01: The Accidental Entrepreneur
Did you plan to be an entrepreneur — or did it just happen? In this episode we’ll discuss our Big 3 Things we wished we’d known before we became entrepreneurs. Plus you’ll learn some great trivia about both of us — including those careers we had planned and how it all evolved into the businesses we succeed at today.
Our Big 3 Takeaways
From Kim …
Build Your Network
Nourish your network. The network is key in all aspects. Find and develop your centers of influence.
Write a Business Plan and a Vision
Know where you are, where you’re heading, and plot out the steps to get from point a to point b — and then when you get halfway to b, plot the route to c!
From Cara …
Time management is everything. With all the things involved in running a small business it’s easy to get bogged down and so busy that you can’t find time to do the things you actually wanted to do as part of the business!
Focus on a Niche
When most people start a business they want to provide services to the most people possible and grab up as much business as they can by providing a wide umbrella of services.
Hire to Your Weakness
It is OK to not do everything. This can be really hard if you are in a creative field. I’ve sometimes felt like I needed to have ownership over every part of my art creation.
“I love the Business Animals and have learned so much from their podcast!” <— does this sound like something you might say? YES! Please leave us some stars and a review on your favorite podcast app. Reviews help us to reach more entreprenuers just like you who are seeking support on their business animal journey. You can use the SUBSCRIBE button above to make it easy to access our podcast page on all the apps. Once you “hit the stars,” on most apps, you’ll be able to leave a review. If you see something we can do better — or have an idea for us — please email us at email@example.com rather than leave a review so can respond accordingly.
In this first episode of The Business Animal Podcast we share about our own entrepreneurial journeys and those things “we wished we would have known” before we became entrepreneurs. For both of us, entrepreneurship was not a “planned” career, but a path we were led to anyway.
What to listen for:
- How two ambitious, conscientious women turned their passion for photography and animals into successful careers — without having a formal education in photography or business.
- How we overcame the difficulties of starting — and growing — our businesses. You’ll hear us discuss our experiences with bankruptcy, depression, corporate career shifts, vicarious ptsd, and more.
- The good things about being an entrepreneur and how they’ve impacted our lives — freedom, financial growth, independence, etc.
- Why we chose our specific Big Three takeaways and the impact these lessons have had on each of our businesses.
- Ideas for how you can apply the lessons from our experience to your entrepreneurial journey.
Tips & Tricks
Join the Business Animal VIP List so you don’t miss a thing!
Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.
Open the Transcript
Welcome to The Business Animal Podcast. Saddle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast, with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school, and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts, Kim Beer, and Cara Taylor Swift.
Kimberly Beer 0:23
Hi, everyone, and welcome to the very first episode of the business animal. I’m Kim Beer with be more business.
Cara Taylor Swift 0:29
And I’m Cara Taylor Swift with Fasthorse Photography.
Kimberly Beer 0:32
And today we want to talk to you about the process of becoming an entrepreneur. And we have a little bit of a theory that we’re testing out today on this episode with you guys. And that is that we bet a lot of people who are in the pet industry and our entrepreneurs here, maybe didn’t start out with the intention of becoming an entrepreneur at all. And I know that Cara and I both share an interesting concept of the fact that her and I neither one necessarily started out with a life goal of becoming an entrepreneur. Personally, Cara, I wanted to be an archaeologist. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Cara Taylor Swift 1:09
Well, to be honest with you, I wanted to be a cultural anthropologist,
Kimberly Beer 1:14
Wow, we would have made a good work together even then.
Cara Taylor Swift 1:18
I think so I think that’s what’s pretty funny is that, here we are, we found ourselves in this whole other world, but we probably could have found ourselves in our original intention as well. So that’s pretty funny.
Kimberly Beer 1:31
It is pretty funny. It would have been great to have you be the cultural anthropologist for my archeological research. Goodness, yeah. I mean, for me, my entrepreneurial journey started when I ran out of a job and was unemployed and sitting around my house. And my, I think I was still in my late teens at the time.
Cara Taylor Swift 1:54
I thought you were gonna say sitting around in your underwear. And I was gonna say, we’re not going to get that personal in the first episode Kim.
Kimberly Beer 2:01
No. But I was sitting around with a bunch of other young people in my in my very first home away from home. So it was a party environment. And as we were probably waking up, hung over some afternoon, and one of the guys that had crashed in my house, he just said, you know, you’re really good with that camera, maybe you should go out and learn how to make a living with it. And I was like, bingo, you’re right. And I started out by taking pictures of one of my neighbor’s cats.
Cara Taylor Swift 2:31
Wow, right in the pet industry from the get go.
Kimberly Beer 2:34
Right in the pet industry from the get go. I started out as the neighborhood cat photographer. So that was how I kind of got into my first entrepreneurial gig.
Cara Taylor Swift 2:45
That’s awesome. So I also picked up the camera for the first time in college, but it was 100% as an extra curricular, just something to enjoy and fill my time. So my goal being that cultural anthropologist was to study women’s issues within their culture. So I ended up having a really long career in the domestic violence and sexual assault movement. I was the executive director of multiple domestic violence shelters, and I did that work for a long time, and the camera was put down, but horses were always in my life, they were always a part of my life. So after many years of working in the domestic violence and sexual assault movement, my son was born, I was traveling four days a week and leaving my husband at home with a newborn, I got to a place where because I had children, and I was hearing stories of children as victims, that it became really hard. And I was suffering from something called vicarious trauma, which is basically picking up on some of the trauma and it’s in your life at this point. So every time the phone rang, I just assumed it was one of my advocates calling me to let me know that something terrible had happened. And I got to a place where I really knew I needed to take a break, do something that brought me joy, and really invest in my family. So I left that industry, I now support it in other ways, but I no longer work in it full time. And as a way to work through a lot of that I picked up the camera, I realized really quickly that I loved it, and I decided to start my business. So that’s how I became a professional photographer.
Kimberly Beer 4:17
And here’s an interesting side note, both of us have college education, but neither of us I don’t know, did you major in photography at all or take any photography classes?
Cara Taylor Swift 4:29
No, it was an extracurricular Yeah, I took classes I enjoyed the classes. But I actually majored in cultural anthropology and Gender Studies.
Kimberly Beer 4:37
I kind of left the archaeology behind and my majors were in creative writing in history. I was on target to be either a novelist which was what my goal would have been, or to be your high school history teacher. Now for me, what happened from that cat photography gig that I got from down the street was I discovered I couldn’t really support myself doing cat photography. And I like you have a lifetime history with horses. So one of the neighboring barns that had a halter, a PHA halter horses hired me to take some photos for their stallion ads. And then they asked me to design their stallion ads, which was awesome. And I can remember my first experiences designing ads was on an SE30 Macintosh computer with an eight inch black and white screen. If you can imagine how horrible that was.
Cara Taylor Swift 5:33
I feel like you’re dating yourself.
Kimberly Beer 5:35
Oh, it was bad. I am dating myself terribly. But it ended up being something I loved. And I loved working with my marketing and advertising clients. And frankly, my photography became a way to support them. So most of what I did was not art photography. But it was more associated with commercial because I found out that small business owners struggle with marketing bad, I started out mostly in the print industry, and helping people be able to get their print marketing put together. And then as I progressed further along into my career, of course, the internet came along. And so all of a sudden, there were websites and email marketing. And I love technology, that’s one of my other great loves in my life is any kind of a gadget or a thing that helps you do something. So I’m very much into tech, and I ended up helping my clients with consulting. And then I got more interested in marketing and how it worked and businesses and entrepreneurship and the mindset that it takes to become an entrepreneur. And those things kind of led me to where I am today. And it’s a fun journey. And most of my clients are in the equine or some type of an animal industry, but I don’t think I ever intended. Like I said, with being an accidental entrepreneur, you would have asked me when I was 18, if at 50, I would own my own successful business and be a marketing and business consultant, I would have said, You’re crazy. is so not where I’m headed.
Cara Taylor Swift 7:09
Oh, same, same. I mean, honestly, I was always a great like I was someone you could stick in a position and give them a single job, and I could Ace it, you know, so becoming an entrepreneur or in my case, like you were saying an accidental entrepreneur, there were a lot of mistakes that were made. And we really had to learn a lot to make that successful. So that’s kind of what I’m excited that we’re talking about this our first episode today.
Kimberly Beer 7:31
Yeah, and I do want to share another thing right off the bat, I was not a successful entrepreneur to start off with for sure. Obviously, my cat photography career was short lived. And then I went kind of whole hog into the print design business. And I ended up going bankrupt with that. But I can remember at one point in my life standing up in front of a federal bankruptcy judge, and he just flat out asked me, What are you going to do to never be back here again, and I say, I am never going to own another business. Well, that happened to go on about six months, I had a corporate job, I couldn’t take it, I tasted freedom outside of a cubicle, and I was just destined to not be part of that environment anymore. So the second time around, I did a lot of things differently. And part of what we’re here to talk about, and kind of how we’ve formatted the business animal is to help people by giving you really authentic experiencial things that you can do or relate to within your own industry. And so our focus is to do three things that we have learned on our accidental entrepreneurial journey. And then we’re going to bring those into future episodes as well, where we offer you three things, every episode that you can take away. Today, we’re going to each bring three things that we learned and I can tell you the second time around now, I have had this business since 1996. So I am decades into being an entrepreneur and I have learned some valuable lessons and I’ll wager you have as well. Is that correct?
Cara Taylor Swift 9:09
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that is our number one goal is that we want other animal based business owners just like us to be able to when they’re finished listening to an episode, walk away with three practical things that you can immediately put to use or be immediately working towards. I think that’s probably the biggest thing is that when I was starting out my business, every little piece of knowledge that I could get to get me going in the right direction was huge. So to be able to share some of that with other folks and be realistic and honest about the fact that we’ve made a ton of mistakes too. And maybe if we can share them with our audience members, maybe it’ll save some of that heartache and some of those business woes that come when you’re just getting started. Or even if you’ve been in this work for a while and you’re just trying to figure out how to move or pivot. We want to be able to help.
Kimberly Beer 10:00
Yeah, and leveling up your success is hard. No one tells you that when you are starting out as an entrepreneur to say, yes, success is actually probably sometimes as difficult as failure to work within. I know in my business, growing pains have frequently been an issue.
Cara Taylor Swift 10:18
Kimberly Beer 10:19
Well, I’ll start out with just that thought in my first of my big three is to practice resilience. I failed big, when I failed with my first business. I don’t think you can get a bigger failure than standing a bankruptcy court. And the really tragic piece of that was a great amount of the money I had borrowed for that business was from my own family, I not only let down my clients, I not only let down my town, myself, my business partner, but I also let down my family members. But here’s the thing, 30 years later, here I am, I’m successful, I made more money last year than I have ever made in my entire life.
Cara Taylor Swift 11:03
And that was in the middle of a pandemic, which we’re talking in a pandemic, you know, when we’re recording this, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. So
Unknown Speaker 11:10
In the end of the world of learning how to pivot and learning how to be really successful, even when things are not perfect. That’s the lesson. And I think that takes practice, I have a set of eight practices as a sustainable entrepreneur that I try to really live my life in my business by and this one is, is one of the most important things on that list, in that shifting my mindset from failure being a bad and tragic and ending thing to failure being one step closer to success. And that failure is actually a good thing. Now you know what doesn’t work. Now go find something different, that does actually work.
Cara Taylor Swift 11:49
If you’re someone like me, a failure can really set you back, like you start to doubt everything else in your business life when you have one failure. So that really is a shift. And I think that’s huge.
Kimberly Beer 12:01
Yeah, and just mark it up. When you recognize that something didn’t work or something wasn’t quite right, or you did something huge, like a flat out failure, it’s okay, that just got you one step closer to success. And the cool thing about it is you start to learn over time, where the signs are for things that aren’t going so well. And you can pivot and make things happen. So my number one, Big Three is practice resilience and stretch. And don’t be afraid to fail. I don’t know if I’ve met an entrepreneur that hasn’t failed at something. It’s part of the package. And it’s okay.
Unknown Speaker 12:38
For me, when I first started as an entrepreneur, time management was probably the biggest thing because I was really used to working with a defined set of daily goals when I was in, I would all call it the corporate world. But it was actually the nonprofit world. Kind of a defined set of daily things that I had to get done. So when you sit down as a business owner, and you’re kind of responsible for everything you’re like, what do I do first, and you have to be really careful not to get sucked into the fun stuff, if that makes sense. Or to spend all your time perfecting an Instagram post, when you really have more important things to be working on. If that’s not the most important thing you need to be doing that day, I spent a lot of time where I would end my day and go pick my son up from school and say to myself, what did I accomplish today, it all came down to time management, I think it’s really easy to get bogged down. And these are the three things or these are the two things that by the end of the day have to be done, and try to knock those out first thing, and then everything else that I got done after that I actually felt like I had a good day. So I could leave at the end of each day, go pick my son up from school, start dinner, do all the things that my family needed me to do and say to my husband, when he came home from his nine to five, I got this done today, as opposed to I don’t know what I did, honestly.
Kimberly Beer 13:56
I think that’s awesome. And I really identify with that. So something personal about me that I’m not even sure you know is that I’ve suffered from depression for a lot of my life. And I don’t take a medication for it, I have looked to a lot of other methods to deal with it. And one of the ways that I sorted through my depression was three things every morning, I get up and I write down three things that if at the end of the day, if I can check mark off those three things, I consider myself a success, that day was good, I can mark it off. That was an accomplishment when you’re in depression and you’re an entrepreneur, sometimes that gets really darn difficult to be able to do and those three things sometimes are as simple as have a really good meeting with a client. And I don’t set the bar super high on a bad day. But it really helps me feel successful and it helps me also focus my energy where it needs to go. So I do that practice with the three things and I think it’s a fantastic tastic idea in Time management is so important and what you need to concentrate on,
Cara Taylor Swift 15:05
Thank you for being so open about that, you know, what it comes down to is that this is our income, like we’re not, we’re not hobby business owners, it’s not a, it’s not how we like to spend our time just having fun, you know, it is an actual, it’s our income. It’s how we support our families. And if we can’t create a system of time management, even for the bad days, you know, there’s no one else to do this job, then that means that we don’t have an income. You know, we don’t have a set paycheck every week that even if you have a bad day, that’s right, it’s still coming. That is so smart. And thank you for being so open about that.
Kimberly Beer 15:37
I totally am open about the fact that this is not a perfect world, and I don’t live in a perfect world, I’m not a perfect person. And there are struggles, I also think being an entrepreneur, it just as a side note, as someone who does deal with depression a lot in her life, I feel like being an entrepreneur is a great place for me to be because if I do need to take a little time off, I have that opportunity.
Cara Taylor Swift 16:02
Your equine based business has unique needs. It’s your job to tell the story of your horse brand. You know what you want to say. But creating or finding powerful storytelling images that grab the attention of your ideal client can be a challenge, especially when you’re busy running your business. That’s why equine industry business leaders turn to Fast Horse Photography, and a library featuring 1000s of searchable images available for businesses just like yours. And guess what 100% of those images are horse related. Now finding the right horse images for your website, social media, and all your other needs is easier than ever find the perfect images for your equine business right now at fasthorsephotography.com. That’s fasthorsephotography.com.
Kimberly Beer 16:49
So I’ll move on to my number two tip or my number two of my big three. And that is to build a network. And I spend a great deal of my time teaching people how to do digital marketing, I teach them about how to build a website or how to be present on social media, most of what I impart to people is how to use content marketing, which is how to create a marketing plan that centers around using what they know, in order to draw people into their business. And a lot of my clients, when they first come into my business, they feel like that’s going to be the magic bullet. And all of a sudden, all of the clients will come to them in droves. The truth is, is that your network is the place where your clients come from, and I wished that more people could really wrap their head around to the fact that social media, email marketing, their websites, all of those things that we’re all pushed to do in marketing. And that is usually an entrepreneur’s number one complaint, isn’t it? How do I do marketing? How do I do my marketing better? It’s it’s like the number one question that most of us have. And the truth is, is your network is the way that you do that building your network, filling in the holes in your network, picking your mentors, your sponsors, your cheerleaders, for those days, when you don’t know if you want to get out of bed and do your top three of your list, that is the absolute foundation that you can use to build your entire business on. And if I had one extra little piece of advice, there, it’s fine centers of influence. find places where your target market where your people where your tribe where your heard your pack, however you want to refer to it, where they show up and where you can access them. And then find the people that are in the power in that area and get to know them so that you can get into that network and be part of that community. And that will take your marketing miles into the future. And then use your social media, your email, your website, all of those places to support that effort, rather than trying to rely upon it to be the source of new business for you.
Cara Taylor Swift 19:01
Well, that thing you mentioned about being part of the community, I think is probably the biggest takeaway from that. Because you have to go into it genuinely, you know, you go into your community into that center of influence, and you really embrace and become a part of it really should be the goal. Like you’re not just there to hand out business cards, except you’re there to participate. Right, exactly. Right. So Exactly. It needs to be genuine. And that’s where you start networking and knowing your people and meeting your people. And, you know, this has been huge for my business, almost I would say 90% of the people that I work with are people that have come through word of mouth referrals through relationships that I have built over the years past clients that I have served through people that I haven’t worked with yet, but we’ve worked maybe together in my industry in another capacity, and it’s been a good referral. So I think that’s huge.
Kimberly Beer 19:53
Exactly. And one perk to that for our listeners in particular is animal based billing. business owners, we are very much involved in each other’s lives, we already have that community because we have a common thread because we love these little four legged and somewhat two, sometimes two legged beasts that run through our lives. And it’s a commonality. It’s a conversation starter. It’s a place where we can all get behind each other. So that network in that community are sometimes I think, easier for us, right?
Cara Taylor Swift 20:26
We came to this business, most likely because we loved animals first, you know, yeah, maybe we took that in our own direction and started an animal based business because of that, but that’s where we came to it first, just because we love animals, we want to help animals or we want to be around animals, or we want to be around animal people. Right, exactly. We know who our people are.
Kimberly Beer 20:44
That’s right. We got our herd.
Cara Taylor Swift 20:46
Yeah. And I think that that kind of comes in plays into my second point that I think as an entrepreneur that people should consider. I didn’t start out this way. But I think that folks should focus on a niche or a niche, or however you said, Kim, how do you say it?niche or niche?
Kimberly Beer 21:04
Cara Taylor Swift 21:05
Okay, it’s your niche, you’re from Missouri. So when I was a Missouri girl, I also born and raised in Missouri, we would say niche, but here in Florida, it’s niche. So we’re a little more sophisticated. I don’t know, I don’t know.
Kimberly Beer 21:17
Probably, you guys, you guys are a little bit on the French side.
Cara Taylor Swift 21:19
That must be it, That must be it. So regardless of what you call it in your region of the world, I definitely feel like for my business, narrowing down and then narrowing down some more has been huge, and has really helped me find my audience sound helped me find my network when I first started in the photography world. And when I first started my business, I thought, you know what, I’m going to photograph, anything I can get hired to photograph. I remember photographing a family reunion one time, and it was a nightmare. But I did it. And I walked away from that family reunion. And I was like, Man, that was not enjoyable photography for me. And now I have to go sit down, and I have to edit all of these images, and I have to spend hours with them. And I didn’t enjoy the work at all, when I really sat down and looked at my photography. And what I like to photograph, I realized really quickly that animals were at the forefront, and most importantly, horses because horses came first in my world. So the only thing I wanted to photograph at that point was horses. And I remember sitting down and starting to tell people that this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to pivot my business and I’m going to niche down and I’m only going to photograph horses and horse people, right? And everyone was just kind of looking at me, every person I told they were like, Is that a thing? Do people do that? Why? You know, you need to photograph weddings, you need to photograph babies, that’s where the money’s at. And that’s how you’re gonna make your money, right. And when I thought about doing those things, I was like, that’s not what I want to do. There’s no way and I’m like, I think there are people out there that need this service. And what I learned really quickly is that when you try to cast out your net, and grab as much as you can, as much business as you can, I think it can be really easy to be kind of good at everything, but not great at anything. And I didn’t want that for my business. For me, I knew that I was not a wide net person. I’m kind of a perfectionist in some areas of my life. And I wanted to try my best to be really good at one genre of work. So I niche down to specifically equine and equestrian photography, but it took me it took me a little bit to get there. Another great example of this at work is a photographer friend of ours, Phyllis Burchett Photo, she does photograph a lot of different things. But a great example of her niching down for her audience is if you go to her Instagram page, you’ll see that on her Instagram page, her focus that she shows is specific to equine an equestrian but even more niche down to Western lifestyle and ranching. And because of that, I think she has acquired a nice following of people that that’s what they want to see you pull in people that that’s what they want you for. And they are looking for a focus stability. So that has been my experience. When I made that decision. My business grew big time.
Kimberly Beer 24:18
Yeah, and it will in marketing. One of the things I like to tell my students in particular is if you’re talking to everybody, nobody is listening. But if you talk to one person, they’re gonna listen. And it’s just kind of a principle of marketing. And again, it almost feels a little bit magical because when you do niche down and when you do construct that market down to be exactly the message that you want to send out to the world. People do hear it and and what’s interesting about it is people that are not in your niche or niche, hear about it as well. And we’ll ask you I get invited a few times a year to photograph weddings and I have a requirement there has to be a horse in the wedding. So it has to be something How involved they either have to ride the horses in there needs to be horses I, you know, okay, you got to have ponies at the reception, something equine has to be involved in the wedding for me to want to photograph it in my business and consulting career, I do work with a variety of niches. And I can tell you, it’s almost like having a separate business because you have to communicate with people very differently. I have subsets of my consulting business where I work with coaches in particular. And I also work with artists, I do a lot of teaching and instruction around artists and how for artists to be entrepreneurs, it’s a totally different message. You don’t talk to a coach the same way you talk to an artist the same way you talk to an animal based business owner. And it’s really important to know that when you’re thinking about your business, and how you want to design it, which ties right into my third of my big three, which is to make a business plan, and coincidentally, also to write a vision for your life. To me, these two things go together, this is all about planning, right? It’s all about figuring out where you want to go and what you want your business to be. For me, it was the difference between talking to a federal bankruptcy judge and never talking to a federal bankruptcy judge, again, if I would have that day that I was standing in court had known the correct answer to the question should be not, I’m never going to own a business again. But I’m never going to own a business that I don’t go into with a plan that would have been the appropriate response to be successful and not be back there again. And that’s what’s made a difference now is that I do have a plan, I know who my customers are, I know how to communicate with them. I know their pains. I know what their goals are, I know what their struggles are, I know how they speak, I know their language. I also know how I can derive my income from that what services I provide what money goes into that what it takes to run my business. A lot of times people who become entrepreneurs accidentally or otherwise come from a world where they get paid by the hour and the overhead belongs to someone else. It’s a huge mindset shift to go from a 20 or $30 an hour professional job to owning your own business and having to charge 125 $250 an hour in order to just make ends meet. And that’s crazy for some people to try to adjust to. But if you have a business plan, you know what underlies that, how it all has to come together and how your business has to be constructed. And you also have a plan for how you’re going to reach your market. So you need to know who those people are, where are they gathering? What channels are they using? How can you utilize your network. And a lot of classes that I give these days are actually on visual business planning. Because again, I work with a lot of artists and non business people, and they’re well attended. And it’s amazingly easy to do to get a business plan together. And then coincidentally with that, also writing a vision of how you want to spend your day, what do you want to do when you wake up in the morning? How do you want to spend your hours in your day? Do you want to spend it photographing babies? Or do you want to spend it photographing horses? Or even more importantly, do you like the shooting? Or do you like the editing? What is it that you love to do in your business? And what is it that and I think this ties into your next point? What is it that you don’t want to do in your business? How can you facilitate your business to match what it is that you want to spend your day doing?
Unknown Speaker 28:49
Absolutely. And it’s not just what do you want to spend? What should you be doing in your business? And what should someone else be doing in your business? Potentially?
Kimberly Beer 28:58
Every small business owner wants to gain traction in their marketing. After three decades of working with small business owners just like you I have developed what I call my 4 x 4 marketing method. In just one 90 minutes session, you’ll discover the four major focus areas of a successful marketing plan. And together we’ll uncover where your business is getting stuck. You’ll leave the session with an action plan of next steps that engage your revenue engine. Drop by bemorebusiness.com to request your session today. That’s BeMOREbusiness.com. See you there.
Cara Taylor Swift 29:35
So I am a big believer and it took me a while to get here. You should definitely if you can hire to your weaknesses that took me a while to get there. When you’re in a creative space like I am. You feel like I think some creatives feel like they have to own every step of the process in order for it to be their work. And one of the things I realized is that if my small animal based business is gonna be successful I can’t do everything by myself, and that there are people that are more qualified to do certain parts of my business, but it’s totally okay. You don’t have to be a one person shop, you know, you can hire to your weaknesses. I think I have even seen pushback sometimes from places they’re like, oh, you’re creative, you should do every part of this. But the reality is that we are in our animal based business. For the business side of it, we need to create an income absolutely to support our families in a way that allows us to thrive not just survive, but to thrive, and to be able to go out to dinner, or take a vacation if we want to, you know what you can run a small, animal based business and afford to do those things. If you structure your business in a way that allows that to happen. Outsourcing for me, made a lot of sense. So there are parts of my business that I do really well. And I always do myself, but there are other parts of my business that I outsource, or I have hired the right people for and it has saved me time. It saved me money it has, I mean, honestly, it’s saved me having to redo things like a lot of costly mistakes I made in the beginning aren’t being made anymore, because I found people who could do it better than me trying to wing it. Absolutely. hire the right people, find the right people find those experts to save you time, money and frustration, I highly recommend it. Don’t be afraid to do that.
Kimberly Beer 31:24
I totally agree with that. I know that there’s probably people out there that are listening to this going, Yeah, I would be okay with that. But I can’t afford to do that I don’t make enough money as an entrepreneur.
Cara Taylor Swift 31:34
That’s how I felt when I first started. Absolutely.
Kimberly Beer 31:37
Which also goes back to the your number two point, which is to focus on your niche, because a lot of people are afraid to niche down because they don’t want to restrict to their income. And it ties back to that money. So the first thing I challenge you to do is to get with a money mindset coach, because you probably have some stuff back there in your background that you need to get rid of around money. That’s a unique thing about what I do with our entrepreneurship program. Because here’s a big lesson that I’ve learned over this 30 years as an entrepreneur working with clients. Most of my clients don’t have businesses that fail or have problems because of the business itself. It’s something in their background. So number one, when it comes to that, if that came up for you right away, or the creative piece, like I have to do every step by myself, stop for a moment, go find a coach or someone to help you work through that you can get rid of that limiting belief. That’s number one. That’s a mindset shifts.
Cara Taylor Swift 32:35
Yeah, that’s a mindset. I mean, Kim, I’m right there with you. We grew up with no money. We grew up in a very poor households, literally living paycheck to paycheck and to think about coming in contact with people that can’t afford my service right now was a heartbreaking thing for me. But when I took that part out, and I was able to readjust my mindset to the fact that I am a small, animal based business owner that deserves to be able to pay my light bill. Yep, that deserves to be able to contribute to my family’s income, then that made a difference for me, and it helps me realize that it’s okay, if not everybody is your client.
Kimberly Beer 33:14
And it’s okay for you to hire people to help. Yes, and honestly, you’re better off. So Constant Contact, who I’m a partner with Constant Contact. Yeah. And they do a lot of research, their email marketing company, that’s part of one of my expertise is around email marketing and automation. Years ago, I got into the speaking world through them, and one of the presentations that I would give how to slide in it that pigeonholed the average small business owners hour as being worth around $279. Now I’m not I can’t remember where that statistic came from, or if it’s up or down from now. But the point is, is that your hour as a business owner is super valuable. If you could make more money by going out and working on your sales and marketing, building your network, going to a networking event and getting a new client that’s worth three or $4,000. It’s worth it to you to pay someone else 20 or $30 an hour to do a certain task that they can do while you’re out building and working on your business instead of working in your business.
Cara Taylor Swift 34:24
And I want people to know, they’re not alone in that feeling like a lot of small animal based business owners have that same internal conflict going on. I was there. I sometimes still have days where I have to like reset my mindset. It’s a constant reshift for people until you get there. So I just want people to know you’re not alone in that. If you’re having some pushback when we talk about money or we talk about hiring out that’s a common thing with time you can get there if you put the work into it. Absolutely.
Kimberly Beer 34:51
It is a mindset shift and sometimes that you need other people to help you make that mindset shift and it’s it’s a big deal when you do so just To review, because we’re going to wrap up here, I’m going to go over my big three. And then I’m going to have Karen over her big three with our final thoughts around that. So for me as an accidental entrepreneur, here’s the lessons that I wished I would have learned or someone would have imparted to me, number one, be resilient and practice it little failures, don’t let them bother you practice your resilience. So if something big does come along, you’re able to go Okay, this too shall pass. And I’m going to consider this one more step closer to success to really concentrate on your network, that is the foundation for your marketing, for your business support for everything, find the people to fill the holes in your network, and make sure that you work that network frequently. And then make a business plan and write a vision for what you want to do in your business. So you know exactly what it’s going to take to make the amount of money you want to make. And then take a look at how you want to spend your day and then adjust.
Cara Taylor Swift 36:04
And then for the big three things that I wish I knew before I started my small animal based business. The first one is time management is everything, you’ve got to work smart, you know, there’s just so much involved in running a business and it’s so easy to get bogged down. So make a plan and find a way to do the things that you want to do in your business successfully so that your business can be successful, just make that plan. And then the second one was focusing on a niche or niche however you say it in your neck of the woods, I heard someone say one time you’ve got a niche to get rich. And I was like, Yes, that is my new thing. I’m going to remind myself of that all the time. So do not be afraid to niche down and then niche down some more and find your people. And then the third thing, hire to your weaknesses, it’s totally okay in your business to not do everything. And you’re probably not the right person in your business to do everything, your time and energy should be spent on certain areas of your business, not the parts that you could potentially bring someone in to do for less and they can do a better job at it. So we’ve gone through a lot today. And the great thing is is this is episode number one, and we’re going to be moving into a bunch of episodes coming up. We’re super excited to be here. And we are going to really narrow down on some of these topics to give you guys some real concrete things that you can do our goal as podcasters. And being here in this space with you guys is so that when you’re working on your business, either if you’re starting your own business, or you’re pivoting in your business, or you just want to enhance your business that at the end of each episode, you can walk away with some concrete things that you can do to help your business.
Kimberly Beer 37:44
Yep. And also know that you’re not alone in this journey. And hey, we’re here for moral support because we’ve walked a lot of these steps still walking a lot of these steps and always willing to share our experience and our expertise as well as what we’re currently learning in our businesses and in life. So very much look forward to being back. I’m so happy we’re doing this Kara thank you all for joining us on the business animal podcast and we do invite you to connect with us off this podcast. We have a website at the business animal.com and we have presences on Instagram and Facebook and clubhouse so look us up on those networks.
Cara Taylor Swift 38:27
at The Business Animal.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the business animal. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And if you learn something today, leave us a review. To learn more find us at TheBusiness Animal.com we’d love to hear from you. Until next time, keep your business well trained with The Business Animal
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Earnings disclaimer: Every effort has been made to accurately represent the information in this podcast, our programs, and the educational value they provide. However, there is no guarantee that you will earn any money using the techniques and ideas in these materials. You should not rely on any revenue, sales, or earnings information we present as any kind of promise, guarantee, or expectation of any level of success or earnings. Your results will be determined by a number of factors over which we have no control, such as your financial condition, experiences, skills, level of effort, education, and changes within the market. We provide this content without any express or implied warranties. By continuing to use our site and access our content, you agree that we are not responsible for any decision you may make regarding any information presented or as a result of purchasing any of our products or services.