Do you spend more time working in your business or on your business? As CEOs, it’s our job to work towards our big, long-term goals for our businesses. But when you’re covered up in the day-to-day operations, that can feel impossible.
As the CEO of a podcast agency, Caroline Hull has spent plenty of time “in the weeds” of client work. But as her business grew, she realized she couldn’t spend all her time in the business while also working on the business. After months of preparation, she finally hired an operations manager, and that decision has made all the difference in her professional and personal life.
In today’s episode, Caroline and I talked about what drove her to hire her operations manager, what the hiring process looked like, and how she found the perfect fit for her team. She’s also sharing her tips for minimizing time spent training a new hire and how her operations manager has helped her maintain a more sustainable, enjoyable work-life balance.
Caroline is a podcasting expert and CEO of Wild Home Podcasting, a boutique podcast editing and management agency, and a homeschool mom who helps at-home podcasters launch their voices into the world. She discovered her intense love for podcasts after launching her own podcast with her biz bestie and in the process, finding her own confidence and voice. Caroline believes that everyone has a unique perspective and story worth sharing. She has a passion for helping others do this through their podcasts.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:00:00] Welcome to the Scale Your Way podcast episode number 92.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:00:07] You’re listening to the Scale Your Way podcast, where we share simple, proven strategies just for done-for-you service based companies. Here, you’ll learn how to scale your business on your own terms so that you can have more time and money, create a bigger impact and a better life. I’m your host, Nicole Jackson Miller. Let’s dove into today’s episode. Everyone, welcome back to another episode of Scale Your Way, I am excited to sit down again with the amazing Caroline Hull of Wild Home Podcasting to talk about how her business has grown and specifically focus in on her decision on bringing in an operations manager to support her in her business and following along in her journey of how she decided the name of the role, the responsibilities for that role, and then who would be the best person to fill that role, too. So Caroline will share a little bit more about how she put together this job description and application and then just kind of gave her team a heads up that they were going to hire an operations manager. And somebody actually in her team raised their hand to say, like, Hey, I think I can do this, let me share more of my experience with you. And so I know many of you who are listening have tasks that you’re doing or roles that maybe you’re feeling right now or somebody else is feeling. And you know that maybe either you need to hand off an area of the business that you’re currently running or perhaps or somebody in that role that isn’t the best fit anymore. And you’re wondering, you know, do I hire someone new? Do I see if somebody? Do I promote someone internally, how much? And I am willing to train somebody into a managerial role? We’re going to talk all about that during this episode. So let’s dove right in. Hey, Caroline, welcome back to the show.
Caroline Hull [00:02:08] Hi, thanks for having me back.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:02:10] I am excited to be having this conversation with you because we are going to be talking about something that I hear from literally every client and even clients or even people that aren’t clients who are in the done for you service space and are looking to either bring in team members or have already brought in team members and they keep getting pulled back into client work. And maybe it’s not in the same way as it was initially in their business, but it still feels like, wait, I thought I was out of the day-to-day stuff. Why am I here again? So will you share with everyone your experience around this as your business has evolved from being pulled back into client work?
Caroline Hull [00:02:55] Yeah, I feel like this has been like a major theme for me this last year. So if you’ve listened to all of our previous episodes, you know that I went on maternity leave and after my maternity leave, the person that was kind of like my operations manager, but we really hadn’t defined it. She was really just kind of like my assistant. She ended up needing to leave her position. And so I kind of went into this really weird mode where I was like, OK, well, if she’s going to go, I’ll just take this back over to save some money and I’ll hire a VA. And so I had ever come in who was very lovely and super helpful, but she was a VA. And so I was still doing that like the management. She was doing a lot of things like helping with moving files and things that we do as a podcast agency. But I was still in it every day, you know, and it’s on assigning tasks, making sure things were getting done, reviewing things. I mean, I was still doing the bulk of the the work.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:04:01] Were you also doing client communications? Yes, as well. OK, got it.
Caroline Hull [00:04:06] So I have a new baby and I’m doing all of these things.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:04:10] Yeah.
Caroline Hull [00:04:11] And yeah, and it’s funny because I think the whole time she was with me, it was like, you’re being really helpful, but there’s still something that’s not quite right. And so I ended up ending our working relationship because I felt like, you know, having a VA wasn’t helping, right? It wasn’t helping me grow. I still felt kind of stuck, which is interesting. And so fast forward a few months and then I thought, Oh, I’m going to hire another VA. And this time I was like, OK, but this time it’s going to be different because I’ve put in all these systems in place because one of the things I realized with the other VA was that we were really lacking a lot of systems and SOPs. And so I started working on that, which was a really great thing and literally got everything out of my head onto like any Google doc for each client. So now we have this amazing system where each client has their own really detailed Essop with videos and everything editing, you know, notes they need for show notes, whatever it may be. And I was feeling really good about it, so I was like, OK, now I can bring somebody in, again a VA, and she’ll, you know, she’ll be able to take over and do all these things. And so brought her in. And she was great, lovely, very talented. But again, I was trying to fit somebody into a position that I really hadn’t defined, but also I was expecting her to do things. That wasn’t necessarily a part of her job description because I had to find it right, and so I would just be like, Can you help me with this? Can you help me with this instead of having an actual set guideline as to what this role is supposed to be? And so I was still doing all the same client communication, client work, you name it, still in it.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:05:58] Well, and I think there’s a difference between, you know, following a standard operating procedure and owning the standard operating procedure and owning the processes. And as part of that, it’s, you know, creating, you know, coming up and creating processes, maintaining them, making them more efficient. Would you say that that was a piece of what where there might be a disconnect is because you were hiring someone to like, follow the tasks that were outlined instead of like owning and creating those tasks?
Caroline Hull [00:06:32] Yeah, I think that was a huge, huge issue because I was still having to do the brain of the operation. And so I was still holding all this information in my head and then having to make sure that it was being produced properly instead of having somebody else take over some of that, the stuff that was in my brain. So it was still a very task driven position as opposed to being like the brain of the agency. Right. And so it was really interesting because, as you know, I was just really tired. I realized how tired I was. I was still carrying a lot of stress. I wasn’t sleeping at night because I would be worried that things hadn’t got, hadn’t been done or hadn’t been done correctly. And I realized that, like, I couldn’t keep this up. The worst part about it was it was taking away so much of my time from the other things that we were trying to do. And so I think, you know, you start to see different aspects of your business kind of suffer when you’re having to be, I call it in the weeds. I felt like I was in the weeds, like I was just sort of like, you know, in the jungle trying to get through the weeds. And I couldn’t see above what was happening. And so there was a lot of other stuff going on that I wasn’t able to pay attention to. And a really good example of that is that our team, our workloads were shifting and weird, weird ways. And like, I totally missed that one team member was completely at max capacity. Like, I just hadn’t talked about it. I didn’t notice it like, you know, it didn’t address it because I was too busy scheduling episodes and doing client work that needed to be done. Mm-Hmm. And also, I think too, part of the problem was I was bringing in people who were contractors, and so they were only giving me a certain number of hours a month. And so that also made it difficult. So if they didn’t finish all the tasks that I needed done, then I had to do them. And so I just kept jumping back into work that I shouldn’t have been doing.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:08:31] OK, so signs that people should look at this like that this might be an issue is work back on their plates is feeling like you can’t step away. And I like that you, you know, it wasn’t that you were ignoring the issue like you were creating processes and putting things into place to make things better. And after doing that, you realized that you still had an issue. And is that really how you were able to identify that it was the role itself needed better definition or like what? What was it?
Caroline Hull [00:09:14] I woke up one morning and I said, What if I didn’t have the business anymore? How would I feel? And that’s when I knew something really needed a shift because I love the work that we do. And there was a part of me that just wanted to burn it all down and have it just be me again and like a couple podcasts. And I was like, What am I thinking? Like, Where did I come to this place? And the reason I was in this place was because I was so tired because I was trying to manage the agency. I was stressing out about sales because I wasn’t able to do very much sales type activity to generate more clients or revenue. I was stressed about, you know, I was waking up at 5:00 in the morning to check to make sure everybody’s podcast got published correctly. And I was going to bed at midnight, one o’clock, two a.m. the night before. So checking everybody’s episodes like, I just there was no balance, there was no balance. And I think for me, the thing that was so hard for me to wrap my brain around was I felt like having a manager type role in my business was very unattainable. For some reason, I had built this story in my head that a manager was going to be super expensive, that nobody could do it because it’s so complicated. How is it going to find somebody that could understand? The way that we operate, because a podcast agency is very unique in that we’re publishing episodes every week for our clients. And so the schedule is intense and it rolls and you have to be on top of it. And so I’m trying to think, how can I explain this to somebody? How can I teach this to somebody? So it just felt really unattainable. And it wasn’t until I had a conversation with somebody in that roundtable about this position, and I was like, What do you call this position? And she was like, Well, that’s an operations manager. And I was like, Oh, like I was, I was like, thinking of this magical unicorn position, and I was like, What do I call this? Is this an OBE? I’m like, What is this? And she was like, That’s an operations manager. And then we had a conversation about what that position could look like. And I was like, Wait, this is attainable. And so that was a huge light bulb moment for me because I think I had just built a story in my head that I wasn’t in a place where I could have a manager financially or my business wasn’t big enough. I don’t know what it is, what it was. And I just thought it was like this mythical, magical thing that I wasn’t able to have.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:11:41] So now that you have this person in place in your business, tell us some of the changes that you’ve made in terms you briefly mentioned contractors. I would assume, versus employees. Like what were some of the changes that you made that actually has made it work up until this point?
Caroline Hull [00:12:01] Yeah. Well, the big one was having this person be an employee and not a contractor. I mean, I think that’s huge. I think that’s like the first thing you have to realize because she’s more available than a contractor, which is really great, but she’s also really invested in the growth and success of the business as well. And I just think that makes a huge difference versus having somebody who you’re paying and they’re just coming in and finishing tasks, you know? So that’s been huge. But I think the biggest thing that has been huge for me is having her. Well, we talked about this a little bit, but it was like, you know, breaking habits and like not jumping into things, and that has been a huge game changer for me. She is in charge of scheduling tasks now. I don’t jump in and schedule tasks over her. But then also one of the things that was taking up a lot of brain space for me was the client communication. Sometimes there’s back and forth with episodes, with show notes, whatever. And I am out of that now, and it’s got to be one of the most beautiful things. I will wake up in the morning and I will look and I’ll just check the email real quick and I’ll see that, like three problems have already been solved and taken care of and done. And so I think those things right there have been just a huge, huge for changing the way that the day to day operations go on and the way that my brain functions in my business.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:13:28] Yeah, yeah. And I’m curious, you know, something that I’ve seen for business owners that are managing is that there are some things that need to be set up in order to make a manager successful. And sometimes when they bring on whether it be a manager or any position in the company, they’re almost like trying to hire in a role or like recreating problems for somebody else. Would you say that like what are some of the things that you’ve done in your business to make it successful to have a manager come in and actually work because it’s not just about finding the person which I do want to talk about, like some of the qualities that you looked for, but like what was set up before bringing in this person and then like, what are kind of the expectations of what this manager will help you create moving forward?
Caroline Hull [00:14:22] Right. I think the biggest thing for us because we are managing so many clients and each client has their own set of tasks and their own set of once and he is there’s a set piece, but also we have asana boards that would just make your head spin. And you know, each client has their episodes on a calendar. Each episode has its own set of tasks and each task is assigned and given due dates to the team members. And so already, having all of that in place and one of the things we did right away when we decided that she was going to take this position is we went through what we had and made sure it was all clean and ready to go. Our goal, like we talked about it, our goal was for her to not have to ask me questions. And that was, I think, having a system where somebody doesn’t have to constantly be asking you questions is really, really important. And then having a system for those questions. And so I had set all that up beforehand because I was trying to create this position without knowing I was creating it. And so it was really cool because then she was able to just kind of jump in and see what needed to be done. And if she didn’t know, she could check the SRP and if she still had a question after that, she would ask me and then we would update. The SRP and update the checklist, and then we never have to talk about it again, and so that’s just been I think that’s been huge. And I was always kind of like a creative fly by the seat of your pants kind of person. And so to have these systems, it’s just been life changing, like it’s been such a game. I can’t even explain it. Like if you don’t have checklists and I suppose you’re missing out, people.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:15:58] Yes, you know, the more and more people I talked to, the more and more the SNP use and processes come up. And it’s so funny because oftentimes when it comes to processes and efficiencies, it’s not like a sexy right thing, necessarily. But it’s incredible how many people, especially those who have identified themselves as creative and visionary, like people who you just wouldn’t think would sit down and create processes are like, This is the key. This is what has allowed me to be able to do all of these things. And I’m glad that you brought up questions and answering questions, because that is another thing that happens when people are growing teams is that it’s like, OK, I’ve hired all of these people to do this, and they have so many questions for me. My job has changed from just doing the work to answering all these questions. My strength is in just doing the work. Why don’t I just go back to doing the work and not having to like, answer all of these questions? But when what I teach and what I kind of preach in many ways is like, OK, if you if a question does come, it’s like, how do I avoid answering this in the future? Like, what can be done? And is it maybe a skills and expertise problem of the person who’s managing it is an SOP that hasn’t been created. Is it me just having to delegate this type of decision making or, you know, giving this person permission to be able to make decisions around this so that this question, does it have to be asked, like what is it and what can we do to make sure that this isn’t happening over and over again?
Caroline Hull [00:17:27] Right? Yeah, I definitely felt like my job was being in Slack. Like, I felt like that was literally my job was, you know, three hours a day answering questions in Slack. And so one of the things we’ve done, so we have a spreadsheet where people can drop in their questions if they’re not urgent and we have an so on that defines an urgent and non-urgent question. And then from there, it gets put into another tab on the spreadsheet to be placed into the SNP if it is an SNP related question. The other thing that I think is huge and I actually just recently learned this from you watching one of your IGTV videos, which is really funny because we talk all the time. But like, I feel like sometimes I just need to go back and watch your videos. I’m like, Oh yeah, I need to be reminded of this. But you said something like you were like, every time somebody asks you a question or you’re reviewing something, make a video and don’t do it for them or something. You said something along those lines because one of my big faults as a leader is I will jump in and fix it and not explain what I fixed or why it needed to be fixed. And so that causes more questions, right? Because you never explained it to them. And so I’ve stopped doing that. And now what I do is I make a video and send it to whoever needs it and then they fix it. And then we add that video to that. So. And so I just think having those like question and answer processes in place has been really great. Probably the first month she had maybe like one or two questions every day, and she was so brilliant because what she would do is she would gather all her questions because she was smart and she knew that she shouldn’t bother me with all her questions. She would gather them and give them to me all at once. And so we would ask, Yeah, so I would answer all of them and then be done. And then like she would say, my goal is not to ask you questions next week. And then we’ve gotten to a place where it’s less question asking and more conversations about what’s happening in the business. And so that’s really cool. I like to see that shift. It feels really nice, and I don’t feel like one of my main job descriptions is answering questions.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:19:34] It’s lovely, especially being the CEO of the business, right? It’s like, OK, question answering is no longer in my roles and responsibilities. Yeah, yeah. I mean, you’ll oh, there will always be things that you need to discuss, obviously. But for the things that you don’t or can delegate, it’s nice to be able to not have to answer those questions or have those conversations. So how did you find this person? Because I’m sure there’s so many people listening, you know, even like going back to past you who is like, I’m not going to be able to find somebody who can do this. How can I explain this? How were you able to find this person and I? Another question that comes up is like, do I train someone into this position? Or do I hire somebody who already has management experience?
Caroline Hull [00:20:22] Yeah, that was my question, too. And I think one of the mistakes I kept making was I kept thinking that I could train somebody into the position. But then I didn’t really understand what, how, like, what that training would look like and how long it would take. And the thing is, I kind of got to a point where I needed help now. And so that’s when I kind of dropped the idea of training somebody into the position. It was really funny because I put together this job description and worked on it for like two weeks. I put together this application form. I set up the page on the website. I was ready. I was going to start advertising for this magical unicorn person, and I selected my team members and let them know what was going on and why I was doing this. And, you know, let me know if you know anybody. And then one of my team members messages me and she’s like, I would love to apply for this job. And the thing is, it’s like. And this is a really good lesson to learn. She has been asking me for probably a good year if she could help with other things. And I kept pushing her off because she’s one of my editors and she’s a really good editor. And so I’m like, I don’t want to lose you as an editor. I kept pushing her off and pushing her off and being like, Well, I want you to focus on any I want you to forgive and edit. Well, she messaged me and I was like, Well, you know, maybe I should actually have a conversation with her about it. So we started talking well. She had had experience working in a print shop, which is kind of similar in the way that you’re managing tasks and their steps and things like that. And so I felt like she had some, some experience that could lend itself to the position. The other thing that was really neat about speaking with her is that she’s already been in the business now for two years. So even though she hasn’t been in the weeds with me, she’s seen how things work and how they function and the flow of things. And so she had a pretty good understanding of what needed to happen for what client and when. And we talked about it. I had already converted her to a part time employee at this point. We had a conversation about it and she had more time in her days and really wanted to take it on. And she has. And let me tell you, she’s been more efficient than any like she’s so efficient. I was thinking it was going to cost me so much money to have her in this position. But honestly, she’s so efficient. I think I’m probably saving money now because I’m not hiring other people who are having to learn and take a long time to do things. And so it was just a huge lesson to me because, like I said, she’d probably been asking to take on some of these tasks for a year now. And now I feel like I have somebody who, like I said, is invested in the business and the girl she’s here, she wants to be here. She loves working for my company and loves doing this work. And so I feel like now she will have so much potential and growth opportunities. And like we’ve even talked about, like, what would it look like if you didn’t get it more and started having that conversation? Because right now she is still editing because she has time, but there may definitely become a time where she doesn’t have time to do that, or maybe she doesn’t have time to do another task. And so we’re kind of just taking it month by month and kind of seeing how things go. But yeah, it’s it’s it’s been great. It’s been great.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:23:46] Yeah. And the beauty of that role, too of operations manager, is that the fact that she’s been editing, she knows your business so well. She knows the craft well. You know, she can also help her place herself as an editor as well when it comes to hiring, you know, for you and onboarding and doing some training and quality control stuff as well.
Caroline Hull [00:24:06] Yeah, and she’s already doing some of that. So like we have all these reviews in place, like we review the episodes, we review shows, there’s a lot of reviewing that goes down as it goes down the line. And I’ve handled all that reviewing over to her because she’s been here so long, she knows how to take care of all that. And so the next step has been OK. Well, when we have like last minute edits or additions, I would usually take care of those or I would feel that and then give it off to people. And she’s now taking over that as well. And so it’s I think, you know, this role was unique in that you did need to have some audio experience. You didn’t need to have some knowledge of podcasting as well. And so it’s been really great because I haven’t had to teach that stuff because she’s been here working in the trenches for two years already. And so it freed up a lot of my brain space because of that. And also, I think this is something else that has been a real ego thing for me, too. You know, when you’re it’s your business, it’s your baby, all this stuff. And so sometimes I always can. I tend to get a little weird about taking other people’s opinions about how we should handle clients and things like that. And I’m starting to let her in on some of that as well. And it’s actually been really lovely to have somebody else to bounce some of that off of and somebody who, you know, she has a different perspective because she has been working on this stuff for so long. And so, yeah, it’s it’s just it’s been a very humbling and just a real growth experience for me. Like knowing that I do need to like, set myself aside a little bit more and let her kind of take the lead now on some of these things because she’s more than capable.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:25:47] Well, yeah, and you mentioned, I think, two of the most difficult things, maybe not the most difficult, but two of maybe several things that are very difficult to hand over, which is like management of the business and quality control. And because a lot of times people really struggle with, OK, like, you know, I have a team, I have a team of implementers, but I’m still really involved in the day to day management of the business and or I also am the one that has to review everything. Right. And then I have to give feedback. And like sometimes it’s just easier for and that’s when you kind of get into like, well, maybe I just do it myself or like having to get this feedback. And so the fact that you have an operation manager in place who has experience and can do that is incredible. And I talk about this a bit like when it comes to finding this manager inside of your business that, you know, sometimes you’re hiring someone to come in who’s not within the business, but a lot of times are someone who’s already there. I think the key, though, is to make sure that they have managerial experience and not necessarily leaning on you to train them into being a manager and was something that when I had my project management agency. So I’m really good at management. That’s like a skillset of mine. So for me, I hired someone who has some. She was an executive assistant who was responsible for managing different things and was able to kind of train her into a managerial role. For me, that works because that’s like literally my skill set and what I did. But for many people, management is not their craft. It’s like I’m good at podcast editing or I’m good at accounting or I’m good at PR or whatever. Like the craft is, it’s not necessarily management. And even then, I would say, you know, it’s still with management being a skill set. It’s still, I think, when we look at the larger businesses like corporate, a lot of times they have money available, a lot of money available to be able to train people into roles and have a longer onboarding and training period. And small businesses, you know, not I don’t want to generalize, but oftentimes don’t have as much cash available and time available to be able to do that. I mean, I remember being trained into a manager role over the course of three years. And so it’s and obviously I was doing work up until that point. But the point being is that we don’t necessarily have as much time and cash to be able to do that. So by having somebody come in who also has that experience and they kind of already know how to apply it to your business because they’ve worked in it, I think is so cool.
Caroline Hull [00:28:41] Yeah, it is. And I think it’s a personality thing, too. I think you need somebody who’s not afraid to step up and step in when they need to. And, you know, and so I think that’s been key as well as finding someone who has the initiative to just jump into the email and answer and email and take care of it and not be afraid that they’re going to mess up or, you know, so scared to hit the send button. Like, I didn’t want somebody. I wanted somebody who could jump in and just take control. And so I think that was really a personality thing, too. And finding the person with the right personality because that’s not me. Like, Yeah, right? I’m the one who’s scared to hit the send button. And so, you know, it’s nice to have somebody who is a little bit more firm and is like, No, we’re doing this. This is happening. This is what’s happening, and it’s done. And so that’s been really great, too. And so I think that’s a huge piece of it and probably had her and I sat down and talked a year ago, you know, I would have seen that, but I just and maybe I wasn’t ready yet. But you know, now it’s just that it works so well. Our personalities work so well, and I just know that things are getting done and it’s really great.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:29:50] Yeah, that’s awesome. So now that you have this operations manager role in place, this person in place, what are you looking forward to over the course of the next few months?
Caroline Hull [00:30:02] Yeah. So over this summer, we kind of lessened our client load, and I don’t know whether that was consciously or unconsciously. It’s really interesting. I’ve been trying to like, look at it and see what happened. And I think a lot of it was because I was in the weeds and then some of it was just circumstances around, you know, clients taking breaks and that kind of thing. But you and I had a conversation. I remember you said to me, your business isn’t going to grow if you’re not in the mindset to accept the growth, you said something along those lines. I’m paraphrasing what Nicole said. It was very wise. But that really resonated with me because I was like, I think you were absolutely right because I was so focused on day to day operations and tasks, the thought of taking on another client was overwhelming because how are we? How am I going to handle this? It wasn’t. How is the team going to handle it ? How am I going to handle this? And so now that we’ve kind of gotten the roles back to where I like them to be, we can actually start talking about growth again. And oddly enough, the minute that we cleared whatever that negative energy was hanging over, the business stuff started to come in again. And so now we’re back in that place where we’re like, Oh, we’re going to need another writer. Oh, if we take on a few more clients, we’re going to need another editor. And it’s a month ago we were like, Sorry, I don’t have work for you today, you know? And so it’s just interesting to see that shift. I think you kind of have to make the space for the growth to happen, and we definitely have this space again. And so it’s nice to be able to look forward. And those goals that I had for this year that I hadn’t reached, now I feel like we can reach them. You know, there’s space to reach them. And so I think probably a month ago I was feeling really down. Or a couple of months ago, I was feeling really down and I was like, I’m never going to get to that level that I had set for myself, I was like, It’s never going to happen. And we would talk about spiraling and all this stuff, and I’m like, I’m stuck in my spiral. You know, I would just be, I’m not spiraling up.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:32:07] I’m spiraling out. Nicole, I don’t care what you say.
Caroline Hull [00:32:10] I’m like, I’m just going round and round and round and and I just was starting to feel like it wasn’t going to happen. And now I can see that it can happen and I can see that we can meet those goals and make those goals happen. And so I’m just really excited to move forward in this way and hopefully, like regain some of my personality. For me, it’s been huge personally because I don’t think I realized how stressed out I was or how much I was carrying. And so being able to release some of that and focus more on other things like, you know, during homeschool hours, I’m not worried that something’s going to pop up that I need to take care of. I’m able to focus on my kids. And so it just feels good again. It feels everything feels right again and so like we’re set up for growth, which is exciting.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:32:59] That’s amazing. And it sounds like you can and also allows you that space allows you to see the path to. And I think that that’s where it’s really hard, you know, and this happens all the time. It’s like if you can’t really see the path forward, you feel stuck. And then that creates a bunch of other things that, you know, may or may not be very helpful, like getting back involved or saying, like, Oh, you know, I’ll just hire a VA. Like, I don’t see the growth and and which is, you know, totally understandable. And so I think the fact that you kind of like took that space, and even if it didn’t feel like an opportunity at the time, which you know it, it’s hard. It probably sucked, you know, but to really be able to find this person and have the insight around the role itself and like what was needed and then take the steps to actually, you know, fill it is really awesome. And now being able to like, see the path even if you’re not necessarily exactly there yet, but being able to see it and then having someone you know who sees it with you, right, which is this operations manager is really so helpful.
Caroline Hull [00:34:11] It is, and I think it’s really important. You know, I think when we feel stuck, we start to put Band-Aids on things, and I think that’s what I was doing. I felt stuck. And so it was like, Well, if I just put this quick Band-Aid on this, then I can focus on this. Or I would start shifting my attention from my agency to like a program I wanted to run. And then the agency would start to suffer. So I kept just slapping Band-Aids on things. And I think my biggest takeaway from this whole experience was like when I sat down and got really clear about what I needed personally as a CEO of my business and also just as a mom and a wife. And like, what did I need to be a better human being and writing down what it was and it was? I needed somebody to take over my job in the company. Like, that’s what it was in. So getting really clear and understanding that the Band-Aids and parenting it was time to rip those off and sever those parts of my business and bring in this person, get this all set up the way it needs to be, so I can maybe do other things down the road. You know, I just think that was a huge, a huge part of it. And I knew that I was doing it, but I didn’t see clearly the way out until I started communicating with other people about what was going on in my business. And so. I think that’s important, too, like sometimes you just need somebody else to hold a mirror to what you’re doing and you know,
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:35:41] and have that part like partnership in a way. And yeah, I mean, I have a manager on my team and you know, it’s nice to be able to sometimes go to her and be like, OK, this is what I desire. This is where we’re at. Like, how do we get? Like, what do you think this is? I’m thinking, this is how we get there. But do you agree or do you see another path forward? And just being able to have somebody who sees the business holistically and can kind of help brainstorm that how and then even own the how would you like even better? Right? It’s so helpful. And then again, helps you kind of get to the next the next spiral.
Caroline Hull [00:36:27] Yeah. Oh yeah. I’m excited. It’s going to be a shorter spiral. A smaller one. Yes, I’m going to get up there and I’m just gonna fall right out of it because it really is going to be like me. This is fine by. Yeah, totally. You know, it’s funny. I think it’s really easy to get down on yourself and be like, Oh, why did it take me a year to figure this out? You know, my daughter just turned a year old. So this has been like a process of her whole existence so far right now. And I can sometimes get really frustrated and feel like, why did it take me this long to get here? But I think I think all these steps were important because there were little things along the way that had to be done in order to make this moment possible. And so if you talked to me three months ago, I would have had a different perspective. I would have been like, This journey is terrible. I’m tired of it. I’m burning it down. But now that I’m on the other side of it, I’m like, Oh, I see how that was all necessary to get here. And in a place where we can move forward.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:37:25] So I love that. Awesome. Well, thank you for coming on. Thank you for sharing what your experience has been like over the past few months and more about how getting somebody into this role has been so helpful and just being so honest and open with all of us because I know so many people who are listening. Honestly, anybody doesn’t have to just be a done free service provider. Anyone who has a business has been, you know, in the position where it’s just it feels hard. It’s like, I’m just going to do this myself again. I want to burn it down. And so being able to have these conversations and be really open about it and then see what has happened since then is just so valuable. So thank you for being here and sharing your story with us.
Caroline Hull [00:38:10] Yeah, thanks for having me. It’s my pleasure.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:38:13] Thanks so much for tuning in today, if you are listening and know that you are committed to stepping into the agency owner role, whether you are a done-for-you service provider that’s working with a few contractors right now or you have a full team of employees and you’re ready to up level your leadership and make the changes in your business that’s needed to create a better and more enjoyable experience for all of your people, your clients, your team and yourself. Then, I invite you to check out my program Agency. You can head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply to look at the details and apply if it looks like a good fit. If you are accepted, I will send you a brand new free private training only for people that we’re accepting into the program to share with you the details of how we work and how we help remove you from client delivery and allow you to step into that leadership role of your agency again. The link is NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply. I look forward to seeing your applications.