Episode #4: Listener Q&A

In today’s episode, we’re answering listener questions about who can be an entrepreneur and most important qualities to possess, how to proactively handle objections, and … Is a five-year plan worth it? Plus, our tip of the week is about how to write a 5-year plan.

Podcast Sponsors:

NTA | Podcast Sponsor | Driven Podcast

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.


  1. What’s on my plate [2:36]
  2. Shop Talk: Organizer Apps [12:48]
  3. Listener Question: What it takes to be an entrepreneur [29:01]
  4. Tip of The Week: 5-year plan [45:51]

Diane Sanfilippo: In today’s episode, we’re answering listener questions about who can be an entrepreneur and the most important qualities to possess; how to proactively handle objections; and, is a 5-year plan worth it? Our tip of the week this week is all about how to write a 5-year plan.

Cassy Joy: Today’s show is brought to you by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants by focusing on bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes a whole-food, properly prepared, and nutrient dense diet as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s innate ability to heal.

Throughout their programs, students learn a wide-range of educational tools and techniques to identify and correct nutritional imbalances and deficiencies in their clients, and to launch a successful career in holistic nutrition. The NTA produces like-minded practitioners and consultants that we endorse and consider leaders in the health and wellness space. Registration for the February enrollment opens on September 17th. You can learn more, and save your seat by going to www.NutritionalTherapy.com. Don’t forget to mention our name, The Driven Podcast, on your application.

1.  What’s on my plate [2:36]

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

Cassy Joy: Doing a happy dance! {laughs} Because my brand-new administrative assistant, her name is Lauren, starts on Monday. And oh my gosh, I’m so excited. There were about 3.5 weeks, 4 weeks, between when we officially offered her the job. Because she’s relocating a good 4.5 hours away to San Antonio. And I wanted to give her some time to adjust, and give her appropriate notice and all that good stuff. Settle in San Antonio. And in that amount of time, the job description of tasks that we’ve got for her keeps growing {laughs}.

Diane Sanfilippo: I am not surprised.

Cassy Joy: It’s so exciting. I have a little folder on my email that says “AA – Lauren” and I just keep dragging and dropping emails in there that I’m like, “That sounds like a Lauren thing.” Anyway, that’s very exciting.

I’m heady to Stonyfield Organic; the yogurt company, and other things dairy, headquarters next week. I’m headed to Vermont for a farm tour. I get to meet the folks behind the brand. It’s a brand that we love, and we’ve been buying for years and years, so I’m excited to learn more about their process.

Austin and I were sitting in bed the other night, and I was going through all of the flights I was booking for the next couple of months of random pieces of travel. And I’ve decided I’m putting a no-fly ban on November and December.

Diane Sanfilippo: I co-sign that. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} You co-sign! I’m grounding. I grounded myself for November and December. And I’m really excited about it. I’m ready for a good solid 2 months at home. Just to dig in with the team. Build out really great content for the fall.

And then Amber Golden and I, my right-hand here at Fed and Fit, have been twirling and going back and forth. About every 5 to 6 months we start scratching this itch again of wanting to reevaluate. Are we doing; do we have the right sponsor strategy? You know, a sponsor being when we bring in a product. It’s always a product that we love; that we know and love. But let’s say if it’s an egg company that we’re wanting to work with, what’s the strategy behind how often we work with somebody like that. How do we want to incorporate it? So and so forth.

And because it’s just such an inexact science, and it can be different for every business out there, I’m one of those people that I like to ruffle the feathers. Kick dirt up into the air and see where everything falls again. {laughs} Let’s use all of the analogies. And we’re doing that right now. Because I want to make sure that we’re serving our audience the best, number one. We do it to bring great products into the light, not necessarily because it has to be a revenue stream.

Anyway. We’re noodling. Rumbling. Right?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Tomato, tomat-oh on that. And then the last thing; I don’t have it on my list, but Gray has meet the teacher next week.

Diane Sanfilippo: Aww.

Cassy Joy: I know. She’s going to go; we’re going to go meet her teacher.

Diane Sanfilippo: She’s basically a teenager now.

Cassy Joy: Basically. I’m wearing a shirt that has letters on it today, and she walked up to it. It has an M, one of the letters. And she goes “M”. I was like; oh my gosh.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it. You’re a genius.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Bab genius!!

Diane Sanfilippo: Send her to school!

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s amazing.

Cassy Joy: So yeah. She starts “school”, you know, in a couple of weeks. With 5 other toddlers. They’re just going to learn colors and things. But it will be fun.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s fun.

Cassy Joy: How about you? What are you working on, of all the things?

Diane Sanfilippo: OK. Well, I was going to say, also as you kind of joked that you were noodling on something. A little inside scoop for our listeners; we were going to name this podcast something along those lines. Like the noodle, or noodle on it, or whatever. Because that’s what we say when it’s like; I’m just going to think about that. Like; your brain is a big squishy noodle. Yeah.

So, a couple of things going on over here. We are working on some new bags for Balanced Bites spices. This is definitely an “in the future” type of thing that will come to market. So as we talk about a lot of things that we’re working on, those of you who are listening to the show, you’re not going to see them actually launch for a while. But we’re giving you that inside scoop; pulling back the curtain; behind the scenes sort of deal.

So there are lots of really fun bags out there. And I have this one that would hold seeds. There are some that would hold all different things. Like Hu Hunks; you know the brand Hu Kitchen. They have those chocolate covered almonds and fun things like that.

So anyway; we can get products in bags like that, and then you can have a little window where you can see in; like, oh, what does it actually look like? So we’re actually going to have custom bags printed. If you have Balanced Bites spices now, or if you’ve seen them on the website, we have these bags right now that are silver on the back and clear on the front and we have stickers on them.

And as you’re starting a business, you’ll find that there are minimums for all different kinds of things that you want to do. And when you’re working in small batches, you’re kind of limited to certain options. And getting something that’s more stock, like a blank bag that way, and then putting a sticker on it is definitely an option when you’re doing a really small batch. And then something like, a custom printed bag, getting a bit more, you can definitely go into this realm.

Now, of course, you all know that I always have my thoughts and attention on things like sustainability. And I asked about; what about a compostable bag? And that’s when my copacker said; “I’m sorry Diane, your minimums are not high enough for compostable bags.”

So what’s so interesting is that being a super small business, when you’re trying to do things right; and this is kind of true of meals, too. There are certain things we can do with frozen meals, and certain things we can’t. Just by virtue of actually freezing food, wanting it to be safe. Putting it through a vacuum situation. Paper would not withstand that type of pressure. But I really wanted compostable bags. And she said; “It’s a 15,000 unit minimum per flavor.” Something crazy like that. Which I was like; ok, I understand. {laughs} I understand why you’re saying no.

I don’t like for people to tell me no without a really good reason that I’m like; ok, I agree with you I cannot do that. You and I are kind of the same in that way. If you’re going to tell me no, I have to agree to why you’re saying no.

So, I’m not able to produce 15,000 of every flavor of each of these sizes that I’m going to be making, so they won’t be compostable yet. But I don’t think that most of the brands that most of us are buying from right now are doing compostable bags. Anywho, it’s really exciting to have something super custom. We’re designing it from scratch. And the little peekaboo window gets me really excited. {laughs} So that’s kind of fun. And they’re going to have a little bit more of a vibe that looks like the bottles. You know, the bottle with the white cap and the really bright colored label; they’ll kind of have that vibe. So I’m super excited about that.

And in other news; other working things. We’re currently reevaluating. So to your point about constantly reevaluating and seeing how things are going. We’re reevaluating how we work with our coaches and my community of coaches that are either sugar detox coaches or folks in the Master Class. Balanced Bites Master Class. Whether you’re a student or coach, etc. And kind of just on our minds, team Balanced Bites. How we are going to support all of you going forward. And there may be something where we combine everyone who is a health coach and you’re kind of put in one pool, where of course you’re then going to be looking at different things. If you’re coaching people on a sugar detox or not, etc.

But because I want to be able to be more accessible personally, to offer things like business coaching and advice and all of that. Obviously, through this podcast, but then beyond that to folks in my programs. Really looking at what’s the best way for me to talk to everyone at once. Because the things that I’m talking about apply to everyone. It’s just a matter of which business are you in? So just doing a little bit of reevaluating there.

And some reevaluating in the way that we’re supporting our 21-Day Sugar Detox Facebook community. I think there are between 10 and 15,000 people in that Facebook community. And it’s a free community. But, we’re realizing we really could do better to serve that community. As well as from the business side to monetize that community. Because folks are there. And it’s going to remain as a free community. But what can we do in a way that, as you were saying about sponsorships, serves people first. But also supports the fact that we’re paying the bills.

So just kind of rearranging some things, and thinking thing through. On a personal note, I took a terrarium class at the Sill. Have you heard of the Sill?

Cassy Joy: I haven’t heard of terrarium classes or the Sill. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} You may have a plant in your house, if somebody sent you the same one they sent me last Christmas.

Cassy Joy: I do. Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. So that came from the Sill. So the Sill is like this plant company. We’ll talk about them another day. I’m sure we’ll have episodes where we start to look at different brands that we love, and what do we love about them. But I swear, these people email me every single day. And I’m like; how can I be getting an email every single day about a combination of probably 8 different plants. And I’m like; should I be emailing people every single day? {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And I’m realizing it’s probably because I don’t open every single one, so then I get another one. Right? But their marketing is fantastic. I think the way they connect with their audience is fantastic. They really know their people.

Anyway. They happen to have popup stores; on in New York in the Upper East Side. One here in San Francisco. And one in LA. So I’m lucky enough that it’s within walking distance of my house. So I went recently and built this terrarium. It’s like a glass bowl with dirt and succulents. I’ll post it on my Instagram.

Yeah, it’s really cute. You would love it. I’m like; come do it! But then how are you going to get it home? {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I would…

Diane Sanfilippo: Not well.

Cassy Joy: Probably, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Does not travel well. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: We’ll have to do that the day I take Gus on a book tour.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Cassy Joy: Meaning he gets a road trip.

Diane Sanfilippo: That sounds good. We can definitely do that.

Cassy Joy: Oh, that’s exciting.

2.  Shop Talk: Organizer Apps [12:48]

Cassy Joy: Next up is Shop Talk. In this segment, we talk about the topics that are on both our minds and yours. And in today’s episode of Shop Talk, it’s going to be a little different, because this is one of our prized Q&A episodes. And we have a collection of Q&A that we’re going to go through. We pulled one question out that we thought might make a really good topic that Diane and I can go back and forth on.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So today we’re talking about apps. Not appetizers. So this is based on a listener question from 613Keto. She asks; “What apps do you use to keep your projects organized?” And I think we’re going to dive into some organizing; organizational projects, or tasks. Oh my gosh. Apps. And a couple of others as well, because I think we have a bunch of apps to go through.

Cassy Joy: We do. The first one that I’m going to talk about; Diane and I both use. And it is probably, if I’m thinking about a tool to keep my business; Fed and Fit and beyond. All the other things that fall under the Fed and Fit umbrella; Beautycounter, future Joyful Foods. What else do I do? Books. Everything else that I have my hand in stirring; it all falls under this organization umbrella tool known as Asana.

Asana is; what do they call it? Project management software, I guess, is technically what it is.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Cloud based.

Cassy Joy: It’s web based. Cloud based. It’s free. Up to a point, like most things. And to be honest, we got away with; we might still be getting away with the free version at this point. I mean, we have up to 6 team members in there.

And what we use it for; at Fed and Fit. Because it’s an online editorial. When you think about editorial, you know the editorial team of a magazine, they start planning the November issue in January of that year. So that’s kind of with the spirit that we tackle the editorial content at Fed and Fit that shows up on www.FedandFit.com. And Asana is where we do the calendar planning.

There are calendar interfaces, where you can have different projects with different calendars. Each project that you create, you can add all kinds of breadth and depth in terms of tasks. You can assign tasks. You can add narratives. You can attach documents and photos. It is just really, really useful. And that’s essentially our business desktop for Fed and Fit.

Do you use Asana for your team?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So we used Asana as well. And the one thing I love about that; it’s great as your team grows, but it’s also great if you’re just one person. And it’s great if you’re two people. Or maybe; if I’m thinking back to when I very first started my business and Liz and I were doing the Balanced Bites podcast together; even before I had other people on my team to work with, we could share information in there. Which I know you and I do that, as well.

But for me, with my team, everything has to be a task. And I think a lot of us don’t assume that some of the things on our minds that we want to get done are a real task. Like, making a decision is a task. Reviewing something, even if it doesn’t mean it’s actually sent to print or published to the web or whatever. Actually just reviewing something is a task. So anytime my team needs me to just breathe in their direction, or look at something, it needs to have a task assigned to it.

So one of the things that we do is actually put little; I don’t know, like an intro, or a subject. I don’t know what you even call it. But before the task actually continues, it will say “For review. For approval. For whatever.” And then the name of the task will follow. So it’s a really helpful way for them to basically ping-pong a task back and forth.

We do this a lot where the task is, let’s say, design these bags. And then Moriah, the graphic designer on team Balanced Bites, she’ll change who it’s assigned to. It won’t be a new task, she’ll change who the task is assigned to, and ping-pong it back to me, and it will say; for review. And then I’ll change it again, and be like; ok design approved. Whatever. We’ll just kind of flip it back and forth.

So it’s not as satisfying, because I don’t get to check everything off, but it’s really nice to be able to say; here’s the ball. Let me throw it back to you, with all the information attached to it still.

Cassy Joy: I like that. And another note to what Diane is saying; all of these tasks. Let’s say if you are a team of 1; if you are creating these tasks, you can assign; because sometimes when you’re looking at your to-do list. If you’ve ever sat down and written a long to-do list, it can be pages and pages. And then you have to go through and prioritize and put dates on all of these things.

What I like about Asana, especially when I was a team of 1, is I would create all of these tasks and then I would go in and determine when do I want these projects to launch, and when does that mean these things needs to be due? So I would apply due dates to all of these tasks to myself. And then if I pull up my to-do list, it would rack and stack automatically what is do when. And that helped me really just auto-magically, right, stay on track with my tasks.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right. Yeah. And you can kind of drag and drop things, too. So if you just want to change when something is due, etc. And I like also; this is totally not sponsored, but we would welcome sponsorship from Asana.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: So if anybody knows somebody. But I love that it also shows you; I’m actually going to open my Asana window right now so I can speak more accurately. But it will show you your list of tasks. And it color-codes them to, ahem, past due {laughs}. Which items are past due. What day they were due; if it was yesterday, something that’s due today, and then you kind of see the future.

So it’s just really helpful because {laughs} I tend to mostly look at the things that are due yesterday. {laughs} Or a little bit past due. And then of course things that are due today. And I’m really trying to clear that through and make sure that I’m not bottlenecking for the team. But yeah, I really love it.

And as a note, we used to use Basecamp. That was what we used for a very long time. But I don’t think that the task-oriented nature of Basecamp; it was not robust enough. And I think Asana really wins in that regard. And once we learned that actually assigning a task to everything we do; that’s the most functional way to get something done. Right? So we love it.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely. Ok, another app that I use to keep my projects organized with regard to social media; y’all, I have kissed almost all of the frogs that are out there. That’s not fair; they’re not all frogs. They just weren’t my match, with regard to planning apps for Instagram social media. I’ve tried a lot of them, and there is no perfect option currently that I have found. But Planoly is currently the best one out there that I have found and used.

I do believe in order to set it up, I might be misspeaking. But I think in order to set it up on an auto-post to Instagram; this is like you would schedule an Instagram post, right? You would write it, you would choose the photo you want. You can see how it would look in your feed if color story; those kinds of visual impacts, is something you’re trying to achieve with your brand. You can see where it might match. You can choose a bunch of different photos. You can drag and drop. And then you would write your caption. And then you can schedule it to post.

And I do believe that you have to be a business account on Instagram. And if you are running a business, I really believe that you should just switch over to running a business account. Don’t try to overthink if the man is going to catch you at being a business account and penalize you for one thing or another. I believe that the perks of having a business account way outweigh not. So I would definitely switch over. But Planoly is what I use.

Now, I’ll be honest. We are running pretty close to deadline right now because it’s just been wild and crazy with this new website launch. So my Instagram posting; it’s actually an entirely separate content calendar than the content calendar that goes on www.FedandFit.com. Because those are actually two totally separate audiences. Instagram is honestly kind of more just for fun. And every once in a while, we’ll give a nod to the new content on www.FedandFit.com. But www.FedandFit.com really exists for people who are searching for things online, and who are looking for answers in more robust, long-form solutions.

So that’s what I use. Do y’all use an Instagram or a social media planning tool?

Diane Sanfilippo: I know that Nikki, on team Balanced Bites uses Planoly. We will use it to create an initial plan, and then from there; like what we’ll do on Balanced Bites. So if anybody goes to the @BalancedBites Instagram feed, you’ll see that there’s a design sort of vibe that gets executed over the course of 12 weeks. So because we have 12 different flavors of spices; as you scroll through it, you’ll notice there’s kind of a rainbow that then will repeat, and that matches the spices.

So we kind of use Planoly initially when coming up with this design that we were going to follow. And I don’t know if she uses it to actually deploy. That’s a Nikki question. {laughs} I would have to ask her. I do not use any kind of planning tool for my personal social media. I don’t think I could manage that. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal.

Cassy Joy: I get that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Moment to moment. That’s me. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Yeah. I get that. I typically am moment to moment, but I also do appreciate a plan. It’s like, when we want to put out something educational, or informative, that’s stuff I can do in advance.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Cassy Joy: Ok, and then another app that we use to keep ourselves very organized is something that Diane and I have referenced several times on this show already, but it’s an app called Voxer. It is also a free app, for all practical purposes intended. You can upgrade to pro, which I think Diane and I both are. But that’s because this is our workplace.

Voxer is; I liken it to, if you don’t have an actual physical office that you are in with your co-workers, it feels the same as popping your head in someone’s office. Right? It doesn’t merit an email. Whatever you want to tell them, right? Like; hey, I’m 5 minutes behind on this because I wanted to add these four things. Right? It doesn’t necessarily merit an email. It doesn’t merit a text message. And it definitely doesn’t merit a full phone call. So you can send this voice message. You can respond with written text. You can like comments.

If you’re pro, you can recall comments. You can set up group Voxers, which is how I use it the most. I’ll have a group Voxer for my Fed and Fit team. I have a group Voxer for my Beautycounter leaders; the directors on my team. Group Voxers with other collaborative outfits. Diane and I chitchat on there a lot. But it’s the place where I work. And it becomes a work inbox. Whereas my text messages are much more personal.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, definitely. Voxer; I also use it when working on something more design oriented. I will definitely go back and forth a bunch with Moriah, who, again is the designer on team Balanced Bites. If I’m looking at something on my screen that she sent over for review, sometimes it’s easier for me to talk through design feedback than to type it out. And then she can kind of work on that and just play the message back over and over. Which is really nice, because it’s kind of a cross between a phone call and an email. Obviously, it’s a voice memo. And being able to play it back again is really nice.

The other thing I like about using Voxer versus the voice memos in your text app; just the default iPhone messaging app does have voice memos. You have to wait for the person to finish recording that before you can listen. And what I like about Voxer; again, please. If somebody knows if they can sponsor us. Feel free.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But what I like about it is you can listen while someone is talking, and type some comments back. But it does give the time and space differently than a phone call in a couple of ways. One, it allows you to just complete your own thought without really being back and forth. It also allows you to leave someone that message. And if they can’t listen in that moment; people in my team are working as contractors. So I’m not demanding their set hours. So if they’re like; I have a doctor’s appointment right now, they’ll listen to it when they’re done with their appointment. And no big deal.

So, it is really different than a phone call. Because a phone call obviously requires your focused attention in that moment. And with a message like that, you can actually get to it when you want to get to it. And if it’s someone like me who leaves a 7-minute message, you can listen to it on double speed, or triple speed, or something like that. You’re a triple speed?

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I am, if I just need to kind of get through it. But a lot of times triple speed is a little too fast. Depending on who it is.

Cassy Joy: It works for my brain. I love a good triple speed. That’s probably the reason why I like Voxer the most. I have some friends who send me those text message voice memos, and I’m like; ugh! Where is the fast forward button! It’s just so efficient. The efficiency side of my brain really appreciates it.

I will say, though; Arsy Vartanian, if y’all are familiar with her. Rubies and Radishes.

Diane Sanfilippo: She talks fast.

Cassy Joy: She’s a fast talker. And because I have mine auto set to 3X; whenever her’s plays I have to slow it way down to 1X. I appreciate her quick wit.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: Ok, and the last two apps I want to talk about are “apps”. They’re systems. QuickBooks, of course, is one that we use for keeping our profits and losses. Everything organized. Everything is documented. I would be lying to you if I told you that I did this for Fed and Fit.

Diane Sanfilippo: You guys should see my face right now. I’m like {laughs}.

Cassy Joy: I have a built in CFO; very lucky. My husband is very, very good at these things. So he does all of the accounting management for Fed and Fit. And he jokes, because for his businesses; he has several of them. He outsources this work for his businesses, but he does it for mine.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s funny.

Cassy Joy: I know. It’s like; well I don’t trust other people. I trust you. And I can tell you exactly what I want and you’re just right there. So handy. So anyway, we use QuickBooks for that, and he gives me a monthly P&L, which is really helpful.

And then the last one we use is Dropbox. And that’s really just for file management. I’m not saying that I’m obsessed with Dropbox. I know of course we have some Google document stuff. Lauren, the administrative assistant who is starting soon, that is on her task sheet, is to help us organize and streamline both Dropbox and our Google dashboard.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm. Yeah, we use those. QuickBooks I do not currently use, but I feel like I’m going to get strong armed into it sooner than later. I know my bookkeeper uses QuickBooks. Or whatever higher tech version there might be. Quicken or I don’t know. What is the real version? I don’t know. Insert shrugging emoji here.

The one other app I want to recommend is Canva. It’s not necessarily one for organizing. But it kind of is. And it’s definitely for design and social media graphics and all of that. But it can really help you organize your designs, because you’re going to save them into folders and have them in a way that you can access that is really organized. So I definitely recommend that. We used it for creating the graphic for Driven Podcast. We use it for pretty much everything.

So even though I was a graphic designer in my former life, and we have a graphic designer on the team; we use it to create graphics that other members of the team can quickly access and edit and then use. That’s what we have been using. I mean, again, not sponsored. But if you would like to sponsor us, Canva, or Voxer, or Asana, or Planoly, or any of these apps. {laughs} That would be amazing. So yeah.

3. Listener Question: What it takes to be an entrepreneur [29:01]

Cassy Joy: Let’s jump in to the rest of these listener questions. In this segment, we pulled questions, comments, and topic ideas from your interactions with us over @DrivenPodcast on Instagram.

Alright. So the first one. Dawn asks, “Who can be an entrepreneur? What are the most important qualities to possess?” I like this question. What do you think, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I like this. And I think we’ll probably come back to this a few times, as we have this show live on. But I have three different qualities that I’m initially going to kick out there. You tell me what you think. If there’s anything else major that comes to mind. But I know we talked about this in one of our previous episodes on fear and self-doubt and all of that.

Self-awareness, I think, is probably the number one quality to possess. Because it’s not about a skill. It’s not about, “oh, you’re good with graphics. Or you’re good with this.” It’s really knowing what you’re good at. Knowing where your strengths are. Knowing perhaps your weaknesses. Knowing even more of your passions, which I know we’re going to talk about in a bit. And I do think that along with this kind of a bit of a package deal is emotional intelligence.

Now, I’m not exactly sure how to explain how to have emotional intelligence. I think there is something about self-awareness that comes sort of as a package deal with emotional intelligence. I think the better you know yourself, the better you can read other people and relate to them. And I think that is what emotional intelligence is about. I did not go Google a definition of emotional intelligence. But it’s kind of recognizing who you are, what you’re all about, and how you relate to other people. And part of that is communication. Part of that is tone. It’s just; this kind of all encompassing thing of; where do you actually fit? And do you see yourself appropriately. Does that make sense?

Cassy Joy: It does make sense. Yes. I mean, being able to pull back and get a 30-50,000-foot view of who you are, and how you interact with the world, and the people around you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think part of that is recognizing your capability, not limiting yourself. And part of it is also recognizing. This might be beyond; this might not be emotional intelligence so much as it is self-awareness. But recognizing that if you’re saying to yourself, and you’re sitting there and you’re like; well I have 1,000 followers on Instagram. Well in a year I’m going to have a million followers.

Now, maybe you will. I’m very reality-based, maybe sometimes too much so. I don’t kind of dream big often enough. It’s just not in my nature. But I do think there’s this element of; are you in touch with reality? What it takes to go from 1,000 to 1 million. And is that totally unrealistic? And to me, that’s lacking self-awareness and lacking a bit of world and business awareness. In a sense. Again, not to say it’s not possible. But just, how possible is it and what will it take? So that awareness I think is important.

So the second thing is determination and a good work ethic. I just; you can’t be lazy and be an entrepreneur. And I often joke that I am lazy. But I mean, I look for the most efficient way to do something. And the way that I end up doing that is; I often procrastinate until I have to find the most efficient way to do something because now there is not enough time to do it another way. I think you and I share that a little bit.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I hear you.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think you’re better at planning, and having a calendar and doing all of that. I like the calendar, but I like it for my team. Or for a big project, like my books, I will actually follow. Ok, Diane, you have to have chapter one drafted by this date. Because I can see the cascade of what happens to the rest of my life. And it will still be due, no matter what.

So I think determination, and good work ethic. Being able to work hard and not give up when you make a mistake or when something goes wrong or not as planned. And encompassed within this good work ethic is a good attitude. To me, a good work ethic includes a good attitude about it. No task is too small. You should be able to roll up your sleeves, get in there and do whatever it is. If everybody you were to hire were to quit on you tomorrow, are you capable of handling all the work they were doing. In a way. Obviously, it’s not going to be same. But I think we have to be willing to do that. Nothing is beneath that. Yes? You’re with me?

Cassy Joy: Yes. I’m with you. I was going to say; well, I’ll let you finish.

Diane Sanfilippo: No. Go for it.

Cassy Joy: Well; the one I was going to add. And you really covered qualitatively there was; I think a humble attitude is a very important quality for an entrepreneur. And I think that; an entrepreneur doesn’t come in and say, “Let me show you how this is done.” And entrepreneur says, “Let me learn and see what I can build from the ground up.” And the ground up means; humble thyself. Because you’re starting from nothing. You’re going to be seen starting small. And I think if you have the guts to be seen starting small, then you have what it takes. If you have the guts to actually humble yourself.

And like she’s saying; you’re going to make mistakes. And you’re going to have to be able to; no task is above you; if you have that attitude, as well. But when it comes to beginning, you have to be willing to be ok with being seen starting small and creating something from the ground up.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Like, the bags I was talking about earlier. We had to have bags with a sticker on it. Ok. Because that’s how you start. You don’t start producing 15,000 units per flavor. You just don’t start that way. Unless you’re somebody who takes a different approach, where you’re getting investors and you are starting that way. But I’m not someone who starts that way. I kind of always start small and see what happens.

So, beyond that, I do think that confidence is something that you need to possess to be an entrepreneur. I don’t think that means that you need to feel 100% certain about everything that you’re doing all the time. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be moments where you do have some self-doubt. And it doesn’t mean that you know it all. That’s not what I mean by confidence.

I mean, you have to have a bit of a thickish skin, and feel like there’s a reason why you’ve decided to do this thing. That self-assuredness of; no, I really believe in this. Or I really think I can do this. Because you can’t expect the people around you to be the ones who are constantly approving of what you are doing, saying; “Yes, you’ve got this.” We talked about this in previous episodes; but it’s just naturally not going to happen that every single person around you is going to think what you’re doing is a good idea. So if you don’t have that wherewithal to say; “I think this is a good idea, and I’m going to run with it and make it work.” If you don’t have that element of, “I’ve got this,” at least to some degree, I don’t think that entrepreneurship is for you. I really don’t. I think there’s this seed of; I can do it.

Cassy Joy: Yes. Exactly. You can’t expect to be pulled or pushed when you’re creating something yourself.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. That momentum really has to be from within you.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, that’s why we named the show Driven. We both feel that. We both feel we’re very driven by something within us. Whatever it is that we’re going to create; there is nobody outside of us that’s saying; you should do this. Or I think you’d be great at that. We say that to each other sometimes, but I just can’t make someone that way. I don’t think.

Cassy Joy: Nu-huh.

Diane Sanfilippo: I do think that confidence can be built. I think it’s a muscle that you can flex and strengthen. But you have to have that inkling of it. Because a lot of you listening don’t feel it, and you don’t know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to move forward. And I promise you; I don’t know what the percentage is. But let’s say out of 10 women, mostly, who are probably listening; 2 to 3 of you are like; yeah. I have that. I feel that. I’ve got this. And the rest of you maybe don’t.

And that doesn’t mean that you can’t make an honest go at being an entrepreneur, or that you can’t have something that you are entrepreneurial about. I just think that deep down inside, a lot of people know that it’s not for them. And I think that’s ok. And that is one thing that, as we develop this show, I want to try and come to a place where we understand that being entrepreneurial is fantastic, and it’s valued to the entrepreneur as much as anything else. I need people who are entrepreneurial to lock arms with me and help me build what I’m building. I don’t need them all to shoulder the responsibility. You know? I don’t need them all to feel like every day they can wake up and handle putting out fires and tackling all the problems that we might face. I can shoulder that. But I do need them to feel like they’re excited to build and create something along with me. Does that make sense?

Cassy Joy: It does. And there’s a place. There’s a place for everybody else out there who is; they don’t feel that interior drive and that self-motivation. That intrinsic, “I can do this”. If you really don’t feel that, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t a part of this driven culture. It doesn’t mean that you’re excluded from it. It just means, like Diane is saying, you have to find the spot to plug in. And those are the folks that I hire.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Cassy Joy: It’s not fair, because everybody on my team is currently very intrinsically motivated.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well I don’t think it’s mutually exclusive. I think the motivation is; I think what you said, “Driven culture” I love that. Because I think we have everybody who is listening to this is like; I’m driven. But do you want both the reward and the responsibility that comes with being the last man standing if everything is going to poop? {laughs} I don’t know how else to say it. If things are going really poorly, do you want to be the one who is up at night trying to solve the problems? And the greatest rewards might go to that person, whether it’s in feeling great about something or whether it’s financial or whatever it’s going to be. But the greatest responsibility, too.

And that, I don’t see that as; it’s actually kind of a pain to feel like that’s what I need to do. Because I wish I could say; let me leave work at work. You know? I wish I had that vibe of; I can actually just relax on a weekend. People are like; what are you up to this weekend? I’m like, I don’t know. The same thing I do every weekend. {laughs}

And that’s ok. I enjoy it. It’s ok. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs are the same way. That doesn’t mean I never take a break. But at the same time; do you know what I mean? Being able to actually turn it off. You will be a parent to your business. It will never not have your attention.

Cassy Joy: It’s a luxury that you either want to have in your life or you don’t; being able to check out. It’s a luxury. And is that a luxury you want?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Do you not want to have kids and babysit your sister’s kids sometimes? And then you get to do that, and it’s a lot of responsibility in that moment, but you give them back? Maybe this analogy is fair. Maybe it’s not. You’ll tell me. I don’t have children. But business, to me, it’s not the same emotional like this thing is a living human thing. But at the same time, in terms of attention never being turned off; my attention is never turned off from my businesses. It just does not turn off. Makes sense?

Coming up, we’ll talk about whether a 5-year plan is worth it if you’re constantly pivoting. But first, this break.

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Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, this one is from Baked True North, and she asks, “Is a 5-year plan worth it if you’re constantly pivoting and reacting to the market?” That’s a good one.

Cassy Joy: It is a good one. And my note on this is; all caps, DUH. {laughs} I’m very passionate about 5-year plans. If y’all follow me, by chance on Instagram, I’m @FedandFit. I’ve chatted about them a handful of times. And it’s interesting because it incites this polarizing whirlpool of how people feel about 5-year plans. Some people feel like they’re very limiting. Or it’s intimidating. Or I can’t be nailed down to a plan. And other people really love them.

And you could also generalize and say; because I’m an Enneagram 3, 5-year plan is just how I speak and how I interact with the world. So, whatever, I don’t care. I’m going to tell you what I think about them.

So, 5-year plans; the heart behind a real 5-year plan, in my mind. I’m going to say what’s real and what isn’t real; I’m going to go there. Because it’s our show. A 5-year plan is meant to be a vision. It’s not a manual. Ok? So I think that distinguishes the answer that you asked. Is it worth it if you’re constantly pivoting and reacting to the market? Heck yes!

I am constantly pivoting and reacting to the market. And I have a 5-year plan. My 5-year plan does not say quantitatively that in 4 months, I’m publishing this eBook. And 4 months after that I’m going to do this eBook. And in 12 months after that, I’m going to hire somebody to go in this direction. It’s not quantitatively what I’m doing, it’s qualitatively what am I building. What is the heart behind what I am doing?

My 5-year plan for Fed and Fit is that in 5 years, Fed and Fit is a place that at least 10 full time employees; people can call their work home. And they feel empowered. They love what they do. They love the people that they work with. They get to problem solve every single day. And I get to take care of them as a company. And we enrich and empower people across the world with the content that we put out.

That is a vision statement. That’s a 5-year plan. And of course, within that plan, in 9 months, we’ll be moving into our office. And then about 6 months after that, we’re going to launch a TV show. But the details of that web TV show; they’re fluid. Because we’re going to see what happens. A lot can happen in the next 15, 16 months before we press go on that thing. And we give ourselves the space to adjust.

So I say yes. I think a 5-year plan can be very, very powerful. You’re setting your eyes on; I’m going to hike that mountain. I don’t know how I’m going to get there. I don’t know what trail I’m going to take. I don’t know what all supplies I need or the people I’m taking yet. But I know I’m going to hike that mountain.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I’m feeling inspired because I was definitely in the nay-sayer of the 5-year plan thing. But now I’m feeling motivated and inspired to write one. So thank you.

4. Tip of The Week: 5-year plan [45:51]

Cassy Joy: Good! You’re welcome. That’s very exciting to my 3-ness. I’m going to generalize further. {laughs} So, ok. That leads us to the tip of the week. And the tip of the week, I volunteered because I love this one. My tip is to write yourself a 5-year plan. And do not make it a quantitative plan. Make it a qualitative plan. Who are you? Who are you in 5 years? It doesn’t have to be exactly what you’re doing. Not exactly the book you’re writing. It doesn’t have to be exactly who you’ve hired or the exact number of people or where you live. But who are you? Have you found a way to do it all? Have you found a way to really be present in your children and your family’s lives, while also running a really bad-A business? Right?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: She’s laughing at my bleeping of myself. Who are you? What does your business represent in the world? What does it mean to people? For people who don’t like a plan, that’s what I encourage you to write down, is your 5-year plan. And for people who do like plans, feel free to put a little meat on those bones on your way down. You drop your milestones at each one of the 5 years. These are the milestones; who I am. This is qualitatively what my business represents. And along the way, maybe these are some of the milestones I think I’m going to hit.

And it’s just really to get your brain just clicked into the right tracks. It doesn’t mean you have to follow it.

Diane Sanfilippo: I like it. I’m doing it.

Cassy Joy: That makes me so happy. {laughs} I’ll do another one. And I’m constantly revising my 5-year plan. Again, it goes along with being humble, and being willing to say; oh. Orange barrel, reroute. I’m going to redo this thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think having entrepreneurial parents is such an amazing asset. Because I can see that the way that you see the world through their eyes as business owners is so different than the way that I see things without having had that example. So I will invite myself to dinner very soon while you’re not flying. I’m going to find myself a weekend to come have dinner with your family. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Anytime in November and December, you know we’re going to be here! They constantly are like; how’s Diane? My mom especially.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I love your mom.

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 @DrivenPodcast. You can find me, Diane, @DianeSanfilippo and Cassy @FedandFit.

Tune in next week, sure to be a good time.