Michael Zipursky is the co-founder and CEO of Consulting Success® where they specialize in helping entrepreneurial consultants grow profitable, scalable and strategic consulting businesses. He is also the author of the Amazon Best Sellers ACT NOW: How successful consultants thrive during chaos and uncertainty, The Elite Consulting Mind and Consulting Success® the book.
Today, Michael joins me to share some useful resources and tips for consultants as they grow their business, the importance of having a supportive team and how you can keep your money mindset sharp.
In this episode Michael and I also discuss:
- The importance of having a team to guard your calendar | 11:28
- How to always have a pipeline of leads coming in | 22:57
- Embracing the mindset that you are unstoppable | 27:49
- How Michael keeps his money mindset strong | 35:52
- The power of the compounding effect | 39:42
Connect with Michael:
LinkedIn | https://www.linkedin.com/in/zipursky/
Website | https://www.consultingsuccess.com/
Need help understanding your numbers to track metrics? Join our Finance Framework Program and be a part of a community for business owners who want to take control of their financials! Enroll today!
The Finance Framework | https://kickstartaccountinginc.com/framework
Connect with Danielle:
Website | Kickstart Accounting
Facebook | Kickstart Accounting Inc. – Home | Facebook
Book your FREE Discovery call: https://kickstartaccountinginc.com/book-a-call/
Test your Financial Health: https://kickstartaccountinginc.com/checkmyfinancialhealth/
Learn how to pay yourself as a CEO – https://www.kickstartaccountinginc.com/getpaid
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome to entrepreneur money stories, the podcast for women entrepreneurs who want to dig into their money stories so they can break free from limiting beliefs around money once and for all. Hosted by Daniel Hayden, owner of kickstart accounting, Inc. This podcast is a series of real conversations about money mindset with valuable and action packed takeaways for the entrepreneur who’s building their abundant empire. Danielle is a reformed corporate CFO who’s on a mission to help real freakin female entrepreneurs understand their numbers and gain the confidence to create sustainable profits. And now here’s your host, Danielle Hayden.
Welcome back to entrepreneur money stories. Today, we have MICHAEL ZIPURSKY. Here sharing all kinds of golden nuggets, Michael and I were joking as we as we hit stop on the recording that we could have gone all day, I think that you are really going to be able to pull a lot of nuggets out of this episode regardless of what industry you’re in. Now, Michael is the CEO of consulting success, where he specializes in helping entrepreneurial consultants grow profitable, scalable, and strategic consulting businesses. Now, Michael has advised organizations like Financial Times, Dow Jones, RBC and helped Panasonic launch new products into global markets. But more importantly, he also helped 850 consultants from around the world in over 75 industries, and six and seven figures to their annual revenue. So I promise you, this man has so many resources and useful tools and tips, regardless of where you’re at in your journey, regardless of your industry and where you’re at in your business. I am so excited for you to hear my conversation with Michael. Michael, welcome to entrepreneur money stories.
Michael Zipursky 1:57
Great to be with you. And thanks for having me. Yeah,
I’m really looking forward to this episode, you and I got a chance to record you had me on your podcasts, maybe just share with the audience a little bit about what your mission in the world is today. You’re a little bit about your podcast and what you’re doing currently.
Michael Zipursky 2:14
Sure. So yeah, we work with entrepreneurial consultants, helping them to build more profitable, scalable and strategic consulting businesses. My background is two decades of building consulting businesses and working around the world helping organizations to be more successful. And now for the last 13 plus years, we’ve been helping 1000s of consultants all around the world to again create their more successful consulting businesses. And that’s really what we’re focused on is just empowering more people to create freedom on their own terms through their consulting businesses. So our big focus is not only creating financial success in your business, but also creating a business that supports the lifestyle that you want to have. And so you can really live, you know, life on your own terms.
Yeah, we can dive into that a little bit. I’ve heard you talk about the lifestyle and business triangle, what does that mean to you? And what does that mean to other consultants? Because as a consultant, you might really be really tied to your business and tied to your desk.
Michael Zipursky 3:13
Yeah, I mean, this applies to really all business owners, I know that your audience and listeners are not necessarily all consultants, right? Some may be. But if you think about a triangle, at the apex of the top of the triangle, what most people tend to do when you are a business owner, or you’re an entrepreneur, is you put your business at the top, right your business is where you’re focused, you’re you’re working day to day in the business, you go home, you’re still thinking about the business, right, you’re lying in bed, thinking about the business, like it’s always on your mind. And that’s normal. But the challenge and the problem with that is that if you put your business at the top, then your lifestyle fits below that. And that means you have to make sacrifices in your lifestyle, to fit in or to support your business. And that’s where we tend to make to have regrets that, you know, we’re not spending as much time with our children or loved ones or taking care of our of our health, or our mindset, or these other things that really are so critical to you ultimately being you know, having a successful life and one that you feel really good about and you can be proud of, and is fulfilling. So what we really encourage our clients to do, and kind of the way that we we live in part of our values is that at the apex of that triangle, you should be putting your lifestyle so before you get too deep into your business, and this this applies even if you’ve been in business for decades, you can still do this. It’s never too late but your lifestyle, the top, spend a bit of time and really thinking about, you know, what does success look like for you from a lifestyle perspective? How do you want to structure your day? You know, how do you want to start your day? What do you want to be doing from a health perspective? Like I know, Daniel, you and I both exercise like that’s a priority for us, right? We make it a priority. If you have kids, spending time with your kids, like whatever your priorities are and whatever is important to you get very clear on that first because when you do then what it allows you to do the next step is to figure out well, what adjustments do you need to make inside of your business that goes below the lifestyle. And so now what you have is a business that is strategically positioned and structured to support the lifestyle that you want to have. I think I often do the opposite. But what I really want to encourage people to do is to get clear first on what success looks like in their lifestyle, and then structure their business to support that.
I really liked that. And I appreciate you giving almost permission to decide on what your you want your lifestyle to look like, I think with this world that we live in right now, and I’m going to call it social media, but I don’t know the all the you know, air quotes shoulds that you should be doing right? You need a morning routine, you need a night routine. And here’s what all the top millionaires do. Maybe that doesn’t work for you, right? So I know, for me, I don’t want to just sit here in a journal in the morning, and I can’t have too much energy to sit and read and meditate. So I don’t do it. I guess what? I feel just as successful. I’m living a good life. So what pieces and parts can you use to build your lifestyle and then let go of and not feel like you have to do?
Michael Zipursky 6:10
I mean, that’s, that’s right on the money, like 100%, right? Everyone wants to say there’s a best way to do something. And usually the person that says there’s a best way to do something is that’s what they’re selling. Right? So there’s a bit of a conflict of interest there. And I just don’t believe that, you know, my observation over two decades plus of building businesses and selling businesses is that there’s no one way to go about doing something, you need to find a way that works for you. And just because you’ve seen maybe somebody else was successful, do it one way, like study that, learn from that. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to apply that specific way of doing it into your business. Figure out what works for you. Figure out how you want to live your life, figure out, you know what, what you’re going to feel good about, and then overlay that on top of how you want to approach business and make your decisions from that perspective. And you might find that it works really well. Fantastic. You might find that you know what, it wasn’t as successful as you hoped. But you just course correct, you make the adjustment, and you get back at it and keep moving forward.
So what’s one small strategy? So I can feel my audience saying to me, yeah, yeah, I should have done that. Right. But the business is my entire life. So it’s one small strategy that they can implement right now to start to even out their triangle.
Michael Zipursky 7:23
Yeah, I mean, so one that I’m this is not a one time thing. It’s something that you want to be doing consistently. And I’m still doing it to this day. And I’ll continue to do it, which is just taking an audit of where I’m spending my time. And so you can do that by going back into your calendar for a couple of weeks, you can do that by looking at a couple of weeks of your email like Sent folder to see how you’re spending your time, just keep track of that, that’s that’s a really good starting point to actually see, because very often business owners are doing way more than they need to be doing. And they think that everything that we’re doing is necessary, and they may be correct that it isn’t necessary, but it’s not necessary, it’s not necessarily necessary for them to do. So you can also start, you can start to create a lot more time in your calendar, to do work that you truly enjoy. You might say, you know, it’s just so easy for me to send the invoices to my client, because I can do it and I’m in charge. But does that give you joy? Like what makes you happy is the best use of your time. So that’s one that’s one first step is just to kind of take an audit of where you’re spending your time and recognize that there’s going to always be the 8020 principle at play that, you know, 80% of the impact you create comes from a few things that you do, and which if we flip it around, it means that the a lot of the time you spend is actually in waste. And so other people can likely do a lot of things that you’re doing, probably at less cost. And that now frees you up to focus on the areas where you create the most value for the business and the things you enjoy doing the most. That’s number one. Number two is just to actually allow yourself to sketch out what your ideal day looks like? So if you had nothing like it, let’s just say you’re starting from a blank canvas. And yes, I know you have all these different things you can imagine, you know, creating more time like you’re just 24/7 nonstop. Yes, yes. Yes. All out. Okay, put that to the side for a moment. Just imagine you have a blank canvas? How would you start your day? Would it be making a cup of coffee and thinking about what you want to accomplish? Would it be taking your kids to school? Would it be going to the gym, doing a class of yoga, like whatever it is, it doesn’t matter what it is, but figure out what work like what your dream day looks like? And then start to actually go through the process of figuring out how I could make that happen? Like maybe you just need to be a little bit more consistent in guarding your calendar. And that might mean that you need to bring in like an executive assistant to manage
your calendar for you. Yeah,
Michael Zipursky 9:48
it’s you know, actually this a little bit today myself just followed up on my calendar when I said you know what, I’m gonna make an adjustment here because it doesn’t need to be this way. You know, so often, people accept the status quo. It’s like from Monday to Friday, from 9am to five or 6pm, or whatever that whatever their time slots are, just everything gets shoved into that. But you can and should be a lot more strategic. And think about, well, maybe Friday is the day that I’m going to take just to actually be strategic to think to plan. Maybe Monday is a day that I look at, you know, collaborations with different people or partnerships. Maybe I do client calls just on Tuesdays, and no other days like these are things that you can do, and it’s not going to necessarily just be the flip of a switch and overnight, you can start doing it. But if you begin to put some these guardrails and rules in place of how you want to structure your day, you’re gonna probably find that you can actually do a lot more of the things that you want to do you know, that there’s that saying that your activities will expand to fit the time that you allow them to fit into. So right now, what most people are doing again, is there’s no guard, there’s no box, it’s just gonna, like overflowing because they allow that to happen. But the moment you say, You know what, what an ideal day for me would look like this. And you you write that out, then you can actually be intentional and put some guardrails in place, make some adjustments, get team members to help you, whatever it might be. And you might wake up a week from now or a month from now going, Wow, I’m actually in so much of a better place, I’m doing the things that give me more energy. And now because I have more energy, because I feel more fulfilled, I’m actually able to do better work even in a shorter period of time.
Yeah, we didn’t script this before we press record, I swear. But I personally have implemented two of these strategies at the start of this year. And if you’re somebody who does not have a team, to guard your calendar, I actually sat down at the end of last year with my team and I said, this pace isn’t sustainable guys, we need to look at my calendar. And we use Calendly to actually put the guardrails around, right, so Calendly now guards my calendar for me with the number of client calls that I can take who, you know, what days, team members can schedule, what days and I can schedule podcasts. So I created that and then used Calendly as that tool. So if you don’t have a robust team, you can still do that using the tools and software. And then in terms of time, I have always said I cannot time track. Now the rest of my team time tracks. And I always said there’s no way that I can do that, for my challengers. For the next 30 days, I am time tracking every second every day, both business and personal. And I will share with the audience after the podcast comes live what our findings are. Because when we went to go offload off of my plate and say, hey, who can take these tasks, I forgot what I did. I couldn’t remember any of them. I had no idea what I was doing. I’m like, Guys, I swear, I I don’t know what to give you. And so I am time tracking and 15 minute increments every day all day. And I’m doing that both business and personal. Because my personal life is so important to me to make sure that I have all those other things built in. And what am I sacrificing to get more work done? So if you’re somebody who kind of rolled your eyes and like I’m not, I’m not tracking my time? I’m not looking at my calendar. It is possible. I’m about the weekend. And you can do it.
Michael Zipursky 13:19
Yes, yes. And there’s actually another like just a small addition, or maybe even a step before that, for certain people who might feel that that’s just a big leap to start tracking everything. And what I’ve done is use it like a Google Keep. So for those who aren’t familiar, essentially it is just like a little app that Google provides. There’s another if you’re a Microsoft person, or whatever is equivalent out there. But it’s like a little note that you can access on your phone or on your computer, whatever it might be. But what I do is I every time that I’m working on something, if I feel internally, like in my mind, or in my, you know, my soul that this is not work that gives me joy, or just it’s I’m thinking myself, like, why am I doing this, I write that down. And so it becomes a list that I know, this is a list of actual things that I need to delegate, because if I’m not enjoying doing this work, then we need to figure out another way to get this done. Because I stopped saying that I’m going to continue doing. And again, very often entrepreneurs, business owners tell themselves, ” No, no, I have to do this. No, you don’t have to do anything. If you look at the most successful business owners in the world, they’re not doing that much stuff, right? They’re putting the right people in the right place to get stuff done. They’re being very strategic with what they’re working on. And it’s not doing everything. So just that distinction, I think is an important one.
Thank you for that. Now, you have worked with both large and small companies. Tell us a little bit about what the small business owner service consultant can learn from the bigger companies. I talked about this a lot. My background is working in a more of a corporate environment and bringing that to small business. I’d like to hear from your perspective. How are you working with your clients to bring those strategies that work right now to the ones that don’t work? What are you bringing with you that works?
Michael Zipursky 15:05
Yeah, I mean, I think we’ll probably have very similar thoughts or kind of ideas around this. But a big opportunity is systems, right? So bringing more systems and processes is something that larger organizations have that smaller companies don’t. That being said, it’s really important that for somebody who’s at an earlier stage, not to worry about systems too much. I think very often. And again, especially these days, people have this belief that they need to have, like, everything just right, they need to have the most beautiful website, they have to have the best and latest CRM and like all these tools, and all social media, and so they kind of cloud themselves or surround themselves with all this stuff that has to get done. And ultimately, all that’s doing is delaying them from doing the actual important work. So in our world, in consulting, the most important thing for any consultant that is looking to build their business is to have conversations with ideal clients, like at the end of the day, that’s what matters most you don’t land a five, six or seven figure deal without having a conversation. And so you can find yourself spending a lot of time updating your website, play with your LinkedIn profile, trying to learn some new social media thing, doing all this technology stuff, reviewing the latest CRM and tools, and all that stuff is exciting, because you feel like well, I can be so much more productive when I have that I’ll be so much more successful because this company is using this. And so you and if you have a team, like everybody’s doing that, but if you’re if that’s holding you back from actually having conversations, that is doing a disservice to you, now, there is a place for more systems and processes. And it’s as your company begins to scale. So the first stage, right, it’s all about validation, it’s about making sure that what you are offering is what the market wants. And you’ve proven that out not just with one client, but you know, three, four or five clients. And then from there, the next stage is Well, now that we’ve proven we have validation, how do we actually start to scale this? How do we, you know, get this out to more people, or have more buyers and work with more clients at one time. And as you do that, in order to be able to provide that consistent level of service? Well, we call internally as the king of the five star client experience, we’re always focused on that, right, we want to always want to think about as you go to like to a five star hotel, you have an amazing experience, we want to make sure that we’re always provided to our clients, and we want to maintain that standard. And you can’t maintain those kinds of standards. If you don’t have systems and processes in place, it just doesn’t work. Right, everybody’s kind of doing their own thing, nobody’s on the same. So what we found, it’s incredibly important, as you’re building the business to make sure that you do have more of that structure in place. And I think that’s probably one of the biggest things that big businesses bring us to smaller companies. And I do also believe Danielle, that the opposite is also there. Meaning that there’s a lot of the mindsets that you have if you work in a big company. And when you then go to start your own company or you’re an entrepreneur, that baggage can actually drag you down and hold you back from being successful. So we can talk about that if you want. But there’s there’s definitely some things there to
Do you consider that like a perfection paralysis?
Michael Zipursky 17:58
That’s a big part of it. Yeah, I mean, so certainly, like that perfectionist kind of mindset of just wanting to get things right again, as a roadblock for many people, because they’re, they’re hesitating or waiting to launch or to talk to people because they want to have stuff just right. The other one though, is that when you’re inside of a larger organization, the focus on marketing promoting talking about x is the company, right or the product, it’s not you. And when you are the consultant or you are the entrepreneur, you’re providing the service or the expertise, the focus needs to be on you. And for many people that’s not comfortable, right, of course, the focus is on the end client and the person you’re going to, you know, organization are going to be working with, but you need to be comfortable or become comfortable with putting yourself out there and shine the spotlight not not anymore just on the company. But because nobody in a smaller, you know, business is buying just the company that is in the brand, they’re buying you, you’re the expert, you’re the expert. So that’s a mindset that often holds people back because they’re just not comfortable with the idea of promoting or kind of tooting their own horn or talking about their accomplishments and their successes. But you need to do that. Because if you don’t, how can you expect that people will know that you can help them and know that you’ve done that before and that you’ve been successful with it. So that’s another one that has to kind of make that transition they really do become comfortable with.
Right now talk to me about how we shift to hiring a team, how does that shift as you need to step into being a CEO? Do you go back to talking about the brand and the company? Or are you still talking about yourself as the provider? What does that shift look like?
Michael Zipursky 19:29
Yeah, so I mean, this again, there’s no one way to do this. And I think it’s really important to say that because for some people, they want to build a bigger team and a bigger business and, and all that. But let’s just say that using the assumption or the idea that you do want to build a bigger company, you recognize that you’re reaching capacity, you want to make a bigger impact. The only way to make a bigger impact is to grow, you know your team or to be able to work with more clients that you need more either productization or you need more team members to be able to do that. And maybe you also are. So I want to create a more valuable company. Even if you don’t have the intention to sell your company today, you want to have that kind of optionality, right? Maybe you can in the future. And if it’s just you doing everything in your business, there’s no value there, like, nobody’s gonna buy that. Right. And I
i think that’s a big problem with most of our clients that we talked to. I can’t do everything anymore, right? I physically can’t. And my income is just as capped as it was, when I was working in corporate, right. I had a client today who’s three years in, she was like, I might as well give up and go back to corporate because I’m working twice as hard. And I’m at capacity. So I have to bring on team members in order for my earning potential to increase. So yes, I think that we have quite a few people who are in that boat. So let’s talk a little bit more about that transition.
Michael Zipursky 20:49
Yeah, I mean, so like, just even before we get to that, just one thing that I always say is low hanging fruit with so many of the people that we work with, over the years, when you’re getting to that place, there’s almost always opportunity to look at how to increase your fees, right? Like this is the easiest lever to pull, if you know how to pull it properly, and position properly, where you can, even as a solo consultant or solo service provider, increase your revenue, top line revenue, and more importantly, your profitability, or overall profits is by learning how to increase your fees. So I’d say step one like this is what we see most people do is they’ll get into business by themselves, let’s say they’re a consultant, and then they start getting, they’re getting validation, they’re landing clients, then we help them to increase their fees significantly, so that you can still work with a manageable number of clients, in some cases, the same number or less, but they’re earning way more than they were before. But what happens for a lot of people is that they get to a place again, as you mentioned, where they’re just really kind of bumping up on capacity. And it’s not just that they want to necessarily make more money, but they know that what they have is working, and they want to be able to offer that to more people, and they can’t just physically do that themselves. So now they understand that even though maybe they have become a concern, because they want to leave, managing people and the bureaucracy and all that kind of stuff, they are doing well, I actually need to do that if I want to get to that next level. So once they’re in that place, now for you, as a leader, or the CEO, or whatever title, you know, you kind of give yourself, it becomes really important that you are removing yourself from the doing. And that for a lot of people is hard. But if you want to grow, you can grow if you are the ones still doing everything yourself. So it becomes more important to think about what are the different kinds of layers or levels inside of your business that you need to put the right people into. And that might be starting off, you’re focusing on providing, you know, support. So when you bring, let’s say, you’re bringing a new client on, how are they getting served? Are they going to have a great experience, the next thing that you might bring on as someone to help with sales, because typically, you’ll find that the founder of the business is still doing sales, and a lot relies on them. But if they’re doing all the sales, it means that if all of a sudden you want to take a holiday sales aren’t happening. So getting that kind of engine or that person or group of people in place becomes really important. And then marketing. So how do you make sure that you always have a full pipeline of leads coming in opportunities. And then beyond that, I mean, there’s obviously things like having somebody with operations or a different kind of set of leaders across the company. So I mean, what I spend a lot of time on these days is making sure that we have the right people to provide the experience that we want and help our clients get results. And that kind of goes from everything from like, filling the pipeline with with our marketing, and our content and everything that we put out podcasts, videos, articles, all that kind of stuff, then making sure that we have the right sales, people and enrollment, people who can bring those clicks, the marketing does its job leads come in, then when the leads come in, we need to have the right salespeople to have those people become clients, then we need to make sure that we deliver the right experience, we need the right onboarding support people. And then there’s other layers kind of on top of that in terms of operations and making sure that everything can run smoothly. Because what I want as a leader is to be able to know that I can if I want to step out, or be away or just spend time thinking about not just what’s happening this week or this quarter or even this year, but I want to start I want time to be able to think well what does our business look like in two years or three years, potentially down the road? And if we want to know, let’s just say that we’re at this level right now, in the middle, how do we get to that next level? And what do we need to do to you know, to make that happen? Do we need to make some strategic hires? Do we need to make a bigger investment? You can’t, it’s hard to have the time to think about those things. If you’re so busy doing all the work yourself. And so I think that’s one of the key things for a leader is to start shifting away from the mindset of delivery to a mindset of not even management because you can, you should be getting people in place to manage. But it’s more about making sure that you have the right systems in place. The vision is there for people, the values are clear. So everybody knows what we are working towards? In terms of the future? What does success look like? So we get all clear on the overall outcomes. And then we have the right system in place to measure those outcomes. To report those, the progress along those, and that’s really what I’m kind of thinking about. So happy to kind of dig into any of that. But that’s really what I’m focused on.
You’ve summarized all that so beautifully. I want to touch on one thing that I, I’ve been thinking about and hearing a lot of our clients talk about is that doing, you’re taking the pattern crossing off the checklist, right? Or in your project management software, there’s almost a dopamine hit associated with doing and feeling needed in your business. And I think when you go from doing to whitespace, and strategically thinking, you might not know what to do with yourself, right? Like, what am I supposed to be thinking about? Right? And then you can say, well, shoot, I’m doing this wrong. I’m doing my whitespace wrong. So is there any, I don’t know, tool skill mindset shift that we can offer, as people start to allow themselves that whitespace to strategically think, on just reframing that? Yeah, I
Michael Zipursky 26:04
I mean, it’s a great question. Like, there’s so many different sources of hesitation that people have when they’re making that leap, or the transition from the doer to potentially the manager, and then to, you know, the leader. And I think part of it comes because it feels almost counterintuitive, to think that as you have more experience you’re doing less of the actual work, right. But when you look at the role of a leader is not to do the work, right, it’s to make sure that the vision is there for the business, the values are set, the right culture is there, your job is to empower your people, right. So let’s define great people that are in the right roles that can do the work just as well as you can, if not better at the beginning, maybe they can’t do it as well as you can. But they can learn if you get the right people. And then your job is just to support them, to empower them to make sure that they feel great that they don’t feel like you are micromanaging them that you are just really there, you’ve all agreed on what success looks like you have your annual plan, you have your quarterly plan, right, like all that’s broken down. And now, everybody just goes to work on the plan. And they love being inside of your organization having that opportunity to create. So I mean, all this. Again, if you haven’t done it, you’re going to find all kinds of reasons in your mind and excuses as to why this won’t work for you. But you have to trust that process. And I think one of the best ways to do that is just to look around at others. And to recognize that like, that’s this is the way to grow any business essentially like, and it’s not the only way. But if you want to build a team, and you want a business that can run without your day to day involvement, it can’t happen if you’re holding on to everything and offer one example of this. So, you know, my backgrounds, building consulting businesses, and being a consult. And then about 13 years ago, or so we started consulting success as a way to teach and share our experience of building a consulting business with other consultants to help them to avoid, you know, mistakes they might make and kind of accelerate their, their businesses and success and so forth. And we did that for a long, you know, for several years. And for a big chunk of that. myself, and my cousin, Sam was my co-founder and business partner, you know, like we were doing all the coaching and directly working with clients. But we got to a point where the business just kept growing. And we also kind of thought about the vision of what we want this business to be? And how can we actually work with more people and make a bigger impact? And the answer to that was that we can’t just do all the one to one stuff ourselves anymore. And so we talked about how we make this transition where we can actually bring on other people that can work with clients directly, where we can still be involved, because we love being involved. But a lot of the delivery in the day to day work is done by other people. And so, you know, we went down this path where today we have 10 coaches inside of our company that are all quote unquote, kind of certified with a consulting success framework. They work directly with our clients, they all are there in their own right successful consultants running their own six figure plus consulting businesses. But there is still that mindset of like, what happens if this doesn’t work? What happens if people rebel? What happens? If so, do you play these games? And so we fought through all this? And when people ask me, how did that work out when you made that switch? It worked out perfectly, like we didn’t have any issues, any problems. And maybe we were lucky, maybe we planned things well, but at the end of the day, we had to just make that leap. And we knew we like to prepare ourselves mentally that this might not go well. We might need to make adjustments, we might need to fix some problems that arise. But as long as we’re committed to figuring that out, like we’re unstoppable. I mean, and this is true, I think for every single business owner out there, and as long as you’ve adopted the mindset or you’re willing to embrace the mindset that you may want, you will make mistakes like there will be less than learners, right? But that’s okay. Because all that’s going to do is give you more experience. It’s going to give you more perspective, it’s going to make you stronger. And so as long as you’re incorporating what you’re learning, and you continue to move forward with that, you’re going to be better than you were before. And that really makes you unstoppable. Because when you have a goal and a vision, and you know what you need to do and you keep working towards it, you’re gonna hit bumps, you’re gonna get punched in the stomach, probably more than once. But if you keep moving forward, you’re gonna get there. And every step that you take with that accumulated kind of knowledge and experience and lessons learned, aka mistakes, you’re just gonna be better and better, you know, every day, every week, every month. So
yeah, it’s about the journey. 100%, can you share? What was your biggest struggle? As you went from? You know, being the consultant to bring on this team? Where did you struggle the most? Well,
Michael Zipursky 30:45
so before we did it, that initial struggle was just in our own minds. Like, for me, it was, for a long time thinking about, we got a really nice business here. It’s a great quote, unquote, some people call it a lifestyle business, which to me is just, it’s a weird term, because you can have a pretty big business that a lot of people would still call a lifestyle business, like, we have absolutely no desire to, to build, like this sort of thing that, you know, like goes public, like, that’s just not even our like, we’re not, that’s not a, that’s not interesting for us, right? We want a business that provides financial freedom and makes an amazing impact supporting the lifestyle that we want to have. We get to like, work with great people and have amazing team work with great clients. That’s all we care about. So I think just that initial mindset of, hey, look, it’s the two of us. Few contractors, like, we could just keep it at this, right, this is several years back, but we felt very comfortable. And the idea of like, we want to start adding more people and building a team and have full time employees and like, do we is that what we really want, like, that’s more management, that’s more work. And so that was probably like the biggest hesitation that we faced. But once we decided that, in order to make the impact that we want to have, and to achieve the kind of growth that we want to have, and again, growth that supports lifestyle, so to achieve greater growth, but by sacrificing your lifestyle, it wasn’t even in our considerations that we, we know, we want to maintain our quality of life. And in my case, I have two young daughters, I want to spend time with them, I want to be a present, father and husband and I love traveling and all these things that are very important. And so in order to do that, we needed to embrace the idea of, we need to build a team, we need to then bring better systems and processes in place, we need to be more organized, we need to, you know, start working in a different way than we were before. But that leap and that hesitation was definitely something that was a bit of a challenge, not a negative way. It’s just one that I think took us a while to get comfortable with it. But looking back now, you know, from several years ago when that happened, it was just a really great decision, one that has worked out really well. And then
what tools and strategies, and maybe there’s struggles as well have you encountered stepping into your role as a CEO of your business. And I hear this, again, from a lot of our clients that we work with that they are really good at their craft, right? They are a practitioner, their consultant, they are a coach, how do they start to shift their mindset to really be CEO? And what struggles Do you have along the way as you as you make that shift?
Michael Zipursky 33:22
Sure. Yeah, I mean, the first thing I’d say there is that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with just being like the person that does the work, like if you want to be the the artist or the creator, right, the the person crafting away. And that’s, that’s where you get your fulfillment. You know, God bless you do your best just to enjoy that stuff. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I think there’s an important distinction to make, which is that we hear a lot of people in our world saying, I’m a consultant, and we kind of talk through where they’re at. And it’s very quickly, like, it’s apparent that they are not a consultant, they’re a contractor. They’re getting all their work from one or two different consulting agencies, or they have one main client, and 99% of their time is spent just delivering work. Again, absolutely nothing wrong with that. But you’re not a business owner, you’re not like you’re not even in our minds. Yes, you can call yourself a consultant. But the distinction in our world as we call people entrepreneurial consults, which means that they actually have a business owner mindset. They’re not just thinking about delivering work anymore. They’re thinking about how I also build a business. How do I create financial freedom? How do I build something that I have control over that, actually, you know, it’s my destiny, if you’re a contractor, and you’re just working for one or two clients, if one or two of those disappear, like, you don’t have anything, and if you’re working through an agency, where they’re giving you the business, you don’t have any clients, like you’re working with a client, but you don’t own that relationship. You may not even be able to use the name or the logo of that company or talk about the work that you’re doing. And certainly if that company that you’re getting all your work from something happens to their business, you have nothing, you have no pipeline and you have some relationships and things like that, but your agreement with Maven hold you back from reaching out to those people. So our whole thing is helping people to build businesses, consulting businesses, where they can still do as much delivery as they want. But they’re now really embracing this idea of being a business owner being an entrepreneurial consultant where they may be delivering, but they’re also thinking about marketing and building a pipeline, and how to do business development and how to build their authority and their expertise and become recognized and increase their fees and just be more strategic, so that there’s real value being created. And they then get to a point where they don’t have to chase work anymore, works coming to them, opportunities are coming to them. And now they get to really be in a position of control, because they get to decide who they want to work with. Only working with the highest value clients, the ones that truly give them joy and enjoyment, but joy and kind of fulfillment. At the same time, they now get to think about where do I want to take my business from here? Do I keep doing what I’m doing? Do I adjust my model? Do I build a team? These are all kinds of options, choices that are really fun to be in the position to kind of think about?
Yeah, absolutely. You’ve done a lot, you have a lot of experience. How do you keep your money mindset strong, as you make these pivots and shifts through your background? And as you’re working with all the other consultants, right, maybe you can share some of the best strategies you’ve used for both yourself and your clients. And how you keep that money mindset strong.
Michael Zipursky 36:23
Yeah, I mean, like Daniel was, like I said, I’d love to know more. What when you talk about money mindset, like what does that mean to you? Or what do you think that means to your listeners, for me, when I hear that the first thing that comes to mind, for me, is really about our focus is always on profitability. You know, in this day and age, social media, people talk about these big numbers, and then you actually like to dig into them and realize that they’re not even making any money or, like, half of that is disappearing, like instantly or, right. So we don’t care about the stuff out there, our focus is just on again, profitability. Having a business that creates financial freedom allows us to, to pay, and to compensate everybody that we work with our coaches, our full time team members, you know, just everyone that were involved with very, very well, you know, above market. And we do that happily, because what we’re really building is something that we want people to be a part of. So for us, we look at this as how we can keep growing, keep challenging ourselves, but our focus is always on profitability. So that’s number one. And then I’m gonna talk on kind of a bit more of a personal level or investing side. I don’t know what would be, please. Yeah, that’d be Yeah. I consider myself to be very lucky. From a young age, my father talked to me about the importance of savings and I, I grew up thinking that was normal. Being kind of conservative being being frugal. Yeah. Like, you’re shaking your head, like no. And I realized, like, I remember. So I probably got this not drilled into me, he was very like it, just very supportive. And I remember taking out the newspaper and like looking at stocks and writing things down. And then the next weekend, we get out the same newspaper, because it is only once a week in the newspaper, and then write it down and like comparing stuff. And I didn’t really know what’s happening. But like, it was getting ingrained. And always talking about savings. Years later, I just talked to so many friends and family members who had no savings and no idea about what investment was and why they just bought it. The latest stereo is like, Oh, I just took my money and bought this fund or like, Oh, it’s so interesting. So I know that’s not normal. But I feel very blessed and fortunate that I had that experience. But I’ve always been focused on saving, taking a percentage of whatever I make and investing it. And it might be into real estate, it might be into the stock market, I do a lot of investing into myself, meaning into coaching programs, or masterminds or my own health, things like that. I think that’s actually where you get the biggest return on investment is not just investments into the markets or real estate, it’s investments into yourself. That’s where most people should prioritize initially. But to me, that’s all that it’s, I don’t need to buy a massive yacht airplane, like whatever that means. There’s nothing wrong with those things. But for me, it’s more about what I care most about is experiences. So it’s having a meal with loved ones, traveling to different places, and just enjoying time with people that I love, and that I care about. And so when I’m making money, I’m just thinking about putting some of that aside, investing it wisely, hopefully, and just continue to do that over and over and over again. And you wake up after a period of time and go like whoa, okay, like this is there’s a lot of building up here. So
yeah, the power of the compounding effect. Totally. We talk a lot about that, you know, the power of 1% small habits over time. If we can take small portions of what we’re making both in our business and personal and set that aside. There’s a really beautiful effect. So that compounding over time, my daughter is 17 and my son’s 13. And I try all the time to show them examples of this. And like, please, please, please, I know it’s so easy to spend that money. If we can save it, we can see what that has the power to do. But it’s, you know, I appreciate you sharing all of that. So vulnerable, because what we’ve seen through working with so many of our clients is that there are big shifts in this right you either are, you might be an over saver, and you might be an overspender, with a lot of variations. And in the middle, I thought it was always making cuts, right? I thought everybody overspent and then we had a cut. Right? But I didn’t realize that some people over-save, and they can’t invest in themselves, and they can’t invest in their business. And so I appreciate you sharing that because we are our most important investment. And our money mindset can offer
Michael Zipursky 40:56
two tactical things on this topic. So the first one that I’m this is, for me, it’s been a long time of doing this. And this is what I share with anyone that I care about that is willing to listen, I say, take a percentage of whatever you’re making. And this is not something I created, I don’t know who created this for years and years ago or decades ago. But taking a percentage of whatever you’re making can be a small amount to start and just have it automatically removed from your account. Right. So if it’s $500 a month, $1,000 a month, $10,000 a month, whatever that number is doesn’t matter. Just it comes in, you don’t even know and it’s out into his other account. And ideally, that other account is going into something that is going to pay you more interest, stocks, whatever it might be. Most people spend money because they see it in their account. If you don’t see it in your calendar, it’s already gone, you probably won’t even notice. But all of a sudden that small number was taken out. And then you look into this other account and now over, you know, the months and especially the years to come, you can really build up a pretty significant amount of savings or investments. That’s the first one. The second one is for anyone who’s very conservative, or it’s like thinking oh yeah, I need to cut my costs here and there. And that can be a smart thing to do. But a lot of people spend time, kind of like chasing what’s it like chasing, you know, dimes to like,
chasing pennies? Yeah,
Michael Zipursky 42:12
something like that. Right? You know, I’m saying anyways, so they’ll spend a lot of time looking at, oh, yeah, I need to cancel this subscription that I’m spending $5 on a month. And while I’m gonna evaluate these different software tools, where I think I can probably save maybe $15 a month. And listen, I understand people are at different stages. So for somebody to be like, that’s a lot of money, complete respect to you. What I’m getting at is that people often focus on where they can save a little bit of money. Instead, if they dedicated that same amount of time they’re taking and trying to cut all this, these small things, and focus on his landing one new client, or you know, something more strategic, you can probably make significantly more money, then, you know, then you would at the end, like net, right profit, they’re just trying to cut little things. So it’s great to cut, it’s great to like, look at why you can save, but I would always encourage people to think about where you can invest your money or invest your time, it’s gonna create the biggest impact for the business or for you personally.
Yeah, striking a balance, right? We can’t ignore that. Ignore numbers and ignore what we’re spending money on, put our head in the sand and wake up at tax time. You’re looking at that maybe twice a year, once a quarter. But you But five, striking a balance, right? And then we look at it, we understand what we’re spending, and then we move on. And we go back to the place where our time is, providing the most value. I really appreciate you sharing all that. Is there anything that you wish I would have asked you today or anything else that you want to leave the audience with?
Michael Zipursky 43:41
So I was just thinking, I mean, I love talking to this kind of stuff like for me money investments, business building entrepreneurship, and we
could go all day. Yeah. Right. But so it’d be a really long show.
Michael Zipursky 43:53
Yeah, it could be we could just kind of like I was actually talking to an expert in a podcast he built or was one of the key people that built the NPR money podcast, and it was called, but world of money, something anyways, billions of downloads. And he was saying there’s a type of podcasting just called vibing, where you just kind of like, talk. And it’s just kind of hanging out. And I was like, oh, okay, cool. So I think we can just kind of do that, right. But anyway, say, Yeah, that could definitely be my vibe, Daniel. But there was one other thing about the money mindset that came to my mind, just as you were asking that, and it’s really about viewing every decision that you make as a business owner, from the perspective not of not of a cost, right? Oftentimes, you’ll think about if I need to spend money, that’s a cost. That’s an expense. And when you have that mindset that holds you back from potentially taking a really important valuable action example, I remember my first consulting business, I really hesitated to make a hire or to get any help. Why? Because in my mind, that was a cost. Every dollar that I spent meant less money coming into my pocket. And so I would keep telling myself, no, let’s get one more client, then you can do that or let’s get your income to X amount, then you can do that. And what up. So the mistake there was viewing that as a cost or an expense, whereas instead, what you want to be doing is viewing these things as investments. So now every decision that we make in the company, right, even if it’s a big investment, like, you know, if it’s $20,000, here or whatever, we’re always viewing that it doesn’t matter what the what the number is, as long as we’re capable to make that investment, we’re going to make that investment. If we see, again, the word investment, we see that it’s going to give us a potential bigger return. So that’s the way that we kind of filter our decision making around where we spend money and how we spend money is just simply, is this going to provide value? Is this helpful? Is this going to create a positive return on investment, and if so, then let’s do it, if we’re able to do it, let’s just do it. And if it’s not, then let’s just hold off or let’s delay it come back to it later. And I think this is a mindset that can really benefit people. Because very often you have this amazing potential to accomplish more, or to make a bigger impact, but you’re holding yourself back because you’re holding off hiring somebody or holding off investing into a programmer, or getting a coach or whatever it might be. Because you’re telling yourself you’re thinking about it usually as a cost as you try to delay cost and you try to delay expenses. But investments are things you actually want to lean into and do more of, because you see if I put $1 in, I get $3 out. I’m just gonna keep doing that all day long.
Yeah, I like to think of every purchase, as does this create efficiency? Does this give me any of my time back? Does this create value for my client? Does this create value for me or my team? And you can reframe the expense? It’s not just money out the door, right? It’s giving you something back 100%? Well, like I said, could we vibe all day? Where can the audience stay in touch with you and learn more about you?
Michael Zipursky 46:53
Consulting success.com is home to everything. So whether you are an early stage consultant, or you know, your six, seven figure consulting business owner, and you’re just looking to be more strategic and profitable and scalable, we have about 1000 articles on the site for free that you can access all while building a successful consulting business. The consulting success podcast is 250 or so plus episodes that we have also on the site for free and then yeah, a whole bunch of other things, some programs that you could look into so consulting success.com
Awesome. Thank you so much for your time today. I know that there’s so many golden nuggets in here so I can’t wait for everyone to listen. Thank you.
Michael Zipursky 47:36
Thank you, Daniel. Appreciate it.
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