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Are you spending your working hours in your Zone of Genius? Or are you doing a lot of tasks in your business that don’t light you up, and take away from the real gifts you have to offer?
Having the right team in place is critical to success as an entrepreneur. You can’t grow and scale your business on your own. In today’s bonus episode, Brigit talks about how you can create your dream team, even if you’re a solopreneur or have just a few team members right now.
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
- How Brigit built her Dream Team from 1 person to 14 people (and how this helped scale her business to 7 figures)
- A simple way to determine your Zone of Genius (and what to do with all the tasks that aren’t in your Zone of Genius)
- Brigit’s step-by-step guide to hiring, developing and retaining your Dream Team
- The best way to structure your team to gain freedom in your business.
Welcome to the Intuitive Entrepreneur podcast. I'm your host Brigit Esselmont, intuitive business strategist and mentor. As a founder of Biddy Tarot, I turned my love for Tarot into an abundant seven figure business. The secret to my success, making intuition and strategy, my entrepreneurial superpower. And now I'm inviting you to do the same. In this weekly podcast, I'll be sharing advice, tools and real life examples from some of the best intuitive entrepreneurs to show you how you can trust your intuition, align with your purpose, and create a positive impact through your work. Let's make it happen.
Hello and welcome back to the Intuitive Entrepreneur podcast. Now, in our last interview, we heard how founder of Modern Mystic, Kelley Knight is building a thriving team to support her business. Now, in my view, having the right team in place is critical to success as an entrepreneur, particularly if you wish to scale and grow your business, you really cannot do it on your own. So in today's bonus episode, I'm going to talk about how you can create your dream team, even if you're just on your own right now, or maybe you've even got a few team members. I'm going to show you how I have built up my team from one person back in 2013 to now a team of 14 here in, what are? 2019, that's right. Awesome, let's get straight into it.
So can you relate to this? It's 11 o'clock at night, everyone in your house is asleep except for you and you're there responding to emails from customers who can't access their online program. You're uploading your regular social media posts for the next week. And on top of all of that, you're trying to finish off the email campaign for your next big launch and you're tearing your hair out as you switch from one task to the next, one minute consumed in tech hell and the next minute trying to tap into the deeper meaning of life through your email copy. So if you can relate to any of this even just a little bit, it's really time to look at your team. So let me share a little bit about how I started to build up my team or team Biddy. So back in 2013 my family and I, we were traveling in Spain for six months and I knew that I wanted to really take advantage of that time and spend as much time with my family, and to do that I needed more help in my business.
So I remember sitting in our car at the edge of the Spanish beach somewhere, you know, I don't know, somewhere on the ocean. And I was on a Skype call doing a job interview to find my first hire. And I was looking for just a general virtual assistant and I had put out an ad in Upwork and I think I'd put it, I don't know, in our email or something. And here I was chatting to this wonderful woman in the US who I just felt like, oh, she's brilliant. She can help me, she can take a whole bunch of tasks off my hand. So this person is Kim and she's now our business manager. What are we, like six years later? So it certainly paid off in the long run. Now I started to then hire more and more people from that point and I hired people in the beginning, mostly from Upwork and then later from our community and from our audience who we had connected with via email and so on.
What I also started to do was instead of necessarily hiring people into specific roles, I would hire each person into an admin role and then gradually develop their role as I started to see their strengths and their talents. And then as they came in from the admin role, then I'd start to move people up into a manager role if it was the right fit for them, so that they could then lead and take care of the team and the new people coming in underneath them. So now as I say, we have 14 team members across the world. So the US, Canada, Australia, India, Portugal, goodness, I think that covers about it. So it's, we have such an awesome group of people who are collectively working towards this shared goal of the organization to bring tarot into the mainstream. And absolutely, I could not do it on my own and it relies on this team so very much.
The other thing that's happening with the team is we're also constantly reviewing and refining how we're allocating tasks in the business. So I learned early on that just that moment that you think that you've got a dream team in place and everything's perfect and it's all wonderful, there's always something that will change. Either the focus of the business will change, maybe someone can't work the same number of hours, maybe they want a change in their role and so on. So there's always change happening and I think it's really important to be focused on keeping the team flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of the business and also meet the needs of customers and the team. So we're always adapting as particularly also as we grow and expand as a business. And the funny thing is when I left my corporate job back in 2012, that point I was working in HR, in human resources. And I also, I mean I have a master's degree in human resources as well and when I left corporate I thought, "Oh, you know, I'm leaving all of that behind."
But you know, here we are seven years later and it's all coming back into play. And so many things that I learned through my master's degree and in consulting are now coming into play as I build and grow this team. So I want to talk a little bit about how you can go about building your team and where to really begin. And I think it all starts with looking at your own work and particularly looking at what is your zone of genius, and also what is not your zone of genius. So in the book The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks talks about this concept of zone of genius and zone of genius work is basically what you do so well that barely anyone can replicate what you do. And you also contribute a huge amount of value in that work. So think about it, what is your zone of genius work? Is it editing videos? For most of us no it's not. Is it editing your website? For most of us no it's not, but things like doing videos or podcasts, even writing blog posts, writing a book, that might be your zone of genius.
So then once you are aware of that, you can start to look at, well, what are you doing that's not your zone of genius? So it may be that video editing, editing the website. It might even be as simple as putting things into your calendar. Anything that really doesn't require you has the potential to be delegated, outsourced, allocated to someone else on the team or to a new hire. So what I recommend is over the next week is look at your work and have a look at what are you doing that's not your zone of genius work. And think about can I either delete that work, not do it, can I automate it? Perhaps there's a tool that you could use or simplify it through a process or something. Or can I delegate it and either delegate to someone already on your team or start to create a role description? I'll get into that in a sec.
So this is something that I'm doing constantly with my role. I'm always looking at what can I delegate more, how can I free up more of my time to be doing the work that is right for me and delegate or delete or automate the rest. And I'm also training my team how to delegate their work. I often talk about with them, how do we take that bottom 10% of what you're doing and either delegate it or delete it. All right, so once you're more aware of the kinds of tasks that you're doing that you don't really need to be doing, then you can start to create a role or roles in your organization. So take all of those tasks that you want to delegate and you can start to then group different skills together. So for example, you might start to group all of your tech related skills together or all of your admin related skills.
Maybe it's social media that's driving you batty and you can start to group those together. And at the same time you need to be asking yourself what skills, knowledge, and talents does someone need to do these kinds of tasks. So you might find that well, a social media person will also need really great English skills. They might need conversational skills and perhaps like customer service skills, particularly if you get inquiries over social media, which is highly likely. And so then you might also see a bridge between, well, okay, social media may actually be able to be covered by a customer service person. I could hire one person to do customer service and social media, which is exactly what we do in our organization. Now the caveat to this is be careful of creating that sort of superstar, I can do everything roll. Let's just take every task, I don't want to do bunch it into another role and hope for the best that there's someone that can do everything that I don't want to do. The truth is that typically does not work.
You need to be very mindful that you are grouping your tasks around skills and knowledge and your mindset that's common within those particular roles. So once you've created the role, the next step is to hire and then also on board that person. So when you're in the hiring process, I recommend to get really detailed around the roles. So get really clear about what it is that you expect from the role, what kinds of tasks that person will be doing, what they'll be able to achieve and results that they'll achieve. You might also share more about your organization and your vision and how they might fit into that vision. You might also look at who they are in terms of not just you have three years experience in social media, but also you are someone who loves to have a conversation, who likes to use emojis, who can have a little bit of fun but also like be succinct and be helpful and so on.
So it ends up being this job, like the job description isn't just a list of tasks that they will do, but it's almost in some way it's like a sales page. This is our organization, this is why you'd want to work for us. This is who you are and this is why we'd love for you to join our organization and so on. Then comes the application piece. Now in the past we used to just have an application, we would have quite a few questions on it. Don't get me wrong, there was quite a few hoops to jump through and we would include questions that were related to their roles. So let's say if it was a social media person that we wanted to hire, we would have in the application a few examples like, here's the blog post, write an Instagram caption for this particular blog post. And then we can see what their style is, or this person direct messages us with this message, how would you respond and so on.
So we did that and even then we'd still have over 200 applications. Now, that was incredibly challenging to process and to shortlist. Of course, we were absolutely very grateful that so many people applied, we were also needed to be mindful that we wanted to attract the people who were the right fit. So, that's when we started adding in a two minute video as a requirement to applying. And in this two minute video we ask them to just share a little bit about who they are and why they're a great fit for the role. And we say it's two minutes, you need to load it up on YouTube. Now if it's any longer than about three minutes, we do not look at it. If it's not uploaded on YouTube, we do not look at it. If there is like some little note saying, "Well you can have it if you really want it," we do not look at the application. It's a really fabulous way to, I guess sought out who is really serious about the role and who isn't.
Now in terms of doing the review of the applications and so on, we typically have our team reviewing the applications. So in the past it used to be me looking through all of them, which was crazy and very challenging. And now what we do is we might have one team member doing a really fast cull, so you know the things on the video application or if they haven't answered, if they haven't really met the criteria. And then another team member will start to go in more detail to look at the applications and shortlist, and then from there we start to interview. We have some extra like tasks that we ask them to do so we get a sense of how they work. And then finally we go about selecting the person for that role. Now that's the hiring piece, there's also the onboarding side of things. And this is critical and I think actually this is where a lot of entrepreneurs let themselves down because they go, "Oh gosh, it was so hard to find someone through the hiring process and now I need to bring this person on and surely they must be really good. Okay, here you go, this is what you need to do. All right, bye." Done.
And then they just leave them to their own devices and wonder why that new hire isn't doing particularly well. So what we do in our organization is we have at least a two week period where we might be meeting with a new hire once a day, maybe once every second day. And I have the hiring manager. So it might either be me or it might be one of my leaders, whoever's hired this person will then set out a training plan. And so you know, the first call might be to go through like here's what we do on Facebook, and the next training call is about here's what we do on Instagram, and so on. We also have Kim our business manager do like an onboarding call to say, this is Biddy Tarot and this is what we do and this is how we use Trello and Slack and so on. So all of these helps the new hire feel like, ah, okay, now I know where to find stuff, I know what to do, I'm ready to rock and roll and get all my questions answered and so on.
We also are building a Trello board for our new hires. So it's also in writing and not just through these calls, these onboarding calls. So main point there is make sure that you are onboarding and you give your new hires enough time and enough love. And also we do the 90 day reviews, so three months after they've come into that role, we review their performance, we make sure that it's still a good fit, and then we can offer a more permanent position from there. All right. Then we get into grow and develop. So this is something that we've been doing a lot more of in our team, team Biddy, and we spend time finding out what each person's strengths and to some extent weaknesses are, and what each person's talents are. Because, I really love to get people into roles where they're performing really well. Something that they love doing, they're feeling really good about it. Every day they're showing up going, "Yeah, I'm pretty, I'm awesome at this," and getting the results and so on.
So sometimes when we notice, say a team member is not feeling so good in their role or maybe dragging a bit behind on deadlines, it's often a sign that they're in a role that's not the best fit for their skills and knowledge and so on. So we do tend to reconfigure the roles as necessary to fit around the individual team members, but also being fully aware of what the needs of the business are. Now for the team members who are showing a lot of leadership and responsibility and accountability, we look at ways to grow them into a manager role, particularly if they are the right fit. And then the other piece that we're doing around grow and develop is, for example with Kim our business manager, she had been working on Ontraport and we decided that it would be great for Kim to become an Ontraport certified consultant. So I invested in her training and she came back and she's now an absolute expert in Ontraport and it was probably one of the best investments that I made with Kim, because now we have this expertise in the business, so don't be afraid to invest in the training and development. So long as it is very relevant for that role.
All right. Then there is connect and engage. So of course it's important to make work fun and enjoyable and engaging for each team member. Have a way to communicate with each other. I think virtual teams is always a little bit challenging because you don't have that office environment, but we use Slack fairly regularly to create that team environment. I'm always wondering though if there's something more that we can do. Every year we try, and put together an all team meeting across all time zones, which is a bit challenging but it is good fun and our sort of smaller teams do have more regular calls on Zoom as well. We like to recognize team members birthdays and also their Biddyversaries, which is their work anniversaries. And when people join us we ask them in terms of gifts, you know, what do they prefer or gifts or rewards, you know, is it a dollar bonus that people refer? Is it a gift, is it a lot of credit card, an Amazon gift card, a surprise, a massage, whatever it might be.
And we can use that to then assist us when we need to, when we offer rewards and fun surprises. And we also have team getaways every now, and then where some of the team can connect in person, particularly if I'm traveling into the US, we catch up and connect and most of that time is often spent doing fun stuff, not work stuff. Although, yes, every now, and then it is a bit more work focused. Then finally it's about expanding the team. And I think this is actually, this is a really important piece too, because what I hear from a lot of entrepreneurs is that they're afraid to have a large team because they believe that it means managing a lot of different people. But the way that I have learned to structure teams is a way that gives you freedom, because that's one of my key values, is freedom. So what we used to do in consulting, it was all about the leveraged model, which was basically that you have managers and you have admins and every manager should have an admin.
So it means that you can split the tasks to more administrative routine, regular tasks, implementation and so on. Go to your admin and oftentimes at a lower rate, and then your manager is more freed up for creative brainstorming strategy, being more focused on the longterm and so on, and also compensated for that, of course. And that way the manager if trained how to delegate work can keep moving things down to the admin. So they can continue to like work on strategy and so on. Having this kind of setup also leads to you as the entrepreneur then only have a couple of managers that report to you and then, then managers manage the App maintenance. So you just have maybe two or three people and they report directly to you and then your managers have their teams and I now have our managers hiring their people versus me. So it's really a sort of pushed down kind of model and it's really important to keep realigning and checking in on the organizational structure to make sure that it matches with the vision of the business.
So we've done a few like reviews of the structure and not like I would be used to be, in the corporate world whenever you hear like an organizational structure review, you knew that that meant like downsizing and people were going to be made redundant. It's not that, it's more so do we need to like regroup how, what, who we have in what place and what their focus is and so on. So organizational structures, I know some people break out in hives when they think about it. I think it's a really helpful thing, not just for you as the leader of the business, but for everyone else in the team to know, okay, well this person's working with this manager and they're responsible for this. We actually recently had our team, each person do a two minute video. This is who I am, this is what role I have in the organization and who I work with. And even with a team of 14 that's just been really helpful, so that everyone can get to know who to go to for what kinds of issues.
So with all of that in mind, I hope that you are inspired to think about or take action on expanding and growing your team. Because as I said at the start, you cannot do this on your own. And having a team in place is what will help you to scale the business and grow the business. It also gives you a bit of company, it helps you bring in new and fresh ideas. It holds you accountable, it makes things a bit more fun most of the time. And yeah, I think it's what can help you just create that business of your dreams. So my invitation to you is out of all of this, what is one step that you can take to create your dream team today or in the next couple of days? And the other thing is, if you need help growing your team with ease, then please reach out to me. This is one of my zones of genius. It's something that I've done for over 25 years. Gosh, that makes me feel really old and I am here to help you and mentor you through my one on one business mentorship.
So you can find out more about that at brigit.me/mentoring. So brigit.me/mentoring and it's B-R-I-G-I-T. All right, well thank you so very much for today, I hope that's been helpful and I look forward to connecting with you again, very, very soon.
Thank you for joining me for today's episode of the Intuitive Entrepreneur podcast. If you love this episode, please leave an honest rating and review on iTunes. It really helps to get the word out, and of course, I read every single comment. And if you want weekly inspiration to help you trust your intuition, align with your purpose and create huge business success, then head on over to brigit.me and sign up for my free weekly emails. That's B-R-I-G-I-T.me. See you there.
Resources and Links Mentioned:
- 1:1 Business Mentoring with Brigit
- The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
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