Ep 169: Focus on Your Foundation

Scaling and sustaining a business isn’t sexy.” – Darnyelle Jervey Harmon

Episode Summary

This episode is powered by the Move to Millions Book

If you’re feeling frustrated with slow progress on your own Move to Millions, This episode is for you!, When things aren’t moving fast enough, we sometimes forget that building a business is not glamorous or exciting. It can be tedious and boring, but it’s necessary for success. If there is one thing I know about being an entrepreneur, it’s that most of us are big picture visionaries who hate exploring the depths of the mundane tasks that go into the day in and day out of running a business. The truth, however, is that becoming a million-dollar CEO isn’t that glamorous – it’s actually filled with days, weeks, months and even years of getting a foundation upon which your millions can spring forth.  Further, seldom is this part sexy – it includes lots of testing and trying in an effort to find your million-dollar winning formula. And once you do, it gets real boring!   In order to scale and sustain a business that makes, move and leaves millions, you’re going to have to become okay with the boring side of business.  That means that day after day and week after week the tasks are the same and the goal is to predict your results. In this episode of the Move to Millions Podcast, we delve into one of the often overlooked and misunderstood phases of scaling and sustaining a business to and beyond the million-dollar mark – the foundation phases or the boring phase as I often call it. Focusing on your foundation is essential if you want to make millions.  To learn the ins and outs of the foundation phase, grab your pen and paper and listen in now to discover:

  • What you need to focus on when you are desiring to position your business to scale and sustain
  • Why doing too much and switching your strategy once you’ve laid your foundation is the biggest derailer of your ability to scale and sustain   
  • Why repetition really is the mother of skill
  • Exactly what you must have in place in order to graduate from the foundation phase into the boring phase
  • And so much more

Important Links:

Powerful Quotes from the Episode

  • “78% of people who hit the million dollar mark become a one hit wonder.”
  • “You need to say something that no one else that has the boldness and courage to say.”
  • “In this phase, consistency and predictability are the most important key performance indicators that you want.”
  • “In order to show up fully and be who God created you to be, you’ll need to put on your blinders.”


  • [00:01:50] Tips for scaling and sustaining business; importance of a consistent foundation.
  • [00:01:50] “Why Your Business’s Success Depends on Foundation”
  • [00:04:54] To succeed in business, you need to know your audience, create a valuable product or service that solves their problems, and price it for profitability and cash flow. $100,000 a year is not enough.
  • [00:06:50] Differentiation is key; test marketing strategies; be consistent in foundation phase; growing a business requires consistent effort regardless of changes.
  • [00:06:50] “50 Marketing Strategies to Scale Your Business”
  • [00:13:17] Stay focused, repeat tasks for predictable success and profitability in the first sustaining phase of business. Build million dollar assets and prepare for the replication phase by laying a strong foundation.
  • [00:14:59] A solid foundation is crucial for future success and scaling up involves returning to and evaluating it.
  • [00:17:33] “Build a strong foundation for business success”

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This episode is powered by Move to Millions, the book, the Proven Framework to become a million dollar c e o with grace and ease instead of hustle and grind. Listen to me, you need this book in your life. If you have millions on your mind. Go down to movetomillions book.com and secure your copy today.

I am so excited to be with you in this episode. We are literally as you take this episode in about to start move to Millions Live 2023. Today I am joined by my team who works all over the country. We are live in Herndon, Virginia, and we are having a team day. So we’re having a team day, but I wanna hold you with something that I hopefully will serve you, especially if you are not coming to move to millions live this year.

For those of you who are on your way, allow this just to be a little inspiration and motivation of what is waiting for you when we get together for three days. So I was having a conversation. Approximately two weeks ago with a client in my Move to Millions Mastermind, and the client was feeling a little frustrated and maybe even a little disgruntled because things just aren’t moving, and as a result of them not moving, she’s wanting to switch gears, pivot and do something different.

And I had to remind her. And so I wanna tell you, like I’m, I had to tell her that when you are growing your business, it’s not sexy. It’s not fun and exciting. It’s not like whitewater rafting or jet skiing. Building a business is straight up boring. And so in this episode, I really just wanna break down for you.

What you really need to get ready and prepared for if your mission is ultimately to scale and sustain your business. I don’t know if you’ve seen the statistics, but 78% of people who hit the million dollar mark become a one hit wonder. That means they never crossed the million dollar mark again. Sure, there’s a myriad of reasons as to why that might happen.

I’d like to think it has something to do with what we’re talking about today, and that is the fact that. Entrepreneurs. By and large, we’re big picture visionary people. We love the fact that there is no two days that are the same inside of our business. We love the fact that there are lots of fires to put out and challenges to overcome, but when it comes to scaling and sustaining, the more boring and consistent your businesses, the more likely that your success will become predictable.

So as I was talking with this client, I recognize the significance of her understanding that your business’s success is going to be contingent upon your foundation. I think about the story of the Three Little Pigs. You remember the Three Little Pigs, right? I think it’s the Three Little Pigs. Was it The Three Little Pigs?

Now y’all, I’m questioning whether or not this is the Three Little Pigs. Yes. One built their house out of sticks. One built their house outta straw, one built their house out of bricks or something like that. I don’t know whichever little children’s story it is that I’m talking about. The foundation of your business is like whether or not you build your house with, with sticks, with straw or with brick.

You wanna build your business with brick, and in order to do that, you’re gonna have to spend a great amount of time in what I call the foundation phase. The foundation phase is the very first phase of making the move to millions inside of your business. In the foundation phase, your focus is on identifying, clarifying and com confirming exactly these elements.

Number one, who is your client and not just the ideal client that you wanna serve, but [00:04:00] the high end up-leveled ideal client. It’s about really identifying and targeting the right audience of people that have the problem. You know, we like to call that a spice problem that you can solve with a spice solution, and this is a problem that has been keeping them awake at night, a problem that they have been unsuccessful at solving on their own.

That is the first step. Is to really understand in that, in the foundation, it’s the foundation of everything. Once you’re clear about your idle client and the problem that they have, then you can move into developing a clear, compelling, and transformational offer for them. I want you to notice that I said offer and not offers, cuz you do not need multiple offers to get your business to the million dollar mark.

You can absolutely get there with one. Really, really strong, compelling, clear, and transformational offer. That is it. But the second piece, after you know who you wanna serve is how are you gonna serve them? You need to create the product or the service that will provide value that will give them a transferrable result, and that will solve the problem that they have been unsuccessful at solving on their own.

Once you know who you’re serving and you’ve created that offer, you have got to price that offer for profitability and cash flow. This is why I say having a low six figure business, a hundred thousand dollars a year business is not enough. $100,000 by the time we take out taxes and basic business expenses takes us down to approximately $41,000 a year.

That’s probably less than you made in your good job. That’s why a hundred thousand dollars is not enough. That’s why it is a milestone, not a stopping point. Because you have to get there first, right? You’ve gotta do low six figures before you can do seven, but understanding who you’re serving, the problem that they have, and pricing your product or service based on those two variables that I just spoke about, is what’s gonna determine your ability to experience profitability and cash flow in your business.

We wanna make sure that at the transaction level, your business is extremely profitable. From there, we’ve gotta look at your messaging. You need a message that. Allows you to rise above the noise cuz Lord knows there’s a lot of noise in the marketplace. You need a message that is contrarian. You need to say something that no one else is that has the boldness and courage to say.

That is why I say a low six figure business is small business poverty. The people who’ve made low six figures know I’m right. But they’re also offended because it took everything that they had to make low six figures. So it’s gotta be something con uh, that is contrarian because that is immediately gonna allow you to stand out from everyone else who is technically talking about what you talk about.

That differentiation piece is the key to really being able to get their attention because consumers are programmed to notice what’s different. Also in the foundation phase, you’re gonna identify which marketing strategies are the right strategies for you to be leveraging. And I’m here to tell you that there are at least 50 ways you could be marketing and you might have to test every single one of them to see which ones are gonna resonate and create traction with your most ideal client.

It’s going to take time in the foundation phase, and that’s why it’s important for you to understand the significance of being consistent. This is what I mean when I say leveraging and scaling or scaling and sustaining your business is boring because guess what? As you are in this foundation phase, you’re gonna be doing the same things over and over and over, and one more time again after that, and then every week into perpetuity.

For as long as you have a business, regardless of what variables change, you might change your offer. You might even change your audience, but the things that you have to do to grow a business are the things that you have to do to grow a business. I know so many people. We wanna spend time and energy jumping on every trend that hits the marketplace.

It’s a trend for a reason. It’s a fad because it doesn’t last. The tried and true will always work, and it takes time for you to get the clarity about what are gonna be the things that are going to work for you in this foundation setting phase. It’s also important to keep in mind that you might be here for a while.

It’s, it’s the boring phase, but it is also the most essential phase. It takes a lot of time because it requires all of that testing and trying different strategies to, to figure out what your winning formula is gonna be. Often when we have clients join us in our programs, We’re not suggesting that they do something that they haven’t heard before.

We’re suggesting that they take the time to master it and perfect it and tighten it and streamline it so that they can ultimately get themselves to the point where it becomes a rinse and repeat. You’re not ready to even think about scaling your business in the foundation phase. All you should be focused on is proving these variables for your company and allowing those things to take you to the next phase.

But it’s gonna get real boring before it gets sexy, if it ever gets sexy. But you don’t even get to move into what I like to call the, the second phase was just the, the sustaining phase when we make sure that it actually works. You don’t even get to move into the sustaining phase until you know that your foundation has been set.

And the sustaining phase is also known as the boring phase because you’re gonna be extremely repetitive doing the same things day in and day out. With that focus of tightening and tweaking your pro processes and your strategies in this phase, consistency and predictability are the most important key performance indicators that you want.

You wanna make sure that you can predict down to the nth degree what is gonna happen when you do specific things. And until you are able to actually do that with consistency, it’s gonna be a problem. This is why people get a little bored and wanna pivot in the, in this phase, in the sustaining phase or the boring phase.

And there, there are two sustaining phases. Let me just be clear about that. The first sustaining phase is really just so that you can identify and clarify that everything that you set up will sustain your business for a period of time for you to continue to increase your mile marker, your milestone marker.

The second sustaining phase is once you have actually successfully. Scaled to the million dollar mark, then you wanna do a different set of things, but we’re not even gonna get into that at this particular point in time. I wanna just continue to just give you hopeful. I don’t know if this is gonna make you feel good or not, actually, to be honest, it probably isn’t, but I just want you to know that the mon, what feels mundane in your business is there because it is designed.

To get you to streamline and simplify, most people start with what we call a wide business model. A wide business model is when you have a whole bunch of offers and every price point, and you have all of these offers because you operate in an element of lack. Sorry, but it’s the truth where you think you have to have something for everybody.

And the fact of the matter is you don’t. Right. Bentleys are not for everybody. Nordstrom is not for everybody. Virgin, , air is not for everybody. You don’t have to be for everyone. But when we think that we have to be for everyone, it really creates this environment that we are leaving money on the table.

And even the, the presumption of leaving money on the table is lack minded because all the money on the table is not actually money you should pick up. A lot of settling happens when we’re trying not to leave money on the table. We’re settling for things that are good enough, but I want you to know that settling is not, it’s not, it’s not.

The move. Good enough is settles a little cousin, and we really don’t wanna be in an environment where that’s happening. And so I wanna caution you from getting. , bored or frustrated with the pace that the foundation phase is going because it’s essential to actually put you in a position to be able to change everything.

I remember my own foundation setting phase. I remember setting the goal to hit the million dollar mark for three straight years before we actually did it. And what I realized once we actually hit it, and then we were moving beyond that, , and reverting back to lower than a million dollar company. What I realized is that the foundation phase is absolutely essential, and it should not be rushed.

I get it. If you’ve been in business for five years or 10 years and you’ve been at 250,000, the, you know, For the majority of the time you wanna move, but the reason you’re, you’re not moving. The reason I wasn’t moving back then is because I hadn’t set my foundation right. I believe that God will send the reign when he is ready.

You’ve heard me talk about this before, but he will not send the reign if you’re not prepared. The foundation phase gets you prepared to take your business to the next level, and so during this phase, you’re gonna have to keep your mind right. You’re gonna have to remind yourself that the repetitive nature of the task that you’re doing are so that you can make your success predictable, because predictability equals profitability, and it begins to change everything.

Now some of the benefits of being inside of this foundation phase in the first sustaining phase is it allows you to really focus on refining the core areas of your business. It also provides you an opportunity to build out those million dollar assets. If you have not checked out our episode on the million dollar assets, I highly recommend that you do, and it also will set the stage for the replication phase.

The replication phase is important because that is when you are actually now getting to the point where you’re ready to bring on team to help to replicate the tasks that you used to do on your own, but you need the foundation and the first sustaining or the boring phase altogether in order to make sure that you are actually ready for future growth and scalability when it comes that way.

The reason why it was important for me to share this with you is because. If you are millions minded and you are not at move to millions live, you might think that there’s something wrong with you. You might think that, um, maybe it’s not in the cards for you to cross the million dollar mark, but I just wanna reassure you that you just don’t have your foundation set correctly yet.

Now listen, we’ve got tons of tools and resources here at Incredible One Enterprises to help you to get them right, one of them being my book. Move to millions book.com. Shout out to my new book. It is so amazing. I cannot wait for you to get a copy and read it, but I don’t want you to despise the importance of being in the foundation setting phase.

When you tighten your foundation, it is a game changer for your future success, and it also gives you a really great baseline to come back to every time you decide you wanna scale again. You’ve heard me say before that scaling is actually not about speed. It is about replication and duplication. It is about automation and systemization.

It is actually not about speed at all, but every time you decide you wanna shift. And scale up. You need to return to your foundation and make sure everything is good to go. So I wanna just encourage you, those of you who are still in the foundation phase and it’s feeling boring and you wanna pivot and you wanna try this new thing that everybody is doing right now, focus on getting clear about your idle client.

Focus on tightening your message. Focus on up-leveling your signature system and ultimately your signature offer. Focus on identifying the right marketing strategies for you to utilize. Use them every single week without fail. Doing those revenue generating activities first and getting people into your sales tool, focus on that.

I shudder and I pause that saying the word perfect. Perfect. That master that. Discover the predictability in that before you start looking around for something else to do. Because again, leveraging and scaling and scaling and sustaining a business, it ain’t sexy. It ain’t sexy at all. Once you understand that this is not about constant change and evolution, but instead refining and ultimately amble buying, everything has the potential to change for you.

I’m excited about your boring business. I think that the more boring your business, the sooner you will set yourself up to be able to scale and sustain your actual success. Again, we are at Move to Millions Live right now. I hope this episode holds you over. In just a week or so, we are gonna be hosting our after party.

So if you did not join us live, I absolutely want you to make sure that you register for the Move to Millions, live after party. We are gonna be doing that on June the sixth. That’s 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. We’ll get all of the details for the after party in the show notes for you and for now, focus on building that foundation.

Focus on building your foundation because your foundation is going to determine the future success of your company and your ability to make, move and leave millions. I’ll see you guys next time. Take care.