Scaling + Team
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!
Applicant RED Flags: The applicant
Applicant GREEN flags: The applicant
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.) :
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
OKAY- without further ado, here’s how I manage my visionary people:
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!
Scaling + Team
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!
Scaling + Team
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.
Maternity Leave Musings
This idea of “pain versus suffering” comes up in my weekly birth class.
There’s a difference. This often comes up around discussions of pain medication and birth. Honestly, there’s no one right way to do all that– it depends on the situation and the mom. I do like how the birth educator points out that there’s a difference between pain and suffering and while we can experience pain, we can prevent suffering (be it through comfort positions, laboring in the shower, having narcotics, or the epidural, etc).
This gets me to thinking about pain versus suffering in other life contexts. I am curious and wonder if there’s something culturally pervasive that encourages us to make martyrs of ourselves.
For example, pregnancy has offered some funny sensations. Some of which are truly par for the course (like trouble breathing because your lungs are pushed up so far and compressed). But some pregnancy pains have brought me suffering that isn’t necessary. I’ve had some low back pain (probably sciatic) and at first I thought, well, I just need to deal with it. It sucked though. I could barely move and it prevented me from the summer walks I love so much with Lucy and thwarted my ability to sit and work and do chores around the house. I mentioned this to one of the OBs at my practice and she recommended Physical Therapy.
I took her advice and a week later signed up for PT. Luckily, it’s covered by my insurance and the copay is relatively low. I realize that not everyone has the same resources, but if you have access and the resources, why the hell not? Since going to PT twice a week, I’m so much more mobile and not suffering nearly as much! We do some exercises and the therapist does some “manual work” (read: message) that feels so good. I later mentioned some rib pain that again, I thought I just had to deal with it and of course, they are able to message that part of my body and release some of that tension.
This instance I think is teaching me that while we’re going to experience pain, suffering is always necessary. Sometimes I feel the urge to be a martyr and sacrifice my well-being, and for what? (I don’t really know- not inconveniencing people? But that doesn’t make much sense either as I write it out) .
Another example of forgoing unnecessary suffering is my decision to treat my depression with medicine. I’m NOT saying that this is the solution for everyone, just like how epidurals arent for everyone. But for me, it’s released me from unnecessary suffering. When I’m experiencing a depressive episode, I’m in this weird spiral and I feel as if there’s no solution and that I’m so alone in my experiences. Last summer I was feeling some kind of way, and when I’ve opened up to my spouse and friends about my feelings, it became clear that the medicine I was on wasn’t working and I found a psychiatrist and we found a medicine that works really well for me (and I love it because Lucy the dog and I are on the same drug LOL). I think I bring up this other example too to highlight that despite whatever stigma for seeking treatment, we don’t always need to be martyrs and suffer unnecessarily. It’s not good for anyone really and seeking interventions aren’t burdening anyone!
Thanks for reading this musing that’s come up in my brain hole while on maternity leave (and being so pregnant- I’m writing this as the baby is punching me from my insides :))
Let me know if this resonates with you!
Maternity Leave Musings
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big preacher and believer of “self-care” and creating space for oneself. Do I always practice what I preach? Kinda… In my tarot reading with Amy Kuretsky yesterday though, this message came up that it’s okay for me to prioritize myself for a minute. I so intellectually know this and I know that it came up in the cards for a reason and that there’s some shame and guilt around it for me. Well played, Universe– you got me.
As I’m transitioning to human mother, my role on this planet is shifting and while I will absolutely show up for my babe, I want to remember that it’s cool to ask for help and create space for myself. (Afterall, my kick-butt MIL just retired and has offered her child care services) But damn the guilt! I even feel weird about dropping my dog off at my in laws this week (per my partner’s suggestion) so I can do what I do. Lucy the dog loves having me at home and when I go out, I feel so bad for leaving her. Letting my in laws relieve me of Lucy care these past few days has allowed me to venture out and get into my flow.
Do I still feel a little guilty for living my best life? Hell yes? While I’m tempted to judge it, I’m going to try to get curious about it and notice it– no judgement. But for real, who the hell am I to get to do whatever the fek I want while my husband works and what not (ok ok, just going to notice- and get curious– thanks to my coach Nicole Jackson Miller for the reminder that when feelings come up that it’s cool to notice without judgement and get curious)
(Admittedly, I think I may be feeling a certain way because of codepency stuff– it can be damn addicting to feel needed by my dog and family– yet we know rationally that we show up as our best selves for our people when we ourselves are cared for. No judgement- just observing these patterns and practicing challenging them)
Here’s some evidence I’ve gathered that allowing support and help has been really awesome:
Wednesday (after dropping off Lucy at my in Laws)
I felt so in flow when I was writing, uncovered some really necessary truths that are getting me closer to healing and being a better partner. A lot of good shit happened.
I suppose ( needed to write some evidence and reflect why accepting help and sinking into space for yourself is so good– and we can be aware of the guilt or feelings and get curious about it. After these 2.5 days, I’m feeling more myself and doing things I haven’t done in ages (like writing and healing some shit).
Sometimes it’s about practicing what I preach 🙂
Somehow, I feel that there is a paralell between allowing space and support in your life AS WELL AS in business 😉
Thanks for reading. Let me know if any of this resonates with you!
Maternity Leave Musings
When I started entrepreneur-ing in 2017, I emerged as “Meg K the VA”. This was a great place for me to start. As I have experimented (hello 3 in human design), I’ve totally changed the way in which I support my people. I started as a traditional catch-all, give me things to do to fill these 10 hours VA. I needed to start somewhere and this was such a great way to dip my toes into the online biz space.
I’ve since evolved from VA to VA agency to content writer and now I don’t really do any of these things! Right now, I’m loving supporting my people with consulting, hiring, creating systems, and helping visionaries set up their businesses in order to be supported in a way that’s unique to their needs. Is there a word for “who” I am now? Idk. And, I may continue to evolve in what I offer and how I support the people. Entrepreneurship is one big experiment! And we all have permission to play and explore and evolve!
So nah, I’m not a VA anymore. Hence shifting to “Meg K and Co”! Who are “and Co”? For right now, it’s the people I hire to help me with my personal and professional development and the people I support!
And all the love to the VAs and implementors out there! You are so needed! I’ve just realized that’s not my genius! For the moment, I’m here to help the visionaries set up their businesses to get the right support and to set up the right implementors/VAs/whomever for success!
So it’s still me- Meg K is still who she was before! (so third person lol) I just don’t have the cute rhyming/assonance anymore in the name 🙂
– I offer intensives to troubleshoot and audit current systems so that I can recommend ones that will work best for each business and their unique needs (this can sometimes include setting up systems like Dubsado as well). I have found that business owners need to be in the driver’s seat for this and I can translate their needs into the framework of something like Dubsado/Stripe/etc.
– I offer intensives to help business owners identify not only what (as far as systems go) but WHO needs to be supporting them in their business. We co create Roles and Responsibilities as well as Job Descriptions so that my clients can get the correct support. We also talk through other barriers to being supported that might pop up. This is for my people who have perhaps tried hiring a VA before and it just didn’t work out (which is OK, this happens– often times there’s some foundational work that just needs to be done first).
– I offer done for you hiring services. I typically offer this once I have done an intensive with a client IF we’ve identified that this is something that they need. This includes Roles and Responsibilities documents and Job Descriptions (if we haven’t created them already), posting the jobs, managing all of the applications, presenting the information to my client in an easy to digest way, consulting, interview questions, as well as support and leading the interviews. The final say and ownership always goes to the client though 😉 And I’m there to support!
How have you evolved since the beginning of your entrepreneurship? What lights you up now?
Maternity Leave Musings
I get it. You’re busy and you feel like you have no space to breathe, let alone get anything done. You talk to your biz friends about it and they suggest getting a VA and you see posts on facebook groups asking for VA recommendations. This can be such a tempting solution– just have someone on your team to pass off the tasks that you just don’t know what to do.
Here’s one scenario: Once you hire someone who seems nice and competent, you realize you are spending a lot of time answering questions and you get to a point where it just feels easier to do certain tasks yourself instead of passing them off and explaining them. And if you’re not reaching your retainer hours for a VA, you feel like you’re wasting money. Uhg.
Here’s another scenario: You have clear expectations and roles and responsibilities. You have SOPs in place and a dedicated few weeks for onboarding your support person. You have the space carved out to answer questions that come up and your new person pretty seamlessly integrates with your team.
I have people come to me inquiring about my instensives– which are all about getting a business set up with the necessary systems and processes or prioritizing necessary projects. These create space and advising for business owners to get everything they’re thinking out in the open and then make decisions about what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and how to delegate these things– for example. I’ve found that often systems and such are not one size fits all and it’s so helpful for the CEO to make decisions and to have someone like me translate what that can look like from a systems perspective and WHO can help them.
After an intensive, I can then make recommendations of who to hire and what services I can offer. I usually don’t work for more than 90 days inside someone’s business. I’m not an implementor– and I’ve helped my people find the right ones! After an intensive, I’ve offered hiring manager for hire services as well as short term project management (usually around SOPs) and advising.
I’ve discovered after talking to many CEOs that some people just want to make that quick hire and forgo an intensive AND forgo a careful screening and hiring process. I’ve heard “Wait, you’re telling me you want to talk to me on the phone and then not necessarily work with me ongoing? Why not just hire a VA?” That’s a great question! A quick hire (and forgoing an intensive/getting things set up) can totally work for some– and I don’t recommend it for everybody.
– You know what you need/ you have some systems and SOPs in place
– You have your client process mapped out and have your system in place (like Dubsado for example) for onboarding, you have your methods for collecting money and accounting processes down. This doesn’t need to be perfect but you have made these decisions.
– If you haven’t made these decisions about processes and systems, you are OK with someone else figuring it out and you not having a say (if you truly want to quickly pass it off)
– You hire someone who can lead and tell you “no” and tell you what they need
– You don’t feel comfortable asking for what you need or you don’t know what you need- any hire needs training or if you’re getting a VA/implementor, they need to be explicitly told what to do in your business
– You don’t have your systems and processes down– like your client onboarding, your contract systems/CRM (think Dubsado or others)
– You still want to have your hand in the decision making about baseline processes/procedures in your business yet you’re desperate to just “hand it off”. Nothing is more frustrating than handing a project off and then having it not be right– but people can’t read your mind. If you don’t mind having it done a certain way, then great!
– You’re not ready for people to make decisions on your behalf or haven’t taught them how to make decisions on your behalf. You also don’t want to field a bunch of questions.
(What can happen too is that you hemmorage money for retainer hours that you don’t use or for support that is more expensive than what you actually need)
In my experience, the hiring process, though it can seem long and overly thorough, can really pay off (of course, along with processes in place and a mindset of being able to delegate and trust others).
These are my observations from what I’ve seen in my own business and in others’. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Maternity Leave Musings
Codependency is a hot topic right now online in our space.
I have long considered myself an expert at codependency because I am an expert codependent. Often I feel like I’m a “recovered” codependent but I realize that it takes constant practice and checking of myself to make sure I’m not taking responsibility for others’ feelings. Though through years of therapy, I’ve gotten pretty good at this. It’s been a necessity for many reasons in my personal life. Of course, these codependency coping strategies are important in business as well.
Recently I’ve seen posts about codependent work relationships- especially in the coach/mentor-mentee realm. But this part of codependency is more about wanting to be needed and fix everything– instead of empowering the mentee to learn how to problem solve on their own without the coach/mentor eventually. It’s so easy for me to throw shade– of COURSE, coaches should WANT their charges to be able to grow and problem solve without them!
But here’s my realization: I’m guilty of this, too! I’ve had this satisfaction for being needed to put out fires for my clients. Of course, some roles are in business are necessary to put out the fires and it’s not necessarily an unhealthy thing. For me though, it’s not how I work best. I need space and to work in short-term bursts to teach my clients the systems and help them find the right people so that their businesses can in fact run WITHOUT me.
For me, it’s recognizing that this wanting to be needed and to “rescue” is a pattern of my long engrained codepency. I’ve often thought that it was merely my wanting to take responsibility for others’ feelings– and I’m realizing that another part of it (in my own brain hole) is the desire to be needed. Recognizing this (without judgement- well, trying to recognize without judgement) and calling it what it is feels oddly fine. It’s another aspect of codependency that I’ll practice grappling with! I think that’s what made it a little sad for me to step away for maternity leave– these businesses I’ve been working with are running so well withOUT me! But that was the point of my work– setting up my people for success to run without me 🙂
Does this resonate with you? Are there aspects of codependency that are recently coming to your awareness? Join the conversation on Instagram.
PS If you’re looking for a resource to deal with codependency, Codependent No More my Melanie Beatty really helped me in the beginning. (This is mainly aimed at people in relationships with people who abuse substances- this can be a huge source of codependent behavior)