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Nicole Lewis-Keeber on How To Love Your  Business (& Have It Love You Back)

Nicole Lewis-Keeber on How To Love Your Business (& Have It Love You Back)

I’ve got my very first guest on the show this week, and it’s somebody whose work has had a big influence on me and so I’m really excited to share it with you.

This is going to be a great episode for you if you’re someone who has ever struggled with certain aspects of your business, that doesn’t seem to have an obvious strategy solution to them, which AKA is every one of us.

So those places in our business where we find that this may be a bigger than usual emotional resonance. So for example, why do I feel such terror when I’m doing my accounts? Or why do I struggle to take time off and to have proper boundaries around my business?

Why do I find that I’m working really long hours and I’m struggling to switch off a bit at the end of the day? Those kinds of things, which I know are really, really common. And very often we will try and solve with a different strategy. Whereas actually, the truth is that there’s something deeper going on beneath the surface.

Nicole Lewis-Keeber is a business therapist and mindset coach who works with entrepreneurs to create and nurture healthy relationships with their businesses. She’s a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work and has a rich and varied experience as a therapist. Certified in Brené Brown’s Dare To Lead™ methodology, she’s also been featured on numerous media outlets including Fast Company and NPR for her work in breaking the stigma of mental health and business ownership.

She writes and speaks about the impact of small t trauma on businesses but her biggest, more important work is in combining therapeutic processes with business coaching to help entrepreneurs build emotionally sustainable & financially stable businesses

I can remember having a conversation with her about three or four years ago when she introduced me to this concept of having a business that loves you back.

And it kind of blew my mind cause I was just like what you mean? Surely I just set up the business. I do the business. I work really hard. I push myself really hard and then the business will work, but the truth was I was finding myself incredibly overwhelmed in my business and that my business was this unwieldy, dreadful, all over the place thing.

It was like a herd of cats sometimes. And other times it was, this really mean place, which I didn’t like to be. It was this source of, I was never good enough in my business. And so even just having some conversations with Nicole early on really helped me to switch some of my approaches to my business, to put some better boundaries in, to disconnect, or to keep working on disconnecting from this idea that I have to work really long hours, I have to  Push push, push, push, push if I’m to make this work.

Nicole Lewis-Keeber has just released a book, which is all about this kind of thing, and it’s called how to love your business, stop recreating trauma, and have a business you love, and that loves you back.

What I cover in my conversation with Nicole Lewis-Keeber

  • How she discovered the concept of being in relationship with our business
  • The impact of trauma (both large and small t) on our relationships
  • Tools that help to heal your relationship with your business

Links mentioned in this episode

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Ray Dodd – Feminist Money Coach

Tanya Giesler’s work on the Imposter Complex

Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability

Nicole’s website

Nicole’s Instagram

Nicole’s Facebook

Nicole’s book 





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Jo & Nicole Lewis Keeber


[00:00:00]Jo: [00:00:00] [00:00:00] Nicole Lewis-Keeber. Thank you so much for joining me. You are just one of the wise women of the internet. I always, in my head, I have this collection of the wise women of the internet. And and you are most definitely one of them. And by that, I mean, the people who are doing something that is. So interesting and new, and yet, you know, when you hear an idea and you think, Oh, I know I’ve not heard that anywhere before.

[00:00:31] And yet I feel like in my bones, I’ve been hearing that all my life. Do you know what I mean? It’s like, you are able to articulate stuff that I have only felt before, and I just think that is such a genius gift.

[00:00:44] Why thank 

[00:00:44] Nicole: [00:00:44] you, I appreciate it. 

[00:00:45] Jo: [00:00:45] Wow. And thank you for writing this book because you’ve written a book.

[00:00:50] How to love your business, stop recreating trauma, and have a business that you love. I have highlighted a ton, a ton, a ton of bits from it. But could you give people just this, an overview of this whole concept of having a business that, that loves you back because you don’t just mean having a business that you enjoy or having a business that a business us that feels a bit, you mean literally having a business that loves you back.

[00:01:16] Tell us more about that. If you wouldn’t mind. 

[00:01:18] Nicole: [00:01:18] Yeah. So one of the kind of, you know, I guess pillars of my work is that we bring childhood experiences into our business. Those experiences [00:01:30] positive and negative, the ones that, you know, really kind of inform how we see ourselves. And so a lot of the work that I do is about we’re kind of digging in and revealing and.

[00:01:41]Either releasing or unleashing the the power or the challenges around that. And I do a lot of talks about childhood trauma and how we don’t always define it in ways that people can connect with. And we can talk about that in a little bit, but the first piece of that is that one of the ways that we.

[00:02:01] We recreate childhood experiences in our adult lives is through our relationships. Right. And so when we start a business, it is something that is external to us or you, or you write a book or you, you know, jump into a career or a job, whatever that is. It’s something outside of this that we are relating to.

[00:02:19] And so we are creating a relationship with it and we can either do that intentionally. Or a lot of times we do it by default because we haven’t examined our role in the patterns of relationships that we’ve been and where those, where that role kind of came from. And so I saw myself creating a relationship with my business that was really demeaning and very abusive and was seeing that happened with my other clients as well.

[00:02:41] And so that kind of. Got me into digging into how do we have a business that loves us, because if we can create a business, that’s kind of a mean boss. We could also create a business that’s benevolent and compassionate and loves us and wants the best for us.

[00:02:57] Jo: [00:02:57] I adore that. Can I just read one of the [00:03:00] very first bits from the introduction that, that, like I say, there’s a lot of highlighting that has gone on in this book!.

[00:03:06] That’s so 

[00:03:07] Nicole: [00:03:07] good to hear,

[00:03:09]Jo: [00:03:09] but you say “every day I see business owners and entrepreneurs who are stressed out by their businesses. They feel overwhelmed by the schedules, alone and unsupported. The financial freedom they were seeking by becoming their own bosses has alluded them. The pressure to get things right, and take care of a myriad of tasks feel like a Boulder pressing down on their chest.

[00:03:28] They feel run down and beaten up. They internalize the problems and their businesses becoming so miserable that they seek relief by reading self-help books and working on their mindset.” We have all been there!, 

[00:03:39]Nicole: [00:03:39] Yes!

[00:03:39] Jo: [00:03:39] “But it doesn’t help. And they end up feeling worse because the efforts still do not get them results that they hope for.

[00:03:45] What they haven’t realized is that no one drops their personal baggage at the door. When they start a business. In fact, starting your business means   entering a relationship, just like a friendship or romance neighborly or familiar relationship. And just like in human to human relationships, if we do not set clear boundaries, work to practice them mindfully, we are bound to default into toxic behaviors from our past.

[00:04:07] In other words, we bring our emotional challenges into our businesses with us. And when we ignore this, we get into trouble.”

[00:04:13] Discuss!

[00:04:22] Because it’s my gosh. I see that as the encapsulation of the journey that so many. Yeah, [00:04:30] I’m gonna say women. I work predominantly with women. So, you know, I’m sure men go through the similar things as well.

[00:04:36] Nicole: [00:04:36] Yeah, they do

[00:04:37]Jo: [00:04:37] And that kind of desire to kind of fix ourselves and fix the mindset and almost work on the kind of up here.

[00:04:43] Oh, I just need to work on my money blocks or I just need to you know, I do a lot of work with people around visibility and so much of it. Comes down to much deeper stuff and  the stories that we’re carrying around those experiences. And so could you talk just a little bit about how those early experiences, those childhood experiences can play out in the relationships that we have, particularly with our businesses?

[00:05:16] Nicole: [00:05:16] Yeah. So one of the things that I know to be true is that when I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners and leaders, is that they had some experience that happened in those developmental years as a child that made them feel. Either unloved, unseen, unworthy, not powerful. And there’s some kind of internal mechanism around, you know, safety.

[00:05:42] Our brain wants to keep us safe as the job that it has says to that eight year old, seven year old, 10 year old, 15 year old whomever it is and says, I never want to feel this way again. So how can I not feel this way? And I see a lot of businesses get that GRI created from that moment of that deeper wives.

[00:05:59] What I [00:06:00] call it To say, you know, I don’t want to feel weak anymore. So I’m going to the, be the most successful person in the room or Yeah, I don’t feel valuable. So I’m going to hoard my money, like whatever it is. And so seeing this pattern of, of relationship with those experiences that my clients and myself had, you know, in childhood and seeing how many entrepreneurs are really connected to some of that patterning, because let’s be honest, you know, a lot of entrepreneurial skill sets and talents.

[00:06:28] Really tools really come from those experiences where we felt like that. Right. We create a lot of really useful. Patterns of behavior around that too. And so there are so many people that I know that are entrepreneurial for a reason. And a lot of those reasons come down to those feelings of needing to prove something, overcome something, show someone, something around those experiences that we have when we’re kids.

[00:06:52] And so, because we are human and we’re wired for connection and where we’re at for relationship that gets played out in our personal relationships and in our career. And so we spend our time wanting to feel. Safe and wanting to feel connected and. And so that pattern plays out in, do I feel safe in this relationship?

[00:07:12] If no, then let me move on. Or how can I control it? Do I feel safe in this business? I don’t know. Do I need more money to feel safe? Do I, do I need more people to have under me? So I feel like a sense of superiority, like whatever that may be. And so it’s very [00:07:30] personal and also very predictable. When we have these experiences that they inform our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as adults, because that’s what it’s supposed to do.

[00:07:39] Right? Our brain is really wired for safety and survival, that new kind of older ancient part of it. And so its directive is to keep us safe and in survival. And that changes how we see ourselves in the world around us. And that impacts a lot of different components of our business. 

[00:07:56] Jo: [00:07:56] I guess when it, when I talk to.

[00:08:02] Friends and family who don’t walk this path. You know, I, I sometimes think of all of us running businesses that we really from the Island of MIS you know, misplaced toys what is it? The broken toys or whatever it’s called you know, misfit toys, that’s it. And it is, it’s a, it’s an unusual path to be, to be taken and.

[00:08:20] When I, I talk to my friends and my family, and I think actually one of the driving forces for me is itfor me, running my own business . I feel like it gives me that real sense of control and safety, which they think is ridiculous because surely safety control comes with knowing you have a paycheck coming in each month.

[00:08:39] And so I’m really fascinated by that the idea of, of safety and what safety means to each of us and how that plays out. Yeah. 

[00:08:49] Nicole: [00:08:49] Being the one who calls the shots. Right. And having it at the end of the day, it’s yours. And you can say what happens and when it doesn’t happen. Yeah. That’s some agency that we’re seeking that [00:09:00] sometimes we’re kind of giving it a little bit of a roundabout way that doesn’t always work for us, but there’s a, there’s a desire there, right there that we’re trying to replicate.

[00:09:09] Jo: [00:09:09] So yeah. I can I, yeah, I can, I can relate to that a lot. I want to, I’ve also made a page of written notes as well. This is how much I fucking, I want to get this loads of highlights and I’ve actually written out things. Oh, I want to ask them, I want to ask about that. So this idea of the childhood trauma and the patterns that, that we bring to things, but but then also this idea of our business being something we can be in relationship.

[00:09:38] With which. I know that when I first met you, that was one of the thing that was the main thing was like, what, how does that work? How does that work? Could you share the story of how you kind of landed on that, that concept? 

[00:09:52] Nicole: [00:09:52] Yes. Yes. And can I just say that my inner kiddos are like super thrilled that you love the book because.

[00:09:57] Talk about a vulnerability hangover is writing a damn book. 

[00:10:00] oh, I 

[00:10:01] Jo: [00:10:01] can imagine

[00:10:03]Nicole: [00:10:03] especially when that four years and a lot of extra eff effort from other people because of the way I process information. So super thankful to have that experience. Thank you. Okay. So this is where it gets real. So I was a therapist for 18 years and so I, I typically worked for other people.

[00:10:19] I didn’t work for myself. I had a small private practice but it was. Kind of plug and play. You know, I didn’t have to show up a whole lot. Like people just referred people to me. And so I just [00:10:30] had to make sure the books were kept. He has no big deal. But when I left the world of psychotherapy and working for other people and started my own business, I started out doing money, mindset, coaching, and.

[00:10:40] What I saw with the people who are working, I was working with is that they didn’t have a money mindset issue. They actually had a trauma response in their money. And so it was already starting to be curious about this whole idea intersection between trauma and money, right. And how it affects people’s businesses.

[00:10:54]And then about two years into my own business, I was ready to quit and Was feeling really beat up by my business was feeling very dejected, like a loser. I’m not happy about it. Not feeling like I was getting any of the, any of the things I was promised if I started a business, right? Like financial freedom, freedom of time success, you know I like to travel and just do type lifestyle for, I was at work a week, laptops on yachts, you know, which we all know that like, that’s not your yacht, but anyway, I digress.

[00:11:30] So most of the time, so, you know, there was a lot of that, particularly around the online business of coaching, you know, when I first started out. So. I was feeling like, okay, this is not what I signed up for. I did not sign up to have inconsistent income and all of the responsibility be on me and not have a 401k or any of that retirement, you know, just so I could feel like crap on a Sunday night again, before I jumped into my workweek and that’s how I was feeling.

[00:11:59]And I was thinking [00:12:00] about quitting. I was not happy. So I was reading Liz Gilbert’s book, big magic, which is a magical book is genuinely in my top three books. There’s a magical book. Really is. Yeah. I was lucky enough to get to see her and speak with her about two years ago. And I told her what I did and I asked her about the book and I said, did you realize that this book would actually be magical?

[00:12:20] And she said, I had a hunch. And I said, well, it was, and I told her like about my experience, I’m about to tell you all and how it changed the entire trajectory of my work. In the world. And she said, I’ve never heard anybody talk about trauma and business. And first of all, yeah, you and keep going. And second I’m so glad that this book got born and let me.

[00:12:42] Be the one to mother, you know, like birth it because it is magical. So anyway, so I’m reading the Liz Gilbert’s book because I was feeling like crap and I needed some kind of motivation. And for me, a lot of times I get that from reading, which is why I was so dedicated to try and get this book done, because it’s a way that I think other people can have that aha moment.

[00:13:01] And there was a story in there about an, I don’t remember the details of the story right now, but there was basically a story. And there was, this professor was talking to her incoming group of freshmen around, I think it was environmental sciences. And she asked him, everyone in the room, raise your hand if you love nature, and everybody raised their hand.

[00:13:18] And then she said, raise your hand. If you think love or nature loves you back. And no one raised their hand. And that story made me understand that those people were about to spend all this money in [00:13:30] four years of their life or more studying and engaging and relating to something that they did not think loved them in return.

[00:13:36] And I had this lightning bolt moment of. Oh, my gosh. Okay. So I love my business and I’m creating it and something I’m working towards, but I don’t feel like it loves me back. In fact, I feel like it hates me most days and that I can’t do anything right by it. And so, you know, of course my therapist, brain then was like, okay.

[00:13:57] So if I don’t feel like my business loves me, why is that? And I quickly to do so that I had recreated a relationship with my parent. With my business where I did not feel like I could do anything, right. I was misunderstood. I was working with no outcome, no feeling of accomplishment and that I was driving myself because of that relationship.

[00:14:17] And so I recognized that my childhood trauma patterns around relating to perceived authority, which my business lives and . Was pretty gnarly and not sustainable. And so I kind of worked back from there to figure out how can I change this relationship by setting an intent by creating an intentional loving relationship with my business.

[00:14:38] Instead, almost like recreating that relationship with our parent, our coach or authority figure, rewriting the story. So that we are connecting with it through intention and with purpose, as opposed to defaulting into trauma patterns that we tend to when we’re not paying attention. And no one’s looking for trauma and their business, they’re just not, I certainly wasn’t, [00:15:00] but that was the moment that I recognized that there was more here and that if I could create a crappy relationship, I could create a loving one.

[00:15:07] And that’s what I set out to do. And that’s been part of my work ever since then. Long story. 

[00:15:14] Jo: [00:15:14] Brilliant story. Because I think that’s something that I know so many of us have hit that point usually fairly early on in things you kind of so certainly a lot of the people who’ll be  listening to this, they either.

[00:15:28] Didn’t feel that they did that well in the quote unquote corporate world, or they had a you know, a traumatic or toxic experience in there. And so there’s the desire to, okay, I am going to go out and I, no one’s ever going to be the boss of me again. I get to be in the driving seat and then we find that we’re actually pretty shitty bosses to work for.

[00:15:49] Nicole: [00:15:49] Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:15:51] Jo: [00:15:51] So can you tell us a little bit more about, about that, that relationship with  you have these wonderful exercises in the book about starting to examine your relationships with bosses with previous bosses and whether they be, you know, workplace bosses or like you say, authority figures and how they can play out and how understanding that can then.

[00:16:10] Change help to change. That’s like three questions in one,

[00:16:18] but could you just walk us through a little bit about that, that kind of process and how we start to analyze that and break that down? Because that, for me was just like big, big, big, big, big, yeah. 

[00:16:26]Nicole: [00:16:26] Yeah, it’s funny. When I gave a talk one time, this woman stood up and she said [00:16:30] If I had a boss who treated me the way I treat myself and my business, she’s like I would quit and I would report them to OSHA because I’m literally sitting in a broken chair at my kitchen table trying to work.

[00:16:45] And everybody in the room was like, Oh, I feel very seen  right now that I am such a mean boss to myself. Right. Like we would not accept that. Right. And so that’s why I kind of start there with that whole, like what relationships have you had with bosses in the past? Because I think it’s like a. A little bit more of a user-friendly way for people to get into feeling like, Oh my God, am I recreating that mean boss relationship with myself?

[00:17:08] You know, am I still working nine to five? Because that’s how I did things. You know, I still driving myself towards metrics and goals that were created by some corporate structure I used to live in and work in as opposed to what I really want for myself. So it’s kind of examining the characteristics of bosses that have not made you feel seen, heard, and supported, and the characteristics of bosses that, where you have felt if you had that experience, which I hope you have, where you felt seen supported and that they really understood what you needed.

[00:17:38] Like comparing those two is a really good place to start to find out who you are to yourself and your business. Right. And so if you’re finding that you’re not that nice to yourself and that there’s probably some edges there that need to be buffed out. The next thing I always ask people to do is, okay.

[00:17:56] So where have you felt this way before? [00:18:00] You know, where did, who told you that this was an acceptable way to be treated, that you should tolerate this? Right? And so we usually can walk it back towards. Some person, some caregiver authority figure someone whose power mattered in your childhood developmental years made you feel that way and put you in that position to feel like you had to accept it, or can you try and work harder to not feel that way.

[00:18:27]And so that mean boss piece of it, we can walk it back to find out where that might have its origins. In your childhood. And I, I had someone ask me, they’re like, why do we have to look back? Why can’t we just keep moving forward? That’s so low vibe is what they said. And I was like, because it literally created the foundation of how your neuropathways work.

[00:18:47] That’s why we have to look at it. That’s why, so we take those steps back to kind of figure out. You know, what relationships did were there that made me feel less than, or, or what relationships were there that made me feel seen and supported. And how can I find those characteristics and, and start to embed them in the way that I create this relationship with my business, because we, I had people create an entity out of their business that they can relate to because we’re wired for connection.

[00:19:15] And it helps us do that. So those are some of the steps that we take.

[00:19:19]Jo: [00:19:19] , I really can relate to that and, and there is a fair amount of.unpicking because so much of what we do, we do unconsciously. We just do it because, well, [00:19:30] that’s the way you do it. Isn’t it. And, and I, there was something really powerful in kind of being able to trace it back to its roots.

[00:19:38] And then you can kind of go, Oh, is this useful? Is this helpful? This is something I want to keep or something that I need to do some, some, some healing around. A big part of my work is helping people to almost disentangle from some of those kinds of toxic business messages that we have.

[00:19:54] Yeah. Long hours, 16 hours a day. You know, if you don’t work 16 hours a day, you don’t love it enough or be everywhere. And I remember somebody saying to me once that.  If toxic capitalism is about exploiting resources to their depletion and you are your main resource, then there is this whole culture that we have, which is all about just, just playing out toxic capitalism in  our businesses and our businesses give us this opportunity to change some of that culture for us individually, but also  , from , a wider perspective as well.

[00:20:29] But  we can’t do that unless we’re aware of first of all, what are the behaviors? Where might they   be coming from, and then we can start to do some healing and start to put in some much healthier ones. 

[00:20:42] Nicole: [00:20:42] Yeah, I agree. I believe you can heal things. I believe that your business can be a mechanism for healing and.

[00:20:50] Starting a business as a high dive into personal development, whether you like it or not. And I think that when we, we know that we can harness it just like when we know that childhood trauma impacts our [00:21:00] business, we can harness this as a mechanism for healing because it doesn’t happen in silos.

[00:21:05] It just does not, but we’ve been taught to compartment lives and check ourselves. Right at the door. That’s not what we need to do. We need to understand that all of who we are, comes into all of what we do, including our business and that it can be a healing process if we allow. 

[00:21:21]Jo: [00:21:21] And it can be something that I think shifts that the perception of and the space for what’s possible for other people, you know?

[00:21:28] So the more people who are there having healthier relationships with their business, the more space we open up for other people to kind of go, huh? What she says that she doesn’t work 12 hour days or she’s taking the weekend off and that’s actually part of the way that she’s running her business or, you know, a self care is embedded in that, that kind of opens up that that conversation is mostly, it can become this gorgeous virtuous cycle that, that kind of starts to spread it out.

[00:21:59] Yeah. Okay, that my my next question then. And this is a bit of a personal one is yeah. How long did it take you? I know you and are you done?

[00:22:12] I’m like, okay. The coach in me knows that this is like, this is not a kind of one and done. Oh, I just got to set really cool boundaries. Now,

[00:22:25] do you have any, I guess, any mechanisms that you you have in place? [00:22:30] To maybe stop you falling back into the old ways or maintain the, the, the new ways. 

[00:22:36] Nicole: [00:22:36] Yeah. 

[00:22:37] So, no, we’re not done because we are evolving. And I don’t remember who it’s a Bernay Brown was talking to, but I was listening to one of her podcasts, you know, and she was talking to, I think he’s a neuroscientist.

[00:22:46] And he basically said I will not be the same person at the end of this conversation as I was at the beginning of it. So we are constantly integrating new information, new data we’re constantly changing. So this is an evolution. So if you’re looking for it in metric, I’m sorry, there is not one. So don’t do that, but I can give you some points of how, you know, I help other people and help myself.

[00:23:10] You know, what I call it is, you know, people don’t ask you when you start a business, you know, did you have any childhood trauma that might show up in there? They don’t ask you that question. They give you a marketing plan and a sales plan and like all that stuff. So, you know, I help people develop what I call an emotional sustainability plan to help you recognize what might need to be.

[00:23:32] The healed a little bit, what could hold you back and also what your real skillsets are so that you can have a plan for those things. And so kind of how I do that is first of all, I know that I can’t do anything perfectly, so don’t try. I just don’t, 

[00:23:47] Jo: [00:23:47] I’ve built my whole business around that. Now it’s my brand.

[00:23:51] You just 

[00:23:52] Nicole: [00:23:52] can’t. And I think that there’s power in naming that, you know, like I say this, I think Stacy, Jordan Shelton says this and other people say call a thing [00:24:00] a thing and so I call it out and that helps my inner kiddos. So like I’m not being. Fraud, you know, it helps other people see that Oh, she doesn’t have it all together.

[00:24:08] So there’s room for me showing up despite, you know, perfection. So my book launch was in perfect. We’re literally still working on the Amazon description because someone reviewed it and said, you know, I think you could do better with the description with SEO. And so you might want to wait and I’m like, I’m not waiting to put the book out of their way to for four years.

[00:24:26] So launch the book, we’re still working on the description. The book launch for, to market it. I didn’t want a big flashy thing because I don’t sustain that. Well, my nervous system emotionally and my. I don’t have a team that can support that for a long-term, you know, so we kind of did it in the way that it works for us.

[00:24:43] So we named it and it’s been part of the learning process. And part of the the launch of the book is to say, Hey, we had a launch set up this way, but the person who was working on it had a personal problem, a personal issue that they had to go attend to. And I said to them, you are more important than this book.

[00:24:59] These social media graphics can be done after the fact, Hey, there was this book that got released, go look at it. And th that, and so is it perfect? No. Is it done the way that we said it was going to happen, but she is more important to me than my book will ever be her, her. Health and wellbeing. And so that has been part of the lessons for my launch.

[00:25:21] And we have just named them each and every time along the way. So the other people can see that that is what it means to be humane to yourself and [00:25:30] loving to yourself, but also loving to the people that are connected to your business and within your business as part of the values that I have. So knowing your values, knowing how they play out.

[00:25:41] In your business, I’m sure you do values work with your, with your people as well. And I help people see where some of the places that the research I’ve done, where trauma might show up the most and that’s money, visibility, boundaries, trust perceived control, like it shows up there. So there’s just some good places to start looking.

[00:25:58] If you want to Have a little bit of healing and change in those categories within your business. There are good ways to look at where trauma shows up and it’s for you and for the people that you work with as well. So, yeah, that’s a long answer to the ways in which it shows up and how we manage it is by being honest.

[00:26:18] Jo: [00:26:18] I mean top tip as a podcast guest. Never apologize for longer than else.

[00:26:26] Nicole: [00:26:26] that’s it. That’s my thing, because I have a processing difference. I’m like, I don’t even know if what I’m saying makes sense anymore, but we’ll go with it. 

[00:26:33] Jo: [00:26:33] Totally, totally make makes sense. Makes sense. And I love the analogy that you use in the book about your sustainability plan. It’s like the spokes on a wheel, so it’s not like you just do the one thing it’s it’s this, this.

[00:26:45] Almost like this orbit to this collection, this of sometimes it’s activities, sometimes it’s it’s behaviors, but sometimes it is that,  being really rigid in your values or and I’m thinking about your the, the book launch and [00:27:00] that idea of perfect. And it keeps taking me back to something that Ray Dodd talks about a lot.

[00:27:07] I don’t know if you know, Ray and her work, she’s a feminist money coach and she talks about the idea that, you know capitalisms, this, that there is lack. And so that we have to do things on a certain, you know, really, really short time scale. And if we don’t do it in that exact way, then we have kind of missed the boat as if there’s some mythical boat that you know, what we’re going to have missed are the fact is.

[00:27:28]There isn’t a boat. There is plenty. There’s plenty of time. A book has longevity. That’s the thing. You’re putting this out into the world. And sometimes it’s like a big splash into it. That’s going to make a big noise. And sometimes it’s like a pebble in a pond it’s going to ripple out. And I think that’s, that is a very.

[00:27:47] Gorgeous and necessary for those of us who tilt towards the anxious for us to remember is that actually those small actions the imperfect, the, the, putting it out anyway, that at the, Oh, it’s it’s, you know, if it’s not the big splashy thing, then it’s useless. Being able to get out of that. Binary is really, really useful.

[00:28:08] Nicole: [00:28:08] Yeah, there’s no way that I’m going to help other people learn how to love their business and feel supported by that. If I’m doing it from a place of self abuse for myself, it’s not going to happen. It’s not going to bear fruit. It’s just not going to work. And so that’s something that, you know, I think that I keep coming back to and whatever it is I do with my work, whether it’s this book or the do no harm [00:28:30] intensive, you know, where people would say, Oh, I can’t join this time is, you know, are you going to do it again?

[00:28:34] And I always say, yeah, And some version, because this is my life’s work. It’s, there’s no scarcity around this, right? It’s not a you’d get in or you don’t get in. You will be able to do this work in some way. I promise you. And if it’s not this time, it’ll be the next time. And if you know the, this book again, it’s a pillar of my work.

[00:28:52] It’s not going anywhere. Like, you know, fun, fun, splashy launch is fun. But it’ll be just as relevant and just as worthy and necessary a year from now. So yeah, we just don’t have to play into that narrative anymore. And 

[00:29:07] Jo: [00:29:07] I think that is, that’s a hugely healing message to have out there just in itself before you get into all of the other goodness, that’s that’s in the book.

[00:29:16]One of the exercises that I have actually done before And I don’t know if it was you who talked about it the last time that we talked or whether it was our dear mutual friend, Tanya Geisler, who had me do a similar exercise, but the idea of writing a love letter to your business. And can I just say, as somebody who was a huge Muppet movie fan.

[00:29:37] Yeah. Okay. Would you mind telling people a little bit about the love letter and this idea of almost envisioning  that the, the entity that is your benevolent business? 

[00:29:49] Nicole: [00:29:49] Yeah. So the processes are kind of like a, you know, assessing the relationship that you have and then figuring out the relationship that you want to have.

[00:29:56]And part of that is really kind of identifying. Remember I talked about the [00:30:00] characteristics of where you felt supported and, you know, kind of like the personality of it. And so to take people through this process where they start to kind of, you know, identify how they want to feel in relationship with their business, like what partnerships I’ve worked for them or to have they looked at in the past and what are kind of the mechanisms, characteristics of that.

[00:30:17]And then from there, you know, we decide we either, it either emerges or. We come to some understanding about the entity of our business outside of us, because you know, again, you are not your business. It is not your baby. You want it to actually do something for you and with you. And I have people create this identity of their business and based upon those characteristics and for me, what it was, it ended up being the ghost of Christmas present for the Muppet movie, the big.

[00:30:47] Orange hair guy. And the reason why is because, you know, he’s big, he’s boisterous, he’s, you know, he’s benevolent. But he knows that he there’s some fun and levity, because I think in my, my work, there needs to be a little bit of fun and levity. But he knows how important the past is and how it informs our present and also how it also informed the feature.

[00:31:07] Right. So he’s very much about now, but he also regularly recognizes the importance of looking back because it impacts our future. And I don’t know why he came to me as my business entity, but he did. And so I went with it and so I had, I wrote a letter to him, a love letter telling him, you know, how.

[00:31:26] Thankful. I was, it was almost like, you know, if you think about, you know, like wedding [00:31:30] vows that you’re making, like, this is why you’re fantastic. This is why I love you. This is why I want to be in relationship with you. These are all the things that I can see that we’ll do together. And so I read a love letter to my business, and then I wrote one back to myself from my business, with the things that I wanted to hear, you know, about the commitments and the vision and mission of the work.

[00:31:51]And I have all my clients do that too. And they are some of my most favorite things to read is when people create this entity and they relate to it and they write these love letters. In fact, my editor said, are you sure that you want to put your email address and the, and the book that people send you, their love letters that they write them?

[00:32:06] I said, yes, it’s one of my most favorite things in my, in my business to read these letters. So please do send me your letters. So it is so much fun. And what is really cool is that. I was doing this process, Tanya was doing this process and there’s also another there’s like a a design structural design, social work format that I talked to someone at about six months ago.

[00:32:29] And I, you know, they were telling me this love letter being a mechanism of that design thinking. And I was like, I had never heard of this before. And they said, yeah, so you were like intuitively doing this or Tanya’s intuitively doing this. So there’s like something I think very important. About that exercise of writing that love letter that has kind of come down and all these different arenas that it makes sense.

[00:32:49] Like it’s an important piece of it. So it’s whimsical , but it is also really important and profound and makes an impact. So I always tell people do [00:33:00] it anyway, because it may sound silly, but do it anyway.

[00:33:02]Jo: [00:33:02] I know I adore it. I get my clients to write a love letter to their potential clients, because it’s a really powerful way of getting into the real.

[00:33:12] The real essence of what they want for them. And it takes them out of that kind of role. What will people think of me? And it really puts them into that kind of know just about what do you want most for your clients? And, you know, we get some great emotional detail about that, that you know, really helps with the things like the marketing and stuff like that.

[00:33:31] So I just adore , this idea that we can write a love letter to our business. We can have that level of. Gorgeous loving, relating with our business. It doesn’t have to be this, you know, this means scary thing or, 

[00:33:49] Nicole: [00:33:49] Oh, and it’s an intimate relationship. Yeah, it really is. And so when you have to make decisions about your business, you’re not alone.

[00:33:56] I can look to his picture and the commitment, right. And the vision that’s created from that commitment. And. Remember, you know, what matters. And so it helps me to make decisions almost every day in my business. And sometimes I’ll just think to myself what he liked it. If that, if I did that, no. When he said that I’m treating myself well in my business today, no.

[00:34:20] Right. So it gives me something to relate to and it gives people something to relate to outside of ourselves to help us often make decisions. 

[00:34:27]Jo: [00:34:27] It’s so it’s almost like that there’s [00:34:30] like seems to relate to that inner wise one kind of idea that we use a lot in coaching. Oh, I just, I just adore it. Okay.

[00:34:38] We’re coming close to time and I still have lots that I want to talk about. So I’ve done the love letters I’ve done in terms of the possibilities when people have. This much healthier relationship with, with their business. What changes then? I mean, I know that that sounds really obvious, but, but what changes for people who are like, I don’t get it.

[00:35:05] I just, I don’t understand why would I do this? Could you just articulate a little bit what that difference is? Because I know for myself even just a little bits of the work that I’ve had chance to access over the years, it’s huge. Just expand on that a little bit for us 

[00:35:23] Nicole: [00:35:23] first and foremost, I think that it gets us in a conversation about childhood trauma and how important that is because of the systemic.

[00:35:31] It is interpersonal. It is specific and we don’t look at it and have discussions about it because the systems around us benefit. For us not knowing that what we’re experiencing is trauma. So for me, like that’s the biggest answer of all of it is that it gets us in conversation about what I call small T trauma and how impactful it is and how many of us are operating from a nervous system that has been traumatized that we don’t recognize it.

[00:36:00] [00:35:59] So that’s the most important thing right? There is it lets us have that conversation in relationship to 

[00:36:06] Jo: [00:36:06] that’s huge. That just in itself is huge.

[00:36:09]Nicole: [00:36:09] It is huge. And that’s my purpose stay tuned for the next book..  It’ll be all about the research. So that’s important and profound work.

[00:36:19] The second piece of it is that people then begin to understand that not only are they replicating these patterns in their life, they’re creating them in their business, around their money. It changes the relationship that they have with the people around them. I had a client who. And she, I didn’t create her write her about her in the book, but she said to me, I feel like my business has benefited from this work that we’ve done.

[00:36:42] She said, but more over my relationship with my daughter has changed because of this work. Right. Because how we do one thing is how we do everything. How we relate is how we relate. And as Brene  says who we are is how we lead. Right. It’s all connected. And so. She was really happy to see that she was feeling better about her business felt less, you know, kind of vulnerable out there when she was be speaking or whatever.

[00:37:05] But she said being able to understand that my daughter has her own experiences, her own life, her own agency, and that my need to try and control and keep her safe because of my experiences that she doesn’t need, that she needs me to support her. To listen and say, what do you need? Like I’m here. Right? So it changes.

[00:37:26] It can change that. It changes our relationship with our money and our [00:37:30] business and what we actually need and want as opposed to what we’re being told is necessary to feel successful as a business owner, because we take that. We’ve looked at it and we’re like, okay. So who told me that I needed this number to feel safe and secure in my life.

[00:37:47] And then we all know we get to that number and it doesn’t make us feel that way. So we keep striving for a number. So you can actually start to feel better when you reach a certain number. When you can look at this and stop striving and never riding and getting there so impacts the relationship that you have with money in your personal life and in your business.

[00:38:06]There are many people who will go through this process where it’s not a love letter, ends up being a dear John letter where they say it’s time for me to move on and they close their business, but they’ve done it from a place where they feel like they created this opportunity to go through this process and make the decision from an empowered place, as opposed to.

[00:38:26] I didn’t have enough money or I wasn’t successful. It was, I literally created a business that replicated the abuse that I experienced when I was a child. And I don’t want that business for myself. Let’s start again. So there’s so many ways that this work can make change for people. I would love to say, you know, you’ll have a six figure launch.

[00:38:45] if you read this book!

[00:38:55] Jo: [00:38:55] Joking aside. I do know from my own journey [00:39:00] and genuine clients that actually, if, if that six figure business is what you’re wanting, you’re either, if you haven’t healed some of a stuff, you’re either just going to boot camp and abuse yourself to that point. And it’s coming from that place of real drive and push.

[00:39:16] And and that ironically. When we’re able to be gentler and more nurturing with ourselves and much kinder to ourselves that creates much more space for creativity for being able to focus on what we’re really good at, what brings us joy, right. Zone of genius. And so ironically, it may actually help you get that faster, but yeah, if that’s your whole purpose of it, maybe, you know, I think there’s just so much richness.

[00:39:46] And not even secondary benefits because there’s so many layers of the benefits of doing, doing this type of work. 

[00:39:58] Nicole: [00:39:58] And you get, I think you get relief that you’re looking for. You know I always say that people are putting business solutions on emotional issues. And when you do that, you don’t get the relief and healing that you’re looking for.

[00:40:08] You just get one more marketing tool or one more sales funnel. Because we’re thinking that this business, you, these business components are the solution, and they’re not always, it’s about understanding who you are in your business and how you can have the business. That’s right. For you. 

[00:40:23] Jo: [00:40:23] Yeah. Yeah. I was said that the bit that I’m interested in when it comes to, cause I, you know, I always call [00:40:30] myself an accidental business coach.

[00:40:31] So it was like, I don’t quite understand how I got here. Actually. I’m not the person who’s going to go through the spreadsheets with you. I’m really interested in, okay, here’s the strategy now? What stops us from doing those, those things? What stops us from, you know, being visible? What stops us from, , Doing the thing that we know we want to do and we, and you end up in those stuck places.

[00:40:52] That’s why I’m really interested in how do we get out of those stuck places and and create something that feels kind and lovely and nurturing and expansive and creative, and allows us to take up that space. But the things that are holding us back there, the things that we need to kind of do the healing around and, and that’s why your work is so, so powerful.

[00:41:15] So. I really want to thank you for that personal level as well, because yeah. Your work over the past few years is yeah, it’s just been so impactful. Thank you. We are coming close to time and there are lots of elements of the work that you do. Would you mind just telling people some of the ways that they can work with you?

[00:41:35] Some the programs you’re involved, I know that you’re a dare to lead  facilitator you have fabulous programs. Please tell people everything. 

[00:41:43] Nicole: [00:41:43] Yeah. So we’re kind of in transition right now around some of that. So the pieces of it look like this. I have a I ran a love your business group program last year, and it was an eight month program and some of the stories are connected.

[00:41:55] Some of the people who were through that group and they, they loved it and it was so [00:42:00] fantastic. And so what I did is I ended up creating a self-paced love your business course. And so I have courses out there I did train with Brene Brown two summers ago to become a dare to lead facilitator.

[00:42:11] And so a couple of times a year, I, you know, partner with someone else and we co-facilitate trainings on the dare to lead processes to get other people. A dare dare to lead trained so that they can you know, take those amazing skillsets and tools that Brene teaches us into their workplaces, into their businesses and to their leadership or whatever that may be.

[00:42:33] We just ended one last week and I just absolutely adore that process. And I have been doubling down a little bit on a program of mine called do no harm. And what it is is the program where we look at how childhood trauma impacts. Us our business and then how our business operates in the world. So it kind of goes from what is trauma, what is business trauma, you know, the anatomy of a traumatized business.

[00:42:56]And then the love your business process of course, is in there. And then we look at how could you be recreating trauma in your business, but also with the people that you’re working with, you know, through your marketing, through your conversations, through your sales, through the front facing mechanistic piece of your business.

[00:43:11] And so. That’s a piece of my business. I’m, I’m really looking at expanding and doing more work around as well. So I also do those business intensives and of course, private coaching, always so 

[00:43:25] Jo: [00:43:25] fabulous. And just in case anybody’s, I don’t know, driving and right [00:43:30] now they can’t look at the show notes because I’ll say I’ll put all of the links in the show notes.

[00:43:33] Could you just tell people where they could find you while you’re out in the digital world? 

[00:43:37] Nicole: [00:43:37] Yeah. So Nicole, nicole.lewis-keeber.com. And on Facebook, Nicole,lewis-keeber coaching and And Instagram is Nicole dot Lewis keeber. So one of those places you’ll find me, you’ll find that other, other footprints too, from there.

[00:43:52] Jo: [00:43:52] So, and obviously I will put all of those in the show notes. I just want to thank you so much. Thank you for your time, Stacy. Thank you for your work and everybody, please. I cannot recommend this book. Highly enough is so, so good. And I just want to thank you for writing it. Thank you. I’m excited to be here and I’m just so happy that you enjoyed it.


What you really need for each stage of your business – from beginner to growth

What you really need for each stage of your business – from beginner to growth

I feel like I’ve given you a lot of nerdy, big picture stuff over the past few weeks and you know, I’m not averse to a bit of nerdy, big picture stuff. I own my nerdiness!  But. I also wanted to give you some more of the juicy specifics of what your business needs at the different stages it’s at. Because what works when you’re at the beginning is going to be pretty different to what you need when you have a full practice. As I’ve been stressing over the past few weeks, there are no specific blueprints or formulas to tie guarantee your success but there are some core foundational things that all businesses I know have in place – and that’s what I’m going to share with you today. I’ll be sharing:
  • What 6 + elements do you need to have in  place when you’re in the foundational stage of your business journey
  • What’s the 1 core things all business owners need, no matter what stage of growth they’re in?
  • What’s different when you’re in the growth phase of your business life?
  • How do you make sure your business is enjoyable, sustainable and makes you money (all while staying ethical and unshiny?)


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Prefer to read rather than listen? Click here for the transcript

[00:00:00] Hello hello. Hello, lovely people. It’s Jo Casey, welcome to the Unshiny  podcast. All right. I feel like I’ve given you a lot of nerdy, big picture stuff over the past few weeks and you know, I’m not averse to a bit of nerdy, big picture stuff. I own my nerdiness. Quite close to my heart. It’s absolutely fine. But. I also wanted to give you some more of the, the juicy specifics, which I know are really helpful, especially when it comes to this, this whole business building and business running type thing. [00:00:38] So today we’re going to look at what does your business need at the different stages it’s at? Because one of the things that I find really frustrating, especially with the. Big marketing names is they are selling strategies that may well have worked for them. So I’m not saying that they’re all selling total bullshit, but part of the problem is that they are usually at a different stage of business to most people. [00:01:15] So they will usually have a team around them. They will already have a large audience. They will probably have run a program several times. They’ve they’ve tested it. They’ve tweaked the messaging. And so [00:01:30] they’re just in a different position than most of us when we’re putting together our programs or when we’re trying to start off by selling our  services. [00:01:40] And we don’t have an audience or not quite clear on who our audiences is or we don’t have a team around us, running Facebook ads or a budget for those things. So I really want to share what I think is important when it comes to, what do you need to focus on? Because I’m also aware that I’ve spent quite a few weeks talking about, you can do it your way. [00:02:00] You don’t have to follow somebody else’s blueprint, all of which is true. And that can leave you feeling like you’re in the middle of a deep dark forest, and you don’t have a map. So in this episode, I’m going to be sharing with you, the, the destinations you want to get to on your journey, the kind of little towns that you want to stop off in this path, too. [00:02:27] Achieving a really thriving, successful nourishing Unshiny business, how you get to those places. That’s where you have the freedom. That’s where you have the flexibility. And also that’s where sometimes the trial and error comes in. Because even if you look at a colleague or a peer or somebody else in your, your space, your industry, who is doing something very similar to you, The route that they take [00:03:00] to get to the kind of various base camps along this journey may well be different to you down to their personality, down to the nature of their audience, down to what things they already have in place down to their skillset. [00:03:16] It’s going to be different. So we have to have , a loose level of structure or a route map. If you like guidebook to business, where are the destinations that you’re going to be moving towards, but also to know that you have  this real flexibility [00:03:34] in there and there’s going to be some trial and error, and there’s going to be some messy bits. And those going to be some parts where you do feel like you’re a little bit lost and what to do when you’re in those places. And I’m going to be focusing on two stages of business.  I call it the foundational phase and this can last [00:03:57] anything between a few months to a few years. For me, it was a few years. I’ll be absolutely honest. It was a few years because I really struggled to fathom these things out. And then we’re also gonna look at  the growth phase. So when you have those foundations in place, what do you need to be focusing on? [00:04:17] Then, and I’m not talking about growth as in scaling or growth as in this is where I build my empire and I diversify and I go over to a totally passive income [00:04:30] model or anything like that. Growth just means solidifying what you’ve already got and then being able to develop new programs. Continue building your audience, build your revenue, those kinds of things. [00:04:46] [00:04:46] Let’s dive into today’s topic properly. Let’s talk about that foundational stage, first of all, and by the foundational stage, I mean that you’re either not yet making money in your business or you’re not significantly doing it, or it’s not consistent. And as I say, that for me was a good few years. [00:05:07]There is this real pressure. I think that the  internet tells us. That we should be making money right off the bat. And that’s just not the case for most of us, especially if we’ve had no experience of running a business and marketing and promoting our work before. So for many of the folks I work with, I don’t know if you can relate to this. [00:05:35] We start our businesses because we found something that we love to do. Whether it be coaching, whether it be healing, modality, whether you’re a maker or you have a particular service that you really want to, to offer to folks with, that’s the starting point for us. And there are a lot of marketers out there that will tell us that it’s then really easy to start your business. [00:05:59] Do my [00:06:00] course you’ll be raking in the money and that doesn’t turn out to be the reality for most of us and the reason why. And I came to this conclusion after many years of trial and error, and then many subsequent years of working with people in this phase of their business. The reason why is we need foundational pieces in place before that consistently income can start to come. So maybe you’ll get a client here and there. Maybe you’ll get a few clients here and there, but then maybe you’ll have a few months where. You don’t know where the clients are and you don’t know what to do about that. [00:06:41] So I thought, certainly thought for the first few years of my business, that I had kind of an accidental business, so the clients would come and that would be brilliant, but then there’d be periods where the clients weren’t coming and I had no idea what to do. It felt like it was very much in the lap of the gods where the clients would find me, whether I would have enough money to  pay things that month. [00:07:06] And. Having a real sustainable business doesn’t rely on, on that. You you’re able to have a real sense of ownership and direction over your income because you, you have the steps in place and you have the knowledge and the confidence and things that you can [00:07:30] do to. Generate more income to bring in more clients. [00:07:36] And that full the first few years of my business felt like a mythical unicorn creature to be able to get to that stage. But once I’ve realized these, these five plus elements that we need to have in place. It, it did happen, and that’s the position that I’ve been in for quite a few years now. [00:08:00] And it still sometimes makes me kind of go, Oh, I could go back and say to my younger business owner self. You don’t you see, you just need to this, this, this, and this, and you really can start to feel like you’re in the driving seat of your business. And that feels really amazing. Really lovely. And so until you have that in place,  [00:08:25]you’re still really in the foundational stage of your business.  There’s no shame in that whatsoever. We all have to learn and there’s way too much. Shaming goes on in the online business space. Anyway. It’s, it’s just a fact   an awful lot of my clients come to me because they’re struggling to put these pieces together. [00:08:45] And they’re overwhelmed by all of the conflicting advice that they’re finding on the internet, or maybe they’ve worked with different business coaches who have a particular style that teaches them one part of what they need to do, but doesn’t join it all up together. And [00:09:00] that’s why my work for a long, long time has really focused on providing help and support at that level of , that  setting the foundations. [00:09:10] And that’s why my program, the supernova collective is such a gorgeous, deep, and I said, I suppose, encompassing program, because it helps to give you those foundational pieces along with a ton of support and mindset, work and community and all of that and stuff.  [00:09:33] [00:09:33] So these foundational pieces, there’s the six + foundational pieces. Let’s go through them one by one. And if you want to know more about these, I’m going to be running a challenge. In a couple of weeks time. So keep an eye out for that. [00:09:50] I don’t know why we call it a challenge, not really a challenge challenge, like a bootcamp challenge. It’s a challenge. That’s going to lead you through each of these, these steps each day, each of these pieces each day, so that you can look, how, what do I already have in place? What can I tweak? And where is the gaps? [00:10:05] So keep an eye out for that, let’s go through them one by one. And let me give you the overview of them. You might want to make a few notes and see where you’re at with them at the moment.  [00:10:15]So the very first piece, if you like the place where I start with all of my clients is  your Onlyness what makes you unique? [00:10:30] Not who your clients are, not what your niche is. What is it about you? And this work can be really empowering It can also be a little bit challenging sometimes because it’s where a lot of us have been told to dim down to retreat to shrink. [00:10:53]Or to pretend to be somebody else. I think I’ve talked about this story before, about how, when I first started my business, I couldn’t see anybody else out there like me. And so it felt like the only option for me was to pretend to be a much, smilier much more together  polished person, because that was all I could see out there. [00:11:15] But what happened was. I just blended in with everybody else. There are people who I think genuinely like that who could pull it off much better than me. And so there was this disconnect and that’s what happens when we are , masked up when we have the shiny mask on. So what this piece is about is really diving into not only your. [00:11:43] Your personality and who you are as a, as a person, but really kind of going into  where is the intersection between your interests and your skills and your values and your experience and your beliefs, and kind of mapping out [00:12:00] your unique combination. [00:12:03] There’s a lot talked about About how to stand out as a business owner, how to stand out as a brand and this law pretty crappy advice about be deliberately provocative, say the controversial things like, no, no, no, no, no, no. Show up fully as yourself and you then by design are un-copyable so being authentic, I mean that in the truest sense of the word, not in that kind of, Oh, I’m just being really authentic right now. [00:12:34] And that kind of way. I mean, being really authentic, being unshiny is the most powerful thing. It’s not about sharing everything about you. It’s not about revealing all of your vulnerabilities or doing the naked selfies or whatever it might be. You get to choose how you put that out into the world, but we start with you, your values, your beliefs. [00:13:02] What makes you unique based on this idea of Onlyness from Nilofer merchant, which I will link to her Ted talk in the show notes, because you’re only in assess the space in the universe that only you can occupy and. By being able to express your own wiliness, your uniqueness, not in a shouty way, just in a quiet, solid, grounded way. [00:13:31] [00:13:30] Not only will help your sense of self-confidence, but will also help to attract. Your people to you. So it does become almost like this. This magnet is more people will find you, but they can’t find you if they can’t see who you are, if you’re pretending to be somebody else. And this can include a lot of unlearning for many of us, if you’ve been around for a little bit. [00:13:55] I had to take off the suit jacket and not smile quite so much and be goofy and, own the mistakes I was regularly making. And it was only once I was able to do that, that I started to get that real resonance with the people who were attracted to my style and my type of work. So that’s part one. [00:14:18] The second part then is your message. And that’s the through line that connects everything. Now this can include. Things like who you work with. So that might mean that it’s about an, a niche, but it’s bigger than that. It’s about what is the transformation? What is  the real impact and benefit of the work and the work with you. [00:14:46] So it’s about being able to really clearly express what it is that you do. And this is about not fitting you into this really narrow box. I just have this [00:15:00] frustration that so much work around. Also much of the stuff I say about niching branding and messaging is about trying to get people to simplify their message by shrinking it down, or by possibly dumbing it down by oversimplifying it by, by taking out all the nuance by taking out all of the, the magic. [00:15:24] And to narrow it down to one tiny little thing. And it was, Oh, I have this analogy of like having all this magical spells kind of pinging all over the place. And you’re trying to kind of squash them down and keep the lid on in this box. That’s not what we do. What we want to do is we want to take your magic and I’m big arm gestures here as I’m talking. [00:15:49] I’m fully, my arms are fully above my  head as  I’m doing this. We want to take your magic and bring it out so that you have this clear through line. That’s like an umbrella that is over your business. And the umbrella message allows you to incorporate the different facets of your work. So it’s not just about, well, if you take me for example, I will help you make more money in your business if you’ve, I suppose, boiled it down to its essence. [00:16:19] Yes. That is one of the things that I do with folks, but also  what people are attracted to me [00:16:30] for is that I’ll help you make more money in your business and I’ll help you start to see your business as this creative impactful endeavor your work in the world. I will help you own your magic and I’ll help you do it in a way that doesn’t rely on. [00:16:45] Bullshit sales or pretending to be somebody that you’re not, I will help you do it in a way that feels lovely to you and to your clients. That’s way more nuance on that does not fit into a tiny weeny little box and neither does your work. So we’re not going to do a box. We’re doing an umbrella. I’ll get, to be honest, this is the, this is the one piece that is so difficult to do on your own. [00:17:13] So difficult to do. I have P this is the part in my my business where I get the most help and support, I think because we’re too close to it ourselves. We need somebody else to be able to help us to see that. And he’s also one of my favorite parts of working with people, being able to help them to translate all of the magic that they have into language that they’re, that, that people are going to understand. [00:17:42] And will you be able to own that magic? The third bit is who are your people and where are they? And yes, this, this is, I suppose, that can be a little bit around niching, but not as anything like as rigidly  as you’ve maybe [00:18:00] come across it in the past. It’s about who are the people that you create real alchemic magic with who are the people who really need  your services in the way that you. [00:18:10] Offer it. So this isn’t about boiling people down into little avatars. So I work with middle-aged women who are looking to have more joy in their life. That’s great, but that’s really really broad. It’s about honing it down even more around. what’s, sometimes referred to as psychographics rather than demographics. [00:18:35] So it’s about finding, what are your people believe in? What keeps them awake at night? What what frustrates them? What would they like more in the world? What do they secretly want? That they can’t. Talk to anybody else about what they wouldn’t want to share with anybody else. And that is that’s where your empathy and your social  knowledge of your people comes in. [00:19:00] And yeah, there’s a little bit of magic in that too. I have this really lovely process that I guide people through that helps them too. Really tune into who their people are really, really start to think about who all their people and what they really, really want. And so,  whether they’re middle-aged or whether the identify as a woman might be important, but it certainly won’t be anything like the most important thing [00:19:33] [00:19:30] we get to the fourth bit, which is how you’re going to make money. So, what are your, what’s your business model for want of a better word, but basically what, what you’re selling, what your products, what your services and how are they priced? So, yeah, we look at things like money and how much you’re charging and how much do you need to charge? [00:19:55] How much do you want to charge and how much does what you charge impact you emotionally,  the  emotional side of, of money and charging, and this for women can be such a, a real ball of yarn to, to unravel,  What does charging X amount mean about me? Will anyone buy it if I charge Y and so really starting to look at how can you price your, your products and your services in a way that’s going to support you and help you to thrive. [00:20:32] I see so many women, especially coaches and healers, majorly, undercharging. There’s all of these myths around this somehow unseemly to sell or to charge for our healing, our caring, our love that somehow it sullies it, and it can feel really confusing and really quite icky. And so,  this can be an ongoing process of helping people to [00:21:00] really own the price and look at the value that you provide. [00:21:07] The fifth bit is, do  how to sell in a way that feels. That feels good to you, and that is ethical and that is selling in the written word. So, can you write a half decent sales page, that’s going to convey all of the value that you have. And even if that’s one of the things that you’re going to want to [00:21:30]hire out for certainly in the first few years, you really need to be able to at least express what the, the elements that would, would go into a sales page yourself anyway, because it’s things like what the benefits of working with you. What are your clients feeling when they come to you? Who are your people? [00:21:52] What do they need to hear? What is the, the, the gap that’s missing for them? Are you the person to fill that? And then also, especially if you’re a service-based business, how do you do things like have sales conversations that are going to feel really good and aren’t going to feel nauseated or that you did what I did way back in the early days when people would say, how much is it to work with you? [00:22:15] And I go, Oh, don’t worry about that. I will work for you for free. You know, it’s almost like I was paying them. So with me, it’s the whole money and charging thing can be such a, a heady heady subject, and this really kind of kicks in and sales. [00:22:30] Plus we also have. Loads of really terrible examples of bad aggressive selling from, from movies, from films, from TV shows, from just our own experiences of, of being sold to that. [00:22:46] We don’t want to do any of those things. And so that I think puts us off in a lot of ways and means that. For a lot of folks were really don’t enjoy that selling process. And I firmly believe that you can enjoy it because it can be a really lovely, gorgeous extension of the work that you’re doing fully aligned with your values fully aligned with your style. [00:23:11] And that’s one of the things I love teaching people about and helping them with. the sixth Part is the finding your energetic mix and then finding a marketing plan. That suits that, and also it goes deeper than that. It’s finding a way of working that suits your energetic mix. So if you’re an introvert going to lots of in-person networking events might not be a great fit. [00:23:42]I know nobody’s going to in-person networking events at the moment, but we will do  one day. Similarly,  if you’re an extrovert staying at home. tapping  away behind your computer every day is going to drive you kinda nuts. So it’s about finding that [00:24:00] right. Mix finding things like what marketing methods do you enjoy and do you find ease with and focusing in on a streamlined. [00:24:12] Marketing plan so that you’re not trying to be on all the platforms and do all of the things, but you’re going to focus on one or two things that you really enjoy, that there is ease and for you, because that’s where you’re going to get consistency and you’re going to get results. [00:24:30]the plus that I talked about and I say it’s a, it’s a, it’s a plus it’s these six stages plus is because this plus isn’t only for those at the foundational stage of their business, the plus is support and follow travelers. So I talked about different types of support that you need in your business. [00:24:56] A couple of weeks ago. And I talked about that because I genuinely think it’s the thing that makes or breaks a business. If you don’t have that, if you don’t have a quite clear message, yet you can probably muddle through you won’t get the kind of results that  you deserve and that you wanting, but you can kind of muddle through. [00:25:15] It’ll be hit and miss. If you don’t have your pricing quite, quite right, you can pick up different things and it will evolve over time. You might make some mistakes. It’s going to be a bumpy road, but you can get [00:25:30] by the fastest way, I think to go out of business or to give up on your business. [00:25:36] And these. Not just in the foundational stages, but also further  along, is  not having that support around you, not having the people who are in your corner, who can give you that outside perspective, who can give you that encouragement, who can hold the mirror up to what you’re doing and kind of go these over this way. [00:25:54] Or here’s something that I tried before being able to have that at the different kind of types of it. I just think it’s the most essential part. And it’s why I have that support and community aspect built into every one of my programs. And it’s also why I am retiring. My standalone one-on-one offer because I see people get so much greater. [00:26:26]Results through working, not just with me one-on-one but also having a peer group and a support network around them so that they’re able to brainstorm ideas and get support. And just for the people who get it, it can be really lonely. This idea of, of running your own business. Most people don’t get it. [00:26:52] Most people don’t know what it’s like to do sales calls in this kind of environment, or to wrestle [00:27:00] with your webpage and things like that don’t care. And there is such a relief and having other people say, yeah, yeah, I get it. I feel that. So at that foundational stage, it’s important, but also  [00:27:13] at that growth stage, what you need is. Less of the, those  foundational [00:27:22]pieces. and more of an open, yet supportive container for you to experience, experiment, play about with reflect, build on your successes so far, maybe develop new. Programs, maybe increase your prices, maybe look at new ways of working and that’s going to be different for every single person. But the thing that isn’t different is that need for some support is that need for having that. [00:28:00] Outside eye on your business on a regular basis is a need to have a facility to work through the, the feelings and the emotions that come with with growing, being able to find nuance and refine your approach. Sometimes,  get out of the swirly. swirl of [00:28:30] thoughts that you have around you and be able to really focus in on, yeah, this, this is the right way to be able to build your resilience  so that you can bounce back faster from the setbacks, because there’s always going to be setbacks. [00:28:46] It’s not that the setbacks disappear is that, . They tend to be different setbacks and sometimes that they feel bigger, but you can bounce back more readily. Sometimes you do need specific strategic inputs and being able to have that and being able to be discerning about what strategic input you need based on your changing and evolving business. [00:29:17]Is something that is incredibly important. So having that, ongoing strategic help and support to really tailor  your actions for you. Being able to have that emotional support, to be able to work through the feelings because they do not go away. Things like the fear, things like the, I did this thing and I feel really embarrassed or I’m such a shame now because I have a voice in my head telling me I should have known how to do that better. [00:29:46] Or everyone else seems to be doing this thing and I’ve got wicked FOMO about it. And there’s 17 shiny objects for courses that I might take. And I don’t know which one is going to be the right one that being [00:30:00] able to stay in action, but being able to adapt and be flexible. Know if the last year with COVID didn’t teach us anything else. [00:30:12] It taught us that the businesses that were able to not just survive, but thrive through such a massive change. We’re the ones who are able to be flexible and responsive. And that’s going to be the thing for any business. Once it’s out of that foundational stage, being able to respond to what’s happening. [00:30:39] Is a key scale on that that comes down to resiliency that comes down to having regular time when you’re able to see the step back and see the big picture when you’re able to see the wood for the trees in your business, because you’re going to be spending an awful lot of time in your business, doing the things and what can happen if you’re doing that, is you miss out the, the signs that  [00:31:01] things that may be changing. And there’s I’ve worked with a few folks in the past year or so, who had really, really successful businesses based on blogging and selling courses, where they were able to sell the courses at a low figure because they had quite a big audience and enough people bought it. [00:31:23] That is, it was always they were making money relatively easily. And then it was almost like that tap turned off. Almost [00:31:30] overnight over the course of a six month period, suddenly those courses weren’t selling people, weren’t buying the things, anything like the way because the market was changing because people were massively overwhelmed by the number of things they had in their inbox, because people’s lives are radically altering. [00:31:49] We’re homeschooling, we’re working from home. We’re having to go out in the midst of a deadly pandemic. There was suddenly people’s priorities were changing. And yet,  the methods of selling, the business structure. The messages, even weren’t, reflecting the new world, the new reality for people. [00:32:09] So having that space where you can be making sure that you are doing the things, not getting pulled into procrastination, but also being able to have that strategic step back on a regular basis, along with making sure that you’re looking after your mental and your physical health, that you’re well  [00:32:31] supported.  All of those things that we need as a, as a human, all of those are, are essential. The growth stage. And so one of the things that I have been looking at for quite a while now is will, how do I support my people once they’re at the growth stage? And so that’s why this week I’ve launched a new program. [00:32:55] So we’ve got supernova collective, which is for those of you who are at the foundational stage. [00:33:00] And then we’ve got this new gorgeous program called supernova continuum, which is designed to help you stay in consistent action and see concrete progress.  Doing the things don’t put it off for three weeks. [00:33:13] You’re going to do it this week. If that’s what you decide that you’re going to do, maybe forward on that goals. Okay, better at launching, launching  the thing showing up more consistently, really being able to remember to nourish themselves. And it’s really designed for those folks who are at that growth stage. [00:33:29] They have the foundational pieces in place, but sometimes the keeping going is just as challenging as the starting out. And about being flexible and being resilient. So I’m really excited about this new offer. And if it’s something that you think you might be interested in, then go to my website or go to my Instagram or go to Facebook or just put into the Googles Jo Casey supernova continuum. [00:34:04] There’s a link on my Instagram bio that will take you and explain it. Or if you go to Jo  casey.com and click work with me,  you’ll see supernova, collective and supernova continuum. At the top of the page, you can get all of the details there. The plan at the moment is that I’m going to open it for a few weeks and then close it for about three months. [00:34:27] So it’s going to open roughly every quarter. [00:34:30] And then once we get to 14 peoples, it’s not many people at all. When it’s full it’s full until somebody leaves and then then a new space will open up. So it’s, it doesn’t have an exact start date. It’s going to be on a rolling date.  And I’m really excited about it. [00:34:48] So if there’s something that this feels like could be just the thing that you need to get you out of. Maybe you find yourself procrastinating or spending too much time overthinking losing momentum and getting pulled up off track and spinning your wheels for way longer than you’ve intended to then. [00:35:08] Check it out. I’d love to have a chat with you about it and see if it’s going to be a good fit for you. That’s it for me today. Thank you so much loves for listening to me. I hope you have an amazing weekend or rest of your week, obviously, depending on when it is  that you’re listening to this and I will speak to you very soon.


We Are Pioneers You And Me

We Are Pioneers You And Me

We Are Pioneers You And Me

In this week’s episode of the Unshiny Podcast, I’ll be talking about how we all get to be pioneers. Not only building our business but in shaping the industry and the wider culture around us, simply by doing our businesses, our way.  For years opening and running a business was prohibitively expensive. -Out of reach for most folks, especially women and people of colour. But technology means you can now start a business that makes money with only a phone and a wifi connection.   The means of production are in our hands.  The gatekeepers of business- the bank managers and investors who were ones who could say yes or no, loan the start-up money, grant the permits and so on are no longer the ones in control and the barriers have been removed.    This is exciting because there are so many opportunities in this brave new world, and because the industry is so new we have the opportunity to shape it in any way we choose.  The downside of that is there are no real roadmaps, apart from those being pushed, by the guys who used to be the gatekeepers – hence the bro marketers and the Tony Robbins style machismo of the disgruntled white dude shouting at us from our computer monitors insisting we need their formula or wisdom to be ‘successful’.  So how do we find our own path and avoid the pitfalls?  How do we decide on the direction? And how do we make sure that we’re not bringing familiar toxic practices like overwork and burnout over into our businesses?  I’ll be diving into all this in this episode, including 
  • The origins of the word pioneer. 
  • A bit of a history of barriers to even starting a business for many folks. 
  • The beauty and the drawbacks of being the first on the path. 
  • And how we can use this opportunity to create nourishing, sustainable businesses – not only for ourselves but as a model of possibility that reshapes the culture of work altogether. 

Books Mentioned in this episode:

Burnout by EMILY NAGOSKI, PHD and AMELIA NAGOSKI, DMA Emergent Strategy Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by  ADRIENNE MAREE BROWN

Previous Unshiny Podcast Episodes Mentioned:

Episode 1 – What Is An Unshiny Business Episode 2 – The Co-Delusion Of The Shiny Life

Episode 3 – Coach Your Own Business 


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Prefer to read rather than listen? Click here for the transcript

[00:00:00] Hello, lovely people. This is Jo. Welcome to the unshiny  podcast.  I’ve been thinking about these episodes that we’ve done so far in this season, and they’re very much designed as a kind of a primer for what we mean by an Unshiny business what it is, what it isn’t. And so I’m aware that we’re still in a quite theoretical space. [00:00:23] We are going to be today as well. But this is going to be the last one for a while. I want to talk about owning your right to do it your way. And the idea that you and me we are pioneers in this industry, the online business space is so new and yet there are people in it who obviously have experience in doing certain things in certain ways. [00:00:55] There are people who are trying all kinds of different things in all kinds of different areas. And it’s really exciting because we get to do that too. But there’s a problem because we are,  we, we exist and we’re in this patriarchal capitalist society that is set up in this idea of being quite paternalistic of, of the idea that the only experts, the only people with the right to exert expert influence. [00:01:28] Although those people [00:01:30] who have done certain things and look a certain way, I’m a millionaire. Even though maybe they inherited a huge amount of money and were able to invest in technology and help way before you were ever able to do so. Or I’m a white person who wants to Harvard say out I’m a bestselling author, or there are lots of, of signifiers that we have for, or authority. [00:01:55] And I suppose what the. And the shiny folks are really focused on is expressing their level of authority, why they have the right to be there. And they do that through things like signifying wealth or, you know, how, how literally, how glossy and clear that their skin is or images of them on the beach, or look, here’s my best-selling book that I’ve written. [00:02:24] And I’m not saying that. We automatically dismiss those things. All I am saying is having those things, having the Harvard degree, having the the career working for wherever, it might be something that sounds really impressive. Having written the book doesn’t necessarily mean they have. Any more rights to be doing this work and taking up space in this really young industry than you or me. [00:02:59] What [00:03:00] is wonderful about having the, the technology that we have now is that it has him in many ways. Democratize democratize, democratize. Oh my God. Look, democracy made it more available to many more people than we have before. Many more people than were able to even 20 years ago start their own business. [00:03:33] If you go back 30, 40, 50 years, there were certain people who literally just weren’t able to access things like funding. You had to go to a bank and have a business plan and get a loan because setting up a business usually required a physical premises or equipment or money for traditional investments. [00:03:54] And so there was the huge barriers to entry. With that traditional kind of bricks and mortar businesses needed investment money. And that investment money was literally not available through kind of. To mainstream traditional channels to an awful lot of people women, people of color there were literally laws about this and policies about it. [00:04:23] Having the, the, the time to be able to do that, those things, to be able to have [00:04:30] enough investment to allow you to. Not take earnings from a business for several years. I remember watching called shark tank in the U S but we call it Dragon’s den in the UK and I genuinely can’t stand watching programs where people are. [00:04:49]Mean to each other in that kind of hostility in the Heights of stuff. So I don’t watch it very often, but I remember when it first came out, it was a bit of a novelty. And one of the things I was quite amazed at was the number of business owners who weren’t taking a salary or weren’t taking any money from that, their business. [00:05:06] And that was seen as the norm for most people. And to me at the time, I’m a single parent. So it was like, well, I can’t afford to do that unless somebody is going to invest a huge amount of money for me to be able to do that while I’m building the business up. [00:05:24] Now, the barrier to entry, to running a successful business, earning money. Quickly. Yeah, much more quickly making a profit quickly, having a higher profit margin than, you know, if you had a bricks and mortar store is. It’s so much lower. Literally all you need in some cases is some way of accessing the, the the internet, whether that be a mobile phone or a laptop and a wifi connection or a microphone, [00:06:00] we can start. [00:06:01] Earning money just by, by the, you know, the, these things. And so that means you do have 15 year old girls who are making really great money being influencers or from their YouTube channels. You have. Businesses really bespoke and would be really niche and would, would maybe struggle to supply that products to a wide enough audience, if they would just focused on their lo their locality at the people who end their town, you have them now able to do business with people, literally all over the world. [00:06:41] And you have service-based businesses like us who are able to. Do you work with clients virtually all over the world? Just for the price of. A broadband connection. I don’t know a webcam. Oh, your phone. And that’s amazing. It’s taken away huge amounts of physical and financial barriers. Well, it’s not done though. [00:07:06] Is taken away the. The kind of cultural, psychological barriers that, that some of us are carrying around and some of the people are putting onto us. And so this episode is all about us. Laming all space in the industry and acknowledging the fact that we are pioneers. So not only do we get to. [00:07:30] Cheat our claim, our space, we get to define it. [00:07:35] We get to shape it. And fat’s really exciting that excites me so much because for many of us. What 20 years ago, or maybe even 10 years ago would have been okay. If you’re a woman you come or you you’re from a marginalized group and you are, maybe you have a disability, maybe you have caring responsibilities. [00:08:05] Maybe you didn’t have access to great quality education, or you weren’t. Able to pay the, whatever the fees were or put aside the time to go to college. You are now able to have so many more options than would have been open to you. That would have been open to me. My only option to 15 years ago was,  when I owned my, my son was small and I was a single parent. [00:08:33]And struggling with,  some, some not insignificant mental health challenges was to go work in an office where I was limited in terms of my promotion opportunities, because I had to leave at a certain time because I had childcare responsibilities because yeah. And I’m really lucky that I live in a country where certainly at the time I was able to get supplemental tax credits. [00:08:57] And that was the only way I was able to work. That [00:09:00] was the only way I was able to afford childcare and go to work was because I had those tax credits, those tax credits aren’t available and anything like that, the way that they are now, the work that I did was, you know, I was limited to, there was a limited choice out there. [00:09:17] I worked in learning and development, which I thankfully again, so which privilege I was something I really enjoyed and I was able to find. A role that was quite close to where I lived. It was on your 20 minute commute. I very deliberately went to work for a local authority because I knew that they had flexible working policies, but on an awful lot of organizations still don’t have those. [00:09:41]Even, so it meant working in an open plan office. It meant sometimes working long hours and taking work home to keep up with things. And I was incredibly lucky being able to do that. Now I’m able to do is set up my working environment in a way that that suits my disposition, that suits my, my introversion, that suits my neurodivergence, that suits my, again, tendency towards the anxious. [00:10:08] And so I can have a really calm environment. I can find clients all over the world. I don’t have to be limited to the people that I know locally. And I can do it without having to go to a bank manager or to investors to say, I really believe in this. And I think it will work [00:10:30] and them making the decision as to whether I can have some money from them. [00:10:38] I get to do all of that. And I couldn’t have done that 10, 15 years ago, and we certainly couldn’t have done that. The further apart we go, so all of a sudden, like really, really quickly, so many of us now have. Access to shaping services, shaping conversations to it, claiming space on a cultural place, having influence, being able to share our ideas and our philosophies about things in a way that has never been available to us before. [00:11:13] And yet. We have the, the old school, the burrow marketers, the shiny marketers, still speaking that language of power over, still speaking that language of you need me to tell you what today, which is what we talked about in the last episode. And I really want to give you full permission to. Claim your space as a pioneer shaping this industry, maybe it’s about shaping whichever, kind of a niche or industry that you’re in, whether you want to. [00:11:54] Talk about sustainability within clothing manufacturing, or whether you want to talk [00:12:00] about mental health and burnout within coaching, or whether you want to talk about, I don’t know what ever is. I know so many magical, amazing people who are talking about things that I swear. We weren’t having conversations. [00:12:15] I don’t even five years ago. And that’s amazing. That’s awesome. The problem with being a pioneer though, is we’re often doing it without a map. And also if we go back to the idea of the, the, the, kind of the original definition of the word, awesome. [00:12:45] There a lot of things that also great about the idea of being a pioneer. I think we have that very American idea of  the pioneers of the wild West,  forging ahead and creating a new country. I mean, that, that sounds terribly romantic problematic as how well we realize what that involved to  for indigenous populations. [00:13:08] But actually the, the pioneers, the actual pioneers was the people who traveled ahead of the, the, the explorers. They were the people who. Let’s say past the two set rate with [00:13:30] picks and shovels pioneers were originally foot soldiers who marched ahead of a regiment to dig the trenches, to clear the roads and the terrain would that picks and their shovels so that the rest of the army could have a clearer path. [00:13:55] The idea of that, that kind of colonias does colonist or Sackler, meaning of pioneer really did not exist until the 18 hundreds. So we have this, the, these, these concepts of the idea of pioneer. The foot soldier, the,  the people who cleared the rocks I had to the, the, the infantry had of the, the army and the offices that people who quite often,  died from accidents or because it was incredibly dangerous or just because it was such a hard. [00:14:34] Hard life, if you were traveling ahead of the, the infantry, then very often you were not just the person who was the first to come across the rock that needed clearing, but maybe you were the person who came across the mountain lion that, needed something for its dinner and things like that. [00:14:51]This idea of the pioneer, almost being less important and disposable, they’re going to do the shitty jobs [00:15:00] first. I want you to just hold that in mind, first of all. And then there’s also the idea of the pioneer as being yeah. This colonial settler idea that , well, I’m just taking it’s mine as a matter who else it belongs to. [00:15:17] And so I think we have to talk about both of those ideas of, of being a pioneer to make sure that we’re not falling into those practices through our work. Let’s talk about the, the, the, the colonial idea. First of all, that is. Problems in the, the, the wellness community. There are problems in the online business space. [00:15:44] There are problems in society, around things like people taking what is not theirs people. Whether that be. Taking on practices and not accrediting, not crediting the people who they’ve come from, whether that be taking things for [00:16:08] There are problems with both of those models. I want us to really be aware of those so that when we talk about being a pioneer, when we really own owning the space of being a pioneer, we are very clearly not falling into the idea of that kind of colonialist. Very often white supremacist idea [00:16:30] of, Oh, I’m going to build on other people’s work I’m going to call  it mine, or I’m going to take, what’s not mine. If that means, we have basic principles. Like we credit our teachers.    Being aware that we’re doing as little harm as possible, and also being aware that we’re going to mess it up at times, not intentionally, but we just will, because. Being in dialogue, being in a cultural space, being out, doing this work is going to be messy. [00:17:05] We are going to mess it up. I mess up all of the time we see  some of our teachers, some of our heroes sometimes really messing up. And the,  test for me is not whether somebody messes up because we will mess up. We’re all gonna mess up. It is how we respond to being challenged around that. [00:17:25] And I think some of the problems that have come across with some of our bigger names, certainly in the coaching and the teaching space has been around how unwilling those people have been to accept. That they may have unintentionally done wrong. But  this, the, a lot of white lady tears and a lot of justification that goes on and a lot of  additional drama that is created where we end up doing more harm for [00:18:00] being. [00:18:00] Called out and told that we have done harm and that can be a tricky space to be in, but that’s why we need to be continuing to do our work, to make sure that our values around things like social justice, around things like equity in the space and, and, and being aware of our privilege and using our privilege for good and knowing that when to pull back and knowing that it’s, it’s not okay to mess up in that. Yeah. Oh, it’s fine. I can mess up. But knowing that you will mess up is not the end of the world. It’s by doing the work that we mess up and then we have the opportunity to grow. And I think the important part is, is taking the opportunity to grow. [00:18:56] There’s a great book called emergent strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown. And  she talks about almost like how the messiness, how the fact that cultures shift and change, and we don’t always have this one set path.  We develop our strategies and our approaches over time through patterns of action, not through having this one straight linear path through these. [00:19:26] And I think that is such a key concept [00:19:30] to grasp as pioneers, getting to shape this industry, this online space. You’re not going to have all of the answers. It is going to be messy. You will try a load of stuff that maybe doesn’t go so well. And you will try a load of stuff that goes fantastically, and there’ll be a load of stuff in the middle and all of it is necessary. [00:19:54] And. Valid and important so that we can do these big shifts, both for our own businesses and for us culturally.   [00:20:05] This concept of being, being a pioneer that I want us to really be aware of and, and, and jettison is that we all clearing a path in many ways. And there is a strain of [00:20:22]behavior conditioning that i see, especially  in women. That’s predominantly who I do my work with and the idea that we have to sacrifice ourselves that we buy into the busy to exhaustion culture.  That we don’t prioritize our own health and ability to thrive. That means not paying lip service to self-care and rest, but actually building it into our [00:21:00] businesses and this is a really tricky area for many of us, because we’ve been conditioned to. Put our needs to the bottom of the pile.  [00:21:12] My friend, Lara Heacock calls it being a tightly wound woman . Quite Type A, we are good at getting things done.  If you’re an entrepreneur, if you run your own business, you have to be a self-starter. You have to be good at getting things done. Knowing when to pull back when done is enough when to not get caught up in perfectionism or imposter complex and moving away from that pushing, pushing, pushing takes a long time. [00:21:43] It really is a journey.  [00:21:46]And also we have become very disconnected from knowing when we are, when we are tired, when we have done enough, when we need to rest, we are so good at pushing through so good. It’s endemic There’s this fabulous book called burnout, which I’ve been reading lately and I’ll put the links to it in the show notes, talking about just the amount of rest that we all need and how we are chronically rest deprived. [00:22:15] And running our own business gives us the opportunity to set up our businesses in a way that are nourishing. Not only doing good in the work that we do and not only doing good in the way that we are able to shift and change [00:22:30] conversations and shape this industry that we’re in to impact the lives of others, but also change the culture of work. [00:22:39] We have the ability to do that. However we quite often will struggle with. This is totally new. I am so used to work in eight till six, and then coming home and do my emails. And so it’s very easy to find yourself working long hours, not resting enough. And that is almost going to the, the idea of the pioneer who’s clearing the road for the people. [00:23:07] You do not want to be one of those people. Who’s clearing the way for the people to run there. Wonderful gorgeous life-changing businesses, but you end up burning out yourself because you have pushed and worked yourself so hard. So one of the things I talk to with my clients is about how can we keep coming back to ease? [00:23:29] How can we find the ease at the core of our business? And it’s not always that easy. It is a bit of a journey. But when we can do that, when we can own the fact that we are pioneers, we can let go of the idea that we have to do it a certain way. We can untangle ourselves from this idea that there’s one right way to do it. [00:23:53] The world of work was set up after the industrial revolution. And it was basically [00:24:00] to maximize production in factories. That’s what our modern world of work comes from. It was then refined in the 1940s and fifties in the post-war era about let’s set things up. So that man who’re the predominant workforce because the women were all being encouraged to go back to the kitchen that men could work most efficiently and they didn’t have to worry about  the domestic arrangement, because that mother or the wife would be doing those things That’s the model of work that we’re still working to in the modern workplace. And so we get to change that we get to say, no, I’m not going to do it that way. So if you want to work Saturday mornings and then Tuesday evenings, and then the rest of the time you’re taking off. [00:24:47] Do it, we get to change conversations. We get to change the culture. We get to change our own lives. We get to change the lives of the people that we work with and if we’re making the money. And that’s another thing that we’re going to be talking about in another episode about the unshiny business approach to money. [00:25:06]Very succinctly is that you should be making lots of it because that way we also get to have cultural and political influence because without financial influence, we don’t have that without financial sustainability. We don’t have that. If you’re having to worry about bills and focusing lots and lots of your energy [00:25:30] on. [00:25:31] How am I going to pay the rent this month? How am I going to make the mortgage? The kids need new shoes that that’s really difficult for you to then be having those impactful conversations around how do we change society and  those little things. So you got to set your business up, however you want to, and that’s gorgeous and liberating and scary. [00:25:55] Because if there’s no roadmap, who do you look to? It can feel isolating. It can feel lonely. And so that’s why at the core of your business, you also need fellow travelers around you. You need other people who are on the path, maybe they’re going in slightly different directions. Maybe some are a bit further ahead than you. [00:26:24] Maybe some have been down some dead ends, maybe some of them are going to help  chop down some of the, the foliage . And the things in your paths, maybe they’re going to hold your hand and maybe they’re going to give you some water. Maybe they’re going to sit down and have a good chat around the campfire at night, knowing that you will not on your own. [00:26:50] That you’re actually traveling with a whole crowd of other amazing people who are also pioneers, who [00:27:00] were also shaping the terrain. That’s when it gets to be not lonely. That’s when it gets to be exciting and empowering. And when I talked last week about the different people that you need in your business, whether that be coaching and mentoring that group of fellow travelers,is  just as important. [00:27:24] So that’s it from me, revel in your pioneerness, maybe think about where are some of the ways that you can refocus  and continue to place the idea of ease at the heart of your business and above all else. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy being on this path.   Until next time.

[00:27:46] Thank you so much for listening and I will speak to you soon. 

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