Lorenz Illing

After we took over TAM, our repositioning was an immediate and resounding success. But it left us feeling like we constantly had to deal with a hundred different things. The approach we had learned up to then was to work on EVERYTHING at the same time and painfully inch forward. Which naturally steadily increased both our stress and our frustration.

Thanks to scale up, for the first time we had a blueprint that enabled us to more sensibly, efficiently and effectively structure and prioritize all of the countless to-do's. We learned how to clearly focus and take care of the few really crucial things better.

The systematic approach of the scale up process helped us see clearly what actually needed to be done in a given moment and what didn't. That empowered us incredibly. Especially the structured meeting schedule and the SCRUM boards with so-called quarterly sprints, which were broken down into weeks, greatly accelerated the overall process for us. It was amazing how sensitively Nikolai and the other scale up coaches zeroed in on the weakest points in our thinking before the market did.

Nikolai also untiringly encouraged us to be even more specific and precise, which added enormous value. Over and over again, he challenged and pushed us to think better. And many times, just when we thought it was "good enough", he would catch us out and admonish us with "no, you can do more than that" or "be honest, you're fooling yourselves.“

But in the end, it was precisely those painful, crucial moments that were so incredibly useful―for example, when we were supposed to gain greater clarity on who were actually our core customers and who weren't. For us, that was one of the most important lessons: recognizing, and sincerely acknowledging, that not every customer is right for us. Recognizing that some customers slow us down instead of speeding us up. And recognizing that some sales cost more than they are worth.

Another thing that kept surprising us was how pragmatic, simple and practically relevant the tools and models we received from scale up are for revisiting supposedly thorny issues that we have already devoted a lot of energy to and finding the right answers in a strict, systematic process. Structured and focused, without any blah blah blah.

Now we see much more clearly who our target audience is. That makes our everyday lives much simpler, and we can look at the 100,000 things we think we ought to do and effortlessly identify those that we definitely DON'T have to do and which of them will actually help us make progress. This has been a priceless lesson for our growth and for us as entrepreneurs.