Can you Breathe in High Altitude Ep 151

Summary Notes


In a candid discussion about the challenges of scaling a business, the host explores the metaphor of "high altitude" to describe the increasingly complex landscape entrepreneurs face as they grow their ventures. He emphasizes that growth brings persistent feelings of being overwhelmed, and that success requires accepting this as part of the entrepreneurial journey. Through conversations with a mother managing a $6 million business and a smaller business owner, the host reveals that the sensation of thinning air is universal, regardless of business size. He advises understanding one's Plan B, which evolves with skill acquisition, and reassures that it's a personal choice to pursue growth. The host stresses the importance of focusing on revenue-generating activities, reducing overwhelm by organizing tasks, and ensuring alignment with one's partner. He concludes by challenging listeners to embrace the struggles inherent in entrepreneurship, likening the journey to an infinite game with no definitive endpoint.

Summary Notes

Key Theme: Challenges of Scaling a Business

  • Scaling a business is accompanied by various challenges, both personally and professionally.
  • Business owners often feel overwhelmed regardless of the size of their business.
  • The feeling of being overwhelmed is likened to the thinning air at high altitudes, implying increased difficulty as one climbs higher.
  • The key to managing growth-related stress is to have a contingency plan (plan B) and to continuously elevate one's skill set.

"And the reason I wanted to bring it up is because the amount of times that I get asked about bottlenecks in scaling a business, or the difficulty of scaling a business, or the trials, personally, professionally, of scaling a business, it's almost every single day."

This quote emphasizes the frequency with which the speaker encounters questions about the challenges of scaling a business, highlighting its relevance and commonality among business owners.

"And like today, I had two conversations. One with a woman who's doing about 6 million a year, has four kids, and she was talking to me about the struggle that she's having in terms of balancing her priorities."

The speaker illustrates the challenges of scaling by sharing an example of a conversation with a successful business owner who still struggles with balancing priorities despite her business's financial success.

"And the thing, what was interesting is that the way that they were talking to me was exactly the same."

This quote points out that the challenges of scaling a business are similar across different scales of operation, as evidenced by the similar way two business owners described their struggles to the speaker.

"And so if you are constantly reaching for growth, you will always be out of breath."

The metaphor of being out of breath is used to describe the perpetual state of feeling overwhelmed that comes with the pursuit of business growth.

Key Theme: The Importance of a Plan B

  • A Plan B serves as a safety net and evolves as the business owner acquires new skills.
  • Initially, the speaker's Plan B was to drive Uber and strip, but as they gained sales skills, the Plan B shifted to sales positions.
  • The elevation of the base floor of one's metaphorical building represents the growth in skills and the resulting increase in security.

"Is first understanding what your plan B is."

This quote introduces the importance of having a contingency plan when feeling overwhelmed by business growth.

"And so my base floor, like, I was like, if my gym fails, I'm going to drive Uber and strip. This was genuinely my plan B."

The speaker shares their original Plan B, highlighting the practical and humble beginnings of their safety net.

"Once I learned how to make the gyms and I knew how to sell, I knew that selling was going to be my plan B because I had learned the skill of sales."

The evolution of the speaker's Plan B is shared, demonstrating how acquiring new skills can provide a more substantial safety net.

"And so now I can very comfortably say that we'll be fine because of the skills that we've acquired."

The quote reflects the speaker's confidence that comes from skill acquisition, which has elevated their security and ability to cope with the pressures of scaling a business.

Personal Growth and Skill Development

  • Reflecting on past experiences, one can see personal growth in skill and capability.
  • Initially, tasks that once seemed challenging become easier with developed skills and experience.
  • This growth is likened to increasing lung capacity, allowing one to handle previously strenuous tasks with ease.

"You'd be like, I could do that. It was like a walk in the park, right, because you've developed the lungs, right."

The quote illustrates the idea that skills and experience gained over time can transform difficult tasks into manageable ones, much like increasing lung capacity makes breathing easier.

Challenges in Business

  • As one progresses in business, the challenges and stakes become higher.
  • Mistakes can become more costly as the level of business escalates.
  • The metaphor of climbing a mountain is used to describe the increasing difficulty and competition in business.

"The game just elevates. The poker chips just become different colors that you're playing with so the pressure doesn't go away."

This quote emphasizes that as one advances in business, the nature of challenges changes, with risks and pressures escalating alongside growth.

Choice and Ambition

  • Individuals have the choice to decide the level of challenge they wish to pursue in their business.
  • Growth is a choice, and not everyone must seek it if the trade-offs are not acceptable to them.
  • Knowing one's baseline or "Plan B" can provide a sense of security and peace.

"You don't have to grow if you don't want to. If it's a trade off that you're not willing to make, that's fine."

The quote conveys the message that personal choice plays a crucial role in determining the extent of one's business growth and the associated challenges.

Relationships and Business Success

  • The ability of one's partner to adapt to the increasing challenges of business growth can impact success.
  • Relationships can either be a source of support, neutrality, or hindrance in the pursuit of business goals.
  • Personal issues often have a greater impact on business success than the business problems themselves.

"Can your spouse or partner deal with the altitude? Can they come with you as the air gets thinner? Or are they going to pull you down?"

This quote raises the question of whether personal relationships are supportive or detrimental to business growth, using the metaphor of adapting to high altitude.

Entrepreneurial Focus and Personal Life

  • Entrepreneurial success requires focus and attention, which can be compromised by personal issues.
  • The most significant obstacles to business progress often stem from personal life rather than business operations.
  • Balancing personal life and business demands is critical for maintaining focus and achieving success.

"Most business problems are straightforward, right? It's the personal shit that gets in the way."

The quote suggests that personal issues, rather than business challenges, are often the primary obstacles entrepreneurs face, affecting their ability to focus on their business.

Multitasking and Focus

  • Multitasking, especially with significant responsibilities, can be overwhelming and may hinder performance.
  • Focusing on a single business or task could potentially lead to greater success due to undivided attention.
  • The example given is of a mother of four who also runs a business, illustrating the challenges of multitasking.

"The mother of four, she has an entire family. She's got to do all this stuff for it. And she's got another site, another business that she's running."

This quote exemplifies the challenge of multitasking and the speaker's admiration for someone managing multiple responsibilities but suggests that focusing on one task could improve efficiency.

Growth Through Word of Mouth

  • The podcast grows organically through listener recommendations, not through ads or sponsorships.
  • The host encourages listeners to share the podcast in the same way they discovered it.
  • This approach is based on the principle of paying it forward and generating good karma for entrepreneurs.

"The only way this grows is through word of mouth. And I don't run ads. I don't do sponsorships. I don't sell anything."

The quote emphasizes the podcast's growth strategy, which relies solely on listeners sharing it with others, highlighting an organic and community-driven approach to promotion.

Entrepreneurial Mindset and Resilience

  • Entrepreneurship is a choice, and it involves willingly facing challenges.
  • There is no definitive "winning" in entrepreneurship; it's an infinite game.
  • Success is about continuing to play and adapt, not reaching a final victory.
  • Entrepreneurs should recalibrate their perspective on the journey and focus on the process rather than the outcome.

"We choose to be in the arena, we choose to play the game, we choose to get bloodied up, and we choose to keep going because that's who we choose to be, right?"

This quote discusses the conscious choice of entrepreneurs to engage in the challenging journey of business, emphasizing determination and self-selection into the role.

Business Failure and Perseverance

  • Businesses often fail not due to a lack of funds but because entrepreneurs give up.
  • Entrepreneurs need to recognize when they feel overwhelmed and take actionable steps to alleviate it.
  • It's important to understand what drives the business and cut out non-essential tasks.

"Most businesses fail because the entrepreneur gives up. They say, this is too hard, there's too much shit. This isn't worth it."

The quote identifies the psychological and emotional reasons behind business failures, stressing the importance of perseverance in entrepreneurship.

Dealing with Overwhelm

  • Entrepreneurs should have a backup plan (Plan B) for their business.
  • It's crucial to focus on income-generating activities and eliminate tasks that do not contribute to revenue.
  • A practical method for managing overwhelm is to write down all tasks, decisions, and variables, organize them, and focus on clear outcomes.

"First is understand your plan B. Second, stop doing everything that doesn't make you money."

This quote provides a two-fold strategy for entrepreneurs to manage stress: have a fallback option and prioritize financially beneficial activities.

Mind Dumping and Prioritization

  • Mind dumping is a stress management technique where you write down all your thoughts and stressors.
  • The next step is to circle only the activities that directly generate income.
  • Non-income generating activities or distractions should be eliminated to maintain focus.

I download stuff on my whiteboard. And that's what you usually see in the background, is I start getting stressed and I'm mind dump, right. Then circle only the things that actually make you money... and then erase everything else and give yourself permission to just do that.

This quote explains the process of mind dumping onto a whiteboard and the importance of identifying and focusing on income-generating activities while giving oneself permission to ignore the rest.

The Power of Singular Focus

  • Successful individuals and companies often exhibit a singular focus on a strategic goal.
  • New entrepreneurs are characterized by having many ideas but lack the discipline to focus.
  • Discipline involves the ability to say no to non-essential tasks or ideas.
  • Feeling challenged or finding things difficult can be a sign of success due to the increased difficulty with elevation in one's endeavors.

Because when the air gets thinner, your vision gets foggy and you have to focus on fewer things... the higher up I go and the more guys I talk to who are higher up in the mountain, what you can see across the board is singular focus.

This quote emphasizes the necessity of focusing on fewer, more critical tasks as one ascends in their career or business, comparing it to climbing a mountain where the air is thinner.

Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.

This quote succinctly captures the notion that while generating ideas is simple, executing them is challenging and requires discipline.

Planning and Communication

  • It's important to have a backup plan (plan B) to maintain confidence in the face of uncertainty.
  • Entrepreneurs should communicate their focused path and necessary trade-offs to their partners or spouses to ensure alignment.
  • This communication and alignment allow for easier adaptation to new levels of success.

Know your plan b, know what it is, so that you can believe that you're going to be okay no matter what... Cut out everything that doesn't make you money and just focus on that.

This quote advises having a fallback plan and concentrating solely on profitable actions to reduce stress and ensure stability.

Be abundantly clear with the spouse or partner that you have that this is what you are going to do.

This quote highlights the importance of clear communication with one's partner about their focus and the sacrifices involved, ensuring mutual understanding and support.

Growth and Entrepreneurial Drive

  • Entrepreneurs are described as being addicted to the pain and struggle that comes with growth.
  • The cycle of reaching a new level, becoming comfortable, and then seeking further growth is a repeating pattern for entrepreneurs.
  • This drive for constant growth is a distinguishing characteristic of entrepreneurial spirit.

And then what do you do? Inflict more pain upon yourself and try and grow.

This quote reflects the continuous cycle of self-imposed challenges that entrepreneurs undertake to achieve growth.

We're addicted to the pain. We're addicted to the struggle.

This quote captures the essence of the entrepreneurial mindset, which is driven by a love for the challenges and struggles that come with building and growing a business.

Upcoming Events and Engagement

  • Speaker A announces an emergency webinar called "diagnostic sale" and encourages attendance.
  • Audience engagement is encouraged through comments.

For all my people. Be on Thursday. Emergency webinar diagnostic sale. Think it's awesome. Beyond it.

This quote is an announcement for an upcoming webinar, emphasizing its importance and urging the audience to participate.

Leave a comment, too. That means bye.

The speaker is asking for audience interaction through comments, indicating the end of the conversation.

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