psycho nanny


lisa fabrega

psycho nanny

I watched an absolutely terrible thriller on Netflix a few weeks ago. The kind so bad you can’t pull your eyes away from it. It’s about a famous author starting work on her third book who hires a nanny to help with the kids. At first, the nanny seems heaven-sent, really great at her job… 

But soon after, the sweet nanny turns into psycho-nanny. She drugs Patrice and gaslights her. The author starts to think she’s going crazy, then her best friend is murdered by the psycho nanny… I don’t need to tell you more. It’s the typical “employee-gone-wrong” thriller. 

A tamer version of this story happened to my client Patrice. Patrice had a thriving, 7-figure business growing rapidly. The glue of her team was her project manager – or so she thought…

**cue the stabby thriller music** 

When Patrice checked out some of her references, a couple of things didn’t line up, but she seemed so nice that she dismissed her doubts. What came next became a cautionary tale about what happens when you have Structural Capacity deficits you’re unaware of and how it can seriously derail your plans.

At first, everything was great. A few flags popped up, like her project manager’s unprofessional penchant for badmouthing the previous project manager. And the numerous times she implied Patrice was “lucky to have her,” making herself the “hero” saving what she called Patrice’s “rapidly declining” business. (It wasn’t “rapidly declining”, it was very profitable and just experiencing issues every business at her stage has. But Patrice assumed the project manager must be right, since her strong suit wasn’t project management.)

Then the gaslighting began. The project manager constantly needed Patrice to “pause launching” because she was “so overwhelmed” by the “mess.” Yet when Patrice would check months later, not much had been done. The project manager would distract from this by flipping it back on Patrice, becoming angry, and accusing Patrice of “micro-managing” her.  

Then Patrice discovered the project manager was bad mouthing her to other employees. But instead of letting her go immediately, she kept her around. Fearing she’d never find another PM as talented, she thought she should just “deal with” her difficult personality. Then came the most dangerous part. 

After months of being gaslit by the project manager, Patrice began to question whether she was even a good CEO and this affected her confidence greatly. She wasn’t showing up on video (one of her most powerful marketing tools) as much as she used to because of this. Her negotiations weren’t as sharp. As the face of her business, this was a big problem. For a business to be successful, you need a confident, well-supported CEO.

The project manager always complained about how “difficult” and “overwhelming” Patrice’s business was. Patrice offered to take some things off her plate. Except now she was working 10 hours a day, doing half of the project manager’s job. Which meant she was being pulled away from her most important job description: CEO. Her time to make deals, market more powerfully and tap into new networks which could bring new clients to the business was now taken up doing part of the PM’s job. The revenue of the business further stagnated.  

Finally, Patrice realized she wasn’t the problem. The truth was the project manager actually didn’t have the capacity to support a business at this level. But instead of admitting it and leaving the position, the project manager just gaslit Patrice into thinking she was the problem. When Patrice finally realized this and gracefully decided to part ways, the project manager went ballistic. Let’s just say her conduct was not far off from the psycho-nanny, sans the murder.

This is a perfect example of a Structural Capacity™ issue. 

We all have “teams” in life. It may be the team you work with in your corporate job, your own team for your business, or the “life team” you have at home, like repair people, house cleaning team, supportive spouse or friends etc…

Are all of your life and business teams functioning at peak capacity? And if not, what effect is it having on your ability to reach your goals? In most clients I work with, “team issues” is the silent killer of dreams.

How many of these can you say yes to?

  • You have big goals and plans, but you feel like your life, or business teams can’t “handle” implementing and supporting your vision, so you assume all the work will fall to you and, as a result, avoid implementing those big goals.  Or you try to implement them and feel like you’re always “half-@ssing” it.
  • You constantly have to remind people in your life or work how to do their chores or their jobs properly. 
  • You find yourself repeating the same thing over and over again because people constantly drop the ball, but then YOU get branded the “diva” for “constantly complaining.”
  • You keep people on your team who make you doubt yourself because you assume they must know better than you.
  • You ignore the little voice in you saying something is off about someone you’ve considered hiring (or taking on as a client), and you dismiss it, then it blows up in your face later on down the road.
  • You allow people to make the same mistake 100 times without firing them because you’re “too swamped” to replace them–even though it’s costing you thousands of dollars in wasted time and emotional labor.
  • You hear successful people say, “your team should make you money and add to your bottom line,” but this sounds like a foreign concept to you & hasn’t been your experience.

When you have a Structural Capacity deficit, your teams aren’t functioning properly. They’ll drain the life out of you, your career, or your business. You will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of time, energy, and excessive emotional labor constantly dealing with their lack of capacity.

Many years ago, I attended a talk led by a man who’d helped multiple companies scale to eight figures and beyond. The ONLY thing he talked about was TEAMS. “If you have a person on your team who is amazing at what they do, but has a consistently bad attitude, you need to fire them as soon as you get home. Because they will slowly poison your entire team and business and hold back the growth of your company.” 

Let this sink in. ONE bad team member you “put up with” can sink the ENTIRE ship. Is it any wonder you’re burned out or experiencing a financial plateau?

Luckily, Patrice and I worked on her Structural Capacity, and within a few months, she’d hired a new, much better project manager. The new project manager was a true professional and wasn’t “overwhelmed” by Patrice’s business at all. Within just two months, Patrice saw the new PM resolve some back-end issues the previous one hadn’t been able to resolve in 8 months

The company started generating extra revenue again, except this time, her team was much more efficient. And guess what? NO ONE on the team had a problem with Patrice, nor thought she was “micro-managing” them. They did their work, so she didn’t have to check in on them. In fact, her team complimented her on being great to work with. Ahhh, peace! No more drama.

Despite the old project manager claiming Patrice’s business was “rapidly declining” she ended up having her best year ever, financially AND energetically speaking. And she told me a few months ago she finally feels she has the team in place who can handle taking the company to $100 million and beyond.

That’s the power of expanding your Structural Capacity.

Did you answer “yes” to one or more of the above statements? If so, it’s time to work on your Structural Capacity. We’re doing that this month in Capacity Shift™. Check it out here, learn more and enroll if you’re ready to see some serious growth.