A year ago, our Edmond Business online magazine highlighted three Edmondites who were charting a new path in our energy-forward state—a green path toward battery supply chain necessities for electric vehicles. I’m proud to say I have just experienced the ultimate result every business coach dreams of with that very company, Galvanic Energy, LLC.
Together, we increased the company’s value by 100x, stunning the electric vehicle marketplace with “The Holy Grail” that Elon Musk, Tesla, Ford, and even the White House have been searching for, and we did it in under 18 months working with one another!
While reading their story, I hope you can take away a few key lessons to accelerate your success, too.
I met Galvanic Energy for their first day of Scaling Up strategic planning on my birthday, of all days. They surprised me with cake, and then we got down to business, laying out the foundations for their success. What was to follow over the next 18 months would become the greatest birthday gift, a true unicorn in the making.
In the venture capital world, a “unicorn” isn’t a mythical horned creature in fairytales; it is a term used to describe a privately held startup company with a value of $1 Billion or more.
From day one, we rolled up our sleeves and:
- Identified and defined their core values and core purpose
- Clarified the marketplace strengths, confirmed the industry trends, and dared to defy any weaknesses with solid solutions
- Brainstormed their 7 strata of scaling up success
- Laid bare the daring BHAG, normally defined as a 10 to 15 year big hairy audacious goal, but this team wanted to hit it in just two years!
With an official Scaling Up One Page Strategic Plan® in hand, Galvanic Energy was ready for big things. Before leaving the board room during their initial coaching session, the entire leadership team was 100% aligned.
- Every person knew how their personal quarterly rocks impacted the company’s overall annual boulders. Each priority was urgent and important.
- The team had a clear line of sight from day-to-day execution of the Rockefeller habits to the mountain-sized, two-year metrics they needed to hit for any chance at this daring BHAG.
- Critical numbers were set. Challenge accepted.
The leadership team and I met every 90-Day sprint, ensuring an agile scale-up environment was applied to this $10 Million strong Oklahoma start-up. I served as their accountability coach, ensuring the quarterly 13-week race always achieved the critical numbers for success. The Galvanic team quickly propelled in our first year of coaching to the Most Promising New Business of 2020, awarded by the Oklahoma Venture Forum.
Scaling Up best-selling author Verne Harnish always says while there are many start-ups, very few scale up. It’s true, only 4% of businesses achieve the $1 Million revenue mark with consistency, and even fewer (a fractional 0.4% of businesses ever achieve $10 Million) because the “valley of death” is such a wide chasm to leap over if they are not set to scale successfully. Of the 28 million firms in the study, only 17,000 ever achieve $50 Million. Galvanic’s journey supersedes them all in record time.
The CEO and I met every two weeks, ensuring Brent Wilson had a support system for the peaks and pits to come. Every mountainous climb will have breath-taking views along the way, plus dangerous crevasses to sidestep, and a coach is there to guide you on your entrepreneurial journey.
Combining his expert background in environmental and energy sciences, this first-time chief executive officer had a bold vision and wasn’t going to let anything get in his way (including the small fact that he’d never held an executive title before, let alone CEO). Crushing through his coaching goals month after month, including raising $10 Million in start-up funding, Brent Wilson went on to receive the 2021 Most Admired CEO honor from The Journal Record.
A snippet from my letter of recommendation to the committee went as follows:
“As both a Circle of Excellence and Chain of Distinction inductee myself, I am well versed in the tremendous awards The Journal Record provides business leaders, and Brent Wilson is that leader! Mr. Wilson’s vision is one of the most innovative you will ever encounter as Galvanic Energy is creating an entirely new marketplace from scratch that will land on the homepage of every news site from here to California, New York, and Washington, D.C. Although I am bound at this time by a non-disclosure agreement in giving specifics, I can promise you their two-year strategic plan, one-year goal alignment, and quarterly priorities are imminently disrupting the green ‘ESG’ (Environmental, Social, and Governance) movement.”
Those predictions came true when we released a momentous press package (along with local Edmond PR agents, Charlie Price, and Emily Lang of Price Lang PR) on the week of Independence Day. While you were enjoying fireworks and listening to Lee Greenwood’s iconic “God Bless the USA,” we were declaring Oklahoma’s own Galvanic Energy team secured highly concentrated lithium brine resources with the potential to power more than 50 million American electric vehicles.
“No longer will we rely on other countries to supply this critical element. Instead, the electric vehicles driving American roads in the decades to come can be powered by American lithium,” Brent Wilson proclaimed. “As our world’s energy future continues to evolve, our announcement is proof that American energy independence is not just a dream, but a rapidly growing reality.”
Galvanic Energy secured a footprint of 100,000 acres in a continuous trend overlying Southern Arkansas’ Smackover Formation. The acreage contains enriched concentrations of lithium dissolved in brine, providing a significant addition to the domestic inventory of economically recoverable lithium for battery production.
“For decades, America’s leaders have promoted a national goal of energy independence,” said Brent Wilson. “Given the United States’ current reliance on a foreign lithium supply chain, this resource has the potential to bring that goal into clearer focus, as it greatly expands the possibility of American self-reliance for lithium.”
The team estimates resources of 4 million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), which is enough to power more than 50 million electric vehicles. That headline alone most likely grabbed the likes of electric vehicle innovators, such as Tesla’s Elon Musk. After all, the industry-based announcement is certainly analogous to “The Holy Grail” of sought-after lithium searches under American soil.
The 100,000 acres and 4 million LCE estimate make this prospect the largest (and most concentrated) lithium brine prospect in North America. Period. That my friends was word-for-word the visionary Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) we wrote down almost two years ago on my birthday (plus some).
Plus some? Yes! We originally said Galvanic Energy would discover and develop the “number one Lithium Prospect for America’s battery revolution.” The team superseded their BHAG goal even beyond the U.S. borders to become the #1 Lithium Prospect for all of North America! Plus, their acreage and tonnage exceeded their key performance indicator (KPI) metrics by 25%. Astounding results!
As their business coach, I immediately got goosebumps when I read their new and improved BHAG in the worldwide press announcement. It was no longer a dream, but a reality.
If you’re not aware, lithium is required for most electronic devices, including smartphones and laptops, and it is the primary source for batteries in electric vehicles. However, lithium production is relatively rare in the U.S., prompting the federal government to label it as a critical mineral in 2018. With July 2021’s announcement from Galvanic Energy is well-positioned to provide a domestic source of lithium for decades to come.
Galvanic Energy is committed to environmental stewardship and the growth of the American economy. Unlike conventional lithium mining methods (which require open-pit mines or large evaporation ponds), brine mining operations like theirs, use a closed-looped system with a very small, distributed footprint. Brine is pumped out of the earth, elements of interest are extracted, and brine is returned to the horizon below.
Their success story is a lesson learned for all business owners who dream of growing rapidly. The rhythmic method of coached meetings will allow for faster achievement of goals. Aiming those meetings toward a lofty BHAG will accelerate results. I see it every day with my clients.
Here are a few key takeaways you may want to explore for your own business growth:
- Using a third-party business coach who is outside your industry’s day-to-day thought process for your strategic planning is foundational to your core success.
- Setting a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) with a coach is imperative to shoot for the moon, so you can land among the stars.
- Utilizing a proven end-to-end system like Scaling Up, where you walk away with a clear one-page strategic plan can accelerate your line of sight to achieving that BHAG.
- Ensuring you have a private CEO meeting rhythm for coaching advice every two weeks makes a huge difference in the speed at which you accelerate over any obstacles in your way.
- The 90-day group sprints for accountability with a coach create a sense of urgency in achieving the leadership goals.
This Scaling Up “meeting rhythm system” I’ve described in past columns already works for 80,000 scale-ups across the globe. Most of these entrepreneurs are seeking a 10x scale up as a result of the coaching. This time, an Oklahoma start up accelerated well past those 10x results to become a 100x scale up Unicorn! They achieved it in record time (under 18 months), crushing a 10-year goal standard in a matter of months.
As a business coach, I help companies of all shapes and sizes scale their rapid growth potential with less chaos than their competitors. Each client is special to me because my mission is to help others grow. Right now, this level of 100x growth is the pinnacle moment of my coaching career. I am honored to be a part of this incredible team’s journey.
If you want more information on the 4 Decisions every company needs to get right in order to scale faster with less drama, visit www.StacyEads.com to reach out for your free copy of the 4 Decisions to Scale.
Already been reading my Scaling Up with Stacy Eads business column over the last year? You may be ready to take a free assessment to uncover which of the 4 Decisions are your leadership weak points. Click http://bit.ly/ScaleUpQA-SE
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About Stacy Eads
Edmond native & UCO Alumna, Stacy Eads, is an award-winning “Most Admired CEO” who scaled her company as a Woman in Tech before becoming an International Scaling Up Business Coach. She now empowers other CEOs from $2M to $200M to embrace their leadership potential through quarterly strategic planning. Her talent is in high demand to CEO Coach, Train Teams, and Speak at Events in both the U.S.A. and Canada.
Stacy Eads’ career affiliations include 50 Women Making a Difference award, Circle of Excellence award, Torch Ethics award, Most Admired CEO award, Edmond Chamber & UCO Mentor, Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma Board of Directors, TEDx OKC Speaker Coach, and Ambassador Chairwoman for the Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce.