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CEO Tips

The rise of the intrapreneur

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Success Mindset, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

I was talking with a friend recently about a role she was struggling to fill on her team.

“I’ve tried a few people already in this role and it hasn’t worked. You know who I really want? Someone who is tired of running their own business and wants to work with someone else… I feel like they would get it and have the drive I’m looking for.”

On the other side of the coin, I have another friend who has owned and run successful businesses for over 20 years and decided to temporarily shut down her business a couple of years ago to take a sabbatical.

In her words “I was tired of my business. Tired of the hustle. Tired of the grind. The thought of letting my business go felt like freedom to me, and so I shut it down and spent the next year as part of the executive team for another business.”

There is a middle ground opening up between having a job and having our own business. Between being an employee vs. an entrepreneur.

It’s the intrapreneur.

Put simply, an intrapreneur is someone who brings the characteristics of an entrepreneur into the work they are doing for another business. Talked about often in corporate circles, the intrapreneur has a lot to offer to smaller businesses as well.

Vision. Drive. Passion. Innovation. Ownership. Experience.

They can plug into the vision of the company and see the possibilities.

They have the drive to own a project and make it happen, with the ability to tap into the resources of the company they work for.

They can focus their energy on work they do best, vs. trying to get better at things they aren’t good at.

They take ownership of a specific project or division and have the freedom to create results in their own way.

And if they have the experience of running their own business, they bring a level of insight into ‘what it takes’ to make things happen.

The benefit to the intrapreneur – the ability to do their best work and create results, without having to carry the ‘weight’ of the entire business on their shoulders.

I’ve spoken with countless individuals over the past few years who are done with their business. They are tired of the hustle. Tired of the heaviness of total responsibility. Tired of the constant struggle to find or manage clients. Tired of having to jump in when a team member drops a ball. Tired of working too many hours for what often feels like a small return.

They are also lonely.

And yet – they can’t imagine having to go get a job. Having to fit into someone else’s mold. Being told what to do and when to do it.

What if having to ‘get a job’ wasn’t the only option for the disillusioned business owner?

The benefit to the business hiring an intrapreneur – someone who isn’t afraid to take ownership of a project/division and be responsible for the results.

I’ve worked with small business owners now for over a decade in hiring and building teams, and they are equally as tired.

Tired of trying to find good people. Tired of trying to manage and motivate people. Feeling like they are spending all of their time telling them what to do, how to do it and chasing them down to make sure it gets done. Having high standards of work that it seems no one can meet.

At times it can feel like the only option is to do it all themselves, even when they KNOW they need support to take things to the next level.

The number one request I hear from business owners is that they want to hire a ‘self motivated’ individual – someone who bring the intrapreneur characteristics of plugging into the big picture, seeing what needs to be done and taking ownership to make it happen.

I can’t help but wonder – what is possible when we each stop trying to ‘do it all’ and instead look to come together and bring our best in the pursuit of a common goal?

How much more successful could we be when we join forces? When both the risk and the reward are shared?

There are key shifts to be made on boths sides to ensure this kind of relationship works – if you would like me to write another article on these shifts comment below and say ‘more please’. I’m happy to write a ‘part 2’ if it would be helpful. 🙂

And in the meantime, may you know and own your brilliance… and marinate in the possibility of what is created when we come together.

Scaling vs. Accidentally Starting Over

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Leadership | No Comments

When it comes to taking your business to the next level, be sure you are scaling and not ‘accidentally’ starting from scratch with a new business…

The (hidden) reason why we end up working too much…

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Success Mindset | 3 Comments

It’s not about time management skills.

It’s not about having the right people on your team (or no one at all!)

It’s not about learning how to work faster and getting good systems in place.

All of these things are important, but none of them matter until you address the REAL (and often hidden) reason why we work too much…

#TeamTalk Live – Join me?

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

Team is the lifeblood of any growing business. When everything is working with our team it’s dreamy.

And when it’s not working it sucks! For you and for them.

Facebook Live - Full ColorI’m feeling rather passionate about team leadership these days and am doing a series of Facebook Lives to answer the most common questions I get around team and leadership.

Would LOVE to have you join me if this tickles your fancy – CLICK HERE to like my Facebook page and get notified when we go live each day. You can also click the links below to set a reminder for that specific topic or to take you direct to the video when we go live (or to watch the video later).

Have a question re: team leadership? Pop a comment on this post or email me privately at tina@tinaforsyth.com and I’ll answer it for you.

Monday, November 6th (Day 1 of 5)

11am pacific / 2pm eastern

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> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Tuesday, November 7th (Day 2 of 5)

12:30pm pacific / 3:30pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Wednesday, November 8th (Day 3 of 5)

12:30pm pacific / 3:30pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Thursday, November 9th (Day 4 of 5)

12:30pm pacific / 3:30pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Friday, November 10th (Day 5 of 5)

10am pacific / 1pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<

My (slightly unusual) perspective on being a good team leader…

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Success Mindset, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

My goal as a leader of my team is simple – I want to be their favorite client.

I work with a team of contractors (not employees) so I am not their boss – I’m their client.

And if I am their favorite client I know I’m on the right track.

I know that I’m treating them well.

I know that they are getting to do work they enjoy and have opportunities they may not find elsewhere.

I know that I’m respecting their time and not asking for unrealistic deadlines and last minute tasks.

I know that I’m paying them well for what they bring to the table.

I know THEY know how much I value the time, energy and effort they invest in support of my business.

If I am NOT their favorite client then I need to take a look at my leadership and see where I need to shift/grow.

That’s how I choose to measure my success as a leader.

And you?

** An Invitation **

If you are interested in leadership I invite you to join me for a brand new webinar I’m doing lovingly entitled:

“3 Ways Your Leadership Style May Be Inadvertently Sabotaging Your Team”

I’m going to get real on this webinar – and perhaps a little edgy – because there are simply too many people struggling on both sides of the coin. As leaders and as team members… and that needs to change.

>> Click here to register 

We all fail more than we succeed

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Leadership | No Comments

We all fail way more than we succeed – we just don’t talk about it.

And we are paying the price for it.

We look around and see everyone else succeed and wonder where we went wrong. And after repeated failures, we wonder what is wrong with us.

We suffer in silence – afraid that if we share our failures people would think less of us. Clients would be turned off and not want to work with us.

We stall – wanting to succeed but equally as afraid of making another mistake. So we do nothing and stay stuck where we are.

And yet – it is our failures that lead us to our greatest success. It’s a necessary part of the journey.

I can’t help but wonder…

What if we shone a light on our failures? Looked them in the eye and asked what lesson they have to give?

What if we shared our failures? Even celebrated them?

What if we explored our failures? Knowing that each failure leaves clues as to what will work – if only we are willing to do the work to find it.

This is the heart of the new ROI Lab that Andrea Lee and I are starting next month.

It’s a safe place to try new things, and to dig deeper when they don’t work, knowing that the answer to “what went wrong and what to do about it” can be found within the failure.

A place to tweak existing things, finding ways to make them simpler and easier – so that you can enjoy a greater return on all that you put into your business (ROI baby!!)

A place to receive the insight of others – including direct feedback from both Andrea and I – to see what you can’t see. To help ‘diagnose’ what went wrong and what to try next.

A place to show up and be real – in a judgement free zone where failure is the norm, and we have your back when you do.

Our failures can be our greatest teachers, but it is up to us to be open to the lessons they contain.

We have space for only 30 people to join us in the ROI Lab that starts next month – if you are interested in learning more comment below or send me an email.

Business advice from Stephen King?

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Success Mindset | No Comments

Love this! I (perma) borrowed* a copy of the book On Writing by Stephen King from my friend Mike this weekend… such a great read! Even if you aren’t a writer or a fan of his books, what he shares can be applied to so many areas of business.

One of my favs is the fact that he doesn’t actually know what his books will be about before he writes them. Say what?! 

He comes up with an idea or a scenario and then starts writing to see what will happen. He is just as surprised and intrigued writing the story as we are reading it. <— wow!

I’ve heard George RR Martin (Game of Thrones author) say the same thing – if he knew the full story before he started writing it then he wouldn’t bother writing it because he would be bored.

Can’t help but wonder how this applies to the way we run a business?

Where is the sweet spot between laying out the plan in advance – vs laying it out as we go?

The extreme on either side can be problematic.

If we plan out too much or too far in advance we leave no room for being able to respond to what comes up on the journey. There is no room for creativity.

If don’t plan at all and just make it up as we go – we can end up wasting a lot of time and energy, and may never land where we want to go.

There is a middle ground that I’ve been playing in this past year. One part planning – one part flow – and it has served me well. Plus it’s been SO much more fun than just ‘laying out a plan and following it’… which I will admit feels boring at times.

This is something we will be teaching – and experimenting with – in a new program that Andrea Lee and I are starting next month. If you are interested in learning more about what we have cooking up let me know – comment below or send me an email.

*(Perma) borrowed – when one borrows a book with no intent of giving it back.  But don’t worry – Mike already knows I’m sending him a new copy.

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It is really possible to build a freedom based business?

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | 3 Comments

There are varying degrees of freedom in business.

On one end of the extreme is the soloprenuer – the person who does all the work themselves. If they don’t show up work doesn’t get done.

On the other end of the extreme is the owner who has structured a business that runs and grows without them. They don’t have to show up at all for work to get done.

Everyone talks about the second option as being a ‘real’ business – that it should be the ultimate goal of every business owner. And that if you fall into the first category you don’t have a business you have a “glorified job”.

That’s such BS.

Being in business is all about the freedom of CHOICE. The choice to do what we want. When we want to do it. And with the people we want to work with.

I was a soloprener for the first 10 years of my business and I loved it! Yes, I had to show up to do the work or I didn’t get paid. But it was on my terms. I set my own schedule. I (mostly) did things I wanted to be doing. I got to work with some amazing clients.

Beats a job any day imo!

I shifted to a leveraged business model in 2009 and had to learn (the hard way) how to shift my role in the company. How to get the right support and structure in place so I could do LESS of certain things and MORE of others. How to become a CEO.

But I am still working. I am still doing. Yes, I take weekends off and don’t work myself to the bone. I have an amazing team who takes care of the day to day running of my business. We have worked hard to setup solid systems to create ease for all of us. I can take an unplugged vacation and my business runs fine while I’m away.

But I’m still here. I’m showing up in my business.

I want to work. I like to work! And I dare say most of us feel the same… eating bon bons on the beach all day would bore the life out of me in short order. (what the hell is a bon bon anyhow?)

It’s more about doing the right things – and knowing that what we do makes the impact we want to make – vs doing nothing at all.

It’s also about recognizing that great missions require a great deal of support.

When you are looking a bigger mission in the eye, you are also being called to create a deeper level of support.

This can be especially challenging for powerful women who are rock-stars at making it happen and getting stuff done. Our default mode is carry it all and push through… which works up to a point, and then it doesn’t anymore.

Put simply, we can only take things so far on our own. We aren’t meant to carry the weight alone (believe me, I’ve tried!)

Great missions require a great deal of support.

I’ve got a few things brewing in this space and would love to connect if this speaks to you. Send us an email and we will get you the inside scoop.

Lead. Manage. Do.

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | One Comment

Originally posted on Sept 29th 2016

I lead our first Best Team Ever Intensive last week and it was awesome. The ladies who joined us rolled up their sleeves and got clear on who they need to hire next and how to find the best people. Here’s to support on your terms baby!

One of my favorite teachings in this intensive is about the role of leading, managing and doing. All 3 are essential for success but the question is – who does what? Where do YOU need to spend your time? Check out today’s new video for the inside scoop.

A Lesson in Doing What I’m Told (even when I don’t like it)

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Systems & How-Tos | 6 Comments

rulesI was in a workshop this past weekend learning a new business model (retail commerce) and my experience got me to thinking about something.

There is a lot of talk lately about NOT following someone else’s “7 steps to success formula” and to just do it your way. It’s almost become a rallying cry these days and I think it’s a potentially dangerous one (and yes – I am one of those who has been rallying that cry at times!)

I get it. We have all bought into programs with big expectations that didn’t work for us. Or that didn’t work the way we expected. And that sucks… especially when it feels like it keeps happening.

So it is tempting to say “screw the blueprint! – I’m going to just do it my way.” Especially if you have a bit of a rebellious streak like I do. (I know I’m not alone here… 😉

Ultimately you have a choice in how you want to build your business. You can blaze your own trail and work from trial and error. Or you can follow a formula that someone else has already proven works. Either one can get you there – it’s just a matter of choosing the type of journey you want to have.

BUT following an existing formula will only work if you are purposeful upfront in a few key areas… there is actually a simple formula to being able to successfully follow a formula (ha!)

1) Figure out first what you REALLY want to create. If you don’t know what type of business you want and are really suited for – then don’t buy into any formula to build a business yet! You need to first do some deeper work (i.e with a coach) to figure this out. I’ve seen many people waste time, money and energy trying to build something that they were never meant to do…

2) Find someone who has PROVEN the business model that you want to build. This is a surprisingly hard step as it requires some digging and potentially some patience. I’m always looking for the person who lives what they teach. Who has been doing it for years. And often these are NOT the people with the flashiest marketing because they are more focused on running their business! Great marketers are not always great business owners…

3) DO THE WORK. For the love of all things holy – do what they tell you to do! This is the hard part because yes – there is work to be done and yes – you won’t want to do all of it. But you need to do the work if you want to create success. Don’t complain that it didn’t work if you stopped after step 2. Or if you skipped steps 4 & 5 and went to step 6 because it was more fun.

Does this mean success is guaranteed? Hell no – this is business baby and unfortunately success is never guaranteed even with the best ‘formula’. But you will be more likely to succeed if you do the work. Start there. And if it doesn’t work dig deeper (again – a coach can be helpful here.)

As for me? I followed EVERY step I was told to do in my workshop this past weekend. And I will admit – there were times where I thought “I don’t want to do it that way” or “maybe I’ll try this instead”. There were even moments of “I’ve been in business for a long time already so I can do what I want”… But I gave myself a mental slap on the wrist and just did what I was told. I followed the steps that they had already PROVEN to work. And I left that workshop after 3 days with a live, running store. (Which I’ll share more about in the future… for now I’m keeping it under wraps as I play.)

If I had gone rogue and tried to do it my way I wouldn’t have a live store right now.

The bottom line is this:

If someone is building the same type of business you want to build then the easier path is to. Follow. Their. Steps. Until you have proven the business model for yourself (aka – made consistent money) THEN go ahead and start doing it your way.

You may still get there if you skip the first part and jump right into doing it your way – but usually at the cost of spending WAY more time in trial and error. Which can erode your confidence and passion over time, not to mention empty your wallet!

Know yourself. Know what you need. And choose accordingly.

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