Shortly before the start of the COVID-19 crisis, I joined Full Focus Co.’s (formerly Michael Hyatt & Co.’s) Business Accelerator to help me take my business and my life to the next level. One of the goals I articulated for myself at the time was to surround myself with people who could help me view challenges and opportunities through a fresh lens. The investment of time and money was significant, but nearly four years later, I can say without hesitation that it was one of the singular best investments of my life.
Last September, when Michael announced plans to sunset Business Accelerator in December 2023, I wept. (I wasn’t the only one.) While I cannot say I’m “glad” Business Accelerator is over, I can say that watching Michael and his team close the program taught me how to achieve closure in an elegant and classy way.
This post shares a bit of what I learned.
1. Make up your mind, and then execute.
Nothing lasts forever, especially in business. No matter how good a product or program is, it will eventually need to be tweaked or phased out.
When Michael announced the closure of Business Accelerator, he talked with us about how great the program had been for him, his company and his clients. He also shared the hard reality that it was time for his business to evolve to other things.
While enjoyable and useful all around, he mentioned that the program was not the most profitable part of his business. In other words, the cost deliver the program outweighed the benefit to his company.
Read that last sentence again. (And again.)
Once the decision to close the program was made, Michael never looked back. I watched countless people make pleas to keep the program open. Several people offered to buy the program. Some offered to license the program. Others simply offered their opinions on how to reduce the costs so the program would become more profitable. People seemed prepared to do almost anything to keep the doors from closing.
Michael was having none of it. He looked up square in the eye, and didn’t blink, and said something like, “Thanks guys, but No.” His mind was made up. He never wavered.
Lesson: Decide, and execute. Hemming and hawing only weighs you down and blocks your progress. Once you know the right thing to do, do it and press forward without delay.
2. Explain your decisions honestly.
Once the decision was final, Michael took the initiative to fully explain the decision to us, and answer our many questions. (He also listened patiently while we whined for months.)
He didn’t leave us wondering. He didn’t make up some esoteric reason for closing the program. He told us point blank that while he loved serving us, we were not adding to his profit margin. He didn’t say it that way, but as a business owner, I knew exactly what he meant.
You have to make your "NO" your "NO," and other leadership lessons from @MichaelHyatt. #lifestyleceo #leadership Click To Tweet
Lesson: Once a decision is made, quickly tell stakeholders and those with a need to know. Be honest. Don’t leave people guessing as this only leaves room for them to make up their own explanations, and we all know what a disastrous rumor mill that can become. Take responsibility for your decisions and articulate them clearly and directly.
3. Please yourself first.
The pressure on Michael to backtrack must have been quite exceptional. What I observed publicly in physical and virtual meeting rooms was pretty significant. I can only imagine the emails, phone calls and text messages he and his team were fielding. While I was not privy to all of it, I heard about it so I know it was a lot. But as the weeks progressed, all we kept getting was more announcements about how things were changing.
The private Mighty Networks group closed.
Content was moved from one place to another.
Business Accelerator team members moved to new jobs as their services were no longer needed.
Things were being phased out.
Announcements about final coaching meetings landed in my inbox.
Final freebies and “last time” bonuses started appearing.
It became clear that the program closure had not been a snap decision. It was planned well in advance — long before the announcement was made. The whole thing was delivered like a symphony.
Each announcement made to us as a group was followed by what I can only call shameless excessive whining about the program closure, including by Yours Truly. (Yes, I participated … only partially in jest.)
Michael smiled at us, thanked us for our kind words and kept it moving. It was brilliant.
Lesson: Please yourself first. Be gracious, but don’t allow input from clients and customers to change what you know is right for you and your business. This is probably the most important lesson of all. We love our customers and want to please them, and while we are in business to do that, we are also in business to please ourselves. After all, if you’re not happy with your business, you cannot serve your customers well. If you make yourself happy first, you’ll be able to make customers happy.
Make up your mind. Execute. Please yourself first. These are three valuable business lessons I learned from Michael Hyatt. Among other things, they prove again that entrepreneurship is the best personal development tool on the planet. What do you make of them?