I’m a firm believer that a clean space translates to a clear mind. As business owners, transforming leadership and ownership will get nowhere without taking a few moments out of the day to declutter. Offload all the heaviness you’ve been carrying. Give your brain time to recalibrate.
During my recent conversation with Evett Lattouf, we started off with acknowledging the importance of all those good things – cleansing your environment, getting some fresh air flowing your mind, and stopping to reflect what’s really going on.
That’s just the start of it all, though, because our conversation is a real deep dive into transforming leadership and ownership across a plethora of topics.
From learning about how to navigate a husband and wife business team, to controlling your time, to the positives of COVID-19, we cover stacks of must-have tips and insights for every business owner.
As the Director and Senior Speech Pathologist at Speech in Focus, Speech Pathology Services, Evett takes us through a journey of operating a small business – something I’m sure many of you can relate to.
As Evett so accurately puts: “You’ve got to want to do the work, to do what you want. It’s not going to happen just by sheer wanting it. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves. You’ve got to get your hands dirty and you’re going to have sleepless nights. You’re going to have tears, but you’re going to have tears of joy as well as anguish. But it does get better.”
Want to listen to more of Evett’s wise words? Listen to the podcast now.
To get a glance at some key areas we discuss before you have a listen, keep on reading.
The Secret to a Successful Husband & Wife Business Team
Working alongside Evett is her husband, George. He works as the front of house for the business, the practice management side, as well as the financial management.
For Evett and George, working as a husband and wife in a business is about being all in or nothing. They brainstormed frequently and adjusted their roles as time went on.
George wasn’t actively involved in the business at first, which led to a hundred-day onboarding system. There were many elements of the practice that were known to Evett, but foreign to him.
He had to understand the nature of a speech pathologist, the practice management system, customer services, and the vocabulary.
If you’re managing a business with your partner, sit down and really grasp an understanding of your business vision. What is your mission? How are you going to present that to your team?
They learnt how to divide and conquer, and the benefits that came with that decision. While George was handling certain front-end areas of the business, it freed up Evett’s time to work on internal processes.
Even if you’re not in business with a partner, there are valuable lessons to learn from Evett and George’s story.
You can learn to bounce off other people to see how much more others can contribute. Business is a constant learning curve. Don’t be afraid to learn new things, even if you’re the head of it all.
Using Your Time Wisely
Once Evett took some time to stop and reflect on every level, she became more aware of how much she was trying to be a colleague instead of a leader.
Now this is a juicy talking point, which you’ll love hearing about on the full episode.
Allocating “thinking time” is one of the best decisions you can make as a business owner.
You’ll have time to look at the numbers. To see what’s going on in the market. To identify where it is you want your team to grow. Think about where your practice needs to thrive. Where are the missing elements?
Evett even mentions one of our previous podcast guests, Donna McGeorge, and how she helped her hone in on team meetings.
Thinking time helps your team meetings do what they’re meant to do.
Evett even discovered how powerful a 30-minute meeting can be – even more so than a 60-minute one.
Are you segmenting your time productively? Are your energy levels being spent like they should be? What time of day do you do the most thinking?
Team Leadership and the Business Impact
What makes impressionism so impactful? Yes, I’m talking about the 19th-century art movement.
It’s the fact that when you look at it closeup, you can’t understand the whole picture. But when you stand back, everything comes into place like magic. What may look like a bunch of brush strokes and dots from closeup are actually an array of details that make up one breathtaking image.
You’re literally looking at the whole picture. The whole picture of your business.
Evett recognised the importance of taking a step back and looking at things holistically, before delving into all the details. And that process repeats itself, so it’s an ongoing process. As Evett says, “It’s not an endpoint, it’s a continuum.”
When it comes to her team, Evett ensure to maintain a clear plan. As a leader, she’s got answers to the questions. Rather than giving answers to questions when you don’t have answers to give, get down to the nitty-gritty and cover your bases.
You must be clear about what is going to work. Speak to each team member and ask them how they’re going. Get a clear picture of their sense of uncertainty. That will lead to a peaceful, trusting team.
Loving the Numbers
In the process of transforming leadership and ownership, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are certain areas you may not be accustomed to, like business numbers, and that’s where you can outsource for help.
Evett has a solid bookkeeping team. She has them on tap, and it’s been critical to understanding her financials and numbers.
Getting all your books clean and correct means you’ve got data to work with and data you trust.
COVID-19 has even forced Evett to rethink how her business communicates with those essential external team members. It’s made things more accessible and feasible.
The pandemic has demanded many of us to look at our numbers every 24 hours, which leads to things becoming much tidier and easier to handle.
Your Future Plans
Where do you see your business in the next 12 months?
For Evett, it isn’t about stability. Stability has gone out the window.
It’s also not about making the business grow or having an ego boost.
She realised that it doesn’t have to be about all the bells and whistles in terms of size, but rather that her business packs a punch with what they do.
Have you thought about growth in the philosophical sense rather than physical? In business, less is more. So how about doing better rather than doing more?
Many small businesses are batting above their weight in terms of lifestyle, time, money, and joy rewards. If you’re going to go the distance, you need a solid team. You need those foundations in place (in every sense).
Be strategic, control change, be realistic, and control the future rather than always adapting to it.
Like Evett, your journey towards transforming leadership and ownership is ongoing.
You get what you tolerate. Your level of success will never exceed the level of personal development. And like I always say, your business will only be as good as you are.