9-Figure Business Lessons That Could Change The Course of Your Life

These are just some of the wisdoms I’ve gained from my mentor Yaseen Dadabhay in the few short years we’ve worked together.

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1. Before you think about going to a million, think about going to ZERO

We all want to rush to a 6- or 7-figure business. We all think about the money we want to make, and we plan for things going well.

But what about when they don’t?

Lack of cashflow is the leading – and really the ONLY – cause of business destruction.

What would you do if you couldn’t make revenue tomorrow? If your gym was flooded? If you were injured? If your clients get scared to spend during a recession?

How would you operate and keep things going – without cash to keep you afloat?

Just like a building, your business can only scale as high as its foundations are deep.

Too many of us don’t invest near enough time building the solid foundations that would allow us smoother growth later.

Winter is coming.

And it’s always best to fix the leaky roof while it’s still summer.

2. You need to know your numbers – inside out, back to front, and from right-to-left

And not just the “vanity metrics” either. Knowing revenue, profit and operating costs per month are just tip of the iceberg.

Before meeting Yaseen, I thought I had a handle on my numbers, but I wasn’t even at 10% of the depth I am now.

Clients are shocked when not only can I instantly tell them my cost per acquisition, lifetime value per client, and the breakdown of each major cost center as a % of revenue…

…but it goes deeper.

Me and my team track exactly how much money we’ve generated from every single client – many over 2-5 years.

We track what our likely financial revenues and costs are going to be over the next 12 months.

We track what our likely cost increases are going to be (we actually account, for example, that FB ad costs will increase 10% on average per month, and calculation that is factored into our long-term projection plans).

The numbers are the vital life signs of your company. If you don’t know them, you will not grow far.

And the larger your company is right now on a poor foundation of numbers, the harder and nastier your crash is going to be…

3.The MOST Critical Number in Your Business?

Not your CAC.

Not your profit margin %.

Not even your “LTV”.

No, its your Burn rate – how many months of operating cash does your business have?

In other words, if no more revenue came in tomorrow how long could you keep the lights on?

The scary reality is that 90% of coaching businesses are less than 2 months away from bankruptcy. ONE bad month could knock you out for good.

Make it a priority to make your company profitable enough and increase your sales velocity so you can increase your operating cashflow.

4. I wasn’t showing up anywhere even CLOSE to my actual potential or peak performance

You can only lead others to the degree you are able to lead yourself.

Yaseen showed me that I wasn’t even close to holding the higher standards for myself -and continually staying accountable to them, as I do today (and I still have a long way to go).

There’s a permeating culture today that says, “If anything gives you any resistance, just run away from it! Only do what feels good!!

But this is an insidious half-truth.

True, do what feels good. It might make you happy… but never fulfilled.

Because deep fulfilment ONLY comes from being – and becoming- the next greatest version of yourself.

Because deep fulfilment ONLY comes from being – and becoming- the next greatest version of yourself.

“Hell on earth”, actually is the reality of not living up to the potential you’ve realized you’re capable of.

So instead of saying, “I’m not going to hold this higher standard of behaviour or discipline because it doesn’t make me feel good…”

Yaseen changed my perspective to instead inquire: “Why don’t I adopt this new higher-standard of habit until it NO LONGER feels new and uncomfortable… and then DOES feel good to me?

^^ This is how you level up your life. And if you reflect on your past, its also the way you always have done it.

What standards – in work, love, relationships, family, life, health – are you NOT meeting because its (at first) too uncomfortable for you?

And how are you going to change that – today?

5. Business Isn’t Always About Doing What You Love

Expanding on the previous lesson.

The incomplete and out-of-context “feel good / manifestation / ease and flow” culture has permeated into business ethos today.

Combined with the ease of setting up a FB page & a Clickfunnel to then call yourself “an entrepreneur”, this has led to a grossly distorted perception of what it actually takes to succeed in business.

The mantra of “just do what you love and the money will come” MIGHT apply to having a high 5-figure “lifestyle business”. Heck, do a couple of “launches” that you love and you might even hit a couple of 6-figure months here and there.

But if you want to create a real performance company that creates legacy and impact on a grander scale… be prepared that you will need to do things you DON’T like.

I don’t like tracking all the numbers. But I do it.

I don’t like having to fire people. But I do it.

I don’t like having to make important decisions that seriously affect the future of my company and the welfare of my team members – with incomplete data & urgent deadlines.

But I do it.

6. Pay Yourself First

One of the first- and biggest lessons I learned.

I thought I was living “humbly” and doing the right thing by only dipping into the company to take a bit of money for myself, when I needed it.

Because of this, I had an inflated appearance of profitability in the company.

I remember the conversation, vividly a few years ago:

Yaseen: “How much profit did the company make last month?”

Me (smugly): “Oh, around £9,000…“(waiting for approval and validation…)

Yaseen: “But did you include your CEO salary in that?

Me: “Well, I just paid myself £1000, its all I need.

Yaseen: “So if you wanted to – or HAD to -leave the business tomorrow, and someone of equal talent & experience was to replace you as CEO to lead the company, would THEY do the same job as you for a £1000/m salary?”

Me: “🙄”

Yaseen: “See, its ok for you to be frugal and take only £1000 if thats the case. BUT… in reality the company needs to make enough money to cover a competitive market salary for each role that keeps the business alive.

If a realistic market salary for the work you do is actually around £8,000 per month, you only have £1000 profit, not £9000.

Otherwise, keep making an inflated profit… but the consequence is you’ll be stuck doing this job forever, since the company can’t afford to hire anyone else. The salaries are not covered by the revenue you’re making. The business actually needs to make a lot more money

And immediately I understood the pitfalls of a lifestyle business. Lifestyle businesses will make you an awesome month to month income… if you’re content on doing all the work, all the time, for all of the company’s life.

If not… then we got some more work to do.

I also understood that its good to be frugal and take as little as I need… but the company needs to EARN and ALLOCATE enough money to cover a competitive market salary for when I DO need to outsource some of, or all of the role in the future.

The lesson here, is that if you’re not treating yourself like an employee in your business, then you’re not treating your business like a business.

If you’re not treating yourself like an employee in your business, then you’re not treating your business like a business. – Justin Devonshire

7. The best leader is the best servant

You serve your team, they don’t serve you.

I teach fitpros that “Your team become your new clients”.

Becoming a leader – against popular opinion – doesn’t mean you answer to fewer people.

It means you answer to more.

As Gary Vaynerchuck mentions in a recent article on Leadership: “The other mistake a lot of people make when they get into a management position is that they think other people work for them. “

Being a leader is about mentoring your team members. Adding value to their lives. Continually re-selling them on why they should commit the best 20-40 years of their life working WITH YOU …. rather than doing something else.

A lot of fitpros ask me, “How much should I pay a new trainer to work for me?”

And I say that the first question you need to be able to answer is “WHY should this trainer work for me over all other options?”

Leadership starts with giving, not taking or demanding.

8. If You Knew The Truth, You May Not Even WANT a 7-, 8- or 9-Figure Business

We always hear from ads & 5-minute Youtube soundbites how successful the multi-million pound entrepreneurs are.

But what we don’t hear as often is what they did – and what they went through – to get there.

When you truly understand what it takes to build and maintain a multimillion pound SUSTAINABLE business, you might not even want it anymore.

And that’s perfectly okay. I love to stay in great shape, but that doesn’t mean I want to be an Olympic athlete.

The reality is this game of entrepreneurship is a lot tougher, emotionally challenging and physically demanding as we want to believe it is.

But you soon come to realize, that the unique challenges, ups, downs, responsibilities and growth of it ARE the reward.

Success may come from the things we achieve.

But fulfilment always come from realizing the person we become.

Thank you to Yaseen for this wisdom and much more. I look forward to realizing how much more I don’t know what I don’t know.

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