The 5 Things You Need to Run a Successful Business with Gail Doby
“You have to grow personally to grow professionally in your business.” —Gail Doby
Growing personally is an essential part of growing professionally. When we become better versions of ourselves, we can open up doors of opportunity that were previously closed off. We will also be able to take on more challenging tasks and become an invaluable asset to any organization or business venture.
This week, Personal Collective Co-Founder, Gail Doby joins JP McAvoy in an engaging conversation about building the foundation of and running a successful and thriving business. In her 20 years as a creative entrepreneur, Gail has helped her clients master the art of increasing their profitability through innovative strategies while creating a space for them to grow personally.
Listen in as JP and Gail talk about growing personally in order to grow professionally, what borrowing confidence means, and understanding your mindset so that you can stay focused on achieving your goals. They also discuss how to define your end goal in four questions, the five things you need to run a successful business, the best way to manage your time and attention, what motivates a team, how to know when you’re hitting your goals, as well as some motivation boosters along with Gail’s advice to ensure your success in whatever you do.
02:31 Rethinking Life Goals
06:04 Defining Your End Goal
10:14 Knowing Your Yes and No’s
15:59 What Motivates People
20:51 Are You Hitting Your Goals?
- 02:39 “When people come to hire a coach, they think that they’re coming just for business training. And what we find is, in working with our clients, we’re dealing with a whole person because if we don’t deal with the whole person, they’re never going to achieve their goals.” —Gail Doby
- 04:01 “You have to grow personally to grow professionally in your business.” —Gail Doby
- 12:24 “Everything you do every day really makes a difference if you can figure out what you should say no to and what you should say yes to.” —Gail Doby
- 15:24 “Most people get less done in a year and it’s because they haven’t really managed their time, their interest, and their attention very well… Make sure that whatever you’re doing is going to get you on the road to your goal. And if it’s not going to get you there, then it should not be on your plate. Delegate it, don’t do it— one of the two.” —Gail Doby
- 18:50 “If you’re micromanaging, you have no trust. And therefore, you’re going to lose employees. If you’re micromanaging, you have no trust. And therefore, you’re going to lose employees.” —Gail Doby
- 23:57 “Mindset is everything. If you do not have your mindset in the right place, then you are going to sabotage everything that you’re trying to do.” —Gail Doby
- 24:54 “Do whatever you’re afraid of because that is your signpost that you’re about to learn.” —Gail Doby
A Little Bit About Gail:
Helping design clients increase their profitability, sometimes over 500%, Gail does far more than help her clients wrangle decimals on a budget sheet. With 20 years of experience running her own design firm (plus degrees in Finance, Banking, and Interior Design), she’s obsessed with sharing innovative ways to overcome roadblocks, challenges, and detours creative entrepreneurs face. She’s also a client strategist, brand builder, human resource advisor, and sometimes therapist. No matter which hat she wears, her goal is simple—empower clients to differentiate themselves, drive measurable results, achieve business projections, and create personal satisfaction through game-changing strategies and practices.
JP McAvoy: Hi, and thanks for joining us on today’s show. We’ve got Gail Doby, designed by heart perhaps, but she’s also spent years building business foundations and is now teaching others to do just the same. Here’s my conversation with Gail.
Gail, hello. Thanks for joining us, I guess from Denver. I hear there’s been some up and down weather there this season.
Gail Doby: Well, that’s one way to look at it, JP, we do have snow, that is what we’re known for. We had a little sprinkle of snow last night and there’s nothing on the ground today. So that’s a typical day as it’s sunny. It’s beautiful.
JP McAvoy: But you want some sunshine in between, obviously. So that’s great. So thanks for joining us. As you mentioned from Denver, what brought you to Denver originally?
Gail Doby: Actually I was offered a job here and stayed here, I just ended up loving it. I met my husband a couple of months after moving here, and we ended up eloping. We got married just months after we met, and we’ve been married for 32 years. And we both are very happy with Denver. It’s a great place to live.
JP McAvoy: Great things. Yeah, I’ve got a good friend, as I mentioned to you previously, that was choosing anywhere to live really with his wife. And when they got to the Denver area, they were in Boulder, they just loved it. They’ve been there, I guess it’s been 20 years. So there must be something there, must be something about the sunshine. You can also be anywhere as well. All right, the thing is there’s great access to anywhere else you want to go.
Gail Doby: It’s true. It’s right in the center of the US. And people don’t often think of it. They think of it as the West. But it’s really, we’re right in the center of the country.
JP McAvoy: Quite amazing.
Gail Doby: Yeah, we have as much sunshine in San Diego. So we’re very happy to be here.
JP McAvoy: It’s great stuff. We talk about sort of life and making the best kind of life sunshine is, is one thing we attribute to it. Maybe some of the things we just talked of would be things, but when you’re talking about life goals and things that they ought to be thinking about, what are some of the things you encourage them to think about?
Gail Doby: Well, if you’re talking specifically about clients that we coach, I think that there is something that is so interesting. When people come to hire a coach, they think that they’re coming just for business training. And what we find is, in working with our clients, we’re dealing with a whole person because if we don’t deal with the whole person, they’re never going to achieve their goals. Because we have to deal with the mindset, we have to deal with beliefs, we have to deal with habits, we have to deal with a lot of things that really determine the success in the business and their life. And if we don’t treat all of that, we cannot solve the problem of growing a business. This is not going to happen.
JP McAvoy: Yeah, it starts from there. So let’s start from there. As you work with somebody and discuss mindset, what are you trying to get to?
Gail Doby: Okay. Well, that’s a million dollar question. And what I find is that almost everybody we deal with has impostor syndrome at some level or another. We have people who have confidence issues. We have people who have money blocks. So we have all three of those things. And if you do not deal with all three of those, you can’t move someone forward to scale their business and to deal with all of the things that come with a little bit of, I don’t know how you call it, just a little bit of fear. You just have to face your fears when you’re building business. You have to overcome how you are as a person. I tell my clients that you have to grow personally to grow professionally in your business. If you don’t grow personally, you cannot grow professionally in your business.
JP McAvoy: Okay, I agree. It sounds great. How do we grow personally?
Gail Doby: That’s a great question too. I think that the first thing is you have to decide where you are. You have to understand where am I today? Where do I want to be? What skills do I need to have? What knowledge do I need to have? What habits do I need to have to get me from where I am to where I want to go? And what I find is if you can identify the gap between the two, that you can get yourself to whatever level you want. But in that gap, you also have to look at what is my mindset that is either helping me or in my way. And many times, people lack the confidence that they need to go to that next level. And this is when you borrow confidence. You borrow it by getting your accountability partners, you join a mastermind group, you get a coach, you get support from all different levels. And when you look at the most successful people in the world, you look at somebody like Tiger Woods who’s top of his game and golf, he has coaches for everything. And if you want to be top of your game, if you want to earn at the highest level, then you need to find top quality coaches and people who can be with you. And you want to be around peers that are at your level, or hopefully way above so that you’re stretching to reach that. So it’s really important for you to find the right people to hang around with. And as we all know, the five people you hang around with the most are the most likely to influence your skills, your success, and also your financial future.
JP McAvoy: Yeah, absolutely. It’s very important to think of the people you are spending that time with, you become the people you’re spending that time with. But if you’re talking with someone who doesn’t know where they want to be, how do you help them define that? What I mean, what does that look like?
Gail Doby: Well, that’s one of the first things we work on. When we work with people, we have a three day VIP experience that we put people through. One of the very first things that we do is we find out what kind of a person they are, and how they think. I’m going to share this with you, this is something we teach in our program. There are four ways or four types of things that you need to address for people to really hear and listen to what you’re going to say. And the first one is why. Why are you doing what you’re doing? And some people are white people. I have my second in command, she is a Co Founder of the company. And she is very much a white person. She will not engage in any activity until she knows why she’s doing it. What’s the purpose of that? The second thing is what. What is it that you’re trying to do? I’m a what person. I go right from why cause I don’t why. It’s just intrinsic in who I am. So to me, I jump right into what we need to do to get to–
JP McAvoy: What is your why, Gail?
Gail Doby: My why is I have a purpose. My purpose is to help other people grow their businesses, scale their businesses and become financially free.
JP McAvoy: Yeah, you’re right. You go straight to that. So yeah, so from the why you say, what’s the what?
Gail Doby: Yeah. What is it you have to do to make that happen? What? I’m very bottom line. I know exactly what I need to get done. I know what everybody else needs to get done. And we manage to do that because that is what moves our company along. And then there’s the how. My partner Erin is also a how person. She goes, why the hell. And she’s one that’s very tactical in many ways, or at least when we first met, and I’m teaching her how to be more visionary. But right now, she’s still very much a how. How do we get that done? And sometimes, she would listen to me and get totally lost. She would not even hear what I was saying because she was trying to figure out, okay, well, I’ve got 30 things here. And now, she just talked to me about another 30 ideas even though those were supposed to be three to five years down the road that her brain said, how do I get all this done now when I’ve got all this to do? So how a person gets immersed in the details and they lose sight of the big picture. They can’t see that big picture.
And then the fourth level of communicating is the what if. And so you have to talk to people about, what if you do not do the things we just talked about? What if something bad happens? What if something good happens? What is the thing that you’re going to do to mitigate that issue? Or what are you going to do to expand on that opportunity? And so the first thing to understand is the first things we talk about with our clients. And we understand which one they are so that when we are tailoring our conversation to that, we can say that we all start with why. And even in teaching their employees, we say, take this back to your team, figure out which one your people are and then you know how to communicate with them. But if you don’t know why, what, how it would be in that order. And then the second thing we do is we dive into, what is your 10 year vision? And if you can come up with your 10 year vision and understand your why, and we do talk deeply about that, then you can uncover the motivations behind why people want to get to where they want to go. And if you can totally engage them, and how they feel emotionally about their why and have a clearer picture of what they want to do in 10 years, then you can figure out the how and the what if’s. So that’s what we do in our first three days that we do with people is focus on the why and the what. And the other part comes in coaching and being in a mastermind group.
JP McAvoy: Great. It’s interesting you map a 10 year vision. I’ve heard it said that most people always overestimate how much they think they can do in one year and underestimate how much they figured they can do in five years. I’m assuming it’s even more. So if we talk 10 years, what a fascinating prospect to think over the next decade. What do you wish to accomplish? What types of things do you hear from people?
Gail Doby: Well, it’s interesting. It depends on where they are in their process of learning and being business owners. We have about, probably 85% of our clients are female. And so they are so used to being almost secondary, I hate to say that to the spouse, but they tend to be that way. And they put their kids and their family first. So having a 10 year dream, most of them struggle with that because they have no idea what they really think they can do. But when you can start making it tangible and you can actually say to them, okay, can you imagine yourself owning a lifestyle brand for your company? And can you imagine designing products and being seen and known internationally? Can you imagine yourself in that spot? What kind of income do you want to have? So when we know what it is they want, what financial freedom means to them in terms of numbers, then we can back that up and help them put together a three year model that tells them exactly, here are the things you need to do in that first three years to get you on the track to that 10 year vision. So we show them tactically exactly how to get there.
So if I were to just give you a framework to be thinking about, first, you need to have a personal plan so you need to know your why. And you need to emotionally engage with that. And then you need a strategic plan, which is what has to be true for you to be financially and materially successful in your business. What kind of marketing do you need to be able to do to get that, then what kind of accountability and support do you need to make that happen? And so if you can identify all of those elements, you can get to your goals incredibly fast. And when people go through our program there is a fire hose for three days. And we take them through essentially like an MBA for their business. And we show them all the different things including, how do you manage the most important resource you have, which is your time and attention. And when we teach them that and they start getting a handle on it, all of a sudden, they start realizing that everything they do every day really makes a difference if you can figure out what you should say no to and what you should say yes to. I don’t know if you’ve read this recently, but somebody said, it’s got to be a hell yes for you to be able to do that.
And excuse the cursing, but I’m repeating somebody. But basically, if you know what your hell yes is and the hell knows, then you have very clear boundaries for where you want to go. And it should be very value driven. So if you can identify your values, those are the things you use to make the decisions within your business and make them more quickly. And then it’s not going to be inauthentic. You’re going to have a business that’s authentic to you, and that you know how to make the right decisions quickly. And so we take away a lot of the confusion about how do you build a business better is know yourself first, know what you want, know where you’re going, have a plan, and then execute but have help along the way. And if you have those five things, you have everything you need to run a very successful business.
JP McAvoy: That’s great. And it’s a great structure there. Gail, I want to go back to something you said which is, how do you manage your time and attention? What is a typical day? How do you coach people to organize their data in the best way?
Gail Doby: Well, I have learned many, many years ago that one of the things that I need to do is I need to have me-time at the beginning of the day to be able to be my most functional, to be the calmest and be collected. And to feel like I’ve gotten what I need first because I’m a little bit of an introvert, believe it or not. And so for me, I do not start my day until 9:00 o’clock with anybody else. So I take time to exercise, to spend time with myself to think, to journal, and also to read. I’m a voracious reader. I think that is something that is so necessary and helpful to grow your business. So for me, those things happen before 9:00 o’clock. And then sometimes, I’ll work on a key project and spend at least an hour to two hours on that project.
So to me, if you start your day that way, you’re great. And then structure your week so that you know, like in our business, I tell our designers to go ahead and schedule out your week and block out three days right in the middle of the week for client work. 10 hours a week for marketing, and you plan two hours a week for meeting with prospects. You plan two hours a week to think about your business. I actually can visually see the time blocking chart that we give them, and we also give them a different one for their employees because the employees need to be doing more client work. So if people can start using this kind of a system to plan their days, then they can also tie it into, these things will get me closer to my goal, these things are pulling me away from my goal, and you can make better decisions, then you block it out. Because what you talked about earlier is that most people get less done in a year. And it’s because they haven’t really managed their time, and their interest, and their attention very well. So the more you can structure it, the more your brain is free to be creative. And you also know what your boundaries are because you know that you can only do so much. And so make sure that whatever you’re doing is going to get you on the road to your goal. And if it’s not going to get you there, then it should not be on your plate. Delegate it, don’t do it. One of the two.
JP McAvoy: How do you delegate investment? What’s the best way of keeping your employees motivated?
Gail Doby: Well, first of all, let’s talk about what motivates people. They need to know that there is a purpose, and they need to have autonomy. They need to have the skill sets. And you need to know what’s important to them. What is their why. Why are they motivated to come to work every day? Why should they care about taking care of your clients and the work that needs to get done? What is it intrinsically that motivates them? So you need to understand motivations. And then it’s a matter of communicating because you have to communicate your expectations to people. And you also have to have a really good delegation process. So I’m ending up giving you a lot of teachings here. And hopefully, some of these will resonate with some of your listeners. But the reality is most people stink of a delegation.
So I’m going to give you a couple of tips because I think this is where most people fail. They think that they tell somebody to do something one time, and it’s verbal, and they don’t have a checklist, they don’t have a check in. And they assume that that person heard it once, and therefore they’ve got it. The reality is you have to tell people seven times. And if you were talking to an auditory person, you can tell them, but you’re probably gonna have to say it seven times. If you’re talking to somebody who’s a visual person, they need to see something, they need to see a video, they need a checklist, they need a process. And then other people who are the kinesthetics that actually have to do something, they can probably hear something, they can probably look at something, but they also have to do it. So you’ve got people who do one of those three, and then you have some people who do all three.
So the shortcut is do all three, and you’re going to have a better chance of that person understanding what it is they’re supposed to be doing because they don’t want to look stupid. So they often will go and say, yeah, yeah, got it. And they’ll go try to do it, and then you won’t hear from him. And then they won’t get it done, and you’ll get frustrated. Well, guess what? What was the one step that was missing? It was the feedback loop. And so first of all, you got to talk to them in their language, the way that they learn. And then the second thing is there has to be a feedback loop. You have to have check ins. So if you don’t do the feedback loop, I guarantee you that is not going to get that project or that task done. So the other part is they need to understand the big picture, they need to understand how that fits into the overall goals of the business and the goals of the owner. And if they understand that, then again, that’s the why. Why do we have to do this? Why does this make a difference? Why do I have to do it? And is this really my role? So you need to find people that have initiative, and that have the skill sets, and that are interested in helping you achieve what you’re trying to accomplish. And then you need to have a framework for how you delegate and help them. But just remember, it’s not about micromanaging. If you’re micromanaging, you have no trust. And therefore, you’re going to lose employees.
JP McAvoy: Micromanaging never works. It’s one of things we tend to steer away from, what motivates you?
Gail Doby: Oh, my gosh, I am an achievement oriented person. I am motivated by learning and I’m motivated by teaching other people what it took me so many years to learn. So I’m one of those people that I like to innovate. I also like to take information, skills and ideas. Let them percolate, connect the dots backwards, and come up with a streamlined solution in a quick way to teach people how to do things. So for me, I am very much of a teacher, and I’m very much a learner. So that really is what drives me, and I’m very achievement oriented. I want to do a great job of whatever I’m doing, and I want a great team. I am so fortunate my second in command has been with me almost 18 years. Most of our team has been with us a decade. So I’ve learned because my first time I did business I did not do so well at it. I micromanage. I did everything wrong that I’ve talked about today, I did it all. So I will tell you that I’ve learned. And from that, I have become a better teacher because of it.
JP McAvoy: Yes. You may have learned the hard way, but it sounds like you’ve learned the lessons. And now, you’re able to pass those on. So Gail, it’s interesting that you’ve talked to this 10 year vision. But if we were having this conversation in five years, what’s happened between now and then for you?
Gail Doby: We will have tripled our business from this year. That’s a simple answer for you. That is my goal for 10 years, and we are preparing for the exit of the business. We have been very strategic in how to do that. I’ve built a really strong leadership team and a good team. And so we’re looking at what we need to do to scale that business to hit that triple of what we’re doing right now.
JP McAvoy: What are the signposts, or how do you know you’re hitting your targets along the way?
Gail Doby: Well, you have to break it down into parts. So you take that five year vision, or a three year vision, or whatever it is. We’re looking at three years right now. And so if we’re looking at those three years, what do we need to do? Revenue wise. How many clients do we need? How many phone calls do we need to have? How many leads do we need to have to do that? So we look at the metrics within the business to understand what the drivers are. If the drivers are not performing, we need to fix those drivers early and often. And so the reality is, the signposts are you’ve got to be looking at your numbers every single week. You need to know what you need to be managing. What are those metrics that are key for you to know? And then you have to hold people accountable. So all of those things have to happen for you to hit your goal.
JP McAvoy: And just watching along the way. And it sounds like you do revisit. We talked on a daily basis, or what a day looks like, what does a month or a year look like for you?
Gail Doby: A month or a year? It’s so interesting that you asked that question because one thing that we learned to do probably five years ago is I do time blocking. I’ve always done it pretty much in my business. But what we do now is we plan a full year of activities. And it’s usually at least 6 months before the year starts. So we have the whole year blocked out. We know exactly what’s happening. If we have industry activities, we know that we have certain days blocked off to do podcasts, we have certain days blocked off for leadership meetings, for meeting with our one on ones for meeting with our clients, for speaking, for creating products, for having focused on. We have all that blocked out before six months, before the year starts. So we actually are very, very, very driven by planning our goals.
JP McAvoy: Yeah. And that comes through very clearly, ask the question from that perspective. It’s clear that one of your philosophies is the plan. And then work the plan. It’s clear that you do that. Gail, it’s fascinating to hear, you can see how you methodically have laid it out. And obviously as you say, probably in part from learning the hard way that it needs to be done this way, or this is the best way to do it. And you can see the power of that. Obviously, as you go through the process, you show how others had to do this process as well. What’s the best way for somebody to reach you if they are interested in learning a little more about this?
Gail Doby: Thank you for asking. We have a couple of ways. If you want information about my book or our media, you can go to gaildoby.com, G-A-I-L-D-O-B-Y .com. And for business website, it says thepearlcollective. We’re Pearl Collective, but we couldn’t get that one. So thepearlcollective.com.
JP McAvoy: Great stuff there. And yeah, please go to that anyway. Listening to things that make sense to break things down, or do some of the planning you’re talking of, and perhaps working towards something like this. I love to end the shows with something that someone can take with them to the rest of the day, the rest of the week after the episode is dropped. You’ve given us a wealth of advice here, Gail, obviously. What would be something though you could say, take this with you, make sure you’re doing this one or these things to get you further ahead towards accomplishing your own goals.
Gail Doby: One of the things I spend a lot of time on as I talked about with you before this show is talking to people about mindset, because mindset is everything. So if you do not have your mindset in the right place, then you are going to sabotage everything that you’re trying to do. So the first thing that you want to do is look for any area where your habits aren’t supporting your goals. I’d say the second thing is really just thinking about, what is it that you’re afraid of doing? What is it? How are you feeling emotionally? And if you can separate your emotions from the actions that you need to take, that’s helpful. But if you’re totally stymied and you can’t do anything about it, and you’re completely roadblocked with this, the one thing I would tell you is to have your vision in mind and imagine a brick wall. Imagine you’ve got the brick wall. This is the roadblock right in front of you. And imagine putting your hand on the top of the brick wall and moving it to the side so you can see your vision.
So point at your vision and figure out what actions you need to take, but start with the first one. What is the first step you can take and do whatever you’re afraid of because that is your signpost that you’re about to learn. I’ve used that to train everybody on my team for years. And what I found is that most people have that little thing in the back of their head that says, I can’t do this, I’m afraid of this, it’s not going to go, Well, I’m not going to look good. I’m going to embarrass myself. I’m going to be ashamed. And so they have these little tapes playing. And so you have to shut off the tape, completely turn it off and look at what the vision is. And take the first step. All you have to do is take the first step, and the first step could be turning on your computer. It doesn’t have to be complicated. And from that, you stack your habits. And when you stack your habits, you can get to wherever you want to go.
JP McAvoy: That’s great, Gail, thanks for that. You say taking that first step. Oftentimes, taking that first step is the most difficult. There’s the little nudge and a little help that we might need along the way. Well, that’s where confidence comes from. That’s what the comments from you come in and going back to mindset, or putting yourself in the right place where you can actually do just that. Gail, thanks so much for this today. I enjoyed the conversation like for the next time on The Millionaire’s Lawyer.
Gail Doby: All right. My pleasure.