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The Ops Authority
41 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
107: 4 Steps to Managing Your Time as a Service Provider with Amanda Warfield
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.
35 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
106: Leveraging Live Video in Your Marketing with Alicia Henderson
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.
45 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
105: How to Stop Holding Yourself Back with Kelly Ruta
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.
23 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
104: What to Do When You're Discouraged in Your Business
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.
16 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
103: How to Balance Learning with Taking Action
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.
24 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
102: How to Dream Bigger When You’re a Natural Operator & Planner
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.
35 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
101: Beyond the Checklist - Keeping Your Clients for Life with Hallie Agostinelli
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.
29 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
100: The Difference 100 Episodes Has Made in The Ops Authority Business and Brand
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.
17 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Episode 99: 5 Steps to Building a Predictable Schedule When Serving Multiple Clients
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.
30 minutes | May 26, 2021
98: From Corporate Accounting to DOO Agency Owner with Rachel Kempf
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.
32 minutes | May 19, 2021
97: The Most Common Professions that Lead to a DOO Career
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.
20 minutes | May 12, 2021
96: Is Your Service Offering Serving You… and Your Bottom Line?
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.
34 minutes | May 5, 2021
95: How to Set Financial Goals as a Service Provider
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.
29 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
94: My Favorite Business Growth Resources Over the Past Year
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.
31 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
93: Five Tips to Finding the Right Mentor
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.
22 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
92: Four Types of People Who Will Help You Grow Your Business
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.
34 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
91: How Mindset & Limiting Beliefs Almost Stopped Her from Transforming Her Business with Alexia Bustios
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.
45 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
90: Your Questions Answered - A DOO Roundtable
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.
49 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
89: From Army Intelligence Officer to Director of Operations with Courtney Waid
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.
29 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
88: Should You Add "PM" to Your Title?
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.
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