This article looks at our interview with past client, Tre Gammage of Gammage Enterprise. His company supports middle school teachers and their students. His services offer specific strategies to limit student behavioral issues. The end result is twofold: keep kids in class so they can learn more and keep teachers/administrators from spending too much time with disciplinary issues.
After a couple years of work, Tre realized his business was stuck in a holding pattern. If he wanted to take his business to the next level, he was going to need help: a new plan to get him “unstuck” so that he could rise. Tre wanted to own his business and advance it, not just to run it from day to day.
Tre simplified his business by learning to see it as a series of systems. He implemented new concepts such as “one core service” and “profitable conversations”. This simplification gave him more time to focus on building his business instead of merely maintaining it. Furthermore, he used his creativity to expand upon what he learned to make a personal leap forward by incorporating an area of great personal interest, podcasting, into his business framework.
A Fundamental Focus on Being of Service
Gammage Enterprise is based on a business that Tre’s own grandfather ran. Granddad would say, “Don’t ask me what I do! Tell me what you need, and I’ll make it happen!” Tre’s focus is much more specific, of course, yet his passion for service created a sensation of being too spread out - giving his business too many loose ends to manage.
"I stopped running three different businesses and focused on one."
Gammage Enterprise started in 2017 and Tre worked hard to develop his initial clientele. But as business growth slowed, he remembered a coach who always used to say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Tre wasn’t satisfied with the progress he was making alone. He knew there had to be a better way of running his boutique consulting firm.
As things were, Tre’s business seemed to have three separate components:
- His podcast
- His speaking engagements
- His consulting business
He accepted the advice of “doing one thing well” and decided consulting would be the core service. By establishing a core service he could eventually layer other offerings on top - as appropriate.
Change is often uncomfortable; and at first, thinking about his business in a different way was difficult. Tre learned if he could withstand the initial discomfort the rewards of streamlining are well worth the effort.
During the program experience, Tre found a greater comfort. Now he has a far better understanding of what his business is and where it is going. Coincidentally, his new focus allowed him to incorporate those aspects he thought he lost. Once he understood the new framework, it was much easier to see how his personal passions can be applied in a profitable way.
“I finally found a place for my podcast inside my business model."
At first, podcasting was a side project for Tre. He admits, in the early days, it was even a distraction from his business. He was good at it. He enjoyed it. He wanted to include it, but didn’t know how to do it.
So, how did he find space for a podcast in his business?
When Tre saw his business more systematically, he was able to insert podcasting into its proper role and place. Initially in the program, Tre was challenged to stop making podcast episodes. Through the process, however, he realized the conversations he wanted to have with clients were, essentially, the topics he wanted to cover in his podcasts.
Since Tre had previous experience as a podcaster he was already comfortable with the conversation flow and technology requirements of the platform. He combined this existing skillset with the “profitable conversation” flow from the program to recreate (and reinvigorate) his podcasting efforts. Now he has metrics that directly connect his podcast to the growth of his business.
It’s important to note that “podcasting” is not part of the system taught by Coveted Consultant. This is an example of how Tre applied his creativity during the process: He understood “conversations are valuable”, and he used his platform and talent to take conversations to the next level.
A Model Fouced on Your Success
The program experience made Tre feel he was an active participant - but not a solo participant - in his success and improvement.
His favorite aspects of the program were:
- Accountability through weekly, group conference calls. Tre knew that each week he had an appointed call time, and was motivated to do his best work and keep up with the program action-items.
- Personal Feedback. Tre greatly valued the critical feedback on his coursework, which gave far more than simple “yes” or “no” responses but demanded justification and critical thinking from him. The program checked for his understanding of the current material before he was able to move forward. This eliminated confusion from the learning process.
Yet Tre admits these facets were not what he expected from the experience . He had been in other “class” situations where structure was loosely defined and feedback virtually non-existent, if there was any feedback at all. Therefore, being put in a position where he was expected, and encouraged, to produce serious results was a surprise - a gratifying one.
The combined attention to his progress and the active support included in the program made Tre focus on the right things, and work the process to get everything he could from it. He had no excuse not to produce premium work at each step and his consistent effort transformed him into a higher quality business owner.
He found a new model to make his business more profitable: how he could own it instead of simply running it.
Create Your Own Best Practices
Tre’s biggest takeaway from the program was the encouragement to look at his business as a series of systems. Today, he doesn’t feel the daily pressure just to keep the gears cranking. He has more time to think about his business because he spends less time managing it.
He knows the clientele he attracts, what they need, and how he can provide it. He understands how to keep his clients and add value to them. Tre’s systems are documented into simple steps in a document - a business handbook, or “Operations Manual” - that he can distribute to anybody working with him and say with confidence, “Here are my best practices.”
What is Next for Tre?
Tre plans to keep on working! At the time of this interview, he was devoting hard work on his LinkedIn process, had 40 new leads, a great client prospect in the works, and was busy setting up podcast interviews. As he executes, he will continue to make adjustments and improve the process.
Get Ready For Your Business to Make Sense
To those thinking of joining the Coveted Consultant program, Tre has these encouraging words: “Get ready for your business to make sense.”
On his own, he was experiencing some success but working far too long and hard for what felt like insufficient returns. He was running three businesses instead of one. The change in the way he saw his business was a big step that took real determination. Walking away from the experience, Tre feels secure about what he has to offer, what he provides his clients, and what his reputation will ultimately be.
Tre remembers how it felt to be “stuck” in his business, and what it was like to need that extra helping hand, to get over the hump and move forward. Change can be hard, but through the guidance provided by Coveted Consultant, he never felt he was alone in the process. Tre believes that when entrepreneurs are ready to take that step, invest in the real business of their business, and commit to see a new and better way to work, there can be amazing results.