Episode #8: Listener Q&A

In today’s episode, we’re back with another round of Listener Q&A! We’re answering your questions about setting boundaries, books & podcasts on business and leadership, and balancing a full-time job + side hustle, and more!

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.

Diane Sanfilippo: In today’s episode, we’re back with another round of listener Q&A. These episodes are some of our favorites, because we get to dig in and connect with exactly what you want to know about. We’re answering questions about setting boundaries; book and podcasts on leadership, and balancing a fulltime job and a side hustle; plus more.


  1. What’s on my plate [2:36]
  2. Listener Questions: Time management and boundaries [10:52]
  3. Listener Question: Books and podcasts on leadership [21:01]
  4. Listener Question: Balancing the side hustle [32:02]
  5. Listener Question: Creating an authentic business [46:42]
  6. Tip of The Week: Prioritizing [59:38]

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 colleagues 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: Alright, it’s time for What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses, and in our lives this week. Cassy, what’s going on in the fine state of Texas?

Cassy Joy: It is a fine state, thanks for saying that. {laughs} I love my home. So it is early October, and 90 degrees. {laughs} It’s great, but I’m wearing a sweatshirt. You better believe it. {laughs} Just, crank the AC down. I’m kind of kidding.

No, but on a real note I actually just had yesterday; I haven’t told you this yet, but I had a great phone call with a photographer that we’re bringing in for book three. Those of you who don’t know, very early stages. There’s a whole lot I’m not supposed to talk about yet. Which is hard for me, because I’m a spill all the beans kind of girl. But we have decided to bring in and really elevate the entire book experience. That’s my goal; to really elevate it in so many ways.

And my dream photographer wants to work with me on this book. She’s incredible, and we had a nice long talk yesterday. And I’m just so dang excited. It is going to be; I didn’t think I’d look forward to the process. I knew I would look forward to the end book, because I’m really excited what we’re going to produce. And this solution we’re going to be able to provide with book three.

But, now I’m looking forward to the process! And Diane is nodding her head, but the book writing process isn’t always a joy.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s actually the worst.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Yes. There are times when; you know the project analogy, where you’re standing at the other side of the canyon, and as soon as you conceptualize the idea of the book, you’re at the top of the canyon on one side looking where you’re going, and you’re like; oh, I can see it! This is going to be so great! And then you start the downhill climb, and you lose sight of where you came from and where you’re going, and then the uphill climb, and it’s long and arduous.

And after talking with this person that we’re going to be working with; and knowing all the other incredibly intelligent hands that are going to have a part in this project; I’m like; I think this is going to be a joyride. I really, really do. It’s going to be hard work, which I’m not opposed to. But it’s going to be a fun process.

Diane Sanfilippo: Love that.

Cassy Joy: Yeah! I’m really, really excited. I got off of that phone call, and I was excited to open up my book document, and keep adding onto it. So it was great. And then just on the home front, we’re not exploring Halloween costume options for Gray. She’s really proud of her roar. She’s got a good roar.

Diane, you’ll have to ask her; if I get you on Facetime, go “What does a bear say?” She puts her little hands up and goes {rawr}.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I’m one of those moms now that talks about her kid. And I’m like; isn’t that adorable?!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} It’s cute.

Cassy Joy: And it’s probably really just cute to me. So, it has to be some sort of a roaring animal so she can practice that. I’m sure she’d love it. But there were actually some great suggestions on second-hand Halloween costumes made on my latest; there’s an Instagram post on Fed and Fit. If you just pull up my latest selfie, you’ll be able to see some of those suggestions. There are some really, really great ones, no matter where you are in the country. So if you’re looking for homemade, second hand, or other options and alternatives, they’re there. How about you, boo?

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that! I can’t wait to see her costume and see some pictures.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Feel free to Facetime me pretty much any time. I’m always here.

Cassy Joy: She can show off her roar.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I’m here for it. So, fun stuff in Balanced Bites land. We decided, several weeks ago, that we were going to do a Balanced Bites enneagram, I don’t know, like a self-collab. I don’t know what to call it; it’s not a collaboration. There’s no owner of enneagram. But what we decided to do was assign a type, an enneagram type to each of the spices. So, we kicked it off. And it’s a little unconventional the way that we’re putting the order up, as most accounts that are enneagram accounts will either do 1 through 9 or 9 through 1, and they’ll kind of show it in number order.

But because our feed is always in rainbow order, I was like; we’re doing this in rainbow order. So we’re actually doing a reverse rainbow, where we kicked it off with trifecta, which is a grey label, and then bagel blend, which is the black one. And then we’ll start to get backwards into super garlic, ranch, Greek, etc.

So {laughs} if you want to see what I and the team imagine each spice blends enneagram type is, you can definitely head over to Balanced Bites for that. Tell us if it resonates with you. But it’s been really fun, and it’s definitely been a little bit of a copywriting challenge for me. I am writing the copy for each of those assignments.

I was reading them to Scott in bed the other night; I’ll read you the one that just went up for type 1, bagel. I mean, I was patting myself on the back for this. I was like; look, I can write copy! I’m pretty good. So I wrote; “BAGEL blend sets out to perfect everything you’re eating by being *just right* in its blend of house-toasted garlic and not-too-salty level of saltiness. This blend can fix, and improve, any food you add it to, from avocado toast to grilled chicken. How do you know what the right thing to wear is? BAGEL blend knows… always black.” Because it wears a black label.

So, that is type 1. It’s like the Reformer, or the fixer type. Isn’t your husband a type 1?

Cassy Joy: Yes, he is.

Diane Sanfilippo: They’ll just make everything just right. So, anyway. I’m having fun with that. And I’m really excited to keep rolling them out. I think you’ll see your type 3 in there coming up soon. It will just go on through. So.

Cassy Joy: I’m so excited! I geeked out when I saw that. I read your type 1. I was like; this is so good! I clicked on the profile. I saw you’ve also done number 9. I’m so excited to see what 3 is.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s a good one.

Cassy Joy: I can’t wait.

Diane Sanfilippo: I really enjoyed writing that. I have to get through writing the rest of the copy. But that’s been a fun little creative challenge. And it actually was pretty easy to get a blend to all the types. We have three blends; because we have 12 blends and there are 9 types. So we have three blends that we’re going to have folks chime what they think that blend would be based on the description we have of the blend’s personality. So we’ll see what happens. So that should be fun. And I’m like lighting up when I’m talking about this, because this is super geeky. But I just thought it was such an of the moment thing.

We did get a question; I don’t know that we’re fully getting to it, but there was a question about how we handle trends. And I’m like; here’s one way of how I’m noticing a trend. Not that it’s necessarily a strategy or a “use this platform” or that kind of trend, but more of this is a societal trend that’s going on that people are picking up on this stuff.

Anyway. We’ve kicked off a new class of 21-Day Sugar Detox Coaches. And for those of you who maybe were curious about that, or didn’t know about it, or just couldn’t get in on it this time, things are going to be shifting for next year. I’m actually working on a broader format of a business program. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like yet. Cassy and I were noodling about that; a little side note. I don’t know if we mentioned it before, but we were going to call this show the noodle, or noodle on it. {laughs} We were going to call it something about noodling, and then we were like; no, let’s not.

Cassy Joy: It would take too much explaining. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. But that’s what we use to express; “I’m going to think about that.” I’m going to noodle on it. Like your brain is a big noodle.

Anyway. I’m noodling on that, just to kind of figure out what I want to do. But we still have a way for folks to coach people on the 21-Day Sugar Detox, as like an adjunct set of modules to whatever the larger program is that I’m going to create. And I do think; I’ll be asking you guys for feedback. So just stay kind of connected, and you’ll hear what’s coming.

And last but not least, we’re in the process of developing new meals that will roll out over the next 6, 8, 12 months. So that’s kind of exciting. And I’ll give you guys more info on that in the coming weeks.

Cassy Joy: So exciting!

2.  Listener Questions: Time management and boundaries [10:52]

Cassy Joy: Listener questions! So, if you have been around for the first series of the Driven podcast, you know that we’re kind of getting into a rhythm. Where every fourth episode is actually going to be all listener questions. So that’s what we’ve got in store for you today. We pull questions and comments and topic ideas from your interactions with us over @DrivenPodcast on Instagram. So if you don’t follow us @DrivenPodcast on Instagram, now is a great time to do it. You’ll hear all of the good little bits and pieces about the episodes that we’re putting up. And you’ll also have an opportunity to throw your questions and comments into the hat when we are looking for them.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. And the Driven Podcast account is going to be running really differently coming soon. We kind of kicked it off, and just relaunched it over from what was the previous Balanced Bites podcast, but we have a whole awesome content plan for you guys. So I know if you’re following there and you’re like; we’re not seeing all the posts every time. We have a lot coming. So just kind of hang tight. We went a little ugly early. We made sure we launched the show, and we didn’t hold back until everything was just perfect and had a bow on it, which is always a little stressful for I think both of us.

But I think at the same time, we love kind of being in it with you guys. Like, a lot of you are starting businesses, and starting this podcast is not so different from starting any other business. Where; we were not going to let perfect be the enemy of the good, and we were not going to let perfection stop us from launching. So, on that note, stay tuned to the podcast for a lot more awesome content that I think you’ll love pretty much on a daily basis.

Alright, Joanna asks; “I’m super interested in hearing Diane talk more about time management and boundaries when it comes to entrepreneurship. I’ve had a private nutrition practice for three years, and I’ve kept my day job at part-time, about 18 hours for the security, and based on her advice, to keep the job longer than you think you need to.

I now have a 5-month-old baby, and I’m juggling being a mom, my business, and the part-time day job. It seems that even when I have time specified in my calendar to work on my business outside of seeing clients, marketing, accounting, admin, etc., there’s something that is always testing those boundaries. Even if accidental, my husband has a house project he wants to get done. My day job needs something additional from me this week, my daughter wants extra snuggles.

I’m normally pretty good with boundaries, but this one has been more challenging for me in the last few months. I really need to prioritize time management with my business, and would love any tips or tricks. Thanks for all you do.”

Well, I saw this question come in and I immediately felt like; once you introduce a kiddo into the mix, I’m not your expert. And I know that {laughs} alienates a lot of people. Because I know that I can’t speak from personal experience on; it’s not just about the time. Because I think there is just a totally different vibe and feeling in an emotional situation, and a ton of guilt that comes in that I don’t feel about anything. Because I don’t have a kid. So if I decide something is not going to happen right now, I don’t really feel guilt around it. And I think that is the one really big differentiator when kids are involved.

So I want to hear from you on this, Cassy, because this; how old is Gray now?

Cassy Joy: She is almost; she’ll be 2 in January.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so like, yeah. Almost 2. So now you’ve been going through this for a while. And not so much with a part-time job and a side hustle and the baby. But with a fulltime small business, how have you been managing that?

Cassy Joy: You know, it’s a really great question. And I want to first answer from the vantage point of; this is just what I’m doing. And I don’t mean this to be prescriptive. Because you know you and your life and the people in it, and your requirements better.

So, what I have to do is; and I work. It averages, depending on the project, and the time of year, and what’s going on. But we’ll fluctuate between probably 25 to 45 hours a week of hard work. And when I do that, obviously work time, the boundary that I have to set there is; I’m working. And if you have your side hustle, for example, or your private nutrition practice. Not a side hustle. You’ve been doing this for three years. If you’ve got that, and you’re running it out of your house, my first piece of advice is; if you’ve set aside time to work on your nutrition practice, you need to get out of your house. It’s a physical boundary that I have found that I have to put up between my husband, for example, who comes to me and says; I don’t know. “Honey, I’m on my way out. I just put clothes in the washer, can you transfer them to the dryer.” Right? Something so simple. And it seems like it’s going to take you 30 seconds to put those clothes from the washer into the dryer.

But what it does is it breaks any kind of a groove that you might have been in. And while you’re in the laundry room doing that, you’re probably also going to see something else that needs to be done, and you find yourself into a totally other focused zone. So I have to put up physical boundaries between my different worlds.

So if I know that my team is not coming to the house, because Fed and Fit, right now we’re working out of my house. If my team is not coming here, but I’m working. Air quotes; I mean, working. I don’t mean to belittle it. But if I’m working, I will go. I’ll coffee shop. I will go set aside. So if you have two hours in one day that you want to spend focusing on your nutrition practice, go be that person at Starbucks. Go grab yourself a big iced unsweet tea and sit there and work.

I think that’s why that’s such a popular spot. Or your local coffee shop, of course. Whatever it is that you need to do. But get out of your house.

And what I have also found is I have to put up pretty firm boundaries on availability. So this might take proactively communicating to your actual job; your part-time job. Telling the folks there; hey. I will have a little bit of wiggle room between this time and this time. Right; so maybe you’re able to give them a little bit of grace. I’m happy to hop on a phone call and chat with clients while I’m commuting; or something like that. And you can expect those hours to be between noon and 1 p.m. Give them a window that you can bleed into; but then say; 1 o’clock on, I have to put my phone away. Or my computer is away. And I don’t have an option.

There’s always going to be an emergency. I am off the clock after 3 p.m., hard stop, central time across all of my businesses. That includes text messages and Voxer. For my Beautycounter team, for my Fed and Fit team; everybody. And I’ll put my phone away, and I’ll put it on airplane mode. Or I’ll put it on DND; do not disturb, so that my family can still reach me if it’s an emergency.

But I don’t want my daughter to have to campaign for my time. If I’m looking on my phone; because it’s so easy just to answer a voice message, or to hop on a quick phone call. She still inevitably finds me in the house. And does that sweet thing, where she grabs my pants, and looks up at me, and just wants my attention right then and there. And I don’t ever want her to feel like she’s interrupting me in my work.

So that’s just something I’ve had to do. I just have to put those firm boundaries up, and I communicate that in advance. I tell people; if you send me a message after 3; no big deal. I understand everyone works different hours. But I’m going to get back to you tomorrow. Is that helpful?

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s so great. I agree with you 100%. When I am in a phase where the work has to get done, and the distractions cannot happen, I definitely leave the house. And I don’t like to do it. I feel bad. And it’s not even; Scott might not even be here. It’s just even the pets. It’s just seeing the pile of laundry. Like you said; it’s that physical separation. That physical boundary.

One thing you touched on that I think is really great for people to identify, and we experience this a ton between us just trying to get scheduled for the show. And I think it’s the balance and the difference between having boundaries and offering grace. Because I think the boundaries are important. And I think we have to be able to recognize when can we offer grace and tell someone; ok, this week I can wiggle a little on this. But most weeks, I’m a hard stop at this time. And expressing that this is wiggle room to offer grace.

Because, for example right now, we’re struggling to find the best time to record the podcast. Which normally would be where we are right now. We’re recording this at 10-11 o’clock pacific time on a Wednesday. That’s typically a great time to record. It’s quiet in my house, etc. However; during construction, for the past few weeks, it has not been the best time record. And offering grace while also holding the boundary I think is important.

And I think it’s important to be really consistent with that; especially when you’re dealing with another job asking for your time and attention. With your partner; your spouse asking for time and attention. because with a child, you can’t have a conversation, you know what I mean? Especially a small one. A toddler. A child who is maybe, what, 7-8 and older. You guys can tell me where the development happens where you can say; honey, I want to give you my full attention. I need to finish this work for about an hour. And really follow through on that; when the hour comes, you are keeping your word. And then, my time is yours. Really setting those boundaries and being productive in that time.

And I’m with you; I’m far more productive when I do that, too. And I don’t know if you get this, when I go to a coffee shop, I’m like; first of all, I’m barely getting up to pee, because I don’t want someone stealing my stuff. But I live in a very urban area, so it’s a little different. So that’s part of it.

Second of all, I won’t close my laptop until something is done. I can’t just have gotten through 5 emails. There has to be a thing that I’m checking off. So it really puts the pressure, and I think it really helps productivity to have those really clear boundaries.

3. Listener Question: Books and podcasts on leadership [21:01]

Ok. So here’s the next question. This one is from @Sharon’s Whole Life. And she’s asking, “What books on leadership do you recommend?” Cassy, do you want to tell us some of the books you recommend?

Cassy Joy: Yes. I have mentioned it before. I am an audiobook junkie. I just love them. I try to alternate between some sort of a better myself book, usually, autobiographies, educational books, things like that and then something that’s fiction. Usually in the science fiction, historical fiction, or psychological thriller category, if I’m being really honest.

But this is one of my favorite categories. And the ones I have read lately that I have really, really enjoyed; and I’ll read them in order of my favorite. But number one; it’s really short. It’s by Patty McCord. It’s called Powerful. And I think I’ve referenced it here maybe once. But it is a nice short book. Patty narrates it. And she actually helped develop the culture deck at Netflix.

And it’s not to say that you; I want to make this clear. I think there is something for everybody in this book. If you are a solo-preneur. Anybody who works with people. As a client; as a contractor; if you have a team, or even if you’re part of an 800-pound gorilla type corporation. I think there is something for everybody in that book. It’s really very powerful.

Radical Candor by Kim Scott is another one that I really, really am enjoying right now. It is hard for me to get through because it’s something that I’m personally working on. And it’s a real challenge. So overcoming my too-polite roots. And realizing the candor is kindness.

And then, Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt, I think is a great one. I’m also a big fan of the Focus planners. If you haven’t seen either one of those, they’re a really nice companion with each other. It actually would be a really great gift; holiday gift for the entrepreneur in your life. I think the Free to Focus book and then the Focus planner might be a good one. I’m already thinking about gift guides for Fed and Fit, so that came to mind.

The Road Back to You, by Ian Cron. It is an enneagram book. Ian Cron is; I would argue, probably one of my favorite enneagram experts out there. And the Road Back to You is just a very powerful collection. It walks you through the background of the enneagram, talking about the different types. And it really teaches the point of the enneagram. If you’re new to it, give it a Google. But the point is that it really allows you to have empathy and understand other people. And understand where they are coming from; not necessarily that everybody comes from the same place as you. So I think that’s a very powerful book when it comes to leadership. Because I think it’s really important that we not just empathize with folks, but try to understand them better.

And then the E Myth by Gerber is a classic. I would listen to the revised one. He also reads it. He has a bunch of stories; personal stories woven throughout the book. So it’s an enjoyable listen. Or read; if you’re not an audio book listener. But I would say that was a really great one, and it’s the entrepreneur myth. And what he talks about, one of my favorite points that he brings up in that book, is the difference between abdication and delegation. And I feel like that’s a very common growing pain for a lot of; not start up businesses, but businesses that are past the start up phase going; well how do I take this company to the next level. And it’s about learning how to delegate versus abdicate roles. It was very influential.

How about you, Diane? I know that you have a good list.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. I’m very curious when you’re listening to these audio books, exactly.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Because this sounds like you have a lot more time than I perceive you to have, to listen to things.

Cassy Joy: I listen to them when I’m doing laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and driving.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. I do a good amount of that. San Antonio; where we live in San Antonio. Have you ever seen O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Diane Sanfilippo: No.

Cassy Joy: Oh, ok. Well, he was looking for this dapper dan cream, for his hair. {laughs} And he was trying to get this dapper dan cream, and they were like; it’s 20 miles. That will take, however long, three days. Or two weeks. And he was like; well, isn’t this a geographical oddity. We’re two weeks from everywhere. I kind of feel like I live two weeks from everywhere, in the suburbs of San Antonio, so I have a lot of time in my car.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. Alright. That’s fair. I was like; when is she listening to all of this. I know you listen at a faster speed, too.

Cassy Joy: I do.

Diane Sanfilippo: Which, I can’t do that. because audio is so; it’s actually such a strong way that I learn, I cannot speed it up. Because I will hear every word and almost memorize it immediately when I hear it the first time. If I play something back a second time; not every word, but I can speak along with some of the most important elements. Because they just kind of get burned in my brain when I hear it.

So to that end, there are a few podcasts that I love. And actually we’ll talk about this later. But the book that you mentioned, Radical Candor, I actually interacted with that content as a podcast before the book came out. And I think this was kind of a marketing approach. So, Radical Candor; first of all, for those that don’t know what the core message of Radical Candor is, it’s working with people in a team. And especially as a boss. In a way that helps them to understand that you care personally before you then challenge them directly about something.

So obviously as a boss, you’re constantly having to confront all kinds of things. And naturally, as an enneagram type called the Challenger, I don’t struggle with that. But what I’ve noticed over the years is that making sure the first part, where people truly understand that I care about the personally; that is of the utmost importance.

And that doesn’t just mean what I would think it means. That means understanding their love language. Or language of appreciation in the workplace. That means understanding their personality, and the way that they operate best with communication and delegation and all of those things. So kind of what you were talking about, too with empathy and one of the important parts of what I’m presuming in the Road Back to You is going to talk about. It’s understanding your people better, so that you can help them know that you care personally before you then challenge whatever it is you need to challenge. Whether it’s something they didn’t do right. Whatever it’s going to be.

So anyway. I definitely love that. And it really helped me a lot. And I do think that the working relationships I have with my team have improved because of that.

Do you want to read the next one?

Cassy Joy: The next question is from Kimberly_Newman, and she asks, “What other business related podcasts do you recommend?” Diane, I know that you’ve got a few that you have at your fingertips.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And she meant other than Driven, of course. Because she’s like, “While I wait for each new episode every week.”

Well, I want to let you guys know if you didn’t know already that I, several years ago was in a place; I was having a moment where I had a lot to say about business. And I was feeling kind of bossy. And I’m like; I can’t just tell all my friends what to do. I need to put this in a different format. So I recorded 54 episodes of a business podcast. It’s called Build a Badass Business. Interestingly enough, I was not able to maintain it over the long-term, because as much as I’m not an Obliger or an Upholder. I’m not really someone who does well with outside expectations; I find that for this type of a show, it’s more fun to show up and talk to my friend. It’s more fun to have varying opinions and different points of view that we kind of bring to the table.

So, bringing it back in this format; it’s not really what it was. It’s obviously a whole new show. But bringing back my ability to talk about business has been fun. So Build a Badass Business. You can find it on iTunes, and you’ll see my face on it.

I love Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy. That show is very much; it’s practical and hands on. Very practical, how-to advice. Which I think is great. The type of advice that I tend to give is a lot more thought process and perspective than just; here’s the checklist of things to do and process to put in place. It’s just kind of the way I approach things.

I love listening to how I built this. For me, hearing stories is very powerful and influential. More so than hearing how-to’s. I think hearing people’s stories help me to affirm that there is not one path, and there will be a set series of events that tend to happen in the course of any great business getting off the ground and evolving into something different. And I think all of these brands that we know and love and have seen out there; most of them did not take what we would assume is some kind of set path or trajectory. So I think that’s really interesting.

And then I know you love the story brand podcast. I know that story brand is also a book, and it’s something that I’m trying to get more enmeshed with, and really kind of following along with the principles that they’re teaching. But admittedly, I’ve just not sat down to listen to the show or kind of go through the content. I might do better, actually listening to the audio book and having something that’s more self-contained than a huge series of shows that I’m way behind on.

Cassy Joy: That makes a lot of sense.

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s your thought on that?

Cassy Joy: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So Story Brand, I would say, is my number one. By Donald Miller, if you’re not familiar with it. Building a Story Brand is the name of the podcast. He cohosts it with J. J. Peterson. And it’s really interesting; they usually almost always bring in a guest. And it’s somebody who has incorporated story telling with their brand. And it’s just good to hear, to Diane’s point, how things are done over and over again from so many different paths and so many different perspectives.

So that’s probably my go-to, when I’m doing my makeup and I have 35 minutes in the morning to get ready, that’s the one that I listen to.

Amy Porterfield is also in my queue. I’m a big fan of her work. I also have; one on here my sister told me about that I have not dug into entirely but it’s called Brand Therapy. I’ve heard really great things about. And the last one that I’ll listen to occasionally is called Corner Office. And it was actually recommended a while back by Gina Murphy, who is one of the leading ladies over at Beautycounter HQ. And they’re short episodes; around, on average under 20 minutes long. And it’s just interesting; they do some really interesting interviews, and I have just found it very helpful.

4. Listener Question: Balancing the side hustle [32:02]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. Here’s one a few of you have asked. And it’s; “How do you balance a full time job and a side hustle?”

That’s a good question. And I’m sure so many people are dying to hear a lot about this. I’m just going to speak a little bit from my experience, back when I was doing this. So where I’m at now with my business, obviously; it’s back in the library here in my brain trying to dig through what that was like. I will say this; and depending on who is listening, I don’t want this to be a reason to have excuses. But my situation at the time; I was single, I did not have kids; I don’t even know, I had a boyfriend maybe or whatever. But I didn’t have a lot of other commitments in my life. So during the times when I had full time jobs, basically after college, for a handful of years on and off. I kind of always teetered between working full time, working part time, going back to school, trying different things.

But at any point that I had a fulltime job, I always had a side hustle. I would never come home and just watch TV or socialize. There was literally never a time that I didn’t have at least one, if not two side hustles. So the idea of balance and the idea of; really, it is, socializing or entertainment, or relaxation. Look; if you want to build a side hustle, and you want to earn money from it, you can’t treat it like it’s there for your entertainment and your hobby. It’s another job.

So, I don’t think you should start a side hustle unless you’re actually interested and passionate about that thing. Because for me; I don’t even really have hobbies. Let’s just be honest. Plants are my hobby; I’m looking around at about 10 plants in the room right now. One is partially attacking me. I’m only just ok at keeping them alive; so that is not a business, right? But one of my hobbies is monetizing things and turning them into businesses. It’s just something I enjoy doing.

But if you’re picking up something on the side. Let’s just say, you have a fulltime job and you want to start a network marketing business. Maybe it’s something with Beautycounter. We’ll just throw that in because obviously we both also have side hustles to our main hustle with Beautycounter.

I think you have to backburner social interactions that are not of the utmost importance. So, some of those things that we sometimes feel; oh, I should go to that. Or, I’ve had that friend since I’m so young, whatever. But I don’t really want to go, I’m going just out of obligation. But really I want to be working on my business. You have to start making really hard decisions about how you’re going to spend your time. How you’re going to spend your money.

If you have a side hustle, chances are it’s because you’re trying to earn extra money from it. Right? You’re not just doing it because you don’t want or need the money. If you are just passionate about it, that’s fine. But I think that this balance is not about balance; it’s always about prioritization. And it’s about saying no to something so that you can say yes to this other thing that you want to do. And that’s really what it’s about.

So at the time, what this looked like for me was often not going out to dinner the way that I had been for years, with a friend. And that was because I needed to say no to spending more money that I didn’t have, when I was trying to save money and earn money. And it also meant; I think there were about 5 years where I didn’t go on a vacation anywhere.

And at that age, between 27 and 32 or something around there; in hindsight, I’m like; what vacation did I think I was taking? What kind of glamorous life did I think I was supposed to live? But now, in this Instagram world, I’m sure there are plenty of mid to late 20 to early 30-somethings who feel entitled to a vacation every year. Well, I had not been on a vacation in I don’t know how long. Because that’s many hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And when you’re trying to pay rent, and grow a business, and a side hustle.

So I think that’s part of it. Really recognizing all of those different decisions and priorities. When I had my last job that I was working alongside growing a nutrition business. And I think earlier, Joanna kind of mentioned this. I stayed in that job around 6 months longer after I emotionally and mentally was like; I’m definitely not staying in this job. But I was like; I need more money before I can leave it. So I stayed for another 6 months. I think I was going to stay for another year. I think I had been there, maybe I had been there 6 months or been there a year. And I was like; ok, make sure you’re at least here a year. Something like that.

That next 6 months was all I could take, because by the day I was ready, I was like; ok. I have to get out of here. I cannot be here. But during that time, I was really; I mean, I was probably not the best employee. I would get the job done that I had to do at my office within a couple of hours in a day. And I was kind of sitting around waiting for things to come to me. Because it was a small startup. There was too much bureaucracy for me to just create a new project, like I can now. There’s never idle time now, unless I’m really trying to rest because I’ll always come up with a new project.

But I was tweeting about nutrition at my job. I was definitely blurring that line a little bit. And it got to the point where, by the time I was leaving my job, I had enough money saved and could actually; I think it took me about 6 months to stop pulling money from the savings that I had. And then about another 6 months before I could start putting money back to the savings. So it was about a year of time so that I was earning enough that then I was not just paying the bills.

So, to me, that’s a little bit of that balance of a full time job and a side hustle. And I think it really comes down to what are you trying to do with that side hustle? I personally; I don’t have a lot of friends who I don’t somehow also work with. So, if you think about that; and we don’t go to an office. We’re not working for someone else. I have friends who are colleagues in the online health and blogging and recipe space, and authors. Friends who are obviously in the Beautycounter business. Friends who cross over those lines in all different ways.

So, doing this work is really fun for me. So I’m able to socialize along with it. And I think that’s also a part of something to look at. Like; what about having a friend who is doing your side hustle with you. Again, especially if it’s something like a network marketing business and you want to work together; that’s a fun thing to do. Or maybe you want to create some kind of art together and sell it at art shows on the weekend. Or make jewelry. Or start a baking business with your friend. I think that’s a really great way.

And I think it’s what I’ve realized over the last decade as what I do. It’s like; I don’t really socialize a lot with a lot of people who I don’t also work with. Because work is fun with me. You know; from Elf. “Make work your new favorite!” Work is my favorite. I really enjoy the things that we do.

Cassy Joy: I think that’s great. Just to go back over the things that you said that I think were really helpful; the time has to come from somewhere. So it’s not like you’re just adding hours onto your day. You have to be exchanging something for the side hustle. You have to recognize that there is hustle involved in the side hustle. It’s not just fun and games. Jackson Pollocking, splattering… not that he’s just a paint splatterer. But I imagine if side hustle is you want to explore art; it’s not just going around and, I don’t know, goofing off when you want to goof off. You have a real thing you’re to achieve. Whether it’s money, project, achievement, or whatever it is.

And I do like the idea of setting income goals. I worked for four years; four full time years as a business development and marketing specialist while also building Fed and Fit. And I did a couple of different things along those ways to help me figure out a way to make it all happen. But what Diane said, I definitely did. I would not go out to lunch with my colleagues at work, because I wanted to spend my lunch hour working on Fed and Fit at my desk. And I would not go out to dinner every single day of the week with all of these young professionals. Folks weren’t married then; this group of folks, at least that I was working with. I wouldn’t go to happy hour with them, and I wouldn’t go out to dinner and have a few margaritas. Because I wanted to go home and chase the light and be able to take photos of a dinner that I had planned that I was planning on writing about on www.FedandFit.com.

Then I also made other sacrifices. I was 27, was living in this cool apartment in San Antonio, and decided. I’ve got to put my money where my mouth is right now. If I really want to make Fed and Fit a thing, and if I want this to support me, I need to start saving more. So what did I do? I got rid of my apartment. And I moved back in with my parents. And I also sold my car, so that I had no car payment. {laughs}

What was it; grandma something. My parents were my roommates as an adult, and I loved living with them. But it was free rent. And I did all of those things also still working. Also still doing those things where I would get up early, grocery shop for Fed and Fit so that I could put the groceries in the fridge at work. I’d stay there. I podcasted while I was work on my lunch hour. And I published. And I would go home early to get it done. It was just a priority.

Sure, I definitely missed out on Bachelorette viewing parties, right? With some people. And I missed out on a lot of happy hours. But I also made time for those, as well. I knew that on Fridays, I would go out with my friend. And I just set those boundaries. But it wasn’t every day.

And I would also stay in town on the weekend. If I had a goal I was chasing; like if I wanted to get three recipes up for a week for four months in a row and see what happened to my traffic if I followed this program, then I would cancel a trip back to college station with my friends to go to a football game or go out to Northgate. Because I was like; no, I’m going to stay home and I’m going to hammer out 8 recipes. And it’s going to be awesome. And I was really excited about it.

 And I was lit up by that! It didn’t feel, like you were saying. It didn’t feel like this huge burden. And also what Diane is saying; those social times that I might have missed out on. And who knows where those relationships are for those folks anyways. Because now people; maybe they did find significant others and moved across the country. My deepest most sincere relationships are my colleagues. So you’ll find that; if you feel like you have to step away from it.

Diane Sanfilippo: So funny. You’re talking about those weekends; I’m actually just remembering. I like to consider it a former life, because this is kind of way before this iteration of me quitting a job and doing a side hustle. But way back in the day, probably my second job after college. I was working for the Children’s Place full time. It’s a children’s retailer. And I did inventory allocations. Very, very boring. Not at all my gold. That’s not what I was supposed to be doing. And I had a jewelry business that I ran. I used to make jewelry, and then I had some tiffany inspired jewelry that I used to sell. That’s what we called it, back in the day.

But I would spend weekends in the summer, when everybody was down the shore. So, to my East Coast/Jersey peeps, we go down the shore. Like, the north part of the state clears out on the weekends in the summer. But I was there. Because on the weekend, I set up a table in Hoboken New Jersey, and I was selling jewelry next to the path station when people would come out of the train at 5 o’clock at night. My mom would be there with me, helping me sell jewelry. Or on the weekend, across the street from Panera. And don’t worry; there was an ATM adjacent to us. So if people; “oh, you need cash? We take credit cards, but it’s less expensive if you pay cash.” So, I was hustling.

And in hindsight, part of it is also just like; what are your values, and what matters to you? It did not matter to me to spend an extra weekend drunk at the Jersey Shore. I was like; I have goals, people. I’m paying off a car. That financial security was always so important to me.

And I know there are probably some people listening who are a bit older who might have kids or a family. And I want to throw this out there, that if you are fortunate enough to have your parents living and there’s a potential for you to say; hey mom and dad, can I come live with you again for 6 months? Even if you have a kid. Even if you have a husband. Whatever the case may be, I think a lot of people are so prideful and so worried about what other people think that you don’t live the life you want to live.

So what? It’s a blip on the radar. I lived with my parents, as well. It wasn’t because of the financial need at the time; but I lived with my parents when I was writing Practical Paleo. And when I went to go buy a condo after that, they wouldn’t give it to me without my dad actually cosigning the mortgage at the time. And like, a year later I probably could have paid for the thing in cash. But that day, I was not too proud to have my dad put his name on my first mortgage. It is what it is, you know what I mean?

So I think there is that element, too, of recognizing in this moment of balancing it, not worrying what other people think about how you’re spending your time. Because I promise you the people who are judging it and having any negativity around it; you’re not even going to care what they thing in another 5 to 10 years when you are making it with the thing you are passionate about. 

5. Listener Question: Creating an authentic business [46:42]

Cassy Joy: Amen. Our next question is from AllySweet127. She asks, “How do you create an authentic business so that people respect and value your product?”

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so interesting. It’s such an interesting question. So the first thing that came to mind for this; and I love Q&A for this reason. I was telling Cassy before we started; I’m the person who really struggles to put on paper, what’s the process I should go through to do XYZ. But if you want to hear how to think about something and how to approach something from a mindset or a perspective; I’m your girl.

So creating an authentic business that people will respect and then also value you and your product; it requires having a customer-centric business and a service-oriented business. Whether it’s a product or a service that you have, and whatever it is that you’re going to do, you are thinking of how will the customer receive this, how will they perceive it, am I offering them something?

So in the current day of social media; even a brand that’s just selling widgets. We’re selling spices, for example. I’m not just going to tell you about the ingredients in the spices. I’m going to offer you value, and show you how to create yummy recipes. And yeah, maybe it is with these spices. And maybe you can get inspired to cook a frittata with whatever you have on hand. But I’m going to offer you value that; even if you don’t buy the thing that I’m selling, whether that’s because it’s not easy access. Whether it’s out of your price range. Whether you’re just saving up. Whatever the reason is; whether or not you’re going to buy something from me, I’m going to provide you with some value. I think that’s a fair thing to do.

In this kind of modern world, too, we want to have this idea, or this mentality of giving way more often than we’re asking for anything. So, I know Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook. I don’t know if that’s the first time I had heard of that concept. I’m pretty sure when I heard it, I was like; yeah, that’s what we’ve all been doing. What’s what all the bloggers had been doing, for three to five years your kind of blogging with no income. Or very little; just kind of paying the minimum. So it’s a matter of building up a way to earn people’s trust and respect. And having something that you’re going to sell.

So this is kind of, in this framework that I’m providing, it’s a bit more of an information and a service that you’re offering versus just a widget that you’re selling. But, you have to remember not to give everything away or free. And I have seen some businesses or some bloggers or content creators struggle with giving so much away for free that they become resentful, and then they have not groomed or trained their audience that there is a limit to what’s free, and then here’s the type of content or information that I provide that’s going to require some kind of payment.

In a lot of businesses, the value division is; you explain kind of the what and the why for free. And then the how is what people are paying for. So you explain what something is all about and why it matters; and then how you’re going to achieve whatever that transformation is is in your book. Or it’s in your program. Or it’s somewhere else that’s a little bit deeper.

And a lot of people will say; well, can’t I just get all this information from a bunch of blog posts? Well, what I just said to you earlier; yeah, you could listen to 400 episodes, or however many episodes of Story Brand podcast that might be out there. And I could probably glean all of the content that’s in the book for free. But how much time am I going to spend doing that, if I just spend probably $15 on the book and no more than a couple of hours of my time. I’m going to get a lot more from that, and it’s still going to tell me exactly what I need to know, and that’s the how, and that’s the value.

So it is about a balance. I think in order to have people respect and value what you do; I mean, it’s like the buzzword of the year is boundaries. I think that most often, people who feel that others don’t respect and value them have not created the proper boundaries around; one, how much you’re sharing, how much you’re giving that doesn’t have a price attached to it. And two; what that price is. Some people are really not charging what they should for things.

And it’s not what you should according to what the market is saying to charge. It’s according to what will make you feel valued and what do you really feel it’s worth. Because if you charge $3.99 for an eBook that you worked on for months and months and months. And you’re like; you know what; I’m looking around and other people charge $19.99, and I really should have. You can’t blame your customer for that. You can’t say they don’t value you because they paid the price that I asked. You have to be the one to the put the price on it to value yourself.

Most people will make mistakes with that initially. Most people will undercharge or not charge for things that they should charge for. Hopefully you don’t do that for too long before you realize you actually need to get those payments.

But that’s a little bit of my approach. I have always had more of what I consider a cable TV model versus a network television model. And this is the analogy that I like to draw; and neither is right or wrong. You just have to know yourself to know which is right for you.

So for me; giving away certain elements of content for free, I’m totally fine with that. And I don’t know exactly how that fits into this model. But most of what I offer that is the best content is paid for. And once you’re in and you’re paying, I’m going to give you all the stuff. Because you’re paying to be there, and I’m not resentful of what you’re asking for. Because you’re paying for it. And I’m serving you as an actual customer.

I think that a lot of folks do have an easier time handling serving a lot of people who eventually will monetize. And I do that as well; I think a lot of us have a balance of both of those approaches. But I think you have to know what you feel more comfortable with.

The reality is, most people we have to be in what I would consider a network television model, where you’re gaining an audience and you have a lot of viewers. A lot of people coming to look at your stuff. And somebody is paying to sponsor a post. Someone is paying; you have paid ads on your website. Pay per click; whatever it’s going to be, and there’s ad revenue being generated. And that’s a model that a lot of us will maybe be in for a period of time and then transition from; or have a combination of.

I don’t know if that’s  a little broad for this question, but I think a lot of it comes down to you creating that value and creating the boundaries around what it is that you do and what you charge for it and making sure that you’re not pushing yourself too far down the path of; everyone is taking advantage of me. Because they’re just doing what you have told them to do. People are responding to the scenario that you’ve presented them with. So we have to actually mold that in a way that feels good for us.

Cassy Joy: Yes. I agree. And I think a way to do that; a thought that bubbled to my mind when you were talking. Don’t be afraid to talk about the work that you are putting into your business. Instagram stories did not exist when Diane and I were in the significant building stage of our business. Maybe building projects now in our business. But it’s such a great opportunity to show how hard you are working on things, and the thought, and the care, and the revisions, and the edits, and the attention you’re giving your work.

If you want people to value you and your product, I think it’s ok to show them what all is going into it. Versus just; “oh, this old thing. I just whipped this up in 5 minutes. It was no big deal.” There’s a temptation to want to tie a pretty little bow on things and show that it was easy.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s such a good point.

Cassy Joy: And try to get that across. But if you want people to realize how much work went into it; I mean, a book is top of mind for me. But show the process. It’s a long, long process. And a lot of long, hard work. So there’s nothing wrong with showing that.

And when you do that; and then when people get that baby in their hands, and they’re like; wow. I can’t believe this is only $35. That’s incredible. The amount of work that went into this thing. The value; the perceived value of that product is so much greater because you brought them along in the process. And you weren’t too big, and too proud to show them the scramble and the hustle that went into it. So that’s a part of it.

And then how to create an authentic business so that people respect you. I think a part of that is just trying not to pull anything over anyone, right? An authentic business is one that is authentic to you. If you hate cookies, well then don’t write a cookie recipe. You know? Create content that; who hates cookies? Nobody. Everyone is shaking their head.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t like Instant Pot food, for the most part.

Cassy Joy: OK, there you go.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, a few things I can handle in the Instant Pot. So people keep asking; you’re not going to find a ton of food cooked in the Instant Pot. I’m like; no thank you. Not my thing.

Cassy Joy: Yes. So an inauthentic project for Diane would be an Instant Pot book. Right? Or an Instant Pot eBook. There’s a really good chance she’s not going to come out with that. But if she came up with an Instant Pot book. And if she came up with; I don’t know. I can’t think of another thing that doesn’t jive with you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Food for kids.

Cassy Joy: Food for kids! Exactly. Things that are not natural curiosities; I think people will sniff that out. For example; my products, every single one of my products, and my articles online. They are personal curiosities that are inspired for my readers, at this point. And so we kind of all work together in this melting pot of curiosities and y’all bring up questions that are very interesting to you. And if it jives with me and the editorial team here, then we put it into motion. But if it doesn’t. I’m not going to get into biohacking; I just won’t. That would be inauthentic to me. Even though that’s a constant request; there’s a really good chance I’m never going to put that kind of content forward.

So I say; write about the things that you find personally intriguing and puzzling. Solve the problems that you personally want solved that also jives with what your audience is talking about. And then don’t be afraid to show the process.

And also; I think it’s ok. If you’re one of those folks who have built an online presence and you haven’t ever charged before for anything before; because I want to touch on it. It’s something I went through, and I struggled with. It wasn’t as big of a hurdle to overcome as I thought it would be. The first time I remember I had Fed and Fit book available for purchase, it was one of the first things I ever asked anybody for money for with Fed and Fit. Everything has just been free, and I was earning off of ad revenue and the occasional sponsorship. Not a whole lot.

But, I was so afraid to ask people to spend money. And they were ready. If you have been providing value for a long time; of course, there were folks who wrote in and said; “don’t you have hundreds of recipes on your website at this point? Why would I buy this book?” And those are the comments, unfortunately, that we remember. But that might have been one out of 2000. So I would just try to focus on the fact that people want to have your back.

Diane Sanfilippo: Who are those people? I will cut them.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Reasons why my mother loves Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh my gosh.

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6. Tip of The Week: Prioritizing [59:38]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright; for our Tip of The Week, in this segment we give you one tip you can take action on this week to move your business or life forward. Cassy; we have this as a question from Ten Sun Flowers asks, “How do you prioritize?”

Cassy Joy: Ok, I’m going to make this really easy for you. This is how I prioritize. I’m going to demystify it. I write down all the things I have to do. And I will write down next to it the amount of time I think it might take to do those things. And then I lump them into priority 1, 2, and 3. And then I pull out all the priority ones. I highlight them maybe in yellow, blue, and green. So they stand out to my eye.

And then what I do is I create a list; and the to-do list. I like my Focus planner. And I’m not trying to plug Michael Hyatt, but I really think it’s a great planner. And I will go and I will sprinkle through my week. And I will say every single morning, I do my best work early on in the morning. And I will do a priority 1 item at the beginning of the day every single day. And then if I have a surplus; more priority ones, then maybe I’ll do two priority ones back to back. And then the priority 2 gets sprinkled in there.

And then in the afternoon, when I’m just not at my sharpest and I move more slowly, that’s when I do my priority threes. That’s how I sprinkle across the day. And I know how much time to expect it to take. And I know how to put into those boundaries we talked about earlier. If I know I’m going to be at the coffee shop for 3.5 hours, and these four tasks I estimate are going to take 3 hours total, then those are the ones I’m going to do. And that’s how I get it knocked out.

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. And don’t forget to rate and review us in Apple podcast. It really makes a big difference in getting the show out in front of other folks. And then you can follow us on Instagram @DrivenPodcast. Diane is over @DianeSanfilippo and I am @FedandFit. You can tune in next week. We are kicking off a brand new miniseries here on Driven.