Last year was AMAZING for our company. We increased our profit margin, we grew our team, and we made a ton of updates to our Scale with Success® program that really upleveled the client experience.
Well, that’s the highlight reel anyway.
But, today I want to talk to you about some stuff that was going on behind the scenes that nobody really knew about.
One of the reasons I started this podcast is because I wanted to start sharing MORE about HOW I think, not just WHAT I think.
I feel like a lot of people today don’t really do much thinking at all.
They just wait to be told what to do. A perfect example of this is me using the GPS on the way to the grocery store as opposed to developing my own sense of direction.
Well, in business, relying on someone else’s GPS can be super dangerous. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself in an auto-pilot state where you aren’t learning HOW to properly identify problems in your business and create solutions to move forward…you’re just waiting for someone to tell you what to do.
I see this happen in free facebook groups all the time.
Someone will post, “Should I raise my prices?”…
…and around a hundred well meaning people will give their advice.
Of course, we don’t have any context about WHY this person is thinking of raising their price. We don’t know whether they have a specific problem in their business and raising the price is their proposed solution OR if they recently listened to a podcast where a well meaning host said EVERYONE should raise their prices.
Whenever I have the chance to be in a room with business leaders, I don’t want to ask them what THEIR opinion is about what I should or shouldn’t do…I want to learn how THEY make tough decisions, have difficult conversations, and overcome failures.
It’s not WHAT they think that I’m interested in, it’s HOW they think that I find absolutely fascinating!
So, today I want to share a big problem I was having in my business last year that was preventing me from moving forward with this podcast last year and HOW I went about solving the problem.
The PROBLEM…was me.
I was exhausted and the person who caused this exhaustion was myself.
I wasn’t taking responsibility for effectively managing my time and energy.
I was saying yes to things I really didn’t want to do, but felt like I had to do them.
As a result, I went on 19 business trips last year alone. 19!!
I remember one point in particular where I was speaking at a conference that was put on by amazing people, but it made absolutely no sense for me to be there. The people in the audience were SUPER nice, but NOT a good fit for anything I had to offer.
So, HOW did I end up there? Well, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t want to disappoint the organizer. I felt bad saying no. I chose to go, leave my family, take time off from work…all because I was afraid of disappointing someone.
Now, do you think the organizer would have cancelled the whole conference if I said no? Of course not. They would have just moved onto the next person. I could have even recommended someone who would be a better fit.
That’s how a lot of last year went. Me making decisions to avoid making someone upset.
These decisions started to snowball and I’m sure our company missed out on an extra $2m as a result.
It also extended into decisions I was making with my team. I was leading too many projects as opposed to letting my TEAM lead each project.
I also became really worried they would think I wasn’t working hard enough. (More on THAT in Episode 3.)
I felt like if I WASN’T working hard that they would think that I was a terrible person who was completely undeserving of my success.
Yikes! The reality is that by NOT taking responsibility for myself and trying to make everyone like me, I was REALLY hurting the business.
I know we had a big profit increase, but it would have been A LOT more if I had the guts to say no when I meant it.
So, HOW did I realize that the problem was me? Well, for starters I noticed that I kept complaining about the same issues to my Integrator. The answer was always clear, we needed to hire more people.
Because I had this subconscious belief running through my head that if I wasn’t working hard, everyone would hate me, I was INCREDIBLY resistant to hiring the people we desperately needed to take over many of the tasks I was doing.
I kept coming up with pretend reasons for why we couldn’t hire certain roles. They made sense on the surface, but underneath my decision was that undercurrent of insecurity.
One day, I had enough. We reached a point where unless I made these hires, the company WOULD NOT continue to have the exponential growth we’ve always had and I was sick and tired of NOT taking responsibility and doing what I know I needed to do.
Also, I was tired of telling my family I was tired! I sounded like a broken record. The only person making myself tired was MYSELF.
Once I made the DECISION to hire, the team was overjoyed. These new hires enabled our company to set BIGGER goals and I’ve built a team that LOVES a challenge.
I didn’t want to be stagnant, and neither did they.
So, you might be thinking – DOES THIS MEAN IF I’M TIRED THAT I NEED TO HIRE MORE PEOPLE?
Not necessarily. When I decided to take responsibility for my exhaustion (instead of blaming it on anyone else) I asked myself “What uncomfortable decision am I avoiding?”
That’s something you can ask yourself, too!
When I asked myself that question, the answer was clear and immediate. I knew exactly what I needed to do.
This year, my schedule looks completely different.
For starters, I am taking 1-2 weeks off every single month. During that time I am not working. At all.
I am puttering around the house, reading, and engaging in other activities that regenerate my brain cells, replenish my soul, and make me feel super creative!
I also have 1-2 weeks of Creative Work time. This is when I work on things like this podcast that you’re listening to now, content for our live client events, and more. Since I am taking responsibility for my creative energy, now I have more of it. No meetings. Just creativity.
I had NO TIME to do creative work like this podcast last year because I chose to book myself solid with busy work that didn’t really matter.
Additionally I have 1 week per month where I take meetings with the team. Meetings still happen throughout the month, but they are led by our Department Directors, not by me. During the week I take meetings, I am able to show up fully focused and present. The quality of my ideas is better and the energy I bring to each discussion has also improved.
Since taking responsibility for my life, making tough decisions that I had been avoiding, and taking actions that made me feel uncomfortable, I was able to create a schedule for myself that leaves me feeling replenished and rejuvenated.
Oh, and we’re projecting to DOUBLE our revenue this year.
When you ask YOURSELF the question: “What uncomfortable conversation or decision am I avoiding?”…what comes up for you?
Follow me on Instagram @caitlinbacher and slide into my DMs to let me know!
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Thanks so much and make sure to tune in next week for another episode of The Caitlin Bacher Show.
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