Updated: Jun 1
So many of you asked me how I do everything that I do as a woman, a mum, a friend, a business owner, a guide, a mentor and many more hats that I wear. It comes down to leadership. But, what does entrepreneurial leadership mean?
So let me give you a tip that I used in my +12 years in my career leading large multidisciplinary teams and complex strategic projects and now in my business as an entrepreneur: Stay in your zone of genius.
For the rest, the same simple process: delete, automate, delegate or do.
I know it sounds simple yet it's the best tip for you to make sure you don’t burn out as you’re trying to scale your business. Are you actually doing this? Let me explore with you.
What does entrepreneurial leadership mean?
Being a leader in entrepreneurship is not only being recognised as an authority in your niche, topic etc. but it is about being inspiring for your own team members.
For that, I encourage you to:
Less doing, more thinking = Helicopter view
The vision is what is going to keep you focused and inspiring for your team. Defining your vision on the 5/10 years and guiding your team is what matters.
Take time out of the business to get inspired, reflect on the last 12 months: What did work? What didn’t work? It is all a recipe. It is about finding the right ingredients for you.
What traits do you need to take on to be a better entrepreneurial leader?
The traits that you can embrace to become a better leader are:
Vision. It all starts with being a visionary, being a strategist, being innovative with an infinite mindset. There is more than enough for everyone to thrive. It is all about knowing that and defining your vision in this infinite game.
Growth mindset. As a leader, you need to embrace changes, challenges, setbacks. You need to be resilient and learn from your mistakes. All of that is part of having a growth mindset. I totally recommend the amazing book ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’ that I recommend from Carol Dweck.
Authenticity and having the courage to lead. If you have a purpose, a mission, a cause that is bigger than you and you are fully committed to it, it inspires you to wake up every day then you’re ready to lead. Courageous leaders are strong because they know that they don’t have all the answers and they are authentic about it. They also know that they don’t have total control over everything.
Empowering / Trusting teams (opposite to controlling). It is proven by research that high performance and high trust are highly correlated. Empower your team!!!
How to get better at delegation
Have the right tools to manage your team remotely without always being on their back.
Information is key and you need to use tools that enable you to have easy access to it. My top 5 that I use daily in Essential Shift with my teams are:
Google Drive as we edit word documents such as blog articles, newsletters, email sequences, etc. and excel documents to track financials (YES I used to be a General Manager in Big Data & Innovation so I love a mix of intuition and data driven decision making).
Slack to receive notifications, messages, updates and the search function is so powerful. It integrates with so much software. I started using it with my teams back in corporate in 2014 (as we didn’t have Microsoft teams yet) and I’ve always loved it.
Voxer ( which I use also with my private and group clients) for voice messages and updates as we progress through the work.
Trello to plan & track what needs to get done for each ‘2 weeks sprint’ as we are either in the creative process, launch or reflection on an offering, a freebie, a course.
Canva to create and edit at the same time on the same creation and it is easy to access if someone needs to schedule content from it. I used to outsource my design for my presentations, worksheets, ebooks, my Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Linkedin up to January 2021 when the dedicated person in my team doing it found a full time job and stopped being able to do it for me. Since then I’ve been doing it again because: (1) I enjoy it! I love connecting with my creative side, (2) I’m good at it (lots of people ask me who does my designs!) (3) I’m now full time on the biz so I prioritise these tasks against another that I prefer to outsource
Set clear priorities and honour them - focus on the main thing. If it is spending time with family, then organise your schedule around it. What’s one rule you could make today to keep the main thing the main thing?
Trust when you delegate - don’t be controlling. It is all about empowering your team members. I lead the way I wish I’ve been led: with the level of autonomy that is required to learn how to swim without drowning. I empower my team members. I don’t get stuck in the details. I focus on what is essential and the big picture. The helicopter view is important as a leader. Keeping the vision in mind to lead your team. You don’t need to be across every detail.
Delegate decisions, not just tasks - If you just delegate tasks, you stay in the bottleneck. With my content creator and marketer, I give her full control over making decisions for the marketing side of the business. She asks me what I think, but I always give her the power. She is the expert after all and that is what I have hired her to do. She has control over the copywriting and social media captions, I never read them before they are posted, I trust her. It allows me to not spend all my time overlooking delegated tasks, otherwise I would have just done it myself. What decision could you delegate?
Why it is important to outsource
Think of yourself as a chef in a kitchen of a high end restaurant. If you want to be a better leader (as described above), there is no other way but outsourcing.
Not everyone wants to be a business leader and have teams. You may want to be a solopreneur and then it is all good. It is all about what vision you have.
Do you want to scale, or are you happy doing all of the things? I ask you to go within yourself and ask the question. What does your soul need? If you feel burnt out, maybe it is time to hire a VA to help you!
How to know what to outsource and when
Go through this simple decision tree (sorry consulting hat and lean six sigma accreditation coming back):
DELETE: Do I really, really have to do this? Does it fit my overall priorities at this moment? Go back to the paragraph above about the main things.
AUTOMATE: Is this a repetitive task? Could it be automated with a software, an integration, a process, a line of code?
DELEGATE: Could someone else do this at least 80% as good as me? Can it be done by a freelancer? Or someone from my network?
DO: Can it be done in less than 5 minutes? Do it now!
PLAN: If all else fails, make room in my calendar to plan the actual work. This involves adding due dates, projects and labels.
My experience as a leader in my business
I magnetise people to join my soul aligned team. I’ve never really looked to hire anyone. They just offered to work with me.
Let me give you a few examples:
Back in April 2020, when I created Essential Shift, I knew from my past three businesses how painful it can be to create a nice website. I knew it was not my zone of genius and it would take me hours. So I asked one person in my team in corporate if she could recommend anyone and she told me she had a side hustle and could help me. Isn’t it divinely guided? So she did it for me. We were working in corporate and outside together and it was so much fun. She is amazing. I totally recommend her for your website. Let me know if you want her details.
When I started Essential Shift social accounts after a few weeks, yes only a few weeks doing a few posts on Instagram, I said to outloud: “I am sure someone out there knows how to do that better, more efficiently”. A few hours later I received an offer from someone in my network offering 6 hours of mentorship for free to trial her offer. It was divinely guided and I accepted the help. Then I hired her to carry on working on my designs, the set up of my funnel and back end system.
A few months later, in September, when I set my mission to March 2021 (going all in with Essential Shift) I hired the Content Queen, to uplevel my content strategy, be more consistent with my blogs and my overall content. I totally recommend Mariah and her team.
And in January I hired a VA.
So a year in my business, I’ve a beautiful soul aligned team supporting Essential Shift and I focus on my zone of genius, focus on the vision and be inspired and inspiring.