The feminine CEO formula. What does it entail, exactly? How do you go from being kissed with an idea to having a thriving business with an incredible team? How do you transition from making so many decisions yourself to ascending into the next level of yourself where you’re not as involved anymore? Such transformation takes…

EP #8

Season 6 Episode 8: Start Here to Become the CEO

The feminine CEO formula. What does it entail, exactly? How do you go from being kissed with an idea to having a thriving business with an incredible team? How do you transition from making so many decisions yourself to ascending into the next level of yourself where you’re not as involved anymore? Such transformation takes time and intentionality.

I want to help you with this intentional process. Walk beside you as you take the time and make the time to grow and change. As with anything, it’s always best to begin at the beginning so I decided to record this episode – a start here to become the CEO. Obviously, we cannot cover everything in one brief podcast but I want to offer my perspective regarding this road, both the positives as well as the pitfalls. It’s super crazy fun and super terrifying, so let’s go.

“What river do you want to be in? Do you wanna be in the one where you’ve got those frickin’ paddles and you’re working so hard to get there? Or do you want to try to figure out how to get into that river with the current that’s gonna help you move?” – Kris Plachy

What You’ll Learn

  • Who your first hire should be
  • Build clear framework
  • More sales isn’t the answer
  • The endless nature of life
  • You’re the roadblock
  • New you, moving forward
  • Lies we believe
  • Stop getting in your own way

Contact Info and Recommended Resources

My How to CEO program begins February 16, 2023 – The updated version of How to CEO includes the opportunity for management training for anyone on your team, while you go through the program.

The CEO Boutique: Digital Clinics offered by Kris Plachy: Essential Practices for Women Who Lead. Shop what’s available, including Kickstart Team Ops, Team Audits, Dealing with Difficult People and much more!

I’d love to hear your feedback! Leave me a review on your favorite podcast platform:

Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Google Podcasts

Connect with Kris Plachy

Well, hi. I had an idea. Since it’s the beginning of the year, I decided to do a start here podcast. I wanna talk to you about how to begin, how to begin really stepping into your voice at a woman who is a CEO. So whether you are brand new here, or you’ve been listening for a long time, my intention is to give you a couple nuggets that you can take with you today and do right away.

So let’s get started.

Well, hi and welcome. I’m so excited to spend this time with you and really go over what, in my mind, is sort of that feminine CEO formula, right? How do you go from being this woman who had this idea, to building the thing, to hiring the team to run the thing, to making the money, to getting the clients, to expanding to a point that you are no longer in the weeds, and ultimately, have this incredible group of people who are running your business, making the majority of the decisions while you are out in the world now, sort of ascending into that next level version of yourself.

I think that when we think about becoming entrepreneurs, most of us think about what we wanna do and that transformational version of ourselves. And there’s so much that has to happen between, “I have this cool idea” to “I’m this accomplished, successful woman who has loads of free time and lots of spending money”, that vision that I think most entrepreneurs are drawn to. So I don’t suppose that in the next 15 minutes we’re gonna wrap it up with a tidy bow, but I do wanna give you, my perspective on the road to follow and where I see the potential hazards and the pitfalls and also where I think you can get into what a client of mine recently called the river. Where the river’s running in the right direction and you, I don’t know, we do that here in town. We go down the Truckee River and it’s so fun cuz you float and when you get in a current and you’re floating it’s so fun, cuz you don’t have to work at all. It feels effortless and I do believe there are ways to do that in our business.

So let’s just start from the beginning though. I’m gonna assume that you are new, you’re new here, and maybe you have a business. That’s likely. And you’re making some money. You’re making enough money that you’re starting to think, “Hmm, I might need to hire some people.” And that sounds terrible, right? Because most entrepreneurs have never led and managed teams ever. They acquire people because they need help. And we’re gonna talk about that here in a second.

So you have this gorgeous business that you’ve built. You’re making revenue. Most of this work has been done by you. You recognize you need help. And if you’re, like most of us, your typical first hires are contractors, and they’re usually like a bookkeeper, a graphic designer, maybe a digital person to help you with social media. Those are typically the first few that we hire, and it’s why in the hiring clinic that I have on the CEO Boutique, that’s actually what we give you are the first five hires, the job descriptions that I know that people like.

So if you haven’t checked that out, you should go to the CEO Boutique at krisplachy.com. But nonetheless, that’s where you are and that’s very normal. But what I want to teach you also is that actually the very first person you should always hire is an assistant.

I believe that everyone who’s generating more than a hundred thousand dollars should hire an assistant no matter what, and here’s why. First of all, you have to learn how to start to think about the money that your business generates, not as your money, but as the money of the business. If you think of yourself as a business owner who generates a hundred K, and you think you make a hundred K, you are woefully mistaken. Your business generates a hundred K. You do not. You earn a salary, you earn whatever, usually if we’re doing it wrong, is left over.

So step one is you need to immediately read Profit First and you need to learn why you need to pay yourself. Step two is you have to learn how to pay other people, and you have to learn how paying other people is an investment in the growth of the business, and your time, energy. That the more you can hire other people to do work you could do, the more you have capacity to create and do the work in the world, that is your zone of genius. The sooner you can learn that, the easier the rest of this will be.

So many of the clients that hire me have built $8 million businesses and have never hired an assistant, and it’s hard. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I have a lot of clients with tremendous success, but it’s difficult to realize that sort of relationship with someone that late in your growth.

The other reason why I want you to hire an assistant as soon as you possibly can is we have to learn how to hire people and help them understand what our expectations are, what our needs are, and how to deliver on those. How to ask for what we want, how to ask, how to be supported and expect it and hold people accountable to it. So step one is the assistant. Then if you need a bookkeeper, if you need a graphic designer, all the things, absolutely hire them. If you’ve already hired those people and you don’t have the budget for an assistant yet, then once you get to 200 k, I want you to think about it.

So we go along and we’re practicing now hiring people, building people into the business. Step two is you have to build a framework for yourself and people to thrive in your company. Why does your business exist? What is your business on the planet to achieve? Can you say so with crystal clarity, do you know why your business exists? I have plenty of podcasts talking about this. We’ve gotta get that nailed down. What are your values? What is the filter you will use to hire and fire people into your business? We’ve gotta get that clear. Without that, you have no rudder. When you don’t have a rudder for the human resources in your company, you will make poor hires.

And listen, we all make ’em anyway, but in the absence of that kind of clarity, you really make them. So we’ve gotta get that dialed in. This whole beginning phase is really setting up design for how to pay people, how to delegate, how to set expectations, and clarify, how to make sure everybody in the bus knows what direction we’re going and how to make sure as many people on that bus are aligned to your values, and to the values of what you’re trying to do in the business.

Now, when you’re brand new, and whether you’re running a hundred K business, or a million dollar business, or a $5 million business, it’s likely that you feel like you’re underneath all of this, and there’s a lot of sexy answers out there. A lot of answers that people wanna share with you that say, “Just make more money if you just make more money”. This whole thing gets easier if you just get more clients, if you just increase your prices, if you just change the way you offer your product. All this stuff starts to sound so sexy.

Because it helps you focus on the part of the business which you love, which is the customer part, the service part, the product part, the creation part. But the part of the business that’s actually going to help you realize the most growth is your team. So while you’re scrolling the interwebs and you see all of these leaders out there who wanna tell you how to scale your business to go to seven K, to go to eight k, to go to 7 million, to go to 8 million to grow however many figures you have in your company, if I could just grab you and say, do not invest in making more money until you invested in the team that will support the growth.

It’s like a client of mine said to me years ago, when you have really great sales, sales is a great lubricant for poor leadership. So when you haven’t learned how to lead, you can sell and it makes it look like everything’s great, but I really, really, really, really want you to hear me. There are a lot of people out there who are running multiple million dollar businesses who did not take the time to develop their skills as managers. And that’s not because they’re bad people. It’s because it was hard. It’s because they didn’t think they need to, it’s because they grew too fast, you name it. And they suffer on the back end. They can’t keep team members. They’re overwhelmed. They’re still overworking. They haven’t learned how to drop hustle culture in their company. There’s just all sorts of things that go on. And listen, can you get there? Of course you can. I just don’t think it has to be that hard.

So at the beginning of this podcast, right, it’s like what river do you wanna be in? Do you wanna be in the one where you’re got those fricking paddles and you’re working so hard to get there? Or do you wanna try to figure out how to get into that river with the current that’s gonna help you move? When you hire great people, when you build incredible support for the company, that’s what happens.

Did you know that there’s a lot of people on this planet who are a lot better at things than you? And did you know you can actually pay them money to achieve the results that right now you’re trying to achieve in your company? And did you know that you’re gonna have to go through a lot of those people for as long as you run a business? You will meet people, you will let them go. You will meet people, you will let them go, you will meet people, they will quit. And that is, as my former client and girlfriend, Eleanor Wheaton says that she quoted from another book, I think it’s the Atomic Habits guy, that is the endless nature of life. The endless nature of running a business is that you move people through it, clients and team.

This belief that somewhere somehow somebody started to believe that you should hire people, they should never quit, and you should never have to replace them. It’s just a lie, but instead of being upset about it, let’s just get really good at it. And then it doesn’t take any skin off your teeth. You’re like, “Oh dude, that’s a bummer. You didn’t work out. I’m gonna try again.” But we’ve gotta get you through that bottom. If we’re comparing you right where you are to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we gotta get you to basic food, shelter.

You need basic support to grow this business, and it’s in the elements that I already said. Then we get to where your business is thriving. You have a team. You’re working maybe a little less, you’re still quite involved. You’re still the go-to person. You still got a lot of people coming to you for decisions. You still maintain a lot of control and oversight of your company. You might still be, if you’re like me and in the industry that I’m in, you might still be the face and name and presence of the business, and you don’t want to be.

So there is this next level of movement that we have to go through, which is really empowering the organization to exist without you. We wanna start to empower leaders to lead in your business, which means you have to hire them. You have to hire people who can lead your company, not just hire people who can work in your company. Now, it’s an evolution. You should absolutely start with people who can work in your company and do the work. Then we’ve gotta get into that strategy level of hiring people who can think and critically solve problems and can do so as well, if not better than you.

So two things have to happen here. You have to really know how to hire, and hire for skill and competence at the level that your business demands, and oftentimes in advance of it. And we have to work on your brain because you’ve built this baby and now you actually have to start to let it go if you want it to thrive. You’re bottlenecking if you’re in this phase and you don’t learn how to release authority and control. You become the roadblock to success. It becomes subjected to your emotional triggers, your beliefs, your feelings about how the business is running and it is work to work through this.

And I speak from very personal experience. This is mine. I created this. And as I watch other people take parts of my business, I do cringe a little. I have moments of like, mm. Right? That’s part of this growth. And are there parts that I continue to redirect? Absolutely. And are there other elements that I let go? Yes. Of course. Why wouldn’t I? I want this business to be bigger than I ever dreamed possible, and the only way that’s going to be possible is if I allow other people’s brains to get involved.

But you can’t do that too early cuz if you do that too early, you haven’t built the processes, the practices, the elements of your company that really help it thrive. It’s like building that basic foundational elements to it. If you haven’t done that, you can’t just start bringing in leaders, taking it over. That’s what dilutes vision. It’s what dilutes culture. It’s what dilutes purpose.

You see this in a lot of founder-led businesses that get VC or private equity money. They bring in leadership into a founder-led business and the leadership team, because the founder hasn’t anchored enough into the business, because the founder doesn’t have strong enough leadership skills and doesn’t have a strong enough leadership voice and hasn’t built that powerful vision for people to follow, the other leaders that the VC or the private equity firm brings in, they change it. And before a business can be anchored in what it was born to become, it’s already getting moved by the brains of other people. It’s a delicate dance and you have to know where you are. And that’s why I love what I do, because I can see that in a client so quickly, where they’re getting stuck.

And the third real growth phase for women who run companies is once that team’s in place. Once now things are really running, it’s, who are you? Who have you become? Now you’re the CEO with this incredible business, running multiple millions of dollars with leadership team making most of these significant strategic decisions to align with the growth and established vision that you have, with the annual goals, whatever it is that you all have set up, and now here you are.

This is where I work with my clients and Sage CEO. Because you’re a creator, you’re an entrepreneur at heart. You will never be shy of ideas. So which ones do you pick? Where do you begin? How do you go forward? How do you pick when it’s time to step out completely to sell or to reimagine your role in your business, all of which are possible. But when we’re saying that this podcast is all about start here. And I know the dream. So many of us have it.

I’m gonna take this thing that I think is really cool and I’m gonna make it work and I’m gonna make money and I’m gonna build a team. And then voila, I’m taking trips with my kids and doing fun stuff, right? And I’m oversimplifying, but I really do think people have that vision, and I think everybody who has that vision should have it. But you have to do the groundwork. We have to avoid those slippery slopes and those caution flags that I wanna throw up for you.

The first one is solve the problem with revenue. The second one is hustle. Work your bones off. Work so freaking hard. Earn it. I think that’s a lie. I think you can learn how to leverage support way sooner than most of us have. We have to be willing to learn how to pay people, and we have to learn how to think about the business as an entity that we are working for and the custodian of. Not that the business’ money is my money, which is why so many people say they can’t afford an assistant. It’s because you’re not on a salary, you’re just taking money from the business.

Watch out for the promises of how things can be smooth and easy. Just because you create a new artery for sales. Do the work. Learn how to get to a place where you are so confident in building teams, identifying great players, both at the work level and the strategic level that you’re not triggered when people quit. You’re not triggered when you know you have to fire them. It’s okay. It’s part of the business. It’s part of running a company. It doesn’t have to be a big deal.

But the longer you go not learning how to do that, the more your business is subjected to your emotional wins, and that makes it very hard to achieve long-term goals. And then if you recognize that you’re at that phase where things are actually going pretty well, but you’re a little bit of the bottleneck, this is the time to really invest in yourself to look at what is it that I’m making this mean?

If I step away, if I allow more authority to someone else, what do I make mistakes mean? What do I make it mean when things don’t go the way that I thought they should? What do I make it mean when I could do it better. For as long as you continue to dive in and solve the problems, you will continue to be the one who has to dive in and solve the problems. Allegedly, we could teach other people how to be able to solve problems that normally we solve. I feel like we have some evidence over the last millennium that shows that humans are relatively good teachers. How else have we evolved?

So please do not sit being the super special one who nobody understands you. Nobody’s ever gonna do it the way you want. You know, what’s unique about you? You have thoughts about what you’re doing and you’re in the way and you need some help. It’s okay to need help.

I’m talking to myself just as much as the rest of you. We women, we gotta get over it. Like, we have got to stop being the ones who solve all the problems and then feel exhausted and resentful for having solved all the problems. And I realize in a lot of cases it’s a coping mechanism for a lot of people. But at the same time, you’re not gonna advance what you wanna advance if you can’t learn how to let go. But I think that’s a process.

And then ultimately the goal is to get you to this place where you come to a call that so many, I’ve had clients come to calls and say, “I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t even know who some of the people are in my company anymore. I went to the movies today because I was bored and I had nothing to do, and I feel guilty about it.” That’s progress.

But then there’s this whole other version of yourself you have to meet. Who is this woman who runs a $28 million business? Used to pride herself on busy and now what? It’s super crazy fun and super terrifying. So you’re in the right place if you’re the person, if you’re this beautiful woman who’s created this business and you’re anywhere in between of anything I said, you’re in the right place because we address all of that here.

The phases of growth when you are becoming a feminine CEO, that formula that you need to follow, it’s the same for everyone. The length of time you spend in each varies based on you, but the system that moves you through it is really not that complicated. And I can promise you, having now worked with so many people, I can spot you and talk to you and know exactly where you are and exactly how to help you solve that problem, which I love. I love that.

All the things that right now you are feeling are totally unsolvable. I love that they’re all solvable. I know that they are. You just have to be willing to fight for a solution and not keep fighting to keep the problem. What do you think about that? Yeah, that’s what I think. So perfect time for us to be connecting.

If you’re new to the podcast, I’m glad you’re here because we’re starting How to CEO in a couple weeks, and I’d love to invite you to go to krisplachy.com/ceo and learn all about it. If you have questions, you can email hello@krisplachy.com and we will get those answers to you.

But start here. Go back to the beginning of this and listen to where I was when we started. What’s step one? If you’re making more than a hundred K, hire an assistant and if you need help, there is help available.

All right, love. Thanks for tuning in.

Hey. Are you ready to go all in on you as the gorgeous, powerful woman and CEO that you are? Whether you’re running a company that’s at $400,000 a year or $4 million a year, or more, I know that there are practices that you probably need to advance in order to get the results that you need in your business. And those practices that we tend to ignore the most are the practices that have to deal with the people.

So if you’re ready to step up and really claim the voice that you have as a woman who leads, and really lead that team as a feminine CEO, I would love to work with you in our program. Go to krisplachy.com/ceo and learn all about what’s going on with us right now and get started with us this year.

This is the year, love. Let’s do it.

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