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331. The Key to Scaling Beyond Six Figures




The Key to Scaling Beyond Six Figures


Mastering Intentional Planning: The Key to Scaling Your Business


Why Business Owners Avoid Planning

Business owners are typically visionaries who thrive on creativity and big-picture thinking. Jordan points out that planning is often perceived as a daunting task because it involves slowing down, gathering data, and making deliberate decisions—actions that don't naturally align with a visionary’s strengths. Many entrepreneurs prefer to keep moving forward and feel they don't have the time to pause and plan meticulously. This aversion to planning is compounded by a lack of resources and education on how to plan effectively.


The Power of Data-Driven Decisions

Jordan emphasizes that the cornerstone of intentional planning is data. Without data, strategic planning is akin to sailing a ship without a compass. “Almost every answer to every question that I get from clients is, well, what does the data say?” Jordan insists. Despite the misconception that data collection is overly complex, it can be remarkably simple. For instance, starting with a basic data point like tracking where your clients come from over the past year provides a foundational insight that can drive more targeted actions.


Key Metrics to Track in Your Business

When it comes to tracking metrics, Jordan underscores the necessity of customizing them according to your business goals and strategies. Here are some essential and unique metrics she suggests:

1. Client Acquisition Sources: Knowing where your clients come from can help you allocate resources more effectively. For example, if most clients come from referrals, focus on maximizing that avenue before diversifying into more time-consuming or costly strategies like social media or paid ads.

2. Client Retention: Tracking the retention rates of clients across different offers helps you understand which parts of your service are working and which are not.

3. CEO's Time Management: Jordan reveals that she tracks how many days per month she has no calls scheduled, allowing her to manage her own productivity effectively.

4. Revenue, Expenses, and Profit: Regular financial metrics should not be neglected as they provide a snapshot of your business’s financial health.


The Reality of Entrepreneurship: Risk and Failure

The road to success is paved with risks and failures, Jordan explains. Many entrepreneurs hesitate to take the risks necessary for substantial growth because they fear failure. She shares her own experience of making a substantial initial investment in ads for her current business, which led her to realize that each step in entrepreneurship involves calculated risk. Everything is an experiment, and failure is as much a part of the process as success.


Unraveling the Myths of Online Business

The online business space is flooded with success stories that often lack context. Jordan cautions against idolizing these overnight successes without understanding the underlying efforts, resources, and years of groundwork that have gone into them. She notes that while her current business reached half a million dollars in two years, this achievement came after nearly a decade of entrepreneurial experience. The stark reality is that 90% of women-owned businesses make less than six figures annually, and only a small fraction reach seven figures. Setting realistic expectations can prevent unnecessary feelings of failure and help focus your efforts on sustainable growth.


The Journey from Solopreneur to CEO

One of the most inspiring aspects of Jordan’s story is her rapid transition from solopreneur to leading a team of over 20. Her journey highlights the importance of betting on yourself and making informed, strategic risks. Initially intended as a boutique firm, her discovery of a second pregnancy propelled her to scale quickly, proving that sometimes, external circumstances can catalyze unexpected growth.


Conclusion

Intentional planning, driven by data and customized metrics, is the key to unlocking sustainable business growth. While social media can offer distorted views of success, grounding your strategies in data and being open to risks and failures can set realistic and achievable goals. Jordan Shonda King's insights remind us to leverage both our visionary capabilities and planning skills in harmony to build resilient, thriving businesses.


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Transcript for Episode 331. The Key to Scaling Beyond Six Figures


Amy [00:00:02]:

Hey, we are back for another episode on the Motivated CEO podcast. And today we are talking about something that most business owners know that it's important, but they don't actually take the time to do. What is this? It's planning. It is planning, but with intent, effective planning in your business, those actionable strategies, that's what's key to building that solid foundation. Our guest today, Jordan Shonda King, is the queen of all things systems, all things scaling. And she is here to share so much value, so much wisdom with you today. Jordan, welcome into the podcast. Excited to have you here.


Jordan [00:00:54]:

Yeah, thank you so much. I'm excited to be here and talk about one of my favorite things.


Amy [00:00:58]:

Yeah. So I loved, before we even hit record, I'm like, what do we want to dive into? Like, there's so many places we could go. And you said, you know what my zone of genius is? Really planning. Really getting business owners to get out of that, that stuck stage so they can really scale their business. So why aren't business owners, if we know that we need to be doing this, why aren't we?


Jordan [00:01:26]:

That is a great question, a million.


Amy [00:01:29]:

Dollar question right there.


Jordan [00:01:31]:

I think it's a lot of things. Most business owners are visionaries, right? Planning is not like a thing that visionaries like to do. They're idea people. They usually go with the flow. People. Planning requires pausing, slowing down, doing things like gathering data, like all of these things that business owners are like, no, like, I don't want to do that. I don't have time to do that. I'm busy.


Jordan [00:02:00]:

Right. They're just going to keep going, going. So I think that's part of it. I think the other piece of it is that we just don't know how to do it. Like, no one is teaching business owners how to do effective planning. Like, where would you even, where would you even start? You ask business owners that, they would be like, I don't know. I set like maybe a revenue goal or something, you know, and that's kind of like they get very surface level with it because no one's showing us how to do this.


Amy [00:02:26]:

Yeah. And it's not complicated, though. I mean, this is something that I see with clients all of the time. You know, one of the very first things I asked them, like, do you have a business plan? Like, do we have direction as to where we're going? Are we tracking those metrics? Are we tracking the data? And exactly as you said, as business owners, we like being the CEO, we like being the visionary. But are you actually implementing are you implementing the things that will move the needle forward? So where do you advise that if someone's like, oh, my gosh, I just totally got called out by this? Where do you even have clients start?


Jordan [00:03:02]:

Yeah, we start with the data. We always, like, almost every answer to every question that I get from clients is, well, what does the data say? Cause then we can make a really good informed decision, right? And so we always start with the data. And that doesn't need to be overcomplicated. It doesn't need to be intimidating. I think a lot of business owners are intimidated by that, and they get a certain kind of, like, image in their head of what that means. But this can be super simple. So something as simple as where your clients come from for the last year, write it down. This isn't you, like, doing a survey.


Jordan [00:03:41]:

This is literally you making a list of all of your clients that have signed on in the last year and making a note next to their names on how they found you. It can be that simple. Then we can, we can, we can do some calculations. We can. We can involve some math into the process, which I highly recommend. But the start of it can be very simple and not intimidating.


Amy [00:04:02]:

Oh, I love that. Because, yeah, the simpler the better. When it's simple, it's sustainable. And when you try and get into the thick of it, like, yes, you can get so granular with the data. And this is what I, like nerd out on. I love it because the data drives decisions. It tells this beautiful story and it takes the emotion out of it. But, yeah, it can be very intimidating at first when you're seeing that there's so many things that you could be tracking that, yeah, just start with something as simple as, where are your clients coming in from? Because oftentimes what we think that where we think that they're coming in from versus where they actually are coming in from can be two totally different places.


Amy [00:04:44]:

I noticed this a lot with social media. Do you find that as well, that a lot of times clients are spending hours on social media, but that's not really what's converting for them?


Jordan [00:04:56]:

Yes, all the time. And another thing that I find is that when it comes to client acquisition sources, people kind of weight certain. Certain sources higher than others, even when it goes against the data. So I get a ton of people who are like, I need to, like, build this funnel, or I need to be doing more on social media. I'm like, okay, well, where are your clients coming from? They're like, okay, we look at the data 90% of them came from referrals. Well, then why the heck are you spending all of this time trying to design all of these complicated strategies to get clients where your clients are not coming from? Like, clients coming from referrals is not a bad thing. I think most people, business owners look at that and they're like, oh, this is bad. I need to diversify.


Jordan [00:05:37]:

Yes, maybe we need to diversify. That's probably a good thing to stack on, but only after we have absolutely exhausted every action that we can take to maximize the thing that we already know is working. Which is referrals.


Amy [00:05:51]:

Yes. Oh, my gosh. Preach it. Like, referrals are such a low hanging fruit that I don't feel as though most business owners take advantage of. I mean, right there, you're getting such a great potential client because it's someone that's typically worked with you, that is referring to another person. They know you, they like you, they trust you. So when a friend tells you about someone that could potentially, like, solve the problem that you have, yeah, you're going to put a lot more weight on that. It's just like, if I wanted to go and hire a plumber, I'm going to ask my friends who they recommend versus just opening up the yellow pages, which don't even exist anymore.


Amy [00:06:30]:

Go on Google, you know that.


Jordan [00:06:33]:

Who?


Amy [00:06:33]:

Okay, I guess I choose you, maybe. No, I'm asking for that referral. I want to know that it's a good investment of my time, of my energy. So I love that you mentioned that. Do you have any metrics that you like tracking that are kind of out of the box? Different ones that are unique?


Jordan [00:06:53]:

Yeah. So I'm. I'm also big on metric tracking. And when it comes to deciding what to actually track, this, this should be so custom. So again, it goes, it goes back to the data. So even like, with the referrals thing, there's going to be some businesses where that is something you need to focus on. Others, like, we, I think, like less than 5% of our clients come from referrals because we have a really robust strategy in place for lead gen and for ads and all kinds of different things. Right.


Jordan [00:07:21]:

And so we have good data on where our clients come from, so we double down on that. Other businesses are going to be different. So you always start with the data. Same thing goes with metrics. We're always starting with the data and we're also starting with your goals. So your goals are going to determine what you actually need to track. You should not be tracking the same things that everybody else is tracking. Like, there is no one set of metrics that everyone needs to be tracking.


Jordan [00:07:44]:

So for us, uh, we know, like, what our main platforms are. We know where our clients are hanging out. So tracking things related to that, we're tracking how many clients we have and our client retention statistics across different offers. I personally like to pay very close attention to how I am spending my time as a business owner. So not every, like, I'm not tracking my hours. Let me be very clear. I highly recommend that people do track their time periodically as business owners to see where they're actually spending time. But I, as a rule, don't like to track my time, so I'm not actually doing that.


Jordan [00:08:21]:

But what I am looking at is my calendar. So I'm paying very, very close attention to how many days I have on my calendar that do not have calls. So that's something that I track very, very closely. Other things are kind of standard around, like, revenue, expenses, owner pay, pretax profit, stuff like that. We lean really heavily on podcast guesting, so that's a metric that we track. How many are we pitching per month, how many are we booking, how many are being scheduled, how many are being released, things like that. But again, that might not be a strategy that you're leaning into. So should be totally custom.


Amy [00:08:57]:

Yes, such a great point. It needs to be custom. And when you're so clear as to what that goal is, you can literally reverse engineer anything to create the action plan. This is not rocket science, but it's, it's almost like so basic that it's hard because we feel like it's not going to move the needle forward because repeating the basics over and over and over. And as business owners, we're creating ideas. We're the visionaries. So a lot of times we're like, we're just bored in our businesses. So then we feel the need to pivot constantly.


Amy [00:09:37]:

And this is something that, from the outside looking in, you have done so beautifully. You started as you, and you have scaled your business into this team now, and that's what you really help other people do. How did you, what did that journey look like for you? What did that process look like going from Solopreneur to now running this team and truly being the CEO, being the visionary, being the face behind the brand.


Jordan [00:10:08]:

Yeah. So this is not a typical trajectory. Okay, so let me, like, that's what I love.


Amy [00:10:15]:

Let me love non traditional stories.


Jordan [00:10:17]:

I'm not necessarily saying this is the way that anyone should do it, but I think it's important to have context too, which I'm huge on talking about context. I think transparency, context, like giving all of the information, is super important because someone could hear a snippet of my story, which I'm about to share, and be like, holy smokes, like, wow, that's crazy. But the context is, I had been a business owner for almost a decade before I started this business. This is my third business. So this is not, it can appear, people can make things appear as overnight success if they want to, if they don't share the context of all that went into it in the past or the resources that they had to contribute and all of those things. So I like to always preface with that, but this business in particular I started about three years ago and quickly found a couple of clients, validated my idea. I was like, okay, this is great. I'm going to go all in on this business.


Jordan [00:11:12]:

And I decided to go all in with a cash investment and build out ads, ads straight to my high ticket service. And so I made that big investment. It was about a 20k investment, and then it recorded required me to make about three to $5,000 ad spend investment on top of that every single month for four to six months. So this was not a small investment right off the bat as a brand new business owner. Two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. So I had, like, decided to build this business. It was going to be a boutique, you know, like contract Coo. I was going to be doing all the things, maybe hire, like a small team, and then found out I was pregnant.


Jordan [00:11:54]:

And I realized, well, this is my second kiddo. I know exactly what my pregnancy is going to be like. I am not going to be able to do this myself. And so I actually hired a team of about a dozen contractors within 30 days of finding out that I was pregnant. So we went from Solopreneur to full blown agency within a month, and now we have over 20 team members.


Amy [00:12:16]:

That is incredible. But what I really appreciate, number one, is you sharing, like, the context. Like, okay, this is not something I'm advising any of you to do, but you took a bet on yourself. You knew what you wanted. You knew it was possible because you've built businesses before, but you went all in, you took the risk, and because of the risk, a calculated risk. Let's, let's, you know, put a caveat in there. A very calculated strategic risk. Now you're reaping the rewards.


Amy [00:12:51]:

And I think that's something that a lot of business owners, we get tripped up in. We're afraid to go all in and bet on ourselves to put some skin in the game to make it happen and scale. But it comes down to really being clear on what exactly you want and willing to bet on yourself.


Jordan [00:13:14]:

Yeah, absolutely. I talk about this a lot, too, that the definition of being an entrepreneur is like being the holder of risk. It's literally your job. And there's some differences between being an entrepreneur and being a CEO. And it's, like, a very nuanced thing. You got to wear both hats most of the time, like, for businesses that are my size or my client's sizes. But that risk piece does not go away. It is just, like, an integral part of the process.


Jordan [00:13:45]:

And I do think a lot of people shy away from it, and it's scary. And it's not just about risking money, because I'm definitely not saying, like, go throw $20,000 at an ad strategy like that, like you said, was a. Was a calculated risk based on the fact that I already had a validated offer and I was gonna work with someone who had designed a funnel for businesses exactly like mine. Right. Like, I wasn't just throwing money at it. That, um. That wasn't, like, something that was vetted. But it can also be a risk of your time.


Jordan [00:14:15]:

Like, everything that we do is a risk of our time, and I still had to put a ton of time investment up front. You can't. It's not just, like, necessarily one or the other time or money. Sometimes. A lot of times, it's both and. And real. Like, I like to think about it as everything being an experiment. I find that that can take some of the pressure off of, like, this big kind of risk factor of running a business.


Jordan [00:14:41]:

Everything's an experiment, and it can't be. Every risk can't be, like, make it or break it. I have to be willing to fail every single time that I take a risk and then have a plan for what I'm going to do after I get the data from that failure. And that has never gone away either. Like, we. We fail all the time still, on things that we do.


Amy [00:15:01]:

Yeah, I could not agree more. It's like we're so afraid of failing that we never even try. We never put ourselves out there. But that's how we learn. You know, you think about how we learn to do literally everything in life from the moment we start walking, what do we do? We fall down over and over and over. When we start running, we fall down again, but we keep getting back up, learn to ride a bike. You know, all of these gross motor skills that we're developing as kids, we're. We're comfortable with failure, but then we get into the school years, and then we're conditioned to think failure is bad.


Amy [00:15:39]:

Oh, gosh, if you fail a test, that's. Oh, that's terrible. That's worst case scenario. But what I've learned now is I've almost had to unlearn that. That pattern of thinking, and now I challenge myself. Okay, let's just try it. Just completely detaching from the outcome and leveraging the data exactly as you said, because it's all an experiment. Just because something I tried didn't work.


Amy [00:16:03]:

Okay, that's data. If something I tried did work, it's data. Like, neither one of those. I think it's important that we maintain that neutral position with failures as well as our successes so that we can double down on what worked and then let go of what didn't and just know over time that, okay, we might have to adjust course a little bit, and that's okay. Like, no big deal. It is what it is, right? But we're so wrapped up in the emotion of it. I know that we get in our heads, and I just see so many amazing entrepreneurs. They're like, okay, I'm just going back to a nine to five because they don't have that tolerance to it.


Jordan [00:16:39]:

Yep. Yeah. And it's a muscle. Like, I am. I am the same way. Like, I was a straight a student perfectionist. Like, never failed in my life, right? And then I feel so thankful that I had my first two businesses because that was where I really had to learn and flex my muscle of experimenting and failing and trying things. And it gets so much easier over time.


Jordan [00:17:05]:

I just had a conversation with a client earlier today, and they're like, oh, I have this idea. You know, I kind of thinking about, like, what if I package my offer this way? I'm like, go write an email and send it to your list right now. Like, that you want to find out if it's a good idea or not, go sell it, like, today, if people will buy it or they won't buy it. Like, it's literally that easy. You don't have to build it up into your head as this thing that you need to create and put this perfect, pretty bow around. Like, just try it. Like, what's the lowest stakes way that we can test these ideas? Get them out there, get the data, iterate on it, optimize on it. Like, the more things you try, the more the faster you're going to go, the more you're going to learn all of the things you know.


Amy [00:17:42]:

Yeah, yeah, I agree. I'm always saying, you know, action creates momentum, momentum creates results, but until you get into action, you're not going to have any of this amazing information. Now, I would love to know because, you know, I come from very similar background, you know, the overachiever, perfectionist, straight A's. What did your family think? You know, as you were like, hey, guess what? I'm going to do this thing. Did you encounter any resistance, or have they, since you've built businesses before, come to be like, okay, it's fine?


Jordan [00:18:14]:

Yeah, I think it's been a little bit of both because it's been interesting. So my grandpa, he was a dentist all when I was growing up. And so that's a family business. That is entrepreneurship right there. It's a little bit different, but I had that background, which I'm thankful for. And so, you know, my family has an understanding of what it's like to run a business. My first business, I actually co founded with my mom. So, you know, that's also kind of an interesting thing.


Jordan [00:18:46]:

She saw that. But I think it's been a little bit of both. The online space is different, right. And so it's harder for people to wrap their head around. Like, what do you mean? You get on calls and people pay you money for it, you know? So, yeah, they're supportive. I think it's. It's. The entrepreneurial spirit is definitely ingrained in my family, but also there's been a little bit of a learning curve for me to make sense of it to them.


Amy [00:19:14]:

Yeah, yeah. Especially in the online space. It's so weird. I have a grandma that's 90, and she's like, what do you do? You make money that way. I don't understand. And it's like, it's okay, grandma, it's fine.


Jordan [00:19:27]:

You talk to strangers on the Internet all day. Yes. And people pay me. Right.


Amy [00:19:32]:

And it sounds bizarre. It sounds so bizarre. But I think we always have to be a little bit delusional. Like, okay, don't worry about it. I'm fine. I'm paying the bills. Like, it's not a big deal. But when there is that, that little inkling of doubt, those naysayers out there.


Amy [00:19:49]:

I remember when I went from a very secure nine to five, you know, that I had worked, I had a license, like, all of these things into entrepreneurship full time. My family thought I was nuts. My immediate family, they were awesome. But, like, my mom, my dad, they were like, what the heck are you doing? But now, looking back, I realize they were just trying to keep me safe, you know?


Jordan [00:20:10]:

Exactly.


Amy [00:20:10]:

Because they didn't know any different. They're of that generation where, you know, you go to work, you work until you retire, and then you retire, and then you do the things. And I'm like, but I don't want to wait till then to do the things. What about today? I want to do the things now.


Jordan [00:20:24]:

Stability. They prioritize stability a lot more, for sure.


Amy [00:20:28]:

Exactly, exactly. But in the online space, it's easy to have that perception skewed. And going back to context, I think that's something that's so, so important as entrepreneurs that we're uncovering the context behind some of these posts we see on social media, because it is very easy for others to hide the context, for them to just show up and be like, oh, you can make 50k in one month by starting a new business. And it's like, okay, but can you. What's your profit margin behind it? What are all those metrics? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Let's get spicy.


Jordan [00:21:12]:

Yes, I have lots of thoughts about this. I think the Internet is a very noisy place that actually, like, it's. It's a wonderful, wonderful thing, right? Like, I run my business because of it. Lots of women are creating amazing, thriving businesses because of it. But it puts out so much information and noise that I think does a real disservice to women who are building businesses. Um, like you said, lack of context, lack of transparency. It also just amplifies stories that are not realistic. Okay.


Jordan [00:21:47]:

Like, even if you're, like, even my story. Right? Like, and it's why I feel like I actively have to do everything that I can to share the context of my story, because I don't ever want people to think that what I have built, a half million dollar business in two years is normal. It's not normal. Okay? And so that's not the standard that we should be holding ourselves to. What we actually know is that 90% of women owned businesses make less than six figures a year. That is a real thing. So when you're looking at all of this information that's being thrown at you about how much money you can make on the Internet, you need to take that with a grain of salt. Again, 90% of businesses that are owned by women make less than six figures a year.


Jordan [00:22:32]:

Less than 2% make over seven figures. Less than two. It's like one and a half percent is essentially what it is. Of women owned businesses make over seven figures. That's not very many. You would not know that if you were scrolling social media, right? Everyone's making seven figures. They did it overnight by, you know, like, I don't know, traveling to another.


Amy [00:22:51]:

Country and starting a blog or something, manifesting everything.


Jordan [00:22:55]:

Okay. So, like, it's just, it sets unrealistic standards that then makes everyone feel like failures. And I know that because that's exactly how I felt. Even as I was building a half million dollar business so quickly, I was still feeling like, oh, but I haven't done it fast enough, right? And, oh, I'm a failure if I don't hit seven figures by my third year. What kind of crazy? What? Like, that's crazy. Like, why would I? That's not a normal growth trajectory at all. So we just have to be really, really careful about the information that we're consuming, who we're following, and the standards and expectations that we're setting for ourselves.


Amy [00:23:30]:

Thank you. Preach it, mama. Oh, my goodness. I cannot agree more. You know, social media, it can be such a blessing and such a curse all at the same time. But like you said, it's so much noise that we lose sight of our own thoughts, our own desires, our own goals, and we start to base our worth off of some random stranger on the Internet that has convinced us that you should be able to just sit there on a beach and make ten k a month. That's not realistic. There is strategy that goes into building a business.


Amy [00:24:06]:

It's about going back to what we talked about at the beginning, really being intentional and using the data to drive your decisions, pausing and taking the time to track your metrics, and then borrow the belief from Jordan, get into her world and learn more from her because she has been there. Like you said, this has taken you over ten years to get to this point. And multiple businesses, you've evolved over time. So now we can borrow the belief from you and help collapse some of that time because I'm sure you show your clients too. Like, hey, I made some mistakes along the way and things are constantly evolving, constantly changing. So thank you for being such a light in the online space and helping guide so many entrepreneurs. I would love to know where is the best place for someone listening to get in contact with you and learn more about all of the amazing things that you do.


Jordan [00:25:07]:

Yeah, easiest place is just to go to our website, easyscaling.com. you can find our social media handles on there. You can find all the things we've got a ton of free resources around planning around scaling. We have a really cool assessment called the BSAT that actually assesses where your business is at on the on, like scalability. So you can look at that, all kinds of free stuff that you can tap into. So yeah, easyscaling.com dot amazing.


Amy [00:25:35]:

Jordan, thank you so much. This was such an awesome conversation.


Jordan [00:25:39]:

Yeah, thank you. I appreciate it.


Amy [00:25:41]:

And until next time, cheers to making the money you want so you can create the impact you desire.

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