Episode 152

The Uncaged Life with Rebecca Tracey

November 28, 2017

How do you live an uncaged or semi-nomadic life while being your own boss? Rebecca Tracey shares how to live life on your own terms while being your own boss and allowing shifts and transitions in your business to keep yourself from getting boxed in.

This Episode Brought to You By:
"Take a step. That's what gets you on this weird, winding path that eventually gets you somewhere pretty awesome."
- Rebecca Tracey

Discussed in this Episode

  • Starting a business while embarking on a road trip
  • Making shifts and transitions in your business
  • How to live an "uncaged life"
  • Working in cycles
  • Making money and setting money goals
  • Caging yourself in vs. setting up boundaries


More from Rebecca Tracey

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:03
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:07
And I'm Kathleen Shannon. Hi, I'm Rebecca Tracy and I am being boss. Today we're talking with Rebecca Tracy about living an uncaged life. And the uncage life is where Rebecca works with her clients from all over the world who want to have the freedom of working from anywhere by running their own online business. whenever she's not working. She is rock climbing, traveling, riding her bike around Toronto, and rappelling off cliffs with her dog rhubarb on her pack. And as always, you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss club. Alright, bosses, I hope the IRS isn't listening to this because I have a confession to make. I am really good at tracking my expenses, but I'm not the best at saving my receipts. I know it's 2017. And we still need printed receipts. But get this fresh books cloud accounting has made it easy. You can simply photograph your receipts with your phone, attach them to your expense, and be 100% legit. freshbooks has a lot of features for tracking your expenses, including tax friendly categories multicurrency, expenses and easy to read categorization. Try fresh books cloud accounting for free by going to fresh books.com slash being boss. And enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? Rebecca, thanks for joining the show. We're so excited to have you on Hey, thanks for having me. It's so nice to meet you guys. Finally, I know Finally, right and we get to hang out. We were just saying that like in this creative entrepreneur bubble. We all kind of cross paths like on Instagram and wherever. And it's always really cool to get to sit down and have a chat. These chats always feel to us like having beers or coffee with someone in real time. And so that's what this is gonna be sweet. I'm gonna go grab a beer. I didn't know that was part of it. Oh, gosh, you should totally go out there before though. Right? I

Emily Thompson 2:15
almost brought a glass of wine today. Like it's just been one of those weeks where I was like, well, one and like, because I know both of you enough that like it wouldn't be too terribly unprofessional. But I just brought water because no one needs to hear that today. But I really thought about today.

Kathleen Shannon 2:29
I've been limiting my drinking to the weekends and I definitely went out and bought a couple of bottles of wine last night. Nice. It's almost the weekend. Good. I didn't drink both bottles of wine. I only had one glass but I'm feeling you Emily. Like there's something about this week that calls for wine.

Emily Thompson 2:45
Yeah, same. I went and bought two bottles of wine yesterday as well. It's like I was grocery shopping yesterday morning. And I was like, I am not going to drink it at 9am telling yourself you're not gonna drink up and had a glass of wine last night as well. And I don't I don't drink wine hardly ever anymore these week just called for a really chewy red wine times two.

Kathleen Shannon 3:11
Okay, so you're in Toronto now? Is that where you live? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You started your entrepreneurial journey out of a van. Right? I did. Yeah. Tell us about it.

Rebecca Tracey 3:21
Yeah, it's exciting, because I'm actually right now in the process of looking at buying another van with my partner. So it's kind of all coming full circle, which is super interesting. Yeah, I knew that I wanted to start this thing. I did not know what this thing was, I had a sense, this thing is not what it is. Now. It's very different than and my boyfriend at the time, we're talking about buying a van and going on a big rock climbing trip. I didn't want to postpone starting this thing for another eight months, which is how long we were planning on going for. So I was like, great. We're leaving four months. That's enough time for me to like whip up a website and start blogging and try to figure out what the hell I'm doing. Try to get some like some money and some clients coming in before we go. And then while I was on the road, every rest day that we had from climbing I'd be like holed up in a Starbucks or McDonald's wherever had Wi Fi just like banging out content and networking and just sort of all of the online business see things?

Kathleen Shannon 4:13
Well, and what was it that you were doing for a living at the time, like how were you making money

Rebecca Tracey 4:17
I wasn't. So I didn't come from like a full time job that I had to quit. I was doing a little bit of blogging and social media stuff for an online wellness company. So that's kind of how I got like, that's kind of my foray into online business is working for this online wellness company. I was doing some I was doing some nutrition work before that and life coaching before that, but none of it was really ever kind of a full time thing. So I was kind of in this law actually, it was like I was working. Like I was making money by working in a restaurant at the time. So it wasn't like oh my god quit my job and travel. It was like well quit this kind of half assed job i'm doing i don't really care but anyways and start this thing that's gonna be really cool. So yeah, I wouldn't advise anyone started this will go on a big But yeah, it's it was a good experience like much like Burning Man, it was valuable.

Emily Thompson 5:07
Yeah, right. And so it evolved into something more than just like a quote unquote thing. You've How long have you been working like in growing your online business? And what was the evolution of like, because we all know that they all evolve. Yeah.

Rebecca Tracey 5:24
So that was in 2011, like November 2011, to like, end of 2011 that I started. So it's been six years ish. Is that six years? Yeah, yeah. And it, I mean, it evolved in terms of what I actually do. So it started as my approach I was still working with, with mostly new entrepreneurs, a lot of my clients were brand new life coaches, or brand new nutritionists, they were my friends, those were the two worlds I was in, I was like, I need people to coach, I need clients, who can I go to. So it's all kind of people that I knew when I started. And they were all starting your practices. And I was doing, I was doing everything from more of a life coaching angle, kind of really helping them dig deep into their values and sort of what they wanted their mission to be and helping them sort of turn that into their business, the more that my business grew, and the more that I learned, and the more that I kind of experimented with things, I realized I didn't, I wasn't that great at life coaching, I really just wanted to teach and tell people what to do. So I kind of straddled the line for a little bit and really hesitated to call myself like a marketer or a business coach or any of that kind of stuff, until I got to a point where I realized that that's what I was doing. And that was was what I was much better at. So I had to kind of do some coaching myself and ultimately give myself permission to drop the coaching aspect and turn more towards of teaching. Which may not sound like a big difference. But it was to be to me, I was like this is like, you know, two totally separate things. It's not, it's just a different way of working with people. But I think we all go through those evolutions where we change our mind a little bit, or we we want to do something a little bit differently. But it's Oh, but I can't do that. Because that's not what my business is. And so I think that's like that was a good lesson to learn early on, because it continues to come up for me. I'm sure for you guys, too. I think it happens for everyone.

Kathleen Shannon 7:09
Yeah, I mean, isn't it so funny how quickly we can impose these rules and limitations on ourselves? Whenever the whole point of working for yourself is to be able to do whatever you want, right?

Emily Thompson 7:22
Yeah, for sure. And I mean, in those, I feel like it's always those little transitions, like between coaching and teaching or between. Like, for me designing, developing like those little bitty transitions, like in the exact same field doing more or less the exact same thing, but a little bit differently, is, is a really big transition, even though it seems like such a small, insignificant one, like those little wins can take so much time to actually like grab a hold up.

Rebecca Tracey 7:51
I know. And the funny thing is that our clients probably don't have any idea that we've made it. Like they're like design development, I don't even know the difference just like do my thing. Or like, you know, coaching teaching, like I don't really care, just tell me how to do my business. So it's like, our clients don't notice any of it. It's like all our own mindset stuff. That's the thing. It's super interesting thing to notice. Yeah, I work with that with my clients all the time, where they're like, oh, but I can't do this. I'm like, nobody knows what you do. So you actually can make this switch and it's not gonna be like, you know, like kicking yourself in the ass or like shooting your what's the expression putting your business in the

Unknown Speaker 8:34
learning something not kicking yourself in the

Rebecca Tracey 8:39
a drink my brain? Yeah, this is my Burning Man brain, there's an expression that you're not going to ruin your business. If you do this thing. That's the one I'm looking for. shooting yourself in the foot, shooting yourself in the foot.

Kathleen Shannon 8:51
shooting yourself in the foot. I don't not gonna be doing that if you make a change.

Emily Thompson 8:57
For sure. So then tell us about the uncaged life because you have sort of bundled up what it is that you do or like found yourself in this place in your path where you are making a really big impact with with people who were trying to start businesses that allow them a certain amount of freedom. So tell us about the uncaged life and and why that name like what does that mean for you?

Unknown Speaker 9:22
Yeah, well, the

Rebecca Tracey 9:23
name I got kind of got lucky with the name it the name happened before anything else happened. I didn't really know what I was doing in my business. And I was working with someone to just help me get like, the basics of like the basic bones of a website app. I think I paid them like $200 and she did copywriting too. And so she like it brainstormed a bunch of names. And that was one of them. And I was like, oh, that actually works really well. Let's just go with it and it's stuck. I liked the idea that the people that I was working with at the time were the people that I envisioned myself working with were people who were really sick of kind of the conventional the conventional nine to five lifestyle they were wanting more freedom, more travel more adventure. I live That life always I've never had a nine to five, I think I had one for six months. And then I was like, this sucks. Um, so I always love that way. And the the thing that people were always coming to me, for before I had my business was like, how do you do it? Like, how do you? How do you just live this dream life? And my answer was like, well, mostly I'm broke. But, um, so I really like the idea of helping people sort of like break out of that break out of that cage. And it's worked really well, because as my business has shifted, that core message of that core theme has stayed the same. So now a lot of my clients are solopreneur types like we are. So coaches, lots of life coaches, still lots of people in the health and wellness field, other business coaches, designers, writers, people who want to be able to work at home from their laptop like this, without having to, you know, put on pants and go into an office. So uncaged can mean a lot of different things for a lot of people. And actually, most of my clients now have families, they want to be able to work at home and be with their kids, or they just want to have like, you know, go to go to new yoga classes. They're not necessarily like I need to travel the world and live in a van and do all these things. So I feel like uncaged is really just, it's a word that can kind of you can, you can take it to use it for however you want your life to look like.

Kathleen Shannon 11:13
So aside from being okay, with being a little broke, or maybe appropriately budgeting or getting your money in order to the point where you can live an uncaged life. What do you think are some of the things that entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs should really focus on first, when starting a business?

Rebecca Tracey 11:36
I think well, so I mean, first of all, the one thing that I am a huge advocate for is keeping your job. And I see a lot of people who are really, really rushed to, like, get out of the job and start the thing, which if you don't have a lot of expenses, you're okay with risk, and you're resourceful and know that you can, quote, pick up another job easily, which is kind of the spot that I was in, that's fine. But if you have a mortgage and a family and expenses, and that's terrifying to you, it's not going to be any more terrifying once you do it. And so we're going to get scarier. So I always recommend keeping your job and starting your business on the side. And it might mean that it's going to take longer to grow. But you're going to be able to make better decisions, you're gonna be able to make business decisions from a place of actually what's best for your business versus just this kind of fear of like, Oh, my God, I'm going broke, I need to do something quickly. So I'm a huge fan of keep the job and build it on the side.

Kathleen Shannon 12:27
Yeah, cuz it seems like the, you know, the idea of having an uncaged life doesn't mean that you're now constricted by your own fear or death. Right. But yeah, it's very true. It happens a lot, though. Can we talk about like living an uncaged life because even for people who are beyond, you know, quitting the day job, and they've been doing this thing for themselves, I think a lot of us can end up projecting this image of freedom, and what that really looks like, you know, maybe it's doing yoga in the middle of the day, or traveling a lot, or, I don't know, just having this kind of like flexibility to live life on their terms, but in turn, become a total slave to the dream job that they've created for themselves. And I'm going to like, raise my hand here and say that I have experienced this. And sometimes, I might even be in the thick of it right now of just like trying to get some projects out. And I don't know if it's the season of life, or you know, like, maybe this is what my 30s are about, or if it's a season of the year, like, I just need to get this project out the door. But sometimes I feel like I don't have that level of freedom that as creative entrepreneurs, like that's why we're doing the whole thing. So can you tell us like how to actually live it? Like, what does that really look like? Yeah, good question. Give me all the answers. I get, like what it looks like for you. Yeah. Well.

Rebecca Tracey 14:01
And just to come back to the idea of being uncaged for a second too, I don't think it's always about I want to travel and I want to be my family. I want to go to yoga classes. There's You know, my my last week has been a really good example of being so so grateful for the work that I do coming back from what was a pretty traumatic week and a really, really intense week emotionally, and getting home and just having zero energy to do anything. I have been exhausted, I've been crying. Most days, I have sat down at my makeshift desk because I just moved into a new house and stared at my computer and gone fuck No, I can't. And so I've I've actually had the luxury of having, you know, it's been a week now since I've been back to just cope. And I think that's really really valuable. So just to that just came to mind cuz I think it's all like the lifestyle but it's really just about like being able to take care of yourself and, and make the choice to sort of work when you need to work and rest when you need to rest. So how to not become the slave to it. I've For me, that's a business model question. I think because it's when you're first starting, right? Take all the work possible, make all the money say yes to every client. Right? I think that that's important because it helps you build momentum and helps you get experience, it helps build some traction. But ultimately, you get to a point where I think most people get to where they're like, oh, I've said yes to too many things. And now I have no freedom. And so that's when it's time to start to make some of these like small pivots, like we were talking about and start to make some decisions about how do I want to be working and who do I want to be working with and hiring hiring people to do the jobs that you don't want to do is a big one. For me, it's been scheduling my work in cycles. So I let I'll have like a couple of months where there's literally nothing happening. And then a couple of months, usually, like fall in spring, where I'm launching my program, and it's sort of like all of the work at once is usually a super intense two or three months. But then I know it's two or three months of back to just kind of being chill. But it took me years to get there. It's scary.

Kathleen Shannon 15:56
Okay. This a little bit. Yeah. And Emily, I don't know if you've experienced this, or Rebecca, if you experienced this, whenever you're doing that working in the cycles of working really intensely for two to three months. And then coming off of that, do you feel a certain amount of guilt? Or do you feel kind of like, for me, I feel like I've been buzzing like little worker bee at this really high speed. And I've almost forgotten how to vibrate at a lower level, like I've forgotten how to bring it back down. So what are some of the tactics or tools that you use to bring yourself back down and not just think of more things to create and launch, because you've kind of gotten in that mode?

Rebecca Tracey 16:41
Well, it's funny, because my business very often revolves around rock climbing seasons. And so usually after a big lunch, I go off on a trip somewhere. And it's nice, because it's like a stark contrast from like, working all the day to like not even opening my email or touching my phone for two weeks. And that actually helps because it kind of gives me that zone of like getting into like getting fully into doing nothing. So I can come back and go, Oh, yeah, what was I doing before I left, like, it feels like ages ago that I was so busy. So it's actually I kind of like that just kind of totally immersing myself in some kind of vacation or something where I just can't work. And then I can kind of come back and find that middle ground for the rest for the next little bit. Yeah,

Kathleen Shannon 17:20
more trips, right.

Emily Thompson 17:22
And my thing is, like, I definitely I can't come down. Like I've pretty much just realized that this is where I operate like way up here. And I'm going to be buzzing that I always have ever come down. I might as well retire because I think I'll be done. Like, I don't think I'll be able to go back up there once I really experience what's down there. But what I do, and I think especially the way you know, we really cut back on our work in December in June, we sort of created you know, the podcast in a way where we do all of our recording to take December and June off June, we work on just other things in December, we don't work or at least I don't work, I cannot do it. Um, and I've gotten to where I really work really hard all year with that like December in mind. But that doesn't mean that I'm not doing anything. Like I see this like shift back and forth between work, hustle and life hustle, where if I'm not busting something out at work, I'm doing something awesome in my life. And whether that is travel, which we do as much as possible. Or for the holidays, there's lots of like, parties and events and I'm cooking a lot and like trying to do some like family crafts and make cookies and those sorts of things. So it's not that I bring it down, I just refocus it, I put it somewhere else. Because I if again, if I bring it down, I'm not going back up.

Rebecca Tracey 18:48
Well and that's actually a really hard part of my business model is that the like now coming back from a summer of doing fairly any work. It's hard to get back up there. It's hard to get back and go Oh, yeah. Okay, here we go. And so it I do find that I've had to keep kind of one at least one toe dipped in on my months off. So that it's so that I so I'm connected to what's happening otherwise I come back and I just feel totally at the loop and totally like it's it's a shock to the system to have to get back into it. For sure. And also see like creating a plan for yourself. Whenever you get back like almost as you're still coming off of that launch and still working right before your vacation kind of making a to do list for when I get back. You don't have to think about it. You just have to do these things.

Kathleen Shannon 19:36
Yeah, probably be pretty helpful, too. Yeah,

Rebecca Tracey 19:38
yeah. And it's been great now having a very, very small team. But having someone to tell me what I need to do has been helpful and having deadlines and having somebody else on board to kind of help with that has been great because on my own. I don't know what happened.

Kathleen Shannon 19:51
Tell us about that person. Did you hire a project manager or is it Yeah, she's like,

Rebecca Tracey 19:56
She's like a project manager, business manager. So it's kind of like an overseer Of all the things and then I have an assistant as well. And it's fairly new. It's only been since maybe April that we've been working together. But I've kind of tried out a couple different ways of working with different people over the past couple of years. So there's always been like somebody else around to be my, you know, my ass kicker and my soundboard.

Emily Thompson 20:18
Like I want to go back to this idea of uncaging your life in terms of work, because I think quite often, we just assume that we're talking about day job or so people who have a nine to five who feel completely caged in and who have a hard time finding the time to do their, you know, creative and creative endeavors. But I feel like we probably also have a lot of bosses who don't realize that they've built a business in a way that they're caging themselves in just with their own endeavor, which is something you were talking about a little bit ago, Kathleen. And I remember finding myself in this kind of position. Several years ago, whenever we had a physical studio space, the team was the largest that had ever been, we were doing lots of great work and making lots of money, but I was miserable. I was literally going to work nine to five, every single day, when I looked up and realized what I had done to myself, I had built myself a nine to five and I felt completely caged down. I really did. And so I'm one of those people who doesn't mind just scrapping everything and starting over, which is kind of literally what I did, where I closed down the studio. I read or I shifted how I was working with people. And by doing that up your car, I also packed up my car and my house on vacation, and I took vacation road trip, we shouldn't call love it. I did I did. It was a big drastic change. And it all came from this realization that I had done something to my life and work that I did not mean to do. Because I was in a lot of ways chasing someone else's dream or chasing a dream that I thought I held true for myself. But whenever I really stopped and looked around, I realized that it was not what I wanted, I did not want to build an agency that was not something that I wanted to do. But I was doing it and I had done it. Um, but I will say that that experience made me so consistently mindful of what I'm building now that it has changed the way I go at everything in business like I no longer make these sort of like beginning of your goals and just truck at them all year long. Like I am consistently checking in to make sure that every little thing that we're doing, and every little project that gets put on the bugs is actually something that I want to do and not me just chasing whatever like goal has been set. And I think that's I think that's really important. And just something I want to point out for people who find themselves not liking the job that they've built for themselves. It takes consistent mindfulness and a whole lot of clarity around what it is that you want to feel and how you want your job to make you feel. And not only work but in life, to consistently evaluate where you are and make sure you're on the right path. Because it's bad to be building something for so long with so much energy just to look around and realize that it's not yours and you don't want it.

Rebecca Tracey 23:13
Yeah, I think it happens really easily too. Because we, you know, we're in this online business world, we're connected to other people. And we like hear about what they're doing. And we see them launching things and we see how busy they are. And we see that they have this new, you know, they're hiring team members. And so I know for myself, I start to feel like Oh, god, I'm not doing enough like look at all these look at what these people are doing. They work so much, I don't work that much. And so I I use, I would say I don't feel this way anymore. But I did for a while when I was kind of transitioning into the business model that I have now, where I would, you know, I'd be in mastermind groups and like not really have much to talk about because I wasn't really doing a lot at that time in my business. I wasn't like I'm not I guess my business is not always aiming for like massive growth every year. That is not my goal, I do not need to like double my revenue every year, like I just don't need to, I would be happy making you know, half as much money and like working way less. So it It took me for me like cutting off social media, not following a bunch of other business owners dropping out of some really great masterminds I was in with really great people, because they just made me feel bad. They made me feel like I wasn't doing enough. And it had me start to push towards creating a business that I didn't really want to have. I'm glad that I never quite got there. I'm glad that I kind of realized like, Wait a second, you don't have to hustle this hard. This isn't necessarily the direction that you want to go. And you don't have to grow every year that doesn't make your business a failure. And it doesn't make you a bad person. But it was hard to come to terms with that. I think I've more come to terms with it now and I'm totally okay with it. And a lot of people are like, how do you do it? And so now, you know, I do interviews like this, and people are like, how do you take so much time off? And I think a big answer is like I just give myself permission to and when I do it.

Emily Thompson 24:50
Well you've realized what you need, what you have to do to get it and then how to stop once you've done it which I think is is some I know I struggle with this and it's so funny. I've been thinking about this a whole lot lately, like, and, Kathleen, I love how you have your number. And I think David knows what our number is in terms of like how much money I want, like period. And so this is how far I'm going to work and then more or less, I'm done. And so by knowing that by having that kind of clarity, you're not blindly running towards gold, or whatever it may be that that it is that you want, you know exactly what it's going to take to get it, you can do it, and then you can be done. And I love that that like that really brings me into this business owner mindset that I feel like I don't find myself in often enough, because I am one of those people who will always be driving forward, at least until I really figure out what that that end goal is of mine. But I think there is some beauty for sure. And I totally envied people who have that kind of clarity and understanding of what they're doing. They can show up and do it and be done. And be completely okay with that. I hope that I find that place for myself and like the next two years would be really great. For sure.

Kathleen Shannon 26:13
I feel like it's so easy on a more macro level to look at incredibly selfish policymakers who lobby really bad, like things that destroy our environment, just so that they can make more money. It's like easy to look at those things and be like, what is your like $500 billion, that you already have? Not enough? Like, do you also have to destroy the ocean in the process to get more, right. And that's just a really, really extreme example. But Emily, it made me think about what you were saying kind of this question of like, to what end? Like to what and if you don't have that goal in mind is enough enough. So Rebecca, I want to come back to you something I've been thinking I want to talk to you a little bit about and it might be a little off topic is rock climbing. And just this idea of I imagine you and I could be totally wrong. I could be totally projecting. But being like, Listen, I'm working so I can go rock climbing, like and if I just have enough money to buy my shoes and my chalk and my ropes and hit the road. Like I'm good. Like, do you feel that? Is that kind of what your life is? Or? When is enough enough for you? Yeah, well, you know, you've hit that point.

Rebecca Tracey 27:24
So definitely, I would like to have more money than just to afford to go rock climbing. Very cheap. Um, I knew I wanted to I just bought it I just bought a kind of a loft space here in Toronto, which is insanely expensive. So that's the thing.

Kathleen Shannon 27:38
Like homeowner like, yeah, like I bought it right? Yeah. Fine. Does that make you feel cagey at all being a homeowner No,

Rebecca Tracey 27:47
because my plan to mostly just Airbnb it and travel. But so for me, it's like I actually really like having income goals. But not just for the sake of having an income goal like I was. Last this year, last year, I bought a condo in Tulum, Mexico, it's not built yet, it was like a pre construction thing. It was totally a whim, well, before I bought this place. This, this is not on the plans this place. But I was like, Okay, I want to buy this income property, I'll go spend some time there. I can, like bring some business friends there. And I've rented out the rest of the time. But you can't get a mortgage for properties in Mexico. So I was like, I gotta pay hold cold, hard cash. So it was super motivating. I was like, great, here's the number I need to meet for this first, like deposit in order to secure the place. And so it was fun I ran, I created a whole new program that I'd never run before I ran it and went amazed so amazingly that I read it again two months later. And that that was you know, my my deposit and my first payment. And so I love working like that I love when I'm like on a money hustle. I just think it's fun. It gets me excited. It gets me motivated. It gives me a purpose versus just having like a random number. I'm like, this is how much I need to make for my, you know, my bills, and my whatever. It's not as fun to me. So yeah, and so now I'm

Kathleen Shannon 29:02
just imagining your listeners thinking, Oh my gosh, how do you just like create and launch a program that buys you a space into loom? Right? That's definitely what I like. Yeah, for sure. That buys you a condo until

Rebecca Tracey 29:20
Yeah, well, and this is the beauty of having being really, really clear about what I'm good at and what I like to do in my business. It's the beauty of having worked for six years and built up a community and an email list. This is not you know, if I was like, three months into my business, probably I wouldn't have been able to do it. So like it's it's a luxury that I have now after six years of really building up to this so I totally acknowledge that. Yeah, I just I created a small group program. So a lot of my clients are just getting started. They're kind of still developing their ideas and their message and their niche and putting together their first service packages. At but then I have clients who have worked through my program and you know, they're there. You know, A year or two into their business, and they're like, okay, I feel like I'm ready to scale. You know, I've been working with one on one clients, it's great, but I'm ready to like, create something more. And so I created a group program where I help people create their first group. A lot of my clients are life coaches, and they want to do group coaching, but they have no idea how. So we spent six weeks we mapped out, you know, from from beginning to end the process of creating and launching their group. I didn't, I've never done this before with identity one on one with clients. I never done it in a group, I had no idea how it was going to go. But I knew that there was a need for it.

Kathleen Shannon 30:30
So you're creating your first group offering about creating group offer,

Rebecca Tracey 30:35
it wasn't my first group offering. So my, my main program is, well, this is getting my main program is group is a group program that I run. And so I always have people asking me like, how did you transition from one on one to groups? Like, how do you manage a group? What's the best way to structure it? Like, how many calls should I have with them? Should I include one on one, all these questions, and I've been running my group for four years now, and sort of other smaller groups in between. And so it just seemed like a natural thing to teach them. And it was amazing. I had I think, 12 people in each round, they all launched and sold out their beta rounds of their groups, it was super fun, super fun for me. And I sold it just by emailing my list. Not as easily as I thought I thought I'll just send out one email, and this should fill. Now how it happens. We know I wish it took it took some hustling. But again, I was I was motivated to fill it because I was excited about it. And because I had this Mexico thing, and so yeah, so stuff like that, once you've done the initial work to really sort of really nice yourself in and build up your expertise in your business. And I think it's easy to make money in your business once you've started starting is a different story. But

Kathleen Shannon 31:43
yeah, it's been wild how that mindset of just being excited about money or finding that it's easy to make money. Like it just begets more money. Right? Yeah, it

Rebecca Tracey 31:54
would have been much different if I was like, like, in desperation mode, or like totally not even wanting to do any more work, but been like, Fuck, I guess I gotta make some money. How am I going to do it? Right, totally different energy behind it. Yeah, and I'm not a super like, you know, I think about money mindset stuff. But I'm not super into like, visualizations, and manifesting and all that. But I do think that like, you have to believe that it's easy to make money, you have to have fun with it, you have to have a sense of humor about it. And you have to be willing to try things. And that's I think the biggest thing with my entire businesses that have been really willing to just jump in and try stuff. And some of it hasn't worked. And some of it's worked really well.

Emily Thompson 32:30
Yeah, I think that that mindset to have just experimentation is one one of the my favorite things about online business, because it is so easy to test and change things we can really figure out what formulas or whatever you want to call it. Strategies processes really works for for any individual person. And I think that gives us so much room to have fun with our businesses. I mean, all of us creatives, business, certainly cages us in, but in the online space, we're able to be so creative with them that just makes it it's like a whole other level of creativity that we get to bring to what it is that we do, which I love.

Rebecca Tracey 33:08
Yeah. And back to the question of you know, if you've found that you've started to cage yourself in in your own business, how do you get out of it, I think it comes back to this and realizing that you're controlling everything. So you have total control to try something new. And it doesn't have to be a whole life, you know, business overhaul like you had. Emily, it can just be like scrapping a program that you don't like anymore, or like wrapping up your client work and deciding I'm not doing any more of that I'm going to try this new thing instead. So it doesn't have to be like throwing out your entire business, but just taking it like taking a small idea or project and running with it and seeing what that can bloom into.

Kathleen Shannon 33:39
I'm just thinking about all the goodness of rock climbing and Mexico and Toronto. Like, it's so inspiring.

Rebecca Tracey 33:47
Yeah, it's funny because I, I am someone who can't plan ahead. Like, I don't know what I want my life to look like, I can't even imagine having kids because I'm like, that would be so many things that would have to be set. And I don't want that. So I was chatting with my wife recently because we bought this I bought this place into loom he was buying this loft and was like, why don't you go in on it? And I was like, I don't know. Okay. And we're looking at this van and we had a conversation the other day where we're like, well, maybe this is what our life looks like like place in Toronto as a home base, you know, places in Mexico where we can go when we if we want in the winter or if you want to go and you know work for a month. And then a van that we convert trippin and kind of just bouncing between those three things. And it's actually like I can see this actually, this is like, this is a plan I can get behind. I've been super scared to really commit to a lifestyle and what I love about being on cage is that you have the choice to change your mind a lot. And so it's it's an interesting year because I'm kind of falling into like some more security with like properties but still having that feel even more. uncaged Yeah, it's a fucking good life. Like it's very grateful. I know. You know, I know that there's people listening to this you're like yeah, whenever fuck you but but because I Be you know, I, before I started my business, I was like, I can never have that, like, not smart enough don't know enough who would give me money, all of those thoughts,

Emily Thompson 35:08
right. And I love that you're talking about how you don't have this clear vision for what you want. Because I find myself in that all the time. Like, sometimes I think about what is like my inner mentor from Tara more like I kind of see what she looks like. But I don't know how to connect a to b, like in any way really. But it is like it is that bit of curiosity that will lead you there. And that idea that you're not going to cage yourself in with any expectations, or this unwillingness to change your mind or any of those things that would block you. And that will essentially get you there. If you just let life take you in that direction. I

Rebecca Tracey 35:47
first went into that van in 2012, I had no idea. I was like, This is never gonna be a job. Like you're kidding yourself. But you know, just try it out while you're in the van and see how it goes. And it wasn't a job when I got back, you know, it still took time after that. But I think that I had no idea that that was going to turn into this. And that was a huge risk that I took and a huge, you know, leap into like, Okay, well, you know, you keep saying you want to do this, take a step. I think that's that's what kind of gets you on this weird winding path to eventually getting to somewhere that's pretty awesome. Even though you didn't know you wanted to go there.

Emily Thompson 36:22
Right. And I don't even like I don't even still think it's probably a job. Like, I think if we all do this, right? Like if we all do it really correctly. It's never a job. It's a lifestyle. And it's something that blends itself so seamlessly with the life that you live, that it's never really a job, even whenever you go through like crazy launch seasons. So I always see launches as jobs, or any of those things like if you're doing it, right. It's never a job.

Kathleen Shannon 36:50
You know, it's funny that you say that, Emily, because I think that I definitely think of my work as a job until just recently, like I put the nail in the coffin of the idea of ever going back to a nine to five working for somebody else. And I think that's where I can recognize, okay, this is more of a lifestyle than a job because there's no going back. And so for you, Rebecca it might be there is no going back to waiting tables or whatever it might be. And I think that's where I can really pinpoint that some days definitely feel like a job, like there are tasks on my to do list. And I'm definitely working longer than nine to five some days. But there is still this idea that I'm doing it on my own terms that even if I'm feeling super caged in by the dream job I've created for myself, I still have this like, inner knowing of freedom that like is just in my core, and probably that, you know, even going back to one of our very first episodes where we interviewed Lisa Congdon. And she said I chose this like just knowing that I've chosen this makes it really feel just free,

Emily Thompson 38:01
right, you've chosen it. And you can also change it at any point, which I think is really important. If you have a nine to five, where you are working for someone else, there is a limit to what you can change in your current position. But we do have the ability to change anything at any moment. And that's, I certainly find that hugely gratifying. Whenever I look at what you know, all of us have created and our ability to just to do whatever we want to with it. High Five Guys,

Rebecca Tracey 38:28
high fives we did it. We did it and like I'm sure that there's people listening who aren't quite there yet. And I remember I think it's somewhere in my first year, I was chatting with another coach, and I remember getting on the phone with her and we were both like, How the fuck is this ever gonna work? Like, this is a hustle. This is hard. How are we ever like just like constant trying to get clients and like, we were you know, we were worn out. And I'm so glad we didn't quit. Because I think a lot of people get to that point. And they're like, this is not fun. This is not freedom. This is not, you know, this uncaged dream that they all you know, they sold me on that podcast I listened to you kind of get to that place where you're like, oh, but I think you have to push past that point. Because it is there is a period I think there is a tipping point where it where it starts to snowball and get easier. And there's always work to do. And it's always you know, there's different things that become hard, but you get past the point of going, this is never gonna happen to like maybe Okay, maybe it's happening. Okay, it is happening and it slowly starts to shift from there.

Emily Thompson 39:22
Right? And then before you know it, you're putting the nail in the coffin and you're swearing that you are never going back and that this is what your life will be. Exactly,

Kathleen Shannon 39:30
yeah. But I've also fantasized about moving into a van like just selling we've been interviewing a few creatives lately who have quit everything sold their home in San Francisco to be able to travel the world for a year and there is this I mean, it's dreamy all of us crave that but even That's hard. I'm sure that there are aspects of living on a van that are not very high

Rebecca Tracey 39:53
even looking at this new van with my partner now we're not buying it so we can like sell everything and move into it and like live life on The road like hell, no, I'm done. I want to do that again. It's exhausting. And it's hard to run a business that way. Um, we're, we're gonna have it as kind of a little freedom mobiel for like, you know, two week rock climbing trips or like, a month out to, you know, to the west coast in the summer, but by no means are we like giving it all up and moving into there, I've done that.

Emily Thompson 40:19
Right, the the road trip we did was the hardest work I've ever done in my fucking life. Like hands down, for sure. Whenever I think about doing it again, as dreamy as it is. And it was one of those things that while we were doing it, I remember thinking, like, I'm gonna look back on this, and I'm not even gonna remember how hard it was. Yeah, it's totally a lot of it's type. Fun. Oh, you do? Oh, I remember how hard it was because it was the hardest thing I have ever done. What was hard about it. Um, for me, for me, like the homeless piece of it, were like, I need to have my roots down, like home is super important. To me, that was unexpectedly difficult. Like, just the psychological knowing that my family is homeless at the moment was really difficult for me. Um, we didn't do a ton of planning. So like not knowing where you're going to sleep at night, having as part of that home thing for me of like, not even knowing where we're going to sleep, or even where we were going to eat. So like, really basic, like human necessities that all of us have, you know, set out for us every single day and for like years in advance, in some ways,

Rebecca Tracey 41:26
well, and then throw running a business. On top of that, not knowing if you're gonna have cell phone service, like much of Wyoming does not get any service, I was

Emily Thompson 41:34
blown away by how little connectivity there is outwest Oh my gosh, sure. Yeah,

Rebecca Tracey 41:39
trying to have Skype calls and going, Oh, my God, I'm 45 minutes away from the next place that has Wi Fi and like, my call is now. Sorry, clients, like it was really hard. And I actually found, and I've traveled a bunch and worked on the road since then, just in different countries. And I stopped doing it because it started to feel not respectful to my clients, when they would call me and be like, Oh, sorry, I don't have any Wi Fi. So there's definite definite challenges to working like a true location independent, remote lifestyle.

Emily Thompson 42:06
Right, its own set of challenges as dreamy as it may seem, for sure.

Kathleen Shannon 42:12
Well, I was going to say that I had an experience once where I was traveling in Eastern Europe with my husband, and we thought it would be really fun and dreamy to not have any plans. But I found it stressful to probably in many of the same ways. Emily, you found not knowing where you were, you were going to be staying the next night kind of stressful. And I think it also comes back to the idea that half of the fun is in anticipating and planning and figuring out what you want to do and when you're in a tight bag as we are. Right. And I think that that applies to entrepreneurship a little bit as well, like so for example, this year, we kind of went about our year, I wouldn't say willy nilly because it has felt anything but willy nilly, like we've done a lot of stuff this year, but without any like hard, fast plans or goals or anything to really kind of look forward to. And I think that we've even felt that that sense of tension in our business to where it's like, okay, what's gonna happen, and then you realize, whenever you leave things up to fate, sometimes fate does not pull through the way that you want it to.

Emily Thompson 43:19
Well, and I even think here, this may be a really interesting conversation to have the difference between caging yourself in and giving yourself boundaries, because in a lot of ways, they're the exact same thing. except they're also really not. And we are all about setting up boundaries for yourself where you know, you know, when you're going to be working and what that looks like, or you know, when you're not going to be responding to client emails, or not allowing your kids to come running into your office whenever you're on client calls. So what it like boundaries are super important. Um, but I think they become cages when you stop being mindful of them. Whenever you do set up boundaries that aren't your own or aren't going to foster your creativity or productivity. Or, you know, that are their boundaries that have been there for too long, that should be moved around or taken down all together. And so there is this funny balance, I think between between setting up boundaries that foster your creativity and productivity. But at the same time, not allowing yourself or anyone else to cage you in.


some interesting parallels there. I think,

Rebecca Tracey 44:31
yeah, one of the biggest questions my clients asked me is, what my what their workday should look like. So how to schedule their days how to schedule their time, you know, do you do you block off time for this? And do you do and I'm like, you do not want to see how to do my job like it is very disorganized. It is not glamorous, it's probably not the smartest way to work. And even if it was, it might not work for you. So I think it's really easy, especially as a new business owner to just be like, tell me how you do it. And then I'll do the same thing and then we start to do that and get into the rhythm of it. Really Like, this isn't working for us, but that's what she does. That's probably what I should do. So I'll keep doing it. And then we end up with those boundaries that don't really work for us.

Emily Thompson 45:07
For sure.

Kathleen Shannon 45:08
I mean, that's what I love about my favorite byproduct of this podcast is just learning how everybody works so differently. Like, we all want this formula for success. And we're all just sharing our ideas for here's how it's worked for us. But we're all just taking what we need and experimenting, like, it's really cool to, for your clients to try whatever it is that they need to structure their day, because knowing that something doesn't work for them is also really good information.

Emily Thompson 45:37
Yeah, and I would imagine to whatever your stance is, and caging if you were to give people cages,

Rebecca Tracey 45:43
yeah. So here's the cage protocol. On Mondays at 2pm. You take calls and on.

Kathleen Shannon 45:52
Yeah, I feel like I should start a brand called the kenneled life. Like I think I'm that dog that really likes my kennel with the door open, and the nice cozy mat in it. But I like to be in there. I mean, I like it over the top, a little cave,

Rebecca Tracey 46:09
I visit that I'm a super homebody, like I'm totally introverted. I love being at home, and not leaving the house for days on end and not talking to people like, I am totally good with like a mug of tea, like my computer. So yeah, I mean, I'd come visit your candle. Like, hey, visited my page once in a while.

Kathleen Shannon 46:30
I'll give you a bottle of water. Is there anything else? Like are there you know, maybe even three pieces of advice that you give to your clients every single time whenever they're asking you how to make it happen? Is there anything that you're just always telling people?

Rebecca Tracey 46:46
Yeah, so the first thing I'm always telling people is to unsubscribe from all of their email lists, and stop looking at Facebook, just like shut down their newsfeed and unsubscribe from everything. Because the biggest mindfuck is going down one path and then consistently trying to see what everyone else is doing. And it totally takes your energy away from what you're creating in your business. So that's like, I it's, it's a rule that I make for people in my group. And I'm like, you can, you know, funnel all those emails into a separate folder, and you can come back to them when our time is done. But like for my program, you were not to be looking what anyone else is doing. And I get all kinds of like, oh, but what about this? And what about? Nope, I don't care why you're doing it, stop doing it. And they thank me for it.

Kathleen Shannon 47:24
You see this because like, I hate market research, I hate seeing what everybody else is doing. I don't want to know, I just want to put my blinders on and do what I'm doing.

Rebecca Tracey 47:33
Yeah, I make them do market research, but I make them go talk to their clients, I make them go and actually, you know, I don't make them talk to their market. Yeah, talk to their market, but not talk to their competitors. But like, there's a time and place for that. It's not when you're trying to sort out in your own head, what your ideas are. My clients are very new to business often, or they've been trying to do it for a while. And they're kind of like, they're like, I'm a life coach. But like I somebody asked me what I do, and I have to talk for half an hour and they don't understand, like, okay, so you don't know what you do. So that's what we're working on. So, you know, you need to have your own ideas formulated before you can even look out there and go Okay, so who is my competition? What are they doing, you know, you don't you can't know that until you know, what you're doing yourself, they are cutting everything else out is a big one. I'm starting to take steps to put themselves out there is another one I have them go and actually like email, friends and family and sort of tell them what they're doing and, you know, post things on their Facebook page and just getting used to actually putting it out in public because a lot of them are coming from a corporate background, where you know, being a life coach or jumping into like spiritual healing, or even like, you know, becoming a nutritionist is like, very, it's just quite a shift from how people know them. And there's a lot of hesitancy for people to you know, kind of show this new direction that they're taking. But you have to, you know, how are you gonna have a business and hide it from all of your friends and family. It's not possible. So to get them used to actually really owning what they're doing and getting excited about it and, and being proud of it in ways that like, feel comfortable for them for where they're at. That's another big one. Because once you start doing it, you start to realize people are supportive, and you start to see that, you know, there's there's people rallying for you. And I think we make up all kinds of stories about what people are gonna think. And they're just stories, so I have them actually go and start start doing things in public to get them used to that.

Emily Thompson 49:18
And do you have a third thing?

Rebecca Tracey 49:19
Oh, um, what's another thing I'm always telling my clients, um, I, I have them stopped doing all the things. So I'm like, stop posting on social media, stop writing blog posts, stop, like, trying to plan a webinar or stop trying to, you know, there's like 1000, there's a list of 1000 things that you should be doing when you're starting a business. And they don't need that what they need is some actual work on focusing on what they're doing and who they're doing it for and why they're doing it and how they want to sell it and how they're going to talk about it. And so, they've been so busy, like making, you know, pretty quotes to put on Instagram, or like writing blog posts, which is awesome, and you need to do that but without any focus, and so I have them to start Doing all of the marketing things that they've been told to do, get that focus. And then they can go out and actually do that stuff with some intention and some focus and have it actually be, you know, beneficial to their business.

Kathleen Shannon 50:09
Amen. I see so many people distracting themselves with things that they don't need to be doing, like, well, I need to learn how to become a graphic designer. So I can post a pretty quote on Instagram, when no, maybe just focus on your core genius, like whatever the thing is that you need to be doing. And I think that these distractions can happen because they're afraid they're afraid of what's going to happen when they do really clarify their focus. Yeah,

Rebecca Tracey 50:33
I also think it's, it's shiny, it's like, it's something tangible, right? Like, oh, I made a website, or, you know, I posted a thing on Instagram, look at this, and it's something that you can actually see, it's easy, it's easier to do than the deeper work of really getting clear on what the hell you're doing. Right. That's, it's hard. And it's frustrating. And you go in circles, and it's like, not that, you know, not that exciting to show people. So I totally get why like, the visible stuff is more enticing to people.

Emily Thompson 51:00
Right? Is that like a society's addiction to instant gratification? Yeah, right. A little bit there. And, and business is not about instant gratification. It's about definitely long vision long haul. So I love them. Perfect. Those are some really good tips of putting on your blinders was the second one showing up. Also important and focusing? I feel like those three things are common topics around here. So thank you, for sure for reiterating.

Kathleen Shannon 51:27
All right. And Rebecca, tell us what's next, for uncaged life or where people can find you. Yeah, people can find me I'm

Rebecca Tracey 51:36
I'm in my facebook group a lot. A lot of people are poopoo in Facebook groups and shutting them down. I am not shutting my group down. I am in there all the time. It's like my family. So that's it's called uncage lifers on Facebook. That's probably the best spot. Yeah, I'm running my program again. So I'm just kind of getting back into post Burning Man mind fuzz mode and starting to get ready for my launch. And my program will run in November. So super excited to get a whole new group of newbie business owners in and change their lives and

Emily Thompson 52:04
I think do awesome and what makes you feel most boss? Oh, that's a hard question.

Rebecca Tracey 52:13
Like, wait, this is easy. No, it's not. Um, honestly, like, the the days where, you know, I'll text a friend and they're like, Oh, I'm in a work meeting. And I'm, you know, I'm like sitting at the park with my dog. So like, just those moments of like being really, really grateful being for being able to take those little bits of time away from working at, you know, odd times of the day where most people are probably sitting at a desk. That's when I'm like, you're doing something right boss.

Emily Thompson 52:39
Right? That is a super uncaged life to answer. I love it. Also, what Thank you for coming to hang out with us. Thank you to chat about all these things. I hope everyone is inspired to I don't know if nothing else, like take something off your to do list and go for a walk. How about that? Yeah.

Rebecca Tracey 52:58
Yeah, sell everything you own and jumping a bit. Wait, no, don't do that. We thought that was a bad idea. Hang on. Don't do that.

Kathleen Shannon 53:06
I'm already on Craigslist. I thank you guys for having me on. Super. Thanks, Rebecca.

Emily Thompson 53:15
We have gotten so much amazing feedback over the years from listeners about how our podcast has helped them start to grow and uplevel their businesses. So we want to celebrate you. Here's the boss we're celebrating this week.

Unknown Speaker 53:29
Hi, my name is Dahlia I'm an MBA in both my title reader and owner at the Schulich COMM And today I'm celebrating my son's birthday and emulating Mike will have never been possible without you in your community to podcast makes me believe I could set up my own online business and make me feel even before I launched

Kathleen Shannon 53:54
if you're feeling boss and want to submit your own boss moment or win go to WWW dot being boss club slash I am being boss. This episode of being boss was brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting, thank you to fresh books for sponsoring us and you guys can try it for free by going to fresh books comm slash being boss. Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brain, our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey. And our bean counter David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography,

Emily Thompson 54:33
do the work. P boss and we'll see you next week.