Build a Badass Business Podcast #35: Do whatever it Takes

Topics:Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

  1. Swallow your pride and not be in a position where you’re too good for a job.
  2. That’s the kind of mindset that we really need to all get out of; worrying what other people think when we’re on a mission.
  3. If you’re on that mission and you’re trying to get your business going and you’re hustling, you just cannot worry what anybody thinks about it.

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Build a Badass Business: Episode #35: Whatever it Takes

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: Alright, welcome back to the show. Today what I want to talk about is the concept of doing whatever it takes to make your dream happen, make your business into what you want it to be, achieve your goals; just get there. Whatever it is that you’re trying to do to be kind of like that freight train where you just kind of make it happen.Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

The inspiration for this episode came from the Farmer’s Market this morning. I posted on Instagram, if you follow me there, I posted a little video of a couple of kids and also their dad playing music at the farmer’s market, and they had a sign that said “This is for our college fund, send us to college”. And the kid who was singing; I don’t know if he was maybe about 12 years old, but his voice was amazing, the music was awesome, they were playing songs that people know and enjoy, and just generally entertaining a crowd. They had CDs for sale of their “greatest hits” which I thought was hilarious. I’m like, greatest hits? You’re like 6 and 12! But they were just there doing it.

And I look back, and I see myself in those kids. If I had a mission, a goal, something I wanted to buy, somewhere I wanted to go, it was always a matter of, how am I going to figure out how to do it, knowing that my parents weren’t just going to hand me a few hundred bucks; or in these kids’ case, multiple tens of thousands of dollars for college. They are many years off from college, but this is the start of their college fund, and I thought that was totally inspirational and motivational for all of you who are starting businesses, or maybe in your first couple of years, and you’re just feeling like you don’t know how to make it happen; that is the motivation to do whatever it takes. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride; sometimes you have to take another job or kind of step back from just focusing on the business itself, because if that’s your goal, you have to be willing to do a lot of different things.

I have 5 things that I want to go over with you guys today of what I think are ways to just step back and see if there’s something you can adjust about either what you’re doing, or how you’re spending money, how you’re spending your time, etc., to put yourself in this mindset of; I’m doing whatever it takes, this is my goal, this is my mission, and nothing is going to stop me.

So the first one is not being too proud to work retail or wait tables at a restaurant. Baby sit; do odd jobs, or sell things you don’t need on eBay or Craig’s List. Return unopened things. My friend Danny J; you can find her I think it’s Danny J Johnson or I know she was doing some periscope videos talking about returning things you just have in your house that are unopened, and stores will take them back. I know Trader Joe’s is a great example of this. If you somehow bought canned goods that you don’t need, or something that’s not spoiled, even if it’s in the fridge and you don’t need it or you don’t like it; you can bring it back. You probably have money sitting around your house right now.

But all of this stuff; when I decided to start a meal business; this was back in 2007 when I decided to start Balanced Bites as a meal business. I quit my full time job at the time as a graphic designer, but I didn’t have any source of income. And in order to get another business started, I couldn’t just sit idly and expect my rent to be paid magically by fairies and trolls. {laughs} I mean, the rent is not going to be paid if I don’t have a job. So what I needed to do at that point was go back and get a retail job. I worked at Lululemon part time. I had to work really hard to not spend all my money on black stretchy pants. But I earned enough money to be able to pay the rent; I believe I had health insurance from that job, as well. And just kind of floated myself while I was starting the new business.

So I think it’s important, the takeaway point here is, swallow your pride and not be in a position where something is too good for you; or you’re too good for a job. I know there are tons of people who work at places like Trader Joe’s, any kind of retail job, any kind of restaurant job, and they’re hustling. They’ve got something else that’s a goal of theirs. You guys have all heard about actors and actresses who are waiting tables because they’re trying to make it. That’s the hustle right there, so you can’t be too proud to do that.

The second thing, in terms of whatever it takes; there’s probably going to be a period of time when you want to leave your 9-5 so badly. You cannot stand showing up at that office. You don’t want to get up in the morning; I’ve been there you guys. I did not want to go to sleep at night, because I didn’t want to wake up the next day and go to that office. I spent probably an extra 6 months minimum at a job that I just wasn’t passionate about because I knew I needed to pay the rent.

So you’ll hit that wall where you’re like, I know I don’t want to be here, and I have this other thing that I’m really interested in, but if you don’t have the means to float yourself during that time, you have to stick it out a little bit, and work your 9-5, and also find the hours after work and before work to work on your business and get the stuff going for whatever it is you’re trying to do.

The first point is not being too proud to take a retail job or do odd jobs; babysitting, sell things that you don’t need. The second point is staying at your 9-5 for a while; longer than you really want to, just because you are getting that paycheck.

So the third one kind of ties into the first point as well, and it’s a little bit about not being too proud. This isn’t a situation for everyone; not everyone has this ability, but you might need to move in with family, or move back in with your parents. I know a lot of people who do have that as an option, but either they’re too proud to do it, they feel like, you know, somebody is going to think poorly of them or make assumptions about them.

Truth be told, I moved back in with my parents right after college; I moved back in with them again after college, I got a job out here in San Francisco, lived out here for a while, then moved back, lived with them again. I left for 6 or so years, lived here in San Francisco again; moved back. When I was writing Practical Paleo, I lived with my parents until I had the means to get out, then eventually bought a house.

I had that opportunity, and I think everyone’s in a different situation, right? Some of you probably have families with kids, and you may or may not be able to move 4 people into your parent’s house, or your aunt’s house, or your grandma’s house, or whatever the case may be. But I think that a good percentage of you probably have this opportunity, and just feel like somebody will judge you for it, and that’s the kind of mindset that we really need to all get out of; worrying what other people think when we’re on a mission.

So if you’re on that mission and you’re trying to get your business going and you’re hustling, you just cannot worry what anybody thinks about it. Even if your parents say yes to it, but you still think they might have some judgment about it. You still can’t care what they think. If they say yes, and they let you come in; maybe they let you live there rent free. Maybe you’re paying a little bit of rent just to kind of cover some costs and not be a total leech on your parents. I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay rent; I think I was a leech. But I’m pretty sure I cooked a bunch for my parents while I was there. So that’s another one.

Also, the other option here could be just moving somewhere cheaper. Again, if you own a house, it’s not easy or quick to do this, but your business is going to be a lifetime mission. So we’re talking, in the grand scheme of things, a long-term commitment to a very expensive mortgage that you’re scraping and you can’t afford versus moving to a less expensive home, renting for a little while, whatever the case may be.

When I first quit my full time job that I was making 6 figures at, I moved from an apartment that cost me $2100 a month or $2200 to a place that cost $1200 a month. And that was a huge cut in my expenses every single month. So you have to look at what you’re spending every month and how you can reduce those expenses because the thing is, sometimes you want to say; you know what, I don’t want to give up the apartment. I’m going to work hard, I’m going to make it work, it’s going to happen. But the truth is, when you free up that stress around earning the money immediately, you actually are able to build a business on a better foundation. So when you remove those stressors and you just focus on what you’re doing with your business, you probably will build it faster, get to that point of earning enough faster than if you’d kept those expenses on your back. So that’s kind of a different perspective or a different way to look at it.

Ok, so the fourth point here, and this one a lot of us don’t want it to have to get to this point, but it’s something that’s really important, and it’s having a strict budget. So what I would recommend, if you feel like you need to make sure that you are paying for everything, and you’re just not sure how you’re going to make it work, a cash budget is a really good way to do it. Making envelopes for everything that you’re spending on, and when the envelope is empty, you’re done spending on that for the month.

I think it’s important to make sure that you are realistic about how much certain things cost, but you’re also not overspending on anything once you budget out; ok, here’s how much I can afford, here’s what I have in the bank or coming in, and here’s what I need to spend using cash for that stuff, and trying your best not to accrue credit card debt, because that does not put people in a good situation when you’re building a business.

So the fourth one, and this obviously ties in with the budget point. I’m sorry; this will be the fifth point. It’s curbed spending overall. So when you look at what you’re spending money on, you need to pay certain bills, but perhaps your cell phone is a higher plan than you really need. This is the time to look at; do I use all the data that I’m paying for? Can I backtrack? Can I get a less expensive plan for that? When you’re buying food, are you buying what I consider treat foods? There are definitely times we’re at the grocery store and we want to buy cold brew coffee that’s already made. To me that’s a treat. I like buying it; right now, I can spend the money on it. Years ago, when I was starting my business, that would not have been in my basket. It would have been meat, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats. Totally nothing prepared, nothing that was costing more than it needed to cost. Lots of ground meat, nothing too fancy. Those things add up really quickly.

This is also a time not to buy new clothes, new shoes, new house wares, beauty treatments like manicures. If you guys have been following me for a while, you know how I feel about my manicures. I gave myself manicures for many, many years. This is not something that; you know, that’s going to cost people anywhere from $10 to $30 or $35 a pop, depending on how often you get them. That adds up to real money when you don’t have a ton to be spending. So if you’re just getting starting, those are things that kind of need to go by the wayside, but it doesn’t mean for forever.

And I think that’s actually a really nice motivation to get yourself going. I wanted to earn the money so I could then go out to eat a little bit more often. I wanted to be able to buy a steak now and then, instead of just ground meat. So that extra motivation, when you scale everything back, and you’re like, I want to be living at a different level than I am right now. That bolsters your motivation.

So, those are the points I have for you guys. Number one, not being too proud to work retail or take a restaurant waiting tables job, babysitting, odd jobs; selling things you don’t need. Number two; sticking it out with your 9-5 for a little longer than maybe you wanted to. Number three; moving, whether it’s too a cheaper place or in with family, etc. Number four; budgeting and doing so with cash envelopes so when the money is gone, the money is gone. And number five; curbed overall spending, really pulling back on those things that we just don’t need.

Alright you guys. Time for the after party! Whoop, whoop! It’s Periscope after party. So those of you who are with me live, we’ve wrapped up the main content for this episode that will be on Build a Badass Business. And I would love to take your questions now. Coach Clap asks, “how do you find a good team to work with you; a good virtual assistant?” I actually have an episode all about that already, talking about my team and building a team. So if you need ideas for how to build your team and who to start with, I would definitely go back and listen to that episode of Build a Badass Business.

Miss Shawna Marie; “Do you offer business coaching?” I do not right now. You can hop over to the Build a Badass Business Facebook group and I did put out feelers for the possibility of offering a very small select group coaching to that group, so maybe not more than 10 or 15 people. I do not have the time capacity right now to offer one on one coaching, but it may be something I do in the future. I’m not totally sure. Awesome!

She Knows Nutrition asks; “Do you think hiring a research firm is a good idea to nail a niche and a business name?” Hmm. I think if you have a really big business that you’re building right out of the gate, if you have investors, if you’re nervous about things; maybe. Depending on what it is. If you feel like you need that support; however, I think you probably know your business better than somebody that you can hire and it’s your job, when you’re building your business, to have your ear to the ground and listen to what’s going on out there, see what people are responding to. If you started out with a certain name, and people are like, I don’t know what this business is, what are you all about? What are selling? Then maybe it’s time to reconsider that. I’m not sure that a company has some amazing, better set of skills to name your business than you do, but it’s possible. There’s really not one set answer for that.

Ok, Pixie is asking; “Do you trademark straight out of the gate, or wait until you get started?” And you’re name is Susan. Awesome. That’s a really good question. You definitely would want to consult with an attorney on that; however, I believe that you can’t trademark something; this is my understanding. You can’t trademark something until you actually have use of that word or phrase in trade. So meaning you have to be using it on a blog, on a website, on a product, etc.; you have to have it out there first, and show that it’s being publicly consumed in some way before you can say you want to file for that trademark.

So the trademark offices will look for the date of its first use, that name or phrase, in trade. And so if you haven’t put it out there yet, you can’t ask for that mark. I’m 90% sure about that. I would ask an attorney for more details on that, but in my talks with my attorney about trademarks, I believe you have to have that word or phrase or title, whatever, in trade before you are able to mark it and pay for that registration.

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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