Do You Really Want to Be a Leader?

business expansion. business management business strategy business structure coaching conscious leadership consulting entrepreneurship entrepreneurship challenges exceptional team impact-driven business leadership leadership development life goals organizational alignment organizational growth podcast professional services revenue growth scaling a business strategic planning success mindset team building team management work-life balance Apr 01, 2024


In this episode of Leadership is Feminine, Kris Plachy gets real about the journey of entrepreneurship, asking the crucial question: what kind of business do you want? She draws on her years as an entrepreneur to explore the pivotal moments that arise as businesses grow, particularly when revenue hits the million-dollar mark. Kris discusses the decision-making process and the challenges women face when scaling their businesses, emphasizing the importance of aligning business goals with personal aspirations.

Kris candidly shares her insights on the need for women to consider the life they want in the future and how it intersects with their business decisions. She challenges the traditional focus on revenue and growth, encouraging listeners to think about the type of business they truly want, and if they are willing to do what it takes to achieve it. Kris questions whether building a bigger business is always the right choice and highlights the necessity of being intentional about the future.

Throughout the episode, Kris explores the potential pitfalls of rapid success and the importance of being prepared for growth. She emphasizes the need to build exceptional teams and be honest about personal leadership preferences. Kris’s compelling insights shed light on the often-overlooked aspects of entrepreneurial success, inspiring listeners to prioritize alignment with their true desires and intentions.

"I want you to really think about it and build a business that aligns with the life you want. Do not live for your business and wake up thinking, this is my life. That's not the gift of entrepreneurship."

Key Takeaways From This Episode

  1. Evaluating Business Growth and Leadership Role: The pivotal moments in the growth of a business

  2. Decisions when hitting certain revenue milestones: Deciding what team structures look like

  3. Questioning the Desire For a Larger Business: Examining whether or not a large business aligns with personal goals and lifestyle

  4. Exploration of whether a business has to be larger: Not living for the business but making conscious decisions

  5. Challenges and changes in scaling a business: Planning for the necessary resources, training, and infrastructure

  6. Preparedness for Business Success: The need to foresee and be ready for potential business growth

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Well, hello and welcome to the Leadership is Feminine podcast. I'm Kris Placky and I'm recording this podcast at night because I have one more podcast to get done before I get to go on vacation. So if we happen to make a video out of this, you'll see me in my Human sweatshirt and in my Refer Her red hat and my goofy glasses.

So, but I wanted to talk to you about you. And, you know, we talk a lot about team, we talk about all the tactics of leadership and how to think about things. And one of the things that I have been spending quite a bit of time talking to my clients about is what kind of business do they want?

And it's interesting because now I've been an entrepreneur for almost 13 years. And I know when I first started, I didn't know what I was doing. Nobody does, right? We just kind of, "I'm going to work on my own". That's all I wanted. I didn't want to have to deal with a compliance department or a boss. Or I don't know, anything. I just wanted to do my own thing.

And really for the first five years of my business, it was very like, okay. It was, I would call it more of a consulting business, and I would connect with people and then they would ask me to come help them with things and I would do that. And I did a lot of presenting and a lot of workshops and a lot of teaching and coaching. And so there's a lot of women that I have "grown up with" as an entrepreneur, right? Who also started businesses and sort of were like, let's see what happens.

And then they built these huge businesses and all sorts of different ways, right? Especially the women I know in my field, other coaches. But I also meet and now work with clients who are in mostly professional services businesses. So everything from design and accounting, and health and wellness, and attorneys, and recruiting firms, and food service. They're are all across the board. I don't actually work with a lot of coaches, honestly.

All of my clients hit these moments where they're really invited to a decision. And I think the first moment is when you really hit about a million in revenue. And I talked a little bit about this with the $3 to $5 million business a couple of weeks ago, because you can run a million dollar business, most people can, on your own, with a little bit of help.

If you have a brick and mortar business, that's more challenging because you have to have bodies. You have to have people in the building, right? That's a little bit different, but for the most part, yeah. Most people are in professional services of some sort can usually kind of scrap it together, but then we have to make some decisions, right? So if I want this to keep growing, am I willing to add people because I can't do it all myself.

And that's when a lot of women find me. Because they realize they have had to add people and they don't know how to deal with that. They don't know what to do. And they, it feels so overwhelming. And so hence, we do our work together, but there's other pivot moments for those of you who are listening to this.

And I feel like I meet people in so many different places. I meet people who are really, really ambitiously excited about growing multiple, multiple million dollar size businesses with locations and amenities and offers and all the things they want to put in the world and love it.

And then I also have a lot of clients, maybe it's because, I don't know, I've been doing it a while. And so I have a lot of clients who are probably closer to my age too - not all, but I have quite a few - who are also now like, " I don't know, a $5 million business is kind of fun. Like. Does it have to be bigger? I don't know the answer. Does it have to be bigger? I don't know that it has to be."

I just think you have to ask yourself, and then you have to look at where you are and what that goal is, and are you willing to do the work of it? It's a different business. And a lot of my clients get to a place where they realize, "Oh, I don't want this job. I don't want to be the CEO of this business. If this business requires me to do all the things I don't like doing. I like doing that." And there's nothing wrong with any of it.

And I think you can change your mind too, which is super cool. And I watch people do it, but I don't think we talk about it. And I want to talk about it because if I could give you anything, I would like, put you in a little bubble and I would send you forward. And I would say, here's what this really looks like.

You right now are, you're running a two and a half million dollar business. You want to get to 10 so that you can turn that thing and make money. Yeah. You want to sell it. Okay. Let's go. Let's talk about what that will be. Because most of you, when you talk to advisors and colleagues and peers, and you go to big conferences and everybody's whispering in your ear about all the potential and all the things you could do, what are they focusing on? Revenue. They're talking about all the potential growth and revenue.

And listen, I love money. I also love a 50 percent profit margin. So, uh, right. Bodies, more money.

So. Okay. You get to $10 million. What is that business, right? And one of the things that I do with my clients is called team design. And we go through and we look at, okay, this is the goal.

What is the structure that supports that? You have to be honest with yourself about it. And if that's the structure that supports that, what's your role in there? What is it that you're doing every day? And so many of my clients realize. "Oh, I don't want to manage people all day. I love what I do. I'm an artist. I'm a creative. I'm a poet. I'm a, I'm a healer. Like, I don't, I'm a practitioner."

Now, does that mean you can't have a $10 million business and be a practitioner? No, but it's a model that you have to decide you are willing to learn. And if you want to run that $10 million business and be the CEO, or the founder, or the president, or the principal, or the managing director, whatever you want to call yourself of that $10 million business, then you have to be honest. What is that job? It's hard.

What's the gap between where you are right now and what that role is? And if you're not getting busy on it, it's going to bite you because you can't just park it and focus on revenue.

Now I'm going to pull back and tell you the one thing that drives me nuts are all the people that want to sell you how to do strategic plans. I can't stand it. I can't stand it. And here's why. The world is changing so fast. Listen to me. Is it the same as it was? Is it the same today as it was four months ago? No. Oh, you know that. So you can have all the best plans in the world. But you need to be able to move and be agile. So we have to play out what is the model here?

And then what do we do this week, next month, this quarter to get us closer. If you have an annual plan, I would love to hear. How many people actually keep the whole plan? I love, I love looking at our goals and I love strategizing on how we're going to achieve our goals, but I really love being nimble.

And if you're running a business that you want to double your revenue and you haven't even thought about the people that you're going to need to do tha,t and the investment that that will be and the training that that will be and the support that they will need and the infrastructure that's necessary to do that.

If you have a team of 10 and, you know, you're going to end up with a team of 30. What changes? You know what I know changes payroll, you can't keep running your own payroll and yet that's one that creeps up on people if you do scheduling, that'll drive you crazy if you're scheduling 20 people versus six.

How about if you are open six days a week, you want to call that whole time? Or do you need a GM? Do you need an ops manager? Do you have some, do you need somebody else who's going to help run this thing, not make the, even the big decisions, just be hands on. And are you willing to become the woman who builds that team?

So I love it. I love when women invest in their organizations and they, and they build these incredible companies and then they sell them or they keep them and they live off of them. And they, it's all, whatever your choice is, because I know once you're committed to what you're creating, you'll do it. If it's what you want.

I just don't think we're talking to you enough about that question. Do you know what you want? Like, how old are you right now? What do you want your life to look like? Just your life. Don't think about your business because you aren't your business and your business isn't you. What do you want your life to look like in 10 years ideally, right?

I'm 54, 64 years from now, or six, excuse me, 10 years from now. I do not want to be working at the level that I am. I still want to be working because I love what I do, but not like all the time. And I don't want a big company at 64, not at all. So I don't want to build one right now. So I'm looking at all of the ways to expand, reach, make a bigger impact and do it in a way that doesn't require extra resources in a way that I'm not interested in. But I've already led and managed 250 some odd people. Like, listen.

So I get that. I did it. It's all good. I don't want to do it again, but I want you to really think about it. And I want you to build a business that aligns with the life you want to, not live for your business and wake up thinking, "this is my life." That's not the gift of entrepreneurship. That's where we've gotten it backwards.

And so many people overfocus on just revenue, revenue growth. Growth, growth, growth, growth, revenue, revenue, revenue growth, growth, growth, growth, growth. And I meet those people. I meet those people. They're haggard, exhausted, and they hate their company.

Do all of them? No. But if you end up there without intention, because really, your primary focus was generating revenue and growing. And you don't really think about how that affects your role, what you're doing all day, what you need to know, what you need to understand, what you need to be willing to let go of. And I just want this conversation to be more consistent. I want more of us talking about it.

I had a conversation actually with one of my kids. This was a while ago. And he has a really cool career he's building and he's in the music industry. He's a sound engineer. And we were talking about success, right? And of course he's young, just like all the rest of us. But he's young and he, I think our younger generation is much more affected and impacted by all the stuff on the onlines, right? Of all the people making all the money and all the success and all the likes and follows and all of the, and he, you know, he's like, "I just don't know if I'm ever going to be that person."

Like, it's just, these people, right. And some of them are 18 years old, 19 years old, and they have 2 million followers and all this stuff. Right. And I'm like, "Yeah, I get it, but I want you to really think about yourself today. And I want you to, to think about, would you be ready if you dropped a new release, if you dropped your beat and everybody fell in love with it and all of a sudden within a week's time, you ended up having 900, 000 followers. And you started getting phone calls from all these different publishing houses. Like, if all of that really happened, would you be ready for it?"

And I think that's the problem with overnight success. And I see this just in the people I follow on Instagram. Every now and then someone pops up and they're like, "Holy heck, I've got 80, 000 followers in the last two weeks," right? That's just Instagram.

There's people who sell these really cute little handy dandy little things that - right - like, think about the, what do you call them? The Stanley cups. I don't know who makes those to be frank, but then did you know, there's a little purse thing you can get that goes on the Stanley cup. I got lots of those for Christmas for people. That company exploded. They weren't ready. They weren't ready. Right.

The guy that was the couple, the guy who attacked the shooter, he tackled the shooter at the drag restaurant and bar in Colorado. And he has a bar. He and his wife have a bar. And so everyone wanted to support this guy for his heroism and what he did.

And they were there at this drag show with their kids, like just having a lovely evening. And that's what happened. And so I did the same thing. I went to their, their website, they had t shirts, they had all these things with their logo, which now of course escaping me completely, but it had to do with diversity.

And they had to send messages to all the people and say we can't meet the demand right now. That's a random example. They didn't ask for the success that just sort of happened. And it was a way for people to be supporting them.

But most of us are asking for it. We're really out there trying to figure out how to expand our reach in a way that we want. And I think we have to think about the full picture before we ask for it. And I still think we can end up where we are and be like, "Oh yeah, no, I don't like this." Or, "Holy smokes is better than I ever thought." All I want is for you to be conscious and be honest.

And you know, if you want an exceptional team of people that are like, money and they're like unicorns and they just, right. Are you willing to become an exceptional leader? Are you one? Exceptional team members want to work for exceptional leaders. They won't stay. But too many people are like, "Well, I got this great product and I'm making a lot of money." Yeah. And so what? Are you building a team of people that want to work for you?

It's so under discussed. It just, it just drives me crazy because I think I just, I just, I mean, you can see, you can see it happening and I'm sure based on whatever industry all of you are in, you know, what I'm talking about, there's the realtor, right? Who was an exceptional salesperson and man, she just built a whole empire of other, right, of broker agents and all the people that would help her, but she couldn't manage her team for nothing. Fell apart.

Plumbers build these huge businesses. Why? He's amazing. He starts getting plumbers to help him out. Can't manage the business. Can't manage the schedule. Can't manage organization. Doesn't work.

So before we ask for it, we've got to really think about what we're asking to be involved in, not just what the result is that we want, which is a big business, lots of money and good profit. What are we really asking for? And are we willing to do the work to make it happen in a way that aligns with what you want, like what you really, really, really want.

So think about your life 10 years from now. What do you want that life to look like? If it was just solution. Make decisions for her today. It's not make decisions based on what everybody else thinks you should do. What you just learned at the last conference you went to all of us knew, whatever, blah, blah, blah. That's fancy smancy. All of it's great. I love all of it. But let's put it through the filter. Just get me closer to what I really, really want.

Having a business is so fun and I tell my clients all the time, you know, the best thing about having your own business is you can do whatever the F you want. And I want to always remind you, you don't need permission to grow huge, or keep it just as it is. And who cares what everybody else is doing? You do what you love, and you do what you are willing to do.

All right. Thanks for tuning in today. Go to You can always find out something new. Ciao.

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