How Upside Foundation executive director Jen Couldrey automated business growth

With any venture, the leader will walk a lonely road (at least to start). When you can’t afford more people or it’s not the right call, let process be your ally, colleague, and efficiency booster

“It’s like trying to change the wheels on a bus while you’re driving it,” said Couldrey, speaking about the stresses of the many jobs she had.

Eventually, Couldrey came to a realization: when you’re juggling a ton of jobs, some might fail, or even have to fail, in order to offer the necessary time to focus on what’s important. In Upside’s case, that meant minimizing the focus on adding new members.

In order for efficient business growth, the organization needed funds to enable their strategic plan. That meant Couldrey’s job became fundraising, sometimes to the detriment of other tasks. She had to become ok with being bad a few jobs in order to be good at the one she needed to be, something fairly common in the startup world where fundraising becomes all-consuming for leaders.

Automating growth

As Couldrey focused on fundraising and business growth, the other areas of the business couldn’t simply fall off. Thankfully, some elements were made easier by technology like the CRM system to manage contacts. Others, however, needed a touch of process automation to scale Couldrey’s efforts and impact without (much) more work.

Self-education and strategic planning

In order to build wonderful processes that helped her and the organization scale, she had to educate herself on known process frameworks and thought leadership on the subject. It can feel like taking a step back when you aim to take a step forward, but a business leader’s job is to educate themselves.

To start, she bought a copy of what became her favourite book, Traction. The book and its “Entrepreneur Operating System” helped Couldrey understand her vision, her goals, and the tasks she needed to do in the short term that would build long-term growth.

In building the framework, Couldrey was able to identify which tasks were crucial to the short-and-long term success of the organization.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.