When “Enough” Isn’t Enough


Sometimes “enough” isn’t enough.

Set the bar for “enough” and, if you fall just a little short, you no longer have enough.

Here’s what I mean:

Let’s say you know that 8 clients per quarter is enough for your web design business. You have 6 lined up with deposits paid, so you announce you have 2 more openings.

You find those 2 new clients and you put them on the schedule. You stop looking.

One of them falls through. They have a hiccup and their plans just don’t work for working with you.

Now you only have 7 clients for the quarter.

Not too big of a deal… but it does represent about $6000 in revenue that you may or may not be able to find a replacement for.

The next quarter, the same thing happens.

Now you’re down $12000 for the year and things start to get tight.

This is what I mean when I say “enough” isn’t enough.

If you plan for just enough, you end up only doing enough to get “enough.”

Any bump in the road on the way to “enough” and now you have, well, less than enough.

That’s no way to plan for your business.

Or, your life.

When you plan to line up 12 clients per quarter, assuming 4 will fall through, the worst scenario you have to deal with is finding a junior designer to take on some of the workload.

That’s, potentially, another $18,000 in profit every quarter.

The other thing that happens is that your behavior starts to change.

You work differently when you’re aiming for a substantially bigger goal. You don’t just try to do more, you try new things.

When you think beyond enough, you fundamentally change how you approach the problem. Doing things differently can get you much bigger results.

That’s just one of the things I talked about with my clients and friends, Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson, this week on the Being Boss podcast.

We also geeked out on business models, some of the challenges Kathleen & Emily have faced in growing the Being Boss business, and common mistakes that business owners make that hold them back from explosive growth.

I had a blast recording this interview–it’s a real inside look at my conversations with clients.

Check it out:

Why You Should Hire for Happiness

Why you should hire for happiness

Business owners get too hung up on titles when it comes to hiring.

“Who should I hire first, a VA or a social media person?” people often ask me.

The answer is neither.

Whether you’re on your first hire, your 10th hire, or your 100th hire, you should only look to hire people who would be insanely happy tackling the responsibilities you need help with.

That probably sounds like a pipe dream.

It’s not. 

I talked to Vanessa Van Edwards, a behavioral scientist whose recent work has focused on happiness, about engineering happy teams. She said that through “job crafting” you can help people experience happiness every single day.

Now, in our interview, she described this process as part of reorganizing and optimizing her existing team. 

But you can–and should–hire this way too.

The first step is to determine what responsibilities you need help with. Sometimes this means delegating work you’re already doing, sometimes this means assigning work that’s been going undone but could really move the needle on your business.

Next, take those responsibilities and organize them into a job description. Forget trying to assign a title to it at first. Definitely don’t assign responsibilities based on what you think a certain title or role should be doing.

Then, you can use the process Vanessa describes as job crafting to make clear who you’re looking for. Instead of just listing responsibilities, include qualifiers:

The ideal candidate would:

  • Feel happy making customers feel understood and taken care of–even when we make mistakes.
  • Feel masterful when it comes to spotting places we could improve our customer service procedures and creating solutions to those challenges.
  • Love to craft customer-focused communication and reach out to existing customers to offer them additional opportunities
  • Feel capable analyzing customer communication and surveys and provide recommendations to the leadership team.

Once you have your job description fleshed out, you can pass it around to friends. Ask them if they know people who are happy doing the things you’ve outlined–not just moderately capable. 

You might be surprised at the quality of people who would respond to such a job description who would never think of themselves as a VA, marketing assistant, customers service rep, or project manager.

Of course, if you don’t find people through your friends or network, you can post about the job publicly, email your list, or advertise the job locally.

How would your life–and your team–be different if you were surrounded by people doing things they loved?

Want more on job crafting and engineering a happy team? Definitely listen to this week’s episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit. with Vanessa.

Click here to listen to the episode or read the transcript.

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How to Build a Happy Team with Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards on building happy teams with Tara Gentile on Profit. Power. Pursuit. 

40% of our happiness is genetic.  About 10% is our environment.  The rest of the percent goes to our behavior and mindset.  This is where we have a lot more control over our happiness.

— Vanessa Van Edwards

Tara:  Welcome to Profit. Power. Pursuit.  I’m your host, Tara Gentile, and together with my friends at CreativeLive, we talk to powerhouse small business owners about the nitty gritty details of running their businesses, making money, and pursuing what’s most important to them.  Each week, I deep dive with a thriving entrepreneur on topics like time management, team building, marketing, business models, and mindset.  Our goal each week is to expose you to something new that you can immediately apply to growing your own business.

This week, we’re bringing back listener favorite, my personal friend, and friend of CreativeLive, Vanessa Van Edwards.  Vanessa is a behavioral investigator and the founder of the Science of People.  She’s also an author, sought-after speaker and trainer, and a self-described recovering awkward person.  Her recent research and her newest CreativeLive class have focused on what makes us happy.  I wanted to find out how Vanessa has been using her work on happiness to build and nurture the Science of People team.  We talk about company culture, difficult conversations, and her personal pursuit of happiness.

Vanessa Van Edwards, welcome back to Profit. Power. Pursuit.  Thanks for coming back and talking with us again.

Vanessa:  I am so excited to be back.  It’s always good.

Tara:  Awesome.  So you’ve been doing a lot of work on the subject of happiness lately.  I’m … I’d love to know what made you so interested in what makes people happy?

Vanessa:  Yes.  So it was a very personal, started as a personal adventure.  I am not one of those people who was sort of born as a happy-go-lucky, high positivity naturally.  Unfortunately.  I’m a neurotic, for sure, definitely a worrier, and so I always felt like there were, there was all these people were just like born happier than me, and I wanted to know if that was actually true from a scientific perspective, because I’m a total geek, and started to dive into it to see could I change my happiness levels as my own human guinea pig, and what would it take to do that?

Tara:  Wow.  That’s awesome.  And I can totally identify with that, too, because I am also not like a naturally happy person.  So what did you find?  Are you normal?  Or, you know, were you able to change that happiness level for yourself?

Vanessa:  Yeah.  So basically what we found is … so first, we did … I always like to start with the academic review.  So the big academic review, we looked at 246 happiness studies, and there is some basic happy math that I think everyone should know, and I was kind of surprised I didn’t know this.  It made me feel less bad about not being that happy-go-lucky person.  So here’s the happy math.  So about 40% of our happiness is genetic, and that’s, you know, directly from our parents, what our genes are programmed for our happiness expressions or happiness levels.  About 10% is our environment, and this is the one that really gets us tripped up, because as humans, we have the tendency to say, “Hmm, I’m not happy.  I am going to move to California.  I’m going to buy a new car.  I’m going to get a new house.  I’d better find a mate.”  We like have all of these things that are almost exclusively environment, but the problem is, is that’s only 10% of our happiness levels.  So we put 90% of our energy into 10% return.  Which is why we have so many unhappy people, and why I think I was unhappy for so long.  The last one is, the rest of the percent goes to our behavior and mindset.  So this is where we have a lot more control over our happiness, and the problem is behavior and mindset seems really fuzzy, and that’s where we started to dig into our research of how could I change my behavior and mindset beyond whatever Cosmo and Marie Claire article has ever told us, which is just journal more.  Just do a gratitude journal.  Just say nightly affirmations.  Which doesn’t work for me.

Tara:  No.

Vanessa:  And I think doesn’t work for a lot of people.  So that, that’s where we focused a lot of our energy was on that behavior and mindset.

Tara:  That’s really interesting, because Michael and I, before we … before we buzzed you on the Skype were just talking about how what makes you really extraordinary is this sort of crazy ability that you have to pull out really actionable, really concrete, really just, you know, take it and do it and actually run with it things from a lot of crap that is otherwise construed as woowoo.  Like you know, journal more, which …

Vanessa:  You know, I’m allergic to fluff.

Tara:  Yeah.

Vanessa:  I don’t like that stuff.

Tara:  Yeah, totally.  So that made me wonder, like, I guess, let’s just dive right into the research.

Vanessa:  Yeah.

Tara:  That you’ve done.  So what are one or two of the things that kind of surprised you about what makes people happy, and how could we immediately apply those to our daily lives?

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Vanessa:  Okay, okay, I love it.  Okay, now, we’re getting to the good stuff.  So I’m actually, like, I actually … I raised my hands up in the air, you couldn’t see, it was very … it was very nerdy of me.  Okay.  Yes, I’m excited.  So the first thing that I was really surprised about was that when we did, we did a huge happiness audit.  So we took all these 246 academic papers, pulled out the patterns that we actually thought were doable.  Like, there were patterns in those academic papers that were great, but like weren’t actionable.  I think, you know, it was like live in a happier country.  It’s like, well, you know, I can’t like do an article and be like, “Just move to Switzerland, everyone, that’s the answer.”  So we took out the patterns that actually would work, and then we created what I call the happiness audit.  So it was a free quiz that we put up on our website, and it was running for a long time, because I wanted massive data.  I wanted over 15,000 responses, and I wanted them, you know, across ages and genders.  And what we looked at was not all the responses, but we specifically pulled out the happiest people and the unhappiest people in this data set, and we looked at what was different about the unhappy group versus the happy group, specifically, and we found that they were using happiness as a skill. 

So instead of thinking of happiness as a byproduct of an action, they actually thought of it like a language or a skill.  So the way they approached their happiness or talked about happiness was like a practice, and this is the biggest difference between the happiest and unhappiest people is the happiest people go for things in their to do list, their to do lists look like this, “Answer all my emails, hit my financial goal, buy a new house, and get my business to the next level.”  Very, very practical goals, but they were hoping that happiness would be a byproduct of those professional achievements.  Whereas happy people actually built happiness into their daily life in the structure of their life.  In other words, they didn’t let it sort of be the end result, they had it be the cause, and that is how happiness works from a scientific perspective as well.  When you look at a lot of the studies, you know, lottery winners are no happier than they were a year before they won the lottery.  They’re exactly the same level of happy.  If you look at Forbes 400 richest Americans, they have the exact same happiness levels as the Pennsylvania Amish.  Exactly the same.  So more money does not make us happier.  You know, the most beautiful people, they did a study with models, supermodels.  Supermodels and fashion models are not any happier than the rest of us.  And that is all those people who say, “When I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happier.”  The thinnest people on Earth, literally, the thinnest people on Earth are no happier than the rest of us.

Tara:  Brilliant.  So you told us what they unhappy people’s to do lists look like, and why that doesn’t actually produce more happiness.  What does happy on a to do list look like?

Vanessa:  Yes, okay, so the happiest, so happy is a really weird word, right?  It’s like this sort of thing that we think of like skipping through the meadow, and I don’t know about you, Tara, but like on a daily basis, like I don’t skip, nor do I have any meadows like nearby.

Tara:  Oh, God, no.

Vanessa:  Yeah.  So typically, actually, the happy makers are things like capability.  Things like awe.  So capability is a big one.  That is the easiest way to increase your happiness.  We don’t think about capability in terms of happiness, so when I say capability, I mean, power, feeling like you are badass at something, feeling like you are better than other people at what you are doing, and so what happy people’s to do lists tend to look like is they tend to do what’s called job crafting.  So they create their day around their skills.  So they are doing things on a day-to-day basis, and they can’t do everything like this, but they know that there are anchors throughout the day where they are using their skills that make them feel like, “Damn, I’m good at this.”

Tara:  All right.  So I want to get back to the job crafting thing in a little bit, because I think that that’s a great thing to talk about in terms of your team, which is where I want to head, but there was one other thing that I want to make sure that we talk about maybe a little bit further, which is something that’s interesting about the way you’ve talked about the research so far is that you were focused on the biggest ways you could have an impact on your personal happiness level.  Like what your personal happiness ROI was going to be, and you pointed out that, you know, the things that we think about, you know, moving to a different state, getting a car, changing your job, whatever it might be, those things are really only 10%, and so if you spend 90% of your energy just affecting 10% of the results, like that’s not good.  Like, right, the 80/20 Rule tells us that we want to spend 20, or you know, we want to spend time on the things that create the biggest output, right?

Vanessa:  Yes.  Yes.

Tara:  So can you talk a little bit more about that?  Like what does … how does that impact, you know, our daily routines or the ways we approach structuring our lives to be in that state of happiness more often?

Vanessa:  Yeah.  So here’s the good news, is that the things that make us the happiest are actually the smallest things.  So, and this … we don’t … this is why a lot of people who feel like they are either anxious or they dread their mornings or they wake up with anxiety, they fell like, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to have to quit my job or move or restructure my entire life to get happier,” and that is not the case at all.  Actually, the smallest things have the biggest impact.  So the three things that you really want to focus on, if I had to sort of boil it down into three things, it would be focusing more on capability.  So using more of your skills and more of your skills in new and different ways, and that can be as small as making an amazing breakfast, making an amazing cup of coffee, responding to an email in a really organized and conscientious way.  Whatever, you know, sort of that your capability is.  Second is hope.  Now, hope is a really kind of an abstract concept.  When you break down hope, we can easily do that by learning, and that … that I do with what I call a learning bucket list, which we can talk about in a little bit.  And the third one is awe.  So awe is the easiest, cheapest way to get more happiness into your life, and what studies show is just thinking about watching your favorite movie produces pleasure. 

Tara:  Wow.

Vanessa:  It actually increases 27% more endorphins, just thinking about watching your favorite movie.  So when I talk about awe, I’m talking about what are the very, very small things, including your lunch that you have waiting for you in the fridge, the movie that you’re going to watch this weekend with your friends, or a beautiful view on your Instagram account, those very little things are actually the things that add up to much greater happiness.

Tara:  That’s incredible, and it sounds like it’s really just sort of an ounce of mindfulness about how you can pre-plan to experience those little things that do add up.  Is that accurate?

Vanessa:  Yeah.  It’s … you know how we’re all really conditioned to like eat well?  We’re like, oh, you know, people track their calories and they try to get 30 minutes of exercise in a day and they get 8 ounces of water.  Just like you measure your calorie output, your exercise minutes, and your water ounces, you can do the exact same thing with your dopamine, your endorphins, and your serotonin.

Tara:  Well, brilliant.  I mean, that’s great news for nerds like us, right?

Vanessa:  Exactly, exactly.  And I promise for my non-nerds listening, I will break that into a much more digestible, non-geek chemical words as well.

Tara:  Yeah, okay, awesome.  So I do want to transition a little bit and talk about your team and what role happiness plays inside the Science of People, because it’s one thing for you to study it as a team, it’s one thing for you to teach about it as you and as your team, but it’s another thing to kind of engineer it into your company culture.  So let’s talk about exactly that.  What role does happiness play in your team culture?

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Vanessa:  Yeah, okay, so there are kind of four ways that we tackle happiness from a team perspective, and I actually think that talking about my team is a perfect way for you to think about your own happiness, because they are used in the exact same way.  So the very first thing that we did after doing this research, and we finished this research about a year ago, so all of these changes have happened in the last 12 months, and it’s been incredible to see the changes in productivity, in ROI, our numbers.  The ROI has been tremendous in terms of the growth of the company.

So the first thing is we did something called job crafting with all of our employees.  So what this is, is you look at all the tasks that you do on a daily basis, and you can do this yourself.  Make a list of all the tasks that you typically do in the average day or the average week.  And then in the column next to it, you want to write down the skills that you’re using to complete those tasks.  So you might find that all of your skill, all of your tasks, fall into the organization skill.  Or that all of your tasks, let’s say you’re a coach, all of your tasks fall into the listening skill.  So I want you to write down all the tasks and all the skills that are associated.  That might be three skills.  That might be thirty skills.  And then I want you to, on the list of skills, star or circle the ones that you feel like you are exceptionally good at.  The ones that like you’re like, “I was made for this.  I was born for this.  I love doing it.  I feel so good when I do it.”  That’s hopefully going to be only two or three, right?  We don’t … you can put modesty aside, right?  If you’re awesome, awesome at 10, cool, good on you, that’s awesome, too, but if you only have two or three, that’s about average.  So what we did is we looked at all the tasks and skills that were happening amongst our team members, and right now, we’re a team of six, and then we began to figure out which skills matched with who.  So for example, I learned that one of my employees is really, really visual.  She’s really good at graphics.  She’s amazing at seeing colors and shapes and fonts.  I’m really bad at visual things, so basically, we started to trade tasks.  So we line … I know all the skills of my employees, and we began to trade to see where could we focus our skills, and maximize the amount of I love doing this work, I feel really good at doing this work. 

That is a much easier thing than I want to do what I’m passionate about, right?  Like everyone talks about passion, but actually, you’re much better off talking about capability, and that’s an easier thing to do on a day-to-day basis than passion.

Tara:  Oh, brilliant.  Yes, I mean, I could go off on a whole tirade about passion.  I love the idea of talking about capability instead, and you know, that getting into the flow, and feeling like … Sally Hogshead talks about wellspring activities, you know, those things that energize you, and I totally agree, it’s so much easier to identify those things for yourself, and you know, tell yourself the story, remember those stories, remember those moments when you felt like that, and it seems like a much more productive conversation to have with your employer as well, but I’m sure it’s something that people can do in their own businesses, too.  So whether they have a team or not, it can be a real opportunity to look and see how could you improve your happiness?  How could you better job craft, even if you’re a business of one now, so that you better understand how you could grow a team into the future.

Vanessa:  Exactly.  And like a quick example of this is if you’re a photographer, I was just talking about this with my photographer.  So my photographer is Maggie Hudson at Honeysuckle Photography, and her skill, obviously, is photography, lighting, working with people.  She does not like editing.  She can do it.  She’s good at it.  But she doesn’t love it.  So she started building into her packages hiring a contractor editor, and that made her so much happier to take on new clients and do what she does, because she’s just putting way more energy and charging differently than she would have, because she wants to be able to know that someone else who loves editing can do it.

Tara:  Brilliant.  And okay, and so that was so important, because you said she’s so much happier to take on new clients, which means she’s more likely to do what she needs to do to sell, right?

Vanessa:  Yeah.

Tara:  And that’s one of those things that I don’t think people, especially small business owners, realize all of the personal hurdles that they have to selling.  It’s not actually selling itself that’s hard, it’s these personal hurdles that we put in front of ourselves, and that’s one of them, doing work we don’t want to be doing.

Vanessa:  And that is a surprisingly easy thing to do when you break down your tasks and your skills.

Tara:  I might be a professional educator and expert, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped learning.  When I’m ready to learn a new skill, the first place I go is CreativeLive.  Check out this great class.

Debbie:  Are you feeling stuck?  I’m Debbie Millman, the host of the podcast, Design Matters.  I’m teaching a class on CreativeLive called A Brand Called You.  In my class, I cover everything you need to know about how to position yourself to get the job that you love, the job of your dreams.  I’ll help you understand how to position yourself in the marketplace, how to create a mission with sincerity and stature, how to write a resume and a cover letter, and even how to track your progress.  This class is for anyone looking to improve their career and their life.  Join me now, and get the job you were meant to have.

Tara:  I know you just had your Science of People team all together in Portland.  It was World Domination Summit weekend, and you guys all got together.  I was watching the pictures, it looked awesome.  What did you guys do during that company retreat to kind of spark happiness for your team while they were visiting?

Vanessa:  Yeah, so the next kind of thing that really contributes to happiness is growth, and the idea, and this ties into hope as well, is that failures are not … do not mean that you’re a failure, they just mean that that specific thing was a mistake or a failure, and that anything can be learned, and actually, learning provides a lot of happiness.  So the reason why I bought my entire team to WDS was because I wanted them to know that they have a lot of learning in their lives, and so we have something that I encourage all my employees to do called the Learning Bucket List.  So a learning bucket list is all the skills, lessons, ideas, and things you want to learn about in your lifetime.  And we don’t often think about learning like that, but so I have all of my employees think about what are the skills they want to learn, and how can I fund that for them.  So I will frequently pay for trainings for them.  Like if they want to learn, like for example, one of my employees really wants to learn video editing.  Fantastic.  We do a ton of videos.  I’m happy to pay for his online course to learn how to do video editing and buy the software for him.  We also have what’s called a book fund.  So any employee who wants to get a book, and it does not have to do with business, it can be any book, they just have to submit me an email for why they want the book and what they want to learn from it, and I will buy it for them.  And so that is a way that I am trying to encourage that learning on a day-to-day basis.

Tara:  That is awesome.  I think everyone should go out and make their learning bucket list now.  I think that’s incredible.

Vanessa:  What’s on yours?

Tara:  The thing that makes me happiest in terms of learning right now is copywriting.  I just totally nerd out on copywriting, and it’s something that yeah, it just, it makes me really, really happy.  Obviously, it fulfills a need in my business as well, and it’s a skill that, you know, makes sense for me to improve, but it also makes me insanely happy.  Probably the other thing, then, is, you know, my partner and I are constantly talking about me going back to school and following through on the academic goals that I once had, and I think, you know, there’s … there’s no good reason … like there’s no good financial reason for me to do that.  There’s no, like, there’s no promotion that would be in my future if I went back to school and got my PhD, but would it make me happy?  Yeah, probably.  So those would be two things.

Vanessa:  That could be an investment in happiness, right?

Tara:  Yeah.

Vanessa:  Like, that would be a pure investment in happiness, which would definitely come out in other areas.

Tara:  Yeah, absolutely.  Absolutely.  I’m sure I could find the financial ROI on that for sure.  So you mentioned failure a little bit ago, and that brought to mind, you know, one of the difficult parts of growing a team and owning a small business, which is having difficult conversations with people?  So how do you balance performance management, having difficult conversations, and still keep this culture of happiness going in your company?

Vanessa:  Yeah, so it’s … I … what we try to focus on is progress does not mean that you can’t have setbacks, and progress is actually the number one way to motivate people.  So if you look at any kind of goal, weight loss goals, savings goals, employee goals … money, bonuses, promotions, not high on the list.  Compliments, not high on the list.  The biggest thing you can do to encourage progress, I’m sorry, to encourage achievement is actually highlighting progress.  So the way that we do this is we do monthly check-ins.  We have kind of like a scoreboard, where basically, we have all of our analytics, and we’re very analytics-driven, you know.  We just hit 80,000 subscribers on YouTube, and our goal is to hit 100,000 right?  We have 100,000 email subscribers; our goal is to hit 120,000.  So we are very, very aware of those goals.  Now, a failure could be not posting enough on YouTube or posting a YouTube video that gets a lot of dislikes or not a lot of views, right?  That could be, I guess, considered a failure.  However, it did get some views, and we can look at that video and be like why is this video different than the other videos that performed well.  So we look at every single thing as a mark on the progress chart.  So it’s not a failure, it’s just a mark on the chart.  And that helps sort of reshift the … I want them to take risks, right?  Like every single person on the team owns one of those metrics.  Right?  Like Robbie’s in charge of YouTube and Yael’s in charge of our email subscribers.  Ben’s in charge of our top of the funnel getting Google organic traffic.  Lauren’s in front of, charge of Twitter.  They own those numbers.  And so I can say to them, all right, whatever you want to do to get our Twitter subscribers up to 20,000, do it.  Play, adventure it, be adventurous, as long as you’re tracking it, I don’t care.  So that’s a very different way of thinking about failure.  It’s just a stop on the progress line.

Tara:  Wow.  Wow.  Okay, so do you have those same kind of conversations individually then?  I mean, it sounds like if people have these … have this ownership over particular pieces, you know, are you having progress conversations on an individual level and kind of what does that look like?

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Vanessa:  You know, we don’t do performance reviews.

Tara:  Okay.

Vanessa:  I don’t do one-on-one performance reviews.  Which I usually will check in with people via email.  Like I’ll say, you know, how’s it going?  How you feeling?  How you liking everything?  We do something that I call start/stop/continue.  So start/stop/continue is every month, every four weeks I ask each of them what would you like to start?  What would you like to stop doing?  What would you like to start doing more of?  What would you like to stop doing or do less of?  And what would you like to continue?  So they’re very used to, and they prepare to tell me those stop/start/continue things.  Typically, they happen in a group or over email.

Tara:  Wow.  Okay, so it really does sound like everything from top to bottom in the way you manage your people is focused on making sure they’re working at their highest capability, helping them fulfill the learning, and then, you know, therefore making them as happy as possible.  That’s incredible.

Vanessa:  And I think that every … every single one of us, no matter what we do, should be doing stop/start/continue.  Just like job crafting with my employees, I think all of us, every week or every four weeks, should sit down and say what should I be doing more of, what should I be doing less of, and what should I start doing.

Tara:  Yeah.

Vanessa:  Right?  Like that is an incredibly powerful exercise for anyone.

Tara:  Yeah, and it’s also not super intimidating, either, right?  Like it leads to incremental changes, instead of like earlier, you mentioned, you know, if you’re unhappy, you might think that you have to completely change everything to create a happier experience for yourself, but stop/start/continue really gives you this opportunity to, you know, you could just stop two things, or you could stop one thing.

Vanessa:  Mmhmm.

Tara:  You know, each time you check in and little bit by little bit, you’re chiseling away at the things that aren’t making you happy or that aren’t allowing you to kind of operate at your highest capability.

Vanessa:  Exactly.  That’s exactly it.

Tara:  Awesome.  So Vanessa, what makes you happy?

Vanessa:  I really, really like quests, and that is something that I discovered I think accidentally.  It was … a Quest, a la Chris Guillebeau, for anyone who’s read The Happiness of Pursuit, is a very defined challenge or adventure.  So it could be reading every book on the New York Times bestseller list in a year, or the top 1 books in a year.  It could be traveling to all fifty states.  It could be cooking cuisine from every, you know, all the major countries.  It could be learning a language.  I have found that that is a magic, very potent combination.  One, it’s learning, right?  You’re usually doing some kind of learning in a quest.  Two, it gives you a lot of hope and anticipation, right?  Every time you think about completing the quest, you actually get endorphins.  Just like when you think about watching your favorite movie, it produces endorphins.  And third is it’s progress.  Right?  Every time you go to a state, every time you cook a dish, every time you learn a new vocab word, check, you get that off the list.  Oh, and lastly, bonus, is that you feel really, really awesome the further you go down the list.  And so I have a lot of quests constantly going in my life, both personal and professional, and that’s sort of how I gear all the chapters of my life is around them.

Tara:  That’s awesome.  What is one of the quests that you’re on right now?

Vanessa:  So one of my quests is that I want to try every single top-rated restaurant in Portland.

Tara:  That sounds awesome.

Vanessa:  I know.  And I like … and it’s basically an excuse for me to invite all my friends out, because they all know that I’m on this quest, so I have like a big spreadsheet, and I invited a bunch of my friends on it, and they just put their name down on the restaurants they also want to try.

Tara:  Wow.  That’s amazing.  That’s totally awesome.  Okay, so tell us about your new CreativeLive class.

Vanessa:  Okay, so I am … I am really, like I can’t even describe.  Like excited isn’t the right word for it.  I feel like this course is the course that I wish I had ten years ago.  The unhappiest day of my life was my college graduation.  It was one of those days where I realized that I was making all my decisions based on things I thought I should do, and nothing that I actually wanted to do, and so it took me a very long time to get off of that structure.  And we will talk about, in the CreativeLive course, about the four systems that cause us to make decisions.  And so my goal with this course is to sort of shake up the personal happiness value system that we have.  I want everyone coming into the course to re-evaluate how they make decisions.  The small decisions, like what they’re eating for breakfast and what they are going to put on their to do list, and the big decisions, like what’s my purpose here, what’s my legacy, what do I want to be remembered for.  Because I think that if we don’t stop and do that now, there’s that famous Chinese proverb that said the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, but the second best time is now.  That’s how I feel about happiness.

Tara:  Oh, that is so good.  I am definitely going to be tuning into that.  I will also be making Shawn tune into that, as well.

Vanessa:  Yes.

Tara:  And then can you tell us also about your upcoming book?

Vanessa:  Oh, gosh, yeah.  Yeah, so … so many years in the making, that book.  So I have a book coming out April 25th, it’s called Captivate, and it is on hacking human behavior.  So I love people skills, I do not consider them soft skills, I consider them hard skills.  So I want, this is the first time, I think, anyone’s endeavored to teach people skills like you would learn math or science.  So I break down conversation formulas, we talk about algorithms, we talk about basically the language of people skills from a very black and white perspective.

Tara:  Wow.  This is your life’s work to this point.

Vanessa:  This is … someone asked me recently, “So how long did it take you to write the book?”  And I was like, “Uh, 31 years.”

Tara:  Yes, that is … that’s awesome.  Well, I don’t … I don’t even know where to go from there.  I’m so excited for you.  What … is there anything else that we should know about that you’re working on that’s coming up for you in your business?  What, you know, what’s your next big project?

Vanessa:  Yeah, you know, actually, the next big project is sort of the next phase of the happiness research, so if you’re getting ready to listen to the CreativeLive Power of Happiness course, or you’re thinking about it, one thing you can do is you can actually go to our website, and take the happiness audit.  So the happiness audit will actually kind of clue you in right now, if you’re like, whoa, I don’t want to wait until October.  I know, it’s really far, I don’t want to wait to take the class.  You can go take the happiness audit now, and that also helps us with the next phase of our research.  So it’s ScienceofPeople.com/audit, and it’s all free.  Just fly through it.  You know, don’t overthink the answers, and that will not only help you give you some insight into, you know, the course and your own happiness, but it will also help us with our next phase of the research.

Tara:  Awesome.  Everyone loves a good quiz.

Vanessa:  Yeah, I know.

Tara:  All right.  Well, Vanessa Van Edwards, thank you so much for coming back on Profit. Power. Pursuit.  Thank you so much for talking about happiness and your team and yourself and your own journey.  This has been a really fascinating conversation.  I am excited about telling people about what you’ve just told us, so thank you.

Vanessa:  Thank you so much for having me.  Bye guys.

Tara:  Find out more about Vanessa Van Edwards at ScienceofPeople.com.  You can also find her new CreativeLive class, the Power of Happiness, at CreativeLive.com.

Next week, my guest is online business pioneer and social media expert, Joel Comm.  We talk about how he chooses new platforms, why he’s betting big on live video, and how his businesses have been impacted by social media.

CreativeLive is highly-curated classes from the world’s top experts.  Watch free, live video classes every day from acclaimed instructors in photography, design, audio, craft, business, and personal development, stream it now at CreativeLive.com.

This has been Tara Gentile.  Discover how to accelerate your earning as a small business owner with my free class, Revenue Catalyst, at QuietPowerStrategy.com/PPP.

That’s a wrap for this week’s episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit., a CreativeLive podcast.  Download more episodes of this podcast and subscribe on iTunes.  If you appreciate this kind of in-depth content, please leave us a review or share this podcast with a friend.  It means the world to us.

Our theme song was written by Daniel Peterson, who also edited this episode.  Our audio engineer was Kellen Shimizu.  This episode was produced by Michael Karsh.  We add a new episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit. every week.  Subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you love to listen to podcasts so you never miss an episode.

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Collaborating to Create Remarkable Customer Experiences with Andrea Owen

Collaborating to create remarkable customer experiences with Andrea Owen on Profit. Power. Pursuit. with Tara Gentile

I think just really what it comes down to is just being really honest, even when it’s hard, and there’s always a way to bring things up from a place of kindness instead of blaming, or you know, massive insecurity, or anything like that. 

— Andrea Owen

Tara:  Welcome to Profit. Power. Pursuit.  I’m your host, Tara Gentile, and together with my friends at CreativeLive, we talk to powerhouse small business owners about the nitty gritty details of running their businesses, making money, and pursuing what’s most important to them.  Each week, I deep dive with a thriving entrepreneur on topics like time management, team building, marketing, business models, and mindset.  Our goal each week is to expose you to something new that you can immediately apply to growing your own business.

This week, my guest is Andrea Owen, an author, mentor, and certified life coach who helps women get what they want by letting go of perfectionism, control, and isolation, and choosing to practice courage instead.  She’s the author of 52 Ways to Live a Kickass Life: BS Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve.  She’s also co-founder of The Self Love Revolution.  Andrea and I talk about the very first thing she did to get clients as a coach in training, how she changed the money story that was holding her business back, and how she collaborates with others to create amazing experiences for clients.

Andrea Owen, welcome to Profit. Power. Pursuit.  Thank you so much for joining me.

Andrea:  Thank you for having me.  This sounds so official, Tara.

Tara:  We try.

Andrea:  So profresh.

Tara:  We try.  Yeah.  All right.  So you are the author of 52 Ways to Live a Kickass Life, and the founder of YourKickassLife.com, so before we get into your business and how you have, you know, built a life coaching practice and how you’ve built an audience and programs and collaborated with people and all of that, I would just really love to find out what a kickass life really means to you.

Andrea:  Oh, my gosh.  Ask me on any given day, and that answer might change, but really, what it has evolved to is really getting to work on your shit.  Can I say that on your podcast?

Tara:  Absolutely.

Andrea:  It’s really working on your stuff.  Like really kind of getting past the behaviors like perfectionism and people pleasing and numbing out or hiding out, and control is a big issue for the people that come to me for help, so it’s really about honing in on those behaviors and finding better behaviors that work for you, like self-compassion and finding someone you can share your story with, and that’s really sort of the foundation of what I teach people through my podcast and blog and classes, etc.

Tara:  Nice.  And you mentioned, you know, helping people work through their shit.  What kind of shit did you have to work through to get to where you are right now?

Andrea:  Oh, the list is so long.  In a nutshell, it was fear.  It was fear of the unknown, and I mean, you want to work on that, start your own business.

Tara:  Yeah.

Andrea:  And you’re in it.  It’s fear of the unknown, fear of what people are going to think, fear of failure, fear of success.  I was afraid of both, so yeah.  The strategy part was really easy in comparison to actually working through the fear.

Tara:  Nice.  So what … was there a particular moment or a particular situation that really kind of led you to pursuing helping women live a kickass life?

Andrea:  Yes.  So it’s sort of funny, but not funny.  It wasn’t funny at the time, when it happened, but looking back, it was sort of serendipitous.  In 2003 is when I found out what life coaching was, and I remember sitting at the computer with my now ex-husband and telling him, like, this is so awesome that people, like, you can get paid to help people live their dreams and have these amazing lives and I really want to do this.  And I said to him, “But I think that probably what would make you a better life coach is if you had a lot of life experience.”  Like if you’d like been through adversity, and I don’t have a lot of that, so I don’t know.  And then two years later, my husband and I, my husband at the time and I were planning on conceiving our first child together.  We’d been together for many years, 13 years, and he had an affair with our neighbor and got her pregnant, and divorced me.

Tara:  Oh my God.

Andrea:  So … and it wasn’t like a, “Sorry, Andrea, please forgive me, let’s work this out.”  It was, “I’m in love with this other woman, can you go away.”  And it was horrible.  It was a very dramatic and traumatic divorce.  I spent a year, I describe it as I walked around like I was in a coma, and had another really bad relationship after that, and I found myself … I had like the laying on the bathroom floor in the fetal position moment where I just looked in the mirror and said I can’t do this anymore.  Like I know I’m destined for greatness, I just need to take responsibility.  I had to essentially take responsibility for the decisions that I had made, the relationships I had tolerated, the men I had attracted and continued to be in relationships with, which I knew were not good for me, and really work on codependence and issues like that, and little did I know that signing up for life coach training was going to sort of force me into looking at all of those things.  I had … I was in therapy and stuff like that, but I thought, well, I’ll sign up for life coach training, because I was sort of desperate, and little did I know, like, all of it kind of mixed in and really led me to be where I am now.  So I think that that experience has helped me a lot.  Just kind of, for lack of a better term, forced me to look at everything and like just shine the light on what was going on, and really, again, like what I had to take responsibility for, because I had spent a long time blaming everybody else for where I was in my life, and I had to stop doing that.

Tara:  I imagine that kind of introspection and being willing to, you know, look into all the deep, dark recesses of your own life and your own psyche has served you well in terms of being able to look at your business and all the deep, dark recesses of your business as well.  Would you say that’s true?

Andrea:  1000%, yeah.   I mean, I just … I’ve always been the type of person that didn’t like to be told what to do.  I know that probably a lot of people that you interview and that you work with have always had that entrepreneurial spirit.  I was not one of those kids.  Like, I did not have the lemonade stand, I did not sell blow pops for 50 cents.  Those were other kids.  Like, I knew them, but it wasn’t me, but I definitely have been one of those people that didn’t like to be told what to do, and so when I did start the business, it was for sure, like, this is mine, and I … I am completely and solely responsible for this.  Which is both exciting and scary at the same exact time.

Tara:  Yeah.  For sure.  So you know, most of the time, I’m talking to people about where they are in their business right now, and I think this is a great opportunity to actually kind of rewind the clock a little bit, and I’d love to know what, you know, what were some of the very first steps you took to get those first clients or to put that first website up or you know, whatever that … that beginning stage of your business looked like?

Andrea:  Well, it was back in 2010, which as we all know, in the online business world, that was like dog years.

Tara:  Totally.

Andrea:  Like 100 years ago.  It was in 2010, and I was going through certification for life coaching, and part of our requirement was to have a certain amount of clients, and so I was sort of forced to actually tell people what I was doing and put myself out there, and that’s exactly what I did.  So I did the, you know, tried and true friends and family email, where I basically told everybody what I was doing and I kind of did it by accident, but I know that it’s a smart marketing move, just to have a call-to-action, like make it really easy for people to book that phone call with me, and that’s what I did.  I told them exactly who I helped.  I told them exactly what I was doing, what I was offering, and how they could take advantage of that, and I got 11 clients, and it was a lot, and I was also charging next to nothing for it.  I think that was part of the reason that I did that. 

And at that time, I was not even YourKickassLife.com, yet.  I was, wait for it, I was LiveYourIdealLife, tada, which is very … which is very life coachy and sweet and cute, but I was also blogging at the time just about anything and everything, because I didn’t have a formal niche, yet, and so yeah, it was about putting myself out there, and then from there, I learned a lot of lessons from those 11 clients, and from there, later on, YourKickassLife was born, and the first website was … I think I paid like $600 for it, and it was just a WordPress theme, and I mean, I just wanted to throw something up to get it out there.  That’s something I’ve kind of never been afraid of, I think because there was a little bit of ignorance there.  I think that I made up that the internet was a lot smaller than it was.  I was always surprised to see analytics.  I was like, “Really?  People are reading it?”  I just felt very safe, and you know, my … it was my bedroom office back then, but things have changed in analytics and it’s very scary, but back then, it was sort of … I sort of miss that time of ignorance and just, you know, I was just excited.  I’m like let’s make a website, and I think it’s very different now than it was then.

Tara:  Oh, yeah.  Yeah.  I want to kind of reiterate what you said that first step was, which was just sending an email out to your friends and family saying exactly who you were looking for, what you wanted to do for them, and that strong call-to-action.  You know, you didn’t start building a list, you didn’t, you know, have a website button where people could click to schedule with you.  Like, it was just a simple email, and that’s so key.

Andrea:  Yeah, and it basically was “reply to this email if you want to schedule something.”  So we played old-fashioned email tennis scheduling, and yeah, and it was just … I don’t … I honestly, Tara, I can’t tell you yes or no if I would have done it if I didn’t … if it wasn’t a requirement.  I probably would have done it if I had a coach or anything, but on my own, I may have kind of, like, well, I don’t know, it’s kind of scary, but yeah, it worked.

Tara:  Awesome.  Awesome.  So what misconceptions did you have when you started your business?

Andrea:  Oh my gosh, this could be an hour long conversation on its own.  The first one that comes to mind is that it would be really easy to get clients at a higher rate.  So this goes back to when I was sitting in my coach training program, and I got out a calculator, and I was like if I charge $150 an hour and I have this many clients, I’m going to make, you know, that’s a lot of money.  I think that I thought it was going to be, that they were just going to come to me.  That, you know, it was like hanging a shingle out and it was just going to be easy.  I didn’t think that … I didn’t realize how much work it was going to be.  I also had no experience with marketing.  That’s not my background at all, and I didn’t know how … I didn’t know how to market.  I mean, plain and simple, I didn’t know how to market.  I also didn’t know how scary it was going to be to be my own brand.  I think that I didn’t understand that part at all.  Because again, like online businesses were still fairly new and like, when I went to coaching school in 2007, and I think that it’s one thing if you have a donut shop and people don’t like your donuts, because they don’t like, I mean, it is your art, but still, I feel like it’s a little bit different when, like, what I do, what other coaches do, we’re marketing ourselves, so I think that, like that whole piece, I did not realize it was going to take so much personal work on just taking care of myself and my feelings and all of that stuff, and let me try to … I mean, just that in and of itself.  What is that, like three misconceptions I had?

Tara:  No, that’s great.  I love that you mentioned that about the personal brand, too, because yeah, I mean, putting yourself out there, being seen, but also receiving the criticism and seeing people not do the work and not get the results, and like, taking that personally.  That is a huge piece of what people, like you and I, have to deal with on a daily basis.

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Andrea:  Yeah.  Before this iteration of my career, I was … my background and what I went to college for was exercise physiology and I was also a personal trainer for awhile, and there was, I had a mentor, and he told me you can’t ever want it more than your clients.

Tara:  Yup.

Andrea:  It doesn’t work.  And I … I have taken that advice with me, and here, too, it’s the same, because we make it about us, and it’s really not.

Tara:  Yeah.  Exactly.  Exactly.  All right, so let’s fast forward to the present day.  How is your business currently generating revenue?  What are all the different ways you’re bringing in money?

Andrea:  I have three main ways.  I do still take one-on-one clients, although very few, and I’m hoping to get to a place, probably by 2017, where I no longer take one-on-ones and also group programs, and I actually make money as an author.  It’s kind of rad.

Tara:  Yeah, I love that.  Do you do some speaking, too?

Andrea:  I don’t do much.  I have, and I don’t do much.  I have two small children, and my son is eight and he has some special needs, and it’s really hard for him when I travel.  I had a really hard time with that for awhile, so I’ve just surrendered to it, and if one falls into my lap, I will generally take it depending on the circumstances, but generally, no, it’s just been something that I’m going to put off until my kids are older.

Tara:  Nice.  So how has kind of publishing that book affected the way you kind of structure your business, the way people see your business?

Andrea:  It’s interesting.  That’s an interesting question, because for, on one hand, the book, and for those people that don’t know, I went the traditional publishing route, which people told me I was crazy to not self-publish, and I listened to my gut and I went traditional publishing.  I got a book deal, and it sort of catapulted me into a bigger platform.  My platform was decent to begin with, but it really pushed me out there, and it’s, as far as how it structured my business, what’s tricky with my book is that I think it’s really smart when coaches or consultants, they write a book, and then they can easily create programs around their book.  For me, the book is 52 ways, so it’s tricky, because there are 52 chapters on 52 different topics, and there is some overlap, but what I found, what I found really challenge is because of the way I structured it and I didn’t think this through in the beginning, was that when I have group programs, I can refer to my book, and say, like, I go into more detail in this chapter and that chapter, but for the most part, yeah, it’s sort of just like a supplemental kind of guide book in my programs, and you know, of course I send it as gifts for my one-on-one clients, and it’s helped in that realm, and of course, there’s people that have found me in a Barnes and Noble and started listening to my podcast or hired me for one-on-one coaching.  That’s helped a lot.  But as far as like matching the book up for programs, it’s been tricky.

Tara:  I might be a professional educator and expert, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped learning.  When I’m ready to learn a new skill, the first place I go is CreativeLive.  Check out this great class.

Vanessa:  Did you know that happy people make an average of $1766 more per year than unhappy people?  Or that happy employees take fifteen less sick days per year than unhappy employees?  People who have higher levels of happiness have more career success, higher income, better romantic relationships, stronger social support, are better able to cope with stress, and even have a better immune system.  Here’s the best part: we can change our happiness levels.  Research has found that about 50% of our happiness is genetic, 10% is due to the environment, and 40% is caused by our behavior and mindset.  That means you and I have 40% of our happiness to work with, so let’s make the most of it.  My name is Vanessa Van Edwards, and I’m coming back to CreativeLive to teach an all new class.  I’ve taught over 42,000 students how to change their lives by making happiness a daily practice.  Now, I want to help you, too.  RSVP for my class, The Power of Happiness, and start taking control of your own happiness today.

Tara:  What role does money play in the way you plan for your business?

Andrea:  Well, it … how should I answer this?  I think how I want … I want to answer it in two ways.

Tara:  Sure.

Andrea:  Logistically and, you know, practically and more of the woowoo.  I think something that has really helped me was to look at my relationship with money, because I think for me, you know, I had some of my colleagues, I’m in a mastermind, and they started reading books, there’s several out there, about, you know, healing your relationship with money, and they had all these stories, you know, like what’s your money story?  Like, oh, my parents, you know, talked really badly about rich people, or my parents always told me that there was never enough money and that we couldn’t afford it, and so they had these kind of like weird feelings around money, and they grow up and live in a place of scarcity around money, and I didn’t have that.  Like my parents never … money was just like never brought up.  We always just had it, so I just was like I don’t know, but I had a really interesting kind of revelation about it.  Do you want me to share the story?

Tara:  Yeah, please.

Andrea:  It’s interesting.  Okay, so I was working with this woman who does … she does family constellation therapy.  It’s very … it’s even woowoo for me.  I’m like what?  But she has us like move around the room and someone, you know, represents money, and they have to come and stand near us, and then we position that person, and so the person walked up to me who represented money and I was representing myself, and I … I told this person to stop about two arms lengths away from me, and at my peripheral.  I didn’t want her in front of me, and I’m like that’s really strange that this is how, where I want money to be.  Like I want you to be there, but I don’t actually want to look at you like in the eye.  So I had this kind of breakthrough and breakdown.  I was crying.  What I realized was that, so in my personal life, when I was growing up, my parents, you know, I had … to be perfectly honest, I had like a really charmed childhood.  I have half siblings, but they were much older and out of the house by the time I was born, and I grew up, I had a really great childhood, and then when I graduated from high school, my parents got divorced, and I had kind of like no warning, and so that was kind of traumatic, but even before that, my freshman year of high school, we moved to a new neighborhood. 

So we moved out of the house that I had grown up in, and as soon as we moved, it was a lot fancier, it was in a gated community, my dad bought a Mercedes, he had … he became a real estate broker, real estate agent, and was making a lot more money, and that, looking back, like after my parents got divorced, I started to notice, like, oh, that’s when their marriage actually started to fall apart.  So unknowingly, I had made up in my mind that wealth meant that your family’s going to fall apart.  So that was really powerful for me to kind of come to that conclusion and what my own money story was, and once I could kind of dismantle that, and just really start to know that I was … it sounds very counterintuitive.  So subconsciously, I was feeling unsafe making a lot of money, because what happens, this is interesting, Tara, I noticed that three years in a row, I made the same amount of money in my business, and my platform had quadrupled.  So it didn’t make any sense.  And even my online business manager is like, “That doesn’t make any sense, Andrea.”  You know, something’s going on.  You’re working the same amount.  So that’s what I equated it to, is I was sort of like unknowingly preventing money from coming in, and I’ve seen a significant change in my income once I dismantled that story and started to just kind of change the story in my mind and know that everything will be okay if I make a lot more money.

Tara:  Wow.  That’s a great story.  Thank you so much for sharing that with us.  So what does that kind of realization then look like when you sit down to plan for your business?  You know, do you look at your P&L more often?  Do you look at your bank statements more often?  You know, what does that look like?

Andrea:  Yeah.  I definitely, like my husband and I are in the process of I think we have about a year left and we will have paid off $60,000 in debt.

Tara:  Wow.

Andrea:  And so that’s going to be gone, and it’s really like little things.  Like, I was always afraid of doing … of having affiliates, and so I was like nope, not going to be afraid anymore.  Because I was always like oh, it’s so much maintenance, and you know, oh, I had all these excuses, so I stopped that, the excuses, and I did … I’m doing affiliates now, which is … brings in more money, and I also signed a contract for my second book, and I held my ground with how much money I wanted for an advance.  We got an offer from one publisher.  It was actually the same publisher that published my first book, and it was definitely not enough, and there was a part of me that was like, “You’re going to turn this down?  You’re going to turn down a publishing offer?  Are you crazy?  Just take the money.  Just take whatever you can get.”  And I was like nope, don’t want it, and then we got another offer, and it still wasn’t good enough, and then … then I was really scared.  Then I was really second-guessing myself, and then we got a third offer from Seal Press and it was about five times the amount of my first book advance.

Tara:  Damn.

Andrea:  I know.  And I was like … he told me what they had offered, and I said yes, and then he came back the next day and he’s like, “I got you a little bit more.”  And he said it like so nonchalantly, and I was like wait a minute, wait a minute.  I just had to repeat the number back to him.  So yeah, it was … I kind of walked around in a daze for a few days.  Like, I cannot believe someone is paying me that much money to write a book, and I attribute it … I attribute it to two things.  I mean, me changing my money story, and just the trajectory of my business as well.

Tara:  Yeah.  Wow.  So aside, folks, this is why you get an agent …

Andrea:  Yes.

Tara:  For your traditionally published book.  Please don’t do it by yourself.

Andrea:  No.

Tara:  But also, you mentioned, like, you know, you stood your ground for what was going to be good enough, in terms of money, and that made me wonder, like, how do you, Andrea Owen, decide what is good enough, whether it’s money or whether it’s, you know, the amount of free time in your schedule?  Do you have a process do you use to determine what that threshold is going to be?

Andrea:  Hmm.  I really just do a good old-fashioned gut check.

Tara:  Okay.

Andrea:  And I, I know, I wish I had like a formula, but I don’t.  I’m a life coach, come one, what do you expect?  But I … I just really … and I’ve thought … so this summer, I decided, like for every single summer that has gone by, I’ve told myself, like, I really want to take the summer off.  You know, I have two kids, I want to just go to the pool and eat popsicles, and I can’t stand not working at all, so I want to do minimal work, but I don’t.  Every summer, I tell myself, gosh, it would great to not have any … I don’t have to get on the phone with anybody.  I don’t want to have clients, I don’t want to … I just don’t.  And every year, I’ve said that, and every year I have had clients and, you know, not done it.  And so what I have done now is I ask myself, you know, if I get somebody that emails me that wants a consultation, I sit down and think about it.  Like, will I get on the phone with this person every week and feel good about what I am actually making hourly?  Like, basically, is it going to be worth it for me?  Or would it feel better if I waited until the fall when my kids are in school full-time, and so that’s really my answer. 

And I have really had to work through those feelings of scarcity.  Of oh my God, what if the money dries up?  What if something happens to one of our cars and we’re going to need all this extra money?  And truth be told, in the five and a half years I have been doing this, I have never been in that position.  I have never, thankfully, been in a position where we have been destitute.  I’ve been very blessed, and I attribute it and I thank my money, and this is, again, goes back to that relationship with money of thank you for taking care of me, money, you’ve been there for me.  Because if money were a person, I would never say, you know, like you’re not enough.  I really need you to, you know, and be like more, more, more, more, more, please.  They would leave.

Tara:  Yeah.

Andrea:  So, I mean, even my husband lost his job when we first moved to North Carolina.  It was bad.  It was bad news bears.  We moved out here for a job for him, and it ended up totally exploding, and we were fine.  We were fine because of my income, and it’s just situations like that which make me really thankful, and that’s just evidence that it’s working and it’s going to be okay.

Tara:  I love that, and I love, you know, how specific that question was, too, just you know, in your example of working over the summer.  So that’s great, thank you.

Andrea:  Well, and that’s not to say …  I want to just add really quick if I can.

Tara:  Yeah.

Andrea:  That it’s not to say that there’s not, like I’m also very, very practical.  I, you know, I look way ahead, and say like okay, if I take this amount of time off … so in September, I’m going to need X amount of clients or I’m going to have to teach a class and make X amount of money, so I think in that way, it’s just basic math for me, and my online business manager has this fancy spreadsheet, you know, where she, oh God, there’s all these formulas, and that makes my head want to explode.  I think that I’ve been doing this long enough now, I think that this just takes time and experience in your business, where you know, and spreadsheets help, you know, what’s coming in and what’s coming out.  You know how much you’re going to need to generate every month, or have saved up if you’re going to take some time off.

Tara:  Yeah.  I … so I totally agree that you do get to that point where you do know that, and I want to make sure that everyone listening to this is, you know, actually looking at those numbers, because I think so few people actually do, and then they wonder why, at the end of every month, they feel like there’s not enough left over, or they don’t know where they are.  So guys, do the math.  Listen to Andrea.

Andrea:  I just, like, that when I do consult, I do a little bit of consulting with coaches, like sometimes, that’s the very first exercise I have them do.  It’s like, do you know, numbers wise, and yeah, Excel spreadsheet, what’s coming in and what’s going out, because a lot of times, people are shocked.  Especially people like myself that have kids that have to delegate a lot, they don’t have unlimited hours during the week to do everything themselves and you know, do … be a DIYer.  So that was shocking for me.  My first year of doing this, I broke even.  I broke completely even.  I was devastated.  I was like this isn’t worth it.  But it’s kind of normal.

Tara:  Yeah.

Andrea:  It’s a lot of startup costs.

Tara:  Yeah, absolutely.  All right, let’s shift gears a little bit.  You co-create and collaborate with your friend, Amy Smith, quite often.  How has collaboration impacted your business?

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Andrea:  I love collaboration, because I love working with other people.  Like, I, and I have the greatest best friend ever, so it helps that she’s awesome, but I’ve always … it’s interesting.  Like, I always wanted to run retreats and do live events, but I never wanted to do it on my own, so I really had to dig deep and find out, like, is this because I’m afraid, and it’s really not.  It’s because I love co-teaching, and we do it so well together that it works, and also, it’s really nice to share the responsibility of work with somebody, the sweat equity, and it’s also great, too, in the line of work that I do, because sometimes, we can go really deep with people, and it’s nice to have, like, if somebody kind of, for lack of a better term, falls apart, you have someone else there.  So that, it’s just really worked for me, and it allows us to help each other in terms of audience.

Tara:  Yeah, absolutely.  So I know that something that people often wonder about when they see that type of collaboration is, you know, how do you avoid the competition piece?  You know, you and Amy are both coaches.  Have you ever been concerned that you were kind of like making nice with the competition, or have you ever been concerned you were losing out on business potentially?

Andrea:  Yes and no.  So I think that that came up for, you know, and I can’t speak for her, I can only speak for myself, but it definitely has come up for me a couple of times, and luckily, it sort of, you know, a career hazard that since this is what we do for a living, you know, we teach people how to communicate.  You know, she’s the queen of communication.  We sort of have to walk our talk.  So anytime it does come up, like I’ll give you an example.  It came up a few months ago.  We had someone, a student who was in our group class together, and she PMed both of us on Facebook, like in a group message, and said, which I think was a little bit inappropriate, she said, “I’d really love to work with one of you one-on-one, I just don’t know which one.”  And I was like okay.  I really wish you would have just gone to our respective websites and then she or I wouldn’t have known, but she ended … I don’t even remember what ended up happening, but I told Amy, and I’m like, “I’m going to feel like crap if she picks me, and I’m going to feel like crap if she picks you.”

Tara:  Yeah.

Andrea:  So I … it’s just a matter of transparency and she was upset with me one time because I wanted to throw a speaker page up because, just for the sole, just for having one, because my book was coming out and she had a really amazing one, and I told my web designer, “Can you just follow the template on this one?” and I didn’t even realize she made it look exactly the same, and then Amy saw it, and she was upset with me and she was like crying.  She was like, “It shouldn’t be a big deal, but it was kind of a big deal,” and I’m like it’s a big deal if you’re that upset, so … but we have such a great, strong friendship that we can talk about that kind of stuff.  Is it easy to talk about?  No.  And we’ve had uncomfortable conversations about workload, and but it’s really, again, just us walking our talk, and then we have great examples to give in our group program together when we’re teaching students.  But it just, for me, it’s I think just really what it comes down to is just being really honest, even when it’s hard, and there’s always a way to bring things up from a place of kindness instead of blaming, or you know, massive insecurity or anything like that.  So it’s been tricky, but it’s worked.

Tara:  Brilliant.  That is such a great example and such a great kind of case study for people in terms of collaboration.  Thank you for sharing that.

Andrea:  Mmhmm.

Tara:  So you’ve mentioned you have an online business manager.  Can you tell us a little bit about the people on your team?

Andrea:  Emily Kristofferson is my online business manager, and no you cannot have her, anyone listening.  She started out as my VA.  I think we’ve been together for about three years, and she was about my fourth VA.  I had some that didn’t work out, and as it happens a lot in this world, and she was just really great, and then she sort of moved into more of an online business manager for a role.  She still, for a long time, did a lot of VA tasks, and then recently, within the last six months or so, we’ve brought on an additional VA who is starting to take on more and more of the admin tasks like my scheduling and things like that, and you know, campaigns and mailing stuff like that.  And then I also have a podcast, so I have a producer who I send the audios over and he does all of that editing and putting it into the back end of all of the places that I don’t even know exist, and then I also have … I have someone that does my show notes, because that was something I started doing myself and I wanted to gouge my eyes out.

Tara:  Mmhmm.

Andrea:  So it was definitely worth it for me to pay someone to do them.  And then of course I have a web designer and a developer.

Tara:  Brilliant.  Can you tell us a little bit more about what your online business manager actually does for you?

Andrea:  Every time someone asks me this question, I’m like, so many things.  So she does, like, I’ll just start naming things.  You know, she completely takes care of my schedule.  So if I also have a new client, she also does, like, any email that comes through my site, they go to her.  Anyone who’s interested in being a one-on-one client, she deals with them first, sends them a questionnaire, they fill it out, she sets up the scheduling.  If they come on as a client, she does the paperwork, the contract, sets up the payments, and that’s more of like VA stuff, but as far as, like, online business manager, so if I’m going to promote a class, so I run something called the 7-Day Courage Challenge.  I run it a couple times a year, and it’s kind of a big deal.  Like we do a contest and there’s a giveaway and we do Facebook ads.  She does all of that.  She sets all of it up.  She also sets up, I just have a Google Doc where I put all of my promo email campaigns with the date and a subject line, and she puts them all in for me.  Because, I mean, that’s kind of one of those things where I’ve had some of my colleagues go, “I cannot believe you pay someone that much money to copy and paste.”  And I’m like to me, like it sounds ridiculous, but it’s so much easier for me to go into one Google Doc that’s 14 pages long and just do all of my campaigns, because sometimes MailChimp or Aweber or whomever you use, sometimes they can get glitchy, and sometimes stuff happens, and you’re like two hours in, like, and I’m like, “Nope.  Nope.”

Tara:  Yup.

Andrea:  I’m not going to risk it.  It’s not worth it.  She does all of that, and then any, like, tweaks to sales pages.  You know, we have to make like a different sale.  I’m giving you like the nitty gritty because there’s just so many things.  Like a duplicate sales page because there’s, you know, a certain group of people that are segmented that get special bonuses.  She does all of that.  God, what else does she do?  I just, I feel like there’s so many things that I’m forgetting.

Tara:  Does she help you with planning?

Andrea:  Yes.  So we meet on the phone, and so she always knows what’s coming up for me, and she also knows, she actually also lights a fire under me, too.  So if I’m, I mean, there are times where I’m just like, “Oh, I don’t want to do this.”  You know?  And she’s like, well, she has such a sweet voice, “Well, you know, you don’t, you know, so and so is ending a one-on-one client, so you can mention it on your podcast that you’re going to have an opening for a one-on-one client,” and I’m like that’s really smart.  You know?  Like just things that I know but I don’t do, she reminds me of that.  She keeps me on my toes a lot, and that’s what I wanted.  So that’s, to me, what the difference between an online business manager and a VA does.  So yeah, she helps with all of the planning and I should have been more prepared for this question.

Tara:  No, I think that’s really, what you’ve shared is really helpful.  I just, I think it’s so important to actually talk about what these people do that work with us, because it seems like such a sort of in-the-closet thing.  Like yeah, we’ve got a VA or yeah, we’ve got an online business manager, but nobody knows what that means, so when they …

Andrea:  They actually do.

Tara:  Yeah, and when they think about actually hiring, they’re completely unprepared.  So that’s one of our missions here. 

Andrea:  Yeah, she also, one of the other things that she does is anytime, well, like I’m using affiliates now, and so she manages all those people, because that was really overwhelming for me.  And so she said, “All you need is get copy for them to use and maybe some Facebook posts and tweets and I will send them the images, I will answer any questions they have,” so she does all of that.

Tara:  Nice.

Andrea:  She also has helped with SEO, making sure that we have all that down, and she also tracks my analytics, because that makes me crazy.  I don’t … I don’t like it, and so she just kind of gives me an update, and then she’s also tracked SEO for me, and also what she’s done is she’s pulled all of my most popular posts, like what people are Googling that they land on, and we’ve done content upgrades in those posts to help build my list.  So she has helped me with a lot of list-building stuff as well.

Tara:  Nice.  So lots of business development stuff then, that’s great.

Andrea:  Lots of business dev, yes.

Tara:  Cool.  So you mentioned that you’re a mom, and that means that you do not have unlimited time to work on your business.

Andrea:  I do not.

Tara:  So can you tell us kind of how you go about managing your time, how you make sure everything gets done?

Andrea:  I’m a slave to my Google calendar, and I have … I have everything color-coded, so I know like what’s personal stuff, what’s business stuff, and I also use Google tasks, so it’s an app on my phone and on my calendar, and I just … I have to … I’m a really, really good planner.  I have to be careful, because sometimes I can use it like as a numbing mechanism, because I don’t drink anymore, I don’t, you know, I don’t do bad love anymore, so like my … my thing can be busy and planning, but I love it.  I love planning, I love making to do lists, and it’s really … I’ve become masterful at it, so I’m pretty good at knowing how long something is going to take me, and I mean, I have to do lists planned out for the next several weeks, and that allows me to, you know, take my kids to swimming lessons in the afternoons and you know, Girl Scouts, and you know, take days off.  Like it’s the end of the year now, and we’re doing all these like end of year parties and field trips.  I can go on field trips, and because I know ahead of time of what I need to get done, and I have to have a system, and Google Calendar works for me really well.  Sometimes, I get thrown curveballs, but for the most part, it’s a lot of planning.

Tara:  Awesome.  It sounds like that takes a lot of weight off your mind, too.

Andrea:  It does.  And I think it’s something else that’s really helped is that the point that I am in now in my business, thankfully, I’ve been waiting for this for, you know, five years, is that I’m now at the point where I have signature programs that I repeat.  So all of that is done.  Like the campaigns are done for the most part.  I adjust them here and there, but all the branding is done for the classes, the content is done for the classes, and again, I tweak that and make it better, but that has been extremely helpful, and actually, one thing that I wish that I would have started earlier in the business.

Tara:  Yeah, yeah.  Awesome.  All right.  So as we start to wrap up here, one of the questions that I often ask our guests is how do you balance the roles of creative and executive?  And I think even in a business like yours, which may not fall into the traditional creative field, there’s still, there’s a lot of creative effort that goes into it.

Andrea:  Mmhmm.

Tara:  And you have to be able to feed that part of yourself, and then you also have this executive side.  You have to be running the business as well.  So how do you balance those two roles?

Andrea:  I think it’s been, I won’t lie, it’s been tricky, because there’s been times where I … anytime I feel overwhelmed, I get kind of like mad at the executive part, and I’m like I don’t want to do any of this anymore, and I just, you know, when, you know, I have a lot of friends that are life coaches, and they’re always asked the question like what could you do if you … like, what would you want to get paid for and that’s all you could do?  And for me, it’s write.  Like, all I want to do is write, and sometimes, I get a little bit, you know, entitled, and I’m like, meh, that’s what I should only be doing.  I don’t want to have to do all this other stuff, which is dumb and selfish and it’s just not really how it works.  So I get over that pretty quickly.  I think that how I’ve managed is … it’s tricky, because I will block out hours of time in my day.  So for instance, I’m writing my second book, so I’ll have these chunks of time, like on Thursday and Friday, where I can write, and there are some days I sit down to write and I got nothing.   And then there … I typically get really motivated and inspired when it’s about 30 minutes before I have to go get my kids, and I heard this is common, so frustrating.  So when that happens, I just give myself permission to put off whatever task or to do list I have, as long as it’s not a fire that needs to be put on, which rarely it is, to sit down and write.  Even if it’s, this is the tricky part, even if it’s doing something creative that isn’t in service of my business, because at the end of the day, it still will be, and that was something I had to learn.  I have a friend who’s a screenwriter, and we were talking about self-care for creatives, and she said, she asked me, “When was the last time you wrote just for you?”  I was like, “You mean like and not put it on my blog?”  And not put it as a witty Facebook status update?  Like never, and so that was my assignment from her is that, she’s like, that is self-care for writers, and I mean, for any creative person, is you know, I know you work with a lot of designers, like when was the last time you designed something that you weren’t going to sell?

Tara:  Wow.

Andrea:  That’s was either just for you or for no one. Just create for just the sake of creating.  I think that has been huge for me, and healing, too, in a lot of areas of my life that I didn’t even know needed healing.  So whenever the mood strikes me, I do the best I can to drop everything and honor it.  Doesn’t always work out, but a lot of times it does.

Tara:  I love that.  We always get such different answers for that question.

Andrea:  I bet.

Tara:  I love your perspective.  So what’s next for you business-wise?

Andrea:  This book.  I think, I asked my friend after I wrote my first book, you know, I was … writing the book was easy.  Book promotion damn near killed me.

Tara:  Yeah.

Andrea:  And I asked my friend, Debbie Rieber, who’s been published like 7 times, and I said, “Is writing a book and publishing it like having a baby?  Like you forget how much it hurt and how hard it was in the newborn phase and then you go and have another one?”  She’s like, “It’s exactly the same thing.”  So luckily, I know ahead of time how much work it is, and so I am scheduling out plenty of time.  I didn’t do that the first time, and I was sort of like the creative martyr who was like, “Oh my God, I’m dying writing this book, and I want everyone to know how hard it is for me.”  I don’t want to do that this time.  Not to say I’m not going to complain publicly about it, but I’m very dramatic that way, but I’m going to set myself up for success, and that means carving out a lot of time.  So that … that’s going to mean working, going to Starbucks some evenings after my husband comes home, and you know, working some early Saturday mornings for a few hours, and yeah, that’s it.

Tara:  Love it.  Love it, love it.  Andrea Owen, thank you so much for joining me.

Andrea:  Thank you for having me, Tara.  This has been such a great convo.

Tara:  Find out more about Andrea at YourKickassLife.com.

Next week, I welcome back friend-of-the-show, Vanessa Van Edwards, to talk about happiness.  We’ll discuss company culture, difficult conversations, and her personal pursuit of happiness.

CreativeLive is highly-curated classes from the world’s top experts.  Watch free, live video classes every day from acclaimed instructors in photography, design, audio, craft, business, and personal development, streaming now at CreativeLive.com.

That’s a wrap for this week’s episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit., a CreativeLive podcast.  Download more episodes of this podcast and subscribe on iTunes.  If you appreciate this kind of in-depth content, please leave us a review or share this podcast with a friend.  It means the world to us.

Our theme song was written by Daniel Peterson, who also edited this episode.  Our audio engineer was Kellen Shimizu.  This episode was produced by Michael Karsh.  We add a new episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit. every week.  Subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you love to listen to podcasts so you never miss an episode.

Fall In Love With Your Customers: My Favorite Business Design Hack

Structuring Your Life & Business For Success with Melanie Duncan on Profit. Power. Pursuit. with Tara Gentile

When I asked Melanie Duncan what she thought separated 6-figure businesses from being 7-figure businesses, she said:

“When you have a seven-figure business, you are not just in love with your products, you are not just in love with your services, you are in love with your customers, because to have a seven-figure business, you’re serving your customers or you’re serving your clients in more lateral directions.”

I would like to give this a big ol’ HELL YES.

And, it’s the key to one of my favorite business design hacks: The Customer Journey.

The Customer Journey -- Tara Gentile

Are you in love with your customers?

Now, I know you: you love your work. You love the service you offer or the product you’ve created. You love the ideas you get to play with on a daily basis and the conversations you get to have.

And… I know you love your customers too.

But, your customer love probably isn’t what’s driving your business development. That’s how you miss opportunities to design your business to earn magnitudes more.

Instead, all your cool ideas are driven by your passion for the work you do and the concepts you get to play with.

I know this because I’ve been there too.

I’ve been in love with a new idea. I’ve been obsessed with why my customers need it. And… I’ve often been foggy on why they would ever care about it.

As a result, those ideas were hard to communicate, even harder to sell, and ultimately, winded up in the waste basket of my business.

When you fall in love with your customers and get obsessed with their needs, you see a different way to design your business–one that makes it much easier to design a business that can generate the 6 or 7-figure revenue you’re looking for.

Here’s how to use The Customer Journey to get started:

First, determine when and why your best customers start looking for something like what you do.

Usually, this starts with a Google search: Natural ways to boost my energy, How to get divorced and stay friends, How to start a business, Why aren’t I getting promoted, etc… Don’t overthink it. If you need to, ask your best customers what they were googling when they started down the path they’re on.

This gives you the context for their motivation to buy. Not your motivation for them to buy. Their motivation for them to buy.

Next, figure out where your customers ultimately want to end up.

This is usually a brand new identity they’re looking to assume: Highly productive mom, Independent woman, Confident business owner, High-powered executive, etc…

Your customers want to know you’re taking them in the right direction. Using a clear goal is a great way to rally them and help them know they’re in the right place. Every offer you make can point back to this ultimate goal and that helps keep your business focused in the mind of your customer.

Finally, consider what frustrations, goals, and questions come up for your customer on his journey from initial Google search to ultimate goal.

As your customer learns more, experiences more, and creates changes, his frustrations, goals, and questions will change. After all, when you learn something new, it often just sparks a new question, right?

These are your opportunities. A business that’s designed to produce more revenue guides customers through these changes. It anticipates what customers need next and provides it.

Sometimes that’s with another offer, sometimes it’s with content marketing, sometimes it’s with an affiliate offer, and sometimes it’s just with goodwill. But the business is always there, providing an answer or easing a frustration.

The business becomes a partner for the customer on her journey.

That’s what Melanie means when she says a 7-figure business is serving the customer in more “lateral directions.” Your high-producing business is on the journey, meeting customer needs before they come up.

Give it a try. Plot out your Customer Journey and see what opportunities you spot for redesigning your business to earn more.

And, if you missed this week’s episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit., click here to listen to my conversation with Melanie Duncan or read the transcript.

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This is the Difference Between a 6-figure Business and a 7-figure Business

What NaNoWriMo has to do with the difference between a 6-figure business and a 7-figure business

When Sean and I moved back to Pennsylvania a year ago, he quit his job to pursue his creative interests including fiction writing.

He’d dabbled in writing for quite some time, working on character development or penning short vignettes, but he’d never devoted himself to it. He couldn’t find the discipline to take a single idea from start to finish.

And he knew that no matter how many days he worked on character development or short vignettes, he wasn’t going to end up with a completed novel until he changed the way he was approaching the whole pursuit.

So he gave himself a massive challenge…

…he decided to tackle NaNoWriMo.

If you’re not familiar, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month and it happens every November, right alongside No Shave November (for which he is also a faithful participant). The goal is to write approximately 1650 words every day of the month so that you end the month with a 50,000-word manuscript.

You do it knowing full well that the manuscript will likely be terrible…

…but at least it will be done.

This was going to be a real test: going from a scant 100-200 words per day to 1650 words per day? How could he manage it?

Well, he did. He actually finished early and proudly printed off the entire 50,000+ word manuscript on November 30.

The reason he accomplished it was simple…

He made structural changes to the way he approached writing. He was no longer just trying to get in some writing 100-200 words at a time, he structured his day around achieving the necessary 1600 words.

It wasn’t a matter of time or hustle. It was a matter of design:

  • He stopped writing in a notebook and started writing in a Google Doc.
  • He stopped writing at the pub and started writing in an office.
  • He stopped putting it off til the end of the day and started prioritizing the action first thing.
  • He stopped second-guessing every artistic choice he made and started moving through the plot bit by bit.

These 4 simple changes meant that he octupled his production in largely the same amount of time he was spending on writing before. Not only that, but he actually set a goal and reached it.

Now, you might be wondering what this has to do with the difference between a 6-figure business and a 7-figure business.

Just like with Sean’s success and NaNoWriMo, what separates a 6-figure business from a 7-figure business is a matter of design.

A business that generates 6-figure revenue is rarely an underperforming 7-figure business. 

Just like Sean wasn’t really an underperforming novelist before he tackled NaNoWriMo.

A business that generates 6-figure revenue is one that’s designed to generate 6-figure revenue. A business that generates 7-figure revenue is one that’s designed to generate 7-figure revenue.

Of course, it’s also true that a 5-figure business is rarely an underperforming 6-figure business. A 5-figure business is most often designed to earn 5-figures.

No matter how much you hustle, no matter how much time you devote to it, no matter how many new skills you learn, if your business isn’t designed to reach your goal, it won’t.

What exactly do I mean when I say the “design” of your business?

  • Your prices
  • Your business model
  • The structure of your offers
  • The way you nurture prospects and customers
  • Your campaigns
  • Your team
  • Your brand
  • Your time management
  • Your project management

It all has to work together and be aligned with your goal–no matter what that might be.

There’s a good chance–whether you realize it right now or not–that your business design has had more in common with Sean’s 100-200 words per day than it does with the NaNoWriMo guideline of 1650 words per day.

You’ve been putting in time and energy… but it hasn’t been in the pursuit of a clear objective.

The reason NaNoWriMo’s 50,000-word goal works so well is that it’s easy to figure out exactly what you need to do to hit it. You take 50,000 and divide it by the 30 days in November. Then you make the structural changes to your routine to allow you to accomplish it day in and day out until the goal is met. 

Your business works the same way. You choose a goal and the adjust the design of your business accordingly. 

If you don’t choose, you’ll keep just getting by. If you don’t adjust, you’ll get down on yourself for never even getting close to where you want to be.

Choose a goal (maybe your next goal  is a 7-figure year) and adjust your design.


This week’s episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit. features Melanie Duncan, a serial entrepreneur in both the e-commerce and the information marketing spaces. 

The question of structure and designing your day, life, and business for success were the key themes of our conversation.

If you liked this story, I know you’ll love this episode. Check it out:

And remember…

…just because you haven’t reached a previous goal (say $150,000/yr) doesn’t mean you can’t set a new goal (say $750,000/yr).

Your past performance doesn’t change your worthiness. Nor does it change your ability to design your business to reach a higher goal now that you understand what your effort fell short. When you decide to set that new goal, go big.

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