Every now and then we have a guest that brings a very impactful message to our audience that we feel it's important to bring it to the forefront again.
Eleanor Beaton is one of those guests and I wanted to replay her March 22nd episode here in the best of series.
How about this boundary? Only pursuing opportunities that offer the potential of adding 7 figures to the top line.
Eleanor Beaton is the Founder and CEO of Safi Media. She is on a mission to double the number of 7-figure women business owners by 2030 through business coaching, entrepreneurship education and story telling. We talk about the filters that Eleanor uses when evaluating opportunities, and dig down into niching – how to know when it is time to narrow your focus, and the bliss and pain of executing on this strategy.
We'll discuss CEO time and what it is, as learn what a 'Jewel Business' is and why you want one! (HINT: 30% open time for the founder is one of the foundation pieces)
Learn How To Double Your Prices In 20 Minutes
Buying the right products, having the right product to sell and the right strategy to market it – these are all important for your success, of course. However, come to this workshop and find out there is so much more to financial success for you. What Monica teaches is not “woo woo” either; it’s based in science.
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million dollar opportunities. That is a boundary that Eleanor Beaton has put into her business that anything new that she's going to do has to have the potential of a seven figure outcome. We're going to talk about that we're going to talk about the four key things that she filters these opportunities by in addition to the revenue opportunity before they are allowed into her business. We're also going to talk about niching CEO time and how to start being a CEO in your business.
This is the real bottom line, where we tell entrepreneurial stories about true grit and perseverance from frontline business owners themselves. Now, let's get started.
Hello, and welcome to the real bottom line. Today. My special guest is Eleanor Beaton, CEO and founder of Saffy media. Welcome Eleanor.
Hey, it's so great to be here.
So excited to have you. This is an entrepreneur. This is a podcast for entrepreneurs. And you are an entrepreneur extraordinaire. So I am so looking for hearing about your journey. Did you always think that you would be the CEO of a seven figure business?
No, I thought I was going to be an investment banker slash supermodel. When I was growing up with I think we may have discussed this. So I'm six feet tall. I was always like super tall, gangly and skinny. And I grew up in the age of the supermodel like Naomi Campbell, and eventually so I would look at them. And I was like, I am currently tall and scrawny. Maybe I too, can be a supermodel one day. So they were like, you know, when I was growing up, people didn't want to be actresses, they wanted to be supermodel. So there was that. And then my big role model in life was my Aunt Linda Davis, who was a very successful investment banker, turned financial thriller writer. And so she really kind of paved the way for, you know, what's possible when you have financial independence what a badass leader looks like. So that's what I wanted to be when I was growing up, I had no aspirations to be an entrepreneur.
Isn't that funny? So I think you, George Michael, just obviously forgot to call you for the freedom video, but otherwise
did. Yeah, he did. And I was 14, I might I had no, I would not have gotten permission. But I felt like that was the kind of thing that I was destined to do.
Absolutely. Without a toenail. Spreading your beauty and other ways as an author, right? That's right, exactly. How did you get to where you are? Like, were you? Did you ever have a real job?
Yes. So I was a journalist, I worked in advertising, and I worked in PR. And so in the beginning of my career, it was all in the area of like communication. And, you know, entrepreneurship came to me through my mom and my husband. So when I was, you know, first embarking on my career, I can remember my mom coming to visit me in Toronto. And she was urging me and encouraging me to think about choosing careers, where I would be able to combine ambition with family life. And, you know, after Sheryl Sandberg wrote her book Lean In, she basically kind of discouraged that kind of thing. She said that she felt that women were leaning out, you know, of the workforce too soon, we were making too many plans around our ambition that we should just lead into our mission. My mom encouraged me to think about, hey, if you want to have a very full life, you want to think about what a career looks like, that allows you to put those two together. And so I always had that in my mind. And as I was working different jobs, I was also like, worked as a communications, kind of a communication specialist inside a big company. I thought about that. And I was like, I don't know if I could combine this with a job. You know, with a family life with a Philip, I have to like be here from this time to this time. And then it was really my husband who was raised on a farm. Most of he's the youngest of seven, most of his siblings were entrepreneurs. He encouraged me to think about how I could take the skills that I had as a writer and a communicator, and create my own thing out of them. And so that's what I did.
I actually love that your mother brought that up. I say that, too. I talk to business owners all the time, or people who are contemplating business ownership and I say, please don't do what I did. Build your business and then wonder where your life went. I'm like, build your life. Decide what you want your life to be like and if it means that you want August off build a business around that.
Yeah. So and I think it like and and I think that so much of how we look at the world of work is still based around sort of the industrial age. It's so much different now but we don't sometimes exercise the freedom that we have as entrepreneurs. I feel
I feel the tug and pull of that all the time Eleanor so I, I look at as entrepreneurs we are in a result driven economy, whereas when we were working for others, we were rewarded for time and effort. And to make that shift in our mind is super duper hard for a lot of entrepreneurs, you know, because they have to be the example for all their employees, etc, etc. So I have to work more hours. Did you start that way? And did you managed to get out of that? And how did you do it? Yeah, I
totally started that way. So my first business was a communications consulting business. And so I, I created and it was everything from like copywriting. I did long form copywriting, I ghost wrote books, I developed crisis communication strategies, I did communications, consulting, and training, like everything that had to do with communicating. And that was my first business. And I sold myself, I didn't understand that I was in the professional development business. So I had like a a group of contractors who did other specialized things that I would call on to take on bigger projects, and I grew that company through taking on bigger projects. But I never systematized or productized, my expertise, I would could never find somebody who could do it as good as I thought I could, you know, and certainly the idea of even training up somebody felt like a massive waste of time to me. So I was very much stuck in a very limited business model. And only time, I was selling time, and you can make good money doing that. But the problem comes when eventually the thing that you love to do becomes like a prison and a burden. You're burnt out and tired, and you have no real way out of it. And that's how I started sort of realizing that I had come to the end of my career doing this, but I still wasn't sure where to go next.
So true. For people who follow you, Eleanor, the power presence and position podcast, very good listening, I highly recommend. The interesting piece on that side is I've followed your journey there. And I feel like you've made your life in business, a lab, and you are the research subject. And so, like I said to you in the green room, I think you the Tim Ferriss of women's leadership coaching, all a lot of the lessons are things that you've gone through, tried and true, and then come up with them a better way. Yeah, if I'm saying that, right.
Yeah, well, it's like, if you think about it, it's kind of what I stand for, and what our company stands for, and represents. So if you think about the world of entrepreneurship, and business and leadership, it's dominated by male voices. And it's dominated by male voices, who position themselves largely as the guru, and do what I say, you know, and, and so for women, founders and entrepreneurs, I didn't want that, you know, I felt as though I was a part of a movement, you know, part of a movement. For the last, you know, decade, women have been starting businesses at a really fast rate anywhere from two to five times the national average, depending on who you are talking to. And I never felt that I wanted to position myself as this guru. I think people have done that to women for so long, you know, for lots of people, but especially to women. And I really felt that if you're going to work with people, they have to be able to retain their sovereignty when they're working with you. So I've always really put myself in the community, you know, that we support. I'm anchored there. Yeah. And so I would say, I would say that's correct. Like, as we find better ways to do things. We do that, but at the heart of you know, what we, and I also think at the beginning of a path of selling knowledge, you're often you know, that knowledge is you're on a steep learning curve. And so what your teaching changes, then you get to this place where it's a different level of mastery, and what you teach really kind of stays, there's more consistency there over time. You know, like, you're not changing. Yeah, as much and so,
there's no need to pivot because you're, you've, you've eliminated a bunch of variables and so
found your place. Yeah, you found your place in the ecosystem. Yeah, sweet spot.
How have your boundaries and non negotiables changed over the last three to five years?
Ah, such a good question. So I was really willing to travel. I really traveled a lot for a like a four year period in my business. So I'm based in Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada. The vast majority of our clients are from everywhere else, basically. And I did a ton of traveling and felt that I needed to in order to be able to build the car In the relationships that I wanted to build to get the kinds of rooms that I wanted to get into, have the impact and reach. And then I was getting tired of it, though, you know, and COVID hit. And that just completely stopped all of my traveling. And I loved it. I truly loved it. And you know, like, I'm going on a trip at the end of this month, and it's the first business trip I've been on in forever, like, I have not been in a business trip in two years, over two years. So I think that that that is a new non negotiable, like I just won't travel in that same way. So that's like a non negotiable. The other kind of non negotiable is, I'm really not going to create something unless I feel it's going to be a million dollar revenue stream. And that's a big difference, too. Yeah, like I. And that's kind of what I was talking about earlier. Like, once you get you get to this level of maturity, where you see the things that you have, they worked really effectively. And so it's not that I won't experiment, like I'll totally try, like, I'm okay with experimentation. But I really see now what's involved, like I have a much stronger sense of product creation and development. And I'm not really going to take attention away from the core things that we do, unless I feel there's a significant opportunity. So I would say that's another actual boundary. That is kind of a big change that has happened over the last three years.
You it sounds like Yeah, I mean, level of Yeah, of decision making there. Yeah, yeah. What is the opportunity filter? What are you? What is the what are the characteristics of a million dollar idea?
Well, for me, the first is that it needs to advance our vision and mission. So the our, the vision of Saffy media is to advance global gender equity and a model of economic growth that actually nourishes the planet, one woman owned business at a time, this is all about sustainable growth, you know, and that lens, our mission is to double the number of female founders who scale past a million by 2030. So through business, education, entrepreneurship, education, business, coaching, and storytelling. So that's like filter number one, you know, like filter, number one, fulfill the mission and the vision 100%. And so we know, you know, like, we have really focused over the last three years to really focusing exclusively on core a couple of core offerings that serve the women's, you know, female founders, who are scaling service based businesses. So when I look at opportunities, I look at that that ecosystem, like, is this something for this group? And if not, is it something that is for another part of that ecosystem for policymakers for corporate like, whatever? But yeah, like, that's a huge one. Is it mission driven, you know, is going to be? The second thing that I asked myself is, is it? How scalable is this? Yeah, you know, that's like an obviously, if we want it to scale to a million, I do ask myself that question. Is it going to be fun? And does this take advantage of the real of our genius? So is it could this easily be done? Is there somebody else who should do this? And this is something that we don't think about enough? You know, like, I remember when I started out, I was just creating products. I didn't care who was out there doing it. Like, I wasn't even I wasn't even paying attention. It's not that I didn't care. I didn't think about it. Now. I'm much more like, who else is doing this? Is this what we really should be doing? Or is there our own piece of this that we could take and really contribute? You know, here? Or if am I creating something that looks like what everybody else has? So I'm just taking resources away? Like, I never used to think about that. But I do now. Because, you know, because I guess the other thing is now, you know, one big shift is that I initially as I was building my business, I was much more sort of focused on my effort. And going it alone, you know, even when I started designing a more scalable business. Now I am, you know, a big part of the personal development work that I have had to do has been around being willing, willing to be vulnerable, to partner with other people to connect with other people in the right way. Like, you're probably never gonna see me with a business partner other than my husband. But never say never. But you know, but be able to collaborate to, you know, in a smart way. Yeah,
it's interesting. Some of the studying I do is all about collaboration, looking at your competitors as potential collaborators. And yeah, it's changing your mindset and I guess it's a little bit blue ocean versus red ocean. All those Yeah, studies. One of the things that you've talked about just for And I think some of the things you've been talking about lately, and I feel that you've touched upon it here is CEO time. And so your role has somewhat evolved, because now you're almost finding ways to not be involved in the product other than the creation of may be providing, obviously zone genius. However, it feels like you're like, How can I create this? Have others do it? Or maybe I've got that wrong, but I feel like your role as CEO has evolved. Can you comment on?
Yeah, it totally has. And so in the beginning, you know, you're kind of doing everything, as I think you should be, you know, I always saw some people will say, Oh, you know, I'm a visionary. I'm not a manager, I'm like, No, I'm 100%. visionary and manager, like, I love the details of a business. And I think the devil is in the details. And God is in the details, like, where are the things fit together? That's often where it meets your clients experience. And, and I really think about that, you know, and my team, you know, will kind of joke with me sometimes, but because I will be like, on things. And so it's not micromanaging. But I'll notice, if I think if my instincts are that something is starting to happen, I'll bring it up. And, you know, they'll kind of joke with me about is this really a problem, and I will be like, you know, in my mind, the way that I think about it is, if the Ritz Hotel allowed its customers to spot the problems before it did, it wouldn't be the Ritz, you know, like a part of what you're doing is deciding what the standard is, and, and trying, and that doesn't happen overnight, you know, like that happens through experience. And so but to your point, like so that, you know, I'm very detail oriented, always have been very detailed in terms of building up the programs, knowing that it's all in the details. And so really being focused on that creating systems to make sure that I'm being clear about what I expect, and, and that other people can then go and take it, and they add their genius and elevate it and all of that. But, so to me, there's going to be difference between how I do this and how others do this. So when someone comes to invest in the type of work that we do, it's often because they have been attracted to a point of view that I embody. And so it's really important to me to remain close like to understand in the delivery of our product of our offerings, where are those high value touch points that are essential for me to be a part of. So it's never been like, I kind of create it, and then other people do it. There's lots of businesses where that would be the case. And there could be people who do what I do, where they decide that that's how they want it. But from my perspective, it's, it's important to me that so we've identified hey, here are these places where I need to be a part of this, it's very high value for our clients, our customer experience, and also for me, personally. So I would say that, however, definitely getting out of a lot more day to day operations, making room for people to step up and grow and blossom. And that's like the most fun thing about creating a business. You create a world where people can contribute the best of who they are, and become something that they weren't, you know what I mean, you you create with them, a world that is nurturing and health is not perfect, you know, but it's this incredible thing. And so, yeah, I've stepped back a lot. So for instance, I have 30%, CEO open time, yeah, every week. And then the first week of every month, I am out of day to day operations and working on still working, it just looks a lot different.
It feels like it allows you to be in a good headspace. Because sometimes I find, as soon as you slow down, as soon as you go to coffee by yourself. It's almost like you open the floodgates to all ideas in the any energy.
Yeah, I know. Right? And it's, yeah, and it's like, what makes it so much fun. And it's what you know, and, and the thing is to, you know, that, as I have found, especially like the work that we do, it's complex, that you're in there with people and their businesses. You're really in there with them as you can relate to it, you know, so you're totally in there. It's complex, and it takes a lot. And so what can happen is that it takes more energy than you realize. And if you are spending a lot of your time there as a leader, you don't have the bandwidth or capacity to take care of the business and the team like just take care of the business as a whole and grow it. You know what I mean? Like take it to the next so it was just but you know, I've tried to do it Too early. Oh, like I've tried to do that before, not realizing how important it is for the founder to be involved in the creation of systems. I try it used to try to have other people helped me create the systems. And that didn't work.
Yep. Fair enough? Do you feel like your entire life is about reaching the pinnacle of business success, solid referrals, a steady stream of leads in the pipeline profit year after year? But what's next for you? Are you going to keep working hard, hoping that the money will magically start multiplying in ways that you don't even know about now? Maybe you'll pick up an investment property or two to add to your portfolio? Can you even retire? Can you step back or step away or exit completely, and not lose everything built? If you don't have the answers to these questions, you are not alone. This is exactly why I created the total wealth accelerator, a program designed specifically to show you the successful business owner, how to build your own private wealth portfolio. Because there's more to you than your business. And there should be more to your wealth than what you make from the business you've created. I want to show you how go to the total wealth accelerate now to learn more. That's total wealth accelerator.com. Here's something I want to ask you is, it feels like you have incredible amount of focus right now. Have you ever been a squirrel or shiny Blinky thing person? And you had to learn how to focus? Or have you always been a focuser?
I would say not to brag, but I would, I would say that I find focusing easier than some people were sometimes I'm like, I do not know what is up with you right now. So I generally am like a relatively focused person. However, I think, I definitely think that part of my development, there were parts of my development as an entrepreneur, when I didn't trust myself. And I thought that other people had the answers. And I didn't realize, you know, and that was, and, like, I thought that other people had answers that I didn't have. And I thought if I just did it their way, you know, really not. And it's an it's how so much of entrepreneurship education is set up, you have to do it this way. Like, here's the step by step process. And so what happens is, you take the sovereignty away from the founder, and they're never happy with what they built. Right? You know, and then the other side of this is that there's no direction.
And when you say happy, oh, like you met, like, it's like, it doesn't fit, because I didn't do it my way. I'm like the square peg in a round hole trying to get rounder. Yeah. And it just, it's so
it's not satisfying, you know, it's just not satisfying. So there were times then when I, I didn't understand how important certain certain infrastructural pieces were. And so what would happen is that I would try out these different tactics. And the tactics became a substitute for the for the infrastructure, you know, so for example, when, yeah, so for instance, I think it's really critical for a business to have a really effective selling system. And a lot of businesses don't actually have a very clear one, it's not clear. And so they're, they lose out on a lot of sales or opportunity to generate revenue, their marketing isn't effective, because they don't ultimately understand what they're driving toward. So that is, you know, and the key there is that you have one, and that it works for your company. Right? Right. And so what would happen to me is that at that earlier on, I would just try these different tactical, oh, it has to be a webinar, oh, in my industry, oh, it has to be a live five day Facebook challenge or whatever it was. So the tactics substituted the, you know, the, the sort of infrastructure and so once I saw that, you know, because my zone of genius really is taking things in and seeing the patterns and then communicating those patterns to other people. That's what I've always done. And so that allowed for that level of focus, but anybody who works with me like my team, they like I we really are very focused it's really something that I really prize I feel like we live in an age of distraction and the more focused and on purpose we can be, you know, we can be an example of what that looks like that hopefully inspires people to do it in their way
and what the benefits are. Yeah, that's if there's no one else it has. There's no one else role modeling this. How do we know that? Oh my gosh, if I do this, the way I is good works for me and I have a system man I can have 30% CEO time to
Yes, exactly. That's a thing, right like 100%, I think it's and that comes from constraint. You know, and this is such a huge thing entrepreneurs like, we constantly underestimate how much time everything takes, you know, and I see people constantly creating new products and offerings when they haven't maximized the ones that they have. And so they forfeit the, all of the real profit, they just forfeit it, because they can't control their own need. But here's the other thing. And we talked about like growth, right? See, because what I have found happens that is, you know, has been so important for me to kind of see and realize is, the more everything starts to work, the less you need to do it. And when you don't need to do it anymore. You're, you have to challenge yourself, to really understand how you add value. So I'll give you an example like, so for me, it could be like, I've done everything in my business, you know, I have coached, I've created programs, I've done all of this. And I can remember like so for instance, hiring coaches, one on one coaches to work with our clients, and their amazing coaches, and they would be working with clients. And there would be this growth and transformation. And I missed that, you know, and I had to realize, no, your job, you have created this world. And your job is to continue strengthening and growing this world. This is it's not your job to do this anymore. You know, and that can create this. If you don't do the personal development around that. You'll start finding ways to go back and be busy again, because that's how you value your contribution.
Well, that's when you know you're actually working is when you're really busy. l&r. Yeah, you're likely you're making me think of this Jim Rohn CD, it was in Success Magazine. Do you remember when they used to have CDs and the success mags? Yes, yes. And hmm. Yeah, we're dating ourselves. The one I remember the most. And I think what you just described is, are you adding to or compounding? And the thing is, if I'm adding to, I would have maybe five more assistants that can strip a few things away from me so I can handle more people versus compounding. I'm making more me's. So it feels like you've moved into from adding to compounding.
Yeah, yes. Totally. Totally. And totally that and just to kind of, you know, I wouldn't, and I know what he meant by that. But I, they're, they're so unique in their own way. Oh, no. You know what I mean, they totally bring their own thing. Yeah. But yeah, exactly. That's, that is, I think what it is?
Absolutely. Okay, so I want to talk a little bit about niching. Because you have reached a niche a niche. I feel like it's a double ended sword. There's some, there's some bliss, and there's some pain. Let's talk about the pain of niching. First, yeah, let's talk about how you define it first for us to find niching. And tell me about the pain.
Yeah. So niching is really making powerful choices around who you serve, what you stand for, and the specific practical problem that you solve for them. And so it's basically choosing the part of your market that you are going to occupy and really specialize in. And a lot of people get hung up, because they think they need to have a niche at the very beginning of their business. And you don't really, you know, you can start like you could be a financial advisor and work with all kinds of different people. When I started coaching, I coached a lot of different people, when I did communications consulting, I worked with a lot of different people. But where it really comes down to is if you want to begin scaling, and this is and by scaling, what I mean is that your revenues grow disproportionately to your expenses. And your impact grows disproportionately to the amount of time that you put in so it's disproportionate growth, unreasonable growth, you know, and so, that's where, and and the thing that takes away from that growth, both from the growth itself and also your desire, as the founder should do it is complexity. Mm hmm. So I had so that's what niching is, and you know, the bad part of it is that it can, what happens is that you can cut off lucrative segments of a market, you know, so that's what I did. When I initially started this business. I was working with women leaders who worked in corporate and also founders, their practical problems, remember because a niche is like having a practical problem. So we were the same demographics. We could all go out for a glass of wine have plenty to talk about, we would read the same books. Watch the same same age, same number of Kids have the cottage, all of that kind of stuff. But practically the founders were struggling with things that were completely different than what women in corporate were. And so I can remember, this was when I was traveling and super busy. And I was like, I need to have a second podcast. So I'll separate the podcasts and, and that's where I was like, No, we're not doing this. And so I ended up cutting off a huge part of my revenue. They were like, 60% of my audience and 40% of my revenue. Like, I did it, I just snip it was done. So you can rip the band aid right off? I did. Because that's, that's how I did things back then. You know what I mean? I just was like, No, we're doing this, like, super decisive about it. But I felt, you know, and I had known that I needed to do it for a while, but I felt like I was really letting people down. I was really afraid to turn away that money. I wasn't sure it was going to work. I just wasn't sure, you know, I mitigated it. Because I had a cash reserve, but I wasn't sure that it was going to work. And I knew that this was like a type one decision, you know, basis has is type one type two decision. This was like a type one decision there, it's hard to go back, you could but it's a little hard, like once you make the choice. So all of those things made it so much harder. But it wasn't until that happened, that we could really bring the focus the systems that I could really start scaling, because we were so focused,
can you think of the top two things that were going on? Outside of travel, maybe that made you decide to change? So you were it felt like with another podcast, that you were like really duplicating efforts in different ways? What else did you notice that made the that said, it's time to make this decision?
I felt that when people heard what I talked about, when they you know, went to talks or saw my or saw my, you know, educational materials or marketing materials, they were fascinated. They were intrigued, but they didn't feel compelled to buy. And, and I felt like I was just working too hard for that. And I think you know, ultimately what happened was, I was able to build an audience. But there's a section of your marketing, where you are really speaking to people very specifically, you're not doing this with all of your marketing. But with a section of your marketing, you're talking to people very specifically about your educate, you're talking about the specific problems that you're going to address. And you're educating people around the specific solution that you provide. And that's where you start to work with that audience of people, and they get to select if they want to work with you. And I felt like that was not happening effectively, because I was kind of all over the map, you know. And so that was one thing, I felt that I just felt like selling was harder than it should be. Okay, and that we were not quite getting the caliber of qualified leads NYC caliber, not that people were sub caliber people. It's that they they seemed to be a little confused about what I did.
So because you were serving for lack of a better word, a couple of masters. Your mess. Yes. wasn't as clear as it could be, if you only Sakhalin, exactly decide on the exact reverse
math. So so what I did, it was math. I sat down. And I looked at every single transaction and client in the previous two years. Literally, I went through my calendar, and I went I listed every single client, I listed, what did they come to me for? How much did they pay. And what I saw was that there was a section of founders who were investing five, seven times what the other group was. And so it became very clear that a great way to grow the business would be to focus on these exact specific people. So that's what I did. It was math based.
So math is one of my favorite M words. I know, say numbers. So one of the other things I'd like to talk about is I love that you talk about profit. I feel like I've talked to a few countless and other people and the you know, the top line is a vanity number. Yeah, the bottom line is one of the actions at and so you zeroed in on that and you've set goals around that. Tell me a little bit about that. Yeah, that's how did you arrive at that? Yeah, I came to an address the night.
Yeah. So I so basically, here's what happened. I was at a conference. And I've been a business journalist for for I had been a business journalist for years and been around the scene and saw, you know, at the same time you see the rise of women entrepreneurs, and it's like the types of businesses that we're building are very different. I was I went and attended this tech conference. And I was talking to and this was so interesting, like they kept using the terms Startup. And by startup, they were just talking about a business basically. But there had to be certain things in order for it to be a startup. And I was like, This is so weird. You know, it was just kind of an entrance to a different culture. And then I was talking to a guy, right? Exactly. And I my best, I was a way more successful entrepreneur than he was. But he'd been able to get all this money, zero cash flow, they ended up going nowhere with his business. And but he, you know what I mean, he was going to be a unicorn, right? And he was treated so differently than I was a dream business. And I get venture like I get that industry, I get that, in that industry, 80% of the bets you take are going to fail. Yep. And I understand. And I'm also like, but is that really a good? Is that really how we want to do things? You know? And is that really how we measure an effective business? Because I started looking around at all the founders, like you and me, stable entrepreneurial businesses that generate an incredible tax base, that really have diverse supply chains, support local economies do a tremendous job, I was like this is, you know, so you have these unicorns, and what makes it cool. And what helped, what gives them their status is that they can say they're going to have a billion dollar valuation. And then they look at our businesses, and they're just like, it's a lifestyle business. And so I'm like, so we've got a branding issue, you know, and what we name things is so critical, you know, and so I was like, well, we're not trying to build a unicorn, we're trying to build a jewel business. And I thought about the women that I had worked with, and the three metrics of success, which were able to the ability to have impact, the ability to have freedom, and the ability to have cash, and also how, you know, in so much entrepreneurial culture, there's so much focus on massive growth. And so I was like, a lot of times if you articulate a direction, that creates openness and opportunity, and so that's really where it came from. So if you think about 30% profitability, that's a great number, because it allows the company to be able to invest in growth from its own internally generated cash flow, you know, so it's a great number to look at. They're not all you're not always going to get it, there's going to be some years where because you take that 30% and reinvest it. It doesn't actually end up at that. Yeah. But it's a really good way to look at, you know, how do you fund the growth of your business, because a lot of times entrepreneurs oddly, forget that it's not their sweat and grit, that fuels business growth, it's money.
Well, and you can't grow too big, too fast, if you're not careful with your money as well, depending on what you're doing. Yeah, I do love that. And I also think that sometimes as founders, we forget that, yes, we want to have impact in our audience and being our zone of genius. But at the end of the day, a business is there to fund our life. And sometimes forget about all of that, and then end up not paying ourselves. Because we're putting it all back in the business. And we're not looking at the big picture.
Yeah. And please, there were years like when i There were there were there have been years in my business, especially when I was grinding and building it, I really didn't pay myself very much at all, you know, and I really made the bet that that I was going to bet on myself, to quote the great FRED VANVLEET, Toronto Raptor, second greatest rapper of all time, that I was gonna bet on myself, and I was going to reduce my needs, I would only take what I needed from the business and reinvest everything back. The problem is when that happens, I think in a couple of different ways. If you're going to do that, you have to be so aware that you're doing it. You know, you have to have a plan to get out of it. And and it can't go on forever. Yeah. You know, and that's,
yeah, I think you've made it that's such a great way of looking at it. It's just not to fall into the habit. Because then I think sometimes being aware of, hey, if I invest this in my business, does it have the best rate of return at this point? Yeah. Right. Because sometimes we just invest in exactly something.
Yeah, exactly. For no. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, profit is important. Barefoot is important. And because and that's kind of core might one of my core values of our business and myself personally, is sufficiency, which is more than enough. Yeah, you know, and that's where this other aspect which is 30% or more year over year growth until such time as the founder wants to accelerate or decelerate. And so for a lot of businesses, they might be like, Oh, wow, that's tons of growth. For others. They might be like, it's hardly anything. But remember, we're working with founders who really want to scale. And so there's a lot of people who have this expectation of like 100%, like doubling their revenue year after year and just all of this kind of BS and I was like, Look, you know, that's, again, country. There's two factors that contribute to that in an entrepreneurial culture, I think online marketing industry and Silicon Valley. Those that are looking for massive growth rates. But I remember as a business journalist, I remember I interviewed the founders of the fastest growing companies in this country. And the horror stories, the horror stories, the marital breakdowns, the panic attacks, the massive stress, the health issues like heart attacks, you know, brutal stuff that nobody talks about. But that happens under that incredible duress.
I think it goes back a little bit to your conference, you know, how it is about everybody's individual. But I do think, yeah, understanding in terms of sufficiency, how much is enough? Like, how much do you need to do to fund your life? How much do you need to do? It? That's what comes back to my love of making sure you have the right metrics, and that you're measuring the right thing so that you know when you get there, yeah, and not be influenced by outside carefully curated social media posts.
Exactly. Exactly. Totally agreed.
Oh, awesome. Well, Eleanor, how do people get a hold of you? Well,
I think if, if you're listening to this podcast on our podcast listener, I would check out the power of presence position podcast, and you can find me on my personal website, which is Eleanor beaton.com.
Thank you so much for your time, Eleanor. I think that today, the real bottom line is growth is about sufficiency, and it's about making sure it matches you.
Yes, I could not agree more.
Thank you for listening to the real bottom line. This show is produced by Black Star Well, executive producer Wendy Brookhouse. To learn more about the show or to contact us go to Black Star wealth.com