Podcast Episode 5 - How I Structure and Lead My Team

In this post, I would love to discuss healthy work relationships, and I would love to walk you through some of the things that I have done to create a team and create a support system that really works for me, and to learn how to let people help me in my business. Over the past year, I've really transitioned from being a solo entrepreneur and running everything through just my design, to bringing people onto a team, to delegating different tasks, to learning how to trust people with different things, and learning how to manage projects when multiple people are involved.  

Project management has not always been something that's easy for me. Well, project management has been easy but working with and collaborating with other people has usually been challenging because my go-to strategy is 'I'm just going to do everything myself'. A lot of the papers that I wrote or had to collaboratively write in college or group projects that we did, I did a lot of the project myself, or I would find myself going through and fixing things from other people because I wanted it to be of a certain quality and of a certain caliber. I have really high standards when it comes to the work that I do, and group projects have been really challenging. When I was first hiring a team, it was really, really hard for me to let anyone do anything because I had it in my head that 'I can do everything better than you', because at the time, I was doing everything already and me doing it on my own was working well.  

I was really terrified that if I changed anything, if I let anyone else do it, take over graphic design, helping me with a sales page layout, helping upload some things, whatever it may be, I was terrified that it was going to somehow ruin the integrity of the work. I was terrified that I wasn't going to be able to trust people. In the beginning of 2021, I really burnt myself out, and it came to a climax when I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, and it was during a launch. It was really intense. I ended up having an emergency surgery. I had to take a lot of time off. There were so many emotions that came up with that as an emotional authority, but also someone who is stressed at the time. It just opened the flood gates for all of my trauma to come through. I really broke down, and I stressed myself out and really saw how far I can actually get on my own, and I really felt the physical edges of my capacity, my limitations.  

Because that was a lot to go through, it was very intense, it took a lot for me to recover. I feel like it's still something that I think about. I think that it will come back in layers. It's going to be an experience that I continue to reflect on for a long time, because that's just me. I've forgiven myself; I've done all of the emotional work, but I definitely think that it's something that I still have reflecting and learning on to do, especially since I haven't been on the roof yet in my six-line experience. That definitely plays into this, but anyways, over the past year when I really realized that I can't do this all on my own, I do have limitations, I am human, and when I had to let my team run on everything while I was in the hospital and recovering and just crying on the couch and taking pain medication because I hurt everywhere, I had to really trust my team to run things for me. They did an amazing job. I was very supported, and that really showed me that I do not feel comfortable being held. I do not feel comfortable being supported by other people, and that was something that I wanted to work through.  

As someone who does not shy away from a challenge and loves to put myself in uncomfortable situations so that I can grow consistently all the time, because it's how I challenge myself and how I experience the world, I decided that I was going to build a team that was really incredible. I was going to work through a lot of the shadows that I have and a lot of the conditioning that I have around letting other people support me. I called in my team. I got really specific around the different roles; whenever I came up against some frustration, because that's usually where most of my ideas come from is this combination of frustration and anger for me, because the only gate defined in my sacral center is 34, and the only channel that I have is the 34-20, so it's this responsive energy, but it's also manifested, and so it has this anger and frustration mix feeling that I get. This frustration, this anger, comes up and I realized that there's a task I don't like doing, there's something that's taking me a really long time, there's something that doesn't feel worth it for me, and then I will evaluate how could I help someone else do this? Is it possible for someone else to be better at this than me? Absolutely. How can I attract them? How can I call them into my space?  

Usually, I have to get really clear on the roles and responsibilities that I want covered, the support that I need, and then once I make a decision, I have this like 'I can decide, I can get it done'; that's my emotional center being connected to my will center. It's my ability to when I make a decision after I've ridden an emotional wave, I commit to it. So, when I decided for each of the different team members that I needed, at the different times, I was like, 'I need help here. I need help here,' and when I decided I don't know how it's going to happen, I don't know who's going to show up in my world, I don't know what needs to be done, but I'm either going to be inspired to take certain auctions and I'm going to find the people that I need, I will go out and I will advertise for them, I will get clear on it and I will find them, or they are going to show up in my world.  

As someone who's an observer, I have a passive environment style or an observer environment style in human design, I don't need to be participating that much in the environment. I like to watch things happen, and I like to observe. What happens is when as soon as I make the decision of, 'I need these particular people in my world', they showed up to me. I was actually on a call earlier today where I was reflecting on the team that I have, and I was realizing that every single person on my team, and pretty much most of the people that I have hired ever, have all come to me; they've all reached out to me. That's really amazing. I mean, I have this experience where I said, 'I think I need help with just some general tasks,' and then someone reached out and said, 'Hey, if you need any help with anything, I'd be more than happy to do this.' I needed some business management help, and then my mother-in-law said, 'I do manage a school district as a business manager, so if you need help with it, I worked at the IRS for 10 years, and I can help you with all of that paperwork,' and she has been doing amazing at helping me in that position. I felt like I needed some help with some passive marketing funnels and some building sources of traffic to some of the offers that I have that are helpful and beneficial and have gotten great results and great feedback, but are just sitting there, and I don't have the desire to consistently be talking about them, and someone showed up in my DMs, and was like, 'Hey, I think I would really be able to support you with this,' and she was.  

Literally every single person on my team has shown up in a way that was really aligned for me, and I didn't have to do anything other than get really specific around what it was that I wanted, what was frustrating me, what I was no longer available for, set that boundary around my actions. I'll just kind of insert this here, when I create boundaries, and this is something that I've learned recently, boundaries deal with you. Boundaries deal with your actions and your behaviors, they don't deal with other people. This is something that I used to share, I used to teach this as a standard versus an expectation, but I think that setting it as like a boundary feels really good to me. Setting boundaries, when you set a boundary, it's 'I don't have to be around people who treat me this way,' and so you are in control of your behavior. If you are not going to surround yourself with people who treat you a certain way, then you need to exercise that freedom, and you can put that boundary into place. If you are ever treated in a specific way, you're not treated in the way that you want to be, you can leave that situation. That's a boundary. That's you setting, and that's you enforcing a boundary. It's a request when you say don't treat me that way, or don't do that to me, or that's unacceptable; that's a request, because you're trying to change the behavior of other people. Boundaries are things that you can only place around your own actions, they're not about what other people are doing.  

I would come up against areas of my business where I felt like I was spending a lot of time, and it wasn't really a productive activity for me. What I mean by productive is it was draining for me, it's not something that I specifically have to be doing, someone else could be taking over that task, it's not in my zone of genius, things like that. I was able to learn how to delegate, what things I liked delegating and what things I didn't. That came from frustration, that came from my non-self themes, and that came from me being able to recognize those, and then set boundaries around 'this particular activity makes me really frustrated consistently. I need someone else or some sort of system to take care of this, so that I don't have to be frustrated by this activity anymore.'  

I called in the right people, and then from an energetic standpoint. For me, once I had a team, all of the sudden, all of those fears I had around business, came back up again. I do things differently. I do things my own way. I do things intuitively; I follow my intuition. I follow my emotional authority. I change my mind often. I change directions often because I'm always just fine tuning where I'm being called to go with my undefined G center. All of a sudden, all of my I kind of go with the flow, I like to be detached, felt like 'I can't do this if I'm running a team'. When I was put into this leadership position where everyone was asking me questions and asking me what to do, I put a ton of responsibility on myself for needing to take care of everyone.  

I put in complicated standard operating procedures. I put in these workflows. I put in, 'you have to be checking this, you have to do that.' I made it way more complicated than it had to be, because I was terrified that if I didn't have the structures and the directions and the details in place, that it was going to make me look flaky. It was going to make me look like a bad leader, and like I didn't know what I was doing, if I wasn't doing it the way that everyone else did it. I had to come up against a lot of things, a lot of identity barriers around 'if it's safe for me to do this on my own, it's safe for me to do it with other people'. I had to let other people into my business, I had to let them into my world, into my numbers, into my stats, into the backend of things, which felt exposing. It felt very vulnerable to let people see how I was actually doing things on the backend, because there was this fear of, "What if they see that I genuinely have no idea what I'm doing?" I've educated myself, but I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing, and that comes up daily. I feel like daily, at some point I say, 'I don't know what I'm doing,' and so I had a lot of fear around, "Can I be someone who doesn't always know what they're doing and doesn't always have clarity and doesn't always have the answers, and be a leader? Is it okay for me to be uncertain, even if I'm in a position of leadership," was really what I had to work through in order to start doing things my own way with my team.  

It's been really amazing to watch me get closer to my team, me learn about them a little bit more, me grow with them, and they've always been so supportive and so incredible at adapting and adjusting to whatever workflow, whatever project, whatever direction I want to go in next. They're very flexible, which is incredible.  

But I actually want to talk about human design for a second, and the things around human design. In human design, when you are in a group of three or more people, you actually enter into a slightly different energetic container, so to speak. In small groups, we essentially lose our sense of awareness, and we're not looking at your human design chart, we're not necessarily looking at teams, families, businesses, things like that, when you have a collective goal. When it's just you out in public, you're in the wah, and that's a completely different situation, but we're looking at the pentachart. The pentachart, essentially, we look at your human design chart, and we take away everything other than six channels.  

The six channels are going to be the three channels that connect your sacral center to your G center, and then the three that connect your G center to your throat center. We're looking at 5-15, 14-2, and 29-46; those connect the sacral center to the G center. Then we're looking at the 7-31, 1-8, and 13-33; those connect the G center to the throat center. If you take everything away and just look at these three centers, these six channels, this is what we call the Penta. The Penta is what we will look at when there are three to five people, so a family unit or a small business. If you're familiar with genetic matrix, which is the human design software tool that I like to use, and I've been using forever, this will show you, you have the ability to run family charts and small business charts. If you click on those, the diagram that you're going to see is a Penta chart, not necessarily an individual human design chart. 

When we're working in groups and in group dynamics, we actually can play slightly different roles, and we have access to different traits, than when we are individually on our own. When I was looking at building my team, I really wanted to make sure that I was surrounded by people that were complimentary to me, that were very supportive of my energy, that were in their zone of genius, in whatever tasks they were doing for me, that they feel supported by me, and then also I was working in this entirely different chart, essentially. When we're looking at the penta chart, it's about figuring out if you in that group have connections between your sacral center and your throat center. For me, with unconscious gate 46 being the only activation that I have in the Penta dynamic, being in small groups means that I am very fluid. I can play just about any role, which means that I can feel responsible for making sure that everything is going correctly, especially with that unconscious 46, because it plays the role of coordination within the group dynamics.  

I felt a lot of that unconscious pressure to coordinate the group project, but again, my go-to response, which makes a lot of sense because I have the 34-20 as my conscious sun and earth, so that bypasses the G center, directly connects the sacral center to the throat, so the biggest part about me is that I just do things on my own and respond with action, but I was trying to coordinate a team so that we could create together. For me, when I was thinking about building this team dynamic versus building a business for myself, it feels like the business that I built for myself, it was built around me doing things independently, me just responding, and me just creating. Now I'm taking my creative projects and I'm still trying to figure out how I, in my own space and in my own world, can be just creating things on my own, but also collaboratively working on something with my team.  

There's been so much experimentation here and so much flow to try and figure out how can I collaborate with the team and how can I let people into my process when my process is messy, my process is all over the place? I have like 20 open projects right now, because I like to work on a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a little bit of this, little bit of that, and so if I don't always have a 'this is what we're doing this month, this is what we're doing next month,' I needed to attract people that were okay with not having a six month schedule, or not being able to work 10 months ahead, or not being able to work three months ahead, because that's not how I work. Building a team was really, really interesting, and there was a lot of things that I got to learn, and I got to work through personally.  

When you're looking at team dynamics, pulling up the team chart, essentially, when you look at these channels, I was really fortunate in attracting people who are a couple of people who are pretty active in this area, on the core creative team that I work with, we only have one person who has a defined G center. Everyone else is undefined, which means there's a lot of flexibility within the team, and that means that it's been really important in our experience to make sure that the roles and responsibilities are very clear because everyone can feel this responsibility of needing to make everything happen, and I don't want them to feel like they're responsible for making everything happen.  

We have the person with the defined G center taking most of my ideas and taking my vision, and then turning it into actual tasks and the vision and the schedule and the planning and things like that, so we're utilizing the energy of other people. This has been probably the most fun thing that I have gotten to do over the past year is organize my team and help them develop into positions that they're really designed for.  

With my fully undefined G center, except for that gate 46 that is unconscious in this Penta diagram, I see people really easily, and with that gate of coordination, I see where they fit. I see what's aligned for them. It's really difficult to figure out where I go and where I'm supposed to be, but I can see it really strongly for other people. Being able to coordinate these different women and then also being able to work with them, so that they are in their zone of genius, has been really phenomenal.  

My team has a lot of freedom. What we do is we currently have biweekly calls and do a team meeting once a month. On one of those calls, we go over the month, we talk about what we're doing. We have a Voxer chat that we go back and forth in for more immediate things. We communicate on Asana some as well, for project management. Then my team meets independently of me, and they coordinate, and they make sure that they are on the same page.  

That works really, really well for them, because it allows me to not be in every single decision and in the nitty gritty, because if I'm in the nitty gritty, I will be micromanaging it. It allows me to stay detached, which is where I'm supposed to be as the six line profile, my line 2 unconscious is in gate 40, my unconscious sun is in gate 40, which is the gate of aloneness, and then I have the 37, which is the gate of friendship as my unconscious earth. But the line two is self-reliance. I have a lot of fierce, independent energy, and I really love my alone time. I like being a little bit detached. I'm an observer. I like watching. We've worked through a lot of different things, but what works really well is I create essentially everything that I want to create and hand off to them, and then they are able to repurpose that content, they're able to schedule that, they're able to put everything where it needs to be and make sure that the business is still running and this content is getting out to people and my message is being spread, but my main responsibility is just delivering content.  

What I've done is I've been able to take off 90% of the stress, 90% of the frustration that I was experiencing, and 90% of that overwhelm that I was having, because I set this intention and then I was willing to let the right people come. I was willing to trust them. I was willing to trust myself, and I've learned a lot in the process.  

We do a team meeting, where I kind of share the vision, share the projects, go over anything that we're discussing, and then we do a mastermind call. One of my favorite things has been being able to invest in my team. Everyone on my team has gone through, or is currently going through, my certification program because I think it's important for them to understand what it is that we are talking about with human design, so that if they're working on any content that is related to human design, they're able to help me in making sure that it's accurate and things like that.  

Coming back to this undefined G center and being able to see people where they go, it has been so much fun to watch these different women fall into these different roles and responsibilities, since so many of them are very, very flexible. It's been really amazing to see them learn and explore and grow these different traits. I am someone that fully believes in giving people the ability to grow, and because I've given my team so much freedom, so much creative freedom, so much time schedule freedom. They don't track hours. They are all paid on a salary basis. With this freedom and really creating a job environment where they feel valued, they feel supported because we do these mastermind calls and I am helping support them in getting into their alignment and finding their zone of genius, and I'm involved in what's going on in their lives outside of just my business, because all of them are doing other things as well, either in their personal lives or in their own companies, and so it's been amazing to be able to learn about them and to grow with them. As they come up against, you know, I asked them to take over a new task or to work on a new project or to change something, and it might trigger them a little bit. It may make them feel a little uncomfortable, a little overwhelmed, a little bit like, 'I don't have the education for it, are you sure that I'm the right person for this?' There might be some self-doubt as well, but it's a safe environment for them to grow. Because I've been able to create this environment where people feel they have a lot of freedom, but they also have the ability to ask me questions and to be held and to be supported in whatever way they need as well. I'm also very open about letting them grow into the different roles and shift as we grow as a company, especially because a lot of us are really undefined.  

A lot of us are really undefined in this team dynamic energy, or in this Penta chart, we want to explore the different roles, and so why not create a safe environment for us all to grow, for us all to learn, for us all to deepen our education, for us all to gain really incredible experience, in a safe environment? Investing in my team in an education standpoint and from an energetic standpoint, and in a mentoring standpoint, has been absolutely incredible because it's created a sense of community. It's created a sense of trust, and it's helped my team really feel like I trust them. I've chosen them for a reason. I know that they're incredible women. I know that they were brought into my world for a reason, and I really trust the work that they do. 

This encourages them to feel confident in their own skillset. This is a big part of my purpose, which is teaching that self-reliance and teaching this 'you can be powerful in and of yourself, and your insights, your creativity, matter; you doing it the way that you want to do it is probably a really good idea'. Me creating a space where their genius is not just applicable, but asked for and called out and recognized, is not something that I've seen anywhere else. They mention it all the time that they're really appreciative for it, and they feel like it's a very different experience.  

I've even seen it in the coaching industry and in the entrepreneurial space where there are coaches who are making easily multiple five figure months, or even six figures, every single month, and they're paying people on a minimum wage basis. To me, that just doesn't make sense. I believe in if I'm making a lot of money, I'm also going to support my team financially. I actually pay myself a very small percentage of the total income, because I have invested in a lot of different people over the past year, because it makes a lot of sense to me, and that's where I want to put my money; that's where I want to be investing in.  

I've been able to call out the different geniuses in my team, and being able to understand their human design has also helped me see how they show up in group dynamics, how they may feel in their work on a team meeting in that Penta energy, versus on their own when they're working alone. Them working alone, they have access to their full chart. You have access to your full energy. While you may not understand something in a group setting, in a one-on-one setting, you might be able to understand what it is that I'm trying to say. There's been so much that I have learned about my team, and so anytime they need to ask for something, or anytime they apologize for doing something, I'm able to show them that they have nothing to apologize for. I'm usually able to show them why they do that in their chart, and it creates a sense of understanding.  

As a very understanding and very open person, me doing that, and also me being very open about what I'm going through, what decisions I'm making, what things I'm feeling through, that's really opened up the conversation with me and my team. They do incredible work and they're able to explore and really play in their zone of genius, and they're able to do so in a way that doesn't require me to micromanage them, because we set that intention from the beginning, or I set that intention from the beginning.  

This has been amazing to do on my own, and this has actually helped me to collaborate with other people, and my experience with building this team and building these relationships and learning to trust other people was probably one of the main reasons why I was healthy enough and confident enough in my identity and my leadership skills to enter into a partnership with someone who is as strong-willed and as big of a personality as Paige. Being able to step into partnership and to step into a public collaboration and a public partnership has been a huge step in learning to trust people, and a huge step in learning how to let things be easy, and a huge step in learning how to collaborate.  

We as a collective and we as a society, are really moving away from a competitive energy. We're moving more towards community. We are moving more towards collaboration because we're shifting paradigms. We're moving away from a lot of structures; a lot of structures are crumbling. A lot of systems are breaking down, because we're rebuilding some things in a more balanced and more feminine way. Doing business this way, where we are collaborating, partnering, holding, talking in circle, sharing our unique geniuses, being open emotionally, and having honest conversations with the people who we are working with and with the people who our energy and our feelings are going to impact, this is part of what we're going to need in the future. I see us moving away from job applications, where the job applications are extremely specific, and I see us moving more towards finding specific people that we really resonate with and helping them step into that role and step into that position. A big reason why a lot of people don't feel confident or comfortable in their jobs and in the roles that they have, is because the hiring system is too specific.  

What we have is in a management position, you are essentially in charge of answering questions and solving problems that don't have a specific answer already, so you have to come up with answers out of nowhere. There's this flexibility and this skillset and this adaptability that's really beneficial in a position like that, but it's very hard to describe in words and describe in experience. What you have is you have people who have very specific skillsets who are able to showcase those skillsets. They're able to showcase that they have the experience with those skill sets. They're able to showcase that they have the right language to describe those skill sets, and those are the people that their resumes stand out; their resumes match the keywords. They are the people that get put into positions; they get the jobs, and then they get promoted. 

You have people with very specific skillsets who are in positions of leadership (this is not an always case, this is just some of the research that I have found). We have people who are in positions of management that would really benefit from having the flexibility and the ability to answer lots of different questions and be really adaptable, but they have a very specific skillset, and then we have people who are really adaptable, but have this ambiguous skillset or this flexible skillset or this adaptability that's hard to put into words and to describe tangibly, who feel like they're really good at working and they're hard workers and they can do a lot of things, but they find it hard to showcase that skillset, show it to an employer, apply for jobs, have it in their resumes.  

We have this distribution of labor where people who are in management positions are not able to answer specific questions, and then there are people who are in non-management positions, or low paying positions, because they're not getting promoted because they don't have specific skillsets that match the job search requirements, so to speak, who are able to adapt and who are able to actually solve a lot of the problems and they are overworking, and doing two to three people's jobs, and not getting paid for it.  

The system, the way that we get jobs, and the way that we hire, is so specific to the skillset, and that's the issue that I had as a boss or someone who was hiring was, it was hard for me to figure out what skillset I needed. I just knew that I needed help. Because I didn't know how to describe it at first, it was hard to find the right people, and then once I found the right people, I felt like because I couldn't give them very specific 'I need you to do this by this date, this by this day, and this by this day,' I felt like I wasn't giving them enough structure, enough direction, and therefore, I felt like I was being a bad boss. Because every single job that I've had, the expectations have been pretty clear; the job descriptions, the hours that I had to be there, everything was very clear, and it felt very structured and systematic and honestly rigid.  

Because I felt like I had to create that for my team, I tried. I found out that it didn't work and creating instead an environment where people are comfortable coming to me and asking if they can try new things or trying new things, and then saying, "Hey, this is how this worked." Where they have freedom to grow individually, where they have freedom to fine tune their skillset, I've also done things like I fully believe in investing in the education of my people. If any of them brings me a course and they say, "Hey, I think I want to go through this course," I will pay for it. I will pay for the education that they want, so they feel like they are supported by me, and they are able to grow and become an asset for me. Not necessarily an asset for me, but them being in alignment and them doing what they want to do and exploring their interests and finding their zone of genius and what they like to do, ultimately will benefit me.  

If they are in alignment, my business is in alignment. The energy that they are putting into my business is also in alignment. I truly believe in investing in people, and I definitely think that we are going to be moving away from a space where we are hiring for very, very, very specific tasks. I would love to see more people reaching out and finding the right people, and then nurturing those people into the position, instead of creating a position that's so rigid that people have to try and shapeshift into fitting into that. It's the square peg, round hole situation. Why not create a job that is adapted to the skillset that you have, rather than trying to limit your skillset to just do a specific job? 

There's a lot of flexibility on my team. My team dynamics shifts, and the tasks shift, and what people do kind of shifts, because there is a lot of flexibility. There's so much room for growth. We have the focuses that we have. We know what we're good at; we know what we're not good at. We know what we're growing through, and we've been able to create this really amazing environment while doing so. There's been a lot around learning how to trust myself: trust myself to trust other people, trust myself to lead other people, trust my intuition to consistently be creating the content, to create the revenue, to be generating the sales, so that is going to financially support, not just me, but a team, who is salaried, and on a payroll at this point.  

To be able to learn how to trust myself at that level, to learn how to trust in my business, has been incredible. I've spent a lot of time working on my business, and investing in my incredible team, and I love them to death. At this point, I genuinely don't think that I could be running my company without them. There's a lot that they do that at this point is beyond me. Even like a year ago, I was saying that 'I can do everything better than everyone else, and I don't need help, or it's hard for me to let people help me' to get from that space to a space where I am fully supported, very, very grateful for the support that I have. I get to stay pretty hands-off with most of the day-to-day things has been really incredible. With all of this new space, it's really showcasing that I just need to be recording, and I just need to be creating content, and making my contribution as well, which has been really fun. So, I love my team; they're amazing. 

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