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    How to use the 5 pillars of leverage to scale your business

    By Kieran Drew

    It’s been 2 years since I gave birth to my business (it’s felt that painful at times), but I’ve only just begun to appreciate how powerful leverage is.

    There’s a famous quote from Archimedes: “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the earth”.

    But what does he mean by a lever? What about a fulcrum? More importantly, how can we use it to our advantage?

    Let’s dive into the 5 pillars of leverage.

    The 5 pillars of leverage

    Leverage first caught my eye as a dentist.

    I was working relentlessly. My plan was to slog it out for a decade, save hard, and invest so I could focus on FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early).

    But within three years, I was toast.

    I couldn’t work harder. I had no more time to sell. I could only specialise, but you don’t double down on a career you don’t enjoy (a mistake I learned the hard way).

    Even though I’ve been writing half the time I’ve been drilling teeth, my business makes 5x more. I work less. The growth potential is unlimited. The difference is that as a dentist, your drill is the leverage. You reach one patient at a time.

    Online, it’s your mind. And you can reach the world.

    Leverage — digital in particular — hasn’t just lowered the barrier to entrepreneurship; it’s torn it down. You don’t need qualifications. You don’t need permission. You don’t need (much) money.

    You just need to be intentional about how you build.

    You have 5 pillars of leverage:

    1. Profession
    2. Presence
    3. Product
    4. Process
    5. People

    Let’s run through each.


    Without skill, you have no market value. No reason for people to pay attention. No way to set yourself apart.

    Yet many people try skip the profession pillar. They want the audience or product without having anything useful to share. But without skill, your time isn’t worth enough, and your reputation isn’t good enough. Any leverage you do build is on shaky foundations.

    Instead, to quote Cal Newport, the aim is to be so good they can’t ignore you.

    When you’re great at what you do, you can work with who you want and charge accordingly. Clients refer clients. People come to you.

    What’s more, considering the sea of ever-increasing noise, getting good at a profession isn’t just important. It’s essential. If you don’t rise above the crowd, you’ll get stuck in it.

    Skill sets you apart — especially when combined with presence.


    Presence is fame. But there are different types: not all good.

    For example, I recently saw TikTokers drinking desert out of a toilet, which quite literally stinks of desperation. I’m sure we humans have been doing stupid stuff for attention throughout the ages, but the internet has intensified the clown show.

    You want to be well-known for the right reasons. Think of presence as your reach multiplied by your reputation.

    It’s why the internet is powerful. It’s the world’s biggest megaphone to broadcast your ideas — and the scale potential is insane. This email takes me just as long to write as it did 2 years ago, yet 30,000 people read instead of 30. My social media presence grows more in a week than it did in my entire first year.

    But it’s easy to overlook reputation when chasing reach.

    Reach is measurable: the claps, the likes, the shares. But reputation is like the engine of your car. You don’t see it, but it’s the driving force behind all results — you must care for it deeply. It takes decades to build and moments to destroy.

    Overdeliver. Focus on quality. Treat your audience with respect. Don’t get sucked into algorithm games.

    Once you have presence, the internet’s shell cracks open — the pearls of opportunity appear.


    It doesn’t matter how great you are at your profession. If you have no product, you will always hit the same ceiling:

    Your time.

    Naval Ravikant once said you’ll never get rich renting out your time. You need a way to solve problems at scale: products.

    The best products have no or low marginal cost of replication:

    • Books
    • Software
    • Digital courses
    • Physical goods
    • Paid newsletters

    The downside is that a good product can have huge upfront costs in time, energy, or money. My course High Impact Writing has taken hundreds of hours to build. But it’s also grossed $561,000 so far (not to mention the upsells). Products are long-term bets.

    The building phase is tough, but once done, every email you write has the potential to grow your business (without you selling your time).

    You can also combine offers. Your product serves your customers at scale. Then you can work closer with higher ticket clients.

    Beginning to sound exciting, right?

    But it’s also beginning to sound messy.

    This is where the fascinating topic of process arrives.


    Archimedes talks about a lever and a fulcrum.

    The fulcrum is the support on which the lever pivots, making heavy lifting possible.

    Process is your fulcrum. Without it, everything will be a struggle. But with it, your potential is insane.

    For example, when I post something on Twitter, my team also posts on Instagram and LinkedIn. Hypefury plugs my newsletter. When people join, they get a welcome email series pitching my product. If they buy, they’re invited to buy two more products. They then get a month of emails providing more value and signposting my other products.

    This means a 30-second tweet potentially creates 10-20 hours of value per subscriber, whilst growing the business without any extra effort except building the systems in the first place.

    These systems take time, but it’s about going slow now to go much faster later.

    Set aside several hours a week to look at your process. Eliminate friction with these 4 questions:

    1. Can I get a robot to do it? (automation)
    2. Can I get someone else to do it? (delegation)
    3. Can I get this to run smoother? (systemisation)
    4. Can I stop doing this altogether? (elimination)

    Stacking small improvements over time will transform your effort into exponential results. But you have one more pillar that, when done well, is like pouring gasoline on the fire.


    I’ve put people last, but that doesn’t mean they’re the least important.

    Leverage makes you valuable. As you build the four pillars, people begin to pay attention, and the doors of serendipity swing open. For example, I’ve worked with some of my favourite entrepreneurs recently. They didn’t know who I was three years ago.

    The exciting part about people is that you tap into their leverage.

    And trust me, if you’re doing well — people will want to get involved. A rising tide brings up all ships.

    You have three groups of people to focus on:

    • Those ‘behind’ — your team and audience
    • Those at your level — your peers
    • Those ahead — your mentors

    A team will help you strip away non-creative tasks so you can focus on your area of highest potential impact. This is the skill you know better than most, are fascinated by, and can use to serve other people.

    Your audience will support your success if you support theirs. There’s a common theme at the moment that ‘free content doesn’t work’. I disagree. Free content works if it’s good enough.

    You should overdeliver for everyone, not just your customers (listen to your customers too — feedback is gold for your growth).

    Peers are the people in your network. Having friends to bounce ideas, give feedback, and promote each other can you take you far.

    And mentors? They give you speed. You pay for their knowledge but you gain their wisdom. They’ve spent years figuring out what you can grasp in months.

    To be great at people leverage, you must master one thing:

    Creating win-wins.

    Be generous, selfless, and hardworking. The world will reciprocate.

    Climbing the leverage ladder

    You might be wondering where to start. Profession is the first rung of the ladder. The rest is up to you. Play to your strengths and fix your weaknesses.

    But most importantly, keep playing.

    All results in life come from compounding.

    My favourite framework is to look at every decision through the lens of ‘do I want money now or leverage later?’

    The more effort you can pour into the latter, the better. It’s about turning down the marshmallow to prepare for the feast.

    Commit to a craft. Specialise in a skill. Become well known. Build smart systems. Create connections. Layer on as much leverage as possible and keep putting in the reps.

    The view is worth the climb.

    Writing online to grow your business? Two ways I can help:

    1.⁠ ⁠Get a step-by-step blueprint for attracting an engaged audience with High Impact Writing

    2.⁠ ⁠⁠Join a weekly masterclass and get 5 content ideas delivered to your inbox every Thursday

    Kieran Drew

    About Kieran

    Ex dentist, current writer, future Onlyfans star · Sharing what I learn about writing well, thinking clearly, and building an online business