Ep #14: Confidence Does NOT Come from Revenue

 In Podcast

Revenue does not translate to confidence. Once you reach that one million dollar mark, you can’t rely on revenue to tell you how well you’re doing as a leader. You have to start using other methods that create a foundation for how you scale, manage and grow your business.

What you’ll find in this episode:

  1. Most of us hit a point where our revenue exceeds our ability to scale and overwhelm sets in.
  2. The two expectations we have in our brain related to revenue and confidence.
  3. When it’s time to work with a coach to start learning the fundamentals you need to have as a manager.
  4. What to look for to tell you how you’re doing at managing your business.

Featured on the Show and Other Notes:


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Podcast Transcript

Hey everyone. I’m Kris Plachy and this is how to lead for female entrepreneurs and founders. Because the best way to grow a business is to grow the person who’s running it. Let’s go ahead and get started.

Hello, gorgeous. How are you? Welcome to the podcast and today we’re going to talk about you and your confidence and revenue because here’s what I know for sure is revenue does not translate to confidence and confidence does not come from revenue. So let’s dig into this a little bit. So if you’re like most of my clients, here’s your story, right? You had a vision, you had an idea, you had a thing you wanted to do in the world. Whatever that inspiration was for you, it felt powerful. It felt real, and you went for it. So you went out into the world and are doing the thing that you wanted to do, whether it’s a product or a service, a program, whether you’re an online business or you are in storefront business, whether you’re a consultant or a coach, right?

Like no matter what it is that you are doing, it’s because you felt this desire. This urge and pull in the world to not only do your own thing, but to do that thing in the world. And so if you are also like most of my clients, you have done very well, meaning you’ve generated revenue and you have gotten clients, sold products, heightened and up-leveled to your service. So you’ve generated money. And you are getting paid, hopefully, for the work that you do. And what we know about people who up until sort of their first million. So if you are at that seven figure mark, you’ve been able to achieve what you’ve achieved through your own pure sheer will, focused brain, hustle, networking, sales skill, right?

Like you are one of those people who made a decision and said, I’m going to make this work. And you went all in on yourself and you did. And you got to that first seven figures. And if you’re also like most people I know, you did that by crawling over the finish line of that first million, right? Like holy moly, I did it right?

Then what I see happen. And so what we know about that first million is what it tells us is that we can work hard, that we don’t quit, that we’re resilient, that we take risk, that we put ourselves out there, that we’re resourceful, right? That’s what we know about that first million because most women are bootstrapping, right? There’s a lot of other people I know who do venture capital, but that’s a whole other business model. If you’re a bootstrapper and you made this happen on your own, it’s that tenacity, that grit, and that unwillingness to fail, or willingness to fail, I guess is a better way to say that. You just keep failing. You’re willing to keep failing over and over again, but not give up.

Then we get to that second million, right? So that’s going from one to two. Now that one’s not quite as intense because now you’ve got some product, you’ve got some service, you’ve got the resources that support it, and you likely have a team of a couple or maybe up to eight people. Some companies have way more than that, but that’s another conversation. But let’s just say you’ve built this tight team and usually that tight team is a group of people that you have some sort of relationship with. So they are your cousin, they’re your brother, they’re your sister, they’re your mother, they’re your best friend from high school. These are people that you were able to pull in who believe in you, who believe in what you do. And so they’ve been all hands on deck with you. Okay? And that’s what kind of gets us to that 2 million.

Now what I find is that then from 2 million to whatever that next big step is, so for some people it’s 3 million. If you have a product, that could just be it right there at 3 million, because now the demand for what you deliver has grown. If you have a service, you might not feel the pension until you get closer to 5 million or 6 million because you can build a much more sustainable model if it’s just a service versus having to produce something in the world.

But nonetheless, we all hit these points when our revenue exceeds our ability to scale, where the wheels literally start to feel like they’re coming off. And this is where my clients usually are looking for me. They’re overwhelmed, they’re stressed out, they get that core team that you started with is now not at the level that you need them to be, but they are your best friend from high school or your cousin or your sister or your uncle or your dad, and you don’t know how to change the relationship. Ask them to leave the business because you’ve never set any systems up for your human capital for the way that you manage your team. Right?

But here’s what the point of this podcast, because we talk about human capital on most podcasts. The point of this podcast is I want to acknowledge, and I want you to acknowledge that just because you’ve made a ton of money, just because you are a seven figure business doesn’t mean you have confidence in yourself as a leader and as a business owner. And in fact, I think in many cases it’s the opposite.

So what I have found is there’s now these two sort of expectations that we have in our brain as it relates to revenue and confidence. And the first one is other people. So it’s external. Other people think you know what you’re doing because you’ve generated all this revenue, right? You’ve built this business, you must know what you’re doing, right? But here’s what we know. That first 2 million is really you relying on you. And the help of a few other people. It’s not really that you’ve developed this level of confidence as a leader.

And in fact, one of my clients, Stephanie has, I think I’ve said this before, but this was just one of those things she said to me that just stuck me right between the eyes, right? Is that sales or revenue is a great lubricant for poor leadership. So what that means is you can actually out run your not good managing and leading of your team with revenue to a certain point. And then it gets to a point where you can’t mask it anymore. If you don’t know how to manage people and you don’t know how to lead a team, it will start to show up in your business. But all the while you might attract people who want to come work for you because your business is doing really well. You’ll get a lot of accolades in your business community because your business is doing well and yet you don’t have confidence. There’s a belief that you do because you have revenue. But revenue does not translate into confidence and confidence does not create revenue. And confidence does not come from revenue. Okay?

The second thing is your own internal story, and this is where my clients show up to me, right? Is, okay, I have a $3.8 million business. I have 60 plus employees and I’m miserable. I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know how to deal with these people. I don’t know how to, what do I do next? And it’s actually like incrementally, the more revenue you generate without having the sound practices, the less confident you become. And the more ripe you become for what we call imposter syndrome, which is when you really do believe they’re going to find out, whoever they are, they’re going to find out that you don’t know anything. That you just got lucky, that this is a fluke, that you couldn’t replicate this if you needed to, right? And you live with that baggage, luggage, it’s very heavy to externally have this story of a successful business. But internally be carrying a story of failure and lack of confidence and ineptitude.

Now what I want you to understand is that’s actually very normal because the business has outpaced your growth, which it’s like getting over your skis, right? You start going down a mountain. I don’t even ski, but this is only the only times I’ve ever skied happens to me, right? As you go down the mountain, you’re on your skis, you’re good. But then the mountain says let’s go faster. Right? And you don’t know how to slow down because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. And before you know it, you’re over your skis and you stumble and you think you’re going to break your knee. And if you’re anything like me, right?

Same thing is true for business. You get on this trajectory with a great product, a great service, a great delivery process, great networking, great ads, great all the things, and you now have slicked it up so that you’re just flying. But you didn’t develop the management skill.

to support this growth of the business. So it’s normal for you to go through this process of being like, Oh my God, I really don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Now I have this very, very adult business that’s generating multimillions of dollars. And yet I still sort of feel like I’m that 25 year old who doesn’t really know what she’s doing. So that’s okay. I want you to hear me first to say that’s normal and there’s nothing wrong with you. But I also want you to hear me say that you can’t rely on revenue to continue to prove to you that you know what you’re doing.

We have to start using other methods that create a foundation of how you scale, manage, grow your business. Okay? Because what will step in if you don’t do that is sabotage. Self-sabotage. You’ll start to prove yourself right. You’ll start to prove that you can’t handle it. You’ll start to make erratic decisions that actually negatively impact your business. You will work in your own worst interest. And while I know that sounds incredibly counterintuitive, I’ve seen it happen over and over and over again, right?

So as soon as you hit this pinnacle moment of incredible revenue growth, like more than you ever imagined, and yet this vacant, vacuous, empty suffering feeling like, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. This is okay, but this is the time to do the work. This is the time to hire someone like me to work with a coach and get through the process of learning the fundamentals you need to have as a manager. And here’s what I know, it’s not that hard. This doesn’t have to be awful. And in fact, I think my clients would tell you like the first couple months is pretty painful, but then we get some traction and they’re so excited and literally with very limited exception, my clients all start making more money.

The people who don’t make more money are the people who won’t get out of their own way. They keep making the same decisions out of lack of confidence, insecurity, feelings of ineptness, inadequacy. So we have to acknowledge that yes, your business brain got you where you are, your hustle, your grit, your resilience, your resolve. You got it. And that’s awesome because that is so hard to develop in anyone. And I know you know that because you probably have employees, you’re like, where’s your grit? I have it. Why don’t you, why are you wanting to leave at five o’clock I need to work till nine right?

But then we had to look at it. And the other part of your business, which is you as a leader and you as a manager and are you building systems inside your business that will replicate themselves with or without you, right? That is the next step.

So we can’t rely on revenue to tell us how well we’re doing once we get to the $1 million mark. And that’s tough because I know we’re so used to thinking about revenue as our marker. What if we look at how well our team is performing? What if we look at the structures within our business, our processes, how replicable is it? Can our business really survive without us? Can you take a three week vacation and be gone off the map? If the answer is no to that, then we have work to do, right? Because what’s the point of having a very successful, highly generating revenue business if you can’t ever step away from it?

So I know that you believe that other people think you’re doing an amazing job because you’re generating a lot of revenue. You have people working for you, you have a great product or a great service. I also know that you are very likely questioning your own abilities, feeling frustrated, and so I want you to know, I hear you and I know that you may lack some confidence, but confidence doesn’t come from revenue. Confidence is an inside job and confidence comes from teaching your brain how to do the things you need to learn how to do now for your very adult, very grown up, very sophisticated, multimillion dollar business. And that’s the kind of work I do with my clients.

But if you’re here right now and you’re sitting in listening to his podcasts like yeah that’s totally me. I just want you to make a list. Just write down all the things that you think you need to learn that you don’t know how to do. Just get it out of your brain and just write it down. I need to know how to delegate. I need to know how to hold people accountable. I need to know how to fire someone. I need to be better at hiring people. I don’t even know how to write a job description. I don’t even know how to post a job and get the right. How do you screen people for a job? How do you motivate people to do a better job? How do you get people to take that extra step? How do you pay people? How do you decide how much someone should make for this job versus this job?

I know that there are so many questions that you have that you don’t know the answers to. So you’ve been making it up, right? But what I want you to know is all of that actually has answers. And they’re not really that complicated. It’s just the next step. So all the grit, all the resolve, all the resilience that you needed to get to your first million, your second million. We’re going to keep that as it relates to generating revenue and delivery. But we’re also going to apply that now to learning the skills of managing and leading. And I know you can do that because look at you. You’re already so fricking amazing. Should be so proud of what you’ve already built. So let’s keep it calling. Thanks for tuning in today.

Hey, don’t miss a thing. Make sure you join my community at krisplaquey.com/connect. Once you join, you’ll get all the information on exclusive and private experiences that I’m offering to my clients. I can’t wait to see you there.

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