Ep #156: Becoming CEO of Your Time to Scale Your Business with Lauren Cash

The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley | Becoming CEO of Your Time to Scale Your Business with Lauren Cash

As CEOs, small business owners, or entrepreneurs, it is common to start a business, do a whole bunch of hustling and doing, then become tired, burned out, and not necessarily see the fruits of our labor. This week, I’m bringing my coach onto the show to discuss this further and share some tips to help you go from the doing to the leading in your business.

Lauren Cash, MA, MS, RDN is a Master Certified Coach and the owner of Vivere Co. and is my coach for this year. She helps procrastinating perfectionists become effective entrepreneurs with ease, even at scale. She joins me this week to talk about the importance of being willing to relinquish control and be a beginner at things to get the results you want in your business.

Listen in this week as we discuss how to separate the CEO version from the employee version of ourselves and the thought work required to make big changes in your business. We discuss why it’s crucial to build the right foundations in your business if you want to grow and scale, and the importance of changing the barometer for perfectionism and releasing the standards we’re holding ourselves to.

If you want help creating a business with thriving revenue streams so that you can design the life you really want this year, now is your chance! We’re going to be opening the doors to the Design You Coaching Program really soon, get on our waitlist now!

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • How to manage your time effectively.
  • Why perfectionism is procrastination in disguise.
  • The shifts that need to happen for you to become the leader of your business.
  • Why your behavior and actions might be slowing down your company’s growth.
  • The only thing that will prevent you from achieving your goals this year.
  • How to be a visionary in your business.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 156.

Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy. Here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hello there friends, especially CEOs, small business owners, entrepreneurs. How are you today? I’m calling you out by those names because if you identify with any of those this episode is for sure for you. So this is a really fun one for me. This is my coach for this year and who knows, maybe for multiple years, but my coach for 2021 that I am working with weekly for an entire year, so exciting, is Lauren Cash. And you’ll get to know a little bit more how Lauren and I met and, our relationship, and our experiences with each other.

But when we are recording this is in mid January, you’re going to hear it probably a couple of months later on the podcast. And we’re just starting to plant the seed for you in this episode about how leading your company is totally different than probably what you’ve done to the point where you are right now. Because what we typically do is we start a business and we do a whole bunch of hustling, a whole bunch of busyness, a whole bunch of doing. And then we’re tired, we’re tired, we’re burned out. We’re tired. We’re not seeing the fruits of our labor.

We’re not seeing the money roll in the way we thought. If we just worked a little harder it would. And so many of the people that I work with as creatives and the people that Lauren works with as other coaches primarily are in this place between six figures or multiple six figures in their business. And they really want to get to seven or beyond seven, so they want to go from making a few hundred thousand dollars a year to making a million dollars and more.

And so there’s such a shift that has to happen for you to become the leader and not just the chief employee of your own business, not just the hustler in chief, not just the wearing all the hats, Jill of all trades. And it’s a major shift. And so I wanted to bring Lauren on today to talk about her perspective on this. I love working with her. She’s already given me so much insight into my own brain and my own thinking.

And of course as we say in the episode she doesn’t just work with people getting to seven figures, she works with a lot of people going from seven to eight figures as well.

But if you don’t build the right foundation as you’ll hear us talk about, and if you don’t identify some of the key areas of your thinking and the way you’re showing up that are the problem then you’re never going to get to seven figures, or eight figures, or beyond. You’re never going to scale your business. You’re never going to get to the place where you feel like this is fun and sustainable and you’re not exhausted all the time. And so I thought we would bring Lauren on. I thought I would introduce you to her, hear some of her amazing ideas.

And then the fun part’s going to be, we’re going to bring her back later in the year. And I don’t know if we’ll just do it at the end of the year, if we’ll do it midyear, it depends on what we accomplish, and what I’m learning from her, and the progress I’m making in my own business.

But I love to be transparent about the work I’m doing, the shifts I’m making because I want you to see that if I have to have a coach, and if I have to work this hard after 20 years of being in business, after building multiple seven figure businesses. That if you’re not working with a coach, if you’re not identifying roadblocks and intentionally getting out of your own way then it’s going to be near impossible to get the results you want. And that may be the very reason why you’re feeling the way you feel.

So enjoy this episode. It’s somewhat lighthearted. It’s a higher level of us introducing some of those bottlenecks and those concepts. But I just, I think that it’s that first step of awareness and really getting clear of where you’re in the way that starts that process of you really stepping into the leader of your company in a whole new way. So I hope you enjoy this episode. It was super fun for me and I’ll see you on the other side.

Tobi: Hey Lauren, welcome to the Design You podcast. I’m super excited you’re here today.

Lauren: Thanks so much for having me.

Tobi: It’s so fun. So what people don’t know that we just laughed about is you are now my coach. That’s not what we laughed about, that’s amazing. But what we laughed about is that we had a session Monday, we’re recording a podcast on Wednesday and we have another session on Friday. So you’re basically my bestie for the week.

Lauren: Great, here I am.

Tobi: Yeah, if not for the whole year. I know you’re going to be my bestie for the whole year actually. But we know each other not super well yet. But we went through master coach training together at the Life Coach School. But we were in two separate groups. We were going through at the same time but there were 20 or 21 of us, we were in Grand Cayman at the same time. But we kind of, like we just waved at each other when we walked in. But we didn’t get to spend the week getting to know each other.

So I would say we’re more than acquaintances, soon to be really good friends. But I’ll let you kind of describe that a little bit and also tell everybody else who you are and what you do besides being a master coach.

Lauren: Yeah. Thanks Tobi. So I remember seeing you at master coach training too. I was already familiar with you because you had been in the LCS community. And I had been working for the school and I just remember talking to you in the Caymans in the lobby and really liking your energy and wanting to connect more but we never got to. So I’m glad we get to now. And what I do is I recently have been figuring out how to say this even better. And I’m a master certified coach from the school as we said. And I am basically like your COO/coach.

And I help entrepreneurs particularly in the coaching industry scale their businesses from six to seven figures with their teams as well. And that’s what I’m really excited about. And I love talking about money, and about especially women having money, and really expanding their capacity to have as The Life Coach School teaches and all of that. And that’s what I’m really excited about recently.

Tobi: It’s so good. And just to put a little context to that for people because if they’re probably like, “Well, why is Tobi needing a coach that gets you from six to seven figures, if she’s built multiple seven figure businesses?” And so yes, that’s kind of your ideal audience. But what really I was reminding you a few minutes ago, what really made me know that you were the person I wanted to work with in your private one-on-one coaching this year, because I always have a coach. And sometimes I work with people for years, but it was time to kind of make a change for me.

And the thing that really sealed it for me was a handful of my personal friends or mentors talking about the work you had helped them do. And in particular, hearing what you helped Brooke Castillo do to get really ready to be a better boss, a better leader, and she’s for sure not going from six to seven figures, she’s making 35 million dollars. So these skills that you teach obviously are really helpful for people to scale and go from six to seven in a coaching business.

But you have done some incredible work with people that have really large businesses work in particular because I think building the foundation you help people build is required for you to have a sustainable. And by sustainable, I always define that word because in the interior design industry sustainable means eco friendly, green. When we say sustainable is survivable, doable, some balance.

Lauren: Without burnout.

Tobi: Yes. So sustainable million dollar and up businesses is what we’re talking about, right?

Lauren: Yeah. And I put the plus, I’m redoing all the copy for my website right now and I have the plus on the seven figures. I do have a lot of clients and have had a lot of clients that are in the seven going to eight.

And the reason why I want to work with six to seven, or at least say in that my marketing is to get that foundation there because I have seen like you’ve just said, a lot of folks not getting the foundation in place. Because not talking about your business, Tobi, but other folks, they tend to just take what was a really functioning, maybe private practice and then try to throw a lot of marketing on top of that and just grow that private practice. But then it breaks because it wasn’t built for scale. And so that’s what I’m really passionate about.

Tobi: Yeah, that’s so good. So in the realm of that, and maybe tell – let’s just redefine scale. I think some of these words get used so often. And I use the word ‘scale’ meaning a scalable product, having a thing, or a program, or a course, or something that you can create once and sell to many people. But it also just means in general if you’re scaling your business it’s kind of that in a bigger, like across your whole business. That you have two or more, and not that we need a ton, even sometimes two or three is the sweet spot.

But you have more than one product, or at least if your product is only one product it is not just a one-to-one business model, right?

Lauren: Correct, yeah, so you’re expanding your impact is another way that we could say it. More people are going to benefit from your work. And usually that comes through at least more than one product.

Tobi: Yeah, more than one product or a product that can be sold multiple times, a membership, a course, a program, something, yeah. So in the realm of scaling, because I do work with people to do this as well, but I work with creatives in doing this work. There’s a few things that I really notice and of course they stand out because I’m sure that probably because of the mistakes I have made. So they feel very close to home. But there’s a few key things that I see standing out in the realm of really kind of – it’s what you are just saying, a lot.

But the way I would say it is we taught ourselves to get to a certain point through hustling and through just hard work and long hours and things that are the opposite of sustainable. And what I really notice is that we get our – a lot of us get our worth and our value out of that. We get our praise. We get our recognition from this being busy. We also love that checking things off the list. We also do a lot of kind of self – I don’t know what you would call it, self-validation because we did so much today.

It’s all about the doing and I think that the biggest shift we have to make which feels like a lot of unlearning is to go from our identity being the doer to our identity being the leader. And those are completely different things. So would you agree with that? And if so, can we start talking about in your opinion what are those things? I know the way you manage your time and that kind of thing is a lot of it. But can you kind of take us on that path of what you’ve seen and how you work with people?

Lauren: Yeah, And when you were talking about the doing this question came to me that I really like asking myself and others. Who am I without the doing? And finding that worthiness and sense of self without the doing. I’m still working through that but had a really hard time with that. I’ve been a huge overachiever and hustling and all the things like you. And then last year I reached multiple six figures, almost seven in my own business. And I ended up making myself sick from doing that so much. And so now I’m drawing the line and I’m not going to do that.

But seeing folks going from the doing to the leading, one of the biggest things that I hear or the most common things that I hear are thoughts like it’ll just be faster if I do it myself.

Tobi: Yes, always, all the time.

Lauren: It’ll be better if I do it myself. It’s just this one thing.

Tobi: For sure.

Lauren: All of that, not…

Tobi: Times a 1,000.

Lauren: Times a 1,000, that belief that – this lack of trust in the support that you’re building.

Tobi: Yes, absolutely. I would say last year I wore a necklace. I still wear it a lot. I don’t have it on today. But I started wearing a necklace around the time of doing master coach training because my master coach project, as some people have heard me talk about was called Project Fail. And it wasn’t about me failing. It was about me letting my team fail. The whole idea you and I know of being the impossible goal and letting my team fail 125 times a quarter, exactly, hyperventilate.

But that’s the work we’re talking about because if you can’t trust the team, but if you also can’t let them make mistakes and learn from it then you can never get there. I think you’re right. We say those things. The other one I hear to add to that, that I’ve said a lot and I think other people say a lot is, “As soon as I do all these things and organize it and get it ready then I’ll pass it on to someone else.”

Lauren: Oh my gosh, yes.

Tobi: This belief that yes, I for sure want to delegate but I’ve got to do all this stuff first before it’s organized and in a place that I can delegate it, right?

Lauren: Yes. I recently was talking to a client about as well, she believed that she needed to create all of the standard operating procedures SOPs for this person’s position before bringing them on, and sure in a perfectionistic ideal world that would happen. But you can’t wait that long to bring in help, you just have to bring in the help and have them help you build them out as you go if you want to be able to have a sustainable business.

Tobi: Yes. So what do you do then if you’re in that place and you’re like, yeah, that’s me, I’ve been believing all of those things and I get in theory I don’t want to work this hard anymore. But I still find myself saying, “It’s faster if I do it myself. I have all these things I need to do.” What do you do to start shifting people into that place of trust and helping them think differently about this approach?

Lauren: One of my favorite tools for thinking about it’ll faster if I just do it is to take a step back and look more long term, at a more global perspective. It’s actually not true that long term that it’ll be faster if you do it yourself. So asking yourself what am I thinking is going to be faster if I do it myself? I’m probably thinking this one task right now, but take all of those tasks that you say that to yourself about and compound them over a year’s time and look at how much you’re slowing down your organization.

And that slows down everything so much that really over, if we stepped back and zoomed out, over a five year span of time you’re actually slowing your company and organization down by doing each of those things a lot. You have no idea how much.

Tobi: Yeah. And I think to add to that, and it’s not even like we’re holding onto it but we’re also keeping people in the loop of what we’re doing or thinking, because even if we were doing that one little step, they could maybe then try to start taking some stuff off our plate. But the go to kind of approach for most of us hustler CEOs is not only do we not let anybody help us, we don’t tell them about what we’re doing, we keep it in a silo.

Or we wait until we’re so overwhelmed, and burned out, and about to miss a deadline and then we just dump it all, complete, like just verbal vomit of all the things, just wanting a warm body which is also not effective at all. So I find one of the things that wastes the most time for me is how long I end up holding onto something. If I delegated it the first day it would make so much more sense, right?

Lauren: Yes. Oh my gosh, yes, that’s such a good point. I see that too. And you have to think about it like a hot potato is what I like to think about it as. The longer you hold onto it you’re going to burn yourself and also the potato’s not going to get passed on. And when the timer goes off you’re going to have it there. I like to do that, talk about that with teams too for communication. If you’re caught when the buzzer goes off with a piece of information without looping others of the team in that need to have it, then you lose the game. And that’s the same in our teams and organizations.

Tobi: Yeah, that’s so good. So if somebody’s going to share the information then how should they best share it? What’s the best place, if people are going to start looping other people in, is it by video? Is it by some of other method? Is it writing things down? What do you recommend?

Lauren: Yeah. So it depends on the thing, so if we’re talking about a process or a system you want to develop standard operating procedures like we were talking about. I really prefer to record, Loom videos is what I use on my computer because it’s super fast. And then some people don’t like to learn as much from videos and like written steps. So I like to have a combination of both and you can always have your team help you write out the steps after you just record the Loom version of it. That’s what I’ve been doing recently.

And then if we’re just talking about basic communication back and forth day-to-day or looping team members in, I use Slack and I know you do too, Tobi. And I love that and making sure you’re including, like I’ve noticed in a lot of organizations people will just Slack one person about something when it really impacts other departments.

Tobi: Yeah, absolutely. And that is something we do. It feels more comfortable and less vulnerable to send a direct message in Slack. But then nobody else can see what you were talking about, so unless it’s truly about a personal issue, or their pay, or a performance review or something, anything else really needs to be available to the whole marketing channel, or the whole sales channel, or the whole copywriting channel, or whatever it is that you’re talking about, yeah.

Lauren: Yeah. And love those channels for that purpose and that everyone then is in the loop and can see what’s going on, even if it doesn’t impact them maybe this week but it might impact their department next week.

Tobi: Yeah, awesome. So one of the things that also comes up quite a bit for people and you coached me on this and I loved it, our very first session. And by the time people are listening to this in probably March or so, we recorded in mid January. So when we first got started and I was telling you, I caught myself holding onto a ton of stuff again. So then I had the potato, my hands were burned and it was like third degree. And then so just talking to you, which was beautiful, that’s the beauty of having a coach you have that accountability to say, “Okay, I’m going to admit it that I did this.”

And now it helped move a lot of that off on to other people which is fine and they’re happy to have it. But the interesting thing is also the longer you hold onto it then you overwhelm them because you send them 700 things instead of seven. But what I want you to speak to that was so helpful to me is that you said, “Well, why? Why did this time you hang on to that stuff?”

And I said, “Well, a lot of times it’s sort of out of like maybe a little bit of guilt but more like a concern for – I hate to bring this on them now. They’ve got so much already. or we’re close to Christmas and I don’t want to mess up their holiday”, or some level of it looks as if I’m being so selfless. And maybe I truly am. But I would love for you to speak to that a little bit because it was so helpful for me to hear you say, “But you realize if you wouldn’t want to do this to your team, why in the world would you want to do that to yourself?”

Lauren: Yes. Oh my goodness.

Tobi: Can you talk about that a little bit because that was a huge eye opener for me?

Lauren: Yeah, I’ve been noticing that, that a lot of CEOs, they don’t want to ask their team members to do things but then don’t recognize that they’re asking themselves, the employee version of themselves to do something that they wouldn’t want the employee version of themselves to do. So I like to teach that a lot of there’s two parts of us. We have a CEO version of us. And then there is also this employee version of us. So we work on the business and in the business and differentiating the two.

And asking yourself is that fair to employee you? No, it’s not at all. So why are you in such a rush that you want to get this thing done and out? Is it really meant to be right now if you’re not taking your holiday or whatever?

Tobi: Right, yeah. And if you’ve held onto it or you’re willing to do it on nights and weekends, and you wouldn’t wish that on a team member then the next question as you just were starting to allude to was, “Why does this have to go out now?” And I was like, “Well, I mean we’re not in a money crunch but I would love to see some more funds coming in. So I kind of wanted to get this launched.” And then you were like, “Okay, why are we making any short term decisions that you need money that quickly? If so that’s a sign of a bigger problem.”

And I think that’s so true. So as we start to look at where we’re bottlenecking in our business, it’s not just the how do I get out of my way which is sort of like the symptom. I think, don’t you, it’s going to the root of the problem and saying, “Is this urgency coming from somewhere else?” And if so, if it’s financial then that’s a different conversation, it’s not just why are you holding onto this task?

Lauren: Yeah. It’s like what is your business model? Does your business model even make sense? That’s some of the work I’ve been doing with my other private clients is reviewing what their business models are before we even go forward with doing the time management work with the CEO. Because if your structure or your foundation of the house that you’re building isn’t sound then why are you going to start doing other things to it? Which ironically interior design, I didn’t even mean to link that.

Tobi: No, perfect though, right?

Lauren: Yeah. Why are you going and starting to talk about everything else in the house already if you don’t have a solid foundation?

Tobi: Exactly. So several things to look at, what you’re saying is you’re looking at your business model and the money. You’re looking at how you’re showing up and thinking around delegating and having other people do things. And then for sure there is the whole time management piece which you are definitely an expert in that. And we think similarly. But let’s talk a bit about time management and that whole process for leaders. And how is it different?

I mean first of all if you haven’t managed your time as the employee of your business you’re for sure not going to do it as the leader. But what’s different there? Because for me, we had this conversation on Monday this week, it’s kind of shocking sometimes when I look at what I would have in the past called work, which was the doing, of how little time I now spend in the doing but also that I need to count all the time I spend in thinking because that’s also work.

But sometimes I accidentally are feeling weird because I’m like do I have a part-time job here? And is that what I want? And am I good with that? But then I’m like, but wait, you spend those other 60 hours thinking about things. So can you speak a little bit, just as much as you want to helping people start to build their foundation for time management? But then how does that look different when you become really that leader?

Lauren: Yeah. So I think I’ll speak to that more so. So as you’re becoming the leader you are going to have all this time, I like to think about it like an athlete, which is what I told you. You have to think about all the time that you need before the game, even though the game, depending on what sport you’re playing might be a short period of time or the race doing the sprint, whatever it is.

Tobi: Swim, all of it, yeah.

Lauren: Yeah. It might be a short period of time, you really are spending your whole life the way that you’re eating, the way that you’re hydrating your body, resting, recovery, training with your trainer, all of that is still work for the main event. And the same thing with CEOs and founders, our work may – what looks like work to other people may be not that, may be part-time looking to some folks.

But then it really is that you’re working your whole life around nourishing yourself, getting the sleep, reading the books, getting coached, doing all of the inner work required, getting trained on how to manage teams, all of the things. And it really is a much larger job to get yourself, your body, and your mind, and your soul to the place to lead. You’re going to need so much more space to take care of yourself in that way.

Tobi: Yeah. And as you were saying that what I was also remembering kind of and noticing is that I think the problem is that if you aren’t giving kind of validity to the fact that all of that still counts towards work because it still is what you need to do to be able to show up and create the result you want. If you’re not believing that then you find yourself working, what we would really call work that looks like work, 40 hours or more a week and then you still have all of that stuff to do also if you want to be effective.

And you try to fit it around the margins and nights, and weekends and then you wonder why you’re exhausted and you never get anything done. So you have to be able to say, “There is a limit to how much of the doing I can do because if I’m going to do that well I have to also give creatives a validity that these other things also are considered part of the job”, right?

Lauren: Yeah. And I would say as you’re doing that work to cut things back so that the actual what it looks like you’re doing, you want to have your capacity on your calendar to be way smaller than what you even think it ‘should’ be. So with you Tobi, if you want your max work active, or I like to call it live working hours, to be more like 20, then we really need to cut you off more let’s say play with 15 hours and have that margin there.

Because you never know when you’re going to be invited to come on a podcast or invited to do a thing you really want to do and collaboration. If you don’t have that margin then you’re going to start to let it bleed into the preparing to be the best you can be in those 15 to 20 hours.

Tobi: Yes, absolutely. So what we’re saying, and this is interesting too because don’t get us wrong here, not that I don’t like time off. I do. And I love the idea of time freedom. But what we’re not saying is, “Tobi only wants to work part-time now and she’s going to a part-time job.” What we’re saying is that in a 40 hour week or whatever period you want to call it, if you’re used to working 40 hours, 50 hours, 60 for some people.

What we really want to say is how do we get the required stuff that can only be done by me the leader in 15 hours a week, which is going to blow people’s minds? And so for me that’s 15 hours a week to show up and teach live in my program, to give the vision or a presentation on an interior design project, to come on a podcast here with you. I literally have 15 hours a week because the rest of the time I have to get coached with my coach. I have to be in some meetings. I have to do thinking and brainstorming. I have to work out. I have to sleep and all these other things.

Yeah, just sometimes just giving myself white space for the big ideas and vision because that’s my role as the leader of the company and if I’m back-to-back meetings, 40 more or hours a week, none of that’s ever going to happen ever, it’s just not going to happen.

Lauren: No. And you can’t be a visionary when you’re in that many live things. And for those listening, I’m sure you’ve noticed your best ideas for your company have come when you’re in the shower, on a walk, on a vacation where you have lots of space.

Tobi: On an airplane when we used to be able to go places.

Lauren: On an airplane.

Tobi: Yeah, totally. And so you have to believe that you’re worthy and that it’s critical that you design space into every week is what you’re saying, and call that work. And that feels crazy. I’m sure everybody listening is like, “What? That’s a dream world, I could never do that.” But what we’re talking about is engineering the leader, the CEO, the visionary’s life to where you absolutely have to do that. And then if your company wants to do other things you have people that help make those other things happen, right?

Lauren: Yeah. And that goes back to what we’ve talked about too is you as the visionary what is your job description?

Tobi: Yes. I was hoping we would get to that. So let’s talk about that. What is the job description of a visionary? Because we think when you’re at the top of the company you’re going to have the longest job description. And it’s the opposite, right?

Lauren: Yeah. I was writing mine out, I think I ended up getting to five or six right now. But it’s my goal to get it down to three responsibilities. And really it’s setting the vision, long term vision, having the direction for the company is a really big one. Eventually, right now managing the team and all of that, being the CEO as well but in the future I don’t want to do that.

I want to have a CEO that does all that so that I can just stay in the vision and all of that. I’m selling right now and marketing, I’m really in that still. But I want to have that handed off at some point too. And then client delivery is the biggest thing and content creation.

Tobi: Yeah. And so you literally do five things. And so if it doesn’t fall under selling, the marketing vision, the company vision or the content creation it’s not your job. But it still has to be done. It’s just not your job, right?

Lauren: Yeah. And that’s what I’m working on this year myself too is really getting the support around the team on all the things that are not my job description. But before I can do that I have to decide what is my job description? What are the hours for the big rocks, Steven Covey’s, big rock CEO time, or visionary time really to do all of that.

Tobi: Yeah. And so what I think one of the next things that comes up for a lot of people, especially in the creative industry but it’s also true for the coaching industry is the feast or famine nature of our revenues and profits. And the kind of chicken and the egg situation of I need to hire somebody but I can’t afford to hire somebody, but if I don’t hire somebody I can’t afford to do any of this other stuff.

So in my experiences I see people hanging on to the doing way too long. And they think that if they keep hanging on to the doing they’ll eventually make enough money that they can then hire a person. And what they’re actually doing is just keeping themself year, after year, after year in the place of having no money. So I mean I even call it your to do list is killing your business basically.

So when you find people in that place how do you help them start to see that designing the business is what has other people making money for you, beside you which affords to not only pay for them but pay for other people and things you need? How do you help people get over that hump? Because I also think that that’s a big sticking point for a lot of people, “I hear you Tobi, but I can’t afford the help.”

Lauren: Yeah. I think a lot of people just have this one standard in their mind of what help looks like. And there are so many variations of what help can be. So what I mean by that is there is actually help available that doesn’t cost a lot of money, that actually are just more effective programs on your computer and shortcuts and things that you can be doing just as a solopreneur using tools like Text Expander to quicken your typing.

You can use things like Zapier and other – or Zapier, or other tools that can make integrations and automations that aren’t even another human yet. That will speed you up and outsource to the tech. But then after that let’s say your first hire needs to be an assistant which is often the most recommended first hire. And you’re thinking you need to be able to afford a full-time employee to start. And that’s not even true. There are virtual assistants out there that can help you. And you can start with a few hours just a month.

And I would say really just picking one area that you want to see how it works and maybe handling your calendar, or handling your podcast interview scheduling, or something small. Pay what you can currently afford in your budget with your money in the business. And just see how it really speeds you up. And it gives you a lot more ROI than you ever imagined.

Tobi: Yeah. And so what happens a lot in creative industries like with interior designers, they think the first person they use is an assistant. But what they’re really thinking is a design assistant, which is helpful. But I would argue that a personal or executive assistant is actually more important for the first hire than just getting a design assistant because a design assistant means somebody that would take a bunch of the task, that would start pricing things, or organizing them, or putting in a presentation and all that’s important.

But I think that even being open to the personal or executive assistant so that you can stay a little longer in the zone of genius of the design piece or whatever your creative industry is actually I’ve found is a better choice, do you find that?

Lauren: Totally, yeah, I totally agree with you. And also we can talk about home life too. There is a lot of ways that in your home life you can clear space in what you’re managing in your mind and having to deal with so that you can be sharper in your work life. So doing things like, you don’t have to get a private chef today to handle your meals. And you don’t have to eat every meal out but you could go to some grocery store that has stuff pre chopped for you to start.

Tobi: Yeah, totally. And we think that stuff sounds silly or too easy. But what I’ve found is it is the easy simple stuff that actually makes the biggest difference. And we want to complicate everything, don’t you think?

Lauren: Yeah, we really do.

Tobi: Yeah, we want to make it so hard. So one other thing that I think that I would love to hear you talk about because I know you believe in it. And it is just weird industry, the creatives; we’re a group of industries that are fraught with perfectionism. And there is this concept of doing what you and I call B minus work which really is just a way to say kind of good enough work.

And even one of my team members just yesterday who I had training under some of your content that you’ve created about time management. She heard that module that talks about B minus work and she said, “I literally think I broke out in hives.” She’s like, “I think I might have hyperventilated for a minute.” That is so counter to not only our culture and what we’ve been taught, if you’re going to do it at all do it right, do it well. But I think this again, perfectionism is really procrastination in disguise and a lot of other things.

And I think it’s really important that people start to think about what is good enough. And how do we get okay with, and even noticing our good enough is somebody else’s A plus. It might even be our client’s A plus. But what standards are we holding ourselves to and believing we have to do all of those things, right?

Lauren: Yeah. And I like to talk about for perfectionists, our barometer is miscalibrated. So what you were just saying, what we think is an A is really somebody else’s like whoa, way beyond even the A, extra, extra, extra credit, like beyond. And when I was working for Brooke, like we mentioned she would always tell me that I needed to aim for my C because mine was so off. And the more I did aim for a C and just got the stuff done and said it was good enough, the more effective I was, the more productive I was, and the more money I ended up making more quickly.

Tobi: So good, yeah, that reminds of the book, Essentialism which is one of my very favorite books.

Lauren: Me too.

Tobi: And remember that part where he says, “You should always just send the draft everybody.” He’s like, “If you’re going to make a draft of a proposal and then you were going to send it to seven people in your office and then get their feedback and then three more versions.” And he’s like, “Does it make you any more money to perfect the draft or was there enough information to begin with?” And he’s like, “Okay, of course no. So just start sending the draft.” And that made so much sense to me because how many times do we do that?

And we’re going to get feedback anyway from the client if it’s a proposal. So why not just send it and then you’d be like, “Yeah, I can add that in, no problem.” But then the decision is made, you skipped days or hours of perfecting things. And it makes such a huge difference.

Lauren: Yeah. It reminds me of minimum viable products in the agile type approach. You just want to get it out there and get the feedback from the people to incorporate that and then create the next version of the product. And that’s been my approach and I’ve found it to be extremely powerful because the more I sit on something then the world’s not going to be able to benefit even from what I think is a draft. But they have been able to benefit so much even from what I think is C work.

Tobi: Yeah. And I think to this point as you’re saying that, it’s not separate from the looping everybody in and going ahead and delegating stuff on the first day. It’s the same behavior to just be like how can I move this forward faster or the fastest possible? And knowing that you likely, if needed, will get another chance to clean it up or to take it to another level but what, when we don’t get a chance to do that is when we hold onto it forever, procrastinate, do 700 drafts of it. And then we’re down to the wire and we have no space to even to clean up or perfect if it’s even needed.

And most of the time it’s just not, it’s just not needed. I wonder if we added up all the hours that we were perfecting things. That would be so fun to do, an experiment to be like I just counted and had I gone out on the first draft of anything this year we would have saved, I bet hundreds of hours.

Lauren: Yeah. I’m just thinking about my grad school experiences, years, years and years, Tobi.

Tobi: Yes, totally. Okay, so anything else that you really think people need to think about before we wrap up, if they’re shifting from this doer to the leader? Because I think changing our mindset, that it’s faster if we do it ourself, is number one (a) number one. Number two, getting things out quickly whether it’s information delegating, or drafts, or whatever, so that covers a multitude of things in the realm of perfectionism or delegating. And then believing – I mean it’s all thought work always.

Believing that you don’t have to be at a certain place or have a full-time person to start getting help. What you’re talking about is just little incremental changes that are all pretty much available to us now but we never think they are, is there any?

Lauren: Yeah, even grocery delivery or Costco deliverers, a lot of these things are available. I know they’re not for all folks, where they live is going to be different. But there’s a lot more available to you than you even have imagined. You just haven’t let yourself go to the place of finding what could be available to you. Imagine what’s on the menu. If you think there are only two options for something or zero options for something, ask yourself, what could 10 options for this be if I believe there were options?

I had that experience with a client yesterday who thought they couldn’t find somebody to hire for this one position. And then I had her think about 10 places she could find somebody in this position. And we came up with 10 and I had even more than 10 at the end of our 10.

Tobi: Right. And yeah, why is that? Why does our brain shut down? Why do we immediately want to think things are hard, they’re impossible, we’re not ready, what is that do you think?

Lauren: I think there are a few things. I think some of it is self-worth and worthiness work. And then I think some of it is cultural too. We’ve been told that it’s really hard to make money. You have to put in a lot of hours. You need to earn it. And you also, if you make a certain amount of money, it’s funny because we’re told on one hand you need to show your status, but then on one hand don’t show it unless you’ve worked really hard for it.

Tobi: Yeah, 100%. If you’re going to come out and tell us, “We better see some scars, and some wounds, and some sacrificing.”

Lauren: Yes, some sweat.

Tobi: Totally, yes, totally, all of it. So some pain and suffering, very good. So, anything else that we haven’t covered, for people to really get in this mindset? Because I think we’re hitting the time, by the time they hear this in around mid, end of March, the first quarter’s already coming to an end this year, flown by probably but the news worn off of all the excitement around the goal setting for people.

It’s right about the time they’re listening to this that it’s going to feel like same story, different year. It’s all hard again. I used to try to quit all the time, just shut the whole place down, I’m so over it. I’m burned out, all of that. But these small changes really help, so, anything else that you would love people to be mindful of?

Lauren: Yeah, so especially since we were talking about perfectionism and perfectionists for those who identify with that. There’s no rush or hurry for this. Let yourself be a mess as you practice handing the hot potato off, as you get the draft out there and feel all the feelings, being super afraid of what the client’s going to think if there’s a typo. And just keep trying and just don’t give up on it because it will get easier. And the only reason why you won’t achieve your goal this year is because you decided end of Q1 to give up on it, not because it’s not available to you.

Tobi: Yes, I agree. And the way I would say that is, be willing to be a beginner at something. And we almost never want to be that. We’re like, I want to start something new and I want to be a master at it on day one. I want it to be perfect. And I reminded my team in this meeting yesterday that that’s, like everything’s fine. We’re going to have a meeting. We’re going to talk really directly about all the things that we would like to improve. But at the same time everything’s fine, everything’s amazing. We’re all good, nobody’s in trouble. We’re willing to be beginners.

We know that the only way to get to the place of being a master is to have been a beginner first, all of that stuff, right?

Lauren: And the masters always have the beginner’s mind for the end of time. So you might as well just get there now and always be a learner and beginner. And settle on in because there you go. If you’re going to be evolving and growing in your lifetime you want to be there.

Tobi: Absolutely, so good. So if people want to find you, find out more about you, is your podcast the best place for them to come and get more of your advice and great ideas?

Lauren: Yeah, come on over to The Effective Entrepreneur podcast. And I talk there a lot about my Instagram as well. So you can find me there. I like to hang out with folks on Instagram.

Tobi: And is it Lauren Cash or is it the name of your company, how do they find you?

Lauren: It’s the name of my company on Instagram, so it’s Vivere Co, so V.i.v.e.r.e Co. But you can always search Lauren Cash and find me as well.

Tobi: Okay. Awesome. Well, we will probably have you back some time this year because it’ll be really fun I think for us to talk about towards the end of 2021 what we did together, what you helped me do in my company. And I think it’s just so important for people to remember that no matter if you’re a coach yourself, how successful you are, how much money you make. I personally think it’s virtually impossible to make big changes in your business and do this work without a coach. And so I think it’s – don’t you agree?

Lauren: 100% and I now have usually multiple people helping me in personal life and then business, yeah, I love support.

Tobi: Exactly, yeah. And so I think that’s what I love to be so transparent about, is for people to see oh gosh, I’m learning from Tobi but she also always has a coach. Because even if I know what to do, in the moment not noticing that you have a thought fallacy, that you’re a bottleneck, that you’re causing an issue, that you’re being a perfectionist. You can’t see that about yourself when you’re in the thick of it. So you need that other person, a trained coach to be able to say, “You might want to think about it this way. Notice what you just said”, or yeah, all of this.

Lauren: Yeah. Even today I knew what I needed to do is something in my business. But I needed to bring it to my mastermind and my coach there to just reflect it back to me and sort of just encourage me that, “Yes, that is what is meant for you.”

Tobi: Yeah, totally because, yeah, we talk ourselves out of things. Even when we’re excited in the moment, I watch leaders, and company owners, and small business owners all the time. They’ll have a great idea and then they’ll talk themselves out of it.

Lauren: It’s so sad.

Tobi: I know, so your coach is that person that holds you accountable. So we will definitely come back. We’ll let people see the before and after of what we accomplished together over this next 12 months, which is going to be fun. Yeah, and I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you for being here.

Lauren: Thank you. Thanks so much for having me, Tobi.

Okay. So did you identify with any of that? Did you find yourself in all the things we were bringing up about not delegating soon enough, being a perfectionist, believing you couldn’t afford people, or that they weren’t going to be as good as you, or as fast as you? And all those things are so common among owners of businesses and entrepreneurs. But as common as they may be they are truly what’s killing businesses every single day.

So I hope this was helpful to start that process of you becoming aware of where you’re in the way of your business. And I look forward to hearing from you. Check out Lauren’s podcast where she continues to talk about a lot of these ideas herself. And we’ll be back soon with some updates on what’s happening even in my company as we transition from a seven figure business, to a multiple seven figure business, to at some point in the future, hopefully an eight figure business. And yeah, I can’t wait to share that with you.

So thanks for being here and I’ll see you back here next week. Bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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