About the Episode
Hey Outlaws, welcome to this cozy chat that is episode 51 of Entrepreneurial Outlaws.
In 2020, my income grew rapidly and it grew in ways I just could not even comprehend. This led me to feeling burnt out and low on passion and inspiration. So today I wanted to share how and why I took a complete step back from my business to restructure things so that I was truly doing the work that I love the most while also creating a sustainable income.
Yes, we are going to be talking about passive/multiple streams of income, but we’re going to outlaw it of course. So, grab your journal and tune in.
Topics discussed in episode #51
- Why connection and community is one of the top values in my business
- Learning how to run your business from a place of confidence
- Why we have to condition ourselves to say “no” more often
- Outlawing passive income so it feels good and the different streams Melanie has
- The top journal prompts that Melanie has relied on this year
Connect with Melanie here:
*This is a raw and unedited transcript.
Speaker 1 (00:02):
One of the biggest challenges we face as entrepreneurs is the lack of context and brutal honesty about what it actually takes to run a small business. When you’re confronted with a tough decision challenging client, or when you’re generally feeling overwhelmed by all the decisions that you need to make. As a small business owner, don’t get me wrong. I love being my own boss. She’s pretty easy going. She makes a great coffee. Her taste tasted music is impeccable, but sometimes it would be nice to know how other people have handled the less than sexy side of entrepreneurship to shine a light on the challenges, the experiences, and basic fuck-ups that come with being in business. So in true outlet style, we’re going to do just that
Speaker 1 (01:02):
Hey friends. Okay. So today we are doing another WWOD, what would an outlaw do episode at the time of recording this? I’m not quite sure what this episode is going to be called, but it was inspired by a conversation I was having this morning with my friend, Johanna Johanna Rossi is an incredible artist, creative entrepreneur writer, coach. She is just an all around amazing person. So I’m going to make sure we tag her social media account over in the show notes and her website as well. But just the way she expresses herself through high writing and through her black is just beautiful. So both shout out to Johanna for inspiring this conversation today that you and I are going to have, but also for just generally inspiring me all the time. So I will make sure she’s linked her from the show notes, but Johanna and I were having a conversation.
Speaker 1 (01:54):
We often do these little like life updates with each other and Volksa, and it was really funny because last time we sent messages back and forth, she asked me how I was and I sent her a 15 minute message. I definitely like to make a short story long. This is kind of a running joke between me and my friends and we, Johanna is no different, so we will send each other very lengthy messages back and forth. But yeah, if you could ask me how I am, I’m going to tell you, like, I’m not just going to say I’m fine. And funny story. I, when I used to work in the corporate world, I used to work for a financial organization and I had to work with the general public and frequently we would like I was going to say, watch, that was really creepy.
Speaker 1 (02:41):
That’s not the correct phrase, but we were kind of monitored by our management and they would observe us. That’s the word I was looking for. I observe they would observe the way we interact with customers and the general public. And I remember this customer came in once and he was a regular guy that came frequently, like every week or every couple of weeks. And I said to him, how are you doing today? And he said, you shouldn’t ask that question because somebody might actually tell you. And I smiled because I, I would appreciate the sarcasm. And I said to him, you know, I actually don’t care. But the powers that be really want me to ask you that question, that’s why they’re preserving me. He thought it was funny. My manager did not find that quite so funny. So anyway, that is the reality of it.
Speaker 1 (03:27):
I’m not going to ask you how you are, unless I really want to sit down. And I know, so I want to know how you are friend. I want to know how you will come over to Instagram. And let me know, tell me how you’re doing. Cause I would, I love having conversations with you guys on social media. Connecting is one of my favorite things is like one of my core values, connection and community. One of my top values in my business and that is what we’re doing here. So anyway, back to today’s episode, now we’ve had a little story time, but Johanna and I having this conversation about, you know, life and business chatting back and forth, and her and I were having a conversation that I’d been having with a few people just recently. And that is around where my business is right now, what I’m focusing on and how I’m feeling, right, how I’m feeling, because those are the conversations that I’m here for.
Speaker 1 (04:19):
And then just the conversations that my friends and I have. And I told her the same thing I’ve been saying to other people, which is that right now, my business, I feel very comfortable and safe, and that is something I’ve had to work through because it’s been terrifying. And I didn’t realize that because I’ve been comfortable and safe in my business financially for a couple of months now where I haven’t had that certainty for about six months before I was like running my business from scarcity, which seems hilarious because you think that if you’re making the money that you want to be making and you’re feeling comfortable that you should now be feeling abundant, but it does not work that way, friends. Because instead what happened is I started creating things and doing things from a place of scarcity, for fear of losing it all again.
Speaker 1 (05:10):
So today’s episode is going to be kind of an extension of this conversation I had with Johanna. And really we’re going to be talking about multiple streams of income, right? Because to be honest, that is where I’m at right now in my business. Now, when I hear things like passive income or multiple streams of income, it kind of makes me want to roll my eyes. Because again, these things like making money while you sleep a very over used in the online space, but that, isn’t what this is about, right? This isn’t about how much money I’m making right now. I’m more than happy to tell you, but I don’t find that inspiring. I don’t think that it makes any difference to your business, how much money I’m making right now, because this is actually about the mistakes I made. Right? I made a number of mistakes in 2020 that led me to this point that’s steps I’ve taken throughout the last six months to slow down, adjust my sales and gain momentum again, but a completely different pace.
Speaker 1 (06:09):
And I think that’s really important. And that’s the conversation we’re going to be having today because entrepreneurship is definitely a marathon we might sprint. At certain times, we all have busy seasons of our businesses, but generally it’s a long marathon. Right? So today’s conversation. Yes. We’re going to talk about multiple streams of income. I’m probably going to share with you some different ways in which you could think about this and maybe gentlemen, change your perspective or reframe it because over the last few months as well, a lot of my friends and I have been having this conversation about multiple streams of income or having more than one business, which I think when you’re starting a business in the early days, the idea of having more than one is slightly terrifying. But at the point we, most of us are right now. We’ve got to the point where we’ve realized that we don’t need a lot of the bells and whistles.
Speaker 1 (07:00):
We thought we did. We’ve sifted through all of the when now doing things on our own times. So the idea of having more than one, like social media platform, well, having more than one channel of creativity, isn’t a scary, it’s actually inspiring and filled with passion. So this conversation today with you and I is very much about creating business in your own way, which of course is why we’re here. This is why we are listening to entrepreneur Outlaws. This is why we want to be an outlaw because it’s all about creating things in your own way and not being pressured into what things should look like right into how your success should look, how much money you should be making. Because let me tell you, in 2020, my income grew rapidly and it grew really quickly. It grew in ways. I just could not even comprehend.
Speaker 1 (07:52):
And it grew so fast that I constantly felt like I was trying to play catch up. I could not catch up with myself. I knew exactly who I wanted to hire. I do not regret making any of those decisions. I absolutely love my team, but at the same time, I kind of had to go through these things really fast. And also I was really fortunate to have this list of people that I could trust. And I knew I wanted to work with. And so making hiring decisions, actually, wasn’t my mistake. I actually still in touch with all of my team. We still work together in some capacity, but it’s a law. And when you’re the person like in charge and all of a sudden you’re put into a leadership role, it’s a lot. So there were mistakes I made last year. I didn’t say no enough, not nearly enough, right?
Speaker 1 (08:40):
Because this pandemic really like most of us knocked me. I, the anxiety and stress that I have experienced over the last year, I don’t even think I still don’t think I’ve even comprehended it. And what was my like safe space? It was my safety. I could hide in my office. I could be on calls. I was suddenly in this new role, I was making this money and it was like, cool, this is, this is what I’ve always wanted. Like, why would I not be grateful for this during a pandemic? Great. But when it was too quick and I actually should have said no, and there were places in where I should have said no, when there were red flags, there were times when I should have said no, when I didn’t realize there were definitely some times I said, no, in the right places last year, like, don’t get me wrong. I said, no. Or parted ways with clients or different collaborations and relationships. That definitely made sense. But there were times when I was saying yes,
Speaker 2 (09:39):
Because I feel like it was almost like, oh, how, how this go? Like, how big can I get this too? And that isn’t really the reason I started my business. That isn’t why I started my business. And I was doing great work, working with great people. But I think I lost who I was or my mission a little bit in amongst 20, 20, the pandemic and running my business. And I certainly wasn’t doing work. That was creative. I wasn’t really allowing myself to be a creative entrepreneur. I was very focused on like doing the walk and delivering for clients, which is absolutely fine, but that, isn’t the thing that really lights me up.
Speaker 1 (10:48):
So when it comes to multiple streams of income, this is kind of how I ended up here last year. All my income was coming from one place. It was coming from client work, right? Delivering content for clients, delivering social media strategy and scheduling Pinterest management, all that kind of good stuff. I was doing it. I loved it. And I still love it. I was doing that. And that was my only stream of income. And I knew that, you know, there is data to say that around the holidays at the end of the year, and also around the summer time that you can lose clients, that people will start to maybe check in with that income. Or if they’ve been working with you for six months, they’ll start to make decisions, maybe cut backs. And I definitely experienced that last summer, but all in all things kept going smoothly.
Speaker 1 (11:41):
He was the thing I was so busy, even though I spent a lot of time creating content for myself as well. And I had a marketing team helping me. I wasn’t selling anything in my business. I had a membership and we had a few spots of that being sold, but I wasn’t really putting any of my creative energy into a launch or a particular kind of growth plan. I was so exhausted that I was just now walking with clients and I didn’t have any energy to think about, okay, what’s next? Or how are we going to grow? And I didn’t even know where I wanted to grow because I was just so overwhelmed by all the things that were going on. And in early 20, 21, when I lost one of my biggest clients at the time, I was both incredibly anxious and terrified of what was going to happen.
Speaker 1 (12:38):
But I also realized that I didn’t have any choice, right? This is what happened. I now needed to like decide what I was going to do next. And one of the things I started to do was look at what lessons I could take from 2020. And that was a big one, realizing that all my income was coming from certain places and one income stream, right. It was all coming from clients. And so I decided in that moment, I wouldn’t allow myself to gain to that situation again. And I wanted to allow my income to come from different sources, right? You can a hundred percent make income from one product and you can relaunch that product and you can resell that product and you can do that on repeat. That’s absolutely fine way to run a business. There are plenty of people who do that, and there are plenty of people who teach that method.
Speaker 1 (13:32):
It’s also okay. If that doesn’t work for you or if that suddenly stops inspiring you, or if you need more, that’s also okay. Right. It’s okay to be in either of those situations. So remembering that the version of you who that enjoyed one thing, it can shift, it can evolve. Right? So if that version of me that enjoyed the idea of running an agency and doing the client work, this version of me right now, isn’t so interested in running that kind of business was I bought out. Yes. But also I had a good run. I tried it, I did it. And I decided that right now, that’s not what I want or need from my business. So when it comes to multiple streams of income in my business right now, I have, I do, do I do, do I do offer? I, so when it comes to the multiple streams of income in my business right now, I have a couple of clients.
Speaker 1 (14:52):
I am freelancing for one company and I do strategy marketing strategy and graphics and client research and, and different things like that. It’s really fun job because it can be different week by week, but it’s all kind of within the same, the same niche as well. So it allows me to pull on different skills, which is really nice. I get some variety, but I also get to know the clients. I get to work on their social media campaigns. And this is really enjoyable. I’m really enjoying that walk and that’s a fairly new income stream. I also do some client work for a small marketing agency. I do graphics in particular. So I will work on Instagram graphics, Pinterest graphics. There might be ad hoc stuff like Instagram stories, or maybe like banners for websites, things like that is different things in between.
Speaker 1 (15:52):
But primarily week by week, I’m doing Instagram kind of, you know, your square graphics. Then it gets to play around with different templates and create different things for that content, which is really, really fun. So I get to take the captions and their thoughts and ideas and turn them into like a visual that’s really, really fun as well. It kind of allows me to play with creativity and being CAMBA, something I really enjoy. And that’s another one of my income streams and then in my own business. So when I’m working like primarily for stuff for myself, my cool income is going to come from the outlook collective, which is my membership. I hate calling a membership. You’ve heard me say this before. It’s so much more than a membership, but it is a community. It’s an intimate community for entrepreneurs who I’ve worked with before.
Speaker 1 (16:45):
If you have worked with somebody in the past you will get an invite to come into that collective. If you want to, it is an open invitation in the sense that we don’t open and close the doors. This is a decision I made probably in the last six months. I didn’t want to have a ongoing launch and I didn’t want to, you know, get into this situation where I feel like I constantly have to grow that community. The community is small, but it is perfect and it can grow, but it needs to grow with the right people. And I’ve always felt really anxious about that. Like if it gets too big and how will I manage it, that’s not something I want to worry about. So instead I decided to shift it. So instead of it being this thing, that’s always open. Anybody can join, you will it’s by invitation only.
Speaker 1 (17:35):
And that sounds, I know it sounds a certain type of way, but it’s purely out of it’s respect and trust between the kinds of conversations we have in that. You know, these, these conversations can be heavy. They can be very personal. This very much needs to be a safe space. And I want that space to be safe by knowing the people that come into the community. So that’s, that’s another kind of income stream of my business. And then lastly, we have kind of workshops and my books and planets. Now I’ve been doing these workshops since September. I’ve been really enjoying getting to know new people and these skills and these different lessons around content planning and using gentling as a way of planning content. And as a way of planning your business and really leaning into your creativity. So you can fully express yourself and it’s been so much fun, the books and planets, this is the thing that I have been kind of doing in the background.
Speaker 1 (18:34):
I’ve, you know, I created the outlet channel. I created a Luna Jotto, I’ve been working on these books and planets for awhile. And I just got to the point where I realized that it’s safety and comfort from my income streams means that I don’t have to do anything else. If I want to focus on books and planners, I can do that right now. And so that is where my attention is for the foreseeable future. I will be working in the outlook collective. We will continue to do our circles and our journaling sessions that we do in that. And outside of that, I’m focusing on my bookshop and that is kind of my final income stream. The income stream is nowhere near where I want it to be, and that is why I’m giving it so much for time and attention and energy in the foreseeable future.
Speaker 1 (19:27):
And working on that right now with my marketing integrator, we all focusing on building back up my Pinterest account so that we can start to really put the planning by the moon planner in front of as many people as possible, because I am so excited to release this planet in the coming weeks and just to experience other people, getting their copy and using it and seeing how incredible this integration of journaling and using the moon as a way of tracking our businesses and scheduling, and just really leaning into that alignment. So that is at the moment where my income streams are coming from, right? So I do have some client work that takes me about three days a week in total. And then my other remaining time is spent recording podcasts, working on manuscript, which is what I’m doing right now. But of course, I’m not going to always be doing that.
Speaker 1 (20:31):
That’s when I will also write my email newsletters. I will create any graphics I need for my business. Maybe I’ll record some tick talks. You know, that’s kind of how my split is at the moment. So I do spend more time doing my client whack and freelance whack, but I also have plenty of time, plenty of space to work on my own stuff too. And that is something I didn’t have last year. That was something that I didn’t give myself. It felt like I was constantly chasing my title, constantly unsure and uncertain of what I was going to sell, what I wanted to mock him. And instead of really focusing on the things that I wanted to do, I kept saying to myself, like, what should this look like? What should I do? And I was trying to force myself into this kind of business model that wasn’t right for me.
Speaker 1 (21:24):
It wasn’t right for my past national team, my creative energy. So questions that I’ve been using in my business this year, and I am, these can be used as journal prompts, a writing prompts. So grab a pen and note down. The first one is like, what projects do you want to work on? So simple, but really important. What projects do you want to work on? Right? What inspires you right now? Okay. So what projects do you want to work on? What inspires you right now? And another general prompts. I love that I’ve used in the outlook collective as well. If I’m going to share that with you now is it’s like a fill in the blank. I feel most powerful in my business when I’m doing well. What is it that makes you feel really powerful in your business? And I know that power can be a difficult word.
Speaker 1 (22:18):
It can feel kind of very masculine. It can feel very hard. It can feel kind of almost like, Ooh, like unethical, but I don’t see that like, power can be used for good. So when you’re in your business and you’re working your business, like, well, tasks really like make you confident, like drop your shoulders. Like you’re like, yes, I feel really powerful right now doing this work. What is that thing? And as I said earlier on, in this episode, please come over to Instagram and say, hello, if you haven’t already. And let me know, like, let me know what your thoughts are, what projects do you want to work on right now? What is inspiring unite now? And when do you feel most powerful in your business? So that’s it for today’s episode. I feel like this was very much just like a co-teach chat between you and I, but I want to thank Johanna again for inspiring this conversation and encouraging me to share with you this, like this Johnny, right?
Speaker 1 (23:17):
This Johnny, all of these ups. So I made in 2020 and I mean, they weren’t really cops. They would just part of the process. But these things that at the time probably felt like major ups. And I was probably really hard on myself at the time. And I probably thought the world was ending. I was very dramatic, but as I started to work through it, I made decisions which came from a place of curiosity. I didn’t, I stopped shaming myself. I’m not going to, I didn’t share myself. I stopped shaming myself. And I just lent into my intuition. And I really started to ask myself these questions about the things I wanted as a business owner. And yes, I did make sure that there was multiple streams of income coming into my business for that personal feeling of safety. That doesn’t mean that everybody needs to do that.
Speaker 1 (24:08):
But for me, that’s what I knew I needed so that I can now lean into focusing on my journals planners and my bookshop and all the exciting things and ideas that I currently have swimming around in my brain of what’s to come in 20, 22 off the back of my book shops. So I’m definitely going to share more about that as we get into December. And once I actually have finished the manuscript and I have a better idea of what’s next, but that is it for today’s episode. Thank you so much for joining me for episode number 51 next week, we’re going to have another mini episode and I’m going to be talking about how I plan my day. I think it’s gonna be really fun episode. I love listening into so my friends who also have podcasts and that was chalet behind the scenes of the planners or behind the scenes of that day or how they plan things.
Speaker 1 (25:02):
So we’re going to do one of those fun episodes. It’s almost going to be like a day in the life. But not quite. So I’m going to share with you how it is that I plan out my work, how I plan out my time. And you might be really surprised because there’s some interesting ways in which I figure out what I want to do or I’m going to do on any given day. So stay tuned for episode 52 next week, where I’m going to be sharing all that good stuff with you, taking you behind the scenes at my kind of my day and how I plan that, how I plan my time, how I make sure I get things done. And I will see you next week for episode 52. Bye guys.