About the Episode

Hey Outlaws, welcome to this week’s episode. Again, I will cover a topic I never discussed before – employment, entrepreneurship, and team hiring. Candice Elliott is joining us today to share her mission to flip the script on HR by helping impact-driven leaders thrive with their teams through HR best practices. So if you’re considering starting your own business or hiring a new team member, this episode is a perfect starting point. Tune in to hear more insights. 

Topics discussed in SEASON 2, episode #92

Topics Discussed:

  • What Candice is finding her soul needs at this season of her business as we come up on the end of the year
  • Recognizing the importance of running your business at different seasons
  • How the pandemic has changed the world of work
  • Candice’s experience working as an HR Manager in a big restaurant group and what brings her to burnout
  • How Candice worked to overcome the fear of starting her own business
  • Best practices when hiring employees or contractors
  • The importance of hiring support team members that are aligned with your work and knowing who you can fully trust
  • Understanding and building a transparent system of pay with your employees and contractors

About Candice:

Candice Elliott is on a mission to flip the script on HR as a four-letter word by helping impact-driven leaders thrive with their teams through HR best practices. She focuses on creating a sense of safety, belonging and community in the workplace that makes work more meaningful, increases employee retention, and of course, saves $$.

Her background is in HR.  She has a Masters in HR from Penn State, the Senior Professional certification in California and has worked in the field for more than 10 years.  During the Pandemic, she supported the small business and non-profit community by giving 100s of hours of assistance to help meet the challenges of the changing world of work. 

She is a mom, and when she’s not helping support growing organizations you’ll find her adventuring in her home, the unceded land of the Awaswas-speaking people so-called Santa Cruz, CA.

Resources:

Additional Resources:

Connect with Melanie here:

Speaker 1 (00:00:01):

Hey outlaws, welcome to November. Oh, I don't quite know how we got through the last month, so quickly. Um, but welcome to a brand new month and a brand new episode of Entrepreneurial Outlaws. I am so excited to introduce you to today's guest. But before we get into today's episode, I wanna just remind you that if you are looking to continue receiving outlaw content, looking to continue deepening our conversations, um, you might wanna check out our Patreon, the Outlaw Collective, where we upload bimonthly episodes on the New Moon and the Full Moon. Um, these are usually less than 20 minutes, depending on how much I have to say. And I go through the Moon energy, the Zodiac sign. I talk about ways in which we can really connect to that phase of the moon. And I share a series of journal prompts with you. Um, these journal prompts are all kind of aligned with our businesses.

Speaker 1 (00:01:01):

They're connected to being a business owner. I also share a Oracle reading as well. I do this via a live stream straight into Patreon. Um, so time zone permitting, you can watch that live or you can watch the replay. These have been really, really wonderful to record and our current Patreons have really enjoyed getting to getting a little bit of clarity from these readings as well. It can always be a little bit difficult when you're doing a collective reading, cuz as I always say, take what resonates, leave the rest. But it's such a beautiful way to connect and especially when, um, some of them wake up on a Monday morning to a new Oracle reading. And it's a great way to start your week. You can be woo curious or you can be into the witchy witchy vibes like me. Um, you can be completely new to Taro and Oracle and the moon.

Speaker 1 (00:01:50):

It is okay, because every single time we share an episode, I really explore that phase of the moon. Um, and I do go through how you can really stay connected to your business using the moon cycle. So if you are interested in continuing these conversations, um, make sure you pop over to patreon.com/the OC and check it out. You can join us for as little as eight pounds per month, um, and you'll have access to all of our previous posts as well as everything that's coming. So today, today we are joined by Candace Elliot. I am super excited because Candace is on a mission to flip the script on HR as a full letter word. By helping impact driven leaders thrive with their teams through HR best practices. She focuses on creating a sense of safety, belonging and community in the workplace that makes work more meaningful, increases employee retention, and of course saves some money. Her background is in hr. She has a master's in HR from Penn State, the senior professional certification in California, and has, uh, worked in the field for more than 10 years. During the pandemic, she supported the small business and non-profit community by giving hundreds of hours of assistance to help meet the challenges of the changing world of work. She is a mom and when she's not helping support grow growing organizations, you'll find her adventuring in her home. The unsedated land of the, our SaaS speaking people's, so-called Santa Cruz, California.

Speaker 1 (00:03:39):

Welcome to Entrepreneurial Outlaws, Candace, I'm so excited to chat with you today.

Speaker 2 (00:03:53):

I'm so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 1 (00:03:57):

Yeah, I'm excited because we haven't had, we haven't had a guest on the show to talk about some of these topics. I've kind of given my experience and I've shared that a number of times. But it'll be really interesting to have some kind of facts and figures and actual conversation with someone else about employment, entrepreneurship, um, and, and hiring in hiring a team and all those kind of, all the, uh, journey that goes along with that as well. But before we dive into our conversation, the theme for this season of entrepreneurial outlaws is entrepreneurial burnouts. Because this season is often a busy one. And also it's a time where we as entrepreneurs see so much marketing and conversation about finishing strong and we still have time and there can be a lot of fomo and scarcity around kind of rushing through business, rushing through life over these coming months. Life can get busi at the best of times and we neglect our own needs. So I just wanna start by checking in with you and asking you, what does your soul need during this season?

Speaker 2 (00:05:11):

It's a wonderful question. Um, and so resonates. Um, my soul saw as a busy entrepreneur has needed to go through a process of weeding the garden <laugh>, um, going through all the things that I'm doing in my business and deciding which are the things that don't belong anymore, that become the compost for what comes next, which are the things that we're gonna pause on. So maybe we're drying some plants with those, or maybe we're just watering them a little bit, or letter letting them just kind of winter, um, without much attention for a while. And then what are the ones that were, we're really, I'm really paying attention to with my team. Um, so it's that process of sort of after harvest, what do you do with everything that is left in the garden?

Speaker 1 (00:06:23):

Yeah. I love that. I love that. I love the way you described that and explained it. I think it's really beautiful and absolutely true because so often, whatever, you know, this as the saying goes, what we nurture grows. And that's such a wonderful reminder for us all to check in with ourselves. Cuz I think as we're talking about being busy as entrepreneurs, it can be so easy to be so consumed with what we're doing the day to day that that's all we are nurturing, and that we're not looking perhaps outside of ourselves as a business owner. We're not looking at our hobbies, we're not looking at the things that bring us joy, the things that can actually bring us back to what we really need, which can sometimes be more important than what we want.

Speaker 2 (00:07:12):

Yeah. And I've decided to split up the time that I'm spending on my business. So a third of it is working in my business for things for clients. A third is working on my business, so like maybe that's website or it's marketing or things like that. Um, and then another piece is grow, which is like specific outreach to people around, um, offers that I have. And by doing that, like reorienting to that focus, I've brought in some different coaches to work with, um, and slowed down the ever <laugh>, uh, marching progress, um, piece of being an entrepreneur. I think I've redone my website like probably 12 times and it's fine. <laugh>, <laugh>, you know, the offers that I have, I've over the four years of having my business continually improved them. But really, like there, it's important I think to continue to look at what we're doing and, and, um, refine and grow then. And it's also important to take a pause. I think we're pretty oriented towards spending all of our time in the spring and maybe the summer of like planting seeds and growing the seeds and planting the seeds and growing the seeds. And, um, it's, we need time to rest and we need time to let those things sort of be integrated and go through also death seasons, you know, where things are gonna be with us no longer.

Speaker 1 (00:08:55):

Yeah. I couldn't agree more. I think we do spend a lot of time in spring and summer in our businesses. That was one of the reasons why I was so focused on talking about burnout during this season, because what I see and have seen and have felt and have probably done <laugh> in my business over the years is that feeling of falling behind at this time of year, that feeling of wanting to keep up. And we're so busy and consumed with that during this season that what can, or at least we're being told to, that may not necessarily be how we actually how things actually play out in our businesses, but we are, that's what being told. Yeah. And by the end of the year, we wanna take time off, but now we can't because now we need to start planning for next year because that's the, you know, we very quickly shift out or finish strong into, well now you need to plan the 2023 or whatever year we're going into, you need to now plan that.

Speaker 1 (00:09:55):

And I think it's this constant cycle or stay in this constant cycle of the next thing, the next thing, the next thing, the next thing. And there's always stuff to do. We're always busy. We always have things. And sometimes there can be joy in being busy. Like it's not always awful. But I think as you, as you said, we have to have some time to harvest. We have to have to have to have some time to slow down to pause. And that can be however long we need it to be as individuals. But this cyclical way of working can be so powerful. And even if we only stay in that, that phase of that cycle for a short period of time, it can be really, really supportive. Um, it can move us in a different way and it could, we can also find ourselves experiencing our business in a different way because now we're rested versus always hustling.

Speaker 2 (00:10:53):

Definitely. And yeah, we can be in different seasons, I think with different types of projects in our business at different times. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like I know for me there are some parts of my business that are wintering right now, and there are other parts that are being in spring. Um, and as we're sort of entering into deep, deep autumn and into the winter, maybe that's a good time to have more things that are wintering <laugh> Yeah. And, and allowing just a couple of things or maybe one specific thing to be really moving forward at a study pace during this time.

Speaker 1 (00:11:33):

Yeah, yeah, I absolutely agree. And I think one of the things that really opened my eyes to this, I mean this was, I I started to really understand or learn about and understand cyclical living, but also what it could possibly look like to run my business in this way in 2020 during the pandemic. And at the same time, I could not have been busier <laugh>, I was as a, as a way of protecting myself from all of the chaos and unknown. I threw myself into work and I had never been busier in my business. And coincidentally, by the end of 2020, I burned out hard. Um, and I know that it certainly changed the way I approached my business, my life, my goals. It, it changed everything about me. And I think it changed so many of us. And I'm so curious to know from your point of view how the pandemic has changed the world of work.

Speaker 2 (00:12:37):

Yeah. Uh, that is my same story as well. I, uh, reacted to the pen pandemic in just pushing harder. I was a, a, um, a leader in my town where I live in Santa Cruz, California, helping small business owners deal with the ever-changing requirements, um, in their workplaces that they, you know, it's like hard for them to even keep up with all the things that were changing and how fast it was changing. And, um, so I worked harder and longer and, you know, just was spending a lot of, um, my time not in the presence of other people, but with other people and helping. And it was in 2020 when I also learned about this approach of, of seasons of service and, um, started to make a slow transition toward, um, a slow transition away from hustle culture and into a flow of work that feels restorative and rejuvenating for myself, my body, my family, and my team.

Speaker 2 (00:13:50):

Um, and so, um, there was a study that happened, it was done by Pew Research, um, that looked into all the reasons why people were leaving their jobs, um, in record numbers last year in 2021. And the main, the top reasons that came out were one, not enough pay, two not enough room for advancement. And then the third one was feeling disrespected at work. And so none of the things were like actually c it was, it was all of the things that had been bubbling up and that were under the surface before the pandemic happened, um, that now just sort of got forced into the light. And so I see the pandemic as a leadership crucible, and in leadership theory, they're crucible is an experience, a transformative experience where the person that, that the people that we were going into the experience are much different from the people who are coming out of this experience and, you know, people starting their own businesses in record numbers and, um, people leaving jobs that they are unhappy with in order to find things that are a better fit for them.

Speaker 2 (00:15:23):

And so we have a wonderful opportunity at this point to decide how we want to move forward and we can decide to continue, as you know, the way that we have been in the world of work, that's a legacy of the industrial revolution that is rooted in systems of oppression and extracting as much out of the worker as we possibly can get until they burn out. Or we can shift into a regenerative, restorative, um, approach to work. Um, and as the leaders, the entrepreneurs, the people who are, you know, have a vision and are bringing that into the world and eventually bringing people onto our team, we have the opportunity to, um, decide to do it in a different way. Um, and I am seeing that trend with more people, um, especially people who have left workplaces because they hated how that work happened and then are now have their own team and are trying to figure out what to do with them.

Speaker 1 (00:16:34):

Yeah. My hand is raised <laugh> obviously. It was, it was, it was way pretty pandemic. Um, but that is my story of why

Speaker 1 (00:16:46):

I always, for many years from my late teens, I knew that I didn't know why. I didn't know I wasn't, I wasn't anywhere. I mean, I'm not wise now, but I certainly wasn't wise back then. And I, I just knew that for me, my experience of being employed in the, the jobs that I was in, it wasn't working. And I didn't know what my option was. And I always liked the idea of being my own boss. I liked the idea. And it wasn't to, you know, necessarily have freedom. It wasn't to be able to even set my own hours. I was still very young. I didn't have a family or responsibilities at the time. It was more about, I just wanted to be able to do things on my terms, which is so ironic because then when I started business, didn't do things on my own terms at all.

Speaker 1 (00:17:33):

Um, because I'd lost so much confidence. And now definitely doing things on my own times kind of came full circle. But yeah, my experience, all of those things that you mentioned, like the pay <laugh> being treated in a sound way, like all of that, that was my experience of employment. And I know it's not all employers, but that was my experience and it left a really bad taste in my mouth. I just, I was, I, I couldn't dream of going back to employed work because of that. And I started hiring, I was able to hire a team or start hiring contractors within my business in 2020, during that very busy period. And I had, I had kind of considered hiring a VA previously. And it was interesting because the first person I hired was not a va. And I had known I wanted to hire this person onto my business for quite some time because one of the things I hated working on was my website and all the updates and all the stuff that came along with that.

Speaker 1 (00:18:34):

And I just wanted to be taken away from me. And at that time I was busy and I knew this person could kind of, I trusted them, I'd known them, I'd known them for a long time in the online space. I'd known all of them and I hired them first. But it was really strange the feeling I had that I was doing it wrong, <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative> that the person I was hiring should have been a VA fest, because all the time that was my experience, was like, you ha you know, you start with a va, you start there, and then you kind of essentially build this team from there. But that wasn't what I needed, which was really interesting. Um, and I was so convinced that I was doing everything wrong when hiring. And one of the things which I think was, I guess one of my defining moments as a business owner was during that year, because it just didn't stop.

Speaker 1 (00:19:24):

I mean, it still hasn't really stopped <laugh>. It was just like one thing after the next. Yeah. And at the same time, I suddenly was like, Oh, like, I'm a leader. I have to like lead these people as well. Like, they're not just on a team and they're not just off, you know, doing this work. Yes, they work with other, with other businesses and other people, but you know, they're essentially working within my business and they're helping me build this business brand, whatever it might be. And I was like, Right, we're doing everything very differently to how I saw it in the employ world, because this was my opportunity to lead in a very different way. You know, I think there's different versions of the leadership, especially as entrepreneurs. Like we lead in social media, we lead, you know, within our communities, within programs we facilitate, but leading a team is very different and the responsibility is really different as well.

Speaker 1 (00:20:21):

Um, and I'm really interested to know your experience with, you know, hiring employees, hiring contractors, this, especially with more people looking to start businesses now, It does feel, I feel like there's this kind of repeat of, um, like 20, I guess 20 14, 20 15 when lots of people were starting businesses. And I'm really interested to know your, your experience and you know, how we can ensure that within our leadership that we are not necessarily hiring when we're not ready, That we're hiring the people who we actually feel we need. Um, and the kind of the way we can really build inclusive and diverse and equitable businesses through that, that teamwork.

Speaker 2 (00:21:13):

Yeah. I mean, I have hired hundreds, like probably close to a thousand people. Um, for five years I was the human resources manager for a farm to table restaurant group that had a hundred employees. And our turnover was insane, um, because we live in a town that is seasonal. Um, and we also hired a lot of college students. So we had, I probably hired 80 to a hundred people a year. We had that much turnover happening. Um, and we tried everything we could do to make that not a part of the equation, but it just was what it was. And so I got burnt out on that after doing it for that many years. And then I eventually basically became the general manager of this restaurant group and was like, overseeing these hundred people in addition to hiring them all, um, in coordination with the owners of the business.

Speaker 2 (00:22:21):

And then when I started my business, I was like, I don't wanna have any employees <laugh>. I just wanna be me and do my thing and like just do what I know how to do. And so for three years, that's primarily what I did. So I started my first business when I was 23 and in my mid thirties now. And so I knew how to build a website and how to, you know, file for my corporation. And I knew how to do some, you know, social media marketing, and I knew really how to connect with business organizations where I lived. I had been a part of all those organizations for a number of years and was on the boards of different non-profits locally. And so I had a good, um, reputation and, um, and a lot of good connections within my community that were so supportive.

Speaker 2 (00:23:17):

And when I started my business, I was so afraid I went actually to, um, to a very remote, um, place here in California that's called Mendocino, where it's like these beautiful, um, mountains meet this wild ocean, and there's an art center there. And I spent a week doing a woodfire ceramic workshop. I'm a ceramic artist. And wood firing is a process where you basically have a fire that's going in a kiln for a week. And so everyone that is firing the kiln 24 hours a day, you work in shifts. Um, and then at the end of the week, you have these beautiful pieces that come out and you never really know what exactly they're gonna look like because, um, the, the way they come out is just based off of how ash falls and the heat in that particular part of the kiln. And, and, and so I, I took that time to really, um, work through the fears that I had around starting the business.

Speaker 2 (00:24:20):

Um, and, uh, yeah, there's a, there's a book that's called, um, The Lost Art of Heart Navigation that has some practices in it that are really useful if you're ever working through fears, I recommend that one. Um, and so I built a business plan, and then as I was working in my business, you know, I just took all of the HR work that came my way from my community. Um, human resources is my, my background. I have a certification and a master's degree in it. Um, and then I had my son last year. And so for me, there was this, um, not only was the pandemic happening, but also my son was born. And I knew that my business would not look the same when I came back to it after spending time with him right after he was born. Um, and the way that it changed was that I needed to bring in support.

Speaker 2 (00:25:24):

I needed to bring in more people to help with all of the things in the business. Um, and so I took time to build systems and to be able to clearly communicate those systems to the people that I was bringing on, um, so that they knew kind of what the, um, what the goals were, what they were working towards. Um, so I had tried to hire a virtual assistant in, I think it was late 2020, and it kind of worked, but it wasn't a great fit. Um, and so we had a, it was like an hourly contract, and, um, I just let her know that I needed to look back at what I was doing in my business, and I, it wasn't a good time for us to continue working together. Um, and she actually went off and found some work that she really loves doing now.

Speaker 2 (00:26:30):

Um, and, and then I went back and I was like, Does it make sense for me to hire a va or does it make sense for me to hire contractors who have a program and a system that they have developed and to apply that system to my business in order to sort of level up in different kinds of ways. Um, and so I did end up hiring a va Ashley, who is wonderful, and she loves doing video editing, which means that we make a lot of fun videos, <laugh>, uh, which I thought that I would not love, but I do. Um, and then I decided to invest in, um, a, a, a collective, um, it's called the Brand Collective. And so it's a group of sort of like-minded business owners. Um, and I invested in some things around sales and marketing and, um, business mentorship and, and money especially.

Speaker 2 (00:27:39):

Um, because I keep finding that as I'm growing, there are these sort of unconscious, um, beliefs that I have brought with me through my life that I need to go back and work through in order to be able to move to the next phase for my business. Um, so that's, that's kind of a broad picture at the transformation that I've gone through. Um, there are a couple pieces in there, I guess, about, um, bringing on people and how they can support not just like you and your vision, but also, you know, you wanna find people that are really aligned with the work. Like, um, I write a lot of employee handbooks and policies and procedures, but I am not a good technical writer. I, uh, I don't have the concentration or care enough about the details of, of like making a document perfect <laugh> to be the right person in my business to do that. And so I found someone who that is like what she loves, and so she gets to do that and she feels great about it, and then I get to spend my time on these other parts of my business that, um, are more meaningful to me.

Speaker 1 (00:29:02):

Yeah, I think that that's the thing that I found is that ultimately, no matter where I was at, it was about hiring people who I really felt like I could trust. I think trust is a huge part of when you are hiring someone to come into your business because the, the business essentially is like, you know, another child. It's like this thing that we created. Yeah. And we, we are so invested in it. We, you know, not just financially, but every part of us is so invested in this business that the people we bring into our business business, you know, having, being able to discuss and openly discuss, you know, values and the things that are incredibly important, and being able to have that communication, like for me, that communication was so powerful. Um, and it's continued to be, you know, how I try to lead is, you know, being transparent and communicating, and sometimes it takes me some time.

Speaker 1 (00:30:07):

Yeah. I like, I, I sometimes am like, why did it take me this long to realize that this person could do this and I need this help? Um, but being able to get there and being able to communicate what we need as leaders, but also communicating or keeping that open communication so that they can tell us when, you know, somebody on your team is experiencing something or something comes up or, you know, those, those little pieces that, for me, I definitely didn't feel when I was employed, you know, I did not feel that communication was key. I felt like, I felt like there was no open communication and that it was very hierarchical and that really made me feel very uncomfortable in certain situations. And so I think, you know, we take a lot of, you know, from our outside experience and bring that into our businesses, but I think that it's so important to be able to have those conversations.

Speaker 1 (00:31:02):

And as you said, like having a VA who loves video editing, saying like, kind of just worked out that way and ended up working for your business. And I think that's so cool as well, because we evolve as business owners, you know, so we kind of, and a lot of people have that thing that they love to do within their, you know, within the industry, within their niche, within that way of running their business. They then have these ways of, of doing things. These things that they particularly love and things they don't love as well, <laugh>. So it works out really well.

Speaker 2 (00:31:34):

Yeah. A couple thoughts come up that are related to that, which is, um, there's an alternative to the hierarchical sort of patriarchal, um, systems that are sort of the, the go-to in the world of work. And that is to have a collectivist and matriarchal approach to the work. And in that approach, it looks more like having conversations and treating all the people that you're working with. You know, I think of it as working with people instead of there working for me. We're working together because mm-hmm. <affirmative> everything that all the work that we do is better when we are working together. You know, if I'm the one who's directing all of the, you know, minutia of what's happening in my business, it doesn't leave space for there to be magic and growth and opportunities that I never could foresee to come up. So I try to not have tight control over all of the people that are working for me, and instead give a direction, create boundaries, like healthy boundaries around that direction, um, and have conversations if things are sort of falling outside of where I want them to go.

Speaker 2 (00:33:11):

Um, like an example is that, uh, we were, um, doing some posts around, um, the different trauma responses. So, um, fighting, fleeing, freezing and fawning. And, um, my VA started putting up some, uh, things that were specifically about a type of trauma that I had never experienced and didn't have, um, any real, like, ability to speak to. And so we just pulled them down and we had a conversation about it and I said, You know, I, I feel totally confident in having you just post things, but this particular area is one where you, and I just explained to her, I don't have any experience in this. If people want to talk about it, I'm not really the right resource to go to. And so we wanna stick to this other messaging. Um, and so when I think when you come at those conversations in an educational, from an educational perspective and from a learning perspective, um, then it goes a lot better than if you're trying to just like, control this person and tell them exactly what they need to do. At least for me, that has been an approach that has worked.

Speaker 1 (00:34:27):

Yeah, I agree. I love the, the way you use collectivist. Um, I, I use the word collective so much when I'm describing different areas of my business. So I like the fact that I could, I can apply that to my team as well. Like, I, I like the idea of, as you say, always try to use the language of we're working together because that's how it is for me. You know? Um, I wouldn't be able to do and spend so much time on the things that I'm able to do in my business if I didn't have that support if we weren't working together for kind of a common goal. So that's, Yeah, absolutely agree.

Speaker 2 (00:35:08):

So, yeah, and when you look at collectivism as a, an approach to the way that you work with your team, it sort of transforms it from the sort of extractive process into a rejuvenative thing. Um, and you like, I don't really care when people who are working for me are working, like the hours that they're working. Um, I have a business that can be flexible in that way, and it built it in that way so that I would be able to not require people to work specific hours. Because for me, that was very difficult in the workplace was that like I was expected to be basically ultimately responsible for, um, companies that I worked for and also needed to be available all the time for dealing with things, and needed to be working very long hours to be with the people that I was working with at that time. And, um, that just wasn't what I wanted to bring into the world when, um, I started Fortress and flourish <laugh>.

Speaker 1 (00:36:22):

Yeah. I think it's so interesting how we bring those parts of our experiences into our business. And I know that for me, sometimes they haven't even been obvious. It's been very, um, it's been very subtle and then I, I'll also think, Oh, this, you know, the reason I'm running my business in this way is a direct response to, you know, something I've experienced or something that was missing. Um, and that's the beauty I think of, of entrepreneurship as well. One of the, perhaps the things that we don't always notice in the early years, Um, as you continue to grow, you're able to really evolve and add in those, those elements that you were perhaps missing or needed and couldn't, couldn't find or couldn't access during that time. So

Speaker 2 (00:37:12):

Yeah, it's such an evolutionary process, like

Speaker 1 (00:37:16):

It really is mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I think that's not talked about enough. Um, and it, and I don't know whether it's, you know, sometimes I wonder is it just because of, you know, six, seven years in, that's why I'm looking at it in this way. But there are people who have been running businesses far longer than me, and I don't see the conversation of, you know, and I've talked about this in the show before, of being allowed to change our minds and being allowed to have that process of evolution within our business and understanding that what we do when we start may not be what we do forever. Um, and I mean, I, I see that as very much a, a kind of patriarchal, um, construct from within, you know, within corporate and employed world. Because to me that again, was the narrative that I was given in, you know, in my late years of schooling. And then as I went out into the workplace, it was like, you know, every employer at the time that in my experience, was looking for somebody who wanted to stay within the organization. You know, you wanted to be here for 30, 50 years, you wanted to only c climb the career outta here. And I always felt very uncomfortable with that. I was like, That's a long time to commit to this. And

Speaker 2 (00:38:35):

That feels like a trap to me. <laugh>. Yeah. Do you want me to cover the freedom of my soul to work in your business for my whole life, <laugh> when I'm in my early twenties and still figuring out who I am, <laugh>.

Speaker 1 (00:38:49):

Right. And I think that's so important. And again, like, you know, hindsight and being in my mid thirties as well, I saw something a while ago and it was, I'm gonna probably butcher it, but the quote that when you are children or when you are a kid and you're growing up, you don't realize that when you're looking your parents, they're actually also growing up. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, we look at them as if they should know <laugh>. And so now as a parent myself, I'm like, I'm growing up, like I've done more growing in the last 10 years, especially emotionally and mentally and in those areas of my love, which I think is so important than I had done because I didn't, I didn't have the space, I didn't have the tools, I wasn't able to perhaps financially invest in those areas. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I feel like that is in of itself something that doesn't happen necessarily when we're younger.

Speaker 1 (00:39:47):

It's not something we may perhaps think about or, or even need, you know? And because of that, being able to look at my business through that perspective and say, Okay, well actually this business is growing as I'm growing up. Like these two things are coming up together. And even those moments when I think about myself working in 10, 20 years, I'm like, I don't know why I'm gonna be doing, It's really interesting cuz six, seven years ago I did not think I'd be doing this. Yeah. So it's really, Yeah. To give away my life for 40 years <laugh> to something I, I wasn't willing to do that.

Speaker 2 (00:40:26):

Well, it's bringing up like the financial piece too. Um, I've been working with Nadine zma at her website is Save a million Cents. She, um, has a money archetypes tool that's kind of like where you start with the work. And, um, and so I've been inquiring a lot into, um, money and compensation and, um, sort of, uh, the sort of participating in capitalism, but participating it in it more, um, from a perspective, from the collectivist perspective, which is not that I'm trying to like pull as much money out of the system as possible and like stash it over here in some like funds <laugh>. But that what, like another way to do it is I had a role like sort of hard look at the different services that I was providing through my business. Um, creating systems around those so that I can outsource pieces of them, um, and changing the pricing structure, um, in order to be able to better channel resources into my business so that I can then send those resources back out into my community in a way that is really supportive and regenerative for the community.

Speaker 2 (00:42:03):

So, um, I think that when we think about pay, I mean, one of the things that I always felt was as an employee was that, um, like I was owned because this person was paying me. And I think on the employer side, there is this expectation of like, I'm paying you so much money and you know, so you belong to me because I'm paying for your life, basically. Um, and I think that that's a really unhealthy dynamic. And so instead of viewing paying people through that perspective, for me, it is much healthier to see that the way that I am paying people is supporting their livelihood. And that instead of looking at pay as a form of manipulation, you look at it as a gift and you don't give it an expectation of receiving, although you have an agreement around work that's happening. Right. But really you're, you give them, um, you give them pay because it helps them to live.

Speaker 2 (00:43:16):

Right. Um, yeah. I do compensation analysis for businesses, and one of the tools that we look at is the living wage, um, which is something that is in the states. Um, and it exists in other countries as well, but, um, in the states, uh, the MIT looks at how much it costs to live in every county in the country. Um, not to have a fancy, you know, life and vacations, but just to pay for basic living expenses. And so when I work with groups, this is the base amount that we're working with, um, for what people should be earning. What's really difficult is when people are earning under that, um, living wage, but if they don't qualify for any benefits of the state. So we have this sort of group that is between our minimum wage and the living wage that go, they're put under so much pressure and they have insane amounts of debt and they live in unsafe conditions and all of that, um, because they're not actually able to afford where they live, but they're not able to get any public benefits because they're making more than would qualify them for it.

Speaker 2 (00:44:32):

So it's a really, um, yeah. It's, it's contributing to, um, all kinds of very difficult societal issues that we have here.

Speaker 1 (00:44:45):

Yeah. Yeah. We have living wage here as well in the uk mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And as someone who has been kind of out of human resources and, um, being employed for so many years, I don't remember living wage being a a, a thing or a factor When I, when I left employed work in 2016, what I do remember is as someone who, you know, I, I went back to work after having my son, and I was only there for about maybe a year, 18 months. Um, but what I do remember is being able to, you know, get childcare vouchers through my employer mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I went back and I couldn't get what I needed. So my son needed to go, I was working full time, he needed to go into childcare two or three days a week, and I could not get these childcare vouchers to go through.

Speaker 1 (00:45:40):

And I was like, maybe I'm doing something wrong. And I rang HR and I was told I can't have the childcare vouchers that I need because the childcare I need would take me under minimum wage. Wow. And I just remember thinking to myself, <laugh>, how quickly do I get out of here? Like <laugh>? Yeah. I would, you know, I, I where I live, which is, I always find this very interesting where I live, um, the cost of living, I mean, before the cost of living crisis, but you know, the cost of living has always been quite high. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> yet our wages are not great. Same, we have a lot of elderly, um, folks within our community, within our probably entire county, and there's a lot of rural areas. Um, and so because of all of that, I think that plays a part in, you know, employed wages and, and, and how much, you know, obviously minimum wages the same, but how much we would be getting in, in Norfolk compared to in London or Manchester in a bigger city. And I just remember thinking, So I need childcare so that I can come and work for you, but you won't let me have this childcare to come and work for you <laugh>, because you don't pay me enough. And I was like,

Speaker 1 (00:46:52):

This is baffling. And I think that was, you know, my husband and I had to figure out, and that was when I then was Right. Business taking this seriously, let's build this because I can't, I can't do this. I can't continue to be in a situation where I feel like I'm so undervalued. And looking back, I was like, I was absolutely undervalued, <laugh>, and constantly asked to do more and more. Um, and I would not dream of doing that with, you know, with anyone. Um, and I just, Yeah. It was, that was a profound moment for me. <laugh>.

Speaker 2 (00:47:31):

Yeah. Um, there in so many countries around the world, there is this disparity between what men and women make in, in these kinds of workplaces. And it is be because of just that, that's one of the things that happens that pushes women outside out of work because it isn't affordable <laugh>. Um, and yeah, and especially happened in record numbers with women during the pandemic. Um, and now I see just this wonderful opportunity for all of these women because so many of them have decided, Okay, I mean, I, that doesn't work for me, so I need to do something else. And so if I'm gonna do something that is meaningful to me, what does that look like? And, um, yeah, I think there's a lot of good that's coming out of it. Um, yeah. And also, it's so challenging to be a new business owner. We were talking about evolution.

Speaker 2 (00:48:36):

I felt such pressure early on to be like a fully fledged, you know, wealth, like perfect business right out the gate. And now looking back, I'm like, Oh, well, I mean, it takes time to perfect what you're doing, even if you're, you're, you know, well, um, educated and or have a lot of experience in your profession. You still have to learn how to run a business. And so that is a whole growth, you know, to figure out how to create a business that is profitable, that supports you, and if you choose to have a family or family or supports you and your community, um, and the, the clients that you're working with. And yeah. So, uh, if you are just starting out, don't feel the pressure to have everything perfect right away, <laugh>, it comes with time.

Speaker 1 (00:49:28):

Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. That I remember those days mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I, and I, I feel sad when I look back at that because I do remember feeling like how how my business appeared and how it looked was so important. Yeah. And it was, and I remember, and I remember being so happy when people be like, How did you do this? How did you do that on the inside? I was feeling tortured. I was, I was so upset and so stressed all of the time, and I didn't have the income that I would perhaps have at the time thought should match that feeling because I, you know, I associated the fact that I needed to work hard to, you know, like most people, that if I work harder, I'll make more money. Yeah. That did not happen <laugh>, Right. I just became more miserable and then I made less money.

Speaker 1 (00:50:21):

Um, and, but yeah, it was, I just remember it was so, it was so focused on vanity and how it would appear. It was so much about the aesthetic and what it looked like and what other people thought was going on, even if it wasn't. And I think that's one of the reasons why I'm probably so far in the other direction. I'm like, This is, and this is why <laugh>, like, and I'm so transparent about those areas now because I'm like, I don't want to ever be the person who makes someone else look at my business or look at my brand or look at anything I'm doing and think that I have it altogether or that I have it easy or that I, you know, yes, I'm very privileged. But in addition to that, there are still things that I'm learning. There are still things that I'm thinking, you know, overthinking and questioning and doubting mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, you know, that was really the source of this podcast. It was really the source for me in 2020 of having those conversations because I just knew, no, I didn't see other people having those conversations. But more and more now, people are, and that's so important.

Speaker 2 (00:51:31):

Yeah. I definitely felt pressure early on to be a particular type of person like that. The HR consultant is like a person who wears suits and has the right answer for everything and is like an arm of like the legal world and the accounting world. And as I have sort of found my own way as an entrepreneur and, um, in this profession integrated more of the things that are, you know, meaningful to me that I think I always knew were important. Like, you know, I, I never, as I was a child and growing into a young adult ever felt like I belonged anywhere. And, um, and so have tried to make myself be certain ways around different people in order to belong to that group. And as I've just decided to be who I am in the ways that I am and talk about the things that I care about, it just feel like even right now I feel like my stomach is relaxing <laugh> like

Speaker 1 (00:52:52):

That. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I, I, my head is raised. I'm nodding. I agree. I mean, that was definitely my experience. And you know, I think that shapes how when we come into the online business space, at least when I entered the online business space, I felt that I needed to behave the same way I had always behaved, which was to try and fit in as much as I possibly could. And that was never really who I was, but was who I was told I had to be. Um, and the more I divulge from <laugh> fitting in, the more I am just who I am, the more I divulge from diet culture and hustle culture and anything that is rooted in, in patriarchy, I find that my quirkiness, my weirdness comes out even more and more. And I, and I really, I feel like such a different person because of that, but it's the person I always knew I was, um, at the same time.

Speaker 2 (00:53:51):

Yeah. Yeah. I, um, what I'm a TA reader and an herbalist and these, like, so these things are parts of my identity and have been like things of mine since I was very young. Like, I remember going to a bookstore and like finding a Tero deck and like going and paying for it with my like allowance money and like hiding it so no one would see it. I grew up in a very conservative Christian home. Um, and so I would just like have it in my closet and I would like look through these cards and they brought up for me like the cycle of life and the transitions that we go through as we're on this like, path. Um, and that the path isn't a straight path. It is a cyclical, like a spiral path. Um, and that we go through all these different seasons. And, um, and so as I'm able to integrate that more into my, my work as an adult, um, it, it just, it feels like I'm able to reconnect with pieces of myself that were alienated through the process of my growing up. Mm.

Speaker 1 (00:55:07):

Yeah.

Speaker 2 (00:55:07):

Yeah. Like, Oh, you can't be that because society won't allow you to be that. So you have to hide that, but that isn't, Yeah. I don't know if you've read, um, what is it, The Women Who Run With Wolves? Uh, it's a really wonderful book of, um, different myths and, uh, they're all like myths of the, the transitions of life that women go through and not necessarily, uh, it can be the feminine aspect of any of a person, of any body. Um, and so one of the stories in the beginning is the story of Blue Beard, who doesn't, He says basically, you can come and live with me in my castle and you can, you can have all this amazing land and all the clothes that you want, but there's this like one door that you can't open. And so it's like, you know, you get to have all of this stuff, but you can't have this one thing. And when I read that story, I recognized sort of in my life all of these experiences or all of these sort of situations that I gotten myself into where I could be all of it, but I couldn't really be like, who I really was. Like all of that had to be behind that locked door. Um, so the book is very, uh, very dense. So <laugh>, I bet it, I have

Speaker 1 (00:56:29):

Heard of this book, I have heard of this book. I may even have it on my Kindle. And I'm sitting here as you're talking thinking, I don't know where my Kindle is <laugh>,

Speaker 2 (00:56:38):

But, um, I will

Speaker 1 (00:56:39):

Try and <laugh>, I'm sure I have it. Um, and now I'm intrigued because I'm definitely back into reading in the last year or so. And, um, I feel like if I had tried to read that a few years ago and I probably was told I should read it, it wouldn't have been able to get through it, it wouldn't have made, it wouldn't have made sense. I needed to do so much before I could even get to that point. And now as you're just sharing that with me, I'm thinking, Oh, okay. I feel like this is something I need to read. And as you say, it could potentially read it slowly as well. So

Speaker 2 (00:57:12):

Yeah, it definitely write in chunks. My copy is so many underlinings and highlights in it, and sort of on the opposite end of that, like, um, as I was preparing for the birth of my son, I had him at home. Um, and so it was like, how am I going to deal with like, all of this? And so there was one particular goddess that I worked with quite a bit, and her name is, um, Balbo, and she has, um, Eyes for Breasts and, uh, her vagina is a mouth <laugh>, and she's like this kind of body goddess figure. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and so she's a fun one to like bring in <laugh> Yeah. Yeah. And work with.

Speaker 1 (00:57:59):

Okay. I will make sure that the book is linked in the show notes. Awesome. So I have loved this conversation. I feel like we have covered so much. Um, and it's been really, really fun to get to know you and your business today. And I know everyone listening is gonna appreciate your time as well. Um, as we're coming to the end of the episode, I do have one last question, and that is, what does being an entrepreneurial outlaw look and feel like for you during this season of your business?

Speaker 2 (00:58:38):

It looks like stepping into talking about the things that we've been talking about today and mm-hmm. <affirmative> being visible in, um, in sort of illuminating a path toward a different way to work, um, and a different way to build a company that is restorative and regenerative for you as a business owner, for the people that you're working with and, um, for the community that you're in. Um, and our global community. Um, and it is challenging the dominant, um, uh, messaging that we need to always be hustling and doing more in order to be good enough that we're just good enough as we are, and, um, that we don't need to do more to be better <laugh>. Um, we can in fact do less and just be more of ourselves.

Speaker 1 (00:59:47):

Yes.

Speaker 2 (00:59:48):

I love that. And be safety for people around that space because, because in many ways people do not feel safe to be themselves in the world that we live in today. And so creating safe places for people is, is important.

Speaker 1 (01:00:05):

Yeah. I mean, being, being able to be authentic and be ourselves can be a privilege at times for so many. Um, yeah. I love that. Thank you for sharing.

Speaker 2 (01:00:16):

Yes.

Speaker 1 (01:00:17):

Yes. So where can everybody find you online? Why can they learn more about you, what you do? Have you got anything that you're working on right now? Tell us all the juice.

Speaker 2 (01:00:28):

Yeah, so, um, I spend time on Instagram if you wanna watch them. Entertaining reels. I've got those going on <laugh>. Um, at the time of this recording, I have a guide that's on my website that's called, um, Do HR Differently. It's on the homepage of my website. It probably will have another name by the time this recording comes out. Um, but what it is, is a series of inquiries into, um, ways to bring more sustainability, equality, um, and community to your business, um, and to the people that you're working with. Um, so I'm right now, uh, sort of refining that. Um, and so it'll, it'll be in a new wonderful version by the time you're listening to us.

Speaker 1 (01:01:26):

Amazing. So just give us that link when it's time and we will make sure that the correct link is up. But yes. Perfect. So make sure you guys go follow Candace online. Um, check out the reels and don't forget that you can find a full transcript along with all of the links today. We'll make sure the books are linked as well over in the show notes@melanieknights.com slash podcast. Thank you so much for giving us your time today, Candace. I really appreciate it and I've really love to gain to know you and your business today.

Speaker 2 (01:01:59):

Thank you for having me. This has been such a, a wonderful time and I'm so happy to know you now. <laugh>.

Speaker 1 (01:02:08):

Bye Candace.

Speaker 2 (01:02:09):

Bye.

Speaker 1 (01:02:14):

Another wonderful conversation. Thank you so much to Candace for sharing her time with us, um, and really digging into her story. I really loved getting to know our guests this season, learning more about them, learning more about their businesses, their, their kind of the story of how they got to where they are now. Um, especially a lot of conversations around kind of the covid landscape and how that's affected each person's business. It's also been really interesting to hear because we can often get stuck in our own bubbles or, you know, those around us. We talk about, you know, the experience of what we're going through in real time, but to actually hear how other business owners have really overcome those experiences, how they've moved forward, and how they've been helping other people as just so incredible. We're actually gonna be having another incredible guest conversation next week.

Speaker 1 (01:03:03):

And we will also be talking about the fitness community in terms of how it has shifted for this particular business owner after or during and after Covid, and what's next for business. So next week we are gonna be joined by Courtney McCarthy. She is the CEO and founder of Low Yobo Fits a fitness community dedicated to helping people, but especially women to ditch diet culture, find joy in movement, and finally figure out how to love their bodies. We are gonna be having a big deep dive into all things fitness. We're gonna be talking about health and fitness business. I will be sharing, um, of course some of my past experiences being in the health and fitness industry. And it will be a really wonderful conversation as we look at Courtney's own journey. What inspired her to become a fitness professional. And we're gonna be talking about diet culture as well.

Speaker 1 (01:03:55):

So next week is our pen nolton. That's episode, episode 92 is, uh, episode 93. Sorry, is coming. It's our Penultimate episode. And, um, yeah. And then we will be rounding out with probably a long episode. Um, as I wrap everything up and final, have a kind of final conversation with you all, um, for the foreseeable future. Um, as I've said over the coming weeks, this has been, I know it's the right decision for my business, but it is a really, really hard and like heart tugging decision to make. I love sitting down and recording. Um, and so I can't, I cannot guarantee there are not gonna be tears. I mean, I'm an Aquarius, I'll hide it really, really well, but, um, just sitting here thinking about it makes me quite emotional. So, <laugh>, I'm gonna wrap up for today's episode and next week, as I said, we are gonna be sitting down with Courtney, um, and it will be our penultimate episode of the season. Thank you so much again, outlaws for checking in and listening into today's episode. Make sure you go check out all of Candice Candace's social media, um, and learn more about what she's doing in the entrepreneurial community. Okay? And so next time Oulaws.


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