Last updated on January 17th, 2023
A CEO is the backbone of a company. They are responsible for taking their companies forward to the path of achieving steady growth. They are the ones whose guidance can rescue companies from the deficit and turn that into profit. But CEOs can perform well only when they have the freedom to act and implement their strategies without any fuss. Designhill conducted an online session with expert Daniel Marcos who shared how CEOs can make decisions and commit themselves to the cause of business growth. In this blog, we’ve shared the transcript of the complete session. Have a look!
The job of a CEO is not easy to perform, especially when the company is in its starting phase. Many things have started taking shape and the official has to manage the entire affairs of the company efficiently. If a company is well managed, it will grow and enter the second phase where people recognize it. So, CEOs are responsible for the growth of their companies.
But you do not learn the job of CEO from somewhere. You only learn it gradually from your own experience of running a company with your team. Your concern, however, should be that you are a valuable CEO to your business.
Designhill, the leading creative marketplace, conducted an online session on 2nd June 2021 on the topic: CEOs Guide – 10x-Your Business Impact And Eliminate Drama And Find Your Freedom. The guest speaker was Daniel Marcos who shared his experience of becoming a CEO.
During The session, Daniel Shared:
- Framework: Learn about CEOs best practices that 10x your business impact.
- How to eliminate all the “Drama, Stress & Friction” in your company as you scale?
- How to 10x the valuation of your company (even if you never plan on selling it) in less than 1 year with a simple growth model?
- Tools you need to build a personal CEO System.
- Tips to unlock the potential of your leadership.
Daniel Marcos is a well-known figure in coaching the professionals who run companies as managers and CEOs. He is the co-founder and CEO of Gazelles Growth Institute, the leading online executive education company for C-level executives at fast-growing firms.
Also, he co-founded Inflection (Gazelles Mexico) a management coaching company that helps business executives and entrepreneurs grow their companies faster and with less “drama”. Daniel is also an international speaker and has shared the stage with thought leaders like Peter Diamandis, Guy Kawasaki, and Jack Canfield.
In this post, we’ve shared the video of the session and transcript in the form of Q/As where you will be learning everything you need about how the CEO can impact business and eliminate drama as well as find freedom to shine high.
Transcript (Q/A): Here Is The Process You Should Follow To Become A Better CEO
When you follow the CEO System, you know 3 things:
01. How To Prioritize
First, prioritize. We believe more companies die for the excess of opportunity than for lack of opportunity. The best companies in the world are very focused. They are focusing on very few priorities and doing them well.
02. How To Measure
Secondly, they need to measure. If you cannot measure, you cannot improve anything. And you could track that measure and see if it is getting better or not.
03. How To Communicate
Then, if you have a team, you have to learn how to communicate with them. What’s the strategy, delegation, and the rest? And those communication rhythms are going to be very important.
Two Types Of CEO
Daniel Marcos: I believe there are two types of CEO. One is when you’re trying to speak and your team is tired, you could see the eyes of the team. Everyone’s kind of depressed and not engaged in the company. And then you get someone like Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. I think he is brilliant. By the way, the computer that I’m teaching my phone, my iPad, everything is up to Apple, I hate PCs. But I admire the CEO Satya Nadella, I think he’s brilliant. Let me show you a number to give you an idea of the brilliance of this guy.
Great CEO engage teams
So, this is a stock of Microsoft since it started. And Bill Gates left around here. Right. And here’s what Steve Ballmer got the company as the CEO, he took the company at around $50 per share. And 14 years later, when he stepped aside from being CEO in 14 years, the company was worth $36 per stock. So he destroyed value in 14 years.
Then, Satya Nadella gets it here. 36 and now it is like a 250. Vat growth, that skill. This is someone that gets it. is the stock price is not the only thing. But it is an easy way to measure the success of a company. And that’s the difference. And by the way, I think Microsoft has around 250 or 240,000 employees around the world. You change one and this is the change that you see. That’s the importance of the CEO. That’s how much power we have in a company. Our decisions impact the business a lot.
People should take you as their leader
Daniel Marcos: So, let’s see what you need to do to be a better CEO. Of course, the choice is yours. You could be someone that they don’t get. People don’t feel led by you and you have a lot of drama in your operation. Or, you choose to become great. And people want to be great, I want to be a better CEO. But I’m alone, I don’t know how to do this, you’re not alone. I understand what it is to feel stuck.
I mean, I felt stuck and been stuck for many years of my life. As an entrepreneur, I believe there is a great community of CEOs that already are helping other CEOs become better. So, don’t be alone, focus on yourself and let other CEOs share ideas. And within all these CEOs around the world, we could help each other.
Leadership depends on the company
Daniel Marcos: Again, I also want to explain that depending on the company, your leadership, and how you have to evolve and grow to the next level. So, as an example, in the USB for COVID, there were 28 million companies. 96% of them do less than a million dollars in revenue. And by the way, I am originally from Mexico, I live in Austin, Texas today. And when I was seeing the US, it was the biggest market in the world, with the biggest companies in the world. And we talk about Apple and Microsoft and Oracle and all these big companies.
But when you realize and you look deep into the market, the market in the US is built from small companies doing less than a million dollars. 96% of the companies here do less than a million just to do more than 1 million points for no more than 10 million. And point 06 or 17,000 companies do over 50 million a year. That’s how the US is built.
By the way, from stage to stage, you have to go through a valley of death. Because what got you to that stage will not get you to the next one. You have to unlearn certain things, you have to harden employees, new systems, new procedures, new clients to go to the next level. This is my home country, Mexico, very similar 96% of them do less than 10 million pesos or around 400,000 US dollars.
It is important to understand that there is a typical revenue per employee in every market for a small midsize company. In the US, a mid-sized company is small to midsize, the revenue is around $120,000 revenue per employee. In Mexico, it is around $40,000 in revenue per employee. In India some couple of years ago, it was around $18,000 revenue per employee. So, it is just to give you an idea of where you are.
Stages Of Growth
These are the stages that we have identified in a company. The stages are:
- You dominate your industry.
So, let’s talk about stages one, two, three, and four, and how you can dominate your industry. I will explain what’s the focus. the priority, the barrier, and the ability. You have to focus on what’s the right decision, you have to get right on each stage.
Why do I explain stages?
Daniel Marcos: If we are talking about CEOs, you have to understand what your company needs to give them and what they need. You are not going to give Gerber to a 20-year-old kid, it just doesn’t work, right. But the Gerber is an amazing food for a baby of six months. So, depending on the stage, you have to give certain attention.
Let us focus on that to understand the stages to know what we have to do on each stage.
Stage One : Start-Up
It is about validating your business model.
- Employees: At stage one, your startup has one to five employees more or less.
- Focus On: The focus is probably on the development of a once-a-product-market fit. You ask questions like what do you sell, how much you sell it for what price, and the rest?
- Priority: The priority at this stage is to validate the business model, right validate what you do.
- Barrier: The barrier you will face is the market dynamics. Do you understand the dynamics of the market? Who are the competitors? How do they sell how they charge? What will these cards give all of that?
- Ability: The ability is the one that will allow you to do this in marketing. Why is marketing a communication channel for you to tell your potential clients what you want to sell them?
- Decision: The decision you need to take is all about strategy. Redo your strategy and set your strategy right on stage one.
Stage Two : Grow Up
The focus should be fully on sales.
- Employees: On stage two, you have probably 6 to 15 employees.
- Focus: Your focus should be 100% on sales. Why? Because now you have a fixed expense. And you have to get cash flow in the company to be able to finance the growth and be able to keep the doors open.
Hire employees strategically
- Priority: Your priority should be to hire the right team. You don’t hire specialists. Instead, you hire generalists. And you don’t choose your employees on stage one, they choose you, you don’t have great salaries, great market opportunity, or anything. So, very few people are willing to work for you because of the risk of working for you. So you cannot choose them, they choose you.
- Barrier: The barrier that you have to overcome at this stage is that of leadership. Because now you have to lead a team. At the first stage, you were doing everything with everyone in the middle of the operation. Now, you have to start stepping aside and start leading a company and giving direction.
- Ability: The ability at this stage is to have to develop. You learn how to delegate to unpatched systems and procedures to predict and repeat all your systems and processes. At stage one, you were doing them all the time, but now you have to teach someone to give a system and a process to be able to run it.
Decide on team and cash
- Decision: At this stage, you should be making decisions about team and cash. Get the right team, and don’t run out of cash. Stage two is the one where the CEO ages, and then at stage three, they look older. That is because going through stage two is a tough stage, because of cash flow.
When you start building an organizational chart on stage two, it should look service-oriented. On such a chart, your team is on the top. Your mindset is like hey, you don’t work for me, I work for you. The better team members that I get, the happier they are. And, the better trained they are, the more they will help grow my company.
So, my job at stage two is not to be a great CEO. My job is to build a great team. If I build a great team, they will build a great company, I cannot build a great company myself. I know that I have limitations of time, hands, mindset, and everything. So, my best investment is to build a great team.
For example, if I have a great head of sales, then how many sales problems do I have to overcome myself or focus on? But if I have a great sales agent or sales manager, he’s going to take care of all the sales. So, my job is to have the best sales manager there or a service-oriented sales director for them to take care of me.
The Organizational Chart Of My Company
Daniel Marcos: Talking about the organizational chart of my company today. First, we have a CEO team. And it is a team. It is not just one person. And in the team, we have me, I have an execution leader or ahead of the operation. I have someone in charge of HR leadership, not operation, my executive assistant.
Then, we do all the research and development and thought leadership. Because we partner with people that write books, and other relationships with them, we do at the CEO level. So as an example, I partner with people that write books, very famous people around the world. I partner with them, get their content, and book a course online.
Relationships Builder Team
Daniel Marcos: So, what I do is first I build a relationship with the leader, sign the contract, and then I send that to the content team, which then builds a course. And they build a course called development to be their production now the visual everything. They do structural design, and then design a course and build a course. Then, they send it to the growth team that delivers and sells it.
Their job is to grow the company. So their job is to get more clients, acquire clients, and monetize. Get those clients to buy more from us. Once you sign a credit card or you enter a program, they will send it to the customer success team.
Customer Success Team
The customer success team is in charge of delivering what we sold you and they are in charge of ensuring that you’re successful going through our programs.
Then we have the support teams in finance, technology, design, logistics, and the rest. That’s how we run our company. We follow a team of teams, holacracy, and new organizational development of smaller teams. That helps us to move much faster into the market.
Stage Three : Scale-Up
- Employees: At this stage, your company has 16 to 250 employees.
- Focus On: You have to focus on dominating your industry. Whatever products you bring, pricing, On and the rest, your competitors are looking at you. They think that you understand what to do. So, we need to figure out how to compete against you. Until stage two, you’re still too small to matter. The competitors don’t care about you. Competitors are now starting to care about you and start seeing you directly.
- Priority: The priority should be that it is the right time to scale. When we talk about scaling companies, this is the right stage. In the previous stage with below 60 employees, it was hard to scale. You have a lot of constraints. But at this stage, you focus on getting the company, your systems, and processes to move faster.
- Barrier: The barrier at this stage is infrastructure. You need a lot of infrastructure to scale systems, technology, new offices, open branches in new countries and all that. You need a lot of infrastructure and investment. And you need cash to be able to do that.
- Ability: At stage three the ability you should have is about alignment and simplification. When you start scaling, you have a lot of people doing a lot of things. You have to align them on the same thing and prioritize what’s important. Also, you simplify your systems and procedures for people to be aligned with them.
- Decision: The decision now should be about how to execute your ideas. The companies that scale are fanatical in executing. They are not worried about what’s happening in the world and all these things. Also, they are focused on getting things done. So you have to execute.
Stage Four : Dominate Your Industry
- Employees: At stage four, your company has over 250 employees.
- Focus On: The focus should be on how to dominate your industry.
- Priority: The priority should be to reinvent yourself continuously.
- Barrier: The biggest barrier at this stage in achieving further growth is your comfort zone. Once you have more than 250 employees, you have a great amount of revenue and people are doing things for you. Then, you kind of get into a comfort zone. As a result, you stop innovating, and start going to your summer house for two months in the summer. You lower innovation, lower creativity, because you are in a comfort zone, and you stop growing.
- Ability: But you can get out of that comfort zone. You can be a change catalyst. Change consistently, innovate consistently.
- Decision: All the decisions at this stage are about team strategy, execution, and cash. You have to rotate them every quarter every six months, or every certain time.
Designhill: How to evolve from entrepreneur to CEO?
Daniel Marcos: Now you know what are the different stages for a company to grow from a startup to a big organization. Next, you should find out how you can evolve as an entrepreneur in the company. In other words, you should be aware of the journey from being a simple entrepreneur to become CEO of the company.
Stage One : Startup
To evolve from entrepreneur to CEO, the first stage is the startup stage of a company. At this stage, you have to do three things. These are technical, managerial, and entrepreneurial works.
- Technical Work: You have to do the technical work of your company. If I own a restaurant, I have to cook. That’s the technical work.
- Managerial Work: Do the managerial work. You have to manage payroll or bank accounts, get government certifications, and whatever you need to be able to run your company.
- Entrepreneurial Work: And then you have to be the entrepreneur, you have to do a strategy, go out and sell on the rest.
Stage Two: Grow-Up
At this stage, you’re leading a team. So, you have to learn how to do two things:
- Define direction: You need to define the direction of your company. So, you are going to say that your team is going to go there and there. Just give him the direction.
- Delegate: Then you should delegate to them. Tell them what they’re going to do.
Stage Three : Scale-Up
The third stage is all about communicating with your company’s teams. You have a lot of people. At this stage, it is getting complicated and getting messy due to the huge number of team members that you have. So, you should be doing four things.
- Be A Communicator: You have to be much better at communicating.
- Design An Action Plan: You should be designing an action plan for the growth of your company.
- Create The Team: You should help create better teams. Help them how to run these teams.
- Coach: You need to coach them, instead of being their boss and tell them what to do. You have to change your hat and say here I am here to help you become great. How can I coach you and help you grow? And if I help you grow, you’re going to grow my company.
Checkers vs Chess
It is all about behaving like a boss or a coach. So, up to stage two, you are like playing checkers. What does it mean to play checkers? You see your board and you say, hey, everyone is the same black or white. You see that everything is the same. There are some sizes and the same chips. And you move the cheapest things around and you have full control.
When you get to stage three, you are like playing chess. Now, if you look at your board, everyone has different capacities and qualities. They have strengths and weaknesses. Your job is to identify strengths and weaknesses and position them. Then, use their strengths the most and cover the weaknesses with someone else. You have to be way more strategic on how you position your employees.
But then you have to let them operate. You have to step aside and allow them to walk. That’s a huge change of mindset that you have to do to go from stage two and stage three. By the way, most of the companies that we see that don’t scale are because the CEO of the leader was not able to go from checkers to chess. If you play chess, now, you could lead a team and have the mindset to build a great team and lead a great team.
Stage Four : Dominate Your Industry
At stage four, you will become a satellite around the organization. The organization runs without you. You will become a strategic innovator and change catalysts. And so, you define the culture and be the chief of culture.
Also note that while athletes spend 90% of their time training, learning techniques, and practices, they execute 10% of their best level. In business, we do it the other way around. We usually operate 99% of the time. And then we try 1% to learn and improve. We have to balance more, learn more, practice more, and get better, so that good execution becomes better.
How to build your CEO System?
Daniel Marcos: Alright, so let’s go into a CEO system. I give you some tools to start building your CEO system today so that you could go to the next stage.
- Focus on you
- Focus on the team
- Focus on the company
Remember what I said previously here that you could not build a great company without first building a great team. And that team will build a great company.
But if you want to build a great team, you have to become a great leader, the great teams want to follow. The teams work for great leaders. If you are not a good leader, someone they admire. They don’t want to work for you as they are going to go and work for someone that inspires them. So, it is important that they admire you and they want to work for you. They should be able to help you scale your company.
Focus On You
Daniel Marcos: To build your CEO System, while you are first focusing on yourself, let us talk about these four things.
- Operate at a higher mindset. You have to elevate your mindset. You could grow yourself. You can grow your company,
- Find and then scale your team. What’s a team that you need, is not just team members, are advisors, investors, lawyers, consultants, people to help you scale your company.
- Protect your freedom. I have seen a lot of intrapreneurs become slaves of your company. No, you have to protect your freedoms, you have to have a life outside of your business.
- Build your legacy. Start building your legacy as the leader of the company.
Have control over your personal finance
Daniel Marcos: So, a couple of things, like in a plane, when they said hey if the oxygen masks come down, you have to put the oxygen mask first, I could not help anyone. If I am a disaster, I have to be well like financially, if you’re having financial problems, most likely you’re going to be bringing financial problems to your company.
The best leaders know they have to put their oxygen masks first. So you have to become a great leader, a great human being, a great person, have control of your finances, good relationships, have your weight under control all of that, to have a team then wanting to be led by you and admire you.
Daniel Marcos: The one thing you have to do most important is set routines. Routines set you free. And those routines will help you become free. Remember, human beings are routine-based. When a baby is born, the first thing they tell the mother is that she should give a routine to the kid. Get them to sleep at the same hour. Eat at the same hour, go to the restaurant, same hour, you have to give them that routine to help them grow.
So, the more routines you have, the better you’re going to do. And for me, the most important thing in the morning routine. I woke up today at 5 am and I started this at seven my time. So I dedicated two hours for myself to read, did some exercise, had a good cup of coffee, read a little bit so I could be ready to start giving value.
If you wake up with an alarm clock and have to take a shower fast, going to the car shouting to people, you won’t be able to give a lot of value. You’re going to have high drama, and you’re going to bring that high drama to your team. Spend two hours in the morning dedicated to yourself. This is the way to start giving value to the world. And for me, the morning routine is where everything starts. If I have a great morning routine, I’m most likely going to have a great day, the rest of the day.
Focus On The Team
Daniel Marcos: The second thing to consider to build your CEO System is to focus on your team. And to focus on your team, you have to do four things.
- Build and lead a team.
- Build a great memorable culture. Your team wants to work in a place that they enjoy working. And that’s the culture of the company.
- Boost their capabilities. They want to grow themselves too. So your job is to help them grow as people as human beings. And the more you help them grow, the more they’re going to help you grow your company.
- Align the efforts. You have a lot of team members, great players, they have to focus them and align them to execute and do the same.
To grow your company by 10x, first, grow your team by 10x.
Daniel Marcos: I can give my example here. In our company, we were able to see each other without COVID. We have an amazing team, which makes growth easy. So if you want to grow your company by 10x, focus on growing your team. It is about developing a lot of qualities, and it is not just about quantity. I believe one great employee is better than three ordinaries. So, hire the best and focus on growing the best.
And then set a discipline of execution. And we learned this from Vern Harnish, from his book Scaling Up. The book is amazing. It gives you discipline, and rhythm of execution.
For the discipline of execution, you have to set priorities. So you could focus and align your team. Then, you have to gather data to measure everything that happens. And that’s going to give you clarity and foresight into the execution.
Then, establish a meeting of the rhythm of meetings, remember to give that routine to be able to take faster and better decisions.
Focus On The Company
Daniel Marcos: Then, in your journey starting as a simple entrepreneur to becoming a CEO of your company, you need to focus on the company. At this stage, you have to do four things:
- Create a simple and powerful strategy. You need to ask, hey, what’s the strategy. Is it to put a man on the moon, become or get self-driving cars, or organize the world’s information. Have that very, very simple, but very powerful strategy.
- Capitalize your predictable sales system. Build a predictable sales system. Sell systems are the oxygen of companies, you have to figure out how to consistently bring cash to the company,
- Challenge exponential growth. You have to be the change catalysts to bring all that change to all that innovation. So challenges are for conventional growth. Try to take your team to grow exponentially, or take the company to the next level.
- Increase your company value. You are creating an asset that has an intrinsic value and that has to grow in valuation. I believe what an entrepreneur needs to do is build a company, a great team, revenue, etc.
But then build an asset that runs without you. And that when you have a company, if your company depends on you, you don’t have a company, you have ultra employment. So, know-how can you build a company that runs and gives value and growth without you.
Embrace exponential technologies
Daniel Marcos: Then, you believe that you need to embrace exponential technologies. I believe we are trying to run the world with culture, economy, society, ethics, and politics like we were 200 years ago. And we’re trying to manage all these technologies and we have no idea how to manage them. I believe we have to significantly evolve our societal processes, politics, and the rest.
We have so many countries with so many political problems. That is because we haven’t evolved our political or social systems as much as our technologies. So our job is to evolve so that we run ourselves, as a team, as a society as a group of people. So we could learn how to use all these technologies.
But there is one biggest mistake that we see a company make while doing innovation. Whenever such a company does its minimum viable product, it wants to build a car, for instance. So, they start building one wheel, and then two wheels, and then a chassis and then a car. But here, you don’t help the person move, if I build the wheel, you won’t be able to move. If I give you two wheels, you won’t be able to move. I need to build a full car.
If I understand how I’m giving you value and if I understand my strategy, I’m gonna skateboard first. Then, I will ride a bicycle, then a motorcycle, and then finally a car. I’m transporting people. Right from the beginning, I’m already transporting people. A company that consistently brings innovation, new data, evolves faster than the competitors to keep the company in the leadership in the market.
So, are you being the CEO your company deserves? Do you have the tools to be that CEO? Are you doing what you have to do to take your company to the next level? So, you must ask those questions. Are you the CEO that your company deserves?
Designhill: How important is it to build the brand in the process of building a company?
Daniel Marcos: But as I said, in stage one, that starts pop-up building your legacy, it is you have to have your legacy as the CEO, and the legacy of the company. The legacy starts with the logo and starts with a brand. And you have to start designing it from the beginning. It is gonna evolve, like the company. But you have to set the parameters and the core values. You have to be able to share that through the brand, and logo design, and everything around that.
Designhill: How do you move on from a bad decision?
Daniel Marcos: So, I have been in bad situations in my life many times. And I believe the only way is step by step. So I’ll quickly give you a quick my worst moment in life. That’s when I had to close one of my companies. I had 120 employees, I had a mortgage bank in 2007-08. And of course, you have to understand what happened, I had to shut it down. Because I was in the subprime business and the subprime measles died one day in the US.
Here is how I handled it
Daniel Marcos: So, I went from 120 employees to two employees in one week. So I started Monday with 120. On Friday, I had to, and he was, painful. I had to, I lost a lot of money and the rest. So I was in a bad moment in my life. And I remember, I was trying to save the company, and I was having a lot of drama. So I gained a lot of weight. I stopped sleeping well. I start eating badly. Of course, I couldn’t connect with my wife and my kids, I didn’t have a good time with them. They felt mad with me. I was in a bad mood all the time. So everything I went into this, but cycle, and everything begins getting worse and worse and worse. And I remember waking up at 3 am, a lot of nights, and just going into my living room and saying what I’m going to do now I’m going to get out of this.
So, I remember waking up at three o’clock in the morning, and I was in my living room without knowing what to do. And I say I need to start doing one thing. What do I have control over? There are a lot of things I don’t have control over. And there are some things I do have control over.
I said I was going to start at least losing weight and having that morning ritual. So, at 3 am, when I woke up, I put on my tennis shoes and just got out and walked and started walking five and 10 miles every morning. I couldn’t run as I was severely overweight. And I haven’t exercised for some time. So I was not in a good shape to start running.
Start with something under your control
Daniel Marcos: I just started walking, and I walk 5 to10 miles every day. And just being outside, breathing better air, seeing the sunlight coming out, starting to work, I started to improve my life little by little. And then I started doing things when I came back home. I had all this energy and ideas and I started changing.
So, don’t worry about where you are. Just start doing one thing that you have control over to improve. Even if it is not your business, improve something in your life. That will start bringing back some good things to your business. And that’s going to help you get your business back on track. But start with something you have control on. Don’t worry about what you do not have control over.
Designhill: How should employees have a growth conversation with the risk reporting manager?
Daniel Marcos: So, I tell my team, I want to help you, but you have to tell me what you want. You have to tell me what your growth plan is. And as an example, there are people in my team that are doing something. I know they will never be a manager, they are not a manager type. So, I tell them, hey, I know you want to grow, how can they help you grow.
Be CEO of your life
Daniel Marcos: Sometimes they said, hey, I want to be a better graphic designer, and I need training or help with all this new technology so that I can do some more work. So I help them, give them the investment tools, training that they need to be able to grow. But you have to be part, you cannot wait and sit down for your boss to tell you how to grow and give you everything. You have to be running your show, you’re the president, let’s say of your own life. So be that be the CEO of your own life, understand what you want, run yourself, think, and then ask for help. And then do it.
So I tell my team, hey, I will buy any training for you. We have $2,000 a year for any employee to do any training. And I have team members that don’t use it. And I was like, why not use it? Well, I don’t know. I don’t know what to take. And they were like, I can’t do it for you. You have to do it yourself. So be the president of your own life, the CEO of you, and ask for help designing who you want to be designed.
Like I have to try to get my company. I decide what I want my company to be. I need you to design the company or the life that you want. And I will be happy to help you build it. You have to give me what you want.
Designhill: Are there any books that you would recommend for a startup leader?
Daniel Marcos: I can give you three books here. First is Scaling Up, by Verne Harnish. I believe this book gives you the basics of operating and running any business, and I live and die by this book.
Then Multipliers by Liz Wiseman. This is the best leadership book I have read and I have learned a lot from him. He has helped me become a better leader significantly.
Then, I recommend Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller. I think it is a brilliant book on teaching people how to write that story. And they have to use design to put that story in perspective, but you first have to write the story.
Designhill: How to be a good CEO amidst pandemics?
Daniel Marcos: So, it is tougher on the epidemic. It was easier to have everyone in the same office and everything. We have been fully remote for two years. I have not seen my employees in two years. I hired March as my VP of Marketing. She is my number two person, company number three was the company. I heard her every third of the day, I just met her recently for the first time. I haven’t met her, you know the process.
Focus on what you can control
So I understand that it is tougher to be a leader with a pandemic. There are a lot of things I can’t control. So, I don’t get frustrated. And I don’t get depressed or anything. I just say I can’t control it, I am going to let it go and focus on what I can control. So just focus on what you can control the rest, don’t do it. You will learn how to use what you have to get better results. And don’t be frustrated and depressed about things that you cannot do. So focus on what you can control.
Designhill: How a young entrepreneur starts a new business?
Daniel Marcos: I am going to put here a link to a couple of videos that I will recommend you to watch. So, the most important thing is you have a dream. And I don’t know if you remember, but everyone says that. On top of the ones-the US. This guy had a dream. And the dream was to have the blacks and whites be that same or whatever. He did not have a dream. The Dream was bigger than his life. He was willing to die for that dream to happen.
Peter Diamandis tells me to find something you are willing to die for and live for it. So, something that you are so passionate about that happens, and live your life for that to happen. If you find that you are going to be successful. You are going to enjoy your life. People are happy because they are pursuing something they enjoy. So, find something that you enjoy, if you don’t have something that you’re burning desire to make it work is going to be very difficult for you to build something good and important, and something that you enjoy.
By the way, it doesn’t matter what, what matters, what makes you happy. To find what makes you happy. So I’ll put on the chart a couple of videos that will help you determine that dream, that objective in your life, to build a great company behind it.
Designhill: How has the pandemic affected business?
Daniel Marcos: I think the epidemic has been great for some companies and has been bad for others. So, like everything in life, everything in life has good and bad things. Try to be on the good side. It is a mindset more than anything else. I just posted the first video from the MPP from Salim, and then one from B hag from Vern Harnish. Please see those two videos.
Know what you can control
There is a full article, how to get your dream and define your dream. Here is what I believe. I believe the ones that are doing great on the pandemic are the ones who know what I have control of? And just focus on that and do great with that. So I think I will have to say for me, personally, the pandemic has been mostly good for my company. I have doubled its revenue, triple its valuation. Since I work from home, I don’t travel as much as I used to travel. I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with my kids. Like, for me the pandemic was great, I have to say so I have people that I love that have passed away because of the pandemic.
If you focus on using what you have available to be great, you have to be great. You saw companies like somehow many times it is so gross like 50 times in the pandemic 100 times. They just were not ready, and they used good luck. And by the way, let me recommend one more book.
This book is called Great By Choice – Jim Collins has one chapter seven. It says the return on luck. And he gives you statistically, we all have good and bad luck. The difference is how much return you get on the good luck, and how much the bad luck hits you right? Or, get you in trouble. So the best leaders give a better return on luck. The pandemic is luck. It is bad luck for everyone in the world. Some people did great with bad luck. And some people did, bad with bad luck. How are you doing with bad luck? That’s what I think is the difference.
To conclude, make sure that you follow the advice from the expert when you want to make an impact on your company and teams as its CEO. You have to steadily move up the ladder. It is a gradual process and you need to evolve with your company.
However, right from the start of your company, ensure that its visuals such as logo, business card, website, brochure, etc are perfectly designed visuals. These are also the visuals to make an impact on potential customers and clients.
You can outsource the design work for these visuals to Designhill, the leading creative marketplace. Within a few days, you can get a winning logo, etc. brand identities of your business from competitive designers in response to your brief. So, get started right away to have quality visuals of your company.
You should put in place a CEO System in your company to contribute meaningfully to the growth of your business. This system ensures that you focus on yourself, your teams, and your company. Make sure that you maintain a balance amongst these elements so that your company moves forward with a purpose.