From $206k in Student Loans to Super Successful Entrepreneur (with Natalie Bacon)

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If you’ve followed us here at Create and Go for very long, Natalie Bacon is a name you’re probably familiar with. 

Natalie was one of our first students to reach six figures after taking our courses, and she has since become a great friend, and an ally in the entrepreneurship world.

But like us, and everyone else in the world, Natalie’s story has continued to grow and evolve. 

Today, Natalie has some new and exciting updates, along with some inspiring perspectives on past events, and we’re so excited for her to share more of her story with all of us today. 

I’m talking about transitioning from selling traditional online courses to membership programs and overall long-term, sustainability in the online business world.

If you’re new to her story, Natalie Bacon started blogging like many do–as a way to share her experiences and knowledge with other people like her.

She was working long hours as a lawyer in a demanding and high-stress position, and even though she was making a respectable income, she was struggling under the weight of over $206,000 in student loan debt. 

So she started her blog–at that time called The Finance Girl–where she shared her advice on money management and personal development. 

But it didn’t take her long to realize that her creative hobby could actually make money, and before long, she was making $2,0000 – $4,000 per month with her blog. 

However, that kind of money wasn’t going to be enough to pay down her six-figure debt, or retire her from law any time soon–so she did some searching, and found her way to Create and Go. 

Natalie was able to take her blog to six figures not long after taking our Six-Figure Blogger course, and meticulously implementing all the strategies we share in the course.

Now her blog is a major piece in her online personal development and life coaching business, which currently makes over $500,000-$600,000 per year. 

Today, Natalie is sharing more details and insights on the ups and downs of growing her business to multiple six figures, and what she would do differently if she had to do it all over again. 

In this episode, Natalie and I are discussing:

  • Natalie’s journey from lawyer to blogger to CEO of her own company
  • The importance of mindset and personal development 
  • Building a sustainable business
  • How and why she transitioned from selling courses to a membership program
  • Deep questions that keep Natalie focused and excited about her business
  • The challenges of business growth, and managing your changing role
  • How Natalie grew her blog biz income to over $500,000 per year
  • And more.

Listen to the full episode:

Episode Highlights:

  • [2:48] Natalie’s journey into blogging and online business
  • [5:03] The mindset shift that changed Natalie’s life forever
  • [7:19] Reaching six figures, and taking a pay cut to grow her business
  • [8:46] Business mindset, goals, and biggest accomplishments
  • [10:20] Sustainability in online business
  • [11:48] Creating from your future, and pivoting from courses to membership
  • [13:43] Lauren’s take on flexibility and evolution in business
  • [14:47] Transitioning from selling courses to a membership program
  • [16:32] The drawbacks of lifetime access programs
  • [17:44] How and why Natalie switched her product from a course to a membership
  • [19:18] How Natalie’s membership program works, and the blindspots she missed
  • [21:00] Finding balance and joy in her work
  • [21:55] Not overthinking things, and avoiding the trap of comparison and self doubt
  • [25:05] Transitioning from solopreneur to CEO (and a baby on the way!)
  • [27:20] Everyone is replaceable in a business, including you
  • [29:53] Team management, and trading one set of problems for another
  • [31:33] Changing roles, an evolving business, and growth mindset
  • [34:40] Lauren’s take on team management and business growth
  • [37:20] Adjusting your expectations, because you know your business better than anyone
  • [39:58] Where you can find Natalie

Resources and Mentions:

Full Episode Transcript:

Episode 22 – Full Transcript


Lauren 0:01
Welcome to the Launch Your Blog Biz podcast. I’m your host, Lauren McManus. I used to be a full time tax accountant and CPA with a whole lot of limiting beliefs and “I can’ts” whenever I thought about starting my own business. Fast forward a few months, and I quit my job after starting and growing my first blog to six figures in just a year. This is my space to share and yours to listen and grow, about how to build and scale your own blogging business and design a life on your terms. Let’s get started.

Lauren 0:35
Hey, y’all. Welcome back to the podcast, I hope you’re having a great day. I have to say that I’m really enjoying having so many guests on the show lately, it’s been such a fun way to connect with other entrepreneurs, and discuss such a wide variety of topics. I hope that y’all are enjoying it too, because I have some more coming your way today. Many of you who have been following us for a while, know who Natalie Bacon is because she’s one of our most successful students to date.

Lauren 1:04
And I mean, her last name is bacon, so how can you forget that? And Natalie was actually our very first students that we know of any way that reached six figures, so that was a very big moment for Alex and I in our business. After that, we actually got to meet Natalie in person, when we were living in Dallas, and she was there for a conference. Honestly, that really kicked off the start of a great friendship and ally in the entrepreneurship world. Before that, Alex and I were kind of going at solo, I mean, we had each other, but we didn’t really do any networking.

Lauren 1:37
Natalie was the opposite, she did a lot of networking and she really introduced us to some other big people in our business space. And just really changed the game for us. Natalie has accomplished so much in that time that I’ve known her and she’s honestly become someone that I really look up to when it comes to how she runs her business and how she communicates to her audience. Now she’s a certified mindfulness life coach for moms, and I’m really excited to welcome my dear friend Natalie Bacon to the show today. Hey, Natalie.

Natalie 2:11
Hey, Lauren, thank you so much. Oh, my goodness, that intro was so generous of you. And I was taken back down memory lane of all the fun times we’ve had and the story of how we met. Gosh, it’s so fun to think back about. I’m excited to be here.

Lauren 2:31
Yeah, well, me too and I know our audience is somewhat familiar with you. But I’m really excited for them to get to catch up with you today. And for us to get to talk about some of the other stuff that you’ve done, you know, since we first met and some of the stuff that’s going to be new to me too. But before we get into some of that, I’d really like to dive into your journey a little bit from lawyer to a Certified Financial Planner. Then at some point, you went to Blogger, and then coach and obviously just entrepreneur covers everything. And there’s a lot to unpack here. But maybe we can start off with how and why you first got onto the path of building your own business?

Natalie 3:11
Yes. Gosh, it seems like it was so long ago, but just over five years ago, probably six years or so ago, I was a lawyer. I was in massive student loan debt, is kind of how I describe it, I had $206,000 in student loan debt from law school and a little bit from undergrad. I really just had a moment where I thought, “I’m sure there are other women like me who are a little bit more spendy, who never really were interested in money or finances and have graduated and found themselves in a lot of debt.”

Natalie 3:58
So I’m going to start a blog, I’m going to learn about money, I’m going to talk about my experience, and I’m going to help these women along the way. I didn’t even read blogs, I have no idea why, “I’m gonna start a blog” really came into my head. I didn’t research other blogs ahead of time. I’m very glad because I probably would have realized that there were tons of other blogs doing what I wanted to be doing, and it may have deterred me. So you know, I kind of had this blind ignorance about all of it and I followed just that nudge and that curiosity.

Natalie 4:39
I’ve always been interested in personal development. I have a philosophy minor from undergrad and so my finance blog at first was called The Finance Girl and I talked about money and personal development. And, you know, in a very short time you don’t have to blog for very long to find out “Oh you can kind of make some money doing this.” I started doing this on the side as I was an attorney through freelance writing at first because I wanted my own income to cover my blog expenses, my own side income, I should say.

Natalie 5:19
I didn’t want to use my attorney money, because I wanted that to go to the student loans so I would freelance, right? Then eventually, I found affiliate marketing, and grew it a little bit. I think I did display ads as well and then I found, Create and Go. I found you and Alex, and oh my goodness, it changed my life forever, actually.

Natalie 5:49
I was probably making, I know it had been somewhere between like, 2k and 4k a month at that time and it had been that way for a little while. Like, I had definitely been trying to make more money a month and wasn’t. I remember emailing you and asking you, I don’t even remember which course it was at the time, but it was one of your courses. And I was emailing you asking, “Hey, kind of given my circumstances do you think this would help?” And you were really honest about it and said, like, “Hey, I think so. But here are some things to consider.”

Natalie 6:22
At the time, I was like, “Well, you know, I sort of felt the pain of like, you know, I want to do something different. So this is different. Let’s just go for it.” And it was a little bit of an investment for me at the time. Oh, I wonder if the first course I took from you was six figure blogger.

Lauren 6:42
I think it was.

Natalie 6:43
It was okay. Yeah, yeah, so it must have been six figure blogger. I took that and I spent one year, I talk about this my own business, I spent one year just totally focused on that course, and just implementing everything. I realized that I wasn’t making six figures yet not because my stuff wasn’t good and not because I wasn’t providing value and wanting to help people, it had nothing to do with me. I was just taking the wrong actions, I just didn’t understand what online business was.

Natalie 7:19
It totally shifted my mindset into learning more about the business of blogging, and eventually direct response marketing and digital marketing and all of that. So that took me to six figures. And from there, you know, I quit practicing as an attorney and became a certified financial planner, that was a 50% pay cut. At the time, I think I had 100k in student loans left and that was a big, big decision. Actually, I made that decision, I’m sure you remember, when we were together at a conference.

Natalie 8:00
I thought, you know, being around other people doing the things that I want to be doing was such a good environment to show me what was possible for my future. And the numbers didn’t make sense. I still have student loan debt and I would be taking a pay cut, and I just did it anyways. So I quit and and I’ve kind of grown my business ever since in different ways. Like I went through the the blogger phase for myself, and then that led to eventually becoming a life coach and now I’ve sort of repositioned myself as a mindfulness coach for moms.

Natalie 8:46
What I love about entrepreneurship and my business is I’ve designed it so that it can evolve as I evolve, because I want to help people, but I also want to have a business that I love and have fun in. So I don’t know if that answers your question with enough detail or if you have any other questions that I left out. But I did, for the record, pay off my student loans a while ago. The business has grown to gosh, last year, I made over 500k, I’ve made well over 600k. And one thing that’s important to me is I do measure the business growth based on revenue and profit. But I also I never feel like I’m in a rush.

Natalie 9:33
So my seven figure goal is out there, but I never rush to get there at my own expense. So I have a lot of self care practices, and making sure I’m serving the right people with the right types of programs and all of that has been really important to me. So I’ve sort of, to me at least been, you know, how I articulated is that It’s been slow and steady for me. But yeah, going from knowing nothing about online business being in debt 206k and now having a debt free life and making over 600k has been pretty awesome, I’d say in terms of online business.

Lauren 10:20
Yeah, that’s awesome. I like what you just said about your slow and steady approach, because obviously, you’re still very successful. But the word that came up in my head when you said those things is sustainable. Because sometimes when you grow too quickly or you end up growing for the wrong reasons, you make too much money too quickly. And then you’re kind of left with, well, what now? What’s the next direction, right? But you’re operating your business with, you know, your hand on the pulse, and you can kind of check in with yourself.

Lauren 10:50
Y’all before we got on here, Natalie, and I had this whole conversation about business evolving and, you know, it was so good. I think Natalie said she wanted to do a podcast episode on it and I think, at some point, I do, too. It’s so important to be able to evaluate also whether your business is serving you. And yeah, when you pay close attention to it, like you’re just saying Natalie, I think it’s just so much easier to tell. And, you know, you might just one day, wake up and realize I am not the happiest with what’s happening in my business and money isn’t fulfilling forever, right? As we grow, you know, of course, algorithms and online business changes constantly, but we’re also changing too. I think it’s super important if you want to run a sustainable business and be a happy and healthy entrepreneur to really check in with that, right?

Natalie 11:46
Yeah, I totally agree. I think that one of the questions that I asked myself, periodically, I would say, Gosh, definitely not more than quarterly. But really, I do it as like an end of the year evaluation for myself and my business, is I ask myself, would I recreate this exact same business today? What this does is it removes that anchoring to the past, because your brain always wants to just keep going with what it’s always done and kind of put that in check. I just asked myself, “Would I recreate this?”

Natalie 12:19
I did this years ago, after I had created the courses that I learned how to create from six figure blogger and I remember the answer was, “Yes, I’d recreate these courses again, but they’d be positioned a little bit differently.” So typically, if you answer that question with “No I wouldn’t,” it creates a lot more short term discomfort, because then you have to go changing your business or quitting things or starting over. But the short term discomfort is so worth it for the long term results. So I repositioned and rebranded those and then eventually, I transitioned from courses to a membership, pretty much through asking that same question.

Natalie 12:58
I asked that question about Grow You, that’s my membership now all the time and it’s always a yes, like, I love that membership so much. I have a business program that I actually love the content of but, gosh no one even knows this yet, so you guys get to find it out first. I’m just going to reposition it with the name of it. It’s going from The Creator Program to Business on Purpose. The only reason that I’m even doing that is because I’m thinking, “Okay, would I recreate this exact busines again, if it was day one, and I was starting over?” I think that just helps you create from your future instead of from your past.

Lauren 13:43
Wow, I really like that a lot. And part of this conversation too, that got sparked before we actually started recording was that I was editing one of my lessons and one of my courses and I just had this feeling of discomfort, like I don’t really want to be writing this right now. I don’t feel like my heart is really in this and it was about a very particular subject, but Alex and I have also been talking about restructuring things lately. And yeah, I just love what you said Natalie, about thinking more about the future, right?

Lauren 14:15
I know, Alex and I get a little bit hung up sometimes on the things that have been working and not wanting to rock the boat and obviously mess up something that is working very well for us. But also, when you hold on too long to things of the past, you know, it means that you aren’t always at a good point of evolving or maybe you actually evolve too late, which can also cause problems in your business. So I really like that question, I think it’s something that everyone should should definitely pencil in every now and then.

Lauren 14:47
Circling back to, you know, the transition from selling courses to a membership program. Can you tell us a little bit more about what that looked like? Because it is something that Alex and I have pondered for a long time now, and have wanted to do something like that. We really want to be able to be more engaged with our students that are also the most engaged, you know, the ones that are the most active within our courses and really working through stuff, we want a way to really have an engaged audience like that.

Lauren 15:19
But we’ve also not ever really sat down and nailed down the details of what it looks like. And I know for me, one of my biggest push backs internally to doing something like a membership program is the thought of too much pressure to create too much content regularly. So I’d love to hear about more about your transition and how it’s working for you.

Natalie 15:41
Yeah, at the time that I transitioned, I was looking at the businesses that I loved doing business with, and also at the businesses that I just admired and wanted to sort of model in my own niche. I had joined several memberships for myself, business, personal development, that’s usually where I’m spending my time. And I liked somewhat of a lower recurring fee and I liked the experience of kind of having something to come back to and a reason to come back to it. And I honestly, didn’t put that much more thought into it.

Natalie 16:32
I did think about, you know, I was updating my courses and kind of going back to what I said about would I recreate this, and the answer’s no. Well, then I end up recreating a new course but then the people who bought the old course get the new course without buying it, that was just buying it again, that was just the structure I had. So I had like lifetime access. I hadn’t even thought of the fact that I could just create a new course and it could be version 2.0. You know, subsequently, I’ve been in other programs that have done that.

Natalie 17:07
I’ve been in launch programs where it’s you buy it, and you get lifetime access to this year’s version but if you want next year’s version, you have to buy it again. That hadn’t crossed my mind and so I thought, “Well, I think that as a consumer, you value something that you’re paying for. So if I pay once, and it’s a couple $100 or $1,000, and I’m getting all of these updates for years, I start to lose interest, or I’ll come back and forth, and I’m not as engaged and I don’t get that, that value. So it doesn’t really serve me.” So as the creator and the entrepreneur, I was thinking about that for my clients, how can I make this an investment that they will get the most value out of, so it’s affordable, but it’s also something that that they can keep coming back to.

Natalie 18:05
And I just saw other memberships I liked and I didn’t take a course on how to do memberships, I didn’t really do any of that. I really just started one, it took about six months on the backend, because I did do like a custom site. But in my mind, I am all about making business simple so I just basically considered it as “Okay, this is going to be this portal that they can log into whenever they want. But instead of paying whatever for lifetime access, they’re going to pay a lesser amount and they’re going to pay monthly.”

Natalie 18:46
So in my mind, I simplified the whole membership model just down to instead of paying once they pay every single month for a lower reduced rate, almost like a payment plan. And then if they stopped paying, they lose access, kind of like a gym, and it makes it more accessible to them. Because if you want to buy the gym equipment and take it home with you, it’s 1000s and 1000s of dollars, but instead what do we do? We pay a couple 100 bucks a month, and then we get we get access to that. And so that’s really all I did.

Natalie 19:18
I will say that this served me really well to get moving and getting it started. But as you alluded to, there were absolutely some blind spots that I did not anticipate. One being the workload, and that is 100% due to the way that I’ve set it up, so I do drip out a new course and a new workbook every single month.

Lauren 19:43

Natalie 19:43
I’ve been in other memberships that don’t do this at all. And I’ve since listened to membership podcasts and all of that, and they talked about how you can just have like a core, the core curriculum in there and you don’t need to do all of this content. And you can have the community be the ongoing support place that people are basically paying for as they’re going through the content that you create once. So there are so many different ways to do it. But the way I do it is, on the first of the month, they get a new course, a mini course, it’s like a advanced class and then a workbook.

Natalie 20:22
Then throughout the month, there are a handful of different calls that they can come to on a variety of topics. And if they don’t come to them, that’s fine, they can watch the replays. Then what I also do, which, you know, you get creative, as you’re creating these programs and doing things yourself, I have a bonus vault where I do have like on demand courses that they can go through. So there’s a little bit of everything in there. I like absolutely love it. Oh, and there’s like a written forum where you can write in and write in anonymously and get help with what you’re struggling with.

Natalie 21:00
I love it. I honestly created it for someone who is like me, and like we all do, or a lot of us do create those businesses where we’re our target avatar. And what’s been cool is that I’ve transitioned from the entrepreneur to CEO, and been able to hire a small team who helps me now manage some of those day to day operations. This has been where I’ve been able to make sure I have that balance and that whitespace and I’m not overworking like I used to. But when I was overworking, I still enjoyed it. It’s just nice now that the amount of work is still there, it’s just that I’m able to hire it out and delegate and have other people kind of run some of those day to day operations.

Lauren 21:55
Yeah, it’s kind of cool that you didn’t do so much research before you created it, you just went with something that felt right and just based off your own experience. Because I’m sure that you really just created what you wanted from the product and what you felt like your audience wanted. Sometimes when we get too bogged down into the research of a new idea, or a new product offering, we do just get a bit stuck in that phase of it. We potentially overthink things or just spend too much time in that phase of it, rather than just creating what is a much more natural thing. So I like that you did it that way.

Natalie 22:36
Yeah. And one more thing, too. I don’t know about y’all, but when I do too much research, I ended up getting a little bit into the comparison trap, and then thinking, “Well, there are all these other memberships, what kind of value would my membership add?” And my brain sort of goes into self doubt. As a way to sort of limit that, I tend to limit my research in the very beginning of something and then once it gets going, I will do more research. So since then, right, I know about churn rate.

Natalie 23:12
Which is like the rate at which people leave and I make sure I’m over delivering in value to my current members and my churn rates always below 10%, which I’m very happy with. But those are things like I didn’t even know what churn rate was when I started my membership. I think that there’s this whole vocabulary and like I said, I would have seen all of these other memberships and thought, “Oh, my goodness. What do I have to add here?” And I think it would have maybe prevented me from really going for it.

Lauren 23:47
Yeah, that’s actually a really good point. I’m thinking immediately how it applies in my life, because when my husband and I had just moved here to Germany, we had to buy every single piece of furniture. And I can’t tell you the amount of times that I hopped online because I knew what I wanted and the moment I started comparing other things, I ended up getting off the computer three hours later and hadn’t purchased anything. Because I’m looking at the comparisons of other things and I’m delving into different technologies.

Lauren 24:18
When I had in my head, the idea of what I wanted in the first place and I know that we when we’ve thought about doing different things in our business, we will also do some research into what some other people are doing. And it does actually make you start doubting your original idea sometimes when you see other people doing it differently. And you think, “Well, they’re very successful, they must have done it that way for a reason.” Right? Rather than just thinking about your business and what your audience needs. So I like that you said that you limit the research the beginning and then get the ball rolling and then you do a bit more research when it’s more specifically, related I guess to smaller things.

Natalie 25:02
Yeah, absolutely.

Lauren 25:05
Well, and circling back again, at one point you mentioned transitioning into a CEO. I would love to talk more about how it’s going, running your team, and you know, your shift from solopreneur, to CEO, especially as you’re preparing for your first baby. I imagine you’re wanting to take a big step back from things in your business when he arrives. So how is that part of the business been going for you?

Natalie 25:32
Oh, my goodness, yes. Do at the time, we’re recording this in about seven weeks or so. So, first baby, baby boy, we’ll be here before we know it, whether we’re ready or not. I have to say that one of the things that has been such a blessing for me, in the last probably six or so months was that I really got clear about my vision for the future of my business. That includes not just my role, but also how I want to manage the team and how I want to serve my clients and students. Really, it just required thinking at such a higher level, and what I mean by that is sort of stepping out of who I was being in my current identity, and stepping into that next level identity.

Natalie 26:32
I would say it was probably more than a year ago, maybe a year and a half ago is when I kind of first started building a team. I think you go from like, you know, blogger to entrepreneur, and then to CEO, but in between entrepreneur and CEO, there’s this time where you’re really figuring out how to have the business run, I call it like as its own ecosystem without you. And I’m still active in the business and I want to be, but I’m always thinking about it as its own like city. Think of the different parts of a city like there’s the fire department, the police department, and then there’s commercial and residential.

Natalie 27:20
There’s this economy, and everyone is replaceable in a business and that is a beautiful thing. That includes you as the entrepreneur, and I think that identity shift is so huge, because it’s the complete opposite identity that I had and needed to have in order to get it to a few 100k for sure, right? The business was me, and everything that was delivered through the business was an extension of me and even the contractors who I was working with, they were just carrying out the tasks and the assignments that I was giving them. So they were an extension of me, it’s sort of like that solopreneur phase before entrepreneur and then as you go into being an entrepreneur, and you start to manage a team, and then and then you shift into see oh, the biggest takeaway for me is just how much of an identity shift it requires.

Natalie 28:26
And I’m a very visual person. So I have my org chart and what I love about it is because as the business grows, I make sure that I clearly identify the role that I am operating in. So if I am doing some copywriting or email marketing, you know, in the past that was just me running my business, right? There was one role it was Natalie Bacon running the business, but the truth is that when you start you’re doing 25 roles. And that’s okay. But the shift comes when you see what those 25 roles are. So now as a CEO, I’m seeing, “Oh, I’m doing the copywriter role right now or the director of operations role.”

Natalie 29:20
And that’s not a problem, it’s just important that I see that this is a standalone role in the business and then questioning what roles do I want to fill? The best part of being the owner, the person who created and founded the business is that you get to decide what roles you want to have. So if you’re naturally really good at marketing and sales, you can continue to do that but if you find yourself leaning more towards operations and you thrive on managing a team, you can do that. I’ve found that in my experience personally and just talking with a lot of other entrepreneurs that managing a team is not the most natural step for the founding entrepreneur.

Natalie 30:08
Because we didn’t start the business thinking, “Oh, I can’t wait to manage a team.” Right? Unless we’re like a leadership entrepreneur or something like that. But for everyone else, it’s “No, I started this because I wanted to help people, or I had this vision for whatever or I wanted to make money.” We started it for these other reasons. And then we find ourselves doing the thing creating the business, which is so amazing. And then it’s like, you trade one set of problems for a different set.

Natalie 30:37
I kind of compare it to getting married, it’s like, when you’re single, you have single people problems and then when you get married, you don’t have those single people problems anymore, you just trade them in for married people problems. So there’s no point in your business where you are problem free. I think that is important to see, especially in the beginning, when you haven’t hit your six figure goal yet, or you haven’t hit whatever goal yet. Sometimes it can be tempting to think, “Oh, over there, I’m going to be so much happier, and all my problems are going to be solved.”

Natalie 31:07
And maybe the one problem will be solved. Like I don’t have a student debt problem anymore, right? Money isn’t a problem anymore but there are other problems and knowing that that’s just part of it. And that actually, that could be the fun of it. It’s like, oh, now there’s the problem of there’s all this other work, you know, do we want to hire people and then the problem of making sure they have a clear role. For me, just like I invested in six figure blogger, I had taken a course last fall, so about a year ago, of how to become a CEO for female entrepreneurs.

Natalie 31:46
That really helps me because now I just have a lot more clarity about running a business and managing a team. That said, I will say that, well, I think I’m pretty good actually at operations and the backend, and I’m just naturally very good at like, time management and organization and all of that. It doesn’t light me up to manage people. And there are so many other people who thrive and that’s exactly what lights them up. So I keep that in mind. So right now, I am the CEO, but I know that the CEO is just a role in this bigger ecosystem and that one day, it’s very likely I’ll replace that. Now, I always want to be the visionary and I like to do the marketing.

Natalie 32:38
But now, the way I think about it is different. I know that each of these things that I’m doing is just a role, including CEO and I think it’s important to do that role first and be good at that role before you ever hire it out. That’s not always the case, I just think for CEO, it’s helpful, because then you understand what you’re looking for. But for me, I think I’ve grown so much as a person in ways that I couldn’t have anticipated because it wasn’t what I set out to do was like manage a team. I had to learn this new skill of managing people and it was just something so foreign to me and I went through like a tough time with it.

Natalie 33:24
Now I’m at a really great place. I love my team, it’s a small team. I mean, there are three I guess I have a couple w2, but most of them are just contractors that we work with. The core, I call the Core and B team. And then there are just the other contractors that I wouldn’t consider the core. So, you know, a website designer, the tech support, the bookkeeper, that sort of thing, there’s a lot of other contractors, but having that organization chart, and really thinking of the business as an ecosystem has allowed me to see oh, I’m like the mayor, or the conductor and I don’t have to know how to play every single instrument in the orchestra. So I don’t need to know how to play every instrument in the orchestra. But I am, I’m the conductor and I’m the conductor for now. And who knows if someone will ever replace me as that but I like to think of it as that is the transition from, side hustle to, side business to, oh, this is actually going to be a real business and then oh, like this is going to be a legitimate company.

Lauren 34:40
I’m listening so intently over here because I I feel the same way about so many of the things that you just said. My team is about the same size, you know, the core members, but also your other contractors doing various things here. It’s also been difficult for me because like you said, I really dont enjoy the management aspects of it, I absolutely love the collaboration side. I love being able to chat with my team and slack and get their opinions on things and it makes me feel, I guess, in a way, like I have co workers or that I’m not as alone in it.

Lauren 35:18
But when it comes to the actual responsibility for other people and some of that aspect of it, it is tough sometimes. It’s exactly like you said, all you do is switch it out for a new set of problems. And it’s important because then you get to move on to working on the more important problems, the higher level stuff that your business needs from you but you do still have people that need things, and you have to kind of help them. I love what you said about creating an identity for this person, because I definitely did the opposite and just delegated a task here delegated that task.

Lauren 35:56
You know, the tasks that I knew that I needed to get away from, and I have sat down, actually tried to identify all the tasks that I do and the things that I want to outsource and the things that I don’t. But I do still, in my mind, have these blockers in my head that are like, “You can’t outsource that, because this thing, this task needs you, it needs more of you in it.” And it’s like you said, when you start a business that’s very much you and you don’t ever really at the beginning, think about a team, everything is so wrapped up in you.

Lauren 36:28
And I am definitely a bit of a micromanager and like to have my hand in every bit of communication that goes out to my audience. I’m talking every single email, I still won’t let an email go out of my inbox without checking over it and usually heavy editing. And I don’t know if that’s because I need to hire someone that can speak better to my audience whether I need to teach better, whether that’s maybe an okay thing, because I still love the aspect my business. I’m sitting here evaluating all these things, but I like how you phrased it as like actually creating an identity and then just stepping into that. It’s something that Alex has done quite well and and really always has, but I’ve struggled with it a lot, and sometimes at the detriment of the growth of my business. So I was listening very closely to everything you said, and it was really, really awesome.

Natalie 37:20
Yeah, something that helped me too that I’ve learned from some of my other mentors is that you know, your business and are better at your business than anyone and that will always be true. So having the expectation that they’re going to do it at a level of like 80% at best, is what you need to do, instead of wanting that 100%. Because it’s just not necessary and if you do keep it at that 100% expectation, what happens is then you have to end up doing all of it. This is also something for me as sort of a recovering perfectionist about I’ve needed to let go of and what’s helped me is to see other people’s businesses.

Natalie 38:11
I’m talking, they’re doing, I’m thinking of one person in particular, she’s done $5 million dollars in revenue she’ll do this year. And this is something I learned from her and sort of her attitude about it is like “Yeah, as long as like they’re doing like a good enough job.” Even though it’s not the job that she would do that is more important to her than her overworking or then her giving up some of the things that she gets to have. Like, she only works three days a week and they’re not even full days and she has a bigger family and so setting her business up in this way allows her to work a lot less. But it requires that mindset of “Yeah, they’re not going to do as good of a job as me and that’s okay.”

Lauren 39:04
Yeah, that definitely makes a lot of sense. Well, I love all of this mindset stuff, I know that we could chat for literally hours and hours about all this stuff. And honestly, Natalie, our conversation reminds me of the importance of having people like this in your business world that you can lean on and chat with about stuff. Because as you said, we are often starting these things on our own and some people choose the networking route and some people like, Alex and I, choose not to. But as your business grows and evolves and your desire and happiness with it also ebbs and flows, it’s so important to just have people that you can chat with about this stuff with. I’m so thankful for our friendship. All your mindset stuff is so absolutely just awesome. And I next just want to ask you, Where can our audience find you, to get more of these great mindset discussions and tips.

Natalie 40:04
Yeah. Well, thank you so much for having me, it was such a pleasure. Gosh, it’s so nice to just connect with you and talk with you and I hope we could see each other soon. It was so great to reach your audience, thank you all for listening. If you want more, I send out a podcast every single Wednesday, just head on over to Design Your Dream Life with Natalie Bacon, just on the same podcast app you listen to and every Wednesday, you can get a free little mindset lesson from me over there.

Lauren 40:35
Awesome. I’ll also link that stuff in the show notes. Well, thank you so much for joining me today, Natalie. I absolutely loved it.

Natalie 40:44
Thank you so much, Lauren, likewise.

Lauren 40:47
Alright, I’ll see you all next time.

Lauren 40:51
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