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

Want more info about hiring when you are trying to grow? Brad's doing a webinar, How to Win the War for Talent: Actionable Strategies to Attract and Retain Top Talent at Your Business, on July 31! Just sign up at this link and let Brad and two others help you be better at hiring.

"No small business owner knows what they need or want in the beginning." - Jill

How do you hire people when trying to grow your company? Why is it so hard? We're so busy, and on top of all of the things we're doing, we now have to worry about the hiring process. Everyone's looking for the quick and easy shortcut, but sadly there is none.

We're also not great at recognizing what it is we need. A lot of small business owners think that if they just had someone else who was exactly like them, they'd be fine. But that doesn't exist either (and you don't really want that). Brad has a system for figuring out what he actually needs for the task at hand.

Also, you'll probably need to spend more on hiring quality people. You can mitigate risk by hiring part-time to start out.

"Always be hiring." - Brad

You can start collecting resumes with Google or some software so that when you're ready to hire, the talent pool is there for you. You can also meet face-to-face with people to see how you feel about them, but it doesn't mean you have to hire everyone you meet.

And once you have hired, if they're not working, don't feel bad about moving onto the next person.

How do you hire when you're trying to grow your business?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_319.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Brad's back from the ConvertKit Craft + Commerce Conference, which celebrates creators across platforms. He met some really interesting people and got a lot out of it... and now he's going to reiterate what he tells people all the time: CHARGE MORE.

"You can spend that time doing something you enjoy. " - Brad

Lidia Varesco Racoma's design aesthetic is clean, understandable and adaptable. She's been in business for a while, and as she grows, she needs to outsource responsibilities. But which one and how do you get over the feeling that you need to check their work?

"I might not be as parental. I think I'm more of a teenager running the show." - Jill

Sometimes there's a parent-child dynamic that sneaks into the company. Is it a good thing? And how do you deal with it? Jill and Brad discuss.

Do you parent in your business? 

Guest:

  • Lidia Varesco Racoma is an art director and designer with over 20 years of experience and a passion for marketing. Visit her website.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_318.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Kids take up a lot of our time and energy. So why would we choose to build our businesses at the same time? But if it's all chaos all the time, you might as well!

"There's a whole new method to the madness." - Jill

Do kids help or hurt your business? Kids are great for your business, says Jill. They make you figure out how to be more organized with your time. And when you're starting out your business, the skills you learn as a parent - like multitasking - are useful, says Brad, but it becomes less so as the business grows.

"I have kids. I have a business. Make it work." - Brad

When Jill built her businesses, it wasn't like she had everything set up right away. She experienced a lot of trial and error. So when Maddie Boening of Sunstone Candles leaves a voicemail about how to connect her brand message to her brand, Jill knows there's a whole lot of trial and error that goes into something like that. It's extremely rare that you have everything ready to go, even brand messaging. So now's the time to do it, starting by writing a brand message in your own voice. If you're not sure how, ask your customers, your friends, your followers!

Do kids help or hurt your business?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_317.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

We get a voicemail from Nedra Rezinas who talked to us on ep. 133(!!!). She really loved listening to our episode 311, "How do I build trust with prospects?"and thought it was helpful.

"I see a lot of people using email like it's a text message." - Brad

How do you go about making your content last and last? You want to get your blog posts out in front of a lot of people - can you repurpose it? And how do you promote it?

"When you say the word 'LinkedIn,' my brain goes to mush." - Jill

Is Twitter dead? How do you use Instagram for your business? And is LinkedIn great or is LinkedIn GREAT? Jill and Brad give some tips on what you're creating and where to share it in order to make what you're putting out there last and last.

What tips do you have for making your content last?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_316.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Brad hates the word "content". He thinks that whatever you put out, it's got to be of a quality that people would pay you for it (and sometimes, they do).

"It's very different to know your boundaries and then to actually do something about them. " - Jill

Web designer, podcast host, musician, and mother of twins Gretchen DeVault calls in to ask how to deal with burnout. Brad and Jill advise her on why sleep is so important, scheduling a day off every now and then, turning off tech, and consider outsourcing some of her responsibilities.

And how can she cover that cost? Raise prices!

"Speak in your own voice and tell your own stories." - Brad

Content used to be a thing that set businesses apart but now we're drowning in it, says Brad. So how can you stand out from the noise? They discuss lazy content, consistency, and inspiration.

Where are you in the stages of entrepreneurial success?  Listen in

Guest:

  • Gretchen DeVault is the co-founder and lead web designer and strategist for Tiny Blue Sky. She has 15+ years of web design and branding experience and an established record of producing award-winning work that drives business.
  • Gretchen is also a business expert and shares her love of all things entrepreneurship as co-host of Lean the F*ck Out, a weekly podcast for female entrepreneurs.
  • She is also a singer/songwriter and guitarist for the indie pop band The Icicles(along with her husband Zane), and shoegazer band Voluptuous Panic. Her music has been licensed in commercials for Motorola and Target, as well as several independent films.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_315.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Anchor Advisors has gone virtual!

"A whole bunch of your competition is gone." - Brad

There are certain advantages that come with being in business for a long time.

"If you just wait through the tough stuff, you're gonna come out okay." - Jill

Jill and Brad talk through what the value of longevity in your business means: what they thought then compared to what they know now, what competition looks like, who their strongest friendships are, and Jill's realization that patience really is a virtue.

What lessons have you learned from being in business as long as you have?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_314.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Wanna receive Jill or Brad's newsletters? Find Brad's at Anchor Advisors. Find Jill's at Founding Moms.

"You can't sell anything to people that they don't already need. " - Brad

Mel McSherry calls in to discuss mailing lists: How can she do it authentically without being salesy? Brad says that if Mel has a valuable service, she has to sell it. Jill advises her to continue doing and interacting with people as she already has been, just in an email format, and she'll be able to succeed. But she needs to be aware of the fact that even if people are subscribed, they need to be invested in what she's doing if they're going to get updates about it. So think about what it is that her audience needs?

"We need to know what's challenging for us versus what's not." - Jill

Brad breaks down the stages of entrepreneurial success:

  • Phase one: startup - try things
  • Phase two: growth - this is where the work is
  • Phase three: stability - your team helps with expansion

Where are you in the stages of entrepreneurial success? 

Guest:

  • Mel McSherry is an International Business Development Coach and Speaker. She predominantly works with women business owners who are exhausted and overwhelmed by what they think they need to do in order to be successful. She helps them slash their stress by showing them how to prioritize their profits, their time, and themselves correctly so they can create the money, the business, and the life they want, fast! Visit her website.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_313.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Have you ever turned that corner from "diligent followup" to "annoying stalker when you're checking in on a proposal or pitch?

"I feel like if they were gonna respond, they would have responded." - Brad

Jill and Brad fundamentally disagree on this issue, and even on the receiving end of relentless pitches, Jill only gets annoyed if she knows the sender is a bot or writing templated emails. She knows how hard pitching is, so she's likely to respond with a "not interested," rather than delete - which is what Brad does.

"The 'no' is an acknowledgment that they got my pitch. No, to me, is maybe." - Jill

Jill tells a very interesting story about how she campaigned to be on the Stephen Colbert show, an endeavor that lasted 3 years. So... perseverance wins? They discuss the internal and external reactions of following up, what people might think and what's really going on in people's lives, and how ego gets involved. Brad has some tips to help.

How do you deal with followup?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_312.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

You've met someone to collaborate with. How do you decide if you want to work with them? Jill looks for people who are direct and efficient. Brad looks for punctuality and reliability.

"Your mind-shift into 'I'm helping you; I'm not taking advantage of you,' is very genuine. " - Jill

Writer, interviewer, and documentarian Nora Kerr calls in to ask how she can reach more people and generate sales leads with limited time and resources? Jill and Brad think partnerships - and not more referrals - may just be her answer.

"We have to realize that people are very superficial." - Brad

So how do you build up trust in business? In person, eye contact is exceedingly important. On the phone, Brad is totally present and Jill paces to keep up her energy. They also talk about the vibes they get from someone based on how dressed up or down they are.

How do you build trust with prospects?

Guest:

  • Nora Kerr is the founder of Memoir for Me. After graduating years ago with a creative writing degree (and writing her thesis on her family's gift of the gab!) and spending many hours in a darkroom, Nora started out in publishing and then worked for many years in IT. But in 2015, after a deeply personal experience preserving the story of her own father, she launched this business and returned to doing what she loves best: listening and documenting. She brings that same passion she had for her dad's project to every family and every story. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_311.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill's recently made some changes over at The Founding Moms, going from monthly meetups to weekly masterminds.

"I'm not even sure I know what a mastermind group is." - Brad

Audio branding and content marketing expert Tina Dietz's company is in a period of rapid expansion and she doesn't know who to hire first. They talk through pain points and trust issues.

"I want facilitators and listeners more than problem solvers." - Jill

So what is a mastermind, anyway? Usually a small group with an agenda that aims to solve whatever business problems group members have. Jill and Brad talk through masterminds and what the benefit of having peers listen, talk through, and get clarity is.

Are you part of a mastermind group?

Guest:

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_310.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What's the value of going to a conference? Brad just spent over $1000 for a ticket to a conference in Boise, not to mention airfare and accommodations. Is it worth it?

"If you know 'we make the most money doing x,' immediately, you know what the focus is." - Jill

Web developer Nicole Guzman calls in to discuss how her web design studio has been catering to general interests, but she thinks it may be time to focus on one area. Jill and Brad talk about the pros and cons of working within a niche and how to market effectively.

"Conferences are really great for the 'stuffing your head full of ideas' phase." - Brad

How do you evaluate what a conference is worth as an attendee? Is it worth it if for nothing else than to get away from your business for a few days? Plus, when you're attending the conference, you're focused on it, rather than it and also a million other things.

Do you think conferences and offline events are worth it?  Listen in

Guest:

  • Nicole Guzman is the founder of GooseWorks, a full-service branding and web development agency based in Newburgh, NY. Find her on Instagram.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_309.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

As business owners, how do you get it all done?

"Musicians are not famous for their analytical spreadsheets." - Brad

IN-STUDIO (!!!!) guest and trumpet player Victor Garcia stops by and talks about being a musician and with it, being as organized as you can as well as how to figure out time-management (while still taking time for yourself).

But how do you put a price on what you offer? Jill and Brad discuss the perils of "exposure" and how to charge what you're worth.

"I remember certain things better when I'm constantly interrupted." - Jill

Brad frequently gets interrupted, and he loves when he can turn his phone off and not be bothered by anything. How do you manage interruptions and get things done? Jill and Brad talk about all the interruptions and notifications that go along with being in the modern world... and how time batching and blocking to get more done will help.

How do you feel about interruptions? 

This episode is sponsored by Spoka.com. Spoka Meet is a video conferencing tool perfect for small businesses for those who need to get more done with less. Anywhere you can find an internet or phone connection, you're simply able to meet. When your signal is spotty, Spoka's eco-mode fixes it like magic. You get unlimited meetings, unlimited recordings, and dial-in/dial-out capabilities for 45 countries all for $11.99/month! Try it for free for 30 days at Spoka.com.

Guest:

  • Victor Garcia is a musician who is as versatile as he is creative. His trumpet talent heralds his international acclaim. He sings and plays percussion and bass and congas. His songwriting, arrangements, and charts have led him to professorial positions at Roosevelt University, Loyola University and the University of Illinois in Chicago. Visit his websiteor follow him on Instagram.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_308.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Today, Brad's not handing out money, but he and Jill are brainstorming ways to make business owners more of it.

"That's your moment to shine and tell them why you're more valuable." - Jill

Pat Porrey calls in to talk about hiring staff. The women who work for her are going from 1099 contractors to actual employees. As this happens, she's not able to compete well with other agencies in her area. So how can she handle it? It all comes down to mindset.

"Every deal that you don't close is a missed opportunity." - Brad

How many different ways can Jill and Brad think of for business owners to make more money?

  • RAISE YOUR PRICES!
  • Offer multiple price points.
  • Customer retention
  • Get creative in your offerings
  • Close more deals - get better and sales
  • ... and more

How can you make more money? 

This episode is sponsored by Spoka.com. Spoka Meet is a video conferencing tool perfect for small businesses for those who need to get more done with less. Anywhere you can find an internet or phone connection, you're simply able to meet. When your signal is spotty, Spoka's eco-mode fixes it like magic. You get unlimited meetings, unlimited recordings, and dial-in/dial-out capabilities for 45 countries all for $11.99/month! Try it for free for 30 days at Spoka.com.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_307.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad are in a new studio, and it's much cooler. In this episode, they're talking about strategic partnerships and what they actually mean.

"Figure out what's in it for them." - Brad

Relentlessly practical Randy Kirk calls in. He started a new business of mastermind groups, and it's been going well. But he's looking for referrals from group members, and it's not happening. So far he's been reminding them in a group, but not doing much else outside of it. Jill and Brad talk him through why that might be - and one of the reasons is that business owners are very future-oriented.

"Optimism is a beautiful thing at the beginning of a partnership." - Jill

Partnerships can be planned out with the best of intentions, but you really have to think about it. Try doing one thing instead of everything, because there are a million reasons your partnership might not work.

Are you thinking about growing a strategic partnership?

This episode is sponsored by Spoka.com. Spoka Meet is a video conferencing tool perfect for small businesses for those who need to get more done with less. Anywhere you can find an internet or phone connection, you're simply able to meet. When your signal is spotty, Spoka's eco-mode fixes it like magic. You get unlimited meetings, unlimited recordings, and dial-in/dial-out capabilities for 45 countries all for $11.99/month! Try it for free for 30 days at Spoka.com.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_306.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill's email list is prodigious. What's that like? She's always pleasantly surprised when people respond.

"It's scary but it focuses you like nothing else." - Brad

Gerald Jones calls in and tells Jill and Brad about his podcast, Buy Black | The Voice of Black Business. Through his podcast, he created a business coaching program and he wants to transition to doing that full time. The problem is, he's got a full-time job, a family, and a mortgage to pay. How can he do it? Jill and Brad offer some tips.

"Write the thing that you would love to get in your own inbox." - Jill

Brad recently changed the frequency of his email list and lost half of his subscribers but he feels good about it because the people who are there are super engaged. He and Jill talk about email tips and why you shouldn't be afraid to start your own email list.

Do you need tips on how to grow your email list? 

This episode is sponsored by Spoka.com. Spoka Meet is a video conferencing tool perfect for small businesses for those who need to get more done with less. Anywhere you can find an internet or phone connection, you're simply able to meet. When your signal is spotty, Spoka's eco-mode fixes it like magic. You get unlimited meetings, unlimited recordings, and dial-in/dial-out capabilities for 45 countries all for $11.99/month! Try it for free for 30 days at Spoka.com.

Guest:

  • Gerald Jones is a veteran, consultant, and coach who has spent his life leading teams and empowering people. He specializes in helping business owners free themselves from self-employment and become the CEOs of DOPE BUSINESSES. He is passionate about service and teaching people to develop a servant leadership style. In everything he does, he believes in giving people the tools to bring their dreams to life and being there to help them overcome obstacles along the way. Listen to his podcastor visit his website.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_305.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Saul turns the tables on Jill and Brad.

"It's very dependent on the situation." - Jill

Saul wants to talk about virtual assistants and has the co-hosts (and those of us at home) do an Iron Triangle exercise. On each corner of the triangle, he has them write the words good, fast, or cheap, saying that they can only pick two of the three. He wants to know, when is it advantageous to do something that is cheap?

"What is the difference between hiring an employee vs. a non-employee? They're both people we need to manage." - Brad

Jill works with a lot of startup entrepreneurs and small businesses who don't have a budget for anything other than a cheaper option. Brad's chosen the cheap option twice: once when considering buying a desk from Ikea, and then when considering hiring a designer for an e-book he's writing. Jill lists examples of what's considered affordable, but Saul points out that affordable and cheap might be two different things.

Brad thinks that people need to manage the virtual assistant the same way you'd manage an employee. And the investment in the relationship is the same.

Looking at the other side of that, where did they spend a lot of money? And what did they regret more: When they went cheap or went more expensive?

What do you think? 

Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Spoka.com. Spoka Meet is a video conferencing tool perfect for small businesses for those who need to get more done with less. Anywhere you can find an internet or phone connection, you're simply able to meet. When your signal is spotty, Spoka's eco-mode fixes it like magic. You get unlimited meetings, unlimited recordings, and dial-in/dial-out capabilities for 45 countries all for $11.99/month! Try it for free for 30 days at Spoka.com.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_304.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Do you remember your favorite manager? What made them so great? Jill and Brad swap stories.

"I like trial by error." - Jill

Dr. Michelle Mazur calls in and tells Jill and Brad all about the 3 Word Rebellion, which also happens to be the title of her new book. The book's been doing really well, and she finds herself overwhelmed. Where does she begin to get more help in freeing her up so that she can focus on the business that the book is bringing in?

"It's not a job we ever signed up for, but we're in it." - Brad

Jill and Brad talk about whether they would consider themselves to be good managers and what that means. And if you want your business to grow, being a good manager is one of the ways to do it, Brad suggests.

Are you a good manager or do you want to be a better manager? 

Guest:

  • Dr. Michelle Mazur is the host of the Rebel Rising podcast, and the author of three books, including 3 Word Rebellion: Create A Message that Is Bigger than Your Business. She is the founder/CEO of Communication Rebel, helping change-making business owners, entrepreneurs and speakers become thought leaders by taking a stand with their 3-word rebellion.

Talk to us! Leave us a Google Voicemail or text us with your burning business question so that we can read it in a future episode at 708.872.7878. Or tweet at us using hashtag #jillnbrad. And leave us a review on iTunes — pretty please? Over here!

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_303.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

It's everyone's favorite topic: hiring! But why do business owners hate hiring?

"This isn't who we are; what's going on?" - Brad

Alex Membrillo is a Forbes expert, speaker, and digital marketer. His problem is that his A-team is complacent. How can he get everyone motivated again? When everyone was motivated, his team was doing things that intrigued and interested them. By looking at values and identity, and examining friendship and inspiration, changes can be made.

"We've all convinced ourselves it's a crapshoot." - Jill

Brad finds that a lot of business owners won't hire until they absolutely need to. Jill says that yes, every business owner has had a bad hiring experience and hiring isn't something that's really talked about when people launch businesses. Jill thinks it's luck, and Brad doesn't understand why people invest in sales and marketing, but not hiring.

Help Brad understand! As a business owner, do you hate hiring? Why? 

Guest:

  • Alex Membrillois the CEO of Cardinal, a digital marketing agency focused on growing multi-location companies. Membrillo’s innovative approach to digital marketing has transformed the industry and delivered remarkable results to clients of all sizes and markets. He has been featured in leading national publications including The Business Journals, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Journal, and The Wall Street Journal. He has also served as an expert speaker for conferences including the American Marketing Association, SouthWired, and Vistage Executive Leaders, where he spoke on his unique approach to Millennial Management to over 400 CEOs.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_302.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Brad's got an employee problem. He's got a great guy, company wouldn't be what it is without him, but there are some performance issues. He's late on assignments... basically, he's the worst.

Also, Brad is talking about himself.

"The type of people who become business owners are not very good at getting things done." - Brad

Brad's gotta handle some things on his own. He hired employees to help him, but he still doesn't get all the things he needs to get done in a timely manner.

Jill wants to know why he has to finish one task to move onto another. Maybe, she suggests, that's not how he works.

They talk about what it means to be the boss, how employers are generally bad employees (or not), and how maybe he should fire himself from the tasks he's not doing.

"I guess that's how the Kardashians are famous." - Jill

Producer Saul turns the tables and asks about publicity. Is there such a thing as bad publicity in podcasting?

Brad thinks there's such a thing as bad press, but people who hate you aren't part of that. Jill wonders if a review like that deters someone from listening. Saul says, if anything, it might make someone more interested.

How do you respond to dealing with your worst employee?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_301.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

IT'S EPISODE 300!!!!! Jill and Brad go meta and talk about the podcast on the podcast.

"This podcast has made us Debbie Downers." - Jill

When Brad gets asked, "Should I create a podcast?" He always tells people no. Jill likened the experience of recording this podcast to running a marathon, where you expect everyone will cheer for you, but they don't all the time.

"We almost got made into a reality TV show." - Brad

They're always surprised when they hear back from anyone about the podcast. They've got 62 reviews -- and 60 of them are nice! And if you want to start a podcast but haven't yet, just be a podcast guest.

But if they haven't convinced you not to start a podcast:

  • think about the topic very carefully. Ideally, it should be something you have knowledge about and a passion for sharing.
  • don't think too much about the audio. Hire someone to do it for you.
  • make 10 podcast episodes - then throw them away. Then record 10 more.
  • but seriously. become a podcast guest. You'll learn how you sound to yourself and others, and how you interact on the fly. (Have you heard anyone speak as fast as JVN? Listen to Getting Curious)
  • Have an audience in mind.
  • Make sure that what you're putting out there is helpful.

How do you increase your creative output?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_300.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

As Jill and Brad close in on nearly 5 years of podcasting and almost 300 episodes, they reflect on how to increase your creative output.

"Here's a growth secret: Don't keep your business a secret." - Brad

If you've got a business, you've got to be creating things to put out into the world, Brad says. Jill hates the question, "How do you do it?" because she wants to ask the same question back. At The Founding Moms, Jill writes a daily email, she hosts this podcast, she has a monthly video course, a monthly webinar, a weekly Facebook live... she creates a lot. How? She does it with the help of her team, scheduling, and implementing systems.

Brad recently upped his monthly email to 3x/week and finds it easier. Writing once a month was stressful but writing every week has just become something he does. And it doesn't mean that he's always inspired to write, but with practice, everything becomes easier. They liken it to going to the gym: if you do it consistently, you just get used to it. In fact, Brad doesn't really believe in inspiration. Jill does... and thinks that you can even find inspiration in your competition.

"You can't run a business without creating." - Jill

What drives someone to create? This leads to a discussion around content, a word that Brad hates. People don't consume content. People don't create content. What they do is inspire, teach, and entertain.

How does someone do all the things they have to do? Where do they get the energy? Jill says that as long as she's communicating, she's fine with it. She was nervous about things when they first got started, but over time it's gotten easier. And the more you create, perhaps the more efficient you get.

How do you increase your creative output?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_299.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Brad's taking a page from Blair Enns of the 2Bobs podcast this week and asking, "What if you couldn't sell or retire?" They also talk to Scott Smith about the joys of being a lawyer and vulnerability.

"If the whole idea of being vulnerable is so that you can get to the next level, in fact, what you're doing is using people." - Brad

Scott Royal Smith is a lawyer who works with investors to help them get their time back and enjoy their lives. His business is growing faster than he can keep up though. This leads to a conversation about authenticity, vulnerability, and risk.

"Some businesses can't be rearranged that quickly." - Jill

Retirement's not an attractive option for Brad. Jill has already found a way to do what she loves with The Founding Momsand she hopes to continue doing it for a long time. If you could never stop doing what you're currently doing, would you change anything? Jill would want to speed things in her business up so that she would only be doing things she wants to be doing.

Brad has the ambition to make a dent in the universe. And he makes better progress when he's not rushing and when he takes time for yourself. What makes something like this sustainable?

What if you couldn't sell or retire your business?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_298.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

 

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad get the most outstanding review they've ever received. And in case you've ever wondered, they've never been married and do not plan to be.

"Set up measurements so you know that your employees' work is creating progress in the business." - Brad

Brad recently sent out an email entitled, "What gets measured gets rewarded," but Jill doesn't agree. She doesn't think you get rewarded all the time for the things you measure. Jill trusts her gut and feels that when you only go on what's being measured, you might be missing out.

"Measuring things does not always provide a reward." - Jill

But without data, how do you know if your employees are doing a good job? You can't just go on "I guess," or "No one's complaining, so..." You want to know how exactly they're making a difference - and you can do that by setting up measurements. Teams need numbers, Brad says.

Jim Collins, of Good to Great fame says that there are always things you can measure to help you understand whether you're making progress or not, even if you don't believe so. Is Jill wrong? Or is Brad?

Do you believe that what gets measured gets rewarded? 

Direct download: Breaking20Down20Your20Business20EP20297.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Time for a big picture question: are you playing offense or defense in your business? Problems arise when we try to burn the candle at both ends. When you're on defense and want to get back on offense, what do you do? Even in defense, you need business development.

"There are seasons in my business. It's not the same every day." - Brad

If you're in defensive mode, it also means that you may be holding on to resources that you don't need (i.e., paying people you don't need, etc). In these moments, Brad suggests that you shrink your resources down to essentials and then building out to a better solution.

"Patience is a virtue, but that has nothing to do with you demanding something of your team or the betterment of your business." - Jill

In a callback to last episode, Saul comes on and asks, "Is patience a virtue, or is impatiencea virtue?" Jill says patience is a virtue, but it doesn't have to do with business. Brad thinks there are certain things that just aren't going to happen any faster, and sometimes, being impatient is just pointless.

Saul thinks that on a certain level, you have to have a sense of urgency in business. He doesn't think people will get stuff done without the sense of urgency. Is it proactivity, or impatience? This leads to a discussion about business owners' expectations and whether or not they are reasonable, as well as dissatisfaction and dysfunction.

Are you playing offense or defense? What do you think about patience?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_295.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Are you full of energy or borderline burnt out? If you're the latter, Brad's got a 5-day email course that he wants you to read, called 5 Days to Get Control of Your Business and Your Life. In it, you'll find a simple exercise to cut down your work hours down immediately, a magic phrase that improves the output of your team and empowers them to solve their own problems, a proven practice to enable you to set boundaries, and a way to start fitting in things that you enjoy.

If this is something you're interested in, you'll find it here. Sign up and let Brad know what you think!

"You've been working real hard for a while and you don't know your own capacity." - Jill

Nobody says that they're going to work until they're burnt out, so how does it happen? Jill thinks it's a natural thing to fall into. You think you can do it all, but you can't. She also thinks that for women, hormones are a factor throughout the month.

Age plays a role too, Brad says. There are limits and that's a good thing - but you don't learn that unless you are of a certain age and have the experience.

"Humans have limits." - Brad

Jill is the queen of impatience - no one ever works fast enough for her. Brad says he's impatient too, but he also doesn't think that he's working fast enough. But both of them have learned patience over time. If people have unreasonable expectations, the best way they find to deal with it is to talk through it. Jill and Brad give listeners tips for dealing with burn out.

How do you deal with burn out?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_294.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Are you ready to go or are you kind of crawling into 2019 a little bit burnt out? If you’re the latter, Brad’s got a 5-day email course that he wants you to read, called 5 Days to Get Control of Your Business and Your Life. In it, you’ll find a simple exercise to cut down your work hours down immediately, a magic phrase that improves the output of your team and empowers them to solve their own problems, a proven practice to enable you to set boundaries, and a way to start fitting in things that you enjoy.

If this is something you’re interested in, you’ll find it here. Sign up and let Brad know what you think!

"Start talking to folks before you throw something into the world by yourself and don't get the tone of the city or the people in it." - Jill

Ashley Quinto Powell of The Bossy calls in and she has a great opportunity to launch a Chicago chapter after founding her business in Madison, Wisconsin. She wants to know the best way to do a launch in the Second City (though she would prefer not to do a fun run). Jill and Brad help her to get practical and less vague.

"The first thing you want to do is to stop solving people's problems." - Brad

Brad's talking about the most popular Harvard Business Review article of all time, published in 1973: "Who's Got The Monkey?" The monkey is a problem that the employee doesn't know how to solve, so they leave it with the business owners. So, ideally, you want to make sure that your office is a no-monkey zone.

So when someone walks in with a problem, the first thing to do is to be really stupid, Brad says. It trains people to come to you with solutions.

How do you deal with the monkey?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_293.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

It's a new year! Are you ready to go or are you kind of crawling into 2019 a little bit burnt out? If you're the latter, Brad's got a 5-day email course that he wants you to read, called 5 Days to Get Control of Your Business and Your Life. In it, you'll find a simple exercise to cut down your work hours down immediately, a magic phrase that improves the output of your team and empowers them to solve their own problems, a proven practice to enable you to set boundaries, and a way to start fitting in things that you enjoy.

If this is something you're interested in, you'll find it here (https://anchoradvisors.com/control/). Sign up and let Brad know what you think!

"Are you paying attention to the bigger picture?" - Jill

Are you working in your business vs. working on your business? Now, you hear that everywhere - but in the beginning, it was a reasonable question. And how would you know if you're working in or on? Jill's issue with the question is that it assumes there is a right answer.

In Brad's view, he thinks the goal should be that there's nothing that has to get done this week (as in a deadline) that he - as the business owner - is responsible for doing.

"When you're in the details, it's hard to have any perspective." - Brad

Brad uses Monday mornings to organize, and then by Monday afternoon, he knows what his objectives for the week are. He's not opposed to switching back and forth (from working in your business vs. working on the business) but he cautions against getting stuck on details.

As Jill is going through some changes in her business, Brad thinks that's great: we can only make changes as fast as people can absorb it.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_292.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Happy 2019!

Jill’s got a brand new book called The Best Business Book in the World (*according to my mom)! For anecdotes, biz tricks, tech tips, and tools, you can get her book on Amazon.

Do you ever think to yourself, "I really wish I could talk to Jill or Brad for an hour about MY business?" Now you can! Sometimes you just need a little help, or you have a question to ask that’s been bugging you. You suspect that it’s not really a whole consulting engagement — you just need an hour to talk something overwith someone who understands and can provide perspective. Book an hour with Brad here

"When you're starting a business, it's important to have a lot of ideas because you don't know what's going to work." - Brad

Blogger, podcaster, and entrepreneur Gresham W. Harkless Jr. calls in to talk about his focus problem. He has a lot of ideas but how can he laser focus?

Jill suggests he use a whiteboard and write it out and test it out on his podcast or social media. Brad suggests Gresham pick one thing and do it over and over and get known for it. And use his creativity to sell exclusively to one client.

"As you're honing your entrepreneurial instinct, you need a lot of feedback." - Jill

What are your 2019 resolutions? Our producer, Saul, wants to react to situations in a more controlled and measured way. And say "no" more. And finish his album.

Jill's business resolution is to have more interest in accounting. And maybe figure out what's happening with analytics (even though she won't say the word). She's also going to raise her prices.

Brad doesn't make resolutions, but he is interested in changing his habits. So he's going to try to cut out sugar 5 out of 7 days a week. On the business front, he's upping his email game.

Want these show notes sent to your email? Get them every week by signing up for our mailing list here.

What are your plans for the new year? Let us know! 

Guest:

  • Gresham “Gresh” W. Harkless Jr.is the founder and Blogger in Chief for CEO Blog Nation (CBNation.co) and is the founder and digital marketing specialist behind Blue 16 Media. Blue 16 Media is a digital marketing company providing digital marketing services to small to medium-sized businesses and organizations. Central to his marketing philosophy is that You Are a Media Company: Developing a Marketing Strategy to Connect with Your Target and Reach Your Goals. CBNation.co is a community of niche blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners including video content and audio content (podcast). 
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_291.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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