Growth Strategy for Business

Episode 88: Growth Strategy for Business, with Shawndel Spader

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Growth Strategy for Business? Discover techniques to move your business forward with our guide on developing a growth strategy for business.

In this episode of Sell With Authority we’re taking a deep dive into a critical question that business leaders must ask themselves; are we strategically planning for the future, or are we too busy reacting in the moment?

Growth strategy for business? Scaling your agency is a thrilling prospect, but it’s not just about selling more — it’s about ensuring that growth translates into lasting profitability. In fact, growth and profit are not always an elastic relationship or a perfect correlation with one another.

Implementing a robust biz dev machine is just the beginning. The journey to a thriving business involves navigating unforeseen challenges and avoiding trap doors that could jeopardize your success.

As we gear up to roar into 2024, our aim is not only to get you excited about the opportunities ahead, but also to equip you with the tools to build a foundation that can support a larger, more complex business.

Joining this episode is Shawndel Spader, CEO of Spader Group. With a wealth of experience in helping owners navigate the intricacies of business growth, Shawndel shares insights on how to avoid those trap doors and build a foundation for success.

I also invited Hannah Roth, our mad scientist and strategist here at Predictive, to join because of her unique perspective from working in the trenches day in and day out, alongside our clients, helping them build, scale — and then — sell with authority.

If you take and apply the Golden Nuggets shared during this episode, you’ll be ready to crush 2024 and make it your most profitable year yet.


What you will learn in this episode is about growth strategy for business:

  • What are three trap doors to avoid in building and scaling your business
  • Signs that a CEO is consumed by the day-to-day tasks instead of continuing to build the business
  • Why managing your situation is more productive than changing your habits
  • How to grow your financial confidence and effective growth strategy for business
  • Why learning how to manage cash flow helps CEOs delegate, set goals, and plan for the future


Additional Resources:


Growth Strategy for Business: Full Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI, and my team and I created this podcast specifically for you. So if you’re an agency owner or a strategic consultant, and you’re looking to fill your sales pipeline with a steady stream of right-fit prospects and get the at-bats that you need in order to build and scale, well, then you’re in the right place if you want proven strategies for becoming the known expert in your niche and attracting all the clients that you need. Yep. We’re gonna cover that. You wanna learn how to step away from the sea of sameness so you actually own the ground that you’re standing on. Yep. We’re gonna cover that too. Do you wanna future-proof your business so that you can successfully navigate the next challenge that you know is coming your way? Well, absolutely.


We will help you there as well. I promise you each episode of this podcast will contain valuable insights, tangible examples, and best practices, never theory, from thought leaders, experts, and owners who have done exactly what you’re working hard to do. So, I want you to think practical and tactical. Never any fluff. Each of our guests has built a position of authority and then monetized that position by growing their audience, nurturing leads, and, yes, converting sales. But all the while, they did it by being helpful. So every time someone from their audience turned around there, they were with a helpful answer to an important question. So their right-fit prospects never ever were made to feel like they were prospects. I also promise you that every strategy that we discuss and every tool we recommend will be shared in complete transparency in each episode so you can become the known expert in your niche, fill your sales pipeline with a steady stream of RightFit prospects who, again, were never, ever made to feel like one of your prospects.


Okay, so,  before I introduce you to our particular guest expert today, I wanna shine a bright light on a concern or, perhaps, a better way for me to describe that would be maybe it’s an unintended consequence. And here’s what I mean by that. That’s kind of an ominous way to start a conversation. But over the last several months, I’ve shared with you how my predictive ROI team and I have been hard at work to teach, share, and create any and all the things so that we can be helpful as you work to close out your 2023 as strong as possible, and then feel confident and ready to roar into 2024. And on the surface, you know, that sounds awesome, right? But growth for growth’s sake without greater profitability, without more sanity, without a smoother scaling process can and would most likely feel heavy or even counterproductive for all of that work that you just did intellectually.


I know that you know this, that scaling to a more prominent agency because you put a consistent biz dev machine into place, like what we teach in the cell with authority, doesn’t actually mean a better, more profitable agency. In fact, growth and profit are not always an elastic relationship or a perfect correlation with one another. Just ’cause you sell more doesn’t mean that you make more or keep more of what you make. We talk about this a lot during our Q and As and Intens. More companies go out of business because of indigestion, meaning too much opportunity than starvation, not enough opportunity. So, as you plan out how you’re going to roar into 2024, yes, I absolutely want you to be excited about all the opportunities they had. No doubt you’ve worked hard for it. But I also want you to think about and be mindful of three trap doors.


Learn more about growth strategy for business by reading this blog by Shawndel Spader 


Growth Strategy for Business: Shawndel Spader’s Introduction


So, let’s step through those. Trap door number one: how in 2024 will you do an even better job of not getting stuck in the thick of thin things? As Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, brilliantly wrote about habit number three, verse things first. So, trap door number two, and this may not impact you, but,  maybe we’re gonna use a portion of this episode to help squash it just in case. And that’s the temptation, or being self-conscious about where our businesses at currently, and more specifically financially, it’s super easy to fall into the trap of comparison. In my opinion. Eleanor Roosevelt, I think that this is her quote said at best when she said, comparison is the thief of all joy. Typically, the comparison revolves around money. So we’re going to squarely address any financial confidence issues that may or may not exist, and we’re gonna highlight some key areas to pay attention to as well as some resources.


Resources for a growth strategy for business? Yes, you should have a guidepost, examples, models, etc. All of that helps inform our journey and helps us make better decisions. But they should be used to instill confidence as opposed to Rob it. They should be used to instill confidence that we’re heading in the right direction in making progress. They should not be used as a tool to make you feel less than Entrap. Door Number Three is one of the key ingredients to the scaling recipe if you want to call it that. And it’s really easy to miss because we’re so focused on what everyone else on our team needs to be doing in order to climb that mountain, which is how we, as CEOs, need to raise our own bar of excellence. What are we studying? How are we delegating? And how are we helping our teammates grow in their capability? Are we setting clear and concise goals with actionable objectives?


Growth strategy for business? Are we strategically planning for the future, or are we too busy reacting in the moment? So I know that that was a lot,  but here’s the upside. If you can protect yourself against these three trap doors, then holy bananas, you will have built a foundation that can support a more significant, more complex business. So, to help us work through all of that, and I know that that is a tall order, I invited Shawndel, Spader, CEO of Spader Group, to join us. Shawndel has a depth of expertise in helping owners just like you and me, navigate the trap doors we just reviewed. So, I invited her to share her perspectives because I know this conversation will serve you as you get ready for what’s next. I also invited Hannah Roth, our math scientist, and strategist here at Predictive, because of Hannah’s unique perspective from working in the trenches day in and day out alongside our clients, helping them build scale and then sell with authority. I promise you, everyone, that if you take and apply the Golden Nuggets shared during this episode, you’ll be ready to crush 2024 and make it your most profitable yet. So, without further ado, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast, Shawndel and Hannah.


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Growth Strategy for Business: A Deep Dive into Business Journeys


Let’s deep dive into growth strategy for business. This is gonna be so much fun. Sorry for the long introduction, everyone, but I felt like it was necessary to really set some context around these super easy-to-miss and very important trapdoors that this conversation is gonna shine a bright light on. And Chandelle, thank you for saying yes,  to Hannah and myself. Thank we’re. We’re grateful for that. Um, before we dive in, which is probably gonna feel like a barrage of questions, a tidal wave of questions coming from both Hannah and myself. Actually, take us behind the curtain and share a little bit more about your path and journey. A couple of minutes and then we’ll dive in.


Sounds great. Thank you. First, thank you to you both. I know you keep thanking me for being here today, but honestly, I’m so grateful for the opportunity. Um, the background for me was it Spaa Group really started when I was likely three years old. Nobody can precisely pinpoint the date, but pretty sure it was around three. Um, I demanded that I literally had my own office in my mom’s office. My parents,  took over the family business when I was really young. And instead of going to daycare, I wanted to be at work. So, um, you know, as I dove into having my own calculator, my own notebook and pencil, and my own little table and desk, um, my dad also found that I was just taking up space in the office and probably not allowing my mom to do what she needed to do.


So he quickly had me, um, stocking shelves. It might’ve been like five by that point. But, um, I do remember diving in kind of full fledged and being at the store quite frequently. It was an auto parts auto, um, paint store. And growing up in a long line of entrepreneurs, honestly, I don’t know that not being an owner, a business owner, A-C-E-O-I, I don’t think not being one is in my blood or my DNA. Um, this seemed like a path that had always been intriguing to me being involved in business kind of at that close range. Um, my entire life, I’ve seen some really great, amazing things happen, and I’ve seen some really bad and boring things happen as well. Mm-hmm.  so fast forward through life. Um, you know, when it came time for schooling, you know, when I got to choose what I was able to do, business and accounting were my two favorite topics.


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Growth Strategy for Business: From Childhood Dreams to Business Realities


Growth strategy for business? Talking through kind of the logistics of all of that. So, um, you know, Spader Group is actually my fourth business. Um, my first was a new construction cleaning business, um, a really great friend of mine, and I started it. We literally threw $500 of cash into an account, ate, and said, let’s try this. We bought, you know, vacuums and cleaning equipment and regs and those kinds of things. And we went and started cleaning,  new construction houses. And we were fortunate enough that the first house we cleaned was a gigantic house, and it paid us both back. Um, you know, our, our whole $500 investment and everything from there, we were able to be very, very profitable in that business. Of course,  the business ran its course, and it closed down by choice. Um, it was a little sad to let it go.


Cause, of course, it was a cash cow, um, which was fantastic. Not everybody’s first business experience, right? But, um, being that we had that business sense,  behind us from the educational pieces that we had both kind of been through, we knew that that wasn’t how business typically goes. So we were trying to be very, um, gracious and grateful for that experience, knowing that, okay, next business might not go that way. Um, I also had my real estate license for a hot minute, um, nights and weekends. I like to be with my family, and that just was not the role for me. I would generally have a house any day of the week but for myself. And that’s about it. Um, and then I did daycare for a few years when we started our family. ’cause,  again, I wanted to dive full force into, um, family, but I also knew that I still wanted to be working in some capacity and still utilizing and, and playing, as I call it. ’cause this, this business aspect really is kind of my sandbox. Um, really wanted to dive, dive in that space as well. So here we are, I, nine years later, in the Spader group.


I love that Shawndel. And I just have to share a quick story because what you said about being three years old and that’s when you started your business.  we are kindred spirits in that way because I remember when I was little, I went to work with my grandmother, and we went to her office, and she worked at Humana, and she said, okay, you know, you’re gonna work with me today. And I was probably like six, maybe seven years old. It was summer break. And, um, she said, okay, so pick where you wanna sit. And her boss was out of town, and I looked at her boss’s office and I said, that’s where I wanna sit. It was the corner office with like the windows and the view.




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Growth Strategy for Business: Avoiding Day-to-Day Traps


So, I love your entrepreneurial spirit, and I totally relate to that. Um, and I think it’s so interesting, right? Obviously I know you pretty well at this point. We’ve had lots of conversations, you know, up to this point. Um, so I think it’s interesting because you have this fantastic ability to not only have that entrepreneurial spirit but to avoid those pitfalls that Stephen mentioned in the intro, those three trap doors. So my question for you is, um, how, obviously, you’re a CEO, you’ve built several businesses. How do you navigate not getting stuck in the thin of things the way that Stephen put it? How do you become a cd, CEO, but you’re not stuck in those day-to-day tasks so you can continue to build your business?


Yeah. So an excellent question. It, you know, is not getting stuck. Awareness is one of the first and most probably critical for me, and it is recognizing when I’m stepping outside of my CEO lane. Even this far in, I’m not perfect. I, there’s, there are times where my team is like, Shawndel, why are you touching this? You’re making it more painful for us. Um, and they’re not wrong, right? Because it’s not my lane any longer. Um, so we’ve spent, it was about five years ago where I really started stepping out of the day-to-Day pieces. And,  I try to keep that near and dear to my memory and to my heart because I want to be a resource, right? This is for business owners who are stuck in these spaces in general. So, I keep an awareness of what I am touching. What am I doing? Is this truly CEO works?


We kind of categorize the tasks throughout the day. Um, I am fortunate enough to have an in-house team. Um, before I had an in-house team, I did have an exterior team, right? Or, or a contracted team, um, at some capacity with me to allow me the space to try pushing this off to someone else’s plate, helping me kind of cut my teeth, if you will, in that, in that new arena. For me, as I said, the way I  stay kind of in, in front of it, though, is having those boundaries of acknowledgment. So I have my own right. When I’m really sitting down to do something, I have my own feelers of how I actually feel about this when it’s something that’s frustrating to me. That’s usually my first key indicator I’m outta my lane. Hmm. It’s like, oh, why am I doing this?


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Growth Strategy for Business: Strategies for Effective Delegation


Right? If that’s the thought or the feeling that’s bubbling up inside me, I will immediately go and say, okay, what category does this task actually belong in? Is it indeed supposed to be on my plate? I love most of what I do. There are things where it’s like, you know what? I am the CEO, I do have to make this decision or, or deal with this task, this, um, this task. Ultimately it’s, it’s diving in and and making sure that it’s in the right category when it’s not in when I’m working on something that’s not supposed to be in my category, I have had to train myself to raise my hand. And whether it’s asking for help or reassigning it to the proper person,  that’s, that’s my number one way, not to get stuck in that day-to-day outside of my lane, not focusing on what I need to be focused on.


I was reflecting back to a conversation literally just a couple of days ago inside the walls of Predictive. And when you mentioned the lane piece, I’m like, oh my gosh. We were literally just talking about defining lanes and respecting each other’s lanes and, and, and all of that. And we’ve also been having conversations around habits and yes. And so one of the lessons that you have shared with us, too, is that it’s not about changing habits. I know that some gurus, experts, and so forth recommend rewiring yourself and building new habits. And I’m not trying, not trying to take anything away from that body of work or knowledge, but what I like about your approach, if I’ve understood your approach, so please, I think this would be a good opportunity for us to sort of like check-in of like, Hey, did we understand correctly?


And that is, it’s not about changing your habits; it’s more about managing your situation so that you have the right team around you. Like the right systems, the right process, the right, like, and you have to build trust with your teams so they know when to jump in and all of that. And they’re not gonna get trouble when they do, like, so can you speak to that a little bit more? ’cause that I think is gonna be helpful for our audience as they think about, yeah. I wanna steer clear of trap door number one. So, any advice there?


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Growth Strategy for Business: Delegating for Success


Yeah, I think you’re onto it precisely with the habits piece, Stephen is habits are so hard to break, right? And I’m not saying, again, not saying that we can’t change habits, but that that runway is so long and sometimes we need an immediate fix. So, there are areas of my life that I could probably change a few habits. Sure. We’re not gonna apply those today, though. Here. When we look at that, I think I’ve added a habit more than changed anything or removed anything. Or more importantly, I stopped beating myself up for those things that were, where I felt like maybe a habit was getting in the way, um, for whatever reason, suitable? I’ve let that, that shameful piece go and adopted a habit of recognizing when I’m out of my lane and identifying where it needs to go, not needing to feel like I have to own everything, not feeling like I have to be the person that clicks the physical buttons to resolve said issue or take care of the task.


Aligning with others who have those superpowers and the ability to run with the task at a greater happiness level is, honestly, a key piece as well. Just having that bandwidth, right? It’s a task that belongs in their lane, they’re in their natural habitat, if you will, to say, yes, I need to take this on. This is my responsibility. Um, it’s a really great place to be. So the habit is, you know, kind again, we’ve all learned about habit stacking and all of those kinds of things. So, I think it’s adopting a new habit of pushing out what needs and what doesn’t serve us as the CEO now, just because this task doesn’t belong on my plate as the CEO does not mean that it’s not necessary. Mm-Hmm. , they usually are, most of the tasks are essential, and they do need to be managed and dealt with. They just don’t need to be by my fingers.


I love that you said all that. I just wanna tell you, I feel like such relief from hearing your words . ’cause we all have habits and things that we want to change, or we think, oh, I gotta change that. For me, it’s, um, time keep. I’m terrible with times, timelines, and schedules. And for so long, I thought, oh my gosh, like, I just need to get better at this. I just need to, you know, do something. I just need to, you know, change, and I can’t do it. It’s just not a skill set that I have. And to your point, it doesn’t mean that that’s not important, but that’s not my quote-unquote natural habitat to be good with timelines and time and things like that. So luckily, we have someone on our team who is wonderful at that, and I have really had to learn, to your point, to add the habit of saying, Hey, teammate, I really need to have your insights around this because I can’t do it.


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Growth Strategy for Business: Empowering Your Team for Success


Well, and to your point as well, that habit of saying, Hey, teammate, I need you. That’s why they’re there. Yeah. Right. Like, they are there. So you’re actually doing a disservice by trying to do it yourself, not only to yourself, but to yourself, that team member who has a purpose to be there. And you’re kind of taking that away, right? And to the company overall, because the company put that person in place to make your life easier, to let them swim in their pond where they belong and do the things that they love and enjoy. It’s, it’s, so, it’s like that slap in the face, right? Of like, oh gosh, why did I sit here so painfully for so long? They were experiencing so much pain for so long when it was simple: I do not necessarily need to remove the habit for myself or change the habit, my own habits. It’s sharing, sharing the wealth, right?


Yeah. And, and because, ’cause what’s interesting, like I’m, as I’m, as I’m hearing you share that, and then also with what Hannah just shared, a red thread that runs through that is the word trust. And, and when and when we’re not respecting our lanes, which then makes us susceptible to trap door number one, and, and, and we take something that we should be delegating, that we should be empowering a teammate to do, actually what we’re doing is eroding trust. We’re saying,  maybe through nonverbal or our body language, I don’t trust you, Shawndel, actually to do that task, so therefore, it’s gonna stay on my plate. And that keeps our teammates from growing. It actually damages our teammates, right?


Absolutely. It damages their self-confidence. Um, it damages their desire to want to be here to help. Mm-Hmm. It’s a really slippery slope that happens. You know? I mean, you, you kinda jump over that, that hump of, they start to feel that distrust or disconnectedness and connectedness. It’s just over. Right? And that’s a really, really hard relationship to repair.


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Growth Strategy for Business: Building Financial Confidence


Yeah. I wanna take a moment and just pause and reflect on that for our audience because I think that’s such an important point. So often, you know, CEOs, agency owners,  consultants, founders, whatever your title may be, when you’re in charge, you almost feel like it’s on you and you’re helping, and I’ll do all of these things because I’ve already done ’em and it’s just easier for me to do it. Or I can just get this done. I don’t wanna put this on anyone else’s plate, and you have this guilt. But I think it’s important to recognize the critical point Shawndel that you just brought up. And Stephen, you mentioned this as well. When you do that, you’re actually not helping your team. You’re hurting them, you’re eroding trust. You’re, you know, not helping them grow. You’re not instilling confidence that they can actually get it done. And it just creates this really terrible environment. So, by keeping yourself as a CEO in the day-to-day tasks, you’re actually not helping anyone. You’re hurting your teammates, and you’re hurting your business. And I think that’s such an essential point to kind of narrow in on during this conversation.




Yeah. And that’s what makes us susceptible to trapdoor number one. Brilliant observation.  Hannah, let’s move into trap door number two. I know we still have a lot to cover,  so we don’t run out of time. Um, so let’s move into trap num trapdoor number two, which is this financial piece and this measuring stick of, oh geez, they’re doing this, and we’re only doing that. And, um, and I shared that quote from Eleanor Roosevelt in the introduction. So, trap door number two is all about financial confidence and having it and instilling that as opposed to getting caught in the comparative game. But what’s the best way to do that, Shondo?


Best growth strategy for business? The best way is to, again, we’re gonna build trust, right? So this is with our team members and our outsourced help. This is across the board, but having that space to be able to be vulnerable, Mm-Hmm. And not just partially vulnerable, right? Um, we really wanna dive into what are these feelings that we’re having over our finances. I cannot be more direct than saying, like, you literally have to unpeel all of the layers to say, this is everything. Open up all of those closet doors and let that visibility be seen, or the items be seen, so that we can truly tackle from the core. It’s one thing to have a small portion of, you know, this. I’ll get kind of specific here, but, you know, we have this one credit card that’s really, really high in balance, right?


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Growth Strategy for Business: Managing Business Finances


We’re paying these astronomical interest fees, and that’s the one that we focus on. And that’s great. We can make a lot of progress on that one. However, what we wanna look at is maybe there’s actually three credit cards, okay? And I’m not calling anybody out. So if anybody feels seen right now, it’s okay. I promise, but sometimes we’ll learn about the one because that’s the one that maybe has the biggest balance and the one that carries the most current shame. But the reality is, it might not be the one that we tackle first. The reason is that when we have visibility to everything, you’re able to see where we can make the greatest amount of impact, costing the l least amount of money, right? And really genuinely moving things forward in a pro like progressive manner. So if I’m looking at this credit card that has a super high balance, and I’ve got these two other ones over here that have smaller balances, but yet they might have a higher fee, a higher interest fee, or, you know, they have different programs, different lot ways of managing the fees and what it’s costing to have that there, we wanna be able to assess all of it at the same time so that we can truly dive in and figure out what do these payment plans look like?


Growth strategy for business? You know, we wanna budget, we wanna dive into what makes sense overall to reduce that debt. Maybe it’s not debt, that is, the big elephant in the room, right? But that’s, you know, looking at the thing that people come to us the most when they’re embarrassed is genuinely that. I’m just gonna share this one little piece. Then, as we get going, we find more and more and more, and if we could just start with the whole gates open,  we could really streamline getting from this embarrassment. I don’t wanna share it with anybody. I have all this shame around my business, my choices, or my financial situation. Sometimes, it is choices, and sometimes, it’s just some things that we need to do to keep moving forward in business, right? And regardless of which camp that comes from, it’s still there and it still needs to be managed and dealt with. We just need to manage and deal with it as an everyday task. It just becomes a thing versus this emotional connection. Um, so as we’re pushing through all of that when we can tackle it all at the same time, one, we don’t have to have the conversation more than once as far as identifying right, she all of that right away and then move on, start building the plan and not have to rewrite the plan multiple times because of new things coming up.


Yeah, I think that’s important. Um, I see that in the work that we do Shawndel with our clients. Um, for our listeners, if you’re a client, if you’ve been through Sprint, or if you’re in,  RightFit Clients University, we do a lot of work around pricing, strategy, value, ladder, um, strategic pricing. And one of the, you know, questions that we often ask just to establish that is, you know, what are your goals? Where are you trying to go? And it’s interesting because I can totally understand what you’re saying, because even just asking that question sometimes raises people’s tackles, and they’re like, they get a little bit defensive, or they get embarrassed, or they have the shame. And, you know, I’ve had people say, you know, oh, well, you know, it’s been a challenging year. They start trying to, like, make excuses of why they’re not at this imaginary level that they’ve put in their head.


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Growth Strategy for Business: Overcoming Financial Embarrassment


And, um, that’s something that we have to work through with our clients as well. So, um, you know, one of the things that I’ve kind of heard you say and talk about is that you know, if you don’t acknowledge where you’re at, you’ll never get to where you want to go. Um, if you let that embarrassment and shame hold you back, and you keep things kind of, you know, under the kimono or behind the curtain, whatever metaphor you wanna use, you’re, you’re not acknowledging you know where you’re at. And that makes it impossible to set accurate goals. It makes it impossible to, um, you know, work towards those goals. And so we see that with our clients too. Um, and I think that there’s just, I, I’ve heard you say before, there’s so much, um, you know, confidence in knowing your numbers because you can’t, you can’t manage cash flow, you can’t manage your accounts, you can’t manage your finances, you can’t plan for the future.


You can’t, you know, take trips or invest in your team. I mean it all trickles downhill when you don’t know your numbers, or you’re refusing to acknowledge your numbers. So, um, I just think that’s so important that you know, this idea of getting over the embarrassment is kind of step one. Um, how do you guys, um, once you guys kind of establish the trust and you know, you dive into the numbers? Do you create a plan, or what are the next steps that happen kind of after that? Um, you know, once they kind of acknowledge the numbers and how that goes,


Right? So once we have it really all out on the table, we kind of call it, like, throw it all on the table and see what sticks, right? Mm-Hmm, um, we, we put it all out there, then we kind of take, imagine a bunch of post-it notes, and here’s all the little shameful issues or the different things that have come up that are holding somebody back. And then we wanna kind of put them into that perfect little puzzle that says, okay, these are the things that we can resolve quickly and give us progress forward and give us those natural wins, right? We wanna get to as many wins as we can quickly so that as a CEO and as an entrepreneur, we can start to feel like, oh my gosh, I’m not messing everything up anymore, right? Or I finally have the right team in place to be able to help me push through this.


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Growth Strategy for Business: From Overwhelm to Action


How growth strategy for business is important in modern marketing is we are not miracle workers. See somebody coming and saying, I need help, is a hundred percent where the credit lies that credit or not that credit, sorry. But that action alone is the first step to doing all the hard things, all the hard things to get to those goals. Our conversations generally start one of two ways. It’s, oh my gosh, it’s all on fire. I don’t know what to do with it. I’m so overwhelmed, I’m so consumed, I have no idea how even to open the door and get out of this box. Hmm. Or it starts with, oh my gosh, I have all of these goals. I can’t wait to get there. I don’t know how I’m gonna get there, but I can figure that out later. But I have all these goals. Neither one is wrong or right, or better or worse.


Both of them are very, very real situations to be in. And quite honestly, you can be in both at the same time. You might have all these wonderful, incredible, exciting goals and still have this background noise in your head of, I’m messing it all up. I don’t know how I’m ever going to get there. Full transparency, I get caught in this space once in a while, even still today, right? Um, and I think it’s part of that natural progression of getting through it, and every level of newness in our business kind of creates this little bit of chaos, right? So I just wanna be really transparent that this isn’t something we tackle once, and it goes away, right? We’ve just mastered it. Um, it is something. It seems to be something that is less painful because the identifiers are there so much faster. And I do have a team with me now, right? So, for somebody who’s just starting out in this space, and it all feels a little hopeless, I promise you, it doesn’t have to be never going to be resolved entirely. But it’ll resolve this specific scenario, this specific issue, and then we’ll find new things to burn down and rebuild.


But this, this is making me smile because like, yes, like,  going to a word that, that Hannah just mentioned the metaphor, like when I, when I hear you describe that, I’m thinking, and, and you’re putting a, a, a good polish on it, but I’m thinking, man, that feels like a parking lot of dumpster fires. And, it’s not; I’m over-exaggerating or exaggerating. But the point is, is that you can’t tackle all of them at one time, to Hannah’s point and to yours. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, which is why the embarrassment of this is the trap door and realizing that it is, if it’s something as small as a credit card or something as significant as a more extensive plan or whatever, or getting control of the numbers, whatever that might be, that’s an inside trap door. Number two, you gotta start somewhere.


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Growth Strategy for Business: Nurturing CEO Growth


Um, and, so there’s a brilliant book written several years ago; Jocko Willick and Leif Babin, former Navy Seals, wrote a book called Extreme Ownership. In chapter number one, they tell this brilliant story. It’s not a war book or anything like that, but it’s a brilliant story of tactics that tie into business application. And the first one was to prioritize and execute. And, as I hear both of you talk about that, there is a litany; there’s never a shortage on the to-do list, but we do need to prioritize and execute. But if we’re embarrassed because we’re, we fell into trap door number two, then we just get stuck. And then we’re kind of back into trap door number one, we’re stuck in the thick of thin things. So let’s move into trap door number three, which candidly, secretly is my favorite trap door,  because it’s, it’s in my opinion, and I could just be biased and or wrong, but this is where, like if we can successfully navigate trap door number three, some real positive things can happen, right? So when we think about growing as a CEO and becoming a fully seeded CEO, and when you’re working alongside speeder group clients, what are some of the ways that you encourage them, that you push them, that you nudge them, that you maybe have to cattle prod them in order to grow and become the CEO that they need to become?


This is, um, not secretly one of my favorite spaces as well, Stephen. I don’t even try to hide it secretly. Um,


I just wanna say I think both of you guys are terrible at keeping secrets. If this is like your secret. So, just gonna throw it out there right now.

I said this: Alright, we do not have a future. We do not have a future with the CCIA. I think that’s what Hannah is saying.


I think that’s off the table, guys. 


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Growth Strategy for Business: Embracing the CEO Mindset


Okay. Duly noted. I will remove it from the goal list. Um, no, the CEO space, it was a space that is near and dear to my heart and has been something I’ve worked very hard to achieve. As I said earlier, like still get caught in some of these things once in a while as we hit new levels if we, as we get to new places. But honestly, making that CEO focus really truly my, I keep hearing this true north, true north, true north, right? All over lately. Um, and keeping that CEO role really as my true north means that I am planning, I’m planning for the future, and I’m being very strategic about what I’m doing. Um, not just myself as far as my own tasks, but for the company overall, for our team, for our clients. How are we showing up in both avenues, right?


Or arenas, I guess. Um, you know, are we showing up as an employer that fosters happy employees so that they are here delivering their best selves to our clients and to their work? Are we showing up in a space that helps our clients truly move forward in their businesses and, you know, be able to strategically plan for their future? When we’re setting our goals from that CEO mindset, those goals become a lot more powerful, right? They become what the focus is. Um, whether you wanna call it visionary, you know, whatever that title is that needs to be there for that CEO focus to truly become what you own, it’s allowing that space. I spent some time before truly fully diving into that CEO space. Again, we’ve talked about embarrassment and shame from a financial standpoint, but I also really dove into it.


And we see clients all the time that are in this same space of, well, it’s something that I can do and feel bad. I feel bad taking this time and setting this time aside just to be the CEO, just as I use air quotes. Being the CEO is not anything to be ashamed of, right? Being the CEO is not just a job that, you know, has to happen around here. I value the position of the CEO as much as I value the position of every account manager and every manager that we have on our team. I think that all of these positions need to be filled. I get the benefit of being the CEO of Spader Group, and I love helping other owners get to be the CEO of their businesses. Our focus shifts, our focus time becomes really, you know, I am, I now have to spend more time reading books, right? Or researching things, diving into how can we show up differently in a more excellent light? How can we serve at a greater level? How can we stay ahead of the game, right?


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Growth Strategy for Business: 3 Actionable Tips for Growth


I used to look at that as like, oh, I can read a book later after hours. I can read a book when I have time. No. Like, this is a strategic part of planning for our future, right? And maybe that’s not for everyone. Maybe there are different areas and avenues, right? But that is probably the one where, again, becoming that CEO is such a topic of conversation when we are talking with our CEOs and our business owners and our entrepreneurs and, um, whatever other title they give themselves other than CEO. And I’m so excited. I get like silly giddy when somebody refers to themselves as a CEO after doing this work. Um, ’cause it’s such an accomplishment.


I love that you’re touching on this Shawndel. ’cause I think that, um, you know, especially if you are the founder, if you’re the one that built the business like a lot of our listeners are, a lot of our listeners are obviously agency owners that have started their business from the ground up. And I think that so often in that progression, you know, you, you, you start with, okay, I’m running everything. I’m doing everything day to day. I’m, you know, building the business. I’m talking to clients, I’m, you know, doing all these things. And it’s, it, it is a mindset shift when you’re like, okay, you know, I’ve built this, now I have a team I need to delegate, and I need to give myself the space to think about the future and to learn and to educate. And it’s so important what you said, that that’s not wasted time, that is necessary time because you can’t excel, you can’t grow your business if you’re not taking the time and space to learn to educate yourself to be and think and reflect simply.


All of those are just as important as, you know, the day-to-day tasks that you’re checking off or that they’re, that your teammates are checking off. So, one’s not more important or more productive than the other. And I love that you touched on that. So I know that we need to, um, kind of bring this in for a landing. This has been such a great conversation, and we talked about, you know, trap door one, how not to get stuck in the day-to-day task, how to, um, you know, add a habit versus trying to fit yourself into a box that you may not fit into or change habits that you probably can’t change. Um, we’ve talked about, you know, growing your financial confidence and how you have to, you know, get embarrassed or get rid of the embarrassment and get rid of the shame. And then, you know, CEO making that time, making that space. So I know we went, um, pretty deep and tactical into each of those topics, but if you had to give just three kinds of small actionable tips that our listeners can take and start applying today to achieve some of these goals, what would those three actionable tips be?


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Growth Strategy for Business: Taking Action of 3 Steps to Business Confidence


The first is really starting with that. Give yourself that permission to be vulnerable. Find somebody that you can trust, um, with that initial piece being focused on trusting somebody and truly diving all the way into whatever that looks like. Um, that’s first and foremost. ’cause that does allow you then, you know, again, into the right, into the next category of, you know, building that financial confidence is as you’re able to open the doors, decide what you want, look at, you know, what do I really want out of my business? You know, let’s speak to this specifically to the financial side of it, right? Do I want to generate more profit? Do I want to reduce my expenses? Do I, or I’m sorry, do I wanna generate more revenue? Essentially generating more profit. , same thing. Um, you know, do I want to reduce, right? Exactly. All generating money, right?


Yes. Um, I wanna be richer. Yes. Yes. I like that. Um, so, you know, as we’re looking at, you know, is it increased revenue, decreased expenses, overall impact to the bottom line profit? Um, you know, are there two categories of focus? Is there 10? Neither one of those answers is right or wrong. It’s just the reality of it is, is where, where are you at? Right? Um, so part of that financial confidence is diving in and understanding what the numbers are. Maybe it’s cash flow management, right? Cashflow management is a massive piece of that confidence. And knowing I can pay my bills, I can pay my team, I can pay payroll, I can pay the taxes, I can, I can pay for these things. Um, cash management relief really, indeed, can come before you’re profitable because, again, it’s having a plan for all the funds that are coming in and going out.


Um, and then the third would be to give yourself that permission to choose the CEO role. If that’s the role you’re really seeking, give yourself that permission, and these other things kind of fall into place when you decide that that role is not just the CEO role. When you define that, that role is the role that you are to play in your business, it’s really, really powerful to lead with that. And that doesn’t come from a place of arrogance by any means. And I think that’s what we hear is like, oh, if I talk walk around talking about being the CEO, people are going to find me arrogant. That is not at all the case when I walk around talking about being the CEO of the company. People ask questions, they wanna know more, they wanna, it’s intriguing, right? Excuse me. Um, so permission, give yourself permission to be in that space. And if you need help convincing yourself that you have permission, I am happy to be in that conversation.


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Growth Strategy for Business: Applying Wisdom & Connecting with Shawndel


That is awesome. Okay, great advice on how to avoid falling into trap doors one, two, and three. Before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, as Hannah said, we need to come in for a landing. Any final advice? anything you think we might have missed? I know we talked about a lot, but did we miss anything? And then please share with our audience, Shawndel, the best way to connect with you.


Awesome. Well, thank you for that. Um, I don’t think we’ve missed anything. We’ve shared a lot today, and be honest with yourself about where you want to be and where you wanna go. So again, like I said, I would, um, be more than happy to be a part of any conversation of helping you get comfortable with any of these ideas. Or even just to, as I said earlier, like throw the spaghetti on the wall, right? Put it all on the table and see what it looks like. Um, there’s a lot of power, even just in that conversation, for the next steps. So, um, connecting with me is,  we have a clarity analysis call. It is a 30-minute call with me. It is 100% talking about you and your business. I promise you. It is not a selling pitch, it’s not a ploy, it is none of those things. It’s truly a safe place for you to land to say, these are the things I’m struggling with. Talk this out with me, and soundboard this with me. Um, you can find that on our website, which we, um, have provided, the URL for that to be able to find, um, connect with me on LinkedIn. I would love to be connected there and stay, you know, in your ecosystem and working through just being connected. So I’m on LinkedIn as Spader group and then, of course, on our website, which is spader


Okay? Everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back in re-listen to Shawndel’s words of wisdom, which I sure hope that you do. The key is you have to take what she shared with you around each of the three trap doors. You have to take it and apply it and put it into your business. Because when you do, you will accelerate your results. And Chandelle, we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day, and Hannah and I are grateful that you said yes to our invitation and that you came onto the show to help us raise the bar and move our businesses onward to that next level. Thank you so much, Shawndel.


Thank you for the opportunity. I really appreciate being here.

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The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

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