The Design Business Show 153: Online Business Managers + How to Let Go of Tasks with Tina Forsyth

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | August 19, 2021
Check out episode 153 of The Design Business Show with Tina Forthyth to learn all about online business managers!

Tina Forsyth works with visionaries and business leaders to align their business with their calling, and to help them hire and lead top performers to take their business to the next level.

For over twenty years, she has worked with 6 and 7 figure business owners to shift them out of burnout so they can shine.

Tina is a pioneer in the world of online business, having founded and built the organization that is home for the Certified OBM® Training. In the 12+ years since its inception, the Online Business Manager industry has become established as a key role on the team of fast-growing online based businesses.

Through the International Association of Online Business Managers, she is an industry champion, connecting business owners with OBMs who can help them thrive.

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

What an OBM Is + What They Do

  • How Tina’s team reached out about having her on the podcast to talk about hiring an OBM (Online Business Manager) and outsourcing
  • Tina shares that she originally trained to be a coach and got the opportunity to work with a big coach training organization, working on the back-end and managing their events — she discovered that’s where she wanted to be
  • In 2003, Tina started working with various coaching organizations and companies working as an online business manager for them
  • The book Tina wrote titled, Becoming an Online Business Manager which sparked their OBM Association and their certified OBM training program
  • Tina describes an OBM as someone who specializes in working with businesses that are usually in the early 6 figure range and that have hit a limit of what they can keep doing on their own
  • An OBM will step in to help these businesses by asking, what’s the big picture of the business? What’s the vision? What are the big goals of the company? And how are we going to get there? They lay out a plan to get people, systems, and resources in place so they can keep moving forward
  • Tina describes the different stages of business and the different support you might need, like from a VA early on in your discovery phase or an OBM if you are in the early 6 figure range and are clear on your offers but need help

How to Outsource Work + Business Growth

  • How an agency style business needs a different team and support than what a product based business needs
  • Tina shares the difference between hiring for a role vs hiring for results and says you need to look at your business through a lens to figure out what you really need
  • When looking to outsource work, Tina says you should look at all your tasks and think about what you’d like to get off your plate, maybe there are tasks you don’t enjoy, or tasks that aren’t growth or delivery focused
  • Lisa stresses the importance of building your team around values instead of just hiring people for transactional purposes and gives an example on values that they talk about in their OBM community
  • When you’re looking to hire be very clear in the job post about what you need, your values and that you’re looking to hire someone that is aligned with the same values of who you are and what you do as a business and in the interview ask a question about how or why they feel aligned with your values and vision
  • The story of how Tina went from a control freak to a team leader and explains that for the first 10 years of her business she did everything herself, but when she changed her business model in 2008, she had to start building her team
  • A common concern Tina hears from people when it comes to letting go of work is, what if they do it wrong, or they don’t do it as well as I do and her response to that is, that will be true as long as you keep how to do it in your head
  • The first layer of letting go is usually around the functional aspects of the work, and the other thing that comes with letting go is letting go of decision making, which Tina says is harder to do and shares a personal example from when she hired her first OBM
  • Tina shares what a mentor of hers said years ago which was, every new stage of growth means letting go of more; Tina says if you aren’t willing to let go, you will get stuck somewhere
  • We get to decide want kind of growth we want, Tina says if you don’t want to let go, that’s fine but you have to make that decision for yourself and your business because it will look different than if you were to hire multiple people on your team and keep growing
  • Tina doesn’t think it’s about you having to know how to do all the technical things in your business but says you should have clear, documented processes because people on your team might leave at some point
  • On the online business management side of Tina’s business, they offer an OBM certification training and then those certified become part of their OBM Association
  • On the personal side of the business, Tina does a lot of work and coaching with people around leadership and does different trainings, to learn more about those check out her website
  • Tina says sometimes it’s about giving yourself permission to be able to get the help you want or need so you can build the business you want
  • Connect with Tina on her website, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn and check out Tina’s interview script/guide freebie for when you’re looking to hire


Links mentioned:

Certified OBM® Training

Tina’s Book – Becoming an Online Business Manager

Tina’s Website

Connect with Tina on Instagram

Connect with Tina on Facebook

Connect with Tina on LinkedIn

Tina’s Interview Freebie


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