[00:00:00] Corey Winter: Hey there bosses! Corey from the Being Boss team here. I'm popping into let you know about a new way for you to stay up-to-date in the world as a creative entrepreneur, Brewed. Brewed is a weekly email curated by the Being Boss team just for you. We share articles, podcasts, and resources from around the internet on the topics of mindset, money and productivity, help you show up and do the work in your business.
[00:00:24] Learn more and sign up for free at beingboss.club/brewed. That's Being Boss dot clubs slash B R E W E D.
[00:00:37] Emily Thompson: Welcome to Being Boss, a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And today I'm joined by my podcast companion, Corey winter to discuss a Being Boss mindset mainstay, something that you've heard me say a million times
[00:00:57] and that is to test and change. As always, you can find all the tools, books, and links. We referenced on the show notes at www.beingboss.club. And if you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe to the show and share us with a friend.
[00:01:15] Sometimes seeing someone else's path to success helps us clearly map out our own. It's why we all like business podcasts, right? Well, I'm here to share a show for you to check out the Female Startup Club podcast, an amazing resource that shares insights and learnings from the world's most successful female founders, entrepreneurs, and women in business.
[00:01:37] And a recent episode, I loved hearing about how Michelle Grant, the founder of Lively, the lingerie and swimwear brand built and sold her company for $105 million in just three years, total boss move. So if you're looking for a new pod to inspire your next steps, listen to the female startup club podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.
[00:02:04] Good morning, Corey, how are you doing?
[00:02:06] Corey Winter: I mean, I'm okay. I'm kind of sick, but
[00:02:09] Emily Thompson: You're fine. You're doing a good job.
[00:02:12] Corey Winter: I might cough a few times, but I'll take out those.
[00:02:14] Emily Thompson: Right. We're remembering now what it's like to record a podcast during flu season. Basically or during like cold season.
[00:02:24] Corey Winter: That's a whole daycare. I don't know.
[00:02:27] Apparently some person that the daycare my nephew goes to as the group and not just, I am, I have it.
[00:02:39] Emily Thompson: Well, I won't make you talk too much today, but you are here to talk with me today. Are you so excited?
[00:02:47] Corey Winter: I'm always excited to talk to you.
[00:02:48] Emily Thompson: Good. The last time into this, I'm excited to talk about the idea of testing and changing. It's something that bosses, if you've been listening to this podcast for really any amount of time, you've likely heard me say, test and change, test and change. You
[00:03:02] don't like this thing, test and change. You want to make it better, test and change, whatever it may be in your business test and change. And so I say a lot, it's become one of those little things that I'm known for, I suppose. And. But I've never dove into what it means when I say that, I feel like it's more or less self-explanatory, but today I want to dive a bit into the nuts and bolts of what it means to test and change.
[00:03:31] Corey Winter: And we do it a lot here at Being Boss. So we're like experts at testing and changing at this point, like in house, like everything we do, we're testing and changing always all the time. That's all we do. Like we live and breathe, test and change.
[00:03:44] Emily Thompson: We do, sometimes too, the, what's the, the dismay of the team, maybe a little bit, whenever Corey says that he says it with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder,
[00:03:58] Corey Winter: multiple chips in there, not a little.
[00:04:01] Emily Thompson: Whole bag of chips hanging out on his shoulder. No, it it's super important to do as any kind of entrepreneur or business owner. But I find particularly for those of us who are in new industries, for those of us who are in especially online business, which is in itself sort of a new way of doing business testing and changing is of utmost importance for us.
[00:04:27] So it is something that we have very much so worked into just generally how we show up every single day and all the things that we do. But even at Almanac, which is a brick and mortar store, retail products, very old way of doing business. I literally sell rocks, which is one of the first things that people were selling back in the day after, food and safety, who knows what that looked like.
[00:04:49] Even in an industry that's almost as old as business itself, we're still testing and changing. So we are kind of pros at it. It's very much so how I do business. It's how we do business as a team. And I'm excited to dive into really what this looks like. Not even what it means, but how we actually do it.
[00:05:07] Corey Winter: And so it's important to keep in mind you, we're going to talk about this throughout the episode, but just the whole thing is testing and changing. It's kind of a mandatory thing with online businesses simply because the internet itself is always changing. If you put something in motion and just stick to that for years and years, it's maybe not going to perform as well in the long-term as it does when you first do it, because
[00:05:32] the way it's reaching your clients and customers is probably changing like 10 years ago, social media wasn't really thing. So if you're still doing like pre-social media stock strategy online, that's not going to be working for you today. So that's a whole thing.
[00:05:46] Emily Thompson: Indeed. Indeed. It is simply the way we have to show up and do business.
[00:05:51] Corey Winter: All right. So what does it actually even mean to test and change?
[00:05:56] Emily Thompson: Simple.
[00:05:58] I think of it as going at everything or at least the thing that you're wanting to test and change as an experiment. So to look at something in your business, any single thing in your business and change it. Well, I guess testing comes is first, but then you change it, but you have kind of to change this.
[00:06:20] It's like an it's an, it's an ever sort of rolling cycle of testing and changing. So you, you find a thing that you want to adjust. You measure it, right? So let's say it's something like how it is that you are posting on social media. It's like, that's the one everyone's always wanting to test and change.
[00:06:37] And one that you have to all the time, because things are always changing on social media and not even the algorithm, but the way that people are actually engaging on platforms changes as well. So you, as a business owner who showing up to use these platforms, you also have to test and change. You sort of come up with something that you want to test.
[00:06:56] So I'm going to try posting more frequently. So you currently posting once a day, you want to post twice a day. That's a test that you're willing to, to perform. You change the way you're posting from once a day to twice a day. You do it for a set amount of time. Let's say it's two weeks and then you measure it again and see if your efforts have paid off or not.
[00:07:25] And then you test and change again. Or maybe you keep it for a little while. So let's say you're doing it twice. You are posting on social media twice a day. We'll say Instagram for ease of use here. You're posting on Instagram twice a day. You realize that you are gaining more followers, so maybe you want to keep it that way.
[00:07:43] And you want to keep posting twice a day until something changes with the outcome that you're seeking or you're posting twice a day and you're not actually seeing more engagement. You're not seeing any profile growth. So then you change it again and you go back down to posting once a day and then you can test and change another thing.
[00:08:03] Maybe you change how it is or what it is that you're posting. Maybe you change the style of imagery or the length of your post or whatever it may be. The idea is that you are choosing something in your business from how it is that you market to how it is that you serve your clients to maybe some internal processes.
[00:08:22] Maybe it's how it is that you're communicating with your team. You test a new theory, a new hypothesis as to something you want to try, that's different from what you're already doing. You change the thing and you measure it and you do this over and over again until you find the way that things are working, the best that they can, and you keep them that way, or you continue to test and change.
[00:08:48] You try to continue improving, one way or the other. It's this way of going at everything that you do as if it is an experiment. And whenever you do it in this way, you are opening yourself up to so many other opportunities and it can do such great things for your business. And it is in fact mandatory for how it is that we show up in online business, in these fields where things are changing super swiftly, we have to test and change.
[00:09:23] So, what test and change is it's simply a way at going at building and refining your business. That is looking at everything as an experiment where you are measuring, testing a hypothesis, changing the way you're doing things, measuring again and doing it over and over and over until you get the outcomes that you want.
[00:09:48] Corey Winter: So why is this important? I mean there obviously has to be some measurement in your business. For where you're prompted to go, oh, maybe I should test that. Maybe I should change that. So why, why is this important? Like why should business owners be practicing this whole test and change mindset
[00:10:05] Emily Thompson: I think it's especially important for creatives.
[00:10:09] I think if I were to walk into some boardroom and present this idea of just like testing change, just see what happens. They're going to like get all bent out of shape paintings in a wad about ROI is and sort of pro and all of these things that like, it's not how I think a lot of businesses, a lot of larger businesses go at refining their business.
[00:10:33] It is in some way, but the way we do it, the way I'm talking about it is a little more, I don't want to say flippant because it's not necessarily flippant, but it also is.
[00:10:44] Corey Winter: So it's not necessarily always metrics driven.
[00:10:50] Emily Thompson: Oh, good question. No, sometimes. Back to I'll get to that one in a second. That's a great question.
[00:10:57] Okay. Why is this mindset important? It's important, especially for creatives, especially for owners of small businesses for you to first and foremost, I truly believe to get your head out of the sand. We'll call it and just make decisions in your business. I think super often we get into the cycle of making all of the decisions and, and total analysis paralysis, like feel free to raise your hand if you've ever found yourself there, right.
[00:11:30] This idea that you cannot make another decision. How are you to know what the right decision is going to be? Because you're in this mindset where the decision that you make next is the final decision that you're going to make on this thing. And you'll never be able to change your mind or one, if it goes wrong or whatever it may be.
[00:11:47] But this mindset of test and change puts us in a place where everything is an experiment, kind of, kind of have fun with anything and everything that you're doing in your business, more or less. And there are places in which I do not believe you should be testing and changing, but for the most part, I think for 95 plus percent of the decisions that you make in your business, we put way too much pressure on ourselves to make the right decision, right.
[00:12:12] But if we go into it with this idea of like, I'm just going to make this decision for this moment and two weeks I'll change it. If it's not working out, it gets us out of that cycle of analysis paralysis and into this, empowerment of just making decisions and seeing how things work out, allows us to take things considerably less seriously and otherwise move forward with whatever it is we're trying to do with curiosity.
[00:12:38] I also really liked this for creatives in particular, who often have a hard time with sort of the business sort of analysis side of doing business, because when you are testing and changing, you're giving yourself these points to consistently check in on your metrics or on your gut, because I think that's like the alternative to what you were asking a minute ago.
[00:13:01] Is it always metrics-based and no, not necessarily. Maybe you just don't like the way something happening in your business, maybe you don't like how it feels to work with this kind of client or to ask for money in this way, or to spend this much time on social media or whatever it may be. It's not necessarily something that's metric base.
[00:13:22] It's just something that you feel is misaligned with how it is that you want to show up in your business.
[00:13:28] Corey Winter: Can you think of an example?
[00:13:30] Emily Thompson: Absolutely. Whenever I think of, how I manage my time, which changes season to season, there's always this moment when it just doesn't feel right anymore. Right. And so for me, let's, real-world like very real example is like, which day of my week am I having no meetings?
[00:13:52] None. And so this is something where I can't really quantify necessarily. I could probably figure it out if I wanted to, but I'm not going to keep these kinds of spreadsheets guys, quantify like how I feel every day about my schedule. Right. But depending on the season and by that, I mean fall and spring for me, I tend to be more in the office, like more energy to just kind of do things summer.
[00:14:14] I want to be playing outside winter. I just want to be in bed basically. Right. So my calendar is shifting every single season and there's always a point where I need to check in and go, okay, this isn't working anymore. I feel it. I just feel it in my gut that I am unhappy, getting out of bed on Wednesday mornings or whatever it may be, then what can I do to change my work week so that I am feeling.
[00:14:40] Great about getting up and going to work or getting out of bed or, taking the day off to go play in the woods or whatever it may be. So I think there are times, especially for creative business owners, especially for Cielo producers, but also those of us who have micro teams, actually, it doesn't matter how big your, anyone who has a business right there, there are things that happen in your business where you can identify or in your life that you can identify simply a gut feeling that is not okay right now.
[00:15:10] And that's a time I see as a perfect time to test and change something.
[00:15:15] Corey Winter: And even when it is metric spaced, you won't necessarily know if your metrics are performing well until you test and change to see if you can make them better. So like you might be getting really good. What you consider really good, like email click throughs, but maybe if like you would change how you're doing your emails, you might get higher click through this, but you won't know that until you test and change them.
[00:15:38] Emily Thompson: Absolutely because that's another, one of the things that I love about testing and changing. And especially for those creative south, there is that keeping our finger on the pulse of outcomes and results. Oftentimes we get so creative and into our thing, doing the thing, or just like in the task list, checking the things off, even if it feels mundane and gross or whatever it may be.
[00:15:59] We find ourselves not checking in with those numbers, not seeing of our email, click through rates are what they should be. Our social engagement rates are what they should be or, that we feel great during the week, right on Thursday mornings, we want to get out of bed and do the. But if you're actively testing and changing things, you are keeping your mind.
[00:16:20] You're keeping some focus, some attention on the metrics one way or the other. And I think that is super important for creatives who need to find those reasons, or the practice to stay in touch with those outcomes and results. And it has the added benefit. Really just, this is the goal of testing and changing is that your results should improve as you are testing and changing, unless every part of your existence and your business is simply operating on optimal level.
[00:16:56] And I've literally never met that human ever, right. Unless you're that person you need to test and change something.
[00:17:03] Corey Winter: And I would say, I mean, just because you want to test and change something doesn't necessarily mean you should, but how often is that really the case?
[00:17:13] Emily Thompson: Right. I think everything can be tweaked.
[00:17:15] I think sometimes there are things that need to be worked on more so than others, a hundred percent, but everything can be, be upgraded, right. Be like given some attention and test and changed to a place where you're, it's doing even better than it was previously doing. My very favorite thing though, personally, this maybe isn't, this is like a personal struggle of mine that I have been working on a whole lot over the past couple of years, is that testing and changing it removes attachment to outcomes.
[00:17:48] So a lot of times, bosses will say, okay, I'm going to take the social media course. I'm going to follow this blueprint. And I'm going to get these outcomes because this blueprint promises them. Right. We see those things all the time. Because you're not testing and changing. You're just following a blueprint.
[00:18:08] You're doing the thing that you think you're just supposed to do, it's really easy to come attached to the outcome of simply getting that result. And when it doesn't happen, how do you feel like a failure? That's you right. And, or poopy or sure. Right. Well, whenever you're testing and changing, when you're just tweaking things and going at things with curiosity, there is little attachment to the outcome.
[00:18:39] It's like, I'm going to try this thing and see what happens. I'm not saying I'm going to try this thing and make this happen. Those are two different things. You're liking that Corey.
[00:18:51] Corey Winter: I'm picking up what you're throwing down.
[00:18:53] Emily Thompson: Okay, perfect. And that's something that I figured out I needed several years ago was I was becoming way too attached to the outcomes.
[00:19:02] I'm going to run this ad campaign and get these results, as opposed to I'm gonna run this ad campaign and just see what happens or I'm going to, I'm going to launch this thing and get these results, versus I'm gonna launch this thing and just see what happens, and then I'm going to do it again and again and again, because that's another thing that often is happened that often happens when you're in this place where you were attached to the outcome, is that whenever it doesn't meet your expectations, you quit, which is sad because maybe that course that you just built and launched is exactly what the world needs.
[00:19:40] But it's going to take five launches for you to get there, to get it out to everyone who needs it. But if you become so attached to the first outcome that you allow it to not try the second, third, fourth, fifth time, and you're never going to get it to where it needs to be. So testing and changing is the mindset that gets you away from all of these attachments to outcomes.
[00:20:04] And really just what I believe is the spirit of entrepreneurship. Right of like really just getting in there and trying things and throwing spaghetti at the wall. Isn't that a thing. And seeing what sticks are set, there's like a
[00:20:19] Corey Winter: It's close, I mean, that's, I think that's one of your ways of messing up a classic.
[00:20:26] Emily Thompson: Yeah. I don't know how to say things. You know what I mean? You're going to throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks, hopefully it's spaghetti. We're going to stick with that. So, anyway, I mean, all of those reasons are my biggest reasons why the test and change mindset is so important. It's a simple shift from I'm going to do this and make this happen versus I'm going to do this and see what happens that allows you to step out of this analysis paralysis.
[00:20:54] You could actually make decisions. You can have fun doing it. You can feel way less serious about really what is mostly all relatively small decisions that you're making all day, every day. You can stay in touch with all of the outcomes and results that. Really do make your business run and you can just sort of have fun doing it because you're not attaching your happiness or value or self worth to achieving outcomes every time you try something.
[00:21:22] Corey Winter: Okay. So I'm thinking we have a pretty good understanding of what testing change is and why it's important. Can we actually talk about like some really specific examples so people can like relate, next actually start with Almanac supply company. What are you doing over there to test and change?
[00:21:39] Emily Thompson: Oh, everything. I think we just laid it out. Everything I do is testing and changing at Almanac. I go, we're working on something particular at the moment, and that is our store layout, which I know is like a funny little thing. We've Almanac supply co has been around for three years, almost four years.
[00:22:02] If I'm not mistaken, what is time? But we've tested changed a lot of things within that company. We have, we know what products are going to sell really well to our customers. We are consistently testing and changing that we know how our whole cell functions. Consistently testing and changing that though, there are lots of things in our business that we know how it works more or less.
[00:22:25] There are always opportunities, but where we are focusing our efforts of testing and changing, isn't the new thing that we have in that is. And in particular how our store is set up.
[00:22:38] Corey Winter: Well, actually it wouldn't just stop you right there before you even opened the store. Like the idea of opening the store was a big test and change thing, because like you were traditionally an online only, and you were like, oh, let's see how we can go to the company's test and change by opening an actual store.
[00:22:55] Emily Thompson: For sure. And we did some legit testing along the way before we signed a lease, which for me is at that point, you're not testing anymore. You've made that decision that is relatively longterm. Right. But before that two years ago, we did a longterm pop-up here in our office building. We've done markets, we've done pop-ups and other places like we have been testing the local market, we have been testing different geographic locations.
[00:23:21] Even during those times we test table displays and those sorts of things to see what's going to catch people's eyes. And how are we going to have the best conversion rates at these events? We have been testing and changing lots of things around having a physical presence for years and all of those other spaces.
[00:23:39] Now that we actually have the store we've made we've we've Maken, we've made whoa, making new words is what I'm doing. Well, now that we've made sort of a quote unquote final decision, at least for, I think two years, is that what our, I don't know what our lease is for
[00:24:00] something like that. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. I love our location. Doesn't matter how long our lease is for I'm not leaving, but what we are testing and changing is the layout of our store. Our store is tiny, is cute, little tiny pocket, and I love it so much. But we've been testing and changing the layout of it.
[00:24:20] And by that, I mean, literally, where are we putting the furniture? What products go on, what pieces of furniture to optimize conversion and sell through and, an average order value. And those sorts of things we're playing with the flow of the store are people literally got to walk in the store and go clockwise or counterclockwise.
[00:24:42] Corey Winter: So, I mean, going back to my whole metrics question, like you really don't have a baseline for whether or not you think you're current layout is working or not, but you're testing it to see if you can make it better.
[00:24:55] Emily Thompson: You are totally right. There is zero baseline. I am walking up into a store that I have, I have actually shopped in there previously when it was a different store, but like putting my products in there for the first time, I have nothing to base any decisions off of.
[00:25:10] So I can either fret right. Freak out a little bit because I don't know what I don't know, or I can just destined change. Let's just put that furniture, that table over there. Let's put that shelf over there. Let's put these things on there and see what happens. So there is this like ease of making decisions like I've made decisions, put the things where they go, and there is this connection.
[00:25:31] There's this attention that I'm putting on watching to see what the outcomes are so that I can make better decisions the next time. So we actually set it up whenever we moved in, that was in July. It is now we are recording this November. So it's been a couple of months and we just did a furniture rearrange.
[00:25:52] And that was a mess y'all I had to move so many crystals, so many crystals, but we'd been in there for a couple of months. I have been working in the shop. David has been working in the shop. I'm having conversations with the sales associates who are working in the shop. I've seen how people come in and which direction they go, which parts of the store.
[00:26:12] They stop and look at things longer, regardless of what's there Sibley where it is and those sorts of things so that I could make around to decision that was incredibly informed. And try it again. Now, I don't know if this new setup is going to work. We literally did this less than a week ago. We just had a wonderful weekend with this new setup.
[00:26:34] I was in there for one full day. David was in there for one full day. And we have a sales associate who's been in there for two. I'm going to have a conversation with her soon and just to find out how people are using it. So on one level, there's like, how are things working as the person are monitoring the store?
[00:26:51] And two, what is happening with the customers? Are they walking in and going clockwise or counterclockwise? That's my biggest thing these days. And what products are selling more because of where they are, those sorts of things. So we just set it up. We were observing. We'll change it at some point in the future, likely and do it all again.
[00:27:14] So basically at Almanac, we are testing and changing floor layout of our retail space. It is a ton of fun. I love projects like this. I'm also very into crowd dynamics, just in general. That's a whole funny thing in itself. So I'm always very geographer y'all things in space. This is where my geographer brain comes in, for sure.
[00:27:39] So creating maps literally of the store, moving things around, moving these around in physical space and otherwise creating hypotheses around how people are going to use it. What's going to sell well, gathering my metrics, testing and changing along the way.
[00:27:53] Corey Winter: So what, I have lots of questions in one question.
[00:27:57] So what. Why is rearranging the furniture, what you decided to test and change, like it's you used to like come into the shop one day and be like, huh? What would happened if I changed up everything? Or like, was there something that led to you wanting to test and change, or you mentioned like to get you to go into somebody else's shop and see that they rearranged and you talked to the shop owner and they were like, oh, we're seeing so much better traffic now.
[00:28:24] Emily Thompson: I get rearrangement envy. No, no, no. That's not what it was. So, so whenever I placed the furniture, initially again, we had never been in the store as Almanac supply co with our products working at, I had no idea what to expect. So we, instead of fretting about those first decisions, I was like, look, here's my best guess let's put that chair over there.
[00:28:47] That table right there. Let's put the cash wrap right here and just see what happens. And we did it very, this is partly the reason why we opened the entire store. In eight days, nine days, because I didn't fret about these things. I just made decisions and move forward because I knew that once we got in there, once we've experienced it, once we worked at once, we had customers in there, we would gain all the information that we needed to actually make good, make good, informed decision.
[00:29:14] I know I'm giving make a whole new whole new set of, whatever
[00:29:23] Corey Winter: Bumper stickers. Yes.
[00:29:25] Emily Thompson: Right. I don't know what's happening. Anyhow. So in the very beginning, I placed the furniture with the idea that let's figure out how people are actually going to use this space. And then we will rearrange and then holiday season was upon us.
[00:29:38] And we were in the store recently and I was looking around and I had been having some conversations with people in the store. Those of us monitoring it saying like, how do you like this, this cash Rob over here? How do you like, like, do you ever see people back there in that corner, looking at those things.
[00:29:56] Gathering my information. And so we decided before the holidays really hit, we wanted to go ahead and rearrange the biggest one being literally where the cash wrap is. We knew that it would be easier for us working in the store if we actually moved it to a different location. And so far we were correct.
[00:30:16] So to answer your question, it was part of my plan from the very beginning that we would likely rearrange furniture within a couple of months. And two, we got to a place where we just knew it was time, especially before we had an influx of customers into our store, especially when it became such that we'd probably have more than one or two groups of people in at a time we really needed to make the space in the store to better suit our needs.
[00:30:44] Corey Winter: All right. Last question, before we can move on. Do you have something to measure whether or not this is going to be a successful change or you just call and be like, oh, I feel better about this. We'll keep it.
[00:30:58] Emily Thompson: I will say it's both like, so there is, there are some metrics and I will say, I hadn't even thought about them quite yet, but, well, and this is something like this, it's really hard to measure definitively because this was like the first kind of holiday shopping season.
[00:31:15] But I will say we had a higher average order value this weekend than we've ever had. Is that because of the holidays or is it because the store is laid out better?
[00:31:27] Corey Winter: Well, see, that's the other thing I was going to ask is that how do other variables play into all of your testing and changing?
[00:31:33] Emily Thompson: I mean, that's just the nature of measuring things and
[00:31:38] reality, right. Lots of variables all the time. So because I can't base it much on that, I'm going to continue gathering some sort of anecdotal information. Right. But really it's also a lot of that gut feeling of whenever I go in there, I feel better with the cash wrap, being where it is. I just feel better.
[00:32:00] I think it's easier to access. I think it streamlined some of our processes in terms of like packing orders and backstock and those sorts of things. It seems really simple, but I think I'm, I think I just like it better.
[00:32:14] Corey Winter: Are you saying cash RET?
[00:32:17] Emily Thompson: Cash wrap.
[00:32:19] W R A P it's what you call in it's retail lingo for what you call that calendar that you go to to check out.
[00:32:29] Got your cash wrap.
[00:32:30] Corey Winter: I was picturing like a little cute mouse that was like
[00:32:33] Emily Thompson: nothing to do with a mouse,
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[00:34:46] Corey Winter: So let's talk about the Being Boss podcast, because we've had a whole lot of tests and change here over the years. What you got?
[00:34:55] Emily Thompson: What do I do? I have, so funnily, maybe there was no test and changing in the Being Boss podcast for the first 230 episodes.
[00:35:08] Corey Winter: That's entirely true.
[00:35:10] Emily Thompson: Not entirely, but not to the extent that we have done it since then.
[00:35:14] So whenever Kathleen and I started the podcast, we had a very clear vision of what this podcast would be to business besties, talking about business. Occasionally we'd have someone on to do an interview. But the show was fairly set. It was one hour long publish every single week. All the things. And then Kathleen left and I was sitting here thinking, well, what now?
[00:35:39] I don't know. So we started testing and changing partially because I wasn't sure what the show would evolve into. And partly because podcasting as a medium had grown so much since we initially launched the podcast. So I kind of had these two big variables that I need to play with one, what is the Being Boss podcast going to become?
[00:36:03] And two, what are podcasts becoming and how do we play into that? So the big change was Kathleen leaving. That was the biggest one I could have. It was no longer business bestie conversation between the two of us. And so we decided to play with what was going to work in this new era of Being Boss. And y'all, if y'all, haven't noticed we have tested and changed many things along the way, very much so on purpose very often, unapologetically been trying to figure out, or we're trying to figure out what this show was going to be.
[00:36:40] So for a long time, I was bringing on only my other business besties. The only people that I had connections with, I tried a couple of Q and A episodes from the Being Boss community members. Those were not my favorite. We did two of those and that was it. I started bringing on guests that I didn't know, again, I have tried some solo shows.
[00:37:03] I have bring brought on Corey to be my re my co-host. You're my podcast, companion, Corey. Like
[00:37:12] Corey Winter: I just think I'm an on air producer. I don't know.
[00:37:16] Emily Thompson: Oh, I love that. We'll call it that on air producer. I still was just calling my podcast companion.
[00:37:22] Corey Winter: I'm still waiting for my name tag.
[00:37:23] Emily Thompson: Oh, Christmas is coming
[00:37:25] Corey. Christmas is coming and then we've also played with frequency. So whenever Kathleen left, we were podcasts. We're publishing podcasts once a month. I almost immediately took it back to twice a month. And then if you guys haven't noticed very recently, we've started publishing weekly episodes again.
[00:37:45] So this has been a place where we've been testing and changing both as a way to redefine, not even re for me to journey my way through finding what the Being Boss podcast would be, as well as just sort of having fun and seeing what works in the podcast world these days. Podcasts is one of those new mediums, new industries that was mentioning earlier requires a lot of testing and changing to really see what's going to hit home.
[00:38:19] That's an ever-changing medium. That is really just now coming into itself. What six years later podcasts are now just like getting kind of legit. And so it's been sort of riding that wave as well. So the podcast has been a place where we have really been testing and changing a lot of things. It's taken y'all about 18 months, 12 to eight, I'd say 12 that we did just start doing weekly episodes
[00:38:46] again. It probably took 12 months for me to find my place in this podcast. Not even a lie 12 months for the past six months has been sort of tweaking some like production side of things to figure out what it's going to be like in the industry. Right? Like how do we need to play the industry game basically again?
[00:39:04] So in all 18 months of testing and changing where something very big happened in a very large part of this company that we then just like hit the ground, running with testing and changing all the things along the way, tweaking and refining until we get to a place where we're feeling really great about it.
[00:39:23] So this podcast has been a sort of, I don't know, war zone of testing and changing a little bit. We're like a playground it's in a playground for
[00:39:33] testing and changing.
[00:39:35] Corey Winter: And it has been kind of like a three-fold reason for why we're testing and changing. One, it's been a lot of metrics-based decisions. Like we want to bump our numbers up across the board.
[00:39:48] We want to feel good about what we're doing just in general. Like we want to like be putting out good podcasts, but also a third thing is behind the scenes in house, we want to make sure our production is efficient and flowing in the team is actually able to do things in a quality way.
[00:40:05] Emily Thompson: Yeah. Very many things have gone into this, which is another reason why, it takes, it can take so long for a good like test and change cycle over and over again.
[00:40:18] Right. To get you to a place where the results are, what you want them to be. And Corey just put into our slack, the smart team slack this morning that our numbers are looking swell. We had a meeting last week about production of like, how is everyone feeling about production these days? Everyone's feeling great.
[00:40:37] Like, I do want to show that it has taken about 18 months of this test and change cycle for us to get to this place where we are feeling really great about this podcast. And we felt great about it. I've always felt great about this podcast, but not just what we're producing, but how we're producing it and how it's being received and how like, engaging, like all of those things.
[00:40:56] Sometimes it can take a long time of testing and changing to really get to a place where things look and feel as great as you want them to.
[00:41:07] Corey Winter: But that's not the only thing Being Boss has been doing. We've had a big whole test and change project happening on the other side of the spectrum on the internet.
[00:41:16] Now that's our BREWED newsletter. Talk about that.
[00:41:21] Emily Thompson: Yeah, this, this was this year's big test and change project. I feel like 2020. He was definitely getting the podcasts back up and running and like getting like. Getting back in the seat, the behind the driver's wheel. God, I need to stop trying to say metaphors literally at all.
[00:41:39] They're all going to be awful. Also bad as need to say what I mean. So 2020 was about getting the podcast up and going and the community. This year was about creating and launching BREWED, which is our new email. If you are not familiar with, we send out weekly date and that's B R E W E D. It's a weekly email that the team curates and puts together from resources around the interwebs on news, tips and tactics for money, mindset, and productivity to help you run your business.
[00:42:16] It's amazing and has been on our vision board for a very long time. And this is the year that we built, launched and have since then been testing and changing all along the way. So this new email. Something we wanted to create a way in which we wanted to serve our audience. All of you, if you don't get it, it really is amazing.
[00:42:37] We have, our metrics are wonderful, which we'll talk about in a second. So we wanted to just have some change around the idea of what sort of format for this email was going to be optimal for getting the kind of engagement that we wanted and by engagement, I just mean you love it. You love it so much that you're going to open it every week.
[00:42:59] You're going to click on the things you're going to reply to it and say, OMG, this really helped me do this thing this week, or I love this. Please never stop or whatever it is that you are very kindly replying to those emails and say, We have been drying or we have been testing and changing to optimize engagement.
[00:43:17] And by that, I mean, optimize its amazingness so that you are engaging and we've been playing with things like the format and the layout, text size, what it looks like on mobile devices, link, colors, the length of those emails. The topics that were covering, the sources that were sourcing from, we have been testing and changing all kinds of little tweaky things and that email for weeks.
[00:43:43] And we are very consistently meeting every six weeks to talk about what's working, what's kind of working, what's not working. What has performed the best, what hasn't performed, what is their open rates? How are they growing? What are our click-through rates? How are they growing and what can we do to continue doing better?
[00:44:01] And y'all, it's doing it.
[00:44:03] Corey Winter: I think it's also important to say that we're not doing massive changes in every single edition of the newsletter, we're doing small, incremental changes every week. If you're doing massive changes, you don't know which pieces are actually driving the change. That's why it's important to do small changes.
[00:44:23] One week to the next, we were only, the only thing we changed was like inserting bullet points, rather than just having things in line the next week we changed spacing the next week we did something else. If you're doing all those changes at once, you don't actually know which thing is actually doing the thing.
[00:44:39] Emily Thompson: Indeed, indeed.
[00:44:40] And does it require more work? Absolutely. It really does. It does. But the result is better every single time that you do it. I say actually sometimes, maybe not sometimes, but you do something. It is worse. So you actually step back and don't do that thing, whatever it may be. But Corey sent some updated numbers this morning.
[00:45:03] Our open rates are fantastic. Our click-through rates are fantastic and y'all every time you send us a reply to those emails, the person who manages our in-house email account puts those in slack and we all give it emoji reactions. We love seeing them. So feel free to reply to those emails. And if you haven't subscribed yet, you can do so at beingboss.club/brewed. B R E W E D.
[00:45:28] So that is a project that is new. We are testing and changing it because again, if we had just launched the thing and then just continue running that email, like the first time we did it think about how many missed opportunities there would have been for growth to many. Too many. So I do actually want to throw though a fourth one in here.
[00:45:48] If I may being sneaky, I was like, I have three examples, but I kind of have four because when do I ever do the bare minimum?
[00:45:53] Corey Winter: I shall allow it.
[00:45:55] Emily Thompson: Thank you. So, one of the things that we do at Being Boss that I am always testing and changing and I'm always extremely open about it is our community. One of the things that you get onboarded on whenever you join the Being Boss community, is that this is a place where we're testing and changing.
[00:46:11] Why? Because things change all the time. We are always trying new things in that space. A really great example of this test and change and how it has, has really positively impacted the community is whenever I launched the community Monday meet-ups or just a post that I posted to the community at 2:00 PM or somewhat like that, somewhere in there, every Monday where I wanted the bosses to come into the community and engage with that post, that it was the Monday meetup.
[00:46:42] It was just a post.
[00:46:43] Corey Winter: I forgot about that.
[00:46:44] Emily Thompson: Right? Whenever the pandemic hit, we immediately turned Monday, meet ups into actually a zoom call where we all got on screw a prompt, except we still do Monday prompts in case you can't come to the live. He can still pop in and engage with the community and that space.
[00:47:02] But the Monday meetups became something that we were just, let's just pass it out. Y'all freaking out. Let's get on and talk about it via zoom a year and a half plus later, we still do Monday meetups every single Monday. And for many bosses in the community, it is that the touchstone of the week where you can get in there, you remember that you were a small business owner, you got shit to do.
[00:47:23] You got friends who have your back, all those things, and then you are able to go throughout your week. So that's a key example of how like a little test in change has equated to the foundation. I always called the Monday meet up was the beating heart of the community. It is such a pivotal part of what we do in that space, but I've always been very open
[00:47:43] about the community, being a place where we were going to test and change. If we create some sort of sequence, let's say it is, what are some things that we did in the past that we actually ended up scratching. We used to do clubhouse conversations, which were a call every month in the clubhouse to talk about the theme of the month.
[00:48:03] That were good for a couple of months. And then no one really came. All those conversations were happening in the Monday meetups and no one felt the need to come to clubhouse conversations. So we ended up scrapping them and replacing them with something else. So we have been iterating time and time again, consistently, as we have gone through what is, as of recording this two years of the Being Boss community.
[00:48:26] Isn't that so much fun? I love that it has been two years, I think like today, Isn't that a hoot. Yeah, that's a hoot. And we've always been very open about testing and changing partially because it is an environment where I expect things to just change. I mean, a pandemic hit four months after we opened it, right.
[00:48:49] We had to change things. The world, the entire world changed, and we shifted to make room for that. But also because I want this to be a space where we are practicing what we're preaching and we are giving bosses the opportunity to literally see what it looks like for a company to test and change something in a way that feels organic and beneficial for everyone involved so that they are then, inspired to go test and change things in their own businesses to continue getting better results and more and more of what they want.
[00:49:24] So it's a place where we're just there doing the thing, basically, which is a ton of fun. And we get to try lots of new things out and no one's mad about it. No one's ever written us and been like, oh, club conversations, they're gone. They're like, okay. Yep. You're probably right. That one probably needed to go.
[00:49:38] I can't wait to see what you guys do next. Which actually leaves us really open to what happens next, next, the upcoming change that we have to think about testing and changing in the community. And that is that the real world is going to open up and I would love to, I would love I'm going to be doing more IRL stuff as part of the community in the coming months as well.
[00:50:06] And so it's just one more way that I've already set up that community for changes and improvements so that I can work things in as they go. The Being Boss community, just so everyone knows is now free. You can join in at beingboss.club/community. I do recommend upgrading to the clubhouse tier where more fun things are happening, that and all of which we test and change consistently.
[00:50:30] Corey Winter: Backpedaling a little bit.
[00:50:31] Emily Thompson: Yep.
[00:50:32] Corey Winter: Did you just say IRL, like instead of just saying in real life. Okay. Just want to check on that.
[00:50:40] Emily Thompson: Why say the whole thing where you can just abbreviate. I know you can acronym eyes economize.
[00:50:50] Corey Winter: You do have that thing where you're making up words again. But yeah, I like that one, actually.
[00:50:54] Emily Thompson: if you make something an acronym, are you acronymizing?
[00:50:59] Maybe. Okay.
[00:51:00] Corey Winter: All right.
[00:51:01] So when does it actually, we're going to talk about both. So when it's good and when it's bad. So what is it good to test and change? And like, that's pretty easy to determine, but what are some specific examples?
[00:51:13] Emily Thompson: Sure. So I think you need to test and change something when you are starting something new.
[00:51:17] I think you should never walk into something new thinking that, what's going to happen because you're wrong, test and change. If you go in with that test and change mindset, everything is experiment. It becomes significantly easier for you to try new things out and just see what's going to work, do away with what doesn't move forward with
[00:51:32] what does. I also think you should test and change when something has changed. So if there has been a big change or big, or even sometimes relatively small change in what it is that you're doing, it's probably time to test and change to improve something. So at Being Boss at the, in this podcast, it was Kathleen leaving huge change, obviously time to test and change because if I had just kept showing up under the same rules, but by myself, y'all, that would have been boring and weird.
[00:52:00] Right. That would have that. It wouldn't have been a good show. What if I had just pretended like she was there and talked to her and just like giggled at her jokes that weren't real, whatever. See, it would have been real weird, really, really weird. So when something has changed, it's time for you to test and change.
[00:52:19] And then finally, if you're just wanting different results. So what if, what if you have an email that you send out once a week and it's always done all right. Like, you're within industry standards of performance, but you haven't changed anything and you wouldn't mind your metrics may being a little better than industry standards for performance. Test and change whenever you are looking for different results.
[00:52:46] Corey Winter: Okay. So those are good things, but it can be a bad thing to test and change.
[00:52:54] Like when.
[00:52:57] Emily Thompson: Like one good one. I feel like there are lots of little moments when you, right. When maybe you, maybe you don't need to test and change one thing because you need to actually be spending your time testing and changing something else. Like your energy and effort needs to be going to a bigger problem. I think those are that's the thing, but the only time I can really think that you should not test and change is that is whenever someone's livelihood is on the line.
[00:53:21] And I'm thinking in particular, I'm never going to test and change an employee of like, if I'm hiring someone, I am going to want to know that I'm hiring someone, not like maybe we can do this thing. Let me hire a full-time person and just kind of see what happens. That's like bringing someone's livelihood into your gamble.
[00:53:42] And that's not something that I personally and comfortable doing. I mean, there are ways in which you can test and change, within your team, being very open with things, but just generally when it comes to people's livelihood, I'm going to hire people. I'm going to bring people on for [00:54:00] things that I know are pretty solidly going to be there.
[00:54:03] I'm not gambling with people's lives.
[00:54:06] Corey Winter: The funny thing is that actually like what you hired me for all those years ago, like drastically changed over time.
[00:54:11] Emily Thompson: Okay. I will test and change people's roles within a company all day long. All Mr. Corey came in to start helping me code. And now you're here. On air producing a podcast.
[00:54:24] Corey Winter: Don't really know how that happened.
[00:54:26] Emily Thompson: Right? A very long evolution. Cory has been almost 10 years. This is like a 10 year, nine years, nine year evolution, something like that. Anyhow, I will absolutely change. I will test and change people's roles within a company all day long, but I'm not going to fire them because I've changed my mind or because I didn't make a wise enough decision to hire them on.
[00:54:51] That's not something that I play in.
[00:54:54] Corey Winter: I think another example of a bad test and change. It's not really the test and change itself. It's them timing of it. Like maybe if you're in the middle of a gigantic launch season, you shouldn't like test and change the domain of your website or something like that.
[00:55:11] Emily Thompson: It's such a web guy.
[00:55:12] Yeah, I know, but you're right. You're right. There are absolutely times when you should not be testing and changing. For sure. I've seen, well, I say that, but literally a week before we launched Brewed, we decided we needed to change our email marketing email service provider for that time.
[00:55:28] Corey Winter: Right. There was a reason for that.
[00:55:31] Emily Thompson: Yes. And we were capable of doing and it was fine and it worked out swimmingly. But there are, yes, there are times when things can wait for sure. For sure.
[00:55:43] Corey Winter: We know the good, we know the bad, we know what we know why we have examples, but where do you actually get started with testing and changing?
[00:55:53] Emily Thompson: You're really great on air producer.
[00:55:54] I love this, Corey. Thank you. Thank you for that thorough recap and final closing question. Okay. Where can people get started? I do think it's very important for everyone who's listening to this. I don't care who you are, what you do to work on adopting a test and change mindset. For me, it's innate. I test and change everything to everyone's dismay right?
[00:56:21] More or less. I also have a lot of fun doing it. So I'm doing a lot of things, but having a blast. So it was very innate to me to do this. Which means I also see how hard it is for everyone else to do this. In most cases, I'm not looking at you, Corey.
[00:56:43] Corey has definitely learned to adopt to my test and change mindset, but I can remember many times when you got a little annoyed that I wanted to test and change something else.
[00:56:50] Corey Winter: I remember that one time you came into the office one day and told us you were going to be going on a 40 day road trip. And we were all going to be working from home the next day.
[00:56:56] And we never went back. That was, that was supposed to be a test and change, but it wasn't really a test and change. It was a let's just go do this.
[00:57:06] Emily Thompson: Oh, those were the good old days. Those were the good old days. And we've continued for stronger and better than ever. Indeed. Sometimes there's no as best for everyone.
[00:57:15] I need you all to just like, let's just go along, everyone, go along with me. That was not a test and change. That was the change that required lots of cycles of test and change afterwards a hundred percent. So I want everyone to get into this though. So I want everyone to think of one little thing in your business that you would like to be better.
[00:57:39] Anything. I do recommend this be something that you already have, so don't think like, oh, I want to launch this new thing, calm it down, calm it down. Think about something you already have that isn't performing the way you'd like it to, it can be anything you can think about how it is that you're producing your social media content or engaging on your social media platforms.
[00:58:01] It can be maybe it's your employee performance and or relations, and you're going to change how it is that you're communicating. Maybe it's how you onboard your customers or fulfill your orders. Think about how it is that you can make it faster or easier and do the thing, whatever it may be.
[00:58:20] Corey Winter: We have a worksheet to help you out with that, to identify what's not working.
[00:58:23] It's called the, what is it called? The what's working. What's kind of working. What's not working worksheet.
[00:58:29] Emily Thompson: Indeed. That will be in the show notes. There you go. So identify that thing and just give it a go.
[00:58:36] Release expectations. Move forward with curiosity, have some fun. Otherwise, test and change your way.
[00:58:46] Corey Winter: Test your change.
[00:58:47] Emily Thompson: Test your change, test and change your way to something working better in your business easy as that.
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[00:59:44] Now until next time, do the work, be boss[01:00:00] .