You can’t ignore the back-end pieces that have to work together and flow smoothly in order to build a brand, grow a movement or disrupt an industry. If the operations side of your business is a mess, putting out fires will always take priority… leaving no room for creative innovation, fun visibility or networking with powerhouse peers (or wannabe peers).
If you’re soaking up what I’m spilling and are getting a little excited about operations, I invite you to listen to The Ops Authority podcast. Every week, I will share actionable strategies from the Director of Ops community to move your business forward and transformational stories of powerhouse business owners who now value operations.
Do you regularly let the people in your world know how much you appreciate their support of your business? Today we are talking about gratitude. This time of year, small business owners shift their focus to start preparing for the upcoming holidays. Often, we are trying to find the equilibrium for all of the family obligations that are ahead. The time we are spending in our business are usually spent in 2 areas: Delivering on our services Wrapping up the end of the year and/or vision casting for the new year While all of that is good, it is definitely a season of blessings. Gratitude should be a part of your leadership all year long, but if it's not, this is the best season to start! For full show notes, visit theopsauthority.com/podcast/124.
24 min 7 sec
Do you have a mentor? Someone who has helped you transform your business in a way you never thought possible? Today, I’m speaking with one of the most instrumental people in my journey as a business owner. She has changed my family trajectory and given me the blessing of leading a business in a really organic way. Kelly Roach is a mentor and friend who has been a strong force in my six year business journey. Kelly is the CEO of one of just a handful of 8-figure, female-founded companies in the online space. For full show notes, visit theopsauthority.com/podcast/123.
42 min 14 sec
Do you consider yourself emotionally intelligent? How do you measure emotional intelligence, and how can you use it to your benefit as an entrepreneur? Today, I’m speaking with Cindy Sparrow about emotional intelligence. Specifically, what emotional intelligence is, and how we change as we grow. What is Emotional Intelligence? A set of social and emotional skills that influence how we view ourselves, our world, and how we respond to and impact the people and systems around us How we use emotional information and in an effective and meaningful way Emotions and thought happen at the same time so emotional intelligence is an essential life skill For full show notes, visit theopsauthority.com/podcast/122.
36 min 25 sec
How does your physical health make you a better entrepreneur? Do you pay attention to what your body is telling you as you are busy growing your business? Tanessa Shears is going to help us get some clarity on building a legacy lifestyle, and how to do it from a wellness perspective. Tanessa Shears is a health consultant and host of the Becoming Limitless podcast. She helps entrepreneurs scale their business by optimizing their health, focus & productivity with science and biohacking. Her passion is working closely with business owners to implement effective sleep, nutrition, work flow and stress management strategies to eliminate brain fog and help them get more done in 8 hours than most people can get done in a week. She does this by optimizing the performance capacity of your body & brain so you can produce more meaningful, impactful work output and scale your business faster. For full show notes, visit theopsauthority.com/podcast/121.
33 min 54 sec
Are you confused about what type of work a Director of Operations does? Are you wondering if the DOO certification program is for you? I am thrilled to bring you one of my greatest confidants and friends, and a big part of our community, Amy Lockrin. Today we will be talking about what a DOO does inside of a business. Amy Lockrin is an Operations Strategist and Coach who partners with female entrepreneurs who want more — more freedom, more success, and honestly, a lot more fun in their business! She works with amazing women who are ready to ditch the overwhelm that comes with being in charge of all of the things and fully step into their role as a CEO (not the super-stressed, overworked kind, but one who has control of her business, her time and unlimited financial potential!). She shares actionable tactics weekly on her podcast for service providers, Frazzled to Focused, daily on Instagram as she navigates supporting her clients and raising two spunky kids, or via her site: amylockrin.com For full show notes, visit www.theopsauthority.com/episode120.
51 min 32 sec
Have you ever taken a personality assessment? If so, how have you integrated the results into your business model or your career path? Today we are talking all about personality assessments, and how you can use them as you are growing in your business and navigating your career. We’ve been talking specifically about three parts of the brain. Last episode we spoke about the conative portion, which is the “doing” part of the brain. Today we’re going to look at the affective part and how that plays into your business or team. For full show notes visit www.theopsauthority.com/podcast/119.
29 min 54 sec
Do you know how to interpret Kolbe scores, and how to use them to build a strong team? Today we are continuing our conversation on the Kolbe assessment. I’m speaking with Eryn Morgan, and we are going to focus the conversation on how to use the info that we get from Kolbe to build your team. Eryn Morgan is a Kolbe Certified™ Business Consultant (4 4 8 3) who helps CEOs of creative businesses strengthen their leadership skills so they can sustainably grow their companies. She believes that cookie cutters belong in bakeries, so she partners with her clients to create customized solutions that match their goals and their Kolbe strengths. Eryn uses industry-leading conative tools, blended with her decades of real-life experience, quickstart adaptability, and laser-focused improvisational teaching style to help each client increase their company productivity and profitability. To get connected with Eryn, visit her website at ErynMorgan.com and grab your copy of her CEO Checklist. With it you'll quickly identify the small shifts you can make today that will put you on the road to becoming a clearer, more powerful decision maker and CEO. For the full show notes, visit theopsauthority.com/podcast/118.
50 min 25 sec
How do you take action, and why is it important to recognize your strengths in this area? Today we are focusing on letting your unique strengths guide your career and your business growth. The Kolbe index is the tool we leverage here at The Ops Authority to help people understand what their unique strengths are. For full show notes go to theopsauthority.com/podcast/117.
30 min 5 sec
If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a way to find a better fit for your business future while also creating an incredible experience for your clients, I’ve got good news. Today I am interviewing one of my rockstar students, Claire Grace. She will be talking about her journey and how her life has been impacted since joining the Director of Operations (DOO) certification program. She shares how the certification allowed her to create a next level experience for her clients while also being a better fit for her life. For the full show notes, visit theopsauthority.com/podcast/116. Meet Claire Claire is a Certified Director of Operations and founder of The Assistant Quarters a UK VA & OBM Agency. Claire's journey to starting her own business is typical of many others. She had her first child in 2013 and just as her daughter was about to start school, she was made redundant from her 15+ year corporate career in Banking. That unexpected turn of events gave her the nudge (and financial buffer!) to finally launch her own business as a Virtual Assistant. The goal, to work with ambitious female founders, be more present as a mother with the flexibility of working on her terms, without the stresses of a London commute. Since launching in 2017, Claire quickly started to grow a team and rather organically grew The Assistant Quarters into a small VA Agency. In turn, transitioning her own 1:1 client offering from that of VA to OBM/ Ops Manager by bringing together a strong and skilled team of VAs with a range of specialisms to support clients to handle day-to-day ops support and implementation. Drawing on her experience of managing remote teams and her time in Project Management and Business Management roles, she realized her real passion was sparked in her work with clients to define their business strategy, nail their business operations and build strong teams. Whilst on maternity leave with her second child in 2020 during lockdown, Claire signed up to the DOO Program, knowing that she and her business were ready to grow even further. She currently works with a small number of clients 1:1 as their DOO and offers her popular Business Freedom Formula Strategy Sessions. The DOO Programme has renewed her confidence and energy and she has exciting plans to further grow her Agency in 2021 and beyond. What is your background? Was with the same company for 15 years, in all different kinds of roles: project management, ops roles, and executive administration Her hour commute was becoming difficult due to having a young child Banking in the UK goes through routine restructuring, and once her job was made redundant, she took the opportunity to look into becoming a VA She hasn’t looked back, and would never go back to a corporate job Was solo for about 3-4 months, then hired an accountant and an associate around month 5 What was the journey from starting out as a VA to hiring your first associate to starting the DOO program? Came across the concept of an online business manager (OBM), and felt more aligned with that skill set rather than a VA Has been in business for 4.5 years Came across the DOO program and felt aligned with that skill set and it seemed like the next logical step What intrigued you about the DOO certification? The opportunity to uplevel her strategy sessions Using the Strategic Mapping she would be able to enhance this service Felt like a much better fit for where she wanted to head after the birth of her 2nd child “This felt like such a much better fit for where I was heading after having my second child.” - Claire Grace How did you integrate the Strategic Mapping™ with your new and existing clients? Initially started to talk with her current clients, and offered it to a few at a discounted rate to test the process Having the framework bolstered her confidence when she needed it Became much easier to sell confidently Went in depth with the script and the process from the beginning and kept refining it until it was her core service How does the Strategic Mapping™ work as a product in your agency? A new client won’t come on board until they have a strategic mapping session with her unless they just need basic VA services If they are ready for an OBM or DOO, then this service is positioned up front so they can be really clear on what their priorities are Her sweet spot is in team hiring and business systems operations She secures the client, delivers the strategic mapping, then highlights some of the additional services they could benefit from. They will get a proposal for DOO short term supports, or accountability assistance, or an introduction into the team if they need VA support. “There is no better way to scope a project than going through a Strategic Mapping™.” - Natalie Gingrich Was there anything within the HR module that has really changed the way that you show up as an agency owner? She used to manage a remote team in her corporate career Going through the HR model made her reflect on how she could improve and how she wanted her team culture to be and how she wanted to show up as a leader What gave you the permission to say yes to this investment? When she was first introduced to the program, lockdown had taken quite a hit on her ability to work, and she had to take a leap of faith She had faith in her connections’ feedback about the program and read other testimonials and felt like this would be a good fit She wanted to be surrounded by other OBMs and VAs who were leveling up, and a business coach who specialized in operations What is next for you? Wants to design a membership or course that will help people who have gone through strategic mapping to take the next steps Any advice for those thinking of joining the DOO certification program? Go for it! It has been the best investment she has made Have faith that coaches are there to support you, especially if you fall behind in the modules Don’t just think of it as the just a program and certification, there is an entire community there to support you “I wouldn’t have the business I have now if I hadn’t made this leap.” - Claire Grace Connect with Claire Instagram Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 113: Results Matter: Why Quality Programs Focus on the Results of Their Students Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/116.
35 min 16 sec
What's wrong with finding a guru, and following their business-in-a-box model? Today we are talking about why it's important to build a business that fits both your personality and your skills. We are opening up a new series for the next few weeks that will help you to create a vision for the types of business models that are available to you. Two things you must remember: No 2 business are the same Your business will not be the same 6 months from now The Best Business For You As a young girl, I was raised by parents who had a brick and mortar business in the advertising specialities sector. When I dreamt of what type of business I may have one day, I literally couldn’t see past a product based brick and mortar business. Of course commerce has changed a ton since then, but I limited myself to that style of making money. My vision followed a model I trusted. As I went to school, a theme of helping came out, and the careers I had were in nursing, fitness, teaching, and leading teams. I explored these and landed at a fortune 150 company for 15 years, where I did a lot of leading, mentoring, and developing talent. These were roles that complimented my soft skills, and I flourished in this work. Luckily, I had the opportunity to walk away from that phase and when I did I immediately knew I was going to have my own business. “I craved the ability to create a legacy for my family as well as flexibility in work hours.” I flirted with the idea of a brick and mortar business because I knew the power of product models. But when I did deep work and thought about what fueled me in my professional career, it was service and using my soft skills of empathy, leadership, relationships, and development. What better way to leverage these through a service based model? Then the online world was presented to me. “I started to look at the entrepreneurial world with much more complexity because it wasn’t just service based or brick and mortar.. there was a land of new options available to me.” There were also dozens of people willing to take my money to teach me their model, framework, or path to 6 figures. I have started, grown, and scaled The Ops Authority in complete alignment with who I am, my gifts, what I desire, and the way I work best. I have built my own business which is different from any other person's business. It’s completely mine and this is exactly what I want for you. This series is about leveraging your personality, soft skills, and your innate way of working, to create a business that compliments you. Assessments We love quizzes and assessments because they take a peek into our personality. Think about Myers Briggs, Disc, Enneagram, 16 Personalities, The Hogan Assessment and many more. These results show you more about your psychology and your behavioral tendencies. By knowing these parts of your personality, you can use this as data to help you design your specific business model. For example, if you’re more of an introvert, I recommend a 1:1 model. Marketing may be an uphill battle because you don’t want to be front and center. With a 1:1 model, you don’t have to have as many sales events and with just a few conversations, you can fill your business up. This model allows you to focus on fewer people and deeply serve. It also means your churn will be less. This is frequently what our Directors of Operations (DOO) choose, especially as they’re settling into business ownership. This is called a retainer model. Something else that can help you become clear is the Kolbe index. This is different because it has nothing to do with personality but everything to do with action. The Kolbe looks specifically at your conative mind, which is the “doing” part of your brain. We’re going to dive deeper into the Kolbe system next week, but for starters it looks at 4 modes: fact finding, follow through, quick start, and implementation. “Personality may change, and will change over time but conation doesn’t.” If you’re a “quick start” on the Kolbe index, you probably have more vision and volume of ideas than others. It might be best to build a business with a supportive team to help you carry out those ideas. You also might leverage a funnel or have multiple offers, because you like complexity. If you combine the two examples I’ve given you, an introvert and a quick start (looking at personality and natural action) this individual could create a business that will leverage paid and organic traffic to get the right prospects into a funnel to have a sales call, rather than someone who speaks on stages to build connection. See how that works? “I’m on fire to help our community build a business that aligns to them and their values but at the same time leveraging the vast tools available to us rather than copying someone else’s model.” For now you can learn a little bit more about the four business models available to service providers by taking our quiz at the theopsauthority.com/quiz. “The right business model will bring you faster success, less stress, and more ease and confidence.” Weekly Ops Activity Take the quiz and let us know your top result in our private Facebook community. I can't wait to see what your results are! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/115.
15 min 29 sec
What do you do when a client relationship goes south? How do you go about ending a client relationship on good terms? Today, we are talking about a part of business that can be scary and intimidating; how to break up with a client. All of us will eventually come across a situation we need to get out of, and I’m going to give you a 10-step process on how to escape a relationship that is no longer healthy. For the full show notes, go to theopsauthority.com/podcast/114. Why You Should Break Up Similar to dating, sparks fly at the beginning. But at some point (in some relationships), they stop. It doesn’t happen overnight, but something changes and you reach a point where you have to make a decision. Do I stay or do I go? Now, let’s shift this scenario to business. At some point in every business relationship you’ll reach a point where it’s unhealthy, unfulfilling, clashes with your values, or holds you back from your greater potential. This is when you begin asking yourself if you should be in this relationship. When those feelings come over you, you begin looking for your exit plan. Today I'm going to guide you through how to professionally and respectfully exit the relationship. How You Should Break Up 1. Get Clear on Why Sometimes this is obvious, and other times it takes some introspection. I'm a fact finder and get confidence from pros and cons lists. You should start this process by knowing why you’re leaving. 2. Review Your Terms Review the terms of your contract. What date is the contractual period ending? Do either of you have terms that you need to be aware of? Even if there are terms, you can still proceed. 3. Firm Up Your Exit Date You know the business, the terms, and the client, so you have the info you need to determine the date you’ll be leaving. Firm this up before disclosing your exit so you aren’t talked into or out of anything. 4. Define What You Will Deliver This is key and has been my differentiator in keeping former clients as referral partners and advocates of my work. Create a plan that outlines what you’ll accomplish in the stated time period (from step 3.) “You rock project plans and your exit needs one.” The clearer you are with what you’ll accomplish, the less emotional it will be. You’ll also be more productive. 5. Know Your Audience Surely you’ve seen your client on good, bad, challenging, and successful days. Think about how they deal with difficult or tough conversations. I don’t know of many that want to lose amazing talent like you. As we prepare for the next step, anticipate how this “break up” conversation will go down. 6. Prepare for Conversation You’ve gathered the facts and done some thinking. Now it’s time for the planning. Most often, I script these out: Why I’m leaving What date I’m done Last payment info What they can expect from me in the timeframe Transition plan 7. How You Will Deliver Schedule a face to face meeting or phone conversation. Email or text may be an option, but keep in mind that it’s not the most professional. 8. Have the Conversation You’ve got this! Stick to the plan. It's a trusted plan with plenty of uses behind it. Of course you should be prepared for a response. With such a detailed plan, I've rarely run across a heated conversation. “If you deliver with details and empathy, it increases your chances of being understood.” If it does go south, cut it short and follow up with an email. 9. Deliver on Your Promise Here’s where you turn into an undeniable professional! Regardless of why you’re leaving the clients business, remember the plan that you communicate and deliverables you promised. Meet and exceed every single one. “Be a woman of your word: do what you say, and deliver with excellence.” 10. Send a Note This is extra, but something I think is necessary. At the end of the period, send them a handwritten note. Thank them for the opportunity, and outline all of the wins you have accomplished together, and any other anecdotal feedback. Breaking up is hard to do, no doubt. But this process has helped me to stay firm and overdeliver while wrapping up. I always tell my Director of Operations community that we’re elevating the expectations of service providers and operations professionals. This is one part of how we can accomplish that! Weekly Ops Activity Go into the Ops Insiders group and tell us: how can you articulate why you are leaving to a client so they hear it and don’t take offense? Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/114.
16 min 37 sec
When you decide to join an online course, what convinces you to invest? How do you determine if you're going to get that precious return on investment? Today we are talking about how the best online programs are obsessed with results. There are a lot of different things we can look at as consumers of online products, courses, coaches, or masterminds… but the thing you need to do the most active research on is the results that they are getting for their customers. For the full show notes, go to theopsauthority.com/podcast/113. Evidence of Real Results Results are the key ingredient that you need to consider when you are looking for the right program to invest in. It is far too easy to fall into the marketing traps of a one-size-fits-all formula. Ask yourself: Does this solve a pain point that I’m currently having? Am I spending my resources because of the amazing marketing of the program or the attractiveness of the leader? If the leader/teacher is an icon, are we taking the time to actually get to know them? Does their teaching style resonate with you? Do you like/respect them? Does their presentation allow you to learn? Make sure that you are purchasing for all the right reasons. You need to truly connect with the leader, but mostly you want to critically review the outcomes that they promise. What do you get by working with them/participating with them? What kind of results have they helped generate for their previous students? When I look for training/coaches/programs, this is the biggest gap I see. This is why I have been hyper vigilant about defining and tracking the results for our Director of Operations (DOO) certification program. In my path of learning and development, one of the things that was lacking was the gap in the promise of results. We have done this in a couple ways in the DOO program: Every student has a coach Every single student is assigned a coach that they meet with one-on-one each week. That coach fills in the gaps and serves as a resource for any questions that come up in the recorded trainings. This is related to the ROI that our students are having. Experts in Key Areas We provide expert coaches in key areas, specifically in the areas of operations, leadership, and communication. Experts address the specific situations, questions, concerns that students have and this has made a big difference in getting specific (rather than generic) responses. Develop Milestones We took the time to develop milestones in each of the tracks of our program. There are two different tracks in our program: Employee track: If you are an employee in someone else's business, they can sponsor you to come through the program. There are 6 different milestones to accomplish to make sure you stay on track, and they are focused on confidence and leadership. Business Builder track: This is for the service provider who wants to build a business and have multiple streams of income or multiple clients at one time. This track includes an additional 6 milestones to hit. We define milestones so that the business builder can achieve exactly what they want when they join us. Ask for Feedback We continuously ask for feedback as people are going through the process and at the end of the program, relating to the content, coaches, and curriculum design. We make feedback an important part of the experience so that the students want to give us feedback. Since we were getting feedback more regularly, we started to make real time additions and adjustments based on what students need. Facebook Community This is a real authentic group where people come in and ask questions, and are vulnerable with their experiences. It is a guarded safe group, and I love the way I see our community leveraging this asset. We are able to coach them through overwhelming situations that they don't feel like they can figure out by themselves. They also have true access to me. So many programs advertise access to the leader, but once you get inside, that leader is nowhere to be found. This is one of the reasons we set a maximum number for each of the cohorts. I want to make sure I have access to know everyone's situation, and goals. We build real, deep relationships with several layers… not just with your coach. Give Access for Life I've had lots of advice on how to do this, but I want to make sure that students can come back to the content that they start to lack confidence in. They can come back and have access for life, and as we make improvements to the content, they get those. “It’s important to me that results don’t stop when teaching stops.” We want this to be a community that they can leverage, because they continuously pour into it and point out the gaps. This is the breeding ground for a strong program as well as results for our students. “I am obsessed with over-delivering and ensuring that our students get their return on their time, energy, vision, and investment.” By The Numbers We require results, and we only work with people who are hungry for them! Here are the real results that we have gotten for our students over the last few cohorts. 82% of our students have achieved up-leveling the avatar they desire 85% of our students have walked away with new offers 71% Get a full ROI within 6 months Students are bringing an average of $16,275 into their business within 6 months Our satisfaction rate is 92%, with over 200 students Our completion rate is 96% (as opposed to the online industry average of 15%!) Weekly Ops Activity Check out the program! We are accepting applications for round 11 right now. If you have questions, you can ask them in our Facebook group! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/113.
23 min 38 sec
Do you want to hear more about the Director of Operations (DOO) certification program from someone who has gone through the program? My guest today is certified DOO Sarah Khan, who has come through our Director of Operations certification program. Sarah has the ability to help people with leadership and business development, and I know you will enjoy her wisdom! For the full show notes, visit theopsauthority.com/podcast/112 Meet Sarah Sarah Khan is an operations strategist and consultant committed to busting the BS in the online service space. Her expertise is in bringing clarity to chaos by helping ex-corporate, visionary women business owners identify and prioritize clear action steps to achieve their goals, while managing all the moving pieces of their business. But her passion lies in rewiring corporate & employee mindset: the myths and "shoulds" of what it means to run a successful online business and the mental and emotional transition of moving from corporate employee to business owner in your own right. Through her grounded, pragmatic approach to business and leadership development, she sees through the FOMO, cuts out the "buts" and holds you accountable to your vision. Sarah was in corporate for 15 years in the project management and executive coaching space, and then transitioned to higher education. When she became a mother, she was laid off, then laid off again after she had her second child. This made her want to rethink her devotion to her corporate career, but she didn’t consider entrepreneurship. She started dabbling in the online space as a VA, pivoted into the OBM space, and eventually made her way into the DOO certification program. Interested in the DOO certification program? Fill out an application. Connect with Sarah Workbook Facebook Instagram Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/112.
35 min 56 sec
Do you have trouble communicating honestly with your clients? Do you wonder what piece of the puzzle you are missing when it comes to building healthy, long-lasting client relationships? Today we are talking about my #1 essential ingredient to having healthy mature client relationships. This is what so many people dream of, because their experiences are the exact opposite. They are used to unhealthy and immature client relationships. Join us for a 5-day series coming up that’s all about scope creep. (You know, when your client(s) take over your entire life, or a project goes from simple to stressed?) Register here to join us on August 30th! Building Healthy Relationships with Candor The word “candor” changed a lot of things for me. I have a long history of rising into formal and informal leadership roles, and behind all of that success is the concept of candor. I once had a tough boss who asked me to be less candid, and because of that I began to examine how I could grow in my career while still honoring and leveraging my gifts. “Candor allowed me to build deep relationships, get authentic buy-in, helped me establish an open door policy, and be a respected leader.” Candor is the quality of being open and honest in expression, and it was my special sauce. The problem is that it can get a bad rap because it is easily misunderstood and can imply that you are sassy or condescending. But it is the #1 ingredient in my success in having long healthy mature client relationships! “If I’m not going to be honest, direct, frank, or open… how could I ever truly be an authentic partner?” Candor has enabled me to build solid relationships and two-way communication with my leader and the teams I’m supporting. Two-way conversations are a huge piece of what we encourage in our Director of Operations (DOO) program because I believe it has the power to keep you happy, fulfilled, and to grow your business. When it feels like you are going different directions in your relationships, candor will bring you back. When things need to be addressed, these conversations can happen with much greater ease. Scope creep will happen in both client relationships and projects, and when it does… candor is queen. I am convinced that we have high turnover in the online space because there is a lack of candor happening. Are You Candid? Check in with yourself. Are you able to express your thoughts? Are you able to be open and honest with your expression? Continuously ask yourself this question. Even in tough moments ask yourself what can you do to be honest and open? Sometimes it means delivering a hard message, but just because it's difficult doesn't mean it needs to be done in a negative way. You can still come with solutions, and kindness. I want to make sure that people don’t assume that candor has a negative connotation. How Can You Add Candor? What can you do to add candor to your life? Pick clients you align with. You ultimately get to choose who you will work with. You will naturally have greater ease when you are serving clients whom you align with. Be bold and address gaps you are seeing. Take the reins and address the gaps, opportunities, shortcomings, and feedback. Have more conversations. Continuously get in front of your leader, and have thought provoking conversations, offer course corrections, and bring solutions. Have these conversations so they can begin to hear you better. Coach them and partner with them. Reporting is fundamental for any service provider. Your leader wants to see what you have been up to, and it will facilitate conversations that should be rooted in candor. Ask for feedback. How are you doing, and where are your opportunities? By doing this, it shows them that you are open. Take that feedback and expand on it to make it a two-way conversation. “The ability to be candid is directly related to the quality of your client relationships.” Don’t forget to sign up for The Scope Creep Solution! Weekly Ops Activity Tell me how you practice candor with your clients. Join us at our private FB community, and share an example of how you show candor in your relationships. Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/111.
20 min 14 sec
Do you find it hard to establish and communicate boundaries with your clients? Today, we are going to talk about why you need to set boundaries with your client or employer. The most successful relationships that I’ve had are those in which I've been able to show up as my true self, and have established boundaries. Not only did I have to do the work to define the boundaries, but I had to effectively communicate those boundaries. When I was able to do both of those things, I experienced the most fulfilling business relationships I’ve ever had. Why You Need Boundaries in Your Business What is a boundary? It is a limit which you consider acceptable. There is no box you have to fit in, and there is no list of boundaries that will be applicable for everyone. You get to be the author, and your boundaries should come from what you value. If you are thinking about all the relationships that haven’t been successful, a common theme was probably that you were under-appreciated and overworked. Overworking never produces an overly satisfied party. The over-striving to impress someone sucks your time and energy. “A healthy relationship lends itself to a productive, effective, and highly communicative partnership.” I want you to move from a place where you feel like an employee to the next level of that feeling of partnership. Being productive, effective, and communicative are met by having boundaries and having mutual respect for those boundaries. The win/win for you and your client is that you are able to show up and share your gifts, rather than carry the stress, questions, and worries. So, let’s dive a little deeper into why boundaries are so important in the work you do. You Come First You likely got into business because you want to do life on our own terms. You want to use your gifts and expertise and be able to show up authentically as you. These boundaries are going to be derivatives of your goals, dreams, values and vision. You Deserve Balance We all have talked for years about the concept of work-life balance. After all of that work, the work-life balance is still elusive… especially in a corporate environment. If you are stepping out and doing business on your own, I want you to be balanced. The closest you will get to that is going to be the place you are the happiest with yourself, your family, and your work. Take as Much as You Give You can easily get out of balance when you are overachieving or when you are not clear. Those things lead to overworking and burnout, which is the opposite of what balance looks like. Your Mental Health Matters If you feel stressed, can’t sleep, or have a lack of exercise, all of this will lead to a place of poor mental health. These lack of boundaries can lead you to a place of being in a poor mental health space. “No boundaries equals stress all of the time.” High Performing Connections and Relationships When you have boundaries you have high performing connections and relationships. If you have been in a position where you have felt that you were never doing the right thing or never doing enough… it likely lacked an ease of communication. In this situation you will never have the feeling of high performance. When you have all of that chaos around you, it never feels like ease. “When you have high performing connections, it builds a solid relationship and creates the best client relationships.” Stay Focused and Productive When Present When you have boundaries, you will stay focused and productive when present. Time is a boundary for most of us. If you put a boundary on your time and couple it with a healthy communicative relationship, then when you show up to work you will be focused and productive. You won’t have all of the emotions that will slow you down. Avoid Uncomfortable Situations When you have boundaries you avoid uncomfortable situations and misunderstandings. Your clients can’t read your mind, so if you don’t clearly communicate your boundaries, there is no way a client can uphold them. They won’t be able to know if they are putting you in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. Love Your Work I want you to love your work, and honor your gifts. When you do this, you will experience less turnover. When you are seen for the great gifts you have, and are able to use your gifts, you will stay in that place for a lot longer. Finding new clients will always set you back, so minimize that by working with people who respect your boundaries. “If you can go into a relationship where your boundaries are said, understood, and practiced, you will love your work in a different way.” If this topic resonates with you (it should if you’re a service provider in any capacity), we have a 5-day series coming up and it’s all about scope creep. You know, when the time when your client or clients take over your entire life or a project goes from simple to stressed? Register here. Weekly Ops Activity Evaluate the struggles you are currently experiencing with your client, write them down, and then write out a boundary statement that you can institute to minimize your struggle. Head over to the FB group and share it with us! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/110.
20 min 13 sec
Have you had to deliver hard news to your client before? Do you shy away from being the bearer of bad news? On today's episode, we are going to be talking about the 5 Ps to deliver an unexpected message to the leader of a business you are supporting. It is inevitable that throughout the course of a client relationship you are going to run across a situation that needs to be addressed. As a Director of Operations (DOO), part of the responsibility is to share feedback. The key is to be a communicator, and I hope these tips will equip you. Imagine this scenario: you are on a team and the leader has shared a strategy and you and the team are working to implement. No one on the team believes in this strategy, and the buy in is super low. The hard part is that the leader has no idea. They are completely unaware that the team doesn’t support it. Because the team is made up of “yes ma'am” people, they aren't empowered to speak up. However, you have the ability and the responsibility to have a conversation about these things. This isn’t easy, but it is necessary to be a leader in the business, for yourself, and in the industry. This type of leadership will set you apart, and you are changing the way the team or business sees you. The 5 Ps These are the 5 things I go through to make sure I deliver a message with ease, and deliver it in an approachable way where the leader will be open, and resist a negative response. Perspective Gather perspective, gather your facts, and look at the trends in the industry or their business. Look at the root issues and always stay objective. Make sure it's not just you who feels that something is off, and that you aren’t framing questions in a way that gets you a response that will confirm your position. Perspective will allow you to plan your message. Plan Pull the facts that you have gathered from the perspective phase and create a plan. You need to have a plan around delivering this information. During this phase you will utilize documentation, and crystallize the facts. “It's helpful to have something that allows you to remove the emotionality from it.” Consider how the leader engages in conversation and feedback, and tailor the message around them. This is important to get the buy-in from the leader to be able to have a 2 way conversation. Private The delivery of this information needs to be private. If it is a group setting, it will feel like a pile-on, which never ends well. You want the leader to become aware of something so you two can collaborate to create change. Set up a meeting in one-on-one format and leverage the plan. Proactive This message is unexpected for the leader. How they receive it depends on the personality type of the leader and how coachable they are. Take faster action than you typically would. You want to take fast, planned, methodical, analytical action. In other words, don't spend too much time on fact finding. This is part of you stepping up as a leader on your team. “Being proactive is key to open, honest, effective, communication.” Positive You don’t know how the leader will respond, so it's important to stay positive throughout the entire experience. Keep yourself in a positive place, meaning you are open minded and separate yourself from the message that you are delivering. “Continue to be a positive force for the team after the message has been delivered.” Your job is to point out the gaps and the root problems, but at the end of the day, the leader gets to do what they want with that information. Weekly Ops Activity Head over to the Facebook group and let us know what are some of the scenarios when you delivered an unexpected piece of feedback to your client? Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/109.
17 min 54 sec
Could a development program such as the Director of Operations certification benefit an employer or client you are already working with? Today we are answering a question that we are frequently asked: How can I leverage my leader to financially assist with the cost of the Director of Operations (DOO) certification program (or another professional development program)? Present Conditions Needed These are the conditions that need to be present before you ask anyone to contribute to your training and development. You need to be in this business for at least 6 months, and have complete buy-in to the business. You need to deeply connect to the value and mission of the business you are supporting, and resonate with the leader's vision. You have already brought success to this business, and have set/met goals for them and with them. You will need to provide documentation such as the metrics/reporting to prove that you have contributed to the success of this business. Do you have the intention of staying with this business for the next year? Make sure you have honest intentions to bring this business a ROI if they are investing in you. Do your research. Ensure that you are really invested in the program and the content that you are purchasing, and that it will be applicable to the growth plan of the company you are supporting. Make sure you have time to commit to the program you are investing in. The Proposal You will need a proposal, and to be able to effectively communicate to the leader. What are the benefits of them sponsoring you? What are the benefits of you learning this new knowledge? This is the first thing you will need to include in your proposal. Benefits of DOO program The content is operations focused. We focus on 5 key pillars: strategy, key performance indicators, project management, human resources, and finances. These will all be translated into their business. You will gain new ideas and frameworks that you can implement immediately. You will be able to perform case studies and activities on their business within the first 2 weeks of the program. You will have access to a very specific community of subject matter experts, which gives an extra layer of support Retention rates: when businesses contribute to the people who have been good to them, the satisfaction rate is higher and leads to a mutually beneficial partnership, and less turnover You get to walk away with greater responsibility, and the ability to manage and lead. Create a job description I want you to create a job description with the new skills you are going to learn. I want you to showcase how you are going to uplevel as a result of this training. In the DOO program, as you go through each discipline you will be able to practice on your business so they will get immediate benefit. The Facts Research the program information: What are the dates When are thee meeting times How much time is needed from you The price Check out directorofops.com to gather all of the necessary details. The ROI The next part of your proposal is to show the expected ROI. How can you show the leader how their investment will contribute to a greater profit margin? If you can do this it’s very likely they will say yes. How will these skills contribute to the bottom line? How fast will you be able to get a full return on investment? “We want the student, as well as their leader, to be overly satisfied.” All of this information is going to culminate into a formal proposal. Communication Set up a meeting to deliver the proposal, and have a follow up email ready to go. Communication is key during this entire process. Be confident, eager, and have your facts together so the leader will say “Heck Yes!” Payment Piece Propose that they pay some or all; you will need to use your discernment with this request. Be realistic and flexible, because there are a lot of different ways to do this. Best of luck! Weekly Ops Activity Head over to the Facebook group and let us know if you have a leader in mind who you are planning on asking to contribute to your learning and development. Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/108.
21 min 39 sec
Have you mastered time management? If you’re not sure, ask yourself if you have set aside enough time to work on your own business (hint: you need more than you think). My guest today is Amanda Warfield, who is here today to talk about the realities and the struggles of time management as a service provider. Meet Amanda Amanda is a simplicity-focused time management & business strategist, and host of Chasing Simple - a podcast to help creative entrepreneurs uncomplicate their life and biz. She traded in her classroom lesson plans for speaking and educating creatives on sustainably enjoying work/life balance, and her clients and students have gained back time, energy, and mental clarity. Her mission is to help overwhelmed entrepreneurs take back their time and energy, so that they can stop trying to fit it all in, stop feeling guilty for spending time not being "productive" and stop feeling worn out and defeated at the end of each day. If her nose isn't in a book, you can find Amanda annoying her husband by slipping Disney into every conversation, or forcing her cats to snuggle. One of the biggest problems she sees is that service providers fill their schedules with clients so they can make the money they want, but then they neglect their own businesses. This means they aren't growing, and they're stressed out. A lot of times she hears people say that you should treat yourself as a client, but no matter what you do for your client, you are only doing one small part of their business. That is not enough time, and it leads to stress, overwhelm and burnout. Four Steps To Time Management 1. Write down every single task that you have to do as the CEO of your business. Brain dump everything and make sure you include the things you outsource. Do this seasonally, because with every new season of life you have to have a new schedule. Give yourself a week or so to work on it. “Whatever routines and schedules you create have an expiration date because when a new season of life comes along, they aren't going to work for you.” - Amanda Warfield 2. Group like with like. Take the whole list and start categorizing things. What tasks are similar enough to put you in the same brain space? The brain loves repetitive tasks, which puts you in a groove. 3. Pull out a blank schedule. Write down when you are available to work. Instead of asking how long a task will take, ask yourself how long you have to work on the task. . 4. Plot those categories into your schedule block. Are you working all day every day for your clients? How much time does it leave for you to work on your own business? Go back to your goals and realistically judge how many clients you need to have to meet your income goals. Compare it to your schedule and see if you need to raise your prices or reconfigure your packages in order to raise your prices. If you are spending more than 3 days a week working on client work, you aren’t going to have enough time to work on your own business. One of the most common things that creeps up on us as entrepreneurs is marketing. We get overwhelmed with our podcast, blog, or youtube channel and experience burnout. If you can keep your client work to half of your work time, you will have time to work on the behind the scenes tasks. These are the things that will move the needle forward for you such as networking, administrative work, marketing, and visibility. “Clients bring in the income, but they aren’t actually moving the needle forward in your business.” - Amanda Warfield Taking on too many clients and then burning ourselves out is a challenge. How have you been able to navigate this? Uses her 4 step system and decides when she can take on clients Got really clear on when she was setting aside time for clients, what her current packages looked like, and how many people she could take on Asked herself “Did that get me to my goal?” Do expectations meet reality? So many of us expect to grow our businesses a lot faster than realistically possible “Are your goals realistic, or are they just going to stress you out?” - Amanda Warfield What are your tips on serving clients who require communication every day? Know when you are most productive Utilize your energy and arrange work blocks to your advantage Set aside 30 minutes a day to deal with email (and make sure to set expectations with your client) “Give your best self to your own business.” - Amanda Warfield “No one is going to take care of your growth in your business but you.” - Natalie Gingrich Any additional thoughts? When are you most productive during the week? During the day? Match your most brain power consuming activities to your most productive times of the day/week Work according to your energy levels; you don’t need to be a 5am person if you are more suited to working into the night Weekly Ops Activity Do the exercise that Amanda shared, and let us know in the Facebook group: how many clients does your schedule allow for? Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 87: Planning Your Weekly Schedule Like a CEO Connect with Amanda: Instagram Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/107.
40 min 33 sec
Does video scare you? Do you shy away from this amazing marketing tool because you don’t feel comfortable going live? Alicia Henderson is my guest today, and we are talking all about video marketing. She has been in this business for a long time, and she knows that marketing and visibility can be a struggle for operators. Meet Alicia Alicia helps women entrepreneurs leverage live video as high-ticket client lead magnets and create profitable livestreams so they can attract premium clients, scale their reach and increase their revenue while building businesses that revolve around their families and not the other way around. Why is video so scary, and how do we overcome that? A lot of people feel like they have to have it all perfect We watch others and think they are killing it, and then we put things in our way so we don’t even start. For example: I’m just starting out I don’t look good I don’t have something to say I talk too fast/too slow/have an accent Nobody knows my name It's really about addressing why you put these barriers in your way, and then asking yourself if you can make adjustments. You have to show up. Have something you can present where people can see you addressing their pain points. Video cuts down the customer journey and helps them make the decision to buy from you. “If you get on camera one time, who could that put you in front of?” - Alicia Henderson “When you are watching a live video, you know almost instantaneously if this is your person.” - Natalie Gingrich How do you feel about pre-recorded vs. live video? The best way to build your connection with your audience is live video If you are hesitant, start out with prerecorded video to get comfortable Make sure you aren’t critiquing how you look; the point is to get comfortable on camera Notice your mannerisms How can you slow your speech down? Once you feel comfortable post a 3-5 minute video Next, hop on live… remember it is a conversation Monitor comments Ask questions and get feedback (which is great for your own marketing) What are the four things you should do on live video? Educate your audience: These are the things they need to know about your industry. Let them know things they should be doing, and the hottest tips about your industry. Establish your expertise: Position yourself as an expert in your industry. Educate, not necessarily in a “how-to” manner, but a “what and why” manner. Build Community: Get to know our audience and let them get to know you. Sell: Live videos should sell and make offers. Don’t worry about what people think, selling is key to any business. Make sure you have a Call to Action (CTA) that leads the audience to take the next step with you. Remember that selling on a live video can look different: Sign up for this challenge Get my free offer Watch my free video service Download my template Have a sales conversation “Every live video should be taking them to the next offer.” - Alicia Henderson “If your content is binge-worthy, if you have educated and nurtured them… they will start to binge watch your videos.” Other Tips If people didn’t show up when you were live, remember that the replay viewers are key. If they know you went live, they will come, share, like and comment` Don’t forget that videos can be repurposed, so do not delete them! You want the videos to have a lifetime of use and of referrals You can also use them on your website People love to see your journey from where you started Have good lighting and a clean area Be relatable “Things don’t have to be perfect… the best action is imperfect action.” - Alicia Henderson “I don’t want to work with somebody who is expecting perfection, because that is an expectation I can’t live up to.” - Natalie Gingrich Weekly Ops Activity Pick out one value that is really important to you, and go live to talk about why it is important to your business. Then come on over to the Facebook group and drop your link! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/106.
Do you get stuck in a state of comparison? Do you suffer imposter syndrome often? Today we have Kelly Ruta, a dear friend, peer, and mentor who I am constantly learning and developing beside. Kelly is going to be sharing about leadership and mindset as this is her background. She has built a phenomenal business off the back of her experience. Meet Kelly Kelly Sullivan Ruta is a former clinical psychotherapist of 2 decades who left the profession to raise the bar in the coaching industry with years of formal training, experience and expertise working with the human psyche. She is a sought-after speaker and CEO Development Strategist who helps entrepreneurs create safe and foundational psychological shifts that result in exponential business growth without sacrificing values, ethics or joy. Kelly believes that women are being called to rise and lead like never before in modern history and entrepreneurs are perfectly positioned to create a massive healing impact on the planet. She seeks to positively impact women worldwide by teaching them to create personal mastery so they are confident, brave, and in COMMAND as they work through the messy phases of scaling and growth. Kelly is a hardcore introvert, Starbucks addict, unapologetic Scorpio, and lover of all things beach. When she isn’t working, Kelly is hanging with her ride-or-die besties, has her head in a book or is with her husband and two sons, often at the baseball field. Kelly is going to drop some serious wisdom for us today. When we are working around visionaries who work at triple the speed we do, we get into a state of comparison and sometimes that leads to imposter syndrome. We are going to talk about what that looks like for those of us in the service industry, such as Directors of Operations (DOO). We as humans hold ourselves back. What are some insights on ways to overcome this? What is actually going on is that when you start comparing or having doubt, inevitably you will arrive at “what is wrong with me”, which is a direct threat to everything that matters You are not alone in this; every single human has an ego, and you have to learn to understand it Your ego wants to maintain the status quo no matter what You have to create a new identity, and your ego wants nothing to do with that Your ego has some outstanding tactics to throw obstacles in your way so you can’t stretch yourself, and impostor syndrome is one of those ways “Just because you decided to step into a role; you don’t get to sidestep the human experience.” -Kelly Ruta What is the work we need to do to overcome these safe spots? A lot of research shows that females receive lots of risk averse messaging I encourage women to do the deep inner work on your unconscious mind, your conscious mind, how you navigate your emotions, and how to create habits of behavior that serve your deeper desires What will set you apart from others is not the strategy or tactic you are using in your business, but the person you are being when you come up with the strategy or implement it; it's about the person not the strategy “It’s uncomfortable to change your behavior, because you start thinking about all the ‘what ifs’.”- Kelly Ruta How do we protect and grow ourselves and emotionally support our business brains? The slightest change in language makes a big difference… stop saying “or” and start saying “and.” We love to compartmentalize but business is not a good place to do this. Women have been fed cultural messages. We get a huge pat on the back for things like being Type A or being in constant action instead of consistent and intentional actions That leads to being a super woman or a failure Know when to slow down, and know when to be in consistent focused action and know how to dance between the two Figure out what you require to give your best “Start saying “I choose to, I get to, I require.” -- Kelly Ruta “You will never be able to do your absolute best work if you are not filling your own cup” -- Kelly Ruta When we need to unplug, how can we avoid feeling guilty or like things will fall apart without us? This is common, and these doubts will pop up because we often have been programed to feel that we don’t deserve it or that we are not worthy When you start feeling the messages that trigger guilt/worry/fear, develop a habit of “pause and observe” because when you observe with curiosity, you cannot occupy the same space as judgement. It gives you just enough space to not personalize and internalize what is going on “Curiosity and judgment do not share space.” -- Kelly Ruta Tell us your experience having left the space of psychotherapy and moved into leadership coaching and support? She comes to the table a very flawed person with a lot of trauma She is very transparent about her history of abuse and PTSD because so many women are trying to do big bold things without addressing their previous traumas She shares this because she wants women to see what is possible Got a degree in psychology and clinical social work, then 20 years of clinical experience Left the industry for coaching and was horrified about the lack of standards among coaches and influencers Serves people by bringing science, best practices, training, and education. Has a knowledge base with an demonstrable skill set Helps people work on their mental game, emotional game, decision making, creating habits, and overcoming blocks How to find Kelly Facebook Instagram Linkedin Kellyruta.com Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/105.
45 min 20 sec
Do you feel like your business is taking an emotional toll on you? Today we are talking about what to do when you are burned out in your business. Tips to Combat Burnout Business is a grind, especially when you are starting out, establishing a name for yourself, and working to get clients. You are doing your best to deliver at your very best and it is a lot to manage. Most of us are doing this while we are managing a full life. In today's episode I’m going to share some tips that I've personally leveraged when I’ve felt just plain burned out. Evaluate your business model This is the first thing I want you to do when you start feeling burned out. Look at your business model and ask yourself if the business model you are working in today is serving you. Does this model match your value, your needs and your vision? Does it represent the needs you have today? “People have aspirations for what the next version of themselves is, but they ignore what they need today.” Where Are You Spending Time? There are seven strategic objectives in a business. The seven pillars of are: financial steadiness, team growth, product suite, marketing and visibility, operational efficiencies, customer experience, and professional growth and development. How are these showing up in your business? If you are a solopreneur, this is hard because you are personally trying to play all seven roles. In my business and corporate journey, this is where my burnout was coming from. It’s a heavy space. I’ve found it helpful to prioritize the seven based on where my focus has to be right now. Prioritize the most important down to the least important. Make sure you save time in your schedule throughout the week to focus on the top three. You won't turn a blind eye to the others, but they are just less of a priority. Evaluate Your Offers Early in business we create offers that reflect what other people want. Often operators are people pleasers, so our clients can talk us into what they want us to do. We are people who figure it out, and sometimes we say yes too often. Reevaluate the offers you have. Does your offer represent your gifts, strengths and competencies? Now is the time to remove the services that don't reflect your gifts. “When you start doing things that are outside of your zone of genius, they start to feel heavy and you start to resent them. This leads to overwhelm and burnout.” If you have recently worked on your vision and are feeling stable, it might be time to update your offer by adjusting it to reflect the next version of yourself. Create Balance To create balance I want you to minimize overworking. Beware of busywork. As you move out of implementation and into the strategic level of business, you will find that busywork looks different..it's not necessarily about going through a checklist. Busywork can lead to overworking. You never feel like everything is done, and only you know when it is time to turn it off and refocus. Make sure you set working hours for yourself, and that you don’t let the business dictate this. Find a way to make sure you have times when you are in the office and leaving the office. Do a quick assessment. How many hours are you working each week and does that correlate to the needs you have? Are you still honoring your values and showing up as the person you want to be when you are working that volume? Uphold You Boundaries Make sure you are aware of your boundaries and that you are upholding them. If you have turned into a “yes” person then your boundaries are not cared for. Boundaries are the rules you create for yourself and they often come from your expectations and the values that you hold. Do a quick assessment: Is a client or your offers bumping up against those boundaries that you have set? You want to be in alignment and build a business that feels good to you. If you are experiencing burnout from the work that you are doing, it might not be that the work isn’t right, it just might be that you are avoiding the things that we’ve gone over today. Weekly Ops Activity Know what your primary goal(s) in business are, and set dedicated time to work on them every week. Make sure you let us know what they are in the Facebook group! Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 5: The Seven Pillars To Your Business Strategy Episode Sponsor: As operators, one of our key roles is to keep the ship sailing for the businesses we support, and a core component of that is to document systems and processes. Our visionary CEOs that we support don’t have the interest in doing this themselves, but they know it has to get done… which is where you come in. There are lots of ways to document processes, but I want to share with you a powerful tool that I’ve used that I think you are going to love, called Sweet Process. It allows you to create systems and processes and then turn them into step-by-step instructions or a checklist. It also allows you to have a centralized place for anyone on your team to access your procedures and processes at any time. The best way to know if Sweet Process works for you is to start using it! Access this for 28 days free of charge! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/104.
23 min 5 sec
Do you make a habit out of buying courses? Do they accumulate because you never have time to finish one before another comes along that you absolutely need? Today we are talking about one of our seven strategic objectives, which is growth and development. Growth & Development Growth and development means learning, so today we are going to talk about how to balance our natural inclination to learning with taking action, because often we will get stuck in the place of learning and not executing. The reason we love growth and development is because it is an expansion of ourself and our business. Balancing Learning and Action Our community tends to be high fact finders meaning we love to accumulate knowledge. We tell ourselves we have to be more and have more… and we experience loads of FOMO. We tell ourselves that things aren’t going to work out unless we learn or buy or continue to acclimate ourselves to a new market, concept or platform. We are perfectionists, and we desire excellence. We want to learn, learn, learn so we can “master” the concept or method... but this puts us in a state of inaction. We are also slow to implement, and that makes us really good planners, but we don’t take as fast of action behind our own businesses. “We love creating the plans for other people's businesses because there is less risk.” Today I’m going to help you take the learnings you have accumulated already and put them into action. Create a Game Plan As a community of service providers you're familiar with scope creep. It’s when you are working on a project and the requests keep coming in. You have already planned things out but now the leader/team continues to request new things in addition to the plan you‘ve already begun to implement. You are overloading and can't find time to make the existing plan work let alone all the new requests. “If you don’t create a game plan and advocate for yourself you are going to end up dissatisfied and burned out.” You need to create a game plan for learning also, just as you would in this scope creep example. Do not allow scope creep in learning to take place. Delivery You are wired to deliver and overdeliver for your clients. You have the gift of service so exceeding expectations will give you the best results and the most “feel good.” Focus on your clients, because if you lack in this area, you will feel resistance and the doubt will creep in. “When you are hyper-focused on learning, you may run the risk of decreasing the quality of service you are giving your clients.” You want to prioritize delivery over learning. Put the focus on your clients first, because that's who pays you. Money We are in business to make money, and you have the skills to be successful. Learning new methods will help you accentuate success, but you can’t get stuck in an overlearning pattern because you will become paralyzed and slow down your action for your clients . The net-net of that is decreased revenue because you aren’t doing what needs to be done in their business. If you are not doing what it takes to be successful, then you won’t be able to move your clients along on their customer journey because you aren’t giving them what you want.. “The most important thing in a service based business is to serve the client that you have right now, perfect it, and then serve them greater.” If you aren't doing this, you are running the risk of hurting the revenue you do have. Learning Costs. If you keep pouring into new courses and coaching you dip into your profit margins. Use what you have first, and protect your profit at all costs. New investments are costly. I want you to execute on every thing you have before you add anything new. Make a folder where you include everything you have ever purchased. This will help you audit your courses . “Utilize what you already have to move your business forward.” You will be able to serve your clients better if you prioritize their experience over accumulating new things that you already have access to. I want you to bring additional profits into your business, which means using what you have to move your business forward! Weekly Ops Activity Create a training hub--a spreadsheet or folder of classes that you have purchased and start investing time into what you have already spent money on. Episode Sponsor: As operators, one of our key roles is to keep the ship sailing for the businesses we support, and a core component of that is to document systems and processes. Our visionary CEOs that we support don’t have the interest in doing this themselves, but they know it has to get done… which is where you come in. There are lots of ways to document processes, but I want to share with you a powerful tool that I’ve used that I think you are going to love, called Sweet Process. It allows you to create systems and processes and then turn them into step-by-step instructions or a checklist. It also allows you to have a centralized place for anyone on your team to access your procedures and processes at any time. The best way to know if Sweet Process works for you is to start using it! Access this for 28 days free of charge! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/103.
15 min 58 sec
Are you a natural visionary, or do you have difficulty dreaming big? Today we are talking about how to dream big when you aren’t wired to be a big visionary thinker. Dreaming Big How do you dream big when you're wired to plan small? I want to dream bigger, but I’m wired to be a support system and a servant of other people and it often leads me to dream small. Maybe you are the same way, and you aren't comfortable with the big futuristic dreams. You're telling yourself that since you are an operator you can’t dream big, but that's just a lie. You can dream big, it’s just uncomfortable for people who are wired in this way. I’ve had to work on this myself, so I wanted to share with you how I’ve broken out of this thinking. Don’t Buy the Lie Telling yourself that you can’t dream big is just a lie; we can dream just like anyone else! We all grew up dreaming about what we could be. Just because we are operators doesn’t mean that we have zero percent vision. “Our mind wants to protect us into thinking small because it's very safe.” I am a risk averse person. I love to be second in command because it protects me as I am executing on someone else's dream. But if we are going to be in business for ourselves we will have to lean into the same things that we are helping our visionaries with. We have to flip the script and dream bigger than we ever have before. Finding the Time You need time to make this happen, and because we aren’t wired this way immediately it will take us some time to settle in. The biggest struggle is that you can’t really control when these big dreams are going to come. You are not going to be able to plan this out on your calendar… it just doesn’t work that way. Know that it takes time. Space For me, the best dreaming has come outside of the places I frequent. I need a new environment and a new space, which allows me not to be confined to the typical things that I usually think of. If I want to think new thoughts and expand where I am, I need to leave the four walls of my office. Leverage your community I love hearing about other people's businesses. I’m not looking to copy them, but I love learning about all of the options that are out there. I am part of a mastermind, which is my safe space to run to when I have big ideas. They also call me out when I’m dreaming too small. Having that community who are able to call me out and guide me when I am thinking too small is so valuable. You need a small and mighty community to lean on. Why is dreaming a big deal? The same thing day after day is just not going to be fulfilling long term. You also run the risk of being outpaced by your competitors. If you don’t continue to push the needle you may fall out of love with what you are doing and building. “I am certain that your big dream becomes your vision, and your vision becomes your plan.” We all love plans. So if you don't have new plans that you are creating, you will get stagnant, and boredom in business is not a good combination. It is a challenge for operators to have that big visionary thinking, but it doesn’t mean you are incapable of dreaming big. I love consistency and methodical action, but if I do it inside of my own business, I’m going to get tired of it. This will lead to monotony and will constrict where you are going long term. You have to think bigger to avoid burnout and boredom. 5 Tips to Thinking Bigger Give yourself 5 years. Start your thoughts with “By 2026, I will…” This puts you in a safe, defined container, but you are still able to see outside of today. Start With You Rather Than the Business. It’s much easier to think about what our personal life is going to look like in five years because it's time bound. Think about you before the business and if there are things you want to accomplish in your personal life. What Needs to Happen? What does your business need to look like if you want to make those personal things happen? This applies specifically to a lifestyle business. What do you need to generate and what does the business need to look like? Does your business model change? What if it Worked? If everything went better than imagined? What success would you have? What would you accomplish? What would your business look like? Don't go directly to planning. Sit with this big vision for a few weeks or months. When you feel like you can finally voice this new vision, then you can start planning. When it starts to feel safe, put the plans in writing and they will become more powerful once you get to the point where you can speak them. “Give yourself the space and grace to create the dream before you start breaking it down.” Weekly Ops Activity Come into our facebook group and let us know... if everything went according to plan, what is one success that you would have in the next 5 years of your business? Episode Sponsor: As operators, one of our key roles is to keep the ship sailing for the businesses we support, and a core component of that is to document systems and processes. Our visionary CEOs that we support don’t have the interest in doing this themselves, but they know it has to get done… which is where you come in. There are lots of ways to document processes, but I want to share with you a powerful tool that I’ve used that I think you are going to love, called Sweet Process. It allows you to create systems and processes and then turn them into step-by-step instructions or a checklist. It also allows you to have a centralized place for anyone on your team to access your procedures and processes at any time. The best way to know if Sweet Process works for you is to start using it! Access this for 28 days free of charge! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/102.
24 min 8 sec
Are you looking for long term clients? Most of us are, but how do you keep clients for the long haul? I think you are going to love this interview today, with my peer and friend Hallie Agostinelli. Our experiences are so similar, and they possibly mirror many of your experiences as well. Hallie Agostinelli is the founder of Virtual Matters, a company serving the online business community through remote assistance. She is also the co-founder of Launch Leaders Academy where she mentors and trains other virtual assistants on how to build a solid, profitable VA business. Prior to starting her own business, Hallie had over 30 years in the traditional workforce, including powerhouse companies Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and BNI, a global networking organization. She credits her love for extreme client care to her first job with Marriott Hotels & Resorts. Hallie is talking about the special ingredient that makes her shine and stand out to her clients. She has expanded out of one-to-one client care and has built an educational company in which she is teaching others to do what she has done successfully. As she has expanded, she has taken a good look at herself to figure out what makes her different. This meant that she reached out to several of her clients who provided her with referrals again and again. They told her that she goes beyond the checklist. As a Director of Operations (DOO), this is the key to recurring revenue and not having to spend more and more money on marketing. Today's episode will show you how to keep clients for life and how to go beyond that checklist. Meet Hallie Halie is a dear friend and a peer in this space and I am so excited to have my community learn from her. Many of you are on the same journey, turning your service provider business into learning and opportunity, and leading the way for other people. How Did You Get To This Place? Everywhere she worked, she had excelled and advanced faster than expected During COVID, she started as a VA with one client, as a side job Saw the opportunity to expand, and within one year she went from one part time client to a multiple six-figure business specializing in launch support Had a client tell her that she just does “more,” meaning, she goes beyond the checklist Ex: giving strategy or advice above and beyond the scope of work She came up with a list of ways she could go above and beyond, in order to set herself apart She never finished college, and carried the embarrassment of that We think we need to have all of these qualifications to be successful, but she realized that her competence was more valuable “I am the best #2 you could ever want in an organization, and when I realized that, it didn't matter what degree I had.” - Hallie Agostinelli Soft Skills Empathy is her superpower. She feels the clients work is her work and she is invested in their outcomes and success Empathy can be learned, but there is a balance; you can’t take things too personally Ownership: if someone is unhappy with you,you can vent for 1 minute… and then move on and figure out your part in the solution Angling for a better way: figuring out what systems could be done differently or better She takes the ego out of the process and is always looking for a better solution Hustle is looked at as negative, but she is not afraid of hard work There is a hustle needed to accomplish a particular level of service The little bit of extra time put in keeps clients coming back Ask yourself “What else does this need to take it to the next level?” “A high performing Director of Operations does everything they can in the first 30 days to create 2-way communication.” - Natalie Gingrich “It doesn’t matter how long something takes, it needs to be done the right way.” - HallieAgostinelli Be a good human: remember that you are interacting with other humans Have concern, communicate in a cooperative and supportive way, be kind Give grace and be honest; establish a great relationship in which you take the work seriously and honor each other It is evident when people are not a good fit; pay attention to red flags and realize it’s okay not to enter into a relationship with just anyone Connect with Hallie Instagram Facebook group Episode Sponsor: As operators, one of our key roles is to keep the ship sailing for the businesses we support, and a core component of that is to document systems and processes. Our visionary CEOs that we support don’t have the interest in doing this themselves, but they know it has to get done… which is where you come in. There are lots of ways to document processes, but I want to share with you a powerful tool that I’ve used that I think you are going to love, called Sweet Process. It allows you to create systems and processes and then turn them into step-by-step instructions or a checklist. It also allows you to have a centralized place for anyone on your team to access your procedures and processes at any time. The best way to know if Sweet Process works for you is to start using it! Access this for 28 days free of charge! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at www.theopsauthority.com/podcast/101.
35 min 7 sec
What has changed at The Ops Authority over the last two years since the podcast began? Today we are celebrating episode 100! It has been two years of creating content and sharing our hearts and vision with you. It has been quite a journey and that's what we are focusing on today! The Evolution Through 100 Episodes I want to share the changes we have made since we started in July 2019 and just how we have evolved. Small and online business is such an emerging place to be. It moves and transforms so fast, and change is inevitable! Where We Started In July 2019, we had just rebranded and done a lot of work to get really clear about what The Ops Authority was going to become. We had done some branding work, built a new website, and also started our new Facebook group that paralleled the podcast. Personally I was working 40-50 hours/week in my business and wasn’t quite at my ideal stage yet. From a product perspective I had six different products: One to one services in a retainer model A course The A-team group coaching program The Director of Operations Certification program CEO coaching Consulting “I was beginning to see that I could be a conduit of transformation in a variety of sizes of businesses and in different industries.” The biggest change I’ve made is the massive simplification. In the last two years, I’ve gone from six products down to one solid product. We moved our business model into a product only model. The only thing we sell is our Director of Operations (DOO) certification program. Because we had taken the opportunity to niche down into just one product and one avatar, I was able to double down on our marketing and delivery, build good relationships, and expand our team. Five Star Reviews This is the feedback that keeps me going! It fills me up and fuels me to keep coming back and doing this every single week. “Every time I have something I’m trying to figure out in my or my client's business, I always check and see whether Natalie has an episode about it…” - Megan, Apple Podcast reviewer “Natalie has a way of not only making the details of running a business make sense, but also making them handleable. By taking her advice and using her methods my business has grown by leaps and bounds and I’m more confident than ever. She’s the person you want training the people who run your business, whether that's you or one of the COOs who go through her program.” - DLCM70, Apple Podcast reviewer I appreciate these reviews so much, and nothing would make me happier than if you would gift me a five star rating on Apple Podcasts. If you don’t know how to do this, we have created directions (scroll to the bottom) for you. Marketing The podcast is something that my Director of Marketing had been urging me to do for almost 2 years. Creating content for this podcast has been easy, and I’ve also been a guest on so many other podcasts over this last year. I’ve had a dedicated focus on using audio format and allowing it to drive a lot of our marketing. We began using the live launch method in which I use a conversion event (master class or 5 day launch) where I teach, and that is the way in which I get people to come into our environment. I want people to get to know who I am and what they will be investing in so that they feel really confident. We launch our DOO program five times per year, which is more than double than when we started. It allows us to deepen the impact that we have in businesses, as well as watching DOOs exponentially grow their businesses. Our Facebook group has become an extension of our brand. It's where we talk about content, but also where people are able to post jobs for operators. I really enjoy contributing to other women who are trying to build their business and leverage their operational skills. We have less focus on opt-ins than we used to. Opt-ins used to be a big part of us, but we are no longer relying on them to move people from cold to warm. We may use one to move people into live launches, but in that case I’m really showing up organically and naturally to move them through our experience. We also have a different approach to social media. It is not about having a big social media calendar, but instead we are being consistent and engaging. This podcast has been a huge driver and brought in a lot of cold people, who are able to see who we really are, what drives us, what we do, and how we show up. “Hopefully you can hear my heart every week in one of these 100 podcasts.” Service We doubled down on our delivery. When we simplified our model and went from six products to one, I knew that we would have many fewer distractions. “My heart is in the delivery.” That is where I show up best, where the relationships are built, and transformations begin to happen. I can show up as a coach and guide someone in a group setting, but I still want them to feel like it's a one on one interaction. I can show up better and stronger because I’m not trying to do six different things. As we have scaled, we have brought on a full coaching staff. We have 14 people in addition to me that are helping me from an accountability or an expert coaching perspective with every single cohort that comes through. I’m not the end all be all of operations, but my gift is to come in and show other people frameworks, methodology, success stories, and things to look out for as they are building and growing in their role as operators. It was very important to me to partner with other women who had the same amount of success. We have updated our program structure. We asked for feedback from DOOs because we truly want to know. Two years ago we would not have been able to make the changes that anyone was recommending, but with this team of women behind me I have been able to ask and act on feedback. Our team looks wildly different than it did when I started this podcast. Our business and team has been built out, which has allowed us to reinvest back into the team. We have 3 distinct departments: marketing, operations, and delivery. It's so endearing to know that this podcast has been able to have a ripple effect on you, your business, the way you navigate operations, and the way you have upleveled your career… it means the world to me! Weekly Ops Activity Please make sure to give us a rating and review (scroll to the bottom) on Apple Podcasts. Post the screenshot of your review in the Facebook group, and you will be getting a very special prize! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/100.
29 min 20 sec
Are you struggling to figure out how to serve more than one client in an efficient way? Today we are talking about how to build a predictable schedule that allows you to serve multiple clients. If you are a service provider you are probably doing fractional work. Working in a fractional capacity means that you spend a fraction of your time working with multiple clients. Think in terms of a pie, in which each client represents a slice. Each client may not be the same weight (size), but it will help you visualize a fractional capacity. Most of us start out this way as service based providers. 5 Steps to Building a Predictable Schedule These tips will allow you to have greater ease in your schedule and be the leader that you desire to be. A great downfall of not building a schedule that supports your client load is that you feel defeated. “When we don't feel like we are in a place where we can show up and lead the client, we start to feel defeated.” I want you to stay on track as you build a business that reflects the vision that you have set for yourself. Statement of Work & Project Plan You need a very clear statement of work and an up-to-date project plan for every client. This defines what you do, and when you expect to deliver it. Understand what you have committed to, which will allow you to have incredible communication. If you have a really strong project plan for every piece of the statement of work, this will allow you to estimate the number of hours you will work in a client's business during the week. It's also going to help you set boundaries, and will help you understand when you need to push back and be very candid with the client. Project Management Tool You also need a solid project management tool. “The best project management tool is the tool that you actually use.” The important part of a project management tool is that it allows you to prioritize tasks. Since you have to do that for multiple clients, you want to make sure you have a project plan and an appropriate tool to assist you. You will also be able to see visually what you need to tackle when you have the time available for it. Free Time I want you to keep 20% of your time designated as “FREE TIME.” This will help you when things come up, and things will come up especially when you are in a support role inside of a business. It is very hard to do this but it will allow you to exceed client expectations and meet the expectations that you have for yourself. What happens when you don’t do it? Things pop up in projects and become urgent, and if you've already worked your amount of designated hours, you might just be out of luck. If you keep the 20% free, it's not dipping into your personal time. Time Block You need to time block for multiple clients. Each of them have their own set of commands and demands, and we want to make sure that you are able to deliver on that statement of work. The most effective way for you to do this is to set up time blocks in your calendar. You can do this in one of two ways. You could set up a whole day dedicated to a certain client as a daily client time block, OR you could set it up so that each client gets a few hours a day. If you don't do this, the client that is the most demanding tends to win. They get the bulk of your time and attention, and the remaining clients feel when you are not present. Create a Communication Plan At the end of every shift, send the client an update and touch base with them. This way they will know what has been accomplished, which will alleviate any type of miscommunication that could come up as a result of working with multiple clients. It will also ensure that there are less surprises. Communication plans are not just reporting on what has been done, but also setting expectations so that they know when you are going to be working in their business. You don't want the client to think you are working in their business all of the time or that they are the only client you are serving. It's important to be up front with them that you will be working in their business at a specific time. Most of the time this will help you get ahead of problems. These tips will allow you to start to transform and lead with real integrity, and honor the client relationships you have built! Weekly Ops Activity Tell us how you block your time, daily or recurring. Let us know inside the Facebook group! Related Episodes: Episode 57: Managing Your Time With Multiple Clients Episode 87: Planning Your Weekly Schedule Like a CEO Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/99.
16 min 55 sec
Are you curious about the change that certified Director of Operations have experienced in their careers before and after their certification? Today I am with Rachel Kempf, who has come through round 7 of the Director of Operations (DOO) Certification Program. I want you to learn what it is like to go through the journey and the transformation that takes place before and after the certification process. We give a lot of content that is generalized in the different areas of operations, but everyone who comes through the program has their own journey and obstacles, and they all find their own destination a little bit differently. Round 10 of our Director of Operations Certification Program kicks off soon, so don’t forget to check out the details! Meet Rachel Rachel Kempf is the CEO and Founder of RK Virtual Management and a certified DOO. Rachel comes from a corporate background managing Accounting and Finance departments for small corporations. It's not that she had a love for numbers, but she is a very analytical and type A personality, and working with numbers was an outlet for that side of her personality. During the shutdown in 2020, Rachel started looking for side hustle opportunities and was searching for ways she could offer accounting services in the online space. This is when she quickly fell down the rabbit hole in the online space and discovered the DOO program. She finally found her people and found a way to take the skills she already had and make them into a valuable offer. Since joining DOO Round 7 back in November, Rachel has quit her corporate job, transitioned into her own business full time, and surpassed her corporate income almost double! She is also currently restructuring her business into an agency model so she can take on more clients and leave an even bigger impact on the businesses she works with. How did you and your business change from when you started the certification until now? She got her 1st VA client and was doing accounting work, and they were experiencing a rapid amount of growth at the time that they couldn’t handle She got the opportunity to voice her ideas about how to fill their gaps and they really valued her opinion, which contradicted her current full time job “I knew I had the skills that were necessary to make big changes and big impact in businesses, but I did not want to spend the time to climb the corporate ladder.” - Rachel Kempf “Sometimes it can be a long journey to actually be able to exercise the leadership that we were blessed with.” - Natalie Gingrich How long did it take you to transition from corporate to your own business? Started business in July 2020 Decided to go all in, because she was loving the online world, as opposed to her corporate job in which she was feeling friction Made the jump and the positive changes started immediately She credits this to the DOO program and the community When you were going through the certification, which pieces of content had the strongest impact on you? The Strategic Mapping Model™ allowed me to get the ROI within the first 3 months It also showed her how she already had the skills to be a strategic partner once she just laid out the framework She made it her own, and created a very specific offer Any other pieces of the certification that you are leveraging? The HR module A lot of the larger companies that she dealt with had cultural issues, and this module helped her pull pieces to identify the breakdowns Where are you now? When she first started she was doing accounting services for 1 client She signed her 2nd client less than 2 months into the DOO program, and charged 3x what she charged for her 1st client Has tailored her services around that particular clients needs because she started to see those same needs in other companies Also offers intensives to help clients get past their “stuck” points Realized she wanted to help more people, so she has decided to build an Integrator agency She creates the plans and lays the foundation, then passes it off to an integrator to implement What would you say to someone considering the DOO? If you feel like you are not qualified, know that you already have the skills within yourself; you might just need help uncovering them You don’t have to claim the DOO title; the program gives you a skill set that you can make your own title and succeed with it “I will scream from the mountaintops how good this program is and how much change it’s made for me.” - Rachel Kempf Connect with Rachel: Website If you are interested in joining or learning more about the DOO Certification Program, make sure to check it out or apply! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/98.
30 min 16 sec
Are you interested in becoming a Director of Operations, but unsure if you have the skill set that is required? Today, I’m sharing the 11 different career paths that Director of Operations (DOOs) have been on before they get to the certification program. These types of professions make excellent DOOs, and it's likely that you have many of the skills that are acquired from these different careers. We are starting our 10th round of the DOO certification program. If you are interested, learn more and join the 170 women who are able to call themselves certified DOOs! What Are DOOs? DOOs are leaders who have innate gifts and skills in the operational space. “DOOs think analytically, they communicate effectively and they execute efficiently.” DOOs acquire, develop and deliver. This involves different types of resources such as staff, materials, equipment, and almost always involves technology. Recently a previous client made a comment about my time in her business: “You were the gap between planning and production.” It doesn’t matter the industry you are in or the business model that you are participating in... there are operations involved in all of them. There is the front side of business (marketing) and the back side of business (operations) and those two pieces are critical for any business model. If you already have the gift of operations, you should be able to see very clearly where you fit, and this gives you a lot of autonomy to figure out the industries, models, or people you want to work with. Operations is a “second” or “next” career… it is not a first job out of college. In the DOO space you need experience and innate leadership skills to come in at this level inside of a business. When I look back over two decades of my own work experience, I see a common thread of service and leadership: being able to take in lots of information, break down complexity and manage projects and people to execute on a mission. “I wanted impact, I wanted a legacy, rather than a job. I wanted to do work that brought me joy and still challenged me.” All of this led me to becoming a DOO in other peoples businesses by accident. I was building a completely different business when I left corporate. But then I started connecting with friends and colleagues, and all of my gifts had me pouring into their businesses with strategy, operational focus, processes, building teams, hiring and simply making things happen. I realized I was leveraging my innate skills with the clients I loved working with, and I came into partnership with people who I liked and was able to help them extract what their mission and vision were and make it a reality much faster. I never thought my corporate experience would collide with my natural skills and overlap my personal mission of impact. At this point, I saw the need for a Director of Operations: a strategic and operational leader for small and online businesses. As I delivered a new level of care and leadership to businesses, the need was growing before my eyes, so I created this program to impact other women who had these same skills. The Most Common Professions Before Becoming a DOO These are the most common professions people perform before they arrive at the DOO program. Administration Admin looks different in every industry, but could include executive assistants, administrators, online business managers, office managers, or front desk staff. These people are masters of chaos and they bring order and find solutions through process. They are amazing with customer service and have a gift in creating and finding order in very complex situations. Accountants & Bookkeepers The basis behind both of these professions is data, and being able to mine data and create stories behind it. They execute, create processes and develop procedures for reconciling expenses and create complex reports that tell the story of health and profit inside a business. Every business wants exposure to data and metrics so they can operate more efficiently and create the most profit. Financials is one of the five pillars inside of operations, so when people come to us with a background in the financial space, I see them expand and leverage their strategic gifts once they decide to become DOOs. The reports tell stories, and as DOOs we leverage reports to help leaders identify where the gaps are, how they can strategically plan forward, and if there are any operational shifts that need to be made. Medical Space We have had nurses and therapists who have come through the program. Those in the medical space take critical and complex information from doctors and turn it into empathy to critically connect with patients, to leverage analytical skills, and to create appropriate and consistent care plans. Nurses are masters of project management, human resources, and finding and leveraging strategy in any medical situation. Web Design and Development These are creatives that are capable of managing so many moving pieces. If you have been behind any web design project, you know how complex they can be. There are many milestones to this work and they create plans and execute while exercising their creative genius. Retail Management There is a lot that goes into being a leader or manager in a retail store. It is a combination of a CEO and a COO because they are responsible for everything inside of a store. You won’t find better management than a person who has served in this capacity. They have to think strategically but also execute every single day, customer by customer. Human Resources There are so many different facets in Human resources. Everything from building teams, hiring teams, performance and growth plans, initiating deep rich culture, benefits, or participating in leadership and development. There are so many different paths in HR, but at the center of all of them is the love of people. We channel people to create strategic plans and to help grow teams and businesses. The only way that scaling actually happens is through people. Those of you who have a background in HR or recruiting will have a knack for becoming a DOO. School Teacher Much like nurses, teachers have a pedigree in pedagogy, which is teaching others how to learn, but they also have to be process driven. The most effective teachers are strong leaders. Your favorite teacher growing up was probably very nurturing, made you feel comfortable, but still taught you a whole lot along the way. They followed and created curriculums that made learning fun. Teachers make phenomenal operators because they are so used to juggling so much and still following and executing a plan. Military This is the most universally known operations role in the universe. Operations in the military execute on a strategic plan. Every mission from combat to intelligence, logistics, or pilots has to have operators. We have had many former military members who have recognized the skills that they had and wanted to leverage them. The military allowed them to see their process skills and leadership strengths. Project Management If this is a career path you have been on, you know that project management is about developing a plan, communicating a plan, and leading a plan. Project managers bring calm to chaos. They support others in fulfilling those tasks. They navigate shortcomings, late deadlines, and evaluate goals. These ladies are analytical, leaders, and communicators. They know how to create, execute, and manage the plan. Event Management Professionals This is very similar to both project managers and retail store managers. They add skills like negotiation and have a very strong presence. The skill of being decisive and making a decision on the spot is very important in event management. They are extremely efficient, and also great people leaders, because the only way to get through an event is to leverage a team (be it managing volunteers, or coordinating with sponsors or speakers). There is a lot of innovation that comes out of this profession. Business Owner Several people come to us with a background in business. They found their passion and created a revenue stream, but when they got into it they realized they enjoyed the fulfillment of the product more than the marketing and they want to stay in their zone. Once you find your industry, look around and see what your gifts are. It may cause you to take a turn. If you identify with any of these skill sets, you need to look at the DOO certification program and see how you can create impact leveraging the natural skills that you have! Learn more about the DOO program, and join us in our upcoming round starting June 10th! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/97.
32 min 4 sec
Have you evaluated your service offerings lately? And do you know if they are helping you reach your financial goals? Today we are talking about how to evaluate your current offers. I’m going to help you determine if your service offerings are serving you… and if they are serving your bottom line. You are invited to our upcoming Masterclass! We will be spending two 2-hour training sessions coming together in an actionable way to help and develop you and your career path. We will examine how you can get clear on where your gifts lie, what level of service you should be providing your clients, and how to offer services that optimize your skills and goals. Join us on May 18th & 19th. Evaluating Your Services Do your service offerings make sense for your bottom line? In episode 95 we talked about setting financial goals and we looked at those through the good/better/best (GBB) goals framework. The key numbers that you need to know every single month are revenue, profit, profit margin, and the income that you pay yourself. Pick one of those to set your GBB goals off of. Make a List Make a list of every single thing that you sold this past year. For example, if you did a strategy session a couple of times last year, that would be one offer. Additionally, if you did some ongoing retainer work, that would count as another offer. You may need to look over your financials so that you can remember everything. Quantity How many of those offerings did you sell? Attach a number sold to each service (you may want to think of this as an excel spreadsheet). Cost of Services Sold This is how much it cost you to provide this service. An example would be if you were doing a retainer contract for someone and you needed some additional support to help you deliver on the scope of work that you agreed to. If you hired a VA to help, whatever you were paying them to help you would be the cost of services sold. This may also include systems and technology costs. Pull the cost of services sold out of the product's pricing. Actual Revenue Ultimately, you want to see if the revenue helps you hit your GBB goals. Ask yourself, “is this a profitable and aligned service?” You may want to reconsider your pricing, or if you offer this service at all if it doesn’t make sense. Look at the real revenue, which is the price of the product times the quantity minus the cost of services sold. “Sometimes we can get in big trouble over the cost of services sold.” Time and Effort In addition to the profit and revenue, look at and assess your time and effort. This may be more difficult to quantify. Also consider if you are using your innate or natural skills. “Deep down you know if your efforts are worthy or wasted.” Skill Set This is how closely aligned the offer that you are putting out is with what your zone of genus is. Use a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the least, 1 the most) and measure: The amount of time you put in The amount of effort The thing that comes most naturally to you You want the number average to be really high, so if it isn’t, you may need to reassess. When you get revenue that is profitable, you will also get a higher number when you average time, effort, and skillset, and there you will find magic in offering something that comes really natural to you. “The more natural it comes to you, the more profitable it will be and the least resistance you will have to show up and sell the product.“ Consider removing the offers that aren't aligned and helping you to get to your GBNB goal, or if they aren’t aligned to your skillset. Go deeper into the ones that are more profitable and more aligned. If you want to create the most profitable offer for yourself right now, consider a one-to one service offering! The service professional space is an amazing way to establish a healthy and profitable business with very little marketing and close to zero startup investment. Don’t forget to sign up for our upcoming Masterclass which will help you get clear on how you can build your dream career while leveraging the skills that come natural to you! Weekly Ops Activity Come on over to our Facebook group, and tell us your most profitable offer. Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 95: How to Set Financial Goals as a Service Provider Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/96.
19 min 41 sec
As a service provider, do you struggle with financial goals? Today we are talking about setting realistic financial goals for service providers. We are all in business to make a profit and to do something that comes natural to us. I believe that we can marry these two things together and reach real fulfillment that can lead to a legacy life. It starts with creating true financial goals, rather than arbitrary financial goals which you don’t end up tracking. What You Need To Get Started These things will allow you to create your financial goals. Track Every Expense You need to track everything that is coming in (revenue), and also everything you spend (expenses). Make sure you reconcile your expenses at the end of each month, meaning you will categorize them and put them in the buckets in which they belong. Create the categories that make sense for you (example: marketing, gifts, labor.) You also want to look at your expenses and categorize them based on products or services. When you look at your expenses, do they contribute to a specific client or a specific product? This helps you to understand the cost of goods or cost of services sold. Long term, this will help you see how much profit you are actually making and understand how much profit you make on each specific client. Centralize Your Systems In the beginning I was doing all of my expenses on an Excel spreadsheet, but things started to get more complicated around the 18 month mark of my business. I really needed something more powerful and automated so I could spend less time on these tasks. I needed a tech system that could house this info and could be integrated into my payment system. My choice was Quickbooks, which shows me reports month over month, and also trends that are popping up. Invoicing System An invoicing system is automated, which will help you reduce your errors in billing on a consistent basis. Speaking from experience, it is painful when you accidentally skip a month of billing because of a manual error on your part. Selecting an automated system will give you peace of mind. Additionally, these financial tools will help you assess the risk of entrepreneurship, and help you articulate this information to a spouse or other necessary party. How To Set Financial Goals as a Service Provider You need to know these four numbers on a monthly basis: What is your business's revenue? What is your profit? What is your profit margin (as a percentage)? What are you paying yourself? These numbers will help you assess what your performance is like, and be fundamental in goal setting. Additionally, each month I want you to know the drivers for the revenue that month. What products were these numbers coming from? Which products are bringing in active revenue, and are allowing you to be profitable? These numbers might surprise you. Know what is driving your sales and revenue so you can constantly review your services. How To Set Goals Ideally, you will have your numbers for the whole of 2020. If you don’t, at least go back to Q1 (Jan 1 - Mar 31) of 2021. You also want to have everything set up that has been previously mentioned, so that you can be on the path to setting goals. “You cannot set goals without a foundation.” If you have 2020s records completed, look at the same four things we previously talked about: your revenue your profit your profit margin your personal income There is an emotional component as well. When you look at these numbers, ask yourself: Does this feel good? (If the answer is not a “Heck Yes”, go back and figure out why.) Is this an honest representation of the work I am doing? Are you getting closer or further from your vision? “Honor those feelings of not feeling good”. You need to get clear on the things that do feel good, and where you can make the greatest impact with an audience that you deeply resonate with. There has to be a combination of hard data, and the emotional fulfillment that allows you to fulfill the dream that you set out for yourself. Good Better Best (GBB) I want you to set 3 types of goals. Good Goal: When you look at the previous years numbers, set your good goal first. Your good goal should be the amount that covers the cost of your business, and your personal bills. This is the amount and that you are bringing home on a regular basis. This goal consistently is met. Better Goal: Look at your good goal and add 10-30%. This is potentially where you can pay yourself more. This goal is occasionally met. Best Goal: Take your better goal and add around 30%. The more you set those goals and compare them to your actuals, you will be able to better assess what these goals should be. This goal rarely happens. When you have the GBB goals set for the entire year, reverse engineer and break those down into quarterly goals. If you have a purely client based business, you may not have trends, but you probably have a cap. Take that info and know the volumes you are working with and break down that big GBB goal into quarterly GBB goals. This allows you to assess at the end of every single quarter. “Use the data to cast a vision of what you can do!” Next Level The next level is investing in a bookkeeper, so you are not doing this every single month, but handing it off to someone who will get to know your business. You may also think about investing in a tax accountant, which will help you save money so you can optimize your financial goals. Additionally you can set up a true budget, and a forecast which allows you to have a projection of where you are going so you can compare it to your actuals to make sure your GBB goals are all being met. I hope this will help you understand the financial implications and the expectations that you have, and that they are grounded and rooted in truth! I'd like to invite you to our upcoming Masterclass! We will be meeting live on May 18th & May 19th. If you are an operator or service provider we are going to help you zone in on where you should be focusing your energy, what comes most natural to you, and helping you to monetize your natural gifts. Sign up here for the Masterclass! Weekly Ops Activity Look at your financials and set Good-Better-Best goals for Q2, Q3, & Q4 of 2021. Come on over to The Ops Insiders Facebook Page, and tell us once you have your goals set (no need to leave a number, just let us know that you took action!) Other Ways to Connect with Me: Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/95.
33 min 40 sec
What are your favorite resources when it comes to business growth and development? If you have listened to the last two episodes, we have been talking about mentors and the types of people you need in your business as you continue to grow and scale. Today I’m wrapping up by sharing what I have been doing as the CEO of The Ops Authority over the last year to continuously grow and develop. Areas of Growth & Development I began this business in 2015, and have entered the growth phase of the business about two years in. Right now we are in the beginning of the scaling phase, as our programs are becoming more predictable and our team is being built out. We have attempted to build the program out to fit my personality, style, and goals in order to create a true vision. Anytime you are building something like this out you will run into obstacles and things that don't feel like they are in your wheelhouse. Operations come super easy to me, but there were some gaps that I had because my corporate background was very narrow. “When you are an entrepreneur, you have the responsibilities of every side of business… whether you want them or not.” In that transition from corporate life to running my own business, it was much more robust of a scope than I’d ever dealt with. I needed to gain some knowledge in several areas. Financial Acumen I’m a spreadsheet person, but being aware of what financials are important is one thing… actually doing them in your own business is a whole other ballgame. I don’t believe that anyone is teaching entrepreneurs the true depth of financial acumen that you need to run a sustainable business that will allow you to scale. I continue to dive into this area which has also allowed me to understand more about retirement, annuities, and all of those important fundamental financial components. Vision As a Director Of Operations (DOO), and a previous chief of staff for a Fortune 150 company, I am amazing at execution, integrating, and leading people. The difficult part of having my own business was the vision. I needed to be able to dream and find a place where I could imagine what this business could do... my real “why” for devoting so much time, energy, expertise, investment into this business. I had to work very deeply on identifying what my vision is. But, the stronger our financial position gets, the easier it is for me to cast a bigger vision. My vision is so much stronger and bolder and to some degree; I just needed experience and success so I could continue to drive the vision forward and expand it. Human Resources I have 10 years of experience in corporate human resources, and I am always looking for more knowledge about HR practices. SHRM: I subscribe to SHRM (Society of Human Resource Managers) and it's important that I stay up with what is happening in the field. There is so much knowledge about all sizes of businesses. It's a great hub. Kolbe: The other piece I always want to know more about is the Kolbe, which is a certification and an index that will help you understand people’s natural tendencies to process work. It has played a big role in my business as I help people identify their talent. Resources It is so important to know what your gaps are and to stay on top of your industry. These are some of my favorites. “Know your gaps and stay on top of your industry.” Books Bigger Than You by Kelly Roach: Kelly is my business coach, and this was the book that I read (before I started coaching with her) that told me that this woman had what I needed. Some of the foundations that she lays out have allowed me to scale faster in the last 24 months. Atomic Habits by James Clear: A great book on productivity. Blue Ocean Strategy by Chan Kim: This book encouraged me to see what I was doing as a “blue ocean.” It helped me see what impact I could potentially have. 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni: Patrick is a maven in the leadership space, and has amazing advice about growing teams. Built to Sell by John Warrillow: When I started, my goal was to replace my corporate income ASAP, so I could continue to build my legacy. This book is an awesome read that helps you think differently about the business you are building. Giftology by John Ruhli: This book focuses on the client experience. It helped me to see how much a gift can deepen your relationship. Exactly What to Say by Phil Jones: This is a super short read that packs a big punch. Dare to Lead by Brene Brown: One of my favorite authors, and everything she does is research based. The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You by Lydia Fenet: This is an empowerment book with an amazing story of a woman in a male dominated space. Alter Ego by Todd Herman: This book is both strategy and mindset. It is also a personal development book, and has helped me with my mindset as I walk into difficult situations. Podcasts Second in Command with Cameron Herald: Interviews with COOs, who often face the same challenges as DOOs. Marketing for Coaches, with Matthew Kimberly: (Formerly “Get a Grip”) I love the host's no nonsense attitude, and that he has content that is specific to how to market as a coach. What Works with Tara Mcmillan: I think she is one of the best interviewers of anyone in the podcasting space. I was on her podcast last year, and she finds real people to tell their stories and gleans big lessons from them. Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast with Emily Hirsh: This gives me my dose of marketing for my specific industry. The episodes are short and give lots of great info that you can implement, all in a short time. Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo: I enjoy the way this relates to business, health, wealth, and mindset. The Newsworthy with Erica Mandy: All the days news boiled down to 10 minutes. Programs Professionally investing in the Unstoppable Entrepreneur, with Kelly Roach has changed the trajectory of this business and allowed me to get closer to my vision. Having accountability has allowed me to have growth so much faster because I had a support system. This program has allowed me to build the most comprehensive, supportive program that has a focus solely on operators. I hope you find these resources as valuable as I have! Weekly Ops Activity Head on over to our FB group and share a business book that has helped you to move your business forward. Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/94.
29 min 10 sec
With so many coaches and mentors to choose from, how do you choose one that is right for you? Today, we are talking about how to find a mentor who is right for you in your stage of your business; one who will help you progress to the next level. Mentorship has had a profound effect on me, and has been a theme throughout my professional journey. If you listen to episode 92, about the 4 different people you need in your life, it will demonstrate the structure that I have had that has led me to success. Having that structure is critical. So how do you find the right mentor? Today I will be digging deep into what you should be looking for in a mentor/coach. 5 Tips To Finding The Right Mentor The impact of a mentor has allowed me to take the biggest leaps in my business. At this level, the person you are looking for will be a little less personal and more professional. They have done what you want to do, and they have a path for you to follow. When you go on a search for a mentor, you want to see the great heights you can reach because this person has done it. You also want to make sure you pay attention to how this person has overcome obstacles. Any person you admire or look up to has likely faced deep struggles. Make sure this person has the ability to be communicative, supportive, approachable, focuses on the whole human, and that they have achieved the things on your radar. “A mentor is the best version of you and your business… they also have the experience to guide you through hardships and struggles.” 1. Take Time You cannot be sold into a mentor, you will have to search for it. For instance, if you show up randomly to a webinar and are looking for a mentor, practice deep restraint. I want you to go searching for this person, just as if you were growing your team. Take your time. Don’t take quick action when it comes to selecting a mentor. Selecting a mentor is not a box to be checked, it is a feeling of needing greater support. You need a partner to come in beside you and help you to get “there” quicker. It is a big commitment, as often you will be committing to at least a 12 month relationship. 2. Do A Strategic Review Take the time to do a strategic mapping of your own business. Think about what is happening in the major pillars of your business, including marketing, operations and fulfillment. Write down the things you are confident in, and note where the gaps are. When you look at the strengths and gaps, are the gaps in your wheelhouse? If not, use this information to help you determine who is the right mentor for you. You may need to identify a mentor who can help you fill in the gap for things that you aren’t able to figure out on your own. Be honest with yourself and ask, “what size of business do I currently have and how big of a business do I want to have?” When you are looking for a mentor, if you want to go from $30,000 to $180,000, choose someone who has had a similar result rather than choosing an iconic mentor who is looking to scale a much larger business. Their mindset will be very different from yours based on your respective goals. 3. Character & Values When you are looking for a mentor and a coach, that person will have a lot of influence on you, so you must make sure your character is represented in the person you choose. You also want to make sure you understand what this individuals values are. If it's not obvious, reach out to the person and ask them. You have to know that they have done this work in order to partner with them. Dig deep, and make sure they are attentive and are excited to answer your questions. 4. Proof of Experience, Expertise, and Results This person absolutely needs to have results for the exact needs that you have. If you are seeking this person because of your gaps, make sure they have provided results for other people like you. In most cases mentors become mentors because they have mastered something and have thought leadership in an area that you are desiring. Just because someone has learned to do something, doesn’t mean that they are suited to teach others that “something.” They may have had experience in something, but that doesn’t mean they have the expertise or results, so you need to do your homework. If a mentor is constantly pivoting, that is a red flag. 5. Connector + Community Your mentor needs to be a connector and have a really strong community. The mentor's reputation matters, but who they are as a person is going to be indicative of the people that they surround themselves with. This is a win-win situation because you are gaining a lot of value and structure from this person, but you can also have a profitable relationship. If people come to them with needs and you are the right person, a connection is very easy to make. Because of their network, it can also be easy for you to refer. These 5 things have been very important to me in my journey and I hope you find them helpful! “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside of yourself.” - Oprah Winfrey Weekly Ops Activity Tell me who is on your radar for your next mentor? Let us know in the Facebook group! Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 92: Four Types of People Who Will Help You Grow Your Business Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/93.
Who are the people who help you grow and flourish in your business? Today, we’re talking about a topic that will hopefully be beneficial as you grow your service based business. Because we are service providers we tend to be the servant type, but today we are talking about the four people you need in your business as it grows. Four Types of People You Need In Your Business A common question I’m asked is “Who do you lean on for support” or “who is your coach?” As I reflect back over my entire career, I always remember having mentors. I wouldn’t be at this point in my career if I did not have the influence of a variety of different people in my life. I've identified four different types of people who have influenced me in my journey. This is a framework that has served me both personally and professionally. 1. Your Biz Bestie These are your business influences that have become real friends to you on your journey. They are typically some of the first people who influence your business and are similar to you or are in a similar stage of business. I met many of my biz besties through Facebook groups, and sometimes these people would even turn into clients. A biz bestie is someone you have a real life connection with. Business may have been the thing that attracted you to them, but along the way you became good friends. They allow you to be open, candid, and unscripted. 2. Your Mastermind The mastermind is a group of people you are drawn to, and who share your values. There is often a common thread amongst the entire group. I've had the best luck in masterminds when we all had a connection around our strongest values, even though the businesses we represented were very different. No one was in the same space, so there was no sense of competition. I prefer to be in a mastermind of complementary businesses. When people come from different experiences, we tend to collaborate in groups which makes it easy for everyone to share. Over time those masterminds become stronger and stronger, and oftentimes end up being some of your business besties. 3. Mentor/Coach This person is typically paid. They have gone before you so they are significantly ahead of you in business. This person has experience and success underneath their belt, they are doing something you aspire to do, and they have what you need. I’ve had four different paid mentors at different times in my journey. I’ve reached out and became connected and mentored by someone who had something I needed. Sometimes it was in the operational field, sometimes I leveraged business model experience and knowledge, and currently I am mentored by someone with marketing knowledge. “One of the richest things I've received from every coach that I've worked with are the strategies that helped them become effective.” Don't have more than one mentor at a time! Do the internal work to figure out what you need support on, find who you need, and validate that this person aligns with you. “When our environment becomes pervasive with thought leaders, ideas, and strategies, it can put us in a place of stagnation.” 4. Inspirational Figure These people may not be in your field, but they are aspirational. You find yourself watching the way they run their business, and the way they show up and build their business. You don’t want to replicate their business but you are influenced by what they are doing. It's important to find people who aren't in your space, but still give you an aspirational level to admire. Let it help you connect to what your business could be in the future. Let it help with strategy and innovation, and watch the way other women are thriving in their business. Let it fuel you! Although the specific people may change over time, you need all four of these women in each stage of business growth! Weekly Ops Activity Who is your biz bestie (or besties)? Head on over to the Facebook community, and let us know! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/92.
21 min 45 sec
Are you thinking about becoming a certified Director of Operations, but still having some doubts? Are you struggling with mindset issues? Today we have a very special guest who has come through the Director of Operations (DOO) certification program. Alexia Bustios is joining us to talk about mindset and some of the doubts and fears you might be struggling with. Meet Alexia Alexia is the co-owner of Showtime Online Business Management and a certified DOO. She works mostly with retainer clients, but may be shifting to an agency model in the future. Alexia started out in real estate, and landed in event planning as a project manager, traveling to put on large events for over 8 years. She was feeling burnt out on all of the travel and was looking to make a change. She slowly started to look into how she could pivot to online business when the pandemic hit and one of her big events was shut down. At that point, she had no choice but to pivot to the online business space. What attracted you to the DOO certification? She thought she would be back to work in 3 months, so she decided to take that time to work on her business model. She hired a business coach and got to work. After several months of not being able to work her main job, her bank account was dwindling and she was getting nervous. Her business coach did an interview with Natalie, which was her introduction to the DOO certification program. She joined the Scope Creep Solution and felt understood, like the program would help her address what she really wanted to do. She couldn’t figure out where she fit, and this program would help her gain clarity. Once you became aware of the program, what convinced you that this was right for you? Really wanted to join the program, but felt stuck because money was tight. Had several limiting beliefs: Didn’t quite believe that she could charge a lot of money since she was new to the online space. Since she was new to online business, she thought she had no place being a DOO for someone else's business. Some of her clients have been in business longer than she has been alive, and she thought “Who am I to come in and tell them how to run their business?” She thought she had to be a 6 figure company in order for her ideal client to want to hire her. “Sometimes we feel like we have to suffer in order to be paid a certain amount of money, and we can’t just do what comes easy to us.” - Alexia Bustios When you were coming through the program, what was the differentiator in the content? The Strategic Mapping Model™ allowed her to get an overall view of the company, and prove that she knows what she is talking about. KPIs and metrics; how and what she needs to measure. She ended up feeling super confident providing a company with a picture of the health of their business. Tell us about your successes. What does your business look like today? A couple of months into the program she got her first and second retainer clients and felt like she made the right decision. She felt validated that she could actually do the job. Was able to pay off the program by the 3rd month. Has doubled her annual income. “The tools that the DOO program gave me set me on a trajectory of success that I have only dreamed of before.” - Alexia Bustios Has the quality of your clients changed? Has definitely seen a shift in mindset regarding needing to work with vs. wanting to work with someone. Being able to walk away from a client that doesn't fit has been huge for her quality of life. “If it doesn't bring me joy or it doesn't bring me peace, I want the option to say no.”- Alexia Bustios What advice would you give someone on the fence? Don't sit on the fence! If you have a mindset block or fear, call it out. Reach out to the DOO community. Everyone in the community is more than willing to share their experiences. If you like what you heard today and think this program is for you, apply now! Connect with Alexia Facebook Instagram With more than 8 years of business experience, Alexia has managed projects for national brand name corporations for just about any industry you can think of , where her main focus was on client experience. After her success traveling the country to work with some of the biggest brand names known, Alexia has followed her passion to help other business owners and brands make a bigger impact in the world. As the Co-Owner of Showtime Online Business Management and a certified Director of Operations she partners with business owners and their teams to bring strategy and expertise to their operations and team life. Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/91.
33 min 33 sec
Do you still have questions about the Director of Operation Certification program? Want to hear from students who have gone through the program and get their insights and experiences? Today, some of my trusted peers, Rachel Pereyra, Ange Quinn, and Teresa Cleveland, are sharing some of the questions they get asked about the certification. They are all Certified Directors of Operations (DOO) who have come through the program at different times. In our Facebook group, these are the ladies who are active, provide people with answers, and they want to help answer questions that you have and address the things that may be preventing you from joining the program. Questions Answered by Certified DOOs Ange Quinn joined the DOO certification program in Round 6. She had a corporate background but struggled to find where she could build an attainable business online. Find Ange at her website here. Teresa Cleveland spends so much time pouring into people who have questions about the DOO program. She came through the program in Round 2, and you can find her at The Purposeful CEO. She has worked online for the last 12 years. Rachel Pereyra is the CEO and founder of Mastermind Business Services. She is currently in Round 7, and has had a transformative experience in the program. She feels that one of the biggest selling points of the program is the community because it has changed everything about the way she thinks about her own business, and has expanded her impact. How can I use my corporate skills to start an online business? Ange: I speak with a lot of ladies who have a lot of skills and certifications, and they wonder how this certification will help them above project management training, PMPs or other training that they have already gone through. This program up-levels your skill set in a variety of areas, and it also helps you grow your own business by applying these same skills. You can hone in on the specific areas you are interested in, and create a business that is suited to your strengths. How does this program stack up against others? Teresa: This program is incredible because of what Natalie pours into it. She is so in tune with the community, and her desire for our success is unmatched. The community she has cultivated is a group of trusted peers who are brilliant and willing to share with each other. “By attracting and vetting people in their leadership capabilities, we resist that friction of competition and start to see everybody as peers and partners.” - Natalie Gingrich Ange: Natalie doesn’t want it to be ‘The Natalie Show’... she allows others to add their value, which allows us to grow in leadership. How can I translate my corporate expertise to online business? Teresa: I talk to people who have had terrible corporate experiences, but by working the program, women can see how they want to apply their skills. The culture of the program is so important because it allows people to see how they can still do what they love, and helps them practically apply it to their business model. What’s the point of the application process? Teresa: The application process isn’t just a marketing ploy … I actually know people who haven’t gotten in. Natalie: I truly want to make sure that the right people are getting in. If you are going to share your hard earned dollars with me, I want to make sure that I see your potential, and that your working with me is going to generate revenue for you. I’m super proud to say that in our Round 6 cohort, 96% of the participants have gotten a 100% return in 6 months. Rachel: When I talk to people about the application process, I tell people that they want to be in a program that doesn’t accept everyone because you want to make sure that the program is something that is right for you. The people who are accepted are vetted and invested in this type of work. How long until I make money? Teresa: You can make your money back if you just take what you learn in the first module and apply it. I want to pay for the program up front, so I need to get one more client. Is this a good idea? Ange: I was 3 months into the program, when I realized that while I could help the clients I was already working with, they weren’t really my ideal clients. Rachel: The price tag was one of my struggles because I was fairly new in the online space, fresh off my transition from corporate. As I went through the program, I up-leveled some clients, lovingly let go of some clients, and found new clients that see me in a different light. Teresa: It also helps you say no to those wrong fits instead of keeping them on, which is empowering. What difference has the certification made? Teresa: We are bringing “the goods.” I rarely mention the certification to clients, they just know by the way I’m showing up that there is something different. Our skill level is making a difference in the businesses we help. Rachel: I parted ways with a client just before starting the program, and we recently reconnected. She has told me the difference she sees in my skill level and the way I am presenting myself, and she is now sending me referrals! Ange: The structure is key. I had the knowledge from past experiences, but in a different realm. I could see all the things I could do to help these clients but I didn’t know what steps to take first. This program gives you clarity on how to use your skills. Is the material relevant? Teresa: The material helps up-level your business, and I've seen so much added to the program through the iterations. After 12 years online I am still learning things here, and a lot of it has to do with the structure it provides. “I've never once heard anyone say that they regretted doing the certification, they just wish they would have done it sooner.” - Teresa Cleveland If you like what you heard today and think this program is for you, don’t hesitate to apply! Weekly Ops Activity What question do you have that wasn’t addressed in this episode? Ask your question in the Facebook group and Team DOO will answer! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/episode90.
45 min 8 sec
Are you interested in hearing more about how people who have come through the Director of Operations certification program are structuring their businesses? My guest today is Courtney Waid, who came through the Director of Operations (DOO) certification program in Round 6. I’m chatting with her about the way she has been able to cultivate success for herself and the transitions she has made as she has come into the space. Meet Courtney Courtney the founder of First Turn Operations, and a mother of four. Her background started in the army. She is a West Point graduate, a former army intelligence officer, which she loved. Once she had kids she decided to get out of the army, while her husband continued in his fast paced army career. She kept busy with various volunteer gigs, mom groups, and charities but she wanted to do more. “I always really struggled with wanting to put my skills to use, but wanting to be there for the kids.” She started out as a virtual assistant, and found she enjoyed the operations and project management tasks. She moved up in the ranks of a VA company and when one of the founders decided to go back into the coaching business, she was recruited to work as a community manager and eventually became the DOO of that organization. Shortly after she started in the DOO program, her organization shifted gears, which was then the perfect opportunity to strike out on her own. As you were thinking about up-leveling your skills, what was it about the DOO certification that intrigued you? There is no other program like this that looks specifically at the DOO level. She had looked at OBM programs, but that seemed more on the execution side of things. After doing extensive research, she felt like this program would help her take the skills that she had and package them up in a way that she could understand and create boundaries. Her role as a DOO bled into marketing and executing and anytime anything had to get done it was her, so she really liked the idea of learning how to put boundaries on her role She would not have had the confidence to hone in on her automation skills without the course and all of the women in her cohort. The idea of project work really scared her because she wanted the predictable income, but it took the group pushing her to do what she loved. “The ability to match your aptitude with what you enjoy comes out in the DOO program” - Natalie Gingrich “When you’re good at getting things done, you end up doing all the things.” - Courtney Waid When you were looking over the certification, were there any fears or doubts you had? She had to do some soul searching to see if it was something she really needed, or if she was falling into the trap of feeling like she needed a certification in order to be valid. She talked to some of the people who had been through the program, realized the network that she would have access to. It was so different to be surrounded by people who were doing similar work and had similar thinking rather than her old circles who were primarily filled with visionaries. It took her a long time to work internally on not feeling less-than because she was not a visionary. The DOO program helped her validate and understand that this is a unique skill set, that is valuable, useful, and needed. When you were going through the program, was there any specific part of it that helped you gain confidence? The strategic mapping, because she was able to turn around and sell 3 sessions and almost make her investment back within the first month of learning. She had the skills, but the way the framework was laid out helped her to decide to sell this service. One of those clients even hired her as a retainer client, so she made her money back in the first week of the program. Of the 5 components of the program, you weren’t interested in the HR component. But as we talked about HR in a way that was different than your initial impression, you seemed to open up to it. What did you learn as you went through the module? She was resistant to HR because she assumed it was mostly people talking about their feelings. It was broken down really well into hiring, organizational structure, reporting, client communication, and team communication, all of which was relevant. It was helpful in her current DOO role. What are some of the services you have offered as you have gone through the program? Out of a scarcity mindset she said yes to everyone to begin with, so she had a DOO client, project management work, one-off projects. Has since refined that into what she loves which is building out automated processes and workflows. Currently in the business bootcamp phase of the program, where she has to commit to one model, which was the push she needed to realize that project work is her favorite. Thinks she will also offer products to her services because most people need these types of processes. She took the strategic mapping piece, tweaked it, and turned it into a process inventory. Any thoughts on if the product space will or won't work for you? Her biggest issue is not doing “the thing” because she gets in her own head about things not being perfect. She knows that she just needs to create the template and get it out there, and worry about tweaking it later. She likes the idea as a way to help people who aren’t her ideal client yet. Since you sold strategic mapping sessions so quickly, do you have any tips on selling without feeling like an imposter? She had some bad sales calls, where she felt like she tripped over herself, but thanks to the program and the mindset block she has come a long way in not wallowing in her embarrassment. She had a lot of referrals from her previous business. One of her former coworkers convinced her of the opportunity that was out there for someone who can look at what the client wants to do, turn it into a plan, and then hound them until everyone accomplishes the plan. She didn’t believe him at first, but found that it was true. She worked strategic mapping into all of these leads and the sales process was so natural. What has been the impact of the DOO certification on your life? One of her big struggles coming out of the army was looking for a life that felt like service, seeing that from CEOs and visionaries, and feeling like it was not for people like her. This program has been instrumental in seeing that she can create a life that is authentic to what she wants within the parameters that she needs. Realizing that she is able to use her operational skill sets to assist people who are doing world changing things, and how that is service in itself. What would you say to someone who is considering the DOO certification program? Absolutely do it. It could not have been easier to make her money back by just following the steps. The community of supportive peers has helped in so many ways. Being in community with people like her who were on the same journey has been totally worth it. As we get ready for the next round of the DOO certification program, I hope you will join us for the Scope Creep Solution. Connect with Courtney Courtney Waid is the founder and CEO of First Turn Operations which specializes in creating automated workflows for impact-driven businesses. A West Point graduate, Iraq war veteran, and former Army officer, Courtney left a career in the military to focus on her kids when balancing family and deployments became too difficult. Since then, she's been passionate about helping business owners create more efficient processes so they can fulfill their missions while still having time for the people and activities they love. Courtney currently lives outside Ft Worth, TX with her husband, 4 kids, and a menagerie of farm animals. In her free time, she enjoys drinking coffee, riding horses, and nerding out on Zapier automations. Website Email Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/89.
48 min 51 sec
Are you hesitant to call yourself a project manager because you feel you are missing some kind of education, certification, or experience with that job title? Today, we are talking about what it means to be a project manager, and why some of you are hesitant to assign that title to yourselves. What does it take to be a project manager, and are you a project manager but not using the title? Should you uplevel your title if that is the skill set and title that aligns with you the most? I want to invite you to Scope Creep Solution which will be taking place at the end of March. It is a 5 day sprint to help you to manage your projects, set them up, and deal with changes that may occur. Should you Add Project Management to Your Title? Many of you have a project management skill set, and are natural project managers. Yet, perhaps you don't have formal training or education, so you skip the title. I can relate; I have been a project manager my entire life but I never felt like I had the liberty or strength to call myself that until someone from my corporate experience recognized it, and put me into that position. I had massive imposter syndrome as I started this new role because I didn’t have the designation that all of my peers had. Yet, after a few months in that role, I was outperforming several formally trained project managers, and it all had to do with my natural skillset. “I was defeating myself because I didn’t have the education and training that my peers had, but as I reflected over my life, I had managed time, resources, people and goals with ease.” It took me a decade into my corporate career before I could see that connection. I’m hoping today's episode will help you shortcut your ability to see your amazing skills for what they really are. As we begin, I want to emphasize the difference between a project management skill set and a project management profession/title. If you have the project management skill set you will probably recognize this from early in your childhood. If you were a lover of lists, and enjoyed leadership positions in which you managed people… you likely have a project management skill set. If you have had the title, you may have gotten a certification or held the title in a work setting. I felt I couldn’t own the title until I actually worked in the role, but you can likely call yourself a project manager based on the roles you work in today. “I've seen lots of people who have the skill set of project management not leverage that title, and I've also seen plenty who had the title but lacked the skill set.” What Makes a Project Manager There are three different areas that make a project manager: hard skills (technical/learned skills), soft skills (innate/natural skills), and your traits (the features of your character). Hard skills These are skills that can be learned and they build off your soft skills and your traits. Creating a project plan: Do you have the ability to create a project plan? Risk Management: Are you good at identifying things that come with a risk? Can you identify trouble ahead? Forecasting and planning: Can you forecast and plan? Can you see ahead to identify problem areas relating to deadlines, and adapt the plan to accommodate for that? Technical tools: Can you figure out almost any technical tool? Can you create processes or SOPs around technology? Task management: Are you good at task management? Do you have the ability to take a project and break it down into smaller plans, goals, tasks, and actions so they are capable of being managed? “If people have called you bossy, thorough or organized, all of that boils down to the fact that you have been an excellent task manager your entire life.” These are all skills you can develop over time. Soft skills Soft skills are innate and natural; they are your God-given skill set that you were born with. If you identify with the following six characteristics, it’s time to start calling yourself a project manager. Leadership: This is the backbone to our Director of Operations certification program. If you are a great leader, you will be able to sit next to a CEO. I believe you can continue to press your limits when it comes to leadership. You will be leading a team, and people need a trusted resource that they can rely on. Can you lead and inspire others involved in the project? Communication/Interpersonal skills: This is the ability to understand and be understood. Can you speak up on behalf of the team, and practice empathy? Teamwork: This is the ability to make teams work. Are you gifted with the ability to read emotions, and to monitor the motivations of others? You need to get to know people on an individual level to be able to help them to be successful in the project. Do you cast a vision and promote inclusivity that will bring everybody on board i.e. an “all-in” mentality? Resolving conflict: There are so many tasks that go into any project, and you will inevitably run into conflict. Do you have the ability to defuse and resolve a conflict? Can you be bold, be kind, and speak up when conflict starts to occur? Can you negotiate between two parties, be flexible, and help them see how you can solve a problem without a meltdown? Prioritization: Do you have the ability to do the right thing, at the right time? The majority of this skill lies in your ability to be strategic. Organization: Can you bring order to chaos, sorting things out, & staying on top of everything? This one is non-negotiable! Traits These are the features of your character. Individuality: Do you know your team and how they work? Engaged: Do you keep people in the loop? Curiosity: when creating the project plan, do you stay curious and ask deep questions without trying to control the answer? Details: Are you detail oriented? Optimistic: This will take you far in this space because there is very rarely a straight line from beginning to end within a project. Do you display optimism when the unexpected occurs? Encouraging: Are you encouraging to your team members? Do you have empathy? Decisive: Once you use hard and soft skills to perform, being decisive is the by-product Can you recognize this in your leadership style? People person: Do you like working closely with people? Simplify and break down: Can you take a big vision with lots of minutia and simply communicate it to your team? So how do you measure up? Do you possess many of these skills? If so, go ahead and give yourself a “promotion” to a project manager! Don’t forget to join us for The Scope Creep Solution, where we will spend 5 days talking all about project management, zeroing in on how to defeat scope creep in your projects. Weekly Ops Activity How many of the six soft skills do you have? To recap, the soft skills are: leadership, communication, teamwork, resolving conflict, prioritization, and organization. Come on into The Ops Insiders Facebook Group, and drop your number! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/88.
28 min 45 sec
How do you spend your time in your business? Do you have a dedicated plan on where to focus your time and attention? Today we’re talking about wise ways to use your time as the leader and CEO of your business. I’m always curious to know how other leaders use their time. I wanted to share what I do so it can help you refine the way you spend your time and run your company. This conversation is really important as we move from a baby business to a big girl business. There are three phases of business: building, growing and scaling. If you are in the building or growing phase, it is really important for you to wrap your head around the six buckets of time we will focus on today. If you don’t dedicate the majority of your time to these six things, then it is going to be difficult to get into the scaling phase, which is the place we all dream of being. “The success that you have in your business is a direct reflection of the way you spend your time in your business.” What does a weekly schedule look like? This is not a prescription. We are all building different businesses and you want to make sure that you are building a business that is authentic to you. What I’m sharing today are examples of the key buckets of time that I see as being really helpful in determining where you need to spend time in your business, but you may need to adjust. Be thinking of the buckets that make sense for you and your model, then start applying them. Ultimately you need to think about the amount of hours you want to spend on each of these buckets, and set goals. Then you want to keep track, do an hourly inventory once a week, and try to adjust to match your goal for each bucket. Today we are talking about what your weekly schedule should look like, and the areas of concentration that you need to dedicate time and attention to. There are six different areas you need to focus on if you anticipate getting to the scaling phase of business. 1. Business Development If you are a service professional with a coaching business or an agency you will need to focus on business development. This means reaching out to people, building a strong network so that you can build business, and awareness. Business development activities may include working with affiliates, making connections with an influencer, or educating someone about your products or services. “Business development can be very wide, but this is the piece of the business that is uniquely something you can do better than anyone else.” 2. Strategy We all wish we could have time to think about our business. Sometimes you don't have the bandwidth to work on your business or in your business because you are so busy serving your clients. Strategy is when you are doing your planning, when you are cultivating new ideas, when innovation pops up, when new product ideas come in, or when you get to brainstorm your business. My goal is to spend 10 hours each week on strategy, and when I have that dedicated time to strategize in my business, it makes things go much smoother. If you are here for the long haul, this is something that can’t be avoided. 3. Marketing and Content You need to create a marketing plan for your business. There are so many options to market and to be visible: podcasting, social media affiliate programs, etc. But you need dedicated time to be able to do this. I spend about 5 hours a week on my marketing plan and producing content. What if you did this in your business? Your content would be solid and you would be in alignment with what your future offers looked like. 4. Delivery and Coaching Delivery and coaching refers to the coaching experience, leading a call, or recording content for delivery inside a paid program. I spend about 10 hours on delivery and coaching every single week. 5. Administration/Technology There are certain things that only you can do in your business, whether it’s dealing with applications, approvals, emails, or customer service. It's not always glamorous, but you will probably always have some time devoted to these tasks. 6. Team Development It’s important to develop, coach, train, and communicate with your team. I spend about 5 hours each week for my team of 16 people. I look at performance, organizational design, and how my team can develop and leverage their skill sets. Think about these six buckets and recalibrate them to fit into your business model. Once you get the buckets adapted to your business, then you can start to allocate time to other projects if needed. Weekly Ops Activity Reflect on your business model and figure how many hours you have available to dedicate to each of the six buckets, and what is your biggest area of focus? Share it with us in the Facebook group! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/87.
20 min 6 sec
Are you interested in more profits in your business, but maxed out on the amount of hours you can work? Today we are talking about money and financial impact to your business, and specifically about how to increase your earning potential by leveraging a profit share incentive model. Profit Share Incentive Model If you are a service provider on the operations side of a business, the most common ways to charge are either: flat fee/retainer wage: same fee every month for a specific deliverable hourly (check out Episode 85 which discusses moving from an hourly to a outcomes based model) project based model Regardless of the way you are getting paid, what these models all have in common is a cap. Whatever you charge is the maximum you will earn for delivering the exact same work. Our counterparts on the marketing side of the business are typically the ones who can earn commissions… it's standard for them to be able to earn commission, a percentage of sales, or even a bonus. This makes sense because their work generates sales, which brings in revenue to the business. While the marketing side generates sales, the operations side is hard at work containing the expenses of a business, finding efficiencies, increasing productivity, optimizing the delivery of products and services, and managing the team. Both arms are needed for sustainable growth and scaling, but it's most common for the marketing arm to have the uncapped earning potential. There is really no risk for marketers to ask for an increase in compensation if they exceed their goals. When I was working as a Director or Operations (DOO), I became resentful that the ability to earn more wasn’t available to me like it was my counterparts on the marketing side... even though I worked equally as hard, drove results, and consistently worked more hours in the business. One day as I was reviewing the financials for a client, I had a breakthrough. I realized that their profit margins continued to increase quarter over quarter since I joined the business as a Director of Operations. It changed everything for me... my excitement for my role, my commitment to my business, and it gave me the confidence to ask for what I wanted. I've always found that I’m much more comfortable in conversation with leaders when I've had success in my performance and the relationship between me and the leader is productive and positive. Once I hit my groove, I am able to see myself as a valuable asset in the business. How to Address Leaders The biggest barrier that DOOs experience is how to address the leader, and there are ways to have this conversation with the leader so it can be a possible tool you can use for incentive pay and increased compensation. Prework 1. Access to financials. If you don’t have access to financials, this proposal isn’t possible. If you don’t have access yet, you will need to work to get to the point where you are a trusted business advisor. 2. Review the financials. Make sure there is a positive scenario that would support your request. If you’ve been in the business for a while and the profit margin has jumped around, I encourage you to look at it quarterly or in 6 month increments and to note traction and growth from your impact in this business. From the time you have shown up in the business, quarter over quarter can you see that there is growth and an increase in profit margins? 3. Model the percentages. For example, I’ve seen everything from 3-15% of profit share proposals. It depends on what the business looks like, revenue, and profit margins. In the DOO certification program, I’ve developed a detailed process for this. The conversation Make sure you schedule this meeting and put a lot of thought into it. Do not piggyback off an existing meeting. Be prepared to share the impact you have in the business and also what the impact of moving to a model like this would do for the business. For instance, you will have a greater dedication to the business. Also there is no risk to the leader; if the profit margin doesn’t increase, they won't be paying you additional money. It gives them the ability to incentivize you without cutting into the overall finances. Often service providers will want an increase after 6 or 12 months because of the outcomes they’ve achieved. You can do this in two ways: The safe way: a profit sharing proposal The risky way: a flat fee increase which they may or may not get a return from Moving to this model allowed me to earn more, and be “all-in” in a business. Business owners are longing for service providers to be ‘all-in’ in their businesses.” It also kept me focused on one business, rather than having to serve multiple clients, which allowed me to focus on outcomes from a profit margin perspective. I was learning new strategies that would benefit the business, and I spent lots of time designing strategies that would show returns. For example: I became extremely cautious with spending and became a trusted partner in critically reviewing purchases. I was all in to make sure we had a safe profit margin. I created systems to collect payments. When payments failed, I was putting processes in place to get that revenue back in the door. I looked at how we designed our pricing models. I created processes to make sure the team worked efficiently, which reduced overhead. I was able to move from a flat fee retainer, to this creative and easier sell for the business owner because it was so low risk to them. Clients are frustrated with turnover, and they want you to be invested in their business for a long time, so this is a win-win solution that I hope you consider as you develop as an operator. Weekly Ops Activity Do you plan to incorporate profit sharing in your pricing model? Do you have a client that you can bring this to? If not, will you commit to developing your leadership skills so you’re able to acquire access to financials? Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 85: Up-level by Transitioning from Hourly to Outcomes Based Pricing Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/86.
20 min 21 sec
Do you feel stuck in an hourly pricing model? Are you ready to scale, but are unsure how to price strategically? Since creating the Director of Operations (DOO) certification program, and leading and mentoring 140 women, I’ve learned exactly what types of pain points operators experience. Today is dedicated to a pain point that occurs over and over again: “How do I switch from an hourly pricing model to an outcome based pricing model?” Once you figure this out, it will align you to serve a higher level of client. Hourly vs. Outcome Based Pricing It's totally normal to begin the pricing structure in your business by thinking about how many hours a task is going to take. But I want you to know that there are many risks with that mentality. 1. Scope creep: It happens so quickly. You may have done what the client is paying for a hundred times, but each client is unique and some will take a lot more time than anticipated. In that case, there are only a few things you can do: You eat it, which reduces your hourly compensation. You reach out to the leadership and ask for an adjustment in the pricing. In most cases you have already priced the project and that price is what they are expecting to pay. To go back and ask for additional compensation can be challenging. Most often contractors don’t address this issue, and chalk it up to another lesson... getting paid less for the same outcome. 2. Speed over quality: A business owner who looks for this type of pricing favors speed over quality. As the person who is delivering the work, it's advantageous for you to do the work faster. You will attempt to find efficiencies so you can be in search of a greater profit margin. “Most of us want to be proud of the product we are delivering, and speed is not always the winner.” With hourly pricing, you can also cap yourself because you can only work so many hours. The logistics of managing this pricing structure is really laborious. If they are paying you for hourly work, they will expect hourly tracking, which takes additional time. “When clients pay you per hour, they tend to obsess over what you are doing every hour instead of focusing on the net effect you are providing.” As a mentor to hundreds of women in this space, I’ve looked at the way we price, and compare it to the level of impact you are making in that organization. I’m a proponent of educating the DOO community about outcomes based pricing. Outcomes based pricing is easier when you are contributing at a strategic level of the business, and I encourage you to listen to Episode 70 of The Ops Authority Podcast which details the four different layers of business functions: implementation, management, strategy, and vision. The higher level you are delivering on, the more aligned you will be to creating outcomes for the business you are supporting. DOOs are taught to price this way because we are always working on that strategic level. So how do you shift from charging hourly to outcomes based pricing? Agree on the Outcome Understand and agree on the outcome that the client is asking for. When you do this, the dynamic between you and the client becomes much less scrutinized and much more relational. You are seen more for the relationship effects you have in the business rather than what it is that you are doing. This opens up two-way communication, where both parties feel welcome to stand up and speak up, and to communicate differences and praise. When you do this you establish yourself as a leader, and create that “all-in” feeling that is coveted by your clients. “If you want someone to be all-in on your business, you will never get that type of person with an hourly mentality.” What is the Outcome Worth? Evaluate what the outcome is worth to the client. Determine what your good/better/best is in your revenue goal, then set the price. Be bold and look at this from the next level. What is going to allow you to get there? This is going to be a sliding scale that you revisit often to make sure you are feeling good about the income you are getting for the level of effort you are putting out. Build and Communicate Your Authority You do this by showing off your skill, education, experience, and expertise. You can show your authority in your social media, website, testimonials, and also by highlighting and quantifying the outcomes you’ve been responsible for over your career. A really creative way to do this is case studies. When you do visibility planning, don't forget to create a mechanism or process for making sure you show off how you are an authority in this area. Another place to highlight your authority is during the discovery call. When you are on that call, I want you to listen intently to their pain points. Even if you have a script, the most important thing is to listen to what they are saying. They will tell you where their gaps are and if they don’t you will want to continuously dig and ask good questions. As they are telling you their pain points, you are assessing if you are the right person to join them. If you are, I encourage you to give them some value in the call. Show up, and show off your value. This gives them a taste of the strategic level they will see when they partner with you. If they can see that you are going to be a strategic partner, shifting from hourly to outcome pricing is going to be natural. Educate About Pricing Be prepared to educate the client on why you charge this way, because you may receive some pushback when you propose it. Most business owners are used to being changed per hour, especially if they have been hiring entry level talent and resources that focus on the implementation level. The more immature the business is, the greater the resistance is to shifting this mindset. This is your time to educate the client about how this is benefiting them, and how they are assuming less risk and getting greater outcomes. If your client shifts the way they are thinking about this, their businesses will reap greater benefits and it will allow them to scale even faster. If you initiate this outcome based pricing, you will differentiate yourself from the competition who is most likely charging hourly. When you do this in an outcomes based model you are already propelling yourself to the strategic level. “If you are charging hourly the mentality of the person paying you is that you are an implementer level.” If you want to get closer to working at a strategic level as a DOO, I want you to set up your systems in a way you can trust yourself and feel confident in charging for outcomes. This will make you irreplaceable in the market and will set you apart, as well as saving you from scope creep. Are you willing to go all in to change your pricing structure from hourly to outcome based? Weekly Ops Activity Identify the outcome that you are most equipped to provide for your client. Think about the clients you are currently serving; what outcome are you getting them, and what is that worth? Let us know in The Ops Insiders Facebook Group! Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 70: How To Avoid Settling in Your Ops Career Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/85.
21 min 21 sec
Have you been thinking about using your expertise to consult, and scale your business? I am excited to share with you one of my dear friends and colleagues in the online space, Melissa Froehlich, as we discuss mindset and consulting. Meet Melissa Melissa has a corporate background, but had to give it up to follow her husband in his military career. She started as a virtual assistant in order to have the freedom to take her career with her wherever she went. From there she grew to be an online business manager (OBM) and eventually a business growth strategist and mindset coach. Melissa is here to share something that is brewing inside of her that she has recently navigated, and today we are having a conversation about helping you understand what your greatest potential is in your journey as a leader for businesses. “When we look back, we can see that this is exactly where we were supposed to be, but when we look forward, it looks very cloudy.” - Natalie Gingrich Project Based Business Model (Consulting) Today's conversation is going to help you understand how you can navigate your next path by leveraging the skills you have, and upleveling them so that you are in the greatest alignment with where you are supposed to be. As females, we tend to feel like we need to be implementers, because we can get stuff done. But I want more for you… I want you to get to the next level. I don’t want you to stay comfortable, I want you to move out of the implementation and into the management/strategy. (Check out episode 70 for a refresher on the 4 different layers of operations.) Today we are going to focus on the journey from implementation into strategy. As I moved from implementation to strategy work, I had a lot of mindset blocks. Can you elaborate on some of the mindset issues we often have as we make that jump? We experience imposter syndrome and we aren’t able to see ourselves as CEOs or leaders because we are coming from the mindset of an employee. We are trying to figure out a new space which is overwhelming. We don’t know how to tap into our mindset issues, so we will often go to somewhere that is safe rather than take risks, largely due to scarcity mindset. We stay in the place of safety and we keep collecting skills, courses, trainings; we stay in the safety net of learning. We think we are buying confidence, but we forget that we are already coming with a lot of skills. We start asking “is there more?” but then you squash it because you don't want to rock the boat and fall into that scarcity mindset. Mindset is a skill that we need to devote to enhancing forever. “I didn’t know how to say, I’m the CEO of my business, and I can continue to take risks because I’m going to manage them appropriately…” - Mellissa Froehlich “We think we are buying confidence but we’re not… we’re buying the ability to stay in this place that is safe in the space of learning.”- Mellissa Froehlich What are the different ways we use project based models as operators in business? As an OBM she had a full roster, but was feeling the itch to help women grow their businesses (and make more money.) She started to look for themes and validation that she could be a strategic partner in their business as a business growth strategist. Found that people loved having access to her to talk things through, gain clarity, and help them decide what their next steps were. When you start to notice a pattern in what people are telling you that you are good at, hold on to those things; they are your superpower. Used her Kolbe and Strengths Finder assessments to confirm her affinity for strategy Started offering a consulting model that would get results for people in a shorter duration that she could also scale . Started doing weekly calls with clients but found that they got overwhelmed..She helped them gain so much traction and they had so many action items, that they needed more time to implement between sessions. So she had to vary the contracts according to clients' needs. She was able to leverage natural strengths the way she wanted to work with clients and came into client’s business as an expert, which finally felt in alignment. What are you up to now, and how are you looking to serve those who want to move to the next level? She is building out an accelerator program. She gets lots of women who come to her who want “more,” which means they want to work with clients in a more strategic way. The program focuses on a model that provides quick fixes, gives laser-focused attention, provides massive results, and a way to return when they need you later. The program will help women be able to market themselves confidently in a strategic consulting manner in their business. You already have the skills, but will gain skills to build the offer behind the scenes, and mindset work. Fits the needs of multiple business models, and will help you see yourself as the expert you are. If you want to work in a more strategic capacity and do less implementation. Have to be willing to market yourself in new ways. “When you are a consultant, you bring your knowledge, skillsets and expertise, but you are also bringing your community, and that's really valuable.” - Melissa Froehlich Who is this for? People who love strategy and who are willing to market themselves. Those willing to commit to seeing themselves as an expert. Requires strategic leadership, independent thought, and the confidence to partner with people. “If you are a leader, that means you are an independent thinker.” - Natalie Gingrich Is this a program I should do as a Director of Operations (DOO)? This could be a great fit, if you are drawn to the idea of being a strategic partner As a consultant you are there to guide, and deliver the options, but you don’t make the decisions. How much do you love relationships? Do you want to love someone's business as much or more than they do? You have to be able to form relationships that are deep because that's where the transformation happens. Consider why are you drawn to this… do you want to leverage a different way of working with people? About Melissa Melissa Froehlich is a sought-after business strategist, mentor and mindset coach who works with established female entrepreneurs ready to own the role of being the CEO of their business with a rewired mindset to help it all stick. After leaving her corporate job to follow her active-duty Air Force husband across the United States, Melissa rapidly built a booked-out, multi 6-figure coaching business teaching women to create online businesses that deliver premium results. Through her signature coaching and Mastermind programs, she mentors online service-based business owners to uplevel their services, embrace the mindset of a CEO, and stand out in a crowded marketplace by delivering an exceptional client experience. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and dogs while adventuring in the mountains or exploring a beach somewhere in Mexico. Weekly Ops Activity Come on over to the Facebook group and drop your questions about adding a consulting offer to your business. Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 70: How to Avoid Settling in Your Operations Business Other Ways to Connect with Melissa: Website Facebook group email Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/84.
47 min 44 sec
What does success as an operator look like to you? If you are on the journey of becoming an operations leader or are looking to get promoted in any capacity, I’m talking today about what full circle success looks like. We have just started a new cohort of The Director of Operations Certification Program, and if you are thinking of joining us for the next round or would like to learn more, click here. How to Achieve Full Circle Success You can never control what the leader of the business is going to do, but you can control what you do. I'm going to give you some tips that have been very helpful for me as I’ve pursued full circle success in my own career path. I believe it is 100% up to you to chart your own course, whether you are doing this in your own business and growing a team, or if you are selected to be a part of a team. “It is 100% up to you to chart your own course.” Define Roles and Responsibilities As you step into a position, make sure that your roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. This is a non-negotiable, and you should never even apply to a job that doesn’t have these roles clearly outlined. “Desperate people hire desperate people.” If someone is advertising for help on Facebook that's a red flag. This tells you that they have never taken the time to define those roles and responsibilities, which usually means they don’t have a lot of clarity as a business owner. This is a no-win situation that will eventually catch up with you and cause agony while you are with them. Identify Key Results Areas (KRAs) KRAs refer to what is going to be accomplished in your role for the first 30 days, the next 30 days, and the next 30 after that (we call them 30-60-90s). In most cases if someone isn’t familiar with hiring, they are going to skip this piece because they are so excited to get you through the door. But for you to be ultimately successful this is the most critical piece. If it's not inside your training, you need to be the leader and own this piece. “Don’t get past day 3 without asking what your goals are for 30-60-90.” How do you create these for yourself? 1. Look back at the job description so you understand what the owner is thinking about. 2. Have a dedicated one to one full hour talking with the business owner who you report to. Ask: How do you want to feel as the business owner? Now you start thinking about the actions you can take that align to the job description and start mapping a course for yourself. What can you do to make this person feel less overwhelmed? What needs to get done? Prioritize the projects that need to get done. It is impossible to get 10 projects done in the first 30 days. Get a sense of the scope of the projects and prioritize with the owner when it makes sense to begin. 3. Ask the business owner about profit producing activities that you can assist on. This is important so you can show your return on investment. Get closer to profit producing activities without being on the marketing side of the business. What are the things you can do to assist to help create greater profit? If you are an operator, make sure to check out episode 63, where we talk about the TIES method, which is critical for helping the business owner understand what can be done in those 30-60-90 days. The advantage of creating the 30-60-90s? Ideally the business owner creates these themselves but in many situations they aren't really prepared for you. So by leading this conversation you appear as a leader and this helps make yourself indispensable. These also help you as the employer contractor because not only is the business owner less overwhelmed, but you are less overwhelmed because you have clear direction. You know what it takes to be successful or to pitch yourself for a raise/add a profit share. I want you to have a long healthy relationship with your client, and 30-60-90s are the key to making that happen. Establish Meeting Cadence Make sure you have a strong and certain meeting cadence established. If you haven’t had a lot of direction, then you are probably going to continue onboard yourself. You need to ask them to determine how often you need to meet and what is expected in the meetings. Do you need reporting? I never want you to be in a situation where you are just meeting to meet. If you know what is expected of you from those meetings, you can have a more concise, powerful meeting, Businesses who put off regular meetings are overwhelmed. If you don't have an existing meeting cadence established, your position is at risk. Ultimately what meetings are used for are two-way communication, which is one of your most important goals. What meetings are the most important? Who are the people you need to be talking to on a regular basis? Raise your hand and let them know that support you will need. Over time as the owner starts to feel the relationship solidify, they perceive the two-way communication and they want to back off. Don’t let the owner back off of these meetings! Their job is to lead the business, which means leading the team. If you as an operator are taking this off of the CEOs plate, you have to establish repeated meetings which are predictably scheduled, complete with agendas. Do not let this go by the wayside. Ask for Performance Reviews Make sure you get performance reviews. You understand what your responsibilities are, you know what your 30-60-90 goals are, you have regular meetings and open communication, so it should be easy to ask to set up a performance review. You've done your diligence when you set up your 30-60-90 framework, which is exactly what you are going to use to determine if you are meeting your goals. If you have gone above and beyond the 30-60-90 goals or surpassed them, I want you to be able to note those every step of the way. If you want to be indispensable, make sure to ask for performance reviews. Before you show up to that review you should have notes and be equipped with talking points about what’s working and what is not. Show Mastery When you create something new, create and document SOPs. Often, we are so busy doing that we never bother to create an SOP. As a business owner, if I have someone in my business who is keeping a log of standard operating procedures that I've never even had to ask for… the value of the relationship is enormous. If you have accomplished what has been outlined in your 30-60-90s, and your leader has reviewed it, given you feedback, and you’ve been documenting SOPs, you’ve reached the mastery level in that business. Time for a raise, title change, promotion or profit share! But you may have to bring it to the leaders attention, because they are so busy growing their brand they may not even notice mastery. Show mastery in the role you have been hired for. This usually takes about 6 months, but when you get to the mastery level, you need to communicate it. The next piece of the puzzle is to begin training other people. Start to develop your next role in the business, and plan to train the new person coming in. When you can grow inside of a company to the next level and take the burden off the leader by training the next person to backfill the role you were playing, that is a huge win for the business owner and allows you to get the next level position in the company. Weekly Ops Activity Create your 30-60-90 day goal plan for your existing roles. Then share them in our FB group! Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 63: The TIES Method: How an Operations Expert Shows Their Value Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/83.
25 min 46 sec
Does the mention of selling make you break out into a cold sweat? Today we are talking about the emotions of selling as a service provider. I have five years of selling as a service provider under my belt, and have sold well over 120 women into my Director of Operations Certification Program over the last year. I know a thing or two about selling, but that doesn’t mean it comes natural or that it’s exciting. In fact, it brings up a lot of emotions that can stifle me. I’ve had to do a lot of work around the selling process because it's uncomfortable… but it's part of business. As a service provider, sales look different than in a product based business since buyers can't actually see or touch the product. “When it comes to selling a service you need to be able to articulate that service with a ton of confidence. The ultimate goal is to be able to do this with ease.” When you are selling a service, it's less clear than when you are selling a product because you are selling a transformation, a solution, or intellectual property. It's not physical, and because of this there will be a lot more emotion tied into this. At the end of the day we are selling ourselves...people are buying you. I mentor operations experts, and so often they are scared to actively sell themselves because service providers are selling services that come with a healthy price tag. And along with the larger price tag, comes the worthiness question. You think: Am I worthy of this? Should I be doing this? Should I really be getting paid for this? Who is really going to buy this? As you step into your zone you will work with larger and more visible clients, and you’ll start to question your genius… you worry about providing the outcomes that people may expect. When sales and marketing slow you down from getting to the point of having a sales conversation, you don’t generate the revenue you need that will make you proud of the work you are doing. Is this something you feel like you can overcome? Are you ready to do the work to have sales come more naturally with you? Preparation Sales create emotional blocks for me, so I have to prepare myself. This is especially true when I do launches because I will be having a conversation with hundreds of people at once. When I am asking someone to partner with me, I have to look back at the transformation that I’ve had, and the transformation that I have helped others have in order to equip my emotions to be able to feel bold and confident to sell my offerings. I ask myself: Am I addressing their concerns? Am I the right solution to their problems? Do I want to continue to do this work? Am I partnering with the right people? Am I selling this for the right reasons? You may have different questions that relate to the service you are selling, so adjust as needed. Once you interact and gather the information, the pitch comes. It is completely normal to stumble, to over-process, to overpromise, and to have awkward pauses… these are all reactions related to the fear that comes with selling and sharing your brilliance. Tips For Any Selling Situation 1. Prepare for each and every sales call Think like an athlete, and get in shape. You need to practice and do research. The more research and data points you have, the easier it is to have an organic informed call. At the end of the day you’re looking to have a conversation, and you should mentally make the shift to thinking of it as a conversation rather than a sales call. 2. Ask a lot of questions Questions allow you to understand if you are the right person to move forward. It also allows you to shine and offer solutions, whether they are going to buy from you or not. Guide them through a framework and provide value to them. Take leadership over the call and put yourself in a position to determine if you are the right person to work with them. If not you can redirect them to other service providers. 3. Map your process What is your sales process? Whatever you are selling, have that process completely mapped out and be able to rattle it off as second nature. This displays confidence. Your gift is in process, and when you can couple that with your leadership and experience… you will rock a sales call. “Selling is always about communicating the value, and anticipating their needs.” 4. Create a Visual A visual will give you confidence. Plus, people learn in multiple different ways. Sometimes it is difficult for people to imagine the process you are selling through verbal communication. If you can create a visual on a slide and then walk them through it, their ability to say “yes” or “no” will happen much faster. Make it crystal clear for them. 5. Validate Understanding Validate that the potential client understands your service. If it has been a one sided conversation, expect follow up because both parties want to feel like they have spoken and been heard. Ask: How does this feel to you? Do you have any questions? What are your experiences? These are all questions to validate that they understand. 6. Only offer services that you fully own Don’t oversell, overpromise, or change your offer and couple it with things that sound interesting or that are in your wheelhouse. When you allow the client to create offers for your business, you’ll find that the work is not exciting and it has a massive negative effect on the services you are delivering to them. Be honest if there is something in the role that you don’t feel equipped for and understand that turning away people is healthy. 7. Model your solution in the sales process If you are selling systems or processes, make sure they are buttoned up from the beginning. There is no better way to get buy in than to model it throughout your process. 8. Journal your emotional blocks Listen to the blocks that come up, and equip yourself to overcome them. Take the negative emotion, journal on it and find the facts that supersede the emotion that is not rooted in any truth. Weekly Ops Activity Document your offer process. How do you do what you are selling? What are the steps? What are the outcomes that the buyer can expect? Put it into a list, then a visual, and practice it over and over again. Share it with us in the Facebook group! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/82.
25 min 59 sec
Are you quick to make changes to the latest greatest tool or tactic? Do you suffer from shiny object syndrome? Today we are going to talk about something that I’ve recently had to do some inner work on… how to process and deal with shiny objects. I’ve been looking inward to figure out what I need to incorporate into my business vs. what are the distractions that could derail me. If you enjoy the Ops Authority Podcast, join my private Facebook Group, The Ops Insiders, where you can ask questions related to building an operations business! How To Evaluate A Change Recently I took some time off from my business, and as I found myself with some extra time, I noticed that I also picked up some extra habits that go hand in hand with scrolling… comparison and shiny object syndrome. “Things that I typically block out were permeating me.” I ended up reconsidering the things that I was doing. Things that had been successful for me... and I started to question my own strategic plan. Today I want to spend some time talking about how I navigated that, and to help bring some clarity to help you the next time you find yourself in that vulnerable place. There are going to be an infinite number of things that will come up in your business journey so the distractions are not going to go away. If it's supposed to be in our business, it has to be the right time and we have to have the right team to explore those new things. “The more mature the business is, the easier it is to resist the distractions.” Just because the icons in your industry are doing it doesn’t mean you should be doing it. You need to build a business that feels comfortable to you. If you have a current tech stack or social media plan, make sure you optimize it. Then you want to test it and if it's not delivering, then you can think about changing it out. But I want you to give a dedicated effort to optimizing what is currently in the business. Before saying yes to a change, here are some of the things I ask you to consider to make sure you are making a sound decision. 1. Evaluate Your Vision Do the work to see your vision for your business. If everything went according to plan with your business between now and the next 3-5 years, what does your business look like? What kind of successes do you have? Where do you want to be? What kind of leader are you? What kind of team do you have? What kind of offers do you have? What kind of revenue are you generating? Spend the time to get to that vision. How does having a vision help? If you know where you are going and can see deeper, then it will help you in making a solid decision when navigating a new tool. 2. Create a Strategic Plan How are you strategically going to reach the vision you've set for yourself? I have licensed a model called the Strategic Mapping Model™. It is part of the Director of Operations Certification, and students are the only ones who are licensed to use this model. Directors of Operations (DOOs) can partner with visionaries to use this model to break down their vision and create a strategic plan. Then the DOO can manage that plan and create those changes. 3. Evaluate the need for change What are the pros/cons between what you are using vs. what you could be using? Why do you need to make this change? This will take some of the emotion out of the decision. What are the risks and benefits? 4. Gather Facts Gather a few facts. What is the actual cost of making a change? Think about it not just in terms of the financial considerations, but what is required of the team. How many hours will this take? Look at the deeper data: how much time will it take, what is the impact of experience on your customers or your team. There are a lot of soft costs in changes. Look at the return of investment, meaning how long will it take you to recoup the cost, time, and energy that you have put into making this change for you to break even. By gathering this data you will have more confidence when you move forward in this. 5. Evaluate Disruption What will the disruption be to your business projects and customers? What kind of impact will it have on your business, client projects, or your client load? How will your customers be impacted? There is a lot of work to be done and if you are just trying to fit this in the limited amount of time you have in a day, then the morale, energy, and quality of what you put out will leave you questioning if this was the right path. Look at this through the lens of your customers, clients, or whoever you are working with. 6. Get Approval Once you go through steps 1-5, I want you to get approval from your team, mentor, coach, or mastermind. By going through steps 1-5, you are essentially creating a change management plan, and I want you to present this to your team, a mentor or coach, mastermind or spouse… whoever helps guide your business. Ask them their opinion, give them real facts, and a picture of the impact. Make sure you get multiple opinions before you take action. “When you are looking to make a change in your strategic plan, you need these vetted by people who have an interest in what you are doing and delivering.” 7. Create a Project Plan Create a project plan for this change so you can be strategic. Slowly think through all of the implications that a change will bring. For instance, I am currently in the process of changing my funnel software, so my team and I are thinking through how these changes will affect my customers, students and community. “We tend to minimize how complex change is in a business.” 8. Establish a Communication Plan If you are going to impact your customers with this change, you will want to establish a communication plan for your customers and your team. Nobody likes to find out these changes after the fact. Get in front of the change and proactively communicate with the people who will be impacted. Allow them to be part of the journey, and you may be able to help someone make a solid (rather than a reactionary) decision. Let them know all of the steps you have gone through so that they know that things may look different. Give them the rationale behind the decision which will help eliminate the frustrations they may feel with the impending change. 9. Quality Control As with any project, you will want to test and quality control the change before you put it out there. For example if you are moving off of a social media platform and will be engaging less on one platform vs. another, set a time parameter to test the impact. Are you getting the kind of data you expected? It is impossible to be everywhere on social media or to leverage all of the tools that are out there. Before you make the switch official, test it and make sure it works for you before you go all in. This means you may be paying for overlapping services for a few months, but if you let the old one go too soon it creates too much risk in your business in the event that the new platform does not meet your expectations. You may want to keep the old platform for 6-12 weeks while you are making the switch to the new platform. 10. Switch Once you have the data and feel confident, you can determine if making the switch will be beneficial to your business. If you don’t go through these steps and shift your focus to something shiny and new you are going to miss something really big. Remember there’s not one way to do business and there’s no straight path to success. There will be obstacles that will arise and have you rethinking yourself and your plan. Leverage the logical parts of your brain, but when it comes to change management I highly encourage you to be logical. If necessary, partner with someone who can help you be methodical in determining if making this change is right for your business. Weekly Ops Activity What’s the last thing that had you considering a change? What is the last shiny object that you have experienced? Let me know if the FB group! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/81.
33 min 56 sec
Are you ready to increase your revenue this year? Today we are going to talk about 8 ways you can skyrocket your business in 2021. More and more people are leaving corporate and making the leap of owning their own business. As people transitioned to working from home thanks to the pandemic, working women saw the benefits of leveraging their skills from home. “We are working from home and the world continues to find ways to do business in a bigger way.” Women are doing this by leveraging a digital footprint. This means that more digital products are being created, digital marketing efforts are being used more and more, multiple marketing efforts are being instituted for one product, and teams are being expanded. You as an operations expert have more opportunity than ever before. This is the year you can skyrocket your business. This is the pattern we have been seeing, and in fact, I almost tripled my business in 2020! 1. Identify Your Gifts What makes you special? Leverage the level you are at and stretch it to the next level. If you have been an implementer in a business and you have the capacity to grow, now is the time. 2. Nail Your Offers Do what you are good at. What do you enjoy and that the world finds valuable? Dive into those skill sets, own them, and put them on display. Everything else needs to be taken off the table. 3. Understand Your Avatar Understand every nitty gritty detail of this person. It may include getting on a zoom call with your ideal avatar, which may be uncomfortable... but this step is key. You need to understand them, otherwise you are not going to feel heard or seen, and you will have a hard time penetrating that audience. Marketing your company is the only thing that will allow you to get to the next level. The more you understand your person, the easier it will be to have a conversation. 4. Price Your Offer Appropriately Absolutely do not short change yourself. This requires confidence. “Action creates confidence, and confidence creates cash.” Figure out what other providers who serve your clients are charging. Then charge 20% more than what your gut is telling you. 5. Communicate Unique Value Clearly communicate your unique value in all of your marketing. What makes you special or different from a peer? Communicate that in every single marketing piece: website, emails, social media, sales pages, opt-ins, phone calls, etc. Spend some time working on your messaging. 6. Sales Calls Galore You must get on the phone with your people. If you want to skyrocket your business, the easiest way to do this with a high ticket offer is to get on the phone. No matter how you create this conversion activity (phone/zoom/dm’s)… you have to have quantity so you can see where you are hitting or missing the mark. This is the only way to get them to buy. 7. Pay Attention To Your Network Go one level above who you are currently hanging out with. It’s fine to have a mastermind of peers that you are comfortable with, but you have to go to the next level. I have always surrounded myself with people who are smarter than me, who have been in business longer than me and who have larger audiences than me. When you surround yourself with those who are on the next level, you naturally rise to that level. 8. Be Committed To Upleveling Uplevel your growth and professional development. You never want to become complacent, and the easiest way to do this is to commit to growing and refining the gifts you have been given. Continuously look to find out where your gaps are and find people who have gone before you. If you are selling products that come easily to you, this will allow you to fast track. The Ops Authority’s mission is to partner with operations experts to help them uplevel their income, avatars, and offers… and the best way to do this is to join the Director of Operations Certification Program. We will be kicking off Round 8 on February 1st. The application deadline is January 26th, so don’t miss out! Weekly Ops Activity Of the 8 steps mentioned, which is the first one you will be committed to working on? Let me know in the FB group. Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/80.
17 min 46 sec
Do you feel like you are doing this online business thing all wrong? Today we are talking about the mistakes you are probably making in your business that are slowing down your success... and how to avoid them. 4 Common Mistakes That May Be Holding You Back I've been in business for 5 years, and I’ve literally made all of these mistakes! What about you? Are you making any of the following mistakes? Too Many Offers As you set up your business it’s so easy to offer too many things. Or have you said yes to someone who requested a service you don’t offer? You say yes out of scarcity and find yourself having to create that product on the spot, and eventually you find yourself with multiple offers. The more offers you have, the harder it is for you to create systems and be consistent in talking to people. You confuse the people you actually want to work with, and it makes your visibility confusing. Are you getting in front of the people you really want to be in front of? If not, we need to revisit your visibility. How are you being visible? I want you to attract the right people so that you don't find yourself complicating your business and bringing in too many solutions for too many problems. “If you aren't leading your company, yourself, or the conversation, you will end up with too many offers and people won't know what you're known for.” Think about the ways you want to help someone, and if there are too many things… trim it down. Generalist vs. Specialist If you’re new to operations or online business in general, you are probably starting wide… serving as a “Jill of All Trades” of sorts. If you are doing all-the-things, it’s a great way to start out to get data and intel… but you most likely won’t want to stay in that position forever. Some people are made to be generalists and others specialists, but often we don't stand in enough confidence to identify exactly what we want to do. “You could pick one piece of the operations puzzle, and come in and own it.” If you look deep and find the thing that fires you up most, you may be able to niche further down and become a specialist. Copying and Pasting Other Influencers Models You cannot copy and paste any one person's business. Businesses are built based on values and relationships. If you copy someone else's model, it won’t be authentic to you. Which means you will face lots of obstacles and it may feel like cheating. That will slow you down and take away your power and confidence and increase your fear. I want you to dive inside of yourself and assess what you are the best at. What gets you excited? What do you do better than anyone else? You need to leverage the talent and values that make you unique. Review who you serve, what you like to do, and your values and choose a model that suits you. Also realize that business models will change as you gather data and see if it works… if it’s not working, you have the liberty to change! “Your brand does not hold you captive...it allows you to expand, grow and deepen into the areas that make you feel powerful.” Downplaying Your Genius I am a perfectionist, and sometimes I minimize what I’m good at to feel safe. When I left a corporate executive job, I downplayed my skills when I started my own business. It didn’t take long until I realized I had to stand in my own genius. I reflected on my accomplishments in corporate and decided to stand in them. But I am constantly surrounded by people who downplay their genius. “I promise, when you rise up everything rises with you.” People would often ask me how I was scaling my business so fast, and the truth is that I wasn’t scaling; I was just charging my worth. I have continued to see my worth and where I stand out, and in the places where I don’t stand out... I let them go. “Scaling doesn't mean making a certain amount of money, scaling means showing up in your business and making money with greater ease.” Find your genius! Ask everyone you know and if what they say matches what you see in yourself… you’ve got the data to back it up! Join the Free Masterclass If you have a desire to earn more money in your operations business, join us in a brand new Masterclass on Jan 21st!* This is a one day training that is full of action. It will allow you to leave the class with a real plan that looks at your financial goals, how you should position yourself, and where you should focus. Sign up here for the masterclass: How to Earn More in 2021 Using Your Ops Skills… without sacrificing what's most important to you. *Note date change from what is mentioned in the podcast. The masterclass will take place on Jan. 21st instead of 20th. Weekly Ops Activity What is your genius? What do you do better than anyone else? Take some time to assess yourself and survey others, then let us know in the FB group! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/79.
23 min 13 sec
Do you have a plan to meet your financial goals for this upcoming year? We are going to kick off this year talking about what you should know in order to reach your financial goals in 2021. The new year is a time of dreaming and scheming, reflecting, and creating a plan for the upcoming year. One of the most important items you need to plan for is your financial goals, and often we avoid it because of fear. Financials can seem super scary but we are going to get into the technical side of finance today. Reaching Your Financial Goals There are 5 steps you need to take into account for a solid plan. Be Aware of Your Vision Where do you see your business in 12 - 18 months? Take a few minutes to figure out what it looks like for you. What kind of products, services, or pricing will you offer? Think about who you are going to be serving… will that change? Do you want to niche down? “It is not uncommon to have a brand new completely unrecognizable vision every 2 years.” Reflect on your Actuals Pull out your spreadsheets and review your actual financials from last year. Look over revenue, profits and what you paid yourself quarter over quarter for the last year or so. The more data you have, the better. The reason we do this is because we are influenced by the people we follow and hang around… sometimes we allow their vision to become ours. I want you to have a firm understanding of your financials so you can analyze and be aware of your starting point. Define Your Goals What are your financial goals? As you develop your skills and refine your market, you need to know what your goals look like. I believe you need to reverse engineer from your goals to your pricing. It is tempting to shoot for a six figure number, but it may not be realistic. Define your goals based off of your vision and your actuals. I use the good-better-best framework, by Todd Herman, to predict launches, revenue and more. Set a goal that is easy to attain, and then use it to set better and best goals. Identify Your Gifts My coaching and expertise help women uplevel who they work with, what their outcomes are, and how much income they bring in. This is about identifying your gifts. What is it that comes easiest to you? When you monetize the skills that come easiest to you, you are going to make money in the easiest ways. “Natural skills monetize the easiest because it’s what you have the most confidence in.” Make a Plan Make a plan and measure it to make sure you are on track. These 5 steps will allow you to know if you are able to reach your financial goals. “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” -Eleanor Roosevelt I didn’t take the time to go through these steps during my first 3 years of business. I am 100% certain that the work I’ve done towards financial planning in the last 2 years of business have brought more than 7 figures in revenue over the past 2 years into this business. The first 3 years, I was doing it wrong! I was taking a lot of time to dream and wish but wasn’t matching that by putting it into a plan of action. If you are listening and are not taking action on these items, you are putting yourself at risk. If you want accountability in creating a plan that works for you, we have a brand new masterclass coming up on January 20th. This is an interactive workshop. I have seen over 120 women come through my program and create financial freedom by leveraging the skills that come most natural to them. I want to help you create a plan that is feasible. This masterclass is tailored to operators at all levels of business. Sign up here! Weekly Ops Activity Share the vision you have for your business in 2021. You don’t have to give a specific number, but I want to know what you see your business doing this year. Will you be changing an avatar? Growing a team? Changing your services? Come on over and share in the FB group! Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/78.
15 min 53 sec
How did your 2020 shape up in regards to your business? Today I’m going to recap what 2020 looked like for my business, and I hope this gives you a glimpse of what a business can look like. I also want to model something for you that you can use in your business, called the reflection framework. Reflection Framework Take out a piece of paper, and draw a big “t” so you have 4 quadrants on your paper. Now label: Top left as “Working” Top right as “Not Working” Bottom left as “Missing” Bottom right as “Confusing” I use this simple framework all of the time. I'm going to use it today to reflect on 2020, but I have used this exact framework for masterminds that I have facilitated, performance reviews, 1-to-1’s, and team meetings. It gives you the ability to collect a lot of info and gives structure to the conversation. It also serves as a documentation piece that you can look back on year to year. What Worked? This has been an incredible year. When we started I had 4 different products I was selling. I had been feeling the urge to niche down and understand where my greatest value was. By niching down, I could give more of myself by serving 1 audience. This completely changed the trajectory of the success of The Ops Authority. I am so grateful I had mentors encouraging me and helping me see where my potential was, because what was stopping me from niching down was scarcity. If you feel like you have a knack for operations and are interested in becoming a Director of Operations (DOO), join us for our first round in our upcoming Director of Operations Certification Program in 2021. Mentorship I have spent thousands of dollars on different mentors, programs, and masterminds over the years, and this year I decided to go big with a next-level mentor. I joined the Unstoppable Entrepreneur with Kelly Roach. I joined the first weekend of March before COVID-19 hit, and I remember thinking about how our economy was shifting in a really rapid way, so I needed to put my money where my mouth was to level up. I found a program that I will be in for a very long time to come. It was a mindset shift for me, and I have been blessed for Kelly’s mentorship, her supportive team and the peers in the group. The Live Launch Model I started to use this program that Kelly teaches. I started to pay attention to what she was doing and applied it to make my content work for me. My team and I worked to create my live launch The Scope Creep Solution. It is a topic that stands the test of time, and allows me to show up as myself and teach something I’m excited about. Expanding my team I decided to expand my team by bringing in qualified expert coaches into my program, which has completely upleveled the experience that my students have. They have allowed me to see an even greater vision than I did in 2020. We can now handle 2-3 cohorts of DOOs at one time. My team I want to give a massive shout out to my Director of Marketing, Esther Littlefield who is such an incredible support. She is the person I trust in the strategic department of marketing. It has taken a big load off of me, so I can show up as the lead coach. We have been able to expand our hiring services big time. Diana Neff has joined us as our lead hiring manager, as well as Yolanda Rumpf. They are both DOOs and have strong competencies in hiring. Abby Herman has supported us in the content strategy area to make sure everything is streamlined, and Holly Cain with Prosper Collective has helped take our finances to the next level. Intellectual Property I have developed more intellectual property which means we have more content to share with those of you who choose to trust us and learn with us. Podcast Growth The dedication to this podcast has paid off! Referrals We put a lot of hard work into our marketing efforts, but I’m never upset about referrals! We have been really grateful for strong referrals. “Being reputable has made it very easy to expand our business through referrals.” What Didn’t Work? Technology Our tech stack is going to be shifting in 2021. Our current stack includes Samcart, Clickfunnels, Thinkific, and Convertkit. I have hesitancy about each one of these, and we will be exploring our options. Meetups I am a people person, and without conferences and meetups this year I’ve been a little heartbroken, and have felt somewhat isolated. I miss the networking and having some time away to focus narrowly on my business. Website content Since I have decided to niche down, we have some work to do to make the site match the messaging for our niche audience. What was missing? An Operations Coordinator We will be onboarding our 1st employee, Alex in January 2021. She will be able to fill in some of the gaps, where some of my other team members have been graciously filling in. More hiring managers We were so booked that we had to turn away business later in the year, so we are looking forward to hiring a few more people since our processes are so dialed in. Content in The DOO Certification Program We have been anxious to re-record the content for the DOO Certification Program. I’m ready to share new wisdom that I’ve gained over the last few years and I want to add some relevant examples. We have also hired an instructional designer who looks at how to piece together content so it flows better, how to be more inclusive to various learning styles, and the visuals and graphics that support the frameworks I teach on. Accreditation One of the first things I did when I created the DOO Certification Program was to look at how to get this program accredited. One of the pieces of advice I got was to have a good sample size. When you have enough feedback you have a more solid product. Right now we have 141 certified DOOs, and we are actively in conversations with some really exciting organizations to discuss accreditation. “Whatever we can do to increase the impact, opportunity and income for natural born operators… I am here for it!” Balance Personally, when the pandemic became serious, I was really fearful of how it was going to impact my business, which led me to overcompensate for the lack of control and steadiness that I didn’t feel. What was confusing? Whatever you write in this section, you need a strategy around it to address it. I leveraged people around me to help me with the confusing parts. Mindset I can be headstrong when it comes to abstract thoughts because I’m such an action-oriented logical, methodical person, so sometimes I don’t think I have mindset issues. My mindset is very different now than it was at the beginning of the year and I attribute that to my mentors and friends. I also learn so much from my own people; from the gals who come through this program who allow me to step up. By coaching their mindset gaps, mine has gotten stronger. “This is my year of transition, from baby business to big-girl business.” Financial Transition There has been quite a bit of growth this year, and I needed some strategies on how to handle that. We have been able to reinvest money back into the business and I’ve been able to leverage experts to help me in this area. Video Show I take slow action, but I’ve been thinking of starting a video show. It’s still not crystal clear. Pinterest Strategy Kate Ahl is a dear friend who runs Simple Pin, a Pinterest management company. She did a podcast with me where she did live coaching on my Pinterest strategy. I want to take Kate's thoughts and feedback and crystallize it in 2021. I hope you have found this helpful and found some good nuggets that will help get your wheels turning as it relates to your own business! Weekly Ops Activity Create your own reflection framework for your business in 2020. Then come on over to the FB group and share with us what has worked for your business this year. Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 23: How To Reflect On Your Accomplishments Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/77.
46 min 33 sec
Does the thought of digging into the financials of a business make you uneasy? Do you shy away from the responsibilities of looking at the numbers? Today we are talking about why financial knowledge is needed for Directors of Operations (DOO). Why Financial Knowledge is Needed We talked a bit in episode 75 about the benefit of being able to see the financials of the business you are working in. With this knowledge you are able be a strategic partner in their business. It is key for you to have access to that information, so if you run into a leader that doesn't want to share that with you, that is an issue. I also know that one of the greatest fears of becoming a DOO is financial knowledge. Most often, this is the area that people feel the least competent in. I know, because it was my fear once upon a time… I made it a much bigger deal than it was. I want to share the importance of getting to know the numbers, and what your role is with those financials as a DOO. Strategic Partnership Why does the DOO need to be able to read these financial reports and have a bit of financial knowledge? Well, because you are the guide for the business and money will rule decisions. To make fact based decisions, you need to see the data. You will need to see the numbers and look at the trends that are happening. This allows you to be a strategic partner. Also, one of the things that leaders/visionaries tend to ignore are the financials. And as Jenni Davis points out, leaders sometimes feel successful in this area, but they are really only doing bank balance accounting… meaning they are only looking at what is in the bank. This is a huge mistake. Somebody needs to be tracking the trends because your leader likely won’t be giving financials any attention. Compliance As a DOO you will need to keep track of compliance, meaning they need to pay their taxes on a quarterly basis. You are the one who will help them make sure their taxes are done and up to date. You will need to see the financial statements each month, and hopefully the business will also have a bookkeeper on staff. Your best bet will be to partner with the bookkeeper, so you will be able to understand the trends and how you can help the leader to strategically make better decisions. Understand Trends and Patterns The profit and loss and the cash flow statements are actually very simple. By looking at these you will be able to tell the financial health of the business. You’ll be able to read the reports, give them guidance and understand what is happening in the business. What are the spending habits of the leader you have? This is your time to give them wise counsel about next best steps. Avoid looking back and criticizing, but use the data from the past to help you make decisions in the future. Make notes of opportunities, successes or patterns. If you have an increased profit margin, make sure to celebrate and note what led to that. You want to understand the patterns that are taking place and this will give you incredible confidence in your communications. “When you become comfortable talking about financials you will see how easy it is to create strategies… and your value will skyrocket.” How Often? I like to have monthly financial meetings. It may be me speaking with the bookkeeper and taking the information back to the leader, or it might be a meeting with all 3 of us. This is a very private matter, and needs to be a safe space. One of the non-negotiables should be a quarterly meeting with the bookkeeper, and the goal should be to find ways to improve the reporting. When you meet, take the time to give an update on the business. What has changed? You want to look product by product, and compare how much it costs you to sell it in relation to the other products you have. “By looking product by product, it will tell you where you should be investing your time.” Once you are aware of the financials, your job is to tell a story. It’s not to be a bookkeeper or accountant, it’s to tell a story. Being open to understanding financial terminology and reports, and being coachable has huge dividends, and if you are going to be in a strategic role in a business, you cannot shy away from the financials! Weekly Ops Activity On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you with financials? Come and share in the Ops Insiders FB group. Previous Episodes Mentioned Episode 75: 4 Popular Models for a DOO Business Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/76.
16 min 31 sec
Have you figured out how to determine if a business is ready for a Director of Operations (DOO)? We are talking about how to know when it's time to sell your DOO services to your clients. Basically how to give yourself a boost, a new title, and potentially more income from your existing clients. How to determine when a business is ready for a DOO I'm going to walk you through a few things that I look for when I’m trying to determine what kind of help someone needs in their business. Strategic Partner Are they looking for a strategic partner? Are they willing to say “here is my vision” and what the strategy is for their vision? For example, my vision is to have 500 certified DOOs by the year 2025. When I was ready for a strategic partner, I turned that vision over to my Director of Marketing, Esther. She came up with the strategies to achieve that goal. I did not want to take up more of my bandwidth, so I handed it all over to her, and she owns the strategy and the project management. Does the business owner already have the strategy and just need someone to manage it? That's ok, and it can be a comfortable place to enter a business, but you should ask several questions about their ability to bring someone into the business at a strategic level. Ask them: Who creates the strategy? What is their strategic plan? Do they need someone to help them create the plan? Are they ready for someone to come in and help lead their team? My method is to use the Strategic Mapping Model™ (part of the Director of Operations curriculum) to help them on a strategic level. If they aren't ready for that, they may not be ready for a DOO. The best use of a DOO is when you can come in at the strategic level as well as the management level. You are not there to do the implementation. A lot of leaders are tired from managing the talent on their teams, and many DOOs have that gift of leadership. You need to ask them if they are comfortable being the manager/leader. Are they ready to get rid of the management aspect and just do the leadership piece? If so, that would be a great time to bring in a DOO. Team If they do not have an implementation team in place, then bringing in a DOO is putting the cart before the horse. You always want to make sure they have implementers and that you understand where their gaps are when it comes to the implementation side. Ask them: What are the things that they are still doing in their business? Or what have they not relinquished control over? Example: weekly emails, social copy, graphics Who is project managing right now? Them or someone else on the team? Notice there might be some sensitivity if you come into a team and are taking over roles/responsibilities from another team member. How satisfied are they with their team? May want to rate on an A-F scale. Revenue Patterns Understand what kind of revenue patterns the business has been experiencing. It's likely they are looking for a DOO because their revenue has increased and they are now in a scaling phase. I want you to be very aware of what their revenue patterns look like. Is it reliable? Ask them: What have their revenue patterns looked like over the last 4 quarters? Explain that the answer will help you understand how much time and focus they will need from you in their business. Financials Are they ready to share financials with you? If a DOO is in a business and can’t get their hands on the financials, they will not be able to be a strategic partner in the business. Part of our role is to help optimize and contain costs but we cannot do that if we don't have access to the financials. Ask them: If you join their business as a strategic partner, are they comfortable sharing their profit and loss with you on a monthly basis so that you can help by making or approving the decisions? Make them comfortable by stressing that they will have the last say. You aren't taking over for them, you just want to make sure the business is growing and that they are seeing more and more profits increase as a result of your work together. At the end of these questions, if you are feeling resistant, or if your instinct is telling you that this person isn’t ready, be honest with them. Use it as an opportunity to coach them, and explain why you aren't a good fit or why they may not be ready for a DOO. “If you don't find yourself having a 2-way conversation at the beginning of an engagement, be prepared to go to the lowest common denominator… the implementation level.” I know all of you have the ability to be a strategic partner in a business... it takes leadership, it takes resourcefulness, and it takes the ability to build deep relationships. Weekly Ops Activity Come into our FB group and tell me… do you play at the strategic level in your client’s business? Other Ways to Connect with Me: Website Private Facebook Community Facebook Page Instagram This episode was first published at theopsauthority.com/podcast/75.
16 min 38 sec