Simon Severino helps business owners, coaches, consultants and speakers and all kinds of people discover how to be able to run their company more efficiently, which results in sales that soar. And he created the Strategy Sprints method that doubles revenue in 90 days.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 446
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See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[02:44] Tom's introduction to Simon Severino [05:36] The idea for Sprint [07:09] Biggest problems with small businesses today [12:38] Transitioning into entrepreneurship [17:57] Seeing things that people can't see [20:46] Came from a “mixed” entrepreneurial family [24:35] Sponsor message [27:35] A typical day for Simon
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Episode 446 – Simon Severino
Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode four hundred and forty six of Screw the commute podcast. I'm here with Simon Severino, a new friend of mine from Strategy Sprints podcast. And boy, is he doing great things with with entrepreneurs and all kinds of people and in increasing their business so well. Bring him on in a minute. Now, remember, as affiliates, you can make big money referring my products and services, which could be anywhere from e-books where you'll make eight dollars and fifty cents. And, you know, you can not even spend that at Starbucks. But if you guess what, if you recommend 100 hundred e-books, that's a pretty good payday for you all the way up to 5000 dollars in speaking engagements, referrals, so and everything in between. So if you're interested in that, check it out. Email me Tom@screwthecommute.com and I'll send you details. Now, make sure you grab a copy of our automation ebook, this is allowed me to handle up to 150000 subscribers and 40000 customers. Actually, you know what? I've been saying that for so long. I looked at the shopping cart as they had 60000 thousand customers. So so without pulling my hair out, we sell this book for 27 bucks, but it is free for listening to the show at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And while you're at it, pick up a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app. Now I usually tell you about my school, but I want to tell you something special about my school.
We have a pilot program we're just starting to put for people with physical disabilities through the school. And we've got a crowdfunding campaign starting next week. And so please check it out. We're going to change. I mean, I've done a lot of things in my life. Help that people and animals and all kinds of stuff. But this is I'm hoping this goes over the top and really changes these people's lives. So watch for that. Go Fund Me campaign coming out in about a week. And we're going to give them full scholarships to my school and I'm going to hire some disabled people to help run the program, so really literally excited about this.
All right. Let's bring on the main event. Simon Severino is here. He helps business owners, coaches, consultants and speakers and all kinds of people discover how to be able to run their company more efficiently, which results in sales that soar. And he created the Strategy Sprints method that doubles revenue in 90 days. Check that out by getting owners out of the weeds. He's the CEO and founder of Strategy Sprints, and it's which is a global team of certified strategy. Sprint's coaches, which offer customized strategy to help clients gain market share and work in weekly sprints. He calls it, which results in fast execution. And while the people love him around the world, he's a member of the Forbes Business Council. He's a contributor to Entrepreneur magazine and a member of Duke Corporate Education. Simon, are you ready to screw? The commute?
Hello, everybody. I'm ready.
Okay. How are you doing, man?
Excited to be here and curious how we can serve your beautiful community today.
Oh, well, I was I was thrilled to be on your show the other day is really a lot of fun and hopefully gave them some great insights. And and you, too. So tell everybody what you're doing now. How did you develop this sprint idea? I know people want to get things done, but Sprint is getting it done really fast.
Yeah, right now I am I am honored to be serving entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants around the globe with their main problems right now. The main problem is how do we react to these funky markets, to the shifting conditions and to basically having to run a company which always was hard, but now in a situation where you know nothing, so you have to run something that is hard to run without knowing anything, because everything changes all the time. This is the situation and these are the people I am helping with. And we are coaching them in one to one fashion and we are helping them stay more sane and and have good cash flows, which is a beautiful thing, because when they come back to their dinner, to their dearest people, they are a bit more relaxed, a bit more funny to be around a bit more a bit more open to listening to, hey, how was your day? And so we like what we do and we are doing it full, full
Mode right now. Yeah. And when you have money coming in, you can buy more expensive food, you know, when you come to us. So tell us how you came up with the actual term sprint idea.
So traditional advisory, which I did for 18 years, was that you have long workshops of eight hours with a top executive team. Everybody has to fly there, blah, blah, blah. So think of your decisions. Do you really need an advisor for eight hours every three weeks? I don't. So when I run a business. I have. Small questions, I need an adviser for five minutes, but maybe today I need him three times and tomorrow two times and maybe on Sunday once, but I don't need eight hours of workshop. Nobody needs that. So what I need is somebody like the friend of Spiderman who is on his computer. And when I am in action, right, I say, hey, should I kick the left or the right door? And he says, give me a moment, segmenter. And then he comes back and says, take the left or because behind the right one there is a cactus. So that's what I need. It's real time. It's short and it's blueprint driven. He shares the templates with me. He shares the knowledge with me, you know, like a friend would coach you. Not like the profession of the advisor, especially the business adviser who is so smart and so far away and so hard to reach. And I wanted to create this because I needed something much more applicable, much quicker. And that's why we call it the sprint.
Got it. So what do you see as some of the biggest problems that you're seeing with small business people nowadays?
First problem is so having no time, no time to work on the business, we ask them, what's your expected sales for next week? I don't know. How do you take decisions, I guess? How can I help you get more reliability in there? I don't know. I haven't and I don't have time for this. I have to fulfill the needs of my client right now. I have to code one line of code. I have to build this widget right now. So they are working in their business 100 percent and on their business zero percent. So the first thing that we help them when we coach them the first week is to get rid of 10 to 14 hours of fulfillment per week so that they now have 10 to 14 hours to work on the business every week on the business of business, their positioning, their business model, their competitive analysis, their pricing, all these things, the form fit and function of the sales system, the form fit and function of the marketing system. These are things that you need time to work on. So first week we help them get out of the weeds and create this time.
Is there an ABC or don't you have to get to know a person's business or is it pretty much the same problems every time you you run into somebody?
Most people right now listening are not working enough on their business because they are doing their fulfillment themselves. They don't have standardized processes and they need to modularize more to standardize more. And while every situation is different and every country is different than every industry is different, the methods that we use is probably helpful for everybody listening right now. You write down how you spend your time this week, so you write down today. Six thirty, waking up seven breakfast eight first call nine, meeting ten, Instagram, whatever the day looks like, you write it down and in the evening you ask yourself two questions. One is which of these tasks should somebody else do tomorrow because they can do it better than me. And the second question is, if I would live more intentionally, more freely, what would I do tomorrow? You ask yourself these two reflective questions just five minutes in the evening before you write down the flow of tomorrow's day and so bit by bit you find your time wasters and you find things to systemized, cut or delegate system as you write them down to delegate them later. Cut you just cut them, delegate you hire somebody to do them instead of you.
And so that's kind of the first week with you is to evaluate what the heck you could get rid of.
Yeah. How are you currently spending your time? Where are your time wasters
And is that how it kind of works? They come back to see you once a week for the 90 days or how how does the flow go as you're working with somebody?
So our spring coaches work one to one 24/7 for 90 days, so you can approach them all the time, like the friend of Spiderman, you can take them. Sprint coach, I did the first draft of this. Can you give me some feedback before I go out there and test it five times in the market? Whenever you are ready and you did your first prototype, then you can take them. So there is always one task that you have in front of you. It works on your phone, on your computer, wherever you are, whenever you have time and you want to work on it, you work on it. Whenever you have a question, you ask this question 24/7 and you get a quick answer. Then you go tested to see if it really works in your context or not. Come back with the numbers and then you have a weekly coaching with your coach where you talk about these numbers and say, OK, so what what what does this number tell us? Is this now something that we should do more of or less of?
So is it the same coach for the same for the same person, or do they vary
As one coach for 90 days, one
Coach for 90 days? But you say coaches are available 24/7, but your coach is going to be available to you. You know, nobody works 24 hours a day. So how does that work? So your coach is available, not on demand. So you're not calling in to your thing and then somebody is going to talk to you instantly. You're going to make an appointment or how does that work?
You can tag them directly, like you tag somebody on Facebook and LinkedIn, and they will answer quickly. That's why I have coaches in every time zone, because I will help you get a coach in your time zone so that you have a similar waking hours.
Yeah, so. So they're going to get back to you within a reasonable amount of time. It's not instantaneous and you're not stuck with a different person all the time who doesn't know your your system. Okay. Got it. Got now I heard you say you worked for you at 18 or 19 years. Were you working at a job or somebody else. The dreaded job.
Yes, I have always been doing advisory and at the beginning as an employee, yeah.
And how did you transition to your own business? Did you save up money? Did you just get sick of and quit one day? A lot of people are sitting in cubicles thinking, man, I want to get out of here, but they want to do it responsibly. How did you do it?
I saved money to have a two year runway. Never happened. So if two years I don't get this thing going, at least my expenses are covered. And as soon as I had the two years on the site, I pulled the trigger.
Got it. Approximately what year was this?
This was proof that this was around 2007.
Ok, about twenty seventeen. All right, so you work a long time before that saved up two years of cash and then already the Internet was fully going. So how did you get the word out when you first started that you were in business for yourself?
I had already 15 years in the field, so people knew me, that I had people calling from time to time already. And this was enough because I had this runway. It was enough to start with two people. So I had two people who I knew would call me anyway. They started and then a third person started and I just focused on serving these people. I had no marketing, no no real sales system, just solving their current problems and making them really happy. And then from time to time, I would ask them, hey, you seem to be so helped by this thing, who else could need this thing? And they and they would introduce me to a couple other people. This was my organic growth in the first years.
Yeah, we just did a thing on referral marketing. In fact, one of the statistics that I revealed was that when you're referred by somebody else, the next person is four times more likely to hire you. So. So that's how you grew last year.
They trust you already because they trust the filter of this other person. And so that was the organic growth. Of course, very soon it reached a limit because you cannot go from growing to scaling. I became the my own bottleneck. So it was around, I think, half a million turnover in the first year where I couldn't take on more clients. And I was also not very happy because I was working a lot and it was all work in the business. So I was constantly solving the problems of people as a consultant. But I was not solving my own problems. I had no time to work on my own sales system, so I was always having too many clients or not enough clients. That was the point where I said, OK, Simon, now from growth, you have to get into scaling. What brought you here? Someone will not we will not bring you to the next stage. And so you have to fire yourself. I spoke to a business coach and I said I need to be two levels above fulfillment in half a year, help me get there. And I had a great coach. He helped me a lot and I had a weekly call with him. I would tell him where I am and this was super helpful. And he helped me fire myself from fulfillment. This is when I started creating an online course for my colleagues.
So I downloaded out of my head, what is it that I do in week zero, in week one and week to week three? So I created a menu. OK, this is the Twelve Weeks program. This is how I typically work. Now, if this happens, then that if this, then that. So I created some extra modules around it to be customizable and as soon as I had two hundred modules I knew, OK, we can pull this off now without Simon and made it a certification program. Now I started training the first coaches who do this and every Monday I would supervise them. We will go through all clients and this was the next stage of my company now having certified coaches and every Monday coaching the coaches. Now I head because I'm not doing fulfillment anymore. So I'm not you cannot book me as a coach anymore. Now I have time thirty hours per week to work on the business of my business. Now I have time for affiliate partnerships, joint ventures, podcasting, speaking on stage is writing a book. All these things that you should do quite late when your business is going well, when clients are happy and now you want just to spread the word about it. Now I am in that stage.
Beautiful, beautiful, the way you lay that out. Yeah, and it took a coach to help you, you know, that's what our value is the most people, is to see things that they can't see and help them solve it so they can move to the next level.
So absolutely, I remember so well, he was challenging me. He said, Simon, you don't know yourself as of next week. And I will. Yeah, I know you have weighed down. You had to write down. How many calls did you have this week? How many did you close, et cetera. And I said, but these numbers are so volatile I cannot rely on them. Why should I put one hour into documenting something that is so volatile? And he said they are volatile because you don't write them down.
Good and good point.
Great point. It's changed the trajectory of my business end of my life because I started writing down the really important things and, you know, what gets measured gets improved. So these numbers were volatile in the first month because I was bad at estimating, but then I became better and better week after week. And now we have absolutely reliable numbers. And these numbers help us take the right decisions, like should we hire, who should we hire, which role, how much can we pay? What do we expect coming in and out? All these numbers are now our friends. And before that I was flying blind. I did not know what are the numbers of next month, which means flying blind. And when you have the responsibility for your family, for your team, for your people to run a company, you have the responsibility to not fly blind, to really see the risks or see the numbers, scary opportunities and take decisions based on your data.
Yeah, and the more that you learn to run your business, the more valuable you are to the people that your coach.
Absolutely, all these things that we created for us now, my clients started asking for, hey, that's a cool cash flow estimation model. Can I have this spreadsheet? Yeah, sure. Take it. And so every time somebody asked for a spreadsheet, I said this becomes the new template. This becomes the new model because this is helpful to people. And so it became the number 200 and one of our templates, etc. Now we have two hundred seventy four and and people can start from something they don't need to reinvent the wheel. Spend three months finding out how they do sales. They can say, hey, Simon, what's your temp at? About to be high ticket sales. And I go here, it's two hundred seventeen. Here's the link.
Beautiful. Beautiful. So let's take you back way back to when you were a kid. Were you entrepreneurial as a child or did you come from an entrepreneurial family?
My father was an an employee. He tried to become. So he was he was a teacher teaching. And he tried also a career as an architect. But that was tough in Rome at that time. And he he went back into employment mode and was happy with that until he retired. My other was different. She was a pirate sort like unemployable person, very creative, very courageous. And she she was literally a pirate because she started a radio station because she found a loophole in the legislation of our country that said, well, here nobody can start a radio station, but there there is no law. So she went literally to the other hill that was unregulated, put an antenna there and said, I'm going to start a private radio station here
And there is a top 40 or whatever she wanted to talk about on the radio.
It yeah, you know, it was a radio station about like kind of everything. And then they start collecting sponsors. And I would be there and help her record the jingles, like I would sometimes sing in the background for me, but it really went downhill pretty fast as entrepreneurship goes. Most of the ideas do not succeed long term. So this went downhill very fast. But I remember the excitement of the first year where everything was possible and we were all excited and into this. And then second year, third year, I remember the sadness of having to collect all these pieces and then they started their next thing. So half of my family's entrepreneurial. The other one is not. And I started with that spark in me. That I could tap into, that was very that was just there for me and I think I was always unemployable like from the beginning, but I had to learn my craft somewhere. So it was a good idea to learn the craft in a good, solid company and then as soon as possible, do my own thing.
Yeah. And then when people now I say I Tom don't quit your job just crazy. Just use that job to pay you to learn what you're going to take into the future. So. So yeah. I mean I never had a job and I didn't go that route. But if you know, people can't just throw away and not pay their bills because they want to be entrepreneurs so they can do it responsibly. So.
So I had a great job. It was flying around with the smartest people being in the smartest rooms to take big decisions like should we go into that market or that how do we launch this product? How do we market that? How do we respond to this critique in the Internet about our product? Really cool topics with the coolest teams. And I was flying around. Nonstop until the point where I said, OK, I've learned enough, now I, I can do my own thing.
Yeah, it's beautiful. It only took 18 years.
Yes, some take longer, but
He's still young. So we've got to take a brief sponsor break. When we come back, we'll talk to Simon. What's up? A typical day look like for him. Does he have a morning routine like a lot of people do and and how he stays motivated? So I normally tell you about my mentor program, folks, but if you're a regular listeners, you kind of know that exists. But I'm really excited about this program, this pilot program we're doing to put four people with physical disabilities through my school. One person has eyesight of 20, 500 where 20/20 is normal. We have another person that's got ankylosing spondylitis plus some other auto immune diseases and has to wear a super back brace and a knee brace and you can barely get around as hunched over. And oh, boy, we have another person that's got Ellers something disease. I don't know some of these things I can't even pronounce, but wow, are they debilitating and keep them home. And they she she uses either a cane or a wheelchair to get around that. And we have another guy who's got diabetes that's using a walker and hunched over. All these people had great things going for him until these diseases hit them. So I'm trying to do something great. You know, I've I've fed lots of homeless children. I've I've rescued animals and all kinds of stuff. But this is, you know, one of my crowning moments, I believe, because I'm going to try to change these people's lives in this pilot program. And then when we show success with this, taking a grant writing course to go for big money to help lots of people and really, really change their lives so they can legitimately work, learn from home and work from home.
In my school, that's the Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia. It's the only licensed, dedicated school of its kind in the country of the United States, probably the world. And so please help us out with the Go Fund Me campaign. It's going to put those people through the school and it's going to hire disabled people to help run the program. So really excited about it. Please watch for the Go Fund Me campaign coming out. And hey, as always, it's a great for many, many regular people that that don't have these disabilities to to get skills that are in high demand by every business on Earth. So so consider putting your own young people through school or going through it yourself if you really want to improve your business. All right. So check that out. Watch for an announcement for the Go Find Me campaign in about a week.
But let's get back to the main event. Simon Severino is here. He runs strategy sprints and really helps people ramp up their income quickly. And for all the experience he's gotten from working, learning how to work on his business instead of in his business, he transfers that to a business owners around the world. So, Simon, what's a typical day look like for you to have one of these morning routines like we hear a lot about?
I do first thing in the morning, so five thirty, my alarm goes. But usually I don't need the alarm because a little bit earlier, my boy comes and wakes me up my Tom those two and a half. So usually between five five, not five thirty. He comes, wakes me up and then we play a little bit kitchen. Then my morning routine is one day to breakfast. I go running and I run 10 kilometers every day. Now it's 400 days in a row. Wow. This really helps me. You know, we have the blood circulation, the be awake when I come back. I am ready for you. I think it takes one hour,
About an hour, and when it's in nature and when I come back, I am ready for the day every Monday. This is with my friend Andy and every other day, including Saturday and Sunday, it's just a loan. I listen to audiobooks or I just listen to the birds and to nature. I come back, I'm ready for today. Then eight o'clock I start working until five o'clock at five o'clock. And the day has also a certain structure. So in the morning, only deep work, no meetings, just deep work myself writing something, building something or recording something. Then in the afternoon, meetings, interviews, stuff like that, meeting, affiliate partners, meeting my partners. And then in the evening, five o'clock, I have my podcast where I have one guest. I had you recently as one guest comes in per day at five o'clock. And this is basically the fun stuff to wind up the day because then 17, 30, I am over to the kitchen either cooking and my wife is playing with the kids or I am playing with the kids and then we eat together and then there is two and a half hours of having fun together and bringing them to bed.
Beautiful, beautiful routine. So. So how do you stay motivated? You work out of your home, you don't go to the office. Right.
I don't commute. No, that is very motivating.
All right, I know. Tell me about
It. I wake up and I love my life. I don't need anything to motivate me. I am so passionate about helping people and doing what I do. And I'm having fun all the time. And what keeps me motivated is I have retired myself from projects that don't nurture each other, from people that have no good vibes. And from commuting these three things, having retired from the wrong projects, the wrong people and commuting these three things keep me motivated.
That's a good lesson for everybody to listen to the show, that's for sure. So how do they get a hold of you and tell them about your program?
We hang out at StrategiesSprints.com. All these tours that I have mentioned, many of them are open source. You can grab them at strategiessprints.com/tools. And I also hang out in a Facebook group, which is a private Facebook group just of business owners for business owners. But if you say you come from Tom, I will let you in. The Facebook group is called Entrepreneurship in Sprints, and we are around nine hundred business owners there talking about what works, what doesn't in sales and how to navigate these funky times.
OK, we'll have that in the show notes for you folks. You don't have to think about it. You just click on it. So beautiful. So thanks so much for coming on man. I really appreciate it. It's a great message to impart to people. And you've lived it where you were burning yourself out in a business and you stood back, figured out how to do it, and then worked on your business and now you actually retired from your own business.
Yeah. Thank you, Tom. And thank you, everybody.
Yeah. OK, so I was Simon Severino folks. Very cool, cool guy. And so get over there to strategysprints.com/tools and then check out his Facebook group. Facebook group is entrepreneurship in sprints but we'll have it all in the show notes for you. Thanks so much, everybody. We'll catch y'all on the next episode. See ya later.
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