by Errin Weisman
When I finally launched my coaching business, I felt powerful. I was leaving the stress of private practice to become a solopreneur (solo entrepreneur). That meant me, Dr. Errin Frickin’ Weisman, doing my own thing. No more hospital administration, no more EMRs, just be kicking butt and taking names.
I went full throttle helping other physicians beat burnout. And I loved it. But here’s the thing. The “solo” part of solopreneur comes with a capital S if you’re not careful.
I did my own marketing, copywriting, graphics and community management. I was the boss, sure, but I was also the secretary, the salesperson and the accountant. Soon I realized that if I continued this way, it would leave me just as burnout as full-time medicine. I needed help. Quick. So I got to work building a team to help support me.
They are the grease on my wheels and I would be stuck without them. My team is completely remote and I get to find talented people all over the globe. Believe me, it’s the best.
1. Find the right team
There needs to be value alignment between yourself and every single one of your contractors. It doesn’t matter if the person is a super skilled rockstar… who worked at Google… and whether Beyonce wants to work with them. If your values don’t align, you won’t enjoy working with them.
So how do you figure out who to hire? Well, let me tell ya, it’s a little like dating. You don’t have to marry yourself to the person the first month. Test it out, go on a few “dates” (ie small projects) and see if you vibe. Also, you don’t need to go on Fiverr or Upwork (the Tinder of the freelance world). Instead, ask your friends to set you up with people who they think might be a good fit.
2. Master communication
When you never see your team in person, communication becomes your lifeline. It’s not possible to pop into someone’s office and clarify an email. We have to coordinate our schedules with technology to talk to each other and get work done.
This includes meetings (yup, they’re still important in remote work). This is the time where you get valuable information about what’s going on so that you can keep your business on track. It’s a space for everyone to align with the vision.
3. Organization is your friend
Monday and Asana are my project management BFFs! I tried Trello but it wasn’t intuitive. I used email but info would get lost in the chain. Slack? Oh boy, that’s money! Communicating with everyone on my team is easy and everyone stays up to speed. Slack is our own little office space, all virtual where we get shit done and also have a little fun.
Hiring the right team and having communication platforms that work for me means I don’t have to worry about micromanaging my team. Micromanagement is the quickest way to burnout. But if you set things up right, you can trust your team to do the work!
4. Ask for Feedback
I’m straight-forward with my team and expect them to be like that with me. Give me open, honest conversations that get to the core of what we are doing. Just because we are working does not mean we stop learning. I am always ready and willing to have candid conversations where we discuss what’s going on.
But I am nobody’s push over. It’s like baseball: “three strikes and you are out!”
To be on my team I need to know if you’re either in it or not. We’re building an empire out here!
5. Set the right expectations
The key to being a good boss lady? Setting expectations. If you are working with me then you are amazing and I want you to know your worth! I see it as a fire. It’s my job to notice what you are doing that is amazing as a flame and kindle it until it so that it grows.
It is also my job as the leader to be honest when we aren’t hitting the goals like we need to. If I see an unwanted flame up ahead, then I need to put it out before it gets out of control.
You Still Want a Remote Team?
It took a lot of work, and more than a few hard lessons until I found my best practices for managing a remote team.
Start SMALL. I have had my business for six years and it took me that long to build a team of six people. I recommend you find what is zapping all of your energy and make a list of those things. Hire one person who can tackle it. Depending on what you need, it could be a VA, copywriter, social media manager, or a PR/branding consultant.
Once you have your team, keep communication constant, be transparent, and show up as the badass boss you are so that you can lead your remote team with confidence.
Errin Weisman, DO is a life coach, podcaster & all around badass doctor mom in southwestern Indiana. Besides being sassy, she enjoys getting mud on her shoes, teaching her children to catch tadpoles and reading a great fantasy novel. Hear her on the Doctor Me First podcast or hang with her on instagram for laughs and encouragement.