Achieve business success through growing a high-performing team

Podcast Guest: Sheila Cabacungan

Welcome to another episode of the Work Wonders podcast where we interviewed Sheila Cabacungan, founder of The Wealth Forum and Co-Founder of Mentor to Mentor Connect and Learn. She is also a business advisor as part of the NSW Business Connect program.


We had a fantastic discussion in this episode (listen here) that gave some many nuggets of gold as the conversation unfolded, that even our guest walked away with some light bulb moments.


We began this episode by asking Sheila if there one thing that seems to be a recurring message that she is giving her clients around the financial stability for their businesses.


Her comment was that a lot of small business owners are looking for stability in their business.


Sheila’s advice is that the key to stability is making sure that your business can actually work whether you’re in it or not.


As founders, we have all the hustle, the passion, the skill and a lot of the time we think we can control it all. Often we don’t want to lose that control because that’s the reason why we got into business – to be able to run our own shows, control our own time.


But its tough to control every aspect in the world that’s really uncontrollable.


But the first step is to ensure the machine that is your business right now is running well. But beyond that, how do you get a business that can function whether you are there running it or not?


In Sheila’s work with her clients, she often hears from small business owners that they’re the one “wearing all the hats”…doing all the things that need to be done. And as your business starts to grow, it can be really hard to let go of those hats.


It’s not achievable or sustainable for someone to have expertise in all the areas of business and often it will impede your growth.


From a risk standpoint thought, it is even more important to learn to let go of that control or find ways to for the business to work without you, because if you’re the one doing everything, it does rely solely on you. If all that knowledge is sitting in your head (all the dreams, the visions, the plans and processes), until you actually start to speak and share it your business can only go so far.


Sheila’s 8 steps to get a business that doesn’t rely on you:

  1. Plan and set goals – take the time out to set goals and plan what you need to do to get there. We all know we need to, but find a tool/structure that is going to make you do it (e.g. Business Model Canvas).
  2. Identify and simplify any processes and procedures – that have to happen regardless of whether you do them or not. Often as a business owner we have the “how to” do things in our own heads and not written down. It’s important to take the time to write down procedures in a way so things can happen the same way by anyone who picks up that procedure document. It makes that easier as you start to bring more people into your team also.
  3. Document everything – Writing down systems, dreams, visions, plans and procedures is essential for effective communication and accountability within the team but also that customers keep getting served as they always have. It ensures that everyone understands expectations and can hold each other accountable.
  4. Hire and train staff – get the support and the advice to be able to do that well. You can have staff either fulfill a job that increases the efficiency of your operations or their purpose may be to bring more money/customers in.
  5. Share the vision with your team – hiring a team is one thing but if you can find a person that aligns with your purpose and wants to work towards your vision you have struck gold! Business owners need to communicate their vision effectively to their team.
  6. Build trust and accountability – Establishing trust and accountability within the team is crucial. Employees need to know what’s expected of them and how their performance impacts the business.
  7. Grow and innovate – it doesn’t have to break records or uncover a brand new invention, but always be looking for ways to improve what you’re doing whether it be automated invoicing or using a new app that automates certain parts of your procedure.
  8. Build your advisory tribal council – no one can do it alone, nor should you. Get advice from trusted professionals who have been where you have and can give you great advice or encourage you to achieve your goals.


Planning for the future, including succession planning, is essential. Business owners should have an exit strategy and consider how the business will continue to operate without them. This involves recognizing personal worth beyond the business and seeking expert support when needed.


One final thought from Sheila…

Sheila feels her business is stronger for the relationships that she has built both in business and in life. She makes that a priority to have people around her that offer that support and expert guidance.


When it comes to managing your team, you don’t have to go it alone. You deserve to have expert support when you need it.


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