Episode #35: How to Get Over the Fear of Starting Small (Stalled Business Growth Mini-Series, Part 2)

In today’s episode, we’re talking about how being afraid of being seen starting small might be holding you back more than you realize. Then, we’ll finish this episode with a weekly actionable tip!

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: In today’s episode, we’re talking about how being afraid of being seen starting small might be holding you back more than you realize.


  1. What’s on my plate [1:17]
  2. Shop Talk: Overcoming fears of starting small [25:05]
  3. Tip of The Week: Mini-audit for growth mindset [47:37]

1.  What’s on my plate [1:17]

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses, and in our lives for the week. Cassy, what’s going on?

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh, so much. So, Diane and I are recording; I feel like it’s important to tell people when we’re recording right now.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: Considering the world events. So we’re recording on April 1st, and this will air a couple of weeks later. But we are both still quarantined in our homes. We probably will be then, as well. And it’s a totally different time for business and then of course personal reasons. This is true for people across the board.

So, for Fed and Fit, I won’t bore y’all with all the nitty gritty details, but we are essentially, from a birds eye view, still doing our best to pivot all of our content to make sure that we are supporting our readers as best we can in this season, providing folks with essentially all of our; not all of our recipes and planned content went out the window, but a grand majority of them did. Because we sat down and we looked at our content calendar, and we were like; what will really serve people right now? Obviously, we’re not going to put up a travel article about travel must-haves, right? That’s a good example of content that now got put on the back burner.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: And instead, spending a lot of time really trying to support folks who are cooking from home right now, doing these pantry wild-card demos, which are more work than some folks might realize. Other fellow business owners have been writing in, wanting to do co-Instagram lives, Diane. And they’re like, “Yeah, it’s so easy. You just show people how to make a recipe on an Instagram live, and we’ll split screen. I’ll broadcast it with my audience.” And I’m like; it’s, A) actually not so easy. It’s actually a lot of work. And B), the number of hours that I can actually stand on my feet is limited during the day. So it’s so interesting, because it’s not only changing, of course, from a business side; what kind of content do we want to curate for our readers, but how are we as colleagues working with each other in this season and supporting one another and not making assumptions on what is or isn’t easy content to cross contribute.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally.

Cassy Joy: It’s fascinating. And it is just slowly coming into focus. I feel like this week I had a team call with Fed and Fit earlier today, and I told them; I said, last week. It was the end of the third week of quarantine I felt like was the end of my tantrum. {laughs} It was like the end of my kicking and screaming, and we were home. And I wasn’t literally kicking and screaming. But I just was really resisting fully surrendering to the current circumstances; emotionally, and everything else. Which I’ll walk y’all through in just a second very briefly about our birth plans.

But I was really resisting it, and my heart was broken for all the businesses impacted; really close to home would be my family’s businesses. And this week I felt like I woke up, and I’ve surrendered. Accepted it. And it’s like, once you surrender and you accept, it just makes things; not necessarily easier from a tactile perspective. We’re still home. But it feels a little bit easier. Anyway.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: It’s just interesting, all of these pivots. But I hope that we are making you guys proud, if you’re Fed and Fit readers. I hope we’re making you proud with our content. Our team has been working really, really hard. We’re also starting up a series of give back giveaways that I’m really excited about. Today’s the first one; it was two weeks ago when you’re hearing this. But we’ll have some trickled throughout the timeframe. But for example, the one that went up most recently is a restaurant gift card give back. So tag the restaurant that you would want to go to, and we’re buying $100 gift cards for 10 people in this post. And we’ll be doing that for groceries and a couple of other fun things. So trying to figure out a really fun way to sprinkle a little bit of our fairy dust around as we can.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that.

Cassy Joy: Yeah! It’s like; you know, the least we can do. But it’s also a fun way to really engage folks and get people thinking about this too will pass. Because that’s my biggest focus. As a professional, and where I really see my career going long-term, is in mindset work. And I think this is a very direct way I can help folks put their minds on a really great, positive, shining star that we’re all walking towards together. Which will be the future, when all of this lifts, and life and businesses will resume.

And then birth plans; {laughs} it’s just, who knows. Maybe by the time this airs, I will already have had a baby. You just never know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Perhaps.

Cassy Joy: Maybe I’ll be cooking a baby for several more weeks. {laughing} It is just a bizzaro time, and there are a lot of unknowns. And there are a lot of expectant mothers out there who have found me, like we do. Right? We find our birds of a feather and we flock with them, especially in these tough times. And if you’re one of them, and you’re listening; we’ve got this. I really believe that we are made and specially equipped to make the right decisions for our family and our babies. And it’s going to be a different answer for everybody. So it’s been interesting.

I did have to do a really quick family meeting on Instagram the other day, though, because I shared a little bit of a; kind of an if this, then that brain dump on paper. Just to show, in solidarity. Like, I don’t have all the answers, and I’m not pretending to have them all. I have four thousand questions. And it inspired a lot of; I have my responses to DMs turned off, unless we’re friends on Instagram. And because of this. Because of baby and parenting; birthing and parenting. And it inspired a lot of responses of people who, I get in their hearts they mean well. But especially in this season. This is true for everybody. But my heart especially goes out to those who are about to give birth in this season.

It’s ok to set boundaries. It’s ok to say; hey, I know that you’re coming from a place of love. I’m not asking for advice. My sharing a little bit about the insights of our family and some of the questions that I have is not an invitation for you to give your advice or opinions; even if you feel that you are qualified to do so. And if you are somebody who is hearing this, and you have somebody in your life who is maybe in that season, and struggling with a lot of questions. Honor them to be there, and also honor them as intelligent human beings to source those questions as they need to. And if you have a burning desire to help them; ask them if they want your input. Right?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. You can easily say; hey; listen, if it’s somebody close to you, they know what you’re an expert in. They know to come to you if they have questions. If it’s someone who is not super close; I do think if somebody wanted to send a message and say, hey. I’m an expert in XYZ, or I’m an OB/GYN who does XYZ, if you ever have questions, feel free to reach out. That to me is a generous offering, versus; to me, an ungenerous offering is assuming that someone doesn’t have a good head on their shoulders.

Which, you know, we’ve talked about this before. I always find it bizarre when people know, like, and trust you. They follow what you’re doing, etc., etc., and then something comes up that suddenly they lose trust in your ability to have a good way of making decisions for yourself. Even though, for years, they’ve trusted your advice and decisions on a million other things, and then suddenly, that goes away. Especially, I know, when it comes to baby and all of that stuff. But it is a very tricky boundary situation, and people are abusive of that, I think. I think people step over boundaries a lot. They feel like they’re entitled to or have permission to for a lot of reasons that are, I think, very unfair for people to assume.

Cassy Joy: It is. And whether you have a content platform, and you consider yourselves family with your readers, like I really do. But I don’t know them as well as they know me. So it’s like; it makes no sense. The emotional impact of a message is weighty. But the advice is not. If that makes any sense. I emotionally will reel; and this is where Diane and I might be a little bit different. But I get thrown into this tizzy of; all of the feelings around someone mistrusting my gut and my direction for my family. And it really derails me. So that’s why I have to put that boundary up. Because it keeps me from not wanting to share, when I know the grand majority of folks either really appreciate it, find it helpful, or want to just honor that process.

And then even if you don’t have; if you’re not a content creator and you’re not dealing with folks that you don’t necessarily know directly; it could be a family member who just happens to have had one more baby than you. Right? And they therefore feel like they know more about the situation than you do. I just want to affirm you in your gut right now that you are that child’s parent, and you are going to make the best decisions for your family. If you want their advice, by all means, go take it. But don’t be afraid to lovingly have that boundary. And I think the best way to say it is; I know your heart is in the right place. I will come to you with questions when I have them.

Diane Sanfilippo: Here, here. I think the experience of social media and the access that people have; and to your point, and I say this in air quotes, they “know” us better than we know them. But there is always a boundary of what people even really do know about us, even as real and authentic as you and I are in our social media; there’s always parts of being a human that will never be communicated through that.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Totally. I actually have thought about this a lot. I think I’ve joked with you about it. That if I actually shared everything about my life; I was like, oh don’t worry. There’s way more that you would be pissed at me about {laughing} than what I’ve actually shared on social media. The decisions that we make as a family are so much more polarizing than what I always present as a professional.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. It’s funny because, you know, I don’t have something obviously as serious and heavy going on with having a baby; but even something as simple as taking the gel off my nails, and folks are going around my turned off story replies to DM me advice about it. And I was like; you see that I’ve passed this part. You see I’ve already removed the gel. So now you’re not only offering unsolicited advice, but it’s untimely, at best. We’re already passed that. I’m not looking to do this as a regular process. I’ve already figured it out for myself.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: And I do my best to not answer that stuff with a really snarky tone, but I’m also like; people. Simmer. It’s gel. We’re going to be ok. I’m bringing you along for the ride because I know I like watching people figure something out. I like seeing a process. So that’s why I shared it. But I almost never share seeking advice. I will ask when I want advice. And it’s almost never.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: I almost never ask anybody for advice on anything, frankly. {laughs} Because my innate thing is I trust my own inner voice more than almost anyone else. I ask you for advice on some things. I ask my friend Kendra for advice. I don’t even ask Scott for advice on a lot of business things. It’s just not the stuff that he ruminates on all the time, you know, the way that you and I; we ruminate so much we started this podcast.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Do you know what I mean? This is the whole reason we started this podcast, is we love to talk about business. Anyway, let’s talk a little bit about business. What’s going on in my world; on a fun note, we rolled out some logo coloring sheets. New branding coloring sheets. We intended to more legitimately roll out our new branding and logo. We’ve got some stuff coming through for Balanced Bites meals; like a new box insert is coming, so when people get the box we want to create a much more fun and engaging unboxing experience. It’s been a little like; ok, here’s my brown box. And here’s my black and white note that comes in the box. We’ve made it look as cute as possible for something that gets printed in the kitchen. But of course, people who know me know that there’s always more on the brink that I’m just kind of dying to get out there. But I have held back because I knew we were in this process of rebranding. And I’m like; I don’t want to go print thousands of inserts and then they’re all pointless.

Anyway. Just looking, to your point about pivoting with the moment. Rather than trying to make it some big deal thing that we’re like; we have a new logo! I don’t know how much other people really care that much about that. It’s fun. But I was like; what more fun of a way to get people introduced to all of this than put out something that people might want to use. And I had a lot of fun sitting down and being kind of still and quiet and coloring in some things. So that was a fun thing. We’re still doing that, so if you’re listening and you’re like; I didn’t get the coloring sheet! We’ll have a link for it over at the Balanced Bites Instagram highlights or something like that.

More Balanced Bites news; I talked about this in recent episodes. We’ve been doing a donation option. If you go to meals.BalancedBites.com. This isn’t something that’s formalized at this time in terms of it being a charitable organization or anything. I just decided to get as scrappy as I could and find a way for people to donate anywhere from $5 up.

So a meal on average, let’s say, is going to cost around $15, but I really wanted to give people a way to donate a minimum, so people could all feel like there’s a way that they’re chipping in, and what we’re doing with those is whatever the exact amount is that we get from that, myself, through my company, we’re also throwing in $5,000. So I think we’re over a total of about $10,000, and we’ll be able to get probably at least around 100 boxes of food to healthcare workers who have either submitted a request or someone submitted a request in their name.

So this will air, obviously, later than we’re recording it. We will probably already have some meals in people hands. But we’ve got that form, and we’re just auditing what the requests are, and making sure we’re getting them to the people who are in the most need. But we’re looking at healthcare workers in affected areas who; obviously sending them personal protective equipment would be ideal. But I just kind of had this perspective of; what do I have that I could offer. Kind of what you were talking about, sprinkling around some of that joy.

We have food, and it is really in high demand. And the fact that our meals are vacuum sealed. They are covered in plastic, which might upset some people, but the reality is, folks can spritz that down with alcohol. They could wipe it off. It could be totally; let’s just sanitize it before we do anything with it. And we’re saving those folks time and energy. I can’t even imagine how exhausted someone would be coming home from a long shift at a hospital, knowing that you’ve got a meal that you can eat either at home, or bring it to work and heat it up there. Just picturing what that might alleviate stress in one moment, even if it’s just one meal to one person, and we’re sending however it’s going out, if people divvy it up, or they have it for themselves. It just felt like a good way to give back.

And on that note, I think I said this before, but it’s been on my heart to find a way to do this more formally. And I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like, but I just want to mention two women who really inspire me in this way. Totally different personalities; one of whom I wasn’t a fan of initially, because I just didn’t connect with her content. And then over time, I’m like; ok, I see what she’s about, this is totally different than I thought. Glennon Doyle. So she has a new book, Untamed that was an instant best seller across the board everywhere. And I think I’ve mentioned her before. But she created an organization Together Rising. I’m just really inspired by that; that’s something that I donate to every single month automatically, and I love the option to do that. They are just always looking for different crisis situations and putting money to the front lines of real people in need, and I really appreciate that.

And then Bethany Frankel, who, Real Housewife turned basically good Samaritan. And I feel like if she’s not a type 8, I would be shocked.

Cassy Joy: She’s got to be.

Diane Sanfilippo: She’s got to be. Because the type 8 is like; a crisis is my calling. And that’s how I feel about it. For me, again, I don’t remember if I’ve said this on the podcast before. But I’m like; oh, did you break your leg. I will come see you. But if your life is going great, I’m like; eh. You don’t need me. I’m literally built for a crisis.

So I see myself in her, on a much smaller scale, and I really appreciate the way that she takes what she’s doing with her business to say; not only what money can she generate through her own business, and just asking for donations. But who are the people she knows? How can she use and leverage people who own private jets, and how do we fly in resources? And just tapping those people. So I love that.

And I do want to give a quick shoutout to Stacy Toth, our colleague, peer, friend through Beautycounter and blogging for many years at Real Everything Blog. She had been referring people to buy meals in the last several weeks, and she’s taking all of the money from her own referral earnings and putting it back into the donations. Which; I mean, I just think that’s awesome. It’s just such a great way to contribute. So anyway, that’s been really fun. And I’m really proud of this community for rallying. People are buying meals, but I’ve seen people who I know don’t have a lot giving at least $5, and that’s just the most heart-warming thing. They want to contribute in some way, and I’m really glad to find a way that we can do that.

And on the other side of that, too; it’s a really hard situation to be in when people are still coming to work, and you feel like; is that the most protective thing for people. Let’s say the kitchen folks. I think there’s about a total of around 30 people between the two kitchens. I was asking what’s the total staff we’ve got. Because I do work with kitchens who are independently operating. But when you think about that situation; it’s not like being at a grocery store where there’s this constant influx of new people interacting. It’s a set staff. So being able to keep those folks employed and working and getting paid during this time is really meaningful to me. And the fact that we’re also able to get food to people, especially if you are in a situation where going to the grocery store; maybe not everybody has the ability to do something like an Instacart or something like that. So being able to offer meals; I don’t know. Hearing the messages of people saying, I’m so glad to have this. It’s such a relief to have this on hand. That’s just been really wonderful.

Cassy Joy: That’s great.

Diane Sanfilippo: And then the last quick update; I know I talked about how I started doing weekly calls with my Beautycounter team. It ended up being a really timely decision that folks are kind of home, and more able to tune in. And we’ve been doing those 30 minutes each week. We did have one that I was like; this one is going to be longer, because I want to talk about Instagram strategy, and I know this won’t be a 30-minute call. So that call ran closer to about 90 minutes; I think it was 60 and then an extra almost 30 of Q&A. And I did share a recording of that, with all of the managing directors in Beautycounter. So if you are a Beautycounter consultant and you are not on my team, ask your managing director if she can send you the link to that. You are welcome to listen to the call that I did. A ton of strategy. But it’s been going really, really well and I’m really glad that we have this way to connect. I’m looking forward to it each week now. So that’s a nice thing for me. Because I don’t typically like…

Cassy Joy: You don’t like things scheduled. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Having anything on my schedule; I don’t like being scheduled. But I’m really liking it, and I feel like it’s been a lovely touchpoint for the team. And the structure that we’ve come to has been working really well. So, yeah, I’m happy about that.

Cassy Joy: I don’t remember if we talked about it on the podcast when we were recording, or if it was before or after that. But it’s because I have been really resistant to a team call, because so many folks who join Beautycounter, their time is very, very limited for that business, and I didn’t want to cannibalize it with another training thing. But the way you framed it helped my brain really comprehend and understand the value as thinking of it as more of a podcast than necessarily a; here, I’m going to talk at you and regurgitate the news for you. So we’re starting it for our team, as well. And everybody is really excited. And it will also be a really great way to establish some continuity going into maternity leave timeframe to share with our leaders. So it is a great idea.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think for me, shifting from a 60 to a 30-minute call, that’s a big deal. Because 30 minutes goes by really quickly; whereas 60 minutes can go by quickly, but it somehow feels a lot heavier. And that was a big shift for me. It’s been really helpful, and we’re like; zip! 30 minutes. Ok, and we’re cutting it off. If it runs to 31, 32, I’m feeling the pressure and I’m like; ok guys.

Cassy Joy: Bye!

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m going to respect everyone’s time. That’s it, goodbye. You know? But yeah. I was feeling the exact same way before. It was like; ugh, this just feels heavy. Who is even going to come to the call. And I don’t know if you’re deciding to go for an hour or not, but I remember an hour felt like I would go on there and be like; what do you guys want to talk about? And it was just this different energy, and now… maybe it’s also that our teams have grown so much that even if a small percentage of people can make it live, it’s still a sizeable group. Which is a thing. It’s hard to host a call and know that it could potentially reach X number of people, but such a tiny fraction might show up live. Right? That’s tough.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. I’ve done that. I mean, where it’s like you and somebody else recording, speaking to an audience, and there is one or zero people there. If you’re listening and thinking about doing a team call, I do just want to offer a word of caution. Because Diane and I understand this, but I want to make sure we articulate it for you; I don’t encourage team calls that are just regurgitating the news that folks can find elsewhere. Make sure you’re providing something of value. That’s why when you were talking about it, treating it as a podcast, I was like; oh! Then I can build a content calendar.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: And a schedule of topics. And we can deep dive.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} We know she loves a calendar!

Cassy Joy: I love a calendar, I love usable content. And that way, I can say; this Wednesday we’re talking about new product X, right?

Diane Sanfilippo: Right, exactly.

Cassy Joy: And all you need to know about it. If that’s not something that interests you, don’t tune in. Anyway, I just think it’s a great idea.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yay.

2.  Shop Talk: Overcoming fears of starting small [25:05]

Diane Sanfilippo: Shop Talk. In this segment, we talk about topics that are on both our minds and yours. We’ll cover all sides of the issue, and hopefully land somewhere concise, actionable, and helpful. This week we’re talking about being afraid to be seen starting small. And this one really hits home. I think people might be surprised that I definitely struggle with this one. And this has been something that’s kind of been weighing on me a little bit. And I think we should just chat about it.

Cassy Joy: Let’s chat about it. We don’t have any notes. My notes for this topic say, “Let’s talk it out.” {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: It’s something that I think; I don’t want Diane to feel singled out. I think that a lot of people, if they’re really, really honest with themselves see themselves in this circumstance more times than not. When it comes to announcing anything new, you don’t have necessarily a resume or a whole big profound pile of work to reference to justify your decision, other than your gut and your inclination. And who you are as a professional going forward.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think, interestingly for me, in the past I have not had this fear. I think that for me, having been successful at similar things in the past makes starting something new more daunting. So what I mean by that is; this is not a common experience, but maybe people have this experience with just; you’ve been really successful in a specific job or career. And then you want to do something new. So my experience has been, the first book I wrote was this blockbuster best-seller. And I will never match that, or at least in recent releases, have never done that well with any of my subsequent books.

Now, there has been a certain amount to which I can say; I just knew that that book had a moment of magic for it, and I didn’t have the expectation to deliver those same exact results. So pat myself on the back for having the perspective to say; I’m still going to do my best and it’s ok that I don’t have the same exactly level of “success” with subsequent projects that might be similar. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t feel weird to release a book that doesn’t maybe do the same thing, or in this case, having a podcast for 8 years that was consistently ranked in, I would say, the top 20 of all health podcasts that were out there; health and nutrition. The Balanced Bites podcast was in the top 20 consistently. We had tens of thousands of downloads every single week.

I don’t remember how it started; I was telling you this earlier this week. I don’t have the old data from when we very first launched on the original platform we were on, had the ability to do a live podcast because Liz and I thought that’s what we would do. And then we actually didn’t end up doing it that way, and we switched platforms, and I just didn’t have the data. Because frankly, I wasn’t one of those people who is like; over a million downloads! I wasn’t tracking that to tell people and try and use it for marketing. I’m sure we had millions of downloads by the time we wrapped the show. But it wasn’t something that I really looked at in a large scale.

So long story short, I have recollection of how that show started, how small we started. When we hit a critical mass and actually ended up having more listeners more consistently. So with this show, it has felt weird, because I feel like I’ve come in with this different foundation of maybe expectation. And I think I’ve had the expectation of myself or of us collectively that I don’t often have. Or I didn’t in the past. When I was starting a lot of other things, I could come in with; well, this is its own thing. I’m going to do my best. It’s going to be what it will be. And I definitely have that feeling with this.

You and I started this just because we like to talk shop, and we just wanted an outlet for it. But I kind of waver between feeling that, and also feeling an expectation of a level of “success” with it, whatever that means. I don’t know. But I feel like that’s based on previous very similar success. And that feels heavy for some reason. And it bugs me in the sense of; should I be doing more? Could I be doing more? Do I have the capacity to do more? What if I expect less instead, and maybe just let it be what it is, because we enjoy it. But as you know; as maximizers, that’s challenging, because I do feel like if I’m going to put time and energy into something, I want to give it the best shot possible. Then I feel good about it.

I feel like if I give something the best shot possible within what I feel I can do, then I feel ok with whatever results I have. And I think what it all comes down to is, I know in my heart there’s a little more I could probably be doing to support this show. Not a ton. We’ve talked about this; we both have a lot of other things going on. But I do feel like there’s a little more I could be doing. So I always want to take the responsibility for that, when I’m like; hmm, am I afraid that this isn’t doing as well as it could be? And is there something more I could be doing, realistically? And am I willing to?

I think those are all questions that people need to ask themselves, too. because I think a lot of people have this fear of starting small. But they’re not willing to do more to continue to elevate to next level, next level, next level. And so we all have to be really honest with ourselves about whatever the thing is that we’re doing and what we’re putting into it.

Cassy Joy: Or, another aspect of this is, being seen being wrong publicly. So in order to do something that has not been done before, you’re going to; I’m not saying you, Diane, but the collective anybody who is starting something new. You’re going to make mistakes. And you’re going to trip up. There’s a quote; I should Google it; I will in a second so I can tell you who said it. But essentially it said something like; the successful person has failed more times than the person who failed and gave up. I’ll find it and tell you what it was.

But essentially, it’s that, it’s not just being afraid of being seen starting small, but also being seen starting wrong. And having the grit to say; orange barrel, reroute.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} It’s a Payton Manning commercial reference. It’s just part of our family now. I can see that that would get magnitudes more difficult the more eyes that are on you, the more critical eyes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Cassy Joy: I really do understand, and I can empathize with that. I think this is something; I can definitely feel that. I can definitely feel that resistance. Something that helps me through it is; I try to focus as much as I can on how I show up in circumstances being the gold standard versus what I’m showing up with. I may not have a track record, and I may not have a whole lot of knowledge or know-how in a certain new avenue of how to do something. But how we show up as people is something that we can be proud of, and it’s something that we can control. So it’s like; if you show up, just optimistic, ready to give in with an idea of where something can go, that’s really all that matters.

And it’s not a matter of not feeling afraid, or not being resistant to making public mistakes. Those things are still there. But instead, focus our energy on how we show up as professionals. Right? And I think that’s something that you and I do relatively well. We’re very respectful of each other in our own businesses, and we have this joint project together. And a part of how we show up is in being respectful of each other, and our own businesses. And we made a commitment to publish something weekly, so we show up to be able to publish something weekly.

So I just think that if you’re struggling with this, something that you can maybe write down and identify is; who am I as a person, and how am I showing up in this new venture. And that becomes something that can carry you through.

So let’s say; we’ll zero it out. It’s not a podcast, it’s not a book. Maybe it’s a new; in this season, a lot of folks are starting their own businesses from home. They’re joining multilevel marketing businesses, direct retail; Beautycounter is an example. And this is a brand new thing. And it can be scary, because all of these eyes are on you watching you. It doesn’t have to be; it’s easy to focus on the scary thing, and it’s easy to focus on the fear and let that inform whether or not you show up at 100%. But if you focus on; you know what, I committed to 20 minutes a day, so that’s what I’m going to do. Focusing our attention on that versus what could potentially go wrong, I think is more powerful.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think, also, for us starting this, and my perspective of kind of how I pull myself out of that hole, or the spiral that might happen. the spiral of expectation. I feel like typically pretty good at managing my expectations. I think the expectations I struggle with managing the most are really of myself, and how much I will do or work or whatever it is. But I do think it’s important to go back to remembering why we started this. And it was really to create an outlet for us to just talk about stuff we wanted to talk about. And to kind of bottle it up and have a way for other people to tap into this knowledge. We both knew; hopefully people can hear themselves in this story, because you’re all not starting a business podcast with your friend who just likes to talk shop. But we hope that we’ve got something to say that’s of value to other people, and it was just like; why don’t we make this available, because it feels like the generous thing to do. We enjoy talking about this stuff. It gives us a way to just get something started and have this little platform in this podcast that, who knows what it can become.

And I think what’s hard for me and maybe what I would encourage people on, if you can do this to gain your own perspective, and I could do this exercise myself. Maybe this will be our tip of the week. But sometimes we need to deeply reflect on where we started with something else that became something we never thought it would. I’ll say that again.

Let’s just say, for example, starting the Balanced Bites podcast, I don’t remember the data. So I wish I had that information. But I do know that when we started the show, somebody was already saying; “aren’t there enough paleo podcasts out there?” When there were 3. And that was, now, 9 years ago. And if I look back and I say; do I wish I hadn’t started that? Because I probably started very small. I’m guessing we didn’t; I don’t know how many downloads we would have had for that show at the time. Would I do it all over again? Absolutely. It created this whole other platform for me.

So using perspective that we have about things that we’ve done before. Maybe it was, you took a job you weren’t sure about but look where it got you. Or you had a kid, and you weren’t sure what would happen. it’s like; giving yourself the gift of perspective on something else that you started at small. Because we kind of all start everything small. It’s just really hard to see back to that moment at the beginning of the bottom of the hill. It’s hard to see all the way down there when you’re either further out in the field, or you’re at the top of the mountain. Wherever you are. That perspective; that person, that old you, is really tiny in the distance. It’s really hard to remember. So I think that perspective can be helpful.

Cassy Joy: It can be. And you know, it’s true when you’re starting any new job. When I’ve onboarded folks to Fed and Fit, for example, any new person. And anybody listening; if you’ve started a job, and had to develop skillsets that you did not have walking in the door. You had the right attitude, which is why you were hired, but maybe you didn’t necessarily have the aptitude required of your position. It was probably rough going for 8 weeks, right? You felt like a total beginner. It was uncomfortable. You’re making mistakes. You’re learning, but because somebody is paying you to show up, and there’s an expectation that you are there from 9-5 or whatever it is, to perform task XYZ, and someone is holding you accountable. Because of that, you honed those skills. You learned your lessons. You became better. You got little wins in your belt. They probably started to snowball at the end of that period. And then you became comfortable, and you really probably started to enjoy your position.

And that’s true for every new job. So it wouldn’t keep you; let’s say, in a very traditional job sense. Would fear of being seen starting small and having to learn a lot of lessons in a new position that offers you tremendous amount of personal growth, financial growth, and give back and develop as a professional. Would fear of the things that you would have to learn in that new job in the first two months; would that really keep you from applying for it if you knew you could get the job? No! Heck no! You’d probably be like; heck yeah. I’m going to learn some new things. This sounds great. Everyone wants to learn new things when it’s just on paper. I’m going to learn some new things, I’m going to go humble myself. I’m going to go make some more money. Or whatever it is. And it’s not until we’re in there and doing the work that we start to doubt ourselves.

So I encourage you; even if you don’t have a boss who is holding you accountable and expecting you to show up day after day; even though you just got, maybe you feel like you failed the day before. You have to show up the next day anyway. I want folks to show up to their own projects with the same amount of belief and consistency. Because you will get through it. You will develop an expertise with enough time. I am the slowest; that’s not fair. I feel like I’m one of the slowest learners on the planet. I learn lessons very slowly. And if I were to use; maybe that’s why I don’t feel this fear of being seen starting small as deeply, because I feel like I learn lessons very slowly. I make decisions very slowly. And I feel like I’m still working on it. I feel like I’m still in this watch me mode. Like, I’m going to do it! You just wait! You just wait, whoever the you is. I’m still going to learn. I’m still this new trainee. And I think if we just rush that expertise, we are going to wonder if we’re in the right place or not. So show up for your own projects as if somebody else is expecting you to.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s really interesting. I think to kind of put a bow on this part for myself, I think that with this show. Listen, we’ve probably started bigger than a lot of podcasts out there. So I can’t even compare it. I can’t compare to what I’ve done in the past, I can’t compare to what other people are doing. I don’t know what kinds of numbers people have. And I really only get tripped up when I start to look at numbers. So it’s one of the reasons why we talked about personality tests and things like fascination advantage, all of that. I just can’t live in the numbers, because that’s not what inspires me. I’m inspired by people and their stories, and people just reposting saying their listening. That one person is enough.

But what’s interesting is having had success with a show that; I actually was in the place that you were just talking about before, with health topics. I felt like I was kind of constantly a student, still learning. Definitely yes, held a position of an expert, but also was willing to evolve on positions and say; ok, we were wrong about that thing three years ago. Whatever. {laughs} Fermented cod liver oil, or whatever we were talking about at the time that we changed our position on in the show.

So I think I was more forgiving of what I would say, and I think I’m holding myself to a different standard right now that may or may not be warranted. But for a long time; here’s what I’m getting to. I’m more of an expert on marketing and business and connecting with people and converting and solving problems, and monetizing than I am on almost anything else. So now, to start anew and actually be kind of back in what I consider my area of real expertise, that’s what I think is kind of causing that little bit, just an unsettled feeling. Where it is this newness of having to reprove myself and reestablish myself. And say to people; I know that this is the content that you got from me for a long time, and that’s great to have built that amazing, loyal following around health and nutrition and food topics.

But I think it’s my desire to really expose this deeper part of myself where I say; this is who I see myself as in the world and how I can offer my best to people is actually this. And the fact that that is kind of a slow building effect. It just feels a little harder in the moment, but I can take the perspective of how things grew in the past and say; you know what? It’s going to be what it’s going to be. We’re showing up because we want to show up. We enjoy these conversations. And I’m with you. And I think that’s the way we’ve come to these shows. The attitude of; I want to share what I know because I know it will help people. And whatever comes of it comes of it. In the meantime, I’m not trying to monetize this podcast to any degree. We’ve got other businesses that are doing that, so it doesn’t have the same pressure. But I also wonder if not having a financial pressure in some way; of sponsors expecting certain numbers, if maybe I’m not delivering to a certain level because I’ve taken all the pressure off in a way and made it just a fun side project. Maybe I don’t deliver unless there’s some kind of commitment of what you’re delivering.

Anyway, I’m just kind of musing on it all. I want to make sure the people know that you can be a really confident person, and know what you’re doing, and still have these moments of; ugh. Starting small. I don’t love it. It feels annoying.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know. We can have those feelings.

Cassy Joy: It’s very relatable. I’m about to have this baby, and then hopefully not too far after that start working out again. And that’s another great example of; the number of folks I worked with when I was a nutrition consultant, myself included. Y’all, I am my first clients, but would say, “I’ll start going to the gym when I can run 3 miles.” Right?

Diane Sanfilippo: Three miles; that’s a long way.

Cassy Joy: That’s a long way. But that was like a 5K. I remember I talked to several people back to back; that was this number they had come up with in their head. I’ll buy a gym membership when I can do X. And it’s because they were afraid of being seen starting small in a group of people. And what I want. What I desperately want for you, because there’s immense freedom and possibility, and just so, so much; it’s a great, rewarding experience.

If you learn to relish in being seen starting small. In showing up, not able to run to the mailbox and back without having to stop and walk. And knowing that that kind of bravery and vulnerability of showing up anyways as you are, not with any false pretenses, and just saying; you know what? I’m here to better myself. I’m here to build a business. I’m here to be a healthier person. I’m here to do something for myself, and I don’t care who sees it. That shows, I think, real belief in you as a person and your ability to do it.

It’s when you’re at the point when you’re like; I don’t care who sees me. I don’t care who is witness to the mistakes and the fumbles and how long it’s going to take me to get there, even if it takes me five times longer than they think it should take me to get there. Right? That’s what I want for you. Because it’s just such a freeing feeling when we relinquish those expectations on ourselves. So whether it’s business, working out, eating healthy, being nicer to your spouse. {laughing} You know, we all have to start somewhere. And I think when we start to enjoy starting something small, is when we get to a point where we’re like; oh, I’m about to better myself. I’m about to go get you know what served to myself, and it’s going to be great. I’m going to eat some humble pie, this is great. I can’t wait to see where this leads.

3. Tip of The Week: Mini-audit for growth mindset [47:37]

Cassy Joy: Tip of The Week! In this segment, we give you one tip that you can take action on this week to move your business or life forward. Diane; what is your tip?

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so I’m going to pull back from the tip that I was alluding to earlier, and recommend that folks sit down, grab a pen, piece of paper, your notebook, whatever you want to write in and perform a little mini-audit on something that you started small. Even if it wasn’t a project or something work related. Just something that you can recall that you really didn’t know much about. Especially; look, if you’re a mom, you probably didn’t know much about having a baby. Any of that stuff. So that can be one that you can go back to.

Remember what it was like to be a beginner and get some perspective for yourself on where you’re at today and use it as a moment to sort of pat yourself on the back for starting something unknown that you didn’t really have a lot of information on. But you found a way to get this information, to become educated, to learn about it, to solve problems, to gain skills, and become maybe a bit of an expert on whatever that thing is.

So it could be something personal. It could be a skill, like an artistic or creative talent. Maybe, to Cassy’s point, it’s you really didn’t know how to lift weights at all, but you went to a gym and you committed to showing up and learning. So I want everyone to get that perspective. Give yourself some credit. Recognize that that process is the same process we’re going to keep going through every time we start something new, whether there’s money tied to it or not. I really think it’s a similar process each time we kind of start something new, start small, and keep learning. I think it’s all about having that growth mindset and being willing to be in a position where you’re always learning; always improving.

That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Instagram @TheDrivenPodcast. Cassy is @FedandFit and I am @DianeSanfilippo.

Tune in next week where we will be covering some listener Q&A all about getting over stalls in your business growth. We’ll see you next week.