Episode 40: Are you pulling on the wrong levers in life? (A personal story episode)

Are you focused on the right levers?

Welcome to the SPS Podcast


“Big doors swing on little hinges.”

-W. Clement Stone


“Your store is closing.”

Those words rocked my world in March 2011.


My visa was up for renewal. I didn’t have time to get a new job. I would be deported from Canada.

12 years later, I look back and smile at one of my life’s most defining and stressful moments.


But what happened?


The shock:

I was planning a trip back to the UK and Ireland and had requested time off.

 I saw my regional manager calling. I thought I was getting the green light for an extended vacation. The call took a much different turn.


“Your store is closing.”

 “I am not sure I have a job for you.”


The panic:

Losing a job is scary enough but having to leave a country hit hard.

My girlfriend at the time was in tears. Even if I got a new job, my visa application would start from scratch again. I only had a few months left and everything was linked to my current job.

Everything felt out of my control.


The reality:

I was the newest manager in the region.

I was 100% sure I was done. There were several managers with years of experience ahead of me. But I had one saving grace.

My store and I were top of the region for store cards sold.

The store card was my regional manager’s core focus.


The rumours:

A week passed, and I heard others managers had “left.”

Either they were let go, or they walked. Every time the phone rang at the store, I got a little nervous. Is this the call that will change my life?

It was like living on a knife's-edge.

I can honestly say it was the most stressed I'd ever been.


The 2nd call:

The day arrived, and the phone rang “Oh f**k here we go.”

“Stephen… how would you like to work in this other store.”

I can’t tell you how quickly I said yes. It was like scoring a winning goal in the last minute of injury time. I was over the moon.

I would get to stay in Canada.

I would have time to finish my Visa process.


What saved me:

The store cards did.

I wanted to impress and succeed in my new job. The regional manager was obsessed with the new store card. A lot of older managers didn’t buy in.

I made it my goal to dominate the store card leaderboard.

I was the top-selling manager, and my staff were also top of the leaderboard.


The lesson:

Find the levers that create the most impact.

In every role since I look for what’s important:

• What makes you money?

• What matters to the boss?

• What is busy work and distraction?

• What matters most to your business?


Following this rule, I went from a retail manager making a little over $30k a year to succeeding in 6-figure corporate leadership roles.


It gave me the confidence to become a business owner and coach.


“Big doors swing on little hinges.”


5 reasons why as a solopreneur I focus on BIG levers in my business:

(Personal breakdown of my thoughts)


1) I find and focus on the high-value and high-$$$ levers because this is the only way to ensure my business is continually growing and bringing in the $$$.


2) Regularly monitoring and adjusting these levers helps me make data-driven decisions and stay ahead of bumps or barriers that come up.

Without data, I don’t know what levers to pull. I don’t know what actions to take. I could back the wrong risk.

 You need to review your data.


3) Identifying and prioritizing the most impactful areas of my business drives significant ROI.

If I know the right levers, I will take the right actions. I will take more shots because I have targets in sight. I will score more goals.

My goal is to work fewer hours while creating more positive results.  


4) By focusing on these high-value levers, I can reduce wasted time, improve my lead generation, close rate, and increase sales.

This gives me a sense of confidence in my ability to scale my business. I also have a good coach behind me who calls out the levers I am missing.

We all need a good coach in our corner to help us take more action.


5) I devote time and resources to these high-value and high-dollar levers because I am setting my business up for long-term success and stability.

I didn’t start a business to fail in 6 months or move on to something new in a year.

I want to create a sense of security and satisfaction in a bigger, better future I created out of thin air.


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Big love.

Make it a great one,