Cubicle to CEO

Creating a 5 Hour Work Week While Growing From 3 to 27 Retainer Clients in 6 Months

June 06, 2022 Ellen Yin featuring Hannah Murphy Episode 145
Cubicle to CEO
Creating a 5 Hour Work Week While Growing From 3 to 27 Retainer Clients in 6 Months
Show Notes Transcript

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This week’s guest is a business strategist and friend I absolutely adore. Hannah Murphy used to work 7 days a week as a pinterest + blog agency owner, fighting through the online noise of all the ways she should spend her time, only to find her to-do list was ever growing while her revenue stalled. Hannah realized creating a productive schedule wasn't about doing more tasks quickly, but rather doing  the right tasks effectively, and less overall.

Today’s case study reveals how Hannah gradually reduced her work schedule to a 5 hour week while growing from 3 to 27 retainer clients in just 6 months. Listen in to see how you can also create a schedule that reflects your personality, priorities, and drives profit.

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00:00.00

ellenyin

I am so excited to have a dear friend of mine on the show today. Hannah welcome to cubicle the Ceo so Hannah go ahead and give the listeners a quick backstory.


00:06.83

Hannah Murphy

Thanks for having me so excited.


00:34.80

ellenyin

On your transition from cubicle to Ceo or employee to entrepreneur.


00:35.10

Hannah Murphy

Um, totally? yeah, so a little bit like you Ellen I totally accidental entrepreneur like never intended to be in the business space but somehow ended up here. Um, and so I had just left year twelve at school. And went to study primary teaching at university and I was in my like midway through my first year and I had tried like every typical university job you could like retail fast food before and after school kicks I was in primary teaching and like all of them. I was just like this is a four year degree I don't want to have to do a job like there's nothing wrong with those jobs but I was also just like oh there must be more to this period of time that I can make the most of and so yeah through that um I was randomly following someone on Instagram. Honestly, I don't even know how I was following them. They were a coach in the US, and they had just posted on their Instagram that they were looking to hire a va and I was like what the heck is a va, googled what a va was like that's how much I didn't know about the business world. Um, and then from there like. She was so gracious to me. I was like I have literally never done anything like this before um, but I'm happy to learn if you're willing to train me and so yeah, she was that bridge into the business world. So I'm very grateful for her. She gave me the job. It was about a three month contract and through that time um, just. Learnt a lot about business like all the big things, all the little things about business that I didn't know um and one of the tasks that she gave me was taking a Pinterest course and ah studying pinterest and using that. And so I kind of implemented that and then from there I was like oh this is a really cool offering. Um and so I did that and blog management and that's kind of where I started to which I know we're going to go into but where I really started to get my none kind of main retainer clients and then scale it from there. Um, so that is a really quick brief summary but essentially I just yet and now like five years later I just still love it.


05:02.78

ellenyin

I love your story Hannah because I feel like it's such a great example of why visibility matters. I really believe that visibility creates possibility and you know like you said, if you had not been shown by some random person on the internet.


05:09.77

Hannah Murphy

Man.


05:31.31

Hannah Murphy

Yeah.


05:41.82

ellenyin

That there was such a world where you could create money being someone's virtual assistant. You never would have gone down this path and so I think that's why it's so important the stories that we share here on the podcast as well as in, you know and any form of media is so important to open doors of possibility for people. So I think your story is inspiring. Of course, you're such a scrappy resourceful person I am not surprised at all that you instantly googled that and reached out in ways despite not knowing what it was and being like I can do this like give me a chance and I'll show you that is so you.


06:17.73

Hannah Murphy

That.


06:35.79

Hannah Murphy

Yes, ah yes, like wing it fake it till you make it basically. Ah.


06:55.94

ellenyin

Yeah, absolutely and I I think that um you know what's so cool about the conversation that we're going to be having today on this case study is I believe there's this myth out there and you probably have seen this as well where people associate. Growing a business or earning more income with having to work more hours so you know it really becomes this never ending hamster wheel because if you want to scale beyond the point that you're currently at you feel like you have to put in more time and time is a finite resource. So.


07:30.39

Hannah Murphy

Okay.


08:03.80

ellenyin

Before we get into the case study of how you actually went from working with three retainer clients to 27 retainer clients which is wild in a six month window and then by the end of those six months ended up only having to invest 5 hours a week into managing your business before we get into that. Maybe. Give us a little snippet of the timeline in your entrepreneurship journey where you hit that. I Don't know if rock bottom is the right way to describe it but that proverbial block where you felt like I don't know how I can continue to sustain this with how much I'm working.


09:09.49

Hannah Murphy

Um, yeah, honestly like so when I went from I would say 3 to about 10 clients. So it was in that first few months where like I remember it was a Saturday afternoon and my family was going out to lunch. And I literally was at my desk going. I can't go because I have to work and I remember that moment being like oh my gosh like I wanted to you know I I love working and there's nothing wrong with working but it was to the point where I literally. Didn't feel like I could do anything else but work and so there was that moment but I also knew that in six months time I was going on my first teaching prac and I don't know what it's like in the Us. But here in Australia if you couldn't already tell from Australia with my accent. Um. But here in Australia we have our degree you have, like every year you have pracs like accept your first year so I knew in six months time I was about to go and do a teaching prac which is thirty days so one month of full time teaching. So it was from early morning to late like you know afternoon late at night ah plus all the lesson planning around that. So like that I knew that was coming and looming and I think those 2 things in my head I was like oh my gosh I'm so deep into this work like grateful. That I have these clients but freaking out that I'm going to drop the ball on one of them and so those were that that was the moment where I was like man like there must be a better way to this right? like you know I feel like I can still care really well for these clients but it just not have to. Fully impact me so much. So yeah, that was kind of the moment where I was like something needs to change.


12:57.84

ellenyin

I Like hearing that catalyst because I think we all kind of run into that problem in some way or another while building our businesses right? Ah and it's interesting because I think when you first start building your business. Your main concern is. How can I get more people to work with me or buy from me right? You're so concerned about making the actual income to keep your business alive but I feel like the bigger part of the conversation that's often ignored is okay, but once you start making money and once there is a demand for your services or your offers.. How do you actually sustain what you're doing.


13:22.49

Hannah Murphy

Totally.


14:05.40

ellenyin

So okay, like you said you, you know were working with about 10 clients and just for reference for our listeners. These were Pinterest clients right retainer pinterest clients blog and pinterest. Okay, cool if you're listening to this podcast by the way and if you're brand new to entrepreneurship and you're like what the heck is a retainer client.


14:13.83

Hannah Murphy

Yeah blog and pinterest.


14:32.63

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, so essentially they pay the same amount every single month. Um, and they like from the word you retain them as a client so it's not like a one-off project or you know a short timeline. It's like they stay with you month to month. So.


14:43.14

ellenyin

Hannah can you just give us a quick rundown of what a retainer client is.


15:11.79

Hannah Murphy

With my contracts I had a three month minimum and then from there they just paid month to month and they could cancel if they wanted to um, but you know yeah essentially it's that kind of recurring a little bit. How a membership works but it's you're providing that service to them every single month.


15:52.64

ellenyin

Awesome and just for extra context, you know that we love to talk data and finances on this show. So if you're willing to share. What was your average retainer client paying you per month for you to manage their pinterest or their blog.


16:11.69

Hannah Murphy

So like way back when None 2 clients and I'm sure people are going to like gasp at this right now but you've got to start somewhere I literally charged $100 to manage a Pinterest account and 4 vlogs a month I was like no wonder I was overwhelmed right.


16:55.60

ellenyin

Oh my goodness.


16:50.87

Hannah Murphy

Anyway, so that was where I started and then as it was scaling. It was around none um and then from there I just kept incrementally increasing it. But I found like the average was around None because some just did pinterest some did blog as well. Um, and I was really happy with that because you've got to think like long term of the client like you know you're with them every single month. So like the lifetime value of that person most of my clients stayed for at least twelve months so that lifetime value obviously adds up over time too.


18:10.00

ellenyin

Yeah that's such an important metric that I think a lot of people don't track and it's really important like Hannah said that you do because understanding that number. So for example in Hannah's case if her average client paid her $500 a month and they stuck with her for a minimum of twelve months that $6000 in revenue earned over the course of a year that would be a reasonable expectation for hannah to predict or project.


18:55.15

Hannah Murphy

So.


19:02.32

ellenyin

For a new acquired client. So if you know that every time you acquire a new client. You are likely going to keep them for a minimum of $6000 in revenue that gives you more wiggle room to decide how much you're willing to invest to acquire a new client right? and. Even if you may not be profitable from day one, assigning a client if you know that by let's say month two you will be making a profit. It may be worth it for you to know, either just break even or even lose a little bit of money on the front end knowing you will gain it back. On the backend through lifetime values. So that's a little bit of a tangent and definitely could be a whole separate conversation. But I'm really glad you brought that piece up hannah because I think a lot of service providers. Don't really evaluate that piece.


20:28.73

Hannah Murphy

Exactly and that's also why like I know this is attention as well. But that's also why I had to put such value on a referral program payout because I knew if I pay x referral I'm going to motivate a current client to refer me and get paid. Well. But I know that client I may not be as profitable in the first month but then month two month three month four like is very profitable because then I don't pay anything else after that. So yeah, you've definitely got to think about that lifetime span.


21:39.88

ellenyin

Okay, put a pin on this because I feel like the referral program that you built that allowed you to generate so many clients for yourself is definitely a really juicy topic that I want to dive into with you on our live after show. So in case.


22:06.45

Hannah Murphy

Is.


22:18.10

ellenyin

You haven't tuned into one of our live after shows we go live on the last Tuesday of each month on Instagram we call it inside the boardroom and we invite back the podcast guests from that month to join us and to offer more insight or maybe perhaps explore a different angle that we didn't get to cover in the original interview. So Hannah I'm going to make a note about this when you come on for your.


23:04.10

Hannah Murphy

Ah, my good.


23:16.94

ellenyin

Your ah June inside the boardroom I definitely will follow back up on your referral program structure because I think that will be super helpful to our listeners. So make sure you're following cubicle as Ceo make sure you're also following Hannah and we'll have her handle below so that you don't miss that. Okay, so let's get into the case study Hannah.


23:30.81

Hannah Murphy

Foods.


23:45.39

Hannah Murphy

So.


23:56.86

ellenyin

3 clients to None clients growth in a six month window and you went from working seven days a week feeling completely stressed out and burnt out to actually building a profitable schedule that by the end of that six month window allowed you to only work 5 hours a week in your business. So let's first talk about. What was the none thing that you eliminated from your schedule.


24:38.33

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, okay, um so many things but I think the main thing that I None eliminated was all the marketing things I was doing because I was like oh you know you know in the beginning stages when I was growing it. It was very scrappy like naturally there's going to be more hours spent right? because I don't have the data to know what's where to get clients from what works in a workflow for a client like I don't have that data So There's a level of trial and error. Um, but then from there.


25:54.28

ellenyin

Totally.


25:53.71

Hannah Murphy

I Realized like I was spending hours each week on different marketing things and I just yeah I remember launching my website which I'd spent forever on and then putting it all on social media and hearing crickets and I remember being like oh my gosh I spent so much work so much time on this. And my dream clients at the time I knew weren't going to randomly come across my website or my social media and hear me out. There's nothing wrong with social media with websites with all of that stuff. But I just realized that as I was growing, if I wanted to grow really fast I couldn't play that longer term marketing strategy like I had to look for what's really quick wins so that was definitely the none thing and then the None thing was on the client side. Um, there was a lot of manual tasks that I was doing. That were super time consuming and it was something as small as like so creating a Zoom link and sending it manually to a client for a say as cool like something so simple only takes a few minutes but that was way more brain space that I that I had to think about and have on my list so they were definitely. The highest 2 is like that client automation. Um, and the marketing.


28:40.48

ellenyin

You know to your point I think it's important to realize too that even though the act of creating the Zoom link like you said may only take a few minutes of course those minutes add up over the week but even more I think detrimental than that is the time you lose.


28:59.51

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, yeah.


29:19.60

ellenyin

In the task switching right in and having to do a different type of task like you said it uses a different part of your brain and you kind of lose some space inevitably to that almost that distraction. Um, so I.


29:12.83

Hannah Murphy

Yes.


29:35.69

Hannah Murphy

Yeah.


29:49.68

ellenyin

I Really love that you touched on that piece which I'm sure we'll get into more in depth in just a moment but I also do want to go back to what you just said about eliminating trying to do all the marketing things so that you could really just focus on what was going to get you quicker wins and allow you to get in front of your ideal clients faster. I'm assuming that probably refers back to that referral program that we just talked about. But if it's something different. Go ahead and give us that insight right now.


30:36.67

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, so referral programs definitely were huge. They were a key part of it but another key part where I got a lot of the clients that eventually became a referral partner was pitching. I actually literally cold pitched clients. Um. I would look them up on Instagram thinking wow they'd be amazing to work for um and would craft an email and pitch it and that definitely was especially the first like I would say half of those clients came from pitches and I just got so nervous every time I was about to hit send. And just often would cringe at me having to do it but it worked and it was helpful and that's how I got so many dreamy clients and also how I then was able to turn those dreamy clients to get more dreamy clients from a referral program. So those were my top 2.


32:30.96

ellenyin

I Love that you said that because I think cold pitching gets such a bad rap you know because I think so so many people do it wrong and they're like anything right? like any strategy. There's always ah a.


32:32.43

Hannah Murphy

I Know it does. Yeah.


33:03.70

ellenyin

A way to do something that is of service and a way to do something that is aggressive and pushy and you know all these different things and you know I've been on the receiving end of both types of pitches I've gotten pitches before in my inbox for a service that I may not have necessarily needed at the moment but it really made me pause and think Wow This is a great solution if I was in need of this right now I would totally hire this person versus you know other pitches that just go straight to spam So again, oh my goodness you're bringing up so many great points that I'm like man we need to have three separate conversations with you but we can just focus on this one case study. But um.


33:31.50

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, save.


34:15.44

ellenyin

That's really great to know that that cold pitching was a strategy that worked for you. So Okay, so you eliminated marketing tasks that were not actually bringing you paying clients to the Door. You also started automating some of those repetitive manual tasks I'm assuming through technology. Do You have a go to automation flow or platform that you really recommend our listeners look into.


34:55.77

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, dubsado is what I used. Um, I know a lot of people use honeybook but that actually at least of time of recording and when I was growing my business in that way wasn't available in Australia so dubsado was kind of like the main one. That I discovered. Um and that just became the go to and yeah it did automate and something I think I learn as well is that you can customize right? like when you have the templates. It's very It's so much easier and way less time to customize it and I liked that dobsaro enabled both. So um, yeah, and that's still what I use today for clients.


36:18.62

ellenyin

So I would love to know? Um, what? What was your biggest ah your biggest time suck in terms of some of those repetitive things that you did that you were able to turn into automations? Can you give us a few examples because I know that some of our listeners might be hearing this. And have never heard of dubsado or honeybook, we personally have used honeybook before but you know if they're not used to using a project management system or a client Automation. You know. Workflow they might not know what that actually looks like in Practice. So I think a few tangible examples would be helpful.


37:26.31

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, so um, so once a client I got off sales call and they were like yeah I'm in I would with dubsado be able to send them a proposal which essentially had the contract and the none month's invoice all in the 1 and automation came into that because they had already entered in as a lead which I know you talk about this kind of language. So um, they came in as a lead which had all their information so in the contract it then auto populate all of that stuff like their address their business name. Um, and it added all of that for me so I didn't manually have to do that each time that was a huge thing. The next thing is once they then paid that and like essentially completed the proposal. It could automatically send them an onboarding form and in that form I laid out step by step what to do videos to do. Questions to answer passwords to share and I remember manually doing that stuff and it would take for ever. So um, that was a huge thing and yeah, just the whole that whole process of automatically sending invoices each month like as a retainer service like that. Can't take a long time, especially when you have a lot of clients doing it manually so that was a huge part. Um, and yeah, just those kind of things that like we were saying before it doesn't take a lot of time but it takes a lot of brain time. Between switching between different things and also it means the client has to wait longer and it gives me more room to make a mistake if I forget to send that or I miss the email that they've signed the contract. So like I think it's actually really important like I feel like ah I used to think. Customization was the best way to give client experience. But what I found was automation with little bits of customization gives the best because it means that the turnaround time for a client and the automation side of it. It means like it's streamlined for every client they get a very similar. Great client experience rather than it all depending on me to deliver it.


42:04.34

ellenyin

Yes, exactly I think of it like you know if you go back to the industrial age. It's like setting up a factory right? and um, actually not even maybe like maybe because I don't know as much obviously about like putting together a car in a factory but I did actually watch this really interesting. Um, documentary or maybe it was maybe it was no I think it was a scripted movie of like the story of Mcdonald's and like how Mcdonald's came to be what it is um, of course I'm forgetting now it's it's with ah Michael um, ah yes there we go? yes.


42:53.50

Hannah Murphy

Yes. Is it the founder. Yeah.


43:20.34

ellenyin

Um, so the founder it was so fascinating because if you haven't seen that movie before they basically show how he went into because you know he wasn't the founder of um I think the guy's name is like Ray Crocker right like he wasn't the founder of Mcdonald's but he eventually kind of you know, took over the company but when he.


43:30.71

Hannah Murphy

Um, yeah.


43:57.18

ellenyin

Originally went into the original stores he noticed that everybody was kind of like customizing each hamburger and like doing things like all the way from beginning through end and he decided to rearrange all of the equipment in the back kitchen and create a flow where. 1 person. The only thing for example that they would do is like fry the patty or the only thing they would do is squirt the ketchup and the mustard or put the bun on top and that was the one repetitive action that they did over and over and over again and it sped up the service infinitely and allowed. You know, allowed customers to have a better experience and that automation piece is exactly like what she's explaining here. What Hannah's explaining in being able to create a duplicable process that your clients can have clear expectations and fast turnaround times so that there's nothing that slips through the cracks. So Hannah I know. That you have a a resource for this right? If someone like wants to learn how to automate some of these things can you just give that a quick shout out so people know where to go for next steps on that.


46:02.15

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, if you go to http://withhanoncode.comforward/free. Um in that free training I go over that resource. It's like essentially None steps to that client experience and all the points you've got to hit. That you can automate. But yeah I think it's helped seeing that big picture like yeah, that movie was so interesting how they like set it up on the tennis court and not only did they look at the repetitive action but they looked at how that um was in the context of everyone else's repetitive action. So they made sure if they were moving from bench to bench that they weren't going to knock into each other or you know whatever. So I definitely think there is that level of um, like thought that you have to put behind how you can make it streamlined and make sense for the client.


47:43.72

ellenyin

That is so good I forgot about that tennis court scene but you're right and I think this also speaks to the power of looking outside of your own industry which is actually a concept that a recent podcast guest Diane Armitage came on our show and talked about it's so important sometimes to step outside of the vacuum.


47:44.71

Hannah Murphy

Yeah.


47:56.27

Hannah Murphy

Yeah.


48:21.78

ellenyin

Or the echo chamber of your own niche and look at what other industries are doing because you can learn a lot of powerful business lessons from other types of businesses and I think that's a great example of that. Okay, so we talked about some of the things you eliminated, some of the things you streamlined and automated.


48:25.73

Hannah Murphy

And. Yeah.


49:00.24

ellenyin

Let's talk about how you actually identify what to keep those profitable tasks. So your whole thing is helping CEOs create a profitable schedule that aligns with their priorities, their personalities which we'll get into later and of course what is actually profitable. So how do you help people audit what they're doing and determine What those profitable tasks are that they need to prioritize?


49:39.67

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, and I like I still do this when I feel overwhelmed like I feel like you never run out of like making it that your business is 100% always like nailed it right because data changes and so you've got to make sure that you're looking at the data in a constant way. So. What I always do is I literally brain dump everything I'm currently doing and everything I want to do so I got very specific from like um, you know the Instagram stories or the like sending this to this client like got very specific in what I was doing. And then from there I looked at that list and went where ah, where actually is a the data and b the joy coming from like I know it sounds very Marie Kondo but um, like what actually excites me in business and I think that's what I learned a lot from you Ellen as well is like. You create a business to do what you love and so if I'm really not loving this service. There may be data behind it. So I've got to look at do I actually like if I let go of this, would my business totally fall apart if the answer is yes then it may look like. You know, outsourcing it or streamlining it more but if the answer is oh I don't know I actually would just eliminate something for a month and see what would happen in my business and so a lot of the time it had very minor impact um can compete because it's like. You know, in business. It's always that tradeoff of time and money right and energy and so you've got to look at like yes I may lose $100 by not having this task here but I'm gaining so much more energy to make more money here. So it's kind of like definitely a bit of a like you know.


52:54.82

ellenyin

Yeah.


53:20.47

Hannah Murphy

Play around of it. But I definitely those markers of like where's the data behind you know is this particular marketing thing getting me many leads or is this particular package super profitable and super popular like is it a signature package. Um, and then you know is it fun for me. Do I enjoy it. Do I want to keep it for this season.


54:09.10

ellenyin

That is such a great tip. I Love that concept of trying to test something out for just a month to see what the actual impact is like just removing it for a month and seeing if there really is um.


54:24.67

Hannah Murphy

Yeah.


54:42.90

ellenyin

You know, drastic changes to your business because sometimes the things that we think are urgent and important just because we're so in the habit of doing them when you remove them. You're like wait a second I didn't even realize that that was gone at all because my business showed zero difference right? So maybe actually if you could give us um, maybe give us an example of.


54:43.65

Hannah Murphy

Um, yeah. Exactly.


55:20.86

ellenyin

A profitable task and a data point that allowed you to see it or determine it as a profitable task I think I think having a tangible practice or not practice example would um, help people see this in practice.


55:45.35

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, so I think probably the easiest example to see is um when a client filled out an inquiry form I would ask them how they found me and that data point at looking at what I was like. 80% are coming from referral and um, that's a huge indicator 20% are coming from Instagram so that's also a huge referral like a huge data point and obviously those who hadn't filled an inquiry form that I had pitched were coming and. Like you know booking as a client so those 3 things I looked at and I was like man they are really profitable here because it's bringing me in clients in a consistent basis. But I got um. I never got referrals from Facebook which not trying to say Facebook is bad like you've got to look at it in context of your business right? But the data point for me was I wasn't getting any clients from ah from Facebook but I was spending time each week trying to market on Facebook and I was like what are you doing kind of like take a step back.


57:42.18

ellenyin

Yeah.


58:01.39

Hannah Murphy

You can remove that and really hone in on those other three things that are getting your clients so you've got to look at the data points but you've also got to make sure that you have the ability to track the data points and so putting that into an inquiry form to know where people are finding you. Or looking you know Google analytics to see where your traffic's coming from on your website or looking at what is giving you the most income with your different packages each month like having a look at those data points and tracking those was really helpful.


59:14.20

ellenyin

I love how granular you got with that and I think um, you know again, it even goes back to that. Very None thing that you eliminated which is you know doing too much in terms of marketing and really understanding what your best traffic and lead generators were.


59:30.55

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, yeah.


59:51.68

ellenyin

Which is something we talk about in depth in our free master class in our consistent client's cash flow system. When you're starting out and you're just trying to make your first ten thousand dollar month I really believe you just need one solid traffic generator 1 solid lead generator 1 solid sales generator. So if you don't know what those things are in your business or how to identify them I highly recommend you go.


01:00:05.27

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, yeah.


01:00:31.24

ellenyin

Watch your free masterclass. You get a little better sense of the framework of how you should be looking at your business. So if you go to http://ellennin.com/getclients. you can get access to that free masterclass and watch that in 60 minutes today all right? So Hannah, you gave us an example of a practical, um, profitable task now let's.


01:00:44.99

Hannah Murphy

Yeah.


01:01:08.60

ellenyin

Get an example of I would love to know what was something that you did try removing from your business for a month so one task that you just stopped doing and what were the impacts of it on your business and you know give us give us that story.


01:01:25.97

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, so obviously the last example Facebook was None thing that I let go of and still have let go of um eight years later ah but something I think as another example, that's not client related is actually my office suite so I had the like. Blog and pinterest package and I had the pinterest only package but I also had like an inbox management package right? And so with that I was getting income from it. But when I looked at how long it took me.


01:02:27.90

ellenyin

Is it.


01:02:41.39

Hannah Murphy

When I looked at how much it would take to um train someone for me to outsource it slash looked at how much money I was making in the other packages that was huge and that is something as well. Like I know you're the marketing minimalist but you're also. Feel like you're the offer minimalist as well in that you really do have to be aware I think you know we think the more packages the more we can cater for people and customize for people the more money we'll make but and that's definitely what I thought. But I looked at that and I was like oh my gosh if I really let go of this package initially I was like oh crap I'm going to lose like a thousand dollars a month but when I let go of that I was like oh my gosh look how much now more time I have look how much. Um. I'm now able to focus on the other things because my brain doesn't have to keep going there. Ah, and yeah I think it was hard initially because I was like oh I'm going to let clients down. You know it's like this one client that I'm not able to help with this so it definitely took a bit of time but at this.


01:04:29.00

ellenyin

And I mean that.


01:04:50.99

Hannah Murphy

You know on the same end I was like man look how much more I'm going to be able to serve these other clients now or help another business out that does only focus on Inbox Management. So I definitely had to look at those things and the inclusions within the packages. To see what was actually profitable for both me and the client.


01:05:35.10

ellenyin

That is so helpful and I think I don't know if everyone caught that so I just have to pull this out if you do choose to let go of an offer like Hannah did with her inbox management service. It doesn't mean that you are not able to make any income from that anymore because if you set up a profitable referral structure with someone else who does offer that service for every referral you pass to them. You're still getting paid but you're not doing any of the delivery work. So I think that was a golden nugget that you like kind of just like you know we put that in there. So I want to make sure that people heard it because that's so brilliant.


01:06:21.99

Hannah Murphy

Yeah.


01:06:40.31

Hannah Murphy

Boom.


01:06:51.38

ellenyin

Um, okay, so let's go ahead and talk now about um you know we've we've talked a little bit about your process of looking at what you should eliminate what you should amplify. Um, and how you determine those things but during that six month window you know you went from working seven days a week to ultimately at the end of that six-month window working only 5 hours a week in your business. Can you walk us through that process of slowly hiring and outsourcing tasks to a team that actually allowed you to reach that point.


01:07:50.63

Hannah Murphy

Um, yeah, so first thing was definitely had to eliminate like that. We've spoken about that things that aren't adding any value or any profit to the business one thing was I had to streamline right? because I didn't want to hire someone.


01:07:59.80

ellenyin

Point like what did that process look like for you.


01:08:28.81

Hannah Murphy

For a process that a could be automated and B I didn't want to have to rely on that person as well. Like if that team member got sick for a day would my business fall Apart. So I had to look at before I Hire and I'm really glad I did this because I think hiring. We think of it as like the be all and end all and like you have to master it and and you do but I genuinely believe that hiring shouldn't be like the only band-aid solution to time that there's actually so many things you've got to do before outsourcing because otherwise. It makes it very clunky when you do outsource. So the none thing was I had to streamline it. So with clients. This was a big part of why I was working seven days as well because there was always something I was doing client workwise every day and it just got to the point where I thought. The more I was working for this client. The better I was serving them. But so not true. Um, and I think you know where like people I see on Instagram and everywhere always complain about clients that aren't respecting their boundaries and hundred percent there are those scary clients. But I actually think. A lot of the time. The reason it happens is because we don't communicate the boundaries to the clients. We don't actually define the parameters for which they can communicate and you know when they know I'm going to work on their business and so that was a big part was I had to streamline and write out. Every single step I do to onboard a client every single step I do to set up a client's Pinterest account and none blog every single step I do to then maintain that pinterest every week and maintain that blog every week and so first that was definitely the none step and that took about ah a solid month. Month and a half to really nail that and refine that and then from there. Um I actually hired this person to do like 5 hours a month of Pinterest Graphics so I kind of looked at like what is the None part here. That's really time consuming for me. That's not in my wheelhouse like if you know me, you know a sucker design. Um, so like that is definite I mean I can look at yeah I can look at something and be like I don't like how that looks but then I cannot take it the next step and go I can change this to make it how it looks doesn't happen.


01:13:09.56

ellenyin

Um, not as much of you think though, not as much as you think but I get it.


01:13:32.71

Hannah Murphy

Um, so yes I'm thankful for all the graphic designers out there. Um, but essentially yeah right I know? um so I hired her initially for that None weeks and I was like oh yeah, um, you know can you do 5 hours a month and she was like oh 5 hours a week I was like no no 5 hours a month.


01:13:46.52

ellenyin

Yeah, Hallelujah for real.


01:14:10.39

Hannah Murphy

Like I just need a few graphics created and within that month not only did my business grow so much but I realized she was awesome. Um, and I needed to give more to her and as I mentioned earlier in this episode that teaching crack was coming up very quickly. And I knew that I did not want to have to be working through to midnight in order to do that so that was the kind of like point of finding someone and um I will just I before I go any further I just want to say here that um I think. A lot of the times. Yes, we need to find the right person. But what I learned in scaling essentially an agency like a retainer service with a team is that I cannot allow my business to rely on the team member though in that yes I need them to outwork a system.


01:15:54.42

ellenyin

And then.


01:15:58.10

Hannah Murphy

But I don't need them to be the system because if they're the only one I can rely on like that team member um had to have two weeks off because she got really sick and at that moment I was like oh crap I relied on you way too much. So you've got to like look at that as well and go oh make sure that you do have the systems for them to outwork. But anyway so from there um with the team member. So in the first month like and this also kind of comes back to my teaching degree. Um, and it's like how to release responsibility. So the first week was me was her over my shoulder looking at me doing the work and obviously I was recording ah like a loom video as I was doing it right? So that was her looking at me doing it and me pointing out all of those little things that.


01:17:31.78

ellenyin

Yeah.


01:17:38.91

Hannah Murphy

Matter to me right? and to the client then the next phase of responsibility was her doing it and me over her shoulder. So I looked at her like you know, obviously not creepily but just making sure that. She felt supported and she knew what she was doing and I was there to answer any questions that she had and then from there it was her doing it without me but then in that week at the end of that week we had a team meeting where we went over all of that she did and make sure to check anything that that wasn't clear. Then after that. The next thing was her doing it and her leading team meetings and her creating solutions. Um, and her thinking about that team. Ah the clients and how to you know, do better and then it was her leading those team meetings and really like that's where that 5 hours came in that I was just showing up to a team meeting. And she was explaining everything um as well and that's when I then introduced her to my clients as well. So I definitely think like it's not just like Wham Bam 27 clients I was doing it all and then buy see you later. The team member took it over because it's not that dreamy hiring isn't that easy so it definitely takes that process of them learning it if you want it to be sustainable long term.


01:20:26.78

ellenyin

Thank you so much for that detailed breakdown. I really like how you broke it into several phases so people could understand what the primary objective was of how you determine. Okay, we're ready to move on to the next phase right with that person. So if I'm understanding correctly, this was someone that you initially hired for only 5 hours a month to help with the design work and then eventually grew her responsibilities into being able to essentially fully take over client accounts without your direct. Um.


01:20:59.27

Hannah Murphy

Is minute.


01:21:27.73

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, correct and the reason I had to do that was um if you like you've also got to think about Profit margins right? So I like Profit margin wise I couldn't hire a blog and pinterest management expert because I knew that wouldn't leave me any profit.


01:21:35.20

ellenyin

Like guidance right? yeah.


01:22:04.69

Hannah Murphy

So I had to like initially I knew I'm going to have to find someone that has the personality that I want and is willing to learn. But I'm going to have to do all the training. Um and you know you looked at the qualities like she had a really strong design part of her which I did not.


01:22:31.58

ellenyin

In the.


01:22:41.67

Hannah Murphy

So she needed that um, especially with Pinterest because it's such a visual platform right? So I knew I needed someone who was good at graphic design but wasn't like an expert in business does that make sense.


01:22:57.64

ellenyin

Great.


01:23:11.78

ellenyin

Totally Yes, you're hiring for. Um, it's that you know the approach of hiring someone for their um their character for their ah you know work ethic for their coachability All of these things right teamwork on things that soft skills.


01:23:30.57

Hannah Murphy

Yeah.


01:23:51.40

ellenyin

As they call it in the business world things that you can't really train for you like you either have them or you don't and then being able to train for the hard skills like the tactical things the strategy. Um, while not easy. It's much more realistic that someone can adapt those skills than someone who you know doesn't work well with people too.


01:23:49.41

Hannah Murphy

Exactly.


01:24:09.31

Hannah Murphy

Yeah.


01:24:27.40

ellenyin

Be able to completely know how they approach relationships is way more difficult so that ah, that's such a great distinction and by the end of that six month window when this ah team member had been fully trained. What did your 5 hour week schedule look like then like could you run us through.


01:24:27.39

Hannah Murphy

So yeah, that's pretty.


01:25:03.44

ellenyin

You know Monday through Friday how are you spending those 5 hours and on what tasks.


01:25:03.23

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, so um, 1 to 2 hours a week was her like ah so team meetings. Ah and client management like being available to answer any questions that she had um or you know dealing with really tricky client situations like for example.


01:25:43.50

ellenyin

Um.


01:25:42.77

Hannah Murphy

1 time a client's Pinterest account did get hacked and so it was like very scary. Um, but like that's the point obviously I need to step in right? So there's that level of like you know, still in the client work but her just like you know, being able to.


01:26:00.40

ellenyin

Oh no.


01:26:19.63

Hannah Murphy

Give her that support so that was like None to 2 hours of my week um and then 1 hour a week I was still running sales calls I really enjoyed the sales calls and at that point um we were at like ah you know after that six month period we were at about like None ish clients. And generally there was like you know one would leave and that's when we'd bring another client in so it wasn't like every single week I was on client calls but I was doing some former sales conversations. 1 hour a week and then the other um was either a marketing or b like. Visioning forward like what are some other of like do I now want to scale into education as well. Do I want to you know, look at bringing on more team members to then train up and take even more clients on so it was kind of that like vision that real Ceo side of it. Um, to look at going forward and keep in mind I think there's like real seasons of that business like some is scaling fast and some is so maintaining and sustaining and I definitely asked like that initial six months was obviously crazy scaling. But then after that. My uni degree. Ah really up leveled in how much it required of me so I was more sustaining maintaining for a period as well. So that my schedule reflect that as the priority in that season. So it definitely changes. But yeah, definitely. They're like. Visioning forward the marketing and then the managing of leadership within client experience.


01:29:37.58

ellenyin

Such a great reminder that all businesses go through seasons and that scaling is is not, ah, a sustainable thing that you can always do at every moment in every season of your business and that that sustaining season is just as important if not more important to the long term.


01:29:51.59

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


01:30:16.92

ellenyin

Of or longterm health of your business. So that's such an excellent reminder Hannah and I think it brings a full circle to that conversation because you mentioned you know things were also impacted by your your own shifting priorities in your life with your university degree requiring more of your energy and time. So you know.


01:30:14.75

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, like.


01:30:35.19

Hannah Murphy

Oop.


01:30:55.72

ellenyin

At the beginning I reference that you help ceos create profitable schedules based on 3 P's priorities. Um priorities, profitability and personality. So that last piece is the one we haven't talked about yet. So I'd love to kind of in this case study on this piece. How do you help people utilize their personalities to create better work schedules for themselves? Can you give us any example or insight on that.


01:31:43.31

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, and I think that's such an important thing to like of an important piece to remember in the business world because like obviously your podcast is amazing. But if you listen to every distant episode. It would be like oh my gosh I need to do this. Oh my gosh I need to add this to my business right? Or oh I need to try this and. So much is like there is a lot in the business world that we really do need to filter through our own personality. So an example is like um one of my close business friends was saying like I'm a major early morning person. And she was like if I could just wake up as early as you I'd be so much more productive and that was the moment where I was like oh my gosh. No like you can't copy someone else's calendar because you're just gonna force productivity and that is like you dread it and so. We had to look at hers and go like when actually are you most product like when feels really good for you. So it's a times thing. Um and it's also just a lifestyle thing like how much how much do you want to be working. What do you want that to look like what do you want to be doing because ah you know I feel. A lot of hiring advice is like hi this first hire this next. This is what my team structure has to look like and I look at that and go yes, there is some great insight that we can learn from other people and how they're hiring but I also think you do have to hire based on your personality of. What you want your role in your business to be and where you want to be leading and where you don't want to be leading and so I think that's really important and an analogy I always love to use because Ellen I know you're a fan of analogies. Um, ah you should have been like an english teacher or something.


01:35:07.54

ellenyin

Um, yes, analogies are life.


01:35:21.98

ellenyin

Well English was my favorite subject growing up. So maybe that could have been an alternative. Yeah alternative career path.


01:35:18.19

Hannah Murphy

If you weren't a business owner I can see why? Yes, yes, um, but and obviously they're with me for this analogy because I'm not a Motorbike rider. But as a motorbike rider goes around the corner. They actually like if you look up photos of them that they lean into the corner and it almost looks like they're going to fall off to an outside eye. It's like oh my gosh you're so not balanced. How are you staying on that motorbike but they know that in order to keep the balance. They have to lean into that corner. And I think it's the same for business and I always remind myself of it that if I see this person on Instagram doing this and leaning into this I don't need to freak out because I know what? I need to lean into in this season and I need to allow my schedule to reflect that to reflect my personality to reflect you know what the priorities are in that season as you were saying and so that's been a huge like reminder to me some days is harder than others but that I can't just copy and paste. Someone's schedule. And expect the same results I need to actually customize it to my personality of what I enjoy when I enjoy working how I enjoy working.


01:37:56.60

ellenyin

You are speaking literally all of my love languages analogy reminders about context and how it's so important to remember to look at every piece of advice or every strategy through the lens of context ah Hannah this is why we're friends. So okay i.


01:38:17.90

Hannah Murphy

Ah.


01:38:34.30

ellenyin

Like it would be a disservice not to also um, you know before I ask you my final question I think it'd be a disservice not to redefine productivity for a lot of people because you know you talk about you know the whole the whole reason you want to create a profitable schedule is so you can you can maximize your productivity. But I Think. Culture has really shifted how we look at productivity to mean how to do more things faster but you and I have had in-depth conversations about the difference between efficiency and Effectiveness. So I would love for you to kind of.


01:39:15.59

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, yeah.


01:39:44.80

ellenyin

Give us your take on what does productivity actually mean.


01:39:42.89

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, and I love this question because it's definitely been a journey I have learned as well like the business world definitely promotes that hustle and I feel like it has steered away from that hustle mentality I think people are more aware of that hustle culture. But. There's still a big emphasis on being able to cross off everything on your to do list for the day and you know it being that speed like you were saying and I like I always go. Okay I'm not trying to get my to-do list done here I'm trying to take a step back and go what's actually on my to do list like I think that's real productivity is. It's not like there's no point doing a task quickly which shouldn't be done at all like that is the biggest um sign of productivity and and obviously a natural side effect is you'll be able to do the task Faster. You will be more efficient but my focus and what I encourage like clients and. My audience with um and I know you do as well for your audience is looking at that effectiveness and looking at what's on my to do list. What actually is a priority for me right Now. Um, and how can I do that in the most effective way. And so that's definitely been a huge mindset shift I've had personally as well.


01:42:23.20

ellenyin

Brilliant I love that well hey I know that you know the last question coming your way. But what does being a Ceo mean to you.


01:42:33.39

Hannah Murphy

So many things I think it just means um, like for me it means having a passion for what I do and bringing other people into that passion I think that's definitely what I learned because you know ah some days in leadership as a Ceo is very difficult. But I always come back to the big goal of I'm still passionate about this I still love this and I want to bring other people along with that. So. That's definitely what it means to me.


01:43:35.50

ellenyin

It makes my heart really happy that joy has been a central theme of our conversation today. I like an underlying current. So that's a great answer I know right? we are vibin with Marie Kondo's approach to life. Yes.


01:43:37.93

Hannah Murphy

Yes, we need like Marie Kondo to sponsor it. Yes, exactly. Ah.


01:44:13.96

ellenyin

Well, if you all want to ah want Hannah's help creating a profitable schedule to make sure you're focusing on the right things not just doing the wrong things faster make sure you connect with Hannah on Instagram also go check out her free class where sholi. Be able to walk you through exactly what the steps are that you need to take so Hannah can you drop that link for us again. Go ahead and just say it.


01:44:51.25

Hannah Murphy

http://withhannahandco.com/free


01:45:08.30

ellenyin

Beautiful and that will also be below in the show notes. So check that out guys. Thank you so much Hannah 



01:46:16.20

ellenyin

Okay Hannah I know you're a little bit nervous about lightning round. But I think you're going to do amazing. So whatever comes to mind. Let's hear your answer question number 1 What is your favorite day of the week? We'll start out easy.


01:46:24.99

Hannah Murphy

Ah, thank you.


01:46:40.61

Hannah Murphy

I actually love Mondays I love coming back from the weekend being rested and getting into work for the week


01:47:06.40

ellenyin

Yes, okay I I think that unpopular opinion is actually not as unpopular as you think if you actually find joy and purpose in the work that you do right? So I'm here for Mondays all right question number 2 who inspires you and it could be 1 person.


01:47:16.55

Hannah Murphy

Yeah, definitely. Um.


01:47:44.94

ellenyin

And doesn’t have to be business related or it could be multiple people. Whatever comes to mind.


01:47:43.69

Hannah Murphy

Okay, this is going to sound very cheesy but you definitely definitely you. Um, in the business world. Um, and my mom is a huge inspiration for me like she has no idea with the business world. But she just loves people so well and is always so passionate about what she loves. So yeah, she's a huge inspiration to me too.


01:48:35.60

ellenyin

Well I mean it is like Beyond an honor to be put anywhere near the same realm as your mother. So oh my God Thank you I did make good. Thank you Oh my goodness I know I'll be like.


01:48:42.21

Hannah Murphy

Yes, you made it. Ah. Um, put that in your bio you're welcome. Um, yeah.


01:49:11.88

ellenyin

Um, was put on Hanna's inspiration list next to her mom but amazing. Okay question number 3 you're almost there would you want to live forever I'm actually really curious about your answer. So that's why I decided to pick out this question.


01:49:17.29

Hannah Murphy

Ah, oh.


01:49:39.75

Hannah Murphy

There are so many layers to this element. There is a lot to this I mean look I personally I am a Christian and I have faith. Um and so I I cannot wait till I get to heaven in my opinion.


01:50:08.30

ellenyin

Um, have things. Um, and so I.


01:50:17.50

Hannah Murphy

Because it sounds amazing. Um, and so I definitely feel like there's so much theology to that though, if you still live forever if you're in heaven. You die on Earth So I don't know but I do love life on Earth. Um.


01:50:25.26

ellenyin

Um, yes.


01:50:47.77

Hannah Murphy

I Think it's fun but I don't know that I'd want to live forever. I feel like that would be very tiring but.


01:51:02.70

ellenyin

Yes, so you're looking to a heavenly eternity but perhaps not extending life on Earth for all of eternity. I think I'm with you on that one? Yes I would have to say I agree.


01:51:03.61

Hannah Murphy

Exactly correct correct Exactly yeah.


01:51:37.00

ellenyin

Okay, well Hannah you absolutely crushed it. Let's get back to the interview.