EP: 168 Defining Success To Thrive In Your Intrapreneurial And Entrepreneurial Journey With Kiley Peters

Brave Women at Work | Kiley Peters | Defining Success

 

Are you an intrapreneur in your organization? Have you dreamed of being your boss and jumping into the entrepreneurial pool? Or do you already have a side hustle and straddle both roles? In this episode, Kiley Peters, a master of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, shares tips to thrive in your intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial journey and become successful at both. Her wealth of experience allowed her to navigate and lead others into their journey. If you are an aspiring intrapreneur or entrepreneur or are simply curious about the topic, I am confident you will love this show. Tune in to this episode so you won’t miss a thing.

During my chat with Kiley, we discussed:

Ø Kiley’s history as a serial entrepreneur.

Ø The differences between intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship.

Ø The benefits and drawbacks of intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship.

Ø Why we need both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs.

Ø The journey from intrapreneur to entrepreneur.

Ø What it takes along the way to achieve success.

Ø Burnout and redefining success.

Ø The hurdles intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs face.

Ø Tips to overcome the hurdles.

Ø The great resources Rayne IX provides for intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs.

Listen to the podcast here

 

Defining Success To Thrive In Your Intrapreneurial And Entrepreneurial Journey With Kiley Peters

Everyone, how are you doing out there? Let’s start with a question. Are you an intrapreneur in your organization? By the term intrapreneur, I mean a person in your company who operates as if they ran their own business or a person who uses forward thinking for innovation and growth. If you are an intrapreneur, have you ever dreamt of being your own boss and jumping into the entrepreneurial pool? Do you already have a side hustle and straddle both roles? I am struggling in both roles. I can relate to both, but it would be interesting to know where you are.

My guest is Kiley Peters. She is a master of both realms. She has been a successful entrepreneur for many years and has founded multiple award-winning companies, which intrigued me. During our show, Kiley and I had a frank conversation about the positives and drawbacks of intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship and what it takes to succeed at either or both. I enjoyed her honesty about how difficult intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship are. Going back to intrapreneurship, how difficult it is and how it isn’t for everyone.

I also appreciated her vulnerability in sharing her own burnout story and the changes she needed to make to get back on track personally and professionally by getting back on track with what she wanted to do in her business. During my chat with her, we discussed her history as a serial entrepreneur, even from childhood. As I am talking about this, as a little sidebar and we’ll come right back, as a child, I was a serial entrepreneur because, for those of us that are in our middle years, you remember Cabbage Patch Dolls, I would draw Cabbage Patch dolls on the playground for ice cream.

Kiley shares how she had those entrepreneurial sparks in her own life. We also chatted about the differences between intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship, the benefits and drawbacks of each, why we need intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs to make the world of business go round, and the journey from intrapreneur to entrepreneur and what it takes along the way to achieve success.

We touch on her burnout story and how she redefined what success means to her so she could get in alignment with her work. That resonated with me. Kiley has seen the hurdles that both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs face, some tips to overcome them, and the great resources, and she has some great ones that her company, RAYNE IX, provides for intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs alike. If you’re an aspiring intrapreneur or entrepreneur or simply curious about this topic, I am confident that you will love this show.

Here’s more about Kiley. Kiley Peters is a keynote speaker, an internationally award-winning serial entrepreneur, an executive leader, a business coach, and a consultant with many years of entrepreneurial experience. Many know her as the Founder of Brainchild Studios, her international award-winning digital content marketing agency, which she built to seven figures in revenue, six figures in profit, and 30 team members over several years. She dissolved the business at the end of 2022 to pursue helping women and small business owners live the lives they want, build smarter companies, and keep more of what they make.

She now spends her time with RAYNE IX, her executive leadership consultancy, which helps women business owners successfully exit their companies by establishing a clear personal plan, increasing company value, and developing their leadership team to think like owners. She has built numerous digital learning courses for entrepreneurs to guide them through that journey.

In 2022, she launched her podcast, Welcome to Eloma, a podcast for visionaries, entrepreneurs, and business owners who want to become better leaders, people, and pioneers. Here are a few notes about her company, RAYNE IX. In 2022, it was recognized as the best consultant in Milwaukee by the Milwaukee Awards Program. In 2020 and 2019, Brainchild Studios was awarded international recognition as Business Services Company of the Year for a company with fewer than ten employees by the Stevie Awards.

In addition, Kiley has spoken across the country on topics of entrepreneurship, business strategy, exit planning, and leadership at many different summits, including the Exit Planning Summit, Content Marketing Conference, Content Marketing World, the Second City, and Google Women’s Entrepreneurship Week, among many others.

Before we get started, if you’re enjoying the show, please make sure to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcast or Spotify. If the show has made an impact on you, I would love it if you would share it with a friend, a family member, or a colleague, and your ratings and reviews continue to help the show gain traction and grow. We are hitting again over 30 countries. It humbles me to have the show in that many countries worldwide. Thank you again.

If you haven’t yet downloaded one or all of my freebies on my website, check them out at BraveWomenAtwork.com. I created three for you. The first one is 24 Career and Leadership Affirmations. The second one is Five Ways to Manage Your Imposter Syndrome. The third and most popular one is Getting Paid: 10 Negotiation Tips. These freebies are workbook-style guides. You can complete them on your own time. You can find more information at BraveWomenAtwork.com. Let’s welcome Kiley to the show.

 

Brave Women at Work | Kiley Peters | Defining Success

 

Kiley, welcome to the show. How are you?

I’m doing great. Thanks for having me.

Why don’t you start by telling us about yourself and how you’ve gotten to where you are?

I’ve been a serial entrepreneur for as long as I can remember. When I was little, we were always building things and selling them. As an adult, I started my digital marketing agency in 2016 called Brainchild Studios and ran it for several years. At the end of 2021, I crashed and burned out hard. In 2021, a lot of people were starting to ask themselves what they wanted. They are starting to make decisions that are more focused on them. The pandemic made a lot of people question a lot of things. I was included in that group of folks.

I got to the end of 2021 and realized I didn’t want to do marketing anymore. My personal purpose and passion are in helping women, specifically women entrepreneurs, be their best version of themselves and, from a business standpoint, build better business backends and stronger businesses that make them happier and aligned with their personal purpose and their definition of success. I realized I had been chasing somebody else’s definition of success. I had this idea of like, “If I build it bigger, that’s what success looks like. I’m going to be successful.” I was like, “Even if I had done that, I would’ve hated it. This was not my definition of success.

I used that as the route to launch my consultancy, RAYNE IX. We’re an executive leadership consultancy focused on helping people be true to who they are and develop ownership mindsets to take ownership of the lives they want to live, whether that’s as an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur working for somebody else. A lot of that is based on doing some internal work, diving deep into themselves, defining success for themselves, and aligning the work that they do, whether that’s their own business or working for somebody else, to their personal definition of success.

Let’s stop there and understand what is your new or updated definition of success. You said you were following someone else. I’d like to know what you would say success is now.

At the beginning of 2021, I had thought that if I hit a certain revenue dollar amount, built a bigger team, and had more clients, that was what success looked like for the industry I was in. That might be true for some people. What I realized was that was not what I wanted. For me, the definition of success has four parts. We first focused on the significance of why you are here or the purpose. We focus on where you want to spend your time and your energy. We focus on what you want, how you’re going to make it happen, and how you lead yourself through that path. We focus on what you know. It’s the knowledge or the facts of what you know and what you need to know to make all those things happen.

I realized that my purpose was to support women, specifically women entrepreneurs and small business owners, to help them celebrate and build better businesses because that was what lit me up, and women at large. I’m a huge advocate for gender equality, time, and energy. I realized I did not want to be spending my time and energy from 9:00 to 5:00 seven days a week as a lot of entrepreneurs do. I don’t take meetings on Mondays or Fridays. I’m reducing my hours available to other people between about 9:30 or 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I’m focusing on how I want to show up. I’m creating more space for myself in my life so I have more freedom to create in my business.

What do I want? In a perfect world, I’d love to spend a month abroad 2 to 3 times a year. I got back from spending a month in Europe. I was living and working in Spain for a couple of weeks. I was able to do some big things for my company and further prove my point that creating this space allows us to move farther faster.

I want to do that. I want more. I want to be healthier. We have financial goals we’re trying to meet. When it comes to facts, what I know, and what I need to know, I know that the people I surround myself with are going to have a huge impact on me. I’m being intentional about who I give my time to and who I invest in because I tend to be one of those people that likes to pour into everybody.

Sometimes, if you are also that person, you know that not everyone pours back into you. I have to be intentional about making sure I can refill my own cup and not expect anybody else to do that so I don’t burn out again. That’s the abbreviated version of what I want now. It shifts from here and there, but I focus on owning my time and making sure that I’m leveraging my unique strengths and skillsets in ways that light me up and serve my audience to the best of my ability.

There are many women reading this blog. We’re going to talk about intrapreneurs, not entrepreneurs. We’re going to focus on that. These are women who are working corporate 9:00 to 5:00 jobs. I love your Spain idea. You’ve been living in Spain for a couple of months. I’d love to tell my boss, “I’m going to go hang out in Spain for a little bit and come right back.” Some people may not be able to do that. I still think that the lens and the exercise you’ve gone through apply to people and women who are working 9:00 to 5:00 jobs, and we can redefine what success is.

We launched our first pilot accelerator program, helping women launch their businesses or redefine their businesses. We have nineteen women going through this program. I was speaking with them. There are some women who are in 9:00 to 5:00 and are looking to start their own businesses. They are going through these exercises and trying to clarify for themselves how they want to be spending their time and energy.

Let me also clarify this because it’s specifically important for people working for somebody else. We feel guilt or shame in asking for what we need. I want to help offer something in a potential reframe for you. When you get clear on who you are and what you want, your best skills, your greatest abilities, and the things you can solve better than anybody else. If you ask for certain circumstances or things to help you do those things better, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it because you’re trying to position yourself to be set up for success and perform best for somebody or something else.

Brave Women at Work | Kiley Peters | Defining Success
Defining Success: When you get clear on who you are, what you want, your best skills, and your greatest abilities, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it because you’re positioning yourself for success.

 

We are quite programmed, especially as women, to feel bad for asking for anything for ourselves. We’re asking to take care of ourselves in ways we can show up better for other people. Hopefully, that’s a bit of a mindset shift for some readers. It takes practice. Mindset shifts. They’re muscles that we have to continue to exercise and strengthen over time, but it’s all mindset.

I’m shifting because I had mentioned the word, and you have an entire program on this, which we’re going to dive into, but some people have never heard of an intrapreneur. They’ve heard of an entrepreneur or somebody running a business on the side or working full-time. What is your definition of intrapreneur? What are the qualities as an employee? Once they hear the definition, our readers will be like, “I want to do that. I want to build those muscles.” What are some of the qualities you see in top intrapreneurs that you deal with?

When we talk about intrapreneurs, what we’re trying to accomplish here is we’re taking a lot of entrepreneurial skillsets and an ownership mindset. We’re bringing that within an organization. The biggest thing for me is somebody who wants to take ownership. Some of the things that we see reflected from an entrepreneurial person or mindset into an intrapreneur is adopting that ownership mindset. When you take ownership of what you’re doing and your life, that’s why we believe everyone should be an entrepreneur or an entrepreneur. It requires you to take ownership of your life. If you’re not taking ownership of your life, who is? This is something we should all be doing.

Everyone should be an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur because it requires you to take ownership of your life. Click To Tweet

You think about how much time you spend at work. I did a rough calculation. On average, we’re spending 100,000 hours of our life working. That’s the equivalent of eleven and a half years working nonstop 24/7. That’s a lot of time. If we want to show up to work and be like, “I’m here. I’m going to do whatever you tell me to do. At 5:00 or 5:30, I’m out.” That’s fine. Some employers might be asking that of people, but that’s also poor leadership on their part. My challenge to everybody is to take ownership of what you’re doing. This is a lot of your life. Life is short. Take ownership and clout in what you do within the work that you do. That’s the ownership mindset.

Some of that is taking calculated risks. That’s innovation and leading with impact. It’s a people-first approach. Some of that might be difficult, depending on the place where you work. If your leadership team or your ownership team does not support innovation and take risks and berates you for any type of failure rather than getting curious about it, that’s going to be difficult. That’s why we’re bringing this to organizations to help both from a bottom-up and a top-down perspective of building this idea of innovation and investing in people. It’s the greatest investment that we can make no matter where we are or what we’re talking about in life.

When you mentioned before mindset, I’m assuming that a lot of the hurdles that you see for strong or successful intrapreneurs, female and male, are mindset. What are those mindset hurdles that you see or any others that you see in their path?

A lot of it is confidence, especially for women. Confidence is a tricky thing because to gain confidence, we have to get clear on ourselves and focus on self-trust more than anything. I developed this personal confidence model. We need to test it out, but the idea is, to continue to gain confidence within ourselves, we first have to start with ourselves. We have to understand ourselves. We have to define success for ourselves. We have to learn what matters most to us and our triggers. We have to get clear on who we are and what we want, and doing that develops a greater self-trust. When we trust ourselves, we start to make bigger decisions and act in different ways.

We have to understand ourselves. We have to define success for ourselves. We have to learn what matters most to us. Click To Tweet

That requires us to tap into our mindset. Tapping into our mindset is controlling our thoughts and the way that we’re thinking. It’s this muscle. Whether that’s from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset or considering adopting an ownership mindset, there are all kinds of mindsets, and fears play a big role in a lot of that.

When we tap and strengthen those muscles, it allows us to propel ourselves forward and take action. When we take action, it expands our experiences. When we expand our experiences, we learn more about ourselves. When we learn more about ourselves, we gain greater self-trust, and the cycle repeats, but it all starts with ourselves.

A deep understanding of ourselves leads to self-trust, mindset, action, and expanded experiences. When we have expanded experiences, that’s what propels our confidence. When we have greater confidence, we start to overcome things like imposter syndrome and doubting ourselves. We start to make bigger choices and continue to build, hopefully in our self-interest, as long as it’s not hurting anybody else.

It’s a cyclical, but it’s a big process. If someone’s saying, “I’m struggling with confidence,” I know you’re going to build a tool around that, which is awesome, and I can’t wait to see it. What would you say the first tiny step of what you outlined would be? That sounds like big and scary. I’m sure women are like, “How do I get to the promised land that Kiley is talking about? What is that first baby step?

Define success for yourself. The way we go about that is personal purpose and getting clear on what that is. A lot of times, we go through life, and we’re like, “We have to get from day to day.” That’s fine. That’s life in a lot of ways. If we don’t take the time to define success for ourselves, several years go by, and we’re like, “What am I even doing? I followed this path.” It’s like you get on a river, and it floats. You don’t have any steering power. When you define success for yourself, you make intentional decisions.

Defining your personal purpose, identifying where you should be spending your time and energy, what drains your energy, what drives your energy, and how to optimize your energy. Figure out what you want as a human being. What do you want in your life, personally, professionally, and financially, and figuring out how to make that happen?

Figuring out what gaps you have. What are things that you don’t know that you need to figure out or team up with somebody else to help you make them happen? Take inventory of what you do know because you do know a lot, and you aren’t giving yourself credit for that. That’s how we go about defining success for oneself. There are a lot of exercises that we have built to help facilitate that. That’s where I would start with anything.

When you mentioned your burnout, not getting too deep into that story, I’m sure that could be an entirely different show, but did you feel your metaphor of being on the rafter and floating with life? Do you think that’s what led you to burnout? Was it going with that flow rather than taking full ownership?

In 2021, I felt like I got on a raft with no pedals. It was like white river rafting. It was aggressive. At the end of it, I smashed into a mountain. That’s what I thought it was. I fell straight off of a giant cliff, or I smashed into a mountain. It all happened quite quickly. It was a full year, which is a lot of time in no time, all at the same time. For me, it was a lack of focus.

I’ll toss this out there, especially in the world of entrepreneurship, and it’s also applicable to intrapreneurship. When you have multiple skillsets and the opportunity to say, “I could do this. I could do that. I have many options.” I like options. I’m a fan of buffets. I like options. When you have many options, it dilutes your focus.

What happened to me in 2021 is I had been running my agency and had that going. I was working on building that, but I had one foot out already because my interest was elsewhere. I had started building RAYNE IX and different projects that were exciting to me. It’s difficult to do multiple things well. You need to commit and go all in.

Brave Women at Work | Kiley Peters | Defining Success
Defining Success: It’s difficult to do multiple things. You should commit and go all in.

 

When I was straddling my focus and diluting my focus, I felt like I had one leg and one raft, the other leg, and another raft, and both of them were going down. It was not good. As I work with a lot of women and women entrepreneurs, I do my best to try to keep an eye out for anybody who I feel might be going down a similar path, yank them back as gently and lovingly as possible, and try to keep them from going down that path because it’s not pretty.

What about the side hustle? People have the intrapreneur or an individual contributor nonintrapreneur at work. They’re also trying to be an entrepreneur. Is that not sustainable because you have one leg in two rafts? You are stretching. What are your thoughts on that?

For anybody considering going into entrepreneurship who’s in a 9:00 to 5:00 job, that’s how I would recommend getting started because taking the leap into entrepreneurship and going all in is quite risky, especially if you’re used to having a stable paycheck. What I would say is that typically, you’re full-time in one place and part-time somewhere else. It’s a transition.

It’s not easy. I’m not going to lie. I know a lot of people who started their businesses as a side hustle and became more successful. After taking some calculated risks, taking a look at their numbers, and talking to their significant other to make sure that things were going to be okay, they took the leap. Taking the leap out of the gates, I’m not going to say it doesn’t work because I know people who have done it and it has worked, but it is challenging.

One thing that’s helped me is the mindset of playing the long game. In the world of entrepreneurship, it’s easy to get excited about something. We have all these short-term goals. They all feel rather aggressive at times. We’re like, “We need to get to that point.” That’s also applicable in an entrepreneurial space. If we take a step back, take a look at the forest instead of the trees, and look at the long game, it’s like, “What’s the long play here?” If you are in the corporate space and want to step into entrepreneurship, start small. Start somewhere. The thing is to start.

Brave Women at Work | Kiley Peters | Defining Success
Defining Success: In the world of entrepreneurship, it’s easy to get excited.

 

Start getting your feet wet. Take a look at something like our accelerator program, other accelerator programs, or communities. Ask questions, get curious, and have informational interviews with people to have an understanding of what it looks like. Start small, set up, and figure out what works and what doesn’t work. Figure out who your audience is, what problems you solve, and how you solve them. Start refining that until you make enough money that you are ready to make that leap.

The other thing I’d say is to start saving as much as you can from that steady paycheck because a lot of entrepreneurs don’t make money in the first six, sometimes several months of their business. That’s hard. You want to understand what your living expenses are and be realistic with yourself. Is it $2,000, $5,000 or $10,000? Try to save as much as you can to cover that so you’re not in a place where you can’t continue the company because you’ve run out of cash. The number one thing that kills most businesses is the lack of cashflow.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on the differences between intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship. It sounds like, from an intrapreneurship, you’re still getting that paycheck. You’re able to stretch, push, and change an organization. There’s more of that safety net. Do you see any other differences?

Outside of the ownership mindset and taking ownership of that, they’re entirely different because of the risk factor. For entrepreneurship, it’s all on you. You can build a team, but if you’re the owner, it’s still all on you. The greatest benefit is within an organization, you have that security, safety net, and a built-in team. You don’t have to go into recruiting a team, do your own marketing, and do biz dev unless those things are your job. When entrepreneurship, you are all of those things. I would recommend delegating bits and pieces of them, but it takes time to afford to do that.

That’s why I believe entrepreneurship is not the path for everybody, and that’s okay. We would all be screwed. If every single person wanted to be their own boss, we would have no teams. That’d be a big problem. This is also, and maybe even in some cases, more applicable to people who work within a small business. I have a friend who has a successful small business. She has two key employees. Over the last year or so, she’s invested in them and built them up to be intrapreneurs. They brought in 40% of the revenue for the company.

As a founder, at least in the early stages, you are bringing in the majority of the revenue. Having a team that can produce that much revenue not only diversifies the opportunities that come in but also makes it a lot easier for the founder to start thinking bigger and build new revenue streams and partnerships. For anybody reading, no matter where you’re working, whether it’s for yourself or somebody else, this opportunity to take ownership and make a change is huge. I’ll even say a big kudos to my team. On a daily basis, they surprise and delight me by saying, “This thing came up, but we already solved it, and here’s the solution moving on.” Thanks so much.

You don’t have to. It is the founder and the lead entrepreneur. You have a good team behind you.

I’ll reiterate. That’s all that matters. People are the only thing that matters in my book. The world does not move without human beings. When we fail to invest in them, we are failing to invest in the greatest thing that could possibly support us and move us forward.

What are your thoughts on AI and that whole thing? I love that you’re like, “My people are the center of everything.” There’s so much technology advancing. It’s been advancing for years, but it’s speeding up. What are your thoughts on the use of AI in business?

People and technology are the two things you need to make a business run. People matter most because I still don’t think AI and robots can replace human beings, the relationships they can build, and how they can connect with individuals. No matter what business you are, you’re selling to a human. Depending on the type of work, human relationships and connections are important.

People matter most because AI and robots cannot replace human beings, the relationships they can build, and how they can connect with individuals. Click To Tweet

AI is a big, scary, awesome thing. For a lot of industries, people are scared that their jobs are no longer going to be needed because AI is taking over. When it comes to operating a business and leveraging AI, there are a lot of things that you can use AI for. There are different roles that you can break down. I always recommend that leveraging technology to streamline your operations, systems, and processes and reduce costs is huge. I don’t think that AI has, nor do I hope it will, entirely replace human beings because we all become consumers. If we’re all consumers, we have no money because we’re not making any money to produce anything. That’s going to be quite imbalanced if that ends up being the case.

There are a lot of things that you can leverage AI for. From a design standpoint, Canva has become a huge staple in a lot of small businesses. Even creatives are using ChatGPT to help with initial brainstorms and activities. There’s a lot of AI that can support different financial functions. I was speaking to somebody. They’re in the finance world. They said, “By 2030, we don’t think there’ll be any need for financial roles within businesses.” I was like, “That’s a bold statement. We’ll see what happens in a few years.

I come from a creative space and an agency space. A few years ago, this was also one of the things that made me decide that I didn’t want to be in the marketing space anymore. I was at a conference. Somebody quite reputable set on stage. They were like, “AI is coming. It’s going to change everything. What it doesn’t do and can’t do yet is it can’t make human connections and think critically or strategically.”

If you are building a business and those happen to be some of your skillsets, I would recommend leaning into those because you’ll have greater stability in the foreseeable future. Anything commoditized is being commoditized. It’s cheaper and faster, and in some cases, it’s even better. There are a lot of technologies that I would recommend people leverage, but don’t forget about the importance of building a team, culture, and relationships because that’s the bedrock of business.

We talked about some of the hurdles for intrapreneurs. You may say, “How long do we have, Jen?” There are a lot of hurdles to running your own business, but what are the main or big hurdles that you see?

The biggest hurdles come down to basics. It depends on where you are in your business. For those who have been established for a while, scaling tends to be quite challenging because the bigger you get, the more difficult situations you run into. One of the greatest antidotes to that is putting a solid operational system in place.

When you have an operational system in place that can scale with you, it makes it a lot easier. For those who are getting started, cashflow is almost always number one, especially since the last couple of years have been weird. Many small business owners are like, “Yeah, we’re killing it. Everything is gravy.” It’s been weird because people are spending money in different ways.

Cashflow is big. Make sure you’re clear about who your audience is, the problems you solve, and how you solve them. Without that clarity, it is much more difficult for somebody to acknowledge and identify you as a solution to their problem and, therefore, pay you. Sometimes, I’ve run into a lot of people who feel strongly about serving a certain audience but understand that the audience can’t pay them in the way that they need to make money.

Brave Women at Work | Kiley Peters | Defining Success
Defining Success: Make sure you’re clear on who your audience is. It makes it much more difficult for somebody to acknowledge the problems you solve and how you solve them without clarity.

 

It’s understanding the art of the pivot and continuing to serve that audience but doing it in a different way that requires less time or adding and expanding your audiences so that you can diversify where your revenue’s coming from. Audience problems, solutions, cashflow, and people. It’s hard to build a business with crappy talent, people who are purely transactional and come and go quite quickly. There are a lot of studies and research that back that up.

Every single time, invest in solid people. Pay them more because their output and productivity are going to be significantly better than the bottom of the barrel. If you continue to invest in them, they will not leave you as fast, and you don’t have to spend the time, money, and energy to replace them because that becomes a part-time job, especially in a small business.

If you have a small team of five people, if one person leaves, that’s 20% of your workforce. You have to stop everything and fill that hole, whether it’s you personally or you spending the time to find somebody else to fill that hole. Even when you bring somebody in, they’re usually not all that helpful until three months later, assuming they’re still there. Invest in people and be mindful of finding the right individuals. Sometimes, that’s an external partner, and sometimes that’s an internal contractor or employee.

For intrapreneurs, when you hire in a company speaking to that, I always say, “Hire slow.” I have a situation where we’re looking for someone as we speak, and I’d rather take more time and feel good about who we’re hiring rather than slam someone in. You’re going to have to eventually let that person go. It’s the old adage of hire slow and fire fast. For an intrapreneur, not that I don’t want you doing all the work like we don’t want you, Kiley, or anyone else doing all the work, but you need to make sure you hire the right people for building your team.

I read Mike Al’s new book All In. He talks a lot about all of this in that book. I highly recommend that book. There are two things that he brought up regarding hiring people that might be relevant here. He was talking about the process of hiring people. Instead of interviewing people, give them actual hands-on opportunities to show that they are a good fit. If you hire somebody purely off of interviews, you’re only hiring somebody who interviews well. We’ve all hired those people and later found out, “You’re a good interviewer, congratulations.” Giving them opportunities to do a workshop, get their hands dirty, do exercises, and shadow for a day tend to be opportunities that help both parties confirm that it’s a good fit.

Jen, you said, “Hire slow, fire fast.” I agree with that. One thing that he challenged in that book was the idea of fire fast. Sometimes, this idea of everybody can be an A player, but it’s up to leadership to identify where and how. It might not be the right fit for the company, and it doesn’t work out. Identifying and investing in our people so that we understand their strengths and weaknesses and how to elevate their strengths might give us an opportunity to shift them versus completely letting them go.

Brave Women at Work | Kiley Peters | Defining Success
Defining Success: Identifying and investing in our people so that we understand their strengths and weaknesses and how to elevate them sometimes allows us to shift them.

 

If they’re a terrible fit, get them out of there before they contaminate everybody else because one toxic person spreads quite quickly. It was an interesting opportunity to think about how we can lean into people who might have potential but are potentially in the wrong role and restructure things to not lose potentially great talent.

It’s a different way to look at it. Thanks for sharing that. We’ll link the book and the other resources in the show notes. It also goes back to the top right of our conversation, finding your purpose and what lights you up. They’re in the thing that doesn’t light them up, but as soon as you align with that, they will shine and be an A player.

That’s a big opportunity for leadership to see those things in people. As we talk about entrepreneurship, the ultimate leadership status is to build a leadership team of entrepreneurs. Those people, because they have a closer understanding of who they are, are therefore more tuned in and better coaches to manage the people and lead the individuals that report to them and give them that opportunity, as well as insight to help rearrange if needed.

For those folks that have teams, and not every one of my people or prior teams have been intrapreneurs, when you have some intrapreneurs in your team, it makes your position easier because they’re not doing task A, coming back and go, “What now, boss?” What about you gave that example to your team, Kiley? It’s like, “We had this issue. We did task A, but we started thinking. We went to this because we have a solution for task A that moved to task B.” You’re like, “I don’t have to do all the thinking and strategizing. I can think about growing the business or the team in a new way.” Having intrapreneurs in your team is awesome.

One of the things to perpetuate or propel is, as a leader, giving ownership to people. We’re in the process of launching a new podcast. I talked to somebody on my team. I was like, “I want you to own this. This is yours. This is everything that we know from launching the podcast, which we have already been running for the last several years, but you’ve been running this for several months. Take what you know. This is yours. Here you go. What do you need from me?” It’s empowering to give people that ownership.

Can you share with the new podcast? Is it going to be a second podcast? Is it going to be a replacement for your current podcast?

No, it’s a second podcast. I run a podcast called Welcome to Eloma, where I interview entrepreneurs and people who are of interest to entrepreneurs and executives. A lot of people have said, “Kiley, you need to use Welcome to Eloma as a sales tool.” I was like, “Yeah, I don’t know. That doesn’t feel right.” I get a lot of people asking me for business advice on a regular basis. I was like, “There’s something here.”

We’re launching a second podcast called Make Business Personal, which is my whole ethos. It’ll be a weekly podcast of short episodes. It’ll start with some guest episodes, but most of it will be me on a regular basis, sharing little tidbits, business snippets, and tangible takeaways. We’re planning on launching that in April 2024.

You’re a busy lady. It’ll be on all platforms, I assume? Let’s also talk about some of your resources. Tell us about your intrapreneur development program. You mentioned accelerate, but tell me about that because this could benefit a lot of women reading here.

We’re bringing these entrepreneurial mindsets and skillsets into organizations to help elevate their leadership team. One of the reasons for this is, for anybody reading, if you’re working within an organization and you are like, “Our team keeps turning over. We’d love to increase talent retention. Our team keeps asking for additional leadership opportunities. We’d love to help empower them to think more critically or problem-solve more independently. We’d love to see our bottom line improve and increase profitability, productivity, sales, and any of those things.” The intrapreneur training program would be a great fit for you.

What we’ve developed is a series of a fairly customized program. We have introductory workshops, in-person workshops, in-person workshop series, and a more robust program typically spanned over about six months because if we’re looking to transform the way people act and think, we need to give them some time to start practicing some of those things.

We focus on adopting an ownership mindset, curiosity, innovation, collaboration over competition, and building influence. Something that we hear a lot about is that companies are trying to increase the amount of influence their leadership team has within the company, client relationships, and communities, as well as the idea of progress over perfection.

We’re working with the leaders and emerging leaders. We’re also working with the organization as a whole to make sure that, as we develop these intrapreneurs, they have the opportunity to succeed. If we build them in one way and leadership is not willing to embrace failure, innovation, or new ideas, it’s not going to go anywhere.

We’ve built this to be a customizable program. There are a lot of exercises, team building, and in-person opportunities, but the robust six-month program also includes virtual group coaching, online on-demand content, and in-person workshops. We can tailor it based on whatever the company itself is particularly struggling with and build a program for them.

I also wanted to mention on the entrepreneurial side, I went and downloaded a few of them, and you’ve been generous with your freebies on that side. You have the starter kit and financial assessment. Are there any other tools that you would recommend our entrepreneurs and side hustlers check out on your website?

I would recommend the starter kit and the financial assessment. I built the starter kit in 2018 because I wanted to capture everything I had learned in the first few years of running a business before I got far away from the first few years in an effort to try to help people navigate those first few years more easily than I had.

I built the financial assessment because one of the greatest challenges I hear a lot, especially from women as they’re thinking about making the leap into entrepreneurship, is they’re worried about finances. They don’t know if they’re going to be able to afford to do it, how it all breaks out, and what that life would look like.

The greatest challenge when someone leaps into entrepreneurship is their finances. Click To Tweet

The financial assessment is a fancy spreadsheet. The program is in Kajabi, but it’s a fancy schmancy spreadsheet. It walks you through the differences between being a W-2 employee somewhere else, being your own owner, and the shift in mindset when it comes to money. For anybody working for an employer, you make a paycheck, and all of your taxes come out of that money.

Let’s say you’re making $10,000 a month, and after you get taxes, you make $7,500. If you think about this from a business owner standpoint, you’re losing 25% of your income. If you’re a business owner, you can take a lot of the things that you’re going to pay for with those post-tax dollars from your employer.

As an owner, you can run some of those expenses legally through your business to reduce how much money you need to pay yourself and all the other things. In that case, you’re almost getting a 25% raise because you’re not having to pay taxes on some of those expenses. These are things like home office, car, internet, phone bill, travel, dinners, and experiences. The mindset shift of strategically increasing your business expenses to cover your personal expenses legally shifts because there are a lot of illegal things. We’re the legal ones.

We’re focusing on the legal.

I have one spreadsheet that walks through that. I have another spreadsheet that walks through how you can productize your services or another that talks about your time. A lot of people who are working 40 hours a week are like, “If my billable time is $100 an hour, I’m going to bill that 40 hours a week running my business, and that’s what I can make.” No, that’s not the case.

In my experience, anybody who has a team is billing maybe 40% of their time. If we’re looking at solopreneurs, they might be billing maybe between 65% to 75% of their time. Everything else, depending on who you’ve hired and how you’re building your business, you have to do the admin stuff. You have paperwork, marketing, biz dev, content to create, admin backside, payroll, and all of the other things of running your business, working in your business, and flow of your business.

A lot of people forget about that. People end up undercharging for their services. They wonder why they’re working all the time and not making any money because they don’t know their numbers and haven’t run the financials. They don’t understand how they’re spending their time. The financial assessment is designed to try to help alleviate some of those challenges and provide some insight into how you can back up those things.

The financial assessment is designed to help alleviate some of the challenges and provide insight into how to back up those things. Click To Tweet

People who want to run a business are like, “Kiley, you scared me.” Even though it’s hard, it’s worth it. I mean, you’re doing it, and you’re doing it successfully. It’s a great exercise in personal development and mindset, and it’s worth it. Do you agree?

It depends. I don’t think everybody is meant to be an entrepreneur, and that’s okay. That doesn’t make anybody better, worse, or different. It depends on what you want and your life circumstances. If you’re a single mom, and you’re trying to figure out how to take care of your kids, pay for them to go to daycare, and make a living, working a cushy 9:00 to 5:00 job is the best thing for you now. Starting your own business and not having to pay for daycare because you have more time to be with your children might be the way to go.

It’s a personal experience and choice. It depends on what you want. I know plenty of people who are like, “I need to do this for this season of life. Once I get through this, I will have my cash cushion saved. My kids will be in school. I can pursue this next thing.” That’s okay. It depends on what you want. The majority of people I talk to are like, “I want to own my time. I want to be my own boss. I’m sick of helping somebody else make money. That’s why I want to do this.” For those people, it’s yes, but it’s not easy. There are all these glamorous stories like, “I work four hours a week, and I make bajillion dollars.” It’s not true. Don’t listen to that.

Don’t read that book or listen to it. Go and get some of those resources that we mentioned. Kiley, what are 1 to 2 ways that you believe women can be braver at work?

First, ask for what you need and stand up for yourself, and second, support one another. As women, we have come a long way from where we once were in terms of support for one another. There’s a lot that we can continue to do, whether that’s standing up for somebody in the workforce and having their back, supporting somebody’s small business, and sharing their deals, promos, or social media posts. Continue to support each other because when we all win, we all win.

How can women connect with you and your work online?

You can check out my company, RAYNEIX.com, and KileyPeters.com. You can find me on Instagram and LinkedIn. You’ll find all the information about our entrepreneur training program and the accelerator. Sign up for our newsletter. You can check out my podcast and some of our one-on-one opportunities to work together. We’re also rolling out some more exit planning services in 2024.

It sounds like you’re going to have a wonderful and power-packed year. Kiley, thank you so much for the work you do and for being on the show.

Thank you so much for having me.

That does it for my discussion with Kiley. I hope you found our conversation both valuable and inspiring. As a reminder, please rate, review, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The show is also available on any other platform you enjoy. Until next time, show up, define success on your terms, and be brave.

 

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About Kiley Peters

Brave Women at Work | Kiley Peters | Defining SuccessKiley Peters is a keynote speaker, international award-winning serial entrepreneur, and executive leadership and business coach and consultant with over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience.

Many know her as the founder of Brainchild Studios®, her international award-winning digital content marketing agency which she built to seven figures in revenue, six figures in profit and 30 team members over six years. She dissolved at the end of 2022 in order to pursue helping women small business owners live the lives they want, build smarter companies, and keep more of what they make.

She now spends her time with RAYNE IX®, her executive leadership consultancy which helps women business owners successfully exit their companies by establishing a clear personal plan, increasing company value, and developing their leadership team to think like owners. She has built numerous digital learning courses for entrepreneurs to guide them through their entrepreneurial journey. In 2022, she launched her podcast, Welcome to Eloma, a podcast for visionaries, entrepreneurs, and business owners who want to become better leaders, people, and pioneers.

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