ftwo professional women with orange background and text overlay, "How Stephanie Built an Organized Million-Dollar Business" from The Organized Coach Podcast

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Are you like me and wonder about the journey to growing a million-dollar business? I wonder how they do it? How do they keep it organized? What is their thought process? What were the most significant challenges?

Today, I have my coach, Stefanie Gass, on the show. I walk through her journey from a baby business to a multi-7-figure business and ask her the questions:

  • Are you naturally organized?
  • Has your business always been organized?
  • What do you wish you’d done differently?
  • What do you recommend getting organized for a new coach just starting out? What are the most important things you’d say to have in place?
  • What are the things that will make the most significant difference in the long term as they grow?
  • Additional advice?

Stefanie Gass is a Christian business and podcast coach, boundary boss, and seven-figure CEO. She helps women grow their online businesses and make consistent income using podcasting.

She hosts a top 20 globally ranked business podcast, Online Business for Christian Women.

Stefanie believes it’s possible to partner with God to create income and impact without sacrificing your family, faith, or buying into the social media hustle.

Your Systems Expert,

Tracy Hoth's Signature

hot coral pink background with text quote overlay, " There's a day when you outgrow the thing that has gotten you where you are. Consistently auditing your organization is so important." from Stefanie Gass


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Transcript with time stamps:

[00:00:00] Tracy Hoth: I always wonder what people’s businesses look like behind-the-scenes. Now, I’ve had the opportunity to see inside a lot of coaching businesses. Don’t you want to know what it looks like? When people say the word ‘systems’, I’m always wondering what exactly in their mind do they mean by it and what does it look like in their business?

[00:00:20] So I want to do some interviews with successful coaches and business owners and just find out what was their journey like? What did they wish they had done differently? What did it look like? How did they know they wanted to spend the time, invest the resources and the time to get organized, and what did they need to change?

[00:00:46] I’m really excited. I have one of my coaches, Stephanie Gass, on the show today and she has a very, very successful business. I’ve seen behind-the-scenes in her business and it is literally amazing. The organization that I’ve seen is like #goals. Is that what you say? It’s just beautiful. I want to get my own business like that.

[00:01:14] It’s been very inspiring. I’m thrilled to have her on the podcast today. If you’re ready to get some of this organization set up now, of course, she recommends in most coaches that I talked to recommend that they are wish they would have started earlier. So if that’s you get into Organized Coach Academy.

[00:01:36] It is open now. You can get in there and you can begin to train your brain to think like an organized CEO. We don’t want to organize just so we can say we’re organized. We want to organize so we know what we’re doing when we come into our office. Every time, we should know what we need to do in our business. We have it planned in a way that is efficient.

[00:02:00] This helps so we can spend time the way we want. We can do the things that we want to do, not just piddle around in our business. Okay. We want to be able to find things when we need them and have things ready and document how we’re doing things and set these, set it all up in an organized way. That’s what we do inside Organized Coach Academy.

[00:02:23] I invite you to go there to join us to get the support that’s needed and enjoy. As you’re listening to this episode, listen and think, what do I need to do in my business? What do I want to invest in now so that I’m not bottlenecked, is that how you say it? Bottlenecking? Or capping my own growth. Maybe I can get some more clients and focus on money making activities instead of trying to figure things out behind-the-scenes.

[00:02:58] Okay, here we go. Are you ready to work less? Feel more organized and productive, streamline repetitive tasks and implement systems that allow your coaching business to run smoothly even without you. If so, you’re in the right place. Welcome to the Organized Coach Podcast, your go to source for practical tips and solutions.

[00:03:21] I’m your host, Tracy Hoth, professional organizer, certified life coach, simplifying expert, and most of all, down-to-earth fellow coach, just like you. No matter if you think you’re missing the organizing gene, have ADHD, or just love anything organizing, I’m here to help you become an organized coach with a business that works for you.

[00:03:42] Pull up a seat and let’s get started. My listeners know that I help coaches get organized and organize their business, and I think it would be fun. I want to be an example of this and have other people be an example just to show kind of behind the scenes about what businesses look like. Were they always organized?

[00:04:04] How has it helped them to be organized? So I’ve invited you, Stephanie, on the show. I think you are one of the best examples I’ve seen. So let me start by just saying welcome and having you introduce yourself. Awesome.

[00:04:20] Stefanie Gass: Well, thanks for having me friend. I’m so grateful to be here. Hi everybody, my name is Stephanie Gass and I teach faith-led women how to get clear on what they’re called to do so they can start a business that actually makes income and stay in alignment with God.

[00:04:35] That’s what I do and who am I? I am a mom. I’ve got two little boys and I’m married. I live in New Mexico, which is home. Their killing it on everything and the balloon fiesta. We have all four seasons and I absolutely love it – born and raised here. At all times, you can usually find me with comfortable pants on.

[00:04:57] I might be in PJ pants and holding a coffee latte, whether decaf or not decaf – I don’t discriminate.

[00:05:05] Tracy Hoth: A latte, that’s my favorite. I love lattes. I want to walk through your business, your story, your journey, and from the perspective of being organized. First though, I want to know, do you consider yourself an organized person?

[00:05:24] Yes, I do now. Yes, I do. Very organized.

[00:05:26] Tracy Hoth: Oh, that’s so interesting. Do you think that you’ve always been organized?

[00:04:30] Stefanie Gass: I would definitely say not. If you were to categorize me personality wise, right, I’m (whether you follow or not) an Enneagram 3. I’m that achiever. My spiritual gifts are leadership and teaching.

[00:05:50] So you can imagine, I’m a very A-type personality, and when we think of A-type people, we often think of organization, but what really it’s action. That’s what I’m really good at is taking really big action. What happens is we seem like we’re doing all the time, which we are, but what we struggle with.

[00:06:12] I think everyone based on your personality type, the size of your business, and the things that you have going on in your life,  your organization is really going to vary the places you struggle will vary. So for me, it’s not, it wasn’t pausing to create the system, right? I would go, okay, I’m going to fill this junk drawer, ready, go.

[00:06:35]  I’m getting the things that got us up, but I didn’t take time to actually organize the inside of the junk drawer. So while it looks like I have an amazingly full, incredible junk drawer, this is a bad example. Yeah. When you open the drawer, everything is just thrown inside.

[00:06:52] That’s what it was for so many years. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 14, 15 years now. I was a solopreneur for a decade and running my own company while first getting married and then having newborns, having growing children, and then finally having someone on my team as I migrated out of network marketing and into my own company, which I do now.

[00:07:17] It was all very messy. I would use the word, what I used often to describe it was, I feel confused. I feel confused. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing right now. Where to find that thing. I cannot find that. Where did I write that down? Where did I put that? And that was a constant, like it was there.

[00:07:38] I had done the thing, but it was, it was the house. It was the, where does it go? Right. That was all over the place.

[00:07:46] Tracy Hoth: Yes. So those two key things I see all the time where you’re to the point where you’re like, where is that? I can’t find it. And then also what should I really be doing? I’m ready to do some stuff, but what is it?

[00:07:58] Yeah. What am I doing? Yeah.

[00:08:00] Stefanie Gass: So those were the big pain points back then.

[00:08:03] Tracy Hoth: How many years ago would you say back then is?

[00:08:09] Stefanie Gass: I would say that was 5-10 years ago. What did work works because there’s an evolution of organization that has to take place that morphs into systems.

[00:08:33] I got organized five years ago. It was better, but then we scaled and we outgrew what I had. And we had to actually invest in a true operating system. And then I got, I feel now organized again. It’s like, there are different levels.

[00:08:47] Tracy Hoth: When do you think you realize like something had to change?

[00:08:53] I needed to figure out what I’m doing. So you’re scaling and then you’re like, Whoa, what now?

[00:09:00] Stefanie Gass:  Yeah, it was two years ago and I have a good friend who is into systems. She’s an operational system manager and I kept talking to her about this problem. I’m confused. I don’t know where does this go.

[00:09:14] We were using a sauna at the time. And basically you just have to pick your task management system – Monday, whatever it might be Trello, like, they’re all similar in the fact that they allow things to become very overcomplicated very easily. So I had things created in this Asana world that we had built, but things were in, things were in, things were in things.

[00:09:42] You had to dig and dig and you had to find out how to use it. We had created this thing that was so overcomplicated. It was no longer organized. It wasn’t helping anyone. I kept telling her this and she wanted to use me as her test subject for using her operating system that she had built in her business and it was really just simplifying everything cleaning it up.

[00:10:07] We did end up migrating to a different platform. It was much more simple and it took everything in me because we had to tear everything apart that my team had built in Asana and rebuild from the ground up in this other system. I just knew when I continued to use the words like frustrated, confused, don’t know what I’m supposed to be working on for about three or four months.

[00:10:33] At length that something was broken.

[00:10:37] Tracy Hoth: That’s a great, you knew that something was broken. When you were thinking what is keeping me from scaling? What is keeping me from getting fulfilling all the business that’s you’re attracting? It’s so fun. You’re scaling quickly, right? Exactly. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

[00:10:58] Stefanie Gass: No, I don’t think so. Well, okay, let me rephrase. I wouldn’t go back now because I think it was important to learn what wasn’t working. To know what does work. But also sitting where I’m sitting now, I’m like, oh, shoot, I could have done that two years earlier.

[00:11:13] Yes, I could have recognized that. Just like when you open your pantry and you decide to ‘Marie Kondo’ that pantry because you realize that looking in this pantry does not bring me joy. Things are falling all over, for example, your Tupperware drawer or whatever and you cannot find a single lid to match. Mm-Hmm. The best thing you can do is just stop right now, empty it out, throw the stuff away that doesn’t have a lid, throw away the stained Tupperware, and then put it back the way that’s going to make you joyful, right?

[00:11:38] Do it now, because it’s never a convenient time to fix the Tupperware drawer. So what I would have said to myself, I guess, if I was to go back is to just do it sooner than later. Get organized sooner than later, because the frustration is going to make the growth and scaling of the business not feel good, not joyful.

[00:11:59] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. Well, and I think that’s interesting. Nobody, I think it’s a struggle to stop and take the time until, you know, you get to the point where you were, where you had to stop and take the time. Exactly. Yeah. So then how do you make yourself stop and take the time or do it then? Yeah.

[00:12:22] Stefanie Gass: So we as a company decided we were going to basically take everything out of the closet, you know, metaphorically speaking.

[00:12:29] It took four to six months to completely reorganize my business, my company, and it was excruciating. It was like any organizational reworking process is going to feel so uncomfortable in the middle of it. That’s why we avoid it, you know. We know that it’s going to suck because I’m not going to know what I’m supposed to be doing.

[00:12:52] The truth is, again, that there is no other time, but the present. You just have to rip off the Band-Aid and do it. So we had Asana going over here to like, continue running as we’re rebuilding this thing over here. And that was taking, it took months to do it right, to do it properly.

[00:13:12] We had to hire coaches, right? We had to hire the help that I needed to know what to do and how to organize properly, and then we tested and we would test things and see what was working. And so there’s never a good time. What we did is we forced the project to become a priority item. Some things have to wait and some other things might be messy for a while as you organize your thing that you got to focus on, you know, that’s just the way it was. But my joy and peace now surpasses anything else. I don’t even remember it being hard or uncomfortable because now I’m like, Oh, this is incredible.

[00:13:52] Everyone should do this. Yeah, you know, at the time it seems hard. It’s like almost like being pregnant. You’re like, Oh, it’s so awful when I had acid reflux. I hated this. Then maybe five minutes after you have the baby,  I don’t even remember. That was great. It’s the same.

[00:14:09] Tracy Hoth: Well, it’s kind of like when I’m helping someone, when I was helping someone in person, there comes like this messy middle part where you, I mean, the person especially just wants to quit because it’s so challenging.

[00:14:23] That’s where really having someone walk with you through that process is almost necessary to not quit. To keep going and push through that part where you just become overwhelmed, I guess is a good word.

[00:14:38] Stefanie Gass: Yeah, I think it’s so important, especially when you look at your personality type and who that you are, we have to be honest with ourselves, you know, there’s those people on the planet like you, Tracy, and you know, like my friend who are gifted in organization, and that is a gifting, a, a, You know, a strength that you have that not everyone else has.

[00:15:03] For those people who know I am struggling in this area, who is the person that you are going to trust to lead you, to give you the accountability and to show you the how right before I ever tore apart my. My laundry or my pantry, like the example,  I totally had watched the Marie Kondo thing to see like how to actually do it.

[00:15:25] Drawing a hundred things into some task management system is not organization. Like there is a system and there are drawers that you didn’t know that you needed.

[00:15:36] Tracy Hoth: That’s so good. Thinking of  a newer coach, someone that’s in maybe the first 100k of their business, what kinds of things would you recommend they have in place or focus on?

[00:15:49] Stefanie Gass: Yeah. I have two words that are my absolute favorite and one of them is ‘simplify’. And the second one is ‘easy’. As you’re thinking about setting up your business for success, the more over complicated you’re making everything, it’s going to be hard to keep it up. You usually don’t have a ton of help in your company yet.

[00:16:13] It’s going to be frustrating for you, right? When you’re thinking about getting organized, you really have to come out of the weeds completely and look from a 10, 000 foot view down at what you’re doing. What are you trying to create? Think about what your end goal is. What is the definition of success for you?

[00:16:32] Then reverse engineering backward. Okay, if that’s the definite definition of success for me, what are the things I want to produce and bring to the world that make that a reality? Okay, great. If those are the actions that I’m going to take, how am I then going to organize that so that those things happen every single day, week, and month?

[00:16:53] Then, what are the projects that I need to set up in order to do those daily, weekly, monthly actions? So you’re taking all those steps and kind of reverse engineering everything and I would do that like a mind map or like get out of your own way and like big picture that baby first of all, get out of that stuff.

[00:17:10] And then you can, and then you can begin by taking the steps to build the things that you need. But find the right tools. Our software, there are tools that Tracy recommends that you’ll want to utilize. To stay really streamlined, you know, and one thing we have found is like, it’s not always the most expensive software and also it’s not always the all in one either.

[00:17:37] Sometimes like you have to find the thing that solves your problem with simplicity and ease. That’s where you want to start. And you don’t want to get a bunch of stuff you don’t need. That’s not organizing you. It’s buying 500 containers when you only need one. Yeah. So really simplifying that. Does that kind of help as far as like, what’s the big high level process to start with?

[00:17:58] Tracy Hoth: Oh yeah. And talking about that’s one of the things that I help people is just first, let’s just use what you have to get yourself organized. And then I know people are going to be like, well, what does Stephanie use? What is she talking about? So your, your task management system is Meister task. That’s what you use.

[00:18:16] I simplify by using Google, like anything Google. I have everything in that spot and I try to not add anything on until the coach has organized her assets. Her files are organized and she knows where to find everything. Her time is situated and she knows what she’s doing. Then if we’re going to add on top of that, then we can look outside and find other things to use.

[00:18:42] Stefanie Gass: That’s great. I love Google. Google’s got some amazing resources in there.

[00:18:46] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. Yeah. Well, any thing like that you think will make the biggest difference in the long term then as they grow, I feel like

[00:18:55] Stefanie Gass: consistently auditing your organization is so important because like I said, in the beginning, There’s a day when you outgrow the thing that has gotten you where you are.

[00:19:06] This is usually an annual thing where you’re going to need to look and, and, and audit your own company and look for inefficiency because inefficiency will often come back to organization. For example, you go from having five clients a month to 50 clients a month. You know, that might look different where you now need some more automations.

[00:19:27] You need some more onboarding that is pre set up for you as a coach, you need to learn how to optimize your contract management. Like there are going to be things that shift and change to make it simple and easy when it comes to organization. You need to be aware of your company and have that CEO vision.

[00:19:49] I know sometimes it’s hard to think of ourselves when we’re getting started as CEOs. But you are, if you have a company and you are making money. Whether it’s a dollar or 1 million, you are now a CEO and you need to have that forward vision of like, is this still supporting me in, in this need of where I am?

[00:20:07] If not, what’s my next right step. So once a year, just that high level audit, don’t be afraid to tear things down and rebuild them when that is necessary. I think often we just want to modify what’s already there. I think that’s a mistake. I think that there are times that call for a complete revival, like tearing this thing down and I’m building this thing over here.

[00:20:32] When we’ve done that, while terrifying, it’s always produced fruit because you know more and you’re more equipped. Don’t be afraid of ripping everything out of the closet to hang back the things you love, right? That same process. The last thing I’ll say that’s made the biggest difference. As I grow is team and systems.

[00:20:55] Just as an outside tip for all of you who are coaching, you will get to the point where you are the lid outsource and hire, and you will get to the point point where your organization needs to become an actual tangible system where you have systems. And it’s, it’s It’s clean and clear and you know what you’re doing today and what you’re doing tomorrow.

[00:21:15] And that will evolve with you as well. So those are the biggest things that have helped me in the last couple of years as we’ve really scaled.

[00:21:22] Tracy Hoth: It’s been amazing. That advice is very good, by the way, audit and then team and systems. So I took Podcast Pro University course. I would highly recommend that to anyone who wants to start a podcast.

[00:21:37] That’s how I started my podcast. It was amazing. Then I went on to Podcast for Growth with you and it is been just to see the organization in your business. When a contract comes to you, you registered for this. I get an automated message and I get reminders are set up. The whole thing is just so amazing, I am in awe of you building this.

[00:22:05] Stefanie Gass:  I’m in awe too and it is not me. There have been many, many hands in this pot. Tracy, please know, you know, I hire people who have that really organized, detailed brain because I’m the visionary of the company. I hire coaches and mentors in my life who can show me the things that I need to learn. And that’s been an evolution of getting to the point of being humble enough to say, like, hi, I need help and where are the areas we need help in and being willing to invest in yourself, which is really uncomfortable.

[00:22:36] But when you do that, you always grow and then ultimately your revenue grows because you’ve created space for something to to evolve beyond what you are capable of.

[00:22:46] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. You invest in the areas where you’re not strong. I think people think that they should be able to get that together and nobody teaches that nobody teaches organization anywhere.

[00:23:00] Stefanie Gass: Invest in that if you’re at that point, or if you want to set your business up well to begin with, or you just feel like you’re lacking in some skills. Yeah. I like how you said I need help to be willing to say that. Exactly. I think when you identify the areas you need help, the answer quickly appears.

[00:23:19] Then it’s the act of faith to move forward into that, into that next step.

[00:23:22] Tracy Hoth: This has been good to see behind the scenes for me personally. Just to have you walk us through how each stage of that process that you went through and the benefits of it, like to see the piece that you have now in it.

[00:23:38] Stefanie Gass: Oh, it’s so good. I’ll say there’s days where you’re still like who’s doing that thing? Cause every level of your success will come with new growth in your organization. Also getting more comfortable with the discomfort of the middle, because I think organization is an evolution.

[00:23:59] It’s a process. It’s never ending. But even after I went and organized my pantry, if I want to go in there right now, it doesn’t feel great again. Yeah. You know, life continues to move even as you organize. To know what that optimization process is going to look like and just trust, even when things get messy again, that you can get back to that same feeling over and over again, and that you will, that brings a lot of peace.

[00:24:29] Tracy Hoth: That brings up kind of the expectation in our journey as business owners. Do we expect that we’re not going to have any issues with the organization? No, we always will. But getting those skills and the systems initially set up, then you just go and you have your audit in place that you’re going to go through.

[00:24:50] You know that that’s coming and you take each problem, but the expectation that we think we shouldn’t have anything and it should all be perfect. Where does that come from? That causes probably the most suffering when it becomes too stressful.

[00:25:01] Stefanie Gass: No, it’s always going to be hard and we’re going to be able to weather this hard storm.

[00:25:07] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. So Stephanie, tell us where we can find you connect with you.

[00:25:12] Stefanie Gass: Yes, of course. Well, if you are trying to grow as a coach or online business owner, you are struggling to get leads and get more clients. I have a podcast. called Online Business for Christian Women. You can listen to the podcast of over 700 episodes to help you grow.

[00:25:29] And like Tracy mentioned, I have a school if you end up wanting to learn to actually launch your podcast into the world and all those details are at my website, stephaniegass.com

[00:25:39] Tracy Hoth: That is Stephanie with an F.

[00:25:47] Tracy Hoth: Well, so good. We’ll have all the links, of course, in our show notes, but thank you so much for being on here and being vulnerable, sharing your story and encouraging the rest of us to take it step by step.

[00:25:51] Stefanie Gass: You’re so welcome. Thanks, Tracy.

[00:25:58] Tracy Hoth: If you’re finding this podcast useful, you must check out the Organized Coach Academy. It’s my course where I walk you through every step to get your business organized, to get yourself organized, to save money and time, to prepare to hire someone, and to do all the things that you want to do in your business with ease.

[00:26:23] Check that out at SimplySquaredAway.com/oca. Also, I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but I would love it. It’s my way of knowing that you’re enjoying the podcast if you leave a written review. I have lots of freebies for you. They’re linked in the show notes. You can find them in my bio on Instagram at @TracyHoth.

[00:26:46] Until next week, have a beautiful day.

two professional women with orange background and text overlay, "How Stephanie Built an Organized Million-Dollar Business" from The Organized Coach Podcast

Tracy Hoth