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Four Tips To Manage Your Email

Do you remember the days when email was exciting? When you’d hear that ding and get excited for a new client or that juicy newsletter from someone you admire? Well, if that once joyful “You’ve Got Mail” feeling has been replaced by email inbox dread, the latest episode of The 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast is definitely for you.

Seeing emails pile up can bring on a great deal of anxiety. It can make you feel like you’re constantly behind and you can end the workday with more emails unread than when the day began. But putting productivity on pause is simply not an option when you’re running your business.

But having a plan and a system you use each day is the best way to tackle your inbox with confidence. 

In Episode 11 of The 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast, we’re talking about managing your email, and here are my four key tips to managing your email inbox:

Tip #1: Unsubscribe to End The Noise

From promo emails to sale notifications things can get pretty crowded. And if you’re living with a personal email and a business email, it can feel like whack-a-mole throughout the day. My best suggestion: but otherwise, get rid of them. If you’re busy and not buying, just save your absolute favorites and ditch the rest. 

Trust me, you won’t miss the clutter. And if you miss something you can always resubscribe later. No worries!

Tip #2:
Only Check Your Inbox When You Can Respond

Whether it’s off-hours, you’re out with your kids, or you’re in the zone on your latest project, there are times when it’s just going to stress you out to check your inbox.

And that’s okay. 

My suggestion here is that you consciously decide that you’ll check your email at a particular time each day. If that’s not how you roll, then I’d encourage you to decide you’ll only check your email when you can respond to it. This skips the anxiety or the “writing the reply in my head” feeling you get when you feel the need to respond right away.

Multitasking and answering emails can lead to miscommunication or missed opportunities so the decision to check your email when you’re focused on that specific task is the way to go.

Plus, you get to show up more fully in whatever you’re doing which is a big impact booster for sure!

Tip #3: Batch Answer Similar Emails

Want an easy way to stay focused when writing or replying to emails?

Try this trick: Go through your email and answer or write emails that are related in some way.

This may mean responding to all emails from clients at once and then moving on to emails from team members and then responding to potential leads.

When you do this you’ll eliminate chunks of your email box at once, build momentum, and feel the progress you’re making.

And, you’ll find it easier to write when you’re dealing with the same audience or subject matter. So you may discover that this makes you an email reply superstar who gets more done in less time just by focusing more effectively.

Tip #4: Use Folders And Filters

Not everything in your email box needs your attention. So, using folders and filters is a great way to make delegation a breeze.

If you get an email that someone on your team needs or should see you can have those emails filtered over to them or create a folder where everything for that team member can live when they’re ready to dive into the inbox. 

*Bonus Tool Tip: Schedule emails with Boomerang

I think we’ll all agree that healthy boundaries around your time are essential. But there might be some late nights and weekends where you are checking or answering emails. 

One way to maintain your time-related boundaries when those instances occur is to use Boomerang. It’s a plug-in that allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a different time or to have an email you received boomerang back to you at a later date so you don’t forget about it. 

As an entrepreneur, you’re not always living a 9-5 life but this tool can help you maintain boundaries as if you are. And those healthy boundaries can really help everyone from you to your clients to your team feel comfortable and confident as they interact with you.

I can’t wait to celebrate all of your Inbox Zero accomplishments!

P.S. In case you missed it, here’s a quick review of the latest podcast episodes!

Episode 8: How Data Can Double Your Income and Not Your Workload with Jennifer Grayeb 

Jennifer Grayeb is the CEO of The Nimble Co, a consulting group focused on helping online business owners better understand their numbers so they can make data-driven and profit-generating marketing decisions. 

Jennifer and I talked about how to skip vanity metrics and use data to make more money and better decisions in your business.

Episode 9: 4 Strategies to Build a Sustainable Business

In Episode 9 I’m sharing four of my go-to strategies for building a business for the long haul. These strategies are ones that my clients and I use to grow our impact and our bottom lines every day and they’re things you can implement in your business right now.

Episode 10: Powerful Mindset Shifts to Bring More Abundance Into Your Life with Kari Elizabeth Enge

Kari Elizabeth Enge Kari Elizabeth Enge is the founder and editor in chief of Rank & File Magazine, a publication that shares authentic, vulnerable advice on building a social impact business. She’s also a coach for purpose-driven entrepreneurs. Rank & File Magazine has featured notable thought leaders and entrepreneurs such as Simon Sinek, Jessica Honegger, Liz Forkin Bohannon, Caitlin Crosby, and more.

In our conversation, we explored the brain trash we all need to take out to grow as people and as business owners. Her guidance offered practical tips for making these shifts so you can make a real impact in the world around you.

To avoid a surprise a monthly budget tracker with a pen and cash bills and coins

There is such thing as a bad surprise

You will not achieve your goals if you don’t make them a monthly habit.

Not quarterly. Not annually. Monthly.

If you are surprised when your tax accountant tells you how much money you made last year when they’re preparing your taxes, you’re doing business wrong.

How much you make…

How much you spend…

How much cash is in the bank… 💰

…Should NEVER be a surprise! 😲

Savvy business owners who grow to 6- and 7-figures look at their numbers every single month – both what happened last month and their forecast for next month – so there is no surprise.

But what should you actually DO every month?

1. Do your bookkeeping. Make sure your numbers are accurate and reconciled.

2. Review your Profit & Loss statement and key metrics.

3. Update your projections for the rest of the year.

Have you ever been surprised by the numbers in your biz? Grab our Profit Playbook to build your own plan and never be surprised again!

If your Profit Playbook is helpful, please share on Instagram and tag me @stephanie.skry

Photo with a notebook to track your time study results

You’re going to hate this idea

Okay, friend.

I’m going to share a time when I had hit a wall.

I was trying to schedule an important meeting and the only time that was free was in the evenings after my girls were in bed. I ended every single day with a longer to-do list than when I started and I dreaded clicking that Zoom link yet again.

Intentionally working “after hours” was never part of my business plan.

My schedule had become filled with things that I didn’t like doing and that I wasn’t good at, and I knew something had to change.

Instead of metaphorically burning the whole business down (although I threatened it!), I decided to track my time for a few weeks and see where it was going!

Here’s the thing:

Time is an input to results.

We all want results, like hitting a certain revenue goal or serving a certain number of people. There are things we can do to help those results along, and spending our time is one input to our results.

So I looked back at my calendar for the previous five months to categorize and assess exactly where my time was going.

The results?

I spent about 2.5 days a week on calls! I got instant clarity on why I was feeling crunched.

Are you feeling the calendar crunch too? I suggest you do a time study!

Just like analyzing your finances is worthless unless you’re going to use the information to make smart decisions, the time study was pointless unless I actually did something about it.

I started batching calls, blocking time for no-meeting days, and adding rest and creative work time into my schedule so my weeks were more conducive to achieving my goals.

Are you investing your time in what activities will get you closest to your goals?

PS – Your weekly schedule should be a direct reflection of your biggest goals, so make sure that your time is spent on your goals!

Follow along on Instagram to see how my weeks look >>> @stephanie.skry

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Are your habits aligned with your goals?


Welcome to February, the month where New Year’s resolutions go to die!

***thinks of 25 year old Stephanie who made long rambling lists of things to accomplish in 365 days, like “learn to sail”***

Here’s what I’ve learned:

Everything doesn’t need to get done immediately.

True instant gratification doesn’t exist when it comes to our big goals.

For example, I thought about starting a podcast last year but knew that there was important groundwork I needed to lay before doing that. Rather than rushing it and releasing an okay version of the podcast just to check it off a list, I decided to wait until I was ready to do it right. (Hint, hint, exciting things coming!)

I’ve learned that little steps that become daily habits are much more effective to achieve your goals and have a bigger impact. And sometimes the little steps are actually just daily habits that we want to cultivate that will eventually add up to a much bigger impact.

When I wrote this, I went back and looked at my daily routine over the last five years and it has shifted and changed as my goals and priorities have changed. But the common thread is that my routine is always aligned with my goals.

Right now, my daily routine includes:

  • Exercising first thing every morning
  • Reading before bed
  • Drinking at least 64 oz of water
  • Tidying my workspace and the rest of my home
  • Writing in a journal

These daily habits keep me grounded, calm, focused, balanced, in control, and growth-minded. It’s like a mini checklist towards achieving my goals.

If your money or finances are part of your goals this year, your daily routine might include:

  • Checking your bank balance
  • Reviewing your forecast
  • Journaling about any mindset blocks
  • Check in with a friend
  • Practice self-care

PS – Daily routines are mini steps towards our big goals, so make sure that your days look like where you want to go. Want bite-sized pieces of content like this? Follow along on Instagram >>> @stephanie.skry

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The 100 Degrees Consulting 2020 Client Wins

Unprecedented. Challenging. Tumultuous. Uncertain. 

We’ve heard just about every adjective to describe the year 2020, and in some ways, it’s exciting to bid adieu to a year that was weird and hard, and welcome in what we hope will be a fresh start. 

For me, while there were many challenging moments, like figuring out how to run a business with a preschooler and little baby at home without childcare for several months, it was a year filled with opportunity and abundance. Personally, I’m ending the year with incredible gratitude and love for my family, my team, and my clients. (Want to read my full 2020 recap blog post? Click here )

My team and I spent some time going through our entire client portfolio to see what wins they all experienced this year too, and it blew me away so I thought I’d share with you. Sharing these wins is, in no way, meant to take away from the tough things that many people experienced this year too – illness, death, depression, loneliness, fear, insecurity, poverty, injustice – but I often find hope and inspiration when I see others’ successes and I hope you will too. 

Without further ado, the 100 Degrees Consulting 2020 Client Wins:

Many nonprofits were hit incredibly hard this year. Uncertainty in the market caused a significant drop in charitable donations, and many organizations could not operate their programs because of the pandemic. But nonprofit leaders are some of the more adaptable and resilient people I know.

  • Landed partnerships with major companies to help support programs
  • Secured significant grant funding, some specifically for COVID relief and others for general operating and program support, ranging from $10k to $3M
  • Adding staff to help with grant writing, fundraising, and operations
  • Increased net income by up to 100% from last year
  • Pivoted in-person experiences, programs, and galas to virtual events that were highly successful
  • Acquired a $150k low interest SBA loan to support production of artisan goods
  • All of our nonprofit clients received fully forgivable Paycheck Protection Program funds to help support payroll expenses during Q2 and Q3

Businesses didn’t fare much better across the US. As we sadly watched small businesses in our local towns close their doors, many online businesses did really well in a new reality where we’re all spending our time behind our phone and laptop screens. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are innovative and determined and our clients had some major wins:

  • Grew net income by 100%+ from last year which means these business owners were able to save for houses, increase their charitable donations, and grow their team – what an amazing ripple effect on a whole community!
  • Pivoted sales outlets; moving from in-person events to online, from online to strategic shop locations, from Facebook advertising to organic reach, from organic avenues to Facebook advertising. So many leaders tried new things this year that worked!
  • Added new team members to keep up with increased workload
  • Acquired new companies to help further expand their reach and support their mission
  • Opened retirement accounts and began contributing monthly
  • All of our small business clients received fully forgivable Paycheck Protection Program funds to help support payroll expenses during Q2 and Q3

I move very quickly, too quickly sometimes, and forget to celebrate the wins, no matter how big or small. So before diving directly into the new year, I am celebrating our client wins across the board and thinking about the words that describe the amazing leaders we work with:

Resilient. Innovative. Adaptable. Creative. Determined.

What was one of your favorite wins in 2020, big or small?

(Are you looking to set yourself up for stability, clarity, and success in the new year? First, download our Profit Playbook for a template to help you easily visualize your numbers, then schedule a call to chat with a CFO! Click here to get on our calendar)


2020 Year In Review

My word for 2020 was expansion. I planned to expand our client portfolio, expand our network through speaking engagements around the country, and expand my family’s adventures by taking our new family of four to Switzerland.

Then the world shut down and life was canceled. 

But I didn’t cancel my word of the year.

What you focus on expands is written on the white board in my office and I’m reminded of my word of the year daily.

And despite the pandemic, it actually shaped up into a great year. 


100 Degrees Consulting is represented across the globe! We have clients all over the United States, Canada, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Ecuador, Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua! 

Their missions are what keep us coming back to the laptop and the spreadsheets every single day. Knowing that our work to help keep these companies and nonprofits financially sustainable will impact the lives of probably millions of people around the world is all I need to get up every day!


We were so privileged to share our message far and wide. Our mission is to help leaders better understand and use their numbers to help them increase their impact and income, so these webinars, presentations, and talks are our main way of doing that. I spoke about:

Storytelling with Financials
Budgeting: How to Build Your Roadmap to Growth
Strategic Planning: Building Your 2021 Strategic Roadmap
How to Create a Monthly Finance Routine

And sent dozens of emails, partnered with many companies and other entrepreneurs, and wrote dozens of blog posts. There was no shortage of information coming from my brain into the hands of purpose-driven leaders!

Resources for Our Community

In early 2020, I was working with my speaking coach and developing a talk that I was slated to give at a conference for mom entrepreneurs and influencers. In the midst of our brainstorming session, she asked what type of services I have to offer the business owner who isn’t ready to bring a CFO on board but desperately needs financial advice, accountability, and templates to help them manage their numbers. I told her we had a free template, but that was it, and she immediately suggested that we create a membership.

And thus, The Entrepreneur’s CFO Corner was born! We launched this membership in May and 20 amazing purpose-driven leaders joined us. Inside the membership, we help leaders go from scared and confused to energized and confident in their numbers through CFO support and accountability, training, and templates. It has been a huge resource to many entrepreneurs and a fun experience for us too!


While 2019 was a year of internal capacity building, 2020 was truly a year of expansion. 

Team. I invested heavily into our team and client success by adding 3 new CFOs, an Operations Director, and a Marketing Director. We’ve built incredibly strong project management systems, client onboarding systems, and improved our infamous finance workbook that we use to help our clients see into the future of their businesses. 

Website. While our old website made me nostalgic for the humble beginnings of 100 Degrees Consulting, I knew it was time for an upgrade. We hired a top notch branding firm to make my vision for this company come to life and then had our brand new website built. It was a massive undertaking but we love the end result!

Treadmill. I talked a lot this year about removing all barriers to success and for me, that meant having a treadmill in my home so I could exercise regardless of schedule, pandemic, or time of day. It arrived in October and I am literally excited for my 5am run every day!


Time. Like everyone else in the world, 2020 was a sweet time for our family. We watched my baby grow from a newborn into a toddler, got creative with activities for our preschooler, and completed more puzzles than we had in our entire lives (no joke). We baked a lot, spent every minute of our summer outdoors, and planned pandemic birthday celebrations. Nothing was as I had envisioned it, but I’m grateful to have spent every single minute of my two little girls’ lives with them this year.

Home. We’ve done a ton of small and medium-sized home improvement projects to make this home exactly how we want it, and have plans for a big kitchen renovation in 2021. We made a decision that we will be staying in Buffalo for the next 10 years or so – if you know our moving history, this is a huge deal for us! – so making our house the dreamy, inspiring place where we spend our time is a major priority.

Legacy. We finally invested in a financial planner for our family. Although I’m a CFO, I believe it’s always wise to bring in external, expert eyes, to help you see what you may have overlooked and bring a new perspective. Our financial planners have helped with risk management, insurance, contingency plans, as well as the fun stuff – creating a plan to help us invest in real estate in the next year!

What’s Coming in 2021

It’s probably safer not to plan too much of 2021 if we’ve learned anything from 2020, but I can safely say that improving the services we deliver to clients is on the top of the list. And hey, that’s totally pandemic-proof!

I’d also kind of like to start a podcast…I have lots of ideas and even sometimes pretend to do my podcast intro when I’m alone in the car! Stay tuned…

Wrapping Up

If you’ve been following along with our journey, or are a part of our journey (hello clients, members, partners, and friends!), THANK YOU. I am so incredibly grateful for the community that we’ve built over the last five years, the knowledge that’s been shared, and the lives that have been changed, and can only imagine what the next five will bring.

What’s coming up for you in 2021? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear!


You can see our past Year in Review posts here! 2015, 2016, 2017 (Must have skipped this one! I blame it on moving from Ohio to New York in November), 2018, and 2019.


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How to Make Decisions Using Time vs. Money Margins

There are a million ways to make a decision in your business. 

Look at the profit margin. 

Make a pros and cons list.

Trust your gut instinct and what feels best.

Do what you’ve done before.

Do what you’ve never done before.

In different situations, you might use different methods to make a decision, or perhaps you use a combination of several.

I have another one for you that I love to use when making decisions: 

analyzing time margin vs. money margin.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

You want to create a new revenue stream. Maybe it’s a new course offering or maybe it’s an evergreen funnel for a program you’ve been live launching. 

You have two options:

  1. Pay someone to do this for you.
  2. Google it out and do it yourself.

Now, most of the advice we see from internet marketers and entrepreneur gurus are: HIRE! ALWAYS HIRE! Don’t do anything except a few special tasks yourself! That’s okay advice sometimes but not always. If your revenue streams are not strong or profit margins are too low, hiring out for every single thing is just going to drain your savings or put you in debt.

Before making the decision about how to go about creating this course or funnel, you need to ask yourself the question: Do I have more time or money right now? 

Maybe you’re in the early stages of your business, don’t have a ton of revenue, and are working on slowly growing. You have more time than money because your client load isn’t super full yet, so you’re probably best of doing this yourself. 

On the flip side, maybe business is booming. You’re being pulled in a ton of different directions within your business and are working a lot. Clients and customers keep signing on and buying your products or services left and right and your head is barely above water managing it all.

If this is you, do not try to create something new yourself! Hire someone! Assuming profit margins are strong, you have more money than time and should pay someone else to do this for you.

Do you ever use the time margin vs. money margin method to make decisions in your business?

Need help understanding if your profit margins are strong enough to hire someone? Grab our free Profit Plan to help figure it out! Click here>>


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Should you take out a business loan?

Hold onto your seats because I have a potentially controversial opinion to share with you today:

Debt is not inherently bad.

I get asked the question a lot: Is it ever okay to take on debt in my business? Should I get a loan or use a credit card in my business?

We are conditioned to believe that debt in our personal lives is bad, and in many cases consumer debt holds us back from true financial freedom. 

Spending more than you make is only a recipe for disaster and the same is true in our businesses. It can be very easy to invest in our businesses too soon, hire the wrong people, get more software and systems than we really need, and dump money into strategies that haven’t proven themselves to work yet. 

I’ve found that overspending often leads to taking on debt with a false hope that the cash influx will magically change habits and solve all of your problems.

I think we can all agree that that solution never works.

However! Using a business credit card or obtaining a loan or line of credit can work really well in certain situations and is totally acceptable in my book. Now before you run out and apply for the first loan you can find, I am going to share when it’s okay to take on debt in your business, when it’s not okay, and what you must absolutely do first!


It can be okay to take on debt when…

    1. Timing is an issue. Many businesses have high months and low months. They know, based on historical numbers, that a particular month or quarter is slow in terms of revenue, but that the following quarter always picks back up again. They may need an influx of cash to cover operating or advertising expenses in advance of a big sales month and this is when it’s okay to take on debt. They know that sales are basically guaranteed, and are substantial enough to cover any debt they take on.
    2. You need capital expenses for production. Other businesses may need cash in order to produce a particular product or line in advance of sales, especially if there is not unrestricted or generating operating cash to fund manufacturing or production. This is another time when it’s okay to take on debt to produce products, provided there is a proven market to purchase the product at healthy margins.

On the flip side, it is not okay to take on debt when…

    • You don’t have a proven business model and/or a plan for revenue. I am only comfortable with a business taking on debt if they have already been successful with their current business model. People have already purchased your products or services and it isn’t a brand new, untested idea. The last thing you want is a boatload of inventory, no one to purchase it, AND a brand new debt payment you can’t make. So test that idea before taking on debt!
    • You haven’t tried other things to improve your cash flow first. If you find yourself short on cash, I do not recommend taking on debt before doing what you can to improve your situation first. Cut unnecessary and unused expenses, reduce those that aren’t generating a solid ROI, and increase revenue streams that ARE working. Debt is NOT the easy way out so work through your P&L before taking on significant debt.

Now that you’ve read the above and think your business still might be a candidate for a loan or line of credit, here’s what you must do first…

    • Create a 12-18 month forecast of revenue, expenses, and cash. Think through the future of your business and map out every revenue stream, every expense, and your cash flow for the next 12-18 months. This may seem like a long time, but you want to ensure that your business is growing in the right direction, profit is strong, and you will absolutely have the cash to repay the loan or credit card, when payments start to kick in. Need a template? Grab one here:
    • The forecast must include a realistic path to profit and debt repayment. The key word here is realistic: your forecast should assume the most realistic revenue, expense, and cash scenarios. Think about scale – maybe your product or service will sell a few the first month, more the following month, and be full-scale in month three. Think about timing – your launch may be projected to having amazing sales in November, but the cash might not land in your bank account until December.

So, to summarize my stance on business debt: I’m okay with temporary debt if you have a proven business model, revenue stream, and 12-18 month projections for repayment and strong margins. I’m not okay with debt if you’re using it to fund ongoing operating deficits.

Sometimes putting things on a credit card or taking out a loan is simply a matter of timing – if your business is cyclical, a quick cash infusion may help keep you in the black until revenue picks up and you’re easily able to pay it back. 

The key is knowing exactly what’s around the bend with a forecast.

What do you think? Are you anti business debt or do you believe it’s okay under certain circumstances?

Want help building your forecast to see around the bend? Schedule a chat with us!



Behind-the-scenes of our virtual team retreat

It’s funny looking back on our 2020 goals because the world was so incredibly different just 11 short months ago.

Travel was a big priority for my family and me, I had at least half a dozen conferences in cities around the country planned, plus exciting trips to work in-person with clients. I also wanted to grow my team and bring them together at a beautiful AirBnb overlooking the ocean somewhere.

None of that happened in exactly the way I’d planned, but in some ways, it was better. I haven’t been on an airplane in over a year but our family discovered our new favorite road trip destination – coastal Maine. I presented at virtual conferences in front of thousands more people than would’ve been there in person. I grew my team beyond my wildest dreams and brought them together for a virtual retreat instead.

I shared the live updates on social media during our team retreat week but wanted to share more behind the scenes in a full blog post. So here’s how we planned our virtual team retreat. 

  • Determine goals. The very first thing that my Operations Director and I did was figure out what we actually wanted to get out of our time together. We’re all incredibly busy, so the top priority for me was to make our time worthwhile. My goals (incorporating ideas from the team) were:
  • Build relationships and establish norms for future collaboration
  • Begin putting together a 2021 plan for all facets of the business – client-facing and internal
  • Provide professional development for the whole team
  • Map out an agenda. Once we had our rough goals in place, we mapped them out on the calendar. Since we were virtual, I didn’t want everyone to get Zoom burnout, so we determined that five 2-hour sessions would comprise our entire retreat; three morning sessions and two afternoon sessions, from Wednesday through Friday. Here’s what our agenda looked like:
      1. Wednesday AM: Discuss 2020 wins and challenges, discuss 2021 goals
      2. Wednesday PM: Strengths Finder coaching session
      3. Thursday AM: Productivity expert presentation, mindset expert presentation
      4. Thursday PM: Team breakouts to plan 2021
      5. Friday AM: Team presentations and wrap-up with action items
  • Hire experts. One of our goals was to provide professional development for the whole team and since I’m not an expert on everything (shocker, I know!), we decided to bring in paid experts to teach our team. Here are the experts we decided on:
      1. I love personality tests and have recently been incredibly enlightened by Strengths Finder, so I paid for each team member to take the full assessment, then brought in an expert to analyze them and teach us how we can use that knowledge in our work and lives. 
      2. Productivity was one of the things our team expressed interest in, so our Operations Director did a great presentation with several dozen productivity hacks, from software tricks to ideas on setting boundaries. The team LOVED this session – we’re all busy women, so this was exciting.
      3. Self-care was another topic that our team expressed interest in (many of us are mamas, so self-care tends to be put aside often!), so I hired a mindset coach to help us examine how we can incorporate more self-care into our lives. It was incredibly enlightening!
  • Ask the team. Our team’s input both before and during the retreat was crucial. Our business is no longer The Stephanie Show, so it was important to me to make sure all voices were heard. We sent them a pre-retreat questionnaire, asking questions about both their wins and challenges, their personal and professional goals, and how we can grow and better support our clients. Our Operations Director compiled the results and this was the basis of our first session’s discussion. It gave us a great jumping off point for the week.
  • Make it special. My team knows I’m obsessed with curating and sending gifts and the retreat was the perfect opportunity to send each woman a little care package so our time together felt special and out of the ordinary. I put together gift boxes with cozy socks, an inspirational mug, a coaster from Nepal, a notebook, a handwritten note, and a Starbucks gift card so that everyone felt special and cozy!
  • Remove yourself. As the CEO of the organization, I wanted to give authority and ownership to the team and step out of their way, empowering them to brainstorm and come up with ideas without me. I’ve found that when the CEO is always in the room, people consciously and unconsciously tend to lean in their direction and I want to hear from others! So we had a breakout session where our CFO team and Marketing/Ops team brainstormed and began to build their 2021 plans, then they presented them to the whole team the next day. I loved seeing what they came up with!
  • Make it actionable. One of my pet peeves is walking away from a conference overwhelmed with information, but no clear action items. If we didn’t actually implement anything we learned, then what was the point?! So we spent our Friday session going around and sharing one thing we planned to incorporate into our daily lives and work now, and one goal we have for 2021. We are going to follow-up on these in future team meetings too.
  • Have fun! This was probably the toughest for me, as I’m not a dance party on Zoom kinda gal. But we kept it light, chatted before each session, and showed up to contribute and support. Here’s hoping an in-person experience, at a beautiful oceanfront home complete with dinners out and champagne toasts, is in our future!


What questions do you have? Have you ever hosted a virtual team retreat?



One small action can make an impact

One small action can make an impact.

Tomorrow is Election Day in the United States and millions of voters have already cast their ballots because of exactly that.

We know that our vote matters. Even though we are one in millions, our vote matters, this year more than ever before.

It got me thinking about how one small action I took, five years ago, has made an impact on my life and the lives of many, many others in a big way.

I took small, imperfect action, and sent emails to a carefully researched list of nonprofit leaders around the globe to see if they needed help with their financial management.

I’m pretty sure I had The Office on in the background and I’m definitely sure I asked my husband three hundred times Should I send it? Should I send it? Should I send it?

Spoiler alert: I took the small action. I sent the emails.

People responded.

I got one client, then four clients, and I had a business.

I’ll be the first to admit that if I could, I’d constantly be working on my business. I love the challenge of improving our client experience, the creativity of building and trying new things, and the freedom to do exactly what I want.

But sometimes it’s HARD. Launches have flopped. Clients have been unhappy. I’ve had to do things and have conversations that make me sick to my stomach. I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve wanted to turn and hibernate under a blanket and delete all of my emails.

Even though one small action can make an impact, it’s not always perfect. Here are my five biggest lessons from the past year:

  1. A flop is not a fail. Just because something doesn’t go the way you expected the first time, doesn’t mean it’s meant for the trash. Adjust and try again!
  2. Understand my strengths. Surprise – I’m not awesome at everything! Gallup’s Strengths Finder has been game-changing for our business and team to understand our work within our strengths.
  3. Simple to scale. You don’t need a business model with 15 different layers and revenue streams and goals. Simpler is always better.
  4. Hire people. Instead of trudging through work that’s outside of your Zone of Genius, hire amazing people to handle that work for you.
  5. Get nervous. If you don’t do things outside of your comfort zone, you will never experience the growth you want. I presented a new webinar this month that I was nervous about (but turned out so great!)

Thank you, for being a part of this amazing community of purpose-driven leaders. Your positive attitude, selflessness in service, and dedication of your life and work to helping other people is inspiring and humbling to me.

I’d love to know the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a leader this year! Comment below and let me know.