Achieving Owner Optionality with the 1/3/6 Plan

June 07, 2023

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

Your financials tell you the business can't afford to operate without you … But you just don’t love it anymore.

This is a common story for a lot of founders and business owners.

It was Justin’s story.

Justin and I have been friends since we were kids. He came to me a few months ago, frustrated because he was missing out on too many opportunities — personally and professionally.

I worked with Justin to help him put the right systems in place to get him out of the day-to-day and let him spend time doing what he loves.

This week, I’m sharing with you the same plan Justin used so you can step back from your business and into options that matter more to you now.

Step 1: Define success

What does success look like in your life?

If you ask most entrepreneurs how they define success, you’ll hear answers tied to profits, revenue, high-profile clients or even selling at a certain valuation.

But, we all know financially successful people who are miserable.

When it comes to defining success to achieve Optionality, it’s not just about the success of your business.

You have to ask yourself:

What does a successful life look like?

Success is more than a career milestone.

It’s doing what brings you life, or what I call energy.

Think about what makes you truly brings you energy.

What makes your life feel full and satisfying?

When confronted by this new definition of success, Justin decided he wanted three things from his life:

Be an exceptional husband and dad

Mentor young people

Build a great business that makes #1 and #2 happen above

Action step for your first 30 days:

Take time to notice what creates energy.

I’m not talking about the adrenaline rush you get when you close a sale or the relief you feel seeing your bank account at a certain number.

Write down the moments or events that energize you.

Here’s the most simple way of doing this…

Look at your calendar and begin to assess the following

What activities create energy

What people do you enjoy being with?

What is missing from the equation (typically time with family, etc.)

For me, creating content, and working with highly skilled people on big impact projects gives me a lot of energy.

But also, impromptu coffee meetups with my wife are high energy creation.

When I do both things, I’m in a high energy creation state.

I don’t feel burnout, but rather fulfilled.

When you do this, remember, be honest about your constraints and energy.

This is about you and what brings you energy — not what you think is expected of you.

Step 2: Identify Energy Zappers

What parts of your business drain your energy?

For Justin, it was operations.

He found someone who excelled at systems and operations and handed over that part of his responsibilities.

Justin's energy, focus and enjoyment of life changed overnight.

Because he hired someone better for these responsibilities, the company's pipeline has literally tripled.

Action steps for the next 3 months:

Find someone who can do the things that zap your energy, so you can focus on what energizes you.

Do you have someone inside your business who would be perfect with a little training?

Is someone else in your business supposed to be doing the work — but you don't trust them for whatever reason to get the work done? What would it take to solve that?

Step 3: Commit to Growth

Are you willing to embrace temporary discomfort for permanent optionality?

Embracing growth sounds easy.

Accepting that growth will be uncomfortable is crucial to push through the pain it takes to get you to the life you want.

Your discomfort will be as much in your head as it is in your operations.

It's common in this phase to (subconsciously) create problems to prove the business won’t service without you so you can swoop in and play the hero.

Step 3 requires that you remember your options:

Option 1: Be uncomfortable doing the things you don’t enjoy.

Option 2: Be uncomfortable building a team to fill those roles.

Action steps for the following 6 months:

Implement your plan.

Achieving results

Justin and I had some time together about a year after he completed this exact process.

He told me that making time for what matters most to him means learning to say no to opportunities that deviate from his definition of success.

Choose optionality with the 1/3/6 plan

Here’s a list of action items to redefine your definition of success and your life just like Justin did.

Months 1-2:

Define success for your life.

Pinpoint the areas of your business that zap your energy.

Start searching or training for the talent to fill those roles.

Months 3-5:

Hire the right person to take over energy-zapping tasks.

Delegate responsibilities and establish systems for them to follow.

Monitor progress and adjust as needed.

Months 6+:

Evaluate the results and refine your team and systems accordingly. make further improvements.

Say no to the opportunities that compete with your definition of success.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor as you achieve owner optionality.

Remember to embrace the discomfort of personal and revenue growth.

Don’t quit.

Push through the discomfort to get to optionality.

Talk soon,

Zach Williams

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