Tom Sylvester with 2X, set a goal to “retire” by 35. He later found out that he actually didn’t want to stop working, but instead desired to create financial freedom that would allow him to design an ideal lifestyle for his family.
After building 3 businesses to make that goal a reality, he shifted his focus to supporting entrepreneurs and business owners to scale their businesses to create time and financial freedom themselves. He does this through a focus on leadership, strategy, and systems.
When not working with business owners, Tom enjoys golfing and playing video games in his custom home theater.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Business Leadership
- Scaling -Building Business To Support Your Life
- Financial Independence
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for Coach the Coach Radio brought to you by the Business RadioX ambassador program, the no cost business development strategy for coaches who want to spend more time serving local business clients and less time selling them. Go to brxambassador.com to learn more. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:33] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Coach the Coach Radio, and this is going to be a fun one. Today we have with us Tom Sylvester with 2X. Welcome Tom.
Tom Sylvester: [00:00:42] Hey, thanks, Lee. Great to be here.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:44] Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us a little bit about 2X. How are you serving, folks?
Tom Sylvester: [00:00:50] Absolutely. So the main thing we look at with two weeks is helping six and seven figure business owners really free themselves from the day or the day of their business, turn it into a consistent machine that is running without them so that they’re free to grow the business and ultimately achieve their personal goals through building the business to meet their needs.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:10] So now, do you specialize in certain industries or is this kind of industry agnostic?
Tom Sylvester: [00:01:16] The methods that we use our industry agnostic, but we find most of our clients are in a fast growing business space. So this could be online business. This could be service based. This could be e-commerce. But anything where the business has the ability to scale up quick when they put the right team systems and strategies in place now.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:35] Have you found that most entrepreneurs are kind of making similar mistakes and it’s just a matter of just them becoming aware of it and putting the systems in place? Or is is every kind of business its own venture?
Tom Sylvester: [00:01:47] Yeah, I mean, that’s the interesting thing. You know, one of the things we talk about all the time is, you know, business is business as business and regardless of the industry or anything else, what it really comes down to is simplifying things down. Most business owners are trying to do too many things at once, really thinking about what is the business have to look like in order to achieve your goals, because we need to make sure that, one, we have clarity on what it is you’re ultimately trying to achieve, both in your personal life and in your business, and then making sure that you structure the business to do that. And very often what most business owners are doing is they’re going after too many things at once. They’re trying to do too many things themselves and they’re not actually thinking like the CEO. So what we need to do is kind of have them take a step back, get clear on where they want to go, and then structure the business so that it can then support them in making that happen.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:36] So now are there things that when the the business owner is talking to you and your team about where they’re at, where they’re frustrated, where they’re struggling, is it are you looking in the similar place every time or is it kind of different for each business?
Tom Sylvester: [00:02:53] Yeah, so we use a similar approach because there’s usually common areas, but then we cater what we end up doing for each business. So what it kind of comes down to is the first thing we’re looking to do with the business is simplify. So most business owners have way too many things going on. So we’re looking at what is the 80-20 and where can we cut or simplify the business so we can focus more on what the value is. Then what we look to do is make sure they have a solid foundation in place and very often business owners are trying to scale without really optimizing. Who are they serving? What is their core offer, making sure they have the right price point and positioning in place. And then we really want to make sure that they’re delivering a great result. So we always start with fulfillment, because if a business is creating raving fans through their product or service, then it’s easy to build the rest of the business around that. But far too often business owners are so focused on just getting new leads that they’re not taking care of their existing customers and falling short of creating raving fans.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:50] So is that really the engine you need in order to help them be successful if they don’t have a kind of a recurring supply of raving fans? And it’s going to be difficult to scale.
Tom Sylvester: [00:04:01] Exactly, because then what ends up happening is you get into these business models where it’s churn and burn. Right? So oftentimes business owners come to us and they say, you know, if I just had more leaves, everything would work. And it’s funny because that comes up so often. But when we look at it, we’re like, well, you know, if you were just creating raving fans, then those people would stay with you longer, pay you more money, refer you to their friends. And that’s a much more sustainable business than always having to go and find new customers.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:30] So now when you’re telling someone that and that’s kind of a harsh truth, right? Because they probably thought they had this figured out and now you’re saying, hey, you know, your baby’s ugly, how do you kind of help them understand that it’s not the end of the world? We can still work with this, but we just got to figure some things out.
Tom Sylvester: [00:04:50] Yeah. You know, what we found is that most business owners, by the time they come and talk to us, they have likely already worked with other coaches or done other programs. And they just feel like something’s not connected, you know, so they already know that something’s kind of missing, which is why they feel like they’re stuck and they haven’t been able to scale their business. So they’re usually aware that there’s something missing. And what we do, we do a pretty thorough audit and analysis of their business, where they’re getting some clarity just through the questions we’re asking. And then we kind of bring it back and say, and here’s what we’re seeing and here’s what we recommend. So it’s definitely a collaborative approach where we’re extracting from them to kind of see what they’re seeing, as well as then showing, hey, after working with hundreds of businesses, here’s the approach we’ve seen and taken. Here’s what we’d recommend for you. So usually it’s less about calling their baby ugly and more about saying, why aren’t you where you want to be? And let’s help you identify a couple those bottlenecks so we can focus on that will get you there.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:46] But say they are struggling with the. Not having raving fans, so they have a base of business, that’s OK, but there may be that base is solid, but they’re not kind of growing that beyond that, how do you like what would be something you would do to help them simplify, to kind of focus in on whatever their secret sources are, their superpower, in order to get it to start scaling?
Tom Sylvester: [00:06:14] Yeah, that’s a great question. So there’s two key frameworks that we utilize for this. The first one, we call it model one, and it’s basically answering the questions, are you selling the right people the right stuff at the right price with the right positioning in a way that can scale? So what we’re going to start doing is looking at each of those categories and often we’ll go back to their top 10 or 20 customers and say, all right, what are the commonalities there? And let’s start really narrowing that down, because there’s usually some small tweaks we can make to either their ideal target audience or their offer or even how their position just to help them stand out and make sure that they’re creating raving fans. So we start with that. And then the second thing we do is what we call the gold mine. And what most business owners don’t realize is that they have already probably created some raving fans. Maybe they’re not all there yet, but they’re sitting on a gold mine with the customers that they’ve worked with in the past. The customers are currently working with. And there’s usually an opportunity to go back to those customers. And if they were raving fans, see what support they need next. And if they weren’t raving fans to learn and understand where that gap was, turn them into raving fans and then see what the next opportunity is. So very often it’s looking at what you’ve already done or what you already have in front of you, and then working on creating those into raving fans before we try to bring new people in.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:36] So now, in your process, are you actually kind of helping or are you just advising in terms of like, OK, let’s identify, OK, they have a hundred customers. A good idea, like you just said, is let’s go and have a real kind of deeper conversation with those hundred customers are 80, the 80, 20, 80 of those customers that are generating the most so that we can see the kind of the good, the bad, the ugly, and how that kind of help them leverage that to kind of duplicate that audience. Are you doing that or are you saying, hey, you should do that? And then here ask each of these people 10, these 10 questions?
Tom Sylvester: [00:08:16] Yeah. So what I would call us is more of an implementation program. So with traditional coaching, the coaches doing a lot of questioning and having the client kind of come up with their own answers, we do a combination of coaching and consulting. So we’re going to help clarify and bring awareness to that business owner of what they need to do. And then we’re going to give them some consulting and training on how to actually do it and then enable them and their team to actually go and do that work. So we wouldn’t be doing these customer interviews in that case. But what we would do is show the CEO or show somebody on their team how to go about that process and point them in the right direction.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:53] So it is a combination of both coaching and consulting.
Tom Sylvester: [00:08:56] Correct. And from my experience kind of living in both of those spaces over the years, I think it always has to be, because if you’re doing just coaching but not consulting, you might raise awareness, but you’re not actually guiding people in the next step. And if you’re doing consulting where you’re telling people but you’re not first doing the coaching in understanding where the opportunity is, you might be pointing them in the wrong direction. So I think the best is when you really combine both of those together.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:22] Now, is your solution best for small teams rather than a solo partner, or can it work for both folks?
Tom Sylvester: [00:09:30] It can work for really any business, but it’s really targeted at the 500 K to five million range, because what we find at that point is the business has initially validated their offer. They likely have a team in place and they’re getting to the point now of where that business owner can’t do everything. So there’s always shifts when you kind of go to different levels in business. So when we tend to work best, when a business owner has a team, is realizing they can’t do everything themselves and they need to really elevate as the CEO and start instead of doing everything in the business, figuring out who can I put in place and what system can I build so that it’s then running without me.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:12] So these folks have already kind of got that escape velocity and they’re just kind of frustrated or they plateaued.
Tom Sylvester: [00:10:21] Yep, yep, basically.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:23] So now for you, what’s the most rewarding part of the job?
Tom Sylvester: [00:10:27] Yeah, you know, I think it’s allowing business owners to see that they don’t have to be a slave to their business. So my quick back story is I started out as a software developer and I realized I didn’t want to work for the next forty five years. And so I set a goal to quote unquote retire by 35. And it was a big challenge to get my wife on board. And then as we became parents, to make the business work while not sacrificing life. And so once my wife and I both quit our jobs, what we found was that we were really good at building businesses that didn’t require us. But when we started talking to a lot of our friends, we saw that they were working a lot more in their business than they were even at a job and often making a lot less. So I actually never planned to be a coach, but I was then called to basically say, hey, we’re really good at being able to build the businesses that don’t require us. And I see this is such a challenge out there. And especially with covid coming up the last year, being able to help business owners not only grow their business and free up their time, but then the ripple effect from that, because that helps them. It helps their families and helps their team. It helps their customers. And that impact across the board really is what is going to get us out of covid and help with the economy. So the ripple effect that can happen just by helping one business owner is huge.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:44] Now, do you find that you’re you’re attracting emerging franchises or is this kind of the person that has their own business and maybe they have different kind of locations? But it’s not necessarily a franchise because we do a show where we talk to a lot of franchise owners and it sounds like you’re attacking some of the same challenges that they might have as they grow their franchise.
Tom Sylvester: [00:12:08] Yeah, I would say at this point, the primarily are the majority of our clients are individuals that are growing their business. But it’s been interesting because we’ve worked with a couple of franchise owners. And to your point, it’s a lot of the same things because what we tell any business we work with is we actually want to set you up kind of like a franchise or. Right. So we want to make sure that you’re building the blueprint in the model for this business. And then part of the way for you to scale up is to be able to replicate that, whether it’s with more locations or more team members or whatever. So we’ve actually found, like I said, at the end of the day, business is business as business. And what we’re looking to do is to build that blueprint that will work for them as they scale.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:45] So if somebody wants to learn more and tap into your expertize or have somebody, someone on your team give them a call or maybe consult with them, what is the best way to get a hold of you? What’s website?
Tom Sylvester: [00:13:00] Absolutely, so our core Web site is to export SEO, but we actually have a free audio book for anyone that’s interested called From Six to Seven Figures, and that really walks through a lot of the basic strategies that we take business owners through so people can find that at six to seven book dotcom.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:19] Good stuff. Well, congratulations on all the success. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Tom Sylvester: [00:13:25] Absolutely. Thank you.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:26] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We wish you all next time on Coach the Coach radio.