Break Free Of The Mold: Ideas And Mindset For Business Success With Bill Prater
Far too often, business owners fail at scaling their business. Why does this happen? Susie Carder talks to Bill Prater, CEO and founder of Business Mastery and Scaleology and they delve into what you need to do to ensure business success. Bill introduces us to his dynamic business principles and how to drive scaling and success with mindset and accountability. Listen and learn valuable insights from Susie and Bill.
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Break Free Of The Mold: Ideas And Mindset For Business Success With Bill Prater
In this episode, we are going to talk about business mastery. Only 1.7% of small businesses hit that million-dollar mark. My guest will talk about a simple strategy to have you be that top 1%. Not thinking about being in the top 1%, but being that top 1%. What is the business alchemist? He’s raised more than $750 million in equity capital in eight years. He recruited and trained more than 100 sales professionals having an average revenue increase and growth of 100% annually.
He has an extensive background with startups, mature organizations, diverse industries, software development, online marketing, biochemical laboratories, high technology internet, energy, retail, communications, banking and financing. I want you to know our guest has some juice and diamonds and is the real deal, so hang on. I’m very excited about that. First, I want to talk about the most important thing you can do to grow your business quickly because that’s what we are all looking for.
One of the most important things you can do is find your business networking organization. Networking is bigger than education, marketing, and anything else you can do for your business. Not only is networking a shortcut to success but it also helps you build long-term relationships. Relationships are key to your business. Networking is one of the most important areas in looking for investors, new business opportunities, new partners, new in-team members, and employees but rarely do we spend the time doing it.
Making networking a priority, we can call it affiliate networking or marketing. There are so many different languages for it but making it a priority will help you gain more contacts, deals, visibility, and grow your business quicker and faster. That’s what we want regardless of what business you are in. I’ have done it in the hairdressing industry, in the network marketing industry, in the online space, in building, training and development companies. It is the fastest way to get exposure.
Quit wasting money on Facebook ads or social media ads. Let’s go out and belly to belly, soul to soul, and heart to heart, build our network. Let me give you five things that networking helps you do. I have grown multimillion-dollar companies, networking first, spending more time and money, joining organizations and groups so that I could achieve my goals faster. That’s number one. You achieve your goals faster. You don’t have a lot of time to make decisions and correct mistakes. Having a great networking organization will help you do that.
Number two is accountability. One of my coaches said, “Susie, you honor the dignity of the human spirit when you hold somebody accountable.” I don’t like conflict and discomfort, so I had to learn that accountability is the highest form of honor. It’s the highest form of honoring somebody’s word, having them learn or build that muscle to be their word. When I’m in networking groups of bad-ass people, business owners that are the real deal, they help me hold my word to a higher standard. They hold me accountable for what I do and what I don’t do.
Number three is the power of a juicy group. A juicy group of influencers, networking people, individuals and businesses is you get unbiased, confidential feedback. It’s a safe place for us to take our Superwoman or Superman cape off. It’s a safe place for us to be vulnerable, real, and talk about the real shit that happens in business. We can get rid of the imposter syndrome because a lot of times you are the expert. You are the person that someone is always coming to for the answer. Where do you go to get the answer? A good business networking group can be that for you.
The fourth thing, which was one of the most powerful ones, is I learned from somebody else’s mistake. I learned when I was in this networking group, one of the people there owned a concrete business and I’m like, “What am I going to learn from a concrete business? What am I going to learn about the labor board?” When you have associations and labor organizations, I learned that you want to create a foundation of rules and guidelines that people have to follow and hold them accountable to that. When he didn’t, the labor board came in because he was so willy-nilly on his policies and procedures that let a room for error and a lawsuit. The bigger you play, the bigger the breakdown.
The fifth thing is authentic relationships. I want people who are real with me. I want to work with people that are struggling like I’m struggling, winning like I’m winning, playing a big game, not knowing how to do it and being okay to talk about it. I don’t want to be around a bunch of people that peacock all the time that say, “Here’s why I’m great.” I want you to find that group. Find that relationship that helps you grow your influence, passion, business, and partners. It helps you grow your profit. Your profit helps you grow your sales.
Intention is a very powerful word. It’s not dreaming, wishing, or hoping. It’s making an intentional decision about the future.
That’s the group that you were on the look for and you want to vet. Networking often involves talking to different people to find what groups they are in. Creating several quality connections is beneficial. You never know when you are going to meet that person and how you can help your clients. My clients always say, “Susie, you give us the hookup.” I give you the hookup because I’m out in the community, culture, and environment, and trying to find the right people to play with. I want to play with people that are game-changers. I want to play with people that are as committed to me as they are to you. Get out there and let’s go find your group.
Our guest has one of the best business mastery groups on the planet because he’s curated some of the top experts. Bill Prater has earned his reputation as America’s Business Alchemist by helping business owners and entrepreneurs break free of the inertia and help accelerate the business of your dreams and the future of your dreams.
He loves nothing better than sharing what he’s learned, and he has many years of what he learned, doing it wrong and getting it right, questioning the status quo, and transforming businesses all over the globe. He created Scaleology and a business mastery system. It’s the core foundational principle of dynamic and continuous business growth. A typical client of his sees company rising to a position of predominance and the person that’s not satisfied with the status quo. Bill, I’m so excited that you are my guest. Please welcome our guest, Bill.
I am excited to have my friend, Bill Prater, with me. Bill, give everybody a high-level view of who you are and what you do in the world because I always say I bring my bad-ass friends but I want you to tell them why you have earned that title to be on this show to be my bad-ass friend.
My nickname is called America’s Business Alchemist as well.
What is your magic? What do you do? How did you earn that right to be The Alchemist? I want to know the story.
I have been an entrepreneur and have owned businesses for quite some time. I’m definitely a seasoned business owner. The first one was a company that I ended up selling in 1999. It had at its peak, which was the day before I sold it, I had 127 employees. That was an investment banking firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Our epicenter was right on Wall Street. My biggest office was on Wall Street and I had a little teeny headquarters office in Seattle, Washington. I had that business for seventeen years and ended up selling in 1999. What I learned in owning that business is what has propelled me forward into my current business.
I say this how come this is not clear to everybody but it should be. If you think about any niche, industry, and population of anything, there’s always a bell curve. As a result of all bell curves, the vast majority of businesses or employees are sales reps, they are in the middle, and that’s where the majority are. That’s going to be the business I had.
I had a company that did pretty well. Outsiders thought it was fantastic. I didn’t like it very much because of the combination of hard work and agony that I felt I had to put into it, and the results were not what I wanted internally. Finally, I met with a competitor of mine and she basically said, “Bill, you are looking in the wrong place. You are trying to emulate the wrong players. You are looking at industry best practices. You are looking at the normal and average, and that’s why you have an average company.”
She said, “You’ve got to look at the business owners in any niche that run the businesses at the very top of each industry. Look there instead.” At that time, she said that I was thinking to myself, of course, that’s obvious but I didn’t know then what I thought was they were better at doing the same stuff. In other words, “Here’s the things you do in any industry and the ones that are at the top do all of those same things better.” It’s totally wrong. She encouraged me to take a look around and look at the elite players. She was one of them. She had a little firm. Her firm is littler than mine but she had a much finer reputation, people envied her and she ran her business entirely different.
If it’s totally wrong, what was the right?
The thing that changed my entire way of looking at businesses and it helps us in this particular time, this philosophy because many business owners are still paralyzed because of the huge restrictions that they believe are put on them because of the global pandemic and all the various ramifications thereof. People at the top of every industry operate very similarly.
The people in average places operate like their own industry, which is interesting. The differences that these leading business owners do help me remodel the way I went about my business and convert it from ordinary to something. A lot of people wanted to buy it. I sold it to Oppenheimer in 1999 but two and a half years before that, nobody would buy it for any price.
What’s good about this is that there are only three things that all of us don’t want to be at the top of our industry that needs to embrace, and then a transitional component. I used the word transition because if you look at the super successful, those people are not getting to the next level and the next level. They are making quantum changes. They go from a little to awfully big to gigantic, for example, looking at revenue in a very short time.
What do they do differently? I have put them together into an acronym that I call IDEA. The I is these individuals that do not settle for the environment. For example, they do not settle for the fact that there is an economic slowdown. Things are hard and they don’t settle for that. Instead, they operate with intention. The I is Intent or Intention. It’s a very powerful word. It’s not dreaming, wishing or hoping. It’s making an intentional decision about the future. That’s number one.
I can see that in my business. When you are talking about this, I’m going, “What has me to be the top 1%?” I want you to know what he’s giving us is the strategy to go what’s making us extraordinary. Let’s talk about reality. Simple in theory and it’s the discipline that makes the biggest difference.
These concepts are simple and they are not easy. Those are different things but they are simple. It’s one thing to say to operate your business with intention but it’s not easy to have that conviction about the future but it’s extremely powerful. That’s I. I will give both pictures and I don’t mean to be cruel or mean. The average business owner operates their business through opportunity or problem.
Meaning that when something shows up, then they do something about it. When an opportunity shows up, they tend to jump on the opportunity. If a problem shows up, they drop everything and deal with the problem. Owners and companies that are at the top 1%, maybe even 2% or 3%, operate their businesses through design.
Ordinary business owners believe that if they just work hard or if they double down, or they never go home, that think things will get better. They don’t. They get worse.
D is Design. It’s nothing to do with random or with whatever shows up. It’s an actual game plan. They put it in place at the beginning of each year generally, and then they continually adjust the plan as circumstances change. They don’t stick with it or design it and put it on the shelf. It’s an operating plan, which they monitor weekly or at the very least once a month. That’s D, Design.
Number three is this notion. Ordinary business owners believe that if they work hard or harder, they doubled down or never go home, they think things will get better. They don’t. They get worse. The best thing to do is erase from your mind this notion of hard work, effort or trying, and instead use E, which is Execute, meaning complete.
They operate their companies. All their employees teach them how to deliver the result. It’s a sequence of making a commitment and delivering. That’s the E. I is Intent, D is Design and E is Execute. That is going on. I mentioned this transitional element and that’s Accelerate. You go through those three steps or let’s call them phases, then you accelerate. Acceleration is a continual thing. It means going faster and faster. Accelerate then repeat the same process. I would like our readers so as you envisioned an upward growth spiral, so it would be I, D, E, A. That’s what I learned back in the late 1990s. I used it for my business.
The magical thing that happened to me when I formed my group of companies called Business Mastery Group was that I found out that if I helped people adopt that approach, any kind of a business, size of a business or department within a business using that IDEA approach makes all the difference in the world. I have been doing it now, consulting with people, training them and their teams using that methodology. There is a lot more to it than the four letters but the net of it is we are emulating the people that own extraordinary or exemplary businesses.
You have to have the intention to even want that. Many people want to be comfortable but playing a big game is not comfortable. It’s rewarding but it’s not comfortable. We always say the bigger you play, the bigger the breakdown. I hate that saying when I’m in the breakdown but it’s my barometer of going, “We are playing big. What do we need to refine? What do we need to go back to the drawing board?” Businesses are like this combination lock. One tick off and it won’t open. We have all had these in schools or at the gym. One tick, you can have the I, D, E, and A and if you didn’t design it, you are not going to have that foundation.
If you put that plan in place and follow the plan, quit. I love what you say in your membership group when I look at that because we were buying the sparkle or the squirrel-like, “This is the answer. I’m going to do this. Is it in the plan and the foundation? Do we need that person? Do we not need that person?” I find myself as a business owner. I get caught up in the sparkle and go, “Is this the highest use of my time and my resources?”
Having an expert like yourself and that Business Master Group makes a big difference. There are so many people, and I see them every day in my business. They are struggling now because of the economy and the pandemic. They are waiting for it to get over. It’s not over. This is the new world and a new business. We’ve got to figure out how to do business now. What’s your secret sauce to staying in action and growing?
My secret sauce in staying in action and growth is, of course, adopting what we talked about. The tool that I use is another simple but not necessarily easy thing. I call it the P3, which stands for Pareto to the third power. Many people do not know that the 80/20 Principle had its origins back in the late nineteenth century with this fellow named Vilfredo Pareto. He didn’t exactly invent the 80/20 Rule. A guy named Joseph Juran did that but he took Pareto studies and then converted it into the 80/20 Rule.
Simplistically stated, including that bell curve we talked about businesses, 20% of the businesses produced 80% of the revenue, 20% produce 80% of the profits or 20% of 80% of the value of the entire market. That’s Pareto’s 80/20 Rule. What I do is I teach people to do Pareto to the third power. If you look at this 80/20 ratio, then what’s 20% of 20? 20% of 20 is 4%. On the other side of that equation, we’ve got 80%. What’s 80% of 80, or 8 times 8 is 64.
What that tells us is 4% of the population produces 64% of the results. Four percent of the businesses produce 64% of the, all the goal, all the more, all the value. That’s Pareto to the second power. Let’s do Pareto to the third power. We’ve got 4% and 64%, so 20% of 4 is 0.8%, but let’s round up to 1%. It tells us that 1% produces 80% of our 64. If you do that math, it’s 51 or so but let’s round it off, saying that 1% produces half the results.
That’s a long answer to your question but every single day, I search for the 1% that’s going to give me half of the results. For example, visiting with you represents part of my 1%. It’s not something that’s happening during the day that I will show up for on time. I looked at it, I do this every day, and I decide what my top 1% is. Most people have a to-do list. You can do it that way, so what’s the one thing that produces the most return, do that. If you look at your environment, that’s the case.
Back to this issue of a lot of people feeling, “I’m a victim to the environment.” Those people are maybe going to go out of business but they are not going to thrive to the businesses that are thriving. My private clients are all frightened. There are in all kinds of industries. They are in printing, distribution, manufacturing and franchise brokerage. Every single day, they and their team are searching for that 1%. That’s Pareto to the third power, every day operates with what’s the number one thing I can do to make the biggest progress, and then do that.
I want to simplify it for our readers and I want to share it in our language, which is math is money and money is fun. I know some of you went cross-eyed with Bill talking about the percentage of the percentage but at the end of it, it’s the 1%, which we are always Bill on our tribe talking about the 1% club. Only 1% of small businesses hit that million-dollar mark, which I think is a tragedy. How is that happening? That’s all I do is build million-dollar companies or why do it? Why get out of bed? I don’t want to own a job. I want to own a business. It’s the 1% of that client, the 1% of your time, the 1% is this the highest income-producing activity only I can do now. That’s what I’m hearing.
I love the Mathematical breakdown. I’ve got to go back and read it several times so I will get it. It’s so simple. It’s like, “That makes so much sense.” Thank you for sharing that. It’s juicy. I know for me, as a business owner, I love listening to you and to people that have walked the walk. There are so many people talking about theory, and theory is bullshit.
You can smell it a mile away. It’s like, “You haven’t done it.” I learned more from our failure. The bigger you play, the bigger the breakdown. What would you say was one of your biggest failures that you learned from like, “Not again, I will never do this again,” and it was hard going through it but it was one of your biggest lessons on the other side?
The biggest failure I have had was back when I owned my investment bank called Weatherly Private Capital. I mentioned that I had all these employees. My biggest mistake was I believed that if you hire good people and let them do their job, life will be fantastic. My biggest mistake was relying on people to do their job on their own. That was an enormous failure.
What happened to me was my job got harder and harder as I added new people. The more people I had, the harder it was. I’ve got so frustrated because people weren’t delivering what I expected them to do, and I didn’t know how to solve that issue, which is part of this E in this IDEA format I gave, the execution thing. When it finally dawned on me, and I should have known it because I used to work for IBM before I founded my investment bank.
We had a tool at IBM that I use. I went back, I found it, and readopted it. It simply was a list that I used when I was in management at IBM, and that was who, what, and when. Who’s the person’s name? What are they going to be doing, and what does it do? That tool that I learned out of my big failure, once I started applying that accountability protocol, then my mental and physical involvement in my business went way down as people started delivering what they committed to. In simple terms, it’s authentic accountability.
The key is to negotiate with people and get their commitment, and then hold them accountable for that, or let them hold each other accountable, which is an even better idea.
By that, if you want to be getting this 1%, you cannot position yourself as being the person that tells everybody what to do. If you try to remember what everybody is supposed to do and tell them, you have completely collapsed your universe. Your business will never get to this $1 million, let alone a bigger number. The key is to negotiate with people and get their commitments or let them hold each other, accountable is even a better idea.
Bill is my brother from another mother. You are speaking my language in another way, which we’ve got to hear it this way, that way, and all different ways. I always say, if I have to tell you how to do your job, one of us isn’t needed. If there’s no accountability, there’s no result. You’ve got to have that accountability. Many entrepreneurs are like, “I’m going to hire Bill and Bill is going to do it.” No. Bill’s strategy is going to support you in getting it done. He’s not doing it for you. Same with me. People are like, “I’m going to hire Susie, and then it’s like this magic one. It’s going to happen.” No. You’ve got to do the things I tell you to do. It’s not going to magically happen until you pick up the phone, you get on a call, on a podcast or get some business. That’s juicy.
Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing that because it is hard to manage people. That was probably one of my biggest challenges as well. I thought I had to be the boss of everybody and everything, and I learned I didn’t have to. What freedom. Bill, what’s one thing at the end of your cycle, the end of your journey, what do you want to be remembered for?
When I sold my investment bank and moved into consulting with my clients, they were the same people. I have been raising money for them, so they loved me. My business became their consultant. There was a transitional period but I magically ended up having a brand new business. I had a couple of dozen clients that I consulted with and doing what we are verbalizing now, helping them get their businesses up into the 1%. I loved it because I had an excellent income. I didn’t have very many clients to worry about.
I’ve got lavish love. I’m helping these people. Every time they would meet with the team, they would say, “We love you. Thank goodness you are here. You are helping us out.” What I want to have happened is not for me to be remembered for the 200 or 300 people that I have helped rocket through to the top 1%. What I want is to have the universe of business owners that I’m able to help dramatically change.
I focused my attention on the 1%, and I don’t mean this totally but I ignored the other 99% over the years who have come to me and asked for help. I have done things like creating online courses and things like that, “Here they are. If you like it, go ahead and buy it.” What I want to be remembered for is having created a system, tool or methodology that would help all business owners that want to get up into the top 1%, 2% or 3%.
We always say that if you are anyone that’s up to anything and has a coach in their life, you look at every high-performance athlete, high-performance business owner, a coach who will show you what you don’t want to see and definitely tells you what you don’t want to hear. You can be the person that you know that you can be.
When I hear you and I listen to you, it’s so valuable to get a different perspective. That has been my journey of going, “Who’s my next coach? Who’s my next mentor? Who’s the next person that can see what I can’t see and support me to that greatness?” You have an amazing membership and you are gifting us. Will you share with us what you are giving us?
This is part of the destination that you asked me about. Everybody that I work with, including my private client, by private, I mean these are people that have me on retainer and I’m there every week or every month, at least, helping them do what they have asked me to do. Everybody is involved in my community and I have remodeled my community 2 or 3 times over time. It’s a community, there’s an online training, and then there’s one-on-one coaching. It’s a different level.
The CEO Alliance is a magical place, and the best I can tell is it’s unique on all the planet. It’s a combination of business owners and entrepreneurs together with subject matter experts. These are partners of mine all over the planet that have expertise in a certain area of business ownership and management. For example, sales, marketing, copywriting or technology, etc.
The CEO Alliance brings together the owners with the subject matter experts. What we have available to our readers is they can get two full weeks free in that membership by going to JoinCEOAlliance.com. If they want to stick around, in addition to when they go there, they are going to find for a limited time, there’s a 40% discount also. They will get two weeks free, and then a 40% discount on there as long as they want to be a member.
You all better jump because I went and looked, and watched the videos. It’s so cost-effective for the level of expertise. Bill is not a Jonah Diner Shop. I’m always looking for that tribe, that community of ride or die, people who are aren’t full of bull, who are walking the walk and talking the talk so that I can be inspired by them, and then I can inspire them by the stuff that we are doing in the world. You’ve got to have that group. I was calling my unicorns. Where are the people with the horns? Where are they at? I know they are out there somewhere. Let me find them. This group is one of those groups.
It’s so cost-effective. It’s less than some of your dinners out. I know you all spend on fine wine and eating. It’s very cost-effective because it’s about value. For you, Bill, this was one of the legacy plays to, “How do I serve my community? How do I help other CEOs hit that 1%, which is my mission and passion is to quit making it so hard?” Quit making it so hard. Find the right people that can support you, your message, and your journey so that we are working on the highest income-producing activity only you can do. This community helps us do that and achieve that. What’s one question you wish I had asked you?
A lot of people will say to me, “Why did you end up getting this title America’s Business Alchemist?” The reason for that is that what happens when we can get people into behaving like the top 1%, all of a sudden, they seem to be magically occurring in their environment. For example, almost every single time I talk with one of my clients, I talk to Craig, he said, and I hear this over and over, “Bill, how’s August going to turn out?” “I don’t know for sure but if we keep our current rate going, it’s going to be the largest August we have ever had.”
What’s neat is I’m the one in the room that’s different. They looked around and say, “It must be Bill.” It’s not me. All I have done for these people is teach them to act like to play the role of being one of the top 1%. Once they start playing the role, things manifest, and so I get that title America’s Business Analyst as a result. I love being able to have that little moniker.
Bill is the real deal. You can know it in his stories. Remember, you are in business for yourself, not by yourself. We are bringing you bad-ass business people that are walking their talk. The tongue in their mouth, and their tongue and shoe are going in the same direction. I definitely want you to go look at that membership.
Bill, I appreciate you, your journey, your wisdom, and your generosity because every time we meet, you have been so generous with me and my community tribe. I look forward to playing, serving more, and supporting your community as much as you are supporting mine. I truly believe you are my kindred spirit, my soul brother. Thank you, my friend. I appreciate you and everything that you are up to.
I’m grateful for being here. Thanks for having me on.
Design has nothing to do with randomness. It has nothing to do with whatever shows up. It’s an actual game plan.
Sign up for that to see if this organization is the right organization for you. You don’t know until you click the link. I need you to go do your due diligence, be the 1%, incorporate the IDEA method, which is Intention, Design, Execute, and Accelerate. We are your brother and sister in the journey. Have an amazing day and until next time.
Let’s talk about the power of the right community. I want to share my client, Melony Buenger. Melony is a faith-based coach helping spiritual leaders with finding the purpose, the passion, and creating your profit. I want to talk about her success in our Bootcamp. She came to me looking for, “How do I grow my business to the next level?” In Bootcamp, we go over your business plan, your marketing and your financial plan. She launched and produced Be Radiant Live. It was on a live event for the first time. She created twenty affiliate relationships from our tribe and our community.
She got seven corporate sponsors. She rebranded across all social platforms. She increased her social media by 644.5%. She developed a social media campaign for lead generation and list building. She developed her SLPs, her policies and procedures. She implemented the cash calculator so she knew exactly how many qualified leads she needed in her business every single day, every single week, month, quarter, and year to create her strategic marketing plan. She started hosting monthly mastermind classes.
I share Melony’s story with you because there are a lot of people in the spiritual realm, in the faith-based world thinking, “We can’t make money.” If Melony can do it, you can do it. You can’t do it alone. Be in business for yourself but not by yourself. Find a tribe, whether it’s my tribe or another tribe. Find a tribe that is your vibe.
That’s it for this episode. Head over to PowerYourProfitsPodcast.com and make sure you subscribe to the show so you don’t miss out on any juicy nuggets and every guest gives a free gift. As my gift to you, we are giving you bullet train to big profits, my secret weapon to understanding how you are going to get millions that is juicy. It’s our eBook and it encapsulates what you need to do now. I want to remind you that wealth is your birthright. It’s not for some of us, it’s for all of us.
Join us for bite-size transformational content to increase your personal wealth and your business growth. We are about holistic success, not just financial wealth. It’s a 360-degree experience. Find us by my name on social media, @SusieCarder. I encourage you to write a review. Please share this message. Rate our episode with Bill. Show Bill some love. Sign up for his free giveaway.
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About Bill Prater
Founder & CEO of Business Mastery & the Creator of Scaleology Bill earned his reputation as America’s Business Alchemist™ by helping business owners and entrepreneurs break free of inertia and accelerate into the future they dream of. He loves nothing better than sharing what he has learned by working with those who are dissatisfied with the status quo and eager to transform themselves and their business. He created Scaleology® and the Business Mastery System™ as the core foundational principles of dynamic and continuous business growth. A typical client of his sees their company rising to a position of preeminence and is not satisfied with just “getting to the next level”.