157 – Fundamentals of Scaling Your Business with Kate Carney – Karen Yankovich

This week’s episode of Good Girls Get Rich is brought to you by Uplevel Media CEO and LinkedIn expert, Karen Yankovich. In this episode, guest Kate Carney and Karen discuss the fundamentals of scaling your business.

Kate helps scale businesses so companies can grow revenues and reach profitability. She takes a founder-centric approach to performance, focusing on leadership, talent strategies, and organizational design.

#GoodGirlsGetRich

We want to hear your thoughts on this episode! Leave us a message on Speakpipe or email us at info@karenyankovich.com.

About the Episode:

As a budding entrepreneur looking to scale a business, it can be hard to know how to step into your power. In this episode, Kate Carney shares some fundamental tips that will help you scale your business.

Scaling your business requires many different things, and some of the most important include being honest with yourself, knowing what your strengths are, understanding what you like to do, and giving up control.

Growing a business takes a big shift in mindset. Thankfully, you’re not alone on your journey. Here all of Kate’s tips in this episode!

Episode Spotlights:

  • Where to find everything for this week’s episode: karenyankovich.com/157
  • Introducing this episode’s guest, Kate Carney (2:17)
  • Kate’s founder-centric approach (2:52)
  • Kate’s journey (5:32)
  • The challenge for many entrepreneurs (10:57)
  • The first step (13:44)
  • Scaling tips (17:22)
  • What can affect our success (20:01)
  • Where you can find Kate (22:56)

Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

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Read the Transcript

Karen Yankovich 0:00
You’re listening to the good girls get rich podcast episode 157.

Intro 0:06
Welcome to the good girls get rich podcast with your host, Karen Yankovich. This is where we embrace how good you are girl, stop being the best kept secret in town, learn how to use simple LinkedIn and social media strategies and make the big bucks.

Karen Yankovich 0:23
Hello, I’m your host, Karen Yankovich. And this is Episode 157 of the good girls get rich podcast and this show is brought to you by she’s linked up where we teach women simple relationship and heart based relationship LinkedIn marketing, that gets you on the phone consistently with the exact people that can change your business, your life and your bank account for ever. This is digital marketing, right, the cool digital marketing tools like LinkedIn that we have available to us, with the human touch, good old fashioned human to human marketing. That’s where the big contracts are signed, when we actually talk to people. And that’s what I want for you. So if you’ve listened before you love what you hear today, you know, we love it, when you share this episode with your audience, you can take a quick screenshot and share it in your stories or in your social media. Make sure you tag me when you do that, so that I can see it and share it with my audience. And then we all get to get more visibility. And it’s kind of a nice little we’re all lifting each other up. And I love the the good Juju that goes along with that. We have Kate Carney on the show with us today. And I really love this episode because these Kate and I talk about things that are fundamental to entrepreneurs as they’re growing their business. And this is really the sweet spot for me too. You’ve got a business, you you were making some money. But now what right like now how do you get to the next level? How do you get to the you know, I’m able to leverage my time I’m able to leverage my business. Because until you can do that you’re kind of stuck a little bit on a hamster wheel, right. And I want you off the hamster wheel and making some really great money in your business. And Kate has the same passion. And she talks today a lot about how to leverage your time and and hire the right people and really elevate your business to the next level. So I can’t wait for you to meet Kate Carney. We have Kate Carney with us today. And Kate is an experienced business consultant. She’s a lawyer, strategic advisor, and she helps scale businesses. So companies can grow revenues and reach profitability. She takes a founder centric approach to performance focusing on leadership, talent strategies and organizational design. She believes alignment of these critical areas result in a culture that supports sustainable growth has 15 years of legal experience working with corporations, hedge funds, and most recently startups. Kate, I’m excited to have you here today.

Kate Carney 2:49
Thank you for having me top.

Karen Yankovich 2:52
Yeah. So you know, you have an interesting journey yourself, as well as helping people with aligning their own business. So talk, I would love to hear a little bit about what a founder centric approach is to you, when you talk about if you have a founder centric approach. What does that mean?

Kate Carney 3:07
It’s very focused on the person as a leader, right? So even when I think about talent, acquisition, and talent, engagement and culture, really all of those, whether that’s communication, whether that’s understanding yourself as a leader, how you engage your teams, it’s really all about leadership. And so at the core is the person, right, whether that is helping with more basic self awareness and confidence and perspective and sort of those things that are very personal, before you get to the how to scale. I mean, I you know, if you talk about blind spots, right, I mean, being open to understanding and finding and uncovering those blind spots and being open to the type of feedback you need. And you know, sometimes there’s resistance to that. And a lot of the things are underlying, mostly in fear right there fear of failure, fear of being found out, letting people down. And so I think all of it, you know, the hard core work starts with the person themselves, and then you can tie that work on the tactical, practical implementation pieces.

Karen Yankovich 4:20
I love that so much. And that, you know, that ties right into the work that I do around LinkedIn, right, because LinkedIn is about the people, not about the business. And although of course, there’s overlap, but fundamentally, it’s about the brand of the leader, the brand of the person who is using LinkedIn to to you know, build the relationships to build their networks, right. And I love that you’re saying this because I really think that people underestimate the value of, of your personal brand on your business brand.

Kate Carney 4:49
Absolutely. I think there’s that’s a great you know, connection and for larger company when you’re scaling right at your personal brand, not only to your stakeholders, which is a big piece of Being a CEO and sort of stepping into your power as the CEO versus the founder, but it also is your personal brand internally with your team, right? It’s how they view you, as a leader, whether they respect you whether you motivate them, and they’re on board with their vision. That’s all, how you present and who you are in terms of integrity and how you lead and how you manage. And so, you know, if that’s a brand internally focused as well, I think that’s really important to your point.

Karen Yankovich 5:30
Yeah, yeah. So let’s take a step back. And I want to hear a little bit about your journey. Like you’re you were a corporate hedge fund lawyer, and now you’re an entrepreneur, how did that happen?

Kate Carney 5:42
Exactly. I mean, my career has always been a bit of a winding path. And I’ve sort of followed where the opportunities arise and created my own leaps of faith. So whether that was leaving a law firm and getting into the hedge fund world where I was General Counsel of a $6 billion fund for five years, you know, that started with just an interest in that world having no idea what that meant. And yanking, you know, the contact information for the founder of a large hedge fund from a senior partners Rolodex, right. Mine has always been these big lay leaps and open to risk taking. And so yeah, I did corporate m&a. Originally, I went to work with hedge funds for most of my career. And in 2016, I quit with no plan in place. I had a just taking on a mortgage in New York City…

Karen Yankovich 6:39
I was just thinking that when I asked you that question, I’m like you’re in New York City. How does one quit hedge funds and be able to still be able to live in New York City as an entrepreneur? Because that’s a big, that’s not like anywhere else in the world? I feel?

Kate Carney 6:52
No, it was definitely a big risk. And I think sometimes that that is that point where you know, you know, a no, it came down to I love a good challenge, right? I love to learn I love a good challenge. But when you realize that the challenges you’re being presented, whether the questions you’re being presented with, you have no desire to actually learn or figure out and it’s more of an annoyance than anything else. I’ve been great. You’re not in the right deal. And it and it didn’t feel I don’t know if the right word, sometimes I think it’s overused, fulfilling. But it wasn’t what happened to something that inspired me that I felt like I was combining all of my experience and my innate qualities in a way that was used to the best of their highest value, right? It wasn’t my zone of genius that I was operating in. And so but when you don’t have a clue what that looks like that next step, I spent most of 2017, sort of figuring that out. And it took a few months to let go of my definition of success, right? Whether that’s the title and the money. And I interviewed for all these jobs kind of around what I did until, again, realize I wasn’t really trying very hard to do interviews. It was just let it all go redefine what it looks like. I ended up working out of a co working space more than just get out of my house, and started going to events with startups. And I thought, this is interesting, what they’re working on is very future focused. It’s all new to me. And it’s interesting to know what our future will look like, and how will operate in our economies will operate. And so when you’re the lawyer in the room, of course, though, people start asking you legal questions. And so I was introduced to a gentleman who had started a boutique law firm, that focused on startups and high growth companies and kind of just thought, okay, that’s the next step. Let’s go do that and see where it takes me. And as I did that, I you know, I love learning about the companies and meeting these passionate founders. And along the way, I became more interested in the business question, you know, why are founders and companies failing? You know, what happens to these companies that are clients, and then they kind of just fall apart when it seems like they’re doing so well. And, you know, a lot of research and talking about wonders. And, you know, particularly I looked at a lot of the stats around female founders not growing. And that wasn’t all about venture capital. And you know, a big part of that there was other factors in that in that mix. And so, I decided I really wanted to support that growth and that path for founders so they could be successful. And it made sense me when I looked back at my career along the way, you know, the common thread was always serving as his right hand do whoever was in power, whether that was CEO or senior partner. I like to being that trusted advisor. It was where I where I thought, I fit in where I wrote, you know, that business judgment that a need judgment and for the leader, legal trainings fit very well and so Kind of all came together. And I was like, Okay, this is a great space for me and I focused on going to make and build that business myself. So how’s it going? It’s great. You know, I love it. I work with a lot of female founders, which is wonderful. But I work with men as well. I get to learn about companies and do a little bit deeper dive, you get to learn and meet wonderfully passionate and driven people, which is also really fun. And I can talk them through what I like to do. And so finally, it feels much more in alignment. But you know, building a business, I ain’t you know, you’re advising people on scaling their business, and then at the same time, you’re scaling your own. And so you know, what do you apply yourself? And there are challenges, it is not like being a corporate world.

Karen Yankovich 10:51
No, it’s definitely not. It’s definitely not because there’s no IT department when your printers jammed, right, so you’ve got to do everything yourself. But you know, that I think so that I think is really a challenge for many entrepreneurs. Because the not the printer fixes the scaling, right? Because we are as entrepreneurs, and you know, I’ll put you in that category, too, you found what you’re really passionate about. And you’re, you’re doing that. And in your case, you know, you understand the business behind it, but many people don’t. Right, many people that are starting a business and they start to scale, they may never have managed people before in their lives. And they’ve got this amazing talent and this amazing product or service. And they The only way they can get in front of more people to serve more people is to scale. But scaling often means bringing on new people. And and that is a skill that many people that are entrepreneurs just don’t have. So what do you do about that? How do you help people with that?

Kate Carney 11:44
Absolutely. I say, you know, that transition that I look at it from founder to CEO is where a lot of entrepreneurs struggle, right, your execution your ideas, people for the most part, you’re but being a CEO is a lot about culture, and managing talent and developing it and building out professional development and encouraging and coaching, it’s completely different and a tear, right? Most of us, quote unquote, haven’t been a CEO, right? They’re entrepreneurs. And so I think a lot of it is, you know, having started with having this growth mindset, right, the the thought that if you put some effort in and you seek out to learn from others, that you can acquire new skills. And so if you want to be that really effective and powerful leader, you can vote, but it does take work, and particularly when it comes to your people, right? I mean, it starts at the very core with giving up some control, right? I mean, I think there’s two things, there’s the initial hires, which is a struggle, whether that’s right, defining the role, clearly, when you don’t already even understand the roles, yourself taking that leap and spending money on people as you scale, you need more and more senior people to get going and scaling. You know, do you feel comfortable making that? You know, that’s a financial and time commitment? Can you can you do that? Can you figure out who’s a good culture fit. When you get the team together, having you make sure that they’re collaborating and talking and information is flowing, so it bubbles up to you when it needs to? Oh, and a lot of that starts with that real struggle with giving up some control, empowering and delegating. I think that is always at the core of the initial struggle.

Karen Yankovich 13:34
Yeah, that giving up that control thing is not always easy for us entrepreneurs who, you know, but if we don’t we, you know, we can’t be doing everything because that’s, that’s just the, you know, that’s the kiss of death. So how do you learn the skill? How do you Okay, so what’s the first step? If I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m looking to scale and I know, you know, maybe I’ve had a VA, and I’ve had a few people, but I want to actually hired my first employee, somebody that works for me doesn’t work for 10 other people, like, where do you start?

Kate Carney 14:00
I think it starts with being really honest with yourself. And so you know, what are your strengths? And what do you like to do? Right? So I have actually had, and I applaud them, some CEOs, founders that realize, Hey, I’m great at sales and marketing, or I’m an IT whiz, and that’s where I’m really happy, and I’m happy executing. And so they admitted, I don’t want to run and lead people. That’s not who I am. And I love those people, because I don’t think founders do that enough to be real honest. And then it’s figuring out sort of not only what skills you have, and what you want to do, and then looking at the business, right, you only have so much in your budget. So what is the one area two areas or three areas, start thinking about those functional heads? And you know, initially if you’re it driven business, you’ve got it. Marketing is obviously very important from the beginning. Then you start to layer in more of the product development of your product. or roll out the sales team, if you’re selling services, and you’ve put legal and your CFO in the mix eventually, but and then you’ve got to really define the role as clear as possible, you don’t have to understand necessarily what is a traditional, I don’t know digital marketing role look like, but be very specific about what you think you need, so that you are finding the right skill sets. And then be very clear about the culture you want to have. I heard a founder say at best, and he was up to you know, these 1000 people or so company, and he said, when he started, He really said, for every one person I hire, I imagine that I’m going to have 10, more just like it. And so you start to exactly, you start to see how your culture is gonna really grow. And so, you know, what traits and characteristics are you looking for? Are they ambitious? Are they curious? Are they enthusiastic, you know, what kind of experiences got to mix those together. And, you know, from the beginning, if your gut tells you, it’s a bad fit, it’s a bad fit,

Karen Yankovich 16:05
you know, what that’s so that’s such a great tip right there. Right, we don’t often go with our guts, because you probably many of us have never hired people before

Kate Carney 16:14
or somebody is offering to do it, you know, at a really great rate. And so you say I’m gonna just make this work, because I can’t, you know, I promise you the time and effort that you put into training somebody and getting them up to speed, and the hiring, and the searching, and all of that, and you’ve got a bad apple that just doesn’t fit or doesn’t have the skills that is going to cost you more than whatever savings you think and both in money in time and in growth.

Karen Yankovich 16:45
Right, right. Oh, my gosh, so, so important. So I’m and I know you have some tips on your website for those things. And we’re going to, we’re going to link to that in the show notes. So people can check out you have a free resource five strategies for scaling, right, which is, which is huge, because it’s, I think, where this episode is going, it’s live, it’s early 2021, we are just coming off a crazy ass here. Right? And, and many businesses are reimagining themselves. And not only just the business, but what you what what you as the founder want to be doing in the business with your day, right, a lot of that I feel like a lot of that has shifted in the past year. So moving into what the next chapter of your business or your life looks like an re kind of reimagining it, you have to take, you know, the scaling tips into consideration, if you want to reach some of the goals that you have.

Kate Carney 17:35
Absolutely, and I think you know, when we when we say what’s at the core of a founder, and you start to say, you know, a lot of it is fear driven. And for most of us, it is taking those courageous steps. But as the stakes get higher, right, you know, maybe you’ve got to pivot the business or you were hit really hard by COVID. or just in general, you’ve got to take this big risk or leap to get to that next level of growth. And all of a sudden, you start to doubt your competence. And you just know, it’s all on the line. And so there’s this fear, and sometimes you kind of turn inward and you don’t want to show your vulnerability or you know, with COVID, I think we’re going to continue to see uncertainty. And so how transparent are you about the fact that you don’t know what it looks like? And where’s that balance between being a leader and showing real confidence in your strengths and your abilities and your vision? And then being really vulnerable? and saying, you know, I don’t know what it looks like. And I don’t know how exactly, we’re gonna go about it. But here’s, you know, the next pivot, and I think, you know, I just circle all the way back, but then you circle back to are you delegating and empowering, and really opening up the forum so that you are encouraging discussion and debate, and you’re asking for opinions, and you’re open to opposing opinions and people who challenge your vision and your next strategy or goal because you are pivoting and you’re trying to reimagine, and you need all the ideas that you can get and all the discussion and sort of back and forth and perspectives. In order to come up with that next phase, right? You don’t know all the answers, and that’s okay. And so I think a lot of leaders going into COVID, and next year, if you really want to make that leap, I think you’ve got to be open and show a little vulnerability and invite in the feedback and the discussion. If you want to figure out what a pivot looks like or what how to reimagine your business and whether that’s feedback internally, or from customers and externally from other stakeholders, but really involve your team at this point. You’re all in it together. You know, and everybody’s going to be working hard, lean, and, you know, you really want to motivate and find that commitment among Your team.

Karen Yankovich 20:01
Awesome. Awesome. I want to circle back to one more thing that we talked about earlier, because I think it’s an important thing. And I want to talk about the the topic of women in scaling, you know, women, and I’m not picking on men, nor am I picking on women here. I mean, I my podcast is called good girls get rich, right? So you and I primarily support women on LinkedIn as well. But here’s the thing, as women, we’re often like, Oh, it’s easier to do it myself, or, you know, it takes me more time to get to teach my kids to do this than to just do it myself. Right or so we we are just that is such just a big part of, of who many women are. So I think that we take that I see that we take that trade into our businesses, and that one trait, right, there can be the difference between your your success and your failure in your business.

Kate Carney 20:45
Absolutely.

Karen Yankovich 20:46
What do you think about that?

Kate Carney 20:48
Absolutely. I think that on, I think we’re taught or expected to take it all on to present as we’ve got it all under control. And so we don’t ask for help as easily, I think we, you know, we struggle, in that point of view, say to give up some of some of that control. But it’s more of the asking for help and saying, you know, my time is more valuable than spend on xy and z are right. And so I come from that hedge fund background, and they’re really return on investment of your time and the time value of money. If you can think in those terms, right, your time and money is wasted doing the things that you’re not as great at. And I think sometimes what we’re telling women as a sort of fail, obviously, they’re not as part of more traditional networks. And so you’ve got more and more women and female networks that are supporting each other, which is phenomenal. And I think a big continues to grow. But again, I’m not sure we’re showing each other vulnerability either. And so we keep presenting that we’ve all got it under control. And the more people who say, you know, I don’t have it under control, I have no idea. And by the way, here’s an example of somebody who’s super successful. That is a female founder that has given up some of that control has brought in other people and shown how that can be so successful. I think the other piece about kind of taking it all under our own wing is our our need to say yes and pleased people, right. And so one of the things if I’m focused on time management with a client, it’s, you know, piece one for women is setting boundaries, saying, Yeah, can we keep taking it on. And that is another big piece of sort of putting in the boundaries for where, again, your time is most valuable, where your priorities are? What matters most to you, focusing on strategy, if you don’t pick your head up and get out of the weeds and focus on strategy and big picture items. You’re never going to scale.

Karen Yankovich 22:53
Okay, well, I think that’s a great a great way to leave this. Tell everybody, Kate, how can we find you I know, I will link to everything in your in your in the show notes. But tell people how they can find you so that they can learn more?

Kate Carney 23:05
Sure, so head to the website. And as you mentioned, you can download five strategies for scaling. You can also contact me the website, which is K, the number eight. Carney, CA r n e y.com (k8carney.com). And I’ll be happy to hear from you.

Karen Yankovich 23:24
Awesome, Kate, thank you so much for being here today. This was great. And I I am going to download your resource myself and see what you see what kind of good stuff you got in there. I love it. Thanks so much for doing

Kate Carney 23:34
Hey, having a LinkedIn. You know, having a strong LinkedIn game is right there, you know, getting yourself out there. So you’re helping scale like that.

Karen Yankovich 23:44
There you go. There you go. Well, we’ll have to have that conversation. Alright, Kate, it was good to have you here. You know, and thanks again for doing this.

Kate Carney 23:51
Yes, of course. Thank you for having me.

Karen Yankovich 23:52
I hope you loved Kate as much as I did. It was such a great conversation. Because I think sometimes we forget, especially as women that we don’t have to do it all, we don’t have to do it all. And when we do it all we’re on that hamster wheel that we just don’t want to be on. I mean, I don’t want to be on and I hope you don’t want to be on it either. And it was great to bring Kate in to really talk about it from a CEO standpoint with your CEO hat on. So I hope you enjoyed it and you know, I’m always here to support you as well if you want to just know a little bit more about some of the mindset shifts and the strategies that I want you to start to think about to make that shift and to really to really elevate your personal brand using LinkedIn to meet the exact right people. You know, I have a free masterclass that we’ve just updated. You can go to KarenYankovich.com/masterclass to check that out. And that’ll just give you the next couple steps to, you know, really elevating your business and your life. I loved interviewing Kay today. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. And I will see you next week for another episode of the good girls. Get Rich podcast.