It's unknowable. And that makes taking decisive action to build a stronger business much more challenging.
But we have a choice. We can either fight it--and metaphorically try to shake that damn ball until we have a complete picture of what the future is going to be.
Or we can make decisions based on the information we have, a solid understanding of our goals, and an acceptance of the uncertainty of it all.
Waiting until you have all the answers you need or want is a great way to keep spinning your wheels. While embracing uncertainty might be risky and it's can definitely be scary, but it's the only way we move forward.
This month, we looked at 3 different stories of embracing uncertainty. Lou Blaser told us how a big life change allowed her to look at her business in a new way and see how she could finally build the business she'd been dreaming about for years. Sarah Avenir shared how she leads herself and her team through uncertainty. And Cher Hale told us about getting clearer and clearer on her vision for life and business--and the big moves it required of her.
We're rounding out this conversation about embracing uncertainty today by hearing from 4 more small business owners: Podge Thomas, Melissa Dinwiddie, Kat Lu, and Amy Feierman.
Each entrepreneur embraced uncertainty in a way that allowed them to move forward despite not having all the answers or a guarantee of what the future would hold.
My guess is that you'll hear a version of situation or question you're wrestling with right now in at least one of these stories.
EP 290: Discovering Your Vision With Ginkgo Public Relations Founder Cher Hale
My guest is Cher Hale, the founder of Ginkgo Public Relations.
Cher is full of incredible stories of figuring out what she wants and taking action to make it happen—from making a big personal moving, to going full-time with her business, to embracing a bold new "why" for her business.
We talk about why she made the move from working on the Vegas Strip to getting weird in Portland, how she used retainer clients to take her business full-time, and how she rewrote some of the harmful mindsets she held. We also talk about her mother's erotic romance novels and how Cher was inspired to make a big shift in who she serves with her business and why.
EP 289: Leading Through Uncertainty with &yet CEO Sarah Avenir
I wanted to dig into what leading a team or community through a crisis can look like, and I could think of no one better to talk to about this than my friend Sarah Avenir.
Sarah Avenir—who you might know better as Sarah J. Bray—recently took the helm as the CEO of &yet, a digital development and strategy agency.
Sarah is an incredibly thoughtful leader and I knew her approach on leading both herself and her team through this time would be an insightful look at embracing uncertainty.
Sarah and I chat about how she became CEO of &yet, how she considers herself a naturally fearful person, and why a key part of her leadership is knowing others have her back. We also talk about how she structures her time, team, and approach to her work so she can focus on her own role and let other people do their job.
EP 288: Rethinking Your Business Amidst Change With Second Breaks Founder Lou Blaser
We are all facing uncertainty--as we do every day. So I wanted to talk with business owners who have their own stories about embracing uncertainty this month and the first person I thought of was Lou Blaser, the founder & host of Second Breaks.
I've watched Lou embrace uncertainty over and over again throughout the years. I've watched her step outside her comfort zone and I've watched her take courageous action.
Earlier this year, she announced that she'd made the decision to upend her business, then a career coaching company for late Boomers and Gen Xers, and move back to the Philippines to help out with her aging m. And while she could have tried to continue with her business as is--she made the bold move to use the change as a way to rethink everything.
That's where this conversation starts--and throughout, Lou and I talk about how her business has evolved, the questions she asked herself to create the new plan, how she could use her existing assets in new ways, and how she started experimenting with her new ideas.
This week, we asked members of The What Works Network to share one thing they thought they knew about money but later discovered wasn't true. Each shared a narrative or bias that held them back from fully embracing their business and their earning potential.
As you listen, consider which of these narratives are ones you're currently operating with and how you could start reevaluating them. What would you do differently if you reprogrammed those money thoughts? What decisions would you make if you claimed a new money narrative?
You'll hear from Charlene Lam, a curator and social media strategist, Maggie Patterson, the founder of Scoop Studios, Carol Hamilton, the founder of Grace Social Sector Consulting, and Anna Wolf, the founder of Superscript Marketing.
EP 286: Pricing For The Future With Fire + Mineral Jewelry Founder Tiffany Whipps
As you grow as a business owner, you can start to anticipate market changes and plan for the way your cost of goods increases. You can set a goal to position your brand in a certain way and you can become smarter about your target market so you understand the value of what you're offering more fully.
And perhaps most importantly...
You can plan for the ways your cost of doing business will evolve.
You can anticipate the team members you'll hire. You can plan for the software upgrades you'll need. You can build in margin to cover unforeseen circumstances or changes in the market that impact your bottom line.
Very, very few business owners do this from the start. But over time, you can get better and better at your pricing strategy—and even your overall financial strategy—so that you're planning for the future instead of reacting to it.
And that's exactly what I'm talking about with today's guest, Tiffany Whipps. Tiffany is the founder and designer behind Fire + Mineral Jewelry. Tiffany has been designing jewelry full-time since 2012 and she'd be the first to admit that her pricing strategy has become a lot more sophisticated since she put together her first line sheet on a whim.
I originally invited Tiffany onto the show to showcase how money flows through product-based businesses. And we absolutely talk about that. But we also talk about how Tiffany's approach to money has grown more sophisticated over time, as well as how she's now pricing for the business she wants to have instead of the business she has right now.
Tiffany and I talk about how her pricing strategy has evolved over the years, why she's focused on products that have more long-term value as opposed to what's trendy right now, and how she's using her goals to set prices for her new work.
This week, we're taking a look at what happens when you're able to go all in on every aspect of building your business—product, marketing, and operations—and how that impacts how money flows through your business.
To do that, I talked with Marie Poulin.
Now, Marie has been on the podcast several times now. Most recently, I spoke with her about her decision to not build a business that scales. Funnily enough, at just about the time that interview aired, things started to change for Marie.
Marie found something she could go all in on.
And suddenly her path to the right product, the right marketing, and the right operations became clear—as did the path to making money with ease.
In this conversation, Marie and I talk about how she transformed her business when she stopped resisting and found the thing she could go all in on. We talk about how the way she makes money has changed, how she's finding her customers, how it's all impacted her personal finances, and what she's investing in now that her business is growing with ease.
EP 284: Pricing On A Sliding Scale With Corpus Ritual Founder Jennifer Patterson
In This Episode: Why grief & trauma worker Jennifer Patterson prices a significant portion of her work using a sliding scale How a sliding scale system increases accessibility to valuable healing work for people from disadvantaged and marginalized communities Why Jennifer priorities clear & direct communication when it comes to how people find the right […]
EP 283: Taking Stock Of Our Evolving Relationships To Money with Tara & Sean McMullin
In This Episode The single most important lesson Tara McMullin learned about money in the last 5 years How that lesson rippled through her business and personal development as a leader Why this lesson also led with taking stock of how much her sense of credibility was tied to the money she makes How Sean […]
EP 282: Finding Support Through Coaching With Wholehearted Coaching Founder Shirin Eskandani
I was not a girl scout.
But I love merit badges.
As in, few things thrill me more than earning recognition for learning or doing something.
I've been chasing merit badges all my life—so much so that the pursuit of merit badges has often led me away from what I really want out of life... and toward what will earn me the next badge.
I've taken numerous jobs I didn't want just to get the merit badge. I've agreed to plenty of collaborations I didn't really want just to get the merit badge. And, I've chased a bunch of goals that didn't really inspire me just to get the merit badge.
Every merit badge I earn is just another attempt to prove to myself that I'm good enough, that I'm worthy. And each merit badge I earn only convinces me that the next merit badge will be the one that finally makes me happy.
It's only been in the last couple of years that I made this realization. And I did so with the support of my husband, my team, and coaching.
Now that I know about my merit badge pattern, I'm always on the lookout for it. I've rearranged my goal-setting, planning, and decision-making so that I have a better opportunity to notice when I'm stretching toward something I really want... or gunning for another merit badge.
I know I'm not the only person who always has her eye on the next merit badge. There's a good chance that, as a listener of this show, you're also keen on collecting accomplishments and achievements. Maybe that's been helpful for you... and maybe it's gotten you off track.
Maybe it's been a result of your own sense of self-worth... and maybe it's been an attempt to prove it.
My guest today found herself in a similar situation to me—always trying to prove she was good enough by climbing the rungs of her chosen career ladder: opera singing.
But when she earned the merit badge she had most wanted her whole life, she realized that she still wasn't happy.
I'll let her tell that story—but, listener, I can relate. And that's why I so wanted to bring Shirin Eskandani onto the show.
Shirin has done a lot of work on rewriting this pattern and she's found support for that work through coaching.
Today, Shirin is not a full-time opera singer. She's a full-time coach herself.
Shirin is a life coach, public speaker and writer who specializes in mindfulness and mindset work. She has been a featured wellness expert on the Today Show and Cosmopolitan Magazine. Shirin’s holistic approach to transformation is influenced by her background in meditation, spirituality and the arts.
We talk about achieving her childhood dream and realizing she still wasn't happy, as well as how she started to choose the thoughts that would help her feel the way she wants to feel, made the leap to coaching, and found her why. We also talk about coaching as a support structure and how coaching can help you embrace who you really want to be.