Jennifer Dawn is the founder of Jennifer Dawn Coaching and the creator of the Best Planner Ever. She began her entrepreneurial career selling apples off her grandfather’s tree because a lemonade stand was so “yesterday”. She is a serial entrepreneur who has grown two multi-million-dollar businesses and is a successful speaker and author. She serves high-achieving entrepreneurs through private business coaching and hands-on workshops.
She is a master at setting and achieving goals, problem-solving, profitability, and cash flow. She is also the host of the top-rated podcast, Happy Productive with Jennifer Dawn. A mother of three children, Jennifer currently lives in Rhinebeck, New York with her family. She loves to spend time with her family, ride horses, travel, and coach/mentor others.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Shortening the Learning Curve
- Sustainable Growth and Work-Life Balance
- Transitioning from Solopreneur to Effective Delegation
- Controlled Growth for Customer Satisfaction
- Hiring Slow, Firing Fast
- Implementing Profit First
- Nurturing an Evolving Owner Mindset
- Aligning Actions with Financial Goals
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix.
Intro: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Lee Kantor: Lee Kantor here, another episode of High Velocity Radio. And this is going to be a good one. Today on the show, we have Jennifer Dawn with Jennifer Dawn coaching. Welcome, Jennifer.
Jennifer Dawn: Hello, Lee. It’s great to be here with you.
Lee Kantor: Well, I am so excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us a little bit about Jennifer Dawn coaching, how you serving folks.
Jennifer Dawn: Yeah, well, so we help business owners who feel like they are stuck and struggling at six figure revenues and they want to get to seven figures and we help them to do that by developing world class teams because at the end of the day, your team is going to be the difference between those who are able to scale and those who aren’t. So that’s what we focus on.
Lee Kantor: Yeah, that’s funny that you bring that up because I was I was talking with a founder of a startup and he was saying that at the beginning of a startup, you want generalists, but as you grow, you need specialists. And it sounds like you’re philosophically along that same line that you need a team in order to grow because you can only do so much as an individual.
Jennifer Dawn: Absolutely true. And you’ll find to, at least in my earlier businesses and in my current business, that when you don’t have those right people in place, it just creates so many headaches for you as the business owner and so many people problems. And even in my current coaching practice, like I stayed a one woman show for the first four years, I was in business because I just had come off of other businesses and had to deal with all the people stuff and I just didn’t want to deal with it. And so I literally made the intention not to grow my business because I just didn’t want to deal with the people element. But, you know, I hit a ceiling and it’s like, you can only go so far if you, you know, by yourself. And there’s a point where it’s just like, you know what? I’m really going to need the team if I really want to take this further.
Lee Kantor: So what are some symptoms that an individual or a small group are having where it’s time to expand the team?
Jennifer Dawn: Well, it’s interesting because for people who are listening, like when you think about your team and some of us are like, Oh my God, they’re so amazing. And they they they make my life so much easier because when you have the right team, that’s where you get your freedom back, your time back, that’s where you can make more money with a team than you can on your own. And when you don’t have that team, it just becomes kind of painful when you don’t have the right team. So you might find that you’re working extra hours doing work that you wish that you could delegate to them, but you just can’t because it’s just like they just won’t get it done to the quality or the expectation that you have. You might find that you are putting out fires all day because your team, you know, they’re not thinking outside of the box. They can’t solve problems. And so you’re having to do a lot of their their thinking for them. You might find that you can’t take time off or you can’t take a vacation because it’s just like, oh, you know, like your company is not in good hands. So if those kinds of things are happening, it’s it’s usually going to be a sign that one, you need to either maybe let go of some people or hire the right people or develop the people that you have so they can actually do the job better.
Lee Kantor: So now when you’re working with somebody, walk me through what that looks like when you when you’re kind of letting them know, Hey, it’s time to have a team. Are you really suggesting who the team members are? Are you helping them onboard these team members? Like, what is your role? You know, because there’s a line between coaching and consulting.
Jennifer Dawn: Absolutely. We go a little bit further in the coaching realm than I think most people do. And so we are coaching the business owner because we need to develop them to be a good leader. We need to teach them obviously how to hire, how to fire, how to discipline, how to do all of these things to actually build a great team. But then in our coaching, we also will coach the team members because we we found that when we were working with the business owner and we’re coaching them and they’re getting great results, a lot of that coaching wasn’t trickling down to their team. And so plus a lot of business owners just don’t have like the time they’d like to to develop their team. And so what we actually do is we take it a step further and so our clients will send their teams to us as well. And so they get to work with our coaches. So now the business owner, the head of the snake gets developed, the snake gets developed, and now everything starts to click and work better together because the entire team is really being coached and developed. And so that’s what we’ve found works really well.
Lee Kantor: Now for most people. Is there a typical first hire? Like what is the typical area that you have to take care of first as you build out your team?
Jennifer Dawn: Yeah, great question. Usually if you’re a solo preneur and you know you’ve got your business, it’s usually going to be more of. Mundane administrative tasks that are actually not a good use of your time. And when you look at an hour of your time, you know, if you can charge for that hour of time and charge a nice price versus you doing that work, usually that’s a great first place to start is getting that mundane administrative stuff like off your plate so that you can really, really focus on the higher tasks in the business, like, you know, growing sales or delivering your product or service. So generally that’s a good first place to start.
Lee Kantor: And then as you build out the team, do the does the entrepreneur or solopreneur all of a sudden feel this weight has lifted off them? Like I’m sure there’s some trepidation and fear. Maybe I can I trust this person. But after a while, their their whole kind of work life balance must just get re settled there. I would imagine.
Jennifer Dawn: It absolutely does. So it can actually go both ways so it can go the wrong way or the not so great way, which is where you hire. You’re not doing it effectively, you’re not really delegating. You don’t have the right people. They don’t have the right skill set. And if you’ve ever been down that road where you yeah, you’ve hired people and then it makes your life worse, that’s the wrong way to do it, which is the way I have done it myself in the past and how I learned so many of these lessons. And then you have the right way to do it where you kind of learn, you know, how to hire the right person, the right skill set, how to develop them, how to onboard them. And when you have the right person on your team now, you’re able to delegate. You’re able to know that your company, your clients are in good hands, and that’s when it starts to click and that’s when it really starts to work.
Lee Kantor: So now, is that really before once you kind of mentally make that shift and say, okay, I’m going to hire people is the first step of kind of documenting what that task is, you know, real granularly so you can hand it off.
Jennifer Dawn: Yeah, absolutely. So with my clients, when they are, you know, getting to that place where they’re like, Hey, okay, I’m ready to hire my next position. Many of our clients already have teams, and so it’s like, Hey, I’m hiring my next position. But let’s say that you’re just getting started and you’re like, Okay, I’m ready to hire my first person. Awesome. Take a week or two and just keep track as you go through and just and start by creating a high level list of everything that you’re doing that somebody else could be doing for you. And if you just track your time over a week or two, you’re going to have a very nice list of all the tasks that you want to outsource and get off your plate. You can easily pop that into many of these AI tools that are out there and say, Hey, write me a job description and include these tasks in it and it’ll pop out a beautiful job description for you in five seconds. And then there you go. There’s your job description. So now you can advertise that position. You’ve got a nice clean list of exactly what you need this person to do. And then from there you can work on your onboarding process of teaching that person the right way to do all that stuff. So that way they can get it off your plate. So it’s kind of like, you know, when you’re ready to hire that first position and you’re already stretched for time, it’s going to get a little bit worse before it gets a whole lot better. You just kind of have to get over that little hump of making sure that you’re clear on what you want them to do. Hire the right person, train them up so they know what to do. And then once that starts to happen and they start taking over, it’s like the clouds parting and you’re just like, Oh, yay. You get so much of your time back when you when you have that person now on your plate, freeing it up.
Lee Kantor: Now, where do you even begin to look for the right person for a given task?
Jennifer Dawn: Great question. There are so many different places out there that you can you can obviously post advertisements on job websites, you know, places like indeed ZipRecruiter, those kinds of places I love. One of my favorite ones is called Hire My Mom. Now this is for virtual positions online. So hire my mom. Dot com is one of my secret weapons. I’ve used it so many times to find great online talent and LinkedIn, those kinds of places. Absolutely. You know, you can also we have our clients that will post on social media. So if they have people that are following them, that are interested in working for them, they will do social media posts around it. We’ve had people fill fill positions from that. And then also just asking, you know, asking people in your network who also have businesses if they know or can recommend somebody, that’s another great way to get connected and find good people.
Lee Kantor: So when you have narrowed it down and maybe landed on a person, is there a way to have kind of a pilot period or a trying out period? Is there a good way to go about doing that? So you, you know, feel confident that you made the right decision with this right person?
Jennifer Dawn: Yeah, absolutely. We see a trial period being used quite often, up to 90 days of that initial trial period. One of my. Favorite books on this. It’s called The Ideal Team Player. And they have some resources and the shorter name for it is hungry, humble and smart because in the book they talk about how they kind of narrowed down that ideal team player that you want to hire and you want them hungry, you want them humble and you want them smart. And so there are some great free resources of interview questions and things like that that you can ask people. So in the vetting process, you’re making sure that you, you know, really do the best that you can to hire the right person. And then once you get them hired, obviously training them to do things the way that you want it, want it to be done is super, super key. And make sure that when you’re training that you’re actually recording. We love to use Loom, which is a recorder, a video recorder software. It’s I think it’s ten bucks a month. It’s super cheap, but you can screen share, you can record your voice. And so when we’re onboarding our people, we we’ve created a series of loom videos. And so that way every time we hire somebody new, we don’t have to spend precious time and resources onboarding them. We can just send them through the recordings and that person essentially onboards themself. And then all we have to do is answer questions that they have.
Lee Kantor: Now, in your in your coaching, do you spend most of your time coaching people in and around kind of the operations of the business or the marketing of the business like the creative side, the more, you know, operations side, the administrative side, Where do you like, what’s your sweet spot?
Jennifer Dawn: Yeah, absolutely. So the answer to that question is yes. So when we work with a new business owner, we do a top to bottom assessment of their entire business. So we really and truly go through all the different aspects. So we look at their sales, their marketing, their operations, their finance, their retention. We look at all of the different areas of their business. We do an assessment to identify where those gaps are. Then we prioritize what are the most important things, because we don’t want to all go off in 14 different directions. We prioritize the top 1 to 2 things and then we we match all of our clients with a private coach. And so they work with their private coach to really just then start to execute. So the method that we use, it’s called pace and pace stands for profit acceleration through clarity and execution. And that ultimately is what we’re doing and we’re repeating that process over and over. And that’s how we help our clients really increase their revenues is just clarity and execution. And we have some great proprietary tools that we’ve developed to help them get that clarity, and then we pair them with a private coach to execute.
Lee Kantor: Now, since you do have a team, is it something like, say, I come to you first and I have maybe finance issues and I need help with setting up accounting or I believe you’re a believer or a proponent of profit first methodology. So I need help setting that up for my business. But after a while I have that set up and now I need somebody with more, maybe a more creative mindset. Do you now switch me to a different coach at that point? That’s more of a specialist in that area?
Jennifer Dawn: No, I don’t. And here’s why. Because the way that we have positioned our company, all of our coaches have training in all of the basic areas. The the recorded training content that we do all comes from me. And I have one other business coach, Thea on our team. So all of that like recorded content, the real intricate, specific strategy, all that stuff is recorded from me. So I really kind of handle all of that. Then I use it to train my coaches and then if my coaches get into an area like, for example, like the finance, they get into an area where they’re just like, Hey, this I need we need to go deeper with this client. But I don’t have that expertise. They can refer that out to one of our other coaches. So like Thea on my team has ten years of corporate finance and so she’s, she’s a CPA or she’s in the UK, so she’s the version of a CPA in the UK. And so she’s got that finance expertise so the primary coach can bring her in to consult with the client and get them wherever they need to be. But they stay with their primary coach because we’ve just found that when you have that one primary person that’s guiding you through the process, it just we just get such better results with it. And then if we need to bring in somebody with specialized expertise, we can always do that. So they can still tap into the resources of the whole team.
Lee Kantor: So what can we do to help you? What do you need more of?
Jennifer Dawn: Me. Yeah.
Jennifer Dawn: Lee I’m not used to anybody asking me that. I’m used to helping everybody else all day long.
Lee Kantor: So do you need more clients? You need more team members, coaches to work with? How can we help you?
Jennifer Dawn: You know, we always.
Jennifer Dawn: Love referrals of business owners who right now have maybe been stuck at six figures for however long, or they’re really, really struggling with people on their team that the headache that that can be. And if you want to send us some of those lovely folks, we would love, love, love to serve them.
Lee Kantor: And if somebody wants to learn more, have a more substantive conversation with you or somebody on the team, where should they go?
Jennifer Dawn: Yeah, absolutely. Just visit our website at Jennifer Dawn. Jennifer Dawn coaching.com and you’re going to see a nice little link on there to schedule a call. And you can schedule a call and talk with us and talk with my team. We’d love to talk with you.
Lee Kantor: Well, Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing your story today. You’re doing such important work and we appreciate you.
Jennifer Dawn: Absolutely. Lee. Thanks for having.
Lee Kantor: Me. All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you all next time on High Velocity Radio.