At the end of every year, I like to do a review process in my business to support my intentional creations for the next year. This year I spent a full week in a planning retreat with our Business Manager, where we reviewed every offering in the business, our performance in 2019, our team structure, our goals for 2020 and exactly what resources and actions we need to bring those to life.
This was an incredibly fruitful reflection and planning session, and it got me thinking about you and your business. Have you set aside time for a conscious reflection process as we come to the end of another year?
I’ve noticed that many of the intuitive entrepreneurs I speak with live their lives and run their businesses in accordance with some kind of cycle. Some use the four seasons, some the Wheel of the Year, others have custom cycles that suit particular production schedules in their business. What they all have in common is a conscious intention for, and review of, each cycle to bring power and clarity to the leader and the business.
So, as this is the end of Season 2 of the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast, I want to share with you some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from my guests this season, and exactly how I’ve implemented them in my business.
Tune in to IEP030: Looking Back to Leap Forward – Implementing the Lessons of 2019 for a Successful 2020 to hear about what I’ve implemented, as well as my process for reviewing this season of my business.
I encourage you to try this reflection process for yourself, and see the difference it makes in your business as you enter the next phase. I’d love to hear any insights you get from it, or any of the lessons you’ve learned from the podcast that you’re implementing. Just hit reply on this email and let me know!
In this episode you’ll hear about:
- Brigit’s guest highlights from Season 2 of the podcast
- How Brigit has implemented specific strategies she’s learned from her guests in her business this year
- The power of a solid review and reflection process in your business
- Brigit’s reflection and planning strategy for an aligned 2020
Brigit E.: Welcome to the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast. I'm your host, Brigit Esslemont, intuitive business strategist and mentor. As the 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.
Brigit E.: Hello and welcome back to the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast, and today we are wrapping up season two with what I hope to be is a beautiful episode of reflection and wisdom, and an opportunity for you to tune into your very own lessons and wisdoms that you've experienced over this season. In this episode, I'll be sharing three of the highlights that I've personally received through interviewing some of our podcast guests in this season. And not only the highlights, but also how I've been implementing their insights and their advice into my business and what's been happening as a result.
Brigit E.: Because I don't know about you, but I know that if I'm just simply in learning mode but not doing mode, it kind of goes in and out. And I'd much rather be able to take those insights and takeaways and start to implement them in my business because that's where you get the value. I certainly encourage you to do the same. I'm going to share three of the highlights, how I've implemented them, and then I also want to reflect on my biggest lessons in this past quarter; and of course, to invite you to do the same for your business.
Brigit E.: Let's get into a bit of a reflection of the episodes and the guest interviews that we've had in this season, and my three probably most pivotal moments I'm going to share with you those now. Angela Lauria, who is the founder of the Author Incubator, which is a highly successful organization helping authors to self-publish their work but to go on and have much bigger impact in their communities. What Angela does is nothing short of amazing and the way that she runs her business is just eye-opening. What got out of our conversation was a really deep appreciation for how Angela is incorporating spiritual practice and the woo into the business. But not to the extent that it's like, "Okay, we'll do business now. All right, now moving into spiritual and woo activity. Okay, now moving back to business." It's all completely and fully integrated into how she and the team work together.
Brigit E.: For me that was really eyeopening and it was a pivotal moment for me to start looking at our business and think about, well, how do we elevate the way that we do things as an organization and as a team such that it's not just about, "Okay, now it's time to pull a tarot card," but it's just inbred into everything that we do. It's fully integrated. It's part of our culture. That for us is a work in progress, but I really do feel the shift and the transition happening already.
Brigit E.: The other thing that I got out of the interview with Angela and certainly by reading her book, which is Make 'Em Beg to Work for You, is around having more empowering conversations with team members; and particularly as it relates to hiring, onboarding and managing performance. When it comes to managing performance, yes, you can just kind of check the boxes, do what you're required to do, be compliant, follow the policy and so on. But what I'm discovering is that when you follow that line, it can often end up feeling adversarial.
Brigit E.: And I speak to number of entrepreneurs in different industries and the amount that have been through what we call as Fair Work Australia, just like the employment law or like employee protection agency in a way. But they've been through some really rough processes and I wonder if it's because we're simply in a compliance mode instead of a higher consciousness mode. And so, my conversation with Angela really helped me appreciate that we've got to go way beyond just complying and ticking the boxes. If we want to really elevate as businesses and as leaders in our field, then we need to really look at the whole person and really honor the soul that is within every single person, and have conversations around that level of thinking.
Brigit E.: What I implemented out of that conversation, number one, the way that we have had performance conversations in the last month or two has been incredibly different to perhaps how I would have handled or managed things six, 12 months ago because I've been looking at how do we get into that higher level of consciousness? How do we really honor the soul within each and every person? And also, what I've implemented in our hiring process. This is going to knock your socks off. Well, maybe it won't. It knocks my socks off. But we've hired eight people in the last two months. Eight people, and that's on a team of 15 people. Now we're more than that, but hiring eight people in two months is huge.
Brigit E.: And we've implemented a lot of Angela's hiring strategies, things from including the secret code in the job ads. Basically, there's a little hidden line in the ad that says, "and the secret code is 84," and then later down the ad it says, "Here's how to apply. You must mention the secret code. If you don't know the secret code, do not apply and do not contact us for the secret code." And that has been so helpful because we are absolutely blessed and so grateful that we have so many applications, high-quality ones too for our jobs. So, having something like a secret code helps us to really sift through those and identify those people who are really attention... Sorry, detailed. Detailed, attention to detail. Yes, clearly, I haven't checked that box.
Brigit E.: The other thing is setting up the job ad almost like a sales page. And so, in our most recent ads it's been about, what is this person really look like? If you were to look at their day-to-day lives, what do they look like? When I was preparing the job ad for our executive assistant, I asked, “Are you someone who your planner, your diary has all these colour coded tabs and you're organized from what you're doing in a year's time down to your top three priorities for today? Does it look like a planner that could be on Pinterest? Do you start your day with a gratitude list? Are you known as the social organizer amongst your friends? The person who creates all the events and does such an amazing job because you know exactly what they want out of those events?" And this has really helped us to attract people who are the right fit for our team because I mean we're all special, but I think Team Biddy is really special and it takes a special kind of person to really thrive in that environment.
Brigit E.: I've definitely been implementing many of Angela's recommendations in our business and it has been fantastic. Oh, I should also mention the personality tests have been spot on and using just like a Myers-Briggs and asking for other personality tests, plus also implementing a longer screening process. We've gone from apply and then have one interview and then get the offer. Now what we do is we have the original application, then there's an extended application, then there's a phone screening, then there's the first interview, then there's the trial tasks, and then we have the second interview.
Brigit E.: And the second interview is actually one where we get really real about what it takes to thrive in Biddy Tarot. And we clear that there's going to be a lot of things that just aren't going to be what you might think they are. And if you like to be handed the manual and told how to do things, this is not the place for you. And if you like things to be stable and secure and the same every time, not the place for you. Are you still in? Because this is what it's really like to work here. And I can tell you just having this more evolved recruitment process has just really changed things. And again, I'm very appreciative to Angela for being the catalyst to that and the inspiration.
Brigit E.: All right. Moving onto my second highlight and that was with Chantelle Bruinsma, and Chantelle is the founder of studio expansion and she helps dance studio owners really amplify their impact and their business. Now the thing that really stood out for me is this quote from Chantelle. Chantelle said, "The more relaxed I am, the better we perform. And I am the barometer of the soul of the energetic footprint of the company, so I am the barometer of the soul of the energetic footprint of the company."
Brigit E.: And this really hit home for me. I've got to be honest, it makes sense and I get it. And I know on a soul level this is 100% right and so important that as the founder and the leader of our businesses, we need to be in that most elevated, most conscious state possible. Because from there, we'll make much better decisions. We'll also have this beautiful flow and effect to our team, to support them in feeling really aligned and grounded.
Brigit E.: But my challenge right now is that my team is working like crazy and I find it really hard to be okay with just going out for a walk or sitting on the beach and meditating or just taking it easy, because I'm thinking, "Well, my team's, they're working really hard. Maybe I should be working really hard with them." And I've got to be really open and honest with you, I feel guilty. I feel guilty in those times where I do have some moments to relax and tune in, but there's this other part of me saying like, "Oh, you've got to get in there, get in the trenches and help your team."
Brigit E.: And there's this huge inner conflict that comes with that like, "Do I do that?" But I know that I actually become a really bad leader when I'm in that space. I don't have the capacity to lead at the level that I know that I need to lead. And yet when I can get into that really good space of tuning in and aligning, I know that I'm much a better leader. My story or my sort of development area there is being able to move through that feeling of guilt and to see that bigger picture. And to know too that if I keep pushing and getting stuck in the weeds, that I'm actually failing as a leader. And I know that it's my responsibility as a leader to really slow down and tune in. And in fact, in episode 27, I speak a lot about this and what that looks like, so really appreciated that conversation with Chantelle. And of course, she had so many other gems to share, but that was one that really stood out for me.
Brigit E.: All right, and the final one with Ashley Leavy who talked with us about how to align your business with its chakra system, which was fascinating. It's not something I've ever thought about. But for me, the key takeaway in that interview was Ashley's idea of having these time blocks in your calendar, but instead of having it all mapped out of what exactly you want to do in those time blocks and so on, she just has a board of sticky notes with possible things that she could do. When the time block starts, she looks at her sticky notes and she says, "What do I feel like doing? I'm going to do this."
Brigit E.: Whereas I've found for me, my style has been time block, know exactly what I'm doing down to the hour, the minute and I started to feel stifled. My creativity was getting stifled. And so, while I haven't necessarily implemented the sticky notes just yet, what I have done is I have a very clear list of priorities for the month ahead. I know what I need to be focusing on, and then when I do have larger blocks of time, I look at what feels like I want to work on right now. What needs my attention at this point? I probably still have a little bit further to come with that one.
Brigit E.: Those were the three highlights; and of course, what beautiful episodes and conversations they were. And I'm sure that you have received what you need to receive from those interviews. You might even go back and just pause and reflect on, "Well, what was my key takeaway from each of these episodes?" And also, "How can I implement that in my daily life or my business?"
Brigit E.: I want to move into this opportunity now to reflect on your business in this past season because I am all for reflection and really tapping into what it is that you have learned along the way. It's these moments of reflection that help us to really grow as entrepreneurs and business owner, and also as people because there's so much that we are learning along this journey. I'm going to share with you my reflections, my three reflections for this season, and I'm going to encourage you too to reflect on what you've learned and discovered through these seasons as well.
Brigit E.: All right, so the first reflection is that entrepreneurship is one of the most challenging and yet also very rewarding journeys that you will ever take. And I've got to say to you that I have never been challenged in the way that I have in my business in these last few months. It's been hard. I'm not going to lie. It has been hard. It's been a hard slog. There've been a number of moments where I've thought, "What have I created? Is this actually really what I want to create here?" And just I've been left wondering, "Am I doing the right thing? Why am I creating so much disruption? Is this what I really, really want?"
Brigit E.: And to be clear, again, I'm just coming out of a conference with 250 amazing entrepreneurs who have seven, eight, even nine-figure businesses; and hearing the stories that they are going through in terms of challenge and hardship, what I'm experiencing right now is just a tiny fraction of the kinds of big issues that other companies are dealing with. But for me, this has been really, really challenging. And I know that I'm always going to come through it. I know that I do. Even in those moments where I'm going, "What is going on? This is not for me." I just really trust. I give it a few more days, I'm going to see things differently. It's going to be okay.
Brigit E.: But through these challenges, I am also learning a crazy amount about who I am, what I stand for, and where my comfort zone can be stretched even more so that I can really, really grow. And I think the key to all of this is that you have to be ready to jump in the arena, to get your hands dirty, to make the mistakes, to make the dumb decisions. Because it's out of those mistakes and dumb decisions that help you really grow and master this entrepreneurial journey.
Brigit E.: My second reflection for this season is that I think I've underestimated what level of change and transformation we're going through right now. My goal is to grow us to a three-million-dollar company and beyond. And to be clear, it's not the money, but the number is an indication of the size of the impact and the value of the impact that I want us to have from Biddy Tarot. And I'm saying three million, I see just so much more potential from beyond there, but I have to set a tangible goal.
Brigit E.: Anyway, what I've learned in this last month is that this transition from where we are now, it's just... I don't know, about sort of 1.8 million in revenue in Aussie dollars, to go from that place to three million and beyond, it's massive change for the company. And the model of how you do business is radically changed. When you're growing your business from say a 100K to a million dollars, it's all about one unified team. Your getting in there, you're getting your hands dirty, you're all working together so you don't really have to document processes. You can pretty much do things on the fly. You can pivot really easily, and so on.
Brigit E.: But if you want to take your business from one million to three to five million and beyond, everything has to change. You become more organized around functions and departments. You need to really step up as a leader. You need to really care about how the business is run, the operational side of things. You've got to get really clear about the people and the culture in your business. Everything changes. And so it's a little bit like the tower card right now because we're tearing down the structures in our business to make room to create something new. And in the process of doing that, it's creating discomfort. It's creating growing pains for sure.
Brigit E.: And I think, while I know that we have to do something different like, what got us to here, I won't get us to there. There's also that feeling of, well, if we've been so successful, why can't we keep doing what we've been doing? But then I heard Janine Allis, who is the CEO or founder of Boost Juice, a billion-dollar company. Janine Allis said, "As soon as you start saying, 'but we've always done it that way,' you're setting yourself up for failure." And I thought, "Yeah, I think you've nailed it actually." I'm really trusting that while we're in a really pivotal stage and it feels hard sometimes, that this is essential for supporting our future success and supporting our growth and our impact. Because I want to have impact in a really big way and I know that we have to get this infrastructure right.
Brigit E.: And what's also lovely is, I'm seeing people, entrepreneurs, who've already been through this path, this journey; and they are encouraging me along so much and I so appreciate it. It's beautiful.
Brigit E.: Then the third insight that I have or reflection is protect the golden goose, and I know Chantelle uses this phrase as well. But protect the golden goose, it's all about you as a leader and CEO and founder of your business, you are the greatest asset. And while it feels a little bit uncomfortable to say that, and I was kind of trying it on for size and thinking, "Oh, I don't know if I feel comfortable because that makes it all about me and it's not." But sometimes it is, and it's so important to protect you, to protect your energy, to protect your level of consciousness because you hold the energetic blueprint. As Chantelle said, "You hold that energetic blueprint for the company and you need to be a pure vessel of that energy."
Brigit E.: And so, it's really important not to get dragged down into the weeds, not to get into reactive mode, and to continually look at growing your team so you can continually delegate and keep yourself in the mode of vision and strategy. Now, of course, that is dependent on your growth stage and typically from a million revenue and above, then it's a lot more about the vision. When you're in that sort of 100K to a million, it's more about a bit of both. You're in the strategy and the implementation as well as holding the fishing. It's about protecting you and protecting your energy, and taking care of yourself.
Brigit E.: Those are the three things that I've learned in this last season about entrepreneurship being the most challenging, but also rewarding journeys that you'll ever take. That we are at a really pivotal stage in the growth of our business. And yes, I think we do have to go through some real discomfort, but it's going to help us sustain future growth in amazing ways. And to protect the golden goose, that you are the greatest asset to the business.
Brigit E.: I want you, or I'm going to invite you to think about what are your three biggest lessons from your entrepreneurial journey in these last few months. You might want to go and sit and journal about it for the next sort of 20, 30 minutes. Maybe even pull a few tarot cards and just really feel into what you have learned over this last three-month period. And awesome if there's lessons that you can integrate from this podcast, but also what has been happening in unfolding in your business and what can you learn from that?
Brigit E.: All right, so this episode wraps up season two. It's been a beautiful journey with you. I appreciate you so very much. And we're about to head into the holiday season, so have beautiful holidays. Spend lots of time with your loved ones and do fun things and rest and relax. And then next year, we'll be starting season three. Now, I wanted to give you a date of when it started, but I've got to be honest with you, I really want to just feel into when does it start feeling like we're gathering momentum for season three. My sense is it's probably going to be in March 2020, but we'll see. I'm just going to be in flow and see where it takes me. It's covering new ground. Awesome.
Brigit E.: Well again, I want to thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you so very much. And I am thrilled to be a part of your entrepreneurial journey, and I am thrilled too that you are choosing to make intuition part of your strategic advantage in your business and as an entrepreneur. Have a beautiful break and I will see you on the flip side. Bye for now.
Brigit E.: Thank you for joining me for today's episode of the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast. If you loved this episode, please leave an honest rating and review on iTunes. It helps to get the word out; and of course, I read every single comment. And if you want to discover how to plan your next big launch using the cycles of the moon, make sure that you download my free guide, Lunar Launches. You'll find it over at brigit.me/lunar- launches. That's brigit.me/lunar-launches. Now, these are the exact strategies I've used in my business to create six-figure launches time after time, and now you can use them too. You'll find it all inside of my free guide, Lunar launches over at brigit.me/lunar-launches. All right, that is it for now. I cannot wait to see you next time. Bye for now.