How to Get Off The Ground As A New Entrepreneur
Scott is a high energy go-getter who shared his experience coaching tons of entrepreneurs and small business owners on how to get started and grow. His advice covered general topics such as picking a niche, building a brand and finding ways to overcome the hurdles every entrepreneur faces.
I enjoyed the chat and always find it invigorating to talk with people who have a ton of positive energy like Scott does!
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Listen right here:
Matt: Alright! Well, welcome to the program. Today, I am very excited to have Mr. Scott Hansen joining me. He has quite a bit going on and quite a bit knowledge that I think we’re gonna be excited to hear from him about. He is the owner of ScottHansenConsulting.com as well as MassiveBusinessGrowth.com. Our resource people can check out. As well as the successhackers.net Podcast. Welcome to the program, Scott. Why don’t you just kinda jump in and give us some of you background and some of where you at today?
Scott: You hear me okay, Matt?
Matt: I can hear you great!
Scott: Yeah. So, it’s great to be here. Thanks for the opportunity. I always say I love to pop at high levels with people that are doing great things in business and in personal life and just really wanting to impact people. I commend you on the show and I’m glad to be here. I probably like a lot of your listeners have a background where I was in corporate life for over 18 years and had a pretty successful sales and account management career. I was working for some big media companies for quite some time. One of the last ones was one of the biggest media companies in the world. But I always knew that I wanted to do something different, a little bit entrepreneurial. I say to people I always wanted to impact and empower people to play bigger in life and business. I didn’t really know exactly how to go that route and what that look like and finally, I made the leap to becoming an entrepreneur a little less than 2 years ago. It’s just been one hell of a journey ever since. I’m really embracing the process of becoming and being an entrepreneur. Things are great so it’s good to be here!
Matt: Awesome! What did that look like? Obviously, that’s kind of a scary leap to leave a nice high paying job with a steady pay check and benefits and all that stuff to go out on your own even though, I think like a lot of entrepreneurs, if that’s inside you, there’s really no way not to do it. It’s just something that has to come out of you. But what did that look like for you to kinda cut the cord from corporate America and actually go out on your own?
Scott: Holy crap! Scared as hell. It was scary. I tell people all the time it was scary. I have a very supportive, loving, wonderful wife who believes in me 110% so I always tell people that having that person in your corner is huge. I just so happen to have that person in my corner and blessed to have that person otherwise I would’ve had gone maybe to a different route. I call it “Build the Bridge” maybe a little bit differently. I was able to jump in and go after it. But frankly, like you alluded to, Matt, if you have that burning desire to do something different, I tell people you have to do it. Someway, somehow, you have to make that happen and at the end of the day, without getting too deep and too philosophical, life is precious and life can be short. Shame on you or me or any of the listeners if you have something that’s burning inside of you and you don’t let it out because the old saying is “The richest area on the planet is in the graveyards where people have literally died with the music inside them.” I don’t want that to happen. I knew that there was something bigger. There was a bigger person should be playing and I knew that I had to make that leap. Was it scary? Hell yeah! Absolutely. But, one of my mentors long time ago said you have to embrace the process. That’s sounds like a cliché but at the end of the day; when you’re going through that, you’re gonna need to embrace it. you’re gonna need to embrace the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs and the moment that you feel like turning around and quitting and going back to your old life, I call it. but at the end of the day, if you have a strong enough “why” of why of what you really want to do, the “how” and the things that need to be built in order to build the business will come as long as your “why” is pretty big.
Matt: Definitely. I think the waiting is the most part that people do. “I’m gonna wait for the right economy. I’m gonna wait till I have enough money in my pocket. I gotta wait till I have just the right idea.” But I think you’re really shortchanging yourself. You’re probably not gonna make it with your first idea. It’s probably gonna cost more than you thought and the economy is always going up and down. So, there’s never gonna be a better time. Just do it right now.
Scott: I agree. With that, I completely agree. There’s [inaudible 0:08:31.7]. Well, be ready to fire aims and I think a lot of us entrepreneurs are born with that or have that somehow some way hidden inside of us. You just gotta go out and make it happen and do it. But I will say just going to do something. There’s 2 sides of that coin. Some people would agree that “Just go do something. Make it happen and then you’ll build the wings all the way down.” I believe in that. However, I also believe that you have to have clarity. You have to have clarity in what you want. Meaning, even though you might hate what you do with your job, and that’s okay because you wanted to do something different. Doing something different is much different than “I want to build a business.” If you hate your Job A and you just want to do something different, I don’t know if I would say “Well then, just go open up a business” because yes, that’s doing something different but is that really what you want? Is that the impact you want to make? Before you do anything, have the clarity around what calls to you, what you think you might want to do. Then, do a lot of research. Take people out to lunch. Find a mentor. Find something someone that’s already doing what you want to do and then, this is what I call Building the Bridge, this is where you’re slowly building the bridge. You might have a job and you hate it. You might want to quit tomorrow but be careful because that salary that comes in every 2 weeks ain’t gonna come in 2 weeks anymore. It might be a long time before you make any money. So, be careful. Go for it. Make it happen. But have some clarity around it first.
Matt: Yeah. I think introspection is important and entrepreneurship is not just a way out. It’s its own end. So if you don’t really know what you are doing, what you want to do, just go and start a business is probably not the right answer. To that point, I think a lot of people out there sort of feel that way. “I really want to be an entrepreneur but I don’t know what I want to do.” Is that something you help people with to kind of figure out what’s gonna be the best fit for them and their highest chance of success, the best use of their time going forward to figure out what to get into?
Scott: Yeah, it is. One of the things in my coaching program that I do is the very first session, maybe it takes 2 sessions. We figure out what exactly you want to do. What calls to you? What do you think gets you up in the morning and keeps you up late? So we get crystal clear about what truly it looks like because this truly, it’s like building a house. Without the foundation, you might want to build the greatest 3rd story of all houses, and have an amazing billiard room or a game room, but if you don’t have the foundation right, it’s ultimately going to collapse. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in 6 months, but in a year. You might be going out there and doing lot of things but at the end of the day, the most important thing you can do at the beginning is take action but also slow down. Slow down and really learn from people who are doing what you want to do and start building your own foundation. There’s no real reason to hurry up and do this and do that. Take your time. Do your research. And then, do take action. And of course, like anything else, it’s in the action taking where you do learn about yourself, you do learn about the business. I mean, the old saying is “I can tell you to read a specific book on how to dribble a basketball between your legs. But until you’re in the court trying it and fumbling and bouncing off to your knee, all those things, you’re not gonna really know what it’s like to dribble a basketball between your legs until you do it. Entrepreneurship/building a business is the same thing. You could read all the books in the world but there’s got to be a time where you have to close the books and you have to go after it. So yeah, one of the things I teach people is how do we set the foundation. Tell me exactly what you really want and then once I find out and I see it in your eyes, I can really hear it in your voice, then we could start building the house. We start building your mansion. From the ground up, from the foundation, from the rebarrel, from the cement up, and that’s how all successful businesses get formed. That’s one of the things that I do in the coaching program then, we say “Alright. What is it that you want to do?” Now that we found that, “How do we get there? How do we build this game plan, this road map to get there?” That’s really how we attack the coaching program from there.
Matt: Yeah. I think, it’s one of those things where it’s a fine line and it’s not always clear where it is. I am definitely a huge advocate of doing some homework. You have to understand what you’re getting into particularly if you’re getting into something that you don’t have a lot of background with or any prior industry experience. At the same time, reading books for the next 2 years isn’t gonna get you there either. I think one of the steps that people missed too is it’s great to read but you can learn more in a half hour lunch conversation with somebody who’s in the industry or thinking about than you can from reading a thousand pages of articles about it. So, do your homework including and not limited to, or not excluding actually going out and talking to people.
Scott: Exactly. I agree a hundred percent.
Matt: So, once people kinda have that “Okay. I figure out what I want to launch into.” What do you layout for them as next steps?
Scott: Well, we layout “Where you want to be in the next 90 days?” I’m a big believer in visualizing or visionaring where you want to be in 3 years, what that looks like, what that smells like, what that sounds like. I get really crystal clear in my meditation, in my exploring phase as I call it, when I’m by myself in a room or before I go to bed or when I wake up. But when you start putting action items, it’s been proven that past 90 days, the brain cannot function properly. What I mean by that is, it can’t really take up so much. When you go past 90 days on setting goals, now I’m not saying you can’t say “by the years end, we as a company want to be at $3 million. We’re at $500,000 now. We want to be at $3 million in 12 months.” There is nothing wrong with that. What I am saying is, by creating a step by step formula to ultimately get to a midrange feel, which will ultimately get you to the long range goal, your brain cannot think past 90 days in terms of strategy. So I get very clear with my clients on what is strategy look like and how we put it together. Again, it’s like we’re looking at a blueprint of a house. You cannot have a nice house without the electric hole, without the plumbing. Again, as I mentioned earlier, you might want to have all these great furniture pieces in your billiard room or in your game room or whatever else, or you might want to know “Hey! I want this type of countertops or this type of cabinet tree or marble.” All great things. But if you don’t hire an electrician or a plumber to actually take out the areas that need the electrical part or the plumbing, well then you’re gonna have a house that doesn’t have any electricity and anything on the bathroom. “ It sounds so obvious but so many entrepreneurs miss this. You’ll be amazed that so many clients that I coached, they don’t know where they really want to go. They’re running and they’ve gone a million miles an hour but at the end of the day if you say “where do you want to be in the next 60 days to 90 days?” they are just gonna throw a generic number or a generic goal. And then you ask them, “Why do you want to hit that?” they don’t really know. It’s because again, as an entrepreneur, were going mock five with our hair on fire but when you stop to take a think, and to realize where do you really want to be, it’s just becomes so much more clear. The people I work with, they get so much more clarity and it feels from an emotional standpoint, when you have clarity, it becomes more fun. It becomes more adventurous. You can actually see yourself hitting the results. You know what happens. You have it all down. And again, the business becomes not only more fun, when it’s more fun, you have more confidence. That’s when you hit the milestone goals that you have for yourself.
Matt: Yeah. I definitely agree. It’s good to have long range goals but you have to have short range strategy to get there and along with that, you’ve got to be able to measure your progress. That’s one of the things as an accounting bookkeeping firm, we really can help people with or do help people with because not only are we keeping track of things but were showing them, were showing our clients “This is where you were. This is where you at. This is what it’s gonna take to get to the next step.” To your point exactly, if they don’t stop and kinda look at it and internalize these numbers and set goals around them and measure their progress, it’s very hard to know where you’re at and where you can get to or how much progress you’ve made. Otherwise, you’re just running around, putting out fires and you’re reinventing the wheel everyday vs. building something with a foundation where you continually improve it.
Scott: Well, I think that’s one aspect, having sort of the sign posts or the benchmarks. But one of the other things that I coach is productivity and what that looks like throughout the day because I guarantee everybody that’s listening to your show is busy. We are all busy. But the reality of is, busy does not equal productive. There’s a big difference between busy and productivity. Once you start with the sign posts, the benchmarks, then you have to get really crystal clear on what your day looks like. This is where I think a lot of people miss the boat because they go to all kind of networking events and social meetings. That’s all fun because ultimately I know business is a people’s sport but at the end of the day, time is money. And if you’re running around, like you said, putting out fires all day long or you’re taking all kinds of coffee meetings and other meetings and drink meetings and things of that nature, at the end of the day, you are a business. If you think of yourself as just a coach or just a CPA firm or just a sole entrepreneur or just a financial planner, well then that’s what the market will give you. You’re just a “this.” But if you think, “I am the president.” If you think of big picture thinking, think about your business as you are literally the CEO of a multi-million dollar company. Whether you are just starting out or not, a lot of what we do is mindset. If you start thinking of yourself as a CEO of a multi-million dollar company, ask yourself would a CEO of a multi-million dollar do X or do Y or take this meeting or take this coffee. If your answer is no, then don’t do it. And when you start thinking bigger about yourself and about your business, the universe provides for what you put out. Meaning, when you start thinking that way, you’re gonna start attracting bigger clients. You’re gonna start having different conversations and your business will start to grow.
Matt: Yeah. I think mindset is definitely one of those keys to making the right decision. If you got a small business mindset, a small goal mindset, you’re gonna make different decisions than if you’re thinking a little bit longer term and a little bit bigger picture for sure. In terms of businesses that have kinda figured this out and has set some strategies, have their 90 day goal in mind, do you help them with some tactical decision making? For example, they want to grow their business. They’ve figured out some goals. Now, what are the ways that are actually gonna bring people in the door, were gonna grow the business? Do you help them with those kinds of things as well? What are your strategies for that?
Scott: Yeah, I do. Absolutely. Once we get sort of a foundation and a game plan, then, it’s like “How do we get clients?” “What does it that look like?” and then, we figure out. “Well, let’s figure out what’s working and let’s throw away what’s not working.” There’s a lot of people out there that have [inaudible 0:20:29.2] or shiny objects syndrome. And this is another thing that not only am I coaching myself on, but I’m coaching my clients on is most people they do what’s called “Multitasking” Multitasking is actually a mess. It’s absolutely been proven. I just read something about a month ago that said for every, let’s hypothetically say that you start project A and you’re working on project A. And then of course, you gear off onto Facebook or LinkedIn and then, you clicked a button and then, you look at someone’s video. You got 30% of project A done. Now you look at, we’ll call it project B because that’s not where you focus is at. Now, you’re looking at someone’s video. Then, you see something else that goes off somewhere else and then you get a phone call. Then, you’re talking to a potential client or a friend. Now, you’re juggling, in this example, just 3 to 4 things. Here’s what happens to most people. If they have 3 to 4 to 5 to 8 to 10 different things that they have going on at once and they think “Well, I have a lot of things going on. I must be successful.” Here’s the reality. Most people never go back to project 1 and complete it. if they do,
Matt, its maybe 3 days later or a week later. Then, everybody wonders why they can’t seem to get on track or grow or be more clear or have more fun. Here’s the reality. We all have entrepreneurial ADB. Were all scattered all over the place. Here’s the solution to that problem. This is gonna sound so basic yet so boring. Yet this is the difference maker. Complete project A before you do anything else. If that takes you 6 hours, complete it and be done. Because what happens psychologically is, now you’ve built up this thing called confidence and you know that when you start something, you’re going to complete it. why? Because you’ve built up this thing called a habit. Habits are what create legacies. We don’t personally create our own legacy. What creates our own legacy is our habits and our daily routines and disciplines. So, if you can get really good, and it’s not easy believe it or not, and its kinda boring, because you want to be over there and you want to be doing this and you want to say “Man! I got 16 things going on.” The reality of it is “Okay. That’s great. How many of those did you complete and how much of those projects did that move and needle in your business?” if you can’t answer that, then you really need to get crystal clear on that because again, 3 months go by, 6 months go by, and you’re juggling all these different things but “Which of those 3 things-” and I each my clients this “Which of those 3 things? Are these 3 things that are the income producing activity in your business?” if you don’t know those 3 IPAs, income producing activities, you need to go back and re-think your business and what you’re doing on a daily basis. If you’re not clear, if you’re just tommy gunning and firing all over the place, then you will absolutely not grow your business in the next 4 months.
Matt: Yeah. I completely agree. It’s easy to lose focus as an entrepreneur. I’m the first to admit. I’m a terrible multitasker. In fact, one of the most obvious things, what I really realize is, if I’m on the phone and then somebody in the same room as me starts to talk to me while I’m on the phone, then on both conversations, I’m completely lost. I might as well hang up because I can’t 2 conversations at once. To me, that’s multitasking. I can’t do it. I need to focus on one. Get one done and then move on to the next thing or else, I’m just worthless. I’m trying to do multiple things at once. I agree, focus is key. Finish your task. Move on to the next one. Then, you actually have gotten things done instead of having 17 open-ended projects “in progress” in status. So, taking yourself as a coaching client, where do you take your business from here? It sounds like you’ve already grown pretty successfully in the 2 years that you’ve been doing this. You’ve got a podcast with dozens of episodes out there in coaching clients. What’s next for you? How do you grow from where you at?
Scott: Well, I think, its everything that I talk to my clients about. I think at the end of the day, these 2 words are probably the biggest 2 words in the entrepreneur’s vocabulary toolbox. That is clarity and system. When you have clarity on who you are and what you do and who you serve, that’s gonna automatically separate you from everybody else. Secondly, what system do you have in place to get new clients? Do you have a system in place? For me, partially, creating your system that has new leads coming in on a daily or a weekly basis is the life blood of an entrepreneur’s business especially as a service professional, right? That’s where I am at now. I’m also literally smacked dab, speaking of multitasking, but this is something that I know will also be a difference maker in my business. I’m actually right in the middle of writing a book with 10 other successful entrepreneurs. Each one of us is gonna be writing one chapter and were working with a celebrity publisher. This publisher has helped over a hundred different people become bestsellers. So, when this is all finished up and wrapped up by February, it’s the exact same name as my podcast, interesting thing to know. My podcast is named Success Hackers: Cracking the Entrepreneurial Code. The book will be the exact same name, Success Hackers: Cracking the Entrepreneurial Code. It will be strategies to help you dominate your industry. It will be me and 10 other successful entrepreneurs writing this book. The goals to become the a seller, have a launch part and all that. I’m right in the middle of that. So, great. I’m growing my brand that way. We’ll continue to have grown the podcast which now have 120,000 downloads in less than 6 months and listen to 65 countries. We give amazing entrepreneurial strategies and tips from really successful entrepreneurs on the show. I’m continuing my coaching and my speaking business as well. But I think that having the system and having clarity in your business is really important. Lastly, what I can say to that, Matt, is if any of your listeners are out there that need help. I think as an entrepreneurs is we’re these alpha males or alpha females and we figured out we’re athletes or maybe we are really good in school or whatever the case may be. So, we have this track record we bring with us into our business whether again I’m in football field or in the basketball field or in court or in school or government or whatever things we did in the past. We figured we can just bring these to our entrepreneurial journey and be successful. Here’s the reality. Everybody fails. Number one. And those that succeed at a high level, all have had mentors or coaches. Whether or not your listeners want to maybe pass me or work with me or talk to me about my coaching business or anybody else, I highly advice getting a mentor or a coach because you cannot do it alone. You might think you might be able to do it alone but you’re gonna come up against the plateau, a sticking point, that you’re going to meet somebody to help you. Don’t have such a huge ego and say “No. I’ll get this figured out.” here’s the reality. Would you rather spend the next 12 months and who knows how much money you’re gonna spend in frustration and beating your end up against the wall, trying to figure out yourself, or you’re gonna hire someone for 3 to 6 months? It might cost you 5 to 15 to 20, I don’t know how much people charge out there. Would you rather get it figured out in 3 months to be on your way to the next level of your business that you invested in yourself or would you rather be that guy or that gal that keeps beating your head up against the wall and say “No. I got this. I got this. I got this.” I had to learn this out. I’m actually right in the middle of hiring a personal coach for me as well to help my business to the next level because I don’t have it all figured out. that would be my only advice. If you come up against it, if you feel little stuck, you can go on YouTube and read all kinds of articles but wouldn’t it make more sense to be in a group of mastermind, a group coaching, individual coaching or a mentorship program that all they do is they have to tell you 2 or 3 things, and you can be off and running clear with your business, having more fun, or you want to beat your head up against the wall? That’s my advice to that.
Matt: Yeah. That’s an interesting point. I’ve heard the same or similar thing from other people who’ve been on this show. I tend to agree. It’s tough as an entrepreneur, especially if you’re an individual owner vs. a group of partners. You can’t talk to the employees because they’ve got their own issues and you don’t necessarily want to discuss everything pertinent to the business to the employees. You can’t talk to your customers, obviously, your vendors. So who do you talk to? Your spouse can certainly be supportive of the business but their unlikely be able to give you solid business advice unless they happen to be in that position to do that. Most of the ones that I know aren’t. they can give you a certain kind of support but not the same kind of business mentorship that you’re talking about. So, I think that’s a fantastic resource that more entrepreneur should avail themselves of.
Scott: Yeah. I agree. Listen, my wife is really bright. She’s a district sales manager for a huge pharmaceutical company. So, her and I get a chance to really converse at a really high level because I was in sales and leadership before. I help her and she helps me. But, even she has admitted that “I can help you to a certain extent but I can’t help you in certain areas that you need. Thus, I think it makes sense to go out and hire someone that is unbiased.” And to your point, I mean, we don’t have it all figured out. that’s the beauty of mentorship and just getting around people that are – Let me tell you something else too. When you get around with someone that’s also playing at a different level, at a higher level, they’re naturally going to have a conversation that’s a little bit different than people that aren’t at that level. That’s where you want to be. That’s how you stretch. That’s how you grow. I think that we all as entrepreneurs, again, my only advice is “Don’t try and do it by yourself. Don’t try to do it alone. Go get help. Seek help. It’ll help the trajectory not only of your business, but it’ll make you feel better about what you are doing on a daily basis.”
Matt: Yeah. One of the first signs of an amateur entrepreneur is somebody who tells you they’ve got it all figured out. You haven’t been around very long. You’ll figure out that you don’t have it all figured out.
Matt: Awesome, Scott! Well, for people who are interested in getting in touch with you, finding out more, what are the best places for them to find you?
Scott: I think the really 2 best places, if you are at all interested in the possibility of working together, it’s very simple. First step is you could just check out my website, massivebusinessgrowth.com. you’ll see a video of me. I’m giving away a free eBook. Its 5 Ways to Learn How to Dominate Your Industry and Really Grow in a Massive Way.” The reality of it is they can go there, massivebusinessgrowth.com. first of all, they can go there. And then they can also go to my podcast which is successhackers.net. Now on successhackers.net, go check out the show notes page and they can subscribe to the show. Again, give a chance to really listen to some high-profile entrepreneurs. With our show, we actually really engage our audience like you guys do here. I actually choose every so often an audience member to be a featured guest on the show. The show again has been listened to and downloaded a 125,000 times in 65 countries. So, it’s really exciting to have some of our guests come on our show. So if they want to check it out, successhackers.net, or if they have the possibility to work with me as their coach, just go to massivebusinessgrowth.com or they can just email me. They can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt: Awesome! And I will, of course, put the links to all those in the show notes. Thank you so much, Scott, for taking the time to share your experience and knowledge with us. I really appreciate it. have a great rest of your day!
Scott: You too, Matt! I want to commend you, again, for doing some great things in the market place and for really giving guidance and support to all your listeners and really building your brand out to what it is. I know we’ve talked and you have a book. You have this show and you have a successful company. So, you are doing incredible things as well. Again, I commend you for that. Thanks for having me on the show. It’s really a very pleasure.
Matt: I appreciate it. thank you, Scott!
Scott: Alright, Matt! Thanks!