About the episode
A few days ago I asked the question, “What is the business phrase that chafes your ass the most?” on Instagram and I was really blown away by a lot of the responses (that were all so accurate), but one really stuck out. Follower and listener of the show, Ellie, said “Solopreneurs giving the illusion that they run their business 100% alone and thrive. I want people sharing everything that helped them get there from therapy to childcare to a VA!” and that response is so gold.
So I thought today on the show I could share 10 investments that have helped grow my business the most. These things are things that are tangible and maybe standard, but a few of the things are more spiritual. This episode is also full of the reminder that slow growth is okay and all of our businesses look different, which is okay too.
Topics discussed in episode #25
- Busting the myth of the successful solopreneur
- Monetary and spiritual investments that Melanie has made in her business
- How to pivot after a launch that doesn’t go as planned
- The importance of stepping outside of your echo chamber to look inside yourself
- A look inside Melanie’s team and the responsibility that comes with it
- Why self inquiry is the cornerstone for each business decision I make
- Remembering who you are outside your business and how hobbies help this
- Why (again) cycle alignment has changed everything for me
Connect with Melanie here:
Hey friends. Welcome to episode number 25 of entrepreneurial Outlaws. Today's episode is a little bit different because this past week I posted on my Instagram feed, the post or the graphic, I should say consisted of one of those like little questions, because, and my question to y'all was what is the most awesome chafing business phrase or business strategy that you've come across? Like, what is that thing that when you see it really you, and you're just like, I hate this. And we've talked about these before and I've shed so many of these on my feet, and we've talked about the things that frustrate me. And so many of you have said, yep, this frustrates me too. At the same time, I'm working at the moment to support you with solutions. We need solutions, right? We need answers. We need ways in which we can not just feel frustrated by these strategies.
We'll buy these phrases, but how we can actually run our businesses in a different way. And this podcast is one of those resources feel. So I was scrolling through some of the answers and they were all so great, but one of them really stood out to me. And it was from Ellie who I know is Alyssa, sorry, highly, if you're listening. And her answer just really stopped me in my tracks because it was just a little bit different from everyone else's and I'm going to read you her answer. It said solar, pro-Nazi giving the illusion that they run their business 100% alone and thrive. I want people sharing everything that helped them get that from therapy to childcare to a VA. And I was like, yeah, yeah, this is gold because I see this a law. I see a lot of entrepreneurs who have these big audiences, these, and I don't know, cause I'm not in their bank account, but these big launches and these big income thresholds and what fascinates me is at this point in my business, five years in I'm like they have a big team.
They, they, they have a team at least like they at least have two or three people helping them because running a business and all of the behind the scenes that goes with that at that level is way too much for one person to handle. And especially when you see a little bells and whistles, right? So we see this a lot. We hear that, you know, you can start a business with no, no no overheads, right? You can start an online business with no overheads. And that's true for the most part, but there's a lot of other things that you're going to want to invest in over time. And there's going to be ways in which you can receive support or receive help that may not look the same as everyone else. And I thought that was so interesting because as Ellie said, from therapy to childcare to a VA, this was something I used to battle a lot because when I left my corporate job and took my business full time, I was not making a lot of money, but my child was in childcare four days a week.
I had help because I would never have got anything done. I have not the kind of parent who is able to multitask childcare or homeschooling and, you know, living my dream business. I'm just not that kind of person. There are so many people out there who do this juggle very, very well. And I'm so impressed. It's just not me. I'm not fun mum. Like I'm very practical mum. And so for me, childcare was a huge investment that we made from the very beginning, even when I took my business to my business full time. So even when I left my corporate job, have I felt guilty about that? Yes. Have I felt like I should be able to do this juggle. I felt like I should be able to spend more time with my child. Yeah. But you know what? He was also. Okay. And I'm okay with that.
Now he's in school and things look a little bit different. And coincidentally, when he started school we actually had, I personally actually ended up with like less time to work. And this was really interesting to me because when he was in childcare Nasseri before school started, he would go like half seven in the morning until five o'clock at night. Because when we started doing that, I worked full time in a corporate job, which required me to be, you know, walking from like eight 30, till six. And we just kept it that way. So it was a real shift in my time when he did go to school, because now he's in school from nine till three, which is six hours. And any of you out there will know six hours is actually not a lot of time. Like, it feels like a lot of time, but it's not a lot of time.
And so today's episode is a little different because I'm going to talk about really things that have helped me to grow my business. And I actually decided I looked to this and I was like, look, there are things I pay for, right. I have a team and there are things I'm going to get into that. But there are things that I pay for every single month that helped me to grow my business. But there were also things that maybe, maybe they will spiritual. Maybe they're more intuitive than maybe more like traits. These things have also helped me to grow my business. Now I'm going to share each of those with you. I'm going to talk about them as like an investment. I'm not necessarily going to get into how much I pay for those things, because again, I don't think it really makes any difference while I'm paying for those tools or those resources.
But you know, if you have like a specific question, come and ask me on Instagram, that's absolutely fine. But the thing that I want to really highlight and kind of caveat this entire episode with is that the real thing that has helped me grow my business is time. And I know that is not what most of us want to hear and I didn't want to hear it. And it's just, now I can say it because I'm like, well, it's just a reality time is what I need time and repeating the same patterns until I realized that they don't walk and trying out new things and heading out of my echo chambers of coaching and experiencing new resources and trying different ways of running a business. Like in the last five years, I have tried so many different things until I got to the point where I was like, okay, this is what I really want to be doing.
This is kind of where I've settled. And it doesn't mean that in, within the next five years, I won't pivot or evolve, but for right now, this feels the most settled that I ever had in my business. So if you are six months or three years or whatever into your business, and you're like, I want it to happen. Now, I want you to understand that slow growth is still growth. Slow growth is still growth. We are the ones that are super impatient. There is so much out there. The Fox growth can happen. We can have these massive launches, these entrepreneurs who supposedly have a launch hit out of the park and grow that business overnight, that doesn't matter realistic. That's probably not the full story. And it's not the norm. Most of these entrepreneurs, if you look at entrepreneurs who, you know, the ones, I think whoever like Richard Branson, Alan sugar, yes.
They happen to be men. But what I think of those entrepreneurs, they were building businesses at a time when we did not have what we have available to us now. So there's that right? There's the first thing is that so many people who've come before us have tried things out, tested things, have seen what works, seeing what doesn't work for them, and they share their knowledge. And we get to choose to accept, to leave that knowledge behind. We have a choice. We don't have to do the thing they do, but at the same time we have new technology. We have new ways of doing business, which is really exciting, even if it feels super frustrating. And when I think about these entrepreneurs, these entrepreneurs, they don't claim that they made money overnight. They don't claim that they did one thing and it happens to be the perfect solution.
And they made all this money and they just, you know, that's it, that's not how this story goes. For most of us, this story goes that we try something and it didn't quite work. And we probably then try six other things because that's what we do as humans and they don't work. And then we go back to the original thing and we're like, okay, let's try that again. And that was my recent outlaw moment, right? I will moments. So those moments where we go, I'm not going to, I'm not going to follow the same journey. I'm not going, I'm going to change this outcome. You know, I'm going to control, I can control. I'm going to approach this differently. So one of my not so strong moments in my business over the years has been, and you'll probably have all done this too. I launched something and it doesn't necessarily go the way I planned. And I get frustrated. Like this was old cycles. I would get really upset, really frustrated, and I would have a pity party. And sometimes those parties would last quite some time. And then I would just move on to the next thing I would create the next new thing, the next new thing, the next new thing.
And even though I had probably had a number of entrepreneurs talk about the fact that that's not the best way of doing things. It never really hit me. And then over the last couple of years, I've heard this and it's, it's sit with me differently. And the most recent kind of big little moment for me was launching something that didn't go the way I wanted it to, for me, it was that moment of sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you get what you need. That was that moment for me. I did not get what I wanted, but I also got really what I needed. I got insight into what I needed possibly within my business. And did I feel kind of crappy? Sure. But I was also like, okay, what do I want to do next? And I dove into a new project. I was like, okay, I'm going to do this next thing. This is the thing we're doing. And then I couldn't get it going. I was trying to work on this project. And it just, it was like huge like barriers. And I just was finding it really hard.
And I sat with myself, did some self-inquiry, which I'm going to talk about actually later in this episode, this himself inquiry and was like, hang on a minute. I really believe in the project I worked on the project that did not go to plan. I believe in it. I always did believe in it. And I have to believe that there are things that I can do differently. I know that this is transformative. I know that it's helpful. I know that people need these kinds of spaces and solutions. And it was in that moment that I realized that this was a cycle. This was an old routine that I was doing, which was this didn't work well, I'm going to throw out the window and I'm going to move on to the next thing. So we went back to that original idea. And over the last few weeks I had been working behind the scenes on that kind of like, what did I learn? Like, what did I learn from launching this thing? What did I learn when it didn't go my way? What did I learn? I actually want to do next time. And the point, and the reason I'm telling you this is that this is one of those things that is not spoken about enough in online business.
And at the same time as growing our business, we are going to hit these barriers. We're going to come up against these things. We're going to have moments where things don't go to plan, whether it's a launch or anything else, maybe you hire someone and it doesn't go to plan. Maybe you are hired and it doesn't go to plan. Maybe you invest in something and it's not what you expected. We're always going to come up against these roadblocks because that is part of life. No, one's swim through life, making only the most perfect decisions. That's not reality. Now of course we can do things prior. We can kind of do the pre-work and actually look at, okay, how do I make these decisions? And am I making the best decisions for me? We're going to get into that in a couple of episodes time. But for today, I just, I want to make sure that I caveat this episode saying, this is how I've grown my business.
This does not mean that your growth will look anything like this. This doesn't mean that you can't grow faster. It doesn't mean that you won't grow slower or that you grow differently, but this is how I've grown my business. And these are the things that have helped me do it. And I think this is important for transparency because as Ellie said, there are a lot of businesses out there that give the illusion that they run their business a hundred percent alone and thrive. And that's probably not true. And even if it's therapy or childcare, that is still an investment in ourselves and ultimately an investment in our business, besides all the tools and softwares that we invest in, which I'm not going to talk about today. But I think it's really, really important for us to highlight that. So let's get into it, grab a coffee, grab a notebook, a notebook. If you want to, I'm going to break it down. I'm going to share with you 10 different things that helped me grow my business. Five of those things will practical by those things are things I invest in. And five of those things are, you know, more personal and then more things that I really need for me to continue and grow my business in the way that it has done. Okay. Let's get that.
Okay. So let's talk about business growth. Okay. I've caveats caveats in this whole episode. So I'm going to start with the more practical things. The things that I definitely invest in, and this is in no particular order, these were just the things that came to mind. The first one is empowerment coaching.
Now I don't
Have a business coach. I have not invested in a business coach since 2018. The last experience I had with a business coach and me really, really hot. It had left a bad taste in my mouth. It does not mean, and I don't believe the old business coaches or all coaches at the same. Right. I get that at the same time. The one thing I had to do was figure this out on my own. I had to go off and I had to leave the echo chamber that I was in because all I was seeing was the same people coming up within the same coaches and the same people that I was walking with. I'm still friends with some of them now because that's not necessarily the issue. The issue was that I was just surrounded by the same people. And so I was surrounded by the same narratives and the same strategies and I didn't know anything different.
And the moment I stepped out of that, I was so scared. I was, I had a real, like funky mindset around it. But as I started to step out of that, I, I grew my confidence and B I actually had the opportunity to test out the things I've been learning because I didn't stop planning for the fast two and a half. Three is of building old, growing old, you know, running my business because it didn't stop learning. And I wasn't learning things that I can necessarily always use. And I was kind of learning the same things over and over again, just wrapped up slightly differently. They were put in different wrapping paper. They were put in different bows, but I kept learning the same thing and it didn't work once. And I was like, okay, well, this is my first time. Right. And I think that's a fair assumption if it didn't work the first time, you know, you could try again. But I tried these things like five, six, seven times. And it was just always kind of like, I felt like I was walking through mud. It just wasn't really doing what I wanted. So in 2019, I invested in empowerment coaching. That relationship was, has just been the most incredible thing. And the reason is because this person has opened me up to so much of my own possibility.
And she is just an incredible coach. She inspires me with the conversations. We have both when we're working together on my own. And when I read her emails, we'll see how content she inspires me because she, even though she doesn't see it, she really is an outlaw. And she has inspired me to do the scary things. And you do the hard things. And more importantly, I never feel like I have her expectation on me. And that is something that I used to feel a lot with business coaching. And I don't know if y'all can resonate with that, but, you know, I would ha I would spend a lot. I spent a whole lot of money on business coaching and I would have these cools. I would get into these cools with, in my mind what I was working on and what I wanted to talk about, what I needed to really, you know, fix or figure out.
And somehow we'd have as like 45 minutes. Cool. And at the end of it, I had been given 10 new things to do on top of the things I was already doing. And I barely had time to achieve the first list. Now I had two lists and it was just this spiral. It was just this constant spiral of overwhelm. And I take personal responsibility for my own investments, a hundred percent. And I have learnt a lot, a lot of what I don't want to do, but at the same time, not hiring a business coach worked very well for me because I was allowed to look out side of the echo chamber. And at the same time, I was able to look inside of myself. I was able to go, okay, I know all this stuff, I've learnt so much. What do I actually want to do?
How do I execute and deliver these things and which things do I just not want to do? And that has been a process since 2019, it has been a journey and a process. But I have worked with this coach since then. And we have been working together on a, on a regular basis since I think the middle of 2020, I think. And I get so excited to have these conversations. It really feels like masterminding. It feels like someone who allows me to be me, there is no judgment, which is what they shouldn't be. Right. They shouldn't be, they shouldn't even be judgment in business coaching because nobody has any right to be judging you. And so it's just, it's just an incredible investment. So that's the first thing that supports my business and my growth is having those conversations. Now, she's not the only person that I speak to on a regular basis when I'm feeling funky.
I have friends, I have peers. But I do try to keep my business conversations with people in kind of probably within my bubble and probably people who I'm already working very closely with. And the reason I'm saying that is because I think sometimes it's unfair of us. We can definitely speak to people who don't have a business, but having an expectation that they will necessarily understand, or it's just a different relationship. Right. So I certainly speak to my husband when I'm feeling crappy about something, but sometimes I just want to vent. I don't want him to fix it. Right. And we were talking about this recently because I said to him, you know, it was his like natural thing. He wants to fix it. He was like, he wants to come up with these ideas, but that just me off because I'm like, no, I just want to tell you how it feels.
So, you know, she's not
The only person I speak to, but empowerment, coaching has been a wonderful investment. And I, so look forward to those conversations and she's just an absolute rock within like my business. The second investment is slightly more personal, but it's a cleaner I have now granted, the last 12 months we have, you know, it's been an interesting ride, but I do have someone who comes and cleans my home once a week, she is incredible at what she does and her attention to detail. I'm just like this, this, this is not what I could do because the reality is for me, I work from home and if I'm working from home and I go to make a cup of coffee and something is messy, it's going to frustrate me. Now. I also have these moments where I get really, really annoyed or frustrated about something in my business. And because I can't control it, I can control cleaning. And then I go into like deep, crazy cleaning mode which is not necessarily the best use of my time. So I've had somebody cleaning a home, obviously on and off because of COVID for the last couple of years.
And it wasn't an,
I knew it was a great investment. It's something I had wanted to be able to do such a long time, but then COVID happened. And I had that person coming and it was like, Oh, I've been taking this for granted. Really have. So now I have this kind of little thing. When she, when she comes, we have a really great conversations. She's really great. And at the same time when she has finished and she's left, I kind of just take a moment to just notice the things that she has done, that I don't do bright her attention to detail in the bathrooms, for example, or, you know, just how clean and tidy the house will look. And so, because, you know, within a few hours, my kid will be home and it was, will no longer be that tidy. I do just take a moment to just appreciate that she does this, and this is her business.
And I said to her, I was like, as far as I'm concerned, you're part of my team. Like you part pop my team because you helped me get my job done. You helped me focus on what I'm doing and I don't have to worry about this. So that was an investment that when I first made it, I felt super uncomfortable sharing it publicly. I was like people that kind of touch me and I'm slit lit, you know, this I think is a fairly small investment. It's, it's not a huge financial investment because the task or the job, it takes a couple of hours once a week. So it is a different investment to having a team where maybe they're out there working 10 hours a week for you or something like that. So, you know, I think a cleaner is a really, especially if you work from home, which you'll probably do and you get super distracted by cleaning, I think it's a really practical investment.
And sometimes we ignore those kinds of investments. Because we're told that, you know, we need to hire a VA and I have a VA and I'll talk about that when I get to that part. But, you know, I think it's just a great way of being able to just feel comfortable in your own home and also not having to, or not needing to do something. That's, you know, so many of us say for the evenings or weekends, it's like this task that we ended up doing, and it eats into family time and things like that. Like right now, as I recall, this was still in lockdown and my cleaner can not come to our home. She will be coming back in a few weeks, but this morning I cleaned the house and it's like two hours of time, which means I'm not doing something else.
And so, you know, we have to pick up bottles, but cleaning for me is just something I'm not, I don't enjoy. I don't do it as anywhere near as well as she does. And so I invest in that. The third thing is off to school club for my son. Now granted, I, he only goes once a week again, when school is back, we will resume this. So once a week, he does football practice after school and not football practice is something we pay for. And it's, it's like maybe an hour or so extra, but the difference is huge for me. You know, when I go to pick him up from school, I have to finish my work day around 20 past two in the afternoon. So I don't even really get nine till three. On these days I don't have to pick him up until going four o'clock.
So I have so much more space. It means that I can maybe have an extra meeting or I can record a podcast interview of time zones. It just gives me that extra space and I could definitely have him do more after-school activities or even breakfast club activities. And I don't. And I think part of that is, you know, I feel like there's limited spaces and there are people out there who need their kids to go into school because they have to go out to work at a certain time. And so I don't do that. I think if it wasn't limited spaces, I probably would have him do that more often, because I think it's really great for him to just have more experience with his friends. But as I said, the last 12 months that's been kind of on and off. So I'm looking forward to April when that we'll hopefully be back in action, but that's something that I invest in, but it's, again, it's a smaller investment.
But it allows me more time to focus on my business and that, you know, do things that maybe I, I typically use that time for meetings or for podcast interviews, because that is that way. Or I'm not filling the time with busy work, but I'm filling it with things actually move the dial. So that's something I do really intense. Okay. The big one knowing before is my team. So I have a team of five. They are all contractors. I think that's really important. I don't have any employees currently. That is something I, I would love to work towards, but I don't know the logistics of it just yet. But yeah, right now I have a team of five people and I made all of these hires in 2020. And what I think is very important to talk about when we talk about hiring a team is this narrative that we see online from a lot of people is, you know, hire a team.
You need to hire someone. And it's, it's usually like hire a VA because when you hire that person, you know, you're, you're taking tasks off your plate. You absolutely are absolutely up. But I think it's also really important to talk about some of the realities of hiring a team. Okay. So yes, I hire, I have a team of five and my team are incredible. I absolutely adore them. They get on with things. They do that work. We have a great walking environment at the same time when you hire people, there is a whole new level of responsibility as the business owner, as the leader, as the CEO, because you are now leading other people, you are now responsible for other people's wages. You are now, you'll be okay, your direct input and output is now responsible for other people. And that is both something that drives me is that I I'm really passionate about and something, I feel very fortunate to be able to do the same time, scares the crap out of me.
Right. just because I have a team, it does not mean I'm like floating through going, Oh, you know, money's not a problem. No, it scares me sometimes at the same time, I'll sit and I'll write about my team and my channel, Laurel, you know, look at us all on a team meeting. And I get really emotional because it's really, really incredible. Because I know that this was slow growth. This did not, it feels like possibly, like it happened overnight because I did hire everybody within a short space of time, but it was five years in the making. Some of these people were all my higher, like wishlist. I didn't even know if they know that, but some of these people were like on my higher wishlist for a long time. I was like, when I can, you know, when I need that support, when I can afford to do it, I want to hire this person.
Like I had done my research and what is really, really exciting at the moment about my team is we have been working really closely, you know, just because I'm the business owner, I'm the CEO, it I'm working with my team. That's really important to me. Like, don't put me on a pedestal. I am in there doing your work every single day as well. I don't kind of just go off on vacation and leave everybody else to it. Like I'm doing stuff every day, but what's really great is we're at the point now where I am only doing the things the only I can do now, it doesn't mean I don't step in, of course, like, I'm like, look, if you need support, if somebody is going on vacation, like let's go, let's figure this out. But at the same time, being able to only focus on the things that I can do is really, really positive.
And it's taken us a time to get to this point as a team, it's taken us a little bit time to get to this point, partly because the business has grown. And at the end of last year when I had COVID and I was sick and we had to step back, and that was a really, that really showed me how passionate the team are about, you know, what we're doing, because, you know, there was a time where I re for two weeks where I couldn't do anything and they stepped up and they stepped in and it was really, really, really great. And when it comes to hiring people I didn't, I didn't do a course on like how to hire. I didn't hire somebody to help me hire. Like, I very much when with my intuition, I very much went with relationships that I had already formed with these people.
I went with people who were referred to me by other business owners that I trusted. And I, you know, we started off maybe small and kind of grew together. So, you know, as we kind of went on, it was like, okay, now I need this kind of help. Is this something you can do? And my team will tell you that I'm very, I feel like I say this every time we have a meeting, but I'm like, look, I only want anyone to be doing the work. They really love, I have expectations. Yes. I like things done a certain way, but I'm not a control freak. And so I want people to know that if your business changes or evolves or something is going on, like for me, the most important thing is honest communication. You know, just being honest with me because I know what it's like when I worked here corporate world, to feel like you couldn't tell your, you know, ULI or your team leader or whoever, it was like, you felt like you couldn't be honest.
And I just, that's not the environment we want. So we've done a lot of work internally as a team. Yes. I work with contractors. So they work with other people too, but there is something really, really great about that relationship. And, you know, as I said, there are pros and cons of hiring a team. It's not going to just suddenly eliminate all of these feelings. There are still times when I feel overwhelmed, but we're at the point now where we're like, okay, let's take most of these things off of my plate so that I can focus on podcasting so I can focus on creativity. So I can focus on creating the journal and coaching and mentoring and doing the things that only I can do so that we can grow and keep growing. And that's really important. So I felt like I could do a whole episode on my team.
I feel like I could have the whole team on to talk about that as a round table. I feel like that would get really complicated. But again, if you'll have questions about who is on my team and, you know, you want recommendations, then please let me know and I will be more than happy to refer you to them. Okay. So the last kind of practical thing is again, a little bit different, but it's food delivery. We hear this a lot, right? We hear, we hear this a lot from business owners. And I think in some ways, it, me saying, I get my groceries delivered feels a little bit redundant because I think a lot of us ended up doing this last year. We've had our groceries delivered for a long time. I think it was since I was pregnant and Grayson's now seven.
So a very long time. And this to me eliminates a lot of, you know, a headache of having to figure out like where I'm going to go. And just the whole process of going to the grocery store. I mean, I haven't been to a grocery store in over a year now, but we eliminate that. And the second thing is though with food delivery, I also have a food delivery service where I have meals delivered. So these are not meals I have to cook. These are meals that were already made their veg. I believe they're vegan. I really should know my mom put me onto them anyway, they are, they're at least vegetarian, but I think that Megan and they are like, you know, meals that you put in the freezer, but they're all like freshly made and they taste delicious. They taste really delicious.
And yes, I have to put them in the oven to cook. But the point of that being that it eliminates my need to think about what I'm going to have for lunch. So we hear about like Steve jobs, you know, he will, the same thing every day eliminates a choice. And I don't necessarily, you could go down that route, but for me, cooking is one of those things where making a meal, cause I can get kind of elaborate when I'm cooking and I'm like, Oh, I'm going to make this. And then, you know, I spend like an hour cooking a meal, as I've already said, my work day is really within my son's school hours. I do work later in the afternoon as well once my husband is home from work, but I typically work between, you know, nine 30 and two 30. And that isn't a huge amount of time.
And I don't want to take an entire hour of my day just to cook something. So I have these meals and I eat the most, most days because it just eliminates the thought process, eliminates my need and they're really healthy, nutritious. So that is something I do. Again, like you take what you want from this and explore different things. And hopefully some of these things you might be like, Oh, I could do that. That that's not a huge investment. I could do, you know, food delivery and a cleaner is, you know, a smaller investment. But I also want to talk about some things that I do that don't necessarily cost anything other than time. And these things are important for a number of reasons. So I've kind of listed these as like spiritual things. And that's like my spirituality, that's what spirituality means to me.
For me, it very much means, you know, just getting in tune with myself. My spiritual spirituality doesn't have anything to do with God or religion. It's really about, for me tapping into my own inner wisdom for me, finding cycles and routines that walk for me like that for me is my spirituality. So I've listed out these things as well, and I'm going to go through them. And I said, these don't really cost me anything. They do help me to grow my business, but in a very different way, you know, these things on taking things off of my plate, these things aren't coming and cleaning my house, but they are things that I still do on a regular basis. Most of them daily because they help me to feel more in tune with myself. So the fast one is a daily self-inquiry practice. This has been really, really important for me, especially in the last year, coincidentally, as I've grown my business and as I've hired a team because of those pressures, like, as I said to you, it's not always sunshine and rainbows.
Sometimes I get really like anxious about the fact that I'm responsible for these other people that can be really scary coming back to my daily self-inquiry practice helps me to kind of walk through those feelings. So when I talk about self-inquiry, this is me kind of asking myself, and I do this in a number of ways now if you picked up my outlook general free pumped guide you will know in there, we took a lot about self-inquiry right? And I talk about this a lot on my Instagram feed. I've talked about it here on the podcast. Self-Inquiry is a huge pillar of how I've been able to make business decisions. Intuitively this is something that I'll be sharing more about in the upcoming outlook journal. When that goes, when that gets published.
We'll be talking about this over a few coming episodes right here, because self-inquiry really helps me to assist, to tap into my inner wisdom. It helps me to be quiet and listen to what I truly want or need from my business or from that day, but doing it on a regular basis, it also helps me to decide what kind of business I want to run. So it's a huge attribute of being an entrepreneurial outlook because entrepreneurial outdoors, we are running businesses in our own times will to let go of many of these strategies or tactics that we have kind of been kind of bashed over the head. We've been bashed over the head with, for the last number of years, we have to ask ourselves better questions and we have to sit with that. You know I was saying to somebody just recently that intuitive thinking and this self-trust, it comes from both a collective experience and a personal individual experience.
Like this is what we have to do is individuals as well as a collective. So yes, we need to stand up and say, we're not going to stand for this anymore, but we also then have to go in with and say, okay, how am I not going to buy into this? How am I going to ensure that I run my business differently? And that is an individual response, not a collective response. And that comes from self-inquiry. It comes from asking ourselves these questions. So to give you an example of questions on my eyes at the beginning of the episode, I talked about my outlook moment, which was this launch where I had gone through and launched a program or product. And it just didn't go anywhere near, as I'd kind of had this expectation for number of reasons and the self-inquiry afterwards was okay, what did I learn from this?
You know, not necessarily data-driven, that's a whole different thing, but what did I passionately land from this? What was my experience? What was I doing at the time? How did I feel and what do I want to continue doing? And what do I need to let go of? And I also had to ask myself as I, when I got to the point where I realized I really believe in this and I wanted to try again, okay, what am I going to do differently? And why am I feeling this way? Why am I struggling? What do I need to change? What do I need to ask? What kind of questions do I need to ask other people? This is my self-inquiry. This is what helps me. And look, sometimes I might just have the conversation with myself. Sometimes I send myself Volksa messages. Sometimes it's journaling, you know, self-inquiry, doesn't have to look a certain way, but it does involve as being really honest with ourselves about what is or isn't working.
So this is a daily practice for me. It happens sometimes consciously and subconsciously. Sometimes I just do it without even realizing now. And sometimes I don't get the ounces. That's also important to know. Sometimes you don't get the answers immediately. Okay. So the second thing is carving out space for creativity and my big ideas. I am definitely a visionary. I have always been driven by big ideas. My mom will often talk about the fact that when I was a kid, I would have these big ideas. He's like elaborate things I wanted to do. But as a child, I had no practical way of doing them because I was a child. I would see something on TV and be like, Oh, I want to do that with my room. And I would kind of start and then realize like, Oh, I don't have a drill or something like that and realized I couldn't do it or execute in that way.
As a business owner, this book is a strength and a weakness. I have a lot of ideas. Sometimes those ideas cloud, my judgment, sometimes those ideas hold me from taking action. So I can't space each week. This is probably a weekly practice, but I cut out space each week for both my creativity and my big ideas. I have space to go, okay, these are the things I'm thinking I could do. Let's write them all down and then come back to them. Like, which ones do I actually want to do? Which how would, how would this fit into my business? How is it going to support my business? Does it make a difference? Because it's important to remember that we are running businesses, we do need to make money. So if we're going to focus on a creative project that is entirely for ourselves, the amount of time we spend on that might be different to a creative project.
That's actually going to end with maybe a sale or a launch. So for example, more recently, you know, I've been talking about the outlet journal. This is something that has been a really exciting and fun creative project for me. But at the end of the day, it's also part of my business. So I have given that little of time and a lot of space to really sit with it because I know what I'm like. I know my strengths, my weaknesses. And I also want to be aware of, you know, how is this going to help people? And it's been really, really exciting, but it's also, you know, it means that maybe I spend less time drawing or less time doing other creative ventures. The third thing that is really important that has helped me me to grow. And so many of these, you might be thinking, I, I, before I get into it, I'm going to say, sometimes you'll be listening to this and be like a million.
I don't have time to do all this. I don't have time. You don't have to do well. These things you'll, things are gonna look different, right? Your things are gonna look different. You do not have to dedicate hours to any of these things. But it is important to understand that the reason these things help me grow my business is because they make me a more aligned human being, right? Our businesses and our professional and our professional lives. They are intertwined. We know this from when we worked in corporate, if you've worked in corporate, that you have a morning at home plays into your day, if you allow it to, this is the same with our businesses. If we're not feeling particularly great in ourselves, well, then we're not going to want to, to record a podcast or show up on Instagram stories that day.
And this is really important. So these things that talking about the don't necessarily cost me money, but cost me time, right? They, they, they require me to sit down and maybe not work really important because it's also allowing us to not feed in to the hustle mentality. Right. It's allowing us to create a business, actually works towards our personal goals, as well as our professional goals. And that's really, really, you know, I mean, it's not important for everyone, but I think if you're listening to this, you probably already know that having personal goals is just as important as professional goals. Having things that your business allows you to achieve in your personal life is just as good. So having a hobby outside of your business, that is, that's a huge one, right? I'm saying this, knowing that for a long time, I think I kind of considered my business as my hobby.
Now I didn't say it was my hobby. I said it was my business, but I think in my mind, I was like, Oh, I don't need a hobby. I can't do something outside of my business because my business is my thing. Right. That's the thing I do. I don't have time for anything else. Well, that lasted so long. And then I got to the point where I was like, Oh my God, like I need to do something else. I need to have things outside of my business, my family, I love him, but I need something outside of my family. I need something that is just my art. I'm not monetizing that be for me. And so I do a number of things now, possible personal reasons. I love music has been a huge part of my life. You guys know this. So going to country music concerts has been something.
Once I was able to do it, I did it on a regular basis. Obviously haven't done it for a while. Very much looking forward to being able to do that again. But those are something that I would do on a regular basis. And I still want to be able to continue doing them. So that was something really personal and something that is definitely a hobby of mine. Traveling is definitely something I love to be able to do, especially if I can go to somewhere where I have friends who I've, you know, people are my friends with free the business space, but maybe don't get to see because they live in another country. That's really fun. I get to go see them as well. More recently, I started learning guitar. If you listened to my episodes, the end of 2020 Mark talked about the, the goals that I had on this list for 2020, I didn't achieve well, guitar was one of them.
And I started lining in January and it's going well. It challenges me in all the best ways. And also what's really interesting and learning as an adult compared to learning as a child. I know my own strengths. Yes, my ego gets in the way, you know, I want to be able to sit down and play a really great tune, but I can't do that yet. I can play some things. I can play a mean twinkle, twinkle on the guitar, but having these hobbies outside of my business, giving myself like carving out time each week, you know, I have a guitar lesson every Thursday evening at the same time. That's been really interesting for me in my mindset because it's, it's an hour that I'm not working and it's an hour where, you know, because I live in the UK, my audience or people who would be walking with, you know, it's that kind of lunchtime.
And so for me, being able to say, okay, now every fast day from the actual, this is my cutoff time. And the first couple of weeks, I did not practice as much as I, maybe one or two will even should. Right. Cause it's definitely easier to get better. I have to practice. And then something shifted and I pretty much every day just pick that guitar up and I'll just sit and play for like half an hour. My husband goes Mac, cause I up the same strings every time. And he's just like lot of news. But yeah, having something outside of my business, a hobby that is mine is really his, it's just been an incredible experience. And it's something that really challenges me. So I think it's in a way it's benefiting me because it's making me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses.
But at the same time, it gives me something to enjoy and look forward to every single week, every single day, because I practice every day that I don't have to, I don't have to worry about what anyone else is thinking. I don't have to think about social media for anything else. Like it's just mine and that's really great. Some of the things I also do, you know, journaling, that's something that I do for myself. I journal about my business, but it's something I do because I love it. It's something I really enjoy. Every month I host a moon circle and you'll invite it to those. I can link to this in the show notes, but every month they do a new moon cycle and these new moon cycles, they are part of my, in the sense that anybody can sign up to join me.
But I, one of the things that's really been quite interesting and I said this to my coach is I would do it even if no one signs up. And that's really, that's really powerful because for the most part, I think we drive ourselves crazy because we don't get the results we want. But for me, I'm like, no one shows up. I'm still gonna do it. And I'm still gonna send you the replay because it's important for me. It's something I really love something I really enjoy. And I've been very fortunate that so far people have shown up, people have signed up and joined us and they've got something really positive from it as well, which is so cool. So that is something that is part of my business, but it's also something I'm very much interested in outside of my business. And I will learn about all the time, okay.
The full thing. And this is more of a, this isn't something that costs me anything other than my own time. And it's something that I want to, you know, it's something that we have to think about a regular basis and this is self auditing. And so self auditing for me, my interpretation of it is just self-awareness right. Self-Auditing is like self-awareness and then kind of deciding, okay, this is what I need to do next door. This is what I need to let go of. For me, it's definitely a spiritual thing as well. You know, it's definitely about intuition having awareness of my strengths. I definitely, I feel like in the last couple of years, I've really learned, okay, these are my strengths. You know, I'm a V I'm a visionary. I, I like to look at spreadsheets. I don't want to create this spreadsheet.
Like I don't want to actually figure that stuff out. I know what my weaknesses are. I know where I can be a bottleneck for my team. And also knowing my threats threshold for perfection. I talked about this back in episode, I want to say 21 with Jenner. And actually we talked about perfection. We'll link to it in the show notes, if you haven't listened to that episode. But I talked about that then that, you know, understanding our own personal threshold for perfection and perfectionism is really important because that is what allows us to notice it and identify it and go, Whoa, okay, we need to take a step back in like this doesn't need to be perfect and either put it out into the world as it is, or, you know, leave it and I'd be like, what's going on here? Why am I trying to make this perfect.
So for me, self-auditing very much comes back to that. Self-Awareness self-awareness is the things that impact my business self-awareness is the things that can either help me to move the dial and grow all the things that are gonna keep me trapped will keep me playing small. Social media is one of those things I have to sell, fold it. I'm like I have to get off this platform because I could see something that seems so harmless in the feet and you know, probably is. But for some reason it can like trigger me and I am now I'm like worthless. Now I think that I'm not good enough. I'm not doing enough. I'm not there yet. Like that's how quick it can be. And I know that you'll probably recognize that in yourselves. And so that's part of myself auditing as well. You know, at what point do I need to get off of social media?
What point do I need to focus? At what point do I need to rest? I feel like it's really about just that awareness of strengths and weaknesses and the final thing, which is very similar to this is working with my own personal cycle. So, you know, who we interviewed Ali krama a couple of episodes ago and we talked in the episode about cyclical planning and this was something that she introduced me to in LA 2020. And I was really fascinated because I didn't not have a great relationship with my peers. And I really like, I didn't know enough about my own body. And so by just building my awareness, I started to work with me cycle and what it's been really interesting again, walking with my cycle, my natural energy comes back to that self auditing. Like self-awareness awareness of when my energy is high and low in the day in the week and in the month being able to use that.
Like I really now at the point in my business where I'm coming back to what works for me personally, and I am at the point where yeah, I will make decisions around launching and around holding interviews or anything like that. I will try to do it the best I can around my cycle. So for example, the last couple months I have taken the last week of the month, which happens to also be my menstrual menstrual week. I take that off and it has been really interesting to see how my energy shifts, because the most important thing for me, that I identified by doing this from my own personal cycle, is that my energy came back that much quicker because I took that time off. Now I still work, but I focus on low energy tasks. I'm not like on Instagram, I'm not recording masterclasses. I'm not launching or anything around that time.
And I really am resting. I'm giving myself more grace and compassion and trying to just like step back. It's not perfect, but it's good. That allows me to notice is that the same time my energy comes back that much faster. When I give myself that grace and give myself that compassion and step away and notice where my energy is low. It means that the moments where my energy is higher, it's like, it's that much higher. I'm able to focus that much more. I have more clarity, I'm more aligned, more psych, more cycled, more aligned and more focused. So that was the one I was going for on what I want to achieve. This had not been the case for me, where I was like walking myself into the ground. There was no high and low. It was just like all this like meth.
It was like below average energy all the time because I was just constantly driving myself into the ground. So that's kind of the, the final one. I'm sure if I spent longer, I could come up with more things, but I was like, these are the main things to me that stand out. These are the things that have really helped me to grow my business. These, this is like the transparency of the things that I both invest in and the things that I do personally, to help me feel more aligned in and kind of grow my business. And as I said, at the beginning of this, take what you want from this and leave the rest. Like you don't have to have a business that looks anything like mine, anything like mine, right? It doesn't have to be the same and you don't have to invest in the same things.
Right. Somebody asked me a couple of months ago, how often do I invest in, in my business? And I was like, what do you mean? And what she was meaning was like courses and programs and, you know, learning new things. And I was like, Hm, I probably don't. And there's gonna be a lot of people that tell you that I should. But I, I feel like I've learnt so much that I don't want to, at least right now invest in learning new things. Now I have invested in things like learning how to publish my first journal. That is something I've been learning how to do. But for me, that is something that has a start and it has an end. And that end is going to result in me having a published journal. So that for me was very important. I didn't want to learn about ideas.
I didn't want to learn about things that I might be able to do. It was like, no, I want to be able to do this. And the way that it's been put together means I can go from a to Z and at the end of it, I can publish my journal. So that's been really, really important, but I don't invest in a lot of education. And that is just possible. That is possible. I do invest in education that is not business related. I do invest in, you know, continuing to work on building an anti-racist business and letting how my own my own, I was going to say, whiteness, I guess that's the, the, the right thing to say, like, for me, that's important to me on a personal level and a professional level. That is something I invest in, but I don't, it's a totally different thing.
I'm not learning how to build a funnel. I'm not learning how to use Instagram. Those aren't things I choose to learn how to do right now. And I'm in a very fortunate position that I don't have to do that. Not to say that it will ever happened, but that's just the way my business is set up right now. So I just wanted to kind of finish up and say, festival, thank you to Ellie for leaving this comment on my Instagram post for sharing that this was something that frustrates her, something that she didn't like about the online business. I thought that was so powerful and definitely something we needed to talk about, which is why we've had this conversation today. So thank you to all of you for listening. Thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me on my posts and your comments.
I really love it. And I wanted to also add that if you have enjoyed today's episode, or if you have enjoyed any of the episodes that you listened to here on the podcast, I would absolutely love it. If you could leave a five-star rating and a review because these ratings and reviews help us to not only show iTunes that this podcast is the ship and it is, but it also helps us when we want to bring guests on to the show and more and more, we are bringing incredible guests and I've got this like list of people that I want to be able to bring on. And this really helps us tools. Also show that we have an audience. We have people who are listening and are interested in these conversations. We pave in the new way for online business. I know that so much of what we're doing here on the show, much of your personal work around paving. This new way for business is sometimes it can feel a little bit lonely, but I hope that each week when you tune in, you realize you're not alone. We're all in this together. We are paving this new way for business. And the support really, really does mean so much to me because this podcast was like this little tiny dream I had for so long. And here we are episode twenty-five. So thank you for being here. Thank you for listening to this week's episode and I will catch you next week.