Kathleen Shannon 0:02
Hello and welcome to being boss,
Emily Thompson 0:05
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson. And I'm Kathleen Shannon.
And this episode of being boss, join it Kathleen and me a while we talk about my first year of Business at Almanac supply company. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot bien boss dot club.
Kathleen Shannon 0:32
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Emily Thompson 1:58
year that it is and what a very big year it has been. I'm excited to talk about it.
Kathleen Shannon 2:06
Alright, so let's give new listeners and our old listeners a quick recap of like your entrepreneurial journey and you starting Almanac and what Almanac is
Emily Thompson 2:15
right. So as Kathleen said I was born and was 1986 an entrepreneur, that's where it began. No. So my first business was in college, I was 18 I ran a tanning salon, I was able to buy it and run it for about two and a half years. And then I sold it. So I sold my first business at about the age of 20. And then I finished school and did a couple of college jobs. So I worked at a bank for a while I worked at like a home goods retail retail store. And I like home goods that store but the kind of store that sold home goods. And then whenever I graduated college, I had the choice of either going and becoming a GIS technician. So that was basically taking paper maps and digitizing them because my degree was in geography,
Kathleen Shannon 3:07
which kind of sounds like a dream at this point. Are you ever like I should have done that? There have been a couple
Emily Thompson 3:12
of times there have been a couple of times where that sounds more appealing than it did at that point in my life. But I went into geography because I wanted to be a park ranger like I went to I wanted to go frolic in Yellowstone, I didn't want to sit in a cubicle. So whenever I got to the end of it, and that was really what my next step looked like. I was very disillusioned and I did not want to do it. But I also had my daughter Lily, and I wanted to stay home with her because David was going to go continue his education with a master so we weren't going to go frolic in Yellowstone real world was I was either going to get a job and put my kid into daycare or I was going to figure out a way to work from home. So while I was finishing up college I had discovered at sea and I was I had opened up a shop on Etsy where I was making and selling jewelry. But I wasn't just operating on Etsy I was also doing lots of local markets I was doing I was even doing like parties for people that way we had people ask me to come and set up that I had one woman asked me to come do a party for all of her teacher friends. So I went and set up in like the faculty conference room at the school once and sold a shit ton of jewelry to some teachers at a school. So I was both like in real world and I had some wholesale accounts and those sorts of things, but also online on Etsy. So whenever I graduated, I was already I had already, like gotten into this online business world. I was super excited about it. I had even recently moved from Etsy into my own website, I design and develop my own website. And about the time that I graduated, I had people asking me to do websites for them to some of my creative friends that I had met on Etsy wanted their own on websites as well. So within a month of graduating college, I sold my first web site project. And then I sold my second and then my third and then my fourth. And within about three months, I had a full a full client roster and a web design business that just sort of happened out of nowhere. And I was making so much more money doing that than I was jewelry. And definitely, then I would have been as a GIS technician, digitizing maps. And I did that for 810 years or so. So that was indie shot biography, which is the business that I was running whenever I started this podcast with you.
Kathleen Shannon 5:40
Yep. And that's how we became friends is through indie shop autography. And I don't know, we're just kind of like online buddies reading each other's blogs, and we start hiring each other and sharing clients and all the things and we've shared this story. But what's really cool is that then you started almanaque supply company, about a year ago, and it was really is a full circle moment where you're going back to product, you're going back to retail, you're making things with your hands, and it kind of throws you back in square one, but from a whole new perspective with so much more experience and know how and resourcefulness and tools under your belt. So I want to talk today about that business and what you've learned starting a new business with this kind of new perspective.
Emily Thompson 6:28
Let's do it because I thought I had learned everything that I was going to learn from like this level of business, but Oh, Boy, was I wrong. So um, so I think the first thing that really hit home for me very early and is actually the reason why we ended up creating and making a business podcast is the fact that frosty feelings come up for anyone at any time, no matter when and where they are in business.
Kathleen Shannon 7:01
I mean, for me, I feel that the more success and I kind of put that in air quotes, because what even is it this is probably what I've learned along the way is that success is a bar that is constantly moving, and you never feel like you've reached it. But that success, the more I get of it, the more I have to sustain it. And then the more scared I get almost like I have more frosty feelings and trying to sustain it than I am in trying to reach it. So okay, but before we move into that, and how you're dealing with your feelings, can you explain real quick what Almanac supply company is?
Emily Thompson 7:36
Oh, for sure. Good thought, Kathleen. Um, right. So
Kathleen Shannon 7:40
this is my job.
Emily Thompson 7:42
Let's rewind, all that supply company as a product business that I started the very beginning of 2018, where it's maker and retail, and we're curating goods that help people live more aligned with the seasons. So this even even brings in like product and retail and all these things. But it also really brings in my geography background as well, this idea of what does it mean to live where you are and in accordance with the seasons. And so we're making some products and that includes our candles. We're also designing some things like some t shirts, and our crystal grid kits. And then we're also sourcing things as well. And these are crystals or gardening kits, or you know, smudge sticks and abalone shells, and all kinds of really sort of home goods. We want to bring that back full circle as well, that helped people that help people tune in to when and where they are and live more mindful and intentional lives.
Kathleen Shannon 8:46
Okay, so coming back to Friday feelings whenever you first told me that you were having some Friday feelings and we've had business bestie conversations off the podcast along the way where you shared this I was kind of shocked because one I just see you as being a really confident person who can just take life and work by the horns and own it right. So where did these frosty feelings come from? Deep
Emily Thompson 9:10
in my gut. real deep in my gut, I agree that it was just as surprising to me, I think as it was to you and maybe you know people who are even listening to this, but they pretty much started immediately like as soon as I decided that I wanted to do this I was hit with all of the frosty feelings we all you know here are like inner critic say around, you know, who am I to do this? Like, do I have enough experience? There are so many other people doing similar things like all of those, all of those feelings that come up out of nowhere, and I definitely think that for a long time I had even taken it for granted. What these things felt like even like here on the podcast hearing people say I'm feeling Froggy feelings of like she get over that, or whatever it may be, but it's really not that easy. So, so it came immediately and all of the usual places. And, you know, it reminded me that frosty feelings are the kinds of things that you that require constant vigilance in order to keep at bay. And I think I had become so quote unquote, comfortable. And you know, in the shut biography and being boss, where I was the boss of those, I had proven to myself, we were doing the thing and could show up and do hard things, because I had all this proof that I could show up and do hard things. But in this new thing, I didn't have the kind of proof that related itself directly to the new things. So they all crept back in.
Kathleen Shannon 10:42
Yeah, I think that it's really okay. So whenever I was younger, I did not have frosty feelings ever. And I think it's because I was approaching life as a beginner. And even through college, like, I'm still just figuring this out, I'm still learning as I go. But we are, you know, a decade into this thing. We are very much experts in what we do as far as online business and branding. And that side of things goes. So it's weird to have this expertise, mindset and all that confidence there. And then all of a sudden get thrown into the position of a beginner, it's almost hard to embrace that beginner mindset of Okay, I'm going to learn this and I'm starting fresh. It's all good. So do you feel like though once you were in it, some of those funny feelings dissolve just by getting in there and doing the work? Or are you still coming up against them? And how do you deal with it,
Emily Thompson 11:31
I'm still coming up against them, honestly, not so much now. And it's definitely something where it's funny. I've had to go back and reread chapter one of the being boss book a couple are excellent guns, chapter two, the mindset chapter like I've had to go back and read that shit a timer, too. And just remind myself that I can do this, I can do hard things like doing something new doesn't mean that you can't do it, all of these things. So they're still there, I definitely have some, you know, habits and routines in place that helped me chug along in spite of them. Like I can wake up one morning, and you know, think, Oh, I'm doing this new vein today, I don't think I can do it, or who am I to do it or whatever it may be and be like, whatever, I still have a to do list and I better go start checking it off.
Kathleen Shannon 12:18
Amen. And I think that this is where having that organization side of your business and those habits and routines and those systems and processes in place, it allows you to have the feelings that you're going to have, and that's fine, you should have those feelings and work through them. Like, no one starts a business thinking, Oh, this is going to be the easiest thing I ever do. And the battle is the process, the frosty feelings are part of the process. And it's just all it all takes work, right. And but then you can just rely on your to do list and checking off the boxes. Regardless of how you feel.
Emily Thompson 12:55
Absolutely, you just got to show up and do the work, regardless of what frati feelings are showing up for you.
Kathleen Shannon 13:02
And then you get stuff out the door, it's shipped, you're getting feedback, people are saying oh my gosh, I love this candle, this crystal is so awesome. And then you're starting to get into this feedback loop where you're starting to develop the proof, and it's coming in and your identity is becoming that of this shop owner. So that's another thing I'm going to talk about too is identity, I think that that is a big roll into Friday feelings. And as you're forming your identity, probably even as you're forming your frontal cortex before the age of 25. I think it's, I think it's you know, you can still be anything or do anything I don't know about you. But I feel like the older I get, and I'm still young, but you know, in my late 30s now at this point, I'm starting to feel like my identity is becoming a little bit more fixed. And if I'm approaching something new that doesn't fit this identity that I've already formed for myself, I feel a little frosty or unsure or uncertain or, you know, all the all the bad feelings.
Emily Thompson 14:03
Yeah, I've definitely had lots of thoughts around how I would feel if I were starting this business 10 years ago, or even five years ago, because I think it would be really different. I think a lot of my feelings have to do with my age, which really makes me even have that much more compassion for bosses out there who are you know, 40 5060 years old, who were you know, changing what they're doing and doing the thing and facing their body feelings like, my hat goes way off to you guys, for sure. Because I think I think something does happen especially when you cross that like 30 threshold, where you are who you are and changing it is that much harder. You have to prove it that much harder to yourself. It makes me want to, like look into that a little more just to like really uncover what's happening there. But mostly I just want to concrete within myself.
Kathleen Shannon 14:51
I also have these like when then statements that go through my head like when I'm 60 years old, that's when I'm really going to become an artist, like a capital a painter artist, or that's when I'm going to write my memoir, or that's when all these things are going to happen. So there's another thing that happens on the other side of age where it's like, oh, well, once I have a little more experience under my belt, or when certain things are in place, that's when I'll do this thing,
Emily Thompson 15:19
right? But no, I'm gonna do it now. Apparently, now.
Kathleen Shannon 15:26
Okay, so you've hit some bumps in the road, from finding just the right candle containers. You're like, Who knew how much drama could be around sourcing a candle canoe,
Emily Thompson 15:39
Who woulda thunk it? I would have probably rethought my first product if I knew it was going to be that hard. But yes.
Kathleen Shannon 15:47
And but then, like some bigger upsets kind of happen, like your business partner, your original business partner unexpectedly quitting. And so I'm curious to hear what you learned from these bumps, aka failures,
Emily Thompson 16:01
Kathleen Shannon 16:02
Well, some of those aren't failures, they are bumps, but you could take them personal. Yes. And see them as failures. Probably you could
Emily Thompson 16:10
and and I will admit that I did. I did for some period of time on both accounts, where you know, whether it was those containers, which I actually am very happy to say at the moment, I think we have solved the problem, though, I'm also going to knock on some wood. But then yes, my business partner also very unexpectedly quit, which was, you know, completely blindsided me, I was not expecting it, which is what unexpected means, um, and it hit me pretty hard, because she was also a friend of mine. And I thought that we had some better open communication than that. And it but it also taught me Actually, all of these things have taught me a lot. And whether that is, you know, consistently battling brand new frosty feelings, or frauding feelings that had pretty much quieted themselves to just come roaring back. Or, or if it was something like sourcing, which seems very practical or something as like, very feeling deep as having, as having my business partner quit, I learned a ton of lessons. And that's been one of the ways that I've had to really overcome each of these things, is remember that the lessons are all part of the process. And that every failure or bad thing or bump definitely has lessons in it, that will take you into the next steps. And gladly, I have enough business experience that I've had a significant amount of failures. And I definitely can look back on all of those now and see those lessons, even if I can't always see them in the moment. So I have learned a couple of big ones, one of which is that entrepreneurship is not for everyone. I think for a really long time I saw entrepreneurship as the solution to everyone's problem, if they didn't like their job, or if they wanted to try something new, or if they couldn't find a job, or whatever it was, my immediate reaction was always well, you should work for yourself. But I don't think that this kind of work is made for everyone. And I think that that was a mindset shift that I absolutely needed to make. And I think, even for the sake of being boss, and who it is that we're talking to, and how it is that we're talking to them, I always imagine that anyone could come into this space, and you know, start their own business. But I realized now that it is not a solution for everyone. And I also think it helps me shift my mindset around how it is that we hire a team. I've always struggled with this idea of why would someone work for me when they could work for themselves. But I think that not everyone can work for themselves. And so they need someone like us or me to to help them work. So that was a big mindset shift that I absolutely needed to make. And I made it happened.
Kathleen Shannon 18:49
What else do you learn?
Emily Thompson 18:50
I also learned that this skill of research is an underappreciated and completely valid and imperative skill, especially when it comes to sourcing.
Kathleen Shannon 19:05
Well, so I think that this is a core genius that you have that might be uncovered through this process, and or maybe just more articulated through this process, because you designed and developed your own website to sell your jewelry on like, I Oh, no, my husband is an engineer. And the thing that he says all the time is that it's not necessarily that he's smarter than everybody else, which he kind of is, but it's just your ability to Google and follow instructions. Yeah,
Emily Thompson 19:33
it isn't like an imperative skill.
Kathleen Shannon 19:37
And I think that you have the mind of an engineer where you're able to do that, like you're able to develop websites and you're able to source things and do some math and figure it out. And that's absolutely a skill.
Emily Thompson 19:49
Yeah, it is. And so I think for anyone you know who's listening this I definitely have done all the things that I've done not because I have any formal education I have a geography degree Hey guys, it's been because I know how to sit down at a computer or with a book and find the information I need and then act on it. And so that has definitely really come to light throughout this process, I think probably half of my work over the past year has really just been googling. It's been a researching and researching and researching all kinds of things. And whether that's, you know, sourcing products, or how it is that we, you know, make the best candles or how it is that we are going to, you know, position ourselves differently. All of that stuff has been done by me taking the time to open up Google and get really particular about what it is that I'm looking for. And then you know, accessing and retaining the information as needed, because I think there's just as much skill that goes through sifting information as it does. finding information is knowing what pieces of information to keep or not. So that has been a skill of mine that I've definitely shone a light on over the past year and is something that I really encourage everyone to practice, it sounds like almost silly. But research, I think all of us really only very surface use the internet, like we have the four sites that we go to regularly, one of them as probably Facebook, one of whom is probably Instagram, and then there you go, you get two more. And that's almost a disservice to what the internet is like what all is available to us, I've seen all kinds of means about this idea that we have more, more, you know, computing power and knowledge in the palm of our hand, then I mean, we basically have the human compendium of knowledge in the palm of our hand, and we use it to look at cat videos. So just think about
Kathleen Shannon 21:46
cat videos are valid, though. If I feel like I didn't even know what a meme was, until last month, I still kind of don't understand it.
Emily Thompson 21:56
You need to do some research as to the nature and history of means.
Kathleen Shannon 22:03
You're right. You're right of people. Right. Oh my gosh. And so then where did you turn to whenever you would hit bumps in the road, aside from research in the internet?
Emily Thompson 22:15
Sure. I think another thing that I learned through this season of of making a business and not making business of Almanac when writing making a business so making a business stuff is in my head.
Kathleen Shannon 22:27
One of the things which okay listeners making a business is our podcast for retailers and makers, it's really taking all of the stuff that we're sharing here and applying it specifically to our maker and retail audience. So check that out wherever you listen to your podcast or on our website at being boss club.
Emily Thompson 22:45
There you go,
Unknown Speaker 22:46
there you go.
Emily Thompson 22:47
So um, as I've hit bumps in the road, one of the things that's really come to the forefront is how important to me community is the people that I surround myself with either like physically, like in Chattanooga, and my in the town that I live in, or the city that I live in or online. And so as you and as the team and it's, you know, a wider group of bosses who you know, knows what's been going on. These people are showing up and buying from me, they're coming to pop up shops. It's also been connecting me with suppliers and vendors and local businesses and really sort of expanding that network and a whole new way and sort of give me that like that like frowny feeling Buster that I've got this and I can do this thing. I've also been able to turn to people to help me find solutions and whether that was you know, really, really looking at what website platform to build the website on or, or sourcing things for sure, like going to people who have been doing this and being able to tap their brains, and then also just lending an ear when things get hard because there have been some hard bumps in the road. So being able to turn to my people to give me advice or to to help me out as as those frosty feelings overcome, or whatever it may be. It has been has been really helpful. So it's again reiterated to me how important community is and it's one of those things that I definitely have taken again for granted as I've become a you know, decade long business owner and indie shop biography or reached, you know, almost four years here at being boss, where my community for those for those businesses, like the really tight knit community, but the people that I'm really talking to is like 234 people tops for each of those. But whenever you are just starting out business, you need to cast your net. Why do you need to look far and wide for your people. You need to gain information from as many sources as possible, I think and you can certainly put your head down and put your blinders on and there are times for that. But I think there are also times for really reaching out and because it's been so long since I've been in that Phase of business I had taken for granted how important that was. But I've really expanded my network a lot since since starting Almanac, because it's a brand new business, and I need to really tap a lot of people in my community to help make it happen.
Kathleen Shannon 25:16
Yeah, and I don't even think about it as casting your net wide, but just reaching out more and showing up more in the places that you haven't shown up to in a while. And so I think about whenever I first started my business, I really just found like a handful of people, but then I hung on to them hard, you know, and I'm still reaching out to some of those people that I very first started hanging out with at different conferences, and people I was sharing a room with, you know, at different random places that I was traveling to. And the cool thing about that is that they're not just helping you, but you're helping them. And we're all in it together. And it really does create this economy of creatives that really support each other, like, financially, emotionally. And I just think it's so cool. I think it's really cool to see that happen. And I don't know, especially like around, it's so funny, because I'm making a business, we keep talking about Christmas time, like our mantras. It's all about Christmas, right? But even just like being able to support my community, like locally and shopping small and that sort of thing, or knowing exactly who to go to whenever someone asks me if I know a Shopify developer, you know, different things like that, where you know, these little bits and pieces of things that you don't know, and you know exactly who to go to for the answer. It's a really cool thing. It is. I know, I just went on a huge tangent there. But I think that it's also kind of being discerning about tuning into, like your people, and then staying in touch with them.
Emily Thompson 26:50
Yeah, yeah, I definitely, I definitely have been or have a renewed sense of importance around what that active engagement with community means and what it can mean for a small business, especially when that's just starting up. Which really brings me to you, I think, my biggest lesson of all, and like all of this combined equates to a completely renewed compassion for the startup phases of small business owners like, Guys, I feel you, I'm totally feeling you. And even and even as someone who's been in this for as long as I have who's, you know, built businesses the way that I have, I still feel it. So even feel free to take some comfort in knowing that, like, what you're feeling is not wrong. It's not bad. It's not saying that you're doing it wrong. It's just what it feels like to start a business.
Kathleen Shannon 27:43
Anyway, even to keep running a business. I don't know that the feeling ever goes away, it does get a little bit more comfortable, I would say at two years, and then again at five years, and that kind of longevity does tend to provide a certain amount of security. But then if you're constantly leveling up and being more boss, and you're always hitting new roadblocks, absolutely. All right. What habits or routines did you have to implement in order to start a new business from scratch?
Emily Thompson 28:11
Good question. Um, so i think i think it started with revisiting the basics. So it was it was restructuring my morning routine. For example, I started getting up early, I've really sort of embraced getting up early this year, which is something that I've sort of danced with off and on for the past always, but it never really stuck with but this year, it's been something that I've made a priority getting up early. So that's like sick Wait, like what time
6666 or 630. And this is setting an alarm I did for a while I did for in order to like just get my circadian rhythm into this place where I recognize that that was the time that I need to wake up. But I don't have to do that anymore. And as if you guys have been listening this for a long time, you'll know that I hate alarm clocks. I'm morally opposed to them. So that was like a big breaking my own rule in order to help me adjust to a new routine. But I did it and now I'm getting up naturally six and 630 every morning, or most mornings, maybe not always Saturday and Sunday. But also David and I usually that talking shop so in case you haven't gone to listen to the second season and making a business. Whenever my business partner quit it made David Nye my life partner, have a hardcore conversation about what was going to happen with Almanac and I decided to bring David on as my new Almanac partner because I had no intentions of running Almanac by myself. I couldn't do that. Or I wouldn't do that. I probably could but I'd have to stop all the other things in order to do it. So I brought on David. So we live together. We have a baby together. And now our morning routine usually involves some aspect of talking shop and that may be You know, over tea and coffee in the morning, and maybe sometimes it's Pillow Talk, or whatever it may be, but there's some some business talk that's happening in the morning. I'm also making room in my daily and weekly work schedule to focus on Almanac as my side hustle, which is basically what it is. So that usually, it's usually an afternoon, I think I've found that being mostly my, mostly my jam is once all my other things are out of off my plate, I can focus on doing some Almanac things. And then it's also added a layer to my
Kathleen Shannon 30:30
Oh, wait, I have a question real quick. Yes. So one of the things that you used to do was a no meeting day. It used to be Thursdays Do you feel like that's had to go by the wayside this year, as you've been doing almanacs,
Emily Thompson 30:41
it has for them has Yes, I still try to keep one day free of meetings. But it has snuck or meetings have snuck onto that day more so this year than they have previously. And especially like as the year has gone on. I'm still I still try to keep one free. But and honestly, anything is an almanac problem. That's more like a travel problem. I feel like I'm always like, there's always like a Friday that I need to take off because I need to go do something or you know, we're taking off a week to go travel to Toronto or New Orleans or whatever. So like, I just need those extra days for meetings because I'm taking so many others days, so many other days off for non meeting things. So I don't know if that's really an almanac issue so much as life is just full.
Kathleen Shannon 31:33
I will say that like the benefit of flexibility and work in life has well Okay, so this summer, this last summer for me was a more than ever before a summer filled with kids stuff, like Fox would have off for weeks at a time It felt like and just random days here and there and vacations and all the things. But it's forced me to also be more flexible in some of my boundaries. And again, coming back to that breaking some of my own rules in order to accommodate all the flexibility that the rest of my working life have afforded me.
Emily Thompson 32:07
Yeah, yeah, I've definitely felt that a lot this year, where I feel like a lot of my life and work has been restructured, both like fitting something new into it. But also because I like to keep the flexibility of new opportunities or you know, kid days at the aquarium or whatever. So that's meant that something that I used to cold or used to hold very fast and true, like my Thursday, no meetings has sort of gone by the wayside so that I can do some of the other things that I want to do. And I'm not mad about it by any means, especially when I get to, you know, Jet Set around the country for a couple of weeks, or, or take most Fridays off during the summer, because that's what I did, I took most Fridays off to go hiking, or to take little day trips and those sorts of things. And if I'm taking Friday off to be with my family, I don't mind having some meetings on Thursday so that I can do it.
Kathleen Shannon 33:00
Okay, so I think that you were about to talk about your CEO day, which is something that we do. I mean, you do it once a month, I do it more like once a year. So what are your CEO days looking like?
Emily Thompson 33:14
So these days in my CEO Day is a day that I sit down and I'm the CEO of my business is plural, because or on these days, I'm sitting down, and I'm looking at all my numbers, so profit, income, expenses, all of those things, as well as any big projects that are coming up what sort of is on the marketing calendar, what big, what big tasks Do you know need to be managed and delegated are simply done like really looking every month at how the business performed in the last month and what's coming in the pipeline for the month ahead. And I do use a lot of the tools that we have available in our CEO day kit. I use all of them every single year. But then every month I'm usually pulling out especially that like marketing and revenue worksheet, that's one of the ones that I pull out every single month. And then I found myself checking in with my values a whole lot over the past year. So now that I have Almanac though my CEO day where I used to just sit down and look at being boss or you know, also in the shop biography which I'm looking at that less now that we have off boarded our website clients. I've now added the layer of looking at Almanac so seeing you know how much money we made last month and what were our expenses was, you know, money being spent anywhere that it shouldn't have been or where it could have been spent better. And then what's coming down the pipeline. So for us, our new motto getting ready for Christmas, or it's all about Christmas, you know, really thinking about how it is that we can consistently be preparing for the busiest shopping season of the year. So my CEO Jay has the added layer of Almanac now
Kathleen Shannon 34:58
and then are you doing those on this Same Day, or do you do separate CEO days for being boss one and then Almanac one? Or do you just lump it
Emily Thompson 35:05
all together, lump it all together. So I pick one day where I can usually spend the morning doing being boss. So I'm looking over all of that, because there's so much more that's going on. And within that business, I do that one. And I usually take my lunch, and come back and look over Almanac and that one's usually consistently faster and easier, because it's just David Nye, I'm not really thinking about a whole team and a whole community. And you know, all of the projects is just how many candles and crystals did we sell and when are we going to buy more. So it's all on one day, and then I try to take the day or the rest of the day off, because by then my brain is usually pretty fried.
Kathleen Shannon 35:42
Alright, what else
Emily Thompson 35:44
other than those things, my habits and routines have stayed more or less the same. And it's because I've been so adamant about setting up my life thus far, in a way that really supports lots of productivity. So, and I just mentioned this a little bit in the typography. We off boarded all of our clients in April. So really about the time that Almanac was really starting to build up and the was more or less going away and we are doing some things at nd now like you know, some speaking gigs and some masterminding and things like that. But those are relatively small, relatively small, like area of my like focus, because definitely focus on those when I'm focusing on those. But now what's the word? It's like?
Kathleen Shannon 36:29
It's a gig. It's gig work that doesn't fit into being boss, and it doesn't fit into almoner. Right. It's kind of more of like a back end way. Well, no, not necessarily because you've got masterminding and it's kind of almost more like your personal brand, right.
Emily Thompson 36:44
And so like it's just over there doing its thing I'm showing up and doing the work. It's great. But pretty much as indie show Pog, Rafi though Moral of the story, as it was leaving Almanac was really gearing up. So now it's not much different than it was when I was doing being Boston, nd it's just now it's being Boston Almanac. So I had a lot of habits and routines already in place, I had a really strong foundation that I've just been able to grow other endeavors on top of one of the things that I have been focusing on a lot lately that I've learned from many years of doing this kind of work is the effort with which you start something's often the effort to require to sustain it. Well, there's our quote for that episode, right. And I've learned this too from like watching hundreds 1000s even of creative entrepreneurs who start a business, you know, all gung ho doing the thing, the host the wall, if you will, and then they get it started, and then they're burned out, but they still have to show up on that level in order to keep the business running. And I've been very, very mindful of not letting that happen. So even though there have been plenty of days where like 7pm rolls around or putting Lily to bed, and I'm thinking I could go in there and design some more things or write some more social or do all these things for Almanac that I'm not doing during the day, because I'm working on being bored. And I think Nope, I'm gonna eat some ice cream and go to bed, or whatever it may be. Because I know that to sustain a business, that you use that kind of energy to start, you have to use that kind of energy or have some massive and probably painful transition somewhere along the way. So I've been really, really adamant about not driving too hard and fast, but instead focusing on this being a really fun and easy business to run. And that's really made me step back in ways where in other businesses that I've started to run, I've really gone at it with a different energy. And thus far, I'm happy with that decision, I probably could be growing Almanac faster, I could almost definitely be making more money, I could do all of these things. But I'm happy with that.
Kathleen Shannon 39:03
And I think that's where we have to come back and look at our resources. We only have so much time, money and energy. So if you had all the money in the world, you could hire all the help in the world. But also part of building this business was to have a new creatively fulfilling thing to do see, don't want to just outsource all of it because you actually like doing it. Right? Yes. And then there's time, you know, there's only so much time and then energy of course, there's only so much time and energy that you can pour into something without it. Flipping on you and becoming a source of resentment or something that's just exhausting. You are burning you out.
Emily Thompson 39:39
Yeah. Right. And so and I've kept all of those things in mind. And I always think of those very long term like I could hire it all out now but then I'd probably hired all out forever, which and at some point I will hire things out but at the moment I am enjoying doing it and I don't want to spend all of my resources on that now. So it has been, again, a very mindful, go at business online. Like any I've ever started before, because I have all this experience and insight in my pocket now, that allows me to see the results of your actions this early in business.
Kathleen Shannon 40:14
Okay, so at braid creative whenever we're taking creative entrepreneurs through the braid method, we always ask them in this one exercise, what their like inner, inner whisper and outer shout is. So I want to go to your like, inner whisper. And I'm shifting this little from how we do it at braid, but I want to like see at one year in, if you could go back and just almost like gently whisper something in Emily of a year ago in your ear, what would it be?
Emily Thompson 40:46
I think? I think that's simple. Right? Keep it simple. And that's something I remember, I think I heard that whisper a year ago, I think I did, because I remember, I remember deciding I was going to do this. And then having all of the ideas as a creative does. And I remember thinking, nope, I got to pare it down, we're gonna do candles I'm not gonna do I'm not gonna launch to 25 products, even though I really want to, we're going to launch with two candles and crystals period. So I did a really good job of keeping it simple. I think I probably should have kept it that simple, a little longer. Even I'm not like mad about it by any means. Or I haven't done anything that I regret by any means. But I still think that there are areas in which I could have kept it a little more simple. So you know, it's been really, really easy for me to want to do all the things. But I think I could have gotten more narrow. And then also, it's all about Christmas.
Kathleen Shannon 41:53
Because I keep it simple. And it's
Emily Thompson 41:55
always about Christmas. And again, if you guys want to hear more about this new motto of ours, feel free to go check out making a business because I talk about that a ton. But I didn't really start thinking about Christmas until probably July. And I think that was too late. I think I probably could have and should have started thinking about it a little bit earlier immediately. But
Unknown Speaker 42:21
Emily Thompson 42:23
I did it.
Kathleen Shannon 42:24
Okay, so Christmas. Yeah, go listen to making a business. Because here I want to talk a little bit more about being intentional about starting simple, but you said that you could have gotten more narrow. And I think that this is something that creative entrepreneurs are so afraid to do. But it can really launch the success of your business out the gate, the more narrow and concise and focus you are. So tell me more about that. Like in what ways could you have gotten more narrow? What have you done to course correct? I mean, are you because I feel like whenever I think about Almanac I think about candles and crystals, even though you have sold some other things like mushroom kits and birdhouses and books. So I still think you've done a good job as far as really staking your claim and what you want to be known for and stayed narrow as far as the branding goes. But is there stuff on the business side or retail side that you would have stayed more narrow with?
Emily Thompson 43:19
No, I. Again, I don't regret this decision by any means. But I think the big one being you know, we started with crystals, candles and crystals, crystals and candles all day long. But in spring, we decided to expand the offering or like the product line a little bit we did the mushroom, cats, the garden kids those sorts of things. And again, I'm not mad about it because I think that it was important for us to further define the brand. I think it also could have waited another season or two. So it may be not getting more narrow, but maybe staying narrow a little longer. And again, I don't regret it. If I were to go back I probably would have kept it narrow longer. And maybe like added those things like really when Christmas got here. But I also I found the practice very reassuring because they sold like this idea that you know, if I start with kinos and crystals and then I add products later, will it make sense and when people buy them, it did make sense and people did buy them so I did what I needed to do by doing it. But I think I could have done that just as well if I'd waited a little longer to do it.
Kathleen Shannon 44:28
Okay, gotcha. Alright, so now let's go to the outer shout if you can get a megaphone and shout something from the rooftops and this is so this isn't your inner whisper to yourself and for our listeners I want you to do this for yourself to like think about what you would whisper to yourself and if it comes to your brand and business vision and what it is that you're doing but then also the thing that you want to shout from the rooftops the thing that you want everybody to know about you and your business and so Emily a year in what is it that you want everyone to really know about almanaque supply company or even just your mission and what it is that you're trying to do.
Emily Thompson 45:07
Another good question, Kathleen, if I had a megaphone, I would stand up on a rooftop, and man is gonna sound so freakin cliche, I hope you're ready for it. I think it would be around living and working with the seasons. This, oh, I just totally hit my microphone, I hope you get really excited. And I must lose my hands in the air when I said that. And I have a microphone. And that is definitely like, obviously the mission of what we're doing. But it's been something that's been further reiterated, as I've shown up to do this work. So like, Whoa, little meta, but true, is that matter? I don't think that's the definite, you know what I mean? anywho. Um,
Kathleen Shannon 45:50
again, it's a little mirror in a mirror that your positioning is live and work with the seasons. And then you're also finding that to become more and more true for yourself in your own work in life.
Emily Thompson 45:59
Yes, and as I've shown up for this business, and how it is that you build a business, and this may go right back to It's all about Christmas, and this idea of really thinking about your business and seasons. And I don't even think necessarily like sometimes I tried to get really narrow with like, okay, there are four seasons a year, spring, summer, winter fall, I have to figure out what each of the mean, and then do those things in that time, or whatever it may be. But I also think you're one is a season. So really looking at these like macro, that's macro macro seasons of like these larger brushstrokes that make up so I
Kathleen Shannon 46:34
know what it makes me think about, it makes me think about like, what's in your orbit, that extra size that we have in our book with, like what you're surrounding yourself with, but literally, whenever you think about an orbit, and the planets going around the sun, the planets that are closer to the sun are going around faster, the planets that are further from the sun are going around slower. And I think that's reflected in our businesses, as well. Like there's some things that are seasonally putting that in quotes moving really fast and changing quickly. And there's some things that are have like a longer trajectory and a longer shelf life.
Emily Thompson 47:10
Yeah, I mean, I think mercury versus Neptune here, guys. Where, where, yes, it's, it's something that I totally, I totally feel happening where like, you know, my social media is like a daily cycle, basically, but really like starting a business or these year long strokes. And then also just really uncovering what happens in between. And I think what happens in between this Christmas, is the things that you're doing in order to prepare for something like that, or get over something like that, whichever season you may find yourself in. And I love that that lesson. It really is what I'm trying to share like not even with all you business minded folks. But with everyone, this idea that you can, you can work you can create, but you can live with the seasons in a way that has you showing up. And you know, providing value or doing the work or finding fulfillment or whatever it may be with these like natural cyclical rhythms that can be you know, nicely reminded to you, that's not the correct structure that sentence by looking outside and seeing what's happening in nature. It's really what I'm here to do. But I'm continually learning that lesson so hard, as well.
Kathleen Shannon 48:31
Okay, so earlier, you mentioned that you've been going back to your values worksheet from our CEO day kit, and I'm curious to hear how your values have really played into what you're creating an almanac.
Emily Thompson 48:44
Well, my values are, hold on, I have to remember them. Now my values are freedom, and creativity and respect has been one that's been coming up a lot for me. And so freedom is one where, you know, the idea of freedom or the value of freedom is really one of the ones that plays into me not overdoing it of not showing up balls, the ball doing all the things because I want to maintain freedom in my life and not give it away to starting up a new business. So that one's really held true for for how it is that I show up and work. You know, creativity is one where I am. I'm loving building this brand. I'm loving designing and curating these products. This is a place where I can really flex a creative muscle that I don't get to very often in in other businesses that I have or have run. So it's really fun for me to source and make products and make them beautiful and make them all beautiful together and all of these things. So it's been really great to focus on that into Also very mindfully, find joy in that, because a lot of times, you know, designing the label for something is just another task on my to do list. So it's me sitting down and going, Okay, Emily, today's dream job day, you get to sit down and design some cool shit.
Kathleen Shannon 50:19
Oh my gosh, this resonates with me so much. I was designing our Xen for our Nola vacation, and I was like, Oh, my God, I sit down and do this. And then I opened it up. And I was like, this is I have the coolest job ever, that I get to design a Xen for a vacation that we get to take with our bosses. Yes,
Emily Thompson 50:36
is amazing, right. So really tapping into that value to reminding myself that like, I do find joy and fulfillment in this like, this is important, even though it is a task of my to do list, which a lot of people including me can feel kind of negatively about sometimes, it's really helped me find joy in this process, when I'd rather be you know, in the guard doing something. But
Kathleen Shannon 50:58
I also feel like that ties into your value of respect a little bit like I think of respect, and I want to hear your take on it. But like, I think of respect as kind of seeing something and being seen, you know, and so seeing a task for what it is, like I respect that this task is creative, I respect that this tax task is administrative, and it just needs to be done, like. So tell me more about respect and how that plays an element. I
Emily Thompson 51:23
haven't even thought about that. But that's genius. And I will accept that definition for sure. But I think I think a lot in terms of building a responsible business, and making sure that I'm respecting Mother Earth in any way that I can. But also communicating that to others as well. Because I think that once people start living seasonally, they begin gaining some sort of respect for the planet because a connection is being made. And as that connection grows, the respect grows. And so that's something that I focus on a lot like, how is it that I can position and share content in this brand that helps people more efficiently and effectively gain that connection so that their own respect is then is then grown or cultivated, but it also makes me think of, you know, making sure that we're not packing with environmentally unfriendly packing peanuts, or whatever it may be. So it really has, it really has informed a lot of our decisions in terms of what products we're producing, how it is there, we are mailing them to people, all of those things was played into several aspects of the business.
Kathleen Shannon 52:44
I also feel like you super respect your audience, you're always asking them for feedback and what they're liking and also just even shipping things super quickly. I think that there's a lot of respect happening all around in your business.
Emily Thompson 52:58
Yeah, I mean, it's, it's not funny, it's fact that I love a good customer experience. Like if anyone would like to go to me or go with me to a couple of restaurants, or like go shopping with me, I love a good shop or restaurant that just like crosses all the T's and dotting all the eyes and really gives a fantastic fantastic experience like I have great respect for the kinds of business owners that put that kind of attention to detail into what it is that they're offering to the world and so that is funny like I think if I really get down to my like core reason for doing all of this and especially one day turning it into a brick and mortar, it's to like make the kind of store that I most want to visit that really is like that that in flow with creating an amazing experience for my audience. So at the moment that does mean making sure our packages are shipped out so tight and so fast that you guys are Mind blown by that experience because that's all I can do at the moment but you guys just wait one day you guys just wait
Kathleen Shannon 54:11
alright on the more practical side of things and then we'll wrap this up a what I'm willing tools or software has been really helpful in running a retail business.
Emily Thompson 54:22
Well I hate to be that asshole that goes into some self promo but CEO day kit guys legit. I am printing out those worksheets all the time as a new business I find them so helpful. And I know because I still use them for being boss as well that I will continue to you find them useful. It's so important to sit down one day a month and just know what's happening in your business. And so CEO daycare gives me the tools and the guidance even though I created the guidance to make sure that I'm looking at all the pieces of my business that I need to so if you guys need something helps you to daycare but legit. I'm using it monthly.
Kathleen Shannon 55:04
And you can find that at WWW dot being boss club
Emily Thompson 55:08
through that or without Kathleen's grazie W's courses dot being boss club use word to say www. Okay, and then we're also loving Shopify. So I know there's lots of chatter always going on about what website hosts should you use all the things. We're loving Shopify a ton I could definitely see growing in that on that platform, one of my favorite things if they're not even paying us, they're not even I wish they would just email me back though.
Kathleen Shannon 55:41
Please, please, Colorado,
Emily Thompson 55:43
we have people that listen to this podcast who need to know more about you, and I'm not going to continue talking about you, I'm just going to use you unless you would like to come hang out with us legit. Anyway, so I do love Shopify a ton. Um, I my most exciting favorite thing is that it this is like one of those tech geek weird things, but it does cross not even platform cross place. inventory control. So like, I can have a pop up shop and a website. And if I sell something in a pop up shop, it goes off the website and vice versa. And as someone who's been working in websites for a decade, guys, that is some unique and beautiful functionality that makes growing a business so much more easy. So you're not having to consistently update inventory, from your point of sale to your website, it just all go away.
Kathleen Shannon 56:37
So if you're at a pop up shop and someone buys a crystal on the website, do you get pinged and alerted and what if someone's literally holding that crystal in there snatch that
Unknown Speaker 56:46
shit out? I'm sorry, that's already been sold.
Emily Thompson 56:52
Right? I mean, I guess that could technically happen. But yes, I'm getting little notifications every time I get a cell. Or I suppose if they were checking out it would say you know, no longer in stock, as well. So like I could physically not do that. I have heard some things around like especially the craziness of you know, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, if lots of people are checking out literally at the same time that there can be certain inventory issues. But that's any platform ever is that like point of sale, physical and website side that just again, whenever I discovered that functionality is a functionality that I had been looking for in a decade of making websites for small business owners, it exists and it's called Shama
Kathleen Shannon 57:33
file. All right, what's making you feel most boss lately?
Emily Thompson 57:40
Every time David's phone makes the money sound. Cheap it is it goes to Ching because Shopify sends us those little notifications every time we make an order. I never have my phone ringer on so it doesn't really it's not my phone that's making the noise. David has set the sound of that notification to change. So we'll just be hanging around in the house and then David's phone from somewhere we'll go checking if we're like
Kathleen Shannon 58:13
what that really is
Emily Thompson 58:14
someone has checked out on the being boss website so we've made a sell someone has come over and gotten some candles or some rocks and it's just again those little bitty pieces of proof that come show that what you're doing is wanted by other people. So I feel super super boss. Every time I hear the money sound
Kathleen Shannon 58:36
alright and where can our listeners follow Almanac
Emily Thompson 58:38
Almanac supply company or excuse me whoa Almanac supply co.com. To come check out our website and shop or the only social media platform at least at the moment am on his Instagram at Almanac supply CO
Kathleen Shannon 58:54
and of course you can follow the journey of Emily and Almanac over on our podcast called Making a business our second season has launched so go listen to that at our website or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Hey bosses, I want to tell you about the CEO day kit. The CEO day kit is 12 months of focus planning for your business in just one day. So Emily and I have packaged up the exact tools that we've been consistently using for years that have helped us grow from baby bosses to the CEOs of our own businesses. gain clarity find focus, get momentum, prioritize your time, make better decisions and become more self reliant with the CEO day kit. Go to courses that being boss club to learn more and see if it's a fit for you and your business.
Emily Thompson 59:48
Thank you for listening to being boss. If you're looking for more help and being boss of your work in life accom check out our website where you can find Episode shownotes browser archives and access free resources like worksheets, trainings, quizzes and more. It's all at WWW dot being boss dot club. Do the work. Be boss