Off The Charts Business Podcast with Nathalie Lussier

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In today’s Off the Charts business podcast episode, I get to chat with my friend Elizabeth DiAlto, someone who I’ve grown up together with on the internet and in business. I love what Elizabeth shares in this episode about the evolution of her business movement. It’s amazing to see how her evolution and self-discovery has made her business and branding to evolve from the early years when we were both getting started with the help of Marie Forleo. One thing that Elizabeth had to let go of in order to take her business off the charts was the need for external validation and thinking that everyone knew better than she did for her business.  When you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, it’s easy to think that everyone knows more than you. After Elizabeth put the time into learning the process of creating a successful business, she had a firm enough foundation to take it to the next level: innovation. With proven knowledge and experience to pull from, she had the freedom to stop looking at the different business models that never really felt good to begin with. Elizabeth began to delve into herself to discover the strong feelings she had about her stances.  This helped her to pinpoint how she wanted to interact with people and how to prioritize the type of experience she wanted people to have when they connected with her through her website and branding. The emphasis she was able to obtain is not the same-old vibe that many other business websites have. Definitely visit her website to see the felt experience that Liz talks about. Colors, textures, photo shoots – everything comes together and conveys more than what pixels and text should. You can feel what she’s trying to communicate beyond just the screen. She designed a unique experience into her website and collaborated with amazing photographers and designers to bring about her vision. So take heart from the testimony of Elizabeth DiAlto in this episode of Off the Charts to learn what it takes to run a business from other professionals with a track record of success – then march of the beaten path to truly make it your own! More About Elizabeth DiAlto Liz DiAlto is a women’s body & soul coach, speaker and writer. Her mission is to revolutionize the way women move and nourish their bodies and to make self-acceptance and body love the new standards. Author of Untame Yourself, creator of Wild Soul Movement.
In this episode we’re talking about a great hypothetical situation: what it looks like to start a business from scratch in 2016. When I first started my business in 2009, things were a lot different. From costs to technology, the business tools we use are under constant change and revision. The more we can adapt, the stronger our businesses will be. The Plan So here’s a practical, step by step plan of what it would look like if I were to start my business from scratch in 2016 – without my existing skills, tools, and experiences: First, I would definitely start with quality website hosting and a domain name. The cheap hosting options are less stable and can allow malware and virus attacks on your website – definitely not worth your time.  Personally, I would still choose my own name in my domain name. Throughout all of the changes in my business model, it’s the one thing that has remained the same. Secondly, I believe that WordPress is the choice for business owners who are serious about their company. As an open source software with full customization options, you are given complete control over what your online presence looks like. Education I’ve taken so many courses throughout the years to help me connect with the resources I need to make my business a success. It’s really easy to try to learn everything when you’re starting out. It’s really difficult to implement the mass of knowledge that you’re feeding yourself. So there are two courses I’d really recommend taking: Marie Forleo’s B-School – solid business fundamentals from someone who runs an incredibly successful business. Amy Porterfield’s Webinars that Convert – the tools and information you need to run a great webinar. I’d want my first webinar to be up and running within 30 days of setting up my site. The third training I’d want would be focused on whatever medium I wanted to invest in with my business.  If I wanted to focus on podcasts, for example, I’d want to learn everything there is to know about running a podcast so I could do it well. The same would be true if I decided to mainly do videos, blogging, etc. If you’re looking for a resource to get kickstarted in these areas, my Heartquarters program offers a wealth of knowledge for you to take advantage of. Events Attending conferences is such a powerful way to make new connections that can help you to grow and maintain your passion. In this podcast, I share a few events that I would recommend – as well as the reasons why: The Conference for Women South by Southwest World Domination Summit WordCamp & PodCamp How to Spend Your Time Here, it’s best to find magic sauce and start offering a service!  A lot of people try to make a company first, but I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to commit to making a service that fits in with your skill set. To find your skill set, take time to reflect and write down everything that comes naturally to you. Then, look for patterns and intersections between what you’re good at and where people might need help. Don’t start a business that’s based on a passion.  Personally, I can get fired up about something for a long time (months, even years). But eventually, I will lose steam. Your skills + the needs of clients = your business sweet spotClick To Tweet After you’ve found your service, it’s time to find people who are looking for your service and willing to pay for it. Find out where they hang out by using Google keywords to discover websites and by locating the groups and networks on Facebook where they congregate.  At this point, don’t try to sell to them. Just observe and get a feel for their style and needs. When you’re truly a part of their community, you can start connecting with them on a personal level to talk and find out if your service will actually work. Don’t ever base your business strategy off of what other companies are doing! Their market might not be your market, and the strategies you’re observing might not be converting for them.  Instead, talk to a live human being to find out what you can do for them, instead. How to Build Your Email List A webinar is a great opt-in strategy.  To start strong, I’d invite people from my online communities to help build my list and expand from there. If I still don’t have any people signed up for my service after my webinar and promotions are over, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Gain Momentum in Your Business A lot of what I’m talking about today comes from Marie Forleo’s B-School program. If you’re looking for more specific details that walk you through this process, she can definitely be a great guide. (The registration for B-School is filled for 2016, but will reopen again in 2017.) Already gone to B-School? You are more than welcome to join us in our Heartquarters corner!
I recently shared what I’d do differently if I had to start my business over from scratch in 2016…but today, I want to share a different story: what my business evolution and growth actually looked like. There are so many lessons I’ve learned the hard way through experience, and I’m always eager to share them so that you don’t have to go through the same troubles! And so – here’s a glimpse at how my own company has grown and matured over the past 5 years… I started my business right out of college, and found myself successfully designing websites for clients across the web in 2012. At this point in time, I was definitely suffering from the cobbler’s shoe syndrome. Although my clients had impeccable sites, my own website was nothing special to look at. This is what my online presence looked like at the time: I remember it clearly… Dreams of the Big City…and Reality In the fall of 2012, freshly married and excited about our new life together, my husband Robin and I packed up all our belongings and drove from Toronto to New York City, with Millie the dog as our sidekick. Robin’s company headquarters were in New York, and I knew I’d be able to do my online work anywhere… so we dipped into our savings and put down the biggest deposit for an apartment we had ever seen. Dreams of the big city in our eyes. We were spending $3000 per month on rent in Brooklyn (twice what we paid before!), and because we had a dog we had to put down 3 months’ rent as a deposit. Robin was working crazy Manhattan hours and I was adjusting to a whole new business model and working just as hard. Even though my business was bringing in that elusive six figures, at the end of the day, there wasn’t a whole lot of money leftover each month. We were feeling the strain of the big city, and that Empire State of Mind song kept reminding us: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere…” Investing in a New Appearance By this point, I had invested in a website redesign for my brand with my friends and design partner Natasha Lakos, and photographer Christa Meola. This new design was bold, confident, and professional.  So as I consistently released a new blog video each week and sent me email subscribers back to my blog, my website traffic started to steadily increase. At the start of 2012, I had just shy of 7000 contacts… by the end of that year, my contact list had grown to 15,000 people. At that time, I remember sitting in bed trying to warm up because our apartment building hadn’t turned the heat on yet, and it was starting to get cold… My business was growing, but I was maxing out on one-to-one consulting and web design clients. Still, I knew that my know-how was valuable and that I could create information training products… I just wasn’t sure how to scale this side of my business. I knew the solution to our issues was not that we both had to work harder! So my business evolution continued: I began to strategize a way to work smarter by leveraging systems and automating things that I only did sometimes when I “had the time”. I Built Sequences Specific To Each Course & Led With a Quiz I really dove into implementing campaigns that would help sell my do-it-yourself digital courses. I wrote targeted follow up email sequences and created special offers to get people to take action. I had written 5 emails per sequence, each with a tip or actionable advice… And at the end of these emails, I’d let people know that I had a full-fledged course about the topic available. To help lead into my different products, I created a “Website Checkup” quiz. Since not everyone needed to take my basic website training course, this quiz helped to connect me with the people who needed more advanced optimization services.   And a funny thing happened. I started to see sales coming in every day for my products. I didn’t need to send individual emails or follow up with people who had questions… because my follow up sequences were doing it for me! My smart work was working! Focusing On Automation Led to More Business Evolution & Growth As a result of really systematizing my business, marketing, and sales processes, I took my six figure income and tripled it in 2013. In 2014, our revenues doubled from the previous year. Of course, implementing the automation best practices wasn’t 100% responsible for creating the massive increase in income and revenues we experienced… there was a lot of elbow grease and mindset shifts that went into it, too. But I’d reached an awesome point: I wasn’t spinning my wheels anymore, my business was naturally earning more, and that allowed me to shift my focus to more outreach and opportunities that eventually led to even more growth. Branching Into Software Development Since kicking up our automated systems, I’ve been able to increase how much my business makes and actually keep more of it, too. In the summer of 2013, I had an idea that would take my business evolution to new heights. It all started with putting together the free 30 Day List Building Challenge: The challenge helped me double my email list from 15,000 to 30,000 the following year… and in turn, my business was able to support both my husband and I. So I convinced my husband to quit his corporate job and become my lead software developer. At first, we used existing solutions to build our 30 Day List Building Challenge, then manually created tags, emails, and videos for each day of the challenge. Soon, we realized we could create a solution that would save us a ton of time when setting up future campaigns. That’s how our AccessAlly plugin was born. Initially, we didn’t intend to release our Infusionsoft WordPress plugin to the public, but because of the success of the 30 Day List Building Challenge, we were deluged with questions from people who wanted to know what membership site software we were using. Since then, we’ve released a total of 4 full-fledged WordPress plugins and added a whole new dimension to what started off as my solo business. We’ve even partnered with other professional developers and designers and started certifying them as AmbitionAlly Certified Partners. We are so proud to be able to refer them to our clients. All This Business Evolution Led To Growing Our Team Now my business evolution has brought us to the point where it’s not “just me” anymore. I work alongside my husband from home every day, but we’ve also added on another full-time developer, a project manager, a marketing manager, a full-time writer, and a production assistant. Not to mention our constant collaboration with amazing designers, freelancers, and other collaborators. If I had to manage all of the things we’ve created over the years myself, I wouldn’t have been able to create the results we’ve had or the revenue growth we’ve experienced. Looking to our traffic stats from 2014, you can tell that all the consistency is paying off, and we’ve now got more than just a handful of digital training courses. I host a weekly podcast show, we’ve got an ongoing membership training and accountability program, our software tools, and lots more on the horizon. And our story continues, and my husband and I have moved to Dallas, Texas where we’ve got a great home outside of the city surrounded by trees and horses. Our mortgage payment is the same as our rent was in Brooklyn, but we don’t even feel the sting anymore. Thanks to planning for our team’s expansion, a lot of action, and sound marketing automation… we’ve built a business that keeps growing month to month, without us working any harder.
In today’s episode, our guest Chris Ducker shares a pretty powerful lesson for all entrepreneurs … and one that he had to learn the hard way! Most of us entrepreneurs are pretty familiar with the persistent idea that, to be more successful, you have to do it all yourself. But this idea is probably one of the biggest misconceptions out there. ..And it’s a misconception that Chris Ducker definitely bought into wholeheartedly a few years back. In this interview, Chris shares his journey from an extreme micromanager (of a highly successful 7-figure business), and how it took a pretty drastic burnout to make him realize that some things had to change. That journey took him to back in 2009, he had an incredibly successful, 7-figure business and 130 employees working for him…yet was a constant and extreme micromanager. The subsequent burnout and recovery period led Chris to implement some pretty drastic – and necessary – changes in how he ran his business. He realized that, truly, as a successful entrepreneur, you have to stop doing everything yourself in order to achieve more. Learning how to step back (eventually becoming a virtual CEO) brought an entirely new measure of successful pursuits for Chris. It gave him the freedom to develop a personal brand all to himself, and take his pursuits up to the next level. Listen in to learn how Chris Ducker was able to become a master delegator, going from micromanaging 130 employees to now stepping back and having personal freedom once again. More About Chris Ducker Chris Ducker is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestseller, Virtual Freedom. Originally from the UK, Chris has lived in the Philippines for 15-years, where he hosts the annual Tropical Think Tank mastermind event and has founded several businesses, which combined house over 450 full-time employees. He is also a popular business blogger and podcaster at ChrisDucker.com and the founder of the personal branding business community, Youpreneur.com.
Hey there, so glad you’re listening today! This episode with Luisa Zhou is all about focusing in and growing your business past that million dollar mark. It’s kind of a mini case study of “what to do right” for your business! Luisa Zhou is definitely a strong, multi-passionate woman. But even though she found herself with a desire to grow her business into a bunch of new directions, she realized that too much expansion can actually be a bad thing. So instead, she opted to focus on one thing really well. The lesson here is to simplify, simplify, simplify! And I totally agree with her decision! Because at each stage of your business, there’s often a single goal that you should be focused on and striving towards. Your job is to figure our that one goal, eliminate distractions, and then make it happen. After this fundamental lesson was applied to her business model, Luisa had the freedom to really dive into getting her next paying client…and it all snowballed from there. So IF you find yourself relating to that term “multi-passionate,” Luisa Zhou is definitely an incredible woman to relate to. Listen into this episode to hear more about her business lessons on growing a million dollar business on the side. More About Luisa Zhou Luisa is the founder of LuisaZhou.com, which shows ambitious individuals how to use their skills and interests to build a business — that has the potential to generate 2x-10x their full-time salary. Having started her third business while in a 9-5 and made $106K in sales in 4 months while working full-time, Luisa subsequently built it into a 7-figure business, making over $1.1M in sales within 11 months. / Through her work, she helps people overcome their fears and limitations to live the life they’ve hardly even dared to dream about.
In today’s episode, we’re talking about unprofitable ideas. Those tricky products, projects, or ideas that just don’t seem to be taking off like you expected or hoped. And more specifically, we’re addressing how to know when you should stick it out…and when it’s time to just let go and move on. In our society, we have this idea that if we fail we should “try, try again.” Overall, this is definitely true. Running a business is a big experiment that we have to commit to tweaking and improving along the way. But sometimes, we are caught up in specific products and offerings that aren’t a good fit. They’re not the ones that we should spend time pursuing. Sometimes it’s important to pivot. That’s why, throughout the Off the Charts series, we focus on two things: what entrepreneurs have to “embrace” and “let go of” for their businesses to thrive. And often, what they let go of is more important than what they take on. But we tend to get really attached to our own ideas. This makes it difficult to look at things from an objective point of view. So what I like to do is follow the money and the energy. For example, if you’ve ever done project or promotion that’s really flown off the shelves, that’s the sign you have to listen to. That’s what we’ve done in our business. We’re really focusing on our products – AccessAlly, ProgressAlly, and PopupAlly Pro, because that’s where our energy is. It’s also where we’ve seen the largest percentage of our revenue. In this episode, I also share a bit about the dangers of working on specific projects…just because you see other people succeeding at them. We build businesses that are harder on ourselves than they actually need to be. Make space for the new things that are business-growing by retiring some of the old things that just aren’t pulling their weight. It sounds so super simple… but it can be tough to do. So definitely take time to listen to this episode… I’m sharing a little exercise at the end to help you figure out what’s working – and what’s not – in your business.
This episode is really for you if you find yourself getting distracted while working from home …especialy when you’re in the early stages of setting up your business. As a solopreneur who’s now home full time, you might notice quite a bit of a change in your working habits, especially if you’re used to working in an office or with your boss close by. Sometimes, it can really be a struggle to set your goals and actually stick to them. So in this episode I’m sharing three strategies I’ve learned to really hone in on the focus when working from home and how to avoid getting distracted. 1. When you’re just getting started, you need a clear path and to create structure for yourself. Goals really help us to stay focused on what we need to do, and help us to prioritize the path we take to get there. In fact, even if you’re not sure “what to work on next”, you can always reverse-engineer from your goals. Along the way, keep track of what worked and what didn’t. This will give you the ability to be more efficient and productive during future projects. 2. Working from home full time, by yourself, means that you need to be your own boss. One of the most beneficial parts of having a boss comes in the sense that you have some external motivation to get your projects done. When you’re working from home, don’t let yourself off the hook! It’s easy to get sucked into Netflix binge watching, doing household chores instead of important tasks… but you have to essentially act as your own boss. 3. Write down a list of your top 3 most important things to get done each day. Three is such a manageable number to work on so that you can better keep yourself focused and motivated on the right areas of your work life. I also re-write my focus list at the start of each week to make sure I’m working on my priorities. In short, the ability to stay focused on your work and not let yourself be distracted has a lot to do with self-discipline and manageable goals that can be achieved on a daily or weekly timeline. If you have another tip or trick that helps you stay focused when working from home, please share it below!
This episode is all about how to capture your best ideas for business… and I’m sharing with you my latest project that’s designed to help! It’s all founded on the belief that: Ideas are a natural resource. The more ideas you come up with and use, the more ideas you get. Of course this only works if you can capture your best ideas AND execute on them. Inside this episode, I’m going in-depth through the 7 best ways for how to capture your best ideas, and the simple paper planner that can help: 1: Designate A Place to Capture Your Best Ideas Ideas need a place to live, just like all of us. If you don’t have a designated spot for them to “land” when they appear, they’re likely to float back to where they came from. 2: Keep An Idea Alive Long Enough To Write It Down One of my biggest pet peeves is when a great idea comes to me when I’m away from my “idea capture space.” Like in the shower, while I’m walking around or driving, or having a conversation with someone. So I’ve got a few memory tips to share that can help you remember the ideas until you have a chance to jot them down! 3: Use an electronic capture device like “voice to text” on your phone One of my best tricks for how to capture your best ideas is really to use what you have access to. For many of us that means a phone or other electronic device. Simply hit “record” on your phone or tablet and explain your idea. 4: Unblock Yourself Creatively Through Movement Maybe you’re not be the type of person who gets blocked creatively… maybe you have TOO many ideas. But it’s possible for all of us to get stuck in an idea rut and to feel creatively blocked…or to get the same kinds of ideas over and over, instead of fresh new ones. That’s where moving your body comes to the rescue! We’re not just brains attached to a body that “does nothing.” Our entire body has cells and receptors that can help you generate ideas. That’s why taking a walk, going for a swim, and carrying something heavy can stimulate new ways of thinking. 5: Work Through an Ideation Process to Generate and Capture Related Ideas Sometimes the first idea you get isn’t the one you end up executing on. (Sad, but true!) That means that having an ideation process that you can work through after you get that first stroke of genius is important. This takes you from the initial “good idea” to the refining and validating stages. One way that I love doing this is the process I walk people through inside The Idea Sanctuary. It’s useful to look at the existing ecosystem that you want your idea to enter into… 6: Empty Your Idea Tank Each Day As a creative entrepreneur, falling asleep can be tricky when there are a lot of thoughts and ideas going through your mind… That’s why I recommend doing a brain dump of thoughts, tasks, and ideas every day. The more often you clear your mind, the better you’re able to generate and act on your ideas. 7: Keep a Pen and Paper Next to Your Bed For Late Night Inspiration If you frequently get great ideas before you fall asleep, in the middle of the night, or around nap time… you might also know that these are the ideas that tend to disappear most easily (hello, slumber!). So the solution here is to keep a pen and paper next your bed to capture these best ideas as they pop up… and definitely take time to check out The Idea Sanctuary ideabook here.
Welcome to the next episode in the Business and Babies series, where I’m joined with my husband and co-parent, Robin Li. In this episode, we’re talking all about scheduling your days post baby so that you can take care of your baby, yourself, and your business. Plan on Being Absent From The Business For At Least A Month Or Two In the first couple months after having our little girl Tegan, though, there wasn’t much of a pattern at all. But now that she’s about 6 months old,we’ve definitely got more of a rhythm or groove that makes it so much easier to balance baby, personal, and work needs. As far as planning goes, it’s realistic to decide that you’re not going to work at all during those first two months. While I was definitely away from the business for that period of time, Robin did try to maintain a presence with the team…even though a lack of sleep made it a total struggle. But then, when Tegan was 2 or 3 months old, she started sleeping through the night. And that’s really the time when you’re able to start maintaining a balance. Planning A Workday With A Baby Now that Tegan has more of a rhythm, we can plan out our workday a bit better. There are some things that have to take place during a certain time, like scheduled calls or interviews. Since we both stay at home, one of us will primarily focus on taking care of Tegan, while the other one spends more focused time with business matters. If your co-parent isn’t able to take over, having someone else there during your scheduled focus times is going to be somewhat necessary. That other person might be a nanny, a grandparent, or a neighbor – anyone who can pop in for a few hours to help with the baby when you really have to pay attention to business stuff. Because realistically, life after baby is all about being flexible and having your expectations calibrated. Take Advantage Of Your Focus Times We’re trained to believe that when we sit at a desk, we’re automatically productive. Realistically, we can only focus on a project for about 30 – 45 minutes. Even before the baby arrived, Robin would stand up after a project and walk outside to relax a little before he sat down for another focused work session. So even though our work time with Tegan isn’t as continuous, it’s actually ok. The periods of time when she’s sleeping is prime time for us to tap into that ultra-focused mode and be productive with work. Of course, time spent with baby doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive with work. In fact, there are a lot of work-related projects that you can do while taking care of your baby.  You can attend and facilitate meetings (our team members love seeing Tegan on the screen!), for example, or review projects. Some Days You Are Just Tired As an entrepreneur, we often put our business before ourselves…but as a parent, our baby becomes priority #1. This shift has required us to be very intentional about giving ourselves the permission to take the day off…from work AND baby! Sometimes one of us is feeling particularly drained and exhausted and we just need to take a step back from everything. Don’t feel bad if this happens to you! Give yourself permission to take time away, and communicate your needs with your spouse. Keep Yourself Healthy With Your Lifestyle     The other main points that Robin and I discuss in this episode is the need to really prioritize your own self-care with plenty of rest and nutrition. As entrepreneurs it can be really hard to start putting our own needs higher on the priority scale, but in the end it translates into increased productivity (whenever you can fit it in!), a better relationship with each other, and a much happier little one. And there’s absolutely nothing better than to be able to spend time with your baby and watch her grow and discover the world for the very first time.  
This episode is all about online retail and ecommerce tips to help you reach your goals. In the first half of the episode, I’m sharing a bit about how online retail is changing retail in person. I’m also sharing three ways that you can adapt: 1. If you have an online ecommerce store you have to get to know your customers. Survey them – what attracts them to your brand or products. Are they loyal? Some people purchase month after month or year after year. It will help you adapt and make changes to how you market your business. 2. Prepare for gift seasons. This could be the holidays, birthdays, summer, depending on what kind of products you have. Know what your seasons are and prepare your promotions around those periods. This doesn’t always means discounts – but your campaigns, etc., and everything that would work for you business. 3. Be there when they come looking. When it comes to online retail and ecommerce, it’s still a lot about search and search engines. In the second half of today’s episode, we hear from Chloë Thomas, who’s been working ecommerce since 2003. Chloë points out that there’s a common disconnect with the way many of us approach our marketing. She recommends that entrepreneurs – especially those in ecommerce – stop thinking marketing method first and application second. In other words, don’t approach your marketing with the thought “We have to do Facebook, email, or Instagram.” Instead, think about what the problem is that needs fixing first! Is your problem that you’re not getting enough people to your website? Or is it that they’re not signing up for your business? Or is it that they’re buying once and not again? Because depending on what your needs are, your methodology will change! She also emphasizes the utmost importance of listening to your customer. The one thing in common about all businesses who are doing well is that they are listening to their customers. They’re building services, marketing, etc. that their customers are responding to. It’s such solid advice, especially if you’re really focusing on making an ecommerce business succeed! Take time to listen in to today’s episode to catch all of the great info we share. More About Chloë Thomas Author, International Speaker, and host of the eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast. Chloë Thomas has been working in eCommerce since 2003, learning how to increase orders, up customer retention, and recruit new customers cost effectively. Working with businesses from the high street right down to start ups. eCommerce MasterPlan is the result of Chloë’s years of experience, the books, blogs and courses have all been created to help eCommerce business owners and marketers to make the right decisions as they build their own path to eCommerce success. The eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast exists to bring a weekly dose of inspiration direct to the desks of eCommerce business people all over the globe. Power Retail (Australia) named Chloë as one of the top 10 eCommerce commentators in the world, and within 6 months of launch the podcast was already the top eCommerce podcast in the UK.
Hey, there! In today’s Off the Charts episode we get to hear from Devon Smiley, an amazing lady who has some great tips that resonate deeply with entrepreneurs. In this interview, I asked Devon what she had to let go of in order to take her business to new, soaring levels.  Devon shared that she had to let go of her employee mindset: the high level of self-consciousness and self-criticism. This can be really terrifying!  I can attest to the strangeness of having to put my face out there as a young professional, and trying to figure out the right amount of personality and professionalism that you want to have in your photos. Devon chose to let go of the temptation to hide herself behind a blurry selfie as her profile picture. By using clear, professional photos, she made it possible for for people to start getting to know her as an individual. Dropping the self-consciousness and the employee mindset has helped her be more confident as an entrepreneur – and that’s really shone through in the success she’s achieved. In the corporate world, we’re always told to look for bigger numbers, more subscribers, etc. But Devon chose to emphasize how she was connecting with people one-on-one. Connecting on an individual level gave Devon the ability to become more engaged with her clients. It’s given her the insight she needs to support them better. By investing time into personal conversations, she’s able to truly sleuth out and understand what her clients need so that she can offer them the right solution. After talking to Devon and hearing her words of wisdom, it’s no surprise that she’s built an incredibly successful, strong business. More About Devon Smiley Devon Smiley is the negotiation and pricing pro ambitious entrepreneurs call when they’re ready to stop taking what they can get, and start asking for what they deserve. A former corporate negotiator who knows all too well the tactics, tricks and techniques of the business world, Devon has turned her experience and passion for negotiation towards ensuring that entrepreneurs aren’t getting the short end of the stick when they do business. Her mission? To make sure that you’re maximizing your earnings, signing fair deals, and keeping as much of that hard-earned money in your pocket as possible. Learn more about what she can do for your business at devonsmiley.com.
This is a really fun interview with Steve Chow because he talks about something I believe is super important to having a successful business – balancing automation vs engaging with customers. We all want to use automation when scaling our companies – or when creating companies where we have to do less work. But over-utilizing automation can cause you to lose the benefits of actually engaging with your audience. For example, Steve Chow shares that his blog and online course were designed to be fully automated, with a detailed email series that was designed to sell the course on its own. With this model, he was able to make approximately 2 sales/day. But when he became more personally active, things really took off. By running a series of live webinars, Steve was able to make over $200K in sales in just 3 1/2months. That’s incredible! That, to me, is a testament to the power of being live and connecting with your clients. The need to be present also manifested itself in Steve’s online store where at first he tried to avoid customer service as much as possible. Of course, when he began talking and interacting with customers, he was able to truly find out what was wrong with the site and what could be improved. One time, Steve observed that one of his customers was having difficulties completing a purchase from her online shopping cart. By communicating with her, Steve discovered that it was because her smart phone kept improperly completing the auto-fill for the online forms.  After learning this, Steve simply disabled auto correct for the forms in the mobile site. If you’re not truly engaging with customers it can be difficult or even impossible to find, fix, and optimize your website and services. The moral of the story is this: every smart entrepreneur tries to find new ways to automate. The challenge is to to put yourself out there and continue engaging with customers to find out what they are looking for. Automation still has a place and there’s a lot of cool things you can do….but you definitely don’t want to take your personality out of your business.  If you’ve been holding back in any way when it comes to sharing stories of your personal life with your community, now’s the time to share your humanity with your tribe! Focus on engagement first, then put the systems in place that can imitate the live engagement that you’ve already developed. More About Steve Chow Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses. He currently works for a startup company in the Silicon Valley.
Growth attained from putting yourself out there is definitely a theme on the Off the Charts podcast. In this episode, we hear from Jenn Scalia who shares her top tips for showing up more confidently online. The first step, of course, centers on turning off the distractions that can get in the way of your success. All of the daily noise generated from notifications, newsletters, emails, etc., has to be set aside. After all, the more we get lost in the “details,” the less energy we have for the projects that will actually move our business forward! It’s so important to weed through the noise efficiently!  That could mean anything from creating inbox filters to having a team member take over your inbox entirely … whatever works to free up your brain so you can work on the other important things that have to get done. In this interview, Jenn Scalia also shares that the step after eliminating distractions consists of playing to your strengths. In other words, you need to discover your strong points – the things that can totally skyrocket you.  A good question to ask yourself here is: what can I do with my eyes closed? If you’re not sure, create a list of the things that you like to do, get paid to do, or know you’re really good at.  You can also ask your friends, since a third-person perspective can be really revealing. Peer collaborations like this are essential to your success as an entrepreneur. I really like the treasures that Jenn shares in this interview – she definitely hits on a lot of the key points that business owners like ourselves should be focusing on. More about Jenn Scalia Jenn Scalia is a visibility strategist for entrepreneurs who want to make an impact. This self professed introvert and single mom went from rock bottom to creating a multi 6-­figure business. Known for her tough love, no­-B.S. style, Jenn helps entrepreneurs overhaul their biggest fears and empowers them to share their message with the world.
This is a really special episode because we’re going behind the scenes in my business to talk about publishing with a content calendar. I’m joined by Maria Myre, AmbitionAlly’s own technical writer & editor. Throughout this episode, the focus is on the importance of publishing regularly with a content calendar, but also how to streamline the process so that it works for us. Publishing regularly is such a huge part of staying at the forefront of the online business game … but it can really get stressful without the right organization in place. And that’s why Maria points out that our editorial calendar only works with a lot of planning and organization. For us, this consists of two main tools: CoSchedule and Asana. CoSchedule lets us to see at a glance what we have coming up in the schedule, and create social media campaigns to promote the content as it’s published. Asana allows us to create templates that outline every step that goes into creating and sharing our blog posts. These templates totally save valuable brainpower for coming up with new ideas and crafting amazing articles to answer the most pressing problems of our clients. In addition to the tools, we also dive into what our keyword research looks like and why topic brainstorming is so high on our priority list. So if you’re wondering what someone else’s content planning process looks like, you’ll definitely love the insights shared in this episode. And you get to hear from Maria, our own in-house content strategist who’s built her own career by making sure our blog (and other word-needs!) are super high-quality and effective. Listen in!
In this Off The Charts episode, I’m diving into the answer to a question I received the other day. Here’s the question: I’d love to know how you nourish your creative mojo? Not only regarding new products but also creating new posts and fb inspirations or newsletters consistently with love, joy and true value for your audience. 1. Prioritize quiet time. Balance how much consumption time and creation time you give yourself. If you do too much “consuming” in the form of other people’s material like books, movies, blog posts, podcasts… it can block your own creativity because it limits how much time you have to create. You don’t have to ignore everyone completely – but you do want to make enough time to reconnect with your own self and voice. 2. Re-connect with your why and your people. Whenever I feel like I don’t know what to write about, usually it’s because I’m on a deadline…but also because I don’t know why I’m working on this particular project, or who it’s going to help. Always take time to reconnect with your people to put yourself in their shoes. It’ll help you understand better what they need to hear from you. 3. Batch and automate. If you’ve ever been to my Facebook page, you’ll see that we don’t create new content every single day. We’re not reactive on a day-to-day basis…instead, let automation tools repurpose your content. This frees you up to do your content creation in longer chunks of time. 4. Let ideas come to you, and then use them before they expire. When I get an idea, usually it’s when I’m doing something other than work. But it’s important to capture the energy and essence of it before it goes away. When you get those inspirational nudges, it’s usually for a reason. So treat those ideas with respect and give them the attention they deserve right away, before you lose insight or enthusiasm to make it happen! 5. Take time off to rejuvenate. When I was starting my business, I used to work all the time…but what I realized is that never having any time “away” really affected my thinking and abilities. I had to truly dedicate myself to having time away from the business. Now, that means weekends, especially. I try to stay offline and use that time to rejuvenate myself and get some clarity. Enjoy Your Holiday Season! I hope you enjoyed this episode about how to nourish your creativity! – the Off The Charts Podcast will return again at the end of January!
If you’re ready to stop listening so much to how other people view success, and ready to start pursuing the things that you need to live a fulfilled life, you’ll love this interview by Lara McCulloch. Lara McCulloch shares a wealth of counterintuitive wisdom in this episode of Off The Charts. If you’ve done the 30 Day List Building Challenge and have been focusing a lot on the technical aspects of running an online business, the wisdom Lara shares is definitely going to be hugely refreshing to hear. In this interview, Lara shares the impetus behind her total career shift, from employee to entrepreneur. Although she’d been spent 15 years climbing the ladder and establishing a super-successful career (and had a great, high-paying job), when Lara stopped and looked at her core – at her soul – she realized that she was extremely unhappy and unfulfilled. Not only does she talk about the way she decided to re-envision her own success, but she also talks about the ways that creating the right business model was integral to bringing everything together. And that’s where the sweet spot of career fulfillment really lies for the entrepreneur. More About Lara McCulloch Lara McCulloch is a renowned, results-driven marketing expert with over 20 years as a Brand Consultant for multinationals like Cadbury-Adams, Unilever and Shell, Lara brings ‘Big Brand Thinking’ to small business. Her consulting firm is focused on building growth, reputation and evangelism for companies around the world. She’s been touted as a pioneering force in the marketing revolution, founding one of the world’s first twitter communities. She’s travelled throughout the world as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, changing the way that companies think about their brands. The culmination of Lara’s passion and experience has heralded leadership posts on numerous industry Advisory Boards, a monthly column for an international magazine and recognition with three National Awards for dedication, spirit and leadership as well as the esteem of Industry Innovator. She has graduated from Ivy Business School’s prestigious Executive Program, but it’s the title of Mom that brings her the most pride.
As a new mother, I looked to the usual suspects to teach me everything I needed to learn about being a parent. You know the ones. The books, the websites, and other parents who had babies long before I did. There were recommended schedules for feeding and sleeping. Formulas for ensuring that your baby “developed properly”, and not to mention all the gadgets that promise to turn your baby into a genius when they grow up. I absolutely enthralled by all of this new information. Soaking it all up like a sponge. Theory Meets Reality But my baby? She wasn’t on board with all of these schedules or age-appropriate developmental milestone goals, and she had her own plans. Especially around sleeping. See, I had read that by month 4 she should be sleeping a certain amount of time for her naps and learning to fall asleep by herself. The result of trying to follow someone else’s recommended formula for success? Lots of crying, frustration, and confusion for everyone in the house. (The dog even took to peeing on the carpet when the baby cried, which just added to the fun!) Then I Got The Best Advice Ever It was so simple, and something that resonated deeply for me: “You can’t force a baby to sleep. You can only make the conditions conducive to sleep.” The day I really “got” this bit of wisdom, our baby took a relaxed nap and I felt like a champion because I wasn’t the one who “made it happen”. She did. Ever since, we’ve been on a great sleep schedule (both parents and baby!) and we’re following a way more natural rhythm. Neither of us fights naps or sleep, and everyone is feeling more rested and in tune. Success! So what does the right environment look like? There’s the obvious like not pumping your baby full of caffeine (directly or indirectly if you’re breastfeeding)… And then lulling her to sleep with a walk in the carrier has been great, too! How This Applies In Business I could change a few of the words above and replace them with business “formulas and strategies”… “Programs to make you a better business owner”… And what schedule your business should be on based on how old your business is. You’ve read the blogs, the books, and watched the webinars that show you how to make six figures in four months, or seven figures in the next year. All of these things may have worked for someone else… and just like with baby books and advice websites (and even other parents!) – what worked for one baby may not work for another. What worked for one business may not work for another. We’re all unique human beings, creating unique businesses. (Or at least, your business better be – it’ll be way more fulfilling that way!) Don’t Force It So ironically I’m giving you advice here… But my advice for you today is to feel into your business (or baby!) and what it needs. If there’s a particular idea that you “picked up” somewhere else and that hasn’t felt right, you’ve got my full on permission to let it go. If your business isn’t following the “schedules” that other business owners have followed (whether it’s in list growth, revenue, fame, clients, or anything else!)… It’s totally normal! Resisting the differences of your business will only lead to tears, frustration, and ahem… lack of sleep. So stay in your lane, focus on your amazing original and most motivating ideas, and trust that you know what’s best for your offspring. Then create the environment for your business to thrive: the right people on your team, the right systems in place, and most importantly the proper communication with clients… Your business, just like a baby, is an entity of its own. It has a life of its own, and it will grow and expand in different ways than you might have original anticipated. That’s a good thing! Here’s to the unfolding of your unique business path, and may you rest well at night knowing that you’re doing it your way, and you can’t do it wrong. (Just like parenting, right?!)
Hey, there!  I’m so glad to be able to introduce Jenny Fenig in today’s episode of Off the Charts.  Jenny is a good friend of mine and shares a few things that I think a lot of business owners need to wake up to. One of the first things that Jenny Fenig had to let go of in her business was what she calls “comparing and despairing.” This happens when you look around and notice the amazing things that other people are doing, but instead of getting excited about it, all that amazing stuff makes you feel bad about what you haven’t done. Maybe you look around at other professionals and start thinking “their website is better than mine” or “her book is a best-seller” or “they have more/less kids than I do.”  It becomes so easy to fall into the comparison game, but it’s a trap. You can’t win. So Jenny decided to stop looking around and getting down about the successes of other people. Instead, she chose to look at their wins as motivation. After all, their success was simply a sign that it is possible. And if they could do it, she realized that she could, too. I really like the emphasis Jenny lays on the importance of being you. Or, as the teachers used to say in school: “Keep your eyes on your own paper.” But in order to really take her business off the charts Jenny realized that there was something she truly needed to embrace: her spirituality. It’s super important to be strong enough as a person to own up to what you truly believe in. Many entrepreneurs hold tightly to something – whether in the form of faith or political views – but we are shy to share those beliefs. There is often a fear that a faith of some sort might turn others away from our business. But it doesn’t. Jenny shares in the interview that developing a deep and spiritual relationship with her higher power became the most fundamentally important relationship of her life. When she started embracing her spirituality on a regular basis, she stopped being afraid to talk about it. In turn, this began to cause her soul and happiness to grow to new levels … And that’s when her business really started thriving with both customers and media coverage. I’m so grateful to Jenny for sharing that it’s ok to reveal who you truly are as a person, especially when you’re an entrepreneur. More About Jenny Fenig: Jenny Fenig is an award-winning entrepreneur, best-selling author, certified coach, marketing and branding pro, yogi, wife, and mom of 2 sons and 1 daughter.
In today’s Off the Charts episode, we get to hear some amazing tips from one of our AmbitionAlly Certified partners, Nathalie Doremieux. Nathalie Doremieux definitely shares my love for being a woman in the tech industry.  It’s exciting because technology is under a constant state of development – we don’t even know the amazing stuff that’s going to come out of it yet!  Technology is also empowering because it gives entrepreneurs the ability to bring a brick and mortar business online to reach more audiences. I really like what Nathalie shares in this interview about the need for business owners to develop a solid online marketing strategy as well as a plan to implement it. Just having a cool product or service isn’t enough – you have to bring it to the right people who want it. This marketing strategy can be defined by a set of goals that have to be reached. Each step you take in your business should be linked to your final goal. If the tasks you’re working on aren’t going to get you to your goals, you might have to step back and revaluate. Of course, a large part of your ability to bring your business off the charts is your mindset. And someone who’s been in business as many years as Nathalie has can really speak to mindset. The mindset of an entrepreneur has to be focused on wanting to add value. After all, you’re building relationships with clients – you’re not just in it to make a quick buck. Nathalie and her husband Olivier have really exemplified this mindset beautifully in their business. As an AmbitionAlly Certified Partner, we hear over and over again how Nathalie’s clients love working with her and her husband. I can definitely attest to her hard work, expertise, and awesome mentality. More About Nathalie Doremieux Nathalie Doremieux works with her husband Olivier Doremieux, and together they created the WPHelpClub where they work with clients on a wide range of strategic web projects. Together they each have over 20 years of experience as Software Engineers and 9 years as Online Business owners, and they successfully built a multiple fix-figure business. They specialize in building complete solutions for the online marketing world, and enjoy working on projects from A to Z. Nathalie and Olivier love to consult with their clients to build an online marketing strategy to reach their goals. They’ll also build your opt-ins, free video series delivery, full website, and program sales pages from a development perspective. They can design lead generation and sales funnels using the most popular list management systems such as Infusionsoft, Ontraport, Aweber and Mailchimp (and more!). Plus, they’re experts at setting up e-courses, membership sites and learning platforms.
Hey, there! In today’s episode, I get the pleasure of diving into what it takes to bring on the right team with the incredible Clay Clark. Clay Clark is an incredibly successful entrepreneur. He shares that one of the biggest things he had to let go of to become successful was a temptation to lowering his expectations for employees who weren’t motivated. In the first company he started, a DJ company, he maintained a merit-based pay system and very well-rounded, positive training. For the most part, those he worked with responded well and dominated their roles. Other people, for some reason, kept failing at their tasks and continually required more training, conversations, and answers to their questions. Eventually, Clay Clark realized that not everyone is at the point in their lives where they can achieve success. So he decided to stop lowering his business standards and start hiring and retaining committed A-players who were motivated and ready to take on the challenge of success. He laid out the system and gave his employees the tools they needed to thrive – and began trying to weed out those who wouldn’t be a good fit before they even made it in the door. As a heart-based entrepreneur, it’s easy to make excuses for people and hang on to them hoping that they’re going to turn out. But forcing a fit isn’t good for your business or the happiness of your employees. Clay Clark also shared that he started tracking KPIs (key performance indicators) as a means of holding his workers accountable.  Inspired by Gino Wickman’s book Traction, Clay realized that everyone on the team has to have some kind of metric or key indicators in order to determine whether or not they are thriving in their roles. For example, if each person on your sales team has a goal of making a minimum of 100 sales called a day and booking 5 appointments on a daily basis, you’ve given them their KPI. Then, you need to track it it. This has really helped Clay Clark’s team to see the high standards and have the communication they need to find out what’s not working if these KPIs are not being met. With clear communication and a positive challenge, most people respond to any negative gap in those numbers by becoming aggressive workers who are eager to improve.  They’re excited to come to work because they know what they need to do. Bonus: if you take the time to listen to the whole interview, you can catch a super sweet promo that Clay Clark offers for those who are looking for an amazing tool to really springboard your online business to take it Off the Charts. More About Clay Clark Clay Clark’s life thus far has been nothing short of Epic. He started his first business out of his Oral Roberts University college dorm room at the age of 18. He was named the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year at age 20, and the Small Business Administration named him “Oklahoma’s Entrepreneur of the Year” at the age of 27.
Hey there, and welcome to today’s Off The Charts episode! We are diving into customer avatars and the reasons why they might actually sabotage your marketing, instead of helping you discover and meet up with your ideal clients. Our guest is Hillary Rubin, a wonderful entrepreneur who’s focused on helping other professionals really learn the ins and outs of coaching. One thing I love about Hillary’s story is her commitment to pursuing her own passion in life. I think sometimes it is tempting to settle into a career that isn’t the perfect fit. But Hillary went through several different careers, and was even a yoga teacher for many years. Finally, she admitted to herself that her life as a yoga teacher wasn’t actually adding up in terms of the time and energy that it was consuming. Of course, this was where she really began to struggle with the whole concept of building a client avatar. Because she was creating amazing ones – but each time it seemed that her clientele shifted, and the avatar no longer applied. So Hillary chose to let go of the idea of focusing on your own content first. Instead, she began to listen to what her own clients were asking and what they had in common. This ended up transforming how Hillary viewed her own business, and how she was able to reach those who would fit best with her services. Definitely take the time to listen to the wisdom Hillary shares in this episode. More About Hillary Rubin Hillary Rubin is a spiritual life & business coach, mentor for coaches, the creator of The Art of Becoming a Coach training program and podcast, The Art of Business for Coaches. She’s on a mission to spread the message that coaching is one of the most rewarding, transformational, and profitable careers to have. Her clients say the best thing about working with Hillary is knowing that she has their back, even when they don’t have their own, and that she’s a cross between a spiritual guide, an ass-kicker, and a marketing genius that brings out the best in them. Hillary has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Yoga Journal, TheDailyWorth.com and was the February 2014 Cover Girl + Feature for Inspired Coach Magazine. Thank you again, and please let us know if you need anything else! Have a great day!
In this Off the Charts episode, I’m spending some time talking about when (and why) to transition out of 1-1 coaching to a membership business model. The original question I received was this: When and how did you decide it was time to transition from a one-one coaching model to a membership/online model and what system did you put in place to make it possible? In my business, there was a time where I did both 1-1 coaching and consulting, and offered online courses. The first few online courses I created were priced affordably, below $100, so it wasn’t bringing in enough money to replace my services. I realized that I could offer a higher end online group coaching and training program when I started repeating the same advice to my consulting clients. In essence, I had created a repeatable system or process that I could teach. That’s when I designed the Launch It and Profit program, which was born out of working with clients on their launch strategies behind the scenes. I priced it high enough that I knew if I filled it, I could surpass how much I was earning from 1-1 clients. This helped me justify the time investment it would take to work on this project (it’s always longer than you think!) and I also knew that the people who signed up for program might still want to work with me 1-1. So I didn’t phase out my 1-1 services completely, I just added products to my business model. After running this course successfully a few times, I phased out the one-off consulting projects, and moved to a 9-month commitment for 1-1 clients at a higher price point. This stability gave me the space to do my best work with fewer clients, and also gave me the time to focus on list building. Once I got the list building “ball” rolling, I was able to sell more of my products and I eventually phased out the more 1-1 offerings in my business. It took several years to get there, and I still love working with people 1-1 occasionally because I love seeing the results people get, but it’s not the main revenue generator in my business. Essentially, the membership business model allows me to reach more people than I could possibly have done through the original 1-1 coaching model…and while every business is going to be different, it’s definitely an option that’s available for a lot of entrepreneurs.
This episode is really special because Robin and I are both able to really dive into one of the hot topics that’s come up in the past few months: How do you run a business while you have a baby? Now, for Robin and I, we’ve been able to accomplish this through a concept called Equally Shared Parenting. It’s something that’s fit our lifestyle and our goals so incredibly well, since we both work from home running our business AmbitionAlly. Now, we’re in a fortunate position to be able to establish our own lifestyle without getting a lot of judgement from the outside world. This comes as a result of not having a traditional office job to have to commute to everyday, and it’s also saved us from having to deal with a lot of those gender stereotypes that tend to come from other peoples’ comments. Traditional Versus Shared Responsibilities In a more “traditional” role, we often see that the husband works full time and the mom stays home – or vice versa. Or another common situation is where both parents work and the child(ren) are in daycare. But this gets so tricky because neither parent really feels like they’re getting the best of both worlds. If one parent is the dominant worker, they might struggle with the fact that they’re not able to be as present with the baby. The stay at home parent, on the other hand, might struggle with the fact that they’re not helping to bring any income to support the family. Humans, as Robin points out, are multi-dimensional. We enjoy doing a little bit of everything…and that’s the joy of equally shared parenting. It means that you don’t have to choose which “100%” you’re going to spend your time with. Instead, I can balance my time. Some days I work more, some days I spend more time with the baby. Lifting Burdens & Staying Happy Robin shares in this episode that one of his favorite things about equally shared parenting is that he can make sure that everyone he cares about is happy. Personally there’s no higher purpose than making sure that all of his family’s needs are taken care of. If he was working 8 hrs a day at an office, there’s no way he could help with household, take care of baby and Nathalie. But – with our lifestyle, the burden is lifted from him. For Non-Entrepreneurial Families In this episode, we also talk about how you can do this while still gaining a good income. Because realistically, not all families are entrepreneurial families. Some choose to scale back their hours to 20 or 30 hours a week, allowing them time to trade off working and taking care of the child. Maintaining Your Own Unique Identity Another great thing about both parents being on equal footing is that, overall, we’re spending equal amounts of time with baby and household duties. And being able to share in all of this means that it draws the couple closer together. One fear that a lot of couples have is that after baby’s born, they won’t be able to spend as much time together. But because we’re sharing all of this (parenting and work), we still have so many areas of shared topics, and are being brought even closer together. Because it’s not just about career and baby: it’s also about the couple themselves. It’s incredibly important that we still maintain our identity before and after anything that happens in life. For us, we’ve added the role of “parent” to our lives…but by sharing the duties, we can maintain our own identities and interests and stay focused on the most important things in our life. Questions? If you have any questions about how we’re able to make equally shared parenting work, leave a comment!
This interview with Brianna Borten is totally amazing; it’s all about peace, purpose, and getting stuff done in your business. Take time to listen in and discover how developing a balanced life can help you both personally and in your venture as an entrepreneur. Developing Your Business Organically One thing I really love about Briana’s story is that it demonstrates a slow and organic success. I think that, especially in the world of online business, we can get so caught up in stories that advertise a 6-month journey to 6-figure income. And suddenly, we find that we’ve lost sight of what it actually means to grow a business. But in Briana’s case, she “grew” from a single spa location to a holistic lifestyle approach to life. Her business encompasses the interior and exterior life of the human person. Through this journey, Briana has been able to dive deeper into her passion of helping others to live a more peaceful and balanced life. Focusing On Your Big “Why” One huge reminder that I got out of this interview was that it’s worth re-focusing yourself on the big, underlying why of your business. Briana shares that her why consists of this: “We really believe we can create a more peaceful world while creating more peaceful individuals.” She’s been able to see and connect with the impact that her business has on the world at large. This realization – that she can make a difference – gets her through the challenging times. On Working With A Spouse Briana and her husband Dr. Peter Borten are co-owners to their business…but it wasn’t always the case! Listen to this interview to hear how they’ve been able to make it work. She also shares why their unique arrangement has really helped them to grow in leaps and bounds. Learn More About The Well Life Briana Borten is such an incredible woman and entrepreneur! If you’re interested in learning more about what she does, take the time to pre-order her new book The Well Life. This book really hones in on her philosophy for living a peaceful, balanced life…and can help you re-discover the gift of your own life, too! Even with a healthy body and mind, life can still feel like a struggle. We may find ourselves stuck in discouraging circumstances, always reacting and keeping up, rather than shaping our life as we’d like it to be. A truly well life goes beyond usual measures of health. It includes qualities such as: Feeling light and at ease when we’re challenged Having plenty of healthy, loving relationships Using our gifts and doing meaningful work Enjoying ample income, laughter, and play In The Well Life, you’ll learn how to transform yourself and your life through healthy Structure, Sweetness and Space. Structure will allow you to manage your life and achieve your goals without feeling overwhelmed Sweetness will feed your body, mind and soul Space will give you inspiration, peace and the ability to connect and grow By balancing these elements, you will be able to let go of the stress and tension that gets in the way of being happy, authentic and fully present—living The Well Life. Preorder the book here.
Welcome to this episode in our Business and Babies series, where I’m joined with my husband, Robin Li. In this episode, we’re going to talk about preparing for birth and parental leave as entrepreneurs. Hopefully it’ll help you to plan and get everything in place if you’re expecting a baby. Starting Prep Early … Before Pregnancy It might sound funny at first, but some of our planning and preparation was done before we even got pregnant. From a personal health and well-being perspective, we moved away from a very crowded New York City all the way to sunny Texas. This move in itself helped us to improve our lifestyle and diet, and we took advantage of farmers markets, organic options, and grass-fed meat. The improved diet definitely made a huge difference in our energy levels, and helped us to build a good foundation. But we also made space in our business really early on, which definitely helped me mentally. Since we knew we weren’t going to be as present in our business, we started shifting our focus towards the software side of things. The business model of your company can really determine the extent of parental leave that you’re able to take. Know Your Own Maternity Leave Expectations In the Chinese tradition, the first month after the baby’s born is super important for both the mom and the baby. It’s stressed that the mom should be taken care of, with physical and psychological stresses eliminated (as much as possible). And I love this – in America, we can get a little too anxious to get back to pre-baby lifestyle, and not spend enough time taking care of ourselves. So we had our parents come down and help with housework, for example, to limit the amount of “stuff” we had to worry about. If you have the ability, plan to utilize it! It was also helpful to make it clear to our team that I wasn’t going to be available at all for a while, and Robin was available but on a reduced schedule. Even if you don’t have a team, you can still be firm with your boundaries, especially with clients. And be careful of creeping back into business matters before you’re ready. As soon as people see you answering emails or making calls, they expect you to be back full time. Make Plans For Your Birth, And Don’t Expect It To Go Wrong As a business person, planning probably comes naturally to you … but you also know that not everything is going to go exactly the way you want it to. I think the most important thing, though, is this: don’t EXPECT it’s going to go wrong. Have faith in the team that you’ve built up, and be confident in their ability to keep the business going while you’re away. And have faith in your own body and personal preparation. Women have been giving birth since forever. It’s in our nature and in our genes, and you can be confident in that.
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Podcast Details

Started
Jan 12th, 2016
Latest Episode
May 9th, 2017
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
52
Avg. Episode Length
11 minutes
Explicit
No

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