Ep. 135 – From Bankrupt To Bankable

“Your systems will increase your company’s valuation more than your pricing or profit.” – Darnyelle Jervey Harmon

Episode Summary

This episode is powered by the  God Girls Making Millions, The Mastermind

As we continue to celebrate making the coveted Inc5000 Fastest Growing Companies of 2022, I thought I would share the 10 things we’ve changed as a company that have made the difference in the last year when we doubled our million-dollar company to make the list. I believe that success leaves clues and in this episode, I am going to share the 10 clues that have taken me from bankruptcy in 2010 to the Inc5000 in 2022.  If you are an entrepreneur who is experiencing more struggle than significance in your business right now, this episode is for you!  I endeavor to create a roadmap of EXACTLY what you can do in your own business to shift the trajectory.   Listen in now to discover:

  • #1 change we made that made the biggest difference
  • How hiring the right team can accelerate your growth
  • Why simplifying your business model is the fastest way to multiply your results
  • And so much more

Important Links:

Want more of Darnyelle?

Social Media Links:

Subscribe to the Move to Millions Business Podcast:

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Google Play

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on iHeartRadio

Listen on Pandora

Leave us a review

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode. I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those.

Now if you’re feeling extra loving, I would be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!

From Bankrupt To Bankable

This episode is powered by God Girls Making Millions. This is a soul cry to the woman leader who is ready to shake the planet with an accelerated mastermind experience that will prepare you for the best year of your life in business. Over three days, you’ll refine your mission and vision, tighten your network, and solidify your million-dollar milestone. Learn more and apply today at GodGirlsMakingMillions.com.

The Journey To Top 25% of America’s Fastest Growing Companies For 2022

Before we jump into our episode, I need you all to do me a favor. As you know, the popularity of our show is steadily increasing, but I need your help. I need you to help me to get it into more countries, into more households, and into more cars. I need you to help me to expand the reach of the Move To Millions Show. If you love this show, as much as I know that you love it, would you please do me a favor and rate and review an episode? You can rate and review this one or any of the other episodes you have loved. Doing so is going to increase our reach and allow us to serve more people with this powerful information. I want to say thank you in advance for being able to help me do this.

If you haven’t heard, let me be the first to let you know that my company, Incredible One Enterprises, accomplished a major milestone. Something that I have been wanting to actually do since 2016. Our company hit the Inc. 5000 America’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Number 1,209 in the top 25% for 2022. I have to catch my breath because this was amazing. It was the thing that I most wanted.

As you know, we recently lost my father, and I was able to share this with him before he passed. He was so excited because he knew that this was something that I was working toward. I’m so excited that we hit the Inc. 5000. When I think about going from bankruptcy to being bankable, which is what we’re calling this episode, I want to share with you some of the lessons that I’ve learned on this journey.

In the last year, we doubled our million-dollar company in order to qualify to be in the Inc. 5000. The way that the Inc qualification process works is it’s a three-year growth span. In the first year, in our particular instance, it was 2018, your business had to do at least $100,000. In 2021, your business had to do at least $2 million.

Our business did more than $100,000 in 2018 and we did a little bit more than $2 million in 2021. Roughly in a year’s time, we more than doubled the business and put into the realm of possibility of achieving this milestone. It’s something that I have wanted for a very long time. For me, the Inc. 5000 is representative of true business. It’s what I want. I want to be known for teaching people business acumen and financial literacy through business so that they can build sustainable and thriving businesses that serve them financially and spiritually so that they can employ people and create wealth, and so that they can continue to stir our economy.

The stories that we tell ourselves are what hold us back.

Small businesses are the backbone of this economy in the United States. I know we have people tuning in from around the world, but that’s a big part of our mission. Ultimately, our goal is to eradicate small business poverty. You already know if you’ve been tuning in for a while that I deemed small business poverty to be a low six-figure business. No disrespect to getting to the six-figure mark because I know it took work to get there, but we both know that you cannot stop at six figures. It’s not enough.

You cannot pay yourself six figures and whatever you are earning after self-employment tax and the cost to run your business, it’s probably less than you made at your full-time job. I don’t know about you, but I certainly did not quit my good job to come into entrepreneurship and barely make it. I quit my good job to come into entrepreneurship and to make a move and ultimately leave millions of dollars.

That’s what it’s all about for me. I thought it would be nice if I shared what we did because I believe success leaves clues. I want to help you to figure out where the clues are for you and how you can shift, change, modify, and indoctrinate these lessons, and things that we did differently in your own business so that they can help you on your journey on the Move to Millions Continuum.

Setting The Goal

Let’s jump in. Every time I think about what has happened, I do have my I-could-pinch-myself moment. Can I keep it real with you? When I started this business, I knew that I had what it took to be a massive success and to be walking out success, following what some will call massive breakdowns and failures is so refreshing. I feel like I’ve just arrived, but I also feel like I’m still arriving, if that makes any sense whatsoever. Anyway, that was a quick sidebar. The first thing that happened that I think is important for you to decide as well is I made the decision that I wanted to double the business and continue to grow. Getting to the $2 million mark was just so that we could achieve the Inc. 5000.

The next milestone is to keep doubling and ultimately double the business every year until we get to eight figures. We did $2 million last year. We’re doing $4 million this year, then doing $8 million, then doing potentially $16 million. Now we’re eight figures. That’s ultimately the goal, but I made the decision. The decision comes first. I love the Emerson quote which says, “Once you decide, all of the universe rearranges itself to bring you what you decided.” That’s good things and bad things. Good things are going to happen, but bad things are going to come to the surface as well. I like to think of it as a validation, a test if you will, that the decision you’ve made is the decision that you want to honor and lean into. That was the very first thing that we did and I did.

Setting A Clear Vision And Mission

Secondly, I set a very clear vision and mission for the company. I took the time to download it. Many of you know that we went through a massive rebrand, and a big part of that rebrand was continuing to clarify our vision and mission. As I shared with you, it’s ultimately to eradicate small business poverty and to create or personally impact five million entrepreneurs on the Move To Millions Continuum, creating $500 million CEOs. That is our vision. I haven’t said that out loud very often. You’re amongst the first to know, but setting that clear vision and making sure that that vision and mission back into everything that we do every single day inside of this company.

Self-care is the most important business strategy you can ever implement.

Being The Better Leader

Next, I became very intentional about becoming a better leader. This is not my first time having a team of full-time employees, FTEs. I had one before the first time we crossed the million-dollar mark. I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t love it because it took me back to a story from when I was in Corporate America. I was thrust into people management, and I wasn’t ready for it and didn’t want it. You know what holds us back are the stories that we tell ourselves. Immediately upon being in this position where I needed to hire, I told myself that I was not a good leader. I wouldn’t be good at it, and I wasn’t. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy because we will have what we say.

This time around, knowing that in order for me to have multiple million-dollar businesses and to truly deepen the impact that I want to have on this planet, I knew I couldn’t do it by myself. I had to first and foremost decide that I am a powerful, loving, requiring, but also a fair leader. I had to decide that, and then I had to go and get support to help me to become a better leader, hiring the right coaches and consultants to help me while also developing my own plan of leadership so that I can continue to grow as I endeavor to be better for my team members, but also to invite them to grow.

Most Important Strategy: Self-Care

The next thing I did is I increase my self-care. Self-care is the most important business strategy you can ever implement. The fact that you will get more by letting go is an anomaly but it is so very true. I started to make sure that I took time for myself. You heard the episode on CEO Burnout. If you haven’t, go back to it. It shares my personal self-care plan, but I’ve increased that, making sure I take time for myself. Even at the time of recording this episode, I took a little bit longer to get into the office because I needed to love on myself a little bit more.

The 80/20 Rule

Next, I started focusing on living what I call the 80/20 rule. I promise you, I’m going to do a whole episode on the CEO 80/20 rule. What it means in basics is that 80% of your time is spent working on the business, doing the things that move the business forward, and 20% or less is spent working in the business, actually providing the service to your clients. It’s definitely a shift. Right now more than likely, you’re doing a 20/80, 20% of your time on the business and 80% of your time in the business. That’s totally okay. I don’t want to steal the thunder of the future episodes, so we’ll leave it right there.

Getting The Right People

The next thing that I did was focus on making sure that we would hire quality team members, people who could be trained and developed to lead our company and to serve our clients with the manner of excellence that we have become accustomed to and known for. Developing these people and creating, hiring and onboarding plans for these people takes time. If you have an HR background, you can absolutely do this yourself or you can engage HR consultants and strategists to be able to help you, but creating quality job descriptions, making sure that what you endeavor to pay your team is going to be good so that they’re willing to come and work with you.

There are, of course, benefits to working for a smaller business than working in a corporate conglomerate, but you need to understand that and be able to speak to the differences because you may or may not, at the onset of hiring, be able to pay people what they could earn in Corporate America. I was working with one of my clients who had a person who wanted to come over and work with them from JP Morgan Chase. They were making maybe $80,000 to $85,000 at Chase to do almost nothing. In my client’s small business, they wouldn’t be able to make that much. The salary ended up being $60,000, but we talked about what they would gain by leaving the corporate environment. You have to be clear on that, but that was an important part of our journey.

What gets documented gets done. And so what gets documented also gets duplicated.

We’re not done hiring, but we’ve definitely taken our time to bring the right people on the team and not hired out of angst, hurry or overwhelm like I did the last time. Part of the reason I didn’t have the right team is because I didn’t take my time to get clear about who they would be, the roles they would play, the core values they would need to have, and so forth and so on. We’re going to also do some episodes on hiring because you guys need to build a team. You want to get to the point where they are not hiring you, but they are hiring your company.

Simplified And Streamlined Strategies

Number seven is probably one of the most important things that we changed in our business as we streamlined and simplified both our marketing and our offers. There’s this school of thought out there that you should do everything under the sun to get in front of your ideal clients, and it works, but there is an entirely different school of thought that is based on what we call the incredible ones where you focus and follow one course until success is the result.

By doing so, you streamline. By simplifying your business, you actually multiply your results in your marketing and your offers. The biggest change we made is to stop offering all the things and went all in on the thing that we want to be known for, and requiring our clients to rise up to be able to work with us in one firm strong way. It’s so important to be able to streamline and simplify what you’re doing because you don’t need to do all the things. They all work, but it is about identifying the business model that is right for your business based on your ideal client. You might be trying to spend all of your energy on Instagram, but your ideal client might be on LinkedIn, or they might not be on social media at all. You have to figure out what is the thing that you are doing and how you’re showing up fully in that thing.

The next thing we did is we tighten our systems and standard operating procedures. When I worked in Corporate America, one of my positions was in corporate compliance. I knew about the importance to document. What gets documented gets done. What gets documented also gets duplicated. I already knew how to do that. Many of the things that we’re doing day in and day out in the company were documented, but many of those things were also outdated because they weren’t living, breathing documents. They were created once, and we didn’t go back to them.

In hiring an operations manager, we’ve got to tighten our systems and get our SOPs up to par so that we can easily duplicate the tasks that need to be done and move this company forward. Write this down. Scale will only happen at the point at which you’re duplicatable. Your business’s valuation will be worth more if everything that happens that generates and performs a task that leads to a specific result in your company has been documented in a procedure. That is going to make your company way more valuable than just what you charge or what your profit is at the end of the year. Taking the time to work on your SOP is important. It’s one of the big things we do inside of our Move To Millions Mastermind, which is the streamlined and simplified offer that we bring to the market.

People And Service Improvement

I also decided to start focusing on developing my team. I believe that the people need to proceed the profit. I believe that there will be no profit if you don’t have the right people. In addition to me having coaches that supported me and helped me, I also hired a coach for my team, so they have someone developing them and helping them to continue to become their best selves. It’s important if you want to go to the next level that you create an environment where everyone is growing together. Otherwise, you will grow apart and it will impact the results that you can experience at your company.

People proceed profit. There will be no profit if you don’t work with the right people.

Go All-In On Customer Service And Client Management And Experience

Next, this is probably the second most important. We decided to go all-in on customer service, client management, and client experience. We love on and love up our clients. We do things that are unheard of that other people aren’t doing in the name of caring about our clients. We want to do life with our clients. They are not just a transaction that occurs every month for us. These are people that we care about what’s happening with their families. We care about their self-care, mental health, spiritual life, and spiritual practice. We decided to go all in on serving them in the best possible way, going above and beyond what we put and what’s included in the program that people enroll in. Why? Because people proceed to profit. There will be no profit if you don’t work with the right people.

We’ve decided that having clients that we love and can love on is as centrifical to our success. It’s one of the reasons why we’re on the Inc. 5000. You may not realize this, but the way you treat your clients determines how many of them you retain. We have an amazing retention rate, 85% to 90% of our clients continue to work with us. They renew over and over and one more time after that because of the way we treat them. Making the decision to go all-in on serving them and giving them an amazing experience in excellence makes a big difference.

Increase Your Media Presence And Network

The next thing we did, and this is number 11 out of 12, is we increased the visibility, media and PR. I started to pay attention to media and PR. There comes a time when the only thing you need to do is become more visible. When you’ve tightened your messaging, programs, offers, the results that you get, and the systems and the standard operating procedures that you use, now you need an accelerant. Visibility, media and PR is that accelerant. Whether that comes through becoming a contributor on highly frequented blogs and in magazines, hiring a publicist, or pitching yourself for television, whatever it means, you need to increase it because you get to massively expand your reach in a very short period of time through media. Again, media is an accelerant. It should only be used once everything is tight and putting you in a position to be able to serve at a greater capacity as that media impact improves.

Last but certainly not least, I up-leveled my own network, joining higher and advanced communities of people who are at my next level. You’re behind the eight ball if you’re in a room of people that are where you are. You need to be in a room of people or at least one of the rooms you’re in needs to be a room of people who are where you desire to be. One of the organizations that I belonged to years ago was the Women Presidents Organization. To join WPO, you have to have a million-dollar company.

Me at the million-dollar mark, sitting in this room with these women who are running $85 million, $128 million, and $250 million companies, it blew my mind to be able to mastermind and brainstorm with them, to be able to share my challenges, and have them walk me through it because they had already walked a mile in the shoes that I was trying to put on. It’s important to be inside of those types of communities.

They make a huge difference for you when you are. That’s a big part of the reason why we’re hosting God Girls Making Millions. This mastermind experience is a one-off high-end mastermind. It’s the room that I need now that I’m at the next level. I got tired that people would tell me, “You should come to this event.” I would buy the plane ticket, book the hotel and go. I would be sitting in the room and frustrated because the content and the level of conversation were my last level, not my next level. I wanted to create a place where those of us who are on that trajectory can continue to elevate our conversation as we ascend.

The way you treat your clients determines how many of them you retain.

That’s what God Girls Making Millions is all about. In order to protect the integrity of the experience, we are requiring applications. We want to make sure that we have the right people in the room so that the conversation can be the conversation that we all want at this higher level. I promise, I am not going to create an environment where we have people who are just starting in the room with people who are ready to do their first or next seven figures.

While I’ve made the decision that you don’t have to be at the million-dollar mark to come, apply, and get accepted for God Girls Making Millions, it is absolutely not for startup entrepreneurs. It is not for entrepreneurs who have not yet cracked the six-figure mark in their business. The reason we’re doing that is because we truly want it to be a safe place where you can let your guard down and talk about those things that have been plaguing you because not enough people are there.

I get it. The statistics don’t lie. The numbers do not lie. If you look at the 32.5 million small businesses that are in the United States, a small business is classified as a business with 500 or less employees. It’s 32.5 million of them. If you look at the statistics around the number of businesses that make it to seven figures, of the vast majority, it’s less than 1% of 32.5 million businesses.

Sometimes, it seems like there’s way more when you’re in a concentrated place where there are a lot of people that are at that milestone, but you got to keep in mind that everybody who says they’re a million-dollar CEO is not really a million-dollar CEO. They could have done $1 million in sales, but it’s not sales. It’s revenue. Remember, you can not spend sales. Being inside of a community that affords you that is so important.

I’m personally right now in three communities where you had to be at the million-dollar mark to get in there. It has made a tremendous difference in our ability to continue to shift the trajectory of our business, increase our revenue, increase our profitability, and show up more fully in the marketplace. That is what I want for you too. I want to remind you to go to GodGirlsMakingMillions.com and get on the waitlist.

At some point, the applications will be open. Apply to join us. If you are ready for that next level conversation, that conversation that your next level demands, it’s waiting for you at God Girls Making Millions. I’m curating this experience to speak to you, the whole woman, the mother, the daughter, the wife, the girlfriend, the sister, the bestie, and the daughter of the most, high God. All of who you are, we’re curating this experience to speak to all of that so that you can take these clues, these lessons, and many more to watch yourself make the move to millions. I’ll see you guys next time. Take care.

Important Links