Is it possible to create a business with little start-up funds, and make money doing something you already love? Christy Wright says yes! Not only is she a Certified Business Coach, she's started two side businesses herself. Christy is so down-to-earth yet incredibly wise. You're going to love this farm-girl-at-heart's story and advice!
On the Podcast
02:24 – What the Beach has to do with Big Goals
04:09 – 3 Tips for Going Pro as a Speaker
08:00 – 2 Tips for a Brand New Business Mom
10:41 – Remember that One Time When Christy was a Farmpreneur?
16:41 – Stop Selling and Start Sharing
20:35 – How to be Authentic
22:53 – The Wow Person and the How Person
26:09 – Juggling Tips (i.e. Keep your Eye on the Ball!)
31:29 – A Closet and Some Make-Up… why they could be the key to your productivity!
36:41 – Christy's Initiation into #MomLife
Press Play on the Podcast Player Below to Hear from Christy Wright
What the Beach has to do with Big Goals
Every year, Christy and her girl friends go on a trip together. Several years ago, they were at the beach. They sat around and dreamed about what they wanted to do by the time they got together for their trip the next year. One friend wanted to buy a house, and one wanted to further her music career. Christy said she wanted to become a life coach.
Christy realized in that moment how much she loves to help people and work with them one-on-one to accomplish their goals. She's helped people to complete marathons and working for Dave Ramsey she works with people one-on-one to help them become debt-free.
Since Christy wanted to go all-in on this goal and make things official, she found the most credible organization she could for coaching. It's called The International Coach Federation. You can specialize in many different types of coaching, and Christy decided to become a certified business coach.
3 Tips for Going Pro as a Speaker
1. Just start! Give yourself permission to be a beginner. Christy says she spent more Friday nights than she can count speaking at Kentucky public libraries to an audience of 5 people. She's spoken in High School cafeterias, and even huge auditoriums meant to seat 1000 people where onlny 3 people showed up! (One person fell asleep and one person was on her cell phone…)
Christy loves the quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” She says that if you compare yourself to someone who's much farther down the road than you, you'll get discouraged. Just get tons of practice and experience, and you'll get better. Getting great at something takes time.
2. Video yourself. Set up a tripod with your iPhone, and give your talk. Practice by yourself with the camera or gather a few friends or family. Watching videos of yourself can be brutal, but it will make you so much more aware of any tics you have, words you always use, posture or fidgeting. It's eye-opening to see yourself on video.
3. Take notes. When you're at a conference or at church, and there's a great speaker, take notes! Don't just write about their content but on how they did it. Did they make you laugh within 2 minutes and get you involved in the talk within 7 minutes? What methods did they use to keep your attention and impact you with their words? Christy says there's a strategy and a science to speaking that we may not be aware of.
2 Tips for a Brand New Business Mom
When we've just come up with our great big idea or goal, it can feel overwhelming thinking about everything we need to do to get started. How can a busy mom get past the overwhelm and make progress?
1. Make a Plan. The unknown is the root of so much stress in our lives. Christy encourages women to make a simple list of everything they need to do to get going with their business. Make a plan for how you'll get started. When you have everything down on paper, you'll be so much less overwhelmed because you can clearly see what's in front of you.
Writing things out on paper also has another benefit. It keeps you focused. When you realize you've just spent 8 hours choosing themes, colors, and photos when your true priority is getting customers and revenue, having that plan with solid tasks will help you to stay on track Christy encourages women to just get started! You don't need anything fancy to get going. “Start simply.”
2. Get Others to Help. There are tons of people around you that probably have skills, resources, and connections that can help you reach your goal. Maybe you have a graphic designer friend. Or maybe when you mention your new business plan, an acquaintance will know someone great who can help. We have so many resources at our disposal than we realize.
Remember that One Time When Christy was a Farmpreneur?
Christy's had a few side businesses of her own, so we just had to ask her about them! (We're so glad we did!)
Christy started her first side business at 22 years old. She had just graduated college and was working full-time for a non-profit. She thought it'd be really great to move to a 40-acre farm! It had always been a dream of hers to live on a farm. There was a house and an 11-stall barn. But Christy couldn't afford the rent at this farm, so she decided to start a side business.
Instead of starting from scratch, Christy used what she had. She already knew how to take care of horses and she had an 11-stall barn at her disposal, so she started a horse-boarding businesses.
For years Christy was able to live the farm dream with this business! She had horses, goats, and a miniature donkey, but Christy also says she had to spend her weekends cutting and baling hay.
She'd love to live on a farm again someday, but she plans on having more money at her disposal so she can pay someone else to do all of the heavy lifting!
Christy's first side business offers a great tip for all of us: When it comes to starting a business, think about what you already have. What are you good at? What resources are at your disposal? You can remove the barriers to starting and growing a business when you don't have to start completely from scratch.
Stop Selling and Start Sharing
When Christy does research on women with side businesses, she asks them how they feel about selling. They say things like, “”I'm uncomfortable, I don't know how, I don't know what to say, or I don't want to be pushy.”
A couple of questions later, Christy asks them, “Tell me about why you want to do this” and the women would talk about the joy it brought them…little girls at church wearing dresses they made…. or websites going up that they designed. These same women just came alive when they shared their story. And just by listening to them, Christy immediately wanted to buy their product!
Start Sharing: When you're in your comfort zone and sharing your heart with people, the sale will follow.
Christy says that industries and companies portray sales as this evil thing, but it doesn't have to look that way. Sales is really influence, and you're already doing it all the time!
Are you married? That's sales! You convinced someone that you are awesome enough to marry!
Did your kids eat dinner last night? That's sales! You convinced them to eat their broccoli!
Use your influence to be likeable, persuasive, and share your story. The sale will follow.
Christy addresses so many of the issues women face when starting a business at her Business Boutique Event happening this Fall in Nashville.
How to be Authentic
Related to sharing our story, an important aspect of influencing others is being authentic. How can we do this when it comes to our business?
Christy believes that everyone should write out a mission statement for their business. Write out your big vision and goals. Why are you doing what you're doing? To keep that focus, Christy recommends the book, Start with Why by Simon Sinek. (Or you can watch his TED Talk.)
In “Start with Why” Sinek says that people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
Once you've decided on your “why” along with the big goals that will help you to get there, it will help you to stay on track. There are so many opportunities in the marketplace, but when we keep our mission in mind, we won't be so easily distracted.
The Wow Person and the How Person
Christy shared an adorable analogy that described Sarah and my work relationship so well!
In every relationship there's a Wow Person and a How Person.
The Wow Person is always saying things like, “Wow I have a new idea! Wow this is amazing!” But the How Person thinks, “How are we going to do this? How will it be executed? ”
(Can you guess who's the Wow and How Person between Sarah and I? Also, can you guess whether Christy or her husband is the Wow person?)
Christy's Advice to make the relationship work: When the Wow Person comes in with 5,000 ideas, the How Person should not ask any How questions for at least 24 hours. They just have to be excited. After 24 hours, if the Wow Person is still talking about the idea, then they can ask some questions! (But chances are, the Wow Person has already moved on to 5,000 new ideas!)
Juggling Tips (i.e. Keep your Eye on the Ball!)
Juggling life and work as a busy mom is not easy. Christy shared a few tips that have been so helpful to her as a new mom.
1. Focus on what's in front of you. If Christy focuses on what she left behind, for example – her son being at daycare – she won't be able to focus on the important work that's right in front of her. Conversely, if she's at home with her son and thinking about problems at work, the same thing happens. Christy chooses to look through the front windshield instead of in the rearview mirror.
2. Set goals for yourself to keep your priorities in line. This goes along with point #1. When you've decided what's most important to you, and you've set aside time for those most important things each week, you can leave the guilt behind knowing you've done what you set out to do.
For example, maybe you've set a goal to work on your business for 10 hours a week and spend quality time with your kids for 10 hours a week. Since the need is unending both in business and at home, you can eliminate the guilt if you've met your own goal for the week. Feel good about what you've done and how you've kept your priorities in line.
Maybe you didn't get to braid your daughter's hair tonight, but you're going shopping this weekend, did homework yesterday, and you went to her soccer game today. Feel good about meeting your goals.
Moms feel guilty no matter what path they choose. Women that work full-time jobs feel guilty for not spending more time with their kids. Women who stay home feel guilty about their identity and roles.
Don't compare yourself to other women and other moms, but decide for yourself what's important to you and focus on meeting your own goals. (Not anyone else's!)
A Closet and Some Make-Up… why they could be the key to your productivity!
Christy shared two great tips on how to make working from home work for you.
1.) Set aside some space. Create an area in your home that's dedicated to the business. Otherwise, you'll find yourself with piles of laundry…on top of orders… on top of takeout…on top of tax forms. It starts to feel like the business is taking over because visually, it is taking over! Block off a space in the house where you go to work.
That space trains your mind to get into work mode, and it also serves as a visual cue for your kids that Mommy is in work mode.
(If your space is tiny like Beth Anne's maybe it's just a corner of your closet!)
2.) Set a schedule. When you're working from home, it's easy to stay in your PJ's until 2 in the afternoon. But even if you got a few things done, you'll probably feel more scattered and distracted if you don't get up and get ready for your day. Create structure for yourself. Have a set time to “start at the office” and take a shower and get ready so you'll feel more energetic, productive, and focused.
Christy's Initiation into #MomLife
Tune into the podcast to hear Christy's funny story of her initiation into the real world of motherhood! It happened on her first day back at work… when she had a gig on TV….(of course!)