The Adaptive Agency Blog

Busy To Strategic: 60 Minutes A Week To Get Out Of The Grind

by | Nov 28, 2023 | Strategy

Here’s A Promise

Block out an hour a week to think about your business. The Strategic Leap Framework will transform your agency.



You want to “work on your business, not just in it.”

You were “busy all week and didn’t get anything done.”

You feel exhausted by the grind.

It’s not just you. It’s nearly everybody. Almost every agent I talk to wants to get out of the hamster wheel and drive aggressive, sustainable growth.

So, what do they do about it? Attend meetings and listen for “what’s working.” Look for good tweaks to their sales scripts. And when all else fails…

Work harder?

It doesn’t have to be that way. But would you be willing, instead, to spend an hour a week shut off from the world to think about your business?

You might say, “Sure, but what will I think about.”

We’ve got you covered. The Strategic Leap Framework will fill your strategy hour with an endless supply of ideas for continuously elevating your business.

What is the Strategic Leap Framework?

It’s five mindsets that you should use to govern your agency’s growth. While everyone else is checking the same boxes day in and day out, you can be fundamentally raising your baseline all the time.

Here are the five mindsets:


1. Keep it about (the right) people.

Your business is about people. Namely, employees and customers. Everything you do should serve those people.

And in that order.

Employees are the ones who will decide how much your customers love your business; put them first. Then, make every decision about your business out of an abundance of care for employees and customers. If it causes short-term pain, that’s ok. You’ll get over it.

But notice the caveat: the right people.

You have to have the right employees and the right customers if you want to have amazing transformation and growth. It’s not a short-term matter.

That means:

  1. making a commitment that your business is about your people, come what may;
  2. hiring employees who will thrive in that environment and take ownership of customer relationships, and
  3. focusing on acquiring and retaining customers that fit your Ideal Customer Profile

If you think about your business in this context for 60 minutes, you’ll come up with a great list of areas to improve on.


2. Point in the right direction.

Goals. Plans. Tactics.

All good things. But often, we end up serving them instead of them serving us. That’s why so many of them go by the wayside: they stop being relevant or plausible.

A better option is figuring out which direction you’re going. Then, you can systematically eliminate everything that isn’t helping you point that way.

You should continuously reassess and realign to whatever your real north is. It’s okay to be going north-by-northeast on some things, but everything that’s pointing south needs to go.

If your business means something to you—if you have a vision or a purpose—you can sit down periodically and ask yourself, “What’s not aligned?”

You already know what some of them are.


3. Optimize market share versus net profit.

This is the hardest one for most small businesses. Many of them will set their prices low to get more customers without knowing what the effect is on the bottom line.

As an agency, you don’t set your prices, but you still need to keep two ideas in your head at the same time: market share and profit.

When you spend your sales and marketing budgets to acquire single-line business that will leave you in a few years to save a few bucks, you’re focusing too hard on gaining market share.

More of your focus needs to be on pursuing, acquiring, and retaining your Ideal Customer Profile.


Because they can easily be 10x or 20x more profitable than your least-valuable customers over time because:

  1. Short-term, single-line customers might not even earn you back your Customer Acquisition Cost.
  2. Long-term customers end up giving you more business along the way.
  3. Total profit is commissions * years, so a 20-year customer with $400 in annual commissions is worth $8000 (minus Customer Acquisition Cost).
  4. Premiums are roughly indexed for inflation, so you pay CAC in today’s dollars and make commissions in inflation-adjusted dollars.

So it’s wise to pursue more valuable customers. But you’re still going to get lower-value customers right? What about them?

Treat them like people. That’s first. Always.

Then, focus on transforming their intent. If they came to you to save money, they’ll leave you to save money. But not if you help them realize the non-price reasons to stay with you and your team.


4. Continuously improve leverage.

You know what a lever is. It lets you move heavier things with the same effort. That’s how you want everything in your business to me.

Employees, resources, technology, effort, opportunities—everything can be better leveraged.

For example, help your employees stop doing busy work and spend more time having quality conversations with customers.

Turn conversations with customers into deep relationship-building opportunities and referral business.

Buy technology tools to make yourself smarter and faster about your business.

Get rid of things that are less than 1x leveraged. Turn 1x-leverage into 2x, 2x into 5x, and 5x into 10x.

Every time you elevate something to higher leverage, your company has a new baseline from which to imagine the future.

It’s not hard to start. What are the mindless things that you and your team spend all their time on? What are you all sick of?


5. Iterate faster.

Instead of long-term goals and plans that might become irrelevant and can’t be planned accurately up front, start experimenting.

Come up with ideas and execute them as fast as possible.

If you get a win, great. A new way of doing business.

If not, fine. You know what to avoid.

The faster you iterate, the faster your agency will transform. The more differentiated you’ll be. And the more fun you and your team will have.


What To Do Next

Book 60 minutes on your calendar for a day this week. Make it repeating weekly. And carve it in stone—nothing gets to pilfer this time.

Once you’re there, go through the framework this way:

  1. Read through the five mindsets.
  2. Let your mind wander.
  3. Write down every crazy idea you can think of.
  4. Pick the top 1-3.
  5. Put them in motion right now.

Do that every week, and a year from now, you’ll have a different agency. Five years from now, you’ll have something nobody recognizes. Twenty years from now, you’ll have had an amazing journey as a small business owner.