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4 Definitive Guides
To 10x Growth
The 8
Of A
T M & © 2012. T he S trategic
Coac h Inc . All rights res erv ed.

Thank you for downloading our Strategic Coach Starter Kit, a comprehensive collec-
tion of resources that will tell you all about the Strategic Coach Program and how it
can change your life in exciting new ways!

What is Strategic Coach? We’re an entrepreneurial coaching company that offers a

program specifically designed for highly successful, ambitious entrepreneurs like
you, where you can grow your success exponentially while simplifying your life. It’s a
unique community made up of entrepreneurs from different industries around the

What everyone in the Strategic Coach® Program has in common is a desire to create
the best possible business and life they can—so they’ve turned to us to provide
them with the thinking tools to clarify their goals and the proven, practical strategies
to make those goals a reality.

This package will introduce you to a few key Strategic Coach concepts, which we
hope will give you a picture of a much bigger future, one in which you enjoy all the
freedom, rewards, and exponential growth of the most successful entrepreneurs.

Here’s what you’re about to learn:

1. 5 Things You Need To Know To Build Your Self-Managing Company

2. The 8 Transformations Of A 10x Entrepreneur
3. The Strategic Coach Approach to Overcoming Commoditization
4. The Strategic Coach Approach to Leadership vs. Management

If you like what you read, get in touch! We’d love to help you achieve everything
you want in business and in life.

1. 5 Things You Need To Know To Build Your Self-Managing Company 7
2. The 8 Transformations Of A 10x Entrepreneur 19
3. The Strategic Coach Approach to Overcoming Commoditization 25
4. The Strategic Coach Approach to Leadership vs. Management 31

15 Things You Need To Know To Build

Your Self-Managing Company .
Things You
Need To Know
to build your Self-Managing Company . ®

Imagine a scenario where you get to do just what you like

in your business and it grows and prospers, even in your
absence. You provide the evolving vision, and your team
makes it real, often in ways you couldn’t have imagined. In
fact, many of the results and positive by-products they
achieve amaze you.

We’re not talking passive income streams here, but a

thriving company where you get to just focus on the part
of the game of business that’s fun for you—the part that
allows you to achieve your biggest business and personal
goals—and yet frees you from the task of management,
which, let’s face it, is not what any entrepreneur starts a
business for.

The Self-Managing Company® is a company that man-

ages itself to growth.
In Self-Managing Companies, not only does the company
grow when the entrepreneur is not there, it actually grows
more, the more freed up the entrepreneur becomes.

Freed up from what, you might ask? From everything you

find energy-draining, distracting, frustrating, and tedious,
and even those things you do exceedingly well that you’re
not really passionate about.

And, more importantly, freed up to do all the things you’d rather be doing with
that time and energy, whether that’s focusing more on your spouse and kids,
making a bigger impact in the world in the ways that matter to you, or finding
and capturing your next really big business opportunity, and the one after that.

For example, at Strategic Coach® we’ve helped many entrepreneurs achieve

10x growth in their businesses over the past 24 years, some several times
over. Building a largely Self-Managing Company was a means to that growth
in almost every case. (And having a 10x vision and 10x goals actually makes
it easier to build a Self-Managing Company, which we’ll get to later.) When
you’re not totally occupied with what’s going on in your present company,
you have a lot more time and energy to focus on building a future company
that’s 10x bigger or better. And you can do it without sacrificing an exep-
tional quality of life.

By making their companies more self-managing, entrepreneurs in the Strate-

gic Coach® Program have been able to free themselves up to take year-long
trips around the world with their families, write books, summit multiple
world-class peaks help thousands of people in less-fortunate circum-
stances, spend life-transforming time focused on their kids, and transform
entire industries, all while their businesses continued to grow and thrive.

This kind of entrepreneurial freedom, where your business becomes the ve-
hicle for the achievement of all your life’s goals, is what we’re talking about.
It’s freedom of time, money, relationship, and purpose: having the freedom
to work only when you want, make as much money as you want, work with
whomever you want, and create the kind of world you want.

In our experience, most entrepreneurs who achieve this give up any

thoughts of retirement. In fact, the notion becomes meaningless since they
can create all the free time they want, and they get to stay in the game and
evolve it so it’s continually more fascinating and motivating.

If this sounds like a pretty great life, that’s because it is. Every day, we have
the pleasure of hearing from very switched on and satisfied entrepreneurs
who attest to that.
But here’s the catch:
Only a certain subset of entrepreneurs have what it takes to pull this off in
the near-term—and an even smaller number within that subset ever manage
to actually do it. (We’ll get into the reasons why shortly.)

The upside is that many more entrepreneurs could experience the freedom
that a Self-Managing Company provides if they’re willing to build the foun-
dation. All it takes is a combination of attitudes and experience that are
within any willing entrepreneur’s grasp.

At Strategic Coach, we’ve had a unique opportunity to observe and identify

what factors put entrepreneurs in a position to successfully build Self-Man-
aging Companies. Twenty-five years of working closely with more than
16,500 top entrepreneurs from over 60 industries has given us a pretty clear
picture of how those who succeed differ from those who fail or who are too
daunted to try.

The first observation is that building a Self-Managing Company is a gradual

process—one where every bit of progress has significant rewards. What it
means to actually achieve this may differ from entrepreneur to entrepreneur,
but increasing freedom, income, and quality of life simultaneously are the
basic objectives. Most of the entrepreneurs we speak to agree that even
small gains in freedom can cause major improvements in their enjoyment of
life, the growth of their businesses, their peace of mind, and their mental and
physical health. At 40 percent more freed up, an entrepreneur’s life may ap-
pear completely transformed from where it was when they started. And,
generally, it gets easier and more fun as they go along, mostly because
changing habits at the beginning is the hardest part.

That said, there’s a short list of qualities that we’ve found every entrepreneur
must have to successfully embark on this journey of building a Self-Manag-
ing Company.

Here they are in the form of questions, so you can quiz yourself:

Are you an achievement There are three types of entrepreneurs. The first is someone who’s replaced
entrepreneur? working for someone else with working for themselves. Basically, this person
hasn’t created a business; they’ve created a job. The difference between this
job and other jobs is that it’s harder to get fired, but the hours are terrible.
The main object is survival, so we call this a Survival entrepreneur. The vast
majority of people who fall under the broad category of “entrepreneur” are
self-employed survival entrepreneurs. It goes without saying that if you’re
not amassing the resources to be able to hire, you don’t have a company,
and if you don’t have a company, you can’t have a Self-Managing Company.

3 Types Of Entrepreneurs
The second type of entrepreneur had a particular lifestyle in mind
growing up. This involved making a certain amount of money, hav-
Survival Job
ing a certain kind of house in the right part of town, belonging to
the right clubs, rubbing elbows with the right kind of people in
their town, and putting their kids in the right kind of schools. They
may grow a business to achieve this, but once their income and
Lifestyle Status
success hit that level, then it becomes about maintenance. They
don’t really want to go any further. We call these Lifestyle entre-
preneurs. There’s nothing wrong with being a lifestyle entrepre-
neur, and many people are quite content in this kind of scenario.
Achievement Growth But it doesn’t lay the best foundation for creating a Self-Managing
Company. The reason is that if your goals only go as far as your
own lifestyle, you’re not likely to attract or harness the passions of
people who will go above and beyond to make your business
grow. (More on this when we get to the next question on vision.)

For the third kind of entrepreneur, the main goal in their life is growth. When
they reach one level, they have a compelling need to say, “Okay. Let’s go to
the next level.” And the reason they do this is that it’s fun. For them, entre-
preneurship is a game, and their current success level is just the foundation
for the next set of achievements. We call this an Achievement entrepreneur.

Achievement entrepreneurs are in the best position to create Self-Managing

Companies. Their past achievements and the fact that they’re always striv-
ing for more mean the pie is always getting bigger in these companies,
which is a big attraction for growth-minded team members who want to play
the game with them. Their biggest challenge tends to be the complexity that
grows with success, and a Self-Managing Company becomes an attractive
solution to regain simplicity, so building one is well worth the effort. On a
continuum from “Survival” to “Achievement,” with “Lifestyle” sitting some-
where in the middle, how do you rate your entrepreneurial ambitions?

Survival Lifestyle Achievement

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Are you experienced You might think it would be easier to build a Self-Managing Company from
enough? the ground up, but in our experience, having a solid financial foundation and
skill in growing a company to a certain level of success, as well as great
clientele and a strong marketplace reputation, is vital. Without a solid base
of resources, relationships, market knowledge, and a proven, functioning
business model, there’s just too much to do and figure out and not enough
cash coming in to get traction.

After a minimum of about three years, as long as the business is generating a

healthy six-figure income for the entrepreneur, most successful businesses
have enough momentum (and predictable cash flow) that the entrepreneur

can begin thinking about moving toward a more Self-Managing Company.
They know what the business is and that their basic survival needs are going
to be covered, and it’s time to free themselves up to start spending more time
doing only what they’re best at to grow it. The ones who build a Self-Manag-
ing Company are those who see everything they’ve done up till now as
“Stage 1” in their entrepreneurial career and, with that as a foundation, are
ready to move on to “Stage 2” where much more becomes possible. What
stage are you at right now?
Start-up/<3 yrs. Veteran/Stage 2-ready

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Is your vision big In a Self-Managing Company, by definition, you have others doing a lot of the
enough? work and organizing, motivating, and scoring themselves toward increasingly
better performance. How do you get people to do this on their own? Nothing
succeeds in galvanizing effort like a really big, really clear vision. We’re talking
about the kind of vision that’s much bigger than you that others can passion-
ately get behind because it’s aligned in some way with their own personal
and professional goals. And to create this, you have to be passionate and
clear yourself. You are the leader, after all. In the Self-Managing Company,
leadership, not management, is the entrepreneur’s focus and role. The object
is to inspire and direct and provide clarity when necessary. With a big, com-
pelling vision, you unify your team in the belief that you’re creating a bigger
future together so they can confidently focus on making sure the present
business is running well and headed in the right direction. Think of it like lay-
ing down track for a train. As long as the engineers are confident the track
will be there and it’s going to the right place, they can do everything they
need to to keep the train running with very little input on your part.

At Coach, we can help entrepreneurs clarify their vision and communicate it

better, but the big part has to come from them. Only you know what you’re
passionate about. A Self-Managing Company thrives on big, ambitious goals

that inspire others. We suggest thinking 10x—even if it’s only in a small area
or single project at first to get yourself firmly into that realm. And, just to be
clear, we’re not talking altruism here. This is about creating real value, the
likes of which has never been seen before by your audience, either because
it’s totally innovative or just patently superior to what else exists in that
space. In other words, you’re passionate about being a hero to a specific
target market by providing more direction, confidence, or capability in some
area than they can find elsewhere. In return, they will reward you with things
like money, referrals, trust, loyalty, a great reputation, and opportunities to
further multiply your capabilities. This is a game worth winning for all the
players, and your Self-Managing Company will be made up of people who
enjoy the game you lay out for them. So, how’s your vision?

Foggy/Ho-hum Clear/Game-changing

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Are you willing to When it comes to building a Self-Managing Company, rugged individualists
focus on your need not apply. A Self-Managing Company implies letting others, to some
extent, run the show (though you get to say what the show is and keep inno-
strengths and
vating to make it better). This can be terrifying for some entrepreneurs—so
delegate the rest? scary, in fact, that they’d rather stay stuck at a certain level of growth and
sacrifice personal freedom to stay in control of things that, if they could only
step back and see it, are not the most productive use of their time.

You may be understandably reluctant to delegate if you feel that your sup-
port team or the level of teamwork in your company is not equal to your big
goals and opportunities. However, consider the alternative: feeling over-
whelmed by too much opportunity, or pressured by too many demands on
your time and attention to the point where you no longer have the strategic
clarity or the time or energy to create the life or the business you want. Not
fun. And yet too many entrepreneurs get stuck in this situation.

It’s a fact of business that success

breeds complexity and that, without in-
creasing teamwork and delegation,
most of this will tend to fall on the
shoulders of the entrepreneur. It’s the
ability to counteract this tendency that
makes the Self-Managing Company so

And it starts with the ability and willing-

ness to free yourself up increasingly to
do what creates the biggest results in
your business by letting others take
what’s “not this” off your hands.
What’s left will be what we call your Unique Ability®. This is where your skill
and passion intersect and create maximum value for the marketplace. It’s
where you have a superior skill and a neverending capacity for growth and
improvement that eventually take you into genius territory. Working in your
Unique Ability gives you energy rather than draining it. Think of those mo-
ments when you really feel “in the zone,” or things that others thank you for
that seem like nothing, because you make something exceptional seem so
easy. That’s Unique Ability in action.

Unique Ability fuels the growth of a Self-Managing Company. Identify and

focus on your own and delegate everything else, preferably to others who
have a Unique Ability in those areas. When everyone is doing something
they’re passionate about and great at, and you have the clear vision we
talked about above as a road map so people can see where their skills and
contributions fit into the bigger picture, the need for management in the tra-
ditional top-down sense falls away.

In our experience, if you insist on managing everything, you will always need
to manage everything because your team will never get more capable or
more confident. In a Unique Ability® Team scenario, the team gets stronger
and smarter by doing, and learning, and doing better, driven by each team
member’s passion for excellence and personal growth, which brings us to
the next question.

But first, take a moment to score yourself honestly. How willing are you to
delegate everything except those things that energize you and create the
biggest results for your business? Does the prospect of doing this excite you
or frighten you (with moderate apprehension somewhere in the middle)?

Yikes! Excited!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Are you committed to If you answered yes to question one, the answer to this question is almost
never-ending learning certainly yes, to a certain extent. Achievement entrepreneurs like to learn
and grow. The successful ones often have multiple coaches and mastermind
and growth?
groups they learn from. They may be avid readers too.

They’re clearly willing to invest in themselves and in trying new things, and
more than anything, they’re into learning by doing. In fact, a good deal of
their success has come by trial and error with the attitude that failure is the
pathway to success. Obstacles to a goal are merely the raw material that
point you toward the strategies necessary to achieve it.

So why are we adding this to the list of qualities? Because the ones who go
the extra mile to create Self-Managing Companies are committed not just to

their own never-ending
learning and growth, but to
their team’s as well, and

that’s a real test. Are you willing to let your team make mistakes and fail in
order to learn like you did? Do you trust them enough to make “progress,
not perfection” a mantra, meaning that they are free to make mistakes as
long as they learn and do better next time? You may be seeing why a solid
financial foundation and a great clientele are necessary. There has to be
room for learning.

To be fair, many of the entrepreneurs we’ve seen build Self-Managing Com-

panies did not feel totally comfortable with this at the beginning. But they
were open enough to the idea and bought into it enough in principle to at
least experiment with it, and with results came increased confidence. In
some cases, it took some time to get there, and it usually started by taking a
bit of free time completely cut off from the office, and then some more, and
then a LOT more. In the process, their teams learned to deal with whatever
came up without them. From this, all the other obstacles to self-manage-
ment within the team became evident and fixable.

The sign of success? When your team is glad to see you go so they can
really get some work done. And when you can truly disengage and feel con-
fident that the business is likely to be in better shape when you come back
because they’ve got it under control and you trust their judgment. Not that
you’re dispensable. They still want you to provide them with the big picture
and leadership, and do what you do best to drive the business forward. It’s
just that they know you’ll do better when you’re rested and rejuvenated, and
if you’re not getting distracted by micromanaging or things that are not your
Unique Ability.

In this sense, the Self-Managing Company is a feat of teamwork between

you and your team—one that pays off in multiples of opportunity, freedom,
and increased income. The best news is, building it may be easier than you
think. Infusing your team with entrepreneurial energy means you no longer
have to shoulder all the weight of innovation and driving growth. Every bit of
progress makes your life simpler and your results bigger, which in turn sets
you up to take advantage of even greater opportunities. Don’t worry at this
point if you don’t know how to do it yet. The question is, given that this is
one of the magic keys to getting your company to be truly self-managing,
how committed are you willing to be to supporting never-ending learning and
growth as a central value for everyone in your organization?

No way Totally committed

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

How do you score
The higher your scores on each of these five questions, the easier you’ll find
it to build a Self-Managing Company, starting right now. If you scored 9 or
above on all five questions, perhaps you’ve already begun to build some self-
managing aspects into your business, and if you haven’t, you’re well-primed
to make progress quickly, especially with the right direction and tools.

Lower on some than others? No worries. As we said in the beginning, these

are all attitudes and qualities any willing entrepreneur can cultivate. If it’s just
experience you’re lacking (low score in #2), it may just not be time yet, but in
the meantime you can keep strengthening the other attitudes as you build
your business. In any of the other four areas, it’s really up to your desire to
improve. Now that you know what it takes, you can start the process of
making your company more self-managing, knowing that as your scores in-
crease, it will just get easier.

Unless one or more of the five seems like an absolute deal-killer in the sense
that you know you’ll never want to score higher than a 2 or 3, a Self-Manag-
ing Company is within your reach. The main point is that strengthening these
five dimensions in ways that raise your scores will put you in a better posi-
tion to make progress toward the Self-Managing Company quickly, which
means more freedom sooner.

What comes next?

So how do you actually build a Self-Managing Company once you’ve laid
the foundation? The Strategic Coach Program helps experienced Achieve-
ment entrepreneurs build Self-Managing Companies by:
• Increasingly freeing them up from everything that’s not their Unique Ability.
• Building and strengthening an entrepreneurial attitude within their team.
• Helping them develop a 10x vision and goals that clarify decisions, bring
great people on board, and inspire and motivate team members to con-
tribute the best of their talents and energy.
• Providing simple, practical structures to help team members be more self-
managing so the entrepreneur can focus on leadership, innovation, and
fully making use of marketing, technology, genius networks, and exponen-
tials to grow the business.


The 8 Transformations Of A 10x Entrepreneur
The 8
Of A
Remember when your personal and professional success was 10x less than it is
today? Now here you are, where it’s normal to have what would have seemed
impossible then.

If you want to do it again—grow your success 10x while enjoying greater simplicity
and freedom—the 8 transformations in this guide are the path to getting there.
They’re based on the process we use in the Strategic Coach® Program, which
we’ve evolved over 25 years of working closely with more than 16,500 entrepre-
neurs from over 60 different industries.

Read through them and picture yourself in the shoes of a 10x entrepreneur—someone
who can multiply anything in life by 10x confidently, enjoyably, and predictably.

1 Transform all your current activities

into Unique Ability® Teamwork—with
you in the center.
2 Transform the management of
your company into a single, fast,
easy, simple system.

Imagine a circle. This represents everything you do Here’s another exercise: Imagine that everyone in
that takes up all of your time. Inside this is a smaller your company just knows what to do. They’re clear
circle of things you do when you’re at your very about how to help the company reach its goals,
best—or what we call your Unique Ability®. and they’re also highly motivated and passionate
about getting those results.
Now imagine taking that smaller circle and expand-
ing it so you get to do much more of what you do In fact, they’re often happier when you’re out of the
best, while everything else you currently spend time office, because they can just get on with the busi-
and energy on is taken care of by others who are ness of growing the company without spending too
good at and enjoy those things. much time reporting to you. You, in turn, trust them
to make the right decisions and give you only the
This is Unique Ability Teamwork, and it’s absolutely feedback you need to create the vision and direc-
critical for growing your results exponentially with- tion for the future to keep them on track.
out growing the complexity of your life and busi-
ness. Your Unique Ability® Team will play a big role Beneath this idyllic reality is a system of communi-
in your growing ability to accomplish so much more cation and problem-solving structures and tools—
within the same circle of available time. processes everyone knows how to use—that
quickly and effectively get everyone on board and
When things are taken care of by the right people, moving forward, no matter the challenge.
you’re freed up to grow the business much faster
and have time for all the other things you enjoy and This is what Unique Teamwork can look like in the
that make your life complete. service of a 10x growth mindset and the clear com-
munication of really big goals with big payoffs.

matching your expertise with the areas where they
most need new direction, confidence, and capability.
Transform your time management
into continually increasing pro- Once you’ve identified what you’re passionate
about, the audience you want to be a hero to, and
ductivity and profitability. where your greatest growth opportunities lie, you’ll
know exactly which opportunities to zero in on and
where you can do some “strategic pruning.”

One of the very first things you learn in Strategic

Coach® is how to think about time in a completely

different way that lets you be more focused, pres-
ent, creative, and energized.
Transform your lifestyle with a
Your time is the one finite resource you have as an higher quantity and quality of
entrepreneur. Get control of it, and you can use it
as a tool to produce all the results you want in Free Days™.
every area of your life.

You’ll have time for everything—whether you’re cre-

ating the biggest results for your business, planning Perhaps you’re already really good at taking free
or developing new capabilities, spending enjoyable time, but if you’re one of the many entrepreneurs
time with your family, or getting relaxed and rejuve- who hasn’t taken a real work-free day in years—
nated away from work. and we’re talking about free from all work-related
thinking and activities—there are huge advantages
Plus, you’ll have the luxury of capturing opportuni- to be gained by taking real time off, scary as it may
ties to grow and enjoy life, knowing that, all the sound.
while, your business is prospering more.
As much as you may love your business, you’ll love
it, and your life, even more when you get to take

some time away from it to explore other things that
offer different kinds of rewards.
Transform your money-making
This could mean climbing mountains, or spending
into a process that multiplies your
more time with your family. (This is the part of the
biggest and best clientele. Program where kids thank us for giving them their
mom or dad back.) And while you’re away, your
team gets a chance to shine in your absence, de-
veloping new confidence and strengths that enable
them to multiply the business on their own.
Once you zero in on what you love to do and do
best—your Unique Ability—the question becomes,
You’ll be a better parent, a better leader, and simply
“Who rewards me best for doing this?”
a nicer person to be around when you have guilt-
and-stress-free time off—not to mention that you'll
Your best clientele are willing to pay for bigger, bet-
actually make more money.
ter solutions. To create these, you need to focus on
and simplify your money-making activities so
Wasn’t being free to spend your time as you
you’re not distracted from opportunities by a team
wanted part of why you became an entrepreneur in
or systems that aren’t up to the task, and you’re
the first place?
not overwhelmed by too many opportunities.

A very satisfying way to do this is to create and

package a “dream solution” for your dream market,

your vision and goals will contribute exponentially

more than “batteries not included” people, who
Transform all your marketing and might be bright and talented but aren’t fully engaged.

selling into a unique solution with Set these four qualities as your standard, and you’ll
no competition. notice a change in energy around your business as
everyone starts to enjoy collaborating and even just
coming into work a whole lot more.

When you’re the only one offering water in a desert,

you don’t have to do a lot of marketing and selling
to move your product. The need for marketing and
selling is inversely proportional to how desirable Greatly extend your healthy life-
and essential your product is. time and your active, creative,
When your product is essential, people look for you
and productive career.
rather than you having to look for them. When it
helps them get something they deeply desire,
you’re out of the world of price competition and
into a realm of unique value creation. Imagine yourself at “retirement age,” whatever that
means for you. Now, imagine you’re at a peak in
Imagine you have an intimate knowledge of your terms of your health, relationships, and business
clients and prospects—what keeps them up at success, engaged in activities that constantly fasci-
night, what they’re most excited about, and what nate and motivate you. You love what you’re doing
they’ve got going for them that they’d like to put to and the life it provides you. So why would you stop?
even better use. Then combine this understanding
with what you know and do best, creating “dream When you develop the ability to multiply anything
solutions” that your clients love and your competi- you want by 10x and doing it is increasingly fun and
tion can’t even understand, much less copy. rewarding, you’ll discover enough goals to keep you
loving your entrepreneurial life for decades.
This is the true essence of entrepreneurship, and it
takes you outside the bounds of what others in
your “industry” are thinking and doing. Eventually,
The Strategic Coach Program: A total
you learn how to package and distribute your support system for entrepreneurs
unique value so that your ideas are out there selling
you 24/7, rather than you having to sell them.
dedicated to 10x growth.
Just by reading these 8 transformations, you've
gained a new context for thinking about your busi-

ness and your future. But any good plan only be-
comes a reality when you have the practical structure
Transform your support team so
and tools to make it happen in your daily life.
that everyone is alert, curious,
responsive, and resourceful. This is what the Strategic Coach Program provides:
a complete, proven support system to help you
make the 8 transformations you’ve just read about.

When you’re trying to grow exponentially, there’s

really no room for dead weight.

Alert, curious, responsive, and resourceful people

who have a talent for their role and are aligned with


The Strategic Coach Approach to

Overcoming Commoditization



Entrepreneurs, regardless of the size or nature of their commodity language to describe it to your clientele.
businesses, are being caught in what we call “The In order for it to be properly presented, you need to
Commoditization Trap.” Probably the best description “package” it in a unique fashion.
of this trap comes from a book published in 1999
called The Lexus And The Olive Tree by Thomas L. You need to fundamentally change your attitude
Friedman: about what you’re doing as an entrepreneur. From
this point forward, you’ll be selling commodities only
“A commodity is any good, service or process to implement various parts of what we call your
that can be produced by any number of firms, Unique Process™. The Unique Process—the step-by-
and the only distinguishing feature between these step way in which you create value—will be the cen-
firms is who can do it cheapest. Having your tral organizing structure of your innovation,
product or service turned into a commodity is no marketing, research, and development.
fun because it means your profit margins will be-
come razor thin, you will have dozens of competi-
tors, and all you can do every day is make that
product or service cheaper and sell more of it
than the next guy, or die.”
The forces of commoditization are presenting busi-
nesses with a tough decision: Either make your living
in the global commodity economy based on volume
selling and razor-thin margins or transform your busi-
ness so that it’s part of the global experience econ-
omy where you can raise your prices as you increase
the quality of the unique experience you offer.
Producing a unique experience
5. Unique
through constantly increasing value
Process ™

Unique experiences don’t just happen. You can’t cre-

ate them simply by improving the quality of your prod- 4.
ucts and services. The movement into the experience 1.
economy requires transforming your entire approach
with prospects, clients, and customers. It requires that 3. 2.
you focus everything you do on value creation.

This is what makes you different in the marketplace,

but it has been devalued until now because you used

Overcoming Commoditization

Seven steps to packaging your tive. But to start, there is only one package you need:
unique value. a one-page diagram, in color, that clearly shows
1. Start charging for “added value.” someone your complete process and the name of
Stop giving away your value for free to help sell com- each stage. You could produce limited copies for an
modities. Charge for all of it—as early in the process initial trial phase in the marketplace.
as possible.
6. Sell the process.
2. Name the stages of your value process. Now, go out and start selling. Our experience tells us
Go through the entire process that now leads to the that, out of the first ten attempts, you will get be-
commodity sale. Identify every contact point with tween three and five sales. The first cheque you re-
your clients and customers where you deliver value. ceive will totally transform your entrepreneurial
Write down each of these “deliverables” as a sepa- consciousness, confidence, and capability.
rate item and draw a circle, box, or arrow around it.
Then, connect all of them as a process. These are the 7. Constantly improve.
stages of your Unique Process. Give each stage a After your first trial phase, modify your process to
unique name. make it better. Increase your pricing as soon as possi-
ble. Keep doing this, adding new support packaging,
3. Name the process itself. for the rest of your career. As you experience success
Once you have the names of all the stages, ask your- in charging for your process, you will find new areas of
self this question: “What is the central benefit that the value creation that can be added and charged for.
entire process provides?” Consider the most impor-
tant dangers it eliminates, the most important oppor- Obstacles to charging for your
tunities it captures, and the most important strengths wisdom.
it reinforces. From this thinking, a name will emerge. Once you’ve outlined and packaged your process,
your commodity-trained mind will come up with all
4. Price the process and stages. sorts of reasons why charging for it is impossible:
Take a look at each of the deliverable stages in your
process. Ask yourself, “If this single stage of value cre- • “It just isn’t done this way.”
ation were my only business in the marketplace, how • “My competitors don’t do it, so why should I?”
much would I charge clients and customers to go • “If I start charging, I’ll lose all the competitive ad-
through it?” Establish two prices: a starting price and a vantages I have.”
target price you’d like to charge after success has in- • “Clients and prospects will think this is crazy.”
creased your confidence. Price each of the stages in • “Everybody knows that prospects are interested in
this fashion. Then, add them all up to find the overall one thing and one thing only: the lowest possible
price for someone to go through your entire process. price for the commodity.”
• “My industry doesn’t ‘allow’ me to charge for my
5. Package the process. value.”
Packaging is a continual journey. You will always be • “My wisdom and creativity aren’t really worth all
finding new ways to make your process more distinc-

Overcoming Commoditization

It’s about their future and your

that much.” wisdom.
• “I don’t know how to get started.” Packaging and charging for value enables clients and
customers to have a bigger and better future—not as
Here’s the real obstacle. The fact is that the way you you define that future, but as they do; not based on
talk about your wisdom and creativity makes it sound selling your products and services, but rather on
like a commodity. So, in order to begin overcoming transforming their dangers, opportunities, and
all these other obstacles, you have to change the strengths. To bring about this transformation, you
very language you use to describe what you do. have to give your clientele direct access to all of your
entrepreneurial wisdom and do it in a uniquely pack-
Escaping from the trap. aged fashion that always differentiates you from
Using a metaphor from nature, the global economy is everyone else in the marketplace.
moving from being a caterpillar to a butterfly. In this
economic metamorphosis, everything is being com- Having a predictable entrepreneurial
moditized in order to free up resources for the next future in an unpredictable world.
stage. The more that consumers can save on com- We always tell Strategic Coach® entrepreneurs, “You
modities, the more they can spend on unique experi- might as well live a great life, because you’re going
ences. What people are looking for are unique to put in the time anyway.” A great life for entrepre-
entrepreneurial processes that enable them to elimi- neurs means one where they can deal with the future
nate their most important dangers, capture their best on their terms, achieving greater creativity, profitabil-
opportunities, and maximize their greatest strengths.
ity, and satisfaction, and having clients who provide
The entrepreneurs who can innovate these
not only increasing amounts of money, but also long-
processes will experience constant success and in- range commitment and partnership.
creasing profitability. Those who continue to make
and sell commodities can expect increasing difficul-
ties of every kind.

1. Identify and document what you’re already doing to create
value for your clients. Share this with your clients and team.

2. Look at each point of contact with your clients and see what you could do to
further strengthen and package the experience you provide.

3. Read our Knowledge Products, Industry Transformers and The Dan Sullivan
Question by Dan Sullivan, available in our online store at

28 28

The Strategic Coach Approach to

Leadership vs. Management


Leadership vs.


Leadership vs.

Successful entrepreneurs are leaders. In a fast-changing, commodity-based world, a

They have a vision of a bigger future that strong leader who can help those around them
be more clear, confident, and capable is of im-
will benefit those around them—their team, measurable value. Let’s look at five distinctions
their clients, their family, their community, that will help you to see more clearly your role
and in some cases, the world. This always as a leader in your company.
involves new ideas, and new and creative
In control vs. in charge.
ways of solving problems for people. In all First, let’s draw the distinction between “in
these areas of a leader’s life, they provide control” and “in charge.” Being in control
direction—which in turn gives others clarity, means running and controlling an established
confidence, and greater capabilities. system. Being in charge means “charging up”
your team with your vision and getting them
excited. With the world changing rapidly,
someone needs to be looking out for the over-
all company and anticipating what’s needed
next for future success.

In Control In Charge

Management Leadership

Process Unique Talent

Quality Improvement Innovation

Process Manager Project Manager

Leadership vs. Management

“Well-managed company. In the digital age, some of these abilities

aren’t inside your company. Leaders are always look-

companies take all ing for abilities, both internal and external, that will
multiply and expand the organization.
the activities in the Quality improvement vs. innovation.
company and turn The fourth distinction is that the primary objective of
the manager is constant quality improvement. If there
them into docu- are glitches in the system, the manger fixes them.
mented processes.” The primary goal of the leader, on the other hand, is
innovation. The leader is always asking, “What do
customers want to buy next? What will they pay more
for? What improves our position in the marketplace?”
The manager’s job is to then take over the innovations
Management vs. leadership. (new capabilities, products, and experiences) once
Being in charge is about directing and providing lead- they start to become profitable. It’s like a relay, with the
ership, while being in control is about management. leader focused on the broad result and the manager
The leader’s job is to look beyond the horizon to figuring out the means.
make sure that what the company is doing stays rele-
vant to the outside world, while the managers control A lot of leaders fall short because they never give the
the existing systems. It’s very hard for someone to be team a clear picture of what the results look like. As
equally good at both managing and leading—they’re the leader, your job is to set up the framework—con-
two very different functions. sistently communicating to everyone what the game
is, how to win, and what it looks like when the game
Process vs. unique talent. is won. Then others can adjust their efforts, skills,
Well-managed companies take all the activities in the abilities, and resources to that vision. Team members
company and turn them into documented processes. know how to win inside their processes, but it’s hard
These either show the company’s value creation for them to expand their processes if they don’t see
process or are geared to the work flow, how the clients the bigger game being played.
are supported, and so on. These processes help sell
and also ensure that the company is getting things Process manager vs. project manager.
done in the most sensible, effective, and efficient The fifth distinction is the difference between a
way—using the unique talents of the people involved. process manager and a project manager. What’s
For the most part, people who are good managers are missing in most entrepreneurial organizations is a
skilled at converting things into processes. They can connection between the leaders and the managers.
see all the moving parts and how they fit together. There’s an intervening person needed, and that per-
Leaders, on the other hand, are really good at seeing son is a project manager. First, let’s look at process
individual areas of Unique Ability® that will expand the managers. The greatest love of a process manager is

Leadership vs. Management

managing processes that already exist and con- they want to be your partner in fleshing it out to see if
stantly improving them. The greatest love of a project it’ll work. The process manager will take the idea and
manager is doing something new. Again, these are say, “Well, I’m already doing all this other stuff, so
two different kinds of people. where does it fit in?” The project manager will fit it in.
Their responses are neither right nor wrong. The key
Here’s a quick way of understanding the difference lies in distinguishing the right person to share new
between these two in action. Have you ever gone ideas with and how your organization is going to buy
back to your office really excited about a new idea into your new idea.
and shared it with a team member, but found they
weren’t quite as excited as you were? If so, you were Focus on being in charge.
probably talking to a process manager. Process Now that you have these five distinctions, you can
managers already have a list of current processes get really clear on your role as the leader in your
that are tied to making money, and their list is more company. The role you play is invaluable—you’re in
important than anything you’re going to come up charge of innovating new ideas and solutions and of
with. As a result, the new idea goes to the bottom of setting the context for the future growth of the organ-
their list. You’ve brought them a new idea, but it ization. Get the right process and project managers
doesn’t mean money to them yet. in place, let them manage the processes within your
company, and you’ll be freed up to use your Unique
A project manager is different. When you bring them Ability to provide direction, confidence, and capabili-
a new idea, it’s immediately exciting to them, and ties to your clientele and to your organization.
they love the idea of implementing it. Right away,

1. Share these five distinctions with your team.

2. Define what is and what isn’t your role as the leader in charge.

3. Identify your project and process managers, and outline the unique talents
needed to help your company grow.

What entrepreneurial breakthroughs can you expect when you
join the Program? Call us to find out!

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