Image credit: Allison Maslan
5 Leadership Lessons With Author Allison Maslan
“We all get knocked down. Things fall apart, money comes and goes, opportunities fall at our feet and others elude us. The key is knowing that whatever the challenge or disappointment is, you can get right back up and find a way. This is the most freeing thought that I experience and keeps me from being limited by one roadblock or another. I will always find a way. Besides building many companies, I have been a trapeze artist for 20 years. It is a true passion of mine! So much so that I built a trapeze rig in my backyard. In learning new tricks, I might fall hundreds of times before my next success, but that only motivates me to try harder. I face my fear in the air every single day so that I am only that much stronger when my feet are on the ground.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Allison Maslan, the founder of Pinnacle Global Network and the world’s leader in scaling businesses. The author of two №1 best-selling books — Blast Off, and her newest, Scale or Fail — Allison also serves as a private mentor for established companies with revenue over $1 million. Having built 10 successful companies from the ground up, she leverages the skill set she’s developed to provide guidance, wisdom, and signature processes to CEOs, preparing them to think strategically, scale faster, and grow bigger.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I built my first business at age 19 while I was in college. By the time I was 25 it had grown into a full-service advertising and PR firm with clients like Ben & Jerry’s, Supercuts, and Charlotte Russe. I was amazing at flying by the seat of my pants, bringing on and servicing clients, but I had no idea how to build the logistics, systems, or teams a great company requires. I had employees, but no idea how to delegate or be a leader. I was working 24/7 and had no life, whatsoever. I ended up having a terrible car accident from the stress, which ended up being my major life wake-up call. My daughter was two at the time. I walked away from my business and unhappy marriage and spent a year figuring out what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong in my business; I also spent time studying what some of my Fortune 100 clients were doing to scale their companies and live a meaningful life. I went on from there to build 9 more companies I have had a blast with. Now I get to pay it forward and share my years of wisdom building and selling companies with business owners around the world.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
I have so many exciting projects in the works…
I just finished my 2nd book: Scale or Fail — How to Build your Dream Team, Explode your Growth, and Let your Business Soar. This is my legacy book and the only book about scaling by a woman. I share my SCALEit Method® which guides established companies to break through their perceived ceiling of growth, along with the tools and strategies to build a dream team that can take their vision, run with it, and impact the world.
For the past eight years my team of CEOs and I have mentored business owners around the world through my company, Pinnacle Global Network®. It is the most rewarding experience to help them scale their companies well into the seven and eight figures. So many of them can get stuck at the same level for many years — stuck in habits that are keeping them small. Once they get the support, it’s like a whole new world opens up to them and they skyrocket without the struggle they were experiencing before.
One of their biggest challenges business owners face is getting their teams to become passionate about their vision, and then for them to take this vision and run with it. To fill this gap, we have recently launched “Dream Team Multiplier” where we now mentor their top executive teams so that the initiatives we are working on with the CEO can finally be implemented with the team. This takes tremendous pressure off the business owner so they can step back and work on the company instead of in it.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
My father was my biggest inspiration. He showed me through building the largest privately owned women’s clothing chain in the US starting in 1955: “If you want something, go create it yourself.” In the last moments we shared together before he passed on a few years ago, he told me his favorite thing about business was “helping people create the momentum to move forward in their lives.” This is exactly what I do every day and I feel him with me all along the way.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I help business owners reach their dreams every single day. Nothing is more rewarding than that! This not only impacts them personally, but their own families, their employees and their families, their clients and all the people they impact. I absolutely love it!
I am also very aligned with a charity called Just Like My Child, which empowers young girls and women in Uganda to create their own abundance, empowering themselves and their families.
Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
I share this book with all of my clients. We all create an imaginary ceiling on what we feel we can create in the world, which suppresses our ability to fully step into our capabilities and gifts. Our mindset can elevate us or destroy us in any given moment. It can take an experience of joy, and with one thought, immediately turn that joy into sadness or fear. In this awesome book, Gay shares how he has helped leaders like Michael Dell and top execs at Hewlett-Packard step into their Zone of Genius and live a life of excellence.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I become an entrepreneur” and why?
Having a mentor is the smartest move you can make in your business, hands down.
There is absolutely no way that I could be where I am today without the incredible mentors that I have had along the way. Whether in business, fitness, or personal growth, I want to learn from people that have “been there and done it” and are willing to share their wisdom with me. This has taken decades off of my growth track and eliminated thousands of headaches and probably generated millions in revenue. Never be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know the answer.
It’s not about the failure, it’s how fast you get back up.
We all get knocked down. Things fall apart, money comes and goes, opportunities fall at our feet and others elude us. The key is knowing that whatever the challenge or disappointment is, you can get right back up and find a way. This is the most freeing thought that I experience and keeps me from being limited by one roadblock or another. I will always find a way.
Besides building many companies, I have been a trapeze artist for 20 years. It is a true passion of mine! So much so that I built a trapeze rig in my backyard. In learning new tricks, I might fall hundreds of times before my next success, but that only motivates me to try harder. I face my fear in the air every single day so that I am only that much stronger when my feet are on the ground.
Make decisions from where you are going, not from where you are at.
So many people make decisions from what is right in front of them, which is usually a limited perspective of their reality. This keeps their dreams, actions, and results at a much smaller level than they are capable of. The limited thoughts of “I don’t have enough time or money; I don’t know how; that would never happen for me….” crush billions of dreams daily. The only thing in the way of reaching our desired goals is ourselves. When you envision where you truly want to be from a “think big” perspective, and make decisions as if you are already there now, then the results multiply faster and easier than you ever imagined possible.
Don’t take your eyes off sales in your business…ever.
One of the areas business owners struggle with is sales. They love creating their widgets, but staying of the right audience every day creates challenges. When they first start to build a sales team, they often feel, “Thank goodness. I don’t need to worry about this anymore!’ Then all of a sudden, sales plummet. You believe in your product and love your clients and team members. However, it is crucial that either the CEO or a very strong Sales Director or VP of Sales is keeping the sales team excited and on top of sales goals daily. Sales is the life force of your company so give that area of your business love every day.
Be a giver, without expecting anything in return.
I remember meeting a guy for lunch years ago that I met at a networking event. He said, “Allison, tell me about your ideal client. I would love to refer you some business.” It really threw me at the time, because I had not asked him for anything. He was offering from a place of generosity and I was incredibly moved. I realized that business was about giving. Giving to give…not to receive. The receiving comes because you are building deep relationships with people that know you are there for them and that you truly care. This is my most favorite part of running my companies. I get to meet the most amazing people and offer to help them in any way that I can. Because of this, I have had so many doors open up for me that would have taken eons to muscle through on my own. Giving is so gratifying and fun. It’s the best business and life practice ever.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
There are two!
Richard Branson. I love how he jumps in fully toward every business venture, and the endless causes he represents through Virgin Unite, such as clean air and clean oceans. I love his authenticity, the way he treats those around him, and the wisdom he continually shares. I also love his out-of-the-box way of standing out in so many industries. He has no fear to live by the beat of his own drum. I would be so honored to share a meal with him, listen to his stories, and learn.
Barbara Corcoran. What an incredibly savvy and bold woman who has overcome several challenges on her road to thriving! She was willing to read my new book, Scale or Fail, and endorse it. I would love to share a meal with her and express my gratitude.