The Flywheel: A Lesson for Persistance & Growing Your Business

10 replies
Thought I'd break this out into its own thread, since a lot of people should benefit from it:

Originally Posted by nyk24 View Post

As soon as I started speaking in a flat, couldn't care less tone I found skipping round gatekeepers was a piece of cake and until this morning I did not think that was possible.
I emphasized that.

Gatekeepers are a problem until you realize they are not.

Prospecting is difficult until you realize it is not.

Calling is filled with tension until you realize it does not have to be that way.

99% of calling issues you're experiencing are in your head. We call this "head trash."

There's a weird thing that happens with growing your business. Things don't work, don't work, don't work, don't work and then suddenly WORK.

This has been called the flywheel concept.

This giant wheel is completely still. You walk over and try to make it turn. The thing is so heavy, it has so much inertia invested in staying still, you have to strain and strain to get it moving. It simply seems to not want to turn.

You start your business and begin prospecting for the first time. It's difficult and you try and try to get customers. Frantically, you change your script, your call times, your approach. Nothing seems to work.

Most people give up at this point.


After some time and effort, the wheel finally begins to turn. It's difficult; you really have to keep putting your back into it. But it is turning.

After weeks or months, you have some customers. People around town are starting to recognize your company name. There's a little bit of branding in the air. Someone actually calls you looking for what you do.

Now that the wheel is turning, it takes only a little more effort to make it spin even faster. You tap the wheel and it goes flying. Inertia is now on your side.

You're getting referrals. Your prospecting calls are so easy now; people want to talk to you. It all seems so sudden--just a few weeks or months ago, you were struggling so much and now it's so easy. A critical mass of prospecting has been reached. You have plenty of projects in the pipeline, so if one drops out, Who Cares? There's another or two more to take its place. The anxiety you felt at the start is gone. Nothing is "on the line"; one fizzle of an opportunity is no big deal. The business is working.

You can get here, or you can give up after an incredibly brief attempt and say "It didn't work." Yeah, right...you didn't get that flywheel turning.
#busines #flywheel #growing #lesson #persistance
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post


    Gatekeepers are a problem until you realize they are not.

    Prospecting is difficult until you realize it is not.
    Brilliant. I'm using this.
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  • Profile picture of the author toddfromboston
    Jason,

    Appreciate the Flywheel idea. It's very true. Within the last few weeks I've been finding cold calling... not exactly enjoyable, but much easier to do. Especially when you have a great hook to lead in with. I've been using Groupon for leads as well as those free used car and real estate magazines.

    I call and ask for who is in charge of it and ask to speak with that person. Mention to that person I saw the ad, and I have a way that has been proving to (insert benefit that niche is looking for: increase sales volume, lead gen, customer retention etc...). It would take me 10-15 minutes to explain, do they have a 10-15 minute window of free time sometime this week that I could drop by (Omar Periu teaches to use the phrase drop by or swing through, never say "have a meeting" or anything like that)

    I've been able to land several appointments because of it. Met with all of them and most want to speak further once the new year is in full swing. Though, I was able to close a small deal yesterday. Small as it is, there is potential for growth.

    It feels like the flywheel is getting easier to turn now.

    Thank you for all of your insight, I've learned a lot from you and others since frequenting the offline forum.

    Happy Holidays!

    -Todd (from Boston)
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    Best piece of advice I've ever received... "Listen, just shut the F*#^ up and listen!" (Because there's always going to be people who have been doing what you do/ want to do for much longer. Shut up, listen to them and learn from them)
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  • More good stuff from JK. If you don't know what a flywheel is check it out here:

    Flywheel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Here is an interesting excerpt from that article:

    "...common uses of a flywheel include:
    • They provide continuous energy when the energy source is discontinuous. For example, flywheels are used in reciprocating engines because the energy source, torque from the engine, is intermittent.
    • They deliver energy at rates beyond the ability of a continuous energy source. This is achieved by collecting energy in the flywheel over time and then releasing the energy quickly, at rates that exceed the abilities of the energy source."
    Cool, huh? The flywheel works even when the energy source (you) are not currently making calls. Not only that, your initial effort is increased over time.

    Make them calls, baby.
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      One thing to not forget is that, even though the flywheel pushes much easier after you get momentum....you still can't stop pushing.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        One thing to not forget is that, even though the flywheel pushes much easier after you get momentum....you still can't stop pushing.
        True, but you'll be getting referral business, new business from sources you've never even talked with...you can cut back calling and still bring in more leads.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

          True, but you'll be getting referral business, new business from sources you've never even talked with...you can cut back calling and still bring in more leads.

          Jason..... Stop.... Making..... Me..... THINK!

          Yes, yes,yes. An intelligent marketer has all of that built in. Repeat customers, add on sales, referrals, people you talked to weeks ago, but you're giving them another shot....

          But all of this requires effort. Almost none of it happens on its own.

          I like to think of a jet. It uses a huge amount of fuel to get to 35,000 feet. But from that point on, it almost coasts to its destination.
          After you get to 35,000 feet, it's literally all downhill to the destination.

          But if you cut back all the thrust, it's not pretty.
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          • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
            Jason,

            Good stuff but would expect nothing less. As they say in a certain niche, you gotta make your bones and you have made yours. Your presentation is ez to follow and extremely understandable.

            I say that given Claude understood it Oops, did I really pick on a senior citizen?

            Once again IMHO the piece of advice most important is you have to get started. Period. End of story. Wishing, hoping, thinking won't get it done. YOU HAVE TO START.

            Good show...

            Tom
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            • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
              Yes, you must start. Start where you are. Don't wish for better this or better that...start.

              Let me give an example. In the mid 2000s I took a contract role to start up a metal fab shop bought by a friend who had another job and couldn't run the thing. It had been left to be run by the employees by an absentee owner. The branding had slipped, the reputation was bad and moral was low.

              Fortunately, Vancouver was in the middle of a housing boom. So if you could offer the combination of quality work and on-time delivery, you could do well.

              Problem was, the new owner had changed the name of the business...the phone number of the business...and nobody knew where it was except the previous clients who had had a bad experience.

              Fun place to start from.

              Yours truly didn't know much about steel and aluminum, either, except what I'd learned about steel in school about 10 years earlier.

              Anyway I got on the phone and started calling builders, contractors, architects. I sucked. I didn't know what would interest them. They'd ask questions and I wouldn't know the answers. Didn't matter. They badly wanted that combination of quality product and on-time delivery. I could get the answers.

              After a week or so of calling, I had pain points direct from the horse's mouth, and a script firing on all cylinders. Every word out of my mouth made my new contact want to learn more...and then make use of us.

              A couple months in, after I'd learned the new terminology and could answer questions, I started calling ex-customers. The ones who would be wary. I got a lot of them back. They called me "politely persistent," which was a carry-over from my credit manager days.

              And still the business worked in fits and starts. We'd run out of work. I'd have to jump in a truck and drive around looking for construction sites. A few hours later and we'd have ourselves a custom 3/8" bracket project to hold up the house or something.

              I learned how to program and operate the fine plasma cutting table.

              Finally I hit on the idea of going after repeat projects with high-end custom home builders. Gates, stair railings, chimney caps. Six at a time. Thousands and thousands of dollars...and, provided I met my delivery dates, I could creep my prices up 5-8% every time.

              Now we started to make money.

              Had to hire on more people. Had to move the shop because we needed more space.

              People I'd never talked to or met were getting out of their trucks in front of my place and saying they'd been referred there.

              This was about six months in.

              No longer did I have to bid. No longer was I in competition with other shops. I could set my price, because word had gotten around: these guys do what they say they'll do.

              After that, the problems stopped being those of sales & marketing. They become purely operational: How was I going to fulfill on all of this work?

              And then my workshop supervisor broke his kneecap. Off to the hospital for months, and years of botched surgeries later...someone had to run the whole business. That's another story. Good thing I'm an operations management guy first...

              But you see how the flywheel works. There were days early on when I thought we were going to fail. But every time I got into the truck, I knew I could pull enough work out to keep going for a couple days. Once I honed in on my target market, and started getting that base of business to cover our expenses to start with, then I could continue to build the revenue stream. The growing reputation did things and gave me reach that I could not achieve on my own. That's the flywheel at work. So get started, and keep at it.

              Originally Posted by sandalwood View Post

              Jason,

              Good stuff but would expect nothing less. As they say in a certain niche, you gotta make your bones and you have made yours. Your presentation is ez to follow and extremely understandable.

              I say that given Claude understood it Oops, did I really pick on a senior citizen?

              Once again IMHO the piece of advice most important is you have to get started. Period. End of story. Wishing, hoping, thinking won't get it done. YOU HAVE TO START.

              Good show...

              Tom
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              • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
                People say perpetual motion doesn't exist. I invite them to read your post #9 in this thread. That sir, is what starting is all about. Once you start you don't even realize what you just accomplished.

                We used to have a saying when I was on active duty, "Before, I couldn't even spell G.I., now I are one." Sounds eerily similar...

                Tom
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                • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
                  Originally Posted by sandalwood View Post

                  People say perpetual motion doesn't exist. I invite them to read your post #9 in this thread. That sir, is what starting is all about. Once you start you don't even realize what you just accomplished.

                  We used to have a saying when I was on active duty, "Before, I couldn't even spell G.I., now I are one." Sounds eerily similar...

                  Tom
                  Yup. It takes consistent effort, and the 'tude that "I'm not going anywhere, I'm not quitting, no matter what."

                  Most people quit after a few days. Maybe a week.
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