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How To Be A Control Freak And Build A Team! With Jenna McCarty

Episode Summary

Jenna McCarty is building her empire and trying to crawl out of the self employed/solopreneur world. She talks openly about her fears of hiring. What she’s done so far and what it’s costing here.

– when to hire and why
– how to set your team up for success
– and who NOT to hire!

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NYB Guest – Transcription – Jenna McCarty

Kris: (05:14)

Hey everyone. Welcome to now your business. I’m Kris Ward and I am super excited today we have a wonderful guest. Jenna McCartney is a renowned photographer that is taking Eastern Ohio by storm. Jenna is known for highlighting personalities in stories with her specialized photography and with a background in graphic design. Jennifer feels this adds an additional creative element to our work. Jen. His work can be seen throughout Ohio and the United States when Jenna isn’t telling stories through photography, she can be seen chasing her two year old daughter Reese. Welcome to the show Jenna. 

Jenna: (05:50)

Hi Kris, thank you so much for having me. 

Kris: (05:53)

Oh, I’m super, super excited. So we’re gonna do something, you know a little different here and we’ll be doing these from time to time on now your business cause it’s so amazing to have, you know, some of the wonderful guests that I have on the show and I think we all learn from them. I know I do. And then I hope as you hear me learn stuff and my big aha moments, which by the way are usually me standing there going, Oh and nodding my head and no one can hear me and all that stuff. But that’s fine. What you know, what I really want sometimes is to have opportunities for people to really relate to someone who is not even telling a story about a pain point that they had, but that you’re at that pain point right now. And I think that we can really then connect with you, Jenna, and identify with where you are in the crossroads of your business. Because being an entrepreneur can be really super isolating. So today Jenna has agreed to talk about some of the pain points she’s experienced experiencing as her business is growing. Isn’t that correct? Jenna? 

Jenna: (06:52)


Kris: (06:55)

She signed the waiver. She said she’d do boys and girls. So Jenna said, and I’m going to say this in her words, and she might not be, uh, confident enough to say this herself, but she feels that she’s at the point of her business where she’s just starting to make your reputation and she feels like now there’s some secure footing in your business and you feel like, you know, you’re becoming known and things are going well, correct? 

Jenna: (07:19)

Correct, yes. 

Kris: (07:20)

Yeah. And so what happens at this point, I know it did for me is this is a point, you know, when I was three years into having my marketing agency, this is where I thought like, okay, whew, I should be grateful. My business just survived. It looks like it’s gonna take. Um, boy, it would be awesome if we could sprinkle a little bit of sleep into this routine, but you know, I don’t want to be ungrateful because so many businesses fail. But yet again, it’s been two years since I slept. Um, can you relate to any of those experiences that I had Jenna? 

Jenna: (07:49)

Yes, absolutely. I’m to the point where, um, you know, I started this, um, to stay home with my daughter and I was like, okay, I will start this business and make a great income. And uh, it’s getting to the point where I need to expand, I need to grow. And like you said, I need to sleep. I’m up till two or three o’clock in the morning trying to get everything done and it’s just time that I take a step in the next direction to build my team. And to build, you know, the next step of my business. 

Kris: (08:22)

Yeah. And that building that team can seem so overwhelming when you’re already working like crazy long hours. You think, well, I can’t afford a team. Like I’m up to three o’clock in the morning, I’m barely, you know, especially when the business is anything less than five years, what’s happening is really any money that you make, you’re putting back into the company. Correct? 

Jenna: (08:43)

Correct. Yes. 

Kris: (08:43)

Yeah. Yeah. So then you’re thinking, well, Kris, give your head a shake. I can’t afford a team. Like that’s what you do once you become successful. I mean, I thought that, is that something you resonate with? 

Jenna: (08:56)

Yes. And um, you know, my thought was, okay, I need to be able to pay someone, you know what they’re worth. I want, and I’m not gonna pay someone until I can do that. And I want to give someone a shot locally and someone I know. So that was the route I’ve taken it up to this point. Um, which has worked well, but it’s still not enough to where it’s not alleviating all the pressure that I have. And I feel like I could be doing a really good job and really push forward, but I’m just kind of at a standstill on which way to go at this point.

Kris: (09:31)

Yeah. So you mentioned some really important things that I want to sort of tap into and and, and if I can just be so bold is one of them. You said, you know, I wanted to be somebody I know. Right?

Jenna: (09:41)


Kris: (09:42)

And can I say that maybe somewhere deep in your brain that that’s a little bit about a fear-based issue, like trust. 

Jenna: (09:50)

Oh absolutely. Um, I’ll be honest with you, I am basically a control freak. I will, I want, you know, my business to represent what I’ve built. And it’s sometimes hard to let go of that cause you’re afraid they won’t, you know, do it the same way as you did. So that is definitely, you know, one of my main concerns, building a team. 

Kris: (10:11)

And so then if it’s somebody you know, you kind of already know in a way, you can out muscle them. Like you’re like, okay, I know she’ll listen to me. So what you’re hiring is not really their skill set. I know I’m not minimizing anyone you’ve hired, so we’ll not have them listen to the show, but we’re talking about the psychology of hiring. Okay. So what you’ve done is said, okay, one of my main criteria is is I need them to listen to me cause I’m fearful of letting go. And so now that’s become a predominant character in an employee. 

Jenna: (10:40)


Kris: (10:41)

Yes. Which is not the most exciting place to start. Right? 

Jenna: (10:45)

Right. Yeah. And another concern I had was, um, you know, being able to convey what I’m trying to say so that way, like you said, I want to be able to be open and honest and sometimes it’s a lot easier to do that with someone you know, rather than someone you’re outsourcing to. You don’t want to offend their craft or anything’s like anything like that. So I am right there with what you’re saying. 

Kris: (11:12)

So what we’re doing then really is instead of creating process like any successful business in the history of business, they had a process for hiring and training and they had a team like anyone that you heard of an any level, even if it was two guys in a garage, they started building a team in the early stage. And I know for me for years and years I thought, well once you get successful that’s when you can afford a team but you will never get there if you don’t have a team. So what’s happening is instead of putting an infrastructure in place so that you have the ability to grow higher and a structure to train a team, what you’re almost doing is sort of like building a family. Like okay, I know this person I trust, I know they’ll listen to me. I feel like I control them a little bit as far as you know, I want them to be like me. So you’re almost like hiring, like hoping that like you know, you and your sister are like, so maybe I’ll bring her in. Those are the foundations for your hiring at this point. 

Jenna: (12:09)

Yes, you’re right. 

Kris: (12:10)

Yeah. Right. So that boys and girls in the little entrepreneurial class that we have, that really is a very costly way of doing it. So one of the things aside from tapping into into that is I know for a lot of people what they do is they take this path originally. And also what happens too is when they fail in this path and they think, Oh my gosh, you know, I have to do it all myself. And they go back to the drawing board. See, I can’t trust anyone because I knew this person and I trusted them and then it didn’t work out and it didn’t work out because you didn’t have a hiring process. You didn’t have a training process. Right. And I use the word process, but that’s a heavy word because it can really be something that’s done. Oh my gosh. So simply like I use this example all the time, you’ll hear it on the show, but you could be, let’s say editing one of your pictures and you could be using a screenshare, which is free. And you could be talking as you’re doing it and saying, this is what I do to every picture. And then you could ask even an admin person with no background in editing saying type these steps out for me. So then you would hand that video that you took for whatever, 15 minutes or whatever, and that list to your graphic designer that you hire that you outsource for, I don’t know, seven bucks an hour for six hours this week and maybe you don’t need them again for two more weeks and then you hire them for 10 and you’ve got this process. Now aside from that, you would have a hiring process, so we make sure you got that right outsourcer. That training process would take minutes. It would just be saving what you’re already doing that one time. Because what’s really important to me when I hear this, when people start to hiring, what I call inhouse and local friends and stuff, is there’s the overhead of now, you know, if, if this case, I don’t think they’re coming into your office. So that’s fine. But most people then you need the computer and then you need the software, right? 

Jenna: (13:57)


Kris: (13:58)

And then you’re paying like 20, 25 bucks an hour. Especially now cause you know them. So you really want to be nice to them because now things are going to be awkward. So they paying them, right? And then they have to be available the hours that you need them because now you know, whatever. And then we want to make sure that we don’t just get, get a groove with them and they’d go for till full-time employment, which happens cause they can leave you because now you’re emotionally dependent on them because you wanted somebody that you trusted and knew and liked. And it wasn’t about their skillset. It was more about the emotional relationship you had go in there. Right. So what happens is, and then also this is really what happens with most businesses, is then you’ve committed to that say 20 hours a week. Now this week you might only have 12 hours of work. So now you’ve got to find something else for them to do those other hours, which they may not be as good at and you may not have needed as much. So now you’re paying for something that maybe you wouldn’t have needed as much.

Jenna: (14:53)


Kris: (14:55)

Does that sound yeah. And then that costs you money. So now you’ve got to go out and do more work and stay up later. Right? 

Jenna: (15:02)

Yeah. From the last time when we initially talked, you brought up some great points on different ideas and different things that, you know, starting, you know, just starting out and being a young entrepreneur, I didn’t even think of before. Um, you know, the different outsourcing ideas you had and the different, you know, freelancers that you’d discuss. Like that was a huge help to me just in research because at that point I felt kind of stuck just in my little area. And you know, obviously it’s a big world out there and I think that’s super beneficial for, you know, people who are just starting out, that you don’t have to stay right where you’re at to look for talent, um, to build a team. You can expand and find the perfect fit. Just since we’ve talked and you know, there’s been me and you are on a couple of the same groups on Facebook, there’s been tons of girls and women that have reached out to me, um, just since then. And I’m like, okay, well before I would never, I would be like, Oh, I don’t know. But now I’m like, okay, send me your work. I want to see it. So it’s definitely becoming a step in the right direction. 

Kris: (16:10)

Yeah. And you know what, as I, if some people know, I wrote this book called win the hour, win the day, and it’s all about tripling your time off, doubling your income. And it really is all about processes and that’s the backbone to the history of any successful person in the history of business. They had a team and they had processes in place and it’s just so isolating when you are an entrepreneur, and I use the word term the term loosely because really if you’re by yourself, you’re self employed, you’re not an entrepreneur because you know once you stopped working then the works, you know that’s it. The money stops coming in. So you’re right, when we talk, I started because of my marketing agency and background there I started saying, well you may see yourself as a local photographer, but I see things that you could do really easily to start offering, you know, services online to other people or, I mean I have one client, she’s an interior designer and we started doing design by a distance. So now people walk around with their whatever tablet and show her rooms and she designs them from the other side of the country. Like you know what I mean? Crazy, right?

Jenna: (17:16)


Kris: (17:16)

So you can do all, first of all I would say to you, you can definitely expand your business if you can keep up with it. But right now your buried in the will. I need money to build a team and building a team. That’s why I wanted to do this call because building a team sounds very labor intensive and very expensive. And what I want people to understand is, you know, when I started and start hiring outsources, Oh my gosh, boy I, I put a lot of work into getting it wrong and, and, and now I can put, uh, you know, cause really have a very easy to implement very specific simple process where I can put a sentence up with, you know, a paragraph up with the three sentences, a little sample of the work and then we have a teeny little process to narrow down the jobs, the people that applied to it really quickly. And we can have somebody doing work for us that we’re happy with that makes us look good with our high end clients within 24 hours. 

Jenna: (18:13)

Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a great way to navigate through. And um, just like I said before, um, I didn’t even like, I’m like, man, I edit pictures a certain way. That’s my way. How am I ever going to make a process to train someone? I’ve thought about that a lot this past week since we’ve talked. And uh, you’re right, there are easier ways in, I could simplify that down to where I could, you know, it doesn’t even have to be a photo editor. I could show someone who, you know, has just, you know, a great work ethic and get the job done. So that’s the next step. 

Kris: (18:48)

Yeah. And you could do it in such a economical fashion because look, I know when outsourcing started there was this idea and I thought it too, and I read a lot of books on it and I talked to a lot of really successful business people and I thought for a minute like, Oh, am I exploiting somebody who comes from a different economical background? And I had a really interesting conversation with a woman who lived in the Philippines and you know, had moved to the States. And I said like, Oh, this was like, you know, 10 years ago. I’d never do it because I thought it’d be taking advantage of people. And she said like, who are you to decide what their economical priorities are? We think you people are foolish. And he spent all this money on things that, you know, they think that she said, I believe we have a better quality life. It’s very family driven. We don’t need all these fancy things that you guys have that don’t seem a value to us. So it’s not where our market goes. And I know in the Philippines, the average, um, would, would you call it, I just forgot the word. Um, the pay per hour, minimum wage, big word I was looking for people was minimum write that down. Minimum wage in the Philippines is like 10 40 a day or something like that. So when you’re paying I really skilled admin person or graphic designer, you know, six bucks an hour, they’re static and they, their loyalty will just surprise you beyond belief. So it’s also about the economical options that you have when your business is new. So, you know, it’s also about not having to take them on full time and commit to the hours not having the overhead or I know for myself, sitting in meetings years ago where somebody might have a potential for a new project and then you’d be sitting there and thinking, Oh my gosh, can we do this? Can we find someone to help us do this? How much will that cost? And you have all these things going along in your head, but you can’t turn down the project and then everything else gets pushed to the side. Cause you’re trying to figure out this new ambition that you couldn’t say no to the money. Right. So what outsourcing does is allows you, once you have a strategy in place to hire, is to really take on any ambitions that you can create in your mind or that is offered to you. And yeah, I think you can see the light now. 

Jenna: (20:57)

Yeah, absolutely. You know, the freelance world that, you know, I like how you said, um, you know, you don’t have to have someone a certain amount of hours. You can just basically talk to them about projects and then reach out to them again. And that’s something I didn’t think about. I was always nervous that if I brought someone on, I’d be like, okay, I have to designate a certain amount of hours and I have to pay them. But when it’s project based or even, you know, if I have five weddings coming up, I can tell them, Hey, I have these five weddings and this is what I need done. So it, it was very enlightening to the point where, you know, it’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Kris: (21:36)

Yeah. And because you know what you’re operating and it, Oh my gosh, the world’s changing so much. So I hate to use the word from the old way, but you’re operating from the old way of, you’re right. You’re like, well, if I need somebody for 10 hours a week, I better need them for 10 hours every week because that’s how we all got our first part time job. Right. And so you’re operating in a very understanding mindset, but that’s one of the beauties of, you know, you might work with somebody that does a very specific task for you that you only have every couple of months, but you say, listen, I will, you’ll be my go to person whenever we have this type of project. Or you’re right, you may say, look, just, you know, it’s June, we’re going to have a lot more work in the next few months. Are you up for that? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Or you might have a secondary person as a backup or whatever. But that’s the beauty of it is that not only is it economically feasible, especially when you’re starting out and it allows you as your team grows, that there will come a time, maybe you do want in house or you want a photographer’s assistant in the field so that you can do more shoots in a day, whatever. Then you’ll be able to afford that because you didn’t spend your wheels on all the admin stuff and the post production stuff. So you’re not committed to anything. And yet it allows you to make more money. Because as I often say, when people say to me, well Kris, I don’t know if I can hire afford to hire outsourcer. And I say, well, if you can’t afford to hire an outsourcer, then you need to outsourcer because, because your business isn’t growing because you’re bottlenecking it. Right 

Jenna: (23:05)

Right, and just with like, you know, editing and different things like that, uh, you know, that’s, you know, there’s so much technology where we can outsource and it would be so refreshing to just take the pictures and send them off and still be competent that they will be my aesthetic. Because that’s the, that’s the most time consuming part is making sure you know, the, the photos you take or you know, the aesthetic that you want it to look like. So if there were, which there are ways there are ways to make this look like my brand, then that’s the way that, you know, I feel like business owners need to go, for sure. 

Kris: (23:40)

So you’re a photographer, you, so you might know Annie Liebowitz.

Jenna: (23:46)

That does sound familiar. Yes. 

Kris: (23:47)

Yes. So she’s a very famous photographer who does a lot of big stuff over the years, the cover of Vogue. So she’s like the photographer of the world and has done some really famous stuff like rolling stones or Demi Moore pregnant or whatever. And I’m suspecting she doesn’t do her own editing. 

Jenna: (24:05)

Oh I guarantee now. 

Kris: (24:08)

So my point is she has a particular look like people will know that’s in any level, it’s photo, right? Like she is known. People will pull her in because they want that look. So she too is a particular brand and what I’m telling you is you may be special but you’re not unique and you think, Oh yes, my thing is different. That’s what they’ll say to me all the time. Oh Chris, you don’t understand. My business is different, my brands is different. And I said, okay, but everybody else has it help because otherwise you’re self employed. Right? 

Jenna: (24:37)

Yeah, Absolutely. And it comes back to like being confident with yourself. Like I yeah, like big named photographers. They know that’s their brand and they rock with me. Like how do I know? Like, I’m just, you know, starting out, you think you have this mindset that people just want you to do it, they want your hands on it. And there’s nothing wrong with expanding. And you know, starting out, you know, with a few people on your side so that way you can keep growing. Because at this point, if I don’t change anything, then I’m like you said, I’m stuck. Like I, I can’t, unless I do not sleep at all. Like there’s, there’s not enough time in the day. So I completely understand what you’re saying and I really appreciate all the advice you’ve given me. 

Kris: (25:24)

Yeah. Because you’re buying, but you can have your hands on it. So what you can do is say, okay here, let’s say, let’s simplify it cause I’m so bad at math. Let’s say there’s 10 steps to, uh, editing a photograph. So you might decide that the four are, you know, really simple. And so you want to do the two, that’s tricky. Or you might get somebody to do the eight and then you approve it and do the last two or you don’t do any, but it still crosses your desk before it goes out. Right? So that’s the really amazing part is you can still have it to be your hand print, you know your brand and what’s gonna allow you then is to serve more people with your brand. Because when you guys check her out, she does have great work. So it’s a real sad state of affairs. If you’re limiting the amount of people you can serve, right? You want them going off to somebody else who’s not as passionate or as you know, cares about the details as much as you know. So we need to have systems set up so that you can handle as much work as it can be thrown at you. Really. 

Jenna: (26:26)

Absolutely. That’s the goal. I’d love to be able to book my, you know, book up my year to where, you know, that’s all I did was take the photos and then I didn’t even have to worry about editing. I could just keep, have two or three shoots a day that that’s the goal absolutely.

Kris: (26:43)

Yeah. Because I think business should be fun. And what happens is we all have something in our, you know, that we love that we, you started the business because you love photography. And that sounded so exciting and then you started, cause you thought you’d be at home more. So now you’re moving, you’re not doing as much photography and your home, but you know, anything that’s not work is now becoming interruption to work. Right.

Jenna: (27:05)


Kris: (27:06)

And, and when you’re tired and exhausted, I got to say that that two-year-old probably pushes on a nerve that wouldn’t, if you had eight hours sleep. 

Jenna: (27:14)

Absolutely. I do not get eight hours of sleep yet, so I’m right there. 

Kris: (27:19)

Yeah. Yeah. Because that’s what I think business should be fun and you should be doing the fun part of it. So tell me, what does your day look like? Like we talk about the pain points, you know, so that other people can relate if they’re in the same point in the journey. Like you’re working evenings and weekends, right? 

Jenna: (27:36)

Yes. Um, luckily I’m fortunate to have a mom that’s full time grandma. So she does help me out with my daughter, but you know, when she’s there, you know, I work as much as I can, but then, you know, when she’s home, you do not have a chance to be boss, your moms. So then I’m trying to squeeze in as much in a day as I can. And then as soon as she goes to sleep, I’m right back on my computer. I’m getting all the things done or trying to plan my next day because I know as soon if she wakes up or as soon as she wakes up, you know, there, there’s not that time that you know, someone well with a two year old that doesn’t have one has. So, um, and then on the weekends that’s like, you know, I kind of have my husband, so I’m like, okay, weekends I got to get this done. But that’s kind of affecting, you know, valuable time with my family, you know. So there are pain points to where it is, you know, you don’t want your business to affect your personal life negative negatively, but you want to do the best job you can. So it’s kind of a give or take. And I want to do the best to be the best mom and wife I can, but I also want to be the best business person I can be too. So that’s my, that’s my big goal for this year is trying to find that balance and do the best I can in all aspects. 

Kris: (28:55)

Yeah. And it’s a tough one, especially when you do have a supportive family and you’re like, Oh, he’s so great. My mom is so great. So then you’re like, well then I really want the business to succeed because they’ve been so wonderful about supporting me in my dreams. So then to succeed, I need to work more and then I have less time for them. And Oh by the way, I, I am human. So I might snap because you asked me that question two times zero and I haven’t slept in a week. So now you’re like, Oh, now I’m a bad white man, I have to work less. And it’s just, you make yourself crazy with the internal dialogue. Right. And then we know the brain, you become 40% less effective because now you’re just, you know, you woke up tired, right?

Jenna: (29:34)

Yes. Like I feel like go right back to sleep as soon as. 

Kris: (29:39)

I know. I know. Okay. Well we just thank you for your honesty. Um, and we just really appreciate it cause this really helps a lot of people when they’re sitting there by themselves beating themselves up thinking, Oh my gosh, I got to work harder. It’s not about harder people. It’s really simple, easy to implement strategies that allow you to hire people as you need them and execute your ambition so you can get your business to the next level and just do it in a way that like, I kid you not, if you can afford a coffee, you can afford to outsource. Like I’m not kidding you. Like we’re talking like a $5 coffee, you can outsource. So tell us where people can find you, Jenna.

Jenna: (30:20)

Um, I people can find me on my Facebook page, generate LLC and then I also have a website. Um, that’s pretty new, so I’m pretty sure that’ll be in the comments, right?

Kris: (30:32)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll add and. 

Jenna: (30:34)

I’ll set it all in there. I have an Instagram as well and you can check out my work and if you’re anywhere close to me, give me a call. 

Kris: (30:40)

Yeah. Or you know, people I want to push Jenna with my marketing background. There will come a time any inspiring photographers will also be able to learn from her cause I think she’s got a whole bunch of infoproducts inside her that she doesn’t know yet.

Jenna: (30:51)

Oh yeah 

Kris: (30:52)

So thank you Jenna for opening up, you know, your, your dark closet and sharing with us and our listeners and we really appreciate you and thank you again for joining us.

Jenna: (31:02)

Thank you so much for having me. I hope you guys have a great day and thanks for listening.