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Episode 8: The Power of Intentional Scaling: 7 Common Pitfalls and How to Navigate Them with Andrea Elibero

Podcast Transcript

Shelly [00:00:01]:

Hey, Andrea. Thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today. I’m so excited to chat with you.

Andrea [00:00:07]:

Me too. Thank you so much, Shelley, for having me.

Shelly [00:00:09]:

Yes. If you could start by just telling us a little bit about yourself, where you’re at, how you got here.

Andrea [00:00:17]:

Yes. So I am a soulful scaling strategist and business coach. My journey started back in 2019, So I really wanted freedom and I wanted to work from my laptop. I have a nursing and psychology background. And I scoured the internet and discovered the world of virtual assistance. And so I became a VA. I accidentally created a VA agency shortly after that. It was not aligned, so I kind of burned that down. And then I became a certified online business manager, so helping to manage the businesses, obviously, of a 6 and 7 figure entrepreneurs, online entrepreneurs. And then I wanted to go deeper than that. And so I really focus on I now have a partnership. So where I do the these business management and I focus on the strategy. My partner focuses on the systems. And then I also do my coaching and I help, service providers to scale their businesses and and aligned an intentional way.

Shelly [00:01:21]:

I love that. We had a similar start, I believe. I I have a medical background and started as a VA and slowly kind of evolved from there, so that’s really cool. And where are you located currently?

Andrea [00:01:33]:

Oh, I live in Spain, so I am American, and I moved to Southern Spain a little over a year ago with my 2 giant dogs and my partner.

Shelly [00:01:44]:

That is so cool. So do you work with people, like, all over the world or mostly in Spain? Or —

Andrea [00:01:51]:

Yeah. Actually, it don’t work with any openings. number 5 ever worked with anybody in spam yet, but, yeah, global. A lot of Americans, I’ve I’ve definitely had clients ranging from living in Bali to California. So it’s spanning spanning everywhere, which is really the beauty of what we do.

Shelly [00:02:08]:

Yes. Yes. I love that. I love how you can just, yeah, work with anyone anywhere and you get to know so many different types of people, so that’s my favorite part. So we are gonna talk today about scaling intentionally. Andrea has a lot of cool things that she is very passionate about scaling and 7 scaling mistakes that you think entrepreneurs make. So Let’s start there. What’s the biggest mistake that you see people make?

Andrea [00:02:34]:

My god. Could I pick just one? There’s There’s so many. I think that the biggest is a that would be a tough one, but I think the one that comes to mind for me because I am so all about intentionality is really just letting your business run you and not being in charge of your business. And I see so many entrepreneurs who have these amazingly successful businesses but and they make loads of money, but they’re not doing what they actually want to do. So not being in charge of your business and not and, like, letting it run you is is really a a big mistake that I that I see.

Shelly [00:03:15]:

And it’s not why you’re so passionate about, like, scaling intentionally because we kinda just go with the flow and aren’t being intentional about things. And suddenly, we’re like, working around the clock. We don’t know where our time went. We’re like, what is happening?

Andrea [00:03:30]:

Brady. Exactly. And I know we’ve all been there. Yes. Because we all we all chose this path. Right? We chose this entrepreneurial journey. We chose to leave our quote, unquote, stability of these 9 to 5 jobs to to have this dream, theoretically, to have our dream lives. And so a lot of times we get into this, and then we’re doing the same of things we did when in our 9 to

Shelly [00:03:53]:


Andrea [00:03:53]:

or we’re not, you know, it’s we’re not living that dream life. So for me, it’s about working backwards because there are a 1000 Gazillion ways to scale a business, and there’s no right way. There’s no wrong way. There’s so many different ways that people can grow and scale. And so why not do it in a way that supports your dream life in a way that you love and in a way where you get to have fun and do what you enjoy every day.

Shelly [00:04:15]:

Yeah. So What does scaling actually mean? Can you explain that?

Andrea [00:04:20]:

Yes. I think that’s a great question because I feel like I for sure, throw this term around so so much. And then sometimes maybe I forget that, like, oh, like, maybe it doesn’t sound, or I don’t know. Like, oh, what does that mean, or does that mean or they have preconceived notions of what scaling means, but to me, it really just means growing your business, growing your business, helping more serving more people, and hopefully, they’re not working more and more and more and more.

Shelly [00:04:45]:

Yeah. So what are the top 7 scaling mistakes Can we cut our returns?

Andrea [00:04:50]:

Yeah. For sure. So one of them is not having a plan. So this kind of, you know, I talked a moment ago about really being intentional with your business. And the same goes for, okay, we want to grow. We have things to do. And a really big thing that I do as a as an online business manager is help people create their 90 day plan. Like, we need to have a vision or else we really won’t know Like, we’re just kind of like squirrel, squirrel, going here and there and doing all of these things. Right? Without plan and without goals, like, we don’t know what we’re doing, and we wanna accomplish things. So It’s amazing. It is amazing to have what having a plan will really do. Yeah. The second one is focusing on the wrong things or not focusing at all. And what I mean by this is that if you are a you’re stepping into you’re growing your skill in your business. You’re stepping into, like, your CEO pants. Right? You’re putting these on. And if you’re doing that, your focus really needs to be on the things that are moving the needle, the things that only you can do, the things that you know, you can’t outsource to other people, the things that are helping you to grow and etcetera, etcetera. If you’re spending 2 days because something on your website is broken and you’re doing that, This is not where your focus. This is not CEO level. You know, like, this is not where your focus should be. Your focus needs to be on the important things that are actually moving your business. You’re moving the needle in your business.

Shelly [00:06:14]:

Yeah. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it. Right?

Andrea [00:06:18]:

Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. And because the payoff is not there. Right? Like, like, what imagine what could have been happening then and with the same example, right, like, You’d spend 2 days. Something’s on the back end of your website. Something’s broken. Like, I really wanna fix this because I can do it. Great. Well, imagine what you’ve missed out on because you spent all the time doing that. instead of nurturing your leads, growing your audience, like, you know, all of those things. Like, you’re not serving in the best way. You’re not serving your your audience in the best way, the people that love you, you’re not doing those things by by doing that. So, yes, a

Shelly [00:06:50]:

100%. Yeah. I know a lot of CEOs think It’s just easier if I just go ahead and do it. Or the only I can do it is as good as it is. So yeah.

Andrea [00:06:59]:

Yeah. That that goes into, and I know, you know, that goes into the creating the SOPs and the training and and and all of that and and really having that mindset of letting go because that’s really stopping. That’s like stopping the growth. is this book. Oh, only I can do it in that way.

Shelly [00:07:15]:

Yeah. That’s a huge mindset shift for sure.

Andrea [00:07:17]:

And the third thing, — is being the bottleneck because everything is dependent on you. So that leads into or what we were just saying leads directly into this. Right? So, oh, I’m the only one that can do this. I’m the master. You know, I hold the keys to everything, and and you can’t. At some point, you really can’t. because it’s going to stop. You’re going to be the bottleneck. Things are not gonna be able to move forward, and you don’t, like, you don’t want that to happen. You know, so it’s really about building this team that you trust having the SOPs, having the systems in place. So there’s checks and balances and this and that and just entrust — and shifting your mindset to be able to let that happen. And number 4, thinking you need

Shelly [00:08:02]:


Andrea [00:08:03]:

team members and

Shelly [00:08:04]:


Andrea [00:08:06]:

tools to run your business.

Shelly [00:08:09]:

Well, those numbers. Yes.

Andrea [00:08:11]:

I’ve seen this exactly the first. this has been a thing. seen. I think it was I don’t know if it was a trend or just I don’t know. Like, it’s a thing that I’ve just seen a lot recently is that it when you have so many team members, things really complicated, and you have so many tools, things get really complicated. So running your business efficiently with the with the team members that that are essential and and the and also the opposite of this, right, having one team member that does everything, this also is not is not a thing. Like, I I

Shelly [00:08:43]:

Andrea [00:08:43]:

The unicorn. — really big. Oh my god. I was gonna say that. The unicorn in VA. It drives me. Oh, it’s such a pet peeve of mine. It drives me crazy. There is no unicorn VA, and you don’t need 15,000 team members. So in the middle. Yep. Yeah. So being really strategic, right, about the people on your team and saying like, okay. What do I actually need? What do we have going on and simplifying your processes? There are some big names I signed up for a program that had a Google doc sales page, literal Google doc sales page. Right? Like, we don’t need And and I’ve also worked with clients who who really co over complicated launches and this with all the, like, extra tags and this and that. And, you know, tags. Yes. Let’s segment, but, like, over tagging over this, overcomplicating things is really a thing that really stops everything from moving forward. So

Shelly [00:09:36]:

— I totally agree. Yep. Been there. Done that too.

Andrea [00:09:40]:

And then I think that leads nicely into number 5, which should be working to the point of burnout.

Shelly [00:09:45]:

Yes. Yes. Yes. We’ve all been there. And and and when you’re when you work to that point, then is too late almost. He just — Mhmm.

Andrea [00:09:55]:

Yeah. Because your your body is going to give out. Your mind is going to something is going to because because you can’t you can’t do it. And then this is a surefire way that you’re gonna stop. You know, like, at least momentarily, things are not going to move forward because you physically can’t So take care of yourself. Your health and your well-being and everything is really the most important, thing that you can do to serve your business and to serve other people. So really, like, it’ll be okay. I used to, you know, I to be a nurse. Like, nobody’s dying in our online businesses. Like, we’ll be okay. You know, like, and

Shelly [00:10:31]:

they’re, yeah, like, coming from the medical world, I’ve felt the same way, like, working as a VA, and people would get stuck set. And I’m like, but, really, it’s it’s okay.

Andrea [00:10:40]:

Right? I’m like, Literally, like, nobody is dying. Nobody’s having a stroke. Like, it’s okay. really being able to have the tools to have the the well, I’ll say the mindset again, but to have, you know, the tools and and in place to be able to make it through, to move through the emotions, because this is a very roller coaster world. Right? Having a business is roller coaster, things happen. It’s up and down. You know, this is we signed up for this, probably most likely not realizing that this is how it’s going to be. It’s also the most amazing growth journey that you can be on as an individual. And because you can — scale and grow and have the most successful business with any strategy because every strategy works as long as it’s an aligned strategy and as long as you’re you know, you’re feeling into it. So the other piece that I see, the reason why people give up is because of their mindset. So it’s really a balance here.

Shelly [00:11:41]:

Yeah. I agree. I love that because I don’t know how many times I’ve had, you know, weeks where I’m on high, high, and everything’s going great. And, you know, some weeks, I’m like, I’m going back to the lab that I’m just gonna go back to work.

Andrea [00:11:56]:


Shelly [00:11:57]:

The 5. Yeah. So definitely need a a good mindset and have those tools

Andrea [00:12:02]:

for sure. Mhmm. And then that brings us to number 7, which I have alluded to, which is the 7th scaling mistake is assuming that there is only one way to scale.

Shelly [00:12:14]:

But, yeah, sometimes we get tunnel vision, don’t we?

Andrea [00:12:17]:

Yes. Yes. Tunnel vision, the cookie cutter strategies, you see a lot of people out there promoting that this is the way, and that’s it. You can’t do anything else. Are people saying you should do this? You should do that. And, really, growing your business is really about tapping into your own magic. It’s about tapping into, like, what’s inside of you, what’s in your personality, what well for you and doing that and not doing these things that are prescribed to you. And just because some big names said that this is the way to do it, like, 3 years ago, doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you. Yeah. And if you try that, Right? And it doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means that your magic lies in somewhere different and did go down that route and uncover that. and to figure out what works for you.

Shelly [00:13:05]:

Yeah. Yeah. Totally great because I feel like some of the best businesses have been built when you’re thinking outside the box and doing something that nobody else has done. And when you’re listening to your audience, if you stop and slow down and listen to your audience and give them what they’re asking for instead of what you think they need. Yes.

Andrea [00:13:24]:

Or you package it up. You give them what you know they need and what they’re asking for together. Yeah. There you go.

Shelly [00:13:31]:

Best of 5th worlds.

Andrea [00:13:32]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No. Totally. Because I do this Instagram live series called soulprenewer scaling stories, and people tell how they scaled, how they grew their businesses. And I do just do this on my Instagram weekly and also turning into a podcast shameless plug. But the thing that I have taken away from this is that it’s when These people, when my guests break the rules and when they do what they want to do and what they’re passionate about is when they get the quote unquote success when they’re happy, when they’re excited. Because when you’re doing things that you feel aligned with that are intentional, then you’re so excited about it. that that’s magnetic to your audience. Right? That’s, like, people are excited about it too because you’re so excited about it.

Shelly [00:14:14]:

And if you’re unsure, people can tell. They know. or if you’re not excited or if you’re like, I think this will work. You know, I’m not sure. Let’s just try it with that kinda attitude. People know.

Andrea [00:14:26]:

Yes. Yes. And I think that there’s there’s a need for that too in a way, especially when you’re when you are newer because people can shy away from just doing it at all in the first place. You know? And sometimes you don’t know if it’s for you. So it’s kinda like, I almost feel like you almost to go through this period of like, okay. I don’t wanna do this, but I help do it. I’m gonna do it. And and then you get more comfortable, and then you kind of figure out the way that works for you. So it’s kind of like, to me, it’s a whole it’s a whole journey.

Shelly [00:14:55]:

Yeah. Yeah. And then when I think about, like, when I first started, several years ago as a VA and some of the things I was doing, I’m like, I’ve come a long way for sure. So, yeah, is definitely a journey. And then I have a long way to go. I’m sure.

Andrea [00:15:10]:

Right. But and that’s, like, that’s the best part about it, though, is that is that is kind of this never ending. There’s no end to this journey, and there’s so much that you can do and learn and that it never gets boring, you know, because there’s always something changing and — out there, and you’re always meeting interesting people. So so that’s part of the fun is that there is no end end to look back on what you’re doing when you first started out. You’re like, oh, gosh. I

Shelly [00:15:35]:

know when I look at, like, some of the graphics and stuff, I used to be like, oh my god. Yes.

Andrea [00:15:40]:

Yes. I really want to I know I really wanna archive my Instagram before a certain point, but I’m like, no. I’m gonna leave it up. Just This is as archaeological evidence. My evolution. Yeah.

Shelly [00:15:53]:

I like that. So let’s talk about, like, hiring.

Andrea [00:15:58]:


Shelly [00:15:58]:

know a lot of people are solo preneurs, and they’re ready to scale, and they’re not exactly sure when they should start adding team members and how do you figure out, like, when is the best time and who should you bring on?

Andrea [00:16:13]:

The best time to hire, I would say, is before you have to hire. A lot of people, there’s a strange balance that happens where it’s like, oh, I’m making x amount of money. I’m scared to hire because that’s going to cost me x amount of money. And what will I do then? I’ll be earning less. But what they don’t realize then, then what happens is very quickly you get to this point of no return almost, where it’s like, now I’m completely overwhelmed, and I don’t even have time to set up this team member for success. So it’s it’s before this point of overwhelm. is when one should hire their first team member, which is a very strange way of saying it, but that makes sense at all. When you’re thinking about it, honestly, when you’re thinking like, oh, I’m close is probably when you do it. Yeah. And the reason being is that this is an investment, not inexpensive.

Shelly [00:17:00]:

Yes. I love looking at at it that way because you’re gonna have a ROI once you bring on a team member, and you’re gonna scale and make even more money. And, yeah, it’s definitely an investment. in your business and in that person.

Andrea [00:17:14]:

Yes. Exactly. and and then who should it be? So what I like for people to do because it’s different. A lot of times it’s a general VA. Right? A lot of times this is who one needs to bring on. And at the same time, this is not always the case. So what I advise people to do when they’re thinking, okay. I wanna bring somebody on, but to do what is to actually to start tracking. What what am I doing day to day? What are the things that somebody both could do and that I don’t wanna be doing? And kind of track this over a week or so, maybe 2 weeks, and then see what you come with, and that gives you more of a clear idea of what you can be handing off so that way you can focus on the things that are going to move the needle. Yeah. that only you can do.

Shelly [00:17:58]:

Yep. Exactly. And don’t look for that unicorn.

Andrea [00:18:01]:

No. No unicorns. No unicorns. They’re very beautiful, but let’s keep them in the fairy tales because one person, please don’t hire one person to do graphics and tech and setting up your Dubsado and your social media strategy and, like, you know, this is

Shelly [00:18:17]:

not fair to the business or that person. or anything. Yeah. Mhmm.

Andrea [00:18:23]:

And there’s a second piece to the hiring, which is a lot of people say, oh, I hired somebody, but it didn’t work out. A lot of times, it didn’t work out because it’s your fault, so not necessarily because it was their fault. Why do I say this? Because when we bring somebody into our business, it’s our responsibility to set them up for success. It’s our responsibility to Start making these SOPs, which standard operating procedures with lit or instructions, which literally could be a Loom video, a screen recording of walking through what you’re doing. and then they can make it into an, you know, an official SOP. But, like, giving them instructions, having clear deadlines, having a project management tool, where you communicate or not, you know, texting and emailing and sending a carrier pigeon and a Facebook message and, you know, all of these things. Like, so that way, nobody knows what’s going on and is very unclear. You know, like, this is doing into service to you and your business. So, really, let’s stick to some of our key things like a ClickUp project management tool type of a situation where It’s very clear where they know what they are doing with a slack for communications where, you know, this is how we communicate having meetings and checking in with them, making sure that they understand. So so taking the time to actually train them and record things check the things and having feedback and and and whatnot. So I’ve seen a lot of mistakes and a lot of things, and I know that people are really busy, like I said, because they’re hiring because they’re so overwhelmed, but really taking the time at the beginning to set somebody up is priceless because some point, that person’s not gonna be there. Somebody else will be there in that role, and you already have all these things set up so they can step into that role seamlessly. and it’s just easier. It’s really preparation for the long term.

Shelly [00:20:13]:

Yeah. Yeah. I love that as someone who has worked for clients who didn’t have those things.

Andrea [00:20:19]:

Yes. We all have. We all have. Uh-huh.

Shelly [00:20:22]:

Yeah. It’s very, very nice to be able to be onboarded properly and, like, the tools and And you know where to go and who to go to for what and when and how and all that things.

Andrea [00:20:34]:

Yes. And if you’re on the other side and if there are service writers listening, who, you know, and their client is like this, helping them set it up. You’re doing such a great service for them. You know, instead of just going along, I know a lot of service providers, like, oh, I don’t wanna, you know, step in and tell them what to do, but this is a really good opportunity to be an authority, you know, and Stephanie McKay, like, let’s set this up because x yz and, like, this is how I work. This is what we’re going to do. And they will thank you for it eventually. And if they don’t, then they’re green client to begin with, and it’s okay.

Shelly [00:21:05]:

Yeah. A 100%. Well, do you have anything that you would like to share with the audience?

Andrea [00:21:10]:

Oh, oh, I have so many. So if you like these scaling mistakes that you are interested in a line scaling and intentional scaling, I have a weekly email series. That’s super quick tips directly in your inbox where I go through so much about scaling and growing your business that I would love to share with you all. You can find that. I imagine in the show notes. I will

Shelly [00:21:34]:

share that. — link in the show notes.

Andrea [00:21:37]:

Yes. And please come inside. Hi to me on Instagram is where I mostly hang out. I would love to to chat and connect and with you all at soulful Biz Coach Andrea.

Shelly [00:21:48]:

Hey. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. I really enjoyed talking to you about All things scaling. So exciting.

Andrea [00:21:57]:

Thank you so much. It was really fun. I hope you stay in touch and do it again, and and keep talking scaling all day every day. Yeah. For sure. Thank you.

Podcast Transcript

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