Ep #45: Entrepreneurial Management Truths We Have to Tell

 In Podcast

“Managing” is not very sexy, but management is what gets it done in your business. Kris shares 10 “truths” about entrepreneurial management so you can be aware of them, accept them and move on.

What you’ll find in this episode:

  1. Leading isn’t required to manage, but managing is required to lead.
  2. How you go, so it goes.
  3. You’ve got to grow or die.
  4. It’s not supposed to be fun.
  5. People will leave you, and you will leave them.
  6. Communication is everything.
  7. No one will ever care as much as you do.
  8. Every year is a new year.
  9. Entrepreneurial management is a relationship, not a job.
  10. You are not alone.

Featured on the Show and Other Notes:

  • Ali Brown’s Glambition Radio podcast.
  • Do you love the How to Lead podcast? Please go to iTunes or Google Play and write a review. Then do a screen shot and go to Instagram and put that on your story or feed and tag me @KrisPlachyCoach. I’ll then send you my favorite books list.
  • Information about the Entrepreneurial Management Program.
  • The Founder’s Lab is my private coaching program for female founders who are generating more than 7-figures in their revenue. It’s a complement to the Entrepreneurial Management program and is a part of the work you get as a client of mine. This isn’t a “class.” I don’t give you copious tons of things to do. I give you the ones that matter and then we keep talking about them. We apply them. That’s why it’s called the Founder’s Lab.
  • There is also the Founder’s Lab Fundamentals – for women who have just gotten started hiring people –making about $200-300K in their business.
  • Go here to book an appointment with me.
  • If you haven’t joined my email subscribers list, you can do that here.


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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, everyone. Welcome, welcome. This is the first podcast of the year 2020. I can’t even believe it. I don’t know why. It just has such a nice ring to it. I hope you guys are thinking the same thing. And here’s to you and this year and whatever it is that you have planned and would like to create. There’s so much. I know I did my new year for you all and to those of you that downloaded it. I’ll leave it up probably another week or so. I certainly see a lot of support out there for people who want to think through what they want to achieve and accomplish.

So as a reminder, because I do think it’s super important, whenever you set a goal, it has to feel good. It can’t just be that setting the goal feels good. When you set a goal, I like to think about the person I become as a part of the process. So I think about myself at the end of the goal, like achieving the goal and experiencing the goal, not just writing the goal. Because I can always tell when I’m like, “Oh, yeah. That sounds good,” and I write it down and it feels good to write it but it’s not really … I’m not really attaching to the woman that I want to become in order to achieve that goal, which is a very different way of thinking. So I just want to give you that little caveat. Make sure that as you go into this year, because I know a lot of us do a lot of setting of goals and thinking about intentions, or words, or whatever it is that has your attention, I think what matters is that. It’s attention and intention rather than sort of having sort of unsupervised results in our lives and sort of ending up somewhere when you didn’t mean to or didn’t know where you were going.

So, I have thought through … I have quite a few podcasts lined up for the beginning of the year here, and I thought I would start with one that … These are thoughts that rattle through my brain every day. I thought, well, let’s just make it this one as the first one for this year, and it’s all about entrepreneurial management. I wanted to talk to you really about the truths. These are truths I think you need to know that I know that I believe that I argue with regularly. I would imagine you will, too. I hear from many of you when I meet you that you yell at me in your car. Sorry.

But, so managing is just … I don’t think is terribly sexy. That’s why we all talk about leadership all the time, right? But really, management is what gets it done in your business. But there are some sort of pitfalls that I think you fall into if you are like most women I coach and know who run a business and that I equally fall into. So I just thought, well, I’m going to just jot them all down and share them and see how they resonate for you. And hopefully it gives you something to kind of springboard off of as you go into this year.

Because I think if you can kind of arrive at some truths that you tell yourself, you can stop arguing that it should be different. You can stop resisting that it exists. I do watch a lot of my clients get into kind of this burden relationship with their business because they don’t like how something is and they shouldn’t have to deal with it, and why do I have to do this, and why don’t other people do this or … And it just keeps you on this spiral. And it’s interesting just in this recent timeframe there’s … I have new people that join my group all the time, my Founder’s Lab, and there’s always one or two people who get it really quick and they just put things into action because they stop arguing with what should have been, or what should be, or why do I have to, and they just do. Right? And that’s the invitation I like to make to my clients is come join me in Founder’s Lab and stop arguing with what you think it should be and do things. Get some work done. Because then you actually start to get the traction that you want and you start to feel better. But, that’s a whole other podcast likely.

Okay. So I’m going to go through each of these. I came up with 10. I’m sure I could probably write 25 more, but I’m going to focus on these 10. And the first one’s a little bit of a conceptual understanding, but I’m going to start there. I think the rest are a little more pragmatic. But, what I wrote down is that leading isn’t required to manage, but managing is required to lead. Okay? So, leading isn’t required to manage, but managing is required to lead.

Let me put this into context. A lot of us start a business because we have a vision. We have a thing we want to do in the world, and we see it. And not only do we see it, but we’re able to convince and influence others to see it, too, and to join us in the pursuit of whatever is that vision. We enlist employees. We enlist clients. We are able to build this business model and generate revenue and all of these things around our vision. So leadership is a skill, and it is something I believe that some of us have innately, just like some of us can draw and some of us can’t, but we can all learn how to draw. We can all learn how to lead.

Leadership is this ability to paint a vision, have a vision, conceptualize a vision, and then translate that vision into something in the world and encourage others to join you in that process. That is leadership. And we can lead ourselves and we can lead others, but leadership is in and of itself, I believe, its own skill. I do know that there are a lot of very successful entrepreneurs who are initially leaders. They just have this compelling idea that they want to put into the world.

Managing is not leading. Managing is really at the work level. It is at the pieces, and parts, and functions, and process, and systems part of anything, not just a business, but anything. You think about a house, right? I can have this vision and create a leadership vision of what I want my life to look like and my family to look like, but then the management of that is, did you pay for your daughter’s soccer dues? Have you booked their flights to so-and-so? Does everybody have their books? There’s management that comes with running just a household, okay?

So, management can happen in the absence of leadership because it just is … It is a required element to make something function, but it is not contingent on having leadership skill. I can be a really good manager and not really be a leader or have leadership skill at the same level that I have management skill, right? This is where some of us get tripped up. Because first of all, we think if we’re exceptional at this leadership space that somehow we should just be good at managing, and that’s a no. There is absolutely no reason why just because you’re good and naturally good or have developed a skill in leading that you would just be naturally good at managing. And to tell yourself that is to perpetuate, I think, a very painful lie because then you don’t ever learn how to manage because it’s hard. Right?

Now, managing, we can have a lot of people who are great at managing stuff who would never lead, right? I know in the Rocket Fuel book we call these people sort of integrators, right? They’re so good at all the details, and the systems, and the processes, all of it. They don’t really want to set the vision forward, and that’s fine. They don’t want to conceptualize. They just want to be involved in putting the frameworks together and the structure together. But you have to, as a leader, be willing to learn how to manage. But as a manager, I don’t believe you have to learn how to lead.

Now, we can pull that apart, but I’m really addressing this podcast to who … The majority of my clients tend to have more of that leadership vision and then they struggle with the management part of their business, which is why they’ve become so despondent, and angry, and mad at their business because there’s all this damn management to do. Well, who the hell said I had to do that? Yeah, you do have to learn it.

Now, you don’t have to become an ace at it. You don’t have to become the rock star at it. But, you have to learn it because you can’t hide from it. Eventually, as a leader, if you end up building a multimillion dollar business, you will have management infrastructure. But guess who has to design that? That would be you, my friend. You’re the boss. Now, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be people you hire who have more skill and more ability, of course, in managing. And ultimately, I would tell you that. Let’s get you a COO who can help you with all of the operational management of your business. But the only person who’s going to be able to put into place what that feels like, and looks like, and what the culture of that is is you. Otherwise, you start to separate yourself from the culture of your very own company.

So, that’s why I do what I do, because there’s so many of you who don’t like to manage, want to manage, know how to manage, and I teach you. It doesn’t mean you’re going to love it. It’s like whenever I do my consult and I tell people what we’re going to do together. Does that make you want to pay me money? Because I can watch their faces like oh. Except, wait, the best part is watching people’s faces on the other end of it. I just got another post today from a client who had to fire someone in her company, and she’s mortified. She’s horrified. It’s horrible. But at the same time, she’s so proud of herself because she was able to do it and take charge of what her business needs instead of just addressing what the employee needs.

Okay, number two. How you go, so it goes. Whatever those things are in your life or who you are that you like to ignore about yourself, your company will teach you what those are, and it will make you face them. You know what I kind of I wrote down as a reflective question? Is to think about what you were like as a student, like in high school. Were you like super studious and super focused and wanted to be totally prepared and know everything? There’s so much super power in that, right? Except what is on the other side is total control, which you really … It’s nice to think that you have control as an entrepreneur. I’m cracking myself up. But you know, that will be tried, to say the least. And then maybe you were the opposite. I was a little probably more than the opposite. I was like, “Oh, I always give them A. I don’t have to work that hard.” Welcome to entrepreneurial management. You do have to work hard. You can’t wait until the last night to write your paper, right?

So whenever that is for you, it shows up in your business. And you can either decide to be mad at it, ignore it, get mad at your business for it, get mad at employees, or you could just tell the truth, like, “Oh, this is so interesting.” However I go, the business goes. Whatever I ignore becomes a problem for the business. Whatever I don’t want to learn becomes handicapped for myself and the business. Just tell yourself the truth. You’ve got to grow, you guys. That’s actually number three. I wrote down you’ve got to grow or die. If you don’t grow, if you don’t invest in yourself, if you don’t learn, if you don’t change it, it won’t work over time. Your business will either gobble you up or you’ll just break out of it, right? You’ve got to stay on pace.

I have this expression that I use a lot with some of my interpretation of some of my clients. I have a lot of clients who would, I say, are revenue forward. I’ll probably do a podcast on this. But, they make a lot of money quickly, which is super fun. It’s fun to make a lot of money quickly. But the problem is, is then they haven’t built any infrastructure to support that revenue generation, right? So then when it comes to replicating it, they don’t really know how other than through more revenue models. Or they also don’t know how to build systems and manage all of the pieces and parts. It gets overwhelming to them. So it’s nice to make a lot of money quickly. I understand that’s fun. But, it doesn’t force you as the business owner, as the founder, to grow in the way that you need to to really run and manage a business that can support that revenue and grow from there, okay? So, I call that revenue forward. I made it up, but I see it happen a lot. So, you do have to grow.

Number four, it’s not supposed to be fun. Some of you who are like, “I’m not having fun,” okay. Get over it. There are fun moments and there are hard moments. But it just being fun, no. You have important work to do. This is important stuff. If you tend to go there, like this isn’t fun, I just would invite you. Okay. Yeah, no. It’s not supposed to be fun. Let’s just move along. There will be great, and fun, and joyous, and rewarding moments just like there are difficult, and trying, and overwhelming, and awful moments. But the relationship in your brain, if you happen to have that, that you think this should just be skippy do-do fun, fun, Mm-mm (negative). That’s just going to perpetuate your disappointment and frustration with what you have to work through every day when you’re running a multimillion dollar business.

Number five, people will leave you, and you will leave them. The people you start with are not the people you finish with. I know you’ve heard me say that. The people you thought you would work with forever will leave you. Friends will look at you and say, “Who are you? What’s going on with you?” Other friends will be inspired by you. People you never met before will come into your life, which is exciting. And people who you thought would be proud and excited for you and your success aren’t. It’s the truth. And to the extent that you allow that to keep you small, that will affect two and three, which I already talked about. How you go, so it goes. And if you don’t grow, the business will not survive. So you have to understand that in order for this business to grow and thrive you have to do the same, which means there will be relationships along the way that don’t come with you, and that’s okay. And you can grieve it in the moment, right? That was a client just today. This is so heartbreaking. I can’t believe I had to let this person go. It is heartbreaking, and you can be human.

Okay, number six. Communication is everything. Y’all, you got to talk. You got to talk to your people. You got to have processes for talking to people. You have to have processes for people to capture how they talk to each other. However, we need to not just be talking about everything all the time and having four-hour meetings. We need to be concise, and clear, and have processes for communication, and you go first. Are you doing one-on-ones? Are you meeting with your team? Are you doing a team meeting? Do you have clear expectations for people? Have you shared them? Do you reiterate them?

Communication. Any organizational problem, when people come to me and they’re like, “Oh my gosh,” and they show me all the mess, communication. It’s always a communication problem first. Then it’s probably a systems, a process or practice problem. But, somebody’s not talking to somebody. Somebody’s not holding somebody accountable. Somebody’s not addressing something. There’s always a gap, and you’re the one who has to go first. But we’ve developed a little bit of like a thing about communicating because we think it wastes time. We think that meetings and one-on-ones or whatever else wastes time, and I don’t disagree. I think we’ve gotten very inefficient in some of that, so that’s your responsibility, which brings us back to why you have to learn how to manage. But, communication’s at the heart of it.

Number seven, no one will ever care as much as you do. This is true. I have so many of my clients will say, “Nobody cares about this like I do.” No, they don’t. Stop waiting for them to. You know what they care about? Is what matters to them. Invest in knowing what that is and you’ll get more out of them. They don’t care about how much money your company makes. They care about how much money they get to go take home and so they can take their family to Disneyland or whatever. That’s what they care about. So know that about people instead of resenting the fact that they don’t care as much as you do. No. You’re hiring an employee or employees to execute on work that is for the business that is the business you started.

Employees think differently than entrepreneurs, and that’s okay. Neither one is better or worse than the other, but that’s why we make a good partnership as long as we have common goals. But you wishing they cared as much as you do, that just puts you into what we call emotional childhood in life coach training, and it’s not useful. You start having tantrums. No one will ever care as much as you do. Good. Now what? Build a business that allows goals and results to be achieved outside of your perspective that they should care as much as you do. It’s not useful.

Number eight, every year’s a new year. It’s kind of why I’m doing this right now. I believe I’ve … This is advice I’ve been given by Brooke Castillo, who’s mentored me and coached me for years. Every year we should audit it all, all of it. What are you doing? How are you making money? Who’s on the team? Do you even want this business? Do you want to live where you live? What? What? Look at it all. As soon as you’re overly attached to something, we know that we may not be in a position of as much strength as we could be. So you have to be willing to kind of burn the thing down and rebuild it so it can be better, sharper, more powerful, more engaging, more interesting. And that’s also true for how you run your company. Do you look at the whole thing? In the old corporate world that I worked in, we used to call them sacred cows. What are the sacred cows, those things that you think, “Oh, I would never. I would never fire Sheila. She’s been here too long. I would never get rid of this product. We’ve had it forever,” right?

I love to listen to Ali Brown’s Glambition Radio podcast, and she’s wicked smart, from my perspective. She just had this whole podcast on the 80/20 the Pareto principle and really looking at the fact that 80% of our results typically come from 20% of our people or 20% of our products. So, look at where are you really, really maximizing success and results rather than just the emotional attachment you have to parts of your business.

Number nine is … I wrote down that entrepreneurial management is a relationship, not a job. What I want to say to you there is that, as I’ve mentioned before, so many of us think that, I don’t know if it’s because we’re women or what, that we should just be naturally good at managing people. And to the extent that you think you should know what to do, but you don’t really know what to do, as long as you stay in that loop, you’ll stay stuck. So many of the women when I first meet with them and we have our initial call, it’s like they just unload, like, “Oh my gosh. I been trying to do this for so long, and I just don’t understand why I’m not any good at it, and I can’t figure out how to make it. I’ve tried [inaudible 00:21:42], and I did this, and I just am so burnt out. I just don’t know if I could do this anymore.” And they just wait until this breaking point to reach out for help.

I don’t know if it’s because people don’t know that there’s people like me or what, but you don’t have to suffer. There are answers. To all this management stuff that you don’t know how to work through, there really are answers. But if you keep believing you should just know how to do it, you’re going to just spin. So the truth I want you to hear here is that entrepreneurial management is a relationship that you have with yourself. It’s not a job. You’re not supposed to just know how to do it. You have to develop it. You have to ask for help all the time from people you trust.

And number 10, because I know this is a longer podcast than normal, is that you’re not alone. I think that entrepreneurial loneliness is a real thing. Echoing off of what I just said for number nine, I think that you think you’re the only one. I think that you think that everybody else knows how to hire the right people, or find good people, or have the difficult conversation, or set up the policies, or write the job description, or make them money. I think that you think other people know something that you don’t, and somehow that keeps you from asking for help, like you should just be able to figure it out. But, you’re not alone. But if you keep staying alone, you will be alone.

I think that women, if we go back to tribal days when we all lived in caves, right? There gets to be a certain age where the women all have their own little women’s hut, and we hang out, and we share stories, and we share how to do things, and we teach one another. You have to do that. I know you do that for others. I know you teach others. I know you’re really good at it, but you also have to ask for help because you’re not alone, especially now. There are so many women who are running their own companies. It’s amazing. And we’ve got to continue to leverage the collective knowledge of one another and what we’re all learning. So, raise your hand. Ask for help. That is the truth that I want you to remember as you go into 2020.

So, I hope you found these helpful, and I am super excited that you stuck with me and you’re still here in 2020. Let’s get it. Got some work to do. I’ll talk to you soon.

Hey, don’t miss a thing. Make sure you join my community at krisplachy.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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