Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Stephanie Scheller!
Stephanie is the founder of Grow Disrupt, a sales training practice based in Texas. It grew in less than 18 months to become the largest, most active sales training practice in the area. As a TEDx speaker, host of the Black Belt Selling Podcast, and a two-time best-selling author, Stephanie’s mission is to disrupt the way the world does business.
Norman Chella: [00:00:00] Stephanie Scheller is the sales expert, the business disruptor fighting through the tempest. She is the AntiFool.
Welcome to the AntiFool podcast. This is where we deconstruct the wisdom of people from all fields, backgrounds, and walks of life. My role is simple. I play the fool, I ask the questions and you get the answers.
Our guest is the Antifool, the source of wisdom, who we will learn from today. I’m on a mission to create the antidote to foolishness so we can understand the world and ourselves better. Wonderful stuff, right? So shall we.
Hello there. This is the King of all fools. Norm. Welcome to the show. This episode I want to talk about sales trying to close in on revenue for your business, and we’re not just talking about making one sale here or there at your part time job.
We are going with a larger scale. We’re talking a hundred thousand dollars, $250,000, even up to 1 million and from 1 million to 10 and even more. But in order to reach that scale of sales, ensuring that much revenue for your business, how do you make sure that you can separate yourself from your business?
Going from a solopreneur to managing an entire business full of employees, making sure that we have the right standard operating procedures and much more. Who better to learn about this from than Stephanie Scheller.
Stephanie is the founder of Grow Disrupt, which is a sales training practice in central Texas, and grew that in less than 18 months to become the largest, most active sales training practice in that area.
As a TEDx speaker, host of a podcast called Black belt Selling, and a two time best selling author, Stephanie has done a ton in terms of sales for her business. With the mission behind Grow Disrupt being to disrupt the way the world does business. Stephanie is on a mission to teach more and more people about sales at different scales all the way up to seven figures, eight and much more.
But we connected and I wanted to know more about her story. In this episode, we talked about her origin stories, how horses had taught her how to thrive in business, walking away from a corporate job to start our own sales training practice and defining disruption in sales and growing your business, how to create it, what to watch out for, and all the problems and issues salespeople can go through at different scales.
Pretty fascinating. It was an amazing talk and it’s a great chat, and Stephanie was very. Personal and real and his conversation. So it’s nice to hear about how she is thriving in this world. So without further ado, let’s play the fool and learn from the wise by diving into my chat with Stephanie Scheller of Growth Disrupt.
All right, miss Stephanie Scheller, welcome to the show. How are you doing?
Stephanie Scheller: [00:03:04] I’m great. How about you?
Norman Chella: [00:03:07] I’m excited. We just had this pre-chat just now and I’m loving the energy from you and the fact that I get to have this long conversation because you have done a lot in like what, six years I believe.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:03:23] Yeah. We’re, we’re coming up on six years. Um, yeah. Oh my gosh. End of this month. Yeah. And then this month, the six years. Wow.
Norman Chella: [00:03:30] You’re doing anything exciting for those six months? I like it for those six years. Anything special.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:03:35] No, I totally forgot it was coming.
You know what? You know what we are, we’re gonna, we’re, we’re totally gonna roll out.
Um, we’re going to roll out something that we’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks and now I’m just going to twist it, so it’s going to be a six year celebration. Awesome.
Norman Chella: [00:03:52] Okay, great timing. What a great coincidence. So we’ll see if we can talk about that later on. But before we get to that point, right?
Six years of experience, six years of history, six years of you doing how many different public speaking events, cause I know that you’ve done a ton and you have done. Much more in training people in terms of sales, uh, in terms of trying to grow a disruptive business. We have a lot to go through here.
Before we start that, before we go dive into that, I want to know more about your origin story. So, Stephanie, can you tell me. Let’s do a little rewind back to the time. Yes. To the time when you were working with your lovely horses and learning your lessons from them and seeing what,
Stephanie Scheller: [00:04:37] can
Norman Chella: [00:04:38] we…
Stephanie Scheller: [00:04:38] way, way back?
So high school, even pre high school, I got started working with horses when I was 11 and um. Loved it. I mean, I’d always, I had been in love with horses since I was like five or six, so I was the kid who had like horse posters on the bedroom. I had like a million horse books. I ran into my mom’s bedroom one day, threw myself on the bed.
I had six siblings, so relatively large family, and I just never felt like I was going to get a horse because there were so many siblings and. My parents didn’t have that kind of money for any one kid, right? None of that. So I ran into my mom’s room. I threw myself across the bedroom. I just said bawled, like, and she, apparently, this was the first time she realized I wanted a horse. She’s like, okay. Oh. And I’m like, I’m like in shock that she didn’t even know that I wanted a horse, cause I, I thought it was like way obvious. Um, but so I started working with horses and I decided I wanted to do this for a living.
Like I love this. Um, I learned so much. I became very mature for my age, dealing with, you know, with the horses, and then being the second oldest in a large family, you know, helping raise my siblings. And. So I grew a lot working with horses and I said, all right, this is, this is it. This is what I want to do.
And I found this college in Ohio that, uh, now I’m in Texas. So Ohio is the other side of the US. I find this college that offers a degree in equine business and facility management. And I’m like, yes. So I go up there four years, I come back to Texas because I realized I hate the cold weather, so I can’t stay up North and I can’t get a job running a barn that’s going to pay me enough money to pay off my student loans.
And like, you know, eat. Okay. So I, I’m like, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I had taken this one class in college. It was like a horses, horse care, equine care or animal husbandry meets business degree is what it was. So I’d taken a marketing class, then I fell in love with this marketing.
Um, we had to design a marketing campaign for a nonprofit during the class, and I just love this whole thing. So when I graduated and I said, what’s my plan B. I was like, you know what, I really, I really do enjoy marketing, and I saw this ad in the newspaper that like, it looked like it was just looking for a marketing consultant.
It was like, Hey, do you like working with small businesses on their marketing? Do you like designing marketing solutions? You know, great marketing solutions on a shoestring budget, do you like? And I’m like, Oh my God, this ad was like written for me. Well, I go and I apply for the job and I get the job in my first week.
I’m just so freaking happy and I find someone, yeah, who wants to work with me as their marketing consultant. And the second week I find someone who wants to work with me as their marketing consultant. I’m like, um, I’m ecstatic. My boss is ecstatic. And they’re like, well, you’re not in training anymore. You clearly know what you’re doing.
So they take me out of training. They put me in the Monday morning team meeting and sitting there listening to my boss, you know, give us our. Pep talk, I realized, Oh my God, I’m a sales person. Hmm. Shit. Like, I don’t want to be in sales. I can’t do this. And so I shut down for like six weeks and I didn’t close a single deal cause they didn’t want, I was so resistant to being a sales person.
Keeping long story short, I got over it. I decided I was going to keep selling the way I wanted to, which was this. Consultative style. And I did really well. I was the number two reps. They came to me at the end of my first year there and said, Hey, would you be willing to take over the retention team? So I take over the retention team, things are going really well.
I get to the end of my first year, you know, with the retention team and um, all of a sudden they decided to stop paying my commissions check. Oh yeah. Right. So like, I literally like wake up one morning and I go to log in and check my bank account and I’m like, huh, okay. My, my deposits about $3,000 light.
What the heck, what’s going on here? Um, and I got all kinds of stories from, you’re not getting a commission check anymore to, Oh, you were never supposed to get a commission check to, Oh, we’re going to rework it. Oh, your department’s under review. Like I couldn’t get a straight answer for weeks. And. They finally, they reworked my department.
I ended up no longer the head of the department, just a member. Some guy came in and was running it and, and they said, we’re working on a new commission plan this. So that’s September, 2013 by April, 2014 they still hadn’t sorted it out to pay me a commission check.
Norman Chella: [00:09:13] Oh my God, that is a long time.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:09:16] Three grand a month.
Like, yeah, that’s a really long time sitting here going, and I had a base, so like I’m living on my, my base, but like. Three grand a month. That was, you know, that was a good, that was a lot of money to me at that time. And I was just, I was so frustrated. And that April my, my boss told me, he said again, Hey, heads up.
We finally have a commission plan in place. Uh, there was a mistake made by the company. Um, so you’re not going to get a commission again this month.
Norman Chella: [00:09:51] Oh my God. How many mistakes are they going to be bringing up or excuses? Oh my goodness. Yeah,
Stephanie Scheller: [00:09:56] That’s exactly where I was. I was just looking at them and I was like, this is like, guys, I’m billing out $50,000 a month to clients for you, and you can’t pay me three grand. I mean, we’re not even talking 10% like this is ridiculous. And I just, I burst into tears and I told him, I said, I’ll be gone by October. This is it. This is ridiculous. You guys can’t do this. I fly to California. I got trained on how to run a sales training business, which was just, it was, can be like, I was good at sales.
My mom was starting a sales training business, so she said, Hey, I’ve got this. Yeah, family ticket. You don’t have to pay to come. So. That was what I did. I started a sales training business. That was May, 2014 and may, June, July, August, I worked at the sales training business part time, and then at the end of August I added it all up and I was like, Oh, well wait a second.
I just made more money part time than I did full time, so. Why am I doing the full time thing again?
Norman Chella: [00:10:55] Was that transition from working for that company and doing sales for, say, a boss over you and basically getting your revenue or your profits controlled by it, you know, a higher power was that transition to doing things for yourself difficult?
Stephanie Scheller: [00:11:13] Yes and no. Like I didn’t think it was difficult at the time. But looking back on it, there is, it was so like in, in the moment, cause I’ve had people who were like, well, weren’t you scared? Like weren’t you like, Oh, panicked? And I’m like, no, I wasn’t. But like looking back, I’m like, maybe I should have been.
Um, you know, there was, there was a lot of, I had to learn how to, you know, how to be my own boss and I had to go both ways, right? So my, when I, the first week I was my own boss, I was super laid back, super chill. Like I let myself start work late and I let like just, Oh, whatever, you know, super laid back.
And then like after the second, third weeks when I was starting to realize that I wasn’t making any money, which was a problem. Um, that was when I started like panic and I over-corrected and for two and a half years, I over-corrected the other way too. I was very hard on myself. I mean, I mean. Bro. Like I was the worst boss I’ve ever had.
I’m still the worst boss. Like I’m, I still, I hold myself to very exacting standards sometimes, and this is something I think a lot of entrepreneurs deal with in that they are their own worst boss, but they don’t realize it because they feel like they should be, you know. A great boss to themselves, but we hold ourselves to ridiculous standards.
We cut ourselves no Slack. We have to live with our own boss at that point. It’s exhausting. Um, and so that was one issue that I had were, first I was way too lenient and then I was way too hard, and it took me a long time to start relaxing. Um, and the problem with that, because I’ve seen people, I’ve heard people who are like, well, you know, you have to hustle for a while.
I’m like, yes. But when you’re fighting with yourself. Right when like Stephanie’s, have you seen like the Emperor’s New Groove? It’s like an old Disney movie.
Right? Right. The Cronk had like the devil. And so when you got devil Stephanie on one shoulder and devil Stephanie on the other shoulder, like there is no angel right? They’re constantly beating you up. That’s a massive amount of energy that is being sucked away from being able to do sales, being able to do fulfillment, being able to do strategy, being able to be a business owner, and so you’re just, I was just, I was very hard on myself and I wasted a lot of energy that I, it didn’t have to waste.
So that was one, that was one area that I really, that I didn’t feel I was struggling with, but like looking back, I’m like, no, I, I really, really struggled. And that was very difficult, was figuring out this kind of balance between being my own boss, but also being the worker, but also being the owner of the company and like, I don’t know how I got through that without having like a schizophrenia episode.
Norman Chella: [00:13:55] I know the feeling, uh, trying to find that balance is a very difficult thing. Um, I’m curious, did you try to do, was there like any specific process to try to achieve that balance? Cause I’m assuming that on one end of the spectrum you’re like, ah, you know, just relax, sleep late, wake up late. And then on the other side you set such impossible standards.
Like you say, how do you determine whether or not. You should relax in some aspects and you should be a little bit more strict than others. I’m really curious about how you do that, because I am personally finding it difficult myself.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:14:26] I think part of it’s like a muscle you build, so the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Um, but you know, for me, yeah. I’ve had to figure out like what are the absolutely non-negotiable standards, right? What is. Not. Okay. Right? So for example, I don’t have to start work by eight in the morning, okay. But I am going to work eight hours. Okay. Okay. So that also means if I start work at seven, I get to end work earlier.
Right. And I adjust my schedule that way because I’ve learned like I don’t want myself working, you know, 12 hours a day that I was working. Because it wears you out. It was, I’ve had to say, okay, so only working a maximum of eight hours a day is that is my, that is one of my non-negotiables. Okay. Which also then forces me to be more productive, right?
Because I’ll say, okay, I have to, I have to hit, get these things knocked out today, but I only have eight hours. We’re gonna have to work fast. Um. The other thing I’ve, I’ve, I’ve started to look at is, you know, when does stuff need to be done and doesn’t need to be done by me? And being able to pull stuff off my plate to free me up.
Right? That has also become one of the non-negotiables. One thing that I really have fallen into that I is becoming a stronger and stronger habit is this concept of working inside your energy advantage. So I only want to do the things that I get energy from. I only want to do the things that I love, right?
That get me psyched up and then my team handles the rest. And that’s my, that’s my goal is that I want to do podcasts. I want to do speaking engagements. I want to do blogs and content creation and marketing strategies for clients. I want to interview speakers for our events. I want to do, you know, certain things, but then there’s stuff I don’t want to do and I don’t want to touch it.
Right. Even the stuff that, you know, my assistant may not be able to handle today. Right? I’m, I’m going to call other people on my team and say, Hey, do you want some more hours? Like, do you want to get more work done? I’ll call backups and say, Hey, do you want to get some stuff done? I’m not going to take that on.
And so figuring out what is and isn’t. That was really the key for me is, okay. Not everything can be non negotiable because at that point you’re killing yourself. So what are the core things that are, for me, it’s, you know, working no more than, than eight hours a day. It’s taking lunch breaks. It’s. Hitting my, well, we call it my baseline.
So I have a certain level of activity that I have to complete each week inside of sales and inside of marketing and insight. So I have certain things, three things for each of those baselines that I have to hit every single week. Um, and then I think one of the biggest keys that really helped me there.
Was, um, building a success schedule. So like a time blocking calendar where, um, you, you block out what your ideal week would look like. I’m going to spend this many hours here and this and this. You know, on Monday morning I’m going to do this and on Wednesday and the week never goes like that. But having it blocked out like that gives you a lot of focus.
So you go, okay, and, and I can compare what I actually did in a week to my success schedule and see if I spent enough time in each area of the business each week. So it helps things stay a little bit more balanced too.
Norman Chella: [00:17:47] I liked that time boxing. Your calendar is a fantastic way to introduce some level of structure, especially when you’re working for yourself, right?
You want to find ways to outsource managerial things because you are your own boss. It’s best to have it imprinted somewhere so that you can just refer to it and then be like, okay, instead of being confused at yourself like. I don’t know. I don’t know about you, but I do this a lot to myself thinking to myself like, Oh, what should I be doing today?
I like it that I, if I start off the day like that as it normally does not go well.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:18:15] It’s not a great sign. I had a lot of days like that. I don’t anymore. I do my am I planning for the day the night before. Um, and we use some project management tools. So we’re working on some more longer term projects now.
Whereas when I started the business, we were working on a lot of short term projects. Like it was like, what do I have to do today to close a deal? Like to make enough money to pay my bills type of thing. We don’t deal with that anymore, but yeah. So now we, we traded that out for like, okay, I’m working on a project that’s not going to be finished until January of next year.
Right. Or, or may of next year. More than a year away at time of recording. Right. So I’m sitting here and going, okay, I have to then make sure that I’m still knocking stuff out. In the timeframes allotted. Um, which is very hard for me cause I’m super ADD. So like I’m the kind of person who’s like, it’s right in front of my face and I’m going to deal with it.
And then I’ve got to forget about everything else. So using the project management software and planning my days helped eliminate that. Like, okay, so what do I need to do today? Like. I don’t know what a…where I have this staff meeting, but I’m really just meeting with myself. Yeah,
Norman Chella: [00:19:23] I do a lot of it.
I’ve heard that so many times. Yeah, yeah,
Stephanie Scheller: [00:19:29] yeah. We, we, we, Stephanie, Stephanie, and Stephanie, you know, devil, Stephanie, angel, Stephanie. I’ve swapped out my devil and devil, devil, and angel, and they have a lot of conversations and I just get to sit here and listen and sometimes be like. I don’t know if I can do this.
Just need to stop talking. I’m just kidding. Crazy. They’re crazy. They’re absolutely,
Norman Chella: [00:19:51] is this the same kind of analogy you would use for a say when you’re coaching someone and they’re going through similar phases in trying to start their own business, cause I know that you, part of Grow Disrupt is that you help people start their own businesses or at least take charge in whatever endeavor or initiative that they’re doing.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:20:08] Yeah.
Norman Chella: [00:20:09] Because you have firsthand experience going through these. Do you find a lot of similar patterns in those that approach you for coaching and they’re like…
Stephanie Scheller: [00:20:23] And the funny thing is like most of them have no idea that this is going on here. Right? Um, so a lot of times we have two sections of, of entrepreneurs that we work with. Um. The under a hundred thousand dollars a year entrepreneurs. So the guys who are making under a hundred thousand dollars in revenue, um, and then the guys who are typically doing upwards of anywhere between, usually they’re between like 1 million and 20 million, um, in revenue.
So they’re established, but they’re looking for gross. The under a hundred K guys. I mean, I can relate to that because I, first of all, I documented my process really, really thoroughly so I can look, I can scroll back through it and be like, Oh yeah, I remember feeling like that. Yep. That was not a good day.
Um, but, but I do find like, they don’t realize they have this going on. They’re struggling with anxiety. Right? So they’re incredibly anxious about paying the bills about this. I mean, you know, life, everything going on and they’re not looking at it as a devil and an angel on their shoulder because they haven’t learned to separate themselves from their thoughts.
So one of the, one of the most powerful concepts I was taught, um, is that you are, you are not your thoughts. You were more than your thoughts, which took me forever. Like I was like. Well, if I’m not my thoughts and I’m not my body, like what am I and, right, right. I know. Yeah. Like, Oh my gosh, going deep here, but, but it took me a while to realize, okay, yeah, no, that’s true.
Like my thoughts are a piece of what. What makes me who I am. But it’s not the, it’s not the whole of me and not every thought. I don’t have to internalize it. Oh. And every thought that comes my way. So, you know, devil’s Stephanie sits here and she talks a lot like she is very vocal. Um, she’s less vocal now that I’ve learned to, to hush her up and, and how to have a constructive conversation.
Cause there is value in having her. But I think a lot of entrepreneurs haven’t learned to do that. So what’s happening is in the back of their head all day long, there’s this voice going off. And it’s freaking them out about whether or not they’re going to have enough money to pay the bills. It’s freaking them out about whether or not they’re going to be able to retain the clients, freaking them out about whether or not they’re going to get everything done.
It’s freaking that, I mean, they’re, they’re, they’re panicking over, you know, they can’t even think about paying taxes at the end of the year and setting aside money to pay taxes because they’re so busy freaking out about how they’re going to pay bills. Yeah. And so, you know, and that’s just one example, but like, they can’t think beyond the today.
And so I do find a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with that. The solopreneurs, the startups. They under a hundred K they struggle with time management, so they’re kind of all over the place. Um, and part of that stems from that fear of not having enough money. So then they take on jobs and they take on work that’s outside of their energy advantage.
So we use the example of like a graphics designer. So let’s say you’re a really amazing graphic designer who designs like logos and brands. Right? And you’re just getting started and you landed a new client, you design their brand for them, and they’re really excited and they love it. And they come to you and they say, Hey, by the way.
Do you think you could do some social media content creation for us too? You’re just so good at these graphics and you understand our brand, and so this, this graphic designer wanting to create reccurring revenue, it goes, yeah, you know what? I can do that. And they set it up and they don’t think it’s causing problems, but the problem is it’s outside of their energy advantage.
They don’t love doing it. It’s outside of their core competency, right? Which is brand creation. And so not only are they diluting their brand, but they’re wasting energy over here and they’re, they’re underestimating the impact on their core business. By letting themselves get pulled into doing something that they don’t love.
And so that’s one area where I find a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with where they let themselves get pulled into things that they know they shouldn’t be doing because they’re just trying to turn a buck. They’re just trying to make sure that they have enough money. I find a lot of times, like startup entrepreneurs, they’re underpricing themselves because they don’t realize how much work is going in.
Like they’re like, Oh, I’m charging 250 bucks an hour for coaching. I’m good. Well. That 250 bucks an hour. Hold on a second. You have to drive 30 minutes there, 30 minutes back, coach for an hour. So you’ve got one hour of drive time, one hour of coach time, one hour of prep time. Now you’re charging $250 for three hours of work.
Oh, and this person also reaches out to you throughout the month. Trying to, you know, ask for questions or help or whatever. And so now suddenly you’re $250 let’s say you just divide it by four, now you’re not getting paid 250 bucks an hour. You’re paid $62 an hour, okay? Which is still decent pay, but it’s not 250. It limits their ability to scale.
And so there’s a whole slew of issues that start coming into play with those with the small guys. But yes, they all, they all have the same. Most of the time they have the exact same five issues.
Norman Chella: [00:25:17] And how does that compare to, cause I have no actual image or I don’t think I know anybody who is making sales of 1 million and over.
We’re talking about a different completely different ball game here. I understand the under a hundred K sales completely because I’ve actually gone through the exact situations that you’ve just described. You know, not being refined in what I’m capable of doing things outside of my energy advantage. I just thought, Oh, you know, extra bucks.
It should be okay. But then the amount of time commitment to that, uh, ends up being pretty bad to me. But yeah. What about the big players? Let’s talk about 1 million plus. What, what kind of problems do they go through? And I love tapping into these, these problems cause it sounds, they sound like they’re doing great, right?
It sounds like it’s all happy and everything, but what kind of struggles. What kind of blood are they shedding to achieve these sales?
Stephanie Scheller: [00:26:10] What kind of blood are they shedding, I love that. You know, the funniest, the funniest thing is it’s funny or not, but what’s interesting, one of my favorite quotes is when you get to where you’re going, you’ll only be more of who you already are.
So this concept of like, the thing is a lot of these guys, they somehow manage like almost by accident to get past a million or in spite of themselves. So a lot of times they’re dealing with a lot of the same issues, maybe not quite on the same scale. So maybe they’ve got better pricing. But it’s not always, it’s not always great pricing.
So the five major things that people have to get in place in order to really scale their business. And this is when we talk about disrupting a business, right? Yeah. Mmm. Because what was a sales training practice for me when I got started, has morphed into this event hosting company. So we put on events for small businesses and we bring in speakers, we bring in experts, all this, all this cool stuff. And there’s five key things that they have to have. And then I’ll relate this back to the million dollar guys in just a second.
Um, they have to have cash flow and financial management. So they need to have a really solid strategy for how they’re managing, um, the money that comes in, how they’re making sure that they maintain their cashflow.
Because a lot of small businesses, they don’t focus on cash flow management. And so of course, you know, this is a really good, you know, timeframe to look at who’s been doing good cashflow management, who haven’t. Because a lot of businesses are all of a sudden in a lot of trouble because they had to shut down for a month because they didn’t have cashflow management.
They were just, it was money in money out, right? So cashflow and financial management is the first one. Uh, and these aren’t in any particular order. You need all five to do business, period. It’s not like one of these is more important. You need a standard operating procedures and quality controls, right? So if you’re going to do fulfilling, if you’re going to build a million dollar business, right?
You have to have quality controls because you’re not going to be able to do everything in the company. And so you’re going to have to have people doing it for you. This is where a lot of small business, small, small guys under a hundred K, they can get away without quality controls cause they’re doing everything right.
But the problem is they, they stress themselves out. They can’t grow because, they have like, they try to hire somebody and the person’s not doing it right, so they fire them and you know. You have to have standard operating procedures and quality controls. You have to have a solid sales strategy in place. You have to have good marketing and branding. And this goes beyond sales, like sales is converting into an actual purchase. Marketing and branding is your reputation and how you’re portraying yourself in the market. And then you have to have people management.
And so what happens is when you’re a really small guy. You have to have, you have to be good at cashflow and financial management, and you just have to be able to manage your own finances and you and the business you’re what your finances are kind of like here. Like the business makes money, you make money when you’re really, really small.
Well, as you grow the business, what happens is you have to start divorcing the two. So the business makes money and then you get paid by the business. Okay? And then we start talking about, all right, you have to take profit distributions and a paycheck, right? That’s when you know you have a solid business is when you get profit and paycheck.
You know, SOPs and quality control. So suddenly you can’t do everything. We already kind of talked about this one. You have to actually have a quality control checklist. You have to have, you know, a standard operating, Hey, we do step one, then step two, then step three, step four, step five. Mmm. The small guy, they’re doing all their own sales, okay?
The bigger guy at a million dollars, you’re having to manage people to do sales for you. You’re, you’re not doing all the sales anymore. And so your knowledge of sales has to shift where just because you’re good at sales doesn’t mean you’re a great manager. And so now you have to make that transition from, I’m doing all the sales to, I’m managing people who are doing the sales.
Marketing and branding. When you’re a small company, you can get away with very minimal marketing and branding. You don’t have to think about what is what I’m doing impacting my brand in the marketplace? When you start to get larger, all of a sudden you actually have to start paying attention to that stuff.
Okay? Hey, we make this move. We decided to put advertising on this radio station, right? But let’s say that radio station, right is, you know, known for having a radio show that bashes small businesses. Just an example here, right? Yep. You are by advertising with that station, like that’s your brand being associated with another brand that’s not great for your clientele, right?
Or maybe you’re a doctor and you’re advertising on a station that has a whole bunch of, you know, shows about holistic medicine, right? But you’re a traditional doctor, and so you’re sitting here going, that’s my brand being represented over here. Right. Do you have to start thinking about that stuff and then people management, right?
When you’re small, you have to manage yourself. As you grow. You have to not just manage yourself, you have to manage other people. And so we’re all see people make the most mistakes or have the most challenges, right? Is where they grow in spite of themselves. A lot of times where they didn’t really know what they were doing, but they had like a really good idea.
And so they kind of like blew up and they got to a million or two or 10 and they’re sitting here with this business and they’re kind of going. Yeah, they’re scared to come out of their office because they don’t really know like the heck to do like. You know, like, I don’t know how I got here. I can’t really maintain.
Right. So they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re terrified to do anything. They’re terrified to change anything because, well, we did work. It got us here. Right. So it’s clearly gonna, well no. What got you to a million isn’t going to get you to 3 million. What gets you to three isn’t going to get you to five.
What gets you to five isn’t going to get you to 10. Well, it gets you to 10 isn’t going to get you to 20. And people don’t think about that so. It’s the exact same problems. It’s just at different scales and it’s usually you’re dealing with more people and more money, you know, going back to the, when you get to where you’re going, and you’ll only be more of who you already are so if you suck at cashflow management as a small company, you’re probably going to suck at it as a big company.
And that’s even more scary. Like Nike had issues with this, like I don’t know. Have you read the book? Um. Is it Shoe Dog?
Norman Chella: [00:32:13] Shoe Dog? Yeah. Yeah.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:32:14] Right. And he’s talking about this one time when like they literally owed like a hundred million dollars by Friday and he’s sitting here going, where we’re going to get…
it’s like you can still grow, but if you had, if you don’t fix the problem as a small guy, you’re just going to be dealing with it at a larger scale. So, yeah.
Norman Chella: [00:32:36] I liked, I liked the, um, I liked that distinction because you have, uh, the same skills in the same issues that would bring you up all the way up to say seven figures of revenue.
Like the first, you know, your first million. And I, and I think I know that feeling when, when you make your first sale and you’re like, Oh, this is cool, everything’s still under my control. You’re still able to manage. Procedures, SOP, et cetera, for your current solo business, but you jumped from that to making a big sale.
You’d reached your first million. And I think it’s, I think it’s a matter of the fact that the weight of a million dollars under your name or your character or yourself is what forces you to, or like clamps you down to your office. You don’t want to leave because it’s, I’m not sure if it’s a mixture of imposter syndrome or the fact that I don’t know if what I’m doing right now will take me from 1 million to 3 million.
And, and I like how you’ve brought up the fact that now we, to maintain that scale or to grow beyond the 1 million, we have to start changing roles from salespeople to managers of salespeople.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:33:40] Yeah.
Norman Chella: [00:33:41] Were there a lot of difficulties trying to teach people about that? Like they’ve been in sales positions their whole life and all of a sudden you’re telling them like, Hey, you’ve been doing good, raking into millions of dollars, but you shouldn’t do that anymore. You need to manage multiple people to get tens of millions. I think that shift in responsibilities. Is there a lot of difficulty for that? I would love to hear your take on that.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:34:02] There’s yes and no. So most of the time they, they’re trying to manage people and so they have a team that they’re managing, but the team isn’t performing as well and they’re sitting here blaming the market, blaming the sales rep.
And they’re sitting here saying, well, I could do it and I can still get on the phone and close deals. So I don’t know why you can’t do this. Right? And what happens is they’re driving away sales reps and what they’re doing is they’re saying, well, I just got to find the right sales rep, right? So they haven’t internalized that this is actually a, you prompt like.
When you’ve gone through three sales reps and none of them have started selling for you, that’s not a sales rep. Like at that point, there’s one common denominator. It’s you. Um, but most of the time that’s, that’s where their head is at. Like if I can just find the right person will be fine. And so they’re not looking at this as a me issue.
Cause cause what happens is when they hire a sales rep, they lose the sales rep within a few weeks. Or maybe the sales rep, you know, struggles and holds on for a year, but never really takes off. And they, they lose it. And so the owner jumps back into doing sales and there, you know, back in, go, go, go, go, go.
And, uh, and, and they’re like, well, you know, I’m just proving that it’s possible. We just didn’t have the right rep. And so getting them to realize, you know, actually you might’ve had the right rep. Yeah. But the management like getting them to realize that it’s not about finding the silver bullet. It’s about creating the silver bullet.
Right? You’re going to have to take the raw materials. And cast and make this bullet yourself if you really want this to work well, because you and, and getting that. So there is, there’s this process of first getting them to realize you’re not going to find a silver bullet. Second of all, getting them to realize you have to, you have to craft this silver bullet.
Um, which that usually isn’t too hard of a leap for them. Cause then they sit there and they’re like, Oh, I just need to find the right raw material. Okay, great. And then what I do at that point is now I’ve got them thinking, okay, I need to find the right raw materials. So now I can start teaching them about managing sales management.
Right. So, okay. So yeah, you got to craft the right material. Let me teach you. How to craft the right person. Right? So that’s the approach I’ve gone with getting people to realize that they, you know, need a shift. Um, because otherwise they, they do tend to be pretty resistant. Then they’re like, well, and I usually find they have to go through three or four hires before they’re willing to listen because they, they, they, they can sell so well.
They just, they think it, they’re convinced that they can do this on their own and you know, so I just don’t even fight with them until they’ve gone through a couple of hires and realized that it’s not working.
Norman Chella: [00:36:57] I mean, it’s a hard lesson, right? Like they have to go through the first few hires, for them to realize the limits of where they are right now as their position is managing the salespeople who are doing should be fine, but maybe not as, not as much as the expectations of that person.
So it’s when you sit down and realize like, Oh, okay. I am the pattern, like I’m, I’m the main reason or one of the biggest factors was still be very difficult to realize. I’m not sure if I’m ever going to be in that kind of position later on in the future, but just, just the mere thought of it. Scares me.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:37:30] It is really hard. And I think a big part of it is that a lot of small business owners deal with, um, with an identity crisis. So when, when you’re really small business, you are the business, right? We’ve talked about this where you don’t have to worry about quality controls. You are the quality controls, if business makes money.
You make money, right? Like there’s very little divorced. Between you and your business. But in order to grow and really in order to grow your business sustainably past the quarter million dollar mark, you have to start separating and divorcing yourself from the business. Okay. And so you have to sit there, you have to start to say, okay, the money the business makes is not my money.
Yep. Right. The work that the business does is not my work. This is not mine. This is not mine. And you have to start separating yourself just a little bit from the individual pieces. And it’s really hard to do. Um, and it’s, it’s. You have to do it piece by piece by piece. You can’t just suddenly be like, alright, I’m divorced from the business.
Right? Like you’ll beat your, you have to start divorcing yourself from the finances, which is usually the first one where people start to realize, okay, the business makes money and then it pays me. But just because the business makes money doesn’t mean I make money. Okay. So that’s usually the first, the first identity crisis they go through, and then the quality controls and the work.
Right now they’re starting to realize that just because the business has work to do doesn’t mean I do. And, and I’ve got it. I’ve got it. Manage the business as opposed to do the business. But I’ll, I’ll find a lot of people that don’t make it past the next divorce, which is the divorce from sales, which is, I’m not the sales rep anymore.
I am the sales manager. Yeah. And they, we go through this and you’ll see this a lot. Like I can tell if someone’s dealing with this, because if the business has a bad day or a bad week, the person has a bad day or a bad week.
Norman Chella: [00:39:28] Ah, okay.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:39:30] Right. Okay. Because they and their business are the same. So if they don’t make a sale and that this is, you know, Stephanie just sharing exactly what she went through.
Right. There would be weeks when it’d be like, if I didn’t make a sale, like I got depressed, I got frustrated because the business wasn’t doing well. And when I started to learn to separate the two, it became a lot easier. One, the business started making more money. Um, and, and then to, um. I started to, you know, I started to be able to have a bad day without it impacting the business too.
Whereas previously, right? If Steph had a bad day, the business had a bad day, and so when you start to separate like it, it becomes really important, but a lot of people just can’t quite get their head around it.
Norman Chella: [00:40:10] Do you have any advice for those who are approaching that moment, maybe maybe approaching that quarter million dollar, I guess that’s like the standard metric for you to start thinking about this transition. Do you have any advice for those who want to initiate that divorce? I guess it’s like, I mean, I guess the very first thing would be a mindset change. Um, but I guess maybe you have your take on taking a step back and thinking to yourself like. We have to change how we do things.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:40:39] Yeah. So if you want to, if you want to start to separate yourself from the business, one thing, first of all, you’re probably going to have to do it.
Start doing it in order to get past the quarter million dollar mark, because you’re going to have to hire, you’re going to have to not kill yourself. So, so it is a mindset shift. What I want you to start doing is just in your head, like imagine like a Venn diagram, right? And it’s mostly overlapping. Right?
And here’s you, and here’s the business. And I just, in your head, just start imagining the two being separate and they can still stay together, but they can, they can kind of pull part a little bit and, you know, start with the money. Start with, you know, one of the, one of the biggest things that I recommend people do, there’s a book called Profit First by this guy by the name of Mike…
um, and that last name is impossible to spell. So just look up profit first and Mike, and you’ll find
Norman Chella: [00:41:30] I’ll find it.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:41:31] Yeah. Um, and it is one of the best books to read for divorcing yourself from the money for starting to realize that you know how to run and manage the business. Right. And then the next thing I encourage people to look at is realize that your job is going to have to shift.
As you become, as you start to separate, you will no longer be the doer, you’ll be the manager. And so the thing is most people don’t know how to manage. They don’t know how to lead. And so your job now, whereas previously you were trying to learn sales skills to get enough sales in the door to close deals.
And previously you were trying to learn, you know, um, functional skills, right? So if you were a website builder, you were trying to learn more website building all of this stuff. And instead I want you to start looking and learning management skills, management skills or stuff like how to communicate with people.
Um, management skills is stuff like, you know, project management software. Um, it’s, you know, leadership books. And when you start pushing yourself to learn these other skills, this gray area of I have to manage my team, right? I have to manage the finances. I have to manage my team for fulfillment. I have to manage the sales.
This gray area of how do I manage it becomes a lot less intimidating. And so you can step back comfortably without freaking out about, Oh my gosh, what’s going to, you know. What’s going to happen. So that would, I would, I would start with profit first. I would start with that kind of visual, like, uh, you know, just, you know, meditate.
Like, just see the diagram, see the diagram, the diagram. Right. Which sounds really dumb, but it really does go a long ways to mentally start divorcing herself. And then I would, I would. Really start working on learning management skills, real management skills.
Norman Chella: [00:43:18] I wouldn’t call that visualization dumb at all because we do have to find many different ways to separate, like it’s, it’s a huge moment, right?
You’ve been working on this. This is for so long, it’s representative of you, and now you have to basically separate yourself. Like it’s like splitting one body into two and then actually making sure that the distinction is clear in your head each and every day. You’re going to build a habit of knowing how to separate yourself from your business.
So I understand. I wouldn’t really call it dumb. I’d probably call it imaginative. It’s probably one way of looking at it.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:43:52] You know, people, I think people underestimate the power of the brain. And when you can start to, I was going through a Walt Disney, um. Biography a few years back and it, there was a line in there, and I can’t remember the exact line, but it basically said something about how it went from, um, the company existing to serve Walt, right.
Disney existing to serve waltz to Walt now existing to serve the company, right. And the company, it was a completely, and it was, for me, that moment was like, Oh, like, okay. Whereas previously the company existed to make sure Stephanie could pay her bills. Now the company is bigger than Stephanie. We have all these people that it supports, and now Stephanie exists to serve the company and help make sure that the company, the company has become bigger.
And until you can make that, that divorce. Yeah. Identity separation in your head, your company will never be bigger than you. And that’s where most people get stuck. They get stuck at the quarter million, the a hundred thousand they get stuck at the million. They get stuck at the 3 million because they never see the company as bigger than them.
And that is probably the biggest differentiator for the companies that attain rapid growth and the companies that get stuck.
Norman Chella: [00:45:13] It seems like one of the largest obstacles to ensure scalability. If you want to go from 1 million to 10 10 million to much more, or even for 100 K to 258 and actually getting over debt, that barrier or that obstacle, I’m sure that first of all, learn to separate yourself from that.
I’m sure that you have much more to share, especially in Grow Disrupt. To close off this chat, there is a few things that I would like to ask you. A few segments Stephanie, this part is called mementos. Do you have a memento that represents who you are?
Stephanie Scheller: [00:45:51] A memento that represents who I am. Um. I don’t necessarily, I have my art.
You can kind of, you can see one of my pieces behind me, and I think it’s not a single, but a lot of these, a lot of my art does become a big representation of who I am. Um, my husband asked me why I don’t sell any of it. I’m like, it’s because I can’t sell a piece of my soul, but it really is, you know, that my art will end up reflecting exactly.
Who I am, where I am, my journey, my growth, um, my struggles. So I think that’s probably the closest thing I have to a memento.
Norman Chella: [00:46:27] So is that one the most recent
piece that you’ve done?
Stephanie Scheller: [00:46:30] Um, it’s not the most recent. It is one of the most recent, and it is definitely one of my favorites. Um, there’s actually a lot of art over there.
Art studio. Um, I haven’t, um, actually no, this was my most recent piece. Um, and this was, this was a, it was an acrylic pour. This one was actually a brush, a brush.
Well. Yeah. So I need to go back. I want to do some, some work on the Hills and re and flush those out a little bit more. But, um, that was my most recent piece.
Uh, and, um. And I really, I really actually really liked it.
Norman Chella: [00:47:10] So it’s just, I just had a really weird thought come to me. The irony that you’re unable to sell your paintings because there’s a large part of yourself. Sounds like you not wanting to divorce from your business.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:47:25] So that’s exactly what it is. And my husband gives me such a hard time over this, and my answer to him is always, but the painting is not a business. I have a business, I’m allowed to be selfish with this. This is my hobby. I was like, all right, but what are you going to do with it? Cause we have a lot of art around that.
But yes, spot on. Good observation.
Norman Chella: [00:47:50] If it was a business otherwise, I’m sorry, I just made that connection.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:47:53] Right. It’s exactly what it is because it is exactly why I have a hard time selling any of it.
Norman Chella: [00:47:59] The next segment is a part called walkaway wisdom. So say that we walk away from this conversation right now, I meet someone and we become friends and we connect.
I become intimate with them and I share with them a large and vulnerable part of my life, which includes this conversation. So is there a piece of wisdom that I can share with them that represents who you are.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:48:23] I think the, the one that I’ve come back to again and again through the years is this acronym I created a few years back called EFFORT.
So if you think about effort, E, F, F, O, R, T, and it stands for ‘Earned Freedom For Overcoming Real Tempests’. And the reality is, you know, Tempests is just storms and we all go through storms. We go through some crazy stuff in life. Yep. Um. But when we’re willing to put the effort in, we earn the freedom to have whatever life we want.
So whatever you’re dealing with, you know, I, I went through a phase in my life where I was, you know, a quitter or not finisher, right? I would start this and I wouldn’t finish it, and I’d start that and I wouldn’t finish it. And yeah. And when I realized that if you’re willing to put the effort in, whatever you’re dealing with, right, you can be up against some serious crap.
But if you are willing to put the effort in, you can create a life you’re proud of no matter what you’re up against. And I think that’s probably the one take away that I try and infuse across the board is you have choices. Some make a choice to put the effort in cause life’s great on the other side.
Norman Chella: [00:49:26] So cutting through the tempests Stephanie, you have done and put in so much effort to build Grow Disrupt, and being in a place where you are proud of where you are right now. Where can we find you if we want to reach out to you? What are you working on right now?
Stephanie Scheller: [00:49:42] Ah, so we, I mentioned earlier, we’ve made that transition from being a sales training company to be an event hosting company.
So if you go to growdisrupt.com just. Simple www.Growdisrupt.com. You can see, you know what we’re up to, the new events we’re putting on. Um, we are in the midst of launching this really cool quiz that will help small business owners pinpoint what exactly they need to focus on fixing. And then at the end, it’s like, okay, you need to fix this in your business.
Here’s some resources help out. Um, so I really, really excited about that. That should be up pretty quickly here. Um. And also Facebook. I hang out on Facebook a lot more than I should still. I’m trying to cut back and it’s just not working.
Norman Chella: [00:50:24] And of course links to the website and possibly your Facebook, I’m not sure if I can get your link somewhere, will be in the show notes below.
So. If you would like to reach out to Stephanie for anything sales related or on horses or on EFFORT, or maybe even on the tempests that she has gone through throughout her amazing career right now, you can can, you can go straight to those links. So Stephanie, thank you so much and I’ll chat with you soon.
Stephanie Scheller: [00:50:50] Thank you so much for having me.
Norman Chella: [00:50:53] And that is it. My chat with Stephanie Scheller of growdisrupt.com she is incredibly knowledgeable about sales. Oh my God, I learned so much and I never really thought about the different kinds of problems and how they differ when you’re trying to scale from maybe less than a hundred K to 250 to 1 million to even more like 10 million and such.
These are the different skills that I, myself, am not really experienced with, but I have seen seasoned entrepreneurs struggling through that. So it’s nice to see that Stephanie is able to, one, cater to that need, trying to help with that scalability and to share her personal experiences on trying to do that level, um, trying to achieve that level of scalability.
So props to her for being awesome on this conversation. I learned a lot and I hope you have as well. If you do, if you have a business and you’re trying to grow in a very disruptive manner. Then I’m sure you can learn a lot from Stephanie and if you are all as well, stay warm. Stay lovely. Fight through the tempests and I will see you in the next episode.
Your foolish friend. Norm.
Thank you for listening to the show. Anti fool is hosted, produced, and edited by me, Norman Chella. You can find out more about the show at, thatsthenorm.com/antifool it’s where I host all my other podcasts shows and more live music and sound effects. Come from zapsplat.com if you have any questions.
Recommendations for guests and more hit me up on Twitter at Norman Chella or on LinkedIn as well. There is only one of me in the world. I’m sure you can find me there. I love connecting with people and having warm, meaningful conversations. Don’t be foolish. Alright, cheers.