7 Levels of Scale: Hitting Your Entrepreneurial Number

When you’ve taken your business through all 7 Levels of Scale, it’s time to live your very best Level 7 life.

In previous episodes, co-hosts Roland Frasier and Ryan Deiss walked us through the first 6 levels of their proven and powerful framework, The 7 Levels of Scale. In today’s episode, they’re discussing Level 7, Hit Your Number. This concept is near and dear to their hearts, so much so that they created a whole company, a whole book, a whole movement around these 7 Levels of Scale. And Level 7? Is the absolute most fun of all.

First make sure you’re all caught up on Levels 1-6:

  • Level #1: Sell and serve 10 customers.
  • Level #2: Build a growth flywheel.
  • Level #3: Build an upgraded scalable operating system.
  • Level #4: Double your take-home pay.
  • Level #5: Build your advisory board.
  • Level #6: Complete an acquisition for expansion.
  • Level #7: Hit your number.

Then listen in to hear all about the fun, freedom, and opportunities that await you in Level 7.

What Is Your Number?

When Roland and Ryan are talking to new clients about the 7 Levels of Scale, one of the pre-steps is to have them answer this question: What is your number?

There are actually two numbers at play here. First, you’ve got your personal number. What number do I need to hit to feel like I’ve “made it?” Then there’s the number for your business. Your personal number for your desired ultimate wealth is completely different from what you’re likely to get this business to do. It’s important to have an understanding of both.

For the context of the 7 levels, what’s that number for your business where you’ve maxed it out to its optimal level?

Breaking Your Business Number Into 3 Numbers

Roland and Ryan have their clients think in terms of three-year planning cycles. Three years is a sweet spot—long enough to do something truly meaningful, but short enough to be somewhat predictable and tangible. Over the next three years, what do you want your numbers to be in each of these three key areas?

  1. Top line sales
  2. Bottom line profit
  3. Enterprise value

All of those numbers are very figure-out-able, and Roland and Ryan expertly walk clients through each one. Obviously, that third number is a function of the other two. They call it going top to bottom. If you can take today’s top line revenue, and in three years from now, that’s actually your profit, then your company’s value can go through the roof.

3 Levels of Impact

After you figure out what you want your top line sales, bottom line profit, and enterprise value to be after three years, the next area you’ll look at is impact. What impact do you want your business to have on your personal life? On the lives of your family and inner circle? And on the world at large? You can divide it into 3 spheres of impact:

  1. me
  2. us
  3. them

As you think through each sphere, get really specific about what you want. Do you want to send your kids to college debt-free? Do you want to buy a house for a parent? Do you want an annual European vacation with your partner? Do you want to write a check to a charity for a million dollars?

As far as your impact on the world at large, this idea is front and center in the world right now. Companies are being asked to take a stand socially for what’s right. There’s a whole movement called ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) that you need to be aware of, no matter what industry you’re in. How will you make environmentally-conscious business decisions? What causes will you support? How will you make sure you do no evil?

Across those 3 spheres, what’s the me/us/them impact you want to make, and will you be able to make it happen with these numbers? They need to align. Everybody wants to make an impact, and that’s great, but you’ve got to get through those six levels first. It’s not that you can’t give generously during those first six steps, but the big impact happens when you hit level 7.

You Hit Your Number. What’s Next?

Once you hit your number, you’ve got some decisions to make. Do I want to sell everything and start over again with another company? Do I want to intentionally move the goalposts and reset for another 3 years? At level 7, you get to choose. Your customers aren’t dictating it. Your team, your investors, the government isn’t dictating it. You get to live your level 7 life however you want.

This is when you ascend from the entrepreneurial operator category (in the trenches) to the entrepreneurial investor category. Or as Roland describes it: “situations that have a complex set of rules where you apply facts to them dynamically to get the outcome you desire.” 

You’re no longer in the weeds of your business; you’re above it. You don’t have a portfolio of products and services to manage; you have a portfolio of businesses to manage. This is your opportunity to gain incremental wealth. You can continue to acquire businesses that serve the businesses you have or you can get into new businesses. You can help yourself and your family, contribute to causes you care about, and build generational wealth.

Ryan doesn’t think there’s a giving formula, but he does believe everyone needs to give. If you’ve built wealth at Level 7 and you’re holding onto it with a closed hand, he sees that as immoral. Roland adds that giving of your time can be incrementally more valuable than even giving money. So what percentage will you allocate to giving?

Then what percentage will you blow off and not feel any guilt whatsoever? How will you celebrate this big win? Because that’s important too. Ryan believes that having your giving and your celebration money aligned is a great way to do it. 

Then, where can you invest the biggest chunk? You can invest in some purely passive things. You can invest in some stupid ideas you just want to play with. But, as entrepreneurial investors, your most serious investment should be in other businesses. For three reasons: 

  1. It’s a way to give back
  2. It’s a way to stay in the game
  3. It’s how you continue to live out the skills you’ve acquired

The bottom line? It’s totally and completely up to you. That’s the beauty of the Level 7 life. Freedom to do whatever you want. Get there, then go out and live your best Level 7 life.


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