EP 342: 3 Key Hires You Need to Scale to 7-Figures
7:27AM Feb 18, 2022
Everyone's kind of got a unique talent that we should be shining a light on instead of trying to improve the weaknesses or the opportunities that we have, that we're naturally inclined to as creatives as business owners, or just as people in general. Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product based business, I want to welcome you to the show, I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing and scaling your business. So you can spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make money. You ready? Alright, let's do this.
Welcome to the Thrive by Design Podcast, Episode 342. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy, and the host of the Thrive by Design podcast. And I'm excited to be here today to talk about one of the things that I have been working on for the last 20 years. And that's really leadership. And today, I want to talk a little bit more about the three key hires that you need to be thinking about, if you want to scale your company to a million dollars, or seven figures in jewelry sales. And I think this is a really important episode today, because a lot of people have in their mind, if they are someone who wants to build a million dollar company or multimillion dollar company, they might be thinking that they have to show up or be a certain way in order to grow that. And so I know that after mentoring 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of people over the years, one of the big things that people say is that they don't want to have a massive, big business. And the reason for that is because they don't necessarily want to hire employees. And I'm going to tell you, that it's not as scary as you think. And I want to set you up for success in advance. And, quite frankly, this is one of the things that we work on on a regular basis in our Momentum program, especially for the Elevate members who are in our top tier. And the reason being is that leadership, team and company culture, team management, and how you're giving feedback loops to your employees or team members who you're hiring first, what you're asking, asking them to do, how they're being trained, all those things likely don't come naturally to a creative if you haven't been in a role where you have to manage people. Because while creatives are amazing a business, they aren't necessarily the people that would be put in a management role. And what I mean by that is, they have more ideas, right, you're probably consider yourself an idea person, versus someone who is an implementer of ideas. And so it's an important distinction to make. Because as you are growing your company and thinking about like your next step in your business, whether you're trying to, you know, ramp up and get to about 100,000 a year or build a multiple six figure lifestyle business or really scale that multi six figure business to multi seven figures or whatever you're shooting for. You have to nail this and get it right. And if you're in that spot where you're thinking about hiring people, or you've already started, and you feel frustrated, because you're like, I'm not really skilled at managing people, and I don't like that part of the job, or the business, then I'd love to invite you to apply for our Momentum Elevate program. And we will help you set up leadership structures for growth. So you can head on over if you're interested in learning more to flourish, thrive academy.com forward slash momentum that's flourish, thrive academy.com forward slash momentum. And if you want to read a little bit more about what I mean by leadership, versus operating your business out of Maker mindset or acting like the Chief Visionary Officer, then I've got a treat for you I wrote a book, it's called the Desired Brand Effect stand out in a saturated market with a timeless jewelry brand. It is getting rave reviews. And I know some people have been on the fence about trusting me or wanting to buy it. So I'm going to give you the first chapter for free. And quite frankly, that has been the chapter that has changed the lives of the most people. And that gets quoted the most on social media when people take pictures of it. So I wanted to just give you that offer. If you're interested in downloading it, it will be in the show notes you can head on over to desired brand effect comm forward slash chapter one as well to download that free chapter. Alright, so today, we're talking about hiring people and the structure of a seven figure jewelry company. Now, one of my biggest struggles, my first time out of the gate starting a business was understanding that leaders and visionaries are not managers. In fact, I thought at that point in my life in the you know, late 90s early 2000s that if you are a business owner, you actually had to be good at business meaning all sides of the business, what I failed to realize is that everyone's kind of got a unique talent that we should be shining a light on, instead of trying to improve the weaknesses or the opportunities that we have, that we're naturally inclined to as creatives as business owners, or just as people in general. And you've probably heard this, like adage before, you know, you might hire someone who's an amazing person. And in the right role, they might be an amazing asset, but you have them in the wrong seat. So this is all about like, understanding, like, where you belong in your company, and where team members belong in your company, depending on your individual skill set. And there's a huge difference here. So you know, I talked about this in the first chapter of the book. So I highly recommend that you download that first chapter if you're interested. But there's a big difference between leaders and managers, the leader or the visionary of the company, is their purpose, or the creative, which is probably you more than likely, their purpose is to build excitement, direction, and create the vision for the company and also create the company culture, create the products, whatever that might be, be the face of the company, to the outside world, all those things. A manager is someone who leads the team and manages the people on the team. That means that they provide coaching and feedback, they're the ones doing the review processes. They're the ones who have to deliver the bad news often. And the reason why this is important is because you want to stay in the space of being motivated and inspiring people. And it's hard to do that, if you're having to, you know, lay down the velvet hammer, often, you know, it's really hard to coach and get people excited at the same time, especially when you have to give them you know, negative information for whatever reason. And in the late 90s, early 2000s, when I was just starting out, I didn't know that much about personality assessments and how powerful they can be to helping you you know, step into your power and be the best that you can be. And, you know, over time, you know, I think I took the Myers Briggs, when I don't know when was that? Probably like maybe 2007 or eight and I realized that I was an ENFP ENFPs are the campaigners. They're extroverted, intuitive, feelers and perceptive. So I have a feel into things kind of person, I listened to my gut, if it doesn't feel right, I know I've made a mistake. So whenever I'd feel it in my body, so whenever I making a decision, I try to listen to that, and not necessarily make judgments based on all the facts and details. So Myers, like Myers Briggs is a great assessment. If you don't know your Myers Briggs definitely take it. I started becoming fascinated, because when I finally started learning more about Myers Briggs, and my campaigner profile, I was like, Oh, this totally sounds like me. And it makes sense now why I'm not good at some of these things in my business, then I was led to taking the Enneagram. And I realized I was a seven on the Enneagram. So business has to be fun. For me, I've an eight wing, which means I'm like, also have the totalitarian in me. But I'm a seven with an eight wing, which means that business has to be fun. And I also like, you know, motivating and inspiring people and you know, being a leader, and you know, we can talk about as being the argumentative ones, but you know, they really are passionate about what they do. And that's, I think, why they're closely aligned with sevens because seven has to find passion in everything. The second for me, the second, that business gets boring, I start to check out in burnout. So that was important for me. And I had I had that clarity, when I was trying to save my business back in 2008. And nine, things might have been a little bit different, because I would have realized that like, if I wasn't having fun, like, I need to get back to the fun in order for me to stay motivated. And then that that leads into motivations, like as a leader, like what motivates you to show up but also understanding what motivates your team members to show up? You know, I think a mistake that a lot of employers make, and I've made this mistake, too, is that we think everyone's motivated by the same thing. You know, we've heard of assessments, like, what motivates me or five love languages, right? These
are important things to understand, like, how do people want to be recognized? You know, is it financially? Do they want gifts? Do they want words of affirmation to be like, publicly shouted out amongst their peers? Is that the thing that gives them like that motivates them? Maybe it's that, you know, obviously, you wouldn't bring physical touch in a work environment, but you know, whatever that might be, might be like a pat on the back or a handshake like that might be something that motivates someone or quality time with your leader, or maybe it's getting compensated for the work. So there's a lot of different reasons are different things that motivate people in their career. There's a book called What motivates me which is really interesting. I think they dial it down into key motivators. There's also another philosophy called wheel drivers, which is all about how people show up like, Are you a belonging person? Are you someone who operates from a sense of purpose? Are you someone who likes to master tasks and things? Or are you an autonomous person who just wants to have a business so that you can be alone and do your own thing and not have to talk to people. And people on your team are the same thing same as well. And then a couple of other assessments that I'm going to mention, I'm not going to go deep into those, but wealth dynamics, and Colby, these can all be really powerful, not only in understanding yourself, but eventually understanding the people that you hire. And so if you haven't really leaned into assessments, this is going to be a really important thing that you think about as you're building a team. Because you want to understand, you don't want everyone to be the same as you, you want them to compliment you. So if you're a creator, or star, which I'm guessing probably the majority of the people here are mechanics creators or stars, because that's the creative wing of things. I have met jewelry designers who are accumulators which is fascinating. They have very successful businesses, because the accumulators are the ones that can make money out of anything. And Colby is really important to understand like how quickly you work, how much information you need, how good on follow through are you and completing tasks, and your team members. And so if you get a bunch of people, like let's say, you need to hire an operations manager whose job is to follow through on a lot of different things, and you hire someone who has low follow through, and they're not getting the work done, well, you may be have, you know, set yourself up for that disaster in the first place. So these are all really important. I'm going to list all of these in the show notes and a couple of other assessments that I think are really important. And you can check them out if you'd like. And then also, I think the other thing that's really important when you're becoming a leader is, before you start hiring people is to understand that you need to give a feedback loop to your team members. Because if you don't, and they're not doing a good job, or they're doing a great job, they don't know either way. So if they're not getting, you know, accolades and rewarded and acknowledged for doing awesome things, they're not going to know the difference between when they're not doing well. And the same thing goes for when people are really operating at subpar levels, like are you giving them a consistent or constant feedback loop, so they know your expectations and how it's supposed to go. And while this podcast is not about those things, I want to make sure that you understand that as you're growing your business and reaching to the next level that it is really important to make sure that you have some of these, this understanding in place before you start hiring, because that's what's going to help set you up for success. So today, it's all about the three key hires that you need to build a seven figure jewelry brand. In fact, I'm going to be talking a little bit more about this on a masterclass that I'm going to be hosting soon called An Inside Look at a Seven Figure Jewelry Company. And if you'd like to attend that I love to invite you, you can head on over to flourish, thrive academy.com, forward slash seven figures and save your seat right there. For the masterclass. Alright, so, as I mentioned before, as the visionary of your company, you likely aren't going to be a great manager of people. And if you are a great manager of people, maybe you need to hire a designer, because typically, I haven't found those two skill sets to be necessarily in tandem. And if you have both amazing, which is awesome, like, if you love managing and coaching people and you love creating, that's awesome. But if you don't, then I want you to think about this. Because as you're building your team, and you're getting these core positions in place, you may have more people working for you at this point. But ideally, what you're looking for is to bring in leaders, as opposed to people who are doers. And you're going to need there's a place for both but the the core people that you're working with your leadership team, they need to be people who that you could basically say to them, here's what needs to happen. Okay, what questions do you have for me? And what kind of support do you need for me to make this happen.
And then you push down the accountability to them to make sure that it gets done, it's not your responsibility to get those things completed. Now employees, the doers, they need a lot more guidance. They typically require, you know, systems step by step training, they need ongoing tasks, they need to be coached by their manager or whatever to make sure that they're getting stuff done. They need a feedback loop, etc. So there is a distinction. And what I'm going to talk about today is really more of a leadership team. And with a seven figure jewelry company because of the expenses of growing a jewelry company, etc. If you have a let's say you're selling really expensive engagement rings with high price diamonds, likely you're going to have a different cash flow situation and a need than someone who has let's say handmade business that is scaled to a million because the cost structure was are quite different. And in a weird way, there is a little bit more scale in that handmade business, if you're especially if you deal in really big, expensive diamonds that, you know, you're only making 10 to 30% on or whatever. So, we're gonna talk about leadership here. So you know, take this with a grain of salt, and you can adapt this to your business, and whatever your needs are at that certain point. So, one of the most important hires for me was really getting a good operations manager and a million dollars in revenue, you probably want to call that person, a manager, not a director, until they're managing a bunch of people. And so in this role, this person basically will take over all the operational functions. This might include HR, administrative work, shipping, they would oversee bookkeeping or do the bookkeeping, they'd be overseeing or doing the customer service. And anything that was sort of on the operational side, ordering supplies for the company, making sure that the office is running well, coaching the general team members who are working under them, and dealing with all the you know, paperwork and stuff that you need from an operational standpoint. Now, I had my sister in this role for many years. And she also managed our cash flow spreadsheet. So we had a 13 week cash flow spreadsheet that she managed. And that allowed her to really get to a place where we knew exactly how much money was coming in every single week. So operations and finance can be sometimes closely related as your business grows, you might actually also have a financial or fractional financial team, a bookkeeper or maybe a fractional CMO, etc, who can help you with finances or even a business manager or controller. Now, the second hire, that you want to be thinking about is someone to run your marketing in sales department. So what I would call this person, I would call them the marketing manager, probably to start. And they would be in charge of marketing and sales, because we know that marketing is the fuel,
or the gasoline that fuels the sales engine. And so we need marketing just as much as we need a salesperson. So without the marketing, a salesperson won't matter as much. So in while these things are closely related, you know, my co founder, Robin Kramer, was hired as a sales director for Dogeared when they were about a million dollar company, and grew them, like substantially over the years that she worked there. And it was fine that she was hired in at that position for that time, because that company was primarily selling wholesale. So a sales director would be reaching out to the stores and booking appointments and planning all the trade shows and stuff like that, which is great. So in that case, that would be kind of the same role. But if you're doing more direct to consumer or a hybrid business, where you have multi streams of revenue coming in, and a lot of them are from digital aspects, I would probably hire the marketing manager or director first, and then have a salesperson working underneath that marketing person. They would handle marketing for all accounts and closely handle what's happening from a sales perspective. They're working hand in hand with the sales team or the salesperson to make sure that they're getting the leads that they need to grow the business that they're, you know, reaching out to the accounts that are hitting the financial goals, or you're hitting your financial goals. They'd also be managing your digital and analog marketing strategies. So digital would be anything happening online, obviously, social media and marketing strategies like your email marketing strategy, your content marketing strategy, your SMS strategy, anything where you're trying to get traffic or sales to your website, if you're selling on third party applications, or doing anything like Amazon handmade, or Etsy or another type of third party platform, they be handling that and making sure that that was, you know, things are up to date and managing the team under that or your team of VAs virtual assistants. They would also oversee publicity, and any other promotions, including social media. I think I said social media already. But this marketing manager and director is a huge role. And it's an important role because they're basically responsible for the money coming into the business and getting the word out there about your brand. And our third hire that I think is really important is a production manager. And the production manager basically takes all the administrative work off your plate from the production process. So even if you're still involved in making jewelry, which seems to me would be incredibly hard unless you're doing fine jewelry, really high end fine jewelry and you're on the bench to handle it at a million dollars in revenue. More than likely you've stepped into your role as the designer of the company or the person who's making the samples and the products and getting those things out there. So your production manager would take all the administrative work over you and hi and basically manage your production team so they would be creating all the production bibles or the the contents for your production staff so that they can make the products properly, they be overseeing quality control, they will be developing any systems for production, they'll be doing all of your ordering, they'll be in charge of inventory and supplies, inventory management, all the supplies you have on hand, they be responsible for making sure that you aren't overbought or under bought in supplies, and that you, you know, your shipping costs are reduced for from a vendor standpoint, etc. So this production manager point, you know, at a certain phase in business might be combined with your operations manager, but at a certain point, you would definitely want that to be its own role.
All three of these people need to have very strong, basically, time management skills, they need to be really great at project management, because they're dealing with a lot of details, and then need to be super high on follow through. And the most important thing that I would want to say is, as you're moving someone up into a managerial role or a director role, is once again, you need to hire people that are leaders. This is not to say that you can hire them and expect them to know what to do, you do need to coach them and train them on your way of doing things. This is why I'm always touting the importance of really documenting everything that you do from a branding perspective, from a voice of customer perspective, from a, you know, systems perspective in your business. People need to know what your expectations are upfront. But you want to get people who are qualified in a sense, who have that leadership capacity to basically pop in for you to say to them, here's what needs to happen. What do you need from me to actually make this work. And I think that that is really, really powerful. Because if you don't, then you're gonna always struggle, and they're going to be coming to you asking questions, and really like, feeding on you. And one of the things that I've really encouraged people to do is set strong boundaries, and a lot of people can be coached into being leaders. And this is important part of that. One of the things that I'm constantly working on with my team, especially the people in the leadership role is asking them like, what do you think? Or how would you solve this problem? Because I think when people don't feel like they have permission, you know, I'm noticing that sometimes with my Chief of Staff, he's amazing. And also like, he wants to make sure that he's not overstepping his bounds some time, right? So who asked me questions like, Can I do this or whatever I'm like, I finally said, at a certain point, Odi if it cost less than this than just and you think it's a good idea, then go ahead and do this. You don't have to ask me every single time. What I'm more concerned about is that are my team members are happy and that they're doing a good job. And, you know, I'm going to talk about this a little bit more on the podcast, we've been in an interesting, thanks for listening today. This is Tracy Matthews, signing off. Until next time, I had a lot of churn in the last two years, based on you know, hiring people training them, and then realizing they weren't actually a culture fit for the company. And this is really important. And it's, it's been hard for me not to beat myself up feeling like I'm a bad person for letting these people go or for them, maybe resigning before I actually had the opportunity to let them go. Because I'm like a people pleaser, I want I don't want to hurt people, I want them to like me and I and I am like a eternal optimist, like I want it to work. But a certain phase, you just have to acknowledge when it's not working. And so it's really, really important to empower these people to do their job, and to let them show you that they're in that, you know, in the right spot. And so I think it's really important that as you're going through this, that you have strong expectations that you have a coaching plan. So if you are, you know, trying to develop qualities in a leader, that you work with them on developing those qualities, instead of just getting frustrated if they don't have the qualities and throw in the towel. And then really being clear, like where are their strengths. And you know, I mentioned a bunch of assessments, those are all awesome. And I highly recommend that you get them for any team member that you hire, by understanding how to read those assessments and how they how it works into how you operate. So for instance, on my Colby, I'm a really high Quickstart, I'm very low and everything else. So factfinder, I don't need a lot of information to move forward. I'm not very high on follow through, which is normal for people who have a very high Quickstart. My Quickstart is a 10, which is not that many people have a 10 Quickstart. But I do. And I also have a really low relation to tangible spatial things. So I don't need to see the structure in order to envision something like I can envision it in my head and then make something happen. So understanding that I know that on my team, like for an operations person, like I don't necessarily want someone who's super low on Quickstart because it drags the company behind. But someone who's in the middle on Quickstart I want I need people who are very high on follow through and people who, for me, the ideal thing is someone who's like a six or a seven on factfinder like not way too high, but also not way too low. And,
you know, it's interesting as I've hired people, and I wasn't really paying attention to how like my Colby assessment works with theirs, it becomes frustrating. And then also, like on my team, I have a ton of creators, a ton of creators and mechanics. And we're really trying to fill in the gaps to find more dealmakers and people who have more steel in their profile. So I finally hired a Lord, who I'm a star on the wealth dynamics profile, and I need to fill in with a dealmaker and a lord. And the Lord is my executive assistant, Lisa, and she's super organized and very structured. And I'm sure when she walks into my work apartment, she is horrified with all this stuff everywhere, because she is like one of those people who keeps everything like really tied up in a bow, I need that, like, I need someone like that on my team to keep me in check. And so the point here is that as you're hiring people, and as you're kind of bringing these key players into your team to help you lead, I want you to remember that they're here to support you. They're here to help you grow your company. They're here to support you. And if you can make that distinction, you'll have a great time finding people who enjoy supporting others, because you're looking for leaders who want to be on a team who want to support others, not people who want to be entrepreneurs. And I always find that this is another thing I just want to mention before I sign off today. One thing I really find fascinating is when I interview someone, and they consider themselves a visionary, and I'm like, I don't need another visionary on my team, I got all the vision in the world. And while you want someone who has some visionary aspects that they identify as a visionary, they should be running their own company more than likely, or in his strategist role for the company that they work for. And typically, those are bigger companies. We don't need a lot of strategist. In a smaller company. You want to have some strategy, but you know what I'm saying? So are hopefully you know what I'm saying. So pay attention to what people are saying and listen. And as you start learning about like, where your strengths are a little bit more and what you love to do, start to fill in the gaps with people who love to do the things that you don't love to do and are good at it. Cool. All right. So I'd love to share more about this on the masterclass that I'm doing. It is called An Inside Look At a Seven Figure Jewelry Brand. I will definitely have that over in the show notes. And we're going to be talking a little bit more about what it takes to scale a company and then if it seems like a good fit, we're going to invite you to participate and apply for our Momentum program if you would like ongoing support. In the very least this masterclass has been incredible. We've gotten really great reviews on it, we're going to be giving away an amazing organizational chart called the inside look at a seven figure organizational chart so you can download that for free and keep it as my gift for coming live to the masterclass. So head on over to flourish thrive academy.com forward slash seven figures and save your seat today. Thanks for listening today. This is Tracy Matthews signing off. Until next time. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. It's my mission to help 1000s of creative businesses inside and outside the jewelry space use their creativity to make money. Make sure that you're subscribed to Thrive by Design on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are played. And we'd love to hear what you think. Please rate and review the show and if you're inspired, please share this with your friends. Cheers to seeing you flourish and thrive.