Grow and Scale Bill Prater

Grow & Scale From Self Employed to the Business Owner Dream with Bill Prater (#036)

Show Notes:

Bill earned his reputation as America’s Business Alchemist™ by helping business owners and entrepreneurs break free of inertia and accelerate into the future they dream of.

He loves nothing better than sharing what he has learned by working
with those who are dissatisfied with the status quo and eager to transform themselves and their business.

He created Scaleology® and the Business Mastery System™ as the core foundational principles of dynamic and continuous business growth.

A typical client of his sees their company rising to a position of pre-eminence and is not satisfied with just “getting to the next level”.

He’s helped Business Owners and Entrepreneurs in more than 50
different industries achieve real, measurable results using his unique approaches to grow revenue, increase cash flow and magnify business value.

Topics explored:

  • The 3 Phases of every successful business in 50 different industries
  • At one stage he was in stage 2, with over 100 employees
  • Ideal client feels constrained by their business
  • Volume or revenue up by 10 times
  • Many start with the grand vision of personal freedom but not free at all
  • Vision is the top level, then strategy, then tactics
  • Biggest mistake is trying out random tactics with no guiding strategy
  • How to work out the few things to focus on, and what to delegate or delete
  • It’s not just about ability, it’s about what you enjoy doing
  • Know where you add the most value
  • When you get to stage 3, what’s the next move?
  • First step is all around mindset and becoming pre-eminent
  • Next we add a systematic approach
  • Lastly the high performing team


Al McBride 0:05
Welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission of dealing with Goliath is to sharpen the psychological edge in business leaders with skin in the game, who want to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value, and increase profitability. With expert guests across the business spectrum.

Al McBride 0:21
We deliver gems of gems of insight wisdom, delving into their methods, their thinking and approach to business, life and problem solving. This is the double espresso shot through our short interview formats with five questions in about 15 minutes.

Al McBride 0:37
I’m your host Al McBride. My guest today is Bill Proctor, Bill earned his reputation as America’s business Alchemist. By helping business owners and entrepreneurs break free of inertia and accelerate into the future they dream of. He loves nothing better than sharing what he’s learned by working with those who are dissatisfied with the status quo and eager to transform themselves and their business.

Al McBride 1:02
He created Scaleology and the business mastery system as the core foundational principles of dynamic and continuous business growth, a typical client of his sees their company rise into a position of preeminence and is not satisfied with just getting to the next level.

Al McBride 1:22
He’s helped business owners and entrepreneurs in more than 50 different industries achieve real measurable results, using his unique approach to growing revenue, increasing cash flow, and magnifying business value. So Bill, welcome to the podcast. Great to have you.

Bill Prater 1:41
I’m fantastically happy to be here. Al.

Al McBride 1:45
I’m very glad to hear where are you joining us from today? Well,

Bill Prater 1:49
so I’m in Phoenix, Arizona, where it’s about 60 degrees and super Sunny,

Al McBride 1:55
beautiful, beautiful. It is not here in Dublin, Ireland. I think so I’ve got one of us is happy with it. We will dive straight in. So Bill, Bill, who is your ideal client, and what’s the biggest challenge they face?

Bill Prater 2:12
Okay, thanks for the question. That’s a great one. Because you did mention 50 Industries. So what do 50 industries have in common? So, and what and really what it is, is that business owners, entrepreneurs of all sizes, go through a what I see is three phases.

Bill Prater 2:34
And it doesn’t matter if the business is doing less than 100,000 us a year, or 100 million US per year, these same three phases apply, generally. The first one is the phase where the where the where the business is the boss, so you can think of Ella Fitzgerald, and she’s a life coach, and her business is her life coaching people. And she’s reached a point where she says, Wow, why can’t I get my business larger?

Bill Prater 3:15
Why does it take me so much time? Why am I up every night at 9pm? Why do I skip my children’s ballet practices, time and time again. And so that’s kind of phase one. Phase Two, is where people start realizing that they’ve got to separate themselves a bit from their business, and they’ll move into where the business depends on them. But they’re no longer the only actor.

Bill Prater 3:45
So they at this point, they may have many, many employees. But the employees tend to rely on the owner and they keep asking for help. Or they’ll have a problem. And they’ll seek out the owner and say, What do I do in this situation. And so they move their business needle, maybe revenue now is two or three times what it used to be, but they’re but they’re still in place where the business depends on them.

Bill Prater 4:14
The third stage is where finally they’ve reached the point where they and the business are independent, meaning that they’re almost like the investor in the business is able to operate, get new clients provide the services and products, make profit profits, enough profits for the owner to be able to come in once in a while or never at all.

Bill Prater 4:38
So those are kind of the three phases. And so years ago, I found myself basically in phase two. So I moved my business where I had, I had 100 some employees, but it still relied on me. So I was I felt trapped and I did all the things I just described.

Bill Prater 4:57
So my typical client is someone that owns a business of any sort of size, and feels constrained by the business feel that they’re trapped there get frustrated. And when they get to that point, usually they’ll figure out some way to find me to help them out of that dead end,if you will,

Al McBride 5:18
And do do usually move people, usually from stage two, as you say to stage three, mostly, or does it vary?

Bill Prater 5:27
I would say that I move them mostly in that from those stages. However, if I go look at my client base, many, many, many of them are what I’ll call solopreneurs. They’re all by themselves. And they might be doing maybe low six figures, and they’re trying to get out of that. So So most of them, though, have a one, two, maybe three staff.

Bill Prater 5:56
And they want to get to the point where they can get their business volume or revenue or turnover up by 10 times or more. And so that’s ideally where where the if you will, the dynamic growth can take place, okay, but the majority, and as far as numbers of people have little teeny businesses,

Al McBride 6:18
okay, so it’s replacing yourself as the business owner, in a certain degree from the, the day to day necessities. So basically, the business can run without you. So whether you’re on vacation, or on another project, or whatever, it will grind to a halt if you’re not there to, to make decisions. Okay? It sounds very much like it’s the entrepreneurial dream. Excellent stuff. So

Bill Prater 6:45
that’s a, that’s a great way to put it. So when you say dream, if you think about about, many people have started a business, or they’ve acquired a business moving from some sort of a corporate job or a company job. So they they’re in this job, and they maybe have been promoted two or three times, but they don’t feel free.

Bill Prater 7:08
And so they’ll found a business with the, no, I’m just, I’m kind of chunking this up, but with the grand vision of personal freedom. And then when they get their business, they find they didn’t get the personal freedom. And so they think, Well, wait a minute, that didn’t work the way I was told, I felt that if I left my, my job with, with IBM, and here I am a business owner, I’d be free.

Bill Prater 7:36
And I’m not free at all. Sorry. that’s a that’s a nice way to put it. So they start with a dream. And then they become frustrated, because they have not realized what they want. And they don’t know what to do. Typical solutions are, gee, I will go online, because I think I should get involved with Facebook ads. So they’ll start Facebook ads, okay. And

Al McBride 8:04
it’s just one of the common mistakes people make when they’re trying to sell stuff. So yeah, there’s one thing?

Bill Prater 8:13
Well, it’s not necessarily Facebook bad. But let’s just call these all tactical things. So tactics, L is you and I know, tactics are things that you do. Because they’re working at the time. And then at some point in time, you need to stop doing them and put in a new tactic. So they’re a level lower than strategy.

Bill Prater 8:36
So vision would be the top level, What’s your dream for the future? The next level down is strategy. What do you plan to do? To realize that ultimate dream personal freedom, let’s call it most people have that. And then what tactics will we’ll use in the moment, to to help me accomplish that strategy to reach my dream? And what happens?

Bill Prater 9:00
And I don’t mean to pick on Facebook ads, but what I mean to say Al is that there is an entire, if you will, industry, that’s that’s devoted to selling things to business owners and entrepreneurs. And so they they package them up is in is pretty a packages they can.

Bill Prater 9:22
So if if somebody is trying to convince somebody to use Facebook ads, they’ll create sales pages and an email, swipe, copy and so forth. And they’ll convince people to do that tactic. Or maybe it’s writing blog posts, or maybe it’s interviewing experts in the field or maybe it’s hiring a virtual assistant. In Argentina.

Bill Prater 9:49
All of those things are tactics. So the biggest mistake that business owners and entrepreneurs makes is trying out randomly, all sorts of different tactical things that end up ultimately not working and in fact make the problem worse.

Al McBride 10:09
It’s very interesting because it sounds like people aren’t quite, it’s not shiny object syndrome, where they’re, they’re completely distracted, they are actually focused on an outcome.

Al McBride 10:19
But as you said, it’s not coherently part of a wider and deeper strategy, which we’ll get them out of, as you said, essentially, it’s the difference, as they say, between being self employed and a business owner, with a self employed person is essentially swapped one job for another, but they have far more as I use the phrase skin in the game, because if they don’t bring in the sales, or their team doesn’t bring in sales, it’s often them that will suffer at the end of the day or the end of the year.

Al McBride 10:49
Right. Whereas if you’re at least in a corporate job, you know, it’s the wages See, you have that dependable, a lot more stress in there. So they don’t have the vision at the highest level. And then as you said, there may be lacking a lot of strategy, and they’re trying, they’re trying some of those tactics.

Al McBride 11:05
So what might be one valuable free action that the audience could implement people in that situation could implement to help them with that issue. So it won’t solve it, but at least point them in the in the in the right and the right direction. So

Bill Prater 11:20
I, I recommend the following exercise, it might take a full day, I recommend actually doing it frequently, maybe annually. And that is this, make a list of every single thing that you do in a day, if that’ll probably take me several days, maybe even a month to make this list.

Bill Prater 11:49
Because every every day, people don’t necessarily do everything. But over a course of a month, this list will end up with, I’m gonna guess 150 things on it. And I don’t mean say marketing, you don’t want to write down marketing, you want to write down reading email, sending email,

Al McBride 12:15
read having those who do

Bill Prater 12:18
the right things, specific actions. Now you’ve got this list. Now, what we need to do is step two of that after you’ve got that now bring to this day that I’m describing you got the list, what we need to do is to is to sort this list down.

Bill Prater 12:34
And so I recommend a simple scatter diagram. With two scales, Al scale one can be vertical or horizontal doesn’t matter. Scale. One is ability. How good are you at doing that? whatever it may be. So let’s just pick something out and say, writing, writing a blog post, okay, what’s your level of skill 10. And I just simply like 10 is great.

Bill Prater 13:03
One is grand. So you’re a six or a seven or two, whatever you are, the other scale is what I call love. So do you love doing it? Do you love doing it? So 10 is absolutely love it. And one is I absolutely hate it. So then you’d go through this list of 150 things, and you you score them 10 on ability of one to 10 on the web one to 10 on, on love, right?

Bill Prater 13:35
Step three Al is you would take that, that that new list now with it with the two numbers. And you would score it in your field, your scatter diagram. So all the 1010s would be up in the upper right,

Al McBride 13:51
one corner.

Bill Prater 13:53
And the one ones are in the lower left, and then all that things will take place, then you want to basically isolate the the upper right corner is the things you should be doing, and then embark on a plan to get everything else hired out, delegate it out, hire somebody to do it, get a contractor to help you do everything in your power to do that, and have that list in front of you all the time. So it’s

Al McBride 14:26
a systematic, structured way of of answering their question and really knowing, you know, where do I add the most value. And also, as you said, it’s not just the value externally that maybe you’re very good at something they don’t particularly enjoy it. It’s hard to get better at of if you don’t particularly enjoy it, whereas this, as I said, is bringing us right up to that top quadrant. Very, very interesting. Yeah. So

Bill Prater 14:53
I love when you said value, because part The next thing you do after you get that done is a sign of $1 value, what’s the value per hour to your business of doing such and such a thing. So it’s possible, for example, that you love something, and you’re really good at it. But it’s completely worthless relative to your business.

Bill Prater 15:19
So that would be the second thing you do. So that’s the valuable free activity or action people can take, do that ranking, then Vout, put the value down and make sure that you personally are working on the highest value things. And see, the way that would work out is when you finally get to the place where your your involvement with the business is very, very small.

Bill Prater 15:47
See, now all you’re left with is things like creating and maintaining the vision, which is a extremely high value item. And you can do that while you’re fishing while you’re on vacation. While business day to day is running, or find the dream.

Al McBride 16:07
Okay, when you’re wearing that CEO hat so to speak rather than the Do-er hat necessary. Okay. Yeah, good. So what is one valuable free resource that you could direct people to that would help them with

Bill Prater 16:19
or without knowing that I’d be talking to you today? I put together a page. It’s a basically a masterclass, so it’d be

Al McBride 16:36
masterclass, okay, I have a slightly different URL, so I’ll make sure to have that below, the podcast and the video, I

Bill Prater 16:47
probably I probably sent you something and I’ve changed it up a little bit. So what so what that is, is that’s a place where people can go in any stage. So there’s two separate masterclasses there. One’s designed for solopreneurs. And the other is designed for large business owners.

Al McBride 17:08
Excellent, excellent. That sounds like an excellent resource. Brilliant stuff. So what’s one question I should have asked you that would have been of great value to our audience?

Bill Prater 17:20
Well, okay, so the one question that you should have asked is, when you get to stage three, where the business operates independently of you, what’s the next move. And the next move really is is where I came up with the whole concept of scaleology.

Bill Prater 17:39
And what may so if you take a look at companies that are in that category, the businesses where the owner is independent of the business, that’s when unbelievably rapid scaling can take place.

Bill Prater 17:55
So then now you’re moving from getting to that point to then becoming a preeminent player in your niche or your industry. And after you become preeminent, what can you do next? Well, you can be the dominant player in your market, you can be the dominant player in market after you get to be a dominant player. Well, what’s next? Well, you can be number one in your niche.

Bill Prater 18:21
So once you arrive at that stage three, then you need to have it kind of ratchet up your dream really. And so that’s the third and so the, the scale ology model, which has three parts L. One, Part one is mindset. And that’s really where your focus is teaching people how to think, like a market Master, or think with a idea of dominance or think with the idea of becoming preeminent.

Bill Prater 18:52
That’s the mindset, if you will. And then number two, just when I gave you that scatter diagram, is that you need to have a management system that will operate inside your business at all levels of revenue and numbers of employees and so forth, you need to have some permanence.

Bill Prater 19:13
So your business is not operating in a whack amole environment instead, it’s a it’s an organized, systematic approach. And then the third one is, and this in the exercise we talked about earlier out, gets people there and that is to understand the power, the unbelievable power in building and then leveraging a high performance team. So it’s mindset system and team.

Al McBride 19:45
Outstanding stuff. Brilliant. Thank you so much, Bill, and I cannot recommend that masterclass enough. I’m gonna dive into it very shortly. I know you for a number of years now at this stage, I think from our entrance fractions. I know they allow the level of value that you bring. So, thank you very much for being on the podcast bill. Great to have you.

Bill Prater 20:07
Thanks for having me here. I enjoyed it very much.

Al McBride 20:09
Excellent stuff.

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