Episode 162

Getting a Day Job with Becky Simpson

February 6, 2018

What if you went back to having a day job…and you liked it? We often have inspiring conversations about making the leap to quit your day job and go at your business full-time, but today we’re talking with Becky Simpson of Chipper Things about another option: choosing to go back to a full-time job that you love while also growing your business—not as a temporary solution, but as a dreamy situation.

This Episode Brought to You By:
"If we have the opportunity to create while someone else is paying us, that is the dream."
- Becky Simpson

Discussed in this Episode

  • Quitting your job to go freelance and then choosing a day job again
  • Finding your own understanding of success
  • Letting go of your ownership of what you create so it can become part of your customer's story
  • What's it like to get a day job again after taking the leap to freelance on your own?
  • How to be selective about finding a day job as a creative entrepreneur
  • Differences in time management and operations when you have a day job + a business
  • Financial shifts in making money solely through your business vs. also having a salary
  • Advice for creatives who want to find a day job


More from Becky Simpson

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Becky Simpson 0:00
The idea that I don't own it once it goes into the world. I mean, yeah, the copyright technicalities, but the way people get to interpret it that that's their story. My story ends when I show it to the world. And from then at that point, they the customers or whoever sees it becomes part of their story. And I have to be okay with that.

Kathleen Shannon 0:28
Hello, and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:29
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:34
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Becky Simpson 0:36
I'm Becky Simpson and I'm being bossed.

Emily Thompson 0:43
Today we're talking about getting a day job but with Becky Simpson. As always, you can find all the tools books and links we referenced on the show notes at WWW dot being boss club.

Kathleen Shannon 0:55
In the world of working for yourself, you have to remember that business is personal. people hire people and being polite can go a long way. So where do the most polite business owners in America live? New research from fresh books reveals that Oklahoma, Alabama and Ohio have the most polite small business owners in the country. freshbooks recently analyzed customer data to uncover which business owners by state are the most likely to use please or thank you on their invoices and where to Emily and I come from Oklahoma and Alabama. Those please and thank yous combined with the legit looking invoices freshbooks generates are helping us get paid faster. Try fresh books cloud accounting for free by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section, please and the Gil

Emily Thompson 1:54
Becky Simpson is an art director illustrator author and founder of chipper things a paper and lifestyle brand that celebrates play chipper things was launched in April 2016 and features over 70 products with Becky's illustrations. Becky is also the author and illustrator of the roommate book and I'd rather be short, Becky lives illustrates and eats tacos with her husband in Nashville, Tennessee, we first introduced you to our friend Becky and being boss episode number 78.

Kathleen Shannon 2:24
Part of the reason we are so excited to have Becky on the show is because since we last spoke with her she has taken on a day job, not because she's giving up on her art or on chip or things, but because it was something she really wanted to do. And this is an important thing we want to talk about on the show because so many of our listeners have this mindset. And perhaps we fit into it as well, that in order to succeed as a boss, or in order to have the freedom to pursue your creativity, the ultimate goal is to quit your day job and go totally on your own. There's a lot of shame in maintaining a day job. But it doesn't have to be either or you can be a boss and pursue your creativity at the same time as having a day job you really truly love.

Alright, but you also have a day job

Becky Simpson 3:17
I do. I just messaged the team on slack. And I was like, I'll be back in an hour by

Kathleen Shannon 3:26
let's talk about this because there are a lot of creative entrepreneurs who are doing things in a lot of different ways. And there's also a lot of shame and feelings and emotions going around. About do I do I quit my day job? creative entrepreneurship, is the end all be all or maybe I need a day job. And what about health insurance and just general feelings of security and lalala? All the things right? So your path as an entrepreneur has been that you worked for somebody, then you quit, and were freelancing and launch chipper things, then you were freelancing some more, and then you got a day job again.

Becky Simpson 4:08
Yes. It's like you're so good. I was I felt guilty making you like, you know, summarize my career path when I could have just made it easier on you. But yeah, I mean, after college, I had a job, and it was good. And then I quit the job to go freelance and then I freelance for a couple years. And then I had my Adobe Creative residency, where it was they paid me they paid me a salary to pursue my projects. So that's where I launched shipper thing. So even though I had a salary, I was definitely still living the freelance lifestyle. And then yeah, so recently, probably in June, I started working full time again, and it has been so good.

Emily Thompson 4:53
Right. And I also want to give this a little bit of perspective, because you've been on the show before and I think whatever you were on last time You had just finished your Adobe residency if I'm not mistaken. And so you were really like diving into chipper things and doing the thing. And that was maybe a year and a half ago now. So I want to hear what's happened like in the past year and a half. So like, dive into chipper things. And then what happened next?

Becky Simpson 5:18
Yeah, so I, I started, I ended the residency and I was all in on chipper things, which I still am. And then I realized, oh my gosh, this takes some time to grow. Whoa, who would have thought? And then kind of was like, well, I should. Oh, I'm sorry Chester's barking because sedex is here.

Kathleen Shannon 5:49
Anyway, Instagram Stories whenever you like, zoom in on

Becky Simpson 5:52
Chester is such a sweetie. Right? Like he doesn't I love those as well.

Kathleen Shannon 5:56
And he's a boxer. Right. And Jane is a boxer too, right? Yeah, we're boxer moms. Yeah.

Becky Simpson 6:02
I sorry, I was distracted. Do you want me to start over? on that what I was talking about? So you can cut that out? Let's just oh my gosh.

Emily Thompson 6:12
We're keeping the dog in the know,

Kathleen Shannon 6:13
adage faster. Stay good. Well, okay, good. Good. Good. Okay, so you went all in with chipper things? And who knew it took work? Oh, yeah, exactly. took time you were in for the work? He didn't maybe Did you not realize how much time it would take to get off the ground or to be profitable? Like what? What were your expectations? And then what was the reality? Right,

Becky Simpson 6:34
so chipper things. So because I was sponsored by Adobe, I had a year to work on this thing. And I had all these connections. I mean, I can't think of anyone in the world who had an opportunity like that, you know, I mean, it felt like, if I can't succeed with this, then Whoo. Yeah, whoo, pretty big failure. So I kind of just assumed it would just take off faster, because I had such a head start for most people starting a business like this. And so it just took longer. I mean, it's always been good. And I've always had great feedback. And I've always had consistent sales, all that good stuff. But you know, when you're selling the kinds of products I am, the profit margin, is it's not super high, you know, I might, I could make, I could make between 10 and $30, a sale, which takes a lot of sales to have a, you know, to match a salaried position. But so anyway, I was totally fine with all that it just took time. And I it just got to a point where I really wanted to start making more consistent money. And I mean, the whole time, I was weaving in the freelancing stuff. But basically, the short version is, I realized that eventually took or freelance life mixed with chipper things. It felt like No, just made chipper things really heavy, because I wanted to have the freelance make the immediate money, and I wanted chipper things to be the business where I only grew it, I didn't spend any money that I was making, it just all went back into the business. But when they were all mixed together, they all felt like everything had to be monetized. Everything had to be efficient. And it became it just it was I felt a lot of pressure from myself. So by the time I went, I decided to get a job. And I had this job, I the freelance stuff was really doing well, or it started to really pick up and, you know, not everyone in my position would have done what I did, but it was also a time for me to take a mental break. And to just kind of release myself and my identity from I have to do it all everything by myself. And this that that version is way simplified, like way, way way more simplified than Of course how it played out. It was like a year of going back and forth and being like, this all feels heavy and hard and pressure and, and this is what I'm supposed to be good at. But when I'm it's not quite matching like it's it's stressful, you know, all that stuff went into it. But that's this is where I ended up and I just feel like some so light and so free. With this

Kathleen Shannon 9:26
right now I'm gonna talk about a few things here. Let's unpack this. So one, the Adobe fellowship that you had was a significant amount of money, and also a lot of pressure. So like one of the things I always think a lot about is and I think that creative entrepreneurs fantasize about is getting this like piece of rocket fuel that will just propel them into instant success. So whether that's getting on Oprah or getting like an amazing sponsorship, but the thing is, and I don't know if you've learned this as well is That there's all that rocket fuel can only take you so far, right? So for anyone who's fantasizing about some sort of silver bullet, or some sort of given answer or formula, it's still a lot of work, even with all the help in the world. And also, I just want to like, send us some love, because that's a lot of pressure to put on yourself like, Oh, well, if this doesn't make it, then I'm really an extra failure, because I've got this huge resource. Like, that's just not fair for yourself. You're not a failure, Becky? Oh, thank

Becky Simpson 10:32
you. I don't feel like I am a failure. I mean, it's all kind of unfolded in slow motion. And, yeah, it feels like everything. I've done my best with it the whole way through, and I've done a great job. It's just that it takes time. And the way I want to build it is different from how someone else would, someone else would want to build it in such a way where they don't mind grinding it out and scraping for, you know, every, every last penny, or I mean, that's kind of dramatic. But this is just the way that I chose to move forward. But yeah, those thoughts definitely crossed my mind of like, What are you, you know, why can't you get it? Right? Why did it work for this person? But that's, I mean, that's just how life is. Like, it's, I would rather lean into, or lean become the kind of person who can pivot with those sorts of, you know, like, disconnects, then someone who just knows how to do it right the first time every time. So, yeah, and also Adobe. I do want to give them credit, because they I can't believe they never made me feel pressure. I mean, they could have because they really invested a lot in me. But I think we all do see it as as a success. It's just the navigating afterwards wasn't quite as like clear of a path. As I said,

Kathleen Shannon 12:05
I did not mean to imply that you fail. Oh, no, I don't know. I find me if that's what you had been saying earlier. But yeah, I guess just this idea that I, here's the other thing is that success is so it's based on perspective, right? Like someone everyone's perspective is different on what everyone else's, and even your own successes, right? So like, even with being boss, like we'll have people come up to us and say, Oh, my gosh, can you believe it? And I'm like, Yes, but it's also not enough yet, like my bar is higher than where I'm at. Even if you know, where you see me out is like the highest, right? It's all shifting, and it's kind of like a moving target a little bit success. It's not a real thing, even maybe,

Emily Thompson 12:52
right. And I also get this I also get stories all the time from really awesome creatives who get into especially product businesses, I feel like this happens actually product. But also if you're doing like client client design work for sure, where you're selling your creativity in a way that at some point, like your own creative fulfillment gets it started. But beyond that your creativity is being sold to, to the end user, like you're not creating things for you anymore, you're creating it for the market. And like I heard an example once of like, you know, if someone, someone just wants shirts with owls on it, you're designing shirts with owls, even even if you're sick of designing owls, or whatever it may be like you, you, as someone who's creating product for profit, your own greed of fulfillment, loses its importance in some cases. And I think that that can be a really hard place to navigate. And it's usually a place that comes up in business. Once you've once you're already all in it, like you've started it, you're doing it and then you get to this place where you realize that the things you're creating are not for you anymore, you started out that way. But therefore the end user, whoever that may be, and some people have a really hard time with that. I remember having a super hard time with that whenever I was, whenever I was designing jewelry back in the day, there were trends and things that called or called my customer to me much more so than where I wanted to take, take things. And that made it really difficult. And I ended up leaving that business for those very reasons all those years ago. And so I know that for product for sure that can be really difficult. And I love that you. I love that you were mindful enough throughout the process, and you're still doing two things. It's still amazing. I'm just using the story to illustrate that doing creativity for business is not all rainbows and butterflies by any means and there comes a time when you have to weigh your choices. And I love that you seem to have done that many times throughout your process and pivoted when needed.

Becky Simpson 15:11
Thank you. Yeah, that is a good the whole, it's for the customer. That is like, I've kind of just recently really learning that. I mean, I've always been aware of it. And that's why I'm able to sort of dissect why certain products do better than others. But the idea that I don't own it once it goes into the world. I mean, yeah, the copyright technicalities, but the way people get to interpret it, that that's their story, my story ends when I show it to the world. And from then at that point, they the customers or whoever sees it, they it becomes part of their story. And I have to be okay with that. That's a very recent realization. Oh,

Emily Thompson 15:59
right. That's some heavy shit.

Becky Simpson 16:01
I haven't had I haven't really I haven't had like trolls or, I mean, you know, there's always a few, like, want laws, but overall, like very overwhelmingly, I, I haven't run into some of the stuff that I hopefully if I if I become as big, as big as I want to be, I just haven't hit that yet. Because I know it's there.

Kathleen Shannon 16:25
Okay, the other thing that I wanted to talk about, though, before we move on, and the thing that you said that probably had a lot of our listeners in tears, or at least that made me well up a little bit was just the mental break idea. And anytime I'm fantasizing about a day job isn't because my business is failing and chipper things wasn't failing. And it isn't, because it's too hard, or I'm not cut out for it are all the things that, you know, like our inner critic might start telling us about is because I need a mental break, like, I just need someone else to tell me what to do. And I'll do it really great. But there is a lot of like, emotional, you just have to like have a big capacity for holding lots of thoughts and ideas and emotions and all the things when it comes to running your own business, not to mention wearing all these hats. So I think that even beyond just financials or any of that this idea of a mental break is pretty huge.

Emily Thompson 17:24
So I had like a bit of a breakdown recently, after having a conversation that had me for the first time in many, many years, considering what it would be like not to be the boss, basically, where like I had no we're like broke down and cried at just like for that half a second to feeling the weight being lifted off my shoulders of like, what it would be like if it all didn't come down to me and my decisions and my ability to make a do. And at that moment, I really realized for the first time maybe ever just how heavy at all is and how light to you could feel if you didn't choose this way of life, because it's hard shit. And it's something that I know Kathleen and I fantasize about all the time, this idea of what if we did just quit and get it go get a day job. And we're not ready to do it yet.

Kathleen Shannon 18:20
So what's it like? What's it like to get a day job? I mean, obviously, you didn't quit? You're doing both, which is another thing I'm going to dig into a little further down our path. But what's it like now getting a day job and that weight being lifted? Like what did it? So one, like? How did you actually go about as an entrepreneur, finding a day job that fits your standards, because I imagine I always think about this idea of going back to a day job. And I think that we need to eradicate the word back from our language because we're all moving forward, we're not going back to anything. And so I'm sure that being an entrepreneur and a freelancer has moved you forward in a way where your criteria whenever it comes to searching for a job that fits. You know what you want your life to look like has shifted since you know whenever you graduated college, and we're looking for your first job. So can you tell us a little bit about some of your criteria and finding a day job and what some of your requirements were and how you actually found it?

Becky Simpson 19:17
Yes. I to the first part of that question. The as I said before, it's been really, really good. And one of the reasons is because everything else, I mean, I still even do some freelance projects, but now I get to be I just get to be so much more selective and charge more. I had the biggest freelance project of my life after I got this job. I've had I've traveled to Australia to speak. I'm having the most the highest paid speaking, engagement and I can I'm able to just leverage not even leverage it. It's now it feels a little bit more like a game I have nothing to lose. So that's been a really cool fun thing and As far as how I got went about it, so I decided that, yes, at one point, I would rather have a job than no job. Well, a job that I like, I mean, I didn't want to have just any job. But overall, I did want to get a job and I wanted to learn, I felt like I'd been swimming in the same pond for a while. And I wanted to learn from people. I wanted to contribute what I've learned. And I felt like, again, with how hard the whole struggle of like, what do I do, it was so apparent that that like, it would just be good for my soul to make actively, like break down the this is your identity bit. So really, I just told friends, and I reached out to people that I wanted, you know, just to kind of put it out there, I looked for Remote Jobs, I looked for jobs in Nashville, we had just moved to Nashville. So I just did a lot of asking around. And I was actually interviewing at this one place. And my friend Henry owns the company I'm working for, it's called embassy to marketing firm in Austin. So he didn't even know I was working on a freelance project for them or something. And I mentioned this other job interview. And I think that's what alerted like, he didn't even know I was looking for a job. And so that I mean, just him knowing I want a job. And then if later he offered me a job. So it sounds simpler than it was because it did take me it was months of like, you know, emailing people emailing refinery, 29 and Britain CO and you know, companies I just blind, you know, blindly like email to see, are you is there is there anything open? For someone like me, it was also actually really hard. I forget about this. Because after working for myself for so long. I felt like, well, I don't feel like the title of graphic designer or Illustrator is even sufficient. I feel like I'm a brain Stormer. And I can make content and all these these other things that I without not not trying to sound like I Well, yeah, anyway, just know that I have, ideally more to offer than just design skills. So that was an interesting thing, too. Like, how do I pitch myself? What does the perfect job look like? But thankfully, I part of why this has gone so well. It's because I I really do think I found the perfect place. I mean, I get they, they support chipper. Thanks so much. We're working on a little project tell you about later. And yeah, they know they, like want to see tougher things succeed. And I'm an art director. So I get to do all kinds of design and brainstorm and collaborate. That's a long answer. Did I cover it?

Kathleen Shannon 22:53
Really positioning yourself for the dream day job is a lot like positioning yourself for a dream customer and really articulating what you do and for whom, and even just showing up and saying it right, yes, we all take for granted this idea that you have to put yourself out there to get hired, whether it's by a client or a day job, and really being able to say what you do. And you know, I during that time, I was talking to you as well Becky about through some of this stuff. And it's funny because even now, as you say like I'm more than just a designer or Illustrator like I can brainstorm. Whenever you're going through all that. I was like, Well, yeah, you brainstorm that was one of the things that I probably took for granted about you. But I was like, I want to know hard skills. So it's interesting, like what? Who it depends on like, who's looking at it, right? Because if I got a resume, and that said, I can brainstorm. I'd be like, Yeah, but can you design a logo? What does your typography look like? Do you understand good letting you know what I mean? So it's just interesting, like, what's going to stand out to somebody and what's not, but I love the idea that it was that your friend was alerted to the fact that you were even looking for something. So then did you think at any moment, like, oh, why didn't I tell him earlier that I was looking for something?

Becky Simpson 24:08
Yeah. I mean, all of the the potential opportunities I had were from telling people and then through through relationships. I So absolutely, I mean, I never announced it on social media, which I think I could have or should have done. But it was still very personal at that time. And I wanted to be in control of my story and be like, I don't know, I felt like I was this big, big bold ball of personal stuff. So that probably would have been helpful too. If I did. It. You it's so funny how you would just you can't assume you know what people want or need or what how they see you people could assume I wasn't looking, I could assume they weren't hiring and you don't get to know the truth until you talk about it.

Emily Thompson 25:04
I want to hear a little bit about what like a day in the life looks like for you now. So it's not just getting up and freelancing and shipping things out for cheaper things. You're showing up for a nine to five more or less, but you were just telling me that you were designing Facebook ads. So what is the day in the life look

Becky Simpson 25:23
like? Yeah, well, I wake up as of the last two weeks, I might it might be jumping the gun. I've been running 20 minutes every morning, and it is so good. I finally decided that if I go on a little run, I can do that. It makes me feel great. Instead of like, long ass run, where I'm like, Nah, not today.

Kathleen Shannon 25:44
So I've decided you just do like a half marathon.

Becky Simpson 25:47
Yeah, but I only run when I'm training. And for that half marathon, I only ran the long runs once a week. Totally defeating the purpose of

Kathleen Shannon 25:57
so nobody has to run a half marathon every day. Yeah, whatever. Yeah, just 20 minutes a day. You're running. I love that.

Becky Simpson 26:04
So that's like my I've been focusing so well. Anyway, that's just a little like life hack thing. I'm into life hack exercise. Oh, wow. As if this is Yeah, to hear it. Oh, my gosh, you gotta tell Tim Ferriss first next. But yeah, so that's that and then I start work early. I do like I do. I do a couple hours of chipper things. And then I dive into embassy and just, you know, do that most of the day, but sometimes, like today, I will been some shipper things. I try to I mean, I I prioritize. I do mostly embassy work, and when there's the work, but it's also okay to do chipper things throughout. If like, there's deadlines. I mean, it's not

Emily Thompson 26:55
like having sold them your nine to five, it's just get the work done.

Kathleen Shannon 26:58
Yeah, that's what it sounds. Yeah, that's what I'm curious about, like, are you obligated to working like a certain amount of hours? Or is it project based? Or how does it work,

Becky Simpson 27:07
it's really just get your work done. But I want to honor, obviously the work that I'm doing for them and to give them my first because that's my employment. And so then if it makes sense to be like, I'm gonna take this call, I'm gonna take this podcast call is fine. Just do your work. And ideally, I'm doing great work and going the extra mile so I can feel okay about doing this. But they I mean, they've been nothing but supportive. I it's such a great team. Everyone's rooting for each other and sees the best in each other. So it's Yeah, it hasn't really been it hasn't been a thing of like, this is the rules necessarily. It's just do your work and do a good job.

Kathleen Shannon 27:53
Okay, so in your mind, whenever you take on a day job, do you feel like chipper things and your day job are both 100%? Or do you feel like it's 5050? Or do you feel like cheaper things is your side hustle? Like how? How are you like mentally compartmentalizing things.

Becky Simpson 28:12
Mentally, I mean, chipper things is my baby. So that's really near and dear to my heart. But the job feels I really give I think I give that I think I give the job. I mean, sorry, I do give the job priority, because that's somebody if somebody is employing you, and you make an agreement, like Henry, the team, they're doing all this work. So I like I said, I need to, and I want to honor that. But I mean, it's like, nothing. Nothing beats your own little baby. So there's my heart is, is all in ditto for things. But also, and I don't know, I feel bad. Do I sound like a weirdo right now?

Kathleen Shannon 28:58
I feel like I'm on you really hard questions.

Becky Simpson 29:01
It shouldn't be that complicated. But yeah, I mean, it feels cheaper things is way more than a side hustle. But embassy is my full time job. And that's what gets more of my time, a lot more of my time. Like most

Emily Thompson 29:12
sounds like you have some pretty good structure around, you know, if you're coming in in the morning and working on chip or things first thing and then you're diving into your embassy work, and then spending the rest of your evening doing cheaper things, or whatever it may be. It sounds like whenever you have built a structure around when you're working on what it's not so much an issue of what takes priority right now because you know what takes priority right now because you've built these containers around them. And I think that's that's like a time management hack of like, time blocking, basically, of knowing when it is that you need to be doing the things so there's never a conflict between the two. And I think I think that that sounds like what you're saying or you've you've created these containers that allows you to not ever have to choose one over the other. It's just what is it now? And what time? Is it going to be later?

Becky Simpson 30:02
Right? I wish you answered that question, because that was way more. And that's exactly what it is. Love it, love it.

Kathleen Shannon 30:11
But do you do you struggle with time at all? Or is it no big deal? Like, do you ever feel spread thin since taking on a day job?

Becky Simpson 30:18
No, surprise. I mean, yes, I feel spread thin. But no, I don't feel very different from in terms of time is very different from when I was freelancing, because I spent the exact same if I probably spent more time freelancing. And now I just have consistent pay. So it more structure, way more structure. And I have a team where if it's 530, and I can't I don't expect them to even respond on slack. Because, you know, past six, no one's responding. So that also creates this boundary, like an unspoken boundary of like, you got to do it before six. Or if the day is over. And that's I mean, and I have Greg is really good with those kinds of like, work boundaries, too. He has a, like a office job. So which is your Greg is Oh, yes, yes. So those kinds of things are really helpful, too, to show like, you just need to figure it out. Like this is your day, and you have this much time. Do it, figure it out?

Emily Thompson 31:21
I love it. I love it.

Kathleen Shannon 31:29
Okay, so I have a question then about financially. Do you ever feel like, Oh, well, I, I actually could be missing out on making more money? Or do you feel like the security is a good trade off? Or do you feel like you're actually making more money? Like how, how's that all shaken out? So far,

Becky Simpson 31:49
I would probably make a, I would say I probably make more or comparable right now with this than what I was consistently doing. But you of course, with a full time job, you break down your hourly rate, and you're like, Oh, my gosh, like, This is crazy. I moved like way more than this when I freelance. But it was like, Well, did you did you build you know, do you build eight hours a day? Of course not. So yeah, the money, it's easy. And then like I said, I can still do the freelance or the other stuff that if I want to make more money, or I want to like spend the time on it. Of course, now, the time thing is a major trade off, but it doesn't feel Yeah, and even if I brought it, like maybe I could make more freelancing, but or I could just depend like, it's so worth it. To me right now, though, it doesn't matter. It's whether it's more or less, it's not extreme enough that it would change the fact that I feel like the tax you might pay as an employee is so worth it for the security and the consistency of it.

Kathleen Shannon 33:01
Yeah. And like probably you have to wear less hats. As far as marketing or finding the clients and all the things do you do you feel like you have more or less meetings now that you have the day job? i? Yeah, I

Becky Simpson 33:13
have less meetings. And it's nice, because the team is there, everyone's very mindful of each other's time. So I've never really I mean, we have a fair amount of meetings, not a ton, but maybe maybe just like, a couple or a few a week. But they it's all, you know, I always need to be there. And I'm happy to be and it's I've challenged with the work, but the fact that it's not my own thing, there's naturally less pressure or there's, you know, a little lightness to it.

Kathleen Shannon 33:47
I sometimes I wonder like, could I bring that kind of lightness whenever I fantasize about a day job, like even becoming a creative director at an agency, which is funny, because I own my own agency, like why can't I just be the creative director at my own agency, which I am? Um, but there's something about thinking about someone else owning it, where there is that relief from ownership, like just not taking it so personal. So then sometimes I think, Well, why can't I just take my own job less personal, like this job that I've created for myself, because it's really no different. Like, at the end of the day, I would be doing the exact same things that I'm doing now, just with like less of that kind of emotional weight or burden. So that's my challenge to mice. Yeah. whenever it comes to this sort of thing, it's just hard to break that. Do you think that maybe, if you were to ever, like, how this might be tricky to answer because your boss might be listening? But do you feel like there's like a expiration date because I've also thought this too, like if I were to ever go get a day job, I think I would give myself like a one or two year limit, you know, almost like some people do with quitting their day job. They say okay, if I can't make it after a year Or two years, I'll go back to a day job. You know, have you ever thought about that? Like, Okay, I'm gonna try this for x amount of years and then see,

Becky Simpson 35:08
I really don't have a timeline for it sincerely. I think that one of the big things that I realized in this process of going back is how just sort of fluid our careers are and how much nothing like over over we are for I mean, I already have years, I'm 30. And there's already years where I'm like, What did I even do in those two years? I have no idea. Like, I can't even off the top of my head, like, think of anything that happens. And obviously, the older we get, the more we have of that. So I'm definitely less concerned about the the, like, quick, making every year, day minute. Just the big, big bang, you know, but like, I yeah, I don't know that I was going to get to a point. But like, I don't, I don't really have a limit. I feel like it's okay to for me right now. I'm not in a hurry to get out or to like, you know, do to serve my time and then go back. I'm, I don't know what's next. It's kind of nice. It feels like a break. But I mean, it's not to say the job isn't hard and challenging. Just you don't I mean, just from the like, having everything be on my shoulders,

Emily Thompson 36:25
for sure. has, has to having a day job affected how you run chipper things at all? Like, have you changed your goals and your milestones? Or are you just like continuing business as usual,

Becky Simpson 36:39
probably from the outside business as usual. But I think I mean, I think I would have thought at this point, I would have, it would look different, like I would have an employee by now. And I would, I would have all these systems. And I would really learn to work smarter, not harder, because I have to because I have a job. But all that stuff just still takes time to figure out so I'm way more efficient. And I have just kind of the way I think about it now and the way it's structured, and like how I'm prioritizing feels a lot more mature than it did. And I don't know if that's just a result of like, you know, being older and a little more experienced whichever things or if that's a result of kind of having more headspace with the job. But it doesn't look too different. But it feels so much more in alignment and focused and intentional than it did even six months ago.

Kathleen Shannon 37:37
Like I'm curious, in what ways do you feel like you're able to explore concepts a little bit deeper, or spend more time just using your talent of illustrating and designing and coming up with concepts and being clever, like, in what ways do you feel like it's matured? And in what ways have your priorities shifted?

Becky Simpson 37:57
I don't even know if this is a major thing. But I've been thinking about it. So not having that my bank account, just be chip, like making money for cheaper things. And that's just growing. That gives to me a little bit more freedom, like even doing Facebook ads. I feel like the now I have these projects that I want to knock down. And I'm trying to I'm building more of a foundation, it's like, okay, when you get that right, you can move on to the next thing. So there's there's all kinds of areas like just reconfiguring how I'm doing wholesale and kind of stepping. That's stepping back from wholesale entirely, but stepping back from the idea that like, everything I sell needs to be available wholesale, and just different ways to make money and yeah, just having I guess, like having the, the, I see it more now as every every, everything I want to do. It's not it's less like, jumbled. It's it has like these little pockets of projects and I'm just like, hit one at a time, one at a time. One at a time. When you when you get this right, then you get to move on. And yeah, I think it's just a lot of it's just an organizational focus. Did I answer your question I didn't trailing off.

Emily Thompson 39:16
No, no, you're good. Because it sounds like you simply like I don't mean to use the word frantic as if you were frantic. But like I even think about like how how we do things or how I've always done things like you get an idea and you implemented immediately because this is your livelihood and you got to make sure do whereas you're in a place now where that that like anxiety and pressure is gone in a way that you can address things in your business with less of that frantic energy and this is making me feel dreamy as fuck at the moment. Kathleen, I promise I'm not quitting. But, but it does sound like a really dreamy way to do business especially when business isn't jumping off as quickly as you would like, and go, I do also want to say like, I also feel for people who do see entrepreneurship as like the end game, I feel like this could also be super dangerous, this idea of like going back to a day job and getting comfortable. And what that could do I love I love though, that what you're finding out of this experience is that you're actually able to address your business in a more mature manner. As opposed to anything negative, it sounds like your path is positive thus far.

Kathleen Shannon 40:30
Another thing that I was thinking about as you're speaking to this is with the bank account, and even the separation there, I imagine having $10,000 in or let's say, $5,000, I have $5,000 in my bank account, and I can pay my bills, or I can buy Facebook ads, if that's my sole source of income, I'm going to be paying my bills first, right, I'm not going to be able to invest that back into Facebook ads. Whereas it sounds like now $5,000 instead of feeling like very little amount of money, it might feel like a ton of money that you can invest back into this one silo or this one project that you're wanting to figure out, whether that's like a new way to ship your products, or Facebook ads, or whatever it is. And it just almost seems like you're able to stretch your money a little bit more, and use it a little more wisely. Because there's kind of more of it, even even though it's kind of all evening out in the wash financially. And it seems like you're able to invest without

Becky Simpson 41:30
fear. I was just saying that I am historically have had sort of a scarcity mindset. Of course, no one has that intentionally, but just trying to be very careful with every little bit and DIY at all. But even today, I just had this thing I needed to send someone a bio and it's for it's a new I have a bio, but it's kind of for a different direction. And I emailed a friend who's a copywriter, and I was like, what's your right to look at this, and I never would have done that recently, because I write in the bio looks good. But just to think like this is what the money's there for is to make the have the best version of the best of the most important thing. So yeah, I still I wouldn't say I'm like all I have it all figured out. But I'm, I'm much closer or further along than I was when I had, like, so so many more balls to juggle.

Emily Thompson 42:26
So this is maybe a weird question. But I'm thinking in terms of people who maybe haven't gone into a day job again, but people who are in a day job now who are working on their side hustles to do get it off the ground, I feel like your experience here is the experience that we want people to have before they quit their day job the first time. So you have like chipper things is your side hustle. And or maybe not, but it is, in this context, it's your side hustle, you have your day job. And you are in a good mindset to really grow your hustle your creative business really smartly. And so for all the people who are in a day job who think they need to take the leap really quickly, I think you are a perfect example of how you can really, really utilize your day job as a secure place to focus on growing your business as smartly as possible. So again, I guess less of a question and more of just an observation that I feel like the way you're doing it is the right way of doing it. I like Thank you, at least for you. Yeah,

Becky Simpson 43:39
totally. I mean, we all have exactly every night everyone would do what I'm doing in my position, but it's what I'm doing. And I'm going you know, I'm going all in with it. I think that was I gonna say that, oh, I have so much and I'm sure you do too. After being bosses. I have so much gratitude for my boss and what he's built to the fact that he's built a thing where he can pay people consistently and provide I mean provide, like security and a livelihood for people. I definitely didn't have that same appreciation at my first job. I mean, I would say I wouldn't have probably described myself as an entitled person but looking back the way that I thought that like well I just want to do my own thing and I don't like that I have an hour long lunch or whatever like I mean I was grateful for that job but like compared to how I see it now I'm like gosh, this is that is so cool that somebody can can build something from nothing and employ people. I mean, I just feel like there's there should be so much more gratitude, then resentment or discontentment. You know if we don't like something that Then make a better version of it. But if we have the opportunity to make our better version while someone else is paying us, that is the dream, like to take that for granted is crazy to me,

Emily Thompson 45:12
right? I just had a really great imagining of like forcing everyone to be an entrepreneur for a year of like, really using your skills to make money on your own period, and how that would totally transform the workforce. Like for sure it's as keep everyone from taking all those things from granted, I love that a ton. And

Kathleen Shannon 45:31
also just realizing that everyone's an entrepreneur, because you know, your boss had doesn't have it all figured out. That's the thing that I have this appreciation now for my old CEO at my advertising agency, just because he's in the exact position that I'm in now. And I totally took it for granted. But I think in an appropriate way, like the way that a kid takes their parents for granted until you start seeing, you know, other not so great examples of parenting and you're like, Whoa,

my parents are awesome. Yeah, I don't know what you don't know. Right. And so I think that that's a lot of it is just not knowing what you don't know.

Okay, so I have a question about, like, what kind of practical advice would you give to someone who is thinking about exploring a day job option? And before you answer that, though, I just want to say thank you for like being so open and talking about this. I know, it's kind of a weird, like sticky topic. And there's lots of different feelings around it, and that it's not always clear cut. And I think that's the entire point is that we live in a world where people might have a hybrid, like, where there's a day job and a hustle and a family and, you know, another passion project. And then on top of that, a club that they're a part of, and then another opportunity comes out of that. And I just think that we have so much opportunity now that sometimes it's hard to really silo ourselves into this one identity or this one label. And I think that so many people attach their identity to being a creative entrepreneur, that entrepreneur part of it, that whenever they think about getting a day job for whatever reason, whether it's financially or emotionally, or whatever, they can really go through a bit of a crisis. And so for you to share your story about this, I think it's going to be helpful for so many people to navigate those decisions themselves. And so my question is, beyond the thank you is, what kind of advice would you give to someone who is thinking about exploring their options, whenever it comes to getting a day job, whether that's mindset, or just even practical, like resume updates? What would you tell someone to do?

Becky Simpson 47:55
Thank you, for your Thank you. It has been a pleasure.

Unknown Speaker 47:59
I mean, it's a thing, it

Becky Simpson 48:00
is a weird thing. And it's kind of the reverse trajectory of what we're often told success looks like. It's like, Oh, you become an expert. And then you get to do your own thing and make more money, your own time, your own boss and all that. And it's just it's, I'm, I kind of wish that I had heard more stories of like, this is good, you're still a success, you're still on your path. And the paths are usually they're not like a one way street. So this has been fun to share. I really appreciate you having me. But my advice would be I mean, I guess if they're already thinking about it, that's that's fair. I think that's a great start just picturing if you're so sort of resilient, you know, the idea is so feel so distant, like, I

Unknown Speaker 48:45
couldn't do that. I

Becky Simpson 48:46
mean, just just picturing What if, you know, what would it look like? Just what if, and I think that's a place to start and then asking for what you want. It sounds so simple, but but like, it was so hard, like for me to, like I said, to pinpoint what would the dream beach so what are the skills you would love to get to practice or to improve upon? What are you good at, and then just telling people that and telling them what you want, reach out to the dream companies look at places if you want to work remote, I mean, nothing, nothing that new, but I would say the thing that helped me gave me the most freedom was when I, I opened up and just started talking about it, and just with friends about how I was feeling and then also for opportunities.

Emily Thompson 49:42
I love it. Thank you so much. That's fantastic. I'm so excited that you've done this because I have talked to so many greeters lately who are thinking about going to get a day job and again, there can be some like heavy feelings, right? But when you look fantastic. You look super happy and you're all glowy because the sun is shining down on you in a beautiful way. But also just you look super pleased with how it is that you're able to express yourself like creatively and still and still do all your things. So I love I love that you've been able to come and share this, this unusual journey for what we usually share here on being boss, but one that I think is no less boss for

Kathleen Shannon 50:24
it. Thank you. It's been a delight. Alright, wait. So one more question. We always ask everyone what makes them feel most boss right now. But I want to like really tailor this question to what makes you feel boss in the context of working for someone else? Because I think that employees can be bosses too. Well, I remember.

Becky Simpson 50:50
I want to answer the question first that you didn't ask. Because last time we did an interview, I think I remember y'all were lipstick and I didn't. Or maybe I don't know, there's a lipstick situation that I remember. And I just knew I want to wear lipstick. And I feel really badass wearing lipstick.

Kathleen Shannon 51:07
So lipstick is fabulous. So so that's the first

Becky Simpson 51:12
one. And then I just been I think it's it's when I had let's see, having an idea. And just saying it, like suggesting it being like is there you know, we cool with this, doing it executing it, like making other people's lives easier. And in such a way that's something that I like, it's my thing I'm bringing to the table like this, what I'm here to do, I just It feels good to do a good job. And to contribute.

Kathleen Shannon 51:47
Only every employee was like, Well, I'm not giving too much credit.

Becky Simpson 51:52
I did just make Facebook ads. Remember that? Oh, man, I'm

Emily Thompson 51:59
so glad you came and chatted with us. Thank you so much. And I'm sure we'll actually I want to chat with you in six months about those Facebook ads if you don't mind.

Kathleen Shannon 52:05
Do you mind if we do and where can our listeners find more about chipper things ship things

Becky Simpson 52:10
calm and at chipper things on the Insta? Mostly Instagram, but you know, the places you find one on the internet. I

Kathleen Shannon 52:20
know. I feel like could all podcast stop asking this question because everyone knows how to Google.

Becky Simpson 52:26
Yeah, but it's nice because it's like, you're not making me be like you know, it's like

Kathleen Shannon 52:35
guys, chipper things is amazing. I love your style. It's quirky and fun and in a heavy world. It brings a little bit of brightness to our day.

Emily Thompson 52:45
Thank you man. 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 53:04
My name is Hannah Brauer. I am a dance choreographer, a yoga enthusiast, a color guard coordinator, an artist, a motivational speaker, and a lover of life. I do an array of jobs, ranging from working with high school students in the performing arts, to teaching yoga to US Army soldiers. Today, I am celebrating the decision to no longer blur the line between hobby and career. I have this narrow part of life that I've like become an expert in and I found my voice. I am not just a confusing combination of every job title I hold. But a movement educator dedicated to my passion, the importance of physical, mental and spiritual alignment in your life. And starting today, I'm going to be boss

Kathleen Shannon 53:52
if you're feeling boss and want to submit your own boss moment or when go to WWW dot being boss club slash I am the 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 freshbooks comm slash being boss. Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club. 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 are being countered David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography.

Emily Thompson 54:40
Do the work. Be boss, and we'll see you next week. Can we just

Becky Simpson 54:53
keep this interview going for another hour? I'm having a lot of fun. You're gonna hang Yeah,

Emily Thompson 54:59
actually here.

Kathleen Shannon 55:00
What else do you want to talk about?

Emily Thompson 55:02
Right? Oh, yeah. What else you want to talk about? Becky, you can ask us questions. I was

Becky Simpson 55:06
I was like half joking. Like if, like if I don't know if I could have my way we would but you know, we are we are we still in the interview?

Kathleen Shannon 55:16
Yeah, we're saying what do you want to talk about? Well, how's my wife This is no real interview starts.

Becky Simpson 55:26
And I kind of want to talk to you off air.

Unknown Speaker 55:31
That allowed you guys love y'all to do the word. Bye bye.