Confession time, I’ve been doing something that I tell every other entrepreneur NOT to do.

I always preach that you should focus on one funnel at a time until you get it converting extremely well… but I’ve been running WAY too many funnels myself this year.

We’ve still been hitting our goals, but these funnels haven’t been producing the massive results and impact that I expected because my team hasn’t been able to give their all into them.

It’s easy for us as entrepreneurs to fall into the trap of thinking that more funnels equals more sales, and therefore, more success.

But that’s not the case.

Focus + Simplicity = Results

In today’s episode, I’m giving an honest account of the mistakes my team has made this year, the powerful shifts we’ll be making in Q3, and challenging you to re-evaluate your own business initiatives.

You might think you’re already super focused, but if you’re like me, I’m willing to bet there’s a lot you’re overlooking.

Share any takeaways or ideas that this episode sparks for your business with me over on Instagram (@emilyhirsh)!

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello everybody. All right you guys, are you ready for today? One of your favorite things that many of you guys message or email in after we release a podcast is when I either rant or share my own mistakes and overall epiphanies, let’s say, that I have in my business. I’m on this journey with a lot of you guys in growing my team, in growing my company, and making mistakes, and leadership. I’ve grown a ton in the last couple of years, but I’ve shared the ups, the downs, and all those things. Right now is an amazing time in my company. I’ve been sharing it a little on the podcast, but I’m truly just so blown away by my team. 

I have 27 employees and then contractors right now, and my company runs fully without me. I work about four hours a day at this company, and I’m starting a new company. I spend most of my time in meetings and I’ve found myself in the most recent meetings, especially in the last month, where I’m sitting there going, “I don’t even need to be at this meeting because I have nothing to say because my team is crushing it.” It’s taken this long to get here, and if you were to ask me the one thing that changed the most to get me to where I am today compared to… I’ve had 27 employees before, and I’ve shared that story, but we went down to about 20 and had to rebuild, and went down and we went up, and revenue went down and revenue went up, and team went down. Now we’re back above where we were before, but at 27 employees. 

If you were to ask me the one thing that’s different and that has changed, I would say hands down, 110%, the answer is collaboration. The answer is letting your team solve the problems for you and collaborate together to solve the problems. I knew that before, but the problem is partly I didn’t have the right players in the right places, but second, I would way too often jump in to solve the problems when things got hard. It’s absolutely incredible what a collaborative team can achieve over one person. The coolest part about growing a team is when you collaborate, you achieve something that’s literally 10 times better than you would ever be able to achieve on your own.

That’s my favorite part about having a team is when we roll out like a new process, or a new offer, or a new way we’re going to do something, it always ends up so much better than the initial vision of it because multiple people, usually four or five at least, have touched it and provided feedback. Everybody brings a unique perspective, and a unique view, and a unique opinion. We hear that and we actually go implement and talk through until everybody’s on the same page. That was kind of a side note on what I’m getting into today, but it is a little bit related. I want to share this story with you guys, because you’re going to start to see the impact of this story soon when this podcast releases, but it came from collaboration and it came from this notion in my team.

One thing that we have been doing on my team is what I say not to do, which is in our marketing team. So I have a team of three full-time marketing people on my team. I have a marketing manager, full-time social media manager and content manager, and then a full-time marketing tech VA. Then I also have a full-time sales director who does provide great, amazing feedback for our marketing team and a lot of collaboration there. We can get a lot done because we have three full-time people. We can build a lot of funnels, we can write a lot of emails, we can have a lot of promotions. I do a lot and we can do it all within a reasonable amount of time and accomplish it, but what I found after collaborating is that we’re doing way too much.

We had too many funnels, we had too many live promotions. It felt like we were not able to do what we were doing 110%. You probably couldn’t tell that from the outside, but I can tell it from the inside, because I know where my expectations are. I had this realization, like it’s for sure not the team, it is the fact that everybody’s going in like five different directions. I think we continued for several months where we were like, “well, we have to” because each thing had a pro to it. It was like, “well, we have to do that funnel because that’s going to help with XYZ, and we have to do that because we need applications here, and we have to do that because of this reason.” So I got to this place where I was feeling like our promotions were doing well, but nothing was doing as well as I wanted it to and taking off.

I got in this conversation with my sales director and it was over Voxer and it lasted like an hour and a half. I was like for just a second, let’s question everything we’re doing. Let’s just question, is that actually moving the needle? Do we actually need to do that? What would happen if we just totally took that away, or we totally changed that? We got to this place where you guys are going to see, we’re going to make a pretty major shift soon and we’re going to simplify down to one core funnel, because I have multiple funnels. I do live events like webinars and podcast series where we’re taking that all away for at least 90 days. We’re going to focus on one single funnel and we have this all planned out. It’s really exciting, but what I’m really doing this episode on is to challenge you because I will tell you that the key to results in marketing in business always is two things, focus and simplicity.

I have learned this lesson time and time again growing my business. I think that a lot of people say this and think you’re doing this, but then when you look deeper, you realize you’re not. That’s the key. I thought, “oh, we’re very focused. We can do multiple funnels because I have a team of three marketing members plus an ads manager plus myself, plus we’re a marketing team so we can do extra than other people.” That’s what I would tell myself, right? I truly believed it. Then I would think, “oh, well everything is simple. We’re simplified, we’re straightforward with our messaging. We do a great job and we get results. So what’s the problem? Because we’re getting results. We’re profitable. We average a two to three X return on our ad spend. We’re hitting our numbers. We’re growing. We get new sales. Things are going well.” 

That is a barrier, because then you don’t look deeper at things until something exposes a crack, and we had that in one of our promotions, which allows you to be like, wait a minute, hold up, everybody stop. Let’s just check ourselves and double check. Do we need to be doing all this? That’s what we did. I would say I really pushed myself and my team to be like, wait a minute. I know that we put work into that, but do we actually need to do that? I recently read a book on this, Made to Stick, and I’ve shared the knowledge gap takeaway on that, but it was about how when you invest time or money into something as a human, you have such a higher chance that you will not let it go, even if it’s not going to be successful, or effective, or efficient, because you’ve invested the time and money. 

We had a situation where we actually started to build this new funnel we were going to launch in July and we probably were 25% of the way down. We’d invested, I’d paid team members to work on it, contractors, our team had built part of the funnel. We’d invested that time, so to get my team to let go of it was tough, to get me to let go of it was tough, but I was like let’s just say we didn’t spend any money, we didn’t spend any resources on it. Do we still think it is the best thing that we should be doing and if the answer is no, stop it right now. The answer was no for us. 

We re-imagined our strategy, and you guys will see what we do. I’m very excited about it. While I was brainstorming this, while I was going back and forth on this, when we got to the place that we were like, here’s the answer, we need to do this, we needed to simplify to one funnel, here’s how we’re going to do it, everybody’s going to go all in on this. I felt a physical relief in my body like this is so easy. I can take this off my to-do’s, this is coming off of our company waterfall, we’re all focused on this. It felt like, oh, something clicked in alignment. That’s always amazing when that happens. It’s happened to me dozens of times in my company, but it’s always good when you have that type of breakthrough. 

My point and challenge for you guys today is I want you to look at everywhere you’re putting your energy, especially in marketing, because it is so easy and this is what I found us doing. It was like, “oh, we have to do social media in that way because we can’t stop it, and that team member has to be spending time on that project because we need to get it done, and that funnel is important because it is going to produce us some results, we know it’s going to work, or that is bringing in X amount of applications.” There was an excuse for everything until we were like, but what if we took all the resources, the time, and the money going into that initiative and we reallocated it, would that be more strong for our team? Would that result in more and better results, would it achieve that for us? That’s how we were able to get to it. 

Sometimes you think that you’re focused, you think that everything you’re doing is simple. then you look deeper and you’re like, “oh, my human brain has convinced myself that because I’ve started this project, or it’s getting a micro amount of results, I need to continue with that.” I think that’s the killer. if something is getting a micro amount of results, but you have another thing getting results too, How do you need to focus that in? Even though it is micro successful, can it be massively successful or do you need to focus in? I talk a lot about the one funnel, and we’re going to go down to one main funnel and then everything’s going to happen in the back end of that funnel. You guys will see that change, but it was definitely eye-opening for me to see how much I was spreading my team. 

The other thing we did when talking about the next quarter, we decided every team member on our marketing team has one goal. So they have their day to day initiatives. For example, my social media manager has to do the podcast, has to do the social media, and then she has one main goal around our Instagram growth. That is it. Everything she does should contribute to that one main goal. Same with my marketing manager. Everybody has one main goal for the quarter and everything they do needs to feed that goal. I know this is taught in the books. I know that there’s a book called One Thing, I know all these things. The crazy thing is I already knew all this, but I wasn’t doing it because I was in that boat. I know that you guys probably are too, which is why I’m doing this episode. 

Focus and simplicity equal results and scale. I know that a lot of people say this, my best friends, my mentors, my coaches, all of them say this, but I wasn’t listening. I wasn’t even unintentionally listening, I was just too up in it and convinced myself of other things, which is what we do psychologically. So this is a check for you to think about is there room for you to focus more on what’s working, less on what’s not working or what’s working only a little bit to get bigger and better results? This is an invitation for you to ask yourself, can I simplify my marketing, my business, my offers? Simplify down to the point where you are only doing what you’re the best in the world at. Your marketing is only amplifying that, because that will be more powerful than anything else you can do. 

If you can do those two things, you’ll absolutely get results. This is how you get to the next level. This is how you do that with a team. This is how you achieve massive results. Just watch, I guarantee you in the next 90 days, we’re going to experience really incredible growth from this decision that we made. It wasn’t an easy decision, because it actually meant saying we wasted our time and money on X, Y, Z. There were several projects that we were like, we’re stopping them mid project, we’re reallocating our resources, and we’re going all in to make this the best. As soon as we started thinking about what if each individual could put in their contribution to this one funnel, this one experience, 110% for the next quarter, what would that do? The answer was so clear. The answer was that would explode it. That would just be incredible because right now, we can’t do it 110% because we had other things going on.

I’m checking you guys on this. I want you to think about this. Send me a message if anything comes to you. I’m excited to hear about that. I feel like somebody needed to hear this today because I know I did. I know that, again, it’s like those things that everybody talks about, there’s a reason everybody talks about them, but sometimes you think you’re doing them and you’re really not. So I want you to really be looking at that and questioning that and not falling into that trap because it’s hard. It feels like you have to have a lot of funnels, you have to have a lot of initiatives to keep things going. Question that because maybe that’s not the case. Thanks so much for listening today, guys, I’ll talk to you next time.

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