E69 | Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as an Entrepreneur with Todd Palmer
Todd Palmer is the president and CEO of Extraordinary Advisors, a business that works with entrepreneurs to help them work on themselves as leaders, in order to make changes within their own business.
“It’s like a friend of mine tells me, I help leaders get their act together so they can get stuff done in their business.”
Todd carved out his career placing highly skilled individuals in Detroit during a recession. But it wasn’t always plain sailing to get included in the Inc 5000 five times out of six.
Todd suffered badly with imposter syndrome, “I thought I should have all the answers for all the people and all their issues all the time, and I shit all over myself thinking I should have all these things, when in reality nobody has all the answers to everything that comes up.”
He began working with a business coach and quickly realised he’d hired a toxic group of employees and had to fire them, restarting his company from scratch.
Since then he’s gone from strength to strength and now coaches other entrepreneurs, helping them overcome their own insecurities and feelings of imposter syndrome, in order to fix themselves and ultimately their business.
“You know, there’s a philosophy within the EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization) community. An entrepreneur alone as an entrepreneur is an entrepreneur at risk, and I chose to isolate rather than reach out for help until I really hit a bottom in my business.”
And because Todd’s in the recruitment game he and Dom talk about how to hire and retain great talent, as well as the common mistakes entrepreneurs make when hiring talent.
This is a great conversation, we hope you enjoy listening to Todd as much as we did.
On today’s podcast:
- Overcoming imposter syndrome
- Hitting rock bottom and turning his ship around
- Why Extraordinary Advisors is his legacy
- What help he gives CEOs
- Why sourcing talent is the biggest challenge for any business
- The number one reason people quit their job
- People and processes make the profits
- How to fire with compassion
People and Processes Make Profit with Todd Palmer
Todd Palmer is the man who managed to carve out the placement of highly skilled individuals in Detroit during a recession. He built a fantastic business and was for 5 years out of 6 included in the Inc 5000, for high growth businesses in the United States.
But Todd wasn’t always incredibly confident and successful, he suffered badly with imposter syndrome, “I thought I should have all the answers for all the people and all their issues all the time, and I shit all over myself thinking I should have all these things, when in reality nobody has all the answers to everything that comes up.”
With help from a business coach, Todd had to confront the brutal truth that he’d hired a toxic group of employees and that in order for his business to succeed, he had to fire them all and restart his entire business from scratch.
Since then he’s worked his way through the imposter syndrome and established Extraordinary Advisors, the business he calls his legacy.
Through Extraordinary Advisors and in his work with the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and through his keynote public speaking engagements, Todd has coached other entrepreneurs to overcome their imposter syndrome and fix themselves as a way of fixing their business.
But what Todd really knows about is recruitment. And so Dom talks to him in the podcast about how to hire and retain great talent, and some of the mistakes that entrepreneurs make in going to market to hire great talent.
And that is what we are going to delve into here.
The story is really this. Todd was $600,000 in debt after being in business for nine years, he was two months away from running out of both business and personal money and was in danger of losing his house. He was a single parent at the time, and even his kids were freaking out.
Finally he reached out for help, just as he hit rock bottom, and hired a business coach.
“We looked at the finances of the company, we saw opportunities to improve those. We realised the company employees I had where making it a toxic dysfunctional culture and that I had allowed this to occur. So one day I walked in and fired the entire company. I turned the business around, paid off the debt, and we made the Inc 5000, one of America’s fastest growing companies, a record six times.”
The biggest challenge across any business is the battle for talent
According to Todd, the number one reason people quit a job is because they don’t like their boss, which means your number one source for talent isn’t LinkedIn or job adverts, it’s the employees you currently have working for you.
“So if you have no current employees, it’s because they don’t like working for you, you’ve lost your best farm system.”
People and processes make the profits
“I’ve never run a company where the staff have said, ‘we need more staff’, because we needed more staff. What we needed was some better people.”
Statistically, Millennials will trade money for freedom and flexibility. Millennials will trade money for more conversations with the leadership team and how they can impact the business. Millennials want to work at a company with definable, measurable core values that can be seen throughout the organisation. And they’ll work there for an appropriate range of pay.
But not everyone you hire will be great. In fact, the likelihood is, whilst you’re figuring out who and what works for your company, you are going to have to fire people.
How to fire with compassion
Todd says, “the first thing I tell them [his mentees] is when you walk into the room, you’ve got to be committed to letting [that person] go. Because they’re going to go through the 12 stages of grief in about six minutes. They’ll start bargaining and negotiating and begging and whatever else.”
You as the entrepreneur have to own the mistake of hiring the wrong person. So if it’s your fault, make it right. Give them a good severance package, help them find their next job, because the reality is, just because they weren’t the right fit for your company, doesn’t mean they aren’t perfect for someone else.