From 6-figures & 65 hour weeks to 7-figures & living his dream16 min read

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From 6-figures & 65 hour weeks to 7-figures & living his dream

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It’s a tale that’s familiar to most entrepreneurs.

You grind your fingers to the bone and work long, unsustainable hours in the pursuit of success.

But you can’t burn the candle at both ends without it catching up with you. So burn-out is a common experience for many entrepreneurs.

In that respect, Matt McKinney was living a pretty typical entrepreneurial life.

He started his winery McKinney Family Vineyards as a passion project in 2010, and bootstrapped its growth.

This ‘in the trenches’ approach to growing his business meant he was working 65-hour weeks. It was extremely rare that he took a day off.

As Matt explained:

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“Every dollar that I made, was getting reinvested back into this business for the first seven years. I mean, I was living off of $25,000 – $30,000 a year, I was not living an amazing lifestyle by any means. It was grind time, and it was time to make something really happen in my life.”

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But as the familiar entrepreneurs’ narrative goes, eventually Matt hit a wall. He knew that things had to change otherwise he risked more than just the future of his business.

What most entrepreneurs come to realize at this point is that there must be another, healthier road to success.

So Matt jumped down a rabbit hole in search of answers. He eventually discovered 2X, and the rest is history.

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“I finally had the hard awakening that I needed, from a very bad experience to say that my life’s out of balance, and I need help. And that was when I had searched online and had found out about 2X, and it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”

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Matt has been an amazing client to work with. He had a great business, and did amazingly to get to the multi-6-figure stage he was at. His business just needed some adjustments to get to the next level, and it has been incredible to see his transformation.

Since working with 2X:

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Matt is ‘living the dream’ he envisioned when he started his business

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He now takes one or two days off per week

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He 3.6X’ed his business and has joined the 7-figure club

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PLUS has the foundation for much more continued growth ahead … without the constant hustle and grind

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So what’s the secret? How did Matt break free from the weeds and start living his dream?

Well dig in because we’ve put together his three biggest lessons from his 2X experience.

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Lesson #1 – Build A Team To Get Free From The Weeds

The growth of Matt’s business wouldn’t have been possible without building a team to help get him free.

He’s now operating as the true CEO his business needs with a team of 5 to support him.

This is an essential part of growth if you want to scale your business and remove yourself as the bottleneck.

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“It’s crazy man. These days I wake up and I think to myself, ‘Who is going to do what?’ to pull me out of the weeds and give me the scope of the bigger decisions for the business.

It feels pretty damn good to be able to wake up and do the things that I want to do, which is more the farming aspect of the business and not so much of the sales.”

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But growing a team comes with its challenges. You need a way to evaluate the performance of your team and give them clarity on what they need to do.

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“Having a scorecard to evaluate your employees is hugely important. Because that removes all emotion from the management position. You know, it’s clearly the numbers and there’s nothing to argue or get emotional about.”

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Lesson #2 – Systems Are Life If You Want To Get Free

If you want repeatability, consistency, and efficiency in your business then you need to implement systems.

They give everyone clarity on how things work in your business, and make every function easier to perform.

Here’s what Matt had to say about the impact systems have had for him:

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“I think that’s one of the most important things I’ve learned through 2X is systems. And how important it is to have the right technology to make your life easier.

When I first started working with 2X, I was still punching in all my wine club members’ numbers, their credit card numbers and charging them one at a time.

And you know the learning curve for a new software system that’s going to help you is going to be hard. And so you fight it. But you’re just not going to grow without it.

So to actually push me to pay more money for systems and operations that could make my life easier was the biggest difference maker ever.”

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Lesson #3 – Get A Coach To Show You The Fast Path To Success

As a business owner you can either figure things out for yourself through trial and error, or you can get someone who has achieved success to show you the fast path.

Matt comes from a professional sports background and made a very strong argument for why having a coach is essential.

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“I’ve been an athlete my whole life. And I’ve always had coaches. And it’s so funny how we get in the business world, and we act like we can do it on our own. Like somehow, this ego thing comes into play, like ‘I’m an adult, I can handle it, I can do it on my own’.

And it’s just dumb, in all honesty. Do you really want to learn through your own mistakes? Or do you want to hear someone talk about their mistakes so that you don’t have to make them?

You know, so it’s such a no-brainer. It’s funny when I look back on that initial $10,000 investment, and I thought it was such a big deal at the time to pay. And now I’m like, It’s a total joke. It’s nothing.

That was one of the most important investments I ever made. Not many people are willing to invest in themselves. But it’s critically important if you want to live the life of your dreams.

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There are some very wise words in these quotes from Matt.

And if you follow these steps they’ll make a big difference to not just your business but your personal life too.

And as entrepreneurs, we build businesses to make our personal lives better, right?

So I finished the interview by asking Matt if he had any advice for entrepreneurs that were in his position. What would he tell someone who was stuck in the day-to-day grind of their business? What’s the number one thing they could do to improve their lifestyle?

And Matt reiterated an earlier point,

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“First and foremost, you have to get a coach. It’s critical. You can take the long route if you want, or you can take the shorter route to actually get to where you want to be and truly live your dream.

But so many entrepreneurs, they go down the path of working towards a dream that I don’t think really ever happens for a lot of people that they end up becoming a slave to their own business, because they aren’t able to delegate and hire and create the systems necessary to free themselves so they can only focus on the stuff that they really want to do.

Or some people do it, but maybe it takes 20 years versus working with a business coach and doing it in three to four years.”

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And there you have it. If you’d like to take Matt’s advice and hire a coach to show you the fast path to success, we’re here to help.

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Founder, McKinney Family Vineyards

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Matt McKinney is the owner and winemaker of McKinney Family Vineyards, one of the fastest growing boutique wineries in Santa Barbara County, California. You can learn more about his unique wines and business at McKinneyFamilyVineyards.com.

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