I’m bringing on a guest from my team for today’s episode. Hayley Pandolph is COO of my company and my right hand girl. Today we’re giving you the behind the scenes details of Team Allie—how we run things and how we create a very positive team culture. Let’s dive in!
In This Episode Allie and Hayley Discuss:
Hiring and delegating
Zones of genius
Getting your team “all in”
Applying your mission to your team
Letting people go
Ease and flow
Mentioned in this Episode:
Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages. We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard, it is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself, the idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life, where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop.
I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime (at least most days). Stop the mom guilt and shame game. Stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it. I want to help you thrive in work, home and life. I believe in John 10:10 that we are called to living an abundant life and I know moms are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, some business and life hacks, spirituality and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hi friends! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show. Today’s episode is very special because I’m bringing on a guest from my team. Haley Pandolph is COO of my company. She is my right hand girl. I adore her and need her so much. I need everyone on my team; however, Haley and I work the closest together and I thought she’d be the perfect person to have this conversation with.
I wanted to do an episode about building a team, team culture and all that good stuff. If you’re not at this point in your business, this is a great episode to give you a vision for how you may want things to be. Or to get your wheels spinning.
When I was first starting my business I loved listening to episodes like this from CEOs I admired, because it helped me visualize. It helped me mentally create and manifest what I wanted. Seeing the behind-the-scenes of people who were further ahead of me really helped me build my business in the beginning.
We’re going to talk about all that. We’re going to get into the behind-the-scenes details of Team Allie—how we run things and how we create a very positive, happy, celebratory team culture.
Before we dive in, though, I just want to say that the one thing that is the basis for this episode and something that’s different about me than some other CEOs is that I am really, really passionate about creating jobs.
In the earlier years of my business when I was really making a lot of profit and things were going well, I was doing a lot on my own and I had a choice to make. I could continue to have this massive, massive profit margin. The profit margins in an online business are a lot larger than a typical brick and mortar business. At this point my profit margin was 90%, maybe even more.
But I was working a lot. I was building this business. It had really exploded and I was continuing to grow it.
I was in every role. I was the designer. I was the content manager. I was the content creator. I was doing customer service at one point.
That was my first hire. Kena was my first hire. She does customer service and email inbox.
But I was doing everything. I was doing all the writing, all the editing, all the re-editing, all the proofreading, all the transcribing. Everything.
And I was also doing everything that I’m doing now. I was being the face and the voice of the company. I was showing up. I was going live.
I was creating the content. I was the visionary. I was coming up with all the ideas and then implementing them all the way through.
It was exhausting. That was an important part of my journey. It’s like that hustle season everyone needs to go through.
But I was at this fork in the road. I was doing all that and making money, and I could make a choice. I could continue to have that really thick profit margin, keep it all, and continue to work.
A common thing that happens at this point in the business is that the business owner will say, “Well, I really want to have a giant savings. I really want to invest. I really want to keep this money working in the way that I want it to work. So I’m just going to put in another year or two, or even just a few more months of running myself into the ground just to keep that profit margin the way it is.”
I did the opposite, and we’re going to talk about that more in depth in this episode. I love creating jobs. It is so important for me.
I love the freedom that we have in this country, the way that things get to work. I love creating jobs. It makes me feel so good to literally create a job for another person, especially the kind of jobs that I’m creating where there’s flexibility and freedom.
These people are staying home with their kids because they want to. They have more time. They’re working from home.
They have whatever hours they really want. I don’t care about the hours. You can just get the job done whenever you want, as long as it gets done.
It’s great. That feels really good to me. I made a decision that I didn’t want to run myself into the ground.
As soon as I could I immediately started to hire, delegate, create jobs, remove work from my plate and give it to somebody else, then somebody else, and somebody else, and somebody else. Because one of my biggest goals is to create lots and lots of jobs.
I could have had more profit margin and been working more, but that’s not the choice that felt good to me. I want ease and flow in my life. I want to delegate. I don’t want to be doing everything. I want to enjoy my family.
I wasn’t willing to start a business where I’d have to go through a few years of working all the time in order to build it and miss out on my time with my kids and hoard that money. I wanted to share it. I wanted to hire.
Every single time I hired I started making more money, because I was freeing up my creative brain. I’m the one that comes up with all the money-making ideas, so it ended up working like that. I get to work less and make more money.
And that’s the sweet spot. The belief I want you all to hold is that when you are in abundance more abundance comes. When you are in scarcity, fear, and logic those are what you get more of.
The way that my business has grown doesn’t really make a lot of logical sense. It’s insane. It’s crazy. It’s huge. But that’s what abundance does. It brings astronomical, unexplainable abundance.
I want that to be made really clear because the way that I speak about my business and the way that Hayley and I speak about the business in this episode won’t make a lot of sense to some people who are very much in fear and logic and not coming at their business with an abundance mentality. That’s super important to note.
I would rather have a team, create lots of jobs, and maybe take a little bit less profit margin if that was the choice given to me than be in soloship, doing a lot myself, maybe having one or two virtual assistants and giving them way too much, overdoing their workload, and me being less happy. To me, that’s being a little bit greedy when things are at this capacity.
I have a team of 15 now. I could maybe have a team of 3, but they would be so over inundated, overworked, and overwhelmed. They’d be doing work that they didn’t really love doing. And I would be like, “Sorry, I don’t care. That’s part of the job. Let me know if you want to quit.”
And that is just not how I want to run my company. I want to create lots of jobs. I want to work less. I want to make more. That’s abundance. That’s the mindset that I’m in.
Having said that, let’s welcome Hayley for the first time ever to The Purpose Show. And please enjoy this behind the scenes look at how we run the company.
ALLIE: Okay, guys, I am sitting here with the one and only Hayley whom I have mentioned so many times on the podcast and in Instagram stories. She’s the second love of my life. We do so much together.
We are going to talk to you today about team culture, running an awesome business behind-the-scenes, and all that good stuff. Thanks for being here, friend.
HAYLEY: Hey everybody! Glad to be here.
ALLIE: We do so much behind-the-scenes for the show and for everything else, it’s weird to be with you in this setting.
HAYLEY: Our conversation is public and it feels strange because it’s always very private.
ALLIE: I’ll start by telling the story of how Haley and I started working together, because I think it perfectly segues into how I do my hiring. I’m hoping that this will help you guys as business owners, especially in the online space, to really create a team culture that you can be proud of, to find the right people, and when you find them not lose them if you don’t want to lose them, and build out a team that is powerful and really moves the needle forward for you and your business.
Has it been three years, Hayley?
HAYLEY: Yeah, it’s been over three years, three and a half years.
ALLIE: If you guys have been around for a minute, this is when my family and I were living in the camper. We had left the Midwest. We had bought that camper, renovated it, and we were traveling the US with the kids, the dog, and the cat. (Remember Chicken The Cat? Rest in peace, Chicken.)
We had come back to California and we were having dinner with some friends. I was at a point in the business where everything was going really, really good. It was a really good year. I had hired Kena who is my customer service representative; she does emails and handles the inbox, but it was really just us.
At that moment in time if you had asked me about the business I would have just started crying because I was holding a lot in. I’m such a feeler, especially when it comes to the business. I just remember feeling so heavy, overwhelmed, and like I was drowning. I was working so much more than I wanted to.
We went to dinner with these friends here in California that night, and they asked me about the business and it just started coming out. I was emotional. I told them, “I don’t know what to do. It’s too busy. There are so many people. There are so many things. There’s so much going on.”
I was the designer, the project manager, the team manager with my one team member. I was also still being everything that I am now—being the face of the business, going live all the time (this was when I went live every single day). I was really showing up and really building my company and my audience, but I was doing a lot of it solo. It was really, really hard.
Our friend, Matt, who we were having dinner with, said, “Oh my God, you need a Hayley!” His wife, Dani, was like, “Yes, you totally do! Oh my gosh. You should give Allie her number!”
It was late that night. I wanted to text Hayley so bad and say, “Hi, I don’t know you, but please just help me!”
But I waited until the next day. I called, we got on the phone, and what did you tell Daniel? You told your husband something about me.
HAYLEY: I said, “She does some mom stuff or something. I’m not really sure. But she needs help.”
ALLIE: I got on the phone. I don’t think I cried, but I was trembling. I was just so heavy and done.
Hayley came in and fixed everything. We worked together right away. You started really fast, that week or the next week. I said, “I don’t know what I need. I just need help.”
She saw everything on the back end. She has this skill of coming in with this aerial perspective. She cleaned it all up, organized it, helped me with my funnel, helped me manage my team member better and put her in a position where she was set up for success rather than being reactive like I was. She came in and helped me so much and we’ve been working together ever since.
You were in a different position then where you had your other business and I was contracting your business. And now it’s moved up and up and up to where Hayley and I work side-by-side. She’s on profit share.
We work together really closely. We’re running this together and it’s really, really cool. I just love you.
HAYLEY: I love you too.
ALLIE: The story of how we came together is not the same for everybody, but that way of it always falling in my lap at the right time has been how I’ve hired everyone.
I have a bunch of questions for you, Hayley, and we’ll go over all those, but I did want to start this episode by saying, and you guys know, especially if you’re in Up and Up or if you’ve heard me coaching people in business, I’m always going to point you back to that balance of strategy and spirit.
We can’t weigh too heavily on one or the other. We definitely need strategy to help us implement what we feel divinely inspired and led to do.
But hiring is one area where I really don’t have a strategy. I don’t have this place that I go or have a strategy on LinkedIn. Everyone always asks me for that and I just don’t have it.
Hiring is very, very spiritual to me and very intuition-led because this is choosing a person who is going to come in behind-the-scenes of my team and my company, see it for what it is, help me run it, and help me get this message out. And to me that’s highly spiritual. That’s very important.
I always trust that the right person is going to be dropped in my lap at the right time and I’m going to have a connection. After I hired Hayley, a lot of my hires came from her. Or somebody knows somebody, or they heard somebody needed this job and they have this perfect skill. It just always works out.
I rely on that. I’m not afraid to hire. I know that I can’t do everything. I also know that I will always, always be financially supported because I’m financially supporting others, and that’s a law of the universe. It’s the way it works. You will always be supported if you’re supporting others.
Plus, I’ve seen over and over that I always make money when I delegate. I make more money and increase when I delegate. It’s that trust and confidently knowing that I started this company so that I could live a freer life.
And when the workload gets to a point where it’s no longer feeling free, it’s time to let something go. You decide that. You decide to call in that right person, and they always appear. Always.
It has a lot to do with the energy that you have as a CEO. What you’re putting out into the world and the decision you make that it gets to be easier for you. You get to delegate, and it gets to go really well for you.
We have hardly had to let anyone go. Basically everyone is still with our team.
We have worked together for so long now. My business is only four years old and Hayley and I have been working together for over three. We’ve been together through a lot of it. I think it’s just about that trust, relying on that gut and that spiritual side of things that the right person will come to you.
I don’t think that you need a heavy hiring strategy. That’s not the energy that I want to put in my business, especially at the gate when someone first comes in and is getting hired.
It’s not, “Fill this whole thing out. I need to see your resume. I need to see where you went to school.”
It’s more like, “I have this need. What do you bring to the table?”
Then it’s just divinely decided, if that makes sense.
HAYLEY: I think that you’re really good at walking that talk. You’re saying that and people listening might think, “Oh, that can’t be me. I’m not in a place where I can hire.” Or, “That seems too far out of reach.”
But you just have to do the thing.
And you’re so right. You always make more money when you delegate something. You know that you’ll be financially supported by supporting other people, and you’ve walked that out. I’ve witnessed it. And that comes back tenfold every time.
I wouldn’t want anybody to think that doesn’t apply to them or that it’s too far out of reach, because it’s totally within reach. Just start with hiring one person.
ALLIE: There have even been times where on paper we maybe shouldn’t be hiring somebody.
It’s a fork in the road where you can choose to say, “I’m going to go on the side of fear, caution, and logic. I’m going to wait. I’m going to just put in more hours for a few more months and get the business to this point. Then I’m going to hire someone to take this off my plate.”
But I go the exact opposite. I go to, “This is feeling really heavy, and there’s some financial strain. It’s not where I want it to be. I’m also feeling that I’m working more than I want to. I feel like, as a team, we’re all just kind of stretched and the last thing that I want to do at this fork in the road is continue this way for a few more months.”
It’s the opposite. It’s, “Let’s bring in somebody else to take this off of all of our plates so that I can be freed up.”
My creative channel is open to new ideas. I can create, ideate, and flow. Hayley and I can have meetings without feeling really stressed out. We can make decisions with clear heads because that person was brought in.
I’ll take that financial leap of faith, because like I said—you are always supported if you are supportive. And I know that I’m supporting people. It’s always been right.
It’s always gone financially well. Even when situations have happened where someone gave us advice or was in charge of something and it kind of “messed” things up for us, it always comes from somewhere else. We do a launch and it goes astronomically. We decide, “Oh, well, this risk we took didn’t go so well. Let’s just do a flash sale for everyone. They can get into the course for cheaper and we get a surge of revenue.”
There’s always a way, you guys. When you make decisions as a CEO just out of logic, it’s usually erring on the side of fear and over-cautiousness versus the other way. It seems risky, and it can look stupid on paper, but I actually feel like it’s the wisest choice.
I am a wise business woman because I take that risk and I err on the other side of, “What’s going to bring mental freedom to me?” That’s the decision that needs to be made. And that’s always hiring, not taking on more for a few more months.
HAYLEY: It’s good to be brave, to err on the side of being brave. Always. Even when it feels like you might puke. If you feel like you’re going to puke, you might be headed in the right direction.
ALLIE: Yeah. That’s well said. I agree.
Moving into team culture. I’m just going to lead with this and then, Hayley, I’ll just ask you some questions for everyone.
First of all, I’m not doing the hiring anymore. It’s been delegated and Amy really takes the lead on that. Amy is really in the role of team manager.
She’s very data driven and analytics driven. She’s very detailed. I’m a big picture person and I’m very visionary.
I just don’t really care about the details that are going to get the vision that I set into reality. You just figure those out and I’m cool with it. We have things set up that way.
When someone gets hired, they go into this Asana Task List (Asana is a productivity platform if you guys are not familiar with it) and they are immediately immersed in me and in my energy toward my business. The message and the video that they watch, the way they go through the task to onboard for Team Allie, they already feel welcome.
They already feel like they’re a part of something big because they are. The messaging is very much like, “I’m so happy to have you here. You are helping me. You are a part of it. You’re spreading this message. We’re here to change motherhood for the better. And that is not small.”
Everyone feels that way, whether it’s somebody that is in a position of great leadership or it’s somebody who’s helping admin the Facebook groups that come with our courses. They feel like they’re a part of it and they are immediately needed, because they really are. I think that is a great gateway feeling into how we operate our team culture together.
First of all, when you’re building a team you can make that team very stiff. You can make it a dictatorship. You can make it very stiff corporate if you want to.
Or, you can intentionally choose to make it something that is more relaxed, more open to people’s ideas, and that lifts everyone up together so that we rise together. I think you can make that choice.
ALLIE: Yeah. It’s all in you and how you speak to them. Everything with the team behind the scenes, everything about every decision, how empowered or disempowered people feel is on you as the starter of everything.
Even without me doing the actual hiring, the whole process is littered with my energy toward my business and toward people coming on. It’s thick and you can feel it.
How I feel about my business gets passed on to Hayley. How we feel about the business gets passed to Amy. And it goes down the chain of command, so to speak.
Your energy permeates everything in your business, which is why it is so important that you, as the CEO, are delegating, clearing work off your plate and you aren’t doing what you don’t have to do anymore. That will free you up to be in a positive energy space to do things like meditate, pray, exercise, eat well, and have white space on your calendar for the hell of it.
Those spaces are where your energy can become more positive. If you don’t have that you’re going to be drained. You’re going to resent your business.
I think everyone has a darker side they go to when they’re not emotionally and mentally healthy. When you’re overworked you have a tendency that you go towards. My tendency is resentment and I get bitter. When I’m really overwhelmed or I feel like things are unfair that’s where I go.
If I’m feeling resentful, bitter, or irritated that is going to permeate my whole team and my business. Even if I’m not directly talking to everyone. I’m directly talking to somebody. I’m at least directly talking to Hayley, and that will be overheard because we’re talking and then that goes through the team.
Especially for a personal brand, you are your business. You need to be protected. It’s your job to set the boundary that that’s the priority. I have set the boundary with my team that my being protected and my energy being okay is the biggest priority.
I don’t care what strategy is proven to do what. If it’s not going to protect my energy, we’re not doing it. They know that their biggest job is supporting me in everything that I’m doing.
It really creates this circle of empowerment and togetherness. We all protect each other. We all celebrate each other. We’re all in it all the way together, because that’s the energy I put out.
HAYLEY: The more that you empower your team, the more they feel empowered and loyal to you and protective of you.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I would think that Team Allie would say that they’re very protective of your energy and your time. They’re loyal to you because they feel from you that you want to make sure that they’re okay. And that makes them look to make sure you’re okay. It is a circle.
ALLIE: We always remember everyone’s birthdays and I always send them a present. We celebrate when they have babies or something big happens for them. When they start a side business, like when Ashley started Pivot Media.
When everyone found out they were pregnant, including you. There have been so many babies, so much to celebrate. And we’re there. We’re celebrating with them. We’re sending presents, cards, notes, and emails.
If they’re going through something hard, we show up. We’ll send them dinner. We’ll pay for something that would remove something from their plate. We are so all in for them.
And it’s reciprocated. I feel like we keep bringing up universal laws, but it’s just so true. The law of cause and effect—what you do comes back to you. It’s not like you’re doing this just so that your team supports you, but it’s that energy.
It goes back to you making them feel special, making them feel seen, and making them feel so supported by you. Of course, they’re going to reciprocate that. They’re going to be so loyal to you as a contractor or an employee, whatever way you go. That’s totally going to come back.
All it does is put positivity between you and the people that work with you. And that is so, so important.
HAYLEY: I agree with that for sure.
ALLIE: Let’s talk about team meetings because we have had a journey. I know in the past I’ve received a lot of questions about how we handle team meetings. We used to do them every Friday without fail. Now we really don’t have meetings unless they’re essential.
So you just walk us through that. The journey we went on, why we don’t really have meetings anymore as much, and how it feels for the team.
HAYLEY: Sure. We did start out along the way having very regular meetings, very often with very long lists of things to work through and talk through. Some of that might be needed depending on what stage you are in your business.
There are times when things are brand new, new products are being launched where you probably need meetings to talk it out, especially if you’re like Allie who’s an external processor. Sometimes you need a little extra time together to kind of get all of that out.
But over time we realized it really was just time that was really nice to be together, but we weren’t pushing the needle forward every time. So we’ve dialed back to having meetings when something big is coming, or we want to make an announcement, or we’re launching something. We have meetings about those things because it’s a big deal and it’s something we need to talk through. Allie does a good job of getting everybody excited about what’s to come.
ALLIE: Amy ran the team meeting last time without me because she is a team manager. The goal there for me was that there are a lot of really big projects that are coming. There are a lot of shifts happening where I’m no longer just a business owner. I’m moving into being an author, and there are a couple of other really big projects that will take up some time, focus, and energy from me.
Amy has been in the position of team manager for a while, but because we had so many new hires, I was really wanting to cement for everybody that Amy is the team manager. She’s in charge of the team, and I’m the visionary.
So, I made a statement. Not like, “Oh, I don’t wanna hang out with you guys and I’m too important.” But letting Amy lead and me making the statement of completely handing it over to her.
And she killed it. She did so good. It went so well letting them see her as team manager and distancing myself a little bit when it just wasn’t necessary for me to come.
I wanted to move us, as a team, in this direction where I’m not needing to be at every single meeting and a part of all these little decisions. I’m the one that’s visualizing and being that visionary who hands down the vision that everyone is having meetings about.
Like Haley said, it’s really about where you are in your business and what is needed. What’s the intent? Set the intent for every single meeting.
Even on Voxer, when I’m voxing you guys messages I’m thinking, “Okay, what’s the main intent and what are the little pieces that I need to get across here?”
Every time we talk it’s very intentional. For both of us—from me and to me. It’s all really intentional.
We’re recording this at the beginning of September, so this month we had some really big announcements and also the Unburdened launch was going to feel very different than it ever has. So, I made a video for the team. I shared my heart with them, got them in the loop with all of these exciting, new things that are happening, and then explained my heart behind Unburdened, how it’s shifting and why.
And everyone loved it. They emailed me back and were so excited. It was so good.
It’s about being respectful of everyone’s time, and your time too. Not wasting time, but still cultivating that feeling of togetherness. You can do that without a weekly meeting if that’s a season that you’re in in your business.
HAYLEY: If you’ve just hired somebody you might find that you need to meet with them more frequently to explain things or get to know them better. And that’s okay too. But for us, this is what works.
ALLIE: Yeah. This is where we’re at.
There are certain things that not a lot of people talk about that are totally clogging your creative flow and making things more complicated than they need to be in your business. Just like I love to help you guys simplify your home and your lives, I love helping you make business easy.
I know that word is hard for some people to process, but it really can be easy. It can flow. It can be simpler and good and work around your life because your life shouldn’t be working around your business.
Your business needs to be fitting in around your life, because we started businesses to have more freedom and to focus more on what matters.
And if we’re not careful, then it can flip the other way around.
So, what I’ve got for you guys is a special price on my bundle called Business With Ease.
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ALLIE: I love how we are always asking the people who work with us, “How are you feeling about the job? How are you feeling about the tasks? Is there a part of this that you don’t like and want to hand off to someone else?”
Can you expand on that, Hayley?
HAYLEY: Sure. I think that because we want everyone to love working together, we want them to love their jobs, we want them to stay with us for a thousand million years and feel good, we do check in with people and see how they’re feeling.
We want to make sure that every part of their job (well, you’re not going to like every part of every job) but for the most part we just want to make sure that people are feeling good and that they like their job.
I think that too easily we can slip into a mentality of we do something on the regular and we hate it, but we just feel like, “Oh, we just have to. There’s no way out. That’s our thing and we just do it.”
We dive into that a little bit as a team. I check in with Amy frequently and say, “What do you like? What do you hate? Is there anything that you are not liking about your job?”
And if there is something that is just not her zone of genius, it’s not something that she likes, then we delegate that to someone who it is their zone of genius, they like it, or they want to do it. That can vary from person to person—what they like and don’t like. But I think it’s really made a difference in people liking their job long-term and feeling like they can do this for a long time.
ALLIE: Can you explain, in case someone doesn’t know, what it means to be working in your “zone of genius?”
HAYLEY: Sure. I would say your zone of genius is something that doesn’t feel like work, doesn’t feel daunting. It doesn’t feel soul-sucking. You get into a flow. If you feel like you do a task and you get into a flow in any area, I would bet that is a zone of genius for you.
ALLIE: For example, let’s look at me and Amy. Amy is my counter, my opposite. Amy fills in all the gaps that I do not enjoy filling.
For me, my zone of genius is very much creating. I cannot stop creating content. It’s always coming to me. The more space I have on my calendar and in my week, the more I create.
Every time that I tell the team, “I’m taking a week off.” I come back and I’m like, “Okay, everything is changing. I have all these new ideas.”
I’m loaded with ideas. I get in a flow of creating content all the time.
Amy, on the other hand, gets in the flow when it comes to the things that make me cringe— spreadsheets, data, analyzing things, breaking things down into tiny, little detailed pieces.
For example, the new course that I just created. I have so much energy about it and I’m telling everyone on the team how I want it to feel—”This is going to help this woman with this and this and this. I want it to feel like this. I want it to be this price. This feels really good to me.”
Amy will now take it and break it down into the most minute details from, “I think that you should break the course down like this.” All the way to when we launch, “This is the day that the emails will go out. This is the date.”
She makes spreadsheets and they’re color-coded and very, very detailed and analytical. Amy gets into a flow when she gets like that. She likes it.
We have meetings with the three of us. The core Team Allie is me, Hayley and Amy, and then there are more supportive team members. When Amy, Hayley, and I are in a meeting, Amy gets lit up and excited like, “Oh my gosh, I can totally break this down.”
And she tunes out everything else, gets into the flow, and comes out with this amazing broken down detailed plan. It’s basically the detailed plan of how we’re going to do my thing.
I’m the one that came up with the thing, will be the face and the voice of the thing, and get everyone in my audience excited about the thing. But I would be less energetic if I also had to break down all the details of the thing, which I used to do. Then it would come time to launch and I’d feel like I needed a vacation so bad but I couldn’t take one.
That’s a really good example of how we all work together and how your two opposite zones of genius can compliment each other.
HAYLEY: If there’s something that you really don’t like, or that feels like it’s not your zone of genius, it’s okay to delegate that to someone, to hire, to not take it on yourself or feel like you have to.
ALLIE: Yeah. One affirmation that helped me in the beginning that I want to share with you guys I got from Denise Duffield Thomas. I’d say, “I’m safe to (whatever the thing is that you feel like you should do but you’re really afraid to do). It’s safe for me to hire. It’s safe for me to grow a team. It’s safe for me to give these tasks to my virtual assistant.”
Really working through any upper limiting belief things that come up when you’re looking to do that, because it is scary. It’s your baby. It’s something that you started. It’s your passion project. And it’s always going to be your main thing.
Even though I don’t know if anyone could ever match my passion for what I do because I’m the one with it and God put this in me, I will say that everyone on Team Allie rivals that passion for sure. Every week. They are so close. They really, really care.
So it is possible to find the right people who are passionate about the thing that you’re passionate about too, and their zone of genius is not to lead and be seen. Their zone of genius is to be behind the scenes, supporting, creating, planning, and supporting you.
I want everyone to feel happy at work. If it’s not their zone of genius, it’s not really going to serve them fully and that means it’s not serving me fully. And on a logistical standpoint, it’s not serving the money I’m paying them fully.
It’s important that everyone is happy at work. That everyone likes their job. They’re going to show up better.
They’re going to use their hours more wisely. They’re going to be closer connected to me. It’s a win-win-win to check in on your team and make sure everyone is happy with the job that they’re doing and all the tasks that fall underneath it.
I think we’re lucky in who we have, and I feel like God gave us everyone on the team because they’re all brilliant. I’m probably the number one fan of every single person on the team. Every single one of them is amazing.
ALLIE: Every single one. It’s crazy and not so crazy though, because this can happen for you guys and your teams. It all goes back to that energy and that law that we talked about. If you’re supporting others and you’re willing to financially support people, you will be financially supported and you don’t have to worry.
There’s a lack of worry for me and Hayley with the team. We’re all about them. We love them so much and they love us back.
Let’s talk about the vibe, the tone in the team when it comes to projects. I get really excited about things and then you get really excited about things. Explain how it is behind the scenes when we’re sharing an idea. How do we get everyone else all in and excited about things instead of being like, “Oh, another course I have to do this work for.”
HAYLEY: I’m sure there are probably moments where people are staring a project in the face and thinking, “Oh no. How am I even gonna do this?” But for the most part, I feel like you and I both try really hard to be excited about the future, because there are things to be excited about.
Like you were saying earlier, when you put that energy out it trickles down throughout the team. Because there is so much good happening in the future, there will be so much good stuff coming. When you say that, people feel it and it changes how they feel and it gets them excited.
ALLIE: Talk to me about letting people own their thing. You mentioned that before we hit record and I think it’s so good and helpful for any CEOs out there who are hiring.
HAYLEY: You’ve probably heard of micro managers before. Bosses who really get involved in the details of the people working under them and stand over their shoulders. You’ve probably heard or experienced that before.
It’s our intention to do the opposite. We try to explain to the best of our ability how to do something or give them the information that they need to know, but then we let them own their thing. We let them do whatever’s needed to get their tasks done.
We might have deadlines—hard deadlines—where we all have to work together to make something like this podcast episode. There’s a team behind it that just rolls it out in a lot of different steps. But we let them follow the process, do their own thing and make sure that they get it out on time.
There’s no negative feelings of, “Better do this or you’re out.” I think we try to let them feel good about what they’re doing so that they can continue to work forever and ever with good feelings toward their work.
ALLIE: I just want to add a couple more things and then we’re going to move into the thing that no one really wants to talk about, but everyone really wants to know—how do we let people go?
Before that, I just want to add to this conversation about getting people all in and having people be excited with you. A few things came to mind.
I think it’s important to let people know that there is a bright future. At Team Allie, we look ahead. That video that I mentioned that I sent to the team rather than having a team meeting, it was all about looking ahead.
It was all about excitement. The message from me to my team is always, “We are on the up and up all the time. It only gets better and better and better. It’s not only how good everything is going, but it’s even better. We’re always moving forward.”
How can you not get excited about that? And I bring everyone up with us. We’re always re-evaluating pay and the job, how everything feels, and the structure.
We’ve restructured Hayley’s position several times, Amy’s position several times until it was a right fit. In the future, as the business and us evolve, that may need to be reevaluated again.
I think Amy started as a subcontractor responding to comments and questions on Facebook. And now she’s running the team and she has so much more power and say. I respect her opinion and view so much because I need that opposite mindedness.
We’re always reevaluating. Basically no one is in the exact same role that they’ve always been in if they’ve been here for more than a year, year and a half. There are always changes.
I think it’s important to always reevaluate, get people excited, bring them into the future with you and speak to them in that way. They are a part of this with me unless they choose to leave. We’re in this together and we’re going into all these new, exciting things together.
Also kindness is so important. This morning I was emailing someone on the team who is in a supportive role. She was giving me some information I’d asked for and I responded back and I said, “How are you feeling? How’s the pregnancy? How was your baby shower?”
It is mixing work and personal and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’ve only seen it help. Hayley and I are friends. We started with working together, but we’re friends and I know so much about her. We send each other presents and things all the time. We talk every day and only part of it is work. It’s being a kind, authentic person.
You don’t need to have this persona that you are the bad-ass, top-of-the-line boss and you’re super strict, super hard, and they should respect you. They do respect me. I am the boss. And I have laid the line down several times when needed. But I want to be a part of their lives.
I care about their babies and their lifestyles. When they have a baby shower on the other side of the country, I am texting and hoping it went okay. I’m sending presents. It’s being the authentic version of yourself. For me and my personal friendships, that’s how I am, so that’s also how I am with my team.
The final thing that came to mind for you to take note of is that applying your mission to your team is really, really huge. My mission is to empower women so that they can live more empowered, empower other women, and empower the kids that they’re raising. This is happening in my team too.
I’m empowering them because of the way that I am. They’re empowered working on this mission with me. They see that cycle, that “babes support babes support babes” cycle that I’ve talked about so many times and they know that they are a part of that.
I feel like that’s a little redundant, but it really just goes to show that everything is about how you make people feel and how you feel about your business. I’m protecting my energy toward my business, my feelings toward my business. I’m also very kind and I try to understand. I try to hear people out and have that energy of togetherness with the team. I think that makes all the difference.
Is there anything that you think we are missing that we should add before we move into the yucky part?
HAYLEY: I just want to say that that is very true of you. You are very good at loving people well. Not just as contractors that work for you, but as humans, and that is reflected back in the way that people treat you.
ALLIE: Thanks. I appreciate that.
I just do see it. I see the togetherness and the friendshipness of it, but we’re still working together. It’s professional. They respect me. They do their tasks so well, so above and beyond. It’s really beautiful to see.
Okay. Let’s talk about how we let people go.
Hayley has worked in a lot of different environments. She’s been in the publishing world. She has her own business that she’s basically completely handed off and delegated and now she’s really all in with me. You just have experience with this.
Hayley is not afraid to be the “bad guy.” She’s not afraid of delivering hard news and I need her for that. She’s in that supportive role for me.
She has a lot of advice about letting people go gently and truthfully. Not masking the reasons, but being very gentle and kind in it. So, if you could talk about that and give any tips, because that is one of the hardest things about having a business.
HAYLEY: I’d love to.
First of all, if anyone listening has ever had to fire or was thinking about firing someone, it can feel like such a weight and a hard thing, but it really doesn’t have to be. You can be compassionate for the person, but also do what’s right for your business, for the situation, or right for that person. You can make a hard choice and still be loving and compassionate.
If you are someone who can’t stomach, can’t even begin to think of firing someone, it’s okay for you to hire someone to do that for you. It’s not something I would say Allie would love to do, or anybody would love to do, but it’s something that I don’t mind doing. That’s why if that does happen in Team Allie it falls to me.
Don’t take it on yourself or feel like it’s something that you have to do. You can always hire someone who is like me, who is okay with firing in a nice way. Hopefully you hire someone who is kind.
First of all, if you’re doing it yourself or you’re training someone else to do it for you, don’t take it personally if you have to fire someone. Don’t take the weight of the situation on yourself. Sometimes things just don’t work out and that’s okay.
And it can be for so many different reasons. It can be financial on your part. It could be financial on their part. It could be that they just don’t want to work for you anymore. It could be some other situation that’s tangled in the mix of all of that. There can be so many reasons why you have to let someone go.
They might just not be a right fit. When you’re hiring someone, it’s okay to test it out and see how it goes. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t be afraid to hire just because you’re afraid that you may have to fire eventually.
ALLIE: What you’re saying is similar to a lot of people are so afraid to make a lot of money because they’re afraid to pay the taxes. I get that, but it can always be worked out. Everything can always be worked out.
You’re making so much money that you get to support your state, support your country, and contribute in that way. That’s so cool. It’s all perspective.
Don’t be afraid to hire just because you’re afraid you might have to fire. It’s not on you really. It’s really not. It’s really on the person.
They’re responsible for taking care of themselves and their families. You want to be generous, and you can be for sure, but it’s not generous to have someone continue working for you when it is just not a good fit. It’s not serving you and it’s not serving them either, which is a unique perspective.
And it’s not serving your mission of your company. Even if you’re just selling soap, you have a mission in your company. It doesn’t have to be something that’s message based and really loud and powerful like my message is.
Whatever you’re doing, it has a purpose and it’s here for a reason. You have a responsibility to protect that. Whether it’s you firing them or hiring someone to fire for you, it’s okay. It will be okay.
And those gross, yucky feelings, you’ve got to work through those and let them go because ultimately it’s on you to protect your company and the money that you’re spending on it. Including the money you pay to employees and contractors through it. And you have to do a good job at that. Outside of that, everything else is not really your business, including what they’re going to do.
It can be very hard to be a CEO for sure. But my mentality, if it helps anyone, is always going back to flow. Maybe there are hard parts and there are bumps, but I am always going to come back after that bump to ask, “How can we get back into ease and flow for me and as a team in the way we’re working? What needs to change?”
Sometimes that’s increasing the price of something to cover more financial things that are coming up. Or to just feel better and more in alignment. Sometimes it’s lowering the price of something else. Sometimes it’s doing a certain sale, having an event, going ahead and letting someone go, or bringing someone on.
Whatever it is, I always go back to the question—”Is this going to create more ease, flow, and alignment for me as a CEO?” Because if the answer is, “Yes,” then that ease and flow and that positive energy is going to be reflected throughout the whole business and the whole team.
HAYLEY: My favorite thing in the whole world is creating jobs. And I think that’s true for you too. It is such a good feeling to know that you created a job for somebody else to help support their family.
It is a really good feeling to know that you have a team supporting you. It’s a great feeling. Don’t be afraid to start building a team like that because once you get to the other side, it’s literally the best feeling in the world.
ALLIE: Yeah, I absolutely agree.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me! In case you didn’t know, there’s actually an exclusive community that’s been created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions around The Purpose Show episodes. It’s designed to get you to actually take action and make the positive changes that we talk about here. I want you to go and be a part of it. To do that, go to alliecasazza.com/facebookgroup.
Thank you so much for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about me, how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more into your life to make it simpler, better, and more abundant, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, online courses, programs, and other resources to help you create the life you really want.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
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