Join us today for the Interview with Scott Ritzheimer, author of The Founder's Evolution...

This is the interview I had with speaker, podcast host, and author Scott Ritzheimer.  

In today’s podcast episode I interview Scott Ritzheimer.  I ask Scott about his personal journey that led him to being focused on helping founders grow their businesses. Scott also shares how his faith intersects with his journey. I also ask Scott about what founders need to understand about their own growth.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1402: Interview with Scott Ritzheimer about the Founder's Journey

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1, 402 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:08] Scott Ritzheimer: Hi, I'm Scott Ritzheimer, and I want to challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling, having the ability to not just grow a business, but leave a legacy is key.

[00:00:27] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.

[00:00:43] And it's in those points of pain. It's one of those things you recognize this. There are events that we go through in life. That we would never wish for, right? If I had the opportunity to choose it again, I'd be like, oh yeah, I don't think I want that. But we would never give them up either. [00:01:00]

[00:01:01] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:01:06] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent. And your treasures for your true calling. And the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:37] In today's podcast episode, I interview Scott Ritzheimer. I asked Scott about his personal journey that led to him being focused on helping founders grow their businesses. Scott also shares how his faith intersects with his own journey. And I also asked Scott about what founders really need to understand about their own growth.

[00:01:56] I've got a new book coming out called Inspired [00:02:00] Living. Assembling the puzzle of your call by mastering your time, your talent, and your treasures. You can find out more about it and sign up for getting more information over at InspiredStewardship. com Inspired Living. That's InspiredStewardship. com Inspired Living.

[00:02:20] Scott has helped start nearly 20, 000 new businesses and non profits and with his business partner, started and led their multi million dollar businesses through an exceptional and extended growth phase over 10 years of double digit growth, all before he turned 35. He founded Scale Architects to help businesses across the country identify the right growth strategies and find the right guides to get them on the fast track to predictable success and stay there as long as possible.

[00:02:50] He now travels across the country to speaking to and consulting with founders, CEOs, and their teams to help them not only grow but scale their businesses and do it [00:03:00] all without the hustle. Welcome to the show, Scott!

[00:03:03] Scott Ritzheimer: Scott, thanks for having me here. I always chuckle a little bit when it's like Scott, it's, there's this episode of Seinfeld where I think it's Kramer.

[00:03:13] Is it the corner of first and first? He's this is the nexus of the universe. It's anytime we get to Scott's, I I get this flashback of Kramer and it's It always makes me chuckle. It, I always. Yeah, I've had it a couple of times now where I've had a Scott on the show and it's always at least I'll remember your name.

[00:03:31] Scott Maderer: Probably won't screw it up in the middle of the show. Not a guarantee of that, but I was

[00:03:36] Scott Ritzheimer: going to say you say that, but just in case anyone had any noble thoughts of me, which they probably don't, but a friend of my son's where they were playing soccer, they had played lacrosse together and they were playing soccer together.

[00:03:48] And the dad came up and recognized me. He's Hey Scott, how you doing? I'm like, Hey man like I just could not remember his name. And we had a 15 minute conversation. And I'm trying to remember his name, nothing, just [00:04:00] crickets. And so the end of the conversation, I'm like, remind me of your name again.

[00:04:02] He goes, it's Scott.

[00:04:06] Scott Maderer: At which point you went, and I feel like, yeah that's a little different because I could actually see your name in front of me on paper and everything too. So that hopefully that'll keep us from messing it up too bad. I shared a little bit in the intro.

[00:04:26] about some of the things that you've done, your journey, how you're focused on founders and success. But I always tell people, I always feel like intros and bios and all of those things are like Instagram pictures of our life. We always make sure the dirty laundry is not the background of the picture and we frame everything just right.

[00:04:43] So it looks perfect. Can you share a little bit behind that, that we share in the intro what's happened in your life? What brought you to this point? What was the journey that you were on that, that caused you to be where you are today?

[00:04:59] Scott Ritzheimer: Yeah, it is. It's [00:05:00] the highlight reel, isn't it? And and there's a place for highlight reels, but there's also a place for what is going on behind the scenes.

[00:05:07] And it's actually something that as I was processing my own journey and as I was looking over the journey of several numbers of clients and other founders and leaders over time, I realized there's a significant chunk of that journey. That's not a whole lot of fun, right? The times that A lot of the times that I remember the most poignantly were the ones that were really hard, curled up in a fetal position on the stairs crying, right?

[00:05:36] Because of a problem with my co founder or just the feeling of being stuck. So if we rewind it to the beginning, one of the most helpful, but most difficult times in my kind of career in the business and frankly, in the nonprofit world as well. was the very first year and a half, two years of [00:06:00] my career.

[00:06:01] And what had happened was, I was in ministry at the time and I was looking for basically a part time job to pay the bills while I was in ministry because I didn't have a ministry income. And and so got a job with a gentleman who again became my business partner in later point. But he brought me on just to work in like the mail room, if you will, right?

[00:06:22] I was answering support emails and and helping with tech support, things like that. I was definitely the low man on the pole totem pole. About two months later, he sold the business. He did an owner finance deal, sold the business and it was taken over by another group that did very similar work out of Nashville.

[00:06:41] And. The new owners wonderful people men of faith just just a really special commitment to making sure that everyone succeeded. and It failed miserably. It just failed miserably. So I watched over about 18 months [00:07:00] the company that I worked for be systematically, but unintentionally destroyed.

[00:07:04] And I watched it happen when there was no bad guy, right? There was no villain. There was no like, there's no, everyone wanted this thing to work. The owner wanted it to work because he had owner financed the deal. The new owners wanted it to work because they bought it and they they obviously wanted a return on it.

[00:07:20] Everyone wanted it to work and still, for some reason it didn't. And just watching it. A year and a half is long and short at the same time, but just watching it die day after day. We went from 13 employees down to two and a half working from home. We went from having an office and just the dynamic interactions of that to working from home, not because we wanted to, but because we had to.

[00:07:43] And. Even though it wasn't the heart and soul for me, I was still in my ministry of my business. I it hits, it hurts, right? A lot of times as founders, when we go through difficult times, we recognize that it's challenging for [00:08:00] us. What we don't realize is the impact it has on folks throughout the organization, right?

[00:08:04] I was the lowest man on the totem pole and I actually had. stomach ulcers because of what was going on. And, and so I learned more in a year and a half than I did when I actually went back to business school about a decade later. And it's in those points of pain. It's one of those things. And you recognize this, there are events that we go through in life that we would never wish for, right?

[00:08:27] If I had the opportunity to choose it again, I'd be like, Oh yeah, I don't think I want that, but we would never give them up either. , what I gained and what I learned from that, so much of what made us a success the second time around, that overnight success we, we built a company to $10 million in in a.

[00:08:51] In a space where you don't do that. And in a relatively short period of time, it wasn't because we knew what to do, it wasn't because it was all rosy, it was because we saw [00:09:00] the thing just fall apart. And it's moments like that, it's seasons like that, that when you're right in the middle of it, it's like, what is going on?

[00:09:09] Like, how could this ever turn around? The really cool thing about the Lord is He can turn anything around that He wants to. and Even when the end of that, you stop the clock, and this was August of 2000 August of 2008. You stop the clock there and it looks like just catastrophic failure.

[00:09:31] Their existing business was hurting our business was about to shut down. A founder was trying to scramble and figure out what he was going to do because payments weren't coming because the thing wasn't working and just you stop the clock there, right? And it's just miserable all around.

[00:09:48] Fortunately, the Lord can take anything and he can turn it around. He can take anything, even when it dies and build something beautiful out of the ashes.

[00:09:57] Scott Maderer: Yeah. One of the things that I try to [00:10:00] remind people all of the time and remind myself, quite frankly, is, our life is a film strip, not a photograph.

[00:10:07] And any snapshot of time, whether it's at the peak of the mountain and everything is rosy or whether it's down in the valley and everything is dark. Yeah. Those are just photographs. That's a moment in time. your Life continues to move. if you do and now that doesn't mean it always gets better right away, but it means that there's another moment coming down the road.

[00:10:30] There's a different thing coming down the road. And of course that's both exciting and terrifying all at the same time. And when you're in the business world a founder or owner, or even just somebody who's in leadership, in a company, I think it hits us in a different way because a lot of times there, it's not only you.

[00:10:51] Now you have other people who are on the line. as well. And it starts to fall on our shoulders. [00:11:00] Can you talk a little bit about, that feeling, and you observed it from the outside that time, and then you've lived through it yourself as well, of being that founder, being that leader, that person that steps forward and says, I'm going to do this thing.

[00:11:15] And that weight that, that comes

[00:11:17] Scott Ritzheimer: from that. Yeah, it's really interesting because like you say I have this from really three distinct vantage points So the first time outsider, right? just Watching it happen from the front line and really not being able to do a whole lot about it.

[00:11:34] that Was pretty tough second time around because of the nature of how we co founded, we relaunched this thing. It was still his business. And I was a, an owner with him and just with the nature of that, he was CEO, I wouldn't have really called myself a founder. I didn't really recognize that. I was just like, we didn't have time to think about that, [00:12:00] just get it done. And so there were a number of things and challenges that there that happened, that a lot of founders do. But then the third piece of it was when I stepped into the CEO role.

[00:12:11] when he stepped Out of that role and pursuing other interests, I stepped into that. Wow. it was, it Was such a marked change and I still remember like I used to be one of the team, right? And even though I still had relationships with them, many of them were some of my best friends There was this difference and this distance between me and my team inside the organization and it put a lot of pressure on me to at first, just to I feel like I had to figure everything out, right?

[00:12:42] there's Something more that was needed of me. Some kind of, I had to get my magic eight ball a little shinier, a little. And then the second thing that it did was it drove me to start looking out outside for help, right? And before that we had really been like, if we can't figure it out, nobody can.

[00:12:59] It [00:13:00] was this idea of we had created an industry. There wasn't like a whole, there wasn't an industry association that mattered to us. There weren't other people that had been down that road. in our specific industry. And so I interpreted that in my young, dumb mind as no one's ever done any of this before.

[00:13:18] And so we just ran by ourself. And, as I stepped in, we started to hit some pretty challenging times just based on the stage we were in as an organization. And I had no context for it. and I felt like if we had looked back, it's I know how to get to where we are right now.

[00:13:37] I know What we did to get here. I know it didn't work. I know the map behind me. I have no idea what's in front of me, and I have stepped in it enough times to know that I don't know what's in front of me, and that's there's some excitement to that. If I'm honest, there's some there's a piece of the entrepreneurial heart that loves that Kind of map making walking off the [00:14:00] face of the map, but it gets old it gets really old Especially when it stops working right, especially when your feet keep getting wet.

[00:14:08] that's Just it's not that fun. And so What was happening is I kept, we kept going down, this strategy or this way of managing my managers or this is whatever it was. and they just Didn't work right. Even the ones that worked in the past didn't work very well. So we hired a couple of coaches and consultants in different areas of expertise to come in and help us out from marketing to recruiting to just generic coaching.

[00:14:38] And to be frank with you, I lost more money. following the advice of well intentioned coaches, wonderful people, right? intentioned Coaches. Then I lost in the whole rest of my time as, as a founder, they told us to do some things. They confirmed some of the things that we wanted to do and sent us even faster in the wrong direction.

[00:14:59] And I'm not [00:15:00] talking about the fees of coaches. I'm talking about like the 800, 000 of sunk costs because we followed a strategy that just was doomed from the outset. And. And when that happens, right? and a lot of Founders will relate to this because I've found, now that a lot of founders have actually had this experience where they've had a bad coach.

[00:15:18] they've Had that desperation of, we need help. They've gotten help and it's not worked. And then what's left, and this was really the hardest point for me as a founder, my hardest point in my business career was when I couldn't figure it out, when the coaches that I hired, who's supposed to be really good at this, couldn't figure it out.

[00:15:41] What's left, right? I've never felt more isolated, than I did in those moments and we were just sitting there scratching our heads, what do we do now? And and Fast forward a little bit, a [00:16:00] happenstance. I came Across two gentlemen who have absolutely transformed both my business and my life.

[00:16:05] The first one, was a friend introduced me to a gentleman nearby and he was actually episode four, I think on my podcast. His name is Robert Mallon and he's just a. the quintessential coach. he's And I remember the first time I sat down with him, I told him, I said, Hey, I know what's behind me.

[00:16:21] I don't know what's in front of me. And I need someone who can help me do that. And he's I think I can do that for you. And he did right. He helped me to start to see and showed me what a good coach looks like. Someone who wasn't trying to push an agenda, someone who wasn't trying to cram me into a tool.

[00:16:38] right? But someone who could hear where I was and get me thinking differently about where I was going and how I was doing it. And then the second one, was I was listening to a podcast like this is why I love doing podcasts because I podcast genuinely changed my life. and I heard a guy With a funny Irish accent who's now a dear friend and colleague of mine, but he was talking about [00:17:00] this idea of business life cycle stages.

[00:17:03] when I say That phrase, I almost fall asleep right now, but it actually as he was talking about these stages, he just has a way of articulating it. That was like, is there a camera in my office? Like, how does he Know all of this about my business? and what I Realized was, the reason why some of these things that had worked so well in the past weren't working anymore is because our business had changed stages and we had to change as a leadership team.

[00:17:34] and Much like the founder's journey that I help folks through now, there was nothing to demarcate that had happened. It wasn't like we hit a Certain dollar amount. And so we knew it was going to change, or we hit a certain head count, or it's just this thing that kind of creeps up on you behind the scenes.

[00:17:50] And if you don't know what to look for, you don't see it coming. And once I understood that the things that we were doing weren't working because of the stage we were in, I [00:18:00] did the poor man's implementation. If you will hit in the back of his book, he has, if you're in this stage, you want to get to this stage.

[00:18:05] Here's how to do it. And we took that seriously. We walked through there are five, simple but hard to do steps, simple to understand, hard to execute. and We just we committed to walking through those as a team. we Tripled our bottom line in a single year. it grew Again by five percentage points the next year.

[00:18:23] And again, by five percentage points after that, while we were growing our top line as well. So it's just this, just as true dramatic transformation. And I finally found that's what coaching and consulting are supposed to do. And it was transformative for me. Yeah. A couple

[00:18:40] Scott Maderer: of things that jumped out to me as you were sharing that is one is actually, and you touched on it right there at the end, there's a difference between a coach and a consultant.

[00:18:50] And it's not that one is good and the other is bad. That's to be clear. It's they're both valuable. They're just different, and often a consultant will call themselves a [00:19:00] coach, but they're actually not, they're a consultant and it's that mislabeling of it that can cause the confusion and the problem, I think for a lot of us, because, my definition and it's an oversimplification is all definitions are, is consultants.

[00:19:15] Come in when you have a very specific problem and they have a very specific solution, and their job is to help you implement their solution to your problem which is great, as long as you can clearly articulate what your problem is and their solution truly matches up with your problem. it's very Useful, if I need to run Facebook ads.

[00:19:37] I don't need somebody asking me about the philosophy of Facebook ads. I just need someone to help me implement Facebook ads. That's what I want to do. But where coach, like you said, helps you change the mindset or the way you're thinking about it, or the way you're viewing things, helps uncover blind spots, often by Not giving you a solution, but rather [00:20:00] working with you and holding you accountable to doing the things that like you said are often simple, at least I can explain it to you simply, but now to implement it is actually very difficult and you need that accountability and you need that time and you need that space to be able to do that.

[00:20:20] Yeah. And again, both valuable, both good. So don't, please don't at me if you're one or the other.

[00:20:27] Scott Ritzheimer: And I couldn't agree more. I think each modality has, has a greater impact at different stages. I think the number one thing, this is what we did wrong. We had not built the skill of hiring the right people.

[00:20:42] We had built the skill for hiring the right employees, but we didn't translate that in our mind to understanding what we needed there and one of the things that I talk with folks a lot actually talk with a lot of coaches when I'm working with them Is you've got to recognize if you're a consultant you have to recognize what stage your consulting [00:21:00] actually does its best work in, right?

[00:21:02] Because what happens, what we did was we were taking the strategies of stage two, which we call fun, and we were trying to do more and more of them in stage three, but it doesn't work anymore. And when it didn't work, we figured, Oh, we must just need to upgrade our strategies from stage two to be better versions of those same strategies.

[00:21:21] Let's go hire people who can help us do that, right? and We do this all the time as founders is we say we want to get to the next level. But When you look at how we try to do that, it's by doing more of what it is at this level. Does that make sense? We start bumping up against these barriers, we intuitively recognize it, but all we know to do is just take the hammer we've been using for the last and just keep beating it, instead of picking up a saw.

[00:21:50] Exactly. And so the thing that you have to do You have to recognize that yes, the coach has a role in this. The [00:22:00] consultant has a role in this. They need to make sure that they're finding the right people at the right stage, but as founders, we also have a responsibility of making sure that we're hiring the people that will get us to where we need to go.

[00:22:11] As opposed to just reinforcing what we've done and what you're already done.

[00:22:16] Scott Maderer: Yeah. Yeah. I agree wholeheartedly. and we'll talk a Little bit more about the founder's journey and what y'all do in a moment, but I want to circle back and touch on something earlier. You mentioned a couple of times faith and God can take things and turn them around and that sort of thing.

[00:22:32] Can you talk a little bit about how your faith journey Because this is what I like to highlight for people, how your faith journey intersected with your business journey and your life journey, because there's usually a feedback between those. It's not always obvious.

[00:22:48] Scott Ritzheimer: Yeah. I have Had to, it was forced on me because, the name of this company was start church.

[00:22:54] And so a lot of the organizations we started early on where churches, then a lot of [00:23:00] them were ministries. Then a lot of them were nonprofits and then a lot of them were businesses. It was the progression. But because of that, there was a faith component to how we did business and who we did business for, we had to deal with the.

[00:23:12] intersection of faith and work. at least I Did basically my entire career. It was just the environment that we were in. And you get all kinds of stuff, right? You see the underbelly of how churches function. They are people too. Pastors are people too. Churches are organizations. They're just as screwed up as yours and mine.

[00:23:31] Yeah, you see a lot of that and you just gotta, you have to wrestle through that. Like when you see a pastor, like when you have a pastor cuss you out, like that's a new experience, and is That appropriate? No. Is that a biblical model of pastoring? No, but they're.

[00:23:49] people, right? and we were Dealing with them oftentimes in very difficult circumstances. So learning to have grace on that. And one of the things that forces [00:24:00] you to do is recognize that they're not independent worlds. We want to do that. We want to separate our pastors from us. We want to put them in this separate world so that we can hold them to a different standard than we hold ourself.

[00:24:13] And we want To go do our work and not have the pastor or God, Interfere with that. And then we want to come and give a piece of it back to him. And it just doesn't work this way. and even in That environment, I was still getting it really wrong.

[00:24:29] So a friend of mine, he called me out on this. It was like, He's actually not even a friend. It was the first time we ever sat down and had, we had a cup of coffee together and he totally calls me out. Yeah. And he was right. And he said, he drew two boxes, one inside of the other, a teeny little box and then a big box.

[00:24:45] and he said Listening to you, I hear you saying, this is my life. the big box, and this is God right in the center of it. And what I think God wants you to do is say, this is my life, [00:25:00] this little box in the center of it, and this is God, the whole of the outside. And he nailed me, just absolutely nailed me.

[00:25:06] and That paradigm shift For me, everything that I do is in him, right? There's nothing that is separate from him, in terms of whether he has a will and a plan for it. I Can separate myself from, I can go out of that. I can push Against it. We've seen those stories in the Bible, but, yeah so all that to say that was a big paradigm shift for me.

[00:25:29] The second aspect of it is, this idea of, are you a Christian company or are you a company of Christians? Are you a Christian company or are you a Company of Christians? These are two very different things. And, and I see this a lot in businesses. They're just wrestling with attention. Why are we here right?

[00:25:49] are We here to produce great goods to produce income for our folks and do it? are we here To be a Christian organization. Now, [00:26:00] no organizations are going to go to heaven, right? that doesn't work That way. So there's no such thing as a Christian company, but you have to decide and neither one is right or wrong.

[00:26:09] Both can be abused, right? If you're going to go in and you're going to start your meetings with prayer and then you're going to ream out people. During the rest of the meeting. It doesn't work, right? There's there's something you have to deal with there.

[00:26:22] Scott Maderer: It's usually, like I always tell, and this happens in churches a lot, where they use prayer as, as basically, holy gossip it's like during the prayer, it's and help Susie with

[00:26:33] Scott Ritzheimer: the

[00:26:33] Scott Maderer: affair that she's having.

[00:26:35] it's wait, what? It's No. That's not what prayer is for. So let's use it the right way.

[00:26:41] Scott Ritzheimer: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And now I think the hardest part of this, if we boil it down just personally, what it looks like, and this ties into what we were talking about earlier, when you go through these seasons of difficulty in particular, right?

[00:26:54] the Gaps in between the 40 years of Moses in the desert, right? The, [00:27:00] that space in between where it's, this is what God has promised me, right? This is what he's called me to do. And this over here is my current reality, and they don't match. What makes that so hard? in the business world is that you.

[00:27:15] As a business you have to do something, right? you can't Just sit and wait. You have to take a step forward. You have to move. and so how Do you move without the clarity of what the Lord's called you to do? Because He doesn't always give it. At least that's been my experience, right?

[00:27:33] Sometimes He calls us to just make a choice. and do it. So you have to maintain this posture of open hands, right? Lord, do whatever you want with it. If you don't want this business to exist tomorrow, then it doesn't exist tomorrow. It's yours. and then the flip side of it and Where I've been on multiple occasions, I don't want this business to exist.

[00:27:53] I'm done. I'm out. But you do. And so I'm going to, I'm going to show up again tomorrow. I'm going to do it again. And again, [00:28:00] just continuing to step forward, trusting our values, trusting our relationship with the Lord, trusting in His goodness and His plan. And knowing that, like you said, it's not, it doesn't, every snapshot's not perfect, but the movie, right?

[00:28:14] The ending of the story, which may happen on this side of eternity, and it may not, right? and more oftentimes it does not But it's going to be beautiful.

[00:28:24] Scott Maderer: and that we don't always See, even in the moment, like you mentioned earlier, going through the hard moments of the closing and yet out of that came something good that you would never have even predicted was the good that would come from it, you're not wise enough or see enough to come out of it and go, Oh, that's what I'm learning from this until, 10 years later, you look back on it and go, Oh, that's what I learned from that.

[00:28:52] That was a blessing. I just didn't see it at the time. So talk a little bit about why you talk to founders. Why [00:29:00] is that the area of focus for

[00:29:02] Scott Ritzheimer: you? Yeah. Founders, such a cool group of people. One, they're just really dynamic, right? I love the At least 50 percent ADHD quality of any, it just, it's we're just all over the map.

[00:29:15] I love it. I love the dynamism of it. and I love the impact that founders make, right? That there are very few groups that, that one can make an immediate impact And change the world right at the same time. It's just it's a really special special thing. A lot of times with founders, their organizations, even if they're large, are still dynamic and nimble enough that they that you can go in and you can actually impact change like something actually moves.

[00:29:45] Whereas, more mature organizations there may be you know, 50, 000 people in the company may feel like we can impact 50, 000 people. It's going to take you about 50, 000 years to get through all the layers of bureaucracy to get there. So I just personally, I love that aspect of it.[00:30:00] professionally One of the reasons why is, as founders, these stages, this journey that we go through is largely hidden, right?

[00:30:12] And what do I mean by that? So let's take the leadership journey of a typical employee. you start the front line Right out of college, you do a good job, they promote you to manager, now whether they should have done that or not is another conversation, but you get a new title, and with it, there's a new set of challenges, right?

[00:30:31] I have to start to learn to have success through others, I gotta learn to manage others. Managing yourself and managing others are two different skill sets. Your own productivity is no precursor to being able to make others productive. And, but it makes sense. It's still hard, right? Lots of people struggle with this transition.

[00:30:49] Lots of them don't even make it, but they have the advantage of, of a position change to at least say that something has changed, right? They have the advantage of a title change. They [00:31:00] hopefully they got the advantage of a little bit of pay to go with it. You take that same transition happens for founders, right?

[00:31:06] You start off as solopreneur, you start to have success. You, I got more work than I can do. I'm going to bring in a couple of employees and somewhere around the point where you've hired a handful of employees. the game shifts and Your primary function isn't just doing your job anymore, right? Your primary function is almost equally split between doing your job, which is harder now because you've got to sell enough to feed everybody.

[00:31:33] and making sure everyone else does their job. And it's a different skill set. But again, does your title change? Have you ever seen a founder say, I went from solopreneur to manager, right? and celebrate it? Never, right? Have you ever seen a founder who started their company to become a manager of a handful of people?

[00:31:53] No, right? it's just, it's not what we're trying To do. It's not what we're meant to do. And you have someone who's just not [00:32:00] naturally wired or set. seeking a management role who by virtue of their success as that solopreneur, their success early on has been thrust into that role, but there's nothing to indicate that it has changed.

[00:32:14] And so it, it makes it really hard to recognize, ah, I do need this new skillset right now, or even more importantly, I do have to let go of this skillset that I used to use,

[00:32:27] Scott Maderer: or I have to stop spending so much time. on A because now B is important. and sometimes that's Really hard because A turns out to be something that they really, it's the thing that they love so much that got them into it in the first place.

[00:32:40] and now they feel like they're losing Their, losing their love. To, to grow the thing that they love which is a really weird,

[00:32:49] Scott Ritzheimer: It's so true. It's the emotional Side of something I call the star player paradox, which is basically that the more success you have as a star player, the more success you have, [00:33:00] let's say you're a consultant, the better you are as a consultant.

[00:33:02] Let's say you cut hair. The better you are at cutting hair, the harder it is to have success through others cutting hair. Because You're so adept at it that one, the gap between you and everybody else can feel insurmountable, right? How many founders have you talked to? No one else can do it like I can.

[00:33:22] I'm

[00:33:22] Scott Maderer: the only one. I can't delegate that. I'm the only one that can do that.

[00:33:25] Scott Ritzheimer: And to an extent, maybe they can't do it the way that you can. Now, that's not nearly half as true as we think it is, but the gap feels really big. and your Autopilot is going to drive you back to jumping in and just doing it, right?

[00:33:40] and this happens at every single Stage, but it's particularly prominent in that shift from what I call stage two, which is, the startup entrepreneur or the star player on the field to stage three, which is the captain on the field. You got to step into that captain's role where it's not just about you doing your job.

[00:33:59] [00:34:00] In fact, it becomes mostly about orienting everyone else to do it, but you still have your job to do, right? That's what makes it so hard. That's why a lot of leadership books in the stage are not helpful because they're written for folks who are further down, down their journey and they have time, right?

[00:34:18] And they have a bigger return on coaching, if you will. and. And so There's just this messy space in between and a whole lot of founders get stuck there. And one of the things I almost, it's not even a joke is this is real, you're in this stage. If you wake up, more often than not wondering what's wrong with these people, right?

[00:34:40] and it's just. Cause again, other folks are not founders. If they would be, if they were, they'd go and do it. So they're not going to be like, you're not going to think like you, they're not gonna make decisions like you. They're not going to show ownership like you do, but how do you manage them effectively?

[00:34:54] And, and that's hard to do when you think I'll just go do it myself.

[00:34:59] Scott Maderer: Yeah. [00:35:00] I, and I've, I Work with small business owners a lot and it's always interesting cause I see the same thing in that. And like you said, it's not necessarily a particular, Oh, you may, you went from making 500 000 to making 800, 000.

[00:35:15] So you're going to hit this challenge, but it's more of a, at some point you start reaching this level where it's okay, now you've got a new set of problems to solve. So you're in a different place. you've got to, what Got you there won't get you to the next place. you need a new map.

[00:35:31] You need a new set of Skills. You need something else to be able to inject

[00:35:36] Scott Ritzheimer: or else you'll fall out or die. Yeah. And Marshall Goldsmith did wonders for all of us in helping, like he got that phrase out there. and It's great. And it's true, but. When does it become true, right? And what are the things that did work, right?

[00:35:54] And which are the ones that aren't going to work anymore? And again, if you're an [00:36:00] employee, it's easy to say, okay, hey, I've got a new title. Let's stop and think, what are the things that got me here? Now, what are the things that are going to get me there? But for founders, When do you do that?

[00:36:11] It's a completely different thing. Yeah. and the other part of it is It's not always true, right? If you're in a stage or the beginning part of that stage, then continuing to do what you've started doing for that stage, you can actually continue to grow that way. You don't have to change tactics until it's time to change tactics.

[00:36:29] And so the heart and passion and drive and what I hope folks get out of the book, cause I outlined all seven of these stages that we go through is. to give everyone a simple map, the whole map, so that you can look at the map and say, Hey, I'm here, right? There's a story I like to tell. I was, seven, eight, nine.

[00:36:48] I don't know. I was young kid back when we used to have malls that people would go to, that were inside, not outside. For some reason all the malls are outside now, but I was in one of these malls I want to go to [00:37:00] Foot Locker. My mom wants to go to JCPenney, so we make this grand bargain I'll go to Foot Locker, and then I'll go meet her at JCPenney.

[00:37:05] So all is right in the world I go into Foot Locker. I'm checking out some Jordans or something. I don't know what I was looking at, but Eventually, you know I've seen enough of shoes. It's not the most exciting store It's better than JCPenney, and I realize hey It's time to go to JCPenney and this dread comes over me because I realized I have no idea where JCPenney is just none whatsoever.

[00:37:25] My mom probably told me and I wasn't listening, but I have no idea where to go. And I'm just looking out around and you remember those big kind of triangle pylons, that you used to have. And on one side of those there was what? It was a map, right? And I remember looking up at that map and I remember the sense of relief when I finally found that little dot, that little marker on the map that says, you are right before you can ever start to think about how you're going to get to where you're going.

[00:37:52] You have to know where you are right now. and that's how you can Determine, is what [00:38:00] got me here going to get me there, or is it time to change? And if it's time to change, you can know specifically how to change once you know where you are.

[00:38:10] Scott Maderer: and again, to the point, because You hear a lot out there that says, when you move from 500, 000 in revenue to 1 million in revenue, you've hit a transition point.

[00:38:21] And it's yeah, that, that's it's not like that for every industry and every situation for, you hear these rules of thumb and they came about because, there's some truth to them because it's happened that way sometimes, but, it also depends on what kind of business you're building and, all of these other factors that I think a lot of times we don't Pay attention to we're looking at just something like revenue as the one indicator that I need to go to a new stage.

[00:38:51] And it's no, it's not that simple.

[00:38:54] Scott Ritzheimer: No, revenue is a terrible indicator. And I'll go in and work with companies that are doing a hundred million dollars and we will have to [00:39:00] solve the same problems of other companies that are doing it. deal that are making 10 million. and I understand why it's there.

[00:39:05] It's an Easy number to grab hold of. It's a loose proxy to some of the challenges that we're going to have. but it's why we go To so much extent using less as book, predictable success, or my book, the founder's evolution. We'll, we give folks the ability to diagnose what stage they're in organizationally and individually.

[00:39:26] without, having to rely on numbers that change all the time. And, and so it's just, again, what we're going for in our work is helping teams and individuals to understand this is where we are right now. Once you know where you are, you can then start to trace the path between where you are and where you want to go.

[00:39:47] Scott Maderer: and I think you just dropped an important Nugget that I think gets lost a lot of times, which was, Not only where is your company, but where are as the leader, as the founder, as the [00:40:00] person that's putting things, we, John Maxwell puts it as, you're the lid of your business at some point your growth limits the growth of your business.

[00:40:11] And you need to be aware of that and figure out what can I do to, build a team to do other things that create remove some of those limitations and what does that look like? And how do I do it? What skills? Whole nother set of

[00:40:24] Scott Ritzheimer: questions open up. Absolutely. Absolutely. and that was what I found is I'm working through companies.

[00:40:29] I'm helping them to transition the organization from one stage to another. I'm seeing some do the work and move. and some do the work and not move as well. How do you explain that? what's going on here. And What I found the factor was has founder, Or the owner or the cEO or the, the senior pastor, we call most senior executive Typically for me, it's founders and have they made the changes that [00:41:00] they need to make personally. because if you don't, the rest is window dressing. and it's just going To fall Apart or at worst, if you, if everyone else changes and you don't, you're setting the thing up to cave in on itself.

[00:41:14] And that's the fastest way to lose some of your best leaders.

[00:41:17] Scott Maderer: Yeah. And it's the, the paradox of being killed by success. and I'm sure you've seen that happen as Well. I've seen, yes, a company Can close down because of quote failures, but I've also seen companies close down because of success, which is ironic, and strange but it does.

[00:41:39] Yeah. So if you had to share a nugget with the founders out there that are listening, something that they should do top tip, what would you put as the number one thing that founders really need to. to do, to hear, to understand, to move

[00:41:55] Scott Ritzheimer: forward. And I, we've said this before, but just to make sure that it's [00:42:00] super clear, I, there, I don't think there is one thing, right?

[00:42:04] The only one thing is that there are at least seven things, and you've got to know which one to pick. it's a little bit of By, by believing that there are different stages, what I'm saying is, at each one of those stages, there is a one thing that is most important for that stage.

[00:42:20] knowing that, then The one thing becomes, figure out what stage you're in, so that you can figure out, out what the one thing for that stage is. Once you know what stage you're in, once you know what you need to do, you may find it's not actually as hard as you think, right? Or you may find it's a lot harder than I think.

[00:42:38] It looks nothing like what it has in the past. and from there, you can say to A coach, Hey, I'm trying to get from here to here. Can you help me on that stage of the journey? And you're far more likely to get far better expertise. You're far more likely to find the right coach for the right time than you are by just saying, Hey, I, I need to be [00:43:00] better, right?

[00:43:00] what does that mean? Or I need to get to the next Level. what does that really mean as well?

[00:43:06] Scott Maderer: So I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests. But before I do that, is there anything else about your book, The Founder's Evolution or the work that you do that you'd like to share with the listener?

[00:43:17] Scott Ritzheimer: Yeah, there's one thing. and this really is, it Really is the most important thing. And that is once you've found what stage you're in, two things happen. One, you get the clarity of this is what I need to do in this stage. But with that clarity, comes the clarity of where you aren't right now. And so what happens Is, it's just foggy, we're just fumbling around and it's just hard to see. once we get that fog out of the Way and you see the next mountain, one of the temptations is to put our joy on hold. until we reach that next mountain.

[00:43:55] And so the most important thing, the thing that I want nobody to [00:44:00] miss is that joy is not found in the destination. There is no stage that you're going to Reach that is going to, that's got the corner on joy, right? That there is no one stage because every stage has something behind it And if you wait until the very last stage then you've lost pretty much your whole life Yeah, and you put joy on hold so joy is not found in a destination it's found in the journey and that sounds wonderful, but it's like It's really hard right now.

[00:44:28] And even in the hard seasons, there is something very specific. This isn't a soft thing. There's something very specific that can bring you joy in this stage that if I ask you three, four, five stages later. I wish I had that again. or I wish I had known what I Had Then. and so in the book, one of the things that I Do is highlight at the end of every chapter I end with, here's the specific thing that you can take joy in right now.

[00:44:58] Do not miss [00:45:00] this. I've seen so many people create so much success and some of them do it really fast. Some of them do it really slow. And all of them, when they have a moment of sobriety sitting on the other side of success, they realize looks just like it used to, right? Organizations don't get better.

[00:45:18] They get bigger, right? and so what we want to do is say, Hey I'm going, I know what stage I'm in. Maybe I don't want to be in this stage for long, but I'm not going to sacrifice my joy in the process. Yeah,

[00:45:30] Scott Maderer: absolutely. So I run things through the brand inspired stewardship and stewardship is one of those things that like leadership and other words I've discovered over the years, a lot of people hear it and hear different things when they hear it.

[00:45:44] So when you think of the word stewardship, what does it mean to you?

[00:45:48] Scott Ritzheimer: Yeah. Stewardship for me is that, the parable of the talents is the best one. It's that, Hey, whatever we're given. Our job is to put it to the best use that we [00:46:00] possibly can. my job is to not be given something else Right?

[00:46:03] My job is to not, be given more or less. My job is to take what I've been given and do the absolute best that I can with it unto the Lord, right? and the second piece of it is, this is all his, it's not Mine. Now, he takes great care of us, he takes joy in our joy. And so this isn't like a rote, you have to be miserable unto the Lord.

[00:46:23] There's joy and fullness of joy in his presence. I would say the second part of stewardship Is this thing. This story is not about me. This company is not about me. My bank account's not about me. It's about what he's doing in my life.

[00:46:38] Scott Maderer: So this is my favorite question that I like to ask everybody. imagine for a moment that I invented this Magic machine and with the machine, I could pluck you from where you are today and transport you into the future.

[00:46:49] Maybe 150, 250 years. But through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire life and see all of the connections, all of the ripples, all of the impacts you've left behind. [00:47:00] What impact do you hope you've left in the world?

[00:47:02] Scott Ritzheimer: I want to restore the nobility Of work. I think people my age and younger tend to have a very negative view of work, right?

[00:47:10] It's a necessary evil. And for me, and I think when you look at a biblical definition of work, it, there is a nobility. in our effort. There's a nobility In, in, in doing hard things and accomplishing them. and there's a calling in that. And So I'd love to see that my work in some small little way helps more people to recognize the nobility of even the most mundane roles.

[00:47:35] and finding the Lord In their work, as opposed to waiting for their work to be done to talk to Him.

[00:47:43] Scott Maderer: So what's coming next? What's on the roadmap as you kick off

[00:47:46] Scott Ritzheimer: this year? This year, is all about me continuing to embrace. I'm in stage two, that startup entrepreneur. We've got a couple of people around me and I'm intentionally staying in that mode as long as I can.

[00:47:57] a big part of what we're doing this Year is [00:48:00] promoting the book, just came out in the fall of last year. and so we're just trying to Help more folks find it building more resources around it. We've got an assessment that's coming out. We've got, some training that's coming.

[00:48:13] So really excited. my group of coaches Are running with it as well. And it's just neat to see it out in the world finally. So we want to take that as deep and far as we can and really impact the lives, both of the founders that we serve and the organizations that they lead. So you

[00:48:28] Scott Maderer: can find out more about Scott Ritzheimer and Scale Architects, his business over at.

[00:48:35] scalearchitects. com. Of course, I'll have a link to that over in the show note as well. Scott, is there anything else you'd like to share

[00:48:41] Scott Ritzheimer: with the listener? Absolutely. the one thing that I would tell anyone, I was like, where Do I go next? I either, I gotta know what stage I'm in, or I just feel stuck.

[00:48:51] I don't even know how to think about these stages. we made the book free for everyone. And so at scalearchitects. com, you can either click. the [00:49:00] free book, or there'll be a little pop up that comes up Anything that you want, but go to that website, click on the free book and get a copy of it today.

[00:49:06] The big promise behind the book, just real nuts and bolts, practical way. If you read the book, you find out what stage you're in and you go and look at the tasks that you have coming up in the next two weeks, you'll be able to save about 10 hours. on things that you don't need to be Doing anymore in the stage that you're in.

[00:49:23] So you spend about, it's a very short read. and so you spend an hour or so on the Read. It'll save you 10 hours in the first week as a 10 X return on time. It's hard to get anywhere else. So get at scalearchitects. com. and, and yeah, I would love to hear your Feedback on it. So once you read it, send me an email.

[00:49:41] I'd love to hear from you.

[00:49:43] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much.

[00:49:50] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and [00:50:00] passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor. Go over to inspiredstewardship.

[00:50:14] com iTunes rate. All one word. iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.

[00:50:49] ​

In today's episode, I ask Scott about:

  • His personal journey that led him to being focused on helping founders grow their businesses...  
  • How his faith intersects with his journey...
  • What founders need to understand about their own growth...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

There are events that we go through in life that we would never wish for, if I had the opportunity to choose it again I would be like “I don’t think I want that”, but we would never give them up either. – Scott Ritzheimer

Click to Tweet

You can connect with Scott using the resources below:

Let Me Know What you Think Below....

About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}