Ep 270: Building Your Personal Brand as A Small Business Owner with Jill Flodstrom

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If you’re a small business owner who is unsure about whether they should be concentrating on building a personal brand, then this episode is for you!

Our guest today, Jillian Flodstrom, is a Small Business Strategist, Speaker, and serial entrepreneur who has built five different booming businesses in three separate industries.

Her latest venture is called Scale Your Small Business and is the result of all the lessons she’s learned throughout her career. In our conversation, we discuss the chaos and overwhelm that many small business owners experience, how to revolutionize your operations, and some of the first steps you can take to get organized and thrive.

Tuning in you’ll hear Jill share practical tips on how to get your business to where it needs to be, from how to reach Inbox Zero, to finding the management software that’s right for your business.

Learn why consciously building your brand as a small business owner is essential, and how people may perceive you if you’ve done it without intention up until this point.

Jill also describes why she is a firm believer in hiring before you’re ready and how it drives business owners to take their business to the next level.

Jill’s business was born out of a desire to help other small business owners get organized and thrive because when entrepreneurs consciously support and help one another, the results are life-changing.

To learn more about being a small business owner and building a personal brand, make sure you tune in today!

KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE

  • Introducing today’s guest, Jill Flodstrom, a serial entrepreneur and expert at growing small businesses.
  • How Jill started her career in baking and transitioned into other fields.
  • How Jill stays organized and manages her multiple small businesses.
  • The benefits of running your business in the simplest way possible.
  • Some of the most common things that small business owners tend to overcomplicate in their company.
  • Jill’s advice on how to reach inbox zero and the ways it will transform your life.
  • A breakdown of a templated email response and how to create and institute one.
  • How to choose your templated response by reviewing past emails.
  • Why Jill wanted to lean into building her brand as a small business owner.
  • Jill’s relationship with Brand Builders Group and what the process of growing her personal brand has been like.
  • The top three things any entrepreneur can expect to learn from Jill’s course.
  • The annual To-Do list Jill gives her client, and the most important thing on that list.
  • The immense benefits of instituting software to help manage your business.
  • Some of the software small business owners can use to manage their company.
  • More on Jill’s course, how to access it, and when it will be going live.
  • Why as a small business owner you probably already have a personal brand, you’re simply not aware of it.
  • Jill’s last piece of advice for small business owners: hire before you’re ready.

TWEETABLE MOMENTS

“I think the most important thing is [that] we try to complicate things so much as human beings. And really just keeping things super simple, allows me to do all these different things. And keeping these businesses running is quite the adventure, but keeping it simple has really, really helped me.” — Jillian Flodstrom [0:05:10]

“I think as entrepreneurs, when we stick together and we help each other, it is like the growth of that is just massive. And so if I can help other people with these little random things, I feel like it can really, really change their life.” — Jillian Flodstrom [0:14:17]

“But I think the main thing that I want to tell everyone listening is that if you have an idea, do not give up on that idea. Find the person that supports you, find whatever you need to make that idea a reality, because you don’t want to let those ideas just sit in a notebook or stay on the shelf.” — Jillian Flodstrom [0:18:37]

“You’ve really got to shift your perspective and realize that you are and everything that you’re doing — or not doing — is affecting your reputation, even though you don’t realize it.” — Jillian Flodstrom [0:31:58]

About Jill Flodstrom

Jillian has created and built five different businesses in three different industries. She specializes in helping her clients mitigate the feelings of overwhelm and chaos when it comes to growing their businesses. With a passion for efficiency and organization, Jillian has dedicated her time to helping small business owners to become more productive and more in control of their future.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Jillian Flodstrom on LinkedIn

Scale Your Small Business

Free Workbook: Five-Step CLEAR Process

Asana

ClickUp

Monday

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): Hey everybody. And welcome to another episode on the influential personal brand. Today I have a good friend and a BBG client as my special guest. Before I formally turn it over and let you guys meet the one and only Jill Flodstrom let me give you just a little bit of her what I’m gonna call professional bio and then I’ll help fill in the gaps with all the things that are not on here, which should be, which I think are a really impressive part of who Jill is and what she’s done. But here are some things that might be relevant to you specifically, if you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, right? Because Jill is a serial entrepreneur, she has created and built five separate businesses in three separate industries. And so she is no stranger to jumping off the cliff without a parachute and trying to figure out how do we make this all work as she’s a flying down the mountain which I think is a unique component of deciding to take that leap and be an entrepreneur and build a small business. AJV (01:09): But I would say when it comes to her personal brand, separate of all these businesses that she’s created and runs, she really specializes in helping her clients mitigate feelings of overwhelming chaos when it comes to growing their businesses. And as an entrepreneur and a small business owner, there is a lot of chaos and a lot of overwhelm. And I also know that Jill is not just passionate, but also just very skilled at efficiency and organization. And so she has really I would say made that leap from not just entrepreneur and small business owner, but also a thriving personal brand. So without further ado, welcome to the show, Jill, JF (01:50): Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here. AJV (01:53): Yes, we are too. I love it. When we get to feature our clients and you’re not just a client, like you’re one of like the OG clients. You’ve been a part of our community for three years. We’re so honored and blessed to have, get to be a small part of your journey and to see all the amazing stuff that you’ve built over the last three years. But I know all this, but the people listening do not. So to help everyone get to know you a little bit, just to tell us how you got to where you are what are these businesses that you’ve been building? And that was just a little bit about all the things that are Jill JF (02:27): They’re. They are all so different. I, I think a lot of people probably tried to create businesses within the same industry. Not me. I’m just like, you know what, I wanna try that let’s go for it. But my career started in banking, which led to financial services because I used to work at the coroners office. I used to meet a ton of people that were not prepared for retirement, not prepared for the bad things that can happen to us. And I just thought, you know what, there’s gotta be a better way. There’s gotta be people that we can talk to that really understand, you know, what’s kind of working, using my medical background to, so it just kind of was a natural evolution. And then with the way that the reform has come about with healthcare and financial services, just thought, you know, what it need to create a personal brand, something that I can control. And it’s just kind of led to where we’re at today and it’s been a natural evolution and it’s just, it’s been an awesome, awesome journey. AJV (03:25): Oh, I love that. And I love how you just, so always casually mentioned this, this brief stint of your life in the coroner’s office and the Morgue I think it’s so fascinating knowing you and you were like the most bubbly, bright, friendly person on the planet. Like how that ever worked. I don’t know. Maybe it’s like the perfect just juxtaposition of roles and positions in that. But so I, I want everyone to know, it’s like, kinda give like people, like when you talk about building and scaling small businesses and all these different industries, it’s like you have a real estate entity, you’ve got your financial service services and insurance practice like you’re really all across the board. And so I’m curious for you knowing that when it comes to like your personal brand and this personal passion of yours around organization and efficiency, it’s like, like, how do you, like, I even know, like right now, as you sit right here, like you’re sitting in Las Vegas, you do not live in Las Vegas, you live in Washington, but you’re flipping a house for your real estate business. It’s like, how do you keep all these different businesses, like siloed and centered and organized and efficient and running all at the same time, because that’s a lot going on. JF (04:36): It is. I always tell people, it’s like, kind of like a marathon. Like you have to make sure that all these businesses are running at the same pace as each other, which is kind of a juggling, you know, situation. But I think the most important thing is we try to complicate things so much as human beings and really just keeping things super simple, allows me to do all these different and keeping these businesses running is quite the adventure, but keeping it simple has really, really helped me. AJV (05:08): Okay. So this is an amazing topic to talk about because I doesn’t, I do not care what it is that you do. It’s like we do overcomplicate it. Like we try to make it as complicated as possible. Even if it’s emotionally, it’s like, it’s not that big of a deal, but yet we build it up as some catastrophic event that’s gonna happen. And so as an entrepreneur, small business owner, this thriving, personal brand with this awesome reputation for doing great work, it’s what are the things that you find other small business owners, entrepreneurs overcomplicate, and, and wanna know personally too. It’s like, how would you help someone to simplify things? JF (05:48): I think the first one, because we all are suffering from overwhelm in our email. And so I love to focus with my clients first on the email, like let’s tame the email monster, and then we can kind of move on to some other things. But there’s a way that I organize my inboxes within my email inbox, which makes it so much easier to just manage that flow of emails, because I think there’s so many more people that are, are just, they look at their inbox and they’re like, oof, I’m not even gonna deal with it today. I’m just gonna set it aside. And if somebody really needs me, they’ll email me again and it’ll move to the top of the stack because I used to be one of those people that when you would look at my phone, it said like 50,000 messages, like I was that person and now I am reformed and I am inbox zero. Like that’s the team I’m on. And let me tell you, if you are suffering with email overwhelm, that inbox zero is like, it it’ll change your life. AJV (06:47): How is that even possible? JF (06:50): Right. AJV (06:51): What I know. So, okay. So when it comes to email, like give us one tip from the Jill floods from book of how do you, I don’t know if this is a word decom, simplify, let’s go simplify. How do you simplify email? Like how do you make progress towards this concept of zero inbox? JF (07:10): Well, I think the main thing is using templated responses. That is huge because when you think about, you know, all the emails that you get in every day, you might be typing the exact same words AJV (07:23): All the time, JF (07:23): A bunch of different people over and over and over again. And when you think about creating a templated response for that, it just makes it so easy to just click one button versus having to type that whole string. And if you’re somebody that uses your own for email, like you’re not a desktop or a laptop person, you can use the hot keys inside your phone to do the same thing. So instead of having to type all that out and use up all that extra time and energy, you just couple key strokes and you’re done. I mean, it’s, it’s been a huge game changer. AJV (07:55): Okay. Well, I’m gonna sound really uneducated right now. What is the templated response of, how do I get one? What is this? JF (08:02): Well, depending on what AJV (08:04): Email. Okay. I use office 365. JF (08:07): Okay. So mine’s probably gonna look a little bit different than yours because I am a Gmail person for business. So basically what it is is you just go into your settings and there’s different things, very similar to how you set up your S line in your email. So it’s similar to that and it’s probably in a very similar spot in your settings. So you go in there and you type like Hey, thanks so much for your email. I’ll get back to you in a couple hours with it. That’s just an easy one. Well, you can create that templated response and then just use certain keys. You know, I usually set them as like weird key strokes, like X, you know, Y, Z something like that, that you wouldn’t normally type, like don’t use ha S or something like that, cuz you type that all the time, but then it just automatically populates it in your email inbox, inside that message that you’ve opened and you just click send and it’s gone. And same thing with your phone. There are, if you’re an apple user, it’s probably probably something similar for Android, but for apple people you can literally type like just one letter like Z and then that responsible pop send and off you go AJV (09:17): Fascinating. Well, I know what I will be doing when I get off this interview with you. Okay. So this concept of like templated responses. Yeah. Can you have lots of them? JF (09:29): Oh, heck yeah. AJV (09:30): Okay. You have JF (09:31): Lots and lots and lots of them. And so I always encourage people to look through your sent file and see what you’re sending to people because what you probably don’t realize is that you’re sending the same thing pretty consistently. And so that’s what you can use to turn into a template and response and it just makes it so much easier. So that way you’re not sitting at your computer going, okay, I know I wanna do this, but I have no idea what I would use for just go look through your sense and you’ll be able to see it. AJV (09:58): That’s great. So what’s one thing that you use it for to give us some context. JF (10:02): I use it. I mean, I use it for a response to a general email. Like let’s say I’m in the car or I’m traveling and I really want this person to know that I receive their email and that I’m aware of it. I’ll send a templated response for that. That’s probably the easiest, but a lot of times for specific business, like for health insurance, like we are sending the same response that says, Hey, I would love to help you with that. Here’s my scheduling link. Schedule an appointment when it’s a great time for you. That’s a templated response. I don’t need to type that out every time, just AJV (10:34): Right. JF (10:35): Strokes. And off I go. AJV (10:37): Mm y’all that’s huge like little things of like even using it internally. Like if you have team members of, Hey, everyone’s like, Hey, can I get to this? It’s like, Hey, here’s my calendar link. Instead of having to type that up or try to coordinate. But that’s the thing that I love too about working and talking with other entrepreneurs. There’s these little hacks, right? It’s all these like little things. It’s nothing Mo which I also dunno if that’s a word, but it’s like just enough making up words today. It’s just enough to like free up a little bit of that mental space of going. It’s one less thing that I have to like type out think about and get to it also probably makes it easier to respond quicker of, you know, just like template, response, go template, response, go JF (11:22): Well. And I always tell people too, like when we sit down and we talk about, you know, we have this massive project that we wanna do and we, a lot of us don’t have a full half a day or two hours to carve out to dedicate to just this one thing, but we have two minutes. And so using those little templated responses, you’ll be shocked at how much time you get back into your schedule. And it’s like anything, you know, it takes a little bit of getting used to, but once you do, you will be to the point where I’m like, I can’t live without it. Like I’m sending templated responses all the time. AJV (11:54): Oh, that’s so true because it’s like, how many times are we just trying to like, like we’re in Starbucks line or we’re sitting out of red lights, definitely not driving right safety first, but maybe sitting at the red light, going out two minutes and it’s like, you can maybe get through three or four things versus one thing. Just trying to type this out. I love that. I love this little hacks. I love, I love everything about just trying to be more efficient. And this is also a part of your personal brand, right? Yes. So it’s like in addition to your insurance business and your real estate business and everything else we have going on, it was really this passion for efficiencies and little tips and tricks of the trade that you kind of leaned into your personal brand. So I kind of wanna know as a small business owner, as an entrepreneur, it’s like, what was that trigger point for you of going, I have a lot going on, I’m managing a lot. I’m growing and leading multiple companies like this isn’t ne necessarily something you had to do. You wanted to do it. So why make the choice to lean in to building your personal brand as a small business owner? JF (13:00): Well, you know, it kind of started as something that kind of surprised me to be honest, because I thought everybody was doing it. Like, I think we just kind of get into our own zones and we don’t realize that not everybody is doing the same things. So I would go to these events and I would talk about these random things that I do and people would be like, why are you keeping that to yourself? Like you need to tell people about that. People need to know because everybody needs more time. Right. I mean, that’s the one thing that we cannot get back. And so I just kind of was like, what, like, people really don’t know that. And so when I started about the email organization or like how to categorize your to-do list or all these different things, people were just like, say what, I I’ve never heard of that before. JF (13:43): So it was kind of that, but also knowing that with the way that things are changing in the financial services world and the health insurance world and the government becoming more involved in that, I really like the idea of being able to control more of the business than giving that to someone else to control. And so it just kind of was this Mary of two things that I loved, you know, all these random things that I do every day, I thought everybody did. And then also creating this business around it because I think as we, as entrepreneurs, when we stick together and we help each other, it is like the growth of that is just massive. And so if I can help other people with these little random things, I feel like it can really, really change their life. AJV (14:31): Oh, I love that so much. And that’s so true. It’s like every really great business idea truly should stem from this could really help someone else. So really, as an entrepreneur, a small business owner, it’s like, you were at these events with other small business owners and they’re like, Hey, why are you keeping all these secrets to yourself? How do we like build this? And so you really started building your personal brand to help people just like you. JF (14:57): Absolutely. Yep. Because I think you get to a certain point in your business where if you don’t control it, it will start to control you. And you’ve gotta kind of like take the reins and be like, okay, I don’t have all this mass amount, amount of time, but I do have two minutes. I have 30 seconds. I have these random little pockets of time that I can be doing things. So that way, at the end of the day, I can actually go be with my family and not be working until midnight or three o’clock in the morning. Like so many of us do a really capturing back that family time, which I think is so important and sometimes kind of gets lost when you become an entrepreneur, because you’re so focused on building this business and getting clients and earning money and doing all the things that, that stuff kind of gets pushed to the side. But I think we need to bring that back because there’s nothing more important than our families. AJV (15:49): Great. All about that message. Yeah. It’s like if we had a happier home life, we would naturally have a happier work life, all of us. Okay. So about three years ago, then you started leaning in and building your personal brand, which is how I got to be connected with you. And this, a beautiful relationship with brand builders group and you started to emerge. And so I’m so super curious and for everyone listening, what has this process been like for you as a small business owner of going all right, I’m gonna lean in and do this thing that I feel really called to do because unlike many of our clients who are building their personal brands for their actual businesses, yours is a little bit of a delineation from that. And it’s like, this is naturally having positive byproduct, but it’s almost like a whole new business. And so you’ve really built out this entire like productivity for entrepreneurs and small business, those owners owners course, which does, and doesn’t necessarily really connect to your other businesses. So I would love to hear your journey about it’s ultimately creating a new business, but why did you go the course route? And how has this process been for you as both the face of your business and also this kind of like growing personal brand? JF (17:12): I think the main thing is that this started many years before I even had found brand builders because it was something that I knew that I wanted to do, but it’s like, where do you start? And so I know, I mean, because my whole high school career, I loved sports and you know, in sports you always have a coach, someone who’s pushing you, someone who’s making you better, someone who’s guiding you. And I really found that when you have an idea, but you don’t really know what else is around that idea. You know, I can build a business. That’s not a problem. But when you take this idea, this little tiny baby, and you’re like, how do I make this grow? Like what could this become? I really think that the course route and having the coaching is huge. And I always tell people that there’s no way that we could have created what we’ve created without brand builders, because there’s so many people that I meet throughout this journey that are like, Hey, I’ve already got this book. JF (18:17): I’ve already got this thing. And I really came here with just an idea and like a calling. And like, I know that I can make a difference in someone’s life. I don’t really know how I’m gonna do that, but I’m gonna figure it out and you guys are gonna help me. So it was just really this journey that looking back, it’s like, holy smokes, we’ve accomplished a lot in the last couple years. It’s kind of crazy when you look back. But I think the, the main thing that I wanna tell everyone listening is that if you have an idea, do not give up on that. I idea find the person that supports you, find whatever you need to make that idea a reality, because you don’t wanna let those ideas just sit in a notebook or stay on the shelf. You’ve gotta get them out there because they really truly can change other entrepreneurs lives. AJV (19:07): Oh, that’s such wisdom from your mouth right now. It’s so good. I think one of the things I love about that, and we’ll just stay here for just a second is it’s like, if the idea is in you, there’s a reason, right? Whether you see a need or you feel the need, or it’s a need, that’s finally been fulfilled for you or it’s something you see people around you struggling with. And like, I wouldn’t even say like today, it’s like in our short conversation already, it’s like templated responses. Like I already know like three different ways of like, this could really help me, like may not change every part about my business, but I don’t need a hundred new ideas. I need a couple that just help me move a little faster. And I think it’s such a great reminder to all of us. It’s like, if that idea has been placed on your heart, if you feel like you have this calling, like it’s for a reason, it’s like somebody out there needs it. They need you, but they also need you to step out of this place of fear or uncertainty and go, I I’ll tape a leap, a leap of faith and we’re gonna see what happens. JF (20:12): Absolutely. AJV (20:13): All right. So tell us a little bit more JF (20:15): Part AJV (20:15): Too. Oh, definitely. The scariest part into the unknown. My favorite song from frozen is like all the things, right. So I wanna know more about like what you’ve been working on when it comes to this personal brand of yours and a huge part of it. I know that you are launching a new course, right? It’s a huge part. We’re so excited to get to help you with that. And so it really is a course about helping people get their time back. Right. So we talked a little bit about this email and templated responses, but give us a sneak peek. And then for everyone listening we’re also gonna include a link in the show notes of where you can go and get Jill’s free productivity guide for entrepreneurs. In fact, I’ll go ahead and give you like a little sneak peek of where you can go to get that. AJV (21:06): And you will go to scale scale your small business.org/clear, right? We’ll also put that in the show notes. That’s a really awesome place to go with this free guide that Jill has teed up for everyone listening today. But all right, Jill, so in this course of building this out, like there’s a whole process to figuring out, like, how do I take all of this knowledge and all of these things that I’ve been doing. And also what I think would actually help someone else and put that together in a way that other people can digest it. So if you were to tell everyone listening, here are the three things that you are gonna come away within this course. And like, here’s why people need help with productivity. They need help with becoming more efficient or just doing less. Like what would those three things be? JF (21:56): I think the main thing is we’ve divided it up into nine pillars, but there is so much in each one, but I think the most important thing that makes this course different is each one is short and sweet. So you literally can take what we talk about and go do it very similar to how my podcast is and the fact that it’s like these short, actionable things that you can do right away. So we’ll start off with what’s in the productivity guide is about your to-do list, the different steps that I go through, that the different from what other people do, and just even organizing your to-do list, focusing on certain things, getting those knocked out first. So they don’t turn into the big, ugly, scary monsters, and just working through that list every single day. But there’s stuff in there from working with your team, how do you organize your organiz JF (22:51): Bills in your organization? Like all sort like it runs the gamut because there are so many things that I have learned from running all these businesses and of course, feedback from other business owners that I’ve helped. But I mean, there’s a calendar in there that just talks about what to do on the 10th, the 25th, once a year, once a quarter. And I feel like that has been a huge help for people because when you’ve got a checklist, just print it out, you pin it up on your board and you’re just like, oh, that’s the day. Gotta get that done today. AJV (23:20): Oh, that’s so good. So I have to add three questions about that and kind of like back to these three things that you should do. So I think you said a couple of things there I’m gonna like tee in of like knowing you and knowing your content, like three things. So the first one is this to do list. Yes. So if you were to say, if I was just gonna give you one tip right now to everyone listening of like, here’s one thing you should do to better maximize your to-do list or however it is that you would say, it’s like, what’s the one thing on the to-do list that we need to know. JF (23:48): Definitely do the stuff that makes you money. First. I think sometimes we get lost in the busyness and the easy stuff, but really you’ve gotta make sure that stuff that has the firm date deadline and the stuff that makes you money has to get done first. But sometimes that’s the stuff that we per procrastinate the most. So that’s huge do those things AJV (24:08): First. So do the things that make you money first. Everything else is second to that short sweet, but that’s super helpful. Just being able to look at every single thing that you have to do on a day in a week, in a month and go, which ones of these things actually co correlate to dollars sense. Absolutely that first. Okay, awesome. Super, super tangible. And again, it’s just a mental processing of when there’s so much to do, where do I start? We start with what makes you money? That’s good. Okay. Now you mentioned something else that I laughed out loud about organizing your organization. What, what is that? JF (24:47): So that is, you know, a lot of people are still like a sole proprietor and it’s like, should you be something else? Should you be a different entity? What, what should you even be? So we go over a little bit of that. And I also talk about, you’ve gotta create your of people. You’ve gotta get your accountant. You’ve gotta get your attorney. You’ve gotta get these people because you are gonna be talking with them a lot. And we don’t know what we don’t know. So you need a good team of people to protect you because you’re gonna make some mistakes and they can prevent you from making some costly ones. AJV (25:25): Oh yeah. So it’s just like making sure it doesn’t matter if you’re a, a one person show or you have a team of a hundred, it’s like, like these are all the people that touch all the parts. It’s my attorney, it’s my financial person. It’s my CPA. It’s, you know, whatever. Right. We’re walking through it. Okay. So it’s getting everything organized in a way and in a place where it’s like, this is who I go to for what? JF (25:51): Exactly. Okay. Yep. And knowing who those who those people are, what roles do they fill? AJV (25:56): Okay. That’s awesome. But yeah. And I think that’s really good. It’s like that also helps you uncover any gaps. JF (26:02): Absolutely. AJV (26:03): Yeah. Like as an entrepreneur I’m a part of EO entrepreneurs organization here in Nashville and I still find it so amazing how I’ll be in like these small group discussions with other entrepreneurs and people don’t have an actual attorney. Like people don’t have a formalized tax person and they have multi seven figure businesses and they’re still kind of just winging it. I’m I personally am way too OCD for that. So but it, it is amazing to me. It’s like, for so many of us, it’s like, we’ve been successful in spite of ourselves. And there’s a certain point where it’s like, okay, I actually have to create some formality to what I’m doing in case of X, Y, and Z. So organizing your organization, making sure you’ve got the right people in place to take care of the things when and if needed. Okay. Second awesome thing. Okay. Third thing. And I’m just like super curious about, is you talk a lot about email in terms of time saving tips, other than email, what do you think is the other next biggest thing that people need to work on? Who are entrepreneurs our small business owners to get their life back in check? JF (27:17): Well, I think the most important thing is finding some sort of software to keep track of everything because cause we, a lot of us keep so much stuff in our head and then we wonder why we’re so stressed out, why we forget things, why people are like, you’re never listening to me. And so being able to put all that stuff somewhere, whether that’s a calendar, you know, some sort of, you know, con bond, board, whatever that looks for you, having a holding place where you can put all those ideas. So that way, you know, when you’re ready to come back to them, you haven’t forgotten them. And I think it’s something there’s so many things that are just, it’s simple and you’re like that can’t work because it’s so simple, but that’s what does work, AJV (28:01): Do you have some favorite softwares? JF (28:03): I do. I do. I love Asana, but I’m testing out a new one that is called click up and I’m very intrigued. So I’m kind of, I’m kind of looking at it dabbling a bit to see if it’s a better match to, you know, bring all these things, you know, and all of our team together to see if it’s a better fit. AJV (28:23): Okay. So Asana’s the one that you’ve been using, but you’re kind of like testing with click up. Would you say that click up would be like super comparable to Asana? JF (28:33): It’s very similar, but there’s different things about it, which I think kind of make it even cooler is that you can import like all this stuff. Like I’m always on the hunt for like, what’s a hub that my team can use where everything comes into that and goes out of it. And I think that that software might be it now. It might not once we, you know, get into it and see, but I’m always on the hunt to see, you know, what people are creating. I mean, it is fascinating what people are coming up with. I agree. Cause I’m excited to test it out and see if it works for us. AJV (29:06): That’s awesome. We use at brand builders group internally, we use monday.com. Yes. Very similar. Yeah. So super similar. But we integrated monday.com into our daily operations, maybe a year and some change ago, it has revolutionized our lives. It’s like, we literally, like we run every single meeting now off of our Monday boards. Awesome. And its like, but it’s to that point, it’s like, it’s like even we a year and a half ago as a multi seven figure business were running all of our project management out of email. JF (29:42): I know it’s and there’s so many AJV (29:44): Crazy that JF (29:44): Too, AJV (29:45): It’s crazy. Crazy, bad, not crazy good. And so we totally shifted everything to the goal of 2021 for us was get organized right. As an entity. And it took a whole year to get everyone re acclimated, had situated, getting all the boards loaded. But now I literally look at these and I’m like, how are we functioning? Like, like how are we actually functioning as a company? Even as me for an individual like I, like one of the things that I do is I have Monday boards with my EA. So I have visibility into what she’s doing. And so of saying, Hey Maggie, what are you doing today? Hey, Maggie, are you doing today? It’s like, go look for yourself on the Monday board. So, so much of that is about creating transparency and work activity and communication. So. All right, well I’m super interested to hear what you find with click up. AJV (30:37): So make a personal note to let me know what you find click up. So all right. Well I know we just have a couple of more minutes here together. And so I’m curious with just one or two other quick things for our listeners that I think would be so super cool. And again, as a reminder to everyone Jill’s offered up this really cool free guide, go to scale your small business.org Ford slash clear. We’ll put that in the show notes, her course goes live on April 7th, April 7th, April 7th which is just a few days from the launch of this episode. So you can learn more about that too, at scale, your small business.org. You can check that out if you’re so inclined. But okay. So as we kinda wrap up here, Jill, so I’m really curious for the everyday small business owner, an entrepreneur who does not think they need a personal brand, what’s your thoughts on that? JF (31:35): Well, you probably already are. You just don’t realize it. And so you’ve really gotta shift your perspective and that you are, and everything that you’re doing or not doing is affecting your reputation, even though you don’t realize it. And so really getting a handle on that whole idea will shift the way that you do things, the way that you respond to things and making sure that you really have all your stuff organized and together, because if you’re a disorganized mess, people know it. They can see, AJV (32:14): Even JF (32:15): Though you don’t realize they can, AJV (32:17): But you know, what’s so funny is like too, that for the person who’s going, like, I don’t need a personal brand. You’re saying, no, you already have one. You already are a personal brand. And if you’re a disorganized mess, maybe that is your brand. So, and JF (32:31): You probably wanna change it. You should wanna change it for AJV (32:34): Sure. Don’t that be your brand? But I think that’s a great point. I know that was a part of our conversations of it’s not whether or not you need one. It’s like, no, you already have one. It’s just, are you the one creating it or is it being created for you by other people’s perceptions? Absolutely. That’s good. All right. Last question of the day for you, and this is back this like concept of entrepreneurship and running and scaling small businesses. So it, this is, this does not have to do with productivity or time management or anything, but if you were to give just one piece of advice from all the businesses that you’ve started scaled sold, dismantled, like, what would you say is the number one lesson that you have learned that you will carry forward into the future when it comes to being an entrepreneur JF (33:25): Hire before you’re ready? AJV (33:27): Oh, that’s good. So tell, tell me more about that. JF (33:31): So a lot of times when I visit with people, they’re like, oh, I don’t have the money. Oh, I’m not ready. And I think by hiring someone that really pushes you forward and you, it takes a lot of things off your plate and allows you to really focus on your business. But for so many people, it’s just something that they’re like, oh, I can do it all myself. I got it, I got it. But you don’t got it. And by having someone, bringing someone in which, which has a fr fresh perspective on your business, the way that you’re doing things and by using software or, you know, whatever it is to empower them, your business can grow exponentially. But a lot of times like most things you gotta do it before you’re ready. AJV (34:17): Oh my gosh. Have you been talking to my husband? I have to feel like that that was planted in this conversation. Yeah. We literally had this talk last night. Advice heard if not for anyone else for me, I hear you. I’m with you, Jill. Thank you so much for being on the show. I’m so excited for this episode to go live. It, if you guys if, once you check this out, go get her free guide, go check out her course. Also check out the recap episode. That’ll be just sharing my top points and highlights from this Jill. So honored to have you in my life. So happy you’re on the show. Thank you so much. And to everyone else we will catch you next time on the influential personal brand.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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