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Build a Badass Business Podcast #27: Get comfortable with change

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Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

This episode was originally created in tandem with a LIVE Periscope broadcast! If you'd like to interact with me live, simply download the free Periscope app and follow me there @dianesanfilippo – see you on the Scope! #dianescopes #badassbusiness

(Please excuse the loud echo in this episode as we had just moved into a new apartment and there was no furniture yet in the room to help absorb the sound! Most episodes are have way cleaner sound.)

As an entrepreneur, if there's one thing you need to be okay with, it's CHANGE. In this episode, I talk all about change, redirecting when things don't go as planned, and charging ahead when something doesn't work out the way you expected it to.

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Build a Badass Business: Episode # 27: Get comfortable with change

Coming to you from the city by the bay, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.

Diane Sanfilippo: So today I want to talk about this topic of change, because I believe that if you are an entrepreneur, or you want to be an entrepreneur, you have it in your gut that you should be an entrepreneur, which I kind of think you have to have it in your gut. Because if you don’t, I think that will be the end of it, change is something you have to get very comfortable with.

As an entrepreneur, if you’re not comfortable with change, if you’re not comfortable with creating a plan and having to deviate from it, then you either need to get comfortable with it or you need to find a new plan and a new route for yourself that is not being an entrepreneur and not owning and running your own business. Because if you’re not comfortable with change, you’re going to feel stressed out probably all of the time running a business.

So what I mean by that is, first and foremost I’ve never written a business plan. I’ve tried, I’ve started at the advisement of other people. I tried when I was finishing nutrition school because it was advised that we create a plan, that we write down how many people would see each week, and how much we would earn from that. I think what happened every time I wrote down a business plan, I think I quickly saw that the numbers never really added up. So I wonder if the math that I was doing always lead me to believe that whatever I would conceive for myself on paper was, I was never thinking big enough.

If you asked me to write down years ago that I would write a book and how many copies it would sell or where it would go, I would never have written down the type of success that I’ve seen. I don’t know if that’s just that I don’t think big enough, but I just think what happens when you try and have a plan and you only stick to that plan, I personally think that you limit yourself, and I think that we all need to be open to opportunities and open to the unlimited potential that we have, and going after the changes that may arise while we’re on the path that we’re on.

So I think this is a topic that everybody needs to really think about, whether you are an entrepreneur right now, or whether you’re considering being an entrepreneur. Change is the one constant you’ll have in your journey. So write that down, keep it next to your heart, keep it next to your desk. Change is constant, change is necessary, and change is good. I think a lot of people fear change because it brings obviously this element of the unknown, right? So you can continue to do the things that you're doing every day, and you know what to expect. There’s an expected outcome of your actions. But when you change one thing, inevitably you change a lot of other things.

So here’s an example that I was talking about this morning on my walk and talk that I did live on Periscope. If you don’t follow me on Periscope, for those of you listening to this on the podcast, definitely come follow me there because it’s a great way for us to interact live. What I was talking about this morning is that I had it in my gut over the winter that I was not happy. I didn’t love the scenario of being stuck in winter. Quite frankly, I’m not a winter person. I don’t love winter. I don’t like the way it feels. And a lot of people have this feeling that, because I made a decision or myself and Scott, my fiancé, made the decision together, you know I had the feeling in my gut and we made that decision really together that we were going to move from New Jersey to San Francisco, it became this little element, this little part of our lives that makes a lot of other people uncomfortable. Whether they have their own assumptions about why we’re making the change or how we’re making the change.

Admittedly, San Francisco is not the cheapest place to move to right now. But when I look at the work that I’ve done for the last 4 to 5 years in building this business, that doesn’t even include the work that I did before that, for so many years doing things that contributed to building the business that I have now, it’s a change that I’m ready to make and I can afford to make it. I don’t spend a lot of money on a lot of things. And for me, being able to put us as a couple in a new environment that we’re both going to really enjoy, that’s a change that became necessary and I don’t take that change lightly, and it was not easy to make.

So I think a lot of people assume that, oh well because of some situation that I’m in, that’s easy for you to say, Diane, but it’s not easy for me to do. The thing is, it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy to do the work that I did in the last 4 to 5 years, and obviously before that to get to this place. So even if the decision and the physical move wasn’t that difficult, all the work that led up to it was difficult. So that’s kind of the thing that I want all of you guys to think about when it comes to change.

The moment of making a change can be difficult, or the moment of making a change can be easy based on the hard work that you’ve put in in the past. So the moment of making a change can be easy based on hard work in a couple of ways; one is that you laid the foundation, you laid the ground work. Perhaps you earned money so that making a change would be easier, because maybe for some people the change is difficult because it costs more money. That could be one reason. Maybe for some people the change is difficult because they’re worried about leaving behind something they’ve built. So maybe if you built a business, and you’re like I don’t know if I should leave that behind.

Making the change and making the decision is something that will only bring new information. And for most people, change always brings an element of good and bad. Right? There’s always a risk involved with change. But the reason why we do it, the reason why we make the changes is because we think that the upside is better than the downside. Right? So if you decide to abandon a business that you started because you see potential in a different business, or you just have extreme passion in a different direction, if you just hem and haw over not making that choice, over what could be, or what may be, or what might happen to the old business, or what may or may not happen in the new one, you're just stuck for forever. You have to be able to make a decision and move forward. As an entrepreneur, change is also kind of the motivator behind decision making. And if you are not able to make decisions every single day, a lot of them, again being an entrepreneur is not going to be for you.

This is kind of funny; I recently was tasked somewhat, at least, with planning at least parts of our wedding. My dress is one thing that I have to pick what my dress is. And I was like, I really don’t want somebody to come up to me with like 100 options, because I really can’t handle making a decision like that. Because what I do every day, all day, is make decisions and have to choose something and I would say at least half the time I’m making a choice about something, it involves changing something. Changing a direction we’re going with some kind of business, changing a graphic, editing something in a PDF that we’re putting out. There’s always change involved. So that’s something you just really have to be comfortable with. And if you’re not comfortable with it, then I would reconsider entrepreneurship.

So here’s the other thing about change. I think a lot of people assume that making a change and making a new decision means that you failed something that you’re leaving behind. But when you're an entrepreneur, failing is just a matter of changing direction or finding a new direction. So there are things that, in our business, in my business, every single day we decide, you know what, we’re not going to do it this way anymore, we’re going to change and do it in a different way. And it’s not that that old way was a failure; we learned from it. We didn’t love maybe the outcome of that, and I don’t see it as a failure.

And if I do want to see it as a failure; I mean, I see certain things as bumps or maybe just bad decisions or things that didn’t turn out the way I had expected or hoped. But I don’t see it as a failure, because I know I worked 100% to the level that I needed to to make it not fail, and so if it didn’t work, it just wasn’t the right thing. There are plenty of things that we’ve done in our company and in my business where I’m like, ok I really think this is the right way to go, I believe it in my gut, and then it just wasn’t. It worked out ok, but it didn’t work out great, or it didn’t turn out the way I expected.

Admittedly I have very high expectations of the things that I create and what we put out into the world. So if something doesn’t live up to that, I don’t sit around and sulk and say, oh, well it failed game over. I say, ok, what can we do to improve it and change it, and move forward? And that’s all there is to it. That’s another reason why getting comfortable with change is important, because if you constantly just sit around and sulk that something’s not working, you’re never going to build your business and move forward in the way that you want to.

That’s it, you guys. Those are the thoughts that I have on change. Just off the top of my head, just kind of riffing on this topic, because I don’t want anyone to be afraid of changes. I want people to know that small steps that you’re taking now, the hard work that you’re doing now, most often the way I see it, if you’re trying to build a business, it’s because you’re trying to change something. Whether that’s just your everyday life and your lifestyle; being able to wake up without an alarm clock because you decide when you do things, or waking up with an alarm clock because you like to have a schedule that you like to have during the day. Whatever that is, I think most of us who want to be entrepreneurs, or who are entrepreneurs just in our gut, we not only want freedom, but we want the freedom to make changes when we want to make them. So that’s really where you need to come from with this mindset; you need to get comfortable with it or just don’t be an entrepreneur. That’s all there is to it.

“What are the first steps to take to getting a book published?” This is from Sarah. Well, what kind of book are you talking about? I would say the first thing that anybody needs to do is probably to build a following. At this point, the way the publishing industry is working, it seems like folks are having a much easier time getting a book deal and having a book published if you have a really decent following ahead of time.

One of the really big misconceptions about a book is that you write the book and then you become popular and sell a whole bunch of books. That’s kind of not how it happens. If you actually want the book to sell, which I presume you do, it’s on you to do the marketing for the book, it’s on you to do the marketing ahead of time, and then it’s on you to do the marketing when the book comes out.

Any tips for increasing your social media following? I covered this one on a previous episode of Build a Badass Business, so definitely go check out the podcast if you’ve not listened to it yet. My biggest tip for everyone, I’m saying this every single episode I have, I want you to get out and connect in person in your local community. Because everyone on the internet is sort of clamoring for the attention of everyone on the internet. So obviously, that sounds crazy right? There are probably billions of people on the internet, the amount of attention we can all gain is huge, right? There are so many people.

But if you don’t have a direct connection with those people, then the way that they’ll scroll through your content is totally different from the way that you’ll scroll through content and maybe pause and consume it if you know the person. I’m sure I can ask a bunch of you who are following, if you saw this broadcast come up and you know who I am, and you’re like oh, I want to watch that. But if you didn’t know who I was, and you saw the title of this broadcast and that was that, you probably wouldn’t stop to watch it. Same thing goes for Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Deena is asking, “What about people who fear getting in front of other people?” I don’t know how to help people overcome that fear, in so far as, if you’re insecure about yourself personally, I don’t know how to help you with that. I think we all have this element of, you just have to get over it. Everybody sitting in that room is just a person. I don’t know what those fears are, I don’t know where it’s coming from. Tell me what you’re afraid of. But if you’re afraid of speaking about a topic; this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, then that’s not a topic you should talk about.

Talk about something that you are not afraid to talk about. Talk about something you feel very confident in talking about, narrow the scope of what you're talking about. If you feel like talking about nutrition is just scary, then don’t talk about nutrition and everything in it. Talk about how to change what you’re eating for breakfast so you don’t have a blood sugar crash two hours later. Keep it really narrow so the thing that you’re talking about is something that you know you’re an expert on, and if you need to make it more personal, then that’s fine because then you will be an expert on your story. Everybody is an expert on their own story.

Deena, I would say too, start small. The first groups that I taught were like 4 or 5 people in a kitchen teaching a cooking class. And as much as I don’t really struggle with the issue of confidence standing in front of people, I think that it’s because I don’t talk about things I’m not sure about. I think that’s just how I am, and I have no problem with the 3 words that I think a lot of people have trouble with, and I think this is one of the things that keeps people from speaking, and it keeps people from engaging. The three words that people who speak in front of groups need to be comfortable with are “I don’t know.”

Somebody asks me a question, and I don’t know the answer, I just say I don’t know. {laughs} Good question, I don’t really know what to say to that, and then you move on and that’s that. No big deal.

“Is there such a thing as oversharing?” Laura. You guys, go follow Laura Schoenfeld, she’s the little purple smiley face that just popped up there. Go follow her because I’m sure she’ll start Periscoping at some point. I think overshare is up to you. I don’t know. {laughs} In our community, maybe posting a picture of your poop might be an overshare. I know a lot of people joke about, well I don’t care what people are eating for lunch. Well, when you teach nutrition, people care what you’re eating for lunch. Quite frankly, people ask me, “what did you eat for lunch today?” That’s top questions that I get on a podcast or anywhere else.

I think overshare is really up to the individual. I actually think Gary Vaynerchuk talked about this recently, too, where he was like, you almost don’t know that line until you cross it and you see that people by and large don’t react favorably to something that you might share. But I think it’s totally up to you. I don’t know, I think we’re all pretty much sharing something that’s just like a little positive snapshot. But crafting an image versus just being yourself… I mean, I think anybody is going to; I just don’t think there’s a way around “crafting an image”, because people will create an image based on what you're posting. And none of us are just going to post 24 hours a day what we look like, or every single bite that we eat.

Somebody told me once that they feel like I don’t post enough treats that I might eat. And I’m like, but I feel like I post them in relation to how much real food I eat, and I also don’t, if I do eat a treat, it’s not like that’s what I want to post all the time. Not because I’m hiding it, but because I don’t want to promote that as something that I think everyone should do all the time. So I think there’s a delicate balance there. I’m not really personally worried about this whole crafting of an image. Nobody wants to see the ugly stuff. People don’t want to see that. So there’s a reason why movie stars are done up and look cute. {laughs} I don’t know, I don’t know what else to say about that.

I mean, I actually share a good number. I’ve hopped on Periscope with no makeup, greasy with a hat on or I’ve jumped in, taken picture of myself or had pictures posted on Instagram or wherever else where I’m not made up and I don’t have my hair done, because I don’t want people to meet me in real life and be like, oh! {laughs} Like, this is what she really looks like? I don’t want that to happen. It’s one of the reason I like the live video element. You can see the weird faces I make; my left eye constantly wants to close, it’s really annoying.

I like the live element. I think it’s natural, and I think it’s a better way for you guys to get to know me, because I think sometimes people get to know me through text on Facebook or Instagram, and they misread my direct comments with factual information for being curt or rude or standoffish or assuming that I’m being annoyed by their questions. And the truth is, they’re not. I’m just being very direct. And if someone asked me a question, and I answered it in the caption, and I’m like “read the caption.” I don’t hold people’s hand to that degree. I’m happy to answer basic questions from people.

I like to be welcoming to new people, but I also am not going to do the work for you. I can’t help you if you’re not willing to do a little work. If you don’t want to search on my website; if you’re like, I know you have this recipe on your website but I can’t find it, I can’t find it here on the page. I’m like, just search the blog! I’m not going to do it for you, I have enough of my own work to do, I’m not going to do your work too, you know? So I think that’s probably. I don’t even know where I got off topic, but I do like Periscope for that reason.

“How do I prepare for a Scope?” I just check what the camera is going to look like, and I try not to have anything too distracting around me, and I try to have good light. Sometimes I’ll have a few notes, Laura; like I’ll have a little post-it note with just little topics I’m going to touch on if I actually have a topic to talk about. But I literally have, right now I have 4 little bullet points of notes; 3. Four little bullet points of notes that I was going to talk about today, but I am usually an off the cuff speaker. And that’s because I only talk about things I really know, what I’m going to say.

But if there are things that I don’t want to forget to say, then I write them down. But if I’m going to talk about healthy fats, I don’t have notes. So I’ll just grab a copy of one of my books and start talking about it from there.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey guys, I’m so glad you’re loving the show. Let me ask you to do me a favor; come follow me on Periscope. You can find me; I believe you can search Diane Sanfilippo, or you can search @BalancedBites, which is my Twitter handle, which is the account name over on Periscope. I am going to start doing live sessions, really quick thoughts for the day. I’m not sure if it I will be every day, but it will be pretty often, and some Q&A on business topics and motivation, inspiration, etc. So make sure you’re following me over on Periscope. Download the app in the app store, and I will see you there.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

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