Seven Habits of Highly Effective Women

Back in the stone ages … 1989, Stephen Covey wrote a book called, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and it had a profound impact on the world, selling 25 million copies in 40 different languages worldwide.  Covey coined the idea of having an abundance mentality, which means you believe there’s always enough resources, ideas, or paths to success for everyone.  Success and abundance will never run out or become scarce.

What are these 7 habits? Here’s the cliff notes if you haven’t read the book yet …

  1. Be proactive- achieve extraordinary results by consistently executing using resourcefulness and initiative to break through barriers
  2. Begin with the end in mind- develop an outcome-oriented mindset in every activity they engage in
  3. Put first things first- eliminate energy and time-wasting tendencies by focusing and executing on your team’s wildly important goals with a weekly planning
  4. Think win-win- lead teams that are motivated to perform superbly through shared expectation and accountability process
  5. Seek first to understand, then be understood- create an atmosphere of helpful give-and-take by taking time to fully understand issues, and give candid and accurate feedback
  6. Synergize- use teamwork to achieve your goals
  7. Sharpen the saw- continuous improvement

But back when this book was written … about 29 years ago … it was really meant for men in business.  Totally fine.  But what are the 7 habits of highly effective women today?

This week, we discuss our 7 Habits of Highly Effective Women, which include:

  1. Start with yourself
  2. Make a plan and work that plan
  3. Navigate the jungle gym
  4. Be courageous
  5. Work beyond obstacles
  6. Achieve happiness vs. balance
  7. Sharpen the saw  (I think every successful women needs to keep learning and focusing on continuous improvement.  The 7thHabit stays the same.)

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and 7 other platforms.

Follow me on Instagram and see what I’m working on in my business each day @shesonhertoes

I’m super-passionate about leading and managing my hardworking team.  Check out my courses How To Hire A Rockstar Team and 5 Days to Time Freedom to keep developing your leadership skills.

What are the 3 New Workplace Truths?

Let’s face it.  Business has evolved A LOT since career women wore suits with shoulder pads, carried bulky briefcases, and sported white sneakers with nylons rushing to the office.

The Internet, smart casual, and side hustles have changed the way we do business.  What is smart casual or snappy casual, anyway?  Talk about confusing.  Glad we just wear leggings to the studio.  But I digress …

In what we’re calling the New Workplace, there are some fundamental truths that apply to all businesses big and small.

  1. Consumers shop where there’s community, rather than cash registers
  2. Traditional marketing is DEAD
  3. Those who influence and manage teams will find workplace success

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Today’s conversation will discuss these three things and why businesses that focus on these truths will thrive.

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and 7 other platforms.

Follow me on Instagram and see what I’m working on in my business each day @shesonhertoes

I’m super-passionate about leading and managing my hardworking team.  Check out my courses How To Hire A Rockstar Team and 5 Days to Time Freedom to keep developing your leadership skills.

Podcast Episode 17: Is it possible to find more time each day? Part 2

Last week, we talked about how doing lots of things, doesn’t necessarily mean your business is benefiting.  In fact, you might be doing your business more harm than good by doing everything yourself and not delegating work to others.

This week, we finish the conversation (We talked so much that we split the episode into two parts!) by talking more about how to delegate effectively.  We even share some of our delegating fails, what we learned, and why we’ll never repeat those mistakes again.

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And finally, we share how we create our ideal day–the ultimate goal of the 5 Days to Time Freedom Course.  What would your ideal day look like?

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Get your ideal day by checking out the course: 5 Days to Time Freedom.

And follow me on Instagram @shesonhertoes for even more insights on the podcast and what’s going on in the business … there might be an occasional bulldog pic too!

Podcast Episode 11: How to Manage Millennials When You’re Old AF

Millennials, or the generation born between 1981 and 1996, will make up about 75% of the workforce in 2025.  That’s just 7 years away.  And we’ve all heard some pretty negative criticism about this group—they’re unfocused; entitled; demanding; and addicted to technology.

Are these stereotypes?  Maybe. Maybe not.

It doesn’t really matter because these are the people who will be moving businesses forward.

The single thing that separates Millennials from previous generations is technology.  So, while my generation was outside playing with sticks, millennials had these crazy things called smart phones that gave them unfettered access to the Internet.

When you’re old AF, how are you supposed to lead this group of so-called millennial workplace misfits? How can you manage millennials to successfully run your business and ultimately find their own success?

And the most important question on everyone’s mind … Why can’t millennials empty the vacuum cleaner?!  We talk about it all on the latest podcast.

Click here to listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast.  

Have you checked out my course, How to Hire A Rock Star Team, yet?

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Leave fear, frustration, and your past hiring mistakes behind to transform your business.    How to Hire a Rock Star Team, is for anyone serious about building a solid team of amazing employees to run your fitness business for you.  It’s the same process I’ve used to build my team of 20 … that’s them in the picture!

Podcast: Episode 7, How to Hire A Rock Star Team, Part 1

I take full responsibility for my business successes and failures.  I made all the decisions to shape my business.  But it wasn’t until I looked at running my business differently that great things really started to happen for me.

See, the definition of a business is:

A commercial, PROFITABLE, enterprise that works…WITHOUT YOU.

This means that you are free to work ON your business not IN it.  The business is fully functioning without you.

–Brad Sugars, Founder of ActionCoach

Does that describe your business?  Can you stay home or go on vacation and everything will happen without you?  Will the doors be unlocked and clients served? Will you see money deposited into your bank account?  If the answer is no, then you own a job, not a business.

Once I realized how important it is to hire the right team and give them the responsibility of running my business, then things started falling into place.  Hiring the right team is the difference between owning a job and owning a business.

And in Episode 7, we talk about how to hire a rock star team.  We’re not looking to hire warm bodies to go through the motions.  We want rock stars that strive for excellence and make the business great.

 

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I love this picture of my Team!  They gave me a framed copy for Christmas last year.  It’s in my office–this is the view from my desk.

There are two very important personalities that every business should have.  According to Mark C. Winters, author of Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business, every business needs both a Visionary and an Integrator.  Once these two people are working together, that’s when great things start happening.

The Visionary comes up with the big ideas, but within the Integrator they will fall flat.  Why?  Because the Integrator knows how to execute.  Both roles are critical for a business to grow and succeed.

Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business 

Here’s the link to take the quiz and find out if you’re a Visionary or an Integrator.

Can you guess who the Visionary is in my business?  Who’s the Integrator?  Listen to the episode and learn which roles Emily, Christina, and I fill.

Click here to see if you’re a Visionary or an Integrator.

Click here to listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast on iTunes and Apple Podcasts.

Don’t forget about the Build A Better Business 5-Day Challenge!  It’s not too late to start.  Click here to learn more.

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.

My Latest Business Mistake

Well … I did it again.  Last year, I told you about how one hiring mistake almost cost me my business (Read about it here).  And now, I find myself trying to fix another pretty big business mistake.  Not quite of the same magnitude as I’ve dealt with before, but moving in that direction.  F*ck.

And just like last year, there’s no one to blame but me.  Double f*ck.

What’s this big mistake?  A little background first …

As you’ll recall, for the last 12-ish months I’ve been working on giving my team more responsibility so that I can spend less time working in my business every day.  My team is focusing on the day-to-day tasks while I am working on more big picture things—like how to make more money, how to innovate, and how to add more value to our clients.  I’m working on some pretty big things for She’s On Her Toes—this website is getting some professional help and I’m creating some great courses on how to hire the right employees—so stay tuned for that!  I also have time to participate in Leadership Winston-Salem (Learn more here).  It’s been great for me, more time to do the things that are important to me.  And … I thought we were making great progress with my team.  Until it all came to a screeching halt.  Cue the dramatic screeching music!

My team is currently being led by my manager and my assistant manager.   They have been empowered to run both of my Pure Barre studios, take care of our clients, and ensure all of our employees are working to their ability and contributing to the success of the organization.  And they both do a great job.    But, I have failed them in a pretty big way—a way that limits their potential and our ability to keep growing this business.

I expected them to be able to take over and do all the things that I’ve been doing without teaching them how to anticipate and create a business plan.  Sure, they can perform daily tasks and get the basics done.  But, where they’re struggling is running reports, calculating retention, interpreting sales figures, and planning in advance.

They can easily provide great customer service.  However, they are blissfully unaware of the importance of managing expenses, calculating margin, and analyzing trends (both the good trends and the bad trends).  As a result, we have not been meeting some of our goals and it’s really frustrating to watch.  I know my team is capable of being more than where we are right now.  When you see a group of people working hard, and just not getting it done, when they are completely capable of doing so, it’s just the worst.  And it’s all my fault.  I haven’t been a good leader to them.  I haven’t been helping them focus on what’s important and planning.  But that’s all about to change!

The solution … my managers are going to start having their own meetings with my business coach, Mary Ann (Read more about coaching here).  And they start next week!

This lapse in leadership hasn’t been good.  Am I going to beat myself up about it?  No.  I truly think the sign of an effective leader is the ability to realize when things aren’t working, have the courage to change them, and don’t look back.

Why It’s Important to Celebrate Your Wins

Oh my!  It’s been a wild few weeks for me—literally everything happened in September.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  To recap …

 

  • I attended the annual Pure Barre Conference where I was asked to speak about my best practices for hiring and leading a rock star team, to 500+ owners. Just a little nerve wracking!  That’s a lot of ladies.

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  • When I got back from Conference, I bought a house. Oh yeah, and moved.  The moving part wasn’t so bad because I decided to get rid of almost all of my furniture.  This seemed like a good idea at the time, but now that there’s no place to sit, might have been a little rash.

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  • Just a few short days after moving, we celebrated some big milestones at my Pure Barre studios—Pure Barre Winston-Salem reached its 5-year Anniversary and Pure Barre Clemmons reached its 3-year Anniversary. And I had my first book signing.  So of course, we had to throw a big party to celebrate!

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The three of us have been together since Day 1–cannot believe it’s been 5 years!

  • And the day after the party, I had an allergic reaction to something I ate and basically had to save my own life. Good times.  Sorry … no pictures of my face turning purple.

 

After this swirl of activity, I’m pretty content to get back to basics, like heading out to the grocery store and buying more than one meal at a time, walking the dogs, writing more regularly, and spending time with friends—hopefully at my new house with a place for them to sit.

But as much as I just want to get back to “real life” where a major event isn’t happening by the minute, it’s important to take the time to celebrate my and my team’s business wins, both big and small.

When you own a small business, every sale is important.  It all adds up.  And my team is doing some really incredible things right now—they’re achieving the same level of sales that we had last year with one exception, I was the one driving most of those sales.  This means, that they’re working together and will surpass the standard that I set by the end of the year.  Pretty cool.  I’ll drink to that!

We’re just about to head into the final quarter of 2017 and all year we’ve been gaining inches.  A little progress has been made each month towards our sales goals and towards my goal of giving my team more responsibility to run the studios without me there every day.  It hasn’t seemed like that much has been happening.  And I’m notoriously impatient.  But I can see that we’ve been doing some really great things and they’re adding up.

Our focus going forward into Q4 and 2018 will be to create a stronger health and fitness community amongst our clients.  Next week, I’ll explain how I’m developing more robust customer service training for my team so we can keep growing our client base and daily sales.  I’ve also been reading some amazing books and I can’t wait to fill you in so you can be inspired for a strong finish to 2017!

Until then, stay on your toes!

How Business Survivors Behave

I’m on the beach doing a little light reading—Laurence Gonzales’ Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why.  No beach trash in next to my SPF 70.  And while all of the stories Gonzales tells involve surviving accidents at sea, in the wilderness, or in the air, I can’t help but think about the proverbial “mountains” that we must conquer in business and how these survival tips could come in handy when faced with our biggest business challenges.

In Deep Survival, Gonzales seeks to explain what survivors have that the unlucky don’t.  How can you increase your odds of making it out of an accident alive?  It turns out survivors have some very special characteristics and these traits seem remarkably similar to the traits of successful business owners.  What makes the difference between surviving and perishing?  What do survivors know that the masses haven’t figured out?  And how can we apply these things to running our businesses better?

 They Stay Calm

This is pretty important and discussed throughout the book, Gonzales reiterates that staying calm is the key to surviving any accident.  Why?  Because the human body only has a limited amount of energy and if you are dehydrated and hypothermic, wasting your energy can literally mean the difference between life and death.  Another bonus to remaining calm during a crisis is that calmness usually produces better decisions.  Emotional outbursts usually lead to irrational choices or decisions you’d wish you hadn’t made.  #textsfromlastnight  If you find yourself in a bad spot, keep your cool.  Stay calm.

Similar to surviving a life-or-death accident, staying calm to make business decisions is imperative as well.  In business, you also only have a limited amount of energy—don’t waste it worrying about forces out of your immediate control.  Use your energy to its fullest by only focusing on what you can control—how you manage your employees, how you provide a great experience for your clients, and how could you be doing both these things better.

They’re Really Good at Ignoring “No”

I’m not sure I can say it any better, so I’m just going to quote Gonzales: “There is always one more thing that you can do.  Survivors are not easily frustrated.  They are not discouraged by setbacks.  They accept that the environment (or the business climate or their health) is constantly changing.  They pick themselves up and start the entire process over again, breaking it down into manageable bits.  Survivors always have a clear reason for going on.”

It’s that “never quit” attitude that keeps them going.  Nothing can keep them from living through their ordeal and getting out alive.  Similarly, in business, don’t let anyone break your spirit or take you off track from your goals.  It’s extremely upsetting, but some of our biggest business detractors are disguised as our closest family and friends.  Stay strong.  Stay above “no.”

They Complete Small Tasks

I’ve talked about this in multiple posts, but the power of small is real.  Establishing your daily routine to tackle just a few small tasks and get a little closer to your ultimate goal is the key to business success.  Think about it, if you did 3 things each day that were directly related to your ultimate business goal, at the end of the year, you’d have completed 1,095 tasks.  I wonder how many your competition completed?  Need help prioritizing your tasks?  Check out this previous post.

They Know They’re Smart

This isn’t an IQ thing or an ego thing.  Survivors just know that they’ll make it out.  Call it positive mental attitude.  Call it extreme self-reliance.  But they never have any doubt that they have the ability to make the best decisions they can to get through their current situation.  This also seems to be a factor in business success.  The best businesses are led by owners who never seem short of the confidence that they know they’re on the right track.  In addition, once a business owner survives one setback, they know they can do it again.

So, next time you find yourself in the midst of a business problem, simply recall the Navy Seal motto, “It could always be worse.”  Just kidding.  Actually, this is another key trait of survivors according to Gonzales—they find humor and appreciation for anything that comes their way.  As long as you know you can get through any of life’s or business’s difficulties, you will.  Staying calm, ignoring “no”, completing small tasks, and knowing you have what it takes will get you to the other side of your problem.

I made some notes about my posts for later this week and I’m not sure exactly what I was thinking when I wrote “How to get unstuck” for Thursday.  Hopefully I’ll figure that one out in time!  But, on Friday, I’ll share with you my favorite under-eye treatments.

Until then, stay on your toes!

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, Laurence Gonzales

How to Succeed at Owning a Franchise Beyond What the Franchisor Supports

Statistically, franchised businesses are able to bring in greater revenues than independently-owned businesses.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has found that on average, a franchise can earn five times the first-year revenue of the average independent business and over 95% of franchises that open are still successfully in business five years later.

Since franchisees typically get more training and have more resources than independents, this makes sense.  In addition, the business concept of the franchise has been tested and proven.  So why, if you own a franchise, does it seem so hard?  Why do franchise owners struggle?  Why does it seem like at times you can never get ahead operating your franchise?

I own and operate 2 Pure Barre franchises both are successful.  That is, both are profitable and will run without me there.  I can be out networking, working on my businesses, sleeping, or on vacation and know that classes are being taught and purchases rung up.  Don’t get me wrong, I work really hard—but so does my team.

Owning a Pure Barre franchise is great.  The Franchisor gives me support that I would not otherwise have if I just owned my own barre or fitness studio.  And I do have some independence while making marketing decisions that best fit my location and client needs.  If I don’t like something, I can call or email and express my unhappiness—if it can be fixed right away, it is.  Bigger changes might not happen immediately, but at least I’m being listened to.

It is important to remember, however, that the interests of the Franchisee and the interests of the Franchisor are often at odds, which starts us off on how to succeed at owning a franchise beyond what the franchisor supports …

Understand that the Franchisor and Franchisee Care About Different Things

The number one concern of the franchisor is revenue growth.  As long as your franchise continues to grow revenue, the franchisor is happy.  See, the franchisor collects a monthly royalty and as long as that monthly payment keeps getting bigger, all is good.  The problem with that is that as a franchisee, your primary concern is your net income growth—or profit.  If your profit is growing you’re happy.  As a franchisee, if you could gain more profit by lowering expenses and not increasing revenue or even decreasing revenue, that’s awesome.  Good work!  Unfortunately, the franchisor doesn’t see it that way.

This juxtaposition of interests does not make franchise ownership bad and it doesn’t mean doom for your business.  It is just extremely important that you understand these conflicting interests—the better you understand this, the more successful you’ll be.  If you’re looking at your monthly reports from the franchisor and think you’re killing it because your top line is growing—what are your own financials telling you about your net income growth?  If you aren’t making any money (negative net income) or just scraping by to pay your bills—that’s not awesome.  IF YOU’RE NOT PAYING YOURSELF—YOU NEED TO BE.  I know a lot of franchise owners that don’t pay themselves regularly but talk about how their business is doing well.  Hummm … really?

Only you are keeping tabs on your expenses and working to control costs while growing the business.  Generally speaking, the more profit you can make from your business, the happier you are as the owner.

To succeed at owning a franchise beyond what the franchisor supports, you must look beyond franchisor-produced sales reports which only track revenue growth and focus on growing your net income.

Buying an Operating System Does Not Include Buying a Company Culture

Owning a franchise is great because you essentially purchase a working operating system.  You don’t have to develop anything brand new.  The product is already created.  The sales strategy is already planned.  You just have to execute it.

Unfortunately, this operating system does not include your own unique company culture.  I’ve written about the importance of creating your Mission, Vision and Culture statements in a previous post.  Even if your franchisor has these things (mine didn’t), it makes sense for you to expand on the culture statement because you may place value on some additional points that will make your location excel.

If you don’t define your business culture, your employees will, and they might have other ideas than you—like, bad ideas that will limit your business growth and success.

To succeed at owning a franchise beyond what the franchisor supports, you must create your unique company culture—write it down and hire only employees that believe in that culture and act according to its guidelines.

Being a Business Owner Does Not Mean You Know How to be a Leader

Buying a business does not instantaneously make you a leader—damn.  If only it did.  If your franchise requires that you hire a team of employees to run it, you will need to learn how to manage and motivate them to run the business.

I probably spend a good 90% of my time trying to figure out how to keep my team motivated and how I can better support them to sell more.  Does this shock you?  At this point, I have hired an incredible team to help me run my businesses.  Since they complete the day-to-day operations, that frees me up to work on supporting them and working on activities that enhance my businesses.  It’s great—but getting to that point does take time and calculated effort.

If your franchisor offers leadership training or management training—sign up and take it!  If nothing like that is offered, then it’s on you to invest in yourself and learn how to lead and manage (maybe start by reading some of these books and listening to some of these podcasts).

The key to business management success is actually, to invest in yourself by attending seminars, reading books and learning from other business owners.  The more you invest in your own leadership training, the more you can give back to your team.

To succeed at owning a franchise beyond what the franchisor supports, you must invest in your own leadership and management training and make it a continuous priority. 

Notice that all of these things could easily be applied to succeed at owning an independent business.  There’s no secret sales strategy or silver bullet to franchise ownership or business success in general—sorry for the big let-down.  It all boils down to knowing your numbers and operating your business within those means, creating your company culture and hiring only those who believe in it, and making it a priority to invest in your own leadership and management training.

Approaching business ownership by applying these three principles isn’t sexy.  It doesn’t involve a killer Social Media plan or some cool video that goes viral.  So maybe that’s why more franchise owners don’t jump at working on these things.  If the foundation of your business isn’t rock-solid, then you’re going to keep struggling—whether you own a franchise or not.

In my next post, I’ll let you in on a little secret—your distribution channel is more important than the product you sell.  Say what?!  I’ll explain on Thursday.

Until then, stay on your toes!