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On this episode of the podcast, Taylor and Richard embark on part 1 of a 5-part series on CTC’s new growth methodology: the Prophit System.

They kick the series off by discussing the crucial beginning of the journey: defining a business objective that will lead to the outcome that you want.

⁠Show Notes:
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  • The Ecommerce Playbook mailbag is open — email us at to ask us any questions you might have about the world of ecomm.

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[00:00:00] Richard: Hey folks. Welcome to the ecommerce playbook podcast. I'm your host, Richard Gaffin, director of digital product strategy here at Comethread Collective. And I'm joined as I always am by Taylor Holliday, who today I'll, I'll have the the audio listeners know looks exactly like Travis Kelsey. 

Taylor, how did this happen?

[00:00:17] Taylor: Thanks. You know, I apparently am a basic dude because I showed up to a Halloween party alongside four other Travis Kelsey's in a party of about 35 adults, but I still think I pulled it off best with the actual commitment to the mustache and the fade. So I give

[00:00:32] Richard: I was going to say, yeah, for our, for our YouTube viewers, you can definitely see the resemblances uncanny and the mustache actually does a lot of work, but cool. So today we're going to get into something kind of interesting and pretty exciting, I think, which is a five part series on how to build a system for growth.

Now we've touched on a lot of the elements of this in past podcasts, because it's something that we at CTC have been working towards for a long time. But as we start to roll this sort of complete system out. What we wanted to do is start a, like I was mentioning a five part series that lays out each specific part of the process that we go through to build a growth system for our clients.

So the first episode will be, of course, me and Taylor talking about the beginning of this, which is actually, I think, ironically, a step that a lot of entrepreneurs skip. But the way to begin building your system for growth is to begin by understanding what it is you're trying to accomplish with your business.

What is the main goal? So. Why don't we kick the conversation off Taylor by talking about the kinds of goals that you could choose, I suppose, as an entrepreneur running a business, where do you start

[00:01:39] Taylor: Do you mind if I just do one bit of context first, too? I feel like we always do this. So we've spent the last decade. Trying to build internal processes for how a growth marketing team should run, right? Like that's, that's fundamentally what we do at our agency. And it means we've had a lot of reps at a lot of different systems for how a growth marketing team should function and operate.

And I really believe that to create a consistent delivery, it is a system. You actually have to have a set of constraints and processes that enable it. And we want to share that with you. And we think right now ahead of 2024, that this is the perfect time to do this because it connects the process of forecasting your business, which is a 2024 planning exercise with setting KPIs for your employees for defining how they work every day to setting up the systems and tools.

So right now, the reason we're doing this five part series today is because we think this should frame up your 2024 planning exercise as a company and give your marketing team an immense headstart on how they can operate. In a way that elevates their ability to consistently hit their goals in a year.

We think the theme is going to be predictable, profitable growth. Like you're going to hear that from us all year on this podcast and at CTC, that we are here to build systems, to generate predictable, profitable growth. So that that's what we want for you. And this is a system that you can take and run yourself.

We really believe that this is, you could implement this internally or we can do it for you. And so we're going to lean into this five part series and I would bookmark them. I'd have everybody listen to them and I'd try and replicate as much as I can. I think it will really elevate your internal organizational systems.

[00:03:14] Richard: Yeah. And actually to give them further context to what we're going to be talking about. I'm going to list out what the five parts are to give you a sense of tease a little bit, what's coming up. It'll also give you a sense of maybe where we are as we go through in this process. So today we're going to be talking about setting your business objectives.

I already gave a little bit of. Context around that part two, we're going to be talking about modeling the possibilities and choosing your path, which is once the goal is selected, how do you sort of begin to build the plan to achieve it? Then part 3, we'll be talking about calendars and concepts, which is really a discussion about building a creative system to accomplish that goal.

And then part 4, we're going to be talking about specifically media buying. How do you build a channel channel specific? Media plan that holds every dollar accountable every single day. We've discussed that before and then part five is sort of brings everything together when talking about execution. How do you actually pull this off?

What does it take to bring this thing to life? So to then rewind back to the beginning again. We're talking about setting the business objective. We're talking about making a decision about what you're trying to do with the growth plan. So Taylor, give us a little bit of context around what it looks like to select a business objective.

[00:04:22] Taylor: And this part of the message, I'll say this is to the CEOs, founders, or shareholders of a business, this has to start at that because ultimately the business exists to serve the ends of the shareholders, in my opinion. That's what a business exists to do. And so the shareholders, usually that's a founder or a set of partners, have to have clarity about what they want this business to serve for themselves.

And I want to be clear that in this part, what you are not doing is trying to get to a specific numerical outcome. That is not the job in this stage. categorical.

What do you want the business to do? Now you brought up the question, Richard of like, well, can you give me some examples of choices? And so let's do that. An example of what I'm talking about is you could say, I want to increase the enterprise value of my organization for the sake of preparing it to be sold in the next 12 months.

In a business, there tends to be two primary mechanisms for realizing the value of your business. One is through the sale of the asset to an external third party. And the second is through the distribution of the capital to shareholders. And those are very different mechanisms for generating or building a plan to accomplish.

Alternatively, there are other things that exist that businesses can practically exist for. And really, I mean, there's really infinite possibilities here, but I'll give you an example that's very personal to me. For many years, when I reflect back on the planning for CTC and the decisions that I made, my core operating objective was actually about the experience I was having inside the business.

I made choices that served an experiential outcome for me as the owner of the business. And that practically meant having an amazing office, working alongside a lot of my friends. And it led to a decision making framework that wasn't about generating maximum growth or profit. And actually, because I wasn't clear and I would sometimes cloud the pot with both of these things at the same time, create a lot of confusion in many cases for people.

But that's a choice too, that if you got clear on and said, I want this to actually create the best lifestyle it possibly can for me. That could be a set of operating principles you can develop too, but you, only you, the shareholder can actually decide what the business exists to do. And it's really important that you can state that with clarity.

[00:06:54] Richard: Right? So one thing that we discussed before we hit record is, is how difficult. It is to sort of back up and make that kind of big picture decision, which as you mentioned is essentially kind of philosophical at its core, but also brings in questions about like, what do you, what are you trying to accomplish as a person with this business that you're running?

And so talk to me a little bit about like. Maybe from your experience or whatever about how you back off from the, you know, the sort of more day to day thinking of, or I guess year to year technically, but saying like, I want to do 50 million in revenue next year. That's not a business goal. Right. And you need a, there's a level above that.

So talk to me about stepping away from that and into that other sort of headspace. Maybe,

[00:07:40] Taylor: An amazing business piece of business advice I got from a CEO community I was part of. And the coach there, I was trying to make a really hard decision once in an interaction with some of my partners and the advice he gave me was to take time and write down a letter to your partners as all of the characters that are inside of you.

And I was like, well, what do you, what do you mean? He was like, well. I can tell that there's this part of you that wants to be a ruthless businessman and a comp and like you want to get the best financial outcome for yourself in this interaction. Write what that person would say. Write it down. Like if you were acting, play that character for a little bit.

And then he's like, I can also tell that they're your friends and you care about them as human beings. And the friendship is really important. Write a letter as the friend, as if that was the only thing you cared about. And then I can see that there's also this like peacemaker between these various parties of your existing employees and your current friend, like write that letter.

And at the end of it, look through all of them. And decide which character you want to be. And so I think sometimes what happens to us as founders is that are, we actually aren't that clear for ourselves and we have all these different parts inside of us. They get triggered by different things. There's the person who wants to be rich.

And then there's the person who wants to have this amazing experience of life. And then there's this person who wants work life balance and be with their kids. And there's all these competing personas and desires. We're not that singular as humans. And we don't take enough time to sort through them and consciously choose which one should govern our behavior and therefore our organizations.

So if I think about this, this usually has to do with money, is one, is to write down, and so, so the exercise here as a leader is to step away, and I would do this at least over one full day, where you create space for yourself, and you work through each parts of these things. What do I want monetarily from my business?

What financial thing do I want to occur in my business? Am I trying to build this up to sell one day? Am I trying to distribute cash? And am I trying to be able to make a certain amount of money and just let yourself expressly act through a financial lens? Then I would think experientially that I would think legacy or whatever these other desires you notice inside of yourself and really get them all out so that you can begin to actually consider what one you want to impose on your organization because you're going to show up with all of them if you're not careful and it will be very confusing to people at different.

[00:10:15] Richard: so maybe it sounds like there's, there's almost. Two levels to this type of goal setting. So one, like you've sort of laid out, there's a series of personal goals. There's a series of like, Hey, I want to accomplish this in the world. I want to accomplish this relative to my friends, you know, X, Y, Z, whatever.

And then there's the set of things that a, a business is set up to accomplish for you towards that task, right? So let's say like. Let's say for the sake of argument, your personal goal is to conquer the world or whatever. A business can, can sort of do parts of that, right? Maybe let's say you want to become president one day, starting a business and running it, maybe a stepping stone towards that, whatever.

Now you have to think about, well, what is it? My business itself capable of doing that builds towards that goal. And that's maybe a smaller set of things, right? Because of businesses. About creating, generating revenue, creating profit, whatever. So maybe talk through a little bit about that second tier. And so what I'm kind of picturing here is like, is there a sort of a Mad Libs sentence that you could sort of set in front of people and say, like, if you can fill in these blanks, you have a good business goal.

What would that look like?

[00:11:21] Taylor: yeah. I think that ultimately. Yeah, absolutely.

People, product and money are sort of the categorical Mad Libs that you can play with in terms of the experience of this thing. So, like some people act missionally and I would put that into like people and impact, right? Like this is this category where the driving operating thing is some amount of impact that you make in the world.

And that's literally how you're going to measure it. You, you would be willing to sacrifice a financial outcome for the sake of, you know, having X number of people accomplish Y thing, you know? And maybe that's like, let's say you sell. Kids educational products to, you know, that help kids get better at math.

And your job is actually improve the math literacy of kids in specific underserved communities. I don't know. I'm just making something up, but literally you're going to, you're going to build your business around the operating premise of that is how we're going to define being successful. And then maybe there's this constraint that says, and we have to do that without going broke.

[00:12:17] Richard: Hmm.

[00:12:18] Taylor: So now team, how many people can we impact? We build a strategy that flows from there. So that's like one way. And then there's like sort of monetarily. And I, I'd say that if we're honest, most people are building this through a financial lens that says I'm trying to create the most enterprise value to someday sell my business.

Reap the greatest reward. And so that becomes this pretty simply like an exercise in maximizing TTM EBITDA trailing 12 month profit basically for e-commerce businesses. And so my goal is fairly simply like, Hey, I want my shares to be worth more next year than they are this year. That's a business objective which is going to be about maximizing my profitability while including growth.

Okay. So I can start to get to a set of constraints. The other way to do it is to think about the quality of our product. And this is something more and more that I try to think about at CDC, which is one of the things that I got to at the beginning of this year for us was that I didn't want to do this.

If I couldn't be proud of the work and so you can get to this, like, what is the quality of the thing that I'm doing that serves some personal desire in some way? So those are, I think, categories to begin to now move out of all these different desire personas, philosophical into, okay, what are some pragmatic ways?

And now, as I get to it, how do I give that to somebody to build data models, which we're talking about a step two, how does that, how does that crystallize? So I'll just use a little bit of an example in each category of how I would think about doing that. So if I said we used to have a customer whose primary objective was to make this is road ID.

They had medical ID bracelets and they said they wanted to make them as common as a seatbelt. So that is about maximizing the number of customers that you have. That's like, that's a very practical thing that I could say, okay, if you want to have your road ID be more prevalent than a seatbelt, this is about how many customers can we get our product on and we have to not go out of business in the process.

So this is about number of customers using the product at a financial outcome that keeps us in business. Those are now I have a set of constraints that I can model maximum new customer revenue. As the thing that drives my business forecast and builds we flow from that's literally people and impact into data modeling, right?

The second one is the easiest. It's saying maximize trailing 12 month profit. Okay, cool. Now I can build data models that represent the possibility of producing within one calendar year.

[00:14:41] Richard: Hmm.

[00:14:43] Taylor: And then the third one, more of us experiential probably brings in a set of novel data that's about maybe post purchase surveys or in our world customer scores or referral rates. But again, I'm All of these ideas have measures, and if you can create the measures, you can create the organizational behavior against them.

I've used this example before. We have a customer called Heart and Soil. They defined this, that they wanted to see how many of what, they created a category of super loyal customers, and they defined them as having a set of behaviors and purchase patterns, and they wanted to see how many of those customers they could create over a year.

And so the driving principle was how many of those super loyal customers could they create? They called them like radical wellness people or whatever their business objectives. I'm wearing the shirt. So, that becomes a set of things that you can measure and plan against. And organizationally, you all start to understand and your job as a leader, that is to every meeting show up and reinforce that point to track progress against it.

To illustrate KPIs that ladder up to it, but that business objective is a critical initial insight that you have to turn from your personal desire to a philosophical, to a pragmatic set of categories to then measurable outcomes.

[00:15:56] Richard: So maybe actually like continuing down this path of sharing examples. Let's talk about, you talked a little bit about like what your goal used to be with CTC. Let's talk about where it is now because it's vastly different in some ways. In some ways, the fundamental mission is kind of the same, but I think like the this objective level that we're talking about, which is just under philosophy and just above the actual modeling and planning is like.

Has become pretty different. So talk about like the thought process to get there. And how, yeah, how it's evolved and, and how it's impacting the rest of the way we make decisions.

[00:16:27] Taylor: It's really important to understand where CTC sat inside of the broader partnership of the things that me and my partners did. There's a parent company called Dreamlabs that owns both Common Thread Collective and 4x400. 4x400 is where we run You've probably seen Andrew Ferris used to be the host of e commerce playbook podcast.

He used to be the CEO there. Dave Recook is now the president of bamboo earth. We, we own and operate our own brands. Now we're down to one, but we had for a long time. And when we built the vision for the parent company, the idea was. That four by 400 was a mechanism for creating a financial outcome. And common thread collective was a mechanism for accomplishing a missional or human impact outcome.

And so for many years, that's how we operated is that my job as the CEO of common thread collective was to impact humans that we use that our mission statement used to be to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. And we would literally define our success by how many dreams we achieve. We had a program called, tell me your dreams at CTC.

We put people through it. We literally measured and track this for both us and our clients. We had a thing called dream day. We counted dreams. We had a Christmas party one year where we, Matt ax liner, like learned to play the piano and he played the 50th dream achievement. Like we, we were very serious about that.

And that literally was the driving premise of the organization to the point that we would use our money, not for the sake of putting it into shareholders pockets, but for the sake of making the impact. That's what we chose to do. Then 4x400 changed a lot and was clearly no longer going to represent the level of financial upside that at one point we had dreamed of and was becoming a different thing for the course of many reasons.

And so suddenly there was a pressure at first unstated on CTC to become a financial vehicle for the partners, then eventually stated Explicitly in a way that was like, Hey, hold on. We need to reconsider this map. CTC now has an opportunity and has a responsibility then to all of us out of our own desire to achieve a more specific financial outcome.

And so that really transformed how we thought about it. It put things under the microscope of stuff that we were spending money on that. Maybe it doesn't serve that end anymore and that's a lot of why, like, there's a, there's a reality for CTC that for a lot of employees that were across the bridge of that experience or transformation, it felt deceptive or frustrating, or like we had changed in many ways.

It's true because we did. And there's a lot of underlying factors to that that it felt like, wait, there was one promise. It was one idea that suddenly became another. And that's totally fair. And I, I, yeah. I own the responsibility of that transformation because, but this is why this issue is so important to me, is that I know the impact you have with the clarity of your objective.

And now our objective, I think very, very stated, if you show up to a CTC shareholder town hall, we talk about share value and we talk about profitability but it's about getting to a profitability threshold as an organization.

And we have specific constraints and targets around that idea. And it's been really good. We, the funny thing is in every year we've been good at accomplishing the thing we set out, we are going to accomplish. It's just a matter of which one do you choose and how does that serve the, the organization,

[00:19:42] Richard: Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. Having been through like some of those changes

[00:19:47] Taylor: all of them, really, you've been here

[00:19:49] Richard: through, that's true. Almost literally, basically all of those changes. It's interesting to see too. Like I wonder to what extent the like, cause, cause one thing too, like I know that we've.

And I think through a little bit is the idea of like, to what extent, like, is there a cohesion between running an agency and the achievement of dreams for the people who work at that specific entity, which is also, which is an agency specifically, like, what is an agency as a business actually able to do?

[00:20:18] Taylor: That's all. Yeah.

[00:20:19] Richard: You know, I don't know if you want to talk about like our mission as we stated it at the beginning of this year, which is around building the next generation of legendary businesses. That was kind of the phrasing, like the ones you walk down Times Square, you see billboards for them. We're sort of like.

Shifted to existing as the launchpad for those businesses. So that one day we in 10, 20 years can walk through time square, you know, having our fucking corn dog or whatever, and just being like, Oh my God, we worked on these brands. Right. So there's a personal element to that too. There's an element of dream achievement, but it's specific around like what an agency can do for

[00:20:52] Taylor: Well, so let's go back to the idea of me stating that at the beginning of this year I had to wrestle with, am I going to keep doing this thing? I'm 12 years into running an agency. What's going to make me go for another turn around the sun? And the thing I anchored on personally was I have to be proud of the work.

So if you think about the mission statement, okay, our mission statement now is to build the next generation of legendary brands and the people who will lead them. That's makes me proud. is a declaration of the kind of work that we're doing. The people who were doing it for. And then CTC has this legacy that I am really proud of, of a coaching tree of a bunch of humans who have gone on to do great work and are going to lead brands and are leading brands.

And so to see CTC as a place where people can upskill themselves as e commerce experts in a way that I think is as good as anywhere in the world. And to help brands accomplish that is something that I go, okay, I can get invested in that idea. And so very practically we change from our HR organization being called the differentiation department, which was about the experience of the people and making it a different place to work to what we call now employee performance and development, which is about helping them upskill in the specific job of e commerce.

And then we think about if we're going to build legendary brands, they have to be able to grow profitably. And so there's this connection now. And we have to bring them financial value. And so the values that we express flow out of this about creating an environment of excellence, being driven by financial value, like all these things that ladder up to ways we can connect the dots.

And we still have work to do to crystallize exactly how these things all tie together. But I feel more than ever, we created a different kind of organization that's about the work. And what it invites is you invite people to, this is your point about dreams though, is that. You invite people with specific dreams now that are about the thing we're doing and we still help them accomplish them.

It's just a narrower band of the kind of dream that exists. Whereas in the old CTC, we would, you would show up to a dream day, dude, and we would have like everything under the sun from I want to make music to I want to travel to I want to, you know, conquer this fear. And we would be invested in helping to do that.

I think now what you have is a bunch of people who actually want to be great at e commerce, and that's their dream, and that's why they show up. And this isn't about morally good or bad in either scenario. It's just about clarity in a way that accomplishes some specific objective.

[00:23:12] Richard: reason I'm sort of. Harping on this is just because a, we both have a lot of experience with it, of course, but also, I think it's like, it's such a great illustration of how. Okay. So we start with that mission, right? Like, this is crystallizing a thing that we would be proud to do with this organization.

And what that leads us to is a very specific business decision, which is around profitability as opposed to top line growth. Let's say, right? And that's because in order to accomplish that mission of this, creating this next generation of great brands and the people who lead them, you have to make sure that the people who lead them become the best at what they do.

And in order to become the best at what they do, they have to have the space to do it. And when you focus on top line growth, especially in an agency, you're just bringing people on. And then the crank in the back out and there's no, there's no ability to like build something bigger with your people if you aren't, if you haven't sort of slowed down your business objective a little bit.


[00:24:05] Taylor: Yeah. There was a point, there was a point in our journey where at one point, I think 70 percent of the employees had been at CTC for less than a year. That's it. That creates a wildly new volatile dynamic relative to who you're becoming versus now. The people that are here have mostly all been here a really long time, and that is a big delta in the experience of what you're delivering and how your own objectives can play out because there's margin capture inside of an agency is when an employee is at full capacity of service.

Which takes a long time to get to the less new you are, the more likely you are to be producing a marginal outcome for the business, because it means you're servicing a full book of business when you're brand new, it's like a month of training, and then you can take one customer and then two customers.

And so it's really margin destructive. Every time there's a new person for a while inside of a human service business. And so if you think about 70 percent of the staff being new, what that means is that you're ramping revenue really aggressively, but you're not extracting the marginal value off that book of business yet.

At some point that has to level out in order to create that gap. And that's just like a part of our specific business. And again, the initiative that we were under and probably, I think I probably did the poorest job. In those 2020 and 2021 years, because it was the first time there had been such a strong macro factor affecting the business that you actually had to have the deepest anchoring in your position to avoid it influencing you.

And the change to remote was such a big shift for us. And then just how much demand there was for the service was just wild that it overtook. The clarity of objective and we said, let's do this now. Let's go because this might be really unique in a way that we've got to just do it. And so I think that what I've learned along the way is that the deeper your conviction about your objective, the less likely you are to be blown about by external influences, which is really important.

And external influences can be small. Like I'll give you an example. Back when I had that like missional outcome, I'd go sit with my friend, Steve Weiss from mute six, who was the CEO there. And he'd tell me about their growth story and they were ahead of us. You know, they have a bigger, more revenue and I would feel this like.

Twinge of jealousy or like envy that I needed to change what I was doing to try and compete with his success But I was anchored in like no, I could get out of that feeling in the moment gonna know we're doing something different That's not the game. I'm playing and go back to making decisions But if you don't have that you'll show up on Monday and press the team we could be bigger like you will literally Subconsciously be going back and forth and I think that becomes really hard for people to live in

[00:26:48] Richard: yeah, totally. Yeah. So I think, and definitely for, for our listeners, you know, many of who are, whom are. Part of DTC brands. It's different than an agency, of course, but there, I think the lesson is kind of the same that knowing that no understanding your business intimately and understanding what it is, what it can do, what the possibilities are, inform some of the decisions that you can make on the mission level that then lead into.

Sort of the practical decisions that you make from there. So I, I kind of want to go down this path and see if anything comes of it. Like, so we talked a little bit before we jumped on about, okay, once you have a business objective selected, which is generally something like growing top line volume versus growing profit.

Or some is on a spectrum between top line growth and bottom line growth. You land somewhere that right. Once you make that decision, what are the sort of next, what's the next layers of decisions? And this is maybe a preview for our next episode. But let's tease that a little bit. Like what's the next sort of layer of decisions you make after you land on your business objective?

[00:27:46] Taylor: Yeah, and this is where, as a leader, I would really encourage you to not give your leadership team a specific numerical goal in this scenario is to allow them to do this next step, which Luke is going to come on and talk about next week, which is the idea of modeling the scenarios that are possible given the present state of your data.

So in e commerce in particular, there is something that I like to call. Like the growth constraint or the velocity constraint that defines how fast every e commerce business is capable of growing. GQ captures this as well, where there are some businesses that do not have the underlying attributes to grow really, really fast.

It usually has to do with the amount of LTV that you produce off your existing customers and the velocity of that LTV is directly related to the how quickly you can compound your revenue off that book of customers. But when you don't have it, you can't grow very fast. So the point is you don't get to choose just any number you want.

You can say to your team. I would like to maximize bottom line outcome while maintaining some percentage top line growth and they can bring back to you what they believe that number is possible and they should do it defensible with data and we're going to talk about how you can model different outcomes using data science to think about modeling both your existing customer revenue and your new customer revenue to give you a set of what is likely to occur.

Now, it's important again, I'll, I'll say this for leaders and CEOs out there is that when your team brings you back, what they believe is likely to occur, you do not have to set the goal at the 50th percentile outcome. There is merit to pressing your team to think about the ways in which they would break the model where they would disassociate the future from the past in a way that's beneficial to you because that forces that kind of thinking.

That will push the boundaries and not avoid complacency, but you need to start with data. You need to understand what is likely to occur. And that is step two. Once you define the kind of business objective that you want, give it to them categorically. Ask them to bring back to you the possible scenarios, and then you can make a decision about which path you want to go down.


[00:29:54] Richard: Yeah, so we'll, again, we'll dive more into that next week with Luke, but I think like maybe where we can sort of end this is. Obviously, this is a service, the systems implementation that we're talking about, or the building of this growth system is a service that we're offering that we can build for you.

So let's talk a little bit about how, if any, if, or is there any way in which that we help with this first step? And what does it look like for us to sort of that, that initial engagement when you do a systems implementation project?

[00:30:24] Taylor: Many founders, in reality, don't know what they, their choices are. And some people like, my wife is the kind of person that if I said, where do you want to go to dinner? She would say, give me three choices and she will pick one. And then she, but if I give her an open slate of options, that's not going to work very well.

I'm more of the opposite. If you give me choices, I'm probably going to want to pick something, not the choice, just cause that's kind of in my nature to, to reject the framework, right? Everybody's different. There are founders for whom the choices are really helpful and matter. And that's one of the things that we can be really useful in is providing you the choices.

That exists. Okay. This is what we think your maximum profit outcome is. Here's what maximizing new customer acquisition means. Here's what maximum top line revenue growth at breakeven would look like. And we can help you with a set of choices to decide which one matters. The other thing that we can do is we can tell you whether or not your current choice is anchored in any reality at all.

So oftentimes we'll receive, we want to grow. You know, 70 percent on the bottom line and two XR top line. And we'll go, okay, like here's why that is, or is not possible. And we can, or here's how likely that is to occur is more likely the language that we would try and use. And so we can both sort of red team your existing idea or provide a gut check against the likelihood of its occurrence, or we can provide you menus of possible outcomes that can help you as a leader decide, okay, what, where should my business go?

And I think both of those can be helpful in that first phase decision.

[00:31:50] Richard: No, it's, it's definitely like that, that setting of the objective, it looks like at least for clients that come to us tends to be pretty, that decision often gets made in a vacuum. I think a lot of the times people will come in with a, with a goal that is not necessarily grounded in anything other than it's bigger than last year, or this is something I want and where we come in is to help you ground that in something or to find a different goal that makes more sense, given the reality of your current situation.

Cool. So I think that. That kind of covers the basis for a business objective. Taylor, is there anything else you want to hit

[00:32:21] Taylor: Here's my challenge to

[00:32:22] Richard: step of the process?

[00:32:23] Taylor: my challenge to you guys before next week, like you're going on this five part journey with us. Do some work, come back to next episode with an idea of what your business objective might be and use this five weeks in the middle, early November to build your 2024 plan alongside us, or hit us up and let's do this together as we go through it.

This is like my passion is really helping. Founders anchor into a new year with a very clear pan plan. I get to do this sometimes as a coach for, for CEOs and entrepreneurs individually, where I help them communicate this organizationally and think about KPIs, because it's something that has helped me so much is to get clear, to start the year with a sense of where you're going.

But before next episode, come to next episode with an objective in mind. And then we'll talk about how you can begin to build the models around that. That's going to require a little bit more math and a little bit more data science, but it's fun. It's cool. So if you show up, you're going to continue to get the most out of us.

So over these five weeks, participate with us, build the plan as we go, or reach out to us you.

[00:33:16] Richard: That's right. Yeah. Hit us up. Common thread co. com. Click hire us. We'd love to have a conversation with you guys about how we build this for you. All right, Taylor. Thanks for joining me, everybody. Thanks for listening. And we will see you for part two next week. Take care.