Back To The Future
So you may have goals for yourself, and for your company, that go beyond Sharon as a musician, now.
Yeah, exactly. And so, then you have to ask yourself, I'm a musician, and... or I'm this, and I'm a musician, right?
I have to start from scratch, and have a whole new website, with a different... (laughs).
No, I mean it might come down to that, eventually. But these are the questions that you need to think through first, and I would argue that one of the best places to start is actually, thinking through, what does your identity need to be, in that company that you're building? You don't actually have to know what the company looks like, to ask yourself, what's the best role for you, what's the best self-identity you can have, to support your business in the best way possible? Does that make sense? So, I would think through that question of what kind of company do you need to run, to achieve your goals easily? And then ask yourself, what kind of leader does that company ne...
ed? What kind of leader does that company need? Because you are gonna be the leader, whether you're the CEO, or you're the creative director, or you have some other crazy title. Whether you specialize in the executive management of the company, or you specialize in value delivery. You are going to be a leader of that company, as the founder of that company, so what kind of leader does that company need? Melissa, you've talked about this consultancy, that you're building, and I think you have, even though you may not know some of the specific goals yet, I think you've really started to think through what the vision for this consultancy is. When you think about your role in that consultancy, and what kind of leader that consultancy needs, what are the things that you're asking yourself, or things that you're telling yourself, about like, these are the things, this is how I need to show up now? What does that look like for you?
Well, I definitely know that I wanna be doing value delivery.
That's important to me. That's one of the things that's very exciting to me. And I know that I want to be working in collaboration and partnership, I don't wanna just be a sole proprietorship. I'm starting off sole proprietorship, but I want to be collaborating in partnership. Restate the question please. (laughing)
What kind of leader do you need to be, as the head of this consultancy? Is there a CEO, is there a creative director, is there a principal out there, that you think of, as, I need to be like her?
Yes. I know two people I can think of who run consultancies that I'm kind of using as role models.
Can you tell us more about them? You don't have to tell us names if that doesn't work but how does the way they show up, differ from the way you see yourself showing up right now?
Actually there's three people I can think of. (laughing) There's sort of that take no prisoners attitude. There's a confidence. There's a... I've interviewed two of them for my podcast, the third I'm interviewing on Friday. So I'm getting to know all of them. And I've never worked in corporate. And I've never hired anybody. Well, that's not true. I've never run a consultancy before. And so all three of these women have. So there's a difference (laughs).
So you worry you don't have the experience.
Yeah, right, exactly. So I'm kind of like channeling.
Good, yeah, I mean that's really the takeaway of this question is you got to channel it. But you have to identify it first. So you worry that you don't have the experience. It sounds like there's also a concern about level of confidence. And it sounds like there's an attitude issue too. But it sounds like, when you say take no prisoners, that can go good, or bad (laughs). I was like, that's different for you. But what I'm hearing there is there's a desire. I love the way that person shows up. I love the way they go after what they want. I love the way they don't take no for an answer. I wish I was like that. Do you find yourself thinking about those people and thinking, I wish I could do that?
Yeah, absolutely, exactly. Absolutely. I actually said to one of them, I'm going to channel you, when I'm in an executive board room.
Yeah, and to bring the experience piece back into it, I think the temptation is to think that the more experience you have, the more you pick up that attitude, the more that confidence comes. But that it comes from winning all these past battles and gathering all this experience over time. And what I've personally learned and observed over the years, is that it's the opposite. Those experiences come when you show up with that kind of attitude and when you show up with that kind of confidence. And it's those things that you think you have to earn that actually come first. And the things that you are then earning, are the rewards of showing up in that manner. So for me, I started to see a lot of my friends break out of the information marketing space, the training space, and start companies that I was so jealous of. Laura Roter, I'm looking at you. Nathan Barry, I'm looking at you. I'm like, why am I so jealous of these people? What is it that they have that I don't have that allows them to do that and I can't? Why are they different people than I am? And I would look at them and I would say, okay, so Laura's got this brilliant mind for operations and vision and she just knows how to put people together and she's got just a phenomenal attitude when it comes to taking care of her people but also not ever putting up with people she doesn't need, whether they're great people or not. Just, I love her approach. And I always would think, I wish I could be that kind of leader. I wish I could show up that way. And then as I started to get clearer on the kind of company I needed to run, what that operational vision was, I also got clear on the fact that I didn't have to just sit there, wishing I could be like that, I could just start showing up like that. I could just decide, that's who I am. If that's what I want, and not, like willy-nilly, but you know, some serious soul-searching. I want to be more like that. I want to build that kind of company. I want to have those kind of skills. If I start showing up like that on a daily basis, I wonder what will happen. And so I come to you now here in November, 2017, having made these decisions at the end of 2016. This is not an old thing. This is a new thing. Feeling like a completely different person. Sitting here in front of the cameras, sitting here in front of you here today, I feel like a completely different person than I did in November, 2016. And it's because I decided to show up as the leader that my company needed. And it extended well beyond the way I show up in my company, to the way I show up in my personal life. If I'm also jealous of the fact, that the people I want to have as my peers are so disciplined, they wake up early, they work out in the morning, they're just so healthy and they're just so energized all the ti-- Wait a second! That's not something I should be jealous of, that's just something I should do! (laughing) It sounds so silly, right? But I was playing this script over and over in my head that I am not that person. That's not who I am. I don't do those things, I'm not disciplined, I'm not organized, I'm not great with systems, I'm not a good leader. I can be a teacher but I can't lead a company. And I just decided that was bull crap. (laughing) Yeah, Lashonta.
Yeah, I was gonna say, I think that's the big thing for me. I was too concerned about what I needed to be for society instead of myself. And on the other side, what I wrote down is, everything seemed always to be defined by gold star, grades, graduation and never met one personal goals. And then as far as the leader question, what I wrote down, is that things needed to be less about me building a legacy directly and more about it being indirectly and how I could help and educate and empower others, which means taking a step back and not trying to be the spotlight and just being the light. And instead of trying to build up a pedestal to put myself on, building a platform for others to shine.
Yes, absolutely, absolutely. We exist, at least us here in this room, exist in this world where we're being told, only you can do what you do and so you've got to build up all this credibility, and this personality brand. And your website is all about you. This, this, this, this, and the other thing. And I think what you realize as your business matures, is that your business can have your name on it. Your business can be about you as a life coach or as a designer, or as a musician, or whatever it might be. But that doesn't mean putting yourself on the pedestal. It means building a platform for others to shine. I love, that's perfect. Thank you. And when you change that, you completely change your identity in your business, you change the role that you have in your business. And now it's like, sky's the limit baby. Because there's only so far up on that pedestal that you can put yourself before you feel like you're gonna topple over, or before you actually do topple over. But you can build that platform as wide as you want. And you are the one who's in charge of the building. You don't have to be the one that hammers in the nails. But you're the one that designs that platform, that figures out how it's going to work. And in doing so, you create that legacy that you really want to leave. So as we start to wrap up here, I want you to think about what do you need to do differently to be the kind of leader that your business, that your company, really needs. What do you need to do differently to be the kind of leader that your company needs? For me, it was everything from just deciding to manage myself in the morning, by setting three top priorities for the day, getting clear on how I was actually gonna use my time that day, and hallelujah, actually checking and seeing what was due on Asana (laughs). You know, it was things like that. It was also things like, I'm gonna get up in the morning, I'm gonna set an alarm, and I'm gonna go workout for 30 minutes. And I'm not gonna start my day until that's done. It was I'm gonna cut back to one cup of coffee a day because I don't need any more than that. It was reshaping all of the routines, all of the ruts that I had gotten myself in. And I did not do them all at once. But I did, sort of start to identify where are all the places that I'm actually holding myself back, because I'm being this thing that I think I am as opposed to the person I want to be. So that got really granular. And I looked at all those different behaviors, I looked at all those different routines, so that I could change them. So that I could do things differently, because actually changing and creating that new operational vision has to start with you because you're the founder! It may not be all about you but it is on your shoulders to decide what is this company that you want to build. So just real quick, I'd love to get a smattering of things that are just top of mind for you. What are some of the things that you need to do differently to be the leader that your company needs you to be? Meghan.
I wrote, get out of the way. (laughing) Hire smart people, get more clarity and have more confidence in my ability to lead. I think that I tend to default to, let me just do it all myself because then I don't have to be super-clear on all of those things. What if I don't tell the person, what if I don't express my vision the right way? Or what if I don't give that direction? So I think that, it feels, like we said earlier, like I want to be in control, which I definitely think there's some of that, but I think part of it is also, can I translate, what I want to see happen?
We're gonna go through all of that the rest of today. So, right on. What else, what do you need to do differently? Beryl.
For me, just getting clear is top of mind for me because when you were talking about, what do you need to do differently? Who do you need to be differently? I want to show up as everything. So then I'm like, oh, do I need to do this better? Do I need to... What if I just do it all better? And so I think getting clear on, who do I need--
That might be defeating the point. (laughing)
Who do I want to be and what is that role and then who are the people that I need to help build that platform for me.
Awesome, we're doing that in segment three today. What else, what do you need to do differently? Melissa.
We were talking about the people that I really admire and one of them, is so not ever intimidated by anybody and sets really, really clear limits. And I get very easily intimidated by certain types of people. And so one of the things that I want to do differently is, just channel her and get super-grounded, not get intimidated and set clear limits.
Yes, love it. One more. Ellen.
I feel like, up until about three or four months ago, I have been throwing stuff against the wall to see what stuck. And now I have started putting some systems in place. And I'm like, whoa! Not only does that organize my entire business, but it also helps me to create a structure, incredible how that works (laughs). So really working on that and building that out and building out an actual schedule so that I can balance work and personal life because that is something that's very important to me as far as the kind of company that I also want to be building. So getting organized, I wrote in all caps.
Beautiful, beautiful. We're gonna come back to these things throughout. I love that pretty much everybody, what you said about what you wanted to do differently, is something we're gonna be touching on the rest of this class. We are gonna dive deep into those things so that you can get really organized about what role you want to have, what are the jobs that you personally need to be doing? What are the jobs that everybody else needs to be doing? How are you gonna get organized? What is that all going to look like? And so we're gonna keep diving through that. As we do start to wrap up though, what questions do you guys have for me at this point in the class? Or what questions do you have for everybody else too? This is a campfire discussion, remember? Any questions here? No? I think we got a couple of questions online. All right, this is from Gigi. She says, when you are building your business, under two years, and you're overwhelmed with tasks, is it smart to hire freelancers to help you complete those essential tasks to keep the business running? So we're gonna talk more about the difference between freelancers and employees. And so Gigi, I'm gonna punt your question a little bit. That said, in segment three today, we're gonna talk through organizational structure. Before you just start delegating tasks, I want you to actually think through the structure and vision of what you're building because it's really easy to keep putting off getting that kind of clarity. And I think it's really, really important that you have that kind of clarity first and then you make that decision. It may very well be a great idea for you to keep things running with the help of some freelancers. But I want you to be really strategic about that. And until you get that organizational clarity, that clarity of your vision, you're not necessarily in the best place to dive into that delegation. Because one of the themes that we're gonna talk about, is that hiring is not actually about delegation. Delegation and hiring are two different things and we need to start thinking through the work that should be being done in your company as opposed to just the work that's on your to-do list. And that includes thinking through the work that you should be doing as opposed to the work that's on your to-do list. And until you get clear on that, don't throw money at the problem. So that's what I'm hearing here, is like, should I throw money at this problem just to keep things moving along? And the answer may be no. You may be throwing money at something that doesn't actually need to be done because you don't have clarity over that organization. So that's my non-answer, Gigi, to your question. (laughing) Next one? My move is from it being my business to it becoming our business as my husband has come on board as a partner. Awesome. Wondering if Tara has any tips for situations like this. Yes, grab your partner, grab your husband, and have him come watch this class with you. (laughing) Because if it is going to be our business, your business, as plural, together, you need to have this clarity together. Or you need to reclarify the relationship of him in that business. Because I know great female founders who have their husbands working for them and I know great female founders who have their husbands working with them. And you need to get clear on what your role is and what his role is. And if his role is as a partner in your business, then you want to do all of the stuff together. One of you can have decision-making power, that's fine. Different couples work that out differently. You should work that out ahead of time too. But if it's actually that he's doing a specific job for you, in your business, he may not be a business partner. He may be an employee of the business. Now that's something you want to talk, the accounting piece of that, the legal piece of that, you want to talk over with your accountant, maybe with a lawyer, but organizationally, that's something you want to realize as quickly as possible. Because our default is, that, well, if we're husband and wife, or wife and wife, or husband and husband, then we're partners in this business. That's not always the case. My partner is a contractor in my business because he does our shipping. And that's it. And he doesn't want to be a partner. I have offered him all sorts of roles in my business. If he's watching, hi! (laughing) He doesn't want those and that's fine. He's actually not even on our org chart. I'll show you our org chart later. He's not on it because it's just, he does the shipping. Other odd jobs. And that's great. But often the default is, well if they're my partner in life, they must be my partner in business and that's not necessarily true. So think through, what is the real relationship that's going on there and then if you're actually partners, do this work together because you guys need to be on the same page.
Tara, does that go for, regardless if it's your husband, or a family member, just bringing on a partner in general, you would say the same thing, right?
Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, I would say yes, thank you. We've covered a lot of territory. And even though you might not have had super-profound realizations, I have a feeling that you've identified some places where, you're not showing up the way you want to, where your vision has not kept up with the pace of your goals, and that can bring up some fear and maybe it can bring up some excitement too. What are you guys feeling right now? Meghan.
I think within the first 45 minutes of talking today, I was so excited to be here and so excited to learn from you and excited to be on Creative Live. But I also came in going, I have a VA and I've got a content manager and they're great and I really like them and they're doing good work. I love education, can't wait to learn. And at about that 45-minute mark, I kind of went, oh. (laughing)
Yes I'm done, I know.
Oh, we're kind of talking about something different here. So I think both of those things. Maybe it's named wrong. I feel like, I really came in just thinking, maybe I need a social media manager, okay maybe that's what I'll think about. Oh. This is really, that whole organization of what your business. And I turned 40 this year and so that's been really on my mind too. Like, am I gonna be doing this when I'm 50? Am I gonna be doing this when I'm 60? When I'm 70? I love that you used the term legacy. Because I've been really thinking about that too. Like, what's the long-term plan here?
Yes, thank you. Melissa.
I am just so glad that you are doing this class. A couple of years ago, two or three, I don't remember when it was, I had my first experiment into hiring. And it was kind of a disaster because I really didn't know what I was doing and I was essentially delegating a bunch of stuff that I really kind of had no business hiring anybody to do because it really didn't need to be done. (laughing) So there you go. I really needed the class then because I would have figured out that, well that stuff really didn't need to happen. And I threw a bunch of money at a problem that really didn't need to be solved at that time.
Yeah, maybe you and Gigi need to talk. (laughing) Mya.
I am excited and so grateful for the school circle moments. Thank you for putting this class together because I know I've been wanting something like this and I didn't know this is what I wanted so when it showed up, I was like, hallelujah! (laughing)
Wonderful. So it sounds like we've got lots of excitement here. Underneath the surface of that is often fear and we're gonna start to address some of those things as we go here. But what I'm really hearing is a lot of bigger questions too and things that we're probably gonna be wrestling with well beyond these two days. As I said, this has been a very long journey for me and it's something that I've needed a lot of support in just talking through with other founders and entrepreneurs, small business owners, freelancers, who have been where I've been, have created something different, and really getting into their head and really understanding what's actually worked for them.