MSMP 71: Jan Cavelle on Scaling and Development

One of the biggest mistakes people make when scaling their business beyond their first ten employees or beyond their first million in annual revenue is thinking that what got them here will get them to the next level. My guest for this episode of Mads Singers Management Podcast, Jan Cavelle, knows better. She’s experienced all levels of business and has learned many hard lessons about scaling, all of which will be going into her forthcoming book from Bloomsbury: Scale for Success.

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One of the key points Jan made during our discussion was the need for entrepreneurs to personally develop in order to scale up: they should be putting just as much time and effort into personal development as they are into sales, marketing, and technology for their business. I agreed. One of the things I’ve observed in coaching entrepreneurs is a failure to be effective. I often say that if you’re consistently working 12-hour days, there’s something wrong, and then this becomes a snowballing problem: because you’re not rested, you’re not making good decisions, and then you have to stay at work longer to correct mistakes instead of being productive within a normal work day.

A key part of being more effective and productive is delegation. If you’ve had your business for under three years, everything that the business owner is doing now should be off his/her plate in twelve months. If you don’t take these sorts of serious actions, and quickly, you won’t be able to grow and scale your company.

One of those items to delegate should be key processes. The business owner isn’t equipped to be updating key processes of the company, simply because he/she isn’t in the trenches, working on those each and every day. Those processes need to be created and updated by empowered employees.

Part of empowering employees is giving them the impression that they can progress within the company. I’ve frequently stated my preference for hiring from within, and the reason is clear: if you bring in talent from outside while not developing the talent inside, you can demoralize your team, and the best people will leave.

Msmp 71 Jan Cavelle

an agreed, and noted that when she’s looking at the right skills or the right person, she’ll always pick the right person, because, “skills can be taught, but the wrong person is the wrong person forever.”

I enjoyed hearing about Jan’s lessons and I think you will too!

Key Learning:
  1. Jan talks about the biggest mistake people make when scaling – 2:50
  2. Jan mentions her obvious choice when picking between the right skills and the right person – 8:17
  3. Mads shares why developing from within is so important – 9:38
  4. Mads talks about the one thing all business owners who have had their business under three years need to do in the next 12 months – 14:20
  5. Mads hammers home that the business owner has absolutely no place updating processes of the company – 16:50
  6. Jan shares a blind spot many entrepreneurs have in scaling up businesses: personal development – 19:01
  7. Mads notes the problem of consistent 12-hour days – 20:50
  8. Mads opines about the problem of “normal” people’s opinions – 25:11
  9. Mads and Jan talk about the power of peer groups – 26:10
Connect with Jan Cavelle
  1. Jan Cavelle
  2. Jan’s forthcoming book
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