Episodes

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are wrapping up Season 4 of the Side Hustle Gal podcast.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    Recap the season.

     Predictions on the future.

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript - Season Outtro

      

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. This is it. The final episode of the season. Wow. Uh, we had some, we had some incredible guests this season, and Caitlyn and I were talking before we jumped on the recording, and. It's been a good one. I think back to the interview with Amanda Gulino from A Better Monday and all of the advice that she had for us, uh, that conversation we had with Jackie at pineapple development girl is killing it.

    Uh, the conversation we'd have with Carrie and with Bauma, Carrie works for core marketing group, um, uh, runs work bigger. Um, and even Rosalia is conversation on her company about consent. It's really run the gamut that season, all kinds of topics for your head and your heart, and I'm just so proud of it. I think the best part to you, we talked about this in our season intro, is that at least one of us only knew what three guests.

    Four guests. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:01:26] Yep. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:01:27] And everyone else was strangers to both of us. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:01:30] Yeah. I think that was really cool because it showed a different type of, or a different side to having conversations with other business owners. I feel like a lot of podcasts, um, they bring on guests that are their friends or guests that other people have already interviewed.

    So you already know kind of how the interview is going to go. But. Having conversations with new people can a be awkward. Um, and that just shows you kind of how well entrepreneurs can talk on their feet, um, and answer questions on their feet. But then. To have like real relationships with people just by being able to relate to them and how they run their business or what business life is like. I think that is something to be said for some of these interviews as well. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:02:21] Yeah. I think last season we were probably 50, 50 people we know and people we didn't know, and it was our best season to date at the time. And this season is what, like 70, 30, 80, 20, and I would say this season's even better than last season.

    Um, so for the podcast hosts out here, like the lesson from this interview, people you don't know because the more. Strangers we have in our seasons, the better we feel about the seasons went. Um, so Caitlin and I were also talking to, and we want to do a little bit of crystal ball forecasting. This is totally and completely just for fun, but we're recording this episode in March. You're not going to hear it until the middle of July. And right now we're in the midst of Coronavirus. Oh 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:14] Covid19 2020. Oh my goodness. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:03:18] California is shelter in place. New York, I think is thinking about it, but they haven't done it yet. Everywhere else, gyms are closed. Fitness places are closed. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:29] Yeah. We just got the call yesterday that aho fitness. Uh, the gym that I'm, I'm the business manager for has to, had to shut down by 8:00 PM yesterday. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:03:40] Yeah. And the, I mean, that's where we're at right now. And we haven't even reached the crest of the curve that everyone keeps talking about. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:48] We haven't been testing people. So there's really, there's so many more people that are infected that we just don't know about because of the testing has been so limited.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:03:58] And I just read yesterday too, that 20 to 30 have the highest, uh, in asymptomatic infection rate. A 20 to 30-year-olds have it more than we think they do, and they're the most likely group to be asymptomatic too, which is crazy. So, Caitlyn, I want to ask you, uh, April, may, June, July, four months from now, when folks are actually listening to this, where do you think will be, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:04:24] uh, this is so scary to think about. Um. I think as I'm over here coughing, like, Oh my God, do I have the virus?

    I am coughing and very sick. This is really funny. I think, uh, okay. Funny is not the right word. Just let me rephrase, not the right word there. I think in July. Um, it's going to get worse before it gets better, in my opinion. Um, I think there are still a lot of people, especially where I live, who I'm, Hmm. Don't think that this is a big deal. Um, they don't comprehend, uh, I don't think they want to comprehend. Um, the. The effect that this is going to have on everything from getting groceries, um, to our economy too. Work. How different the workplace is going to be moving forward from this childcare. Um, I think that this virus is going to change a lot of.

    Things that we probably wouldn't even think about. Um, moving forward. So in July, I feel like  Mmm. Like I said, it's going to get worse before it gets better. I think it's gonna probably peak in the end of April, beginning of May. Um, but I think July is when we're gonna really start to see a lot of changes.

    I think there's going to be a lot of, a lot more work from home jobs. Um, I think employers are going to switch a lot of employees to the more we more remote work, you're going to see a lot of policies enacted for what worked from home actually looks like for employers. Um, because like Dannie said yesterday on her Instagram stories, people don't know how to show up for work when they're working from home.

    And I think a lot of policies are going to be enacted around that. I think, uh. A lot of businesses are going to shift their focus from brick and mortar to more online businesses, online business, so that if anything like this ever happens again, they have a that second source of income. Um, Oh, what else do I think?

    I think that it's just going to be a big shift in our culture and I think. Uh, millennials in particular, and I don't even think they're millennials anymore. Do any, what are the kids that are like a little bit younger than us right now, but not millennials? 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:07:02] Gen Z. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:07:03] I think everybody's blaming the millennials right now. Look here. We're not the ones on spring break in Florida right now. Okay. It's not the millennials. We are out of college. That is gen Z get it right. Those kids, um, I think they're going to see a change in what school looks like and what college looks like. And, um, I think there's going to be a lot more protocol and a push for the CDC to have the pandemic office.

    Again, I think that, um, uh, we're going to see a shift in policy around. What going to the hospital potentially looks like, or, um, and political, unrest. I think we're going to see that. So I'm excited to see kind of what happens from this virus right now. It's a little bit scary. Um. As somebody who lives down by the border, it's going to be super interesting to see kind of what happens over the next few weeks as we continue to shut down borders.

    Um, change what flying looks like, and, um, what protocols are federal entities around here put into place because there's really nothing right now. Dannie, I feel like I've been talking forever and I've just been, um, what are you, what are you thinking? 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:08:29] I agree with a lot of what you said. I think I would add three things.

    Um, so to the flying piece, I think back to post 911 flying and how we went from kind of secure to like, everybody has to be screened. Um, I, I think that's might actually be like. Wellness screening now as a part of boarding planes, just because people will be afraid that another silent virus could escape from its originating site.

    Um, so I wouldn't be surprised if in the next few years we see that enacted, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:09:03] no flying if you have a temperature. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:07] Um, another thing that I see impacting is, Mmm. Just this. Like more empathy. Um, so I've been following the immunocompromised friends of mine for years on Instagram, but just watching the conversations around.

    like everyone's panicking. But immunocompromised people have been begging for the ability to self-quarantine for years. Uh, the ability to work from home for years, the ability to get some of these accommodations that we're now giving all knowledge workers for a year. And also I've been following my friends who work at places like Costco. And for lack of a better word, um, like my friend Nikki who works at Costco is now a like, vital service provider, right? Because like, groceries are flying off the shelves faster than they can get them restocked. She's mitigating fights. She's like checking out double the amount of people at an hour that she used to.

    And I think that grocery workers, postal workers, um. Like internet and telephone infrastructure workers are finally going to get a little bit more recognition because they're the people that can't self quarantine right now. Um, and finally, like to your point on work from home, I've been watching as people who I have worked from home on the occasional Friday.

    Struggle with this permanent work from home, and I think that freelancers, remote workers, et cetera, have an incredible opportunity to like be thought leaders here. Kind of like I was talking about an Instagram last night. I didn't realize how much of a divide there was between me and my coworkers because I've been managing and working with teams remotely for 12 years and. Nothing has changed in my personal life, except for I don't have to commute over the past couple of weeks. Um, and it's completely turned. My coworkers lives upside down. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:11:16] Well. And to that point, I think that there's going to be more empathy for the people who run businesses from home. Like before, all of my friends are like, Oh, it must be so nice to be able to work from home and do whatever you want, and now they're really getting to see, wow, work from home is not as easy as we thought.

    And I think that's going to give an empathy piece too. Small business owners or I don't even know, online business or business. It's necessary businesses, um, that hasn't been there before. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:11:53] Yeah, I completely agree. I think this has been a fun little time capsule. I'll be curious to see when this episode goes live in four months, what the world looks like.

    How many of our little predictions were accurate and we'll just have to see what happens. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:12:14] Yes. And to all my other immunocompromised folks out there, stay safe. I hope you guys stay safe through this whole thing and um, we will see you guys in July. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:12:26] Alright, bye. And we'll see you sometime soon. For sure.

    Whatever season the next season number is.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Rianna Hill of Pancake Digital Solutions..

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    The start of the side hustle to the development of a digital marketing agency.

    Trusting yourself and the experience you have.

    The importance of schedules as well as you’re alone time.

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram | Facebook |

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:00:26] Oh, I'm supposed to go. Oh my goodness. Hi guys. Welcome. I am so excited to be introducing who is joining us today. Rianna of pancake. Digital solutions. Why did I just blank on what your business name is? I'm so excited. Rianna is. Awesome. Like, I just don't even know how to explain her. Um, I met Rianna with, uh, one of my clients, Joey. Um, she worked with us, uh, with a trademark, and then she actually coached me how to work on Facebook ads, um, through indie law. So that was a lot of fun. Mmm. And with that, I created a great relationship with her and she is just the best person to talk to about a lot of digital marketing. Um, I feel like her and Dannie could be like besties because they do a lot of similar things. Um, so yeah, I'm super excited to introduce Rianna Rianna. Can you tell us a little bit about you and about why you identify with being a side hustler? 

    Rianna Hill: [00:01:39] Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much, Caitlyn. That's a very sweet intro. I'm definitely enjoyed being working with you off and on over the past few years. That's been been wonderful. Um, so yeah, my name is Rianna . Um, yes, like the singer, but without the H, uh, having her coming around was kind of the best thing ever because now everyone can say my name, so that's pretty cool. And I'm currently living on the Washington state peninsula, which is kind of that broken off piece in the top left corner.

    Um, lived in seven different States as I am currently a Navy wife and expectant mother to be. So that's kind of the exciting things about me. And why do identify as a side hustler? I mean, honestly, that could really be my whole life is being a side hustler. I remember some of my earliest memories are like walking around and picking up change and finding stuff in the.

    A couch cushion seats too, as like my first job. So my parents started giving me various jobs and once I learned like, Oh, I could mow my own lawn, then all of a sudden it was like, Oh, let me mow the neighbor's lawn. Oh, let me pull their weeds and you know, have little invoices and spreadsheets. Um. So when I started my career in 2009 and I was trying to apply to different restaurants, you know, no one's going to hire a teenager with no experience in 2009 it's just not happening.

    So, um, I started doing that freelancer stuff online, you know, making logos, learning how to make websites. And now that I'm a Navy wife and we move all the time, it's really become my reality. So that's a. That's definitely my identity in a nutshell. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:24] So you currently run, um, uh,  digital marketing agency, right? So how did you, do you currently identify as a side hustler or have you taken that kind of full time. 

    Rianna Hill: [00:03:41] Yeah. You know, that's a great question. So a lot of the work that I started doing originally, um, was very much kind of side hustle work while I was still in school and I did get out and get a a few part time jobs. Um. For my first couple of years out of my undergraduate school. Uh, but even then, even after I went full time, I still kept doing that freelancing stuff on the side, very much a side gig thing. Um. I also bought my first house when I was 19, and I manage that on the side. So that's kind of, I've always got a little projects like that going on.

    And so, uh, when we started moving around and I wasn't able to, we weren't living in one place long enough to have kind of that full time job. That's when I turned my agent, like my freelancing into an agency. But I also work for another company that I've been working for, uh, for, gosh, almost. Almost three years now, uh, with a little bit of a break last summer. and so I do have my agency full time, but I still have side hustles as well. Now I write for a couple online magazines and, um, Oh, manage, still manage our properties, pick up random jobs here and there. I did a seasonal job at a liquor store here for fun. Um. You know, to get out and meet people in a new place.

    So it's just, it's kind of, it's kind of a lifestyle, really. The whole like, and thought of having just one full time job seems so well, what do I do with the rest of my time? So that's definitely a big part of what I still do. Okay. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:05:20] Oh my gosh. I feel like Dannie can relate 50 million different levels. Like if she doesn't have 20 projects going on, I'm like Dannie, who are, you no, I am super curious though, because when I hear that, my first, my like initial gut reaction is, Oh, um, G how do you plan your day? Or like, how do you plan for. All of the things. So can you run us through what kind of your goal setting or planning looks like? Um, especially as you transition into different seasons. If you decide to take on some seasonal work or you know, you're launching something in your business, but you also have a big project with the side hustle that you're working on. Um, what does kind of your, so goal setting, and then what does your week look like? 

    Rianna Hill: [00:06:14] Sure. So that's definitely something that has changed a lot. Um, a lot of, especially once I left the office space and didn't have, you know, set hours within an office. It was a lot more difficult to set my own schedule because all of a sudden you have all this time freedom, which is amazing, and you think, Oh, now I'm going to be able to do all these things that I needed to.

    Yet setting that schedule is so difficult. Um, even as we crave it as creatures of habit. , especially when you're not experienced, you'll be going through and looking at, Oh, you know, I'm going to spend a couple of hours on this project. It's a couple of hours on this project. But then one of those projects all of a sudden takes twice as long as you thought it would, and then all of a sudden you get this new project that comes through and it's the end of the day and you haven't even started on the to do list that you started for yourself.

    So that was a huge learning curve for me. Um. When, especially when I was living in New York after having moved to South Carolina, not knowing where we were moving. Then we moved to Hawaii, but anyway, and it just was like, how do I plan my day? I don't even know how long I'm going to be here. There's all these uncertainties, which. Honestly, it was a huge benefit, uh, because I had to work through that and figure out, you know, Oh, I can't just take a lunch break and then sit and watch Netflix for three hours, and then my whole afternoon is gone. So as much as I tried to push myself into the schedule, what I realized with this, having all these projects and these different seasons and things changing, I mean, we'll live some more for three months and you know, then have to move again. And so that can really change. Constant, that constant change. I mean, you can't really have that structured rigid. set schedule. So what I've done is been able to switch on being very goal focused and say, okay, you know. This, this client project is needs to be done at this time. I can focus on doing that project at once.

    So every morning I set three specific goals and work on those as three specific tasks as opposed to trying to time block. And that has tremendously increased my productivity as well as that feeling at the end of the day. Like, Oh yeah, I did these three tasks, even if I wasn't able to get to anything else.

    You feel accomplished, which is really the battle of self-employment. Now, I'm also currently, I'm about to finish up my doctorate. I'm one class away from doing my dissertation, so that has been another interesting a Into my weekly schedule to shift to that next question. And what I have found is I can lump these things together.

    So my doctorate is in business administration, and so some of that, like last fall, my class was process. And so while I'm learning about all these process, I'm also writing processes for my business. And so being able to kind of. Yes, it's multiple different projects, but I'm all learning the same thing.

    Keeps it from, it's not really multitasking. It keeps it a lot more focused and in line with my overall career goals, um, and allows you to kind of lump those things together. So I read about these processes for homework, do it for my business, and then I'm able to complete my homework, talking about what I just did for my business.

    So that's kinda how my week looks. I try to honor weekends, but with homework, that's not always easy. Um, I do have the benefit of being married to somebody who has a very rigid structured, he has to be at work at a specific time and his home, you know, at varying times it has specific calls and meetings. So I've mirrored a lot of my schedule off of his to kind of emulate that structure for myself at home. 

    Okay. So gotta ask. Cause I'mDannie Lynn Fountain: [00:10:08] also getting a doctorate in business administration. Um, where are you going? What's your specialty? 

    Rianna Hill: [00:10:18] Very cool. Um, that's awesome. That parallel there. So the school is called Tri-Net university international.

    Um, I started there about two years ago and not living in Hawaii. They recently just got purchased by American Intercontinental university, both online schools out of California, and actually, I think Americans out of Arizona. so it's kind of an online school that's very military friendly, which with the DBA can be hard to find first of all, online.

    Um, and second of all, something that's not outrageously expensive. So this fit the schedule really, really well, and the accreditation has bumped up by being bought by this new university. So that's really cool. Um, to kind of have that added bonus. But it is, it's general, so there's not a specific concentration. Um, it's just kind of general business administration. Although I could say it's probably fair to say, especially with my thesis research, it's a lot more marketing focused. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:11:22] Love it. I'm getting mine through Capella. And, um, my specialty is in HR. And so my thesis is going to, my hypothesis for my thesis is that, um, professional side hustlers make better corporate employees. So 

    love that. That's awesome. 

    Love the parallel. Um, so back to broader productivity. You talked about mirroring your schedule off of your partners, and I think that, um, there's a lot of natural. a ability to do that. So like I think about my partner who works a second shift schedule, which means that when I'm done with work at five, until he gets home at 10 during non Corona times, um, I really have from like five to 10:00 PM to do whatever I want, which is usually like business, school work, et cetera. What tips and advice would you give for someone who. Basically has the same schedule as their partner. So your free times are at the same time, but you still need that alone time. It's like what happens on your schedule's mirror too well? 

    Rianna Hill: [00:12:37] Sure. Okay. That's a great question. Um, so when we first started living together in South Carolina, that was very true. Um, I still had a, I had a full time job. Um, and he was working, he was doing a training that was a little more than full time, um, day to day.  and then of course, weekends off and evenings off. And so very, very similar. We, the one difference was, is he would usually get up early and go in early and I would stay up late to do my work late.

    And so, and, uh, we were, we had bought our house out there and rented out the other rooms. So we basically just had like a one our one bedroom that had our desks and had everything there. And then everything else was shared space. So, you know, he would get up at like four o'clock in the morning and get dressed and, you know, be fumbling around and kind of wake me up and I'd be all irritated.

    And then at night he'd go to bed earlier and I would be up a little bit later. I'm trying to be really quiet and not bother him while I was getting my master's degree. And then in the interim periods, like around dinner time and whatnot. Yeah, we both had this free time, but we both had these other things we needed to be working on.

    And so it was very paralleled and yet a little bit of a struggle. So what I started doing is getting up at the same time he did at 4:00 AM, which we still usually do. Um. It's, it's good. Uh, it's like crying on the inside, but it is good. Um, and then when he goes to work that early, I have that free time in the morning, you know, two, three hours or so where I can work on homework or just have that alone time that I need.

    Especially being an only child. I'm used to my alone time with two working parents. I definitely need that alone time. Uh. And so it gave me that morning to myself to be able to have sort of that freedom and whatnot. And then in the afternoons we would come home or evenings, I guess, you know, and have dinner together and that's your free time and you turn your phones off and you have those conversations.

    How was your day? You have that hour to where you can really just focus on each other. And then the rest of the time you don't have to feel guilty about working. So we would both then study or work on our other projects after dinner, um, at the same time, you know, with our desks together. And it just made such a huge difference.

    And so we've emulated that from place to place. Now. In fact, our living room here is, uh, desks instead of the TV. So, um. Just finding kind of those compromises in those balances is probably the tip that I would find a would recommend, as well as having those specific times where it's just the two of you so that when you're working, you don't feel guilty about not spending time with them and you're spending time with them. You don't feel guilty about not doing work because you know, we have this set time together and I have this set time for work and so it, it helps a lot. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:15:49] I can definitely relate to that type of structure because I actually get up at 4:00 AM every morning currently. Um, uh, the person that I live with, he, um, gets up at 4:00 AM and goes to work at 6:00 AM, and it's just easiest to wake up that early work and have like that quiet time. Plus, even when I was living in the city that. Like that 4:00 to 6:00 AM Mark is so nice because it's so quiet out like nobody else is out and about. So, um, Oh, that's such a good recommendation. I mean, I think it's a good recommendation to try to work in the morning if you can, or at least take that, that personal time there. Um. What would you say has been one of your biggest business challenges or challenges as a, somebody running a business and also side hustling on the, on the side. 

    Rianna Hill: [00:16:47] Okay. Yeah, absolutely. That's a fantastic question. Um. And as somebody who started doing these kinds of things that, you know, 14, 15,16 years old and going to these chamber of commerce meetings and meeting these big business owners as a teenager, I think a huge issue has been not trusting myself because a lot of the, a lot of the stuff I learned.

    Just asking people questions and listening and getting this advice and learning as much as possible and saying, you know, I don't know these things. Tell me how to do this. Um, but at this stage, I do know how to do these things. Yet I'm still, you know, in my twenties I'm getting approaching late twenties.

    So it's a little bit more, a little bit more defined now, but still, just knowing like, Hey, yeah, I'm only. When I started the officially started the business like I was only 23 years old. Uh, when I incorporated it and going and saying, yeah, I'm 23 year old business owner and have these team members that helped me with this work and yeah, I do know my stuff.

    It's really hard to, as much as you're like, yeah, I know my stuff is really hard to sit there and look at that and say, well, yeah, actually I'm a trustworthy person. This is a trustworthy business. This is a real thing. And a lot of the mistakes I've made is because I didn't trust myself. And what I've learned from doing this over the last several years, decades almost, um, Yeah. You know, this might not be the normal thing that people advise. I might not be charging the correct prices or doing the right servicing, or someone might see this, but you know, there's all this contradictory advice and the most important thing is doing what works for your business. And you know, I almost went bankrupt last year because I kept trying to do.

    The structure that I thought I was supposed to do. I kept trying to do the things that everyone was telling you to do, including quitting that, that part time job that I have with the other agency because I thought, you know everyone at focus on the one thing only do your one thing. But that's, that's just not me. That's not how I function and it didn't work. And. It showed, you know, I burnt out, I was done. I was toasted and hated what I was doing. And so circling back to, you know, why did I start all this stuff in the first place? And trusting myself and going with my gut, and now my last four months have been profitable. My most profitable in three years. And more than that actually. And so that's. That's so important as any entrepreneur. Mmm. Especially as as a young entrepreneur to trust yourself and know what you're doing with also still having humility that you have a lot of things to learn. And also as an older entrepreneur, maybe you know a lot of things, but there's also still a lot you can learn kind of where ever you are in that boat. Always more to learn. There's always something to be humble about, but at the end of the day, trust yourself.

    I fricking love this.Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:19:50] Gosh, this has been such a good conversation. Um, to the point of learning. I would love to know where people could come hang out with you online and learn from your experience. You have a ton to offer from managing that ever. Moving life, balancing education, all of those things. So where can we hang out with you.

    Rianna Hill: [00:20:11] Awesome. Yeah. The best place for me specifically would be the Facebook page, pancake digital solutions, just facebook.com/pancake digital solutions. I go live there quite a bit, share a lot of content, post my blogs there. Uh, that's, that's kinda the fun place to hang out with me online. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:32] Amazing. This has been so great. Thank you for spending time with us today. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:20:37] Yes. Thank you. 

    Rianna Hill: [00:20:38] Thank you so much. I love this.

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    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are having a Jam Session on Mid-Year Goal Setting / Check-ins.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    Knowing when its time to cut loose a goal.

     The importance of pivoting.

    How to measure your goals.

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript - Goal setting Jam Session

     

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. You've got just me and Caitlyn today for our last jam session of the season. Holy shit. 

    Uh, so today we are going to be talking to you about maybe your goal checking and setting new goals at the midyear if you need to plus maybe telling you something about the goals that we set this year.

    Yeah. Uh, so let's dig right in. First thing that we want to talk about is how to check in on your goals. And we should probably preface this by saying that there are literally dozens of different ways to set goals. A couple of years ago, right in a Pomeroy, and I wrote a book interviewing a bunch of different goal-setting experts, and there were so many different things that we discovered. Um, so first there's no right way to goal set. Um, but checking in on your goals is interesting, right? Cause I feel like we set goals and then I used to be the person that would like set goals in my power sheets and then never use the tending list throughout the year.  um, so checking in on your goals is really about A, is this thing still important to me? B, have I achieved it? C. If I haven't achieved it, is it because of A or because of needing to put processes in place to get shit done? What do you think, caitlyn? 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:01:50] Yeah. Um, I think this is a very interesting thing because with my clients, I actually do quarterly goal setting. Um, so mid year is usually not really.

    Okay. Kind of review outside of financial goals. Um, but I do know that if you set big goals for the year, you should be, in my opinion, checking in on them at least quarterly to make sure that they're staying up to date. Um, and I know this podcast episode is going live in July, I think. So it's perfect time to be talking about that midyear check-in and yeah, I think that it's.

    the check-in is more about is this working or am I just not working on this thing? Is it. Providing what I'm expecting it to provide, or did I write this down because everybody else was doing it? So taking a look at what your goals were and what Headspace you were in when you wrote them, and then really reevaluating the year.

    I think especially true with this year, the Coronavirus has thrown a damper on a lot of different things, or. Um, is making a lot of us pivot our businesses. And so this is kind of the perfect time to think about, okay, what were my goals then? What are my goals now? And how do I get there for the next six months or next three months?

    And I think that kind of brings us into how to pivot and create new goals unless, Dan, do you have anything else to say about checking in. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:03:31] No, I think it had a pivot. Basically, this year is more important than ever. Right? Like you and I were talking before we started recording this episode. What if like what if they just don't matter anymore?

    Oh, and I think with Corona, that can be especially true. I think about those folks who had in-person events planned for Q2. That I ended up getting canceled or in person events for Q3 that have had rough ticket sales because no one wants to commit to an in person event right now. Um, so how do you pivot?

    How do you adjust? I'm a good example of, this is even my own in person event. I have an in person event in September of this year, and I literally launched ticket sales the first week of March, and at the end of that week, it was declared a pandemic. And so we, we immediately stopped promoting ticket sales.

    Early bird was supposed to end March 31st but like we extended it through the end of may that, um, because you have to, you have to shift and adapt. A lot of event planners have put into place ways to still hold their event digitally. Ah, like if coronavirus is still a thing in September, we're just gonna mail everyone swag and snacks and hold it virtually.

    Mmm. So while the event industry is a more concrete example, there's other ways that this can be impacted because businesses are putting. Not essential projects on hold to focus on shifting. I'm even seeing that at work at Google, like all of the non-essential tests and planning that we have for Q2 gone out the window.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:05:16] Um, a lot of our sales goals have had to shift as well for a lot of business owners I work for. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:05:22] Yeah, exactly. Um, so it's, it's an interesting, right? It's a, a reminder of those dream to do list. That we have and that we've never gotten done. We've seen a lot of personal ability to do that. I mean, my Instagram has been flooded with people organizing their homes and doing all those projects that we'd ever got to.

    A friend of mine is live documenting her home renovation that they just decided to do since her and her husband are both at home right now. Um. So there is a lot of that going on and it makes you think about, you know, what's important because a lot of times we just carry things over on our to do, to do list from one day to the next to the next  to the next. And next thing you know, for six months you've been carrying this item over. Maybe it's time to scratch it off and let it go. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:06:15] Or really do the damn thing now because we have time. So like for me, I was super excited. I bought a course at the beginning or the end of last year, and I was like, hell yeah, this is the time I'm going to do this thing.

    And then. As you guys know, or as Dannie knows, my mom got really sick and I had to go back to Michigan and just a lot of things kept getting in the way and it kept getting pushed on the back burner. But now we have time, like take some time to  finish those courses. Take that time to read that workbook that you purchased. Take this time to really focus on your business too, and come back stronger than ever because.  this isn't going to last forever. It's just a season, just like anything else. Um, and it's the perfect time to make those pivots, if that's what you want to do.  

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:07:08] yeah, that's spot on. So if you're going to pivot and if you're going to set new goals, let's talk about measuring those goals, right?

    Um, so you've all heard of smart goals, right? Simple, measurable, actionable. Repeatable, right? Something like that. Anyway, look into smart goals. It's a good way to measure it. And before we started recording, Caitlyn and I were talking about the difference between measuring quantitative goals and qualitative goals, right?

    Quantitative goals, easy to measure. Did you hit your numbers? Did you produce the X number of things that you plan to produce? So for us, did we complete all 20 episodes of season four. Like, that's really easy. You either publish 20 episodes or you didn't. 

    Um, but those qualitative goals, write those in a little bit harder to measuring, to understand and to think about.

    So when you're setting, qualitative goals, think about breaking the master qualitative goal into quantitative chunks. So if you're writing a book. Maybe set a goal of recording writing 2000 words a week, or if you want to build a coaching program, set a goal of developing one chunk of it a week for the next seven weeks and really break it down so that way you have ways to check the box in in an actually measurable way, and you don't find yourself at the day of the deadline with. No book written or no program developed 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:08:45] and schedule time on your calendar to do the damn thing. Like that's what I see missing all of the time is, Oh yeah, I'm going to do, I'm going to write a chapter of my book this week because that's my goal is to write a chapter a week for the next three months.

    It's not on their calendar, like they're not actually doing the thing. So when you're writing and you're making these smart goals or these quantitative goals, um, I always recommend having a chunk of time in your week and always putting it at the beginning of the week cause we know that we're going to switch it.

    Let's be honest, we all do it. We all push it to the end of the week, but that you do it. And. Find an accountability buddy for it. We all, all of us out there, especially in the creative industry, have goals and things that we want to achieve. Talk to your friends, see if they can hold you accountable, and maybe they have something that they want be held accountable for too.

    I think that is my number one recommendation is just having somebody to check in with, Hey, have you done this thing this week? I haven't. I have, 

    um. Or I'm working on it tomorrow instead of today, like I planned, whatever. Um, but 100% what Dannie said, I always, always, always recommend quantitative goals or the over qualitative goals because qualitative can be emotionally charged and you can never actually get the thing done because there's no measurement to it.

    So always set a quantitative goal or. Mmm. Make sure that there is quantitative pieces to that goal at the end of the day. Um, 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:10:35] let's talk about our goals. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:10:37] Yeah, that's what I was just about to say. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:10:41] Um, so if you want to see my 2020 goals, you can head to  danniefountaint.com/blog/goals/update and you can see the recap of what I did in 2019 and what I'm doing this year. And I have, looking at this list, I have seven goals. Uh, two of them. 

    Are quantitative numbers based and the rest are qualitative. So of those quantitative goals, right. I have finished paying off my debt, which as of January 1st I had $48,000 as of recording this episode at the end of March, I have 18,000 left. It's like we're chugging along. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:11:23] wait a second. Like, let's celebrate that, right quick? Hell yeah. That's amazing. Dannie. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:11:31] And then my other quantitative goal is to read books following the read harder challenge. Um, and it's the end of march. I've read 31 books so far this year. Uh, coronavirus definitely helped with that one.

    Hey, maybe you're hurting some people's goals, but it's definitely helping my reading goal. So especially with all of these companies like, um, Apple books and scribed, giving free access to libraries of books certainly helps. Um, and then qualitatively, I have be more minimalist, get healthy, be a better caretaker, uh, transition my business.

    Um, so the transition of business one is done. Like I rebranded that launched sometime in January. Life is good. Uh, and the others I'm just working on, right? Like, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:12:25] can we talk about how you, how do you check that off of your to do list? How do you know when it's completed? Do you have, like after you've written that qualitative goal, how do you know when it's done.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:12:37] It's a good question, right? Um, you kind of have to write down the measurement. So going back to when we were talking about measuring, when you write, when you read a quantitative goal, it's easy. There is $48,000 of debt when that number is zero, that goal is complete. Cross it off. Okay. When you sat that qualitative goal, transition my business fully from its current iteration to its future state, that's vague as fuck.

    But, uh, I had already committed to a rebrand when I wrote that goal. And so the, the way that I decided to measure it is. Launch the rebrand and book one new client under the rebranded like entity. Right. Um, so check, check. And for me, that's complete. So when you're setting those qualitative goals, define how you'll measure it, and if you publish your goals publicly, like I do, you don't need to publish the measurement metric, but have it written down somewhere.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:40] Yeah, that's what I wanted to get at, was making sure that you're writing down kind of what it means to finish it, because I've worked on lots of teams where we've set goals, and then at the end we're like, okay. So I think I hit this goal, but like we never really figured out what it meant to finish it.

    Um, so I think that's something that, uh, is definitely something that's lacking in goal setting that a lot of people don't talk about. Um, for me this year I didn't really set many goals. Uh, to be honest, I think this year my. A mindset walking into 2020 was, I want this to be a year of, um, just like openness for me. So allowing myself to breathe and allowing myself to have kind of. A vagueness to it. Um, but one thing that I did say I wanted to do was to be more consistent on social media. And, um, I'm definitely doing that. You'll see, uh, Instagram stories for me, Instagram feed posts from me, something that was very much lacking before and more talking about business oriented things and not just personal.

    Um. Uh, another thing that I. I told myself I wanted to do at the beginning of the year was to work on my health and wellness. So I've really been focused on like meditating at nighttime. Um, and. Going to the gym. though` the Coronavirus thing is definitely impacted that. Right. So, um, but figuring out how to transition it to your home, like that's, it's just something that makes, makes me feel better.

    Um, so I do it, and I think the last thing that I really wanted to do in my business was pivot. And so I'm working on finishing that pivot and I hope to have it done by the end of this. Uh. Second quarter, uh, I've really pivoting into the integrator, the COO role. Um, I have been taking a course by Kristin Kaplan.

    Um, that has been awesome and amazing and super helpful in making that transition. And I'm just. Super excited to continue working towards that. But yeah, I think for me, I have a hard time. I have an easy time helping other people goal set a boat when it comes to me, I'm just kind of like, yeah, I'll get there when I get there.

    So, uh, for me it's been really good to have that accountability partner or that accountability buddy that's like, Hey, yo, checking in. How you doing? Um, that's super helpful. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:16:35] Love, it, so I wanna know. Let us know as we wrap up this episode, come find us on Instagram and let us know what your goals are. Are you pivoting at this half year Mark?

    Are you re-evaluating the way that you are measuring success? come strike up conversation. We'll have some resources in the show notes for you to make this a little bit easier. And in the meantime, we'll see you next week. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:17:01] See you later.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Rosalia Rivera of About Consent Podcast.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    Knowing when it is time to turn away from something because the passion is gone.

    The impact that the cultural landscape can have on your side hustle.

    being able to take a step back and separate family life from your side hustle.

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    Episode Transcript

     

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:00:21] Hey guys, welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. I am so excited today because we have Carey of cor marketing. Um, Carey and I met a couple of years ago, um, when Rosemary Watson, um, connected us. We went to a like retreat together type thing. Um, and it was just, it was so much fun to connect with entrepreneurs and that's something that a lot of us probably don't do, especially for side hustling. There is a lot of work that's going into it. So I'm taking the time to go out and meet people, uh, can bring you business because now Carey and I work together. So Carey, tell us a little bit about, you. 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:01:06] Um, my name is Carey Osenbau I have kind of been in this, um, what you would call like web and marketing space, probably almost 15 years now.

    I started back in early two thousands before this whole. Online VA space really was a big thing. It was just starting to pick up steam. I worked in the legal field and realized very quickly with two small children that that wasn't going to be an option for me anymore unless I wanted to pay massive amounts of money to.

    For daycare costs and what's the point of working at that point? So, um, I quickly, I had to find another solution and I stumbled upon this world of, um, designing websites, designing e-commerce. So I quickly dove in, made some connections, and. Started, um, providing those services, um, learning all that I could about design and development.

    I'm pretty much self, self taught myself from the very beginning. Um, since then I worked for multiple companies, um, worked for startups, Mmm. Wellness practitioners. And so learning the ins and outs of all their different types of businesses, but all while still continuing to provide, Mmm. You know, services to other clients on the side.

    So I was still, while I had like full time jobs throughout my, um, for the last 15 years, I always continue to work on the side building websites, um, making connections, um, and essentially continuing to run that type of business. Ref mainly off of just referrals. So, you know, I would do something for somebody and then they're like, Hey, you know, Carrie's really good at what she does.

    If you need a website, go give her a call. So. For the longest time, I've essentially grown my side business based purely off of referrals. Um, I did go back to school and get my biz finished up, my business degree. So I was able to kind of connect all the pieces as far as being able to help small businesses and medium sized businesses, tie everything together through marketing, through business structure, and then also design and development and marketing their businesses online.

    Mmm. So I think seven years ago, after working full time for a wellness practitioner, I, um, was pregnant with my now seven year old and I decided to jump back into taking my side hustle full time. And so, um, continued to grow. Over the last two years, I've gotten so busy that I decided, um, that it was time to build a team.

    And so, I mean, last year we did our first, um, six figure year, and it's been a, an amazing kind of journey and all the, uh, the Austin businesses that we get to work with. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:04:08] So it really sounds like a lot of connections have brought you the business that you've had. How do you. Like, how do you build those connections, um, outside of like, of course somebody is a, a client and then they're referring, but how have you really built those connections? And then the followup question to that is, are the. Times that you connect with people who are referrals. Is that ever awkward? Um like, Oh, well this person knew you, so you must be good type of thing, versus they're finding you organically and they think that you're good, if that makes sense?

    Carey Osenbau: [00:04:49] Okay. Um, so as far as being able to connect with people, that's always been a big struggle for me.

    Um. I don't know. I don't consider myself an introvert. Once I get to know somebody, I kind of like open up and like blossom. And then, you know, I'm a chatterbox, but it's, I've always been kind of shy in nature. So that's always been one area that I've struggled in. So I've been, I kind of look for opportunities and honestly, um, with the online Instagram community has really, um, made it easier to connect with people.

    That are doing the same types of work that you're doing and being a, you know, a work from home entrepreneur, it's really hard to get out unless there's somebody that's put something together. I'm some kind of community to where that you can get out and meet other type of like minded business owners.

    So having the Instagram community has been amazing. Um, and the opportunities that have actually come from that. And being able to promote other people because you're meeting all different types of people that do different things. So if you're niched and specialized in one specific thing, you may have, um.

    Somebody that you've connected with that maybe does similar type of work, but if they say, specialize in Squarespace and they come across a client that needs Shopify help, then they're, because you've made that connection and you've built that trust factor with them, they're more willing to give you that referral because you have built that.

    Um. That relationship with them. Um, and then one thing that has really helped too with the referral base business is is essentially how you treat your customers. And, you know, I tried to always provide the best experience, um, go above and beyond. Um. What my offering is, and really tried to educate and, and give the best product that I can.

    And that has really helped too. Um, it's, the service that you provide is also self-promotion because if, if your client has a great experience, obviously they're going to refer you to other people because once you build that trust with a client, there. More willing to give you, like they're trusted people that they have relationships with. So, um, and then the second part of your question was, can you, um, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:07:21] yeah. So do you ever find it awkward when you have a. Referral come through, um, where they just, instead of knowing your work and knowing what you offer, they just kind of come in and are like, well, you've worked with this person, so I'm sure that you can do this. Like, is it ever awkward trying to explain your products to somebody who already thinks that you can give them what they need? 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:07:48] Um, I think I've been in this business so long that maybe in the beginning it was, I mean, I've had some, um. Maybe drawbacks to that. But as I've continued to grow and I'm actually like one of the things that has helped with that as, as far as like niching, but I do understand what you're saying.

    Cause sometimes if you niche so far down, people are like, well, do you do this? And being like. With my company, we are kind of like a one stop shop. We do a lot of different things. So, um, it is surprising to clients sometimes all of the different types of services that we offer because we don't always communicate that in our marketing and advertising.

    Um, and then also, um, as far as people that maybe just organically have found me, um, it's usually based. Same. It's based on what we have advertised our services to be, but then once you get to know the the customer, then it's easier to kind of just tell them like all the additional stuff

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:08:50] So some things that he liked to go above and beyond for a client. But let's talk about going above and beyond for a client because there can be going above and beyond and shooting yourself in the foot. So how have you dealt with that? Um, are you dealing with that? Has that been a struggle? 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:09:08] Well over, probably I say the last, um, this last phase of my business going, working for myself full time.

    I have dealt with lots of issues as far as, you know, undercharging, undervaluing my work. Um. And, and as a freelancer in the beginning, trying to do and serve and do more, like going above and beyond essentially is led myself to burn out multiple times and having, you know, adrenal fatigue and then finding out I have thyroid issues.

    So through that whole process, I've had a lot of growth as far as, and I've worked with some like one-on-one coaches as far as. Um, learning to, you know, value my time and my energy. And so part of that growth has led to building a team. So then we can still go above and beyond, provide value for the client at a rate that is.

    You know, we're able to charge our customer a rate that values our time and abilities, but still to the point where I'm not taking everything on myself. It's distributed. And, Through throughout my team. So then I can focus on my strong points. And then the other people within my team focus on their strong points.

    So it's, it's, uh, it's a group effort as far as that, because now with some of the health issues that I have, stress plays a big factor in it. So I have to. Be very specific about how much I can take on, um, to continue to keep up with, um, some of my health struggles that I have.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:10:53] So there's a lot that has to be balanced here, and there's a lot that you're juggling and there's a lot that requires open transparency with your clients. I think I can relate to this in terms of like being really transparent about when Google completely sucks over my business schedule, right? Caitlyn can relate especially with what's been going on recently in her life.

    how do you. Cause I struggle with this too. How do you let go of the pride and the fear around sharing what's going on so that your clients like understand what's going on in it doesn't just come across that you're screwing around. Cause that's always my fear. 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:11:35] Right. Um, that's a hard one because there is that whole thing.

    Do you share your struggles online in fear of then people aren't going to book you because. They have issues and they probably can't give my  Mmm. My project, their full attention. So it's been interesting because one of the groups that I have found through the rising tide society, there is a small group called the, um, for people with chronic illnesses.

    So that's been interesting to be able to connect with people who are struggling with some of the same issues that you have. But, um, I am not, I haven't been 100% that's one thing I still do struggle with. Like for instance, and I haven't shared this with a lot of people. Last summer I had a miscarriage and I was down for probably a month and I didn't, I didn't share it with many people, but I think one of the things that really helped was.

    Building. And I think with, with having a team in place, um, that is really important as you continue to like grow a business is you can have people that you depend on that can be there to pick up those pieces when you can't. And that has been a huge game changer. Like having people on my team, like Caitlyn, like I know. Without a doubt that I can rely on her. If I have to step up, step back, that she can, she can do everything in my business. And that's a little scary sometimes, but I have that full trust in her and it's also like, yes, having somebody that works for you, but building those relationships with those people that you can build that trust in them and they can take over for you if you are not being able or if you're not, to be able to.

    Be there 100% and take a step back.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:26] I agree. I mean, outside of the fact that I love working with you, Carey, I think that when you have health issues, knowing that. Somebody can be there to pick up the Slack if, if you need, like that is a game changer for business owners. Um, and I think that so many people are afraid to grow their team, but at the end of the day, if, especially if there are things like that, it's super important to make sure that you're sharing your knowledge with your team in case anything happens. Because. I actually had a client two years ago who went to the hospital for two weeks, like was in the hospital, couldn't communicate with anybody and. The team had to keep working. We couldn't just stop our work. Um, so making sure that you're communicating with your team in case you ever do, find yourself outside of, outside of your position or in a place where you know, you, you have a miscarriage or you're having a baby. Um, making it self-reliant a little bit. 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:14:33] Yeah. And I think that goes both ways. Like just in the last few weeks, like even with your situation, not being able to be like 100% I recognize that. And so like we just shift focus to other things at the time until you're able to come back and be like 100% so I think that that goes, I think when you have a really.

    Good, cohesive team. Um, there can be a lot of sliding back and forth and focusing on what needs to at the time. So if anybody's going through, because I mean, business is business and we're not big giant corporate businesses where, okay. Jim's gone for the week. Like Bob, you take over. Right? So, I mean, these are small businesses.

    We work closely with clients, and so you have to be able to be flexible and there's always seasons. So just having that strong, team environment and communication is really important when you're running a small business.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:15:33] So I want to shift gears a little because I think that this also delves into just overall project management and the way that you're thinking about things and legacy planning. We hear all the time about business owners who haven't planned for what happens for their business, and then it ends up in probate and it's a whole thing.

    Um, what. Project management tools are you using? How do you use them? What are the processes that you really get excited about that make all of this shifting and adjusting more logical? 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:16:06] So doing this for a long time for, I was in the camp of let's fly by the seat of your pants, right? So when you go through things like.

    You know, health issues, you realize, well, this isn't really working for me anymore and I should probably be a little bit more organized. So even before I brought a project manager on, I started using tools. So one of the things that I love using, I can't remember it, he's a couple of years back because to me it doesn't matter anymore.

    But we love asana I love I love Google Google calendar If I didn't have Google calendar my whole life would fall apart Mmm And I use a CRM that kind of manages all of our clients and everything So I use 17 hats I've gone through and used them all and that seemed to be the one that worked the best for my business So we've set up automations for um lead generation Um And I think onboarding and those types of things But one of the really cool things by bringing somebody in like caitlyn is she um with her help we've been able to develop processes for the different types of services that we offer So and what's so we have taken like a whole project So say you're building a site from scratch We have everything from Collecting information from the client to onboarding them to the design phase the development phase review launch and then offboarding So we have gone through multiple projects We're able to look at look at each one after we finish and say okay so when we have our quarterly business meetings we say okay let's go over each one of our projects and say what was great about this one and what could we have done differently So then we're able to find tune our processes and then and so with each different type of project now it's kind of like second nature So it was interesting I think even the last um this last year We had issues where we had all these clients booked and then some of these clients were getting held up and one of the processes and then it created this like you know uh everything ended up getting backed up So then we had like three or four projects all at once So then our small team is not able to give the level of focus to the each of the clients So then we realized okay then we need to go back and Essentially even we decided even to put in a week zero for our process So are we zero is everything that the client actually has to get to us before we will even start or touch anything Cause we realized With clients not providing us content or things that we needed that that's started to bunch up our systems So being able to recognize that put new things in place for processes So now we've almost have it to where our process essentially if anybody else had to come in they could see that the way that we have it all laid out and take over if needed 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:19:26] Yeah Having a full process outlined It also helps with that legacy right Because if for whatever reason carey or I was out for a week we could have one of our other people on the team come in and see where we are in the process and be able to walk through those steps pretty pretty smoothly Um so I think Making sure that you have those in place especially as you're hiring or hiring somebody to help you make those is a really good business move. Carey what what is something that you've seen so you've been doing this for a while What is something that you've seen change in the business or entrepreneur online entrepreneur world? From the beginning to now? What is something like a big shift that you've seen?

    Carey Osenbau: [00:20:14] Um the way that it's really the way that marketing is done Um even in the beginning working for companies we didn't have the whole social media space We didn't have I mean there were still Google search. There was like if you really want to get any advertisement we I worked for an ergonomic company and the like you know Mid two thousands and you'd have to send in a whole request to get your product reviewed So they would stick it in the you know Mack magazine at the time and then that could take like months and you know or even advertising in print There's a lot of advertising in print So that's before The online space really completely like ramped up You'd have websites for information and then we started getting into being able to purchase online Um but that has been the biggest shift is is The ability to be able to market yourself online essentially for little to no cost and connect with people and build a community with with the inter with the internet and the social media channels like that has been a huge thing And and also the shift in And I talked to my husband about this all the time because he works in corporate America The way that the advertising of old and the way that we connect and advertise and build relationships now online is a lot different especially for I think females in this space to be able to like you know I know a gal in California and she does this and I have friends up in Michigan  So uh one of the biggest changes that ha I have seen in over the last years is how female entrepreneurs have kind of changed the space to be able to connect and market products I'm using social channels Mmm Even a few years back The options for women We're to essentially be secretaries or go through um different you know if they went for further in college work for advertising agencies you can work in some kind of like corporate So to be able to be a female entrepreneur to raise families you really had limited options um for like stay at home moms Like you could get a couple more kids and like start you know babysit kids and make some extra money or different things Or maybe start A little side crafting or um but just the ability to for women to be able to shift and use the online space to be able to develop a product develop idea and market and make just as much money as they could working You know a nine to five job has has been a huge shift and the community aspect of it the way that women are supporting each other It's not this you know Mmm dog eat dog You know You know I'm not going to support you because I'm out there trying to get the same type of business that you are You can have Connections with people that do the same type of thing because like they say there is enough you know there is is enough work There is enough opportunities out there because you can reach so many more people Now 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:23:37] I think that that's so spot on We have such an opportunity to be stronger here and in a lot of ways that needs to be done So this has been a truly awesome episode Thank you so much for uh giving us your time I would love for the audience to be able to connect with you. Where can they come hang out with you online? 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:23:58] Um I'm mainly on Instagram just at Cor marketing And um that's my main thing I also website cormarketinggroup.com he can connect with me there Also believe we're on Pinterest and LinkedIn Um so yeah. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:24:17] Well thank you so much for hanging out today and we'll have all of that length in the show notes 

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Carey Osenbau of Cor Marketing Group.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    How you can build your side hustle solely from referrals.

    How to. build connections for your businesses outside of just your client referrals.

    The difference between finding a client organically vs a referral and how to approach each.

     Finding the difference between going above and beyond for a client and going too far.

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram | Linkedin | Pinterest

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript

     

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:00:21] Hey guys, welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. I am so excited today because we have Carey of cor marketing. Um, Carey and I met a couple of years ago, um, when Rosemary Watson, um, connected us. We went to a like retreat together type thing. Um, and it was just, it was so much fun to connect with entrepreneurs and that's something that a lot of us probably don't do, especially for side hustling. There is a lot of work that's going into it. So I'm taking the time to go out and meet people, uh, can bring you business because now Carey and I work together. So Carey, tell us a little bit about, you. 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:01:06] Um, my name is Carey Osenbau I have kind of been in this, um, what you would call like web and marketing space, probably almost 15 years now.

    I started back in early two thousands before this whole. Online VA space really was a big thing. It was just starting to pick up steam. I worked in the legal field and realized very quickly with two small children that that wasn't going to be an option for me anymore unless I wanted to pay massive amounts of money to.

    For daycare costs and what's the point of working at that point? So, um, I quickly, I had to find another solution and I stumbled upon this world of, um, designing websites, designing e-commerce. So I quickly dove in, made some connections, and. Started, um, providing those services, um, learning all that I could about design and development.

    I'm pretty much self, self taught myself from the very beginning. Um, since then I worked for multiple companies, um, worked for startups, Mmm. Wellness practitioners. And so learning the ins and outs of all their different types of businesses, but all while still continuing to provide, Mmm. You know, services to other clients on the side.

    So I was still, while I had like full time jobs throughout my, um, for the last 15 years, I always continue to work on the side building websites, um, making connections, um, and essentially continuing to run that type of business. Ref mainly off of just referrals. So, you know, I would do something for somebody and then they're like, Hey, you know, Carrie's really good at what she does.

    If you need a website, go give her a call. So. For the longest time, I've essentially grown my side business based purely off of referrals. Um, I did go back to school and get my biz finished up, my business degree. So I was able to kind of connect all the pieces as far as being able to help small businesses and medium sized businesses, tie everything together through marketing, through business structure, and then also design and development and marketing their businesses online.

    Mmm. So I think seven years ago, after working full time for a wellness practitioner, I, um, was pregnant with my now seven year old and I decided to jump back into taking my side hustle full time. And so, um, continued to grow. Over the last two years, I've gotten so busy that I decided, um, that it was time to build a team.

    And so, I mean, last year we did our first, um, six figure year, and it's been a, an amazing kind of journey and all the, uh, the Austin businesses that we get to work with. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:04:08] So it really sounds like a lot of connections have brought you the business that you've had. How do you. Like, how do you build those connections, um, outside of like, of course somebody is a, a client and then they're referring, but how have you really built those connections? And then the followup question to that is, are the. Times that you connect with people who are referrals. Is that ever awkward? Um like, Oh, well this person knew you, so you must be good type of thing, versus they're finding you organically and they think that you're good, if that makes sense?

    Carey Osenbau: [00:04:49] Okay. Um, so as far as being able to connect with people, that's always been a big struggle for me.

    Um. I don't know. I don't consider myself an introvert. Once I get to know somebody, I kind of like open up and like blossom. And then, you know, I'm a chatterbox, but it's, I've always been kind of shy in nature. So that's always been one area that I've struggled in. So I've been, I kind of look for opportunities and honestly, um, with the online Instagram community has really, um, made it easier to connect with people.

    That are doing the same types of work that you're doing and being a, you know, a work from home entrepreneur, it's really hard to get out unless there's somebody that's put something together. I'm some kind of community to where that you can get out and meet other type of like minded business owners.

    So having the Instagram community has been amazing. Um, and the opportunities that have actually come from that. And being able to promote other people because you're meeting all different types of people that do different things. So if you're niched and specialized in one specific thing, you may have, um.

    Somebody that you've connected with that maybe does similar type of work, but if they say, specialize in Squarespace and they come across a client that needs Shopify help, then they're, because you've made that connection and you've built that trust factor with them, they're more willing to give you that referral because you have built that.

    Um. That relationship with them. Um, and then one thing that has really helped too with the referral base business is is essentially how you treat your customers. And, you know, I tried to always provide the best experience, um, go above and beyond. Um. What my offering is, and really tried to educate and, and give the best product that I can.

    And that has really helped too. Um, it's, the service that you provide is also self-promotion because if, if your client has a great experience, obviously they're going to refer you to other people because once you build that trust with a client, there. More willing to give you, like they're trusted people that they have relationships with. So, um, and then the second part of your question was, can you, um, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:07:21] yeah. So do you ever find it awkward when you have a. Referral come through, um, where they just, instead of knowing your work and knowing what you offer, they just kind of come in and are like, well, you've worked with this person, so I'm sure that you can do this. Like, is it ever awkward trying to explain your products to somebody who already thinks that you can give them what they need? 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:07:48] Um, I think I've been in this business so long that maybe in the beginning it was, I mean, I've had some, um. Maybe drawbacks to that. But as I've continued to grow and I'm actually like one of the things that has helped with that as, as far as like niching, but I do understand what you're saying.

    Cause sometimes if you niche so far down, people are like, well, do you do this? And being like. With my company, we are kind of like a one stop shop. We do a lot of different things. So, um, it is surprising to clients sometimes all of the different types of services that we offer because we don't always communicate that in our marketing and advertising.

    Um, and then also, um, as far as people that maybe just organically have found me, um, it's usually based. Same. It's based on what we have advertised our services to be, but then once you get to know the the customer, then it's easier to kind of just tell them like all the additional stuff

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:08:50] So some things that he liked to go above and beyond for a client. But let's talk about going above and beyond for a client because there can be going above and beyond and shooting yourself in the foot. So how have you dealt with that? Um, are you dealing with that? Has that been a struggle? 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:09:08] Well over, probably I say the last, um, this last phase of my business going, working for myself full time.

    I have dealt with lots of issues as far as, you know, undercharging, undervaluing my work. Um. And, and as a freelancer in the beginning, trying to do and serve and do more, like going above and beyond essentially is led myself to burn out multiple times and having, you know, adrenal fatigue and then finding out I have thyroid issues.

    So through that whole process, I've had a lot of growth as far as, and I've worked with some like one-on-one coaches as far as. Um, learning to, you know, value my time and my energy. And so part of that growth has led to building a team. So then we can still go above and beyond, provide value for the client at a rate that is.

    You know, we're able to charge our customer a rate that values our time and abilities, but still to the point where I'm not taking everything on myself. It's distributed. And, Through throughout my team. So then I can focus on my strong points. And then the other people within my team focus on their strong points.

    So it's, it's, uh, it's a group effort as far as that, because now with some of the health issues that I have, stress plays a big factor in it. So I have to. Be very specific about how much I can take on, um, to continue to keep up with, um, some of my health struggles that I have.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:10:53] So there's a lot that has to be balanced here, and there's a lot that you're juggling and there's a lot that requires open transparency with your clients. I think I can relate to this in terms of like being really transparent about when Google completely sucks over my business schedule, right? Caitlyn can relate especially with what's been going on recently in her life.

    how do you. Cause I struggle with this too. How do you let go of the pride and the fear around sharing what's going on so that your clients like understand what's going on in it doesn't just come across that you're screwing around. Cause that's always my fear. 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:11:35] Right. Um, that's a hard one because there is that whole thing.

    Do you share your struggles online in fear of then people aren't going to book you because. They have issues and they probably can't give my  Mmm. My project, their full attention. So it's been interesting because one of the groups that I have found through the rising tide society, there is a small group called the, um, for people with chronic illnesses.

    So that's been interesting to be able to connect with people who are struggling with some of the same issues that you have. But, um, I am not, I haven't been 100% that's one thing I still do struggle with. Like for instance, and I haven't shared this with a lot of people. Last summer I had a miscarriage and I was down for probably a month and I didn't, I didn't share it with many people, but I think one of the things that really helped was.

    Building. And I think with, with having a team in place, um, that is really important as you continue to like grow a business is you can have people that you depend on that can be there to pick up those pieces when you can't. And that has been a huge game changer. Like having people on my team, like Caitlyn, like I know. Without a doubt that I can rely on her. If I have to step up, step back, that she can, she can do everything in my business. And that's a little scary sometimes, but I have that full trust in her and it's also like, yes, having somebody that works for you, but building those relationships with those people that you can build that trust in them and they can take over for you if you are not being able or if you're not, to be able to.

    Be there 100% and take a step back.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:26] I agree. I mean, outside of the fact that I love working with you, Carey, I think that when you have health issues, knowing that. Somebody can be there to pick up the Slack if, if you need, like that is a game changer for business owners. Um, and I think that so many people are afraid to grow their team, but at the end of the day, if, especially if there are things like that, it's super important to make sure that you're sharing your knowledge with your team in case anything happens. Because. I actually had a client two years ago who went to the hospital for two weeks, like was in the hospital, couldn't communicate with anybody and. The team had to keep working. We couldn't just stop our work. Um, so making sure that you're communicating with your team in case you ever do, find yourself outside of, outside of your position or in a place where you know, you, you have a miscarriage or you're having a baby. Um, making it self-reliant a little bit. 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:14:33] Yeah. And I think that goes both ways. Like just in the last few weeks, like even with your situation, not being able to be like 100% I recognize that. And so like we just shift focus to other things at the time until you're able to come back and be like 100% so I think that that goes, I think when you have a really.

    Good, cohesive team. Um, there can be a lot of sliding back and forth and focusing on what needs to at the time. So if anybody's going through, because I mean, business is business and we're not big giant corporate businesses where, okay. Jim's gone for the week. Like Bob, you take over. Right? So, I mean, these are small businesses.

    We work closely with clients, and so you have to be able to be flexible and there's always seasons. So just having that strong, team environment and communication is really important when you're running a small business.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:15:33] So I want to shift gears a little because I think that this also delves into just overall project management and the way that you're thinking about things and legacy planning. We hear all the time about business owners who haven't planned for what happens for their business, and then it ends up in probate and it's a whole thing.

    Um, what. Project management tools are you using? How do you use them? What are the processes that you really get excited about that make all of this shifting and adjusting more logical? 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:16:06] So doing this for a long time for, I was in the camp of let's fly by the seat of your pants, right? So when you go through things like.

    You know, health issues, you realize, well, this isn't really working for me anymore and I should probably be a little bit more organized. So even before I brought a project manager on, I started using tools. So one of the things that I love using, I can't remember it, he's a couple of years back because to me it doesn't matter anymore.

    But we love asana I love I love Google Google calendar If I didn't have Google calendar my whole life would fall apart Mmm And I use a CRM that kind of manages all of our clients and everything So I use 17 hats I've gone through and used them all and that seemed to be the one that worked the best for my business So we've set up automations for um lead generation Um And I think onboarding and those types of things But one of the really cool things by bringing somebody in like caitlyn is she um with her help we've been able to develop processes for the different types of services that we offer So and what's so we have taken like a whole project So say you're building a site from scratch We have everything from Collecting information from the client to onboarding them to the design phase the development phase review launch and then offboarding So we have gone through multiple projects We're able to look at look at each one after we finish and say okay so when we have our quarterly business meetings we say okay let's go over each one of our projects and say what was great about this one and what could we have done differently So then we're able to find tune our processes and then and so with each different type of project now it's kind of like second nature So it was interesting I think even the last um this last year We had issues where we had all these clients booked and then some of these clients were getting held up and one of the processes and then it created this like you know uh everything ended up getting backed up So then we had like three or four projects all at once So then our small team is not able to give the level of focus to the each of the clients So then we realized okay then we need to go back and Essentially even we decided even to put in a week zero for our process So are we zero is everything that the client actually has to get to us before we will even start or touch anything Cause we realized With clients not providing us content or things that we needed that that's started to bunch up our systems So being able to recognize that put new things in place for processes So now we've almost have it to where our process essentially if anybody else had to come in they could see that the way that we have it all laid out and take over if needed 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:19:26] Yeah Having a full process outlined It also helps with that legacy right Because if for whatever reason carey or I was out for a week we could have one of our other people on the team come in and see where we are in the process and be able to walk through those steps pretty pretty smoothly Um so I think Making sure that you have those in place especially as you're hiring or hiring somebody to help you make those is a really good business move. Carey what what is something that you've seen so you've been doing this for a while What is something that you've seen change in the business or entrepreneur online entrepreneur world? From the beginning to now? What is something like a big shift that you've seen?

    Carey Osenbau: [00:20:14] Um the way that it's really the way that marketing is done Um even in the beginning working for companies we didn't have the whole social media space We didn't have I mean there were still Google search. There was like if you really want to get any advertisement we I worked for an ergonomic company and the like you know Mid two thousands and you'd have to send in a whole request to get your product reviewed So they would stick it in the you know Mack magazine at the time and then that could take like months and you know or even advertising in print There's a lot of advertising in print So that's before The online space really completely like ramped up You'd have websites for information and then we started getting into being able to purchase online Um but that has been the biggest shift is is The ability to be able to market yourself online essentially for little to no cost and connect with people and build a community with with the inter with the internet and the social media channels like that has been a huge thing And and also the shift in And I talked to my husband about this all the time because he works in corporate America The way that the advertising of old and the way that we connect and advertise and build relationships now online is a lot different especially for I think females in this space to be able to like you know I know a gal in California and she does this and I have friends up in Michigan  So uh one of the biggest changes that ha I have seen in over the last years is how female entrepreneurs have kind of changed the space to be able to connect and market products I'm using social channels Mmm Even a few years back The options for women We're to essentially be secretaries or go through um different you know if they went for further in college work for advertising agencies you can work in some kind of like corporate So to be able to be a female entrepreneur to raise families you really had limited options um for like stay at home moms Like you could get a couple more kids and like start you know babysit kids and make some extra money or different things Or maybe start A little side crafting or um but just the ability to for women to be able to shift and use the online space to be able to develop a product develop idea and market and make just as much money as they could working You know a nine to five job has has been a huge shift and the community aspect of it the way that women are supporting each other It's not this you know Mmm dog eat dog You know You know I'm not going to support you because I'm out there trying to get the same type of business that you are You can have Connections with people that do the same type of thing because like they say there is enough you know there is is enough work There is enough opportunities out there because you can reach so many more people Now 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:23:37] I think that that's so spot on We have such an opportunity to be stronger here and in a lot of ways that needs to be done So this has been a truly awesome episode Thank you so much for uh giving us your time I would love for the audience to be able to connect with you. Where can they come hang out with you online? 

    Carey Osenbau: [00:23:58] Um I'm mainly on Instagram just at Cor marketing And um that's my main thing I also website cormarketinggroup.com he can connect with me there Also believe we're on Pinterest and LinkedIn Um so yeah. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:24:17] Well thank you so much for hanging out today and we'll have all of that length in the show notes 

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Belma McCaffrey of Work Bigger.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    What it takes to get your side hustle off the ground and into a full-time gig.

    Knowing when it is time to make pivots in your side hustle.

    Connecting with your pain points and coming back stronger from them.

     Audio Freebie!

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript

     

    Belma McCaffrey

     

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. We're so excited to have Belma McCaffrey here today from work, bigger talking about all things side hustling, and Belma. Thank you so much for being here today. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:00:34] My pleasure. Hi ladies. Thank you so much for having me. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:39] Of course, we'd love to hear from you a little bit about what you do and why you identify as a side hustler.

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:00:45] Yeah. Uh, so I run a career development coaching platform called work bigger. And our mission is to help people do work they love. That makes an impact that makes a difference in the world without burning out. And we do that through a group coaching membership. We do that through, um, private coaching and also working with organizations to lead to lead trainings.

    And I identify as a side hustler because work bigger was a side hustle for, I want to say a little more than two years. Uh, before I started running it full time. And that experience of building, launching, building, and just running a business as a side hustle taught me so much about myself and what it takes to get something off the ground.

    And it was. I couldn't have done it without really starting it as, as a side hustle. So yeah, that's why I really, I really connect to the work you ladies are doing here with the podcast. And you know, um, when I heard about you guys, I was like, yes, this is awesome. I know there's like a whole movement of side hustle happening cause I think people are really looking to bring their dreams and their goals to life.

    And you can always do it by jumping into it full time. It's not, it's not realistic or possible for everyone. So. Um, being able to start something while you're still working, I think is, it's just powerful. It allows you to get to that, you know, to that longer term vision that you have. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:02:19] Yeah. And I feel like it also allows you to have art to like express passion that you might not be able to in your everyday life or your corporate job, um, on the side as well. So it keeps you, I dunno, for me, when I first started out, it kept me very motivated in my corporate job as well as like, because I was. Finally feeling passionate again, I guess, if that makes sense. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:02:44] Absolutely. It's, um, you're like filling gaps that you can't fill with your, with your nine to five, right. Or with your like full time job. And that's, um. Yeah. And I can share more too about like why I started work bigger and, and all of that, if that'd be helpful for you guys. But 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:03] yeah, we'd love to hear, we'd love to hear more. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:03:06] Yeah. Um, so I started work bigger because of a personal pain point. I, I spent all of my twenties. I was really ambitious and driven like, right as soon as I graduated college.

    Uh, but I. You know, I was like excited to be working. I just felt really lost and disconnected a few months into my first job, and I thought the pro, like I thought the job was the problem. I was like, Oh, this just isn't the right job. So. I'm going to go find another job. And I did. And I approached that job.

    That other job would like that same like ambition and excitement, but then I would hit a wall and I realized from like, you know, even my college years, I was like approaching my career path just without clarity, without intention. I was trying to answer that question of what do I want to be when I grow up and what do I want to do with my own life?

    And. It was really hard. So after working in media for about seven years, I decided to go back to business school full time. So I gave up a pretty. Pretty good salary too, for like for the age that I was at. Uh, and I S yeah, I gave up that salary. I had to pay like all of the tuition that comes with, with business school.

    And that's where I saw that all of my classmates are kind of in the same boat. Everybody was like, Oh, we're here in business school cause we're hoping to pivot and we don't know exactly what we want to do with that. But you know, maybe this will be our chance to like do it over. And as I, you know, as I thought about that and just continue to business school, I was like, this is pretty crazy.

    Like we're spending all this money. And all this time, and we're still not clear if we're going to get the ROI we're looking for, right? Like maybe we'll make more money, but is it gonna fill that gap that we're all looking to fill with with our careers? So that's kind of when I fell into pers, a professional development and coaching and started really thinking about what can we do to solve this problem, right?

    So that we're not spending all this money on grad school. We're really approaching it from a place of intention and clarity and where we have morer purpose behind what we are doing.

    So that's, that's why it started. And I also started to see too that as people stayed in this like cycle, I really talk about it as a cycle, right? You like test one job. It's not it. You test another job, you test another job, and then all of the meanwhile you're kind of like stuck in this place of frustration trying to figure it out and it's not working.

    I started to see that the longer people were in the cycle, the more they were making compromises and giving up on the things that they really wanted. Like it's okay if I don't, um. Fulfill my longterm dream. I'll just stick with like making some money or it's okay if I don't make a lot of money. And I just thought I was like, what a shame.

    Like people are giving up on the stuff they really desire because they aren't seeing that it's possible. So that's why I started it. It just came from like that personal struggle and I was like, this is, this is ridiculous. Like we need to do something. Something about this. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:06:06] That's honestly so relatable. Um, the audience knows that I work at Google in my nine to five, and there's this like assumption that those elite companies, right?

    You never experience things like this. Um, but even there, there's. There's a feeling of getting trapped in, of getting stuck in that cycle. Have you heard of the book pivot by Jenny Blake? It's this book cause that talks about, uh, like thinking about your career as pivot points instead of this ladder thing and that seems so in alignment with what you're doing, like setting people up to make those pivots. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:06:48] Yeah, I have heard of that book and I think her, her work is incredible. Um, exactly. And it's about too, like making those pivots, knowing what you're trying out and. You know, putting, you know, intention behind, there's different experiments and tests, right. Versus being like, okay, I'm going to try this, but like, I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to get out of it. Right. So you have like clear metrics in terms of what you want to get. Yeah. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:07:15] So I'm curious, you talk about this being a loop and a loop can kind of go two directions, right? The loop can either suck you in tighter and tighter and tighter, so it's impossible to escape that circle, or the loop can propel you out and spit you out really fast and hard. And I'm curious what advice you would give to people trying to achieve that second thing while they're stuck in the loop. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:07:44] So the loop that propels you out as the propelling of positive, or is it like, I'm so burned out, I'm just giving up? Or like I need to take like a break. What is, how do you define us for talent?

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:07:55] But it honestly could go either way, right? Like you get chewed up in spat out or you get propelled into the next best thing. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:08:03] Yeah, so I love, I love that you use that example. I think the propelling, like the way I see that happening, and I talk about this too at work bigger is you get this feeling right then I'm like, I need to get out of the cycle, and then you start to, it's kind of what happened to me. I see. I was like, I need to use this stressful experience and I need to make something of it. Um, so I do think a positive can come out of that, and what I encourage people to do is that when they're feeling that like, I'm ready, I need to do something different. I'm really done with this cycle. Take advantage of that moment.

    Don't ignore that because it's when you ignore that, that you can then like stuck in that cycle that like just gets tighter and tighter. Right? So it's really about listening to yourself. And if you don't know how, right, you're like, okay, well I'm going to break the cycle. I don't know how get help. Cause there's, I think there's so many people now who are looking for that and working through that. Um, but I think the first step is to listen to your voice. Listen to like that thing  that's telling you to do something different. That's that I think is such an important moment. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:09:11] And how would you say.  I think that I can relate to that on so many different levels because I, I was AmeriCorps Vista, which is domestic peace Corps, and when I started my, that's when I started my side hustle because Dannie's awesome and brought me in and was like, Hey, Caitlyn, I need help. Um, so. I can relate to getting out of the cycle of saying, I hate my job 24/7 or I hate this lifestyle because it's what I've chosen, even though, you know, I've signed a contract or whatever. But I think having that second job the. Being able to help other people on top of what I was doing, which if you are AmeriCorps or have ever been AmeriCorps, you totally understand that you are helping people in that capacity as well, but being able to do it and like your own way or doing something different only in the end. Can help uplift you out of like a dark, like a whole  you feel like you're in, especially in corporate America or in a job that you just absolutely you think that you hate, but you really don't hate what, what would be, what do you think is the first step to, um. I guess like starting your side hustle or , you know, transitioning into starting a business. How, how did you do that transition and what would you say is a recommendation that you would see. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:10:42] Yeah, so it took me a few iterations. It was not like so clear cut at all. Actually, before business school, I had all of these ideas. I started making jewelry. I wanted to open a food truck with my family because we're Albanian and my mom makes this incredible food and I'm like, we need to like make a business mom out of your, all of your amazing meals.

    So I had all of these ideas, you know, nothing was really clicking or working. And then when I went to business school, I partnered with two friends and we started a company called bold, and it was similar to work bigger and that it was focused on coaching. It was focused on supporting women, it was focused on career development, and that was a side hustle for good.

    Oh, you know, we started a while. We were in school, I graduated, I found out I was pregnant with my first child, and then I accepted a full time role at the associated press, but I was so dead set on being an entrepreneur that I was like, I'm going to continue this. I'm going to keep building it, and. I did that for about a year and a half, and that was really challenging.

    It didn't work. We had to shut it down, you know, I burned out really badly. But these experiences of testing things and trying things out, and also really connecting to my own. Personal pain points and giving myself some time like I did some, I did some work on myself. I really dug deep and try to figure out like, what is it that you know that I gravitate to?

    What am I interests say about me? What do my strengths say about me? Like I started doing a lot of the coaching work that I now teach, and that allowed me to commit to this path that then, you know, when we shut down that business bold. Which was so painful, you know, I thought that was going to be the one.

    Um, but when we shut that down, it allowed me to pivot to work bigger. Um, so it was a few iterations, but also really looking and understanding things like my why and understanding who I was and using that to anchor my decisions on what I was going to build. Right. So. I think you can do it that way. I think you can also like, I love what you guys said about using it to fill in certain gaps that you are currently experiencing in the workplace.

    I was also experiencing certain gaps in the workplace. I didn't have enough autonomy. I knew I wanted to constantly be creating, I was in a business development roles. So it allowed for, you know, relationship building and strategy are like my two like biggest skills. And I was able to leverage the relationship building piece and some of the strategy piece, but it wasn't enough.

    So I also started to, like when I started the side hustle, I started to do things that I wasn't able to do, like more writing. You know, work bigger started as a blog. And I saw, I was like, wow. I was like, writing really gets me in the zone and it allows me to access this part of my brain that's really creative that I wasn't doing in my nine to five.

    And that started to also clue me in on my strengths and the things that I like to do so that I could, you know, build the business around those things. So it's such a process. It's like, but you just got to do it. You just got to try something. I think. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:14:03] I definitely agree. I want to pivot briefly because you mentioned strengths, and before we jumped on the recording, we were talking about, um, the creative at heart stuff that was going on. And I'm curious, being Albanian, you have this white straight passing privilege that I also experience as a Latino woman. Uh, and I'm curious what your thoughts are on leaning into your strengths. When it comes to like your ethnic and religious and cultural diversity, um, when you have that weight straight passing privilege and how you leverage that superpower, as I like to call that.

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:14:46] So to make sure I'm, I'm understanding and hearing your question right, you're saying, how do I leverage my background as a strength? 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:14:56] Exactly. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:14:57] Okay. Yeah. Um, it's interesting. Yeah. I'm, I'm white. Um, I'm an immigrant. I'm also Muslim by family, which you would never know if you looked at me. Um, so actually when all the immigration stuff was happening and there was just so much racism going on, um, towards Muslim people, I. Felt all of that. Like a lot of it really personally and deeply, even though being able to you, you weren't allowed to practice religion because Albania was a communist country, so like they got red of a lot of the mosques are like, you weren't, you just weren't a lots of practice. I didn't grow up with a lot of the traditions, but they didn't have a huge impact on like my dad and like the way he raised us and all of that.

    I felt all of that, but I didn't experience any of the racism directly because most people don't know that I'm Muslim. Right? Cause I don't practice and I'm white. So, um, the way I use just being Albanian and even outside of, you know, being Muslim as a strength is I really just have been connecting more deeply to my heritage and, and to that part of me, like the summer.

    We went this past summer, I took a big trip with my parents, my siblings, our kids tell me, I know it was so incredible and you know, I'm like sitting there on the beach and my mom is talking, we're talking about the Albanian people and she talks about work and she said to work hardest to love life. And for me, I was like, well, this connects with everything that I'm doing with my life in terms of work bigger and I bring that stuff forward.

    I share that because. You know, building work bigger is also so deeply connected to me, being Albanian and to me seeing the struggles that my parents faced. So, and that I faced, like I left there when I was eight, you know, and I remember we didn't have like anything to play with when we were kids. I had like two colored pencils.

    We had, you know, we didn't have a lot, you know, and I went and I looked at the apartment building our we lived, and it's, it's, you know, it's not in good condition. You know, and it didn't look like that much better when I lived there. So I turned that into a strength because I use my personal experiences and my personal pain points to bring purpose to my work.

    Just like, just like I did with my experience working in corporate. Right. And the disconnection I was facing there. Um, that's how it comes into play for me. And. Yeah. I just feel like it's such a part of who I am. And for a while I just disconnected from Albanian heritage. I, um, had him the back in many years. So it just feels really awesome to connect to it. And to bring, you don't have to think about like, what are the Albanian people like? Right? And what are those parts of that culture that like really live in me like really deeply and that I can, I can bring forward so. Yeah. Does that answer your question?

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:18:07] That was so beautiful. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:18:09] Aw, thank you. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:18:11] That was amazing. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:18:12] Thank you. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:18:14] I'm excited to hear a little bit about , like using your culture and how, how does that, or does it play a role in your business now? So. I know that Dannie, with the creative at heart experience or creative at heart conference has spoken out specifically for diversity. Um, but do you, is that influential on your business at all? 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:18:45] Okay. Yeah. So Albania is traditionally a very patriarchal. Culture and I experienced a lot of that growing up and it had a big impact on me. And it's a lot of stuff that I've had to unlearn, right? Just in terms of, you know, women are inferior to men, all of this stuff that like honestly drives me nuts and makes my blood boil, but there is a reason like work bigger.

    You know, I coached men and women, but work bigger. There's  mostly made of women. Um, there's a reason that I've always gravitated to the gender gap and to women's rights. And it's cause I experienced that myself as a kid and I experienced like seeing my mom this incredibly. Strong, amazing woman. I experienced the bitterness.

    She feels because of the patriarchy and despite Albania, like despite like those are like the traditions. My mom always raised us very differently. Like she just was like, she like didn't. Buy into those beliefs in many ways. And my dad too, right? Like, we moved here. There was never, um, distinction of like, you're a girl so you can't go to school.

    It was never that extreme. I'm with my dad. It was like a little bit more subtle, just like with the dating stuff, you know, my brother versus my sister. And I like, there was like more bias there. But in terms of opportunities, I was lucky in that my parents are more forward thinking. Uh, but I really, I, I.

    It's a part of the Albanian culture that I always struggled with when I was younger. I was like, I don't get it. You know? And then sexuality too, like the way people talk about sexuality, like there's just like a lot of, um, close, like it's closed off. Like it's not like a very open culture. So. That stuff plays a role into my work because you know, for work bigger, and even when I started doing bold, I focused heavily on women and you know, I think, um, helping women overcome a lot of the issues like that, that show up around confidence, right?

    And imposter syndrome and feeling like you're an inferior and feeling like you can't negotiate and ask for more money cause it's, it's impolite. I was always taught that, don't raise your voice too loud, don't speak up. It's impolite. Respect your elders. Right? Um, I've had to really work through all that stuff for myself, so I could also speak.

    Um, to my own needs. So yeah, it plays a role. It plays a role in, in how I coach people, what I coach them on. All that stuff shows up in our work cause we're not raising our hands for opportunities. We're like, you know, staying quietly, waiting to be asked. So, no, I like that. That's not going to work anymore.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:21:34] That's, that's all that's, yeah. That's so cool. I think I, I am obviously white, very American, have no, like. I almost said no culture. That's not right. You know what I mean? I don't have, I'm not different, but I know that living here in Arizona has been so interesting because. I can easily go through a border patrol checkpoint and never be asked my citizenship. Like, that's insane. Like that's literally their job is to ask you your citizenship. And I don't even get asked. Now if I have my native American friends with me, I'm automatically stopped. Um, so that has been. Super influential in the way that I have started thinking in the back of my head every time that I have to go through a checkpoint because to leave my town, I have to. Um, and then seeing the way that, um, at least where I live, the way that Mexican women and the way that Mexican men are treated very differently. Um, I remember my first Christmas with my adopted Mexican family. We had cooked all day and the men sat down at the table and ate first, and we couldn't even touch the food until they were done at the table, which was insane. And soI think for business, it's so awesome to hear women speaking up for other women, and I'm not saying like speak up for them or talk for them, but to be able to lift those voices up because. I, I can't imagine being in a culture that's telling me, well, you're next. You're not first, you're next. Um, it's just so inspiring to hear women of other cultures lifting other women up too. So I guess that was a long winded message of me saying like, thank you. Thank you for the work that you're doing. I really appreciate it. And there are so many, so many women out there that. Need to hear that, and I think I'm just, I'm excited to share this episode in particular. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:23:47] Yeah. Thank you for sharing that in the example you bring out. That's it's, that's so fascinating, right? And it's like when you're like, I'm just thinking back to like growing up, it's like the women were the ones who were always cleaning up. Like after dinner, the women are the ones who are cooking and cleaning and all of that stuff. And. For me. I don't know. That didn't, just didn't sit well with me since I was a little girl, you know? I just didn't like it and I always questioned it. So I thank you for like just for saying everything you said, because yeah, I'm like, I just think we can be different. Like we can respect traditions and honor cultures and all of that, but I think it's important for everyone to feel seen and heard and respected and not, you know, not be second. You know? 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:24:36] So I want to celebrate the power of speaking up and sharing our accomplishments even when we work in environments or experienced cultures where that's not normal. So I'd love to know what is something that you've accomplished in the past year that either blows your mind that you accomplished it, or like you're just really proud of accomplishing this thing.

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:25:01] Yeah. Thank you for asking that. It's such a good question. Um, so I launched the work bigger community last and April of 2019. Just, yeah, less than a year ago. Um, it's a, it's a membership community really. Primarily what, what members get is group coaching and it makes coaching more affordable, more accessible.

    And I really, it took me a long time to launch it. I was so nervous. I had a free community before that and I just was really stuck. I was like, do I shut down this community? What is that going to be like? Um. And as the community keeps growing, and you know, we're now almost a year into it, not quite yet. It just has evolved into this awesome product. Like the  content in the trainings we have in there are so good and the members are amazing and everybody's like showing up to help each other. And there's just so much like authenticity and connection and support in the group and its  becoming what I always wanted to make available for um. It's what I needed, but it's also like what I see. I'm like, this is what I wanted to make possible and what I wanted to make available in the world. And that's what it's turning into. You know? And it's, it's not a year old yet, but I just am feeling so proud of. Like, you know, what we've built and in a short amount of time, I'd say so. Yeah. So I'm really, really proud of that.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:26:31] That's so cool. I'm so excited to check it out. Um, I heard that you have a freebie, so I'd love to hear more about that. And can you tell our audience where they can find you. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:26:43] Yeah. Uh, so you can find me. The website is worth bigger.co uh, you can also find us on Instagram at work bigger. Uh, we're starting to be more active on there and we offer like, you know, just a little fun coaching exercises to keep people growing and learning. Uh, the freebie we have is we have a free audio training to help you overcome and work through your burnout. So if you're feeling. Really stress, I think especially if you, um, are launching the side hustle, running a side hustle, thinking about it, this is really important. I burned out really badly when I started my first side hustle.

    Um, so this is an audio training to help support you and, uh, just pick up some quick practical tools that you can put into action to help you work through your overwhelm. And burnout. Um, and the place to find that is workbigger.co/sidehustlegal. So it's the name of, of your podcasts. So work bigger.co forward slash side hustle gal.

    And yeah, there's three parts to it. It's really, and it's called take the first step to break the cycle of burnout and do work you love faster. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:27:56] That's amazing. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much as well for hanging out with us today. This is a fantastic episode. 

    Belma McCaffrey: [00:28:07] Thank you ladies. It's, it's my pleasure. And you asked some really fun questions and, um, I appreciate you just giving me the space to, to share my story and to, to share more about work bigger and I love what, what you guys are doing as well, so thank you. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:28:22] Thank you.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are having a Jam Session on The Downsides of Hustle Culture.

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    Episode Transcript - Downsides of Hustle Culture

     

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] All right. Welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. We've got a doozy for you today. You're hanging out with just me and Caitlyn for another one of our jam sessions, and today we're going to dive in to the downsides of hustle culture. Uh, so we've got a few different topics that we want to talk about with you.

    We're going to cover burnout, hustle-porn privilege, and how that factors in and unsustainable expectations and unhealthy lifestyles. So Caitlyn, let's start with the last two and I'm going to toss it to you. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:00:51] Yeah. So I think for me, hustle culture has really impacted, um, me to have unsustainable expectations and unhealthy lifestyle choices.

    I think a lot of the times. When we think of hustle culture, we think, Oh, we can get all of this done and then we'll have a break. But especially when you continue to hustle and continue to hustle and continue to hustle, you never get that break. Um, because you've created this unsustainable expectation to yourself, into your clients and to those around you that.

    You can continue to do all of the things that you're putting on your plate and that they're putting on your plate. Um, which then of course leads to some unhealthy lifestyles, like not sleeping or not taking. Um. Time off for yourself, which then leads to burnout, which is another thing that we've talked about.

    So I think for me, that's really what a hustle culture has. Um, how, how it has impacted me personally. And. It's not a sustainable expectation to continue to hustle and continue to hustle and continue to hustle. Because at the end of the day, if you're just hustling and you're not putting, you know, systems or processes, um, for yourself, but also for your business in place, all you're doing is doing a lot of work that. You didn't have to do in the long run. Dannie, how do you think, do you feel like you've seen the unsustainable expectations that unhealthy lifestyles? 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:02:35] I feel like. A lot of this in some ways is what I experienced when I began side hustling, right? The side hustlers experience hustle culture in a completely different way than full time entrepreneurs because we have less time.

    We have more expectations because we want this thing to do well, right? Because we're dedicating the very limited and precious time that we have to it. So I think that. It all, it all boils down to unreasonable expectations. We set unreasonable expectations. It leads down healthy lifestyles. It leads to burnout.

    It leads to a lot of these other things. So I guess what I'm saying is. We need a gut check and a reality check on the way that we're goal setting. Cause everything comes back to that, right? Like the messages that we're feeding ourselves during our goal setting process plan in effect, the way that we behave as a result.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:32] Yeah, definitely. And it's also when you're setting those goals, making, making sure that you're checking in with yourself and your body, um, and how your feeling because yeah, $100,000 might feel attainable because you can hustle your way to it, but is it actually attainable for your body? And for. Yourself at that given given point, and maybe it's not, and that doesn't mean you're a failure if it's not.

    It just means that you have to take yourself into consideration into these goal setting scenarios. So I think that especially with the unhealthy lifestyle, that's something that we really, especially a side hustlers like. Going to work? Are you making breakfast or are you making lunch at in the morning?

    Or are you getting lunch delivered to work when you come home because you're side hustling? What are you eating? Like the, just the simple basics of putting stuff into your body. Are you able to go to the gym and get a workout in or are you able to take some downtime in the evening to do some yoga or even meditation?

    Um. And I'm not saying that you have to be working out at the gym. What I'm saying is  you also need to be putting time and energy into helping your body, because that's the only way that you'll continue to have energy. And if you don't have energy, you're not going to want to do anything. And that's only going to be more stressful on the long run. Um, which leads to burnout. So, Dannie, let's talk a little bit about burnout.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:05:09] Oh, burnout. I feel like there are two kinds of people in this world. Those that plan for burnout and those that don't, and I fall in the second camp. I grind and I grind in my grind and grind and grind, and then all of a sudden burned and I'm Burntout and I shut down for 24 hours and then I grind and I grind and grind and grind.

    It's just a cycle. I feel like Maddox would. I have some, some, some thoughts on this subject, but burnout doesn't necessarily mean either that your body and your mind are completely run ragged. Burnout could surface as irritability, forgetfulness, hunger. Like how many times have we as entrepreneurs, sat nine to five in our desk chairs?

    Three back to back meetings, meetings, and completely forgotten about lunch. I mean, I think it goes back to the like unhealthy lifestyles piece, but burnout is more than just the like complete and utter shutdown that we think about and burnout. Burnout is producing lower quality work because you've got too much on your plate.

    I mean, I've been there. I remember like five years ago, I delivered a project to a client and it wasn't my best work. And I was like, I know this isn't my best work, but I'm so tired. And like, it shouldn't take sending that email to a client to realize that. Um, so when we're thinking about burnout, it's.

    Creating spaces to pause. I remember the first time I ever meditated and I'm so not a woo person, and I was so like skeeved out and doubting about meditation, but I remember it. It was with my good friend Dalma and she was leading this meditation. She started the meditation with a full body scan, and even if I don't have the patience for meditation, that full body scan shocked me.

    The tension I was holding in my jaw, the tension I was holding in my shoulders, the clenching that was happening in my gut and my knees and my toes. I've been doing it for so long. I, I didn't notice. I had no idea that this was happening. And so. I think that in the same way we can do a full body scan of our physical bodies for the purpose of meditation, we can do a full mental scam to check in on burnout.

    Um, and so I think we can schedule it in our calendar. Like Rana Pomeroy talks about CEO check-ins on Fridays, right? To check in on how your business is going. But what if we scheduled five minutes to. Just like listen in on and throw away our mental clutter. And I think that both of those things together could really help prevent burnout.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:07:54] Yeah. And I think we all experienced burnout very differently for Dannie. She can just take 24 hours and like turn off for a little bit and then turn back on. Um, for me it's very different. It's that I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine. And then I'm being an asshole and I'm, my friends have to be like, Caitlyn, what's, what's going on there?

    Um, and then I have to take a week or a couple of weeks to really like check in with myself, figure out where I'm feeling the burnout. Um, is it. My client work isn't a expectations that I've put on myself. Is it this is it that, like I really have to dig deep into , um, where I'm feeling, uh, the, the pressure I think.

    Um, so I, I, I've always found it interesting that people call it burnout. For me. It's like. Pressure, like pressurized. Um, because that's, that's how I tend to feel it and I tend to hold on to it. Um, but I agree. Even just checking in with yourself at the end of the week, or even at the end of the month or even quarterly when you're writing your goals, like, Hey, does this actually feel attainable this month?

    Um, I think. Well, exactly what you said, Dannie. That was, that's so good to just start doing that. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:20] Nailed it. Absolutely nailed that. So I want to talk about hustle porn, and I want to pause and say that my friend Blake of the girl named Blake on Instagram and the crappy Christian podcast, um, talks about this so much better than I could.

    She talks about Rachel Hollis and. This idea that like hustle can be completely glamorized without any of the downsides. Uh, Rachel Hollis recently posted on her Instagram feed, absolutely sobbing and devastated because she had to send her team work from home. Like that's not the end of the world, but it's because hustle culture has been so.

    Glamorized that there's almost a sexual level of satisfaction from it. And that's where we see the advent of hustle porn, like these images and these ideas and these quotes of the hustle being so glamorized that you literally get off on the perceived productivity of hustle and 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:10:29] Productivity. Oh my God, I can't like when. I feel like that is like the subculture of hustle culture, right? Like that perceived notion that if you're just productive today, it'll be so much better for you to hustle harder. Um, I just went on a tangent, but I feel like that is like the epitome of what, like. Gets people off like, but I got that many things into my agenda today, and I took that 10 minute break in between because I did the Pomodoro method. So it must be great. Like what? I dunno if Dannie thoughts, 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:11:05] so I'm right there with you because I used to be that person. Uh, I was adding like shit that didn't need to be added to do list to my to do list for the satisfaction of checking it off. And I'm some level that's great. Like you need, that's why the snowball method works right?

    And debt repayment because you need small wins to incentivize those big wins. But if you're doing that every day. Well, I have so many thoughts on how support, and that could be like an entire podcast by itself with like a 10 episode series. But 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:11:38] yeah, and I find this very interesting because before Dannie had brought this up before this episode, I had never heard of.

    The notion of hustle porn, but I just, I always think back to when you're scrolling your Instagram feed and you see hustle hard girl, or like the different quotes that people absolutely like piss themselves over. I just think of like hustle hard girl, except for at the end of the day, you're not going to be able to sleep because you're going to have so many thoughts running through your head and you're not going to know how to handle it.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:12:10] Yeah. All right, so let's wrap this conversation. On hustle culture up with a little check-in about privilege, right? Because, and we're going to take it back to Rachel Hollis and Blake is going to laugh because she's turned me into an anti Rachel Hollis girl. I mean, I was 

    before Blake, but. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:12:31] Yeah. I couldn't read the books because of the religion, like the first page or two. I'm like, wait, what? 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:12:36] Well, and I mean like, like even as a Christian woman is like, some of this is so not Christian. Yeah. But I'll let Blake do that blessed work that she is called to do and I will butcher it. So let's let Blake do that work. But privilege, right? Rachel Hollis is a rich ass white woman. Like. And there's so much and privilege and having wealth and preaching about the hustle. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:05] I find it so interesting that the people that I've always looked up to in the whole hustle culture, because I bought into it for such a long time, have been stay at home moms or like stay at home wives. Who have a second. The dogs even think that this is ridiculous.

    Um, that they have a second income that can support them even if they burn out and have to stop working for a little bit. Um, I've always found that. I think that's what turned me off of hustle culture was the fact that people don't realize the privilege that they have when they're hustling and hustling because they have somebody else who could pick up the Slack if they needed.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:13:55] Yeah. I think that's really spot on. The the like what is your safety net and how reliable is it. Uh, because if you have a really reliable safety net, if you could jump off that cliff and someone would catch you a third of the way down every single time. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:14:14] Well that in the health aspect of it too, right? So for me, hustling for two months means I have an Epstein-Barr flare up and for the next three weeks I can't really work much.

    Or I have, I'm sick. I don't have the privilege of. Going to the doctor and saying, I need an IV. I need this. I need, I need medicine that's going to help me, help me get better. Um, because I don't have health insurance, or I do, but my health insurance doesn't cover anything like that. Like it's, it's to that point where if you get sick, you can go to the doctor and get help. Some people can't. Some people that are hustling have no. No fall back there. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:15:02] Yeah. I wish we had the answers. I think that talking about this helps normalize it. And if you are listening and you haven't talked about the impact that how's the culture has on you. I encourage you to share that with someone today.

    Even if it's one of us like slide our DM, just let us know. Um, but at least acknowledging that hustle culture is a thing and that we don't have to be on that level, I think is enough. So we'll wrap it up there. Thank you for hanging out. We'll see you next week. And please don't fall in the trap of hustle culture.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Lauren Marsicano of Networking Maverick.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    Building and protecting your Queendoms!!!

    Ways to completely thrive in a male-dominated field.

    Conquering self-doubt in the early days of your side hustle.

    Embracing your many different personal facets.

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript

     

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle GAO podcast. Today's guest is from a group we haven't talked about yet, which is the create and cultivate insiders group. If you've ever been to a create and cultivate conference, you can join, create and cultivate insiders, which is basically, um, a great small group of those of us that super love, create and cultivate and want to have deeper relationships.

    There's monthly mentoring and all of that good stuff, but that's not what we're here to talk about. I am so excited to introduce Lauren Marsicano to you. Lauren hank you so much for being here, and please tell us a little bit about your journey. 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:01:02] Well, thank you so much for having me here, Dannie. I'm so excited.

    Create and Cultivate is an amazing organization. I love the online group, which is how we connected and and probably like you, and like many people listening. I'm just a part of so many different women's empowerment groups online. So I love the connections that we build. Which is fantastic. So my name is Laura Marsicano.

    I'm an attorney. I own my own law firm, but I also have a side hustle. So the side hustle actually is a networking Maverick LLC, which is a women's empowerment group. It's online. It also now has live events in Miami and South Florida. So if you're in the area, you know, you feel free to come out to any of my monthly networking events and workshops.

    But it all started because of my main business. So for, I don't know, since I was 14 years old, I wanted to be a lawyer. Right after I wasn't going to be an actress or a model, I decided to get, you know, lawyer sounds really good I love debating. And so my whole path, uh, until about two years ago was just being a lawyer.

    I did, you know, the undergrad, international business and finance. I went to university of Miami school of law. I studied law at Oxford university under a fellowship and became a lawyer. So, yay. But I was not expecting to feel unfulfilled. Like I became a lawyer pass the bar exam, and about a year and a half into it, got my quote unquote dream job.

    You know, the six figure lawyer working for multinational corporations, billion dollar corporations, but I still wasn't happy and I had two friends of mine that I sat down with her. They're like, Lauren, we know exactly what the problem is. You've got to start your own business. Right? And I think that happens to a lot of people when I was like, no, no, no, no.

    My own business, I'm not 60 years old. You know, like that's when you start a law business. But I launched my law firm and we ended up making six figures in our first year from, and I attributed it all to networking and connections, but I love being a lawyer and I love what I can do with my lawyer hat on.

    But there's so much I'm restricted from doing as Lauren Marsicano Esquire, right? That Esquire puts so many restrictions on how much I can help the business owners that come to me. Cause that's who I serve. I'm a business attorney. And so I was at these networking events and people were like, how did you make money your first year?

    How you know, most law firms fail, not, you know, not only do they not make six figures, they're gone. And people go back to their original. A hustle, whatever, you know, whatever law firm they were in, and it was a lot of women. It was a lot of women at these events telling me this, and those are the people I like serving the most anyway as a lawyer.

    And so I was like, you know what? I need to start another business. And it can just be online. It started just online. It's, it was YouTube videos and it was Instagram posts and it was live streams and all these different things. Just giving. Women specifically. So I always, my tagline is, no matter whether I'm with the law firm or with networking Maverick, I'm helping female entrepreneurs build and protect their queendoms.

    So I call it queendoms, right? Cause we all have our queendoms. Right. Um, and so networking Maverick became my side hustle because of my main hustle. And so that's where, that's where I'm at now, helping women on both sides. Now it's offline and I do live events monthly. I partnered with a group called startup sisters USA that's, um, you know, in Tampa, Atlanta, I think they've launched a couple of other cities now.

    And I'm the Miami president. And so networking Maverick partners with startup sister to bring these, uh, live events and bring women together locally, which I love. And that's my, that's my background. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:04:40] No, I've loved that so much. I can relate. I first told my grandma that I was going to be a lawyer when I was three. Caitlyn also is super into politics. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:04:53] I planned on being a lawyer too. 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:04:55] Oh, 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:04:57] Neither of us went to law school, but we both, we both have a friend. Our friend Sam. Uh, went to law school, graduated with a law degrree, became an attorney. Um, but she knew after her first year of law school that entrepreneurship was the path for her.

    Um, so Sam's dream one day is to start a scholarship. That's the like, Oh fuck scholarship. That would pay, like if you decide after your first, after like one owl that you don't want to be a lawyer anymore, this scholarship would like pay off your one hour loans. 

    That's free.

    Yeah. Um, so all of, so all of those to say, I love your story. For those in the audience that are listening, I mean, this girl's a badass, top 40 under 40 lawyer in the nation, Oxford, who doesn't dream of studying abroad at Oxford, all the things, um. So I wanna I wanna dive in and I'm going to ask the obvious question first because I think it's also a good question to ask.

    Law is so male dominated. How did you carve out your niche in that space? I know classic question. I want to know. 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:06:13] No, but is it is, and especially so, not only am I an attorney, my, for my business, when I'm the business attorney side, I'm litigation. So litigation is even more male dominated, right? Like women come in and we're called the court reporter.

    Right? So that's, that was my first experience actually for, I'm this huge, I don't wanna get too technical. It's like, it's there, like motions for summary judgment or big motions they can prevent you from going to trial. And it was my first year as an attorney and I walk in, I, I've, you know, prepared so much and the opposing counsel was probably like, I dunno.

    I don't want to make them too old, but let's say he's like 70, let's say 70 year old white male. And uh, he, he called me a court reporter first and I was like, Oh no, I'm here. I'm your opposing counsel. And he like, he didn't slap my full butt, but you know when they do like that top of the butts lap where they like, Pat, you like the lower back.

    But it's a little too little while. So I've got a big badonkadonk. So I mean, it's not all of his fault. He passed my lower back and it's like, well, good luck. Little lady. Like, and I crushed him and it felt good. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:07:21] But also that little lady, the fucking Southern like

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:07:29] which actually you don't find a lot in Miami because we're very like, you know, European, Hispanic, whatever. But this guy was like an old white Southern attorney from, I think Bible belt, Florida or something. I think he drove down maybe for the hearing. I've never seen him again. I'd never seen him on another case, but I crushed them and it felt amazing.

    And even at the end you was like. Oh, good. Good job. Little lady. And I was like, you can't even give me that. Like you can't, even after I crush you just give me some kind of respect and like just a handshake, like a normal hand shake. This was all before the me too movement, by the way. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:08:04] I can't, I can't with that type of, cause I've experienced that when I was working on. Um, the different political campaigns that I've worked on. So in high school I were, I ran two counties in a big campaign here. Uh, I'm not going to say which side I was on, but it was a huge, it was a huge election. Um, I couldn't even vote. Uh, I was a female and I was underage and I was still running these counties and there were old white dudes that were like, Oh, well, good job, good job, honey.

    And I'm like. I just kicked ass, like my county's went the color I needed it to. Oh, I just can't. But I want to hear a little bit more about like the law firm side of things. So what specifically, you said you work with business law. Do you do, um, like business law for small businesses like Dannie or I, or do you work with the bigger. Bigger businesses and do more like the litigation. 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:09:03] So I do, I do everything. So I do all of that. I now, the thing is, since I own my own law firm, I can choose my clients. So that's like the biggest difference. I only work with people and on cases that I really like, which makes. Oh, so much of a difference day to day.

    Um, but yeah, no, I work with, I do the, you know, the high end corporate litigation. Like I have a couple of really big litigation cases right now for some bigger multinational companies, especially in the, in the shipping industry. And then, uh, my love though, those are, I, I love those clients. I love those cases cause they're very, very interesting, you know, from an intellectual perspective to, uh, but I love working with a small, medium size business owners.

    That's like my heart because I actually get to like. Talk with you and see you. And like, we feel like we're part of each other's businesses at the end of the day where we're helping each other grow. Um, but yeah, so I do it all, and that's why actually I started. It's not really a third business. It's kind of part of my second business networking Maverick, which are the, are the eCourses.

    So I provided more cost effective ways of you being able to do your contracts and learn how to form a business and register it online. Um, I did that because for small business owners spending 2 to 3000 for just registration or just a contract is not as effective. So then I put together three contracts and formation, a step by step guides for $2,000 for all four.

    Like the templates, the contracts, the registration, everything. So it's more affordable. Um, but so yeah, I'm always trying to figure out ways to add more value for small business owners. Cause I think you're the most underserved or you go to, I don't want to say the names of the websites, but you go to websites that I would say I litigate on.

    Yeah, I saw you. I saw you word it. I'm not, I'm not going to say it. I'm not going to know it says it, but yeah, so there are others and I feel like they do a disservice sometimes. You know, they're great for me to litigate on, but unfortunately that means you, you end up spending more money in the long run rather than just going to. An attorney up front or something. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:10:59] Yeah. One of my, one of my clients is actually a trademark attorney. And so I, yeah, I know quite a lot about, um, thou shalt not be named. 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:11:09] Yes, exactly. Yeah. I don't want to, I don't know how to get to say, but yes. And that's another thing is that people see it cause you know, obviously there's the costs that come with it that I can't, I can't.

    Do, I can't do anything about the cost. And then I tried to keep my fees as reasonable as possible. But if you go on an hourly perspective, I'm very affordable, but still people see it and like per, per trademark, cause I do that, I do that as well. And it's like, yeah, but that's like the minimum I could possibly do it for and still like not be losing a ton of money.

    Do you know what I mean? Like I still need to get paid for my experience and what I'm doing as an attorney, but I do try to provide. It as much education. So that's why the networking Maverick, I always have to be careful because it's educational and I always have to put those disclaimers. This is not legal advice.

    It's for educational purposes. Always consult an attorney, hashtag of lawyers, all that fun stuff. But yeah, and that'll, so that became my niche. Serving women became my niche in a male dominated field. So like even my big businesses, my contacts within those groups are women. It's high powered women CEOs that I've connected with.

    And then they end up. You know, bringing me in as their corporate counsel. So I serve as outside corporate counsel for a lot of these businesses and I'm much more affordable than the big guys down the road, you know, and I'm also more personable and I think they like working with another female because you know, even the other firms can be a little old fashioned, old fashioned, let's say, when dealing with high powered female CEOs.

    So, uh, that, that became my niche and that's what I focused on. And it just more like whenever you're in any male dominated field. I think it's just having confidence in what you can do. Always being the most prepared person in the room. Always, I'm always focused on killing them with kindness, you know?

    Except for if I'm in a, in the courtroom, you know, then I'm very serious. But, you know, just in terms of networking or dealing with people, I always try to be, we call it PMA in my family. I don't know if you, can you see it? Is it on the board? Oh, yeah. It's on the board behind me. We call it positive mental attitude and PMA.

    So my family is always like PMA, PMA. So that's, you just got to have the mindset to go into it. And if you're the most prepared person in the room, you're probably going to be the most confident person in the room. That doesn't mean to be arrogant, but that's, that's kind of how you do with it. And you just be yourself.

    And I've learned to be the singing lawyer. So I go to events, I speak a lot public, and I, and I'll like, be like, Whoa. Like I don't, I'm not a good singer. But that's just my personality. And I've learned over time that the clients that I'll work best with, like that personality. And that's, and that's me. So, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:39] so what have you found after starting your business that you've learned about yourself?

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:13:45] Oh so much. I think I always knew, I guess that I was resilient, but I guess I never knew how resilient I would have to be in that I actually am, because, you know, I think it's actually the hardest part of launching a business, in my opinion. Well, I mean. I guess for anybody it might be gaining the knowledge that you actually need to launch.

    That might be the hardest for, for most people. Uh, but I think the second is just starting getting, getting over the fear to just start. Right. And I thought that was going to be the hardest thing, but I was wrong. I was very wrong. Because when you're a small business, you're going to have some lean months.

    Right? Or you're going to have like really bad rejections or conversations, you know, and networking that don't go as well. And you start getting that self doubt that like kind of just creeps in. That's like, Hey, maybe maybe you didn't do the right thing. Maybe you didn't make the right decision. And then he's gotta be like, Nope.

    Shut it down. You know, like, no, you're, you're doing good. Keep going forward. But that's definitely something that I, I knew I was resilient because I had to overcome a lot when I was younger and I moved, I moved around the country 15 times, so I was always the new girl and I was always the curvy new girl.

    Right. Cause I've been, I mean, I've been a curvy queen. Since I was, uh, like nine or 10 years old, like I developed really, really young. And so I had to overcome a lot of that and get through like some depression when I was younger. So I knew I was resilient. But entrepreneurship is all, Oh, new level of resiliency.

    Honestly. I think that's the most I learned. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:15:24] So I'm curious. Um, all three of us recording this podcast are curvy yes, yes queeen. And in social experiences you have those awkward moments where like just last night I was at a restaurant in an airport. Tables are too fucking tight. My ass is going to end up on your table. What I'm going through to get to my seat. Sorry bout it. 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:15:53] All the time. All the time. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:15:56] And there's a lot of that that happens in the corporate world too, that we don't talk about. And I want to ask your opinion on this because especially in law, there's this expectation of suits and for women it's like high heels, skirts, tits out kind of perception. Yeah. What's it, what's it like being curvy in that space and having things that jiggle. 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:16:28] Oh, more than jiggle is like an earthquake over here when I know I know it.

    So I will say, because I had to deal with it so much growing up, I think that I'm much more confident now. I think that if I hadn't gone through it, like if I, if I became curvy. Like if I had been skinny my whole life and then became curvy now, I think it would be a lot harder to deal with. Then I was made fun of.

    I was called chubby girl. I was called, you know, I think someone called me marshmallow cause our school uniforms were white. Like there was so much, so much stuff. And I was also a white girl in Miami. So I mean it was like so many layers of that. But then I think the best decision my mom did when I was younger was put me in modeling school like those, you know, like Barbara's on.

    I was in Barbara's on. And it really gave me a lot of confidence. Cause I, before that I was the, I forget what the movie was where I think it's Christine Ricci. Maybe she like tapes her boobs down and like wears hoodies and wants to look like a guy. Cause I played all sports. I was an all sport athlete.

    So I was like so, so tomboy and then. Uh, going into modeling. So I came out, I was always wearing makeup. I was always wearing my school colors and pigtails. So that made me confident as a lawyer. The thing that's different, so Miami is much more relaxed, even in the courtroom setting. Miami is more relaxed, but it's when I go to like West Palm even, or Tampa, cause I practiced in Tampa and Jacksonville and Orlando.

    Those places are much, much, much more conservative. And I think it's still a rule. I have to double check. I think it's still a rule. If you go in front of the Supreme court, that you as women, you have to wear stockings in a skirt suit. I think, I don't want to swear by that, but that in law school, I remember that was the rule.

    I don't know if that's changed. Um, but it's definitely finding the right looks for you. And what's funny is I just had an event on this. It was called style for success. And it was all about, no matter what size you are, cause you know skinny people actually have a really, and I know it's like, Oh my God, it's skinny people.

    Eye problem. They do skinny, like really, really, I'm talking really skinny. People also have like clothing problems, but as a curvy girl, it's all like the materials you use if you actually get the right line. So the women that I think have the most problems are the ones that haven't invested in actually.

    Finding a stylist or finding a style that works for them, or a clothing line. Like I love white house, black market. I love Ann Taylor. I think that they make sizes that go up to, I think they go up to like 16 or 18 online and the material is like super, super good. You know, it's got that stretch, you know, the little bit of stretch that I need, you know, like, because my waist is a little bit smaller on my bottom is like, ba boom.

    It is like people pay for that and it is. This is like it when you walk into a courtroom, you know that I'm there, but it's definitely, it's a lot of self confidence because you're going up against guys that do not get judged by how they look. But when you're in front of a jury, we actually have to take a course or I voluntarily took a course on jury selection and you get to hear what they think and a lot of what they think about women is what they look like.

    Whether they're a witness or, or a, um, a lawyer. And I just got married actually, uh, this past week. And before that though, if I had, if I was in front of a jury, I'd wear a wedding ring because females that didn't wear wedding rings weren't trustworthy. Right? So like, if you're a female, you had, there are certain things you have to do for your client to make sure you're presenting yourself the best to the jury.

    And the judge. So you got to know your judge, you've got to know people, and it is a little nerve wracking because I, I, there is still that psychological bias against curvy women where people think we're, we're like, I forget what the wording is, but basically that we're like, slobs. That we just don't care and we're sloppy where.

    And so number one, I am a mess at home. I'm not going to lie. I'm very messy because I'm so organized and so many other asks  but I'm not a slob. Like I'm not dirty. But though those that does go through the back of my head where I'm like, I need to dress to make sure that the cuts look. Uh, tailored that even though I'm curvy, I look very put together that, uh, you know, I, I thought about my appearance, like I put my hair in a bun or I put it back low and a bun.

    Like I don't like, I have long hair cause I paid for it. Uh, but I wouldn't, I wouldn't leave it down like that. I went Ariana Grande a in a courtroom. Do you know what I mean? So there's just things that you got to know how to present yourself. And I like to say, um. When I do a lot of speaking and with my clients, women are like diamonds where we have many facets, right?

    Because a lot of what I get from business clients when they're networking is, Oh, but I don't want to dress like that cause that's not me. Or when I go to this, I don't want to dress like that. Cause that's not me. Okay. But is it, is it maybe this part of you. Maybe this is how you need to present yourself in this way.

    Like when I go to court, I'm going to have my hair in a bun. I'm going to be wearing my glasses. I'm going to be wearing a more conservative color and a more conservative suit, maybe even a skirt suit with stockings if that's what it needs, like conservative heels. When I go to my speaking engagement. I have a gold glitter jacket with wings that says networking Maverick, like I'm just a completely different look, but all of them are still me.

    They're just different facets of the diamond and you have to know when to let each facet shine in different situations. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:21:43] I think what's sad though in this situation is that we literally have to think about who our crowd is to dress too. And that's not something most dudes even think about or comprehend.

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:21:57] Not even a little bit. Not even. And actually, actually they are psychologically, uh, Oh my God, I forgot what this study was that they did on a jury. But, um, you remember to kill a Mockingbird or any on any of that kind of stuff where he was more personable because his shirt was a little uncapped and his suit wasn't super tailored.

    Right. But the, and so that's, those are perceptions, guys don't even, they get. Rewarded for not necessarily taking so much time for their appearance. Cause then if they take too much time, there are car salesman and they're sleazy maybe or something, but so they don't have to worry about it all. They just show up as them and they probably wear the same suit every single day.

    Yeah, it's crazy. It's crazy. But it is just stuff that we think, I think as women, we already think about. A billion things a day anyway, more than men in a lot of cases. So, uh, until the day comes where we're all just wearing potato sacks and that's it. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:22:54] I think this is so spot on though. I feel this all the time when I'm thinking through what I'm wearing to different client meetings or how I dress at work.

    I mean, I have the good fortune of working at Google, which means I wear a lot of leggings to work. Like, how does that read? How does that come across? Even even in situations where it shouldn't matter when there are guys that literally would just wear their bathrobe.

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:23:20] Nooooo.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:23:22] Even my leggings can come across as like unkempt, even though the bathrobe is. Quirky 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:23:33] the opposite side where like I'm in, I don't, I don't know if you guys can see, they're like dress pants.

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:23:43] Yeah. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:23:43] But people are like, well, why are you so dressed up? I'm like, 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:23:47] yes. You can't win. Sometimes you just can't win sometimes. No, for sure. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:23:50] If I, yeah, if I wore leggings, I would be a slob. If I wore jeans, I'm not dressed to the occasion and now if I wear this, I'm too dressed up. So when will I ever win?

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:24:01] Well, so you're, you're never going to be able to be everything to everyone all the time. Right? Like that's the biggest thing I learned. You just gotta be you in what you think you should present in that situation. And then everyone can think what they think and you're going to have haters always. And you're gonna have people that love you always.

    And, and that's what you've got to focus on just being you. Because if you're trying to be someone else, then you're going to feel worse when people don't like you or whatever, you know, whatever happens. But if you're just being you and confident, like I think you look great. That color is amazing on you that I, I guess it's like a purple-y violet maroon is what it looks like from here.

    It looks great on your skin tone. And I think, I personally think everyone needs a stylist. I have a stylist now and a branding specialist. For my business and everything that really helps with like my color. I'm not wearing it now because this wasn't, I'm not wearing my colors anything now. But, um, I think that that really helps.

    And I've always decided that I'm always going to be. The most extra in any room really, except for maybe the courtroom. So I always show up as too much and that's kind of my thing. Like, Oh my God, Lauren. So extra. Yes, I am queen cause we're Queens. Do Queens just like sit in the corner? No, we stand out.

    This is our queendom. Everyone come into our queendom. You got a queen. I'm great. We can all rise up. So I've just, you're never going to satisfy all the haters. So just be yourself and be extra.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:25:23] I think you freaking nailed it. I think this is so good. So before we wrap up, I want to ask, you've talked a lot about things that we can do to take up and hold the space that we're meant to take. And a lot of that has been an appearance focused. Is there any way in what you learned through presence and in the courtroom that we can also do that with our voices?

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:25:45] Definitely, definitely. So I actually think, uh, I always, I think my three pillars of networking Maverick are really like mindset, motivation, education, right? If you don't have the right mindset, you're not going to come across in any way, whether it's appearance, voice, anything. Uh, but then if you are the most prepared person in the room, I think preparation mindset.

    We'll give you so much confidence going in, and if you carry yourself with confidence, you project yourself with confidence. I think that comes across. I think when you talk with people, it's very important. Something I had to learn was to talk slower. A little bit. Cause sometimes when you talk too fast it can come across as like, Oh well she's a lot, she's too much and I'm already loud.

    So I had to pick one or the other. So I chose to really try to slow down and think about what I'm saying and what the other person is saying. I think that makes a very, very big difference. Being a listener, being someone that takes the time to really. Look at the person who you're talking to, whether it's an event or in the courtroom.

    I didn't get matters. I think the best thing I did was do improv. I don't know if you guys have ever taken an improv class, but if you have a local, like we have one down the street. My friend is doing it because she's going to be an MC at an upcoming event, and I was like, yes, improv. The best thing, the best decision you can make because it's going to give you, sorry.

    The confidence. To change on the fly, to deal with anything that comes up in conversation. Anything that could come up in court with opposing counsel. It gets you to think on your feet and so you're already so prepared that you should be able to throw in anything you need. The improv gives you the confidence to be able to pivot in all those directions.

    So I think that that is something practicing in the mirror, I think helps too. If you can afford an improv class, I think just practicing with a mirror or practicing, like my husband and I practice interview sometimes, or we'll practice, like if I'm going to speak in an event, I'll be like, how does this come across?

    How does this joke come across? Because I don't want it, you know, the translation from my mouth to your ears might not come across as I want it. So practicing in the mirror, practicing with people, improv, all those are ways to work on your . I would, I would call it all your presentation, your presentation of yourself, whether it's how you dress or how you speak.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:28:00] So I have one, one last question about speaking. How do you, and how do you suggest if woman is A woman is speaking and a man starts to speak over her, How do you take charge of that situation Or do you have any suggestions for taking charge of a situation like that?

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:28:18] Ooh that's a good one So my typical lawyer answer it depends It always depends Uh so I would say how I would address that at like a networking event is very different than how I would address it in like a mediation or in court Because in court there's actually a rule where they're not supposed to talk over you Um so what I would do is if they start talking what I have learned to do is pause I let them finish and then I don't address them I just said judge and I say your honor it is my time to be speaking We will listen to opposing counsel when it's their turn Can you please make sure that they abide by the decorum of the courtroom And that usually gets them to Right Because then they feel like an idiot Like I let them finish You finish you want Oh you okay You think you yo go Now I'm going to make you look like an idiot Thank you Like you're not abiding by the rules How I would do it in the mediation So it's all about in my opinion you don't want to come up like a BITC H sometimes right You don't want to come off like Oh man she's so pressive Sometimes I do want to come off like that and if I do want to come off like that what I will do is I will again let them finish and then I will say sir I have let you say your piece now I would let you Say my piece and we will get out of your love and I do it in front of the clients by the way and we will get outta here a lot quicker and we will cost our clients a lot less money if we give each other the respect we deserve 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:29:38] Oh 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:29:40] Oh right So those are those are like my lawyer ways At a networking event it's so much different right Because you just you're in a group maybe you don't even know that person So they interrupt me I just honestly I let them interrupt me I just let them in a Rob me and then I'm such a I'm already such a presence in my opinion that it's not gonna prevent me from still moving forward And people say Lauren why did you go back to the point you were saying I'm like well because I was speaking and this person interrupted me and what I'll say Oh my God you know I don't know Gary Let's just say Gary Oh my God Gary that's so funny Cause I was just about to say blah blah blah blah blah Or you know if it relates back to what I was saying or or you know I'll let him finish we'll have a discussion and then I'll be like Oh my God still I totally forgot what I was saying was blah blah blah blah blah So like I'll just bring it back If it's a point I really really want to make there are some times where it's just like it's not worth worth it I think it actually makes them look worse when they interrupt us more If you just stay pleasant and nice it's like wow Lauren Lauren's a cool person You she doesn't cause a scene She you know She always wants to get along with people which I do like I genuinely do just want to connect and bond That person probably isn't going to like me very much anyway Uh so I mean I'm not going to try to be rude to them Now there are times when the interruption is purposeful right And there have been very few very very tight to situations where I know the person was coming at me where they purposely were just trying to cut me out And then I have probably not reacted the best because you know that that gets me where like if they've interrupted me a couple of times and they're like they start edging you out of the circle you know That thing and and what I will just say I'll I'll look kind of at the group and I'll look at if I if I know anyone I kind of make eye contact and usually men will be the one that say Hey Lauren what was it you were saying again Or like they'll bring you back in and and that's kind of what I do Or if not I'll be like excuse me I'll make Oh I'm sorry Uh I'm still here Like sometimes be like Oh oops I think you got I think you're on my shoe Oh Oh no no no You're fine You're good Oh good Excellent Like there's little things like that but I just think it's better not to cause huge confrontation at networking events That's just me That's how I that's how I handle it But I think just being comfortable in yourself being a presence being confident I think that comes across better And people actually come back to me There'll be like Laura and what was it you were saying Maybe just just you and confident I would say so Yeah They're different 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:32:14] Yeah No those were such like so great to hear like how you have I don't know how you approach the situation because I don't know I feel like sometimes it's such a hard situation to address that it just feels like Oh I just want to like shrink up Um 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:32:33] can't do that Don't do that Right Don't do don't shrink because you're still amazing and people still like you're still valid and you're still valuable Just because someone is being like that and they might not even be doing it on purpose That is just who they are And so you just got to accept people for who they are and know Hey I'm a queen I got this I'm here And like at these people Want to still talk to me We're going to get back to what I was saying or we're still going to keep talking It's not it's not a huge deal Don't shrink though because you're a queen right You rule you got that crown Keep that crown high and think about 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:33:06] Well I think that our effort our crowd is going to love this episode Thank you so much Lauren And as we wrap up we want to know where can we find you on social and the interwebs. 

    Lauren Marsicano: [00:33:20] I would love to connect with everyone on here. You can find me on Instagram at networking, Maverick dot  dot com at networking Maverick. You can go to my website, which is www.networkingmaverick.com and I have a bunch of freebies on there for you. Whether you want to learn how to turn your network into net worth with my top five tips, I've got that free beyond there.

    It's called the networking Maverick pocket guides, so you can take it with you. And then I have an Instagram growth guide on there as well, which are my tools and tips for growing your following and your presence and your branding. And then my last one and newest one is the seven steps to start success, the queen preneurs checklist.

    So that's going to be on there too. It's all on networking maverick.com.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Megan Lentz of Vida Events.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    Working in a partnership for your side-hustles and its unique advantages. 

    Tips to help excel in a business partnership.

    Remembering to focus on making the client feel at ease while still having the structures in place to accomplish the goal. 

    The power of having a mentor and all the lessons that they can teach. 

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript  

     

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. Today we have Megan Lentz. We stalked each other and connected in the summit Facebook group, which if you're not in that group, super great place to find connections and just get business resources. And so we're so excited to have you here and I'm going to toss it over to you and to explain what you do, why you identify as a side hustler, and all those things.

    Megan Lentz: [00:00:47] Yay. Hi guys. We're super excited to be here. Um, my business partner actually could not be with us today cause she is at her full time. Job hashtag side hustle. Um, so we are Megan and Maria. We own Vida events together. Um, me started out in the wedding world. Doing catering and floral work years ago, and then got into wedding planning, um, about three years ago.

    So we have been in all the kind of nooks and crannies of the wedding world and sound during each, and it's just kind of taken off. So, yeah, we're super excited to be here. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:01:19] I love it. So talk to me about your journey. How did this business get started? Um, how does side hustling come into play, especially in an events business, which has. So many moving pieces. What is that like? 

    Megan Lentz: [00:01:34] Yeah, so Maria is a full time teacher's assistant, so Vida is a side hustle for her in that way. And then I actually do, um, equine nutrition for a company. So yeah, our jobs are kind of very different, but the side hustle is kind of taken off and allowed us to be creative.

    Um. We originally got into catering and we're doing a lot of event design and really just found that like we were doing most of the work is caterers for the company we were working for at the time. And both had the idea to like we were individually starting on businesses. And then when we realized that we were both going to start something, I was like, well, why don't we just do it together and cover twice as much territory?

    So that's what we did. And it's been working ever since. And we love it. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:02:21] I love that. So for both of you, this is your second stream of income or work or whatever. The way that manifests is a little bit different for both of you. What I'm curious about is how you make a business partnership work when both of you are side hustlers.

    So Katelyn and I are lucky enough that Caitlyn's full time and I work at a job where. I can do things like this right now. Um, but when you are two side hustlers running a second business together, things get crazy. How do you manage all of that? 

    Megan Lentz: [00:02:54] Yeah, so I think our job hours are different. So I do have a job where I can do this for 40 minutes here during the middle of the day, and then go back to work.

    Um, my company has been really good about. Letting me venture off into my dream job, um, and accepting of it. So it's been really nice to be able to do these kinds of things during the day. Um, I do most of my work, like in the evenings, afternoons, um, she has some mornings off, so we're kind of like tag teaming throughout the day with things. Um, and it's always nice cause there's lunch breaks, so we're like catching up on emails, um, as we're like scrubbing down, you know, our six outlet. So. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:33] That's awesome. So I guess as somebody who is, you know, still side hustling, how do you structure your day and what are the ways that you stay organized in your business?

    Megan Lentz: [00:03:45] So, first off, I guess there's no structure to my day. Like every day is completely different, and I almost prefer it that way because it's changing and I'm not bored. Um, I, my 2020 goal for this year was like, to be. More structured with my staff so that I wasn't, you know, doing 10 different things in the hour with like two different jobs.

    Um, but as a side hustler, you guys know that it's really hard to do that. So I think we really, we have tons of Excel spreadsheets that both of us have access to, which literally saves our lives every day. Um, and we share a joint email, which has helped a ton, so that way if she's out, like I can come in and answer and saying like, vice versa.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:04:26] I love that approach because I think it makes things a little bit easier to manage. I feel you in the no two days are the same thing. I view like if my boyfriend ever tried to like outline what I do every single day, he'd be so lost because he's like, what are you even doing. Well, 

    Megan Lentz: [00:04:45] my husband is always like, he goes, what are you working on?

    He's like, are you working on Vida stuff?. And I was like, no, I'm working on like nutrition stuff. Like I'm building a nutrition plan. And then 20 minutes later I'm back on like Vida stuff. So like it just, it's, you know, it's a chaotic balance that I like to call life. So, yeah. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:05:04] So I guess I want to hear a little bit more about. Um, how you guys work together. I know that you said that, um, you guys share an inbox, different things like that, but most people we've talked to have been solopreneur or people who, you know, just work for themselves and not a duo. So how do you guys manage working together? Like, I can't imagine working with somebody else all the time.

    Megan Lentz: [00:05:30] This is the first question. Literally anywhere. If we go to mixers, if we go just out to dinner with friends or like, how do you use, do this and balance each other's different personalities. Um, I think one good thing about Maria and myself is that we're not type a people. Um, we do have opinions and, you know, we have different design ideas, which I think really helps.

    Excel or business together, especially in the wedding world. Um, but we are very good about, you know, if one person feels stronger about a situation, we go with what they're thinking, if I don't feel too strongly about it, um, and vice versa. So it really is a good balance. I mean, we all have. We are really good about not arguing with each other.

    Um, we're good about listening to what the other person has to say before. We're like, well, I'm not really sure that that's the best idea. And then we kind of sit on that and kind of, you know. I always trying to think of what she is thinking like longterm. And she is a lot more organized than I am. I'm a little more like, go, go, go, let's do all the things.

    And she's like, okay, Megan, let's pull back a little bit. Like not kill ourselves where we're trying to like build this. So, um, it's a really good balance and I really enjoy working with her. So we've, it doesn't come without, you know, challenges, but it's worth it to have somebody to pick up the Slack when you're not around.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:06:48] So you said that neither one of you are type a. um, I find that super interesting because I am also in a partnership with, um, somebody and we do, we organize art happenings or like street art, um, graffiti weekends a nd she is like the like artists out there who is doing her own thing, not really organized.

    And then there's me who's like. Super type a, like we have to have a schedule, we have to like know all of the things in advance. Like you have to know everything, but we balance each other out. Do you feel like one of you guys stays like on track? Um, and like rains the other one in more often? 

    Megan Lentz: [00:07:30] So it's funny, like our personalities are so different, but Maria definitely reigns me in, but I definitely have more of the organization of things like the constant to do list of things we need to do. Um, but yeah, we're, I'm an extroverted introvert, so my personality can be, I guess, different ways at different times, just depending on the situations, which is nice. And I think Marina is the same way, where when we're in social settings, we're very outgoing, very chatty.

    Um, but when we're like down in the office trying to get things done, you know, we are very organized. Um, . Our biggest compliment that we get from our brides is that this planning process was so laid back. Um, that's one of our favorite compliments and the favorite things we see in our reviews. Um, just having, you know, we want our brides and our, a couple of, like all of our couples and our, their family members to feel relaxed.

    So us coming off was type in, like have to have all the things done really just never goes over well.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:08:29] Do you feel like side hustling. An event business, especially when you have to meet with a client has ever really interfered. Mmm. Or do you think that it works better for you because it balances. Regular work with something that's different and more creative? 

    Megan Lentz: [00:08:47] Yeah, I think it's the balance really. Um, again, my schedule is nice because I can build around it at different times. Um, and most of our, you know, couples meet, want to meet in the afternoon or evenings because they're also working full time jobs. So we don't run into. A lot of having to do things during the day. Um, and a lot of our vendor friends also are like side hustlers, so they're too having to meet on like Saturdays or late in the evening, or going to the couple of towns to meet. So it's worked out really well. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:16] So I'm curious as well, because the event planning business requires a certain level of. Like Polish and beauty and like there's an expectation that things are always pretty. Um, it sounds like you both have a really good opportunity to share about how and why and where and when things get messy or complicated. Have you shared about that and how has that impacted your business as compared to like the industry. 

    Megan Lentz: [00:09:45] So are you talking about like certain events or, 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:50] Oh, like social media. 

    Megan Lentz: [00:09:52] Oh like social media, so we actually split up our social media times, um, Maria Monday through Thursday, and I do the weekends so that we're not constantly having to be on there and comment and like, and share and do all the things.

    Um. So it really is beneficial having a business partner to pick up the other half and giving yourself a little bit of a break, especially like trying to think of vacation in the off season. Um, and, you know, not getting behind on things. Um, but it, it really, you know, we always, there are sticky situations in every business.

    Um, but we, I think we really handle them. With grace and staying calm about things really helps because when you get overwhelmed, which happens like on the daily, anyone who is a female entrepreneur knows how this shit rolls. Um, you are constantly overwhelmed about all the things on your to do list. So I think, I know Maria definitely brings me back down to earth. It's like, all right, so we just need to get these couple of things done today and then we'll move on to the next thing. So. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:10:55] Well, I'm curious, I you. You definitely seem like you both have it all together, which is amazing. And I'm jealous, um, because I don't do a good job of giving off that vibe. Um, but that doesn't come without mistakes.

    What are some mistakes that you've made in business. Um, that maybe you, maybe you don't even rip at them because you learned from them, but what are some mistakes in business that you've made and how have they impacted your business? 

    Megan Lentz: [00:11:26] I think, I know our biggest mistake our first year was over committing, and we definitely don't have. All of our stuff together. Um, as entrepreneurs, we like to make it look like we do, but everyone knows that there's chaos going on in the background, but that's what we want our clients to see is that, you know, we have our shit together. We're just rolling through. But yeah, I think our biggest, I don't regret any of it.

    Um, we had an amazing first year, but I think we over committed with weddings that we were doing, and it got. We were at the point where we were overwhelmed and burnout and in your first year or second year of business like you did is something you want to avoid completely. Um, so I know that I have been, one thing that I've just personally gone into is mentoring with another planner.

    Um, who's a season planner, and she has really guided me into the direction of, you know, how you do your commitments, how much time you put towards it each week. Um, things like that. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:12:26] How do you feel like, um, since you've started your business, how do you feel that you've changed, or what have you learned about yourself in this entrepreneurial journey?

    Megan Lentz: [00:12:36] Um, I think we both learned that we're like some badass bitches doing this thing. I mean like, dang, we get super pumped just to see how far we've come in like three years. And it. It's amazing the, you know, I guess initial growth of just like myself of being so nervous to come into an industry where I had experienced but not, I was not a 10 years seasoned, you know, wedding planner.

    Um, you know, we make a lot of mistakes. We like to come around and track so clients don't see those mistakes, but, you know, we grow from each of those. And I, you know, in our third, going into our third year, like. It's been awesome. Um, I know Marie and myself have really just sent me, take more time to sit back and look at how far we've come.

    This, even just in January for 2020, I'm just like, liberally, we're really, three years ago, like we had no idea what we were doing. Um, we loved weddings. We had done, you know, your friend's weddings and like the under the table kind of helping people. So, you know, for a few hundred bucks kind of weddings.

    But now that we're into it, and. We're starting to get, you know, higher end clientele. It's really exciting for us.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:46] Yeah. I feel like something that we forget to do is like reflect on what happened last year, what happened the year before, like how have we changed and how have we, like how are we continuing to grow? I think we totally forget to do that. Um. And I think that goes into goal setting. So do you guys, do you guys end up sitting down and goal setting for each year or what is, what does that look like for you guys?

    Megan Lentz: [00:14:14] Yeah. We, um, we did this year, we actually went to a, um, gosh, what do they call it? Inspiration board parties where you like cut out magazine pictures and you put things that you want to improve on for that year. Things that you want to get more into that year. And I know that we both had, um, just being more present.

    In our, um, personal lives. Um, because you know, when you have a business, as you both know, like your work takes, you know, I'm sure all of our husbands and boyfriends and girlfriends, I'll understand that, like, you know, second to our business babies. So, um, it's always nice to, I know we both like decided that we needed to be more present in our personal lives versus, you know, we can still do everything we want to business wise, but make more of a structured schedule for that.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:15:02] And do you guys both have significant others then? And like, because you guys are all always together together frequently? Do they hang out too? 

    Megan Lentz: [00:15:12] Um, so we, it's almost fortunate and unfortunate. So both of our husbands are gone quite a bit at the time, so their jobs, um, so Julie just Marie and I hanging out, getting all the things done. Um, but when they're home, it's definitely like an O'Connor's like, okay. We need to like put the laptop down and we need to move on and we need to like, just hang out and relax. And they, he's very good about bringing me, you know, back into like reality. So, and I think Jared doesn't seem for Maria. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:15:41] Awesome.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:15:42] Caitlyn. Um, so speaking of relationships, uh, something that I have as a goal this year is better understanding what that balance looks like and being more intentional about being more intentional about setting that time. So with you guys being event folks, and like me working a lot of weekends when most traditional jobs are off.

    How are you building in that time? I know you said both of your partners are traveling a lot, but they have to be home at some point. 

    Megan Lentz: [00:16:18] Yes. I know that we, I can't speak from Maria, but I know that. Like her husband's schedule is going to change for this year, so I know he'll be off in the afternoons, which would be nice that they can spend that time versus just trying to cram everything in some personal time and on the weekends.

    Now I'm with my husband, I, well now, like the last few weeks I've been looking ahead. To schedule. This is awful. Scheduled time with, so then it's like blocked out and like, I, my phone's on doing that. Mr urban, you know, we have time to hang out on the farm with the dogs and stuff like that. So. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:16:52] No. You have to make time for that stuff. I mean, I work first shift, plus a side hustle, plus a college degree. My boyfriend works second shift plus some overtime. So in theory, we should never see each other. But like this morning we woke up an hour early to have some time together before I went. So like,

    yeah. Yeah. Um, so we do have to wrap things up. I can talk to you for literally forever, but before, before we start to wrap things up, what is a piece of advice that you would give to a newer business owner who's trying to dive into the world of events?

    Megan Lentz: [00:17:39] I would probably say it's not as overwhelming as it looks starting off. Take your time. um starting a business is overnight doesn't happen, but take your time to get your website, build up, get a good content, build up. Um, do style shoots. That is a big thing. I wish. Um, newer businesses would start doing, instead of just taking on events, um, do some smaller weddings and do some style shoots, get to know vendors, um, shadow people, get a mentor in the wedding world.

    And there's so many things to educate yourself online now. Um, things that like were not there back in the day when we first started. So it really, the internet platform for education is amazing. Um, and there's so many ways to learn. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:18:27] Oh, I love it. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:18:31] Awesome. All right, so where can we find you guys on the interwebs?

    Megan Lentz: [00:18:36] You guys can find us at our website at www.vidaevents.net and then our Instagram handle is at  vida underscore events.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:18:45] Amazing. Well, thank you so much for hanging out with us today. We had a great time and this was a really great episode.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Natalie Arribeno of Nubia Natalie.. .

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    The importance of managing your cash flow and knowing where the money is going.

    Realizing what self-care means to you!

    The power of carving out time to just take care of emails and planning the week ahead.

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript

     

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:00:21] Hi guys, and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. We are so excited. Um, we are joined today by Natalie Arrabenue Benbenno. Oh man, I messed it up already. Let me just preface by saying it's actually a Spanish word and Caitlyn can pronounce it. So I'm a let Natalie introduce her last name. Tell us more about why she, um, identifies as a side hustler. 

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:00:50] Yeah, no, thank you. Thank you. It's all good. It's, it's not. I'm very common Mexican. Last name. So my name is Natalie Aribeno  and I identify myself as a side hustler. It really, because I have. Three full time jobs, I guess you can say that. And then my own business.

    And um, I do that outside of my full time job. And ideally I would love my side hustle to be my main hustle. Right. and a little bit of background, I'm the founder and designer for my active wear line, which is Nubia and Natalie, which Nubia is actually my first name, but all my friends call me Natalie.

    Um, so yeah, that's how I identify myself as a side hustle. I really, it's just balancing active multiple things that I do. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:01:41] So talk to us about those three full time things cause that sounds insane.

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:01:50] Yeah, no. So, um, I'm a merchandise planner. And a fashion company. I also consult a startups that want to build their own fashion brands. I've always been in the consumer direct to consumer, um, business side of things. Um, and I have a lot of knowledge. I, that's where my background is from. And then, um, I also teach, so I'm a college professor a part time, and I teach fashion fibers and materials, which helps me with my own business.

    Um, and I do my business. After working hours. So I have an agenda. I, I'm very strict with my schedule and I do less is more. So I know it sounds like a lot, but I think it's doable. I mean, I, I always asking myself if I didn't do. My side hustle, would I regret it? And 1000% I don't think I was built to just do a nine to five because there's always that itch, you know that calling in your heart. So, um, and I'm young. I was like, if I'm going to do this, then I got to do it now. So. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:03:03] Yeah. I think both Caitlin and I resonate with that. That argument of now's the time. Like we have less obligations holding us back, less things that are barriers or would be detrimental to us trying to pursue this.

    So it totally makes sense. You said that you have an agenda. Caitlyn's a planner freak. I'm a Google calendar freak. Um, so talk to us about what you're planning in your time management looks like. Like, are you a black scheduler? Are you a squeeze it in where you can person? Like how do you manage your time?

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:03:35] So, um, first of all, I'm a paper and pen type of person. I love writing it and then putting it in my calendar, um, my digital, whether it be my Google or I-Cal um my rule  my rule is every Sunday I just block out an hour Late at night six seven whatever and I just looked through my schedule Um I try to wake up as early as I can Um so I I my and I'm going to give tangible um Recommendations because I hate when people are like Oh just use an agenda It's like well what does that really mean So I wake up at six um I do a lot of journaling and meditation so I don't really get to my phone or my emails until eight So my me time is really important in the morning And then from eight to five is just whether I'm at the office or whether I'm teaching or whether I'm my On the road So I blocked that out and then I get home and then I work from eight to 11 on my business Mmm And then I squeeze in I try to do 45 minutes of something physical even if it's walking outside um throughout the day Um so that's what I really try to do I try to be as consistent as possible I would love to wake up earlier than six but it's a challenge. So that's really what I do pen and paper helps And then a lot of post-its. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:05:08] So the real question here is do you have like a significant other or anything like that that gets into your time way? Because girl I can't even imagine.

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:05:20] Uh no I do not And I am working really really hard to you have a dog Because I used to have a dog and I really would like a dog And Because of my schedule I think it would be so selfish to get a dog at this moment So ideally I would just like to do my side hustle And then one of the jobs. I self fund my company So that's where the need of um income is for me And I think that's very important for any side hustle gals out there to really understand that just because you have this great ideas keep your job because that helps your sanity because bills will still come Yes it's a juggling act of three jobs but financially I need it And then also it's questions for you to ask yourself do you want to be self-funded or do you want to get funding from outsiders That opens a different kind of warms. So for me right now this works for me So being self aware I think it's important when you start your side hustle as far as financials go cause you'll be surprised the money goes real quick. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:06:32] That's that's so interesting that I mean man I think about your day and I'm like Ooh if I was that productive I don't even know But that's so true about the finance I think that we There's a lot of people who promote the Oh well you need to quit your day job and like bring your side hustle to like full fruition but are you actually funded enough to make that happen. That's a that's a great question to ask yourself before you decide to make that transition. So what do you think is going to make you make that transition or do you know when you hit a certain goal what it's going to look like?

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:07:14] I think right now and I'm actually just work on my 2020 goals And for me it would be being able um Nubia Natalie to be able to um delivers sales that will cover like at least my teaching job You know um if it can deliver those types of sales then I will walk away from one of the jobs And because it's also like no one's going to love the business more than myself. So if I'm able to accomplish all this and juggle all this what will the return of investments of my time will be in investing even more time on Nubia Natalie. So it's a two part Um That I continued to battle myself Um because I'm so new in the business and I'm still pivoting and learning I'm okay for it But um I have set a goal for myself from a year from now 2021 Um business ain't going to be sustainable if I really want to grow the business.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:08:14] I love setting those milestones well in advance and understanding kind of the ramp and what it's going to take to get to those milestones Cause I think we there's nothing more frustrating than identifying that you want to do something but not giving it a deadline because without the deadline you aren't forced To do the work to figure it out So it's it's really cool to hear that you're like okay a year from now at least the teaching job will be gone Like I'm going to have more time and more focus that I can give to Nubia Natalie So I think that's really smart. You also just said that you've finished your 2020 goals Do you have a favorite goal setting tool like power sheets or the Natalie meal program or anything like that And then Ooh talk to us about it Talk to us about it.

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:09:05] I love setting goals and then I'm not the type of person I think like January like the time to set goals I set goals my year cause I do a vision board at the end of set uh end of September October's I did my 2020 goals back in 2019 October So I do a vision board So I do one whatever It gives me the calling of putting it on the vision board Then I just smart goals which I think a lot of people know Um they're very specific They're measurable um achievable Um if you look at the acronym on Google it's very smart So I hand write them and I put them in my in the beginning of my agenda I I actually only did four goals cause I want to um Accomplish three of them by September and December of this year. So um I did the smart goal uh process Like for example my goal was to sell through my inventory 95% of it right. So I broke it down even further by saying like if it's 400 units by September or there's a day a week Know like I made it so specific that it's digestible for me to tell it to somebody else Um I think very sexy goals I think as long as they're uh therefore you and I don't even call them goals. I call them my North star because like okay what what are my marching orders What's my North star that helps me with my Focus.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:10:43] Okay So you have talked about your planner that you use twice now So give us the scoop. Which planner do you you use in your business?

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:10:54] Okay so I use this planner that I just started using And it's in Spanish and it's by this woman Um her name is Mia Astra I can send you the link. I am very spiritual so it has a lot of beautiful quotes and it has like astra, astrology in there Um and it's broken out by hour and um  for each day which helps me cause each day it's a little bit different based on like My three jobs so I use that and then um she has really amazing like notes or that's where I have all my goals So I I I it helps for me Every time I open it it's there It's on my it's in my face.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:11:43] It sounds like probably a more beautiful version of Danielle LaPorte's desire map planner Maybe Yeah it sounds very cool Yeah so you have all of these systems that you're using in your in your business. You sound very process oriented like Caitlyn I'm curious how you get your like analog your paper planning and your digital planning and goal setting to work together? I'm a pen and paper note taker but a digital planner in terms of my time and sometimes I struggle To keep those two in sync at all times.

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:12:21] I know it is a struggle and I've I know what you're saying cause sometimes I'm like okay I just wrote everything on my calendar Now I'm going to go to my uh I Cal and do it all over again is just a lot of work honestly because I've I sent myself but like every Sunday Right That's what I do Um and I don't only just do it for my business I do it for my friends and family Like that's the day where I I blocked out time just to organize myself for the next two weeks And then from there um when I do that I'm also reading all my emails and replying on all my emails so that I am jotting down like okay this I need to follow up on this person I do this and that I gotta pay bills. So it's like the Sunday routine is what has really helped to take control on my emails my calendar my to do and I broke it And I have like notes where I have like Nubia Natalie. I have like my personal where all my bills getting my nails done Do you know those are things that I have to plan out I can't just randomly. Stop by and get my nails done because I already kind of schedule myself it's hard because there's not a lot of flexibility at times but for me it helps to know what to do I need to get done And obviously I also I'm a believer of balance so I need to put in some self care within my schedule whether it's me going to a book club for this weekend and next weekend I hang out with friends with brunch And you know it's just kinda like that And like I say every dollar has a home Every minute has a home for me So that's that's key. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:14:09] I think that's so smart I also like you glossed over this as if it was normal and it should be normal But I want to talk about this You talked about self care as going to a book club or going to brunch and it wasn't what we traditionally hear of self care which is like massages or getting your nails done or um so, What is what does self care mean to you? I love that it's not that traditional stuff that can be really expensive 

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:14:39] Yes It's yes Uh thank you for bringing that up Yes Because again I'm working a lot because of the financial needs for my business But at the same time the more successful you are the more self care you need that I know that Um one you need to recognize What is that for you. I've gone through a lot and I've learned that for me self care means I have to meditate in the morning I have to do a couple of like a meditation and I mean like five minute Headspace Uh meditation Uh I need to be with people So then I need to be with my friends too for brunch Um I like to learn So then and I like to learn from other people So then book club for me is important So I um I've also like to go to the museum by myself too. Like I get inspiration like that So for me self care is also like I have to watch my money right Like I can't be spending and getting my hair done and getting my now like that's great But as an entrepreneur like if you don't learn how to manage your cashflow now when you're getting started once you become big that that's going to be like a major thing for you as it of what you like and what self care is for you Um then that's going to be that tremendous I've been grown to the speed that I thought I was going to go because I am pivoting and learning what's the right thing for myself because at then the business is that successful As well as I am Like if I'm in a good place then my business will reflect that.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:16:32] Okay guys I need you to pause rewind for like three minutes and listen to that one more time because that is literally gold Like if you don't manage your cashflow you don't know where money is going then You can't do self care at the end of the day because you might not have money leftover. So being super cognizant of that and knowing the self care is important because if you're anything like me you don't do self care and then you get burnt out and then life is just rough. So figuring out as a as a side hustler when you're running your business that cashflow and what makes you happy And what Self care looks like for you is so so so so so important Um Natalie that was just that was such gold Um so I guess the last thing I wanted to ask was what are some of the um systems that you use for your business like online or I mean I guess you already talked about your planner but like online 

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:17:38] Yeah I use asana a lot. Um that really helps And I do The board the lists gets me very um complicated Um it gets me very overwhelmed Like I like to see things Um on the board I use a lot of Post-its I used to have it in my kitchen I had like a big paper and then just bunch of posts colored uh I liked that Um and I write a lot of emails to myself I know that sounds weird. A lot of people like have notes I have notes too but creativity comes with you at any point in time So I always email myself. So that's why the Sunday day works out so well for me because on Sundays all of the emails I wrote to myself have a home and that's when I put them in my Asana or whatever I put them in my post-its So you know because it's like Oh I got an idea for packaging Well um I'm at work I can do it So I just shoot myself an email So here comes Sunday then on Sunday it has a home and it's on my Big idea. I like columns that I have in my Asana so that's how I kind of continue to you know it just because I'm not literally sitting on my desk Working on Nubia Natalie I'm always thinking about it and I think that's important for people to understand. You can still be at your full time job and then we'll be working on your business You can listen to a podcast and journal um get ideas That's what I used to do when I was um barely starting Um versus you just locking out two hours and being like today that's where I'm gonna work on my business Your business is Every day, 24, seven type of thing. And um, so that's one of the systems I've always been using. I'm emailing to myself. Asana and posted.Simple  is the key. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:19:38] Awesome. All right, so where can we find you on the interwebs? 

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:19:43] Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram at Nubia Natalie. So it's N, U, B, I,A. Natalie, N, A, T, A, l, I, E. And then on my um uh website it's nubianatalie.co 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:19:57] Awesome Thank you so much for being here 

    Natalie Arribeno: [00:19:59] Thank you for having me This was very fun.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Naphtali Roberts of Business Coach For Creatives. .

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    How to thrive in your side hustle as an emotional person.

    Reigning in the want to fix too many things to the point of it being detrimental to you and your side hustle.

    The real and true power of journaling and goal setting.

    Combating the negative self-narratives we tell ourselves.

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript 

     

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:00:21] Hey everyone. Welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. We are so excited to be here today with Naphtali Roberts, uh, she is a business coach for creatives and I'm so excited to chat with her. Naphtali, can you tell us a little bit more about you. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:00:38] I would love to. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah, so as you mentioned, I am a business coach and strategist with creatives, and it can be creatives in any way. I always like to clarify like creative is who you are in your heart. You could be doing multiple different things for to make the money, but I worked specifically with creatives at heart who are looking to make money consistently doing what they love without the hustle, bustle, burnout, all of those things.

    That makes it so you stop making money doing what you love and you stopped being the person who want to be. So that is what I do. I am also a mom to three children, seven and under and wife to a creative entrepreneur and a lover of really great coffee. So if you get me talking about coffee and all things like why you should drink certain types of coffee, we may be here all day. That's who I am. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:01:40] That's awesome. Actually fun fact, you can get, um, coffee here in Ajo. So I live down in the middle of the desert in Ajo, Arizona. Um, we have two places here in town that actually. God, what is it called? Not not burn. Uh, uh, if you burn the coffee, right, it's not, that's not great. Um, they roast their own coffee. We have two roasters here in town. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:02:09] That's awesome. We, so my husband and I, we just own it. We're coffee snobs. Like, um, we, there's very few things in our life. We are snobby about coffee and hotels maybe, or our two. Um, and we just own it. We're just like, yes. We realize it's not what everyone needs to drink.

    We think they should, but. Um, and so we actually have a roaster down in San Diego. We live in Burbank, but California, but we love their coffee. And so we actually. Get our coffee delivered from them, like their beans. Cause we like, we're the people that like do the like grinding everyday and then we French press because like, then my husband can test the water temperature because it affects how the coffee makes. So, um, yeah. So that's us. But I actually, I'm going to have to check that out. Maybe they deliver. I like trying new roasts and beans and all the things. So. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:01] Oh, I'll have to get your address afterwards and I'll just send you send you bag of beans. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:03:05] Oh, totally. Take that all about trying new coffee.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:11] Okay, Dannie. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:03:14] I was going to say, please be nice to me because I just bought really like nice single origin coffee, but it's Amazon fresh brand, so like, I don't know. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:03:24] No, you know what? It's single origin, which I love. That's one of the other reasons we get our coffee from seventies coffee down in San Diego at single origin and I that  big important thing to me.

    And so I love it. I'm not going to judge you if you said, okay, I was on a podcast and I love this lady, dear friend. I was on a podcast and the first time we ever met, and. I was like, Oh, you love good coffee too, what you drink? And she said, Folgers. And I literally, yeah, that look that you just did. No one listening can see.

    But almost spitting your coffee out was like, uh, what? Uh, I don't know how to respond. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:04:05] And she's just like a self proclaimed coffee snob that drank Folgers. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:04:09] Yes. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:04:10] That's so cute. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:04:13] No. What's hilarious is the people I live with, he's like, I only like certain kinds of coffee, and then it's yuban and I'm like, I can't with you. All right. So now that we've talked about coffee, that's, that's always fun and let's be honest guys, we all need to stay caffeinated cause we are busy. I would love to hear more about, um, what coaching means to you. I feel like right now a lot of side hustlers are claiming to be coaches pretending to be coaches.

    Or are actually VA's and just think that they're coaching people through how to like start a process, but they're not actually coaches. If that's my, uh, my rant. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:04:59] Great great question. So I'll give you a little history about me and that it definitely makes it so that I really do define it. That I am a coach, I'm a strategist as well, and I really do believe in the marrying of those two and that's what makes me unique. Um, so many, many moons ago. I'll actually just go back to my childhood. I am a fourth generation business owner, and so I really grew up around the business. Um, everybody else talks about sports at the table. We were not a sporty family, um, but we were a business strategist family.

    And so. When other people talked about who was going to the Superbowl, we talked about why that business was setting up their location there because they were never going to see it succeed there. So that was just kind of the environment in which my brain was grown. But as in many of our families, some people are told they're supposed to be the thing that the family does and some people are not.

    I was not. And I am a very big feeling sort of person, always been who I am, kind of the emotional black sheep of my family, have a great relationship with them, but like they do not. Really get my feelings. And so I took the path that any big feeler would feel, and I became a therapist. And so I spent a lot of years working with people on their goals and how to figure them out and really learning how the mind works in relationship to that.

    But on the back side of that, I was always like, I don't understand why people say it's so hard to own a business. Like I was like, it's just so easy, like you should just do it now. It was the beautiful combo of the right left brain that I got going on. Anyways, flash forward, had kids stopped working, tried to be a stay at home mom.

    About two and a half years in, husband sat me down, said. Darling wife, you hate this. I fought him. He said, no, seriously, like you are not the person I married. I don't need you to make money, but I need you to go back to being you. So you either have to go get a job or you need to start a business. I don't care which figure out your stuff.

    And after some fighting because I don't like to be told what to do. I realized that he was correct and I was like, huh, okay. So I'll figure out how to start a business. So long story endless, started that business on part time so that I could still like hang out with my kids when I wanted to. And kind of like a side hustle business, like work really minimally like 10 to 12 hours a week.

    So really low and very much on my own Hyman. Within that and still when I kept seeing was like, Oh, I'm getting all these people in therapy, and really what is under it is that they're running their business, not so great, and I could coach them through this. I can like, and why are their kids coming to therapy?

    Oh, they're coming to therapy because their parents are burnt out because they're running their business based on really. Reactive strategy. Um, so this kinda kept going through my head and as a therapist, I cannot talk to you about business strategy. That is not within my scope of practice. So I was faced with the dilemma, okay, do I keep seeing people for $170 an hour when really let I know they need is just business strategy?

    In their parents. So after many,  debates with myself, because no one else cared what I did, I was like, I'm, I'm going to coach people on this cause like this is actually going to get to the heart of the problem. And so not with people I see in therapy, anyone in the state licensing board, it's a very, very different business.

    I do not have. Crossover here, but I was like, I'm going to do this. And so really I've been able to use those skills that I learned within my years doing therapy to understand what people need to do to be motivated and to gain an understanding. And then I used my very long interaction with  building businesses that I actually thrive and I married them together. And that's how we get to today. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:00] I love this so much. First of all, because I'm also an emotional person. I probably cry in one-on-ones with my manager at least once a month. Yeah. My manager is also like not an emotional man, and so you watch him like visibly get uncomfortable

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:09:25] It's just feelings, they just are there. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:28] Yup. And like as the sole Latina woman on the team, it's also vaguely that like black women are angry and Latina women cry thing.

    Um, but anyway, what I wanted to say is I love this intersection of. Therapy and business strategy because in a lot of ways what you're doing is career development for the entrepreneur, which is very therapy adjacent and like very like a well use purpose for your skills. And I'm curious in. In this space.

    You also run a business yourself, so you also have your own experience. We catch yourself wanting to like fix too many things, and how do you rein it in? And the reason I ask this question is because a lot of us get our fingers in too many pies and there's probably some lessons we can learn from how you . Let's take a step back. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:10:36] Yeah. Oh my gosh. Um, and you know, it's a constant, a constant process, um, to really know like, okay, well, like what is within what I'm supposed to do? And for me it really has been understanding. So I to reign that in half to understand what my mission and then what, what that mission is like that key, like for example, this morning.

    I have had a week where I just  the to do list has felt bigger then maybe other weeks. Um, I have not had time to analyze why that is. I just can say that it is this week. Um, and it's Friday and I was like, uh, I'm not living the piece that I want. To live. That was my intention for the week, was to be peaceful.

    I was like, I'm not really doing that. So this morning I journaled and I was recognizing. Using that. I was trying to be too many things for too many people. And so I really had to, I, I, I'm trying this new practice, um, where I write out every single morning my mission, like it's already happened and I had done some, like.

    Oh, I'm reached my goals. I writing my to do list. I like, I've already done it, that stuff. But really this idea of writing my mission out, like I've  it's already happened. Like, so for me this year, his mission is to, um, impact. 50 creative entrepreneurs and help them thrive in their lives, in their businesses.

    That, so this morning I wrote that out and then I said, and what do I not believe? Why do I not believe that's possible? And I like did that. And I recognized the, some of the things that I'm getting my hands in are actions to try to prove to myself that I'm worth doing this or probably to prove to myself that I'm capable of doing it.

    So when I was able to go through my to do list. That I, it's self-imposed. I was like, Oh, some of these things I actually don't need to do. They're not actually within the scope of the agreements I've made with clients. They're not within the day to day needs of my business. They're my actions that I'm trying to decide, prove my fears, and so I really believe that.

    When we as  entrepreneurs, whether we're side hustling, full timing, it like doing one thing at a time, whatever we're doing, we got to look at the, the thoughts that are driving our actions because most of the time when we're doing too much, it's because we're scared that or not enough, and then we do more than we need to do.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:05] That's so good. I feel like a lot of the actions we take in our business, and Dannie can attest, the, the startup of side hustles can be a coping mechanism, so to say for sure, things that have potentially gone wrong or you're not feeling sufficient in a certain area, so you start building your business. Um, I feel like we tell ourselves these.

    Narratives that aren't always true. Um, and then we get stuck in those mindsets. And so that's, that's just. That's gold right there because it's so true. Um, what are, I mean, I guess you're, you're a therapist, but you're also a business coach. Do you have any strategies for helping rewrite a narrative? Like, I don't have enough money or I'll never make enough money?

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:13:58] Yeah. Yeah. So I really love, I love self coaching, that idea. Um, I dunno if you guys have done it or anyone ever talk you through like that process, but it really is like looking at, okay, what am I believing? So like just call it out. Um, our, our brains. I love neuroscience. Um, and so like, and I love that.

    Like, as a coach, I get to like geek out about neuroscience all the time. Um, and so our brains, like, it's funny, anything we say within our brains or brain believes, um, our brains are not actually tuned in enough to like, recognize the difference between reality and distortion. Um, and so we can use that for our benefit, but if we're not careful, that derails us.

    And so. When I recognize , it should only when I recognize I'm feeling something, especially those feelings that don't actually feel like they're within me. I don't know if anyone else has ever felt like that. You're like, so I'm. Physically anxious. Right now my heart is racing. I have not had massive amounts of coffee, so I know it's not that checked in with myself on the coffee consumption or whatever, your caffeine boost of choice.

    Um, and then I'm like, so what? So what I've literally say is like, okay, I feel the tension. My heart is fluttering. My stomach's kind of that wobbly feeling that generally means I'm anxious, but my thoughts. What I believe are not anxious right now. But usually what I realized is I've already bought into a narrative so it believes so true.

    I don't even notice that it's there. And so I have to say like, okay, so what? What am I believing right now?  money is a really powerful one, right? We all have more money narratives. Um, and my husband is a very typical creative freelancer, gig to gig sort of person. And so we have had and continue to have journeys with money because never in our.

    Entire marriage. Have we known exactly where the next paycheck's coming from? Like we know now the ebbs and flows, but even those changes, this last year has been . Nothing has been the normal pattern. And so for me, I've had to recognize, okay, what is my money narrative right now? My money narrative right now is his job isn't stable, so I have to magically create all the money to fill in the gaps.

    Wow. That's a lot of power. Like a lot of pressure I put on myself. That wasn't actually true. So I had to recognize, and I still have to recognize, Oh, this feeling is happening. What is this feeling? Oh, I'm telling myself, no one, I'm on the brink of disaster and everything's going to go bad. Even though we've lived this way for nine years and we have never not, been able to keep living where we're living. We've never not been able to feed our children, but I believe my life is going to end. Hello person in the background. Um, and then we, so then what happens is like, I am like . okay. That's my narrative. So how am I gonna self coach myself through this?

    So this is the lie I'm believing. This is the feeling associated to this. This is what I normally do. I run around like a chicken with my head cut off. So if I want to change running around like a chicken with my head cut off chain filling with anxiety, I got to change the beliefs. We have to recognize what the belief is.

    And then just honestly, this sounds so simple, but this is how our brain works. If I tell myself the new belief, my brain can't actually tell if that's true or not. So if I just practice saying it, it actually changes the thought pattern. So many times all of us say this to ourself, we say, I don't believe that yet.

    I can't say that. I have to know what's true. Here's the thing. Our brain will never believe it until we start saying to ourself, consistently, our brain looks for danger. It it's just wired that way. It's not wired to think good. So we have to practice thinking well and healthy. In order to do it because we will never magically believe it's going to happen if we don't just practice it.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:18:03] Okay. So my follow up question is  do you believe in using mantras, and if so, can you give us a couple of your favorites? 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:18:14] I do believe in using them now. I want to take the stance that I believe in using them because science supports them because they help us rewire our brain. So whether you think, Oh, I'm in the idea of manifestation or not, this is a practice you can use.

    Like it is not necessarily, some people would go to like, Oh, it's so spiritual and I'm not woo and I'm not, woo hoo either. I am. Pretty sane space with a little bit of what other people see as Woo that I believe is scientifically supported. So, um, I just always like to call that out because sometimes people get tripped up by it just because of that and they throw it out.

    So some of my favorite mantras really have to go with my core beliefs. So I have to know, like, my core belief is. I'm not going to be okay. And so I have to come up with a plan, and the plan always is me. And that leads to all sorts of sorts of unhealthy things. So for me, I have to say, , I know what I need to do today and I'm going to do that, and I am, or I'll say I am safe, or I'll say,

    There's never been a time that we, I literally say there's never been a time that we haven't been able to feed ourselves, feed our children, whatever that fear is, call it out and then just say the opposite. Mmm. There isn't like a magical, like these three words are going to make things better. It's just usually the opposite of whatever you're scared of.

    So figure out what you're scared of and then just say the opposite.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:19:47] So I'm super curious for someone who has never had a good understanding of doing this, somehow has the ability to talk myself out of these affirming statements. Then what would you recommend? 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:20:05] So you're gonna, you're gonna. Record yourself saying one, it doesn't matter, it's the, it's whatever one you need.

    So let's say, tell me, tell me something you get scared of. Tell me something you feel this is easier if we just do it

     Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:19] I didn't do any talking myself out of it. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:20:22] You trying to think of one right now? Yes. God.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:28] I will pay off my debt this year. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:20:31] Okay, so, and you don't believe as possible .

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:20:33] girl bye. That's an easy one. Come on. Do something that you know that you feel strongly about. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:40] If I leave Google, my identity changes completely. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:20:45] There you go. Okay. Okay. And okay, I'm going to ask another question cause it's going to help us What type of identity, like your identity of success, your identity of security. What does the identity, 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:57] no, like my actual identity cause I identify as a Googler. Okay. The same way that I identify as having Brown hair and green eyes.

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:21:08] And being a, if you're not a Googler, what would that mean about you? 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:21:12] I probably still have a similar job. It's just not at Google. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:21:16] I know, but what would it mean about you if someone is not a Googler, what does that mean about them? 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:21:22] They're an ex Googler and something must be wrong with them because they left Google. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:21:27] Okay. So your, your belief then is if I leave Google, I means there's something wrong with me.

    It means I can't hack it. I can't cut it. I couldn't do it. So the thing that you have to change, the thing you have to believe your mantra is, I, you know what, it's defining what that thing is. So it's, you know, I.   when I leave Google. Yeah, I am. Justice successful when I leave Google. I will still be capable. It doesn't mean that there's something wrong with me when, so find that thing. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:22:02] I love this. This is gone from podcasts episode to therapy, but I like it. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:22:08] Coaching. I'm not doing therapy, but it is reworking how your brain, it is reworking how your brain works. I have to clarify that I'm not doing therapy. Um, so yeah.

    So, okay. So when you do that, so what you're going to say, because we have to practice our thoughts, right? So it takes about 67 to 72, depending on the research days to change a thought, to change a simple thought in our brain, we actually have to practice saying it so. There's a couple of things you can do.

    You can record yourself saying that new thought and then you put an alarm on your phone and you listen to it. Like when you wake up in the morning, yeah, right before you go to bed, and maybe like after you take a walk or her go on a run or do some sort of like activity jump up and down at your desk.

    That's because that's when our brain is the most flexible. And so you're going to, you're going to say that to yourself. You're going to listen to yourself saying it now. You're also going to listen to yourself saying it when you're doing the anxious things that are making it so you're not actually leaving Google even when you want to, and then you just keep doing it.

    You keep listening to yourself saying it. Maybe you write it out sometimes because like our brain actually does better when we write things. So that's what you do. It really is making the pattern of like really believing it. Now. I think that that thought is still probably a little high level. I think there's probably a fear under that, and that's maybe, you know, we'll work that you like, you ask yourself like, okay, wait, what am I actually believing this below that?

    Um, and that's the more powerful thought to change. Um. Being that we are an era and I'm not going to like push you. If I was coaching you, I would push you to go deeper, but you know you're having all your listeners hear you. So I'm not going to like tell you to Matt in that place. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:24:03] That is just so good and so helpful for many of us because I know that there are so many beliefs, and I know I've done a lot of work this past these past few years in my emotions because I'm.

    Like the opposite of Danny. I don't like showing my emotions. Yes, I cry, but it's never with other people. Um, or it's rarely with other people. Um, and I don't like identifying emotions. I would much rather just do business and do business, and that's it. Um, and I think for me, a lot of. The things that have been easiest for me is just sitting down.

    And when I'm feeling a certain way, being like, okay, what word? What emotion am I actually feeling? Because I use the word frustrated so often in my vocabulary with my friends, with my family. Um, but they're like, Caitlyn, you can't always just be feeling frustrated. What is that actual feeling? Um, and really starting to identify how you're feeling because then. Nobody else can change how you're feeling besides you. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:25:09] Yeah. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:25:09] So if you can identify it, you can say, okay, here's the feeling. Why am I feeling this way and what can I do to not feel this way? And. It's so empowering because it gives you your power back. You now are in control of the thoughts that surround how you're feeling.

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:25:28] Yeah. Well, and our feelings are just our feelings, right? Like there they are. They're value neutral, like, and I don't as a very. Feelings oriented person. I don't want to say that in a shaming way. They're not there. They are what they are. What drives us are our beliefs and our beliefs, our thoughts combined with our feelings, and we can change those by changing the thought.

    We don't have to change our feelings. We have to change the belief and the thought. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:25:56] Oh, that's so good. Okay. So I think my last question, cause I know we have to wrap up soon. Um, what, what do you feel is something like, if you could shout to the whole world, like one thing that you want all entrepreneurs to know or to do what, what would you. What would be that thing that you share? 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:26:18] Stop doing all the things. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:26:22] Yes, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:26:24] yes. I'm over here. Amen. handsing. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:26:26] Amen amen. Um, I'm dancing. Uh, so yeah. And what I mean by that. Is know what your mission is, know what your longterm goals and goals are different than to do lists. So stop telling me your goal is your to do less, because like that's not going to get you anywhere but busy and overwhelmed and overworked and have a mission.

    It's can tweak or missions aren't set in stone, but have a mission and then  only do. The things that take you towards that. Now I hear that and I have been at points in my life where I'm like, well, I have to like, you know, wipe my kids' butts. How does that fit in my mission? Okay. There's still life that happens that I'm aware of that I'm just talking about when you set your intentions for the day, when you look at your to do list for the day, literally.

    is that thing is posting on social media that day actually getting you towards your goal? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. I don't believe, and never ever have I seen a thriving creative or a thriving business center that is doing all the things, because what they're doing is actually doing the things that get them their goal.

    So you have to know your goal. You'll have to know your priorities and then you have to know. So I have three pillars of being a thriving creative, and that's  priorities, processes, and consistency. And without those, even if you have two, you have harmful situations. So no. Those three things. Ask your strategies.

    Do these things fit within this strategy? There's so many great strategies for building your side hustle and then transferring that into full time income if you want it and all of that. But they're all a bunch of BS if they don't actually work with your life and your business. And so you have to have a filter to make those decisions. So stop doing all the things. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:28:26] That's honestly so good. And boy, Oh boy, did I need to hear. So thank you. And I also just want to say thank you for really strong and vulnerable episode. I think we've had a really strong conversation today, and I want to now, so I know that the audience wants to know where can we follow along with you on social media?

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:28:48] So my two favorite places to hang out is one Instagram. I'm Naphtali, N, a. P. H. T. a. L. I. A. Roberts. Find me, look me up. Easy to find. And then I also, if you do decide, grab yourself as a creative hearted person who is looking to thrive. I want to invite you to the on-purpose creatives. Facebook community.

    I hang out there all the time and we really do talk about these things and we support each other because we live in a world where we're told to do all the things we're told we're bad or yucky or not gonna make it or not. And so I've built a community where we don't accept that and we just talk about, okay, how do we do whatever we want?

    Do what we love. And then do it in a way that we thrive. So I want to invite you guys to hang out there. I'm on both of those plastic forms, pretty connected the people there .

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:29:49] love it. We're going to have both of those in the show notes below, so if you want to come hang out, you just can head down, click the links and hang out.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:29:58] Yes, thank you so much for being here. 

    Naphtali Roberts: [00:30:01] Thank you guys.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Jackie Minchillo of Pineapple Development.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    Taking advantage of hidden opportunities when they represent themselves.

    Working with your partner to create a thriving business.

    Not allowing where you are located to affect your side hustle negatively.

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    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript

     

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. Today we have Jackie Minchillo, and we were actually joking around before we started recording that this is our first legit stranger interview. So as you listeners know, we find guests. Um, who are either introduced to us who either Katelyn and I know, and this is our first straight up like meeting on the podcasts stranger interview.

    And I'm really excited. So Jackie, I'm going to toss it over to you to talk about what you do, why you identify as a side hustler and all those good things. 

    Jackie Minchillo: [00:01:00] Okay. It sounds good. Um, well, what I do is kind of a medley of a description these days. So I guess I'll start with our, our, my husband and I own a small boutique, a web development agency where we focus on eCommerce websites, and that company is called pineapple development.

    Um, and so interestingly enough. Years ago, probably about 12 years ago now, web development was a side hustle for him. Um, and through the years he continued to freelance, picking up freelance projects, bigger projects where he needed to bring in additional developers to help with the workload and such. So he had kind of started building a little bit of a team, even as a

    Freelancer. Um, and in, in my previous corporate life, I was a publicist, so I always worked in an agency setting. Um, and at the time that we really made a big shift in our lives. This was early 2015 we were living in Chicago, which I think you live in Chicago now, right? Yeah. So we were living in Chicago. We were both working full time.

    He was freelancing on the side. Uh, we were kind of the classic story of hitting a wall, feeling burned out, feeling like we were having a really low quality of life outside of work. That whole. That whole feel that we've now heard over and over again on ex Pat shows and, and the stories from entrepreneurs.

    So anyway, we decided to sell all of our stuff. Quit our jobs and move to Costa Rica in 2015 so at that time, that is when really his freelance side hustle became like, okay, this, this really needs to turn into a hustle and support us while we figure out what we're going to do. Now that we've. Taken the leap and left everything behind.

    Um, so during that time period of us living in Costa Rica, we were down there for almost four years. Um, that is kind of when I would say, I started identifying as a side hustler because I was just trying to pool from. My previous experience and what can I do at a distance and what types of jobs can I get people to hire me for?

    Um, I ended up getting hired by international living magazine to cover Costa Rica, but was doing some freelance writing on the side and helping him with the overflow of his business. And at that point, mainly just. Administrative type things in terms of invoicing and writing up client communication or writing proposals, that kind of thing.

    Um, and we hit a point towards, towards the end of our time in Costa Rica where I was feeling very frustrated with, with trying to attach a, um, financial responsibility to writing, which has always been a passion of mine and has always been something that has been a part of everything that I do. Um, but I was struggling to turn that into a job.

    Um, and enjoy it at the same time. So that really kind of was a little bit of an ego check for me in taking a step back and saying, why, why do I continue to spin my wheels and feel like I'm banging my head against the wall trying to make this work when, when my husband has this freelance business. Quote, unquote, that keeps growing and we keep needing to find other people to help with it.

    And it is, it is financially supporting us. And so I, um. I, as I said, I had a background working in agencies and I just came up with the idea that why? Why is it that I necessarily need to have my own thing? Why don't we work on focusing on this business that is financially lucrative and turn it into something more formal and let's start an agency.

    So at that point, uh, that's really when that turned into a full time gig for both of us, and we started building the company into what pineapple development is today. Um, so fast forward to, um, let's see, when, what was the timeline here? Fast forward to late 2018 I would say. Uh, we were growing. We had a small team of people working for us full time and hit that point where we're, we're enjoying a very relaxed lifestyle in Costa Rica, but if we want to continue to grow this business, it's probably time to go back to the United States, um, and be available to people in person.

    Focus on some more networking type activities and be here where we continue to, where we have the, uh, additional resources to continue growing a team, um, and be able to connect with other companies to collaborate with as well. Because when you're trying to do something like that from abroad. Sometimes you feel like you're on a bit of an Island in terms of what you're trying to do and that there's a lot of people around you that are living a very relaxed lifestyle, so it can be tough too.

    Reach for big goals and stay motivated and get inspiration from other people when you don't really have anyone around that's doing, doing what you're doing or anything similar. Really. Um, so we moved back to the United States. Uh, pineapple development is going well in April of 2019. Um, so last year, just this past spring, we decided to sign up for a, uh, business mentoring slash coaching program.

    And through that program was born really. Two side hustles, one of which has become basically another main hustle. And then the other, what I would consider to be my side hustle today. So the whole focus was in, in focusing on scalability. If you really want to be an entrepreneur and you want to build a business.

    W, how are you creating additional streams of revenue? How are you ensuring that you're going to have cashflow? What are you doing to, you know, not just focus on the business, the day to day operations of the business, but what, what, what is the future vision? And eventually also, what is the exit plan? So that was kind of the focus for this program.

    Mmm. One of the coaches in the program made basically a light handed comment in one of the classes one day talking about the fact that people really overlook the opportunity of investing in a business that already exists instead of starting their own business. And lo and behold, about a month after that class.

    Um, the, the company that we had used for, for cleaning our house. Mmm. The, the, the two people that had been cleaning our house for months are standing in our kitchen telling us that they are, um, going to be leaving. They're going to move to Seattle because they have another opportunity and they, they're not really sure what's going to happen to their company, but they're in the process of trying to find people to cover their clients essentially.

    And my husband looks at them and says, well, have you thought about selling the company? And at that time they said, um, not really. I, we don't really know anyone that would want to buy it. And so lo and behold, that starts the conversation of looking at the numbers, looking at the books, talking about what they would, what they would value the company, and what really is, um, in, in its current state or current status.

    Um, and so we, what we discovered is that it would basically be buying an existing book of business. Really without any sort of formal branding or anything like that. But there is definitely a foundation there for a company. Um, yeah, idea was we're going to hire a team and this business is going to be our side hustle and a way to create cashflow.

    And now here we are six months later and. That that business has grown in a way that we. Really did not expect. Um, we've had an incredible amount of support from the community here in st Petersburg, Florida. That's where we're based. And so that's why I say that kind of has become more of a main hustle than, than we expected.

    So simultaneously, we're, we're still running pineapple development. My husband has taken on the lion's share of managing daily operations for joy of cleaning. And here's where it comes. My side hustle, which is investing in real estate. Which probably is really the, really was the pinnacle of why we signed up for that particular program to begin with.

    That was a huge sort of piece of the program. They were going to talk about using real estate in general as a way to. Create capital, create liquidity, create cashflow, just a Fort other ventures from a business perspective. Um, and we had talked, that's something that we had talked about for years, from a very simplistic point of view of saying, we should probably think about how maybe one day we could invest in some rental properties.

    And then this course that we took kind of blew that wide open because there are so many other different avenues and ways to invest in real estate that we really didn't have any insight into previously. We really didn't. Uh. We don't know anyone really in the real estate investment world at that point.

    Um, and so it's one of those things that just got our wheels turning. Um, and very shortly after we completed the course. We ended up falling into this discussion with another couple who are very, very good friends of ours. They're the first people, pretty much that we met when we moved here to st Petersburg.

    Um, telling them about this course, telling them about what we wanna do, telling them about some systems that we had in mind in terms of softwares that can be used and ways to generate leads. And this kind of, cause we're always looking at something from the technology standpoint of what. What kind of tools can be used.

    To, do more work than one person can do. Um, and so we got talking with them. One thing led to another. We were sitting at the table one day and they're saying, would you guys be interested in, in partnering up in real estate investment? And so I now am, am working with our partner, I would say anywhere between 15 and 25 hours a week at this point.

    And we are, what we're doing is primarily looking for properties that are in need of renovation to flip. Mmm. And there are some other avenues as well. It just depends on the property and what the numbers look like. But that's primarily what we're doing. And there, again, it has evolved very quickly into something that I

    Really enjoying learning about and can see so much potential for different ways that, that can evolve and develop. Um, so I think I'm like a, at this point, like a perpetual side hustler. That keeps, keeps picking up new jobs. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:31] Yeah. I mean, it sounds like you're a serial entrepreneurs. What I'm hearing, like you just got to start businesses like,

    Oh, that's so cool. I mean, that was a lot. That's, there's so much to take in, and I can't even imagine. Has this been in the span of a a year or two years, or how long has this timespan been ?

    Jackie Minchillo: [00:13:52] This time This time span of the of the of the outline that I just gave is about three a little over three years total Three businesses in three years That's insane Very fast Yeah 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:14:06] Oh my gosh I'm ready to hear this because if you've made or you've had these three businesses what are some mistakes that you've made that you're like why did I do that And you know somebody else may be able to learn from 

    Jackie Minchillo: [00:14:21] Yeah Um well I mean a big one is is just I think sometimes when an opportunity is in front of you and you can see the upside of it it's really easy to get overly enthusiastic um and jump into something without really fully considering what some of the downsides might be Um and so I I definitely wouldn't be shy in saying that we probably have taken a bit more risks From a financial perspective then than would be recommended Mmm In such a short time So that is definitely something to think about And I I mean I think for us We're we're risk takers And that that is something that is really prevalent in in both of our personalities But I think a big thing is in terms of anything any kind of venture that you're looking at getting into is really trying to get clear with yourself in terms of how risk averse are you and and what type of what level of Mmm What level of pressure are you Truly able to take on um because there has been a lot of pressure in the last three years So it's it's in some of our friends and family kind of poke fun at us a little bit because it's like the complete opposite times 10 of the reason that we left in 2015 and went to Costa Rica and now we're back and like double full force into the grind of You know the day starts at 6:00 AM and it ends at nine or 10 or whatever time and then you get up and do it again But for me the biggest difference is that now we're doing it for for ourselves So we're not building someone else's future We're building our own future And in the process We've been able to employ other people and provide a livelihood for other people Um that is something that I never really actually had thought I had any interest in That was always very scary to me Um and it is scary on a day to day basis cause that's a lot of responsibility to take on from a from a mental mental emotional state Is that when you're when you're in the Weeds on a day to day basis You're not only now thinking about yourself but you're knowing you you know that you have other people that um are depending on this job to pay their rent or put food on the table or whatever whatever the case may be Um so I think that really analyzing things from a financial perspective is important And Trying to get really realistic about if you're going to take this risk what it what is it going to look like for the next three or five years and I think a big thing in terms of business ownership and starting to starting to go out on your own or do a venture of your own And a lot of entrepreneurs are people that have that entrepreneurial spirit um have this inside of them I think But The idea that you need to be willing to do things that most people are not willing to do And sometimes that looks like working your tail off for 16 hours a day And I I think that's the biggest thing is not getting jaded on on how fantastic and opportunity looks and going into it thinking that you're not going to have to hustle big time 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:18:12] What is something that's surprised you about yourself as you became an entrepreneur? 

    Jackie Minchillo: [00:18:17] Um I think that the level probably the most surprising thing is the level of energy that the level of energy and the capacity I have to make things happen when I'm doing when I'm doing something that I'm actually excited about Yeah And it's a so I think back to the days of of being in a more traditional office job for lack of a better term and that feeling of like I don't want to get out of bed I don't want to get up I don't want to go out in the cold and go catch the train And that feeling of like every every next step you have to like coax yourself Did do it and get the Starbucks or do whatever the incentive is to get to the next step Um and I think that I sort of felt for a while they're very discouraged by that feeling of of lack of motivation and lack of like I'm really not excited about the day that I have tomorrow or the next day That's the biggest shift I think When you find something that you're truly excited about that you're truly interested in that truly plays to your strengths and what you have to offer I think everyone would be very surprised by the level of energy and capacity that they actually have Uh because I like now I I get up every day at six o'clock and I I I take some measures to make sure that happens I keep my phone in the kitchen so I have to get up and walk there to turn off the alarm but I like put my feet on the ground and jump out of bed and it's it It doesn't feel like a drag It feels like all right I have like I have my list I'm ready ready to go I know what I have to accomplish today And it's almost like a it's kind of like a game was like Whoa that seems like a  Like let's see how far we can get today But I think that's probably been the biggest surprise is just what I'm what I actually am capable of when the pressure is on 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:31] So I'm curious because I've been there and because yeah I mean I I work at Google I have a side hustle I run this podcast and I'm getting a doctorate 

    Jackie Minchillo: [00:20:42] Um yeah You got it going on.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:46] Yeah

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:20:47] She can add like three more businesses too I'm sure 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:51] Um what does burnout look like Because like in a lot of ways Costa Rica was a refresh and like this Then did burnout recovery in a way um and now you've been back doing this Do you first see a big overwhelming burnout coming or are you protecting yourself in little ways every day to keep from that happening 

    Jackie Minchillo: [00:21:15] Yeah that's a really great question I Yeah I definitely have that fear and I could see it happening and so but I have put some things into place that I never really prioritized before And there are things that are that are non negotiable for me now And that's my sanity So I'll just give an example or a couple of examples I guess but when we lived in Chicago I was not a big cook Never really went to the gym I would work out maybe once a week Um and we had like we had things in our like pots and pans and things in our kitchen that had literally never been opened Cause I'm pretty sure we ate out for every single meal now fast forward to today These these are habits that I was able to develop during that time living in Costa Rica when it was like okay we're we're we are kicking work out the door for a minute and we're going to refocus on ourselves and what do we need to create a happy healthy existence Um and so those habits that we were able to form by carving out the time to focus on them have now carried over So I Mmm love CrossFit I'm very into CrossFit these days and I go to the gym five days a week Usually And that number one is a non negotiable on my calendar as important as any meeting that I have or any call that I have or anything that I have to do So I go to the gym no matter what is going on Um and focusing on eating food at home too eating real food and making our own food and knowing what's going into it I cannot stress The difference in how we feel from a from both a physical and an emotional sense in in in making a shift in the way that we eat and the way that we're fueling our bodies Um And that is just so hugely important So for us now we we we've gone kind of to an extreme some people would say but we we transitioned over the past three years to up to a plant based diet So for me from a cooking perspective I find that a lot easier from a meal prep and plan I can make big batches of grains and lentils and beans and that kind of stuff and just keep it in the fridge and then mix it in with bowls of fresh ingredients And those things are a lot easier to make than if you're worried about cooking cooking meat or cooking a main dish for example So but regardless of what your diet is I think carving out time to meal prep and plan and make sure that Being yourself is a part of your schedule and not just like okay well it's three 30 I haven't eaten lunch I'm starving So now I'm going to go through the drive through and eat something out of a wrapper while I'm driving to wherever I have to be next Um so that goes back to the schedule too I think and just putting it on your calendar as this is this is crucial To me being able to function in all of the other elements of my life as well And then the other thing that has been so transformative for me is incorporating a morning routine Um and I know a lot of people talk about this and I had read about it in plenty of books and articles and whatever and you kind of read about it and you're like well who has time to do that Well once I made once I made the commitment to say okay I'm going to get up at six o'clock every day and before I do anything else I'm going to have my cup of tea I'm going to read a chapter of whatever book I'm reading and I'm going to do a 15 minute meditation before I do anything else That sets the tone for my day in such a positive way And it is the first time that I have ever felt like well I have a guarantee of having some me time every day regardless of what happens And I think that's probably the biggest problem when we're talking about burnout is that you you go into the day feeling frazzled already cause you have a million things to do And you're trying to grind through it to get everything done and hoping for the chance to relax at the end of the day which sometimes doesn't happen So for me making a priority to make that happen at the beginning of the day so that it that that I don't miss out on it has been A game changer. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:26:12] wow those are so good because I feel like a lot of different episodes that we're doing throughout the season really relates to a lot of the things that you just mentioned So we have somebody who's talking about mindful eating and I just went okay Keto at the beginning of this year and I'm also allergic to gluten so I have like the food thing I can totally relate to And then the morning routine thing I think all of that is so important as an entrepreneur but specifically a side hustler who is not only working a regular job but then also maintaining Their own sidebar or their own business on the side So Oh that was all like such great information but we'd have to I wrap this up. So I was wondering where can we find you on the interwebs 

    Jackie Minchillo: [00:27:03] Well I am on Instagram and Facebook as Jackie Minchillo So I'm pretty easy to find I use Instagram a lot more heavily these days and so and I try to really I'm trying to get better about posting content um that just about the different things that we're doing and and things that maybe other people could take away from it Um that's for both of us I think that we I've learned so much and we really would love to share it with other people so I think Instagram would be a good place to follow me and anything else that happens I'll definitely post there 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:27:42] Awesome Thank you so much Yeah we'll put all of the um tags and all of that information in the show notes So thank you so much for being here It was such a great time talking with you 

    Jackie Minchillo: [00:27:53] Thank you guys, this was awesome!

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Monica Rivera of You Wanna Do What.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    How giving a TedTalk isn’t the end all be all.

    How to stop the slide and give yourself something to look forward to for your work week.

    Winning the battle against self-doubt!

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram | Instagram

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript 

     

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. Today we have with us Monica Rivera, who is actually in the dreamers and doers Facebook group with me. You've probably heard me rave about how amazing that group is. On Instagram because it is truly probably the best business resource I've ever paid for. Um, so we're so glad to have you here, Monica. I'm going to go ahead and let you introduce what you do and why you identify as a side hustle. There. 

    Monica Rivera: [00:00:54] Awesome. So thanks Danny for having me and sharing your space with me. I'm Monica . Very good job. I'm pronouncing the name correctly cause not everyone does, which in New York is strange because I feel like I share Rivera with a ton of other Latin people, but it's very cool when people pronounce it correctly.

    I am the host and producer of the podcast. You want to do what. And I am a marketer by day, but a podcast or by passion, and that really is my side hustle, podcast consulting and coaching and marketing. Just for fun, not for the full time job that keeps the lights on. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:01:27] Oh, I love that fellow marketers slash podcaster right here.

    Um, so I'm curious because you mentioned that your passion is podcasting, but you do marketing. Is that one of those situations where what you're good at pays the bells, but what you love is what you get to do for fun, or why do you describe it that way? 

    Monica Rivera: [00:01:49] Yeah, for sure. So I got into marketing, and I've done this for almost 20 years now of business, the business marketing, but I started in B to C, so business to consumer, which I really enjoyed.

    And then life starts to take you in different paths. And I found myself working for different companies, malignancy, B2B, and then reorg happen. And that kept moving me further and further away from what it is that I wanted to do. And I started to learn, Oh, I'm a headcount. I'm a head, I'm a person for myself, but I'm a head count in a big organization and they don't care so much about where I want to be professionally, but at the same time, I have a mortgage and bills to pay and I thought, okay, well I have to go with the flow and I got to this place where I felt like, is this all that there is?

    I'm no longer doing the type of marketing that I love to do anymore. I feel very stuck. I have a bunch of passions, which is why the podcast is called you want to do what? Cause I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do. So I kept consuming Ted talks and books and anytime someone was like, watch this video, here's this platitude, anything.

    I was like, yes, give it all to me. And at the end of the day, it was still nothing. I still came out with no idea of what I wanted to do. I was an OG podcast listener for 12-13 years. I listened to podcasts and I thought, why don't I just start something? Let me talk to other people like me that are in this stage of their career where they feel like, why is this just rinse and repeat?

    I need to do something else. And so I started podcasting. I didn't know anything about it. The closest I had gotten to a Mic with karaoke, and I wasn't good at karaoke, so I thought, well, this could be a disaster. But all I want to do is just show up every week, and that's really how it started for me. The side hustle.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:27] Oh my gosh, I love that. I really want to quickly dive into that consuming the content piece because I feel like so many of us who are side hustlers or who have been side hustlers love consuming content. But don't know how to use it properly. So how, I mean, you said you were listening to podcasts. Were you consuming any other content and what were you feeling when you were consuming all of that content?

    Monica Rivera: [00:03:55] So to be fair, I work also in marketing analytics. So my full time job is about consumption. And how do these pieces fit together? So I'm always been someone who's been a voracious reader. I go down and you've, it's new to rabbit hole like a lot of us do. So I love consuming content. So the problem wasn't that what I found is that I was consuming content as a way to not start anything.

    And that was really the big thing for me, and I thought, I'm getting all this information, but if I'm not using this information, this is a stall tactic. This means that I'm still operating in this space where I don't feel confident to just try. And I had to stop consuming everything and just go into the abyss of having a really crappy first episode and a little less crappy second episode, and then it started to gradually move.

    But I love consuming, but it has to be with the intention of actually using it. And I think that's where a lot of people go wrong. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:04:49] Yes. That progress over perfection. I feel like so many people purchase courses cause they're like, Oh well I need to learn all of these things because it has to be perfect the first time. And. Booboo. If you're out there and you're listening, it's never going to be perfect. 

    Monica Rivera: [00:05:05] Yeah. Say it again. It's so true. I listened to my first episode and the irony of the whole thing is I bought a Mic in 2013 but I never used it. It sat on the desk. It's there to be in judgment. I swear. I felt like it was giving me a side eye and I didn't use the mic.

    And when I finally started with in the beginning of 2017 is a three and a half years after I'd bought the mic, I finally started to use it and I didn't even use the mic and my first episode I was, so you need to record an episode now that I recorded straight into my laptop, which is the worst thing you can do, but I know that for me, if I put something out that was crappy, I would never want to put something else out that that was that crappy again.

    And that was the way of forcing myself to jump into the deep end of the pool, and now it's out there, so now you have to make it better the next time. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:05:52] That's such a great takeaway. Oh, I love that. So as we talk about things that we've done wrong or that we've done, knowing that it's going to only get better from there, what is one mistake you feel like you've made at the beginning of your business that you're like, yep, I made that. But now it's gotten so much better. 

    Monica Rivera: [00:06:14] Yeah, for sure. Normally, I'm a big planner, so I'm type a personality. I like to plan, plan, plan, and then plan. The more I love the list. I love all of those things that around productivity and organization, which is why I say that's like one of my p's. So, um, purpose, podcasting, and productivity.

    Those are the three things that people will ask me about. Those are three things I like to talk about the most. Those are the three things I focus on with my business. But because I was in such a stall pattern for so long, I didn't go in with a plan. I didn't have a strategy of how I wanted the podcast to be or what the goals were for the podcast, which is very different and uncomfortable for me.

    But again, because I was stuck, I needed to do something. So the first goal I had was to just show up. I think in retrospect, knowing everything I know about marketing, why did I pick the name? You want to do what that's so not searchable, who is searching for that? No one is searching for those individual words, let alone the collection of words together.

    And so now that I've built more of a brand with things like that, like I should have, I thought of a tagline earlier, those types of things. Knowing that I'm in marketing, I didn't necessarily apply that to the creative side of it, and it wasn't until later that I started to see there's a space for me to combine the creative side and the business side and do the two things I love. Let's just start doing them together.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:07:35] So it's fascinating that you're talking about not leaning on your marketing background when you're building a business. I think back to. What I've named my LLC and my first logo and I grown my first logo Caitlyn's laughing right now. My first logo was four circles, a white light blue, dark blue, gray. And like, what does that even mean? Why? 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:08:08] Well, I mean, at least there's good conversion there because buttons that convert better are usually blue.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:08:16] Um, but I think like we all dive in entrepreneurship and forget that we have this body of work and experience that we can lean on. So one specific place that I want to touch on here is you mentioned you're passionate about Ted talks, and you've also given one, and I think. Speakers or even entrepreneurs who haven't spoke yet.

    Put Ted and TEDx talks up on a pedestal, is this completely unattainable thing? But if they've spoke before, they have some skills and even if they haven't spoke before, they've probably taught somebody something. So I would love for you to demystify the fact that Ted talks are not as insane as we think they are.

    Monica Rivera: [00:09:03] For sure. They're definitely not an insane at all. They were a goal of mine. I definitely wanted to speak at this stage. I also, and I'm actually writing a piece on this. I don't think that's Ted X. It means that your life is going to change overnight either. Cause I think we put so much pressure and expectation on once I get on that stage and I step on that, read that I'm going to become this overnight success and it's not really that go in with what is it that you want to talk about?

    What is that message that if it only reached one person. You want to deliver to that one person, and that's how I approach my TEDx talk. So it was very different because it wasn't focused on marketing with them, focused on podcasting. It was really my personal story because my why and everyone should have their line.

    I know we hear that all the time and Simon Sinek, and it's almost become very watered down to think of it that way. The really in every choice that I've made in my life and my career and my side hustle, whatever it is that I do, even my hobbies is really goes back to this idea that I talked about in my TEDx talk, which was this idea of loneliness.

    And so my TEDx talk was about my parents passing away and really my family passing away in the span of seven years, and I'm an only child, and I came from this place starting at 16 when the first person passed away through 23. Where my life just got completely rocked upside down and all the choices that I've made in that time period and really probably for the next 10 years afterwards, we're based on survival and self-sufficiency.

    It's like, well, there's no room to pursue what you really want or find your bliss or do any of these really great things when there's no couch to go on, there's no parent's house to go back to. There's no net. I'm the one that I have. I don't have a net, then I don't know what happens to me. So I made all these choices that I thought I need to get an internship, but then it needs to get another internship and I need to make sure I have a job before I graduate.

    And all of these survival choices, and I wasn't really thinking about what it was that I wanted to do with myself because I just thought there's no space for that. So what I did was I'm gonna earn a lot of money so that then I have time to play when I'm not working and travel. And. Take a photography lessons and go and take these waves, travel photos and write.

    And I never thought, well, let's put those two things together because it was really survival and then it was have some fun. And so it's funny how you mentioned not leaning back on the thing that are part of our skillset, because for me, I thought I needed to run away from everything that was related to my full time job because I want to do something so different.

    And it was like, wait a minute. It's not that you dislike marketing. You just don't feel comfortable in this space anymore. So how can you figure out how to bring those things that you have and make a life with it? And for a long time, I didn't know how to make that life happen for myself until I finally got into my mid thirties and I thought, I can make all of these things happen.

    And so my Ted talk is about the idea of loneliness and making these decisions from a place of survival. And how can you really tap into yourself. And not so much the TEDx talks and the  self help books and all these other things, which are great. I still turn to them, but really a lot of the things you need to do are already inside of yourself.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:12:16] I just want to say thank you so much for sharing that. Um, I am actually. Was just crying with Dannie before we started this podcast. Cause my mom's in the hospital. So I can relate coming from the place of, I just have to make money. I just have to keep going. I don't have anything to fall back on. I don't have, you know, that type of thing.

    And I feel like a lot of people do start side hustling because it's, I don't have anything else. I need to at least make a cushion for myself. Um, so just thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I. I'm going to go find your Ted talk afterwards. I need to hear it. Um, but what I wanted to ask you was what has surprised you and what have you learned about yourself since becoming an entrepreneur and running your own business?

    Monica Rivera: [00:13:04] Yeah. So the first thing is that I'm so much more capable than I was giving myself credit for. And the problem that happens, and you might not even realize it's happening, is when you're working in a job that you're not enjoying. Your lights are starting to dim and other areas, and you get to this place where it's called work.

    It's not called, Oh, it's fun. It's not supposed to be a great time all the time, and you sort of rationalize it that way. You say, well, I'm not happy at work, but I'm okay at work, and then, okay, I might slide into I'm content, and then content might slide into, I really hate this. And then it goes into Sunday nights getting this anxiety of, gosh, I dread going to work on Monday.

    And that's why my podcast is the tagline. Now your Monday morning battle cry to do more, be more and want more, because it goes into that idea of on Mondays you need to give yourself something to look forward to. So for me, it was having the side hustle and really tapping into that of what did I want it to be for myself. And that's really how I just approached everything. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:14:04] I still think about those first few jobs that I had in college and after college where. I wasn't satisfied and I was still hungry. And so I did the same thing, right? Like I started this side house to look at feed the hunger. But I'm curious, cause this has definitely happened for me.

    I'm curious if it has for you, um, if you become hungrier for your side hustle than you are for your day job and how you keep plugged in to the thing that's paying the bills, even though you're not hungry for it anymore. Well, that's right where I am right now. I'm definitely not a hungry for the full time gig nearly as much.

    Monica Rivera: [00:14:43] Um, as I am for everything else, because now that these lights are turned on and I start to see like, Oh, opportunities that I was trying to go for on my corporate gig and doors that weren't opening for me, it started to feel like, why aren't those openings? So then that's the self doubt. A little they opened before what's happened to me now, have I fallen off?

    Don't I have the skills? Do people not like me? And you start internalizing all of these things. But as soon as I got into pod, Kathy, and then eventually my business. All those lights lit up like a Christmas tree again, and I thought, Oh, I know how to do this. It just wasn't working in this space, and that's why those opportunities weren't happening for me.

    So I started to get my confidence back. I started to get my swag back. I felt more like myself, and I thought, okay, she's still in there. She just got so used to playing in this space of a job's not supposed to make you happy. Then I just thought, well, that's okay. That's like. Even knowing that it really wasn't supposed to feel that way.

    So now that I'm in this space where I'm creative and I'm working with people and clients and speaking, it feels awesome, but it is challenging in the full time job knowing that. They still don't see all of the things that I'm capable of. And I look at it quite honestly from a practical standpoint, this pragmatic standpoint of I still need this full time job.

    These people, they're not bad people. They're not harming me in any way. It's just not what I love to do, but it does keep the lights on and it keeps funding. The side hustle. And so the side hustle can become the fulltime hustle one day. And if that doesn't happen, it's still okay because I found this place where I can really honestly be graceful now to say, well, well, you didn't see in me, allowed me to find the things that I needed in myself.

    And I've done this now for, um, a few years. Uh, for two years now, and it's working so far. And that's just really how I approached the full time job. Now from this place of thank you for the little tiny things that you can give me in terms of not minimizing the salary of course, but any additional skill that they get, the people are cool, but I know that it won't be the thing forever.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:16:46] I love that. It's a good. It's a good attitude to have. Like I think gratitude is really important, but it's also, like you said, like that pragmatic gratitude doesn't diminish the powerful work that you're doing. 

    Monica Rivera: [00:17:01] Right, and I live in New York city. It's expensive. You have to be a pragmatist when you get to a certain point. And with my background as I shared with my family and not having that net, I have to be pragmatic. But what I've been able to do is giving myself the space to have more choice now and to say, well, what ways can I experiment and play and still do the things that light me up and not have to just go into work feeling like this dread every Monday or how many down so Friday?

    Because if you keep counting down, so Friday, you know, missing your life at this point because you're trying to blow past five days to get to the two. And that's just not a way to live because. It's just, you don't know how many of those five days you have to get to the two. Do you want to try to make sure those five days in between as fulfilling as you can make them? And my side hustle makes me feel great. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:17:50] Ooh. Just want to take a moment to like soak that in. Um, that's so, I mean, I feel, I feel that on so many levels. Um, what has made you decide not to quit. Your day job and take your side hustle full time. 

    Monica Rivera: [00:18:06] So that's a complicated question. There's so many things. I feel mostly it was a real obligation to the people that are close to me. So my family, I call them, which is like my friends that are my family like I do. I have two nieces that I call my nieces. And so I help put money towards their college fund. And so there's this obligation that I have in my mind, I think to those people  feel like, well, now that I've created this family for myself in this way, I don't feel completely comfortable just cutting and switching just yet.

    And then also there's a part of me that starts to think, what if I want to have a family of my own? Am I sore that I want to fully commit to this thing and can I keep this running? If it's just me as the main engine without as much support, will I still be able to do that? So they'll, I'm right now in this pivotal point of trying to figure those things out and what's really feasible for myself, but it's still the pragmatic side of me that keeps me in this place where right now.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:19:02] That's so cool to hear you say that. I think, um, some of the guests that we're going to be talking to are mompreneurs as well this season, and I'm excited to get their perspective on how they have side hustle does, how they run their businesses alongside a family. Um, because I literally just blows my mind when people are like, yeah, I run a family, or like women, I run a family and I run my business and I'm like, okay. I could barely run my business.

    Monica Rivera: [00:19:33] My niece is two years old. She just turned two and she just wants all of the attention. She really does. Like, she's amazing. I love to give her the attention, but I can't imagine reading a pamphlet, let alone anything else, like when I'm with her, because that's the level. Of attention as she wants. And she's an only child and I understand all of it.

    But how could I think of actually doing somewhere I was going gonna pay the bills when I can't get through the back of the cereal box and make sure she can eat when I'm about to feed her. So it's like all of those questions that I just, I remain in awe of the moms who do it and any parent who does it because, uh, I can only imagine that will be quite the challenge if I decided to go in that space in the future.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:20:13] Oh, that's so good. Okay, so I have a fun T spilling question for you. What is something in marketing that you believe is true, but nobody, nobody believes it, or everybody disagrees with you on, 

    Monica Rivera: [00:20:28] Oh my gosh, everyone's specifically in podcasting thing. Instagram is the way it's the end all be all in order to get listeners and it's rising or not.

    Then I say Apple and Amazon don't Mark it the same way, so you shouldn't market the same way either. So there's this thing of like, I have to be omnipresent and all of these channels and people are like, I'm going to learn how to dance. I could get on sick talk and, um, and as someone can listen to my podcast, and I'm like, no, like, don't do that.

    Like that. Is your listener even on sick path? Like I don't think so. Like that's so strange to me, but there's this thing of I have to do it just the same way everyone else is doing it and you don't, you have to just take a step back, put down all the content and things. Who are, who's listening to me, who's consuming my product, who is buying my service, where are they and how can I talk to them there?

    And also the other thing I'll say, and I see this a lot in the podcasting space, his podcast, it was like to go to other podcasting conferences and I've gone, I'm speaking at one and it's month. I do. I love the community that's there, but you can't just talk to yourself all the time. You have to get out and talk to other people. And so that's, I think also a big thing that people are missing. Let me just stay within this community where you really have to extend outwards and reach the audience that you're trying to get.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:21:46] I love that so much. 

    Monica Rivera: [00:21:49] So you won't find me trying to dance on six dogs. It's not going to work. If I do, I'll probably blow out my knee and that'll be like first video, last video, grand opening.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:22:01] So before we wrap things up, I want to ask. Well, a little bit of a more serious question, and that is, you live in New York and New York is one of the most amazing places in the world, and one of the most dangerous, it's one of the most beautiful places in the world, but the most expensive, What have you learned from being an entrepreneur in New York? That those of us that live in a completely different climates, culture spaces could learn from? 

    Monica Rivera: [00:22:32] So the one thing about New York, it's very dog eat dog, like it's very much survival of the fittest in New York. And I'm a lifelong new Yorker, and to me that doesn't change at all. It's very rare when you find people who truly want to be collaborative, especially working in other cities, and I've done consulting in my careers.

    I've spent time in other cities. I lived in Iowa for a year. I spent time in D C is that New York sometimes likes to hoard the information, like everything is proprietary. Everything is IP in this. So that can be very challenging. But one of the things that I've learned is that if you can try to actually build relationships in New York and really have something to offer someone else and be willing to have those kind of conversations with people, there can be such quick acceleration in New York more than other places because there's so many things here that this person can connect connected to this person and that other person.

    But if you're going to start to do business in New York, know that in the beginning to get past that initial gate can be very challenging because there's so many people. I'm thinking about it. We're trying to find apartment space or trying to find a seat on the subway. We're trying to push each other out of the way for a taxi.

    Before we had Uber and Lyft, it's always like fighting for space. And that doesn't change when it comes like into the business world as well. There's always a little bit of elbowing each other, but if you can break through that and really build genuine relationships, you will have friends and partners for life that are trying to help you succeed.

    So don't take that initial thing personally in New York can be great. You just have to kind of get past that gate. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:24:08] Wow. I've never even thought about like the connections. I think that's cool though about the creative entrepreneur space is that we can make connections on the internet and it not feel.

    Sometimes like, I mean sometimes it's dog eat dog out there, but, um, that community over competition that a lot of us are really resonating with nowadays, that connection is such a big deal and The feeling of loneliness going back to that and entrepreneurship and knowing that there, even if there might not be.

    Anything right here in our backyard. Like me, for example, I live out in the middle of the desert. Like there's literally nobody I can go talk to about the things that I do in my business. And then you have you who is the complete opposite. He like get out my way clearly. Um, Oh, that's just so good. The concept of collaboration though is.

    Such a, such a big one, especially for side hustlers. And that's how Dannie and I met. We met at college, we made a connection. And from there, you know, Danny's just made my business, so it's a thing. Anyways. Okay, well we would love to hear where we can find you. Find more information and we're for sure linking your TEDx talk in the description.

    Monica Rivera: [00:25:26] Thank you. I appreciate that. So you can find me at, soyouwannadowhat.com it's w a N, N, a. So you want to do at.com and all the socials is this same branding. And I'm really on a mission to help 100 women launch their podcast because we have so many things to say. I think for a long time, other people have told our stories for us, I think it's time that we tell our own stories than our own words, and however it is want to say you without apologizing for it.

    And so if I can help you not have your first episode be a hot mess like mine is, then come reach out to me. You want to do what? And I'm happy to talk to you and collaborate because although I'm in New York, I don't hoard information I like to share and pervasive. So let's do it. And let's have community and collaboration over conferences.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:26:11] Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for being on today. 

    Monica Rivera: [00:26:14] Thank you for having me. This has been awesome.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Lindsey Aleson

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    Some of the best tools to use in your business.

    How to combine your creativity with structured systems.

    The does and don’ts to help non-process people with processes.

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript

     

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:00:21] Hey. Hey everyone. Welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. We are so excited today because we have Lindsey Aleson of blog. Me lovely. Uh, Lindsey, tell us a little bit about yourself. 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:00:34] Yeah, so I am a graphic and web designer and tech strategist. Um, I've been doing this for I guess almost four years now, which is crazy. To think about. Think about Um so yeah so I just love helping a fellow female entrepreneurs in the online space with their design and tech and making it not as scary as they think it is . 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:53] I love that I've been stalking your website and that you said that you love cats Harry Potter and Disney Yes Um so let's do a round Robin What house are you and Caitlyn say yours too afterwards. 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:01:06] Oh I'm between Raven Claw in Gryffindor it depends what day I take the test 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:01:10] I love that I'm pretty much a hardcore Slitherin I don't think I've ever gotten anything other than Slitherin but that's super sad because now like Slithering is the trendy house to be in it Hi Sorry 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:01:25] Okay I'm pretty sure I'm a Hufflepuff uh because I'm lactose intolerant That's funny He's never heard that song at like I don't know what it's like Ron Weasley Oh the parody doesn't somebody say like I'm lactose intolerant I'm a Hufflepuff It's not from Oh anyways no I'm pretty sure I'm a Griffin door I'm actually but yeah I feel like I remember something being like what is it I'm going to Google it while we're having this discussion because I feel like that was That was kind of a funny I believe you 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:02:06] Um so now that we have the important question out of the way and we all can secretly psychoanalyze one another based out of what house we're in Lindsay I'm super curious in how you got started. 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:02:18] Yeah So it actually goes like way back to when I was 11 years old So I've always been into well my grandpa was an aerospace engineer so I've always been into like building stuff And he surprised me on my 11th birthday with parts of a computer just laid out on the pool table So we bought my first computer And shortly after that I discovered kind of the online space And that was when like Neo pets was big and yeah all those like drag and drop doll websites So I was probably the only 11 or 12 year old with like her own domain and the drag and dropped all website And I just taught myself how to code by like looking at the bet like the source code and using notepad which Is dreadful And I'm so happy that that's not how you have to code anymore Mmm But yeah so then I just kind of went through it and then all through my like college career I kept on switching stuff It took me probably twice as long to get through college because I couldn't decide on a major because it kept on switching But um I decided on journalism and because I love that could do the design and the marketing and kind of pull everything together Um and then I just kinda got your first real job And it was fun at first but I realized I got bored super easy cause you're like stuck in a box So yeah I kind of just went from there and I was kind of into blogging since 2010 so what does that like 10 years now So it's just Yeah it's a lot I just love it I love everything to do with the online space and I've been in it for probably more than half of my life probably most of my life not considering I'm 32. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:03:48] I love that because you have this secret STEM influenced but still explored like the traditional things that girls do if we go by gender norms but then also the traditional like early two thousands internet behavior things as well So I love that it all weave together into what you do today I am also wondering so you have a pretty girly website and you had those like engineering influences How do you think those two plate pieces play together 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:04:23] Yeah so I think it comes down into really how I I work and some are really big systems and processes person and um I have a lot of contract positions or I do a lot of client work and it's really hard for me to like if somebody says to do something and I realized like it's not the best way or it's wrong So I always try to leave something better than when I started And I feel that like Analyzing and like always getting like the best way to do something And like the techie really stems from that Especially cause I used to sit on my grandpa's lap all the time when we were talking about like he worked on the space station so I like had the plans who had fixed cars or fix like the electrical socket and stuff which I don't remember any of this now It's been like years but it's just having like making sure it's done right Um and then I am just a typical girl so I liked that I can Do it my way and still focus on what is probably still considered a primarily male driven industry like the tech and and stuff so. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:05:21] That's awesome So what all have you I mean you said that you've been in the entrepreneurial world for quite a while What all have you dabbled in 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:05:31] A lot So um when I first started um I thought I I had a corporate job at the time and I wanted to really focus on web design Right It had been I had built websites for myself but then I had like a really crappy client and I was just like Oh this is just too much Like I don't want to do this I did like just graphic design And so I slowly did that and I kind of took the leap and I had put my job away too soon It was for like issues at the job though like that required it not like I was actually ready and I kind of made it work for a year Mmm But I realized I was so interested in tech so I was doing a lot of tech stuff But through this journey in life still consider myself like a side hustler And I still have so many contract positions right now so it's not like fully my business Um But I have done everything from websites and graphic designs like eBooks and webinars slides and social media graphics to setting up CRM systems to migrate um like email platforms um to figuring out why websites don't work which is always which is always fun So I feel like I've done so much stuff and I just learned I feel like a new system Oh it's on a weekly basis or how to like a new way to do stuff on a weekly basis and I just love it cause I can't do this in the corporate world because we're stuck in a box and you can't grow and expand I feel like. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:06:46] I yes I completely or I can relate to that completely I wasn't in the corporate world but I was in the nonprofit world and it just it felt like the same thing over and over there It's so old school what works is what works and you don't want to change any of that And it's just so Boring of course Um what are your favorite systems to use in business.

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:07:12] I love this question because I am a tool and systems girl so I love click up So for my project management tool also it's kind of like us on in Trello how to baby but as like on steroids It is amazing and I love it for email marketing I love ConvertKit Um let's see For I'm a WordPress person So definitely prefer WordPress or Squarespace or any of the other options that I'm not even going to name Mmm And then I liked Dubsado and tailwind and plannerly like anything that makes your job easier and systematize and save you time I love Mmm 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:07:49] Ooh I might have to come to you for some click up uh questions Because I use a sauna All of my clients besides one use a sauna and the client that uses click up we're still not 100% sure how to use click up properly So might be coming to you first Some questions Do you have like a YouTube channel or anything like that where you um offer advice for any of those systems .

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:08:17] Not yet It is in the plans I don't think it will be up by the time this episode airs but I do have a click up course that'll give you access to I don't have the link candy on me but you guys can look at it in the show notes I'm getting ready to revamp it Because click up keeps on making all of these changes and like I've been meaning to update it for a while now but they just keep on making new changes So I'm like waiting but you will absolutely love it if you just have to change your way of thinking a little bit but it'll make so much more sense once you get in it and yeah I love pickup 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:08:46] Oh my gosh I'm such a systems person too Like that's what I do in my business is I set up systems and processes for my business owners So that's so much fun to hear different people's perspectives because the software or the the things that you're using are Not what I suggest Uh and Danny either I think we all use very different platforms 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:09] So I was going to jump in and say from both of you systems people I am still a pen and paper moleskin notebook Slash Google doc person Caitlin tried to get me on Asana I hated it Um I tried to use Trello Hated it I tried Monday Hated it I hate Monday 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:09:30] I tried San Summa I can't

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:32] I did too Hated it I would love your advice to people who are not process people From both like this is a question both of you can answer but for people who are not process people and or like me not documented process people what would you recommend I guess 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:09:53] I would have been first So you do have to start somewhere so it's totally okay if you don't have anything yet And it is a learning curve So I know people say there's not really a wrong project management tool but I feel there are certain things that our product management tool should have and there are so many platforms out there that don't have it So like Asana is my second choice I was on a sauna before I moved to um to click up So you just wants to make sure you like hit like does it have sub tasks Do you have due dates Do you have like dependencies Um or just if you're on a team there are just certain things you need to hit make sure but I always start with pen and paper so I love pen and paper You can't see it here but I have a whole stack of on my couch I'll turn I'll turn my camera so you guys can see But it's just like books and papers and stuff on my and tables I a pen and paper and blood person I always map it out on pen and paper first and then I move it into a system because you get So bogged down or maybe confused when you're trying a new system that you don't set it up properly Like I got into click up first and I was like well crap this isn't set up right And I had to like wipe it and redo it from the ground up So start where you are and don't overwhelm yourself and just realize that they're going to start to grow But you also need to realize the importance of it Because if you want to save yourself time or on a team member you do need that stuff on But also don't get hard on yourself because Sometimes people use it as a crutch Well I don't have systems so I can't grow my team yet or Oh I need to focus on this but then they don't actually get the other work done so it's like that fine line in me too So I know that's not like a full straight answer but it's just you need to learn a balance I kind of know it's a 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:11:32] it's a good answer because I think I feel like I probably drive Katelyn crazy because of the way that we manage our podcast is a Google sheet And it has the episodes and then on the far right of the Google she it's literally my shorthand for every step from upload to live with checkboxes in X in a Google sheet that you just clicked 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:11:54] It's giving me anxiety Right now.  

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:11:56] It's actually honestly it's really not that bad compared to like some systems I've seen like at least there's no system 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:12:06] Schedule is S C H and for show notes is SN So like if you don't know me this shorthand just looks like fricking jibberish. 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:12:16] There's still something though So that's a start It's not like you're going at it Here's like the questions or here's like the episode and whatever and then free for all right Yeah I have everything mapped out because I have a podcast a joint podcast as well Um so we have it all mapped and click up Who does what I'm obviously the tech girl so I do the editing and I do the graphics and you know like setting all that stuff up and she does a show note So we like have it all mapped out Mmm And it helps but I'm also in click up probably It's always up on mine It's always up on my um computer um whenever I'm working So yeah it's just that's the habit you need to get into It was so hard at first when I started with the sauna but I realized that you just need to have it up and you just need to like now it's second nature I don't open up my computer without having like a 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:05] Yes I completely agree Um and I would second everything that you say The first thing I tell my clients is write out the process on a piece of paper and send me a picture of it Like because that's the only way that I'm going to know what your process actually is Um and if you do it write it write it out Like that's going to be the easiest way for us to move forward figuring out how to do it And I mean If you are nervous about creating a system or an SOP um guys it's only gonna help you like stay on track with all of the things Like I promise you it's worth it to start systematizing your business I swear Anyways I could talk about this for days So could I what what has surprised you or what have you learned about yourself as you've became an entrepreneur 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:13:56] Yeah That I'm actually way more capable of stuff than I realized So it's like not to be cocky but I always know are smart Cause honestly I put my first computer I taught myself how to code but just being in the corporate world they like again they kind of put you in the box So it's like I would ask to do stuff and it's like Oh no this department handles it Or Oh no we outsource this So it's like I couldn't grow So I think that's why I was drawn to this cause it was a challenge And I realized that with contract positions like I tend to come in as like cleaning up somebody else's message I haven't found like a fun term for that and I don't always want to be like your contractor but I like go in and clean up message and it's like you just get assigned stuff and like Oh crap now I need to figure out what like what to do And it's amazing what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it and you're people like believe in you and you're open to doing it So I have done stuff I never thought I would do or be able to figure out And it is just Yeah And I've gotten more so I'm an introvert and I am shy as well so I know they're two different things but I've gotten more comfortable in my own skin and yeah so like I'm horrible at in-person stuff unless I know it's like entrepreneurs but like on these podcasts even though these are videos or like I have my own podcast and we do summit I'm like all hyped up and I can like chat forever but I talked to like people in real life that have nothing to do with this and I'm just like a wall Flower I'd rather be like with a pet if there's like animals there are with the kids 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:15:21] That's so funny Dannie are you an introvert or an extrovert ?

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:15:24] So every time I take the NBTI test um my first letter changes So I'm always N F J but the E or the I changes constantly so I'm probably what they call an ambivert 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:15:43] That's interesting Yeah I'm also an introvert as well and Z so I can totally relate to that though Like most people would not call me an introvert It's super funny Um but I think that is something that you can really play on as an entrepreneur too is are those strengths or weaknesses I think a lot of people are like Oh you're an introvert That's a weakness And I'm like No I can do stuff online that you guys like That word was never possible or that I never even thought I could do and do it very well even though I'm an introvert So 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:16:19] Cause you like to be alone and yes press and normally during those times I spend learning something new or working on my own stuff or reading or so it's just it's how you like to recharge So people always think introvert means shy or not a people person Well that is so not that is so not the case That's why I always like to say I'm an introvert and I'm shy because it's two different things But yeah like you guys can't see I'm here with my cat like my idea of a good night and is watching Harry Potter or reading depending what mood I'm in and snuggling with my cats on the couch 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:16:51] That's awesome Yeah I I'm definitely an introvert and I am shy but I'm very good at faking it that I'm not Um so let's walk through a typical day for you What does Are you a morning person Are you an evening person and what does your like system look like for the day?

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:17:12] So I'm definitely an evening person I'm definitely not a morning person I actually don't even think I got up until like 10 today which is a little bit later than I try So I normally get up at like 9:30 10 I don't take any calls before 10 which I love having that flexibility besides one contract position I had like a 7:00 AM meeting on Tuesdays which kills me But um then I normally hop into I normally talk about my contract work first So I rotate I have I think four contract positions So it's a lot all in different product management system tools So you know I just I just tackle one at a time Um I usually forget to eat lunch Um cause I have just so busy working Um but yeah I pretty much worked from the time I get up till the time I got to sleep And right now it is because I have so many contract positions Um but normally when the boyfriend gets home we go have dinner at my mom's because she lives in the same apartment complex So which is nice Um and he works super early so he also wants to go to bed early which kills me because I like Set in bed with my mind racing But I yeah I pretty much just take it one step at a time one focus at a time and I have it all mapped out and click up So even for me like that's my system So I literally have check this product management tool for this company check this product management tool for this company so I can check stuff off my list while still being one one minded Because like I am using so many tools right now It is crazy 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:18:40] Do you ever get overwhelmed with the amount of tools or the amount of cleanup projects that you have and how have you figured out how to streamline that 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:18:50] Um I do So one of the main things because I am in so many tools is the main thing that I did was I do map it out and click up so I don't forget So right And what I've learned is so I'm sure we're very similar probably have a bunch of tabs up I felt an online entrepreneur thing So what I do is all like Say one one team I'm on uses Monday and I really don't like it but I'm used to it cause it's been like a year now But it's like I just take it out into its own tab and I have my time tracker and the Monday and just all of that stuff So I try to keep it as One track focus as possible Um and then the main thing is if I realize I'm getting overwhelmed is to take days off Mmm So I live in Southern California so I love going to Disneyland So I already have some days plan to like go like on February 2nd I know this won't air yet We're going to go on the new star Wars ride Um that just opened up that I heard is amazing Um but just kind of plan those in or realize if you need to take a break especially Like for me again being introverted when there's so many people interaction or so overwhelmed sometimes I just need to relax that it's Oh okay I feel we beat ourselves up and that's when more stress happens and it's taken me a while to realize that And most of the time if you miss like something small it's not the end of the world Like unless somebody is like literally in a launch but like if something's slightly delayed and you need to take care of your muscle or physical health 100% okay And most clients don't even care as long as you're up front and don't just like disappear and then be like Oh Hey like I you know fell off the face of the earth and didn't get back to you Um so I think that's how That's how I keep one track minded And if I realize that I'm getting stressed or tired cause I know my body signs to take that time off Um because you can't do that again in the corporate world you can't do that I can't be like Whoa you know I feeling stressed today I can't go into work Right So it's a benefit that you have working for yourself and I think you need to take advantage of it 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:44] I love both of these tips I want to dive into the second one but before my brain loses it for the first one um I'm going to share a tool the tool Um there's this tool called work Kona For Google Chrome which I live and die by It lets you create tab groupings and then save the grouping of tabs and you can like one click open the tab collection So I have tab collections by client and I can click on the client and all of the websites whatever that I use for that client open when I click it And that has so minimized my like Tab overdose syndrome That's helpful I have not heard of that tool It's a lifesaver and it defaults to your Google Chrome homepage So like when you open Chrome you land on where Kona and then you choose what tab collection you want to start with 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:21:40] Yo the pro version is only $6 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:21:44] You don't even need the pro version if you don't have a ton of collections 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:21:49] Yeah Just so it's like 10 workspaces for free like yeah 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:21:52] that's plenty Oh my gosh Well anyway to the second point though I think this is huge I think in a weird way Caitlin I think you would agree season four is becoming the season of mental health And I think that as therapy and mental health and anxiety become more acceptable conversations in the broader culture I think the entrepreneurs space is finally talking about this too and the things that you shared like taking a day off taking a step back are huge Even your comment about one track mind I think can actually be A solution here Like what if we Pomodoro our entire day and like not the 25 minute Pomodoros but what if we like one track mind one thing at a time our entire day we've like gotten so sucked into this Multitasking is everything But there was a study done that actually read about working at Google that you lose like 10 IQ points for every task you're doing simultaneously or something like that I love those tasks 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:23:00] Task switching not good 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:23:03] Yeah Kills it Kills your productivity and then you make mistakes or stuff's not done Right Um so yeah that's that's pretty much what I do I don't do it in the 25 minutes but I do that exactly Is I Work through my day in those chunks and it really saves me time because people are like well your pickup looks so like busy I'm like but if you take it at once one step at a time like figure out what you need to work on for the day and one step at a time Mmm It is It's huge It's huge 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:23:30] So I want to wrap up with a question that I hope will be helpful to those that are listening You exist at this intersection of design and tech and both of those pieces are meant to simplify our lives Design visually simplifies our life tech like Logistically simplifies our life What one tip would you give entrepreneurs that you've learned from working in this space literally since you were 11 Um to try and simplify their lives 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:23:59] So I think the big thing is you don't have to do everything yourself and you probably shut it so Um I realized that when people are just starting out though they like to do stuff themselves cause they don't have the budget But not doing it yourself doesn't mean you have to hire somebody necessarily Um like if you're not a designer don't go make your own logo Just go buy a premade one and they're like 25 bucks on creative market right Because nothing harms you worse Then poor design or a poor system that is horrible for a user or a client Um so you don't that doesn't mean you have to go spend I dunno $1,000 on a professional like Branding and I don't even know I don't do branding Um so I don't know what it's like running for but I mean you really shouldn't when you're starting out either though So just take it one step at a time Um again you want to people want to jump to the finish line on everything but it takes steps and just Stay in the step you're in and get the help you need but that doesn't always mean you have to drop thousands and thousands of dollars on something 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:25:07] Yes Start where you are and then grow But you do not have to like spend all this money when you first start out just because you think that you need to know all the things I yeah I totally Mmm I think that that is a great uh A great thing that many side hustlers need to like take into account is like you don't have to have a website to start your business Like I don't know why people assume that you have to have a website and you have to have all the social media platforms and you have to Whatever It's like you don't have to have a system in place Just do the thing start doing the thing and then grow from there Exactly Oh my gosh this was such a great episode because I feel like you and I are very very similar Um awesome So where can we find you on the interwebs 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:25:57] Yes So I am in the process of a rebrand but I think it'll still be blogged me lovely.com when this episode goes live Um so yeah or and all the social media is just blogged me Lovely If it changes before the show notes I'll let you ladies know but um that is where you can find me online 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:26:17] Amazing Thank you so much for hanging out with us today 

    Lindsey Aleson: [00:26:20] Yes thank you for having me It was

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are having a Jam Session on 5 Ways You Can Invest In Your Business.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    A deeper dive into conferences, tools, coaching, and courses for your business.

    Dannie’s completed courses

    A deep dive into conferences both the good and the bad.

    Top free and paid tools.

    Free tools

    Google sheets

    Google calender

    Notion app

    Zoom

    Paid tools

    Dubsado

    Bulletproof planner

    Asana

    Course recommendations

    Biz Chic Co-op

    Trello for business

     Squarespace Square Design Guild

    Shopsite School

    #OwnIt Academy

    Hand Lettered Design

    Winning Creative's Way

    Jenna Kutcher Courses

    InDesign Field Guide

    Copywriting for Creatives

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript - 5 Things to Invest

     

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. Today you've just got me in Caitlyn for one of our favorite jam sessions to date. We're going to be talking about the five ways that you can invest in your business, and we're going to talk about some of the things that we've invested in and how they have or have not worked out.

    So grab your tea, grab your coffee because we are spilling it. Let's dig in.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:00:49] Yes. Okay, so here are the five things we're going to talk about. We're going to be talking about conferences. We're going to be talking about tools that we use in our business or don't use in our business anymore. We're going to talk masterminds and coaching. We're going to talk courses, and then lastly, retreats.

    I am so excited to talk about these five things because. Guys you can make or break or, well, some of these can be great investments and others can be not so great investments and . We've both learned the hard way with some of these. So Dannie, what do you want to kick it off with? 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:01:31] Let's kick it with courses, because while you were talking, I opened up my Trello board that has all of the business courses that I've bought linked with the logins and everything.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:01:43] I do that one by asana board. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:01:47] So I have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen courses that I have bought in. The past probably three or four years. Um, and of these 14, I can honestly say that I have finished three. Um, so the three that I have finished, the first one is the bee free Lance.

    Uh, business practices course, unfortunately be free. Lance no longer exists, which really sucks, but they had like a business practices course basically teaching you how to be the chief executive officer of your own business. That was amazing. I loved it. Um, I took Squarespace design guilds, custom CSS tricks for Squarespace course, and it's been amazing.

    I mean, probably a good. Third to a half of my Squarespace website is CSS. So loved that course. Completed that one all the way through. And then I took the shareworthy designed course by spruce road. This is a course that's been updated a few times since it first launched, but it's amazing for talking about creating a InDesign and Photoshop and Adobe illustrator products for your course.

    And I've used this course to design all of the PDF. Um, that I use for my digital downloads of my website. So those three courses have been great. Other courses that I've invested in and not finished include three courses from Jenna Kutcher, no shade copywriting for creatives. Uh, the winning creatives way, which I think has a course like from back in the day from Christina Scalera, um, own it Academy.

    Which I don't even know what this is. When I click on it. Oh, that's Jessica Razatos course, which has since been updated, and I have finished the new verson. Um. Oh, the love inspired shop site school, which teaches you how to launch an online shop. Never finished that bad boy. And then I have like four courses from tin, creative collective now boss project, I think, um, none of which I finished.

    So Caitlyn, what about you? What is your course library look like and where are you at? 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:04:16] Okay, let's not talk about it. No, I'm just kidding. So I am the person who buys the like. Bundles cause they're cheapest. Hell. Um, and I, yeah, I don't feel like I've finished ever any courses. Um, okay. I lied. I was a beta tester for, um, Vanessa kines tailwind or Pinterest course.

    That one is freaking bomb. Um, and I have to say like, that is one of the best courses that I've ever been in. Mmm. Aye. What other courses? Currently I'm in one right now. I'm learning, um, about being a COO of your business with Kristin Kaplan. That one is phenomenal and I will finish. Um, but this one kind of ties into coaching, which, um, we'll talk about in a little bit, but this course specifically has coaching alongside of it.

    So that's been really cool. Um, and then the only other course that I've really. Taken time to pay attention to was the, when your welcome sequence by, I think it's Aaliyah Walker. I think that's how you say your name. Um, which has been gold, especially as I'm helping my clients write their welcome sequences.

    But outside of that, I have a lot of different ones and I have to say, I love having the variety of courses I have because even though I'm not finishing them, like I'm not sitting down and watching them like. Here's the, all of the course, finish it. I am going into each course for specific things that I'm looking for in my business at that time, or one of my client's business is at that time.

    So that's why I like it. Like buying the course toolkits and of course bundles. Um, just because there's options and let me tell you, not every course is created equal cause I've seen some bad ones. So. I guess that kind of ties into, uh, a couple of conferences that we've been to. Um, so I am not going to be, I'm not going to share which conference I, um, attended that did not feel, uh. I don't even know. How do I say these words, Dannie. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:06:38] It didn't pay off. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:06:40] It did not pay off. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:06:41] The investment didn't pay off. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:06:42] Right. Um, there are so many moving parts to a conference that, um, if you're just, you know, a normal person with normal dietary restrictions and nothing like too important, um, it might not be that big of a deal for you, but, Mmm. I have a gluten allergy. And so something that is really important at a conference, especially if you're spending over a thousand dollars to attend a conference, not included , you know, lodging or anything like that. It's your, that you have food if the conference includes food. Um, so for any conference people out there, Dannie, I know that you are. About it so much is that you have to be dietary, inclusive. Um, and when you tell your client registry or you're not client, your registrants that it is dietary inclusive, you better back it up. So, um. Yeah, that was one of the biggest things that I saw at a conference was it just, it didn't, at the end of the day, the amount of money that I paid for that conference didn't, I didn't really learn that much and I didn't really get a lot out of it.

    Um, I do have to say I've made some great connections, but that's on you to make, make sure that you're making connections. So if you do find yourself at a conference where you're like. Man, I'm not learning anything or this is just not a good time. The the least, they're the best thing for you to do is to just make really good connections while you're there.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:08:16] Love the connections piece and love the dietary piece too, because frankly speaking, I don't want have a dietary restriction other than like a lactose intolerance, but that's easily avoidable, avoidable, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:08:29] or can you just take a pill for it.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:08:30] Yeah, but there's nothing worse than leaving a conference and still being fucking hungry because there's been like no protein options because they're trying to be.

    Like healthy, I'm all for healthy food, but like, I need protein too. So in terms of conferences that I loved and, or regretted, um, if you follow me on Instagram, you know how I feel about creative at heart. We don't need to rehash that. But long story short is if a conference is not diverse, it ends up on my bad list.

    Um, conferences that I've loved. The one conference that I keep going back to year after year and recommend to everyone, even if they're not Latina, is we all grow. Uh, the price point for we all grow is incredible for what you get the swag for. We all grow as hands down the best swag I've ever gotten from a conference.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:09:26] Dude swag was fricking killer. Like that swag. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:31] Yeah. Like we're talking doves entire product line. Neutrogena's entire product line. Like, I haven't bought toiletries in four years because of this conference. Um. The swag is amazing. The event is amazing. Ana knows how to produce an event with quality education.

    She rarely, rarely, rarely repeat speakers. Something like 5% of her speakers are repeats. So it's a conference you can keep going back to year after year and love. Mmm. I also really loved Aluma tree. I attended a Loomer tree during a time in my life where I was ready to pivot. It's a very intimate retreat.

    It's only 12 people. Um, and it felt like a mastermind, even though that was not what it was supposed to be at all. But it was amazing. And also, if you're a photographer reset conference. I do not know how Rebecca makes reset conference. So affordable. Like we're talking, it's sub $600 every year. I'm pretty sure.

    Um, I've spoke at it three years. I spoke at a 2017, 18 and 19. It is incredible. There's opportunities to get one on one time with your favorite speakers. The party is great, the education is amazing, and they don't have too many sessions running at the same time, so you don't feel like you're missing out on content?

    Because I pay to go to a conference sometimes and I can only attend a third of the content because there's four breakouts running at the same time. Reset. Uh, it's pretty good about that. And all of those conferences that offer the video downloads of the speakers pay for that upgrade. Like if it's 50 bucks, a hundred bucks to pay to upgrade for that, pay for the upgrade, and then set aside time in your calendar for professional development time and watch those keynote because for 50 or 75 or a hundred extra dollars, you're.

    Tripling the value of your conference ticket because you're getting all of that breakout content you missed because you were at other sessions. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:11:36] There's one conference that you didn't mention that I don't think you've attended, but the, I've heard really great things about, I can't really talk about a lot cause I'm only attended one conference.

    Um, but I think I, uh, you know, after one I lost my, uh, . Lost how I felt about them. No, I'm just kidding. Um. Is social media marketing world. Um, I heard that that's a great conference because the speakers there are not the same damn speakers as every time before. Um, it seems to be that a lot of the conferences in our industry specifically always have the same people speaking.

    It's always the same people talking. Um, no matter what conference. I mean, we can look at, I mean. I feel like if you look at any of the conferences, they have pretty much the same lineup or the same keynote speakers. Um, and I'm just not here for it. Like, also, I want to hear from like some big names. So social media marketing world gives you some of those bigger, bigger names, uh, that. You might not see, um, at some of the smaller conferences. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:12:48] A couple of others on my bucket list too is ConvertKit's craft and commerce. I'm not a convert K customer, but I've heard amazing things about that. Um, inbound, which is great for marketing, I've heard and hustle con, uh, so you have to have made like 700.

    And $50 million, maybe I'm on crack. You have to have made millions of dollars in your startup to be able to speak at hustle con. Like there's an income threshold to prove that, like all of the seekers are successful. Um, so all of the speakers at hustleCon founders of startups that have either taken on VC funding or bootstrapped to multiple million dollars, so I would love to attend that one as well.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:34] Yeah, and I mean, my bucket list conference is happening this August. Uh, no. September. I lied. Um, it's called the four B conference. Um, four by four. How do I say it? Four by, I think, um, Dannie is hosting a conference. Y'all, I am so excited. There might be a doughnut table. I'm sorry, say that again, Dannie.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:13:59] Literally. Did not tell you to say this.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:14:01] You didn't. No, I'm so excited about it though. The speakers are bomb. The photographer is fricking awesome. She was actually on the podcast last season, almost said last episode last season. Um, I'm so excited to attend a conference. Like Dannie's, I'm not even just saying this because it's because it's Danny, like I'm, I'm honestly super excited to see the people who are speaking because  never heard of them or I have heard of them, but I've, I've never seen them on stage before.

    And I'm so here for that. I'm so excited to see new people stepping up. Like, Oh, I'm here for it. So. Y'all go check out Dannie's conference. There's only limited seating. I'm selling this thing, but do it. It's going to be, it's going to be awesome. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:14:54] You're, amazing. We literally didn't even talk about this before we recorded and she just talked about it. I love you. 

    Um, okay, let's talk masterminds and coaches. So I've invested in some coaches before and I like built my own mastermind with friends, but I've never paid to be in a mastermind. Um, so I'm the coaching front. I think that intersection of you pay for what you get and checking people's qualifications is really important.

    I've had three separate coaches. One was for free because she was building her coaching business. One I paid four figures for, and one I paid five figures for. Um. The coach for me that's been the best was actually the four figure coach. It was four figures for six months of coaching. She changed my life, changed my business.

    Um, I worked with her in 2016 as I was pivoting away from having a full time job and going full time and kicking off my speaking career. Um, so I think that they don't have to be the most expensive coach, but like credentials and fit. Are critical to, um, I probably would recommend the five figure coach that I worked with. To other people. If she was what they needed, I definitely wouldn't recommend the free coach. I don't know if it's because she was new and building her practice, but it wasn't what I needed. Um, and on the mastermind front, I like Megan MayDell and I, a couple of years ago, launched our own, and it was like 10 people.

    Well, we like tried to screen for people, but because that was not our area of expertise, we didn't screen well enough. And so there was a really big spread in where people were at. So it fell apart within like eight months. I mean, eight months is a long time for a mastermind to last. But. Like, it could have been a lot better.

    Um, so I, I've been really curious about paying for some of these paid mastermind programs, but I'm also not here trying to pay $40,000 for a mastermind when this is my side hustle. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:17:12] Mm. Yes. So it's funny because I've never paid for a mastermind per se, so I was in a. Group, shall we call it, um, that had masterminds in it.

    And that was a lot of fun. I learned a lot. That's how I met Vanessa kines and I was part of her beta program. Um, masterminds literally changed my life because Danniie invited me to a mastermind. I started my business. So like, masterminds are awesome. Just be cognizant that paid masterminds are great. But you can also do it with some biz besties that you meet.

    I'm online, so you don't have to pay some crazy amount to do a mastermind. Mmm. And on the coaching front, I have not worked with a coach, um, ever before outside of the course that I'm doing currently, that has a little bit of coaching alongside of it. Mmm. We've. On the different teams that I've been a part of, my clients have worked with coaches.

    So by default, I've worked with coaches, but I've never, I've never worked with a coach one-on-one. Um, and 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:18:30] Mmm. Like a privilege question. Do you think that like because you grew up in the business space with like me, Rosemary, Jana, Rayna jelly in your corner that you never needed a coach? 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:18:43] Yeah, I think, I mean that's the one thing that I can say is because of the connections that I have, it's been, I've been privileged to go to you and ask you like, Hey, I want to do this potentially like a speaking engagement.

    What do I need to do? Or like. Rosemary, you are doing all of these things. How could I, you know, pivot this way if I wanted to? Yeah. I'm super privileged to have like those connections, but you, 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:19:12] do you think that there is a way that other people could. Get that same benefit early on. Cause I also think like investing in a coach on day one is a mistake. So I'm wondering, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:19:24] I completely agree 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:19:25] as a stop gap until you are in a place where your business is ready for a coach. Do you have any advice for people on how to build that? Like. Little pad that you had of established business owners that helped you 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:19:39] make connections like, seriously, I cannot stress that enough. Like the one conference that I did go to, I made so many good connections, like I still talk to. Trina a little, I still talk to, Mmm. Katherine McKinnis. I still talk to different people and the people that were at that conference happened to be, you know, Dannie and Joey was right. Right next. Dannie and Joey were both right next to me.

    They both spoke at the conference and even through like with them, we made connections. Um, and so making connections and then. Asking people, but not asking too much. Like there is a difference between me going to Dannie and asking like, Hey, here's what I'm thinking here. Can you give me advice versus always going to Dannie whenever you have a question.

    Like that's where you have to draw the line. You have to figure out how close are we versus how much can I ask type of thing. Um, it would be one thing if we weren't friends. All the time and talking to each other, and then just me coming to you, Hey, by the way, that would be odd. Um. I do find that coaching is super helpful depending on the type of business you have.

    So for me, I don't feel like coaching is needed right now. The type of people I'm working with and what I do. Um, I feel very comfortable where I am. I'm not working on scaling my business to $100,000. Like, it's just like, it's not what I want right now. Um. So that's why I feel like coaching hasn't been necessary for me.

    I'm, I'm comfortable at where I'm at in my business, but when you want to get somewhere that you've realized there's a gap, coaching is awesome. Coaching can be amazing. Coaching can man, it can really do a lot. Like you said, Danny, with the coach that you're talking about. That coach is pretty awesome. Um, and I know other business owners who have worked with that coach specifically, that have done really amazing things.

    So I think for me, it's just not something that I, I personally have went out and like, tried to look for. Um, but I do appreciate business coaches and . I just, you gotta be careful because everybody is calling them a co themselves, a coach right now, and they're not like, find somebody who is actually a coach who has the knowledge, who has the, okay, but no, how to actually be a coach.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:22:16] Yeah, I think so. The one coach that I loved and worked with was Raina Pomeroy and C's. The certified by the international coach Federation, which is like the gold standard of coaching certification. She's also, um, the, the, like. She was a social worker right before. And, um, she, like had done business coaching for Stanford and some other places.

    So her credentials spoke for herself. The coach that you work with doesn't need to be certified, but if you're not sure what you're looking for, that's a great benchmark to look at. Mmm. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:22:54] Also just one more thing. A coach gets you from point a to point B. The coach does not do the work for you. So if you're looking for somebody to do the work that is not a coach, let me be clear.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:23:08] That's like a strategist or a yeah, something else. And you're going to need to hire a specific ones for specific points of your business, like a marketing strategist or a brand strategist. That's. A lot more segmented. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:23:20] Yes. Okay. Let's talk retreats. This is probably one of my favorite things that I've invested in.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:23:29] I think we should probably define it first, because I did say a little more tree, which is actually technically like a conference

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:23:35] conference. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:23:35] Yeah. Um, so when we say retreats, I think you and I are both talking about when you get a group of business friends together and you get a hotel room or an Airbnb.

    And you socialize, but you also work on your business. So a good example of this is first a few years running me, Caitlyn, Rosemary Watson and Jana Bishop, we all converged on Phoenix, Arizona for a long weekend. Like a Thursday to Monday, we'd get a hotel. Um, we'd socialize, we'd go to the pool, we got spray tans one time. Um, um, but we also. Talked business and we also talked about the parts of our business that were driving us crazy. We talked about the parts of our business that were broken and were not working, and we really worked to identify solutions together for our business that could help improve like where we were trying to go.

    In terms of a traits like me, Caitlyn, Jana, and Rosemary. We all, for a couple of years running would get a hotel room and we would all converge on Phoenix, Arizona, and we would socialize, of course, and like talk about what was going on in our lives and swim at the pool and drink and eat food. But we also talked about

    What was and wasn't working in our business. I mean, Caitlyn formed an LLC during one of these sessions. Jana completely rebranded and shifted from, I'm selling stabs back to selling presets. A lot of conversations like change their businesses from these these. Retreats that we were holding 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:25:15] or made them like my business was not even, it was like, Oh, this is a fun thing for a little bit. And they're like, no, dude, the thing, you can do it. Um, I think that's what I think of as the retreat. That, and then for me, what I think of as a retreat outside of like a mastermind type retreat is. Um, I have quarterly retreats with my clients. And so, um, me and my client and our team potentially depending on the client all get together into the room and we talk.

    We just break down their business and we talk about all the different places in their business, all the different seats that are in the business, and like what we expect to see in the future of the business or what our goals are. Um. And that that is also, I mean, that to me is a retreat because it's, you're doing the work, but you also are finally getting that water cooler talk that you would never have had if you're team is across the country.

    So I absolutely am here for retreats, but you also don't have to get super boujie with them. So like. You don't have to spend millions of money, millions of them. You can also do solo retreats. Like I know people like Tiffany Tyler, for example, will book herself into a hotel room solo just to get shit done.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:26:45] So you can also do solo retreats, I think didn't Raina do. A thing on solo retreats. There's about doing like a holding solo retreats and why they're important. Um, so check out solo retreats too, and it's completely self-organized, like find an Airbnb that's the next town over. If you want, pack some snacks, go away.

    So Caitlyn, let's wrap it up with a fifth topic. What's our last thing that we have. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:27:13] My favorite thing tools in our businesses. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:27:16] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, so I'm, Caitlyn and I are very different in this regard. I. Have systems that I don't invest in them. So all of my systems are run on free platforms. Um, Google sheets for one. I used to be a big Trello fan, but I don't really use it anymore.

    My business is completely run off of Google sheets, Google calendar, and the notion app. Which is like this crazy cool. Basically evernote on steroids with templates app that's on a iOS and Android and it's a website. So my business is completely run on those things. Tools that we love for the podcast Descript, it transcribes the podcast and you edit by backspacing words out of the transcript instead of having to like listen to the full audio, which is a really, really nice, Caitlyn told me about it and.

    Max who edits these episodes has fallen in love over the past month editing this season. Mmm. I also don't even pay for zoom, so I use the free version of zoom. We're super strict about how long our podcast recordings could last because we use the free version and they cut you off after 40 minutes. So I think the only tools that I pay for on an annual basis are G suite for email. Squarespace from my website. And that's literally it.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:28:44] What about your email provider is G_suite. wait, but like how do you send like your biggie. Sorry. You use G suite to send your newsletters? 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:28:54] Oh, no. I use mailchimp, but I use free version of Mailchimp. Yeah, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:28:58] girl. Okay. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:29:00] Everything is free. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:29:01] I again, I like, no, Dannie. I think we're very similar. I am a cheapskate, so I don't pay for much of anything. The only thing I pay for, so I use G suite, which I pay for.

    Oh no. I pay monthly. Mmm. G suite. I use asana, but I use the free version. Mmm. I think one of my teams we use click up and we do pay for the premium version, but it's not me. Um, but I use asana in my business, which is free. I use flow desk, which is one of the only things that I pay for. And that's, you know, $19 a month or 29 depending on when you join.

    Um. What else do I pay for in my business? Oh, stock photography. So that is something I do pay for. Um, because my clients need photos for different graphics that I'm creating. So I only can buy certain stocks subscriptions, though, because not all of them allow you to use. The photos for your clients as well.

    So if you are using stock photos, Be, careful because it's not, you can't just use those stock photos any which way you please. No, no, no. Um, so I think that's, I think flow desk is kind of the only thing that I really pay for outside of, Oh and Squarespace, um, and like are hosting on GoDaddy or whatever. But. Trying to think if I pay for any other outside of stock subscriptions. I don't. I don't think so.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:30:35] Hmm. Not bad. We both are pretty inexpensive in this space, which I love. I lied my favorite. Business expense is the sparkle, hustle, grow box. Guys both forgot about them. Dubsado, sorry. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:30:52] Oh, Oh yeah. Oh yeah. They, they take my money. Just have it. I can just have my money. Um, yeah. Dubsado is, but I pay annually, so I don't really have Mmm. Sparkle. Hustle grow is a super great resource for, um, you if you're looking for a different office supplies or, um, courses, the sparkle, hustle, grow boxes have been truly amazing.

    I think it's $50 a month and you get like a box with confetti and like different things. Um, a lot of, a lot of my. Stuff that I use on a daily basis has came from there. So like my to do lists or different things like that. But you also get a course and a book, every single sparkle, hustle, grow box. So if you love reading, if you love entrepreneur books, this subscription box is definitely for you. And their team is just so awesome and it's all women. So. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:31:55] And the office supplies. Now I will say that I use extra large unlined, moleskin notebooks, and then I also use the Ferris wheel press, always left notebook, which is a tall, skinny notebook that's a bullet journal set up for my list making. Yeah.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:32:13] Also then pay for something that I pay for the yearly basis is my planner. Yeah. So I pay for the . I think she just changed the name of it to the Bulletproof planner. Um, we'll leak it in the show notes. It's honestly, I use that planner, if not like three times a day, four times a day, like that. That thing is truly saved my life. So, um, yeah, I don't, I don't think there are any other tools that I use outside of dubsado Asana G suite. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:32:47] Love it. Well, I hope that this episode is helpful. Some things that we loved investing in some things that we wish we hadn't. The moral of the story here is anything that you're investing in, treat your business money like you would your personal money, and do. The research and do the work 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:33:08] also, do not spend money just because you don't want to pay taxes. Let me tell you, it's better to have $5 in your pocket than spend that $5 because you don't want to pay a dollar something in taxes. Like, I promise you just. Keep the money instead of spending a bunch of money if that's what you're trying to do.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:33:36] Yeah, that's, no, that's a really good point. Like if you're going to spend, if you have $700 left and you're like, Oh, I'm going to spend this so that I don't, they have to pay taxes. You're out $700 instead of out two to $300 on taxes and stilling having $400 to pay yourself like an owner draw at the end of the year.

    Well, this is. Been. Awesome. We will see you for the next episode. We will see you very soon for the next jam session. and we can't wait to talk to you soon.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Dondrea Owens of The Creatives CFO.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    How to balance both a thriving a side hustle and thriving kids.

    Learning how to ask for help and the best ways to do it.

    How to let go of someone’s contract without hurting your business or your health.

    The importance of telling your clients some of the new skills that you are learning.

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    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript

     

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:00:21] Hey guys, welcome back to a, another episode of the side hustle gal podcast. If you can't tell, this is not Dannie. I am so excited to be announcing who our guest is today because it's one of my. Favorite clients. Not that I have a favorite client at all, but one of my favorite entrepreneurs in the creative entrepreneur space. So Dondrea Owens is here today of the creative CFO. Um, and we're so excited to chat with you dondrea.

    Dondrea Owens: [00:00:54] I'm excited to chat with you both too. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:00:57] Yay. Okay, so let's get started. How about you tell us a little bit about you, about your business and, um, how you identify as a side hustler or have identified as a side hustler.

    Dondrea Owens: [00:01:09] Okay. Cool. So like you said, my name is Dondrea. Um, I have a business call, the creative CFO where I help creatives and small business owners really get to know their numbers, um, and be able to grow them as well. So I got started. Working with creatives, because I say I used to be one, but I still am one at heart. Um, but I used to design wedding invitations and I did a little bit of small business branding as well, um, back in the day, about three, four years ago. And so I found that I really love the creative community. You know, I loved everyones enthusiasm for business and coming from an accounting background. I didn't see how the two could merge until a friend showed me. Um, she, uh, kinda told a wedding planner what I did, um, as a day job and we figured out how I could help her get her books current for the previous year. And from there it was just me recognizing, Hey, I can merge these two worlds and still have fun and do that thing that I'm good at professionally.

    So that's how the creative CFO came to be. Um, what else as a side hustle? So I had my first business as a side hustle, uh, doing the wedding invitations, and it was quite interesting. Um, as you know, being in public accounting, it has its busy seasons. And so January through April, every year, I'm pretty much.

    It was pretty much unavailable to people because we'd work, you know, 60 to 70 hour weeks. But I still had time to do that side hustle because it was something that I enjoyed and it didn't really feel like work. So I would be up late at night, I'd find time on weekends, and this was all pre kids. So it was kind of easy to do that. Um, there were times that I had my husband at a print shop with me, like doing stuff. So. It was all hands on deck just to like make that happen. So I understand completely beside hustle life. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:06] Now, here's a good question for you. Does having kids and running a business just one or the other ever feel like a side hustle to you?

    Dondrea Owens: [00:03:15] Oh my gosh. At any given time. Yeah. So when I'm feeling like the guilt, um, the kids can feel like a side hustle, you know? So if I'm working a lot and you know, clients need things or I'm catching up on work or whatever. Yeah, they kind of take a little bit of a backseat and they're okay with that. You know, they're always around. That's one thing I can say. I very much exposed them to the business, but yeah, and then when things are busy with them or they're home from school, then I'm like sneaking time away and they're making sure that I'm, they keep me accountable to the time that I spend with them versus the business. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:55] And how do you feel the balance of, or how have you really focused on the balance of being a mom, but also being a business owner and, um, giving enough time to both pieces? How do you feel like that has evolved and do you feel like you've found that balance yet? 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:04:17] You know, I think it's one of those things that's always either up or down, and I'm never 50 50 in both places, and I'm okay with that now. There was a time where I wasn't okay with that, but now it's. Learning that I can ask for help, you know?

    So that all of my balls, as I say, all of my balls, stay in the air. You know, I have you on my team, you know, some weeks I'm calling you every day, and then some weeks I'm kind of quiet and you're checking on me to see what's going on. You know? And the same thing with the kids. Sometimes I'm really hands on.

    I'm like. Best mom ever, mom of the week, I'm at the school, you know, I'm doing everything right. And that's on that side. And then sometimes I've got up, you know, I'm sending up smoke signals for somebody to come and help me pack lunches and get the kids off to school on time and stuff. So it's finding that balance has meant asking for help when I need it. And understanding very clearly what that help looks like, so that I can communicate that. And you know, that is something that I'm always working on. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:05:18] Yeah. I feel like the reason why I'm asking a lot of these mompreneur questions is because we haven't had many moms here talking about owning and running a full grown business. That's not been a side hustle. So it's. Not to like take away from the business owner side of things. It's just, I, I can't imagine, as I was saying in another episode, how people can balance both having children, having a significant other and running a business. It's just, it literally is mind boggling. I still don't know how you do it.

    Um, but I think the next. The thing that I really want to talk about is asking for help. I think a lot of side hustlers really, really struggle with asking for help, um, and just buying all of the courses or consuming all of the content. Instead of saying, Hey, you know, Dannie, I know you run a marketing business. We're friends like, I don't want to use you. In a, in a bad way. What can I give you that you can give me in return? So I can ask for help in a certain scenario? Um, how, how has asking for help really influenced your business? 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:06:28] Oh, wow. So I've been able to grow way faster and with less stress is what I found because I know what doing it alone looks like. And that's me wearing a bunch of hats. It's posted notes all over my desk. It's, you know. It is, it is the riff Raff of, of just being a business owner. Um, but asking for help and being clear on what that help looks like and, and also being clear when you don't know what you need. You know, it's having lots of conversations with people. I can't tell you how many consultations I had, um, with people to just say, Hey. These are the issues that I'm having. What is it that you do and how could you, how would you approach this? How would you help me solve this problem? And figuring out is this a good fit or not? You know, some of my best hires have been.

    Getting people to tell me where it is that they really Excel and what they do best. And then me saying, okay, you could help me. You know, it's not been in the courses that I've bought. While those courses were great for like an introduction, that is, if I took, actually took the course and applied it, you know, cause that's a whole thing too. Um, finding the time to learn a new skillset or, you know, dig yourself out while still learning how to dig yourself out. Like that's just. It can. Yeah. It can make you feel pretty often the business, but yeah. I would say that's been it. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:07:52] So I'm, I'm curious, it sounds like the, you've, you've hired a number of people and probably had to terminate relationships with some too. Yeah. What advice would you give to the entrepreneur who is. Hanging on to someone for too long that they should have terminated a contract with is considering Irish good buying on a relationship. I just like phasing out the number of hours they assign that person. Um. How, how, what advice would you give so that that entrepreneur could be a grown up about, right.

    Dondrea Owens: [00:08:35] Okay. So this has been a lesson that I learned really well in 2019 um, to prior to 2019 I was very non-confrontational and I would have done what you just mentioned. It'd be a gradual. A gradual decline in hours and the sneaking away and all of those things. Um, but what I've learned is that people value honesty.

    And so do I. So to just be really clear and say, Hey, this isn't working out for me, and here's why. Here's what I, where I think you've really excelled, but this is actually what I need. And I don't believe that, you know, this is going to be a good relationship going forward as it pertains to the word. And it says nothing about how I view them as a person or anything like that. I've just realized that my needs are different and it's okay, you know, for me to get what I need to actually run the business. Um, we're not buying friendships and holding hands and dating and all of these things. It is a real business relationship. And so. Changing the way that I viewed that in the past has been really helpful.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:09:48] I'm on for the record. I like being friends with you though. I'm just kidding. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:55] I'm, I'm also curious to what, and I think Caitlin's experienced a lot of this over the past couple of years. What do you do when you have someone that's working for you that is. Amazingly talented and skilled at what they do, but they've grown beyond that. But you don't like, maybe you don't want to fire them or switch to a new person.

    How do you, the more, the longer that you're in business, how do you grow the people that work with you? Because it's a lot different than a managerial role in a corporate company where you can offer them a promotion. 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:10:32] Right. Um, so I. Tend to, and Caitlyn can tell you this for sure. I throw things at her. And just see what sticks sometimes.

    And so in most cases she rises to the occasion and I'm just like, Hey, would you like to do this going forward? And this is where I kind of see you positioned in the business. We just did this at our retreat. Um, which she kind of, you know, pushed me to have like a retreat so we could really dive deeper into the business.

    But in one of those sessions, we sat down and kind of mapped out what roles we see people doing in the business. Now, at this time, you know, we're doing a lot of roles, but I gave her the opportunity to tell me where she saw herself. And then I told her where I saw her, and hopefully somewhere in there we can merge the two of those and come up with a really good position and roles and responsibilities and things like that.

    Um, but again, you know, people grow their experience and sometimes they're willing to take on more, but you'll never know unless you ask and like have that conversation, you know, so I could be so used to her. Used to her doing graphics and scheduling social media, that that's all I ever asked her to do.

    And she's growing a whole different set of skills behind the scenes that could be helpful to me, you know? So it's just being in constant communication about, you know, what they're working on, how they feel about it, and where they see ourselves going. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:11:55] Yes to the side hustlers out there. If you are growing, if you are taking courses and you're learning new things and you're offering new skill sets that you're not currently offering to some of the clients you're working with, tell them like, tell them if you, there's no point of hoarding your knowledge and being better about getting paid menial.

    Dollars for skills that you could be offering your clients. Um, and yeah, it is really scary when you're like, yo, I don't want to do social media scheduling it $10 an hour anymore. I want to be paid $40 an hour and project manage your, your whole system or something like that. Like that can seem really scary, but you're in that team already and you know, potentially what your. Client needs and you might be able to rise to that occasion. So if you don't ask or if you don't say anything, then yoke, your client will never know. So there was my TEDx talk, 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:12:55] Seriously though, because we look at it, I would hate to lose someone who I enjoy working with because they outgrew the position and I had no idea. That they have had outgrown it, you know? So, um, so yeah, it's important because I don't want to lose that, that knowledge base, you know, someone who knows my business really well. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:13:14] So what has been a mistake that you made in your business, either at the beginning or in the last year or so that you feel like, um, if you could tell the world it would be a better place?

    Dondrea Owens: [00:13:28] Um. I wouldn't necessarily call it a mistake, but. I wish I had adopted like systems and processes a whole lot sooner than I did. I was anti process checklist, all of that because I came from that background, you know, public accounting. Um, the teams that I was on had, we had checklists for everything. We had dates that things were received, dates that things were sending out, and.

    I understood the value of it to some degree, but I didn't know how much that would even benefit me in my smaller business until I didn't have those things. And then you could not hold me back from creating checklists and trackers and templates and everything to save time. Um, so that's one thing. It's, it's creating those systems and processes and really sitting down to think through what it is that you do. Every single time with the client. Um, and figuring out how you can automate that. Because once you do that, you get into a whole different realm of thinking about how to provide value to your clients.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:14:32] Um, I mean, as you build those systems and processes and your business, just in general, what has been, something that you've learned about yourself as you've, you know, went from a solo preneur to growing a team? What have you learned.

    Dondrea Owens: [00:14:50] Um, that they're like being a one woman show. That's not a badge of honor. You know, I used to think that when I started my own business that it was just going to be me and I was going to do it all in. That was my definition of superwoman, and that has changed so much and I'm fine with giving someone else credit now. You know? Um, and I think that comes with building a team and having help and understanding that I'm so much better when I have some people keeping me accountable and helping me check things off the list, helping me check in on clients and things like that, that I'm okay with saying. Hey, it's not just me. There was a team of people and I give you all credit because you helped me make it happen, you know? So I would say that's been the biggest shift, and that even surprised me. But yeah.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:15:40] So I'm, I'm curious, and it sounds like you might have some pretty clear thoughts on this. Can you run a business that functions in highs and lows in terms of time that it takes you to do things? I mean, tax season is hell season and the rest of the year is a little bit better. How do you. Set those expectations with clients cause I bet there's something we could learn from you. And setting expectations, especially in those busy seasons. 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:16:12] Oh yes. Okay. So it's an area where we're still growing, but constant communication. I keep going back to that. So whether it's an email to say. Hey, we're currently working on your account and we expect to have X, Y, Z to you, and three days or a due date. Um, it's also letting them know when we need things from them. It's just. Mainly being available because sometimes our clients just need to know that we're on top of whatever it is. They might not even, you know, need, whatever the particular thing is today, but they just need to know that we're there. We have them in mind, and we're going to get back to them.

    And I will say that's been the thing that's . Really been our saving grace because you know, as we've been growing and putting these systems and processes in place, you know, we've dropped the ball in some areas, like on delivery times. Um, even just, just by our standards. It's not been that we've not delivered to a client when they really needed something, but it's been that we didn't hold true to the deadline we gave ourselves.

    But when clients reach out to us. We are there, you know, we're answering your emails, answering boxers, text messages if need be. Um, we always make ourselves available for them and I think that goes, has gone a long way for us. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:17:26] Well, and another thing too, I would add in there is making sure that our expectations of what their deliverables to us are as well.

    Um. I think something that we forget as business owners is we need to put the expectation out to the person that we're working for, what our expert, what we need from them to do our job efficiently. Um, and I think that can go for anyone who's running a business at all. You, you have to make sure you're telling your client what you need to.

    Complete the job. So that's, I think that's another area that we don't think about as well. 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:18:06] Yeah. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:18:07] Okay. So I have to ask the where we're talking to the money person, what are two or three investments or purchases that people try to deduct all of the time, but are not actually deductible slash maybe also not good investments for your business?

    Dondrea Owens: [00:18:28] Right. Oh my gosh. Okay, so a huge one. And I get this a lot because we do work with a couple of influencers. Um, clothing is a huge one. Um, and it's such a great, well, you know what, it's not a grey area. Clothing is typically not deductible. Um, unless you have like your company's logo on it or something to that degree where it becomes advertising and marketing, it's not deductible.

    Or if it's a uniform that you have to wear. Then, okay, that's deductible, but getting an outfit, because you're going to go to a conference later this month. Not deductible. I'm getting a swimsuit because you're going to go take some photos on the beach and put them on your Instagram. Not deductible, but there are some instances where you could deduct.

    So say, um, you are doing that photo shoot. Let's, let's say I would give you this example. You're a wedding planner and you are doing a style shoot. Um, and you know, you bring in a lot of vendors for that, and it's the whole setup. If you rent a dress from rent the runway, that actually is deductible. Yeah, you just need to keep your photos, keep your receipts and all of those things and say, this was as part of that style, shoot, this was an advertising effort.

    Um, and then it is, but most of the things that you see being deducted typically aren't. Um, there are some instances, like for brand partnerships. Um, and that becomes a gray area. Um, let's say you have some sort of agreement with Fabletics or you're getting a partnership with them or something like that.

    And so, you know, you have things that you send my purchase or that they give you huge discounts on, or they send you free merchandise. Then we're getting into that gray area where we just have to examine it, case by case. Um, but yeah, just your random mudstone sex forever 21 purchases. No girl, they're not deductible.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:28] So that chanel now bag for Instagram. 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:20:33] No, it is not. You know, we have to think about these investments as things that are revenue generating and that Chanel bag is not revenue-generating. It can hold the money, but it's not revenue generating. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:46] I think this is a good one for entrepreneurs too, because I, before I had a better understanding, I would have tried to make the case that since a significant portion of my revenue came from speaking, but like, heck yes. The clothes that I wear over and over and over again on the stage are tax deductible, but. Yeah. Wait, no. 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:21:06] Now you might want to get like your, your logo. Since I was a little emblem on that. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:21:12] There you go. There you go. I'll wear like a  or a nice blouse and get it . There you go. Oh, that's too funny. Um, that's a good one though.

    That's a good. Call out, and especially so these episodes will go live during tax season. And I know that it's something that we all have to think about, especially as our business grows. Like what things are we missing? What things are we treading? Way too close to that questionable. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:21:48] Yeah. And I feel like, Oh, I was going to say, I feel like those people who are like trying to hack your like business finance or like if you talk business on Friday and you talk business on Monday, then you can deduct to the whole weekend travel plans. Like they shouldn't be trying to hack your business like taxes like he come on. 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:22:11] I think there's a common misconception. That you should try and write off your entire life's expenses in the business and it's just not. And I want to provide. An example of, or, or a scenario to kind of think through. So you're in a business to actually make money, not to deduct expenses.

    So I tell people, I've had the question, should I attend this conference in Paris and take this trip and I can write it off in the business and I'll be, I'll owe less than taxes. And so when we look at the cost of this trip, it's $10,000 and I say the most you'll pay on that $10,000 is we'll say about three grand.

    So 30% tax, right? You'll play, you'll pay three grand. That means you could have had $7,000 in your pocket. Is it worth that? You know? Because those are the types of questions that you really need to be able to answer. I would prefer to have $7,000 in my pocket. I'll pay the IRS that three but what I will not do is attend this conference in Paris for 10 grand.

    That is not going to deliver what it said it was delivered just for the sake of saving Taxes Oh and Taxes 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:23:24] Oh, and I want to ask one last question before we wrap up. What is a tax tip? Do you have a tax one, one or two, whatever. How old is does?

    Dondrea Owens: [00:23:35] I will say that the one thing that I found that makes taxes really easy. The year, and we are doing catch-up bookkeeping for an entire year. And so with that. There's a lot of stress about what they might owe. Um, there's a lot of recordkeeping that hasn't been done. So sometimes they don't remember expenses, particularly if they haven't been using a business account count to do it from.

    So like a business checking account, they've got to go back and look through personal bank statements and things like that to try and remember. What they spent money on. You've lose deductions that way because you can't prove them. You don't remember them, you know? They're just missing in action. So that's the best advice I could really give is to just do your bookkeeping throughout the year so that you have a clear view.

    And then also that kind of leads into you being able to pay estimated taxes throughout the year because that is going to significantly reduce your liability at the end of the year. So between those two things I've seen that alleviate a lot of stress for, for business owners. Um, and I've also seen it make a huge difference, um, with some of my clients who are more conservative, you know, I've seen them be able to take bonuses because, you know, they've paid those estimated taxes.

    We get to the end of the year and we've actually overestimated a little bit and now they've got money in their pocket and they are sitting pretty going into the next year. So it's those, those two things that I would recommend most. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:25:00] Yes. If I've learned anything as being a business owner, it's saving. I don't care what you do, take 30% off the top of every single penny you make, because I promise you, if you put that into a savings account, like it might hurt at the beginning, but at the end of the year when you have $7,000 that you've. You know, seven, however much money you've paid into estimated taxes, and you still have money left in that savings account, and you get to take that as an owner's draw with tax free. Pretty much. It's the best feeling ever, so it's worth it. 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:25:38] Yeah, I agree with you. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:25:40] Well, thank you so much for hanging out today. I feel like I've even learned something new. Um, Caitlin knows I used to work at H and R block, and while that doesn't make me a CPA, Oh, got some experience. Yeah. You guy learned some new stuff today. So, um, I would love to know where folks can hang out with you online and continue to follow along with your story.

    Dondrea Owens: [00:26:04] Okay. I spend most of my time, uh, on Instagram. I'm at the creative CFO. Um, and then also on my website, the creative cfo.com. We are restarting our newsletter, um, or by the time this airs, we will have restarted the newsletter. So sign up for that and um, let's get some tips and chicks and also get some behind the scenes action.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:26:26] Thank you so much. 

    Dondrea Owens: [00:26:28] Thank you for having me. This has been fun.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Lennis Perez.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    The power of prepping for your week and how great a routine can be. 

    The power of post its! 

    How to create a truly unique voice in a space many think are overly competitive.

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    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


     

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side health of GAO podcast. And I am so excited to share today that we're talking with Lennis Perez, who I have gotten to know over the past few years, uh, through the, we all grow at Latina community. Although I will say, I think this is going to be our first in depth conversation.  And so I'm so excited to be talking. Lennis, I'm going to pass it over to you. Please feel free to tell us. What you do in your side hustle, why you identify with this community, et cetera. 

    Lennis Perez: [00:00:52] Hi, ladies. First, I am so thankful and excited to be part of this episode and podcast. I've listened to it and I feel so inspired when I'm hearing ladies talk about their journeys. So it's really amazing to be a part of it. So just to give a quick into the introduction again, my name is Lennis and my side hustle is wellness consulting, and it transformed from a healthy food blog to a, um. Trying to cook more Latin American foods without, um, making it so heavy in oils, et cetera, due to my own health conditions.

    And then it just, I just realized that there was more in this space that needed to be spoken about, especially as I'm Latina, um, and someone that even though. I may not look like I have any health issues that are some predispositions in my life. And then also the mental health that comes as part of our overall wellbeing.

    So I decided to create a space where. Uh, women and men feel secure and comfortable. And now I say the, my mission is really helping professionals and entrepreneurs because I linger in both spaces as a side hustler, um, become the healthiest version of themselves so they can really share their strengths and their gifts with the community.

    Because we really need everyone to bring their best game. And I'm here to help. I love that. We both love it. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:02:35] I feel like health as an entrepreneur is such a big like deal. . First off, we don't take care of ourselves. Second off, we barely think about ourselves because we're always working on the next hustle. So even just thinking about the mindset aspect or the food that we're consuming, because we are most of the time cooking quick meals or, you know, trying to eat as fast as we can. So we're cooking great meals for ourselves. Oh, I'm so excited to dive a little bit deeper in on this topic, and it's specifically huge to me right now because I just went Keto.  So I'm about 17 days Keto, which I'm less of a cranky meanie face. Then I was a couple of weeks. So, um, I think I'm super excited to talk more about this with you. Um, what would you say, so I know you talked a little bit about your health conditions, but what was your inspiration from going from the blog into coaching specifically.

    Lennis Perez: [00:03:43] So the biggest thing is, um, I was trying to find my unique voice in the space. And there are a lot of, uh, amazing, incredible food bloggers that are truly passionate just about food. And I kept finding myself kind of. Diversion and talking about the mindset, as you said, it's not just about what are you cooking?

    No, it's why are you, you know, creating this habit for your yourself? Why can you do to make it easier for you to. Create unhealthier space around yourself on not only in the kitchen, but when you travel. Because as professionals and as intrepreneurs and side hustlers, I find that we are a community of givers.

    We love to get, we'd love to, and the biggest struggle that I find, not just from myself, but in the community is how do I pray? How do we prioritize. Ourselves in the midst of giving so much and helping others, and that's why I created this, this message of that that really pool my calling and it feels so aligned with me now, is you are doing an incredible job as a side hustler and as a professional person, what did, you can bring your a plus game to it by making. The better decisions for your health, and it's just letting go of some of that guilt that we've been conditioned with. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:05:12] So there's been a lot of talk lately about, um, can healthy and meaningful and well prepared food. Also be fast, convenient, and easy. And I would love your thoughts on this. 

    Lennis Perez: [00:05:28] Yes, it can. So the biggest thing is, um, trying to understand what your lifestyle is. If you really are running and on the go. And I did it, I worked full time. I actually, I take care of my debt too, and I have to side hustle and I'm a multi-passionate interpreter. How the heck am I going to find time to cook and to like repair this healthful meals that are tasty for me? So what I found is I started with getting the right tools in my kitchen.

    Instant pot is my lifesaver. Vitamix. It's my second favorite person in that kitchen because these are tools where I sit at and forget it. I make smoothies in the morning and I actually batched the smoothies so I make a full Vitamix. I have three smoothies for the you know, for the mornings, for every day, so. You just have to play with it.

    You really have to kind of start small. I always say, don't try to budge a full week if you don't even get in the kitchen. Step number one is get in the kitchen maybe Saturday or maybe Sunday and spend or put a timer and say, in 30 minutes, what can I make. That's going to taste good and that I know it's good for me.

    Start with that. Does one day and then do it for a month or talents yourself. Like, you know you're doing Keto and it's showing you how your body reacts to these new way of eating. And like you said, you're not cranky anymore. So now your buddy is giving you a feedback. So start small and listen to your body. And there are ways that you will start learning how to incorporate more and more of those things. So there are ways to just need to. Kind of again, give yourself some grace and say, yes, I'm going to do this. I'm going to start very small with something that's sustainable for me and my lifestyle right now. And that's the biggest thing to make it sustainable. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:07:31] So something I want to ask you about is this. Uh, idea of mindful eating. Um, especially when it comes to dietary restrictions that we're seeing a lot recently. Um, I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and I'm , um, borderline celiac now that how can you be mindful when you're hating the foods that you're eating because you're not being able to eat the foods that you want to eat. Um, and how to like switch that mindset ?

    Lennis Perez: [00:08:02] so I think the biggest thing with that is I call it replacing, not restraining. Right? Cause when you're restricting and restraining yourself, it has this negative emotion where it's like I can't, you are not allowed to. It's no, no, no. It's this very negative thing in your mind versus I choose to replace. You know, the piece of bread that I really want to have with maybe some on crackers or rice crackers, something that I can tolerate. How can I make these tasty? Right? Because at the end of the day, your, your mind is reacting to all this flavors exploding in your mouth and your mouth. And if you are.

    Craving something that you know is not good for you. Okay. How can I replace that? So one of the things I love you seeing is the cheeky, and it's also coming into it with the mindset of, okay, it may not take exactly the same as the Bowl of nice creamy Alfredo pasta, but what can I do with this to make it taste good for me such that I feel great with this replacement and I am one of the examples I give in in that online course I have is.

    I love my mac and cheese Absolutely in love. So I had to figure out how to make and healthier version of mac and cheese. You've seen, um, particularly past using butternut squash as my creaminess instead of heavy cream. So those are things that I was playing in the kitchen and saying, it's not that I'm going to stop eating Mac and cheese. I'm just going to create a better version of my mac and cheese. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:09:55] Oh, that's so good. Yeah. I think. That can easily translate into, okay, how can I, I know that I have a busy day. How can I easily make something that I know is good for me, but also quick and on the go? And it not be a salad every single time unless you love salads.

    In that case, you do. You know? But let's be honest, most of us don't want to eat a salad all day, every day. Um, Oh, I love that. So. I really want to know kind of what your routine looks like. Then if you are prepping one time a week or every morning, what is, what does your routine look like? 

    Lennis Perez: [00:10:38] So my routine right now, it's quite structured. So for my full time job, um. You know, I'm in Texas. The team that I worked with is out of Germany and New Jersey. So we are in three completely different time zones. So my day starts really early. That god, I'm a morning person. Um, so pretty much what I, what I've created for myself is in the morning, I have a posted on my mirror in the bathroom that says, create before you consume.

    So I have to create before I go through emails, before I look at social media, before I even look on my phone, I actually have a separate alarm clock, so it's not in my cell phone, so I don't get triggered by the little notifications. So what I do is I give myself the time to journal and do some slow breathing exercises. That takes about, um, a total of 30 minutes in my morning. Then I jump out, and this is where the meal prep and comes in handy. I tug on my breakfast  on Sunday. Enough for the week such that I just dump them and cook them and they're literally done in about 10 minutes. I make out Arepas from Venezuela, which are also done in like 15 minutes.

    So literally I have breakfast done. The dough is already made the biggest already tucked. Breakfast had done in 15 minutes, and then I just sit down and start, um, start working, start going through emails, et cetera. And then usually I eat for lunch, the leftovers from dinner the night before. So that's the other thing.

    You kind of have to get used to repeating some meals, but it's also the convenient. So I cook dinner every night. I make a lot of food, so I have less. So where's the next day for months? So I don't have to be cooking for that. So those are my two hacks is meal prep. All my veggies, um, on Sundays for breakfast, make it sustainable for me.

    I spend about an hour. Top, invitees, et cetera. And then, um. Make an offer at dinner. So I have leftovers for lunch. So leftovers prepping. It's my, it's my hat or my, uh, Daily routine. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:13:00] So I'm curious. Um, I used to live the dream of just being at home and being able to eat what I had prepared or cooked at home. I think the biggest thing that I struggle with. now and selfishly, this is a very personal question. Um, I am constantly on the road and even when I'm home, I'm usually in an Airbnb downtown in Chicago because I live in the suburbs. Now. How can you integrate meal prep into a lifestyle that is constantly on the go and doesn't have reliable access to refrigeration or microwave or stove?

    Lennis Perez: [00:13:39] Yeah, I love this. So one of the things I always do when I travel is I find a local supermarket or I find a, um, a whole foods. I, you know, cause they have, usually they have either, uh, foods that are already prepared for you. Or, um, you have the salad bar that you can go to in the hot bar, then you can go to, so, and I actually did this one time that I went to Las Vegas. I literally an end, you know, unless they, cause they have. Sensor, um, refrigerators or if you move something, they charge your stuff like crap. Okay. Unless it's for medication, they re, you know, don't, don't kind of help you out with the refrigerator. They want to, I made sure that they charged them for whatever you have.

    So I literally took the cooler, filled that up with Ice and put like yogurts and mine, my smoothie juices in there and had a bowl of fruits. On the side. So when I want to snack, I knew I had something in there. Granola doesn't go bad, so if I'm going to eat some Granola yogurt for breakfast, it's right there.

    The yogurt isn't so anything that, like you said, that needs to be refrigerated. This is where my engineer's side comes out and I'm like, okay, how can I figure this out so it works for me so I can, I can still be a little bit more mindful. The other thing I do is I have like my go too fast food places chipotle. is one of them. I love going to chipotle. I usually ask them to double the veggies for that, for, for my bowl. Um, that's one of the places that I love to go to. And then also going to a restaurant. And if you go to the restaurant for dinner, just kind of, um, ask for a container to take home. And then the next day, even at the local supermarkets, now they have a microwave.

    So you can bring your leftovers from dinner and just to get up out of uncle's story, if you can find a place or you know, somewhere that would be convenient. A lot of places are kind of open if you ask to help you, you know, to let you heat up the food, et cetera. So those are kind of my hacks when I'm on the go, is.

    I'm seeing how my schedule is going to be, and then looking at ways where I can help myself and always, literally, always go and buy giant bottles of water. So I always stay hydrated. That's the other thing I've made sure that I had in hand when I go in. I'm like crazy everywhere. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:16:26] Another quick hack I have, because being Keto, there's like zero ever options places. Um, there is a backpack that you can buy that actually has a pouch that's specific to cold. And so then you can put some ice packs in there and use that because with Keto, you're . Percentage of fat intake is like 70% and you have like zero carbs, so it's a lot of cheese or meats or stuff like that. So yeah, the backpack just has a little, little cooler section and it's, it's awesome.

    Lennis Perez: [00:17:02] So yes, that's a great idea too. Yeah. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:17:07] So I'm curious, um, how your business has evolved the more that wellness becomes a trend. Cause I know five, even 10 years ago, this was a very tough conversation to be having, but as the wellness movement continues to eke more and more into like the central culture of our world, how has that helped what you do evolve.

    Lennis Perez: [00:17:31] So I think is now people are starting to kind of awaken to this. Um, other ways of taking care of ourselves. And wellness has a variety of meaning and it has kind of become one of those, uh, trendy boards. Uh, so it, it becomes a little bit challenging to differentiate themselves. Cause when you talk about wellness.

    People may think, Oh, so you mean you use essential oils and you do these other things? I was like, no, that's not exactly what I do. Um, it's kind of interesting to navigate as it continues to grow and explode before my own, um, business journey. I'll say. Being able to offer, um, online courses to connect with the community that way has been key in expanding it and growing it.

    Also being able to do in person talks and workshops. I did a workshop last year where. People that are looking to improve their habits and their general wellbeing are attracted to those kinds of events. Working with local studios, yoga studios, or places like that. Um, it really helps. It's, it's, it's becoming more and more open for people, um, for you to bring these conversations into the mainstream.

    I've done things that. School through the whole kids foundation where we do, um, presentation and a quick cooking demo because teachers are, we all are super busy. Um. They have a lot on their plate, and it's just finding ways to help. So there's many opportunities. And I will say for anyone that's thinking of getting into the wellness space and things, there's so much competition.

    It's like, no, your voice is unique. Your experience is unique. You don't know who's going to be listening to you, that's going to be inspired. So don't stop and just keep going. If it's really your calling and really your passion to help someone else, just put it out there, even though it's scary and you have to be vulnerable many times because again, I'm talking about my own personal experience, my mental health issues, my own, um, predispositions for our, this season, all of these other things that come from my family.

    Those are things you're not supposed to be talking about out loud five or 10 years ago. So now it's being vulnerable. Putting yourself out there and thinking about that one person that might benefit from your message. One person to me, it's worth it. It's more than enough. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:20:15] So I have to ask, you said you're Latina. How are you trying to shift the mindset in that community or in your community? Because I know as somebody who lives on the border here. Girl, the food we are eating is delicious, but it is, it's not I, yeah, it's not healthy. I mean, it's not that. It's not, you know what I mean? You know what, um, how, how, what are a few ways that we can make Latina food is Latino, Latino.

    Latinex. Yeah. I don't know which way to say it. Um, how do we, how can we go about making that food even a little bit healthier? 

    Lennis Perez: [00:21:05] So it really depends. That's the end. That's kind of why I started. My YouTube channel has, I think, over 50 recipes on how to do it. And my most popular, my most popular recipes from three years ago, because I made with plantains with no oil. So how can you make so there are ways that you're getting, you got tweak the foods and the meals to make them healthier. The biggest thing is lead by example. I love sharing food with people. I feel that it brings us together. So if I can invite people over, you know, nine out of 10 times they are going to ask me for a recipe and then just share it.

    Does sharing it out there and even offering, Hey, you know, next time I'll go to your house and we take her place and I can show you how, how to, uh, how to make it a little bit better to me is again, um, helping people find ways to, um, get more into better things for themselves. Um. You know, add more on more vegetables into your rice, for example.

    And I know we as Latinas, we love our white rice, but guess what, right? If you add a little bit of parsley and some bell peppers into it, it's going to make it tasty and it's gonna go where the carbs that you're getting. So, you know, there's tricks and tips, and like I said, no restriction, guys. Let's just.

    Find ways to make it fun, to make it taste good. And you know, if I show you my grocery list from 20 years ago, you will be laughing because it is what you, what you see right now, living on the border. That's pretty much a staple. It was a journey. It took me, um, you know, about 15 years to finally modified what I'm consistently using now in the kitchen.

    All right, it's you can, you just have to take a one small bite at a time, just one small thing at a time and that's how you make progress. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:23:15] Speaking of one step at a time, uh, what advice would you give to other folks who are trying to grow their side hustle, who are trying to stay authentic to the things that they believe in, even before or as that thing becomes a trend? Like what are your, what are your thoughts. 

    Lennis Perez: [00:23:36] So my biggest thing is, and as I mentioned earlier, we really are people that want to give and want to help. So as long as we focus our energy on, Mmm. Shining the light outside instead of inside, because when we kind of turn in judge the work that we're doing, we start getting scared.

    We started getting into perfectionism. We started getting, so think about. Put a picture in front of you, of the person that you're trying to help put, you know, put messages around your area and your computer as your background of those who you're trying to really improve their lives or help them out and focus on that lead that be your driving force.

    Um, that way your brain is going to have a hard time to turn that focus into yourself. Putting out there and being shamed or being judged. Because let's be honest, we all are so afraid of being judged and being called out for not really knowing what we're doing. That's like the biggest thing as a psych Hostler that's so scary.

    So focus on what you're deeming. Focus on that energy of shining the light out and being able to project out your gift. At the end of the day is your debt. And you know, we are our biggest judge, so. Switch that brain so it's producing and not self judging.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:25:06] And fuel it. Well,

    well, Oh my gosh, this was such a great episode. I think it's something that you don't hear, uh, a lot on a lot of the entrepreneurial podcasts or talking about wellness or the food that we're putting into our body. So I am so thankful that you. Joined us and are here chatting about it. And, um, I want to make sure that everybody knows where to follow you.

    So can you tell us, uh, how we can get in touch with you and follow you and where to find you? 

    Lennis Perez: [00:25:42] Absolutely. So as I mentioned, I have a YouTube channel where I am talking all about wellness. Food and nutrition, et cetera. I pose weekly episodes. It's a bilingual channel. So for any fellow Spanish speaking community, it's also available Lenise Perez TV, and I'm sure you ladies will leave the link in the notes.

    So on YouTube, basically Lennis TV. And then I also have, um, two online courses. One, it's about identifying and releasing the most common of wellness blocks. That we all have. Um, and what are the strategies that are going to help you overcome them? And that's, I'm on. Len is perez.com uh, sorry, Len is Perez that Thinkific that come.

    And then there's another one that's called detune died and for good, where I teach you how to start list into your body and give you some of the strategies that I shared here, but go a little bit more in depth. So those are the two places where I would recommend you to go follow. And with Instagram you can send me a DM, whereas another score I had with everyone, even if it goes into the requested, I checked that and I T I love talking to the people I'm helping out. Yeah. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:27:02] Awesome. Well, thank you so much. 

    Lennis Perez: [00:27:04] Thank you ladies. This was a pleasure. So happy to be here.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Amanda Gulino of A Better Monday.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    Learning to take a step back from your side hustle to reevaluate and reenergize.

    How to balance not taking things personally while you are on this extremely personal journey.

    How it is ok to embracing being in a waiting pattern for the next big step in your side hustle. While still addressing the void that occurs.

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. Today we have one of my longtime friends, business friends, a business like partners. I guess if we talk about she will, um, clients. She's been a client of mine, Jordan Lacenski. Hold on, I always forget to ask you how to say her name. Jordan. Les. I did it again.

    Yep. Jordan, listen, ski. Uh, so Jordan, I'm going to toss it over to you. What? Tell us what's up with brand boss. What's up with she will what you're doing now because I know that you're back in the corporate world. I can't wait to hear all about it. 

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:01:02] Yeah, girl, thank you so much and love. That we are in each other's lives in so many layers in ways.

    Um, so thanks for having me. What is going on with me? Wow. It's been an interesting, uh, four year journey really. But, um, as you know, I had brand box creative, which was a boutique branding firm. I opened and closed that in three years. I opened it in 2016. I had a freaking blast. I grew this thing. I had consultants, I had the CEO ego things going on.

    We, I was like, became becoming obsessed with processes and operations and customer service and just how to grow and improve this branding firm and, uh, how to make things really smooth for everyone involved. And then early 2019, we went through a litigation, which was kind of like the second of the three strikes, you know, uh, we had, we lost a huge client because they lost a huge client.

    And then we went through this litigation and it was wild. And. My consultant at the time was saying like, this is just something you prepare for in business, right? Like, if you budget for it, it happens when you're a business owner. At some point you will get sued. Like it's kind of like lock them to the big leagues, honey, you know?

    Um, but it was personally difficult and professionally difficult and hard on our team and hard on our P. and. L, you know? I mean, just all of it. And so it's actually, um, an advised by our lawyers, just easier to close the business. So we closed that business. It was an LLC and a pretty easy process to do.

    Um, and she will simultaneously, you know, she will had started as this collaborative where. Agencies or people like brand boss, like yourself, like other graphic designers and photographers and videographers and audio experts, and all of these people in the content creation, marketing, advertising world would come together for these projects and that's how she will start it.

    And I had a business partner and it was a super fun, wild ride. And we relocated it to Bozeman, Montana, to North Carolina. And you know, just kind of our shields pack was growing and, and really all over the U S and we decided that we wanted to try to make it a community, an online membership community, because what was happening was.

    The gals that are, we're working on projects. That's us. We would be on a call about a project and as soon as the client would hop off, everyone would say, how do you handle this? How much do you charge for this? Do you have a contract template? I can use all these things that, especially as a creative, you enter into business and you know how to do your trade.

    You know how to be creative, but the actual business side, nobody really teaches you that. In school unless you go for your MBA. So, uh, and even then, which I did, you know, even then, I mean, there's so many unanswered questions. So, so we tried our hand at launching a community, which simultaneously this launch was happening while a brand boss was in this lawsuit.

    Um, and it just took me down. Uh, I was totally wiped out, totally burned out. Uh, just. Spinning my wheels, trying to make it happen. Um, and I'd just gotten to the point where my body and my mind and everything said, girl, take a break. So I took a break. And, um, I took some freelance contracts, uh, one of which was, uh, for a company in Dallas as a kind of an interim creative director, one of which is still going on, which is working for a nonprofit.

    I'm coordinating their biggest fundraiser. Um, one of which is project management for a friend of mine who has, who owns several companies. Uh, so yeah, I, it's, it's kind of this weird floating, moving thing right now, and I've never done this in my life, but I'm waiting. I'm just kind of waiting for the next thing.

    Um, and I feel like it looks like being an intra preneur for a little bit, but I'm not certain. And so I'm not making any big decisions. Uh, but I am eyeballs open. I'm looking for kind of a new challenge. So that's my, my side hustle has went from a full time gig to just leaning, leaning the fuck out, and just being me, which within a home office, which is weird, which was a really weird experience, but it's been really good.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:05:26] That's such a journey, but it's coming from watching along the sidelines. I know. What a transition it's been for you. I know how crazy it's been for you, but I love that you're waiting for the right 

    opportunity 

    instead of forced. An opportunity is so that. Security is there, because I definitely lean towards the ladder, but leaning towards the former is what creates these like big next changes for folks.

    So I love that. Yeah.

    I have to ask. So you, you described the tactical evolution of things. How  would you say your emotions have evolved over the last four 

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:06:10] years? Oh my gosh. So I, if you want to be humbled and challenged and like the most excited you'll ever be and the most suppressed, you'll FRP cry in public.

    And I mean, just all these things, you should totally start a business. I highly recommend it. Um, I feel like, I think I've, my emotions have gone from. Really learning the belief, like I got this and embracing a confidence that didn't quite have before. And I think part of that is just what society tells us as women.

    And part of that is. How we grow up. And part of that is just who we are. Um, and so that was a really cool journey to embrace and just embracing like the business mind and being cool with that. Like my, how I approach things, like what my Enneagram type is, or what my Myers-Briggs says might be a little bit different when it comes to how I run my business than it, than it is for me, like at home, you know.

    Um, so. I think that's a really positive thing. I think all of it ends up being positive. All the challenges you embrace and go through, and that's teaching me something. And all adversity, you know, teaches you something. And when you're in it, you don't believe that. But the really, at the end of the day, uh, you learn a lot.

    I think the other, the biggest piece, I think this year has been from being on cloud nine, um, and just. Like getting a taste of, uh, we're scaling this thing, or we're launching this thing, or just this startup flavor. And then like a month later being at the lowest low, um, and taking all of that ego and just squashing it.

    And going through the phases of embarrassment and like hibernation, you know, I think like I didn't go to where I had an office or at a really cool kind of coworking, um, place in downtown Greensboro and I didn't go there for like six months. I was just embarrassed. Like, Oh, I failed and now I'm going to go in and all these people are not going to take me seriously.

    And I'm looking for freelance contracts, gigs, and how am I going to convince them that I. And still good at what I do. Um, and so definitely a lot of that self talk and processing and therapy, Holy hell therapy. Um, so I think, I think it's challenged me to discover who I am without a business. I think when you're an entrepreneur, it becomes so much of who you are.

    You never. Really sleep and not think about it. You're never really off. You don't really check out. You're, you're always on. Um, and I think this year the emotional journey for me has been, this is who you are as a wife or not a wife. This is who you are as a business owner or not a business owner. This is who you are with, uh.

    Your community and your pack and without, um, and so it's been, and it's a discovery. I'm still figuring that out, but I think the emotional, the emotional piece of all that, it's challenged me in ways I never would have imagined. And I mean, going through all of it, like grief, anger, resentment, you know, this, this litigation was like with a female owned business, you know, and I, and I knew her.

    Like in terms of like qualifying your leads so that stuff doesn't happen. I did that, you know, and I was so disappointed at the way that things were happening. I was taking it so personally, like, how could you do this to me? You're, you're like single-handedly trying to ruin my business. What's going on?

    You know? And I think it's been interesting to kind of step back and say, everybody has their stuff, like life is happening for everyone all the time. And. You can't take it personally. Uh, while it is a very personal journey, you know, um, people aren't necessarily coming for you. They're trying to survive themselves.

    So I think this year that's been the biggest thing is just like slicing that ego way down. Um, not to like a self-deprecation level, but just at a. You know, if you're, if you're not at the top of your game, you know what I mean? Using air quotes or, you know, if you're not on the cover of Forbes or, or if you're not successful, whatever that means, you know, what does success mean to you?

    Uh, then what, um, and that's part of like, taking the risks. Like that's part of stepping out on your own and creating something. It's like big risk, big reward, and like also big risk, huge failure, you know, huge, huge, uh, impact on, on your life and everyone around you. So. Yeah. Girl. It's been a been a journey.

    It's been an emotional journey too. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:10:36] Ah, man. Yeah. So I think there's two really huge takeaways in that that I want to discuss a bit further. Um, maybe one we just have to highlight, but the first one is the sense of who you are outside of your business, especially a side hustlers. Um, specifically we are working and then also side hustling our business. And where does like you as a person stand? And then the second part is. When you do decide to go full time, you are not your business. And that's why you protect yourself with an LLC, so that when you get, you did not get your house taken away too. Um, so. They're two really, really big pieces there, but I want to talk to you a little bit more about like you outside of the business. So what do you do?  Um, when you try to pull yourself away from, um, working and hustling and balancing all of the things, what do you do as a person to pull yourself away from it? 

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:11:40] Yeah. I think the answer a year ago, and the answer now are so different. I think, um, the answer a year ago would be, yeah. Like I hang out with my friends.

    Well, guess what? All of my friends are also side hustling or have businesses. So eventually talk about business. That's not really a play way. Um, I think it was, uh. Reading, uh, which also tended to lead towards like kind of personal and professional development. Now I think what I ha, I think my body has forced me to do, uh, is rest and totally check out.

    Like. Your computer is not on you. I mean, maybe it's Netflix thing. I don't know. Like maybe it's hanging out watching true crime shows. Maybe it's taking a leisurely chill walk in the neighborhood with our dogs. You know, maybe it's, um, going to like a cafe by myself without my computer to kind of sit, get some vitamin D, eat a croissant, you know, grab a coffee.

    Um. I think part of it has been, you know, I have, I have a lot of friends that live somewhat close in there. They all are, you know, um, celebrating really cool milestones, like adopting children and having children and and moving and buying new houses and things like that. And so really trying to spend quality time with those people.

    I think that's been really big. And I think, um, I think therapy again has been like, that is. Like my self care, um, as been really, really huge. And, um, and so with that, I kind of discovered like, what else is it that I need to do? You know, is it, is it some kind of exercise? Because I think for me, especially this year.

    It was the energy that it felt like it would take to go to the gym and like actually lift weights was just like not happening. Um, but being okay with maybe I cycled for 20 minutes, or maybe I go on a walk or maybe I parked further away in the parking lot just to get my body moving and get some endorphins going.

    So, and art, I think like this year it's been cool. It's like, uh, something I'm really passionate about that I haven't. Spend a lot of time doing. And, uh, we have awesome art museums here and there. Cheap or free, you know. And so like, I went to the Frida Kahlo exhibit and just walked around the thing like four separate times, you know, and just stared at these really cool photographs and, and artwork.

    And I'm reading these stories. And so. That's what's the, this year, that's what I've been doing. M and a and a year ago it would have been like, Oh, well, I'm just so go, go, go. But I go, go, go in a different way. Or I maybe this networking thing feels fun, but it's still me, you know? Um, so I think it's more, more rest.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:14:18] I love that answer because I love that, you know, the difference between hanging out with. Entrepreneurs also, um, as like, Oh, that's my fulfilling thing that I do for myself. But really all you're doing is talking about work. And I think it, it takes us so long to figure out that like, okay, I have to distinguish myself specifically from my business and how am I going to do that? Even if it's finding friends that. Can't comprehend business, then like, yes, perfect. Let's not talk about that. yeah, that's always something that, um, I know I've struggled with is finding a way to like turn off that business mentality or, Oh, I can put my phone down for 10 minutes and if a client messages me, I don't have to respond right away type of thing. Um, and especially as a side hustler. That's so hard.

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:15:15] Right, right. And then there's pressure while you're, I mean, even like I'll work at the nonprofit, I work in the office, uh, one day a week, and I go to meetings another day, a week. But that one day a week I'm in there and I'm stressing about any other. Contracts, you know, like, or any other to do's and like, Oh, I need to answer that email, but I'm really, you know, like, I'm on the clock for this nonprofit. I can't be doing that. You know, it's, um,  I remember when I started my business and it being a true side hustle and having a full time job and just feeling like, okay, can I schedule a meeting at four and can I get it to the office at seven and leave at three 45 and, you know, I mean, just how to make it work. Um. And yeah, it becomes all your spare time really becomes about the side hustle and feels like there's not enough hours in the day and it's all about prioritizing yourself too. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:16:04] Yeah. So I guess moving on from that, how do you like organize your day in a personal way and then in the business sort of way, like how do you, how do you tend to blend them together?

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:16:16] Oh, still figuring that out for sure. Um, because it's so different than it used to be. Uh, it definitely used to be. Wake up, go, you know, coffee, coffee first. Uh, love the dogs out. Go straight to the office, work, work, work, meetings, meetings, meetings, networking, saying go home. Uh, and when I was like down on the couch, I was down on the couch.

    Like I wasn't getting up for anything. Um, and my sweet husband was like making dinner most nights. Um, so now it's been like training myself to say. You want to go to the gym at 9:00 AM, you can do that because totally empty and you have the space to yourself. There's no real pressure and you can listen to the music you want to listen to and um, or if you wanna wake up, answer a couple emails and then go on a long walk, you can do that.

    So I think I'm kind of trying to train myself in that way. Mondays I always have a status call for the project management gig. I do. And so Mondays are typically like. Kick the week off, get shit done. So I like that because I have this status call and then at least for that, that dig, I know everything that I need to do for the week and I can organize myself.

    Um, so Mondays are typically a lot of like admin, organization, emails, that kind of thing. Tuesdays are always pretty blank on the, on the calendar. So those are days that I typically like. All right, I'm going to go for a walk, or I'm going to go to the gym at an odd hour. Um, or I might meet a friend for lunch, or I might go on a walk with, with a

    You know, my friend who's a new mom and is also like get me out of his house. Um, so I might do something like that for an hour or two. And then I'm definitely in yoga pants hanging out at the, at my home computer and just kind of cranking out some creative things that need to be done. More like content execution.

    Um, Wednesdays are somewhat similar. Sometimes I have some in person meetings on Wednesdays. I try to keep them on that day. So I know like. Okay. On Wednesday, if you wash your hair, you know, and I'm on Thursdays, I do the volunteer center, so. Part of Wednesday. Um, if I have any meetings outside of that, like really prep for everything that needs to be done on Thursday, if there's any like pre-work that needs to be done for me, being in the, the office that, uh, is called the volunteer center.

    So I, I try to. Solely focused on that gig on Thursdays, if I can. Um, and Fridays I try to be pretty chill. Like I've tried to, like today, I, I'm obviously I'm talking to you, uh, which I love. And, um, I had a doctor's appointment and I am, uh, my husband and I are hitting the road out of town a little bit early today, and I have some calls from the road, but, uh, we're going camping.

    So I tried to get. I try to let Friday kind of start the weekend and I, that sounds like really luxurious. Again, like I'm in this, it's a privilege right now to be able to do that because I'm in this waiting stage. Uh, but I'm with the gigs that I have. I'm making enough to be able to do that. I'm not hitting my, my big goals, but I'm making enough.

    As I'm, as I'm kind of waiting, and I'm not committing to anything that is bigger than that at this moment. Um, and so I'm thankful that I can do that. I know not everybody can, but that's what my week looks like now. And in Saturdays and Sundays, I do nada, like I do nothing business-related on Saturdays and Sundays, which has been really a much needed change. Uh, and I've really embraced it. It's been great.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:19:39] I am. I'm first so grateful that you're embracing rest and embracing space and embrace sitting breathing room because I definitely am someone that's guilty of not doing those things. I think it's really smart to be doing those things. Um, but I also, I'm also,

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:19:58] I've looked at my week, I'm like, your week does not look like that at all.

    No, no. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:05] Um, I'm also curious cause I think the biggest thing that I struggle with, and I wonder if you struggled with this in the beginning too, is. How to address the void. Like people like you, people like me, people like Caitlyn are so good at packing our schedules. So full that to take that space invokes feelings of guilt. Feelings of what am I not doing? What am I forgetting? What like the like entrepreneurial FOMO that comes from not having things in that time. How did you wrestle with that in the beginning?

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:20:40] I'm still wrestling with that. I've actually, as I'm as I'm like telling every day, I'm, I'm telling myself, wait, you know, and I know even you and I have had conversations about just, uh, different companies or different people, because I definitely feel bored because I am so used to chaos.

    Um, and so part of that journey has been like me in therapy saying, am I bored because I'm used to things being so insane and unhealthy that I don't know what to do with myself now, or am I bored because I really am missing a challenge that I need. So it's, that's been hardest part of the process right now has been all right, we really do need to like dig deeper and figure this out because I think.

    You know, for the last five years, really, life's been pseudo chaotic. You know, we've moved across the country twice. My husband switched positions, switched jobs. He got out of the military. You know, we, we've like rescued a million dogs and had like a geriatric home for dogs for awhile. It's just been some kind of a big change.

    Uh, all the time was, was basically how life was. Running before. So it's really hard. I don't, I don't know the answer. I think, um, when I, in the beginning, I don't know that I had a choice. I think my, I was so, uh, emotionally like pers, like things in our personal lives were happening simultaneously on top of all this other stuff.

    And I was so stressed out and I just wanted to hide. And I've never been there before. Like, I mean, I was like in bed. Eating Twizzlers for whatever reason. That was the only thing that I felt like eating. Just my mom was coming by and saying, I brought you soup and a sandwich cause you have to eat food.

    You know, like I just was really having a hard time. Um, and I think I, I, my body was just like shut down. Like just, it was like, I just had pain in my back and my shoulders and my neck and I was so tired. It felt like mano hit me. Like I just was so exhausted, so I didn't have a choice. Other than to embrace the void.

    Um, and now, you know, eight ish months later, um, I'm starting to feel really itchy and antsy and bored and trying to fill that with things. And in the last few weeks, it's been interesting because I have packed my schedule more than I should and I'm feeling a little bit more anxious. and I deal with anxiety anyway.

    It's kind of resurfaced in a new way. And so that's been kind of a warning sign because I've, I've this good, you know, I was like breathing normally my heart's beating normally for a while. And then the last few weeks as I've been a little bit forward and trying to pack myself full of like, Hey, yeah, I'll join this board and yell, and that's where this person, and yeah, I'll, I'll help you with that messaging and bloat, like loading up that. That plate a little bit too much. Um, I've been feeling it just with, uh, just, just with time and just with anxiety. And so I think that's been a warning sign. So then I think that may be, helps me reevaluate and say, all right, I gotta I gotta pump the brakes a little bit. Um, and what's really a priority? What's, what do I really want to be doing? What's really fulfilling me right now.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:23:40] I think that that is so important. This, this, I put something that's truly giving me some really good vibes and chills because I think conversations are so important, and I think that something you said earlier was like feeling like a failure. Feeling like you had let people down, feeling like other folks were not going to see your worth because you weren't all of these things that you were once. And I want to take a step back first of all and acknowledge that. 

    Someone out there has to be the entrepreneur that stops hustling 95 hours a week. Uh, and so in your own way, your new identity is going to help, frankly speaking people like me, but also people listening to this podcast who. Are hustling too hard, who are doing too many things, who are involved in too much to take any breeze and say, you know what? Like maybe I need to change to where's the space in my life? 

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:24:43] Yeah.  

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:24:44] know that you're freaking awesome. So you've gone through this huge evolution, but what about people who are too close to things to see that it's time to evolve? What advice would you give to someone who's not ready to hear advice that they need to take a step back? 

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:25:08] You know, I think this is something that I've been challenging myself with a lot because I have a couple of friends that are so good at this because I am one of those people. I don't, I'm like, you're giving me advice and I'm not going to listen to any of it. Thanks. Bye. You know, I am a hard, I'm kind of a hard nut to crack when it comes to that, and so. There are a couple people in my life who asks really pointed questions that helped me discover that myself. So like they might say, is that working for you? Or, um, do you feel healthy? Like overall, like just your body, your mind? Like, do you feel healthy? And I'll probably say out loud, yeah, things are great. But in my gut and in my heart and in my soul. There's alarms going off. Like, no girl, you are on the verge of burnout. Like, and you know, why are you acting like it's all good?

    Um, and so I think I've watched them get through to me in those ways, and I have tried to. Mirror that for other people. And, and you know, I have a lot of friends that are actually in the exact same boat right now. You know, they, they've been hustling at like full speed for the last two years in their business. They like one of them, for example, just hit $1 million in revenue. She's super excited. She's like growing, growing, growing. It's a super small team. They're staying really lean and she's working 19 hour days every day. And every time I see her, she is, that's one of the first things that we talk about. It's like, and today was another 19 hour day and I want to sh, you know, you want to shake her, cause you just want to say stop doing this to yourself.

    But there's this pressure I'm sure in her mind, like if we could just get here, if I could just get to the next phase. So I think the advice would be really to like. Step back. Do a workshop, you know, have a coach, have a consultant, have somebody that you really trust who's going to ask you really hard questions, help you discover what you're doing.

    All this for. I think like defining the goal, defining what success looks like for this thing for you is really important. Um, it could be this is my side hustle that I'm doing because I want to start putting more money in savings for my kid's college. Or it could be, I just want to be able to go out and get happy hour wine with my gal once a week and I want some fun money to do it. Or it could be, I want to take this thing full time. Um, and so. I think working with someone who's not you, who's able to see that and say, all right, well, is working 19 hours a day getting you there? Like, is it, is it reaching your goals? You know, how are you, how are you auditing those goals? Like how are you measuring if you're reaching them?

    Um, and I think. I think we know ourselves better than we think we do. I think we know like your gut is really powerful and it tells you things. And so like when people ask you those questions, if something in you feels like, ah, this is a lot, or if, if your throat is sore all the time and you're on the verge of a cold all the time and you wake up in the morning and you're so tired, you know there's, there may be something there that.

    Like your body's telling you, Hey, you need to slow down. Um, but I think that's the biggest thing is like surrounding yourself with people that are going to be really honest with you, but in a way that you'll actually hear it and in a way that'll impact you to make the right choices and decisions. And sometimes that's just asking you questions, you know, just asking you hard questions and not telling you anything, not telling you you should or shouldn't do anything. But just saying, wow, it seems like you're working a lot. How's that feeling for you? Like, how's that sitting with you? How you doing? You know, I think for me, that's what works. So that's what I would suggest.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:28:43] Yes. I am so thankful when, um. Even sometimes my clients are like, Hey, you know, I just realized, I've been talking to you like all day and I know you have other clients. How are you doing? Like even just having my clients call me. Yeah. I mean, as a project manager, you, you would know, you know, um, sometimes your clients or you're talking to your clients all day to make sure things are moving along, especially when you're delegating out and. I think those check-ins have really made me realize, Whoa, like not only should I be taking care of myself, but I need to surround my self with the people who are checking in with me also, because that just means the world. When somebody asks you, Hey, how are you doing? Like how are you actually doing? Um, and sometimes it sucks. Like sometimes it's so hard to be like. Well, I'm fine, but, and then evaluating it and in your head it's, it's so hard. But I loved this conversation. You are amazing. I feel like we could talk all day and I think our audience is going to really, really love this episode.

    Um, but we do have wrap up at some point, 

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:30:03] right. So, 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:30:05] um, where can we find you on the interwebs? 

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:30:10] Yeah. So now, um, my website is just me and Jordan, alexandria.com. So Alexandria, like, like the city in Virginia. Um, and Jordan, just like Michael. Um, they'll just like that. Um, and you can find me on Instagram and Facebook.

    Sometimes I try not to, uh. I, I try to actually now, especially because I don't have to, for my, for my business, like be on social all the time. I'm not on there as much, but I, but I have like a love affair with Instagram. So I'm civically on Instagram at, um, Jordan. Dot. Alexandria or at J listen, P that that will be a tough one for, uh, for people, but it's in my bio for my other one.

    Well, yeah, you'll find me there. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:30:54] Well link all of those in the show notes. Um, and I just really wanted to say thank you so much for your vulnerability today. 

    Jordan Lacenski: [00:31:01] Yeah, thank you. Thanks for being an awesome person, a safe place, and for creating space for these conversations. It's super important. It's huge.

  •    

    Today Dannie and Caitlyn are talking with Amanda Gulino of A Better Monday.

    We believe in accessible content and that anyone who wants to learn from this content should be able to. In order to support this, we’ve had every episode of Season 4 transcribed. The transcriptions are available at the bottom of every episode blog post.

    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

    Turning your unconventional passion into a thriving side-hustle.

    Embracing the “happy accident” or hidden opportunities to help propel your side hustle.

    Figuring out when it is time to pivot a side hustle and doing so gracefully.

    GET MORE: Website | Instagram | Linkedin

    FOLLOW YOUR HOSTS: D Website | D Instagram // C Website | C Instagram

    Get the Side Hustle Starter Kit


    Episode Transcript

    Intro: [00:00:00]  You're listening to the side hustle GAL podcast with your host Dannie Fountain and  Caitlyn Allen. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:00:21] Hello and welcome back to the side hustle gal podcast. Today's guest might be one of my favorites from the season, but I don't pick favorites. We are chatting with Amanda Gulino today who I actually met. While we were in Denver, together as two strangers coming together from across the country, um, as part of Denver startup week, we were two of the 50 ambassadors for that program. Um, and I've been stocking Amanda ever since. So this is great. And to get to talk today. So Amanda, thank you so much for coming on and tell us about your side hustle. 

    Amanda Gulino: [00:01:02] Of course that might've been the best. Intro of all time, I've also been talking to some similar startup week. It what dannie fails to mention is that we met on the first day of Denver startup week and this kind of, it was maybe a bit overwhelming as an introvert, a bit overwhelming and yet awesome.

    Lunch at this great, uh, coworking space. And then. You just kept saying stuff. The whole time we were at startup week, I was like, I just need to know her. I need to connect with her more. I have to. Um, so this is a really fun way to come together. Um, okay. So a little bit about me. So, uh, my name is Amanda. I'm originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    I was born and raised there. Went to college, they went to LSU. And uh, that was really, that time in my life at college was really what unlocked a passion that I didn't know I could have and I didn't know I could do for work. And that was all about people. And, and. You know what I was thinking this morning about like why?

    Why am I doing all this work? Like the bit of a stressful morning and I came back to like what I'm on a mission to do and that at the end of the day, that's to make work something that's enjoyable for people and doesn't suck. Like that's really it. Why I'm doing this, because we spend so much time. So much of our waking hours working, we should be getting some enjoyment out of it.

    And the best part of that is when we're enjoying it, our bosses and our managers and our clients or whoever, they're going to be getting more good work out of us and everybody wins. Right? Um, so, so that's really what I'm on a mission to do. Um, I started my side hustle in. August of 2016 and it was sort of a happy accident.

    Um, before that time I had been floating around all sorts of ideas of like what I wanted to do. Um, I was like, I'm going to open a smoothie shop. I'm going to open a yoga studio. I mean, really, I went all over the place. I think at one point. There was a clothing store with only black and gray clothing in there, which I still might do cause that's all I wear.

    Um, I still might do that, but I went through a ton of ideas and ultimately I came back to my passion that I discovered in college. And so started my side hustle in 2016 kind of a funny story. I had a former coworker of mine who called me at seven in the morning and just said, Hey, do you still want to start?

    You're saying something on the side. And I said, yes. And she goes, I have your first client for you. And I'm still working with that client today, years later. And so that kicked off everything. I'm happy to share more, but that's really sort of the like launch into starting my side hustles. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:03:45] Oh, I love that. So what made you really realize, like, and find that source of inspiration to like. Start that mission that you're, you're now easily, well, not easily. You are, no, I'm working towards. 

    Amanda Gulino: [00:04:03] Oh, it's such a good question. I mean, the only way I know how to describe it is that this sort of like, um, insatiable, like thing that keeps bubbling up inside of me that I just really, really care about.

    Um, what it comes down to, you know, is we get. One life and this form on this planet. Um, and it's short, but long. And we work a lot. We have to work a lot, or maybe we don't have to work but, we have to do something to bring in income to do the things they want to do. And there should be enjoyment tied to that.

    And I just believe that in my core. Uh, that, that everybody deserves that. And I want that for everyone. So I think it's just the thing that doesn't go away and it keeps coming back no matter, no matter how much I, you know, my might've tried to like squash it down at times.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:04:53] Okay. Um, what you guys aren't seeing is you're listening right here as Katelyn just pointed at me, even though she was gonna have the next question, but I'm going to ask it anyway. So, funny enough, you talked about like the happy accident. Someone called you up one day and was like, I have your client, your first client, Caitlin's business.

    Started exactly the same way. I fired my previous assistant, called her on a Friday on my way to like Europe or something and was like, Hey, you work for me now. Basically like, Hey, help me with my travel itinerary. Yeah. So her business started because I backed her into a corner and begged her to help me until I found a new assistant.

    I didn't end up finding a new assistant for like two years. So she was

    there for like two years. But like now, her business has completely spiraled into this thing of its own. And yours has too. So both of you, I'm asking this question to both of you. Um, how do you. Not be resistant to those happy accidents. And then how do you backdoor the strategy to take advantage of this like golden opportunity?

    Amanda Gulino: [00:06:13] Oh, that's such a good question. I mean, I think I grapple with that all the time. How to not be resistant to success is ultimately what you're saying. I mean, since this is a very candid podcast, I'm just going to share very candidly, um. In the early stages, I was not very resistant. I said yes to most opportunities really because I was super excited.

    I had the energy and I saw every potential client engagement as a chance to learn what do I, what am I best at Ted's position to do here? What do I say? This isn't actually in my greatest skill set. This is someone else's greatest skill set. I'm going to refer this out and what do I ultimately want to be doing?

    And so I said yes to. A lot, and I'm so glad that I did. And I think part of the challenge with that is not having a ton of resistance is overwhelming myself sometimes. Um, that, that certainly happens. Um, and yet, like. I just can't, part of me just can't even imagine having this have gone any other way because as a result is saying yes to a lot of different opportunities ultimately allowed me to take my side hustle full time, which I didn't believe I'd ever get to do.

    I just told myself that would never happen. Like, who do you think you are to be able to do this? And it, those yeses and that, um, I guess lack of resistance allowed me to do that so. Yeah. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:07:38] Yeah, and I think I can relate to that and in a way, because. What happened to me was a happy accident and embracing those accidents and then making those connections, I kept saying yes to everything, girl.

    I learned everything from back end of WordPress to podcasting and everything related to podcasting to how to file a trademark with Joey to how to do bookkeeping. Um. And just saying yes to a lot of things makes it so much easier now where I am in my business to say no, and to say like, yes, I can do that work.

    Am I worth it to you to do that work? Because the answer is probably no. Um, and being strategic and how I say yes, no. And when I say yes, um. And I think the resistance now is a lot of like that coming back to yourself and saying, well, why did I say no? Like I could have just made more money if I just would have lowered my prices, or I would've said yes to doing some of that VA work.

    But what really, at the end of the day, what you want to do is make yourself happy and make your clients happy and. Just like you said at the beginning, if you're doing work that you know you don't really want to be doing and it's not actually serving the business owner that you're working for or it is in the short term and not the long term, then why are you doing that work when you know somebody, it will fulfill somebody else.

    Amanda Gulino: [00:09:20] So both hosts sign on, all of that. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:09:24] Both of you took these happy accidents and both of you have since rebranded, completely pivoted cetera into the thing that you actually care about and want to be doing long term. So when you did that, Amanda, what was it like to. Walk away or tie up neatly, those relationships that were no longer serving where you want to be now.

    And because I think a lot of us have a bit of a scarcity mindset of if I let go of this client work, I will never find quiet work to replace it. So how did you trust letting go to get what you wanted? 

    Amanda Gulino: [00:10:06] Yeah, I mean, I think I told myself. That the pivot I made was I started out doing a lot of recruiting work. That was my background, and I found a lot of success in it, and I loved it for a long time. And so I thought that's what I was going to want to do in my own business and loved it. And then I realized who I think I'm ready for something that's related to this, but not this anymore. And so that became coaching, training and facilitation and you know, team retreats and workshops and these sorts of things, which are super related, but it's a different set of work, you know.

    And so what ultimately happened for me is I have a lot of the same clients, but we're doing different work now. And so part of what this comes back to is in a lot of my background is in nonprofit, and fundraising is a huge part of being a nonprofit. Your sustainability relies on it. And I have a friend who is an amazing fundraiser.

    We used to work together and she always said, people give to people. Right? People give to people. They want to work with you and give to you because of who you are and what you represent. And so the mindset that I kept in mind as I was making this pivot where my company's values. Those did not change. My approach did not change who I am, did not change.

    I stay true. And if there was a natural fit with companies and individuals and this new scope of work, we continued to work together. There were a few cases where it wasn't necessary, and I referred that workout to amazing recruiters and I'm so happy that gives me so much joy to be able to do that. Man, I can totally relate on that, uh, in that capacity as well because, um.

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:11:48] When I moved out here to Arizona, I was working at a multimillion dollar nonprofit doing AmeriCorps Vista, which is domestic peace Corps. So right away you're told it's all about the story. It's all about the story, because that's how you can get people to give you money. It's always about a story. Um, and in my opinion, if you're an entrepreneur in your telling people a story, why.

    Why tell a fake story when you could just be authentic and tell how you want to work or how you want to work with a company. So that's real good. That's real good.

    But the other thing I wanted to ask you was what is your, what is your goal? Like what, what. What would the perfect entrepreneurial world look like for you if your goals were met? 

    Amanda Gulino: [00:12:43] Yeah. My goal in my life, it's not separate from my work. It's been the same for years. And my ultimate goal is just to be happy. And so that is a question and that may sound like that's got a ridiculous, there's a data tied to that. There's no numbers. Um, but that, that really is my goal. And so I check in with myself a lot on a daily basis, on a weekly basis. I do, this is real cheesy coming from us. Former HR person. Um, but I do reviews of myself every year.

    Now. They're not like performance reviews or sort of numbers, but they're reflections. And I asked myself, how much did you enjoy this year? You know, like what work gave you the most joy? Where did you add the most value? These sorts of questions. And there's a, and I have a freebie, I think actually. If it's one of my website, I'll put it on there.

    Um, cause it's just something, I want everybody to be able to do these, these reviews of yourself. Um, but I ask myself that a lot and if the answer is yes, I keep going and if it's not, I pause and I figure out what is the learning here. It doesn't mean I'll bow out at something or pull out of a commitment, but I will pause and ask myself what, like, what is this teaching me right now?

    And like, how do I not come back to this if it's no longer serving me, um. So that, that's really ultimately my goal at that. And to be doing work that's in service of my, my mission, which is to make work better for people, make work, work better for people.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:14:07] So I'm curious, uh. You now have to juggle multiple priorities. You have your own priorities. As a business owner, you have the priorities that your clients have essentially made top of mind because they're what's in your scope of work. You have the client's businesses, priorities, whatever those are, and then you also like want to have a personal life with priorities too.

    Yeah. And how do you juggle all of those? How do you prioritize them when a lot of them deserve first billing for different reasons? What's the strategy? 

    Amanda Gulino: [00:14:43] Yeah, sometimes I do it well. Sometimes I don't. Um, that's the honest answer. So there are a couple of things that I do. Some of them are, hints, I took from you, Dannie.

    Um, one is, I have some really, um. I guess rigid is not the right word, but some strong commitments around how I manage my calendar and my time. So I have at least one day a week where I do no external meetings at all. I get work done. They like, yes, and it works so well for me, and I call it the day I get work done.

    It just, it just is what it is. Um, what also really works about that for me is one of my top personal values is freedom. And so if I've got a totally blank work day, to me that feels like I can work from 6:30 in the morning to 3:30, I can work from 6:30 to 7:30 and then go work out and come back.

    I get to decide. And so that really feels like it's a grounding and a freeing experience to have those sorts of calendar boundaries, if you will. Um. I also will say that I have a lot of capacity. I just kind of figured out how to work efficiently working in under-resourced nonprofits for 10 years. It's just a, it's a blessing and a curse, I will say.

    Um, but it, but it is definitely something that's helped me. Uh, the last thing, and this is kind of a funny story. Um, I have held on to this narrative that hasn't been serving me. This will sound familiar from a conversation we had at startup week, that why would I pay someone to do something that I can do myself.

    So for the last however many years I've been doing everything in my business myself, with the exception of isolated projects. And last Friday, I just had a moment where I was like, not anymore. Like if this is going to be how it feels to be a business owner, I don't want to do anymore. And I knew I had a choice in that moment.

    So in one day I hired. Um, my coach, someone to do my social media, um, someone to help me with scheduling. And then there's one other thing that I forgot. Oh, some support on projects where like, I just need a thought partner. You know, working alone, it can be really isolating. I loved having a team, so I brought on a couple of thought partners all on a day.

    And I mean, just the transformation this week has been unreal. Um. So those are, those are some of the ways, but I think the message in there is yes, these scrappy, I don't believe that you have to spend money to make money. You can start a business on just the little bit of investment, sometimes no investments, and consider when that approach no longer serves you. Before I did, I'm like a year overdue from figuring out the support structures inside of my work. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:17:26] So outside of that, um, , which I have to say, I have a Workday Wednesday where like my Wednesdays, I don't book client meetings. And I'm like, you know, you cannot impede on my work day Wednesdays because Dannie was Dannie who, um.

    What, outside of that hiring, have you made any mistakes in business that you think others could learn from? Yeah, it's priced myself way too low to start and therefore had to take on more work and we show, you all could see it cause there's some smiles coming through. I mean, this is a really common problem, especially, uh, in the work that I do with women, most of the women I coach are, most of the people I coach identify as female.

    Amanda Gulino: [00:18:12] Um, and this is a very common problem, so I priced myself too low. That was a big one. Um. What else took on too much work that's very connected to pricing myself too low. And for a while I, and this is funny cause I, I used to tell my team when I would hire folks, like if you respond to emails at night and on weekends, the expectation for going forward is that you're going to respond to emails on nights and weekends and it's hard to make a change after that.

    Because you're putting people through a change. It feels like they're losing part of you and you're not performing up to your standard that you used to. And yet I was working. 5:00 AM 9:00 PM seven days a week, and I had to make some changes. Um, mid engagement. And luckily most, I think everybody was very gracious.

    Um, I think people respond when they see you practicing work life integration. Most people want that for themselves and don't have it. And so the response was actually really positive, um, to putting up some of those boundaries, but I had a lot of fear and doing it. Um. I guess the last thing, um, 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:19:21] to that point, I think pivoting is so hard and changing the way you communicate.

    So I now have it my email signature. I'm a little italicized thing that says, I often send emails outside of nine to five. This is not because I am online or expect or will offer an immediate response. It's because work flexibility is very important to me. And then I link to this article that talks about.

    What is work flexibility? Um, honestly, because I was too chicken shit to do what you did and like pivot back to not having those expectations. So this just became like my blanket excuse to email whenever I wanted.

    Amanda Gulino: [00:20:00] But you know what the beauty of that is? Like it's clear. Right? It's really, really clear. Like, I'm doing this, but that doesn't mean I expect this of you. The more clear we are with ourselves and with clients, I think you can make almost anything work when you're clear, honest, authentic, and direct. Yeah. Anything.

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:20:19] Um, you also had a third point before I interrupted you. We can keep going unless I stole it from you. 

    Amanda Gulino: [00:20:28] No, you didn't feel, I mean, I have miss, Oh, I do remember what it was. So the word mistake, um, has come up a couple of times and I'm just wrapping up my coaching program I wrapped up a couple months ago, and there's this mantra that they shared in it that you cannot make a mistake.

    And I'll be honest, for the first several months, I was like, that's bullshit. I make mistakes all the time, and yet the more I go into it, it's, and this has really helped my mindset. Um. Their perspective. And now my perspective is that at any given moment, we are doing the best we can with what we know and the tools we have available to us at that moment.

    And so, because that's true, there really are no mistakes. Um, and so my, it's that mindset. If someone that can identify as a perfectionist at times has really helped me to get out of the, I don't want to make a mistake to, this is the best I can offer at this time. Right? Or this is, I am truly giving my best right now. And, and if I, if there's something that's wrong, I'm using air quotes. Um, it's not a mistake. It's just a chance for me to do better next time. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:21:37] Oh my gosh, I have so much to say on that. So first off, I have a tattoo that says never a failure. Always a lesson, because it's never a mistake. I mean, yes, you can make mistakes, right?

    But. It's taking that mistake and learning from it, and like, that's what it should be, is a lesson. Um, but I totally agree with the, you made the best decision you could with the stuff in front of you. Um, and on teams that I worked for right now, we're hiring out a lot and. When you're a side hustler and you're getting hired onto these teams.

    Um, specifically VA's, I know that the A's can be put in weird situations where there aren't SLPs in place, there aren't processes in place, and the owner expects the VA to know exactly what they're talking about 24, seven and that's just simply not gonna happen. Um. So if you're a VA side hustler, I feel you feel free to DM me and talk about it.

    Cause that was my life for a really long time. Um, but then pulling in that, okay, well I don't want to do this anymore. The scarcity mindset of, well, if I niche, then I'm going to lose out on whatever it is. Um, how did you. Pull yourself away from the scarcity mindset and decide to actually like make the change. Like what prompted that?

    Amanda Gulino: [00:23:06] I'll be honest. Um, I don't know that I got out of the scarcity mindset before I made the change. I just said. It's not working the way it is. So my options are to continue the path I'm going on and know that my state is secure, that I'm not happy in what I'm doing and I'm not fulfilling my personal mission, or I make a change and then it either works or it doesn't.

    And I decided that. That was worth it to me to make the change and be open to the fact that, Hey, this might not work out for me, and that's okay. I will figure something out. Um, I also approached when I took my side hustle full time, that that was probably the. The single most fear I felt for a long amount of time because I was living in the Bay area, the most expensive area of the country.

    Losing a salary, a pretty good salary, losing benefits. I mean, I was terrified, truly. And I think ultimately what helped me was, um, knowing that I have, uh, like some money scarcity stuff I still work through. I saved up about like two months or three months of expenses. So I knew I had a little bit of a runway.

    I trusted myself that I'd be able to find a job if I needed to, and that amount of time if it truly bottomed out. Um, and then I approached, this was really the game changer. I approached everything like an experiment. I said, I'm giving myself 18 months, 18 months, and if this works out and I am in it, and I'm loving it at 18 months.

    Awesome. And if I'm not, it was an awesome experience. I'll do something else. And that totally shifted my mindset to be able to say, I have a lot of freedom here and I'm gonna just have fun with this and that. That was probably the number one thing that has contributed to the success that I've had. 

    Caitlyn Allen: [00:24:56] Dannie and I are over here nodding because that's. Thats the money mindset is me to a teach of are you like, are you sure I can niche? Because what if like I get, I feel like this is one thing that people don't tell you when you start niching and when you start raising your prices though, is I've had three perspective clients come through. Super excited to get started with me.

    And I've had three nos in like a span of two days, and that can feel so like, man, what am I doing? Maybe I'm doing everything wrong. Like maybe my pricing is wrong, maybe, maybe whatever. Like all of these negative thoughts. And then you're like, but wait, because when I do get that one client who is going to pay me the rate that I need to be paid at.

    That that client is going to be served in ways that I don't think they've ever been served before because I'm the only one that's doing the thing that I'm doing. Um, not to say there aren't any other people like me, but they're not working with me specifically. So. Anybody out there listening. Like you get lots of nos as you niche and as you raise your prices, but it's worth it and it's so worth it to work and do the work that you want to do.

    Um, so I guess that's kind of wrapping it up. Um, is there anything else you'd like to share with our audience, uh, about like your business and where can we find you on all of the internet? 

    Amanda Gulino: [00:26:35] Of course, of course. Thank you. Um, so what I do, I love variety, and yet I also love, uh, I think nourishing is really valuable.

    So within my niche around, uh, fulfillment and enjoyment. At work, I do three things. So I work with organizations on developing, uh, people focused cultures. That's one thing. Um, love that work. I am a coach, so I work primarily with people who identify as female on a one-to-one basis. Um, frankly, dealing with a lot of the issues we've talked about today.

    Money, mindset, fear, imposter syndrome, all of these sorts of things. Um, I basically in the coach that I needed like four years ago, um, so coaching and then, uh, facilitation and training and workshops, um, around. Things that I call essential workplace skills. Um, so things like feedback, healthy feedback, um, interpersonal communication.

    I do some career based workshops, et cetera. And in terms of where you can find me, I'm one of these. Like rare breeds of millennials, it's not super into, are all over social media. Um, that said, you can always email me. So my email is Amanda at a betterMonday.CO not com CO. Um, my website is a great place to just check out more of what I do. And then the one place I am pretty active is on LinkedIn. Um, and so my profile is just under my name, Amanda Golino. Um, my website is a better monday.co. 

    Dannie Lynn Fountain: [00:28:07] Yay. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today. Yet again, Caitlyn and I have been talking all day is we're recording about how good season four is going to be, and this is yet another awesome episode. Um, so thank you, and we will see you on the internet. 

    Amanda Gulino: [00:28:27] Awesome. Thank y'all so much for having me.