Ep #82: The Voiceless Problem for Female Entrepreneurs

 In Podcast

Female entrepreneurs have deep passion for their businesses, but did you realize that many of them also carry around deep shame? Shame and pain about an issue that is so intense that they rarely even want to talk about it – a voiceless problem. Helping women talk about this issue so they don’t give up on their businesses is what we do. We can fix it. I promise!

What you’ll find in this episode:

  1. What that voiceless problem is that female entrepreneurs don’t like to talk about.
  2. Why some people lose the team because they didn’t invest in themselves.
  3. What causes business owners to become relentless, and slightly ruthless, about who they let in.
  4. Why your passion can become a poison to other people and to you.
  5. The true story about a client of Kris’s who went from $0 to $700K in one week!

Featured on the Show and Other Notes:

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Podcast Transcript

Hey, I’m Kris Plachy host of the Lead Your Team podcast. Running a million-dollar business is not easy. And whether you’re just getting started with building your team, or you’ve been at this for a while, I’m going to bring you honest, specific, and clear practices you can use right now today to improve how well you lead your team. Let’s go ahead and get started. Hello, my friends. How are you? Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Wherever you are when you’re listening to this, hi, I’m Kris Plachy, a host of the podcast Lead Your Team. Welcome. And I’m an executive coach. I coach female entrepreneurs through and over and up and out of leading and managing their teams, which of course is a skill that most entrepreneurs never develop through any form of training. It’s a school of hard knocks as they say.

So first of all, welcome and thank you for being here and thank you to people, those of you, who’ve written reviews recently. I’m very grateful to you for doing that. It does make a difference and thank you to those of you who’ve stopped by and wave to low to me on Instagram and LinkedIn and so forth. That’s lovely. And I love meeting you there. So thank you. We are just continuing to get ready more and more for the How to CEO launch, which will be a brand new program that I’m starting. It’ll be unlike anything anybody’s really ever done as it relates to the teamwork, as it relates to being the CEO, the entrepreneur, the person in charge of your business. And we have solidified all of our guest speakers, which I am crazy excited about, and I will be telling you about them in the coming weeks.

And also we’ll be making those announcements to my list and to the waiting list particularly first, as well as to Instagram and other social sites. So keep your eye out to learn more. If you’re not on the waiting list yet, and you know you want to join me and my team and other women like you and these amazing guest experts and learn from them, please go to How to CEO live. You’ll be able to put your name on the waiting list and we will release all the information to you as soon as it’s ready. So excited. A couple other things that you may not know about though, that are I have available for you to play around with. A couple of weeks ago you might recall I did a podcast called, that was focused on Solopreneur to Entrepreneur. And then I did another podcast, which is Entrepreneur to CEO.

And then what we did is we created a quiz that helps you really determine what stage of management of the team are you in because not just revenue specific, it’s not team size specific. There’s also your mindset here and how you think about your business. So if you are interested, I’d love to invite you to go to myceoquiz.com and take the quiz and kind of figure out, “Where am I in my stage of leadership managing this team and what are some solutions available to me?” That’s what we provide for you. When you take that quiz, you’re also going to get my video series that we created on how to write a CEO job description, which if you don’t have you need, period, that’s all I’m going to say about that.

So today I want to talk with you. Last week we talked about leadership is feminine. This week is also really unfolding more and more as of my philosophy and the way that I think about what I do. And also to maybe help you in a way that you haven’t been helped before as a woman who’s running this business and beautiful business of yours. I don’t know, maybe you don’t feel like it’s beautiful today. I think it’s beautiful. I work with women who, actually up until now, I worked with women who are running seven figure businesses. The How to CEO program, we’re going to open up to anybody who’s generating at least $250,000 or more in their business and has either a small team, or is just starting to think about putting people on the team or frankly has a huge team. But what I find with the women when they first join working with me is a lot of similarity.

And so this may or may not be true for you, but I was talking to my coach about this a couple of weeks ago, and I love what she said. She gave me such powerful words. She always does. She said, “You really focus on a voiceless problem.” And I was like, “Whoa, wait a minute. What?” And we talked about really focusing on the deeper meaning of not just my business, but of everybody’s business. And so the voiceless problem, what does that mean? Well, when women come to me and I first meet them, there’s this general oxymoron, quagmire dilemma of, “I figured out how to make money. I figured out how to attract clients or customers. So I have a viable thing that I do in the world, but I want it to get bigger and I want to grow, but I can’t figure the people part out.”

And the reason I loved when she called it voiceless is it’s not something we really talk about. Now, people complain about their employees. So don’t misunderstand me. Everybody gets frustrated and complaints. The voiceless problem is the deep pain and shame that I think a lot of us experience when we’re not good at the managing people part. The shame comes from believing you should be good at it. That somehow you should have known how to do this, someone should have taught you. You should have picked it up. You’re a woman. Don’t women just know how to manage people, aren’t we supposed to just be good at this? And so when you’re not good at it, there’s terrible sort of shame that I think people just cover up and then they blame their employees for being not any good. So there’s that. And I think a lot of women carry that shame as sort of ineffective, “I’m not good at this. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m never going to be good at it,” thinking which triggers the shame emotion.

And then the actions are to lash out at the team, hide from the team, avoid the team, try and find other people to manage the team until, and at some point we lose the team or we lose the business because we didn’t invest in ourselves to recover from this sort of voiceless shame because I don’t think women talk about it. I think when I watch women in business circles, we talk about size of companies, we talk about revenue, we talk about profit, we talk about marketing strategies. We talk about business development strategies, sales, IT problems. We don’t really talk about the real meaning behind that perpetual burden and sense of overwhelm and failure. That’s honestly why I think what I do is so important because I was you, frankly I’ve been you.

I still bump into moments of like, “Really, I do this for a living? Why is this hard?” Seriously. But you’ve got to have somewhere to go to work out that worry and that emotion. That emotion will derail everything. Shame is a terribly disruptive emotion to carry. We all feel it, but you don’t have to carry it. So that’s the one part of that voiceless problem. The second part of the voiceless problem is the deep, crazy, deep passion, commitment you have to birth and grow this baby business of yours. That you want it so much to work that you can be in sort of physical pain when it doesn’t work because of the team. When it falls flat because of the people that you’re trying to get work done through you.

And this is, once we sort of work through like, “It’s okay, no need to feel shame. Let’s work through it. Let’s tell the truth. Let’s go on.” This is the next sort of layer of the voiceless problem, which is, “Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I might not be good at managing. Yeah, maybe I can learn how to manage. That’s all well and good Kris, but these people just don’t get it. How do I get them to get it? How do I make them care as much as I do?” And the answer to that is you don’t, you keep that joy, connection, advanced pride, commitment, all of it. You keep that because that’s why you started a business, that’s yours. And if you really own that, how proud you are of what you do, how committed you are to what you do, how resolved you are to do whatever the thing is that you want to do, then you will be relentless and slightly ruthless about who you let in.

You will stop giving it away. “Oh, I hope this person can help me. Oh, I hope this person knows about how to do this better than I do. Oh, I hope they can just figure it out.” Stop it. They’re not, but you’re the one with the dream. You’re the one with the goal. Now, eventually we have to get better at hiring and faster at firing. And that’s what I help you learn how to do. We have to get better at the feedback and the conversations. And that’s what I help you do. So whether you’re a founder who’s had the same four people working for 12 years and they’re really not working. You’re doing most of the work. They get to hang out. You all love each other, but you don’t feel supported, and the business is not supported by their efforts, or you’re the founder who can’t keep a body in her business to save her life. You have relentlessly active churn. They don’t hang out. You burn them out. You fry them. Those are the extremes of this issue. Your passion becomes a poison to other people or your passion becomes a poison to you. And that’s the truth.

So this voiceless problem. So this is the dilemma. I was talking to my team about it yesterday as we were thinking about How to CEO, and we’re going to commit to you that in 12 weeks of working with me and my team and in then our guest experts, you will have your CEO team blueprint, which to me is like, if you’re going to build a house, you have to have a blueprint, right? You need the structure and the plans.

Now, once that house has plumbing, electricity, insulation, whatever the things are that are the basics that blueprints draw. I don’t even know, a roof. Once all of that’s done, then we show up and we make it ours. We beautify it, we choose colors, and a carpet and hardwood, right? We do that. The same thing is true for you. I’m going to teach you the blueprint. You’re going to make it yours. So in 12 weeks, I’m going to deliver that to you. You’re going to have it done, assuming you stay with me through the whole 12 weeks and you do it. It’ll be done. How to hold people accountable, how to have difficult conversations, how to give feedback, how to hire people, how to fire people, how to delegate. All the things that I know are keeping you potentially awake at night. We’re going to nail that. But here’s what we’re really going to do.

We’re really going to also unearth and give words to this voiceless problem, because once we do, it’s never a problem again. Once you know that there is a solution, you never have to indulge that shame, that overwhelm, that burden, that frustration. You don’t have to do that anymore if you choose. And to me, that’s the gift of the work. The blueprint, that I could do my sleep and I will do that. And you will love it. But you’re also going to gain a level of insight and confidence and knowing, that I believe is irreplaceable and that you will keep with you for the rest of your days.

So I want to finish this podcast with a quick story, because I’m just so dang proud of her. So I have a client who when the pandemic hit, her business was very effected. Her primary client base is retail. She’s been in business 20 years, her primary base is retail. She sells branded cookies, chocolates. She does high level corporate. I don’t want to say corporate gifts, but she does customized programs for her clients. And as you well know, one of the hardest hit industries has been retail, not to mention that she’s in food, right? So in addition to closing down, shutting down her whole production, sending everybody home furloughing, she’s lost a significant amount of her client base. And even the clients that she did keep didn’t want to pay her. They kept wanting to extend their invoice due dates.

And so we started after the first, probably, two months of really then once we saw what was coming. She’s been working with me for about a year on really figuring out what the dynamic of the team is, who she wants on the team. And she’s been more really focused on those higher-level administrative roles. She’s had a different system in place, and now she wanted to change it to really take her business to the next level. I’d say she runs about two to three million a year. Well, as of this past March, she had $0 and we worked together. She came to every call. So when COVID hit, I increased all my office hours. I did three office hours a week, plus our group call, plus she had a one on one with me once a month. She came to every single call I did. And she was not a happy camper. I’m going to tell you that. But man, she showed up and we decided to get her someone to help sell because that’s what she really needed most. And we needed that person to really focus on new markets, new industries.

And she had never hired a salesperson. So we had to figure out what the job would be, how to post the job, how to interview for the job, how to test and trial somebody for the job, how to onboard somebody for the job, how to manage somebody in this job. That’s what I’m going to tell you, man. And she’s been coming every time and with all of her insecurities and all of her overwhelm and all of her doubt, she just keeps showing up. So last week we had our call and I don’t usually ask my clients on group calls how much money they make. That’s not actually something we ever talk about, but for whatever reason on this call, I just looked at her and I said, “All right, tell me how much money did you make last week? Just for grins.” Because she had said the week before that things were starting to look up and stone cold, pan face, she said, “700K.”

I fell out of my chair. I actually leapt out of my chair. One of my other clients fell out of her chair. We were all gobsmacked. She went from nothing to $700K in a week. And the joy I felt, I was like beyond myself. I was so proud of her that she did not quit herself because it was hard. Now where hard is been for her and continues to be the work she’s doing his team. It’s managing, it’s coaching, it’s helping someone do work. She’s never even really been good at, like she says, but she didn’t quit. She’s succeeding. And that’s what I want for everybody. Don’t let the management part be the reason you give up. We can fix that part. I know this. If you are willing and you want to hook up with me, we will fix that part.

It’s a formula. It’s not some super-secret back room, only certain people know it. I promise. So hopefully that gave you a little bit to think about. As always, I love to know your thoughts. If you loved this episode of the podcast and you’re on Instagram, post it to a story. Share, tag me @krisplachycoach. I’ll send you my book list. All right everyone, have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day.

One more thing before you go in a world of digital courses and online content, I like to work with my clients live because I know that when you have someone you can work with, ask questions of and meet with, you’re so much more likely to get the success that you want. So head on over to how2ceolive.com to learn more about our very exciting, very exclusive program, just for female entrepreneurs. We’ll see you there.

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