Episode #317: What I Would Do Differently if Starting Now
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You are listening to episode number 317 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m talking about nine lessons I’ve learned in six years of this podcast. On to the episode.
Hello. Welcome to Episode 317. I’m your host, Taylor Bradford. Thank you so much for tuning in. today. It’s official. Actually, July 1st was official, but by the calendar, it’s official. This is my six-year podcast anniversary, and wow, what an accomplishment. What an absolute accomplishment. There are only like 30% of shows that even are active within the last 90 days, and the fact that I have 317 episodes and six years of podcasting – I’ve never missed a week. That is an amazing accomplishment. Crazy, crazy amazing accomplishment. So thank you so much for being on this journey with me. For those that are long-haulers, thank you so much for continuing to support Boss Girl Creative. It means so much. Today I’m talking about some business wisdom over these last six years. Because in this year, 2021, when I’m recording this episode, I’ve had two big things within this show. So not only did I hit 300 episodes, but I hit six years in business. Those are two radically huge accomplishments in the world of podcasting. So I’m going to talk about nine tips. Nine business wisdoms, I should say, that I have encountered in these six years of business because it’s been more than just six years of this podcast. It is six years of my life and everything else that I have been doing beyond the podcast or the other things that I also do in line with the podcast. So we’re going to talk about that.
Before I get started, the Inner Circle membership reopens its doors August 1st, and you definitely want to be a part of when those doors open back up. Monthly fee $27 a month, and it gives you access to the community, to a monthly live Q&A, to a business book club, and our business book club is different. We take a book, and we dive in through the book, a business book, and we work through the book. So there is no “we’re going to read a different business book every single month.” That is not – that’s not realistic at all. So we went through one book, Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley, that was our very first book. We’ve been going through Carol Alwill’s Girl on Fire book and have already spent two months on the book. July makes its third month. And that’s how our business book club works within the Inner Circle membership. You also have weekly office hours that are one-to-one with me if you have questions or need help with strategy, whatever it might be, through my Voxer channel. We also now have two co-working sessions every single month. These are 90-minute co-working sessions where you spend a dedicated time of 90 minutes on a task or two tasks or whatever to help you get some of those things that might be sitting on your to-do list that might be a little overwhelming or just the thought of trying to tackle them just kind of gives you the heebie-jeebies, whatever it might be, or if you just want to work side by side with other amazing humans. That is also part of the membership. You definitely want to be a part of it. The waitlist is open right now. Doors reopen August 1st, so get yourself on a waitlist to be alerted to when those doors actually open up. So pop over to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle to get your name on that waitlist because I promise you don’t want to miss out. The doors will close middle of August, and they won’t reopen again until December. The doors are only open three times a year. So you definitely want to get on the waitlist so that you don’t miss out on this next round. I promise good stuff is happening inside the Inner Circle. People are making things happen in the best way possible. It’s awesome.
Okay, so let’s dive in. Six years of business with this podcast. That is crazy. Crazy awesome. Okay, number one. It takes everything you’ve got. Business takes everything you’ve got. And this can’t be further from the truth. Actually, all nine of these things can’t be further from the truth. It takes everything you’ve got. You’ve got to love what you do. You’ve got to believe in what you do, even when you have naysayers. You’ve got to say yes to things that will push you, drive you, motivate you. You’ve got to look for opportunities to grow to learn to get better. You’ve got to make those a priority. And you can’t just show up and go through the motions. You actually have to be present. And you’ve got to be better than you were yesterday. It truly takes everything you’ve got. Truly, business takes everything you’ve got.
Number two, get out of your comfort zone. And be curious; always staying in a safe zone is not going to grow your business. It is literally going to get us zilch, and it’s going to keep you very limited in scope. You’ve just got to give things a try. You’ve got to be willing to give things a try. You’ve got to be like willing to know sometimes things won’t turn out the way you think they will. You’ve got to challenge yourself.
Number three, it’s not easy. And you’ve got to expect that if it were easy, so many more people would be doing this business thing. But it is not easy. Trust me, it is not easy. You just have to know that challenges are going to arise, and you’ve got to be at peace with that, you’ve got to be at peace, that this is going to be hard. And you’re going to get through it because you’re a strong human. You’ve got to handle yourself. You’ve got to see challenges for the growth lessons that they are. Because it isn’t easy, but you’ve got to be okay with that, and you’ve got to expect that it’s not going to be easy.
Number four, business is one big gigantic trial and error. Trust me on that one. Know what you are good at and what you are not. Direct your energy towards where you excel because it takes way too much time to fix where you’re broken. You will just be treading water and not moving forward. So you’ve got to direct your energy towards where you excel. You’ve got to know who you are, what you stand for, and stay within those walls. And you just have to try. Like I said, business is legitimately the biggest trial and error of all time. Some things are gonna work. Some things are not going to work. You’re gonna make pivots. You’re gonna shift. But you have to stay focused on what your end goal is. You have to stay focused on while you’re doing these things. You have to stay focused on who your target audience is. All of those things matter. Your pillars of your business truly matter. But it is ultimately one big trial and error. Because you’re going to be testing and tuning and fine-tuning and then testing and tuning and fine-tuning again, and testing and tuning and fine-tuning again, I can’t tell you how many different things I have come up with over these last six years. That didn’t work. But it got me one step closer to the thing that did work. And that’s what it’s all about.
Now, number five, and this one is what’s been on my mind probably for the last six months – basically, this year – focus on revenue-generating tasks and hire out the stuff that’s important for you to accomplish but is a waste of your own time. Because it may not actually be a revenue-generating task. This is super hard to do, especially when you’re not ready to let go of the reins of some pieces of your business. But you’re going to get to a point where you legit cannot do it all. Things will fall through the cracks, or you will spend too much time on something that is making you $0. So here’s a great example for you. Yesterday my to-do list had 19 things on it. One of them is wash dishes. While my dishwasher that is brand new is already having problems and I’ve already had service on it that took forever. And again, me calling somebody and trying to get somebody on the phone to come out and service the dishwasher is not a revenue-generating task. Like, I do need to get these dishes washed – they will eventually go out, but I am not selling those dishes right now. Like right now in this moment. And so, getting them washed while they do need to get washed isn’t a revenue-generating task. So me spending time trying to get a repairman out, which has been multiple days of attempts by the way, and then having the repairman out and then following back up with the repairman, my dishwasher’s still kind of broken, and I still have piles of dishes that need to be washed. And then the actual washing of said dishes. So the washing of said dishes and all of that mess is not revenue-generating, and it’s taking up a lot of precious time on tasks that could be revenue-generating. So we’re at a crossroads. My husband and I both, we’re at a crossroads where we absolutely have to hire help, absolutely have to hire help, because it’s, we’re at that point where the things sitting on my to-do list, or the things sitting on his to-do list are wasting our time where we could be going out and making money. Focus on revenue-generating tasks, hire out the stuff that’s important, but is a waste of your precious time.
Number six, there’s more than one way to spell success, and I need you to define what success looks like for you. Because what success looks like for me is a profitable Sugar Creek, a profitable Boss Girl Creative, but the definitions of profitable for both of those things are each different. For Boss Girl Creative, this is a passion project for me. It is not a get-rich scheme for me. That is why you’re not seeing a ton of sales funnels. That is why you’re not hearing me putting together launches. It is a passion project for me to get behind the microphone and teach through my own learning experiences with Sugar Creek. Profit is a huge motivator. However, it’s not the only thing. My business pillars are created very intentionally because I want a very intentional business. I want you to hire Sugar Creek because of X, Y, and Z. End of story. So I need you to define what success looks like for you. What you want success to look like. Is it quitting your nine to five and doing what you love and making money? That’s generally what creatives strive for, but the nuances to that are different for all of us. There is more than one way to spell success.
Number seven, just rip off the band-aid and do it. I know a lot of us, we fall short – actually, all of us fall short in the actual action phase of doing things. So we plan, we set goals, we start the things in motion, but then we lack the follow-through. We lack the taking action. We lack implementation mode. It’s either spawned by fear, or overwhelm, or maybe something else, maybe people naysaying you. Rip the band-id off and just do it because it’s gonna make you better. I waited for over a year to launch a YouTube channel. I finally ripped the band-aid off and set a deadline for myself of March the fifth. I believe it was a Friday at the time of this year, and I finally launched my YouTube channel. I have put out a YouTube video every single week since my publishing schedule has changed a little bit. And I’m doing the best I can, but I’m still trying to figure out this YouTube thing and where it fits into my life and when I can dedicate time to editing, etc., etc. But I finally ripped the band-aid off after a year of creating video and filming things and not really knowing, like, what the process was, etc. And why did it take me so long? I had a lot of fear tied into YouTube. It’s crazy how much fear I had tied into YouTube. Why? I don’t know. Actually, I do know part of it is I’m scared – still am of the thumbs down button. And what’s crazy is I can control whether or not that shows up. So for a year, I had a fear of the thumbs down button of naysayers coming out of the woodwork, and I can control comments, and I can control the thumbs up and thumbs down. But did I know that? No, so I let fear hold me back for an entire year. I don’t want fear or overwhelm or anxiety or naysayers to hold you back. Rip the band-aid off and just do it.
Number eight, invest in relationships for your business. Connect with people in your industry of all walks of life of your industry. You never know what a connection may be able to do for you. Connections and relationships are vital in business. If you’re a solopreneur, go out and meet other people, whether it’s online or through your local Chamber of Commerce. Get out. Network. Get out and meet people. I promise you; this is golden. Let people know what you do. Meet people and let them know what you do. Connect form relationships. Actually, make an effort to nurture those relationships. Don’t just be a business card passer-outer. That’s dumb. And don’t just ask them all out for coffee. That’s dumb, too. Figure out how to be different even in networking. Relationships matter in business.
And number nine, aim for the lifestyle that you want. Because at the end of the day, we are living life. And that’s important. We don’t want to be slaves to our business. We don’t want to be slaves to time. We don’t want to be slaves to figuring out tasks that we don’t want to do. We don’t want to constantly work and not enjoy the life we’re building. So what is your good life? What are you aiming to create? What is the lifestyle that you want? We’re kind of at this crossroad. My husband, I am trying to figure out what this lifestyle is. And he is really driven by dollars. And I am really driven by purpose, and feeling good, and being able to do the things that I want to do. And so we’re at this crossroad. And we’re having some really hard scary decisions on what is the lifestyle we want, like he prefers to chase dollars and dollars are a byproduct of what I’m chasing? And trying to find that happy medium of Okay, what is it? And how much is it that we need to be making in order to be having the lifestyle that we want? Like, if we are to chase a million dollars, for example, what is the million dollars going to do for us? How are we going to use the million dollars? How are we going to reinvest in our businesses? What does that actually mean? It’s okay if you want to chase a million dollars, but if there’s nothing backing the why then you’re just chasing it for the sake of chasing it and never actually having an experience to align with it. And that is a really hard crossroad. So, gotta be honest, this crossroad is really scary and hard. Because we’re having some tough conversations – I don’t, as an Enneagram 1, everything’s black and white to me, but also I’m purpose-driven, and he is not – and so I am struggling with Okay, well, why do we want to make more money just to be able to spend it and be in this cycle of make and spend and make and spend? Or make and save? Or make and spend and save? Like, what is the hamster wheel? Let’s define the hamster wheel. Why do we need to make $3 million? Why do we need to make $5 million? Why do we need to make $100,000? What are we actually trying to do and not is what we’re currently trying to define? So I think we both need to be like, Okay, what lifestyle are we aiming for? And we have to find some compromise with that and come to terms with that. So aim for the lifestyle that you want. So six years in business with this podcast has brought ups it’s brought downs. It’s brought connections I never thought were imaginable. It is brought experiences that I never thought were imaginable. I need you to stay curious. Always I need you to invest in your relationships. I need you to rip that band-aid off. I need you to focus on revenue-generating tasks. I need you to aim for the lifestyle that you want. I need you to consistently give everything that you have, and I need you to get out of your comfort zone. Businesses hard expect that, but the rewards of having your own business allow you to create that lifestyle that you are aiming for.
Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. Thank you so much for being on this journey with me—Yay to six years of podcasting. Before I wrap up the episode again, get yourself on the Inner Circle waitlist; you don’t want to miss out on this next round. Go to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle. And until next week, I hope you have a great rest of this one.