Emily Thompson 0:02
I'm Emily Thompson.
Kathleen Shannon 0:04
And I'm Katherine Shannon.
Emily Thompson 0:05
And this is being boss. And this episode of being boss, a Kathleen and I are talking about cultivating a community, how to find your Wolf Pack, nurturing relationships with business besties, and more. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we've referenced on the show notes at WWW dot being boss dot club.
Kathleen Shannon 0:32
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Alright, Emily, I want to talk about your Wolfpack your community, your business, bestie all things kind of just having your people whenever it comes to working for yourself, or starting a side hustle or any new endeavor, because you need a ton of support. But sometimes your vision is yours alone. So it can be hard to find the support. Whenever the people around you like closest to you might be scared or they don't get it. So you've got to have some buddies. And that's what I want to talk about today.
Emily Thompson 2:03
Yeah, I think this is such an important conversation, because so many of us start our creative businesses alone, all by our little enzymes, because we want to call our own shots, we want to, you know, create whatever we want to create when we want to answer to no one. And then very quickly, we find ourselves feeling feeling alone, which is not really a feeling we all enjoy by any means. And so, you know, one of the ways that we both have been able to show up and continue doing this work year after year, like, in such a long term way, has been the fact that very early on, we learned that we could not do it alone. And I'm not even talking about the fact that you and I have partnered on being boss, I'm talking about the conversations, we were having years before we ever became business partners, or even the relationships we have with other people who we have continuous conversations with Who were you know, going to conferences with or, or you know, having like long chain emails, whatever it may be, I think it was our our ability to show up and cultivate those relationships very early on that allowed us to sort of create the businesses that we have created. And not only in keeping us from feeling alone, but in the myriad of ways that these relationships are valuable to us in ways that you never anticipate. But always show up and prove that this is one of the most important pieces of being boss.
Kathleen Shannon 3:39
One of the most interesting things about whether it's your wolf pack and will define these terms or your community or traveling and going to conferences, or hopping on Skype with the business bestie are now getting on Marco Polo. And this is my point exactly is that the landscape of how we communicate and how we connect to each other has changed tremendously since we started doing this. So whenever we both started working for ourselves, I feel like blogging was the really big connecting tool. And then beyond that, probably going to conferences. Then a couple years after that social media made way and allowed for a new kind of community. I feel like especially beyond Facebook and MySpace and Friendster, once Instagram hit the scene, I feel like people were really starting to find their communities or find the like minded folks that they fit in with or aspire to fit in with or, you know, want to hang out with or want to go to a conference with but there's a lot of stuff that hasn't changed, for example, like conferences. I think that they are such a great opportunity for meeting people. But I want to dig into a couple of terms here because they're always changing and one is the word community and I have such a bone to pick with. The word community
Emily Thompson 5:01
is. So let's start with the bone.
Kathleen Shannon 5:04
And I've probably talked about this here before, but my bone to pick is, what a community isn't. And what a community isn't. It isn't just people that you can sell to. Right? It's not a marketplace. I've been thinking a lot about what a community is, though. And in the being boss community, I've learned more about community from being boss and from my neighbors than anything. And in being boss, it's that I think that we've accidentally and now intentionally created a space where people can connect with each other. They don't need us. I mean, like, we might be the wedge where they come to New Orleans, or one of our events and find each other. But then beyond that, they're extending the conversation and the partnerships, and they're hanging out with each other. And that feels like community. Also community is being able to have hard conversations, I've had a lot of bosses teach me a lot of different things. And it's not always graceful. Sometimes most of the time it is you know, and so being able to have hard conversations or being there for each other whenever things aren't always puppies and rainbows, right community is getting through it together. Yeah,
Emily Thompson 6:18
I agree being boss has definitely taught me more about community than any, anything else I've ever done, especially in the online space. No, for such a long time, it was just one on one conversations that I was having with people like that was my community was just business bestie conversations, like we were having together on Skype back in the day or, you know, those blog, commenting, those sorts of things. But now we have such infrastructure for allowing us to get large groups of people together in this online space, that that being boss really sort of started at a time when those tools are becoming more and more used, and really connected me to what that meaning of what community is, and you're right, your community is not your market, those are two completely different things. I think a lot of people talk about those things as if they are the same thing. And they are not two, they are two different things. Your market is the people that you are selling to, they're probably they probably have no way to speak to each other. Like if you were just speaking to them, and they're not speaking to you, nor are they speaking to each other. And you're just using that as a one way channel to sell them something, then you're not growing a community. If you are giving them space to connect with each other, to solve each other's problems, to share openly, to talk with you back and forth, then you are cultivating a community and something that has way more value than what it is that you just bring to the table. And really getting into that with being VA sort of opened my eyes to sort of the magic of the internet. And a lot of ways the fact that we could bring people together from all over the world, from all different backgrounds and age groups, to come together to talk about something we all have in common and that for us, as you know, creative business was was really eye opening to me in sort of the good of the internet. Because as we all hear all sorts of awful things that are happening and you know, online bullying, and cyber attacks and all these things, there is a beautiful magic that comes from being able to connect us all together. And so many great things can come out of that one of the things that I've really enjoyed about it is taking those offline, or online communities offline, really bringing them into the real world with the events that we do, or you know, just this week, or this weekend, someone shared on Instagram that two bosses that met at a at a being boss vacation four years ago or so got together to hang out this weekend. And we're posting about on Instagram stories, you know, building relationships that last for forever, or you know, for many years and collaborations that come out of it, it's really an amazing thing to be able to cultivate these communities. And for those of us who want to make this a part of our business model, and not even so much a part of our business model, but almost like a a cause of what it is that we so we create or insert note that's effect effect comes after calls, like we get together to create a podcast. The effect of that is a ton of bosses getting together to share what it is like for them to to be creative entrepreneurs as well. So all that to say let's talk about Okay, that's a that's community. What comes next?
Kathleen Shannon 9:35
Wait, can I say one more thing? This is me practicing non interrupting. You can just keep going.
Emily Thompson 9:41
Good job, Kathleen. Right.
Kathleen Shannon 9:45
So one thing I want to go back a little bit to the marketplace idea though, because what I've learned about the sense of community whenever it comes to being in a neighborhood, which is really important to me and shopping local is that you better believe if my community has something to sell That I need to buy, I'm going to be going to my neighbors. First, I'm going to be going to my online community of creative entrepreneurs first. I have a friend of mine who is actually my hairstylist posted a meme this weekend on Instagram that was like, if my friend has something to sell that I need to buy, you better believe I'm going to them for. So I think that that's also the power of the community is that we do support each other financially. It's just not that's not the point. And I think the point that you made is that it's a two way conversation, there's give and take. And I think that there's generosity, even beyond selling your community is who you're going to, you know, give more of yourself to whether or not you're getting paid, you're going to help a friend out. And you're going to be available for hire as well. So I just wanted to make sure to make that distinction as well. Because while your community isn't solely your marketplace, it is a place where people are probably going to hire you,
Emily Thompson 11:00
for sure. So that's community. Let's talk about Wolf Pack. Because that's a term that we use often and most people are like a
Kathleen Shannon 11:10
race. So whenever you were talking about a couple of bosses that met each other three years ago at one of our vacations, I think zone in Miami, and they got together over the weekend. They are in each other's wolf bag. So I think of anyone in your wolf pack is the person that you're regularly going out to coffee with or have worked with maybe in the past and you continue to stay in touch, there are people that you wouldn't feel funny about asking a favor of or doing a favor for for sure. I would say like for me, my Wolf Pack right now is very much my co workers and handling handful of creative entrepreneurs that I kind of grew up with in this industry from seven, eight years ago, I don't have many new people in my Wolf Pack. I mean, that's not entirely true. I pick up a few people here and there along the way anywhere I go, but my wolf pack or like, it's like you're right or die.
Emily Thompson 12:09
One of the ways that I think about my Wolf Pack, if I can open up an email with Hey girl, or Hey, dude, or whatever, if I in like, genuinely say that they're probably my Wolf Pack. Like, it's someone that I have that sort of ease of conversation with that, that, that very, very personable rapport with that I see as people in my Wolf Pack. And that's definitely not everyone. But there are several people that I have that I can just, or like, just reply with, like, no things and not getting hurt about the fact that I didn't ask them how their day was, or whatever it is, like a lot of those like weird niceties can go away, and you can just sort of be who you are. Those people, those people are the people in my Wolf Pack. Whereas you know, anyone else like in my community, someone a little further away, I would be a lot more professional with a little more, you know, like, by the book, but my Wolf Pack are the people that I can make. That's what she said jokes with.
Kathleen Shannon 13:09
Yeah, that's perfect. So I like to think of it as a series of concentric circles, probably. So you know, starting from the middle, you have yourself and then going out from there, you've probably got your best friends, your spouse, your partner, your very best friends, then beyond that you might have your co workers you might have I mean people that you're in it with, like in the trenches with, and then I would say, you know, even within that circle is the wolf pack, like the people that you want to hang out with, but that you also want to collaborate with. That's how I would see I would see my wolf pack as that professional, personal professional overlap is where I find my wolf pack for sure. Someone
Emily Thompson 13:53
that you wouldn't mind sharing, like just really sort of insider personal information with but like, also probably wouldn't mind like, sharing what your profit and balance looks like for the year. Like, you know, they're like really in it with you.
Kathleen Shannon 14:07
I trust them. I would go on vacation with them. Maybe we would have separate hotel rooms, though.
Emily Thompson 14:13
Maybe, maybe they're maybe not. But maybe I'm definitely at the age now where I can I just have my own room.
Kathleen Shannon 14:19
I mean, I insist on sharing your room
Emily Thompson 14:21
with you, Kathleen, because
Kathleen Shannon 14:25
again, that's because you're in my inner circle even beyond Wolfpack, like you used to be in the online community together, then we became a part of each other's Wolfpack, then we became business besties then we became business partners. Now your straight up like even if we weren't business partners or business besties we're hanging out. Yeah, for sure where we're at. So it's like any sort of relationship where it grows and you know, there's room for growth within those for better or worse or not, for better or worse. But I've also had some people that have once upon a time been in my Wolfpack who are not necessarily any longer. In my Wolfpack what's that phrase like sometimes for a reason a season or podcast listeners who are probably screaming the phrase, it's like a friendship cliche, like a friendship quote, that's something like friends, some friends or for a season, some friends are for a reason. And some friends are forever. Oh my god, I'm gonna look it up right now.
Emily Thompson 15:27
Well, while he's looking that up. While you're looking up, I think it's important for everyone to think about who, who are in those circles with you Like how do you find that innermost circle? Who, you know is a bit beyond that, who are the people who are you're like, ride or die or like, I even think of it sometimes it's like personal versus professional friendships. Like I have some personal friendships that do not go over into professional and professional ones that do not go over into personal you can even think about some of those divides. And then go out from there. Who is who is that wolf pack? Who is your community? And think about where you may have some holes to fill, because I will say I have my consists, my concentric circles are filled with amazing people and on purpose, and I continue working at it. It's not just something where you pull people into your circle, and then they're there forever. And I do think that because of that, you know, we've been able to see the success that we have. What is it Kathleen? Do you know what it is
Kathleen Shannon 16:31
it? I mean, I'm googling it. And it seems that it really is a reason a season or a lifetime?
Emily Thompson 16:39
Oh, yeah. So I was seasonal friends.
Kathleen Shannon 16:43
But the actual clip more clear quote is, is someone a season reason or lifetime?
Emily Thompson 16:50
There you go. So you've had some seasons? I've certainly had some reasons, right? And when we definitely have some lifetime, for sure. Okay, so
Kathleen Shannon 17:01
one of the questions that I get a lot is like, how do you find your Wolfpack? How do you find your business? bestie? We'll talk about business besties in a minute. So how to find your wolf pack? I don't know, I feel like I've just stumbled upon mine and collected them along the way.
Emily Thompson 17:20
Well, you do. But you do that by showing up like the age old being boss saying here just show up, show up and do the work. So I also have just collected mine over the years. Whenever I think of some of my Wolfpack people. They are people who I met at conferences long ago, or that I met whenever I joined some, you know, business program six, seven years ago, where we're still having phone calls, like ongoing phone calls. Or I joined a mastermind group or I went on or like boss vacation just this past weekend, I spent the weekend or spent a day with a couple of bosses who have shown up to a couple of vacations, showing up to things like that just showing up. And for me, I definitely make those connections much more whenever I'm doing offline things, and when I'm doing online things, because I'm not much of an online chatter. But whenever you show up to things, you collect people, you meet people, and it's not easy, it's not always the most fun thing in the world. But it is like if you just put yourself out there it is introducing yourself and making those connections but then nurturing those relationships. So you show up to find them, you nurture them, to keep them and nurturing them looks like friending them on Instagram and liking all their photos and occasionally commenting and sending them sweet DMS or, you know, checking in with them via email occasionally to see how it is they're doing in a very like giving and not taking kind of way. You know, sometimes I'll get emails from people, they're like, you know, what can I do for you? How are you doing? What can I do for you also, I need you to help me do this thing. And like that's not like a giving more than you're taking that's a pretty equal immediate exchange. That's not nurturing at all, but you needing something. So whenever, I don't know, you just have to show up. You just have to show up to find them. And it's anywhere and everywhere for you and I back in the day it was showing up in each other's blog comments, you know, and for some of my business besties it's showing up for ongoing mastermind meetings or whatever it may be, it's showing up.
Kathleen Shannon 19:35
And on that note, if you're an introvert with anxiety, I have a bone to pick with you. So I feel like in the circles that I run in both offline and online, literally everyone has some form of anxiety or introversion that keeps them from wanting to leave their house and I totally get it. I will say I'm an extrovert. I feel like I've become more of an introvert as I get Older or maybe just more of a homebody, but I don't know. Okay, let me collect my thoughts because I just got this flash of being at Disney World last time we went to Disney World. I was like, does nobody here talk about anxiety or introversion? Because it's enough to make me want to crawl into a cave, right being at Disney World. And I love Disney World. And I'm an extrovert. So all of this to say, Oh, yeah, catch my breath running upstairs to turn off me see when did me. I'm also nervous calling out the introverts, right? I can't wait to see what this wraps up to look like? Well, all of this is to say, we went to Guatemala, it was our first international vacation ever to partner up with CO Ed Cooperative for Education and nonprofit. And a couple of the bosses there had extreme anxiety, myself included, and a lot of introversion. And if they were willing to go across the world to Guatemala, on a trip and show up with intention, and with purpose, not having known anyone, they're not knowing anybody there. If they can do it, anybody can do it. And I think that my biggest tip, so here's I'm going to bring it back up, because I love my introverts and I, myself have some anxiety is that if you go into networking events, and we need a new word for networking, but if you
Emily Thompson 21:33
go into conference or being so angry, the word networking, it's fine guy.
Kathleen Shannon 21:38
No, I though, I don't like networking. I don't like the idea of just showing up. I went to one recently, and it was my worst nightmare, where a woman came up to me handed me a card and just started talking to me about her printing business. And it wasn't like a cute printing business where she owned her own letterpress, it was like she was telling me about her corporate printing company that she worked for. Like, it wasn't fun. It was like someone giving me a Xerox spiel, right? Like it just was my worst nightmare truly. And that's not fun networking. But if I'm going to a networking event and talking to other creatives, and just kind of having an intention, and my intention is usually I'm just going to go to this thing and look three people in the eye and sell say hello and ask them questions about themselves. Like That is my intention. And the conversation goes pretty deep, pretty fast, usually. And it's a lot of fine. Um, so for me, and also, I don't know, for me, I pretend to prefer like smaller events, I suppose that's not entirely true. Even at bigger conferences. I'm usually coupling off with a few other people though, and having real conversations. So this is all to say, I don't think that it's an introverts leaving their house that sucks their energy dry. And Emily, you can attest to this. I think it's just not doing what you don't want to be doing. So you can find events and people that you resonate with that. Yeah, exactly, that that resonate, you are going to be filled up by the conversations that you're having. And you can go home and rest and recover and have built a new relationship. For sure.
Emily Thompson 23:15
So as the introvert in the room, who, what I feel like I probably have less anxiety now about these things than I used to. I will say that yes, like, do whatever you need to do, to get past the anxiety to go to the things you will get better on it's a muscle that you have to strengthen through practice, showing up and doing whatever it is that you need to do, including group activities. Like I understand the anxiety around that. However, the things that come out of it are totally, totally worth it. And for me going into things like that, I usually go into it when it's always nice to bring a friend. But the danger in that is that you speak to no one other than your friend. So don't use that as a crutch to like, show up but not actually show up for anyone other than the friend that you're with.
Kathleen Shannon 24:10
I like going without friends.
Emily Thompson 24:12
I do too. I do too. But if that's why you should do it.
Kathleen Shannon 24:17
It really is who you are or who it is that you want. Not that you're going to be fake by any means. But like, it just pushes you out of your boundaries a little bit.
Emily Thompson 24:26
For sure. One of the ways that I most like to start conversation because I hate walking up to people just be like, Hey, my name is Emily. And this is what I do like that fills and other people do and it's fine. It doesn't bother me at all when other people do it, but I feel like when I do it, it feels very disingenuous one, where like, I'm faking it, because I'm faking it. Um, I like walking up into people and just giving them compliments on things like cute shoes. I love that little lapel pin you have whatever it is for me that's for me, that's a much more genuine way for me to cold start a conversation with someone and dive deep Apart from there, and I think it also puts other people at ease too, because who's to say the person you're talking to isn't totally weirded out by you walking up to them and just saying, Hey, my name is Emily.
Kathleen Shannon 25:10
But they aren't.
Emily Thompson 25:12
Maybe you don't know. But they would love to have their shoes complimented. All
Unknown Speaker 25:16
right, that was that
Kathleen Shannon 25:18
I like the conversation starter of asking someone what they've been reading or watching lately. Oh, that's nice. Yeah, right, you
Emily Thompson 25:26
can tell a lot of person get real judgy real fast. I love it. So I like to start conversations that way. And I will say to you're totally right, with finding things that work for you. For me, I'm not going probably to a creative mornings. Like I've been to a couple of those. And those are not really my jam, or like some of the
Kathleen Shannon 25:49
way that that printer conversation happened at what I mean, right. And I felt so I felt so shy. I wonder. I don't, I'm not calling out creativemornings. Because I think it's such a cool model. I think it's so cool what they've done. And I love the idea of it. But there needs to be like some sort of built in icebreaker or conversation starter, or it's some sort of like, creative culture or rules. Like Don't, don't be weird at people,
Emily Thompson 26:20
right? Or find something else. So I have learned, I've learned especially a lot recently that being boss things especially have breeded a very beautiful kind of quote unquote, networking event, and one that I never really thought of as being totally unique, until I started getting an insane amount of feedback and not just from people because for years, we've gotten it from people who have been there who were like, I love how everyone is so friendly and how if there's like a huddle of people and one person walks up, everyone just like, opens up and invites them in like there's no disk lusion is that a word? This collusion of other people? You know what I mean? The opposite of gotcha. Yeah. Um, they're just cluding exclusion, exclusion. The opposite of perfect, there's no exclusion. And I'm going to Google disk collusion, see if that's the thing you're all doing right now, or finish up your thought, um, how you know, there's no like clicking up, which is apparently a thing that a lot of other events at being boss things are never like that everyone is so happy and so inclusive of everyone else in all conversations, or, you know, if you're eating lunch with a group one day, you're probably not going to be eating lunch with that same group the next day, and that's totally normal and okay thing where you just like hop around and everyone is your people. Basically, we have breeded a community of people where everyone is your people and there's no reason to exclude yourself from any group. And I think that that is beautiful and works really well for our kinds of people and who it is that we are the kind of events that we like to do, but I have discovered recently that not everyone is like that. I found that really surprising. So all that to say not all groups not all events are are created equal by any means. Find the ones that will work for you.
Kathleen Shannon 28:15
Emily Thompson 28:17
Kathleen Shannon 28:20
Means noun a separation of the teeth when the jaw is slightly open. So there you go. So word but know what you were thinking.
Emily Thompson 28:32
pauses have really great teeth guys. That's amazing. And right now have been laughing for like the last five minutes I love it then XClusive not disk lucid. That's too good. Okay, so that's wolf packs. Anything else you want to say about wolf packs? wolf pack is your larger group of people who you can or you have community which is large wolf pack as a little closer, you find those people by showing up and creating and nurturing relationships.
Kathleen Shannon 29:11
Even if you're an introvert,
Emily Thompson 29:13
even if you're an introvert, because I'm an introvert guys, most people don't know that I'm telling you right now hardcore, even talking about this is all giving me a little bit of anxiety. But it's fine. It's totally fine. Now I know you bosses love it when we get really practical with our tips. So here you go. Want to know how I schedule so many of my business bestie chats and will Pat catch ups? It's easy. I send them a link to my acuity scheduling, few things will fizzle out a blooming business bestie relationship then playing calendar tag, acuity steps in and makes it a breeze showing my creative pals what meeting times are available on my calendar so they can compare and choose a time that works best for both of us. Then acuity takes care of sending them a link to my video conferencing room and adds the event and link to my calendar. So we both have everything we need to just show up and gab it out. acuity scheduling the scheduling assistant that works 24 seven behind the scenes to fill your calendar with all the community nurturing chats you need. For a limited time only you can get 45 days of acuity scheduling absolutely free. no credit card required. By going to acuity scheduling calm slash being boss,
Kathleen Shannon 30:33
bosses who have signed up for podio have made 10,154 sales for a total of almost $655,000 in revenue. We don't know a boss who isn't currently thinking about scaling their business online. And if you were to ask us about creating online courses, digital downloads and memberships, well, we'd send you to podia. podia is the all in one hassle free platform for online courses, digital downloads and memberships. we've researched all the platforms and hands down podia is the best podia has a 14 day free trial with no credit card required. Try it out for free and get 15% off for life by signing firstname.lastname@example.org slash bosses. Again, that's podia.com slash bosses.
Emily Thompson 31:19
All right now I want to talk about getting really narrow with some of those insider people and talk about business besties because everyone wants to cultivate a wolf pack and you should these are your These are some ride and die boss homeys who are going to a ride or die because you're not writing and dying. Or are hopefully not I mean, if you're on a motorcycle, maybe maybe so ride or die boss homeys who are going to support you and answer questions and all of those things.
Kathleen Shannon 31:51
Actually, maybe writer night is business bestie because wolf pack is like that guy. I'll ride with you, but I'd rather not die. This is besties will die with you.
Emily Thompson 32:08
Perfect. Okay, then I stand corrected. I stand corrected. Your Business besties or your rider die. Um, let's talk about this group of people.
Kathleen Shannon 32:18
I would say especially, I mean, continuing the conversation of introvert extrovert or maybe regardless, business. bestie is one of my favorite kinds of relationships, because not only are they the people that you want to hang with are the people that you want to have an ongoing, intentional relationship with. I didn't really know what a business bestie was until I had one.
Emily Thompson 32:41
I think we made it up.
Kathleen Shannon 32:43
It was me and you. Yeah, I think we made it up. And I will say that you really made it happen. Like you really put forth the effort of saying, hey, let's hop on Skype. All the time. I was like, Okay, I was just going along with the ride. But then, every time we got on Skype, the conversations were getting deeper. Because even at these, you know, conferences and places where you can have dinner with someone or coffee, and the conversations can, you know, go pretty deep. There is something to be said for like the frequency of conversations and building trust and intimacy. And really being able to get vulnerable with someone where you're talking about money out pricing. This is like my favorite thing to talk to a business bestie about is literally pricing. Everyone has pricing questions. How should I price myself? It's a long conversation. How much experience do you have? How much expertise do you have? How much are your bills? How much money do you need right now, it's really an ongoing conversation. And it just depends like pricing is always it depends. And it's not always what you're worth, because sometimes you got to price yourself maybe below what you're worth or way above what you're worth. So I think that this is the perfect kind of conversation I have with a business. bestie so a business Bessie Emily helped me define it, what is a business? bestie
Emily Thompson 34:10
I think it's someone that you can talk to about anything, like you would a best friend, like no topic is off bounds. And everything is a conversation so you're not coaching your business. bestie like the two of you are talking through things together. And with the added perk in the business bestie relationship being that you're both business people, so like my best friend, I'm probably not talking business with you know, like, my my besties my like life besties aren't business people, my business besties are business people. So they add in that like additional value of being able to dive into all business things with you as well and to really understand your work in a different way and maybe you don't like go to In the world together, maybe you do, you're not sharing in all the life stuff that you would with your best friend, probably, or likely, but you are sharing in all the business stuff.
Kathleen Shannon 35:13
Yeah, if you've ever said to anybody, nobody understands what I do, you might need a business bestie someone that understands what you do the ins and outs of what it's like to work for yourself, and they're going to help you problem solve. So earlier you said, This isn't necessarily your coach, I think that there can be some coaching cabins in a business bestie relationship. I even know for you and I especially now because we're real life friends, we're business partners and our business besties. Right, exactly. So we kind of sometimes have to define, hey, I need to have a business bestie conversation. And then we know that this conversations probably going to be about pricing, about branding about scaling, it's going to be something that taps into the other person's expertise. Without there is something to be said, though, without crossing boundaries of Well, you could just hire me at this point. You know, because like, you know how to hire braid creative you have before I know how to hire you I have before, and I probably still would, and you probably still would. So we have this really interesting area where we know how far we can push it, which, to be honest, at this point is pretty far. But we've developed that over almost a decade of business bestie friendship. So that's the kind of relationship that really takes time to understand how far how far it can go.
Emily Thompson 36:39
Yes, and I'll throw in here, this is one of those friend things, I'm totally going to butcher because these are things and helped me here because there's something around like a friend will want to pay you. And and not friend will expect you to do it for free. or something, there's like there's something that I care what it is, but or something around like a real friend is going to want to pay you what you're worth. So all that to say, a business bestie relationship is not one where you are expecting to get their expertise completely for free, you would be completely willing to pay them for their expertise when that line is getting crossed.
Kathleen Shannon 37:18
Or there's like an even exchange, you know, I know that early in my business, I did a lot of trade, to get experience and to kind of just show up and to get to know people and everyone's helping each other out because everybody's broke. It's kind of like the college version of being a young creative entrepreneur, right. So everyone's working on trade, then everyone's getting a little bit older and is able to start charging what they're worth, quote unquote. Um, and then I don't know, I've come full circle where I would probably be willing to work out trades again, because I feel so confident in my expertise and being able to pinpoint what someone else's expertise is, as well. And seeing if we're on the same playing field. For sure. For sure.
Emily Thompson 38:01
Alright, let's talk about who are some of your business besties. And how did you find them?
Kathleen Shannon 38:10
Well, you and that happened from blogging
Emily Thompson 38:14
Kathleen Shannon 38:15
Um, some of my other business besties are Paul Jarvis and Jason suck. Yeah, the boss boyfriends.
Emily Thompson 38:24
And what does that look like?
Kathleen Shannon 38:25
So for them, it's actually the four of us. So it's almost like a little mastermind. But I could see having a conversation individually with any one of those people. And so for us, it's really we schedule a monthly call. And before we get off those calls, and it's usually on Google Hangouts, and I'm usually the person that's literally making the appointment in the calendar, I'm sending it to everybody's emails, we have a zoom link in there. But we also have a slack group together. So sometimes last minute in the slack group, we're like, where are we meeting Google Hangouts or on zoom? I know that I'm giving you like the really boring parts of how this business best income conversation works. But like, this is the real life of it. Right? So anyway, we're hopping on a video call, we're chatting with each other. And we're talking about things like, let's say, our publishing deals. And I'm
Emily Thompson 39:20
hesitant giggles here.
Kathleen Shannon 39:21
You know, and so we're just sharing stuff. And I will say that I've actually really liked having dude's as business besties because I've been able to identify some of the gaps that people talk about that I didn't know existed until I got to see them firsthand. Anyway, I'll stop that conversation there because I could get in hot water. And then the most important thing that happens in order to maintain this relationship is at the end of every call, we schedule our next call. So that is my biggest piece of advice whenever it comes to maintaining a business Especially relationship is scheduling the next call before you hang up. Another one of my business besties is my friend Jesse artega of silent pepper. And our relationship looks like mostly Marco Polo. We're just Marco Polo going back and forth. So that's been a really cool app that I love using for maintaining relationships. And then there are a few others that aren't quite business besties are probably more Wolfpack, but I have ongoing email conversations with them. So like my friend catchall, um, Kate Flanders, who we've had on the podcast before I send her emails every once in a while. So it's not quite, I would say business bestie territory, but it easily could go there. If I wanted to just say, hey, let's hop on a call. Like if I could initiate it and get more intentional about it. How about you?
Emily Thompson 40:48
I love it. I have, I have a couple as well. So one, one is similar to what we do with Paul and Jason were Meghan flat, who is a? Funny, she just pivoted her business and I talked to her last when she was pivoting. I don't know how she pivoted. So we're actually talking this week. I don't know what she does right now for a long time. She's She's done mama CEO coaching. And our last conversation she was doing a pivot, we speak this week, and often do you talk to her? How am I never even heard of this person? You have heard of this person, Kathleen. So we talk every month we talk once a month. And I met her years ago and a business program that I did where there was like a Facebook group where we were in this group together, we ended up reconnecting at at the high verie in San Francisco, or Mill Valley. Last year, whenever I went to speak at their entrepreneur lab conference, we reconnected she had actually been in our book signing at the hive every several months before that, right. And since then, we've talked every month and just like life and business stuff. And like Paul and Jason, before we get off every single call, the last thing that we do is schedule our next call. So I'm excited to see what she's been up to in the past month. I also talked pretty regularly with Sammy Jo Jensen, who was a podcast guest God probably two years ago now she's a maker boss. And we've been talking maker stuff. So as I'm navigating Almanac, she's been really fun to connect with on the level of just product business and what it looks like to navigate that space. And I also do a mastermind group, sort of a peer mastermind group with a group of bosses who we meet every other week. And so we have a standing meeting where we get together every other week it's hi viscous moon and my atoll from the aviary, and and Kelly Knight from modern mystic, and I get together every other week to chat about business. Bridget from Biddy Tarot and I talk occasionally less so recently, but you know, we're talking every other week for probably probably two years.
Kathleen Shannon 43:08
And so what is it that you talk about in these conversations? Because I know that for me, sometimes they can devolve into either a total bitch fest or venting, I mean, you know what I mean? Or they can just be entirely personal. So, I do like it whenever business bestie conversations have a little bit of structure, even if it's just a loose, organic, inherent structure. So what would you say that inherent structure of one of those conversations is,
Emily Thompson 43:35
so It usually starts with an update. So like, what's going on? How have things been going since the last time we talked because the business besties it usually hasn't been more than a month or two or three since you spoke last. So usually quick update and I think it's important to do some life and work because I like taking the holistic approach like if you're telling me that you know shuts hanging the fan your business, but you're not telling me that you're going through a divorce, then like that is sort of that affects how I'm able to take the reins on assisting you with that problem or really even listening to that problem. So I like a good work in life update not getting too juicy in the life stuff if you don't want to but knowing that you're buying a house, or that your car just broke down for good or that you know your kid is going through something, whatever it may be, I think is important. So an update on life and work and I think we're that bestie situation comes into play because well the wolf pack you're probably not doing much of a life update with a business bestie I think it's pretty relevant. And then we always talk about what we're working on. So what have we been working on or what's coming up for us to be worked on and where we need help? So one of my favorite things about business bestie conversations is it is all about helping each other and those that can sometimes be lend me an ear while I bitch about something right? Which is very helpful. I like to make things more tactical than that. And so I would usually like, you know, let's or tell me about some of the best questions you have for hiring a new assistant, or what sort of taxes are you filing for this kind of business, or whatever it is, it's usually some sort of like information giving or, or making connections, like do you know a book agent or whatever it may be. And then one of the things that I always love about doing business bestie meetings with creative business owners, and how we're all pretty open minded and pretty attached to the Whoo, even if we don't call ourselves woo people, we're very much like, you know, mindset centered, and all of those things is really talking about how we feel about the things that we're doing. Whenever, whenever we were in college, David had this obnoxious habit of in the middle of any conversation him just like yapping on how's that make you feel? All at the time? It was really genuine or sarcastic? No, it was totally sarcastic and noxious. But you
Kathleen Shannon 46:13
know, like, and how's that working out for you? Yeah. And
Emily Thompson 46:16
how's that make you feel? It was so annoying. And it's really rolled into though sort of the baseline questioning that happens in the business bestie conversations, because if you know, you're talking about having the best launch of your course that you've ever had, but it doesn't make you feel great, then there's still a change that needs to be made. Or if you're shutting down something that you've done forever, but it makes you feel amazing to be doing it, then it can really adjust the perception that people are having of the story that you're telling. And in creative business, I feel like there's always a bit of a disconnect between what most people think you should be feeling about something and what's actually happening. Right. And so that's been that's been a very important line of questioning that I've seen come up over the past probably two years, especially everyone's becoming a little more sensitive. As we're navigating all this business stuff is how does that make you feel? David?
Kathleen Shannon 47:18
He doesn't listen to the podcast.
Emily Thompson 47:20
He does not listen to podcasts, but I asked him later how that makes him feel and see what he says. Shipping and mailing from your desk has never been simpler than with sin pro online from Pitney Bowes. With send pro online from Pitney Bowes. It's just a click Send and save for as low as $4.99 a month. Send envelopes, flats and packages are right from your desk, and you are back to business in no time. And for being a being boss listener you'll receive a free 30 day trial to get started and a free 10 pound scale to ensure that you never overpay save time and money on mailing and shipping with send pro online starting at $4.99. You also can qualify for special USPS rates for letters and Priority Mail shipping, calculate exact postage online and print from your PC. Go to pb.com slash being boss to access this special offer for a free 30 day trial plus a free 10 pound scale to get started. That's p b.com. Slash being boss. Experienced shipping Made Simple with a free trial of sem pro online from Pitney Bowes.
Kathleen Shannon 48:34
Okay, so I'm going to come back to the business bestie conversation and talk about how to make a business bestie. I think it's simply taking someone from your Wolfpack having a one on one conversation, and it might be three or four conversations until they might enter business bestie zone. I think it's that consistency and frequency that brings you there. And then one thing that you are getting to is really having a specific question, I think that the more you can allow someone to help you with a specific question, the more they're going to feel helpful and needed, and they're going to feel open asking you specific questions. And if you're returning with that same amount of generosity, that's whenever you become a business bestie so is simply just asking someone on a date, it's vulnerable, and it's scary, but it's also incredibly easy.
Emily Thompson 49:26
It is and easier now than ever before and yeah, so that ask make these meetings productive for both of you because you are both business owners. Your time is immensely valuable. You're probably also having these meetings during business hours, so don't waste time. I mean, once you get you know, Coleman's into it, you could have just, you know, show up and everybody have a bit fast and that'd be okay with everyone. But that's not what these conversations are about. That's for your real life. besties over Margarita is down at your local taco shop. In this space, remain productive. Be very respectful of each other's time and expertise, and be as vulnerable as you expect other people to be as well.
Kathleen Shannon 50:12
Alright, let's talk a little bit about networking and masterminds and mentors and conferences, and kind of just all the other aspects of building community. Being a part of a community, finding your business bestie, finding your Wolfpack, like it really does happen in a lot of different places. So I already said that I'm allergic to networking. But I do like showing up to these things. And, you know, meeting new people and having opportunities for building some relationships, and at least at the very least, just having an interesting conversation or not like it's not always going to be a hit. But one of my very favorite ways to get to know people and to really be in it with them, and to develop some lifelong friends, his group travel. So we've been to Nola with our bosses many times. We just recently went to Guatemala, it was an experience I will never forget. But then even beyond that, I've been to Utah with people. I've been to California with people. I mean, I've been all over the world with people. And even personal travel, like to Nepal, and Poland. You know, traveling with people is a really great way to if not make friends to make some really good memories with other people.
Emily Thompson 51:31
Yeah, this one has become a really big one for me. Guatemala was amazing. And then I wrapped up that I was home for about a week and left for Greece for two weeks, which was also group travel. And with a boss who was in one of my master pilot programs, it has become a member of my own Wolf Pack. So just like, it all ends up, like circling back around in a really beautiful way. And there's something about traveling to places with people that gives you a connection, that again, you will never be able to see what it gives you until you're there getting it. And a perfect example of this is, whenever I was in high school, even I went on a group travel trip to Europe for a summer. And one of the people in that group, it was this guy who was several years older than me. You know, we traveled all around like friends in Belgium and did amazing things. About 10 years later, he hired me to do the branding and website for his wine shop, which has, you know, now grown into another location, they do an annual wine conference, where I was able to do a lot of the branding and positioning and web presence for his brand. 10 years after we met each other on a group travel and got to experience these really great things together.
Kathleen Shannon 52:54
That makes me think of farming and not hunting. So this is a concept that we I can't remember if we wrote about it in our book or not. But this idea and I really remember bringing this on as a mantra early in my business is this idea of being a farmer, not a hunter. I feel like in the world of social media, especially and all of these courses that you see, it's all about hunting, how to grow your Instagram by 1000 people in a week that's hunting like this very masculine, go get him vibe, whereas farming is like you said, showing up planting seeds. And it might come to fruition. 10 years later, this is why if you're expecting results in two weeks, if you're expecting to fill your roster in two weeks, and be a millionaire in a year, it it's gonna take some time, so be a farmer, not a hunter. And that's exactly what I find traveling does. It allows you to be a farmer and all of these things that we're talking about.
Emily Thompson 53:51
Yeah, a farmer while doing and seeing amazing things. Another great way to pick up your Wolf Pack folks or meet a business bestie is going to conferences. So going to big events where lots of people are present, especially if it's in your niche, or around a topic that you're interested in. That's where you're going to meet your people. And I find this to be true. Every time I go to one and both sides of it. I've been to some that weren't very aligned with me, but either you know, I got a ticket or it's going to be near me or maybe even we were speaking at them or something. And maybe not so much speaking those are always pretty aligned. But there are always those conferences where like you don't really meet anyone because you didn't choose the right one. But if you choose one that is very aligned with who you are, what it is that you're doing the kind of people who are your people, you're going to go home with 15 new best friends
Kathleen Shannon 54:48
and I'll tell you what, I don't have the budget to spend on hit or miss conferences. So for me it's really finding a conference that has a good reputation has a good lineup of stuff. beakers I might know a few people that are going or admire a few people that are ago are going. And so for me, it really is a big investment even now to travel. And even more than just the money is the time, like the amount of time that it takes to go to a conference. I want to set the intention of going to a conference for myself that I'm not speaking out, I will say that I've been speaking so much that I've stopped going to conferences for fun. Like just to learn something,
Emily Thompson 55:30
right? I'm going to a conference, just for fun, basically, or not speaking at a conference for the first time in probably four years. Wow, next month, and like, I'm kind of giddy about it. Like, I kinda want to go get a new notebook. You know, like that first day of school feeling where you're gonna go learn some shit. That's how I'm feeling. Especially conversation. Yeah,
Kathleen Shannon 55:53
just model this for our listeners. Yes. Here's my big confession, business bestie conversation. I feel like we've dug in so much into talking about work and life on the podcast. And we've learned a lot along the way. I, I'm going to sound like a jackass saying this, and I'm just going to own it. I feel like, I'm not learning a lot at conferences. And I wonder if it's because like, even within that hour of that person speaking now, there's always one key takeaway, I can always figure out a key takeaway or something I want to implement Same thing with books, or podcasts or anything, really. So I'm trying to figure out like, how do I get over that hump? Is it that I need to go to conferences outside of my area of expertise? Because like branding, I've got it on lock, there's not a lot that someone's gonna say about branding that I don't already know. So is it maybe that I need to go to a conference about fitness and nutrition, like kind of digging more into the hobby side of my life or conference about parenting, even though like, that's the last thing I want to be talking about? I don't know. Or maybe just in general, like feeling a little burned out on the business stuff. I just don't even want to talk or listen or learn about it.
Emily Thompson 57:06
No, one burnout real? That's okay. Do I feel the same way even looking at the schedule for this upcoming conference, I feel like about 50% of it is sessions that I even really want to go to. And I wouldn't be surprised if half of those probably are all information that I already know. And I think so oh, this could get me into a whole other conversation of the quality of content that conferences have, and the rise of conferences, not paying their speakers, because so many speakers are willing to do it for free. And so everyone's getting free content. And free content isn't always the best content, right, which is just this whole whole conversation to be had. But I also think we are just at a level of business where most conferences are pretty irrelevant to what it is that we're doing, which makes me really love things like mastermind retreats. Yeah,
Kathleen Shannon 58:07
Emily Thompson 58:07
think that's going to be you know, 10 people to 10 like high performing people in a room together maybe with a like next level coach where we're diving in and one on one because like, a blanket talk on how to use Instagram feels pretty irrelevant.
Kathleen Shannon 58:23
Yeah, I think that's what I'm really craving as some sort of beginner mindset. I love being an expert. I love having, you know, this expertise and branding and design. I don't know maybe even a design conference could be fun to go to like, as I'm digging back into that I remember going to the how design conference years and years is when we first conferences that I ever went to. And my ad agency sent me there. And it was great. Anyway, all this to say I'm just I feel like I'm craving that kind of connection and this learning mindset, but I'm not really finding it. So if anyone has any recommendations of some great conferences, or retreats or anything, I'm really open to it right now.
Emily Thompson 59:05
Send them over to Kathleen. Alright, I want to talk next. So we've talked about conferences and group travel. I think online communities and offline communities are a really great way to begin connecting to, especially if dishing out the money for a conference or group travel isn't really in your budget. At the moment, though, you should put it in your budget, you should start saving for those kinds of things. Because even, you know, crazy introvert over here. Those are some of my favorite things. online community and offline community, they'll give you some very easy sort of low entry point ways to find your people. So in this can be as easy as joining some Facebook groups though. tread with care. Or I don't know what other online community places are there.
Kathleen Shannon 59:57
Yeah, I mean, I think in general, you can just build an online community of friends where you're commenting on each other's Instagrams, keyword commenting, and not just like, cheesy, or even getting into DMS, I like even better because it's not for show, it's not for metrics, it really is for sparking a conversation. I feel like that's actually happening more Indians than it is and like, even in Instagram Stories than it is, in the actual Instagram feeds where it's a little bit more curated. Um, but you know, a lot of people are creating slack communities or Facebook groups, or my email communities. And I think these are really great places to get in, and have conversations with other people. And, again, the idea that you can have direct messages with each other within these communities is what makes it a community is that you can find someone and connect with them and take it further. And then also, hopefully, taking it offline as well is really important. And I'm really seeing a big swing toward that.
Emily Thompson 1:01:00
I will say, before we get into offline, because that is really important. You know, whenever we started this podcast, we did not anticipate its focus on community. Kathleen and I were doing this for fun, just kind of for shits and giggles, like what would happen if we started a podcast? Let's see. And then before we knew it, there was a whole tribe of people who wanted to connect with each other around the things that Kathleen and I were connecting over. And if you are an old school boss, if you've been here a while, you may remember that Facebook group that we had back in the day that had 25,000 people in it before we finally decided to shut it down about two years ago. And since we shut that down, we've definitely felt there was a bit of a hole in our hearts around the being boss community, but not in regards to Facebook by any means no regrets, no regrets there. So I will say that we are bringing back the being boss online community. So if you want more information is coming out really, really soon, it will not live on Facebook, just so you know, you can go to being boss club slash join and injury, your email address, and we will let you know, whenever whenever it's ready to go or if it is ready to go. You can go ahead and join because we do believe that this online community piece is becoming more and more important and more and more accessible to all of us here who are here working by ourselves. And again, bosses are the coolest people on the block. So you want to hang out with all the cool bosses. Join. Yeah,
Kathleen Shannon 1:02:29
and coming back to I think that one of my biggest problems with the Facebook community personally is I felt in charge. Like I felt like I needed to be mitigating every single issue that was coming up or commenting on every single post that was coming up and now realizing with two years removed. Oh no, it's really about allowing people to connect with each other. And that was the piece that I feel the most guilty about as well, because a lot of people were making legit friends and connections in that group.
Emily Thompson 1:03:01
True. Facebook was also cultivating some nastiness, which is why getting off of Facebook, I'm hoping to bring back the integrity and the beauty of the being boss community, not in a space that breeds anger and hate.
Kathleen Shannon 1:03:15
I love that group. And there is like 500 to 1000 people.
Emily Thompson 1:03:19
Yes, it was fantastic in the early days, for sure. So I'm excited to bring that back. And along those lines too, though, is taking it offline. So giving you guys a hub to connect online. But also remembering that offline should always be an end goal. And I will also sort of put an asterisk in here like don't do scary shit.
Kathleen Shannon 1:03:45
Like I remember when we first meet internet friends, and you were telling your parents like I had a friend
Emily Thompson 1:03:50
I never told my parents that I had friends on the on the internet. That was super scary. But I do remember even whenever you and I first met that was before, it was cool to tell people that you had friends you met online. Yeah, like that wasn't cool. But even this, do so responsibly, please, do so responsibly. But definitely take genuine amazing online relationships offline as well. You know, grabbing a coffee meeting up at a conference, I think is a very low risk way to do this a conference that you're both that you're both attending, or a being boss vacation, as it may be, where, where you can get together and meet each other in person because Kathleen and I were having Skype dates for years. But the magic really happened when we could be together in the same space. And once you get us laughing in the same space together, we'll clear a room in a second literally. It's literally happened. And those sort of connections can't happen the same online. We're both sitting in your office, you know at your desk or you're doing the thing it happens in real space. taking those connections offline is when they solidify, I think, into real friendships into real friendships that will last a lifetime and can turn into big things. And whether that's just that lifetime relationship or collaborations, or partnerships, or whatever it may be. I think those man, I do love, I love some offline events as much as an online business person I am I do all of this online stuff so that I can enjoy the offline stuff.
Kathleen Shannon 1:05:32
Yeah, it makes me think about I just found a local nursery in my neighborhood where I want to spend all my money on plants. And they were like, do you want to give me your email address, we're gonna send you a ton of emails. And I was like, actually, yes, I will gladly give you my email address. Because just now this morning, I opened my inbox. And they have three different workshops on things that I really want to learn about whenever it comes to planting and gardening. And so I do love, the access that online gives you to meeting up offline. Yeah, really getting intentional. And just remembering that, you know, there's something missing whenever it's whenever your whole life is only online.
Emily Thompson 1:06:12
And I will throw in here too, if there's not something available for you, and especially if it's not local, and easily accessible, make it yourself. Even locally, a boss friend of mine, started doing a ladies entrepreneur meetup, just a very simple thing, where once a month, I think she picked like, the third Tuesday or something of every month, she emailed a bunch of bosses and gets us all together at a local brewery just hang out and chat. And she put this together and got a list of emails and just did it. And now we're all showing up. And it's a ton of fun, she found a need for something. She sent some emails, and she made it happen. And so she created this offline community locally, with just a little bit of effort.
Kathleen Shannon 1:06:59
I love this so much, because one of the questions I've been getting quite a bit in my branding business. So over at braid creative, I'm the person who gets the contact form emails, and I respond to every single one. And one of the questions I get whenever someone's looking for branding is, can you also help me grow my online community and following? And this is probably where like, my bone to pick about community comes in? Because I think that what they're really saying is, can you help me grow my market? Or I don't really know what they're talking about? If they're literally talking about a Facebook group or just becoming popular, like, is that the words that they're saying? Can you help me become popular, right? whenever it comes to growing your community, and following, I will say this, and I probably have another hour worth of worth of thoughts on this. But it really is just like your friend did where you see a need, or you just invite like five people it can start really, really small. And what going back to what you said earlier about just showing up, like the only way I can tell you to grow your community and following even though those aren't the same things. But the only way I can say to do it is to have a clear message, have a clear position. Be willing to facilitate conversations between yourself and other people allowing a space for other people connect with each other and just doing it consistently, consistently showing up however, that looks. So that's the beginning of that conversation, which maybe will continue into the next year.
Emily Thompson 1:08:29
Right and giving more than you ask. also put that in there and giving more than you ask. Giving valuably and relevantly, how about that? Are those add that valuably, and relevantly with relevance? Right disclosures,
Kathleen Shannon 1:08:49
you know what I like being a little irrelevant sometimes or off topic? and
Emily Thompson 1:08:55
relevant more than or irrelevant? Because I agree, you can mix it up
Kathleen Shannon 1:09:02
it get two out of three.
Emily Thompson 1:09:03
Yeah, yes, please. I love it. And all this to say, you know, we've made we've made community or we call our tribe, but one of our like, pillars of being boss. We have mindset, boundaries, habits and routines, community, life, and work. And community is one of these because it is of just as much importance as about as the boundaries that you put in place, or is showing up and doing the work. It's cultivating real relationships with other human beings, who you can help along the way and who can help you along the way. This work I know is so much more fulfilling, because I get to do it consistently with people that I like. And even if I'm not literally doing it with them, not all of my business besties are my business partners, and he's still showing up and doing it with Other people who are also showing up and doing their thing along the way. This is something that I put quite a bit of energy into, I probably spend, I probably have two or three hours per week that are dedicated to conversations with other business people and I'm not getting paid to have these conversations. I'm having these for my own fulfillment, and to foster my community and my relationships. I do this because it's terribly important. Thanks for listening. And hey, if you want more resources,
Unknown Speaker 1:10:38
we're talking worksheets,
Emily Thompson 1:10:39
free trainings, in person meetups vacations and more. Go to our website at www dot boss dot club.
Kathleen Shannon 1:10:48
Do the work the boss