Simple thoughts, actionable steps, and success principles to accelerate your path to a wealthier life.

Scaling Your Startup: 5 Exits and 3 Laws of Scale to Succeed

business business efficiency business finance business growth business owner business strategy entrepreneurial journey entrepreneurship goal setting productivity tips workload management Aug 03, 2023

Starting a business is an exciting journey filled with challenges and triumphs. 

In the startup phase, three key elements drive success: what you sell, how you sell it, and having a team to support your efforts. 

However, as your business grows and reaches new heights, what once made you great can become a hindrance. 

Scaling a business requires a different playbook, and understanding the five exits and three laws of scale can pave the way to sustained success. 

Let's explore these concepts in detail.

The First Mountain: Mastering Marketing, Sales, Fulfillment, and Hiring

In the initial stages of a business, the focus lies on mastering marketing, sales, fulfillment, and hiring. 

These are the pillars that lay the foundation for your startup's growth and success. However, as you move towards scaling your business, you need to be prepared for an entirely different set of challenges.

The Second Mountain: Deepening Skills, Leadership, Systems, and M&A

Scaling your business requires climbing a second mountain, which involves deepening your skills, becoming a better leader, implementing effective systems, and considering mergers and acquisitions (M&A). 

This new phase demands a shift in focus from the day-to-day operations to establishing a sustainable and scalable model.

The Five Exits You Must Make

To truly scale and succeed in the long term, every business owner needs to make five critical exits:


  • Exiting the Line: In the early stages, you might find yourself heavily involved in the day-to-day operations. Exiting the line means transitioning away from working in the business and starting the delegation process.
  • Exiting the Staff: Many founders mistakenly believe they are CEOs when they are essentially just managers. Exiting the staff involves creating an operating system and stepping into a true CEO role, where you manage the organization without being in the daily grind.
  • Exiting the Org Chart: This is the stage where you can fully step out of the day-to-day operations and bring in strong leadership, such as a president or VP of Operations, to handle the business's messy work while you retain control.
  • Exiting the Board: As you scale, you might need to consider exiting the board and relinquishing control, while still maintaining ownership of the company. This step is vital for achieving passive income and focusing on new ventures.
  • Exiting Ownership: The ultimate goal of scaling is to exit ownership, cashing out your investment and moving on to new opportunities, while leaving behind a business that can thrive without your direct involvement.


Now that we've explored the crucial steps of exiting various roles in your business to achieve scalability, let's delve into the fundamental principles that govern the journey to success. 

Scaling requires more than just stepping away from day-to-day operations; it demands a profound understanding of the three laws that govern growth. 

These principles are essential for guiding entrepreneurs through the challenges of expansion and for building a robust, self-sustaining business. 

So, let's shift our focus from the five exits that pave the way to scaling, and dive into the three laws of scale, unlocking the key to enduring triumph in the world of entrepreneurship.

The Three Laws of Scale

  1.  Everything that Made You Great Will Become a Liability: While the traits that made you successful in the startup phase are crucial, they may hinder your progress at scale. Adapting and evolving your strategies and mindset is essential to overcome the challenges of growth.
  2.  The More Valuable You Are to Your Business, the Less Valuable Your Business Is: To achieve true scalability, focus on building an operating system that reduces your personal importance in day-to-day operations. Invest in quality people and processes to lead the business effectively.
  3.  Every Problem at Scale is a Who, Not How: Identify bottlenecks and challenges in your business and shift your mindset from "how" to "who." Surround yourself with skilled individuals who can efficiently tackle the issues at hand.

Scaling a business requires a different approach than the startup phase. 

By understanding the five exits and three laws of scale, entrepreneurs can navigate the challenges of growth and create a sustainable, thriving business. 

Embrace the evolution, invest in quality people and processes, and surround yourself with talented individuals to conquer the second mountain and achieve lasting success.

For more on business scale and growth, and wealth building head over to my podcast Generation Wealth where we drop new episodes every Monday and Thursday!

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