Episode #244: Pillar Series – Knowing Your Why
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You’re listening to episode number 244 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m jumping into a brand-new series called the 8+1 Pillars, and today’s episode is Pillar One. And it’s knowing your what and your why. On to the episode.
Today’s episode is sponsored by Gusto. If you have a business or a blog, and I’m sure that you do if you’re listening to this episode, you know that small business owners wear a lot of hats. And some of those hats are great, but some, like filing taxes and running payroll, are not so great. But that’s where Gusto comes in. Gusto makes payroll taxes and HR actually easy for small businesses and full payroll processing benefits and expert HR support all in one convenient place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes, so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus, they make it easy to add on health benefits, and even for one case for your team. Those old school clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work, but Gusto is. So let them wear one of your many hats because I’m telling you what, you’ve got better things to do. Listeners of Boss Girl Creative get three months free when they run their first payroll. Try a demo, test it out for yourself. Visit gusto.com/bossgirl.
Hey, welcome to Episode 244. I am your host, Taylor Bradford. I’m excited that you’re here today. And we are diving into a brand-new series. This is my 8+1 Pillars. The first pillar is knowing your what and your why. We are going to be building a foundation for your business, and this is pillar one, all eight plus one, so nine in total, are super, super important in building your business and growing your business. And it all starts with your foundation. So we’re going to start in with number one, and that is knowing your what and your why.
But before we dive into this episode, a couple of announcements. Number one, let’s jump into this week’s community member spotlight, and it is Misty with Blue Magnolia LLC and her blog For the Love of Kevlar. And you can find her at bluemagnoliallc.com, and Misty creates and sells custom apparel, accessories, and decals, and she blogs about living as a police wife. You can say hello to her on Instagram @BlueMagnoliaLLC. Misty, thank you so much for being a part of Boss Girl Creative. I truly appreciate your support. Please go pop over and say hello to Misty. Again, her Instagram is @BlueMagnoliaLLC, and you can find her at bluemagnoliallc.com. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming podcast episode and receive a shout out in an upcoming newsletter and Instagram post, please pop over to bossgirlcreative.com/feature. There are a few quick questions to answer, and it gets you in the lineup for an upcoming episode feature. And I love supporting my community. And this is a great way for you to get some exposure and brand recognition and all of that. So it’s super easy to do just pop over to bossgirlcreative.com/feature.
Final announcement. Are you in the Inner Circle yet? Y’all, it’s growing. It’s getting good. I’m super excited. For as little as $10 a month. That’s like two lattes, y’all. Two lattes a month, for as little as $10 a month that gets you into the Inner Circle. And there’s three levels. I’m actually about to change Level Three. So let’s just focus on Level Two and One.
So Level One, $10 a month gets you into the Inner Circle, gets you into the group, the community. It also gets you access to the Resource Library that I’m building, and it gets you access to a monthly Q&A session that’s live through my Zoom channel. And you submit your questions ahead of time, and I will answer them live in this monthly Q&A. And if you’re unable to attend no big deal, I asked for your questions in advance so that, for those that can’t attend live, they will have access to the replay. So they will still get their question answered if they can’t attend live. So that is the $10 a month level.
And then if you upgrade into Level Two, which is $25 a month, here are the details. It unlocks you receiving a Boss Girl Creative mug and a handwritten thank you note from me. It also unlocks office hours, which are the first Wednesday of the month through the app, Voxer, which is a walkie talkie app, and so I have office hours monthly for Level Two members. And yeah, that’s pretty awesome. You just Vox me send me an audio message, and then I’ll get back with you and office hours are 10 am Central Standard Time to 8 pm Central Standard Time, so we can be Voxing back and forth once a month during those office hours. You also unlock a monthly co-working session, which is on a Sunday afternoon, and it’s where we all work together on our to-do lists. So we do this again through my Zoom channel, and we just work on our to-do lists together. It’s a great way to bounce ideas off, if you’re working on something specific, maybe you’re working on your opt-in offer, or maybe you are trying to figure out how to set up your email list. Those things can happen during this co-working session. And then three consecutive months at this level unlocks a 30-minute one-on-one strategy session with me. So lots of goodness in Level Two.
So what are you waiting for? I need you to get into the Inner Circle because you’re missing out. So don’t have FOMO. Go to bossgirlcreative.com/innercircle to get signed up ASAP.
Alright, let’s dive into Pillar One: Knowing Your What and Your Why. Super, super important in building that foundation and not only for brand new business but for growing your business. If you do not have a solid foundation, you aren’t going to be able to move very far in your business journey. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” This is Eleanor Roosevelt.
So some of you may know my backstory. Some of you may not know about my backstory, but back in 2003, I graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in science, kinesiology, specifically, and a minor in business. But I had no job, and at one point I had to move out in the middle of the night, my husband and I, we were dating at the time. We had to move out in the middle of the night because I had no job and we couldn’t pay rent. And I basically had to move in with a friend, and my husband had to pawn one of his guns. True story pawn one of his guns to the roommate, so that I could have the first month’s rent paid for. And thankfully, right at that time, I did get a job as a personal trainer in Dallas, but I hadn’t started yet, and I hadn’t started making money yet. So I was very grateful for that pawning situation because it allowed us to get some movement and boots on the ground, and I eventually started making money. So, my husband, I was able to exchange that for his gun back.
In 2004, I started personal training. And in that year, y’all I turned my world around from not being able to pay rent, to buying my first investment property. My, my husband and I, we saved up our money. We worked really hard in 2003, and into 2004 and by about April 2004, we had a down payment. And we bought our first investment property, and we actually moved into one side in 2004. And we already had a tenant in the other side, and the tenant basically paid our rent, which was awesome. And at that time, my husband was running this big machine he had a contract with the National Hot Rod Association, and he went all over the country with the NHRA, which is the National Hot Rod Association, the Sport Compact series, and was testing and tuning for them with this big machine called a dynamometer. And would show up and do test and tune for people that were showing up to these events. And Quaker State was also one of our sponsors.
And so that was that, and then 2006, so cue two years forward, 2006 we actually bought a house, and I moved a tenant into our side of the duplex. And we, I not we, I got really nosy about what they did for a living because of how they filled out my application to move into my property. And they were in the oil and gas industry and made a lot of money, and I was like, “Man, what do they do?” And so I got super curious, and in that process, we bought a second investment property, another duplex, and we actually moved their daughter into that particular property, one side of it. And she thankfully put down who they work for. And so I did some research and found out they were petroleum landmen. I didn’t know what that was. But I was like, “Man, they’re making a lot of money.” Making a lot more than me. And now I want to know what it is they do. So I approached the first couple, the older couple, and said, “Hey, I don’t really know what a petroleum landman is, but I want to learn. How about if I trade you services? I will personal train you both for free if you will teach me everything you know.” And that is what got me started into what is still currently my day job. I am a petroleum landman. Thankfully now because I have a lot of years in the business. So, I started in 2006 and got my first job in 2007, and so now I’ve been in the business for 12, 13 years (wooo) just turned to 2020 so, 13 years as a petroleum landman. So I’ve got a lot invested time in this industry and so I am able to work from the comfort of my home and do my day job, which gives me a lot of flexibility to side-hustle these other things, but that is what is my bread and butter still is this day job. 2007, we started a motorcycle business. The economy changed. Remember that the economy started changing and we hadn’t quite had a crash. Yep, economy change. 2007, we started a motorcycle business. And that was kind of what my husband was doing. I was still also personal training. So I was part-time landman, helping my husband run, well we weren’t married. Yes, we were. We got married in 2006. Helping my husband run this motorcycle business and also doing part-time landman stuff.
2008, we bought a car lot because the economy started changing. I was still doing petroleum landman stuff. I was still personal training in 2008. I started my first blog, Tales of a Used Car Lot Owner, in 2008. I had no clue what I was doing, but I was enthralled with a Pioneer Woman. I found her in 2008. I think she’d been blogging for a couple of years at that point. And I was able to read through all of her blog posts. I started the very beginning of her blog, and I read everything. I got to read her love story to the Marlboro Man through her blog. This was before she was discovered, and that was happening 2008. 2009, we stopped motorcycle sales and started car sales, used car sales. And I actually resigned as a personal trainer in 2009. I retired that hat and but I was still land manning. I did that for a couple of years, the land manning and helping with the car lot, and trying to attempt this blog that I really didn’t know what I was doing. But I was talking about our car business. And then 2011 was when a big shift happened. I went out on the road full time as a landman, and it meant that I had to go where the work was because the work shut down in my local area. And so I lived in a hotel for three weeks at a time out in West Texas and because that’s where the work was, and the work still primarily is out in West Texas, but thankfully, I get to work from my home. And I’m actually working Colorado at the moment. So went out on the road full time, was super bored, did not know anybody. And if you know anything about the oil and gas industry, it’s predominantly male, so it wasn’t a lot of female interaction out there in West Texas. I did meet some women and formed some relationships and friendships, and that was helpful but was still living in a hotel room three weeks at a time. And it was just sad and depressing, and I needed a creative outlet. So I started another blog called Goings on in Texas, where I was blogging five days a week, but I wasn’t really talking about goings-on in Texas. It was just what name I chose. I mean, there was no thought in branding back then. 2014, I was still on the road, but I started my event rental business back then and had a business partner. In 2015, after creating a series of blogging lessons called #BloggingEdumacation, I started this podcast in 2015. Podcast and community. July specifically, so we are coming up on four and a half years. Or actually just celebrated four and a half years. Oh my gosh, where’s the time going? 2015 that’s what happened. 2016, I officially retired being on the road as a landman. I just couldn’t live on the road anymore. Guys, from 2011 to 2015, 2016 actually, I lived on the road all of the time, and it just got to be exhausting. So I came home from working full time on the road. I took a local petroleum landman job that was terrible. I was still blogging. I was still podcasting. I was not blogging as often as I had been because when you have your own schedule and freedom when you live on the road by yourself, you get to create all of those things. And when I came home, that was really hard because then I had to start managing my household again and my husband and I to keep things in order. So it left less time for blogging, and the podcast was more important. So I ended up putting a lot more effort into podcasting and trying to grow a rental business. 2017, I ended up splitting with my business partner, and I relaunched my event rental business as Sugar Creek.
And then, 2018, late in the year, I really needed to start figuring out my why. And getting some clarity with Sugar Creek and Boss Girl Creative, which has continued through 2019 and now into 2020. I really feel like when I made that decision at the end of 2018, to really focus in on the clarity, that is when things started to shift in the right manner. And y’all, I have always been testing and tuning, testing and tuning, and testing and tuning. Because what works for some doesn’t work for everyone and trying to find my footing and where I fit into the world. And, you know, I’m constantly learning because I’m constantly teaching. And I knew then that if I didn’t have a strong foundation, if I didn’t get my crap together, and have a strong foundation, which starts with your what and your why, I wasn’t going to be able to move these businesses much more forward than I’ve already moved them. And so that is where this is coming from.
Quick backstory of my backstory, but this is where the clarity came from and understanding that you had to build the foundation. If you didn’t have a strong foundation, you weren’t going to get very far. “Clarity in what you are doing equates to power.” That’s Marie Forleo. If you’re not clear and what it is you’re doing and why you are doing it, you are going to continue on the hamster wheel, and you will not move forward. It’s just going to keep spinning you in circles, and you’re not going to be able to get off that hamster wheel if you do not find some clarity.
So what is your Why? It’s staying committed to your dream and getting others on board. It’s the very first question I asked all of my clients, all of my one-on-one clients, and nine times out of 10, they don’t have any clue what their Why is. Let me tell you if you can’t be clear on your why you are going to keep running on that hamster wheel. I cannot give you the secret sauce until you have that figured out. I can’t teach you that part. I can teach you the nitty-gritty of the fundamentals. I can teach you those things that are teachable, but I cannot teach you your why. So I had a client several years ago, and we worked together for several weeks. And the first question I asked her was, what is your WHY? And what she came to me for was trying to figure out how to bust through to the next level. Like, she was basically stuck on this hamster wheel, and she was doing all the right things. She had a really strong blog. She knew who her blue person was. And what her downfall was, is the stats and chasing the dollar. And while that can be a component to your business, it can’t be your foundation. You can’t be in this just for the money. That doesn’t work. And that was her issue, is she was chasing robots I’ll never forget when she told me. So her blog was about tweens and being a mom of tweens, and she had I believe about five kids, and they were all in the tween age group. And she was a stay at home mom. And that was who she was speaking to his other moms of tweens. And she ended up doing this series, completely unrelated to that, something like so far out in left field, just to boost her ad traffic. But it had nothing to do with the sole concept of her blog. Like it was something so unrelatable to other moms with lots of kids. Like, they didn’t have time to do this thing that she created. And so I said, “You know what, I can’t teach you how to move forward without you stepping back and understanding why you’re doing this. If you just want to chase robots and chase readers for your ad traffic, okay, that’s one thing. And then, we completely design a blog. We start over, and we completely design a blog based on this one thing because that’s solely chasing traffic. But if you have anything else in mind, when it comes to your what and your why, then we can’t do those things. We cannot chase that kind of traffic, because it’s not serving your audience. It’s not serving your blue person.”
Let me tell you this: progress is better than being perfect because we aren’t going to be perfect. We’re human. Progress is not perfection, but we have to have a very clear understanding of what our Why is. So let’s, you know, step back, let’s figure out why we’re doing this. Why are we in business? What are we doing in business? Why does it matter? Check it. That’s a phrase my stepbrother uses all the time. Check it. If you do not know the results you want, there is not or will not be a book, a coach, a YouTube video, a course, a program, a podcast episode, keep filling in the blank that is going to help you get there. I want you to write that down. I’m going to repeat it again. If you do not know the results you want, there is not or will not be a book, a coach, a YouTube video, a course, a program, a podcast episode that is going to help you get there. Remember, clarity is power.
So what do you want? And why do you want it? What makes you tick? Why do you do what you do? What are your strengths? What are you about? Why does this matter? Find an answer that speaks to your soul and then run towards it. Don’t wait. You will attract your blue person, aka your ideal customer, or your ideal reader. You will attract them once you’ve got that figured out. You want to ask these questions and define the answers. What do you want from your business? From your life? What do you want this to look like? What do you want this business to look like? What do you want this life to look like? You’ve got to get crystal clear on this. When you are super clear on what you want, it’s easier to shut out all of that noise around you. Diminish the squirrel moments. Diminish the sparkly things around you. Once you’re super clear on what you want, you’re gonna be able to shut out that noise, to turn off those squirrel moments, to diminish the sparkly things around you. “If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up someplace else.” That’s Yogi Berra.
If you haven’t figured out what your what is and what your why is, there’s never going to be any excitement or positive emotions attached to it. Burnout will happen. You will feel deflated. You will get bored. You will get overwhelmed. You will get distracted. The reasons have to come first, and then the answers will come second. What do you want? The specific outcome or result you’re going after. That’s what you want, and why do you want it? The emotional or compelling reason why it’s important to you. Those are two things you’ve got to figure out. What you want, that specific outcome, or result you’re going after, and why you want it the emotional or compelling reason why it’s important to you.
Here’s another food for thought. Is your business purpose driven? Consciously and intentionally making it be more than just making money. So one thing that is a struggle for me to watch for my husband is that he is focused on making money. But business is more than that, and that is what I keep trying to teach him. Finding the passion, and then the money will come. My businesses mean so much more than just the money. They bring me joy. They give me wow-worthy moments. They change people’s lives so that they can live the life they want to be living. Your business can create change for people, for communities, for Mother Earth. Your business can be a force for the good if you make it purpose-driven. A purpose-driven business is bigger than yourself, and it allows you to tap into a well of strength, creativity, and passion. When you align your work and your values and make a living and a positive impact in whatever way that is meaningful to you, you will keep pushing and pushing and pushing your business forward. True and lasting fulfillment in life doesn’t come from what we get, but from what we give. When you intentionally make your business a force for the good, it will fulfill you emotionally on a daily basis. When your business is bigger than your own survival, you are going to tap into an unlimited wealth of strength, creativity, and passion to overcome whatever gets in your way. When your business is about more than just money, you will attract better customers because it has heart. It has soul. It has strong values. And it’s going to attract loyal customers and fans and employees and team members.
“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” That’s Simon Sinek. So what is your What? What is the purpose of your business? What is the cause of your business? What is the belief of your business? What inspires you to do what you do? The what of your business is based on your heart, your core values, your vision for the future. What difference are you trying to make in the world? Who are your customers? Who are you hoping to serve? What are their values, their beliefs, their worldviews? What difference do you hope to make in their lives?
With Boss Girl Creative, my hope is that I change your life by providing you tools and resources that push you further in your life and your business. Tools and resources that help you grow; that help you tackle challenges; that help you move forward to create the life you want to be living. The better that you understand and emotionally connect with the people you are trying to serve, the more powerful and profitable your business is going to be.
What is your product? That thing that you sell that creates value for your customers. Your product can help you fuel higher profits and higher purpose by helping your customers connect with the feelings they value, too. What you sell. What you promote. It needs to create real value for your customer. This is all fueled by what you want out of your business and your life and why you want it. Remember, clarity equals power.
What are your financial goals? How quickly do you want to achieve them? What feelings and emotions do you want out of all of this? What is your Why? The more emotion you have connected to what you want, the more power and commitment you’re going to have to stay the course and actually do the work and create the results that will end up creating that life that you want. That business that you want.
So how are these results going to affect your life? How are they going to affect you financially? How are they going to affect you physically? How are they going to affect you emotionally, spiritually, socially, intellectually? How will these results and goals you reach impact your ability to contribute to the world, to contribute to your well being, to your relationships and family? What are your reasons? What are your WHYs to backup your WHATs?
Here’s a quote for me. At the end of the day, in a crowded space, “Where your competitors are constantly working to stay on top, the one thing that cannot be replicated, is you. You’ve got to be your authentic self every.single.day.
I hope this has given you some structure. Some questions to ask yourself because now it’s time to do the work to figure out what is your why, and what is your what because they are important. Remember, clarity is power. If you’re not clear on any of these things, you’re going to stay stuck in that hamster wheel.
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. Again, shout out to today’s show sponsor, Gusto. Visit gusto.com/bossgirl to test out a demo. See for yourself. Get three months free when you run your first payroll. Another shout out to this week’s community member, Misty with Blue Magnolia LLC, and her blog For the Love of Kevlar. Thank you again, Misty, for being a supporter of Boss Girl Creative. Until next week, when we dive into pillar number two in this series of 8+1 Pillars. You guys, I hope you have a great week.