I am introducing today a concept I am calling garage to global. I literally built my business from operating out of my garage to a global enterprise with over 9400 BNI chapters in more than 70 countries all around the world. How did I do that? Well, first and foremost, I created a plan that I applied over the past 35 years of consecutive growth in the organization.
I want to share twelve lessons with you that I’ve learned from scaling my company and making it grow globally. These are things that I did not necessarily learn in college to take my business literally from my garage to a global enterprise.
Here are the first four lessons I learned to go Garage to Global in this video:
Learn to work on your business, not just in your business.
You have to learn how to work on your business, not just in your business. The difference is when you are “working on the business”, you are managing it strategically. When you are “working in the business”, you are doing all the work yourself. You have to learn how to be an entrepreneur. I was there, “working in the business” for a long time, but the quicker you get to be “working on the business”, the more successful you are going to be. Please read “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber if you’re not familiar with this concept.
Create systems and write them down.
One of the secrets, I believe, to the success of my company was creating systems. You have to create systems processes, and then you have to write these systems down. Finally, you have to teach others what you have written down. Because learning is a leaky bucket process, stuff leaks out, unless it’s written down and done consistently.
Reverse-engineer your goals.
First, you need to set goals. You cannot hit a target you are not aiming at. I set my goals at three different levels. It’s a great technique to use when creating goals. I think goals are extremely important. But what we are often not taught in school is the importance of reverse engineering your goals. If you have a goal for the end of the year, where do you need to be at the end of each month between January and December? Finally, you should review your monthly goals at the end of every month. This comparison will tell you right away, how are you doing? Are you “on track” or “way off.” And that’s way too late. And so the reverse engineering your goals is a critical element of scaling your business.
Delegate both responsibility and authority.
You have to learn how to delegate effectively. We tend to only delegate responsibility but we don’t delegate authority. That means someone who is responsible, but they also have the authority to make the decisions. Everyone you delegate should have 95% authority in that position. Don’t worry if people make a mistake. They will. It’s inevitable. You just need to be prepared to coach and guide them when that happens.
And so that’s a very short lesson on how I took BNI literally from my garage to a global organization. This is all part of the “Garage to Global” material from a recent BNIpodcast that I’m working on for a future book. There’s more to come. I will be posting the second and third blogs of this three-part series later in the month.