Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amy Holtz, Certified EOS® Implementer at EOS Worldwide, located in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Running a business is harder than ever. The pace of change is unprecedented. The demands are relentless. The people are difficult. I used to feel like my businesses ran me instead of me running my business. Then I ran a business on Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) and saw what a game-changer it could be. My team got healthy. We got the right people in the right seats. We clarified our vision. And we got focused, disciplined, and accountable. I loved it so much that I decided to become an EOS Implementer. Today I help leadership teams implement EOS so they can feel a sense of control and peace of mind: clear on their vision and confident that they can execute it.
The typical client is a business or non-profit with 10-250 employees. The sweet spot is usually $2-50 million in revenue. Some of our clients are smaller, some larger. The largest is over $5 billion in revenue with 5,000 employees, but I also implemented EOS in an organization of one. In other words, it works in all-size organizations.
Tell us about yourself
Life is a journey, and on my professional journey, I have re-invented myself six times. I'm a serial entrepreneur! Why? Because I love learning new things and mastering new skills. I was a banker, and a lawyer who helped build a family business into Party City's largest franchise helped build a fledging non-profit into a successful media company and co-founded the Jewish Future Pledge.
About five years ago, I started to think about what I wanted to do next. What was the last act of my career going to be? It is important to manage your energy, not your time. You get a lot of energy when you are doing the things you love to do and are great at. This is called a state of flow. So, I asked myself, what do I love doing? I love building businesses, and I love helping other people to achieve way more than they ever thought possible. I didn't want to run another business at this point in my career. I wanted to be able to pay it forward and help other people. And that is exactly what I get to do as an EOS implementer. It is such a privilege to be able to help individuals, teams, and businesses grow personally and professionally. I wake up every day energized and motivated. An important part of the EOS process is about getting everyone in the company working in jobs they love to do and are great at.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Many of the people that I have mentored are now running incredibly successful businesses, raising millions of dollars, and making a difference in the world. For me, that is a huge and fulfilling accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
There are so many challenges that come with being a leader. For me, my Achilles heel has always been what EOS calls wrong people in the right seats. These are people who are great at their jobs but don't share the companies' core values. On more than one occasion, I've held on to people who were disrespectful, rude, and sometimes mean but were great at their job. I ignored the fact that they were often wreaking havoc. It is so hard to find talented people that I was too scared to let them go. I didn't know how I'd fill the hole they'd leave behind. Every single time when I finally got rid of them, I'd wish I'd done it earlier. The people around me would ask what took me so long. The entire energy in the company changed when they were gone. It was never the wrong move. I recently heard that it's better to have a hole on your accountability chart than have a…hole. I agree!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Being a leader requires that you hold people accountable and challenge them when needed. This is not easy if you have a fear of conflict, but great relationships come from open, honest conversations, holding each other accountable, and giving constructive criticism when necessary. It is unresolved issues - not too much work - that drain a team's energy. I believe that being honest and transparent is really an act of love and kindness. It may be uncomfortable to ask someone to change what they're doing, but it will help them - and the company - grow. You need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
- Organizational health is essential.
Organizations need to be smart – it is essential. In today's competitive marketplace, you can't succeed without getting your strategy, marketing, finance, etc., right. But it isn't enough. Organizational health is also crucial. Pat Lencioni says, "The health of an organization is the single greatest factor in determining an organization's success." If your team is unhealthy, you get quiet quitting, minimal effort, passive aggression, low morale, and a high employee turnover. Lack of team health is damaging and expensive. A smart team that is unhealthy will get stupider over time. But a healthy team that's not as smart will get smarter over time. Becoming healthy and staying healthy is a hard, messy process, but it is the path to winning.
- You need a good system.
To run a truly great business, you need a good system. I was a visionary entrepreneur who was building, building, and building all the time. It worked until it didn't. It left my team and me exhausted and frustrated. Back then, I didn't understand the need for structure and systems. I truly believe that if I had known about EOS, I could have avoided almost every mistake I made on my leadership journey.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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