CoachingI AM CEO PODCASTOperations

IAM2117 – CEO Helps Agencies Measure and Improve their Profitability by Streamlining their Operations

Podcast Interview with Marcel Petitpas

In this episode, we have Marcel Petitpas, CEO and co-founder of Parakeeto, a company dedicated to helping agencies measure and improve their profitability by streamlining their operations and reporting systems. He's also the head strategic coach at SaaS Academy by Dan Martel, the number one coaching program for B2B SaaS businesses in the world.

He shares his approach to helping agencies and professional services businesses measure and improve their profitability.

Marcel highlights his advice on personal development and mindset shifts for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Website: Parakeeto
LindkedIn: Marcel Petitpas

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Transcription:

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Marcel Petitpas Teaser 00:00

So as an operations team, we can focus on those outliers and capitalize on the biggest opportunities for profitability. And that really closes the loop and gives an agency or professional services firm the muscle of being able to continually tune and maintain their profitability over time.

Intro 00:16

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:44

Hello, Hello, Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Marcel Petitpas, Marcel excited to have you on the show.

Marcel Petitpas 00:52

Thanks for having me man.

Gresham Harkless 00:52

Yes. I'm super excited to have you on and of course before we jumped into the interview I wanted to read a little bit more about Marcel's and you hear about all the awesome things that he's working on and Marcel's CEO and co-founder of Parakeeto a company dedicated to helping agencies measure and improve their profitability by streamlining their operations and reporting systems. He's also the head strategic coach at SaaS Academy by Dan Martel, the number one coaching program for B2B SaaS businesses in the world.

In his work as a speaker, podcast host, and consultant, specializing in agency profitability optimization, he's helped hundreds of agency around the world measure the right metrics and improve their operations and profitability without relying on financial data and accounting professionals and take control of their business with simple numbers. Anyone can understand and measure when he's not helping agencies make more money. He's probably watching office or parks and recreation on a never ending loop and eating breakfast foods for every meal of the day.

And I always appreciate having other podcasters on the show. So he has an awesome podcast called the agency profit podcast, where he has loads of information, knowledge for all agency owners to level up. But one of the things that really stuck out to me more than anything else is that he said that he simply tried to help improve agency profitability. And I think simplicity is one of the things that we always gloss over. And he simply said he wants to help agencies to win. So super excited to have you on the show Marcel. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Marcel Petitpas 02:20

I am ready as ever.

Gresham Harkless 02:21

Awesome. Let's get it started then. So let's kick it off by 01:00 a little bit here a little bit more on how you got started. What I call your CEO story.

Marcel Petitpas 02:29

Yeah, like a lot of people my first business was a service based business. I started a small agency and we were doing real estate virtual reality. So before you can do this with your iPhone, we would go into a house, take a million pictures, stitch them into 3D models and create 3D rendering of the house that you could tour on like a VR headset. And those margins were so tough. It was at a time, this was back, call it 2016, when it was a buyer's market. Houses were sitting on the market for a long time.

And so real estate agents were not willing to invest a lot of money into their listings. And we had such tight margins that I remember spending so much time struggling with these problems that we help agencies with today of how much money do I make on a client or a project? And how much can I afford to pay people to do this work? And how do I generate enough cash flow to scale this business? And the long and short of that business is I realized at some point trying to run through all these numbers that it couldn't be more than a hobby for me because of the margins that I was able to generate in that business.

So I then became interested in software and building SaaS companies. And a few years later, a friend of mine, Jared, who runs a big software development agency out of Boise, he reached out and said, hey, man, I've got a team of people that spend two days a week building spreadsheets to answer all these questions that are simple but not easy. Do we make money on our clients and projects? Who's utilized and who's not? And there has to be a better way to do this.

And that was really the impetus for us to say, yeah, like I resonate with that problem. He resonated with it. We went and talked to all of our friends at Radiation City and once you pierced through their armor, they were all also struggling with this. And so we said, there's something here. There's gotta be a way to do this better, and that started a 6 year today journey to try and find a way to make this easier for people that are running these kinds of businesses.

Gresham Harkless 04:10

Nice, I absolutely love that. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more about the amazing things you all have been able to create. Can you take us through exactly how you're serving with and making an impact with the clients you work with?

Marcel Petitpas 04:18

Yeah, so as you mentioned earlier, our whole prerogative is to help agencies and really more broadly professional services businesses measure and improve their profitability. And we do that through a combination of software that we've built, but also consulting services. And that's important because we sold software for about 3 years. And every time we sold somebody software, they either didn't have clean enough or well structured enough data to put it in. They struggled to get their data into the right format. They didn't really know what they were looking at or how to take action on it or get an understanding of the data that was being shown to them.

So over time, we got pulled into helping them with all those things and realized, okay, the real solution to this problem needs to include both a hands-on consulting approach and the tools to facilitate the process. And so with that, we have a 3 step process that we take clients through to solve this problem. And we take it one step at a time. Some clients only need to do the first step. Some clients want to do all three. The first step is really to design a model for their business. And to me, this is one of the most important things we've done in 6 years is we've built a framework that connects the dots between people, projects, and time, or operations, as we call it, the financial model of the business, and the sales model of the business.

And this is incredibly elusive because anybody that's running an agency or a service-based business knows that if you've ever sat down and said, I want to do $5 million in revenue next year, and then tried to figure out who do I need to hire? How many hours do they need to work? And how much can I afford to pay them? And what kind of profitability do we have on projects? And how do we price things correctly and how much can we afford to spend on sales and marketing and overhead and on the delivery team and connecting the dots between all those things is really tough. Our model, which is the first thing that we build for clients, allows you to instantly see that and simulate any change that you want to make to the business.

You want to change your price, you want to change your team, you want to set a higher sales target, you want to adjust your budgets, you can see how all of that stuff connects to everything else and never have a question mark about is this decision that I'm making about my business model moving me further or closer from my goals. So that's really the first thing that we do with clients. The second piece is then installing forecasting, which is really about helping them understand, hey, are the decisions that I'm making moving me further or closer away from our goals? So every time new work comes in, every time they hire somebody, every time they win or lose a client, they can see what that setting themselves up for in terms of profitability, utilization, cash flow, and how it compares to their model.

And then the last piece is what we call feedback loops. That's the third F. And that's really about measuring what's actually happening so that we can spot where are our assumptions about how long things will take, about how busy people will be, are out of line with reality. So as an operations team, we can focus on those outliers and capitalize on the biggest opportunities for profitability. And that really closes the loop and gives an agency or professional services firm the muscle of being able to continually tune and maintain their profitability over time. And that's really what we do.

Gresham Harkless 07:06

Nice, I absolutely love that. I was wondering, is that part of what I would like to call your secret sauce? This can be for yourself individually, the business or combination of both, but is it that ability to be able to see the forest for the trees, but do it in a way to empower those that are using Parakeeto that are able to understand that one, they can make changes, but also they get to be on that same side. You almost feel like you're empowering the team so that they can make the, they can spend more time in their zone of genius, but also be able to make those very calculated and high likelihood of succeeding decisions within their organizations that's exactly right.

Marcel Petitpas 07:39

And it's a big part of the reason why so many of the engagements that we do with clients that are long-term Involves a coaching component with our consulting team so you can bring that team of, whether it be leaders or executives, or even individual contributors in your team, to that touch point with the consultant. And it's an applied learning experience where we're coming to that meeting, we're saying, hey, here's what we're seeing in your data. Here are some things that we think we want to discuss. Why do you think this might be going on? And in that exercise, the team learns how to interpret the data, what it means, how to think through the problems that it's surfacing.

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And we start to create buy-in and facilitate that muscle that, we'll come back to that word, the muscle of being able to take this information and turn it into action that actually gets the organization moving in the right direction. And I really believe that is 1 of the most critical things that we do is we close that loop. And that we're teaching people how to fish essentially where over time, what we start to see is those leaders and managers that come to those meetings, they start using the reports outside of the meetings. They start taking that data and discussing it with their teams. And when that starts to happen, we know that we've done our job.

Gresham Harkless 08:46

Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple Book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Marcel Petitpas 08:57

Sleep, diet, exercise is 90% of it. And I think as somebody that is probably also trying to take care of themselves, like there are very, you can't outs supplements, outs podcast, out, buy neural beats, out meditate, bad sleep, diet and exercise. So there is nothing that trumps that. But if we're talking about optimization beyond that, I think the biggest thing honestly is just getting around other entrepreneurs and making that a practice that is regular.

Of course, I go to therapy, I journal, all those other things, but there's nothing that can replace every, every month or even once a quarter, just like getting in a room with other entrepreneurs that understand what you're going through and giving yourself that space to share the real things that you're dealing with, the challenges, get external perspectives, and just be able to connect in that way. Of all the things that have helped me become a better leader, that's been it. Especially if in that room, I've got some people that are a few steps ahead of where I'm at.

Gresham Harkless 09:53

Yeah, that's absolutely huge. So what would you consider to be your answer to one of my favorite questions, which is the CEO nugget? This is a little bit more word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell your favorite client or if you happen to a time machine you might tell your younger business though.

Marcel Petitpas 10:08

Oh, that's a good one. What golden nugget do I have for entrepreneurs and business owners? I think I'll just share what I think the biggest revelation was for me. And it's ironic because it's what actually enabled me to become really successful for the first time which is shifting my mindset from trying to prove myself which is what I did for the first 6 years of being an entrepreneur. I have this idea, I have this path that I want to pursue, and all of my execution is framed around like, how do I sell this? How do I prove myself right and become successful? Instead of what actually got me to where I needed to go, which was how do I prove myself wrong as quickly as possible? How do I figure out what's not going to work about this as quickly as humanly possible so that I can then unlock what's actually going to work?

And it seems subtle, and it is subtle, but it was everything for me. And the realization underneath all of this is that me trying to prove myself right was coming from a place of insecurity, which is largely like a lot of the reasons that I became an entrepreneur in the first place. I wanted to prove to people that I was confident that I could be successful. There's a lot of reasons, a lot of things that I was chasing with that. And it influenced me trying to prove myself right in everything, which was really an avoidance of being wrong. But that's the ironic thing is as soon as I stopped thinking in that way, and I started looking for how do I figure out what I'm wrong about as quickly as possible? The things that were holding me back, I was actually able to see, understand, address, and overcome much more quickly. So that's gotta be the biggest thing. And it's purely anecdotal, but hopefully it resonates with some of the people that are listening.

Gresham Harkless 11:45

Yeah, it definitely resonates with me. And I know definitely a lot of the people listening because a lot of times we are driven or pulled maybe even like a magnet towards that mission of saying, I am right, I am able to do this, trying to have that proving. But I almost feel like that restricts a lot of the creativity, the opportunity, like you said, a lot of things, being able to see the forest for the trees and see what those opportunities are.

The word that kind of popped in my mind, I don't know if that kind of resonates with you as well too, is that ego piece. It sounds like a subtle shift, but it sounds like a huge shift because it stops being as much about the ego, about me wanting to prove. So I have to be right versus me saying, I might be wrong and I'm possibly wrong but let me figure out how to create opportunities so that at the end of the day we can get to where we want to be.

Marcel Petitpas 12:27

Yeah, that's exactly right.

Gresham Harkless 12:29

Nice. You know, I wanted to ask you now one of my absolute favorite questions with the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Marcel, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Marcel Petitpas 12:40

The longer I've been in this seat, a mentor of mine, Dan, has said something to me on a number of occasions that has continued to be truer than I thought it was the first time I heard it, which is if your business is stuck, look in the mirror, that's probably where the bottleneck is. And the longer I've been in this seat, the bigger the team has grown, the more I've realized that essentially what being a CEO is trying to develop yourself to become the version of a leader that your business needs. And essentially, your personal development has to be at the pace that you want your business to grow.

And so if you really reduce it, it's like being a CEO is the ultimate exercise in personal development. You have to have a big enough vision and be a good enough leader that the goals and aspirations of your entire team can fit underneath that. And if they can't, then those people are going to have to find somewhere else to work. And that's really what it comes down to is it's like you're full time at personal development and that should give you the capacity to develop a team underneath you that's capable of achieving the things that you want to achieve.

Gresham Harkless 13:45

Yeah, that's a huge thought. Do you find that ends up being a conversation you have with clients as well?

Marcel Petitpas 13:50

We usually audit their current performance against that model and we're able to show them, hey, these are the reasons that you haven't been as profitable as you want to be and this is what you need to do to become more profitable. So that's really clear and it's really simple often. However, it's rarely easy. So for example, if the insight is, hey, you've got three full-time employees more than you need for the amount of revenue that you're bringing in, it's simple. We need to get rid of three people. But that is not easy. It's one of the hardest things we have to do as leaders. Or if we say, hey, right now, you are theoretically pricing things at $150 rate, but when we look at how much time actually goes in, you're earning closer to $80 an hour. That's simple, but reconciling that is not easy.

And there's a lot of different ways in which you have to approach that. And so often that's where people get stuck is they go, they have this kind of bittersweet moment at the end of that engagement where they go, I feel this is so clear and I love that like I know exactly what I need to do but then they take a step back and I check in with them about a week later and they go yeah now the challenge is this shit is really hard and a lot of times it's very emotional and so that is often where the conversation comes from and what we find is that a lot of times they intuitively knew what the problem was and now they can't avoid it anymore because it's just math and they're like yeah the math says this is the problem and now I actually need to do something about it.

Gresham Harkless 15:11

Yeah I appreciate you expanding upon that and Marcel truly appreciate that definition of course appreciate your time even more so what I wanted to do was pass you on the mic so to speak just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know and of course how best people can get hold of you listen to your podcast find out about all the awesome things you were working on.

Marcel Petitpas 15:29

Yeah I really appreciate it and I appreciate you having me on this platform and everyone tuning in. If you run a service-based business and you want to learn how to make it more profitable, we have a free resource called the Agency Profit Toolkit and it's got training videos, templates, and all kinds of free resources that'll help you start measuring the most important things that you need to measure in your business. So feel free to go check that out if that's relevant to you. And I think the thing that I'll leave everybody with is really thinking about being problem backwards in everything that you do. Connect with me on LinkedIn or hit us up at parakeeto.com and of course tune into the podcast Agency Profit podcast.

Gresham Harkless 16:06

Yeah, absolutely. To make it even easier, like Marcel mentioned, we're going to have the links and information that show knows as well too, so that you can check that out and find out about all the awesome things that he's doing. The podcast, which I promise you there's loads of great information, especially around profitability. So thank you so much for doing that, my friend. And I hope you have a phenomenal day.

Outro 16:25

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Want to level up your business even more? Read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch videos at CBNation.co. Also, check out our I AM CEO Facebook group. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr. Thank you for listening.

00:00 - 00:15

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Marcel Petitpas: So as an operations team, we can focus on those outliers and capitalize on the biggest opportunities for profitability. And that really closes the loop and gives an agency or professional services firm the muscle of being able to continually tune and maintain their profitability over time.

00:16 - 00:44

Intro: Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO podcast.

00:44 - 00:52

Gresham Harkless: Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Marcel Pedipov Marcel excited to have you on the show

00:52 - 00:52

Marcel Petitpas: Thanks

00:52 - 01:22

Gresham Harkless: for having me man. Yes. I'm super excited to have you on and of course before we jumped into the interview I wanted to read a little bit more about Marcel's and you hear about all the awesome things that he's working on and Marcel's CEO and co-founder of Paraketo a company dedicated to helping agencies measure and improve their profitability by streamlining their operations and reporting systems. He's also the head strategic coach at SaaS Academy by Dan Martel, the number 1 coaching program for B2B SaaS businesses in the world. In his work as a speaker, podcast host, and

01:22 - 01:56

Gresham Harkless: consultant, specializing in agency profitability optimization, he's helped hundreds of agency around the world measure the right metrics and improve their operations and profitability without relying on financial data and accounting professionals and take control of their business with simple numbers. Anyone can understand and measure when he's not helping agencies make more money. He's probably watching office or parks and recreation on a never ending loop and eating breakfast foods for every meal of the day. And I always appreciate having other podcasters on the show. So he has an awesome podcast called the agency profit podcast, where he has

01:56 - 02:20

Gresham Harkless: loads of information, knowledge for all agency owners to level up. But 1 of the things that really stuck out to me more than anything else is that he said that he simply tried to help improve agency profitability. And I think simplicity is 1 of the things that we always gloss over. And he simply said he wants to help agencies to win. So super excited to have you on the show Marcel. Are you ready to speak to the IMCO community?

02:20 - 02:21

Marcel Petitpas: I am ready as ever.

02:21 - 02:28

Gresham Harkless: Awesome. Let's get it started then. So let's kick it off by 01:00 a little bit here a little bit more on how you got started. What I call your CEO story.

02:29 - 02:57

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah, like a lot of people my first business was a service based business. I started a small agency and we were doing real estate virtual reality. So before you can do this with your iPhone, we would go into a house, take a million pictures, stitch them into 3d models and create 3d rendering of the house that you could tour on like a VR headset. And those margins were so tough. It was at a time, this was back, call it 2016, when it was a buyer's market. Houses were sitting on the market for a long time. And

02:57 - 03:21

Marcel Petitpas: so real estate agents were not willing to invest a lot of money into their listings. And we had such tight margins that I remember spending so much time struggling with these problems that we help agencies with today of how much money do I make on a client or a project? And how much can I afford to pay people to do this work? And how do I generate enough cash flow to scale this business? And the long and short of that business is I realized at some point trying to run through all these numbers that it couldn't

03:21 - 03:47

Marcel Petitpas: be more than a hobby for me because of the margins that I was able to generate in that business. So I then became interested in software and building SaaS companies. And a few years later, a friend of mine, Jared, who runs a big software development agency out of Boise, he reached out and said, hey, man, I've got a team of people that spend 2 days a week building spreadsheets to answer all these questions that are simple but not easy. Do we make money on our clients and projects? Who's utilized and who's not? And There has to

03:47 - 04:09

Marcel Petitpas: be a better way to do this. And that was really the impetus for us to say, yeah, like I resonate with that problem. He resonated with it. We went and talked to all of our friends at RadiationCity and once you pierced through their armor, they were all also struggling with this. And so we said, there's something here. There's gotta be a way to do this better, and that started a 6 year today journey to try and find a way to make this easier for people that are running these kinds of businesses.

04:10 - 04:18

Gresham Harkless: Nice, I absolutely love that. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more about the amazing things you all have been able to create. Can you take us through exactly how you're serving with and making an impact with

04:18 - 04:47

Marcel Petitpas: the clients you work with? Yeah, so as you mentioned earlier, our whole prerogative is to help agencies and really more broadly professional services businesses measure and improve their profitability. And we do that through a combination of software that we've built, but also consulting services. And that's important because we sold software for about 3 years. And every time we sold somebody software, they either didn't have clean enough or well structured enough data to put it in. They struggled to get their data into the right format. They didn't really know what they were looking at or how to

04:47 - 05:13

Marcel Petitpas: take action on it or get an understanding of the data that was being shown to them. So over time, we got pulled into helping them with all those things and realized, okay, the real solution to this problem needs to include both a hands-on consulting approach and the tools to facilitate the process. And so with that, we have a 3 step process that we take clients through to solve this problem. And we take it 1 step at a time. Some clients only need to do the first step. Some clients want to do all 3. The first step

05:13 - 05:41

Marcel Petitpas: is really to design a model for their business. And to me, this is 1 of the most important things we've done in 6 years is we've built a framework that connects the dots between people, projects, and time, or operations, as we call it, the financial model of the business, and the sales model of the business. And this is incredibly elusive because anybody that's running an agency or a service-based business knows that if you've ever sat down and said, I want to do $5 million in revenue next year, and then tried to figure out who do I

05:41 - 06:02

Marcel Petitpas: need to hire? How many hours do they need to work? And how much can I afford to pay them? And what kind of profitability do we have on projects? And how do we price things correctly and how much can we afford to spend on sales and marketing and overhead and on the delivery team and connecting the dots between all those things is really tough. Our model, which is the first thing that we build for clients, allows you to instantly see that and simulate any change that you want to make to the business. You want to change

06:02 - 06:26

Marcel Petitpas: your price, you want to change your team, you want to set a higher sales target, you want to adjust your budgets, you can see how all of that stuff connects to everything else and never have a question mark about is this decision that I'm making about my business model moving me further or closer from my goals. So that's really the first thing that we do with clients. The second piece is then installing forecasting, which is really about helping them understand, hey, are the decisions that I'm making moving me further or closer away from our goals? So

06:26 - 06:51

Marcel Petitpas: every time new work comes in, every time they hire somebody, every time they win or lose a client, they can see what that setting themselves up for in terms of profitability, utilization, cash flow, and how it compares to their model. And then the last piece is what we call feedback loops. That's the third F. And that's really about measuring what's actually happening so that we can spot where are our assumptions about how long things will take, about how busy people will be, are out of line with reality. So as an operations team, we can focus on

06:51 - 07:06

Marcel Petitpas: those outliers and capitalize on the biggest opportunities for profitability. And that really closes the loop and gives an agency or professional services firm the muscle of being able to continually tune and maintain their profitability over time. And that's really what we

07:06 - 07:31

Gresham Harkless: do. Nice, I absolutely love that. I was wondering, is that part of what I would like to call your secret sauce? This can be for yourself individually, the business or combination of both, but is it that ability to be able to see the forest for the trees, but do it in a way to empower those that are using parakeeto that are able to understand that 1, they can make changes, but also they get to be on that same side. You almost feel like you're empowering the team so that they can make the, They can spend more

07:31 - 07:39

Gresham Harkless: time in their zone of genius, but also be able to make those very calculated and high likelihood of succeeding decisions within their organizations That's exactly right And

07:39 - 08:08

Marcel Petitpas: it's a big part of the reason why so many of the engagements that we do with clients that are long-term Involves a coaching component with our consulting team So you can bring that team of, whether it be leaders or executives, or even individual contributors in your team, to that touch point with the consultant. And it's an applied learning experience where we're coming to that meeting, we're saying, hey, here's what we're seeing in your data. Here are some things that we think we want to discuss. Why do you think this might be going on? And in that

08:08 - 08:35

Marcel Petitpas: exercise, the team learns how to interpret the data, what it means, how to think through the problems that it's surfacing. And we start to create buy-in and facilitate that muscle that, we'll come back to that word, the muscle of being able to take this information and turn it into action that actually gets the organization moving in the right direction. And I really believe that is 1 of the most critical things that we do is we close that loop. And that we're teaching people how to fish essentially where over time, what we start to see is those

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08:35 - 08:46

Marcel Petitpas: leaders and managers that come to those meetings, they start using the reports outside of the meetings. They start taking that data and discussing it with their teams. And when that starts to happen, we know that we've done our job.

08:46 - 08:56

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple Book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

08:57 - 09:32

Marcel Petitpas: Sleep diet exercise is 90% of it. And I think as somebody that is probably also trying to take care of themselves, like there are very, you can't outs supplements, outs podcast, out, buy neural beats, out meditate, bad sleep, diet and exercise. So there is nothing that trumps that. But if we're talking about optimization beyond that, I think the biggest thing honestly is just getting around other entrepreneurs and making that a practice that is regular. Of course, I go to therapy, I journal, all those other things, but there's nothing that can replace every, every month or even

09:32 - 09:52

Marcel Petitpas: once a quarter, just like getting in a room with other entrepreneurs that understand what you're going through and giving yourself that space to share the real things that you're dealing with, the challenges, get external perspectives, and just be able to connect in that way. Of all the things that have helped me become a better leader, that's been it. Especially if in that room, I've got some people that are a few steps ahead of where I'm at.

09:53 - 10:08

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, that's absolutely huge. So what would you consider to be your answer to 1 of my favorite questions, which is the CEO nugget? This is a little bit more word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell your favorite client or if you happen to a time machine you might tell your younger business though.

10:08 - 10:38

Marcel Petitpas: Oh, that's a good 1. What golden nugget do I have for entrepreneurs and business owners? I think I'll just share what I think the biggest revelation was for me. And it's ironic because it's what actually enabled me to become really successful for the first time which is shifting my mindset from trying to prove myself which is what I did for the first 6 years of being an entrepreneur. I have this idea, I have this path that I want to pursue, and all of my execution is framed around like, how do I sell this? How do I

10:38 - 11:09

Marcel Petitpas: prove myself right and become successful? Instead of what actually got me to where I needed to go, which was how do I prove myself wrong as quickly as possible? How do I figure out what's not going to work about this as quickly as humanly possible so that I can then unlock what's actually going to work? And it seems subtle, and it is subtle, but it was everything for me. And the realization underneath all of this is that me trying to prove myself right was coming from a place of insecurity, which is largely like a lot of

11:09 - 11:35

Marcel Petitpas: the reasons that I became an entrepreneur in the first place. I wanted to prove to people that I was confident that I could be successful. There's a lot of reasons, a lot of things that I was chasing with that. And it influenced me trying to prove myself right in everything, which was really an avoidance of being wrong. But that's the ironic thing is as soon as I stopped thinking in that way, and I started looking for how do I figure out what I'm wrong about as quickly as possible? The things that were holding me back, I

11:35 - 11:44

Marcel Petitpas: was actually able to see, understand, address, and overcome much more quickly. So that's gotta be the biggest thing. And it's purely anecdotal, but hopefully it resonates with some of the people that are listening.

11:45 - 12:07

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, it definitely resonates with me. And I know definitely a lot of the people listening because a lot of times we are driven or pulled maybe even like a magnet towards that mission of saying, I am right, I am able to do this, trying to have that proving. But I almost feel like that restricts a lot of the creativity, the opportunity, like you said, a lot of things, being able to see the forest for the trees and see what those opportunities are. The word that kind of popped in my mind, I don't know if that kind

12:07 - 12:27

Gresham Harkless: of resonates with you as well too, is that ego piece. It sounds like a subtle shift, but it sounds like a huge shift because it stops being as much about the ego, about me wanting to prove. So I have to be right versus me saying, I might be wrong and I'm possibly wrong but let me figure out how to create opportunities so that at the end of the day we can get to where we want to be.

12:27 - 12:29

Marcel Petitpas: Yeah, that's exactly right.

12:29 - 12:40

Gresham Harkless: Nice. You know, I wanted to ask you now 1 of my absolute favorite questions with the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Marcel, what does being a CEO mean to

12:40 - 13:14

Marcel Petitpas: you? The longer I've been in this seat, a mentor of mine, Dan, has said something to me on a number of occasions that has continued to be truer than I thought it was the first time I heard it, which is if your business is stuck, look in the mirror, that's probably where the bottleneck is. And the longer I've been in this seat, the bigger the team has grown, the more I've realized that essentially what being a CEO is, is trying to develop yourself to become the version of a leader that your business needs. And essentially, your

13:14 - 13:41

Marcel Petitpas: personal development has to be at the pace that you want your business to grow. And so if you really reduce it, it's like being a CEO is the ultimate exercise in personal development. You have to have a big enough vision and be a good enough leader that the goals and aspirations of your entire team can fit underneath that. And if they can't, then those people are going to have to find somewhere else to work. And that's really what it comes down to is it's like you're full time at personal development and that should give you the

13:41 - 13:45

Marcel Petitpas: capacity to develop a team underneath you that's capable of achieving the things that you want to achieve.

13:45 - 13:50

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, that's a huge thought. Do you find that ends up being a conversation you have with clients as well?

13:50 - 14:20

Marcel Petitpas: We usually audit their current performance against that model and we're able to show them, hey, these are the reasons that you haven't been as profitable as you want to be and this is what you need to do to become more profitable. So that's really clear and it's really simple often. However, it's rarely easy. So for example, if the insight is, hey, you've got 3 full-time employees more than you need for the amount of revenue that you're bringing in, it's simple. We need to get rid of 3 people. But that is not easy. It's 1 of the

14:20 - 14:47

Marcel Petitpas: hardest things we have to do as leaders. Or if we say, hey, right now, you are theoretically pricing things at $150 rate, but when we look at how much time actually goes in, you're earning closer to $80 an hour. That's simple, but reconciling that is not easy. And there's a lot of different ways in which you have to approach that. And so often that's where people get stuck is they go, they have this kind of bittersweet moment at the end of that engagement where they go, I feel this is so clear and I love that like

14:47 - 15:10

Marcel Petitpas: I know exactly what I need to do but then they take a step back and I check in with them about a week later and they go yeah now the challenge is this shit is really hard and a lot of times it's very emotional and so that is often where the conversation comes from and what we find is that a lot of times they intuitively knew what the problem was and now they can't avoid it anymore because it's just math and they're like yeah the math says this is the problem and now I actually need to

15:10 - 15:11

Marcel Petitpas: do something about it.

15:11 - 15:29

Gresham Harkless: Yeah I appreciate you expanding upon that and Marcel truly appreciate that definition of course appreciate your time even more so what I wanted to do was passion the mic so to speak just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know and of course how best people can get hold of you listen to your podcast find out about all the awesome things you were working on

15:29 - 15:56

Marcel Petitpas: yeah I really appreciate it and I appreciate you having me on this platform and everyone tuning in. If you run a service-based business and you want to learn how to make it more profitable, we have a free resource called the Agency Profit Toolkit and it's got training videos, templates, and all kinds of free resources that'll help you start measuring the most important things that you need to measure in your business. So feel free to go check that out if that's relevant to you. And I think the thing that I'll leave everybody with is really thinking about

15:57 - 16:06

Marcel Petitpas: being problem backwards in everything that you do. Connect with me on LinkedIn or hit us up at parakeeto.com and of course tune into the podcast Agency Profit podcast.

16:06 - 16:25

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. To make it even easier, like Marcel mentioned, we're going to have the links and information that show knows as well too, so that you can check that out and find out about all the awesome things that he's doing. The podcast, which I promise you there's loads of great information, especially around profitability. So thank you so much for doing that, my friend. And I hope you have a phenomenal day. Thanks for having me, man. That was great.

16:25 - 16:59

Intro: Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB nation and blue 16 media Tune in next time and visit us at imceo.co. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Want to level up your business even more? Read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch videos at CBNation.co. Also, check out our IMCEO Facebook group. This has been the IMCEO Podcast with Gresham Harkness Jr. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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