October 23, 2018
We manage your people and processes so you can get back to managing your vision!
Intro Quote – Natalie G: Except I have this servant heart and I’m looking around and peers around me and I’m thinking, “They’re not being served. They’re actually being duped.”
Allie Bjerk: Welcome to the Prosperity Lab Podcast. We’ve been given an amazing opportunity in entrepreneurship that’s never been available in any other time period. We live in a reality where the number of lives we impact can be directly reflected by the dollars in our bank accounts. Prosperity is about more than income. It means living the good life and existing in a state of freedom, security, and well being. This podcast will explore the paths towards living our best lives and the businesses providing for them.
Allie Bjerk: In this episode I interview Natalie Gingrich. Her zone of genius is helping people become really clear and actionable in their businesses. She started as a project manager and has evolved her business into helping entrepreneurs create systems in their own businesses. I can’t wait to share all of her knowledge and tips with you. Here’s my interview with Natalie.
Allie Bjerk: Okay, welcome to another episode of the Prosperity Lab Podcast. We are here today with Natalie Gingrich, I’m so excited to interview her. She and I have been friends online for probably, oh gosh, two years now?
Natalie G: Yup.
Allie Bjerk: So we met through the Boss Mom group originally. And I know our businesses have evolved and changed over the last year, so I’m just really excited to talk to her today about what she’s doing now and how that might help you as you’re growing your own business. So, Natalie would you like to introduce yourself a little bit and tell me about your business and what you do?
Natalie G: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me here, Allie, and I’m so excited that you have put this podcast together. Like you just mentioned, you and I have been friends for a long time and we’ve both seen the pivots and the growth that both of us have gone through. And I’m proud to call you a friend and happy to be here in the beginning of this new venture for you, which I know will just be really a rich blessing to other people who hop on. So thanks for having me. And as a little intro … yes, you’re so welcome.
Natalie G: As an intro to myself, as Allie said, I’m Natalie Gingrich and you can find me at NatalieGingrich.com. I have spent 15 years in corporate and before that in healthcare, ironically, and have used the better parts of me to create my personal brand, which is focused on operations of the entrepreneur world. So I partner with entrepreneurs in a very general … I say entrepreneur because I don’t care if you’re male, female, or if you’re working in this or that. My zone of genius is in helping people get really clear and actionable in their business and that is what I love doing, that’s my gift and I serve … I came from HR and project management background and so it has just really opened up and blossomed in a way that feels really organic to me and, most importantly, is super helpful and needed in the marketplace. So that’s what I’m doing today.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah it is, oh my gosh. Every single person I talk to needs operations and needs so much help in that area so I’m really excited to talk to you and to see what tips we can give them to help. So I’m curious. With what you were doing before, what was going on when you decided to start your own business? What did that look like for you? How were you feeling when you started your own business and, yeah, I’d just love to hear about your journey going from being an employee to where you are now.
Natalie G: Awesome. I will cut this down and make this really impactful. But I wanna let you know that I’m still in that journey. I left corporate America in 2015, not that anyone’s counting, but for those three years, I took three months of these last three years off and that was just to kinda soak in and really try to make a plan for myself and what I was gonna do moving forward. Even if I could stay at home and be that stay at home mom that some people just want to do so badly, that was never my dream. I left corporate America, I went into corporate America super high achieving, ambitious and driven, I left corporate America even more so. And I do still feel like I’m an amazing mother with that.
Natalie G: But I left corporate America, spent three months at home watching and doing things with my children that we had never gotten to do and had an amazingly rich time with them. And quickly came to my husband like, “There is now way I’m gonna do this forever.” And I had been working on a few things, even when I was in corporate, just kinda letting my mind go into what the next season of my life looked like which, bottom line, had to include more balance if that is a term that any of us can wrap our minds around. I just wanted to do it a little bit differently. So I didn’t necessarily say, “I’m going to work 10 hours a week.” Or “I’m going to make a million dollars.” That balance to me just looked like being able to support my family in a different way.
Natalie G: And so, very first thing I did was get a life coaching certification and I started a group called the More Mom Movement. It is still a group today, it has now become my side hustle and my passion project because I realized I was a little bit out of alignment with where my gifts truly were. And so I went back to what I was doing in corporate, which is project management and operations counseling and here we are today. I opened up NatalieGingrich.com in the end of 2016 and have just found and niched down and gotten more clear in these last two years and have served hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs just in a leadership capacity.
Allie Bjerk: I love that. So the More Mom Movement, that’s still around? That’s still your passion project?
Natalie G: It is. I have taken the emphasis of trying to monetize it away, which has been very liberating because now I can really focus on giving it … and I’m always transparent so you’ll find that with me. But at first I was trying to monetize it because, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t bring in an income. So I was trying and forcing the monetization of it and it felt super icky. And so I just found that it was much easier for me to monetize my services in this operational world. So More Mom still exists, but I don’t have the pressure to monetize it in the way that I needed to when I had first left corporate. So it’s around, it’s definitely my passion, it’s where I go to, it’s my people, it’s my community. And it’s the other side of my heart. One side of my heart is extremely emotional and developmental, which is the More Mom space and then the other part of me which is super pragmatic, super action oriented, lies in this ops world.
Allie Bjerk: Do you feel like that’s fulfilling having a project for each side? First it’s overwhelming trying to do all the things … is it … it’s all in how you think about it, I suppose.
Natalie G: Yeah. I can tell you that I can not manage and run two businesses at the same time. And so that’s why I had to just relieve myself of the expectation that I was going to do that. Because even though I can appear as Superwoman sometimes, I actually don’t have a cape. So that part of me, I just had to release that expectation that I was going to show up 100% in both because, indeed, I could not do that. So I don’t have a social media schedule, I don’t have any of those traditional business functions behind More Mom. When I’m inspired, I write. And people still show up. So it’s really organic. It’s organic and I don’t doubt that one day I will be at a place where I can develop a team to fully support the mission there. So I expect to play a CEO role in More Mom in the same way that I’m playing in Natalie Gingrich today, but they’re gonna have to look different for me to do that.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah, because I remember when we were talking about different launch ideas or program ideas for More Mom and that was probably two years ago now. But it’s interesting what realizations you come to when things just aren’t in alignment or they just don’t feel quite right. I think that’s something a lot of people can relate to is that they’re trying to either force multiple passions of theirs, when in reality, you have a gift that you can monetize more easily. That’s the business to run with. So that’s interesting that you came to that conclusion too.
Natalie G: It wasn’t without a ton of effort and a ton of forced effort which, looking back, I can now feel the heaviness and the weight of that. And today it just feels so much easier for me to serve clients on the operation side of me. It’s organic and it’s natural. Yeah, I feel like I’m in the right place for the right time. And relieving myself of really trying to show up at both places. That is not an expectation that I can fulfill.
Allie Bjerk: That’s what the Prosperity Lab Podcast is all about too, is the experimentation of it, you might try something that does not work, it might not quite feel right but just knowing that it’s okay pivot and change and figure out what you’re most called to do, no matter where you’re at in your journey. So I think that’s really cool that you’re able to do that. And deciding that for yourself too, not … a lot of us put all those expectations, no one else is putting those expectations on us but in the name of balance we try to do everything but it’s all internal. At least for me. I know I tend to try to wear the cape too. But it’s all about deciding … balance is deciding where you wanna show up and what you wanna do. You get to decide what balance looks like.
Natalie G: And through that experience, Allie, I have … I can’t tell you, entrepreneurs just typically have an itch to be multi-passionate and so through the people that I have come in contact with and in this operational role, I serve a strategic as well as a coaching role. So a lot of times people will refer to me as their coach, and I’m like, “Ah, no I’m not your coach.” But it’s the impact that I have. So when you are someone’s right hand in their business, you are gonna do a lot of coaching and supporting and mentoring. So that comes up, but I can’t tell you the number of people that I have worked with who are either want to have two to three businesses or are anxious to get out of the business or operationalize the business that hey have turned profitable so that they can start something new.
Natalie G: And so now I feel like through that work that I did within my own experience and now able to package it and really help other people, guide them through that and prioritize what it is. That was actually my very first product is going through that exercise, the same exercise that I had done in corporate for so long, the same exercises, pieces of it that I had learned through the project management certifications that I had done. But now being able to transcend that to any business owner. And that’s why, when I introduce myself, I say to entrepreneurs, and I don’t niche down to interior designer or I don’t niche down super, super deal because it truly is, if you need to get clear, here’s an exercise to do that. And I had no idea that that was my gift when I was in corporate five years ago.
Allie Bjerk: Right, it’s such a journey. So what would you say your biggest piece of advice is for someone that’s feeling pulled in multiple directions or has a want to manage multiple business at the same time? How do you choose what to do?
Natalie G: This is absolutely fantastic. So-
Allie Bjerk: That wasn’t on the question list, so I’m sorry.
Natalie G: No, that’s a fantastic question. And it comes down to, I would push you to really prioritizing what your objective is. And I’m gonna be very clear and very honest here. For 95% of the people that I work with, it’s to be able to bring in dollars, right? So you’ve got to return money to your family. And that’s the reason that … I know a lot of people like to say, “I don’t do this for money.” You’re doing this for that transaction, for that exchange of funds. And it’s not only for you to collect those funds, but it’s also for you to deliver those funds to your bank account. And even if you don’t need them, there’s an exchange there that is appreciated. And so I’m a big believer in that strategic exercise, which I call strategic mapping. And it’s in my best planning boot camp course.
Natalie G: But that’s exactly what it is. The very first step in understanding where you need to be is based on those objectives. If business growth and financials is your number one, then guess what? You’ve gotta go to the business that is going to bring in revenue, that is actually profitable or that can be the most profitable the fastest. Because that’s what you need. That is very unemotional, that is very cut and dry. But I would tell you, you’ve gotta go to the things that are going to bring you the most fulfillment, and you have to recognize that money, albeit not popular to say, is the reason that a lot of us get up and do this.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah, exactly.
Natalie G: We’re lucky in this entrepreneurial space to be able to couple money with the things that come easy, that we’re passionate about, that fire us up, but we’re doing this for the exchange of something.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah, absolutely. And then you can just support your other passions too and just make life easier, donate to causes you care about and travel and just build life experience in so many other areas and have the time freedom at the same time of, you don’t have to work 50, 60 hours a week, you can work when you want. It might be midnight but you still have that availability to choose.
Natalie G: And I’ve been saving from NatalieGingrich.com to be able to fund the future of More Moms some day so that I have a startup fund for that when the time is right. I know it’s not right right now but I don’t doubt that it will be right at some point. And then I don’t have to come up with a startup fund from my own family, it will all have been purposefully laid.
Allie Bjerk: I love that. So because I’m a marketing nerd, I’d love to hear about what you’re currently doing for marketing. Where are your clients coming from. And I know you’ve served clients in different capacities so I’m curious if you have a unique strategy for each different type of customer that you serve or if they waterfall from one type to the next type, what’s your process to attract people to your business?
Natalie G: Awesome. Just to lay it out there and kinda show you guys and share with your audience, the three types of streams that I have today. First one is a retainer clients, and so I keep very few of those today. I serve them very deeply and they’re very high level entrepreneurs. The second avenue or stream, if you will, is through a program called the A Team, which is all about helping mid level entrepreneurs with their operations. So I’m teaching them to be the project manager of their own business, to understand the backed of their business, which is greatly lacking and also leads to a lot of overwhelm and just disenfranchised with their lives, their business etc. And then the third and newest arm for me is the director of operation certification that I’ve put together so that other people can be supported in the way that I’m supporting people.
Natalie G: So I wanted to lay that out there so you knew what I was marketing to. I have relied on, to this point, relationship marketing 100%. I have tried paid advertising and I feel like I have just been more effective in the personal side of things. That said, when I came into business, I told my husband, “I just wanna let you know for the next two years …” And I know that my strong suit is in people. I let him know, “For the next two years, I’m gonna put a lot of effort into being visible and present, so that’s gonna pull away from my family in a different way than I did in corporate.” Corporate was a lot of networking events, a lot of being at clubs or organizations inside of this really big business. So doing that on my own means going to live events. It means connecting with people on coffee chats or even networking events that are not here in San Antonio, Texas, which is where I live.
Natalie G: So I have been super invested in relationships and people. It’s a natural skill of mine. But when I have tried to sell via a funnel, a traditional funnel, a digital funnel, if you will, the conversions just haven’t been as strong. So relationships, relationships, relationship, everything has been word of mouth and really just delivering a product that I’ve guaranteed people has led to positive word of mouth and then staying active in communities has also been doable for me because I’m an extrovert. I can actually handle lots of conversations and lots of people. Managing that is not overwhelming to me. Whereas if you’re an introvert, that could be exhausting and that is not would not be a feasible strategy for you.
Natalie G: I anticipate, as I grow over time, that my marketing will change. I’m about to start a podcast, just like you. And that will change, still allow me to do that relationship building but the marketing will really be different for the first time.
Allie Bjerk: That’s exciting.
Natalie G: It is.
Allie Bjerk: So when it comes to your clients, what are some of the struggles that you’ve seen them go through when it comes to operations? What do they have in common between different levels of clients?
Natalie G: So operations is really the backend of your business. And I can tell you that across the board, managing of people, so talent and HRs are one of those tenants of operations. A lot of people in a CEO or a leader of their company have the ability to either see where they wanna be … so they’re futuristic. Or they get into business because they’re like, “Ah, I see a gap in the marketplace and I am great at X, Y, Z, and I’m gonna deliver that.” So standing up the product or developing the path in which you wanna take, is the easy part of business. Behind the scenes, the support, the logistics, the operations that have to come into play, are very, very different than where you enter your space or your business.
Natalie G: And so really, being a leader of people is broken. The leadership model is really broken because it’s hard. It’s different, it’s not a skill that everybody has. So from an operations perspective I would say those two pieces, one being just talent leadership, people leadership, people development, all of that. And then the second piece are the processes to be able to streamline. So documenting those, getting those out of your head, just identifying them. Because it is so easy to outsource those. You just have to identify them. And if you don’t like doing the work, trust me, there are lots of people out there that are good at doing that, are good at breaking down processes or asking you the right questions and you’re not physically sitting down to write those processes.
Natalie G: You can’t grow your business, you can grow your vision, you can’t achieve the things that you need to achieve in your business to move you forward without having something repeatable and processes and workflows really are the backbone of your business.
Allie Bjerk: Do you have a favorite tool that you use for onboarding or anything.
Natalie G: You know, I work with so many different clients, and that has been another lesson that I have learned over time is as I get into people’s businesses, I’m coming in as a contractor and this is a different mentality. When I used to come into people’s business, I used to say, “I used Trello, you’re gonna use Trello. Because I’m going to be leading this.” And today I can tell you that I’m much more autonomous and adaptive to what people are using. If they’re using Airtable, none of these tools are that different. None of these tools are that different. My goal is to help that person get the process out of their mind, out of their brain so that we can tweak it, optimize it, and hand it off.
Natalie G: And so if I’m creating that in a Word doc, in a Google doc, in Process Street, in Trello, I really don’t care the tool. For me, the biggest tool that I need to help is their brain. Their brainspace and eventually getting that so perfected that we can … or even imperfectly, just getting that to a state that we can delegate it or outsource it.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah, just getting that out. That’s something that I struggled with for a long time. I used Trello and then I switched to Asana and then I was like, no, I’m gonna use Basecamp, no I’m gonna use Trello. And because I kept thinking one tool was superior or if I just found the perfect tool, them my business was gonna run well. But in reality, my brain was the problem, it wasn’t the tool. So it took, literally laying it out in Google docs, something as simple as a Google doc, just step by step, before I could even go any further in processes. But I had to do that before I could bring on any contractors or anything like that. And I kept trying to bring contractors on to help me and I didn’t have any processes, so it fell apart every time.
Allie Bjerk: But I think even laying it out step by step was the huge help for me.
Natalie G: Yes, and there’s a huge mental block in the weight of just sitting down and documenting that. It feels just so heavy. So I always encourage people, just think about the things that are broken in your business, the things that frustrate you. Simple things like invoicing come up often. The onboarding process come up often. And those are all big pieces of your business, one of them is how you get paid, right? So we’ve got to make this easy for you to do so that you can repeat it over and over. And we wanna get paid as many times as possible so really putting it on your calendar and just claiming it as an action day and not trying to tackle a million … of course, there’s processes to everything that you do but you don’t have to tackle all of them.
Natalie G: Tackle the most critical and the most broken an then naturally someone else is gonna come into your business that’s gonna say, “Hey, why don’t we … let’s do that.” And all of the sudden you’re gonna be like, I need a process for it. So it will never be a situation where you’re gonna sit down and document all 55 processes of your business, just start with the ones that are the most broken and hand those off.
Allie Bjerk: That’s so smart. So what are some differences that you’ve seen between your retainer clients who, I’m assuming are probably six and seven figure business owners, and then your A Team, who, are they more the type of business owners that are just getting started or are they first or second year?
Natalie G: The A Team, the people that I’ve profiled for that program are folks who are making a profit every single month. So they’re a profitable business, they have seen success, they have a path and a plan. The plan is just not being executed in the way that they want. Whereas my retainer clients, they all come with a team. I am a true integrator in their business, so I am the chief operating officer for them. I am listening to the visionary, to the CEO, to the leader or whatever you wanna call them. I am formulating a plan and handing that plan off.
Natalie G: So flipping back to the A Team folks, gals, they’re all females, those folks are … I’m helping them create that plan so they can either execute it or hand it off. So it’s just a little bit of a shift in where I come into their business. And they’re still doing a lot of the work. These people either have a couple contractors or they’re still solopreneurs, but they envision themselves allocating some of their revenue to someone, to another teammate, to take some of these tasks off of their plate.
Allie Bjerk: Okay. So the biggest difference, do you think it’s clarity or is it just time or is it back to what you’re saying about leadership? What do you think it the difference between people who are dreaming of becoming a six or seven figure business and those who are maybe only profiting a thousand or a couple thousand dollars per month?
Natalie G: I think in total it’s size of their business, so whether that’s revenue, whether that’s number of people that are supporting them, whether that’s the length of time in their business, it’s just the business maturity in total.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah, so it’s not one thing that they can learn and change.
Natalie G: I have a hard time thinking that you’re gonna get to seven figures being a solo-preneur.
Allie Bjerk: Right.
Natalie G: I would love that for all of you guys.
Allie Bjerk: You see that in all the Facebook ads, don’t we?
Natalie G: Right, right.
Allie Bjerk: The overnight success stories.
Natalie G: Right, which burn me up every single time because, as we all know, the efforts to get to that point are just so many and so misconstrued when you get false marketing like that.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah. And I feel like we’re totally inundated with that message that it’s easy and with you being on the ground floor and inside those businesses, you see all the moving pieces and what it actually takes to run a business like that. It’s a lot.
Natalie G: It’s a lot and the difference of what I just told you, the three programs that I have, the three different ways that I make money, that takes the equivalent of two part time employees or one full time to be able to support that. So these people who are making … these businesses that are making seven and eight figures have multiple products and product arms working at the same time. So it’s starting to look more and more like a traditional corporate business, right? So you’ve basically got product line leaders that are responsible for delivering that product. It’s just totally different from a solopreneur.
Allie Bjerk: Right.
Natalie G: All of these people started as a solopreneur. They start as one person developing one product and then we get tiered of it, we get sick of it, or we monetize it enough or operationalize it enough to where we can now start to have the bandwidth to look at another one or to tweak the one that we started with.
Allie Bjerk: Right. So just staying focused on one product at a time and letting it grow. Staying in alignment with what feels good, what you want to do.
Natalie G: Yup. And even if you only have one product, you still have a lot of operations that are happening, like I mentioned. You’ve got onboarding, you’ve got invoicing, you’ve got calendar management, email management, there’s still a whole 50% of your business that is still administration. Paying your taxes, getting yourself onto social media platforms, etc. etc.
Allie Bjerk: Actually treating your business as though it’s a business and not a hobby.
Natalie G: Absolutely.
Allie Bjerk: So do you have any advice for someone that’s just getting started, what they should do first when setting up their operations?
Natalie G: 100% make sure that you have a financial plan, you have a way to look at a P&L. I am shocked at the number of people who have a big business and have no idea … big business as in, air quotes because that’s defined differently for everybody. Developed business people that you think would know their financials do not. So the number one thing, even though that’s really outside the scope of the services that I provide, I know that someone is serious about their business if they can tell me if they have knowledge and awareness of what their profit and loss looks like every single month. I don’t think that you’re a true, bonafide , business person unless you’re doing that.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah. That’s such a big step for a lot of people. And probably painful for some as they’re just getting started and they’re investing in coaches and programs and there’s so much money flying out of the door when they’re just trying to get started, it’s probably not always an easy process to go through but it is so necessarily …
Natalie G: And to have it and to be able to reflect those years that I was in the negative $2000 a months, those were … that’s hard, you’re right. I did not wanna look at those numbers. But having that ability to be able to reflect now and compare the work and just being able to be validated in my alignment and who I’m serving, negatives hurt, they’re gonna always hurt. But being able to see the change and the growth from that is huge.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah, and I think it’s just that mindset flip too of thinking of yourself as a business instead of thinking of yourself as a freelance. And I know personally, a couple years ago, when I opened up my business bank account and even just doing little things like that, it was like, “Oh, I can ask people to pay me for what I can do. I don’t have to work for family for free or friends for free anymore. I have a bank account and I have a number with the IRS. I’m legit now.”
Natalie G: Yeah, it’s definitely mindset. And the other thing is from a goal perspective, having that P&L and being able to forecast things, right? Now I can make data based decisions, fact based decisions. I was about to re-record a course, the Business Plan Bootcamp that I had mentioned earlier. I was about to re-record that course just to up level it, because that’s me, right? I wanna make it the best and always continue to tweak that and I go back to my profit and loss statement and I look at that line item which is how much money I’ve made from that course. It’s like, why would I invest $3000 into a course that has barely produced more than that? So it allows me to make decisions that I should spend my time, money, energy in another area of my business, knowing that that course is not going to produce, unless I spend a lot of targeted time and money dedicated to that, it’s probably not gonna return much differently.
Allie Bjerk: So looking at what’s actually bring in the most amount of income into your [inaudible 00:31:53]. And also what’s the most personally fulfilling too. Because I’m sure when you’re working with just retainer clients what was … those are probably high ticket clients so I’m curious what the shift was for you when you were just doing high end clients to then opening these … your A Team program and launching your courses. Was that a mindset shift you had to make for yourself or was it burnout or what was going on there when you were only doing high end services and then you ended up changing your style of those.
Natalie G: So I think that high end is described a little bit differently. I felt like those people were high end at the time and in reality, in retrospect, they are high end people, I love them, they’re all my very close friends today. The reality is their businesses were not really in a state of being that I could support in my real zone. And so I found myself really hopping out of my gifts to make sure that those things worked.
Natalie G: What happened, I was charging a moderate amount and had the quantity was just way too many. Service based businesses that are working with 10 to 15 people a week, that is burnout. So I just realized as I started working with higher and higher level businesses with more complex businesses I should say, just required more of me. It required me to serve in a way where I could not deliver my quality and have 6 to 10. So I kept backing that number down, which came to be between four and five and then I just got this real itch to be able to serve more people.
Natalie G: I’m an extrovert, I wanted to be in front of more people. And I really saw a place … every coach I ever had was like, “Just focus on the high dollar people. Focus on the people making a ton of money so that you can come in, be really critical in their business and not have to work that much.” Which sounds like a great plan except I have this servant’s heart and I’m looking around at peers around me and I’m thinking, “They’re not being served. They’re actually being duped by really high named professionals out there in our space who probably have good intentions.”
Natalie G: But in reality I’m listening to these people on a personal level. They’re coming back to me saying, “I bought this course. I’m working with this person. I’m in this person’s master mind. I’m doing X, Y, and Z.” And they’re still saying the same things. I’m stressed. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I should invest. They were not getting the strategy that they deserved and so it just dawned on me one day that maybe everything that everyone has been telling me about only being exclusive to a complex business structure is just not for me. I think I can continue to serve those people but I really have a heart for making sure that the mid level entrepreneur, who’s already profitable, has a place and is supported in the way that they were when they were starting.
Natalie G: So there’s a lot of people out there that serve people in the startup phase and there’s a ton of people who wanna serve you at the six and seven figure marks because you get paid more, and we all know that. But, I don’t know, my heart is just in making sure that people have the ability to scale in a real way and it can be customized so that’s really why A Team came about. I have no plans on changing that either.
Allie Bjerk: That’s awesome. It is a really underserved market, for sure. Because there’s tons of … I mean, those people, they’re not necessarily buying courses the way they did when they were just getting started, they’re not quite ready to invest in really high ticket programs, or they shouldn’t be doing that, anyway. Some of them might still be doing it. But they still wanna grow and they still need help and advice and I feel like the operations is really an area where those people need help so that’s awesome that you’re able to fill that void.
Natalie G: And to teach them to do it themselves before they start outsourcing it. So those are the people that are in that group. They’re really ready to add that teammate that’s gonna be a fixture for them. And until you have done it and you’ve laid it out, you really can’t expect anyone else to come into their business and do it better than them
Allie Bjerk: Yeah. 100%. So the people that are in your A Team program, do they have teams built around their businesses yet or are they still in that solopreneur status?
Natalie G: They range, of course, and there are product based businesses, service based businesses, there’s all different types of models and people in that program. And I thought about really niching down and making sure there was only service or there was only product and when I stripped it down, everybody has the same needs. We really just have to get out what’s in our head and make sure that we can articulate that to the next person. And so these folks have either zero people working for them, it’s just themselves, or they have VAs and possible an [inaudible 00:37:15] business manager. So they do not have complex structures at all. They don’t have the revenue yet to be able to support that.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah. So do you help them … how long is that program?
Natalie G: It’s six months and we have a theme each month. I can almost anticipate what you were gonna ask me.
Allie Bjerk: I love it.
Natalie G: We start with operations. So every month has a theme and we work through, I’ll just kinda highlight, we’ll go over this really quick. But we work through the operations the first month, which is really setting up your foundations. Identifying the kinks, helping you to get that stuff that’s out of your mind into a place, whatever that place may be. Whatever that tool may be. We look at visibility, we look at product development, pricing, the structure that you have. A lot of people will come in and will have 15 different products that they’re trying to get out there or 15 different services or 15 different ways that people can work with them. And in reality, we know why we’re doing that, because our motivator is money. We need to become profitable. So we’ll do anything at the beginning.
Natalie G: So we’ll take a really good look in what your gifts are, where you should be, that’s kinda the coachy part. I call that product development and innovation. So it could be a launch that you have, all the way down to the way that you’re operating your business as far as how people can procure your services. We talk about hiring. We’ll go through a full hiring process and I think you and I have even talked about that in the past. But I have packaged that up so somebody else can come into … so you can either execute that or you can have somebody come in and do all of it or even some of that. And we look at professional productivity. So those are the tenants of that program and we build on them every single month. So after you’ve completed that six months with me, you have built at least a minimum of six different process that you probably would have never done. I don’t know a business owner that has six processes documented today.
Allie Bjerk: Right, no.
Natalie G: Regardless of the size of your business. And so we incorporate things like CEO days to make sure that you’re going back over past processes, that you’re looking at your financials, that you have a social media plan so that you’re not up at two o’clock in the morning creating your graphic to post tomorrow. So it’s really about operationalizing your business. And again, every single one of those things can be handed off to somebody and that’s what’s gonna allow you to scale. Scaling is all about using human capital to get things off of your plate so that you can grow in ways that are really authentic to you.
Allie Bjerk: I love that. I love everything you just said. I think everything that you just talked through is something that people often ignore but absolutely need and that’s probably one of the reasons they’re not as profitable as they could be is they haven’t taken those steps.
Natalie G: [inaudible 00:40:15] get really excited about visibility because social is so big, podcasting is so big. So the two areas that people are excited about are visibility and that product, right? So they come into the … I mean, I started my business, you started your business because you could design things for people. We used a natural gift and we made a product of it and it excited us at one point. And those products either continued to grow or you refined them. But you have to remember, it’s not just the product, it’s how you fulfill it. Is the customer pleased? Are you gathering testimonials? There’s so many different processes that are baked into it for you to make this a legacy business and not just a temporary patch in exchange for money.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah. Make it the long term solution. I love that. How does someone know if they’re a good fit for your program?
Natalie G: We have an interest list so I actually don’t have a criteria for you to … you don’t have to meet X, Y, and Z to get in. I do ask you questions as far as just making sure that you have a plan. I’m not a business coach so I’m not gonna create a plan for you, I’m gonna help you tweak and optimize the plan that you have. And along our journey, you may come across … you may pivot, right? By me asking you questions and digging deeper. But I ask that you have a plan. I ask that you’re profitable and I don’t care if you’re online, brick and mortar, product, service, it doesn’t matter to me. The two criteria are making sure that you have a business, you’ve been in business enough and the third piece is just, you’re not going to be working with another coach or strategist at the same time.
Natalie G: I’ve had too many experiences, either myself or with people who have come to me. I love the fact that we are into this coaching space and everybody likes to partner with people. But it’s just to murky and gray when we are trying to listen and execute on two different types of strategies. And it puts everybody in a bind and it stalls you and that’s the antiphrasis of what I want you to do.
Allie Bjerk: Yeah, that’s an important piece for people to listen to also is, don’t hire multiple coaches at the same time. Choose your expert, choose who you’re gonna trust and then run with it.
Natalie G: Yup. So to summarize that answer, it’s really, do you have plan, are you profitable and are you working with somebody else? And I’ve had plenty of people that I’ve reached out to this time that said, “You know what? I love to do this.” And my next question, because I’ve already done the backgrounds if they’re profitable and they have a plan, the real question is, are you in a business partnership with somebody else? Are you collaborating with somebody else for strategy? And if they say yes, I say, “Oh, you know what? Get on my interest list and we’ll talk about this.” “I want in right now.” Or … No. We’re not doing that. We’re not breaking commitments and we’re not going to be coached by two people.
Natalie G: It’s like going on dates with two different people.
Allie Bjerk: Right?
Natalie G: That just doesn’t work.
Allie Bjerk: So do you launch twice a year with it being six months or is it open enrollment or what does that look like for you?
Natalie G: Yes. We will start again in February.
Allie Bjerk: Okay, perfect. So if someone wanted to get familiar with you now so that they can join your program in February, where would be a good place for them to start following you or downloading some information from you. Where can they find you?
Natalie G: Get on my email list, for sure. If you go to NatalieGingrich.com and that’s G-I-N-G-R-I-C-H, trust me, the last name, I married it. I didn’t … whatever. It looks like Gingrich, easiest way through it. Hop on my email list because we put out weekly content that I’m super proud of. It’s always actionable.
Allie Bjerk: It’s really good.
Natalie G: I must say, I’m a little bit proud of it. But that’s the best way. You can also go to Facebook.com and Natalie Gingrich PM for Project Manager. And those are the two best ways to come into … and my website has a plethora of information as well.
Allie Bjerk: Awesome. Well thank you so much for being with us today. That was so much great information. I know people are really gonna be able to put it to good use. So thank you.
Natalie G: Yes, thank you so much for having me Allie, and best of luck with this podcast.
Allie Bjerk: My pleasure. I’ll talk to you soon.
Allie Bjerk: So there you guys have it. I absolutely adore Natalie and all of her Southern charm. Being a Minnesotan I just live vicariously through everything that Natalie … the way she speaks, I just could eat it up all day. She is so genuine, authentic and kind and has such a high level of expertise to share with entrepreneurs online. She’s helped me think about taking my business more seriously over the years and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to share a gimps of Natalie and her work with you. Make sure to check out all of her content and tips online. She’s truly amazing and has such a heart to serve and help entrepreneurs.
Allie Bjerk: Thanks for listening to the Prosperity Lab Podcast. Check out the show notes for this episode and all past episodes at ProsperityLab.com If you enjoyed this show, please share with your biz besties, leave us a review and subscribe to make sure you stay in the loop for any updates. Keep believing in yourself, chasing your dreams and designing your version of prosperity. I’ll talk to you again soon.