Podcast | 17 minute read

Podcast Pit Stop: Scott Mackes, Founder of The Service Academy Business Mastermind

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Posted by Giann Magno on June 30, 2022
Giann Magno

You can't effort your way to 10x growth. Work smarter, not harder! 

Joining us in episode 49 is Scott Mackes, founder of the Service Academy Business Mastermind (SABM) Group, a worldwide community of military veterans who share resources, information, insight and professional guidance to advance business ideas and opportunities through a trusted network. To the podium, he shares the valuable mindset of what his 10x growth framework is, which is working smarter, not harder. This mindset includes the importance of putting your health and family above the goal of making money. 

Fasten your seatbelts if you want to learn the most efficient ways to achieve 10x growth, including finding your genius, applying it to your work, and finding complementary minds. 🏁🏆

Pit Stop Highlights 

What 10x is and what it is NOT

Scott's framework for ten-folding your growth isn't about making money and growing your business at the expense of  over-extending yourself by sacrificing your health and your family. It is about  creating long term goals that will eventually turn into 10x goals.

Finding your genius

Finding your strengths and applying them to your business and growth starts from within. From self help books to taking an assessment that highlighted his top 3 strengths, Scott found his genius and applied them to his work. 

Finding complimentary minds

Exercising your top three strengths in your business won't feel like work because you'll grow to love it. 

So how does this help you find complimentary minds? - People feel that energy and they are attracted to PASSION. It attracts the right people, the right resources and eventually makes everything so much more fun. 

Engaging with Scott

Full Transcript

Brendan: Hey everybody welcome to Pit Stops to Podium, the RevPartners podcast where we talk to execs who have competed and won, taking their companies from high growth to high scale. My name is Brendan Tolleson. I am the co-founder and CEO of RevPartners and I’m delighted to have Scott Mackes with me today Scott Mackes for this episode of Pit stops to Podium, welcome Scott.

Scott: Hey Brendan, thanks so much for having me on your podcast.

Brendan: Well we are delighted to have you, Scott. I was trying to think how to introduce you and and looking at your profile and you are the co-founder it seems like running four different companies at the same time so I'm going to pick one and then maybe you can give our audience a little bit more of perspective in context of what you do and how you got to where you're at today. So I'm going to use SABM. So, Scott let's start there and then maybe you can share a little bit more about how you got to SABM.

Scott:  Sure. Yeah and again thanks for having me on the podcast today. One of my goals for this year, Brendan, it was to uh pick like which email address am I gonna use to uh to correspond with people and you know I think a lot of maybe entrepreneurs or business owners um, I don't know you just kind of keep creating things and you have all these different projects so SABM stands for Service Academy Business Mastermind Group and it is a community that I created about five years ago five years ago to connect U.S service academy graduates so graduates of the Naval Academy, West Point, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, we don't really get too many Merchant Marine Academy Grads but hey, they're welcome to who are business owners. And started the group five years ago with a podcast in online Zoom networking meet ups before Zoom became a verb and it was just a lot of fun you know. It was kind of a fun project, there's a lot of high caliber people kind of in that network and they had never been connected before like with technology in that way so that's kind of where we started and I didn't have a business model or anything at the time it was just you know just  a way to connect people and who were entrepreneurs who had that very specific background. So fast forward five years, the podcast has done really well just past 200 interviews and passed a hundred thousand downloads which is a lot of fun a couple of months ago. We've got a program called 10x vets which we've spun off of the SABM group so that's for all military veteran business owners. Started that about a year and a half ago and were up to over 100 business owners in that group. We have an investment fund called the academy fun, which funds military veteran entrepreneurs. We've got a real estate investing course that I do in conjunction with another group. We've had about 200 people go through that  over the last, it'll be four years since we launched that this may. So that's kind of I think those are most of the projects related to SABM and then I've got an online store called strengthsmugs.com. Completely unrelated to anything military veteran related but I love the Clifton Strengths Assessment.  So I'm a gallup strengths coach which is something I kind of processed a certification I went through about seven or eight years ago because I just love that assessment and I sell online or licensed merchandise online through that store so.

Brendan: That's great, yeah we should connect offline you probably know this but the co-founder of our business, Matt Bolian, went to West Point. We got two other West Pointers outside of Matt so we love the veterans and we should get Matt on your podcast and probably get into some of these communities that you just mentioned. Scott there's also an interesting narrative around your background not just in terms of veteran focus but also like this finding the riches in the niches. So what does that look like for you from a business context outside of the veteran piece that would be worth noting for our audience?

Scott: Yeah so you know the riches are in the niches and I guess that's you know for me I didn't really have any much success at all in business until I identified a niche or a target market or a group of people that I wanted to serve. That was pretty niche down so like when you think about service academy graduates I mean how I mean you named you know one or two from your company and that's probably how we got connected. But how many of them are out there? Well about 150,000. All right well how many of them are more business owners maybe 10 of that so 15,000 people like that's that's that's a pretty tight small niche and so some people would be really scared of that. Well that's not like hey i'm gonna have a podcast for service academy graduate entrepreneurs and they might be scared away from that because like well who's going to listen there's only you know maybe 15,000 people out there that could listen and actually when you strike that niche especially a niche where you've got so much in common with that group of people whether it's like a challenge that they had or a goal that they have or a background that they have. Number one you relate to those people very like that's your tribe and you understand their challenges of what they have you know from a marketing perspective i know there's a lot of marketing people that listen to this podcast you know where to find them like I am  one of those people so like i know where to go to connect with them and, and so it's a lot of fun and so that's kind of the idea of you know the riches or in the niches i didn't come up with that i probably heard it somewhere like you know 10 years ago on some podcast. But you know that's really you know that's really helped me significantly and kind of once I found that niche then things kind of began to accelerate. 

Brendan: Yeah to me it's, I love the phrase and people talk to us a lot about that when we were starting but to me it's all about focus and just understanding who you serve and why. And we'll get into a little bit more and the big idea but Scott we do have a tradition here at Pit Stops to Podium and that's to get to our new guest outside of work. So we talked a little bit about your background from a professional point but who are you outside of work what should our audience know?

Scott: Yeah sure. So I live just out in Charleston, South Carolina, in a town called Mount Pleasant. We moved here about four years ago and we love it here. I grew up in Maryland and played baseball at the Naval Academy and was just passionate about baseball like my whole childhood and growing up and that was my ticket into getting into the Naval Academy. You know if it had to be like if I was you know, if it was his grades alone I probably wouldn't have made it right. 

Brendan: Are you an Orioles fan? 

Scott: Yeah, Cal Ripken so I grew up in the days of the iron man so Cal Ripken fan and i'm not an Orioles fan too much anymore because I don't think they've had a winning season in the last 20 years but so that's kind of where I grew up and like the connection then to the Naval Academy. Then served in the Navy for five years from 2001 to 2006 and you know those were some of the best. I met my wife when I was stationed in Newport, Rhode Island and so I was, that was just a great experience and that some of the best people I’ve…  My best friends know where I met either at the Academy or you know in the Navy. 

Brendan: Well that explains the connection to the service academies and why you've made that your tribe and your niche so that's smart and thank you for your service. Well, Scott let's transition into the big idea you talked about this 10x vets and I kind of want to flush that out into a broader context and it's really this when you talk about going 10x you can't effort your way to 10x Growth.  So let's unpack that a little bit. Let's start with what that really means and then we'll get into some of the practical applications of that. So what do you mean by this idea of 10x and not efforting your way to growth? 

Scott: Sure and I certainly didn't, I mean come up with the idea of 10x and I think there's a lot of you know different things out there about 10x growth but I guess maybe to start you know as it relates to 10x vets you know what it's not what 10x is not you know. 10x is not you know burning the candle at both ends and building your business or making money and sacrificing your health and your family and it's not about you know flashing money you know on the facebook ad or whatever like that like that's not what it is at least as it relates to 10x vets. So, we wanted to build a program that was hey if somebody's got a 10 times goal and it's that's that's framework that I’ve kind of really learned through you know a program that I’m a part of called strategic coach and they've got this you know this this really cool book called the “10x Mind Expander and I don't know if probably nobody on the podcast is it might be like the coolest book that no one's that you haven't heard of but I would really recommend that because you know it's really offers a pretty cool way to think about 10x. So that's something and there's another one called the “25-year Framework”  and so these are two things that i've done in conjunction over the last probably seven or eight years where you set long-term goals, 25-year goals and they could be you know 10x goals like “ hey, I want to multiply my income or net worth or whatever 10 times,” great and you give yourself enough space to achieve something like that and then every quarter every 90 days you check in, “okay how am I doing?” And you know over the course of 25 years there's 190 day periods and and and 25 really cool framework created by Dan Sullivan from strategic coach. I'm a fanboy of strategic coaches and so as it relates to 10x vets when I started with the SABM group I  really am passionate about serving veterans and that's my tribe. So hey let's create a program, a community of military veteran entrepreneurs that have pretty ambitious goals but let's give them a playbook like where it's fun like where it's not like you have to work you know 100 hours a week and you know and all of this stuff and so that's with 10x vets that's the community and the curriculum that were that were that we've built out over the last year and a half. 

Brendan: If I were to distill that down to me that what I hear is really work smarter not harder and so as you mentioned burning on both ends. Like we all know what that's like but I think what you're communicating is there's a better way and having a framework is always fun and always makes things a little bit more actionable and feel like you have a clarity on how to actually execute it so let's break that down a little bit and I want to look at it from three lenses. Let's start so we have we'll have the what the how and the who so when we talk about what we're talking about what is your genius so help us unpack how you discover what are the areas that you as an individual should focus on.

 Scott: Sure and I'll just give you a personal story so you know rewind the clock probably 12 or 13 years ago. I was you know out of the navy in the civilian world and kind of just trying to find my place a little lost you know a little probably disengaged you know staring out the window at work like wondering you know is this what i should be doing for the rest of my life and that led me to like you know the self-help section at the library you know ordering books off of Amazon right and just say like "who is Scott like what in the world what's myth what's what's missing here's something missing and I read through a lot of books I read. Took a lot of different you know test assessments and that sort of thing one assessment that really resonated with me is the Cliifton Strengths Assessment I used to be called the strengthsfinder and I was so passionate about this assessment like I became a gallup strengths coach just like I took a week off of work seven or eight years ago and like I'm gonna become a strengths coach whatever that even means. You know at the time there was maybe a hundred people and I was like who cares, I just wanna go and be in a different environment and learn about this assessment that's really uh that's really helped me and so for me, I  took the assessment and I saw and so you take the assessment there's 34 different talent themes and it's a vocabulary it gives you a vocabulary to understand like words to help you understand like these really cool things about you and so like for example and you get your top five strengths and you can also get one through 34. So you can see what's at the bottom you can see what's at the top and so number one for me is competition. All right I kind of knew that about myself I played baseball in my life you know that was that was. I kind of knew that but number two was includer I was like wow that's really interesting I never an includer what's an includer and so I studied about what an includer is and you know the next one after that was futuristic oh, futuristic that's why Scott stares out the window every day at work because he's in the future he's not here in the presence sometimes. Right and so that's just an example of my top three strengths but then as a and I was passionate about entrepreneurship I was passionate about hey like you know there's stories behind that but that's kind of was kind of my interest field. And I was like well, “how can I create a business or get paid to like you know be a competitive includer who's futuristic?” Right, yeah, so and so for me I thought about that and applied it and ended up creating a business where I get to use all of those different strengths and create value in the marketplace based on what those strengths are so everything I do is community based like 10x vets it's a community we've got these circles and you know I think they give the members a competitive edge because of the way that it's structured. So, that's just an example of a product or a service that's created around what somebody's genius is so that's kind of step one for 10x growth or exponential growth is like what are what's your genius, what can you because everybody has everybody's a genius all of us like even the people you think are like “that guy's an idiot,” right.  That person is a genius right and so what is it that makes him or her a genius, what makes you a genius, the listeners and like let's stay like stay and like just do that um so that's kind of the starting point.

Brendan: Yeah everything's informed by understanding who you are which is helpful and then you were kind of getting into that little bit of how do you leverage it that's kind of how aspects so the what what are your strengths and then getting into in light of that, what do I do?  So how do I apply it and in your context as you mentioned it was saying okay I know my top three are so how do I pursue something that actually allows me to focus on that because at that point I  would imagine you know it's no longer it is yes it's work but it doesn't feel like work right so you come alive. Is that a fair assessment?

Scott: Yeah you come alive it's you get energy you're in the moment you just the days fly by because like you're so you're so excited about what you do because you do it because you love it and  the response to that from people that you're on zoom calls with to people that you're meeting at coffee shops to customers that you're engaging with on the phone whatever it is like they feel that energy and that lifts them up like a step or two right like “oh, like Brendan man every time I talk to him like he's so excited because he's in his strength zone” right. And he's and then they want to pay you they're like hey man how can I sign up for this right like you're I you took me up a level and you're so excited about making you know the us money revenue through your strategy like like I want to be, Ii want to be a part of that, I  want to, I want to and so it attracts it attracts the right people it attracts the right resources and it's fun. 

Brendan: Yeah you can always you can manufacture in the short term but it's really hard to sustain that and if you're going to 10x as you mentioned it's going to be really hard if you're not in that sweet spot let's transition into the last part of this so we talked about understanding what your strengths are and then using those but there's also this reality and you kind of alluded to it just a second ago inviting others in meaning how do you attract others into what you're doing because you mentioned there are 34 strengths and everyone's only got you know three geniuses or if you're really great maybe five geniuses as you talked about earlier so if you're wanting to 10x it requires more than just you because you have finite time you have finite genius so, how does this influence your ability to find the right people to surround yourself with?

Scott: Yeah so you know just you know taking an assessment and doing some self-reflection and coming up with an idea of like what you've you know could be really good at or are really good at is great like that's a good starting point but the actual real growth happens and it did for me when I found partners or people that complimented me and so for 10x vets like SABM Group, Service Academy Business Mastermind and I, I've been facilitating some sort of a mastermind group for probably seven eight years you know it started off with people like doing having side hustles and we'd meet once a month and then it was I graduated from that to business owners and I  got to a point where you know I was kind of stuck at a number like I can't for a year we think we're growing and i didn't know whyI  didn't you know I didn't know what it was and then um you know I threw this through SABM  like I had built a relationship with someone who was just was different than me and who I loved like having conversations with and we would come up with new ideas and and together we created 10x bets. And we created an investment fund together which we do both of these things together and he's like the genius on the investment fund. I'm just kind of marketing and you know the community guy what you know I and but he's the financial business right and he does that but we work on that together because I compliment him and then 10x vets that's kind of my genius but like what he brings to the table are like these you know you know you know like the lots of things that i could have brought to the table you know about 10x growth and all of that so together like these two people. Like we've gone it went like a year and a half ago you know we, I was at like you know this mastermind group we had maybe 15 people in it you know paying paying members there's lots of people in the community but 15 people paying Scott for his mastermind and stuff and a year and a half later we've, we might have signed 15 people up last month. Right so that's kind of how fast we're growing and the investment fund you know we're up to we've deployed about 13 million dollars in capital to military veteran real estate entrepreneurs over the last year and a half which is a completely new business and so when people come together especially people in a high trust environment like the service academy community or the military veteran community and they work together and you find you know,  these complimentary teammates and partners man things just they they scale pretty fast and so that was for me what unlocked for personally 10x growth in my business and I think it's the most important like next step for somebody after they figure out you know they you know they they kind of figure out what they what lane they're best in, you know what they're figuring out their genius and then finding another genius to partner with where the sky's the limit. 

Brendan: Yeah it reminds me of the the phrase one plus one equals three where you find the right person and then to your point maybe it's not three maybe it's 10x to do using the big idea here so well, Scott thanks for stopping by it was great to learn a little bit more about your background and how you are leveraging this 10x concept and applying it to your community within the military space so thank you for sharing your thoughts your and insights is very valuable for me if our listeners want to take what's the next step that our listeners could take in terms of engaging with you maybe it's the book that you mentioned earlier but what will be your recommendation on a next step our audience can take?

Scott: Yes if there's any veterans out there that are listening and would like to learn more about 10x vets you can just go to 10xvets.com and that's a good place to start. You can find me on Linkedin. You're welcome to link to my Linkedin profile happy to connect with folks and  yeah if you haven't taken the Clifton Strengths Assessment take it and have your spouse take it too because that's like that's your biggest partner and in life and when my wife took the assessment and I showed her my results I read through her result we had some opposites right so futuristic she's like the historian of the family right and so these are two very different strengths and but understanding that each other that we have these different strengths you're not so hard on them you know you're nice here you know like why don't you understand “why don't you get my idea?” you know, or she's like “why don't you like think about what we've done before?”, you know but you know “how come you don't know anything about history?”...  Well I don't know. 

Brendan: It sounds like yeah this could also be some good marriage counseling so that's good uh good advice I think that might be the best advice we've heard so far on our podcast so well Scott thanks again really do appreciate the time I wish you all the best.

Scott: Thanks Brendan.

Pit Stops to Podium: A RevPartners Podcast

On the RevPartners Podcast we talk to executives who have competed and won, accelerating their companies from High Growth to High Scale. Hosted by RevPartners Co-founder and CEO, Brendan Tolleson. Take some quick notes from each week's "Crew Chief" and then head back to the races!