Oct 10, 2023 | Podcast, Your Business

Strategic Business Planning for Empaths with Kiva Slade

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About the episode:

As empaths, business planning can often feel like the last thing that we want to do. It can be hard to be strategic and set KPIs that are in alignment with our mission, vision, and values. If you’ve been here, today’s episode is for you! I’m joined by Kiva Slade, the owner and founder of The 516 Collaborative, specializing in providing comprehensive support to small business owners at the intersection of data and operations. I’ve known Kiva for a while and it’s been so fun to see her transformation as she has expanded her business offerings. Our conversation reminds me of the importance of mission-oriented goals and benchmarks, how the personal affects the professional, and so much more. I know you’ll enjoy this episode! 


Topics discussed:

  • Why Kiva decided to shift her service offerings the past couple of years and what this process has looked like for her
  • How Kiva teaches her clients, especially women, to think bigger and have a broader impact without stretching themselves too much
  • The reminder that so much of what happens in our personal life impacts our professional life and how Kiva strategically puts this into practice
  • Creating a strategic business plan as an empath that follows your mission, vision, and values
  • How Kiva helps her clients develop mission-oriented KPIs
  • The importance of enjoying the current season of our business and how it’s preparing us for what’s to come


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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode


Catherine A. Wood  00:02



Kiva Slade  00:04

Hey there, Catherine, how are you? I’m great.


Catherine A. Wood  00:07

I was, I’ve been looking forward to this conversation for months, because I know we scheduled it well before both of our summer breaks. And. And I was just thinking, you know, like, when you and I first met, we lived in neighboring towns. But now I’m in Boston, you’re still in Maryland. And, and I’m, and I’m excited to hear hear about kind of where you are, versus you know, where you were in your business when we first met, because I think things a lot of things have changed for you have both started podcasts since we first connected, which is fun. So to kick us off, I’d love for you to share, share your pronouns with my audience. And then I’d love to hear a little bit about your story.


Kiva Slade  00:51

Yeah, most definitely. So yes, we were in neighboring towns, and actually, I’ve been spending time in South Carolina for the last year. So amazing. I went


Catherine A. Wood  01:02

south, but both by the water,


Kiva Slade  01:03

yes, both by the water returning to my roots, because I grew up in New Jersey near the water. So it was yeah, the water is a happy place. So yeah, my pronouns are she and her a little bit about me and my business. My business is the 516 Collaborative, which really has evolved, really focuses on working with women entrepreneurs, but really along the lines of a strategic partner. We focus on operations, but you focus on data. And we also focus on mindset, because so much of the work that I do, whether it’s in the consulting space, or in the actual day to day of a business, there’s mindset work and things that go into that to even get my clients to where they need to be in order to make those necessary changes. So it feels like there’s some level of coaching and level of consulting in the work that I do. But it’s really important that I feel for women entrepreneurs in particular, we always hear about wage gaps and things of that sort. And entrepreneurialism is one way, it’s a vehicle for a lot of women to close those gaps. However, for most of us, the businesses end after three or five years, or were in service and based industries and made me not pay as well. So I think it’s important that they focus on operations focus on having a strong foundation to that business so that there is actual staying power and earning power. So yeah. I don’t know if I shared


Catherine A. Wood  02:33

this with you. But I think it was last year, I actually checked out your website, because I wanted to refer you to one of my clients. And I was like, Oh, I think I think Kiva has pivoted like I think that she’s doing some different things now, because it seems like your your service offering has really shifted over the past several years. I’m curious what that process was like for you.


Kiva Slade  02:57

Yeah, you know, that it was a I feel like it’s been a part of just life shifts as well. Initially doing a lot of like, Online Business Management, Director of Operations. And I started to learn that I did not necessarily as much as I love growing people, I didn’t unnecessarily like managing teams of people in which I did not hire them. And in many cases, I could not fire them up. So for me, that started to become a part of the work that I was farming out and carving out as stuff that I just I didn’t want to do. It was very uncomfortable. And often times in small businesses in particular, but I think there’s this idea of how can I pack as much as I can into a job description and find this magical person that normally does not access because there’s typically like three to four positions in that one. And so really to create environments where people could show up as their best selves could show up in their strengths. It was starting to become very, very challenging and having to hire and sometimes just wages and things that just sort of like seriously, this is what we’re doing now. So I started really feeling like I that wasn’t something I wanted to do. And really started to do a return to my roots. Really remember like just things that used to light me up things in grad school that led me up projects and things and they always focused on data. They always focused on you know, operations how does how do things run better? I am that person when I’m out if you’re with me and we’re at a restaurant, I can literally tell you how they can improve things just through my experience sitting there and sometimes I share not always funding people I don’t think they’re always want to receive it but it doesn’t stop me from sharing it. But really, through that time that change has really been I think more about understanding my own strengths, and how I like to best show up and what feels what feels good for me. And I don’t say that in the sense of I don’t do anything that doesn’t feel good. But if we get to make this choice, what are the things that do light us up? And how do I do more of the things that light me up? Because then I’m obviously working within my, you know, strengths, then in that area for myself that I’m working in my best skills. So it’s really been a journey of self discovery. And through this self discovery has been a journey of pivoting of service. As we learned about me,


Catherine A. Wood  05:52

it sounds like you underwent the process in your own business, that I imagine you’ve supported many of your clients and undergoing.


Kiva Slade  06:02

Absolutely, and it was, it’s sometimes hard, I think, to turn that mirror back on ourselves to look at our own business and say, what do we keep? What do we pare down? What do we strip away? How can I better delegate? What things am I doing that I should not be doing? Or where are there ways that we can improve the things that we do? And yeah, turning the mirror back on yourself? Sometimes it’s uncomfortable. And it’s like you’re there? What’s that saying? The cobblers children have no shoes. And you’re sometimes like, Oh, my goodness gracious, like, how are we helping someone in this area, and it’s odd maths, but it really was helpful for me to just start to hone in on those things. And even now, there’s some some shifts that are afoot. I recently went through a weakened certification for coaching. And hey, yeah, I thought about you like, do this felt like spirits? Because I’m like, I’m starting a program in January. So by the end, I’ll come out accs credentialed, you know, and I was thinking of you because you and a former client are both Master, you know, crutches. And I have another one former client who’s PCC she has all the thing is she just hadn’t submitted her paperwork. And I was just like, I’ve thought about that in just our conversations and interactions. And I’m going through Valerie Burton’s cap Institute coaching and positive psychology and so that the focus itself on just the positive psychology in understanding our thoughts, and the power of those thoughts, and negative thoughts versus positive thoughts and things of that sort. So, yeah, again, just to even better serve clients. But also, in some instances, just better serve clients in those areas, but they don’t realize also need to be serviced in order for your business to do well, I think people like to, like, create false line of demarcation around personal and business. And the reality is, for many of us, if one or the other is out of whack, typically, there’s something that’s going on that you need to pay attention to, because it is going to impact the other one. So yeah, so there’s some additional changes happening, and I’m looking to just incorporate that more in my work. Um,


Catherine A. Wood  08:37

I mean, I’m thrilled, I’m thrilled to hear that for you. I feel like that’s something that I just imagined you were going to become a coach since our first connection. So I love I love that you’re getting the credential. And honestly, like, you know, I mean, I think I’ve shared with you that I used to be a coach trainer and one of my roles and I think that there’s so much value in getting a coaching certification regardless of whether or not you intend to be a coach, because the skill set of coaching the skill set of being an active listener of asking open ended questions, they are learned skill sets that can support in so many other aspects of business.


Kiva Slade  09:22

Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. I remember. What’s that? That was a book The question behind the question, and it was talking about, you know, just those open ended questions and just even that and how I would ask questions of my clients even before this, like certification, like it just as a difference as to how you get them to think and their responses. And just last week, I was working on a strategy session with a client and it was so sweet because she said, so I know you’re preparing a report and how I can move forward. She’s like, look, please, like include options for me. And you because the way you’ve made me think during these sessions, she said, I need to keep you in my life. And I was just like, Oh, that’s so that just means so much to me like that. We sometimes don’t know, obviously, what we don’t know. But that ability to help people think deeper, and in some cases even broader than what they were thinking their impact fee. Like that’s, that’s the that’s the thing. Like it gets you excited and gets me up. It’s like, yeah, because I think sometimes it’s women in particular, we kind of think small, and there’s ways to think bigger, that don’t necessarily mean more of us. It’s just how we put things in place, that we can have a broader impact that again, not stretch ourselves. So yeah, it was really exciting, though, for her to say that.


Catherine A. Wood  10:55

I love that. Well, I want to I want to step back for a moment because something you said, Well, I loved and I’m curious how it applies to your work, because you said, you know, so much of what you have experienced and see in clients is how much the personal impacts the business and vice versa. And you’ve made a lot of changes on both of those sides. Like before we hit record, you were talking about how you’re off Instagram, you’re mostly off Facebook, you’ve been very limited. With LinkedIn, you took a pause on the podcast, you are spending a lot more time in South Carolina, like those are a lot of lifestyle changes in business changes. And I wonder how that have, how they’ve been strategic and how they have kind of supported supported your trajectory or clarity around where you’re heading?


Kiva Slade  11:51

Yeah, you know, I think this actually goes back to probably around COVID, I blame COVID. For it, let’s say that my kids are 18 months apart, and I homeschool them from the beginning. So COVID had my daughter who’s the oldest start at home virtual. So on the day I turned 50, we actually packed up the car in the attached U haul, because both of my kids had to leave the house at the same day, because they were only a grade apart to both head off to college. So I’m 50 it’s the morning of my birthday, we’re driving to North Carolina to drop off child number one, and then proceed to head on to Louisiana to drop off child number two, which in my mind, let’s be honest, many of us are planners, I had another year with child number two before say for going to need to go to school. None of that went according to plan. So I joke that it wasn’t strategic. But maybe it was. So in that way. It felt like just a lot of life coming at me at the same time, like a lot of life change and shift and all these things. And I just there was therapy, there was a lot of that that was already going on. In addition to that there have just been some personal marital things going on. So it’s like I’ve had to do some excavation is what I’ve been calling it and dig deeper into me and understanding me and also, in some ways, not redefining but rediscovering me and especially as a woman who 20 years ago, you know, I was the legislative director on Capitol Hill. I’ve worked then as the policy, you know, manager at a nonprofit and I got married and had kids and stayed home for 20 years, like what do I do? Who am I what defines me? What do I still like to do? I knew I didn’t want to go back into politics. So there was a lot of what I knew I didn’t want to do but I felt like there was a lot of me that also needed rediscovering to who I am and who I was and like on my phone I have this picture of my my screensavers a picture of me when I was probably I don’t know about seven or eight and I have this look where it’s a school picture but I look determined but I also look it’s tad bit if I’m honest devilish so it’s like I’m looking like I have spunk is what it is and I don’t think that I you know in all of those roles mom, wife, homeschool teacher, you know, whatever else my kids needed me to be. I don’t think I focused on that young girl who had spunk and had some you No chutzpah about her. And it felt like a lot over the last two years has been my business is shifting just because of excavations that took place. So I don’t know if it was strategic, it wasn’t strategic by my design. And but I think based on the circumstances, it has become strategic, because I have been very intentional as to who I am understanding how I show up, what do I need to own in terms of what I’ve done, I’ve said I, how I, you know, do anything that I do, but also what is not mine to own. And I think that’s been a big shift for me, because as a person who definitely empathic, you know, you’re like, I want my visit, like my clients, businesses to do all this amazing things. But I’ve learned I can’t want that more for them, than they want that for themselves. And I feel like that has been one of the largest kind of shifts, business wise, is that starting to take that step back and realize where true ownership lies in terms of what I can own in the business versus what they have to own in the business. And that when I stay in my lane, it encourages them to stay in their lane, or sometimes encourage force, you take whichever word you like. But as long as I’m staying in mine, and owning what I need to own, it has allowed me to show up better, but it also has allowed me to have a much clearer understanding of what my capacity is. And then also capacity not only in the work, but capacity for change. Like there’s just some things in the end of the day, it’s not my business. And so like the level of change that you can affect, it hits a ceiling at some point in time and having to, I had a choice to make, continue hitting that ceiling and getting a headache. And you know, like lumps on my head, or know where the ceiling was and understand where to stop. And I feel like that part has been strategic, but it’s come through. Again, just some other things in life, that it’s like, what’s really important in what is meaningful, and what matters and then realizing that. And I think I still see this with so many of my clients, because we’re building something, you know, but we lose sight of balance. And I use that word loosely, because balance can look different for everyone. But finding time to still, you know, play with your kids read a book, whatever it is that you like to do that brings you back to a place of calm, that that also needs to take place and build into your life and not just focus on building this business that at the expense of in a lot of cases, the lots of other things that are also important to you. So again, finding what seems like whatever your even keel is. So yeah, I hope that answers that because I felt like I probably gave you more than I was going to


Catherine A. Wood  18:49

know I was perfect. You know, I was I was laughing or smiling over here on the inside as you were saying that like you. You didn’t know like that you weren’t connected with your fire or your chutzpah because I’m like, watching you on this screen. And like, for those of you who aren’t seeing Kiva right now she’s seated in a fiery red desk chair with white accents. I’ve never seen a desk chair like this in my life like it screens personality. And so it seems only natural that you would reconnect with those parts of who you are.


Kiva Slade  19:31

Yeah, it is felt good. It’s felt free to go back to what we were saying before. And I don’t think sometimes you realize that you need it to be freed until you are free. Yeah, no.


Catherine A. Wood  19:49

Well, I mean, I think that that is kind of a really beautiful segue into what I was what I’m excited to kind of dig in a little bit. deeper with you. And it’s like this idea of how do we strategically business plan as empaths. Because I think so often as empaths, we are following someone else’s rulebook, or building our business someone else’s way, or listening to the louder voice or the louder wisdom or the more assertive, aggressive, you know, fill in the blank guidance, versus really claiming the space and the grace, to connect with our own intuition with our own inner knowing with our own path. And it sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of that deep work for yourself, and that you support clients and doing that same work.


Kiva Slade  20:47

Absolutely. And it’s, you’ve hit all the nails on the head, because those are the things that really they dread, they grab our attention in the sound good. Like in our sound bite kind of generation, like they, they check all the boxes, they make it that makes sense. But I think when it comes to strategic planning, like you said, Really starting with I start my clients with what’s your mission, vision and values? Like, literally, what is it that you feel your business is designed to do? And trust me, if it’s some kind of, I don’t know, pie in the sky, or you know, it’s something that just sounds like it’s been cut in pace, I’m digging deeper into understanding and for them to also understand like, Is this really your mission? Is this really the vision that you see for your business five years from now? And then what are those values? And it’s something that has caught some clients off guard, they’re like, why are my values important? Because that’s gonna determine who you who you work with, and who’s attracted to work with you versus who isn’t. And I think it’s really, really important to know what those are. And I feel like, It almost reminds me like when I do strategic planning with business owner says, when you were little, and you went bowling, and they put up the bumper guards so that your ball would not go in together, you know, because what kid wants their ball to go in the gutter, but most kids aren’t making the ball to go down the you know, the, the alley in a straight line anyway, so the bumper guards are there to keep the ball in that space. And I felt like that was strategic planning. After we go through mission, vision and values, we really start digging in to key components of your business, what do you want it to look like terms of operations in terms of your team in terms of your finances, professional and personal development, customer service, you know, really looking at each of those parts of your business? But understanding how those all feed into the larger ecosystem that is your business and talking through those but then also, we set up KPIs like how do we measure that we were successful in this, and I think when you have those components, you have this tangible report, document, you know, file that you can go back to when the talking heads, the squawk boxes, all the things that drawing that other attention, you can go back to when you had a moment of silence that you gave yourself where you actually commit it to this and remind yourself reflect. Okay, this is what I said I was going to do. And this is how I said, this is how I’m going to build this isn’t written in stone and chiseled like, you know, 10 commandments on rocks? No, will there be some changes? Absolutely. However, just like that ball going down that little alley, it may go from one bumpers to the next one, and kind of zigzag. But the reality is it still stays inside this confined space. And that’s what growth is looking like it’s not this, you know, I’m going to jump over here and do this. And then I’m going to jump over here and do this. And then I’m going to do this. And then you’re frustrated, because nothing is working and everything feels haphazard, or you’re frustrated because there’s a lot of haften stuff. And so really being consistent and having a compass to go back to to remind yourself, where’s that North that I was heading towards? Okay, that’s what this is. I’m going to go back and focus my energies here. Because this is really what we know it’s going to bring about that growth. And I think it helps because it limits the the ability to look and like that desire to look what’s going on and all the other lanes and the bowling alley. Like we don’t need to know what the people with the purple ball are doing versus the people with the orange ball. What’s your ball doing as it goes down at Lane? And that’s ultimately where we have to stay because I think at As impact, we get burned out, we get stressed out, we get like all the outs that come from listening to all of these other voices and forgetting in many cases, where’s our north? Because it may not be the same as someone else’s north. And understanding, that’s okay. It’s not meant to be anybody else’s, it’s yours, it is solely for you. And whatever that the the WhatsApp, the pace of the grows, whatever the length of time that you need to devote to that. Really just getting everybody honed and in focus with real goals like, I want to I don’t know, I want to have more sales next year. Okay, let’s talk about that. Define for me, what is more sales, like let’s get specific, put some numbers to those things and really be able to map out, I want to make $50,000 more, okay, then, here we go. Let’s pull out the spreadsheet. This is what you do. Now, this is how much you’re doing this, this is how much this brings in to for you to make $50,000 more, this is what we’re going to need to do. How does that feel it felt like too much work even. Okay, thanks. So you know, you have to then start baking. But if you don’t know what that looks like, it’s easy to say you want to have this or you want to do that. But there’s things that come with all of those things. And I think in this culture that we’re in, especially Oh such and such, how to $100,000 launch of their new yada, yada, yada. And it’s like, okay, let’s peel the curtain back. So they’ve been talking to this audience that they have for the last 10 years, okay, and you’ve been talking to your audience for two months. You’re on page one, they’re in chapter 10 of this book, like, let’s compare what needs to be compared. So there is a level of reality checking that has to happen and a lot of those strategy sessions, but it’s done in a loving way. But there is that reality of like, I need you to understand. You can have that $100,000 launch, it just may not be right now, it may be in five years after you have done this, this, this, this, this, and this, you know, and then it’s like, let’s put those things in perspective. Because it seems like there’s a there’s a lot of Cooley being served. And I think everyone wants a cup of it. But you really have to understand what comes with that Kool Aid.


Catherine A. Wood  27:48

I mean, I love this conversation. And there’s a theme that’s just like, coming up for me as you’re speaking that. I think one of the aspects of being an empath entrepreneur that really sets us apart is our willingness to take our own medicine. And so as I hear you, supporting your clients in getting really clear about their KPIs, ensuring that they are integrity with their mission, vision and values, and really challenging the pivots along the way, and whether they’re in alignment with their own North Star, like, I hear you doing that in your own journey. And I absolutely appreciate that. I’m not surprised at all. And it makes me even more sure that this is why your current clients are successful, because you’re practicing what you preach and what you teach. And I really appreciate that. And I want to talk about KPIs because because something I also appreciate about being a conscious entrepreneur is that often our KPIs look different. We quantify them in different ways. And I, I’m just curious how, how you might notice that or how you might approach developing KPIs with with end clients, especially if they identify as and pass or are mission oriented, which I think many Empath entrepreneurs are mission driven.


Kiva Slade  29:30

Yeah, no, I love that question. And it’s so true. Because a lot of times I’ll hear link, let’s say with a number, like they want to do X, and I’m like, let’s talk about what your ideal week looks like. You know, how do you like to show up? What feels good for you? And then they tell me, I don’t know. Maybe I only want to work 25 hours a week. Okay, that sounds good. Is that 25 hours like with client work, or is that 25 hours as To including the time spent in your business? Oh, let me think about that. So there’s that conversation that has to happen around what that 25 defines. But once we get to that understanding of what’s going to be like, billable hours, we start really then tackling that number and kind of backing into it. And it really starts to come down to wow, you know, I thought I might want it to have done that. But it’s more important to me to not go above this cap of hours. And so my KPI is I only want to work 25 hours a week, and we’re going to be measuring that. And it’s like, because that actually winds up feeling a heck of a lot better and more in alignment than whatever somebody else told you, you could have as a financial goal, when you have to see those trade offs, but also just understanding like, what ultimately are the are the things that bring you joy? And are those things that we can measure in your business? Like for some people, they like having conversations, their business is built on networks and referrals of from those networks. Kiva I want to have, like, you know, three conversations every two weeks, okay, so we’re having six conversations a month, okay, that’s fine. And suitable KPI, you know, then that you want to hit six conversations a month. And based on your past history, if you have six conversations a month, you are guaranteed, maybe two leads out of those six conversations. And those two leads are all you need, because you’ll close one of them. And you’re like that 50% closing rate is all I need for my business to stay where it is, the nice rate of growth that I’m experiencing. Those are all great KPIs. I think sometimes we get into this, like, I have to send out x many emails, and they have to have this open rate. And it has to have this and No, no, a KPI is anything that you want to measure in your business, if that’s 25 hours a week, and you don’t want to go over that. That’s, that’s your KPI. You know, and I think it comes down to that understanding of what is important to you, again, as the measurement and it’s, you know, we can get into the economics leading and lagging indicators and things of that sort. But even that, there’s no one size fits all. There’s no industry standards, like there are things that we can count as, you know, cost per lead, like okay, yeah, we could start to calculate that and we can understand, like, is that leading? Or is that lagging? But the thing about it is ultimately, leading and lagging indicators are determined by you, your business, what industry are you in? There’s so many different factors. And I think sometimes we start to either have two reactions, either. We want to have a KPI for everything. Don’t do that, okay, or we don’t want to have a KPI for anything. Don’t do that. Like finding out again, where’s that spot for you? And that spot will change at the beginning. I tell you focus, if you’re just starting out, or if you’re not at a place where revenue is consistent in your business, okay? Let’s start simple marketing and sales KPIs. Okay, how many people are you having conversations with? All right, then that’s it. We can start there. We can start to build from there. How many of those conversations turned into a proposal is sent? Then how many are those actual, you know, dealt with an actual closed proposal and you’ve won that contract? But there’s, that’s all you need to focus on until there’s consistent revenue in the business, then yeah, we can start to branch out. But again, what’s important to you? And what are those true indicators for you, as to what is the health and or success of your business? Those KPIs are not going to be the same for Nike, you know, who is going to measure some very different things, then what you’re going to measure in your business? So really being strategic about what’s important? What do you want to keep track of, and then actually keeping track of it if it’s 25 hours a week and you find yourself at the end of three months that you know what? I hit 22 and a half and I was feeling burnt out. I said 25 But 22.5 is my sweet spot, and that’s where I’d like to stay. Great. Let’s adjust that for the next quarter. The money was so good. Everything else in the business felt good. But that extra two and a half hours was stretch. So be it. We change it, you know, in our hand 22 and a half. After another quarter you’re like, This is where I need to be great. Do we need to make any adjustments to this add any money and anything else that’s going to be affected by it? No, then let’s just keep going with this until it could be a season in your life that might change. And you’re like, Hey, we got 2.5 hours, let’s get that back, I’m ready for it. That’s fine. Maybe it’s reduced another 2.5 hours to 20 hours a week, Bill, whatever that is. But again, don’t find yourself measuring everything or determining a KPI for everything. But also, let’s not not measure anything at all. Okay, we have to have something that lets us know, are we going in the right direction,


Catherine A. Wood  35:35

literally, I mean, I just want to clarify for those of our listeners who aren’t familiar with KPIs KPI stands for key performance indicators. And I love I guess what I hear in you is in your sharing, Kiva is like this permission to have KPIs that reflect your lifestyle preferences, or your your values to measure what’s important to you not industry standards, or a go IQ based metrics. And then I also hear something else that I think is really important, too, have a healthy sense of appreciation for and it’s the idea that, you know, your KPIs are going to differ based on the season of business that you’re in, whether you’re in startup, or established, or scaling entrepreneur, like, there, it’s going to differ. And I like, I remember when I started out as a business owner, like I, I was still working in the government, I was still an economist and I, I worked every minute that I could, because I was not only passionate about getting out of my day job, but I was it also, it was inspiring. And I do not regret those days of taking client calls at 7am and 12, noon and 6pm. But it was what it required. For me it was the KPIs that really set me up to be where I am today.


Kiva Slade  37:07

Absolutely. And that’s the thing, understanding the ebb and flow of it all. When you’re scaling. Yeah, we’re gonna have to look at some different numbers. And you’re, you’re lucky 20 hours, 25 hours a week may not be where you are, there may need to be a bump up to 35 hours a week. And maybe some of that time is still billable. And some of it is, hey, we’re building out lots of stuff in the backend of this business that needs my oversight and my hands on. So yeah, it looks different. And yes, we do have that permission to absolutely measure what we want to measure. But also understand I want that, that permission with that flexibility of it’s going to shift. And when it shifts, that’s a good thing. That means you’ve basically achieved what you were looking to achieve. And you’re off now to the next portion of that you’ve graduated from the bumper things now you’re at the the little rolly thing for the bowling alley, where you can roll your ball down, if you’re graduating, you’re not fully like, you know, instrument less at completely where you’re rolling the ball yourself. But it’s a step. And it’s a process. And I think that’s the that’s the important thing is understanding like running a business, building a business. Having a team like impacting people’s lives like these are all part of the journey. Enjoy each of these parts of the journey. Instead of like the focus on the destination, I have a six figure business, I have a seven figure business. And then you don’t enjoy though, any of the things that got you to that point. And I want people to do a better job of enjoying the journey, because there are lessons in growth that happens at each of these stages, and seasons. And they are all designed to set us up for the next thing. That’s the comb.


Catherine A. Wood  39:03

Yeah, for sure. And if we’re so busy rushing towards the destination, we’ll miss the lessons along the way. And you know, like, you know what they say like, new levels, similar doubles. So if you don’t learn the lesson in this season of business, like you may just miss it. When it presents it’s very familiar face and the next season.


Kiva Slade  39:25

Yeah, and it might cost you more or the next season like you might have had a ball thing. Now you’re like, Yeah, pay attention.


Catherine A. Wood  39:33

You know what I so appreciate you saying that it may cost more because I think one of my lessons in early entrepreneurship was like the consequence of being perfectionistic in my business, and I at this stage, I am so much more committed to progress over perfection. But I forget that in every new challenge I take on an every New Project I commit to perfectionism still rears its head. So my greatest lesson was actually, a couple years ago when I bought a house in takoma park. And all I saw was projects. Everywhere I looked Kiba, like I saw, Oh, I want to beautify this, ooh, I want to build a fence, ooh, I want to repave the driveway, ooh, we, you know, this challenge. I want to throw all this money at this. And it was a great year of business for me. So I had a lot of disposable income and push comes to shove like the consequence of not being mindful of my perfectionism was I threw so much money at my house, because I wasn’t keeping my own perfectionism in check. And I think we do this all the time in business, I think we’ve learned the lesson, when in reality, like, we rushed past the lesson, we breezed past the lesson, we did not embody and like truly embrace the impact of the lesson that we’ve faced.


Kiva Slade  41:06

Absolutely. And I love that example. Because I feel like it. Lately, one of the things I’ve had to do with clients is like software audits, because we’re always looking for perfection, the all in one software, the all in one, you know, like, like, we go to the Home Depot or Lowe’s of software, and we’re feeling like where’s the thing that does all the things that I needed to do? And we get it. And then it’s like, oh, but I also paid for this, and I pay for it. So you have three things that all can be used to sign an electronic. Yeah, but I don’t use any of those. I actually use this and your luck. So you really have four things that can you know, it’s like you open the drawer and you’re like, yeah, so I owe four different hammers. No, they’re all They’re all steel steel faced hammers. No, none of them are for texturizing. It’s, I just was at the store. And I thought I didn’t have a hammer. So I got another hammer. And it’s like, yeah, you don’t know me, you don’t know. I feel so seen. thing that we do, and so many clients recently, it’s like we’re having these conversations. And it’s like, yeah, so I might want to add it that because in many cases, we’ve either paid for something, you know, app Sumo, we got a lifetime on whatever it is, we’re not using. Yep. And then we’re paying monthly for some other things. And it’s like, it’s costing us dearly, and but we don’t take that time to stop. What’s the lesson here? What are we learning here. And sometimes it’s that understanding that you know what, there is no all in one, we’re going to have to connect this to this, and this, and that works the best for us. And we have to understand that and realize it. And, you know, I say this with all the love in my heart because I recently well, it’s technically not a three in one, it was three different things. But purchase a craftsman reciprocating stud drill driver and impact wrench or something like that. And someone took out my mailbox on Friday. And you ever purchased something like I’m gonna get to use that part of the mailbox is going to need some kind of wood was dry, rotted, I was like, Oh, get to it. But when someone takes out your mailbox, you don’t have to get it like it is now like you’re gonna do this. And so it took me three trips to Lowe’s that day. But I am excited to share that I repaired it like cut the wood with the saw and did all the things. But it was could I have paid somebody to do it? Absolutely. I don’t know if they would have done it that day. I’m not sure I didn’t do a cost benefit analysis. But I had decided for myself that I was going to DIY it, because it was like I have these tools that I haven’t opened in the box that I purchased over a month ago. And I’m going to use this. And so sometimes that’s it also in our businesses like sometimes there are things you’re going to need to farm out and there’s sometimes I think that we need to roll up our sleeves and learn how to do it so that when we do hire it out, we know what to expect and we have a better understanding of how much is involved in it. So either a we pay adequately or B we also have realistic expectations around turnaround time on that service. So but yeah, home improvement projects are a great example of ways that things could get away from you quickly.


Catherine A. Wood  44:51

And it’s such a good metaphor for business right because we were so often hear the lessons like hire out delegate like You shouldn’t be doing this and you know, fair, all fair points. And like, if you’re just paying at the expense of learning how to be more efficient or effective, then are you really learning? Like, are you really leading?


Kiva Slade  45:18

Exactly? Well, I’m just shoveling the stuff over to you to do it, because I can pay you less. No one’s assessing to leave the need to do that. Is that something? Now let’s just pay her to do it, you know? Yeah. But at some point, we do have to come face to face with that little new devil and be like, so you didn’t even need to exist? Nope. I did. And you know, and it’s like, oh, so we actually didn’t even need this step, or this tool that goes with this, huh? Oh, okay. You know, we come to that realization, but you’re right, if we don’t, we’re now probably paying for that multiple times over in various pieces and parts of our business that definitely is funding that could go different ways. Yeah.


Catherine A. Wood  46:10

And I feel like this truly comes full circle to where we started this conversation about knowing your mission, vision and values, getting really clear on what your KPIs are, what you’re prioritizing, so that you can, so you can be really sure, like, feel really at peace in your body, that the investments, the choices, the business decisions you’re making, as a CEO are in service of your vision, rather than just meeting someone else’s advice, you know, recommendations louder, like more confident, aggressive, you know, like, wisdom of the day, because that wisdom of the day will come will consistently change. But exactly. Your


Kiva Slade  47:04

mentioned, yes, sorry. Yeah. But I think there was something else you just touched on, was that listening to our own intuition? I think that we sometimes allow that to take a backseat to these wiser gurus and things. And there’s power, in that in I had to come to this realization, myself and my own business. And really, that’s one of the things. I have this, I don’t see him right now I have this picture of this bear. And there was this group I was in and you had to pick a animal. You didn’t know what was behind it. But what was behind the bear was trust yourself. And that was so poignant for me, because I had to start leaning back into that and trusting myself. And I think that for me, at least, I was taking in a lot from other people. And it was like, Oh, okay. And there was times when I was doing things that didn’t feel good in my body. And I was like, I think there’s a better way, or I just didn’t like this. But it felt like, well, if you don’t do this, like your business is gonna fall apart. And you’re just like, you know, wasted all this time. And it was like that coming back to acknowledge how my self was telling me, Don’t do this. This is not in alignment with you, in what in who you are. And it was like that ability to start to trust myself. And last year, like that was my, those were my words. Like, I was like, What’s your word? Now, it’s not a word. It’s to trust myself. Because that part of that our intuition, and we didn’t get to where we are just by happenstance, and the experiences that we’ve had the lessons we’ve learned along the way, they still hold value. Even if you haven’t been an entrepreneur since you came out of your mama’s womb, like it doesn’t matter. You know, all of that is still valuable to where you are right now. And I think when we put that on the back burner, it also leads us to those stress and friction points where it’s like, what am I doing this for? And does this matter to me? And if so, why? Because it’s not feeling good? And I think that there’s power in that that we we kind of negate and some instances by putting it on the backburner. Sorry, that wanted to share that.


Catherine A. Wood  49:36

So glad you did. I could not agree more. I I was chuckling over here because, like, I noticed that I often question my own intuition because you know, so many of the people I chat with, even still like, they talk louder than me. They speak more quickly than me. They’re more like, they’re more just like I’m confident from the get go, like just kind of like, in my face like, oh, you should do this and like this, and I and I get seduced sometimes. And then I have to remind myself like, cat like, you’ve been doing this for a decade, like you are a master certified coach, sweetheart. Like, there’s a reason you’re here. And it’s not because someone else is doing it better than you.


Kiva Slade  50:26

Absolutely, yeah.


Catherine A. Wood  50:30

And now I know that about myself, you know, like, I know about myself that I often want to hire my clients. I often want to work with the people that I get on the phone with because I am a yes person. Like I see potential. I see possibility and like, I’m just a yes person. And I just have to keep my yes in check.


Kiva Slade  50:53

I love that. Can we get that like on a t shirt? Keep that Yes. I’m serious. Like I want that or steak or something. Okay. So like when you open up that stream of income, let me know.


Catherine A. Wood  51:06

Sounds good. Well, it’s been so fun to reconnect, keep I’ve truly been looking forward to this conversation for a while as we, as we wrap like I would love to hear what supported you and becoming a prosperous Beth.


Kiva Slade  51:20

Hmm, that’s such a great question. I feel like there’s so much but I will really say a pivotal moment for me was Carol Dweck, some mindset, like reading that book was like, Okay. Things that you kind of like heard throughout existence and things of that sort, which you just like for someone to put into words growth versus fixed into providing examples. I just was like, because it just made so much sense. And like what you were just even saying about I see the possibilities. And that was such a thing that I’ve had to to wrestle grapple with and understanding again, like, when I do work with I see those possibilities, but having to keep that yes in check. But yeah, so that was I feel like for me, just a major mindset shift for myself, which was in turn, very helpful for me on this path and journey of doing that deep work and myself that I needed to that has shown up in the work that I do with clients.


Catherine A. Wood  52:31

I’m gonna go check out that book. I’ve not read it. Record to it.


Kiva Slade  52:36

Yeah, it’s a good one. I actually brought it for my kids. I don’t know. i No one started it. I can’t say the other one did or


Catherine A. Wood  52:43

they’ll read it when they’re


Kiva Slade  52:47

buying them books and sending them anyway. Totally.


Catherine A. Wood  52:51

Well Kiba thank you so much. I cannot wait for my audience to listen to your words of wisdom. You have so much magic and fire to share.


Kiva Slade  52:59

Thank you so much Catherine for having me. I always love talking with you. So is this a pleasure?


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Have you been thinking of adding a group program to your business offerings (or even investing in one)? This episode of The Prosperous Empath is for you! I’m honored to have Kerry Dobson, a coach who supports authors, coaches, and other thought leaders in crafting & leading their own group certification programs, on the show. After hosting over 100 professional groups in her career, Kerry has so much insight into what makes a group course successful for the leader and the participants via igniting passion and creating long lasting & impactful connections. Just by listening, you can hear the care and expertise she brings to this work. Your programs can be just as transformational as your 1:1 offerings, consider today’s episode as a resource to help you get started on creating your own!  

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