Five Things to do Beyond Black Belt

Extract from Pete's recent book The Thought Leaders Practice (co-authored with Matt Church and Scott Stein) 1. Grow: more of the same, and work harder

Keep growing the practice turnover. Employ more support staff; leverage the IP delivery by certifying coaches and training trainers who can take the IP to places you are unwilling or unable to go — different countries with different languages being an obvious example. Continue to launch new clusters. Crank up your primary clusters. Become a Million-Dollar Expert and more.

2. Shift: change gears and work smarter

Go from transactional modes across the board to leverage modes, as discussed earlier. Don’t just write books; create membership sites. Don’t speak for a fee; sell from the platform. Explore every minute spent and increase the return on investment of your time.

3. Flip: take yourself out of the game and turn it on its head

Take a 180-degree turn in direction. Move away from being a practice and begin to build a business. Take your name off the door, build proprietary software systems, and start to employ a management team and consistent service delivery. You stop being a technician and basically systematize everything so that it becomes turnkey. You may want to do this on your whole practice, or simply on a portion of it.

4. Combine: let your practice be the rainmaker for your business

It’s easy to review entrepreneurial models like Branson and Trump to see the power that a star entrepreneur brand can have on the business. You might want to contribute the distribution your brand brings to the business as a way of driving growth and embedding energy.

Richard Branson, for example, simply runs a highly leveraged three-cluster practice alongside his entrepreneurial ventures. He probably speaks 10–20 times a year at, say, $75,000 an appearance; he sells his books through a major publisher (more for positioning than for profit), let’s say 100,000 copies sold at $5 a book; and he runs retreats on his island for entrepreneurs at, say, $25,000 a head for a weekend. Some rough numbers based on this create a picture of a three-cluster practice turning over just shy of $9,000,000 a year — and doing so with less than 65 days a year of face time. Obviously not enough for him to live off, but it’s a start!

5. Live: use your practice as an experience passport

Use your practice to create rich life experiences. Go from simply measuring turnover (make sure you keep it high, though) to beginning to collect experience points. This is about the tax-effective business trip with family in tow. It’s about who you meet, what you do and becoming the envy of your neighbourhood. Got an intellectual crush on Seth Godin? Book him to deliver a keynote address at your conference. Think Harvard would look pretty cool on your resume? Enroll in a Harvard Business School intensive program. Enjoy tropical locations? Buy a villa in Bali and facilitate executive retreats there. Want to become fluent in Spanish? Play the game of maintaining a black-belt practice while you’re based in South America. Take out your bucket list, and start ticking things off.

PS Want to read more? Download chapter 1 here, and order the book here.