The Secret Behind Every Successful Entrepreneur…(Transcript)
If you started your company, then most likely you are a VISIONARY leader. That’s a unique gift! But we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and you might need “another half” that you don’t even know you’re missing.
That other half is called an INTEGRATOR.
In this episode I share how I found our integrator Cortni, what she does in the business, and how it’s impacted the business and so much more in this episode all about integrators.
This is a transcript of Work Less, Earn More, Episode 38. Listen to the episode here.
We became entrepreneurs because more than anything, we want freedom. We want to be in control of our own schedule, income and life. But unfortunately, that isn’t always the reality of being a business owner. I’m Gillian Perkins and I’m on a mission to take back entrepreneurship for what it’s supposed to be. In every episode, I’ll share with you how to get the most out of every hour you work so that you can work less and earn more. Let’s get to it. Hey there and welcome back to the podcast. Okay, so I have a little story for you today. About a year and a half ago, I was listening to a podcast myself.
It was Amy Porterfield’s podcast called Online Marketing Made Easy, and she was talking about a book that she had read called Rocket Fuel. I’d never heard of this book before. It was relatively new at the time, but she shared what the book was about and how it had impacted her business. And what I heard her say really resonated with me and I just heard the truth in it and how much it applied to me. I took what I learned in that episode and immediately went out and applied it, and it has had a dramatic difference in my business over the last year and allowed me to more than double my revenue and my profits.
How did a book help me to grow my business?
In today’s episode, I’m going to be sharing with you what this book is all about and what I used from this book to grow my business so much, and also a little bit about how a lot of other big successful companies, companies that are far bigger and more successful than my companies, use this same secret. In fact, pretty much every famous entrepreneur you’ve heard of who has a big successful company or who started a big successful company used this secret to grow their business. What is this secret and what is Rocket Fuel all about? Well, basically it’s about the idea that for every visionary leader who really stands out and is in the spotlight, behind the scenes there is someone else who is a secondary leader in the company, a second leader in the company who runs the day-to-day operations and who keeps everything running smoothly and perfectly integrated so that that visionary leader can charge forward to grow the company.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Henry Ford who started Ford Motors. Most people would probably classify him among the top business people or entrepreneurs in at least the last two centuries. But despite how amazing of a businessman Ford was and how brilliant he was in so many areas, he had a business partner called James Couzens. James Couzens was his operations manager who ran the day-to-day operations of Ford Motors. That’s what freed Henry Ford up to able to do so many of the amazing things that he did. Then another great example of this is I’m sure you’ve heard of McDonald’s, the fast food chain. Well, you may have heard of the founder of McDonald’s, which is Ray Krok, but a person you probably haven’t heard of is named Fred Turner. He was the operations manager of McDonald’s.
Most of the time when we hear about an entrepreneur, a popular entrepreneur, we are hearing about the visionary leader of the company because they tend to be the person who is the face of the company who is charging forward and making the bold decisions. But what we often don’t see is the person behind the scenes who’s keeping the ship running smoothly so that it can continue to stay afloat while that visionary leader charges forward. This is what I learned about in the book called Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark Winters. In this book, they explain that there are two different kinds of leaders, there are visionaries and there are integrators. The visionary is the person who looks into the future and has a vision for where they want to go and ideas for how to get there. But the integrators are the people who actually put these dreams and these plans into action. They are the executor’s of the visionary’s ideas, and they’re also the people who just keep everything running smoothly in the process.
They’re also generally the people who are managing all of the people who are working in the company to execute the vision. Now, when I was listening to Amy Porterfield’s podcast about a year and a half ago, what struck me as so true in my own life was that I realized immediately hearing her talk, was what a visionary leader I am. And the main thing that made this stand out to me wasn’t what I saw that I was, but what I saw that I wasn’t. And really, I immediately realized how difficult of a time I have keeping those daily operations running. As an idea person myself, I always want to charge forward to that next newest idea. That is so shiny and bright to me and that is what captures my full attention. And I have a really hard time doing the boring day-to-day work of keeping everything running smoothly.
I realized that if I could find a person like this, an integrator, a COO or an operations manager, then I would be able to pursue my dreams and my goals for the company much more confidently and with much more freedom because I wouldn’t have to have so much of my energy drained away by these daily tasks. Now, this isn’t to say that every entrepreneur or every business owner is automatically the visionary leader and they need to have an integrator. Some people who start companies and who run businesses are integrator leaders and it would actually help them to find a visionary to work alongside them to help bring new innovative ideas into the company and make the company to start to grow more. However, more often than not, the person who starts the company is the visionary leader.
Are you a Visionary or Integrator?
Now, if you’re listening to this right now and you’re wondering if you are a visionary yourself or if you’re an integrator or where you fall on that scale, you can go take a free quiz that was put together by the authors of the Rocket Fuel book. You can find the quiz at blastoff.rocketfuelnow.com/quiz. The quiz is called The Crystallizer Assessment. Instead of going to that particular URL and clicking on The Crystallizer Assessment, you could just search for Rocket Fuel Assessment and you’ll find it on Google or I’ll even link to the show notes as well.
I think that you’ll find it really interesting and I honestly think that every person who is in any sort of management role, whether you are the owner of the company, whether you are the manager of a company, or even if you are just in some sort of administrative position in a company, I think you’d find it really valuable to learn a little bit more about your unique leadership styles so that you can figure out what the best kind of support for you to get is in order to be able to more successfully accomplish your goals and your tasks. But also so that you know where you can best fit into your company and be able to run your company as best as you possibly can.
Now, like I said, this is somewhat of a scale. Most people aren’t completely visionary or completely integrator. They’re somewhere halfway in between, but there was a Harvard Business Review study that found that only 8% of leaders are actually good at aligning strategy and execution. While you’re probably somewhere between these two extremes, more likely than not, if you’re the person who started a company or if you are in a leadership position, it’s probably because you’re more on the visionary side of the spectrum. What that means is that if you could get some help with the daily operations of your business or the execution side of your business, then you’ll be able to grow it more successfully. If this sounds like you, if this is resonating with you, then you might be thinking, yes, I need someone to help me with these sort of day-to-day operations, keep everything running smoothly, but how would I find someone like this or what sort of person would I be looking for?
How to find people to support you in your business
Well, there are quite a few different ways that you could find this person. And one thing I want you to know right off the bat is that this doesn’t necessarily need to be a full-time position in your company. You might find someone who just works for you for just a few hours a week, but who just is keeping tabs on everything and helping you ensure that nothing is slipping through the cracks, to free up a little bit of your mental space. Basically you’re looking for someone who’s a very accountable person, who’s great at self-management, who is decisive very organized, that they are a good leader and a manager at themselves even if they’re not actually an extrovert, that they are good at keeping a team cohesive, that they’re focused on goals and that they’re really adaptable and that they’re able to understand and evaluate others.
You also want someone who’s very good at systems. Now, while you could put out a job listing that says that you’re looking to hire a COO. However, if you’re running a small or online business, then more likely you’ll successfully find this person by looking to hire an online business manager, a project manager or a systems VA. Basically we want to find someone who’s very good at managing projects and at managing systems. You can bring this person into your business and to let them handle keeping tabs on all of the projects you currently have running.
This episode is brought to you by Startup Society. If you run an online business or you’re thinking about starting one, then Startup Society is the place for you. It’s a boot camp training program for entrepreneurs, plus an incredibly supportive membership community. If you’re looking for a framework to make building an online business as simple and straightforward as possible, then that’s exactly what you’ll find inside Startup Society. Every month we create a step-by-step action plan for our members to follow to create a specific result in their business so that they can keep moving forward and growing. Past action plans have helped our members write their websites, launch online courses and hire their first employees. When you become a member, not only will you get access to our future action plans, but you’ll also get access to our entire library of past action plans, including the ones that I just mentioned.
You’ll also get business coaching directly from me during our live monthly coaching sessions. During these sessions, you can ask any business questions that you have so that you can make sure that you get the answers you need in order to be able to keep moving forward and not get stuck. As a member, you’ll also be invited into our membership community where you can connect with other online entrepreneurs who are crushing it so that you can be inspired and make some lasting connections. If you’re interested in becoming a member of Startup Society, then there’s no time like the present to make that happen. To sign up, just head to gillianperkins.com/startupsociety. Again, that’s gillianperkins.com/startupsociety. As a listener of this podcast, I have a special offer for you.
You can become a member of Startup Society for $10 off every single month. Just use code EARNMORE when you are signing up. Again, that code is EARNMORE, all one word, and it will give you $10 off your monthly membership costs. If you want to turn your online business into a success as quickly and as strategically as possible, then I would love to work with you to make that happen. Now, let’s get back to the episode. Now in my business, this is how this looked. After listening to that podcast episode, I immediately wanted to find this person and hire them. It sounded to me like it might be a difficult role to fill, so I figured I should start looking early. So what I did was I posted in a few different Facebook Groups for online entrepreneurs and I shared that I was looking to hire a project manager or an online business manager.
How I found my operations manager
I asked for recommendations. I got a lot of people recommended to me. I would say there were probably at least 40 people who were recommended to me. I went on each of their websites and I found out as much about them as I could. I invited around 10 of them to an interview. When I interviewed these people, there were about eight of them who definitely were not the right fit. They were people who weren’t organized enough or they weren’t confident in their leadership ability enough. And I knew that this person needed to be a really strong leader and really sure of themselves and also really organized. But there were two people who stood out to me and they seemed like they might be the right person for the job.
I did a second interview with each of them and I made my decision. At that time I hired Courtney. And spoiler alert, Courtney is my operations manager today. It worked out so well to work with Courtney. Now honestly, when I brought Courtney into the business, I thought that she would just step in and be a project manager. I would explain to her what I had going on and have a meeting with her each week to share with her where I was at in the process and the next things I needed to do so that she could make sure that all the ducks stayed in a row, that nothing slipped through the cracks so that I could have a little bit of my mental space back so that I didn’t have to keep trying to remember all this stuff, but she could make sure it was all getting done.
And even if Courtney had just done that, that would have been such a blessing and so helpful. But Courtney did a lot more than that. I’m so thankful for how confidently she did take over the daily operations of the business. First of all, she organized everything from top to bottom. As much as I love to organize things and make plans and make things look pretty, I’m not very good about having systems for everything. I tend to make a mess as I charge forward with all my ideas. Courtney took a look at everything and she organized it all into a file folder system. She also organized all of our different projects and tasks into Asana. I had started using Asana not very long before, but I was basically just using it as a glorified to do list. But she really turned it into an organized set of systems.
How we organized all the different projects
I’ve talked about Asana before, so I’m not going to get too much into that here, but I would just say that she took my long, messy, disorganized to do list and instead organized it into projects. Now all the tasks were associated with specific projects and they were in a very logical order. Even just this made such a big difference, but then beyond that, she also did the weekly project management side of things that I was originally looking for, acting as an accountability partner and also acting as the person who, like I said before, made sure that nothing was slipping through the cracks. She was just keeping tabs on everything. Then beyond that, and this is something I really appreciate about Courtney, she wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty also.
What I mean by that is if there was something that needed to get done and she saw that I had a lot on my plate and it was something she could do and she had hours in her retainer package, then she would just jump in and do it. She wouldn’t have to bother me about asking how to do it because she is such an integrated part of the business at this point that she knows how the things should be done. We’ve talked about the end result that we’re looking for. This really empowers her to be able to just step in and do the work, and she is 100% willing to do that. Like I said, I so appreciate that about her. I think that’s probably enough of me gushing about Courtney, but here’s what I really want you to take away from this episode.
First of all, if you are at all struggling to grow your business, or you struggle to be consistent in your business, or you feel like that you have too much going on and you’re not sure how to get it all done, if any of those is true, then I think you would probably find hiring an integrator or hiring a project manager or an operations manager a really valuable thing for you. Like I mentioned earlier on, this definitely doesn’t have to be a full-time position. It could be someone who just works for you for a few hours a week to keep everything in line. Now, something that I think a lot of people are a little bit hesitant about when it comes to hiring some sort of business manager is if they don’t have other employees or other contractors who they’re already working with, they might think that it’s overkill to hire a business manager.
And in some cases it is. But I have to say that when I hired Courtney, I really only had one other team member at that point in time, and it was just my video editor. He didn’t really need to be managed exactly, so I was more hiring someone to manage me and manage the projects. One other thing I think you should be really cautious of if you are interested in hiring a manager yourself is that they can be overpriced. Like I said, when I was interested in hiring an operations manager, I asked around. I got 40 different options and then from there I narrowed it down and narrowed it down. And I was able to find several people who did really high quality work, but didn’t charge too much. The money that I spend on my operations manager has been a great investment right from the start, because like I said, it frees me up so much so we’ve been able to grow the company so much faster and in such a more organized and strategic way.
We’ve been able to double the revenue and the profits, and that just makes it a fantastic investment. I’m so glad that I did move forward and hire an operations manager. If you’re interested in learning more about visionaries and integrators and potentially hiring a person like this in your company, then I would definitely recommend the book Rocket Fuel. It’s not a very long book as far as business books go. It’s probably about 200 or 250 pages. It took me a few days to read and it was well worth it. I will leave a link to that book in the show notes as well. If you have any questions about working with an integrator or what that has looked like, feel free to shoot me a DM on Instagram @GillianZPerkins.
Connect with me!
I would certainly love to hear from you. I think that this could be a really valuable next step for you to take in your business if you are working on growing your business and you want to be able to do that more effectively and more quickly. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Work Less, Earn More. Now here’s what I want you to do next, take a screenshot of the episode you’re listening to right now and share it on Instagram stories. When you do, make sure you tag me @GillianZPerkins so I can see that you’re listening. Sharing on stories is going to help more people find this podcast so that they too can learn how to work less, earn more and take back their lives. If you really love the show, then head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review to give it a boost. Not only will this help the show out, but it’s also going to give you the chance to win a 12 month membership to Startup Society. Each week I’ll be picking one winner.
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To enter, all you need to do is post a poster of you on Apple podcasts and be sure to include your Instagram handle so we can send you a DM if you win. Today’s featured review of the podcast comes from Johnny K80, and he posted on Apple Podcasts this review titled Excellent. “Gillian’s podcast is a wonderful source of insight into the mind of an ambitious young business entrepreneur. It’s exciting to listen and celebrate with her as she shares openly about this amazing success journey that she’s on. John.” Thank you so much, John, for taking the time to write this great review of the show. I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying it and I look forward to sharing even more of this journey with you. Okay, now let’s wrap this up. I’m Gillian Perkins, and until next week, stay focused and take action.