Gaining Traction with EOS

Chelsea Miller holds the cover of the Traction book, "What the Heck is EOS?"

The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) dramatically changed 8THIRTYFOUR as a business, culture and team. We had some hard times before we worked the system into our business, and now that we’ve embraced EOS, we’ve had nothing but strides in the right direction.

But what is EOS, and why were we so excited to implement it for 8THIRTYFOUR? Keep reading to hear first-hand from 8THIRTYFOUR’s owner, Kim Bode, about why we do things the way we do.

Kim writes…

A Rocky Start

The EOS journey for 8THIRTYFOUR started a little over two years ago when I was feeling extremely burned out. I dreaded going to work and really disliked where the business was at the time and where it was going.

Enter the book, Traction by Gino Wickman. A potential client handed it to me and told me that it would change my life. Those are his words, not mine. It seemed over the top. I was certain that he’d drunk the Kool-Aid, if you know what I mean.

Despite my skepticism, I read the book over the next few days.  I knew it was the answer to righting the ship and helping me remember why I started the firm in the first place.

I drank the Kool-Aid, too, and I am now currently selling it on the street. Here’s why:

Vision and Values

Most business owners have a vision in their head but have never taken the time to write it down or communicate it. If no one is on the same page, how can you make sure you’re moving in the same direction?

By defining the vision and core values of our agency, I was able to make better decisions about people, processes, finances, strategies and clients.

8THIRTYFOUR has defined core values, a core focus, a one-, three- and ten-year target, and a foundation set for our marketing strategy. We have never been more in sync.

Right people, Right Seats

It is no secret that entrepreneurs and business owners make a lot of decisions based on emotions. Our businesses are like children to us; our passion, hopes and dreams are all wrapped up in them. However, making professional decisions based on emotions is a stupid and harmful way to run your business. You can’t hire people based on “like” or “dislike.”

That’s where EOS comes in. Traction coins the phrase, “Right people, right seats.” It is pretty self-explanatory: you need the right person in the needed position. The position/need comes first, and the person is second.

The right people are determined by your core values. Do your employees embody all of those values? Some of them? None of them?

By analyzing employees in this way, you take the emotion out of it. They either do, or they don’t.

This was the hardest part of EOS for me. It meant that some people wouldn’t make the cut, but it was a business decision for the good of the agency.

The Process

What are the core processes that make your business tick? Once you define them, document all of them at a high level and implement internally and externally.

We created checklists that included client management, strategy development and more. We have a manual filled with standard operating procedures that all staff can refer to for organization structure, vision, core values and more.

The EOS process is not rocket science. It is a roadmap for your business. It provides you with the tools to be successful. What you have to do as the owner is give up the control.

Can you do it?

Comments 3

  1. Thanks for sharing, Kim. I didn’t know you were using Traction EOS. The company I recently started with is also using Traction and EOS, and am continuing to improve our implementation and meeting cadence. It was an encouraging and affirming.

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