[00:00:00] Yvonne Heimann: Hello, and welcome back to another episode for, with your favorite podcast, Boss your Business. Today, I am bringing you Staci Gray, who has over two decades of experience organizing real world business to scale. Yes, guys. I'm having a tongue twister today. You're going to have fun with this episode.
[00:00:20] Staci, you put an emphasis on quickly collapsing the gap between ideas and profit by persistently executing the four progress and result. The four. Yeah, guys, I'm officially us citizen yet. I get to have those tongue twisters. It just is, it just is. Yes. We'll have a fun episode. Staci, do me a favor, explain to the audience.
[00:00:48] What do you mean by that?
[00:00:51] Staci Gray: I think that in order to really build a business, you have to take an idea and turn it into [00:01:00] little yellow feet of action plans that actually get done. And most people struggle with bridging the gap between idea and execution and results.
[00:01:10] Yvonne Heimann: You mean I don't, I don't get to hang out in visioning all the big fancy things you're saying I actually have to do something?
[00:01:19] Staci Gray: Yeah, I kind of joke if you live in visionary world, you kind of have a research company, but actually not a business.
[00:01:25] Yvonne Heimann: Yeah. Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Guys, did you hear that? Did you hear that? You actually need to take action. And if you've been around listening, you know, we can play around with things all day long.
[00:01:41] It's like, I literally am having the same conversation with my clients right now, where it's like. Guys, we've mapped out this process as much as possible. We can envision it. We can think how this is going to work, but you actually need to run it. Yeah. You need to go out there to get the [00:02:00] data.
[00:02:00] Staci Gray: So that's, that's such an interesting perspective because I have found the same thing to be true with people that I work with, where you, you architect it, you build the infrastructure, and then you have the playbooks for execution.
[00:02:13] And. Then they're halted. There's a level of resistance that sets in that prevents them from executing on the thing that they know they need to execute on that we've already planned and created and put together, and they still don't do it. And I've started to implement into the way we organized and scale businesses, psychological systems, because we have intellectual things that stop us.
[00:02:41] From executing, because it's just like dieting or working out. It's not that we don't know what to do. We know exactly what to do. We just don't do it. And I think it's a level of grittiness and mental toughness that we have to develop and create and lean into versus numb, hide [00:03:00] and live in the ideation world, but not in the actual doing part.
[00:03:05] Yvonne Heimann: I think living in ideation world allows us to feel like everything is perfect because the moment we take action, we open ourself up to potentially fail. At least our perception of failing to me, failing just means it's a data point. It didn't work that way. Okay. We adjust. However, I'm, I'm just as much a procrastinator as everybody else.
[00:03:28] Don't get me wrong. There's, there's areas in my business where I'm like, I've been talking about this for how long now. Yeah. When, when am I finally going to do something about this?
[00:03:41] Staci Gray: Business is messy. Even if you have all of the systems and all the structure and all the standard operating procedures and checklists and right people in the right seats, it's still messy.
[00:03:52] And I think sometimes we live in ideation world because we want it to be perfect. And so we don't take action because [00:04:00] we're afraid of it being imperfect. And. You can never build anything meaningful or significant unless you take imperfect action and then have the wherewithal within yourself to navigate the messiness.
[00:04:14] Yvonne Heimann: But my business is perfect. It just took me two years to get a book done. And we all know, we all know I'm joking with that. I'm like, I teach people how to run their business. And right now we have a shit ton of SOPs that need to be written. So don't give me wrong. We all, it's, it's, we all have it. We all have it.
[00:04:34] Staci, tell my audience, how did you get here? Did, did little Staci ever think she's going to do what she's doing today?
[00:04:42] Staci Gray: It's an interesting question to ask, because sometimes I reflect on my childhood dreams and I think in a way I am doing an element of what I've always dreamed I would do. So when I was a little girl, I actually wanted to go to cosmetology school and I had this dream of starting a business.
[00:04:57] So I was still a little bit entrepreneurial. [00:05:00] a like a place where women could go and they could spend the whole day. They could work out. They could have like juices and smoothies and sauna and facials and manicures and pedicures and then get all dolled up and rent an outfit. And then go out for whatever event that they had, enjoy it.
[00:05:21] And then they could just return the outfit. So you could always have a different outfit every time, but you could also make it a spot, kind of a spa day experience in my real heart with that is I wanted people to feel good about themselves, like there's a way that you could feel good. And I think in business, I don't necessarily, it's not in the.
[00:05:39] The, I don't know, vanity space, if you will, but it's in the, the business, like we set out to build businesses to create freedom so we can go have fun in our lives and we can be able to spend it with people who are important and meaningful to us. And so my business now basically is the frazzled entrepreneur who's overworked, overwhelmed, has this idea, but [00:06:00] can't execute it.
[00:06:01] They come and they're all, you know. Hair's on fire. You know, they haven't worked out in months. They feel like their relationships are suffering and I feel like I just patch them all up and say, okay, here's the structure, here's the system. Here's what it needs to do now go off and you know feel good about yourself and feel good about your business and feel good about your life. So I think there's an element of how I was as a little girl that I do get to do now, which is, which, which is fun.
[00:06:28] And I, not necessarily in the industry, I thought, but still, still similar.
[00:06:35] Yvonne Heimann: I love it. Tell me, tell my audience, how, what was your path to get here? What, how did it just happen? I was like, yeah, cool. I'm growing up now. This is what I'm going to do. Or did you run different businesses before? How, how did you get here?
[00:06:54] What was that journey?
[00:06:55] Staci Gray: I have had so many businesses, a [00:07:00] lot have failed and a few have been wildly successful. So I graduated high school at 16. I did kind of independent studies growing up because I played a lot of sports. And when I graduated at 16, my, I come from an entrepreneurial family. So my grandfather came over from the Philippines when he was 14 years old and built a company and took it public.
[00:07:23] And then my father also was an entrepreneur or still is an entrepreneur and has several businesses. And so when I graduated high school at 16, he didn't want me to go off to college. He said, you're too young. You're too beautiful. I don't want you to go off to school. I want you to come work with me. So he said, but if you're 18 and you don't like working with me, you can go off to college.
[00:07:44] So when I graduated, I started answering the phones for him. He had a company that taught people how to invest in real estate. And we did events and seminars and memberships and different, different businesses that supported people in investing in real estate. [00:08:00] And so I started answering the phones, taking registrations, processing credit cards, like in the keypad before we have everything we have today.
[00:08:09] Yvonne Heimann: And when you had to call in and give the numbers though, to get it done.
[00:08:13] Staci Gray: That's when, and then I went to him one day and I said, I don't really want to do this anymore. I don't like answering the phones. And he said, that's fine. You don't have to, as long as you hire and train your replacement.
[00:08:26] And then he gave me a copy of E Myth by Michael Gerber. And so that was like my first exposure to systems and structures and kind of the McDonald's model. And so I created my first handbook with all the standard operating procedures, exactly how to do it, put an ad online, hired somebody, trained them and got them going.
[00:08:49] Eventually, I became the president of all of our family businesses and was running them. And then once it was all stabilized, I handed it off to him and I went and built [00:09:00] several other companies. And then my mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer and he called me and asked if I would come run the companies again.
[00:09:08] And so I said, yes, of course I'll come run them, but I'm going to be very structured because I don't want to be in the business at all. I'm not going to run day to day. I need to be able to get people in, have them run the day to day because I wanted to be able to spend time with my mom. And I ended up spending the last 18 months of my mom's life with her.
[00:09:25] She died december 13th, 2019. So almost 4 years ago from the time we're we're having this conversation and. That success during that period, which was the hardest time in our family's lives actually turned out really well. And that was the birthplace of what is now organize to scale, which is how I help other entrepreneurs put systems in place, but they, the process really was to be able to create everything that you do in your business that is [00:10:00] duplicatable and repeatable.
[00:10:01] It needs to be documented with metrics for success that you can pass off to somebody else to handle where you as the founder or leader still have the visibility into whether it got done or not and if it was done correctly.
[00:10:16] But without your nitty gritty day to day involvement. And so that's kind of my evolution to where I'm at now with organize to scale. And even with where I'm at now, I, like you said, we're always learning. We're always growing. Sometimes the biggest lessons are coming through all of the mistakes that we've made that we're like, dang it, I shouldn't have made, that I knew better.
[00:10:41] And, you know, having grace with yourself, like, okay, yes, I made a mistake. Picking myself back up, dusting myself off, and we're going some more. So I feel like I've, the whole process has been not just the system side, like with E-Myth and traction and scaling up and measure what matters, not [00:11:00] just the structure, but also who, who I've had to become as a person to be able to have the type of company that can operate and run, without my need to have control and, day to day heroism, if you will.
[00:11:21] Yvonne Heimann: And I want to dive into that, that mental piece here in a second. When you were talking about setting up systems and setting up operating procedures and everything, you also mentioned metrics to success. Now my audience knows a lot about SOPs and all the things. And I love the idea of metrics for success.
[00:11:41] Can you, can you dive a little bit deeper into this so the audience knows what specifically you mean with that?
[00:11:48] Staci Gray: Sure. So inside of every organization, there are 7 to 10 core functions that that company must do. There, whether it's how they [00:12:00] attract customers, how they create products, how they fulfill on their products, how they manage money, how they build and lead a team.
[00:12:07] There's core functions that every every business has. And when we work with. creating what those core functions are, we process map them. And I don't know if you do this as well, but process map them. And inside of a process map, there's an entry point and there's an exit point. And there's going to be critical fail points inside of the process map.
[00:12:32] And the metrics for success are monitoring, in a way, the critical fail point. So what are the metrics that this process map could fail at? So that I can monitor it and know what achievement or success is, and I can know what fail is, and so that we can continually fine tune it, so we're living in the metric of success versus living in the metric that created the critical fail in the workflow.[00:13:00]
[00:13:00] Yvonne Heimann: So guys, to, to put a little bit of visual to, to these numbers, Stacy is pretty much saying is paying attention to the right data too, because often enough, there's a lot of data happening in our business. Don't get me wrong. There's a lot of numbers. There's, there's all kinds of stuff happening, right?
[00:13:21] And what popped in my head, listening to you is a conversation I had recently, a completely different situation, not even in business. That is considering starting a YouTube channel. Now we all know YouTube channel has a whole bunch of numbers. It gives you so many numbers and he was going after this.
[00:13:42] So our success metrics is subscribers. It's like looking at your business as a success metrics of how many employees do you have? It doesn't matter if they are not working or if they are overworked, that metric doesn't [00:14:00] matter.
[00:14:00] Staci Gray: Right. It's a vanity metric.
[00:14:02] Yvonne Heimann: So subscribers on YouTube is just as much a vanity metrics.
[00:14:07] So I helped him get really clear on what are those numbers of success. What do you actually want to look at? Because on the example of YouTube, if your click through rate as well, and people stay around longer than a minute, and they're actually potentially watching a hundred percent of the video, your subscribers are going to grow.
[00:14:30] And you actually get more data out of it and understand what's happening rather than just looking at subscriber count again. And it's like paying attention to how many employees you have. That's not a goal.
[00:14:43] Staci Gray: It's like a leading and trailing indicator. So when we think of success metrics, we think of, okay, what is a leading indicator that this, this workflow is on track and what's a trailing indicator that it was successful.
[00:14:54] A lot of times people focus on trailing indicators, which is. Subscriber is a [00:15:00] trailing indicator. What you, the example you gave, the leading indicator is how long are they staying on your video. That's a leading indicator of the, trailing indicator of subscribers. And so getting really clear on what that looks like at every critical process in your business is where metrics for success really come from.
[00:15:21] Yvonne Heimann: And with that, I want to dive a little bit deeper into this idea of having to become, you don't have to, but becoming the person you are now being able to run the business like you are running it. What was, what was some of the struggles you went through in, in this phase of self improvement in this, in this phase of growth, changing your thinking.
[00:15:56] Probably if I speak from experience, sometimes [00:16:00] putting our ego aside and revisiting, I always say past Yvi, she's, she's done some weird stuff. What is, what is some of that personal growth that you went through to be able to do this?
[00:16:16] Staci Gray: Yeah, I, so there's so many things, and if I, if I were to try to just summarize it, I think one is, this is something I've had since childhood, but I think the commitment to learning, always learning everything's figureoutable, if you reach a crossroad in your business, you can solve it, and it really comes back to first principle thinking and being able to you.
[00:16:41] Exercise that muscle of saying, okay, I've hit a ceiling. I've hit a roadblock and now let me reverse engineer how to solve it and commit to that thought process journey. It's oftentimes we distract or we numb or we resist and we [00:17:00] go, we go do everything else except the thing that we need to do. And
[00:17:06] Yvonne Heimann: so it's called procrastination.
[00:17:08] Yes, there's forces. Deep in this one. Oh my god. I can procrastinate for ages.
[00:17:14] Staci Gray: Yeah, I think learning to just take imperfect action and just do the thing that that the immediate next step, even if you're uncertain, even if you're scared, even if you are afraid of embarrassing yourself. I think that was a huge part for me was just just start and don't worry about the critics and critics in the arena.
[00:17:37] Just do it. And you're going to be your own worst critic anyways. And then, but the second part of that, it, that I think was my bigger growth. Cause that I'm a good starter. I think the other part is when I would make mistakes and I still make mistakes, not shaming myself. And so. That probably was my bigger [00:18:00] is my biggest growth is not, I jokingly say I'm a recovering perfectionist and I want everything to be dialed and perfect and every customer is ecstatic and everyone's referring and the systems are flawless and everything's running smoothly. And that's just not reality.
[00:18:17] It's not life. It's it won't ever be. So like developing the stomach, if you will, to handle the rollercoaster of building and scaling businesses. I feel like that's such a growth journey to your point. Setting your ego aside means that you don't over identify. So you don't over identify with either. I don't over identify with my successes and I don't over identify with my defeats.
[00:18:47] They're, they're just lessons. They're both lessons. Like the success has taught me, okay, that worked, but doesn't teach me to rest on that because that worked that time. It may not work the next time. And [00:19:00] so just in that perpetual state of learning and growing and not shaming myself for the messy process, because it's just going to be messy.
[00:19:10] Yvonne Heimann: I feel that big time. Yep. Yep. I am so guilty of that one. And Staci, for everybody that is ready to, to scale, you have a goodie for the audience.
[00:19:26] Staci Gray: Yes, I can give them a goodie. So we have a few different goodies, but if you send an email to scale, @organizetoscale.. You'll get all of them. And what it is is we have a report for four steps for quickly organizing your business to scale that outlines how to go from idea to developing the infrastructure.
[00:19:50] To taking action and overcoming some of those things that block us from taking action so that we can repeat the process and eventually lay a [00:20:00] solid foundation and continue to add layers of success and growth on top of it. And there's also a webinar in there that they could watch explaining some similar things as well.
[00:20:09] I'm, I very much in the work that I do, want to normalize the entrepreneurial journey and let people know that it's imperfect and it's messy and that you if you have an idea that you know in 20 years you're going to put your head on your pillow and wish you would have done. Just start, just start and trust that you can figure it out as you go.
[00:20:29] And the right people, the right resources and the right opportunities are going to cross your path. Cause what's meant for you was, isn't going to pass you by.
[00:20:37] Yvonne Heimann: I love that. And it puts us into that energy level of calling in what we need. How often have we been in a situation where it's like, Oh, I really want to do this, but I don't know how.
[00:20:49] But because you are just in the ideation stage, you are not putting it out there. You're not talking about it. You are not sharing and it's not going anywhere, but when you actually start doing and [00:21:00] start talking about it, first of all, you're putting yourself in the energy of calling in what you need, but also you were doing, so you're figuring out what you actually need to make it happen.
[00:21:14] Staci Gray: And I think a lot of people don't start because they're afraid of being judged. For it being messy because they're literally putting out into the universe out into the world, whether it's online website, email conversation. Hey, I have this idea and I'm thinking about it. What do you think? That, that is an opportunity to get some good feedback, but if we, if we internalize it and make it mean that our idea is terrible or bad, instead of taking it and saying, okay, well, how could I solve this to make this idea better, then we don't, we don't ever start.
[00:21:52] Yvonne Heimann: Which is your call audience pop into the comments. What are you going to start in 2024? Yeah, [00:22:00] right now, as we, as this is going live, it's January 2024. You should have some ideas, at least your plans ready. We want to know. What are you finally starting and taking out of ideation and doing, just doing. Pop in the comments, let us know.
[00:22:20] Staci, thank you so much for joining me. Let everybody know where they best can connect with you.
[00:22:27] Staci Gray: You can connect with me online. Staci Gray, S T A C I G R A Y. I am on all the social channels and of course you can send an email to scale @organizetoscale.com and get connected with me there as well.
[00:22:40] Yvonne Heimann: Thanks so much for joining me and everybody. I'll see you again next week on the next episode of Boss Your Business. Bye everybody.