Ken Proctor of Scale Mastermind gives us the rundown for his peer venture coaching small to mid-sized businesses to prepare for their next level of business.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Jay Curry: And we’re back. Hello, Texas. Welcome back to Texas Business Radio. Got a great program going today, and this segment is going to be quite interesting. I’m sure you know if you listen to the program at all that Matt and I and George are big fans of peer groups, and today we’re going to talk about bringing that concept and using new technologies to make easier, cheaper, more convenient and still powerful. It’s going to be a great segment. Before we get started, let me remind you that everything’s at TexasBusinessRadio.com. That’s TexasBusinessRadio.com. You can go there, you can get everything. High definition color. It’s all beautiful. If you want to call, you got that big question you want to get an answer to, we got a 24 hour hotline. That’s right. Matt sets up all night and waits for your call. He’s got a big red phone right there by his bed, and as soon as you call in, it makes his day. We will get the answer for you. We’ll get the experts on and we will process it so that you’ll know exactly what you need to know. So that number is 844-814-8144, and of course we monitor #TBR on Twitter. #TBR as in Texas Business Radio. So there you got it. But when in doubt, go to TexasBusinessRadio.com.
All right. Let’s get started because this is going to be fun. I have in the studio with me, Ken Proctor, who’s the founder and owner of Scale Mastermind. Ken, thank you for joining us.
Ken Proctor: Thank you, Jay.
Jay Curry: So what the heck is Scale Mastermind?
Ken Proctor: So a little bit of background, I started a company, I led a company, and I sold a company. I started it in 2007. I had an awful lot of challenges when I first started it, and I didn’t really have a resource or a place to go to really grow the business. The good news was was that we actually started out doing pretty well, and for the first six weeks, I remember saying to my wife, “Oh, I’ve got this, honey. This is a piece of cake.” And about a month and a half later, after that I realized I am totally under water, and I needed help. I really didn’t have a place to go. I certainly couldn’t afford consultants, and I didn’t know anything about coaches or peer groups or anything like that.
Jay Curry: Wow. So you have the background and experience. Tell me about the Scale Mastermind. Why is this unique? How does that fit into your story there?
Ken Proctor: Sure. So I will tell you, Jay, that if I ripped off my shirt and showed you all the shrapnel wounds from all the mistakes I made, you would really be impressed. I made a lot of them. Because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. So the idea for this came through this whole process of a peer group, and what I’m going to do, I’m going to pick 12 people and there is an interview process involved. So they have to be 12 of the right people. Business owners in the $350,000-$450,000 up to maybe $650-$700,000 space that really haven’t scaled their business yet, but they’re having the toughest problems and that’s getting launched. But maybe they have two, three, four employees. They just haven’t broken through. So I’m going to put these folks together in a mastermind group all done through Zoom, which is sort of like Skype but a better version.
Jay Curry: Yes.
Ken Proctor: So I’m going to leverage technology. So I’m looking for people all around the country so that we can help each other avoid some of the mistakes that we’ve made, share ideas, share best practices, share worst practices, and I can add my ideas of the things that I did well and the things that I did not do so well.
Jay Curry: You know all you have to do is save them one mistake and it pays for itself for five years, right?
Ken Proctor: Yeah. I absolutely agree.
Jay Curry: So I did notice this is really small startup type of …
Ken Proctor: And that’s deliberate because when I was going through that period in my company, I was so small, I couldn’t afford a lot, and I didn’t have any resources. But that’s when you really need it most because most companies start to break right around year two, three, four if they make it through the first year. They just don’t know how to get to the next level, and that’s what this group is about.
Jay Curry: Can you give me an example of that? From your experience, I know you can, but …
Ken Proctor: Oh, absolutely. When I started my company, I can remember early on it was probably around 2008 that we were doing really well. It was a manufacturing company. We owed the factory a little over $300,000, and I remember coming home to my wife after having just an unbelievable day, and my wife said, “How was your day?” And I said, “Uh. Gosh. We owe the factory $300,000. We owe quarterly taxes and payroll is this week.” And I started to open up my guts to her, and she said, “Could you please go pick Kelsey up at dance?” Kelsey’s our middle daughter. And I thought, “My goodness. I’ve got to tell somebody. I’ve got to talk to somebody about this, and now I’m regulated to carpool duty.” I needed somebody to talk to and that’s really where the idea was born.
Jay Curry: That’s one of the true values of a peer group, whatever size it might be, and whatever stage you might be in your business is it’s lonely at the top. You need somebody to talk to and hopefully somebody that’s going to be understanding, caring, but unbiased.
Ken Proctor: That’s exactly right, and really one of the benefits of this group, Jay, is isolation relief because you don’t have anybody to speak to.
Jay Curry: I like that.
Ken Proctor: And that’s really one of the purposes that we serve.
Jay Curry: So explain to me now, this is going to be an online type … How’s this going to work?
Ken Proctor: Yes. It’s two-75 minute Zoom calls a month, and they’re going to be programmed out for the entire year so that they’re the same time each month for a year. And when you get this online community together and they’re going to be different modules every month. It might be what are your differentiators. If you are in a business where there are more than two competitors, Jay, you’re in a commodity business. How are you differentiating yourself? Is that coming through in your marketing or your branding or your sales guys? What happens if you have the wrong employee? How are you attracting the right employee? How are you creating a culture that people want to come work there, even though you only might have two or three employees? These are some of the challenges that I faced that I could have really used some help with.
Jay Curry: So when you go through that, I hear a lot of wisdom that’s more than just you did it once. You went through the battles once. You’ve got quite a background. Tell us a little about that.
Ken Proctor: Sure. So I am a professional coach, and I coach companies anywhere from $1 million on up to over $400 million. Now, obviously, at those levels people have resources. They have leadership teams, they have boards, they have things like that that’s just not available to somebody that’s two or three or four years in. That’s the time when people need it the most, and every big company, Jay, every big company is once a small company. And that’s really what I’m here to teach and to impart.
Jay Curry: So this is, you said, twice.
Ken Proctor: Twice a month.
Jay Curry: A month. Okay. And it’s 75 minutes you said something like that.
Ken Proctor: Per call. Yeah.
Jay Curry: And there’s that structured … So give me a little feel if I’m a member what I’m going to expect.
Ken Proctor: So there is a topic per month. It might be generating more cashflow, it might be culture, it might be finding the best people, something like that, but then beforehand, you have the opportunity to email me and say, “Hey, I need some time,” what I call hot seat coaching. So we’re going to put you on the hot seat, and you have an opportunity to talk to the other 11 business owners and get some feedback on a particular challenge that you’re suffering through.
Jay Curry: So is that feedback like you would consider in a coaching in a peer group like due processing where they’re going to ask questions. It’s formal. You’re going to ask questions. You’re going to get … And you can do that all online.
Ken Proctor: Exactly right. Yeah. You can see each other. You can see through Zoom. It’s video conferencing. So yeah. So if you have an issue that, “Hey, I need some feedback from the group about whether or not I should take on this new client that has an issue of being a slow pay or whatever,” we’re going to give feedback because I guarantee you somebody in the group has been through it before. Probably me, but hopefully somebody else.
Jay Curry: Wow. This can be very, very powerful. Tell me again, who are you looking for? This is a limited edition type thing, right?
Ken Proctor: It is. I’m accepting 12 people, and it’s not so easy that you say, “Hey, I’m interested. I raised my hand and here’s the credit card information.” It’s not that. It’s I’m going to interview you and I’m going to make sure that we are in alignment, that what you’re looking for is what we provide, and what we provide is what you’re looking for because if you’re not getting value out of it, I really would not want you to be in the group. And it’s a year commitment.
Jay Curry: Wow. It is your commitment twice a month, but it’s very reasonably priced. And you’re looking for people who are startups, up to three years, not over half a …
Ken Proctor: Yeah, somewhere in the vicinity of $300,000 to maybe $700,000, $250-$700,000, something like that. Maybe they’ve got two, three, four, five employees. Somewhere in that vicinity.
Jay Curry: Okay. So we have somebody out there, and it can be anywhere in the United States, right? This is not have to be …
Ken Proctor: Anywhere in the United States. Correct.
Jay Curry: Right. How do they learn more? If we peaked an interest here, what do they do?
Ken Proctor: So my email address is kenproctor, and that P-R-O-C-T-O-R, firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call me 832-748-1865. I am absolutely happy to speak to any of you, and we’ll see if this even makes any sense to go to the next step of the process.
Jay Curry: I love it. So that was kenproctor, P-R-O-C-T-O-R, email@example.com. Ken, thank you. I think this is an exciting new opportunity, very creative. Wish you well with it. Thank you.
Ken Proctor: Thanks for having me, Jay.
Jay Curry: All right, folks. We’re going to have to go pay a few bills, but don’t you go anywhere because we’re going to be right back.
Sponsored in part by:
Jay W. Curry
Along with hosting “Texas Business Radio”, Jay is a Professional Certified Coach and Master Chair facilitating four Houston-based Vistage peer groups. In addition to being a best selling non-fiction author, the 2015 release of his award winning novel, Nixon and Dovey: the Legend Returns, adds novelist to his title. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics from Oklahoma State and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State. You can learn more about Jay HERE.