Whether you’re about to start building your team, or have been managing a team for decades, there’s one HUGE shift in mindset that’s a game changer for CEOs. 

Over the past three years, I have struggled with being able to handle the volume of copy, emails, internal marketing project edits (the list goes on) that my team brings to me for my suggestions and approval. So, recently, I added a new position to Team Hirsh in order to combat this, and with that addition, I had this huge realization. 

Sure, I can train the person in this new position to follow a checklist, or work with a “do this, then that” mentality, but there are so many things that go into making decisions as a CEO that are actually based on INTUITION. 

I used to feel like, “I’ll just handle it. It’s just easier for me to go in and make the edits.” Especially during a time sensitive situation. But what I learned is that by doing this, I’m not helping my team understand WHY it needs editing, or WHAT I’m really trying to say. 

So, when I added the position of Marketing Operations Coordinator, I didn’t want to create just an SOP, or a spreadsheet to train from. Instead, this time, I approached her onboarding with the mindset of, “how do I get her to think like ME?”

In this episode of The Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, I’m dropping my NEWEST realization that has allowed for me to create the time, and have the capacity, to become the type of CEO that’s necessary in order for my business to be where I KNOW it can go, and where I want it to be. 

If this episode resonated with you and you’re thinking about adding my newest realization to YOUR own business, send me a DM on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) and tell me all about it!

 

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh:

Hello, my friends happy day today is 11/11, or at least the day this episode comes out, which is fun. I cannot even believe we’re halfway through November. Thanksgiving is in like, what two weeks? What in the heck, two weeks until Thanksgiving, that is so crazy. And then Christmas will be here. And then all of a sudden it’ll be 2022. Doesn’t it literally just feel like COVID started in the beginning of 2020? Like, it’s insane. I cannot believe how fast everything’s going. And is it just me? Is it just me because I have all these crazy kids and time just flies so fast or does it feel like this for all of you guys? I kind of don’t like it. I actually sat down with my journal the other day and I was like, “how can I slow down time?”  I genuinely mean that like, “how can I enjoy my life more?”

And I think, I don’t reward and praise being busy all the time. It’s hard to not be like that. And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact we live in this digital landscape where you can be plugged in all the time and it makes you feel like there’s always something to do. And if you’re not, you’re anxious about it, but I don’t know. We need to figure it out because I just want to enjoy my kids. They’re growing up so fast and especially going through, like my third one is my last one. And I am like, “gosh, you’re almost two and I just want to enjoy it. And everything’s going so fast.” Anyways. I’m super excited for today’s episode. I love sharing stuff about team building leadership. I think that, I try to mix it into this podcast.

It’s way more a marketing podcast, but a lot of you guys message me because you’re at a stage where either have a team you’re struggling with building and training and team and scaling, or you haven’t really started building a team, but you’re starting to think about it or you’re exploring that. And it’s one of my favorite things. When I sat down and looked at, “what do I love about my company?” At the top of the list was leadership, team building process, just creating process and creating a structure that can really operate and run without you involved in the day-to-day is priceless, right? Because then you have a business that truly you have freedom over and you have freedom in your life and you can travel and do whatever you can do whatever you want. And then you still bring in money. And like, that’s the ultimate definition to me of freedom is having a massively successful business that I’m not a slave to in the day to day.

So we’re going to talk about this one thing. That’s going to change the game. If you’re building a team or you are thinking about building a team, this is a lesson that I’ve been learning. So I have been repeatedly learning this lesson over the last three years, really as I’ve built a team. And I recently brought on a new team member who is titled my Marketing Operations Coordinator. So her job is kind of a project manager, but she does other things outside of that. And I’ve actually known this individual for like three years. She lives in Austin and she has done my photos in the past and she was looking for a job and I happened to be talking to her and was like, “I need a project manager.” And I didn’t know she had those skills. So anyways, I brought her on recently, which is actually like three weeks ago.

I shared on here how I was going to be hiring for this position because my calendar was too full and I was way too much in the weeds. So I brought her on and I’ve been in the process of training her. And I think a lot of you guys can probably relate to this, where you’re in a place in your business where what you need to delegate is not necessarily tasks. Like it’s not simple to say, “Hey, go do these 10 things and get them off my plate.” And at least it’s not simple right away to get to that point because a lot of what you’re doing, it feels like only you can do it because it’s what you’re thinking. And so for me, that was coming up a lot around our marketing and our internal marketing around things like knowing exactly how many emails I wanted to send our list in a promotion, what date and time those emails would go out.

Things around creating, looking at I was spending hours, approving emails from our copy team and saying, “Hey, this is good. Or here’s the change, or here’s the messaging.” If you have ever done a launch or had something, you know, a live webinar or a big promotion, then you know how much thought has to go into the messaging around it, at least for it to be successful. And a lot of times that is in your head. So you have to first translate all of that information around the messaging, which means the pain points, the benefits, the angles that you want to go on. So this is the case for every kind of promotion that you would do. So that means a live webinar. That means a sale. That means a new funnel. It means a new offer. Like every time you do something like that, you have to get really clear on the messaging.

And oftentimes you’re not even going to nail it the first time. And if you sit down and in an hour’s time, you’re probably going to think of more things later. So you won’t have it initially. It’s not easy. It’s very deep thought work. Okay. So that’s the first thing. And then once you start getting assets back, like, let’s say you give it to your team and you say, “Hey, make this funnel,” or you hire a team or whatever. You may make this funnel. Here’s the copy. Here’s all the tasks and things that I need, which is how I was doing it. I recognize some of you probably don’t have that in place where you, where you’re able to just delegate it all to a team. Regardless. I had people to do the tasks. I had people to write the copy, build the funnel, integrate it, all the pieces, the ads, all of it, what was missing is the way I think.

And having someone be able to represent the way I think, which means when you, when I get email copy back and it’s in my voice and I’m reading it. And if I have a suggestions, it takes me a long time to read that email copy. If you’ve ever had to approve 20 pages of copy emails, opt-ins, all the things, it takes a long time. And it takes a lot of brain power. It’s not something you can quickly look at, because if you have suggestions, you have to figure out how to give the copywriter direction and be like, “nah, I wouldn’t say it like this, but maybe here is an idea” and or you have to train your copywriter. And this is what we work on with our team is like what questions to ask you to pull it out of you. So when I recently hired this new role and brought her on one of the things I was determined to do and have been working on is not just training somebody with how to do tasks and how to actually accomplish, like, get these seven items off your to-do list and get them done for me, but how to think like me.

I think there’s a big difference between documenting a process. That’s step one, you do this step two, you do this step three, you do this. And having it laid out, that’s important. And I think that a lot of times what we start with when we’re building a team is making sure we have process documented of the steps. But here’s the problem, so often there’s nuances. There’s like, “well, what happens when this happens?” And then it changes the process, or, you know, you need to approve this thing or we’re missing the mark on this messaging. And then it starts to feel like as the CEO, that you’re this massive bottleneck and everything has to go through you because you have the answers or you have the direction. And if there’s nuances or things that come up, everybody turns to you.

Right. And it’s like, “Hey, what do we do in this, in this situation?” And this wasn’t happening fully for me, but I’ve experienced this so many times. And I’ve also experienced that when this happens, I don’t always recognize it. I just like play along and I tolerate it. I’m like, oh yeah, I’ll give you that quick answer. And then before I know it, I have seven Voxer messages, 15 Slack messages, five emails, Asana tasks that need my attention and, a day booked full of calls. And so now I’m bottlenecking my entire team if I do that, right. Because they’re all waiting on me to give answers or to give feedback or to move forward. And I can’t get it to them because I’m on calls. Does this sound familiar to any of you guys or is it just me?

So this has been my last like three months until recently. And so when I brought on this new team member, I was like, “I am going to teach her how to think like me.” And that’s obviously going to take more than a couple of weeks. We’re still working through it, but I think this is the part where people don’t do this. They don’t train this when they bring on a team member and you have to do it in kind of two fold. Number one, you have to set the stage and set the foundation where you’re giving somebody permission to do that. Because people, employees aren’t going to just voluntarily, usually make decisions and calls. If they think they have to get your approval for every single thing. And so what I started to do is I would just record my screen as I would do something like, so if I’m reviewing an email or I’m responding to a team member, I would record and I give the “why” behind what I was saying.

So it was like, “I’m not approving this email. And here’s why, here’s what I saw, or I need to add in these three tasks that we forgot about.” And here’s the why, or I chose to send six emails during this promotion at these times. And here’s why. And so giving that context is going to slowly, and has already started to work, allow my team to try and understand how I would make decisions so they can make decisions without me. And I think it’s easier. It’s actually easier. If you get something that you need to approve or a team member sends you a question it’s easier to just quickly answer it or quickly change something or do it yourself in the short term. But you always have to remember with business and marketing and anything that you need to play the long term gains. Right?

So, the long term, what’s better for the long term, is to actually slow down and take the extra five, ten minutes to not just go change it yourself, or quickly answer the question, but to give context around it. So this is especially true for me for copies. Sometimes I see an email, it’s like 8 out of 10, almost there, but I have some edits I want to make to it. And so it’s actually easier for me to rewrite a couple sentences to go through and change the email myself. But how is that doing my team any good? Now I just changed the email. So it’s not going to change anything the next time they go to write it. And so instead taking the five or ten minutes to give the feedback and then they have to send it back to me. That’s why it’s not, you know, always fast because it’s like, I have to give the feedback.

They have to make the edit. Then they have to send it back to me to review and approve. And this is especially true. If you have somebody new writing for you. And if you’re the face of your brand and you’re the voice, it’s like, I’m very protective over things that are put out in my voice because obviously I want to make sure it would, it’s me right? When it, when it’s put out. So what I’m saying is you need to train your team, how to think like you, and there is a method behind training that, which first you have to figure out how you’re thinking. And that’s really hard. If you’ve ever sat down and I asked you, “why did you make those decisions in your business?” Whether that was, you know, something you told a client or a customer or a decision you made about ordering a product or hiring a team member or approving an email, all of those things, you don’t really know why, right?

Until you really think about it. It’s like I just did, because I did, because that is what makes the most sense. But here’s the thing. What makes the most sense to you and is obvious to you is not always obvious to your team and to other people who can’t read your mind. We make this mistake where we assume, and I’ve done this so many times, we assume something is so clear and so obvious, and why wouldn’t someone choose that option, but they don’t have the background and the experience and the brain that you have. So the first step to training team members and people around you, how you think, which is really what a lot of team members want to know, especially leadership team, especially people who are writing things in your voice or doing things on your behalf. They want to know competently and be able to make decisions and choose things that they know you would be confident in which doesn’t come from just step-by-step tactical process training. 

It comes from them understanding the way your brain works and the way you think, but that can’t happen until you define it. So we’ve been working on as I’ve trained this new team member process, and I’m actually like, I’m just recording myself, doing things. And I’m saying, “now I need you to pull out the patterns you see,” or the, if this, then this type of situations that you see so that we can create process around this because I’ve told her this team member is coming on. And my goal is that all of the copy, all of the decisions that are being pushed to me to approve now, eventually over the next, pretty much 90 days, start going to you and start going through you so that you can represent me. And that is such a key in scaling. And I have this so much in our delivery.

Like, so our ads team, I have a team member who’s been on my team for almost three years and we have this, we have this dynamic and she can make decisions. She can think for me, she’s capable of doing that. And that has been built through constant communication around this process documentation, but not just step-by-step tactical process, but strategic, how we think. And you know, what else is this ties into your company values? That’s the thing, is everything that you do internally and externally should really be run through a couple of filters and you have to be clear on, what are those values? What is it that’s really important to you and then pass that onto your team? So, one thing for me that I constantly value is really going deep and intentional with content. So for example, one of my most frequent critiques or feedback that I when with copywriters or really in any content, right, that’s created on my behalf is I never want even a sentence to be surface level.

And so I always have very high expectations for everything because I want, if someone reads one post or they read one email, I want it to have value in it. Right? And so that’s my high expectation, which comes down to my values, which is represented in things like my podcast. Look at this podcast. It’s very short, usually that the episodes are under 20 minutes. They’re extremely valuable. They go really deep. I don’t hold anything back and I just give you it all, right? That’s a core value in me as a person that has to translate into my company, translate into my team, translate into our delivery, translate into our marketing. That’s not an SOP that you can write down, like step one, write deeply in the copy. You know, that’s a value. That’s a filter that people need to run through and how they’re thinking.

So I challenge you guys, in listening to this, if this resonates with you, number one, you have to be clear on what those values are. And number two, you have to understand the way you think. So the first step that you can start doing is just kind of questioning the next time that you find, just start analyzing your day then, and the next time you find you’re doing something, that’s like either you’re making a decision, or you’re responding to a message, or you’re giving approval for something, or you’re giving feedback on something. And it feels like only you can do it the next time that happens. Question that and ask yourself, “why am I making that decision? Why am I not? Why are you making the decision to be the one to approve it? Why is it that you’re the only one who can do it?

And then why that’s the “why” behind your response? Like, why did you tell the team member what you did and why do only you have that information or does somebody else have it on your team? Or is there a way to even train the person? Who’s asking you to know the answer to these things? I’m promising you, the more that you can do this, the better your business will grow, because the reality is, if you look at the things that you are approving or responding to or giving feedback on, or being the go-to for right now, just imagine if you added a million dollars a year to your revenue and you had that level of business, could you still do that? Could you still be in the place that you are right now? The answer is probably no, which means before you can add the million dollars to your revenue, you have to figure out how to become the CEO that can handle that million dollars added to your revenue, which means you have to offload those decisions, and approvals, and feedback, and being the go-to on those things.

I think a lot of people talk about training a team related to tactical SOP is processes, documentation, but you want to balance that with training a team, to learn how to think like you to learn, how to think in the way that represents your business and to give them the autonomy to move in that direction. Because if you bring someone on and you say “your job is to follow these SOPs and to not move away from them,” that is going to not give them the space to question like, “wait, why are we actually doing this? Is there a better way?” That’s one of my core values for my team too, is I always want you to question process. If there’s a more efficient, more effective way, we can do something I’m not in the day-to-day to know that you better come to me and tell me that, and then tell me what you suggest we do, and I’m all ears for it.

But you have to create that space in that culture, in your team. You have to pull out of yourself how you’re thinking, which is really hard. It is hard. And a lot of times we’ve gotten to where we have so far today because of the way that we think we have a skill that others don’t have and a vision and intuition and all those things. I really believe that as an entrepreneur, like sometimes I’m like, I don’t know why I made that decision. I just know it’s the right decision or the right strategy. And it was so easy and it just came right to me, but there is a way to translate that to your team and it will make all the difference in your freedom and the way you set up your life and allow you to become that CEO you need to become for the business you’re trying to grow. 

All right, you guys, I hope this was helpful. Send me a message on Instagram. Tell me if this was helpful. I need to know if you guys liked the team episodes, but this is something that has been, and like I said, an epiphany and something I’ve learned multiple times over. I learned this  a couple of years ago with my marketing, where I was really struggling to bring on marketing team members. And I was assuming that they would just all think exactly the way I thought, was strategy. But the reality with marketing strategy is that there is a lot of variation, right? And people’s opinions and experiences. So in order to align people on strategy, you have to have a strategy, best practices. That like a couple of years ago actually is how our staff, we have this document.

That’s like Hirsh Marketing Strategy Best Practices. And I created it. So it’s for webinars, it’s for launches, it’s for all these things in how I think about strategy. So that that’s taken into consideration internally and with our clients, so that everybody’s in alignment. And I learned this lesson then too, was like, wow, I had SOPs on how to build a funnel for us and how to set up a launch tactically, but there was nothing around strategy. And so I learned it. Then I’ve learned this lesson again, I’m focused on who is the CEO I need to be, to be at a $10 million company. And every day I’m moving towards that. Being that CEO, becoming that person. All right, everybody. Thanks so much for being here with me today and talk to you guys next week.

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