My business was growing quickly and I was holding on for dear life. Struggling to focus my time I was burning out and we’d only been in business for about a year! I knew I needed help and counsel from seasoned entrepreneurs who had weathered the storm of building a company from scratch but I didn’t know where to turn. I asked my mentor, Chris Hanks, what he thought I should do and he gave me the best advice I’ve ever received. He invited me to join a CEO Roundtable group. I accepted his invitation out of desperation and that group has changed my business and really my life.
(Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for the video that Daniel Solid I recorded about Sellers Roundtable that will be starting soon!)
I know this sounds like hyperbole but it isn’t. We get together once a month for a half-day but not to sell or find the latest hack. Nope! Our CEO Roundtable has been focused on improving our skills, solving real problems and scaling companies that can ultimately sell. We wanted to outperform our competition and we each knew that we needed to get better in order to succeed.
It would be hard to nail down an exact growth figure since the group membership evolved over time but I think it would be very conservative to estimate that the total sales in the group went from roughly $2M to more than $10M in less than 24 months. And the members have continued to grow way beyond that. Brandon Checketts, my co-founder at Seller Accountant and the founder of SellerLabs was in that same group and his product, Feedback Genius, was exploding during the same year that my company went from 6 employees to 45 employees.
It wasn’t just Brandon and me. Several of the group’s members saw their businesses double in sales and profitability because of the hard work we put in together. Anyway, this article isn’t about me but I wanted you to hear enough of my story to know why I believe in CEO Roundtables. I want to encourage you to find a group of like-minded, growth-oriented business leaders to link arms with. Having the right group of advisors will make a giant difference in your business and in your quality of life.
What is a CEO Roundtable?
Some people call them Mastermind groups or Entrepreneurial Societies but the title doesn’t matter much. The right group will provide a safe confidential environment where you can glean insights, encouragement and accountability. The best groups meet regularly and can’t be focused on selling to each other or locating industry hacks. Instead, these groups feel like a board of advisors that coach you as you make key decisions that will determine the success and scale of your business.
We’re talking about a group of people who aren’t afraid to call you on your BS and care enough about you to challenge you when you get off track. These are also the guys and gals who have the credibility to encourage you when things are tough. CEO Roundtable groups are also unique in that they are really only appropriate for senior executives and owners. Owning and running a business can be a lonely and anxiety-inducing place and most of our friends and family members don’t understand what it feels like to have the buck truly stop with them. But you do. You understand what it is like to lose sleep because of the weight of responsibility and having a group where people ‘get it’ is huge.
What Else Should I Look For In a Group?
I’ve had the best experience meeting with my group members face to face. This poses a challenge especially in the e-commerce world where many of us don’t live near each other. The solution is either to find a group in your city that is comprised of leaders from various industries where you can meet every month face to face OR choose a more industry-specific group but be ready to travel a few times each year to get the needed face time with your group. An even more ideal situation is to somehow find both: a group where the participants are close enough to drive an hour or so each month for a central meeting WITH members who really understand the ins the outs of growing e-commerce businesses. This is tough unless you are near a city because you also can’t have direct competitors in the same group.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay for my Membership?
I’ve seen pricing for CEO Roundtable groups range from $200 per month up to $1500 per month and more. This isn’t the kind of decision that you want to make based on the cheapest option! There is a reason that most leaders of 8-figure businesses are in some sort of peer group. Why? Because they work and I’ve seen one of the largest players Vistage claim that their members grow 2.2 times faster than other leaders. The reality is that members of good CEO Roundtable groups consistently outperform their competitors in all of the key metrics. Would you invest $5,000-10,000 per year if the ROI was growing more than twice as fast as your competitors? Of course you would! So make sure you assess the group for value and not for the price.
I Will Be Starting a Group in Atlanta Soon
I’ve now been in 4 different groups over the past 5 years with the one primary group being a key part of my business strategy the entire time. I’ve had a hard time finding the right kind of group for e-commerce sellers. So I’m starting a group here in GA sometime in the next 2 months that will be exclusively e-commerce executives and owners, selling more than $1M per year wanting to either scale, automate or exit their businesses over the next 24 months.
We will cap our membership at 14-15 and all of us will need to be able to get to Atlanta several times each year for face to face meetings. I expect the price to land at $500 per month. Daniel and I need a few more referrals to get to our critical mass. If you are interested at all in exploring our group or if you know someone who might be would you email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org?
If you aren’t in Atlanta or close enough to drive still feel free to hit me up. I’d love to help start several of these groups across the country even if I’m not directly involved and I’d be glad to share tools with you if you’re thinking you might start your own CEO Roundtable group.