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Elizabeth Eiss: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO of ResultsResourcing

How you scale your value delivery is a business asset that is differentiating. Scale is achieved by delegating to process, tools and people — in that order. The first and easy instinct is to hire a person if you need something done. But, if you don’t establish the process and tool foundation you’ll never optimize the contribution of the people nor build repeatable value to scale. Process is not boring for boring bureaucrats — it’s immensely creative and is the foundation for scaling, growing, and delivering value consistently.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Eiss. She is a results guru who helps others get work done well. She’s a thinker, creator, leader, technology systems designer and an expert in today’s ‘Gig Economy.’

As the Founder and CEO of ResultsResourcing®, an online freelance talent concierge platform and service, Elizabeth is a sought after expert on the future of work, and has redefined talent management principles based on virtual and freelance talent trends.

ResultsResourcing® helps organizations scale by leveraging virtual freelancers who are vetted and personally curated using proprietary technology Elizabeth designed and co-developed.

Thank you so much for joining us Elizabeth! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I am passionate about helping small businesses scale. I developed an interest in small business due to a formative experience in my first career as a senior commercial insurance executive. The elite career path, like most industries, was to be responsible for the largest, most complex and prestigious accounts.

At some point, I had this (obvious) epiphany that, using the Fortune 1000 as an example of these illustrious accounts, there were only 1000 of them — so competition would be always intense.

I began to think about serving the largest number of commercial businesses instead — SBA data shows 97% of US businesses have less than 49 employees and some 30M businesses are non-employee firms. To serve small businesses well and profitably, you have to think from the ground up: you don’t have economies of scale to work with and you also have a business population that probably needs the most hands-on help.

That problem became mine to solve and my mission to serve small businesses when revenue will generally be low and expectations high. This means creating low cost/high tech but high touch approaches.

I was also inspired by what Thomas L. Friedman has articulated well about our increasingly digital world. To paraphrase, while there is growing AI (artificial intelligence) there is a faster-growing need for IA (intelligent assistance) to help people use technology for their benefit. And intelligent assistance (IA) can only be provided by human beings through technology (AI). That’s what I focus on today.

Can you share one of the major challenges you encountered when first leading the company? What lesson did you learn from that?

Embracing constraints and finite resources. Initially, constraints were frustrating and got in the way of execution on a big vision. But constraints are everyone’s reality — whether it’s limited funding, experience, networks or driven changing market dynamics.

I learned to love constraints and how they caused me to think “how can I?” To think resourcefully, look for workarounds, a different way to solve a problem or to collaborate. Since solving often took time, I also learned to give myself time and space to create new ways to accomplish my objectives. Some of my best, really scalable ideas emerged from constraints and an open mind about “how can I” and became “of course, why didn’t I think of that way before?”

It also taught me to pursue big ideas — but to think in small, incremental steps. Not only is this more manageable from an execution standpoint but in the time it takes to create and launch something meaningful, the world changes in ways you can’t always anticipate (hello pandemic) and you never have perfect information nor understanding. Be nimble, think in scale.

What are some of the factors that you believe led to your eventual success?

Finding a purpose that is meaningful and energizing. Then, while focusing on the mission, remaining mentally flexible. Focus on “the what” not “the how.” The path is never straight and while this is a trite expression but it’s true — most of the time I’ve learned to enjoy the journey and find inspiration in the path, especially the bumps in the road. The bumps are often the best signal to stop, the impetus to reassess, let will power and ego detach and be open to learning the lessons that emerge and help you improve upon on mission/purpose.

I like to think of life like kayaking. It’s dynamic — the highs and lows are like boulders, eddies or rapids to be navigated (even a flip). It’s not personal. I just work to pick a good line and go, focused on what’s in front of me, with a sense of what’s up ahead. One paddle stroke at a time. As a river guide said, “When in doubt, keep paddling.”

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO”? Please share a story or example for each.

I made the move from long-term intrapreneurship to entrepreneurship. I’ve benefited from c-level work in the world of the largest organizations to leading a scaling new venture. Here are some things I learned in my journey as a founder and CEO.

  1. You need patience and have fortitude. No one ever said it would take so long and be so hard to bring your big ideas to life.
  2. Find energy in being a good leader and sharing the load. Scale comes through delegating and putting the process and tools in place, so others can successfully execute. If you did it yourself, it’s really not a win if you want to scale.
  3. It’s said, everyone is in sales. I no longer believe that. There is something more energizing called demand generation. Know your target client buys when they are ready to buy, not when you are ready to sell. Find ways to deliver value so when they are ready to buy, they think of you.
  4. Your whole business has to scale, not just your core value proposition. You can’t grow and scale a good idea if the cost of goods sold and your SG&A is so heavy that your idea can’t soar. A scaling mindset needs to be a driver from day one. This is true even if you want a solopreneur’s lifestyle business. It’s the only way to gain financial freedom as an individual or an organization.
  5. How you scale your value delivery is a business asset that is differentiating. Scale is achieved by delegating to process, tools and people — in that order. The first and easy instinct is to hire a person if you need something done. But, if you don’t establish the process and tool foundation you’ll never optimize the contribution of the people nor build repeatable value to scale. Process is not boring for boring bureaucrats — it’s immensely creative and is the foundation for scaling, growing, and delivering value consistently.

There are also a few things I am GLAD no one told me (not that I would have paid any attention anyway)

  • You’re not a techie, you don’t code — how can you build a tech company?
  • You’re too old, too gray to build a tech company!

What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Plan. Pace yourself. Partner.

I don’t think there is one ‘right’ way to thrive and not burn out and I’m not the model of work-life balance. I find my work absolutely energizing and I’m constantly thinking of new ways to advance my ideas. I do work that inspires me and fulfills my purpose nearly every day. Some of my friends think I’m a burn-out candidate. I disagree — I simply love what I do and it’s a creative outlet for my energy and desire to serve.

I am a disciplined planner and make sure I balance my days to give myself ‘space’ to not do too much on any one day. I spread work out, so I have the energy I need to prepare and execute. I always make sure the highest ROI activities come first — and I’m rigorous about it. I simply let go but keep lesser priorities until they become important or urgent.

As Peter Drucker said over a half a century ago, “Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.” Do high-value work and don’t try to do it all, or all at once. Break it down and carve out work others can do for you. It’s rewarding to delegate work. I want someone who’s eager to do that work because it’s the work they love to do and do best. Find partners who are experts and create leverage that brings value to both parties, generating more opportunities.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I have so many to whom I am grateful. So many have inspired me in big and little ways. Two standout.

One is my paternal grandmother. She passed away when I was maybe 10, but I’ve felt her influence throughout my life. She was so bright, generous, positive and resourceful in finding ways to empower the lives of others. Despite the professional limitations for women in her day, she found purpose empowering foreign students to make their way the US, enlarging their world, her world and her impact. She fostered a belief that I can do and be anything I want, and that there was no one answer to what that was — even that it could change! Life is dynamic.

Another is a dear friend and colleague from whom I discovered conscious entrepreneurship. She helped me to define my purpose; to articulate that my purpose was to empower the purpose of others. This is at the heart of what my company, ResultsResourcing does. We’re THE freelance platform that comes with your own recruiter. A hybrid job platform and staffing agency that matches small to medium size businesses with the perfect freelancer who can help them achieve their purpose and scale their impact. In providing this purpose-driven marketplace, we also enable freelancers to work in value vs. price-driven environment.

What are some of the goals you still have and are working to accomplish, both personally and professionally?

These are both personal and professional goals I continue to work to accomplish:

  • Scale ResultsResourcing to empower 20% of US small businesses — using the 80/20 rule that 20% of any group will have the biggest impact.
  • Show by example how to serve small businesses cost-effectively with high tech/high touch business models, imagined and built from the ground up.
  • Empower women entrepreneurs to scale businesses that achieve a million or more in annual revenue, which sadly only 2% do today.

What do you hope to leave as your lasting legacy?

I hope to inspire other women to believe that “you can do it” and to never stop doing it. There is no right answer to what “it” is (and that “it” can, and probably should, change as time goes by).

Perhaps some will see ways to be entrepreneurial about your career and your life. Be curious, take calculated risks, take that off-beat assignment to gain new experience, have a side-hustle to try things out, network, and hang out with people different from you (and not all your same age or industry).

Years ago, I never would have imagined that I’d be a female tech entrepreneur today. I started work as an insurance underwriter, with no grand aspirations, and made the most of every opportunity before me. Each step I took expanded my mental, emotional, and professional eyes, and that continually made more choices available to me.

Great ideas come at every age — just truly commit to making the most of your ideas and expanding your outlook, one day a time.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger!

I have to refer back the goals I am still working to accomplish:

  • Scale ResultsResourcing to empower 20% of US small businesses — using the 80/20 rule that 20% of any group will have the biggest impact.
  • Show by example how to serve small business cost-effectively with high tech/high touch business models, imagined and built from the ground up.
  • Empower women entrepreneurs to scale businesses that achieve a million or more in annual revenue, which sadly only 2% do today.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabetheiss/

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