In case you missed the first part of the interview here it is: Q&A With Mia Paulus Founder and CEO of The Centr ( Part 1 )
Q: How did/do you know when you have the right idea about something in your business?
A: When my business was smaller it was easy because I have always been really good at connecting my heart and mind together to make sound decisions. I am a visionary and love data and when you mix the two together you can weigh the vision and the data and move forward with a decision without fear. So in a way it was always innate for me. But as you get a larger team you have to get a little more sophisticated in how you come to make decisions because you have to figure out how to train that and empower your teams to do the same. So I started to think, what is this innate thing that I have and how can others channel it in themselves? This is what led me to author a guide book titled The CentrPOINT: Purposeful Focus in Business around this same concept. If you can figure out The CentrPOINT of your company (which I define as your purpose, values and vision) then you can have clarity on who you are, where you came from and where you are going. This allows you to make confident decisions and empowers your team to do the same. It becomes the compass that guides you forward that you can test everything against.
Q: How did/do you handle adversity and doubt?
A: I handle it well now. I have had a lot over the years and there have been some HARD trials. But I have had a lot of peace during those trials. Again, the key is having your purpose, values and vision–but I would be lying if I didn’t say that my belief in God was a big part of how I handle adversity as well. I don’t think I can answer this question without pointing to God and having what I call “grit and grace.” So I take action and do the things I need to do by working hard (grit) while also knowing that the adversity I face will only last so long. I have seen and experienced miracles (grace) that make-up the difference which I attribute to God.
Q: How did you plan to scale your business? What did you put in place?
A:I always knew I needed a base of people in place first. A team who can get the work done, grow and expand the company. I have this model that shows that the human experience consists of keeping balance between people, process and technology. Meaning that all three of those can be used to help improve the human experience. So after I had the established team I realized we needed more process. So I worked with a process engineer and focused on bringing in process-minded people to develop more processes. Then I realized we were struggling on the technology side of things. So we brought in a tech team and developers and started to use technology to create certain automations that have helped us. Not only do these automations make a difference internally but they help ensure that we can continue to offer premium services at approachable, fair prices for entrepreneurs. We are now at a place where we are set for growth and we will continue doing the work, bringing on more talent, adding and improving processes as we go and putting automations in place where it makes sense. This cycle will continue and we are building upon it as we scale.
Q: How can I be a good leader for my team right now?
A: I can speak from experience on this one because I have done it all wrong in the past. I hired a full team of people only to have to fire them all when my business wasn’t performing well. I was focused on all the wrong things like having a 4,000 sq ft office. I hired a bunch of visionaries. People weren’t doing work and there was no accountability. Again, I did everything the wrong way. Now that I have an amazing team and a great company culture I realized that leadership should look like what life outside of work looks like. Meaning, we don’t micromanage our spouse or try to control every aspect of our kids’ lives throughout the day (hopefully!). So why should being a leader in business be different? We have a tendency to separate business and our personal lives as two very different things but we can learn a lot about how to be a leader by how we conduct ourselves in our personal lives. I realized the more I empower my team with a clear purpose, values and vision the easier it is for them to stand on their own two feet. When you unleash that in your team then things get better on every level. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t accountability or ownership. It just means that you have to exercise trust to lead.
Q: How did you build your team?
A: Finding the key people first who are better at process and operations. Then empowering them to hire the team they need to perform. Each level takes care of the one underneath–it has a trickle down effect.
Q: What is your number one tip for entrepreneurs?
A: Your first step is to define your purpose, value and vision. You need to know where you came from, what your guiding principles are and where you are going. Once you have those you have your CentrPOINT. You know why you got in business so that you can stay true to what gets you up in the morning.