You can’t ignore the back-end pieces that have to work together and flow smoothly in order to build a brand, grow a movement or disrupt an industry. If the operations side of your business is a mess, putting out fires will always take priority… leaving no room for creative innovation, fun visibility or networking with powerhouse peers (or wannabe peers).
If you’re soaking up what I’m spilling and are getting a little excited about operations, I invite you to listen to The Ops Authority podcast. Every week, I will share actionable strategies from the Director of Ops community to move your business forward and transformational stories of powerhouse business owners who now value operations.
How to Ask Your Leader to Pay for Your Learning + Development
Could a development program such as the Director of Operations certification benefit an employer or client you are already working with?
Today we are answering a question that we are frequently asked: How can I leverage my leader to financially assist with the cost of the Director of Operations (DOO) certification program (or another professional development program)?
Present Conditions Needed These are the conditions that need to be present before you ask anyone to contribute to your training and development.
You need to be in this business for at least 6 months, and have complete buy-in to the business. You need to deeply connect to the value and mission of the business you are supporting, and resonate with the leader's vision. You have already brought success to this business, and have set/met goals for them and with them. You will need to provide documentation such as the metrics/reporting to prove that you have contributed to the success of this business. Do you have the intention of staying with this business for the next year? Make sure you have honest intentions to bring this business a ROI if they are investing in you. Do your research. Ensure that you are really invested in the program and the content that you are purchasing, and that it will be applicable to the growth plan of the company you are supporting. Make sure you have time to commit to the program you are investing in. The Proposal You will need a proposal, and to be able to effectively communicate to the leader. What are the benefits of them sponsoring you? What are the benefits of you learning this new knowledge? This is the first thing you will need to include in your proposal.
Benefits of DOO program The content is operations focused. We focus on 5 key pillars: strategy, key performance indicators, project management, human resources, and finances. These will all be translated into their business. You will gain new ideas and frameworks that you can implement immediately. You will be able to perform case studies and activities on their business within the first 2 weeks of the program. You will have access to a very specific community of subject matter experts, which gives an extra layer of support Retention rates: when businesses contribute to the people who have been good to them, the satisfaction rate is higher and leads to a mutually beneficial partnership, and less turnover You get to walk away with greater responsibility, and the ability to manage and lead.
Create a job description I want you to create a job description with the new skills you are going to learn. I want you to showcase how you are going to uplevel as a result of this training.
In the DOO program, as you go through each discipline you will be able to practice on your business so they will get immediate benefit.
The Facts Research the program information:
What are the dates When are thee meeting times How much time is needed from you The price Check out directorofops.com to gather all of the necessary details.
The ROI The next part of your proposal is to show the expected ROI. How can you show the leader how their investment will contribute to a greater profit margin? If you can do this it’s very likely they will say yes.
How will these skills contribute to the bottom line? How fast will you be able to get a full return on investment?
“We want the student, as well as their leader, to be overly satisfied.”
All of this information is going to culminate into a formal proposal.
Communication Set up a meeting to deliver the proposal, and have a follow up email ready to go. Communication is key during this entire process. Be confident, eager, and have your facts together so the leader will say “Heck Yes!”
Payment Piece Propose that they pay some or all; you will need to use your discernment
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 man
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
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
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?
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 wh