Joanne Bolt: We're live. Hopefully this is recording too. I would really, really like that to happen. But if it doesn't, oh well. No biggie, right? All right. So hey everyone, and welcome to... I can't believe it's August 1st. I don't even know where the summer went. I really don't. It feels like two days ago my kids were getting out of school, and now here I am sitting here August 1st, they're about to go back to school. I don't know. You ladies both got kids, right? Are they back in school yet?
Amanda Churchwe...: No, ours is August 12th because I live outside of Atlanta. But everybody in Atlanta is posting their first day back to school pics today.
Joanne Bolt: Yeah, so we go this Friday. So anyway ladies, I digress. It's August 1st. And I thought I'd start the month off with a bang by bringing in two of my new besties really. They're ladies that I've known for 10 and 15, and possibly even 20 years in the business. But as we've all evolved and grown our businesses, we've ebbed and flown through the years. But now we talk all the time. And so it's my privilege to introduce, if you haven't already met them, and I don't know how in the heck you haven't, Linzee Ciprani with Ciprani Consulting and Amanda Churchwell from Hello Leverage. So ladies, go ahead and give everyone just a little bit of intro to yourself. Linzee, I'll let you start. Okay, we lost Linzee.
Amanda Churchwe...: Is she not here?
Joanne Bolt: Does she not have audio?
Linzee Ciprani: Am I going in and out?
Joanne Bolt: It's you girl.
Amanda Churchwe...: Okay, I'll go-
Joanne Bolt: All right, Amanda's going to start.
Amanda Churchwe...: ... [inaudible 00:01:47] her sound. So what was the question again? I just got all flustered.
Joanne Bolt: Introduce yourselves, you have to tell everyone-
Amanda Churchwe...: Yes. So yes, I've known Joanne, I would say, the longest between the two of us, Linzee. No competition, Linzee. But Joanne and I have known each other since early 2000s here in Atlanta real estate industry. So I started as a licensed agent in 2001, worked for developer, then found residential resell, and was an agent for 10 years here in Atlanta. Then I somehow got pregnant with my first baby, my husband and I.
Joanne Bolt: Somehow. I think we all know how that happened.
Amanda Churchwe...: Somehow. I always said I never wanted kids, and now I have three. But with the birth of the first one, once she was here, I just decided not to go back to work, if you will. And it was about a year and a half later, I was on a team at that time when I went out to have Lauren, and it was a year and a half later that my team, we were friends even to this day, came and asked me if I'd help them with some admin. They were building and growing. And I was like, "Okay, let's talk about it. Never done that."
And what they needed was transaction management. And I was like, "Okay, let's figure this out." And we did. And then the team next door to them in our office found out I was doing it, the agent down the hall. It literally just snowballed around this office of about 350 agents. And then it kind of caught fire around the Metro area. And long story short, we're 10 years in. We just celebrated 10 years last month. Thank you to Real Boss Women for being a part of our celebration.
Joanne Bolt: Of course.
Amanda Churchwe...: And we're in 24 states, about to launch our 25th. And doing several thousand transactions a year. So it's been a wild ride and it's incredible. And I have a lot of other amazing people that help me in my business.
Joanne Bolt: Thank you. Linzee, do we have you back? Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Linzee Ciprani: I don't know. Can you guys actually hear me and see me?
Joanne Bolt: Yes, we can.
Linzee Ciprani: Something is off. Okay, good. Well, I'm Linzee Ciprani, and I am the owner and founder of Ciprani Consulting. And I feel like I'm still stuck here, but hopefully it's working. You'll have to let me know if it's not. But I started out in the real estate industry as an operations professional for a big team. And I had my first child and felt like, gosh, maybe I can just sell real estate on my own. And when I did that, I had a bunch of people that came to me and asked me if I would consider running their team instead of being out on my own.
And so instead of doing that, I created Ciprani Consulting. And so I started to train people in the beginning, and then we kind of ventured into hiring. And I realized that there was a niche in our industry that wasn't being filled. And so I ended up creating Ciprani Consulting. And for the last 12 years we've been hiring and training all things real estate is what we say. And then I just took my team, and I rolled it last year into the Matt Fetick team, so I'm a partner there now. But that allowed me to kind of not have all of the real estate transactions and management on my plate anymore. I was able to partner with somebody else that could do some of that. And then I have Ciprani Consulting that has continued to just grow and grow, and we've become the top recruiting firm in all of real estate. So happy to be here.
Joanne Bolt: Awesome. Okay, so here's some things that I kind of want to dive in today with all three of us really is that concept of when you decided to pivot out of being an agent into really running something else. And at what point do you decide, hey, we can do this outside of our tiny little market here. And scalability. How do we go from having a business here to a business here? Amanda, you want to jump in with that one?
Amanda Churchwe...: Yeah. So I fell into this accidentally, if you will, right? You heard me say how I got started. And once word got out, this was after the 2008, 2009 crash, real estate was coming back. Here we are 2012, a lot of agents are getting busier. And so there was a need that I didn't even know existed. And because I had been in real estate for 10 years, of course I had built relationships there at that office and locally around Atlanta. And so I think I was well known just in my own little circle. And when people found out what I was doing, there was some built in trust there locally.
Then it just happened organically through referral. People would tell people about what we were doing. And then of course I had to do the sales call, right? And share with them and really be able to prove what we were doing. And that's how it happened. And so I was smart enough because of the advice of some great people in my life, my dad included, when I got really busy and had all the business that I could do myself, I had a decision to make. So it is, okay, do I say no and just do what I can do, or do I want to really grow a business out of this? And so thankfully, truly, because I was like I don't know, I decided to grow a business. And I've been able to talk some incredible people along the way into working with me and helping me build. And so it was just an organic growth that is most of the time by referral that we grow. Or if I'm speaking at events and people hear. So that's how it happened for us.
Joanne Bolt: Hey Linzee, same question to you. How did your growth sort of occur?
Linzee Ciprani: Yeah, so we were the same way. It was all word of mouth. And in the beginning, because I'm in the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia area, it was just a lot of agents that knew people that I had worked with. And they'd say, "Well, what's different? What did you do in your business this year to double and triple your production?" And they were saying, "Well, I hired Linzee, and she put systems and processes in place, and that's what happened." Right? And so very organically I kept getting referred.
But I was somebody who had been building businesses for years. And that is my passion, right? And that's what the consulting was all about. And so I immediately had assistance. I had a virtual assistant named Heather who was amazing. And I brought her in part-time right away and said, "Okay, you're going to own these 10 things while I go do all this stuff." And I'm just constantly making lists of what are the things that I don't need to be doing. I call it my I hate to do list. And I tend to teach on that a lot. But I always tell everybody, I'm like, "Make the I hate to do list. And everything that you hate goes off to somebody else."
Joanne Bolt: I'm all for it.
Linzee Ciprani: Yeah. And so I started building a business right off the bat because I knew, and it's interesting, I didn't release from my real estate team. Right, Joanne? You know that. So here I had these two businesses growing, and I knew I had to just keep going. But I just continue to love on people and to really show value and provide value. And that is what brought the referrals in. So we were very similar to Amanda, just all word of mouth.
Joanne Bolt: Okay. So at some point though, and Amanda, you sort of touched on this, at some point as a business owner you had to make a conscious decision. Okay, this is not a side hustle piece to my real estate career. This is another business. And I'm either going to let it keep trickling or I'm going to make it explode. Really, what was it for each of you that triggered that moment, if you could identify that particular moment in time?
Amanda Churchwe...: Yeah. So I had a toddler. When I first started, she wasn't quite two. And it was only a few months in that I was crying every night because I'm like, wait, this was only supposed to be a couple hours a day. I can work from home while Lauren naps. Yeah, right. Here I am rushing off leaving the baby with my mom who would leave her job to come and babysit for an hour, luckily we're close, but where I could run up and do consults with potential new clients. So something had to give.
And one, I'm very competitive, and two, I like money. So I was like wait a second. If I add another person and I grow this, I can make more, and I don't have to do the things that I don't like. So Linzee hit the nail on the head. What do you not like to do? I was very good at transactions, but the people that I have doing it now are way better than me. And so it was out of pain and the desire that when I just kind of brought my family around, my husband, my dad, we were all the beach that year for vacation. And I couldn't be down at the beach. I was up in the condo stuck working. And I was like "Well, this stinks."
And so it was them that just showed me like, "You have a business, you could really do this." And they believed in me, which was amazing to have. And so once the decision was made, it was like, okay, now what? So then I just set about taking all the classes and all the coaching that I could find on how to lead, how to hire, how to do all the things. And so mine was out of pain and out of the realization that I actually had something.
Joanne Bolt: I was listening to a podcast earlier this morning, and GaryVee was talking, and he made a valid point to me that most high level owners of a really successful business realized early in they'd rather have less income upfront and higher, better talent to take their pain points away, and let it grow that way than try to do it all themselves and make more money. Would you guys agree, disagree? I think you would definitely agree it sounds like. Linzee, what do you think about that?
Linzee Ciprani: Yeah, I agree. And I think if you hire the right person, you should double and triple your production very easily, whatever business you're in. But I think we always hit a pain point, and that's when we take the business to the next level. I think it always comes out of pain a lot of the time. And those are the times, whenever I felt great pain of not being with family, or mine was I had my second child and I was literally negotiating a contract on. I had just had a C-section, I was negotiating a contract for real estate. And I had all of these consulting clients that were like, "Where are you?" I was like, "I'm having a C-section. I'll be back soon."
And it was that moment when I was like, God, I don't know that any money in the world is worth me sitting here on the phone in the hospital after having surgery, doing that. That's ridiculous. And it was that moment that I just sat there in tears and was like it doesn't matter. I just need to grow and to offload things. And so a lot of my growth has come from when I'm in massive pain around why am I missing out on that, why am I not with my family, whatever it is, and then I go and I leverage.
Joanne Bolt: That's awesome. I know for me, my pain point came, and I just took a different direction completely and left running a production team and started Real Boss Women. Because really honestly, if I'm very vulnerable with everyone, my pain point was I didn't want to run a team anymore. I enjoyed the people on my team, don't get me wrong. But I didn't enjoy being responsible or feeling responsible for their success at that particular way. The agents on your team like to stand in there with their hands out, yelling at you when they don't have enough closings. And I can lead them to water, but I can't make them drink the water. And so my pain point was I want to consult and empower women to do this business, but not necessarily be in the trenches of putting up the for sale signs with them. And so I had to make a completely different shift because of that.
Amanda Churchwe...: You know what's really interesting too about this issue or point, when did you know, and how, and all of that? We laugh about this in my company, but I say it publicly too. I had a mentor tell me several years ago, just maybe two or three years into my business because I was just learning to hire, and it was just the agony over telling my clients I'm not going to serve them anymore. Right, Joanne? You had to do that. And Linzee, you had to do that, right? Everybody thinks that your customers want you. They actually don't. Even if they say it.
And so in my company, we just always teach you're just not that important. As a human, yes, you absolutely are. I love you, I adore you, and I'm going to treat you the best ever. But when it comes to business and your clients, you're just not. And so find somebody that can do it better than you and put them in there. And you lean into your strengths of actually building this and growing this and providing even better opportunities. So one, you're going to provide better service for your customers and clients. And two, if you get out of the way, you can give other people opportunity. So that was a big aha for me when she told me you're just not that important. I'm like [inaudible 00:15:36].
Joanne Bolt: I really love that. You get out of the way and you provide them the opportunity that they needed. How great, although it may have been painful at the moment to be like, oh, I'm really not necessary, but how great is it for you to then understand from their perspective that's what you provided them?
Amanda Churchwe...: It's been most rewarding. I mean, Linzee, I know you have a huge heart in your business and people that you bring in. And you've helped other people launch businesses that you get nothing from other than just the altruistic benefits of that, right? And for me, I'll never forget sitting in church one Sunday morning, and with little kids in the nursery, you do have your phone on because they text you that way if your kid's freaking out. So it was sitting there and it lit up. And I was like, oh no. And I looked down and it was from one of my transaction coordinators that was on vacation at the beach. She sent me this gorgeous picture of a sunset, I believe, or it was a sun rise.
And with this note. She was like, I've never... I don't know if she said never, or if it'd been so many years before they were able to take a vacation like this. At the time we were the Churchwell Group. We rebranded this year. But she's like, "The Churchwell Group made this possible." And I just sort of lost it. I was like, holy cow. And from then on out, I mean, I knew it before, but giving other people, you just don't realize how impactful that is. I always look at it as I'm not doing enough, right? I'm not growing fast enough for them. The opportunity's not big enough for them. But compared to what? Did you ask them what they wanted and what was important? So that a huge-
Joanne Bolt: Right. Do you not think the opportunity's not good enough for them because your vision is so much bigger?
Amanda Churchwe...: Yeah. It is. Yeah. And I just think other people want what I want. They don't. Some people do. But people aren't always motivated by the same things. I know Linzee is the expert in this when it comes to hiring and figuring out people's whys and what they're doing. Linzee, you probably can speak to putting in extremely talented people into positions where maybe the pay isn't what equals their talent, but they're not necessarily looking for that. They're looking for something else.
Linzee Ciprani: Yeah. And it's funny. I think what's really cool is you told that story about how somebody gave you a gift of being like, gosh, it's because of you, and because of this amazing company that they're working for now that you've created that they were able to do that. I really think that that's a person that you want in your world, right? And a lot of times I will say that you don't get comments like that as a boss. There are a lot of us that have a lot of people that we wish that was the case, or we wish we got those messages. And there's a lot of times when we don't. And so I think that speaks to you, Amanda, that you guys are hiring the right people, and you've got the right people on the bus with you going in the same direction, and you're all rowing in that direction. And that's an amazing thing because that's not always the case, right? And I think that's important to remember is getting those right humans alongside of you.
Joanne Bolt: All right. So let's talk about the right humans alongside of you because I feel like you're talking to me because you probably are. Recently-
Linzee Ciprani: To all of us.
Joanne Bolt: ... I put out there that I needed someone to help with XYZ. And I had a salary that in my head was appropriate because in my head it was great for the level of expertise for who I was looking. And sometimes ladies, you just need that other girl in your corner to virtually across the Zoom slap you across the face like Linzee did for me, and say, "You are looking for someone a step below you at a pay grade at that level. And the only way you're going to get where you need is someone who thinks up here and knows way more than you do."
And that, I will tell you, girl, that took me a second. I thought that I was hiring that person. And then I really had to reevaluate within my own self. No, I had that salary at where it was because I never really considered that who I was hiring needed to be better than me in their lane. And it's made all a world of difference. I mean, you're right. I've got that right person in that right role. And she knows more than I do about what she's doing for the company. And sometimes I talk to her, and I'm like, "I don't even know what you're talking about because you're using terms that I don't understand." But that's the only way you're going to move forward is to be seeking out that kind of talent.
Linzee Ciprani: Yeah. And I think a lot of times we, and as small business owners, because that's who we're talking to today most likely, small business owners have a budget and they have to live within their budget. And so I always try to explain to people, you're either adjusting your expectations when your budget's lower, right? We can't have crazy expectations for somebody to work crazy hours like we do, or to know more than we do when they're out of college, and in a smaller salary range. Or we have to change our expectation around salary.
And go and believe that if we bring in that experienced person that costs a lot more, they should be able to be held to different accountability standards, right? And they should be able to provide us with, "Hey, this is how I'm going to show my worth." Right? And they should double or triple our production. They should allow us to free up and go find more business. And so I think a lot of times it's hard for us to think about that though, as business owners. Because we're like, oh my gosh, but this is what my budget allows, but this is what I want. And the expectation isn't correct.
Amanda Churchwe...: It's so true. I recently had this exchange with a mentor of mine. I have done both. So I've hired for what I could afford and what sort of the base level would be for a particular role, and then I've also made an investment, a scary investment, in a higher level hire, right? And so regardless of which end of the spectrum you're on, and you'll probably be in both, you have to make both accountable to the role, to the expectation, but then you also have to do a really good job of setting the vision and the vision for growth. If you want someone, let's say, you can't afford. You don't have the money to go after that high talent. But again, remember not everyone wants just the payday today. They might want to be a part of something bigger or something that we're growing. And so I didn't have any money when I started and I got scrappy with it, right? And I said, "Look, I'm asking you to invest in this as much as I'm going to invest in you."
And so any of those choices is fine. All of them are good, right? So whether you have to start out with base pay talent, all the way up to investing in C-suite talent, right? And one of my mentors, what I was trying to get at, is that I was like, "Well, I'm not a $100 million company yet." Right? So I'm like, "Okay, well, how do I hire $100 million talent?" And they were like, "Well, you don't know what somebody wants. So it's your job to create the role. You pay it what you can. But you have a path for growth, and you are able to paint picture and you're able to share that vision. And you just start interviewing way above you." Right?
I'm looking for people who are way above me. And so it's just finding people who want to come along with you and help you build something. And I have that in my leadership team, which is pretty amazing. And let's just hope I can keep them, right? And then I can build it to what I promised. But yeah. I mean, anyway, it's a tricky thing when you try to start filling roles, and you only have this much, but you know they're worth this much. I know Linzee says that all the time.
Linzee Ciprani: Yeah.
Joanne Bolt: All right. So as we be as we begin as women or entrepreneurs, we've got our company. We've maybe hired one or two people. And we really do look around and realize we need to scale this thing out because both of y'all are in multiple states. So I know we touched earlier on how do you kind of know how to grow, but I'm talking how do we go throughout the US and beyond without going to Harvard Business School and without maybe having some of those people around you. What's those first steps that you would recommend taking? What did you take? And did we have any failures along the way that we want to admit to? That's the fun stuff.
Amanda Churchwe...: Well, I don't know what you mean? What is that? Linzee, you want to take it first?
Joanne Bolt: Go ahead.
Linzee Ciprani: Yeah, sure. Oh God, failures. I mean, I could probably speak to that forever, right? There's so many failures. But scaling-wise, I mean, so this is what we do, right? We put systems and processes in place. And I'm a huge believer in that. And one of the things that I chose to do, well first, I hired a coach. I do think having a business coach and having somebody to bounce things off of and to push you to your next level or to help you see something different is probably one of the main reasons why all of us are successful, right? Because we've always had somebody kind of pushing us to the next level that believed in us and allowed us to see a different perspective. And so that was one of the first things I did. And I've had a coach my entire life in business.
So one thing, investing in myself in education. And really getting around other entrepreneurs, going to things like Tony Robbins, or I love M1 is a great organization run by Rock Thomas and GoBundance and things where other entrepreneurs are coming together and learning. That is so valuable. And being able sit down and just ask questions of other people that are doing this at the same level is huge. And so that was a big piece.
But I think then after that, really, really sitting down, and I mean, if we're really going to talk about scaling and going into different states and things of that nature, just actually sitting down and putting that down on paper, and writing it out and making some videos around training for your next person when you're so busy and you can't do anything else. If you just sit down and start to make videos and do things like that, you will all of a sudden have a franchisable business, right? And that allows you to then push into that next level, right?
That's when you go from E to P, entrepreneurial to purposeful. And we want to get to that purposeful because we want to break through that glass ceiling that we just keep hitting up against. The only way to do that is to change and to actually build the systems. And I think what we do is we get so nuts with sales, and we go to the sale, and we never sit down and just do it. And so even if you just take a day away where it's like, let me just put some of these systems down on paper, it matters, right? But I'm even somebody who for me to take a day away is insane, but I should be doing that regularly, right? And we should have white space in our calendar for that.
And so those are all big things. And I would just tell you, the failing, every time I fail, I've had to... One of my worst days in business ever was when I realized that I didn't really create the model well. It wasn't a scalable model. I couldn't pay myself. I was paying everybody but me. And I was working my butt off, which is what all of us do at some point, right? I'm sitting here not taking a paycheck. And my husband's working with me now not taking a paycheck. And I'm paying everybody else and I'm working my tail off. And I'm doing sales and paying a sales person who wasn't doing the sales. And all of the things that are bad, right?
And I got to a point where I was like I have to lay people off. I've made the wrong hires. And I'm a hiring company, which is like every time that happens to me, I'm like what is wrong with me? I can't be perfect. None of us can be. And then I had to lay multiple people off. And it was probably the worst day of my adult life. And I've had tons of things happen to me.
But having to admit that I didn't have a scalable business, admit that I didn't run my finances the way that I needed to and I wasn't on top of it the way I needed to be, and to admit that I was failing four people that then I had to part ways with, because I didn't inspect what I expected from them and I didn't hold them accountable. And then I wasn't willing to have the hard conversations that I needed to have before it was too late, and then I stopped paying myself. All those things came to me having to let them go. And just that was probably my biggest failure so far, but have had lots of little ones that led up to it, right?
Joanne Bolt: Yeah. Amanda.
Amanda Churchwe...: Yeah. I have experienced just about everything that Linzee has just said. So except that my husband didn't work with me. I tried to train him on how to do a contract one time. And I think after about 10 minutes, he's like, "Nope, I'm out." So that was cool. But I really like him. So I was like, "Oh, if we could work together, I'd be around you all the time." But instead we just retired him. So now he's here with the kids.
But I would say in scaling, and I mean, we're still figuring it out. We're in all these states. Yes, we do thousands of contracts and listings a year like it is. But scaling, in my definition, it is duplication and multiplication, right? So if you have something that's duplicatable and it can be easily multiplied, then great. I look at that. I'm very simple. So I don't have a lot of flowery words. But that is what scaling means to us.
And so based on my experience, if I had advice for someone where you're just starting out or whether you're sitting there tearing your hair out or whatever, is get help sooner. I am not somebody who is going to sit down and write things out other than my vision. I've got that. And I know the pieces that I'm not good at. I started being self-aware very quickly because I knew if I figured out what I was bad at, then I could fix that. Not fix it within me, but fix it in my business sooner than if I just ignored that. And that looks like always having coaching, just like Linzee, from day one. It was first my dad for free. Then I paid a coach and I've had multiple coaches since then.
Classes and education. So if you're going to run a business, and especially if you're going to scale it beyond yourself besides an owner operator, you need to understand how to hire, train, retain, and love on your people. And there's some amazing companies that teach you how to do that. Tony Robbins Business Mastery was awesome. I know Linzee went to that as well. I'll tell you the most impactful for me, real world operations, was Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership course, a week long in Nashville. I've gone I know twice. I'm trying to think if I've been three times. But I follow all their stuff. It feels like I've been three times. It's phenomenal. It literally teaches you just the day to day operations, how to hire, how to really retain your people, which is awesome.
And failures. Not hiring right. It's the worst. If you looked at our track record, until I got my current leadership team in place, we struggled with that all the time. I would find some really talented ones, and then I would hire out of pain, and they wouldn't be so great. So to me, scaling is about fixing yourself, growing yourself, personal development. And then whatever those areas in business that you're not familiar with, if you're a really good sales person, you probably don't know all the rest.
So then go to classes and as quickly as you can hire operational help. Because I didn't document anything for years. Six years, we were manual checklists and Outlook email and paper daytimers. It was terrible. But we did it. I mean, we were killing it. And so really, really good operations help.. People who can document, who can really make sure the systems are working and audit those all the time for efficiencies that is huge in scaling the business. Because again, it's got to be duplicatable, and it needs to be able to be multiplied for me to scale it.
Joanne Bolt: My operation teams hate me every time. Because I have a very visionary brain, and I'm an operator at the end of the day, which I know that those are probably, I don't know, not the right mesh. But they manage to work their way into my body. And so I will come in with a vision, and I will sit down and I will start digging into the operations. And I screw everything up because I want to know how it works. I want to break it. I break things all the time. And my operations team, they'll be like, "Joanne, that was working and now it's not. So can we change your password and stuff?" And I'm like, "Oh, okay. Sorry about that. So yeah." When you get a good operations team, you do want to inspect what you expect, but sometimes you have to get out of the way and let them drive the bus.
Amanda Churchwe...: That's is key right there, Joanne. You can be like that and you can also control yourself. Because you need to empower them to do it. I mean, I still have full authority in my business. I can change anything I want daily. But if you are actually considering the other person, their role, and what you've hired, you're paying money for them to do, then you'll kind of get out their way much faster. And I mean, I don't like being embarrassed. And so if I go in and screw it up when I didn't have to, that's embarrassing and they lose confidence in me, right? And so for you to recognize that and yourself, I think, is huge. Some of us, it takes a little bit longer to do.
Joanne Bolt: Oh girl, I'm all about like, yeah, I have full control of my business, but if y'all need to change my passwords, just to take away that temptation for me. Some of us, our temptation is ice cream. Some of our temptations are other. Mine is to sit down at 9:00 at night and start digging into things. It just doesn't always work.
Linzee Ciprani: And sometimes it's good though. You do need to dig in a little bit. Because I will say that I've also seen the opposite of that. The people that totally release to somebody else and somebody else is doing everything. And then they wake up days later and they don't know how to get into systems. They don't know how to work things. And that person's gone, right? Or stealing from them and it's a problem, right? So we do have to have our hands in it. And we do need to feel it and see it and still manage it. And I think that's the hard line that all of us have to walk.
Amanda Churchwe...: That is such a good point. I just want to just mention this because she's so right. So I am not at all like probably either one of you because I know Linzee has got a really detailed brain too. But I don't want to do any of it. I don't. I barely know how to do like Google Sheets and things like that. None of that do I want to do? But my mistake was I found amazing people. I was like, "Go do it." And I set them up. I was like, "Here's the role. Here's what I want you to do." It wasn't that I just told them to go figure it out. I was like, "This is what I want." But then I did not. I just went off, right? And I just kept selling. I went to the next state, I went to the next thing. And I didn't know how to do things.
And so luckily, as far as I know, no one's stolen directly from me, right? We may have had people leave and take clients and that kind of thing. But that's huge because even though I want to be hands off as much as possible, I had to bring myself back into it, and say, okay, but how do I know that they're doing the job? Or even worse, I woke up several months later and realized that I had taken the eye off of the ball in a certain area and it really affected our business. And so we had to grab that ball back and fix that. So it happens though. And if I hadn't have done that I wouldn't know my blind spots or weak spots. And so now I know and hopefully able to catch it much quicker.
Joanne Bolt: Okay. So Hello Leverage. You guys just had a Hello ten year. Linzee, tell everyone how long the consulting organization has been going.
Linzee Ciprani: Yeah, so it's 12 years old, but it's really 10 years where it had other employees and was an actual LLC. And so we're getting ready to celebrate our ten year actually.
Joanne Bolt: Okay. And the reason I want to really loop back around and point that out is if you were watching this or listening to the podcast episode, and you're thinking, my God, these women have it all together, but you're in year two or three. I know you've seen and I know you've heard us talk about you can't compare your year three to their year 10, but what you don't see is all the hills they had to climb along the way. And you didn't know them 10 years ago. And you may be able to go on YouTube somewhere and find some of their first videos, but good luck trying because they're now buried because there's other stuff out there that tout where they are today. So between year one and year 10, how big are your organizations? Tell me what is your leadership stack look like? And then what does it look below it? Rough numbers, rough outline. What are we looking at?
Linzee Ciprani: You want to take that, Amanda?
Amanda Churchwe...: Okay, sure. Year one, it was just me. Accidentally fell into this, right? Got asked by my former team. Year 10, I don't know exactly. We're at like 28 or so, 29. And my leadership stack. So I'm the only one in the C-suite because somebody's got to be CEO. I have C-level people that just don't get a C because I can't afford a C pay yet. But I have one, two, five, that first level. Okay? So they're between me, and we have a TC team, a listing team, and we have virtual partners that assist the TCs. And then we do have outsourced help. We have an attorney, we have a CPA. Those are not on staff yet. So that is our stack.
Joanne Bolt: So you got-
Amanda Churchwe...: [inaudible 00:39:28].
Joanne Bolt: ... [inaudible 00:39:29] roughly?
Amanda Churchwe...: Director of ops. We have director of sales and client relations. She also does hiring. She has so many jobs. We have a director of expansion. We have our director of talent development, which is our TC manager. And we have director of quality assurance, which does make sure we do the service we say we'll do. So that's our leadership level. And then we have transaction coordinators, assistant coordinators, and virtual partners.
Joanne Bolt: So what, I don't know if I did this count anywhere right. Like 12-ish?
Amanda Churchwe...: 12-ish what?
Joanne Bolt: Between the-
Amanda Churchwe...: Like 28 people in my company.
Joanne Bolt: 28 people. Okay. And then you've got the outsourcers that you pull in for stuff.
Amanda Churchwe...: Yeah. Like our CPA and attorney, our marketing director. She looks like she's in house, but she's not. So yeah, we work with 30 plus people every day.
Joanne Bolt: Okay. All right, Linzee, what does yours look like?
Linzee Ciprani: Yeah. So we are now at 22 in Ciprani Consulting, and I think we're around 38 in the real estate team. But I mean, we started with just me, and then one part-time assistant, and then just kept going. And I would say if you looked at this same company a year ago, you would've seen a director of sales. Now I'm director of sales again. I just offloaded for the first time ever in my history, offloaded what I'm going to call the COO spot to somebody who's owning that because I am one of those weird people that can do both, and will if you give me the opportunity.
And so we're in the director level, we've got my husband who I made come and work with me about five years ago because I just needed somebody else that could recruit at the same level as me. And then now I've got the COO, and we've got a, we call her the FIG, which is our financial guru person, but she's essentially a CFO. And we have lots of hiring consultants. And then hiring consultant assistants to the hiring consultants. And then we also have consultants for business. So we've got about six people now that are coming alongside of new hires and helping them put systems and processes in place. And it's awesome.
Joanne Bolt: Awesome. All right. So as we begin to wrap this up, this has been great by the way, you've given me new goals to achieve and reach, any advice you want to throw out there for our audience? Just the woman entrepreneur out there who's thinking I could grow a business, or I'm in the process of growing a business. I mean, I hate to say if they can do it, I can do it. But any advice you want to give them to put in their brains?
Linzee Ciprani: I think I could go first. The advice that I've been giving to a lot of people that really think that they might grow a business is to learn about leadership. So I love that Amanda said EntreLeadership. I mean, John Maxwell. There's so many great books to read on leadership. But that I really think we start out as amazing sales people, or something, right? We're really good at baking cakes. Then we become a business owner the moment that we hire our first person and we become a leader. And I think most of us don't know how to do that, and we continue to fail forward. Whereas I think that you can learn what that looks like and eliminate some of the issues that you're going to encounter by becoming that. Because that is probably the hardest part of building a business is leading people. And knowing when to hold them accountable versus loving them. And how do you do both, and what does that look like?
Joanne Bolt: Love it. Amanda.
Amanda Churchwe...: Absolutely. I mean, if you are going to grow a business, it is all about people. And it's people are your customers and people are your employees. And so I did not know how to lead people. I didn't know anything about the DiSC profile, I'm a high D. I want things the way I want them. I think I should be able to tell you once and you got it. Why do I got to tell you again? It's just not true. And so I would say self-awareness. You need to know thy self. Be honest with yourself. This is not about negative self-talk. This is not about doubting yourself. You are not good at everything. No one is. And so the quicker you find out what it is that you're really good at and where it is that you want to go, then you can start putting the pieces in place to help you get there.
Now in the beginning, it was just me. I had to do the work and hire the people and train the people and keep the books, and all of that. So it would behoove you to take some classes, right? I mentioned EntreLeadership because it was real practical. At my brokerage, they had classes about learning how to hire. Anyone can take them. There's a course called career visioning anyone can take. I think it's fantastic. I use a hybrid of that and what I learned from EntreLeadership. There's a book called EntreLeadership. It's really good.
Also knowing that challenges and problems and hills to climb never go away. I also think that cliches are cliches because they're true. So just listen to all the cliches and just understand that that's true. So the bigger you get, your problems just get bigger. But you're also ready to face them. So don't be scared of that. You've already faced it at one stage. When you get to the next stage, if you're going up a staircase and you're climbing levels, when you get to the next level, guess what, you're at the bottom of the next level. You're not equal to the next level. You're just starting out at the next level. So now you got to grow again, right? That was a big aha for me is they don't go away. You don't ever figure it out.
And I also don't think that a business has a destination. I think that it is a journey forever until you quit. And you just being aware of all those things I think will help you actually enjoy the journey even more. I'd like to give another resource real quick.
Joanne Bolt: Go for it.
Amanda Churchwe...: My mentor, Adam Hergenrother, has a podcast called Business Meets Spirituality that is fantastic. This will help with that inner growth and actually being okay with who you are and showing up every day already happy and joyful. Not [inaudible 00:46:25], and not all rainbows and sunshine, but it's making sure that you know that I don't need this sell to make me okay. I don't need this hire to make me okay. I'm already okay. So now let's go play and have fun with our business. If you could learn that before you get in business. And you're just judging yourself all the time and you're thinking you're a failure. You're not. You just tried something that didn't work. So go try something else, right? Go hire a different personality or a different style of person.
But yeah, so those things, self-awareness. I wrote down some notes while Linzee was talking. So that's why I'm looking right there. But just knowing that challenges never go away. It's fricking hard. And I think my business is awesome. But it's hard. And we have some hard things that we're learning right now. And I'm just enjoying the lessons to be honest because that's really all they are. What am I going to learn today?
Joanne Bolt: You know what I love about that is one thing that, I mean, stuck out to me in what you just said, aside from it is hard and the challenges don't ever end because they don't, but if you're not in a business that you want to go play in every day, then you're in the wrong business. I told my team when we started Real Boss Women, I was going to give myself 12 months to do a lot of different things in this organization to see what I like to play at the most before we really settle into what we are going to niche down into. Because quite frankly, if you don't want to play in it every day, even when it's hard, even when it's rough, even when it's crap you don't even know how to handle, if you don't want to get up the next day and go do it again, then you're going to burn out so much faster.
Linzee Ciprani: That's right. And I think just to tag along on that's why my team is no longer my team anymore, right? There's no Linzee Ciprani team because I gave it to somebody else. And every person said, "Why would you do that? That's an income producing asset." And I looked at it as, but if everybody were to leave me today in that real estate business, I do not want to go do all those jobs. Whereas in the other one, I want to do all the jobs. I'm fine with all the things. And so I knew I needed to go where my passion was and I think that's really important.
Joanne Bolt: Awesome.
Amanda Churchwe...: There's no one that can tell you either. It is you. You don't have to be like anybody else. You don't have to grow it to anything anybody else wants you to grow it too. Grow it to what you want. Make it what you want and be okay. It took me forever to be okay with what I wanted, right? And it doesn't have to look like anything else. And when I mentioned all these other people and resources, it was purely selfish. I needed something, and I went to them because they already did it and knew how to teach me. And you pay a lot for it. But that's investing in yourself. And it doesn't have to look like anybody else's. And you can be happy right now and grow your business, and it still be hard. I think that's a big thing too. I'm on this kick. I got my little bracelet. Enjoy the journey.
Joanne Bolt: No, I agree with you. And I tell people all the time, if you are wanting to do something, and the people you're around aren't supportive and are not helping you get there or giving you the resources or cheering you on, don't not do the thing. Go change rooms, go get different people. Go find the people who will help you get where you need to go.
Amanda Churchwe...: Absolutely. I love that.
Joanne Bolt: All right. This has been great. Thank you ladies. We've got one more. Enjoy the journey. Our listeners are like, "Yes. Preach it, sisters."
Amanda Churchwe...: I'm all about that.
Joanne Bolt: All right, guys. We'll see you same time, same place next week.
Linzee Ciprani: Thank you.