deliver profitably.

And while their advice was really great to be like narrow niche focus and how to get the right people in the right seats, the business really was not able to get any traction. And after various consultants, I sort of was on the brink of giving up. When I met Jesse, I gave him six months. I said, This is it, I’m just done.

You know, you’re going to have to help me turn this around or, you know, it’s it becomes really personal for a small business owner. You know, it’s your life. It’s the stuff that’s waking me up at night. It’s the stuff I’m thinking about while I’m doing something else with my family. And it was at a point where I just could not figure out how to get that traction.

And while again, I really loved so many of the consultants I worked with before and I loved their methodology, there was something about it that stayed at a very high level and wasn’t very tangible and actionable. So let me explain that. The idea of getting really niche focused and becoming a thought leader that was very, very actionable. But how does that translate?

Like how do you build awareness, How do you convert? How do you create a system to deliver something that seems very personal, very one of a kind, almost that like special snowflake of creative services and products. How do you deliver that in a way that really is structured? It’s valuable. It’s exactly what the client needs and it can be done easily and it wound up being that we were creating this incredible creative product that I wasn’t sure clients actually valued or, to be honest, really understood how deep we were going.

It was frustrating for my staff. Everyone wants to be a part of a company that’s growing and we were grinding and not growing. So I started working with Jesse. As I said, I gave him six months, not really realizing what the outcome would be because ultimately it has to be something that works for you. And so there’s kind of a surprise at how this turned out.

But we started with some very basic principles that, for whatever reason alluded me, and one was regaining my time. So first of all, you can’t work on the business. And in the business that’s super obvious, of course. But how do you do that? Because as an owner, everything seems vital. It all seems like it’s absolutely critical and it needs your attention right away.

So we started working on reclaiming My Time, and that allowed me to focus on what was really going on outside of delivering, you know, there’s delivering the client work, but then there’s the macro picture of how does this business actually work, How does it make money, how does it convert? And you can’t do that when you’re in it.

So being able to reclaim my time and then that allowed me to start to simplify my service. And we did that by documenting everything in a guidebook and once we documented it, we could see what a nightmare we had created. There were so many parts and pieces and it was so detailed, and I don’t know that was actually actionable for clients.

So we had created something that a machine that really couldn’t work. And the guidebook, once we documented what we were doing, it made it really, really clear that that was just not going to be an effective path going through forward. So then we started narrowing our focus and really working on improving our profitability. So core, you know, we have to identify of that.

I’m embarrassed to say 150 page guidebook, but services where we really delivering that had value and then how could we really hone that core offering and identify our ideal clients? And in this it made me realize that one thing that was missing, even though we had a really great focus, niche focus, we owned the built environment, we understood everything about the built environment and whether you were a product, a firm or a service for that environment.

We had you covered and but our core offering still remained the on par with others in my field. So everybody can do digital, everybody can provide social webs, web services, branding, print, all, all of that core offering that’s made us different as a creative firm was actually duplicated by other firms. So even though our niche was really tight, the I felt like the core offering maybe was kind of splitting hairs between us and a few other firms.

And during that time, fueled by this desire to really meet clients where they are and provide a lot of satisfaction, we started partnering with a PR firm and this was also part of us building a pipeline through client attraction systems. It was about aligning with firms that were like ours but didn’t duplicate any services, and we wound up sort of simultaneously we’re building and building this pipeline.

Jesse taught me how to prospect using LinkedIn Net Sales Navigator, how to build a pipeline that we could convert tons of tools, things like loom video sending somebody a little video. They can watch it at their own pace, but you get to dictate the conversation, right? So it’s a one way which is perfect for me. So looking at that and saying like, now I’ve got all these tools and I’m doing some strategic alignments and I have now also, as a as a byproduct of this in my eyes, because it wasn’t something I had ever thought.

My people were not empowered. They became really empowered because they got very focused on what they had to deliver. Gone was the, you know, the 150 page handbook, and now they knew exactly what they had to deliver and they could just keep honing those skills. Well, we wound up aligning with this group. Well, first, I should just say my business doubled in six months.

It was astounding, you know, just setting the right goals and having the right intentions. And I think one of the other things that really has been key to working with Jesse is understood ending the mindset shift so you can be doing everything right. But if your mind, if your energy is involved in it in the right way, you’re not going to get results and certainly not on the level of doubling your business in six months.

I mean, that was insane. I loved it. It was it was a wild ride. It also shook a lot of people out of my organization because they were not in aligned with this. So we had quite a big turnover of folks that that worked at the agency, but that was for the right reasons and it was a good thing.

Again, it was about changing the energy and my mindset and really doing the work to tap into that power. So I think, you know, when I think about the other consultants I worked with, it was very much like, if you do A, B and C, you’re going to get D, and that’s just not the case. There are so many things that are involved here, and a lot of it has to do with where your head set, you know, where your head is.

And I should say. So the best result was I started to realize what really made me happy. So what is it that I love to do? And owning a business, especially a business that is doubling, is the best feeling in the world. It’s also exhausting, but it’s a great exhaustion. It’s the best exhaustion. It’s like, Oh my gosh, I’ve got to send another proposal or sign another client.

This is great. And the energy that it just brought into the organization was incredible. But throughout all of this, it aligned me with a company that is in the same space. They’re focused on the built environment, but they are PR and they asked to merge with us and it was the best decision I could have ever made. Now, the thing is, I don’t own an agency anymore and it’s great.

It’s great. I own profit. I don’t own an agency, but the way it is changed my life. I get to be a part of something bigger than myself. I am working with a team that is absolutely incredible and ultimately I’m happy. I’m happy. Are my my goals have changed from making sure I run payroll. And who are I going to hire next?

And I get to be in the big idea portion of of working with a client. And that’s the part I love. I love transformation. I love a before and after. I love teaching what I’ve learned and helping clients build and change their businesses and this gives me the freedom to do that. It also gives me a really important role in an organization that is growing, that is really smart, and I would never have been attractive to a company like that if we didn’t have our shit together.

I mean, I hope I can say that, but if we didn’t have our act together, if we hadn’t gone through this process with Jesse, if we hadn’t become aligned, if my mind hadn’t been open to the fact that success was going to be so much bigger then I had set my sights on, I was going to be a part of something so much more profound and powerful.

I never would have been attracted to the company we merged with, and neither would my team, because ultimately we had to be of their caliber. We had to meet them where they are and when I started with Jesse, I think they probably would have thought, Well, they’re really smart, but what are they doing? And so we were able to meet them as focused professionals with a lot of energy and, you know, one foot on the gas pedal towards growth.

I think, honestly, if I was to recommend Jesse and I have I love those calls, Jesse, keep me on those. Okay. So if I was going to recommend Jesse, if I if I was sitting down with an agency owner and I have sat down with folks who have considered working with Jesse in the program, I would say that you have to want it.

You really, really have to want it. Jesse doesn’t suffer fools, so you have to want it. Number one. And then I would say I would offer you this challenge. Can you open your mind enough to allow Jesse to show you what the future can be like for your company where your day is not owned by your business after 5:00 or whenever you work, where you can find this joy and take these challenges and run with it.

So I think it’s really you have to be the right person to work with Jesse because you have to be willing to be scared to see a future that maybe you could never even imagine. Wow, what an amazing story of the power of mindset, systems and leadership. As Susan regained control of her life and her agency to create the life that she wanted.

Now, if you relate to Susan story, you will love the agency owners Guide to Freedom that will be released on October 14th. We have a book launch event on October 14th and you can find out more details at niche control dot com slash book. If you can’t make the event or you want to preorder the book, you can do so at niche control dot com slash preorder.

Thanks for joining me on the Leverage for growth podcast. I believe in you and your capabilities. I hope you spend the rest of your day feeling inspired. But keep in mind that inspiration is fuel to propel you into action if you do not take action towards your own growth and the growth of your business, then an inspirational feel that you’re feeling is wasted.

Put your ideas into action by joining me in their next live event. It’s online and go to niche in control dot com slash next slide event. We have events every other week and we cover all sorts of topics that will grow your business when you put them into action. So these events are for you to prevent inspiration and creativity into practical action to grow your business.

I would love to see their go to niche and control that com slash next live event that is niche in control. Dot com slash next live event. See you there and niche your control. We unlock the potential within you and your agency through the development of you as a leader. You step forth to discover the potential you have always had.

We help you with clarity of vision strategies coming from a place of competence, operational systems to develop consistent client results, retention, pricing and packaging to differentiate you from the rest of the market and finding, developing and managing the right team to support you in the realization of your vision. Stop playing small rise to your potential. Your time is now.

Can you feel it? I’ve gotten more time, more clarity and more money.