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The Secret to Unlimited Growth Is Not What You Think It Is

Murray and I were driving back from San Diego the other day and he looked over and said, “Marisa, the way I see your role in 2018 is that you’re ONLY doing 3 things in the business: high-level strategy, facilitating and creating content. You delegate literally everything else.”

WHOA. Huge mental pushback.

I mean, there are SO many things in our business that pass through me. I am the linchpin of everything in our company, and so many balls would drop if I stepped back. So, to say I resisted the idea is an understatement LOL.

Then…   a sudden moment of clarity, as I zoomed out and saw that the real bottleneck to growth in our company?  It wasn’t the size of our team — it was me.

And In that moment I was able to ask and answer the questions: what would happen in our business if I only did those 3 things?   What if I were actually free to focus 100% of my time on high-level strategy, facilitation and content creation.

I realized that if I could actually figure out how do it, then our potential for growth was actually unlimited

As Gay Hendricks wrote in his seminal book The Big Leap, there’s a huge difference between the things you’re great at, and  your “genius zone” where you truly add value to the world that nobody else can.

And I know first-hand just how seductive it is keep doing things you’re good at, just because you’re good at them, and because you can.

I started my career as a film producer and I’m really good at managing a ton of details and getting a lot of things done. I’m an implementer. And that’s both a blessing and a curse.  I’ve continued to wear the implementer hat in our business for too long, making sure that all our projects and departments were moving forward…

So I truly know ALL of the logical reasons why to continue doing the things you’re good at. Like me, you’re damn good at it. It saves money. Or simply because it’s just easier & quicker to just do it yourself thanscreen-shot-2016-11-16-at-6-23-26-pm train someone else to do it for you.

It seems logical, but it’s a trap that keeps you stuck where you are, and the critical thing I’ve seen in my own journey from being a struggling artist working in the non-profit and documentary film world to building a multiple-7-figure business is that at each new income-and-impact level, I’ve had to change my thinking… my mindset… and my role in the business.

Each new level of business has required something new from me…

I’ve had to let go of old identities and self-perceptions to allow for a bigger role over and over and over again.

The truth is:

  • You can’t build a 6-figure business with the same level of thinking it took to be a broke dreamer.
  • You can’t build a 7-figure business with the same level of thinking it took to build a 6-figure business.
  • And you can’t build an 8-figure business with the same level of thinking it took to build a 7-figure business.

Here’s what MY personal journey looks like…

LEAP #1: Job -> 6-figure business:

In order to make the first leap from having a job to building a 6-figure business, I had to let go of limitations around self-worth and pricing, so I could recognize the real value I bring to my students, customers and clients. I also had to develop self-trust that I had the resourcefulness within me to make choices, “figure things out” and everything would be just fine… as long as I kept putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward.

LEAP #2: 6-figure business -> 7-figure business

In order to make the next leap from having a 6-figure business to having a 7-figure business, I had to let go of perfectionism, the need to feel like I was in control, and the desire to do everything “right”. The only way to leverage and scale our work was to test and experiment with new ideas, see what worked and what didn’t, then adjust and pivot from there… and the only way to do that is to let go of attachment to the result. To be willing to fail. And fail fast. To admit when I was wrong. And to celebrate when I did something right.

LEAP #3: 7-figure business -> Multi 7-figure business+

Now, as we make the next leap to multi-7 and dare-I-say-it-even-8-figures, I’ve had to develop trust in others. I’ve had to learn how to put my baby in the arms of someone else, and empower others to carry our collective vision forward into the world. I’ve also had to embrace systems and put my big girl panties on with all sorts of legal, tax and financial things that the artist in me didn’t want to learn. I had to shift from my knee-jerk, “I don’t want to do that” or “I’m not good at that” or “I’m not the kind of person who _____” or even “I’ve never done that before” to being the kind of person who says “I believe in this and I know there is a way.

Now, I’m in the process of letting go of old roles so I can step fully into my genius zone. It’s not going to happen over night and I’ve mapped out a year-long transition to fully let go of control of the day-to-day operations of our company and build the teams and the trust we need to serve at an even deeper level.

I often see students, customers and clients who are chomping at the bit to grow faster… and I get it.

If there was one thing I could reach back through time and say to the me of 5 years ago, to 33 year-old Marisa as she stepped into the entrepreneurial dream, it would be, “Take your time and embrace the journey. You are exactly where you need to be at this moment. You are building the body, the resilience and the mindset you need to support your empire.”

Looking back over the journey of the last 5 years, I now understand how important it is to plant the roots you need to support the tree.

I’m grateful we that we’ve grown at the rate that we have. Simply doubling our business each and every year, and no more. Because, truth be told, we needed that time to evolve into the entrepreneurs we are today who can sustain this level of business and impact.

That evolution doesn’t happen overnight. It happens day-by-day…

That’s why getting lottery winners usually lose it all within a few years. They didn’t “evolve” their way to more money. Who they were didn’t keep up, and as a result, they found an unconscious way to lose it all, and return to where they knew they belonged.

Now, as I look forward towards the next 5 years, I’m ready to embrace our next challenge.

Even a year ago, I would never have dared to dream that I could “get away” with only doing those 3 things in the business. Now – over the coming year, I’m ready to start letting go of all the things I’m good or great at, so that I can do only what I’ve been put on this earth to do.  And only that.

So I have two choices for how I want to spend my time moving forward. I can focus on managing what is. Or I can focus on creating what can be.

And I’m ready to make the next big shift in our entrepreneurial journey.

Now tell me…

  • What shifts are YOU willing to make to grow and evolve to the next level of income and impact?
  • What do YOU need to let go of and who do you need to become to support your next-level vision?

Let me know in the comments, so we can support you in holding that vision and evolving into the person who will make that vision happen. You already are and have everything you need… now it’s time to step into it and surround yourself with a community who believes in you.

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. David Avatar

    A few weeks into EPM I was charged up and really enjoying getting things done. Then, something happened: I could barely stay awake and focus, simple computer tasks became difficult.

    I got behind and stressed, because I’m not a quitter.

    Well, a neighbor observed all this and basically said “Get thee to a doctor, NOW!”. So I did.

    So thanks to EPM & my neighbor I’m still alive. Turns out I’ve got adult onset Diabetes and my blood sugar was so LOW I was approaching a coma state.

    I’m on meds & exercise and the last two weeks have been great, feeling better each day.

    I’m catching up with EPM, and redefining my 0-6 figure business component (I had been thinking in the 7-8 figure range because I know it can be done)…you have to walk before you can run and fly.

    Life is good, and EPM, as far as I’m concerned, has paid for itself already!

    A suggestion: It would be nice to have transcripts of the videos for note taking and reference back to the slides.


    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      So glad you caught that in time David! And so glad the program has paid for itself. We will provide transcripts the next time around (after one round of iteration), but this time we preferred to keep it more fluid. It’s 90%+ there, but I will update some things and move other things around… we’ll do the transcripts after I do that. 🙂

  2. Sunny Rose Healey Avatar
    Sunny Rose Healey

    Yes I see exactly what you mean as i dream and step toward building a 6-figure business. Thanks for the support and sharing your experience on this journey.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      It’s definitely an evolutionary process… <3

  3. Michelle Avatar

    Thank you SO much, Marisa, for making this so clear. What to EMBRACE…and what to LET GO? The question that will ALWAYS be on the table for me as long as I have a business! “Everyone needs a Murray!”–and YOU’VE got him!

    As long as you don’t let go in the near future of being the brilliant guide and teacher for those of us who want to learn from you, I can whole-heartedly EMBRACE your changes…I’M not yet ready to LET GO of what you have to offer me–now that I’ve found you! LOL To Your Amazing Growth!!!!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Awww…. thanks so much Michelle! I won’t be letting go of teaching, guiding and facilitating… those are the things that I’ll hang on to pretty much forever. It’s in my blood. 😉

  4. Kim Marie Avatar
    Kim Marie

    I really love this picture Marisa! I’m still at the Leap #1 stage, but this year has been a BIG leap. I’ve been taking more risks, believing in myself, valuing my work, and definitely continuing to put one foot in front of the other. I so appreciated seeing the next steps that come along. Your EPM program has helped me start making the next leap out of perfectionism too, which is HUGE!!!

    I haven’t seen the return yet, but I’m trusting it’s coming. The biggest thing I think I need to do to get to the 6 figure level would be to become more visible by putting myself out there even more. I’m often so afraid of seeming “pushy” or “desperate” that I tend to hide way too much. That’s changed a LOT this year with my decision to hire a business coach, start writing a weekly newsletter (rather than being irregular or worrying about too many emails), and joining EPM. These were really big steps. I also redid my website and plastered my image all over it. LOL!! I’m definitely “out there” in ways I’ve never been. It feels great, and incredibly vulnerable. I appreciate you holding good thoughts that the income will come!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Huge congrats on all these strides Kim! It sounds like 6-figures is definitely in your reach if you continue on your path… 🙂

  5. Alex Avatar

    Thanks Marisa for this inspiring and actionable article!
    Shift in mindset is the greatest opportunity to growth 🙂
    I’m shooting a film about happiness and how taking action with cooperation (following United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals) is the solution we can follow to create together a Great World!
    I’m 20 and I study ICT Engineering at University in the meanwhile, so it’s hard to find the time to take on the film!
    I should focus more on the impact this project can have on everybody in the world and how my emotional branding business can take advantage of this film..
    I think I should find a way to join my technical skills (web design, motion graphics and VisualFX) to the social proof of this amazing “non-profit oriented” movie 🙂 Maybe this compromise might make activities lighter to coordinate and scale!

    Thanks again for reading!

    Cheers 😀

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome Alex! Awesome on the Happiness film… it sounds like you have just the skills you need to pull it off!

      1. Alex Avatar

        Thanks Marisa! Your video making background inspire me to go further! And your success at business make me confident of doing it 🙂

  6. K Suresh Rao Avatar
    K Suresh Rao

    Wow ! Superb Marisa. Very inspiring indeed! Here are the answers to your two questions:-

    1.I have made a shift from “Service to Earn” to “Service to Volunteer for Free to Give”. Meaning from “Real Estate” to “Raising donations for an organization dedicated to provide mid day meal to millions of children, so that they don’t need to work to get their mid-day meal, instead focus on getting educated.” (
    2. I had to let go of Real Estate for which I had studied, appeared for exam, got a license to practice & did work for 3 years with reputed Brokers.
    I need to become a Volunteer with Presence & Purpose to attain my dream to bring a smile on the face of every destitute child! Tall order, but I have Universe backing me, as I have seen from several miracles in my life. Love !

    1. Marisa Avatar

      Lovely! Thanks K Suresh!

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