Lauren Goldstein has made a name for herself in the consulting industry as the “business doctor,” having earned awards and recognitions worldwide for her work as CEO of Golden Key Partnership. The company is a “boutique strategy consulting firm,” which has been recognized globally as a premier consulting agency for businesses.
Throughout her career, Laura Goldstein has been an interim COO for several businesses worth at least seven figures. Since 2011, she has been helping these companies scale their enterprises, and their teams, with sustainable profits always being the goal. With her help, these businesses have gained more time and revenue, left a lasting impact, and earned fulfillment from their operations.
If you want to scale your business and push your team to realize its fullest potential, look no further than Lauren Goldstein and Golden Key Partnership. With their help, you’ll gain more freedom and sustainable profits as you grow or scale your business. The company consults with large-scale businesses, valued at seven figures, in diverse verticals. These include healthcare companies, wealth management companies, SaaS companies, marketing or advertising agencies, real estate firms, and law firms.
With Lauren Goldstein and Golden Key Partnership, you’ll be able to master “operational and leadership strategy,” which will enable you to scale your business without any of the hassle or burnout. Learn to enjoy your business again and make more money with Lauren and Golden Key.
Lauren Goldstein has also contributed to publications like HuffPost and Glass Heel.
Check out more interviews with industry leaders here.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Lauren Goldstein: Sure! My backstory is a bit unconventional but it dovetails into why my clients call me the “business doctor.” Prior to starting Golden Key Partnership, my degree was in cognitive neuroscience and I was working in the medical field at Children’s Colorado in Pediatric Neurology. I had been in the Pediatrics field for many years and was about to go down the very long road of becoming a doctor. I had not considered any other professional path until one day we had a 5-month-old baby come in with debilitating status epilepticus that we successfully treated and put on a treatment protocol for long term recovery, only to subsequently be told by the insurance company that they would not cover her continued treatment protocol. In his words, “the cost/benefit just wasn’t there to justify the expense.”
I remember this moment like it was yesterday. Everyone was devastated and in that moment I saw how little power doctors actually have to do what’s best for their patients. After looking down the rest of my years in medicine, I realized I couldn’t stay in a broken system like that. In that moment I decided to walk away from medicine and explore how I could make a bigger impact.
After I left the hospital life behind, I dove face first into professional development and hired some of the top professional coaches I could, including Tony Robbins. It was during this “soul searching” that I realized my superpower of strategic thinking and problem solving. I started to get told time and time again that I had such a unique way of seeing puzzle pieces that seemed unrelated and fitting them together to solve business bottlenecks and friction points in a really simple and efficient manner.
You see, in my mind, business strategy consulting really isn’t all that different from medicine. My clients come to me with symptoms and it’s my job to diagnose what the underlying issues are and formulate a treatment plan to get the business back to full strength and healthy growth.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Lauren Goldstein: Definitely. Looking back over the past almost 10 years I have been in business, I have to chuckle at how much “failing forward” I actually did in those first 5 years. It kind of felt like I was throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what stuck and feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere.
The story that sticks out the most for me is from about 4 years ago. We were in the middle of a record breaking year and I was probably the most unhappy I had ever been. I was burning the candle at both ends, hardly eating, and feeling like at any moment the wheels of my business were not only going to fall off, but spontaneously combust — and me right along with it. I remember sitting at my desk at 1 a.m. asking myself “what am I doing all this for?” It almost felt like when I was standing in the hospital seeing the dominos fall around me and feeling helpless and hopeless.
The truth is I was getting amazing results for my clients, making more money in one month than some make in a year, but feeling hollow. I have never felt more like giving up than in that moment. The reason I wanted to give up was surprising because it wasn’t that I was struggling, it was quite the opposite. I had more success than I could handle. I was drowning and I wasn’t sure I could survive.
I remember walking to my bathroom and looking in the mirror after splashing some water on my face and seeing my exhausted expression staring back at me thinking “there has to be a better way.” In that moment I made a silent commitment to myself and my clients to do better, be better, and find a way out of this burnout. The secret to getting myself out of this state was admitting I needed help. The next day I committed to 3 things over the coming weeks. I hired a business coach, I hired another team member, and I decided for ever more that I would take Saturdays off and completely digitally detox from tech and people.
That single decision to create a day where I didn’t have to be “on-call” and could recharge not only saved my business, but I think saved my life. I could not have continued on the road I was going. It wasn’t healthy or sustainable. What was even more shocking is that when I took that day for myself, my business exploded again; my happiness went up, I felt refreshed, and my clients felt it in our work together too.
I think that’s my biggest piece of advice when things feel hard — take a step back and create a boundary to prioritize yourself and your sanity.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Lauren Goldstein: I am not sure this is “funny” but it is probably the biggest lesson that I learned is: don’t spend time and resources on something that is not a proven or necessary concept. As a business strategist I am a master chess player and can almost immediately see 10 steps ahead and where the weak points in systems are, especially when it comes to software and processes.
Many years ago we were using a piece of software that in my opinion was half baked and I thought I could build a superior product with our Dev team and sell it. What I came to realize was that building software is an extremely expensive and labor intensive feat, but more than that, I didn’t know what I didn’t know about selling a SaaS product.
What I learned from this is that one should always explore both the market’s need for an item and their willingness to invest. Second, I should have sought out more people who had successfully done what I wanted to do to gain more perspective on what it would take, not just monetarily, but as a business. Last but not least, I learned that it is best to walk your plan out at least 10 steps to make sure that the road you are going down is actually getting you closer to your goals and not dressed up like progress but in reality is just a distraction. This “project” not only cost me a lot of money, but it cost a lot of time, and my main business actually lost a lot of momentum because I was trying to ride two horses with one arse.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.
Lauren Goldstein: The first is simple: Definition of done. Your version of done, versus someone else can be vastly different so it all starts here. When you are 100 percent clear on what “done” looks like, this ensures that each party’s expectations are aligned, and thus your chances of success go up exponentially.
Second, delegate anything that is not in your innate talent wheelhouse. If it isn’t your superpower, let someone else, whose superpower it is, plan and run with it. This one is all about having A Players versus worker bees and trusting them to deliver. If you are clear on what done means then this should be a walk in the park to select the right person to see it come to fruition.
Third, the devil is in the details… or the big picture. The thing I have learned after almost a decade helping multi-million dollar companies build teams is that there are two types of people, big picture people, and detail people. If you delegate a big picture project to a detail person, or vice versa, that is a recipe for disaster. Figure out who your employee is and how they process information so nothing gets lost in translation. You need both “big picture” and “detail” people, so make sure you get them in the right order to deliver.
Fourth, in the same vein as #3, you want to make sure you are delegating to the *rightpeople. Some people are all about innovation & ideas, some are better for timing & delivery, some are best behind the scenes making sure all the details are correct, and some bring all the parts to life. Make sure you have the necessary people on the project so that you don’t accidentally put the onus on someone who quite literally can’t get it across the finish line.
Fifth, feedback is king. The way a team learns to work with you is feedback. When something is done, good or bad, they need and want feedback so take an opportunity to give them that, you’ll thank me later because not only will they continue to improve, but as time passes you will need to spend less and less time helping, but rather guiding.
Jerome Knyszewski: One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the often quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?
Lauren Goldstein: I love that saying! I think it is spot on with this one big caveat. If you are 100% the expert in that one area that you are doing yourself and it is in your natural talent flow, then yes, you are definitely the person to do it right. However, if it isn’t in your zone of genius or your unique talent then you are most likely not only wasting time and money, but keeping your business from its potential. I actually can speak from experience on this one.
When I was first starting out, I was a Chief Everything Officer like so many business owners and I went far too long without hiring expert team members to help. I thought that I could save profit margins by doing a lot of it myself and while I might have looked like I was saving some money, what ended up happening is that my expertise only went so far and with only 24 hours in the day, things started falling through the cracks. Even though I was doing things “right,” things were slipping.
When I brought in a team to compliment the areas I was weak in or didn’t enjoy, that is when the magic happened. They started coming up with their own ideas and plans to get us where we needed to go and my time was freed up to focus on the client delivery, which is why my clients hire me.
It seems so simple looking back but I know in the moment I was very hesitant. The part that makes me laugh is that 9 times out of 10 as long as I was clear on the “definition of done” they did far better work than I ever could. My only regret is not delegating and getting out of the way sooner.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
Lauren Goldstein: Thank you for having me!
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