Breaking Down Your Business | Small Business | Business Owners | Entrepreneurship | Leadership

What’s In This Episode:

How many businesses are too many? Have you ever thought to yourself, "How many businesses can I run at once?" If you have, listen in!

Pop culture references Jill makes during this episode that may or may not have anything to do with the episode: Sarah Koenig, Jeff Bezos, Julia Child, and Beyonce.

Sometimes people run more than one business simply because they think they can handle it. Sometimes they get bored with the one business that they run, not realizing that the "boring" business is the one that actually makes them money. And the more you do it, the better you get at it, the more money you make, and making money is fun!

Neither Jill nor Brad thinks running more than one business at a time is a great idea, but it took personal experience for them to learn. Jill used to have the perspective that, if the businesses enhance each other, why wouldn't you run them simultaneously? Brad now thinks that a business owner lacks confidence because they don't think they can profit off of just one main business.

"When you figure out you're talking to a different audience, kill the idea. It's not working." - Brad

If you have product lines and they're all to the same audience, then it's possible that everything contributes to one focus. And it may take some time to realize that you're actually not focusing on one audience, no matter what you think. Jill experienced that when she offered Founding Kits for The Founding Moms, a product-based offering that ultimately failed.

Brad has run three businesses all at once, and it didn't work out for him. He kept trying to revise and rework his projects to make them fit, and it just didn't. But he had spent so much time and money, he was unwilling to let it go. Sometimes, you just need to.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_280.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What do you do when your team member quits? That's the topic of discussion today. Plus, Jill and Brad get the best review ever.

It sucks when you do all the work to hire someone, then train them, and then they quit. Then you have to do their job in the interim, not to mention the morale dip. But there are also upsides.

The biggest advantage of having people quit is that it forces you to have systems. When people quit, it's an opportunity for new ideas. Sometimes you can find someone even better. And in terms of cost, turnover gives you an opportunity to reset salaries to the market.

 "You're already making your marketing easier by specializing." - Brad

Zach Ventresca is an Army veteran and serial entrepreneur. He's having difficulty scaling his newest company, Command SEO, because it's a very saturated market. Brad suggests that he tailors the SEO company to serve lead generation needs of the target market of his other company, which deals with window-washing and power-washing. Once that gets going, get into other niche markets.

"Write down the process you use and create a playbook for your role in this company." - Jill

If you want to explore employee turnover, check out this postthat Brad was inspired by.

Do you have systems for when people quit?  

Guest:

  • After a full and decorated career as a leader in the US Army, Zach Ventrescabegan a second career as an entrepreneur. Beginning with a small government contracting company and later purchasing a residential and commercial cleaning company, he entered the world of digital marketing out of his own frustration with achieving his marketing goals. Zach’s vision has brought together leaders in all aspects of digital marketing in order to provide a comprehensive solution to Command Placement’sclients. This ensures that businesses achieve their full potential even in the middle of this digital jungle, and allows business owners the freedom to focus on what they do best.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_279.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Have you ever hired someone that wasn't so great? Jill and Brad talk about the reason why you can't fix your team.

"You need to be more specific. You have to give measurements. You have to talk about what you're willing to tolerate and what you're not." - Brad

Business owners always want to task Brad with fixing their team. Maybe they thought they've hired the wrong people, or that those people are too inexperienced or incompetent. But Brad thinks that maybe it's not all those employees who are at fault. After all, the boss is the one who's leading and managing. The person in charge is the one who should be setting up systems.

But the team that you have is fully curated by you. If you need something to change, start by looking in the mirror, he says. And if you don't know how to build the systems that will help your team, you can always hire someone to help you do that.

"You are an expert because you run your business." - Jill

Saul asks listener questions. Q: "How do you convince people that you are an expert?"

Brad:Telling people you're an expert makes them think you're not. So instead of telling people, we have to show them - ideally, by showing that you understand how to solve a real problem.

Jill:You can show people all the time, but you have to also convince yourself. You have to tell yourself, "I'm an expert."

Q: "What are some habits of yours that have been amplified by tech?"

Brad:I used to answer emails right away all the time and I had to change the habit because it was out of control. Social media has amplified our time wasting. But there are certain apps that are so good you don't even notice: 1Password, Zapier...

Jill:I've gone through so many apps and I've had a lot of bad systems. But when it comes to my newsletter database, the technology has made my life so simple and easy.

Do you have questions about fixing your team? Let us know!

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_278.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

On this episode, Jill and Brad talk about VAs, contractors, employees and how to hire.

"If you're doing so many things and you're doing it after so many years, why on earth would you hand it to someone else?" - Jill

When Jill first started the Founding Moms Community, she did everything herself. She ran the online platform and the offline meetups. Was it hard to make the decision to get help? Jill says it's nearly impossible. She finally decided to hire out when certain processes became too overwhelming.

Brad decided to hire out for his company, Anchor Advisors, when he realized that by doing so he could make more money. He was spending 8 hours a week scheduling appointments and he realized he could just hire someone to do that for him. People may not be able to do the job 100% as well as you can, but it's worth it to save yourself some time and sanity.

"If they can do the job 80% as well for 20% of the cost, it's a no-brainer." - Brad

A lot of business owners, having decided they need help, feel like failures. But the opposite is actually true! If you're getting close to making the decision to hire, what do you do? Jill usually goes to a community of people and asks if anyone knows anyone. For her most recent hire, she started thinking about contractors and virtual assistants. She's got two VAs now, and life is so much better!

Brad offers recruiting as a service, and he hired someone who's just a recruiter. It's a major difference than having someone who's a business advisor fill the role of recruiter. This person in the position is in her element, and she has so many great insights which has been helpful to Brad and his business.

Do you have questions about hiring? Let us know!

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_277.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What causes sales? And how do you get new clients? Jill sends lots of emails or schedules events to build momentum. Both she and Brad like to announce things first - if they announce an event, they're more likely to commit to it. She'll also reach out to PR and press people to get coverage.

Brad suggests using referral partners or reaching out to past clients to build case studies.

 "What are they thinking before they sign up? What is the problem that they're having that makes them think, 'I need someone to help me with this?'" - Brad

Ari Meisel helps successful people become more successful and productive. He started his company, Less Doing, about seven years ago, and three years ago, he sidetracked and built a VA company called Leverage. About 9 months ago, he left Leverage and is in the process of rebooting Less Doing and honing in on what the brand offers. He's built the business through client referrals as well as through his book and his podcast, but it's all been very passive. Now he wants to scale lead generation, but he's not sure who his target is.

Jill suggests repurposing the content he already has and to be more direct. Better calls to action that are emotionally based will help to convert people, Brad says.

"My target market is not at all me." - Jill

Brad's got a four-step plan to help service-based businesses get new clients.

  1. Demonstrate expertise to your target market.
  2. Invite people to raise their hand.
  3. You've got to follow up.
  4. Close the deal.

Do you have trouble getting new clients? 

Guest:

  • how do you get new clientsAri Meiselis a best-selling author, productivity expert, CEO, real estate developer, green building consultant, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. Several years ago, Ari encountered and ultimately overcame severe personal roadblocks and that journey transformed his life. His discoveries about personal and professional productivity have improved the lives of thousands of individuals and businesses. His proprietary process, the Less Doing System, is the foundation of his company Less Doingwhich offers individuals and enterprises road-tested methods to optimize, automate, and outsource everything. The goal is to learn how to work smarter, instead of harder.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP276.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

"How much does it cost to work with you?" is a question Brad hears a lot. Jill and Brad discuss this and why you can't have just one price (and what to do instead) on this episode.

"I bought a book for $200." - Brad

Brad discusses a mysterious book which he purchased for $200. Think that's crazy? Because of it, he made $60K. Is it still crazy, or a great investment? When you give people price options, you'd be surprised at how many will choose the highest option because of the value they get from it. Listening and understanding what the customer needs allows you to create options that actually work for them. And when you create a connection with your customers, it pays off in the long run.

"You are taking the time to learn me, to get to know me." - Jill

Do you have questions about pricing or do you think Brad is insane? Let us know! 

Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Netblaze, LLC. Do you need help with your digital marketing? If you want to get more customers from the internet but don't know who to trust or what to do, check out Netblaze - a digital CMO for your company. Netblaze watches over your entire online presence, detects any issues you're having, and displays content on how to get rid of those issues fast. Breaking Down Your Business listeners can try it for FREE.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_275.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill is hiring! What's your top-notch process for hiring the best people? Jill and Brad talk about how to hire the best people (and why it's hard) in this episode.

"Good hiring is hard. Bad hiring is easy." - Brad

The Founding Moms is looking for a Host Director to facilitate all the host meetings and coordinate all the offline community. Jill knows what a successful person in this role would look like, but may need some help in setting up the systems for the position. They talk about ways to make the hiring process easier, including casting a wider net of applicants, asking the same questions, and tips for screening your interviewees.

How do you make decisions when hiring? If you have questions about hiring, let us know! 

Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Netblaze, LLC. Do you need help with your digital marketing? If you want to get more customers from the internet but don't know who to trust or what to do, check out Netblaze - a digital CMO for your company. Netblaze watches over your entire online presence, detects any issues you're having, and displays content on how to get rid of those issues fast. Breaking Down Your Business listeners can try it for FREE.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_274.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Does public speaking terrify you? Jill learned to speak in public thanks to the Wizard of Oz. But she's relatively comfortable in front of a crowd. Brad was in speech and debate in high school and had a lot of practice. It's important to remember that professionals don't "wing it" even though it looks like that. When someone's good at speaking, it's because they've practiced like crazy.

 "If you're not scared, you're not taking it seriously. The stakes aren't high enough." - Brad

Stylist Suze Solari helps people change the world one outfit at a time. She helps people evaluate what pieces of clothing actually serve them. She has a speaking opportunity and wants to maximize it, but needs a better call-to-action to get people to sign up for her newsletter. Jill and Brad advise her to think about her ideal client and the benefit they'll get and the CTA will write itself.

"I practice a lot with the audience in mind." - Jill

How do you feel about public speaking? Do you have any tips? 

Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Netblaze, LLC. Do you need help with your digital marketing? If you want to get more customers from the internet but don't know who to trust or what to do, check out Netblaze - a digital CMO for your company. Netblaze watches over your entire online presence, detects any issues you're having, and displays content on how to get rid of those issues fast. Breaking Down Your Business listeners can try it for FREE.

Direct download: Breaking20Down20Your20Business20EP20273.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Why do you subscribe to an email list? What makes you stay? Jill and Brad let you in on a little secret to a highly engaged email list.

 "I don't love email, but I enjoy really good email lists." - Jill

Recommendations are HUGE when it comes to subscribing to an email list, and Jill will often sign up if she's heard a particular email list is awesome. Of course, sometimes she subscribes because of the freebie she'll get by doing so (with plans to unsubscribe later).

Brad might hear someone on a podcast and want to know more so he'll subscribe to hear more from that person.

But then, why stay? There are so many emails out there that are bad, that if they're actually good, it's GREAT. Jill says she looks forward to the content and she learns from them - how to write better herself. (Check out Betches.)

"Know your audience really well." - Brad

Brad's a fan of Verne Harnish because he curates a really good list of resources and respects people's time. He thinks the personal connection is important.

When Jill decided to write a daily newsletter, she was terrified. She was worried everyone would unsubscribe (they didn't). By doing so, she learned what worked. And people respond way more now than they did when she was sending out an email every two weeks.

 

What email lists are your favorite and why? Let us know! Listen in

Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Netblaze, LLC. Do you need help with your digital marketing? If you want to get more customers from the internet but don't know who to trust or what to do, check out Netblaze - a digital CMO for your company. Netblaze watches over your entire online presence, detects any issues you're having, and displays content on how to get rid of those issues fast. Breaking Down Your Business listeners can try it for FREE.

Direct download: Breaking20Down20Your20Business20EP20272.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Is being an "idea person" a good thing? Saul has some listener questions.

Jill says that being an idea person is always talked about as if it's a real negative thing. But she LOVES IT. Brad has a list of ideas, but finds them hard to choose or sort it out. But Jill says that those sorts of decisions just come with experience.

 "If you have lots of ideas, it's not because you're distracted and can't pick one. You just have a good idea!" - Jill

Listener question from Sam:"When you're in a rut, what do you do to get yourself out of that rut?"

Jill: I go and talk to people; I get motivation from them.

Brad: I go out into nature with electronics off. It's like a hard reboot for my brain.

Saul's question: "When you have ideas, how do you ensure that they're not forgotten or lost?"

Jill:EVERNOTE! Or for those less technologically inclined, just write it down.

Brad: I don't feel like I have to capture every idea.

"If it's a really good idea, it'll come back." - Brad

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_271.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

How do you engage your team? When your team is engaged, they're getting a psychic benefit from the work. They're into it!

But even when you have the most engaged team, in the summer months, it can be tough. In this episode, Jill and Brad discuss how to keep your team engaged when they want to be outside.

 "I'm looking forward to being the old guy sitting in the coffee shop." - Brad

Brad tries to solve his personal engagement problem by taking more Fridays off in the summer so he can enjoy long weekends. Doing so allows him to be more engaged at work and then at home with his family.

Jill points out that the more time she takes off (whether it's three or four days), the more she dreads Monday. And there are some days she just wants to sit and chill out.

So how can they convince employees to stay engaged when they understand being checked out themselves?

"I don't want to take the joy of summer or breaks away from them." - Jill

It might be a good idea to check in on your employees, not nannying them constantly, but to make sure that everyone is still on track. Maybe the expectations should be lowered in the summer, but does that mean you make less income because of it? And how do you get back into the swing of things?

How do you stay engaged? How do you keep your team engaged?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_270.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

How do you change things up with your business? Jill's revamping her website. Brad recently changed pricing. Change can be good, but sometimes when you don't think things through all the way, you can be surprised at the details that you miss.

Jill has a highly collaborative relationship with her team. Brad pretendsthat he does - he's collaborative-ish - but what works in some areas might not work in others. Since he hasn't asked his employees how they feel about certain changes, he doesn't know what their feedback is. But he feels like because his tactics are working, people are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

 "Sometimes you've got to break what's working really well in order to turn it into something new." - Brad

Brandon Bruce, former rower, and cyclist across 508 miles of Death Valley, now owns a business called Cirrus Insight, which sells sales software to salespeople. Up to this point, they've focused on inside sales but they want to branch out to have more of a field presence in the bigger cities and get more face-to-face time with customers and prospects. So how does he build up a sales force?

Brad suggests hiring more inside sales with the expectation that they'll become outside sales. Jill says to run a mini-boot camp and figure out who might be best on the outside and test in multiple cities to figure out what's actually working.

"Leading only one way never helps anybody." - Jill

How do you get your team on board with new ways of doing things? Do you listen to their feedback?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_269.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

How do you measure and improve your own performance? Jill uses external measures but also uses her gut instinct. She also asks a few people what they think, because feedback can be helpful. How does one get better as a business owner?

Brad believes that it's a balancing act. As he gets better in one area, he gets worse in another. And as a business owner, you have to know so many things. But you can definitely hire out for things you're not so good at.

 "Email is not your job." - Brad

Meditating leader and company owner Rob Dube calls in. His company Image One was recently named a 2017 Small Giantby Forbes. But with all the good news, he really just has one problem: How does he manage the influx of email? Between his team and customers, it can be overwhelming.

Jill wants to know if he has any systems set up to filter through emails and he does have a filing system. Is response or reception the problem? Brad reminds Rob that email responsiveness is not a measure of effectiveness when it comes to being a CEO. Plus, the more emails you send, the more you get back. Not everything requires an immediate response. Jill thinks that Rob may be suffering from CEO anxiety and that he can practice not responding to people - no matter how much it hurts.

"There are lots of ways to educate yourself as a business owner." - Jill

How do you measure and improve your own performance as a business owner? What are your tactics?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_268.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad are doing things a bit differently in this episode and talking about networking vs. building business relationships. A lot of people feel like networking is an ugly word, but only feel that way in a business context.

 "But isn't that what relationships are - just mutually benefitting?" - Brad

Jill doesn't believe that you can succeed without relationships, and Brad thinks that the reason people disdain networking is that it's viewed as a competition. It took Jill a long time to change her mind about working by herself. She didn't realize how beneficial it was to have face-to-face interactions with people until she went out for coffee meetings and was able to see how energized she was about her own business.

Brad intentionally scheduled meetings - lunches, breakfasts - so that he could see other people. When Jill began The Founding MomsMeetups, she got feedback almost immediately about the positive impact it was having on the other business women in the room.

"Relationships are the reason the world goes round." - Jill

There's a lot that people miss from nonverbal communications and there's so much to be gained from face-to-face interactions. Granted, there are those out there who meet face-to-face only to swap and collect business cards. But Brad remembers how he ended up doing business with those whom he was truly vulnerable with and invested in. It's important to remember that at the end of the day, people connect with human aspects - not how much you earn or what you do, but that you've shared similar experiences.

It's also worth noting that networking takes time. You need to build up trust and do it regularly. You won't walk out of an event with a ton of new business.

What are your thoughts on networking vs. building business relationships? Do you value it or do you believe it's a waste of time?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_267.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Are you fun? Jill recently ran a webinar and heard from someone afterward who said, "I love this, but I'm not very fun." Jill realized that people feel like they're boring or not enough in some way and that it prevents them from joining a group they really feel connected to. Don't do that thing! If you want to try out The Founding Moms Community for free, go to The Founding Momsand use code awesome1moto get a free 30-day trial. If you're a mom entrepreneur, become a part of the FMC and get advice from other mom entrepreneurs, video courses, an accountability program, and so much more.

 "People are weird." - Brad

Saul, producer of BDYB, has a listener question for Jill and Brad. Bruno writes, "Hey guys. I love the wacky, crazy vibe of the show. I was wondering if you could share some of your craziest customer stories."

Jill thought about her favorite podcast guest: Erika Kerekes of Not Ketchup, who took Jill's interesting marketing advice and it worked out for her! She also has a story about a guy who had a very creative way to get someone to sign up for life insurance.

Brad had a customer who got ghosted by an employee. They passed each other as they were going in and out of an elevator, but the customer didn't realize that the employee had quit until she got to her floor. He also knew a guy who would send phones out to people via FedEx, then call those people once the package had been received.

Saul's takeaway? "Weird works."

"They need instruction. They need guidance. Is there something you need that can make your job easier?" - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways managing employees needs to change:

  • Everyone needs to use Slack.
  • Ask them what they need more often.
  • Listen when employees tell you something is not working.
  • Be a proponent of having your employees work together more often.
  • And the number one thing is something you really should be doing...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_266.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad love reviews - and they got one! One listener says, "Love the energy on the show and the fun hosts like to have with guests!" (Want to leave your own review? Go here.)

Brad thinks the whole hiring process is a bit broken. He describes a client who has had negative reviews on Glassdoor (think of it like Yelp for employers), and how people are Googling the company - which is how they find the Glassdoor reviews. Brad doesn't understand why companies aren't Googling candidates in turn, as a way to use all the information available.

 "You know what this is? This is taking your shoes off at the airport." - Jill

Iain MacLeod, author of Fatherhood, has a peculiar problem: Iain MacLeod isn't his real name. He wrote the book under a pseudonym at the request of his wife, but he also has a separate marketing company under his real name. And now, he's trying to promote both. What does he do?

Jill's take is that people don't really care, and suggests that it's worth having a conversation with his wife again. It would probably be a bit freeing. If he has to keep the two names separate, then maybe he just accepts his other name as his stage name.

"Resumes are dead." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways recruiting needs to change:

  • Never ask for a resume ever again. Look at LinkedIn.
  • Do a phone screen or video chat and save yourself a lot of trouble.
  • Put the salary in the job posting.
  • Interviews should not be adversarial hazing rituals. Be likable.
  • And you need to put effort into this one..
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_265.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want to try out The Founding Moms Community for free? Go to The Founding Momsand use code awesome1moto get a free 30-day trial. If you're a mom entrepreneur, become a part of the FMC and get advice from other mom entrepreneurs, video courses, an accountability program, and so much more.

Jill got yelled at this week - once in response to an email that someone misunderstood, and then again in response to her advice from Episode 260: Top 5 Etiquette Rules that No Longer Apply. A longtime listener reached out to say that she didn't agree with any of what Jill had to say in that episode. Jill was trying to say that she didn't agree with (most) of the etiquette that had changed (spelling? Important. PR releases? Still on the fence), but she understands that listeners might not have taken it that way.

 "Even when you think you're doing a fine job, you can get yelled at a lot in one week." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways marketing needs to change:

  • Social media is NOT the only way to market.
  • Leaning on data - you don't need to JUST look at the analytics.
  • Stop selling so much. You don't need to be sales-y up front. People need to be genuine.
  • Marketing doesn't happen in two days. Things take time.
  • And the number one thing is Jill's sincere wish...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_264.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

The times are changing... but are they really? Brad's annoyed because he had to renew his passport, which involved printing out photos to mail them in, the photos had to be specific dimensions, and he just wants it to be done in a modern way. Is that too much to ask?

 "We're doing things differently than we were five years ago. If your business hasn't changed, it's broken." - Brad

Tracey Suppo, CEO and co-founder of Book+Main, is a lifelong lover of romance novels. She began a blog a few years ago, which turned into a Facebook group, which turned into her current company, which pairs authors and readers (want to find a romance novel that revolves around an angsty fireman? Tracey can help you).

Her platform launched in November and has about 30,000 members and 2,800 authors but she wants to be able to reach every romance reader on the planet. She's got a good relationship with authors from her blogging days, so that's working for her. She really would love to figure out how to get into local romance book clubs. Brad suggests Tracey use Reddit as a way to promote - find an author to do an AMA and Book+Main to sponsor. Jill thinks that Book+Main could be using their readers to evangelize the service that Book+Main offers. There also might be an opportunity to create more viral content (use author lunches and post them on YouTube, organize Meetups, etc) so that readers can share in the experience.

"It's so insulting to get a link." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things you need to do differently NOW:

  • Send a link to your invoices or use apps - no more printing and mailing or PDF attachments.
  • Jill and Brad disagree on this, but stop sending emails back and forth to schedule and use an app.
  • Hiring: Resumes lie. Use a Google Form and get the answers you want to know.
  • Your website. Revamp it! Make it work for you.
  • Think about this last one consciously...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_263.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want more Jill and Brad in your life? Brad's repeating his Clients Without Proposals webinaron Spin Sucks. On this episode, Jill and Brad are talking about their origin stories, and the risks they've taken along the way.

 "I was a sales genius because I closed two in a row." - Brad

 Jill had a law degree and started a recording industry business right out of school. It was a big worry. She made a lot of terribly laughable mistakes but she overcame those challenges. She got her first client via Google.

In 2001, Brad decided to work with business owners after the dot com bust. He reached out to a guy he knew and started helping him, but he had no plan - so it didn't go anywhere. Eventually, he found a training program that helped him learn how to sell. He made mistakes and some business friends, but it took a while before he closed deals.

"It's all you now." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 risks you have to take:

  • No regular income.
  • There's no manual to do the job a specific way.
  • Admitting that you don't know what you're doing and that you might be overwhelmed.
  • Losing friends and family who don't support you.
  • And the number one thing is something you might not like to hear...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_262.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want more Jill and Brad in your life? Brad's repeating his Clients Without Proposals webinaron Spin Sucks. If you missed it the first time, you can sign up there! Jill also does monthly webinars - you can go to the Founding Momsand see webinars she's done in the past and RSVP to her latest.

 "My favorite is word of mouth. Some articulate it better than I do." - Jill

BDYB's producer Saul turns the tables on Jill and Brad again. He's got a question from listener Milton: As your business grows, do you find yourself doing more or less? As Jill's business grows, she's doing less of what she used to do, but she's doing more fun stuff. Brad's also doing more of the things he enjoys.

Next, Saul asks them to describe the qualities of hypothetical best and worst clients. Brad's best clients have problems that they don't know how to solve but they're committed to fixing it. Jill's best members, relatedly, are the ones who really want to build a better business and so they soak up all the resources she has to offer in her organization. In any case, you get out of it what you put into it.

How do they target those clients? Word of mouth is a good tactic. Case studies work well too.

"Automate it if you can." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to get things done in your business:

  • Automate it. Brad loves Zapier, You Can Book Me, Text Expanderand more.
  • Hire someone to do it. Use a VA!
  • Delegate.
  • Block time on your calendar.
  • And the number one way might not make sense, but you can always come back...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_261.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want more Jill and Brad in your life? Go to Founding Momsand subscribe to Jill's daily newsletter for biz wisdom (and awesome pictures of Jill in sunglasses). Are times a'changin' in business? Jill and Brad both seem to think so. To suit or not to suit? What about technology?

 "The world has changed." - Brad

Steve Shirk is the owner of Shirk Studios but his claim to fame is that he's a great dad and an ok guitar player. He struggles with time management though. Between home life and the studio, there are a lot of demands on his time. If it's 5 pm and the phone is ringing but he knows he's supposed to be at home, it can be hard when he's also trying to meet deadlines for work.

The way Brad sees it, Steve has two options: Charge more, or get an assistant or part-time employee to help. He has raised his rates, but musicians typically aren't rolling in money. He's also rented out his studio space. Jill suggests he actually look into tiered pricing: that way the people who can pay more will and he'll keep the clients he likes. And also get interns to help out.

"Take time off for yourself." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 etiquette rules that no longer apply:

  • Responding to emails and phone calls in a timely manner.
  • Keeping your personal life private (thanks, social media).
  • Never taking any time off.
  • Writing full sentences or spelling correctly.
  • Burn this last one into your brain...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_260.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want more Jill and Brad in your life? Go to Anchor Advisors and sign up for Brad's newsletter for once-a-month advice from Brad as well as 4-5 of the best small biz articles.

What do Jill and Brad worry about in their businesses? For Jill, it's money. For Brad, it's what if he gets sick and can't work?

 "I want them to be innovative in their role." - Jill

BDYB's producer Saul turns the tables on Jill and Brad again, this time to ask about employees. What are the things they look for? Conversely, what makes them say absolutely not? Then, once they've hired, what do they worry about?

For Brad, if people come in talking about flexibility, that's a major no for him. He can offer flexibility once the employee has put in the time and proven they're willing to work (that's one of the major benefits of working for a small business). If someone comes on and wants to take initiative, he's all about it. But his first worry is if someone can really do the job they're hired for.

Jill's pretty speedy. So if someone comes on her team and likes to take their time... or too much time, she knows it probably won't work out. If someone is able to also take the initiative and challenge her, however, she views it as a positive. She worries that the contractors she works with might not want to stick it out and see things through.

"It's hard to get good employees." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 business owner worries (and what to do about them):

  • The top of the lead generation funnel. Is there enough going on to generate sales?
  • If there is, is there a potential employee pipeline?
  • If there is, can we still get paid? And even if you get paid in advance, what if the check doesn't come on time? When do you cut it off? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
  • Staying healthy! Mentally, physically, and emotionally.
  • And the number one worry is more of a big-picture concept...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_259.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What tools can't you live without? Brad's still holding on to the Trapper Keeper, and he has a pen he really likes. (What can we say; he's old school.) Then Jill waxes nostalgic about pencil sharpeners. What is happening?

 "Don't do that in an email." - Brad

Phil Singleton almost failed Computer Science but now he works with computers pretty exclusively in SEO and web development. He's got an emotionally draining problem. With a company of seven people, every new hire he makes has the potential to be a big risk. Earlier this year he found out one of his prior employees wasn't so well-loved by his clients, which wasn't such great news for him. In order to avoid that punch in the gut in the future, what should he do?

Brad suggests doing a client review to see how business is going - make two phone calls every day over the course of six weeks. Jill thinks you could serve the same purpose over email. Whichever way you decide to do it, be proactive and don't wait. Ask clients to submit feedback about improvement. And from now on, have a check-in process in place. And if you ask for feedback at the end of a project, it's a great chance to ask for a referral.

"I heart Drift.com." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 tools/apps making your life better in 2018:

  • Zoom conferencing. It's amazing.
  • Mad Mimifor email software. And their customer support is incredible.
  • Drift. It's a chat box that has the potential to bring you sales.
  • Wunderground. It's the weather app to end all weather apps.
  • Slack.It's the easiest way to communicate with your team.

Guest:

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_258.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What's the worst proposal Jill's ever seen? She hasn't been a fan of any of them, really. Brad had a client who used to do their proposals in PowerPoint: 30 pages long and probably would have worked better as a pitch.

 "It should be an enticement, an allure.'" - Jill

Kelly Roach helps people make a lot of money. She works with service-based professionals to put systems and strategies in place, like sales marketing, leadership, and productivity.

So what's her problem? She's impatient. Her team is amazing and really helps the business, but she wants to grow faster than they currently are. She works with a lot of recent college grads on her team as well, whom she helps from the ground up. She gets frustrated that it takes so much to get them to operate at the level she expects. Jill's of the opinion that Kelly can achieve the stunning results she gets without continuing to drive herself crazy.

"If people really need to look at your bios, direct them to your website." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things to never include in a proposal:

  • A proposal should only be 1-2 pages. Yes. Really. We mean it.
  • Team bios or About Us? Skip.
  • No long-winded explanations. Instead, tell them in a short paragraph what they will experience.
  • No lawyer-ese, terms and conditions. It puts people off.
  • And this last one requires all of your confidence...

Want to know what it is? 

Guest:

  • Kelly Roach is the founder of Kelly Roach Coaching, where her number one gift is helping people tap into their potential. She stretches people beyond what they thought they were capable of and achieves things they never thought possible.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_257.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill's really caught up in whether bees have knees. But more importantly, she STILL hates proposals! Why do we let people convince us to write them? Brad thinks it's a common belief that people have: They won't get paid without a proposal.

 "We advise the things we need to work on the most.'" - Jill

Writer, entrepreneur, and marketer Danny Schuman returns to the podcast (he was on Episode 3!) because he wrote a book called The Worst Business Model in the World: A New Kind of Guide for a New Kind of Entrepreneur. It's a book for people who aren't only trying to make it but thrive. He's writing the book now because he's finally ready and after 10 years of his own business, he wants to share his knowledge.

He also added that people are too worried about money, but the real spark of entrepreneurship is creation. But if you've got bills to pay, make sure you keep track of your stuff and logistically figure out how you're going to get work.

Read more about the book here.

"A video will communicate so much more than the written page." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to make your proposal stand out:

  • You need to tell a story.
  • Include testimonials.
  • Include a video.
  • Check for all spelling and grammar errors. PLEASE. (Use Grammarly!)
  • And this last one puts those high-school paper tricks to good use...

Want to know what it is? 

Guest:

  • Danny Schuman is the founder of Twist, a results-based consultancy specializing in brand marketing and product and service innovation. His upcoming book The Worst Business Model in the Worldwill be out in early May.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_256.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill hates proposals. Like, really hates them. Why spend time sending them out and then getting nothing back? Luckily for her and others, Brad's got a FREE webinar coming up on April 27th where he'll discuss how to win clients withoutproposals. He'll break down how to close a deal more effectively, how some agencies get a client to pay them to create a proposal, and how to focus your process only on the prospects most likely to buy. Sign up here to get your pipeline moving and have more predictable sales.

But when Jill gets a proposal, what does she do? Like many, she scrolls right down to the price. But a lot of the time, you do extra work when you don't need to.

 "Time to give it up!'" - Jill

Jonny Cooper calls in to discuss how he has a really authentic brand; he hates marketing, but he loves what it does for him. He's able to simplify things for others but finds it difficult to have time to do the things he wants to do.

He takes too much on and has a hard time saying no. Brad advises Jonny that he doesn't need to get all his needs met in his business. He also doesn't need to learn everything that has to do with his business; instead, he can let other people do it for him.

"We need a compelling vision of the future." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things you should ALWAYS have in a proposal:

  • Summary of the problem. Put it in the words they use.
  • The result one might achieve by working with you.
  • More than one option; give a range of prices. It's all about the context.
  • A signature line for their approval - this is a way for people to say YES. Or you could use your proposal as your contract
  • And this last one is so, so, so important...

Want to know what it is?

Guest:

  • Jonny Cooper is the founder of Jonny Hates Marketing, THE group for professional coaches, therapists, consultants and trainers who are serious about finding more of their ideal clients, more easily.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_255.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Has Jill changed her mind about proposals? That would be a NO. Luckily for her and others, Brad's got a FREE webinar coming up on April 27th where he'll discuss how to win clients withoutproposals. He'll break down how to close a deal more effectively, how some agencies get a client to pay them to create a proposal, and how to focus your process only on the prospects most likely to buy. Sign up here to get your pipeline moving and have more predictable sales.

Brad's got a confession: He wants everyone to think he's a fearless leader, but he's got some fears... and they might be keeping him from being as successful as he could be. He actually thinks he could be afraid... of success? Clients keep you really busy, which means you hire more people, which means you manage more people... which is all a pain. Jill used to worry that if she got so busy, she wouldn't have time for things outside of work - her kids, or having a simple dinner in a restaurant. But she's realized that she can do both in a way that works for her, and she's not working 24/7 anymore.

 "What I want to have is work that I really enjoy and am really engaged in, and a life that I really enjoy and am really engaged in.'" - Brad

Kris Reid, the coolest guy in SEO, calls in to tell us what SEO actually is (with an Australian accent and everything). It stands for Search Engine Optimization, and you can use it to tell the all-knowing Google more about your site so that you appear at the top of the search engine. He's been working in SEO ever since 2008 and really loves it.

The good news is his business is growing. He's got 50 staff members (25 in office, 25 remote) but he finds the communication somewhat challenging and he doesn't know how to inspire people to learn. Kris personally always wants to sharpen his skills and so he listens to podcasts and reads books. Brad suggests having Kris convey the message through his team leads because it will make it that much more impactful. He also tells Kris to think about having a career ladder with respect to positions in the company, so that people have something to aspire to. Jill one-ups that thought and says that Kris should gamify the situation - have a leaderboard and make a fun culture for a love of learning.

But, she cautions, not everyone needs to learn like you do. So if he really wants everyone to get something out of learning something new, do more webinars face-to-face.

"I have a fear that people will find out that I'm just a regular person." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 fears that are holding me back #realtalk:

  • Constant fear of losing all your income.
  • Thinking people think you're an egomaniacal showoff or that people won't take you seriously.
  • Imposter syndrome.
  • Avoiding hiring because people will let you down.
  • And this last one is rough...

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Guest:

  • Kris Reid is the founder of Ardor SEO, a company that helps businesses achieve utmost success in their respective niches. By using the most innovative methods of marketing online, they offer a wide range of services with awesome results including search engine optimization, search engine ranking, and link building.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_254.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Guess what Jill's favorite thing is? If you said proposals, you'd be... wrong. She doesn't like anything about them. Luckily for her and others, Brad's got a FREE webinar coming up on April 27th where he'll discuss how to win clients without proposals. He'll break down how to close a deal more effectively, how some agencies get a client to pay them to create a proposal, and how to focus your process only on the prospects most likely to buy. Sign up here to get your pipeline moving and have more predictable sales.

Brad admits he's a little bit of a control freak, especially when something's going to a client and it's wrong - or not the way he wants it done. He wants things to be right and he doesn't want to look bad. He gets loud and a bit sarcastic. Jill's the opposite: She gets quiet and goes away until she figures out how she wants to deal with the problem.

 "Go to someone else and say, 'Hey, if you were to explain my business, what would you say I do?'" - Jill

Marina Darlow calls in to discuss how she builds systems for entrepreneurs. In order for businesses to operate sustainably and keep owners' sanities in check, Marina creates processes to manage the aspects of a business: money, time/energy, people, and how to keep information accessible and understandable. She designs the templates to match the owner's personality.

But while she knows what she does, she has a hard time explaining it to other people. Jill suggests that she ask people familiar with her business to describe what she does, and write down the words that they say to get a different perspective. Brad also suggests asking her clients, "What was the outcome of our time together?" For people who are not systems-oriented, Marina can touch upon what's familiar to them: people want more money, or more time, and so on. She can also consider a positioning statement to make it clear that she doesn't deal with mindset, but she does deal with operations.

"How bad is this, really? Is your response appropriate to the situation?" - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to curb your control freak:

Go for a walk.
Look at the person you're angry with; this person is trying to help you.
Check your stress level.
Take a step back and assess.
And this last one might be hard to do but it's necessary...
Want to know what it is? Listen in!»

Guest:

Marina Darlow is the founder of Vision Framework, a company that builds heart-centered businesses from the inside. She helps entrepreneurs run their companies with ease, putting easy-to-use, effective, and fun (yep!) systems in place.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_253.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Brad's feeling anxious because one of his suppliers shut down with only a month's notice. It's not like he's not used to disasters happening in business; he used to love them because it gave him a chance to feel important. But now he'd like things to just get back to normal and just be thankful for things.

"We want people who will participate in their own solution." - Brad

Saul, our BDYB producer, turns the tables on Jill and Brad and asks hard-hitting questions, like... what is it that they do?

Jill explains how The Founding Moms has built community in over 60 cities. She offers video courses and accountability coaches (and many other services). Her goal is to be the universal hub for all things business education for mom entrepreneurs.

How does Brad get clients to trust him when they first come to Anchor Advisors? He offers something of value, is very transparent, and uses case studies and testimonials to establish credibility. What types of clients are the best ones for him? Those clients who have big goals and they're honest about the challenges they face. But they must be willing to put in the work.

"You need to remember to go back to yourself; focus on you." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 reasons to pay attention to your mental health because if you don't:

  • You're more likely to take things out on other people.
  • You treat yourself poorly.
  • If your mental health isn't in check, it can affect your attention span.
  • Your relationships suffer.
  • And this will absolutely put a cramp in your entrepreneurial style...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_252.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

There are a lot of business owners out there with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. We're talking to you on this episode! There are ways that ADHD may make it hard in life, but it might work to your advantage as an entrepreneur.

 "The more creative you have to be, the better." - Jill

Walt Bayliss, software platform creator and speaker, has finally figured out how to slay the beast of what's eating our time. The cost of doing business has become too expensive. So, he created a dashboard called Gojeo to check everything in one place. No more checking 17 email addresses and Facebook and LinkedIn, bouncing around from platform to platform wasting your time.

Sounds great, right? He and his team have gotten the financial part seemingly taken care of, but what he really needs right now is the exposure. He's reached out to venture capitalists, but they're expecting that the company has gone through an accelerator. But since he doesn't need the money, how does he go about getting introductions?

Brad suggests that he really reach out to the business community. Get in front of journalists and influencers, and eventually, the VCs will be reaching out to him. Put the energy from chasing VCs into gaining exposure for the business instead, and the VC thing will take care of itself.

"Don't believe your own hype." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways your ADHD may be helping your business:

  • People with ADHD are very curious. They find opportunities that others don't.
  • Impatience. You're driven by action.
  • Things are started, but maybe not finished. But your team can step in and take up where you left off.
  • You're optimistic and forward-thinking.
  • And this will absolutely make you a better business owner...

Guest:

  • Walt Bayliss is the founder of Gojeo, a platform that helps business owners get more customers, make more sales, and spend less time. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_251.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Why is it so important that we sleep? Jill gets a little feisty: Sleep is SO important! It makes everything better, so you just need to do it. You need more than five hours of sleep a night, and more importantly, you need to build it into a routine. Think of yourself as a performance athlete for your business.

 "Performance athletes sleep 10 hours a night." - Brad

David Ralph, podcaster extraordinaire, calls in to discuss his problem which can be summed up in two words: Virtual Coffees.

As his podcast is gaining more and more traction, more and more people are wanting to reach out and connect. But when he wants more information from people or when he says no, people get moody and rude. Jill solved this problem for herself when she started telling people that they'd have to sign up for a group coffee chat, and they'd have to pay a little bit of money. Eventually, they'd pay and get together in small groups and ask their questions, and everyone was helped. If people really weren't interested, they wouldn't come to the group. If David presents this option to the people reaching out to him, there's no reason for them to have fighting words: He gave them an option; they can choose to take it or not.

"It's exhausting me to talk about this." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 reasons you need more sleep (and why you want it) :

  • You make better business decisions with clarity.
  • Your mental and physical health is dramatically improved with more sleep.
  • You'll be able to handle negativity or things that go wrong so much better.
  • You're gonna work twice as fast (really).
  • And Jill swears the last reason is magical...

Guest:

  • David Ralph is the host of Join Up Dots, a motivational business podcast inspired by Steve Jobs. Find him on Facebook.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_250.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

In business, we wanna be the hero that wins the day. Jill and Brad discuss times in their businesses when they got to be the heroes. Jill dealt with an angry customer and saved the day by simply e-mailing her personally to apologize. Brad remembers one four-day period where he didn't leave the house and got a lot of work done. He felt really good about it at the time.

 "What are you giving me access to that I'm not getting from anyone else?" - Jill

Dean Williams, recently named one of the best business consultants within the UK, calls in to discuss how to build a community, but first Jill and Brad have to talk about this: Dean got a letter from the Queen of England... and he's also cooked for Jay-Z and Beyoncé? (We're a little star-struck.)

But back to business. Williams really wants to branch out and build his tribe, but doesn't know how to do it. He's got followers on Facebook and LinkedIn, he's working on building his e-mail list, and knows that he can certainly go up and share a stage with Tony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuk. But, Jill asks, if she were to follow him on every platform she could, what's in it for her? Followers need a reason to stay. Brad also suggests something we that we often do in real life, but forget to do online: We need to invite people to our communities if we want them to join.

"Do you own a business or does a business own you?" - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 reasons your business doesn't need a hero:

  • Heroic efforts don't scale.
  • Heroic efforts are prone to errors. No one wants to buy your 12th hour at work.
  • If you're always the one fixing things, no one else is going to step up and do anything.
  • You're setting an example - if you choose not to have a life, your employees may feel like they don't get to have a life either.
  • And the number one reason is a triple headache...

Guest:

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_249.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Spring is almost here! Sometimes you're so focused on building your business that it's hard to see the big picture. How do you know you're on the right track? Jill asks for feedback. She hears what people say and that helps her know that she's doing something right. Brad was at a low point when he felt like he was going to quit, but then he raised his prices and doubled his clients. It gave him a new fire to keep on keepin' on.

"Hi, guys. Hey, guys. You guys!" - Jill, all the time.

Jill got yelled at. Not in the podcast, surprisingly - but as a response to an email she sent out. She sends out a daily newsletter, and will often start a paragraph very excitedly with, "YOU GUYS!!!!" But one reader was not so thrilled with being called a guy. "Just to update you," the reader said, "I'm a woman." The woman then asked Jill to reconsider her language. Jill said she would, forgetting that she had already scheduled another email with the phrase "you guys" the very next day. The woman again emailed and Jill again apologized. She then reached out to the Founding Moms Community, which led to a discussion about intent versus impact. In the future, Jill decided she would be more mindful of the language she used.

Language is important when you're talking to your customers, and it's important to take your clients' feedback into consideration. Canada even changed their national anthem to use more inclusive language. Let's all be like Canada.

"As a leader, you're responsible for the impact and not the intent." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 signs you are on the right track:

  • If you've affected someone in a positive way.
  • If you change something major and you don't lose all of your business.
  • People ask what your rates are without you having to pitch to them.
  • Everything comes together in an inexplicable way.
  • And the number one way involves rolling your eyes...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_248.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

What’s In This Episode:

In this continuing series about business decisions, Brad wonders if sometimes he makes his decisions a little too quickly. Jill admits that while she listens to her gut, she also reaches out to members of her team and the Founding Moms Community to get feedback on what she should do. If you've got a community, don't hesitate to ask for their opinions.

Kim O'Hara, an intuitive book coach at A Story Inside, calls in to discuss her dilemma. She coaches clients through an 18-week program to help them find their voice and make their books stronger. She also holds workshops, which people love, but she struggles to get people to enroll. Does she quit doing workshops, even though she loves leading them and she feels called to do it? She wants to double her client load in the coming year, and she's tried everything she can think of to get people to come to the writing workshops - Facebook ads, email campaigns - but it doesn't seem to be working.

Jill suggests that Kim axes the workshops for now; she's obviously more successful in her 18-week program and she should focus on that to get more clients. Brad, however, suggests that she shifts her workshops from in-person to virtual. They then propose that she go on the speaker circuit and get the best of both worlds or film one of her workshops to demonstrate her expertise and get people to see the value.

"Don't make a decision and then starve it for what it needs to be successful." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things to do AFTER you make a business decision:

  • Commit to it and communicate it to your team.
  • Make a plan to ensure your decision's success.
  • Monitor progress and use data to see if your decision is going the way you thought it would.
  • Occasionally, revisit your decision if your data is leading you in a different direction.
  • And don't forget to do this...

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Guest:

  • Kim O'Hara is the founder of A Story Inside. An intuitive book coach, Kim believes that words can change everything.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_247.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What's the weirdest thing you've ever done to arrive at a business decision? Both Jill and Brad have flipped a coin and consulted a magic eight ball.

"Storytelling is where values are communicated." - Brad

Dr. Laura Mraz, founder of Eyas Landing and Blue Bird Day, calls in to ask how she maintains her company culture while she's growing so rapidly. What started as Eyas Landing, a pediatric services clinic with 4-5 employees has grown into a separate school called Blue Bird Day, and now there are 120 employees between the two. She often hears her employees say, "I wish it was like it was before," and gives examples of how she used to hold weekly staff meetings or have therapists train directly under her. But with the rapid growth, those things just aren't possible anymore.

Brad suggests crafting a purpose statement that very clearly states the values of the company. Furthermore, he suggests that she (along with a core team of people) think of stories that demonstrate those company values that she can share with everyone in the company. Jill adds that it sounds like Laura's employees are looking for connection, and that might mean having smaller groups of employees convene for meetings to get feedback.

"I'm always right." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to make a business decision:

  • Just try it already. It will help you make an informed decision.
  • Ask everyone you know. Ask everyone you don't know.
  • Put it in a form where you can get more in-depth answers.
  • Personally message people on your social media channels when you're looking for very honest feedback.
  • And this is the thing Jill swears by...

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Guest:

  • Dr. Laura Mraz is the founder of Eyas Landing, a leading pediatric therapy clinic specializing in Sensory Integration, Early Intervention and relationship-based therapy, and Blue Bird Day,  a preschool and kindergarten designed to foster socialization, sensory regulation and academic learning in children ages 2-9.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_246.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Have you ever thought about how you make decisions? What is your process for making a business decision? Jill listens to her gut. If you don't have a process, can you improve? Jill throws things at the wall and sees what sticks or doesn't stick, and bases her decision and her feelings on that.

"Hone the gut. Fine tune the feeling." - Jill

Then Jill and Brad hear back from a former guest, Nedra Rezinas, who weighs in on a previous episode. She took maternity leave and relied on her colleagues to cover her clients, and it worked out great for her. A lot of the time, business owners are afraid to take time off because they think something will go wrong; it's very much a control issue. But taking time off helps you be a better business owner. So if you're afraid of taking time off, don't be - it'll work out!

"By reaching out to the experts, they may give me some things to consider that  I haven't thought about." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things to do before you make a business decision:

  • Data is your friend. Collect it.
  • Get feedback and opinions. People may see things differently than you do. If your business decision affects other people, if you know how they feel about it, you can use that information to convince them.
  • Where might the decision go wrong? Think about that, and then set up experiments to test it.
  • Reach out to the experts. Has someone done what you're trying to do? What's their advice?
  • And the number one thing Brad does after he's done all those other steps? Jill's amazed.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_245.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

As business owners, there's one overarching thing we have to do: we have to make decisions. Big or small, there is seemingly no end to the things we have to make a call on (that's why Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs famously wore the same thing every day, so they could avoid having to decide what to wear). Sometimes, it's just exhausting.

"One of the rules that I recommend is that no one can work for the family until they've worked for someone else for a few years." - Brad

Former trapeze artist Hannah Sullivan and her wife Jade call into the podcast to discuss one big problem: working with family at their company, Pogo Insurance. Hannah's dad, their boss, is your typical alpha male and constantly wants to be the hero. Some of Hannah's siblings, who also work for the company,  don't do their fair share of work. Overall, the ladies just want to be taken seriously.

Brad says that one solution is to have regular family meetings. Establish ground rules and talk about what's going well (and not so well).  If they can separate out and have Hannah's dad as a mentor or advisor, that might be the best case scenario. If not, the other solution is to work someplace else.

"You can't value other people more than you value your own services." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 worst business decisions they've made:

  • Signing a contract without reading it.
  • If you're going to put on an event, make sure you promote it.
  • Not charging for speaking or consulting.
  • Scaling the business too quickly.
  • And please, please, please, don't do this...

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Sponsor:

  • This episode is sponsored by Warby Parker. Buying glasses can be expensive, annoying, and overwhelming. Warby Parker cuts out the middleman by providing high-quality eyewear at a fraction of the cost - and for every pair you buy, they give away a pair to someone who can't afford them.  How can you try glasses out online? Check out their Home Try-On Program for free and get started to find your perfect pair of glasses.

Guests:

  • Hannah and Jade Sullivan are the co-founders of Pogo Insurance, an online platform that offers commercial insurance policies for freelancers, consultants and others who are self-employed.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_244.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

If you've made it this far in sticking to your goals, you're on your way to forming a habit! Brad's goal for getting feedback is still going strong; you can help him by filling out this three-question survey.

Are there things that you do every day or every week without fail? For Jill's business, she checks e-mail, social media, and checks up on Founding Mom Exchanges. Brad goes to the gym three times a week (and he tracks it using the Streaks App) and both of them are back on the no-sugar wagon. They made it six months last time; can they go a whole year?

"Sometimes it's easier to create a habit. What's a small thing that you can change that leads you to that goal?" - Brad

Harry Duran, host of Podcast Junkies and creator of FullCast, calls to discuss his problem. He primarily gets business via referrals but wants to know how he can branch out to grow his business. Jill says that it never hurts to ask. If Harry is putting out content via newsletters and social media, he can simply ask people to work with him.

Brad says he can also send out a quarterly advertising email to get the message clearly across. Harry can also reference case studies and show his audience real people who have gotten value from working with him. Additionally, since he's already getting the referrals, ask them for feedback - what made them recommend Harry in the first place?

"Throw an 'ask' into everything you're doing." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to build a new habit:

  • Make a plan. Consistency is key. Set a time and a trigger to do whatever you're working toward.
  • Prep as much as possible. If you want to go to the gym, pack your bag the night before. Things will just become part of the routine.
  • Download a tracking app like Streaks (mentioned above!) or the Productive App. Or do it the old-fashioned way and write things down.
  • Give yourself a visual cue.
  • And the last thing is that you can always do this...

Guest:

  • Harry Duran is the host of Podcast Junkies and the creator of FullCast, a full-service, done-for-you podcast production and marketing consultancy. He helps six-figure entrepreneurs amplify their authority and extend their reach through the power of podcasting.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_243.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Brad's still maintaining momentum on his feedback goal. Please go here and fill out his three-question survey. He'll love you forever.

So you have your goals, but the enthusiasm is waning. How do you get through it? Before he discovered the Streaks App, Brad blocked time on his calendar so that he could work on his goals. He plans around his goal. Jill's all about the accountability buddy (though she's liking the sound of that app, too!).

"I like the idea of check-ins. You can't do it alone." - Jill

Kristy Wallace, CEO of Ellevate Network, calls to ask about what the best practices are for owning your brand. She recognizes that there are similar companies out there - and she thinks that's great. But she worries that if other companies do similarly-named events but they don't have the same quality or structure, that could dilute the power of her brand. She's not coming at it from a malicious standpoint; she's just worked really hard to get Ellevate Network to where it is today.

Jill's take - even though it's not legal advice - is that if Kristy isn't going to take anyone to court, there's no point to trademark or copyright anything. The whole point of trademarking something is that you want to prevent someone else from doing that thing or using that name too. Any lawyer will tell you that, of course, you need to trademark. Bigger companies have trademarks, and filing a trademark may also make you feel important. If she wants to, Jill says that Kristy can put a "TM" mark next to their brand name, meaning that they're filing for a registered trademark.

Brad says that nine times out of ten, a conversation is all that's needed. Something like, "Hey, that looks awfully similar to what I've been doing. I would appreciate it if you called it something different." Additionally, he tells Kristy she can use Copyscape to check for plagiarism.

Overall, Jill says, if you're worried about all of this, you're not focused on building your business. So build your business - no one's going to be able to do it as well as you can.

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to maintain your momentum:

  • Find a person in your life that can keep you accountable.
  • Write it down, journal it, or post it to your social networks.
  • Download a tracking app like Streaks (mentioned above!) or the Productive App.
  • When you're working, remove all distractions. Put your tech on Do Not Disturb.
  • And the number one thing? Create this!

Guest:

  • Kristy Wallace is the CEO of Ellevate Network and is responsible for executing their mission to close the gender achievement gap in business by providing professional women with a global community to lean on and learn from.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_242.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Are you staying focused on what's important and avoiding the trap of being busy? Brad's trying to stay on top of his goals. In fact, he's serious about getting feedback from others (please go here and answer three questions).

Jill says that busy work allows us to avoid the real things you have to do. You don't realize that you're doing busy work, really, until you step back and take a look at it. Plus, every time you get an email and your endorphins rise, it's telling you, "Oh, I'm being productive."

Brad says that email, especially, is tricky. Some of it is busy work, some of it is actually important, and there's probably a lead or two. Facebook and other social media are just as bad as getting sucked into email. But it's the same thing: you're rarely going to make more money by chatting with people via Messenger.

"There's a lot of busy work that we get ourselves involved in that isn't really making progress on our goals." - Brad

Lloyd Lim calls in and talks about his writing career. He began writing nonfiction books in order to simplify complicated topics for people. Before embarking on writing, he worked for the government, and before that, he worked as a lawyer. But now, he's left the government and is working on rebranding himself. He's worked on a lot of public interest projects, but he's doing a lot of them for free. How does he start moving toward getting paid for the work that he does?

Brad suggests that Lloyd narrows down his expertise into one thing that provides the most value. Jill respectfully disagrees with Brad and says to just start charging. Lloyd explains that he's thought about charging a flat fee for assessment of his clients' problems. But he still needs to identify his target market, what's the problem they have, and what's the solution that he's going to offer.

"I'm a big believer in the accountability buddy." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to measure progress toward your goals:

  • Break your goal into manageable pieces.
  • Make it a game.
  • Create streaks - how many days in a row have you done your goal? (There's even an app for that.)
  • Form a team and check in with someone else.
  • What's YOUR method of making progress toward your goals? Call us and let us know!

Guest:

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_241.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Brad and Jill made some goals and now they have to start working on them. It's like a clean slate! A chance to start over! What's Jill going to leave behind for the new year? She's going to try to leave behind massive impatience in her business in 2018. Some of it served her well as an entrepreneur; it even helped her build her businesses. But now, to sustain them, she needs even more patience.

Brad's leaving behind social media (he's trying, anyway). He wants to make it a habit to not look at any social media when he's at home. Jill suggests just removing apps from his phone to make it easier not to check. Good luck, Brad!

"Business is about trust, and if you can't follow through on your commitments, why would I do business at all?" - Brad

Then Brad and Jill have a last-minute guest cancellation, which leads to a discussion about commitments. What is it about commitments that people can't handle? No, it's not the first time that a guest has canceled being on the podcast, but doing so last-minute isn't very considerate. Additionally, doing so means that you miss out on other opportunities (in this case, a chance to promote and get advice!).

So, for 2018... don't be that person. It makes you look bad, professionally.

"Celebrate any progress, even the baby steps, because it's gonna help you move along." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to make immediate progress on your goals:

  • Skip your emails in the first hour of your workday and do the thing that needs doing the most.
  • Take 5 goals that are important in your business, and write them down so that you see them repeatedly.
  • Move somewhere else; work in a different space. Get that creativity flowing.
  • Celebrate any progress!
  • And the number one way to make immediate progress? Delete this thing!

Sponsor:

  • This episode is sponsored by Warby Parker. Buying glasses can be expensive, annoying, and overwhelming. Warby Parker cuts out the middleman by providing high-quality eyewear at a fraction of the cost.  How can you try glasses online? Check out their Home Try-On Program for free and get started to find your perfect pair of glasses.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_240.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

We're welcoming 2018! Brad wants to know if Jill likes goals. She wants to know how Brad defines goals, which he does as "something that you're committing yourself to accomplish in a certain period of time". Jill hates them because she finds specific goals to be too limiting and confining. Weirdly, BRAD AGREES WITH HER. He'd get so wrapped up in his goals, he'd stop noticing that there were other things that needed his attention. But he does think goals are useful, as you utilize different actions when working toward a goal.

"I personally don't think as an entrepreneur, I need goals to drive me." - Jill

Kelley Kitley, author, TEDx presenter and founder of Serendipitous Psychotherapy, calls in for advice on how to take her business to the next level. She wants to get on national radio and TV circuits; she wants more speaking engagements. But she doesn't have the money to hire a PR/marketing person, and wonders if she's being annoying. Jill reminds her that there is no such thing as being annoying in business. It's particularly a stigma with women, but there is absolutely no limit.

Brad wants to know if Kelley would be open to raising her prices; as a therapist, she needs to make more money if she's going to devote some of her time being her own PR person. People often believe that a PR person can do a better job than they would be able to, but if Kelley knows what she wants, and knows where to find them, she doesn't have to spend that expense just yet.

"The thing about pricing is - we charge what we have the confidence to ask for." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 out-of-the-box goals for the year:

  • Pay attention to how much joy there is in your life. Focus on joy, and see how much you can repeat things that bring you joy day-to-day.
  • Go further with fewer initiatives. You don't need to do ALL the things; just focus on a few things and see if it works.
  • Get sleep. It's so important.
  • Get more feedback, even if you're the boss.
  • And the number one thing? Brad's really doing it this time!

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Guest:

  • Kelley Kitley is the founder of Serendipitous Psychotherapy, as well as the author of an autobiography, MY self.
Direct download: Breaking_Dwon_Your_Business_EP_239.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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