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Show Notes:

Lovely ones, welcome to Episode 46 of Hello, Rebecca Ray. I’m pretty excited about this episode because I spontaneously sent a slack message to my integrator, Leanne last Friday and said, “Can you do a podcast episode with me on how to be a good team member?” And luckily, she said yes, because full transparency. I’m disorganised and our native podcast episode. But this is also a topic that I’ve been asked about quite a fair bit recently from my Intentional Business participants, and also my Radical Abundance participants. So I want to talk today about shifting from solopreneur mode, where you’re doing all the things yourself to outsourcing and eventually hiring your own team. And one of the reasons I think this topic is so important is because it’s been the difference between me being profitable and not profitable. So essentially, when I first started out, I was doing all the things myself, I thought that I couldn’t possibly afford to outsource because I wasn’t yet profitable. I didn’t, I didn’t really feel comfortable in investing in assistance when I wasn’t making a profit myself. And yeah, that’s investing in assistance that has actually allowed me to stay in my zone of genius to be able to create the content that has made me profitable. So it’s almost like the cart before the horse site, assess, especially for me as an introvert, I, there’s only so much I can do without burning out and there’s only so much energy I have in a day. So for me to protect my energy by outsourcing has allowed me to very much stay in my zone of genius, but also turn profitable at the same time. So I want to introduce you to my Integrator, Leanne Woff, of Audacious Empires. And I’m going to let Leanne introduce herself about all her zones of genius, which are not mine. And that’s why we love her.

And then we’re going to have a chat about the difference that hiring and outsourcing can make in your business.

Leanne: Hi, everybody. It’s nice to be in your space. I am Leanne. I am the founder of Audacious Empires where me and my team support Empire builders with badass business management. And what that means in less fancy words is we help with the higher level strategic picture of this is the vision, this is where you want to go, what needs to happen for us to make that vision live. And so then we pull that out and we make courses and we make funnels, and we coordinate the team and coordinate all of those moving pieces, and then communicate back to you, essentially, so that you can go and be you because nobody else can be you.

Beck: That’s a pretty good summary. That’s I’d say that’s what you do for me.

Leanne: Excellent.

Beck: Well, it worked. It worked. What I want to talk about today is your experience in hiring out. So your experience in building a team, as well as your experience being part of other people’s teams. So I consider you the most attended essential wheel in my team. And certainly, without you and your team, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do on a daily basis. But one of the things I also found in finding you is that it didn’t happen overnight. So I initially actually had some really rough patches in outsourcing. And I’ve been asked questions from the students in my communities about how to be able to find the person that you need to do these particular tasks. And my answer is always the answer is just not neat like it’s like finding a doctor that you feel comfortable with or a therapist. Sometimes you can only know by bringing that person into your space and my first attempts were based on money more than anything, honestly, the first time I hired out I hired an intern from the local university.

So she was doing a course on social media. Something I don’t know, I don’t know what the course was called. But it was based on social media, I don’t know. So I hired her and I hide it, hide her to basically schedule my social media, and write a few captions here and there, and I paid her an interns rate, so she wasn’t working for free. I definitely paid her. But I honestly felt that you get what you pay for. And most of the time, I had to check a million times the things that she had done. And you know, me, I hate micromanaging. So one of the things that is really important to me with outsourcing is that I can make sure that you’re empowered to do your job, and then just report back to me on the results. I’m not interested in the day to day mechanics of exactly what you’re doing. I don’t have the time or the energy to micromanage that way. And I trust you to be the extra expert in your field, but you get what you pay for. And because I was working with an intern, there’s only so much that she knew. So I ended up spending most of my time, either correcting the work that she had done or training her to do it in a different way. And I found it exhausting. I really, I really felt there was a time where I kind of sat there and went this is more trouble than it’s worth. Yeah, absolutely. Have you been there?

Leanne: Have I been there? I’ve been in all different ways, shapes, sizes and colours. Yeah, when it comes to team members, there are so many different variables. And so whether you’re going to find a contractor, this is my new employee. So even the model changes drastically what the outcome is going to be. 

And I would agree with you, you definitely get what you pay for in terms of the type of person so a lot of people will, if they’re super, super money poor, and they don’t have a lot of cash flow going on, they will go for a cheap, cheap per option. Usually, at that time, they do have a little bit more time of their sleeve. So depending on the role you’re getting someone to do if you are looking for someone who is going to do something you’ve already created a process for. So this is what I’m doing at the moment, I don’t want to do this anymore, this is something someone else can do, then you can hire somebody who can essentially follow your process and do that part for you. That is always going to be a lower type paid person purely because you’re not asking for any knowledge, you don’t need an expert, you’ve already got the system. But you need the extra hands. And then means teaching this new person, you’re your process your way of doing. And I think something that people don’t really realise is how much investing in another person can cost you.

Now, in my experience in my team, I’ve always been quite specific about the kind of person I’m looking for. And so when I got my first team member, I knew it was about my business, but it was also not. So I was always very wanted to hire someone who didn’t have much skill. But I wanted an opportunity. And I wanted to be able to help someone that wanted to be given a chance and would take that chance. Which then means that I went in with my eyes open knowing this is going to be a big training thing. This is actually going to cost a lot of my time. 

But if it means that I can work with someone who gets it and gets my business from the ground up, and they stay long term, it’s totally worth it.

Beck: Yeah, I say like shaping them the way you want to move forward with them.

Leanne: Yes. But if I hadn’t had that thought process before, I just would have ended up really, really frustrated really, really quickly.

Beck: Were you hiring on values as well, though, because one of the things that I learned over time was I was hiring for skill, but not necessarily for values to begin with. And I ended up coming across people that didn’t have the values that I hope so I guess they did but maybe they didn’t prioritise them in the way that I do. So I’ve worked as you know, I worked based on humans come first. So if something happens for you, in your personal life that you need to deal with, I much prefer you go off and deal with that. And then you come back and do the work that you can do on your own terms. Like I I really feel like it’s so important for us.

To be human, as well as business people, because you can’t, you can’t separate out those things like if you’re not okay in your personal life, you’re not going to be okay with your business and vice versa. But I didn’t know that at the beginning, I didn’t know, I knew that when I came across you I already had in my head, okay, I’m hiring from a place of values. And it just happened to be that we were a great fit. But were a great fit, because our values match first, and then the skills come after that. But I messed that up to begin with, I didn’t know about that.

Leanne: Right. And that is like, because really, if you look at it logically, it is I have a gap I need to fill so that I can go and turn this business into everything it could be, let’s find someone who has the skill gap and plug that. But the whole thing is, this is a person that you’re relating to every single day. And for them to understand the importance of your business as a whole. And the value of your business as a whole. It then has a direct impact on how successful then your business is, because they’re a representation of you. And if they don’t quite understand that, then they’re going to find it hard. And you’re going to find it hard, which quite often you’re right, we go through quite a few people then go, what is it that was the issue? They might, they might have had the right skill, but for some reason, there’s always this clash. And that’s when also the whole personnel, what do you think comes into it? So I always have an if-factor.

And so if I’m talking to people in this is whether I’m looking to bring him into a team or a client’s team or whatever, we’re just at a networking event. Like I’ll measure the if-factor, how hard is it for me to talk to you? Yeah, how hard is it for me to kind of get who you are as a person? And is it a lot of work or not? Yeah, because we all you know, we all talk differently, we’ll understand differently. And if you’re already getting that friction from the get go, yeah, it’s likely that it’s going to just continue and get worse, and neither of you are going to like it. You’re right, in that. Nobody tells you that like, if you Google, what is the first 10 steps to getting a new team member that will not be on it, it will say if-factor, it will give you the logical tick, the box may go. So I think that it has so much more weight. And then in terms of even when I bring people in. And even my team at the moment knows this. It’s like I care more about the people and who the people are, then the actual skill they have to the degree of I bring the magnify, see the value, like you were saying, and no, that person is going to be able to propel us and fit with the rest of the team. And then it’s like, if even if they don’t stay in the role initially thought, like, I’m very open with my team of if there’s something you want to do or something you’re gravitating towards, tell me and I’ll put you there, because as long as you have the right people, all of the stuff will get done. But it’s fine being like the people that fit in the mix that you want. That is tricky bit.

Beck: Yeah, I think that’s so important about the ick-factor, but also the way you communicate. Because if the way you communicate doesn’t match with the person receiving that communication, if that if those channels aren’t clear, then it becomes problematic. Like I’ve known, I’ve had team members in the past that I’ve dreaded having certain conversations with. And that’s a sign for me that we’re not in a good fit. If I can’t come to you and say this isn’t working. Or if I can’t trust that when I send you a message, you won’t misinterpret it. 

Because so much so much of the communication that we do is in text, it’s all in writing, it’s not necessarily us speaking face to face, we only do that once a week. And I strongly encourage if you’ve got team members make time to be face to face at least once a week, because you need to connect and you need to make sure that you’re on the same page. And the best way you can do that is by spending time together rather than just sending slack messages back and forth. But I’ve had this been in this position where my words have been misinterpreted. And it’s only because they were in text and not because I was saying them face to face. I need you to know where I’m coming from because you know me and so this becomes a very real relationship that we’re spending together because we spend hours together in a week if you gather up all the messages and contacts that we have I think that the ick factor number one, but then also treating it like a real relationship. Are we are we going to date? like is this going to end up being I end up being a marriage that we’re going to state. Give it in the long term. And this is how I now look at it, especially when I outsourced to you. It was the first time that I sat there. And when I want, the time and energy I’m going to invest in this person is enough, but it’s going to sustain us because I’m looking years down the track. I’m not looking months. And so what i what i want listeners to know, to, to make that happen, because I felt like I’d been a bit burnt previously. So it was a bit scared to spend money on someone else that would just not work out or just not be who I needed. How we how Leanne and I started was on a project basis. So I actually hired Leanne to get one of my funnels to turn one of my funnels evergreen, so we actually worked together for about three months together.

But that was a trial period for both of us really where we were, we were checking each other out, we were kind of checking do we each have what we need to make this a long term relationship.

And it was the best thing I ever did.

Because by the time we did have that conversation about whether or not we were getting married, I felt very confident in what I was getting, you know, like, we’d solve problems together, we had communication issues together, we get we got to try before we actually bought and that that was really powerful for me, because it’s been outsourcing that has turned my entire business around. Like since you’ve come on, what have we done, we’ve made three, we’re on to our, we’re on track, essentially almost our fourth funnel evergreen, so one funnel we’ve done twice, but we’re about to go on to our fourth evergreen funnel, I’ve written soon to be three books.

While we’ve been together in that time, we’ve created an entirely new course that never existed before. Actually two, we’ve created two courses that never existed before. And this is all in the space of about 18 months. And this is well. We’ve also launched a podcast, and we’re about to release, this is our 46th episode of that podcast. And none of that would have been possible while all the wheels are turning for standard content, if I didn’t outsource to you.

So I want listeners to understand that there are like, I want to say like each up, it’s like this, there’s parts of this process that aren’t comfortable. And yet, if you can, if you can approach it as if it’s the most worthy thing you’ll do for your business like this is the most worthy investment you can make. Then I honestly think like there’s nothing more worthwhile I’ve done in the last 18 months than find you. Because without you, I couldn’t have done everything else that I’ve done. And yet I I want listeners to understand that I was scared. I was scared. Always petrified really to put my business in the hands of someone else because I can be a bit of a control freak. But ultimately, once I find the right person, I’m not controlling it all. I want you to manage it all. If anything, I’m too hands-off, and I need to be reminded to check stuff. But that’s this is where I think we get our most leverage from by not doing all the things like how can you How can you get to where you want to go? If you’re trying to have you handed in everything? I don’t mean again?

Leanne: No, you can’t. And part of the reason for that is your brain can only process so much information at one time. And it’s like the second that you’re doing doing doing doing all of those different creative ideas you would have had, they’re not getting any space, you don’t give them space. And they’re not going to just drop in if you don’t do that, because you’re under pressure, and you’re trying to keep things afloat instead of being able to reconnect with the vision that you had. And so it’s like the second that all of the little bits fall away. You’ll be able to see that and you’ll be able to get excited again. And then when you’re excited. You have all the thoughts and that becomes a Okay, how do I pull this out into what we can actually do right now? versus 100 things tomorrow? Yeah. And I think too, It’s so normal to be scared when you need to get another person because really your business is your baby. Plus, then you’re in a marriage, you have to deal with another human. You do right? And it’s it’s work. It’s not just you know, overnight and everything is wonderful. a whole nother being bringing in to something that you created that you are so protective over that you are connected to Yeah, and it’s trying to kind of gel that relationship in plus you have an investment in it, if there is a cost, there is a financial cost, there is a time cost. And it’s about working out what needs to happen for that cost to have exponential return. Yeah. And then you have to kind of be I think people that kind of just say, oh, we’ll just do it, and it will be fine. But they don’t actually think about what they’re wanting, or what the bigger picture will look like. And that is something that I always tell people, it’s okay, if you’re going to do this, when you bring someone on who’s going to do this, what are you going to do instead? When they’re off doing that? How is it like, what did you bring them in for really ask the deeper questions, because then you will get the result? 

Beck: Yes. So what are you being leveraged? For? If you’re freed up and you’re no longer scheduling your social media? because someone’s doing that for you? Where is that time paying you back? 

Leanne: Yes. And then it comes down to what is your reasoning for outsourcing? Because you might, you might outsource? Let’s say, you have heaps and heaps of money, and you’re outsourcing because you’ve got no time. And you don’t get to go to the movies, or you don’t get to drink wine anymore, or you don’t get to hang out with the kids. And then you hire someone, and it actually works. They’re doing the thing. You’ve got more time, but then you’re upset because it hasn’t made you more money? Yes. So it’s really important about thinking about Okay, what is it that I’m wanting here? Because I think too, we get caught up in? Well, this is not what I thought it would look like, Yeah, but we never set the standard, or we never actually even thought about what we were trying to achieve either. Yeah. And then the big. Another big pitfall I see is people forget that there’s a person on the other end. Yeah, that’s like when you’re in business, especially if you’re in a smaller business or solopreneur. 

You bring in services. So if you were in a big same marketing agency, and there was the CEO, and 100 people wanted them, you would expect anybody they brought in as contractors or highly skilled people, they’d be the presentations, they’d be the this is how we roll. This is how this is a 20 step process. But if you’re not at that level, really, you’re just humans connecting with units. And when it is unknown territory, especially when bringing someone else in, we don’t know, we don’t know what to expect, you’re never going to be able to predict what another person is going to do exactly or be. And so the approach of our alumni, they’re a business, so they should be giving me this, this, this, this this, because that’s what I think that’s my perception. And it’s like, Yeah, but they’re also a person. And I think the more that you can both just be honest, and really, you all both just testing each other out. Because at the end of the day, someone isn’t going to want to work with you. If they feel like they can’t connect with you, either. You’re everything they tried to do each role. And then you’re not going to want someone who you’re doing that with either. It’s like I’m paying you this money, and you’re not doing the job. But at no point has there been that level of conversation of Okay, I said this, you did that? Where was the disconnect? And I think you have to be able to work with somebody who can be on that level with you and be on be in the relationship as well. Like, it’s not just you saying, I’m going to marry you, let’s go. Like it’s a two way thing. And the more that you can build that and foster that. And remember, this is a person. Yeah. And people try and separate business and personal and all of those things. And I think, well, at the end of the day, your people and you have personalities, and you have feelings, and you have thoughts. So no, you don’t have to go and live with that person, or be in there every tiny little grain of their life. But I guarantee you that if you can build the trust, and you can show care and respect for the other person, you will get more out of them 100% of the time. 

Beck: I think in your connection is more solid that way. And when you’re, I love the kind of you to put a word on it, you’re explaining that you need to map out what this is going to look like. So if someone else is coming in to do these tasks, you’re going off to do these tasks. But the other thing I want to add to that is that I think a lot of people might forget that, like any other relationship, it takes time, like you can’t just bring someone in and then expect them to be off and running and connecting with you so that you can almost sometimes psychically communicate overnight, like that doesn’t happen it needs it needs time, and sometimes it needs time to see the investment that you’ve put in come back in profit as well. I think one of the things that I would love listeners to remember if they remember anything from this conversation is, just because it hasn’t happened overnight doesn’t mean it’s not worthy and doesn’t mean it’s not on track to happen. Sometimes you just need to give it enough time to be able to harvest the seeds that you’re planting together as a team.

Leanne: Yeah, exactly. And that’s the whole thing. It’s like you can either be really short-sighted about your business, or you can think about the long term and the vision and come back to the whole reason you are doing this. Yeah. Because if you can find someone who’s on board with that, it’s going to feel like you’ve got a buddy who’s, you know, coming for the ride, like you’re doing this together, it’s no longer just you against the world trying to juggle because you’re trying to make this impact. You have someone there to brainstorm, to shoulder to work through the issues external and the issues that are internal, yeah, that you’re trying to do as a business. 

Beck: Yeah, that’s one of the things I’ve loved so much is, I don’t feel alone, because I have you. So I don’t feel alone in success. Because I have you, I get to tell you, we get to share, when we make a sale, we get to share when another opportunity comes along. I don’t feel alone when there’s a problem, which is really important to I don’t feel like oh, my God, I need to come up with the solution. I feel like okay, together, we’ll come up with a solution. And there’s so much less stress with that. Then when I used to be a solopreneur in a link would fail or an automation wasn’t sending all the emails that needed to send, and I just sit there wanting to have a mental breakdown. Because that’s not my zone of genius. Whereas when I’ve got you, it’s so simple to go, this isn’t working, can we fix it? You do what you do best? And I do what I do best? And it just somehow works?

Leanne: Yeah, yeah. I think a lot of that comes down to the trust factor.

Beck: Yeah, absolutely. That the trust factor is essential, especially when you’re bringing in experts. So I, we work together at a personality level, and a communication level. But we also complement one another at a skill level, I leave what is your zone of genius to you, you leave what is my zone of genius to me, and we crossed over all the other stuff that we both can do. But it’s really important to respect the other people’s skills, the other person’s skills, and to respect what they’re an expert at. Because if you try to be an expert at what they’re at, why did you hire them in the first place? Like, what’s the point in paying this investment? If you’re then going to try and control how they do their job? I think that’s important as well. Now, I got a hard question for you. Oh, let’s say that there’s a listener listening to us right now that wants to find someone like you. 

They’re doing all the things. And they’re finally realising that they keep hitting a productivity ceiling. And they’re finally saying to themselves, okay, yes, I need to take the next step. How do you find someone, especially an online business? What do you do? Like? Do you just put an ad up on seek? And if so what are you looking for? Like? How does someone find you?

Leanne: So my recommendation would be really think about the things that you’re willing to let go of, think about the things that you love, because we’re not going to touch those first. Like, if you have to hand over any of those ever, they’re the last thing. But the things that you’re not enjoying, that are stuck in your time that are holding you back that maybe you don’t have all the skill for. And you’ve been guessing so far, because we do that we DIY, and we try the other things you look at and list them out. Because there are so many different people if you said, I need to get a virtual assistant, or I need to get someone to help me, you’re going to come back with people will say with what, what, what part of it because there’s so many different skills that could help your business, but which is it that you need. And that’s going to one already get you a step further, in terms of finding the people once you have that referrals are the best, I cannot say that enough, purely because of the fact that, as we’ve said, it’s a relational thing. And if you’re getting a referral from someone who said, I have worked with this person, I know you and I know them, and I think he could be a good fit, then it’s someone who’s already done part of that consideration for you. And so I look there first and I would post it on social media, I would ask, you know, my friends or my family even because you never know who people know, you go down that path. But then there’s also lots of free directories like this.

Anybody that is invested in what they do, generally, they’re part of some kind of association, or, you know, they’re part of a group where they’re learning something.

Beck: coming back from Facebook group, or do you mean, like a paid membership?

Leanne: Okay, like a paid membership or paid training or something. And you can approach the people that either are in the programme, or they’ll have a job board, hey, I’m this type of person, I need help with this. Or it can even be I’m doing all the things and I don’t really know what I need help with. But I need help. And then the people that read that will do the analysis of themselves and go, Well, yeah, I think I would like to work with your, no, I don’t even like I can’t relate to your kind of business or you as a human at all. So I’m not even going to put my name now. But that’s one really easy and cheap way to go about it. And then the level of effort you put in in terms of trying to find, like the right match, is how invested this person is going to be in your business. If it is you just need someone who’s going to edit a Word doc, and it’s going to the you know, once a year, if that, then you just need someone who got really good skills in word and can understand the brief properly, you got that you’ll be fine. But if it is somebody that you want, consistently, and to help them to be assigned people to be, you know, your customer service person, then you want to be able to have a few conversations with them. And you want to be able to give them kind of like a little test project. And not that it’s a test of skill, just let’s see how we go together. Because you’re never going to know until you’re actually in it. And you’re going to be learning too. So I think that that’s really important. They’re learning and you’re learning in terms of how you work together. 

Beck: Absolutely. 

Wasn’t that hard for you? After all? nailing the questions.

Leanne: That’s why I pay the big bucks people don’t really know where to find other people.

Beck: Know, because you can answer the questions I asked you and goodness knows, I asked you a lot of them that I don’t know the answers to. That’s what you need. Actually, when you’re thinking about outsourcing, you’re bringing on people that can answer the questions that you have, that you don’t have solutions for, and you don’t have time to find the answers or learn the answers for yourself. It’s been definitely the most valuable thing that I’ve done. Not just from a financial perspective. So I’ve been rewarded, quite literally 1000s of times over financially as a result of having Leanne and her team as part of my team. But emotionally, it’s been the most rewarding thing. And that’s, I think, what’s most important for me, because I’m an emotional person. So it’s most important to me that I feel that my team is a representation of my heart and the impact that I’m trying to make on my community so that it becomes our community, just not my community. And secondly, that, you know, I care and that I know you care back. That’s, that’s the foundation of our relationship that we come from intention first, not just here, I’ve got some skills that you might be able to use. And that’s been the most important thing for me.

So basically, if you’re listening to this episode, what I want you to remember as you kind of finish and consolidate your thoughts is that if you’re considering outsourcing, yeah, it might be an effortful process, and it might have you experiencing some emotional discomfort that perhaps you feel a little bit overwhelmed by, but I can tell you that the rewards that will come back to you will come from nowhere else. And they certainly won’t come from continuing on as a solopreneur. So if you have dreams of radical abundance in every area of your life, not just financially, but time-wise, and being able to just rest in a state of ease and flow and peace rather than this hustle and grind. Then I promise you this is the next step in entrepreneurship for you. It is well worth the effort.

Thank you Leanne for just popping on by at a moment’s notice. And having this conversation with me, you are the greatest. Where can people find you?

Leanne: Thank you for having me. It’s been fun. Um, people can find me at Audacious Empires. So pretty much Instagram, Facebook, website. It’s all at Audacious Empires. Or if you google Leanne Woff, you’ll find me there too.

Beck: Well, you’re finally ready to go and check her out. She is well worth it. I can say that from someone who talks to her every single day. 

One of the best times of my days, when we’re chatting together.

Lovely ones if you have gotten something out of this episode, I’m so happy to hear that and I’m so grateful for you listening. Thank you for being part of my community and thank you for being with us today. If you’d like to explore more, my latest book setting boundaries has just been released. I’m very excited and also very nervous that it’s now out in the world. If you want to get your hands on it, you can do so at rebeccaray.com.au/books and I will catch you very shortly for the next episode of Hello Rebecca Ray soon