69. Mindset Upgrades on The Way To Becoming a CEO
15 September 2020 | By Salome Schillack
Listen in to find out the mindset upgrades you’ll need to make on your way to becoming a CEO (because I KNOW that’s in your future!).
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Hello, and welcome to episode number 69 of The Shine Show. Today we're going to talk about some mindset upgrades I had to make on my way to becoming a CEO. Today I want to take you on a journey with me that starts way back in 2014 when I just started my journey as an entrepreneur, until now where I am the CEO of a multi-six-figure Facebook ads agency, and I have successfully launched our own online course and membership.
But before we dive in, Amy Porterfield will be closing the doors to her signature course called Digital Course Academy, which is the best program available to anyone who wants to learn how to take what's in their heads, package it up properly, and sell it online so that you can help more people in that very special way that only you can, and so that you can create more income and have more freedom and control of your own life. This year, I'm offering the best bonus yet. You can get access to the entire A-Lister course, my course that teaches you how to build your online audience faster using Facebook and Instagram ads without wasting any money. I'm also offering group coaching calls and a much smaller and more intimate experience where you get to learn how to reach more people and sell your course sooner. To learn more about Amy's Digital Course Academy and our bonuses, just go to shineandsucceed.com/dcabonus.
Giving up your time and freedom to make money is so 2009. Hi, I'm your host, Salome Schillack, and I help online course creators launch, grow, and scale their businesses with Facebook and Instagram ads, so that they can make more money and have an even bigger impact in the world. If you're ready to be inspired, to dream bigger, launch sooner, and grow your online business faster, then tune in because you are ready to shine, and this is The Shine Show.
Sometimes I wish that I can go back in time and sit that girl that so desperately wanted to stop working for a boss and make it on her own down for a serious chat. I'd love to give her a long, hard hug and just tell her that it will all be okay. She was so scared and at the same time, so full of herself, making short term quick-fix decisions about almost everything, and to be kind to her, it's not her fault that she was like that. That's what she was taught to be and do to get ahead. Today, I know better than to approach any entrepreneurial challenge with anything other than a giant amount of humility and patience. My wish for you is that at the end of this episode, you two will sit down with yourself and be kind to yourself and take a deep breath and know that everything will be okay.
And let me tell you why. Today, I'm going to take you through a few mindset upgrades that I had to go through the hard way to get to where I am today. When I say, "Where I am today," here's what I'm not talking about. I am not talking about making multi-six figures in revenue. I'm not talking about having some of the most successful online course creators in the industry as my clients. I am also not talking about having figured out how to sell an online course and make a lot of money almost overnight. No, my friend, I am talking about the mindset shifts I had to make to learn to deliver world-class service and do it without compromising my boundaries. I'm talking about the mindset shifts I had to make to learn how to hire amazing people and lead a team. I'm talking about mindset shifts I had to make to learn how to manage my revenue and expenses in such a way that I could pay my taxes and have surplus so that when things like COVID happens, I don't have to make any rash decisions that impact on people's livelihoods. And I'm talking about mindset shifts I had to make to focus on growth, but also to understand that growth requires systems to support the people who work in that environment.
Okay, so let's talk about each one of them on their own. The first one I want to talk about is the mindset shift I made to learn how to deliver world-class service and do it without compromising my boundaries. Just after I quit my job, I started working full time as an ads manager. I signed up a client who agreed to pay me a lot of money, enough money to buy a new computer and replace my salary, to not just run her ads, but also build her funnels and create her webinars for her too. What I didn't realize then was I was trading one job for another one. This client was also in the US, and I lived in Perth, and we had a 14-hour time difference to manage between us. What that meant was I had to get up at 4:00 AM in the morning to be online for this client and to be in meetings with her team.
I did that for a while, but after a few months, it became very clear to both of us that this was not going to work out long term. And when we decided to end our working relationship, I committed to never ever putting my physical and emotional health and wellbeing ahead of a client's needs. Now ,I wish I can say that this was the last time I did that, but that wouldn't be true. I've had a bit of an on-again, off-again relationship with this type of hustle, where I would do anything to deliver value for a client as long as it means I don't let that client down. But as I started seeing the value in what I deliver, as I started seeing the impact I can make, and as I started building a reputation, I've been able to say no a bit more often. I've learned to say no to potential clients who do not want to fill out an application form before they get to talk to me about running their ads. That was a hard one for me to learn, because I thought, "Well, what's the harm in just jumping on a call?"
But what I discovered the hard way is that if someone doesn't respect our systems when they're just a lead, they will definitely not respect them when they're a client. And I'd rather lose a lead than work with a client who doesn't respect our boundaries and our timelines. The one question you can ask yourself is, what are you doing right now that teaches your clients or your students, or your team members how to treat your time and attention? Are you available to them 24/7, which means you're always in response mode? Or can you take a moment and create a system where they know when you're there for them and when you're focusing on things that matter to you and to moving your business forward? Maybe write this down in your journal or make a note that you can think about this question later. Where are you giving more of you than you have to give, because you're not yet sure of the value that you provide? Write that down and think about it.
The second mindset shift I want to share with you was the shift I had to make to learn how to hire amazing people and lead a team. Now, I will say I have made every mistake in the book when it comes to hiring a team. I can proudly also say that I have become really, really good at detecting BS a mile away, and I have no problem letting people go very quickly if the trust between us breaks down after I hire them. These are just some of the stories of people I've hired, and I tell you these so that you can see how many times I should have seen the red lights and didn't. Hopefully, this saves you a red light or two.
One person I hired didn't show up to my first one-on-one meeting with her at all. We were in different time zones, and to accommodate her, I stayed up until 10:00 to do our first weekly call. The next day, she did have a really good reason for it. I don't remember what it was, but I thought, "Okay, give her another chance. Give her the benefit of the doubt." Then for our second call, she showed up very frazzled, still driving her car and jumped off the call midway through to go into a coffee shop, where she said she had better Wi-Fi. Now, you'd think by now I would see the hot mess this girl was in. No, no, no, I felt sorry for her because she was a single mom, and she was hustling to make money.
And then after the first month, her work wasn't entirely up to the standard she had promised me, and she sent me an invoice for the maximum amount of hours she could bill me, and didn't attach a time sheet. I kept her for another three months. Talk about not seeing the red lights or not wanting to see the red lights. Three months later, she was gone, but now I would never, ever, ever keep someone around who is clearly so disorganized they can't show up for their first call with their new employer. I mean, talk about a red light from day one.
Another person went through the entire hiring process for a flexible, part-time role. When I asked her in her final interview if there's anything standing in the way of her being able to do her job, she clearly said no. And then literally two days after I hired her, she told me that she'll be traveling for a couple of months, and she won't be able to meet with me and talk about work at all during the time when she's traveling. Hmm. Okay. She was gone. Then there was the other one that right after our team call, we had asked her to do something fairly simple. If I remember correctly, it was a Thursday. She had to do something fairly simple, and we asked her if it can be done tomorrow, to which she responded she won't get to it until next week, because tomorrow she's having her hair done, and she's got plans on the weekend.
Now, I have my hair done too, and I have plans on the weekend too. But if I've just started a job, you just don't say that to your boss. You just say, "Yes, of course." And you do it after you had your hair done. I mean, I just like, "Seriously." This week, my team interviewed someone who looked amazing on paper, and within the first five minutes, I was able to see the red lights that I learned the hard way from all these other experiences. Luckily, I didn't even spend time interviewing her, I just watched an interview that someone on my team did. And within five minutes I could say, "No, this isn't going to work."
But can you hear how long it took me to learn these things and the expensive mistakes I had to make to get here. So here's what I want you to learn from this, when you pay someone to do a job for you, they are not doing you a favor by showing up for work. They're not doing you a favor by doing work that lives up to your standards. They are not doing you a favor at all. You pay them, and you get to decide what the parameters are that they should do that work in. You get to set the standard and have the responsibility to communicate that with them. I felt so grateful at the time that anyone would want to help me out and work with me that I ignored a lot of super bright red lights at first. Just trust your instinct, and remember what Maya Angelou said, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them."
The third massive mindset shift I had to make was to learn how to manage revenue and expenses in such a way that I can pay my taxes and have surplus so that when things like COVID happens, I don't have to make any rash decisions. The first three years of my business made absolutely no money at all. In fact, it might have loss that first two years and then broke even in the third year. During that time, I had an accountant who had a lot of corporate clients and then some small and medium-sized businesses. Every time I had to go and see him at the end of the financial year, I'd leave his office feeling so disappointed in myself that I had yet to again failed to make any money.
I don't think it helped that he didn't really get what I was trying to do. No, he'd want to pep talk me and steer me away and use terms like, "You're playing around on social media," which is just like... Yeah, he didn't get it. Poor guy, he thought he was giving me great advice, telling me to stop playing around on social media. And now that I look back at it, I don't blame him. I mean, he was my accountant, and he desperately wanted me to turn a profit. My numbers were terrible, and he probably felt sorry for me.
Then when I quit my job, and I started to freelance as a Facebook Ads Manager, I actually started to make money. I made good money. I made more money than I might working my job. And so I called him one day, and I said, "Hi, this amazing thing has happened, and now after three years, I'm making money every month. Should I be putting any of it away for taxes?" To which he responded, again, I don't blame the guy, he was probably trying to protect me, "Don't worry about taxes yet. Let's first see how much you make at the end of the year. At the end of the year, we can work it out and then you'll have a few months to pay the tax." We didn't think about it again until the end of the year and the tax bill came, and it was $30,000.
What happens when you don't put away tax money is that now you have to pay last year's tax with this year's money. The money that would have gone into my pocket as profit the following year then goes to the tax man for last year's tax. But because it is accounted for as profit, you pay tax on it. So it's a double whammy. You pay your tax with your profit that you buy tax on. This forced me to grow up very quickly and stop thinking about money the way that an employee thinks about it, where everything that comes in is yours, and you get to take it all home with you.
Something else that helped me make a huge money shift that I want to tell you about was when I looked at how much money some of my clients were making, and then I looked at what percentage of the money they're making goes back into Facebook Ads, and I realized that I have a few clients who make more than a million dollars per year. Most of them spend at least $100,000 on ads in a year. And when I figured that out, I decided I don't have $100,000 to spend on ads yet, but I decided what's going to happen if I take 10% of what I'm making now and spend that on list building ads, so that I can start building up this very important asset in my business and start getting used to giving Facebook my money too.
That was the base decision I could have made, and it has allowed me to launch A-Lister just as COVID hit and now the Launch Lounge too. And because of that, I have COVID-proof my business, and I can easily save taxes every month because I now look at money as something to be managed and distributed and used for growth, not as something that comes into my pocket to be spent on my next holiday. That is the difference between CEO thinking and freelancer thinking.
The final mindset shift I want to tell you about is the shift I had to make to focus on growth, but also understand that growth needs systems to support the people who work in that fast-growing environment. As I started building my team, I realized that when you grow really fast, there's a level of chaos that goes hand in hand with that growth. But people can only operate in chaos for a certain amount of time, and then they start to feel demotivated, confused, and without direction. And when you're working with clients, that can spill over into how they do their work and at what level they serve those clients.
I learned this again when we launched the Launch Lounge recently, and we doubled the number of students without also focusing on the customer service support we needed to make them all feel at home and to help them navigate the membership. Between 2017 and 2018, I grew an agency from just me making just over 100K, to a team of four people making over 400K. And when it came to setting goals for us for 2019, I said to the team that my goal for 2019 was just to match our current revenue, but to build the systems to support our customers, to give them the security they need, and to remove myself from the day-to-day runnings of the agency.
Surely, in 2019 we matched the revenue for 2018, but I no longer work on the client's ads managers. I no longer manage any projects for the clients, which is something everyone on my team is happy about because let's face it, attention to detail is not exactly my super power, and we have systems in place to get the work done. Keep the clients happy and free me up to do things like create this podcast episode for you. So what I want you to think about is, are you in a growth phase where things are a bit chaotic and messy and it could feel like you're hustling a little bit? Or are you in a systems and processes phase where you need to put the brakes on the growth, focus on your team, and give them the base structure you can? That's when you start decluttering things, cleaning things up, making things predictable and turning them into processes, and taking all those little frustrations and turning them into amazing customer service experiences.
Now, I told you earlier that I now have a tremendous amount of humility and patience when it comes to growing my business, and I hope that you can see that I learned that because my ego got knocked to the ground so many times. I made all the mistakes. But I want you to know that I'm still standing. I'm still growing. I'm still here, and I haven't even started yet. And so have you, despite all your false starts, epic failures, disappointments, anything that makes you look at your business and causes you to feel like you're not quite there yet.
My hope for you is that as you listen to this episode you see the mess and you see the success, and you realize that wherever you are in your journey, you are getting exactly the lessons you need to get where you want to go. Hopefully, I can spare you a few lessons because I've told you the ones I've learned today. But if not, I want to hug you so hard and say to you that everything will be okay, and you will figure it out. Because you are resilient, and if you made it this far, you're definitely going to make it all the way. I'll see you next week. Don't forget to check out our DCA bonus at shineandsucceed.com/dcabonus. Have a great week. Bye.
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