Undeniable Power of LeverageOnce you realize you need a team you are probably going to want to get started quickly. That’s how we work as entrepreneurs, an idea gets in our head and we leap forward. I’m going to give you a few ideas here on getting started.

You may realize that this is a common problem when important steps are missed in the beginning. Typically we rush to bring a new team member on board because we need help now. How can you fix this? A few key elements can easily remedy about 85% of common hiring mistakes.

1. Create a vision statement. Make sure you have written out what you want your life and business to be like when you hire the person. Don’t skip this step – it really is crucial to attracting the right people to co-create the experience you want.

2. Develop a job description. Map out exactly what you want the person to accomplish for you. This will also help with estimating the number of hours to plan for.

3. Identify your standards, values and vision for your company. If you don’t communicate them up front, how will you know if they share your standards, values and vision? If your standard is to respond to phone calls within 24 hours and your

VA’s is to return calls within 5 days, you could have a problem.

4. Create a checklist of skills, work style preferences and resources team members must have. Do they need to have experience in your particular trade/ industry? Do you use Microsoft Outlook and need to be compatible? Do you prefer to work with self-starters who need little guidance or want to be intimately involved in the day to day operations with them?

5. Take time to interview and check references. Interview at least three to five candidates. Ask questions like, “Tell me about a time when you didn’t know how to complete a job, what did you do?” or “How did you learn how to perform your duties at your last job?”

Following this process when you create your Virtual team, you will find your business flying increasing your profits exponentially.

To find out more about how you can leverage your time and skills, build an amazing team and achieve amazing results you NEED to get your hands on a copy of my free report “101 Ways to Triple Your Income and Double Your Time Off”. Click Here to claim your copy now.

As I continue the “team up leveling” post from the other day (read that here), here are the third and fourth areas you’ll want to assess.

3. The contractor or employee being delegated to does not have the habits and behaviors necessary to sustain growth with the new role.

Managing Outsourcing A heart-breaking moment is when the entrepreneur recognizes that their break-neck pace can not be sustained by someone on their team. Or, when after repeated breakdowns, we finally realize the reason why certain tasks are always late is because the person doing them is not a good time manager or is distracted with multiple priorities and can’t focus well.

The good news is that habits can be changed, if the team member is willing. I’ve found that just like us, our support teams are bombarded with requests, changes and conflicting priorities so creating a new system to handle time management can often resolve the problem. Its important to create a time frame in which the necessary changes must take place, then be willing to end your working relationship if they can’t make the shift. In order to grow you must have a team that can keep up.

Keep in mind – if one person in the equation is not happy, then it’s not a win-win and neither of you will be happy over the long run.

4. The preferences, needs or attitude of the team member are not aligned with the business today.

A client of mine had a major breakthrough in Virtual Team Building Telebootcamp when she recognized that she had hired an online business manager whose vision was being a well-known internet marketing super-star. When she finally realized that, for the level of growth she was experiencing, she needed full-time contractors dedicated to HER vision, she breathed a huge sigh of relief and let the OBM go.

Another client was struggling with an intern straight out of college who was bright and promising but routinely was confused and overwhelmed by trying to take on more responsibility. After probing through the diagnostics, we uncovered the intern really wanted to be on the road in more of a sales job vs. being an admin type person.

You can’t change someone else’s preferences, needs or attitude – and if their focus is not in alignment with yours, then it may be best to let them go. Using this four step diagnostic tool will help you separate your emotions from the facts. Many of us become friends and grow attached emotionally to our support team (that’s quite natural) but you have to remember – you run a business!

If the team member is not a positive impact to the bottom line, you can’t afford to continue to invest in them. As this excellent unknown contributor has said in this quote, “If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs!”

Its our job to have the best talent we can invest in to propel our mission forward!

Ready to up level your business to grow beyond six figures? It’s time for The CEO Factor! Get your copy of The CEO Factor System today by Clicking Here

Delegate, outsource, build a team. It’s the message drilled into to so many entrepreneurs who are ready to grow big. But what happens when the team you have is causing you to spend too much time micro-managing – and you’ve literally become an overworked manager? Its hard to be the CEO of your growing company when you keep getting pulled down into the weeds.

CEO development Hiring other people to help offset your weaknesses is supposed to help you grow, not make you resent having people to delegate and outsource to. So what the heck went wrong?

Often times it starts when you are ready to grow. Think about what’s happened as your business over the last few years. You start out, you have a certain goal or mission, and you know you have a certain budget to invest in your growth, so you hire someone who meets your budget and can do a satisfactory job of completing the tasks.

Then it happens. Woosh! You take off at lightening speed – orders fly in, new programs are created that serve your high-end marketplace, customer service challenges arise more frequently, the level of detail management required has increased and your expectations have escalated to a whole new level.

You grew…but did your team’s approach change with the evolution of the role? Did your infrastructure shift to handle the expansion? Did your systems and procedures progress with the increase in demand and quality?

Well when I’m working with an entrepreneur’s business as their coach, I evaluate many different parts of the process to uncover the real problem. Often it boils down to one of four areas (or a combination there of):

  1. The skills and competencies of the team don’t match the role as its evolved.

If you experience a lot of breakdowns, mis-communications, or a regular inability to complete the task on time, and as the saying goes, you may be trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip. You can’t expect someone whose is new to internet marketing to be a whiz at getting savvy squeeze pages up in a day. It’s an unrealistic expectation.

Often when we outsource and delegate tasks in the beginning we hire for the current needs versus hiring someone who has the ability to expand and grow as you do. This issue can be resolved if both parties are willing to identify the gaps and create a plan to increase the team members skills.

ACTION: Educate your team on your new vision and how the role will change in order to achieve new goals. Meet with each team member to decide if they are willing/able to fulfill new role.

2. The systems, procedures and technology necessary to perform at optimum speed are not up to date; which creates tension and frustration for the person responsible.

    For three years we knew we had a poor system for managing customer purchases and lead follow-up. But the investment and time it would take to fix the problem kept it on the back burner. This year we knew to make the leap we desired we’d have to bite the bullet and make it happen.

    The result is less duplication of effort and more marketing efficiency. Not having the ideal CRM system over the years caused so much frustration, angst and breakdown between my fast-paced team that the cost of NOT upgrading the system became too great.

    ACTION: Assess areas of breakdown, frustration or inefficiency. Invite your team to share their insights too. Then make a list of what needs to be upgraded and prioritize based on budget, time and cost. Don’t forget to evaluate the cost to NOT upgrade too…

    There are two more outsourcing strategies which you can find here. But before you go…let’s hear how this is providing you insight into how to uplevel your resources for the kind of business you’ve always dreamed of. Share below in the comments – I look forward to reading them.

    Need help hiring the right people? It starts with knowing the right tasks to get off your plate. Get a complimentary copy of 101 Ways to Triple Your Income & Time Off.

    Are CEO’s allowed to have a bad day?  You’d think that sounds reasonable, but when you actually consider the impact on your entire company, you may think otherwise.  How do you expect your team to behave if you are lying on the couch for three days?    Even with the “right team”, leadership is critical.  They may begin to question the vision, or be confused as to why you aren’t leading them and inspiring them anymore.  They may think the vision has changed, or died, or perhaps they no longer fit into the vision.  And surprisingly, these kind of emotions can flare up quickly.  It doesn’t take long before your team, and your clients, begin spiraling down the same path as you.  So therefore, bad moods, or temporarily “checking out”, is simple not smart.

    Your “inner game” dictates your “outer game”, so learning how to overcome your bad days are critical.  I’ll give you some pointers here:

    Please feel free to leave comments below, and to hear more tips from Melanie, sign up for her CEO Factor Manifesto on the form to the right.

    Article written by Melanie Benson-Strick, your Million Dollar Lifestyle Business Coach.

    So how do you find the right team to run your business?   Many business owners try and find inexpensive helpers, people that can do what they are told each day.  But how much time will that ultimately save you if you are still consumed with monitoring your employees?  If you cannot fully trust their abilities, and you don’t feel comfortable handing over some of your responsibilities, you may want to re-think your team strategy.

    To truly be able to stay focused on what you do best (leading the company), you must give total ownership to someone who has the passion, strengths and competency to do it for you; someone that you completely trust to be an extension of you.  Those kind of employees are the kind that feel more like partners, and less like employees.  From my experience, you will end up attracting people who are a reflection of you, and your vision.

    I talked about this at my recent CEO Factor retreat, take a look:

    Please feel free to leave comments below, and to hear more tips from Melanie, sign up for her CEO Factor Manifesto on the form to the right.

    Article written by Melanie Benson-Strick, your Million Dollar Lifestyle Business Coach.

    Have you ever had a dream so big that you had no idea how to accomplish it? The dream is there, in the background of your mind, gnawing at you and clamoring for your attention.

    For many busy entrepreneurs, you might start to feel like the dream is slowly dying.  With everything you have to do to generate financial results, you never have time to focus on the dream. You are always busy running your business, making money, taking care of your clients, etc. Who has time to chase their dreams?

    When you let your dream die, it affects your passion. Without passion, running your business can start to feel like work (who wants that?). Passion is the fuel that gets you going every day, provides the stamina to overcome the challenges and obstacles, and inspires you to think bigger.

    Recently I saw an Oprah special called “Building a Dream” about the launch of her Leadership Academy for young girls in South Africa. As I watched the show, I realized that Oprah has been visioning this school for a long time. She had clarity about so many details — from the uniforms to even the brick color of the building. It has been the fuel that keeps her going ever day, overcoming the big obstacles that have risen in running a billion dollar empire.

    We all know that Oprah is very busy with her show and her magazine. How she brought her dream to life and fulfilled her passion was by surrounding herself with a team of people who could bring her vision to life.

    If you study billionaires (which I do) you will learn a special leverage technique they all use to manifest their dreams into reality. I’ve seen this technique used by Oprah, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. The technique: build a team to bring the vision to life.
    Here are five tips to help you get started:

    1. Stay focused on the vision. Michael Gerber’s In the Dreaming Room covers the power of what your REAL job is (and by the way, it’s not getting lost in the day-to-day management.) It’s all about creating a vision so big that it pulls you forward.
    2. Do YOUR job. Your job is to stay focused on high payoff activities. Let others do what they do best. Bookkeeping, housecleaning, graphic design, website updates, filtering emails and phone calls are all low payoff activities for the average business owner yet you many spend thousands of billable hours a month on these tasks.
    3. Surround yourself with powerful implementers. When you leverage your time and build a team of good people, then your dreams become real 100 times faster. Most entrepreneurs are really great with ideas but lose traction when it comes to details and managing projects.
    4. Start sooner. In completing the Virtual Team Building Secrets interviews, one thing I found in common with all five experts is they waited too long to build their team. It cost them time, money and sanity. The billionaires I studied all took the risk to build a team immediately.
    5. Let go. Once you create your power team, be sure to learn to delegate well. It doesn’t do anyone any good if you hold the reigns too tight. A golden rule of delegation is, “Commit to the outcome, let go of the path to get there.”

    It’s time to start building YOUR team. It’s the fastest way to create more time, free up energy and make progress in bringing your vision to life.

    In today’s economy it seems that many entrepreneurs are focused on one big problem – cash. Meaning, many don’t seem to have enough of it. If you read the papers or listen to the news, you’ll hear the same thing…lack of cold hard cash is a problem.

    How do we stop having issues with our cash flow so we can start having more profitable businesses? How can we eliminate our debts? Why is my revenue stuck while my friends seem to be rolling in the dough?

    This is actually focusing on the wrong end of the problem

    Let me remind you of a little secret around creating wildly successful businesses. It starts with your inner game. It starts more specifically, with the message you send yourself. And if you follow Law of Attraction principles at all, then you also know that what you focus on expands.

    So when you focus on the problem, what happens?

    That’s right. You get more of the problem, don’t you?

    What might shift for you RIGHT now by focusing your attention on solutions? Now I know you are probably thinking to yourself, “But Melanie, how can I focus on a solution without focusing on the problem?”
    Continue reading Problem-Solver or Solution-Generator: Why the Difference Can Make or Break You

    “In my first year working with Melanie I trippled my income. In the second year of working together, I doubled my income and reached the 7 figure mark. I know that this coming year I’m going to turn that into multiple 7 figures.” – Kendall SummerHawk, The Horse Whisperer for Business

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    “Melanie has taught me how to build a team of support around me, the art of delegation and how to build a successful business with way less effort.” – Callan Rush, Leader to Luminary Training

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    “Since working with Melanie, I started my company from scratch and have grown the revenue to $850,000 per year” – James Jackman, Acme Clean Air

    Continue reading Three Entrepreneurs Share Their 6 & 7 Figure Lifestyle Business Secrets

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    Watch this video on YouTube Continue reading How Michele PW and Beth Schneider Used the CEO Factor to Grow Their Businesses

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    View this video on YouTube Continue reading Lifestyle Business – James Malinchak & Bob Regnerus on the CEO Factor and Building a 7 Figure Business

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