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Our guest is COO Alliance Member Rachel Scava, COO at Fully Accountable.
Finance is the profit center of any company and leaders must invest in someone who can focus on this bottom line. If hiring your own CFO isn’t feasible, then Fully Accountable is one of your best go-to solutions. Fully Accountable is a full-service accounting firm offering outsourced finance and accounting for eCommerce and digital companies. Commanding the operations of this company is Rachel Scava, a COO with over 10 years of experience and a background in law. In this conversation with Cameron Herold, she speaks of the company’s focus in using finance as a profit center and the importance of identifying potential profitable business solutions for a company. She also talks about aligning your staff into positions where their capabilities can be maximized, as well as the power of debt in fueling growth.
Rachel Scava is a COO and has several years of experience. Rachel studied at John Carroll University with a degree in BS in Political Science and Sociology at the University of Akron School of Law for Juris Doctorate, Law. She’s an attorney and specializes in operations, human resources, team building, company development, event planning, leadership, business growth, legal writing, strategic hiring, research, legislation, legal research, and meditation. She’s also a member of the COO Alliance and works with a good friend of mine, Vinnie at Fully Accountable. Rachel, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me, Cameron.
I’m looking forward to this. I’m looking forward to learning from you. I didn’t realize that you have a law background.
I ended up working for Vinnie as his intern several years ago.
Why the switch from law into operations?
I knew I never wanted to be a lawyer that was billing hours at a firm. My goal was always to end up in a company focusing primarily on labor and employment. I ended up with Vinnie because he was looking for an intern. He went to the university and was like, “Give me your best kid in the business school right now focusing on HR,” because their current HR girl was on maternity leave and she was taking a year on that. It happened to be me, so that’s how we got connected. Years later, here I am.
Are you in an MBA program or an undergraduate in business, or was it to tie in with law? How would that fit?
Neither. I was a sociology major in college and didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to do. I was just trying to buy some time going to law school and ended up loving the labor and employment world.
I did my undergraduate degree in law. I’ve got a bachelor’s degree with a law major. That’s the only one that was available in Canada, so I did four years of law classes and I loved employment law. I thought it was fun.
What I’ve enjoyed most about it has been being able to apply the legal concepts into real-world practice. The largest issue I’ve always had with HR is that taboo nature around it. All of my friends, if you say like, “I’m an HR attorney,” they’re like, “You’re the bogeyman.” Not really. Here, I’m the one planning the parties. Christmas is my go-to thing. If I’m not the head of the Christmas party, we’ve got a bigger problem.
It’s interesting that in a lot of respects, people think that lawyers are the bogeyman and they don’t understand it, but often, lawyers are COO. They’re thinking about the who, what, when, where, why, and how on behalf of other people that maybe our quickstarts. It’s a good logical addition to the group.
The best thing that my law degree gave me was all of the hypotheticals you have to go through at the time. “Did it suck?” Now, whenever I’m looking at an issue or when we’re up against a big problem, it’s like, “We don’t just have one way of answering this. What are all of our options? What are all of our different routes?” You don’t have to operate in the black or the white. There’s a lot of gray in every situation and learning to evaluate that, and then also, being detail-oriented. To be a good lawyer, you’ve got to have detail and organization. When you mix that fact-finding with those two, you can find yourself as a strong COO with a law background.
I missed on the detail orientation but I loved the problem solving, the analytical side of things, and the logic behind it all. Every aspect of law that I studied over four years seemed to make sense.
Lawyers are trained to be reactionary because how many times do you go to a lawyer and you’re like, “Here’s a problem I might have. Let’s find a solution to my problem beforehand.” We’re presented with, “Here’s my problem.” Nine out of ten times, the statute of limitations has already started running on what our response time is. We’ve got to be quick to figure out a solution and run with it.
Often lawyers and accountants as well are paid to say no. Your job is to be a little bit more risk-averse or to protect the entrepreneur from themselves. How do you operate in an entrepreneurial firm where you need to be entrepreneurial and need to be making it up as you go and driving forward? How do you match that with your experience and maybe a behavioral preference to be safer or to be more logical?
What I’m always trying to look for is, is there a way to have a yes? Not going with the no, but how can we make it yes work? Can we compromise some of what your plan is to make the yes feasible? Oftentimes, you can start there, and then you end up finding out like, “How many times have you started with an idea and it’s been worked anyways along the way?” Sometimes, we’re finding an iteration quicker because we’re looking for a way to do it by already taking out the nonsense in the beginning.
I had a franchisee of mine at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? that came into one of our board meetings one time and he said, “We need to approach every idea today with what if we could? Instead of all the reasons we couldn’t.” Give me an example of when you had to work towards a yes or you found a yes when maybe the law side was kicking in.
We work with a lot of companies in the eCommerce space. One of our big complexities has been the sales tax nexus. Rather than blindly saying yes or no, how can we figure out the right analysis and the right yes? The yes might be yes, you do have a presence there, but the yes might be yes, we don’t need to pay it here because we don’t and under these rules. Learning to use that detail, and then also finding real facts to back what we’re telling our client to do. One, that helps them save money, but two, it also gives us a lot of expertise in these different areas, which is a win-win for everybody.
Can you walk us through what Fully Accountable does, how you operate, and how you’re maybe different from other firms similar in your space?
Fully Accountable is an outsourced back office. We do everything from your basic bookkeeping up through your high-level CFO functions in a fractional capacity. Our real shtick is you can get your entire accounting and finance department for a fraction of the cost to bring it in house. It’s a super good solution for people in the eCommerce and digital space, which is the only demographically served because they’re already accustomed to working remotely and digitally with all of their different people. They’re more accustomed to this idea that not everybody has to sit under the same roof.
I didn’t realize that you were only the eComm in digital space. That’s good to know. I’ve referred a few clients to you. I’ve got to filter that out a little bit because I’ve probably sent some offline businesses that aren’t the right fit then. Let’s say that you’ve got a 25-person company, a controller, maybe a payroll person or someone else, and a couple of people in accounting. On the fractional side, do you play a role where you’re the interim CFO and you’re coaching and guiding that team?
Our goal is to fit where your gap is. If your gap is having a CFO where you might have a controller that’s not quite ready to get there, we’ve got plenty of CFOs on staff that will dedicate time to training them to help them in learning how to get there. Maybe you need 90 days, maybe you need six months, or whatever it might be. Maybe you’ve got the CFO that’s overwhelmed. We can also be the bookkeeper for them so that they don’t have to do the data entry, pulling the reports, and reconciliations. We elevate them so they’re doing the real work for the company. That’s working with the business owner. We’ll get the rest of that work done for them.
I never thought about that. They might have somebody who’s too senior and spends all their time doing the junior work. They can outsource the junior work to you so they can be more strategic.
The goal is you should be looking at your accounting and finances as a profit center and you can do that when your CFO is focusing on how to grow that bottom line. Whether it’s acquisitions, cutting costs, better labor, cost of goods, or negotiating contracts, that’s where your CFO should be. Whether it’s us or somebody in the house, let them stay there and have somebody else do that other work.
I often think about your service as a ladder. The finance group knows they want to get up on the roof and you’re the ladder to get from where they are up to the roof they want to get to.
That’s a good analogy. The way we differentiate ourselves is we’re a hybrid model. We do have people that work in-house, but all of our staff accountants work throughout the US. What that does for us is if you’re a California business, we’ve got somebody that’s on PST with you. If you’re over in New York, we’ve got somebody that’s on eastern time with you. We’re flexible in that type of way as well.
Are you working with people on these government grant and loan programs that are out?
We are. We’re trying to stay far ahead of that. We’re looking to help. That’s the best thing that we can do and we’re trying to stick there.
You mentioned finance being a profit center. Can you give us an example of how your company has played that role?
Because we do work in the eComm, that’s going to be our main niche. One of the things that we do is our daily stats program and what that’s doing is looking at your marketing every single day and evaluating your spend, running an estimated P&L for you, and looking at any type of campaign. What it’s hoping to do is catch early indicators of something that’s not working so you can pivot a lot quicker. We’re trying to get the best data to you as quickly as possible so that you’re making the best decisions that you can.
What that does is say you’ve got a campaign that you thought was going to rock it, but turns out is a big flop and you could be 3 or 4 days in not realizing it but by day 6 or 7, you’re going to know that that’s not working and you can change it. As opposed to a traditional accounting firm, it’s going to be 15 to 30 days after the close of the month that you know that campaign didn’t work for you because that’s usually when an accounting firm gets your financials.
Do you help companies identify what needs to be on their dashboard and what numbers to look at as well? Are you just merely looking at the dashboards they’ve set up?
We have what we call our top ten KPIs for the different industries. We insist that you use all of those. We teach you why those are important numbers for you to look at, and then incorporate the ones that you feel are going to be the most important for you.
How do you identify what those are?
It’s going to be primarily driven by what are the leading expenses and leading revenue drivers in your business. You want to know what’s driving your revenue and how it’s backing out from the different expenses. You can tell what you’re doing if it’s profitable for you.
I’ve got four clients that are in the Amazon space. They all sell nutritional products, health and supplement products anywhere between $15 million and $50 million in top-line revenue, all four of them. One of the numbers I’ve been trying to work with them on is their turnover and how fast they’re turning inventory. I came up with a number through talking to a number of different people that I’m calling the 240 number. Your gross margin multiplied by your inventory turns has to equal 240. Let’s say as an example, you make a 50% gross margin and you turn your inventory five times. You’re 250 and you’re in good shape.
Let’s say that you’ve got an 80% gross margin and you only turn your inventory three times. You’re still at 240 and you’re in good shape. If you’re someone like Walmart who’s got a 10% gross margin, they have to turn their inventory 24 times which makes sense because that’s why they’re shipping out every single day when an item comes off the shelf that’s going on a truck. Do you work with companies on that number at all on their inventory turns? Have you got a number, ratio or anything that is more accurate than the one I’ve been winging?
That number is accurate. Off the top of my head, I don’t think we have a set 240 number. What we’re doing is looking at each business and say, “Based on your cashflow in the terms of your manufacturer and the rate at which you’re selling, what are our reorder points?” A lot of our clients are shipping stuff from overseas so we need to know, how long is it going to take if it’s by boat or if it’s by air? Once it’s in the US, how long is it then on ground to get to your fulfillment center? We’re going to factor each of those in when we’re helping you figure out your terms for inventory.
I also look at how long is the expiry date because some people have expiring inventory which fucks with the number. If you’ve got a t-shirt, it’s okay if it doesn’t sell for twelve months, but if you’re doing some product that has a shelf life of only six months, you’ve got to turn that stuff fast if you’re buying it out of China.
Especially with the foodstuff too, or health supplements. Other people are wanting to do LIFO versus FIFO because if you need to do a rush and you have to do it by air, but typically you do it by boat, what are all those different costs that we’re factoring in as well?
These are the numbers that I don’t think a lot of entrepreneurs understand. Entrepreneurs would tend to be better at listening to their customers, creating a cool product, marketing and selling their products, but not necessarily managing all the gears in the financials.
Having worked with an entrepreneur for so long, it’s fun to watch that number grow. Be it your sales number, number of customers, reach, or engagement. All of those are fun numbers. It’s not fun to watch your inventory go down or ship it while you run a boat.
That’s where you could be making or losing all your money, too. You’re right. It isn’t that much fun to watch. Let’s talk about the entrepreneur. You met Vinnie. He came in to poach you on campus. How long ago was that?
It would have been 2012.
I was talking to someone the other day and I said, “I started a fraternity with him in 1987. I got old. When did that happen?”
I was even thinking at this point, you have to take my career. I was 22 at the time. What would I do if I had to go work at a big company or report to somebody?
You’d kill yourself, you couldn’t. You can’t anymore.
I don’t even know if I fit in what they consider the regular American workforce.
I could no longer work or even consult with the government or big corporate company. I don’t fit. I’ve been in an entrepreneurial space for so long that I don’t fit in that world and you don’t either. Now, you’re firmly planted in the entrepreneurial world. You met Vinnie. What was it that attracted you to Fully Accountable back then? What was the company like back then versus what you are now?
Fully Accountable wasn’t even around back then. He owned a large web hosting company and mostly, to be honest, I wanted to get my foot in the door somewhere. I was like, “This guy’s got a good reputation. He’s got a big company and I can get a lot of experience. The kid that was the intern before me went off and did great things, so this is at least somewhere I know that I’m going to get the experience to take my career where I want to.” I’m in Vinnie’s entrepreneurial journey, I then followed into three more companies that then ended up being Fully Accountable.
One day, I was like, “Not that the other ones weren’t real ones, but this is a real one. This is a home run. We can build something, a big office. I want to have a bigger role. I can do more than HR and your legal stuff. We can do this.” I started in 2014. The company started in July and I moved over in October or November as opposed to working in his investment group. He ended up firing everybody except two people. They restarted and hired everybody under a new model. They went from what looked like they were doing about $200,000 a year to over $850,000.
Did you fire them or did you technically fire them and rehire them all?
No, fired them.
You fired them. Don’t let your door hit your ass on the way out and you rehired a whole new team. How long after starting did you do that?
Personally, I thought they were overstaffed and they were doing a bunch of unnecessary work. I built some new systems and got some software to leverage a couple of people. There were 2 people plus 1 of the owners as a CPA. I leveraged their skills and some software and we didn’t have to hire anybody for about 90 days.
You did it early enough but you also gave it a little bit of time before you jumped in.
They had seven people so we were able to do the work of 7 people with 3 people.
How do you stay on the same page with Vinnie and how does he stay on the same page with you? He’s a classic visionary, quickstart, and business development, and then you’re the operational side. Is that the role that you play internally with each other?
Yes. The best way we’ve stayed is with communication. I would say every day, for the most part, we have some quick check-in. It doesn’t always have to be business but more so like, “How are you doing? What’s on your plate? Do you need any help with anything? Where’s your day heading?” What has worked better for us is having good communication of where we’re at because that helps us know where we’re at with the business. If he’s struggling with something else, if he’s doing marketing, it’s a hook, I can tell it’s affecting somewhere else. We can walk through what might be happening elsewhere and get our hook fixed on the backside of it.
I know you’re working out at an office. Are you in the same building or the same space?
His office is right next to mine.
You got the classic style. How about your team? Walk us through what your role is day-to-day and what your team looks like.
Our team has about 32 people on it. There is everything from CFO levels to a large staff of accountants, bookkeepers, and data analysts. My main role would be making sure that the company is getting all of the metrics that we put in place for it. All of our departments have their set metrics and identifying if we’re missing one and why we’re missing it there. The next piece of it would be innovating. Whatever might be next on our idea of making our company a little bit better, taking the charge on who’s going to be responsible for that, what are the milestones we’re looking to hit, and what’s our ideal outcome. I’m trying to make sure that everybody is staying on the ship and we keep staring at going forward.
What’s Vinnie’s role?
His main job is either leading me when I’m having issues or I need help. It’s definitely leadership training for me. The other piece would be sales and getting the name out being the workpiece for our company.
Do you have other members on your leadership team or is it just the two of you?
We have a leadership team of four, which would be our higher level exec team, and then we have a junior board as well that has three people on it.
I call it the leadership team and the management team. The leadership team decides strategy, the strategic direction, and maybe the plan and the how. The management team tends to run functional areas. You may call on them, but there’s that steering council or committee as the leadership team.
I found that I’ve made the mistake of including them in higher-level things that they shouldn’t be included on. It ends up burdening them more than it does when I just take them when I need them to be responsible for.
It’s interesting you said that. Sometimes, people think they want to be involved and when they’re involved, they’re like, “I didn’t need to know that.” It’s almost like kids. If you think of teenagers, I’ve got kids and they don’t need to be involved in the family finances to understand how I P&L this whole house in our lives. They don’t need to understand a credit line or borrowing or paying down debt or pulling money from one account and sending it or how a mortgage works or why I’m saving money in certain accounts. What they need to understand is how much things cost and where we might waste money, but they don’t need to be involved. It confuses them. They don’t know their life.
It’s also one of the reasons why in the book, Meetings Suck, I’ve tried to push people to not over invite people to meetings. It’s like, “If I’m going to invite you to a meeting, I want you to be participating. I want you to be answering questions. I want you to be providing ideas. If you can’t do both of those things, it’s probably not important for you to be at the meeting. You probably got other more important things to do.” Are you good at that as well at keeping people out of some of the day-to-day meetings even?
I would say that we’ve definitely gone through a big iteration on meetings, primarily from the book. I made them my own a little bit to fit our company-specific. It was primarily around that idea that I felt like we were wasting more time having big meetings with everybody that weren’t necessary because A, they weren’t moving the ship, B, they weren’t contributing, and C, quite frankly, at the end of the day, they don’t care. My staff accountants don’t care about what the marketing girl’s promotions are going to be. They just want me to tell them so that they know that if their clients come to them and ask about it, they know what’s going on and they don’t feel like they’re blindsided. Getting them the information that’s going to be pertinent but not making them part of the decision making process of it.
That’s the key. How about conflict within the team? How often are you dealing with conflict amongst your team and amongst teammates? How about conflict with you and Vinnie?
I would say Vinnie and I have the least amount of conflict. There are three owners of the company. Vinnie and the other owner tend to have a little bit more conflict. He tends to get a little outnumbered because it’s CPA-lawyer-lawyer. Because we see things a little bit differently and we come from different backgrounds, what I’ve learned to try to do though because I tend to be the intermediary for them is find what they’re both trying to say. Because sometimes I find that what you’re saying and what you mean are oftentimes two different things.
For them specifically, if they find themselves getting defensive, the argument starts going farther out where it’s like, “Now we’re arguing about things that aren’t relevant. Let’s get back to where we needed to be.” I’ve tried to focus on identifying what we are trying to accomplish, where everybody is on that spectrum of that goal, and then bring it together. I would say our team does a good job of not having a conflict.
I have a massive no gossip. I’m totally down with some sarcasm and making fun. That’s probably one of the things our team loves. I don’t do making-fun-of and gossiping. That’s no toleration. We put everybody on the phone or in the same room and we’re going to talk it out until it’s resolved. It’s like, “We don’t need to do a meeting over here, meeting over there, and go in between. Let’s be adults. Let’s sit down and let’s talk this through. We can do this together. I’m on both of your sides and we’re going to figure it out.”
You talked a little bit about culture as well. You said something about even having a Christmas party, you want to be involved in that. It sounds like you’re heavy on the culture side of things, which would be the antithesis of the typical lawyer. Walk us through what culture means to you and how you as a company are working on building a great culture for your employees and for your customers.
We spend so much time with our coworkers. In theory, you spend more time in a day at your job than you do with your family. I want you to be able to have that same family support system in your job. That doesn’t mean you’re going to have your job just because I like you and whatnot. There are standards, but because we’re objective with people, they know exactly how they’re performing. That’s not an issue for us, but we’re looking to bring everybody in. You don’t feel like because you’re sitting in California, you’re not part of the Ohio team.
We’re doing things like National Donut Day. It was one of the things that were big for everybody. Dunkin’ Donuts would deliver everybody a donut. We got DoorDash to deliver donuts to all of our team members, regardless if they were at home or in the house. For the Christmas party, we fly everybody in, and for anybody that can’t fly in for a period of time, we put up a big screen, we Zoom, and everybody’s part of the big Christmas party. We had a little chat and some would play some Christmas games, but we let everybody participate so it felt like you were there.
One of the things that we pride ourselves on is a prop system. We built it for ourselves. It’s a way for other team members to give other team members props. What I found the most beneficial is that people like the props from their peers a lot better than they do from me. Yes, the one from me feels good because I impress the boss, but at the end of the day, Ken propping Kevin feels a lot better. It’s like, “Mike here recognized me as an integral part of this team and I want everybody to feel that.”
They expect to have props from their boss, but they don’t necessarily expect to hear from their teammates. That leads me to comment. You mentioned something about being a family. A point that I’ve been talking about for a couple of years is that some people had dysfunctional families but you won’t see a sports team operate without props. As an example, in American football, you got the offensive team running off the field and the defensive team running onto the field. They’re all high fiving each other. They’re telling each other what the other one saw and there’s something about that team environment that if we are giving each other props or high fives or kudos or whatever, that goes a long way. Why did you build it in-house versus using an outsourced tool like a TINYpulse or 15Five?
I use a survey tool for myself that surveys the team weekly or biweekly depending on whatever it is to get feedback on how the company is doing. The tool that we have is built into the proprietary system that we have that does all of our reporting. Because we manage everything out of it, we need a more centralized place to have it.
You talked about Vinnie working with you on some of your skills. Why did you get involved in the COO Alliance?
A couple of reasons. One, all of my personal development would have been exclusively having trained under him and being my mentor. It’s a good comment. He said, “You need to learn from more than just one person.” Even going back to the sports analogy. A team isn’t coached by one person. There’s a lot of different people on the team that coach. That was one of the reasons. Number two, for me personally, I’m a big introvert. It was forcing me to get out of my comfort zone. I do well at events for us because I’m selling, I’m passionate about our company, and I’m surrounded by other team members. This has plopped me in the middle of a group of people and forced me to figure it out, which has been good.
What do you think your big takeaways have been so far?
For me, Free PR has been the massive home run. We’ve had good success with that. I’m personally proud of it because I don’t have any type of marketing background and I lead that charge with our marketing girl. From a personal perspective, I read the book, understood it, reverse engineered it for our team, and I’m getting to see success on it, so that’s been awesome. From being in the events, the other thing I’ve enjoyed is getting to hear other people’s perspectives on stuff.
Vinnie runs his own mastermind so I feel like I’ve heard a lot of the entrepreneur perspective. One of the big arguments or things I’ve always had to fight with him on is that the COO, not that he doesn’t think it’s important, but it’s always, “The business owner this. The entrepreneur that.” A lot of what we do is for the COO. At least it opened my eyes and I’m not the only person that’s having to fight that fight sometimes.
I realized that most mastermind groups or most conferences are teaching the CEO how to run the company, and they’re missing the point. They should be teaching the CEO what needs to happen but we need to teach the COO how to run the company. The CEO needs to know what we’re going to learn because the CEO is not going to sit and focus on it. If we want to talk about interviewing for four hours, they’d lose their mind. Whereas a COO would be like, “Can we do more after lunch?”
It’s nice to have some tactics and sitting down and going through some worksheets because many of those entrepreneur things turn into random blue sky discussions.
The April 2020 COO Alliance event, which we’ve done online because of this whole COVID-19, the theme is sales marketing and PR. We dove into some more PR there for you, too. You mentioned that a lot of companies and a lot of advisors are saying that debt is the way that you should fuel your growth. Do you want to comment on that? You had some good insights there.
Debt has a purpose. Debt allows us to acquire and do some things that we naturally wouldn’t be able to do without it. At least our company’s philosophy is, “You take on debt that you know you can repay and you build a plan to repay that. You don’t start leveraging your debt for other debt.” We’re in this middle of this COVID crisis. The panic around all of these different stimulus plans is being fueled by the people that have a lot of debt and how can they get that money.
The focus to me should be not to get that money to pay your debt but get that money to pay your people. That’s the important piece of it. If you’re learning how to use debt, but then also build revenue and pay that debt off so that you can then have something else, specifically something that’s going to be a profit for you and a revenue generator, you’re going to be in a lot better positioned than leveraging debt over and over again. You’ll just end up in this cycle of making money to pay it back off. Are you ever keeping it for yourself?
I’ve often used the analogy of someone who takes on a mortgage, which most people take a mortgage to buy a home. It’s a great and awesome idea as long as you can pay off the mortgage, can service the mortgage and the interest on the mortgage, and don’t become house poor. Often, people buy homes that are way bigger, way faster and more than they ever need, then they can’t service the debt and they’re buried and they have no lives. They have to borrow against credit cards and credit lines to pay for the rest of their life. All of a sudden, there’s a bit of a crisis and they’re screwed.
I sat with a guy who sits on the Federal Reserve Bank and he said that, “Debt is good until it’s bad.” One that has always rung true for me is that, strategically, debt can be good but if you’re not careful, it can be bad. You spent a lot of time in the internet marketing world and around internet marketing entrepreneurs. What advice for us would you have related to what you’ve seen in their industry and how we can operate better as entrepreneurs? What are they doing well in that space that all businesses could do better at?
There are two parts to that. Go for it and make your dream happen is an incredible trait that I definitely admire from the entrepreneur. That ability to take that risk, jump in, all in 100% is something more people should not be afraid to do. That’s how the best companies come about. Somebody willing to take a risk. He was willing to take a risk on an intern that had only been in school for six months but said that she could do it because I knew that I could, even though I definitely oversold myself.
I’m totally fine admitting that. I probably even admitted the next day, but that ability to take that risk, more companies need to do. Nothing drives me more nuts than working with a big company that has all the bureaucracy. That’s like, “Cameron has to approve. Meredith, Gordy, and Rachel does.” I’m like, “We could have already known if this works or not if somebody said yes and made the call.” That risk-taking is something that companies could do a lot better.
The thing that entrepreneurs could do a lot better is to give themselves more credit. Because they hide behind the word entrepreneur, it’s like, “If it doesn’t work out, I’m just an entrepreneur anyways.” It does work out and they’re doing incredible things from health supplements, marketing agencies to health care companies. Those people all started as an entrepreneur at one point. They had to start there. They need to give themselves more credit.
My world has been coaching and speaking to entrepreneurs for many years. I would even venture to say 85% to 90% of entrepreneurs are on the spectrum for bipolar disorder or on the spectrum for attention deficit disorder. We’re probably C students or B students. They spent their entire life being told they were fucked up, weren’t good enough and weren’t that smart or they couldn’t pay attention. They were all over the map. It hurts their psyche as a human when you think about going to school from kindergarten until the end of college or even grade twelve.
You’re in school for 13 to 17 years of being told that you’re not an A and you have a disease called bipolar disease or attention deficit. That’s harmed the psyche of them all that they’ve given themselves an out. You’re right that entrepreneurs are doing something incredible and that’s why I love the industry so much, as well as I respect them for giving it a shot. I also respect the second-in-command, the COO for being able to pack our parachute every day as the entrepreneur.
Small businesses are the livelihood of over half of our country, that’s an incredible number.
Eighty-six percent of all statistics are made up on the spot 42% of the time. Last two questions I’ve got. You mentioned that companies could be better at hiring freelancers and working with freelancers, and that’s done a lot in the digital space. Can you give us some color behind that?
What I call it is our super employee theory. How that works is that every group of employees in a department has some super employees. A perfect example is our marketing department. She’s a project manager who has skillsets and everything, but she has a virtual assistant that can do graphic design, front-end coding, copy, and social media posts for her. Her job is to make sure that all of the lowest level or lowest generating revenue work gets to them so that she can work on her highest and best use and the most revenue-generating items for her. Our entire company operates that way. It could be a software or it could be a virtual assistant of some sort but we’re leveraging a lower level, a less expensive team member to be able to expand on the abilities of our higher paid team members.
You’re outsourcing everything except genius. Last question. If you were to go back to the 22-year-old Rachel graduating from university or college, what words of advice would you give yourself back then that now you know to be true, but you didn’t know at 21 or 22?
It would just be that everything will work out. I was always worried that I either wasn’t going to make it, I wasn’t going to be good enough, or somebody wasn’t going to believe in me. I kept trying to over prove myself time and time again. I can do it and I’d be okay, that would be what I’ll tell myself.
Rachel Scava you’re doing okay, the COO for Fully Accountable. Thank you for sharing with us.
Thanks for having me.
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About Rachel Scava
Fully Accountable is a full-service eCommerce accounting firm offering outsourced finance and accounting for eCommerce and digital companies. Fully Accountable’s services lets clients choose from outsourced bookkeeping, outsourced accounting, and fractional outsourced CFO advisory services for business. Their U.S. based CPAs and digital experts aim to simplify the accounting processes and reduce tax liabilities.
Rachel Scava is a COO and has 9 years of experience. Rachel studied at John Carroll University with a degree in BS in Political Science and Sociology and at the University of Akron School of Law for Juris Doctorate, Law. She is an Attorney and specializes in Operations, Human Resources, Team Building, Company Development, Event Planning, Leadership, Business Growth, Legal Writing, Strategic Hiring, Research, Legislation, Legal Research and Mediation.