Building Your Team From the Ground Up & How It Contributes to Your Ability to Scale

building a team from the ground up
I'm Madeleine!

I’m a small-town girl from Sweden, rebel entrepreneur, warrior for freedom and writer with big dreams. Passionate about: medical freedom, deep conversations, and desert landscapes.

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This post is going to be a little bit different, as it’s a behind-the-scenes look at what happens with my own team. I want to talk about when I was expanding, growing, and scaling from the ground up. This required a lot of delegating to allow for rapid growth, but that doesn’t mean that it was not always a seamless process.

So let’s talk about what it looked like for me navigating the need to build a team and create systems in order to allow for that incredible growth.

building a team from the ground up

Overcoming the Tendency to Micromanage

Building a team was one of the steepest learning curves I’ve ever experienced in business. In truth, I was not a good boss, and I had to start from ground zero to slowly work myself up. I did find an amazing person to run my business, but she ended up burnt out after a period of time and left the company. From there, I was hiring people and — in truth — being a micromanager. 

I was looking to track results for my clients and ended up micromanaging that entire process. I also found myself constantly cleaning up messes and putting out fires. All of this micromanaging led to inevitable problems. I was also too friendly with my team rather than professional and didn’t instill the right boundaries.

Let’s just say I experienced it all with my team: people leaving, having to fire team members, even going through complaints and lawsuits. These were all great learning experiences, but I realized that I needed to create a strong team and get rid of my tendency to micromanage. I will talk about how I did that below.

Building a Strong Team

I knew changes were needed, so I set out to adjust things in order to ensure a strong team. Around 2013 or 2014, my business went completely virtual. When not in the office, I found myself able to be much more productive because I wasn’t constantly being interrupted. I also was able to work in a way that supported my introverted personality, taking time to pause before I reacted to things. This made me a better boss. This was a huge shift in my business, and it was definitely one for the better.

At this time, I wasn’t making much profit in my business, which was obviously an issue. I was hiring younger people because that’s what I could afford, then training them up from nothing. They were filling very detail-oriented jobs and there was a lot of turnover. In short, it was a messy and turbulent time where I had no peace of mind. We were operating from a structurally thin place and had to make do with what we had, which meant a lot of rushing and chaos for all of us.

Around this time, I was networking with a lot of people in the consulting world and a lot of visionaries. My friend had a full-time assistant, but they were only paying them between $600 and $800 a month. This is because it was a virtual assistant (VA) from the Philippines. I began to think – what would it take to transition my team to being overseas? 

My expenses were currently gobbled up by payroll — it was accounting for 50 percent of my expenses overall. But once I transitioned my team to being overseas, this shifted so much. I was hiring people that were a little older, more stable, used to working from home, and more professional. I was able to build an incredible team around me with individuals that were really dialed in. Best of all, my profit began to rise.

Empowering My Team to Be Self-Managing

From there, I started creating deep and narrow job descriptions. There were people on my team that were amazing at data entry, so I gave these people jobs aligned with their talents to service the 50 companies that we were working with. I also had someone who was brilliant at verifying insurance, so they became responsible for that across the board.

My team was becoming super confident in their jobs and were truly becoming experts. We were solving issues in a more streamlined way because everyone was in their zone of genius and deep in the trenches of what they were doing. Everyone’s knowledge base and expertise were heightened, and we all became more productive.

I worked to eliminate capacity blocks and my team became self-managing. It was amazing! Everyone had their own responsibilities and ran with them, held a high standard of accountability, and there was an amazing level of teamwork and team spirit.

Eliminating Myself as the Bottleneck

Another issue at this time, though, was that as my business scaled, I became the bottleneck preventing growth. We could only take on so much more new business and I needed to figure out how I could hand over more of the delivery piece of our services to the team so they could run the installations without so much of my input.

A couple of things really assisted with this. The first was developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each of the deliverables. This included customized metrics dashboards, installing project managers into the businesses we worked with, mapping out the revenue process, and so on. I call this “planning for random intelligence.” When this is done correctly, someone can always step in and pick up where someone else left off, all thanks to these strong SOPs. It takes time, but it’s so worth the investment because it makes tasks reproducible and easier overall.

These SOPs also make it easier to find people when you need to hire because you’re expanding. It creates guardrails for new hires, shows people how to add value and how to do their job from day one, and allows you to identify the strengths you need to look for in each new hire. Most of all, it allows people to stay in their zone of genius, which is so important.

We also added defined training plans so that new hires could add that value from their first day and were able to constantly take on more and more. An important part of every onboarding experience is to give constant feedback and to course-correct as they go. Without doing this, these small mistakes will turn into bigger issues that will lead to sloppiness in your business.

Free Yourself Up Thanks to Your Team: The Bottom Line

My team still operates this way today, and this is what we help the businesses we work with achieve as well. Build your team in a way that frees up your time and energy and allows your business to scale from the ground up in a faster and more rapid manner. Believe me, this will just be the beginning of so much goodness for you, Visionary!

I would love to get connected on Instagram or The 7-Figure Freedom Club Facebook Group so we can chat about your takeaways from this episode. If you’re interested in learning more schedule a call with me today or visit my website!
And if you want to take the next step, take the business assessment quiz to get started.

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