Julie Bee is an award-winning entrepreneur, a leader of leaders, and engaging storyteller.
Julie has spoken for 14+ years on topics including leadership, management, employee engagement and morale, workplace culture, business ownership, and entrepreneurship.
Julie’s leadership insights have been featured on FastCompany, Forbes, Thrive Global and many more.
Her forthcoming book with Matt Holt Books, The Business Owner’s Guide to Burnout is scheduled to hit bookshelves in early 2024. Matt Holt Books is an imprint of BenBella Books, publishers of Traction.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
What You’ll Learn in This Episode
- How Business Owners Can Be in the Room Without Being in the Room
- Leveraging Burnout to Fuel Success
- Why business owners with great teams feel busier than ever
- How you can overcome objections and obstacles to key employees sharing the leadership load
- What tools can help guide both the business owner and key employees/leadership team to a more balanced leading structure in a small business
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity radio.
Stone Payton: [00:00:15] Welcome to the High Velocity Radio show where we celebrate top performers producing better results in less time. Stone Payton here with you this morning. This is going to be a fantastic conversation. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast with The Julie Bee, the lady herself, Miss Julie Bee. How are you?
Julie Bee: [00:00:37] Stone. I am doing great. I’m excited to be here this morning and I am looking forward to our conversation.
Stone Payton: [00:00:43] Oh, we’re going to have so much fun and learn a great deal. I’m sure a thousand questions. We won’t get to them all, but maybe a good place to start would be mission purpose. What are you and your team out there trying to do for folks?
Julie Bee: [00:00:59] Yes. So the the big vision here is to help 1 million business owners by 2032. So in the next ten years, that is the the vision of what we are doing. And my personal brand.
Stone Payton: [00:01:16] Wow. I would say that is not only a noble pursuit, but a pretty tall order.
Julie Bee: [00:01:24] It is. Yes, it is. Every time I say it, I have a moment of, okay, maybe I went too big. But you know, and my and my point of view, the vision is is kind of the dream, you know. And I do think we we will achieve that. I’m pretty confident that we will achieve that. But it’s also about the journey along the way of working towards getting there.
Stone Payton: [00:01:48] One of the things that really stood out for me when you and I had a chance to have a brief visit over the phone not too long ago was this this idea of business owners being in the room without being in the room? Can you speak to that a little bit?
Julie Bee: [00:02:06] Absolutely. So I think as business owners, we often get kind of stuck in this leader of managers role. So we have a lot of other managers who we lead, but those individuals aren’t necessarily stepping up as leaders. And part of what I help business owners do is step more into a role of leader of leaders, which means that some of those managers have to become leaders in the business as well. So that might be a key employee or to the leadership team. And what I often hear is from from business owners is that they have a fantastic team of people working for them, but they feel busier than ever and that that really should not be the case. If you have a really great team working for you, you shouldn’t feel like all of the pressure is on you all of the time. And I help business owners make the transition from leader managers to leader of leaders.
Stone Payton: [00:03:09] Now, do you find when you’re pursuing that work that while sometimes some of those employees, they they embrace the idea of taking on more leadership responsibility but but others maybe not so much?
Julie Bee: [00:03:26] Yeah, and it’s interesting because I think what I do when I first start working with a client is I have I have the client who is usually the business owner and then the key employee or everyone on the leadership team, just depending on how large the company is. Take a couple of assessments. And those two assessments really help me figure out who is more who’s more likely to step into a leadership role willingly and who is happy being in a managerial role. And that’s a very important thing to know about the people who work for you as a business owner. Because, you know, if you try to put someone who doesn’t want to be a leader and a leadership role, it’s just not going to work out. So the very first thing that I really like to do is have everyone take a couple of assessments because that helps me very quickly see in a very objective way who who can step into that role as leader and who really should probably stay where they are in a managerial role.
Stone Payton: [00:04:31] One of the things that that I’ve noticed with assessment So a lifetime ago, I spent a little bit of time, at least on the periphery of the of the consulting world. And I noticed that one of the things that assessments can do for you beyond giving you some insight and data, it creates a marvelous platform for dialog, right? It gives it gives you something that you can all talk into and around. Is that been your experience?
Julie Bee: [00:05:00] It gives the group a common language. Yeah. And it gives a really good, I would say, environment. And as you said, platform. It’s almost like a placeholder, an arena, if you will, for everybody having the same conversation and everybody being on the same page using the same words. I think that that’s what those assessments are really great for. For me personally, when I use them in my own business, it helps me get to know an individual more quickly. It helps kind of speed up that initial honeymoon period or that initial six months that might take someone, a business owner not using assessments. It might take you 6 to 12 months to really get to know someone. Whereas if you’re using assessments, I’ve found that you know who they are pretty quickly. I mean, within three months, I mean, you really know who you have and what their strong suit is and how to work with that to make sure that they also are set up for success.
Stone Payton: [00:06:05] Okay. I got to know the back story. How in the world did you find yourself in in this line of work.
Julie Bee: [00:06:13] That is a that is a story for the ages? I think so. I, I went to college like, like a lot of us did, graduated with a business degree and accounting and actually got my master’s degree and CPA license as well and worked in accounting for a few years. And I gradually started moving towards more small business. So I went from working at a really large international accounting company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, to working for a small business to working for an even smaller business. So I went from PricewaterhouseCoopers to a company that was doing about 400 million in revenue to from there to a company that was doing about 30 million in revenue a year. And I was working in accounting all that time, but I was also learning that I really. He had a passion for business ownership, for leadership, especially within the business owner arena. And in 2008, I lost my job because of the housing market crash and I was not going to get another job in accounting or with a small business. I did try but didn’t couldn’t find work. So I started a company and I started a marketing agency that specialized in social media at that time. What’s interesting is Facebook wasn’t even available to the public yet. It was still just available to college students around the country. And I really started working with business owners to help them market their business on social media.
Julie Bee: [00:07:52] And I’ve done that. I still own that business. I’m still in a leadership and strategic role in that company. But in 2020, like a lot of us, we kind of had to. I think a lot of us reevaluated what we were doing and what our next steps were. And I’ve always been very passionate about leadership and I also love creating content. And so a friend of mine actually I created a couple of videos about working remotely. I’ve been working remotely since 2004, and I created a couple of videos about how do you work remotely, but also lead a small business in a remote environment. And a friend of mine lifted the audio off of those videos, created a podcast for me, and the rest is history. So from there I started speaking about leadership. I had the podcast about leadership and specifically in the business ownership realm, because it’s a different it’s leadership as a business owner is different than leadership as a corporate professional. And then from there I wrote a book, got a book deal, and now I am speaking and consulting with business owners to help them achieve success without having to make significant sacrifices. I like to say I help them get it without having to lose everything else, basically. And that’s really what I’m focused on through speaking and consulting.
Stone Payton: [00:09:18] Well, it must be it has to be incredibly rewarding work. What are you enjoying the most these days about it?
Julie Bee: [00:09:28] I think when I have when I see a business owner go from being so burned out that they can’t even get out of bed in the morning, literally, they’re just exhausted and they they almost hate I mean, they some of them hate their job. You know, it’s kind of ironic when we create a job that we eventually we eventually come to really not like to go to every morning. So the most rewarding thing for me is when I see a business owner kind of fall back in love with their business and be able to get back into doing the work that they enjoy doing. And what I often tell them is, you know, it’s not necessarily about slowing down, it’s about finding a better prioritized and more sustainable pace of work. And that’s what I really help the business owner focus on. So when they find their joy again, they kind of fall back in love with their business again. That’s what I really enjoy the most.
Stone Payton: [00:10:28] And you’ve kind of cracked the code on on, on leveraging the point of a person’s burnout. Can you speak to that a little bit more?
Julie Bee: [00:10:38] Yeah. And there’s there’s a lot that goes into that. So there are, there are multiple steps. And I would say leveraging your burnout is kind of the that’s where everything comes together. But the one thing that I always tell people is it’s interesting. There’s this there’s the stigma of burnout and the small business community that I think I think it comes from this thinking that, well, you kind of did it to yourself. You know, you started a business. So if you’re burnout in your business, it’s kind of your fault and it’s your job to fix it. And don’t don’t really complain about it or talk about it. And I think so a lot of business owners don’t want to even accept that they’ve dealt with burnout or are dealing with burnout. So there’s a stigma. So the first step is you kind of have to embrace the burnout. You have to just say, Yeah, I’m burnout. And the way that I often recommend doing this is just taking a yes and approach. It sounds like, yes, I’m in burnout and I’m going to come out the other side of this and a better and a better way, or there’s a lot of things that can follow that. And it’s not the end of the world if you’re burned out. I think that’s the very first thing is you have to be able to embrace the fact that you’re burned out.
Julie Bee: [00:11:53] And then from there and part of what I teach for business owners working through burnout is making space and learning how to say no to new things and also pausing some initiatives. And ultimately, like as they’re working through it, when they do those things, they’re going to have some aha moments, they’re going to have some epiphanies about how they’ve been working and what they’ve been working on. And ultimately when we get to the end of this process. They are going to look at number one, most likely they have space that they have created, whether that’s physical space, whether that’s energetic or even space on your calendar that can open up an opportunity for them. Their leverage points is what I call them. And I basically asked them to take that space that they have created and combine that with one of their aha moments, because usually what happens is they figure out something about either how they’re working or what they’re working on that needs to change. And it’s not something to deal with right in the minute of burnout. But when you get to the other side and you’ve recovered from burnout and you’ve addressed any business crisis the burnout has caused, you then have an opportunity. You can either choose to kind of go back to doing the work the way you were doing it before, or you can make a change and you can leverage your burnout to make a change that you wanted to probably change for a while.
Julie Bee: [00:13:29] Or maybe it’s something new that came up when you were going through this process that you want to pursue and you just take the you take the combination of the space you made to deal with the burnout and you fill some of that space with one thing. I always just say one thing. Just pick one thing that came out of what you learned while you were going through burnout to pursue. And then that is how somebody can leverage burnout to go on to their next thing. Sometimes it’s a new business, sometimes it’s a book. I mean, I my last leverage point was writing a book and getting a publishing deal. That was what I did with my last burnout that I went through. Sometimes it’s I’ve seen business owners decide to sell a business. I’ve seen business owners decide to bring in a business partner. There’s all kinds of things that can happen with leveraging burnout, but really it’s paying attention kind of as you’re going through it to those moments of this is something I’d like to explore because once you get through the burnout, then you have an opportunity to make a change that will definitely benefit you, the business owner individually, and will most likely benefit your business as well.
Stone Payton: [00:14:42] So how does the whole sales and marketing thing work for for someone with a practice like yours? How do you get the new business?
Julie Bee: [00:14:55] Yeah. So it is honestly, the biggest thing is speaking engagements. Like I said, I’m still at the point where people people are not going to come to me and say, Hey, I’m burned out because there is a stigma around burnout. With business owners, they do often. They do not want to admit they’re burned out until they’ve kind of gotten through it and then they have a story to tell. So what I often do is I will speak to small, medium, small to medium sized organizations like Chambers of Commerce or conferences where business owners are sitting in the crowd. And from there, a lot of them will come up to me and we’ll have a 1 to 1 schedule, a 1 to 1 Zoom meeting. And then I go basically into my my sales conversation with them. And it’s really, you know, a lot of people are burned out, but they don’t realize they’re burned out. And so I really focus more on, like I said in the beginning, it’s it’s about helping business owners achieve success without having to make significant sacrifices in their life and their business to get it. So I help them get it without losing everything else, basically, because a lot of business owners think that, you know, I got to work 80, 90 hours a week to get to where I want to be. And, you know, don’t get me wrong, I’ve certainly worked my own 80 hour weeks from time to time, but that’s not sustainable for long term success for anybody, I think. And so I really focus on the success part without them having to make the significant sacrifices that I think a lot of us have been conditioned to think business owners have to make to get to where they want to go.
Stone Payton: [00:16:41] All right. Let’s talk about this book. This is it’s not released quite yet as of this conversation, but it’s coming, right?
Julie Bee: [00:16:49] Yes, it is coming. It’s interesting how how book contracts work. It usually takes quite, quite a bit of time for them to get it out and publish it and promote it and do all of that. So the book title is The Business Owners Guide to Burn Out, and it is a system of working through your burnout. And I’ve written it in a way where a business owner can in the very first chapter, I kind of break down each chapter, and this is not a book that you have to read in order to get everything out of it. So if you feel like you if you just want to skip straight to the Leveraging burnout chapter, you can skip straight to that chapter and implement it. If you want to create a burnout prevention plan for yourself, you can skip to that chapter and do that A Well, do that as well. If you’re not even sure you’re in burnout or not, there’s a chapter for that too, so you can kind of bounce around the book and figure out exactly what what chapter you need to read for where you are. And I wrote it that way because so many books that are process based or system based book, you have to start with chapter one and read it straight through. This is not that book because I want this book to help as many people as possible as quickly as possible. So I structured it in that way. The presales will start in 2023 and then it will be in bookstores in 2024. But I’m just really excited about it. The publishers of Traction are actually the publishers who wow my book out. So yeah, I’ve got a I’ve got a really good team behind me, so I can’t wait. I can’t wait for it. But I’m also enjoying the journey as we build the audience and get the word out that it’s coming and just get people prepared to purchase it.
Stone Payton: [00:18:42] So the experience of getting the book put together did some of it, some chapters, some parts of it come together really easily for you and and others more of a struggle. What was the experience like getting this thing together?
Julie Bee: [00:18:58] Yeah, it it was it’s funny, I often tell people I’ve already written like ten books, but this is the first one that I’m getting published this book was it really came from my own personal experience and then my own research and trying to find resources for business owners struggling with burnout. The the yeah, it was challenging and I’ll you know, I think the the most challenging part of it was structuring it in a way in an order that made sense, but also writing it with the end goal in mind of people being able to jump into it wherever they needed to jump into it. And. Another struggle that I had was getting some business owners to share their burnout stories. And it, you know, it’s not it’s not heavy on business owners stories. It’s very, very systematic and it’s a process based book. But the business owners who did share their stories were willing to be vulnerable and allow me to share them in the book, which I’m very thankful for. I would say probably probably the hardest part of writing this book was distinguishing between addressing the crisis that a burnout causes and your business or your personal life and how to go about that and distinguishing between addressing it and then personally recovering from burnout. Because those two things are not the same thing for a business owner. You often have to address the problems that the burnout is causing before you can really make a lot of time or a lot of space to recover from the burnout. Personally, most business owners, you know, when you’re when you have a crisis going on in your business, making space for burnout can be tough. And I think that distinguishing between those two things and then really ordering them in that way address the crisis and then recover from the burnout was was a tough thing for me to to separate and then write about individually.
Stone Payton: [00:21:12] Yeah. All right. Before we wrap, let’s leave our listeners, if we could, with with a couple of pro tips, a couple of actionable items, something to be thinking about, something to be doing, maybe something to be reading or listening to. Number one pro tip going is reach out and have a conversation with Julie or someone on her team. But but maybe there’s a little something that someone finds this content, something that they can go into and start doing or thinking about right now.
Julie Bee: [00:21:41] Yeah. So from a from a burnout perspective, for business owners, the very best thing you can do is know what burnout looks like for you. It doesn’t look the same for everybody. So that can be anything from you’re not getting enough sleep to your eating poorly to your. You can’t clearly and concisely relay a message. Those are some things that burnout can cause. And business owners, I think that’s the very important item is to know what burnout looks like on you. And then the other thing I would say just in general is that this helps in a lot of ways, recognize when you are working with your leadership team or whoever works in your business, recognize the difference between when you the business owner, when you are leading versus when you are managing. They are two different skill sets and it’s important first and foremost for you to know the difference between when you are leading and when you are managing. And I have a lot of podcast episodes and a lot of information on my website where you can kind of go and check that out. And then the third thing I would say is build your business owner support network. Now build it with people that when you are struggling with something that you can reach out to and have a very open and honorable dialog with and get some help, I think that is probably one of the most important things in helping people prevent burnout and also helping people be better leaders. So building your support network now instead of waiting until you need it, is kind of like what they say about having a bank before you need them. Have a support network before you need it, because when you need it, it’ll be there. And I think that’s a really important action that people can go ahead and take right away.
Stone Payton: [00:23:35] I am so glad that I asked that question was that it’s a marvelous counsel. Okay, let’s leave our listeners with some points of contact. I want them to be able to access the podcast that you mentioned. Whatever you feel like is appropriate website, LinkedIn, email. I just want to make sure that folks can, can, can reach out and connect with you and begin to tap into your.
Julie Bee: [00:23:59] Absolutely. So my website is the Julie B, My last name is spelled b E like a honeybee. That is my real last name. So YouTube.com that has pretty much everything on it. That’s probably the best place to go to contact me. My podcast is called They don’t teach this in business School and it’s available wherever you listen to podcasts, so you can search that out and find me there. And that is a mix of short podcasts where I deliver some, some knowledge and just some ideas and then interviews with other business owners. And then out there on social media, pretty much all of my handles are the Julie B, so you can find me pretty much by searching the usually B as well on LinkedIn, Tik Tok, Instagram, all of those social platforms. I am out there putting content out almost every day, so that’s where you can find me.
Stone Payton: [00:24:52] Well, Julie, it has been an absolute delight having you on the show today. I have found it informative and inspiring. Thank you so much for investing the time and energy to be with us and keep up the good work You’re doing. Important work and we sincerely appreciate you.
Julie Bee: [00:25:10] Yes. Stone Thank you so much for having me. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation and I look forward to listening to more of your podcast as well.
Stone Payton: [00:25:18] Fantastic. All right. Until next time, this is Stone Payton for our guest today, Julie B and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you in the fast lane.