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How to Grow a Consulting Business Through Fixing Underperforming Businesses, Crafting Equity Deals, and Reclaiming Time (feat. Casey Cavell)

Jakub
Jakub "Kuba" Grajcar is the Content Marketing Manager at ZenPilot. His obsessions include interviewing smart people; productivity methods; project management; and playing bass in a progressive metal band.

“In today's day and age people are scared to be measured. But your athletes, they love it because that's how they grew up. How do you know who are the best players on the team? You look at the box score, you look at the stat sheet. So I like bringing a sports mentality to everything I do.”

 

Casey Cavell is a serial entrepreneur. He’s built a $40,000,000 portfolio from a $9,000 investment by founding, buying, or investing in dozens of small businesses over the last two decades.

He also has personal experience with the kind of burnout that results from the business growing and relying too heavily on one person.

Which is why he now focuses on helping companies simplify, focus, and get the business owner out of the day-to-day.

This episode of Agency Journey will be perfect if you’re an entrepreneur thinking about investing in and increasing the value of other businesses; bringing in A-players; and mindfully delegating tasks until you’re left working on what you do best and love most.



Episode Insights:

💡 How Casey found underperforming businesses to acquire, and how he turned them into more systematic, process-driven organizations
💡 Buying businesses outright vs coming in as an investor
💡 Structuring equity/profit-sharing deals with clients—including earning trust with a 90-day initial engagement
💡 How to prevent burnout by delegating tasks, hiring A-players, and removing reliance on the owner
💡 The specific tasks entrepreneurs should delegate first
💡 Defining what you want your business to do for your life



Resourced Mentioned:

📚 Casey’s consulting business
📚 Casey’s LinkedIn
📚 The Dugout CEO podcast
📚 The Friday Drive newsletter
📚 Books: Good to Great; Rich Dad Poor Dad; The E-Myth

 

Check out the video recording of the conversation here:

 

 

On how to reclaim time as an entrepreneur

One of the first consistent warnings that I started hearing as I immersed myself in the world of agency owners is:

Work on the business, not in the business.

If you don't reserve time to do that, you're toast.

Crushed by the daily grind.

Casey knows what you need to do to reclaim your time as an entrepreneur.

He shared about his own transformation on the podcast:

"I think entrepreneurs are so busy doing, they're so busy working...

...they're not really busy thinking and improving on themselves.

Knowing who they are as people.

What's important to them.

What their skill sets are, what their superpowers are.

What they're not great at."

 

During his work becoming a better business owner, Casey asked directed questions at himself:

"What is my superpower in a company?

What is that thing that I should be spending 70, 80% of my time doing?

What are the things that I should not be doing?

And then how do I bring on other people to do those things that I shouldn't be doing?

But manage them in a way that I'm not suffocating.

It's hard because if you grow a business, you're eventually going to have to hire yourself out of jobs that you're currently doing.

And you're probably decent at those jobs or maybe good at those jobs.

There's maybe some jobs that you're not good at—and you want to hire yourself out of those right away.

But there's some that you're going to have to hire other people and trust they're going to do a good enough job."

 

The "good enough" part is especially key, as Casey further explained:

"For me it was realizing that, you know what, sometimes an 8 or a 9 out of 10 is good enough.

It's just good enough.

If I'm able to hire somebody else and they can do it 8 out of 10, okay, and that frees me up an extra 5 hours a week...

...I can go use that 5 hours a week to go do something else for my business that I:

1) might enjoy more and,

2) might add more value to my company.

So that was a transformation that I had to kind of work through."

 

 

On learning from others who walked down the same road

What's the fastest way to build and scale a kind of business that you have little experience with?

Casey shared a simple approach to this—which he is now sharing with his clients, too.

"A company that's under $5 million in revenue is probably my niche in the space.

They got a team of at least a few people.

And they have something that's great and they just want to make it better.

They're growth minded, they want to 10x where they are, they're open minded.

They realize that they haven't figured it out...

...and they want to find out and learn from other people who have already walked that road.

Because for me, that's what I did.

I think that's probably the number one reason I was successful:

When I would start in any business, I would find somebody else that built something very similar to what I wanted to do—and I just asked them how they did it.

And sometimes, they just told you.

And then I would take their model and I would improve upon it."

 

 

On the quick wins to free up your capacity as an entrepreneur

What are some quick wins that you can implement to free up your capacity as an entrepreneur?

Gray asked Casey about this, and the response was immediately applicable:

"I think it's first, figuring out the things that only you can do for your business and writing those down.

Then figure out all the other things that you're currently doing in your business that you know you can easily delegate to the team around you, and just make a list.

And it might not be as easy as:

'Hey, alright, there's 10 things right now that I do not need to be doing. I'm going to give those away.'

But say, alright, of those 10, what are the two?

What's the 20% of the 10 that I can delegate over time?

Because just blindly delegating and blindly trusting people that you're giving your work over to might actually leave you in a worse situation.

Because you don't teach that person or show [them].

All of a sudden you just give it to them...

...they don't know what to do or how to do it.

And then you're not even tracking the results and 90 days later, you're back picking that thing up.

So I think it's:

– number one, figuring out all the things that you're currently doing that you should delegate;

– figure out which of those things are the 20%;

– teach somebody else;

– monitor [them] to make sure they're doing them an 8 or a 9 out of 10.

And if you can do that every 90 days, great.

Because you're going to pick up new things as your company grows that you're like, 'I don't even know why I picked this up.'

And I think if you can have clear roles and responsibilities throughout the organization...

...figure out what those five things are that only you should be doing...

...and then literally block time on your calendar each week to spend your time on those things...

...I think you're in good shape.

And this is another one of those things where it's so easy to say it, but it's hard to do it."

That last line is crucial.

But in Casey's experience, if you can get this hard work done, that's one of the keys to winning back your time as an entrepreneur.

 

 

Get more agency insights

Remember to give the full episode a watch or listen to learn the most you can from it.

Don't forget to subscribe to Agency Journey on all your favorite podcast platforms to get more insights like this!

👉 Apple Podcasts

👉 Spotify

👉 Google Podcasts

You can also follow us on YouTube.

See you in the next episode!

 

P.S. Agency Journey is brought to you by ZenPilot. We've helped 2,700+ agencies streamline their operations with the power of ClickUp. Get our free 56-page ClickUp Guide here.

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