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Nick Sonnenberg, Founder and CEO of Leverage — Bootstrapping your business; risk and how to build confidence; and how to make your business more efficient

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Nick Sonnenberg is the Founder and CEO of Leverage, a business efficiency consultant, Inc. columnist, and author of the book, Come Up For Air: How Teams Can Leverage Systems and Tools to Stop Drowning in Work. As a serial entrepreneur with a passion for productivity and a background in data science, Nick’s mission is to create companies that disrupt the way people work by leveraging the power of remote teams, digital tools, and automation.

His primary focus is to help teams operate more efficiently through his CPR® Business Efficiency Framework, a proven system for leaders, managers, and teams to maximize their performance and reduce overwhelm by using the right tools in the right way, at the right time. This framework consistently results in greater output, less stress, happier employees, and the potential to gain an extra full day per week in productivity per person. Nick has worked with individuals and companies of all sizes including Tony Robbins, Jay Abraham, Facebook, ConsenSys, and more.

Nick and I had a rich conversation about the benefits of bootstrapping your business, his thoughts on risk and how to build confidence, and the many ways you can make your business more efficient!

Tune in for amazing insights!

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Key highlights in this episode

  • Introducing today’s guest; Nick Sonnenberg (00:22)
  • How Nick co-founded Leverage after a successful career in high-frequency trading (03:00)
  • Nick’s dramatic breakup with his cofounder and the lessons he learned from that (06:24)
  • Why he never gave up on the company and how he managed stress in that period (10:55)
  • The benefits of bootstrapping your business (13:00)
  • Why hiring is the worst way to get more bandwidth (16:04)
  • How to determine when it’s time to hire someone new (17:54)
  • How to get feedback from your team (21:50)
  • Effective strategies for ensuring you get feedback when you are the boss (25:04)
  • Why he authored – Come Up for Air: How Teams Can Leverage Systems and Tools to Stop Drowning in Work.  (32:20)
  • Why people are drowning in work and what they can do about it (33:42)
  • The scavenger hunt problem  (35:09)
  • Quick win tips & tactics in his book to help you make your business more efficient (38:37)
  • How to build confidence as an entrepreneur (44:30)
  • Nick’s advice for people getting into cofounder relationships (45:00)
  • Nick’s leadership style and how it has evolved (49:59)
  • What Nick wishes he had known earlier on his entrepreneurship journey (51:06)
  • His advice for other founders as they embark on their journey to grow into leaders (55:30) 


 Notable Quotes

  • “Premature scaling can kill a business. You need to have certain processes and foundations in place to be able to support that growth.”  (04:54)
  • “Mechanism solves what good intention doesn’t solve.” (17:31)
  • “The first step in hiring is don’t hire.” (17:44)
  • “The more you can get people set up for success upfront, the better.” (34:53) 
  • “You build confidence as you build wins.” (43:38) 


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Resources Mentioned


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