Episode 37

Making Decisions Like A Boss

September 15, 2015

Today we’re talking about decision making as a boss and as a creative entrepreneur. Many creatives that we work with struggle with decision-making, so today we’re discussing what to say no to and what to say yes to, narrowing in on your dream clients and offerings, making decisions about your creative path, and the boss power that comes with being a decision-maker.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"It's not easy to be a decision maker. It's literally something you have to practice."
- Emily Thompson

Discussed in this Episode

  • Big changes in Emily & Kathleen's lives lately
  • Deciding what to say yes to and what to say no to in your career
  • Pros & cons exercises and writing things down to make a decision
  • Narrowing in about what you do to help make decisions
  • Systems that keep you from having to make unnecessary decisions
  • Decision making tactics


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In this episode, the Your Ideal Day worksheet was mentioned. Download your copy here!


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:04
Get your business together, get yourself into what you do and see it through.

Emily Thompson 0:09
Being bosses hard. Lending work in life is messy. Making a dream job of your own isn't easy,

Kathleen Shannon 0:17
but getting paid for it, becoming known for it. And finding purpose in it is so doable if you do the work. being bossed is a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. Brought to you by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon. Hi,

Emily Thompson 0:33
I'm Emily. And I own indie typography, where I help passionate entrepreneurs establish and grow their business online. By helping them build brands that attract and websites that sell. I help my clients launch their business so they can do more of what they love, and make money doing it.

Kathleen Shannon 0:50
And I'm Kathleen, I'm the CO owner of brave creative where I specialize in branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs who want to blend who they are with what they do narrow in on their core genius and shape their content so they can position themselves as experts to attract more dream clients.

Emily Thompson 1:09
And being boss as a podcast where we're talking shop, giving you a peek behind the scenes of what it takes to build a business, interviewing other working creatives and figuring it out. As we go right there with you.

Kathleen Shannon 1:21
Check out our archives at loving boss calm. Welcome to

Emily Thompson 1:26
episode number 37. This episode is brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting.

Kathleen Shannon 1:33
Today is just Emily and myself. And we're going to be talking about making decisions like a boss. Hey, before we get into our episode, I want to tell you guys about an E book called breaking the time barrier by Mike McDermott. Mike is the CEO of fresh books, and he wrote an E book a couple years ago. And it's all about learning how to charge what you're really worth. This book changed my life, some of my friends have read this book. And it really changed the way that they price and charge for their services. So it's a good way if you are still charging hourly, to get into some projects and fee based charging. And again, this is from the freshbooks CEO and you're proud to be sponsored by fresh books, fresh books is the easy to use online cloud accounting designed specifically for creative entrepreneurs who did not major in financing and get a little freaked out around the money stuff. freshbooks will help you run your business and make you look like a pro while doing it. Try fresh books for free today. Go to freshbooks.com slash being boss and select being boss in the How did you hear about us section? All right. On to the episode decision making.

Emily Thompson 2:54
First I'm excited. It's just mean you today. Kathleen, I

Kathleen Shannon 2:56
missed you. I know. It's just us the IBC two. So our guest who was scheduled to come on is Becky, who has a documentary about living on Bitcoin for a year. And she's fantastic. I hope we can get her on in the future if we can't here's a good plug for her because it's kind of a fascinating project that she's working on. But and she's a fellow boss. She's in the Facebook group. She had a baby yesterday. Yeah. So

Emily Thompson 3:27
did she know this was coming today, knowing that she

Kathleen Shannon 3:31
was right. Like I might be having a baby. So she did have the babies a big congrats to her. And so it's just us, I'm really excited. But I have no idea what we're going to talk about.

Emily Thompson 3:44
No, we didn't as of like, 10 minutes ago, for sure.

Kathleen Shannon 3:49
But we're gonna talk about making decisions. And it's something that I think about a lot I consider decision making one of my superpowers whenever it comes to my business and my partnerships. I feel like it's something that I'm really good at. However, over the last year, I don't know if it's the sleep deprivation of having a baby or just having to make so many decisions around having a kid that I'm decision fatigued. So I've been having a harder time lately making decisions. So it's something that I've been thinking about a lot. And I think having a harder time making decisions. also gives me a lot of compassion for creative entrepreneurs that we're having conversations with daily who are having a hard time making decisions around what to charge what social media platforms to use, which career direction to go into. So I think today, we're just gonna dig into that a little bit. But first, I want to know Emily, how is your move to Chattanooga? You're in your new house right now.

Emily Thompson 4:52
I am It was fantastic. So as of recording, we've been here for a week like literally, we closed Almost exactly a week ago. Give me 25 minutes. So it's been a whole week. It's been really, really fantastic. We've been hanging out around the city a little bit. We actually started a whole 30 a couple days ago too. So we went to the grocery store four times. Last week that we've been here, and we've gotten, we're probably about 90% unpacked, we really hustled out packing or unpacking whenever we got in, because boxes annoy the hell out of me, is really crazy. Actually, a neighbor across the street has been living in her house for about three months now. And she's not even like halfway done unpacking. So talk about some decision making it mean needing to do the work.

Kathleen Shannon 5:43
Wait, wait, wait, yeah, wait, you're living in your house?

Emily Thompson 5:49
No, they were living across the street.

Kathleen Shannon 5:52
Oh, she's living in her house across the street was not an empire. I have had boxes in their houses for years after moving.

Emily Thompson 6:01
That stresses me out. Like actually the first day we unpacked half of the house. Like it was a had to get it unpacked. It's that environment thing. And I think I've been living living out of a suitcase for the past three months. And just sort of, I guess, like moving every probably two, three years for the past couple of years. So being able to settle down meant Emily was ready to unpack all the boxes immediately. So the last thing to unpack is the studio, which right now is a hot mess. But I hope to have that done by the end of the weekend and then it'll all be gravy.

Kathleen Shannon 6:36
Then are you going to build a podcasting room.

Emily Thompson 6:40
I actually purpose please set my desk up in the corner

Unknown Speaker 6:45

Emily Thompson 6:46
my studio room and I hope to make it a little more sound barrier friendly.

Kathleen Shannon 6:51
I'm sorry. Now you guys. He is literally wrapped in a blanket right now. I think you're still we've been getting a couple of comments on our sound and we're working on it. But Emily is still a little echoey from moving in. So I was like go wrap a blanket around yourself so she can relax. Yeah, I

Emily Thompson 7:08
have I have a I have a blanket like on my bookshelf next to me. I'm holding a pillow on the other side of my microphone that really made me It's really cute. And I'm wrapped in a blanket. So if you have some to say about the audio now, it's not because I'm not trying.

Unknown Speaker 7:23
We're doing the best we can. What about you? You

Emily Thompson 7:28
made a big change recently, but have we talked

Unknown Speaker 7:30
about this yet?

Emily Thompson 7:31
what we what have we talked about you cutting off your dreads yet?

Kathleen Shannon 7:34
Oh, yeah, I think we really have Okay, so yeah, I cut off my hair. Yep. And I was I did it because well, one, I'm still a lady like I like changing stuff up, you know? Yes,

Unknown Speaker 7:51

Kathleen Shannon 7:52
So um, well, that's that's kind of, I guess, even more a part of my personal brand. Beyond the hair itself, which I feel like became a signature is that I can promise you I'm going to change every few years. So I had had my hair and locks for about three and a half years and this summer they started getting really heavy and hot. I found myself not going swimming because I didn't want to have to deal with how heavy they would be like your hair mill doing. mill do this. But that never actually was a risk. But it did take them like eight hours to dry. And I was ready. But mostly I was just ready for a change. So I can't really brush them out. So I cut off my hair right now. It's kind of like in a mohawk situation. I love it. Curly Mohawk. My hair is getting curly. But um, yeah, I don't really know if I'm growing it out or for me keep it short. But yeah, that was a big change and kind of, you know, one of the things that we think about a lot and we talked about a lot is creative confidence. And so it was definitely a lesson in confidence a little bit and just maintaining that people won't forget who I am just because I've changed my hair. I'm so good.

Unknown Speaker 9:16
I mean it looks fantastic. Yo,

Kathleen Shannon 9:17
I'm enjoying it. Um, this week I went to the circles conference. Oh, that's right. How did that go? Yeah. So we popped in on Tuesday evening, and got a hotel I so I was with my sister and my sister came with me who I co own great creative with and I was like, Come help me do the workshop. So she came down with me, and we get into our hotel. And I tell her Okay, my main goal is I want 10 hours of sleep tonight. As our good goal as our regular listeners know, I didn't sink for a year after having my baby. He's going through a sleep regression now, because I don't know his brain is growing. His teeth are growing, things are growing and it keeps them up. At night, so it's like I went 10 hours of sleep tonight. So right as we're rolling into sleep, my sister's like, freaking out. So my sister basically walks and talks in her sleep every single moment, every single night about this, oh my god. So she freaked out. But it's still in her sleep. She has enough self awareness that in her sleep, she's like, Oh, I'm so sorry. Caffeine is fine. But she's still convinced that whatever she's freaking out about is still real. Also, like that we forgot something. So she could I'm sorry, Kathleen. But in her mind, she's like, not really, because this is a problem. Anyway, I slept in until 9am. It's been the longest I've slept in. Like, that's my big news I slept in. The next day, we had a good workshop, and over positioning yourself and using your process to help sell yourself because sometimes it can feel icky. sell yourself as a creative, but then also being searching remember that your person and that people buy people. So one of the things that we mentioned here, on being boss are these conversations, slides or sales decks that we use to help sell ourselves. And so we gave the attendees of this workshop, a really sneak peek behind the scenes of exactly what those slides look like, and how we use them and how we help our customers create them for themselves, so they can feel a little less icky selling. And it might be something that we pull out for the mastermind class in New Orleans, which is coming up soon. We're completely sold out. So I hate even mentioning it. But we're excited about the new ones coming up in like,

Emily Thompson 11:46
yeah, a month and a week. That's crazy. It's going to be so much fun.

Kathleen Shannon 11:50
And so I mentioned Mike McDermott earlier, and his book breaking the time barrier, but and he's going to be speaking to either our masterclass or the Live podcast recording. And he's going to be talking to us for 15 minutes. So we're going to get a good q&a with him, which I'm really excited about.

Emily Thompson 12:09
I'm try to like come up with some good questions. Start thinking start thinking on it now.

Kathleen Shannon 12:13
I know. All right. Enough chitchat,

Emily Thompson 12:18
I guess well, no, not enough chit chat. But yes, let's segue into it smoothly. So I like

Kathleen Shannon 12:25
to coach is trying to call me. He's gonna be coming on the show soon. Because actually, because I'm having a hard time making some decisions. So I texted him, I said, Hey, can you coach me for 15 minutes? Awesome. Yeah, well, good. Yeah, I

Emily Thompson 12:39
look forward to having him on the show, it's gonna be gonna be cool. Um, but you have cut off your hair, which is something that you love to like, I remember a Instagram or something once where you were talking about how you finally felt like you were

Unknown Speaker 12:57
who you were supposed to be. And I

Kathleen Shannon 12:58
was, like myself,

Emily Thompson 13:00
yes, like having dreads was sort of in that moment was your thing. And you recently made the decision to cut them off, which is something like a lot of girls have problems cutting their hair, like my hair has gotten really long, and I'm having problems just getting it trimmed. So hair change decisions is a big one. Um, I just moved out of state out of my hometown again for the third time and moved to Chattanooga, a big decision we made as a family like moving our business, moving our family, and changing so many things in our life. And that's after making the decision have to pack up and travel the country for 40 days, followed by living out of our suitcase for another 50 days while we tried to buy a house. Um, so decision making is something that we talk about a lot, we make a lot of decisions. It's one of your superpowers. I feel like it's one of mine to you. I'm a very big decision maker. And in business, as an entrepreneur, if you are, if you are literally the quote unquote, decision maker in your business, and as a solopreneur, you are the decision maker.

Kathleen Shannon 14:11
Let's talk about making those decisions. Yeah, well, like so for me deciding to cut my hair was not a hard decision. For me, I could not get it off my head fast enough. Once I made the decision, which seemed to come to me. I don't know. Maybe I was watching some pink videos or something. I was like, I should come here. I know. It was a bit maybe it was a long time coming. Like that was the kind of decision that I was thinking about for probably six months like what would it be like you know, whenever you're searching on Pinterest for decision for I courted my decision, which is usually not like me, usually I'm all about making decisions fast and then executing on them. But whenever you find yourself on Pinterest, looking at photos of Pixie cuts, that's a hint that you might be wanting to cut all your hair off. But some things that I've been having a hard time making decisions about are, so we're getting a lot of opportunities, I think because they've been boss, and just the phases of our business. So really deciding what to say yes to and what to say no to, I have a hard time making a decision around. And whenever we get people on our podcast like chalene Johnson, and Paul Jarvis and Jason Zook, and, you know, all these people that we have, who are also have lots of opportunities coming their way. I always like to ask them kind of how they decide Oh, Melissa Hartwig how they decide what to say yes to and what to say no to. So I've been having a hard time with that. I've also been having a hard time making decisions around sometimes just career stuff. And I think you're the same Emily like, what do you have a hard time making decisions around?

Let me get ready. Um,

Emily Thompson 16:02
so what to say yes to and what to say no to is definitely one of those like, there's conflicting ideas, this idea that you should say no to everything and like that, except for the things that really like feed you or whatever. And then the idea of like, you know, don't pass up an opportunity, because you never know what you know, will come of it like there are there are conflicting views on how you should do that. And I find myself in the middle of that conflict ongoing. So I second that one, that one's a really hard one. For me,

Kathleen Shannon 16:30
I just want to mention, I go through phases. So probably whenever I was pregnant, towards the end of my pregnancy, I was saying no to everything, it was a season of saying no. Then once I felt like I had my feet under me a little bit, I started saying yes to everything. And so for me, I'm so extreme. And when I really want to what I love about you. So what I would like to do is find a method for making decisions that is just much more middle of the road and not a season of saying yes to everything and not as easy to say no, that kind of having I don't know, like a true north or these guideposts for The Guardian Angel, an angel to help

Unknown Speaker 17:21
you along your way.

Unknown Speaker 17:23
No, well, if

Emily Thompson 17:24
that's the thing, though, is I don't think there's a science to decision making, there's not an equation that will get you from, from possibility to outcome in the most like, I don't know, efficient way. Like it doesn't work like that. And I think it is a seasonal thing. Like I think that's something maybe your place should be recognizing what season you're in. And like prioritizing because whenever you were pregnant, your priority was baby yourself, your home, your husband like those things, in which case, all the other things, screw it like they all get to know. But once things start sort of evening out, your priorities can change, and you have more free time. And maybe it is just more about recognizing what season of life you're in, and making decisions based on that, which doesn't really help anyone at the moment maybe. But it's a nice way to think about it because there's not a science or equation. Or maybe there is a we should build it. Right you like to discover the science of Well, I

Kathleen Shannon 18:20
think if anyone would do that it would be my sister. So she recently we recently had to make a decision. So one of the things that we've talked about are the cycles of working from home versus having a studio. So we recently did a podcast episode about that. And probably right after that an opportunity came up for a space in the cool like one of my favorite areas of town. There's coffee shops nearby, a good pub, good food, good people. A lot of my artists friends are in this area. And so an opportunity came up to have a space. And I couldn't really decide but again, I'm in a season I'm saying yes. And so I was like let's do it and my sister A lot of times, again, my superpower is making the decision. And then she helped support me and it's like, okay, let's figure this out. Let's figure out how we're going to implement it. So I wanted to do it, but she was feeling funny about it. So what she did is she got pen and paper out. Well she had a bunch of note cards, and she had like four different colors. And and basically it was a glorified pro and con list. But what was cool about it is that it made it really visual and we can kind of like bucket reasons why we should do this and why we shouldn't do this. And maybe some of them weren't even cons but maybe like obligations like what are the obligations that we have or what are the timing issues for this. And so it's one thing to kind of ping decisions around back and forth and to talk it through. But what I found is I can rationalize my way in or out of anything. But by writing it down on these note cards, and then bucketing it into like, kind of one big pro and con list, I was able to visually see that obligating ourselves to this space right now, it wasn't the good timing, it wasn't quite the right space. And so the decision was easier to see it than it was to think it through. So that's like a big, I don't know, a good good formula for making decisions as to literally start writing it down. Because if it stays in your head, you're just gonna kind of be ping ponging back and forth. And you can probably forget what you decided.

Emily Thompson 20:34
Yeah, pros and cons list or terrorist like pros and cons list on crack is, is something we use all the time. I mean, whenever we actually whenever we decided to move to Chattanooga, I remember sitting out there like, cuz she was not excited about leaving family and friends and, and things. And Dave and I were already geared up ready to go, but we had to convince our kid. So we sat down with her, and he did a pros and cons list with, you know, our seven year old, and, and it helped her sort of see the rationality behind behind the decision being a good one. So, um, if it works for a seven year old, I think it can work for adults.

Kathleen Shannon 21:13
Well, that you're teaching her how to make decisions. Yeah, it's

Emily Thompson 21:17
important. I mean, making decisions is why I'm here, period, there are plenty of people who are who started a business five years ago, who are not as far along as I am now. And the difference is, the decisions they made and whether or not they even made them. I coach people all the time, I like to do three and 30 coaching sessions, where it's their free, we give them give three of them out every month to people on our subscriber list. And we always get some really great people and I get to spend 30 minutes talking to new people. And almost always it comes down to them just making a decision about whatever it is they're coming to me to be coached about. And it's not, it's not needing to figure it out. It's just needing to make the decision. And usually in the middle of coaching, they've already made the decision, they just haven't, like, committed to it and turn it into action. So it's very, very important, I think, for business and teaching my kids how to do it now is is almost a no brainer. Like it's not something I'm like, Oh, I need to teach you how to make decisions. It's just like, this is life. And to get along, you make decisions. And so let's do it. Any no one's really

Kathleen Shannon 22:33
huge. One thing I always say is that there aren't really bad decisions. I mean, well, of course are bad decisions. Like

Emily Thompson 22:41
cuddling there are really,

Unknown Speaker 22:47
okay, continue whenever

Kathleen Shannon 22:48
it comes to your career and choosing between like, let's say Twitter or Instagram, there's not really a bad decision there. So like a lot of the things that we're coaching other creatives around, and they're, it's more about, just make the decision and go with it and see where that gets you. One of the things that you say all the time, Emily that I love is to test and change. And a lot of decisions are actually you're not making a huge decision, you're actually making a really little decision executing on that, see where it gets you and then you get to make another decision based off of where you're at now. So that's kind of this testing change philosophy, it's just you're just making one little decision after another. It's not the end of the world.

Emily Thompson 23:35
Right? Unless you're like a superhero and mind, your choice really could determine the end of the world. That's not a case, the case my kid reads too many comic books. Um, no, I think that's exactly it. Maybe that's actually where decision making becomes a science is, is it's all just an experiment. Like I've said this before, like life and business and you know, relationships and you know, what you're going to cook for dinner. It's all just an experiment. And you can either go into it thinking that it's going to be the end all of all decision making, or it's just going to be one decision you make you see the outcome. And if you like it, you make it again, and if you don't, you never make it again. I'm testing changes. It has totally, I think become my personal mantra, like super hardcore, and it's gotten me to do some really cool places. It's gotten me to some really weird places. But even I don't even hate those. So um, so yeah, testing change, I think is everything. Um, well, I

Kathleen Shannon 24:33
was just gonna say I was recently running some errands and I wrote a newsletter about this through braid, but I was talking about in this newsletter at how I was running some errands the other day, and I was listening to Terry Gross on NPR interview Louie ck, who's my favorite comedian. I love him. Um, anyway, he's he was talking about his show. And it's, I won't go into it but it shows is kind of based on him, like the character is the same name as him. But it's, there's liberties there, right for storytelling sake. Anyway, whenever he was a teenager, he kind of got into some drugs. And his mom got him, like a free social worker therapist and the services as cool young guy. And he basically told Louie ck, he was like, Listen, some crappy things have happened to you. And you've made some bad choices as far as the kinds of drugs that you're doing. But all you have to do is make one good decision. And then one good decision after that, and then and you just keep making good decisions, and things get better. And so I love thinking about that. And it made me realize that making decisions and then seeing like, acknowledging that you made that choice, and you made that decision, helps give you confidence. So again, that's another thing, a lot of the creatives we're talking to everyday struggle with is having confidence in their decisions. But I think it's really acknowledging the good decisions that you've already made. And then you just keep making good decisions. Well,

Emily Thompson 26:04
I think I think there's so much to say in that and how much power you have over your own life. And I think that's something that a lot of people struggle with. And it's something that I'm becoming more aware of, as I like, get older and become more involved in the world. And all those things that there are people out there who really do not understand the power they have over their own life, and direction, and job and business and all of those things. And the power is in your ability to make your own decisions, which is something that we had sort of talked about earlier in this idea that it is your job, to make your decisions. If you're one of those people that you know, are always expecting other people to make your decisions. You're literally handing over your power to someone at

Kathleen Shannon 26:54
all. So I recently had to make a hard decision about an opportunity that came my way. And I was asking everybody, I was practically asking strangers, hey, I have this opportunity. Do you think I should do this thing? And my clue there should have been that because I was seeking so much for permission from everyone outside of myself to do this thing, or looking for other people to tell me that this is a good decision. It kind of meant that I was handing over my power, whether or not it was a good decision or not. I was handing over my power.

Emily Thompson 27:31
Yeah. And well, and I think that if you get to that point, especially when you're a hardcore decision maker, like we are like, then at that point, you've kind of already made your decision. Yeah, like, by handing over your power to someone else. You've made the decision that you didn't want to do it, thank God, because if you had you would have made the decision and gone forward,

Kathleen Shannon 27:50
like so for example, whenever you approached me and you were like, hey, do you want to start a podcast? It was kind of a no brainer. Right? Right. It's so easy to say yes. And so I just yeah, bosses make their own decisions.

Emily Thompson 28:05
A man they do, they absolutely do make their own decisions. And and it's hard. Like it's not an easy thing to be the decision maker. It's it's a practice it's literally something you have to practice. My my best friend I love him to death love him to death. We have this this conversation most evenings that we're hanging out where he needs someone else to help him figure out what he wants to eat for dinner.

Kathleen Shannon 28:33
Yes, that's so funny that you say that, because I was gonna say practice making decisions by just making decisions around what to eat.

Emily Thompson 28:40
And yeah, yeah, and, and that in itself can be really hard. But there are plenty of days where I leave the studio and I've made decisions all day like I'm, you know, managing my team and directing clients and, and making my own decisions. And you know, how I should design this website or whatever. The by the end of the day, I walk out of the studio, and I'm like, David, you're telling us what we want to eat because I don't care. Like I cannot make another decision.

Kathleen Shannon 29:05
I have a tool for decision making whenever it comes to what to eat.

Oh, please share.

Okay, my ex taught me there's actually. So whenever it comes to what you want to eat, all you have to do is like hold up a fake spoon or sandwich like and like you're mining that you're eating. So like, you guys can't see this.

Unknown Speaker 29:28
She's jumping it.

Kathleen Shannon 29:30
I'm like air chomping and then you were like, What? What is it? What's, what am I jumping on? And it kind of, it really does help. So I'm like, that's

Emily Thompson 29:43
giving Mikey a spoon and just chop and tell me what?

Kathleen Shannon 29:46
That's a turkey sandwich right there or that's a Cheeto and some red wine. Right?

Emily Thompson 29:51
whatever it may be. Amen, genius. I'm gonna try that next time. I can't figure it out.

Unknown Speaker 29:57
It goes for you. Yeah. Yes,

Emily Thompson 30:00
I'll let you know what what I ended up air tromping. Um, so apart from food though, like, I think a problem that a lot of people, at least a lot of our people struggle with, and it's something that you and I talked about plenty of times it's like direction and career. So a lot of our listeners are, you know, have full time jobs and their creative entrepreneurial ism is their side hustle, or they've made their creative business, their their main hustle. And things evolve, and which is an expectation that every creative entrepreneur, side hustler or main hustler should have, the business that you start is very rarely the business that you have in three to five years. So the career stuff is really hard to make decisions about because in a way that will shape the rest of your life, not to make it heavier.

Kathleen Shannon 30:52
But you know what? I feel like the things that you said, right then are kind of like contradictory. Because here's the deal. I think just being open to the fact that I have no idea where my business is going to be in three to five years, actually gives me a lot of liberty to just make decisions around what it is that I want to do right now. Um, and then things kind of follow their own path, like my decisions unfold along the way. And it's usually, usually I can have faith, though, that if I make a good decision right now, that in three to five years, my business is going to be in a cool place. Does that

Emily Thompson 31:34
make Yes, that makes perfect sense. I think that's completely true. I mean, everything we do in business leads us along our path to like, entrepreneurial happiness, I think and like security and those sorts of things. But it's still a decision that causes a lot of stress. Yeah, and a whole lot of people. And I think that, I think that that's probably the most important point to make is that is that, again, knowing that you have that power, over your own future, should give you the freedom to make whatever decision you want, because you can

Unknown Speaker 32:11

Emily Thompson 32:12
and change, like, if you make a decision now that you think is good, and you realize it might not have been the best one, you may have spent a little time on not the best decision, but you just change it and keep going along. Because I believe that the only failure comes when you don't learn the lesson. So even the missteps that you take along the way, are there to serve the purpose to teach you a lesson that you needed to continue

Kathleen Shannon 32:36
on. And I found that I can make better decisions about what I want, whenever I get really specific about what that is. So from what I like to offer and do so for a while I was trying to decide, do I want to offer web or not? And then I thought, you know what, I don't really like working on web projects, because they are never done. Hey, it's usually me figuring out the business model, that stuff kind of comes up when we're web is coming to execution. And people get really stressed out whenever they're launching. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 33:15
I know, I like

Emily Thompson 33:17
the whole thing

Kathleen Shannon 33:18
I've ever like, here's all the reasons why I don't do what you do. And

Emily Thompson 33:22
I know all the reasons that it's all the reasons though, that I love what I do, because I can help other people like deal with that, because I've done it so many rounds. But even even that was a mindful decision that

Kathleen Shannon 33:39
I made one day in my

Emily Thompson 33:41
business and in yours, too, like making the mindful decision to not get into that has shaped your business in huge ways. I

Kathleen Shannon 33:49
mean, like, just because I can do it doesn't mean that I should and it doesn't mean that it's what I'm best at. So I like to get really specific about what am I actually best at. And then I make decisions around that. Even my dream clients, a lot of people have a hard time narrowing in on who they want to serve and who they best help. I think getting really specific about how what you do help someone else and even down to the vibe of the person even down to what kind of clothes they wear. I mean, a lot of people have done dream customer profiles. But I continue getting really specific along the way it will help you make decisions about even saying yes or no to dream clients.

Emily Thompson 34:37
Yeah, I think it could go either way. If you have problems narrowing in on your niche or your offerings or whatever, then you have a decision making problem you need to practice making decisions. And if you know that you simply have problems making decisions, then narrow in on your offerings or your dream client, because that's a really good practice for making decisions. Um, because that's exactly what that is, whenever whenever I have a client come to me who you know their dream customers between the ages of 20 and 55, I think what like that is hardly a narrow enough like space to do any sort of branding or web work. Like you can't do that

Kathleen Shannon 35:19
you have to make decisions, you have to narrow down you have to speak to a person and that requires decision making. And Okay, so let's say someone is asking you or telling you that they want to be a creative entrepreneur, they The dream is working for themselves, but they have no idea what they want to do, but that they're creative. They're kind of a jack or jack of all trades. But they just don't know which path to go down. How would you coach someone around that? What would you? What kinds of questions would you ask them so that they can get more specific about making a decision about a career path? Okay, I'll go first.

Unknown Speaker 36:07
I'm thinking on this a second.

Kathleen Shannon 36:09
So some of the things are like really obvious, like things that you might take for granted? What are you good at? graphic design? Is it photography? If you're just an idea person, I Oh, no, I get kind of frustrated with that. Because I feel like you have to have more of a specific offering or skill versus just idea person or you have to be able to shape that into an offering.

Emily Thompson 36:36
Yeah, well, I think I think the ideal day exercise is probably probably even even an easier one for people to tackle. And

Kathleen Shannon 36:45
you know what, let's offer that in the show notes. If you go to our website at love being boss calm, I will attach an ideal day worksheet to the email whenever you sign up. And if you're already on our newsletter list, we'll be sure to send that to you guys. But um, yeah, go to loving boss comm and sign up for our newsletter, and I will send you an ideal day worksheet. And it will help you narrow in on what you want to be doing all day. So you can make decisions around how to charge for it. Amen.

Emily Thompson 37:16
And and not even like we haven't charged for it. Absolutely. But also like, guide your life in such a huge way. I think that that's sitting down closing your eyes, drinking a glass of wine if you need to, and really thinking about what it is that you want to be doing all day. What time are you getting up? What are you going to work? Are you working from home? What are you wearing, which was always one of my one of my favorite ways to visualize that is? Are you in your PJs all day? Because if so you need to work from home.

Kathleen Shannon 37:47
Mine is like what kinds of conversations are you having? What are you talking about? getting really specific about that will help you figure out what it is that you want to be doing. So for us, we love sitting around and talking about being boss all day. So starting a podcast was a pretty good decision for us.

Emily Thompson 38:06
Definitely part of my dream day was getting on the phone with Kathleen and just talking. So and making that into a business was something that we totally made into a viable thing. Um, so just illustrating that it really kind of is that simple. You think about what you want to do all day and you go forward, you start making the little changes to actually make those days reality. If you have sucky mornings, then draw out your perfect morning and start making steps to make that morning routine happen. It's it's kind of that simple, but it is deciding on that ideal day, which if I'm deciding anything I would love for that decision to be what am I doing all day. I think that's totally the thing

Kathleen Shannon 38:50
to do. One of my favorite personal branding exercises that we do in our ecourse and with our one on one clients is having a dinner party and inviting four guests to your dinner party I may have even talked about on the podcast before. Um, but one thing that I like my friend Jesse Artie, who has a podcast called marriages funny, her dad used to kind of do this same dinner party idea with her but it was her board of directors. So I like to think of my dinner party. So okay, here's how dinner party works. you're inviting for people to dinner, and they're actually kind of aspects of yourself. So right now at my dinner party. It would be Beyonce always of course she's always invited to my dinner party. I reclass because I think that he does a great job of interviewing and elevating the mundane and finding the stories and the details. I would also have Jenny Slate. So she plays, she's on Parks and Rec and she plays the sister of Ralph Maggio. I can never remember I think that's the karate kid. Anyway, it's coming to Haverford, like crazy entrepreneurial friend. She plays his sister. She's also kicked off of Saturday live for dropping the F bomb live on TV. Anyway, She's hilarious. I really like her. I've been listening to a few podcasts where she suggested she would be there. And then if one more person had to come here, would it be okay, it might be you, Emily coming to my dinner party. So then let's say I have to make a hard decision. like should I take on this opportunity? Instead of asking random strangers on the street, if I should do this thing? Maybe I think about my dinner party. And I think of them as my board of directors, what would be on say, tell me to do, what would Jenny Slate tell me to do? And they might tell me different things. But if three out of four of them are telling me to say yes, maybe I should say yes. If one of them is like, I don't know, why are they telling me? No, is it because they're scared. So it sounds kind of like split personality ish. But it really does help dig down into what you really want by kind of acting like it's other people making the decision for you and as people that you admire, and respect and trust.

Emily Thompson 41:10
I love that there's no party guests has always been one of my favorite exercises. Also, one of the hardest exercises on the planet for me to do you would be in a party.

Unknown Speaker 41:20
What would be your

Kathleen Shannon 41:22

Like, that's hard to do. And I'm like, so who? Okay,

Emily Thompson 41:28
so Oprah would definitely be one of me that are one of mine. She's boss. Oprah would be one. Amy Poehler would be one. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 41:37
Amy Poehler is a mind to God, I

Emily Thompson 41:43
don't know, I think Richard Branson would probably be one of mine. So like visionary and that British accent.

Unknown Speaker 41:51
Why not?

Unknown Speaker 41:53
And then I need a fourth one.

Emily Thompson 41:58
I don't know. Actually, you would be their cat.

Kathleen Shannon 42:00
Oh, let's

Unknown Speaker 42:01
put you actually

Emily Thompson 42:04
the first time ever did this. It was like a Kathleen and Tara blend person. What will make that it? Um, I think that that would be amazing. I think that enough entrepreneurs are badass women and to some funny shit would be amazing.

Kathleen Shannon 42:20
Um, okay, so another way to make good decisions is to get rid of the decisions that you don't have to make.

Unknown Speaker 42:26

Kathleen Shannon 42:27
So this would be like, for me, getting getting rid of wardrobe is a big one, like deciding what to wear. Get rid of the stuff that you're never wearing that you're always looking over. So that way you don't have to decide not to wear that.

Emily Thompson 42:44
I always thought that Steve Jobs uniform

Unknown Speaker 42:47
was weird as No, it's

Emily Thompson 42:49
until I got older. And now I want it to which I basically do I feel like these days after leaving out of a suitcase for three months and wearing literally the same flows over and over and over again. Look, I've adopted a weird little wardrobe. Um, but I think that's genius. I mean, clothes I love Well, actually, I

Unknown Speaker 43:09
say I love it. I

Emily Thompson 43:10
think it's a little bit genius. I could not do it myself. But you have the same breakfast every day. I have the same breakfast every day, so that you don't have to make that decision of what you're having for breakfast, which again, genius. Don't think it's for me, I like like choosing. Um,

Kathleen Shannon 43:28
I like doing a whole 30 whenever it comes to food, because then I don't have to decide to be moderate. Like, for me, moderation is really hard. I like to be all in. I'm going to eat them all or I'm not going to eat any of That's exactly right. So for me taking those decisions off the table like am I gonna have a cookie or not like just taking it off the table? I think Gretchen Rubin talks about this also, in her book, The happiness project. Like there's moderators and Abstainers, I'm best with abstaining.

Emily Thompson 44:02
I think I'm probably too. Now that you say I think I'm a good blend of both. I think I'm a healthy blend of both I know when I should just stay away from things. But I'm also pretty good just having a bite like David is an ice cream lover on this whole other level guys, like, I cannot even explain to you how much ice cream this guy eats. But I'm really good about and I love ice cream. I'm really good about he'll go get a bowl and I'll literally eat one bite and then I'm done. Like it doesn't but I can't get my own bowl because then I'll fill it up and eat it all. Um, so I think I'm probably a good healthy blend of both. But what other decisions do you have that you don't make anymore? Like what systems and that's basically what that is what systems you have in your life in business that keep you from having to make decisions.

Kathleen Shannon 44:52
So I would actually say the braid method is a big way of not having to make decisions. ones that are unnecessary. So we have a process in place for taking people through our branding, process our method, and in a way that from from sales from selling our product is the same no matter what same price for everyone. And having that package offering really makes it clear, here's what I do. And here's what I don't do. And if you're willing to go through that method, you might be a good client. If you're not, then you're not a good fit, right. So that helps, that really helps us eliminate some of the decision making process as to client Fitch as to what we're doing, what we're offering, how much it costs. And it also helps us in the actual creative process. So I get really afraid whenever I get a new project that I'll never have a good idea ever again, or that like all of a sudden I forgotten how to be a designer. So that really helps me. And the process itself of discovery and mood boarding. And letting my client reject designs along the way, really helps me make good decisions. And it really helps me hear what my client is saying. And yeah, so that's a really good decision making tool that I use, even in my coaching process and packaging up that offering. Rather than being like, Well, what do you need? How long do you want to talk for, by really giving it boundaries and guidance. And I don't have to make a decision around that around what I'm offering or what we're talking about, I have worksheets to help facilitate the conversation. It just makes it really easy and seamless. So I think packaging your process, bundling your offering, getting really clear on what that is, will help you as far as not reinventing the wheel every time you do a project.

Emily Thompson 47:00
I agree. I feel like that's probably the point. And like the coaching that I do, where entrepreneurs have the most frustration is in deciding how to work with their clients when they don't have preset packages. Because then they're handing all of the power in their business over to the client and giving them the decision and how is it they want to work with you? Which is not how you build a business that you are? Well yeah,

Kathleen Shannon 47:25
what happens? No, you do that is you put yourself in the position of being an order taker, versus an expert. And if you feel funny around the word expert, all it means is guide or that your boss or wearing the pants,

Emily Thompson 47:41
right that you're running a business doing something like if you have a business where you do something you are the expert at what you do, period. But I do I think packaging services is one of those places where entrepreneurs find the most sort of pushback in terms of decision making. So if you can package them that definitely streams a lot streamlines a lot of things and you don't have to make those decisions, you make a decision, once you decide on what your package is going to be what your engagement with your with your clients going to be or what your product is, if you're a product maker, like choose your product don't have a line of like 80 products that are not cohesive, because you can't decide what you're going to do make some decisions. Um, I think another another huge one, that is a huge pain point for online entrepreneurs, is the horrible email. And I think like whenever you get an email, like having to take make the decisions on how it is that you're going to respond to all the inquiries that come in, I think that's where like template emails come in, like that's a decision that you don't have to make whenever you can take the emotions out of, of doing like regular emails, like if someone is emailing you about working with you, and having a template that you send them has, like, here's how I work with you. Or if someone emails you because they didn't get their package, like having a template email of like, you know, we send it out on this day, you know, here's your tracking, whatever those sort of things are, it takes the emotions out of it, you make that decision once of what the email is gonna say. And you just you rescind it over and over again, I think that's a that's a huge pain point that a lot of people have problems with and making that decision once so you never have to make it again fixes it.

Kathleen Shannon 49:27
Yeah, I think that making decisions around your internal processes and how you work and just making those decisions once and then testing and changing along the way of course, then make the decision once so even if you're working for yourself, here's what I would recommend is to write down how someone works with you from start to finish from how they engage with your website, to emailing you to how you respond to how you onboard them to how you invoice them. That way you're not having to decide well, should I Talk about money now. Nope, it's in the process. So yes, you're talking about money. Now you're letting them know how much it costs. Oh, so that means you need to make a decision on what to charge. So if you can just spend a day or two, or maybe even the next thing, you go through a client project, just write everything down as if you're going to train someone else on it. Even if it's just yourself for a while, you'll find that in that process, you're going to be making a lot of decisions. But then that's it, you don't have to make them again. And then you can start creating processes around those decisions to be more efficient. It's a chain reaction.

Emily Thompson 50:40
It is I am just to plug someone here.

Unknown Speaker 50:43
Val Geisler Yeah, we

Emily Thompson 50:45
had on our podcast recently. So I recently hired her to help us help us streamline our in the BIM process, you know, over the past, we've added Chris to the team in the past year, and brought Corey in on developing projects, or developing websites from the ground up in the past year. And so like, my process was all in my head. Like I knew exactly how every project went. And whenever it came to handing off pieces of the project, things just got a little messy. So we recently hired valve to do just that with us like to take all the processes that were in my head and divide them up amongst the team. But it'd be really good for a one person team as well. Having someone guide you through creating all the processes, you need, again, help you make the decisions on what your process will be, so that you never have to make them again,

Kathleen Shannon 51:33
it also helps you sell it, then you can really reassure your potential client on what to expect. And whenever they know what to expect. And they, they it creates trust. Whenever they trust you, they're more willing to hire you. Because they know that they're going to get what you've been able to give other people in your portfolio, it's one thing to see like a really pretty shiny portfolio. But a lot of times potential clients are like, How do I know that I'm going to get that too, is by sharing your process simply explaining it, it takes the IQ out of selling. So yeah. And again, this is something that we're constantly working on. So raid has been around, we've had a braid method for five years, and every year we are refining and changing it to better serve our dream client that continues to evolve. And so yeah, process, write it all down.

Emily Thompson 52:37
Yes, that is

that I bet I think is the sticking point

Unknown Speaker 52:41

Emily Thompson 52:43
probably, actually, I feel like

that is the best practice. That is the best practice that you can currently do for practicing decision making. But also making your business a million times more about asking the process is start processing out your business, make decisions on how it is that you want

Unknown Speaker 53:01
it to run,

Emily Thompson 53:02
it's just a part you'll make a million little decisions along the

Unknown Speaker 53:05

Emily Thompson 53:06
But in the process, you will be recording your systems and your process and your packaging and your pricing and how it is that you're going to deal with inquiries or trouble clients or you know, customer service all of those things, it will become a huge practice in decision making. And then make you about as boss as you can get at this phase if you're having trouble making decisions.

Kathleen Shannon 53:35
And I feel like the final thing that I want to say around decision making is just kind of more tactics and tools. So one of the things that I like to do whenever it comes to decision making is to again pen to paper, write down on a list the things that I want, and what will help me get to those decisions. And so for example, it's really funny, because we're talking about wardrobes earlier, one of the things I really want right now are just five badass outfits that I know look good photograph well, and make me feel like a boss. Right. So then I went on Pinterest and I started pinning things. And now whenever I go shopping, I can really easily make decisions. So like let's say I'm looking at a floral dress. And I go back to my Pinterest board does anything on there look like a floral dress? No, it's all leather leggings. And you know, like post apocalyptic fashion. It is not a floral dress. So I eliminates that decision. I don't have to decide whether or not I'm buying this full floral dress, even though it's $5 you know, and it's super cute, but it was not in my vision. So I think that having a vision will help you make decisions better and easier. Write it down, write down what you want, as silly as it might be. Or as serious as it might be?

Emily Thompson 55:02
Yeah, I love Pinterest everything you've read a lot lately about how I think Pinterest is only

Kathleen Shannon 55:07
it's been

Emily Thompson 55:08
around long enough now that I think people are probably now starting to realize how much of an effect that vision boarding actually has on your life and business, because that's what we all talk about anyway, in terms of like goal setting, and

Kathleen Shannon 55:22
what do you want?

Emily Thompson 55:23
And how do you want to feel? We talk about like, have a vision get specific. And what's more specific than some pictures and a board that all like, communicate what you're thinking? I think Pinterest is about to start creating more Pinterest worthy stuff.

Kathleen Shannon 55:38
Maybe we could have been silvermine on the show. Oh my god, I

Unknown Speaker 55:42
would love that. But

Kathleen Shannon 55:43
he's the creator of Pinterest. And we met him actually,

Emily Thompson 55:46
we have a photo of you and I and

Unknown Speaker 55:50

Kathleen Shannon 55:51
So funny. I wonder if we could find that and include it in the show notes. Oh, I hope so. He was sweet. It would be cool to have him on the show to see how Pinterest has changed from the beginning. And you know, kind of like even just user interaction and how they've evolved with that. I would love to see how his roles have changed. Yeah. How's he being boss? Yeah. Alright, so maybe we can get him on the show.

Emily Thompson 56:17
So Ben, we're calling you out. We'll be in touch soon.

Kathleen Shannon 56:21
Um, if you guys have any questions about decision making or comments on things that you have a hard time making decisions around I would love to hear more in our Facebook group. So you can find that by going to our website at loving boss calm there's always a link to the Facebook group somewhere around there.

Emily Thompson 56:42
Yeah, definitely go in and and ask some questions. Get some thoughts, share your thoughts on decision making, because people in they're amazing. There's always some great content going on in there. And decision making is one of those things that isn't necessity if you

want to be boss.

You have to learn how to confidently make decisions and not like questioning yourself constantly

Unknown Speaker 57:02

Emily Thompson 57:03
decision own it. See what happens test to change.

Unknown Speaker 57:08

Kathleen Shannon 57:09
Amen. Hey,

Emily Thompson 57:12
bosses. I'm going to take a second to interrupt this episode to tell you that if you're liking being boss, and you're ready to level up your game, we've got something just for you. Check out the being boss bundle is Kathleen's DIY coaching for creatives. And my Get your shit together series bundled together at one low price just for you bosses. You can find that at love being boss comm slash bundle.

Kathleen Shannon 57:39
If you like being boss, be sure to sign up for our newsletter at love being boss calm, where you'll get episode worksheets, secret content, and other goodies delivered straight to your inbox every week. Again, that's love being boss calm. Do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week. Now I'm gonna go get some food going Kathleen