Breaking Through The Invisible Wall

Steve August
April 14, 2021
5 Rules for Rocket Ships

Over the past week, I’ve been building out a training webinar for the people who have taken the Founder Type Quiz. Building a new training is painful for me because I break my brain doing a lot of deep thinking — and also awesome, because I inevitably unearth a simpler way to communicate important elements of business.

This training specifically speaks to how to navigate the challenging Seed to Growth transition that Founders and their companies must traverse if they are to become Rocket Ships.

I’ve experienced this first hand with a number of my businesses and have struggled to find the right image to capture what it feels like. But I finally cracked it while creating this training. I call it:

Hitting The Invisible Wall

The reason the Invisible Wall fits so well is because you rarely see it coming. Everything seems like it’s going along and growing and then suddenly you realize you are stuck banging up against the same issues over and over again: revenue plateaus, team not growing into their roles, systems not maturing, etc.

It’s an Invisible Wall because while the symptoms of hitting it are usually VERY obvious, the root causes of why the wall is there can be hard to see.

Invisible Walls hide in old assumptions that no longer hold true. They are cloaked by sales that grow without having a clear understanding of why.

It’s like the water that we swim in suddenly turns to ice.

Often, it’s the way the Founder is operating. Things that worked well for them up to this point stop working, and even start working against them. That’s when knowing your Founder Type is really helpful.

Sometimes it’s that the market has changed, or a new competitor has entered and the business hasn’t reacted as needed.

There are numerous other reasons Invisible Walls show up and inflict pain. But whatever the reason, they don’t become tangible until there’s awareness of the pain that current solutions don’t solve.

So how do you break through an Invisible Wall?

It all goes back to the 3 keys:

  1. Ruthless Simplicity
  2. Singular Focus
  3. Maximal Leverage

Taking the time to undergo the sometimes painful effort and hard choices these 3 keys require is the surest way to break through an Invisible Wall. Because to nail these 3 keys means you have to deal with the root issues of your business.

To illustrate why anchoring Simplicity, Focus, and Leverage is so important, I’ll relate the experience of several of my Ruthlessly Simple Business Bootcamp attendees.

Since the initial Bootcamp day, I’ve been having weekly office hours and hosting people in the Camp Slack channel, and I’ve noticed a pattern.

A couple of folks have let me know that they’ve been running into walls and sliding back into previous patterns.

I asked them to show me the Ruthless Simplicity, Singular Focus, and Maximal Leverage exercises that were part of the Camp pre-work.

Almost universally, they had not taken those exercises to their full completion.

Once I coached them through these exercises, they were able to see the core issues and what they needed to do to break through their now-visible walls.

So if you are feeling stuck, look for the Invisible Wall.

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