1577 – Making Radical Business Shifts as a CEO with The Shift Spot’s Ken Paskins

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Co-Founder of The Shift SpotKen Paskins.

Are you a CEO struggling to scale your business? Look no further than The Shift Spot. Ken Paskins, CEO coach and peer community leader, shares his insights on the importance of leadership, critical thinking, and self-care. One key takeaway? Encourage your employees to think creatively and take ownership of their work. And don't forget about yourself – invest in personal growth and join a supportive community. Check out The Shift Spot for resources to help you and your business thrive.

About Ken Paskins:

Ken Paskins is a co-founder of The Shift Spot, a tech startup focused on transforming remote work. With a background in technology and business, Ken brings a unique perspective to his role. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and has experience in software development, project management, and business strategy.

Ken's entrepreneurial journey began with the co-founding of The Shift Spot, driven by a desire to address the challenges of remote work. Under his leadership, the platform has gained recognition for its tools and features that enhance productivity and communication for remote teams.

Ken is also an influential figure in the remote work space, sharing his insights at industry conferences and contributing to publications. His ideas and solutions have gained a following, establishing him as a trusted authority in the field.

Ken is passionate about creating a more flexible work environment and continues to shape the future of remote work. Through his work, he inspires individuals and organizations to embrace the potential of technology in improving the way we work.


About The Shift Spot:

The Shift Spot is a renowned wellness center that caters to the unique needs of business executives, offering specialized programs to enhance their leadership skills while prioritizing their overall well-being. The Shift Spot provides a sanctuary where executives can find respite and embark on a transformative journey towards becoming more effective and fulfilled leaders.

With a team of seasoned professionals, The Shift Spot offers a holistic approach that combines mindfulness practices, executive coaching, and leadership development techniques. These tailored services are designed to address the specific challenges faced by executives in today's fast-paced business environment.

The Shift Spot recognizes that by prioritizing the well-being of executives, they can unlock their full potential as leaders. By incorporating mindfulness, stress reduction techniques, and personal growth practices, executives can cultivate self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and resilience. These qualities empower executives to make better decisions, communicate more effectively, and inspire their teams.


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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out The Shift Spot website at

Check out The Shift Spot on LinkedIn at

Check out The Shift Spot on Facebook at

Check out The Shift Spot on Twitter at

Check out Ken Paskins on LinkedIn at

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Speaker 1 (00:00:05) - Hey, their thoughtful listener, would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than 10 million in revenue. Just head to up my and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live, and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget, the Thoughtful Entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my and click on podcast. We'd love to have you with us right now. It's Ken Paskins. Ken, you are the co-founder of the Shift Spot you're found on the Ken, it's great to have you. Great

Speaker 2 (00:01:11) - To be here. Josh. Really excited about this. I

Speaker 1 (00:01:13) - Should also point out that we're already, we already work together. We're friends. Yeah. Uh, so it's great to have you on the show. Yep. Uh, so Ken, give us an overview of, of, of your work, you know, kind of what you do, who you work with, and the outcomes that you help create.

Speaker 2 (00:01:27) - Yeah. Yeah. So the Shift Spa is a CEO coaching and peer community, right. And we focus on working with business owners or CEOs, a hundred employees or less. Right. And generally 10 years or less of c e o experience. And we help them elevate and get to the next level, is the best way to put it. So, and we focus on the core areas such as leadership and management, people, sales and marketing, finance systems and process. And actually something that's really cool and unique that we do, Josh, is we have a concept that we add in there as well around mind and body, because we believe to be the best c e o best owner, you also gotta pay attention to the number one asset, and that is you. And our focus is to help business owners start working on the business versus in the business and in the weeds every day.

Speaker 1 (00:02:14) - I would imagine, Ken, that you end up working with a lot of CEOs that find themselves at a new level of c e o than they've been before. And, you know, I even think about my own experience and, you know, I'm pretty competent, uh, you know, at, at, you know, running a, a company 25, 4, 50, 50 employees Yeah. Are under, yeah. Like I feel pretty competent at that level. Yeah. 50 to a hundred. I'm not at that level right now. I don't know that I will, but I might , but I gotta tell you that, that, you know, I, I feel like I'd be hitting the Peter principle there. Yeah. Like, I, I've just, I don't have a experience with that. I question whether or not I'd be the right person for that. Right.

Speaker 2 (00:03:01) - Right. Yeah. I mean, it, it happens and some people can actually punch through that. And at every revenue level, uh, employee level, there's new challenges across the organization. One of the things that I've see, uh, you know, the past decade I've been operating as a fragile C E O, C O O, which actually created the concept of the shift spot. So people would hire me to be basically the fixer, Josh. They would bring me in and say, Hey, look, I, I started this thing myself, and now I have 25, 30 employees. I'm pulling my hair out. I'm working 80 hours a week. Um, you know, I hate this. Should I scale backwards? Right. So, one of the key things I think a lot of leaders in that spot find a challenging is how to actually shift from doing it all themselves to actually figuring out how to leverage and, and, you know, get work done through others. So it's a whole leadership and management concept. Right. So we pay a lot of attention on that. And, you know, and you are not unique, but, uh, there's lots of people, like I said, I, I've literally had CEOs ask me if they should scale back. It is the very first place they go to . Wow.

Speaker 1 (00:04:09) - Wow. How might a, um, you know, and I think you kind of illustrated this, like, you know, obviously they're working too many hours, right? What might be some of those earlier indicators that they are probably getting to the point where they're gonna need a, what, what I'd refer to you, Ken, as a CEO's best friend. . Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (00:04:31) - Yeah. So early, early indicators are this, I think that I'm fixing problems, but they continually arise, right? I call it whack-a-mole, right? Yeah. So we're not getting to the, the root cause of what a problem is, right? We, we have an employee, uh, turnover issue. So we go out and get new benefits. We still have an employee turnover issue, so we focus on our onboarding process. We still have an employee turnover issue. So then we focus on giving them better compensation. We're not actually solving it. So we find ourselves actually spending a lot of time, money, and effort to fix things that don't get fixed. Another key indicator, leading indicator, if you will, is boy. And that perfect example is employee turnover, right? Another one is, Hey, why does my team not really understand my vision? Mm-hmm. , why do I feel like I'm the only person that gets it?

Speaker 2 (00:05:23) - You know, why, why do I actually have to solve all the problems? Those are some of the things that come up. You feel like you're the guy or you're the gal. And, and it, and it starts from the beginning of operator companies. And believe it or not, I've worked with 250 million companies that three generations, uh, I've seen this, but I call it the employees actually lose what I call Josh the thinking gene at times. Right? So when we start a company, right, everything comes to us. And think about it. When you started, what you have, Arian came to you, you have pizza on Fridays, the employees go, Josh, should we do pepperoni or cheese? And then you get five employees, and it's the same thing, 10 employees. And suddenly you find yourself, I've taught my employees to stop thinking and solving problems, and I'm solving all the problems, and I can't find any time for myself. So those are some of the things that, you know, we see day in and day out that, that people actually want to get themselves out of that, that crazy hamster wheel.

Speaker 1 (00:06:18) - Let, let's talk a little bit more about one thing you brought up there. You probably saw my reaction, , when you're talking about this idea of, um, and, and I wonder if there are other leaders who experience this. I'm, I know there is, right? Yeah. Where, and I'm not saying this is necessarily the case for, I think we're pretty good on our side, but I, I'm, I'm empathic to this, where a founder says, you know, um, I have great people, but they kind of just, they do the job and there's not a lot of like, thought beyond that. Yeah. Right? So the way that that might manifest is, you know, where like, they checked all the boxes, but you know, the, the person that was the manager that was tasked with getting that done, you know, I, I think the executive might look at that and say, well, now that it's all laid out, I, I'm seeing some new problems here.

Speaker 1 (00:07:08) - Did did you not see these problems? Like, I, I, you know, it's like we count, like if we wanna create more of this, um, culture Yeah. Where it's okay to start questioning things and think about things. And, you know, one thing that, um, sometimes maybe I have historically right? Seen is like, yeah, I don't think the user like, yeah, you did it, but it's, I don't wanna say this, but it's, it's ugly and like, there's no way that's gonna perform. Right? Yeah. And so, uh, you know, at the end of the day, like people don't know what they don't know. And so I don't wanna, you know, you know, kind of squeeze blood of a turn. I don't know what the expression is, right? Like, you can, if someone just doesn't have that skillset to know that that's ugly design or, you know, it's Right. You know, but, but do you get what I'm saying? Like, you know, just like I do wanna give people more ownership Yeah. Um, over, you know, and to think outside the box. Yeah. Um, but if someone's, uh, en encountering this problem that I'm describing, like, how would you begin to break this down and start solving this?

Speaker 2 (00:08:09) - Well, a couple things. So I, I know it's hard for people to hear, but let's not assume that all of our people are great, right? So sometimes it's easy, specifically, and we're a smaller company and we feel good with each other, and we, you know, we do some socially and everything. We, we suddenly put a little cloud over them or, or protective cage over them where we, we fail to sometimes see what those, some of their flaws are. And, and we've gotta remember that our job is to get the most out of our people to get the best results for our company, because with the success of the company means success of our customers means success to the rest of our employees as well. The other thing is, and I saw this a ton when I was a drop in C E O C O O, is, you know, when you, when you, when I drop into a company, a lot of times those people are bringing things to the owner or the c e o and they're asking them, Hey, h how do I do this?

Speaker 2 (00:09:04) - Or, I've got this problem, and they're tossing it to 'em. And I think a lot of newer leaders, if you will, don't understand h what to do with that. And they don't understand the damage with telling them the answer, right. So we've gotta actually teach them to actually not do that. Right? So the very first thing I do is Josh comes to me and says, Hey, Ken, I've got a really irate customer. What do I do, Josh? That's a great question. What would you recommend and why would you recommend it? Right? And at first, they're kind of startled and they sit back in their chairs like, man, my boss has never asked me this before. I have to actually think. Mm-hmm. And you gotta, you gotta retrain them, but you also have to, you have to give it a little bit of trust to that, right? And you gotta have some checks and balances through that process as well. But a lot of times, some of these dynamics, I find that they start with us, right? Yeah. We train our people to behave a certain way, right? We train them to react a certain way, we train them to maybe not problem solve the way we want, and then we get frustrated. So as a c e O and owner, we have to work on ourselves, you know, to help our people elevate, right? Because that's, that's what builds a great scalable company.

Speaker 1 (00:10:17) - Yeah. You know, my wife is a, uh, family therapist, and I know one thing that, um, you know, just ethically what, you know, what therapists will learn is don't do therapy with your friends and family , because that's, and I, first off, it's unethical. Number two is if you, you're, you're training family members, you're training friends. Uh, and again, you know, if you don't have an official, you know, kind of client therapist relationship, it's just like, it's better to, you know, in her case, like she really has to, there's, she's like, there's so much I could say . Yeah, right. You know, she tells me this afterwards, like, I am so not gonna get into it. So I just give them, you know, just a friendly little da da da da. And like, what are you thinking? Like, what do you know? But it's, you know, and I've heard this too, like, like let's say you run into a situation where, um, you know, you're, you know, one of your managers directors, like, they're, they're messaging you and it's like 11 o'clock at night or something like that.

Speaker 1 (00:11:16) - Um, how you respond, and if you respond, you're training them. Yeah. And, you know, asking ourselves a question, is this something that I want to continue to do long-term? If not, you know, even, even though there might be a short-term hit, right? It's because, you know, this director or this leader hasn't stepped up and they're still relying on you. And they may not be equipped for the answer at this stage. But again, the only way to truly equip them is to just, you know, like, I, I like our, you know, kind of a, a way that you said that earlier. It's like, that's a great question. Listen, let me ask you a question. If you could not get ahold of me and you had to solve this problem, like, what would you have done? Yeah. And then they'll tell you, and you're probably like, it's probably fine . Yeah. You know, in long's cases, it's, it's like, yeah, that's a good idea.

Speaker 2 (00:12:06) - But you, you also gotta set expectations too. And I, I think that a lot of us are bad at that as well. I mean, look, I, I've ran teams up to 450 people, p and L's, up to a half a billion. And any team I have ever ran, I will go in, I'll, I'll create just a simple PowerPoint slide. And these are Ken's expectations, right? Show up on time, do what you say you can, you're, you're gonna do, you know, deliver results. But I, I will, I will lay it out specifically. And in that instance, maybe one of them is don't call me past seven .

Speaker 1 (00:12:41) - Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (00:12:42) - Me past seven .

Speaker 1 (00:12:44) - Yeah. Um, Ken, what does, like, what does onboarding look like when someone, uh, starts working with you? E explain like what engagement looks like?

Speaker 2 (00:12:53) - Yeah. So the first thing that happens is, w we have a thing called a, a gap analysis, right? And actually, uh, I want to offer it up to your audience and any CEO and owner out there, if they just go to the shift, it's about a $5,000 value that I've provided as a fractional leader for years. And we're gonna do that for your leaders, but, but your listeners. But that's a very first step. They go through it, it gives them crystal clarity in some of the gaps and challenges of their business. And it looks at everything from, do we have financial controls? Do, are we onboarding our employees correctly to, how do I measure KPIs? And you name it. So that's the very first step. The second step is we assign them at accountability coach, right? And that coach actually works with them on a weekly basis, just a short 15 minute call to keep them on track to get to the next level and, and to execute more effectively as a business owner, right?

Speaker 2 (00:13:47) - And then they just drop into our community. And our community for, for the year is made up of 144 events of different coaches and experts that drop in. Uh, we also have professionally, uh, facilitated environments where, if you can imagine a group of CEOs sitting around and will use a Six Sigma process to get to the root cause of what their problem is and actually map out a solution together as a collaborative group and solve that. But they, so they, they drop in, as I had stated, and then they're in the community and go and grow is the best way to put it. .

Speaker 1 (00:14:23) - Yeah. Yeah. Your, your website, the shift Te tell me more about, uh, cuz you, you've got some great resources here. You've got a great blog. I mean, you, you share really good social media content as well. Yeah. Um, tell me more about like, um, someone that wants to spend more time in your world, what you, what you recommend they do. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (00:14:40) - Just go check us out and, and there is a free downloadable ebook there that kind of walks through all the basics that you want to take into consideration and scaling a business. But honestly, I mean, look, Josh, we're not, we're, we're like you. I love your blogs. I love the way you come across you, you position yourself. I'm not a sales guy, I'm not a peered guy. You know, those, those old long letters are dead. We're not like that. Just pick up the phone, send us an email, pick my brain. I always like chatting with some people, ask a question, and if it's a fit, great. We'll figure out how to work together. Got

Speaker 1 (00:15:13) - It. Yes.

Speaker 2 (00:15:14) - Who cares? Have a great life and prosper.

Speaker 1 (00:15:17) - You know, Ken, I I don't feel like I did, uh, your background in authority service at the beginning. Would you mind, I mean, you're pretty uniquely qualified to do what you do. Would you, would you mind tooting your own horn for a good minute or so? Yeah,

Speaker 2 (00:15:31) - Sure. So I, I've got several decades in high tech software specifically, and as I said, I mean, I've managed PNLs up to half a billion, very large teams, four 50 plus across North American internationally. And then, uh, for the, you know, most recent experience is I, I, I have a consulting business as well, and it was a drop in fractional C E O C O O. And the best way to explain it for, for my kids is, is literally a fixer. And I would have CEOs call me up and say, look, you know, I, I'm 10 million, I can't get past 10 million. And, uh, and, and Josh, I'm not kidding you, I do, maybe you've never been there, but I do have a lot of people say, maybe I should just scale backwards because life was easier when I did not have as many employees. Right? So I would get involved with those.

Speaker 1 (00:16:19) - Oh, absolutely. Like that, that whole stages of business, right? Yeah. And it's like, what is it like, you know, when you're at that solo level, maybe you got a little part-time assistant, like it is, it's, it's generally as long as you have okay, business to do, like some, you know, you've got a good source of new business to do. It is actually a pretty great stage of business, uh, in my opinion. And the world gets more complicated when you start involving a lot more people.

Speaker 2 (00:16:49) - Yeah, yeah. And, you know, and I've got m and a experience as well, pe a vc, I've actually worked for a Sequoia based company, and your listeners know them. They're, they, they're who's who, uh, in, in VC out in the Bay. So, um, but yeah, the, the shift spot is my legacy. I, I want it to help more, to be quite honest. And being a drop in fractional guy, you know, two to three clients at a time. This way, I can actually give back and, and help a great deal more along with others. And I, I'm a firm believer there's not one advisor, one coach, one expert that knows it all. That's why we believe that you can make radical shifts in your life and your business by surrounding you with a really smart community just like yourself and just like the shift spot offers.

Speaker 1 (00:17:30) - Yeah. Yeah. So again, grab the ebook again. Go to, to our friend that's listing right now, go to the shift, uh, grab, grab the ebook. There's a, there's actually a lot of really great resources. Spend some time here. Um, Ken, you've put together a really fantastic community too, of peers as well. So, you know, again, if you're, especially, I'm thinking of the, you know, friend that's listening right now that might have that lonely at the top feeling right now, um, do, do something about that. I, I mean, I, I would just say, you know, again, friend to friend, um, that doesn't get better on its own. Um, I have to very intentionally set, you know, set time, you know, make plans, like really step outta my comfort zone, join communities, um, because otherwise left to my druthers, I'm just gonna stay busy working on work stuff, you know, unless Amen. Yeah. Take that time to truly work on me and Ken, when we work on ourselves, we become more valuable to our audiences, to our clients, to our teams. And uh, you know, that's sharpening this off,

Speaker 2 (00:18:34) - Which by the way, leads to more profitability. Which guess what means that you can invest, give back and help your employees and their families out as well.

Speaker 1 (00:18:42) - Yeah. Ken Paskins can co-founder of the Shift Spot your website, the shift Ken, thank you so much for a great conversation. Thank you,

Speaker 2 (00:18:51) - Josh. Really appreciate it.

Speaker 1 (00:18:57) - Thanks for listening to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcast or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur in Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stop by to say hi. I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community, who listens and shares our program every day. Together we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe. So that tomorrow morning, that's right, seven days a week, you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening, and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

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