This episode wasn’t on our schedule, but it was on my heart, so I wanted to pop in and share some business wisdom with you ladies.
It’s not that I think I am so wise, it’s just that looking back over the last year and taking stock of how things have gone, I realized something that I couldn’t help but share.
I know many of you out there feel the pressure to keep spinning your wheels. You feel like you’re caught up in the rat race, or on a hamster wheel and you can’t get off.
I want to encourage you to hop off the wheel and do something different.
First, I wanted to start by saying that I am so excited the podcast is back. Thank you so much for letting me in your ears every single week, and truly, I am so pumped for what’s ahead!
As I’m recording this, it’s midday on Feb 16th. Our podcast downloads for the month of February are already over 27,000 downloads. Without context that might not mean much, but let me tell you, this is already a RECORD high month for us!
You all know I took this past year off from the podcast, but before that the podcast was very strong. We published a new episode at least once a week for a solid 18 months. We had well over 100 episodes under our belt. Prior to this month, our highest month was 18,000 downloads, and that was March 2015. Two years later we finally topped that record!
A HUGE shoutout and THANK YOU to my amazing listeners!!! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the podcast and listening faithfully.
I want to read some recent reviews from you guys that are so incredibly sweet and, honestly, your encouraging notes really do keep me going.
JennyEliza24 said, “So encouraging! I listen this podcast to get inspired to own my own business. I’m still at the stage where I know I can do it, but I don’t have an amazing idea yet. This podcast — and its super friendly host — give me hope that I can do it too.”
I love that! On the show, we purposely bring on women who are at all different stages of their business. Some have been in business for just a year, and some have been around for many years. But even if you’re just mulling things over, I hope to provide that perspective and encouragement that you can do it too. We want you to say, “She sounds like me.”
Here’s another review from Carmen M. W.: “I have never listened to a podcast, never been interested. But that is before BBM! But then again, I’ve never clicked on an advertisement prior to Beth Anne’s. Needless to say, Beth Anne knows her stuff. Period. About two months ago, she drew me into her Facebook advertisement. Then, she drew me into all her goodies in her store and now her VALUABLE podcasts! Now, I have access to all the knowledge on marketing and tips that has gotten her where she is today. And to top it all off, she does it in a positive, uplifting way. Thank you Beth Anne.. you’re an inspiration!”
Keep the reviews coming, because they totally encourage me, and right now, If you leave a review before March 6th, you’ll be automatically entered into our giveaway! We’ve got four prizes you can’t resist.
- FREE access to my signature course, FB Brilliance
- A Madeline in Brandy & Jade bag by Lily Jade
- The VIP package of Brilliant Pin Promotion
- A 2017 Brilliant Life Planner
But, talking about podcast downloads and all your fabulous reviews is not the only reason why I jumped behind the mic today. You’re probably intrigued by the title of this episode: They told me I was Making a Huge mistake…
Let me pull the pieces together and explain what that has to do with podcast downloads.
A year ago, my sister Sarah decided to leave Brilliant Business Moms. At the time, I was really sad, and to be honest, I was also pretty overwhelmed. I totally supported her decision, and think she’s still super happy about her choice. But I was overwhelmed because until that point we had been splitting tasks in the business and each had different roles and things we were doing. I thought, “Oh my goodness. I’m already working like a dog, how can I add Sarah’s tasks to my list as well?” I didn’t think I could handle it. I knew I needed to hire help, but, at that point in the business, even though we were making sales and bringing in money, we were not making a good profit.
Once a year we each got a teeny tiny profit paycheck. (And I’m talking teeny tiny!) I simply didn’t have cash leftover each month to hire help.
But I knew if I wanted to keep growing Brilliant Business Moms, I was going to need to assemble a team.
I had to take a step back from all the tasks I was doing in the business every week–all the things on my great big, mile long to-do list and ask, “What are the biggest impact things I can do to grow this business? What should get set aside so I can grow this to be a profitable business? What do I need to let go of so I can grow our team and move forward?”
When I looked at the big picture of the business, I knew that the podcast took a lot of time and work each week. And there wasn’t necessarily a clear, straight line between podcasts and increasing revenue and profits. Sarah and I loved doing the podcast to interview great moms and provide valuable content, but there wasn’t this clear connection between the podcast and sales. I also knew I had a bigger product to launch — a course on Pinterest marketing. I had learned so much about Pinterest marketing, and I had used Pinterest effectively on a budget, and I knew I could show other moms like me how to do it. But didn’t see how I’d have the time to do the course unless I dropped things from my list. I had to drop the podcast.
Now, I didn’t plan on it being a whole YEAR before getting back. And, I am very happy to be back. But having said that, I’m still happy with my decision to take a break when I needed to.
They told me I was making a huge mistake…
All the advice from fellow business owners like bloggers and podcasters, plus my faithful listeners who loved it, was that it was a bad idea to stop the podcast. Everything I was hearing sounded like, “You can’t put the podcast! That’s your thing! It’s what made Brilliant Business Moms into Brilliant Business Moms.” And yes, I agree, Brilliant Business Moms did truly start as an idea for a podcast.
You know, in the same way a lot of bloggers get the advice that you have to blog consistently every single week, or 3 to 5 times a week, and if you don’t do that your audience will drop off and you’ll never get the momentum back. And you have to keep spitting out content constantly, etc.
I asked myself some self-identifying questions, like, “What do I see myself as? Am I a podcaster? Am I a blogger? Or am I an online business owner?”
I realized what I wanted was to be was an online business owner, building a profitable business. A business owner may produce content in all sorts of different ways, but a business owner is not defined by blogging or podcasting, which are the things they do, but rather by how they help people. What defines the owner is the product they put out, and how they can serve and help people solve their problems.
I knew I had a great product that would help people, but I felt so much guilt around focusing my time on product development and marketing. I felt guilty for a long time for not running the hamster wheel of free content, and spending all my time there every single week.
A year later, looking back, I realize I have still provided value to my community of BBM. Through Instagram, emails, blog posts, and free webinars, I have helped people, and honestly, I serve my community best of all when I spend time creating and developing solid products that grow their businesses.
I can’t feel bad about spending time creating these products for my community! Those products are a huge way that I get to help people!
I very much DID have all those fears in the back of my mind. “Maybe everyone’s right,” I thought. “Maybe I am making a huge mistake. Maybe my audience will drop off and wither away and I’ll have nobody left online. Maybe no one will care about the podcast when I do come back.”
That’s where those podcast stats come back in. I think when February ends, we will have doubled that record number of downloads. So, do I regret this past year of jumping off the hamster wheel? Do I regret putting the big rocks in first?
Not at all.
Building my list is a high impact activity, and now I have a much bigger list I can sell to–it’s truly a big rock activity. In December 2015 my email list was about 3,500, and as of this recording we’re sitting at 49,000 people.
Thank you so much, that when I posted on Instagram and sent an email, you all came back to listen! And I don’t think anyone has any hard feelings. I have only heard about excited, happy listeners.
And because I jumped off the hamster wheel, and I focused on the big rock activities, this last year I have been able to assemble a team.
Ellen was my first team member –I hired her to get my Pinterest marketing course out the door.
At first, Ellen was literally on a rationed schedule. I could only afford to pay her for 10 hours of work a week. She would have to check in with me and make sure she wasn’t over her hours!
But now I have 3 fabulous ladies who work with me every week. And I can bring on contractors and freelancers as needed.
Because I have that team in place, I can do this podcast and it’s not as much work as it used to be! I’ve got Victoria behind the scenes coordinating everything for me: interviews, promo graphics, show notes, and publishing. Podcasts are a lot of work! Victoria is spending at least 10 hours a week on the podcast. Without her the podcast wouldn’t be back, and I’m so thankful I can get new episodes out the door. Make sure you give Victoria a great big hug, because this podcast wouldn’t be back without her.
But again, it was big rocks in first. I took a deep breath, looked at the big picture, and asked what are my great big goals, and how am I going to get to them?
Steps To Reach My Goals
In brief, these are the steps I took to getting my business to where I needed it to be:
- Got my product out the door
- Focused on marketing that product
- Increased revenue and profits
- Hired help to grow the business even more
- Which then let me focus on serving you guys even better with more free content and connection
As many of you know, Carlee is on customer service. She makes sure emails don’t get lost in my inbox, and that all your refunds and bonuses and whatever goodies you are looking for come to you without a hitch. Last year, I couldn’t have afforded to have her, and I wouldn’t have been able to serve you as well.
Don’t listen to people telling you that stopping, and doing something new is a big mistake!
So here’s my advice: take a step back, take a breath, focus on the great big rocks that matter most, and be okay letting other things go.
Understand your life comes in seasons. When I let the podcast go, it helped to know I would only be gone a few months — I knew I wasn’t letting it go forever. I put it aside for a season so I could focus on high impact activities, and then I could bring it back when I had the right systems and team in place.
Remind yourself that life has different seasons for different things.
Thinking of life in seasons is helpful for me with baby boy due in April. We’re heading for a totally different season I have to adjust to and be okay with! I know I won’t make the same level of progress with my business, and that’s okay. I’m going to let myself take several months completely off from work. I’ll hop back when I want to, but it’ll be nice to have a season when family is WAAAY up high on the scale. Usually my life is pretty balanced, but family is about to tip the scales, and I’m looking forward to that season.
Before I go, I’ve got a fabulous freebie for you: The 5 Days to Craft Your Brilliant Webinar Guide. Now, the live Facebook series is over, but everything you need is in the guide to help you start crafting your own webinar, which will help you make more sales, build relationships with your customers, and set yourself apart in your space. Webinars were a big rock activity for me last year, and a huge driver in terms of building an audience and being able to help you all, and making more sales. Whether you sell a physical product, you are with an MLM company, or you sell services, a course, or an ebook, I want you to consider using webinars!
Most of all, no matter what your big goals are, I encourage you to jump off that hamster wheel. Don’t listen to all the people telling you you’re making a big mistake. Map out the highest impact activities. Have confidence that your goals and milestones matter.
You have the ability to create the path that’ll get you there, and you can put blinders on to what others are saying.