Entrepreneur to Millionaire

Entrepreneur to Millionaire with Kent Billingsley

The most central aspect of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing how to optimize your business to be profitable. GLO spoke with entrepreneur and business coach Kent Billingsley about his book, Entrepreneur to Millionaire, and his steps to creating a successful business. Billingsley calls himself a “revenue growth architect,” and has spent his career redesigning organizations to optimize their growth and profitability.

How do I improve my business’s performance?

In order to optimize your business, you must evaluate your current standings. Billingsley suggests starting with these four questions:

  1. What are the things you are doing right now that you could leverage, expand, or accelerate?
  2. What are the areas in your business that you need to fix or improve in order to accelerate them?
  3. Are there any holes in your business? What are the pieces that are missing? If so, you need to build or buy to fix the holes.
  4. The fourth question is the most difficult one: what are the things you should stop doing?

Within these four questions, you will begin to find the areas in your business that will be necessary to adjust in order to scale. Especially with the fourth question, there are many areas and emotional products or services that you will have to stop producing if you want to scale. Learning which aspects of your model are not effective is key to optimizing growth.

The Key to Success: Be Entrepreneurial

As an experienced business coach, one of the most important things Billingsley learned is that no matter your role, you have to be entrepreneurial. Whether you’re in a small business or a large corporation, you must maintain an entrepreneurial and competitive mindset to succeed. FOr Billingsley, this means that you need to develop the competency for creative problem-solving. Everyone is constantly facing new and different challenges. Those who can solve their problems in creative ways – without spending more money or hiring more people – will accelerate the most.

By cultivating this mindset, you can fast-track your business and outshine the competition. Billingsley focuses on three learning points within this key to shape a pathway to success:

  1. You must be entrepreneurial.
  2. Marketing is the most underutilized area of every business.
  3. Your strategy is either a position or a path.

As a former CMO, Billingsley has seen the incredible untapped potential of marketing. Marketing should be accountable for creating the demand and profitable growth of your business. Oftentimes, struggling companies will cut their marketing teams first when they are struggling, yet that is the area that can pull you through hard times and generate profits. 

Your strategy is the support system for any business. If your strategy is a position, it can be limiting. If it is a path, a great strategy allows you to move forward with clarity. Especially for a small company with limited resources, a good strategy gives you the ability to say no.

Saying no is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur. There will always be a “lust” for a new project or offer. However, you can’t do everything, or else you will spread yourself too thin. With too many products, you won’t be able to create wealth in your current business model. Instead, you need to maximize your current product.

How can I make money with my product?

With these ideas as a foundation, Billingsley helped build a startup from $2 million to $38 million in two and a half years. It was a public software company that started as a team of two and grew to 18 employees. Billingsley emphasized that the average turnover rate in startups is 30%. He had a 0% unplanned turnover with 5% planned. He knew how to use his employees well and cultivate their skills without wasting energy and money.

If you’re interested in learning more about Billingsley’s roadmap to growth, buy his book or watch our interview with him here.

Author

Samantha Braffman

Samantha Braffman is a Philadelphia based writer for Global Leaders Organization. She is also an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, working towards a bachelor's degree in Political Science and English.