How to Build a Business Plan | Kathy Dalton

 

Kathy is a mother of three and an incredible connector of people. She has helped many people find connection with what it is they want to do and build an effective business plan. In this episode, she takes us into the steps of how to create a business plan of your own and move forward without fear.

What does it take to build a business plan?

So many people may find themselves asking this question…which is why they have gone to Kathy! Kathy has over 20 years of experience in consulting and helping people build business plans. Above all, she says that one must ” physically and mentally create space”. There is never enough time for everything, but there is time for the things that matter most. For Kathy, those things were motherhood, family, and her business. By clearing her space she was able to create time for those important things. This lead her to develop the M.O.S.T. process it takes to build a business plan. Listen to hear her steps!

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

In this episode, we cover: 

  • Framing your idea for a business plan
  • Learning to work with other people and their talents
  • Overcoming obstacles to business plans such as COVID-19
  • Shifting your space and environment for a business
  • Using the M.O.S.T acronym to build a solid plan

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

CALL ME CEO

Episode: Kathy Dalton

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE WALKER [0:02]

Welcome back everyone to Call Me CEO. This is Camille Walker and I am so excited about today's episode. We are talking to Kathy Dalton, who has been doing professional business consulting for 20 years. Kathy has been featured on Utah Business Magazine 40 Under 40, The Huffington Post, and New York Times. She has worked with brands like McDonald's, Coca Cola, Dawn dish soap, Fuel, Smith Optics, Rossingnol, Topgolf and is a contributor for the Ski Utah and Board of Director for Silicon Slopes.

Kathy is a mother of three, an incredible connector of people, and has helped many people over and over find connection with what it is they want to do and how they want to move forward with building their business. Today, she is going to take us into the steps of how to create a business plan of your own and move forward without fear.

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE [0:57]

So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business, sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? Well, listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE [1:17]

Welcome everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. I am so excited about today's episode. We have Kathy Dalton here with us from radicaltransformation.org. She is a massive human connector and person who helps rally people to help find their inner voice and also create businesses of their own. Kathy, I'm so excited that you're here with us today. Thank you so much for being here.

KATHY DALTON [1:42]

Oh, thank you so much, Camille. It is just an honor to be here and to connect with your audience.

CAMILLE [1:48]

Well, thank you. Now, Kathy and I were just chatting before we started this call that we have known each other for nearly seven years. And it's been through we being in and out of stories, and different things that we've done with brands and other influencers, and things like that. But take me back, Kathy, to seven years ago where we met, and kind of where you were in that journey, and introduce us to you and what you do.

KATHY [2:14]

Well, thanks. Yeah. It's kind of fun to think back. I've known of who you are for a long time. Both Camille and I have had blogs for a really long time. I kind of feel like we were part of back when blogging was where we were trying to figure out kind of wild, wild west, and we were on Twitter, and that was like a big deal.

But I was working with a client at a book signing event and Camille was there. She showed up with a camera crew and was filming this client and it was just really fun to see you in action. I knew what you had been doing for a while, but it was really kind of fun to see the behind the scenes, what was going on.

And I was there at this book launch with a brand-new baby that I actually had in a stroller. He was just sleeping, tucked away. I'm going to say he was like just a couple of weeks old. And that was kind of a moment that it was fun to learn more about you, and to kind of see you in action, and how you held yourself, and just kind of at the beginning, I feel like when YouTube was really starting to become more popular. So, that was really fun.

CAMILLE [3:26]

Yeah. Well, gosh, I love hearing that story about you because I had no idea that you had a little baby tucked away. And that just goes to show the superpowers of mothers making it happen, right?

KATHY [3:38]

Absolutely.

CAMILLE [3:39]

That you were doing all of this. I had no clue.

KATHY [3:41]

And we kind of just do it, right?

CAMILLE [3:44]

Yeah.

KATHY [3:44]

Like we just kind of make what works, work, and I had a baby that wouldn't take a bottle. And it was a 40-minute drive and it was just like natural. It was like, "Oh, cool. You can come to your first event." And I think that's one of probably the most, in my opinion, underutilized and recognized demographics is moms, because we have this ability, not just to multitask, but really to kind of prioritize. And I feel like it just kind of comes naturally to be doing those things.

And also, a mother having a child is like having a business. Like you kind of go through this labor, well, even before then, like the conception process, and then kind of like incubation process, and then the labor, and then the actual end product. And so, I think it's fun to just think about business and the process that I've gone through.

I'm a serial entrepreneur. My background's in Communication Marketing. I worked in advertising to begin with, did a lot with product development, and then, kind of made a shift after our oldest was born. He was born six and a half weeks early, and he spent the first three weeks of his life in the NICU, and started blogging that time as a way to connect with family. Because there were some pretty serious things going on, but wanted to still bring everybody together in a way that we could share what was going on with him.

CAMILLE [5:23]

I didn't know that about your journey. Was he in the NICU for a long time? What was the situation?

KATHY [5:30]

He was born early and he spent about three weeks in the NICU. And then, I had two other kids. My second, they thought she was coming at 29 weeks and spent 10 weeks on bedrest with her. And then, with our youngest, they thought he was coming at 28 weeks, and again, another miracle, and spent another 10 weeks on bedrest. So, I'm good at that incubation process, I guess.

CAMILLE [5:59]

Wow. Yeah. That takes a lot of patience and multitasking. Like you said, I never thought about building a business the same way as developing a human. That's a really profound interesting thought. I'd never thought of it like that before.

KATHY [6:13]

I think there's an Emily Dickinson poem that she talks about her child as a book. Like you don't know that it's a book until it's the end and you're like, "Oh, she's really neat. She's talking about this kid and all this stuff." And you're like, "Oh, it's a book. That's what she was talking about."

And one of the things that I really just embrace, and have loved learning about, and continued to learn about is The Divine Feminine and The Divine Masculine, and how as women, we really are part of this creation process and we need creativity. We need to have those outlets for us to really be in our space. And I know that it's very true of me. I can kind of wear both hats. I can very much do the business side, but then I also need the creative side, and I need to have that as an outlet.

And something I know about myself is, I go through kind of like a three-year cycle where, I wouldn't say I'm changing myself, I think it's more just kind of that pivot, and that change, and that progression. One of my favorite Oprah Winfrey quotes is, and I'm probably going to say it wrong, but basically, is that "We can change our mind." And I think for so long, I was in a very fixed mindset and thought that I had to do things a certain way. For example, get good grades, go to college, get married, have kids, stay home, and found that in that, I really struggled. I really struggled leaving a corporate job that was fulfilling, but it was also social. There were people.

And it was at that time where I was really struggling that I started my first business. And what I loved about that transition moment is that I really went from this corporate, it was a fantastic job but it was still very competitive, to this space of, "Let's collaborate." I have no idea what I'm doing, but I was really good at asking questions and every time people would show up in my path that would know somebody or say something or whatever it was that allowed all of that to come together.

So, since that time, I've kind of just recognized that pattern in myself. And I feel like, we kind of talked a little bit about this the other day, just with COVID and the last nine months, for me it feels very much like this shedding of skin. And it feels like this opportunity as uncomfortable as it can be, is to really look at ourselves, look at our patterns, look at our habits, and make that transition and that transformation.

And that's really what has led me to be where I am now and have spent the last 20 years consulting in business, but have made those small ticks and shift, right? It's that sailing analogy where you want to stay on course, and you want to make sure you've got the wind in the sail, and that even if you shift just a teeny tick on that compass, it makes a big, big change, right? Like if you picture kind of like a piece of pie. There's that opportunity to do that just in our daily lives with those little shifts and those little transitions.

And it was about three years ago, of course, because of the number three keeps coming up for me, that both my husband and I went through a very big change in our lives, and we had the opportunity to look at a whole bunch of things, a whole bunch of old programming, and really to start working on ourselves. And it's a hard process when you start unpacking those things. And in that process, again, someone showed up in my life. Someone that had been a contributor on my blog, Kristin Sokol, and she was going through this professional coaching certification. And it was actually Christmas time, I wouldn't be surprised if it was to the day three years ago.

And she said something so profound that it was one of those moments where I Just knew there's something here. I need to learn more about this. And she shared about coaching, and she shared why she had gotten into it, and she shared that all of us are going through things. All of us have challenges on a daily, weekly basis that we don't know how to either process or how to move forward on, and so we get stuck. A lot of the time we'll tap those emotions inside us. I've spent probably almost 40 years stuffing a lot of those emotions down and not processing them. And for her sharing that and to hear her say with such conviction that we all need that space, and that coaching provides that space to talk through those things, and for the client really to come up with their own conclusions. And that's what I've been really passionate about, is going from consulting where we're kind of the ones that come up with the big ideas, and bring everybody together, and then to go to coaching where it really is holding a sacred space for somebody and asking them the questions, and it really is their own inner knowing that comes up that allows them and helps them to come up with their own ideas. So, a year ago, I had life coaching, started the vocation process, and actually just got my certification in the mail yesterday.

CAMILLE [12:20]

Yay!

KATHY [12:20]

So, it's really fun to be in the space and to have known for a long time that in our own transformation, and in our own process, I wanted to create a place that could bring people together, that can be kind of that soft landing place where you don't quite know what to do, but also that community of people that are collected that can kind of create, and inspire, and help you to be better, right? Like the people that see that potential in you and really to help with each other out.

So, that's how I've gotten to where I am today. And during COVID, I felt really stuck. I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I really pictured it as a physical center. I actually pictured it like a beehive, like the honey comb cells almost, where you've got your cell in the middle, and then you've got these other cells around it where it would be like different practitioners, but the center cell is where all the bees are coming, and they're talking, and they're learning from each other. Picture like a webinar or a workshop space, a place where people can come in and do a panel, and there could be topics that we could talk about or yoga or a sound bath.

But with COVID, it really became a block because I really felt like community needed to be in person. It needed to be in my neighborhood with those people that I know. And so, for a long time, I was stuck. And then, I actually hired my teacher through my life certification process, and worked with her to overcome that block, and to work on what's holding me back, and what are other examples in my life of things that I've done that are similar. And that's kind of really led me to where I am today.

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE [14:25]

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[MUSIC]

CAMILLE [15:02]

I was going to say, so I love that you're talking about transformation, that it's happening for you every three years, you're starting to notice a pattern about yourself, and how empowering that is to realize that coming to know ourselves is powerful, and that we really need to not be afraid of that and digging deep. And I really appreciate that you seek out professionals to help you to do that.

I think that's really inspiring because I think a lot of the times as women, we try to handle it all and we try to figure it all out on our own and we try to solve other people's problems. So, what was it for you that took you from a space of consulting others yourself to then being able to open up to professionals around you and helping you to frame your own idea of what you wanted for your business?

KATHY [15:50]

That's a really great question. I think it's a really simple thing of realizing that people have gifts that I don't have, and that they can use their gifts to just help my life be even better. So, I guess it's receiving and being open to receiving what somebody else has to give, especially as women, I think that's a really hard thing for us, especially the way we're socialized, the way we can always give.

We can always give but receiving is a lot harder, so I think it takes really having that desire to change, but also knowing that you don't have to know it all. And that time and time again, I have found that when I don't just keep an idea or project to myself that when we can bring other people in, it's going to make it exponentially better than if it is just me trying to go off and do something.

CAMILLE [17:02]

Yes. I can attest to that 100% because my experience with putting together this podcast is the more that I've talked about it and shared with my vision, I have found it's been like a magnet. And I really believe in that law of attraction that if you open your mouth, if you write it down, if you share it with people, the universe will work together for your good, especially if it's something that you're trying to do that is good and is empowering to others and is serving others.

And so, that's something that I find you are exceptionally good at is helping to coach others in finding their own way and their business path. And we've talked about how you build a business plan, and I want to get into that with you, and I'm curious. What questions you would ask and how you would formulate that to help people find that path for themselves?

KATHY [17:50]

That�s great. I have just shared that I'm in the middle of this path and it was actually through me sharing my story with you of what I was working on that it kind of helped to breathe that life into it. And it's scary when we share what we're working on, but it's also really exciting when there is that life and that energy behind it. So, kind of the process that has worked for me is, it's kind of maybe two steps but four actually writing a plan.

And the biggest thing is to physically and to mentally create space. So, one thing that I found when I know there's something really big that I want to create and it often feels terrifying, it kind of starts to churn and you kind of start rumbling with it, is to really create space. One thing that I've learned over the last 20 years is that you can do anything, you just can't do everything. And when we get to that point where we know we're not giving it as much attention, whatever it is, that's usually a sign that we�re doing too much. And taking that step back and really looking at, "How am I spending my time?" Because that's what we have. We have time. We have our time and we have our talents. And we cannot just jam more things in and think that it will all kind of work out. I mean, there are some times that we just got to juggle all the things, but really, for something new and big, it really means making a conscious shift.

So, making that conscious shift for me, I knew that I wanted to be done with consulting when I was close to getting my certification. I was supposed to be done in September and really had tried to be very clear on my boundaries of, "I'm not taking on any new consulting projects." But then, with COVID, things got weird. And then, I ended up taking on a new client. And then, it just wasn't congruent with what I wanted to be doing. And so, I kind of started to resent the client and resent the work. And so, I needed to kind of divorce that side of things for me because as much as I was trying to schedule time to work on new things, it kept kind of taking that priority over things and that's not where I wanted to be.

So, for me, it's taken really shifting that and having that space. Now, that space also includes your physical space like I will clean out all my files, and I'll junk stuff, and I'll purge stuff and create a space. Like in my office, I even got a rug, so that I can feel more grounded. So, some of those things in the environment, in your physical environment and also in your mental environment, such as meditation or prayer are all things that really can help kind of get to that place.

And then, I do a whole bunch of research when I do anything. And I've moved all my stuff, but I've got file folders full of ideas of what I want it to be. And so, I kind of let it rumble or percolate and just start gathering the things knowing that I don't have to make a decision. I can write it on a Post-it note. I can slip it in a file folder. I don't have to know what it is. And giving myself that chance and kind of like that maybe patience almost like just, what's the word? Compassion on ourselves to say, "I don't have to know this. I know that this is what I'm being called to do right now, but I don't have to know how all the pieces fit together."

And then, when I do set time aside, I was setting aside an hour every day to work on things. I would really just take a moment to, oftentimes it was breathing, just having silence for 10 minutes. And if that did come up then, then I could start writing down some thoughts, but really asking a prayer or calling to the universe to say, "This is what I'm working on", really helped me to serve the higher good. And I feel that when we can be in that mindset, and be in tune with things that are around us, and really act on those things, that's really when the magic and the inspiration happen.

So, for me, it's a process of creating that space, but it's also a process of researching, and then it's a process of kind of setting that intention and wanting, for me, to serve whatever the higher good looks like.

CAMILLE [23:07]

So, for step one, you're saying clear your mental space and your physical space and really create time and space for those new thoughts to settle and percolate as you say.

KATHY [23:18]

Yeah. And then, really, that second step is researching, thinking, "What are other places that look like this? What are other transformation places doing? What are they doing online?" And then, when you do get to that place where, for me, that's a super fun part of that creation, is setting that time aside to only focus on that. And I'll schedule it a month out, so I know I don't become a victim of my own scheduling when I can't find the time to do that.

Now, for me, that's meant getting up a lot earlier in my day and getting in all the things that include exercise and meditation, so that when I do show up ready to work that I'm in a place that's just a much higher vibration and is much more excited to do that instead of feeling the overwhelmed. And it's easy to get caught in the overwhelmed and have things be derailed. But scheduling it out is just really great.

And then, really, for me, I could spend days writing business plans. I get so geeked out about writing business plans because for me, it's just really magical moment where you take all of these ideas and you start to put them down from kind of like this concept and idea to something that's real and tangible. So, for me, this is what I've been working on that I sat down, and was able to type up seven pages of this idea for radical transformation, and what it could look like. Did it come to me in like half an hour? Yeah. It came crazy fast, but there was all of this preparation that had happened before.

And for me, where I was blocked, was that place where I couldn't take that step forward into this new idea because I was still kind of straddling and working on this consulting stuff instead of the coaching side of things. So, as soon as I was able to say, "Hey. I'm done with this and I need to move on." Then, I was able to get those downloads and work on the plan.

CAMILLE [25:37]

So, just to give our audience a background of the consulting that you're referring to, tell us a little bit about the consulting work you have been doing and how that gives you so much knowledge and understanding of how to write a business plan.

KATHY [25:52]

So, primarily, over the last maybe 12, 13 years, I love to connect people. That is my superpower. I love to find specifically influencers and brands. So, I love to bring together, come up with big, crazy ideas, and say, "Hey! What if we did this?" And have worked, primarily, it was with brands for a really long time. And then, with a handful of influencers here and there that I've really loved and enjoyed doing that. So, I have a really great ability to see really big pictures and how to bring things together.

So, let's say as an influencer, you were wanting to do something for New Year's or for Valentine's Day, then I would brainstorm with you to come up with media challenge or concepts to go along with that or brands that we could bring in and how to make it something bigger than maybe just again, if one person is thinking about it like, "How do we make this bigger? How do we bring in other elements and who do we know? How can we make this really fun or what are we missing?" So, yeah, that's consulting in a nutshell.

CAMILLE [27:18]

Yeah. I love it. And what I'm curious about is when you're doing the consulting and/or creating a business plan, is there a system that you used to help you walk through that? And can you walk us through that process so we can do that on our own?

KATHY [27:33]

Yeah. So, what I learned a long, long time ago, and I don't even remember where I learned it, but it's MOST. M O S T. And this can be used in, let's say you want to pitch a sponsor for something or for a project, it really is pretty much the same thing. And by having a system in place, it also kind of allows your mind to naturally know like, "What are the next steps and what do I do with that?" So, I've seen a million business plans. I've written like a 72 page one before, not to brag, but it was really detailed.

CAMILLE [28:08]

Yeah. That's intense.

KATHY [26:08]

There's a lot. And the last few years, I've gone to a one or two page one, just because it doesn't have to be all the things. Simply, I think by having it exist, it feels like it's more professional. It feels like it's not just an idea in my head. So, there's a whole bunch of ways to do it. And sometimes, very often, I'll change it up and change it around because it's something big. Like radical transformation, that's a big idea and there's a lot of components to it. But really, it starts with M, for your Mission. Your mission, your vision, what do you see this as being? And the quote that I actually put on mine is by Steve Jobs. He says, "The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do."

CAMILLE [28:59]

I love that.

KATHY [29:00]

And I kind of put that in there as like my little-

CAMILLE [29:06]

Mantra? Yeah.

KATHY [29:07]

Little mantra. Sort of like, "This may feel crazy, but let's just visualize what that's going to look like." And for me, the most beautiful vision that I could imagine is to create a community center that's a place for connection, cultivation, care and creativity. I think when we can really get clear on what that looks like, that really is going to help us have that motivation to move forward.

And I love to mind map, so I'll just take a piece of paper, and then in the middle of the paper, write whatever it is and kind of start brainstorming around what can all of that be. And then, how does that tie together? Like for me, a website, you think it would be a pretty simple thing. It's got a landing page, but for me, what was different this time is to have like a membership side to stuff, and I didn't know how to do that. I didn't know how to do an online shop. So, those things felt scary, but seeing it on a piece of paper, and then breaking it down really kind of helped me to realize it's not that different than putting together a blog and learning WordPress.

The O in MOST stands for Objective. So, that's really where I like to get into some of the goals. In this plan, I put kind of back with mission, I also did values and some of the branding and demographic. But in the objectives, I put the budget, and just what are some of the costs that are associated with that.

And then, the Strategy part is the S. And that's where in a consulting pitch, there's where we talk about probably word of mouth and on and offline influence. For this business, it's creating community and what does it feel like? What does it look like and what are some people even that could be a part of that? That should be included in some of those roles and responsibilities. And what are other elements you want to include? Is there going to be blog posts or are you wanting to do a podcast? Are there YouTube videos? That's also a good place to put that down.

And then, the T stands for Tactics. And for me, this is where it feels like you can just take those little chunks one at a time. Like for me, getting a website up, and figuring out hosting, and shopping cart, and member portal, that felt so big, but as soon as I put them to paper, and I could just have those little incremental wins like they talk about in "Atomic Habits." Have you read that book?

CAMILLE [32:15]

Yes. I love it.

KATHY [32:17]

And just feeling like, "Oh, these are little things that I can do. I don't need to figure out a whole new member portal right now." And not have to go through that rabbit hole like let's just figure out somewhere to host the URL, right? Like really simple incremental things. But then, it's also fun in this space to get a little bit more detailed, and also to do some research. What are some other member sites? And just start having a place where you can put that information. Does that make sense?

CAMILLE [32:50]

Yeah. Yeah. I like that you talk about the little incremental wins because in "Atomic Habits", and I'll link the book below, it talks a lot about the momentum of having a win and how when you create wins for yourself, it's a much better way to propel ourselves forward when we're trying to achieve that end goal. And so, coming up with a business idea, whether that be an invention that you have, a website, a brick-and-mortar store, all of that starts at the very beginning and it needs to be pieced out like this. And that's why I love so much about this business plan is that it really takes it from the elephant down to just one bite at a time. So, I think that that is so important.

KATHY [33:35]

And then, it's also one of the skills that I learned in coaching is the question, who in your life can support you with this? So, going to this list of all these tactics like building website, finding, hosting, and just simply asking yourself, "Well, who in my life would know this?" And what's so beautiful is that when we ask ourselves a question, all of a sudden, things start coming up. Like we start answering that and we have that knowledge within us, and that's a really great process to go through to feel supported, but also feel like, "Oh, I don't have to know all this", like we started talking about.

CAMILLE [34:15]

Yeah. Thank goodness. I feel like for myself, it wasn't until just last week that I started writing down the team members that I have as part of my blog and my podcast, and including myself, I have 20 people that are involved with my team.

KATHY [34:32]

That is awesome.

CAMILLE [34:32]

And I have no idea that that was how many people were involved and they're not a day-to-day basis. Some of them are consultants, while some others are contracted employees, so to speak. And others are interns. And so, it's this machine where I certainly can't do it all, but it's through accessing and asking for that help that I've been able to create my business. And so, I love that you say that about just asking and going down that path, so that really, you don't need to know it all. It's really about that collaborative effort and creating opportunity for other people too.

KATHY [35:08]

And that's why I love sites like Fiverr and Upwork because they can do the things that you don't know how to do. Like when I started a podcast, however long ago, two years ago, I didn't know how to edit the podcast. And that was a big block until somebody mentioned, "Well, have you looked at Fiverr?" And I was like, "What? No. I didn't know you could do that." And then, it just frees up my time. I've had a virtual assistant over the years, and to have someone that is 13 hours ahead of me, when I go to bed at night, I can assign a project, usually it's some kind of spreadsheet that I need ASAP. And then, I wake up in the morning and she has it for me.

CAMILLE [35:51]

And it's done. Yes.

KATHY [35:51]

It's the most incredible thing to have those people that are a part of your team, and a part of your process, and are really helping to put those things together, so that it is not just you that's having to figure it all out, right?

CAMILLE [36:07]

Yeah.

KATHY [36:07]

Which I think in entrepreneurship, there is kind of that mindset of like, "You got to hustle hard and you got to work hard." But let's collaborate more. Let's get smarter and let's ask for help.

CAMILLE [36:20]

Yes. I love that you said that. And tell me a little bit about how motherhood plays a role into this business that you've built. And through the years, how you have been able to manage that? You touched a little bit on your morning routine, which I found out recently that you're a big fan of Miracle Morning, which I have read and I loved and I'm trying to adopt it into my own practice. But tell me more about that balance and how you sort that all out with family and work?

KATHY [36:46]

Well, I think the biggest motivation in my life is to be the best that I can be. Be the best version of myself for my kids. And that has meant doing a lot of my own work and changing a lot of programming and the way I was thinking about a whole lot of things because I want to parent different, I want to be a wife different than how I used to be. And they are really great motivation.

I do keep my business hours from 9 to 3 and I don't work weekends. That has meant over the years saying no to clients, but I've also had to learn it the hard. I have had to learn it by working weekends and working late hours into the night, where in turn it took away from the flow and the kind of spirit that was in our home and kind of made it more stressful than it needed to be. So, having really clear boundaries on what that is, and I'm not perfect at it by any means.

But in always, I feel like, being an entrepreneur and having an idea, our kids have seen that. And our oldest, he's now in 7th grade. When he was in 4th grade, he started a pencil business and it was just really fun to encourage them and to have them see what we do. So, they're always coming up with ideas. They're always very creative and I think that kind of learning and that kind of experience is something that's so different that they're not going to get at school. They might get in college, but for them to have their own hands-on experience, and to learn how to create, and take an idea from concept to consumer is really fun to watch. Our daughter, she's almost 10 now, and created a tic-tac-toe that you could take with you with dry erase markers.

And it's just really fun to see them be inspired, but also to teach them how to see and recognize those things. I mean, that would be my biggest hope as a parent is to teach them how to really trust their gut, and really trust when those ideas do come, and then teach them, and give them the tools on, "Well, how do we put all this together? And how do create a business plan? How do we create a social media account? Whatever it is. How do we find wholesale sourcing, or whatever it is we need?" But they too can figure out that it's not this big huge piece, that we can break it down, and that you can figure it out.

CAMILLE [39:40]

Well, I think that you touched on a lot of incredible tips here, and I'm curious. What do you think would be your number one advice for someone who is wanting to start a business with consulting and all of the experiences you've had, and if they get hung up on the idea or the minutia of the whats and the hows. What advice would you give to this person who needs to get past that and trusting their own gut?

KATHY [40:09]

Well, one, here's your permission to trust your gut. Trust your gut. And two, I strongly believe in hiring either a business coach or a life coach that can help you see things from that third party, unbiased perspective that really is going to help you to move forward. And I think when we give ourselves that time and that space, then we can create just really magnificent things.

CAMILLE [40:42]

Oh, that's awesome. Well, I'm excited for your coaching, then, to see how that grows. Let us know how we can connect with you.

KATHY [40:51]

So, you can go to radicaltransformation.org and we're on Instagram at radical_transformation, but it's radical_transformation. It might be radicaltransformation. I'm sorry. I'll have to check.

CAMILLE [41:06]

It's okay. We will make sure that we link the right one. We will link the right one in the Notes below.

KATHY [41:11]

That's so funny.

CAMILLE [41:12]

No. That's perfect. I think that's awesome. Well, thank you so much for spending that time with us today, and I admire you so much, and I love that you are a champion for women and that you are doing incredible things, so thank you so much.

KATHY [41:25]

Oh, thank you, Camille. Such an honor and just appreciate sharing how we can all support and collaborate and work together, but also how we can do really great things.

CAMILLE [41:37]

Yes.

KATHY [41:38]

Thank you.

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE [41:40]

Thank you so much for tuning in to today's episode of Call Me CEO. If you found it helpful or inspiring, I would love it if you shared it with a friend and also, I would love it if you came and joined me on Instagram at callmeceopodcast where you can join other likeminded mommas like you who are looking to step up in their lives and make it even better. Thank you so much and I will see you next week.

[MUSIC]

[42:10]

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Selling Millions Fancy Frills Boutique | Lauren Parks

Lauren Parks, Call Me CEO, Selling Millions
 

Selling millions may have seemed like a lofty goal, but Lauren Parks and her sister Katie Darling put their doubts aside. Learn how two stay-at-home moms took a love for fashion to create their own boutique. Keeping their business strictly online they were able to reach 10 million in annual sales. 

What does it take to start selling millions?

Katie and Lauren, sisters and co-owners, share their step by step process. By pushing through hardships and learning that consistency was key, they came up with the ingredients to make their business a massive success.

There are no mistakes. There are only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error.


This is the quote that Lauren and Katie have lived by in building their business from a small shop on Jane.com to selling millions. Running a business takes hard work, but can really pay off. In this episode, Lauren shares her story in hopes to inspire others to work for their business dreams.

Above all, Lauren reminds us to have humility, even if we are selling millions and having 700% growth rate, just as she did.

“Stay humble, and take advice from other business owners that know what they’re doing.”

— Lauren Parks

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

In this episode, we cover: 

  • Experiencing failure before success
  • The process of trial and error
  • Ins and outs of running an online business
  • Becoming a trustworthy business

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

CALL ME CEO

EPISODE: LAUREN PARKS

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE WALKER [0:02]

Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. I am your host, Camille Walker, and today, we are talking about Fancy Frills Boutique with the co-owner and founder Lauren Parks.

She started this boutique with her sister Katie Darling, and together, they took their fashion, passion, and turned it into a wonderful boutique where you can find amazing deals with really cute clothes. They partnered with jane.com and were Seller of the Year in 2018, moving into 2019 selling $10 million in sales. She won't say this herself, but she's grown over 773%, and this dynamic duo who had a passion that turned into a business as two busy stay at home moms really show you what it takes to make something happen.

What's really special and unique about this episode is that Lauren and I were at a special Bunco night. It's a card game. I don't know if you're familiar with that or not, but there were actually three businesses that were born from that business-inspired night. We stopped and talked after playing cards and said, "Why not us? Why not now?"

And that message is here for you today too. Why not you? Let's dive in.

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE [1:25]

So, you want to make an impact, you're thinking about starting a business, sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family and still chase after those dreams? Well, listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE [1:43]

Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. I am so excited about today's guest. We have Lauren Parks, who is a dear friend of mine, and also co-owner of Fancy Frills Boutique with her sister Katie Darling.

Lauren, I am so excited to have you on the show today.

LAUREN PARKS [2:01]

I am so excited to be here. This is so fun.

CAMILLE [2:04]

Now, I want to go back a little bit with our backstory because we actually grew up in the same town. We went to neighboring high schools, but we had some shared experiences.

LAUREN [2:14]

Yes, we did.

CAMILLE [2:14]

But the story I want to talk about tonight is the Bunco night.

LAUREN [2:21]

Yes. Yeah, oh my God. So funny you bring that up.

CAMILLE [2:27]

I know.

LAUREN [2:27]

I forgot about that. Oh my goodness.

CAMILLE [2:30]

Yeah. So, what is so funny about the birth of both of our businesses is we were at a Bunco night together. How many years ago was this?

LAUREN [2:36]

Oh my gosh. It had to have been ten years ago, right?

CAMILLE [2:40]

Yeah. I think it was 10 years ago.

LAUREN [2:42]

Nine or ten years ago. Yeah, about that.

CAMILLE [2:45]

There were probably ten to twelve women that were there, and we were brainstorming about how we saw these women who were starting businesses from home, selling bubble necklaces. Do you remember that?

LAUREN [2:56]

Yes.

CAMILLE [2:57]

And we were like, "Well, why don't we do that? Yeah, we could do this. Why don't we start a business from home?"

LAUREN [3:02]

Oh my goodness. Yes.

CAMILLE [3:03]

And it was so funny because we were talking, the group of girls that were there all had different alliances as far as like who were the closest to each other or different ideas of how it might go.

LAUREN [3:18]

But we all got along so great.

CAMILLE [3:19]

We did.

LAUREN [3:20]

Same interests, yep.

CAMILLE [3:21]

Yeah, so from that Bunco night there were three businesses that were born.

LAUREN [3:26]

Yes. Oh my goodness.

CAMILLE [3:27]

One was Fancy Frills Boutique.

LAUREN [3:29]

Yep.

CAMILLE [3:30]

One was P.S. I Adore You Boutique.

LAUREN [3:31]

Yep.

CAMILLE [3:32]

And one was My Mommy Style.

LAUREN [3:37]

I forgot about that. I mean, I didn't forget. Now that you bring it back, I�m like, "Oh my goodness, I didn't realize how much came out of that three-hour night."

CAMILLE [3:43]

Yeah. Can you believe that?

LAUREN [3:46]

I know. And successful businesses. They weren't just side deals. They turned out successful.

CAMILLE [3:55]

Yeah, so I think it's really cool because there was so much that came from that night.

LAUREN [4:01]

Yup.

CAMILLE [4:02]

And what I love about it is that they were successful businesses, and we were cheering each other on, and they were all born from ideas that we shared together, but then, went and did our own things. Which I hope for those of you listening to this podcast right now, what I love more than anything is meeting women who are all about championing other women businesses.

LAUREN [4:25]

Yes.

CAMILLE [4:26]

There's room enough for everyone, and each of you who are listening has a unique voice, unique ideas, unique things that you can bring to the table.

LAUREN [4:35]

Yup. And you just got to not be afraid to go for it because I think in the world where it is hard. Women, they stay home, and they are moms, and it's hard to get there, to get started.

CAMILLE [4:49]

Yeah. So, I want to talk back about how that worked out for you because I did not warn you that I was going to bring you back to that fateful night.

LAUREN [5:00]

Which is so fun that you brought me back to that because I wish I would've shared that a lot more, because that night was truly what got me thinking about it honestly. That night, I came to my sister for the idea actually after that night, and wow, I can't believe that. How amazing are women that they can talk about this at a Bunco night, and take it, and run with it.

CAMILLE [5:30]

Yeah. And I think a lot of times that we often think, "Why me? How can this work out for me?" And I think from that night, I think about it all the time. I think, "Why not you?"

LAUREN [5:42]

Yeah. Why not?

CAMILLE [5:42]

"Why not the idea that you have going on in your mind?" I think that night, we were on a very high energy vibration, and possibilities, and believing in our own ability to do something.

LAUREN [5:54]

Exactly.

CAMILLE [5:55]

And I think that's what made it so successful. It was just such a good vibe. So, with that being said, tell me more about you, who you are, and then we'll dive into after that night, who Katie is, and how you got this business going.

LAUREN [6:11]

Yes, yes. Let's do it. Okay. So, I am a mom of three kids. My name is Lauren Parks, first of all. I think you already said that probably. And I�m actually a mom of three kids.

That Bunco night actually, my kids were little. My babies were fairly close together, and it was not the best time for me to be starting a business, to be honest. I think my youngest was maybe a year and a half? Yeah, she was a little over a year. And then, my oldest was, what was he? Probably second grade, so not even eight years old yet.

So, my kids were not self-sufficient at all and I'm trying to start this business. Honestly, it wasn't the ideal time, but I remembering thinking, "What better time than to start this?" And honestly, how I introduced my sister to the idea is we actually had taken our kids on a play date of all things like Bunco, play date.

CAMILLE [7:08]

Yeah.

LAUREN [7:09]

And we're at Gardner Village and we were sitting, letting the kids run around and play. I'm like, "You know what? I just always wanted to have something, start a business or do something on the side, just to bring in extra income."

When you have three little kids and it's nice to have an extra income, and I had said to her, "You know, why don't we start just selling necklaces online on daily deal sites and see what happens?" I had actually told her I was going to do it with a friend. And she was like, "Well, no. You're going to do that with me. I want to do that, too." It was so funny because she was almost like mad but not mad, but she's like, "No, you tell your friends that you're doing that with me. I�m your sister and I want to do the same thing."

My sister Katie has always worked. She worked at Nordstrom for many, many years before she had kids, and she was kind of the same way. She enjoys having something. She loves to work, but she also loves being a mom, too. Like I said, that has always come first, but as women, we've always both liked to have something, some kind of fulfillment, and we're not expecting it to turn into this big huge thing.

But anyway, so that's how it kind of came about, just literally on a play date, Gardner Village, talking about it. I look back, and I think, "How in the heck did we make this work?" It's crazy. Yeah. We put one necklace on a daily deal site and that's kind of how it took off.

CAMILLE [8:48]

Okay. So, I think your story is funny and interesting to mine because I did the same thing. I went home, and was talking to my sister, and she's like, "You're not doing this with friends. Do this with me."

LAUREN [9:00]

Which I'm actually grateful.

CAMILLE [9:03]

It is so good.

LAUREN [9:03]

And working with family is hard, but also your family is going to be there no matter what. And so, I actually am grateful that I did do it with my sister. And we can get to more details about that, but yeah, it was crazy how it started, just kind of out of nowhere. And I think sometimes the most successful businesses are started that way.

CAMILLE [9:26]

I agree. I think that you really saw the opportunity because I'm trying to remember if it was you that brought it up to the group. Was it you that was like, "Bubble necklaces are going crazy. Why don�t we do this?"

LAUREN [9:35]

You know what?

CAMILLE [9:36]

Was it you that was like, "Bubble necklaces are going crazy"?

LAUREN [9:39]

It was.

CAMILLE [9:39]

"Why don't we do this?"

LAUREN [9:40]

Yeah. I'd seen it on jane.com actually. And I'm like, "Why am I not doing this myself?" They're making so much money off these little bubble necklaces that are basically a designer store knock-off.

CAMILLE [9:56]

Yeah.

LAUREN [9:58]

And women eat that up.

CAMILLE [10:00]

Yeah. I think you had an eye for the trend, and you really were able to jump in, and have that fashion passion of, "We're doing this and why not?" So I remember, and you're going to laugh, because I think, did you start with the necklace, or did you have a bracelet or was it both?

LAUREN [10:19]

So, okay, we did start with a necklace. I'll never forget it. We called it the Farlow necklace. They sold the similar one at J. Crew, and it was a black necklace that had geometric designs on it. Anyway, we had tried so many times to get on jane.com, but we were a start-up business, so they didn't take it serious.

It was multiple times just driving them nuts. Resubmitting it, resubmitting it. Anyway, we never got that necklace on Jane actually. We got it on another daily deal site. I can't even remember what it's called. But anyway, so then, we thought, "Let's try another accessory." So, we got a bracelet watch.

CAMILLE [11:03]

That's what it was.

LAUREN [11:03]

Yeah.

CAMILLE [11:04]

I remember the bracelet watch.

LAUREN [11:04]

It was a leather watch. We submitted it to Jane thinking, "Let's just give it a go." And thinking they weren't going to accept it, and they did, and we were like, "We just hit the jackpot." We just got on Jane, this daily deal site where everyone was killing it on those necklaces, so we thought, "This is awesome." And anyway, so they accepted, and we were just on cloud nine. And we ended up selling, oh my gosh, over 500 watches on that deal.

CAMILLE [11:40]

That's amazing.

LAUREN [11:41]

It was crazy. Yeah. And we were way over our heads and we shipped day and night ourselves. It was just crazy, yeah. It's so fun to look back and think like, "This watch that was nothing I'd probably even pick out on my own at the store." But we saw it, and had a feeling that it would work out, and it did. So that's kind of like the beginning of the journey.

CAMILLE [12:06]

Now, you said that you didn't anticipate the volume. You were hoping to get on Jane. And for those who are listening and maybe not sure what jane.com is, it's essentially a daily deal site where the auctions would change every day, and it has evolved so much now since when it began.

LAUREN [12:22]

Yes.

CAMILLE [12:24]

Now the website is so robust, and there's so many categories, but at this time that we're speaking, there were only a few. Maybe a dozen that were available each day.

LAUREN [12:33]

Yes. I think it's that. I think there was maybe ten deals a day on there, which now I mean, there's thousands. Thousands, which I�m so happy for them. It really has been an incredible journey for them and they've been great to us.

But yeah, there was only about ten other deals on there, so we really truly did kind of, I want to say it's luck, it kind of was. They just liked the product and gave us a chance. We weren't expecting that much volume.

I remember, this is kind of a funny story. We would stay up late in the night to speak with our source out of China to get the watches there. We're like, "We need these watches." We sold so many. And back then, on Jane, you didn't have to actually have the product in house then.

And that's kind of how they evolved too. They learned from those mistakes. It's kind of trial and error. And we learned from it too like, "Oh my gosh, we have to make sure that we have however much we say we're going to sell. We've got to have that on hand." And so, I think we were all kind of learning at the same time. Jane was learning how to build their business, and we were learning how to build ours, and we were kind of growing along with them. But yeah, that was our first big moment where we were like, "Okay, maybe we can keep doing this."

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE [14:00]

Building a successful business takes a clear understanding of your goals and where you want to go. That is why I love Qube Money. It is an app card combo that allows me to assign a purpose to each dollar in my checking account. No more wondering where you stand in regards to your bills because with each transaction, you make a mental check in with your balance, create goals and stick with them in your lifestyle and business so you can live more and stress less.

Go to qubemoney.com/Camille to get started today. That's Qube spelled qubemoney.com today and make those dreams a reality.

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE [14:38]

So, you tapped into something that I wanted to ask you about, so you have this source out of China, which my sister and I still did a Daily Deal site for a couple of months. The reason that we were burned from that is because we were getting product from China, and it got held up in Customs, and we were like, "Oh, this is such a nightmare." We were delivering P codes two days before Christmas, and it was such a nightmare.

LAUREN [15:03]

I was just going to bring up P codes.

CAMILLE [15:04]

Yes. So, tell me how you transitioned. You went from having the source to then dealing with Customs. We can talk about P codes, because we both dealt with that.

LAUREN [15:14]

Oh my gosh, yeah.

CAMILLE [15:15]

And that was the point for me where I was like, "Okay, it's either the busy code or the blog road." And for me, I was like, "I can't handle the customer service end of the fulfillment. That's not for me." And so, I went this other direction. You kept going with boutiques. Talk to me about the progression. Yeah, I want to hear.

LAUREN [15:30]

Like I said, with the watches, it was really stressful. I mean, we were hounding, hounding, hounding our sources and saying, "When are they going to get here? What can we do to push it through Customs?" And that same time, jane.com actually had another boutique on there who sold over a thousand P codes, and they didn't make it from China.

CAMILLE [15:54]

I remember. That was not me.

LAUREN [15:57]

I know. Oh, I know it wasn't. It wasn't us. Thank goodness, and I don't even know who it was, but we were all learning. These were new businesses honestly. Like I said, we were learning along with Jane.

Anyway, so they ended up having to refund a lot of really unhappy customers and so, after that, we were kind of like, "Oh my gosh. We were dealing with these watches." I mean, we would lose sleep over those watches. So, we realized that, "Okay, we need to rebound stuff."

And we decided to go to L.A., down to the fashion district down there. That's where a lot of buyers go, and they have a lot of shows throughout the U.S. during the year. And so, we thought, "You know what? Let's go to L.A. and try and source our stuff directly from L.A." And I remember the first time we went we were deer in headlights. We had no clue, no idea where we were.

We went Downtown L.A., and there's different spots for wholesalers and just regular people that want to go in and buy, and we didn't know where we were going. I remember walking into a business and saying, "Hi, do you guys sell to wholesalers?" And they're looking at me like, "You have no idea. You are clueless." So, it was kind of an unsuccessful trip. I mean, we did try and drive by the Kardashians' houses, so I would count that as a win and I have a picture in front of it. But we kind of left feeling a little defeated like, "Okay, this is a lot. This is a lot and I don't know if we're ever going to find a source here in the U.S." It was hard.

So anyway, after that unsuccessful trip, we came back home. And I remember I got online and just searched, and searched, and searched, and Google, and searched, and I finally found a source in the U.S. And so, we started buying from them and figured out, we were maybe half a mile away from where all the wholesale district was in downtown L.A. I was like, "Oh gosh, that would have been good to know."

But nobody directed us on where to go. Nobody. We had no idea, no idea. We had to figure this all out on our own, and I think that's kind of one of the things that make me so proud of how we got here is we literally put in blood, sweat, and tears, and frustration, and money, and time, and travel, and how to figure all that out on our own and it was so hard, but we did it. But it was hard and it's not easy. There's just no easy way to start a business.

CAMILLE [18:41]

So, for someone who is listening and thinking, "I want to know where the wholesale district is." Is it easier to find now? How do you find it?

LAUREN [18:49]

Yeah. It is easy. I mean, honestly if you Google wholesale in L.A., you'll find it. You'll find so many wholesale sources, but you do have to have a business set up. You have to have an LLC or however you want to run your business. So, you do have to go in whatever state you're in, and make sure you go with the wholesale license, because they don�t want anything to do with you. If you're not serious, they don't want to waste their time.

They are so busy. They are getting stuff in constantly, and they're manufacturing stuff. I went to a few of their warehouses outside of the fashion district, and it is crazy. I mean, they are just working, working, working. So yeah, you want to go down there knowing what you're doing. I made that mistake, so do your research for sure before you try to run that road because it's confusing and hard, but once you figure it out. We went to L.A. every other month since then to buy.

CAMILLE [19:52]

Still, is that something you do every other month?

LAUREN [9:54]

Well, no. So, we did up until the pandemic.

CAMILLE [19:59]

Okay.

LAUREN [19:59]

They've been shut down. Their factories aren't, but you can't go there. But yeah, we would go as often as we could, and we grew relationships with our supplies, and they knew us by name. When we would walk in, they'd call us Fancy, "Fancy's here."

CAMILLE [20:16]

Oh, cute.

LAUREN [20:17]

Funny story. When my sister actually had her last baby, three weeks prior, I'd had an accident at CrossFit gym. I had fallen, and I broke my jaw in three different places, and my jaw was wired shut. And my sister just had this baby, and I knew I was going to be wired shut for six weeks, but I needed to go to L.A. One of us had to work. She can't go. She had this new born baby.

So, I went down. I had my best friend fly down with me and she translated the whole time for me. And everyone, when I got there, they were like, "Is that Lauren of Fancy Frills? Are you fancy? Are you okay?" And I'm trying to talk like this. I'm like, "Yeah. Just business has to keep going." So, it was nice because we grew relationships with them, and they were so nice and helpful, even when times were hard, and we came with our jaw wired shut or my sister wasn't with me.

CAMILLE [21:13]

So, when you had that accident, how many years was that into your business?

LAUREN [21:19]

Oh, it was about two years into it.

CAMILLE [21:22]

So, were you feeling like you had a pretty good rhythm set up with your business enough? But I mean, that knocked you literally on your butt.

LAUREN [21:31]

Yeah, it did. That was one of those times in our business where my sister and I both were like, "Oh my gosh. What just happened?" What are the chances of her having a baby, and me being totally, I mean, I couldn't even do much.

But luckily, it was an online business, and I was able to still work. But yeah, that's one of the trials. My sister actually spoke at the Jane conference a couple of years ago, and she brought up that story and she had a picture of me in L.A. with my jaw wired shut. So, it's like it was hard. That was tough.

CAMILLE [22:14]

How are you able to keep going?

LAUREN [22:16]

Oh my gosh.

CAMILLE [22:16]

Was that a time where you were like, "Okay, we don't have to be doing this." I don't know necessarily what your financial situation was at the time.

LAUREN [22:27]

Yeah. And going back, when we first started, we were shipping in my basement. I was getting all the returns. We had no employees besides Katie and I. And about six months in, we actually hired my sister's friend to ship out of his basement. And so, that took off a lot of stress.

And it's been great for him because he started with us in his basement, and now, he has a huge fulfillment warehouse in Orem with a lot of other businesses, so I'm so grateful because we were able to give him basically a career opportunity. But yeah, he started shipping for us.

And then, I was getting all the returns and exchanges for quite a while, and that was so hard. It got to be so overwhelming, so we did finally hire out help in our warehouse. So, I think by the time I had broken my jaw and my sister had a baby, we had hired help by then. I think if it would have been sooner, we would have been in trouble. Business would have had to stop probably because there's no way.

I look back at the times that we were just shipping, and doing returns, and this, and that all by ourselves. I remember going to the post office all the time like, "There's got to be an easier way to do this." So yeah, luckily by then, we had kind of gotten more help even with social media by then. God, but it was tough. That was tough go that year.

CAMILLE [24:01]

Yeah. So, tell me how many years have you been in business by now?

LAUREN [24:06]

We have been in business for eight years now. So yeah, eight years in October.

CAMILLE [24:15]

Yeah. That's a good span of time to really have ups and downs. Let's rewind between years.

LAUREN [24:22]

Sorry, I�m jumping around.

CAMILLE [24:23]

No, it's totally fine. That's just how the conversation goes.

LAUREN [24:36]

I know.

CAMILLE [24:26]

Going back between years zero to two. You're fulfilling out of your home. You're going to these shows. How did you finally get to a rhythm that helped you to develop a business that you felt stable in?

LAUREN [24:38]

Honestly, trial and error. Making the mistakes and learning from them. That's the thing with business, it's like you are going to make mistakes and realize, "Oh my gosh. There's got to be an easier way to do that."

Truly, that's how we figured it out. I�m not going to sugar coat it. Somebody didn't train us. Nobody told us this and that. We realized that there has to be a different way to do this because it just wasn't logical to be going to the post office with all these packages. It wasn't logical to be spending all hours of the day and night shipping necklaces.

And I remember we did phone cases a couple of months after we sold that watch. There's a picture. I wish I had it. Of my sister, and my mom, and I at my parents' house with piles of phone cases just all around us, shipping one night at family dinner. And it made us realize like, "Okay, now that we're selling more and we're bringing in more revenue, we need to ask. We need to get help." Actually, at a Bunco night, we had people help us ship. How funny is that?

CAMILLE [25:50]

That's perfect.

LAUREN [25:51]

I know. But we realized like, "Okay, people are going to take us serious, and we want to pursue this and keep things going, then we got to make changes." That's when we hired out shipping. That was our first big hire.

CAMILLE [26:10]

The first big hire was shipping. So, tell me about when you had decided, "Okay, we have enough revenue." A lot of these deals that were coming in were through jane.com. Is that correct?

LAUREN [26:18]

Yeah.

CAMILLE [26:18]

It wasn't so much from your own website. It was using a third-party sales source.

LAUREN [26:26]

95% of our sales source was through a daily deal site, yeah. I'm trying to think. Starting a website is hard. I'm not going to lie. It's expensive. It's hard. You have to manage it all the time. You're on there basically 24/7. And e-commerce websites, they make it really easy, and we still have an e-commerce website. I love it, but yeah, our revenue was coming from Jane, a 100%.

But people have done it. My good friends, who owned a boutique called Poppy & Dot, they sold strictly on Instagram, and that works for them too, and they never went on Jane, and they did great. So, I think using social media and outside sources help a ton. I really think if you're trying to grow a business, you have to, have to, have to push all those sources on the outside, or else your business or your website will never make it.

CAMILLE [27:30]

Yeah.

LAUREN [27:30]

To be honest, it's hard.

CAMILLE [27:34]

But I think what you had going for you especially with jane.com was that you got in it at a good time, but you also were a reliable trendsetting source where they knew like, "Okay, Lauren and Katie have an eye for what's going to sell." And you did what you said you would do, and that's why you were able to develop such a strong connection with them for years, because I don't think that everyone that came into that same scenario was able to build the business with them the way that you have done.

LAUREN [28:05]

Yeah. You have to show them that you're trustworthy and you're a legit business. They want to know that you are real, that they can trust you to take care of their customers as well. And we did grow along with Jane, and they had been incredible to us.

I can get to this later but we won awards with them, and we are where we are today because we were able to work with them, and to keep the trust and the friendships. And there's so much I could say about our business with Jane. But yeah, that's the base of how we started in our business for sure. But not everyone's been able to keep that. I know plenty of boutiques that have come in and out.

CAMILLE [28:54]

Even now, I think it's really hard to get in with them.

LAUREN [29:00]

It's impossible.

CAMILLE [29:01]

Yeah. Can you? People listening now, can they get in? And do you still sell with them? Are you still doing that?

LAUREN [29:06]

Yeah.

CAMILLE [29:06]

I know you do so much on your own sites still.

LAUREN [29:09]

We still have seven or eight deals a day running on Jane, yes.

CAMILLE [29:13]

Oh, wow.

LAUREN [29:13]

We're on there every day, yeah. So yeah, we've stuck with them, and we've had people want to get involved in our business just to get an in on Jane. It's hard to on there, because they have a lot going on in their website now, and they're very saturated with women's fashion boutiques, so it does take a lot. It takes a lot. You got to be trustworthy.

Like I said, you go to have the product there. You got to be ready to ship in two days. You know what I mean. So, it can be tough but it can be so rewarding too, and your business can take off that way.

CAMILLE [29:53]

Yeah. Okay. So, let's go back to the two-year mark. So, you've had this accident. You're going to the shop, the L.A. district and tell me about how you were able to push through that. I mean, going through even a birth. That's not an emergency surgery situation. Can you really tap into that and talk about how you were able to keep pushing through?

LAUREN [30:18]

That was truly one of the hardest things I think that I have gone through, to be honest. I'm an anxious person anyway, so having this accident really rocked my world. Like I said, I was wired shut. I'd had multiple surgeries. I couldn't eat anything. I had straight liquid through a straw. Oh my gosh, it was so hard. And then, my sister has a baby, and there were times I thought, "We literally need to put it on hold. There's just no way that we can do this."

Fancy Frills by then had become our baby. We were so proud of where we had taken it, and I think that was the motivation. We were kind of at our prime to be honest. So, it was bad timing that way, because we were at our prime, and it just was not good timing that way either. So, I knew that I just had to stay motivated, because this was how our business was going to stay in business. And if we would have even taken a week off, that could have been detrimental.

So that motivation where we were at a high in our business kept me going. And luckily, as Katie and I both work online and our business is strictly online, I didn't really have to talk. So, the hardest thing was definitely going to L.A., not being able to eat and working 10-hour days at the fashion district, and not being able to talk.

It was so hard but that was one of my best friends. I feel like it was almost a blessing, because we found so many great things that trip, and it was a good time for our business. I think that's what kept me going. If things would have been tough and down, I think it could have broken us for sure. But yeah, the motivation and being at our prime kept us going for sure.

CAMILLE [32:26]

I think that's really such a human relatable experience. Do you feel like it connected you to the suppliers more? Because you referenced that.

LAUREN [32:35]

Yeah. I still talk about it.

CAMILLE [32:37]

Yeah. I was just going to say, because sometimes it's in those moments where it's like, "I'm down on my luck. This is what's happening, but I'm pushing forward anyway." I would imagine that really bonded you together.

LAUREN [32:48]

It did. Well, I brought my best friend with me. And at one point, she was in tears. She was like,"I can't believe I�m sitting here eating in front of you, and we're in L.A., and you can't eat any of this good food. And you can't talk to these suppliers that know you, and they feel so bad for you." And she just was in tears. She's like, "I can't believe that you've been able to push through this." And I'm like, "Honestly, it's the business and what I love."

And I think that's what's kept me pushing through it, and how caring those suppliers were for me. They would just stare at me and be like, "Oh my gosh." They'd call us Fancy. "Fancy, I can't believe it. You guys are still here and you can't talk." But they were so loving and so understanding.

And I'll never forget that trip. It was so hard, but it was really fulfilling for me too. It was humbling too. Don't take your health for granted. It's actually in business, because it can rock your world for sure. So yeah, that was a hard time for sure. But we kept it, nothing stopped. Things went as normal, and we made it work.

CAMILLE [34:03]

Really, you're amazing. Bravo. It's amazing.

LAUREN [34:06]

Well, trust me I have many other faults. It's not all been perfect.

CAMILLE [34:07]

Okay. So, your sister had connections to not only a shipment person that helps revolutionize your business, but taking on professional photography really changed your business as well.

LAUREN [34:20]

Oh yes. Photography, honestly, is the face of your business. It makes the biggest difference in everything you sell. Showing it through pictures, that's what makes people want to wear it. When you're scrolling online and to catches your eye and you're like, "Oh my gosh. I want that top. That looks so beautiful on her." So yeah, photography can make or break you to be honest.

CAMILLE [34:46]

Yeah. Did you work with specific models that you loved to work with or how did you figure that out?

LAUREN [34:54]

Yeah. So, at first, we actually had friends who modelled for us. Just some friends that we asked. And my sister Katie had a really good friend. Her name is Diana. She started modeling for us and from the get go, and she kind of became the face of Fancy Frills. And she's never modelled in her life.

It's funny how different people, she's beautiful, but she in her mind was like, "I'm not a model." But she ended up having the face. It worked, and she brought us a lot of business, just from being a naturally beautiful mom of three kids. And so, yeah, we did have a few that were just stand out models and then, we did start hiring more of all different sizes, shapes, and that really helps as well too. You want to be able to have models that can show what you're selling in all different ways.

So yeah, but we did have one that was definitely our standout. And people who know our business and have followed us for years would know exactly who that is. They'd say, "Oh, that's Fancy Frills", because she did just model for us.

CAMILLE [36:10]

What a good find. I mean, you have connections to everything you needed.

LAUREN [36:13]

I know. She does. I know. She lives in Utah County. Everything goes down on there, right?

CAMILLE [36:16]

I feel like it does. Yes.

LAUREN [36:19]

I know. Yes.

CAMILLE [36:20]

So, as you were building your brand, you have the face of the brand, you're starting to offer more customer service. I mean, your shipping time is insane. You order it, and it's sent out that same day. It's incredible.

LAUREN [36:35]

Yeah. We have an amazing shipper who's got it down. And that too is huge, especially when we've got Amazon Prime that people can get stuff in two days. To compete with that is tough. It really truly is, and so, shipping times were a big deal for us as well. So, we definitely made shipping a priority. Shipping and photograph, seriously, it makes the biggest deal even over prices. People will be bold, buy if they know they're going to get the product that is shown in the picture in a timely manner.

CAMILLE [37:11]

Yeah. I agree with that.

LAUREN [37:12]

We learned that the hard way to be honest, because there were times where we were shipping out off my basement, and it did take longer, and it was frustrating. So yeah, I mean shipping times are a big, big deal, especially where we're in a world right now where we do have Amazon Prime and stuff like that, where it can even come to your door even sometimes next day.

CAMILLE [37:29]

Ugh. That's a lot. So, tell me about growing with Jane, and what you were able to achieve with them. I know that you won some really big awards with them, and what was that like being in that? Take me through that process and what that felt like.

LAUREN [37:43]

Oh my gosh. It was surreal. Like I said, it took us a while to get on there. We really had to push and find the perfect product that they would accept. And once they did, we actually had over 700% growth in Jane. Just from Jane alone in three years.

CAMILLE [38:01]

Wow. Wait. 700%?

LAUREN [38:05]

700%!

CAMILLE [38:06]

That's crazy!

LAUREN [38:07]

I went back, and looked at a conference we spoke at, and I remember we brought that up. And we were digging into our successes over the years and what worked for us, and we saw that, and we were both shocked like, "Oh, we didn't even know that." But holy crap, 700%. I didn't even know it was possible.

So yeah, we grew a ton with Jane, a ton. Like I said, I think our model, Diana, and a few of our other ones, they helped a ton. The face. People trusted us. And getting customers' trust and putting a face with your name makes all the world in a difference. All the difference in the world, sorry, gosh, I'm rambling my words.

But yeah, it was incredible. It's surreal. It's surreal to look back at. The growth was so fast in such a short amount of time. We didn�t even move on to women's clothing for almost a year after we started, and that was big. So, it was a lot of growth at once, which can be good and can be super hard.

LAUREN [39:22]

Yeah. Is there a bit of advice that someone has given to you that has really helped you to grow and sustain your business?

CAMILLE [39:32]

My biggest piece of advice that I could give anybody is to be patient. I was telling you this the other day. Camille, one of my most favorite quotes that I live by through my business, through the entire almost nine years that I've done this is, "There are no mistakes. There are only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error."

And that's just it. You have to try things to see if they're going to work. And if they don't, and if they fail, you can't give up on it. Just try again, and I promise you for every ten times that you fail, one time you're going to see a success, and see that it's worth it. Because we've had so many days where we've had failures and hard, hard times, and things aren't always perfect.

And even in a business like mine, where we did grow 700%. It took blood, sweat, and tears. So, I think just letting yourself, letting the errors teach you so much, and learn from them is what really can make you successful. And stay humble, and take advice from other business owners that know what they're doing.

I think if you kind of going into it thinking, "Oh I can do this. I don't need help." That's the biggest mistake I see people make. Ask for advice. Ask for help. I love when people come to me and say, "Hey, I'm starting this business" or "I�m new. Can you help me?" That's not only humbling for me like, "Oh, I'm so grateful they came to me because they respect the way I grew my business."

So, ask for help. Reach out for help, and stay humble, and learn from your trials and errors through it. and that's how can be successful.

CAMILLE [41:18]

That's such good advice. Everything that you just said rings so true to me, and I feel like that applies more often than we think in all different kinds of businesses. I know with starting this podcast, I've had so much support, and positive women who are there just rallying behind you. That's the same that goes with blogging and sometimes, Instagrammers. Not everyone.

LAUREN [41:44]

And that's just the thing.

CAMILLE [41:45]

Yeah.

LAUREN [41:45]

And you know people on Instagram that aren't willing to rally around other women and ask for help.

CAMILLE [41:54]

They're there. I wouldn't say that's the majority, but it is there.

LAUREN [41:57]

No. The majority. It is there, but a lot of times, the success isn't there. It's hard to seek out help and ask for advice, but it's the best thing you can do. And I promise you that nobody's going to turn you down. People ask me, "Where did you buy that top? So, I can sell it." That's different from asking for help on "What was successful for you? What worked for you?" And people will want to help. People want to support you, especially when you're humble, and you take their advice, and run with it.

CAMILLE [42:31]

Yeah. And to feel the fear of asking and doing it anyway, that does take courage, but that's what it takes to grow a business. You have to know that going into it, you're not going to know all the answers. There are people around that will rally behind you, like you said.

LAUREN [42:48]

Absolutely, and I want to be that person. So, yeah.

CAMILLE [42:54]

Aww, well, you're just awesome, Lauren. Thank you so much for taking the time on the show today.

LAUREN [42:57]

Oh, absolutely. Thank you for having me.

CAMILLE [43:00]

Well, it's just been such a joy, and please tell our audience where they can find you, and reach out to you online.

LAUREN [43:07]

Okay. So, all right. We have a website. It's www.fancyfrillsboutique.com, and we are also on Instagram. It's just @fancyfrillsboutique. And another thing that we do once or twice a month is a Girls' Night Out on our Facebook via a VIP group. So, if you just go to Fancy Frills Boutique on Facebook, you can join. There's a link there that will join you on our VIP group, and there's always killer discounts on there for items, and that's really fun too. And we have a discount code, right, Camille? For all our listeners today.

CAMILLE [43:42]

Yes. Go ahead and share.

LAUREN [43:44]

So, it's callmeceo30 and it's all just one word: callmeceo30 or go on my website, and treat yourself to a new outfit in this gloomy winter time, wherever you're at. Actually, it might be sunshine where you're at but not where we're at.

CAMILLE [44:01]

Yeah. Truly, I love shopping Fancy Frills. They have awesome Grab Bags when they have onesies and twosies of things they're done selling.

LAUREN [44:11]

We have those right now actually.

CAMILLE [44:12]

I know. They're on sale.

LAUREN [44:15]

They're $12.99! We're like blowing stuff out right now, and it's so great for the customers.

CAMILLE [44:21]

It really is. I'm telling you.

LAUREN [44:22]

You're going to hit a gold mine with a grab bag. Yup. Grab yourself a couple.

CAMILLE [44:26]

Check that out because it's almost like this lottery of, "What's going to come?" And if for some reason, you didn't like it, it's like a 5-dollar top that didn't work, it's worth the thrill.

LAUREN [44:38]

It's better than the Walmart prices.

CAMILLE [44:40]

Totally. And 90% of the time, I like everything that comes.

LAUREN [44:44]

Yeah. And if you don't, give it to a friend. That�s what I always say.

CAMILLE [44:47]

Or your daughter if it's a size small.

LAUREN [44:50]

Or your daughter if the size is too small.

CAMILLE [44:51]

Exactly.

LAUREN [44:53]

And that's the thing is our sizing does run sometimes across the board, but for the most part, it is true to size. You can always email us. We have a little text icon on our website, so anytime you're questioning that too, we're there to help.

CAMILLE [45:05]

I'm a big fan. I'm a big fan of you and a big fan of Fancy Frills. Thank you so much.

LAUREN [45:10]

Thanks, Camille. I'm a big fan of you. I admire you so much and all the successes you've had.

CAMILLE [45:16]

Wow, you're awesome. Well, thank you so much. Thank you everyone for joining us today. Please join us next week for another episode. Same place, same time and we love you. See you later!

[MUSIC]

CAMILLE [45:28]

Thank you so much for tuning in to today's episode of Call Me CEO. If you found it helpful or inspiring, I would love it if you shared it with a friend. And also, I would love it if you came and joined me on Instagram at callmeceopodcast where you can join likeminded mommas like you, who are looking to step up in their lives and make it even better. Thank you so much and I will see you next week!

[MUSIC]

[46:00]

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Community, entrepreneurship, Janae Moss, Call Me CEO
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Strength in Community and Entrepreneurship| Janae Moss

Community and entrepreneurship, Janae Moss, Call Me CEO Podcast
 

This week we get to hear from Janae Moss, as she talks about finding strength in community and entrepreneurship. So many women have to figure out to balance motherhood, jobs, and service, tune in to hear how Janae has done it!

It’s important to look at change and hardship like a chance for growth.

-Janae Moss

Janae is a mother of seven and grandmother of four. She co-owns multiple businesses including Parents Driving Change, Humans Driving Change, and Flagship RBM Building Maintenance. She is a family advocate, community organizer, and has experience in social entrepreneurship. Janae also helps develop the strengths in people and families.

Apart from this, she has a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrated Studies and is currently working on a Master’s in Performance Psychology. Janae is a passionate social entrepreneur, trained in performance psychology. She believes all organizations are based on the people that make them great. In every business and non-profit endeavor, she invests in communities.

If you’re feeling frustrated or stuck…the fastest way to get through that is to serve somebody.

Janae Moss

Tune into this episode as Janae shares her personal story of entrepreneurship. Janae’s motto is “Attitude is everything, pick a good one.” In this episode, she gives several tips that empower women to be a strength to their community and family.

Tips for Strength in Community and Entrepreneurship

  • Embrace motherhood- it goes by quickly
  • Contribute and volunteer in your community
  • Find the drive that keeps you going

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

In this episode, we cover: 

  • How to become an entrepreneur amidst change and hardship.
  • Giving back to charity and how you can be involved
  • How to work with a busy spouse and develop time management
  • Working and volunteering in the community

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS POST:

Camille Walker 00:00

I get it. You have everything pulling at you right now. And the one that pulls at you the most is your child wanting to spend time with you, but not wanting to play another round of among us or Pokemon. Well, that's why I created the Time for us Journals. They are a prompt journal meant for kids ages two to 12. For you to spend time with your child on something that really matters. You talk about the day ways that they've been creative, a unique prompt and even a special way to be creative together. And guess what? It only takes focused five to 10 minutes a day for your child to really feel like you see them and that they matter. And it frees you up to do the things that you need to get done as well. Use the code CEO at timeforusjournals.com as a special thanks for me to you. Thank you for listening. Welcome back everyone to Call Me CEO. I am your host Camille Walker, and I am so grateful that you are here. Whether you are listening in while you're doing a pile of laundry catching up on a quick run or even settling down for a nice quiet moment. I am so grateful to you for pressing play. If you would like to join the conversation on Instagram, which I really hope you do. Please follow along at Call Me CEO podcast on Instagram and say hi, I love it when you say hi.

I am thrilled for you to listen in on this interview. Today we are speaking with one of my biggest heroes and someone I admire the very most in this world, my one and only sister Janae Moss. Janae is a mother to seven, four grandchildren, and a co-owner of multiple businesses. She is a family advocate and a community organizer. She truly has a heart of gold. She is the co-founder of Parents Driving Change and its umbrella organization humans driving change. Parents Driving Change encourages parents to use their innate ability to lead by sharing their experiences with the organizations that support them. She and her husband Jon have built several businesses including their flagship RBM business means building maintenance company. Pretty incredible right. And amongst all of this, she decided to go back to college recently and finish her undergraduate degree. She has a BA in Integrated Studies with an emphasis in Psychology and Leadership and is earning a master's in performance Psychology. RBM, the largest family-owned building maintenance company in the Intermountain West, has tracked 20% growth since Jon and Janae purchased the company in 2004. In 2020, RBM was ranked in the Inc 5004 91% growth rate over a three-year period of time, alongside the success of RBM and its six sister companies. Janae is a passionate social entrepreneur, trained in performance psychology because she believes all organizations are based on the people that make it great. But the thing that I love about Janae most above all of these accomplishments and accolades is that she truly seeks for the best and other people, and the best in any situation. She has a grit and happiness that is contagious. And I cannot wait for you to hear. Let's bring it in today. So you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice. How do women do it, that handle motherhood family and still chase after those dreams? Listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know this is Call Me CEO. All right. Hey, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today. I couldn't be more excited because we are having an interview today with my sister Janae Moss. And in my opinion, she is one of the most incredible women to walk the planet. She's incredibly positive and wonderful, but also hard working and has taught me basically everything I know. So we're going to spend a lot of time today digging into her story, but also how she is reinventing herself, even as a grandmother now, which is crazy to say, but today, welcome to the show.

Janae Moss 04:13

Thanks, Camille. You say I taught you everything you know, but and you know you're my little sister. But I joke because you're you've always been not always been taller, that would be scary. But you are taller than me. And I learned a lot from you. And you're eight years younger, and I learned so much from you. So it's been it's been an awesome relationship. We both get so much from loving each other. So I'm so happy to be here and support you in this way.

Camille Walker 04:36

Thank you. And for those who may not know Janae and I have worked together for years and years she and I actually used to run the blog together. And so we have been weaving in and out of each other's personal story and just cheering each other on as we admit as we go after new things. And so she and I both are kind of launching into new stories. But Janae, can you take us to the beginning of basically, when you left the nest, I feel like you have a pretty inspirational story that she will go around and share with people all over the country. And so it's such a treat. And I'd love to have that introduction, learning more about you where you've been and where you're going. Hmm,

Janae Moss 05:17

that could be a really long story, because I'm getting pretty old from them. I'm thinking, Wow, we don't have that much time. But I'm just I'll hit on a few things. You know, one thing I have learned recently is that, you know, I've had the story that I've told and shared for a long time, like you said, Now, but what I'm realizing is that is it's just part of my story. And stories keep evolving. And thank goodness, we have chapters, because that's that story, although it's my beginning. So much has happened since those beginning years that really shaped the direction that I went. And I'm so grateful for the things that I've learned and experienced, because it's why I am here where I am now. But it's it's evolved, you know, I've used that message and what I learned during that time, to continue to learn more. So I guess that's the goal for all of us is to continue on. What you're referring to, I'm sure is the really exciting first few years of Jon and my marriage. I think a lot of people have a lot of, you know, exciting first years, marriage in different ways. For me, it was exciting. You know, Jon, I had dated for three and a half years, I was 17 when I met him almost 18. So thank goodness, we had those three and a half years to just get to know each other and play and not have it be super intense, you know, experience that you get from a really long term relationship. But we we played hard and worked hard. Well, Jon worked harder than I did at that. Jon started building his business when he was probably around eight years old, he started building a land a landscaping business. And he you know, even before that, he would sell bunnies and cherries and eggs and anything he could get his hands on to sell. He was just naturally really entrepreneur. He was a he was a natural entrepreneur. And you know, I, I jumped on that bandwagon. The second I met him, but he just came that way. And he he loves it. He's just driven. But so when I when I met him, we were both young, he already had one baby that he'd had right out of high school. And I fell in love with her and I fell in love with him. And we just started going down the path I was going to school at the time UBC which is a community college. And and I would go to classes when it felt like it would be fun, and I didn't want it felt like something more fun to do. And you know, I just wasn't. Anyway, that's a whole other episode. But I, I learned a lot. And I'm glad that I had the chance to just get out and to learn to live on my own and understand what different bills were and things like that. But so I started building his landscaping business with him. Sometimes I'd go on the job and actually have a no shovel in hand or learn to drive the backhoe and things like that. And other times I'd be in the office just recording his receipts and things more like that. But we definitely started advertising right from the beginning, promoting is the fun thing that I love. And we have a picture of us somewhere where I have a handwritten poster board that says Jr, Jon Roberts Landscaping and it's with a black sharpie marker. And it was at a professional trade show. But it's just all the money we had for advertising at the time. And so so we did we we sold together, we built together, right after we were married. He let's see; we were married in about March. And we started kind of going along. It was springtime for landscaping. So that was exciting. We had some kind of bad dealings that summer with people that didn't see the benefit of paying their full bill to sale. It's another episode. And so we were kind of limping along already. And and then we had a baby in August. And in November, my husband started doing things where he would just wouldn't come home at night, or he wouldn't show up or he wouldn't call me and he was acting in ways that he'd never acted before. And I just thought What's wrong? What's going on? We had this brand-new baby and I remember saying to him, you know, what, where have you been? And he said, Well, if you're gonna be mad, I'm just gonna leave again. So I couldn't understand everything had shifted, and he was acting ways he'd never acted before. And one day I looked across our house, which is the size of like, kind of a tuff shed really was, I looked across the kitchen, it was just like a square so and I saw him taking his medicine that had been prescribed by the doctor, and all of a sudden clicked and I looked at him and said, Is that your medicine? And he said, Well, I don't know. It's just what was in the bottle. Long story short, he had been given opposite that what are you supposed to take triple the dose and it was Obviously was being really hard on his body. And, and it was affecting how he was acting and things like that. So we learned really quick what it meant to be rich in debt with Bill clear, rich with bill collectors and we were poor in food, things like that basic things we needed just to survive. And so just to give you an idea of our family, we had Sydney, right when we are married, and then I had Kinley later in August that year. And then we had only 18 months later, we had Whitney was born. And 10 days later, she until my niece came to live with us, because she was either going to go to state custody or the state asked us to raise her. So in two years, I had four kids. And I think I was about 22. The time, almost maybe 23. So it was exciting. It was an exciting start. And so that's the base of the story, what I tell because what happened is later on, that led me to really wanting to get people help with resources when they needed them, because I didn't know where to go when I needed help. And I remember calling ask a nurse because there was no internet. Yes, that's how old I am. I'm a dinosaur. And I remember calling and asking her, I learned about really important things like WIC checks, and just like food stamps and getting help from to feed my babies. But it really set me on a trajectory that has set up my love for going forward. So that's the trying to condense a really long story.

Camille Walker 11:39

Yeah. And what is really fascinating to me about this is that Jon, from the get-go has been a very self-driven entrepreneur. And when you met him, he was doing extremely well financially. So this was quite the flip from what you had been experiencing. And I think that that's important to point out is that you had been doing really well you did get to the point where things were not going well. And now you're to the place where together as a team, you've built this company back up to be monumentally large, I mean, give our audience an idea of where you are now. Because I mean, that's something I'll do a little bit in the intro but give an idea of where you are together.

Janae Moss 12:22

Ha, let's see, well, when we lost everything, he shifted to working at a at a health care center with his friend just to start getting out of the house, because it was a really hard time for our family. And he swore he would never work with his dad in janitorial. Because that's what his dad did. And he Jon grew up cleaning toilets in exchange for Big Macs. So he said, I will never go back. And I'll never work to clean commercial buildings like my dad did. He hated his friends at school, calling his dad the janitor. And he just didn't feel like it was as cool of a job as some of his friends, dads. But since then, you know, we gradually we built and I remember sitting around a table with about 10 people with spouses for Christmas party. And now just to give an idea of where we're at, I think just with managers alone, we have about 800 people coming to our Christmas party, and that that's just managers, and some supervisors and their spouses. So it's grown in the way of taking care of property management, management. But what we also found was, when we would go on the job site, people wanted things that aligned with things that we already did. So now we do disaster cleanup, and we do landscaping, snow removal. We do Christmas lighting, we do carpet cleaning, and just all the things that flow with that already. So it's it has grown and it's been quite a ride. Wow,

Camille Walker 13:41

you do Christmas lighting. Now, I didn't even know that.

Janae Moss 13:44

Yeah, for several years. We don't do it. Yeah, we don't do it for houses. And so we just don't get a lot of the same kind of advertising on Facebook, because we're advertising to different groups, you know,

Camille Walker 13:56

okay, well, Janae is being very modest, as you can tell. What's really amazing about Jon and Janae both is that they are extremely giving, truly two of the most giving people I know and that has launched Janae into doing really incredible philanthropists who work with United Way and helping to raise money and awareness for children that are in need all over the country. And I believe that it's because of the experience that you've had that you really, from a very empathetic, heartfelt way, you know what it feels like to be relying on those checks to be able to get food for your family? And tell us a little bit about that. How were you able to get your foot in the door with helping with charity work and making a difference that way?

Janae Moss 14:43

Yeah, thanks, Camille. You're so you're so awesome. So I was really blessed to have this wonderful woman move in next door to me named Barbara Leavitt, and her husband had just passed away from cancer and she had four daughters to raise and she'd moved in and went back to get her mph. Shoot around business with her husband for many years in LA. And we became fast friends, she would come next run next door, and we would just chat about things and her daughters. I'd wake up in the morning and they would be getting milk from my fridge. And we just, that's how many times when I�

Camille Walker 15:15

I would babysit, and there were other kids in the house. I'm like, what? It's 7:30 in the morning, why are you here?

Janae Moss 15:21

Yeah, and it's kind of how we run our house anyway, pretty open-door policy, but they really became an extension of our family. And she decided to go work at United Way because she was very passionate in LA about helping families get resources that they needed. So she even helped in LA to school. She raised hundreds of 1000s of dollars to pay for a playground for the kids in the LA schools that couldn't afford to have one. But she believed that the parents could raise the money. And so they did bake sales, they did all of these things to raise a ton of money. And this was in a poor community. And she just believed in the power of the parent and the power of goal. And so she came to me already having this amazing perspective of encouraging and allowing parents voice in systems. And so when I met her, and she started teaching me about ways to look at this was to look at the way that how parents can be involved in the community I, I really believed her and I trusted her. And one day she found online a program called Helped Me Grow. And she came over next door and to my house. And she said, Janae, you've got to see this, I'm so excited. It's this program, called Helped Me Grow by Dr. Dworkin in Connecticut, and Utah needs it. There's so many awesome parents in Utah. And they need to have a way to be connected into resources in the community. And it's not easy. It's not easy to know where to go to get what you want, what you need for your kids. And it just for me, it just struck a chord. And sometimes I get emotional about it, and I am today, because it changed my life that changed not only the perspective that because of when I needed help, I wish I had a barber love in my life, that also that I could be a voice and an extension of what she was to help other people. And parents trust their own inner voice and to know how to get resources for their own families. And so I helped Barbara, start building this organization with whatever, you know, money, Jon, I could at the time, and we did free pancake breakfasts at the park, just to try to start telling parents about it. It's connected to 211, the two one one phone line for Utah. And it's this amazing program to one had already been around. But through the process of working on Helped Me Grow, Barbara�s connected it to the 211 in info line for Utah. And now it's statewide, and it's funded by the state and by other programs that take their grant money to put into it, because it's such an important tool. But it's taken many years to get there. So that was really my start of why I wanted to work in the community. It's because I met somebody and I saw the fire in her eyes and how much time she took to give, even when she was struggling in her own life herself.

Camille Walker 18:12

That is so inspiring. And I can attest to Barbara, she is the salt of the earth like she has a heart of gold is always looking to give and even when she herself was going through something so difficult. What can you say to that as being able to grow during a time of hardship, an experience that you've had that has changed your life for good in that way?

Janae Moss 18:37

Hmm. Well, I think that that's the next really chapter of my story. And that is that it's important to look at change in hardship, like a chance for growth. And it is a lot easier to say than to do I get that. But you know, there's only one plaque in my house that's always been up, you know, there's different word, things that I've had up over the years that come and go. But there's only one that's been up and it's really dirty and dingy by now. But it says attitude is everything. Pick a good one. And it's just simple. And even my kids know, it's it's kind of my motto for myself and for my family. That especially right now in times of challenge and everything is shifting, and it can feel really scary and frustrating. It can make you angry and depressed. And all of these things. You know, really the only thing we have control over is our attitude. That's it. We can't control the future. We can't change the past, but we can change and work on today. And that that message is is probably the biggest thing I've learned from working in the community and working with all kinds of people. I think that if you're and this is a whole other podcast said on service, but if you're feeling frustrated, or like stuck, I think the fastest way to get through that is to serve somebody and it's because you get to see life through different lens, you get to meet people and let them show you their world. And then all of a sudden you realize it's hard for me. And it's hard for them. And it's hard for everyone. It just looks different. So yeah, I kind of went on a tangent. But that's the biggest lesson. I would say, I've learned from that.

Camille Walker 20:18

No, I think that's a monumental lesson, I think a lot of us collectively are going through something so hard. 2020 has been, you know, something that came and hit us all square in the face saying you're not in control. And you're going to have to modify and I think, you know, what you're saying about keeping your attitude and your perspective and check is really, the only thing we have control over is that lens that we then expand and allow other people into our lives. And I think that's something that you and I both, and all of our siblings can attest to is that our parents really taught and led the way for that, that learning and seeing other people's perspectives is really the only way to live. And it's the best way to be happy. So

Janae Moss 21:01

yeah, one of my favorite things is showing up at our Christmas parties and meeting people, you know, yeah. You never know, who's gonna be there. And I love that. And the reason why is because they have their door open to people that, you know, that need somewhere to go. So I, I love that. It really changes your attitude, your perspective on everything. Yes.

Camille Walker 21:21

So something that Janae and I were talking about earlier today, and it's it's a big passion for this podcast, and it's well, for today's mission, is helping women, especially through transitional times, and Janae, now has adult daughters, married with children, and also having gone through different things and starting their own businesses. And I want to talk a little bit to that of finding our own direction and purpose and how to discover what really makes our own purpose thrive.

Janae Moss 21:55

Yeah, that's actually, if I could say one thing, that's my favorite thing about parenting. It's that I love when I think back to the first time that each of my babies was placed on my chest, and I looked at them and I just cried every time. It's so emotional. And I loved looking at them and thinking, who are you? Who are you going to be? What are you going to want, and I'm your biggest cheerleader, I have no idea for each of them what that would look like. I'm really big on not choosing for them. I'm really about supporting their development and growth. Obviously, I put them in things that I love at first, you know, I love dance. And I wanted one kid really wanted to try soccer. And there's things that I love that I would enjoy being a spectator at. There's some things that are more fun than others to support as a parent. I remember Whitney when she was in gymnastics, you would sit in meets for eight hours sometimes and they would go run, run, run, run, run down the mat, and they did one little flip and then you have to wait like two more hours. You know, that's not the funnest, but my funnest part, the thing I love the very most is watching their development and having their lives unfold before you and just jumping in and and supporting them. I'm not perfect. And I do a lot of things wrong. But that is one thing that I absolutely love. It is also it is not easy. So I thought that like toddlers were going to be the hardest or like, early teens, and these are hard times. But I had no idea how hard the transition from high school to like through early young adulthood would be. It's it's something that you're really not prepared for just like every other phase, but is a very important time and knowing how to support them is hard. Because now it's not your, you know, that's not your decision. Like it was when they were say to but you want to support them. So it is not easy. But it is the My favorite part of being a mom.

Camille Walker 23:55

I think that's so interesting to watch. You've always been eight years ahead of me and everything. And I think every step along the way, you'll be like, well, you thought that was hard. But wait till this is next the teenage years and oh, you thought that was hired? Now wait for this. And I'm just like, oh, figure it out, and then tell me what to do?

Janae Moss 24:13

Well, and that's the thing, it doesn't even matter if

Camille Walker 24:15

I don't go

Janae Moss 24:16

from kid to kid, they're all different. They're all different. Yeah, and really what you're working on is yourself though the whole time. It's nothing about them. It's about it's about you saying it's, you know, I support them. And I love them. And this is their journey over and over and over this patience thing that you learn to help guide and mold and, and of course, you know, you didn't set boundaries, they're not running all over you and and take things away if you need to if something's going wrong, but in the end, it's about us learning to be patient and and to support them so So yeah, I mean, it's exciting. I think my next phase as you said is my is my most exciting and that is that I'm trying to figure out what it is, you know, when he asked me to write my bio is like, well, I've done this and I've done this. I'm old enough now that I have some different areas of my life that I could write BIOS about. But I think the most beautiful thing, and the hardest thing is that I am also in transition just like my kids. I'm I'm in a liminal phase, as we were talking earlier, and that is, you know, I have these experiences. And I know that this next phase is coming. But what does that look like? What does that feel like? And liminal phases are really hard. It's something that we feel more comfortable and stable when we know what the next steps are. But like I was talking earlier, we can have a plan. And we can kind of decide where we want things the direction we want things to go. But then life happens anyway. So I am in a liminal phase. And much like when you graduate from high school, and you're trying to find what you're doing next, I'm doing the same thing, I still have a few little ones at home that are coming up on the end. But I am in a recreation phase for myself. That's exciting. And it's scary.

Camille Walker 26:06

I feel like a lot of our audience can relate with that. Because you know, so often, we get really wrapped up and absorbed in what our kids are about and their activities and their lives, which is fantastic. It's wonderful. But then we get to a place where it's the what, what's next, or even, you know, it goes through different phases, because I feel like where I am now that my kids are entering school full, you know, full time during the day. It's like, wow, pretty soon here, I am going to have the entire day. What does that look like? And I know that that can be a big transition for people. And then again, it happens as they leave the nest, so to speak, like, what does that look like now? And so you are in, you're getting your master's degree, which you decided to go back and get your undergraduate degree just last year? I guess it's been over the last few years. And how did that feel like going to school as a grandma and getting your degree and then saying, This is amazing. I'm just going to keep pushing? Oh,

Janae Moss 27:06

well, you brought up a lot of subjects in that last question. So no, no, no, it's fine. It's fine. It's all intermeshed. Right. But the first one is, you think you're gonna have all day and then the kids are coming back. So like everybody says that and like no, no, it's still important. They're on their own. But the reality is, is that our our world is hard to launch into housing is very expensive. You if they want an education, you want them to be able to do that. You want to be able to support that, but you don't want to do it for them. And so it's this is really hard. It's fun. But it's hard, but they do start coming back in ways when they need to. You're still a home base and you want it that way. The funny thing about this year, quote unquote, funny is that with it being 2020 I had actually all of my kids come back so Sydney Kinley, Whitney, Brighton, Ella, Holly, Jordan. And then I had my grandkids. Emma, Grace, Max. And then Sydney was actually pregnant with her fourth while she was here. She brought her two dogs. I had my two dogs and Kinley had her dog. So it was insane. And, and they-It was the most ultimate definition of them coming back. And what what I found about that is how hard it was to have them all home again to have from baby and pregnancy phase all the way through a mom that was mothering. I would be mothering my kids and saying, Go clean your room. Take this to take your shoes to your closet. And then I would turn to my grandkids and say, Do you guys want a cookie? Let's do a puzzle, you know. And so it was this like my whole life flashboard in front of me. And then when they started leaving when Sydney moved to Texas with the kids, and then when Kinley and Brighton moved out together and Whitney made it on the Raiders team and went to Las Vegas. I've lost so much of that life all at the same time that I went through here and again, this is the third time I teared up. I went through a really hard transition again like oh, my no, I'm surrounded by life. I love being a mom, this is so hard. I'm so tired. And I don't do anything but mother and I remember crying to Jon in the shower again, people don't get it how hard it is to be a mom and be at home and like you don't be friends. You can't go anywhere and you just feel like you never do it right and it's never all done and and I started getting all those feelings of having so many people in my home. I didn't want to change it but it was hard to all of a sudden it went boom, boom, boom, boom, people moving out. And then I was like devastated. And I went through a like a depression of like, Really? I think it was a really good lesson like a fast forward lesson of like, enjoy these last few years today because it goes so fast. And I never want to downplay how hard you know, people always say, enjoy. Now it goes fast and then they're gone. But that doesn't make it any less hard. In the day to day, it's still really hard to enjoy them even though you know, they're kind of leave. But it did give me a really fast forward view of like, this is where I've come, this is where I'm going. And I'm a grandma. And it was shocking, but that it was another beautiful entry into like I said, this liminal phase of Where am I now? And what's going to happen next?

Camille Walker 30:26

So you went back to school? You

Janae Moss 30:29

don't even say that. I went back to school. Yeah, that was like four years ago, I was in school for about three years to finish my last two years of my degree I was

Camille Walker 30:39

two years let me do you brave enough to do that? Because that is a lot. That's a big deal.

Janae Moss 30:43

It really is. Those those young kids are scary. In my in your mind, they're scary. Cuz you're like, it's more about you. Like, I know, do I fully fit in there? Once you go, you're like, oh, there's people of all ages. And I fit in here. I love you view for that reason. Yes, they are. There's a place for you. UVU has that is what they say. And it really is true. You go back. And there's people from all backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, countries, and ages. And I really felt like it was a good fit for me. I went back because I made a promise to myself and to my grandpa all growing up that I wanted to finish, he'd worked really hard to try to support both my grandma and grandpa to support and make sure that the grandkids felt supported and going to college. And I wasn't ready at first and I changed direction and started my family. And that's fine. That for me and my life feeling like I had achieved things I'd set out to do. It was important to me that I finished and so started math first. That was the scariest part. It's what stopped me the first time. And I finished and when I finished that was December 2019 is that right? Yeah, I graduated, they had a graduate a walkthrough outside graduation in August for that degree. And then I was like, you know what I'm in, I'm in the zone. And I have so much more I want to learn. And although there were lots of degrees, people were encouraging me to get I like my husband wanted me to get an MBA, I had friends that wanted to get MPA, they work a lot in the communities. And I said no, I want to get performance psychology degree, because I have a good friend named Dr. Craig Manning that taught me a way to look at things in a proactive way through hardships, and I really loved his message. So I am excited to take what I'm learning there and to apply it in my own voice and the way that I would share it.

Camille Walker 32:36

I love watching you going through this journey, because it really has been so fun and inspiring to see. And I I think that the part where you talked about keeping that promise to yourself, that that is so essential for us as humans to really tap into that desire that we have in that passion that we have and creating promises and keeping them to ourselves. And so what did that feel like to finally accomplish that thing? Did you have? Did it feel the way you thought it would?

Janae Moss 33:12

That's a really good question. I mean, it was a million emotions during during the pandemic, my kids actually threw me at graduation. Because we didn't think, well, we weren't able to have our traditional graduation. So they borrowed different gowns and different sashes to put on me and I'm sure I didn't earn a real sash, but I felt so supported and loved. And it was a beautiful thing to watch the kids that I'd raised, support me so fully and to have they had their music, they had a rug for me to rock to walk down. We had flowers and balloon garlands and the most beautiful thing was not not only that I just finished that I was able to accomplish something that I know my kids will learn from. And what I hope they learn is that they chase they chase their own dreams and keep their own promises. So what did it feel like it was it was amazing, so much so that I am crazy and jumping into doing more. And I feel like now it's beyond just finishing because I wanted to finish and now it's like I get to really focus in on the things that I'm so excited about. Yeah,

Camille Walker 34:17

I'm so excited for you to it's been. I think that's one of the biggest lessons that our mother taught us and that we are in turn trying to teach our kids is that you can have permission to chase after those passions and to not feel apologetic about it, you know that it you can still be an awesome mom and be extremely involved and in touch with what's going on in their lives. And you can also go after something that is something that you want to do and at the very root of it all is that I know you want to help people. So where do you see this going? Now? I know that you you're not quite ready to get there yet. And I know that because you're still in school and it's very demanding. But if you were to say today What you hope to do with that, what would it be?

Janae Moss 35:03

I'm so excited. And this is why I mean, I could live till 150 and still want to do more things, you know me, but I'm excited to help people identify their inner voice and to trust themselves. And that's going to come through, you know, a lot of different ways. But I've, you know, dreamt about doing a retreat with my daughter that works that works on yoga, and it's a lot more than yoga, it's restorative yoga, so people can start listening to their inner voice. And excited to do that with her. I'm excited to work with all my daughters in different ways. And I'm excited to work with more women and to encourage, encourage them to do what they want to do. And, you know, I don't know if that's gonna lead to retreats, as we've talked about, I've also talked about starting a center for women that has resources in all different kinds of ways. So they could come exercise, they could come do yoga, they could come get their hair done, they could come get sessions for Performance Psychology, because Performance Psychology just isn't sports, it goes into every aspect of a life, whether it's business or at home, or with goals that people are setting themselves. So it really will work for so many avenues. And I'm excited to see exactly where that where that goes. We use it in our company all the time, I may focus on helping my friends with companies and their workforce. And it may be more focused on women. I'm not totally sure. But that's the that's the beauty of it. I also am excited because I'm finally wrapping up some trainings, I've been writing for almost 10 years in different ways with Barbara about the things that we've learned together. And that's really close to wrapping up. And I think that will tie into my school wrapping up at the same time, as well as where my next phase is going. I'm gonna be a strengths finder trainer also after next week, that will also tie into everything. So just exciting. I'm kind of gearing up. I'm getting all of my tools together. So whatever I feel like doing I could do.

Camille Walker 37:02

Yeah. And that's the truth. I mean, I think anything that you set your mind to you could really, you could do it. So if someone is listening to you right now, and they want to know how you've been able to raise independent thinkers, women, especially that believe in their vision, and for those of you who weren't counting Janae has seven children and three now four grandchildren one a new one was just born, Lola, Lola. Yes. What would you say to that mom that is in the trenches and can't quite chase after those dreams yet, but just needs encouragement to keep going every day? What has helped you?

Janae Moss 37:44

Yeah, really, for me, it helped to start writing my blog, it actually saved my life in 2007. I wrote the blog, pink moz.com. And you know, I couldn't write very well then. But I wrote what I could, and they shared what pictures I could it was the old-fashioned blog. There's no advertisements on it. But it helped me develop the voice that I have today. Because I started recognizing, at the end of the day, when I shared everything I've been through with the kids and with business and everything. I started recognizing what made me happy and brought me joy. And I was talking about my 10 joys and I write them down and I keep them by my bedside table. And it's in my training I'm writing but identifying joys is really important. And there are things like that don't cost money, right? So I'm talking, listening to music, going for a walk, calling a friend, these are some of mine. So you've got to come up with yours. And what I learned from writing is that writing was one of mine writing and reading. And that's what saved me. So I would say, and also gave me the confidence to jump back in and to keep going when I had more time. All I could do is write each day. And that was really hard to be able to write the days that I could get the time with all my little kids. So I would say that look at what brings you joy. I think that's the first step. Be really reflective about it. Things that you could do, I would literally I was so good at I would say number two and number four, that's what I need to do today. And I would force myself to do it when I felt depressed or frustrated or postpartum things like that. And then it will what you'll start to do is see common themes that rise up and you can say these are the things that give me fire that helped me keep burning inside even when I've been up all night changing diapers or cleaning up messes. This is what brings me joy. And the better I got it and identifying those and trying to implement them into my day to day life, the more happiness I felt, and then when it was time, and my kids got a little bit older and I could start doing more actionable things where I could leave the house for short periods of time and go to United Way which is what it was for me. I had already created. I had already understood myself better and created my list of joys and my passions and so it made it an easier transition. I think we get in trouble when We wait. You know, we give everything to our kids. And it's beautiful, and it's wonderful. But then if we wait until they're all gone, say, and then all of a sudden you look around and you say, I have a lot more years to live, hopefully, with blessing, you know, I have more to do. And then you really have to start the journey, then I would encourage you to start earlier. write things down, pay attention, meditate, really think and be honest with yourself and listen to your own intuition about what those things are, and find ways to gradually implement them in your day to day life.

Camille Walker 40:32

Good advice. I think that identifying who you are, and those little tiny things that you can fit in to the day are essential. I was listening, I was reading an article the other day that said something about you know, being able to wash your hair is not self care, like that is hygiene. And but someone in defense said, you know, yeah, that's true. But sometimes when you're a young mom, and you have so many things pulling at you like being able to wash your hair feels really good. And that can change the trajectory of that day. And so, do you want that to be your self care forever? And the only thing you do know, but I like how you said, just identifying small things that can change the outlook of the day and really get you through days that can be rough. So that is incredible advice. Well,

Janae Moss 41:26

not only good at that. You're good at that. And so's mom. And I think somebody should interview mom, but

Camille Walker 41:32

I should your I really should. Mm hmm. So there's one more question I want to ask you. Because it is so unique to you that I feel like I would be remiss not to ask this question. And that is how have you managed over so many years to work and support with a very busy husband, who runs his own business? and has a lot of times left? You in situations where you have had to do bedtime routine? On your own given his work hours and everything else? What would be your advice to women who are going through that? Hmm,

Janae Moss 42:13

well, I may have a little bit of a unique perspective on that the first thing that I would even correct you on is say he doesn't have a business, we have a business, right. And I was better able to support long hours. Because I've always felt that way. I felt that even though I wasn't in the office, and I rarely can even now I owned it, I own it with him. And right. We built together, we strategize together daily. And, and I, I've seen that way. And I also give credit to him. Because when I go into board table boardrooms with him, I'm the only only female. It happens all the time. I'm currently the chair of the Chamber of Commerce starting 2021. And I got used to feeling comfortable in those situations because my husband let me and supported me and encouraged me to feel comfortable in those situations. And he's always said, this is your company to Janae you belong there, you deserve to be there. And one of my mentors, Dr. Susan Mounts that always says how important it is to have women advocates, and especially you know, that are that are male, because they are already in those positions of power and decision making. And thank goodness that I married a man that is that way. And because of that it filters through the whole organization. And when I'm able to show up in the ways that I can people treat me like I belong there. And so the long hours at home, I I felt like this is my investment in the company, too. It's an investment in my family. But it's also my investment in the company that supports my family. So the nights, the long hours and everything and people I'd have mom say to me, aren't you mad? He hasn't come home for dinner again. Or he's out all night. He's been gone for two days. Do you trust him? You know, when there's been like major disasters, there was a flood at a building in Salt Lake A few years ago, that took out from five floors down a huge building in Salt Lake. And I didn't see him for you know, I would drive up with the kids after hours after like two or three days. And we just go say hi, this is right before Christmas time. And I guess I've just chosen, you know, attitude is everything. Pick a good one I've chosen that his decisions are strategic with my decisions. And together we've chosen to pay the price so that we can build the company and to find ways to balance all the things. So I would I would say I would say that that's it and keeping a lot of fun. Finding ways ways to have fun whether your husband can be they're not with your kids that you're laughing with them. You're playing with them. You're getting to know them better by doing those things and to just have joy to find joy. Those things so that if you if you let it get to you, and believe me, there's times that it's gotten to me, I'm not gonna say that there's times that it's hard and I feel angry. But if every time Jon's able to come home and he chooses to come home every chance he gets, and I'm angry when that happens, that's, I mean, how much is he going to want to be there, he'd rather be at work, you know, I try to make it so that when he's able to be there, and I know he does every second he can, that we grab up the kids and we go to the park, or we go do whatever we can and spend that time together, building instead of being frustrated that that's our life.

Camille Walker 45:36

And I can attest to that you both, you really have built it together, and the strategy, and the growth pattern and everything else. It has been very much a team effort. And it's been so fun to watch. So you're welcome. And it's incredible. It's incredible what you've built. And I just want to thank you for being here today. It's been so fun to interview you. And I feel like we covered so many incredible topics. I know I'm going to ask you back. So if anyone has specific questions that you'd like to ask Janae, please let me know. You can DM me at Call Me CEO podcast on Instagram. Or you can email me and when Janae has her website up and going I think by the time we air this, I will have links to that as well. But where can people find you today?

Janae Moss 46:24

Today, you know, right now my focus is just really on Facebook, I'm pretty active. I've cut back a little bit on purpose recently, but Janae G Moss on Facebook and Instagram, I'm on there for fun. It's also it's also Janae G Moss. And a little bit you know, in the next two by this time next year, I'll be wrapping up my degree, my master's, and I'll shift more over to humans driving change, which is all of the programs and everything I'm building. So that will be kind of a shift there. But that's where you can find me in the meantime. Perfect. Well, we

Camille Walker 46:57

will definitely be there and I'm going to ask you on again for sure. Thank you for spending your time with us today.

Janae Moss 47:03

Thanks Mel. Love you.

Camille Walker 47:05

Love you. Hey, CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and then five star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram at Call Me CEO podcast and remember you are the boss.

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How to Find Your Voice and Become a Motivational Speaker with Rachel Barker

Call Me CEO Rachel Barker Motivational Speaker

Rachel Barker truly wants to help you find your voice. She is a seasoned motivational speaker with over 18 years of experience. Her goal in sharing her story is to motivate others to find a better way of life. She knows it can help you be more successful. She has gathered techniques through her own life experiences. Rachel has been married to her husband, Chad, for 27 years and is the mother of five children and two grandchildren. Her family is the nucleus of her joy. Rachel wants everyone to love their story, every single part of it. Her life’s work is to use her voice for good and to encourage others to do the same.

“I was going to make something out of myself, whatever it was.”

Listen to this episode as Rachel shares her life story and how she learned to love who she was. She teaches that it is so important to find your voice and many people don’t know how to do so. As a mother and grandmother, she has learned to have confidence in herself and build something great amidst the conflict and struggles of life. Her greatest mission is to provide a voice for those that don’t have one.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

In this episode, we cover: 

  • Build something amidst controversy
  • Discovering your purpose
  • Learning to love your story, no matter what it holds
  • Finding your voice and sharing your story

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS POST:

Call Me CEO Rachel Barker

SPEAKERS

Camille Walker, Rachel Barker

Camille Walker 00:00

I get it. You have everything pulling at you right now. And the one that pulls at you the most is your child wanting to spend time with you, but not wanting to play another round of among us or Pokémon? Well, that's why I created the time for us journals. They are a prompt journal meant for kids ages two to 12. For you to spend time with your child on something that really matters. You talk about the day ways that they've been creative, a unique prompt and even a special way to be creative together. And guess what, it only takes focused five to 10 minutes a day for your child to really feel like you see them and that they matter. And it frees you up to do the things that you need to get done, as well. Use the code co at time for us journals.com as a special thanks for me to you. Thank you for listening.

Welcome back to call me CEO. I am your host, Camille Walker. And I want to start with a great, thank you thank you for creating such a wonderful rallying support of this podcast and for pressing play. It has been such an incredible welcoming adventure, to something that I am so new to. And I just want to thank you for pressing play.

This episode is really unique and different. It goes into a very intimate, detailed story of someone's past dealing with rape. And while we do not go into explicit detail of this experience, it may be one that you want to listen to with caution and to guide your own listening experience and protect those little ears around you. Rachel Barker is a motivational speaker with over 18 years of experience. It is her goal to motivate others to consider a better way of life and a more successful path using techniques she has gathered throughout her 20 years in the nutrition industry and her own obstacles in her life. She has been married for 27 years, is a mother of five children and two grandchildren. And she does not look it Let me tell you, this girl can run circles around me. It is her life's work to use her voice for good. And it was actually through the silence of the pandemic that gave her a minute to slow down that she confronted an obstacle in her way that she hasn't spoken to, to anyone besides her husband. And through this bravery, she really tapped into her voice and is propelling herself forward into using it for good. And we go into tools and ways that you can do the same. I know you're going to love this episode. So let's get started.

So you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it, that handle motherhood family and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know this is Cami z. Hello, everyone. I am so excited to have you here with us today I have a very special guest Rachel Barker, who is an incredible motivational speaker and has been helping women discover their voice for over 18 years, we met on the side of a mountain rappelling and I was immediately connected with her and so excited to spend more time with her. She has started an Instagram account called dear dot range where she helps women all over the world discover more about who they are. Rachel, it's so great to have you here today.

Rachel Barker 03:45

Thank you so much for having me. I love the irony of us rappelling down the mountain is it's it's ironic in every aspect, I never take risks like that. I don't. And so it was a huge thing. And so I probably got like you got all sorts of vulnerable of me that day cuz I was just like, I probably was looking at you and looking at the mountain like this. You're like, keep eye contact. But yes, that was a big, big moment. For me. It was so good to meet you there.

Camille Walker 04:08

I agree. I think it was, you know, rappelling is one of those situations where you feel like you're in control of the situation. But at the same time there is that incredible fear of like, what am I doing? Because there is so much risk involved. So I'm glad we experienced that high together.

Rachel Barker 04:24

Me too. Me too. I think it was interesting when we were at the top and the the guy who was helping us said, Do you want to control your own, you know, pace down the mountain, or do you want me to and I initially I said I want you to? Because I don't. But then after a while I'm like no, no, I want to control my own pace, my own thing and like, I thought that that was so interesting. At first, I was just willing to just give him the control, which is not like me at all. So Oh, we've kind of come back to what we know. Right?

Camille Walker 04:52

Yeah. And you took control and took that pace. Right. So Rachel, please introduce yourself and tell us more about you. In your business,

Rachel Barker 05:01

thank you so much. I, I love podcasts, I listen to them all the time I, I think they're kind of an encyclopedia of trying to find, you know, where you're able to search what it is that you need at that time in your life. And I think that a lot of people are like me where, you know, they don't know really what they're going to do, and they don't know what to do. And it would have been really, really nice about 18 years ago, to have podcasts that could have guided me through, you know, maybe you know how to do it, you know, what I was doing so that my Instagram name is deranged. And so I I started like a, an advice column like, Dear Abby, I love to Dear Abby, when I was growing up, my grandma would read it. And I love dairy out Dharavi and how her advice was not always what the reader wanted to hear. But it was so to the point. And I think that that's just like in a nutshell, to describe who I am. I am to the point. And I'm pretty candid. And I've learned over time that that is not always well received. A lot of people really want the cushion, they really want it to be fluffed up. And so when I do that, and when I try to like make that better, it is so inauthentic to me. And I don't know if that's just because I I don't know me, it's just not a life skill of mine to make things a little rosier than they are. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't come across with kindness and wanting you know you to be better in certain aspects. But I know that like in any job that I've ever had, it's hard for me to sit back and be quiet. Because I think that that kind of goes a lot a lot with my past is that when you we are unable to use our voice. First of all, we we feel like this, oh, I should have said that. I should have said that. And sometimes when we don't speak up for ourselves, then we have resentment that nobody spoke up for us. And people aren't mind reader's, especially in any type of anything, like any organization that you're in. A lot of people don't know what you're thinking and don't know any. And if you do not say what it is that maybe your ideas are or what you're thinking they're not going to know what it is. And so, like providing your own voice, and not expecting someone to stick up or stand up for you. It's been kind of one of those things that I've had to learn over time.

Camille Walker 07:25

Yeah, I feel like that's a skill that so much of us so many of us struggle with because either, especially as women, we're trying to make everyone happy. Or we're trying not to rock the boat, or perhaps we don't know who to go to or how to feel safe. So how is that a skill that you've developed and been able to share over time.

Rachel Barker 07:45

I think that when I very first started speaking, like to provide context, my dad was a football coach, and he had multiple sclerosis. And so he coached from a wheelchair. And so all he could do is speak like he could only use his voice, he couldn't show a player how to tackle someone. And so in watching him with his illness, I learned a lot of stuff from him. But I also felt very, very helpless, because he, you know, a lot of times his physical ailments outweighed so many other things. And as a child, I just grew this fear of just like one day coming home, and he has fallen and or, like on the ice, sometimes his wheelchair would fall, and there's nothing that he could do. And so I think that I just established like this fear of people leaving or dying when I when I was younger. And so as I started speaking, he he died when I was almost 18. And so he had a lot of these motivated, motivated, motivational speaking gigs that he had, like all over. And so when he passed away, and I, you know, give or take a few years, I started taking over some of his contracts. And what I do is I'd speak for high school audiences during homecoming, and I would share his story. And in the late 70s, NFL films, did a biography on him. Oh, and they, and it was a short little like, little film that they showed in between the bowl games, just as like entertainment instead of them watching like the halftime show, you know? And so I would share that video with kids, you know, and during homecoming week, it really was applicable to football. And so that's kind of how I started my speaking career as I started speaking and telling his story. I never I never put my story into his story. Until like, I think a midlife crisis is really what happened. I think that one day I just thought, you know what, this is not your story. This is not your story. You need to tell your story and and in the midst of his story was I had a neighbor and he I was 14 and he was almost 22 I think it was 22 I didn't know. And he sexually molested me and raped me when I was younger. And I, I never told anybody when it happened, I walked to a convenience store, which had payphones. And I called one friend that I knew was not really connected with anybody else. But I also knew that she was kind of close to that quick stop. So I called her and she came and got me. And the only other person that ever knew that was my husband. And it was when I was dating him, we'd watched a show, and it triggered me and I literally was a mouse I fell apart. And he's like, What is wrong with you? And he was he and this other friend was the only one that ever knew besides me. And ironically, I did not say anything until we gotten into quarantine. Well, it was a little bit before that. But we've gotten into quarantine. And I don't know if I just was had so much anxiety and all of this stuff. And I felt like what if I, you know, what if something happens, and I never really say my true story, you know, because I felt it. And I started helping women find their voice, but nobody knew why. You know, they always thought Oh, it's because you know, you, this is just who you are. But it was always this underlying, like, this is why I do it. And so during the pandemic, the lady that owns sense of style, her name is Courtney Brown. And she did this I'm a warrior because and that was the T shirt that I picked out to a promo for her company. And she was getting all these people's stories of why they chose that. And you know what that shirt meant to them. And so I use that shirt I did, I like literally brought my camera up on a bench took my own picture. And I told my story. I didn't tell my mom; I didn't tell like my my sister still doesn't know she's not really a fan of any of my work or anything. So literally, my family knew I told my kids and I told my husband, I said, Hey, I just got to do this. And they're like, they were super supportive. And so I shared it. And I was flooded, flooded, flooded, flooded with people that say, Oh, my gosh, this happened to me, or I think this happened to my daughter. I don't know how to help water resources. And it was like it was overwhelming. You know that. The people that that said that. And so what's what's hard about my story is that, like, I've done the other stuff, the retreats, the events, the speaking engagements for years. But the reason why was never ever disclosed. And so now that people hear my why, they're just like, oh, gosh, it makes sense. So I mean, I, I spoke for or for years, I speak for a lot of people in providing a voice one of my events was be the perfect cue, nobody knows. And that means it had the acronym p y n k. And before the pandemic, I had all these cities planned to have their own pink event where they would show up, show up in pink, they would like, and it was all about them. It was the story that nobody knows, but to be proud of your story and all parts of your story. Because we all have a story. It's just there's some that we and especially with social media is there's just a lot of your story, you don't really reveal a lot of the time. And so I had that event, and people just loved that. But it was there was a reason why, you know, and I'd never ever declared my reason why I just helped other people find theirs, which kind of feels a little bit of fraud feels a little fraudulent sometimes, because I mean, that's really what I'm, you know, encouraging other people to do. The problem was is that I didn't think that. And it's like, I'd been approached before to write a book. And the reason why I never wrote a book is because I knew that would break my mom's heart. But she actually like, she was hurt. But she like, I was expecting her to be like mad at me, you know what I mean? Like really mad at me. And she really wasn't mad. She just wanted to understand, you know,

Camille Walker 14:06

you know, I think the best way that I can imagine because it's similar that you share that because I had a situation as a child at the same age 14/15, where a family friend took me out on a jetski and tried to molest me, basically, and I've never shared this story publicly. And I got back to the boat. And I remember he was trying to reach into my bottoms. And I remember grabbing his fingers and pulling them apart, like the pointer in the middle and they ring in the pinkie and say you let go of me or I'm going to scream as loud as I can. And I was trying to be as threatening and menacing as I could, but this was a young man who was probably 20/22. And really, I think there was I had no defense, we were in the middle of a lake on a jetski. No one was there to save me. And thankfully, he stopped. And I was able to get back to the boat. And the only person I confessed it to was my brother, who was just a few years older than me at the time. And, and he said, You know, I bet he was just trying to tickle you. Like he said, like, he really wasn't trying to get in your swimsuit. And but I knew, I knew, and I think he knew. But I can relate to that, because I didn't tell my parents. And I felt it's like you feel this sense of shame. And that you, you don't want to let them down. And mine didn't progress, you know, to the level that yours did. But I understand that and now that I look at myself as a mother, and if something had happened to me, or to you, I mean, as a mother, now, you would just want to wrap that baby up in your arms and say, this was not your fault. This was not your fault. And I know that's how your mother feels for you. But But for some reason, we put up this wall of like, that we want to protect people, and it feels it feels so secret and dark. And

Rachel Barker 16:10

So I will use our time, the timeframe. Thank you. I think the timeframe of when this happened. I think you have this little bit of a thought is like, like when your brother did that. There was this fragment that you're like, do not believe me? Mm hmm. And that's what a lot of women faces. Like, they're like, do you not believe in like, it's been really hard for me, and this has been my, this has been my whole life. And this is. So when this happened, like, a couple, like a month or so after I went to a bishop. And I'm like, maybe this person can help me because we weren't really like a, like a very spiritual or religious family. We weren't, you know, we just were flying by the seat of our pants. And so, you know, I was one of those kids, that was the, you know, the project kid that's brought up in church music, we need to invite those guys, we need to do this. And I was that kid, you know. And so it was the first time I'd ever really like, went to somebody of authority thinking, but what I wanted is I wanted him to provide peace for me like, Oh my gosh, it's gonna be okay. And I remember telling him. And what's interesting is I noticed today on Dr. Julie Hanks, Instagram, this, just like if you get a chance look it up but a profound things saying when we do this, this is how people feel, you know? Yeah. And so when I told him, he said, he said, basically went into this line of questioning Well, what were you wearing out after a certain hour? Like you like basically put the blame on me? Here? Yeah. So I went into this thing, thinking like, maybe I was, like, you start thinking, oh, maybe it was because I wore that gap. pinstripe jogging outfit? I think that's probably why or, you know, and so I was sitting there and like, I was literally trying to answer with questions. And then I just stopped talking, you know, I just quit talking. And he said, and so he says, Well, you know, the good thing about this is that there is always repentance. There's always repentance, and I love the path of forgiveness, and the law of repentance. And so I walked away, thinking, I don't know, did you not hear the story? Right? Or maybe it was my fault. Maybe you know, you and there are so many people that they have told somebody because everybody tells one person and that that either the person that they told, like marginalized it or minimized it, or they somehow like your brother, because he didn't have like the maturity to say, Oh my gosh, are you okay? Like, we need to tell somebody? Yeah. He said, Oh my gosh, I don't want to this is awkward, and I don't want to cause conflict. Mm hmm. And that was that was his, like, defense mechanism for you. It wasn't he didn't care. But I think that a lot of times that my sister would have been that way. If she would have said, Oh, whatever is it like would have made it less though because it was an awkward subject to talk about. She my sister still hasn't even asked about asked about it or anything to this day. And for the person that's on the receiving end of that. You're just like do not give a crap about me like that was you were in the same situation. Did you like not know why I cried in my bedroom and didn't talk for like a year? Do you remember that? You know, and so you just it is about validation. A lot of the time, people want to know that it did happen. It was wrong, and it wasn't your fault.

Camille Walker 19:34

Right. And for those that are listening that don't know what a bishop is, that is a clergyman in church, someone that you would go to kind of like a confessional like if you can imagine that sort of thing. So So take me back to that place where you were recovering from this and then what changed for you. You know, now it I'm not sure whatever age you are. What was it that changed? That you were then able to say, Okay, I'm claiming this. And now what are you going to do with that? I mean, that I feel like you're in such a place of power right now that I'm just, yes. Like, what's next? And how did you

Rachel Barker 20:11

get that thing? Is that like, obviously, you know, people that have that happened to them have trust issues forever, you know, like, Yeah, and I had trust issues with not just men, but with people in general, like, my, my close proximity, my circle, my ability to trust other people was, is held me back in so many relationships in so many opportunities. Because I always think that somebody's going to, you know, like, I don't I don't trust that and so, during this time, if you don't trust that, so because this, you know, Bishop, you know, clergyman, Pastor, whatever you look at it for, set this, I still had a childlike mentality that if I don't trust him, I don't trust God. So I didn't feel like that God was on my side, because I was just like, well, it was my fault. So there's a shame, but then I got pissed. Like, I think that I just so what I did is in is that when, you know, you'd work work with women, and I did a lot of coaching for three years. And you'd work with women on a lot of the women had something like this. And they would be, like bitter, because, you know, they just didn't have a voice or they couldn't, you know, do what they wanted to do. And this was the piece that was holding them back. And I realized, I'm, you know, I realized that this was me, you know, I realized that the reason why I don't have close friendships and the reason why I don't even trust family members, or people in general, and even God, is because I didn't heal this. So I went into this like, really hard healing path, because I knew I had the time I was in, you know, everyone is in this pandemic, no one expected anything of me. It was uncharted territory, I could work on the healing. And I reflected back on this experience that I had, where I mean, I watch literally the best motivational speakers in the world, like I was able to go to Brendon Burchard, I was able to go to Tony Robbins, I was able to go with and do a Bernie brown class, and you know, at the University of Texas, so I've been able to meet these great people. The difference between me and them is that they used what was their trauma, to catapult them. I used mine internally. But I realized it was really almost like in spite, like I was gonna say, I am going to make something on myself, you know, whatever it was. And I don't know, I mean, people that believe in the law of attraction and those type of things. It will, it will only get you so far. It will only get you so far not having that healing. And so I, the most profound thing that I ever watch was a guy has its musty medicine is the name of his thing. And he has he rescues these Mustangs, and they've been they've been neglected, they've been beat. They've been wild. Nobody has tamed them, but they belong to the government. So they have like a tattoo across their neck. And he takes them. And the way that he gets them to understand him and love him and trust him is because a horse does not have a prefrontal cortex, they are only in the present all of the time, they're in the present all of the time. That means they don't remember what you did yesterday, they don't really have anything to look forward to. Everyone is an enemy. So every time I go like this with my hands, they're gonna, they're gonna jerk back until something like internally, that's not part of the brain understands, okay, this person is good. Like, there's good here, you know, and I watch this guy, take this horse, and like, be so patient with him, be patient with him, be patient with him. And little bit by little bit, he was able to pull down the halter. And he was able to do these things. And he says, you know, but as his life, you know, you get all these trust things. And then there's something that slides you back. And that's when he took one of his legs and he hobbled him up, and he put it behind him. And me watching that horse, I could not like I literally couldn't keep it together like sobbing. I couldn't like he like found out no horse's leg, and it was sitting there trying to you know, muddle through. But sure enough, so when, when a horse goes back with his head, you know how he arches back sooner or later when he becomes submissive, his head he'll almost get tired as like eyes will get like half mass, no, drop his head like this. And as I watched the horse sooner or later after that guy proved time and time and time again, the horse like like took his head down. And then he took the other leg. So he only had his front things. And that horse went down to his two front legs and it killed me. Like I literally was, I cannot watch this anymore. It was so hard. But here's where the great came is as he did that, that horse hobbled around and was just struggling like you watched him just struggle and you're just like, Oh my gosh, don't like make it stop, make it stop. And after a while he taught to him the pedis, he let him get close to him and pedis mean, not close to him. And certainly to that horse like, bowed his head again. I thought you know what, I just witnessed the atonement. in me, I was able to witness that God's love is not there to hurt me. That agency is still amongst all of us. Like it's like, we can't control it stuff we can't control. But I watched as this guy became the master, so to speak. That horse had no other choice but to trust his master. So time and time again, the master showing him. It's alright. It's alright. It's alright. You know, and he didn't give up. He was like, he just basically let the process it was the process. He submitted to the process. And I like that was it just stayed with me. And I'm like, oh my hell you are that horse. Like, like God, God can convince you over and over again. Like, even when you have blessings, and people that come into your life, you refuse to see it. Because it's you. You're like, you're almost incapable of doing so. And so during this time, I started to like, say, Okay, what is it, I had to do the work? I had to do the work. So in order to heal something, you need to rebuild it, it exists. You have to rebuild that it is actually there. It exists. And it's going to come at controversy. It is going to come. You know, I told my mom I told my kids, my husband already knew, you know. And so then I had to say okay, I've admitted it out loud. What do I do now? You know what, what's the next step? And I had to like, journal and write and then like, it's almost like the death process. You go through this thing like you're like, Okay, was it as bad as I thought data and then you go, Okay, now I'm going to come to the angry man, I want to find that guy. And I want to you know, what my husband wanted to do? You know, I wanted to like really say, Do you know that you have literally left up my most of my life because of this situation? And then because so you want somebody to I'm adjust a secret by nature. So I literally the accountability, right? And then I realized, like, what would that do? What would that do? Like the forgiveness has got to come from me. So either way. So one time, I was able to talk with the guy who wrote it's called the shock. Have you ever read the show? Yes,

Camille Walker 27:50

Yes, I have. Yeah. So

Rachel Barker 27:51

Paul, I was I was at a speaking engagement. And I spoke with Paul Young, he was the one that spoke right after me. And I was able to work closely with him during this event. And he explained why he wrote that book. And I was just blown away. Like it just why you know, all of the ins and outs of this book. And he said that the thing is like when you when he did that, that was his healing. That was the way that he he sought forgiveness, and then that he received healing. And so I, I really wrote a lot. And where I put it is literally read between the lines, and every single one of my posts. It's literally like one one person like that I know really well. Once they knew this story, they went back and they read all of my stories, like all of this stuff in my Instagram posts. And she came to me and she was just sobbing. She's oh my gosh, like it's like literally clear. Like I can read in every single one of your posts I get so you're so transparent, but nobody knew. So it's like all these people think that I'm like, but really, I made the decision with social media. I said, You know, I tried everything I tried to like, do everybody did because this is where the way that like business transition to a new level is just do social media. And I played that hustle game just like everybody else has. I played it. I put in my dues I liked and followed and comment and liked and followed. I did the process. I took the marketing things. And one day I just was so sad. Like I just was like this is like I'm entering a pageant that I don't want to be in. I don't want to be I don't want to be the prettiest girl on the block. I don't want to be the smartest Girl On The Block. I don't want to be the most popular girl on the block. I want people to want to listen to my stories. And I want it to be able to spark something to change. I want them to change. And so that is the day that I promised myself that I will no longer write for anyone else. I write for me, and it's selfish. But I don't care. I write every story is my story. I don't take anybody else's story anybody else's situations. I really write The way that I see things, and sometimes that's in a skewed untrusting mind. And a lot of times people will say, you know, just you need to sit back and go back to the littleness like when you were a little, a little kid, and I look at them, like, they're speaking of foreign language, and I want to shake them and say, I never was a little kid. I never got to be a little kid. Free Play and time not being time conscious expectation conscious. Every single time of conscious that you could be, I am not that person. Like I, I have always been aware, every single second tones of voices, facial expressions, when danger was coming, how what the levity of a situation would be. And I had no idea what that meant. I just thought, why am I like this? Why do I still think, in movies and in conversations, and at the gym, when no one's even talking to me, has nothing to do with me. And it is because highly sensitive people are usually ones that have experienced trauma. And when you've experienced trauma, you recognize wounds, you look at wounds, and you recognize everybody else's wounds. And that's really what I did is that I, I would see people, and you know, people say, Oh, my gosh, you're so service oriented. Like little secret, I can't not see it. So when you are next to me on the treadmill, or I see you and I see the wound, my only way is to serve you. That's the only way that I can tell you, I got it. All right, I got you. It's okay. And so I think that some people, especially in this like in this error, like, I'll give you a shout out on Instagram, and I'm like, I don't really want you to do that, like I want you to do whatever. And you know, these digital, thank you cards are amazing. But the intention behind it was not for that, you know, it was because I really felt the pain I really did. And the connection amongst us and all the like, you can imagine when they open the gyms back up. And they, you know, everyone was locked back into the gyms here in Utah. That's the way it was. I went in there. And it was such sensory overload from a sensitive person that I had to go home. I just like, it's too much, it was heavy. And even to this day, my husband doesn't really quite understand the way that I process information, the way I feel the information, and how different things affect me. And I don't want to be that cliche that is saying like, Oh, you don't know, instead, I just am quiet. I'm a I'm usually an observer of people of actions. And it makes people uncomfortable. Because when they say, Hi, you know, data, and also they'll ask my advice, I'll say exactly. And it's almost like I know. And they're like, it makes them uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. And so I've learned to be silent with that, unless they asked me.

Camille Walker 32:58

Okay, so my sister is actually currently -well, it's been about a year now she has been taking a course about being an empath, which, and being able to talk to people about their situation, that's and it sounds like you very much are gifted in that area. And I mean, I guess there is a filter where maybe people aren't ready to hear it. And you've had to learn that, you know, to not give it all, but what a wonderful gift to be able to read people and connect with people when I feel like connection is so lost. You know, with digital age, and especially with us having been a part during the pandemic, I think that you being able to recognize that and that it is such a gift that, you know, is incredible. I think it's something you should not be ashamed of, in the least, you know.

Rachel Barker 33:47

Well, I think that that one of the things that I like, that's been hard about that is that I've never really delved into energy work, because I kind of was like, a person that's like, if you do this, you get this, if you do this, you get this, if you do this, you get this. And so I I was invited by a group of people to speak with them in energy work, and I was the only one that wasn't energy work, energy work person. I was like, literally, you know, life hard knocks. And when I shared my story with that person before the pandemic in like, I don't know what they call it, it's when you're like, their Reiki and then they're like, is it EMDR? Is that what it's called? I don't know what this Okay, so it was one of those I revealed that and it was like, forthcoming and I like I was like I had a conversation with her about it. Well, you know, as time goes on, I just was thinking like, Oh my gosh, I kind of made breakthrough. There's breakthroughs in that that I've never made before. Well As time went on, and some things kind of went sour. And like I went right to that fear. I'm like, Oh my gosh, she's gonna tell my story. Like she's going to tell somebody my story. And then my kids are going to hear it from somebody else like it. Like, you know, when you write the story in your head, you're like, why would she tell your kids like, That's silly. But in your mind, you're like, Oh my gosh, these people that like there's quite a few people that weren't in this organization that knew me that we had spoken publicly, and I panicked. And I think that like, in that little brief thing, then we went kind of into the pandemic after that, and I just was like, Oh, my gosh, I just I don't know what to do. And like, I think that that encourager, the fear is, was really one of the main factors of why I ended up share my story is like, initially, I was scared that she would share it. And I thought, you know, what, if you want to tell the story, the way the story really was, you tell the story. And so I think that that's why I did it is like initially that that would have that kind of pushed me to it, which is a really good reason. But I think that that that was the, the initial reason why I did share it. And then Courtney, then Courtney had the warrior thing. And I thought, well, here's your chance.

Camille Walker 36:04

Yeah. And it's interesting that for some years, you have had a platform, and that it took moments of silence and a little bit of a nudge. But now that you have it out there, what does that feel like?

Rachel Barker 36:18

Do you know what's what's interesting is like, I have to, like, it's almost like, I'm talking about another person. And like, because like, just like I showed emotion to you just a second ago, like that is all of this is such new stuff to me. I only, I only use a notion when like, whenever I talk to my about my dad, which is such a raw thing. I will, like, be overwhelmed. But like I don't, there's not a lot of sadness around that event. I think that like, when people come into, like, there's trauma, but I don't really have sadness, because I think that when you have sadness, there's I don't know what that like, how to articulate that emotion. But I, when I share that story, I don't have sadness, I have sadness in the actions that the other people did, like, in trying, like, you know, the person I told, like the bishop that I told or whatever, I have sadness that, like, I would never tell a little kid that and I, that's where my son is coming, like how many people went, and one they weren't believed, or two, they were told that it was their fault, you know, and that's where my sadness comes. The event brings no sadness, which I don't understand.

Camille Walker 37:27

I think Well, I mean, from the outside looking in, it sounds like you've developed a lot and you've progressed, and you can now look at it from an maybe a woman's perspective as a mother, as a grandmother, as, as an empathetic person, which you are, and you are extremely dynamic. And I love how open you are. And so that really surprised me when you said that you're that you guard yourself, I wouldn't have guessed that about you. Because upon first meeting you you're very outgoing, energetic, you, you have a very warm, like strong warmth about you. And so to be able to say no, I've, I have struggled with trusting people and knowing if I'm safe with them. And I would hope that coming out with this story and being able to really dig into that why will make it so that that frees you a bit, you know, being able to create those bonds in a different way. And I don't know, I mean, that's something it's fascinating for me to see that. And to hear that from you. Because you give so much and your empathy has been so apparent. I mean, do you have any idea of how many hundreds I mean, how many 1000s of dollars that you've raised over the years with? Oh, you are and explain a little bit about what Oh, your Oh, EUR is for those who are listening and may not know.

Rachel Barker 38:50

So all yours operation Underground Railroad. When years ago, I helped the group that that opened the abolitionist and the abolitionists was the very first movie with Tim Ballard that he explained, like he explained how they they go, and they, they help get these kids out of sex trafficking. And so it was a movie that they put out, and that Larry h Miller, that organization, they offered all of their theaters, for everybody to go see this movie, and they could buy their tickets, all of the donations went to Omar and it was an amazing movement. I watched it like progress. And it was like it was a lot of work. But it was so great to see what happened and then kind of like died over the years. And my involvement lesson just due to like, a couple personal reasons that I just kind of stepped back a little bit, but I've always been in an organization. And then during the pandemic, as you know, you see when people are trapped, and they can't go anywhere. Like you know all of these things elevate domestic violence, sex trafficking, pornography issues, like all of this, I mean, it just unleashes because people it just gets in. So the numbers were increasing. And like, there was a huge plea, and I thought, you know what this is I need to step back in for a minute, I know that we can make a difference. And so I contacted, like, I didn't know a lot of these influencers, I had no idea. They didn't know who I was. I literally just said, Hey, this is my, you know, I'm Rachel Barker. And I'm doing this ride at sweat cycle. I knew Stacy from sweat cycle from her in laws, I was her, you know, I knew her in laws. And so I just basically said, you know, this is what I'm doing. And she says, I'd love to offer my studio shop at the studio, we work together, and then with another friend of mine that does t shirts, and the logos and stuff. And we all work together. And I just reached out to these people and said, Will you help me? And the ones that like that I built relationships with? The, you know, every single one of them? Nobody told me? No. Nobody told me no. And then I filled the bikes that we could fill for that. And then what, what we did is we had to buy the shirt, so you bought the shirt. And then we just took the cost of the shirt and the rest went to Oh, you are and then what they could do and do Venmo like raise, like together. And then the same girl that did the T shirts for the UI right? was doing the T shirts for the get loud that high fitness did. And I can't remember what the number was all together. But the what they raised was nothing short of a miracle. Yeah, like I was like it, it was shocking to see like, when we went down, it was a couple months later, because I like we were cut a couple of us were quarantined for a minute. And then like so by the time we could go actually hand in the checks at the operation Underground Railroad, it would have been a couple months since we met together, me and Stacy from the sweat cycle. And the gal Her name is Andy she does men saw at t shirt company, we were able to go hand in that money. And at that time, I just it just hit me like oh my gosh, like I was able, for once in my life to say oh my gosh, you did good. You know, like I've done a lot of times, but like, I was really proud of myself, like I was really proud that we did that, like I usually don't take credit. I'm just like, I feel like sometimes I'm a worker in the mix of it. And then at the very end of the day, it's just like, and I was talking to my husband. And it was really hard because I was at a moment that a lot of people face in business. So in in business, you especially now like I feel like that women are still struggling to say, well, what's my purpose, and if I don't have a large corporation, or if I don't have this than I am nothing, and you're like, dude, you're raising these little kids, you're like, like, you got to see what you have done. But I like I can point that out for somebody else. But for me, I'm just like, you don't really have a product, you are the product. And so when you're the product, and you're not directing people, like in a pandemic, like what do I sell, you know, like, what do I sell for myself, I don't really sell anything. And so during that time, I just was really struggling and my husband was watching it, because unlike me, he was the he was has been the busiest because he runs he is advice for cells that have the people that do fr clothing fire, like fire resistant clothing. So people that are in art flashes or work on the oil rigs or anything that's going to have that kind of, but because they ran out of it in 95 masks early on in the pandemic, they they were like, desperate to get the FFR because it doesn't matter if it's fire resistant, they just needed the product for their medical workers. So he was the busiest I've ever seen him. And so here he is, and he's busy, busy, busy. And I'm just like, you know, feeling like I'm held, like useless and don't have a purpose, and what do I do and, and so I was really struggling and and then you know that, you know, a couple of the things were lifted, and we were able to do more, we're able to have that event data. And after that, like I kinda was looking at I'm having a conversation, she says, Rachel, do you realize that if they, if anybody converted what you've made into your salary, you do really well. And I was just like, I never looked at it that way. I never looked at like, the money that I'd raised. As far as purpose. You know, because people like measure success in so many different ways. They measure success in in, like all these different care like things and I feel like that I didn't ever really make a rap shirt, a rap sheet of like, the stuff that I had, like done. And I think I just equated it to money and like businesses that are thriving, and I'm like I don't have a thriving business. I literally am in the hole like if you were like judge my business the reason why you have me on your tax forms is because I'm I'm a business that loses money. And that's you know, most most people that do nonprofit, you know, and I wasn't yet a nonprofit. I just was a person Doing nonprofit events. And it just it like was seriously like, I don't what are you doing? And like, in that conversation with him, he's just like, what do you like? What would you want to do? Like, if it was ideal? What would you want to do? And I remember looking at him, I go, I want to show up, speak and leave. He goes, do you? Is that really would you be satisfied with that? Like, he just kind of called my bluff? You know, he says, Yeah, you know, he said, Really? Is that what you want to do? And I had to really take what he said to heart because he was right, you know, it's like, the stuff that you do, I feel like the all of the concepts is what every single guru teaches in business, in order to have a profitable business, you must give, if you give no service you will receive like, it's, it's like, it's one of those things that like a person could come. And their data all looks perfect. I'm just like, it looks perfect. And then you the first thing I'd asked him is like, what do you do to give back, and they like, and I know I said, I know that I can't prove it on paper. But give, give of your time, give your funds, give back to the community, because if you don't, then you'll never see what you want to see. And so the problem with me is I got really, really low. And I just was like, I'm giving, I'm giving, I'm just not seeing anything of it. You know, everybody gets there. Like, I mean, my kids get out there, like, I'm just being the best friend and nobody's my friend, you know, we've all been there. And so, but the more that I got in that area, the less that my light just completely went to shine, because it was it's, it's, it's just a state that like that no light comes there. Like it just when you say, you know, I just give, give, give, and you take take take and bla bla bla bla, that there's so much negativity that you can't, you can't see any light. And there, you know, I'm not gonna say that there's not a lot of people that if you're willing to give of your services that they're not going to take take take all day. And those have been the hard lessons for me to learn in the Instagram business. Mm hmm. I've learned that really like as far as like networking, all these like little like building blocks that people say, Well, this is what you have to do in networking. I think that like I said earlier, we were talking earlier off the camera. But I think when you do what I do, and you've done the things in the different events that I've done, people kind of misinterpret your that you are just a pro bono person that I have pro bono stuck and written across my forehead. And that like if you and I tried to figure it out, if it's just like, Is it the message I'm putting out because people are like, That must be the message you're sending people is that you're willing to work for free every single time, no matter what. And that really, really discouraged me, I got really frustrated and I didn't know what to do. I didn't have there really wasn't announcer I mean, you don't really say to somebody just say, you know, how does one kind of, you know, graduate out of the pro bono work to actually want to make money. And I don't know what it is about having shame with money. But a lot of people have shame like shame, saying, Hey, you know what, I actually would like to make some money. Instead of give all the money, I'd like to make some money. And that has been that's probably where I'm at at now. I think that that is a part for me that when I would do motivational, speaking engagements, when I talked about my dad, it was set. It was set, like the I would go into the student body officers and I'd say hey, what's your budget? And I'd say this is what I charge. They'd say, yes, it was over. Like there was no emotion involved in it. And when you start telling your story, all of a sudden, you've set this precedence that there's a lot of emotion in there. And you feel like very vulnerable and asking for what your your price would be. Yet when you go get your hair done. And when you get your nails done, never do they say Is this okay? Is this am I okay with you? Never. I've never and I never like like, argued with my nail person or my hair person if that was okay, if I paid that price, right? It just was like a non-negotiable. And I I think I've been trying to find that in my life is like what is what is a non-negotiable for me? And I'm not all the way there yet. I don't know what that is, you know, I've gotten because there's not a lot of events or there's not a lot of speaking engagements. I have done a lot of collab work, which is it's hard because people on Instagram, like one of the biggest things that they say is like, you know, what do you do and stick with that. But I'm not like that. That is so inauthentic to me because I do 1000 things. Mm hmm. All of us do 1000 things now Do I need to like hone it in. But I also feel like that if you are, you know, laid off from a corporate job, are you gonna stay home and lay in your bed until they come and knock at your door? Are you gonna hustle, doing the site things until you get the job you want? And I'm a hustler? I think that that's just, it's in my nature. Like I've worked literally worked since I was like 1313 years old. And that was not counting babysitting. I had a paid job at 13. Like I worked at this little cafe It was called Como and I like I've earned my own money. Since I was 13 years old, and so I just have this these, you know, and so I see the struggle in a lot of people where they're just out there just like what do I do? And I would be a liar. If I didn't say why. I'm still asking the question, what do you do? People ask me that all the time? What? What do you do? It's a good question. You know, it's it's like the, you have a lot of skills, but you're the master of none. I don't know what the answer. I don't know what the answer is to that. But I know that like making a difference. And having like, that's the biggest thing, like, if I was to choose a mission, is I want to provide

Camille Walker 50:38

a voice for those that don't have one. And I learned that. So let I'm going to ask you a question. And maybe I know that you said you don't know all the answers yet. But you have been motivational speaking now for years and years. And if you were to give yourself advice, or someone who's interested in taking that path of becoming a motivational speaker, what would those top three to five tips be about, you know, getting in the door to be in these incredible situations where they could share their story and how to set a price? I mean, just taking a step back, as if you were talking to me say that I was asking you that question. What would you say?

Rachel Barker 51:16

The first thing I'd say is to know your story, and to know your audience, so if when you know your story that will tell you, your audience, and when you know your audience, and you're confident in your story and how your story will benefit the audience. That is where that gets you in the door. The price is, like every speaker that I've ever talked to. I mean, I'm talking like people that I know, like, one a local one, like, Dan Clark just comes to mind just because he was a local. I remember asking him the same question. When I was like, wanting to take my dad's stuff. He said, you know, I did a lot of like, you, you do need to speak for free for a minute. You do because you're you're trying to earn the credibility, you need, you're put that on your resume. And also, this is what I would say to a lot of people know, in knowing your audience, know, if your audience is that of a spiritual nature, and not in a like I would say self improvement. I'm not saying they can't be both, but the audiences are different. I am not a fireside speaker, you would not hire me to speak at a fire site. Never does a fire hydrant, you know, a fireside speaker ever use the F word they just don't.

Camille Walker 52:34

And they vent or not, you know.

Rachel Barker 52:36

So I'm just saying. So like, I think that like, that's that that would be my first thing is like, I see a lot of people that are speaking, and they are speaking at, like, you know, church functions over and over and over and over again. And they get labeled as this church speaker. And I was never that person. I was never the fireside speaker. So I would tell them like, no, what audience Do you want to cater to, and be able to all take the any audience that's going to hear me, which is great. I love that. I love that that is your you know that your motivation. But the problem is, is that their takeaways are so different. And there's automatically this assumption, when you speak as a fire fireside speaker, it just you kind of get in that loop with different speakers that are, you know, that's your gig and this side doesn't usually hire this site. Okay, that sounds like the Nevers, but I've not really seen one transition kinda reminds me of like, when Taylor Swift made the country to hip hop, and oh, yeah, yes. So it's like, it took us like, that little bridge was just like, oh, it can be done. It just doesn't happen very often. Mm hmm.

Camille Walker 53:45

So is there anything now that you're moving forward? And you have you have your story? What is next? I'm going to put I'm going to just ask it, what do you think is next and what is it what's I know that the goal and you've said this many times is to allow others especially women to use their voice and their story? And I think that is a powerful statement and you certainly have the skills to facilitate that. So what does that look like for you?

Rachel Barker 54:15

Right now it looks like because we don't know what the future brings in trying to like basically petition event people to hire me for their event. I think that I've got to you I've got to figure out a way that I can use my message to be either duplicatable. Cheap, teachable, educational, be able to use use that in like, this is what I get asked more than anything else. How did you start planning events? Like what did you do? What do you like what is necessary? What like, What do I have to do to plan this event I want to be I want to do a retreat or I want to do an event or I'm doing this movement. What do you do? And there is there is a bullet point list of the things that you do and it's come with like after doing that 10 to 20 events, you're you've got it down, you got down, like, Hey, this is what you do first, this is what you do. Second, these are some options of people. And I think that when you build that original list of what you do and what you wouldn't do, again, that it's all trial and error, but that's what I would offer somebody that's trying to build their own events, their own movements, their own, things like that, I could tell them what I did, like what I did that I duplicated time and time again, what I left out and what like, really, now I've got it to a skeleton process of what works and what you know. And the biggest thing that people don't know about events, and they can be profitable. Most the time they're not, they're building something else that you do events, build something else that you do. So if somebody has a product and they do an event, it's usually about the product, because you are really a glorified cruise director. When you do events. Yeah, you're you're when you're at a retreat, you're worried about the plumbing or the cooking or the like you really are doing all these incidental things. You're like thinking this is not what I signed up for I signed up to be motivational, you're like, Yeah, but you know, numbers, the room number three's toilets clogged. It's just, I think that that's just part of it. And when you are like, get get it down to a science, that's when you delegate somebody to to do that. But the biggest, and the hardest part, I hate to use those extremes is getting those tickets sold. Anybody that that has done retreats or done events, you can have every single thing going and you're you're stretching to sell those tickets, it's you're selling those tickets to like literally the day before the event.

Camille Walker 56:40

So I've done a few events on and I know I'm like yes, these are all very true. So what would you say is some of the best ways that has helped you to sell tickets?

Rachel Barker 56:50

I think the first thing that the I have done is to have testimonials and build that credibility with other people that they can actually say, you know, this is what I learned like that. Like, I think it's just like you said earlier, like women have a really big problem in investing in themselves. But you have no, you have no qualms about paying your copay to go get your strep throat figured out, right? None will pay the copay. Here we are. But when you're like, hey, what I can offer, you may help you in years of being a better parent, a better friend, a better person loving yourself, blah, blah, blah, that ticket price is just one that they're like, Oh, that's just so much, so much. And time, time is a commodity, it's really hard for people to give up their time. And I'm one of those people. So if you offer me a three day retreat, I'm going to struggle, because it's really hard, especially when my husband traveled to take myself out of the equation for three days. Mm hmm.

Camille Walker 57:49

So exactly as a mom, right?

Rachel Barker 57:51

Yeah. Yeah. So I think that you're, you're asking somebody to give up that time, the retreats are huge and beneficial. But I learned really early on is what are you willing to give up for you don't ask people to do what you're not willing to do. And so that's when I kind of met, like, I kind of entertain the idea of doing day events versus the retreat. So that's when I kind of migrated out of doing retreats to doing day events, because I knew that a person could get a babysitter for X amount of time. And like, not use the excuse that my husband can't watch or this can't happen or this can't happen. It eliminates a lot of those excuses. And it gets them there. Because once I am confident in these in any type of self improvement, or any one of these of these events, once you get them in the door, they will be moved, they will make they will that you will impact them. here's the here's the the the in between that is hard for me, even with retreats is you get them in there. And you get kind of like when you go to a girls camp or you go to an outdoor experience, people feel things, they express things, they shed tears data, and they're like at the very end, they're like I am motivated, I'm going to go and do the best things ever. They get home get pushed right back into reality and nothing changes. So that is that I think that that's the biggest obstacle from doing events is what really is going to push you to make a change. And I think that that's why any I mean, even if you have like a workout program, and eating program, when you give things away for free, the people don't become vested in it at all. So they'll say Oh, he's given it and then they give up but when you put a very high sticker price in there, they're motivated to say hey, I I spend the money I've got to get the value out of this. So yeah, value you know, and so I it's not that I necessarily I'm like encouraging everybody to say, you know, make sure but you doing them for such a long time and seeing them I don't want to price it to where you are not going to get the most broken of people that really need to Be there, but I'm not going to price it also that I'm giving it away and then going in the hole at the end of the event. And that's I did that in a lot of events. One event that I did, it was a retreat. I encourage business owners or people that had employees that really they, they can nominate an employee and pay for them to come. And they, and the people that showed up to that event, like it was like a scholarship. So they, they funded the scholarship, and I got the money. So the money paid for the event and the incidentals, it went to the nonprofit situation. But then the people that came to that event, were probably unlike any other people that I ever did an event for, they were broken beyond broken, broken. You're trying to teach them skills to like, express themselves, that at at a when they have been so badly abused, or had such amazing trauma, that you're just like, I don't even know what I can offer them that would even, you know, help them. And so it scared me It scared me to offer something like that, when I did have those two people in that thing that actually were trained, you know, in like counseling or whatever. But I also know my arena, if there is something that I am not licensed for that I am not going that I will send you to an expert, I will not try to pretend that I am the expert in that field. And that has happened. And that's how I built a lot of relationships. But this particular event, we luckily had experts on there and that those two people probably worked the whole entire three days. Wow.

Camille Walker 1:01:42

That's incredible that you could facilitate something like that I just interviewed a woman yesterday, Amanda, Ducach, who just created a social app called Social Mama. And it connects women to professionals for free. So mental health professionals, doctors, coaches, and I think it's such an incredible service, because there are so many who don't have resources or know who to turn to, or have a retreat and opportunity to go to something like that and really discover their voice and create healing.

Rachel Barker 1:02:15

I agree. I agree that that's a resource that that we as a country, we see we're seeing it come tenfold right now. Yeah, there's nobody that's walking into an inner city that doesn't see a lot of mental illness, a lot of addiction and a lot of homelessness. I mean, no matter no matter the city.

Camille Walker 1:02:34

It's crazy. So for those who are listening to wrap this up, and say there's a woman listening right now who has a story, or has a trauma or has a situation that they really feel like they need to open up about or heal from or to discover that voice. What would your advice be to her?

Rachel Barker 1:02:54

The first thing I do is I'd write down your story. I'd write it all down. And then I would read it back to yourself, okay, write it down, read the story. And this was the best advice I've gotten. Read the story as if your daughter was sitting right in front of you. You leave it to her, like an almost like, feel like she's telling you your story. How would you judge your daughter, she was telling you your story. She said, I thought it was my fault. I thought I been you know, dress scandalously, or whatever the story is, you imagine your child or your daughter, especially telling you the story and your amount of empathy for yourself? And just like, Oh my gosh, how did you make it because if you were, if you heard your story, third hand, like by somebody else, and you would be so forgiving, you'd give benefit of the doubt, you'd say, Oh my gosh, you'd probably be like, amazed that you come as far as you did with the little skills and the support that you had. And that was how would you my first thing that I tell you to do write your story. And then as you read it, imagine that your daughter is telling you your story.

Camille Walker 1:04:08

As if it was her own. That's how powerful and you know, it's interesting, because when you did tell me your story, that is what I was thinking is now I mean, my perspective on so many things changed when I became a mother, and my compassion and my understanding and my, just the depths of what this life is all about. And so to be able to take that perspective and really shift and give yourself that compassion that is such an incredible tool. I love that advice.

Rachel Barker 1:04:41

Thank you.

Camille Walker 1:04:44

Well, this has been absolutely incredible. And I am just so full of gratitude that you would be willing to come and share your story. And I am

Rachel Barker 1:04:55

just

Camille Walker 1:04:56

So moved and I were I I will Want us to be able to come together and support you and your next journey. I feel like you are on the precipice of something big. I mean, to have come through this pandemic, with so much clarity and courage to share your story, I just think this is going to help so many, and where can we go to help support you?

Rachel Barker 1:05:23

You know, I, I have just I don't have a website right now I, I should create a website, I guess, you know, I'm not really, you know, I don't have those skills yet

Camille Walker 1:05:32

says, I'm going to push you to do that, because we're recording this December 3, this episode will come out probably end of January, early February, maybe by then she'll have one and if she does, I'll add it to the show notes. But for now, we can find you on Instagram. Is that right? Yes,

Rachel Barker 1:05:48

I'm on Instagram. It's dear.rach,

Camille Walker 1:05:50

Dear.rach. And we can come and rally around you there. Well, thank you so much for being here today. It has been an absolute pleasure.

Rachel Barker 1:05:59

Thanks so much for having me. I really enjoyed it.

Camille Walker 1:06:03

If you or anyone you know has experienced assault in your life, there is a 24 seven confidential hotline that you can reach out to that is rain online at 800-656-4673. This is a crisis support service available for any sexual assault or harassment where you can chat online in either English or Spanish and have the resources you need for domestic dating violence, victims of crime or other additional resources. Do not stay silent. There are people that will believe you and listen to you and give you the support and love that you need. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I will see you next week. Hey CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and then five-star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. continue the conversation on Instagram at Cami CEO podcast and remember you are the boss

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7 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Kids |Camille Walker

 

Strengthening your relationship with your kids is key to your success as both a mother and business owner.

Strengthening your relationship with your kids can at times be quite challenging. Camille spends this episode discussing ways to strengthen the bonds between you and your children! Listen to this episode as she discusses things such as making bedtime plans, spending quality time, and giving them one-on-one time. As a mother and business owner, she shares how she has found time to do things for her kids and build that special relationship with them. 

Camille, Call Me CEO, Strengthening Relationships with your kids, Time for Us Journals
Time for Us Journals, use the code CEO at checkout for 20% off!

“If we can create a safe place to fall in, to feel those emotions, it makes for an environment where our kids will give us the opportunity to see what is truly in their hearts.”

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

In this episode, we cover: 

  • Strengthening your relationship with your kids with 7 tips
  • How to find the time to spend with your kids, even when life gets busy.
  • Effectively communicating with kids of all ages.
  • Time for Us Journals, developed by Camille to create bonding moments.
  • Creating the right enviroment for kids to feel comfortable and connected.

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS POST:

Call Me CEO 7 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Kids

SPEAKERS

Camille Walker

Camille Walker 00:00

I get it. You have everything pulling at you right now. And the one that pulls at you the most is your child wanting to spend time with you, but not wanting to play another round of among us or Pokemon? Well, that's why I created the time for us journals. They are a prompt journal meant for kids ages two to 12. For you to spend time with your child on something that really matters. You talk about the day ways that they've been creative, a unique prompt, and even a special way to be creative together. And guess what, it only takes focused five to 10 minutes a day for your child to really feel like you see them and that they matter. And it frees you up to do the things that you need to get done, as well. Use the code co at time for us journals.com as a special thanks for me to you. Thank you for listening. So you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it, that handle motherhood family and still chase after those dreams? Listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know this is Call Me CEO. Welcome back everyone to Call Me CEO. I am your host, Camille Walker. And today we're talking about seven simple ways to create connection with your kids. This episode is going to be a little bit different because I am the only one that's going to be on this show. And I hope to sprinkle in motherhood podcast episodes like this, that help us really talk about the things that matter most to us, which is our kids and our family. So this is a question I get asked a lot. I've been working at home with my kids now for Gosh, it's been over 10 years. And I get asked a lot about how I managed to create connection with them when there are so many things on the to do list, and things pulling you every which way. And so I wanted to create a special episode just about this. And if you have any other questions, please feel free to DM me at Call Me CEO podcast on Instagram, or email me at [email protected] All right, so let's dive in. Number one, our car ride chats. I don't know about you. But as a mother of four, I find myself in the car a lot with my kids. And there are times that I need to turn the radio on or I need to turn a podcast on or something to keep the kids engaged. But what I found is if I allow myself to keep the car quiet, and ask my kids questions, they cannot escape. And it becomes this wonderful place a solitude area they can escape from especially have older kids that maybe don't want to talk as much if they're getting into the teen years. But in the car, it kind of becomes a magical place where you can ask and answer questions. With your children that really mean something now, in the car, things can get a little bit crazy. And so if you're wanting to really have questions that matter and connecting with your kids, it probably is best to do this when you're one on one with a child. So I can ask questions that would pertain to my 12 year old son, like how are things going with all of his new teachers where if it was with my younger son, I could ask him about his new soccer team or how my daughter's feeling about being in a new group of friends or maybe having lost a friend. In these car guide chats, you really have the opportunity to dig in deep in a moment where you don't have to create special time to have this one on one interaction. You just need to work it in. So next time you're in the car, I want to challenge you turn off the radio, turn away distractions, have them get off their tablets, or phones or whatever it might be, and ask some questions. Alright, number two. Number two is a favorite of mine because it is to remember to play. Now, this can look different for everyone depending on the ages of your kids. But for my daughter, who is now 10 to show up and play with her means she wants me to play Barbies. And I used to like playing Barbies as a kid but, you know, as a parent, it doesn't always feel like the best use of my time until I realized that it was her most important work. I think a lot of times As parents, we forget that our children's form of work outside of school is how they play. And it's also how they want to connect with you. So instead of saying, Hey, Mom, I had a rough day. Will you come spend some time with me? That question may come across as well. You can play Barbies with me. Or will you come play fortnight with me if you're my 12 year old son, and I'm horrible at fortnight and I've only done it a few times, but the times that I have, it means the world to him. For my younger sons that are ages seven, and four, they really want me to wrestle with them. They're very physical, they love to laugh and giggle and play, and the times that I take to really connect and bond with them, they have appreciated it so much. Now, when you're actually playing with a child and creating laughter, and fun, you are releasing oxytocin and endorphins simultaneously at the same time, which creates a deeper bond for you and your child. This may seem like something that can be hard to do, but I promise you, if you just take a minute and listen to what they want to do, they will lead you they will guide you, it just takes a minute to actually stop and listen to what that play looks like for them. Number three is bedtime plans, setting intention, snuggling, and a chat. Now this section is can be and it has been really hard for me. But I try really hard to fight against it is that bedtime for kids can be that witching hour, right? You're at the end of your rope, you're feeling like it's been the longest day already, maybe some days seven o'clock already feels like 10 o'clock. So if you have kids popping out of bed and always wanting to get that last squeeze of time with you, it can be frustrating. So what I've tried to do to reverse that thinking is to create intention with our bedtime. So what does that sound like? For one example, I like to go in and create a bedtime Blitz with my kids. Now this can vary depending on how many kids you have or what your time looks like. But I will do a bedtime Blitz where I will spend five to 10 minutes with each kid, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, and I let them pick what we do during that time. So for some of them, they want to snuggle in chat for some they want to read a book. For others, they might want to play a quick game or talk about their day. My son jet that's a seven-year-old, one of his favorite things to do is to ask me how my day was and then want to know what's happening for the next day. A lot of times our kids don't necessarily have the same perception of time that we do. However, I have noticed that when I've taken the time to do a preview of what's happening the next day, they have a better understanding of what's expected of them in the morning. And then what maybe what things they can look forward to during the day. So whether that's a soccer game or a dance practice or a fun family movie night, we will break it down and say okay, tell me the best things about what happened today. And let's talk about what's happening tomorrow. That way, if you need to set up clothing early in the morning, or if you need to get a bag prepped for them being spotlighted at school or home a big homework project. Hopefully you've done that before the night before. But you know, we've all been there. This gives you a chance to really recap the day and talk about things that matter. Every night at dinner, my husband and I like to do a game with our family called high low and did you know so every night at dinner, we will take a turn for each one of us to go around the table and talk about a high of the day, a low of the day. And then something that is curious or interesting that they might want to tell us it could be something they learned at school, something that happened to them that day. But this really opens up conversation and the kids have really latched on to this as a time that we bond. I know that there have been times that I've shared this idea with kids on TikTok. I actually have. I'm on TikTok at My Mommy Style if you want to follow along there, but I shared that we do this at our dinner time. And it was shocking to me. How many dozens even gosh, it was probably 26 kids that said something like you actually have family dinner like that that was such a surprising revelation. And yes, we do. We're not perfect at it. But we really try to make dinnertime meaningful and to have those questions and answers where we talk about our day. So whether that's at bedtime, or whether it's at dinner time, really take the time to talk about your day what's coming up the next day. I've noticed that when I allow my 12 year old, almost 13 year old to talk about his day after school very often he will say Oh, nothing happened or it was fine or it was good. It's just very short answers. But if I allow him to talk at night, he will talk and talk and talk. And I don't know what it is about nighttime, but hearts and mouth open. And so if you can try to prep your time so that you really have those minutes to share with your child at nighttime, because there's something that happens at night. And it can be bewitching and horrible, but it can also be magical. And if you allow for that time to exist, I find that my kids really open up and find a really sweet connection with me. Alright, so number four is one on one dates. Now, this does not have to be something extravagant. In fact, there have been times when I have turned to one on one car ride into a one on one date. But my husband and I have found that if we take time to take turns with each child and create a small date, that they really feel special. Now we have four children. And that's quite a lot. For some that here we have four. But I really feel like taking time to do something, even if it's going to the hardware store and grabbing an ice cream on the way home or taking your child to get a haircut or new shoes or something, turn it into something special. That will take that ordinary situation into something a little bit more special and call it a date. I think actually calling it a date and anticipating the date can really mean a lot. Just two days ago, my husband took our 12 year old out to get his haircut. And afterward they went to Buffalo Wild Wings. And it was such a special time for them. Because I think we put a lot of responsibility and expectation on our oldest son. And a lot of times when we go on dates, now we use him as a babysitter, which has been fantastic, let me tell you, but he also sometimes feels lost in the fray with all the little kids that are more demanding. And so taking time for that one on one really makes a difference. Number five is to welcome emotion. Kids come with big emotions, it is no doubt that they feel things just as strongly if not more so than we ourselves do. And if we can create a safe place to fall into feel those emotions it makes for an environment where our kids will give us the opportunity to see what is truly in their hearts. How do we do this, by listening. Another way to connect with your child number six, is to turn off technology. Now, this is something I'm extremely passionate about. If you want to hear more about my story, you can go to my blog at my mommy style comm where I talk about writing this screen freeze program, which was designed out of necessity you when my four year old son started seeing some really scary things about him not loving his life. And in way not, he didn't say exactly he wanted to end his life. But he basically was saying he hated his life, which was super shocking for me, because there had been no traumatic event or abuse of any kind. And I was lost in knowing what it was that had happened to my son that made him feel so desperately sad. And through a lot of study and Revelation, I found that cutting screentime in our family was the right move to get our house and our home reset on our values and also taking time to really get dig deep into what was going on in his little heart. It turned out through that discovery that we found out that he had sleep apnea, which was a really interesting discovery. I didn't know children could even have such a thing. And we also discovered that he had some sensory things going on where he needed a little more attention and ways of using his body through running and jumping and playing to really help set the equilibrium in his brain. And so through all of this, I actually developed the screen freeze program to help parents to create a better balance for their homes and for their families so that they really have a better control on the screens. You know, in today's world, we definitely have so much time with screens. And it can be really hard to get through that clutter. Connection is the way that our children feel toward us. And so often we think that kids really want to be strongly connected to us and they want to obey us but too often we let a lot of things get in the way They'll act like kids, which means their emotions will sometimes overwhelmed. They're still growing pre portal context. But when they trust and understand that we are on their side, they're more motivated to follow in lead when they can reach researchers remind us that we have five, we need to have five positive interactions for every negative interaction to keep any relationship healthy. Now, this is something that I know I have really had to positively work on, it's so easy to tell the kids what to do, or what they might not be doing right? That really taking time to praise them or to create bonding time with them takes effort. And it was because of this that I decided to create the time for us journals. Now the time for us journals are parent and child prompt journals. It's a daily interactive journal for kids ages two to 12. And these journals are really meant for you to be able to sit down with your child for five to 10 minutes, and answer questions about their day, how they're feeling, how they've been using their imagination, and then also a place for you to be creative together. And there's a daily prompt that changes each day so that you can really take time to focus in on them. I think too often, in my experience it, I find that I don't necessarily know what questions to ask. And the journal has really taken the guesswork out of it. If you're interested in purchasing a time for us journal, you can find them at time for us journals.com. And you can use the code CEO for 20% off. Number seven, is we want to welcome emotions. And listen, really listen. When a parent uses active listening, children generally feel more supported and less controlled. It's hard for parents to resist giving endless advice and lectures as they feel the huge responsibility of teaching their child. Now what is reflective listening? active listening is the same term. But reflective listening is actually when you repeat what it is your child is saying back to them. So an example of that might be like, would be something like this? Hey, Mom, I am just bummed out, I had a really bad day. And if I was doing reflective listening, I would say, sounds like you've had a hard day. Can you tell me more about that? Yeah, Johnny was going to pick me for the team. But then the bell rang, and I never got to play. Oh, man, that sounds like a really hard time you wanted to play and Johnny didn't make time for you something like that. Other examples are, it seems as if what I hear you saying, or I get a sense that now when we do reflective listening, we aren't coming up with the solution. We aren't coming up with a device, we're simply repeating back to our child what they just revealed to us. And if we fuel that conversation with things that we're hearing, our children are more likely to open up and tell us more. reflective parenting is a theory that was developed by a psycho analyst Peter Fonda, phonics, and phonics, he introduced the concept of reflective functioning, which is defined as the ability to imagine mental states in self and others. Through this capacity for reflection, we develop the ability to understand our own behavioral responses, and the responses of others as a meaningful attempt to communicate those inner most mental states. Now, what's really interesting about this research is that it's demonstrated that when a parent has this capacity, one is strengthens the parent child relationship. And two, it teaches the child how to understand and regulate their behavior. It also supports their cognitive development. So when we allow our child to talk about the things that mattered to them, and share what's happening in their day and reflect that back to them, they then will be able to develop that understanding and that communication skill for themselves when they're listening to other people. I know that one of the major stressors of my parenting moving forward has been worrying about my children, being able to communicate and develop relationships, face to face without the screen and really knowing how to communicate love and understanding and relationships that matter in friendships, and in romantic relationships. I know that that's something that as I've talked to parents, with teenagers and even young adults, that many many children have lost the ability to know how to speak face to face, they're much more comfortable texting, or Snapchatting, or sending funny memes to each other than they are sitting down and having a conversation. So where this may seem trivial to some, I think that this is one of the most important techniques that we as a parent can teach our child is how to communicate and how to listen. And we know as parents that they listen, and they learn more from what we do than what we say. So my challenge for us this week is to fill your child's cup. What does it mean to fill the cup in our family, it means that we take time for physical touch. Now, stay here with me for a minute. When we got back from the quarantine, I get well, more, I should say, when the quarantine started, my 12 year old was no longer at junior high, he was home with me all the time. And I am a very physically loving person. And I was trying to give him hugs, and it was so awkward. It was he pushed me away. She didn't want to be near me. And that's normal, especially for you know, preteen boys that they don't want their mom to be loving on them. But I promise you, I promise you, any child needs it, they need that eight to 12 second hug. And it's even suggested that we hug our child or have physical contact with them 12 times a day. So when this quarantine started, I realized it was getting kind of awkward for me to be hugging on my oldest son than it used to be than my little four year old who will jump into my lap any chance he gets. But as the quarantine went on, and I was taking a conscious effort to hug my oldest son more, I found that it became more comfortable and that he actually came and wanted to hug me too. And I think that's been one of the greatest gifts and aha moments with spending time together more as a family at home is that I was taking time to really love on my son and to hug him. And I found that as we created more physical touch like that he was willing and more able to open up about things that were happening at school and concerns that were happening, and even his crushes. And I think if you can get your 1213 year old to trust you with who they like, then you're winning, because that takes a lot of effort. For my younger son, the one that I talked about earlier, who really is more has a need for more sensory touch. He and I almost on the daily talk about how his cup is feeling. What does that mean? So if I feel that he's looking a little blue, or he's seems to be feeling down, I will go over and wrestle him and tickle him and hug him. And I'll tell them how much I love him and how great I think he is. And then I'll ask him how his cup is. And in our house, there's actually a book about it. I didn't realize this until later. And I'll I'll reference that in the show notes below. But there's a book that talks about filling up your cup, or maybe filling up your bucket, I think and it talks about love touches and the way that we can show love and care for each other in our day to day as friends and family. And so in the book, it's the idea that, you know, we can share love and understanding with each other and build upon that with each other. So I will straight out ask him how is your cup? How's it feeling? And if he's, he'll say, Oh, it's it's okay. Or, oh, it's about halfway. And then I'll take him some more in love on him some more. And I'll say how's your cup, and they'll say it's overflowing. And I love that I love that we can talk like that and that I want that communication to start young. So that hopefully as he gets older, that communication will stay open. Interacting with your child is about showing up. Just be right there. Be there and let everything else go. You won't be able to pull this off all the time. But if you make it a habit several times day you will find yourself shifting into presence more and more often. We cannot get back the time that we have with our kids right now. And I know that so many things are pulling you in so many places. But I hope that as you take from the things I've shared with you today that you can have some tactics and tools to make connecting with your child that much easier. If you would like some more resources on this topic, please check into my mommy style.com and time for us journalists.com thank you so much for tuning in. We'll see you next time. If you enjoy today's show, I would love for you to subscribe and come hang out with me over on Instagram at Callmeceopodcasts. I love it when you come over there, continue the conversation. Tell me what you love most about this episode. Thank you and I will see you next time.

- 1 -

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If you liked these 7 tips, you will love learning from Amanda Ducach who launched an app specific to helping mothers! Listen by clicking below.

Launching an app call Me CEO
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Launching an App | Amanda Ducach with Social Mama

Amanda Ducach Social Mama, Call Me CEO Launching an App

Launching an app to develop your business is a monumental step. Amanda Ducach shares how she and her husband answered the call of a worried mother to give her free resources on their app Social Mama. Amanda takes us through bringing her workforce home due to covid, building boundaries between work and family life, and finding help to achieve her goals.

Things to consider when launching an app

When launching an app, there are many things to consider. Listen to episode five as Amanda shares the things she has learned a long the way.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

In this episode, we cover: 

  • Growing an app from start-up to Forbes in two years
  • An app that brings women all over the country together to celebrate and connect through motherhood
  • Being present in the moment, while it is happening
  • Doing things that make sense, not just because you’ve always done it

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS POST:

Call Me CEO Amanda Ducach

SPEAKERS

Camille Walker, Amanda Ducach

Camille Walker 00:00

I get it. You have everything pulling at you right now. And the one that pulls at you the most is your child wanting to spend time with you, but not wanting to play another round of among us or Pokemon. Well, that's why I created the time for us journals. They are a prompt journal meant for kids ages two to 12. For you to spend time with your child on something that really matters. You talk about the day ways that they've been creative, a unique prompt and even a special way to be creative together. And guess what? It only takes focused five to 10 minutes a day for your child to really feel like you see them and that they matter. And it frees you up to do the things that you need to get done, as well. Use the code CEO at timeforusjournals.com as a special thanks for me to you. Thank you for listening.

Welcome back, everyone to Call Me CEO. I am your host, Camille Walker, and I couldn't be more excited about today's episode. We are speaking with Amanda Ducach, who has created the app social mama that connects women and mothers all over the world looking for solutions from professionals and friendships. Social Mama was released in May of 2019, has already had a 20% growth engagement month after month with 40,000 downloads, and has been featured on Forbes. Pretty incredible, right? So how did she do it? Well, let me tell you, she tells us everything from pivoting during the pandemic and now working at home with her four year old son, as well as getting venture capitalists to believe in her vision. She dishes it all let's dive in.

So you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it, that handle motherhood family and still chase after those dreams? Well, listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know this is Call Me CEO. Welcome, everyone. I am so excited because today we have Amanda Ducach here with us from Social Mama, a new app that is released to connect women all over the world and connect you with experts, teachers, advisors, advisors and friends to help you get through this life as a mother the most beautiful way you know how So Amanda, thank you so much for being here today. I am so excited to meet you.

Amanda Ducach 02:31

Me Too. I�m so excited. And congrats on the launch of the podcast. It's awesome.

Camille Walker 02:35

Thank you so much.

Amanda Ducach 02:37

So much fun. It's such a joy to be with other moms and women that understand that it's just you know, you, you need a lot of us in your circle. It's why the app exists.

Camille Walker 02:48

I agree. I feel like our missions are very similar when I was reading what you're all about talking about supporting women that are working from home or outside of the home, and how we can create an environment where you can be an amazing mother. And also do things that fill you up and also bring in income like you can do both. So you can't have that so much. And I feel like our audience is going to love everything you have to say. So let's dive in and introduce yourself. Tell us about who you are your children where you live where you grew up. Let's just dig right in.

Amanda Ducach 03:22

Yeah, so I Well, thank you for having me. And so I was born in New York City raised in Boston almost my whole life. I was born to an immigrant father from Argentina. And then as American pie of a mom as you can find. So I was really lucky growing up. Because we had two religions in the household to ethnicities, it was a really great way to grow up. Because I think I was aware at a really young age that the more people that you could collect in your life from different ways of life, different places, would really allow you to see the world in such a brighter way. And it's ironic that now I have a product that brings in literally matches women together from all over the world that you maybe wouldn't think to be friends with just because it didn't look like the girl that was sitting next to you at the lunch table when you were growing up. So I was really lucky that my upbringing allowed us to see the world and my parents were huge travelers. So we went all over the world. And it was really a great adventure growing up. So Truthfully, I had the perfect upbringing. But then I met my husband in grad school, who's actually the CTO of our app as well. He's a technologist. And we moved all over the country after we got our master's degree. And then we ended up in Houston, Texas, which is where we live now. And it's where social mama app is headquartered here in Texas. And we have one son, his name is Leo and he's four years old. And we're just, you know, love in life. And we work a lot because that's kind of the nature of having a tech startup on. So really, other than work and time with my family. That's pretty much what what we do every day. So

Camille Walker 05:02

That's wonderful. And I have a four year old right now, it is the best. I feel like they're the best age. But they're also they can be a little they test your patience, right? So I know, you know, you said you work from home. So how do you balance time with Leo and creating space where he his needs are met, but you're able to also get your work done? What are some tips that you have for that?

Amanda Ducach 05:27

Yeah, so so ironically, this is one of the most asked requests I have to speak on is about balance as if, because I own a mom app, I know more about balance, which I don't, I think it all really comes from my experiences of working mom, which is why I think you were asking, and I did not work from home before the pandemic, we actually went remote posts the pandemic. So my company is out of a startup hub in downtown Houston. So we have desks that rotate, my whole team would come in and out. Now granted, a lot of our team is remote or is all over the country. Some of them are in India, some of our developers. So we were already set up for remote work when the pandemic hit. And now, which I'm sure you can imagine, a lot of the team, especially the millennial females that are on the team really love working from home and would like us to continue. So we have made the decision as a company that we are going to stay at least 50% remote forever or as long as we can sustain it while still hitting the same KPIs but But truly, that's what ended up happening was the company was exceeding the monthly KPIs which sorry, which are key performance indicators. For anyone who's listening who's not familiar with that term. It's like the company goals. And we were still exceeding them month over month, I said to the team, you know, if this is working, if you all like this, certainly, as a mother, you have better balance, because you can throw a load of laundry in during the day, you don't have to just cook in a crock pot, because you're in your house, you can spend your lunch break, you know, prepping the pot roast, or the Tikka Masala or whatever you're making that night. So I do think that working from home is is one of the ways that I managed to balance it as it definitely has made my life a bit easier to be honest, it also adds stressors. So one of the things that we did was, we really created workspaces in the home. So my husband, who's also now working at home, and that happened to him after the pandemic. And he also is planning on keeping his job somewhat remote, for probably forever. Now, he has a dedicated area in our bedroom, we actually put another office space, and then I put an office space into the guest room. And then my son has his own space in his room. And we are fortunate enough that we do have a sitter that's with us 40 hours a week that does help because truthfully, it would be really hard to run the business and have him home. So I say I have so much empathy for all of the moms who did not have helped throughout COVID. I don't understand how you're doing it. But I'm impressed by all of you. So

Camille Walker 07:59

because I think it is that facade that so often we see or we don't really know the details of what it takes to get there even to say I have a babysitter like that alone is something that sometimes will not be shared, you know, and that.

Amanda Ducach 08:12

But it's true. Like even even for me like I have my own my own self conscious behavior. So like, she's, she's a nanny, she's been with us since he was six months old. Like he calls her as nanny. She's a part of the family. We love her. And like but like when I do interviews, I call her a babysitter because I'm always worried that people are gonna think that like, a nanny sounds pretentious, or it sounds like we have more than we'd like. So it's funny that like, but like, why aren't we just more honest about it? Like, I'm honest, that it's a privilege that I can have that but also like, we don't i don't go out and buy Gucci I have a sitter like it's a different choice that you make. So yeah, not that I can afford a ton of Gucci either. Don't get me wrong, but like, you know, it's funny how we all do that. I think it's finding those little things that allow you to maintain sanity to be able to work from home. But really, like when it comes to balance, like I always tell everybody there, there is no real work life balance. I think what it's about is being present in the moment with what you're doing in the moment. So some days, I'm not as good of a mom and other days, I'm not as good, not as good as a CEO. But what I try to do is like when I'm in company mode, I try to really hyper focus and be just focused on company mode. And then when I'm with my son, I try really hard to not look at my phone and mind you I have a platform that's living in my hand 24 seven, so I'm not distracted by email or Instagram or push notifications, I'm distracted by my own product that's living where women are talking and I could be getting constant feedback. So it is hard sometimes but I think it's about staying in the moment when you're in the moment so and and letting go with a mom guilt. Oh, my God, we have to stop getting like, let go of the guilt. Like it's okay. If you weren't the best mom. It's okay. If you weren't the best boss or the best sister that day. Just do the best that you can keep your sanity, because it's hard. It's hard. It is. And I love that you say that about being present in the moment. Because truly, that's where we can, if we're investing our whole self in that moment, that will make up the difference when we do need to take some time away and focus on the business, which I think is really, I totally get that life of having the business right in your hand. And it's a constant.

Camille Walker 10:23

I mean, with social media today, even if you're not running a business that way, which I have been for years, it is it's really easy to get distracted or to want to even zone out for a minute. So

Amanda Ducach 10:36

especially with push notifications, like I mean, don't get that as an influencer. And I get that as an app owner, Push Notifications are meant to drive you into a product when you're not in there. So yeah, psychologically, they exist in this world to pull us in when we're not there. So it's so important that we just, you know, keep in mind and what we do on Saturdays, it's super simple. But on Saturdays, my husband puts the airplane mode, it's not your plan, it's like Do Not Disturb. It's that little moon that's in the settings of iPhone, I don't even know what it is to be honest. But he puts that on Saturdays until 4pm. So Saturdays, like I, I'm very hard to reach on a Saturday because that is our day to just be a family. And until 4pm, we don't really exist on Saturdays.

Camille Walker 11:17

Good. I love that. That's a hard, fast rule. And I think that's what it comes down to a lot of times is deciding what those hard, fast rules are for you, and setting those boundaries because that will then free you up to be more present where you say, No, I have that dedicated time. And I'm here to focus. So that 100% advice. I also love that you said that you allow yourself to have a babysitter and to use access to resources that are available to you and to not feel guilty about that. And that you worked it out so that you have your zones you have your time. It sounds like they asked you for a reason why you have a balance because it sounds like you've worked out some systems that work.

Amanda Ducach 11:58

Yeah, we've we've worked really hard to make it work, we were lucky enough that we had a small company before we started the tech startup. So I think we were able to build up a little bit slower because we had a smaller company before but but truly like, it's about weighing out your options. And we talked about this on the app a lot with moms that especially during COVID that can't afford full time sitters, and we're by no means super wealthy people, it's just we know that having a sitter is incredibly important to our family nucleolus working well. So it's one of the things that we we do and then we don't eat out as much or whatever else. But one thing we talked about is like you can be creative to help you find that balance. Like maybe it's that your husband, if you have a partner, maybe they get somewhat of an alternate schedule, and then you block your time, maybe you find a neighbor who can be in your little in your COVID pod. And on Monday, she has both kids and then on Tuesday, you have both kids. So there is a lot of creative ways you can do it, you just have to really take a step back and try to figure it out. And also shed shed this stuff that you're doing that you just don't need to do. It's amazing the things that we do week after week that we just keep doing because we've been doing them where they're not really adding anymore, or they just don't need to be done. And that's just you know, that's in motherhood in general, not just in work. I think we do

Camille Walker 13:15

have some examples of that for you that you I really, yeah, no, I those are the things I love to hear. Because I think I can see you're thinking of something specific. So what is that?

Amanda Ducach 13:27

Well, like so. So my husband grew up in India, and he grew up in a family that showered every morning and every evening. Like that's what they they didn't get in or out of the bed if they were not super, super clean. And that's very important. Like we believe in hygiene. But we were giving our son a bath every morning and every evening. And it took it was a lot of time. It was like two hours. And finally we sat down together. And I was like do we really need to do a bath twice a day for a two year old that's staying in the house, like during a pandemic This is that it just doesn't make sense. So those kind of things. And then I really, I really love to cook and we believe in healthy eating, and I enjoy cooking. But I definitely learned that I can cut down the meals from a prep perspective, like there is a lot of things that exist that are not highly processed that I could make my cooking time instead of an hour and a half, like 20 or 30 minutes every day. And that's been a big savings for me with time as well. Both of those things.

Camille Walker 14:27

Oh, I love that. Isn't that interesting? I had never heard of that cultural practice before of the morning and evening bath. I think I used to bathe my firstborn way more than I did my younger children. I have four children. And let me tell you I some days I'm like, oh has it? Are we getting closer to a week truly like that? It's so embarrassing to say. But I think that's normal. Yeah. And I think it just you know, but looking at those things and saying, Okay, what are some things that we can do to cut out extra so that's what that's

Amanda Ducach 14:59

non negotiable. like brushing your teeth has to happen every day or you, you at least want to make the intention to like, let your kids know that something that we know needs to be a daily practice. Like if we've been hanging out in the house all day and it's raining and nobody really was out like, do we really need a shower chair? Could we wait till tomorrow morning and get in that last 20 minutes of a family movie together? instead of stopping to go take a shower? What's more important, the family unit time or finishing up? You know, work deadline? Or is it getting in that extra shower that could happen at 6am the next day? So it's knowing the difference, I think between those non negotiables. And those things we just do out of habit. It's so funny how we do things like that.

Camille Walker 15:37

Yes, thank you so much for sharing that. I really appreciate that the non negotiables. So let's talk about your app a little bit. You had mentioned that you had a business beforehand. Did that feed into starting the app that you have now? Or was that totally different? What How did that come to pass?

Amanda Ducach 15:53

Yeah, so it it's actually still in existence. It's I call it a mom and pop I probably shouldn't, because we've worked with enterprise level companies. But But really, it is a mom and pop. It's a small organization. And it's a technology consulting firm. So we we just help enterprise level companies fulfill technical projects that they don't have in house talent for, it's called edge tech. It's small, it's mainly my husband and I and a couple other people that run it together. So it's still in existence. It's kind of like one of those well oiled machines that runs itself with within reason, of course, there's still a lot of administration, things that need to happen. But I think it helped because we learn to, to really live in risk. I tell people all the time that I think the only difference between an entrepreneur, and somebody that just has a good idea is that you're willing to focus on that one idea and live in risk. Like it's really either you're willing to mitigate the risk or you're not like and it tends to be two different camps of people. And I think we got used to living in those highs and lows of entrepreneurship, like in the morning, you're so high, and in the evening, you're so low, and then the next day, you're high again, like it's this crazy roller coaster. And really, it's what shocked me the most about entrepreneurship with the first organization or, you know, the second wall was social Mama. So it's it prepped us to believe in the project and stay hyper focused on the project and to go through those moments of risk and hope that you have success in the end. And and they don't all succeed. But I think we all leave with learning lessons that will prepare us to get to the next phase so that it is risky. So if you have if you have bills, and you have no other way to make income, like you have to be creative, don't just go quit your full time gig if you don't have a plan and process because it is risky. And it takes much longer than you normally think and not all businesses make sense for you know, raising outside capital. So I mean, you really have to get those those ducks in a row before I think you make the decision of can you handle the risk or not? So

Camille Walker 18:00

that there was a lot of good advice packed into what you just said, What do you think was one of your best lessons learned from the biggest mistake with your first business that you took into this one.

Amanda Ducach 18:12

So we and I've publicly talked about this before, I'm sure my my lawyer hates me. But we actually went through a lawsuit with the first company. And it was because we like my truly my and I don't say this to to make us sound like good people. But we really do believe in the in a moral compass of you do to others what you want back to you in life. So but sometimes, as a business owner, you can't do that. Like you can't just trust people, because you want to do what you think in your gut is the right thing, because the company has to be protected, the employees have to be protected. And truly, we were trying to help somebody that needed the help. And we helped her and it put the company in a little bit of risk. And we ended up going through a small lawsuit in the end. But it was an incredible learning lesson that there's some risk, I think that you can take in your personal life in your personal relationships that you can't do with a business because there's because you're you're protecting an entire ship of people, not just yourself when you have a business. And it's important to keep that in mind. And I do think that everything from going through the legal process to learning about you know, what is that line of when you can help somebody we have to say, okay, like we can't cross this line to help you even though it's morally the right thing to do, we have to take a step back and find another way to help you if that makes sense. And I do think like we learned so much during that process that really will help protect a company that's going to be at scale, hopefully, you know, with millions and millions of users and 1000s and 1000s of employees one day where a mistake at that, at that size would be a much bigger mistake than when it was just my husband and I were two employees. It was such a small thing then. So it was just a big learning lesson for me around you know, when helping people can put yourself at risk. When you need to draw that line, and that's it, it's tough to learn that. But that's I tell people time that that's what my 20s were for learning more when to trust people learning more when to help people, you know, like learning where to where to mitigate risk, I guess is really the theory just where to mitigate risk?

Camille Walker 20:18

Yes. Okay. I think that is fantastic advice. What would you say, for getting a lawyer involved? When do you think is a good time to start to get legal help and advice and all of the things

Amanda Ducach 20:32

right away, truthfully, but but here's the thing we go has lots of different payment structures. There's lots of different types of lawyers, there's lots of different stages, when you need lawyers and different types of lawyers, you have to be really, really smart about the payment agreement between you and a lawyer. I've had several for both companies for different things, like patent lawyers are different from startup lawyers, which are different from I've never had a prosecution lawyer. But of course, you know, we all know prosecution lawyers are different. So I think it's more about you understanding, what kind of lawyer Do I need right now? Is this something I can get free advice around? Or is it something that doesn't offer free advice, and then really making sure you work with the lawyer upfront around that payment structure, because you want all that in writing ahead of time, because lawyers are notorious for hitting you after with bills that are, you know, 345 $800 an hour, and you can get all that kind of figured out ahead of time. And really, I had to learn that the hard way to I definitely got some bills, we didn't expect to figure that out. So

Camille Walker 21:33

my husband actually works at a law firm. He's not a lawyer, he's an executive over a law firm, and there's so much about it, I did not understand or realize, and I think even trademarking and knowing to do that and, you know, look, taking the channels, it's good to start with it in mind when you're starting out. But I love that you say, to really get it nailed down what the cost will be, because it's like medical bills. It's like you think it's done? And then No, you have a surprise waiting for

Amanda Ducach 22:01

you. So you can have a surprise with the bill. But also, you can have the reverse of that, where if you didn't bring on a lawyer, the problems you could have in the end weren't worth the savings of not having a lawyer. So things like, should I be an LLC, or a C Corp? Should we patent this or not? Those are decisions that you can go to the internet for free advice. There's like Legal Zoom and stuff, you can get great lawyers that are a lot more cost effective, depending on what you need. But but I do think it's important that like, you don't just make those decisions willy nilly. The other thing is like, a lot, especially if you're in technology, there's a lot of technology startup hubs, there's accelerators, incubators, like trying to see what's out there that can give you a mentorship circle, because there's definitely lawyer mentors as well, that will help you through that. But like definitely things like if you need to change from an LLC into a C Corp like that's, that's a lot of paperwork, in the aftermath that it would have been worth, you know, paying the 350, to have a lawyer consult you on what kind of corporate structure Do I need for what I envisioned my business to be in 10 2030 years? So do a lot of googling, figure out what you need and find a free lawyer mentor to help you figure that out? I'm sure you can find one if you search hard enough.

Camille Walker 23:11

I love that. So would you say, I think what you're saying is the message of starting with the end in mind, and having a map of where you want to end up so that you put your pieces together the foundation the right way?

Amanda Ducach 23:25

Well, especially if you're a CEO, that's going to be starting a company, whether whether it's a lifestyle business, or a scalable company, so whether it's like a small retail, you know, pop up that you want in just one city, which should be considered like a smaller lifestyle business, or whether you're looking to build scalable tech, I think that you need to decide on day one, you need to figure out your What if like, what if we were all over the world? Do I want it to be all over the world? How would that change my family life? How would that change? You know, the legal liabilities? Like you need to really take a step back and build that what if and see what you want your company to be in 20 years? And is that what you want to build? Is that what you want for your life? And then you can start to look at is the market saturated or not? Is this a real problem? Is this a lifestyle versus a scalable company? Does this need outside funding? Or can it just be you know, self funded, bootstrapped or just live on its own revenue? That's when you can really sit back and start to build things like the financial model and look into the lawyers. But in the beginning, it's really the the what if? And is this what you want to build in your life? Because the one thing I can tell you no matter what is that this will not be a six month project, and I think a lot of people start their own companies and organizations really thinking like this is going to be such hard work. But in a couple of years I'm going to be there but you're probably not like most things take 1020 years like the Airbnb s of the world, the Ubers of the world, which you know, those are all tech scalable things. They all took 20 You know, 1020 years before we all knew their name. So remember the seven to 10 years before we knew their name, like they were doing stuff, and none of us knew they were there. Like, it was not a one year process. So

Camille Walker 25:11

I love that that is such a good perspective. Because I think a lot of times, it's more about the marathon mindset, you know, to really put in the consistent daily grind. And is it? Is it worth it? You know? Are you ready to take that on? So with Social Mama, what was your vision? And how did you get how did you get to that place of knowing that that was your vision, this is what you wanted, and tell us more about how it works.

Amanda Ducach 25:35

So we, it wasn't something and it's amazing, I think the the people that go to school for entrepreneurship, and they're always looking for their big idea, and they know that like this is what they want. And in the industry, that's great, but that that was not what it was for my husband and I at all like our other company was doing. Well, he was he was a technologist. It was a logical thing. He was a contractor himself, and he decided he wanted to have his own company. So we could contractor himself and he was doing well. And I had a really great job in luxury hotels and sales and marketing. But really like we got a phone call in the middle of the night. And it was our best friend who was hysterically crying in an emergency room sitting next to her child who received a new medical diagnosis. And she really needed support and friendship. And we just had the idea that if we could just match her with moms that were compatible, that it could really help save her life like helps save her mental sanity. So we knew it was a thing. I was like, I have no interest in doing this to my husband. I was like what like we'd love our lives. Like, I don't want to go on like a Facebook or a Bumble like that sounds like a nightmare. Like Mark Zuckerberg is constantly with Congress like Whitney Bumbles, always fighting for rights. And I was like, This isn't what I want. But then when I looked into the market, and when I learned that so many moms need this, that you know that seven out of 10 moms feel friendless that 85% feel unsupported, and that the market wasn't saturated. I just looked at him, I said fine. What we'll do this and really, we spent the next year doing that, what if we literally had these massive, massive maps that were like, our beginning idea of match, you know, a mom that was compatible with another mom? And then and then there was these spider webs this brain map that went off of like, well, what if we connected them with postpartum pregnancy products? And then what if we worked with hospitals that connected them with mental therapists? And what if we end it was this massive? What if, and we started to realize that like, this is not just a friendship matchmaking app, women would come in for friendship, but they would stay for the support. And when we realized that, to solve the loneliness, we needed both the idea was a lot bigger than we thought it was. And then basically, I figured out, okay, this is probably going to be scalable, it's not a saturated market, it's a real problem, we're gonna need outside funding to be able to compete in technology, then we knew we had to be a C Corp, we knew we needed a lawyer. So then like, that's kind of when everything started to fall in. But we needed to do that big What if like, and still to this day, it pivots and it changes. So every day we have changes, but really, the missions, the same the visions, the same. And I know that in 20 years, we're going to land where I knew we would three years ago, because we follow that Northstar, and we keep that in hyper focus. And we make sure that we use insight technology to deliver that mission to women. And as long as we do that, and we get the funding, which is a whole nother thing, which of course is you know, like my second job getting funding for the company, and we stay true to it. So I think it's really about the what if Is it a real problem. And then Is this the life that you want, because it's very different, you know, to start a small daycare in your house versus creating the next, you know, Uber, or Airbnb or whatever it is that your dream is, they're just different life paths. I mean, I'm consciously not having a second child, because my company is so demanding, then I know that I would be not focused enough on the second child. But that's a big decision. I made that decision years ago, like, I knew three years ago that I probably wouldn't be able to have children during hypergrowth, you know, during the first five years of the company, so it's a big deal to make that decision. Like, do you want your first child to not have a sibling till he's eight or nine years old? Like that's, that's a big fat family dynamic. So you have to sit down and have those conversations when you're ideating. And that doesn't sound like you should but really, you need to, especially if you're a mom, because what you do as a mom impacts the family in such a in just such a great way that it's not just you, it's your kids, it's your husband, it's your you know, your mother, it's everybody. Moms take care of everything, they spend all the money and they take care of everyone so it's different.

Camille Walker 29:39

It's true, man I love that that you had a physical map work and you went after it and you're doing this so tell me where we are. You said three years ago So was that first one you had the idea? And then now you've you have achieved the funding or you're still working towards that or were you in that process?

Amanda Ducach 29:56

So fundings ever evolving. Um, so it's a constant fundraise. Seeing effort will be fundraising for years and years, we've raised a friends and family round and a pre seed. And then we are now in the middle of our seed round. And it's really exciting. We've been able to fulfill all of our rounds, which is such a blessing. It's very hard to raise money, especially when you I mean, statistically, we know this, especially when you're a female, especially when you're a mom. And it's just more difficult. I mean, I've investors that tell me, you know, you should go find investors who are moms, well, that would be less than 1% of total investors in the world. So just statistically, I can't do that. But But it's interesting that people still think that that's an option. So you definitely have to fight through it. But funding is great. It's like a game. It's very, it's up and down. Like it's very overwhelming. That's exciting. But not every company makes sense for venture capital money. So you really have to understand, do you meet these qualifications before you understand if, if venture capital money or Angel money is the right thing for you, there's also there's loans, there's credit cards, there's bootstrapping, where you make your money. So you really have to figure out does your company projection, or even like makeup projection, because a lot of the times when you're raising capital, you don't even have revenue yet. So you have to determine that. So that's where we are in the fundraising process with the actual app about three years ago, we started ideating it so we had the idea, we got that phone call from my best friend in the hospital. And then it was a year and a half ago that we released the minimal viable product. So you can download the app totally for free on the App Store, Google Play. And today, you can come on the app, and you can find women in your area to meet up with and to chat with, you can do all that on the app. And then you also can chat globally, with women. And we have over 50, licensed experts, OB/GYN, pediatricians, mental health therapists, that all live on the app that facilitate a lot of these conversations and add to the community. And then most importantly, ensure that everything shared is is non judgmental, no mom shaming, scientifically evidence. So it's a really special community because you don't just come to find a mom, friend, you come for support. So it's an incredible ecosystem. And we do we have downloads all over the world now.

Camille Walker 32:12

So Oh, it's brilliant. So tell me how does it work with these experts that you have? Are they considered employees of yours? Or is it you set up contract work between the mothers and the professionals? Or how does that work?

Amanda Ducach 32:25

Yeah, so so it's actually neither they operate as like ambassadors on the app, of course, they sign NDA and you know, legal paperwork, a lot of that there is some liability, paperwork that has to be done. But we are not HIPAA compliant, we are not a medical product. We made that choice for lots of different reasons, which would be a whole nother podcast on its own. Yeah. But really, the experts exist on the app to help women but their motivation is that they really believe that there needs to be an ecosystem in this world that connects experts and moms together. So there is no mom shaming so that things that are shared our scientifically evidence so that we're supporting each other in a rosy and supportive way, not in a negative and mom shaming way, which is how a lot of the internet unfortunately works today. So yes, they're they're really just incredibly qualified ambassadors. And the coolest part is like, these women are amazing, like they are, these are Harvard graduates. These are women that are chiefs of their departments. These are women that have patents that have massive influencing you know, followings on Instagram and YouTube that, I mean, one of our experts has her own fertility methodology that's positively incredible. Like I, I'm still so humbled and amazed that these incredible experts are just sitting in our app completely for free to help women. But truthfully, the majority of moms really need the help, and most of them can't afford it, they really need a mom ecosystem to be able to get that help from so we are, we're really proud that we're able to fulfill that for so many of the women in our community.

Camille Walker 33:59

This is such an incredible resource. I went and looked at some of the experts and I am shocked that they do it for free, because their credentials are enormous, like they really are really impressive. So that is shocking to me, and what a wonderful service and way to serve mothers all over the world. That is really amazing.

Amanda Ducach 34:19

Thank you. Well, and I honestly and I appreciate women like yourself, too, that have an influence circle, just with moms, because it is important that we're all sharing this resource because like this resource is free. And we keep it free because we know that the majority of the women that need the support side of it really can't afford it, it would really be difficult for them. So I think it's important that as women and especially as influences, which which I know women like you do, because I follow you that we're sharing products that we believe in that we're sharing products that will help each other because women are 90% more likely to adopt a product or buy something if a woman that they trust recommends it so it's simple. poured in that we're sharing the stuff that we believe will help each other just just more as moms and women, we need to do a better job of that. I think so.

Camille Walker 35:08

Yeah. I mean, we are like you said, a lot of times the decision makers, the ones actually purchasing and making decisions for the home. And it's the nucleus really is when

Amanda Ducach 35:18

mothers are. So it's amazing. To me, they're so powerful when they are moms are the most powerful purchasing group that exists. And honestly, they're fairly ignored. It's, it's really, it's an amazing, statistically, it's really amazing how the world somehow is still doing that. But it's changing. Thank goodness.

Camille Walker 35:37

Thank goodness, that's actually what this is all about. So I am like, yes. So when you said, if we can circle back, if you don't mind, you talked about venture capitalists who were saying, well, you need to find moms to invest, how did you turn their nose into yeses, so that you were able to get that investing from venture capitalism. So

Amanda Ducach 35:59

I'm just I'm just trying to think of who actually did go on to our capital table, who was able to really turn around so like, it's, you know, it's interesting. So working with, I have found that working with angels is very different from venture capital funds, because angels are independent people that tend to be wealthy, I mean, this the system is, is definitely full of some disparities on its own, where like, you have to have a certain amount of wealth, and it cannot include your home, which is interesting, a certain amount of wealth to be considered accredited and be able to even make an investment of this type. So not everyone's able to just make it unfortunately, hopefully, there will be some legal changes with that, which will allow, you know, wealth to expand outside of the typical circle. So I'm actually a huge advocate for that. But so angels are independently wealthy people that typically on their own, make decisions on who they want to invest to, and they have their own thesis, they kind of go more with their gut. So it's very different talking with an angel, because an angel, I have a bit more of an opportunity to be like, Well, let me explain to you why you should invest in this, let me explain to you how much I know the data, let me show you how profitable this company is going to be. So I just go back to the data like, look at my growth numbers, look at my engagement numbers, look at the financial projections, look at the fact that these 50, licensed experts have joined us for nothing other than they believe in this in this, this, this mission like that. That's proof of why this needs to exist. So you have a little bit more leeway with angels. With venture capital firms, it's a little bit harder, because they all have like investment thesis is that are very stringent normally. So it's like we only invest in this stage, this type of company, this type of whatever. So it's a little bit harder when you work with a VC to try to change their mind. Because a lot of the times, they're kind of stuck in their belief system. And I'm not saying whether it's right or wrong. But a lot of the times we're just not a portfolio fit for them or honestly, personality wise, we're not a fit. Because like, I mean, I have, I have been very lucky in my life, I'm very aware of my privilege that I really haven't felt a lot of traditional bias as a person just because my skin is white, right? Like I mean, I have those forms of privilege. But it's been really interesting raising capital with a mom company, the first time in my life that I frequently can predict the bias when I walked in the room, and it comes out. It really does. It's been so interesting to be a part of this project. Because of the things like well, you know, your app talks about too many things that are gross. I mean, like, bleeding nipples are not gross to women who breastfeed like that's what

Camille Walker 38:38

yeah, that's reality.

Amanda Ducach 38:40

That's right, exactly. And on this platform, when it's all females, and when you have experts, it's the place to talk about vaginal discharge, like, yeah, it's not gross to any of us. And we all know how to unfollow somebody like, you can also not see that on the app if you don't want to see that for some reason. But so those are the kind of conferences that I have is like, you should go find a mom to invest well, less than 2% of venture capitalists are female. And trust me, very few of them are mothers on top of that. So like we things like what does this app really need to exist in the world? None of my mom and you know, none of my female friends are depressed Well, just because they're not telling you that they have postpartum doesn't like we know what the stats are. So none of it's intentional. Everybody I talked to in general is a wonderful person who's doing their best to take their personal capital and invested in very risky organizations. So I love what they do. And it's incredible that they exist. But I do think sometimes they're not aware of the bias that they have that they really invest only in companies that they're interested in. That's great. But when the majority of people that are in the VC world when 98% of them are male, well, if every if all the dollars only go to organizations that they're interested in organizations, they understand, obviously, there's going to be not a great distribution of wealth when it comes to female founders. Right? So I think it's important that we just keep that in mind and that we just, you know, try to look at things differently sometimes and try to point those things out to them. And that's what I try to do. I try to point out that like, Yes, I get that you wouldn't use this product, but go home, and I've done this before, I want you to go home, and I want you to call 10 women who are mothers, and I want them like, I want you to explain to them what our product is, and see if they need it. And then they'll come back to like, Oh, my God, eight of them told me that they would join today. So I'm interested, you know, in seeing your terms, so I'm like, Okay, great. Yeah. So it's not ideal that I have to tell them to do that. But hey, if that's what gets the cookie to crumble, I'll, I'll take it so

Camille Walker 40:38

well, yeah, I mean, what a good idea to say, Well, have you ever asked a woman? Or have you ever asked a mother, you know, those questions that just don't wouldn't even cross their mind? Have you involved your husband at all in that pitching? And has that affected it at all? Yeah, so we so

Amanda Ducach 40:58

my husband's pitched with me a couple times, we've definitely spoken before, together, like we've done panel talks, those kind of things together, especially because really, he's such he's such a brilliant technical mind that he can answer questions and go into things with technologists that I couldn't even you know, even begin to do, I would butcher it so bad, but, but in general, I think I really try to do it on my own, because truthfully, I'm the best one at the pitch. And I'm the one that knows the business the best. And he's highly involved. He's the CTO, he's, he's on the board, he's one of the majority owners like he is, it's not like he's sitting on the sidelines. But really, if you don't want to hear from me, then you're not going to want to invest in us because this company is, it is like, it's me. And if we can't get along, or if you can't really get on board with me, it's going to be hard, really, for you to be a part of the company. But But one thing that has been beautiful, is when I have other team members pitch for me, or if they pitch with me, I learned from them every time like, you know, the way that they pitch is different. So I adopted into my pitch, or, you know, it's always interesting to see how they explain things. Because some of them like my God, like they're explaining it so much better than me. Like, sometimes I'm so knee deep into the trenches that you don't realize when you're you're not explaining things well, like, like what I was talking before. And when I said KPIs, if that's if you're in this world, that's so simple of a term. But if you're not in this world that's so foreign. And sometimes you forget, you know, it's that lingo that you just get used to day after day. So yes,

Camille Walker 42:25

and I think when you're so close to a project, sometimes you get so in the weeds that a bird's eye view of saying, This is what it does, this is who it serves, and how, and you're like, oh, why couldn't I just said that, but you're so in it, that a lot of times, it's getting that other perspective that really helps to, to sell the product and to share what it is. So I think that's why as women sharing each other's message and voice is so powerful, because we can help share that from our own perspective, which helps create a greater whole,

Amanda Ducach 42:54

it's, it's always it's about keeping your ego in check and always listening. For me, in particular, like you said, the women around me like, the feedback they give on the actual product is life changing to the product, the feedback they give on the pitch is life changing to the investing the feed that they the feedback that my employees give to me on how I'm a leader is life changing. Like, if you just if you just shut up and stop thinking that you know everything and just listen to the people around you. It is amazing how your own growth can just accelerate. And I just think a lot of the times, leaders don't do the best job of that, I have to say.

Camille Walker 43:33

But you have characteristics that push it forward. So yeah, it's amazing. This has been so interesting to me, I could talk to you forever. I just thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey with us. And how can people find you and really dig deep in social Mama, what would be where would Where can we find you? Yeah, so

Amanda Ducach 43:58

so for the actual app, it's Social Mama Ma-Ma. And you can find us Social Mama on Google Play or the App Store totally for free. We have Instagram and Facebook and all of that like company pages. But really, for myself, the spelling of my last name is DUCACH it's a very rare name. So you can find me on everything from LinkedIn to Instagram with my last name. I'm sure that if you type it in, and you'll find me and I'm happy to help in any way, just please reach out to me and I'm here to help so

Camille Walker 44:29

well, I can tell that I mean, you're an open book. And you have taught me so much today. I'm just it's been such a pleasure to talk to you.

Amanda Ducach 44:37

Thank you, you too. And congrats again on the podcast, all the new ventures and really like being a mom of four and doing what you do. It's incredible. It's not an easy task. And we tell people all the time on the app, you do not have to lose your identity as a mom like you can do it. You just gotta find that that balance to make it work. So congrats to you for standing up for all the moms and doing your thing.

Camille Walker 44:58

Thank you Appreciate that. All right. Well until next episode, we'll check in with you then. Thank you for listening today.

Hey CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and then five star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. continue the conversation on Instagram at calmly CEO podcast and remember you are the boss

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Aside from launching an app, other women have created new products. Listen to Teri Tkachuk from last weeks episode here!

Camille Call Me CEO Stellar Girl
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Inventing & Launching a Product with Teri Tkachuk | Stellar Girl

Call Me CEO Teri Tkachuk Stellar Girl Inventing and launching a new product
 

Teri Tkachuk has a stellar mindset with the inventing and launching of a new product, glitter lotion. Teri has worked hard to understand the realms of the business world all while balancing motherhood! Her tips on launching a new product are key to the success of mothers and their businesses!

Where do I start with inventing and launching a new product?

Teri Tkachuk gives us some ‘stellar’ insight in this next episode. As a full-time mother of four, she has worked hard to create and sell a product! In this podcast she covers the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people, making family time a priority, and becoming the best version of yourself!

Having the Stellar mindset

To be a mother and become a CEO requires a certain mindset. In this episode Teri talks about her stellar mindset that allows her to think positively and never give up.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

In this episode, we cover: 

  • how to use a brand to empower women of all ages
  • how to launch your brand successfully
  • using a publicist and the benefits of having one
  • celebrating and making a connection with women of all cultures

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS POST:

[Music]

Welcome back everyone to episode four of Call Me CEO. I am your host�Camille�Walker. And I'm so excited about today's episode. If you've ever had an idea or a creation or invention in your mind that you are so passionate about, but you're not quite sure how to get that product to market. You're going to love today's episode with Teri, from Stellar Girl who shares a story about how she created an at-home glitter lotion that got so much attention she decided to make a business of her own. What I really love about this Stellar Girl brand is that it is all about female empowerment of any age, anywhere across the world, and that you have a voice and an inner shine that is available to everyone and everyone's voice is different and everyone's voice sounds different. And that is exactly how it should be. So, if you're thinking about something unique, something that you want to share, go after that, let's listen to how Teri went after her dream.�

So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business, sharing your voice. How do women do it, that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week, as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.�

Camille Walker:�All right, welcome to the show. I am so, so excited to have Teri [01:28�inaudible] here with us today.�Did I say it right that time?�

Teri:�You said it perfectly.�

Camille Walker:�That is a major win. We are already off to a great start.�It is such an honor to meet you. I love meeting new women entrepreneurs that are chasing after their dreams and making things happen. And I can't wait for our audience to get to know you. Please tell us more about what you do and the business that you started.�

Teri:�Oh, well, thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to meet you as well, and I�ve followed your blog. It's just so, it's very inspiring to me as a mom of four. But I would love to talk to you about Stellar Girl, which is why we are here in this movement. That is just, it's so close to my heart and it's full of positivity and love and joy and hope and laughter. And when we started this movement and this community, we really wanted to bring together all women, all girls, and really make a safe place for having Stellar mindset, having a, you know, get up and get it done. Have some grit. Let's really focus on ourselves, but also each other and support and elevate and uplift each other. And we should all be celebrating extraordinary women. And I think there is a little bit of a void in that in today's culture.�

Camille Walker:�Yes. I love everything that you just said. I think that that is a banner. I hold up every single word that you just said and just celebrating our uniqueness and going after it. And so how did, take us down the steps of how this came to be a lotion. Now you see, I actually have it sitting on my little [03:13�inaudible]�there. What's so fun is I put it on today and for those of you listening and you can't see it, it's a bottle of lotion that actually is a sparkle lotion. It's a glimmer lotion and she can describe it a little better than I can. But when I put it on today, my four-year-old said, mom, you have sprinklers on your skin.�

Teri:�I love that.�

Camille Walker:�Instead of sprinkles, sprinklers. So, I thought that was pretty cute.

Teri: Well. The kids, exactly a little sparkle, sprinklers, I�ll take it all. So how was it started? I kind of had to do it yourself routine for years. For about 10 years, I had, you know, you started off with your base, whatever lotion you used. Then I added some shimmer, which was like iron oxide basically, which is kind of like a sparkly powder. And then I added like glitter flex on top. And I wore it every day because it made me happy and smile and not because for others, but because I loved putting it on. And that was just kind of part of what I wore. So, over the years and over all of my travels everywhere I went, girls would stop and say, oh my gosh, like where did you get your lotion? Like, is it this brand? Is it that brand? And I'm like, no, it's like this kind of mixture. Why don't you make it? So we went on this journey and found, eventually found this cosmeceutical company out in Illinois that I met with in that my co-founder and I met with, and we met chemists and after 40 samples going back and forth we finally created the perfect lotion and bottled it. And it's like a celebration for your skin. I call it body jewelry, body bling. I wear it every day. Lots of girls would wear it, maybe just for prom or their wedding or a special occasion. But it just, it does, it makes me happy putting it on. So, I'm really glad you love it too.

Camille Walker: Yeah, it's really, I was really surprised by how fine that lotion or the glimmer in the lotion was so that it, I felt like I could be a cast member of Lord of the rings, like one of the, one of the elf� Queens or something like, it is beautiful.

Teri: Thank you. The microscopic glitter is really subtle, and it looks great on the beach. You know, that's where I wear it head to toe. Otherwise they just put it on my upper body during the day and daily wear, but yeah, at the beach it looks so good. I could put it on your legs and they just flip it and glow. I just love it.

Camille Walker: Oh, that's so fun. So talk to me about how, so you have this lotion that you've been creating and it makes, I love that the reason why you went after creating this is because how it made you feel and that that's your mission is that it's more about giving that gift of empowerment to the people who wear it, you know, put things on that make you feel good. So, take me through the process of that. Like, how did you find a manufacturer that you liked? How did you come together with formulas? Like this is three years in the making, right? Like it took a while to get there.

Teri: It does, yeah, back and forth with all the samples, like it was a little dry at first, or it was too much glitter or too oily. And we decided to go with this company in the United States, just because it was close enough to drive back and forth too. They were excellent to work with. They have created different brands that dermatologists use. Their base was safe. I felt that the ingredients were pure with like the Shea butter or the avocado oil. And, you know, we talked about the differences between, should we use coconut oil, avocado oil, like there's so many almond oil, so many different things out there. And just the way they worked with you, like on facetime over and over and over again. And I just, you know, when you connect with someone and you know it was right. I think we went to a couple of others; I think a total of three before we decided on this one in Illinois.

Camille Walker: And was that difficult? Oh, so your partner, you did a co-founding with your partner who is also your life partner. And I know at times when I�ve worked with my husband, when he's helped me with tech or different things for my own business, it can get a little tricky maybe where you have different strengths and weaknesses, but sometimes it's seeing eye to eye on things. What's your best advice for how to work with your partner in a way that's productive and doesn't interrupt your personal life, so to speak.

Teri: Well, I have to say, he's my biggest cheerleader and I am his, and we definitely have our strengths and weaknesses that for sure. I'm more of the creative. I know more about social media and I'm more of the marketing creative side and he's more of like, oh my gosh, I need you to find, you know, an attorney for our trademark. I need you to do the licensing. He has, he started his own companies and businesses 10 years before we met or even longer than that actually about 15 years and his companies were Stellar development. And so he had this word because he thought it was extremely underused instead of why, like you think of a Stellar athlete or a Stellar performance on stage, or, you know, a Stellar performance on, I don�t know a hockey arena, or I just think that that word is just something that's very underused. And so, did he, and so he actually wanted to call his daughter stellar and she ended up to be Stella.�

Camille Walker:�I love it.�

Teri:�back to how we work together. We really have a divide and conquer, so when it has to do with like the creative aspect of Stellar Girl and the movement and celebrating women, and of course that's going to be more on my forte and he works the backend, like the finances, the licensing, etc.

Camille Walker: That's wonderful. So, when you said that he had named his daughters or he wanted to name her stellar, you had mentioned to me previously that you are a blended family. Talk to me about how that journey of motherhood and how that came together.

Teri: Well that is probably the biggest blessing in my life, for sure. So, I have a son Brady and he's got three children, Alex, Cooper, and Stella. And we met about seven years ago when we blended our family together when I moved up to Wisconsin in, I don't know, about five or six years ago, I can't believe I�ve been here that long. It feels like forever. But of course, it's going to have its ups and downs, but it's definitely they are my biggest blessing and my grandmother actually even have it tattooed on my arm right here. It says before. And when she passed, she was probably one of the greatest influences, female influences in my life. And she says, Carrie, you're going to have four kids. And at the time I only had one. And when I met Keith, I'm like, oh my goodness, I have four kids and I�ve had this tattoo for about 10 years now. And so even prior to meeting him and I just think that having all this love and life and energy in this house and having this daughter now that can hopefully, that I can learn from then she can hopefully take this company on and make it her own one day.

Camille Walker: I love that. When it comes to empowering women and now, especially your daughter, what are some messages that you wish you had learned at an earlier age or something you carried with you that really helped you to develop into the woman you are today?

Teri: I believe that we should take care of our own four walls and also each other. So, whether your house is four walls or 50 walls, you take care of what's in your family, what you hold dear, but also learn from that and then spread the love forward. So that is definitely one of the things I would love for Stella to take on and learn from. Kindness first, always, always, always, always. And if we have all that love and kindness that we step forward into our lives and in anything we do first, I think we can really grow from that versus judging or anything negative whatsoever. And that's what Stellar Girl is all about. And I am thrilled. I'm absolutely thrilled. And I believe in this movement, I�ve poured my heart and soul into Stellar Girl, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. And I can honestly say that after about three weeks of launching, we launched on November 9th, that I�ve had over 70 media requests and press requests for Stellar Girl. I think people are just needing this joy and happiness and love and laughter and positivity in their lives.

Camille Walker: Incredible response. How in the world did you launch with such success?

Teri: I think because the world needs a little happy and yes, there are highs and lows, but I focus on the positive. I really try to focus on that. And we had, you know, we were, didn't really know when we were going to launch. We were supposed to launch in April and, you know, we launched in November instead. We waited till, you know, the dust settled. It wasn't the right time. But that's how businesses grow and develop. And we definitely have to learn from those things.�

Camille Walker: Talk to me about getting a publicist. How does that, what are the steps of getting a publicist that reaches out for you? Because that's actually how we were connected was a publicist reached out to connect us and I�ve have never had a publicist. I'm curious what the steps are to doing that.

Teri: Well, when we first thought of Stellar Girl three years ago, and we wanted to create this movement first, before we even had any products or, but we had this message. And so actually one year after struggling, like, what are we going to do we have this name, Stellar Girl, what are we going to do with this name? Or how are we going to have a business over a name? And after meeting with a different marketing companies we finally found one that decided to take a chance on us and do it in reverse. Because usually you come to a marketing company with a product and say, okay, I have this product. How do we get it to market? So once we had, you know, we created our mood boards and all the beginnings of having a marketing team, you know, we kind of thought, well, now with the marketing team, you need a publicist to promote what you have.�So we actually met with three or four in Los Angeles and three or four in LA, three in New York, I apologize and we went with our gut and Nash and her team have been, they've been cheerleaders of ours and champions of this brand and we've been in contact for the past two years, even though we weren't ready to hire them. She was a consultant and she's been a great force in my life. And I really, I'm so grateful for her and her team. They've just been so positive with spreading the word about Stellar Girl.

Camille Walker: Oh, that's awesome. I love hearing stories about women supporting women like that, even when it was just the beginning and you didn't quite have it all figured out yet.�

Teri:�Yeah, absolutely.�

Camille Walker:�So how did you get out of that messy middle when you were kind of like, Oh, I don't know what, I'm not quite sure. Like what was something that really helped guide you during that time?

Teri: What guided me was other women and as fun and as cliche as that may sound, but that is the honest truth. Like I wore the lotion, it was still my do it yourself routine, even though I had samples here and there, but still everywhere we traveled everywhere. We went for those three years while we were building this brand and this company, everyone was like, where is that lotion? And I would just kept saying, it makes me so happy. And they're like, where can I get it? Where can I get it? And it's just like, this has got to create something, this happiness and this movement about celebrating other women and being, having a celebration for your skin. It just resonated with so many people all over the world during our travels that I knew, I knew it in my heart that this was going to go somewhere.

Camille Walker: That's awesome. So, I know that you have traveled quite a bit and you speak four different languages, which is mind blowing and so awesome to me. I wish I could speak more. What is something that you've learned that is uniting as women all over the world and something that you've learned from different cultures around the world as you've traveled.

Teri: So I think that to take away from meeting all these extraordinary women is that they all, they were also kind, I'd never, it was very rare that I met someone who was judgmental or wasn't, you know, everyone you wanted to ask, Oh, can we, you know, can you take our picture? Cause you know, when I travel, you always don't selfies. You want people to help you out. Everyone was always so supportive and sweet. When I traveled to cultures, you respect that culture. When we are in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. When you're at the mosque, when you're in different cultures, in different religions you respect them. And when I was in Asia, in Thailand or Japan you know, no one spoke on the train, everyone was just, you know, it was their silent time. They were, it was rude to be on the phone there.�So, you didn't disrespect their culture, you respected where you were. You looked out for each other. And I just found that, that energy that I received from them brought me such great hope as well and joy. And as I see myself going forward in this brand and with this movement I just, I want this to go global. I want this, I want this message to be spread. When I heard about the first woman and Saudi Arabia getting her driver's license and being able to drive, that's something that should be celebrated. And so, it was just, it's just still inspiring to hear all these drills stories and we'd sit down and, you know, the tourist by local gal. And we'd talk about her and sharing her story about what she's been through and how she became to loving Budapest or wherever we were. And I just, that's what I found. I just found, I learned so much from other women. So, what I found during my travels [18:34�inaudible]�there was a real human connection with all of these women, when you get to talk to them and hear their stories. And I really miss that even now, but, but even with all these girls on their phones all the time or everything that's going on, I think it's just, it's lost. And I would love to bring that back.

Camille Walker: So, tell me, I can see that you have a huge vision for Stellar Girl. What are next steps for you? Do you have an idea of what you want to do next?

Teri: I want this message to resonate with girls globally. I think I would love to see ambassadors of this brand across the US, Canada and go into Asia, go into I just think that, and throughout Europe, I think that celebrating extraordinary women is something that everyone and every woman, mom, young girl can relate to. And I would love for this, for this movement to just take off. And it's not, it's not about the product. It's about sharing joy and being happy and being positive and really being your true, authentic self, having a stellar mindset, you really can do what you put your mind to and having that mindset of being the best version of yourself is extremely important.

Camille Walker: I can see that. Where do you think that drive and that message came from? Is this something that you've had that you developed through your childhood, like as you went into school, where do you think this drive to connect women all over the world has come from?

Teri: I think from having an amazing stellar mom, my mom worked throughout all of my, when I was younger with my brother and I, and she was always there for us. She was a pillar of strength. And so was my grandmother, Bobby, and actually both my grandmothers and my girlfriends and the girls and the women that I surround with, our CEOs, our moms, our CMOs, you know, they work hard and they have a family life. And so, the energy that I got from all of these supportive girlfriends and my family has definitely made me who I am today. I've learned so much from them and listen to them and what their thoughts were. It's just, it's like this girl and the sisterhood of this girlfriend, my girlfriend, the sisterhood of having all these stellar women in my life, I think has really, has really made me who I am today.

Camille Walker: I can see that. Tell me about your time that you spent at the school of art Institute of Chicago. Did you go to college there, was that secondary like master�s?

Teri: No, I wish I was able to go to that school. I was asked to be on the board of the art Institute. It's called the fashion council. So, it's the committee that supports the students of the school. So SAIC is the school of the arts students, Chicago, and they have fashion photography, sculpting arts. So, it's an art school, obviously the art Institute of Chicago is a huge museum, but they have a school that pairs with it. And when I was a style editor at Naperville magazine in Illinois, I was asked to be on the board as a fashion Maven and fashion enthusiast. Cause I love fashion. I think it expresses everything you do and how you present yourself to the world. And it's fun to [22:35�inaudible]�for me. So, they, when they asked me in 2009, I just served the board and serve the students. And they are such talented young, young men and women, and they create this huge fashion show. Every single year we didn't have one last year, but we raised money for the scholarships for the kids. And that has been my passion and my projects for the 2009, since I was asked to be on the board.

Camille Walker: That's amazing. I love to hear about your involvement and how you can see that you're so passionate about expressing yourself and also giving back. And that is really incredible.�

Teri: Just hearing you say that and this smile on your face and seeing you on camera, like I just can tell the kindness and the energy from your heart and the love that you do as well. I just, I don�t know, you've been just so incredible and great during all of this and thank you.

Camille Walker: Thank you. That means a lot to me, thank you. One thing I was wanting to ask you is if someone was in your situation of wanting to create a product and they have this idea, but they don't know where to start, what would be your top three, like get started this way, but make sure not to do this. Like, do you have like a warning in that step-by-step process?

Teri: Trust your gut. If they have a product that they want to build, whether it's a clothing line or a beauty product or any during that, that person may have, I think you got to trust your gut and think, okay, this is going to work for me. Bounce it off everyone you know, everyone you know, your family, your friends, your girlfriends. Whoever comments about it, something you're wearing, something, whether it's, you know, in my case it was the lotion. What if it's, if you're a fashion designer from the art Institute and you're wearing that and someone comments on it. And I think that, I think that's sort of how you have to reaffirm that this is something that will work and to never give up on trying to make that happen. You know, we have the internet at our fingertips. You can pretty much Google anything, how to make your, do it yourself, this or that. And you can get resources from there, but I definitely start with the people within your circle or reach out and ask for help. There are mentor programs everywhere. Go to an old teacher you know, find someone that you look up to and ask them for help. And, you know, if they're not ready to offer it to you, then go to the next person, just don't give up, just don't give up.

Camille Walker: Just do not give up. I love it. Any pitfalls or warnings that you would give?�

Teri: Focus on the positive, of course, there's going to be highs and lows that's life, right? But if you have that stellar mindset, if you put your mind to it, if you think that I can be the best at this, or I can do better at this, then I just really, it has been ingrained in me to never ever give up. Just don't take no for an answer. Keep on going.

Camille Walker: I think a lot of times in my experience too, especially working with small children and the ins and outs of every day, I�ve found that every day can't always be about work and everyday can't always be about family. But some days there are days where you have to pick and choose and kind of navigate that and just do the best you can with just like anything else. So, I love that slow grind. You know, you just keep going, even when you feel knocked down.

Teri: The 90/10 rule, I live on a 90/10 rule. So, if there's, so if I there's 10 days and I have one bad one or one, not bad, one, maybe one that's not as perfect as the other nine and moment, t's a really good 10 days. So, I have three off days in the whole month, nothing's going to be perfect in life. That is this something that is people who live in that reality, it's not my reality. That's for sure. As a mom and as a working mom I'm not only like the CEO of my company, but I'm the CEO of the house and of myself and you have to take accountability. And there are going to be those moments. So that's why I always do the 90/10 rule. So how many out of these 10 days where there are a couple of moments that were just not as great as the other ones, accept that, inhale it and exhale it out because, and you go on to the next day.

Camille Walker: I love that, 90/10 rule. What is one way that you really refuel and recharge for yourself? If you've had one of those days, you've had one of those months or whatever it might be, what is a way that you take time to refuel and recharge for yourself?

Teri: For me, I love to move, movement is key, healthy and happy, healthy, and happy body healthy and happy heart. So, for me, I love to exercise even if it's movement, even if it's a walk with the dog for a mile I love a good workout. I love a good sweat session, but that's me. So, I also light a candle. And for me, this having, this is a reminder of Stellar Girl, because shine bright is one of the taglines I use all the time, let your Stellar shine. And whether you let your Stellar shines through your kids that day, cause you're more of a mom than a work course that day, or you let your stellar shine through somebody else because they need that more than you or you let your stellar shine in because you need to take care of you. You need to have self-care that day. So, I just, I remind myself constantly that we're all blessed, and we're all blessed in different ways. And so, for me, my out, and it's definitely a sweat session, but a candle definitely helps me as well.

Camille Walker: That's cool. I light a candle every night as like my ritual going to bed at night. It's kind of like, okay, the kids are finally in bed and I light that candle. Like this is me time. So, I love that you keep on rotating with you. I maybe I need to start doing that. So, I want to hear more about what's up and coming with your brand. Do you have new products coming out? What are you excited about?

Teri: So, yeah, for winter season, we have beanies coming out and I love them. They're like these knit, like beanies, they're cable knit, and they have a detachable [29:43�inaudible] wreck�my hair, but don't care. And they come in, comes in white as well and also gray. So, I love, they're just so comfortable and cozy and not too tight on the head. We've had our Stellar Girl ball cap. So, we have this one as well. And it's Stellar Girl necklace to show you are a Stellar Girl.

Camille Walker: Very fun. And so, are these products all on www.stellargirl.com?

Teri: Yes. So, on the shop page on www.stellargirl.com, you can find these products, but beanies launching in November at the end of November and then the rest of them are already up and on there.�

Camille Walker:�Perfect. So, by the time that this airs, all of that will be there. So, you can check it out right away.�

Teri:�Absolutely.

Camille Walker: It's been so good to speak with you today. Where can our community come and find you and support you and support Stellar Girl?

Teri: Well, this movement is a www.stellargirlcom. You can join the community on our website. We can also be found at Stellar Girl official on Instagram, Stellar Girl on Facebook as well.�Stellar Girl on Twitter. And I really, I am really am blessed to have met you Camille. I think you're also an awesome Stellar Girl and a great mom. And I really enjoyed our time today.

Camille Walker: Thank you. I so appreciate that. And thank you for giving me the badge of Stellar Girl. I'm going to take that with me and put on my sprinklers as my son says.�

Teri:�Take your sprinklers, take your sparkles, Stellar Girls always leave a little glitter behind.

Camille Walker: They do. We were giving each other kisses and he went to preschool today with some sprinkles on, sparkles on his face. Sprinklers, all of it.�

Teri:�I love it. I love it.�

Camille Walker:�All right, well, thank you so much. We will add all of this information to the show notes, if you have any questions so that you can follow along and we'll check in with you next week.�

Teri:�Thank you so much.�

Hey CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and a five-star review, you could have the chance at being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram at Call Me CEO podcast. And remember you are the boss.

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On last weeks episode, we heard from Jennifer Borget who completely changed career plans to reach big goals. If you missed her story, click below!

Reaching Big Goals Call Me CEO
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Reaching Big Goals | Jennifer Borget with Cherish 365

Jennifer Borget, Reaching Big Goals, Call Me CEO
 

Reaching big goals to be a full-time mom and business owner taught her to cherish every day.

Reaching big goals to be a full-time mom and business owner was what changed the life of Jennifer Borget. As a young college student studying broadcast journalism, she thought her career would stay on that route. However, when a sudden move changed her plans, she was able to finish her studies, start a blog, and grow Cherish 365 into the full-time business it is today!

How did she create a career and embrace motherhood?

“ I embraced that [my blog] didn’t look like everyone else.”

 Doubt and fear can fill our mind as we start to try something new. In this episode, learn how Jennifer overcame that!

Never underestimate your ability or work! Jennifer quickly learned this as she began her blog and business. 

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

In this episode, we cover: 

  • cherishing every moment of your life, even the small details
  • finding what is unique about you and your kids and digging in on that
  • taking a leap of faith to do what you dream of
  • realizing what you are doing is legit, even if it doesn’t look like everyone else’s
  • how Jennifer paid off her brand new house in two years

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS POST:

[Music]

Welcome to episode three. I am your host, Camille Walker. And today we're learning about how to define and press your goals with�Jennifer Borget, who started as a news broadcaster with an income of $36,000 annual and has now paid off a brand new home in under two years with primarily her income. But the most impressive part is Jennifer's heart. She's been able to build all of this at home with her babies, really focusing in on what matters most to cherish every single day, let's dive in.�

So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business, sharing your voice. How do women do it? That handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.�

Camille Walker: Hey everyone. Thank you so much for being here. This is episode three of Call Me CEO, and I have one of my dearest

Bestest friends with us today,�Jennifer Borget.�

Jennifer Borget:�Hi.�

Camille Walker:�And this is going to be so much fun for us because we are best friends, and we are recent best friends. So, I think it�s kind of a romantic story about how we met. It totally is. So, we're going to get into that and then I�ll allow Jennifer to introduce herself. So, I am wearing my special Mickey mouse necklace today. I'm a little disappointed. I didn't tell Jennifer to wear something Disney, but it was actually Disney that brought us together. So, Jennifer, I'm going to let you take it from there.�

Jennifer Borget:�Gosh. Yeah. So, we were both on a trip at Disney world trip for Disney creator days. We got to bring our families. It was like this amazing experience, but I went without my husband and I brought my mother-in-law, who was awesome and was so sweet and said that she would come and help me with my three kids on this trip because I was not saying, no to this trip.

Camille Walker: That is needed.�

Jennifer Borget:�But Disney, it can be, it can be if you're not used to it and all the walking and everything, it can be a little tough. And I know we were in the same group together at Hollywood studios.�

Camille Walker:�It was Star Wars, like the Star Wars tour.�

Jennifer Borget:�Star Wars tour. Yes, that's what it was. And my son was getting kind of nervous with the loud noises and the blast and he like was flipping out and I need to go take him to grandma. And then my youngest daughter was, I don�t know, she wasn't sleeping. She was playing with your son's toys. Can you just hold my baby for me while I run?�

Camille Walker:�And if anyone has seen Lily, if you know, Jennifer's page, all the things she shares, like how could not hold that baby girl?�I was like, yes, let me hold her. I even took a picture of me holding her because I had two babies in my arm. I had Jet in one arm and Lilly in the other, and I was like, they're the cutest ever. So, yeah.�

Jennifer Borget:�I'm so glad that that worked out. You're just right there and willing to take my baby on a whim. And then we like the trip went on and we hung out on the cruise. And I remember one of the nights, a bunch of us met up and I just felt like we hit it off. It was love at first sight basically.

Camille Walker: Well, what was interesting about it is it was really a bunch of the women that were there, and we were talking business. We were talking about what was working for us, what wasn't, the push and the pull of all of it. And Jennifer would say things and I would be like, enthusiastically nodding my head, like, yes. And then I would say something, and she'd be doing the same thing. And I'm like, I feel like you're reading my mind. Like, so many of our experiences and thoughts were so similar that we're like, okay, this cannot stop here. We must be friends forever. And that is, that's how it started. So yeah, I think there's a lot of strength that can come from someone that you meet that can become a wonderful friend and ally and help cheer you on as you go. And I feel like that's been such a gift in business with other women, especially Jennifer is having her as an ally and a friend and really someone I have come to count on.

Jennifer Borget: Especially you, you're so great. Seriously this, it's nice to know that you can still make women friends this late in life, you know, not that we are�so old or anything, but you know, I mean, you think of best friends I know I used to think of it as something like, okay, your friends from high school or college and you stay in touch, but it's nice that you can still meet someone and just hit it off.

Camille Walker: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Well, I want to, I�ll do a little intro of you before this episode starts, but go ahead and introduce us to you, your family and your business. What are you all about?

Jennifer Borget: Yeah. So, my blog is www.cherish365.com and it is a blog about cherishing every day with your family and you know, with your family, whatever that may look like, right. Because all of us have different dynamics going on and also just cherishing the little things that you might walk by every day and just not notice, you know, it's kind of like a stop and smell the roses type message and cherishing the things that make you unique. And that make you an individual. Like, I look at my kids, I have three kids and while they look very similar, each of their personalities could not be more different. And I know before I became a mom, I thought that, Oh, my kids are going to do this and this and this. And they're just going to be like me, or they're going to be like my husband. But then after I had them, I realized that I get, you know, can teach them things, but they are their own. So, it's really about recognizing who I am, who they are, who all of us are. You know, I hope that people can come in and read what I write about setting goals or cherishing the little things and walk away with ideas on how to become better.

Camille Walker: I love that so much. And I feel like I�ve learned a lot from you watching you really tap into the different needs and interests of your children. It's so evident to see that you really take the time to dig in and see what lights them up inside. And it shows, and I love that you shared that on your platform in all the different ways. It brings joy and purpose. It accomplished exactly what you're looking for, which is to cherish every single day. And that is so awesome. So, take us back to when you were a kid, where did you grow up? Did you see yourself doing this type of work? Like how did you get to where you are now?

Jennifer Borget: Yeah. This journey has been not expected for sure. Like growing up, I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia and was in, you know, a little town that was growing. We had a pretty diverse community. Like my school that I was growing up in was probably like half black, half white, you know, like in the South say it's so segregated, but growing up, like we had quite a bit of diversity in our schools. And one thing that I loved was watching the news every night with my family. And we watched channel two action news and there is a news anchor on there that I loved Monica Kaufman, although that's her name now, I'm trying to remember what it was when I was, because she got married, but yeah, I watched her, I watched her growing up and I saw her and I saw myself in her and I said, that is what I want to do.�I love writing. I love speaking. And just talking and meeting people. I knew I wanted to, you know, be a reporter and write stories and share stories about the world. And that was my goal. And like from a young age, I knew that was what I wanted to do. And I set out and did that. Like in high school I was in journalism, you know, news clubs and things like that. And I did our daily news. I learned how to video edit and was always doing writing and public speaking competitions. And when I went to college, I knew exactly where I wanted to go to school and what I wanted to study. It was just all very set out and planned. And I was really fortunate that it worked out when I was in college. Like I got a job while I was in college for a small station.�And then when we moved, I went to after we got, so gosh, I'm like, do you want to hear my whole story? I met my husband like right out the gate. And when I moved to Utah from by way of Arizona and I met him and six months later we got married, but he had a golf scholarship in Southern Utah. So, we moved from Provo, which is an area where near where he grew up. And he was in St. George. So, we moved down there after we got married. And while I was down there, I was able to get a job at a new station and report. And I thought like, this is it. Like I�ve made it. I'm, you know, I�ve started my career, even though I'm in college, this is great. And I loved it, but then he decided that he wanted to be a dentist.�So, he's like, I really feel strongly that we need to move back up to Provo. And you know, we can go back to BYU and we'll do this program. And I thought, but I already started my career, and I don't want to have to shift and change, but I was like, okay, well, I trust you. And I�ll just finish, you know, studying broadcast journalism up there. And there were like different things along the way that had changed and happened. Like at first I didn't have like the right grades and the prerequisites and I had to get appeals and thankfully ended up working out and I got into the broadcast journalism program and worked for a station in salt Lake for a little bit. I earned scholarships in broadcast journalism and it more than paid for my school, which was a huge blessing.�And like I just was like, so laser-focused on that job. And that career, like every, every job I took, every scholarship I applied for, everything was very, very focused on like getting things laid out so I could have this career in journalism. And I graduated from BYU and moves to Texas. We decided like what state would be great for golf and not have snow. And we saw some CNN article and it said, Austin, Texas, number one. And we thought let's move to Austin. And I ended up applying for a job and I got it. And that was, yeah, that was my plan to like work my way up the in Austin and then moved back to Atlanta and worked for CNN. And but along the way, while we've been here in Texas, we had our first daughter, and my husband started a career as a police officer.�And we just, we're both kind of had crazy schedules with news and stuff. I was working on the weekends. He was working on the weekends. Like I worked early mornings, he worked early mornings. I worked late. Like, it was just really hard with kids. And I had been freelance writing for some websites and steps and parenting websites and magazines. And I had started my blog as a fun thing to do on the side, just as a creative outlet while I was working in journalism, because I felt like while I loved storytelling and being in journalism, I didn't really have a chance to be silly and share my personality and things like that. So that's when I had started my blog before I had.�

Camille Walker:�And what year was that? That you started your blog?�

Jennifer Borget:�So, I started my blog in 2008.�So, 2008, I started my blog the same year. I started my job in Austin as a news reporter and anchor. And it was like anonymous because it was like, you didn't want to get caught having a blog when you're a reporter. Like you can't, you know, not to have those worlds collide, but yeah, so it was at the time it was called baby-making machine and it was all about like my journey toward becoming a mom. And I just got to be silly and fun. And I told my friends about it and it just like was growing and growing and growing. And I was able to get a lot of freelance opportunities through that. And since I was already a writer, it was fun to write for these other websites. And then, yeah, after I had my son who is now seven, so my daughter, I guess was two and a half at the time almost three.�And then my son was a newborn and we had kind of sat down and thought, all right, like you could still make a little money with your writing and maybe you can make more down the road. But the schedule was just really hard for both of us, with the kids. And it's hard to find childcare on the weekends and it was crazy hours. So, we decided that I would like take a step back from my job. And it was actually like a fortune cookie that helped me decide. Yes, it was.�

Camille Walker:�What did it say?�

Jennifer Borget:�I saw on Twitter that it was free orange chicken nights at Panda express, I'm going to go get some free orange chicken. And it came with a fortune cookie and inside it said, take that leap you've been considering. And that was it for me. I was like, okay. It's like, there's my sign.�I needed a sign. I'd been praying, you know, like a hardcore, yes, this is, you know, a good thing to do because, you know, like I had said, like, I focus my whole life on this career, like knowing this is what I wanted to do in journalism. And I wanted, and I had earned all these scholarships, like all these people who believed in me and like helped fund my college and mentor me. And I felt like I was just giving up all of that. And like, you know, they would be not ashamed, but maybe disappointed a little bit that I was stepping away. But my job was super encouraging, my boss, like I went in and when I told them that I just couldn't work weekends anymore and I had to leave. I said, I'd love to keep freelancing if it was a possibility.

And they loved that idea. So, I was able to keep doing it for a while for several years actually. And just working like one to three days a week there. And then while I had that as a side, my blog business, I was able to focus more wholeheartedly on and learn new skills and just write more and start working with brands and collaborating. And then it was like, there was this shift in like my income. And I just saw, you know, my blog income rising higher and higher, like I'd already kind of been seeing it trending that way. But then it surpassed my journalism job and it just felt like the right move and time to part ways. And I was happy that I was able to keep working there part time for a while, more kind of refined in my resume. And if I ever wanted to kind of keep a foot in the door, but then it just felt good when eventually it was like, all right, I'm done with that phase of my life. I'm a business owner now. And you know, I work on this with my family and I still get to use all of the skills that I learned in storytelling and photography and videography. But now my voice is more of my own versus, you know, sharing the stories of others, which is also really fun.

Camille Walker: That's so great.�

Jennifer Borget:�Thank you so much for listening to episode three. The code word on this episode is Disney. If you want a chance to win hundreds of prizes for this launch week, leave a five star review and subscribe, take a screenshot of that review and DM it to me at Call Me CEO podcast on Instagram for your chance to win with the code word, Disney. Thank you so much for joining me. And I hope to see you here next week. Call Me CEO podcast.�

Camille Walker:�So let's talk about that nudge a little bit, because I feel like each of us, when we're about to launch something or do something new, it can be hard to come with that within ourselves. We're looking for that sign. So, in your mind, I know you're very goal oriented. Do you write pro and con list? Do you, were you looking more at the income? Was it more of like time with your kids? Like, what was it that finally gave you that push of like, okay, I'm committing to this, let's go to the next phase?

Jennifer Borget: Yeah. I mean, I do like to do pro and con list, but I feel like I�m, I�ve kind of been led a little bit more by intuition or just like my gut. Like, what's it really saying, like I do write the pro and con list, I do like think it through logically, but I feel like a lot of my decisions at the end of the day come down to like how it really feels in my gut, what I'm going to do. And then I'm amazed at how once you make that decision, like the most stressful part is the indecision. When you're trying to decide one way or another, like it's agonizing, but then once you've made the decision, like this is what I'm going to do. It's so freeing and knowing, you know, you've made that choice and now it's like, okay, now we can move forward, and you know, pursue this. And if you want to change it later, that's okay too. But it's hard when you're stuck in the middle.

Camille Walker: I agree with you. I feel like when I�ve been stuck in the middle, that's when I feel the most agonizing, like the stress of it, because you just don't know that you're just in the middle and it just feels kind of yucky. And I like how you said when you just move forward, and it just feels freeing and it just makes so much sense. So now you're at home with your kids, you're doing a baby-making machine. And at what point were you that you felt like, okay, this is a legit business. Like, I�ve really, this is it for me.

Jennifer Borget: When was that? I think it was probably when, maybe a�year before I had my third child, or like after I had her, when I found out I was having her because, so I decided to rebrand my blog from baby making machine to cherish 365 after I had both my kids and they were getting a little bit older. My son was four. My daughter was like six, seven years old. And I felt like we were getting out of the baby phase. And I really wanted something that embraced more of what I was trying to share, like similar, you know, baby-making machine was cute and cheeky and it was, you know, first it started as my journey toward becoming a mother, then my journey through motherhood and then like making these babies into people. Like I kept trying to kind of mold it and make it work with where I was going and where I wanted to go, but it just didn't feel like it was fitting.�So, my 30th birthday, I had a vision board party and had stuck all these words on my vision board and cherish was a word that it popped up. And I had been using the hashtag cherish 365 for like a daily photo series that I had done with my daughter and then my son. And I just thought, wow, this is a really good name. And then I searched and I'm like, Oh, the domain's available this, you know, this could be my brand, I think this could work. And so, I bought it, I trademarked it and I felt like that was when it was like, all right, this is a business. Like I have trademarked a name. I, have you know, started this whole thing. Like this could be really big. This can be a thing. And I think at the time I had all these ideas of where my business could go.�And you know, I was thinking when I think of business, I tend to think of like tangible products. So, I was holding myself up a little bit and like, okay, well someday I'm going to have a product, someday I'm going to have something people can buy or like a shop or something like this. And I was kind of holding myself up a little bit with that and figuring out what I was going to do and what I was going to sell. But then I found out I was pregnant with my youngest, Aliyah, who I call Lily and that just rocked my world because like we thought we were done and I just changed from baby making machine. And like now I'm having another baby. And it was like, what is happening? So, that changed a lot for sure, because it was like, all right, like drop everything, forget like making stuff and like products.�And, you know, I'm just, I just need to make it through this like, change that we weren't expecting. But it also helped me embrace like really the point of the name and my brand and everything, and realize like, I don't need, it doesn't have to be a product. Like, my business doesn't have to look like everyone else's and really like leaning into what my business is and not feeling like it has to look like someone else's like understanding, like my message is my brand. My content is my brand. This all is a part of it. And having Aliyah really helped me to see that more and to, you know, the cherishing every day became even easier because it was like, now I have this little person who's growing so fast. And her personality is like, even completely different than the other two. Like, it was just a very eye-opening experience with, you know, and she helped me, like seeing her and knowing like, Oh my gosh, these newborn years, it's so rough. And like, but I could also turn around and look at my eight-year-old daughter and think like, well, she was just a baby. It's like, seems like months ago. So it really helped me lean into my brand more because I was like, actually living this experience of yeah, really [23:09�inaudible] every day, because it's hard, but it goes by so fast and it is hard and it doesn't take away the fact that it's hard, but it also does just go by so fast. So yeah, having her, and then just helps me wake up more. And then I also just didn't have the time to do everything anymore with this extra person.�So, I had to bring on more contractors and that was like a big wake up for me, like, all right, this is legit, this next cause I'm paying people now. And like, I�ve got to keep doing this. So, I'd say sometime between that, like the rebrand and right before, so I guess like 2017 and 2018 when she was born is probably about the time. So that's, like, that was, I was like calling myself a hobbyist for like almost 10 years. You know what I mean?�

Camille Walker:�No, I feel like I�have watched you go through that transformation because I have watched you do that. And it's been many conversations between us that I'm like, no, no, no. Like you are a boss. Like you are, you have a legit business that you own, and it is incredible. And like you said, I embraced that it didn't look like everyone else's. And I think that that is what has made you so successful is that you're very, you're very goal oriented and you go after what you want, but you're also so good at creating community and connection. And I'm curious to have you speak to that a little bit, because you have developed such a heartfelt community around your brand. How do you think you were able to accomplish that?

Jennifer Borget: Well, I think that a lot of their community has just been with me for so long. Like, you know, I am surprised when I post a flashback picture of Jada when she was on my blog as a newborn and people are like, I remember this picture I�ve been here since, before she was born. And I mean, I feel so thankful for that because, you know, that is like loyalty right there and commitment to stay in tune. And a lot there are like probably a good, like handful or a couple of chunks of people who, you know, I know by name who commented on my blog years ago, who now come in on Instagram and message me and we keep in touch. And I mean, that's really important to me. I sometimes wish there was a way to foster that even more, like, I feel like I am very like message me or chat with me and I will just chat you up, you know,�But then at the same time with three kids, it gets harder and harder to do that. So I feel like that is something that I'm looking to do to be a little bit better about even with allowing my community, to connect with one another and not just me and to share things and have them feel like they can share their stories and things with each other also. But I think just being honest and real and consistent, I think has been some of the main things, you know, I didn't really have a period where I fell off for a long time. And I think that's probably the hardest thing sometimes with people with blogs and, and other, you know, podcasting and other things in this industry is, you know, starting and then feeling like it's not taking off and then leaving and then trying to pick back up again, that's hard, you know, but I�ve been there like every week, you know, usually several times a week for the last more than a decade.

Camille Walker: And what was that that kept you going?

Jennifer Borget: I think part of it in the beginning, all of it was like journaling. Like I just wanted to, this was like my online journal. I wanted to document, and I wanted to share and keep things updated. And then as I learned more about SEO and writing and things that people are looking for and trying to write to help people, you know, I felt like I had this whole identity crisis when it became, like people were starting blogs and they're like, you need to be serving people and giving them. And I'm like, well, what have I been doing the last ten years? I've been sharing my story, but people still come, so I don't want to totally change what I'm doing. But like finding ways to weave things in that we like that are helpful, like has been one of the main shifts.�Like I still write the personal diaries and I still share a lot of that. And different platforms make that easier. Like Instagram stories definitely feels more like the diary these days. And while I still share some things like in my blog, it's not as often. And then, you know, my blog gets more of the things that people may want to bookmark and come back to, or my movie reviews are some of my favorite, like a little bit of both. Cause it's like the personal of what we thought of a new movie. And then but also helpful because people are looking for like, is it worth buying or renting or paying to go see this movie.

Camille Walker: That is so fun. I love all of the content that you make. And you've had some really incredible partnerships. What is one that you're most proud of or even a few, or if there's something you can think of where you had a partnership that you were like, Oh, this is cool.

Jennifer Borget: Yeah. I've been lucky. I've had like a lot of really cool partnerships, but one that definitely stands out the most is working with Canon because I had like, I just love their cameras and I�ve been buying them for years and buying their lenses. And they'd reached out years ago and I got to do some tutorial posts for them on different websites. And then I got to work with them on my own site. And then I got to make a photography course with them and promote that. And I was able to go to New York a couple of times and teach there. And that was just like a fun, natural like very dynamic type of partnership that I did for several years. So that was a lot of fun. Working with Disney has been fun just because we like it so much and going there and the movies and stuff, I just feel like that's, you know, just, it's not even like a monitoring thing, it's just like a fun because it just fits so well.�And it's who we are. Yeah, those are a couple, I feel like I�ve left out. I really like the ones that like know me and allow me to do collaborations and like giveaways or like charitable type of things. Like right now I'm working with general mills and box tops. And I feel like I�ve been beating people over the head with like box tops are digital now, but you need to, like, you can contribute. And, but it's funny how every time I talk about it, I get more people like, Oh, okay. Yeah, I just signed up [30:13�inaudible] and�even though we homeschool, like now we're donating to these schools and I'm like, yes, it's really cool. It's great. You know, so I think just ones that can get people doing stuff, you know, not necessarily buying things, but doing things like, and maybe that's what's in common with both of those is you know, like Canon it's like, okay, taking pictures and how to capture your kids and their essence and who they really are, or like capturing their like crazy wildness. And so, it's not in a blurry picture and, you know, learning how to use these fancy cameras that you got is a Mother�s Day gift or whatever. And then yeah, like putting like your grocery shopping, like here's the tip for how you can like put it to use and good use. Those are some of my favorite ones.

Camille Walker: Those are also good. So, you've done a lot of years of influencing and it has changed a lot over the years. Do you feel like if someone were to start today, what advice would you give them to get their foot in the door and even make it possible to work with these incredible brands?

Jennifer Borget: I think, I mean, at least in my experience and what I�ve seen, like something I think that is really important is like knowing who you are and what you want to share. And I know that people will say like very niche specific, like, know what you're going to talk about. Like, you're going to talk about plants or organic foods or fitness, or, you know, pick it and stick to it is what they'll say. And they'll say lifestyle isn't a niche. Like he needs something more concrete, but I don't think that it has to be a topic that you fit into, but having your voice be so specific and so like recognizable to where, whatever you're talking about, it works and it fits. So, like knowing who you are and your voice and your tone and like whatever your passion is. Like, if you can tie your passion and your voice into like something, then you can talk about anything, you know, you can talk about cleaner and the way that you talk about, you know exercising, like, but it just has to do with who you are and, you know remembering that.�So I think that's something that's really important is just not, it's so easy because in this job, like you have to be online, you have to consume some but it's easy to over consume other people's content and then lose your voice and lose sight of what you want to do, because it's like, you're a dog with squirrels running around and you're like, Oh, should I do that? Should I do that? Should I do that? But being aware of what you really want to do and what your voice is and how it's unique, because it is unique. Like you may feel like it's not, but it is like, you're the only person that has that voice that has your life experience that has like, you're the only you ever have been or ever will be. So just remembering that I think can help make that a little bit easier.�And then just feeling like [33:18�inaudible]�and figuring out what you need to do to get back to that, because you're going to fall out of like fall off the wagon and forget that now. And then like, that happens to everyone. So knowing ways to get back to that and then just being, so that's like my like [33:29�inaudible]�way of talking about this, and then I'd say practical things or just being consistent, like don't, you know post once and then run away because it didn't do well and get scared and not post it, like you just have a consistent schedule. So, people know that you're going to be showing up for them and for you and yeah, just being consistent. And I think if you're having fun with it and you're, you know, what your voice is and what your goal is then that makes it that much easier. At least for me, like, it's so hard for me to work if I'm not having fun. So, I think if you're having fun with it, that makes it easier to show up. And then, you know, you do a post, I know I�ve written posts and I�ve thought like, if it only gets two likes, I don't care because I am so proud of this. And like, it never fails that those are the posts that do the best.

Camille Walker: I love that. That intention and just being so true to who you are. So, we talk a lot about books to read and things that really help transform and discover our own voice. So, you're a big reader. What would the top three I'm making it three, because I know one is hard. What would top three books be to helping someone discover that inner voice or their purpose?

Jennifer Borget: Okay. So, for discovering their inner voice or their purpose, that's like a really good specific, so I'm like I have so many books. But I feel like that's a good way to narrow it down. So one that I really liked was start with why, I really liked that one because it kind of breaks down like why the why is so important and it kind of gives you, it helps you, like maybe it doesn't necessarily help you figure out what your why is, but it helps you realize why that's so important. Yeah. So that's a really good one. I really like surprisingly it's pretty deep and like it's my all-time favorite book and some people see it as very life-changing, but one that speaks to this idea of like who you are. It is a new earth.�I thought that was pretty good. And that it like really helps you like strip away all these labels and things that we put on ourselves. Like, Oh, well I am a homeschool mom. I am a wife, I'm a mom of three. And like, Oh yeah. Like all these different labels that we try to put on our, you know, like our race, our, you know, all these things and like stripping that away. What's left, you know, that I thought was really good for that. And what's another line. There's so many, I don't know. Those were my top two. Cause I don't want to say it and they'd be like, wait, no, it is this one.

Camille Walker: Yeah, no, that's perfect. You have done something really unique in this business, in that you have an agent that works for you outside of New York city. And I want you to speak to that because that's a pretty unique thing. I do not have my own agent. I know others that do, but how did that transform your business and how did you go about having that happen?�

Jennifer Borget:�Yeah, so that was really scary for me, but so this woman I had met at a blog conference like maybe I think a year earlier and I had spoken with her, I thought she was really nice. I actually didn't even realize that she was an agent when I met her. I just knew that she made press kits for people. And I thought that they were really pretty, and I knew mine was in need of an update.�And I didn't realize that one of my friends had her as her agent. But I just knew we were going to stay in touch, and I was going to have her work on my press kit. And after the conference I contacted her, and we went through that process and chatted a few times. I loved her work. Like it turned out beautiful and right at the end of like us tying that up, or maybe it was sometime in the middle of it I found out that I was pregnant and maybe I told her like the, and or something. And I just, like, I was stressing out like, how am I going to do everything? And now I'm going to have a newborn. Like, it was like kind of change, you know, like changing everything. And she was like, well, you know, I'd love to work with you if you're interested.�Like, I think worked well together with this project. And I was like really scared because at that time I had like had a few contractors help me here and there, but I had never paid someone like a substantial salary type thing. And it was like, it was a big decision. Like I was like telling my husband, like I'm pretty much going to be paying her more than what you bring home. Like, is this worth it, is this going to be a good investment. But so that was another leap of faith, you know and it was like a mindset shifts that I had to do because I had been, we've always been very, very like budget savvy and just very big on like, not overspending. So it was hard for us, hard for me especially, I knew once I made the decision, I could like work it over with my husband, but it was hard for me to be like, all right, this is going to be worth it.�But I had actually read a book. You're a badass at making money by, not sure of her last name. But that was like a really, really big game changer for me because it had just, I�ve gone from thinking like kind of from a scarcity complex of money, kind of like, I don't need to make lots of money. I just need to like get by. And like, it just shifted my whole views on money because I had, and at this point, remember, I didn't really like see myself as this business owner, like woman, you know, like I just was like, yeah, [39:46�inaudible], like it's good. But I never thought I could make a lot of money. I just never saw myself doing that. So that book really shifted things for me, because I was like, Oh, well, maybe I could make lots of money.�Why couldn't I? You know, like, what's stopping me. What if I did? What if I did double my income? What if, you know, it just gave me all these what ifs that I had never considered before that looking back, I think really was limiting my views and my potential, because I just had a limited mindset. And I think that also limited my potential. So once I broke that away and was like, all right, I'm diving in, like, and if I'm going to pay this person, like I'm going to have to, you know, make it worth it. And it did, like it worked out really well. And now I'm like, I don't even think I could work without her. So, I think that it's, you know, one of those things, when, you know, you're thinking about investing in your business and it's really scary. And some people, you know, I have friends who I think invest very easily just knowing, like, it's a business investment it's going to pay off. I was never that person who could do that, but now I�ve definitely become more like conscious, but like more willing to invest in my business, knowing that it has the potential to pay off.

Camille Walker: That's so awesome. And Bravo, because man, I�ve loved watching that journey for you because it just is incredible. You've done so many amazing things with your business. And one thing that I love is that you really incorporate your children into creating content. So, speak to that a little bit, like how you involve them and how it's taught, especially Jada, how she could have potential in business,

�Down the road, if she chose to.�

Jennifer Borget:�Yeah. You know, it's funny because they were just born into the business, right. Like they were just like, here's another baby. And this, you know, my blog was all about my babies and it's funny because at first I thought I even have Broncos probably where I was like, well, I'm never going to share pictures of my baby on my blog, just so you guys know, like, we're going to keep that, that it was like a weekend. I don't even think it was a week. Here is my baby everybody. So that definitely changed. And yeah, like, I mean, I think it started out as like all, like through my perspective of parenting, you know, like through my eyes and this is what they did, and this was my, this is my perception of this. And it still is, but now I'm trying to allow them to present themselves however they want to, and just kind of giving them a chance to have a platform.�And also, I think that it�s kind of sharing little blips of them here and there, I think went from like, here's my cute kid and what I dressed him in. And you know, what she wore for Halloween to now, like the explanation behind why we chose this costume or why this was so fun for them, or, you know why my son loves these animals or my daughter is into, you know, works hard and getting these skills and [43:07�inaudible] in�gymnastics. And like, it's more of the why behind all of those things and it's showing their personalities. And I think that it's become more intentional for sure. Like, okay, I'm not always just going to show them just to show them. I am giving like little glimpses of who they are and like sharing their light. And I�ve noticed more and more parents responding and saying that they appreciate that.�Like, they appreciate how, the way that they'll put it as, like how you are tailoring, like what you're teaching in your kids around their interests, or you're letting them be who they are or how you see your children, like the way that you see them. Like I see these things and I'm like, Oh, Hey, I'm glad this gets through. Because that is my intention now when I share them, you know, it's not just like, Oh, here's my kid with this thing. But it's like, you know, I'm giving you a glimpse that, you know, you guys see me all the time and who I am, but these people that I'm raising are actually kind of quite different than me in many ways. And I hope that it helps other parents see their kids a little bit differently too, and maybe approach things with them and like see them for who they are and not just as their child, but as their own person. So that's been really fun for me to show him that way. And it's been fun to also see my audience get more attached to them in different ways, because Aaliyah is so easy to attach to, Lilly because she's just so cute and funny and, you know, but my other kids, I can see people growing attached to them too, because they're not just seeing a photo or just seeing them in the background or hearing them randomly say like what we're eating for dinner or whatever, but they're also hearing what excites them and they can see them lighting up when they're talking about something that is their spark.

Camille Walker: Yeah. And I think that that can be different for each family because in mine, my kids are not as camera friendly as yours are. And I think being in this business or, I mean, anyone, any mother on social media now is making that choice of how much they want to share how much their kids will be sharing. And I think at each, you know, with each kid, that level of interest is different. And so, you just need to have an open conversation of what does that look like and how do we do this? Because I have been in situations before where I�ve needed to get a product of a picture or a picture of a product or do some video. And the child involved is like, no, like I'm not interested in this. So that can be tricky too, but there's been a lot of lessons learned, being able to see me work as their mother and see what the process of creativity can look like and how that affects our family and allows us to pay the bills. And it's, I think it's teaching a lot of lessons in our house, and I know that you are a big believer in goal setting and have achieved some really incredible goals lately. Do you want to share a little bit more about that?

Jennifer Borget: Yeah. Well, okay. First, I do want to say that if my kids are in the picture for product, I do pay them and that definitely helps them feel more open to doing something. I don't pay them a lot. They're like happy for a couple of dollars. And then other things that I share with them are like poorly, whatever they want, like [46:44�inaudible]�I saw animals, like a lot of the times he's not on camera, but maybe it would just be his voice or something, or I�ll say, or, you know, he'll come to me when he's holding a snake and be like, can you record me? And I'm like, yeah, sure. I love it. But yes, like every kid is totally different [46:58�inaudible].

Camille Walker: I know, I wish my kids were more like that. [47:03�inaudible] and I will pay my kids too. Yes, yes. If they are in photos and are doing like, or even filming for me sometimes I will pay them. But I do tell them that they have to have a positive attitude because when they become an employee someday your attitude and your work ethic are part of that job. Like you can't just do it while it's in there and have a stinky attitude and expect to be paid. So, we talk about that. We talk about that. Yeah. Like you can be a part of this.�

Jennifer Borget:�That's a really good lesson.�

Camille Walker: I think it has been.

Jennifer Borget: Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. So yeah, with goal setting, I mean, we are big on that for sure. And I like totally talk to my kids about that all the time. They're probably, I don't think they're annoyed, but especially my oldest, like, well, what are your goals? And okay what about in this area of life and, okay, so what are you doing today to help you reach that, you know, goal for next week or whatever. And I work the same way with myself and I feel like I will set a goal. And at first when I'm first setting it, it seems completely outrageous. And like, Ooh, I don't know if this is going to happen. And then after telling myself over and over and over again, that it's going to happen, then it just becomes like a no brainer. It's crazy how, I mean, maybe that sounds crazy.�I don't know. Or maybe that sounds like, yeah, that sounds about right. But like, so when we found out we were having Lily it was kind of like, okay, are we going to stay in this house? Or should we move? We built that house that we were in before. And my husband was like, we're never moving again. Like I hate moving. This is like, okay, but his mom was like, no, you guys need more space. You're having another baby.�

Camille Walker:�I love your mother-in-law by the way. Oh, I love her.�

Jennifer Borget:�Yeah. She's so great. And she has like, you know, gotten in my head a couple of times. And that was one of those times that I was like, well, maybe we do need a bigger place. And, but maybe if we did, we could just get everything we want.�And I just want a place with trees. Like it was something in the back of my mind that I had wanted that we didn't have where we were. I was like, I just, if we had an acre, if it was the same house on an acre, I would be so happy and I would be fine. So then when we found out we were having [49:32�inaudible], we were like, okay, an acre and an office, you know, so it was like a little bit more. And like, my husband was, we looked around, like I had hired a realtor and we were looking around and there were like old houses and places. It just all seemed really expensive and out of budget or maybe we'd have to fix it up or like, it was just, I wasn't sure how it would happen. And then also like convincing my husband that we could move and that we could afford it.�And I was just like, what if I save for half of the house before we move? Like, what if I just save 50%? That way we can just put half down, our payments won't be that much more than we're paying right now in our house. And he was like, okay. And we have to sell our condo. Cause we had a condo in Utah at the time that we bought right before the recession and hanging onto, and I'm like, okay, done, like you tell me the terms, then I will make it happen. So, I called a realtor, we sold the condo like 30 days later and I'm like, now I just have to save for the house. So yeah, and then that was just my focus. Like I'm saving, we're going to put 50% down. And after looking around for like maybe a month or so we realized that maybe building a house would be better just because I'd have more time to save that way.�I was getting really stressed out about like looking at what was on the market and when things popped up and like, I just didn't want to miss something, and I didn't want to like wait around forever. So, I was like, let's just build. And we found a plan, like we negotiated and got everything we wanted. Like, it was very, very similar to our last house in many ways, but we added an upstairs with a movie room and a playroom and then we just, yeah, I was just saving and we'd already been saving like pretty much like our entire marriage, we had saved a little bit. And then as our income increase, we just saved more instead of spending more. And but I was, I was basically like, we were like, all right, we're saving, but we're not including the money that we've already saved.�Like kind of like starting fresh. I think we did include the money from selling our condo, but yeah, but we wanted to keep our savings that we already had. So, it was a challenge, but I was like, if this is what it's going to take, like I will do it. And once we had the final number of what our build was going to be like, you know if you build a home, you go into a design center and they try to get you to upgrade every little thing. And I was like, no, we're keeping it. We're keeping it basic for everything, everything. And we came in at like a really great price and I was like, all right, I think I can do this. So, then I had my number and just like everything I made that year, I just was saving every penny of it.�And then when it can kind of close, we were able to put like, we were like, what about, what if we just round the number out? So, we ended up, it ended up being 51% down. And then we were like, all right, let's make a goal. Like, we were so happy with my closure. We're like, let's make a goal to pay it off within five years. I'm like, okay, perfect. Like, that's a good goal. We can get on that and like mapping out the payments. But then at the beginning of this year, I was like looking at our numbers and everything and we've still been saving. And I was like, you know what, like, what if we paid it off this year? I think we could do that. I think we could do it if we like really, really save, I think we could pay it off this year.�And you know, at this point we had been in the house for a year. So, we were like, my husband is kind of skeptical, but also knows like if I set a goal, like I'm going to go for it. So, he was like, sure. You know, we could see like maybe, and I just mapped it out and started going for it. And like at first, you know, like I was saying with the goal, like at first it seemed a little bit crazy. And I was like, I don't know if I want to really like put it out there and say, I'm doing that this year. And I didn't really tell him many people, like I told you, and you know, of course my husband knew, but I was like, I don't know if this can happen, but like towards the middle of the year, I'm like, this is going to happen.�Like this is going to happen. Of course, this is going to, you know, and then like, it's like, of course this is going to happen. When are we paying it off? When can we pay it off? So yeah, so we just paid it off and yes, I'm so excited. Like, it's still settling in, but it's under two years. So, our two years will be coming up with when we closed on the home and yeah, we paid off and part of it was because I was so mad,�they gave us a bad interest rate. So, I was like, let me get this.�

Camille Walker: So, you bought a house and paid it off in two years?�

Jennifer Borget:�Yes.�

Camille Walker:�And primarily from your income?

Jennifer Borget: Yeah. Yeah.�

Camille Walker: That's incredible. Okay. So, one question that I'm asking everyone that comes on the show is, do you believe that family and life can be balanced with business? Or do you think that that is a myth?

Jennifer Borget: No, I don't think it's a myth. I definitely think it's a possibility. I don't think it's always easy depending what your business is. But I think if that's your goal, like if your goal in your business is to also have that balance and I absolutely think it's possible. It might mean shifting obligations and tasks and duties one way or another, but you know, I don't think you're always be leveled out in that balance and like equally balanced. I think sometimes business will come before family and sometimes family comes before business, but I definitely think, you know, like averaging it out on a week or a month, I think it's possible.

Camille Walker: Yeah. And what are some things that you've done that have helped you to achieve that?

Jennifer Borget: I think for me like setting intentional limits on things or boundaries with my kids, with my emails, you know, or whatever that is like, okay, I'm only going to check my emails at this time and this time or knowing like right now I work on weekends every week and I know that's going to happen, but I know that I'm going to take off like two days in the middle of the week. So just making, being flexible and knowing that your business just might not look like everyone else's, or it might not be like a Monday through Friday nine to five kind of business, depending on what it is. Like, it just, it may look weird and it may look different, but if you still get the balance out of it, [56:38�inaudible]. I think that counts.

Camille Walker: That's awesome. Well, I appreciate you sharing so much with us today. It has been so fun to interview you. So, thank you so much.�

Jennifer Borget:�Thank you. This has been fun.�

Camille Walker:�Yeah. All right. Well thank you everyone who's listened in today and make sure that you send me a screenshot of your five-star review with a comment review on Instagram at Call Me CEO podcast, for your chance to win some amazing prices.�

Hey CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment in a five-star review, you could have the chance at being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram at Call Me CEO podcast. And remember you are the boss.

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Building a Fitness Empire, High Fitness | Emily Nelson & Amber Zenith

Emily Nelson, Amber Zenith High Fitness, Call Me CEO
 
 

Building a Fitness Empire and Juggling Motherhood

Our first guests on the Call Me CEO Podcast are Emily Nelson and Amber Zenith, founders and CEOs of High Fitness. They started this business as young mothers in Calgary, Canada. Building a fitness empire and juggling motherhood is a daunting task, but the hard work has paid off. They are now full-time business owners and mothers who work together, creating the fitness company of their dreams. On this episode, Camille joins with these two women in an engaging conversation of their roles as mothers and CEOs. 

Emily Nelson and Amber Zenith created High Fitness over five years ago. They have managed to grow their business to over 3500 instructors, in more than 10 countries. Their business focuses on positivity and empowerment. This is what makes this dynamic duo something you will want to learn more about.

“I think that what they’ve gained from seeing us struggle and work and  be entrepreneurs and be business-women is an asset to our daughters lives” 

Emily Nelson, High Fitness CEO
Camille Walker, High Fitness, Call Me CEO
Camille, herself participates in High Fitness and loves it!

Is it possible to start a business and be a mother?

Yes! Like so many other women, Emily and Amber have found a way to complete their callings in motherhood and be CEOs all at the same time. In this episode they share the challenges, joys and methods they have experienced as they run a full-time business.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

In this episode, we cover: 

  • how to find your place and do what you want to do
  • growing and building your skills within your niche
  • working with someone different from you and having a mutual respect
  • staying true to you and your brand

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS POST:

[MUSIC]

Hey hey, welcome to Episode Two. I'm your host, Camille Walker and I am so excited about today's episode. We are diving deep into a story of how two unlikely friends from different countries came together with a passion for fitness and women empowerment to create a global revolution to aerobic fitness as we knew it. Emily Nelson and Amber Zenith created high fitness over five years ago, and somehow managed to grow their business to over 3500 instructors, with people tuning in from 10 countries all over the world. They're focused on positivity and empowerment, and loving each other through it all, is what makes this dynamic duo someone you will want to learn more about. And let me tell you from experience, this workout is so much more than about losing weight.

[MUSIC]

So you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it, that handle motherhood family and still chase after those dreams? Well listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.

Camille: Hey hey, I'm so excited to have you both here today. We have Emily Nelson and Amber Zenith. The founders and creators of high fitness. And I mean it when I say it that I am major fan girls of both of you. And I cannot wait to dig into the story of how this company was created and how it has changed so many lives. So thank you so much for being here today.

Emily and Amber: Oh we're excited.

Emily and Amber: Yeah, we were saying it's been a while since we've done an interview together like quite a while and so we were really excited about this.

Camille: That's so cool. Okay, so I want to give you each a chance to introduce yourselves and tell us more about where you grew up, how many kids you have and your favorite food. I think we're going to make that a theme. I love to hear your favorite food.

Amber: That's hard.

Camille: I know.

Amber: You want to go ahead, go ahead.

Emily: So I, my name is Emily Nelson. And I'm half of high fitness. And I was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah, which is where I currently live now, which I always hated that when people move back to where they're from, but I've learned to embrace it. And I am married and I have three children. I have two girls: almost 10 and seven and then a two-year-old little boy. And they're just the best. They are so much fun and, oh my favorite food is that what I'm going to next?

Yeah, gosh.

Emily: I love sushi. But if I like just had to eat a food at home like all the time a good chips and salsa is like, I love chips and salsa and guac. Probably. That's like a good food that I love.

Camille: I love it.

Amber: Yeah, so it's hard to choose your favorite food. I'm sitting here racking my brain going favorite, what do you mean?.

Emily: We love the food.

Camille: All of it, all of it.

Amber: Um, yeah, so I'm Amber Zenif, and I'm from Calgary, Canada. And I live in Calgary, Canada. So we have that in common, which is so funny that we both live in our hometowns because we'll get to this but Emily actually lived here when we met so we'll get back to that. But it's funny how we both lived in the towns that we were born and raised in which is funny.

I have two girls Sloane and Zelda. Sloane is 10 and Zelda is 7. And yeah, I live in Calgary, Canada. My favorite food. Well, I think like my favorite bad food is Poutine which we have this whole discussion on Instagram, that you guys don't even have it. And we have it at McDonald's. Like it's so normal here. So it's like fries. And do you know what squeaky cheese is?

Camille: I do

Amber: It�s kind of like cheese curd�okay! Yeah, cheese curd. They put cheese curds and then gravy. And it all melts and it's like so good.

Camille: Have you had that, Emily? Do you like that?

Emily: Yeah, it's really good. Yes, it's I mean, you can't really go wrong with French fries and cheese.

Camille: I mean, yeah, that's the truth.

Amber: But it's so bad because it's like McDonald's. So you're like literally like shaking, trying not to go to McDonald's to get this Poutine. And honestly, I'd have to say a good salad is my favorite. And Emily can vouch for that. I love a good like, but it has to have like nuts and like, you know, a real good hearty salad. That's probably my favorite food. Someone gives me that, I am so happy.

Camille: Oh, I love it. Okay, well, I have to say you have to both be fueling your bodies with amazing things because I have known Emily since we were, I think 14 years old. And we were in a dance class together years and years ago and she has always had the most incredible energy like you just want to be around her. So much to give it and then somehow by some miracle, she met someone that matched that energy. And that was you! So I can't wait to hear like, tell me more about how you met and what, what was that magic that happened that brought you two together because you really are such a dynamic duo.

Amber: Well, it's funny because the story wasn't like all of a sudden, we met, and it was this amazing thing. It was is like kind of a slow process. So I remember I worked at a gym in, in Calgary, Canada called Heavens. And it was like the boutique kind of studio, she had been rocking, actually, aerobics classes, but like steps and like really old school, and she was like the queen of aerobics here, where I live. And so I worked there. It's actually where I met my husband too. So it's like, this plan is called Heavens. It�s called Heavens! So literally, like good things are happening here. I gotta tell you. So, I remember when Emily and Hank walked in, like it was yesterday. And he had this huge curly hair. And they look like they were straight out of California. Like they should have had surfboards underneath their arms. They just look fresh and tanned and young and fabulous. So I'm eight years older than Emily. So you know, they were fresh and that. And so, they said, we're from Utah. And just by coincidence, my dad lives in Utah. So I said, Oh, my dad lives in Utah, and I gave them the tour. So now Emily, what's, what's your perspective from this?

Emily: Yeah, so you mentioned already that I'm kind of hyper.

So this is no, I mean, hyper- I'm getting old now. I'm was fresh face. I mean, that was that was a long time ago. 10 plus years- are we on like 12 years ago now? Who knows? Okay. Yeah. No, longer than that! It was 16 years ago. What she's talking about 2006-7? Is that not 13 years ago?

Amber: Yeah. Oh my gosh,

Emily: I know. So I was a lot more fresh-faced. But I've always been like, had a lot of energy. So we moved to Calgary and literally the first day were there. In fact, my dad was still there, like helping us move in. I was like, I've got to find a gym. And they're like, okay, and I was just like, I just I got to find a gym. Not so much like I was worried about working out. But I have known since forever, that a gym is where you find a community, right? Like, working out with people. I love group fitness. I love it. So I was just like, let's find a gym. So literally, we walk into this gym, she's like my dad's from Utah, I can picture exactly where we were. And I just remember and then they gave me the price of the membership and I was all�turn! Here we are, like newly married, just uprooted our entire lives to another country. We don't got a lot of money and the memberships were like $120 a month, which nowadays with like, you know, at 45 orange theories like boutique gyms, that is more, it can happen like CrossFit here. But when I had moved there in 2007, it was like 999 at the Gold's Gym, like, that's what you paid. Yes, I was like, Okay, this isn't going to happen. So somehow they gave me a free week. And I weaseled my way into classes and weaseled my way to getting a job there. Don't tell anyone I mean, this is going on a podcast, but I didn't have a work visa yet. I was like, yeah, sure! I'll work the front desk. I'll wake up at 4:30 in the morning. And so we ended up working together at Heavens, I mean, I'm her second . I'm her wife, he's her husband, we all met there. And but we started working there. And so I went from working just like a desk job to actually taking over for the fitness director and doing that. And she worked in marketing and memberships and all these things. And so we just like we said, we were totally different, totally different backgrounds. She's eight years older, but we always had this connection. And it really happened where we got a more connection, as we ended up getting pregnant with our oldest about the same time. But let me tell you our pregnancies- remember how she said she likes salad? Like I'm over there with a chunk of bread barfing in the corner and she's like, �this salad is so good! I have never felt better. I've never felt better in my whole life.� And I'm like, I'm just like, gaining weight and she's like, flicking like shining. I was like, we're never allowed to be pregnant together again. I think that's really what really started our- more of our friendship. But it wasn't until I moved back to Utah, well, I should - I should say you can say about how but you know, I inspired you to try something new but when I moved back to Utah, we kept in touch and that's- it was actually when I was back here after that is when High started you can tell about how I had you do dance fitness. Amber: Yeah, so in my defense about the whole pregnancy I have- I'm like I have Colitis, so when you're pregnant your immune system kind of shuts down so that it doesn't like attack, so I like I that's what I'm but yes, I have amazing pregnancies because I'm usually like doubled over in pain, but I felt good. So I�m eatin� salad, living my best life. So anyways, I have been at this job for quite some time and had moved up the ladder and had always kind of wanted to get into like group fitness instruction. So I taught yoga there and it was super successful with that. But I was more in like, kind of the boot camp stuff. And I tried to kind of teach step and it was kind of like, a couple times when someone didn't show up, I'd get chucked in front of the class with zero skills. And then you kind of get labeled as like a bad instructor, and then you never get time slots. Do you know what I mean? So I really wasn't finding a place. And I was bummed about it. Like, I couldn't figure out how I could get into this group fitness I really want to teach like, I knew that was something that I really wanted to do. But I had been a bit beaten down over the years like, so here comes Emily fresh and fabulous. She picks up any format like this dancin� around that stuff like you've never seen. Doing the Elvis and this. This is a killer. Whatever those moves are, she had it dialed. Um, and anyway, she started teaching dance fitness. And you know, she's just she just wants everyone to be part of the party, you know? �You should teach dance fitness with me!� And I'm like, okay, I draw the line at trying to teach dance fitness. �No, no, you're gonna take it, we're gonna have so much fun together, and you're just going to take my routines and do them and it's so you got this of like�, okay, so I did and I actually started really loving it, like really loving it. But when I say dance fitness, like, I would choreograph ham curls and Jacks to a song because I have zero dance experience. Like I can't do the Cha Cha 123 back, step up and over, like that was not happening. So even before Emily left, we rented a church and did like a little like, it was like this Lutheran Church firehouse. And we did a little class and we charged per head, I think $3 and I think like, five of our relatives came. And it was a very short period of time that we were both kind of, she moved very quickly after. And then she's like, �you're gonna take over for me, you've got this, off you go.� And meanwhile, you know, I still wasn't great at it, but I loved it. So, um, as she said, when she moved away, it was actually- Oh, and I'll never forget this, I should have brought the sweatshirt. When I was down in the dumps and just learning this dance fitness. She had this sweatshirt on that said, �Love yourself.� And she like took it off her back and gave it to be left to Utah. And I was like, so touched, and I knew that I had to, like, get my confidence. And she said, �rock you! don't try to be me. Don't try to be Helen Don't try to be anyone else. They're just rock you.� We had both left Heavens at this time, we were kind of on our own. And like I really, you know, I teach in a basement to people with more passion than you've ever seen in your life and did hours and hours and hours of this. And finally built the confidence. So this is where Emily's saying where the story begins. Where -

Emily: Yeah, and I think it's like, I think we get asked so many times when we have you know, this fitness business and things like what about when I have two people I'm like, dude, we are like we taught to two people that we forced to be there like everybody has not everyone starts that way sometimes they jump into a big crowd and things like that. But it is like it- this was not overnight. I mean, like I just said we're talking about 13 years ago, that we really started building our skills and and progressing down the path that we wanted to as far as like what we felt like was our niche and

Amber: so even even our relationship wasn't overnight, right?

Emily: Like oh, yeah, yeah, I mean, yeah,

Amber: Sorry I didn�t mean to interrupt but yeah,

Emily: no, we were friends but it's not like like people are like, Oh, your best friends. I'm like, well, yeah, now we are but like, we were friends you know, just like and but we would pass back and forth routine. So when I moved back to Utah, I started teaching-

Camille: Zumba, you started teaching Zumba, yeah!

Emily: Yeah, I taught Zumba, body attack, body jam, and TRX, you name it! We've done it all. And, and I was teaching and I would send her my routine. So like my Zumba routines I'd send and then she started dumbing them down. Like she would you know how, how it worked for her. And she was like, I really she was like, I really feel like this is like, a thing. Like, people are loving this. Like they love that it's like not as dance-y and things like that. And so, like I made this maybe fast forwarding too far into the story, Amber, but so I was pregnant with my second. Yeah, I was pregnant with my second and I'm teaching like all these different formats and just living my best life. You know, I was very comfortable and safe. I was teaching at a local gym called Skills. I had huge crowds. Everything was good. And Amber well actually I should back-up. Oh yeah. So then I went up to Calgary to visit because every summer we'd go up. And Amber and I did a class together and she's like, you're gonna do this with me? No, I, I'm, I'm mixing up the story. First of all, she came to me, I just had a baby two weeks. And she goes, �I'm starting this thing. It's called High. And you're gonna do it with me.� And that, and at that point, I was two weeks postpartum with a brand new baby, my husband had just lost his job. And I'm like, Yeah, I don't know about that. I said, but just, you know, let's just just give me a minute. Like, I got, I gotta, like, you know, not be postpartum for five seconds. So fast forward to that summer. A couple months later, that's when I went up. And we had our discussions. And kind of she was like, I, you know, she came up with the name. High, how did it- tell them?

Amber: It just came to me! Like, it really just came to me like, I was like, there needs there has to be like a name for this thing. But like, the thing is, is that we had evolved and created this thing together. Maybe it wasn't like a thing. But it was this, like, cloud brewing that started, you know, it started having movement. So as we were passing choreography back and forth, this is what happened. So we weren't teaching Zumba. And that was one thing that really bothered me is because I felt like I for sure was not doing that brand any justice cause I was basically doing High. Jacks and knees. Yeah, nice and solid, like literally, so I'd have big crowds, and people loved what I was doing. But I'd go on vacation. And I'd come back and the lady would be like, I went to Zumba. And they were Latin dancing. And I'm like, I know like, that's actually that's what it is, like, what I'm doing is kind of, I have like this in me. I'm like, this is wrong, in every way, because I'm not representing their brand properly. I'm not living up to our potential. This is something totally different. So I was like, what is this thing called that we've that we've slowly created? And so yeah, it's-

Emily: yeah, cause really, when we would pass back choreography, so I'd be like, I actually do a toner second, and she's like, Oh, that's interesting. I should add that in more like, we should do more toning tracks. So then she started doing that. And I was like, Oh, that's a good idea. And then that's kind of what she saying as it evolved over time. But because she was out on her own, she had the freedom to start exploring and kind of create her own brand where I was very fixed into a gym.

Camille: Yes.

Amber: So yeah, I hate it when it's like, Yes, I came up with the name. Yes, I forced her to do it with me. But this was always kind of like it was always that's it was never like me just doing my thing. And then I'm like, oh, maybe I should No, it was always like this collaborative thing that was like alive. It kept adding the toner and adding that this. And that's what was interesting about it.

Emily: And the thing about us is we're very different. Like we're very, I mean, as you can tell, like, the way our minds work everything and but when we came together, like like, I'm always Oh, she came up with the name she made me. But what I mean is this couldn't have happened where we are today without the both of us. No, because I had to come on to make it into something that was more than just the brewing and then, and also like the back and forth. And I remember, and like being like, okay, we're doing this, like we're doing this, you know, my husband was in, her husband was in. And I'll tell you being a woman, mother business owner, if you do not have the support from your spouse, it is going to be an uphill battle. Because it's already an uphill battle. It's probably one of the hardest things you could ever tackle. But when you have supportive spouses, like Zach, and Hank, I mean, your battle just went downhill because they're cheering you on. When you doubt yourself, they're telling you it's worth it. They're sacrificing their careers, their things to support you. And so it was it was the whole family thing. All four of us were like,

Amber: Yeah, let's do this.

Emily: We're going in, and we're going in like immediately, and I told everybody at home, I'm no longer teaching these formats I'm doing High and they're like, what, what, what's going on what's going on? I'm like, this is what's happening like we are going all in and there was not one second of once we set it like hesitation. And people always said from the beginning 50/50 businesses never work 50/50- it's like, literally it gets better with time. But I will say one thing that's helped us with that is we have such from day one, we've had such a mutual respect for one another. And we've also had a one single vision. And it's the same. So as different as we were that our vision for the company and what it would be and what it was going to become was the same. We've never strayed and we've had people �do this. Don't do that.� Like try to say that the name was too edgy that did that. And we were like Nope, nope, nope. And as long as we're on the same page, and we respect each other more than the business, like I'd rather walk away, literally walk away from the entire thing then ever hurt or offend her. It's worked really good. I know that not everybody can do it and money gets scary and things like that. But we truly have since day one, a mutual respect for one another that has really helped us succeed.

Camille: And I love that so much.

Amber: Yeah, yeah. Oh, it's so true. Like, we would way rather say, �Oh, do what you think� then like, upset each other. And what we do is we go with whoever's more passionate, like, if I'm liking them, I really feel strongly about this. Like I don't, I really could care less, or vice versa, then that's what we do in regard to building the business to just like mentioning Hank and Zach. I mean, Zach's been here for me, 100%, with the kids in this, but Hanks actually pushed us in ways the business that I don't think we would have ever done. without his help. He's been huge with, like, for example, when we started this he�s like, you need a marketing branding team to clean up your brand and get a brand and get a style guide and the sun we're like, what? And he is like $10,000! So we're like, heck no, we don't have that kind of money, and he�s like, Yes, you do. You can't afford not to. let's Like he always level this up to make us like a professional company, instead of like, a Joe Schmo from you know, yeah, amateur. And one thing, Camille, is that we have self-funded this from the ground up, we have not had one investor, not one loan, it was literally we taught classes in the beginning, we saved our money paid off monthly, literally from teaching High, like yeah, to pay off like websites, marketing, all those things. We haven't taken one loan or one investor and we almost we almost cave with some things we were doing this past year. And then we're like, nope, we did it! We don't have to. So it's been that's been really just like fulfilling for us. Because half the time we're like, we don't know what the crap we're doing. And then we're like, Okay, wait, we're okay.

Camille: Yeah, I love that so much. So I want to back to, because I am familiar with it, what I love about high fitness so much is that it's an awesome outlet for people who have had a dance history like myself, but it's not so choreographed, that others can't pick it up and do it and be able to be just as capable as someone who has danced in the past. So I'm curious, what has been one of the biggest benefits of merging those two so that it applies to everyone?

Emily: Yeah, I guess we didn't even say what High was? We,

we haven't said that yet. T

Camille: That�s okay. That's okay.

Emily: Um, so basically, when we joined forces, and we're like, we're doing this, our goal was we had taught all these different formats, right? Like we've been down the really dancey route, we've done the boot camp, we've done this that we were like, We want to take the best of the things that like that we love and is the best workout. But it has to be fun. Like, we want this workout to be as fun as it is a good workout. We knew that we wanted it to be body weight, because you don't want to deal with equipment and things like that. But at the end of the day, we were like what's the most effective thing, but what will bring people coming back for more. And that's what it is. Number one pushing yourself out of a comfort zone, right? Like you you have to get uncomfortable in order to get those happy endorphins, which is what you were saying, it's such an outlet for women, men, people going through hard times, like talk about this quarantine, which I'm sure we'll get to, like people were literally living for it because they needed those endorphins, right? Like we live for those. So we needed to create a workout that created those, you know, high endorphins make you that high feeling. But the same time, we wanted to scale it back. So we would go to all these fitness conventions and we're like, why is nobody simplifying the choreography? Like you had your extremes, right? You had your boot camps, your CrossFit things like that. And then you had your super your Bollywood, your Zumba, but you're Latin, all these things. And we're like, why is nobody simplifying it like this is this is key because if we we always had if we had a dime for everybody that said, �I can't dance even coming to High:, which is what I mean, we're like, we'd be rich already. We wouldn't be have to be because people it is such a barrier. So while these big brand names are so much bigger than us and have this reach people felt a barrier because of the complexity of the movement. They're like they just want to have a good time but also get a good workout. And as mothers were like get in get out one hour I don't have three hours for the gym. I don't want to deal with all this stuff. And so that's and you can elaborate on that. Amber but..

Amber: well I was basically like the bottom of the barrel so if I can't do it, we are not doing it like because I have no

Camille: Which, it�s good to have that yin and yang so that you could. Yeah, that's great.

Amber; It is I'd be like heck No, I can't. I can't like my brain. So that was the thing is she had the flare. And I I'd take it down To the to the, you know, the worst case scenario participant, basically, like if I can do it, pretty much any I mean, of course, I've gotten more and more read them as we've done this for 10 years, but I didn't that I was more of like an athlete. So, you know, it's great. It is great. It is so fun and even music choices and having art, we are the Yin and Yang, like we really, really are like, it's so different, but it works together so well that that's how we blended the two together plus our aerobics background. So we taught at this gym with this, like 80s aerobic icon. We did Zumba, forever, which we saw the calmer like, there's so many great things about Zumba. Like, we think it's awesome, you know, but we're different, completely different format. But they�re, the most amazing Latin dance format, there is like we did learn a lot about the community and like different things from them. So we're just like different pockets of these different elements. Like it really was the perfect storm. I don't think like I believe and I believe in like the universe or whatever things coming together. I do believe that it was something that was meant to happen just based on all these little things coming together like Emily moving to Calgary, my dad being from Utah, us too, like, it is some crazy things that brought it together a bit of luck as well as skill I'd say we can't take all the credit like at the timing was impeccable. Yeah, it really was.

Emily: And so and also along with just being a different workout and bringing like a new workout to the fitness thing. We wanted to create it like as a community. So from day one, we have stuck we call this the anti-fitness fitness format. We're like, yeah, just come as you are. You don't need to lose weight. Like it doesn't matter what you look like, like, honestly since day one six years ago. And that was like when Instagram was very much like look this way be this way six pack, we're like no one's allowed to post ABS shots. If you're a part of our brand, you don't post ab shots. Our before and afters are about your mental health. Like we really wanted to just create a community where everybody felt like they belonged felt like they could have a part in it. And yes, you know, you scare you scare away people a little bit along the line because the name High and it can be very high intensity, and we've evolved and things like that. But we truly want to create that brand. That and also we came up with some really fun new things like we were the first format to do song of the week, which lots of people have done that since, But we were the Yeah, we're the first one. So usually in fitness-

Amber: no one was doing that no one was doing no, u

Emily: Usually it came out in chunks. So like either a month or a three month chunk of choreography. Yeah. And stuff to learn from and we were like, I don't know how we're going to pull this off. Because that's a lot of work. Like how do you film for every week and things like that. But we since day one, we had our chunk of songs. And then every week we do at least one new high song of the week. And so that was one of our things that we kind of paved the way for in the fitness industry. And it's Yeah, it's been so like, we tried to add more, it's more than just the fitness. It's just like a whole new culture. And even though the charity work that's been done, like things like because we always joke, you gotta stop doing charities. You know, because it's like,

Emily: My dad�s Like, I'm gonna cut you off. And charity is like joking, obviously, of course. But that was not a thing like big fitness classes for charity was not a thing. And the thousands I would I swear. Well, we'd have

Camille: I wanted to ask you that question is do you know how much money you've raised from your charitable events? Because there have been many-

Amber: Because there has been so many facets and instructors. It's hard. I don't know how I would. And we joke about it because it's a huge part of our brand. We love it. But sometimes we were doing like five huge charity classes and we could set it out yourself like it would be thought of it nuts but we will always do the charity and we love the charity work and when our crowd�s passionate when we get together, huge things can happen a will close to a million I would say a million dollars.

Emily: I would too.

Camille: I just think it might be more than that. I will tell you I took one of my closest friends to a charity event for a friend of ours Emily that was going through cancer and it was her first high event that she'd ever been to and after that first class she immediately fell in love with it and she's lost over 150 pounds and like it's totally transformed her life like it's

Amber: That�s amazing

Camille: but I think it's really fascinating to see how your business has been so much about the community I've never seen a fitness empire work like that. Not even close with it being know that show up and rally around each other. Just for the goodness of it. Like it's incredible.

Amber: And that means everything to us like we could care less about the 100 pounds or anything. It's all about that.

Emily: Yeah, is it and I don't I think we ever expected that I would say that's been like we knew we wanted to create a culture and a community because we're a subscription business. And what keeps people around is that community feeling right? And but I don't think we ever could have imagined, like, the stories like that, and the community and the, the, I mean, just this past summer, I think it was over 100 grand was raised for OUR Rescue just on High Fitness instructors in like two weeks in two weeks, which was just incredible. So, and I think it's like 170, actually,

Camille: and for those who don't know that�s a sex trafficking organization that fights against child sex trafficking. So that is that amazing program that I believe in? So let me rewind a little bit. What was one of the biggest hurdles that you overcame? In the beginning that you thought, �How are we going to get over this?�

Amber: I think our kids like we missed. Emily missed her two daughters lives and I miss my two daughters life her son, she's, she's getting old because of COVID, she probably wouldn't have otherwise. But we that was a hurdle like, I would bawl, like it was hard. I would bawl like I would bawl. We�d, I would have to leave for days, we're two different countries. So this was an hours, this was days and days, often, often. And days, that was the biggest hurdle.

Emily: Because we did everything in the beginning, right from the back end of the website, to the emails to the training, every training. So we traveled to trainings, we traveled to each other every news thing every so it was just the two of us. And since then we've grown to an amazing team that levels us up by millions, things we couldn't do. But um, so I would say the biggest thing is yes, I think being-learning to be a mother and a business owner, when in my mind, I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. I'm always like I it just happenstance, whereas my husband always wanted to be an entrepreneur. So I was like, how did this happen? Um, so that's really, really hard. I also think it was hard to prove yourself in the industry, you were always getting shot down by people and just being like, because nobody what, when we started this, nobody just started a fitness brand. Like that was not a thing. There were only the big players, the Les Mills, the Zumba the TRX, the Tae Bo, the Beachbody there, They didn't like there weren't out now with Instagram and social media. There's a lot of different brands that have popped up. But almost seven years ago, that was not a thing. And so people were just like, Who do you think you are like, and mostly, it was mostly the people that were the closest to me and like my work camaraderie. That was like, okay, and they didn't take off. And it's like spreading, though. And it's in these different areas. And they're still like, I don't know. And I'm like, there's gyms in you know, Arizona loving this. Why can't you accept? So I think, yeah, like, the hardest hurdles for me were getting over just like, yeah, the mom business like finding that and the leaving them and then also just, you know, trying to prove yourself and in the industry.

Amber: And being in two different countries.

Camille: Yes, lets talk about that because I've been a part of partnerships where we've been in different states, and even being in different cities is difficult. So how in the world have you managed to have such an incredible partnership? Being in two different countries, which starting out, I mean, starting a fitness company and being able to start in two in two countries at the same time, like, How cool is that? But how do you manage that? Like, that seems like such a big hurdle.

Amber: I think it was actually a blessing for many reasons. A- because we had different influences. So like, you bring forward different exciting ideas. Of course, we started two pockets at the same time, instead of just one, right, that adds. But I don't it, it's hard, but it's always seemed pretty natural. Because we don't Yeah,

Emily: because we don't know anything different. I think, you know, it's like, it's all we know, and but I do think there's been more blessings than negatives. The hardest part is when I'm like, I just need you here. I know or we're like, get launching a song and she's like, you film that like that. I don't do it that way. And I'm like, how do you do it that way. We've been doing it for six months different like, just like not being in the same place. And sometimes you're just like, I just want to explain to you, technology has evolved so much like Marco Polo FaceTime, Zoom, like six years ago that weren't even really those things. But the way that we have been able to create our own identity, you know, in High Fitness on our own, not like on top of each other, we truly like can celebrate each other's successes, failures, like be there to cry on when she's crying about something that's affected her that I'm like, usually if she's having a bad day, I I'm having a good day literally this week that yes, he was on the bottom. I was here the next day. I'm like, I hate my life, you know? Like,

Amber: yeah, no, it is we are like, it's so opposite that even like, literally it's and I start GarageBand and she's putting on pom poms and like, we really do have different identities, which is a beautiful thing. So

Emily and, but as we got, you know, grew and had a little more monetary, we were able to fly to see each other at least, it was like at least three every three months then was every other month, up until COVID, which we have not seen each other now. I think we're going on nine months. That is the longest time we haven't touched or given a hug. And like, been together since we started High. Unfortunately, I think we've just gotten used to it now. I'm like, Yeah, I miss you. But like, it's it's weird, like, but we've still been able to grow our business exponentially during COVID without even having to be together. But I'm yeah, I mean, you just you just make it work.

Camille: Yeah, yeah. Is there a certain program or system that works for you like check ins with your team? Like, how do you navigate the moving parts?

Amber: I'm the worst at Marco. I hate it because I refuse to pay the $69. So they all of a sudden added. . So I can't, I can't fast forward and I'm sitting there listening. And I open it up to like 300 messages like so I just like, I'm like, No, text me. So I'm stubborn that way. I need to get better. But I like it's a it's like a bunch of mini moving systems that work like so we have someone named Janae Wilson, who has literally saved our lives

Emily our angel from heaven.

Amber: Yeah. And she's like, the CEO of this mothership. Like she is incredible. She knows each of us very well. So she knows that we're creative types. And like, she is incredible. So she has a mini team, like an administrative team. And then we have a social team. And then we have like, there are many teams that all kind of check in. So they all have their kind of systems. And we're pretty lenient bosses, like we're not having them check in like, if the job gets done. We don't care when you're working. We don't care how many hours your work like. Yeah, got it. Me. And they do.

Emily: Yeah, we have a management meeting with like our top management team every Monday. And we've been doing that for a couple years. And it's been a game changer for us to just always check in. And then beyond that, we do have a problem that we're all over. We all work too much. I'll give you that much like Yes, because that's how we've gotten used to for so many years that like putting out fires 24/7, when you're the only ones on the staff. That's what you do, right? Yeah. And so, but it's been so fun for us to be able to hire all these stay-at-home moms or girls that you know what, whatever they're not everyone's a mom. Yeah, employees stay at home moms, and they can work for as much or as little as they want, as long as they get the job done when they want it when they can get it done. And that is that's super rewarding.

Amber: Yeah. Who isn�t a mom? I'm trying to think who isn�t a mom on our team?

Emily: Well I guess now everybody is at one point, not everybody was we really are persuasive in the baby making. And we also want to make that like in the fitness industry, we've known people who were like representatives of a fitness brand that felt like they couldn't have children. And we're like, No, you have that baby, you rock what you can while you're pregnant, postpartum, like, you will still be the face of our brand as much as you want. Like, we really encourage that because who are our participants if I think I was more relatable when I was postpartum, 50 pounds heavier than ever before. Because people are like, that is real. I wasn't I mean, I there's some fitness people that have a baby and it's like a little ball and then they pop it out. And everybody's like, I mean, you look really good, but I secretly hate you. I'm like, you're here for it all. And, and I went back, I went back to teaching classes when I was still 50 pounds overweight, and I was just like, well, how else am I gonna lose it? This is what I'm gonna do. And of course, I was uncomfortable, but nobody cares. Nobody cares. But you and it's been so fun.

Amber: Emily is the best pregnant person is hilarious. I mean or do. I made her do it? Was it fitness? I know.

Emily: She made me go on stage at a huge fitness convention. 25 Weeks Pregnant? Yes. And we won. Like we won. We won that one. It was awesome.

Camille: It's like representing us that like we go through that it helped me lose weight from two of my babies. And what I love about it is that High Fitness is so fun, like you get from a done with one song and you're like, Oh, I'm exhausted. And then the next song pops up and you're like, oh, but this song is awesome. Like, yeah, talk to me about music selection and introducing product into your brand because I feel like those are such unique things that you've done that it really has helped create your entire brand.

Amber: yeah, yeah well song selection just began with us and what we loved, and what we put forth and of course we are so different that we would come up with different songs and different tracks Now we get submissions and that has totally changed. But we always wanted to be all genres, all decades, we never wanted to be like you know, I�ve been to lots of bar classes were its only been current hits only and it�s like no add some rock add this add that. We want everyone to be in a class and get excited for at least one song.

Emily: But the one thing we were passionate about, and this made us different also, I�m thinking of things we brought in, is like we refused to use digitized aerobics music. Which made us have to jump and continue to jump major hurdles because anyone who is in business knows that music licensing laws are no joke. It�s huge hurdles, it hurts our business every day. You know what I mean, like, we have to jump through hoops. But we were dead set on the fact that we would only use music straight off like iTunes or whatever, that it was the original music. We speed it up most of the time to fit, like we have apps and we actually just launched a new instructor app that does it for them, it�s really cool.

Camille: I know! We will get to that.

Emily: Over the time we were like very, that�s what I think you�re saying like this is so fun. There is something about that music that is so nostalgic and like it just you just gotta, and this week we just released a Missy Elliott song which is very current. Next week we are releasing two Dolly Parton songs. Cause people love them but that�s like

Amber: No it�s like it�s like night and day. And as for the merch when I was rocking my classes, the little High when I came up with the name and I was convincing Emily I literally would like would by shirts at the Garage which is like this ya know, young girl�s store, and take them to a guy that screened and I sent one to Emily, I was always like ya know trying to get her in. So from the beginning I think we always sold t-shirts and stuff. But it was actually Hank that really pushed us.

Emily: But we literally would go to, we went to Palm Springs one time to meet up cause her family has a house there. And we went to the Outlet stores and we would go in each store and buy ten shirts at American Eagle, ten shirts here. On this sale rack and then would sell them, like some of my friends have the originals. That�s what we were in at the beginning. Now we have a whole warehouse that says like �okay we want these shirts for the holiday season, order 600 fave tees in Hunter Green.�

Amber: Yeah

Emily: Like you know what I mean like it�s a whole situation, but we would literally go store to store, buy them and then get them screen printed. But now we have, you know we have protein, we have sweats, we have jewelry, water bottles, we have a fragrance that like ignites when you sweat-

Camille: Oh I didn�t know about the fragrance!

Emily: Oh I got to get you some!

Amber: it�s the best!

Emily: People will stop you and they�ll be like �why do you smell so good?� It�s so good. So we have all these things but the thing that�s really cool about it is that we just have such a community. Like we talked about, we have a captive audience and a community. We always say if we had to just sell merch, like that would be so stressful, but we have this audience that like just loves High Fitness so much that it�s like you put something out, it goes.

Amber: And we�ve tried to do like cool things with like the logo, like we�ve done a bag that we both love, and they didn�t sell as well. People want it to say High which is huge. Which is huge for us.

Camille: Yeah, it�s a big deal. I think it�s so much because it�s not what the product is. It�s the community and what they feel when they think about being a part of that. And that�s what they are buying. It�s that feeling of knowing that they have, I love that all of your music is so empowering for women. And that if feels so- it�s funny cause every time I hear the song �Started From the Bottom Now We are Here� I think of you two!

Amber: One of my faves

Camille: Yeah I know it�s one of my faves too. And like I love that you really have taken this idea and this community and just exploded it into something that people want to buy, they want to wear it. Is that something that transformed the profitability of your business, do you feel like introducing product really helped you in that area?

Amber: It definitely solidified the brand.

Camille: Okay

Amber: But it is expensive. Like I feel sorry for people that just do a product cause it is so expensive to manufacture and it comes back not right and your like ready to cry, like it adds a lot of problems.

Camille: interesting

Amber: I mean, it adds profit, small profit, but it adds a lot of work.

Emily: Yeah it does, and we�ve gotten better at what works and what doesn�t to kind of up those profits and add additional revenue. Um, but yeah it is definitely like an even flow like where I was like should we do that should we not. And I think we�ve gotten in a good rhythm of what works now so that our profitability has gone up but when people think we are just like makin� money off the apparel believe me it�s taken a long time and we try to do it for the best prices we can while still making it worth it.

Amber: It all seems great �til the bill comes in and your like �oh crap�.

Camille: Oh trust me. Yeah I, my sister and I started a merchandise company and we actually were shipping coats from China. And it was such a nightmare, because it got held up in customs and it was just.. yeah like it was-

Amber: Oh and we have the Canadian like uh it is a lot of work

Camille: Yeah so I get it! Like I�ve been there and your facility is stateside, right? You�re pretty much here?

Emily: Yeah, I mean we�ve manufactured some things over seas but what we found for that is a lot of times the headache is not worth the extra profit. Because we will be like we�re gonna launch theses sweats, apparently a year from now. Like that�s and, say whatever you�re doing, and we are such a �song of the week� it�s now we�re doing this we�re doing this, like were not good at the year timeline. So we�ve found that just like ya know going local and that has proven to be more successful for us.

Amber: We�re like �Squirrel! Squirrel!� like, no one but Janae could keep up with us, we can�t even keep up with ourselves it�s so nuts and the ideas are flyin�.

Camille: Okay, yeah I love it! So when, can you think of a moment, and this is probably different for each of you but when was a moment when you thought �we�ve made it�. Like we�ve uh, we�re doing this, like this is happening. Like what was a moment like that for you where it really felt transformative from like this major crawl up a hill to like a okay we are on a little bit of a peak where we can see that this is happening.

Amber: Em? I think we are just to the point where we feel like �okay this is hap- like- Em?

Emily: Yeah people would have said, okay so I have two moments and it depends. Like in the beginning for me I remember one Thanksgiving cause I always travel for Thanksgiving, right? like I am never home. People are always like you wanna do a thanksgiving class and I�m like no. so I I am trying to think, like this was probably four years ago, so we were 2-3 years in. And I went to visit my brother for Thanksgiving, and I was in this small cabin in the woods not rockin� thanksgiving morning, not rockin� a high class. And I pulled up my social media, and it was �300-person High class here, 100-person High class here. This city this city, this city� and here I am sitting in this cabin.

Camille: Oh I have chills!

Emily: I remember thinking holy cow like all of this is running? And like I have nothing to do- I mean you know what I mean but like I�m not there making the class happen bringing the people. Like it was these huge events that like we literally weren�t doing. These, our instructors and all of that. Um, so that�s one moment for me like more in the beginning. And then I think, during Covid, when we literally, the first 6 days when everyone- the world got shut down were probably some of the hardest. Because people were like �what are you gonna do?� What are you gonna do?� And we had no music licensing to do anything online, nothing. And I ended up buying music off, ya know this girl who did it. And literally throwing together like my thought that we threw up that YouTube so fast, like literally these people I called and said �meet me at the studio in 5 minutes,� like that�s how- they didn�t get practice-nothing. And we loaded that up and like the response and the da da da da da and just like people flocking because now-it was the biggest realization to us that people need this in their lives not for the weight loss, not for that, but and that is what we�ve been preaching forever is the mental the mental gain people needed this so bad when your just like locked down and and you can do it from home! Ya know? It�s not ideal, in class is much better, but like you don�t need equipment you don�t need- ya know what I mean so those are like two moments that I can think of.

Amber: No I love those Em, those are awesome.

MUSIC

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Amber: That�s the thing about High. Is that it�s not about weight, it�s the emotional weight. You need to lose that emotional weight that is weighing heavy on you. And that�s what High is about, and so when you go to a workout where you�re hating every minute of it, the emotional weight actually get heavier. It doesn�t get lighter cause you�re sitting there hating life thinking uh I suck at this da da da and then ya know that�s what�s so beautiful about High is that it�s actually the emotional weight you lose.

Okay back to the real-sorry I just thought of that- but, ahh we�ve made it. Our convention was pretty spectacular. Like, it was electric. Like it was- and the reason why I hesitate to say we�ve made it is because it has never been about Emily and I. Ya know? Like it�s way bigger than us and we know that. We know that this is all because of all the instructors, and all our staff and because of like a higher power that has made this- truly um, it�s not us just making it. It�s like a real big like Emily said with all those classes running. It�s like an entity on its own that has a life of itself at this point. So I think we�ve I think mean if you were to stop today I�d be pretty proud that we�ve made so many women feel like they�re enough. That�s always been our goal.

Camille: I love that. So tell me what was it about this convention that really like give me a moment in your eyes. What was it about that convention that was like whoa this is really cool. Tell me more.

Amber: It just like literally we opened the doors and the energy was just so light and just love in the air and fun and excitement, they�re all coming in and they�re taking pictures with each other and just like they don�t even know each other but they�ve just like all connected in ways. Like you�ve never- they were holding on to every moment of just like being in person with each other. Um, and just like our classes, us being together, them being with us, learning with us, and-

Emily: Yeah, I actually watched, so we did this opening number, our theme last year 90s like 90s and we did this like music mash up and I was watching it last night and I almost like started crying thinking about how like magical it was. It was just this room of screaming women- there were some men- um like just like that were there like whole heartedly to support each other and us and everyone. And I think that�s what she�s saying too is it�s like people were like I don�t even know you but I love you. Because it is this community. It�s this community and they could like be with people they�d never met that understood them on a level and I know it sounds so dumb like it�s a group fitness like you�re a group fitness teacher or participate whatever, but its lifechanging for so many people who have lost themselves. And now have found themselves through fitness.

Camille: Yeah, I don�t think that sounds crazy at all. Like I live it and breath it and I was so excited when I found out that we got to do High at home during this pandemic. I was like YES! Like and even last night I pulled up Amber�s class and what was really funny was I pulled it open and I was the one that shared that I burned so many calories I think it was like, that was me! So it was almost 600 calories, but what is really fun is I opened up my computer, plopped it in the hallway and I was hanging out with my teenage son that was playing on his Nintendo switch while my daughter was playing barbies and I was right in there between them and getting my workout in and it was funny because they�d pop up and do some squats with me and �oh this really is hard mom�. And like go back and do their thing and like, I just love that it can be something our kids can see us do, and they can see that fitness is about mental health and that it is about appreciating our bodies and what they are capable of and giving them a thank you by working them out and making it fun and just enjoying that. So let�s talk about that, that twist and turn into the epidemic, like how did, and your app coming up. These are some big changes!

Amber: Well, I grew up, I grew up watching my mom do the 20 minute workout, your story reminded me. And I knew even when I was 5 or 6 or however old I was that it was never about the workout. Like she felt cool. She got dressed up and she ended. and the girl on the screen had the hair and the sweatband. Like I think it gave my mom an identity a purpose, a moment of fun. Ya know I always so that, so kids seeing that I think it�s so cool for them to be like it�s fun to work out.

Emily: Yeah I see so many people tagging us during this epidemic with their kids around them and things. And I think one thing that we�ve really tried to do even with our children- like I don�t even know if my kids know that I do higher fitness to have a better- like to them it�s like it�s what you do and it makes me happy and it�s a job and it�s it�s not like we have to exercise or go to High cause this this. It because to makes you happy. They know mom is in a much better mood when she gets her High on, you know things like that but okay so the pandemic has been a blessing and a curse and all the things. But we have done so much during it. We say November 30th is our D-Day for our second app launch and were like, can we all take a breath, like were just not gonna do anything until the new year because during this we�ve gone digital which we can talk about. We�ve launched a new format called High Low, which is an addition to our current format original High and also put out an app for our instructors which is an incredible learning tool and has changed their game. And on November 30th we are launching our High fitness live subscription and app. So all of this has happened since that and it�s been a lot and those first weeks like I said felt-the first 6 days and people where crawling down our thoughts instructors were saying are you gonna charge me are you gonna cancel and that�s all you said like revenue wise, like did you r apparel- our entire business ins instructors monthly payments. So if were to say we won�t charge you then we literally we still have a full staff running. They�re still producing content, still making routines were still doing this. Were still paying a full staff, were still everything. So for us, we literally would fail. And so we said ya know if you need to go on hold like go on hold but like we don�t even know what�s going to happen this could be two weeks, ya know we didn�t know what was going to happen. And so it was just so many things and then people were saying �can I stream to my friends, can I go life on Instagram� and we were just like no no no because for 5 years we had followed every music licensing law to a T. And how I explained it is its like okay say you�re a big dog, you�re like Peloton, and you break music licensing laws and you get sued, you can crawl yourself out of that. You got money you got cloud. On the flip side, say you�re a personal trainer that�s training people on Instagram and doing those live, nobody cares.

But when you are a middleman, and our community is so loud. Meaning like when we said they could stream on Zoom or whatever when we got the proper- it was like everybody knew. One lawsuit, we�d be gone. One music lawsuit we�re gone. We can�t. And we can�t recover from that and so we were trying to explain it but people just were so, people are so used to that endorphins and that�s what they were- you know my sisters was like I mean I wasn�t sleeping I sent my kids-

Amber: I was doing 32 count aerobics, like I was doing techno and her whole family was following my cheesy aerobics class that I posted because we were all just so like-

Emily: Yeah people just like wanted something and so I remember like I was crying, we weren�t sleeping because people were just so like upset like we wanna do High we wanna do High. And so through all the help with people like I said earlier, we bought music to do the YouTube, we did two YouTube classes and then after like I swear it was only less than 2 weeks, we were helping some friends obtain music licensing um stuff by paying and we created a separate website to stream live only. So we can�t do on demand because that�s a whole different thing. But we were able to start streaming live, we�ve had all the tech issues in the world but what we�ve gained at it in exposure as a brand and participants and people who I like- kinda came to high like sometimes even in my neighborhood are suddenly on like every single live living for it. Um we always thought, no High has to be in person, like it has to be in person and then this happened, and we saw so many people that were like I was just too scared. I would have never done it, now ill go in person. Or I just there�s no way I just don�t have the childcare but I love it or there�s no high teachers anywhere I�ve been dying to do this it�s been so eye opening to us that you know what people can do it from home and it�s still pretty dang good, it�s not the best, but it�s pretty dang good.

Camille: I think it�s awesome. Yeah.

Amber: We�re so ADHD though were like �squirrel!� any excuse to get out of being like at home and working out but people do it. Um there is nothing like a live class like energy and stuff, but it is amazing like if you can. like you obviously do it and love it and yeah! So, you get through the whole class and you love every minute of it? And-

Camille: Yeah, oh yeah! I do, I love it. I get through the whole thing. I was like- uh huh yeah! For sure!

Amber: I love it I love it I do bits and pieces and stuff, but I am very ADHD so I�m like take my hat off to people that don�t like to go �oh I have to vacuum or oh� you know what I mean like people that can stay in it.

Camille: I love that you can set it up anywhere like I can do it in my bedroom I could do it in the basement I could do it in the living room and just bring my laptop and do it anywhere. Like I just love that so much so-

Amber: Well like Emily said we were just so stuck in our heads that oh people will only want live and its only fun live and like you and like so many people their obsessed with it and we are so glad. It like-it means so much-like people in Utah can do my class and people here that would kill for Emily�s class can take it all the time now has totally changed the game, it�s really cool.

Camille: Yes!

Emily: Yeah so our plan to do free classes for like just you know a little while expanded into like eight months of free classes which I know it seems like it�s simple but behind every class takes planning and work and setting up and tech issues like when we film some of those with a group like I spend ours going over stuff before we go live, ya know coming up with a playlist and so it�s a lot of time and energy but what we�ve found is people are like well ill pay for more like people want more um and so we were getting ready like I said um oh well you know by the time this airs

Camille: Yeah it will be up and running.

Emily: It will be up and running but its High Fitness live subscription and it can be accessed on a computer on a phone it�s an actual app you can screen share to your screen you can put it on a computer and we have 30 plus live classes a week um and so that�s five to six classes from about 15 different instructors so it�s like a gym schedule like so you know on Mondays at 9:15 you�re gonna get me and then 6 am on Fridays Meta, noon on Tuesdays, Amber and you just either what time works for you, if you really love an instructor, and basically starting at about 4:30 a.m. MST give or take on a day to 8 or 9 p.m. there will be about 5 or 6 classes running. So there�s a lot of different times.

Camille: That�s incredible so I�ll make sure to link that in the show notes. So that everyone can have access to that, they�ll be able to find it easily and one question I want to ask each of the guests we have on our show is �do you believe balancing family and business is a myth? Or how do you believe that can best be accomplished? What have you learned along the way?

Emily: Do you want me to go?

Amber: Sure go ahead, no you go Em.

Emily: Um I don�t think balance exists. I don�t think true balance exist I think there�s times when I am more balanced or less balanced and I�ve learned to accept that which has been a very hard thing for me I was raised in you know an LDS community where the mom stayed home she cooked and she did the things and she didn�t work and I am now the bread winner of my family and I work all the time and I have for most of my children�s� life. So I think there�s been times where I�m more balanced and less balanced however the blessings that have come to my family from seeing this kind of unconventional like currently both me and my husband work from home. We get so much time with our children that he�s like it is a blessing every day in my life that I get to spend this much time with my children and be there and I think that what they�ve gained from seeing us struggle and work and and be entrepreneurs and be business women is an asset to our daughters lives and my son eventually but I do think- and ya know I think sometimes it gets out of whack and we have to be like slap ourselves like I mentioned earlier we are workaholics and be like dude we�ve got-freakin 5pm- put your phone down, like only if it�s an em- like um were trying to be better as we�ve gotten more people on staff its allowed us to do that. But um I don�t know some people, I�ve heard people who are excellent at balance and have more rules the way we work is not as good but I also think that we do the best we can and I actually get a ton of time being from home ya know I�d kill to go to an office everyday but at the same time it�s all I know. It�s all I know is doing simultaneously doing both.

Amber: Well and that�s what I was gonna say is the good news is that our kids don�t know any different. That like that�s the good news, it wasn�t all of the sudden this came into their lives like some drastic big event. It�s like that�s all they�ve ever known is us juggling high and juggling them and my girls especially like its almost sad that they know what I�m doing they know to just quietly go by and sometimes they look like �can I come in� the like being a part of it, but it�s definitely like all they know so balance no um but I do think it adds a positive element for our lives because they see us working they see us hustling, they see the male in the family cooking lots and supporting the boss like nobody�s business. Like I�m like hun what�s for dinner, ya know what I mean like that�s the norm in our house. And so for me, my girls seeing a male role not necessarily being what it has to be it can be anything. Like he can cook or I can work or he he also works, both our husbands also work full time and raise the kids full time basically we have angel husbands um but I think that�s a blessing for them and I think that they will in the long run look back and say I had an amazing role model. Both our husbands and us running this company, so, it�s hard I think for us the guilt kills us a lot of time guilt is a nasty nasty thing. Um but the not traveling has been really good for my family. Um that was the hardest part for me especially like it would tear up my soul and my kids like they hated it but without the traveling I feel like it�s getting better for sure. But like I said either family we don�t know any difference so-

Camille: Yeah. What would you say is something you would tell to another women or mother that was interested in starting their own business, what advice would you give yourself if you were starting over or?

Emily: Don�t do it. I�m kidding.

Camille: Or what would you tell her? Yeah, Emily we�ll start with you.

Emily: Oh I�m totally kidding I wouldn�t. I would say you�ve got to make sure that you line yourself with people that support you and believe in you and the passion has to be there like if it is just something where you�re like I think this is a good idea but I don�t really � like you have to believe it with your whole heart but I say go after it. I mean what�s the worst that can happen, it doesn�t work? Like oh well, ya know, move on so I say yeah I just say if it�s something you�re passionate about, surround yourself with people who believe in you more than you believe in yourself.

Camille: I love that.

Amber: Um I�d say easier said than done but set set hours to work, I mean we don�t do that, we�re the worst at that but that would�ve been a really good thing to do is kind of have like set hours where were off our phone-we�ve actually become better at that were like between 3 and 6, nothing good is happening at work, we need to focus on these kids. And really just savor them and drink them in like I am so guilty of so many times brushing them off, they�re trying to show me something they�ve made or whatever but I�m in the middle of something and I�m like I wish I would�ve just-

Emily: It can wait, it can wait.

Amber: It can wait, yeah. It can wait, that is a good good yeah. As I�m tearing up. My baby!

Camille: It goes so fast!

Amber: It�s so hard, it�s so hard! And it, I know, Emily got another go.

Emily: We we share my baby boy we share him, it�s fine.

Camille: That works.

Amber: Yeah She can she can savor him, so and I was until Covid but oh well.

Camille: Well I know from experience from personal experience that you have changed so many lives and so many families and not to mention the mental health that has made our world a better place by bringing High into our lives so I just want to thank you publicly for that because it truly has transformed so many lives and that is, I mean that is a stamp of life that you can say I did that and I think that�s pretty incredible so thank you so much for spending this time with me.

Amber: Oh you�re so sweet.

Camille: And if you wanna check out or get deeper into High Fitness, please tell everyone where they can find you.

Emily: Yeah so we are on HighFitness.com is our website and @high.fitness is our Instagram. And Facebook its just Facebook I think it says I love High Fitness, we�re the worst. Website or Instagram high.fitness is where you�re gonna get all the info.

Camille: Perfect.

Amber: Yeah find an instructor near you like like we said there�s nothing like in person classes. Um ya know the online stream is great when you�re at home and stuff but if you can find an instructor great, but if not or if your intimidated hop on, and we didn�t mention our High Low so if you�re someone that does not want impact. Um don�t think low means less fun or less intense because its you�re gonna get a great work out and you�re gonna have a blast but it just doesn�t have the impact. So I don�t wanna say that�s a great place to start because I love High Low and I love High as well like it�s just a different format but if there�s an intimation factor, High Low is an amazing format without the impact so it�s a great starting place if you�re just getting started and we�d love to have you.

Camille: Awesome. Well thank you so much for being here today and well make sure to link-

Amber: Thank you so much!

Camille: Oh you�re so welcome! It�s been such a joy

[MUSIC]

Camille: Hey CEO�s thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and 5-star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram at Callmeceopodcast. And remember, you are the boss!

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How to Become a CEO, Camille Walker
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How to Become a CEO with Camille Walker

 

Learn how to become a CEO with the new podcast Call me CEO! Each Tuesday a new story will be shared by different mothers who have developed all different kinds of businesses and products with your host Camille Walker.

Camille is a nature lover, burnt almond fudge enthusiast, and the founder of MyMommyStyle.com, a lifestyle parenting blog. For nearly a decade she’s been sharing parenting tips, recipes, and household hacks. Through the years Camille realized she has a deep passion for business and championing other women in theirs.

Camille began consulting women on how to find their passion and creativity, while balancing motherhood and being their own boss.

As a wife and mother of 4 children between the ages of 4 and 12, Camille knows what it’s like to juggle family and business life.

Camille believes motherhood is the ultimate calling in life but wants mothers to know they can develop their passions in the process.

Living in and creating moments that matter is her ultimate goal.

Is it hard to become a CEO?

Not necessarily. It is all about your intentions, discovering your purpose and figuring out what this looks like for you. This is what Camille is hoping to help YOU figure out as the listener.

Camille hopes that by sharing stories from the most inspiring women who have trusted their instincts as a mother and business owner you can do the same. Tune in every Tuesday for the most recent episode; before too long we hope you adopt the title of CEO.

What can I expect from the Call Me CEO podcast?

Camille shares her story from going to school, student teaching, landing a job, the stock market crash, and how she finally fulfilled her dreams to stay at home with her babies and still make it work financially for her family. We share what it is like to be in a man filled world as a woman and how you can use that to inspire and motivate yourself to be the best you can be.

 

Episode Highlights:

In this episode, we cover:

  • ONE: meeting Camille and seeing what she is all about
  • TWO: overcoming not ideal work environments
  • THREE: how to start your stay at home career
  • And, FOUR: connecting with others, while still being at home 

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS POST:

[Music]

I gave him my spiel, introduce myself was really hopeful what this relationship could look like. And he said to me, but what do you really have to offer? Because all I see is a pretty face.�

So, you want to make an impact, you're thinking about starting a business, sharing your voice. How do women do it, that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.�

Hello, and welcome to Call Me CEO episode one. I can't believe this journey is finally getting started. This is a project that has been on my mind for a very long time. And I believe it is the recent pandemic that has given me the kick in the pants to get myself and my voice out there doing something different and a little uncomfortable. And honestly, that is kind of the part of this journey with this show is that I hope to give you motivation, inspiration, and answers to how you as a mother can find the answers to discovering your own voice and learning from stories of mothers who have done it before you. Now, this show is going to be all across the board. I'm going to be sharing stories of women who are mothers that are doctors in New York city, product specialists, inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs, and also those who are doing side hustles. So, if you're not quite sure what it is that you want in this part of your journey, that's okay.�This is just a part to allow you to be introduced to something different that you may not have thought of in the past. Now, who am I? My name is Camille. I already mentioned that. I'm a mother of four and their ages are 4, 7, almost 10 and 12. I now have a junior high kid, which is totally freaking me out and equally amazing because I now have a babysitter in the house. And I think it's this transition of having older children that has allowed me to take my journey a little further. And I have been building a business from home for almost nine years. Www.mymommystyle.com was started as a passion project, a hobby, actually, I never imagined it would grow to a six-figure income, but it did. And I�m so grateful. And I want that for everyone.�

Being a mother is my greatest, my most fondest mission and calling in this life.�But I found that I am an even better mother and a greater empathizer when I have experience outside of the four walls of my home. So, let's take a step back and go a little rewind into my own story. I was raised in Utah, the youngest of five with educators, for parents, which is such a gift. My father was a principal and superintendent, and my mother was a stay at home entrepreneur, although she wouldn't call herself that and eventually became a teacher. So, by the time I went into third grade and was the youngest of five, she was out of the house for the majority of the day. And I believe it was because of that, that I was allowed and afforded the opportunity to become more independent earlier on than maybe I would have. And I developed a lot of traits that you typically wouldn't see in a youngest child or so they say, and it's really in that journey that I developed more about who I was and who I wanted to become, but I always knew the education and the process of teaching was important to me.�I love learning from others. I love giving and sharing stories. I love connecting with people. And so, a podcast to me is kind of the perfect trifecta of all of that. I love the idea of sharing these women's stories to inspire you and give you tools of how you can manage both home and family as you go apart in your journey.�

So, I graduated in family and consumer science education. Now, let me tell you that I come from a conservative Christian background and I pretty much believed that there were, you know, maybe three to five jobs that were mother approved. Those were to be a teacher, a nurse, an assistant preschool teacher, maybe a part-time dental hygienist. And that was pretty much it. Because for me, I had the understanding that my place was in the home, which is my favorite place. I love being with my children.�However, when I became a mother, I also realized that I couldn't be the best version of myself as a mother for my children when I was only primarily focused on them all of the time. For some that's a great fit for others, they find more fulfillment having hours outside of the home. For me, I wanted to find a space where I could work from inside the home. And what I think is so amazing about this environment that we're in now is that there are so many opportunities and ways that you can build a fortune in your own home and at home with your babies in the in-between hours. And yes, sometimes it does require hustle and some less than preferable or desirable hours that you put into that shift. But I think there is so much out there that we, as women can now take on.�And that is why Call Me CEO. The name was kind of built is because in my experience, I haven't always been treated as though I should be considered a CEO, even though I�ve built a pretty incredible business on my own. If I do say so myself and let's back up a little bit.�

So, I mentioned before that I graduated from Utah state university in family consumer science education, where I met my wonderful husband who might have been married to for over 16 years. I can't even believe it's been that long. And in that process, I went through student teaching and I taught financial responsibilities, nutrition, cooking, interior design, sewing and foods. Oh my gosh. It was crazy because I was only two years older than a lot of the students that I had at the time. And while I enjoyed the process of teaching, I got involved in some rather unfortunate political situations with a teacher that was going through a divorce at the time, wasn't showing up to class.�And then I was being asked to report to the principal when she was coming in, when she wasn't coming. And anyway, it was kind of a mess. And I got a little disheartened and shied away from the idea of becoming a teacher right away, because it was a pretty toxic environment. My advisor actually pulled me out of that one teacher's class and said, we need you to finish up with your other two teachers because those are, there are things going on you just don't understand, and we want you to have the best experience possible.

Thank you so much for supporting this first launch week of Call Me CEO podcast. You might've heard that we're doing some pretty awesome giveaways this week. And the code word for this episode is love yourself. If you want the chance to win, please subscribe to this podcast, leaving a five-star review, screenshot that review and dm it to me on Instagram at Call Me CEO podcast with the code word. I'm so excited for you to hear more stories and for the chance to win hundreds of dollars of prizes.�

So, I graduated from family consumer science education, and at the time I was working as a mortgage loan expert. I was on phones doing sales and surrounded by men. And let me tell you, it was never a job I saw myself doing. In fact, when I interviewed for the job, I said, I�m happy to do this. I love to teach, but I do not want to do sales. And the people said, oh no, no, this isn't a sales job. You're just teaching people how to better understand their loans. And with my finance background, I felt really comfortable with that. I wanted people to feel empowered and to have a better understanding of how to create wealth and use their mortgage in a way that would help them to achieve that.�

Now, this was right before the 2008 recession explosion. And at the time I was helping people to better understand to pick a payment loan. Now, if you don't know what the pick a payment loan is, it is pretty much the exact reason why we had such a big fall in our economy, because this was a loan that allowed people to pay a below interest payment, a full interest payment, a principal and interest payment, or an extra principal with interest payment. Essentially it was meant to give people an option so that if they were going through a hard time, a job loss, a death in the family, some extenuating circumstances that they had an option to pick a payment that was best for them for that time in their life. However, many people were approved for loans that they shouldn't have been approved for and chose the very lowest payment. And that was actually what a lot of them were being qualified on. Huge mess.�

Anyway, I was a part of that, unfortunately, but being in an office with a bunch of men taught me so much about what it was to be female.

Now, let me back up by saying, when I interviewed for this job, I was interviewed by two men and a woman. I had no sales experience, no real financial training, if you will. And I felt like the interview went pretty well. And when I started the training, I was in a room full of probably about 15 men. They were all college age, just like I was. However, I very much stuck out because I was one of only a few women in the entire office, aside from underwriters and some of the secretaries in the office space. So, when I started this job, I felt very intimidated. I wasn't sure if I was in the right space, but I wanted to keep going. I knew that it was a really good paying job. And at the time I was a newlywed and we really needed this good paycheck.

So, as I was teaching, I found that I really did okay. I was pretty good at communicating and talking with people. And my sales went up and up and up. And all of the men in the office were starting to have to be listening to my conversation, what I was saying to my customers, what were the questions and how was I answering those questions. And it was a huge bit of flattery for me. Trust me, I didn't think that this would be something that I would be seen as doing very well. And eventually my numbers put me in a position where I became the top salesman in, or saleswoman, excuse me, in the office. And people started to take me a little more seriously. When I say started to, I say that because my very first week of training in that office, I was sitting down at the computers, terrified that I was going to do something wrong.�And I was set up with all of the equipment. I had my computer, I had access to my financial calculator and all of the answers and questions that I had studied in training. And I was in very intimate loan details of each person that I was talking to on the phone.�

Well, my manager and the other people that had trained and also other people around me decided it was a good idea to train to pays the new girl. And even my manager got involved in coming over, tapping me on the shoulder, sending an alert to my computer and saying that I had done something terribly wrong. That I had siphoned money from one account to the other, that it was being reported to security. Now this isn't just a small gift card center. We're talking about people's mortgages and real financial statements.�I was terrified. And this hazing went on for probably a good 20 to 30 minutes. And I am not lying when I tell you, I had the biggest pit in my stomach. I was about to cry when finally, the manager and all the guys around me started to laugh. And it was just a prank. Isn't that so funny?�

Now this might sound something like it could happen to anyone, but it never did. And I�ll tell you why it didn't. It was because I was the only girl and whether it was meant in jest or not, it was one of the first times I had been an experience where I was surrounded by all men and they decided to make me other, because I was a woman. Now fast forward to when I graduated from student teaching and I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me then, they asked me to be a manager of this call center that I had been working out for the last couple of years.�I was so flattered. And my answer was absolutely yes, because it was a much higher paycheck than what my promising salary of $24,000 would be as an educator. I loved working and training and sharing my experience. And it was one of the first times that I kind of looked around and thought, you know, I can hold my own here. I may be a female. I may not have the look of what people are used to seeing in this financial space, but this is something that I could see myself doing for a long time.�

So, as I finished up there, I moved to a new part of Utah and became a mortgage broker. What a thrill this was. Because I was now in the space where I was able to go out to other real estate offices and meet realtors on a face-to-face basis and develop a relationship where we could fulfill people's purchasing and qualifying for refinances and buying new homes.�I loved it. I loved the real estate business. I love the real estate world. But once again, when I interviewed for that position, that move up from one to the other, I was point blank asked in my interview, but what happens when you get pregnant? Are you going to quit? I was so baffled. And so, taken aback by the question, I can't even remember exactly what I said. I think, it was something like I�m not sure I would love to keep working and we'll see when we get there. I was stumbling on my words. I knew what this person had asked me point blank was illegal. It is illegal to ask a woman what she plans to do with the job once she gets pregnant. Oh, it made me so mad, but it was just another experience of being other, because I was a woman. Now fast forward into when I had that job, I was going office to office, place to place, meeting new people, introducing myself, trying to make that commitment of a relationship and trust.

And I sat down with a well-respected man, realtor in the area, and I gave him my spiel, introduce myself, was really hopeful what this relationship could look like. And he said to me, but what do you really have to offer? Because all I see is a pretty face. You guys, it was because I was a woman. Why, why are we put in this situation where we have to be treated as other, because of our gender. Now I�m not saying all men treated me that way, that it would be the farthest from the truth. That is not the case. However, it made me feel as if I needed to be treated in a separate way because of my gender. I worked at that office for, oh gosh, another three years. I was in the mortgage business for about a total of six. And I became pregnant in the year 2008.�

Well, technically 2007, had my baby in 2008. That was when the big recession hit. And all of the mortgage businesses I had been working for closed their doors. It was an incredible timing. It was a gift to me from god I believe, because my ultimate dream was to be at home with my babies. And while I loved the idea of pursuing this wonderful career that I had found; I knew that I wanted to be home with my new baby. And it was in that space in time that I was actually given a severance package because I couldn't return back to the office that I had left when I went on maternity leave and I was at home and I was a stay-at-home mom. And didn't work from home for a couple of years. Not until my daughter was born. I did some mortgage business, a little bit of that time while I was home.�But it was hard. It was hard to feel like you could schedule face-to-face meetings with people and really give them the experience they need when purchasing a home.�

However, that was a long time ago. And I feel like things are even better now than they were before. So, there are opportunities out there I know of, because I did it for a short time. So, it was about the time that my second was born and she was, oh gosh, probably six to eight months old. I had been a stay-at-home mom at that point for nearly four years. And I realized that I was so lonely, and I was feeling like I was drowning in who I used to be and my brain and what it was doing. I felt like my brain had gone to mush. Like I wasn't quite sure what I had to give.�And I had a loss of community. I felt lonely. I didn't feel like I had as much connection to the outside world as I once did. And that was when my business was born. I decided to round up six of my closest friends/relatives. Cause I had a cousin and a sister involved and we created what was then called sweet solstice.�

Sweet solstice was a group of seven women on a blog. And the idea behind it was that we would write on a topic once a week and each of us would share our different perspectives on that topic. Now, why I liked this idea was that it was conversational. It was almost like the view but brought to a website space. And I loved it because it was so different. Not all of us were married, not all of us had children, but we all had very different standards and viewpoints. Well about, oh, I don't know, three to four months into doing this. I had a few friends that said, gosh, this feels a lot like homework and we're not making any money, we're out. And that was totally fine. You know, I started it truly as a way to feel connected and create a space that I could feel inspired and feel like I could reach outside of my own home while still being at home with my kids. So it came down to the four of us and a roommate, my sister, my cousin, and myself, and we renamed it, my mommy style, because at that point, all of us were mothers and we were sharing our different ways of being a mother with the idea that we are all different. We all are wonderful mothers.�

You are your child's mother for a reason, and we all do it differently.

And that is the way it should be. And I love that message. I still passionately believe in this message and I am still running this blog to this day. Now it was through many years and trials that we built and grew this business. And it has been the wildest ride and afforded me the opportunity to work with brands I never imagined, like Disney, and who are Ikea. And let's see who some west elm are I�ve worked with. Oh my gosh, I didn't write a list, but Disney, you guys like that was my ultimate goal was to work with Disney. And that just happened three years ago. And I�ve been working with them for the past three years. And I cannot tell you what a joy it has been to develop something that matters. And that connects me with other women and helps teach and educate and inspire women.�

And yeah, I�ve been able to turn it into a job that I can do from home in the in-between moments and also to find a way to reach outside of myself and feel connected. And I want that for you. I want you to hear not only my story, but the story of so many others that I have coming up on this podcast and the roster is already incredible. So, what can you expect from this podcast? Trust me when I say that it is going to be packed with stories that matter. We are going to dig deep into asking these women, these entrepreneurs, these CEOs, how they discovered their why, what was it that allowed them to call on that inner voice that they have been listening to that's been knocking at the door and allowing them to find that purpose on top of loving and embracing and cherishing the role of motherhood.

I feel like there are so many podcasts and resources out there that talk to women specifically, which yes, I want more of that. I felt like there was a gap and a space where we could talk about how motherhood fits into that equation. Perhaps working outside of the home is something that you didn't see yourself doing. And yet here you are in a space where you need to provide income for your family, because that is a very real and vibrant need and a very specific need that we have and I want to talk more about. Even now, women are given special names like mompreneur, mommy blogger, mom boss, you don't hear us talking about the female engineer or a dad boss or a dadpreneur. No, you are simply a CEO.�

So, as we move forward, I�m going to be creating this space all about supporting women.�Each week, I will be interviewing different women that will be sharing their stories about developing, innovating and creating side hustles that turned into something they never imagined. And also, those who may decide to do something on the side in their own time. It's interesting when I�ve been pulling my audience, you can check it out at, on Instagram at Call Me CEO podcast. When I�ve been pulling them there, they have said 80% or so want to stay at home with their children 20% or so say, no, I�m ready to do something outside the home. So, whether or not you choose to go in or out, I want this podcast to be a place where you can find resources for all of it. I will also include stories you may not expect like one that is coming up very soon is about a woman who decided to sell her franchise after 13 years of ownership and to focus solely on being a mom.

And that is the kind of stuff I want to hear. I want to hear the pivot. I want to hear the pitfalls. I want to hear the highs, the lows and the inspiration that kept them going. And I want to share that with you.�

So, each week I will be sharing interviews. I will also be doing a q and an episode where I take questions that you send me on Instagram at Call Me CEO podcast, where we can discuss different ways to balance motherhood and business. And I will also be making sure to put all of this in the notes that you can find it, www.callmeceo.com and sharing it at my mommy's style.com.�

Thank you so much for coming on along this journey with me, there are so many ways that we, as women can be fulfilled and create the life of our dreams. You are not limited. You have a voice within you that matters, and I am here to help you find the way, share the stories from the women who know, this is Call Me CEO. Until next time.�

Hey CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and that five-star review, you could have the chance at being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram at Call Me CEO podcast. And remember you are the boss.

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