1794 – Building Businesses with Staci Gray of Organize to Scale

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Founder & CEO of Organize To Scale, Staci Gray.

Gray Wide

One of the critical takeaways Staci offered was the undeniable importance of systems and processes in business growth. As entrepreneurs, our passion drives us, but the systems we put in place turn that passion into a scalable reality.

Staci drove home that without a solid foundation of documented processes, such as standard operating procedures (SOPs) and checklists, we're essentially flying blind. These tools are the bedrock of delegation and operational efficiency, allowing us to replicate success and maintain quality as we grow.

Many entrepreneurs have faced resistance when it comes to documenting processes. It can feel daunting, but Staci shared some practical tips to make it more manageable. She suggested using screen sharing and recording tools to capture tasks in real-time.

Staci also emphasized the value of playbooks in achieving team alignment. These comprehensive guides ensure everyone is on the same page and that tasks are executed clearly and consistently.

Staci also outlined the structure of her program, which begins with a three-day strategic planning session. This intensive period is followed by 90-day reviews, which serve as checkpoints to assess progress and make necessary adjustments.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Importance of creating systems and processes for business scalability
  • Channeling passion into creating efficient systems
  • Documenting processes through standard operating procedures (SOPs) and checklists
  • Practical tips for overcoming resistance to documenting processes
  • Value of playbooks in aligning team members and ensuring task clarity
  • Structure of Stacy's program: three-day strategic planning session and 90-day reviews
  • Holistic approach to organizing businesses for growth

About Staci Gray:

Staci Gray is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience helping real-world businesses scale. She focuses on bridging the gap between ideas and profits, ensuring rapid execution for tangible progress and results.

Staci's vision is to free innovative leaders from operational chaos, enabling them to tackle real-world problems effectively and humanely while achieving quick profitability.

She is passionate about supporting mission-driven leaders who use their ideas, influence, and intellect to create successful businesses. Staci empowers them to scale up by providing practical tools and training.

Her approach ensures these leaders build a strong business foundation without compromising their core values or sacrificing personal relationships. Staci stands out for her commitment to progress, results, and the human aspect of business leadership.

About Organize To Scale:

Organize to Scale positions itself as an invaluable co-pilot for mission-driven leaders, aiming to simplify scaling operations. They understand that the primary challenges in business growth are personnel management and financial stability. Recognizing that hiring the right people is crucial, they emphasize establishing a strong company culture with clear processes and procedures.

The services offered focus on building a foundation of character, competency, trust, transparency, and accountability. They advocate for open communication, relentless growth, and high personal responsibility. Their approach is likened to having a pack of faithful Dobermans – dedicated, hard-working, and supportive, with a therapeutic value.

Organize to Scale is committed to helping businesses transform through continuous action, offering support at every stage of personal and professional growth. Their goal is to be an integral, active part of the business's journey.

Tweetable Moments:

01:17 – “Most entrepreneurs set out to build businesses to create some type of freedom, but they end up trapped in the very businesses designed to create their freedom.”

15:47 – “You can't really scale your business until you learn to scale yourself, and that is such a head game journey versus tactics.”

Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur:

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Organize To Scale website at

Check out Organize To Scale on LinkedIn at

Check out Staci Gray on LinkedIn at

Check out Staci Gray on Facebook at

Check out Staci Gray on Instagram at

More from UpMyInfluence:

We are actively booking guests for our The Thoughtful Entrepreneur. Schedule HERE.

Are you a 6-figure consultant? I’ve got high-level intros for you. Learn more here.

What is your #1 Lead Generation BLOCKER? Take my free quiz here.

Want to learn more about all the podcasts managed by UpMyInfluence? Opt in here.


Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, 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 influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Staci Gray Staci, you are the founder and CEO of Organize to Scale. Your website is organized to scale. Com Staci, thank you so much for joining us.

Staci (00:01:10) - Great to be here. Josh. Thank you.

Josh (00:01:12) - Yeah. So give us an overview of your work, who you work with and what you're actually organizing.

Staci (00:01:17) - Yeah. So most entrepreneurs set out to build businesses to create some type of freedom, but they end up trapped in the very businesses designed to create their freedom.

Josh (00:01:26) - You don't say, yes.

Staci (00:01:28) - I know, and I personally believe it happens for one of two reasons. One, either they lack systems, or two, they're so passionate that they can't turn their passion off and it consumes them 24 over seven. And so what we do is help people learn to channel their passions into systems that really help them execute and scale well.

Josh (00:01:50) - Listen your lips to God's ears right now. I love what you're saying because I can absolutely identify a lot with what you're talking about, particularly in my early days and business ownership, because, again, you know, it's like you develop this idea of like what you want to do and the impact you want to have in the world. And I just, you know, I remember those sleepless nights. It's like, oh, and then, you know, just these ideas keep popping in the head.

Josh (00:02:13) - Oh, it could be doing this. I could be doing this. And I'd love your take on this kind of this thought. Right. Is that businesses when when you're a founder of a business like businesses have this unquenchable appetite for an endless amount of activity that you could potentially do as the founder, there is always, always, always stuff to do. Is that kind of your experience?

Staci (00:02:36) - Yeah, I jokingly say that visionary entrepreneurs were kind of idea addicts. We're so addicted to the idea in any innovative way. We can stack ideas on top of each other, and then we get overwhelmed with the amount of activity we could do. And I always say, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do something. And the discipline, like the psychological discipline to say, what are the priorities? What is this going to be the thing that's going to move the needle the most, and then disciplining ourselves and our teams and our systems to focus on just that thing helps move the needle far more than just chasing ten rabbits at the same time.

Josh (00:03:15) - Yeah. You know, so funny, what you just said is exactly how I replied to someone's post today. A friend of mine he posted a picture of is getting a little bit older and you know, he posted a picture of this really old guy carrying something, a giant log, something he should not, you know. And I said, you know, one of the mantras that I've learned in life is like, even if I can lift something, that doesn't mean I should lift something or do something, it's like, I can do it. But that's not to mean that there's going to be consequences to that. And that exact same thing happens in business. What are the consequences, Staci, of as founders or visionaries and leaders? Right. We're doing stuff that yes, we can do, but maybe that's not the best use of our time.

Staci (00:03:58) - Um, I think it spreads us thin, which can lead to burnout, but it also can if you're a leader of an organization with a team, I feel like it also kills confidence in the people who are supporting us because they aren't able to get as much traction.

Staci (00:04:14) - And I personally believe a players want to win. They like taking on a challenge, they want to win. And if a founder or leader, we're giving too many challenges. We're actually diluting their ability to win, which hurts confidence, which delays action, which delays traction, which hurts scalability.

Josh (00:04:31) - Yeah. All right. So let's start talking about these systems. Right. Because I think it's easy to just say, you know, to look at any overworked business leader and say, well, you need systems. And they go, okay, cool, I need systems. But what are they.

Staci (00:04:45) - Yeah, they're every business has 7 to 10 core functions. So how do you attract customers? How do you build your brand? How do you produce your product? How do you fulfill on your product? How do you manage your team? How do you manage cash flow? How do you strategize and repeat that pattern? And so when we are looking at businesses, we just have to identify the core systems and then put standard operating procedures and checklists to them so other people can come in and do the repeatable tasks so we can live in our zone of genius, which usually has founders.

Staci (00:05:18) - It's innovative, and so it allows us to get out of the weeds and into the the idea factory, if you will, the thing that we enjoy doing anyways and innovate and put more, more volume into the front end of our pipeline and then allow the infrastructure on the back end to handle the day to day so we can scale.

Josh (00:05:37) - I absolutely love this. And you know, and what you just talked about, you said SOPs or standing operating procedures. Can you talk about why that's so important to document all of our processes and systems? And like, especially if someone's resistant to the idea and they feel like it's just an exercise in futility, like it's just like, I could do that. I could write down all these things, but I'm too. Busy putting out all these other fires and and it's the tyranny of the urgent that keeps them from truly documenting every single thing that they do in their business. But can you kind of address that topic?

Staci (00:06:10) - I find that the resistance to doing it is this feeling that it's going to take a significant amount of time.

Staci (00:06:16) - And what we do is we actually this is very tactical, but hopefully it'll be useful for your audience. But we parallel Lume with tango, and Lume is a screen sharing tool or a screen recording tool, and then tango is a screen capture where it takes pictures. And so when you run them in parallel, if you're already, say, producing a podcast or sending out an email or making an update on your website or doing some activity, you can turn that on while you're actually doing that activity and document it while you're doing it and you're executing, but you're also documenting. And then you can give that to somebody else, say an admin, a VA to do it going forward. And what's nice about that is that VA or admin whom you're delegating to could watch that video a hundred times, but as the leader or founder, we only had to do it one time. And so it really doesn't take a significant amount of time. But the impact on the organization is far greater.

Josh (00:07:13) - Yes, and I bet and I'm excited for it to hear your take on this.

Josh (00:07:18) - Okay, first off, listen, 2023 has been the most incredible year of my life when it comes to new innovations and technologies that have blown my mind, particularly around I like AI enabled tools. So what we're talking about, there are some really cool tools out here. You mentioned one, but you know, listen, fellow business owners, you have no excuse to do what Stacey is talking about because the tools have never been better. You absolutely can do this and it will change your life. Stacey, can you maybe share a little bit about maybe some of these, uh, objections that someone may have to. It's just going to be too hard.

Staci (00:08:04) - Yeah, I you know, I think that a lot of times we. And I won't even take it to the standard operating procedures or checklists because I think most people can identify with making, say you had a sales call you had to make that was like in your you made it bigger in your head than actually was in reality. And you procrastinate on doing it because it's like this, this big thing.

Staci (00:08:25) - And the more you procrastinate on doing it, the bigger and bigger that mountain feels. And then when you actually do it, you're like, that wasn't that hard at all. I could I could totally do that again. And I feel like documenting what we do is very similar. We make it bigger and bigger and bigger the more we delay doing it. So what I like to do, just to get over that hurdle of procrastination is set your timer for 15 minutes and say, okay, for this 15 minutes, I'm going to do the exercise of creating a standard operating procedure by just using technology to document what I'm already doing, and give yourself 15 minutes and see how it works for you. And then what? You'll be surprised at that the effort that was needed was very little compared to what it was in your head.

Josh (00:09:10) - Stacey, you talk about our playbooks. Um, do you want to share a little bit about that structure to how you work with your clients and folks that you engage with?

Staci (00:09:20) - Yeah, I think playbooks are just just visual outlines of how to get the team all running in the same direction.

Staci (00:09:28) - So I likened it to Joe Montana and Jerry rice. If they didn't have a game plan and they didn't have a playbook, they would have gotten on the field. Jerry Rice would have ran a route that Joe Montana didn't know he was running, and then they wouldn't have been able to connect. And the handoff between, you know, Joe Montana to Jerry rice wouldn't happen. So playbooks are about getting the actions of all the team members and the handoffs of the assembly line all documented. So there's a level of clarity that lets one person know when their job is completed and the other person is supposed to pick it up. And I think we make it out to be that. You have to document so much of it. But we do the 8020 rule, just document the 20%. That's going to make 80% of the difference, and then create a culture around people showing up, bringing their brains and making sure they're solving the problem at hand and not creating problems or neglecting things that are breaking down in the in the pipeline or the funnel.

Speaker 3 (00:10:23) - Yeah.

Josh (00:10:25) - Um, your website organize to Stacey, can you share a little bit more about what engagement is like? So there might be someone that's listening to us right now who says, oh boy, I really need help in this department. Stacey, how can you help that person?

Staci (00:10:42) - Yeah. So we have a three step process. So we believe in architecting a business and then that's creating the blueprint. What are the plays. What's the game plan. What's supposed to look like when it's done. And then we build build the essential infrastructure that you need in order to run that playbook.

Speaker 4 (00:10:59) - Wow.

Staci (00:10:59) - And then you go into operate. And operate is where you pull the day to day levers. That's the repeatable side. So many times in business, what we do is we get super excited about an idea and we run straight into execution, and we don't have any plays. And I and I believe that's really valid in the beginning because as early entrepreneurs, you need to provide proof of concept.

Staci (00:11:19) - You need to get their first sale. You need to know that there's some validity to your idea. But once that happens and you start having traction, you really need to take a look back and say, okay, what's the front of the puzzle box look like? And then now let me jump out all the pieces, and how am I going to scope and sequence and put this together so that it's actually turning into the masterpiece that I want, versus waking up one day and realizing you have a job, not a business, and it was not ever what you wanted to create to begin with.

Josh (00:11:45) - I love it, I love it. Um, so would you mind maybe just share a little bit more about kind of the structure? So what do you call your program like when folks work with you? Do you have a name for that program? And like I'm looking at it right now, it's like a three day strategic planning session. 90 day review. What is.

Speaker 4 (00:12:02) - This?

Staci (00:12:03) - It's very similar to traction.

Staci (00:12:04) - So I'm sure your audience is very familiar with the iOS model. So we spend um, we on the three day that's the architect phase. And so that's on day one is vision building. Day two is process mapping where you come up with your playbooks. And day three is action planning. So it's taking your big hairy audacious goal that you want to achieve in ten years and mapping it all the way down into the little yellow feat of execution plans of what we're going to get done in the next 90 days. And then we work in 90 day sprints. So I jokingly say building a business is a marathon, but we run it in sprints and we do 90 day sprints, and then we do a 90 day review and say, okay, what's working, what's not, what playbooks worked well, what playbooks were there? Critical fails. How can we reinforce the infrastructure so the foundation can support more pressure? And when I think of pressure on an organization, it's sales. So it's hard to bring in more sales when your infrastructure can't support it because then you have quality issues, you have turnover, you have your reputation, your branding, all of that you want to protect and maintain.

Staci (00:13:09) - So you continually have to be looking at your business. In 90 day reviews, in addition to just the little iterative moves you make on a play by play basis during a 90 day cycle. So it starts with the three day. Then we do a 90 day review, and then during the 90 day phase, that's when you're in operate and you're continually working off of your standard operating procedures, your checklist, and improving and iterating those as you go.

Josh (00:13:34) - I, you know, again, this process is for blueprinting your entire business. But it I like that you included this list right here because sometimes people may say what we really need help with is our YouTube. Like we're all bullish. Like we are going 100% on YouTube, our sales funnel. And then like our website needs a bunch of graphic design work. Great. This program will help you with those things. Is that correct?

Staci (00:13:59) - And it's also holistic. So in my early years of building businesses we would do that. We'd be like, okay, we need a website.

Staci (00:14:07) - Oh, we need a funnel, or we need to be on this podcast, we need to start a podcast, or we're going to present at this event. And it was like, whack a mole. You're like playing whack a mole in your business. And at some point you have to when you have six seven figure business, you have to take a step back and say, okay, now how am I going to integrate this all together and not be reactive in my business and start being proactive in terms of the infrastructure and scope and sequencing it? And so that's what this program is all about, is helping you not just take your proof of concept and this business that you've already created, but to organize it in a way under the hood and behind the scenes and in the back office so that you can go live in your sweet spot and do the things you love and allow the strength of the infrastructure to propel the growth.

Josh (00:14:51) - You know, it's kind of funny just to, you know, again, have further credence to what we've been talking about, you know, here, I mean, my influence.

Josh (00:14:58) - We do a daily podcast. I mean, we serve we've launched over 200 podcasts. We do a lot of stuff. And, you know, if I were to map out all of the things that get done in our organization, and then I were to carve out a piece of pie in that charter in that circle about all the stuff that Josh personally does. Yeah, that is a teeny teeny little pie slice. But, um, yeah, I think a lot of, you know, again, a lot of visionaries, it looks like they're doing a lot of stuff, but really, it's like, you know, I tell my team, I just like, listen, I'm exceptional at doing these few things and I am adequate at doing all these things. And I am terrible at doing all these things. Those are the ones I'm going to have you really lead on.

Speaker 4 (00:15:45) - Yeah, but that's a that's also a.

Staci (00:15:47) - Testament to your growth as a leader. And I think some of the transformation that we have to go through in our businesses is you can't really scale your business until you learn to scale yourself.

Staci (00:15:57) - And that is such a head game. Journey versus tactics.

Josh (00:16:02) - Yeah. Organized to scale. Com Staci, when somebody goes to your website I know you've got some really good resources here. What would you recommend someone that's maybe they stumbled upon this episode because they're researching you, or they found it because they're interested in the topic. Now they've heard our conversation and they're like, okay, Staci, I'm ready for the next step. What is it?

Staci (00:16:21) - Yeah, well, we have a free report that talks about the four steps to quickly organizing your business to scale based on the model that we've put together. So if your audience sends an email to scale at organized to scale com, they can get a copy of that along with some other free resources that can help them learn a little bit more and see how it resonates and can be applied to their business to help them scale.

Josh (00:16:43) - Excellent. Okay. Again, what was the email address again? One more time.

Staci (00:16:46) - It's scale.

Speaker 4 (00:16:47) - At.

Staci (00:16:48) - Organize to scale.

Josh (00:16:49) - Com excellent.

Josh (00:16:51) - And once again website organize two Staci great you're founder CEO thank you so much for joining us.

Staci (00:16:58) - Thank you so much Josh.

Josh (00:17:04) - 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 influence. Com slash guest. 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 Podcasts or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stopped 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.

Josh (00:18:09) - Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

We're actively booking guests for our DAILY #podcast: The Thoughtful #Entrepreneur. Happy to share your story with our 120K+ audience.Smiling face with halo


Apple iTunes podcast