Episode 58: Is Your Business Your Baby?
Transcript Episode 58
Welcome to the 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship podcast the show for purpose driven entrepreneurs who want to get inspired to step outside of your comfort zone. Expand it to your purpose and grow your business in a big way. I’m your host, Stephanie Skryzowski, a globe trotting CFO whose mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers to grow their impact and their income. Let’s dive in!
Hey, everybody! Welcome back to 100 degrees of entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Stephanie Skryzowski. And today I’m going to put to bed a phrase that we have all probably said before. That phrase, my business is my baby. Have you ever said that before? I know I have.
And I’ve kind of meant it to like, this is something I want to take care of. It’s something I take great pride and joy, and it’s something that brings happiness to my life. It’s something that I’m really passionate about. And I said this for a long time until I heard Jasmine Starr say, Listen, your business is not your baby. So think about this, we really love our work, right?
I know I love my work. I take great pride in the change that my team is helping make in the world through the work that we’re doing with purpose driven businesses and nonprofits. And honestly, sometimes, for better or for worse, I take things personally in my business because I have poured so much heart and soul into what I do. And so it almost feels like a piece of me, right?
My business feels like a little bit of who I am. And I know many, many entrepreneurs would say the same thing. So on the flip side, I have a real life, human baby. In fact, I have had two of them. My daughter right now at the time of recording, my oldest is five, my youngest is two. And when I initially thought of this whole, my business is my baby concept.
And when Jasmine Starr first told me, she was not talking to me directly. I think it was on her podcast, but I’m going to pretend that she was talking directly to me. My littlest was about nine months old. So she was like, legit a baby. She’s super fun. So talkative back then she was started just really just starting to talk. And every time that she said Mama, Mama, you know, my heart would just explode at that point.
She was crawling, trying to stand and didn’t have any teeth. And she was just so cute, could melt the coldness of hearts. And now she’s she’s equally cute. But I’m thinking back to that baby phase and nine months old is like the perfect baby age. But at the end of the day, is precious and adorable and sweet as she is and was, she’s still a baby, right.
And as her mama, I am the person to meet her needs. I’m at her beck and call 24/7. If she needs to be fed, I’m the one that’s feeding her. If she needs to have a diaper change, I’m taking care of her. And you know, I love her so much that helping her grow and supporting her brings me so much joy. I would not trade any of this responsibility for the world.
But thinking back to my business and thinking back to your business, especially if you have little ones. Do you really want your business to be your baby too? Demanding, needy, full of responsibilities that only you can fulfill? That is a hard no, right? I don’t want a business that needs me 24/7 that only I can do the things to make it happy.
No, thank you. So if work is not going to be our baby, what should it be? What should we think of this as? And so Jasmine’s metaphor, I believe, is a race car, right? A race car. So your business is not your baby. It is a race car. You will learn how it works. You learn what buttons to push, you learn what features to add to make it go further and faster.
And you put in all the right mechanics to make it run really smoothly. Then other people like the race car driver, AKA your team can operate the car to help across the finish line. So your business is not this crying, demanding, needy thing that you’re just taking care of 24/7. Your business is a race car. You put all of the right elements in place and that thing is going to soar.
Well, not soar, nothing’s gonna fly about on the road. You know what I mean. So thinking about this metaphor, how do we shift our work, our businesses from being that adorable, sweet baby that we love so much, that we take care of 24/7 to a well oiled race car
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So here are the three things that we’re going to do to take our business from baby to race car. Okay, so the first thing is automate. So take stock of all of your software. Make sure everything is talking to each other. Make sure there are no redundancies where you’ve got two things that are kind of doing the same thing, but neither one of them is doing a really great job.
Or make sure there are no gaps. For example, are you invoicing clients in QuickBooks, and HoneyBook? Choose one and stick with it. Is your CRM like Salesforce talking to your project management system, like Asana? Link those babies up, right? So look at what you can automate. Look at where you can make things talk to each other and take a human being like yourself out of the process, right?
I feel like parents all over the place, you know, especially like super inventor type people are probably like, Okay, well, how can I get my baby’s diaper change or feed my baby in the middle of the night without having to get out of bed, right? Thinking about how to automate that process. That is not automatable, that needs a human being.
But doing all the work in your business does not necessarily need a human being, right? You can automate so much of that. So really sit down and take some time to figure out what you can automate. Second, second thing to take your business from your baby to a race car is hire the right people, right? So you can’t really hire I mean, I guess you could hire people to take care of your baby.
But at the end of the day, it’s your baby, right? It is your baby. You are the one that needs to do all of the things, especially if you’re a nursing mother, right? You got to do all the things. With a race car, you don’t need to do all the things. And in fact, you shouldn’t do all the things, right? The person that’s driving the car, and who has expertise to drive that car and operate that car is probably not the same person that is changing the tires.
And that’s probably not the same person that’s working under the hood. Okay, y’all are gonna have to like, bear with me here, because I’m not a car person. So I’m assuming that those are probably not the same person in a race car. But you see what I’m saying, right? There’s different expertise for different pieces of that race car.
And same thing with your business, there’s different expertise for different roles in your business. So you need to figure out what roles you need on your team. And hire for the roles and not necessarily the people, right. You don’t want to take existing people that you have and try and fit them into certain roles that you need. So maybe you need financial analysis and strategy in your business.
And you’re asking your bookkeeper to do that work? Well, they are different skill sets. That is a different kind of person that’s going to give you financial analysis and strategy than the person that’s in QuickBooks, right. You’re trying to force a square peg into a round hole. So get the right people into the right seats. On the bus, in your business, in your race car, whatever metaphor you want to go with right now.
That’s the second thing that we really want to do to move your business, your work from being that 24/7 needy baby to a well oiled race car. So the third thing that I’m talking about today is to create a routine. So there are definitely tasks in your business, in your organization that need to happen weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually.
I want you, if you’ve not already done this, to really take some time, and get it all out on paper and your project management system, whatever it looks like. Map it on on the calendar, a spreadsheet, whatever, and really get it all into one place. And so having this sort of consistent look at what needs to be done in your business is the first step to streamlining and to automating and to putting SOPs in place so that again, things can run without you, right?
We don’t want everything to live in your head. And trust me for the first couple years of my business literally everything lived in my head. I had one little word document like literally Microsoft Word, not even Google Docs, literally Microsoft word that I kept open all day every day. And it was just kind of like my little to-do list, but it was also supposed to sort of like, include longer term things that I needed to get on.
It was bananas. I can’t believe that that was how I ran this business way back when. But anyway, I then got everything out of my head for short, medium and long term things that needed to be done in my business, got them all into a project management system. And that has helped other people be able to step into my business. And so I think about as well, back to last summer, and I went on a two week vacation, and it was my first two week vacation.
Like ever in my life, I think my honeymoon was pretty close to two weeks, because we went all the way to Nepal, and hiked Mount Everest base camp. And so we definitely needed some time there. But then I immediately tagged that trip on with a work trip. So I feel like last summer, that two week trip to Maine was probably the longest vacation I’ve ever taken.
I will admit that I did work a little bit at the time when I was there, I had gotten a couple of new clients. So I definitely had a couple of calls, and, you know, I really tried to step away as much as I could over those two weeks. And what I realized when I got home was that business didn’t stop, or even really slow down when anyone on our team is out of the office. And in fact, it’s only gotten better since then.
So I was out of the office for two weeks following that my operations manager was out of the office. And then after that, one of the CFOs on my team was out of the office and the wheels kept turning and that was really like not the case, you know, a year or two ago. And so that really showed me how we have moved the business from being my baby to a well oiled race car. So our team isn’t huge, we’re about 15 strong.
Now back then, with last summer, we had about 10 of us. And so how did we make that possible? Well, again, that shift in not only my mindset from the business being my baby, but also in the things that we actually did. So we hired people, we have more people on the team, we cross trained people. And so every process, every client has at least two people cross trained and in the loop.
So if one person is out, work doesn’t stop. It also has like fun learning opportunities for people to try different things. And then we streamlined and just like I’m talking about that first thing that I said automating, we analyze every single process within the organization.
Like literally, my husband helped me with this. We took post it notes and stuck post it notes across our entire kitchen, kitchen windows, and identified processes where there were gaps where I was too involved where I was treating the business like my baby, where we needed to automate and streamline. So we analyze those processes, we automated what we could and we improve the efficiency of any manual processes that we had.
So like we have taken the action in my business to do this. And I will say it kind of took me a long time to realize that my business being my baby was like not a good thing. Honestly that shift in mindset, and then the shift in the actions that we took inside the business, to move us to that race car mentality, is the only thing that helped us get to where we are now.
So if you have a small business, if you’re you know, maybe at under 100,000 in revenue or even you know a few 100,000. The thing that is going to take you from where you are now to two X-ing where you are now to five X-ing where you are now. You have to get rid of this mentality that your business is your baby. You have to not only get rid of the mentality, but take the action steps to building a race car, not a precious, adorable, little, demanding, needy baby.
So my parents here who are listening, you definitely know what I’m talking about. But anyway, I think this has been honestly game changing for us at 100 degrees. And in the shifts that we’ve made and I only see the upside and the growth potential now that I am not central to every single thing that happens in the business.
So I want to know what you think after you have listened to this episode, I want to know, do you still feel like or maybe do you feel like right now like take stock of where you are right now? Is your business your demanding needy yet lovable source of pride and joy baby? Or is it a well oiled machine ready to cross the finish line to whatever massive world changing goals you have?
So think about that. If you’re feeling like a little bit more on the baby side where you are central to everything and it feels kind of needy.
How can you shift not only your mindset, but also the things that you’re doing in your business to automate, to hire the right people, and to create a routine so that it can be a race car ready to cross the finish line? I hope this was helpful my friends, as always find me over on Instagram. I would love to talk a little bit more about this episode and I want to know is your business your baby? Or is your business a race car? I’ll see you next time.
Thanks for listening to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100degreesconsulting.com/podcast. Make sure to snap a screenshot on your phone of this episode and tag me on instagram @stephanie.skry and I’ll be sure to share. Thanks for being here friends, and I’ll see you next time!
Transcript for Episode 58