Wow, what a week! I’m writing this just as I come to the end of our first week of our next new Momentum planning cycle, which is always a high energy, back-to-back week of calls, and I wanted to share with you today my thoughts about being a CEO in your business.
Between Melina and myself, we’ve spoken to almost all our members to ensure they are clear on what their next priorities are for the coming months, and I am super impressed with the up level of thinking this year, far more than previous years.
Visions feel bolder.
Targets seemed to be stretched more.
Health and wellbeing being taken more seriously.
One member told me this morning that his most recent contract win was at twice the price he would have considered offering at last year before he joined.
Another shared how her profits have increased tenfold since the start of last year.
And many of the conversations highlighted how much more confident they felt as a business owner.
As I have been processing and reviewing what we have been doing differently from previous years, it’s become clear to me that my focus on transforming our members from being a busy freelancer to being a business owner and then ultimately adopting a CEO mindset, has an integral part.
You see, everyone usually starts their business as a freelancer.
You do everything; from marketing and website copywriting to selling and delivering client work, and what you do sell is usually your time and expertise so it’s a trade of time for money.
At some point, you bring enough business in to merit hiring your first support person and you start to work on what systems and processes are needed to run your business.
You start to become a business owner; you may still be the only one delivering client work, but some of your focus during the week is on how the business works – the marketing systems, follow up emails, proposal templates and creation of products or programmes.
But the bigger the contracts, the more programmes you sell and the more clients you attract, the less of you there is to go round.
The dynamics of your working relationships with your clients start to change and there’s every chance you start to feel overstretched.
When this starts to happen your business can start to feel like project management hell; you begin to drop some balls and you don’t get the chance to catch your breath or take the time out to work on your own development because you are spending all your time either working with clients or working on the projects to support your business structure and processes.
You may think you are a business owner, and call yourself a business owner, but your current work schedule has pushed you back to becoming a busy freelancer again, simply at a higher revenue.
And this is where the importance of having a CEO mindset comes in.
If you want to grow your business beyond a certain point, then you have to stop treating your business as something you do, and start getting clear about who you want to become … the role you want to play, the life you want to have outside of your business (because you do have a life outside of work, yes?!) and the bigger impact you want to make.
And it’s this CEO mindset that can make all the difference to how you think strategically about where to focus your time, resources and energy.
Over the next few weeks I want to share more with you about who it is you need to be and what it really takes to become a CEO, and share how to break the patterns of behaviour that keep you in freelancer and business owner mindset, and how to develop new rituals and practices to harness your CEOship power.
For now, I’d love to know where you feel you are right now. Are you behaving like a freelancer, a business owner or CEO? Have you distinguished the difference between them before?
Leave a comment below as I’d love to know how this resonates with you.
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.
“Send me a proposal”
When you’re ending a great sales call with your ideal client, these are the words you want to hear. You’re excited. They’re excited. You both just want to get started on working together.
So why do so many of us grapple with writing a business proposal that will take us over the line and onto the sale?
Perhaps it’s the lack of ‘fun’ associated with pulling the proposal together. Perhaps it’s the ‘not knowing what to write’. Sometimes it’s the fact that you’re so busy, you don’t have the headspace to write one out and you’re in danger of losing the work because your client moves on to another supplier.
Regardless, this is simply the time for you to take the relationship to the next level, stand out from the crowd and signpost the way forward in a clear document that confirms everything that has been discussed.
And the sooner you get a standard process set up for writing and sending out a proposal, the easier it will be going forward for all your future proposals.
Back to basics: the purpose of a proposal
The proposal is created to bring together in one place all that has been discussed. It means it can be shared across the decision-making team (if there is one) and used to benchmark alongside other options.
It outlines who you are, gives your take on the issues facing the client-in-waiting, how you would address them and what the result could be.
On a practical level, it also outlines the cost, the timescale and the key deliverables.
It gathers it all together. And that’s a key point.
The proposal is not the time to introduce something new. There should be no shocks or surprises.
What you need to know before you start
Before you put pen to paper or finger to keyboard, make sure you actually want to submit a proposal.
Obvious, maybe – but don’t get sucked into proposal writing if there’s any doubt you don’t want the work, it doesn’t fit with you strategically, you can’t deliver within the budget or you think a decision has been already made and you’re simply making up the numbers.
Also, decide whether a full proposal is needed. It isn’t always. A simple follow-up email summarising the sales conversation and outlining the fee, the deliverables, and next steps with a contract with business terms may suffice.
If you do want to prepare a longer proposal, here’s a quick checklist of the information you need before you get started. Do you know:
- The issues the client is looking to address?
- The budget they have to spend?
- The timescales they are working to and when a decision will be made?
- Who is making the decision (if it’s not the person you’ve been talking to, you may need to add in more information)?
- The criteria they are using to assess the proposals they receive?
Keeping these questions in mind will help you structure your proposal in a logical way, explain your ideas with clarity and ensure that everything you include is relevant to the would-be client’s needs.
Some clients provide guidelines as to what to include – and then you need to stick to those. But some don’t. If you’re looking for a structure, here’s a solid outline to use.
First, start with the client situation
Don’t jump right in with the proposed solution. This isn’t about you – it’s about them.
Use this section to outline your understanding of the issues they’re facing, based on the discussions you’ve already had. Use the words and language they use.
Show that you understand the impact it’s having on them and the business (if it is a business) and the pain or stress it‘s causing them financially, operationally or personally.
Get them to imagine how things will be better from working with you. Have in mind their desired outcome – and what success will mean for them. In short – and unashamedly taking one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – begin with the end in mind.
Remember to reinforce that you’re on the same page. Show that your approach to ways of working and values align – and sow the seeds of a valuable relationship built on trust.
Once you’ve done that, the next bit follows like night follows day.
Outline your solution
Now frame your business as a solution to the current situation or the desired place. Avoid the long list of features – and focus on the benefits and the difference they will make.
Clarity is important here. You need to avoid jargon, get the message across succinctly and articulate where they are heading.
It’s easy to avoid mentioning something that you don’t offer but is something they are wanting. Work out how you can address this rather than ignoring it.
Map out how they can do business with you
This is all about deliverables, timescales and process.
Take them through the steps to show how working with you will map out. Be clear on who does what and when, and what outcome they can expect.
This shows you’ve done the thinking, you’re straightforward to work with and you follow a clear framework.
Include a plan if you can but not avoid too much detail other than the next three to five steps. It’s key to make the client feel comfortable and confident about what happens next.
In your proposal, be clear on price – and what is and is not included – and, of course, frame it as an investment rather than a spend.
This hopefully won’t be the first time that you have talked about the price, but this can be a good opportunity to offer pricing options – probably no more than three – to help with negotiations if needed.
And, make it clear that your proposed fee is only valid for a limited time period. This is often missed and with it in place, it allows you to have a genuine follow up reason if they don’t come back to in the time frame you expect them to.
This section isn’t really about you, or the long and illustrious history of your business, how many you employ or who are the key team members. So, ditch the marketing messages.
Showcase what you have done for others via mini case studies and impactful quotes from grateful clients.
Where you can, choose case studies of clients with similar challenges, or sectors, or need. And, as a side point, when you first write and get approval of your case studies, write several versions focusing on different themes or angles so you get as much from the story as possible. Use well-tailored bios of those working on the proposed project.
Social proof carries a lot of weight with decision-makers and helps them imagine what it would be like to work with you.
The call to action
Round off your proposal – with more than a thank you.
Your call to action (CTA) should be a trigger to accept or decline the proposal along with details of what will happen once they accept.
One suggestion is to make this simple with auto-signature software (Adobe Acrobat Sign, DocuSign or HelloSign). But be careful to test this with your audience – this ‘hands off’ automated approach may not work for some types of business.
But as long as there is an active CTA, you have several options:
- Add a deadline: remind them that the price is only valid for X days (bearing in mind this may fall on stony ground with corporate clients who will work to their own timeline, it still gives you a valid reason for following up if contact goes cold)
- Reiterate the benefits (for example, “We’re looking forward to helping drive your business growth. Let’s get started.”)
- Let them know you will contact them within X days to arrange a time to discuss the proposal (between 3 and 5 working days keeps momentum whilst still allowing your prospect the space to reflect and review their options.)
Whatever you do, make it easy for them: make your email address a live link; make sure your phone number is clearly visible.
Include your terms and conditions
Always, always, always include your business terms and conditions within the proposal, either at the back or as an addendum.
Again, this is missed by too many people and can create potentially difficult conversations if work is postponed or cancelled after the proposal has been accepted.
Give them a shortcut
Ideally your proposal will always be read in its entirety. But life isn’t always like that.
Think about including a one-page summary which includes the key points over and above the price, time, milestone, resources, and deliverables in case the client decides to pull out the key facts and to benchmark you against competitive proposals. It means your key arguments will remain intact.
Make it look like you
Proposals are about substance. But they need to be presented well and look good. Develop a ‘look’ for your proposals that reflects your own brand. It’s not about making it look like a sales brochure: too much ‘design’ can put people off. However, a plain Word document in 10pt Arial will seem like you can’t be bothered.
Does it need to be a Word document? Many proposals now are created as a PowerPoint slide deck.
Depending on what you’re selling, design will have greater or less importance but make sure that there’s a connection between your design and the words you use to talk about your business. If you can, invest in some key graphics or design elements in your brand colours and brand style. Once you have a template that works for you, this investment will pay dividends in the future.
It’s a good idea to build up a library of texts, images, statistics, boilerplate words, photos, bios, product and service descriptions to make for easier proposal writing. But never just cut and paste into different proposals without some tweaking. That’s the fast route to a vanilla proposal.
The final check
Before you hit ‘Send’, do a final check:
- You’ve followed their template or structure – and included everything they’ve asked for (not just what you think is needed).
- What you’ve included addresses their needs and proposes a solution that’s clear to understand and easy to read.
- You’ve broken up long sentences and included headings and short paragraphs to make the proposal easier on the eye.
- You’ve used positive language: talking less about their ‘problem’ or ‘challenge’ and more about their desired endpoint to imagine a better future.
- Names of people, businesses, places, products and services are correctly spelled.
- There are no typos or errors. Use in-built spell checkers and run software extensions like Grammarly to help, but nothing beats printing it off for a good read through with human eyes. Check the headers and footers as well as the body copy.
- There are no rogue company names in the ‘properties’ tab of the document or in the footer. It happens when you use a previous proposal for a different client as a template for the next. I have seen this – and it’s embarrassing!
You’re ready to send
Quite simply, the cover email or letter is a must. It needs to be brief, personal and authentic and introduce what they are about to read: outlining their situation, your solution and the next steps to take.
They need to know you’ve listened, understood, and that you have a solution.
How to send
Proposal software (e.g. Panda Doc or Better Proposals) may be something you think of getting hold of. Easy to use, it can create a beautiful journey for the client. It lets you know when the reader opens, works through and shares the proposal – and you can track how the reader reads and pauses through the document. It also provides a simple way to get started by enabling a signature acceptance of the proposal.
But such systems are not for everyone.
It’s usually fee-based and doesn’t always fit comfortably within the buying process of a client, or your onboarding process.
What happens next?
Always follow up – without fail.
Get in touch within a few days to check that they have received the proposal and to check if there are any questions. Don’t be one of those companies that doesn’t follow up proposals and just sends them into an empty void.
If it’s a ‘yes’ – congratulations! And, if it’s a ‘no’, book a review call and learn why you didn’t win the business.
A final thought
However you design and write your new business proposals, there’s one overriding principle: it’s all about the client.
Focus on making the connection for them between what you offer and what they need, get the deliverables and the price right, and show them you know what you’re doing.
In short, make it easy for them to say yes.
This weeks’ article has been written by Lois Dabrowski. Lois is a specialist B2B marketer working with companies who sell into HR, talent and L&D leaders.
Get in touch and get help to create business proposals that will win you work by dropping her an email [email protected] or connecting with her on LinkedIn.
I want to write to you today about patience.
I’ve been staying with my mum since Thursday last week. She’s 81, incredibly independent and wants to stay this way for a long while yet. But she’s had another operation on her hip; to correct the one she had in 2019 which left her with one leg an inch shorter than the other, which also led to her having to have a knee replacement last year.
You could say we are getting pro at this after surgery care, but unfortunately she’s now having to deal with the fact that, this time around, she can’t put any weight on her hip for the next six weeks.
Her desire to be independent is being tested. And her need to be patient is forcing her to slow down and ask for help in almost everything, from cooking meals to washing her feet. (And yes, I know she’s providing me a wonderful mirror opportunity for my own life lessons LOL)
On one hand six weeks is a long time for her to be resting. And it’s a long time for my brothers and I to juggle the after care needed. But I also know that six weeks in the grand scheme of things is nothing, if being patient now will mean she will be walking without pain by the summer, and be set to carry on her independent living for many, many more years to come.
All this has got me thinking today about how often do we choose to play the patient game in our businesses, in particular the patience at winning over our ‘pregnancy clients’.
There are two types of clients that I talk to my clients about:
– the ‘bread-and-butter work’ that pays the bills, is easier to turn around and get results quickly, but are often short-term, lower paying clients who can use a lot of your time and energy without the right systems and processes in place.
– and the ‘pregnancy clients’ that – yup, you guessed it – can take up to nine months (or more) to sign the contract or buy your programme, but they are often buying at a higher price point, can be more profitable and potentially have a longer and more meaningful relationship with you, which in turn reduces your need to rely on ‘bread-and-butter work’.
Our 24-7 society, that means we can get groceries and books delivered the same day, expect responses to our emails within hours and answers on chat within minutes, has meant that our expectations have massively increased over the past decade.
And not only do we expect results and success quickly, we, as consumers, demand far more trust and confidence in the brands and businesses that we buy from than ever before; we check out online reviews, speak to friends or family members, scroll through social media feeds to see what they are publicly sharing and may even google the CEO to see what they stand for or what causes they support with the profits of their business.
All of which has had an impact on our own businesses and marketing. These shifts have meant that we all have to work that little bit harder to win more ‘pregnancy clients’ in order to avoid getting exhausted chasing too many bread-and-butter clients.
We have to choose to spend more time on projects such as:
- nurturing relationships
- creating content that builds trust and confidence (rather than trying to beat the algorithms)
- hiring the right team to support you and your business
- having a sales process that gives them what they need to make a decision in their own time (and not because it suits you and your need to make money right now)
Projects that may not give us the immediate results we are programmed to expect. But, with patience, will allow more ‘pregnancy clients’ to come to you; clients that give you more meaningful work, and potentially better profitability.
Wherever you are at in your business journey, there is a time to hustle … but as you become more established and want to grow, there are more times needed for patience.
Not sitting back, twiddling your thumbs and waiting kind of patience.
But the patience needed to doing the work that gives the clients you want to attract, the trust and confidence that you have the skills and expertise to help them give what they want. Just like my mum right now, ensuring that she take her slow recovery seriously for the next six weeks in order to be back walking at a pace by the summer!
Until next time, be more, play bigger.
Having a good Virtual Assistant (VA) to support you in your business is an essential first step to building your support team and releasing yourself from the trap of being a busy freelancer. Not only does a good VA free you up from day-to-day admin tasks, they also give you the opportunity to position yourself better; just as a lawyer, dentist or private doctor would have a receptionist or personal assistant to take care of enquiry forms, appointment booking and follow up documentation.
However, there is a stage in every business journey where you have to review whether you have the right team members to support your forward growth; not what you need right now, but what you need to go to the next level.
Your VA, no matter how good they are right now, may not be meeting what your business needs to level up. No fault of their own, but you, the business owner, haven’t got the time or energy to delegate effectively and important projects aren’t getting done.
You have reached capacity and you’ve taken on a freelancer mindset again, trying to do too much yourself. You have become the bottleneck in your business.
Has it become time to review who is in your support team and think about hiring an Operations Manager?
Over the years, we have helped many of our Momentum members shift their thinking and take the right action to up-skill their support teams. But last year, I could see that I needed to walk my own talk.
Although we had a great couple of years, especially as Melina Abbot joined me as a Senior Coach in my Momentum programme in 2018, in the second half of last year I saw that I had become a busy freelancer again. I had become that bottleneck in my business!
It was time for me to invest in my team, and one of the big lessons of now having gone through this process myself, is that I really should have done this six months earlier.
Alexia had already been working with me for 13+ years as my Virtual Assistant. Over the years, Alexia has grown in confidence on what projects she could take on and has been instrumental in creating robust and elegant onboarding processes and client management, which has hugely contributed to the success and retention of our Momentum membership. At the end of last year, I offered her the promotion of both upping her hours, and upping her level of responsibility and contribution to the business, and I am delighted she is now our Client & Operations Manager as of the start of February.
But when is the right time to hire an Operations Manager?
Should you be worried about the additional costs of hiring someone more than a VA? And do you really need an Ops Manager if all you want is a small, easy to run business?
Let’s dive in and answer these questions.
What is the difference between a VA and an Operations Manager?
The core difference is how strategic their role is. A VA typically takes instruction from you and is task driven; you decide on what tasks need doing and they do them for you. Of course there are plenty of VAs who take on project management and higher levels of responsibility, but not all VAs make for good Ops Managers.
An Ops Manager will typically manage the systemisation and scaling up of your business, as well making sure your business runs efficiently and effectively. They become accountable for outcomes and take a longer term approach to success, rather than just ‘getting stuff done’.
There are also Online Business Managers (OBM) who specialise in working on your digital strategy, marketing funnel systems and e-commerce processes. It really depends on what kind of business you are running so for the purposes of this article, I am including OBMs in this Ops Manager discussion.
When is the right time to hire an Operations Manager?
My answer to this question is always ‘three months from when you need them’.
The mistake I see so many business owners make is to leave hiring someone at this level too late. That was almost me. I had already laid down the intention to Alexia that I would love to hire her for more hours and increase her responsibility, but I spent the next six months with the mindset of ‘when XYZ happens, then I will be able to promote Alexia’.
It wasn’t until I saw how certain projects weren’t happening that I knew I had to flip this over to ‘when I promote Alexia, then XYZ will be able to happen’.
To see the real results from hiring someone at this level, you have to give yourself and them at least three months. Yes, someone can come in to fire-fight their way through certain projects, but these aren’t the best conditions for someone working strategically on your business. There is every chance they will burn themselves out focusing on task management and getting stuff done, and not have the space or energy for strategic thinking to make your business more efficient and effective and/or to up level.
Reviewing your business every quarter (or trimesterly planning as we do in Momentum) is critical to helping you see the opportune time. Here are a few red flags that you may recognise in your business right now:
- Your business development has stalled; you are too busy dealing with your current clients and the number of leads coming in are dropping.
- A number of ‘love to do’ projects have piled up because you haven’t had the time to plan out and execute them; projects such as that new podcast, or write that book or market yourself as a speaker.
- Your VA has started to irritate you; they were wonderful to begin with but now you’ve grown and the business is busier, you wish they would be able to use their initiative and come to you with solutions, rather than more questions for you to find the time to answer.
- Your VA can’t cope with the marketing funnels or digital course platforms you’ve created over the past year; they are doing their best to do what you ask, but it’s becoming clear that although they’ve been good at building what you need from the ground up, the systems and processes aren’t integrated and your business is feeling over-complicated and messy.
- You are spending too much of your time looking for documents, passwords or emails from key clients; you’ve even realised that several of your clients haven’t paid you but you’ve been too busy to chase them.
Now, of course, these red flags could mean all sorts of things; not just that you need an Operations Manager. But what you need to realise is how important it is for you to be thinking ahead and plan, hire and on board someone at this level BEFORE you get so busy fire-fighting that it makes it very difficult for you to have the time to go through this process.
Longer term thinking is needed and by deciding what you feel you need in your business one year from now, you will allow yourself to proactively plan ahead and avoid any of the red flags listed above.
How do you deal with the additional cost?
This one is a real doozy! Yes, it is a risk hiring someone that may double or even triple your current team costs, but here’s another way of asking this question …
How can you afford to not up-skill your support team?
If you need to motivate yourself, work out how much all those red flags above could cost you each month. And not just in lost revenue. There’s also the cost to your health and family if you are working more hours and stress than you can cope with right now.
To avoid getting stuck with this question, work out the cost of the first three months of hiring, and only look at this figure.
If you work out annual costs, and then look at your current revenue, it could be super scary. You have to remember that one of the key reasons for hiring someone at this level is that you are looking to grow and scale. If you are not freeing up your time to create opportunities to increase your revenue, then it may not be the right move for you (see below my answer to ‘Do I really need an Ops Manager?’).
Know the cost of those first three months – their initial probation period – as this is your core financial risk. If the person you’ve hired does not meet your expectations or deliver on what it is you want from them, then let them go. Don’t keep them on and pay any more in the hope that they ‘make good’ eventually. This way, you’ve only spent three months of fees, you’ve reduced your long term spending risk, and still probably gained a whole load of leadership lessons (which we could argue could be worth the money spent!).
Do you hire them on payroll or as a contractor?
First off, this is a legal question and needs to be addressed according to which country you are based. Here in the UK, we do have strict IR35 rules (I’d recommend you read them all through here on the gov.uk website).
As a basic rule of thumb, if you stipulate certain hours and days that need to be worked (ie Tuesday to Thursday 9 to 5) and you are their majority source of income, you are legally obliged to have them on payroll. And there is nothing scary about putting someone on payroll. I hired a part time Marketing Assistant many years ago on payroll and it was super simple as my accountant ran the payroll and I used all the legal contracts needed from Suzanne Dibble’s amazing Small Business Legal Academy.
If you are one of several clients they work with and you don’t stipulate hours, hiring them as a contractor/freelancer may give you a more flexible or easier option to get going with. Discuss this with the person you want to hire as they will be able to help with this if they are already working in this capacity with other clients.
Can I just give my current VA more responsibility?
Absolutely, but ensure you take the time to plan out exactly who you need and what responsibility you want them to take on. Although you may not need to do a formal interview process, you do need to talk through the new role and ensure they have the skills and qualities to fulfil your expectations.
Don’t just take the easy route and assume they can level up. Maybe you need to invest in their training and development if you feel they are the right fit for your business, but they currently lack the necessary skills. It’s often cheaper to invest in the people you have because of their knowledge of how your business runs and what your clients expect from you, then it is to try to buy in the new skills. So do consider this as an option.
Do you really need an Ops Manager when all you ever wanted was a small, easy to run business?
If your business is still under the VAT threshold or your revenue is running less than an average £5K/month, then a VA with a focus on systems and processes may be all that you will ever need. You don’t want to be ego-driven in this process, thinking that having an Ops Manager is what a successful business “should” have.
You don’t want to be over-resourcing your business and have unnecessary team costs eating into your profits, so understanding what your longer term growth strategy is important here. Scaling for the sake of scaling can unnecessarily over-complicate your business and end up being exhausting and expensive!
If your business is heading towards or already well into 6-figures, then investing in someone at the Ops Manager level can pay dividends, especially if you want a small, easy to run business.
So the real answer to this question is ‘it depends’; it depends on your ambitions, your life goals and how much time, freedom and energy you want in your life.
I believe your business is there to serve your life and leadership goals (rather than for us to be chasing business goals and getting trapped in a business that keeps us busy for the sake of being busy!). These are the kinds of decisions we help our Momentum members with regularly, so if this longer term strategic thinking is the kind of support you know you want for your business, then get in touch and we can talk through your options.
How do I go about hiring an Ops Manager?
There are several steps you have to follow to ensure a successful hiring process and long term relationship.
1. Write a job specification; what do you need them to do, what qualities does the person need to have, what are the opportunities you are can offer them
2. Go through a proper hiring process; don’t just hire friends or relatives, but nor do you have to use a recruitment agency. Use your current network, LinkedIn and even your current VA to help you spread the word. Set up interviews, including practical assessments if that is needed to give you the evidence that they are as good as they say they are. And remember references or ask to speak to some of their current clients.
3. Have contracts & service level agreements in place; again, I use Suzanne Dibble’s SBLA for all these. Don’t hire someone – payroll or contract – without the necessary paperwork and have it all confirmed BEFORE you begin working together.
4. Set them up for success; have a growth plan for them to work from, set out clear success metrics that they know they need to work towards to get the results you expect, and establish a plan for how you are going to communicate each week. These need to be done in partnership because this is how you start to wean yourself off the ‘I have to be in control of everything’ and allow them to do the job that you’ve hired them to do.
5. Review meetings; to ensure you are delegating (and not abdicating!) have a weekly Monday project meeting, a higher level monthly review meeting and an end of probation review to decide on your ongoing relationship.
6. Document, document, document; this should be second nature to a good Ops Manager, but make sure everything you both decide and take action on is documented. This is not only good practice for your whole business, but if you ever have to go through the hiring process again, you are not starting from scratch.
What other questions do you have?
Is there anything else you feel you need to do before you begin the process of hiring an Ops Manager?
It is easy to get caught up with all the ‘how do I?’ questions and then not take any action. The truth is that hiring an Ops Manager is just like anything we do successfully in business; it’s 80% mindset and 20% practicalities. In our Momentum programme, we go through in detail the steps and give you the confidence and support you need to ensure you hire right first time, so if this is something you know you want, check out our programme here.
I know I couldn’t have done what I have done in my business without my small, but very beautiful team. And I have always felt it to be important that they are invested in my business and in the success of my clients, as much as I am. So if you are sitting on the fence of whether you are ready to up-skill your support team, I encourage you to take the first step; write that job spec and then start having a few conversations.
Let me know in the comments below how this article has helped you.
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.
It is said that the lessons we *really* need to learn in life, show up time and time again. We don’t learn it once and be done. Life has a way of circling back and giving us another experience or challenge to navigate to make sure we *really* get the lessons.
Many repeated lessons come to us on a superficial level to begin with. We may logically get what we’ve experienced for the first time but it’s through repeating the lessons that we truly see the importance of why certain behaviours and beliefs have to change in order to fulfil our potential.
So it is no surprise to me that the four biggest lessons that have helped me shift forward this year have all been learnt before. I just got to experience them a deeper level, and yes that did mean slightly messier at times, too LOL
Slowing down speeds up success
No matter how much I know this, I keep on having to learn it because it seems I am still not going slow enough. But the slower I make decisions and the more I feel into them, sleep on them and trust my gut, the stronger and more powerful the results I get.
Once upon a time, a mentor told me ‘money loves speed’. I took this to heart and prided myself on my fast decision making and product launches. But what I have come to realise is that the longer the time I take to plan and sit with new ideas, success becomes simpler and easier.
And the deeper level of learning of this slowing down has helped me know when it’s not procrastination or me playing small.
Underestimate what you can achieve in a day, and overestimate what you think is possible to achieve in a year
This is one of our Momentum ‘bumper stickers’. Even though this gets repeated and repeated on our calls and I give out this advice like candy, it’s still so easy to believe that I can take superhuman powers on certain days and crazily multi-task when faced with a to-do list the length of my arm.
And yet, when I sit with my bigger vision work and feel into what it is I want to create in a year’s time, I have to consciously stretch myself beyond my current resources and thinking.
Plans may not work but it’s the thinking that goes into your planning that matters
Every time I make a plan, I’ve continued to learn that I need to keep it bold, but loose enough to flex and adapt with what each month brings. Just because almost all our holiday plans are now rescheduled (yet again!) for 2022 (our Ibiza trip has been rescheduled three times now), this doesn’t mean I can’t set targets or milestones in my business.
I’ve had to remember to stay unattached to the outcomes that I set, and to always add the phrase “or better” to each one. Because it’s not the plan or the targets that are important; it’s the thinking that’s needed during the planning process.
This is what expands my mind to see the possibilities and to let my doubts keep me grounded whilst still shooting for the moon and be able to land somewhere in the stars.
And finally, health is everything.
I took several weeks out during the summer, cancelled things and invested in my health. Even though I thought I was doing OK, to have some test results come back with ‘early signs of autoimmune’ was a reality check that I needed to get on the right supplements, change up my diet and work in more exercise.
I am finishing this year feeling stronger than ever, and even taken up a twice weekly kick-boxing fitness class which I am absolutely loving.
So what lessons have you learned this year? And how many have you learned not just once before, but maybe many times over?
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.