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My guest today is Courtney Waid, who came through the Director of Operations (DOO) certification program in Round 6. I’m chatting with her about the way she has been able to cultivate success for herself and the transitions she has made as she has come into the space.
Courtney the founder of First Turn Operations, and a mother of four. Her background started in the army. She is a West Point graduate, a former army intelligence officer, which she loved.
Once she had kids she decided to get out of the army, while her husband continued in his fast paced army career. She kept busy with various volunteer gigs, mom groups, and charities but she wanted to do more.
“I always really struggled with wanting to put my skills to use, but wanting to be there for the kids.”
She started out as a virtual assistant, and found she enjoyed the operations and project management tasks. She moved up in the ranks of a VA company and when one of the founders decided to go back into the coaching business, she was recruited to work as a community manager and eventually became the DOO of that organization. Shortly after she started in the DOO program, her organization shifted gears, which was then the perfect opportunity to strike out on her own.
As you were thinking about up-leveling your skills, what was it about the DOO certification that intrigued you?
- There is no other program like this that looks specifically at the DOO level. She had looked at OBM programs, but that seemed more on the execution side of things.
- After doing extensive research, she felt like this program would help her take the skills that she had and package them up in a way that she could understand and create boundaries.
- Her role as a DOO bled into marketing and executing and anytime anything had to get done it was her, so she really liked the idea of learning how to put boundaries on her role
- She would not have had the confidence to hone in on her automation skills without the course and all of the women in her cohort.
- The idea of project work really scared her because she wanted the predictable income, but it took the group pushing her to do what she loved.
“The ability to match your aptitude with what you enjoy comes out in the DOO program” – Natalie Gingrich
“When you’re good at getting things done, you end up doing all the things.” – Courtney Waid
When you were looking over the certification, were there any fears or doubts you had?
- She had to do some soul searching to see if it was something she really needed, or if she was falling into the trap of feeling like she needed a certification in order to be valid.
- She talked to some of the people who had been through the program, realized the network that she would have access to.
- It was so different to be surrounded by people who were doing similar work and had similar thinking rather than her old circles who were primarily filled with visionaries.
- It took her a long time to work internally on not feeling less-than because she was not a visionary.
- The DOO program helped her validate and understand that this is a unique skill set, that is valuable, useful, and needed.
When you were going through the program, was there any specific part of it that helped you gain confidence?
- The strategic mapping, because she was able to turn around and sell 3 sessions and almost make her investment back within the first month of learning.
- She had the skills, but the way the framework was laid out helped her to decide to sell this service.
- One of those clients even hired her as a retainer client, so she made her money back in the first week of the program.
Of the 5 components of the program, you weren’t interested in the HR component. But as we talked about HR in a way that was different than your initial impression, you seemed to open up to it. What did you learn as you went through the module?
- She was resistant to HR because she assumed it was mostly people talking about their feelings.
- It was broken down really well into hiring, organizational structure, reporting, client communication, and team communication, all of which was relevant.
- It was helpful in her current DOO role.
What are some of the services you have offered as you have gone through the program?
- Out of a scarcity mindset she said yes to everyone to begin with, so she had a DOO client, project management work, one-off projects.
- Has since refined that into what she loves which is building out automated processes and workflows.
- Currently in the business bootcamp phase of the program, where she has to commit to one model, which was the push she needed to realize that project work is her favorite.
- Thinks she will also offer products to her services because most people need these types of processes.
- She took the strategic mapping piece, tweaked it, and turned it into a process inventory
Any thoughts on if the product space will or won’t work for you?
- Her biggest issue is not doing “the thing” because she gets in her own head about things not being perfect.
- She knows that she just needs to create the template and get it out there, and worry about tweaking it later.
- She likes the idea as a way to help people who aren’t her ideal client yet.
Since you sold strategic mapping sessions so quickly, do you have any tips on selling without feeling like an imposter?
- She had some bad sales calls, where she felt like she tripped over herself, but thanks to the program and the mindset block she has come a long way in not wallowing in her embarrassment.
- She had a lot of referrals from her previous business.
- One of her former coworkers convinced her of the opportunity that was out there for someone who can look at what the client wants to do, turn it into a plan, and then hound them until everyone accomplishes the plan.
- She didn’t believe him at first, but found that it was true.
- She worked strategic mapping into all of these leads and the sales process was so natural.
What has been the impact of the DOO certification on your life?
- One of her big struggles coming out of the army was looking for a life that felt like service, seeing that from CEOs and visionaries, and feeling like it was not for people like her.
- This program has been instrumental in seeing that she can create a life that is authentic to what she wants within the parameters that she needs.
- Realizing that she is able to use her operational skill sets to assist people who are doing world changing things, and how that is service in itself.
What would you say to someone who is considering the DOO certification program?
- Absolutely do it. It could not have been easier to make her money back by just following the steps.
- The community of supportive peers has helped in so many ways. Being in community with people like her who were on the same journey has been totally worth it.
As we get ready for the next round of the DOO certification program, I hope you will join us for the Scope Creep Solution.
Connect with Courtney
Courtney Waid is the founder and CEO of First Turn Operations which specializes in creating automated workflows for impact-driven businesses. A West Point graduate, Iraq war veteran, and former Army officer, Courtney left a career in the military to focus on her kids when balancing family and deployments became too difficult. Since then, she’s been passionate about helping business owners create more efficient processes so they can fulfill their missions while still having time for the people and activities they love.
Courtney currently lives outside Ft Worth, TX with her husband, 4 kids, and a menagerie of farm animals. In her free time, she enjoys drinking coffee, riding horses, and nerding out on Zapier automations.
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