CATEGORY:

A letter to white people from a problematic white person

Edited:-Changed the image from “A letter to white people by a white lady” to “a letter to white people about where to start- from a problematic white person” and added anti-racist resources as the bottom

Also, please note that this writing is a beginning point for white folks and this is not to replace work by Black people and other People of Color and professional anti-racism educators. I’m continuing to add resources to this post. 

To fellow white people: 

We are going to be problematic, no matter how much we try not to be. Being problematic in and of itself isn’t as much the issue as how you deal with it. Will you apologize if called out? Will you make your apology about you (centering whiteness?) and make excuses? Or will you be sincere and apologize for people you’ve hurt and pained– and move on and do better? 

And the issue here isn’t whether or not we get called out- the issue is that police are repeatedly killing Black people. Black people are incarcerated at a disproportional rate- by design! There are MAJOR discrepancies in life expectancy based on zip code and race! Black mothers and babies are disproportionately dying during pregnancy and childbirth! The issue is that our system was created to repeatedly marginalize Black people! People of Color are getting targeted, incarcerated, and killed by government institutions like the police and ICE. Protestors who are getting tear gas thrown at them and military/war style responses from enforcing police officers– This is unacceptable! White supremacy is exhausting and deadly. 

So to my fellow white people who are trying to do right and afraid of being problematic and messing things up more- you’re going to make missteps. I’ve messed up- and I will again. But it’s not about our egos and our feelings- if you are here to break down systemic oppression and undo the damage that our ancestors have done and we have perpetuated (and continue to perpetuate daily), you have to take a chance and take a stand. And continue to do so. Being quiet and not trying is more problematic than anything. And I understand if it’s overwhelming to dismantle what we’ve been taught and participate in conversations– there are so many resources out there for you to start- and people like me are here to hold space for you while you dismantle white supremacy. 

Think about it- truly think about what it would be like if your family could be murdered when being pulled over? And there’s a LOT of information to learn (and unlearn)- Critical Race Theory* being one of them. If you want resources, they are out there- there are many lists compiled and I’m happy to track them down. But DO NOT go into the DMs (Direct Messages, email inboxes, etc) of Black people asking them to educate you or provide you comfort as you’re sitting with guilt- google, follow accounts that everyone is posting about, get some books, question everything you’ve been taught about race, question the narratives and point of views in the media, and if you’re going to pay someone to educate you, pay Black people who have programs or whose content you’re consuming (you may be able to find pay links in their bios).

And when I say question everything, I mean pretty much everything- if a person of color approaches you, do you act or respond differently as if it were a white person? I know that I personally used to clutch onto my things if a person of color approached me. Society taught me that– we have biases. So I have reflected on those moments and continue to ask myself “would my innate response be the same if this person were a different race?” And admittedly, the answer was often “yes”. So I sit with that and continue to question. The question is not whether or not we are racist or have biases– if you are a white person, you do and now you have the opportunity (and an invitation) to dive deep and dismantle. 

A friend of color told me that this (being on board with BLM) is more than a marketing stunt while people are dying in the streets. It’s a lifelong commitment. Don’t stop at the instagram post.

And yeah, maybe you’re late to the party. There may be some guilt and shame there. Rule of thumb- don’t burden People of Color with those feelings- at least not unless it’s a space of facilitated restorative conversations. Process your feelings with trusted friends who are doing the work too. 

And I know it can feel confusing with messages like

––take a stand but

––elevate and create more space for Black Voices 

––don’t center your whiteness

Here’s my take on that- first of all, it’s my understanding that there’s not always a consensus from a whole community/race of people (duh)- what might be problematic to some might be okay to others- we’re all people, you know? And yeah, be clear about your values and that you condemn racism and believe that black lives matter. Then listen to Black voices- hold space and listen. And if you’re called out, don’t make it about you! I know the fear of being cancelled is real but it’s not about that- put your pride aside and apologize from the bottom of your damn heart for harming people. And move on- no tears- it’s not about us (I mean, cry privately if you need to). 

It’s not about us. And I know that if you’re new to this, it’s a lot- there’s guilt, there’s a lot to learn and unlearn, and whether or not you’re new, your heart hurts for People of Color. White supremacy is exhausting. 

And remember to not post something on social media and then stop there. That’s performance allyship and for show or optics. This is a lifelong commitment to dismantling your ingrained beliefs, challenging your racist uncle on facebook, telling your neighbor that “yeah, it’s too bad that buildings are being broken into but what is worse is Black people dying and I value them more than property- and protests are happening in response to the consistent problematic and deadly actions of police”, and giving money to people and orgs on the front lines, and moving to defund the police (which SYSTEMATICALLY kills People of Color with NO accountability- many guilty cops have been acquitted, it’s a fact), and have weird conversations with your parents or whomever. It’s on US to listen to Black people, and it’s on us to do the emotional labor of educating white folks- by challenging problematic actions and words, teaching them, holding space as they’re dismantling shit, calling them out, holding influential people accountable (especially those who take Black people’s money and are doing a shit job at being anti-racist and see how they respond–– do they give a heart felt apology about how they hurt people and unlearn their racism? Or do they silence Black people and give tone deaf half ass apologies? Marie Forleo, Brooke Castillo, Russell Brunson come to mind. And I hope they learn and do better– and they really should if they continue to have People of Color in their paid communities. 

And I’m not saying we have to cancel people who make a mistake forever (this is what’s called Cancel Culture)– but how do they respond to being called out (or called in- privately) when they do something problematic? If they’re not truly sorry and make it right, then go for it and cancel if you wish. 

And don’t hop on the bandwagon just because you’re afraid you’ll get cancelled if you’re not on board on Black Lives Matter. I hope that’s not the case. 

But there’s an argument to be made that cancel culture isn’t effective or restorative. Like, if I’m called out, I’m prepared to reflect, truly understand how I messed up and did harm without being outwardly defensive or making it about me (which is called centering whiteness). But instead being sorry for who I hurt and moving on to do better and not make the same mistake. 

If your internet hero is harming Black People and People of Color by ignoring them, erasing their comments, or saying or doing harmful things, tell them, and see how they respond and what actions they take. If they fix themselves, great- restorative! And more people on the correct side of things! And if not, let your dollars talk and stop giving them your money or whatever. AND GIVE TO BLACK and POC OWNED BUSINESSES (you can do this no matter what!) 

Anyway, that’s what I’ve got to say to white people. Our problems and fears of getting called out are NIL to what BBIPOC (Black and Brown and Indigenous People of Color) are dealing with. And it’s okay to have emotions around it- this is the work- do your work, have messy conversations with other white people to help them do the work and to help you- the onus is on us. 

Xo, 

Meg- if you’ve questions or comments, get at me on instagram 

Works Cited: 

  • Critical Race Theory definition https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/writing_in_literature/literary_theory_and_schools_of_criticism/critical_race_theory.html 

Resource list: Updated 6/3/2020

 

To get you started: 

Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PrAq4iBNb4nVIcTsLcNlW8zjaQXBLkWayL8EaPlh0bc/mobilebasic

The Great Unlearn https://www.instagram.com/thegreatunlearn/ by Rachel Cargle

Monique Melton- Anti-Racism Educator

Article: Dear White People, this is what you want you to do by Inside the Kandi Dish

An Article from Business Insider: Police rioted this weekend, justifying the point of protests

Resources for Business: 

Trudi Lebron- Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Strategist https://www.instagram.com/trudilebron/

Erica Courdae- Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Strategist https://www.instagram.com/ericacourdae/

Article: How to Create Diversity within Your Online Business by Rachel Rodgers: https://helloseven.co/how-to-create-diversity-within-your-online-business/

Advocacy and where you can donate: 

Chicago Community Bond Fund: https://chicagobond.org/

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/

Black Birth Workers: 

https://www.instagram.com/mxkingyaa/

https://www.instagram.com/shishi.rose/

https://www.instagram.com/theeducatedbirth

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CATEGORY:

Updated June 4, 2020

Commitments as a person and Business:

At Meg K and Co, we are committed to:

-continuing to speak up for Black people and Brown and Indigineous People of Color. 

-donating each month to a bail fund organization, an advocacy or resource organization for BBIPOC, and to political organizations that support anti-racist politicians to get into office. 

-continued reflection of how I operate my business to be inclusive and equitable and have excellent outcomes for everyone, especially any BBIPOC clients. 

-bettering my recruiting practices to recruit from more diverse platforms to give more opportunities to BBIPOC without tokenizing people. 

Police brutality and violence towards Black people and People of Color is unacceptable. Racism and White Supremacy are pervasive and need to be dismantled by White people for the liberation of Black people and People of Color. Racism is a matter of life or death. 

–Megan K Baker

Resources: Getting Started on Anti-Racism work:

Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PrAq4iBNb4nVIcTsLcNlW8zjaQXBLkWayL8EaPlh0bc/mobilebasic

The Great Unlearn https://www.instagram.com/thegreatunlearn/ by Rachel Cargle

Monique Melton- Anti-Racism Educator

Article: Dear White People, this is what you want you to do by Inside the Kandi Dish

An Article from Business Insider: Police rioted this weekend, justifying the point of protests

Resources for Business: 

Trudi Lebron- Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Strategist https://www.instagram.com/trudilebron/

Erica Courdae- Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Strategist https://www.instagram.com/ericacourdae/

Article: How to Create Diversity within Your Online Business by Rachel Rodgers: https://helloseven.co/how-to-create-diversity-within-your-online-business/

Advocacy and where you can donate: 

Chicago Community Bond Fund: https://chicagobond.org/

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/

Black Birth Workers: 

https://www.instagram.com/mxkingyaa/

https://www.instagram.com/shishi.rose/

https://www.instagram.com/theeducatedbirth

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CATEGORY:

Scaling Online Business- Meg K and Co

PRE-S: I’m committed to inclusion and diversity in how I serve my clients, my community, and how I recruit. I am reviewing and reflecting on my practices and am doing (and will continue to do) the necessary work to be equitable and inclusive in my practices. If you have any questions, please feel free to DM me– I’m available for conversations around race, inclusion, and equity.

If you’re a scaling online business,

it’s important to know the different types of support you need and WHEN you need it! There are different kinds of people/businesses who can help you and when you hire which depends on what your goals and circumstances are. YOU get to decide and design your org chart accordingly!  When you’re hiring, create the ROLES and an ideal org chart (subject to change which is fine) – don’t just hire for randomly tasks you need done. And for the love of gah, don’t immediately go to upwork- there is a time and place for upwork and I’ll tell you when that is below. 

As you’re thinking through your desired org chart, I want you to know the different kinds of support you can have

Here’s my breakdown for you based on what I’ve seen for scaling online business entrepreneurs: 

Ongoing Support (Your Team-on your org chart)

Ongoing support is appropriate when you want people on your actual team. They can be contractors or employees. If you want them on your team long term, they usually don’t aspire to build a big business and have to be selling and prospecting for themselves all the time- they desire working for a few clients (or eventually just 1-2) longterm. 

#1 True Implementers

1 True Implementer - marketing, virtual, community, customer support assistants- Scaling Online Business

Common Roles: VA, Marketing Assistant, Community Manager, Customer Support Assistant

Be ready to: manage and lead these folks and have systems to support them (and eventually a manager to support them if you don’t want to manage them yourself)

Pay: usually starting at an hourly rate (specific rate depends) 

Key Takeaway: If you want someone to stay in this position, you want someone who LOVES implementing, being told what to do (otherwise, you risk having a VA that then asks you to essentially double their rate and call them a PM while they have no one to manage on your team). 

How to find them: Go through the formal process of creating the role and responsibilities, create a recruiting strategy, screen applicants, interview, choose and onboard (this is the classic way I do it for my clients)

#2 Implementers that can be promoted later 

Implementers with room to grow- Meg K Co- Scaling Online Business- start at an assistant level with room to grow into a director or manager position

This is what folks like James Wedmore call the “mailroom model” 

Common Roles: they start as the assistant and become directors, managers, etc (ie Marketing Director, Director of Ops, Integrator, Project Manager, etc) 

Be ready to: promote them later on and support them in training them for new responsibilities- also be ready to hire the entry level position again 

Pay: usually starts hourly and then becomes a higher flat rate or salary (their pay grows with your company’s income and growth)

Key Takeaway: These are folks that demonstrate leadership, eagerness, initiative AND they are NOT entrepreneurial- meaning they don’t want to build and manage their own business, they want to help YOU build and manage yours! They may start with a couple of clients or a part-time or full-time job and aspire to work more for you and less for others. 

How to find them: Go through the formal process of creating the role and responsibilities, create a recruiting strategy, screen applicants, interview, choose and onboard (this is the classic way I do it for my clients). Don’t just hire people who are recommended- but invite those people to apply and see if they fit the role you envision and design for your company. 

#3 Managers 

Common roles:  Project manager, account manager, integrator, online business manager, operations manager or director, marketing director (these roles are the next tier on your org chart)

Be ready to: meet with them a lot initially and answer all of their questions, let them make decisions about how things are getting organized if you don’t set it up for them initially 

Pay: Usually a flat rate or retainer+per project, definitely more than you pay a VA

Key Takeaway: You still want SOPs for these folks, but they can help you create them and guide you in making some decisions. This usually isn’t the first hire I would recommend- this is one that typically comes a little later- but I take it case by case. These are also the folks who can manage your implementers for you, be the ones who fuck with asana and other PM software that you may not want to touch. They also provide an extra layer of protection and can remove you a bit from any client or team drama.

How to find them: Go through the formal process of creating the role and responsibilities, create a recruiting strategy, screen applicants, interview, choose and onboard (this is the classic way I do it for my clients).  Don’t just hire people who are recommended- but invite those people to apply and see if they fit the role you envision and design for your company. 

Outside Support (Not your team or org chart- but you’re paying them for their services)

#4 An outside Agency or Company- Ongoing or Short term

Common Roles: Overseeing a launch, overseeing and managing podcast production, one-off marketing projects like a website, new brand, or ongoing marketing like facebook ads– so you may be hiring a “done-for-you project management” company, a podcast production company, copywriters, a web and branding agency, etc. This can also be bookkeeping, accounting, etc. They do strategy + implementation. 

Be ready to: follow the systems they use for their client management, not have them in your team systems like slack or voxer or asana, pay more because they are managing you and your project, have professional results because they do what they do time and time again

Pay: premium- but you get what you pay for- the good companies will make things easy by doing the thinking, strategy, and management for you. 

Key Takeaway: expect to pay more, but then you don’t have to manage things and you get some brain space back (even if just temporarily). If you have the money but not the brain or team capacity to deal with a launch or producing your own podcast, this is a good time to hire this out to a company (which comes with its own processes, account and project managers, strategists, etc!) 

How to Find them: definitely think about what you want, but I would take recommendations from others and go through these company’s sales funnels to see if they’re a fit for what you want. 

#5 Outside Strategy and Consulting- usually short term

Common Roles: Strategist, Coach, Consultant, or anyone offering intensives or masterminds- this can be anywhere from launch, marketing, mindset, hiring and leadership (Hi!!!!!!! It me), tax strategy, systems, I could probably go on

Be ready to: pay for their expertise and YOU implement yourself (or have team implement)

Pay: premium and depends 

Key Takeaway: these are the people you learn from and who can teach you key strategy that’s missing (or mindset or other developmental tools you want). These are typically  investments (and ones that people outside of our online biz world don’t understand) 

How to find them: take recommendations, look around, go through their sales funnels and see what results they’ve gotten. 

(PS my services pretty much fall under this category-  but I do some implementation for you too!!)

#6 When you can hire from upwork or fivvrr or whatever-super short term

Common roles: Coder, freelancer

Be ready to: manage the shit out of them and be SUPER CLEAR about EXACTLY what you want and answer a lot of questions (especially if it’s technical- coding/design speak is different from your regular vernacular- it takes some back and forth to translate everything)- it’s worth it though if you need something very specific and requires a very particular skill- be ready to scope out the project with a lot of details when putting on upwork or whatever so the freelancers know what they’re signing up for- be like, over detailed

Pay: usually hourly or project based pay 

Key takeaway: I would ONLY do this for something technical and specific. I’ve done upwork hires for web and brand agencies to take designs and put them into CSS- and I think that’s it…or if you have a super basic one off task, like here’s a written list of emails- type it out lol, or random data entry you don’t want to deal with and you don’t have a team member that can do it

How to find them: post your project on upwork or the like- be ready to be very detailed with the scope and sequence of the project and benchmarks and the results you require before you will give full payment

Which of these people or companies have you hired to help you out? How did it work out??

I help my clients navigate all of this and specifically hire ongoing support and get them the systems and leadership skills they need to make it all work! If you’re ready to get a holistic approach to hiring an leadership, click here to schedule a call with me!

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3 Ways to Hire Intentionally

Red Flags when Fielding applicants

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CATEGORY:

Meg K and Co- intentional hiring for building team

When you’re building team, there are some big key questions I encourage you to think about during your recruiting and hiring process. This is how we have hiring happen FOR us instead of to us- it’s almost like manifesting your ideal contractor or employee. 

Questions you can ask yourself when writing your job description and screening people: 

(I use “they” to envision all the people out there in the job searching pool)

-1. Do they align with my business’ core values? 

-2. Do their strengths complement mine and the role I’m hiring for? (This is where assessments like Kolbe come into play)  

-3. Does their vision for themselves professionally align with the kind of support I desire? 

Key question 1: Do they align with my business’ core values? 

A big one is identifying your core values and company culture/ core values- nothing fancy but it’s important to have an awareness of this. 

Then, as you’re writing your job description and screening folks, asking yourself this: 

“Does this candidate align with my company’s core values?”

Yep, you’re allowed to do that. 

You’re allowed to be thoughtful and super intentional when you’re hiring- and you’re allowed to take your time instead of hiring the first person or two who crosses your path. 

This is super important because throughout your customer or client’s experience with your business, you want those values throughout their experience! 

And I would imagine you want those values as a part of your team culture and your experience when you’re working with your team (contractors, employees, whatever!) 

For me, a big one is safety. In order for my clients to grow into the leaders they want to be, they’ve got to feel safe. Qualities I look for in people when I’m hiring are:

-trust worthy

-kind in all communications

-funny (they take themselves seriously because this is business and not too seriously)

-honest

(the list goes on and on) 

Key question 2: Do their strengths complement mine and the role I’m hiring for? (this is where Kolbe comes into play!)  

If you’re not Kolbe literate, it’s no worries! If you work with me, I’ll get you assessed and share with you what  you need to know! This is SUCH an effective way to see if the candidate works in the way you need them to. This isn’t the only measure and I won’t necessarily let Kolbe break the deal, either. 

A real-life example:

I could talk about this for ages- I’ll just give an example for right now. My former client is a web and branding design agency and coaching biz owner. She is what they call a low followthrough/systems, lower fact finder, and high quickstart. What this means is that she can make decisions very quickly and doing the work of researching and writing/implementing project plans and getting in the granular details of team and project management bum her out and slow her down. Her brilliance is design, teaching, and being the visionary in her business. 

I was her long term account and  project manager for a bit- and I did a pretty decent job if I do say so myself- AND it exhausted me. I’m a high quick start like my client- and I took a different Kolbe assessment to see how I was operating- and it was in conflict with my  actual Kolbe- I was operating like a low quickstart and high fact finder. This explained why I was burning out in this role LOL My client also took a Kolbe assessment to see what Kolbe profile she thought she needed for this account/project manager role. 

We ended up hiring my replacement. We knew we needed someone who was a high systems number (this is someone who loves setting up systems and writing SOPs) and a lower quick start. Did we hire someone with the EXACT Kolbe we were aiming for? NO! But it wasn’t super far off. 

Now- over a year later- our hire for this account manager is still working for my client and they have a really  awesome working relationship! 

The lesson: We want people in the right seats doing the work that they love and suits their MO. 

Without using an assessment like Kolbe, you can ask questions about what kind of work lights them up. If you’re hiring for a customer service assistant role, I wouldn’t hire a super high visionary or creative- I would rather look for people who really love being in the inboxes, organizing, and communicating and solving problems!

Key question 3: Does their vision for themselves professionally align with the kind of support I desire and need?

I’ll be blunt- this is where we think about possible conflicts of interest. For example, if you are a course creator for personal development/improvement, the last person you want to hire is an aspiring coach or someone who wants to build a brand like yours one day. And I’ll be blunt one more time- if you’re screening people who are saying “I want to LEARN!!”- this could be code for “I want to learn about how you are building your business because this is what I aspire for too!”. This is not ideal! So think about the types of people who won’t be in conflict! Especially if you want someone to stay in this role you’re hiring for for the long haul! 

If you’re a visionary entrepreneur, it may be hard to imagine that there are people that exist who truly aspire to be working for people they love full-time from the comfort of their homes. Not everyone is trying to build their empire. Beware of the empire builders- because it’s a conflict of interest. 

Also, get specific about the kinds of time requirements you would like people to be available for you. If you want consistent weekly meetings or morning slack check ins, or inbox availability  during the daytime, look for people who love consistency in schedules. The more “nomadic workers” probably won’t be the best fit. However, if these aren’t vital to you and you need someone to plug away at whatever time of day as long as it’s done on time, the travel lovers and nomads would be totally fine! 

I see it like dating- I almost hate that I’m making this comparison lol but stick with me- when I went on match dot com many years ago to find my mate- I made some decisions about some non negotiables to avoid possible (and avoidable) conflicts and incompatibilities later. If someone didn’t meet my criteria, they didn’t get a date. 

I didn’t get super granular and petty- just 3-4 big non negotiables for me- one of them being similarities in political beliefs. If you know me, I have some firm beliefs rooted in social justice and a relationship with anyone who doesn’t feel similarly doesn’t have a chance. (and I’m NOT saying that politics should be a reason you don’t hire somebody- it’s just an example for my analogy- think about other things that are important in terms of how you want and need to be supported in your business)

Thinking through what your ideal support looks like ensures a longer lasting and more supportive working relationship!

Why this matters: 

If you don’t ask yourself these questions, attrition (ie the hire not working out) is more likely- and trust and believe, attrition can be a pain and cost you time and money. 

This is why I help my clients hire and onboard with intention! Through my process, we let hiring happen FOR us!

Ready to build your dream team? Click here to apply for a call with me! 

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What the L!? Leadership Summit in April 2020 hosted by Meg Baker

The leadership training summit has come and gone- HOWEVER, if you want to join the What the L!? Leadership Community and get access to some great content from the Summit, click here!

Leading, empowering, and healing during uncertain times

April 8+9- on Zoom

Cost: zero dollars (and v. valuable!) 

The last couple of weeks may have you feeling confused, isolated, scarce. Of course, we want to do amazing things with our lives and businesses, but also things feel so unstable. You’re trying to find our footing in a time where everything’s been shaken up. 

Want access to the leadership training replays? click here!

I don’t have all the answers. That’s why I’m connecting you to my favorite people in the online community- both biz experts and healers. So whether you’re a biz owner wondering what your next steps are for your business OR a human seeking some answers and stability for how to carry on in daily life, this summit is for YOU!

YOU have a place here in the summit. I feel strongly that not one person has the right answers for you. This is not a one size fits all advice kind of situation. And I strongly believe that in this collective of sessions, you will take away the next steps that are right for YOU, RIGHT NOW.

And it’s OK to be in your feelings. And it’s ok to NOT know what TF is going on.  I’m here, not to give you the answer, but to guide you-  through my connections to these amazing humans that are leading sessions and discussions at the summit! 

Get access to the leadership training replays

I believe that leadership is what’s going to save us. We’ve got to rise up and show up. 

Those who show up will walk away with

-resilience and leadership inspiration

-strategies to pivot your biz/offerings

-strategies to communicate during weird times

-community

-understanding about self and opportunities to heal some sh*t

SPEAKER LIST

Get access to the leadership training replays

Related Post:

3 Ways to Hire Intentionally while building team

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CATEGORY:

Will your business be ready post pandemic? My thoughts from my own personal lens and an online business lens.

There’s a lot to be said about life post [covid-19] pandemic outbreak. A lot of it is speculation and based on people’s life experiences- of course. Here are some of my thoughts about a post covid-19 pandemic world. 

  • I’m hopeful that the precautions we are taking will save many lives. 
  • I’m hopeful that this pandemic will continue to expose the lack of safety net that our government and its policies provide. I’m also grateful that many are creating relief funds. (I don’t think they should have to though for people to survive) 
  • I’m grateful for the leaders in our space and in the public space who are stepping up. I’m hopeful that leaders who aren’t doing shit will be voted out. 
  • I’m sad for the people this is impacting (medically and economically). 

There’s not much silver lining to this when thousands are suffering. 

For the rest of us, (and I apologize if I sound brash or detached- I, like many, am still processing the gravity of this), there is some hope to be had and economic opportunities (not in an opportunistic way, but in a ‘we’re going to survive this’ kind of way) 

Pertaining to the our space of online business, here’s what I’m optimistic about. 

  • More and more, ONLINE will be a way of life. Zoom has so many more users now-  a lot of shit will probably stay remote post pandemic. 
  • Most of us are B2B. If more Bs are going online, they’re gonna need us Bs. And shit, if you’re B2C, more Cs are becoming more aware of online Bs!
  • Now’s the time to do your market research, give shit away for free or cheap (beta beta beta test!), get your social proof, help people, and have something well researched, proven, and READY to sell when things pick back up again.   Because lord knows that entrepreneurship, in any climate, is about listening, pivoting, testing, again and again. 
  • While it may be slow right now (oh, and I wouldn’t assume that people wouldn’t buy right now, b/c as my husband says, assumptions make an ass of you and me), many industries will be OVERWHELMED with the amount of clients and customers they have. The wedding industry for one, will be swamped when people can be in person again. The economy will still be here, it may  be different, but it will still be here, and some industries will have a HUGE influx. 
  • NOW you may actually have the time you need to do some major internal work in your biz (and if you’ve got those dollars to spend and know you need to outsource some shit, DO IT NOW when you have time to alot to these projects that are normally put on the wayside for client and customer fulfillment). 

You can stop putting off and hire help for your dream: 

-Rebrand

-Website

– systems (getting a CRM, sprucing up the way you invoice and collect money)

– processes (document and improve your client onboarding, team onboarding) 

– team (get your people in place for when customers are ready to pour back in so you can do your marketing, fulfillment, and operations!) 

– literally anything else you’ve been dreaming about doing that will move you forward that you will NEED when demand is high!) 

Here’s some questions I leave you with: 

Will your business solve problems that people will still have? If maybe not, how can you get a pulse on the market? How can you HELP people NOW (for cheap or free if you want)?? 

If your business will solve the problems or you’re pivoting in a way that will help many people, WILL YOU BE READY for the post pandemic INFLUX??

PS let me know your thoughts- shoot me a DM on insta or comment below if this resonates. Also, if you need recommendations for any of the services I mentioned above, I’ve got people!! 

PPS if you’re worried about your systems or getting the right team in place and trained, I would love to chat! Shoot me a DM on insta or email me at meg(at)megkco dot com 🙂 

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When you are doing online business hiring, it can certainly be overwhelming when you are sorting through a large sea of applicants after posting your job. 

Here are some easy ways to sift out some applicants that could prove to be problematic or not be a great fit. And, it’s okay to be particular! As the dumb saying goes, ‘there’s plenty of fish in the sea!’- this is especially true in the online/remote work world! 

When I hire for my clients, we create a detailed job posting and start with a typeform or google form asking a few questions. Some of the responses and correspondances I’ve had astound me. I actually made this list while looking at some applicants via typeform for a client that I wanted to document and share with you! 

Here are some Red Flags when sorting through your applicants:

via GIPHY

Applicant RED Flags: The applicant

  • doesn’t bother to give their last name
  • doesn’t answer in complete sentences
  • wants to build a business just like yours (posing probable conflict of interest down the road- this is usually OKAY for jr designers for a brand agency, but I’ve seen this as problematic in other business models)
  • will ask many, many questions–– If you are bogged down by details and have a hard time delegating, you don’t want someone who will say “I will ask you right away if I don’t know what I’m doing”- the right answer is GOOGLE and looking in Standard Operating Procedures documents first! (sorry to give away the right answer lol) 
  • fills out your website’s contact form instead of following the hiring protocol outlined on the job description or DM you when you ask them not to. The hiring process outlined in the job description applies to everyone! 
  • didn’t research and don’t seem to know who the eff you are
  • give the same copy and pasted cover letter thing 
  • seems needy or rude in written communication––if you’re in communication with them via email, they are needy (true story, I once was in contact with someone, told them that I would get back to them about a potential interview, when I let them know that we were deciding not to move forward to interview and asked if I could keep them in mind in the future, they were extremely rude and essentially burned that bridge- that’s very indicative of how they operate under duress- non merci) 
  • gives you the incorrect links to their stuff (website/instagram)

On the bright side, here are some indicators of the green flags of strong applicants!

Applicant GREEN flags: The applicant

  • DOES follow up, respectfully via email after being invited to a second round of applications or after an interview
  • seem to share some of the values that you have
  • has goals that don’t seem to compete with yours (ie no conflict of interest probably going to happen) 
  • DO make it EASY for you to see their links (ie if you ask for an instagram handle in a form, they will write link it out for you like https://www.instagram.com/megkco/ instead of “@megkco on insta” to make life easier for you
  • for designers or anything requiring a portfolio- the applicant may have spec work that demonstrates their process or gives you links to relevant portfolio work

If you know you want team and want some support and guidance in hiring and sifting through the red flags to find the shiny green flag candidates, I would love to chat! DM me or schedule a call here!

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I’m going to share with you how I manage my visionary entrepreneur clients! Before I jump in, I’ve got some context to share with you. If you’re reading this, it may have heard that  I do “ops” or that I’m a “project manager” or an “integrator” etc. While those definitions could describe what I do for my people, what can be tricky to understand about me (and why I don’t necessarily fall into any one category) is that I work in a way that’s more suited to my people– the visionaries! 

Yep, the people that some of your traditional managers or ops people steer clear of! And it’s nothing personal to the visionaries, it’s just that their styles don’t align! The visionaries don’t work necessarily in super linear ways and quite frankly will try to break systems shit- which I’m not going to lie- can be challenging for some. And sometimes, visionaries have a trillion ideas at once that it’s so hard to keep up. 

So in my years of being a person and entrepreneur, I’ve realized that my talent and passion are in helping these people get their shit together so they can actually see their ideas come to fruition and move them forward! And I do this essentially through listening and then finding the right processes (systems, SOPs, etc)  and people to make the good shit happen. Also, I help them with the day-to-day management of their brains, and teach other people how to manage them. I’ve been referred to as the “visionary wrangler” and, as one of my client’s lovingly referred to me as, her “handler”. 

So I’d like to tell you more about how I manage my visionary entrepreneur clients (so we can get their ideas happen IRL and move their businesses forward):

Before I reveal my magic, here’s my definition of a visionary entrepreneur from my experience: 
Visionary Entrepreneurs (n.) : 

  • is a true innovator, has so many ideas, often one right after the other! Sometimes to the point of idea paralysis (like, “there are a thousand things in my brain hole right now, what action should I even be taking? Oh wait, here’s another brilliant idea, I’m wanna launch a course…wait, what?”)
  • may have been given “systems” before that they just want to break them or just can’t seem to follow them
  • doesn’t want to document anything because they’re too busy doing shit that matters 
  • they may feel like something is “wrong” with them because they make decisions so quickly or are just maybe a little misunderstood- they don’t necessarily “fit” into the mold 
  • they’re passionate AF, love the people they serve, and are damn good at what they do

AND here’s more or less a definition of, well, a Megan…
Meg Baker of Meg K Co, integrator/project manager/visionary wrangler (n.):

In my role as integrator/project manager/handler/wrangler/advisor, I usually work in 90 day sprints to help my clients

  • clean up anything that’s feeling too messy for team/contractors do deal with
  • help them get their processes decided and documented
  • help them recruit the right talent for their teams (usually contractors)
  • lead the onboarding process and training of team
  • specifically teach the PMs how to manage the visionary 
  • advise my client on how to prioritize projects (when overwhelm sets in, I help them figure out what needs to be done now and break it down for them to make it actionable and easy) 
  • advise my clients on how to lead their crew

OKAY- without further ado, here’s how I manage my visionary people: 

  • I come ready to listen and customize the shit out of how we’re going to organize, plan and execute. There’s no “one size fits all” solution for my people (like, parts of “Traction” or “Clockwork” or what your coach recommends, but not all of it). It depends on your business, YOUR pain points, your goals/hopes/dreams. 
  • when overwhelm sets in, I help them figure out what needs to be done now and break it down for them to make it actionable and easy. 
    • Step one: Word Vomit. 
    • Step two: Choose the projects/Ideas that matter the most/ have the most impact right now
    • Step three: Document the other ideas for later use
    • Step four: figure out the tasks that need to happen to make the projects happen and figure out when they can get done
    • Step five: check in and hold people accountable. And sometimes if the shit doens’t get done by the visionary, there’s usually a reason and it informs our priorities and what projects we *actually* should be focused on! 
  • I am all about business, but I make it fun. This shit excites me. I’m obsessed with the visions my clients have and the moves they make and love figuring out how to make it work for them and make it happen! 
  • I get the information I need and then I execute it. 
  • After identifying what needs to be done (and what they need to do), ask them what would feel good/what do they need to help them getting it done- this informs our action plans.  
  • Visionaries need both space and accountability. I usually space out my check ins every 7 days- but I’m available via voxer/slack as new ideas/circumstances may pop up.
  • I give them deadlines- this is often when they do their best work (at least the less creative work- sometimes the creative work requires space). 
  • They don’t love being told what to do all the time. You gotta be diplomatic and have consensus. (okay, so, I do tell them what to do because that’s what they hired me for, BUT I make sure that what I’m asking them to do is aligned and I make sure I have their buy in)
  • I’m patient- especially when I’m giving space, trusting their process, and holding them them accountable. If they don’t end up executing on their assigned project, they better come up with a better idea that want to follow through on! (If they don’t follow through on an assignment, there’s usually a reason!) 
  • Remind them that sometimes sitting down and doing the work will actually (usually/often) get them “in flow”- when they are saying there’s resistance (and I’m not talking about doing work that isn’t meant for them, I’m talking about creative endeavors/content/ etc) 
  • If they say there’s resistance, ask them why? Give them space to process it, talk it out- when they identify it, it helps them get back into action. 
  • In order for visionaries to take action, they oftentimes have to have buy in (as mentioned above), believe in what their doing and the bigger purpose of the tasks or activities are doing
  • schedules work /time blocking works once they are pretty much only doing their brilliance work and they understand how discipline works in their lives (and/or whether it works for them)
  • I’ve probably mentioned listen, but I’m going to say it again. Listen to their ideas, especially those from their other coaches/masterminds etc and give them permission to do things differently in their own businesses!
  • Oh, and working with a visionary, you gotta be cool with adapting and being flexible to a pretty high degree. As more information and realizations come to light, you’ve got to adjust. 

If you feel like you need some visionary wranglement/management, let’s talk! DM me on insta or comment below “Megan help me” and we’ll get the ball rolling! 

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I’ve talked to a lot of business owners, both done for you service providers and coaches/course creators, who in one way or another, tell me what exactly it is they need to uplevel. They’re frustrated, through, because doing the upleveling activities take time that they feel they don’t have. They have had a lot of success with what they’re doing- they’re booked out or for the coaches/course makers, they’ve totally nailed their niche. And they’re ready to step up to serve more people and further their visibility and impact! 

I get it! You’re busy working on the delivery of your products or services and/or you’re doing tasks that you know you probably shouldn’t be doing. Whether it’s wanting to invest time in a) rebranding, b) new content, c) a new program, course, offering, there’s one thing that I see is standing in the way: we need SPACE to uplevel. (And we need focus, etc but most people I see know exactly what activities they want to be doing- they’re drowning however in the day to day). Of course, you can hire experts (and oftentimes should) like PR people, branding people, ads people, etc. Sometimes though, you don’t even have the bandwidth to commit to that. And sometimes, the brilliance for your upleveling comes from YOU and you alone. 

I’ve talked to several brand/web designer/strategists that so desperately want to invest time in their rebrand and new web design, but they’re so busy keeping their heads above water with client work. 

I’ve also talked to brilliant course creator/educator/coaches who have seriously nailed their niche and have powerful offerings for their people. They need to tweak a few things in their webinar funnels though- and they’ve invested in the training to do so. They know what to do, but they haven’t got the bandwidth to do it because they’re busy doing work that they know others could be doing. 

To create this space to really knock it out of the park in the upleveling activities, we need operational foundations, specifically processes (systems) and people (team).  

Processes for your People: 

Systems I feel like can be a loaded term that mean different things to different people. What I mean by systems are having your internal processes (for client acquisition/marketing, client onboarding, and delivery) SOLID and documented! This is where the term “SOPs”- Standard Operating Procedures comes in! Without having your processes documented, you can’t replicate your processes. Team can’t help you very much if everything is in your brain hole and not on paper. 

People for your Processes: 

Your people will also give you that space! AND you need to find the right people AND teach them your processes and expectations. I’ve seen it time and time again where CEOs hire people and then are trying to delegate and answer questions on the fly- this is where having team can feel like it takes up even more of your time and then are maybe unsure of the ROI. 

When expectations and roles/responsibilities are clear, though, you can get get that space to do the upleveling because you know that the things you “shouldn’t” be doing are being taken care of!

I’ve facilitated this transformation into stepping into CEO and getting that space to uplevel in two types of businesses: both “Done for You” and in Coaching/Course Creator businesses. And in all cases, it comes down to Processes and People. And I see my people really stepping into the visionary/CEO role of having space (and calm!) to vision and create while other parts of their businesses are being taken care of! They are creating new offerings, launching new ventures and it’s so exciting to see what they are coming up with and how they are supporting people in creative and impactful ways! 

Where are you in getting your processes and people in order? 

If you feel like you’re trying to implement some systems and team and it just isn’t working for you, let’s talk about it! Leave a comment or DM @megkco me “We need to talk!”

Because, remember, you can do anything, but not everything! 

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Are you ready to hire? Or do you need a fixer first?

Is your biz too messy for your next hire? I’m not saying that to be shady or judgey…

If you’re a solopreneur (or mostly solopreneur minus a few hodge podge contractors), you may be thinking and scheming about how to expand your team so you’re not the one stuck doing and managing everything. 

If that’s you, that’s AWESOME! I truly am a believer in growing your business so that you can be in your visionary brilliance work and not be actively held back by trying to do all the things. 

I’ll let you in on something though- if your business is, for lack of better terms, a mess on the back end, chances are that whoever you hire isn’t going to be ready to perform at the level you need them to. Here’s the thing- if you’re hiring a PM or VA, often times they are truly implementors. That means that they need to have a system, SOPs, etc, IN PLACE for them to implement upon. Implementing is their brilliance. Especially if you’re conscious about your team expenses, you can typically spend less money per hour for people to implement rather than to constantly be creating systems or cleaning things up. And it makes implementors’ jobs a thousand times easier when systems and expectations are already set up. Like I said, their genius is implementing and cruising on those tasks/responsibilities. 

So, you’re ready for your next hire (be it virtual assistant, project or account manager, marketing assistant) IF you have

– Clear systems/tools in place for things like client onboarding, marketing, or actual client work 

– SOPs BABY! Standard Operating Procedures for all of the above (ESPECIALLY if you don’t want to answer a million questions upon onboarding somebody- I’m talking to you, Kolbe high quickstarts low fact finders) 

– clear, defined, DOCUMENTED roles and responsibilities and expectations

– Onboarding procedures for onboarding new team members!

– Communication channels and expectations in place for team to team communication and team to client communication

…to name a few

If you don’t have those, you need MORE than an implementer- you need a fixer/ cleaner/creator- that middle person to get you ready. I am obsessed (and good at) positioning my clients to get ready to scale with their team. One doesn’t need to take her computer on vacation anymore and has team to take over the day-to-day so she can focus on her big picture, big money making (passive income anyone??) projects. Another hit his goal of a 7 figure year with the support of his team that I helped hire and onboard. 

So if you’ve got shit you wanna do and you don’t have everything in place with your team, schedule a call with me and let’s chat. I’ve got you- I can support you through all of the above. It’ll be fun. 

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