Emily Thompson 0:00
Just because I'm sacrificing things or not even just because I'm sacrificing things, because my boundaries are changing doesn't mean that I don't have boundaries, like I do have to sacrifice things because I do have to nurture things. And the things that I have to nurture now are different things that I was nurturing before. And so for me, it's just consistently looking at my time and God bless my Google Calendar, because it's the thing I live by, at this point, I'm putting even more things on my calendar because my flow by workflow is different. Whereas used to I could always count on having no meetings on Thursday and Friday. Now, I will be doing making candles on a Thursday or Friday or I need to, you know, make a trip out of town to do a product buy or something like that. So there are things that are sneaking onto my calendar that I just have to be super aware of. And so I'm being much more intentional with my calendar. And then whenever new things come up, it's looking at that calendar and going literally, when do I have 30 minutes to like, process and do the thing. And if it's not on my calendar, I can't do it. From Being Boss, this is Making a Business.
Kathleen Shannon 1:17
A podcast about starting a business from scratch and overcoming the obstacles face when pursuing your dreams. I'm Kathleen Shannon,
Emily Thompson 1:24
and I'm Emily Thompson.
Kathleen Shannon 1:33
In this miniseries, we're following Emily's journey as she jumps into life as a maker and retailer with her new creative endeavor Almanac Supply Company.
Kathleen Shannon 1:48
In our last episode, Emily got vulnerable about her fraudy feelings, her big goals and aligning with her values as she took the first steps to starting her new retail and make her business Almanac Supply Company. We know that cultivating the confidence to just take those first steps to becoming your own boss, or repositioning yourself in your life is hard to do. And Emily prove that this mindset navigation doesn't go away with experience. You just learn that there are tools and tactics to tap into to help you along your way.
Emily Thompson 2:21
In this episode, Kathleen and I are diving into the next part of pursuing a truly boss adventure, navigating and setting up boundaries. We've learned that building a strong container around your work, your creativity and your life, the things that you want to protect and cultivate is really important for achieving your goals and maintaining control of your endeavors. And as I embark on this project, I need to set up healthy boundaries to ensure that I'm making the most of my time, my energy and my money, my most valuable resources.
Kathleen Shannon 2:57
The hardest thing for me to wrap my head around and like whenever I have that I'm kind of afraid for you moment. It always comes down to time. So you're building another business, it's a maker business, you're literally pouring candles, you're showing up, you're creating the processes, the website, holding the vision. How do you have enough time to do this?
Emily Thompson 3:25
Right, I had to find a break in my calendar, basically. And I knew it was coming. So I knew that as we were ending up 2017 that we were taking December off. So we know we've structured being boss in a way where we do this now for two years. And I imagine for the rest of forever. Next year, I'll actually take December off trust. So I knew that 20
Kathleen Shannon 3:49
Wait, with a retail business you think you're going to take December off?
Emily Thompson 3:53
I will most of it. Uh huh. I got plans.
Kathleen Shannon 3:57
Okay, I'm gonna talk about that, right.
Emily Thompson 4:00
Um, so we ended 2017 though taking December off. And so I knew I had a month to sort of launch like to do all the things I knew I needed to do. But to wrap up to wrap up the year we like we put the Being Boss book to bed like that was off to the printer. And therefore more or less done. We launched the Being Boss website, the new one, right before the end of the new year, which is super exciting. We got CEO Day Kit done. We did all like wrapped up all the big projects. So I knew I would have a whole month of complete whitespace except for holidays, obviously, to create the thing. So that's what I did. Or at least that's how I got it started was I took a moment in my calendar and I filled it as one does with starting a new business with creating the graphics, with designing the website, with you know, planning out the first products like all of those things. So at least thus far, it's been taking time, that I have in my calendar and using it for more work.
Kathleen Shannon 5:06
So we talked about the work hustle, and we talked about the life hustle. And part of taking December off is so that we can get some life hustling or even just some chilling out from the year in. So winter. I mean, we're already trying to live seasonally. And this way we're, we're kind of hibernating, baking, doing some things with our family. Did you feel like you sacrifice any of that this last December getting this thing up off the ground? And how did you mentally cope with that?
Emily Thompson 5:33
I did a little bit miss some of it, but I didn't miss all of it. Like I still made plenty of time for some hardcore chilling. And I guess officially the business wasn't even real by that we were just doing some like really preliminary planning and setting everything up so that once January one came around, we could really hit the ground running. So it was just, it was lots of research, it was laying in bed or sitting on the couch and researching, you know, like product sources or you know, some systems or what website platform are we going to be putting our site on, like some of those really early things that really just requires a lot of information gathering. So I didn't super miss my December off, I still definitely took a lot of it off. I just did fill some of it with building something new.
Kathleen Shannon 6:21
And I wonder if you know, just knowing that it's not going to be forever, like does that help you draw your line in the sand whenever it comes to that? And like you said, you have plans to take next December off. So tell me a little bit more about those plans and how you will implement it.
Emily Thompson 6:36
Yeah, I definitely. I definitely have like some I I've had some boundaries around my breaking of boundaries, basically where, where I've known that I'd be working more than I expected or that I wanted, but knew that in the very near future. And in some cases, even giving myself a date, where I would not be working extra or late at night or whatever it would or whatever it is. along the way. I think giving myself that definition has really made it easier just hustle when I need to hustle, and then giving myself back my space to live my life. And then
Kathleen Shannon 7:10
I have a question.
Emily Thompson 7:11
Kathleen Shannon 7:11
Is it hard for you to like downshift, you know, gears because for me, I know like whenever I'm my engine is going and I'm revving revving hard and I'm hustling. Sometimes it's hard for me to come back down from that. And I'll start to find things to do in the evenings even whenever my evenings don't call for it. And that project has been launched. Do you have any issues? Kind of? No?
Emily Thompson 7:33
Not really. No, I have no problem turning it off. And I think that again, like after about almost 15 years of doing this, you just learn when you're going to be effective. And when you're not. And I know, I'm not going to be effective. If I come back in here, like late at night and try to get any work done like is not going to be good work, just go to bed. Um, there has there have been a couple of times that I'm like maybe in the middle of researching something or I'm in the middle of a task, but I need to be stopping. Like that's usually a time when I have a hard time turning it off when I just like want to finish the thing really quick. But it rarely is something where I walk away and I feel the need to come back. Everything can always wait until Monday morning.
Kathleen Shannon 8:16
Okay, I want to talk a little bit about your other business because this is I think why whenever I'm a little nervous for you or your friends are a little nervous for you. It is because you have a few businesses so it's not just Being Boss and now Almanac you also have Indie Shopography. So tell me what's the status on Indie?
Emily Thompson 8:35
Yes, I know this is this is always the place where we're like, what are you doing? And what people don't realize is the Indie Shopography has not been a huge part of my work in the past two years. So we haven't taken any new clients for Indie Shopography since I really come on pretty much full time at Being Boss. So we haven't taken on a new clients. We which means I haven't been doing sales, which always took up all of my time. I also haven't been doing much design work. I have been doing some small things here and there. But we've really only been working with past clients so not having to acquire new ones. And most of them have just been small updates here and there. So not anything that was super time consuming. But figuring out what I wanted to do with Indie, was definitely something that I needed to make a decision on as I was really making that decision to jump into Almanac because I was still involved a little bit and when I say a little bit I mean five hours or less a week is what I was putting into Indie if that so I had played around with a couple of ideas of what I wanted to do with Indie whether it was sell it, whether it was just close it down whether it was just a light let it coast as it was like what that was going to be and what we've ended up doing, at least at the moment is we're transitioning the model to work only with designers, so my design skills are not needed. And that's really just up to the rest of my team to manage and deliver development projects, which I am not needed for. It's funny like this is really this is all been something we've been super open about where, you know, I think I mentioned in figure was the 2017 or 2018 Year in Review. So like the first episode of the year, I want to say it's like 157, perhaps, of the Being Boss podcast where I talk about, like this whole conversation that I'm having with myself, which we recorded, I think before I decided to do Almanac, where I describe myself basically going through a midlife crisis as to what it was I was going to do with these businesses of mine.
Kathleen Shannon 10:51
What would you say some of your biggest challenges were and what did you learn from that challenge? Because we know that we don't come out of what kind of tears us down weaker, but we come out of it a little bit stronger. So,
Emily Thompson 11:05
for sure, I almost feel like I've been going through like, not like a quarterlife crisis because that happens when you're 25 and not a midlife crisis, because that happens when you're 50 to 60. So whatever comes in between I'm having that crisis. No, I'm not, I'm fine. But, um, but I have had a lot of points of, of adjusting this year, which we'll get into our word of the year in a minute, but mine was strength and my god has mine been tested every step of the way. And just in lots of ways were. So I've one of my biggest challenges this year is figuring out what I'm doing with Indie Shopography. With my business and how it is that I want to deal with it. Do I want to do I want to commit myself to building websites? But I've said it here before, I think I don't want to do websites anymore? Is it refocusing indie? Is it passing Indie off to someone else? Who can? Who can? Who can grow it and focus on it in the way that it needs it. So that has been a huge one, like what do I do with my business baby basically, has been a huge challenge for me. And
Kathleen Shannon 12:12
I have a question for you there because so I kind of reengaged with Braid, because I kind of came to a little bit of a I need to make a decision. And being business besties as we are, you know, I'm curious like how much we influence each other whenever it comes to the decisions we make. And obviously I have business partners over on that side. And you have, you know, David being your business partner at Indie, but it's still a little bit different, where like, you still have a lot of autonomy over what really happens. But I'm curious to hear if any sort of any sort of my decision making whenever it came to reengaging with Braid like did that affect you at all? At any point? Or did you not even think about it? Which is cool, too. I'm not trying to make this about me.
Emily Thompson 12:57
Sure, Kathleen. I don't think it really did affect it a little or at all? If it did it? If it did, it made me consider going back more maybe. But even then, yes, was not the answer, or going right. And doing it was not the air doing websites in terms of Indie was not the answer, because I'm really, really done with websites. Um, so I don't think so. Not enough to like actually change anything for sure. And we did have a point. So as we were writing the book that was that was something that came up for us is, you know, whenever we're done writing the book, or this book, what are we going to do like, are we going to still split our time between our two businesses? Are we going to go 100% Being Boss, what are we going to do, you decided to go back to Braid, or not go back because you have been at Braid. But you wanted to keep the arrangement between you and Braid and Being Boss, but I wanted to go much more Being Boss. And so Indie has been in what I've been calling hibernation mode. For a little while, where we still have our we still have our old clients. We're still doing maintenance and updates and all of those things. But we haven't taken a new client now in almost two years, which is crazy. And it like into what end and am I keeping it open. So that's been a big challenge. And I have some things in the works and some ideas and things like that. So I'm not just sitting on it. But that has been a huge challenge for me this year, is figuring out what I'm doing with Indie Shopography, but it hasn't been just about what I'm doing with the business. It's also been a huge question of what am I doing with my life? Right. So I've I've really had this like, quarter to live mid life crisis, where I'm trying to decide what I want to do. Do I want to be like full time Being Boss and podcasting and online business and coaching and all of these things? Or do I want to cook all day? And like hang out with my kid? Or do I want to do something else because I have had a hardcore itch for brick and mortar for a really long time, and I don't think it's quite time for me to do that yet. But there have just been lots of questions around, how do I make my money? How do I express myself creatively? And what am I adding? Or how am I adding value to the world. So just small questions like that.
Emily Thompson 15:23
So all of that to say at this point, at this point, and my entrepreneurial journey Indie Shopographys is more or less off my plate, Being Boss same path as usual. And I just have this other gig that I'm trying to build up over here called Almanac. So it's a lot, but Indie Shopography is pretty much off my plate.
Kathleen Shannon 15:48
High five, for setting up Indir, so that it can run without you being in there every step of the way. And I know that we've set up systems and processes, even for Being Boss to be a little bit more like that, where we can just show up and do what we're best at. It sounds like you're setting Almanac up that way. Do you ever struggle with letting go of that control?
Emily Thompson 16:11
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I've only gotten to this place after many years of being a complete and total control freak. And needing to have my hands and everything and knowing that that doesn't exactly mean that everything is better for it. So whether that's you know, been client projects, or, you know, marketing calendars, or whatever it is, like, if, if I'm over analyzing, and in it too much, no one else is able to do their job. So it's been a long process of delegating, and trusting my team and dealing with hiccups for sure. But I would have hiccups too, and, and really setting up my businesses so that there are clear systems and processes that need to be in place whenever you do anything. And if anyone new needs to take over, they're all outlined. So it's easy to do. And I think there's something to be said about building a business that doesn't need you. I don't think it's for everyone. I think that a lot of people build businesses, because they want to run their business. At the moment, I want to run two of them I just don't want to run one of them anymore. And but I think it makes you build a stronger business, one that can run without you not that it needs to, but it can, it gives you more options. And again, not for everyone, but I think for plenty of us. It's something we all dream of. And I guess I'm just here to show you, that's pretty possible.
Kathleen Shannon 17:30
Alright, I want to talk about boundaries a little bit. Whenever it came to writing the boundaries section of our book, we were like, Oh my gosh, how do we even describe this? How do we really talk about boundaries? Because I think sometimes it can feel a little nebulous, like, how do we really define what a boundary is? What does that look like? And so one of the metaphors that we came up with was really thinking about growing a garden, right, and creating a fence around that garden and really thinking about what you're trying to nurture and grow. And then what kind of like pests and bugs and rodents you're trying to keep out. So whenever it comes to your garden and your boundaries, what are you nurturing? Like, what are you growing in that garden?
Emily Thompson 18:18
Right? Everything? No, no, not everything, very few specific things. One of them. And one of the things that I'm most excited about. And one of the things that I haven't been able to do, since I, you know, got that degree so long ago, was or is building a platform for myself, where I can inspire people to live seasonally and with nature, like I want to nurture that interest within myself, which is something I've been doing on my own for a really long time. But I once studied as a student and as something that has always really fed into how I live my life. But I it hasn't really fit into how I work, or it actually that's a lie. It does fit into how I work, but not how I tell other people to work, I guess.
Kathleen Shannon 19:05
Right? I know I think about one time we were on a business trip together and we were checking into an Airbnb and there's a beautiful tree out front. And you're like throwing off your shoes, walking in the grass touching the trees. You're always picking up rocks, when are we going to witchy shops like you're very like tactile, like really hands on and it's hard. Like that's never come up. Because why would we ever talk about that like and how do you even describe what that means to people and why you're doing that. But I feel like you're starting to like say, you know what, I want to talk about taking my shoes off and touching trees and integrate that into how people could be doing business.
Emily Thompson 19:45
Yeah, yeah, I mean, touching trees is absolutely my favorite pastime. I pulled some friends along to do that with me this weekend. And no one complained. They all touch too. Everyone likes to touch trees. Right? So this this is something it's a part of myself that I'm very excited to share and one that I haven't yet had the platform on which to do it yet. So that's one that I'm super excited about nurturing, because it's also forcing me to be even more intentional with how I live my life, so that I can bring that more to the platform that I'm building. So that's one of the really big ones for me. Another one is just product curation and practicing that sort of craft, I guess, if you want to call it that, or that skill set, where I like picking things out. Which is a really weird way to put it. But I've always had a really great eye for what things go together and what will sell or not. And we've had this conversation a couple of times, where I always see trends, I don't always I often see trends before they're here. So for example, I was wearing tall socks under my tall boots before anyone else was. And then I saw the way
Kathleen Shannon 21:02
Like in 1998,
Emily Thompson 21:04
Like years and years ago, and I remember being like everyone's gonna think I'm so weird wearing these. And then like a couple seasons later, they were everywhere. And I was mad about it. Or like subway tile was another one of those that I saw coming and now I can't have it in my kitchen because everyone has it in theirs. That's not really a true statement but kind of. There are things like like, I know what I'm good at. And this is something that I haven't been able to practice openly yet.
Kathleen Shannon 21:30
So what are you seeing an Almanac? What is that trend that you're going to bring to Almanac?
Emily Thompson 21:36
Oh, so many things. I'm excited to jump on the crystal bandwagon. And mostly because or for lots of reasons. Um, I I'm really excited about the maker aspect of this, we have some plans to put together some kits, like one of the things that we started really early with was some crystal grid kits, like just the idea of having people's hands and things i think i think people are gaining lots of interest in making things themselves. I mean, look at the whole fucking hipster movement. It's all DIY everything.
Kathleen Shannon 22:07
As your dream customer, woo-woo, hipster client.
Emily Thompson 22:12
Kathleen Shannon 22:12
Whenever I saw that crystal grid, it blew my mind because like, crystals are one thing. And then jigsaw puzzles are like my other passion. I love doing a good jigsaw puzzle on them.
Emily Thompson 22:23
Kathleen Shannon 22:23
And so this was like combining my two loves into one thing. And the way that you package it up was genius. So I'm so excited to see the other products that you are able to curate and put together in really interesting ways like that.
Emily Thompson 22:38
There's something else I have to throw in here for nurturing really quickly before you go on to the next phase. Because this like this really is the foundation. I got really excited and all about all those other things. But one of the things I'm most excited about nurturing with this business at the other ones have not allowed me to do is stepping away from this computer screen. And like
Kathleen Shannon 22:57
Emily Thompson 22:58
Right and back into the real world a little bit. And I also really see this one. And what I see that meaning for me is more of a connection with my family. Like whenever I think about building this business, I can just imagine Lily who is my daughter, like this little shop girl like sweeping up and counting coins at some point in my little shop and like really helping her or nurturing I don't know her own entrepreneurial spirit because God knows she has one. Um, so I just I see this as nurturing, there are another very important part of my life, that my current, you know, work doesn't allow me to do quite so much.
Kathleen Shannon 23:44
Ah, that's such a good point. I love it. And I think that also this part of living seasoning, I think that a lot of entrepreneurs have been able to blend work in life by having their kid at home like so, for example, you homeschool Lily. And I think that that was kind of how you were able to integrate working and living on your terms and really becoming an entrepreneur so that you could grow and nurture your family in the way that you want to. But I love that you're taking it to a whole new level by bringing your daughter really into it and letting her be an active participant in it. And I think that that's something that a lot of us don't have the freedom to do.
Emily Thompson 24:24
Not when you work in a computer, I cannot have her sitting here next to me for 678 hours a day watching me push buttons like that's not going to teach her anything great. I've tried to do that a couple of times and she starts fiddling her thumbs after about three minutes. So I mean just the idea and already she's shown such an interest in like, you know, packaging up rocks or doing whatever she's it's so much more tactile and like an involved that I can actually spend time with her and do my work at the same time and it'd be more meaningful than her just sitting me watch or sitting there watching me push some pixels around.
Kathleen Shannon 25:00
We get asked a lot about you homeschooling your daughter. And I think that for our bosses who are wanting to homeschool, creating some sort of side hustle that their kid can be involved in. That is school right there. She's getting such an education. That is incredible. I love it.
Emily Thompson 25:17
Yeah, I'm excited about it.
Kathleen Shannon 25:19
Okay, so we're talking about what we want to intentionally cultivate and nurture in your business. But I know that with boundaries, comes saying no to some things, and intentionally saying no, especially as you know, opportunities come up. And I think early in our careers, we were likely to say yes to everything to say yes to all of the things. So what are you having to intentionally say no to whenever it comes to protecting your time, and what it is that you're wanting to create, with all the things you've got going on.
Emily Thompson 25:54
I mean, at the moment, it's basically just my whitespace. So the space in my calendar where I don't have to do anything. Now all of those spaces are filled with making candles or checking in with my partner, Holly, because they do have a partner, we'll be talking about that shortly. Or, you know, doing research or whatever it like doing more tasks. So at the moment, my whitespace, which includes my weekends, you know, in some capacity, where we had a pop up, our first pop up shop was on a Saturday, I imagine most of them will be are just squeezing in a little bit more, a little bit more work time and the week, I am still being pretty adamant about not working on Sundays. But things are things will occasionally poke their head in those holes.
Kathleen Shannon 26:43
So we're not at a lack for ideas, whenever it comes to what we want to create together over at Being Boss. And recently, I had pitched an idea of, you know, down selling a certain product. And I was like, hey, what if we did this would be super easy. And your response was, I don't have the bandwidth for that right now. No thanks. And it was just so articulate and eloquent and firm boundaries. I know, it was just a really good example for me to see how to say no, in practice. So can you talk a little bit more about really saying no to these things that you don't have the bandwidth for?
Emily Thompson 27:19
Yeah, I mean, just because I'm sacrificing things, or not even just because I'm sacrificing things, because my boundaries are changing doesn't mean that I don't have boundaries, like I do have to sacrifice things because I do have to nurture things. And the things that I have to nurture now are different than the things that I was nurturing before. And so for me, it's just consistently looking at my time, and God bless my Google Calendar, because it's the thing I live by. And at this point, I'm putting even more things on my calendar, because my flow by workflow is different. Whereas used to, I could always count on having no meetings on Thursday and Friday. Now, I will be doing making candles on a Thursday or Friday or I need to, you know, make a trip out of town to do a product buy or something like that. So there are things that are sneaking onto my calendar that I just have to be super aware of. And so I'm being much more intentional with my calendar. And then whenever do things come up, it's looking at that calendar and going literally, when do I have 30 minutes to like, process and do the thing. And if it's not on my calendar, I can't do it, which sucks, but it is what it is.
Kathleen Shannon 28:33
So something I want to point out because we get asked this all the time is, you know, making time for a side hustle or having enough money to do it and some of the things that you have said no to our potential moneymakers. And you are the breadwinner, like I just want to be very clear that you don't have like a sugar daddy or some sort of like inheritance, you are making the money and you are also having to say no to some money making things in order to pursue this endeavor. So that right, so tell me a little bit about, you know, just kind of having the courage to do that. Because I still think that sometimes I work from scarcity mode where I'm like, well, we need to do this thing that's going to make the money and that will drive my decisions. And I think that you've been really firm about your boundaries, and really coming back to your values to drive your decisions versus the money.
Emily Thompson 29:32
Yeah. So how have I processed that? For me? I think it's I think at the moment for this project, especially. I have to think a little more long term than I usually would. So like those first couple of weeks or months of business, like you're putting in so much effort and not getting a lot of payoff. So if if Almanac were let's say a year old at this point, my decision making is going to be significantly different than it is right now, where I know that 15 minutes of time at Almanac isn't going to reap any benefits now, that could make all the difference in the world six months from now. So for me, it is getting out of like the immediate scarcity mindset and really getting into this long term abundance, which is quite a shift to make. And I'm glad you pointed out because I hadn't really thought about it like that. That's exactly what I've had to do was really look at it and go, like, I know, I'm not getting paid to do this thing right now. But I'm doing all right at the moment. And six months to a year from now, I'll be glad that I like drew the boundaries where I did so that I could get the work in now.
Kathleen Shannon 30:50
Okay, I want to talk a little bit about your partner. So you do have a business partner. And we're both very experienced in the pros and cons of partnering with someone else, mostly pros, but there are hard conversations that come up all the time. And even we've talked about this a little bit like the creative control stuff that can come up and just not being completely autonomous in your decision. And it's a really big deal to partner with someone legally, emotionally, financially, like you're practically marrying this person. So I'm so curious to hear why and how did you decide on a partner for Almanac?
Emily Thompson 31:27
Absolutely. So I did partner and I did it. Because if Being Boss has taught me anything, is that it's so much more fun when you're doing it with someone else. For Yeah, right. And like I've run businesses by myself, I've done it multiple times before. And I know it's difficult to have a partner. And I know that there's much more freedom and doing it by yourself for sure. But when it came to this one and where I currently am in my life, where I can't drop everything right now and do Almanac if I were doing it so low, I would have to, but I wanted a partner do it with me. And my partner's name is Holly. She's really fantastic. And moved to Chattanooga or moved back to Chattanooga, and moved into the house next door to us next door to the house that we bought, literally the same weekend that we did, right. So like, even way back then I remember thinking like there's a little bit of magic in this, I just need to like sit on this and see what this means.
Kathleen Shannon 32:29
Wait. So she your neighbor right now?
Emily Thompson 32:30
She's not my neighbor. Now she has since moved to a different neighborhood. But she did live next door for a little over a year, we became friends and our partners who both of their names is David. So she has a David and I have a David conversations get real weird, real weird, real fast. Um, I started talking to her about it, probably a year ago. Now, I told her that I had this idea had she ever, you know, thought about working for herself. And she had a baby a little over a year ago. And she quit her corporate job whenever she whenever she had her baby. And so it was also me fishing around like, are you gonna give me a day job? Like what's going on? I was planting seeds months ago, like if not over a year ago as to, you know, doing something together in the future. And so, once it came time, early December now, I I invited her out for dinner. It's like, hey, let's go talk about that thing we've talked about a couple of times. And I asked her if she would business marry me.
Kathleen Shannon 33:38
Oh my gosh. Okay, I have so many more questions here. But my I guess my next question is, has she ever owned a business before?
Emily Thompson 33:45
She has never owned a business. She does, I think have a double major in like business and marketing though we all know that those are not like the most meaningful things in the world. I'm glad she has them. She has lots of corporate experience and some weird corporate experience she even like was a civilian employee for I think the Navy at one point like, I mean, she has some like boss experience of her own, just not in the business owner realm.
Kathleen Shannon 34:10
I mean, obviously, you're going to pick someone who has qualities of a boss and I'm confident..
Emily Thompson 34:15
It was a long hourtingp rocess that she didn't even recognize is happening most of the time.
Kathleen Shannon 34:20
I'm curious a little bit and maybe this goes into another episode in Making a Business but a little bit around like your experience like experience versus time. And whenever it comes to what you're bringing to the table, you know, does she have more time to put into it whereas you have more experience to put into it? Like did you have any conversations around that
Emily Thompson 34:40
For sure. So even to begin out, she's actually or to begin out to begin to start out she is she's playing host to all of our products. So she has got a really big great house has some space in her basement. So the Almanac office is actually in her in her basement, which is really good. Great, so, so number one, she's storing everything in her places the office. Um, whereas I bring in significantly more like business experience, you know, I facilitated the creation of all of it. She's doing the ongoing, you know, order fulfillment, whereas I'm taking care of like a website management and social media. So we definitely went into it knowing like, here are some things that you're going to take care of, here are some things that I'm naturally naturally going to be able to do. So defining roles, and creating those boundaries, even within our partnership has been an ongoing and very important part of this process. And something we've been very open about the entire time. Some of our very first conversations, like once it really started getting serious was What do you think you're going to be great at? What do you definitely know, you don't want to do like, for example, she never wants to speak, she's like, if I ever have to, I will. But if I don't have to, I don't want to. Um, so you know, just being super open about all of those things. And creating those boundaries about how it is that will work has been an ongoing part of us developing this partnership. And as we know, like having those conversations ongoing is how you keep everyone happy and into it.
Kathleen Shannon 36:17
I know I think it's so funny thinking about in our last episode, you were surprised by the fact that you are no longer selling you or your time, but I definitely see how in this partnership, your personal brand is probably coming to the forefront whenever it comes to launching and marketing this thing. I mean, even look at us here recording this podcast and talking about it. So definitely using those strengths and skill sets to really get that off the ground. So in some ways, like, Holly is exactly where you want to be like maybe in the basement, packaging something up, no one would ever even know.
Emily Thompson 36:52
Except I've already told her I want nothing to do with customer service emails, like that is one of those things that I'm not going to be great at. Even if one of my values is respect, I have a hard time showing it sometimes guys, for sure. Another fun thing that's come out of partnering with Holly and me having so much more experience with this than her it's like sometimes I almost feel like a mama bear. Like making sure she has her boundaries in place. Like when are you going to be working and when you know, can I not expect to see you or whatever it is, or even like drawing those, drawing those lines around how is that will communicate so that you know it's all going to be super effective and efficient. And all of those things. It's been it's been a really funny experience to partner with someone that doesn't have as much experience in this realm as I do. And she's definitely bringing her own things to the table, but I do sometimes a little little mama bear.
Kathleen Shannon 37:50
Okay, so this piece about communicating boundaries is a huge part of not only setting up a new business or partnership, but in living and working the way you want every step of the way. In the being boss book we hit on this topic specifically, including some actionable tactics to help you make it do.
Emily Thompson 38:10
Communicating your boundaries. It's not enough to know your boundaries, you have to make sure the line you've drawn is clear to others so that everyone is respectful and supportive of your choices. When it comes to how you spend your time, money and energy. Write them down. This first step will ensure that you're crystal clear about your boundaries to yourself, write them down and leave them in a place where you can easily find them for future reference. Talk them out. Once you've written your boundaries down, share them out loud with your people, whether that be your life partner, business partner or peers. Let them know what they can expect from you. Ask them if they have any questions and reciprocate by asking them if they have any boundaries they'd like to explain to you. It's a two way conversation, and one that should be revisited quarterly because as your business and life change, so will your boundaries. Actions speak louder than words. One of the best ways to communicate a boundary is to respect them with your own actions. For example, if your boundary is to focus on your hobbies or family, and to stop emailing on the weekends, then don't send emails on the weekend. It sounds obvious enough, but you'd be surprised at how many people set boundaries without actually respecting or practicing them themselves. And the people around you will take cues from you as to how sturdy your boundaries are. Don't say yes to things that don't nurture what you're trying to build. Say no to things that distract you from what you really want to be doing all day. Make them policy. One of the simplest ways to communicate an important boundary is to include them in places like the signature of your email, the footer of your website, or the bio area of your social media profile. For example, the most boss creatives we know include their email policies and hours in the signature of their email, or even in an autoresponder letter so that recipients know when they can expect a reply.
Kathleen Shannon 40:20
Okay, final question.
Emily Thompson 40:23
Kathleen Shannon 40:25
I need to know, how much money is it taking you to start this business? I mean, because I don't know anything about retail and maker. And one of the things I love about being a service provider entrepreneur is the zero overhead or you know, just the tools it takes to create the stuff which is my Mac and Adobe. And sure, there are some expenses that go into it with Being Boss, a microphone, but for the most part, like we can run a pretty scrappy, lean business, but you're dealing with inventory, and shipping and probably like a whole new thing of taxes. And anyway, but I'm curious, like, how much are you putting into the business? What does that look like?
Emily Thompson 41:05
Right, so this is one of the only businesses have ever done, where it actually had to, like, put money into it, except for the tanning salon, which is a whole other story told another place. But this one, like all the like the podcast that we we tout that we did it for free. And same thing with Indie Shopography, like all these things, being able to start it with nothing has been very different from sorting this one. We both went into it $2,000 each, so $4,000. And although before we had our bank, before we had our bank account, and our like debit card fully hooked up, I had to buy something. So an extra about $700 bucks went into it. We had anticipated just immediately paying myself back, though, we kept it in there just in case for later because you never know. And I'll take it out like once we have more cushion. But Holly especially really wanted to put more in like being able to buy more inventory and all these things. And I was like no girl, slow down. Because what I really want to do with this project is something that we get a lot at Being Boss, whereas like you have to may have so much money to make money. And I have almost accepted this as a challenge of no, not really, you do it really well. And if you go out it with great intentions and not wasting money, because I there's something about having a business debit card that makes people feel it's easier to swipe, you know, like you can more easily spend that money than you would your own personal money even though it's the same thing. It's just a different account. So we've gone into this, trying to be as thrifty as possible, starting off with a very small product offering. And really starting it really as small as we possibly can. And even with that $4,000 put in we're almost two months in do it. We've probably only spent about three, if they actually I don't even know that we've spent maybe 25. Like we're really going into this being as intentional and purposeful with each of our purchases, and still rocking it out along the way. Because I absolutely believe that boundaries like this one help you cultivate the most interesting kinds of creativity.
Kathleen Shannon 43:35
I love the fact that Emily has started this venture with such a strong understanding of boundaries, a perspective that certainly comes from this not being her first rodeo boundaries keep you from feeling overworked and overwhelmed even as you dive into the unknown, even as creatives who crave freedom and a boundless existence, boundaries give you structure within which you are able to thrive because you're protecting what's most important to you.
Emily Thompson 44:02
It's no doubt that immediately putting boundaries in place brought some order to those first weeks at a time when things could have easily spiraled out of control. Without them I would certainly have felt more unsure and scattered than I already did. As I've begun integrating this new project and way of working into my already full life and schedule. And the next episode Kathleen and I will dive further into what it looks like for me to get this business started by bringing those broad strokes down into the habits and routines that I tap into to get the momentum going.
Kathleen Shannon 44:38
On the next episode of Making a Business.
Emily Thompson 44:43
So for me, it's just how I've how I've structured my regular work days. And granted I have added a little bit of time every week to my schedule that I'm in here working, but I know that I'm coming in here every day to get the jobs done and by creating The structure of like coming in spending a set amount of time 30, 45 minutes on Almanac, getting out the rest of my day and then giving myself permission to spend another 30, 45 minutes on Almanac at the end of the day has created this ongoing like workflow where I know how much time I have every day to a lot to whatever the task may be. Because you're right, the truth is is you have the time and your your efforts will stretch to fill whatever amount of time you give them. So I know I have the time and it honestly hasn't shifted too terribly much since I've started Almanac but I am working a little bit more but by systemising it in that way of knowing when I'll be working on what and when it hasn't gotten me out of that chaotic startup phase and into the flow of running a business significantly faster. So for me really just like the day to day like daily grind of getting in here knowing when I'll be working on what and then moving right along has been really the habit that's helped me find order in the chaos.
Emily Thompson 46:09
Mindset, boundaries, habits, and routines. These are what turn a creative into a boss. These foundations and more makeup our new book Being Boss, Take control of your work and live life on your own terms. A guide slash workbook slash sleep with it under your pillow book filled with what we've learned over the years as working, thriving creative entrepreneurs. Plus what we've picked up from the hundreds of conversations with industry leaders and experts on the Being Boss podcast.
Kathleen Shannon 46:42
And it's all so that you can cultivate confidence in your work, make good money doing what you're best at, and live a life you love. To learn more about our book and order one for yourself. Go to beingboss.club/book.
Emily Thompson 46:56
And to check out almanacs supply company, head on over to AlmanacSupplyCo.com get 15% off of your first order with discount code being boss at checkout.
Kathleen Shannon 47:07
Do the work.
Emily Thompson 47:08