UE Ep. 7: How To Create Systems for Success with Jordan Gill
"Structure is not to suffocate, it's to support." - Jordan Gill
Four years ago I would have resisted anything that looked, sounded, or smelled like a system.
Truth be told, I'm 50% Colombian and the stereotype is true that we are pretty lax when it comes to time.
But as a business owner, this has been my achilles heel...
Time management, process, data, productivity, expenditure... all words that used to make my skin crawl just a few years ago.
But you know how they say you have to get so sick and tired of something before you make a change? That was me with systems. I was so exhausted from working long hours, working weekends, feeling like a chicken with my head cut off because I forgot about the 25 things I committed to.
I distinctly remember an ah-ha moment I had while reading the E-Myth Revisited by the pool at the house I grew up in. This was over 3 years ago and I was really struggling with managing all of my ideas, projects, tasks, etc.
Until Michael Gerber started talking about the difference between a technician, entrepreneur, and CEO. I was 100% stuck in the "technician" position in my business and I realized I needed a change.
In a very gradual miracle kind of way, I began falling in love with systems, processes, SOP's and KPI's. These words were so new to me but they signified freedom... the ultimate reason why I started my business in the first place.
Today, I'm a right-brained girl living in a left-brained world and I'm constantly pushing myself to learn more and improve my time management processes and systems so I can continue to experience the freedom I crave.
That's why I brought on Jordan Gill of The Kolada Group to talk all things systems, structures, hiring team members, and preventing the dirty biz habits that are seriously detrimental to our bottom lines as entrepreneur's.
Here are some highlights from the show:
1. Jordan talks about how much systems can actually save you in time and dollars.
2. We talk about interns and hiring the right people - something that's been a huge learning curve for me, personally!
3. Jordan shares how her clients are getting results from her methodologies.
4. We break down "time blocking" and "themes" and why this is the only way to give yourself more freedom
Meet Jordan Gill:
Q: Tell us how you started your business & what your business is all about?
A: I started my business before I even had a website. I was working for an incredible online entrepreneur for 2 years as her Head of Content and then moved into a bit of an operational role. I really really loved the operations side of things. I loved being able to build, mold, and play with how to make things more efficient. I've always been operations-minded even during my Head of Content role. However, I was just getting this itch to do more of that type of work. So I gave my boss about 6 weeks notice (I knew they had a launch coming up and I wanted to support them through that). And the clock started clicking.
By the grace of God (literally), during those 6 weeks with no website, no real idea of what my offerings were, I was able to secure 3 monthly retainer clients that would still support me with the salary I had previously. It's the power of networking and just connecting with people for over 2 years without asking for anything. I loved my job and honestly thought I would be working there for at least 5 years. But when your gut is calling you, you have to follow it. So we started out as Personalized Procedures (I know....the name is less than stellar) and we recently rebranded to The Kolada Group. The name is inspired by pina coladas, which are a symbol of fun and relaxation. That's what we achieve with clients who work with us. We are a business operations firm that helps entrepreneurs thrive with tech and team solutions. We looooove to get things automated and delegated so you can stop being the bottleneck in your own business.
Q: List some accomplishments you're super proud of:
- Being able to jump from employee to entrepreneur with no salary gap
- Speaking at my first event this January
- Speaking at 3 more events in Quarter 2
- Kept up with my own podcast, Systems Saved Me
- Turned down a $42k contract (never thought I would do that, but it was not an ideal client)
- Have an incredible team of folks that support me
- Giving our clients peace of mind (my favorite part about our work)
Q: What fuels you in your business?:
A: I am fueled by efficiency. If I feel like something is complicated, I have to make a process for it or make things easier. I'm always asking my team, "What's still not working? What's still taking too much time?" And we squash it right then and there. I couldn't do what I do without my team's support and it allows me to be fully present with my clients. I want my team and myself to only do the things that we HAVE to do manually. If it can be automated, we automate it.
Q: What's your motto in business and/or life?:
A: There's a system for that :)
Q: What's your "zone of genius"? AKA what are you really good at? Brag a little, it's cool.
A: I am brilliant at diagnosing system breakdowns. When my clients come to me, they aren't saying, "Jordan, my client onboarding process needs to be fixed." They say, "I'm getting bogged down by preparing the contracts for my clients and getting my team prepped to start on a project." I am able to be figure out if the issue is a gap in expectations, communication, software, knowledge, etc... and know exactly how to remedy the situation.
In a paragraph, share a quick story of a specific time or breaking point where you "unleashed" and unapologetically owned YOUR sh*t (your desires, beliefs, values, etc.):
A: When I changed the name of my business, I totally became unapologetic. Before with my namePersonalized Procedures, I fully hid behind it. I didn't want to tell people my business name or post it anywhere. I used it as a crutch. This hurt me BIG time as I realized I couldn't rely on referrals forever. I had to start marketing myself (aka talking about my business). So I hired a branding firm to come up with a name and voila! The Kolada Group was born. Now, I want to shout my name from the rooftops and help more people!
Q: What's the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
A: One of the biggest obstacles is moving from a monthly retainer model to a more packaged offering. It was EXTREMELY scary. I wanted to hold on to those monthly retainers because they felt like a salary. I let go of one monthly retainer in October, and then another monthly retainer and I parted ways. So I got down to 1 monthly retainer client. There's nothing like being pushed out of your comfort zone to kick it into gear. I was in survival mode. If I wanted to eat, I had to figure out something....and fast. So I mustered up and started marketing my offerings. I did a 5 day Batching Bootcamp for a low-priced offer and then upsold them into either another resource program or my initial new offering. I also was invited to speak at 2 gigs and got a 3 month project that recovered the cost of one of my monthly retainers. It was really hard to start so strong, and then hit a sales speed bump in your business. But it helped show me that I am resilient and I have what it takes to get through entrepreneurial low points.
Q: Introvert or extrovert?:
A: Extroverted - bring on the people!
Q: Favorite dessert?
A: Avocado chocolate mousse
Q: If you could give 1 piece of advice to yourself 5 years ago, what would it be?:
A: Don't invest in learning other people's way to success. I never want to be someone that says "This is how I've been able to be successful and you can too!" because that's a lie. I bought into that originally. But I'm in the business of there are several ways to do something - let's discuss what aligns with your preferences and your habitual way of working. Thankfully, I'm a chameleon and can adjust to my clients' needs. Some of my clients like their processes in Asana, and some like color coordinated Lucid Charts. I can do the same system either way - let's make it work for YOU.
How to Connect with Jordan:
Have questions for Erika? Want us to feature a certain topic on the show? Leave a comment below and let us know!