Get the Balance Right

Ep. 111: Design Your Business to Profit Without You (Guest Sabrina Starling, PhD) [Expert Bonus Series]

September 19, 2022 Heather Zeitzwolfe Season 3 Episode 111
Get the Balance Right
Ep. 111: Design Your Business to Profit Without You (Guest Sabrina Starling, PhD) [Expert Bonus Series]
Show Notes Transcript

As an entrepreneur, you probably work many hours, but it doesn't have to be that way. What if you could design your businesses to be profit-generating machines even when you weren't around? If you'd love to take a four-week vacation from your company and still make money while lying on the beach, sipping a drink out of a coconut, then listen.

We are joined by author Sabrina Starling. Ph.D., who wrote the book The Four Week Vacation (The Entrepreneur's Ultimate Guide to Taking Your Life Back From Your Business)

She breaks down the critical elements so you can step away from your business and not be stressed about how it will function without you. Get ready to bring relaxation back into your life!

Contact and Follow Sabrina Starling, Ph.D.: Linkedin
Tap the Potential: Website
Profit By Design: Podcast
Entrepreneurs Take Back Your Life: Facebook Group

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As entrepreneurs, we work a lot of hours, but it doesn't have to be that way. What if I were to tell you that you could take a four week vacation, but your business would still produce income.  it would be A profit generating machine. Even while you are laying on the beach, sipping a drink out of a coconut. 

That's what we're going to talk about today with my guest Sabrina Starling. PhD who wrote the book the four week vacation, the entrepreneur's ultimate guide to taking your life back from your business. All right, let's do this.  

Heather Zeitzwolfe: Dr. Sabrina Starling. Welcome to get the balance right podcast.

Sabrina Starling: Thank you, Heather. I'm thrilled to be here.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: I'm so excited to talk to you about your newest book, the four week vacation. I wanna start off though, by asking you about this title the business psychologist. I noticed you had that trademarked also, what is a business psychologist?

Can you explain that?

Sabrina Starling: So I am a psychologist by training I really get excited by working with people , who are ready to move forward by leaps and bounds. And I've always been fascinated with the positive psychology and how we can be better as humans 

I repurposed , all of my training as a psychologist, and now I apply it to supporting entrepreneurs and business owners to really tapping their potential. So I know you work with a lot of creatives and there's so much potential within all of us. And then how you turn that into a business.

And Not just a business, but a business that's profitable. I use what I know as a psychologist to support entrepreneurs and business owners , in being better and living better lives.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: Oftentimes, creatives, we start our business based on our passion.. Then they end up doing all the things in their business and never have a free moment. What would be the first step towards building a business where they can take a four week vacation? Is it hiring someone? Is it developing and recording processes for the new hires or is it something else?

Like mindset and the gremlins that you talk about in your book? The four week vacation, the entrepreneur's ultimate guide to taking your life back from your business

Sabrina Starling: The very first step is to make sure that you, the owner are getting paid appropriately. So having a financial system in place in your business where you pay yourself first. Owners pay is protected as the business grows because operating expenses are going to naturally creep up.

If there's no guide for how much should I be paying myself as the owner, and then making sure that there is profit, that is building up in the business. Psychologically when we don't pay ourselves appropriately, we keep ourselves in survival mode and we can't be creative. We don't have the energy to build a team.

We don't have the energy to do the work on the business because we're all worried about how do I pay my bills. In this business. So the very first thing is creating a financial system in your business where you guarantee that there is profit and owners pay, and that gives you the guardrails that you need to grow the business.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: I know mindset comes into this a lot.

 What would be, the next step 

Sabrina Starling: the next,

so if we're talking about a business from the ground up, You gotta get some clients, this piece where we start to systematize how we make sales, how do we market the business? , is foundational. And then as that starts to happen, they have revenue coming in.

 Maybe you're like at a 200, 250,000 in revenue. And, you're stuck now because it's still very much reliant on you. The greatest opportunity. That you have at the point where you have steady sales is to look at who are your top customers and clients, and what is it that they're buying from you and what do they value most about what you do?

And then intentionally build the business in that direction. That's where the real momentum is, but there is this piece from startup to steady sales. That's kind of this middle ground territory where we're all over the place and we're trying all kinds of different things and we're looking at what's gonna stick.

 Once we start to get some clues about what's sticking, that's where we have that opportunity to really start. Defining. This is who we are. This is what we do. This is what makes us special and unique. that's also our greatest opportunity to start adding margin into what we're doing, because when people value what we do, we move away from price, pressure, 

Heather Zeitzwolfe: Calendar blocking. What is your thoughts on that? 

Sabrina Starling: As long as it's blocked on the calendar, I have peace of mind. There's always the temptation to not follow the blocks on the calendar.

, but I'm the one who suffers for it later.

 If I blow through a block of time, , I don't ask my assistant to do it. I have to figure out where it's gonna fit next. And I feel the pain of it, I'm a big believer in time blocking and it allows us to be very intentional , with what we get done.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: If an entrepreneur wants to do a four week vacation, but they're not sure their team can handle it. Should they do a dress rehearsal such as like

Sabrina Starling: Dress reversal. I love it.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: should they unplug for a week? , what does the dress rehearsal look.

Sabrina Starling: , I don't think any of us are in businesses where people die from our mistakes. I mean, accounting is bad if you make a mistake, but no one's gonna die. We don't need to stay in the background in case anything goes wrong. , we need to do small vacation tests. So whatever the length of time that you've been able to be away from your business fully unplugged is you wanna.

Increase it every single time and build up to a four week vacation. If you've only ever been able to be away for one day, then take two days off and let your team know fully unplug look at what you're scrambling to cover before you go away and look at what fell through the cracks while you were gone.

And those are the systems or the team members that you need to hire. Your business will teach you exactly what's needed and what you need to delegate, and have systems. By doing these vacation tests. And the cool thing is when we do these vacation tests is our team members get to step up.

They get to shine, they get to show us how cool they are. And they feel really good about that. It's very empowering. And when we come back from a vacation test, we don't want to undo all of that. Goodness. We want to let them keep those responsibilities. So once you let it go, it's gone. You have to check it.

There has to be measurements and ways that you know, that things are getting done, but once it's delegated for you to go on vacation, don't take it back. When you come back.

And We also need to start looking at who are our essential team members and making sure they're taking vacation, because if they don't take vacation, we never identify the gaps in our system.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: It also seems like it would be good for morale too. If they see the boss is always on vacation, that 

Sabrina Starling: Oh, 

Heather Zeitzwolfe: be like, I need a vacation too. 

Sabrina Starling: Everybody deserves the opportunity to take a vacation and your team members are going to be more effective and more productive because they've taken vacations.

We clear our head. We see things in a whole different way after a vacation, even if it's just two or three days.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: We have to make sure that we're bringing enough profit so that we can actually provide vacation time for these folks we're talking about employees of the business, right? We're not talking about contractors, we're talking about actual employees.

Sabrina Starling: I want everybody involved in my business to be taking vacations. I would not want an independent contractor on my team who just works, you know, 52 weeks out of the year. That person is not gonna be bringing their best. When you're an independent contractor, you have a business. So you need to think about how did things get done without you and making sure that that function that's happening can still happen when you're not there.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: , I wanna ask you about Geno Wickman, he wrote traction, , how to be a great boss. He developed the entrepreneurial operating system, which is also called EOS. But he also wrote the forward to your book. That's a big deal. How did you 

Sabrina Starling: it's a freaking big deal.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: How did you get him to write the forward for your book?

Sabrina Starling: A wonderful team member she reached out to his assistant .

We weren't asking for a forward. He looked at the book and he said, this is so much in line with what I believe and what I know and how I have run my business and where I'm headed next, because his book, EOS life is all about, that point in life where the business can run without you and you get to really be a full human being again. he called me and he said, I would like to write the forward of the book. it was an incredible, for me it was like, wow, I cannot believe I have Geno Wickman here on the phone.

Saying that he wants to write the forward. And that's how it happened. I wrote something that resonated , in what Geno said to me that really resonated with him is he's never seen anyone lay out all the research on why we need to take time off because when we talk to business owners and tell them, you just need to go take time off. We get all this pushback because when we're in that busy, busy, busy mode, we believe that we can't stop. And, in the four week vacation, I really just laid out all the research that shows we are going to be better and more effective as human beings and business owners when we're taking breaks from our business.

And Gina said, that's what really grabbed his attention about the book.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: Well, congratulations. That's a really cool honor to have him do the forward. That's super, super cool. When I got a copy of your book and I saw that I was like on the cover. I'm like, whoa, that's a big deal. Can you please tell us how people can work with you?

Your business tapped the potential. Is that a coaching program, group coaching? 

Sabrina Starling: At TAs, the potential, we have our better business, better life program, and we walk you through building a sustainably profitable business that gives you more time for what matters most and more money in your bank account. The best way to get involved with us. Is to go over to tap the and book a consultation.

And we'd be happy to talk with you. , I also wanna share that I have the profit by design podcast, and I talk about these topics, on the podcast.

Heather Zeitzwolfe: thank you so much, Dr. Sabrina Starling.

Sabrina Starling: Thank you, Heather. It was a pleasure to be here with you