Entrepreneurial guru, Michael Gerber says, “Process makes the ordinary business, extraordinary.”
There’s no doubt that process can help create a sustainable, scalable business — one that can have value without the founder’s involvement. Yet many entrepreneurs launch businesses that are based on their personal delivery of the product or service. Without them, there is no business.
Entrepreneurs typically go into business because they’re passionate about what they do and the way they do it. Therefore, it’s hard for them to let go of the day-to-day tasks because they feel as though no one else can do it as well as they can. They trudge through long days and are typically limited in the amount of revenue they can generate. They don’t see how they can transform their product or service into one that can be easily taught, repeated, and consistently delivered.
Last week, I heard Judi Sheppard Missett speak at an economic summit. In case you’ve never heard of Judi, she founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. Today, the company hosts a network of 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries. I’ll share a few highlights of the Jazzercise story as an example of how you can turn your passion into a sustainable business.
Dancing is very personal. Every dancer has his or her own style and technique. When Missett started teaching jazz classes for fitness at night while pursuing her career as a professional dancer in the theater, she could have stopped there. However, as her classes became more and more popular, she decided to expand and found herself teaching on a full-time basis. She soon realized that her success was limited because the classes depended on her personal involvement, so she began teaching others her techniques and choreographed the classes in advance. Because Missett crated a system and a process, Jazzercise instructors were able to go out on their own as independent business owners and branches opened up around the globe.
Missett continues to ensure the quality of the classes taught by her franchises. Instructors receive dance fitness routines choreographed to the latest music by Missett herself every 10 weeks. But Missett has her eye on her exit strategy. Her daughter has stepped in as President of the international company, and her two granddaughters are following in her footsteps as talented dancers. From a passion for dance, to a scalable, sustainable international enterprise, that’s the Jazzercise story.
Think about your own business and how you can build process into your operations so your company can grow beyond your individual efforts. There are also many things you can do today, to turn your passion into a great success tomorrow.
How have you turned your passion into a flourishing business? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.