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

What’s In This Episode:

Are you a Type 1 or Type 2 thinker? The difference may be playing out in how you sell, too.

"There's a lot of turnover in those first few years when you go out on your own." - Brad

Alastair McDermott helps consultants of all kinds by generating leads and building their websites. But he's considering simplifying his business, which might alienate a good chunk of his audience that describes themselves as DIY'ers. What should he do?

Jill thinks he may benefit from carving out more of a niche while Brad suggests he does a little more market research on the types of audiences he wants to work with.

"Even if you tell people to back off, they don't know how to do that. Is that teachable?" - Jill

If you're trying to close a deal too fast, Brad says, you're telling people that you're not good at sales - and also that you may be a little bit desperate.

Is your sales process fast or slow?

Hang out with Jill and Brad!

Only a few more days 'til you can join Jill and Brad for drinks at their FIRST EVER offline event! Meet them October 4 at Park & Field in Chicago to get your shouting on. RSVP here.

Sponsor:

If you’re a manager or business owner, chances are you juggle many HR tasks and are trying to keep up with the ever-changing employment laws. HR 101 from ComplyRight is a free online training program that will give you a solid understanding of employment law so you can handle typical workplace issues like a pro. The six courses include General Legal Obligation for Employers, Recruiting and Hiring, Classifying Workers Correctly, Managing Your Employees, Preventing Workplace Harassment and Discipline and Termination. Explore ComplyRight’s free courses at www.complyright.com/courses.

Guest:

  • Alastair McDermott helps independent consultants and specialized consulting firms get better quality leads on their website.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_328.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Last week, Jill and Brad discussed what a salesperson does. Today, they're talking about the sales process. Is it driven by the customer?

"As a salesperson, you need to lead the conversation." - Brad

Do you wonder why people would want to buy from you anyway? If you ask some of the right questions, you may gather insight.  Either they don't know of you at all, or they know a lot  - they follow you on social, they spend time looking through your website - and overall, it's good to know where you stand.

"Salespeople are not good listeners." - Jill

And if you're leading the conversation, you need to be able to ask questions and get answers that will help you help your customer. And you also need to listen, which as Jill points out, is very counterintuitive. And you might not be the solution for what your client and prospective lead needs, but you might be able to figure that out with them together.

Once you've asked your questions, you may be able to come to a diagnosis - and you might be able to figure out the problem even before your lead has articulated it. Talking that through and recognizing additional problems leads to trust, which is vital in the sales relationship. Then you move on to the confirmation and feedback stage... and then, signing on the dotted line.

How does your sales process work in your business? 

Hang out with Jill and Brad!

Only a few more days 'til you can join Jill and Brad for drinks at their FIRST EVER offline event! Meet them September 13 at Park & Field in Chicago to get your shouting on. RSVP here.

Sponsor:

If you’re a manager or business owner, chances are you juggle many HR tasks and are trying to keep up with the ever-changing employment laws. HR 101 from ComplyRight is a free online training program that will give you a solid understanding of employment law so you can handle typical workplace issues like a pro. The six courses include General Legal Obligation for Employers, Recruiting and Hiring, Classifying Workers Correctly, Managing Your Employees, Preventing Workplace Harassment and Discipline and Termination. Explore ComplyRight’s free courses at www.complyright.com/courses.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_327.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Are salespeople the best or the worst?

"If you really want to grow your business, don't keep it a secret." - Brad

Catherine VonVanno of 20Four7VA calls in to discuss leads. So far, she's had warm leads but she wants to start reaching out to people who might not know of her VA service and go the direct marketing route. Does she try to handle internally, or go with a marketing agency to help?

The question of direct marketing and radio ads leads to a discussion about what kind of prospective clients may be out there who aren't really internet savvy. And how would you educate your market?

"They can explain why you need something without making you feel bad." - Jill

What is the job of a salesperson and how do you know when you've found a great one? Do salespeople just exist to take you on that last mile of the sales journey? What function should they play in your business - and how do you feel about them as a consumer?

What are your thoughts on salespeople? Listen in

Hang out with Jill and Brad!

Wanna join Jill and Brad for drinks at their FIRST-EVER offline event? Meet them September 13 at Park & Field in Chicago to get your shouting on. RSVP here.

Sponsor:

If you’re a manager or business owner, chances are you juggle many HR tasks and are trying to keep up with the ever-changing employment laws. HR 101 from ComplyRight is a free online training program that will give you a solid understanding of employment law so you can handle typical workplace issues like a pro. The six courses include General Legal Obligation for Employers, Recruiting and Hiring, Classifying Workers Correctly, Managing Your Employees, Preventing Workplace Harassment and Discipline and Termination. Explore ComplyRight’s free courses at www.complyright.com/courses.

Guest:

  • Catherine VonVanno is the president and executive director of 20Four7VA, which provides virtual assistant solutions to eCommerce businesses.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_326.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

We spend a lot of time thinking about the "before" of clients - how to get them, what we'll do once we have them - but what happens for the "after" part?

"This experience could help you to see more clearly and to have that empathy with where your clients are." - Brad

Jim Taylor of Launchways calls in to discuss how to make sure that sales don't outpace operations too much. And as they head into their busy season, how can they make sure they can still turn a profit and take care of their existing employees? Jill and Brad recommend that Jim make additional hiring choices to help... and of course, consider raising prices to deal with overflow.

"Get some feedback because that's going to help you improve your business." - Jill

Then, Jill has some Fs for you (not those kinds of Fs) to help with the "after" of your client relationship.

Which "Fs" do you give your clients?

Hang out with Jill and Brad!

Wanna join Jill and Brad for drinks at their FIRST-EVER offline event? Meet them September 13 at Park & Field in Chicago to get your shouting on. RSVP here.

Guest:

  • Jim Taylor is the CEO of Launchways, a company that solves customers’ growing pains by helping them build a scalable people infrastructure to support long-term growth. Visit their website or LinkedIn
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_325.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Every website has some common problems that need to be addressed for a better customer/user experience. Jill and Brad talk about what those are.

"When anyone goes to any website, they don't want to have to figure out what they're doing there." - Jill

Questions you need to focus on:

  • What is your CTA? You need one.
  • Where is your contact info? If you have a contact form, make sure it's actually working.
  • How's your messaging? Is it helping potential customers or is it all about you?
  • Does your branding reflect what you're actually like? Don't just slap on a template or copy what someone else is doing.
  • Are you giving visitors a reason to stay?

"When people get to your website, what is the feeling that you want them to have?" - Brad

Not sure if you're making some of these mistakes? Get feedback from another person.

How's your website?

Hang out with Jill and Brad!

Wanna join Jill and Brad for drinks at their FIRST-EVER offline event? Meet them September 13 at Park & Field in Chicago to get your shouting on. RSVP here.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_324.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Brad's a little confused about what customer experience actually is, so Jill and Brad call CX guru Jeannie Walters to help him out.

"Whether you know it or not, you are providing a customer experience." - Jeannie Walters

Jeannie explains that customer experience is the journey someone takes before they become a customer all the way to when they either cease to be a customer or become a lifelong advocate. The businesses who do it well are proactive about the experiences they're providing.

Done right, it can lead to more referrals and more value. However, most businesses don't factor in what customer experience might mean, and instead just focus on making the sale and getting the customer. But you can decide what sort of customer experience you want to deliver and build that into the way you do business leading to positive results for everyone involved.

"If I told you that by tweaking a line on your invoice... would get you three new referrals, wouldn't that be worth it?" - Jill

It used to be that you needed 12 positive experiences to overcome one negative one - and now you need 22. It can seem overwhelming. So if you're just getting started with customer experience, what can you do? Start with repair and little changes. It feels like a lot of work but with feedback from your customers, it makes a huge difference.

What customer experience are you providing?

Hang out with Jill and Brad!

Wanna join Jill and Brad for drinks at their FIRST-EVER offline event? Meet them September 13 at Park & Field in Chicago to get your shouting on. RSVP here.

Guest:

  • Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators™ by 360Connext, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Visit her website and sign up for her 21-day CX challenge.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_323.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Have you had a great experience with a brand that leaves you feeling good? For Jill, it was a follow-up email after leaving a review for blinds. For Brad, it was tea that traveled all the way from England with a personal note and a recommendation.

"Empathetic customer service can go a long way." - Brad

Jill and Brad talk to the Pitch Whisperer John Livesay, a speaker who's in high demand, but he's not sure how to scale, especially because he can't be everywhere at once. They recommend that the consulting aspect of his business be delegated, and to raise his prices for speaking gigs.

"You're saving you time; you're not saving me time." - Jill

When it comes to showing the human aspect of your business, how can you do it? Personalization takes time and effort. In today's hurried world, some of that personal touch gets lost (don't get Jill started on calendar links and Brad recently talked about automated pitches on the Offline podcast).

Are we automating things that shouldn't be automated?

How do you make your business more welcoming?

Guest:

  • John Livesay, aka The Pitch Whisperer, is a sales keynote speaker and shares the lessons learned from his award-winning sales career at Conde Nast. In his keynote “Better Selling Through Storytelling,” he shows companies’ sales teams how to become irresistible so they are magnetic to their ideal clients. Visit his website here.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_322.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Oh, summer. That time when all kids, everywhere, come down with the affliction known as "boredom." Jill and Brad have found some creative - and not so creative - ways to keep their kids busy. But what happens when your employees (the "kids" of your business) start complaining? How do you handle that?

"It's excellent to clarify what they're missing versus your expectations." - Jill

If your employees are reaching out because they're bored or they're done with their tasks, the problem might be that you as their boss haven't done a great job of explaining their responsibilities. And if they're getting unruly, Jill thinks it might be because they're having a bad day and she'll take a step back.

Brad will address it one-on-one because he doesn't want that attitude to become the new normal. But if someone has a consistent attitude, they may be unhappy with their position.

"Good employees verify boundaries with you." - Brad

If the employee has a sense of entitlement, both Jill and Brad take steps to call it out. They'll ask questions to get to the root of the problem. Jill and Brad talk about the difference in reaction between entitlement and unruliness, plus how they work to set boundaries.

What do you do when the "kids" get unruly?

TOMORROW! 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.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_321.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What has happened in the evolution of your business? Jill and Brad reminisce about how they felt when they first started their businesses... and what's changed.

"When you're 23, what do you have to lose?" - Brad

Jill began her first business around the age of 23 and felt pretty confident. Brad started his business more out of necessity and he didn't want anyone to know how scared he was feeling - and faking otherwise just meant he felt like he couldn't ask anyone for help.

"The stakes are higher now." - Jill

Now that they're more experienced in running their own businesses, the old fears are gone, but some of the anxiety remains. Once you're established, the fear changes: How will you deal with the loss of revenue? Maintaining your reputation? Once you have some success, holding on too tightly can also cause your business to fail.

Perhaps the thing that's changed the most? Not being afraid to ask for help.

How have you and your business evolved?

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.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_320.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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:

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

What’s In This Episode:

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.  

Buy Jill's book!

"I just want to remind everybody that social media is social." - Jill

Author and esthetician Samantha Dench calls in because she has a ton of followers on social media, but has a hard time converting sales. Brad says she needs to think about the value that she's offering. Jill also reminds her that she needs to be social on social media - more like you're sitting and meeting a friend for coffee, and less like you're trying to sell.

"Inviting people to community on a one-on-one basis is really powerful." - Brad

As the year draws to a close there’s one thing that’s nearly certain. Brad's to-do list is overflowing!

Maybe you’ve been hustling to get ready for the holidays, or maybe your clients have a lot of end of year requests that they want you to finish before their budget goes away. But the end of the year can be overwhelming for many.

Brad's father once said, “Brad, when you find you are at the bottom of a hole, stop digging!”

How do we get out of that hole when our to-do’s are overwhelming? Stop and do three things:

  • Say No -- Stop Doing List: there are probably some things you don't need to do.
  • Delegate: What can I hand off to others?
  • Declare Bankruptcy: Start over in the new year.

How do you deal with overwhelm and your to-do list?

Guest:

  • Samantha Denchhas been a licensed esthetician since 2003 and owner of Skin Deep since 2010. She has a passion for helping others solve their skin concerns through custom facials and internal wellness.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_290.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

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.

We're also talking about WHYs today. Have you seen Simon Sinek's TED Talk? Jill uses it all the time because it was the first time that someone explained why WHY was so important in a way that makes sense.

"Without the 'why', no one's gonna trust you and no one's gonna pay you any money." - Jill

Brad says that we spend a lot of time talking about the what and the how, but the why is a lot more interesting. Brad follows Marcus Blankenship, who wrote recently that sometimes the why is also important when we're delegating tasks to our team. Especially when we're considering creative tasks, what would be more helpful? The what or the why?

"I want to demonstrate our values and be consistent with our brand." - Brad

Jill has woven the concept of why into everything The Founding Momsdoes - why helps everyone understand where you're coming from.

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

Do you talk about the why of tasks with your team?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_289.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

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 at http://www.anchoradvisors.com/one-hour

"Having some real face-to-face time helps build the relationship." - Brad

Gavin Baker of Baker Labs calls in. Baker Labs does online marketing for those in the healthcare space. His problem is that his team is remote, and he's trying to figure out a way to bring them together in a way that's more meaningful and has better communication. They use tools like Slack and Zoom to communicate.

Brad says maybe they should have a daily check-in on Slack. Or on Zoom, build in some chit-chat to the agenda. Jill suggests leaving Zoom open for a bit to have more of a real-time feel (or using Daily, like she does!) and there's no agenda. You can do the same type of things that they do in an office, like cake for someone's birthday, Brad says - just do it on screen.

Or just get together once a year in a physical space, he says. If you think you can't afford it, try to plan it around an event that some of the team members are already going to, says Jill.

"You have to do what's best for your business." - Brad

Listener Rebecca writes in, "What loyalty do I owe to my suppliers?"

Brad suggests that Rebecca goes back to her supplier and tells them that she's more impressed with the other supplier she's found. She's not necessarily doing it for negotiation with her current supplier, and it will be easier if she sticks to facts. Jill and Brad once again delve into the murky area concerning loyalty.

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

How do you handle supplier loyalty? 

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_288.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

It's that time of year... How do you feel about holiday gifts? Do you love them or hate them? Jill LOVES handwritten thank-you notes because they're so thoughtful! But Brad thinks that all the pens and mugs and all the logo stuff... that can go away.

If you're going to give gifts to your clients,  stay away from blanket, generic gifts where you can and think about what might be heartfelt and/or truly valuable to them.

 "Put an angle on your personal brand." - Jill

Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur, host of the Problem Solversand Pessimist Archivepodcasts, and co-author of the recently released Mr. Nice Guy, has a problem related to his book. All of the firepower was concentrated on the launch of the book, so now what does he do? How can he keep the momentum going?

Jill wants to know what his goal is for the book, and ideally, he'd like this one to sell well so that he and his wife can write another. Brad suggests that he does the podcast circuit for sex and relationships in order to promote the book further. Jill says that if he finds an angle (maybe as a sex entrepreneur?) that's much more memorable, and therefore will encourage people to evangelize the brand and his book. He can also attain longevity with an email list or building a community.

"People listen to podcasts long after they first come out, so they have an evergreen effect." - Brad

What do you do about holiday gifts?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_287.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Brad started his business because he wanted to be free. He didn't want anyone telling him what to do! And then he sits down in front of his computer and thinks, "What should I do?" Sound familiar?

"I love that every day is different and that I choose priorities based on how I feel." - Jill

As business owners, you could have 1000 things to choose from, when really three of those things may help move your business forward. How do you choose? Jill goes with her gut. She loves that every day brings something new and that she can choose priorities based on what she's really invested in. Overall, her business is her priority and the work is never done because she's running a business.

Brad doesn't like that strategy because he feels like there's no way to know when you can stop something. But he often looks back at the end of the day and wonders what he got done.

"Should I spend time selling? Recruiting? Monitoring my team?" - Brad

So what's the best way to get things done? Setting priorities? Building systems? Seeing how you feel on any particular day? Do you need to delegate more or focus? Should you concentrate on the one area that makes you a lot of money? So many questions! Jill and Brad talk it through (and find a little help from Warren Buffett and the word "no").

Do you have a process for getting things done? How do you decide what to do next and choose what's right for your business? Let us know!

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_286.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? And how does it apply to business owners? Jill looks forward to the beginning of (vegan) egg-nog season, the Macy's Day Parade, cooking, spending time with family, and on and on.

Brad likes the family time and all, but he doesn't think that we'd ever practice gratefulness unless we carved out a day for it.

"It's a moment to remind us all to stop, eat too much food, and be grateful for what we have." - Jill

Jill's got a book coming out on November 24th called The Best Business Book In The World* (*according to my mom). She'll pretty much be working through the holiday (you can pre-order it here, or buy it on Amazon when it comes out). She's grateful to her team - she sometimes gets told she says "thank you" too much.

Brad's impressed with that because he's not as grateful for his crew as he should be. He's very future-oriented and it's hard for him to reflect on the past and the present. As a result, he tends to feel more isolated. He's already moved ahead when everyone else is finishing up the last thing.

"I think it's interesting that Americans have to stop and be forced to be grateful." - Brad

But taking the opportunity to pause and reflect on the fact that he never would have made it as far as he did without his team does soften things a little for him. Jill suggests that maybe they celebrate "giving thanks" one day a month as a way to instill the practice (and they wouldn't even have to eat turkey to do it.

What do you think? Would you celebrate "giving thanks" this way? Let us know!

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_285.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

If you're like Jill, you love marketing but hate sales. If you have brands you really love though, do you trust them? And when you notice they are selling to you, what's your reaction? Are they marketing well or poorly?

What's the difference? Brad thinks that when marketers are trying to convince you of something you don't really need or want, those are bad examples. But when you believe in what you sell, you want other people to believe in it with you. And when you're really good at marketing (like Apple), you can clearly craft an identity around your brand that makes people feel good.

 "Offer what they need, but at a higher price." - Brad

Rachael Kay Albers, founder of RKA Ink and host of Awkward Marketing, is going into her tenth year of business. She's looking to scale up and be more of the creative director for her business, but she has her hands in all aspects of everything. She needs to hire more people for her team, but she needs more money to do so. But to do the sales she needs to do, she needs to be doing less work.

RAISE YOUR PRICES, RACHAEL!

"Charge what you're worth." - Jill

So, do you sell products or experiences?

Guest:

  • Rachael Kay Albers is the founder and creative director of RKA ink. Her sweet spot is the space where business, marketing, and design meet. She is also the host of Awkward Marketing, which blends storytelling and comedy with marketing and business advice for entrepreneurs who want to build epic, unforgettable brands online.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_284.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What do you do for bonuses in your business? It's the time of year when year-end bonuses become a focal point. Jill and Brad talk about that, and a listener question involves asking if you canbuy loyalty. (We're never going to escape this loyalty debate.)

"It's so exciting from an employee perspective but it's so burdening for a boss." - Jill

There's so much anxiety surrounding bonuses, especially when employee and employer expectations don't match. But Brad believes there's no reason to start giving bonuses. Gifts are good when warranted, but he thinks that some employers think they are buying loyalty by giving out bonuses.

"A bonus means you're giving something unexpected." - Brad

But bonuses can be given for performance. A general bonus rewards the lowest paid employee more than the highest paid employee. A lot of employers fall into the trap of treating everyone equally like you'd want to treat your own family, and Brad wholeheartedly disagrees with that. But introducing that doesn't allow for any accountability.

When bonuses are given for performance, however, it bridges the gap for an employee who works for a small business and shares the risk of getting (or not getting) that extra perk. If you're going to give out a surprise bonus, Brad advises that you don't do it in December because there's more expectation that time of year. Make the bonuses proportional.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_283.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Ever needed help finding your tribe? What does that even mean, anyway? Is it customers or colleagues?

"Your tribe are the people that need that special thing that you have." - Brad

It's a common misperception that your tribe - in this instance - is your group of friends. But to find loyal customers, you want to be authentic. Does every brand need a tribe? Not necessarily.

If customers are responding to you, what do they have in common? Where do they congregate? That's where you can be your authentic self. It's very rare that your tribe turns out to be people just like you, which Jill was surprised by when she started The Founding Moms, and it took some testing to figure out what worked best. Brad spends a lot of time with trade groups and that's how he finds his tribe.

"Go out there and test what you think it might be." - Jill

And once you've found them, how do you get them to engage and commit? Jill constantly reaches out and checks in to foster the relationship. Brad looks for hot-button issues that he consistently hears his clients talk about so that he can talk about them passionately and offer solutions to those problems. If you can give a voice to people who are thinking and feeling what you are thinking and feeling, it's a great way to resonate with your tribe.

Then, to turn the tables, Saul has some listener questions and some followup on last episode's employee battle betweenJill and Brad.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_282.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad are talking about what to do when one of your team quits! What hurts more: the ego punch or the extra work? (Brad's voting for extra work.)

"I don't want them to have loyalty to me. I want them to have loyalty to the mission." - Brad

It does hurt when one of your team members quits. You get used to them being reliable and a good employee. When they leave, you have to cover their responsibilities while hiring someone else. It's a lot to take on.

Does loyalty factor into it? Jill seems to think so. Brad disagrees.

"When employees collaborate with the boss, I would hope that the employee doesn't look at it as a transactional experience in their day." - Jill

At Anchor Advisors, the greater good is to help small business owners run their business because they believe small business is a better place to work. A better offer is not always the best idea. So ideally, creating an environment of trust where employees can talk about their dissatisfaction helps to cultivate engagement. Hopefully, that means a team member wouldn't quit unnecessarily. But if they found an opportunity that worked out better for them, Brad understands.

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_281.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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:

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

What’s In This Episode:

Christmas is over, but Jill's not giving up on making eggnog a year-round thing. What are the things they loved most from the holiday? Jill's still basking in the hugs from her daughters (and eggnog), while Brad's happy about the slippers he received.

"If you spend all your time on your personal brand, then the business can never really move away from you." - Brad

Eric Paul Olson, chief marketing officer for Clever Stilettos, an online magazine for women entrepreneurs, calls in to discuss his dilemma. He can't figure out what he wants to devote time to -- his personal brand or the Clever Stilettos brand. He has a team of eight people to help him run Clever Stilettos, but he runs a podcast to go along with the magazine. Furthermore, Eric's also an actor on Chicago Fire and Chicago Med, so Brad and Jill suggest that maybe he should hire someone to help him with Clever Stilettos while he focuses on acting. Jill says that hosting a podcast is great, but he needs to hand it off to the team once he's done lending his time to it. His team can promote on all sides - both the Eric Olson brand AND the Clever Stiletto brand. Brad says that some fans of Eric Olson, the actor, will be interested in the fact that he ALSO has a digital marketing interest. Basically, it comes down to knowing who your audience is and distributing content accordingly.

"I want to pay more attention to my space next year. I used to care less about clutter, but I need more space now." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 non-money-driven goals for next year:

  • Try to be more present. No technology (phone, laptop - put it away!) - spend some more time with your family instead.
  • Taking more time off.
  • Make your workspace work better for you.
  • SAY NO! Get out of the habit of saying yes to everything.
  • And the number one thing? It's a tough one, but anyone can join in...

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Guest:

  • Eric Paul Olson is the chief marketing officer of Clever Stilettos, a women's entrepreneurial magazine. He splits his time between podcasting and acting
Direct download: Breaking_Dwon_Your_Business_EP_238.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

The end is near! The end of the year, that is. And, as the year draws to a close, Jill's in love... with a pitch. She appreciates a pitch she received via email was so personalized via audio that she could tell the person really put time and effort into it. Brad had the opposite reaction: he disliked that he had to click and figure out the message, and thought the sender could have just written things out.

"Why would I listen to two minutes and thirty-six seconds of yapping?" - Brad

Frank Ford, author of Happy Accidents: The Transformative Power of "YES, AND" at Work and in Lifeimproviser, and owner of Four Day Weekend, a comedy space in Fort Worth, TX, calls in to discuss how to open up a new location. He has the opportunity to open up a second location in Dallas, but wonders how to bring the quality and the value to the new digs. 

Brad says to replicate exactly. Once you can get the quality up to par, then you can innovate. Secondly, he suggests that Frank doesn't have to work with entirely new staff. Transfer some over from the original location so the feel and vibe are there. Thirdly, he says that Frank can follow the example of the Blue Man Group and reconvene frequently to see what's working for best practices.

Jill says face-t0-face meetings will be invaluable. And to keep structure, but don't have hard-and-fast rules. Think of SNL, she says. The structure has been carried through for decades and the brand is apparent, but everyone has done it a little differently.

"Take some freakin' time off!" - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things you need to do before year end:

  • Look at your taxes. Do it. Do it now.
  • Make a budget. Set goals.
  • Acknowledge those who make your business run. Say thank you!
  • Take some time off.
  • And the number one thing? It's a fun one...

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Guest:

  • Frank Ford is the owner of Four Day Weekend, a comedy institution in Texas. In addition to performing in over 5,000 shows and working with Fortune 500 companies throughout the world, Frank is also a very popular keynote presenter on the speaker circuit.
Direct download: Breaking_Dwon_Your_Business_EP_237.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

How long is a long break? In some industries, Brad says, you can take a really long time off. College professors can take sabbaticals. Some professionals can take up to three months! What does Jill think of that? Genius idea. It never hurts to give your brain a break. It's helpful every time. Could Brad take a year off? Well, he could, but he wouldn't have any income. But he's trying to incorporate some sort of sabbatical into his routine. He's going to try it and report back. Good luck, Brad!

"As somebody who's taken time off, you'd have to plan in advance. But there's a way to manage it so that it's doable." - Jill

Ruben Ocampo of Conic, an innovation consultancy, calls into the show to ask how to diversify his client base. For years, he's worked with Fortune 500 companies, but now he's looking to also work with smaller companies and non-profit organizations. He's worked really hard to market his brand, and it's finally starting to pay off. But where does he take the business from here?

Brad wonders, "Well, if you were one of your clients, what would you tell them to do?" Ruben has a clear vision of where he wants to go, but he's trying to work out the path to get there. He knows that he doesn't have to focus on the little things in business (he has an employee to whom he can hand off tasks!). Ultimately, he wants to establish himself as a thought leader.

The good news is that his business is doing well, so Brad suggests that if he wants to take on a business partner, he has to be careful because partnerships can be tricky. If he wants to become part of a larger company, the advantage is that he can get access to larger clients, but he needs to get to know the culture first. Find a place that will value his creativity. However, he might get the largest traction for his ultimate goal by just simply reaching out and saying that he's available for speaking and writing opportunities, and looking for possible projects to collaborate on.

"Saying no to this one is saying yes to the next one that might work." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to plan for a long break:

  • Hire a virtual assistant or a part-timer to work remotely for you. Look at UpWork or IVAA or Founding Moms and keep things running!
  • Collaborate with someone in your field. Have them take the lead and cover for each other in periods of absence.
  • Utilize technology: have your technology take care of technology for you. Use Zapier or Drift. Auto-responders are magical.
  • Have a team? Teach them to handle things!
  • And the last thing? It's so easy...

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Guest:

  • Ruben Ocampo is the founder of Conic Group, a strategic innovation consultancy, established in 2011. He works with clients in different industries, from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits and government agencies. He uses a unique approach to engage clients in meaningful conversations with their customers, workforce, and other key stakeholders in the value chain. This approach allows teams to create and deliver intuitive, empowering, innovative and delightful experiences that translate into healthier business results. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_236.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Did you ever work with a workaholic? Jill did, and it was not fun. Brad considers himself to be a recovering workaholic, and now operates under the assumption that if you don't answer e-mails right away, the world won't end.

Michael Asare of FeeBelly calls in for help on how to convert the free users of his app to paid users. Jill suggests that Michael is giving too many keywords away on the free version, and so he can cut back on that and offer more information on the paid version. Brad says that for a B2C user who doesn't need to go through pages of loan documents every month, it may be worth it to have a one-time price for one document instead of someone who doesn't want to pay for a monthly subscription.

"Get some rest so that you can be more creative." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways taking time off makes you a better business owner:

  • You might be less of a work-addict. Addicts don't make good leaders.
  • Getting away gives you perspective and realize what's actually important.
  • Taking breaks makes you more creative!
  • When you take time off, you have to delegate.
  • And then there's that thing that's pretty irritating to those around you...

 

Guest:

  • Michael Asare is the founder of FeeBelly, an app that allows you to scan documents for the hidden fees that are often in the small print. It is available for download from the App Store.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_235.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad are continuing their series on taking time off. They discuss Thanksgiving, and neither believes that visiting family counts as a vacation. They don't think the occasion is bad, but Brad can't really talk about business while he's around his family, and Jill has to explain to hers why she doesn't eat turkey. She says that, as a vegan, sides are where it's at anyway. And she's making a supposedly delicious vegan pumpkin cheesecake, so maybe desserts are a close runner-up.

"Why are we encouraging working on a Saturday? Why isn't it Small Business Wednesday?" - Jill

They then talk about Small Business Saturday, which was created by American Express to get more people to shop local ... and therefore, get more of a percentage from the transaction. Jill has to admit that the marketing is clever. After all, it's not every day small business owners get to celebrate themselves. Brad's conflicted because it does get people to shop local, but it was created in self-interest which benefits a big corporation.

"Boredom does good things for your brain." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways taking time off makes you a better person:

  • Your stress levels go waaaaay down and you're less anxious about your business.
  • It allows you to step back, see the big picture, and see what's working (or not).
  • Travel allows you to learn things about other cultures and see how they run their businesses.
  • You start to realize that social media is maybe not the best habit to have. (By the way, check out this TED talk about Facebook being a dystopia)
  • And then everyone will do THIS...

Sponsor:

  • This episode is sponsored by Hubba, the largest network of brands, buyers, distributors, and influencers. They take all the activities that happen at a trade show and put it online. Brands get increased distribution; buyers find the right products for their stores. Join for free today and make connections that grow your business.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_234.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad are still talking about taking time off, 'cause business owners NEED it. They ponder the longest they went without taking a vacation. For Jill, her longest span was 2 years. Brad went 4 years without taking a bonafide vacation. If it's been more than six months, please, please, please book a vacation (or a staycation, or just a break where you don't do work). You need it.

"If you start small, you might accomplish all of the things you want to do." - Jill

Amelia Forczak of Pithy Wordsmithery calls in and has two related problems. She wants to be able to help the clients who reach out, but who can't make the investment that ghostwriting a book calls for. Secondly, she needs to figure out how to make her business scalable. She's thinking of starting a course for people to write and edit books on their own, but she doesn't quite know how to begin. Jill's advice: start small. Brad says that if she coaches clients to do the work, then that serves as practice for the eventual course Amelia wants to create. Overall, though, she needs to decide what market she wants to serve.

"I hope you get rich. And when you do, send us 5%." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 excuses for not taking time off:

  • There's too much to do. But remember, you're the boss. Set deadlines for things in the future, and go.
  • Time is money, and there's never enough. Starting a business costs money, we get it. Stay with a friend, and take a break.
  • DEADLINES. Once you meet your deadline, THEN you'll take a break. But there's always one more thing... But again, you're the boss. Go away.
  • "When I'm rich, I'll take a big vacation." You can't just wait... do it now.
  • And then there's that mentality that all business owners have...

Guest:

  • Amelia Forczak is the founder of Pithy Wordsmithery, which provides strategic ghostwriting, marketing, and consulting for authors and businesses. She is the ghostwriter of five published books, including two best-sellers. She has served as a content strategist or editor for a handful of other successful books. Amelia’s background in corporate marketing enables her to go beyond transcribing conversations with authors and putting commas in the right places. She partners with authors to truly understand their business, serving as a dedicated book-writing consultant.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_233.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Who needs a break? Jill 'n Brad are on a mission to make sure that business owners take more time off. Jill thinks that some people don't want to take time off because they don't want to miss anything (FOMO, anyone?). Others fear that the business won't survive without them. Or worse, people think that their customers will hate them if they take time for themselves. Brad also points out that it takes so much momentum to get started again once you've gone away for a little bit.

"You have to connect the dots and make sure that I know that if I'm spending money on you, you're going to improve my ROI." - Jill

Renee Epstein and Lisette Kreuzer of B-Well Wellness Events started their business three years ago and have been doing well in their primary market. They want to branch out and do more corporate events, so they ask Jill and Brad how to get more exposure. Jill suggests that they make a good 30-second video to avoid having 17 pages of e-mail testimonials in order to pitch to the right people, and follow up repeatedly. Brad says that corporate stuff always takes time to come to fruition because it needs to get onto budgets. He also points out that even if you have a contact in the business, or names of people on your lists, they may not be the right people to talk to. So you need to find a way in and then get to the person who cares. Lastly, he suggests they may want to check out wellness fairs (that's where that video would do REALLY well).

"It's like walking in a forest where you realize that you're a very small part of this large thing." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 reasons you need more time off:

  • You're getting stale in your business. You can't do this forever without taking a break.
  • You can't think outside the box without getting outside the box.
  • It's good practice to learn to let go.
  • On a basic level, it's amazing and fun and relaxing. (You're gonna love it.)
  • Oh, and then there's that thing that ALL business owners are guilty of, and should really stop...

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Guest:

  • Renee Epstein and Lisette Kreuzer began B-Well Wellness Events after realizing that teachers don't often take the time to practice self-care. They promote wellness events in schools and corporate settings in the Chicagoland area
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_232.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What are your bad habits? For Jill, she says yes to things she doesn't need to say yes to (coffee dates can wait). Brad overschedules himself and has too many piles of papers on his desk. And while they both agree that social media is a bad habit, Jill thinks that's sort of a necessary evil for small business owners.

"I'm really good at pretending that things are going well in certain areas when they're not." - Jill

Muhga Eltigani, creator of the fresh fruit hair care line NaturAll Club, calls in to ask how to expand her product line. Customers are asking for more product and since she promotes a subscription-based service, she's wondering how to best launch new product. On top of that, her product is refrigerated which might add a logistical problem. Brad suggests she uses a line of credit to introduce new products to select customers. This way her inventory doesn't get crazy. Jill suggests pre-orders, but Muhga is worried that they might not be able to fulfill the orders within a certain timeframe. The easiest way to get money is to sell things to people who already buy from you, and you don't need to tell them a timeframe - if they want the product, they'll wait for it.

"It's okay to adjust your scope to their budget, but you can't give away the whole shebang." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things you should do less often:

  • Stop meeting with people. Use the phone first. Or do a video conference like Pluot.
  • Give up sleep. Sleeping less is not good for you!
  • Take over your team member's work and do it for them. You're only teaching them that you'll do their work for them.
  • Start new things. It gives you an endorphin rush, but if you don't finish anything, but you get no value from it. creator of the fresh fruit hair care line NaturAll Club, calls in to ask how to expand her product line. Customers are asking for more product and since she promotes a subscription-based service, she's wondering how to best launch new product. On top of that, her product is refrigerated which might add a logistical proble
  • And so many business owners do this one thing...

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Guest:

  • Muhga Eltigani is the founder of NaturALL Club, a monthly subscription service that delivers fresh handmade hair products. Want to try it out? Listeners of the Breaking Down Your Business podcast can use code NATURALL01 to get 15% off any order.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_231.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What do you believe in? Jill believes in the gut-check. Brad believes in giving in any interaction - that a client or a prospect walked away with more than they came with. Both are essential to business.

"As a business gets bigger, your gut gets disconnected with what's happening in the business." - Brad

Jared Hecht, superstar to his 11-month-old son and tech guru, calls in to talk about his new startup, Fundera. He's really proud of what Fundera has accomplished, and how they're helping people all across the country with small-business pitfalls. But he has a problem with hiring. Since the company is located in NYC, it's hard to compete dollar-for-dollar with the bigger-name companies out there (Facebook, Google, the list goes on). They want the best talent. Brad and Jill suggest that he look at the areas he can compete: the mission, the autonomy involved in changing people's lives - which you might not be getting at a major company -  and the mindset of employees when it comes to workplace culture and recognition.

"If you're able to create a fun story that your PR team will go out and tell, people will gravitate toward applying to you." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things you should never quit doing:

  • Clarifying your pitch for your business.
  • Asking for feedback. Ask differently. Ask other people. JUST ASK.
  • Getting people to subscribe to your mailing list. These people, essentially, help pay your bills. Get on it.
  • RAISING YOUR PRICES. If you're not raising your prices, you're not honing your pitch. Such synergy!
  • Oh, and then there's that thing that Jill refuses to do.

Guest:

  • Jared Hecht is the CEO of Fundera, a company that is transforming the world of business finance by replacing old school loan brokers with a smart and intuitive online shopping experience. Prior to founding Fundera, Hecht created GroupMe, which was eventually sold to Microsoft. 
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_230.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Does practice make perfect? Brad seems to think so. Not only because we practice, but because the benefit increases the more we do something. Jill agrees, especially when it comes to business: the operations and managerial tasks get easier, as well as figuring out how to pitch properly so that you get a response! In fact, that might be the difference between a bad entrepreneur and a good one.

"Good entrepreneurs pay attention and aren't mindlessly doing the same thing over and over again." - Jill

Author and teacher Kimberly Johnson calls into the show because she doesn't have enough time and she's not the best at delegating. Brad says that you need to make a list - who can do things for you? Then write down procedures. Furthermore, Jill says to put a timeframe on it. If you write down 5 things, pick the first item and say, "I'm handing this off in the next 12 hours." And when you hand things off, you're actually allowing people to share in your success.

"You're more likely to get referrals the fifth time you ask than the first time you ask." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things that are better the more frequently you do them:

E-mail marketing. The more frequently you e-mail, the more people respond.
Asking for referrals.
Communication with employees. You need to communicate more than you think is necessary.
Saying no. Do one thing, and do it well.
Oh, and then there's that one thing that business owners forget to do...
Want to know what it is? Listen in!»

Listener question:

Will asks, "Do you have any tips for taking a break from your business due to moving?" Think about your clients. Will they go anywhere? You can bring on contractors to cover some things for you. Phone calls can be done from the road.

Guest:

Kimberly Johnson is the author of The Start of Something BIG:: Your Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dynamic Business Plan, now in its second edition. She founded U3I, a management and marketing consulting firm which provides business development, project management, and management/technical assistance to small, medium, and large private businesses, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. 

Direct download: Breaking20Down20Your20Business20EP20229.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Brad just wants to automate things - is that too much to ask? He loves Zapier. He wants to make things better, and optimize them, and make them run more efficiently! Over time, however, business owners need to keep in mind that your business will change, along with the perspective on your business. Jill says that the more efficient you get, the more you see where you actually need to do the work... instead of letting a computer do it for you. So there may be a thing as optimizing too much (sorry, Brad).

"Sometimes I'm working on the dashboard of my dashboard." - Brad

David Feinman calls into the show and talks about what "viral" means in the video space. To him, viral means getting the audience that they want to see the product at the right place at the right time. He's got a problem, though: His pricing. Two years into his business, he's realizing that while the quality of his product is better than his competitors, he's charging less than he should be. Jill and Brad explain that he absolutely should raise his prices because that communicates to the marketplace that you're more confident in the value that you're putting out. People want high-quality stuff, and if they want it bad enough, they'll pay for it. In fact, they suggest tripling David's current prices for his new clients.

"You need to take more time for yourself. Schedule a block a week. Center yourself and make more money that way." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 reasons you should quit doing things that aren't working:

Do a gut-check, and put your focus elsewhere.
You could make more money (duh).
Make room to see what really matters.
Spend more time on the big picture. Or self-reflection.
Oh, and then there's that whole thing that business owners tend to spend too much time on...
Want to know what it is? Listen in!»

Oh hey there, memory lane:

As an added bonus in this episode, Rebecca Dengrove from Rebecca's Mom Leotards calls in to follow up from her podcast episode. Her terrible 1995-era website was redesigned based on Jill and Brad's advice, and consumers love it so much, she can't keep up with current demand! A better website really is magical, guys.

Guest:David Feinman is the co-founder of Viral Ideas Marketing, where they create to inspire. They believe everyone has the right to be fulfilled, they believe in shared creativity, and in the power of defining your why. His company shares this message through the creative process and through video. 

Direct download: Breaking20Down20Your20Business20EP20228.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad conclude their series on money and wonder aloud why talking about money is so weird. Jill remembers that she was offended the first time someone asked her what her money-making model was. She takes a much more private and personal approach to the topic because it's one that is a source of pride as well as a vulnerability for many. Brad thinks that if you just talked about pricing outright, things wouldn't be so uncomfortable.

Social entrepreneur Joanna Black calls into the show and talks about the impetus for starting her co-working space, SheWorks Collective. The times they are a'changing for Joanna's business model, due to the fact that the collaborative/co-working environment that kicked off her business two years ago is a bit outdated. She's trying to attract new members but finds that it might be difficult given her industry. Jill and Brad suggest focusing on community as well as possible work themes which might bring connection.

"Collaboration doesn't happen because you have a conference room or because you have a meeting. It happens in between meetings." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 money hang ups business owners have:

  • Everything is too expensive. Instead, focus on what's valuable to the business.
  • Insecurity about the future, leading to either spend too little or too much.
  • "Everyone has more money than me!!!" This allows you to shirk responsibility about what your priorities should be.
  • "I don't want to pay any taxes." Think of taxes as a privilege. You made money this year!
  • Oh, and then there's that nit-picky thing about running a successful business...

Want to know what it is? Listen in

Guest:

  • Joanna Black is the founder of SheWorks Collective, a collaborative co-working space for female entrepreneurs. For more than 20 years, Joanna has been a leader in social responsibility, sustainability, wellness and women’s empowerment. She has consulted for some of the world’s largest companies on corporate responsibility and purpose; co-founded Hip-E Living, one of the country's first eco-lifestyle retailers; re-ignited environmental activation as managing director of Earth Day New York. Find her on Facebook.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_227.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad take a trip down memory lane and talk about why they started their businesses. When Jill started her first business, she focused on money. Now into her third enterprise, money matters a bit less and it's more about enjoyment. Brad agrees with Jill (it doesn't happen often, but it happens!): When you have a baseline, it becomes easier to build the type of business you want.

Fun fact that we didn't know about until this episode: Vanilla custard and moisturizer have similar methods of cooking.

Katarina Stetz calls into the show and discusses how she was inspired by chemistry and her grandmother from a young age to become a skincare formulator (that's the technical term for a person who makes skincare products).

Her problem? She moved from London to Chicago and doesn't know how to build up her network of industry contacts or buyers or other entrepreneurs in her new location. Every city has a code, she says, so she wants to know how to "crack the code" of Chicago. Jill and Brad suggest going to networking organizations no matter what city you're in - and while it won't happen overnight - it gradually will result in business relationships you're looking for.

And the other important thing? If you want something, all you have to do is ask. You can't go into any industry and assume that they'll be helpful without asking.

With enough opportunity, you can even create an event of your own and look like a rockstar for bringing everyone together!

"There is a much bigger mission that I understand and a lot more satisfaction I get from not thinking every day about, 'Did I make this number today?'" - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things that are more important to your business than money:

  • Customer feedback. If customers are happy, the money will follow.
  • Branding and design. A good design will keep customers coming back.
  • Paying attention to the changing of the times. Stay ahead of the curve and don't get too comfortable.

"When I take a day off, I'm actually better at what I do." - Brad

  • Personal joy and freedom. Save some time for you.
  • And then there's those folks you lean on...

Want to know who they are? Listen in

Guest:

  • Katarina Stetz is the founder of NINNI, a skincare company, which began in London, UK. Katarina is from Sweden and NINNI is based on the Scandinavian philosophy of natural, simple and effective skin care; all made in a sustainable way. Katarina has a Master’s degree in chemical engineering and 10 years experience in the beauty industry. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_226.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT