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What a Full Time Employee Can Do to Skyrocket Your Business with My Operations Manager, Hayley Rissler

Episode 28: What a Full Time Employee Can Do to Skyrocket Your Business with My Operations Manager, Hayley Rissler

How can hiring team members actually help you make more money?

I know without a doubt that I waited way too long to recruit business support. I was over-stressed and beyond burnout when I made the decision to begin building a team.

As female business owners, we often convince ourselves we can do it all and that needing assistance is a sign of weakness or disorganization. I am here to tell you that is a flat-out lie! 

My guest in this episode is my very own unicorn, Hayley Rissler. She is my Operations Manager, and she takes care of all the logistics, marketing, and overall “people-ing” that keep us rocketing towards success.

Hayley joined Monica Froese with a solid entrepreneurial background, having run a successful blog and launching a business coaching course. She realized that she had the skills and talent to help someone work on their business, instead of in it, and it’s been a wonderful partnership ever since!

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • When is the right time to add team members
  • How to source great candidates
  • Delegating your pain points to create more time
  • The tools we use to keep things running smoothly
  • Investing in a team to generate more revenue
  • Creating a balanced partnership 


If you’ve been thinking about growing your team (spoiler alert: you absolutely need to), now is the perfect time.

I hope that you learn from my mistakes and don’t wait too long out of fear! I don’t know how I ran my business for so long without Hayley, but I am so glad that she is on my team now.

I love helping women like you grow your very own businesses whether it is through hiring advice or digital-product strategy! Speaking of, don’t forget that I am hosting a free training: 3 Secrets to Creating Digital Products That Sell Like Crazy! Head on over and sign up!

Resources Mentioned:

Speaker1: [00:00:04] You are listening to the Empowered Business podcast, I’m your host, Monica Froese, a mom of two and your secret weapon to creating a six figure digital product business. I’m on a mission to help 1000 women make 100000 dollars a year. That’s right. One hundred million dollars towards financial independence for women. As an online business expert, I am teaching you everything I know right here week after week so you can join us on the journey to 100 million dollars. Sound good. Then let’s jump in. One of the biggest questions I get asked is how do you know that you’re ready to hire? And I don’t necessarily have a great answer for that, because hiring beyond contractors, hiring someone on payroll is a gigantic responsibility. It’s like taking responsibility for someone’s livelihood. And that can be scary. And I had a lot of mindset blocks around hiring in my own business, and I waited too long. And so part of recording this podcast for you is to help you overcome mindset blocks faster than I did so you can make progress and not get stuck in overwhelm or burnout like I was. And I can tell you unequivocally, I hired too late. I was at my all time six figures before I considered hiring on


Speaker2: [00:01:36] Payroll and


Speaker1: [00:01:38] I really probably should have considered hiring about a whole year before


Speaker2: [00:01:41] I did. So I


Speaker1: [00:01:42] Hired my first payroll employee


Speaker2: [00:01:45] In the summer of twenty


Speaker1: [00:01:46] Nineteen and I had no idea what I was doing. So what I did was I said, what is the thing that is causing me the most stress? And at the


Speaker2: [00:01:54] Time it was I was supporting a very


Speaker1: [00:01:56] Robust course group for the course that I had at the time on Pinterest ads, and it was growing rapidly, which was great, except it’s a very technical topic and the


Speaker2: [00:02:06] Questions were consuming a lot of


Speaker1: [00:02:08] My time, which meant I couldn’t work on revenue generating activities. So I chose for my first year to be a community manager, which actually I forgot about until I was doing the interview that I’m about to share with you. And what I did was I put together like a job posting. You know, it’s not that difficult to go out there and see other people’s job postings and get an idea of what you want. And I didn’t know where to find someone. So I put it out to my community. And at the time, I had a pretty big community already because I’ve been working on building my email list at my community for quite a few years. And that is how I found my first hire. Who, if you’ve been following me for a while or if you’re intercommunity, you probably already know who she is. It’s Hayley Ressler and she is our operations manager. And we get asked all the time how to find it. Hayley, we call her my unicorn because she really is. She’s she is great at almost everything.


Speaker2: [00:03:00] So people want to know, how do I


Speaker1: [00:03:02] Find a Hayley? How do I work with a Hailie? And so today I’m interviewing Hayley and we’re going to talk all about how she started working for me, how her role has evolved. And also, you can take some tips and tricks away for how you could hire someone like Hayley and integrate them into your own business and how they can just really save you a ton of time and a ton of headaches. So let’s dove right in and hear what he has to say. Welcome, Hayley.


Speaker3: [00:03:29] Thank you. I’m so excited to be here excited. I mean, I talk to you all the time, but, you know, this is like a little more official. So, you


Speaker1: [00:03:37] Know, and it’s kind of funny because it’s your first podcast episode, isn’t it? Like ever.


Speaker3: [00:03:41] It is. I know a little bit nervous, but it’s going to go great.


Speaker1: [00:03:45] It is going to go great. It’s it’s it’s funny because I I’ve honestly been on so many podcasts. I can’t even I honestly don’t even have a number. How many. So it’s it’s weird to me that you’ve never done a podcast before in some ways.


Speaker3: [00:03:58] But I guess now we’ll think back to your very first thing, back to your very first one. And that’s where I am right now.


Speaker1: [00:04:03] So I don’t even know what the very first one was like. That’s how long ago it was OK.


Speaker2: [00:04:09] So we always start out because you listen


Speaker1: [00:04:12] To our show as well. I always start out with


Speaker2: [00:04:14] Asking everyone about


Speaker1: [00:04:15] Their entrepreneurial journey. Yours is obviously a little bit different,


Speaker2: [00:04:18] Although


Speaker1: [00:04:19] Similar


Speaker2: [00:04:19] Because like working with an


Speaker1: [00:04:21] Entrepreneur, it’s kind of like being on an entrepreneurial journey, I think. But you can correct me. So let’s start out about tell us about yourself, how you got here. Why are you working with me?


Speaker3: [00:04:33] Yeah, for sure. So I guess really the start of my


Speaker2: [00:04:37] Journey kind of goes


Speaker3: [00:04:38] All the way back to, I guess you could say when I was born and a little bit. But I grew up actually in my mom and aunts cookie shop. So they were small business owners from the time I was born until they sold the business in like twenty fourteen. But I worked out of family business for, I don’t know, ten plus years. So growing up in that small family business environment really ingrained in me, a love of marketing and a love of customer service. So that’s kind of where my roots come from.


Speaker2: [00:05:09] So when I went to college,


Speaker3: [00:05:11] I got a degree in marketing and I was kind of always looking for like, what is the right thing that I want to do with my life. I always jokes that, like all the corporate, the cubicle life is the life for me. And that’s what I want to do for my the rest of my life. And, you know, I tried out a few different positions after college, and I just knew that I wanted something where I could have my hands and a lot of different


Speaker2: [00:05:34] Things because, you know,


Speaker3: [00:05:35] I don’t know, even with us working together, I do so many different things in the business. And I really enjoy getting to use my technical skills, my graphic design skills, my customer service. Skills like there’s a lot of things that I do, so I guess when I got into the online space, my husband and I bought our first house right after we got married a little over five years ago, I decided to start


Speaker2: [00:06:00] A home renovation


Speaker3: [00:06:02] Blog that documented everything as we were greeted almost every room in our house. So I did tons of before and after pictures like reveals of our house. I did a lot of how to video or how to post. I think even still a couple of my top performing posts are like how to frame a bathroom


Speaker2: [00:06:22] Mirror, like for under ten


Speaker3: [00:06:24] Dollars and then how to build barn doors, which those posts still do really well. I still get like residual ad income for those and it’s just running on autopilot. I don’t do anything with them.


Speaker2: [00:06:35] But yeah.


Speaker3: [00:06:36] So that was kind of my intro into the online space. I found you at some point in their teaching about Pinterest ads because I was like, you know, I think at some point I’m going to want to do Pinterest ads when I’m ready for them. So I found you, like, on your email list. And I mean, I think you’re going to I think we’ll go into this in a little bit. But, yeah, that was kind of my intro into the online space. It was having a blog, though, and keeping up with the content is so much work. So after I had my first son, Griffin, I just kind of fell off the bandwagon a little bit and I was like, I cannot keep up with this. I’m so exhausted. I had a really hard time after he was born with postpartum depression. And so it was actually about a year and a half after I had Griffin that I saw you were applying for a community manager position. And I was like, oh, I think this could be a really good fit. So that was kind of the beginning of. US working together.


Speaker1: [00:07:35] So how long did you have the blog before we started working together?


Speaker3: [00:07:39] Let’s see. So I started it in twenty sixteen and we started working together in twenty nineteen. So it was about three years.


Speaker1: [00:07:46] You know, I think I lost sight of that. You had it for that long x y know.


Speaker3: [00:07:51] And you know, I was actually well it’s so I actually had that but then I for a while I also had another kind of business coaching log. I even launched a course that was teaching moms how to start, how to start a blog and everything like that. I went through one launch of the course I had taken Digital Course Academy by Amy Porterfield and launched a course. And I was like, Holy cow, that was so much work. And that was kind of what planted the seed of, like, I love doing this, but I want to do it with someone. Like, I don’t really want to do this by myself again. And I would love to work with someone who’s like kind of five, ten steps ahead of me who already has an audience and kind of knows what they’re doing. And I was like, I can be really good at this, but I just don’t really want to, like, be at this position where I’m at right now.


Speaker1: [00:08:39] I have no doubt that you can be really good with that. I remember when we started working together, one of the things that you struggled


Speaker2: [00:08:45] With that I


Speaker1: [00:08:46] Think over the years working with me has become easier is selling. And because that’s like the difference in our personalities, like you selling to you came


Speaker2: [00:08:57] Off pushy and


Speaker1: [00:08:58] You didn’t you didn’t really want to sell. And I always said


Speaker2: [00:09:01] Like like my


Speaker1: [00:09:03] Chill attitude about it, like, well, I don’t have a business if I’m not making money. So I don’t. Yeah, I don’t have problems asking for money. It’s so it’s just an excuse to me. It’s just an exchange. I provide X, you pay for X, it’s just like going to target. That’s the way it happens. So is that like a big catalyst you for


Speaker2: [00:09:20] Why you’re like this is not for me?


Speaker3: [00:09:22] Oh yeah, absolutely. And it’s funny because I can go all the way back to elementary school. When I was in Girl Scouts, I was in band when we had to go door to door and sell things. And I absolutely dreaded it. Like, I would rather go,


Speaker2: [00:09:37] I don’t know, do something a


Speaker3: [00:09:38] Lot worse than have to go to door to door and sell things. I just I just loathed it. And it’s funny because when I started my business coaching blog, I created a like a blogging plan or in Google Sheets.


Speaker2: [00:09:55] And it was a great little


Speaker3: [00:09:56] Planner,


Speaker2: [00:09:57] But I


Speaker3: [00:09:58] Just felt so uncomfortable trying to sell it. And obviously, if you come off uncomfortable trying to sell something, like people are going to notice. And so I remember launching it and I sold maybe like two and I was just sobbing. I was crying. I was like, anything I touch will not sell. And I remember you


Speaker1: [00:10:16] Telling me that


Speaker3: [00:10:17] Was really discouraging. And I think one thing that really helped when I started working for you, you


Speaker2: [00:10:23] Were like, no, like


Speaker3: [00:10:24] You’re providing a solution to their problem. Like, yes, they’re going to be paying you money because you deserve it, but you’re really actually helping them. And so once I was able to kind of switch my mindset into like, oh, I’m really just helping people, then that really helped overcome that fear of selling.


Speaker1: [00:10:41] That’s actually that’s like a quotable right there. That’s a good way of reframing it that you’re helping. Funny enough, the door to door sales things, because I did every sport imaginable in elementary school. So of


Speaker2: [00:10:53] Course there was tons candy bars this in that I was


Speaker1: [00:10:56] Always the top performer. I would skip out of doors. I’d be like, buy my stuff. So I mean, it’s fitting for our personalities, right? That, yeah, selling. Yeah. Selling is not something I struggled with. Yeah. It’s just not. So that’s interesting. OK, so when I first put out the job post it was for a community manager


Speaker2: [00:11:16] And


Speaker1: [00:11:17] A little background as to why that


Speaker2: [00:11:19] Was is


Speaker1: [00:11:21] Actually to your point is you said running and launching of course was a ton of work, just like astronomical. And at the time, the promoter Pinsker Spenger said Schaus was in full swing. Lots of new students coming in. And I was stuck in a very technically focused Facebook group serving students. And that did not keep the revenue wheels on the bus. And we’ve talked about that, like why pivoted the business? We have a whole podcast episode about why I retired. The picture said, of course, because it was like a losing proposition for


Speaker2: [00:11:53] Running and


Speaker1: [00:11:54] Like I was so desperate for help and people drained me because I’m in. Wow. I’m a loud introvert. So constant questions coming at me with no buffer exhausted me. So context. That’s why we put out for community manager. I just wanted someone to come in and talk and deal with the


Speaker2: [00:12:11] People like I need it help with the


Speaker1: [00:12:14] People. So why did a community manager appeal to you?


Speaker3: [00:12:18] Yeah, so it’s kind of funny because, you know, earlier I mentioned that I grew up in our small family business and customer service was one of the most important parts of a small business. And so my mom was. Always so, so big on the customer experience, and I


Speaker2: [00:12:38] Was like 13


Speaker3: [00:12:39] Working in the shop, and my coworkers who were 50 would come to me and be like, could you come talk to this customer? And so it’s one it’s kind of always been ingrained in me to deal with people. And like, my goal is always that when they leave, like maybe when we started talking, they were frowning. But when they leave, they’re going to be smiling like that. Or just


Speaker1: [00:13:01] Me being


Speaker3: [00:13:04] Ingrained in me, though. And so, you know, after college, I had one position where I was actually working for a small private university as their new student programs coordinator. So I was working with all the students who were coming in and starting college and making them feel welcome. And they were excited to start. And I don’t know how to explain it. The best thing is that it’s just like something in my DNA that wants to make people have a good experience, which I don’t know, maybe it’s a people pleaser and me or something like that. And then after that, I had another online community management position. And so it was just something I was really familiar with. It’s just I did a lot of satisfaction out of helping people and helping people overcome roadblocks. And so I knew that community management was a really good career path for me. And so I was already familiar with you and your brand and even the whole online space. And so when I saw the community manager position come up, I was like, oh, my gosh, this is looks like this position was made for me. So I was. Yes, well, which is funny because, I mean, that’s only now a very small percentage of what I do.


Speaker1: [00:14:13] Well, OK. So thanks for the leading question or the lead in for the next question, which is your role has completely I mean, I even forgot I hired you as a community manager.


Speaker2: [00:14:24] It has evolved.


Speaker1: [00:14:25] You’ve had at least four job titles.


Speaker2: [00:14:27] Yeah, probably.


Speaker1: [00:14:29] I don’t I don’t even think we can actually give all the job titles she’s had. I don’t even remember all. Maybe you do. But needless to say, when you’re in a small company, I think we could both agree that


Speaker2: [00:14:41] We’re we’re


Speaker1: [00:14:41] So close in tandem that


Speaker2: [00:14:43] It’s almost


Speaker1: [00:14:44] Impossible to predict what our roles are going to end up looking like until we start doing it. So how do you see that your role has evolved over the last two years of us working together?


Speaker2: [00:14:56] Yeah, well, evolve


Speaker3: [00:14:58] Is a


Speaker2: [00:14:58] Really good


Speaker3: [00:14:59] Word because, you know, obviously when I came in, you would have some views in the past. So you were already comfortable letting go of some things like the customer support and


Speaker2: [00:15:10] Boxes posting in the


Speaker3: [00:15:11] Facebook group, some social media post. So I took over all of that pretty quickly. But it was really


Speaker2: [00:15:18] Kind of I was actually


Speaker3: [00:15:19] Thinking about this yesterday. I was like this kind of trial by fire when I came in because like my second week you were like, yeah. So I just sold a private group coaching program. We made about thirty thousand. And so now I’m going on a vacation to Paris and also I’m really sick. So can you just, like, get everything ready for me when I come back? I remember that I was like,


Speaker2: [00:15:43] Ok, great,


Speaker3: [00:15:44] Yes. I can definitely do that. So I just remember getting all the materials ready for it. And you also asked me to put together some final diagrams which were really complex. And I mean, thankfully, I did a really good job. So it was really over time I started gaining your trust in all of these different activities that we were doing. And I think the more that you saw that I was able to take on these things and perform, you were like, OK, I’ll give you a little bit more. I’ll give you a little bit more.


Speaker2: [00:16:12] It was slowly like editing


Speaker3: [00:16:13] Some lessons in our courses. And then it was the buildings and smaller funnels in writing some more emails. So it was really slow, but it’s gone from community management to now. I build like all of our funnels. I write the old emails. I’m doing a lot more of those things that you never thought you’d be able to.


Speaker1: [00:16:35] Yeah, and here’s what makes you a very why we call you my unicorn. But we’ll talk about what you what we actually call you on paper for


Speaker2: [00:16:42] Like legal reasons and


Speaker1: [00:16:43] Stuff, because unicorns aren’t really a job title. Maybe it could be. I don’t know. But it’s so interesting because you have you are very technically minded. You do. I mean, you know, I am so type and step oriented with my funnels. I mean, this is why I teach, but I’m good at it, you know, and you have to have attention, detail and basically the way sales funnel is working our businesses, we have like stepladders like some funnel. Those are like the baseline easy ones, like an opt in funnel.


Speaker2: [00:17:10] And then they go from


Speaker1: [00:17:11] Simple to complex. And like I started letting go of


Speaker2: [00:17:14] The simple and it took


Speaker1: [00:17:15] Me a little while to get up to the complex. But you’re very technically minded, but then you’re also really good at being creative, which makes you, in my opinion, a unicorn, you know? Yeah, I feel like you’re both.


Speaker3: [00:17:28] Yeah, I do. And it’s funny because I think I think part of it is like. My age, and when I was born, and like when I was in middle


Speaker2: [00:17:36] School, it was really popular


Speaker3: [00:17:37] To have MySpace and MySpace was also a lot of coding. And like you had to find the HTML to put in there to make your MySpace profile. Look how it does. And so from a really young age, I was really interested in the graphics, but also really interested


Speaker2: [00:17:53] In like how does this


Speaker3: [00:17:55] Actually work? And it’s funny because when I was in high school, I took a simple HTML class and we had to build websites with HTML. That’s probably the most valuable course that I took when I was in high school, because just having those


Speaker2: [00:18:08] Foundations really allows it to


Speaker3: [00:18:10] Build off of each other. So and then actually probably four years ago, I really wanted to learn Photoshop and so I went and found on Lindow, which I think is now like LinkedIn teaching something. I took a Photoshop course and I just like both of those things, have really interested me. And I mean, my tech capabilities have its limits as well.


Speaker2: [00:18:33] But I think just


Speaker3: [00:18:34] Maybe it’s a measure of the era I was born into.


Speaker2: [00:18:38] But yeah, I’m


Speaker3: [00:18:39] A very big fact finder, just like you. And so I have to find out how things work and especially growing my own blog and starting my own WordPress site and everything like that. Like you have to just figure it out unless you want to pay for somebody else to do it. So I spent a lot of time learning


Speaker2: [00:18:56] All of those


Speaker3: [00:18:57] Things to make a WordPress site work


Speaker2: [00:19:00] And.


Speaker3: [00:19:00] Yeah, and so I guess maybe my brain is a little different than most peoples in that I’m able to excel in both of those sites. But it works well for being an operations manager. So it does.


Speaker1: [00:19:10] It does. OK, so


Speaker2: [00:19:11] That is a great


Speaker1: [00:19:14] A great lead into my next question, which is what exactly do you do


Speaker2: [00:19:18] All day long?


Speaker1: [00:19:19] Yes, I really do actually do work for me. What is a typical day look like?


Speaker3: [00:19:26] Ok, so usually when I wake up in the morning I so we call, we talk on slack all day.


Speaker2: [00:19:33] That’s our primary mode of communication.


Speaker3: [00:19:37] So usually right when I wake up, I look at my phone and Monica’s already messaged me like several times about some things.


Speaker1: [00:19:43] Oh, now we’re three hours apart. So I’m on East Coast and West Coast, so my nanny starts at eight thirty. So I’m at my


Speaker2: [00:19:49] Desk and


Speaker1: [00:19:50] It’s probably still sleeping at five thirty


Speaker3: [00:19:52] Sometimes. Yes, I’m up around 6:00, but sometimes


Speaker2: [00:19:56] My one,


Speaker3: [00:19:57] Almost one year old, which is crazy, wakes up early. So anyway, my day starts by usually seeing what Monica has thrown at me that morning. So get ready for the day, get up to my office. And my first priority is usually whatever Monica has sent me in slack and taking care of those items. And then I’ll check my email as well, because sometimes you’ll have forwarded me things or I have other emails from other things I’m taking care of. So those are usually my first two stops when I get in in the morning, then I transition over to Azana and start working on kind of our bigger


Speaker2: [00:20:29] Deliverables


Speaker3: [00:20:30] That we have going on. So whether that is getting one of our funnels up on Evergreen or maybe making updates to a course for our students, it’s like such a hodgepodge of different things that I’m working on at any given time. But I would say it’s very student like program focused and customer focused. So a lot of the stuff that I’m doing is revenue generating. So whether that is even creating products for our membership or working on like a


Speaker2: [00:21:02] Sales email sequence,


Speaker3: [00:21:04] Getting ready for a launch or anything like that,


Speaker2: [00:21:08] I think does that.


Speaker1: [00:21:09] Yeah, no, I agree that a lot of what you do is very much revenue generating and is important, especially for people looking to hire. That’s like one of the hardest things about hiring is because you don’t want payroll to just be an


Speaker2: [00:21:23] Expense like that.


Speaker1: [00:21:25] And I think it’s some degree it starts out that way because and let me say this, it can feel like it’s starting out that way because you’re taking off like admin stuff off your plate. But we could reframe that and look at it as OK. But if she’s freeing up twenty hours of my admin


Speaker2: [00:21:41] Time for me to go make


Speaker1: [00:21:43] More revenue than it is revenue generating. But now we’ve moved away from and this is going to be one of the questions I ask away from you being very admin focused to revenue focused. But before we go there, you brought up an interesting point about Slack and Ossana that I want to address. So Slack is like the team communication tool that we


Speaker2: [00:22:01] Use and Asana


Speaker1: [00:22:03] Is where we house all of our projects. That’s like the task management tool. And I think this is an interesting


Speaker2: [00:22:08] Tip that Haley did


Speaker1: [00:22:09] For me. I’m constantly coming up with ideas and things I want to do. This is like the whole as like I have this really interesting ability to be very detailed, but also I call it my ten thousand foot helicopter view where I can I literally can see myself zooming up in the air and looking down and seeing the big picture. I have a very dual brain like that. And when my ten thousand foot view. Or some people would call it what I’ve been the CEO visionary goes off, I have a lot of


Speaker2: [00:22:37] Ideas and I’m like, let’s do all the


Speaker1: [00:22:39] Things. And Haleys like, let’s not.


Speaker2: [00:22:45] And so


Speaker1: [00:22:46] She made me so if I put it in Istana, it’s like, man, this is something that has to get done now


Speaker2: [00:22:52] Because it’s our


Speaker1: [00:22:53] Test management. She made me a brain dump channel in Slack.


Speaker2: [00:22:58] And so


Speaker1: [00:22:59] When Monica has wild ideas, Monica puts them in a brain dump channel and slack not mixed up with our normal team communication,


Speaker2: [00:23:06] Not put in our


Speaker1: [00:23:07] Task management.


Speaker2: [00:23:08] And then Haley can


Speaker1: [00:23:10] Talk me off of ledges or tell me like, that’s great, can we table that for six months? And I don’t and it helps to not overwhelm everyone. Would you say the brain dump channel has helped you?


Speaker3: [00:23:21] Oh, absolutely. Yeah, because you were like, I need a really easy space to put my ideas because you’re just like queen of coming up with ideas at the most random times. Like you’re always like, oh, I have an idea in the shower. So I’m for Christmas one year I got you the shower notes so you can write down your ideas in the shower. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that’s been a really easy place for you to just like, oh, let me just put this there and then we can I can revisit it later.


Speaker1: [00:23:48] Yeah. I feel like it has helped me tremendously and it’s made it so I’m not squirreling everyone all the time. OK, so when we talk about the fact that you now help with a lot of revenue generating things, like you actually create products, you create the funds to feed the products, you write sales, email sales, email, sell like you’re very revenue generating, which meant that we entered this phase where Hayley’s time was clearly more valuable,


Speaker2: [00:24:16] Being spent revenue


Speaker1: [00:24:17] Generating with me. But admin work still had to get done and so we needed to hire. We had already mentioned her name, Katie. She’s our operations assistant. Personally, I think it’s important that we all understand how we work. I learned that managing is not my favorite thing, like Hayley and I drive very well together, but and I likely will have more direct reports as we grow.


Speaker2: [00:24:42] I think that’s inevitable.


Speaker1: [00:24:43] But it was a huge mental block for me to bring in a more people if I had to manage them. So like whether it’s contractors


Speaker2: [00:24:51] Or another employee,


Speaker1: [00:24:52] I was like, can you just do this? Because, you know, you’re a people person and you’re the one that needed the assistant at this point because it’s almost like you became my assistant and then now you need an assistant.


Speaker2: [00:25:04] So it just made


Speaker1: [00:25:04] Sense for you to manage her. So we hired Katie as an operations assistant. So what do you see as the main difference between what you do as an operations manager and what she does as an operations assistant?


Speaker3: [00:25:15] Yeah, so I would say she does probably 60 percent, 60, 70 percent of the stuff that I did when I first started with you, like maybe that first those first couple of months, so that it is all of our customer support emails, which is kind of like low hanging fruit, like, oh, I can’t access my purchase or really a lot of stuff like that.


Speaker2: [00:25:41] So she does


Speaker3: [00:25:42] All of that. She does like our social media posts, getting information out to our students.


Speaker2: [00:25:48] And she also


Speaker3: [00:25:50] Will draft a lot of emails for me so that I don’t have to take the first pass at it. So she’ll get it ready for me and then I finalize it and schedule it or send it out or whatever. So she’s doing a


Speaker2: [00:26:01] Lot of that level


Speaker3: [00:26:02] Stuff. Well, then I am doing the next level of sometimes like finalizing the stuff that she does. So it’s like ready to push out more forward facing,


Speaker2: [00:26:12] I guess, and then doing


Speaker3: [00:26:14] The more revenue generating stuff where she’s almost doing more of the customer support and like sales level email stuff. So when we sent out an email and people respond with questions, she’s responding


Speaker2: [00:26:29] Back to those.


Speaker1: [00:26:30] Oh, it’s like building a hierarchy. And eventually we’ll end up going side. Like right now we’re almost on a ladder and eventually then we’ll have to grow on sides and have like departments and stuff like that. That’s like the next level.


Speaker2: [00:26:44] But I think


Speaker1: [00:26:45] Sometimes there could be people listening that feel this


Speaker2: [00:26:48] Way, since growing a


Speaker1: [00:26:50] Team feels very overwhelming to a lot of


Speaker2: [00:26:52] People. And like


Speaker1: [00:26:53] Just this, your


Speaker2: [00:26:54] Idea of being responsible


Speaker1: [00:26:56] For someone else’s livelihood and paycheck, it can feel overwhelming. We feel like we need to have everything figured out and


Speaker2: [00:27:02] We don’t like I


Speaker1: [00:27:04] Had like we’ve changed your role so many times. We just kind of you have to figure it out. And honestly, I felt like I had to have an org chart. I’ll figure it out. And like the departments identified and eventually we will. We will. But we had it like it was OK to hire. And plug the holes that we had and not have it all figured out,


Speaker3: [00:27:26] Right, because when you hired me, it was like, what do I need the most help with right now that I like doing the least? And then that’s where I came in. And then even when we are ready to hire Katie, it was like, what do I need to get off of my plate so that I can work on the next thing? And it’s like, really, I shouldn’t be spending my time doing the customer support emails because we could make a lot more money off of my time if I’m spending my time doing something else. And so then that’s where Katie came in and took over


Speaker2: [00:27:54] Those things off my plate. Agreed.


Speaker1: [00:27:57] Yeah. That it just it makes a lot of sense. So here’s and I don’t actually know the answer to this. I’m very curious to selfishly I’m curious. Maybe other people will be, too. If you could change one thing about your role, what would it be? Is there anything? Tell me. It’s perfectly OK.


Speaker3: [00:28:14] Oh, I would say. Well, you know, we’ve had we’ve had this conversation a lot, and I think it would be, which is something that we’re working on right now. But, you


Speaker2: [00:28:29] Know, we get stressed


Speaker3: [00:28:31] At the end


Speaker2: [00:28:31] Of each month with like, oh,


Speaker3: [00:28:33] What are what’s our revenue numbers at this month? And so if I could change one thing, it would probably


Speaker2: [00:28:38] Be take off, like taking


Speaker3: [00:28:40] Off that stress of how are we making money this month. So and that’s something that we’re working towards, getting more of a baseline in our business. And but that’s something that we’re really working on together. So I feel like it’s this puzzle that we’re putting together that we’re still trying to finish assembling. But, yeah, I guess that’s I would probably be the one thing I would change


Speaker1: [00:29:01] That I’d be the one thing I change, too. We’re in full agreement. And this kind of goes to the big conversation I had about the whole pivoting with the Pinterest stuff and


Speaker2: [00:29:11] Not having recurring


Speaker1: [00:29:13] Revenue


Speaker2: [00:29:13] And not having a


Speaker1: [00:29:14] Baseline. But your expenses are baseline and it’s and being on a launch model, which we pretty much committed to this year because we’re launching a new program. And when you’re on a launch model, you have those big spikes and it’s hard to predict with the low months they’re going to be.


Speaker2: [00:29:28] And it’s been. It’s been.


Speaker1: [00:29:31] I still think this is a good question, I think this year still been less stressful revenue wise. I mean, we were making more money, but of course, our expenses already gone up. I still think the stress is less than it was last year.


Speaker3: [00:29:43] Yeah, I agree. There was a lot of stress that just came with the Pinterest courses. We also had a lot more products and a lot more smaller courses. So our attention was divided more often between all like our huge product suite that we have in at least now it’s smaller. So I think that takes at least like less of the brain capacity out of it.


Speaker2: [00:30:05] Yeah, yeah, I agree.


Speaker1: [00:30:07] And it’s just always a work in progress and sometimes. Well, that’s kind of leads to my next question, which is when I freak out, which happens like I and I have a very strong personality. I mean, there’s just no way around it for anyone who follows the anagram. I’m an anagram eight, which is a challenger. It’s like a bold personality. And your anagram, too, which is the helper. And in a lot of ways, actually a two is actually perfect for verb and an eight when I’m being like when I’m healthy and vulnerable, I flex to a two, but I hide that side of me. I feel like I have to protect it. So I have a strong personality and I am prone to freak out. And I find it interesting. You wouldn’t expect that you would be able to stand


Speaker2: [00:30:52] Up to me, but you do.


Speaker1: [00:30:54] How do you feel about that? And like did that take a while in your perception to be able to like, speak up and be like, you know, and like push back on me? Or did it was it natural?


Speaker3: [00:31:04] Yeah. So it’s funny because when I was going through the interview process with you and your husband, Rob was interviewing me and he asked me, how do you do with big personalities and how do you do like, you know, if someone’s really in freakout mode and can make him answer, you know, like, you know, just tell them what they need to hear and what’s true and try and talk them down with logical facts and everything, which is all true. But I think those that first maybe six months when you would have your freak out, I was like did my best to go along the ride with you and be like, OK, well, what do we know? Like bring it back down, let’s ground us. And it’s really been over the past year, I think, which was probably a little bit of a turning point where I felt


Speaker2: [00:31:49] More like


Speaker3: [00:31:50] I had more stake in the business because I knew more about our programs, more about our sales processes. I had my hands in more. So when you were freaking out about something, I was able to have my own thoughts about it. And so I think it was really maybe like last


Speaker2: [00:32:06] Summer and I was also


Speaker3: [00:32:09] Like nine months pregnant. So I


Speaker2: [00:32:10] Had a lot more


Speaker3: [00:32:11] Strong feelings. I remember at one time you saying you’re like, wow, this is like Stacy pregnant. Hayley, you


Speaker2: [00:32:17] Look


Speaker3: [00:32:20] Like you would have a freak out about something. And I’m like, she does not need to be freaking out about this. And so I started pushing back on you, like, OK, you don’t need to be freaking out about this because we know X, Y, Z, we can make a decision about it later. It’s too soon to freak out. And I think that’s something that I come back at you


Speaker2: [00:32:37] With a lot


Speaker3: [00:32:38] Like it’s too soon. We don’t need to be freaking out about this yet. And so it took a while for me to get to that point because you have a big personality and I didn’t want to offend you or get on your bad side or something like that. And so it took a while to get there. But even


Speaker2: [00:32:55] Now, sometimes when


Speaker3: [00:32:57] You’re freaking out about


Speaker2: [00:32:58] Something, I’m like


Speaker3: [00:32:59] New. Well, sometimes it’s very it’s a very rational freakout, but sometimes when you’re, like, freaking out about something that I know we don’t need to freak out about, I’m like, OK, well, I’m not going to ride this roller coaster with you like a good scout. Go ahead. But it’s not worth it.


Speaker1: [00:33:18] That’s a great skill to have, though, to be able to know, like when to essentially mute me. I agree with that. Like also I think the open communication ski, like how recently you told me if I bring you real high on stress and then I’ll come down off the stress like, oh, we’re good. And you’re like, I’m can you bring me with you? And I’m like, oh, oh yeah, I should probably do that. But I didn’t know. And if you hadn’t told me, who knows how bad stressing you out without any knowledge that I was stressing you out that bad.


Speaker3: [00:33:49] Yeah. Especially when it’s something that I am actually freaking out about with you, like it’s something that is very rational and I’m like, oh gosh, this is really an issue. And then you’re like, OK, like I solved it. Like you got to you got to solve it with me. I actually I need to know that we’re going to be OK and not stay in the freak mode. So.


Speaker1: [00:34:09] So essentially like the take away is your first hire, especially you’re going to work so closely with that. If you don’t have open lines of communication, it’s not


Speaker2: [00:34:18] Going to go well, you know, it’s going to


Speaker1: [00:34:20] Be very tough. Go.


Speaker3: [00:34:21] Yeah, I think you really need to have good rapport. So being able to talk freely with that person, which can take time, but also like in the interview process, like I had the conversation I think should really flow easily so that you can work on establishing that relationship and then also trust like we have such a deep trust that I know you would never do anything to offend me or make me feel like a bad employee or anything like that. Yeah, we just have a lot of trust in each other,


Speaker2: [00:34:50] So it helps our working relationship. Yeah, I agree with that.


Speaker1: [00:34:55] And I don’t show my freakouts to everyone. So you’re almost special, like I know how to hunt or shit, so on. I do know how to hold them in. But for me, because I, I have a really hard time putting on a mask that’s like the hardest thing


Speaker2: [00:35:10] For me, like a mask


Speaker1: [00:35:11] And like, you know, I know how to play, I know how to play what we called incorporate the game. Like I know how to have the right face


Speaker2: [00:35:19] And the right in the right room.


Speaker1: [00:35:21] But I can’t imagine doing it day in and day out in the business. Like, if someone can’t handle me that I work so closely with,


Speaker2: [00:35:26] Like, I can’t


Speaker1: [00:35:27] Even imagine showing up every day and needing to censor myself like that just wouldn’t work for me.


Speaker3: [00:35:33] Yeah. Yeah. And [00:35:34] I think it helps that we have a lot of similar personal views as well, like especially when it comes to working mothers. And we both had really difficult experiences postpartum. So we’re able to align with that and so on. Our team and our one on one meetings, we’ll talk about a lot more than just work stuff like we’ll talk about a lot of personal stuff going on. And so we have a friendship even outside of the business that helps us then in the business as well, because we know that really we’re on each other’s side. There are a lot of things that we believe. [00:36:06]


Speaker2: [00:36:07] Agreed. Yeah, that’s


Speaker1: [00:36:08] Very helpful, too. Yeah. OK, so one of the things that people have asked me, because I tell all of my entrepreneurial friends about you, like they all know, everyone knows Hailie, everyone wants a Hailie. Everyone’s always ask me about Hayley. I’m like, you can’t have her, but whatever. And one of the things I get asked a lot is about how like


Speaker2: [00:36:27] Our weekly in regular


Speaker1: [00:36:29] Cadence and how that works.


Speaker2: [00:36:30] So how do


Speaker1: [00:36:32] We communicate over like a week basis to make sure everything’s on track and moving forward?


Speaker3: [00:36:37] Yeah. So, you know, we live out of Asana. Basically, we have like a one on one meeting on Mondays where we kind of you like all the time brain dump into this master list of everything that needs to get done in the business. It’s kind of like almost your ten thousand foot view of what do we need to have eyes on. So really, almost three times a week, we kind of go through that list and see where are we at with all of these things? But have we made progress on what needs to be moved up and everything like that? So we go over that Monday


Speaker2: [00:37:08] Together, Tuesday


Speaker3: [00:37:09] Also with Katy so we can collaborate like as a whole team and then again on Fridays to see what we still need to wrap up. And then every day, throughout most of the day, we’re talking on CELAC as well for like the one off things that happen or if you need a graphic for something or anything like that. So it’s a lot of regular communication, I would say. But it’s it’s what works for us. And it’s going in.


Speaker1: [00:37:36] I will say I think as we grow, the way we utilize the tools will definitely have to change because there are things that we do in slack that really should be in Asana. And but I remember when we start working together, I was trying to be very technical about it and it was just like not working because we flow like usually you’re working on something and then it’s my turn. And then I finished a piece and then it’s back. You have to like wrap it up, and so for us, it works better to


Speaker2: [00:38:05] Have the communication


Speaker1: [00:38:06] That was constant in slack. And I think over time we got we got good at understanding what needed to go get moved into Sona. That was like, OK, this is not going to be like I do this quickly and it’s done like this needs to be


Speaker2: [00:38:17] Tracked in the project management.


Speaker1: [00:38:19] But as we


Speaker2: [00:38:20] Scale, I


Speaker1: [00:38:21] Imagine, will always mean you will always be like this. But if a


Speaker2: [00:38:25] If a whole team is


Speaker1: [00:38:26] Constantly in slack pinging, that’s going to be a waste of time. And so that’s like one of the things that we’ll have to work on combined to like. But here’s the brilliance. Once you hire, like how she manages Katie for me, you know, I don’t have to figure it out all by myself. Right. But, like, that’s actually very exciting to me.


Speaker2: [00:38:47] Ok, so before we wrap up,


Speaker1: [00:38:50] I want to talk about tools and resources like what makes your


Speaker2: [00:38:53] Life outside of


Speaker1: [00:38:54] Slack asana. Easy, like what is like you can’t you need this tool for your


Speaker2: [00:39:01] Job to function? Yeah, so I


Speaker3: [00:39:05] Really heavily utilize bookmarks in my browser to help me get to places fast. Like I’ll find little tools that are really helpful for like a very specific task and I’ll bookmark it and use those bookmarks over and over. Also, honestly, the Google search bar, because I’m such a fact finder. Like if you ask me how to do something, I’m like, OK, let me do the research to figure out if we can do this. So that still comes very much in handy for me. Other tools I guess I use loom.


Speaker2: [00:39:37] Yes, loom. Yeah.


Speaker3: [00:39:39] With screen recording. So actually very often I’ll need to show you something. You show me something. And since we’re however many thousands of miles apart, since I’m in Arizona, you’re in New York, we’ll just record a quick screen sharing video and send to each other. So that’s really helpful. And I do that with TTI as well all the time. We also really put everything into Google Drive and have very organized folders. So if we need to go back and look at something specific from a specific launch, it’s very easy to find in Google Drive. So that’s really helpful as well. I also very much utilize like Photoshop Adobe Premiere Pro for our video editing. I just like to learn new things. So I have a lot of things that I have. And then I actually use PowerPoint a lot to build PDF, which


Speaker2: [00:40:31] People don’t think to


Speaker3: [00:40:33] Use that they think to you I work on. Yeah, but like all of our student checklists and everything like that is so much easier for me to build in PowerPoint than it is in a word, doc or Kinvara or anything like that. So I really like using PowerPoint. I’m obsessed with Google Sheets actually in our program, our business lab, I did the whole training on how to use spreadsheets. Everyone’s like, this is so helpful.


Speaker2: [00:41:00] So I think it’s a good training.


Speaker1: [00:41:02] That’s actually a good point.


Speaker2: [00:41:04] The how


Speaker1: [00:41:05] To


Speaker2: [00:41:06] Physically create


Speaker1: [00:41:07] Digital products. I am amazing at building funnels.


Speaker2: [00:41:11] And so but when it comes


Speaker1: [00:41:13] To like formating, like Google Sheets to look pretty and making pretty like PDF in Kambah and stuff, not my thing. So Hailie, record it. All the videos that go into the one pillar inside the program, which is called Digital Products at


Speaker2: [00:41:27] Scale, and she gives like so many.


Speaker1: [00:41:30] Actually, the very first interaction we had was she emailed me a hack because I sell the family budget spreadsheet that was for the businesses first product.


Speaker2: [00:41:40] Right.


Speaker1: [00:41:41] And you’re like you’re linking to it wrong. You didn’t say it like that, but you basically gave me a hack of how to make it so it automatically copies to the person’s drive instead of telling them, go to file, make a copy, and then getting all of the emails are like, I can’t edit the view only. And you saved me. I mean, the volume was so high back then for that you saved me how many hours of time answering emails. And that was like six months before I ever hired.


Speaker3: [00:42:10] Yeah, I emailed you and I was like, I just want to be like, sure, this little tip with you. And then when I applied, I was like, So I’m the one who shared that tip with you.


Speaker1: [00:42:19] Yes. And I mean, it’s I didn’t remember that you were the one that shared it with me, but I remember the tip that made you very memorable because it saved me. And so, like in digital products at scale, which is inside of the empowered business lab, she gives all of these


Speaker2: [00:42:32] Like really


Speaker1: [00:42:33] Nifty tips and tricks to make your life easier while building digital products. It’s like it’s so good. I mean, like if I was going to build my own digital products from scratch, which I don’t because I have a team, I would watch that dream.


Speaker3: [00:42:49] Yeah, it’s like all of my. Well, and it’s funny because even in my last corporate job before I started working for I started my blog and I worked for another company between then all of my coworkers jokes that I was like the spreadsheet master. And I was like, would make all the spreadsheets look pretty. And yeah. So it’s just like in my blood, I guess


Speaker1: [00:43:10] You do a great job. OK, so usually we end with oh how could people find you,


Speaker2: [00:43:15] Which here


Speaker1: [00:43:17] Is the answer. But I was thinking my mind was actually thinking while we were doing the interview, where could people go if they want to connect with Talia. So tell me if you disagree. But I think the most logical place would be


Speaker2: [00:43:28] Into our podcast Facebook group


Speaker1: [00:43:30] Because we’re all there. So if you actually have questions, we do a weekly podcast prompts where you can ask questions about the episode and Haley’s in there. So if you’re like, hey, I need to know I want to know more about this operations manager role. And I have questions. Well, then you should come join us in our group. What you can find it. Monica Fros dotcom forward slash group, right? Yes, I get that right. Great. Awesome. Well, thanks for recording this with me today. This is.


Speaker3: [00:43:57] Thanks for having


Speaker1: [00:43:58] Me. You know it. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the Empowered Business podcast, if you want to get started creating your own digital products and don’t know where to start. We have a brand new training that can help. It’s called Three Secrets to Creating Digital Products that sell like crazy head on over to empowered business. Dutko Ford’s profit to join the free training. Now, see you again next week.


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