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This is a lesson taken from our Dad Hustle online program and brought to you here on the Dad Formula Podcast each Thursday.

Growth really starts with a mindset.

People get excited because they start up a membership, they have members and – yeah, it’s exciting. You’re a success, you’re making money, now you can really make it grow.

But the things you did the whole way to get to this point might actually hurt you with regards to scaling. You did everything yourself, you worked hard. But doing everything yourself as you grow will block you from growth. So many membership site owners have a fear of delegating tasks to other people because they believe that the whole membership is directly tied to them. It’s their brainchild, and if they remove themselves it will fail. But that’s just pride.

And that’s a major mistake when it comes to scaling: Keeping the same processes you’ve been using. You have to change as you grow.

A second mistake is that membership site owners often think that they can just duplicate the model again. You just repeat the same process over again with a new product and new content.

But repeating the exact same process just starts you back at zero again. Sure, you learned how to do it, so the second time it’s obviously going to be faster… but – you’re still reinventing with a new product.

Instead, the way to do it is to use leverage, and a great way to do this is by developing a spinoff product. So, don’t think of what the next product you can create is, instead think of ways you can repackage your existing product.

Think of what you can leverage from what you already have:

You already have a product.
You already have content.
You already have customers.

So don’t start over.

This process is exactly what scaling is all about – the process where you leverage, not where you start over.

Because you did a ton of work to get where you are now – this is assuming you are at the point where you’ve got a successful membership up and running.

So now it’s time to work smarter, not harder. You did the hard part already. You hustled your butt off. Now let’s spin, leverage, scale and work smarter. Got it?

In business and especially in the workforce, 99% of people think that if they want to make more money, they have to work more hours or work harder, and… Yeah, they do make a LITTLE more money. But the people that are making a LOT more are the ones that work smarter.

*** Growth is not proportionate to effort.

We only have so much time in the day, and so much muscle power or brain power before we collapse. We just can’t keep going and going.

So start to think: Am I ready to scale this? Do I have the beliefs to really do it, or are my beliefs limited? Am I ready to build a business that serves my life and to spend more time with my wife and kids?

You HAVE to have that mindeset if you really want to scale, otherwise you’ll be blocked every step of the way. Believe me – I’ve been there.

Also recognize that growth happens in stages. So I’ll show you how to do the right things in the right stages, because if you do them out of order? Bad things happen.

One thing is to start attracting the right people and let them put the right processes in place so that it grows beyond you. I’ll cover this in a minute.

But really, the first step is to have a vision that’s bigger than you.

Now, the vision can’t be too grand. You really need to keep it simple. The mindset and the drive needs to be huge, sure – unlimited really, but… keep the vision simple and doable.

Quick story here on vision and mindset. A friend of mine was working with a business coach, and the coach asked him what his vision was for the future. Where he wanted to be in ten years. My friend told the coach that he enjoyed a vacation once on a small Carribean island and  he’d like to be able to someday buy a vacation house on that island to spend time at with his wife. The business coach said, “Why not buy the whole island?”

Get it? Set your sights big, but also make sure it’s still simple and it’s a clear vision. But especially get into that mindset where you really BELIEVE that you can, and will, buy the whole island.

So for the vision, there are two things you should write down and these will guide your vision:

Income: How many members do you want per month at what price?

Impact: How much change do you want your membership to make?

Income is what you want to improve your life and free up more time, and impact is what you will do to help others and make yourself more fulfilled.

Get it? Okay, let’s jump back to talking about your team.

You have to hire right. When people hire their first employee, they typically get a low level, low cost person – probably a teenager. They do your busy work because they have low ability. So what happens as you grow? That person can’t scale with you, so you need to keep hiring better and better, and trying to get rid of the lesser quality team you stuck yourself with at the start.

A good rule of thumb when hiring your first employee is to think, “Could this person be my CEO someday?” If the answer is no, then this person can’t scale with you as you grow. As you hire more and more people, only THEN do you fill in the lower level jobs. But the first person you hire should almost be the equivalent of you, but with some additional complimentary skills.

After you hire, you should be moving 80% of your OWN activities to things that directly generate revenue. So for a membership site this means getting new members in and keeping existing members happy.

It does not mean creating content! You can, but your time is best served when it’s working directly with current revenue generating activities.

So a quick recap on Scaling:

Scaling and growth is not proportionate to effort.

Have a clear vision. It can be big, but keep it simple.

Hire the absolute best people you can find.

Spend 80% or more of your time on revenue generating activities.

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