the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 487: Fastest Ways to Grow Your New Business | Sara and Ben Jensen Episode Recap

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Are you grappling with how to transform your passion into a thriving business but feel unsure about where to start?

Perhaps you’ve had to overcome overwhelming odds in your life and feel compelled to help others going through the same thing, but lacking a proper roadmap is holding you back.

In today’s special recap episode, AJ reflects on her conversation with Sara and Ben Jensen, the founders of Hugh and Grace – a company inspired by their journey with infertility, that takes its name from their two miracle children – as she explores how to transition between what you’re currently doing, and what you feel called to do.

Discover how to turn your passion into a full-time business, why business success is about being willing to make plenty of mistakes (in the most inexpensive way possible), and what you can do to grow quickly and reach more people, plus a whole lot more.

To hear all of AJ’s top takeaways from her conversation with Sara and Ben, be sure to tune in!

Key takeaways from this episode

  • How to turn your passion into a thriving business and what might be holding you back.
  • The value of sharing your message and your passion with others.
  • Why business success is about being willing to make a lot of mistakes.
  • The importance of not making expensive mistakes you can’t afford.
  • Why you need to be ready to pivot and change your company.
  • The evolution of Brand Builders Group and their many adaptations over the years.
  • Why you need to slow down and listen to your customers.
  • Finding the balance between your passion and what the market is willing to buy from you.
  • Three key steps to connecting with your audience and growing sales.
  • Don’t let entrepreneurship let you lose sight of what really matters.

Tweetable Moments

“Success is a byproduct of being willing to make a ton of mistakes. But make them quickly, [and] make them as inexpensive as possible.” — @aj_vaden [0:04:52]

“If you slow down, and you ask, and you listen, it’ll become so obviously clear, people will tell you exactly what it is that they are willing to buy from you.” — @aj_vaden [0:07:16]

“It is both about your passion, and what you want to do, and what the market is willing to buy from you, and at what price.” — @aj_vaden [0:10:23]

“Nobody knows what they’re doing before they do it.” — @aj_vaden [0:11:32]

“Make sure you are focused on being better before you focus on being bigger.” — @aj_vaden [0:14:51]

“Community is what helps your business spread. So build it, share it, and don’t forget about it.” — @aj_vaden [0:16:38]

“Turn that passion into something that’s going to create an abundant life for you and those around you, make an impact, and make great money while doing it.” — @aj_vaden [0:19:30]

About Sara and Ben Jensen

During their 14-year struggle with unexplained infertility, Ben and Sara Jensen began their journey of hormone health discovery. They learned that hormones are positively or negatively impacted by ingredients found in everyday products and when hormones are negatively impacted, it can lead to significant health issues. Incredibly, two of their sisters volunteered to be their surrogates. Ben and Sara named the brand after their miracle children. Determined to help others, they partnered with industry experts to create powerfully pure solutions for your skin, health, and home that support hormone health.

Links Mentioned

Henna Pryor on LinkedIn

Pryority Group

Good Awkward

Why Awkwardness is Your Secret Weapon for Risk-Taking at Work

The New Way to Brag in the Modern World 

Free Video Short Course

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

AJV (00:02): are you trying to figure out how do you turn your mission, your message, your passion, your calling whatever you would like to call it, . But if you’re trying to figure out how to turn that thing that you feel called to do into the thing that makes you money, this is a quick conversation that I would like to have with you. So I was able to interview the founders and also a married couple, Sarah and Ben Jensen, who have founded and started the company, Hugh & Grace, which is a products company, skincare products supplements, as well as household care products that help you keep your hormones in check, right? So clean products that help you with all the things in on and around your body. And I had this conversation with them on the influential Personal Brand podcast around why did they start this? AJV (00:56): How did they start this? Where did the idea come from? It’s a very fast growing company. They only founded it three years ago. Although the idea started 14 years ago. And I thought this was a, a, a great inspiration to have a conversation today about how do you do that? Like, how do you take something that you’ve been through in your life that was challenging or scary or traumatic or just painful and go, but there is purpose in this, and I want to help other people who have experienced this, that same thing. I want to help them find a better way, experience a better way of getting through it living, coming out on the other side better. In other words, I feel like I have a message put on my heart that must get out into the world, and I would love to turn that into a business that helps me create an abundant life for me, my family generations beyond me as well as making a huge impact by doing something that I know matters. AJV (01:59): And so I, I thought this was like a really great inspiration conversation. So here are a few things that may help you as you figure out the transition between doing what you’re currently doing and doing the thing that you feel called to do, right? And how do you turn your passion into your full-time business? So number one, I thought this was very insightful is success is about making as many mistakes as humanly possible as quickly and as inexpensively as possible so that you can learn, pivot, and grow, right? I, I, I think that’s so powerful for us all to remember that success is not a foundation of our victories. success is built on the foundation of many, many mistakes and failures and not giving up, but instead of taking every mistake and learning from it, taking every failure of going, that wasn’t a failure, AJV (02:59): That was a learning experience, that was a growth opportunity. It was learning what not to do again that, that is where growth happens. That’s where success happens. Success is a byproduct of being willing to make a ton of mistakes, but make ’em quickly, make them as inexpensive as possible, and then learn, pivot, and go. And I think that’s just so important for all of us of knowing whatever it is that you think it’s going to be, it likely won’t be what you end up with. , if I can just share the evolution of brand builders group over the last, you know, almost six years that, you know, we’ve formally been an entity and where it started. There’s a lot of the foundational pieces that are still there with our community and membership and intensives. But I will also tell you that we quickly expanded into a lot of things and then very quickly condensed them all back in when we realized we have expanded beyond our capacity beyond our ability to serve in the way that we wanna serve. AJV (04:03): And so our offerings grew really quickly, and then they all got cut back just as quickly. And that was a, that was a part of going, it’s like, man, we don’t have capacity to do all of this in the way that we want it. And there are certain areas that had natural momentum that we made a decision of going, although there’s this thing that could get us there, that could be the thing, it’s not right. And it felt very forceful. It felt like we were just pulling it along behind us versus these other things that we’re just taking off without a ton of effort. And our, and the point of that being is like your audience will tell you what it is they need from you, if you’ll just listen. And the way that they tell you is what they buy, what they buy again, what they renew with, what they tell their friends about. AJV (04:48): It’s in their feedback. And they’ll also tell you what’s not working by the fact that they don’t buy it again or they don’t renew or they don’t tell their friends about it. And I think a lot of that just has to do with us as business owners, as entrepreneurs, as team members, to slow down enough and pay attention and listen. And that’s really hard to do when you’re doing a hundred different things and you’re pulled in a million different directions. It’s hard to do when you’re distracted and when you’re busy. Yep. B word, busy. ’cause We can get busy and when we’re busy and in a hurry and multitasking, it is hard to see the things right in front of you. You often push them aside and you don’t pay attention because there’s too many other things to get to. And I would encourage you that as you’re figuring this out, if you slow down and you ask and you listen, it’ll become so obviously clear. AJV (05:44): People will tell you exactly what it is that they are willing to buy from you, and that they need to buy from you. And that also it gives you confidence and conviction that you’re the right person to offer it to them. Them. If you just slow down and listen intuitively, ask, pay attention and just get into the data, right? That’s a really important part of this right? Now. That leads to the second thing, what you do, right? Your passion, right? And your business, what you do has got to be both logical and emotional, right? It should emotionally move you to go like, I can’t not do this. Like, if I didn’t do this, it would be the biggest regret of my life. Like, I have to do this. That’s the emotional side of like, I feel convicted in this. I can’t not talk about it. AJV (06:34): Like it just bubbles out of me regardless. Like this is who I am and it’s what I was put on this earth to do. There’s passion, right? That’s the emotional side. But then there’s also the logical side. And sometimes we let our emotions overtake the logic. And this is a discipline, it’s an obedience of pulling that back in, of going, these are the things I feel called to do, but that’s honestly sometimes a little me centered. And we have to pair that. We have to balance that with, and what are people asking for from me, right? What are people willing to buy from me? What are people willing to learn from me? What are they asking to learn from me? Rather, you know, intrinsically or verbal or verbally that it’s like, where am I most positioned to help and serve people? Passion? And what are people most willing to buy from me? AJV (07:31): And how much are they willing to spend with me? Logically, that’s market evaluation, that’s core target audience that’s pairing with what you have to offer versus what the market is saying that they want. And that is both an emotional and logical conversation, and they both have to happen. One is not higher or lower than the other. They are both equally important to figure out a business model that serves both your passion and your calling and create something that is viable and sustainable that can actually make you money. So it is both about your passion and what you want to do and what the market is willing to buy from you and at what price. So it is both things. And so I think a part of that is sometimes you don’t know until you know. And that’s where you gotta be flexible and nimble and be willing to just get out there and make some quick mistakes cheaply, right? AJV (08:22): Quickly. and then pivot. I go, wasn’t that wasn’t that. Let’s try it again. Let’s tweak it again. That was too much. That was too low. Whatever it is. And the best way to know those things is not to ideate and it’s not to brainstorm, it’s to do it. . you’re ready right now. If you know you can help someone, then you are ready. And sometimes you just gotta get it out there. And whatever it is, it’s fine. ’cause It will change no matter what it is. Your first launch is going to be a different offering, a a different price point, a different product, a different description and probably less than a year from now. Because once you’re out there doing it, you tweak it and fine tune it, and you make it better as you go. You cannot make it what it is meant to be before you do it. AJV (09:09): You just can’t. Nobody knows what they’re doing before they do it. So the best thing you can do is to do it and to adjust accordingly as you go. Okay? That is how you turn your passion into your business at, at a very high level, right? Now three other quick things I wanna share with us is that now how do you get people to buy it? Well, one, you sell it, right? Selling is fast. Marketing is slow. Marketing is the long game. So selling is the short game. So if we think it’s like, okay, now I’ve got this idea. I need to build the website, I need to launch a podcast. I need to do social media, I need da, da, da, da, da. That is the long, expensive route. And many of you don’t have the runway to do it. Some of you do awesome, but most of us don’t. AJV (09:56): And what you have to do is you have to get out there and talk to people. You have to tell them your story. Why? ’cause your story is what helps you connect to your audience, not your product. Your story, IE your personal brand. So knowing why you do this, how you do it, what makes it different, what problem you’re solving what message are you delivering, right? And products and services doesn’t matter what makes it unique. And a lot of times it’s you, you are what makes it unique. The struggle, the story is what people connect to and remember why? Because they have similar ones. That’s why they resonate. And so you’ve gotta be willing to get out there. Now, social media is a platform. Podcasts are a platform. But don’t forget the power of proximity. And that is a real thing. AJV (10:46): You being live in person in a room, talking to people, explaining it to people, showing it to people, helping people experience it, skin to skin, shoulder to shoulder, like that goes faster. So be willing to get out there and talk about it. Do not let it be the world’s best kept secret secret because you don’t know what to say or how to say it. It’s like that’s, that’s your job. Like you have to know how to explain it because you’ve been through it, you know? And then you’ve got to find anyone anywhere who’s willing to listen for free or not. Like if you get paid, great, but don’t expect to be paid, right? But willing to get out there and speak to any group who’s willing to gather together churches, associations, memberships, masterminds, whatever. Right? there are all types of people who are looking for speakers for free all over the place. AJV (11:39): Business journals, chambers of Commerce, rotary Clubs, right? Yeah, that’s old school stuff. But you know what? They need speakers. They have monthly meetings and you know who come to those meetings? People. And that’s what you need. So be willing to talk to anyone about the thing because it matters. It matters to you. ’cause You know it’s gonna matter to the people, right? So just wanna encourage that. Sales is fast, marketing is slow. And the best way for you to sell is to be in front of people, to explain it, to walk people through it, and to share your story, right? And then community is what helps things spread. It is finding a group of people who can rally behind your products and your services and shop them to the rooftops, right? Because why? Because they work, right? . So a part of the prerequisite for all of this is actually having a product or a service that does what it says, right? AJV (12:31): It’s undeniable. If you get someone results, it is hard not for that person and for others to talk about it. Make sure you are focused on being better before you focus on being bigger. Make sure that you know how to get people results and you have documented proof of it. You have testimonials of it, you’ve got case studies of it, right? And those don’t have to be formally and designed like I’m talking about on a Word doc, right? A quick iPhone video, but have it have proof. Third party validation that you are who you say you are, and you do what you say you’re gonna do. And that could be in a email from a client, a testimonial. And clients don’t have to be paid clients. FYI don’t be afraid to offer your products and services for free to test it. That’s required. In most cases, any big product that’s having a launch has been tested many, many, many, many times for free before anyone paid for it. AJV (13:25): I think about this often. I fly a lot and thank gosh that anytime I am on a new airplane, that is not the first time that pilot has been in the plane. That is not the first time that plane has been the air. Thank the lord. This thing has been up for thousands of miles and this pilot has tens of thousands of miles under their belt. The first time they do it is not with paying customers in the seats. That would be crazy. But yet somehow we think that the very first time we launch our business, launch our products, people should pay for ’em. Why? Why do we think that? I don’t know. Someone said it one time. I don’t know. That’s not true. Be willing to do what you do for free to get market feedback, to get testimonials, to fine tune to tweak before you go live. AJV (14:09): Then when you do go live, you do launch. You got all the validation and the conviction and the confidence and the market validation and testimonials that this does what it says it does. This gets results. This helps people. And it, I’m not just saying that all these other people are saying that community is what helps your business spread. So build it, share it, and don’t forget about it. And then last, but not le lightly, I think this is also important, is that many of us see the attraction of entrepreneurship starting our own business because we think it’s gonna allow us to build a lifestyle that caters to our, our family, our personal needs, our our marriages, our kids. AJV (14:51): And then you actually get in it and you realize you have less time than you did before, and you are more stressed and more overwhelmed. And that’s because we let the business become the main thing. And so I would just encourage you as you’re thinking about like this passion thing that you have, that you feel called to do and how you could turn it into a business, don’t forget the important part of also talking about like, what is the life that you wanna have while doing this? How much time do you want for your marriage time that you want? Spiritually in my case, it’s like I gotta ti I have to prioritize my time with the Lord first. And then time with my husband, then time with my kids and my family, and then comes, you know, times with friends and community. AJV (15:38): But if I make the business first, it sucks up all the time. , right? It’s like if the business comes first, there’s always enough to do where I do not have time to pray, read the Bible. I do not have time to hang out with friends or go to yoga or go on date nights, or I don’t have the time if I let the business come first. My point is the business cannot come first, right? You have to prioritize it. And the business has to fit in around that. I only share that because I did it the wrong way for about 15 years. And I’m only now figuring out the right way, a better way to do it. I’m not saying that I don’t work hard, I work hard. But it fits within the confines of keeping the main thing, the main thing, and the priorities first. AJV (16:18): And if I do that, the business works. If I don’t, nothing works. I struggle. My marriage struggles my faith struggles my family struggles. But when I put all those other things, first, business just works. And so make sure that as you’re crafting this, you make sure that you’re crafting your life in addition to your business. Because both matter , right? Your work matters and your life matters. IE your family your faith and yourself and your marriage, those things matter. So keep the priorities first, and you have to set those first, and the business fits in around that. So again, if you’re thinking about how do you go from passion to business a couple of quick things to be thinking about. And I know that if you’ve got that calling on your heart, it’s there for a reason. It’s not there by accident and you’re not crazy. God put it there and you’re meant to do it. So don’t be afraid. Make mistakes. Just keep going. Give it time. Don’t rush it and just stay at it. Because if it’s there, it’s there for a reason and eventually you’ll know why. So build that business. Turn that passion into something that’s gonna create an abundant life for you and those around you. Make an impact and make great money while doing it.

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