For the last 15 years, I’ve seen so many people come and go. I’ve seen so many people start out with dreams and ambitions, only to burn themselves out and take years to recover from the impact.
But you know in your heart and soul that you’re meant to be an entrepreneur. And I want you to have long-term success, instead of sacrificing it with a short-term view. It’s why I wanted to create this “Truth About Scaling” podcast series.
So now, that brings me to the final installment. In this episode, I break down some final key things to consider and implement when you’re ready to shift into high-growth business mode.
On this episode of Promote Yourself to CEO:
5:58 – Are you ignoring or passing off parts of your business that you don’t understand? I discuss why that’s a mistake.
11:39 – You need to understand these indicators to know whether or not your marketing is working in your business.
14:05 – What’s another area where women entrepreneurs play small because they’re not considering it at all?
17:23 – Keep it simple, keep it sane, and keep it strategic. I reveal the trap entrepreneurs often fall into that only complicates their business.
24:01 – What common habit have I seen over the years from women entrepreneurs that holds them back? Inside The CEO Collective, we know this happens and are prepared for it.
28:25 – If you don’t allow your business to develop these two important pieces before attempting to scale, then you’ll end up in a cycle of catastrophic growth.
35:02 – I reveal one of the biggest disconnects I see between business owners and why you need your own CEO support team.
40:05 – Personal success teams are another crucially important aspect to being a CEO with sustainable business growth.
45:15 – It’s easy to look at marketing material out there and think that growth is linear. But is it really?
Mentioned in How to Get Yourself Ready to Hit High-Growth Mode In Your Business
- The CEO Collective
- CEO Retreat
- Business Growth Checklist
- 90-Day CEO Operating System
- Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
- Racheal on Instagram and TikTok
- Rate and review on Apple Podcasts
Promote Yourself to CEO is sponsored by The CEO Collective – a 12 month implementation experience for women entrepreneurs ready for next level strategy and results – without the non-stop hustle.
If Truth about Scaling series resonates and you’re ready for clarity on the next steps to sustainably scale your business with our support, start the process at https://theceocollective.com/SCALE
The last few episodes may have been surprising to you. After all, I'm a business growth strategist, and here I am sharing deep dive into the truth about scaling your business. But I want to make sure that when you decide to shift into growth mode, your eyes are wide open, that you understand growth isn't just about more marketing and more sales, it is about being able to scale your customer experience. Being able to scale the delivery of your offers, being able to scale your team, being able to scale your operations, being able to scale the infrastructure that keeps your business running smoothly behind the scenes. All of that is essential to make it possible to scale in a way that doesn't implode your business.
In today's episode, I want to break down some of the key things you can start thinking about and implementing so that you can be more strategic and more sustainable when you're ready to make that shift into high-growth mode in your business. Let's get into it.
Are you ready to grow from stressed-out solopreneur to competent CEO? You're in the right place. I'm your host, Racheal Cook, and I've spent more than 15 years helping women entrepreneurs sustainably scale their businesses. If you're serious about building a sustainable business, it's time to put the strategy, systems, and support in place to make it happen. Join me each week for candid conversations about stepping into your role as CEO, the hard lessons learned along the way, and practical profitable strategies to grow a sustainable business without the hustle and burnout.
Hey there CEO. Welcome to the final installment of the Truth About Scaling Your Business Series. As I sat down to map out the series, I have to admit I'm a little nervous because I know you're probably like me, you are ambitious. You have big dreams. You have things you want to do and create. But after running my own business for the last 15 years, I have seen so many people come and go, I've seen so many people burn out, and take years off just trying to recover from the impact of attempting to scale and grow their business too fast.
I have seen people implode their businesses. I have seen people burn their businesses to the ground and decide to completely walk away from it. I want to make sure that we're being intentional here. Because if you're like me, and you know that you're meant to be your own boss and be in business for yourself, I want you to have this long-term perspective and don't make short-term mistakes and sacrifice long-term success.
We have to be thinking more strategically and more sustainably. In the last few episodes here on this series, I have been talking about some major challenges I've been seeing with this scaling grow-at-all-costs culture that is prevailing just throughout the small business entrepreneurship space. It has only gotten worse as people just blast the messages at us more and more.
We talked about why we need to come back to foundation first, why we need to make sure that we're not skipping over steps as we are growing our business. If you haven't downloaded the Business Growth Checklist, go download it. The link is in the show notes. It is absolutely free. It will give you a step-by-step breakdown of everything I believe you need to have in place to have a solid strong foundation in your business.
This is essential before you're ready to crank up the growth dial. If you don't have the foundation, your business will crumble beneath the pressure of scaling. We want to make sure that that foundation is rock solid. Today though, how are we going to get a little more strategic here? How are we going to be more sustainable? How do we think more holistically about getting our businesses where we want to go?
I have a few things I want to talk about that I think will make a difference and help you make sure that you are approaching your business from a long-term success perspective. I always say I am not the hare, I am the tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race and the only race that I am running is my race.
I am not here to compare myself to anyone else. There are a lot of businesses that are growing exponentially faster than mine and I'm not here to compare myself to that. I am here to win my race. I am here to be slow and steady, to consistently show up, to consistently implement, to consistently serve my clients, and consistently lead my team.
This approach is a huge reason why I've been able to create the life that I want working 20-25 hours a week even while I've been raising three kids, caregiving elderly parents, and managing chronic health issues. This is why my team has been with me so long because my business is so intentional. We are not interested in running it in panic mode. We are not interested in having to put out fires all the time. I'm not interested in having to constantly cycle people behind the scenes because no one can keep up with this insane rate of growth.
It's all about slow and steady here. That is my philosophy and my approach. The way that we're able to be more strategic and to be more intentional are the things I want to talk about with you today. As I mentioned in the last few episodes, a few things that start to happen with many entrepreneurs and small business owners as they start to grow, one huge mistake I see is that they're attempting to pass off or ignore parts of their business that they don't understand.
I really want to encourage you to build a working knowledge of all the areas of your business. You don't need to become an expert in every single part of your business but you do need a working knowledge as the CEO of the different areas of your business. You need to have a working knowledge of marketing and sales, the first area you usually get because that's how we get the business up and running and get the ball rolling.
You need to have a working knowledge on how to deliver exceptional service so that you can get results for your clients. You need to have a working knowledge of managing a team, leading a team, and hiring a team. You need to have a working knowledge of leadership. You have to have a working knowledge of your finances, your operations, and all these different areas of your business.
Often, I will see people get stuck because they want to put the blinders on and only do the things that they feel comfortable with then ignore those other areas. They don't want to learn how to get better at them, or they don't believe that they can understand it or improve it. I really think that's a huge mistake. It truly is because if you're going to be a CEO and you have a goal of being in this business for a long time, you need to educate yourself and improve your own skill set.
Something that I learned early on in my career, I was listening to a talk by Darren Hardy, who has written some incredible books and he was the editor of Success Magazine for years and years, and he said something in this talk that really impacted me. He said every year, he took 10% of what he made and reinvested it back into his own development because he knew the return on investment of developing himself and his skills as a CEO, as a leader was going to be exponential compared to anything else he could invest into.
He knew he would always bet on himself. How did he do that? Well, if he had a specific area he wanted to have a better understanding of, he would invest very strategically in that. He would invest into taking courses or hiring coaches or experts. He would attend events. He would read several books, he would read articles. It wasn't specifically so that he could become a subject matter expert on that area, but so that he could have a working knowledge of that area.
I just think this is crucially important because if you invest in an area where you know you don't have the skills yet, you don't have the understanding yet, even just 20 hours of time, you will start to get a better working knowledge of that area and you will be able to make better more informed decisions for your business.
This is an area I see a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with. I have to say having a master's in business is in my favor here. I have a great solid working knowledge of many different areas of business. It has helped me tremendously to have an advantage over people who just don't have that working knowledge.
But you don't have to go get an MBA. I promise you, you don't have to go get an MBA, but you do need to think about what are the gaps in your working knowledge that you need to level up, that you need to work on so that you can be more informed as the CEO in understanding how things are working in your business.
One area I see especially for women entrepreneurs is their understanding of the numbers in their business, and this is both the finances and their metrics. They work together very closely. The first thing is if you can't understand the finances, if you can't understand the money in your business, it's really hard to make smart decisions. You're not able to allocate resources in the best way.
You're not able to understand how to project out what you need to do in order to hit your sales targets. You're not able to figure out how much it's going to cost to hit your next growth goal, your revenue goals. This is important because growth takes resources. It's going to take time, energy, and money. We have to have the working understanding there.
If we don't have the working understanding of our finances, then often we go after strategies that might sound good because they're focused on hitting the top line revenue on just bringing in more sales and bringing in more clients, but at the end of the day, when you don't understand how that impacts the rest of your business, it might not be very profitable for you.
There are plenty of strategies out there. They can drive lots of sales, but the expenses, the time, and the overhead it takes to implement those strategies can actually be not profitable at all. We have to truly understand the finances in our business.
I have shared that I love Profit First by Mike Michalowicz as a very simple, beginner-level understanding business finance type of book and understanding how you can make your business more profitable. There are so many more resources out there but if that's an area you need to start working on, pick up that book. Get it from your library, I promise it'll help.
Another area I feel like we need to have a working understanding on is our metrics. Your metrics are the indicators of what's working in your business. Your lagging metric is your revenue. Once it's happened, it's happened. The revenue is in the door. But your leading metric is predicting your revenue. It's what indicates whether or not you're on track to achieve that revenue goal that you've set.
If you're not sure what those are, if you're only going and looking at the end goal and then “Oh, I didn't hit it,” but you're not sure what you could have done differently or you didn't have a way to predict whether or not you were on track or not, then you're always aiming in the dark. You have no idea what is going to move the needle on your business.
I don't believe that you need to have an over-the-top metrics dashboard. I think some people will take this to the extreme. Unless you're like a tech company, you don't need to be so over the top about it. But at a minimum, you need to understand what is your leading metric. What is your most important metric that predicts how your revenue is going to come in?
Now for me, this is going to be our email list subscribers. If I track nothing else, if I see email list subscribers, I know that most of my marketing strategy is doing pretty well and I know that it's going to be something I can now calculate my results on the sales side.
For some people, it might be requests for consult, requests for proposal, requests for more information. For some people, this might be referrals coming in the door. Whatever your leading metric is, you need to understand what it is so that you can check in on it on a regular basis. Now I have a whole training on this inside of The CEO Collective so that's not what we're talking about today.
But if you can't tell right now, as you're listening to me, what you're leading metric is, you're not sure how many consults you need per month, you're not sure how many referrals per month, or you're not sure how many new email subscribers you need per month, then we need to dig in here because that is one of the most important things to determine whether or not your marketing strategy is working, it is the most important thing to predict your revenue, and it is one of the most important things to help you feel in control of your business.
Another area that I think people need a better working knowledge of is operations and team. Because this is one of those areas I think as entrepreneurs, often just a lot of women start their businesses and don't really see themselves as somebody who's going to grow a team or have to lead a lot of people.
Then what starts to happen is if you don't have clarity on what your team needs to look like for the level of business you want, if you don't have clarity on how you're going to lead that team, how you're going to encourage that team, how you're going to manage that team, things start to fall apart very quickly, it becomes just another thing that makes us play small, because we don't think about it. We don't really level up our skill set here.
If you want to bring people into your business, who are just as fired up about your vision as you are, who are excited about what you're working towards, who are on the same page, working at the same pace, we have to make sure that we are leveling up our leadership. I love the quote from Erika James, who was on the Brene Brown podcast. Erika James is the dean of Wharton School of Business and she said, “Leadership is about managing the energy in yourself before you try to manage the energy in others.”
I thought, “Oh, this is great. This is a perfect example of what I believe leadership truly is as well.” Because if you don't have leadership, if you don't understand how to lead and you're continuously doing trial and error, and you're not taking the time to level up your own skill set, you're doing a disservice to yourself and your team. It's going to make it really hard to keep people on the same page. It's going to be really hard to onboard people, train them, and to have people who are self-motivated.
We all want people who are self-directed, self-motivated, but they can't be that if they don't have the leadership to show them where we're going, the rules of the road, and what our key objectives are. We want to set people up for success and investing in your skills, in your leadership skills, your management skills, and your interpersonal skills is going to make a massive, massive difference as you start to grow your business.
I want you to think about action step here. What is an area of your business that you maybe have been neglecting, that you feel not confident in, or that is causing a lot of challenges for you, that you can go and invest 20 hours of time into a book, a program, a podcast, a coach, whatever it is, so that you can level up around that area as the CEO of your business?
It's not about becoming the expert of everything, but you do need to have a working knowledge of those areas of your business in order for your business to thrive and in order for your business to be ready to scale sustainably without throwing it into panic mode or having emergencies all the time.
Now the next point: to keep it simple and strategic as you are growing your business, keep it simple, keep it sane. Keep it strategic. One of the things I see is often entrepreneurs get in the comparison-itis trap. They start looking around at what other people are doing and how they're doing it. Then they start to feel like the only way to do it is how other people are doing it. The people they're watching are usually people who are 5, 10, 20 years ahead of them. It creates a layer of complexity that they don't need. They just don't need them right now.
It's very easy to get caught in the comparison-itis trap. One thing that I encourage people over and over again is to get perspective. It took a long time for the person that you are admiring or the person that you are wanting to model to get where they are. It took a long time for them to speak on stage. It took a long time for their brand to look that good. It took a long time for them to have the production value that you're wanting to have.
If you were to go back in their journey and see their first videos, you would understand that you have to have the sh*tty first draft first. You have to have the try it out and see how it goes. Just start and then improve it as you go. Just start, put the reps in, and get better at that thing. If you're trying to be perfect out the gate, you won't ever start. You won't ever start and you'll hold yourself back from trying out a lot of things that could actually help you grow your business.
One thing that I encourage people to think about is stop comparing yourself. Keep it really simple. But as you're getting ready to scale, look at how can you streamline things in your business? How can you streamline as much as possible? One area that I'm always telling my clients is you can probably streamline your offers. Because chances are you created a lot of things to get your business going to find that product-market fit to figure out what offer actually sells and what people want.
But over time, you've ended up with this smorgasbord of offers and nobody really understands what you do anymore because you have too many things. If you have one clear signature offer, you can simplify so much in your business and you can streamline so much in your business. You have to remember that for each offer, you have three systems required to run it. You have your marketing system, your sales system, and your delivery system.
If you have multiple offers, you're exponentially increasing the complexity of your business. If you have one signature offer, three systems, marketing, sales, and delivery. If you have three offers, nine systems: three different marketing systems, three different sales systems, three different delivery systems. Even if you're attempting to automate all of those things, there are opportunities for things to break.
The more complicated you're making your business, the harder it's going to be to scale, the harder it's going to be for your team to know what they're supposed to be focused on, the harder it's going to be for your clients to understand what it is that you really do. Ultimately, the more systems you have going on behind the scenes in your business, the less efficient your business is and the less efficient your business is, the less profitable it is.
The most sustainable way to scale a business is always going to be streamlining. It's going to be streamlining and doubling down on the signature thing that you want to be known for and doubling down on the thing that you want to get out into the world. When you think you've tapped your potential market, I guarantee you haven't.
Most of us vastly underestimate how many people we can get into our products, programs, and services. We start to feel like, “Oh, I should start creating more things,” because we think we've reached everybody. There's no way you've reached everybody. Think about how you can optimize what you have. How can you streamline into a signature offer? How can you make sure your marketing system, your sales system, your delivery system is so smooth that your team can run this rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat?
How can you make sure that you are creating assets in your business, the marketing asset, the sales asset, the delivery asset, the product, program, or service itself, the whole experience? How can you just maximize the results on all of those and get more people into that versus trying to constantly shift gears and try to market more and more and more different things?
If you look at my business over the years, I have streamlined down so much, all roads lead to The CEO Collective. Everything I do is about getting people who are the perfect fit into The CEO Collective and the other offers we have available are directly pulled out of The CEO Collective. The Retreat is a foundation for The CEO Collective. If you join The Collective, you get four retreats a year.
If you don't know if you're ready for The Collective, you can attend one retreat. It is literally pulling out a piece of something we offer and saying, “Here, try this on and if it's a fit, you might really love working with us.” The planner was created because I created it for my clients. I just decided to put it on the website because I want more people to have access to it. But it is something that every single one of my clients use.
When you streamline and systematize your business, everything becomes easier. The most important thing is your team has an easier time understanding what they're focused on selling, what they're focused on marketing, what they're focused on doing so they can help you even more.
If that offer hasn't had 100 people through it, don't create another offer. If you haven't made $100,000 off that offer, don't create another offer yet. If you haven't tried that offer for at least a solid year, a year and a half to really optimize it, don't create another offer because it takes time to do those things.
Speaking of it takes time, my final point here when it comes to being more sustainable and scaling your business is to slow down. Slow down, slow down, slow down. Like I said, I am the tortoise, not the hare. I am slow and steady. Something I have seen the longer I have been working with women entrepreneurs, the more I see these habits that are actually holding people back.
In fact now when we work with our clients inside of The CEO Collective, we know they're going to make these mistakes, and we're ready for them. Here are the mistakes we see: when we sit down to plan our year, then our quarter, and then we watch how our clients are approaching week by week by week, we started to see they would do the same thing, which is they would overestimate how much they could get done in a week or a month and then underestimate what they could accomplish in a year, two years, or three years if they were just slow and steady.
What tends to happen is people get excited, especially you join a new program, you get into a new community, you learn a new thing, you're excited. All the dopamine is going and because you're excited, you front-load everything in your strategy and your plan.
I would see people who would have out their 90-Day plan in weeks one, two, and three because we break down our 90-Day plans into weekly action items, and I would see those first three weeks were just slammed, but then they look up and go, “Rach, what do I do in week 9, 10, 11?” and I'm like, “You've put everything in your first three weeks. This is not going to happen.” What's going to happen is by week three, you're going to call me panicked and say, “Oh, my god, I'm so overwhelmed. I'm behind. What do I do?” Slow it down.
We got to learn how to pace ourselves. If you can't learn how to pace yourself, you're not going to be able to pace your team. If you can't pace your team, then your team's going to feel like they're running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. It's always going to be an emergency. Everything's going to be urgent. Everything's going to feel panicked.
Ultimately, people start to feel overwhelmed and frustrated and like they can't catch up. That's not how anyone wants to be, that's not a way to live. At least in my opinion. I want people to feel in control of their business and I want their teams to feel calm and collected and like they can contribute in a meaningful way, they can do their best work for you because you are leading them to do their best work.
I want you to remember that it takes time. Things take time. If you're always rushing, then chances are you're actually still in the same place you were a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, because instead of taking your time, stacking those wins, building those systems, and having the infrastructure, it's just panic mode all the time.
Remember that in your business, things take time. When you create that signature offer, it will take time for you to perfect the delivery of that offer. I had run my business for 12 years before I created The CEO Collective offer. I had lots of different offers before that and it took me a year and a half to develop what I wanted The CEO Collective to be before we even launched it and opened it for enrollment.
It's taken me almost three years now to really optimize the delivery of it and there are still areas we can improve. There are always areas we can improve. But I've paced myself and I've paced my team so that we can do it in a really thoughtful, intentional way. It's okay for things to take time. It is okay for things to take time. I promise you. It is okay for things to need improvement on an ongoing basis. There is no such thing as perfect in business. You're not getting an A for effort here. It is better to focus on continuous improvement than perfection.
There are things in my business that are not perfect that are on the running list of things we are working on and things we want to upgrade. We're constantly saying, “What is the most important thing to take action on?” You have to be ready for that and not let perfectionism hold you back. You also have to take time to optimize delivery. I've said this so many times.
I feel like this is one of the most disregarded areas of business. Everything seems to be on marketing and sales but not on delivery. If you slip into scale mode and you're just focused on marketing and sales, but your business is not ready for that volume, your business can't handle that number of clients without things breaking, without degrading the customer experience and ultimately reducing the level of results, if your business isn't ready for that, then it puts you in this cycle of catastrophic growth.
Yeah, your top line might be growing, you might be making more sales, but behind the scenes, you're probably hemorrhaging clients. Your team is bailing on you because they're exhausted of trying to deal with unsatisfied clients. Things always feel chaotic. Take your time to build the infrastructure. Make sure we're being thoughtful and deliberate about every single part of the customer delivery.
We're doing a whole series on this for you next month, all about customer delivery and experience. Get ready for that one. But we want to make sure that you've taken the time to really make sure that experience is top notch and don't try to scale it until that experience retains clients so you're not losing them, delivers the results, which ultimately if you can get people to results, rave reviews, repeat business and referrals, it takes time to figure that out. It takes feedback.
It's going to take multiple rounds of lots of people going through it. It's going to take hearing hard feedback, it's going to take rumbling with your inner critic who's wanting you to burn it all down and start again. It's just going to take time. It's going to take time to put the systems in place. On the delivery side, it's going to take time to build the other systems in place and the operations of your business and the team of your business. All of that takes time.
All of it is challenging. Relationships can be challenging, relationships can be hard. You have relationships with your clients and with your team. The more clients you have, the more team you have, the more relationships you're managing. There's overhead to every single relationship there of your time and energy.
One of the biggest mistakes I see, we just talked about the delivery side, that's one area, we want to optimize that and improve that so you can handle the level of clients you're wanting to bring on but we also need to make sure we're proactively optimizing and leveling up our team to handle that volume of clients.
What I often see is people plan more for more clients but they don't plan more for the team required to service that level of clients. Then they're panic hiring, because they're overwhelmed, they're frustrated. The team they do have is burning out and saying, “We need help. We can't get ahead. We are just bombarded by too many requests from people.” It's just this vicious cycle.
We want to make sure that you are able to proactively think through the team you need to hire not just today, but in six months, a year, or further out so that you can start building the infrastructure for that team, so that you can make sure that from the point of trying to prospect and hire people to onboarding that person, training that person, and integrating them fully into your team, we want to make sure that there's a clear system here to help people to truly understand how your business works, to empower them to take ownership of that role, and make sure that they're getting the results that you need in the business.
This is something that you have to slow down to do. If you're trying to rush through this, if you're trying to panic higher, you will often make very expensive mistakes and those mistakes will compound the other challenges that you're having.
Remember, it takes time, anything where there are relationships, your client's experience is going to take time, your team's experience is going to take time. Building all the systems behind the scenes is going to take time. It's always going to be a work in progress. It will take time to build out a full system.
Make sure your team understands it and make sure your team can run it and operate it, whether it's a marketing system, a sales system, a customer service system, or whatever it is. It's going to take time to develop. It's going to take time to run and refine and run it again and refine again.
When you try to rush it, when you try to skip steps just to get the thing out there, it often leads to things breaking or not working well. It ends up to systems that are duct-taped together and it leads to stress, it leads to inefficiency. Just know it takes time to refine your systems. It takes time to refine your strategy.
I really want people to understand that everyone you're looking up to as a business role model did not know the strategy that was going to work best for them until they went through the same trial and error that everybody goes through. That is part of the process. There is no guarantee that any strategy will work for your business.
You have to try things out. You have to try them on. You have to figure out what is going to be the best fit for you, for your business, for your brand, for your clients, for your team, for your culture, for your values, etc. It takes a lot of time to get through that process.
But as you take the time to do it, as you take the time to reflect on it and to get more intentional, then you're able to make sure you're optimizing for what is working. I think that's one of the biggest things I want people to think about is it takes time. It all takes time. So slow down and stop feeling like you should be at year 10 or you should be at a million dollars when you're just not there yet. There's a lot that's going to take time to build. There's a lot of infrastructure you're going to need. There's a lot of refining you're going to need to do as you go.
Another thing that is an ongoing process is just support. I've talked about team quite a bit here. I think this is one of the biggest disconnects I see between entrepreneurs and their team is entrepreneurs tend to assume that everybody cares as much about their business as they do. That's not true. If your team cared about your business as much as you do, they would be running their own business.
They might care about it a lot, they might believe in it a lot, they might believe in the mission, the values, the vision, and all of that but you are always going to be the person who cares about it the most honestly. You can't expect that everyone on your team is going to run at the rate that you do.
Entrepreneurs tend to be visionary. We're not even thinking about today, we're thinking about several steps ahead. Our team is in today. We have to know that. We have to take our time and developing that, and this is another area again, you need to invest in your skills, invest in your leadership, invest in your management skills, and give ourselves time to be super intentional about the team we're developing.
Take the time to think ahead about not just the number of sales you want but the team you'll need to deliver that and how you're going to build out that team. As we're doing that, your role is going to change. Your role is going to change as you grow your team and as you grow your business.
This is one of the biggest lessons I've learned over the last six or so years, especially when I started shifting from being the primary person on the marketing and the primary person on delivery in my business to now I have team that is implementing so much for me.
I mean I have team helping me with marketing. I have a team who's helping me with sales. I have team who's helping me with delivery. I have team helping me with operations. I truly am more in the CEO role now than I ever have been before. But each time you bring on a new person in your team, you're effectively firing yourself from a role.
If you don't reevaluate your role, if you don't rewrite your own job description as CEO, then you can quickly become the bottleneck. You can quickly become the micromanager. You can quickly become the person who slows everything else down. It's not that you need to let go of that person on your team because they're not moving fast enough, it's usually because you're getting in their way.
You have to be ready to reevaluate and to get focused on staying in your zone of genius, not just doing the things that you're good at because you had to get good at them, but truly staying in your zone of genius and getting out of everybody's way, letting your team get the results that they're there to get for you.
Your team is just one layer of support in your business. As you start to scale, you're going to need more support in your business. There are two other types of support that I think about especially for CEOs who are truly in scale mode. One is you need your own CEO support team. This isn't your internal team. These are usually what I would think of almost as an informal board of advisors.
These are the people who see what you see. They see your vision for the business. They see your skill set, they see what your potential is, and they also can fill in the gaps. They can offer perspectives that you don't have. They're the ones who can see where you want to take the business but maybe they can see the roadblocks ahead because they've experienced them themselves or they have expertise to going to help point out things that you need to figure out.
These are the people you need in your corner. This might be your own coaches. These might be experts you hire, these might be your CPA or your financial success team. This might be your legal team. This might be peer-to-peer experts who, again, can give you perspectives you don't have. The more you grow your business, the more you have to understand that you aren't going to understand everything all the time. You're still going to have things you have to figure out.
If you try to go to your team to figure it out, it might actually confuse them. It might actually overwhelm them for you to go brain dump on them all the things that are swirling in your head. You need to go to your own experts in your back pocket who can help you out when you're feeling unsure, when you're trying to work something out. These are the people that I'm always going out to and I'm always looking for people like this who have perspectives I don't have.
It's not because I don't trust myself or I don't trust that I can figure it out. But it's because I want the extra eyes on my business. I want the benefit of somebody else's experience and expertise because it serves as a shortcut. It really does. If you want to get somewhere faster, go hire the expert for an hour and they will give you so much insight in an hour that would probably take you 20, 50 hours to figure out through trial and error on your own.
It's a shortcut for sure. Another part of my success team that I think is just crucially important, because again, as you scale your business, you're not just scaling number of clients, you're scaling your team, you're scaling responsibility. You're scaling how many people now depend on you. That is a huge emotional load. That is a huge amount of pressure.
I think this is one reason why people don't go after it because the feeling of pressure that you are providing for other families' paychecks. Your whole team is depending on that income from you or that your clients are depending on the results from you. It is a big emotional weight that CEOs take on when you have that many people depending on you.
I think we all need our personal success team. There are different areas of this. There's maybe your home success team to make sure your life is running as smoothly as possible. On my home success team, I've got my housekeepers coming every couple of weeks. We’ve got people taking care of the lawn. I've got meal prep services. If we really feel behind, I have an assistant who can pop in and help us with some things. I've got babysitters.
I've got people to make sure my life is running smoothly. Because I've got enough on my shoulders, the last thing I want to do is leave work and then have to go clean my whole house and do all these extra errands. I wouldn't have the mental capacity or the emotional capacity if I'm basically working to double load here. It's just too much. I would rather spend that time having quality time with my family or taking care of myself.
That's probably the most important thing I always want to talk about. One of our key values here is life before business. The reason it's our number one value that I bring out all the time to my clients and to my team is because, like many other women entrepreneurs, I am the classic sandwich generation. I am raising a family. I have elderly parents who I am a caregiver for and managing a full-time nursing team of six different nurses for my mother. I have my own chronic health conditions which I have to actively manage. It takes a lot of time to actively manage my health.
If I don't have that level of success, my emotional support team, my health support team, then it doesn't take much for things to get off kilter and for me to not be able to perform at the level I need to perform in order to deliver to my clients and in order to take care of my team.
I've seen this happen. I've had months where I've had terrible chronic health stuff come up or I've had months where I've got family stuff come up and I have to double down on taking care of myself during those times even though that's not my instinct. My instinct is to go towards and fix the problem, not to double down on taking care of myself when I'm in intense stress.
I think that's normal. A lot of us feel like when the sh*t hits the fan, we've got to run towards a problem, fix the problem, solve the problem. But a lot of problems aren't solved that quickly. You have to be able to put your own oxygen mask on first. For me, this is my functional medicine doctor, this is my healthcare team, my chiropractor, my acupuncturist, my functional nutritionist. This is making sure all of my supplements are on autoship.
This is making sure that I'm managing all the things that help me take care of my chronic health care conditions including just getting enough sleep, getting enough water. Because I know that if I have all these people depending on me, hundreds of clients, a team of 15 different people depending on me to provide them an income, my mother depending on me to manage her nursing care, my dad counting on me to manage my mother, my children counting on me to be present and clear for them when I get home, I've got to take care of myself first.
I want you all to understand that as your business grows, your level of responsibility grows and when that level of responsibility grows, it is a lot of emotional labor. It is a lot that will create stress on you and when you create stress on yourself, that will lead to a whole cascade of other things if you're not proactively managing it. If you want to perform at this level, if you want your business to be at this level, you got to change the way you're thinking about how you show up and how you perform.
People who are high performers know that rest and recovery is just as important as what you do when you're sitting down to get to work. Rest and recovery is just as important. It's not a prize. It's not a reward. It is a non-negotiable. Okay, off my soapbox now, but this is how you burnout-proof your business, friends. It is not easy. It doesn't come normally to a lot of us. We're not used to prioritizing ourselves.
The final thing, and this goes along with slow down, slow down, slow down, growth is not linear. It's just not. It's really easy to look at the marketing stuff out there, but I'm telling you, business is not linear. It is easy to talk about doubling your business, especially if you're at lower revenue levels. If you're going from $50,000 to $100,000, $100,000 to $250,000, or even $250,000 to $500,000, those are levels that are doable to double within a year or two.
But as you continue to grow, and again, as you have to hire more people, as you have more relationships you're responsible for, more management you're responsible for, more clients you're responsible for, there are periods where you might realize that level of growth isn't sustainable until you are able to stabilize again.
Often, I feel like we need to readjust our expectations of scaling that it's just like one smooth curve going up. It's actually a couple of little bumps here. It's like you go up a little bit, you scale a little bit, and then you stabilize. Stabilize is where you're normalizing that level of size of your business, number of clients, size of your team. You're up-leveling your team, you're up-leveling your infrastructure, you're up-leveling your systems, so that you can scale up the next little bit, so that you can prepare for the next increase and capacity.
That's okay. That's normal. It's okay for your business to grow a bit and plateau a bit, grow a bit, plateau a bit. It's not that it's going to plateau forever, it's that you need to stabilize it and you need to make sure the infrastructure is ready for the next level of growth, that your team is ready, that your operation is ready, your system is ready.
I hope this was helpful. This is the second time I recorded this because the first time I got a little rambly. But I hope this series was helpful for you. I hope it got you thinking about how to approach in your business more critically, more discerning, and be more intentional about how you want to grow your business. Because if you're not being intentional about it, it will get away from you. Nothing will make people unhappy in their business faster than feeling like you have no control over what's happening.
If you loved this series, and you want to learn more about how we work with our clients inside of The CEO Collective, I'm going to encourage you to head over to theceocollective.com and check out the latest training we have created, the 90-Day CEO Operating System that walks you through these five essential elements that we take our clients through as they are looking at sustainably scaling their business.
This is the approach that we take. It's all about slow and steady and simplifying to amplify. I encourage you to go check that out. The link is in the show notes, and if you want to learn more about how we work with our clients inside of The CEO Collective. Thank you so much for listening to this series. I can't wait to hear your insights and ahas.
For the full show notes, make sure you head over to theceocollective.com/podcast. If you don't want to miss any future episodes, make sure you are subscribed to the show. Thanks so much for listening to this week's episode of Promote Yourself to CEO. I'll talk to you soon.