Tina Forsyth | The Cure for Restless Entrepreneur Syndrome

These days it’s common for businesses to have “virtual” teams spread across the country… even the world.

But when Tina Forsyth coined the term online business manager back in 2008 and wrote her first book on the topic, she was a pioneer in the outsourcing space.

She continues to innovate, helping business owners find the right people they need to run and grow their business.

We talk about how to find those key people, as well as…

  • Creating a business that doesn’t need you around
  • Where to find (and how to recognize) employees better than you
  • The two mindsets of outsourced employees (one you must avoid)
  • When delegating goes bad
  • And more…

Episode Timeline:

00:11 Today Steve speaks with the Tina Forsyth. Tina has been working online since ‘99 and is the author of the award winning “The Entrepreneurs Trap” and founder of the OBM Association.

01:36 Tina tell us how she started off in business and how it led her to writing “Becoming An Online Business Manager”.

07:02 Accepting that there will be difficult times ahead helped Tina overcome them when they came.

08:38 Tina always needs a new problem to solve.

11:06 Steve explains his strength is putting together teams and systems.

13:30 Tina talks about having an identity crisis when she found it hard letting go.

19:55 Tina explains how to find the right people to take over from you.

25:40 Steve talks about his virtual business and getting people with expert mindsets.

27:19 Tina tells us how she chooses between the two mindsets.

30:06 Tina tells us why we don’t need big teams, to keep it lean and tells us about her “sigh of relief moment.”

33:36 Tina explains the “Taking Inventory Exercise” for hiring.

36:47 Steve talks about his own experience of moving stuff from his plate.

38:19 Tina explains her zone of excellence.

40:09 Tina tells us how best to get in contact with her.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Welcome to the Unstoppable CEO Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Gordon. Today, we’ve got a great interview for you. I’m really excited to be talking with Tina Forsyth. She has been working online since 1999, and she describes herself as a Jill of all trades, which I love, and really when it comes to running and growing a profitable service based business, she’s got this nailed. She’s the author of the award-winning book, The Entrepreneur’s Trap.

She’s also the founder of the International Association of Online Business Managers where I know they do great work. I hear nothing but good things about their OBM program from people who have hired OBM’s in the past. She has created the certified OBM training program, which is the only training program of its kind for high end virtual managers, and her mission is simple, “To help growing businesses build a team, and a foundation that will take them to the next level.” Tina Forsyth, welcome to the Unstoppable CEO.

Thank you. Great to be here.

I have been looking forward to this for quite a while now, since we booked it, and I’m anxious to get into some of the things that you’re doing, particularly around helping business owners higher better, but before we get to that, I’m hoping that maybe you can give us a little bit of context beyond just what’s in your bio, so that folks can kind of understand how you got to this stage in your career.

Yeah. I would define my journey as a little bit of following a trail of breadcrumbs, experience over the years. It’s actually close to 20 years since I started my business. I started back in 1999, and even at that time, I had no idea I was going to actually build a business. I didn’t have any big goals, I didn’t have any big plans. I just knew I didn’t want to work for someone. I guess that was probably my main motivator. I initially thought, I initially discovered and went down the path of becoming a business coach at that time, and took some coach training, and all kinds of cool things, but very quickly discovered two things.

Number one, I had no clue how to build my business, so that was a bit of a problem. Number two, I found myself in a situation a couple years in where I got the opportunity to work on the backend of a really successful coach training organization, you know, multiple programs, multiple stuff to figure, all kinds of great things going on there. I was hired to work on their team, initially, with some event management, and a few other things that were going on. I thought I would do that until I got my coaching business going, but something actually flipped around.

I found that I loved being behind the scenes, and I loved what it took behind the scenes being a part of a team that would bring the vision together. The owner of the company had a huge vision, and all kinds of amazing things going on, and there was those of us as a team behind the scenes that were working, and working together to bring that vision to life. I didn’t know what to call it at the time. The founder of that company unfortunately passed away, and when that happened I was looking around going, all right, what am I doing now? You know?

The Birth of the Online Business Manager

I knew I didn’t want to go back into doing the coaching at that time, per se, but I didn’t know, I knew what I wanted to continue doing, what I’ve been doing, I didn’t know what to call it. I ended up calling myself an online business manager for lack of a better term, honestly, it wasn’t any big aspiration at the time. Started working with other six and seven figure coaches in particular who were building a business online, and working online, leveraging online tools, and resources, and ways to connect. As I was doing that work for many years, there was a couple of things that started happening.

I would have people come to me, other business owners would be saying, “Hey, Tina, I need to hire somebody who does what you do. I need to find somebody else who does what you do. Where can I find them?” I really didn’t have anywhere to point them, because there weren’t other OBM’s out there at that time. There’s a handful of us doing that work, working at that level with clients, but not a whole lot of us. Likewise, too, though, I started to have some people from the other side of the coin that were saying, “Hey, I want to do what you’re doing. I want to work at a higher level of clients. I want to do that.”

That led me in 2008 to writing a book called, Becoming An Online Business Manager. We just celebrated the 10th anniversary of that book, and came out with a 10th anniversary edition. That was really, the book started another phase of my career that led me into creating the OBM Association that you mentioned, starting a training and certification program for online business managers, and starting to really work with supporting, and mentoring people to become an OBM, to work with clients at that level, and then likewise working with business owners on the other side of the coin to make sure that they were finding the people, the support, getting their own team in place to support the business, and have continued to do variations of that now for the past 10 years.

You’re attacking a problem that we all deal with in business, and I had a colleague say to me years ago he said, “The whole game of business is really about people collecting, and if you can collect the right people onto your team, and collect the right clients as well you could build a really great business, but if you don’t get the people part sorted out it’s really hard to build much of anything, because you only go as far as your own capabilities, and even for the most talented people there are limits to that.”

These are important problems to be tackling. As you’re developing all of these things, and we’ve doing this online since 1999, you wrote the online business manager book in 2008, so 10 years, which is like an eternity in internet marketing.


You know? What were some of the ways that you kind of persevered through all of that, and stayed really true to your mission, and on track when things got difficult?

It might sound funny to say, but I would say probably one of the main things that I’ve learned over the years is it’s to accept that there will be difficult times. I think in particular in the success industry, or the business training industry, et cetera, personal development world there’s a lot of expectation put out there that, “Hey, just find what you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” kind of thing, but that’s not true. I mean, I think that’s basically BC.

It’s like find what you love, and yeah, you’re going to work pretty hard, and it’ll be well worth it, it’ll be really good.

That it’s not all sunshine and roses. I mean, when we accept the idea that, yeah, there’s going to be times that are a little challenging. Then in a funny way the expectation that, that’s okay is actually a part of that, or has been a part of that for me, and especially today’s day and age with social media and everything, you know nobody’s posting the days where, oh, my goodness this fell apart, and this client disappeared, or whatever happened with a team member, like nobody’s posting that stuff online, on social media. Everybody’s posting the good stuff, so it’s easy to look at and think, oh, my goodness, I’m the only person, suffering through some of these things.

There Is No Such Things as Overnight Success

You have just crushed my entire world. I was planning on being an overnight success between now and tomorrow, and it was going to be really easy, and I was going to follow my passion, and do what I love, and never have to work again, and you’re telling me that, that’s not true?

Oh, my God. Were you going to have bonbons and eat them on the beach, or whatever? I don’t know.

Why not? Right?

Yeah. You know, by all means I’m all for enjoying our lives in business, and so on, because the other side of that coin is working 24/7, that’s not healthy either, that’s not a good thing, either. You know, really just, it’s meant to be hard at times, and for me, too, it’s also been a mix of I thought, I remember back around the boat, 10 years ago now when I wrote my book, and I started the association, and the training, I thought at that moment I had it all figured out. I was like, all right, I’ve got it all figured out, the rest of my life is set. I thought that was it.

Then, I came to realize that it wasn’t, and partially, or in many ways because of who I am, like I’m actually, I’m more of a like started, get things going. I’m sure others can relate to this, you know get things going, create things. Then I have what I like to call about a three year itch. Where it’s about every three years, or so I’m feeling like I want to create something new. When I ran into that after starting our certification training for OBM’s, and all kinds of amazing things that were going there, I was about three years into that journey, and I was honestly getting a little bored.

I was like, I’m kind of getting a little bored with this, it’s all good, I’m getting a little bored with it. Then I felt guilty about feeling bored, like, oh, how dare you feel bored, this is amazing, and all these wonderful things. I had a conversation with a friend of mine one day, and she’s like, “You’re a problem solver,” and like, “You just need a new problem to solve.” That really hit home for me.

That’s what led me to writing my second book, The Entrepreneur’s Trap, which was digging more into helping business owners get the systems, the team, the structure, all of those things in place, so that they can create a business that can run without them. It’s also been recognizing myself, my own strengths within my business, has been a part of that. When I find myself thinking that I should be something, or should be happy with something that I’m not happy with, that becomes a roadblock for me. That becomes something that really starts to get in the way.

You know, I’ve heard people describe building a company as really building a product, which is I think, it’s an interesting frame to kind of look at this idea of building a business that, that’s really the business itself is the product, and if you do that, it sort of allows you to step back, and kind of look down from above at this product that you’re building, which in service businesses it’s hard to do, because a lot of the times you sort of view yourself as the business owner, the number one investor, the product itself, and the production line all in one. Right?


And probably the sales force, too. It’s difficult to sometimes separate, but I know I could relate to what you just described and kind of feeling like, okay, I’ve created this part of this business, it’s time to move on, and do something else. I know I tend to be wired that way, and the way that I’ve kind of realized, or that I’ve kind of recognized that I can deal with that is to look at my strengths, which are kind of coming up with ideas and starting things. I think you would probably relate to that. Right?


**Making sure that they work in the market, selling them, and then having a team in place that’s really, really good at the stuff that I’m not very good at, which is taking that idea, turning it into systems, turning it into process, delivering on it consistently. You know? It took me a long time to realize I don’t have to do all that stuff, and partially I shouldn’t. You know?


Nobody wants to pay for me doing that, because I’m not very good at it, but I can go find some really great people who are excellent at it, way better than I ever would be, serve our clients way better. I think that approach is important. I know a lot of the work that you’re doing really is trying to get entrepreneurs to that place. How has that played out in your own businesses?

There was a bit of an identity crisis the first time that really came up for me, so when I shifted from being an OBM, and working directly with my clients, and they were hiring me to shifting my model, fully, to a training, and coaching business model. At that point, is when I started bringing on my own team, and I think especially too with service providers, like the first stage of our business usually is just us doing our thing. You know, it might be a few years, it might be months, it might be however long it is, it’s like us doing our thing.

You Can’t Do Everything Yourself and Keep Growing

Then, when the business starts to become bigger than us, and we start to need to bring in team members, it was actually funny, my coach at the time, when I was in that space in my business, it was my coach who looked at me he’s like, “Tina, you need to hire your own OBM,” I’m like, “Oh, you’re right. I do.” I wasn’t even seeing it for myself. I had some great team members come on, including a person who really played that management role, who was working with me to run the day to day, and working with me to grow the business.

We were about six months into working together, and I had what I call an identity crisis in all of that, too, because it was basically like, okay, if everybody else is taking care of this and that, and that and this, and all these things are going really well, then what am I supposed to be doing, here? Like, I was so identified with being the doer, and being the one in the day to day, and being the one that clients would come to, and that team members would come to, and being in the thick of everything that when that wasn’t true anymore I really had a moment of, yikes, and that’s really when we step into the CEO space at that point. I mean, we can either step into it, or we can step backwards into being the doer.

It’s one way or the other with that, but that was a really pivotal moment for me, because I remember talking with my coach at the time, too, and it was a very, I could very much feel how it would have been so easy to slide back in, and be like, “Let me take this, and let me take that, and I’m going to jump in here, again,” and who knows what kind of trouble I would have been causing and probably sabotaging my team, and all kinds of things versus, no, wait a minute I need to redefine who I am in this business, now, and what I am bringing to the table, and what that role actually looks like moving forward.

I think those are really critical questions to be asking, and I think it’s hard for most of us to ask those questions of ourselves, or at least know when we should be asking them. Until you get to that point that you do it, once you do it, then you go, okay, well, this is pretty good, I need to reevaluate this maybe twice a year or something.


I think getting to that first instance of kind of having that conversation with yourself, and giving yourself permission to do it is I think that’s a little bit of a hurdle to get over. I mean, particularly when we’re starting out, because as you say, you’re trying to do everything, and-


You almost feel a little bit guilty when you say, “Well, wait a second, no, I’m not going to do everything, anymore.”

I know for myself, that I was very much raised with that blue collar mentality, like you work hard, and good things will happen, so it was all about getting in there, and working hard, and to make that shift, and to continue, like I had a mentor say to me years ago, you know, she said, “Every level of success requires letting go of something else.” I was like, ewe, okay, and I’ve really found that to be true, like first we let go of the doing, and then we let go of the managing, you know, and then there’re various things that we continue to let go of to whatever level we want to be growing our businesses to. It’s actually not more work to be done, per se, it’s more of letting go, and leading.

Yeah. That’s the only way I think it works, because I mean for most people running a business you can’t do anymore work. There are no more hours. There’s no more energy. This whole thing that’s out there now of hustle, and no sleep, and you know pull these long hours, I don’t find that to be that productive or to really create much of anything useful. I do think there’s a strong case to be made that to really deliver quality to your clients, deliver high value, it is about simplifying, and doing less. I want to pause here for a second.

I want to come back, Tina, and I want to talk about how to take these ideas that hey you need to step back, you need to begin building a team, and I want to talk specifically about hiring and finding that team, because I know that you’re very good at that, and I know for everybody listening that’s something that they’re struggling with right now. If you’re listening, we’re going to be right back with more from Tina Forsyth.

Hey welcome back. This is Steve Gordon. I’m talking with Tina Forsyth. Tina, I want to shift gears a little bit. I want to talk about, now, if as an entrepreneur I’ve decided, okay, it’s time for me to give some things up, to let go as you were saying, how do I find the people who when I let go will catch it? You know? How will I build that team? It’s not necessarily and easy thing to do.

The good news these days is there’s a ton of people out there to be hired, especially with social media, and internet, and all kinds of things, like we’re ridiculously connected these days. I think even back to 10, 15 years ago when I was starting to do some things, and starting to work with people, with clients, with their team or in my own business it was different then. It was just that idea of where do I find people? That parts actually not hard anymore. There’s a couple of things I want to give everybody today to help sort of ease the hiring process.

Only Hire Employees With This Mindset

First and foremost, to recognize that there’s two different mindsets of people that you can hire, and I’m speaking in particular around hiring outsourced support, so I do a lot of work with people who are hiring say everything from like their first virtual assistant through to online business managers, through to sales support, or marketing support, all kinds of things. It can apply when you’re hiring an outsource professional of sorts to work with you through to employees. I mean, the same thing can apply here as well, too, but basically you’re going to run into two different mindsets out there with the people that you’re looking to hire, and it’s important to know which mindset you’re looking for when you’re actually bringing a person on board.

People are either going to show up with what I call an employee mindset, or they’re going to show up with an expert mindset. An employee mindset is someone who they want to great work, they really want to help, they really want to serve, and they’re coming from a place of just tell me what you need me to do, so their wanting to help, their wanting to do the work, they can do great work, maybe not all of them, but let’s assume they can do great work. Being able to tell them what to do, you need to this person what to do. I call that an employee mindset in the sense that it is often an old habit of theirs from being an employee in some fashion that they’ve just never gone beyond in their own business journey, yet. Or you can hire somebody who’s bringing an expert mindset.

Someone with an expert mindset, they know what their expertise is, they know what they can help people with, they know the deliverables, the results, the impact they can make for a client, and they’re going to show up and lead the business owner in that work. Let’s say for example hiring an OBM, I’ll use that as an example, you know an online business manager they should be able to plug into what’s going on in the business and say, “Great. Here’s what we need to do.” They’re telling you what needs to be done. You’re not having to tell them what needs to be done.

A lot of times, you know, this has been, I have a new book I’m writing, it’s going to be really based on this topic, and around this piece in particular, we live in a world now where it’s ridiculously easy to start a business, which on one hand is a great thing, but there on the other hand it brings up all kinds of challenges. One of which is unless if we were going to go to business school, we really don’t know everything we need to know to run our companies. There’s a lot, a lot of stuff to know out there. There’s a lot of things that are going on in a lot of aspects of business that we may or may not have the time, energy, or inclination to get into and know, and understand, but yet we need them, we need these things done in our business.

If we rely on, I like a little tongue in cheek, talk about the idea that delegation is dead, because delegation requires that A, you know what you need that person to do. Right? Or like you know how to do it, you know enough to give them the instructions, and so on, and to tell them what to do, which isn’t always true for a lot of business owners that I work with. B, it also assumes that you have the time to delegate, and manage, and feed things to people that way.

One of the bigger frustrations I will hear from clients, or colleagues, or any conversations with business owners is, small business owners in particular, of course, is when they’re saying, “You know what? I found this great person. I just think they’re amazing. We had a great conversation, but you know what I don’t know what to give them? They’re sitting there waiting for me to give them things, but I don’t know what to give them, so nothing is getting done.” I’m like, I’m frustrated, and they’re frustrated, and et cetera. That’s when you hire somebody who brings that employee mindset to the table, that’s exactly what happens, they’re going to sit back and be told what to do.

If you hire somebody who’s going to be able to plug in to what’s going on, it actually will take the weight off your shoulders of having to figure out what this persons going to do, and tell them how to do it, and when, and how, kind of thing. Like, I’m really challenging people on the side of the coin of who you are hiring, you know, this comes out in our OBM community, it comes out in other communities, as well, that they need to be showing up as the experts, and to be able to plug in at that level. If they’re showing up as the employee, it actually ends up putting more work on your plate, in a strange way, and I think that becomes a lot of frustration for a lot of business owners.

**Yeah. It absolutely does put more work on your plate. I’ve experienced both of those, and while you can work with someone who has more of that employee mindset, it takes some effort to kind of figure out how to continue to direct them. I’ve been doing this long enough to, I sort of had a pre-internet, pre-virtual employee business where we had at one point up to almost 50 employees, and all kind of located with us, and very kind of a traditional business structure, and now I’ve got a business that’s a 100% virtual where our team some of them are employees, some of them are contractors, but they’re spread literally all over the world. While we’ve overcome a lot of the challenges of not being in the same place, it’s easier to do that when you’ve got somebody that comes with what you’re calling the expert mindset, because they tend to take ownership and figure things out.

When you have somebody that has that employee mindset, boy is it nice to be able to walk over to the desk, and stand over their shoulder and tell them what to do, and how to do it, it becomes more difficult when you’re not in the same place, and I think that’s where a lot of people get frustrated with that, with working with somebody virtually where it doesn’t work out very well.

There’s absolutely a time when we want somebody with that employee mindset. Like, if we have a lot of really solid systems, and processes, and this is exactly what needs to be done, and how, and when, then to plug somebody in with that mindset, that’s great. That’s great, because the systems are there, and the processes are there, and that’s all laid out really clearly. That usually comes a little further down the road, like it depends a bit on where the business is at, as well, too.

I think especially when we’re looking for people that are going to operate on a higher level in the business with us, like somebody who’s going to plug in say from a marketing perspective, or social media, or OBM, or project management, or whatever level of support we’re looking at in the company. I want people showing up with their expertise. I don’t have the time, energy, or inclination to train someone from scratch to do whatever needs to be done in the business. I want them showing up, ready with that.

There are people out there, absolutely, that have that expertise, but not everyone, so it’s part of that hiring process is knowing do I need somebody in the role who’s going to have an employee mindset, or an expert mindset, and making the determination upfront, and then making sure as you’re going through the hiring process that, that you’re very clear, and purposeful to find a person that come in on either side of those coins, or either side of that coin.

Yeah. Absolutely. Kind of knowing what you’re getting into is important, and knowing how you’re going to use them. I think that insight you shared of really thinking about where you are in the business is important earlier in the growth of a business, I think you tend to want people that come with the expert mindset, simply because they’re probably going to be more adaptable, and at that stage of a business everybody does a lot of things.


You don’t have time to hold hands, you need people who can come in and be resourceful, and that’s one of my favorite words in hiring is resourceful, because-


You want people that can come in and go, and find the resources that they need to be successful. You know? Whether that’s going and finding information, figuring out how to do something, you know, reaching out to people who can help them without you having to direct it. I think that’s really, really important. That may be, that little piece of what you’ve shared here may be the most important thing for folks listening, because that’s a big distinction.

It’s something, too, like you said I mean I want to bring anybody, I have a pretty lean team, I mean this is the other side of things, too, by nature of the internet, and all the tools we have available these days, and so on. It’s not like we have to have huge teams anymore in our businesses, we might run a relatively lean team, like I have a pretty lean team, there’s three of us on my team, and exactly like you said, Steve, there’s a measure of everybody jumping into different things in different ways that comes into play.

Also, too, it’s like I need people on my team that can plug into what’s going on, and keep up with me. If I’m having to go back, explain, come along, all that kind of stuff, that’s just not going to work. That’s just not going to work for me. It starts to really, and that’s where there are problems, like when I have had problems with team members over the years, and I knew especially this with clients and such I’ve worked with as well in regards to their team, anytime they have somebody sitting back and waiting to be told what to do like, no, that’s not the way this works anymore. That’s not the way it works anymore. Another really simple tip I want to share, too, from a hiring perspective, around being able to determine this mindset, if that’s okay with you?

Absolutely. That would be great.

I mean, when the flow of the hiring process, it really is you’re looking to see how they respond in the sense of you can have a conversation with somebody, here’s the role we’re looking to fill, here’s what we’re looking for that person to do, et cetera, laying that out really clearly with somebody. They’re either going to respond one of two ways. They’re either going to respond saying, “Oh, my gosh, this is amazing. I love it. Just tell me what you need me to do, and I’ll do it for you.” Or they’re going to respond and say, “This is great. I love it. All right. Here’s what we’re going to start with, here’s what we’re going to do.”

I want to see that person showing, I want to see and feel that person taking the reins right in that initial conversation when I’m talking with them. I call that the sigh of relief moment, when you literally feel like, oh, this person gets it. I want to feel a sigh of relief in that very first conversation, then it’s like, okay, they’re going to jump in, they’re asking the right questions, or laying things out, you can feel their coming in to take things over, or to take things off our plates, or the business’s plate in whatever way shape or form you need it. Whenever somebody says, “How can I help you?” That’s a red flag to me.

Yeah. They’re looking for direction, rather than taking initiative. For a business owner who’s listening to this how do they get themselves kind of organized to be able to go out, and hire effectively? I’ve always found that if I kind of get clear on my intentions for what I’m looking for, and get as clear as I possibly can that tends to help. What advice do you have for somebody who is looking at this, and maybe they haven’t hired a lot of people in the past, or they have, and it hasn’t been successful, how can they begin to get some clarity around what they want, and then how to go find it?

An exercise I always will have my clients do, it’s a pretty straightforward exercise. I call it a taking inventory exercise. I mean, let’s say for example if somebody hasn’t hired anyone yet, if it’s just them at this moment, and again, this could apply even if you have various people. It can apply at any time. You’re looking to bring somebody on board. A taking inventory exercise is just spending for about a week or so, making a list of all the things that are on our plate.

Like, making a list of all the things we’re doing, making a list of all the things that are on our plate that we’re not getting to for whatever reason. Making a list of things that maybe we would like to do some day, but we don’t have the time, or energy, or expertise to get these things done. My recommendation for hiring is always to get, are you familiar with Gay Hendricks’ book, The Big Leap, where he talks about the zones? He has the zone’s competence, incompetence, competence, excellence, and genius.


Is what he talks about. I really like looking at the hiring flow through that lens, so there’s a lot of things, like especially if we’re the only ones in our business to begin with. There’s a ton of things we’re spending time on that fits in the zone of confidence. Zone of confidence is like, I can do this thing, but other people can do it just as well as I can. For me, I geek out on some tech, I can whatever, I could send out a broadcast, or there’re all kinds of things like that, like I could do all those things, and to a degree could actually enjoy doing some of those things, but other people could do them just as well as I can, like there’s nothing in that, that’s zone of genius, or zone of excellence, for me to be doing that stuff.

Those are the kinds of things that need to be coming off our plate first. Then, even as we start to, let’s say we’re at this space of okay, I’ve I got a lot of zones of confidence off my plate, that’s where we’re starting to tap into some of the zone of excellence things, which can be more challenging. I love the way that he talks about it in the book, that our zone of excellence, those are the activities that we’re really, really great at. They’re the things that other people want from us, and that’s usually the space where we end up making a lot of money, too, is zone of excellence activities.

In a way, they can become almost like what’s the word, like almost seductive, where it can almost be a bit of a trap to find ourselves still doing a lot of things, like maybe client facing work, if someone has an agency, and they’re building out a team to serve their clients, and they themselves are still doing a lot of client facing work, because their clients want them to do it, and they think they have to do, and all of that kind of stuff.

It’s a little bit starting to question like, okay, really, do I actually have to be the one to keep doing this stuff? You know? Maybe not. There’s a lot of things that can as the business grows, and as the business needs it, and as the budget allows for it, there’s pretty much most anything that can be coming off our plates along the way, if we want it to.

Yeah. I think there’s even another filter there, I mean it’s not just where does it fall on sort of the continuum of competence, you know for those skills, but there may be things that are within your zone of genius, but certain applications that don’t really add a whole lot of value-


The Tasks You Shouldn’t Be Doing in Your Business

A great example of that, we used to produce, I used to produce a daily email to our list, and I would write it, and for a while I’d set up the broadcast, and all that, and first thing I did was get broadcast off my plate, and then we worked for another couple of years, and then I realized while the copywriting part of that was within my zone of genius, it wasn’t adding enough value for me to continue doing it.

Tina Forsyth: Yeah.

Now, for example when we put these podcasts out, you know, we’ve got a writer that I’ve worked with now for a good long while, and he’s the one that writes the things that go in the email. There are ways to get that stuff that you think, well, it really needs to be me, and I think you have to question it, is it really adding enough value for you to invest your time in it, are you going to get a return on that investment of time and energy?


There all good questions to begin asking, and use that as kind of the blueprint for what to take off your plate.

I’ve also liked, I don’t remember where I first learned this, but it was a number of years ago of knowing the top three things that we want to have on our plate. I mean, for me it’s writing, speaking, and teaching. Those are my three things. If I’m spending majority of my time in those three spaces that’s a good flow, that’s a good flow. If I’m not, then that’s where we know somethings off for whatever reason, but even within that, too.

You know it’s funny that you say that, too, Steve, like even within our zone of genius, or zone of excellence space one of the things I’ve started to let go of over the past couple of years is some of the training, and the teaching that I’ve been doing in the business. It’s like, oh, no, I have to do that, that was my default thinking, I have to be the one leading these trainings, I have to be the one doing all of this. I was like, “Wait a minute. That’s only true if I think it’s true.”


It doesn’t have to be true. We’ve made some shifts over the past year in particular. In particular with OBM training that I have licensed trainers now, and various things going on there. Where I’m actually not doing the training at all, anymore on that side of the business.


It’s great. I mean it’s great for many reasons. It’s also freed me up for other things. It’s plugged other people into things that they really want to be focused on, and working on, but for the longest time I just couldn’t see that. I thought I had to be the one to do that. We’re a training company, I have to be the one to do all that then. No, not so much.

Yeah. It’s so easy to fall into that trap, and particularly in certain service businesses, you know I was listening to a dentist a couple of days ago describe how he basically moved from seeing patients all the time to actually building a business in dentistry, and kind of getting away from seeing those patients. You would think, there’s an example of a business where the owner of the business has to be in there kind of using his hands, literally. Right?

But there are ways that you can get around that, and then grow the business beyond just you, if that’s what you want to do. This is, I could tell you we could keep going, and going, and going on this, because this I such an important topic for people, but I know that we’re about out of time, and I want folks to know where they can kind of get in touch with you, and I know you’ve got some stuff that you want to share, so where should people go if they listen to this, and they say, “Yeah. I need to get more focused on how to build my team.”

Tinaforsyth.com is my main website, so that’s T-I-N-A-F-O-R-S-Y-T-H.com, and also, too, I do have a hiring, like a how to hire from the perspective of looking for the expertise mindset, a list of questions and such that I’d be happy to give anyone who wants a copy of that, as well, too, based on our conversation today, so the link for that would be Tinaforsyth.com/interviewquestions.

Okay. Great. We’ll link to both the main site, and to those questions in the show notes, so folks if you’re driving, and you couldn’t write that down, or if you’re listening to the podcast like I do when you’re working out, and you can’t write it down, that’s okay, you can find all of that stuff on our website at Unstoppableceo.net and just look for the episode with Tina Forsyth. Tina, thank you so much for investing some time with me today. This has been a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot. I hope everybody listening has learned a lot, as well, and just really grateful for you being here with us, today.

My pleasure. Thanks, Steve.

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