I have a very successful friend that says the fastest way to scale a company is to invest heavily in R&D.
Typically R&D stands for Research & Development but for my friend it stands for Rob & Duplicate.
One of the main issues we face as entrepreneurs and creatives is a strong desire to be unique, to be the first at creating something, to reinvent the wheel.
Problem is that insisting on reinventing the wheel from scratch is the fastest way to complete and utter failure.
The best way to innovate is to build upon what already works.
Rob and Duplicate and THEN innovate.
I learned this lesson the hard way.
For 18 months I poured myself into the creation of a company that was trying to reinvent how online project management was done.
I thought true hardcore entrepreneurs did everything themselves. That you could work in a vacuum perfecting your master piece, then launch it and immediately appear on the cover of Time magazine and take over the world.
I failed miserably 🙁
The second time around I assumed I knew nothing (which was the truth).
Instead, I sought help from mentors who had been in the entrepreneurial trenches before me and listened to their recommendations.
Among them 3 books kept coming up:
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
- E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
- Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
My main takeaway from those books was…
Work ON your business not IN your business.
The concept comes down to this…
If you work IN your business it means that you try to do everything yourself and that all decisions depend on you.
Not only this approach will make your life miserable but it will make it almost impossible to scale your business.
Working ON your business means you’ll do everything possible so the business can run itself without you.
The benefits of ON vs IN are less stress, more freedom, more revenue, and much more growth potential!
How do you do that?
You document all your processes, create systems and then delegate everything to your employees and contractors.
So when I started Grumo Media that’s exactly what I did from day one.
I opened Google Docs and documented absolutely everything about how to run my business in a master document I called the Grumo Bible.
Then as soon as I had enough clients, I hired contractors (more talented than me) to handle all aspects of the company.
To this day, and after 300+ projects there is only one project I did entirely by myself. The first one, an animation for a company called Hipmunk.
After that I focused on two things only – getting new clients and hiring the best possible talent to execute work according to the Grumo Bible.
The second time around I didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. I just applied R&D.
I robbed the best ideas from those books and duplicated them to run my business.
What about you? are you working ON your business or IN it?
Peace, love and R&D cookies
P.S: It’s worth advising not to take “Rob & Duplicate” too literally. The point is not to blatantly steal ideas but to replicate what works, make them your own, and improve them based on your own experience. Then be flattered when others R&D your new stuff.
P.2: All the lessons learned from my first epic startup failure are documented HERE.
P.3: Do you know of anyone that needs help implementing systems to scale their business? I can help them HERE.
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