Natalie Gingrich She Did It Her Way Ep12

 

This week's guest:
Natalie Gingrich, The Ops Authority

Natalie Gingrich She Did It Her Way Ep12
Natalie Gingrich is the founder and host of The Ops Authority.

She has been in operations for two decades – either in healthcare, corporate America or as an entrepreneur. She spent 15 years in corporate operations and leadership at a Fortune 150 company. When given the opportunity to leave, she put the knowledge, designations, and experience to work by creating her own consulting firm as well as the Director of Operations Certification Program.

Her mission is to equip female operations experts with the skills they need to leverage their leadership abilities on a bigger stage, take charge in their own businesses, and create the lives they truly want.

 

In this episode ~

Natalie Gingrich shares her journey from corporate life to being home for her family to new online business owner to learning that if she was going to be happy & fulfilled, she was going to have to do it her way. And so can you!

You'll learn:

  • What a Director of Operations is and how to get certified as a DOO
  • A little bit about Strategic Mapping and how to prioritize in your business
  • A tip for organizing your priorities in your business
  • The keys to a successful business are authenticity, flexibility, prioritizing and organization

 

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Transcript

Things feeling a little off like they just don't fit. Maybe it's because it's time to do it your way.

Hey, it is week two of 2021, and our second guest is Natalie Gingrich and I'm so excited to share her brilliance with everyone. I had a difficult time naming this episode. I settled on, she did it her way because she absolutely has and she's done it her way while also taking into account the people that she serves and what they need. Through her Director of Operations certification, she has created such an incredible community of service professionals of which I am privileged and honored to be a part of. The caliber of people that are attracted to Natalie and this community is incredible. I became certified in her second cohort of the Director of Operations certification, and she is in the process of finishing up her seventh and launching her eighth. I have to say, it gets better each time. And I attribute that to Natalie's inclusiveness and her ability to tune into her community and support and serve them where they are.

Throughout our chats and our relationship, I've been inspired by the way that she is invested in people and always looking to better herself and those around her whenever possible. As I look back, I don't think I've ever heard her say a negative word about anyone or any situation. And that's not to say that she agrees with everything or she's that "yes" person or anything like that. What I see her do is look at those situations and learn from them and how she can apply it to herself, her business, her community. And I so appreciate being on the receiving end of that as a friend, as a mentor and as a colleague. As for the certification itself, I can't recommend it highly enough. The quality of the content is remarkable and really helped me grow as a service provider. And that's where my investment I made that back before we even finished the certification. If you're listening and you think the certification may be for you, I'm happy to have a chat with you about it, share my experience and connect you with some other certified Director of Operations.

I am yet to hear anyone who's gone through the certification have any regrets. And of course, if you're looking for a Director of Operations, while, I'm not using my talents and skills in the day to day operations any longer. I am more than happy to talk with you and refer you to some of the remarkable women in our community.

I'm going to go ahead and give you the professional bio, which in no way conveys the depth of character, personality and essence of Natalie Gingrich. Natalie is the founder and host of The Opposite Authority. She has been in operations for two decades, either in health care, corporate America or as an entrepreneur. She spent 15 years in corporate operations and leadership at a Fortune 150 company. When given the opportunity to leave, she put her knowledge, designations and experience to work by creating her own consulting firm, as well as the Director of Operations Certification Program.

Her mission is to equip female operations experts with the skills they need to leverage their leadership abilities on a bigger stage, take charge in their own businesses and create the lives they truly want.

And if you're out there and you're trying to figure out your business, where you are, where you want to go and how to move forward, I hope that what Natalie shares with us today, inspires you to keep going, dig a little deeper and figure out how you can do it your way.

Let's listen in!

 

Teresa: Hey, Natalie, it is so great to have you with us today. I've been looking forward to this for a while now.

Natalie: Yes, hello. Hello. Teresa, one of my most favorite people to chit chat with and ponder all life's mysteries with.

Teresa: Oh, isn't that the truth? And I appreciate that having those deep conversations. So thank you so much for being who you are and how you show up in the world.

Natalie: I'm so grateful that we have this space and we can be connected. So, like, we would never have been connected back in the day.

And just that ease and access, you know, I know social media and all this technology gets such a bad rap, but we have such a great strong relationship and we've never met in person. We talk, you know, it's just it's so bizarre and so wonderful at the same time. So I have to keep that perspective when social media can really take me off for my own kids.

Teresa: Right? I've said that for me, this has been such a blessing. When I stop and look at the incredible women, like you that I'm connected with and I'm able to have the privilege of calling you friends and mentors and colleagues, sometimes I'm like, how did you get so lucky?

Natalie: I just wish everybody had the same same access. You know, I think a lot of people feel so isolated and there's so many good people that we have such easy access to.

Teresa: Well, Natalie, I would love if you would share with our listeners something that has happened on your journey. There was something that you had said to me that I really like. And what we're doing is sharing something that along the way has shifted your mindset or made you look at your business more seriously or help get you through that crunch. And you had shared the thought very clearly was, oh, crap, I can do this my way.

Natalie: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. So my background is I was in corporate for 15 years and I made the jump just really out of a need to serve my family in a different way. And I made the jump and I came home for literally three months and I was like, oh, goodness, I'm going to have to do something. And we're going to find some ways to be creative about this, because this is I love being a mom, but it's not all I can be.

And so I really I dove into my natural skill sets, which were in the operation space. I had no idea that they were valuable. I had no idea it was just the way that I was wired. So as I was doing deep work to try to figure out where I could show up and earn an income and support people, I came back to operations. And I know what an unsexy word, operations, just meaning the back side of business from a strategic perspective.

And so I started looking around. It was brand new. I had literally like an awakening of all of the work and opportunity that could happen from my home and leading big businesses and just seeing the people that were had already paved the way for me. It was just it was a new experience. I had never even considered this. When I was in corporate. I knew small business existed, but I had no idea so many amazing businesses were run out of their home. And you could really have a big small business on your own time. And so that was so empowering to me. But like everybody in that process, you're like, how am I going to do this? How do you do this?

I mean, like I said, it was brand new. So I didn't have the ropes. I didn't know where to go. When I came into corporate as a baby is old, somebody was before me leading the way, showing me how to do this, guiding me, mentoring me, counseling me. And so, that wasn't new to me. But when I came into the space, I really kind of felt alone. And I started to, I started to lean on other people who had gone before me again, just like what worked in corporate has got to work over here.

And so I we are not short on coaching and mentoring and leaders in this space as well. And so I clung to several people. I invested way too much money. And I don't I don't really regret a penny of it. Just to be clear, I have enjoyed sharing space and time with people, whether my journey was going to parallel theirs or not.

But what I realized through all of this, once I got confidence, once I started to see how I could do things my way, I realized that there was not a copy and paste model. There wasn't a model out there that I could literally swipe off the shelf and put into Natalie's business. That was going to fulfill me in a way and allow me to live truly in my values and the things that I love and that make me up, make me unique, make me who I am. There was nobody out there. And the reality is I was looking for that because I wanted it to be short. I wanted it to be fast. I wanted, of course, I wanted to be successful as fast as possible. But when I really pulled it all back and it took me years, like, I am condensing this into a few minutes. But I invested in programs. I would say I was probably 3-4 years into my journey before I had that pivotal mindset shift where I was like, Oo Nat, let's take this and let's take this. Let's put the puzzle together on your terms and stop feeling like you have to take it off the shelf because there's nothing in a box that's going to fit you. And I was, come to find out, I was just looking for the wrong thing. And in corporate, you do have a box. They tell you, hey, you need to play this game so that this person sees you so that you can get elevated. And that's that's not what I wanted. That was the exact reason I left. And so it just it took some rewiring and reprogramming when we talked about that mindset shift. I remember that, and the empowerment. Yes, I was scared and fearful of like, is this new way the new puzzle I'm going to put together? Is this going to be right? Is this going to work? Is this going to land? Is there going to be a lot of resistance to this? Oh, my goodness. Who am I to think I could do this my way, all those mindset things that come in when you ask that question, that was it, like the most ease I have ever felt in my business came together as a result of me doing it my way and not trying to pull one thing off the shelf because I tried it. There's a ton of resistance inside of me which made it harder for me to show up, made it harder for me to connect with my people.

And of course, I was always connecting with people, but they weren't the exact right people. I didn't have the exact right offer. I didn't deliver it in the exact way that Natalie should be delivering it. So when I finally had that realization, things just came together much faster, much easier with greater success. And man, if I could have rewound for five years and just came up with that. But that's not the way it works. And I'm so grateful for the time and energy. And I still am coached today. I mean, I still believe that there are people out there that I need to learn from that need to support me, need to hold space for me. So, I think that the empowerment of it's all inside of you and the journey you're going to be on to develop and to really get solid, that it really is right inside of you, you don't have to look that many other places, but still leveraging doing that at a time where you can still leverage and be open minded to other people's things.

And actually, Teresa, you and I are really well connected. I would say we love one another, but there are still parts of me, my business, my process, that Teresa is like, you know, I like it, but I'll leave it over there because Teresa is going to do it her way. And that's exactly what we have to do, friends.

Teresa: Absolutely. I'm hearing in the background I can just hear Frank Sinatra belting out "My Way". That is so true, though. I so many times liken it to a recipe. We can get the recipe. I personally do not like green peppers. I like hot peppers. I don't like sweet peppers. So in my chili you will never find green peppers in my meatloaf. I just don't like it, so I'm not going to eat it. What good would it do me to make it and for it to sit there.

Natalie: And that's what happens at our businesses. We'll go out and we'll do it, but then if we're trying to do that, as you call it, copy and paste of what someone else has done, if that's what they're strong in, if that's what they're comfortable in, but we're not, we're just not going to show up. And if we don't show up, we can't connect with the people who really need to hear from us.

I love that analogy, the recipe analogy is really good. You're not going to find green peppers in my house either. I knew we were friends for a reason.

Teresa: To what you said about ease, that's been my word for this year. And this year has been so full of not ease, but it's shown me everywhere that it wasn't. So ease is so important. And for me, when I stepped into that place, doing it my way, here I am, like me, don't like me, it's OK. There was just that relief of oh my gosh. And just so much easier to be you. So what about you with the authenticity and flexibility?

Natalie: I think a lot of it comes down to the delivery models. I was choosing, just to kind of give a little bit more of my background, I had this methodology that was just kind of natural to me. And as I started sharing it with the people that I was supporting in a one to one capacity, they were affirming me and saying, man Nat, you've got something great here. And I'm thinking really, like this is special? At that time I was trying to copy and paste other people's processes to do what I call Strategic Mapping.

In that process of them affirming me, I started to think, well, how can I get this out if this is truly helpful, how can I get this out to more people? Well, I created a course because that's what the leader that I was really connected to at that time, that's what she was telling me. She was like, man, create a course. Here's the 99 step plan of how you are going to do this. And I am a tasker. You give me a list of things to do. I'm going to get it done. And I did it. I did it as well as I could possibly do. And at the end of the day, did it sell? Marginally.

But when we come back to authenticity, it's like, wait, guys, the way I really deliver this best is one to one. So why am I trying to create a course? And I know why, the reason that I was trying to create the course was that easy cash that the ability to bring in to serve more people at one time. But in fact, that doesn't work for the process that I was really becoming known for.

And so it was the authenticity came in the delivery. The reason I love delivering one to one is because I feel this may not be the same for you. It may not be the same for anybody else who is licensed in the Strategic Mapping.

But I love when I can show up with somebody and dig really, really deep. I believe one of my greatest strengths and one of my greatest values is curiosity. And I can't be curious in a course, because it's one dimensional. I never see the other person, right? Or there's limited exposure. Whereas if I can be with you face to face on a Zoom call or next to you, pre-covid, then we could go really, really deep on and expand in a way that I can't do over a course. And so that's one tiny, tiny example of how authenticity like Natalie, how do you deliver best?

I will never, ever be able to deliver my best without connecting with real humans. It's who I am. It's literally the way God designed me to be, I don't know how to be one dimensional. I love to go deep. That's just my gift. And knowing that that's my gift and having to push against what the online world was telling me at that time, which was to Evergreen, to do this, do that. Those are all great things for the right people. For me, it was just not right. And so, how could I take my knowledge and skills and passion and turn it into a way that served me? Because if it served me, it allowed me to be more authentic, attract the right people, greater success, faster success, etc..

So authenticity is huge. And also getting really, really real with, I always say what makes me tick and what ticks me off like those are the polarizing things with all of us, by the way, but becoming really clear in what that looks like for you in your life right now. Because if I can repel people or qualities in people that tick me off, then ease comes more naturally.

Teresa: Yes.

Natalie: If I can, I obviously I'm attracted to thethat things make me tick, but knowing the difference and pulling in the right people has been magic. And being OK with not everybody has to be for me.

Teresa: That is so true. When we recently, shifted my brand from The Entrepreneur's Toolbox to The Purposeful CEO, we had someone that came in and talked with the team and I didn't know that they were going to record that. And so I watched what they did. And they sent it to me and I thought, oh, man, they know me so well. And I laughed and I cried throughout it, vigorously nodding my head at other points. But that was one of the questions that was asked, who is a good, who does she work best with and who is definitely not a good fit? And the answers that came out, they made me laugh and under further scrutiny. They were very, very true. It is you want to talk to the people you want to talk with. And that's why when I see emerging business owners out here and they don't want to say the wrong thing and it's like if it's what you feel and if it's what you believe in, if it's who you are, it's not the wrong thing. Nobody is going to agree with you all the time. So anything you say there's going to be...On the Internet people are going to show up and they're either going to believe one thing or another and there's not much that you're going to be able to say or do to change their minds.And I don't want to drag anybody over the finish line.

Natalie: Right, right. I want them to run willingly.

Teresa: I want them to show up invested and know that this is important. And I just went through this with this shift where I was just like, oh, my gosh, how am I going to dress operations up? How am I going to, like people don't want to hear about that. It's not sexy. Like, how do we sugarcoat it? And by the time I was to the end of it, I was just like, you know what, my people know they've done everything else. It's not working. This is probably why it's not working. And they're ready to roll up their sleeves and do it no matter what.

Natalie: Yes.

Teresa: So I'm not dressing up anything and that freedom that comes in that.

One of the things that really I love about you, and I think I was in the second round of the Director of Operations Certification, what I love is watching how you have grown, talk about flexibility and how the program has grown and how you continue to update this. When people ask me about it, when they're interested in and doing the certification, I tell them that is one of the most valuable things for me is that you have a legacy business. This is who you are and this is how you show up. And you are so totally invested in it. You continue to add to the program and the value because you are showing up and because you are connected with the people going through the certification and you're hearing what they need. I like what you were saying when we were talking once, you were talking about how you thought initially it was this way. Everybody wanted to retain our business and that would be great because of the stability.

And you found out fairly quickly that wasn't the case.

Natalie: Right. Thank you so much for your kind words. When you say legacy business, that's what I'm here for. I mean, I'm here to create a business that serves Natalie, serves my family and serves every single person that chooses to join in on the journey for me.

And I believe very deeply it's required me to be extremely patient and to not have success as fast as the world would or as much as we personally would, would want to have success. And so I would say it's been slow success and I'm also not super motivated by dollars. And so that has also helped me.

I've worked with people who need cash fast, and the result in the way they deliver in the way they show up looks a little different. And so I would just say, if you're running against that and you're really trying to build a legacy business, let that be a piece of advice from me is I haven't required, I haven't been desperate for success. And it has come at its own pace. And it's been completely fine for me. And I've always made a living between point A and point B, but I haven't demanded that it be an X figure business.

I don't really care about that. I really care about the depth that I can develop myself and the people. So thank you for recognizing that it is a legacy business. The reality is when I know that this is rooted in legacy, it's easy to be flexible, it's easy to adapt. And that's exactly what I've had to do. I thought that I really got into this, I began the certification because I would speak. I have no problem being on the stage and speaking and communicating the value of the work that I was doing because it was really a blue ocean.

I wasn't seeing other people do this work at this level, so I wanted to share it so I would share it with business owners. I would get off of the stage and people would say, oh my goodness, how do I find a Natalie? Well, as a one to one service provider, I only had so much capacity so I could take three or maybe four. And that's really unhealthy. It was unhealthy in my life, at least. I would say two to four would give you a decent income to where I could still balance and live a legacy life. But as I'm speaking to more and more people and more and more people are wanting and are curious about this work, I thought, I'm going to start an agency because I've seen X, Y and Z start an agency. Well, I did that for about six months and it completely lost my marbles because my legacy is in my children. And I couldn't show up for my children because now I had amplified the number of people that needed me both on my team and clients. And so it became a very, for me in my life, it was very, very difficult. And remember what I just said, I like to go super deep with people. So now I've taken three relationships and I've turned it into 12 relationships and I still want to go deep. It did not work from a time management perspective, whatsoever.

So I just kept thinking, like, how can I do this? Then I ended up and was like, you know what? I can begin a certification and train people in my methodologies.

And I knew that they would be fluid. I knew that they would continue to get better. What I didn't know is what Teresa pointed out the second ago. I was initially showing people how to become a Director of Operations in a one to one retainer capacity, meaning you partner with the client or a business and they pay you month over month to deliver strategy and operations in their business. And that's what I was teaching. Well, now we have over one hundred and ten people who have come to the certification.

And the amazing thing is I started with one way of doing this, and now we have a running list of 22 different offers and business models that really show how directors of operations today are serving, which is way drastically different than the way I expected it to be.

And so as I learn and as I see people doing this in different ways, I adapt the material like it's only fair, in my opinion, to give more opportunity so that the platter is big. You're not having to copy and paste what I did. Now you get to choose off of this platter. What fits you right now? And guess what? As you and I know, we both had significant life events and we will continue to where we need to come back to the platter and say, you know what, retainer.

I need stability. I need consistency and income. I need I really don't love marketing. So I'm going to go down the retainer path. But something's going to open up for us or something's going to change for us to where we need to go back to that plate and say, you know what, I need a little bit simpler life. I'm going to do it this way. And we're just learning and collecting more and more stories, more and more proven paths of ways that people can be successful with this content.

I'm a huge believer that we all have to be flexible and people look at pivoting. I want to address this when I say this. I'm not saying to pivot every single day, but people pivot. It is not normal for us to think...look at any big box brand out there. Look at your target. Look at your Nordstrom's guys. They have all pivoted. It is OK and acceptable for a small business to pivot, especially if you're pivoting in a way that's going to make you feel more solid internally.

We are small businesses like we've got to be able to have that leverage to be able to do and please and be flexible with yourself. You cannot fit into an old box of yourself either. Just like I was saying, the copy and paste thing. I can't take what was working for me five years ago and expect it to fulfill me today. My kids are five years older. My marriage is five years older. I'm five years older. My life experiences are five years older. I'm not the same person. So just got on a little rant there.

Teresa: Well you know what I'm thinking, as you're saying, that when we look at some of the businesses that sadly have not made it, when we're talking about the bigger stores, it's because a lot of them didn't pivot or they pivoted too late. Like, that's a whole other podcast. I think about stores that I used to enjoy going to and you kind of felt it coming on in so many different ways.

So being able to pivot again in my business, this was just going on based on what I saw and what I felt, what was really lighting me up, who I wanted to work with. And we get to choose we're going to shift to exactly who you're looking for, Natalie. How would I know if I'm talking to them in conversation, what would be coming up that I would know that, oh, you have to talk to Natalie?

Natalie: Right. When I'm talking, just like you're saying, when I'm having conversations with people. A lot of this is just intuitively within me. Of course, we have an application process because I need to make sure that before I certify somebody and from an integrity perspective, I never want to take someone's money who I don't think is going to be successful with this content or with this knowledge or just isn't there yet. And that can easily be the case.

I'm screening for experience, leadership and those people who have innate operational skills. You don't have to come from corporate. I'm not looking for a particular pattern from your past because I believe that most operators have innate abilities to be exceptional operators. And they had these skill sets at 8 years old. Could they develop and get stronger and better? Yes. One of the things I usually ask people and we joke about a lot is, are you the kind of person that plans the party or shows up to the party?

Like, are you the kind of person that is hosting Thanksgiving? And if you are hosting, how many checklists do you have? So are you detailed? Are you organized? Are you the person who is thinking? About all the small pieces that come together so job titles can be in the administrative space or can be in the financials like bookkeepers and accountants. I mean, there's really, really a wide range, which is why I'm not looking for a specific discipline and I have to screen deeply for leadership. So who is the person that's going to be able to be a Director of Operations, which requires you to be a strategic partner to a strong, bold CEO?

I've got to look for people who are ready, who feel competent inside of themselves to be able to step up. And so some of it's experience, but a lot of it is leadership. And I 100% believe that the operational we can call it whatever we want. Someone's been calling you type a bossy playmaker or whatever it, whatever it is for you. They've been calling you that far before you turned 30, 40, 50, whatever that may be for you.

But it really, it comes down to that leadership, because if that person doesn't have leadership and I mean part of it's gumption, but if they don't have that leadership to be able to step up, how are they going to have two-way communications with a bold leader? I mean, a Director of Operations has to be a strategic partner. You cannot be, this is something that people typically love, there's a difference and a yes ma'am person and a yes maybe.

And so the yes maybe is one of those things, when I'm interviewing people I am looking for, would they tell me no? Would they stop me in my tracks and say, you know what, not that's a great idea, maybe later? Or are they the kind of person that's like sure. That be great. Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep. Got it. Got it. Got it. Got it.

And I have been both of those people over the course of my career and I never felt satisfied with being the "yes" people. But sometimes we get in situations where leaders make us feel that way. We don't feel empowered, we're unsafe, etc. So we become. Yes, ma'am. And I am always looking for leaders. I believe leaders are your yes maybe people, the kind that are bold enough, kind and gentle, like I'm not talking about an abrasive like I mean, I don't think neither of us are abrasive, but I think that we can meet people with where they are and give them rational, experienced guidance on next steps.

And if they choose to take our advice, great. And if they don't, we're still OK. So I'm looking for leaders at all times, leaders with a scope of work and experience in the operational space.

Teresa: That is something that I know I have to have in mind. So my whole team actually has permission to reign me in.

You know me in a nine QuickStart in my Kolbe, I can just come up with the idea and the plan and everything in 15 minutes. I could not work with people who would just it would be so chaotic because what they're very good at is taking what I say and doing just that. Like that's a great idea. And we're doing this and this. Did you want to drop anything here to implement this or would you like to do that next quarter?

It is so important, as we grow our business is to have those people, anyone who's listening, I would absolutely recommend having a chat with Natalie. If you're that person that has the leadership skills and really enjoys being part of a team and helping a business leader succeed in organizing all the parts and pieces, Natalie goes into depth in the certification. And Natalie, I would love if you would just talk about the different hats, why some business owners are actually struggling because they're wearing all these different hats.

Natalie: Yeah, that's that's really good. So part of our Strategic Mapping, I'm going to give you guys a little glimpse into into the spice of our certification. We start off with the Strategic Mapping. And in that Strategic Mapping, the reason that I came up with this is because since I've been on my own and had the Ops Authority, I've been working with small and sometimes tiny, micro, nano businesses that are solo partners. And in doing so, what I realized was the continuous struggle for prioritization.

And you guys know this, if you're listening to this, you own a business, you're running a business, you're trying to do all the things and it literally feels impossible. And so my genius stuck out. Again, this is from experience, this is from leadership in the past. But my experience and the things I was able to pull together was just the real talk, like, guys, we cannot do it all.

And I compartmentalized all the things that we were trying to do into seven different areas and those seven different areas in a big business, they all have a high level leader over them. So they have basically a mini CEO.

So we are asking ourselves, one person to be seven human beings, who have a strategic insight to this one particular area. Guys, it just cannot be done. And so when you lay it out that way, you then are able to prioritize, hey, is visibility more important than revenue? Is revenue more important than growing my team? We start to have real conversations when we can get hard and clear on what is truly important right now, not three years from now, not 20 years from now, but right now. What is the most important thing?

And we can prioritize our process for waking up in the morning and determining what to do that day, because we're never short on things to do. If we can give it some structure and make it more two dimensional, all of a sudden it's like, you know what, I'm just going to head down, do this first because I know it's serving me and the way that I need to be served right now versus all of the shiny objects that are going to continuously pop up for the rest of your life.

So those are kind of the boundaries that I was using in my own business. And then other people had validated, hey, this is this is really good. So it's a framework that I would say thousands of businesses are using today. And I'm grateful to be able to share it. Without taking that step back to realize that there are seven different areas and there could be some businesses have eight if you're more in the product space, but there are seven to eight different main parts of your business. It's not feasible for us to show up in every single one.

Teresa: I have said for years there's a reason that companies have employees because no one person can do it all. And there are people who will try to argue that point and give up sleep and everything else to make that not true. And if that's you and that's working for you, God bless you. For me, it's like no one can do it all and do it well, and consistently. When we talk about seven or eight different departments basically in our business, I know a lot of people are thinking, no, no, I just create this course and I sell it. I have one product that I sell, but they really don't get into thinking about all of these different areas that make it possible to sell that successfully.

Natalie: Absolutely. It's like you've got marketing to it. You've got delivery, you've got the team that's going to support it. You've got the technology behind it. I mean, my goodness, it is so not as easy as it looks from the outside.

Teresa: That's why I'm always leery when I see something that says Three steps to blink. And I'm like, I think if we plot those out, it's going to be more than three. Might be three areas, but there's going to be more steps.

Oh, OK. Well, we're not going to get into the whole process of Strategic Mapping today because it's a deep conversation. It's this whole process that gives you such an intimate look at your business that allows you to truly plot out the next quarter and the next quarter and the next year. It's an individual journey for each person.

Natalie: Absolutely.

Teresa: There are those seven strategic areas and they're all going to get attention. It's just the amount of attention, depending on where you are in the business this quarter, next quarter and what you need to do most and focus the majority of your attention on.

Natalie: Yeah, that's a good point, because the top three aren't the most important, a business cannot ignore the bottom four. Right. We have to every one of them has to have attention. It's just the amount of attention that you get. So it is for anybody at any stage of business, any size of business. It allows you to have purpose, clarity and a plan with moving forward. So if that's something that's interesting, I would encourage you to look out to Teresa or any other certified Director of Ops.

Teresa: Absolutely. It is such an incredible tool to have in your business what we're doing when we're not looking at those different areas in our business. We're focusing on the squeaky wheel. We're spending so much time and attention on those things that we know absolutely have to be done that we are forgetting the rest of the list because we don't have it in front of us. And we haven't been purposeful about looking at the whole picture and then doing that priority. When you have that plan, you're not panicking like, oh, my goodness, I forgot this or I missed that.

Natalie: Clarity, direction and a plan. That's what every business owner wants. We want clarity, direction, a plan. I want it. You want it. I don't care if you're strategic, if you're a visionary, if you're an implementer and integrator, everybody wants that. We want it in life. Guys like that's why we pay for therapy. That's why we pay for coaches.

Teresa: Yes, ma'am. So I know you have a great business hub for these businesses who are really just trying to even sort that stuff out or have one place to see everything.

Natalie: Yeah. So we have a freebie for you guys today. If you go to theOpsAuthority.com/businesshub, all one word there. You're going to get a download. And this is a Trello board. So whether you use Trello, whether you use something else, you can swipe it and put it into Google Drive or Asana or whatever it is that you like to use. But this is one place. And what I was realizing, this all, of course, came out of my own journey.

When I when push came to shove, I was looking for simplicity. I was looking for direction. When I wake up tomorrow, what do I need to do in my business? It's going to actually give me a profit, which is going to allow me to give more to accomplish the things that are important to me. I need to focus. And what I ended up finding myself doing was delaying and procrastinating, which lots of people like to do who are not QuickStarts.

They will procrastinate and they will delay. And some of the things that pulled me off track was just my own internal disorganization.

I am actually a pretty organized person, but what I was finding was I was creating a lot of obstacles for myself that were slowing me down, so I took all of these things, you probably have sticky notes all over your desk right now or you've got notes in your notes app or you've got you've got things spread out all over the place, Google Drive and Dropbox and Base Camp and this and that. I put every single thing inside of one big Trello board so that myself, my team, you know what, if something happens to me, my spouse has one place to go to get a good overall. I mean, are the nitty gritty things in there? No, but can someone come in here? I mean, basically my onboarding, when someone joins my team, it's all there. They can spend hours finding out about the people that are on my team, the offers, the opt-ins. It's just everything in one place. And I believe it'll bring a lot of organization to you. But ultimately, it allows you to be more purposeful when you show up to work. When you have time to dedicate to work, you know exactly where things are. It's a repository for your entire business.

Teresa: And having things at your fingertips just makes it so nice. Again, there's that ease that it's like, OK, I don't have to go look for this is and is it in my One Drive? Did I do that on my laptop? Did I do that on my phone? Where is the thing? Well we'll definitely put all the links so that you can get your hands on the business hub. So many people that I've talked to who have used that it's a great place to start getting a little order and get rid of some of the chaos in your business.

All right. That means that it's time to ask you questions that I like to ask all of our guests. The first one comes from one of our previous guests. How do you stay focused and not tempted by all the things?

Natalie: This is a great question. And I think it is one of those questions that's just always it's going to come up and you're always going to question yourself regardless if you have a good process and if you are one of those people who can stay focused because there's all different kinds of people out there. So for me specifically, I clearly use my Strategic Mapping, and that allows me to stay super focused because we are looking at prioritizing different things in our business.

Kind of like big rocks, like I know EOS uses the terminology of big rocks and focuses. If visibility is the most important thing for me, then I prioritize the projects underneath visibility and that will be my focus. And so I internally know that if I'm not spending time in that objective, that I'm losing focus. It's got to be one of those things that you hold yourself to a standard on. So whatever process or practice that you want to put into place, just make sure it's one that you follow up on. And so Strategic Mapping has been that for me and lots of other people.

Teresa: I love that. Now, speaking of Strategic Mapping, just real quick, do you have that somewhere just like those top-notch, not all the details, obviously. But do you have that somewhere like on your desk or like you're in the order you prioritize for each quarter?

Natalie: All the time. I have a whiteboard that list the top three projects that I'm working on at any time.

Teresa: I love that. Thank you for sharing that.

Now, this question will probably change over time, but right now, especially during our limited travel or no travel, it's just nice to hear about vacations and live vicariously through each other's experiences.

Teresa: What's your favorite vacation experience or destination?

Natalie: Oh, I love to travel. This is such, aw man, like what I would do. I will say that it depends. I love, I'm not a snow person. I'm a Teresa person. We like the beach. So I either want to be at the beach and I've got lots and lots of beaches that I've got to accomplish in my lifetime. But I live in Texas and the most accessible, most beautiful beach near me is in South Padre. And I am going to manifest being able to have a second property down there in the next couple of years because my whole family loves the beach like you and I do.

So that is, I love the beach, but it doesn't have to be that beach. I love any beach as long as it's got non-rocky sand, sometimes northern Florida, it can be a buzzkill because it's so rocky. Cabo can be the same way. A lot of rocks. I want really powdery amazing sand and blue water. But if I am going on an adventure, I have taken many adventures to Europe and I just can't wait to be able to take my kids and to show them that as well.

So two different types of vacations, but I hope I can make any of them come true soon.

Teresa: Right? When you get that place in San Padre. I'll be sure to stop by.

Natalie: Yes, yes. You can come hang out with me for a long time.

Teresa: Awesome. And then from our random Would you Rather questions. The one we drew out that yours is, would you rather spend a week in the woods or one night in a real haunted house.

Natalie: Teresa! Number one, I'm not doing either of them willfully, but I will take the night in the woods.

Teresa: No, it's a week in the woods.

Natalie: Oh, gosh. All right, fine. I can do a week in the woods. I could do it.

Teresa: A week in the woods. That's a tough one. I don't. I'm glad that's not my question. Cause I'm the same way. No, that's my answer to that, no.

Natalie: Yep! I'm with ya!

Teresa: And then to wrap this part of our podcast up, what is a question that you would like for me to ask a future guest on our podcast?

Natalie: So we all make lots and lots of investments in our businesses and in our self as we're growing these businesses. And so for the next guest, I would love to know what investment have they made in their business that has had a positive return?

Teresa: Wonderful. And that's not just financial. Any positive return, is that what you're asking?

Natalie: Absolutely, yeah. Growth. I would say growth in general, whether that's financial for you or space.

Teresa: Fabulous! We'll drop that in the hat. And I thank you so much for participating. I really look forward to this part of the book.

Natalie: I think it's so clever.

Teresa: Well, thanks!

So Natalie, thank you so much for being here. It's always a pleasure hanging out with you. And I am just incredibly blessed to call you friend, mentor, colleague.

Natalie: Yes. Above all, we're such good friends and talking with you for this time. It feels like we could just sit here and talk all day. I wish we lived next door. We're recording this on a Friday. It would be a great night to sit outside and just chill together. I hope we get to do that one day.

Teresa: One day.

Natalie: Yes, ma'am. You all have a good day.

Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Becoming a Profitable CEO. I'll be back next week but in the meantime, let's continue the conversation. Head on over to our Facebook Group at ThePurposefulCEO.com/Facebook and share your take on today's episode.Things feeling a little off like they just don't fit. Maybe it's because it's time to do it your way.

Hey, it is week two of 2021, and our second guest is Natalie Gingrich and I'm so excited to share her brilliance with everyone. I had a difficult time naming this episode. I settled on, she did it her way because she absolutely has and she's done it her way while also taking into account the people that she serves and what they need. Through her Director of Operations certification, she has created such an incredible community of service professionals of which I am privileged and honored to be a part of. The caliber of people that are attracted to Natalie and this community is incredible. I became certified in her second cohort of the Director of Operations certification, and she is in the process of finishing up her seventh and launching her eighth. I have to say, it gets better each time. And I attribute that to Natalie's inclusiveness and her ability to tune into her community and support and serve them where they are.

Throughout our chats and our relationship, I've been inspired by the way that she is invested in people and always looking to better herself and those around her whenever possible. As I look back, I don't think I've ever heard her say a negative word about anyone or any situation. And that's not to say that she agrees with everything or she's that "yes" person or anything like that. What I see her do is look at those situations and learn from them and how she can apply it to herself, her business, her community. And I so appreciate being on the receiving end of that as a friend, as a mentor and as a colleague. As for the certification itself, I can't recommend it highly enough. The quality of the content is remarkable and really helped me grow as a service provider. And that's where my investment I made that back before we even finished the certification. If you're listening and you think the certification may be for you, I'm happy to have a chat with you about it, share my experience and connect you with some other certified Director of Operations.

I am yet to hear anyone who's gone through the certification have any regrets. And of course, if you're looking for a Director of Operations, while, I'm not using my talents and skills in the day to day operations any longer. I am more than happy to talk with you and refer you to some of the remarkable women in our community.

I'm going to go ahead and give you the professional bio, which in no way conveys the depth of character, personality and essence of Natalie Gingrich. Natalie is the founder and host of The Opposite Authority. She has been in operations for two decades, either in health care, corporate America or as an entrepreneur. She spent 15 years in corporate operations and leadership at a Fortune 150 company. When given the opportunity to leave, she put her knowledge, designations and experience to work by creating her own consulting firm, as well as the Director of Operations Certification Program.

Her mission is to equip female operations experts with the skills they need to leverage their leadership abilities on a bigger stage, take charge in their own businesses and create the lives they truly want.

And if you're out there and you're trying to figure out your business, where you are, where you want to go and how to move forward, I hope that what Natalie shares with us today, inspires you to keep going, dig a little deeper and figure out how you can do it your way.

Let's listen in!

 

Teresa: Hey, Natalie, it is so great to have you with us today. I've been looking forward to this for a while now.

Natalie: Yes, hello. Hello. Teresa, one of my most favorite people to chit chat with and ponder all life's mysteries with.

Teresa: Oh, isn't that the truth? And I appreciate that having those deep conversations. So thank you so much for being who you are and how you show up in the world.

Natalie: I'm so grateful that we have this space and we can be connected. So, like, we would never have been connected back in the day.

And just that ease and access, you know, I know social media and all this technology gets such a bad rap, but we have such a great strong relationship and we've never met in person. We talk, you know, it's just it's so bizarre and so wonderful at the same time. So I have to keep that perspective when social media can really take me off for my own kids.

Teresa: Right? I've said that for me, this has been such a blessing. When I stop and look at the incredible women, like you that I'm connected with and I'm able to have the privilege of calling you friends and mentors and colleagues, sometimes I'm like, how did you get so lucky?

Natalie: I just wish everybody had the same same access. You know, I think a lot of people feel so isolated and there's so many good people that we have such easy access to.

Teresa: Well, Natalie, I would love if you would share with our listeners something that has happened on your journey. There was something that you had said to me that I really like. And what we're doing is sharing something that along the way has shifted your mindset or made you look at your business more seriously or help get you through that crunch. And you had shared the thought very clearly was, oh, crap, I can do this my way.

Natalie: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. So my background is I was in corporate for 15 years and I made the jump just really out of a need to serve my family in a different way. And I made the jump and I came home for literally three months and I was like, oh, goodness, I'm going to have to do something. And we're going to find some ways to be creative about this, because this is I love being a mom, but it's not all I can be.

And so I really I dove into my natural skill sets, which were in the operation space. I had no idea that they were valuable. I had no idea it was just the way that I was wired. So as I was doing deep work to try to figure out where I could show up and earn an income and support people, I came back to operations. And I know what an unsexy word, operations, just meaning the back side of business from a strategic perspective.

And so I started looking around. It was brand new. I had literally like an awakening of all of the work and opportunity that could happen from my home and leading big businesses and just seeing the people that were had already paved the way for me. It was just it was a new experience. I had never even considered this. When I was in corporate. I knew small business existed, but I had no idea so many amazing businesses were run out of their home. And you could really have a big small business on your own time. And so that was so empowering to me. But like everybody in that process, you're like, how am I going to do this? How do you do this?

I mean, like I said, it was brand new. So I didn't have the ropes. I didn't know where to go. When I came into corporate as a baby is old, somebody was before me leading the way, showing me how to do this, guiding me, mentoring me, counseling me. And so, that wasn't new to me. But when I came into the space, I really kind of felt alone. And I started to, I started to lean on other people who had gone before me again, just like what worked in corporate has got to work over here.

And so I we are not short on coaching and mentoring and leaders in this space as well. And so I clung to several people. I invested way too much money. And I don't I don't really regret a penny of it. Just to be clear, I have enjoyed sharing space and time with people, whether my journey was going to parallel theirs or not.

But what I realized through all of this, once I got confidence, once I started to see how I could do things my way, I realized that there was not a copy and paste model. There wasn't a model out there that I could literally swipe off the shelf and put into Natalie's business. That was going to fulfill me in a way and allow me to live truly in my values and the things that I love and that make me up, make me unique, make me who I am. There was nobody out there. And the reality is I was looking for that because I wanted it to be short. I wanted it to be fast. I wanted, of course, I wanted to be successful as fast as possible. But when I really pulled it all back and it took me years, like, I am condensing this into a few minutes. But I invested in programs. I would say I was probably 3-4 years into my journey before I had that pivotal mindset shift where I was like, Oo Nat, let's take this and let's take this. Let's put the puzzle together on your terms and stop feeling like you have to take it off the shelf because there's nothing in a box that's going to fit you. And I was, come to find out, I was just looking for the wrong thing. And in corporate, you do have a box. They tell you, hey, you need to play this game so that this person sees you so that you can get elevated. And that's that's not what I wanted. That was the exact reason I left. And so it just it took some rewiring and reprogramming when we talked about that mindset shift. I remember that, and the empowerment. Yes, I was scared and fearful of like, is this new way the new puzzle I'm going to put together? Is this going to be right? Is this going to work? Is this going to land? Is there going to be a lot of resistance to this? Oh, my goodness. Who am I to think I could do this my way, all those mindset things that come in when you ask that question, that was it, like the most ease I have ever felt in my business came together as a result of me doing it my way and not trying to pull one thing off the shelf because I tried it. There's a ton of resistance inside of me which made it harder for me to show up, made it harder for me to connect with my people.

And of course, I was always connecting with people, but they weren't the exact right people. I didn't have the exact right offer. I didn't deliver it in the exact way that Natalie should be delivering it. So when I finally had that realization, things just came together much faster, much easier with greater success. And man, if I could have rewound for five years and just came up with that. But that's not the way it works. And I'm so grateful for the time and energy. And I still am coached today. I mean, I still believe that there are people out there that I need to learn from that need to support me, need to hold space for me. So, I think that the empowerment of it's all inside of you and the journey you're going to be on to develop and to really get solid, that it really is right inside of you, you don't have to look that many other places, but still leveraging doing that at a time where you can still leverage and be open minded to other people's things.

And actually, Teresa, you and I are really well connected. I would say we love one another, but there are still parts of me, my business, my process, that Teresa is like, you know, I like it, but I'll leave it over there because Teresa is going to do it her way. And that's exactly what we have to do, friends.

Teresa: Absolutely. I'm hearing in the background I can just hear Frank Sinatra belting out "My Way". That is so true, though. I so many times liken it to a recipe. We can get the recipe. I personally do not like green peppers. I like hot peppers. I don't like sweet peppers. So in my chili you will never find green peppers in my meatloaf. I just don't like it, so I'm not going to eat it. What good would it do me to make it and for it to sit there.

Natalie: And that's what happens at our businesses. We'll go out and we'll do it, but then if we're trying to do that, as you call it, copy and paste of what someone else has done, if that's what they're strong in, if that's what they're comfortable in, but we're not, we're just not going to show up. And if we don't show up, we can't connect with the people who really need to hear from us.

I love that analogy, the recipe analogy is really good. You're not going to find green peppers in my house either. I knew we were friends for a reason.

Teresa: To what you said about ease, that's been my word for this year. And this year has been so full of not ease, but it's shown me everywhere that it wasn't. So ease is so important. And for me, when I stepped into that place, doing it my way, here I am, like me, don't like me, it's OK. There was just that relief of oh my gosh. And just so much easier to be you. So what about you with the authenticity and flexibility?

Natalie: I think a lot of it comes down to the delivery models. I was choosing, just to kind of give a little bit more of my background, I had this methodology that was just kind of natural to me. And as I started sharing it with the people that I was supporting in a one to one capacity, they were affirming me and saying, man Nat, you've got something great here. And I'm thinking really, like this is special? At that time I was trying to copy and paste other people's processes to do what I call Strategic Mapping.

In that process of them affirming me, I started to think, well, how can I get this out if this is truly helpful, how can I get this out to more people? Well, I created a course because that's what the leader that I was really connected to at that time, that's what she was telling me. She was like, man, create a course. Here's the 99 step plan of how you are going to do this. And I am a tasker. You give me a list of things to do. I'm going to get it done. And I did it. I did it as well as I could possibly do. And at the end of the day, did it sell? Marginally.

But when we come back to authenticity, it's like, wait, guys, the way I really deliver this best is one to one. So why am I trying to create a course? And I know why, the reason that I was trying to create the course was that easy cash that the ability to bring in to serve more people at one time. But in fact, that doesn't work for the process that I was really becoming known for.

And so it was the authenticity came in the delivery. The reason I love delivering one to one is because I feel this may not be the same for you. It may not be the same for anybody else who is licensed in the Strategic Mapping.

But I love when I can show up with somebody and dig really, really deep. I believe one of my greatest strengths and one of my greatest values is curiosity. And I can't be curious in a course, because it's one dimensional. I never see the other person, right? Or there's limited exposure. Whereas if I can be with you face to face on a Zoom call or next to you, pre-covid, then we could go really, really deep on and expand in a way that I can't do over a course. And so that's one tiny, tiny example of how authenticity like Natalie, how do you deliver best?

I will never, ever be able to deliver my best without connecting with real humans. It's who I am. It's literally the way God designed me to be, I don't know how to be one dimensional. I love to go deep. That's just my gift. And knowing that that's my gift and having to push against what the online world was telling me at that time, which was to Evergreen, to do this, do that. Those are all great things for the right people. For me, it was just not right. And so, how could I take my knowledge and skills and passion and turn it into a way that served me? Because if it served me, it allowed me to be more authentic, attract the right people, greater success, faster success, etc..

So authenticity is huge. And also getting really, really real with, I always say what makes me tick and what ticks me off like those are the polarizing things with all of us, by the way, but becoming really clear in what that looks like for you in your life right now. Because if I can repel people or qualities in people that tick me off, then ease comes more naturally.

Teresa: Yes.

Natalie: If I can, I obviously I'm attracted to thethat things make me tick, but knowing the difference and pulling in the right people has been magic. And being OK with not everybody has to be for me.

Teresa: That is so true. When we recently, shifted my brand from The Entrepreneur's Toolbox to The Purposeful CEO, we had someone that came in and talked with the team and I didn't know that they were going to record that. And so I watched what they did. And they sent it to me and I thought, oh, man, they know me so well. And I laughed and I cried throughout it, vigorously nodding my head at other points. But that was one of the questions that was asked, who is a good, who does she work best with and who is definitely not a good fit? And the answers that came out, they made me laugh and under further scrutiny. They were very, very true. It is you want to talk to the people you want to talk with. And that's why when I see emerging business owners out here and they don't want to say the wrong thing and it's like if it's what you feel and if it's what you believe in, if it's who you are, it's not the wrong thing. Nobody is going to agree with you all the time. So anything you say there's going to be...On the Internet people are going to show up and they're either going to believe one thing or another and there's not much that you're going to be able to say or do to change their minds.And I don't want to drag anybody over the finish line.

Natalie: Right, right. I want them to run willingly.

Teresa: I want them to show up invested and know that this is important. And I just went through this with this shift where I was just like, oh, my gosh, how am I going to dress operations up? How am I going to, like people don't want to hear about that. It's not sexy. Like, how do we sugarcoat it? And by the time I was to the end of it, I was just like, you know what, my people know they've done everything else. It's not working. This is probably why it's not working. And they're ready to roll up their sleeves and do it no matter what.

Natalie: Yes.

Teresa: So I'm not dressing up anything and that freedom that comes in that.

One of the things that really I love about you, and I think I was in the second round of the Director of Operations Certification, what I love is watching how you have grown, talk about flexibility and how the program has grown and how you continue to update this. When people ask me about it, when they're interested in and doing the certification, I tell them that is one of the most valuable things for me is that you have a legacy business. This is who you are and this is how you show up. And you are so totally invested in it. You continue to add to the program and the value because you are showing up and because you are connected with the people going through the certification and you're hearing what they need. I like what you were saying when we were talking once, you were talking about how you thought initially it was this way. Everybody wanted to retain our business and that would be great because of the stability.

And you found out fairly quickly that wasn't the case.

Natalie: Right. Thank you so much for your kind words. When you say legacy business, that's what I'm here for. I mean, I'm here to create a business that serves Natalie, serves my family and serves every single person that chooses to join in on the journey for me.

And I believe very deeply it's required me to be extremely patient and to not have success as fast as the world would or as much as we personally would, would want to have success. And so I would say it's been slow success and I'm also not super motivated by dollars. And so that has also helped me.

I've worked with people who need cash fast, and the result in the way they deliver in the way they show up looks a little different. And so I would just say, if you're running against that and you're really trying to build a legacy business, let that be a piece of advice from me is I haven't required, I haven't been desperate for success. And it has come at its own pace. And it's been completely fine for me. And I've always made a living between point A and point B, but I haven't demanded that it be an X figure business.

I don't really care about that. I really care about the depth that I can develop myself and the people. So thank you for recognizing that it is a legacy business. The reality is when I know that this is rooted in legacy, it's easy to be flexible, it's easy to adapt. And that's exactly what I've had to do. I thought that I really got into this, I began the certification because I would speak. I have no problem being on the stage and speaking and communicating the value of the work that I was doing because it was really a blue ocean.

I wasn't seeing other people do this work at this level, so I wanted to share it so I would share it with business owners. I would get off of the stage and people would say, oh my goodness, how do I find a Natalie? Well, as a one to one service provider, I only had so much capacity so I could take three or maybe four. And that's really unhealthy. It was unhealthy in my life, at least. I would say two to four would give you a decent income to where I could still balance and live a legacy life. But as I'm speaking to more and more people and more and more people are wanting and are curious about this work, I thought, I'm going to start an agency because I've seen X, Y and Z start an agency. Well, I did that for about six months and it completely lost my marbles because my legacy is in my children. And I couldn't show up for my children because now I had amplified the number of people that needed me both on my team and clients. And so it became a very, for me in my life, it was very, very difficult. And remember what I just said, I like to go super deep with people. So now I've taken three relationships and I've turned it into 12 relationships and I still want to go deep. It did not work from a time management perspective, whatsoever.

So I just kept thinking, like, how can I do this? Then I ended up and was like, you know what? I can begin a certification and train people in my methodologies.

And I knew that they would be fluid. I knew that they would continue to get better. What I didn't know is what Teresa pointed out the second ago. I was initially showing people how to become a Director of Operations in a one to one retainer capacity, meaning you partner with the client or a business and they pay you month over month to deliver strategy and operations in their business. And that's what I was teaching. Well, now we have over one hundred and ten people who have come to the certification.

And the amazing thing is I started with one way of doing this, and now we have a running list of 22 different offers and business models that really show how directors of operations today are serving, which is way drastically different than the way I expected it to be.

And so as I learn and as I see people doing this in different ways, I adapt the material like it's only fair, in my opinion, to give more opportunity so that the platter is big. You're not having to copy and paste what I did. Now you get to choose off of this platter. What fits you right now? And guess what? As you and I know, we both had significant life events and we will continue to where we need to come back to the platter and say, you know what, retainer.

I need stability. I need consistency and income. I need I really don't love marketing. So I'm going to go down the retainer path. But something's going to open up for us or something's going to change for us to where we need to go back to that plate and say, you know what, I need a little bit simpler life. I'm going to do it this way. And we're just learning and collecting more and more stories, more and more proven paths of ways that people can be successful with this content.

I'm a huge believer that we all have to be flexible and people look at pivoting. I want to address this when I say this. I'm not saying to pivot every single day, but people pivot. It is not normal for us to think...look at any big box brand out there. Look at your target. Look at your Nordstrom's guys. They have all pivoted. It is OK and acceptable for a small business to pivot, especially if you're pivoting in a way that's going to make you feel more solid internally.

We are small businesses like we've got to be able to have that leverage to be able to do and please and be flexible with yourself. You cannot fit into an old box of yourself either. Just like I was saying, the copy and paste thing. I can't take what was working for me five years ago and expect it to fulfill me today. My kids are five years older. My marriage is five years older. I'm five years older. My life experiences are five years older. I'm not the same person. So just got on a little rant there.

Teresa: Well you know what I'm thinking, as you're saying, that when we look at some of the businesses that sadly have not made it, when we're talking about the bigger stores, it's because a lot of them didn't pivot or they pivoted too late. Like, that's a whole other podcast. I think about stores that I used to enjoy going to and you kind of felt it coming on in so many different ways.

So being able to pivot again in my business, this was just going on based on what I saw and what I felt, what was really lighting me up, who I wanted to work with. And we get to choose we're going to shift to exactly who you're looking for, Natalie. How would I know if I'm talking to them in conversation, what would be coming up that I would know that, oh, you have to talk to Natalie?

Natalie: Right. When I'm talking, just like you're saying, when I'm having conversations with people. A lot of this is just intuitively within me. Of course, we have an application process because I need to make sure that before I certify somebody and from an integrity perspective, I never want to take someone's money who I don't think is going to be successful with this content or with this knowledge or just isn't there yet. And that can easily be the case.

I'm screening for experience, leadership and those people who have innate operational skills. You don't have to come from corporate. I'm not looking for a particular pattern from your past because I believe that most operators have innate abilities to be exceptional operators. And they had these skill sets at 8 years old. Could they develop and get stronger and better? Yes. One of the things I usually ask people and we joke about a lot is, are you the kind of person that plans the party or shows up to the party?

Like, are you the kind of person that is hosting Thanksgiving? And if you are hosting, how many checklists do you have? So are you detailed? Are you organized? Are you the person who is thinking? About all the small pieces that come together so job titles can be in the administrative space or can be in the financials like bookkeepers and accountants. I mean, there's really, really a wide range, which is why I'm not looking for a specific discipline and I have to screen deeply for leadership. So who is the person that's going to be able to be a Director of Operations, which requires you to be a strategic partner to a strong, bold CEO?

I've got to look for people who are ready, who feel competent inside of themselves to be able to step up. And so some of it's experience, but a lot of it is leadership. And I 100% believe that the operational we can call it whatever we want. Someone's been calling you type a bossy playmaker or whatever it, whatever it is for you. They've been calling you that far before you turned 30, 40, 50, whatever that may be for you.

But it really, it comes down to that leadership, because if that person doesn't have leadership and I mean part of it's gumption, but if they don't have that leadership to be able to step up, how are they going to have two-way communications with a bold leader? I mean, a Director of Operations has to be a strategic partner. You cannot be, this is something that people typically love, there's a difference and a yes ma'am person and a yes maybe.

And so the yes maybe is one of those things, when I'm interviewing people I am looking for, would they tell me no? Would they stop me in my tracks and say, you know what, not that's a great idea, maybe later? Or are they the kind of person that's like sure. That be great. Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep. Got it. Got it. Got it. Got it.

And I have been both of those people over the course of my career and I never felt satisfied with being the "yes" people. But sometimes we get in situations where leaders make us feel that way. We don't feel empowered, we're unsafe, etc. So we become. Yes, ma'am. And I am always looking for leaders. I believe leaders are your yes maybe people, the kind that are bold enough, kind and gentle, like I'm not talking about an abrasive like I mean, I don't think neither of us are abrasive, but I think that we can meet people with where they are and give them rational, experienced guidance on next steps.

And if they choose to take our advice, great. And if they don't, we're still OK. So I'm looking for leaders at all times, leaders with a scope of work and experience in the operational space.

Teresa: That is something that I know I have to have in mind. So my whole team actually has permission to reign me in.

You know me in a nine QuickStart in my Kolbe, I can just come up with the idea and the plan and everything in 15 minutes. I could not work with people who would just it would be so chaotic because what they're very good at is taking what I say and doing just that. Like that's a great idea. And we're doing this and this. Did you want to drop anything here to implement this or would you like to do that next quarter?

It is so important, as we grow our business is to have those people, anyone who's listening, I would absolutely recommend having a chat with Natalie. If you're that person that has the leadership skills and really enjoys being part of a team and helping a business leader succeed in organizing all the parts and pieces, Natalie goes into depth in the certification. And Natalie, I would love if you would just talk about the different hats, why some business owners are actually struggling because they're wearing all these different hats.

Natalie: Yeah, that's that's really good. So part of our Strategic Mapping, I'm going to give you guys a little glimpse into into the spice of our certification. We start off with the Strategic Mapping. And in that Strategic Mapping, the reason that I came up with this is because since I've been on my own and had the Ops Authority, I've been working with small and sometimes tiny, micro, nano businesses that are solo partners. And in doing so, what I realized was the continuous struggle for prioritization.

And you guys know this, if you're listening to this, you own a business, you're running a business, you're trying to do all the things and it literally feels impossible. And so my genius stuck out. Again, this is from experience, this is from leadership in the past. But my experience and the things I was able to pull together was just the real talk, like, guys, we cannot do it all.

And I compartmentalized all the things that we were trying to do into seven different areas and those seven different areas in a big business, they all have a high level leader over them. So they have basically a mini CEO.

So we are asking ourselves, one person to be seven human beings, who have a strategic insight to this one particular area. Guys, it just cannot be done. And so when you lay it out that way, you then are able to prioritize, hey, is visibility more important than revenue? Is revenue more important than growing my team? We start to have real conversations when we can get hard and clear on what is truly important right now, not three years from now, not 20 years from now, but right now. What is the most important thing?

And we can prioritize our process for waking up in the morning and determining what to do that day, because we're never short on things to do. If we can give it some structure and make it more two dimensional, all of a sudden it's like, you know what, I'm just going to head down, do this first because I know it's serving me and the way that I need to be served right now versus all of the shiny objects that are going to continuously pop up for the rest of your life.

So those are kind of the boundaries that I was using in my own business. And then other people had validated, hey, this is this is really good. So it's a framework that I would say thousands of businesses are using today. And I'm grateful to be able to share it. Without taking that step back to realize that there are seven different areas and there could be some businesses have eight if you're more in the product space, but there are seven to eight different main parts of your business. It's not feasible for us to show up in every single one.

Teresa: I have said for years there's a reason that companies have employees because no one person can do it all. And there are people who will try to argue that point and give up sleep and everything else to make that not true. And if that's you and that's working for you, God bless you. For me, it's like no one can do it all and do it well, and consistently. When we talk about seven or eight different departments basically in our business, I know a lot of people are thinking, no, no, I just create this course and I sell it. I have one product that I sell, but they really don't get into thinking about all of these different areas that make it possible to sell that successfully.

Natalie: Absolutely. It's like you've got marketing to it. You've got delivery, you've got the team that's going to support it. You've got the technology behind it. I mean, my goodness, it is so not as easy as it looks from the outside.

Teresa: That's why I'm always leery when I see something that says Three steps to blink. And I'm like, I think if we plot those out, it's going to be more than three. Might be three areas, but there's going to be more steps.

Oh, OK. Well, we're not going to get into the whole process of Strategic Mapping today because it's a deep conversation. It's this whole process that gives you such an intimate look at your business that allows you to truly plot out the next quarter and the next quarter and the next year. It's an individual journey for each person.

Natalie: Absolutely.

Teresa: There are those seven strategic areas and they're all going to get attention. It's just the amount of attention, depending on where you are in the business this quarter, next quarter and what you need to do most and focus the majority of your attention on.

Natalie: Yeah, that's a good point, because the top three aren't the most important, a business cannot ignore the bottom four. Right. We have to every one of them has to have attention. It's just the amount of attention that you get. So it is for anybody at any stage of business, any size of business. It allows you to have purpose, clarity and a plan with moving forward. So if that's something that's interesting, I would encourage you to look out to Teresa or any other certified Director of Ops.

Teresa: Absolutely. It is such an incredible tool to have in your business what we're doing when we're not looking at those different areas in our business. We're focusing on the squeaky wheel. We're spending so much time and attention on those things that we know absolutely have to be done that we are forgetting the rest of the list because we don't have it in front of us. And we haven't been purposeful about looking at the whole picture and then doing that priority. When you have that plan, you're not panicking like, oh, my goodness, I forgot this or I missed that.

Natalie: Clarity, direction and a plan. That's what every business owner wants. We want clarity, direction, a plan. I want it. You want it. I don't care if you're strategic, if you're a visionary, if you're an implementer and integrator, everybody wants that. We want it in life. Guys like that's why we pay for therapy. That's why we pay for coaches.

Teresa: Yes, ma'am. So I know you have a great business hub for these businesses who are really just trying to even sort that stuff out or have one place to see everything.

Natalie: Yeah. So we have a freebie for you guys today. If you go to theOpsAuthority.com/businesshub, all one word there. You're going to get a download. And this is a Trello board. So whether you use Trello, whether you use something else, you can swipe it and put it into Google Drive or Asana or whatever it is that you like to use. But this is one place. And what I was realizing, this all, of course, came out of my own journey.

When I when push came to shove, I was looking for simplicity. I was looking for direction. When I wake up tomorrow, what do I need to do in my business? It's going to actually give me a profit, which is going to allow me to give more to accomplish the things that are important to me. I need to focus. And what I ended up finding myself doing was delaying and procrastinating, which lots of people like to do who are not QuickStarts.

They will procrastinate and they will delay. And some of the things that pulled me off track was just my own internal disorganization.

I am actually a pretty organized person, but what I was finding was I was creating a lot of obstacles for myself that were slowing me down, so I took all of these things, you probably have sticky notes all over your desk right now or you've got notes in your notes app or you've got you've got things spread out all over the place, Google Drive and Dropbox and Base Camp and this and that. I put every single thing inside of one big Trello board so that myself, my team, you know what, if something happens to me, my spouse has one place to go to get a good overall. I mean, are the nitty gritty things in there? No, but can someone come in here? I mean, basically my onboarding, when someone joins my team, it's all there. They can spend hours finding out about the people that are on my team, the offers, the opt-ins. It's just everything in one place. And I believe it'll bring a lot of organization to you. But ultimately, it allows you to be more purposeful when you show up to work. When you have time to dedicate to work, you know exactly where things are. It's a repository for your entire business.

Teresa: And having things at your fingertips just makes it so nice. Again, there's that ease that it's like, OK, I don't have to go look for this is and is it in my One Drive? Did I do that on my laptop? Did I do that on my phone? Where is the thing? Well we'll definitely put all the links so that you can get your hands on the business hub. So many people that I've talked to who have used that it's a great place to start getting a little order and get rid of some of the chaos in your business.

All right. That means that it's time to ask you questions that I like to ask all of our guests. The first one comes from one of our previous guests. How do you stay focused and not tempted by all the things?

Natalie: This is a great question. And I think it is one of those questions that's just always it's going to come up and you're always going to question yourself regardless if you have a good process and if you are one of those people who can stay focused because there's all different kinds of people out there. So for me specifically, I clearly use my Strategic Mapping, and that allows me to stay super focused because we are looking at prioritizing different things in our business.

Kind of like big rocks, like I know EOS uses the terminology of big rocks and focuses. If visibility is the most important thing for me, then I prioritize the projects underneath visibility and that will be my focus. And so I internally know that if I'm not spending time in that objective, that I'm losing focus. It's got to be one of those things that you hold yourself to a standard on. So whatever process or practice that you want to put into place, just make sure it's one that you follow up on. And so Strategic Mapping has been that for me and lots of other people.

Teresa: I love that. Now, speaking of Strategic Mapping, just real quick, do you have that somewhere just like those top-notch, not all the details, obviously. But do you have that somewhere like on your desk or like you're in the order you prioritize for each quarter?

Natalie: All the time. I have a whiteboard that list the top three projects that I'm working on at any time.

Teresa: I love that. Thank you for sharing that.

Now, this question will probably change over time, but right now, especially during our limited travel or no travel, it's just nice to hear about vacations and live vicariously through each other's experiences.

Teresa: What's your favorite vacation experience or destination?

Natalie: Oh, I love to travel. This is such, aw man, like what I would do. I will say that it depends. I love, I'm not a snow person. I'm a Teresa person. We like the beach. So I either want to be at the beach and I've got lots and lots of beaches that I've got to accomplish in my lifetime. But I live in Texas and the most accessible, most beautiful beach near me is in South Padre. And I am going to manifest being able to have a second property down there in the next couple of years because my whole family loves the beach like you and I do.

So that is, I love the beach, but it doesn't have to be that beach. I love any beach as long as it's got non-rocky sand, sometimes northern Florida, it can be a buzzkill because it's so rocky. Cabo can be the same way. A lot of rocks. I want really powdery amazing sand and blue water. But if I am going on an adventure, I have taken many adventures to Europe and I just can't wait to be able to take my kids and to show them that as well.

So two different types of vacations, but I hope I can make any of them come true soon.

Teresa: Right? When you get that place in San Padre. I'll be sure to stop by.

Natalie: Yes, yes. You can come hang out with me for a long time.

Teresa: Awesome. And then from our random Would you Rather questions. The one we drew out that yours is, would you rather spend a week in the woods or one night in a real haunted house.

Natalie: Teresa! Number one, I'm not doing either of them willfully, but I will take the night in the woods.

Teresa: No, it's a week in the woods.

Natalie: Oh, gosh. All right, fine. I can do a week in the woods. I could do it.

Teresa: A week in the woods. That's a tough one. I don't. I'm glad that's not my question. Cause I'm the same way. No, that's my answer to that, no.

Natalie: Yep! I'm with ya!

Teresa: And then to wrap this part of our podcast up, what is a question that you would like for me to ask a future guest on our podcast?

Natalie: So we all make lots and lots of investments in our businesses and in our self as we're growing these businesses. And so for the next guest, I would love to know what investment have they made in their business that has had a positive return?

Teresa: Wonderful. And that's not just financial. Any positive return, is that what you're asking?

Natalie: Absolutely, yeah. Growth. I would say growth in general, whether that's financial for you or space.

Teresa: Fabulous! We'll drop that in the hat. And I thank you so much for participating. I really look forward to this part of the book.

Natalie: I think it's so clever.

Teresa: Well, thanks!

So Natalie, thank you so much for being here. It's always a pleasure hanging out with you. And I am just incredibly blessed to call you friend, mentor, colleague.

Natalie: Yes. Above all, we're such good friends and talking with you for this time. It feels like we could just sit here and talk all day. I wish we lived next door. We're recording this on a Friday. It would be a great night to sit outside and just chill together. I hope we get to do that one day.

Teresa: One day.

Natalie: Yes, ma'am. You all have a good day.

Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Becoming a Profitable CEO. I'll be back next week but in the meantime, let's continue the conversation. Head on over to our Facebook Group at ThePurposefulCEO.com/Facebook and share your take on today's episode.

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