Women Branching Out: Amber McCue
I’m very happy to have Amber McCue of AmberMcCue.com here on the blog today as part of the Women Branching Out interview series.
Amber is a business coach who brings her corporate business background, experience running her own photography boutique, and high energy to the table to help entrepreneurs optimize their business operations and outsourcing.
Her new group program for entrepreneurs, How to Clone Yourself, starts October 14.
Q: Tell me about your business. Who do you love to help and why?
I am crazy about helping small business owners and solo entrepreneurs run their businesses better. When I talk about running the business, I’m talking business planning, financials, building a team, systems, process, training, hiring, difficult conversations, leverage, client engagement, pricing strategies,and team building.
In my experience not only do small business owners have a passion for making big change, but they are the most well equipped to do it because they are not encumbered by the same challenges as big-business. Entrepreneurship is increasing at the highest rates in 16 years. Small business owners and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to fuel unprecedented change.
By starting with a strong foundation in terms of business operations and organizational structures, the potential impact one can have on their person tribe as well as the extended ripple effect that can be made is astounding. Not to mentioned the personal satisfaction and fulfillment that follows.
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Q: You have lots of experience running business operations for big and small businesses. When did you first start to recognize the impact outsourcing could have in your own business?
I first started to outsource in a bigger way when I realized I was in way too deep and I stopped enjoying my business, my passion. I quickly went back to what I did in corporate and realized I could apply the same concepts – in a much different way – to get better leverage in my business.
It is a highly personal process, however. I like to go into the deep end of the pool myself to make sure I fully understand what is happening before I hand off and train or outsource activities to someone else. For me, this helps me understand and appreciate what is happening as I hand off.
When you are starting up, you might not want to outsource everything right from the start. Or maybe you do – I admire people who do that. Either way, you’ll want to set up strong systems and process so when you are ready to outsource it is a more seamless transition.
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Q: Why do you think women entrepreneurs fall into the trap of trying to do it all themselves? and What do you tell your clients to help them start to see the potential of outsourcing?
I personally fall into the “do it all” myself trap because I’m immensely curious to know how things work. It takes time to outsource and get someone else up to speed. Often times in any business I have found people believe it is faster to “do it myself” than to train or teach someone else to help.
It’s true, it will take a little extra time to train someone else in the short term. But in the long run, you’ll better be able to leverage your skills, play in your zone of genius, and in the end reap the benefits in terms of increase income.
I recently heard both Erika Lyremark of the DailyWhip and Fabienne Fredrickson of Client Attraction say that every time they delegate, they make more money.
By letting someone else do what you do not like to, but they truly enjoy and are skilled at doing, you will level up and you’ll be bringing people with you (how cool is that?).
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Q: Are there business tasks that everyone should outsource, or is deciding what to outsource an individual decision?
Start with repeatable tasks. Anything you do again and again can likely be outsourced, systematized, or delegated.
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What is your favorite aspect of your running your own business?
I love personalizing solutions and ensuring my clients get exactly the right strategy and action plan they need to grow their business.
I get turned on by a challenge. I love problem solving in my business and with my clients.
Notice I did not say it is the systems or the process I love — Those are a means to an end for me.
A really good ending. 🙂
I also love building a budget and a financial forecast. Not because I love math or numbers. I hate math in fact. What I love about a budget and a financial forecast is that it is the one place a business owner can bring all of their dreams, plans, and strategies together in one place to see how it will really work. It is where the rubber meets the road so to speak.
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Q: Who are your business role models and why?
Erika Lyremark – Erika kindly kicks your butt, sees your potential, she won’t let you give less than your all, and she shares.
Danielle Laporte – I had a 90 minute strategy session with her and felt like I had meditated for 90 minutes when it ended. She is a killer business strategist and does it with soul. I only hope my clients feel as good as with me as I did after working with her.
Erin Giles – Erin is the walking billboard for how businesses can do good.
Morgan Day Cecil – She reminds me that slow and steady wins the race.
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Q: What did 7 year old Amber say she wanted to be when she grew up?
7 year old Amber wanted to speak. At the time I thought I wanted speak to a group of students in the role of teacher. As I grew and was exposed to more, I knew I wanted to speak to entertain and teach adults how to good things in the world through, with, and for other people. I was obsessed with how to be a better person, how to run a better student council meeting, make a better newsletter that people will actually read, more efficiently get my homework done, be more positive, etc.
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Q: What does “The Art of Spreading Yourself Thickly” look like in the McCue household?
This question makes me smile. I love this stuff so I practice it all with my family – I am lucky to have a husband and two daughters that play a long. For example, our household budget that looks much like a business profit and loss statement.
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Q: Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Take a leadership role to run your business. It all becomes so much easier and richer when you do.
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Amber McCue is an entrepreneurial business coach and small business consultant, teaching leaders how to run a business that increases their bottom line and fuels change. Not only has Amber coached business leaders running up to $30 million dollar budgets, but she has experience running her own business as the cofounder of a photography boutique. Amber consults with entrepreneurs and small business owners one-on-one and in in her group program called How to Clone Yourself. You can sign up for a free consult and cloning session here. Amber can also be found at: ambermccue.com on Twitter and Facebook.
This is such a fantastic interview with Amber! Now I am SUPER motivated to hire someone to delegate to . . . I used to have a full team for a business several years ago, but got completely burned out on managing them. I need to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t have to be the same thing, because I am not the same person. Thanks for the info, I really enjoyed this interview!
Thank you Mindy!
Mindy – It’s so true you are not the same person, but you are also not a manager. You are a business owner. A leader. There is a difference in how we approach these things. LMK if you want to chat about it more! 🙂 Go get ’em, tiger! 🙂
Excellent interview, ladies! It is awesome getting to know Amber a bit better and what her business is all about. I LOVE the idea of outsourcing and can totally see how it would free me up to focus on the thing I love most, which is the coaching piece. It is hard, just starting out, to open up the financing and have faith that I will see a return on all of it; I am being patient, though, and starting the ball rolling myself even as I dream of having a team, someday, to help me through it.
I hear you Allegra. I think patience is key and one step you can take now is to start documenting your processes (for client intake, billing etc.) then when you’re ready to outsource you’ll have a manual of how your business works!
I completely agree, Christie.
Allegra, I hear ya! When starting it often gives me energy to learn new things and go into the deep end of the pool. When I am ready to outsource, then, I have it ready to go for the person who will pick it up. OR I don’t have it ready to go b/c it is something I hate/fear/avoid (e.g., marketing :)).
Love this interview. The comments about delegation are spot on. I teach this in my leadership trainings all the time. You cannot be a good leader if you don’t crack the delegation code. We have to learn how to delegate the right task at the right time to the right person and then consistently follow through. Great interview.
Thank you Sarah!
Thanks, Sarah!! Yes – This is core leadership. I am going to check out your stuff. I’m not-so-secretly focusing on leadership development for solo-entrepreneurs and small business owners. You totally caught me! 🙂
Ahhh Sarah – Checked out your stuff. We are two peas in a pod. 🙂
Super valuable! I am challenged in two ways as an entrepreneur – the balance of breadth and depth and “having only my perspective”. Outsourcing is a great way for me to solve both of those problems. And, it’s fun having someone else helping me out on my business. Thanks!
Thank you Pam! Great noticing that you want some additional perspectives in your business and that you can do it in a way that’s fun!
Thanks for this great feature on Amber! So many great nuggets of biz wisdom that I resonated with deeply.
So glad this resonated with you Stephanie! Thanks for the comment love! 🙂
Thanks Stephanie! Amber has a whole lot of wisdom to share!
Great interview! All good to remember. Interesting about the feelings after a session with Danielle LaPorte. I like that delegating is considered a way to release the business owner to do more in addition to stressing releasing the task. ~Cathy
Yes, Cathy — It is win-win. The business owner/leader does what they were born to do and hence do better work and attract more clients, etc. All the while the stress decreases too and the work gets done. So worth it!
What a great interview. I absolutely love Amber’s energy. I can’t decide if I just like knowing how things run or if I am too scared to delegate lol… I’ve got a lot to think about:)
Thanks Jenn. I’m with you on the love to learn things + scared to delegate. Work to do for me in that area, too!
Amber you and I are two peas in a pod. The more I get to know you the more I discover how our stories & mission are eerily similar ;-).
I’m so excited that you are spreading this MUCH NEEDED message as well to entrepreneurs. And I agree you can’t be a true blue leader until your embrace delegation head on.
I knew you’d appreciate Amber’s post. I’ve learned so much about outsourcing and delegating from you!
Love the idea…every time you delegate you make more money. And I’m beginning to realize the importance of cloning what you do – turning it into a system and selling it. Not quite there yet, but every time I hear that message it sinks a little bit deeper and I may have to add that to my 2013 goals. Thanks.
Thanks for commenting Julie. I’m letting the message sink in as well. 🙂
“I personally fall into the “do it all” myself trap because I’m immensely curious to know how things work”
This quote totally hit home with me. I feel like if I hire someone, I’ll never know how to do it or I’ll always be dependent on other people. I also feel like DIY saves me money in my fledgling stages…but I KNOW I would get to the money making part faster, if I got help! Thanks you!
You inspire me Megan because you rock the DIY and I know when it comes time you’ll be able to delegate like a pro to grow your biz!
Fantastic interview ladies! Amber, love hearing about your new and exciting business – very cool and inspiring! Your role models rock too! And I agree wholeheartedly with your statement: “By letting someone else do what you do not like to, but they truly enjoy and are skilled at doing, you will level up and you’ll be bringing people with you (how cool is that?).”
THAT is way cool.
You rock Amber!
I think the “do it yourself” trap is so rampant among entrepreneurs because there’s something in the DNA of a ‘trep that makes them do it! If we didn’t have the DIY gene, we wouldn’t be in business for ourselves in the first place! 🙂
It’s so exciting to see Amber featured here. She’s an incredible coach and visionary. I got so much out of just a 15-minute call with her that I can’t wait to see what she can do with even more time!
Ha! I love that take on this Jessica. Definitely see in myself a very strong must diy trait! So glad you’ve connected with Amber already.
Awesome interview ladies, such a treat to have you both here! And I so agree, the first reason I want to do it all by myself is that I love to understand how things work and I don’t believe I can delegate if I understand at least the basics, so then I know what to ask people. I am not in a place where I can delegate big chunks right now but I really want to start delegating small stuff. I’m really inspired to do this now!
Such a rich interview.. loved hearing Amber’s perspective via Christie’s questions… so much of my business is just me being with clients.. not lots of product or course delivery and so delegating more becomes something I am not sure of.. I count a lot on my webdesigner/VA to take over the things that happen monthly and weekly but now wondering if there are other things I could release.
I love the message of stepping into your own authority and taking leadership (and ownership) of your work-it really does get easier once you do that!
Oh I am a big Do it all myself person… My very first phrase as a child was “i do it my own self’ think I really need to digest the message of delegation : ) Thanks so much ladies!
Meg – I’m still digesting as well. Starting to see where delegation could start to play a bigger role in my biz.
Excellent interview! Amber sounds so driven and passionate. I love the idea of taking a Leadership role in my business. I often feel like the unpaid intern lol. Thanks for this great post!
Thank you Christina! That’s so true that sometimes we treat ourselves like unpaid interns! Here’s to stepping up each time we can!
Great article. Loads of stuff to add to the brain mix and think about. I particularly am inspired by this line: I recently heard both Erika Lyremark of the DailyWhip and Fabienne Fredrickson of Client Attraction say that every time they delegate, they make more money. Love the concept as it spreads the wealth and values all.
Great interview… And I am totally with Amber with teaching/training someone to help with your business because it really works for me. I have an amazing assistant who takes care of the extra work and I am so glad to have her around. xoxo