Here at Hello Seven, we’re on a mission to close the wealth gap for historically excluded entrepreneurs and make the world a better place, and there’s a ton of work by a lot of people going into making this vision a reality. And on this episode, you get to meet some of the team that is making it happen.
My committed team does the best job of protecting my time as the leader of Hello Seven and, if you want to be successful, you need a supportive community like this behind you. If you want to know how to get your business running like a well-oiled machine so you have time to do what you do best, this episode is full of the most valuable insights available, whatever industry you’re in.
Tune in this week to meet some of the Hello Seven team. They’re discussing their roles, how they handle their areas of expertise, how this team grew (and is still growing), and why having a team like this is the key to building a successful, sustainable, mission-driven business.
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What You'll Learn from this Episode:
- How each of these amazing team members found Hello Seven and how they knew it was a good fit.
- What changes when each member of your team is fully accountable for what they do in your business.
- Why, no matter what level your business is at, you can start laying the foundation to build your team right now.
- Some simple ways you can start handing over responsibilities, leaving you free to handle the bigger-picture stuff.
- The power of just letting your team decide and how this helps your team grow as leaders in their own right.
- How we create a transparent and accountable environment, so the team sees the fruits of their labor, while also getting the corrections they need.
- What this incredible team is working on improving here at Hello Seven in 2023.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Check out our game-changing program, We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club, and learn how to make that cash today!
- Follow me on Instagram – and ask me your million-dollar questions!
- We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power by Rachel Rodgers
- Are you ready to become a certified Hello Seven Coach? Learn more and get on the waitlist today!
- The Hello Seven Foundation: Website | Instagram
- Hello Seven – Glow Up
*** Some of the links shared here are affiliate links – we only serve as affiliates for products we believe in.
Imagining your best life and you actually living it, that’s terrifying sometimes. So there was a lot of imposter syndrome and things that I had to work through in my personal self, my personal outlook on life. But the more I said no to those things that I didn’t really want, that weren’t that perfect fit, the closer I got to literally the perfect fit.
You want to make more money? You are in the right place. Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast. That’s seven, as in seven figures. I’m your host, Rachel Rodgers. On this show, it’s all about you and your money. We talk about how to maximize your earning potential, how to make better financial decisions, and how to find your million-dollar idea, that genius business idea that’s going to make you a whole lot more money. I’m here to show you how to expand your income and expand your confidence, power, and joy.
If you are a woman, a person of color, a queer person, if you’re a person living with a disability, or you don’t fit the stereotypical image of what a millionaire is “supposed” to look like, this show is for you. No matter who you are or what you do for a living, you could be earning a lot more than you currently do. Your journey to wealth starts right here.
Shaelina: My name is Shaelina and I’m your host for today. I’m also the executive director of the Hello Seven Foundation. And I have the honor of working with these three beautiful, gorgeous colleagues. So I’ll let y’all Introduce yourselves. Tell us what your name is, where you’re from, and how long you’ve been with Hello Seven, and your title.
Greg: All right, I’m Greg Dube, rather than dube. And I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota, that’s at least where I live now. And I’m the Director of Information Systems and I’ve been with Hello Seven for, actually, I just hit seven months. A little past seven months.
Bethany: And I’m Bethany, I’m Rachel’s EA, Executive Assistant. I’ve been with her for two years earlier this month. So I’m currently local in Greensboro, North Carolina with Rachel.
Ella: My name is Ella. I am the marketing and creative administrator. I’m located in Raleigh, North Carolina right now. And my yeariversary is actually coming up in two months.
Shaelina: Yay! So, again, my name is Shaelina. I am from Tampa Bay, Florida. And, like I said, I have the privilege of leading the Hello Seven Foundation. I have been with Hello Seven for just about six months. And let me do a quick plug for the foundation, shameless plug. We are on a mission to close the black maternal health gap. I invite you to learn more at helloseven.org or find me sometime after the conference and we’ll definitely talk about that.
Right now I am a team of one, but I have the privilege of working alongside a wonderful team. We have about 25 full-time team members on our staff. And we have such an incredible mission at Hello Seven, and our mission is to close the wealth gap, which is also where the Hello Seven Foundation comes in because we’re attempting to close the racial disparities that are, unfortunately, existing in our country in terms of childbirth.
But that being said, it doesn’t really feel like a corporate environment at Hello Seven, would you all agree? Because we’re on such a mission to make the world a better place. And that’s what we do as historically excluded entrepreneurs. So when we make money, we make the world better.
So let’s get started. And you guys can tell us how did you find Hello Seven? And maybe was there a point of frustration that you might have been experiencing in your past work life? And how maybe that was resolved at Hello Seven.
Greg: I got to Hello Seven from a previous company that does a similar kind of work with entrepreneurs, teaching a system. And Rachel and Brittany, I don’t know if y’all know Brittany, but she’s the president of Hello Seven, they were members of that coaching/membership. And so we got to meet them that way, got to know them that way.
And then a couple years later, time came where it was time for me to move on from that position and it just so happened that Hello Seven, their director of systems was moving on. And so it just worked out really well for me. And so I was able to just move from that position into this position carrying kind of the same kind of work. And that’s how it’s been.
Shaelina: And if I remember the story correctly, your interview process was quick. Like you didn’t have but 12 hours between one job and the other?
Greg: That’s correct. So when I was leaving my last position, my boss at that time contacted Rachel and said Greg’s available. And Rachel was like, well, it just so happens that we just lost our system director. So I got on a call that day with the director of human resources, we had a quick interview. And then in the morning they had set up another interview for me to go through. And then by the afternoon I was talking to Rachel and Brittany. And then by dinnertime I was there, I was hired.
Shaelina: So that’s how you hire top talent, you seek them out. Okay, Bethany?
Bethany: Yeah, actually I want to talk about when Greg was hired too. I got a Voxer from, I think it was Rachel. And she was like, clear my schedule. I need to meet with Greg. And I was Voxing with Greg and I was like, well, whatever that meeting was it’s getting pushed out. So then he literally joined the next day, so that was pretty cool.
Shaelina: That’s how you know it’s important, when Rachel sends a Vox, let’s go.
Bethany: Yeah. So, actually, I graduated from college in 2020. So as everyone knows, that was a pretty rough year for everyone looking for a job. So it took me a few months to find a job so in the meantime I was waitressing at a restaurant in Reston, Virginia. And I didn’t even live there, I was just living with my sister for the time being trying to figure out where I was.
And I hated it. I did not like waitressing. I liked the quick money, but I was like, this is not my forte. I want to find a job in my area that I went to school for. So I was on LinkedIn and I was like, oh, Greensboro, North Carolina, before I even saw Rachel’s name. And I didn’t even know who Rachael Rodgers was. But I looked her up on Instagram, looked on her website, and I was like, oh, she seems really cool. I was like, I’m definitely going to apply to this.
And it was a LinkedIn easy apply, so I guess my resume went to her. And then, I think two hours later when I was at my serving shift, I got a message on LinkedIn from the hiring director at the time. And she was like, we’d love to set up an interview. And I was like, oh, this is spam. I was like, maybe Rachel’s not actually real. I was like, I don’t think this is legit. So I actually ignored it for like a day.
And then I did more research and I reached back out to her and I was like, okay, I’d be interested in applying more and getting into the process. And then I got hired within two weeks.
Bethany: Yeah, and then I moved right back down to North Carolina.
Shaelina: Perfect. And I think besides Brittany, you’re our longest employee currently.
Bethany: Yeah, well Luisa.
Bethany: Luisa has been here.
Shaelina: Oh, and Luisa, that’s right. Awesome, love it. It’s been a good two years.
Bethany: Yeah, it has been, for sure.
Shaelina: Almost three now.
Ella: So my story’s a little wonky. So I actually worked at Duke University at a research center for two years, which was good but I wanted to get out of academia because I’m more of a creative type of person. And then I went into brand management for a couple of universities in North Carolina, like Duke and NC State. And it was fun, but I have asthma so during COVID that required a lot of travel. And so it just was kind of too much on my immune system.
So I was like, okay, let’s get a remote job, work from home. And then I went into finance marketing and real estate, which was boring. And, you know, it’s just a different form of marketing. Everybody doesn’t really understand the millennial version of marketing with social media, et cetera. So I was like, let’s make a transition. And so I got on LinkedIn and by this time, even though I’m 25, I had a lot of skills going on. So I had some offers on LinkedIn.
And one thing that I was really nervous about was kind of just getting into a role that I didn’t feel like I could grow in. And so there was an offer I got from this pharmaceutical company and I was like, oh, the money was great. But I’m like, what do you know about marketing pharmaceuticals, right? Why are you going to take that job?
And then one of the recruiters for Hello Seven actually messaged me and he was like, what are you doing right now? I was like, oh, nothing, I’m just looking for jobs. He was like, let’s get on a call. And then he tells me about Hello Seven, tells me about Rachel. He’s like, I think this is a good fit for you, what you’re saying you want on LinkedIn.
So I’m like, okay, I’ll check it out, right, because I was really about to take this other offer. And then I looked up the company and then I saw people that looked like me, women that looked exactly like me and what I wanted to do with my career. And so I was like, let’s do the interview.
And so I did, and I actually got a call back the next day and he was like, this doesn’t usually happen, so they probably like you. And then I did a second interview and then I was hired within two weeks. And I didn’t even have a work laptop at the time because I was always given one. So I was like, I don’t even have a laptop, how can I start next week? And they were like, we got you covered. So it’s really a blessing in disguise because I got what I wanted. I don’t know, just it’s amazing how things work out.
Shaelina: It really is, I totally agree. I had kind of a similar experience. When I saw all the staff people that I would get to work with I was like, yes, this feels like home. So my background is in nonprofit leadership. I was the Chief Operating Officer at a local housing and human services nonprofit. And I too, was looking for an opportunity to work remotely. I have a young son, so it was a lot not being able to be there when he got home from school and stuff. And I was also a doula on the side.
So when I found this opportunity, it was like this was made for me, I think. Like this sounds perfect. And ever since then, I’m just like we’re keeping the foundation going and I love that I get to work with so many different pieces of a company. Like right now I’m a team of one, but I have support from Greg for systems, I have the support of the CEO, especially thanks to Bethany, and marketing and creative.
So we have three huge, main functions of our company represented here today. So can we just go down and you can talk a little bit about what your role is, like what you do on a day to day basis?
Ella: Sure. I’ll give Greg a break from going first and I’ll kick it off. Marketing and creative are kind of two different departments. So creative is kind of the vision versus marketing is our initiatives and our projects. So in the marketing standpoint I help with project launches and making sure advertising and just marketing for whatever program or project we’re working on at the time. And then creative, that’s more social media management and brand management. So I’ve recently stepped into that role.
Bethany: So yeah, as Rachel’s assistant each day is new, I’ll be honest. I have my main priorities that I do every day. I manage her inbox and I make sure her calendar for the day is ready to go, links are updated, any details are added to that. And then those are kind of my first things I do in the morning.
But I think what I tell people whenever they ask me what it’s like being Rachel’s assistant, it’s just like almost her bodyguard physically, sometimes honestly physically. But just like saving her from herself and just being her keeper, like she can focus on the important things, and I can take care of when Shaelina needs a scheduling question, she knows to not go to Rachel. She comes right to me. And just being her shield from a lot of things so she can do what’s most important and help everyone. The Schmillies, everyone, writing her book even is like a really big deal right now. So just prioritizing that is kind of what I do.
Shaelina: I think that’s so important too, because Rachel is such a visionary and she has so many wonderful, huge, fantastic ideas. But you help practicalize, practicalize, I don’t know if that’s a word, but so like you make it tangible. And like, okay, today your calendar is full, so let’s put that on for tomorrow kind of thing.
Bethany: So logistics are not always her forte, so that’s where I come in. And I make sure, I’m like, are you sure you want to do that? You only have 15 minutes. She’s like, yeah. And I’m like no, you can’t do it. You can’t, there’s no way. And I’ll hear about it later. Like, why do you let me do that, Bethany?
Greg: Well it’s clearly working too, because most of the company knows when they need to go to Rachel or when it’s okay to go to Rachel. And we spend more time talking to the other folks who can handle all of the questions rather than just Rachel. Sure she can answer them, but if she’s answering everyone’s questions all the time, it just sinks her time. So Bethany has done a good job of protecting that.
Shaelina: Exactly, exactly.
Greg: So, in my role I have a team. I have four team members and we’re known as the systems team. And really what we take care of is there’s so many things because as a company that’s 25 people, the systems team takes care, touches a lot of areas. If you ever worked in a corporation, I worked all my life basically in massive corporations, except for like the last six years of my life. And there’s even inside of these systems teams or operations teams, there are smaller teams that just take care of Windows servers, they just take care of storage of data and information, where we have to handle it all.
So we handle supporting people, even with their computers at home if they have questions. We take care of all of our email systems, all of our payment systems, and anything where there’s interaction that comes in. So you all might reach out to us through the customer service team, but they then immediately hook into the systems team with, we have this problem, someone’s password, someone doesn’t have the right access, whatever. And we work through all of those pieces.
And so as the systems team, we’re hearing from marketing, and from the C suite, and from the foundation, from every other team. And so the way we look at and work systems in our business is systems is basically a service to the company.
We probably take 80% of our time serving the company, and 20% of our time serving externally because other people are serving externally and then bringing things to us that we then take care of. So when we treat it as a service organization within our organization, it just makes it a lot smoother for everyone else. So that’s what we do.
Shaelina: Yeah, I like that. And you kind of touched on another good point too, like we were talking earlier that we may not be classified as a startup anymore, but we still operate very much like a startup where we all wear all the hats that we need to wear and do what needs to be done to get it done.
And we’re not afraid to, mostly I think, take ownership. I think that’s what makes our team so successful is, you know, when Ella is handling a social media campaign, she’s owning that. That is her name on that and she’s going to make sure it’s excellent and done to the best of her ability. And I think everyone on our team really operates that way from the administrator level all the way up to the C suite.
Greg: Right. I’d like to add that a lot of people who will listen to this aren’t in the position to have a team of systems folks taking care of things. Rachel didn’t. If you read her book you’ll see she had to do it all. So even though Rachel isn’t strong in certain areas, she got strong enough to handle those areas, took care of them, and then finally, when she was able to bring in team members to help.
But do you think she always had a systems team? No, it was her and then it was a systems person, eventually, right? But it first starts out with an assistant, then maybe two assistants that take care of things, and then more. And then it grows in that sense. And then eventually you get to the point where you’re able to have a team that can support the rest of the team. But that support starts out with just you.
But one of the big things is get someone else to help you as soon as you possibly can, no matter what it is. Even if it’s just reading your emails. I mean one of my team members now supports me with my emails to make sure that the important ones get in front of me every day so I can deal with a lot of the bigger things and then just not have to worry about all the stuff that comes into the emails that is just useless.
Shaelina: Yeah, it makes me think of decision fatigue.
Greg: For sure.
Shaelina: So many decisions all day, which ones are the most important that I need to decide on right now so I don’t get exhausted at the end of the day? Yeah, I hear that. And another thing you kind of made me think of is that Rachel, now at this kind of point of inflection that we’re at, Rachel is really trying to make Hello Seven completely sustainable, even if she wasn’t here.
So she is the driving force and the genius behind the brilliance that is Hello Seven, but she can’t do that forever. And so right now she’s really empowering all of us as leaders and, like I said, all the way down to the administrators to take ownership and make this the sustainable company that she envisions. And I think that’s really working.
Like she’s empowering all of us to make the decisions that we need to make. We have that matrix, do y’all remember the matrix? I don’t remember what it’s called? Do you guys know? No? Okay. It’s in her head. It’s in her head. We’ll follow up with that, we’ll put that in the show notes.
Bethany: Sorry, Shaelina.
Shaelina: No, go ahead.
Bethany: I think to note that, too, like being here two years ago, I’ve noticed how much Rachel really has allowed and like entrusted the team and our directors more than she did when I started. Like she was on every meeting, every email thread, every Slack channel. And now, even for example, Ella called me yesterday when we were doing rehearsal for ROI. And she was like, ask Rachel if we should add this or this. Rachel goes, let them decide.
Shaelina: Let them decide.
Bethany: And she was like, I trust them. So it’s amazing to see the progression. And it’s honestly helpful for her as well. She just feels more at peace and she has now the team that can help her be Rachael Rodgers.
Shaelina: Exactly. Exactly, like the C suite and Rachel, they want to be involved in those decisions that are so impactful and also not reversible. If it’s not reversible, we’ve got to go to the C suite and make sure that we’re on the right track. But pretty much everything else, and that helps us grow as leaders, too, I think.
What is your favorite part about working at Hello Seven?
Ella: Well, I’ll kick that party off. So, for me, I think a lot of roles I’ve had, and I don’t know if any of you can relate, but I felt like they hire you because they know you have this level of expertise, but they don’t always help with your career development. And I think after undergrad, if you don’t choose to pursue a masters or anything further in education, you kind of have to figure everything out by life experiences.
So I really like that, not only Rachel, but the executive team pushes us to grow, not only in our career, but as a person. I know like with me, there was a time with emails and I was like, oh my goodness, I haven’t written a paper or written anything since I was in undergrad. And I just remember she pushed me.
She was like, you got this, here’s some samples of my work. And then not only when I wrote it did she give me feedback, but she told me this is excellent, but here’s how you can improve. And that means a lot because some people just give you criticism, but don’t tell you how you can be better.
And then just mostly in the development of my role with her, I’ve gotten to come on a lot more of her trips and just things that we’re doing as a company. So I’ve really gotten to develop my social media skills. So going from just making my own reels, because I’m a foodie, I go to restaurants and record stuff, but doing content for her and the company. So I’ve grown a lot over the past almost a year.
Shaelina: That’s cool. You grew so much that at the last mastermind retreat she was like, do a presentation.
Ella: Oh yeah, we were in Miami for our last mastermind program and I actually did like a 35 to 40 minute presentation on marketing and social media, so that was really exciting. And I didn’t expect them to have so many questions because they’re at this point in the growth scale, and I’m like, you need little old me? And they’re like, yeah. So that was nice.
Shaelina: Yes, and you were so good at it that we needed a quick coverage for a call that she couldn’t make it to or someone on our team couldn’t make it to.
Ella: Yeah, she couldn’t because she was traveling. And we have this program called Glow Up, if you don’t know about it, check it out. And so she couldn’t make it and they were like, who can present? And she was like, Ella can do it. And that just feels warm to know that the CEO of the company trusts you that much to fill in for her.
Bethany: I think my favorite part is like I’m one of the team members that are in person, like Ella is an hour and a half away from Rachel. But being there and kind of seeing what she does almost every day, and I’m really not with Rachel every day, but being in close proximity, it’s helpful. But I like to explain it too to people like what Rachel is involved in and what she’s knowledgeable in, I have to at least be somewhat prepped to know because people will come to me and ask.
So I think that’s fun to see. And I’ve learned so much because this is my first big girl job out of college. And so I was kind of going in with blind eyes. I was like, what am I going to do? Am I actually going to learn a lot in my field? And I went to school for event management, so I do help plan the Hello Seven masterminds that we have going on, like input into smaller things within the team.
So I do get to build upon that and I get to kind of see how each department works. So I think that’s really fun for me and my personal and professional growth. So that’s probably my favorite part.
Shaelina: About how about how many times a week do you travel to Rachel’s Ranch?
Bethany: It’s super dependent. So like I think going into this year it’ll probably be like one to two times a week, I think, as a necessity because we have the podcast that’s being produced that Rachel has recently started in 2022, or restarted. So that’s more common, a lot more prep to go into it from an in-person point.
And then sometimes just like, because I also am like a personal executive assistant, so I help with personal tasks as well. So that requires me to go to the house, drop by and just –
Shaelina: Hang out with the babies.
Bethany: Yeah, put my key in and walk in, I’m like, hi, I’m home.
Bethany: So yeah, probably twice a week, I would think.
Shaelina: Okay, cool. How about you, Greg?
Greg: So what I like about working here is Rachel has, she’s made the determination of where she wants the business to go. She’s made it clear to us where she wants it to go and how she wants it to get there, in a sense of the endpoint. This is the endpoint. She’s letting us actually drive and push how we get to that endpoint.
So we’re here now, we want to be here, how do we get there? And we all have input. And as a director I’ve got, like I said, a team. And I’ve got to try to guide them as well. And so with good vision coming down from above, it allows for good vision to the rest of the team members. And so our team just works really well and really in sync because things are so clear.
And her being that clear makes a big difference. And I think one of the places I worked at previously, there was a lot of transparency as well. But some of that transparency wasn’t real. And I don’t feel like that at all here. I feel like it’s very real. And when you have a misstep, the misstep is called on. And when you do something great, it’s also called on. So you’re seeing the fruits of your labor, and you’re also getting the corrections you need to make sure that you’re going down the path you should.
And all of that kind of guidance and transparency just makes working here joyful. And it allows you to actually, like those late nights working when there’s a project that’s due or something, it doesn’t matter. You’re just like, this is fine because we know where we’re going and everything feels good and I’m getting as much from the business as I’m putting in. So that’s what I like.
Shaelina: So it doesn’t even feel like work sometimes. You’re just doing something you’re really passionate about and good at, you’re operating in your strengths and it’s exciting.
Greg: Very much.
Shaelina: And that guidance that you talked about, it’s like I think a lot of that has to do with our cadence. So like every Monday we meet as a leadership team for two, sometimes longer, hours. And then Tuesday mornings we meet as an entire team and we brief everybody on everything that we’ve talked about and updated from the day before. And then you have departmental meetings weekly as well, right, syncs?
Ella: Yeah, each department has their own sync, which is great because you get to start from the leadership meeting for Monday, then what we covered as a company on Tuesday, then you have that break day to actually work on the things discussed. And then you meet to close out the week. And that just helps a lot with transparency.
Greg mentioned something about accountability. So it’s funny, before we revamped our company tenets we had one that accountability is paramount. And it’s like, this is the first company I worked at that taking accountability for a misstep or whatever your role is, was kind of celebrate it, right?
Ella: It’s okay. We’re all human, just realize what you did and how you can improve on that.
Shaelina: Yeah, that’s exactly. It’s amazing. It is amazing.
Bethany: I think, sorry, Greg is just dropping all the gems and it’s like I need to rethink things. But like how he said there are some long nights or long weeks, and it’s like I think what we do in our weekly team meeting as a whole, we always read our mission. And I feel like it’s, I think we all came to Hello Seven for a purpose, like it’s with the greater purpose.
Ella: It is.
Bethany: But I think having it reinstated and reinstilled in our lives like every meeting, like it’s there. And so I think it helps us be like, you know, sometimes I’m like, I don’t want to answer this email right now. It can wait. But then I’m like, no, this is going to help Rachel, this is going to help a million other people. So it’s like just having that inner thought, I think, really helps.
Shaelina: Exactly, we start our meeting with the mission statement. And then we go over KPIs so that everybody in the company is focused on what our goal is and maybe prioritizing our projects. So like, we’re going to work on this, this and this week. And then on Fridays everyone does a weekly report. And that’s submitted to the executive team, who reviews it probably over the weekend, right? And then Monday morning we’re ready to go for our leadership meeting.
So it’s like it’s such a beautiful cycle. That level of organization just makes me so happy because it makes everything flow. And if there’s a kink in the wheel somewhere, then we just focus on that area.
Greg: There’s one more thing I wanted to say about working here, and that is that when I worked in a corporation, and like I said, I did it for so many years. When you’re in it, you don’t realize necessarily that there’s a problem or that there’s painful things happening there. But they are, and you only notice them at certain inflection points, when something comes to a head or somebody does something that causes major issues for you in your position.
But I remember I used to always, like I couldn’t wait for Friday’s. And then Friday would come and by Saturday afternoon I was just down. I was feeling bad because I knew on Monday I was going back to work and it was affecting my weekends, it was affecting things. It’s like now, on Saturday I’m like, I can’t wait for Monday.
Greg: And it just gives you that feeling of like, I’m not sad about it anymore. It’s like, let’s get into Monday because we always have some cool things going and a lot of things happening. So it just gives you that drive to, you know, and I still enjoy my weekends and I want to have them. But at the same time, I’m not down and not being able to have a good time on the weekend because I know Monday is going to be fine and it’s not going to just be a horrible five days.
Shaelina: Yeah, you don’t get your Sunday scaries anymore?
Greg: Not at all.
Shaelina: No more Sunday scaries because we’re doing something that matters to, like you said, the greater good. Coming from the nonprofit background, it feels like a nonprofit here because it’s not, of course it’s about profit. It’s always about profit. But the purpose of having the profit is the driving force of why we’re all here. Everyone should be a millionaire, everyone can and everyone should be a millionaire. And so how can we help people, especially historically excluded folks get there? What a privilege, we really have the coolest jobs. So cool.
So that being said, as we’re planning through and working through 2023, are there any areas of improvement that you all think we should be focusing on for Hello Seven this year?
Greg: I can start on this one. One that we are definitely starting on is because Hello Seven grew quickly from a couple years ago being a $2 million company to now being over $10 million, when you grow quickly, and this even happens when you’re a single person running your business or just getting started to suddenly you have teams, there’s a lot of ideas and a lot of people’s ideas that get thrown into the soup to make it go and keep going.
And you don’t necessarily always have time to step back and clean up the things you’re going to get to. Oh, I’ll get to that. Because things keep going and you keep chasing it and you keep growing and getting better and getting bigger and making more things happen for your mission. And with Hello Seven that happened.
And so when I came in there was a little bit of chaos on some of the pieces because we had so many hands in the soup that we just had soup everywhere. We got stuff all over the place, right? And so this year is a big year of cleaning up for the systems side. So I was able to actually, like when I came in it was me and two other people, but one of them was leaving as well. So there were just two of us in total. Now there’s five of us.
So I was able to build a team in basically the last quarter of the year. And now this year is all about cleanup. And we’re moving on to bigger and better things. We’re moving into HubSpot and moving into some other areas where we’re just going to clean things up more and really push things forward from a systems point of view so that our ducks are in a row, rather than just scattered all over the field and all over the pond. So from my point of view, that’s what I’m looking forward to.
Ella: Piggybacking off of Greg, I don’t know that’s a good term. I just agree with him. So this year, I don’t know, it’s between Greg and Rachel, but they say if it’s not documented, it’s not finished. And so processes, like processes save lives because just what, you know, we’ve grown so fast that you don’t have time to document everything because you’re actually doing it.
So this year is definitely a year of processes for us. Like when you do something, it might not be that day, but at least at the end of the week, go ahead and start typing it out because you can always go back in and add whatever is needed, but just write it out.
And something we’ve implemented this year, too, and this is a tip for anybody who owns a business, is weekly reports because you can have meetings and you all can talk about things, but actually having written statements from your staff members so you can review it at your discretion to kind of see like what are their bottlenecks, or what do they feel went well has helped us tremendously because, again, everything is usually so fast and we have a lot to do. So it’s good for anybody in charge to have a chance to just actually read it out and see how we can improve on that.
Shaelina: Exactly. And I like what you said about process. I love process. My background is in operation, so when I first came to Hello Seven, I found that there were templates for everything. So there’s a template for a process. So you just go on Google Drive, find the process template, and it literally outlines exactly what you need to write down. So it helps you with your brain dump so that it’s not scattered.
And then when someone else needs to review an email, for example, they can go right to the process of how to review an email and make sure that they check all the boxes. And then everything is done to the Hello Seven standard. So I love that.
And from the foundation perspective, I’m literally creating those processes. So there’s a million things in my head and I’m like, wait, what was the little detail on that one process that I made two weeks ago? It’s documented. It’s right there. So that’s really helpful.
Ella: Yeah, it’s like for dummies, anybody should be able to come in and look at what you have and they can do it no matter what.
Shaelina: Exactly, exactly.
Greg: I think that’s actually one of the most important things that anyone who’s doing a business, and this goes back to some of my other endeavors that I’ve done, is that like write the processes. Even if you’re a person of one, get the processes down. You don’t understand how easy it is to then hand that off to someone.
And you think, oh, it’s such a pain to write this process. No, it’s way more of a pain over the period of a year to have a little question here and a little question there, and this person leaves, and a new person comes in and you have to go through it all over again. Just do the process, write it down, and get that into the hands of your team members or store it for when you have a team member.
Greg: But just write down the things you do and it will make such a difference.
Shaelina: Yeah, for sure. We’re getting to the end of our time, do you all have any final thoughts, fun stories, last minute things you want to share?
Bethany: Well, we’re filming this in front of a live studio audience, for those watching this later, can we take a question from someone in the audience?
Shaelina: Yeah, sure.
Bethany: Does anyone have a question?
Audience member: Thank you for sharing all the information that you have. My primary question is for you Shaelina, was it your intention being a doula before Hello Seven to incorporate, I think it’s amazing that you have the foundation position and that you are a team of one. Did you envision a life where you could take something so intimate and personal, and make that a primary space for yourself?
Shaelina: In terms of me being a doula?
Audience member: Yes.
Shaelina: So I had my own very interesting and not good experiences with giving birth to my son. So that made me explore the alternative birthing space. I learned about midwives, I learned about doulas. I was like that’s it, I have to be a doula.
And then I learned how much doulas charge and it’s like $2,000 a birth. But the people I wanted to serve, my friends, my family, they could not afford $2,000. So I just did it as a donation or for free mostly, just because I honestly felt the privilege and the honor of being able to be there to support a child, that’s the most amazing feeling in the world.
But I was a nonprofit leader at the same time. So I never did that for income. But then when I was looking for another opportunity to just have a little bit more freedom in my personal life to be a better mother, when this opportunity came up I was just like, this is made for me. So I didn’t plan that if that’s your question. Does that answer your question?
Audience Member: It just seems like an amazing course of events, series of events that something so beautiful can be incorporated into your everyday life and mission.
Shaelina: It’s a dream come true. It was an intention, and it was a whole manifestation process. But the specifics of how it played out, I couldn’t have dreamed up something better. Don’t make me cry up here because it is –
Audience: So that’s the goal.
Shaelina: Yes, that is the goal
Audience member: can you speak a little more about that? Because that’s the culmination of, I think, why we’re all here because Rachel, it seems, has done the exact same thing.
Audience member: And from what I’m hearing from everyone there was just an intention, this thought from Ella like, hey, I don’t just want to do something to be doing it. I want to have a whole life and I want to culminate a life where I can do the things that I love and grow as a person. And I’m hearing that in every single person’s story. So can you talk about a little bit more about what your intention process was?
Shaelina: Yeah, you know what was biggest for me there was not having fear, and especially the fear to say no to what I did not want and was not serving me. There were some tempting other opportunities on the table, but it wasn’t in direct alignment with who I was as a person and where I saw myself living my best life.
And imagining your best life and you actually living it, that’s terrifying sometimes. So there was a lot of impostor syndrome and things that I had to work through in my personal self and my personal outlook on life. But the more I said no to those things that I didn’t really want that weren’t that perfect fit, the closer I got to literally the perfect fit.
We have one more question we have time for. I love all of your outfits, by the way. Everyone here is so beautiful. This is a fashion show, I love it.
Audience member: We follow directions.
Shaelina: Dress like a millionaire, that’s right.
Audience member: Thank you, thank you for everything. But this is a shout out to thank Jam, whoever Jam is.
Shaelina: Jam, shout out to Jam.
Shaelina: She’s the jam.
Audience member: I have had so much support from Jam and I just wanted to thank them.
Shaelina: Oh, awesome. Yes, our customer support team, they are working hard, especially for this conference. Oh, one more question. Why not?
Audience Member: If the opportunity is there, I’m going to take it.
Shaelina: That’s right.
Audience Member: Let’s do it. So my question is, as you’ve grown as a team, there had to have been conflict that’s come up between team members at some point. I’m not saying bad conflict or anything like that, but obviously disagreeing on certain things. So how do you guys, as a team, overcome that? Or how do you kind of work together to make sure that doesn’t grow and grow and fester into the team?
Shaelina: Great question.
Ella: I don’t mind tackling that one. I think something that helps with that a lot is realizing sometimes when there’s a conflict, it usually comes a little bit from personal revolution, because maybe you’re a type A or a type B person and the way that you approach a project or situation is different.
And then, so here we’ve definitely learned to take yourself out of the situation and think about what we want as a company and what the actual goal is, and how to talk through that. And then I think that’s the amazing part about our C suite and just our leadership team in general. We can, like Shaelina and I can be like, I don’t agree with you. And we have the opportunity to talk to Rachel or Brittany and they’re like, hey, this is what we need to do.
And just also, the balance of incorporating everybody’s ideas, like might it not be a yes right now, but it can be later. And then if that is what you want to do, like developing a plan like how does this affect us or help us grow revenue? Or how will this impact the company? Just things of that nature, just taking yourself out of it so much and your beliefs, and just realize that we’re working towards something bigger.
So even if your idea or what you think is right doesn’t get chosen, it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong, it just means it’s not the fit for what we’re doing right now.
Shaelina: I think we all have a good personal relationship with each other, too. Like we get to come together as a team pretty much four times a year, especially as a leadership team, to do strategic planning. We go to the ranch, we stay in the beautiful resort house, it’s amazing, shout out to Bia, our private chef for the weekend. It’s amazing.
And during that time, I think we get to really connect with each other as human beings. And there’s love there, you know? And so if we have a disagreement, it’s not personal.
Greg: No, but I’ve got one quick thing to add. And that is the team does a great job on hiring for cultural fit. So we’re looking for people that aren’t going to be butting heads constantly and fighting and more people who are open to other ideas and just being able to roll with the punches sometimes. Because sometimes a project comes up and it causes some friction just because everybody’s got to go and we’re all trying to basically like, you know, it’s like everybody’s trying to get through this little funnel at the same time.
We’re going to bump into each other, but we realize what the mission is. And the cultural fit is, to me, it’s the most important thing when you hire someone. Someone has to be on the same wavelength with you and the other people you’ve already brought in. And if you even already brought someone in and you’re bringing a new person in that’s a better cultural fit, to me that person is more important than the person who might have been there for a longer period of time.
Just because you’re here doesn’t mean that you should be there. And if they’re not the right cultural fit and you bring someone new in and there’s a problem there, what’s that going to do? It’s going to grind your whole business to the ground, not that one person or that one person, but you too are going to get all pulled in, and it’s just not worth it.
So make sure that you just have people who come in that have that mentality, that want to be there. And that’s the thing, we know the mission coming in. And they ask us very upfront questions like, this is what we do, this is what we believe in. Do you believe in this and will you support this? And if your answer is no, then obviously they’re going to be like, well, then you don’t pass the cultural interview.
So make sure you bring the right folks in with you. And I think that helps with any of this aggravation that can happen.
Shaelina: So you’ll find us around the conference. We’re not wearing our red badges right now, but we will be wearing them and we’re happy to talk to you if you have more questions. And if you are wanting to work at Hello Seven, visit our website helloseven.co. Follow us on social media and the podcast specifically on YouTube and foundation, Hello Seven Foundation on Instagram, don’t forget. And thank you so much for your time, it was wonderful.
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