How to Turn Your Creative Genius into a Million-Dollar Machine with SOS 🤓

Unspoken Insights — Edition 7 — May 26th, 2024

Stuck in the Grind and Tired of Chasing Your Tail?
Let me tell you a story. Years ago, I had a client named Sarah who was incredibly talented. Her studio had 8 staff members. She was the definition of a creative powerhouse, always buzzing with ideas and delivering outstanding work. But despite her efforts, her business was stuck. She was overwhelmed, chasing after every shiny new tactic, hoping for a breakthrough. New websites, clever slogans, perfect outreach emails—none of it worked. She was stuck in survival mode, thinking short-term, and the constant grind was burning her out.

When Sarah came to me, she asked for magic tactics to fix her problems. She wanted the secret sauce that would turn her business around overnight. But I knew better. I knew that the problem wasn’t what she thought it was. The real issue was her approach. She was caught in a cycle of overthinking and overworking, missing the bigger picture.

The secret source really is what I call the ’SOS’.

Let’s start here: The Problem is Never Where You Think It Is
Sarah wanted quick fixes to solve her sales problem. Yet sales wasn’t her problem. Her sales approach wasn’t working because she had no marketing. Her marketing wasn’t working because she had no product-market-fit (AKA a no-brainer-offer) and that wasn’t working because she had no personal structure on how to go about her day as an creative AND entrepreneur.

My cure for Sarah? I got her out of short-term thinking and into long-term thinking. I helped her build the systems I just outlined. Once applied, she accelerated her burins with more ease less hours and more fun than ever before. That unhealthy stomach feeling that she soughed do something was gone. It wasn’t about working harder or finding quick fixes. It was about shifting her mindset and creating sustainable systems that would drive continuous growth AND allowed her to work less.

From Creative Sprints to Systems Thinking
Now it’s your time. Time to shift your mindset. Stop thinking in short bursts and start thinking long-term. Move away from one-off efforts and build systems that sustain continuous growth. Here’s how you can make this shift and get your business to that next level.

Step 1: Define Your End Goal and Work Backwards
Forget about the shiny tactics and focus on the end game. Define your ultimate business goal and reverse-engineer your path to it. Determine how many projects you need, what your average project value should be, and how many calls you need to generate those projects. Now identify your ideal buyers. Start with the end in mind and build a roadmap to get there.

Step 2: Build Repeatable Processes
Consistency is key. Develop repeatable processes for every aspect of your business—from lead generation to project delivery. Document these processes and refine them continuously. By creating a standardized approach, you ensure high-quality output and make it easier to scale your operations. Once build it allows you to spend less time on your business and get back to the stuff that’s fun. A paradox, I know ;)

Step 3: Train & Outsource
Now train your people in your systems and processes and/or get outside experts to help you. This will free up your time like crazy, enable you to get your creative output to the next level. Imagine having more time to direct your team, turn them into top-players. Having time to meet with potential high-value clients without the pressure to need to sell them something. That’s the energy that will make people want to work with you.

This is what I call the Studio Operating System. Building one lean system for each part of your business.

Adopting systems thinking and building your SOS aren’t just tips. They’re game-changers. This shift will smash the glass ceiling currently holding you back from getting beyond that million-dollar mark. It’s your path to building a million-dollar creative studio. Stop completing projects; start building systems and watch your business thrive.

Go big or go home. It’s time to rethink, retool, and rise.
If you would ask Sarah she would tell you to start right away. She did and she never locked back. Her business is now well beyond the million-dollar ARR mark.

Marko 'Systems Thinker' Pfann

p.s: Please share this newsletter with your friends and rivals. I'm committed to raising the bar in the creative industry so everyone can earn more, produce exceptional work, and find deep satisfaction in what they do.
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