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Why Most Businesses Don't Work & What To Do About It

In this episode, LZ and I welcome Casey Graham, co-founder and CEO of Gravy, an organization that helps businesses collect unpaid recurring payments. 

Before launching Gravy, Casey founded The Rocket Company where he helped church leaders scale their financial leadership and fundraising opportunities. In addition to launching three businesses, Casey is truly passionate about helping business owners. He understands what makes a business successful and what can lead to its failures. 

Today, Casey is going to help us recognize how unsatisfied owners create unfocused and unmotivated leaders, and what to do about it.


Here are some takeaways:


1. Plan to retire to something, not from something.

The first step when starting your business is to determine what you don’t want out of the business.

Most entrepreneurs feel a sense of emptiness and lack of purpose when they sell or leave their company without a plan. They end up floating through life, maybe with plenty of money but without any feeling of purpose. 

Make sure you have a plan for after your retirement so you won’t encounter that same feeling so many former business owners face.

2. Clarity is currency.

Clarity is one of the greatest currencies that leaders can use to build trust, momentum and talent.

When you’re honest with your team about your intentions as an owner, they will become more involved and invested in what you’re doing. If you don’t have that currency in the bank with them, it’s difficult for them to get on board with your journey.

So whether your intention is to pass along the business to your kids or just make money and party, be clear. There is no judgment. Your intention is your intention!

3. When you sell your company, be wary of losing purpose, structure and community.

There’s nothing wrong with selling, but you have to be intentional about what life looks like afterward. You don’t have the daily meetings and the shared sense of purpose with your team anymore. You won’t have that built-in daily structure anymore—so much freedom! But, that freedom can be a little overwhelming. And most of all, you won’t have all the people around you that helped you get to where you are.

Change is difficult for anyone, but it is especially difficult when you have given so much of yourself to your business over the years. Just be aware of these three potential pitfalls when you step out to sell and plan for how to navigate through them.


Help your team members understand what we should and shouldn’t do because of our values. If you're looking for a tool to help strengthen your culture, we recommend you download this resource, Gravy’s Core Values Guide, and create one for your organization.

Next, consider these questions:

What is your plan for retirement? Do you think you’ll retire from something or to something?

If you’re a business owner, how would you describe your “owner retention?” Be honest with yourself.

How is your identity affected by what you do for a living?

Could you be more clear about your owner’s intentions with your team? What would that look like?