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Episode 28: Two Weeks Notice with Amy Porterfield

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And so that literally propelled me down the road to have the business I have today. Give yourself permission to start out messy. To start out. Not really sure if this is going to work as you get going. If it doesn't work, you change direction. You'll never know unless you put it out there.

I'm Bonnie Christine And this is where all things, creativity, design, business, and marketing unite. I'm a mama living in a tiny town, tucked right inside the Smokey Mountains, running a multi seven figure business, doing the most creative and impactful work of my life. When I first set out to become an entrepreneur, I was struggling to make ends meet and wrestling with how to accomplish my biggest dream of becoming a fabric designer. Fast forward to today, I'm not only licensing my artwork all over the world, but also teaching others how to design their creative life and experience the same success. I'm here to help you spend your life doing something that lights you up. I'll help you build a creative business that also creates an impact, changes people's lives, gives you all of the freedom you want and is wildly profitable.

Welcome to the Professional Creative Podcast. Now, Amy has made such an impact on my business and so today is really incredible as we invite her onto the podcast to talk about her new book, Two Weeks Notice. Now I've read every word and it's truly incredible. This book lays out everything in such a step-by-step format that if you want to grow or start an online business, it is required reading. In case you've not met her. Amy Porterfield is an ex corporate girl turned online marketing expert and c e o of a multimillion dollar business after one fateful boardroom meeting and witnessing the lifestyle, financial and work freedom that an online business has to offer. Amy developed her nine to five exit plan and never looked back through her best selling courses and top ranked marketing podcast called Online Marketing Made Easy.

Amy has helped hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs turn in their two weeks notice and train burnout for freedom, income, and impact. Amy's action by Action Teaching style provides aspiring business owners with the tools they need to bypass the overwhelm and build a business that they love. Amy empowers women across the globe to take their futures into their own hands and find professional autonomy, independence, achievement and success far beyond what a corporate glass ceiling would traditionally allow. Please help me welcome our guest today, Amy Porterfield.

Bonnie Christine: Amy, welcome to the Professional Creative Podcast. Well, thanks so much for having me. I've been looking forward to this. I am so excited for our episode today. I had the grand privilege of reading your book two weeks notice. I just finished it and I had to message you right away and say, this book is going to change so many people's lives. I, I would have given anything for this book when I was starting out and, and it, it is incredible the amount of knowledge that you have put into this book.

Amy Porterfield: Thank you so much. When you said you'd give anything for this to have this book when you're starting out, that's exactly why I wrote it. I, I thought,It was such a struggle when I went out on my entrepreneurial journey having no idea how to build a business. So I thought w what if there was a guidebook? What if I literally could walk people step by step? And that's what I created. So it was the book I wanted as well.

BC: My goodness. I mean, you took eight years of me scotch taping the universe together and just put it into this beautiful step-by-step, approachable, sensible format. It's incredible. So two weeks notice you say, find the courage to quit your job, make more money, work where you want and change the world. It's coming out February 21st. Yes. Is that right? And it's available for pre-order now.

AP: Absolutely.

BC: You have to go get it no matter what stage of business you're in, because I took copious notes. I've got a list of things I'm changing in my own business, but I wanna start at the top. There was a quote early on in the book that I loved so much, Amy. It says, "I don't mean to rush you, but your audience is waiting. Come with me away from that table, your old situation that you've clearly outgrown and courageously stride towards the stage for your moment in the spotlight. It's time to make that decision to turn your why into reality. Once you do, the rest is inevitable. Talk about the call, like the calling when you know it in your bones that you were called to be an entrepreneur to make a bigger difference.

AP: Hmm. You know, it's such an important thing to talk about because I remember it like it was yesterday where I was still working in my nine to five job. My very last nine to five job was with Tony Robbins and I was the director of content development. And in the book, you know, this, I, I talk about this one moment where he brought in a bunch of business owners,
had online businesses, courses, memberships, masterminds. They, they did all the different things. And it was the first time I was introduced to this world. I call it this like new world I didn't even know existed. And it was that moment when I realized each of those people that were talking about their businesses, they were free. They had freedom.

They weren't hitting the glass ceiling, they weren't asking for promotions and raises and can I take this vacation time off? They weren't asking for permission for anything. They were calling the shots. They were as creative as they wanted to be and they were designing a life in a business by their own terms. And I thought, I don't have any of that and I want it bad. It was the call that moment. I had the calling and it was for freedom for me. My why from the minute I realized I wanted to be my own boss was I wanted to do what I wanted, how I wanted when I wanted all my own terms

BC: And Where and where you want.

AP: So where I wanted, that's such a great way where I wanted to work, which was home. I wanted to go home, right? And work from home more than anything. And the thing is, in that moment, I think this is important for people to hear. I had no idea what I would do. I had no idea what I would do or how I would do it. I looked to a good girlfriend of mine that I worked with and I said, you're a writer. You could be a freelance writer. You could, you could write for other people, you could do a blog. I have no skill that would translate into a business owner. And I wasn't even using the word entrepreneur cuz that was really far out of my vocabulary and out of my mind at the time. I was just like, I can't even say the word entrepreneur, but business owner. I can't imagine how I would do that. So it it, anyone listening of course in the beginning you think, could I really do this and what would I do? But absolutely you can do this. And I think everybody has ideas in them. Skills, knowledge, know-how to start their own business.

BC: So you talk about something that you call a starter idea. And I love this so much and I think it's so important to give people permission to not have it all figured out. I, I absolutely had a starter idea. I started by selling aprons on Etsy and it just,

AP: Okay love that. I didn't know that about you.

BC: Oh yeah. Yes. 100% trading time for money and, but it was my starter idea got me out of my day job and you know, little did I know what it would turn into, but talk about permission to just not have it all figured out. You don't have to start with the end all idea, but you just need a starter idea.

AP: Absolutely. So I have been in the industry for 14 years and I have so many amazing successful peers. And when I look at where they were when they were first starting out and where they are now, their businesses look dramatically different including yours and including mine. So when I started, my starter idea was, well I do some social media at my job, not a lot, but I did enough that for six months when the day I decided to leave and when I actually left, I started to educate myself. I bought courses on video marketing and social media. I started listening to podcasts and reading books about building businesses and doing social media. So I used that six months of my roadmap to leave my nine, nine to five job, which I outlined in the book. I used that six months in order to get more knowledge. But I knew I didn't need years of education. I didn't need to go on and on.
I just needed a 10% edge. The 10% edge, especially in a starter idea is you just need to be 10% ahead of those. You serve 10% so that you can lead them, you are gonna lead the way, but you don't need years and years more of certification and education and time to do it. That is a myth that, dare I say it, most men don't believe they need need more education. Many of my women clients do. The women clients I work with, like well I should go back to school and do this or I should do a lot of this before I ever leave my job. I need a few more years. No, no, no, no. You can do it sooner than you think.

The starter idea is just to get your feet wet, just to get going. Action creates clarity. All you need is some more clarity and you'll never get it unless you get in it. So when I first started out, I did social media for small businesses and I would do Facebook page audits for $300. So you, I'd go to your Facebook page, I'd have my own template to look for all the different things. Tell you what you're doing, well tell you what you can improve on. $300. That's how I started. And so that literally propelled me down the road to have the business I have today. Give yourself permission to start out messy to start out not really sure if this is going to work as you get going, if it doesn't work, you change direction. You'll never know unless you put it out there. It's just a foot in the door, right?

BC: It's just yes a foot in the door, it will start the momentum, it will start you moving in the right direction and you really, you couldn't wrap your head around where it's going. Even if you tried. It's just the starter. I love it. You also talk about that moment when you really proclaim it to the universe. You put the date down, you say when you choose a date, you're putting the universe on high alert doors will start to open. Opportunities will start to show up right in front of you. And I just wanna talk about this because it's so true and I've thought about so, so many ways of like, well why is it true? Why does this happen like this? But there's something about committing to verbalizing the date or the idea and everything just begins to align.

AP: It's so true. And you're right. Like I've thought too, like why is that happening? And sometimes, and I'm not a super woo-hoo kind of girl, but sometimes it's just you gotta leave room for a little magic. It's, it really is the universe paying attention. And so when you start to do that, I remember in my early days early on I was contacted by my like local media news channel. I'd never been on news or any kind of live show in my life, but I was starting to put myself out there, something I had put out there, they kind of caught wind of.

And I got invited to this, go to the studio and record a news segment. That would've never happened if I wouldn't have just started somewhere. And then from there somebody else heard about me and they wanted to hire me. So it's kind of incredible how it starts. But I will tell you, you know, I'm a no kind of girl. Meaning I protect my boundaries and I know you. I know you do too. I protect my boundaries and I only say yes to things that light me up and no to the things that probably aren't gonna get me to where I want to go. But in the early days in the first year, I was a yes girl and I actually support this. I said yes to almost everything cuz I had no idea if I liked it or not or if it would work or not or if it would lead me down the right road.

And I didn't know really where I was going in the beginning. And so saying yes to a lot of things, even when you're uncomfortable, okay, we gotta talk about this word uncomfortable. I believe the more uncomfortable you are, the more you will grow, the more success you will have. And believe me, I hate getting uncomfortable. I'm in a book launch right now where I feel exposed and naked telling the whole world to look at me and review me.

So I am living a life of being uncomfortable right now, but it's because I'm on a mission and I want growth and I want to do amazing things. So ask yourself, when was the last time I was really uncomfortable in terms of business and making money and and doing what you love to do or want to do. Most of us don't get uncomfortable enough.

BC: Yeah, it's true to be to, to be an entrepreneur, you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

AP: Yes.

BC: And some people right then they're like, I'm out. And you know, it would be much easier to stay comfortable but it would but, but getting uncomfortable is always so worth it. It's always so worth it. And you know, we grow our comfort zone that way,
right? Like you probably five years ago would've been so uncomfortable with this book launch. I don't know if you would've done it or maybe 10 years ago, but

AP: probably not

BC: the next time you do it easy peasy.

AP: Okay. I don't know if there will be a next Guy, But if it happens you're right. I'll have a better roadmap, that's for sure.

BC: Talk to us about the sweet spot.

AP: Mm, I love this. Okay, so the reason I created this framework called the sweet spot is because so many of my students would come to me and say, Amy, I want to create a business or I wanna start with the side hustle, but I have no idea what I would do. And it was me back at my nine to five job looking at my best friend saying, I have no skillset that would translate into a job or a business. So I knew, I realized later that was wrong and I know my students are there as well.

So this is what it looks like. There are four quadrants to the sweet spot. The first quadrant is what are, what are you good at? Where have you gotten results? And don't you dare say I'm not good at anything because everybody has something that they're good at.

But what comes easy to you? What do people ask you about all the time? They have questions, they go to you. What lights you up? What do you love to talk about? What do you love to teach about? And again, where have you gotten results? What, what have you done in the past that have allowed other people to say,

oh my gosh, tell me how you've done that. We're gonna start there. That's the first quadrant. The second quadrant is who do you want to serve? And when you think about who you want to serve, ask yourself what are they struggling with and are there struggles aligned with what I can help them with? The easiest ways to choose someone to serve is you, but like five or 10 years ago. So they're behind you but you know them. Like that's the easiest person to choose. But you don't have to. I was working with a guy the other day and he's 30 years old and he helps women that are in their fifties and sixties get healthier. So that was not him 10 years ago, but he's really called and he knows how to support them.

So it doesn't matter who it is, you just need to get clear on who it is and ask yourself what are their struggles and are their struggles aligned with what I would love to do in my business? The third quadrant is what are people paying for? So when you start to think about what you do well, where you might start a business, what that starter idea might look like.

When you start thinking about that, ask yourself, have people spent money in this arena? Are there books about it, podcast about it, digital courses about it? Do people coach or consult on the topic? Are there products in the world around it? The answer is usually yes. And then you might think, wait a second, but lots of people are already doing this.

There's probably not room for me. And that is absolutely not true. I came on the scene 14 years ago when everyone and their brother was a social media manager or consultant and it was very congested. And I found my way just because I stayed more consistent than everybody else. You, you just need some consistency right there. So if someone's already doing it with success,
that's a great validator.

The fourth and final quadrant is what lights you up? What brings you joy? Now notice I didn't say, what is your life's passion? Because if we're gonna try to figure out our life's passion for our business, you'll never ever go for it. Cause you'll always wonder, is this really right? Is this really my passion?

Not your passion, just what do you enjoy? Don't create a business around something you're not willing to talk about morning, noon and night because you'll be talking about it a lot. So those are the four quadrants, your skillset, who you serve, what people are paying for and what lights you up. And that's where you're gonna get that starter idea from. Absolutely.

BC: One of the things I love in the book so much is how many relevant examples you give. Yeah. And you know, it really boils it down to we are all good at certain things. Like maybe you are like the best at at writing notes for your kid's school lunches. Yeah. Or you have all of these ideas or so many just little things. It made me think of this girl, her name is Lorianne and she's a fine artist, she does art prints. But she realized that so many people have a hard time doing art prints because they don't know how to, to scan in their art and work on it and Photoshop and then produce the actual print with it. So she's created this whole course, she does multi six figures every year on this course alone. And it's not even like her sweet spot is actually being an artist, but it was just this one thing that people struggle with that she had really wrapped her mind around. And it's just that one thing. It's that 10% edge. That's one thing that you're doing really well that you know people struggle with and is a easy yes.

AP: It's so true. And I love that story because you never know where that might lead you. So I'm thinking of one of my students, she was an accountant for like 15 years in this small business, in this small town. And she was a single mom and she said, I knew I needed to make extra money but I wasn't sure what I was going to do. So I actually asked for a raise, I deserved a raise, it was time. And they looked at me with like blank stares and she realized, oh I'm gonna have to do something here. So she started a side hustle and she was very crafty and she made these beautiful wreaths and they were really popular on Etsy. And she would sell them like you selling your aprons.

She would sell her wreaths online. And then what happened with so many women said, you are so successful at this. Like you are crushing it. Can you teach me how to sell my stuff on Etsy? It's, it's, that's where I'm getting stuck is figuring out this whole landscape. And so she created a business teaching other women how to sell their goods on Etsy.

She would've, and that's her. She quit her accounting job. She's making three times more than she ever made in her nine to five job, probably more at this point. But she would've never gotten there if she didn't start with her starter idea of the wreaths. Right? So you never know where it might lead you, but you also make a great point that there's so many different things in different ways that people make money online.

Like from dog training to meal planning to nurses who turned their nursing experience into one of my students turned her nursing experience into helping moms in case of emergency choking with their kids. Wow. That is her whole business now. She left nursing to do this. Like you would never believe how many different things that you can do. And that's what I love about entrepreneurship.

BC: Hmm. You know, you saying it that way is really like your starter idea is so often the thing that builds your authority for the idea you don't even know is coming. You have to say yes to the starter idea.

AP: Well I haven't really talked about that a lot on many podcasts and I love that you really picked up on that because I just did a training and the question that kept coming up is, what would I even do? What would I even do? And so in two weeks notice I absolutely helped people come up with that starter idea. But that's the one thing that stops people and there's no need. I promise everyone listening, you've got a business in you

BC: And, and when you're entrepreneurial, eventually you learn to trust your ability to pivot as well.

AP: Yeah.

BC: I think it's something that that really scares you when you're just starting out. You're like, I'll, I've got to nail it all right now. But eventually you begin to trust your ability to have new ideas or new angles and pivot. So it's the starter idea is is

AP: It's like everything. Yeah.

BC: Okay. So let's say I have an idea for a starter idea and because I can't help myself, I start to Google and I find 10 other people who are basically doing the same thing and I say, oh nevermind, there's definitely no room for me. I have nothing special to share. I'm done.

AP: Yes. So let's talk about that.

BC: Let's Talk about original ideas,

AP: Right? I think it comes down to this idea of imposter syndrome. You're already probably thinking, who am I to be doing this? Can I really make this work? And you're looking for evidence that it will not work when you're in that fear place. And we all get there in the be we all are there in the beginning when you're doubting yourself that can I make this work? And there's no guarantee, you are looking for evidence that you can't.

And the second you see 10 people doing what you want to do, see I told you there's no room for me. They're already way ahead of me. I can't do this. And the truth is that you only need a tiny sliver of the internet to pay attention to you.

BC: There are so many people in the world,

AP: So many over 7 billion. In fact you just need a tiny sliver. I, I was doing this training today and I was showing some, some math about what this would look like. Let's say you started out really simple and you said, I'm gonna sell a $200 program and I'm just going to sell 10 of them every single month. $2,000 is a lot of money to kickstart what could be possible for you. And imagine, do you think you could get 10 people to say yes to your offer even though other people are doing what you're doing? Most of the other people that are doing what you're doing are not talking to the same people you are talking to. And so just remember you just need a tiny sliver. So when you look at it like that, it, it definitely takes out that limiting belief that it's already been done before. So I can never do it.

BC: And you know what, this is so counterintuitive, but really when you find, you know, someone else doing something similar or someone else doing something similar for free, really it's a good sign because there's a demand for it, right?

AP: Yes, absolutely. I feel as though you should use that as a validator. Like good people are paying for it. You know, being first to market is a wonderful great thing. It's very rare and very hard. You don't want to typically get into a market where no one's paying for what you are creating cuz they don't even know what it is or understand it. That's years of talking people into understanding what you're doing. I don't want any part of that. Yeah.

I'd rather go into a market that they already know they want it, but now I'm gonna convince them to get it and want it from me.

BC: And you know, I think something that that comes up for us a lot is not only imposter syndrome, but just feeling like it's, it's like what about copycats? What if someone copies my work or copies my program or copies what I'm trying to teach? Or what if I'm copying someone else and I don't even know it? And it's had me thinking so much about, this is the call to add you, your own unique perspective and your voice because we can all be teaching the same stuff, but it's the way that we look at it and teach through it and use our own personal uniqueness to it, which is uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable to, to be so vulnerable and always put that through. But that's what makes you different and, and people willing to show up for your version.

AP: Absolutely. Everyone can put their own spin on anything that they wanna put that out online. And if we're being really honest, most of us have seen someone do something online and secretly we think I could do that better. I, I I've, I've got that. I I could, I could smoke that woman or whatever. No, you're not saying this publicly, you're saying it only in your head, but we've all seen that and I want you to get your inner Beyonce out and say like, yeah, so let me do it. Let me prove to myself that yes, I can do this. I, I really do think that looking around and see what else everyone's doing, use that to your advantage. And and real quick, when you feel envious, when you see what someone else is doing, let's see you, you see Bonnie Christine doing something incredible and you're thinking, ugh, I just wanna do it like her. Like she's really crushing it and you kind of feel envious or jealous at any time I feel envious or jealous and I absolutely do. I ask myself, what does she have that I want? And I get really clear, oh she's got this business where she's made it really simple and she only has three products and it doesn't look overwhelming. Okay, great. How can I do something like that? So I always make myself dig deeper. What are you jealous about? What do you want? Go out and get it.

BC: Oh, I like that. Similarly, I always think, well if she can do it, why not me? That's really important answer question to answer as well. If, if someone in the world is doing your dream job, give me one good reason that you can't also

AP: Thank you. Absolutely. And it's easy to say, well but she started with this. Or some people will say, well Amy had, you know, she worked for Tony Robbins, I might've worked for Tony Robbins but when I quit all of that went away. Like he wasn't like he was endorsing me or anything like that,

BC: right?

AP: But like don't make excuses on the excuses kind of thing. Just really stay in your zone. She's got something I want. What is it? Let me go after it.

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BC: Okay. I would love to talk about accountability. I think at this stage in the decision making process, it's vulnerable and a lot of people don't get it. And also depending on your industry, a lot of people may not understand like what you're even trying to do or the language that you're using. And so I love that you talk about how to be careful with who you choose to talk about it first and the importance of just some people who will truly get it. I think at the beginning for you it looked like a mastermind. It has for me as well. It can also just look like a group of friends or an online community. But let's talk about accountability and surrounding yourself with people who will just know how to support you.

AP: Yes. Okay. I love this. When I was first starting out, I was so scared to tell other people because I knew that people wouldn't understand it. Years later I read this article where Sarah Blakely of Spanx talked about the day she cut the feet out of her pantyhose and did her first prototype. She didn't tell anyone because she was so vulnerable. She said, if they told me why this was a bad idea, I would've absolutely believed them. And I feel like that's where I was as well. Not everybody deserves to hear or know about your dreams.

They can't hold it for you. And the reason they can't hold it for you is that they might wanna do what you're doing, but they're too afraid. So they're gonna use all the reasons why you shouldn't do it as an excuse or they just don't understand why you'd want something bigger. They don't want something like that in their life. So you can only share this.

I'm gonna go out on my own, I'm gonna start my own business. Whatever it might be with the people that can hold space for you. And that means the people closest to you that are your biggest cheerleaders. For me it was my husband, my mom, and my best friend. I only told three people for a very long time and still I, until I started putting myself out there and had to admit, yeah, this is what I'm doing. Three people only everyone else didn't get to know. Be careful who you tell, but the people that you do tell, let them be your accountability partner. When I was about four months into my transition out, like I had two more months and I was leaving, I looked at my husband and I said, maybe I don't need to quit. Maybe I could just do a side hustle and then also keep this job. And he looked at me and he said, go back to your why. Why do you want it? You don't wanna work for someone. You wanna do what you want, when you want, where you want and how you want.

We gotta stick to the why. The why has to be this much bigger than your worries so that it can pick you up when those worries and they will we'll knock you down. So be careful who you tell

BC: After you get us excited. Like I was ready to write dates down and I'm like, wait, I'm already, I'm already did it, but I'm just so it, it's so inspiring and you have such a way of getting people to really get to the place where they can say, yes, this is it. I can do it. The other thing that you do so well is outline it in a way that just feels very achievable. Achievable, very sensible. And so the entire book just unfolds itself beautifully. I wanna get into some of the more nitty gritty stuff and I think I've told you this, but you are the reason that this podcast exists in the first place

AP: That blows my mind

BC: For years and years. I've had little Amy on my shoulder Whispering weekly original content, weekly original content. I love it. And I, I think I got to tell you that. So we do weekly content but it's all behind a paid wall. And so from the outside looking in, I just didn't have that much to talk about. And producing original weekly content has been a game changer for us. And so you really pull us into this process in the book and talk about how to choose a platform. Do you wanna just kind of breeze over that?

AP: Yeah, so I, I love that you listened to what I had was saying cuz this is something I shout from the rooftops. A lot of people will say, Amy, I can start a business, but like who am I going to market to? I don't have an audience, I don't have an email list, I don't have a lot of social. And I always say it starts with your weekly original content, which means, and this is what I get to in the book, I actually show people, you know, what, what's possible and they could choose what fits them best, but it's either a blog or a podcast or a video show or I've since added a weekly live like Instagram Live or Facebook Live. But this is your original content that you make sure lives on your website as well as let's say Apple Podcast or YouTube or whatever it might be.

But the reason this is important is for two very specific reasons. Number one, original weekly content attracts an audience. How are they gonna find you if you're not putting yourself out there in a most valuable way for absolutely free? That's where we're going to start. So someone sees your article, they share it with someone else, it starts to kind of get a life of its own.

That's what we want with our weekly original content. I love a podcast because Apple podcast and Spotify and our iHeartRadio will push our podcast to new viewers that would've never known who we were all day long. And I love that. So that's what I'm talking about with weekly original content. But the number one reason is to attract an audience. The second reason is,

I talk about this in the book a lot. You've gotta grow an email list. It's important to grow an email list of names and emails because you do not own social media. If you only build your business using social media, you are building a business on rented land, meaning Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk will change the algorithm. Boom, everything you've been doing has absolutely changed.

Your business is going to suffer because of that. But you own an email list. So when you're creating weekly original content, you have an opportunity to email the people that are already on your list saying, I've got something new for you this week, here's why you're going to love it. So you're keeping that engagement, cultivating a relationship. But also in your weekly original content, you could talk about your freebies. You could say, Hey, I created a a cheat sheet that you're gonna love. Sign up. And they give you their name and email in exchange for it. So it gives you a place to start growing your email. So I can't talk enough, get me off my soapbox about the importance of weekly original content. It's a huge part of my book.

BC: You know, I didn't realize the bottleneck that we had created without it because we were always creating content for our membership and for our course and all this stuff. And then when we're like, well what are we, what are we saying on social media? What are we saying in our email? And the, it's the weekly original content is like the mother piece of content from which everything else flows. And you can, it's true. Now I feel like I have too much to say. I can't cram it all in.

AP: It's So true. When you have a podcast episode now you have multiple posts that you could put on social media, you've got quotes, you've got little videos or audio clips. Like so much can come out of it. So if you're struggling with, what do I post? Start with weekly original content

BC: So much. Okay, so I wanna just go ahead and talk about email lists. Okay. You say that you wasted three years. I wasted eight.

AP: Oh, Well you're killing it now for the record.

BC: It is so painful.

AP: So painful. Why do you think you waited so long to grow your email list?

BC: Well I think I waited five years because I just didn't know better. I had a little, you know, subscribe to my newsletter in the sidebar of my blog. And then people started really ta and I was growing social media very organically. So I grew my entire business organically for eight years. Now the last, I say five years because at the five-year mark people were really starting to talk about it and I started having babies and I just feel like I went into this hole for about three years. Yeah. And I resurfaced like, oh my gosh, what am I doing? I have to do a email list. So that was 2017 and in eight years I had very organically grown a list to 4,500 people. And my open rate Amy was 6%.

AP: Oh no. Yeah, that's a little struggle. Yes,

BC: It's, it's beyond, beyond struggle. Because they were cold, they didn't know who I was, I never emailed them. And so I set out to double that list and increase engagement and in about six months I doubled it and and did it and got my open rates up to 60%.

AP: Woah. Which is unheard Of. Unheard of. Now they're, now they're around 35 to 45 months.

AP: Still Really good. So you're excellent.

BC: Lessons. So many lessons learned though. And I don't know, we could take this conversation in so many ways, but I think that for the creative industry in particular, we have just, we embraced that idea of organic traffic a decade ago and we still haven't let go of it. And the algorithms don't work in our favor with organic traffic anymore. There's very much this, well I built it so they'll come kind of mindset. And so I'm constantly working on not only build your list because you own it. Like if Instagram is down on your launch day, who cares? That's the goal, right?

AP: Right.

BC: That's the goal. But also the ability to like really take ownership of the traffic that you bring and and to your email list. So tell me about, tell me about why you waited three years.

AP: So I like you, I didn't know any better. I didn't realize it was that important. And so I felt desperate in my early days of entrepreneurship, desperate to figure out what I wanted to do. Desperate to find, find my audience in my niche and desperate to make money. So anytime, remember I said in the first few years you can be a yes girl. You could say, okay, I'm gonna try this, I'm gonna try that. But you have to get your priority straight before you're saying the yeses.

I said yes to everything that was fun and sexy and shiny. And then when my mentor from day one said, build your email list. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll get to that. I even had someone in my ear saying Build your email list. But it felt hard and confusing and I didn't know what to do and it was easier to do the fun, shiny things. So I really regretted it. I did my very first launch in my first year. I had 600 people on my email list. Like you totally unengaged. They weren't opening up my emails cuz I had no idea what to send them. And so I made $267 on my first launch and cried for a week. I thought, I'm not cut out to do this.

I'm gonna have to grovel back from my job. It was a mess. And it was because I didn't have an email list that was viable and engaged. And so you would think right after that I would've changed it quickly. It still took me a while to for it to click. But I don't want that for anybody that I work with. I want them to know on day one, oh an email list is important. I don't have to go through the struggle of trying to sell without one. Let's get it started today. And so that's why I literally go step by step on how to grow an email list in my book because I think it's the most important asset in your business. I love that you said the goal is Instagram can go down on launch date and you'll be okay because I had an experience where Instagram and Facebook went down.

BC: Oh yeah.

AP: Totally black. Remember the day

BC: I Do. It was very, very, it was actually kind of great, Right? Kind of loved it.

AP: And that morning I had sent an email to my list to a small segment of my list telling them about a product I've had for years, but reminding them they don't have it yet. And here's what's included. Thousands of dollars later by the end of that evening, I had made money when social media was down. You're right. That is the goal cuz I control that email list. I do not control social.

BC: You know, there's, whether we wanna admit it or not, there's a little bit of vanity involved with social media because the number of followers is public. It's so very visual. We l I mean creatives typically use like Instagram as their portfolio really. And it is important, it's an important way to meet and greet. But the end goal should always be to get them to the email list. Yes. I love to think about my email list as as social media. I love it when it's just as exciting to check those stats and what's happening there as it is on Instagram. Actually one of my favorite things is when I know someone is crushing it and I go look at their social profiles and it's like crickets. It's like they don't even have that many followers and it just goes to show that it's, it actually doesn't lead to success necessarily.

AP: So true. And that's the thing that I think we really need to understand. I agree with you. Social media is very important, is alive and well. And I use it every day.

BC: Thanks.

AP: It's just how I use it or how it's positioned in my business and I need to make sure I'm not a hundred percent reliant on it.

BC: Yeah. So I set out last year with a goal to have more email subscribers than I have followers.

AP: So Smart. Have you done it? I have done it. I have done It.

AP: I haven't been surprised. I just need to tell on you for a second. So you and I got to sit next to each other in a mastermind. This is when I first met this wonderful woman. I'm like, who are you? And I wanna be your friend. Like I love, I loved you from the minute I met you, but when you told me the strength of your email list and you told me what the growth looked like, I teach email list growth to newbies. But the what you are doing is very beyond that. And I lit looked at you and I'm like, tell me everything. Like you are crushing it with that. And it's because I think you're very intentional and you take it very seriously and I love that.

BC: Well thanks. That was sweet. I think, and I also loved you from the moment I met you. I, I think that somewhere along the way I boiled down what if if there was only one metric that I could adjust or, you know, really go after or sink my teeth into,
what would it be? And it's the email list. And so it kind of loosens the pressure around all the other things. Like, I don't know, I think we struggle with the same things like TikTok and reels and YouTube and like all the shoulds that we should be doing and we should be doing them. I'm working on it. You're, you've, you're far surpassed me. But I think when you just have one metric that you know will move the needle, then it kind of releases a little bit of pressure around the other things and it provides you a little bit of time to figure it all Out.

AP: Okay. I love that. We can't be everywhere and anywhere at all times. And we like that saying you can do anything you want, but you can't do it all at once. And I like the idea of being intentional about the assets that mean the most. And I think inside two weeks notice I try to only focus on the things that mattered the most. And I tried to point out what doesn't matter. A beautiful website right outta the gate does not matter a business plan that's fully fleshed out. I've never even seen one. business cards do not matter. These are things that we, business cards think they matter and they don't. So I try to keep people out of the traps that slow everybody down.

BC: You know what I call this is productive procrastination. Oh yes, that's perfect. Pouring money and time into your website and pouring money and time into gold foil pressed business cards.

AP: Yes.

BC: You know, yes, I've got them too. And it was the most productive procrastination that I've ever done. None of it actually moved the needle. We need to just identify the things which you've done in this book. That is why it is worth its weight in gold. The things that actually move the needle. Don't worry about all the fluff.

AP: Absolutely.

BC: Incredible. Okay, so one of the biggest things I took away from this was a conversation around batch work. Now I'm a big proponent of batch work. I I batch as much as I possibly can. But the thing that you do that's a little different than me that I loved was that you batch in three different ways. You batch your planning, you batch your content calendar and then you batch your content creation. Yes. And I have really only just batched my content creation. So talk to us about this. Do you remember the, the stat about how long it takes us to refocus after we've gotten distracted?

AP: Oh, remind me. Cause I'm gonna get It wrong.

BC: It's 23 minutes.

AP: That's Right. It's 23 minutes. 20 Minutes. That is a lot of time to be taken outta your game, but then doing it over and over all day long. So I'm a huge proponent of batching. Anytime I can do it, I will. And just so everyone understands, this concept of batching is taking a project that you're working on, let's say podcast episodes and doing a number of podcast episodes in one time.

So you're just focused on that and you're not pulled in a million directions. And typically it might be a half a day that you're spending on this or a full day or whatever it might be. But you're right, I do it from the, the planning phase all the way to actually getting it done. And for me, like we'll have a meeting with my team, I'll, I'll meet with my podcast producer and someone in my content team. The three of us will come together and say, okay, we need the next 12 episodes. It used to be six, now we do 12. Cause I do a short one every Tuesday. We need 12 episodes for this next batch. And we number the batches. Like now we're all in batch 46.

So 46 we're focusing on this batch. It starts on this date, it ends on that date. We need 12 episodes, let's go. And throughout the month we've been kind of throwing ideas into a Google doc. Oh, I saw this great YouTube video about xyz, we can expand on this. Or I met with this great person. They would would be a wonderful guest.

Let's consider them for the next batch. So when we come together, we have a list of a bunch of ideas and a bunch of guests we wanna invite. And then we start kind of hashing out what's going on in the business during this time. If we have a promotion, maybe we do a specific episode, no promotions, free game, but at the end of the meeting we've got our 12 episodes.

Then it goes into, all right, we're gonna create scripts or outlines or whatever we need to do. I'm lucky enough, I've been in business a long time, so I have a lot of help with that. But then it comes my batch. I'm back in the game where I'm recording a bunch of episodes in one day. But the reason I love this is so that I'm not constantly thinking, oh, I gotta need do another podcast. I gotta do another, another podcast. Batching allows you to be consistent. Before I batched, I'd put out a podcast episode maybe one day, and then three weeks later I'd get time for another one. It's a reason why I couldn't grow my podcast in the beginning. Yeah. I wasn't consistent. Batching helps you be more consistent.

BC: Hmm. I'm not gonna tell everyone what it is because you just have to go get the book. But your strategy, your system around content creation, your content calendar, I'm itching, I'm dying to get my list of tasks done with so that I can dive into this and I'm using it as a framework for us. It's gonna be such a game changer. And it was just like gold on a platter to me in this book.

AP: It's so good, helpful. I love that I've been around long enough that I know what works and doesn't work. And I got to actually show like, this is what we do, this is how we've perfected it. This will work for you. They're all battle tested strategies in the book, but they're also for a lot of beginners as well. I know a lot of people that are gonna read this book have never experienced content creation like this in their life. So my style is more of a step by step. Let me virtually hold your hand. So that's what I hope people feel in the book.

BC: Because I think when you look at potentially how much creation has to happen, it can feel very overwhelming. Yes. And you systematize it to a way where it feels achievable. We're repurposing, we're, we're doing one big piece of content and breaking it apart. It's absolutely possible. Many of us have been doing it for years and we're not, you know, we don't feel burnt out by it. Yeah. But there does need to be a system around it.

AP: Absolutely.

BC: Yeah. Amy, who did you write this book for? Hmm. I love this question because I, I was just reminded by a friend in text about who I wrote it for because I was getting stressed out about something we're doing in this book launch and is it going right? And he said, remember who you wrote it for? And then he reminded me what I told him, which is there is a woman right now and she's in a nine to five job. She's sitting at her desk, whether it be a cubicle or a really fancy office with windows, and she's getting paid well or she's not, it doesn't matter. She's in a job. And what matters is she's thinking there's gotta be something else. I have missed dinner time with my kids.

I've missed the soccer games, the science project fairs. I've missed connecting with people I love. I hate asking for raises and asking for vacation. I want to do it on my terms. And she knows this and she has a calling, but she does not exactly know how this is gonna play out or if she's capable and I want her to find my book and get permission and have a cheerleader in her court saying, oh, I know you can do it. I felt everything you felt and I've done all the things you've done to get to where you've, you're at. I get it. Here's what we're gonna do together. And that's why I wrote the book. I wrote the book because you and I didn't have a framework and we struggled in the beginning and there could have been a time that we turned around and went back to our nine to five job because it wasn't working.

Thank God you and I didn't do that, but it could have happened. So I wanna step in and say, no, no, no, we're gonna make this work and we're gonna do it together and give you the exact roadmap of how to create a business starting from scratch. It's the foundational pieces that everyone needs to know. So that's why I wrote the book.

BC: Can I tell you about someone that I think this book is also really perfect for, Please, I know three entrepreneurs right now who have local businesses, but they're serving just our local community.

AP: Yes.

BC: This is the book, this is the book they already identify as entrepreneurs, but they are tired and they really are kept, they don't have freedom. They're, they're tied to the, the business itself and they wanna move online in some format and they can't, they don't know how. And this is also the, the book I'm, I'm already ordered for them to give to them as well.

AP: Okay. I love that you said that. That's a gift to me to remember that there's people out there that have a type of business but they're not free. They don't have that freedom that they want or not making the kind of money that they want to make. And so I do think it could help make people pivot in their businesses to go in a direction that would serve them well. So I love that you said that. Thank you.

BC: Oh my goodness. As we wrap up, there's a quote in the book from Hoby, your husband, and I loved it so much, he says, "you'll never have all of the answers. You can't wait until you have your business all figured out because that day will never come. You don't need anything more than what you have right now. You just need to get started. You can do this."

AP: Hmm. It gives me chills because I remember, I remember the day he told me that, and he is probably repeated it a hundred times since, but it's true. You'll never ever have it all figured out, even with my book, you'll still go into the world thinking, okay, but it real is Amy really right? Is this really gonna work? Do it scared, do it confused, do it anyway. Action creates clarity. You will find your way, but you will never find your way if you don't get started. So coming all the way back, as we round up, come back to, or as we wrap up, come back to the starter idea, that's all you need my friend. We just need to push you, push you out and get going so that you could realize the life that you absolutely deserve. Absolutely deserve.

BC: From two females who started with no idea what we were doing. I think you and I would both like to say, you can do this, You can do this. No doubt in my mind. Amy, thank you so much for joining us on this episode of the Professional Creative Podcast. Go ahead and head on over to professionalcreative.com to get the show notes for today's episode. And you must, if it's not out yet, go pre-order two weeks notice by Amy Porterfield. If it's February 21st, you can go ahead and just order the book straight away. Is there anything else that you want to say before we wrap up?

AP: I'll say two things. Number one, I am a girl that loves lots of bonuses and so when people order my book, especially if you pre-order, we've got bonuses. So twoweeksnotice book.com, that's where you go. Two weeksnoticebook.com and I'll sh I'll share with you how to sign up to get all my bonuses when you get my book. The second thing is that if you even have this on your heart a little bit, explore it. It's there's a reason you're listening to this podcast episode today.

There's a reason why you're here. Let's just explore it even if you're not sure, because I promise you there's a whole other world waiting for you that will blow your mind. Thank you so much for having me. This has been a treat

and I have to give you one more compliment. Not everybody when I come on their podcast, has done the research to ask really meaningful,

insightful questions you have. This has been one of my favorites. I love this conversation we had. Thank you for caring enough to be prepared. I think it creates, I think a special person like you does stunt something like that. Not everyone does. So I just wanted to give you a shoutout. What a privilege, Amy. Thank you. Thank you.

Listeners, don't forget to create the beauty that you want to see in the world. And remember there's room for you. I'll see you next time. Bye for now.

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I'm Bonnie Christine.


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