Verne Harnish | How to Scale Up Your Business (Without Losing Your Mind)

Verne Harnish Smart Business Revolution John Corcoran


Verne Harnish is the Author of Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) and the Founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO), with over 13,000 members worldwide, and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants”, a program in which he still teaches today.

Verne is also the Founder and CEO of Scaling Up, a global executive education and coaching company with over 200 coaching partners on six continents. Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up and this topic we’ll be focusing on today.

In this episode, we also talk about:

  • Why Verne Decided, On Multiple Occasions, to Scale Back on Work and Focus on His Family
  • How Verne Began Helping Other Businesses Scale Up
  • The Origin of Verne’s Birthing of Giants Program at MIT
  • How Verne’s Managed to Build Relationships with the Likes of INC., MIT, and More
  • How Verne Got President Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Mark Cuban, and Other Huge Names to Attend an Event for His Student Entrepreneurs Organization
  • Why You Need a Bold Vision
  • Why Verne Still Creates Influencer Lists for Outreach When Working on New Projects
  • Who the Number One Influencer is on His List Currently and Why
  • How Watching His Father Lose It All After Having a Successful Business Impacted Who Verne is Today

Sponsor: Rise25

This episode is sponsored today by Rise25, the training company founded by my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and myself with the mission of helping business owners from professional services get away from “trading hours for dollars” and shift from “one to one” client work to “one to many” programs and offers.

We are building a community of entrepreneurs who realize the world and economy is changing and who want to work smarter than trading time for money so they can scale up their business and spend time doing what they love.

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our retreats and training programs.

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Episode Transcript

John Corcoran 0:39
Alright, welcome everyone. My guest is Vern harness He is the author of scaling up how few companies make it and why the rest don’t Rockefeller habits 2.0 but first before we dive into this interview, this podcast is brought to you by rise 25 rise 25 puts on curated events for high level entrepreneurs at conferences and seminars ladies and more conference ticket sales were exhibitor dollars, much higher satisfaction levels, if you have a community of business owners gathering for a conference or a seminar, and you’d like to increase attendance without spending money on a Raspberry Pi VIP day, maybe the perfect solution for you, you can learn more and find out if your community qualifies at rise 25 dot com now on our show, it’s my huge honor to welcome my guest Vern harder. She is the founder of the world renowned entrepreneurs organization, he Oh as it’s known over 12,000 members worldwide. He also chaired for 15 years he is premier CEO program, the birthing of giants program held at MIT, which I’m going to ask about. He’s also the founder and CEO of gazelles, which is a global executive education and coaching company with over 210 partners on six continents. He’s involved in so many different things that I could spend my whole time in, leading into the intro, but we’ll just jump straight into it. Now, I wanted to ask you about this verse, because I was reading about your background beforehand. And you had this story, when your son was six years old, you kind of took a step back from your business. And this actually happened, I read a couple of times, you also had a sister have some health issues. And so I just want to ask you about that. Because on the one hand, your book and your mission through gazelles is to help businesses to grow. On the other hand, you do say you need to prioritize the personal first, and you lead by example, in that situation. So when I asked you about is how do business owners reconcile those two? How do you draw the line? How do entrepreneurs who are listening to this make those sorts of tough decisions about when to prioritize the personal over the professional?

Verne Harnish 2:40
You know, john, first of all, it’s great to be on the show. And you know, I’m a big fan of influencers and all the importance of that it was actually Michael Gerber, he was speaking at our university in Chicago, and he was 70 at the time, and I’m sitting the audience, and my wife, Julia just had our fourth child Quinn, and I’m just man, I can do this, when I’m 70, I’ll probably have worked a total of 70 or 80 years in my lifetime, you know, why not take 10 years off and really focus on the family. So that was a personal decision of mine, I, I don’t think I can show it on anyone else relative to what it is that they want to decide. But for me, it was kind of a cost benefit analysis, which is what I think most entrepreneurs have to make. And we’ve done well enough financially at a point that I could step back, I didn’t retire. But I scaled back my time. And here’s the irony. In the time that I’ve spent outside the country, the business actually scaled, even though I was gone. And I think part of it was because I did step out, and it forced some decisions to be made relative to other leaders in the organization, leading components of our business, other people stepping up, and me really getting out of the way, you know, we actually teach that you should be able to run the company a day a week, I did a Huffington Post piece by one of our clients who runs five companies on Thursday. Well, that’s part of what we want to do with our tools is help people get back the freedom that they always wanted when they launched and grew a company but seem to have lost as this company begins to kind of close down around them. So it all fits within our mission.

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