For most business owners, there was a time they loved their business.
Some still do, but for many, the business feels like a trap. No matter what they try, their business can’t run without them and it doesn’t scale. It can be frustrating. Overwhelming. Exhausting.
But these business owners can’t just walk away. They’re committed to what they’ve created, have clients and staff they care about, and don’t want to work for someone else.
Debbie King knows what it’s like to feel trapped by a business you used to love. She felt that way for years before she made two fundamental shifts: she changed the way she thought about her business and the way she ran it. She wrote Loving Your Business to serve as a guide for other business owners who want to rethink their relationship with their business and reclaim their lives. Debbie shares how readers can leverage their brain and manage their mind so that they turn their company into a scalable asset that can run without them.
I recently caught up with Debbie to learn what inspired her to write the book, her favorite idea she shares with readers, and how this idea has impacted her life and career.
What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?
I decided to write the book because I really struggled with strategy, focus, cash, and people while scaling my business. I basically plowed through with willpower and grit.
But once I sold the business, the distance allowed me to see more clearly the ways I had created my own reality by the way I was thinking and feeling about my business. I wanted to make it easier for other business owners to LOVE their business while growing it, instead of feeling trapped and suffering like I had for years with my business.
What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?
Make your niche as narrow as possible, then identify what they value the most and turn your services for them into solutions that you package and sell as products. This allows you to differentiate yourself in the market—and when you’re different, you can charge a premium.
This increases your margins, which means you have more money for marketing. In this way, you’re creating a positive cycle for your business. This is also how you increase the value of your business, which is the most important thing you can do because it gives you options. When your business is valuable, it means you own an asset which you can scale, sell, pass down, or run as an investor or chairman who is removed from the day to day. That’s real freedom.
What’s a story of how you’ve applied this lesson in your own life? What has this lesson done for you?
I turned a services company that did technical consulting into a solutions company that offered a hosted solution that generated recurring revenue. We identified what our clients needed the most and instead of building it over and over again for each client, we decided to build a solution which would work for 80% of the clients.
This meant instead of trading time for money and having a glorified but stressful “job” with lots of high paid employees, I created a system and a team which scaled and could run without my day-to-day involvement. This made the company very attractive to potential acquirers and also made it possible for me to exit without having to stay for an earn out.