Episode 70: Welcome Back + My 7-Figure Moves

We are back! When I say “we,” I’m not talking about just me. On this week’s episode of The Scale to Seven® podcast, I have my integrator, Robert, who will be joining me in this episode, and more episodes to come!  

We’ve got a lot of great things coming, and I’m thrilled to share them with you.   

Living an entrepreneurial life means countless opportunities, countless challenges, countless decisions. And those decisions aren’t always easy when you don’t know the outcome. But as you focus and devote your time to scaling your business, it’s also important to take a step back and reassess your priorities.   That’s exactly what I needed to do last fall, and in this episode, I share more about why the podcast went on a hiatus and what’s been happening behind-the-scenes in my business since then.  

I’ve been making 7-figure moves in my business – and I’m challenging you to do the same!  

What You’ll Learn from this Episode: 

  • Why the podcast went on a hiatus
  • Recent 7-figure CEO moves Kathryn has made in her business
  • The difference between a CEO and COO
  • What Kathryn is focusing on in the short-term to set her business up for more growth in the long-term
  • Kathryn’s journey in rediscovering her priorities and the lesson you can learn from it

Featured on the Show:

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Kathryn Binkley
Welcome to Scale to Seven®, your behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to scale your business to seven figures. I'm your host, Kathryn Binkley, business and leadership coach for online entrepreneurs. Here's what I know: building a business that will generate millions requires the mindset, strategy, and action of a future seven-figure CEO, starting now. Ready to Scale to Seven®? Let's go!

Kathryn Binkley
Hey, Hey, everyone, and welcome back to the Scale to Seven® Podcast. When I say welcome back, I really mean welcome back. We've been on a hiatus. It's been a bit since our last episode, but we are back and we're ready for more. And when I say we, now it's not just me. I have an integrator in my business. And I can't wait to talk more about that and other seven-figure CEO moves that I'm making in my business. But before we get to that, I just have to introduce you because my integrator is here, and he's going to join in on the conversation. Robert, thanks for joining me.

Robert Osborne
Hi, Kathryn. It is exciting to be a part of the team. And it's great to be here today.

Kathryn Binkley
Why don't you tell us just a little bit more about what you've been up to, and give us the highlights, and then we'll dive in a bit more later for how you came on board with me.

Robert Osborne
Sure. My education was in engineering. I've been active duty in the United States Navy up until July. And I'm excited to transition into this phase of my life as being your integrator and COO. In the Navy. I was a submarine officer. So the primary experiences that I gained there were heavy in leadership and operations. And I am excited to bring that into our organization and share my experiences with our clients.

Kathryn Binkley
Awesome. So I've been away for a little bit here on, you know, this hiatus, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. I've been building my business behind-the-scenes. And we're going to tell you a lot more about that. But, when we actually first started the hiatus, and really it wasn't like this intentional decision to stop I just kind of slowly started to say the podcast became more of a backburner item. And I think that's because I was really going through a journey of reassessing my own priorities. I had been spending a lot of time in other's businesses as a fractional COO, in addition to my coaching work. And those were pulling my time and attention and focus. And I really had to take a step back from some things, and the podcast just happened to be one of those things. But now that I've done that, and come out on the other side, I'm excited to talk about what that journey was like, why I really needed to reassess those priorities and what my aha's were there, and then what I'm doing now moving forward, and how my business is already looking different. And we'll continue to.

So let's go back to kind of late last summer and just dig in briefly here, I had the opportunity to go in to a client's business with a more expanded role. And this is something that as I work with clients, and that fractional COO role came up often, they'd always get to a point where they wanted more of my time, they wanted more of my focus and my energy. And I actually had another CEO say to me, Kathryn, I want all of your time, I want your thoughts in the shower to be about my business. That's exactly what he said to me. I was like, I want your brain on my business full time. And I entertained the idea. And even though I cautiously entertained it, I still entertained it. And I think that this is one lesson for all of you to hear. And that is when you're even considering I'll call it a plan B, whether it's a plan B, or you're considering making that your plan A like when you're considering something else. When you're looking at another option that means that by default, you're going to lose some momentum towards what you're currently working on your plan A because you're not entirely focused there. You're not sure that that's the future and so you pull back and hold back. And I think that that's what happened is I really entertained that idea and explored that possibility over a few months. That meant losing seem in my own business as I weighed this other option. Now, ultimately, a few months passed, I realized that that wasn't the direction that I wanted to go in that I very much love the freedom and autonomy that I have. I very much love being in the visionary CEO role, which is something that I had to come to terms with, I'm used to being that second in command that COO that behind-the-scenes person for so much of my working life, not just in business, but in my corporate role as well. I'm used to being that behind-the-scenes person, and that's very comfortable for me. But I really realized through that journey, that this is what I want, I want to be in the CEO role, and I needed to start making some CEO-level moves.

Robert Osborne
Well, you know, that's really interesting, Kathryn, because many times in life, we have to take risks in order to determine where we want to be. Sometimes we have to look at the other side because we tend to think as human beings that the grass is always greener, right? That's a common saying and phrase. But sometimes you have to actually walk on the grass to find out that it's not even grass. It's just concrete that was painted green, right? And but if you did not go through that experience, you would never know, and there are certainly many benefits that, that you personally gained from that, I'm sure. And I'm curious if there's a couple that you could share with us today.

Kathryn Binkley
Yeah, you know, that's so true. I think, that there was some part of me that felt like maybe there's something to this, maybe there's something more when all along, you know, ultimately hindsight being 2020. I know that I really want to stay where I am. But there was that pole or that draw just to see what else was possible. And if that would be better. I think it made me stronger, and so I think this is what I would share about that. I think not I think, I know that having gone through that experience. Now, I thought I was all in, in my business. I thought that I knew where I wanted to go, I thought that I had a big vision, but after kind of filling that pole to just, just see, right? Just see, what this other door that someone presented to me could look like by going through that. Now, I've almost doubled down. I'm more all in, and I know that this is exactly what I want to do. And I can confidently say like, I don't think there's ever anything that could pull me away from this anymore like it had been a long time I've been in this business, for now, seven years, just been a while since I've even really explored working for someone else. And to go back to that was the quick reminder and kind of kick in the pants that I needed to remind me exactly why I started this business in the first place. So all of that I think, is making this that much stronger for me moving forward and more like less, there's no questioning, there's no temptation, there's no distraction.

Robert Osborne
So what are the biggest differences between being someone else's COO and being your own CEO? In other words, why did you come running back to your business?

Kathryn Binkley
Hmm, great question. I think, for so many of the reasons that I started the business in the first place. But after being here for seven years, almost started to take for granted, if you will. So let me dive into a few of those things. But I think there's a lesson in there for all of you listening. Sometimes, the things that we wanted most and that we have now no longer feel special or important. It just feels status quo, but I didn't realize just how much for example, how much control and freedom I have in my day-to-day just the level of autonomy, in other words, the ability to choose the ability to choose exactly when I work versus having to show up to meetings that someone else sets, I get to set my schedule completely. And little by little by taking on more and more work with fractional clients.

They were dictating my schedule, and I was losing some of that flexibility and even if I ultimately could adjust a schedule, there was still this extra step or extra barrier to have to move a meeting, or I'm not sure really, if I would say ask permission at that level, but it was still like, letting someone else know what was going on or that I had this, you know, personal thing I wanted to do versus just having the complete freedom to do whatever I want on a whim and take an afternoon off or whatever, without feeling like I was letting anyone down if you will. I also just really missed being the visionary, there were times where I would essentially start to, out of necessity, focus more on implementation and management of the team, and just missed more of that strategic thinking time missed more of coming up with the big vision ideas. And that's just a part of who I am, and I realized how much I craved that missed that and wanted to come back to that in my business because my business is the source of that. And then, I think more than anything, I would say it was this renewed energy and focus around wanting to scale my business for so long. And I still help everyone, you know, all of my clients scale their businesses, but for so long in that fractional COO role. I was really all in with my like energetically all in with other businesses and prioritizing their businesses, and I was ready to do for myself and my business what I've helped so many others do.

Robert Osborne
Well, speaking of which, it's a great segue into the next question, what types of big moves, seven-figure moves are you working on now?

Kathryn Binkley
Well, let me tell you some that I've made and you're one of them, you are probably one of the biggest seven-figure CEO moves that I've made, and that's because I have been that COO, I've been the integrator for so many others' businesses. And if I want to shift and I do, and I've, you know, made the decision to shift fully into the CEO role in my own business, that meant I couldn't keep doing both. And when I asked myself that question, if another CEO were to come into the business, what step would they take immediately? And the first thing that came to my mind was they'd hire an integrator because they would see that the CEO is trying to do both roles, both jobs. And so that was the first thing I had to bring on an integrator. And when I did, let's just talk about that a little bit, because I made that decision. And it's kind of, I think it's very, very fascinating how this all came to be that you are the person who was hired. And I want to share a little bit more about, you know, how long I've known you, and yeah, quite a few years, huh? I can't hold back the laughter.

Okay, so we'll talk about how long I've known you, and how much I thought of you being a perfect fit for this role before I ever knew that you were even interested in this role. Okay, so if you haven't picked up already by the laughter, or if it's just making you curious. I've known Robert for his entire life, and that's because he is my brother. And I'm the kind of person who, looking back like, I had some pretty firm beliefs like that, I don't want to hire family into this business, and I often don't recommend hiring family, friends, acquaintances, but really going through the full hiring process to make sure that someone's the right fit. And so I am not sure that I really ever expected to hire family into the business. It certainly wasn't a default thing by any means. It wasn't just the easy hire. But going back several years ago, you know, we've talked obviously, and I remember a conversation where I was just kind of telling you a little bit more about my work as an integrator and saying to you like, hey, Robert, by the way, you also would make an incredible integrator you naturally have the leadership skills, the operations brain to be perfect for this role. And when I said this, I'm not sure that you ever thought anything of it as far as us working together. You being my integrator. That wasn't the point of the conversation. And this was several years ago. But it intrigued you enough to know that, that I know that you went to research it.

Robert Osborne
So we have over the years always talked about our lines of work, which were vastly different, but actually very similar in a lot of ways. And when I specifically remember having the first discussion on what an integrator visionary meant, and was, like, kind of blown away, like what do you mean, a CEO is actually a visionary and a COO is actually an integrator, how does that make any sense in the world? Why would you call them that? You don't see on a company, you know, supervision, website page for a company where they talk about the visionary and the integrator, they always have corporate titles. And so I was very intrigued by that idea. And so yeah, I followed up and it looked more into it and researched it, ultimately read a book about it and realized that I have strong integrator traits, and some also strong visionary traits, which at times fight back and forth with one another. However, the Navy has helped me to really develop my integrator skills, because as a division officer, a lot of what I did on a daily basis was that integration level, project management type work. So yeah, absolutely excited about it. And then that also helped me to develop a mindset moving out of the military and into the public sector of looking for a position that would ultimately allow me the path to reach that, to reach that milestone. Little did I know, that one day when we were talking, you were going to offer me a quick path to that milestone, and that's why I was really excited.

Kathryn Binkley
So let's go back to the day that you actually texted me and wanted to talk about opportunities to pursue the path to be an integrator. And little did you know, that the same day that you texted me, was the day that I posted the job for this exact role?

Robert Osborne
Yeah, so we had had some conversations around this in the past, I remember around the April time period, you had mentioned, hey, you know, kind of have some exciting developments in my business. That, you know, I'd like to talk to you about just to share as a brother, sister conversation, as we're meeting up for a big family get-together. And I don't recall if we had much time to talk about it, because, you know, kids were playing, and we were doing family things. But in the back of my mind, I thought, well, there's a good chance that Kathryn could help me at the very least, develop a kind of a path forward to get to this position to get this, this type of position and role in an organization. And so when I texted you literally, it was months before I was leaving the military. I was quickly approaching interview season, in other words, are approximately 90 days out, you start taking interviews on, but I was, you know, I was 120 days out at the time. And so when I posed the question, it was twofold. One was to try to glean some experience from you or some of your recommendations, because like I mentioned, your great coach and teacher. And transitioning out of the military can be difficult when you've done it for over a decade.

There's a lot of networking and working with job recruiters. And then, you know, one of the biggest concerns that I realized was that the jobs that I was most directly being steered towards were specific jobs, there was one thing I would do or one type of thing. And I've never been fully satisfied for a longer period of time with a single type of desk job. On a submarine, in the wardroom officers we, we deal with a large, a large array of different types of things, whether it's engineering or operations or driving the submarine. So I took that experience on and it really helped to develop my mindset towards having kind of a hand in different departments and different aspects of an organization. I really enjoyed that. And compared to some of the opportunities that were out there, it just, it just seemed like a no brainer for me to take the risk, to step out of my comfort zone, to be open to learn and shift my mindset, and to really be a part of a team that has extremely strong core values. has a mission that is aligned with what I consider to be a high-level core value of taking care of our clients and helping them to find satisfaction in their businesses by growing revenues, but also by expanding their personal freedoms.

Kathryn Binkley
Absolutely. I think what you were looking for, in a role that you weren't finding, as you were, again, being steered towards these different roles that you could apply for, or interview for, what you're looking for is definitely one of my core values. It's really behind the mission and vision of this business. And that is ultimately being able to have both financial and time freedom, and not feel stuck. Like you have to sacrifice one thing or the other. And so, yeah, so excited that you had that realization, so excited that you reached out and texted, and I think you have been my number one seven-figure move so far for the year, that also led into some other decisions. And there have been some other seven-figure moves. So let's talk about those as well.

Next up, I just want to talk about the fact that either bringing you on was one step. But we really only need an integrator in place if we have the broader team in place as well. And I've had a team for many years, and really started to go all-in with my team and build up a team this year, beyond anything I've done before. So before, I've always had, you know, a handful of team members, now I'm really committed to getting the right team on board and building out this business to scale it. And so what that means is a lot of hiring a lot of recruiting a lot of training this year, it's a very operations-focused year for my business. And I kind of feel like sometimes with the experience that I have, leading and managing businesses, whether multiple, six-figures, multiple seven-figure businesses, and definitely consulting with those even well past that eight, nine-figure businesses, I feel like I have experience well beyond what I'm able to do inside of this business right now. And it's really taken a lot of kind of throttling back, and patience, I would say for me in this season.

Kathryn Binkley
And we'll talk more about that, I'm sure. But for this, what I really want to say is, it's given me the opportunity firsthand to really have to go through the things that I help my clients with but as the CEO. So again, I've been in that COO role and helped people build their teams, and I've been in a coach role, and help them build their teams, and kind of have to hold back and be patient about moving forward. But for me this year, it's not necessarily the first time I've ever had to be patient. It's not the first time I've ever built a team, even my own team. But this year is a true kind of test of me going through exactly what I work with my clients with, to get my team up to the place where we can really scale to that next level. And there have been a lot of ups and downs and challenges, and it definitely hasn't gone perfectly. But it's been exactly where I needed to focus is definitely a seven-figure move in the sense of putting so much time and attention on not just going out to create results. Because I can do that all day. I know how to do that myself. But it's not sustainable for me to try to do it myself. I really need to develop a team who can create results, a team who can win as a result, all the little parts and pieces of this business that make it run. I need team members who can drive that forward and really truly own those things to free me up because it's not sustainable for me to keep my hands on all of it and skill.

So that's been a big challenge. And when you came on board, right at the beginning, when he came on board, we had to have a big conversation around even my revenue goals for the year versus what we ended up shifting our revenue goals to based on how much I'm doing, because I could do more of this myself and make more in revenue this year than if we took a step back. Develop the team had a lower goal this year, but then that sets is that better for years to come. So with that, we just went through two of the seven-figure CEO moves that I've made. Bringing on an integrator, deciding to really focus more on this year being an operations year, a team development year versus, in other words, a maintenance year versus a big growth year. And knowing that that's the right decision this year in order to set us up for growth in the future. So hopefully, this is giving you the behind-the-scenes of our business showing you a couple of the seven-figure CEO moves that I'm making. And as we move forward, you know, I want to encourage you to really think about what CEO moves you can make. And if it's something that you know, you need to step up, if you know, you need to level up and start acting more like the CEO and your business instead of an employee.

If you know that results are completely dependent on you right now, or results aren't repeatable, then there are some moves that you need to make in your business. And we have a framework that teaches that we'll share more of that later. But what I encourage you to do is, if you do nothing else today, go take a two minute quiz that we put together to help you figure out what your next CEO power move is, is going to give you one of three different categories that will help you drive your business forward will help you scale your business will help you step more into that role of CEO. So go check that out. Take a two-minute quiz! It's going to tell you where you need to focus and then it's going to deliver some actionable next steps for you to make CEO level moves of your own. And then, Robert, thanks again for joining me, and look forward to many, many conversations both off the air and on the air to give more of the behind-the-scenes here.

Robert Osborne
Yeah, thanks for having me, Kathryn.

Kathryn Binkley
Hey, if you're ready to Scale to Seven®, I want to invite you to join the Scale to Seven® Mastermind. It's my coaching program designed to turn your online business into a self-sustaining scalable business that can generate millions. Just head over to kathrynbinkley.com/scale-to-seven/. We'll see you inside!

 

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