Ep #16: Five Key Relationships for Every Female Entrepreneur
These are the five key relationships every female entrepreneur has. And as she scales her business, she may find that one or more of these becomes an issue. That’s totally normal and part of the process. Here’s what to do.
What you’ll find in this episode:
- The five key relationships are with: time, money, your team, your business, and yourself.
- Which relationship most entrepreneurs are terrible at.
- Whether or not you have a “servant leader relationship” with your employees.
- Your business is outside of you. There’s you and there’s the business.
- Everything requires brain-keeping.
Featured on the Show and Other Notes:
- Previous episode on brain-keeping.
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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, beautiful and gorgeous. How are you today? I want to talk with you about, I think the heart of all of the work that I do with all of my clients and with you, as listeners. And what we’re going to focus on in this podcast are the key relationships that you have to invest in as a female entrepreneur. I’m calling them relationships because honestly, I did a lot of thinking here and I thought about like, “What are these? Are these platforms? Are these pillars? Are these fundamentals? Are these elements?” And I think really, especially the way that I work with my clients, their relationships, these are the key relationships you have to have, and because you’re in a relationship with all of these things. So the five key areas are your time, your money, your team, your business, and yourself.
I’m going to take some time on this podcast to review them and I also want you to understand that the work I do with my clients is always in one of these buckets. And most of the women, well, I’m not going to say that, the women who come to me, who hire me to work with them as a coach need help in more than one of them. And that’s okay, that’s normal. There’s nothing broken if you have a really difficult relationship with your money, or you have a really difficult relationship with time, or you’re having a really difficult relationship with your team. There’s nothing broken here. This is normal. This is part of the process.
But by knowing that these are the key relationships you need to have and work on and invest in, we can identify that and we can do the things that we need to do in each of those relationships. Because as you scale your business, I think what you’re going to find is that a relationship that maybe never was strained now become strained, right? You didn’t even know you had a problem with your relationship with your money and now all of a sudden, maybe when you start making a lot of money, you realize like, “That’s so interesting. I have an interesting relationship with money.”
So let’s talk about them. So first of all, let’s talk about time. Time is one of your most valuable commodities as an entrepreneur, right? Your time is so valuable. But what I watch in most of my clients is we’re very, very arbitrary about our time. We are not disciplined about our time and we don’t think about our time as literally as money. Like if I said to you, “You have $500 this week to spend, that’s all you get. You don’t get a credit card, you don’t get to take out a loan. You just have the $500 and you have to figure out in that $500 how to feed yourself, how to take care of your home, how to take care of your family, how to take care of your dog. This is all you get.” Now, what I know is if you only had $500 that would be what you would figure out how to work with, right?
Well, time is the same and depending on you and how you interact with your business and how you work, you have a finite amount of time. I recommend that’s not more than 40 hours a week because I just am watching you all tear yourselves down by working 80 hours a week, 70 hours a week, right? So let’s just say this is what you have. This is your resource. How well do you budget it? How well do you utilize it? How well are you planning, even when you have free time? Do you plan free time? Do you use a calendar? Are you meticulous about it? Do you have help with managing your time? Do you have somebody who’s supporting you? Because most entrepreneurs are terrible at this. They’re terrible at managing time, giving away time, setting boundaries around their time. They’re terrible at it. Because you think you need to be available to all things, all people. Plus, you’re probably a quick start, which means you like to work when you feel like working. If you’re anything like, I don’t know, somebody like me, right?
So the first thing we have to do is evaluate your relationship with your time. And that’s why the assistant, I talk about the assistants a lot with my clients, that’s why having an assistant is just so incredibly important. Because as soon as you have somebody who you have to manage and manage to help you, you have to get really conscious about your time and what you do and don’t do with it because now someone else is involved, right? It can makes you very aware, so that’s a lot of times what we work on.
The second thing I want to talk to you about is your relationship with your money. Now, there’s your money that you make and then there’s the money that the business makes. But most entrepreneurs, especially when we start working together, if you’re at or around a million or maybe even 5 million, there’s still a lot of loosey goosey between what is the businesses’ money and your money. But so then whatever your relationship is with money, it’s showing up in your life and also in your businesses life, okay? And how you think about money or what you don’t think about money or the fact that you like to ignore your money is a factor and that is indicative and gives us feedback about the relationship you have with your money, right?
It’s interesting to just think if money could talk to you, what would your money say about the relationship you have with it? Would it say, “She loves me and she takes such great care of me and she looks at me every day and tells me I’m amazing,” or does the money say, “No, who are we talking about? I haven’t heard from her in months. I’m over here just doing what I do, but she has no idea what I’m up to.” Right? And then the other part about money is it translates into how you pay people and how you think about paying people and how generous you are or how frugal you are, right? How well you tie money to results or if you just tie money to being nice and showing up and being loyal.
So we have to do a deep dive into the relationship that you have with your money, without a doubt, right? And we have to really, really explore it and understand it because as soon as you have an incredible relationship with money, it changes everything. It really does. Because why are you in business if you’re a nonprofit? Fine, but even nonprofits have to make money, right? But most of you I know are not running a nonprofit, you’re beautiful capitalists and you want to make money. So can we love our money? But the only way to have a loving relationship with money is to invest in it.
Let’s talk about the third relationship, which is the relationship you have with your team, the people who work for you. Interestingly, we have all sorts of kinds of relationships with people who work for us. So some women have a very servant, what they would like to think they call as a servant-leader relationship with their employees. Which means they really want to do what’s right by their employees, they want to support them, they want to help them. And of course there’s a lot of that that’s great, but it can get out of kilter and then the relationship becomes servient like you are trying to serve the employee to keep them, to make them happy, to not upset them, to make sure they don’t leave you and then that relationship gets creepy. It starts to become desperate and needy, which we know what that’s like in a regular relationship with a partner, right?
Then we can see people who swing all the way the other direction and they want to ignore their team. They don’t want to have a relationship with their people. They don’t want to connect with their people. They just want the people, in quotes, to just do their job and like, “Please don’t bother me. Why do I have to talk to them? Why do I have to coach them? Why do I have to know them? Why do they need to tell me about their weekend?” I mean, really? And so I’ve got some clients who just are all the way on the other side of it. And that also complicates how we build culture and how we develop people and how we invest in people and how we coach people. So who are you as the leader of this team? And it starts with the relationship you have in your mind with them and how you show up with them, okay? So the relationship you have with your team is so important to consider.
Number four is the relationship you have with your business. So the first step in this relationship is to acknowledge that the business is outside of you. That there’s you, and then there’s the business. And this is really some of the most powerful work I have to do with some of my clients first off, because they think they are the business or they think that the business is them. That the business is an extension of them and therefore how the business does in the world is all about them. And when we don’t have a clean relationship with our business as its own entity, as its own personality, as its own being, then we are way too involved and entrenched in it and we can’t be objective, right?
So for example, I talk to a lot of my clients about positions they want to create and people they want to hire. And then what they do is they get attached to a person and they think, “Well, this person is doing a really good job. I think I’ll just give them this job. I’ll just promote them to this or I’ll just give them this title,” or what have you, right? But what we’re doing then is we’re focusing on the person, we’re not focusing on what the business needs. And if we look at the business and we just… I mean, I’ve taken this as far enough talking to other podcasts, if your business was a human, what would they wear? And how would they talk? And what they say about you? How would they describe, how would your business describe its relationship with you?
Would it say, “Yeah, she just lets anybody in here. She doesn’t really care who does the work. She just wants it done and it’s kind of sloppy and she sort of ignores me.” Or would the business say, “She really takes care of me. She pays attention to all the things,” right? Understanding who your business is is where the vision piece lies and the values piece and the expectations and the goals, right? Where we set all of it up, outside of ourselves. And this is a novel way of thinking for so many of my clients initially. In fact, I think in a lot of cases we’re taught to be attached to our business. And while the business was created as a reflection or in the vision of what you wanted to put into the world, it eventually becomes its own thing. And so we’ve got to give it its own legs and then we have to build a relationship with it as it stands on its own.
And the last relationship we really have to explore is the relationship you have with yourself. Who are you? Who are you today versus who you were when you started? All of the things that you manifest in your business, for your clients, with your products are all seeds first in your brain. They are all born out of you and the challenges that you face and the reasons you do or don’t do things, those are all because of you. They aren’t because of your market, they aren’t because of the type of business that you’re in, they aren’t because of the type of employees that you have or don’t have. It’s because of you.
So I want you to kind of think about like, there’s these four relationships of understanding your time, the relationship you have with time, the relationship you have with money, the relationship you have with your team, the relationship you have with your business and then sitting next to all of those is the relationship you have with yourself. And, as your coach, every time we talk about and introduce something new, like let’s pretend that we’re going to talk about doing one-on-ones, which I think is part of the relationship you have with your business first and then it becomes a part of the relationship that you have with your team, right? So what I’m going to do is challenge you to really think about why one-on-ones are such a valuable part of your business. I just had this conversation with a client in my group. We talked about one-on-ones and I said, “What are your thoughts about one-on-ones?” And she said, “Why, I don’t like to do them because I don’t like confrontation.”
So we just thought, we just put on a piece of paper one-on-ones equals confrontation. So of course, because she believes that a one-on-one equals confrontation, what is she not doing? One-on-ones. She doesn’t even set them up yet, which is totally understandable. Who wants to intentionally be confrontational? Who wants that? Right? So we have to change the way that we think about a one-on-one, but even before we can get to the relationship we have with our team through an one-on-one, we have to think about what does our business need. Our business needs employees who meet these objectives, who achieve these key performance indicators, who meet these goals. How do we know they’re doing that? We have an one-on-one.
So as we go through those four relationships, there’s this fifth key relationship that will be on going because wherever you go, whatever we do in your business, whatever you stretch, whenever you do anything, you have to have attention to yourself and to your brain keeping, right? Which we’ve talked about. Everything requires brain keeping. It’s never just let’s implement something. If it was we would all make cajillions of dollars all the time. The reason that we’re not is because of our brains and we’re getting in our own way.
So the five key relationships, once again, are your time, are your money, are your team, is the relationship you have with your business and the relationship you have with yourself, and your mind, and who you are, and who you used to be, and who you want to become. You get these five cleaned up and here’s what I’m going to tell you. There’s always room in all of them. It’s not like we have a pinnacle, like I have a client who would do a lot of thought work and her thought is like, “Have we done enough thought work? Can we just move along? I’ve already got this brain thing down, can we move along?” No, we’re never done. You’ll always be challenged to think uniquely and differently about your business. You’ll always be challenged to think uniquely and differently about your money, about your time, about your team.
But we get progress made in these five because what I can promise you, if you’re listening to this and you have your own business and you’re making a couple million dollars and you’re struggling, one or four or five of these five are off. The relationships are not balanced and sound. So we to work in there, just moving the needle a little bit in each one of these relationships, makes incredible progress for you over time, okay? But you have to be willing to recognize that all of them, we don’t just work on one. These are symbiotic. They feed one another. As soon as I figure out my time, then I got to work with my relationship with my team, because once I understand how to really use my time well, guess who needs to start to do the same thing?
And once I start having this really great team, then I need to… Or before I have a really great team, I need to think about how I pay people, which means I need to really look at my relationship with my money. And before you even think about who to hire, I need to also look at my business and what does my business need. There’s all these elements that we want to always be considering and we’re always going to go back into one of them or a couple of them. But I think that makes it easy because then we know where to diagnose, right? Like if we’re having a problem, is this the time thing or money thing? The team thing? The business thing? Or a me thing? Sometimes it’s one, it’s all, but we always consider all of them, okay?
So I give you that to really help you if you have your business today and you just need some help thinking through, “Okay, where am I stuck? Where’s the business problem? What can I use help with?” But I also want you to understand when we work together, this is where we really spend our time. Because as it relates to a woman who is an entrepreneur, who is running her own business, who is manifesting success through her human capital, through the people that work for you, we have to consider all of these on a regular basis. So thank you for tuning in today. I’ll talk to you next time.
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