I’m Good at Everything! The 1 Thing You Should Absolutely Avoid When Delegating

Even those business owners who can literally do everything … or think they can do everything …  sometimes do find that they need to delegate.  Ahem, I wouldn’t know what you’re talking about!  Because, I’ve always been the perfect manager, knowing when to take on responsibility and knowing when to delegate out tasks.  Yeah, right!

The truth is, effective management, including how and when to delegate, requires extensive practice.  And extensive practice implies epic failures along the way.

That’s right.  You can teach yourself how to delegate.  It’s a learned skill.  So, if you’re really bad at it when you start, there’s still hope!  I’ve found that there are 3 steps to effective delegation.

Step 1:  Make a list.  Write down all of the things you should not be doing and prioritize the easiest ones to hand off to your employees.

Step 2:  Create a system.  This is where many managers and business owners fail at delegating.  You’ll want to systematize everything you delegate by writing out procedures for how to complete the tasks you are giving up.  Give explicit instructions.  Every detail is important.  Explain in detail to your employees how to do the task, the goal of completing it, and make sure they know they can check in with questions.  Yes, this is very time consuming—in the beginning—but you’re teaching your employees new skills.  Eventually these skills will become part of their daily work and you won’t have to spend as much time on explaining systems.

Step 3:  Start small.  Transfer 1 task at a time and schedule frequent check-ins to make sure the work is getting done to your satisfaction.  It’s important to remember to give feedback—good and bad as needed.  If you find the task isn’t completed to your satisfaction, this is where you give the employee the chance to correct it—not get frustrated and do it yourself!

Unfortunately, these steps take a lot of time to set up in the beginning, which is why many managers and business owners are really bad at transferring work to their employees.

You know the excuses … “If I do it myself, it will take less time.” Or … “I don’t have time to teach anyone how to do it, so I’ll just keep doing it myself.”  Or, my favorite … “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”  Bullsh*t!  If you don’t learn how to delegate tasks to your employees, you’ll never free up your own time to work on business owner stuff.  As the owner of the business, you’re the visionary—and if you’re stuck doing work that your employees can take care of, I highly doubt you’ll have time to think big and take your business to the next level.

There is, however, 1 thing that you should absolutely avoid when delegating … and that is, jumping back in to do everything yourself.  Once you start giving more responsibility to your employees, you cannot swoop back in and re-insert yourself into those activities.

I was 100% guilty of this when I first started giving my managers more responsibility.  It’s not that I didn’t trust my managers to take care of their work.  I just felt like I didn’t have enough to do.  When you’re used to doing almost everything, and then you hand off work, it’s important to have a plan to either accept that you have less to do, or find other things to do with that time.  Oops!

Even if you’re not so good at delegating in the beginning, keep at it.  You’ll get better with practice!  And don’t ever—and I mean ever—try to take back what you’ve delegated.

What You Don’t Do Is Most Important

I am a huge fan of Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect.

The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy:  This book literally changed my life.  My business coach, Mary Ann, gave me a copy to read before one of our first meetings.  Since reading the book, I cancelled my cable, started reading every day, enacted a strict budget both for my personal spending and business spending, and stopped going to Starbucks every day for coffee (I still drink coffee.  And sometimes go to Starbucks.  But I learned how to make a latte at home—that tastes just like Starbucks. Click here to learn how.  It’s really easy and I only had to spend $40 to get the right tools.)  Anyways, back to The Compound Effect…this book is all about making small changes that “compound” to effect bigger more amazing changes.  And it really works.  If you are in the fitness industry you can attest, like I can, that just making one change to work out on a regular basis leads to making other smarter choices about food and drinking.  Then all of a sudden, you’re more toned and people are commenting about how good you look.  Anyways, get this book immediately, if not sooner.  Read it.  Implement just one suggestion—after all it’s called The Compound Effect.  See what happens.

And … I got to hear Darren Hardy speak at the conference I just attended in San Diego.

She's On Her Toes

Here we are!  Learning and freezing–ActionCoach keeps the room like an icebox.

One of the things he said really stuck with me: “The hardest part of your job is what you don’t do.”

Does that make sense?  We literally come face to face with thousands if not tens of thousands of distractions every day.  These distractions compete for our already precious time and prevent us from doing the things that matter most to our success in business and in our homes.

But distractions aren’t just simply the obvious ones like television, the news, and the biggest rabbit hole around, social media.  Distractions could also be opportunities that don’t fit into the scope of your business, or things you do in your business that someone else could be doing.  Click here to read my previous post on what I need to stop doing in my business. 

The message was, that in order to be successful, you have to edit your life.  You have to get rid of all the bad stuff—all those bad habits need to be pushed out to get to the good stuff.  So, here’s my Give Up-On List …

Television – This one is holding strong for about a year!  I cancelled my cable in an effort to save money and time (Read about it here).  Because frankly, I was literally wasting so much of it watching stupid sh*t on TV.  And then over the summer, my TV broke, and I haven’t replaced it.  If I want to watch something, I watch Netflix or AmazonPrime on my computer and … it’s a conscious choice!  No more mindless time spent in front of the TV searching for something to watch.  This has given me hours of extra time each day.

News – This one was a little harder, but still holding strong.  I stopped reading the newspaper and watching news on TV, again because it was a huge time suck, but also because constantly reading about and watching negative news was really bringing me down.  And let’s get real, a very small amount of news is actually important for me to know in terms of running my business and living my life.  If there is something that is really important, I find that people will tell me.  And if I have questions about a topic, I’ll go and do my own research—again, a conscious choice to learn more, no mindless time spent sucked into news shows that are completely irrelevant to what I’m trying to accomplish every day.

Starbucks Everyday – Biggest change, biggest impact!  Not only have I saved over $1,500 from not getting Starbucks every day for the last year, I’ve saved about 200 hours of driving and waiting in line to order my coffee.  Y’all, this is huge.  Is there something in your life that you could cut-out or edit that would save you this much time and money?

Yardwork – This is my new challenge.  When I moved into my new house, the yard was much smaller and I thought I could take care of it myself because it wouldn’t take much time.  Wrong. Spending hours or days cutting the grass, trimming plants, weeding, and blowing leaves is not going to contribute to my success as a small business owner.  Yardwork is a never-ending chore that is best left to the professionals.

Being A Non-Leader – Another new challenge.  And by this, I mean, doing things in my business that could be delegated to my employees.  I talked about how I needed to transition away from teaching in a previous post, but there some other things that I could pass on to my team freeing up my time to focus on leading them.

So, choosing not to do something is perhaps more important than choosing to actually do something.  Oftentimes what we edit out of our lives is what allows us to focus on the things that really matter.  What could you edit out of your life or business to free up your time to do more of what matters?  I bet you already know what it is.

 

It’s Time. Time to Focus on Other Things.

One of the tough things about being an entrepreneur and owning a business is you always have to be “on.”  You’re the one who motivates your team and keeps them moving to grow the business.  But at some point, you have to ask yourself … who is there to motivate me?

And so, I find myself at the ActionCoach 2018 Business Excellence Forum in sunny San Diego with my business coach, Mary Ann.

She's On Her Toes Hotel Coronado.JPG

Here’s our view … the historic Hotel Del Coronado.

Shes-On-Her-Toes-Beach-Selfie.jpg

Selfie on the beach–look at that blue sky!  Juust a little windy.

If you recall, I attended last year’s conference in Houston and won an award for Best Service Based Business Under 25 Employees (Click here to read all about it).  I left that weekend feeling inspired and looking forward to putting into action all of the great things I learned.

But … this year is a little different.  Why?  Because I’m not necessarily looking to pick up useful tips for the daily operations of my business.  Instead, since my team, led by my managers, Emily and Christina, are already doing that, I need to focus on giving up parts of my business to them.  This time around, I will be learning how to bring about my most transformative identity shift … becoming the visionary for my business … and that’s it.

That means I’m going to have to stop teaching (at some point soon), which is something that I really like doing and is meaningful to me.  The simple fact is, I have 20 teachers, so I really don’t need to be filling that role.  I’m not even the best.  Several of my teachers do a much better job than I do.

Why am I clinging to this role?  Teaching is something that most of the owners in my franchise value and many of us are extremely proud that we are teachers.  Teaching the Pure Barre technique and showing our clients how amazing class is defines us.  It’s why we opened our studios in the first place.  And in the beginning, it probably is important for an owner to be a teacher and set the standard for the experience in your business.  But with most things, your role evolves and eventually you need to ask yourself, “Is teaching what’s best for moving my business forward and growing?”  I think I’ve just answered that in the previous lines:

I have 20 teachers.  I have 2 managers leading those teachers.

Time for me to focus on other things.

To All the Men Responsible for My #MeToo Stories … Thank You

I’ve struggled about whether to write about this topic.  Not because it doesn’t deserve attention or that women shouldn’t be victimized in the workplace, but because I’m not particularly angry or sad about any of the ridiculous things men have said or done to me at work.  In fact, I say … thank you.

IMG_9038.JPG

A friend of mine from college, who has a storied career working in corporate America, asked me what I thought when #metoo became a “thing.”  And I said, “Be your own boss!  Work for yourself.  Problem, solved.”  I stand by that.

Before opened my business, I guess you could say I worked in a perfect storm of male-dominated industries: politics, car sales, and investment banking.  One might say, every day at the office was a #metoo day.  Of course, I’ve made lasting friendships and shared great times with most of my co-workers, male and female alike.  But like many women, I have some truly epic #metoo stories …

Like the time a well-known, respected political consultant took me out and told me he wanted to buy me a condo so I could be his mistress.  Uh … tempting, but no.

Or the time political bloggers wrote posts that went viral about how I was sleeping with a reporter from a major newspaper.  These bloggers contended that I was doing this to get my boss, a Congressman, better coverage during a critical re-election campaign.  They couldn’t fathom that I just might actually be good at my job.  What?!  While I was flattered that these individuals were so interested in my personal life, none of it was true.  As an aside, you can probably still pull these up on Google.  You definitely could when I was applying to business school and my subsequent job, so that made for interesting interview conversations …

And then this is a classic, resisting daily advances from a co-worker both at work and out of the office.  This gem of a human made threats against my job and on several occasions, called me at midnight to tell me he hadn’t finished his own work and that if I didn’t go in to complete it, I would be fired.  After six months of that bullsh*t, I left to take another job.

These are just the 3 #metoo stories that immediately come to mind.

So, to all of you … Thank you for doubting my intelligence.  Calling me stupid.  Devaluing my contribution.  Reducing me to a piece of meat wearing heels.  Thank you for showing me what not to do as I build my own company and ultimately create a higher net worth than you.

Because that’s what these #metoo stories are all about, right?  Power.  Powerful individuals preying on perceived weaker subordinates.  Today, most power is fueled by money and generating wealth.  And the fastest way to create wealth is through business ownership or investment in real estate.  Let’s solve this problem by giving woman more opportunities to be powerful.

The way to prevent more #metoo stories is not to have everyone go to some bullsh*t sexual harassment training or for offices to become more tolerant.  The only way to correct this problem is for women to become their own boss!

Here’s your dose of reality for the day: you cannot change other people or their behavior, but you can change the way you react to them.

Tired of being treated second-class?  Or worse?!  Get out of there!  Start your own gig.  Be in charge of yourself.  And then give back to provide a better place to work for others.  Creating your own work environment is the only way you’ll have the power to prevent future #metoo stories.

There has never been a better time for a woman to own and operate her own business, and I am proud to be one of the many.  To all the men responsible for my #metoo stories … thank you … and f*ck off!

When Opportunity Knocks, Answer the Damn Door!

“In every area of effectiveness within an organization, one feeds the opportunities and starves the problems.

– Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

Earlier this year, my business coach, Mary Ann, asked me “What is your one word to describe your business this year?”  Without hesitation, I replied, “Opportunity.”

At the time, I was thinking about how my managers, Emily and Christina, were settling into their new roles of actually managing.  And I was just beginning to enjoy my time focusing on business strategy and how we were going to grow.

We had a lot of big, amazing ideas of what we wanted to accomplish, and somehow they were all coming together!  In fact, it seemed like opportunities were just popping up everywhere!

One of our most successful ways of meeting new clients is through free community classes—we call them Pure Barre Pop Ups.  And there was one place that we considered the holy grail of Pop Ups—the Winston-Salem Dash Stadium.  The Dash are the local minor league baseball team and the stadium is downtown with gorgeous views of the city.  And … we just happened to meet the Dash Community Relations Manager at a luncheon.  Now we’re scheduled for not 1, but 2 Pure Barre at The Dash Pop Ups!  Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 3rd and Thursday, June 14th to lift, tone, burn on that beautiful green field.

Last week, I unexpectedly received a request to teach a class to my Leadership Winston-Salem group during our monthly program day.  This was a fun opportunity to show 70 of my Leadership classmates what I do and what Pure Barre is all about.  When I say “unexpectedly” I mean, I got the call at 6:00 AM before our program day started at 7:45 AM—fortunately, our equipment was easily accessible and my team was able to mobilize.  We pulled it off!

But do opportunities really just materialize out of nowhere?  Business owners talk about “luck” a lot, but what distinguishes “luck” from hard work and good leadership?

I’ve been reading a book called The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done, written by Peter F. Drucker.  It was first published in 1967, so it’s a little old-school, however, the message is on point.  Including the following quote:

 “The effective executive looks upon people including himself as an opportunity.  He knows that only strength produces results.  Weakness only produces headaches—and the absence of weakness produces nothing.” 

I completely agree—results occur by recognizing the strengths of your employees and helping them develop what they’re good at.  Results are also produced by your strength in leadership.  Weak leadership only creates confusion and more problems in your business.  And the absence of leadership means you’re not producing anything—your business is at a standstill—you’re stuck.

But the first part is truly the most profound … “The effective executive looks upon people including himself as an opportunity.” 

As business owners, we ultimately create all the opportunities for our businesses.

We network, develop relationships, cultivate a reputation of being dependable, committed, and professional … the list goes on.  So, while it seems like things just fall into your lap, you’ve really been creating those opportunities all along.

When opportunity knocks, you’re the one who sent out the invitation.  Trust that you’re a strong enough leader to open the damn door!

 

Check out the book …

Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

 

 

Allergic to Banana and Avocado? You Can Eat Smoothies! Here Are My Faves …

Being allergic to banana and avocado doesn’t sound too restrictive until you check out some menus and realize that these elusive fruits can be and sometimes are in just about everything.  Ah!

Just last Fall, I had to save my own life after eating some deviled eggs that were made with avocado oil.  My face turned purple, my throat started to close up, and I was having difficulty breathing.  The whole experience was less than awesome.

But, I’m determined to enjoy many of the same foods my friends eat, including smoothies.  Last year, when I first wrote about these seemingly unbelievable food allergies, I revealed how I started substituting soaked cashews for bananas and avocados in smoothies.  (Click here to read that post.)  Cashews are a great smoothie hack, but could there possibly be any smoothie recipes that simply don’t depend on banana or avocado?  The answer is yes!  Here are my faves …

 

Mango-Mint Green Smoothie

This is my new go-to.  I like to keep my smoothie thick, so it’s almost like a slushy.  The mint and lime make the taste very refreshing.  You don’t even taste the spinach.  I add some ground flax meal because flax is a super-super food.  Read and learn more here.

1 C. mango (I typically use frozen)

1 C. spinach

1/2 C. fresh mint

1 lime, juiced

1 T. ground flax meal

Coconut water to blend

Put all the ingredients in a high-speed blender—I use Vitamix.  Blend on medium-high speed until all the ingredients are combined.  You can gradually add the coconut water to help the ingredients mix and get the desired thickness of your smoothie.  Enjoy the green goodness!

She's On Her Toes Green Smoothie

 

Cacao-Cherry Smoothie

This is a great recipe from my manager, Emily.  If anyone knows a good smoothie recipe, it’s Emily!  I love that this one is sweet and adding the cacao nibs is a great combination with the cherries.  Emily used apple juice in her original recipe.  I don’t really like apple juice, so I’ll stick with coconut water.  I also added a few dates because I had some left over from another recipe.

1 C. frozen cherries

1 C. kale

1 T. chia seeds

1 T. ground flax meal

1 T. cacao nibs

Coconut water or apple juice to blend

Put all the ingredients in a high-speed blender—I use Vitamix.  Blend on medium-high speed until all the ingredients are combined.  You can gradually add the coconut water or apple juice to help the ingredients mix and get the desired thickness of your smoothie. Choco-cherry!  Nom, nom, nom.

 

She's On Her Toes Cherry Smoothie

I hope you try out these great banana and avocado-free smoothies.  Let me know what you think!

 

 

How I Put My Past Hiring Mistakes Behind Me

“It’s time to put your past hiring mistakes behind you and only move forward …“  At least that’s what I told myself when it became clear that my business was on the verge of bankruptcy.  I had made a huge mistake and hired someone who proved they could not be trusted.

Two years ago, my business was a mess.  It seemed like a revolving door of employment.  People came in, worked a few months or maybe a year, and then they left, leaving me constantly looking for replacements.  And worse, I was in a never-ending state of training.  It was exhausting, un-fun, and I didn’t want to do it anymore.

I could no longer remember why I wanted to open my business in the first place.  The romantic fantasies of being my own boss, setting my own schedule, and living a more balanced life had long been forgotten—sucked out that revolving door!

Are you nodding your head reading this?  Does it seem like I’ve been describing exactly what it’s like in your business?

If you’ve been burned in the past, hiring someone who quit unexpectedly or did worse damage to your business, it’s time to put those past hiring mistakes behind you.

If you’ve been stuck in the mindset that you have to do everything in your business otherwise nothing will get done, it’s time to close the revolving door—for good.

How … By only hiring the right employees for your business.

But what does that mean, exactly?  It means, you must create a hiring process that you will use every time you need to hire someone to fill a role in your business.  Once I created a hiring process that was specific and unique to my values and business vision, I was able to determine who was a good fit and who wasn’t.

When you create a hiring process, it will give you confidence when adding to your team.  For me, it was a total game changer and allowed my business to increase revenues, profits, and what might be the most important thing for me—I didn’t have to work 80+ hours a week.  Cue the angels singing from heaven!

How to Hire a Rock Star Team

After I wrote my book, She’s On Her Toes: How I Started A Business, Expanded It, Almost Lost It, And Got Back On My Toes, I got a lot of feedback that the book was great but … you needed more help creating a hiring process.

The most common comment was, “Where do I start?”

Next was, “It all seems overwhelming … and I’m not sure where to start.”

Ok, ok.  I get it!  When you don’t know where to start, things do seem overwhelming and … then you don’t know where to start.  And you’re just stuck.

I don’t want anyone to be stuck.  Because frankly, it sucks.  Being stuck is a waste of your time.  You always want to be moving your business forward.

That’s what my new course, How to Hire a Rock Star Team is all about!

Click here to check it out:  How to Hire a Rock Star Team

The course is a comprehensive, step-by-step plan to create your own hiring process.  There are 15 lessons complete with videos, audio lessons, and worksheets.  This is the exact same process that I went through to create my own hiring process, so I know it works.

In this course, you’ll learn how to create an environment that attracts only the RIGHT employees to work in your business.  You’ll also create a complete hiring process including how to:

  • Write an exciting job description
  • Post a killer advertisement
  • Conduct the perfect interview
  • Ask the right interview questions

I talk non-stop about how hiring the best team is literally THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can do for your business.  It is!  But if you’re still not convinced and think that … oh maybe marketing is more important, I challenge you to ponder this scenario …

Right now (January, February, March) is the busiest time of the year for any fitness studio owner.  This is it!  Now is the time when we have to work to get as many people into our studios because they are most motivated to workout and commit to their health and fitness.

But here’s the thing … you could have the most amazing promotion to bring new clients through your doors.  But … if you don’t have a great team to greet them, offer them an amazing experience, sell them the right services and products, treat them like family, and welcome them into your fitness community, those clients won’t stick around.  And all your marketing efforts were wasted.

In fitness (and most membership-based businesses), you can’t promote yourself to a successful business.  It’s all about the experience!  Who offers the best experience?  The best employees!  That’s right, people provide the best experience.  Not promotions!

And how are you, the over-worked and over-whelmed small business owner supposed to do it all?!  You can’t.  This is why it’s so important to hire the right team to help you out.

While this course is designed for fitness studio owners, the same principles apply to any small business owner and even some large business owners.

I will be on InstaLive later today, at 12:00 PM EST, to talk more about the course.  And on Facebook Live on Wednesday, 9:00 PM EST.  Specifically, I’ll talk about how to get the most out of the course and about the 2 add-ons for purchase.  The add-ons are really great!

If you have any questions, please DM me @shesonhertoes  or email [email protected] and I’ll answer them live.

Click here to purchase:  How to Hire a Rock Star Team

 

 

My New Beauty Source: Trader Joe’s

It all started one day when I was in a hurry.  I needed to do my grocery shopping and buy some lotion … and I didn’t have time to go to both the grocery store and Target (which is on the other side of town).  So, I wandered down the beauty and home aisle of Trader Joe’s hoping to find something that would soothe my dry skin for at least a few days before I could get my usual brand.  And I came across Trader Joe’s A Midsummer Night’s Cream and Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream.

A Midsummer Night’s Cream

Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream

And … I haven’t gone back to the brand I was using before.

It made me wonder what other great bath and beauty products I was missing out on at Trader Joe’s.  Next, I tried the brand-new Grapefruit Ginger Sugar Scrub, which is amazing!  It smells fresh and makes your skin feel great when you scrub.

She's On Her Toes Trader Joe's Shower Scrub

Grapefruit Ginger Sugar Scrub

Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap

I’ve used Dr. Bronner’s soaps before, and thought I’d try the peppermint one.  Invigorating!  And good suds at a great price—that huge bottle was about $12.00.

I was on a roll!  So, my next purchase was the Next to Godliness Micellar Cleanser & Makeup Remover Towelettes and Natural Facial Cleansing Pads with Tea Tree Oil.

She's On Her Toes Trader Joe's Face

Next to Godliness Micellar Cleanser & Makeup Remover Towelettes

Natural Facial Cleansing Pads with Tea Tree Oil

I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this!  The makeup remover towelettes are amazing—they are great for my drier winter skin, work better than the brand I was using before, smell amazing, and my skin feels clean after I use them, not slimy.  I was a little worried about trying out the cleansing pads with tea tree oil since my skin is also pretty sensitive.  But … my fears were completely unfounded.  In fact, I’ve noticed that the pores on my cheeks and nose are smaller and clearer.  #winning

Finally, try this fancy trick … hang some eucalyptus branches in your shower for a fresh scent in the steam.  Since one bunch is about $3.00 at Trader Joe’s, it’s an inexpensive way to make your average shower feel spa-quality.

She's On Her Toes Shower Scents

I no longer skip the home and beauty aisle at Trader Joe’s.  If you give any of these products a try, let me know how you like them.