SEP Episode 52: How To Build A Productized Business On Autopilot with Alex McClafferty

How To Build A Productized Business On Autopilot with Alex McClafferty

 

Alex McClafferty was the co-founder of WP Curve, an amazing resource on the team. He really helped me scale up what I was doing for my business. And taught me a lot of the foundational lessons I learned in managing great team members, creating amazing systems, and building a business that is scalable. 

Alex continues to work with people these days in that respect and has a lot of great information on how to create a productized business, which he is going to share with you today.

P.S. Alex is giving away his Consultant to CEO Program for free! More info at productize.co

 

What You Will Learn On This Episode


  • Alex’s Role as Co-Founder at WP Curve
  • The Acquisition of WP Curve by Godaddy
  • Setting Clear Roles and Responsibilities for Your Team
  • The Process of Productization
  • What Pushed Alex to Become a Coach and What He Offers to His Clients

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode


Video Husky 

Lead Cookie

PodSquad

TaskDone HQ

Productize

 

Transcription


Kyle G.:

Hello and welcome to The Story Engine Podcast. My name is Kyle Gray and today on this show we have Alex McClafferty. I am so excited to share Alex with you today because he is a friend of mine who I met in my early days in the startup marketing entrepreneurship world at WP Curve. Alex was the co-founder of WP Curve, an amazing resource on the team, and really helped me scale up what I was doing for that business and taught me a lot of the foundational lessons I learned in managing great team members, creating amazing systems, and building a business that is scalable. Alex continues to work with people these days in that respect and has a lot of great information on how to create a productized business, which he is going to share with you today. So without any further ado, let’s turn it over to Alex.

 

Kyle G.:

Alex McClafferty, welcome to The Story Engine Podcast. I am so excited to have you on here today.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Hi. Thanks for having me man, and it’s a pleasure to be aboard Kyle Gray’s pirate ship.

 

Kyle G.:

So, oh gosh, in case you haven’t seen it, he’s teasing me for my wooden background or our false wooden background as it may. Anyway, Alex, we have a history coming into the show. We’ve been friends for a long time now and I’m really excited to catch up on a lot of this, but first I want to introduce you properly and traditionally on the show with the first question that I always ask my guests is, tell me about a moment in your life that has defined who you are and what you do today.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Wow, I feel like I should’ve prepared better for this interview. That’s a really good question. A moment that’s defined who I am and what I do today. Hmm. I’ll jump into the company sale really quickly. So Kyle and I know each other from WP Curve. Kyle was our head of content, our content marketing extraordinaire back in those days. We started that company 2013, Kyle I think you joined at about 2014 or ’15 something like that-

 

Kyle G.:

Right at the end of ’14.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Yeah, and then we ended up being acquired by GoDaddy in 2016, at the end of 2016, and so the acquisition process for me was a real, I would say, a gauntlet, because I felt like I was going to make this deal happen as in it was on me and there was a lot riding on me. And so part of that was self-reliance, being able to say, “If there is an outcome that I want to kind of manifest or make happen and if I do the right thing and work really hard, I can be proud of my effort, but I can’t necessarily control the outcome.”

 

Alex McClafferty:

So that was something that I really took away from selling that company, which was I didn’t know what was happening on the GoDaddy side of the deal. All I had control over was how I showed up and the amount of effort that I put in and how I approached what I was doing. And that stood me in good stead since then, which is working really hard and hoping for the best, but accepting that sometimes things won’t go the way that you want them to. I was fortunate enough to get the outcome that I was gunning for with the GoDaddy sale though.

 

Kyle G.:

Well yeah, and congratulations on that because I remember it is really exciting to have you on the show and reflect about those times because I think WP Curve was a very defining time for both of us. And yeah, seeing that sale go through and seeing that whole process happen, at least from a somewhat distant perspective, it was really impressive to see how quickly the company grew and how you were able to not only get it sold but further scale it beyond there. I’d love to hear maybe a little bit before the sale of WP Curve and a lot of what you were doing behind the scenes then to scale it up and take it through its whole journey.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Yeah. So I was definitely a behind the scenes guy. Co-founder Dan was much more, I would say, in the limelight and out there marketing his book and the other stuff that he was into. And I assumed the role of kind of, I don’t know … What was I? I was like operations, I was coaching, I was leading-

 

Kyle G.:

Like COO, yeah.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Yeah. I was all over the place and not really out in the public eye, but working very closely with the team to make sure that things were getting done. So one of the things that I took away from managing and leading people from a few years of experience, is that I like to build teams that are self managing at some levels. So I was looking for people that didn’t necessarily have to have a ton of skill, they didn’t have to be the most expert in their field, but I wanted them to be very driven and have a lot of will and have a lot of, I don’t know, drive to be better and drive to improve.

 

Alex McClafferty:

And so we ended up building this awesome team of WordPress developers who are all around the world, all have fun personalities, had a really, really good culture, which is sometimes hard to get in a remote team because you don’t have that time for water cooler talk and then-

 

Kyle G.:

Yeah, all over the world really, not even the same time zone. I was so impressed seeing all of the banter happening on the Slack channel. People were celebrating each other’s birthdays. It was an incredible feat to really have the team together the way it was, and I think it was such a unique service to be able to deliver on that promise of having somebody awake and ready to go anywhere in the world to help you with WordPress issues.

 

Alex McClafferty:

And not just awake and ready to go, but really motivated to do the work. That was the other thing. One of the team members was based in Africa, this guy would love to get on live chat and just talk to customers all day. That was his thing and we had different versions of that level of commitment and excitement for the work. And ultimately I think that was a big factor in why the company was attractive to a buyer like GoDaddy and why we were able to take it and then scale it because we had that culture.

 

Alex McClafferty:

So a lot of my work, I think in the early days, was around building the team, making sure that people were looked after, making sure that people had the opportunity to provide feedback or had an outlet or had the support that they need. And then you and I had many a conversation about here’s a challenge, how are we going to overcome this? What’s the next step? And I think I remember jamming with you on one particular thing, which is like the guest posting process or something like that. 

 

Kyle G.:

Oh my gosh, yeah, that was the turning point for me. I do remember this conversation because at the time I was just like, “Working with guest writers is like herding cats. I just need to become a better writer because I can do this faster than them on my own.” And you were like, “No, that’s not how it needs to be.” And this was truly when things started to change. And then, yeah, we started honing in on the process of how do we set good expectations and how do we eliminate any kind of questions, any kind of issues, before they even arise and within that moment, in that turning point and when we started to change and create a proper style guide, which is the foundation for the style guide and the strategy templates I’m using or I have in the story engine right now, but that was the moment.

 

Kyle G.:

That’s when I was able to go, I remember beforehand I was struggling to produce two our three great articles a month and then all of a sudden we were hitting 10 consistently every month just from that change. So, incredibly powerful stuff.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Yeah, that was fun. I remember giving you feedback because we would refine and then I’d have comments or I’d have points of view and I’d read through it as if I was a writer trying to get the points and make sure it was super clear. And again, these are the things that happen in the background of a business, which is not necessarily the most glamorous work. It’s not, you know, front line where you’re out with the shining lights or anything, but it’s necessary because that’s what scales, those are the things that really scale.

 

Alex McClafferty:

And we had a few of those different kinds of projects within WP Curve that happened and they were executed and I think that kind of mentality, just getting in and getting the work done, kind of pulled things through and permeated the team as well, which was a big focus on process and quality and figuring out ways to improve what was existing, which again going into a company like GoDaddy, they had existing processes, they had existing structures, and we were like, “Those are cool, but is that the best way to do it?” And that creates some challenges and some ripples and whatnot, but that’s part of the fun of being the new company on the block and trying to shake things up. So we took that to the big leagues.

 

Kyle G.:

And I think one of the things that really caught people’s attention with WP Curve was this productization and this process. And this is something that you’ve continued to hone and refine and master and you are now working with many different people to help them build their own productized services. I’d love to hear just a little bit about what does a productized service mean to you these days and what are some of the key components of that?

 

Alex McClafferty:

Yeah. Well see, the funny thing about this is a productized service is going to be different for each founder. I go inside out as far as what the business can be, so a productized service to me could be a scalable coaching program because I’m in the business of coaching and at some point I just tapped out of like three or four hours of calls a day. So I need to figure out a way to serve more people but do it in a consistent manner and even hopefully better than what I can do one on one. So with the productized services that I see coming through, there’s a lot of folks that are inspired by the WP Curve model and they’ll take that into different verticals, whether that’s live chat or lead generation or video editing or supporting another platform.

 

Alex McClafferty:

But the principles are the same, which are as a founder, you have a business that can run without you. You can literally step back from the business and observe what’s going on. You’ve got a team that has absolute clear definition of what their roles and responsibilities are. You’ve got kind of like a paint by numbers financial model as far as understanding, okay, at $50,000 a month in revenue, we know the profit margin is going to be this, we know we can reinvest this amount for growth, and this is what the value of the business is going to be.

 

Alex McClafferty:

So I like having structure and process around these businesses because when you have that, then you can kind of sit back and go, “Okay, what else do I want to spend time on? What else do I want to do?” Which is what I did with WP Curve. In 2015 I kind of stepped back a little bit from that business and went out and did some consulting with SaaS companies in San Francisco, which was awesome because there was so much cool stuff happening and still is today, and got to meet a bunch of founders of really big and successful companies and learn from those folks and then go back and apply that to my business or others’ consulting clients and really free up that time.

 

Alex McClafferty:

So yeah, to summarize all of that, productized service to me is a business in which you can scale, step away from, it has a terminal value so there’s an asset that you’re building rather than just cashflow from a consulting offering, and it’s run by a team, a team of people that do the work that you could probably do yourself, but it’s going to be done a whole lot better through a team.

 

How To Build A Productized Business On Autopilot with Alex McClaffertyKyle G.:

Absolutely. And when coming onto a productized service, this is something that’s very attractive and a lot of people are going for these kinds of things. But I don’t think, unless you are very intentionally building a service like this, or you are intentionally trying to create these systems, it very rarely just kind of happens on its own. And I’m wondering what are some of the first questions that you would ask somebody you work with or some of the first places that you would start to look for opportunities for productization? Because I also think it falls on a spectrum. It’s not something that you can just be one day not productized and then one day fully productized. I think it’s a process in kind of the other meaning of the word and kind of evolving into that.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Yeah. So the first question I actually ask founders is why they’re building what they’re building. So I use this framework, which is assuming that you’re going to be successful building this or any other business, why are you choosing this one? And what I’m looking for is some conviction because you can go and flip burgers at McDonald’s, you can go and flip a sign on a crosswalk, whenever you want to do, but your heart needs to be in it. And this was a mistake that I made with WP Curve because I was never truly passionate about WordPress or even WordPress support. But [bctt tweet=”If you are genuinely interested in the space that you are stepping into, going through the ups and downs, going through the highs and lows of the business is so, so much easier. – Alex McClafferty” username=”kylethegray”] If it’s something that’s kind of boring and you’re not super interested in, then that’s going to be reflected in how the business grows.

 

Alex McClafferty:

So I look for some conviction up front and then I start to take people through different frameworks to understand, okay, let’s say you’re a consultant and you want to productize your service. Typically one of the challenges that consultants have is that they’re an expert in their field, but they have a hard time distilling that knowledge to be able to pass it on for someone else to execute on their behalf. So you start to look around within the consulting offering as to what is something that a client needs on a repeating basis, there’s some recurring revenue that can be generated from your offering. And so that’s going to vary from consultant to consultant, but consultants will often get in their own way because they’re very good at what they do and they have a hard time letting go of the reins.

 

Alex McClafferty:

So then you start to ask the questions of, “Okay, well if you don’t let go of the reigns now, at what point will you be able to, and at what point will you be able to bring in a team to do it? Because if you can’t let go of a little thing, then how are you going to let this business run by itself?” So as you can see, a lot of that comes back to mindset and looking at what you want in the future versus where you’re at today. And then other things that come to mind are like what’s the end game for this business, which is again, something that in the WP Curve days we didn’t get clear on until a year or so in. We started building this thing where this is really cool, we know that it solves a big problem, but what’s our exit opportunity? What’s the scenario for, you know, if we want to sell to a hosting company or if we want to sell to someone on market or if one of us wants to buy each other out.

 

Alex McClafferty:

We didn’t have any of that clarity, so I advise people to start with the end in mind when they’re building out a productized service and then kind of paint or color in the lines as they go backwards, which is easier said than done because I’ve seen it done and helped a lot of people do it now, but when you’re starting out it’s like, “Okay, what’s the first thing that I put a process around? I don’t know, like …” and then you just kind of get confused.

 

Kyle G.:

One of the things you’re doing now, you’re working in coaching and helping other people do this, but you’re still working on walking the walk in your own coaching business and in productization. We were talking just the other week and you mentioned pretty much all of the services that you work with to grow your business are all productized services. I’d like to know as a coaching business and growing your coaching business, what have been some of the most useful productized services that you’ve been using that have helped you grow and expand your reach and your message?

 

Alex McClafferty:

Yeah, there’s some that I’m actively using and then there’s some that I’m going to bring into the fold. So one of my clients, his name is Justin, he runs a productized service called Video Husky and they’re basically the WP Curve for video editing. So I think his price point is around 500 bucks a month. And you send these guys raw files with a template of what you want it to look like, maybe some inspiration as far as style goes, and they’ll chop that up for you and send it back to you and you’ll be able to go back and forward. So I’ve used those guys to help with video content.

 

Alex McClafferty:

There’s other productized services out there for podcasts, so that’s something that I’m looking into right now. I use Lead Cookie, which is Jake Jorgovan’s business, just to set up connections on LinkedIn and post content, which is something that I know I should do but I probably wouldn’t do, and it’s helpful to stay top of mind with people. And who else have I used lately? I’m just trying to think. I also have a service for podcast booking, so there’s a service, I think it’s called Podcast Introductions, something like that. They reached out to me after I was on Jake’s podcast and said, “Hey, do you want more bookings or do you want to get on more podcasts like Jake’s?” And I’m like, “Of course, I’m not going to go out and pitch myself to other podcasts. If you can line this stuff up for me and get it on my calendar, I’m happy to pay.”

 

Alex McClafferty:

So those little things. There are often things that you know you need to do and they add up in the long run, but probably someone like me, I don’t prioritize them and then I’m missing out on potential intros or potential clients or just building some awareness or some brand.

 

Kyle G.:

That can be really powerful things to have these services working for you and one of the beautiful things about it. Before productized services and software, you probably had a team of a dozen people or more all working for you. You now have a growing and thriving business that is able to have all of these people applying their expertise in exactly the way you need it and just the exact dosage that you need. Because it wouldn’t be worthwhile to have a full time podcast outreach person on your team. And I think that’s one of the beauties of services like this and why it’s so useful for entrepreneurs and why there’s such an opportunity to create services like this because there’s so many different needs that a business has these days that usually one person can’t fill every single one of these needs. But just by placing these in and perfectly applying them in those amazing places, it really helps you grow and scale.

 

How To Build A Productized Business On Autopilot with Alex McClaffertyAlex McClafferty:

Yeah. Yeah. I’ve found it really helpful and I probably save 10 hours a week, 15 hours a week, something like that, from implementing those couple. And then there’s more that I can use that are at my disposal because they come to me and they’ll say, “Hey I need help with this or I need help with that,” and I’m like, “Cool, that’s an interesting service, I could use that,” and it helps me extend my footprint because I don’t have any direct team members right now, I’m just like a one man band, which is challenging but it’s also fun to know that I’ve got a team of people that I can rely on to get things done that I’m either not interested in or not good at. Those are the two gaps that they sell for me.

 

Kyle G.:

And within your own coaching business and in the case of kind of applying these ideas to how you’re working with people, you mentioned after three or four calls, one on one calls in a day, you’re pretty tapped out. I’ve experienced that for sure and I think a lot of people listening in have felt that as well. What are some of the things that you have done to start to scale up and productize your business or what’s your strategy moving forward to be able to expand and scale up while still maintaining the quality of what you’re doing?

 

Alex McClafferty:

Yeah, I use constraints so I say that I don’t want to be on the phone for any more than 10 hours a week so I don’t want any more than 10 hours of contact time. And by creating that constraint then I have to get creative with how I fill out that time. So up until this point, it might be eight or so hours of one on one time with clients each week and then a couple of hours of group coaching. But what I found is with the group coaching, it’s a lot more scalable and it’s also at some level a lot more useful because when you’ve got a group of people that are working in the same direction, then you’ve got this cross pollination of ideas and different viewpoints and actually takes a little bit of pressure off me to be the one coming up with all of the ideas and all of the suggestions all of the time.

 

Alex McClafferty:

So I’m still a coach but I’m also a facilitator. In my current group I’ve got I think six people in there, building out their own productized service, and I get to draw insights and ideas and things out of that group without having to be the linchpin for all of them. And then I’ll have my point of view. But that’s fun, to me that’s fun, and I can also do that in such a way where when I have a program like that instead of having your typical membership site that’s got, I don’t know, like static content and then you download some PDFs and do the work. What I do is I set everybody up with a Google Doc and each week I drop content into the Google Doc. Once they’ve uploaded their exercises, done the activities.

 

Alex McClafferty:

So if I’m traveling or if I get up early or something like that, I’ll jump into each person’s Google Doc and I’ll be able to give them feedback, which is really, really useful to them, but not something that I could necessarily fit into a typical daily schedule. So that gives me, again, it’s like leverage, but it’s also leveraged in a way that’s useful to the person that is paying for the program. Because one of my experiences with group coaching is sometimes it feels like you get this kind of fractured or fragmented amount of time from the person that’s coaching. And what I’m trying to figure out is ways to get even closer to the work, but deliver it in such a way where it’s not relying on me being on the phone. Like I can be lying on my couch on my laptop, going through these things and adding comments and inputs and insights that you may not be able to do in other coaching formats or programs.

 

Kyle G.:

I’d love to get a peek inside of the group you’re working with. I’d love to hear, if possible, examples of businesses but we can also keep them anonymous too. Some of the big leaps forward, or as soon as somebody managed this process, hired this person, outsourced this thing, that they really experienced a big leap forward. What are some of the big wins that you’ve seen in the people that you’ve been working with?

 

Alex McClafferty:

So the challenge with actually building a productized service to me is the slow burn, and part of what I’m dealing with the group that I’ve got, I’ve got a group of very successful consultants, people that have been in business for a couple of years for themselves and they’re like, “Okay, I need to figure out a way to scale what I’m doing. Now what is the thing that I can scale?”

 

Alex McClafferty:

And so example services that we’ve got popping up, we’ve got another podcast outreach, but a much higher end offering and that’s by a lady named Bridget, that business is called PodSquad, which I think is just the best, I love that name. It’s awesome. It’s brilliant. We’ve got Jake, Jake Jorgovan back in the mix and he’s doing work on Content Allies and what he’s trying to deliver is thought leadership as a service, so especially at that consultant level, creating prompts for people that are very good at what they do to be able to have continuous content, email, newsletters, LinkedIn, all of the stuff that you know you should do, but you probably don’t, and it’s something that if you have a team of people working on it for you, it just takes that pressure off.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Then we’ve got some more specialized kind of narrow focuses. So things like aftercare for very technical products, very technical platforms, with more of an engineering focus. And then there’s a couple other cool ideas like accountability as a service, so you know how you get a VA and then you hire them and you’re like, “Okay, what do I do with this VA?” What one of these services will do, which is called, I think it’s TaskDone HQ, that business will be partly doing tasks for you but also partly keeping you on task and saying, “Hey, these are the things you told us that you needed done. We’re going to help you get those done. What else do you need from us?” And be like a friendly nudge forward to get those things off your to do list. So because of the phase of where these folks are at, is they already have established existing, successful businesses and they are looking to move into productizing their service.

 

Alex McClafferty:

And so they’re not necessarily at the place where they’re making big decisions and big hiring moves, but they’ve got positioning nailed, they’ve got their value proposition nailed, they’ve got a sales page, they’ve got an outreach, whether it’s cold or warm, they’ll have marketing plans, and they’ll have a roadmap to scale. So they walk away with all of that and then it’s on them to execute and move forward. And the thing that I’m looking at is how do I support those people in an ongoing way, which is probably more of the same kind of group support, group coaching, and allowing them to kind of cross pollinate those ideas and help each other out too.

 

Kyle G.:

That is really cool and all of those sound like very valuable services. All kinds of ideas are sparking on how I could use all of those things in my own life. I want to change gears a little bit and go back to a little bit of your story. You mentioned that while you were working with WP Curve, it was very much behind the scenes, team oriented, not so much marketing, and now as a high end coach working with very high profile, very intelligent entrepreneurs, you’ve had to move yourself more into the spotlight coming onto podcasts, sharing your story and who you are.

 

Kyle G.:

Can you tell me a little bit about your evolution from kind of going behind the scenes to becoming an authority in your own right? Because I think this is a really challenging transformation that many people, both introverted, extroverted, anybody who is trying to grow their business these days, share their story more, is often going to have a little bit of trouble. Oftentimes our genius seems so commonplace that we discount who we are. We don’t feel like it’s that interesting. Tell me about this journey that you’ve gone through and how you’ve evolved and changed over these years from WP Curve to now.

 

Alex McClafferty:

So it was actually born out of frustration with other coaches that were in market. And I would see these things online and I would just get really upset because I felt like people were being taken advantage of. So, you know, eight figure this and nine figure that and blah blah blah, and most people are starting out in this place where they’re like, “Okay, I’m good at what I do, how can I make that into a scalable business?” So this idea of marketing really aggressively with private jets and all the guru kind of stuff, it just left a really bad taste in my mouth. And so I was working with Jake who’s a longtime client and also friend, and I was kind of bitching to him about it and I was like, “This is just not cool man.” And he’s like, “Yeah, you keep talking about that, so you can either continue to complain to me about it or you can go out and market yourself and make a difference, right? You can do it yourself and make a difference.”

 

Alex McClafferty:

The way that he explained it to me and the way that he kind of put it back on me was awesome because as much as I am a coach, my clients also coach me. And so when he says that to me, I’m like, “You really got a point. I can sit around and look at what everyone else is doing and criticize it or I can try and show up and do what I do and help people.” And that’s what I do.

 

Alex McClafferty:

So I had to figure out what my positioning and what my message is and that’s just me being me, which is being honest, sharing my story, trying to help people, and not bullshitting because I just don’t have it in me. I can’t fabricate, “Oh I was so great and this is so wonderful,” and everything else because the reality of building any business or even as you would see in the early WP Curve days, you can look from the outside in and go, “Wow, those guys have really got it figured out or that’s super easy,” but every founder that I talk to, there’s a reason that they’re hiring a coach and it’s because it is hard.

 

Alex McClafferty:

It’s really stressful, it’s really difficult, and I’ve helped a couple of founders go through really significant acquisitions where the company’s being acquired by either a really big company or they’ve got a really big payout and that is extremely stressful. So I talk to that. I talk to the stress that comes along with, you know, you think you get a big payday and then everything gets easier. For me it got harder. It actually got harder because I had more pressure on me to make sure things were successful at GoDaddy because I didn’t want it to be a flame out or just something that got bought and shuttered.

 

Alex McClafferty:

And so I’m very authentic and transparent with all of that. And that being, like speaking the truth, has really helps me to get out of my own head and not criticize or judge myself and just say, “Look, I’ve got this point of view, this is my experience. Your experience might be different, your point of view might be different, and we’re both entitled to our own.” So that has helped. That’s helped a lot. But I really have to thank Jake for that because he definitely got stuck into me a couple of times and was like, “Dude, [bctt tweet=”Get out there and start talking about what you know and start adding value to people – Alex McClafferty” username=”kylethegray”] and stop complaining about these guys that are doing this guru marketing nonsense.”

 

How To Build A Productized Business On Autopilot with Alex McClaffertyKyle G.:

That’s beautiful. And I think we could all do with a few less Facebook ads with gold plated helicopters and things like that.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Well I’m actually, so this is funny man, I’m going to be shooting some video stuff for the next release of my program and we came up with all sorts of random concepts. So one of them was like me shoveling horse poo into a bin. Another one was I think I’ve got a push mower for the lawn at this rental that I’m living at right now and we were going to cut to me, like pan to me on the lawn mower that doesn’t have a motor.

 

Kyle G.:

Yeah, those old circle cylinder ones that, yeah, okay. Those are getting really popular in my neighborhood I’ve noticed recently.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Maybe it’s a hipster thing, I’m not sure, but-

 

Kyle G.:

It could be.

 

Alex McClafferty:

But the point is, if you believe and you buy into the hype of a private jet or a gold plated helicopter, then you’re probably not going to be a good fit for me anyway because that’s like a get rich quick kind of thing. The reality of business is it’s hard work, it’s a grind, you’ll get good rewards, but you’ve got to put your back into it, and that’s what we’ll be shooting video around to say, “Hey, you’ll get to success, but it’s not going to be all glamor and all show.”

 

Kyle G.:

I don’t think most of us, at least most of the people listening, maybe some of us do want helicopters, but I think what a lot of us aspire to is just a business that supports our life and our lifestyle and allows us to make an impact and show up in a way that we enjoy working every day and also have plenty of room for all of the wonderful things that life has to offer us outside of working really hard.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Yeah, and I’m a huge proponent of that. One of the biggest things to me in the WP Curve days was to be able to take off and hike Machu Picchu and step away from the business for four days and know that everything was going to be okay and it was probably going to be in better shape when I got back then when I left. So to me, those are the little things and I’ve got a lot of friends who are in San Francisco, building really big businesses or raising a ton of money, and I don’t have any argument with that. If that’s what you’re interested in, that’s cool, but you can also be happy with the business that does six or seven figures a year, spins you off a good salary, creates a great cushion for your family or your financial goals. There’s really no right or wrong, but I like to work with people that are clear on what they’re building and why they want to build it.

 

Kyle G.:

Alex, it’s been so much fun talking and catching up with you again and it’s so cool to hear the impact you’re making in many different places and with many of your clients who we’ve gotten to hear a little bit about today. I’d love to hear if you have any closing thoughts for us and then where can we go to learn more about you and the brilliant productization you do?

 

Alex McClafferty:

Yeah. Well, I’ll start with this second question first, which is where to find me. So productize.co. That’s P-R-O-D-U-C-T-I-Z-E dot co. I’ve got a website and it’s funny, I had a WordPress support business, it’s an okay website, it’s not the fanciest website, but it kind of speaks to my idea of do what is necessary, not what is flashy. And that’s probably my parting thought, which is we can get carried away with a lot of bells and whistles and things that we don’t need, but I think keeping things really simple, getting to the essence, and getting to understand exactly what your customer needs will drive your business much farther forward than tactics or hacks or any other sort of nonsense that you might distract yourself with.

 

Alex McClafferty:

And those are the things that I try and help people with, which is to keep it super simple, get really clear, and keep them motivated and driving forward. So yeah, keep it simple, that’s probably my parting thought for the audience.

 

Kyle G.:

I love it. Alex, thank you so much for joining us today.

 

Alex McClafferty:

Thanks for having me.

 

Kyle Gray:

Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned on this episode and every other episode at thestoryengine.co. If you’re looking to learn more about how to use storytelling to grow your business, then check out my new book, Selling With Story: How to Use Storytelling to Become an Authority, Boost Sales, and Win the Hearts and Minds of Your Audience. This book will equip you with actionable strategies and templates to help you share your unique value and build trust in presentations, sales, and conversations, both online and offline. Learn more at sellingwithstory.co. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.

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