Getting candid with newly appointed Successwise CEO Claire Marshall

Why did bestselling author and rebellious marketer Allan Dib choose to fire himself and hand the running of his business to his second-in-command, Claire Marshall? It’s all part of a bigger plan (more on that here).

We sat down with Claire to learn more about her journey to CEO of Successwise and what lies ahead for the company.

Claire Marshall explains why she's excited to be the new CEO of Successwise

Why did you decide to become CEO of Successwise?

While my title has changed over the years, my role hasn’t. I’ve been the lead cat herder, the person turning ideas into reality, since I started working with Allan four and a half years ago. From the beginning, Allan generated ideas for the company, and I worked with our team to bring those ideas to life.

Over the last four years, the team has grown significantly. I’ve hired almost every team member and have relationships with them all. I love working with our team. 

We’ve been slowly moving all management responsibilities from Allan to me over the years so he can focus on his genius zone, content, and ideation. As CEO, I’m not only overseeing the team, and handling our sales and partnerships. I now manage finances, hiring decisions and am at the helm of major strategic decisions. 

In a lot of ways, Successwise feels as much my baby as Allan’s. I’m proud of the team and services we’ve built, and I’m excited to continue scaling Successwise and supporting business owners worldwide in marketing their businesses.

How will your previous experience guide you in your role as CEO?

It would have been hard to see this whole path, but much of my previous experience is relevant to my day-to-day as a CEO. 

I worked for Shannon Leahy, one of the top wedding planners in the world, producing million-dollar-plus events. My weeks included managing minute-to-minute timelines, venue design, 25+ vendors, demanding clients, and tight load-in schedules. 

I was constantly switching gears; the same is true for leading Successwise. At any given moment, I must know what projects we have on the go (usually 20 or so), who is working on what, and what happens next — it’s full-on.  

Adaptability is key in this role as well. I’m from a one-stop-light town in North Carolina but have spent time in over 70 countries in the last 10 years. I’ve had to adapt to places with dramatically different cultures like India, China, and Turkey. 

I thrive in a dynamic environment. Leading Successwise is dynamic! The tasks and responsibilities are ever-evolving as we grow, and I’m always learning. 

Finally, a big piece of this role is sales. I’m in the process of building out our sales team. I’ve handled key sales for Successwise solo for the last 18 months. I’ve had sales roles with other companies where the more I learned about the product, the less I believed in it. A soul-crushing experience! 

Sales for Successwise feels natural. Having built the products along with Allan and our team, and knowing how we’ve helped business owners, makes the sales process easy.

How do you feel about the company’s performance in recent years?

When Allan and I first began working together, our quick-start personalities saw us ideating, launching programs, and testing many marketing strategies. Successwise has gone from a really successful book with some consulting on the side to a consulting business that has grown rapidly with clients all over the world.

I’m proud of how we’ve grown over the last 4 years. Here are some of the highlights:

  • We’ve seen significant revenue growth year over year. 
  • Growth in team size and complexity. 
  • We’ve created one of the best certifications for marketing in the world.
  • We’ve developed a world-class consulting program. Through it, we help businesses around the world build marketing infrastructure. We set them up with the right team, toolssystems, and strategies to grow their companies rapidly. 
  • We’ve been able to hire and train an awesome team so that Allan isn’t as involved in the day-to-day operations of the business. This allowed him to focus on the high-level strategy for the business.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you faced?

Haha, Allan! While in many ways, we work really well together — I’ve learned so much from Allan, and we have a lot of fun together — he can also be quite challenging. 

Allan is someone who comes up with ideas daily—does this sound like you? But when working within reasonable resource constraints, executing those ideas all at once is impossible. 

In my role, I’ve had to determine what we can and cannot do and in what order. Many factors go into knowing which projects to prioritize and how to get things done. I need to consider our team members and their job satisfaction and weigh revenue implications before making a decision.  

This role requires constant learning. For example, right now, I’m upskilling my finance and accounting knowledge. So while it’s challenging, working with consultants to master new things is a part of my job I love.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities for growth?

I’m really excited about where the certification program is headed. We’ve put a ton of work into optimizing it and making it a no-brainer in terms of value. It’s not a small investment, but from experience, the returns are significant. So we’ll be growing this community of certified marketers next year. 

Our 1:1 consulting program has had amazing results. We’ve got a stellar team that understands while people come to us for what they want (marketing), we need to give them what they need. In addition to marketing strategy, they need help building a team, systems, and tools. 

We’re continuously tracking what the market needs from us and how to deliver. We will keep refining our strategies for various industry verticals. To bring marketing clarity to as many business owners as possible, we’ll also offer training programs at lower entry points.

 You can look forward to:

  1. Specialized marketing strategies for specific verticals (for example, eCommerce, Education, B2B Services, etc.) 
  2. Books on specific industries (for example, Marketing for Accountants, Marketing for Realtors, etc.) 
  3. Software that will allow people the ability to create and track a 1-Page Marketing Plan online. 
  4. More content and more courses.
  5. A SaaS product that will allow businesses to plug in information about their companies and get relevant marketing advice.

What’s next for Successwise?

There’s a podcast in the works. Allan, myself, and Anna have already recorded the first few episodes, and we plan to invite guest experts to talk about what’s hot and happening in marketing now. It’s another way we plan to deliver value to our inner circle.

We’ll be focused on growing our two flagship products: coaching and the certification program. 

And taking the best marketing strategies and content from these programs, we hope to make our learnings available to a wider audience via frameworks, templates, courses, and online training. As a  reminder, everything we teach is based on practical experience. It’s not theoretical. 

We’re also building on our partnership program with other organizations, authors, and thought leaders. 

And Allan, Anna, and I will soon embark on a speaking tour worldwide. So that’s exciting. Keep an eye out for more information on this.

Lastly, I want people to meet and learn from the rockstars on our team. Expect to see more IP from other experts on our team, for example,  Anna, myself, and some of the coaches. 

  • Anna Kloth, our CMO and Head Strategist, has hired and trained well over 200 marketing coordinators and is our in-house expert on strategy, messaging, marketing tech, and media.
  • Having grown Successwise, I’ll show you how to build and manage your remote team and systemize your business.
  • LJ, who runs our Group Coaching program, will walk you through the art of crafting a lead magnetreferral strategies, goal setting, and lead nurturing.
  • And Vera will teach you how to master funnels, messaging, and social media.

What will Allan's role be at Successwise?

Allan is a key player in determining high-level strategy for the company and is a sounding board for the executive team. He also leads the certification program along with me. 

Allan is currently working on a book and podcast, so he’s heavily invested in content production.

Although he’s no longer involved in the operational side of the business, Allan will continue to lead training in our flagship programs.

For business owners looking to step back from the day-to-day runnings of their companies, what qualities should they look for in a CEO?

Cultural fit is vital. You want someone who wholeheartedly buys into your vision and company mission. 

You also want someone who is an intrapreneur. This is someone who can work on their own without needing management. They’re able to think like an entrepreneur but execute like a manager and get things done.

Tenacity is vital. Believing you can do something without knowing how but making it happen is super important. 

Being decisive. As CEO of a fast-growing company, you need to be able to make strategic decisions quickly. There’s no time for overanalyzing. 

I also believe that interpersonal skills are crucial. At the end of the day, much of our success comes down to the team. I want them to be excited about coming to work and helping others. Knowing that their voices are heard and that we’ve created a collaborative work environment in which every member is valued is why we attract and retain A-players. 

And lastly, genuine care. I care about our team. I care about our clients and the products we create, and the future of Successwise.  

Lastly, what does your daily routine look like?

One of my favorite things about this role is how dynamic it is. It’s been business Bootcamp since day one. No day is ever the same. I’m in California, which is great because I can work between 8 AM and 6 PM and connect with our team in Bali, the Philippines, South Africa, and clients in Europe, the US, and Australia. 

My day consists of client and team calls mixed in with writing, reviewing reports, and strategizing the next steps. Lots of hats. 

A sample day would include: 

  • Consulting management call 
  • Sales call consulting 
  • Sales call certification 
  • Call with our CFO 
  • Call with the ops team
  • Call with one of our partners 
  • Connecting with different team members on the next steps
  • Reviewing goals and milestones
  • Discussing our big picture picture with Allan

4 thoughts on “Getting candid with newly appointed Successwise CEO Claire Marshall”

  1. Allan Dib was a participant in the Story Skills Workshop online in the autumn of 2021. The workshop was a lot of fun!
    If a person has a product or a service that other people will benefit from then a business can be built. All one has to do is find the people who are willing and able to make an investment of time and/or money. Bartering skills come in handy there.
    Since the SKW my family and I have been required to redesign our lives from North Carolina to my husband’s childhood home in Nashville, TN. My sense of wonder is tired, but still intact.

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