Christian Chasmer, Serial Entrepreneur, Founder of Elevate
Today we have a guest who is a bestselling author who, in college, had already build a franchise from zero to $1.2 million in annual revenue. He then co-founded CC Solutions, a real estate development company, and he grew it to $6 million in revenue within two years.
Directly from San Diego, California, we have Christian Chasmer. How’s it going?
Christian: It’s going well, Quin. Thanks for having me.
Quin: My pleasure to have you here. Christian, it sounds like you started your entrepreneurship career pretty early. Do you know what caused this? Was your family very business-oriented?
Christian: Yeah, great question. My family wasn’t necessarily business-oriented. We were [inaudible 01:05] scrappers and hustlers. I grew up in a not so great family, but I had an awesome mom who brought in a bunch of the cousins and raised them. She was a single mother taking care of everyone. That definitely showed me a little bit about hard work, about doing whatever it takes.
But I was really on a [inaudible 01:25], actually, until I got to college, until my Junior year college, going through the motions, wanting to make a lot of money like most people and I figured out just be a lawyer, work in New York City, and that’s that. But then, I actually came across this piece of paper on my desk that said, “Run your own business over the summer. Make $10,000.” I had $30 in my name so I said, “Sign me up. I’ll do whatever it takes.” That wound up being that franchise program that I ran in college [inaudible 01:55].
That completely changed my life. From there, it was no more law school. It was entrepreneurship and personal development and meeting people all the way. I think I grew up always being a hustler. I’m doing things like shoveling driveways and doing different things to make money. I was entrepreneurial but I didn’t think I was going to be an entrepreneur until that piece of paper really changed my life.
Quin: By the age of 26, you already had two mutually successful companies. Does that mean you sacrificed all of your college years of fun and just dedicated to work, work, work?
Christian: No, no. I would definitely say I had a lot of fun in college. Probably a little too much fun. By the first three years, I was a random chips partier. Like I said, I was just going through the motions. I got good grades but I partied hard on the weekends. I definitely did all of that. Even when I was running my franchise, I was definitely more disciplined that I used to be. Waking up early, I was going to sleep early. I was definitely controlling myself a lot more ’cause I was focused on the business. But definitely during college, at those points, it was a work hard, play hard mentality.
Quin: Very good. Still have any of those businesses today?
Christian: The franchise model, I walked away from to start my real estate developing company. Then at the beginning of last year, I sold my equity and my real estate development company. I actually sold that to start what I’m doing now with Elevate.
Quin: Now, what is Elevate?
Christian: Elevate, it is a 12-week coaching, executive training system for entrepreneurs. There’s two levels to it. The first level is me going out and working with seven and eight-figure entrepreneurs and their leadership team helping them implement systems and process it so they can scale. That’s a lot of fun. I work with these awesome, awesome companies from all over the country.
The second level to Elevate is for six-figure entrepreneurs, really. It’s for those entrepreneurs that are hustling. They’re growing and gaining some success with them and maybe a small support team, maybe just a VA, but they wanna get systems in processes in place to start bringing on their dream team and start really getting to the next level. That’s where that group coaching, 12-week program comes in.
Quin: Gotcha. What’s the size of that business today? Can you disclose that?
Christian: Yeah. Last year, we did over six figures. I’ve started it last April and we did over six figures. We’re on phase two, hopefully double, maybe even triple that [inaudible 04:44].
Quin: Nice. That’s incredible. You must have systems in place ’cause you mentioned systems a couple times. Is that kind of what’s hopping you grow any business you start like that?
Christian: Yeah, yeah. I’d say that’s kind of the thing that I got really obsessed with when I started doing business. That first summer with that franchise, we’re doing exterior painting company when I was in college. I was actually running an exterior painting company. I was really a bad leader and had terrible system. I wasn’t a good entrepreneur. After that summer, I realized I needed to book up and learn their stuff.
I started getting obsessed with leadership and systems. Like how to do a process. When I say systems, it’s how to create a system and a structure for your team to win in over and over and over. It’s how to create duplicatable process within your business to where you’re getting the same result without you having to do everything. That can be as simple as delegating certain small tasks to a VA or it could something as robust as going out your automatic sales process. That’s what I mean when I say systems. Yes, absolutely, I work in every business from system’s mindset.
Quin: Did you build these systems yourself?
Christian: Good question. Sometimes, yes, and sometimes, no. Anybody that comes into my company, we basically teach them how to build processes. How to write processes. It could be as simple as a Google doc, or it’s in screenshot showing somebody how to upload a blog post which takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
But if you create a process with screenshots, then you can offload that to VA and now, you just saved 15 minutes a week that adds up to a couple of hours. You can do that to a couple of tasks over and over, now you’re saving some substantial time so you can then focus on the most important things in the business.
Quin: Very good. I’m guessing when an entrepreneur or big business starts working with you, that it’s gonna be part of the process, is teaching them system. Do you also help them build these systems?
Christian: With the Elevate 12-week program, that’s exactly what we do. We’re teaching these six-figure entrepreneurs, “Hey, what’s that automatic financial system that you can learn to plug into your business where then you know where all of your money is going and you’re putting money away so you can make sure you’re opted?” We teach them hiring systems like, “How do you guarantee that you’re going your eights and you’re bringing on eight players at the time with the exact interview questions, interview templates, et cetera?”
We’re teaching the entrepreneurs how to look at the business as a system and then how to build those actual systems. Then with the seven and eight-figure entrepreneurs, yeah, we’re going in there. We’re working with them to build their specific processes in their business.
Quin: Nice. Because you already created a few successful businesses, I wanna know what is the key to create these successful businesses. We hear all the gurus out there. Some say it’s a hustle, others say it’s hard work. Others say it’s working smart. Is it a combination of everything or is there a special key?
Christian: Good question. Coding a successful business. I would say it’s really being essential. It’s knowing or choosing the new things to go really deep on and then choosing, and sticking to those, even when the shiny object syndrome comes along to all entrepreneurs, and myself included.
If you choose to go down three marketing channels and testing those marketing channels and committing to those marketing channels, I see a lot of times business owners will pick. But then, they’ll pick number four, five, and six through two weeks later, too, and now, they’re spread way too thin.
Same thing with products. A lot of people will say, “Hey, we have a course.” And then a week later, they’ll come out with a different course, and then a coaching program. They’re stacking all these products and now they’re trying sell different products to different niches. You start putting all of your energy in a lot of different places instead of your energy in one place. That’s what I would say is the biggest thing that I see a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with. Just being essential and going all in on few things or one thing.
Quin: I really like that answer because it’s something I personally went through, the shiny object. All entrepreneurs are always looking for the next big thing. Of course, I still am one of those, although I try to direct my energy to what really matters. I still see a lot of people do that. Just like you said, entrepreneurs struggle with wanting to do everything.
Just recently, a customer that wanted to launch eight products on Amazon wanted me to help him launch all eight. I’m like, “Why don’t we just launch one at a time and put every bit of energy we have into launching that one, make sure it’s successful and then go to the next?” ‘Cause just like you said, we’re spreading too thin when we don’t have 24 hours a day. We’re all the same.
Christian: Absolutely. It’s a classic switching cost. In the Scrum by Jeff Sutherland, it’s a cool graph there where it’s like if we’re focusing on one thing, 100% of your time is on that thing. If we’re focusing on two things, it’s not 50/50, it’s actually 40/40 because 20% of your time is lost switching. Switching over through task and task, and by the time you get your five things, you’re only spending about 8% of your energy on each thing and the rest of your time is lost in switching contest. It’s a real thing. If you’re focused on too many things, you’re not going very far.
Quin: Yeah. I actually saw it recently. I can’t remember who released it, but there was a study that actually proves now that humans are not meant to multitask. When we say multitasking, that means you’re not doing either one of the tasks correct.
Christian: Oh, yeah. Totally. The brain can switch very quickly from thing to thing, but it can’t do two things at once.
Quin: Christian, what is your mission today?
Christian: My mission is really to bring entrepreneurship, personal development, mindfulness, and financial literacy, those four life skills, to a billion youth around the world over my lifetime. To me, that’s really, really important. I grew up in a really small town. I didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship. I didn’t know anything about personal development, and I got really lucky. Like I said, I found that piece of paper on a desk. I had a couple of mentors at the right time show me the way, and now [inaudible 11:49] really happy with their life, but that’s because of luck.
I always thought it’s unfortunate that I had to come to luck. Why is luck a part of that? Why can’t it be designed in the program? I ultimately make sure really to get that entrepreneurial right skills, personal development to everybody where it’s not about luck and it’s actually seen as an actual path and natural option being taught everywhere.
The away Elevate flows into that is by helping the six-figure entrepreneurs get to that next level to where, now, they’re not working 80 hours a week and they’re looking at their business and scalable business to actually make a big impact in their own way as well.
Quin: Do you recommend starting the hiring process early? We see, nowadays, the entrepreneur that is basically the team of one, and this entrepreneur that wants to get all the way to seven figures and is working by him or by herself. When do you recommend that we should start probably hiring some VAs and getting some help?
Christian: Oh, gosh. In terms of hiring VAs and getting some help almost immediately, yeah, I think there is a point where you’re in the very, very beginning, you wanna start getting some traction, maybe getting a couple of sales, and it depends, too. Are you a VC funded business? Well then, you’re hiring pre-revenue.
But if you’re pass-through the cash service based, or product based business that you can start making sale to also be quick, maybe get to that point. But I would hire VAs as fast as possible and then start hiring real teammates as fast as possible as well. I wouldn’t wait until six figures. I think the longer that people wait, the more stuck they get.
Quin: I think so, too. It’s so easy, nowadays, to find VAs, to hire VAs, and it’s really unexpensive, right? We can get somebody very, very experienced to do all kinds of works. Today, with all the sites out there, like Upwork, FreeeUp, we can get really experienced people so, yeah, why wait?
Christian: Yeah, 100%. You can either be uploading your blogs, uploading your podcasts, doing those things, or you can be working on sales and marketing, or you’re working in your team itself. You really to leverage, “Is an hour of my time selling gonna grow the business more than an hour of my time uploading contents in the internet?”
Quin: Exactly. 100%, I agree with that. There’s actually a way to measure what your time is worth so you know, “Should I get somebody else to do that or do I spend my time doing something else?” But then, again we also have to be true to ourselves. “Am I gonna be actually using that time to do work? Or now that I have somebody to do that part, am I just gonna waste my time watching Netflix or sitting on the couch?” [laughs] You know?
Christian: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Totally. Also, you can outsource other things in your personal life, too, so you can enjoy more time with your family and your friends. I get our groceries delivered to us on the weekend so that way, we don’t have to spend that hour to two hours grocery shopping back in our pockets where we can go to the park [inaudible 15:21] and do whatever. You really wanna look to your time and say, “What’s worth it and what’s not?” Especially knowing that time is finite.
Quin: Nice. Now that you get into having a physical team present with you, maybe sharing the same office, how can someone trust the team with work?
Christian: I get that a lot, actually, when people are scared or nervous to bring on a team because they’re not gonna do the work as well them. That’s always the biggest fear about VAs that [inaudible 16:01]. What is doing a good hiring job? Asking the right questions, bringing in enough candidates, et cetera, following a process and not the guards. But two, it’s also understanding the concept that micro losses, and a micro loss is when someone messes up but they learn from it and then they get better and better.
You have to be okay with having a little bit of micro loss in your business so that way, they can get better and learn from it and continue on. No one’s gonna do 100% of what you do, but if they can get to 80-90%, then delegate the task. It’s not worth that extra 10% to spend your time doing it. Eventually, you’ll get to the point where you’re hiring people people that are even better than you at what you do, which is very nice.
Quin: I agree with that one. You called them micro, what was it? Micro, what?
Christian: Micro losses.
Quin: Micro losses. I really like that. Basically, the concept of the Fail Fast is micro loss, right? And sooner you get that loss done, now you know what path not to take so you can focus on the big picture.
Quin: I really like that.
Christian: Exactly right. You can start small, too. When I brought my Executive Assistant in, he started out uploading a blog and started out doing some small email things. It wasn’t crazy large tasks and you can stop the winds and then you could start building trust to where now it’s sending out invoices.
It’s taking care of my entire inbox and my schedule, et cetera. You can start slow and you build trust as well. Technically, people forget. You can start out at 5 to 10 hours a week, and there’s still one or two tasks if you build up the confidence in the first and take on more.
Quin: Christian, when it comes now to running your business, you’re the leader inside the company?
Christian: Yeah. I would say so. I would say we’re all leaders in our own way but, yeah, I’m the leader inside the company.
Quin: What kind of tools are you using right now to generate more leads or find more customers into Elevate?
Christian: That’s the biggest topic that we have right now. Generating leads and building the company, growing the impact. ‘Cause we wanna have a huge impact, we wanna help a billion people learn those life skills. The way that we’re doing it right now is through social. We have our own Facebook group that we are turning into. We’re adding a ton of content. We’re doing video trainings in there, Facebook lives in there. We’re just adding as much value as possible to that Facebook group and it’s slowly building that community as well.
We’re really heavy on “Value First” marketing. We want to add as much value as we can. If it’s a good fit for you to come to Elevate program, awesome. If it’s not, but you’re still getting a ton of value from the concept we’re putting out, great. That’s perfect. Our biggest marketing channel right now is social by building up that Facebook group. That’s the number one that we’re going in on.
Obviously, referrals and networking. If needs to, I do some speaking and that pulls in a good amount of leads. Referrals always help, but our big outbound traction channels the Facebook group.
Cool. You wanna plug the name here for the listeners? What is the name of their
Christian: Yeah, sure. It’s Elevate Your Systems. If you head over to Facebook.com/groups/elevateyoursystems, they can request to join from there.
Quin: Very good. You mentioned the offering, kind of marketing where you offer value for the Jab, Jab, Jab, Gary Vay’s book. You are approached right now. You offer value, offer value, and then, of course, there has to be a jab because we’re in this to make a living, of course. How do you offer that value upfront?
Christian: The initial value is through, like I said in the Facebook group, we’re posting videos, we’re posting trainings. My newsletter is, I put an article up every single week that talks about systems, personal performance and mindfulness. That’s just great value right there. It’s no hitch in any of my articles.
On my own personal Facebook, I’m always posting some valuable information, articles, videos that I create, et cetera. We’re doing a lot of the content through the videos and PDF guides, stuff like that.
Quin: What’s one of the best or most used tools now inside of Elevate?
Christian: Tools inside, like internally that the team uses or tools that the members love?
Quin: The team uses. Like, you and your team software or any kind of tool.
Christian: We love Asana. We’re putting on the Asana game. We use that for our meetings. We use that for [inaudible 21:17] meeting calendar. We use Asana pretty hardcore. We love Asana.
Quin: I’ve been dabbling a bit with Asana by myself. The team is in Slack and I wanted to test out Asana, but in mine by myself. [laughs]
Christian: We use Slack and Asana. We use Slack to communicate and to talk, and then we use Asana for project management tasks, et cetera. We use both very well together. They play well together, Slack and Asana.
Quin: Christian, right at the beginning, I told everybody you are a bestselling author. And the book that made you the bestselling author, was it Lose the Limits?
Christian: Yep. Yep. Lose the Limits.
Quin: Breaking your limiting beliefs become a more productive you and achieve everything you want in life. That is an amazing title. Just right there, that will get me hooked on the book because when people say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I don’t really judge by the way the cover looks, but what’s written on the cover influences me a lot. This would be a book that I would buy because it really will mean something to me.
Let’s talk a little bit about this. Become A More Productive You And Achieve Anything You Want In Life. Is this related to all kind of mindset? Is there a law of attraction? Do you believe in the law of attraction?
Christian: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. I definitely believe in the law of attraction. The Lose the Limits book is really a passion project for me. It was me, like I said, growing up in that really small town in New Jersey. It’s growing up seeing a lot of people with limiting beliefs, me having a lot of limiting beliefs, and learning one, what limiting beliefs were, and then two, slowly breaking down some of those limiting beliefs that I had around myself and my self-worth, what I was capable of.
And looking at other amazingly successful, when I say successful, I mean wealthy and happy, and family-oriented. Those are my three criterias for success in my mind, in my opinion. Looking at what they were doing and looking at their strategies, and their tactics, and their actions, and then implementing that in my own life, starting to break those limiting beliefs, I felt like I was really on to something and it was really important to get it out there in a digestible way that people my age would be able to read in and really pick it up and run with it.
Quin: Normally, people get that a way to get out of your limiting beliefs and basically changing your life normally, something very big has to happen in someone’s life. Did you have that kind of something happen to you? Or was it just you decided you needed to grow?
Christian: I have had major things happen in my life. My dad passed away when I was 11, and then my godfather who basically came in and raised me as a father took me in. He’s like a second father to me. He passed when I was 18 from a heart attack suddenly. I have these major things happen in my life and that definitely pushed me to some sense.
They guided me, but they also made me resentable and how to pile up a lot of internal anger about the world. It wasn’t until I started being an entrepreneur and I started running my own business that I realized I had all those anger and I wasn’t the person I wanted to be. I wasn’t the person that would make them proud.
That’s when I started to look at myself in the mirror and started to check my ego at the door and said, “Hey, years are changing. If I wanna have the future I want, and if I wanna be the person I want, that means I need to change.” I would say it was a slow burn to come to that epiphany, but it was boiling up over a long period of time.
Quin: Ego, oh, man, is a business killer. It’s a relationship killer. It’s good that we are able to love ourselves and all that, but ego can destroy pretty much everything. [clears throat] Pardon me.
Christian: Yeah. Ryan Holiday nails it. Ego is the enemy.
Quin: I’m sorry?
Christian: Ryan Holiday, Ego Is the Enemy.
Quin: Yes. Absolutely. Christian, you mentioned that you also do some public speaking. Is it you talk about mindset and basically systems? What do you talk about in these gigs?
Christian: A lot of the times, I’d be talking about systems and people’s businesses. How they can implement a few systems to really scale their companies and scale their lives. Talking about the systems a lot of times, which is a goal setting methodology that I teach with all of my clients. Objectives and key results. A goal setting methodology that Google, Intuit,
use as well. It’s a really cool goal setting methodology. Then I talk a little bit on mindset and limiting beliefs, et cetera. A lot of my speaking seminars were on system side [inaudible 26:42].
Quin: As somebody that’s listening right now, if they wanted to join you on Elevate and learn more, what would they have to do?
Christian: They can either follow me on Facebook, Facebook.com/cchasmer. Or they can head over to Elevateyoursystems.com and they can apply right from that.
Quin: Right, but how’s the on-boarding process at Elevate? You just need name, email, and phone number? Or you reach out to the person after? How does this work?
Christian: You’ll go on to apply or fill out a short survey, go book your time with one of our strategists, and then they’ll get on a 45-minute strategy call. We’ll see if it’s a good fit. If it is a good fit, great. We’ll talk about the next steps to getting into the Elevate program. We’ll do that 12-week program where you’re gonna be in a community of other entrepreneurs that are looking to grow as well. You can get personalized coaching, et cetera. That’s the whole thing. You go through the 12 weeks. Then after the 12 weeks, you got into the alumni community, so you’re part of the Elevate family for life.
Quin: Nice, nice. I always like when there’s a group like alumni or VIP. Something that makes people wanna work harder to get into it. There’s some sort of motivation there, so I love the fact that you do that. It gives a sense of belonging when you finally get in.
Christian: Yeah, absolutely. Like I said in the beginning, we’re a super value-oriented company and we really care about the people that come in. For me, they’re on the team. They’re a part of the team. The alumni community is really cool because you go through this awesome 12-week program, now you’re in the alumni community and people are starting to share resources. People are engaged. People are helping each other. Couple people gotten each other clients. Couple people started working with each other. It’s a really cool community for that aspect because everyone’s on the team here.
Quin: That’s why it’s great to always belong, be part of a community, mastermind the things that you can achieve in a group are always so much bigger and better than what you can do by yourself. That’s fantastic.
Christian: Totally right.
Quin: Christian, are you planning on writing another book?
Christian: I do actually have a book planned to come out in June. It’s called Elevated, and it’s wrapped up. Now, it’s getting formatted and we’re gonna be putting it out in June.
Quin: Perfect. When it does come out, let me know. I’ll mention that on the podcast so our listeners can have a look at it. Meanwhile, if they wanna find Lose the Limits, this is available on Amazon.
Christian: Exactly. You can just search Lose the Limits right in Amazon.
Quin: Perfect. Christian, do you read besides your own? Do you read a lot?
Christian: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I love reading.
Quin: Tell us one of your favorite all-time books.
Christian: Favorite all-time books. Gotta be The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Completely [inaudible 30:02]. When I read that book, it just want anything. It made me wanna follow the four agreements, and it made me wanna become a better person and it really helped me become the person I wanted to be. Four Agreements, super quick read. It’s like 130 pages, so very quick read, very powerful read.
Quin: Very good. I’m gonna put on the show notes. I’m gonna read that one. I don’t know it. I’ll put on the show notes for everybody to check out. Christian, you have an offer for the audience? You wanna let us know what it is?
Christian: Absolutely. We have our newest Elevate session starting May 8th. If anybody in your audience, Quin, wants to join, they think it’s a good fit, they can get introduced or they can apply, and we’ll give them 20% off the price for it as a thank you.
Quin: Very good. You heard Christian right there. 20% off if you’re coming from the podcast. Just let him know and you’ll get your 20% off. Alright. Christian, if anybody wants to find you, Facebook, Elevate website, what is that again?
Quin: Perfect. And Facebook people can contact you directly or go to the Elevate Your Systems group. Is that right?
Christian: That’s exactly right.
Quin: Awesome. Very good. Christian, thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate you being here today with us and giving us all these golden nuggets. Thank you very much.
Christian: Absolutely, Quin. This is a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
Quin: No problem. Listen, when the book comes out, let me know. I’ll mention it for everybody here. I’m very interested as well.
Christian: Pretty sure. I’ll definitely let you know a couple days before it comes out, et cetera.
Quin: Awesome. Thank you, Christian. Have a great day.
Christian: No problem, Quin. Thanks a lot.