How to Destroy a Small Business: “Mistaking an Extension for Leverage”

Last week I had a call with someone interested in the podcasting services I offer at Valher Media.

I could tell from the get-go he was very price sensitive and incredibly highly strung.

Throughout the call he was cutting me off making comments like:

“If I do that part, would it be cheaper?”
“What if we do shorter episodes? Can I have a discount?”

I tried not to let it bother me.
But, he kept going.

Eventually, I decided to call him out.

“Are you interested in cheap or ROI?”
“Because I can do cheap, but you will get a lower ROI.”

He snapped back at me quickly and said, “ROI.”

“Good. Let’s work on getting you the best ROI.” I said

I went on to give him our pricing, and before I could explain to him how this would get him a better ROI, he blurted out again!

(I’m not sure why I was surprised)

“I can’t justify your prices. it’s a rip-off!”
“I’m currently getting this done for a third of the price!”

I stayed calm but, it hurt to be accused of that.
The last thing I would want to do is rip anyone off.

For my business to win, I need my clients to win and get an ROI.

Otherwise, we would go out of business really quickly and have a horrible reputation.


I asked him how he was getting it done at a third of the price?

He went on to explain that he uses fiver and up-work and is managing three freelancers.

I then went on to ask how much time he spends managing them, checking their work, and publishing the podcast himself?

Which was strange.
(as he had plenty to say the rest of the call)

I asked again.
How much time?
How is the quality of the work?

He eventually confessed to spending 40 hours a month on the podcast, and the quality was sub-par.

And he hated managing the freelancers.

When we re-did the math, including his time, it turns out his cheaper option was much more expensive.

The real cost of what he was doing was sinking in, and I could hear the tone of his voice change.

He began talking much slower and taking longer to respond to my questions.

At this point, I could tell he had made a mistake many business owners make.

A mistake I had made myself earlier on in business.

>>> Mistaking an extension of himself as leverage.<<<

Here is the lesson.

If you are hiring people or use a service provider that requires a ton of time managing, it’s not leverage.

It’s an extension of you.

If you hire someone or use a service that requires minimal management by you and is governed by systems, then it’s leverage.

The real danger is thinking you have leverage when you have extensions.

Many business owners today are making that mistake, and it is why they can not scale.

They are surrounded by a team and service providers that offer very little leverage.

In turn, as they grow their business, they end up becoming more and more trapped in the business, having to do more and more hours to hold it all together.

If they don’t show up, the $$$ stops.

Everything relies on them, and eventually, they end up incredibly burnt out, not having achieved the results they want.

(You have probably met some of these burnt-out business owners who are more like zombies.)


If you are a business owner trying to grow your business, then seek leverage.

Scroll to Top