Are you wanting to leave your corporate job to go out and make it on your own in business? Have you been in business for a while and you want to transition into something more meaningful?
Either way, your personal brand is an essential tool for success in today’s rapidly changing world. As industries and technologies evolve, it’s common for people to outgrow their current brand or desire a shift in direction. This is where reinvention and transition come in.
This episode of Influence by Design is the first instalment of a three-part training series on reinventing and transitioning your personal brand.
I’ve invited personal brand photographer Paula Brennan to join me for this 3-part series where, we discuss in depth how to reinvent and transition your personal brand.
We deep dive into why you should be clear on what you want and don’t want, and share the importance of authentic self-expression and how to align your personal brand with your values and goals.
If you’re feeling stuck or unsure about your personal brand, this episode will provide you with valuable insights and actionable strategies to reinvent and transition your brand with confidence and clarity.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL DISCOVER:
- Paula’s inspiring transition story (04:15)
- Why you should stop listening to others (07:30)
- The importance of listening to your intuition (11:58)
- How to get past the what-ifs (13:45)
- Drawing up helpful lessons from previous clients (17:00)
- The importance of getting clear on your values (23:08)
- Knowing the right people to work with (26:03)
- How many hours should you be working? (30:33)
- How to effectively allocate tasks among team members (36:25)
- Why you should be unapologetic about how much you want to earn (39:02)
- The importance of knowing how you want to be perceived (41:45)
- “We’re not cookies so don’t use cookie cutter templates. Create something unique and authentic.” -Samantha Riley
- “You learn by things going wrong.” -Samantha Riley
- “There are different seasons for your business, so you don’t need to think that it all has to happen overnight.” -Paula Brennan
- “Sometimes you need to have somebody else to help you to see clearly where you should be putting your attention.” -Paula Brennan
- “When you start to learn to play by your own rules, that’s when you start to find success in yourself and your business.” -Paula Brennan
Australia On The Brink Of ‘the Great Resignation’ With 38% Of Aussie Workers Looking For A New Job, And The Numbers Could Get Higher – PWC ‘What Workers Want’ Report
WHERE TO FIND PAULA BRENNAN
- Website: https://paulabrennan.com.au/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paulabrennanphotographer
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paula-brennan-64b91330/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/paulabrennan
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/paulabrennanphotographer/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdIypfcDBP1rMOv-FI3eQvw
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BOOK AN INFLUENCE AUDIT
If you want to be known as the leader in your industry, book a quick 15-minute Influence Audit.
We’ll work together to identify:
Your current situation and immediate opportunities for growth
Uncover the #1 thing holding you back from not being booked as an industry leader
Develop a 3-step implementation plan to increase your authority and visibility
ABOUT PAULA BRENNAN
Paula Brennan is a personal brand photographer, educator, and host of the popular podcast, The Business of Personal Brand Photography. With over 16 years of experience in photography, Paula has built an impressive portfolio of work, from wedding photography to personal brand photography.
Through her work, Paula discovered that she could bring values and emotions to life through her guidance and imagery. Her passion lies in bringing out her clients’ connection, confidence, and authentic personality through her photos.
As a result, Paula started working with entrepreneurs to help them communicate their brand personality through unique and authentic imagery. She is dedicated to helping her clients create a powerful visual identity that reflects their brand values and resonates with their target audience.
With her talent, passion, and dedication, Paula Brennan has become a leading figure in personal brand photography, inspiring and empowering others to create meaningful and authentic visual stories.
TRANSCRIPTION (AI Generated)
Samantha Riley (00:00):
Did you know 38% of Australian workers are currently looking to make a transition in their current roles or positions. And from our experience, and speaking with our own clients and our audiences of entrepreneurs and business owners, this trend of reinvention and transition seems to be even higher.
Samantha Riley Intro 00:21:
My name is Samantha Riley, and this is the podcast for experts who want to be the unapologetic leader in their industry. We’re going to share the latest business growth, marketing, and leadership strategies, as well as discussing how you can use your human design to create success in business and life. Inside and out. It’s time to take your influence, income, and impact to the level you know you’re capable of. Are you ready to make a bigger difference and scale up? This is the Influence By Design podcast.
Paula Brennan (01:13):
Hi, I’m Paula Brennan. I’m a personal brand photographer, and the educator. And I’m the host of the Business of Personal Brand Photography podcast.
Samantha Riley (01:21):
And I’m Samantha Riley from samanthariley.global host of the Influence by Design podcast. Welcome to our three part series on transition and reinvention. If you’re feeling that you want to be doing something bigger and more aligned with your purpose, then welcome. I’ve decided to jump in today with Paula Brennan, because I personally worked with Paula, maybe about six months ago, I worked with Paula to take my new branding images, which you would have seen all over social media, if you haven’t go have a look. And I had the most incredible experience. And it was an experience that I hadn’t had from working with any other photographer. And I’ve worked with many, many, she had this really amazing way of drawing out who I authentically was, and had this incredible effect on my confidence, which I’ve never experienced. I felt like I could have walked out of this rounding chute that I had with her. And pretty much sort of been there stood for Prime Minister of Australia tomorrow. It was just incredible. And that’s why I wanted to jump in and have this conversation with you, Paula.
Paula Brennan (02:28):
And Sam, thank you so much. Listen, I was similar when I worked with you, I just felt like there was a great affinity between us, we sort of speak the same language. And I was really impressed because I do do a deep dive on all of my clients. And I actually started listening to a few of your podcast episodes afterwards. Because I love to speak business, you know that you and I’ve had many conversations. And I was really keen to get your perspective for my audience from a much more strategic kind of viewpoint, because I think a lot of what I tend to do is strategic, but it’s very kind of intuitive. And I’m sort of running, you know, visual on on the outside. But I don’t really work with a lot with the mechanics behind the scenes. And when you and I were talking, we recognize that similar audiences are going through this same sort of thing at the moment. And that’s this massive transition, right? We’ve got so many of my clients are in this place where they’re moving from one stage of their business to the next or else, they’re making a complete reinvention, and totally doing rebranding and totally changing their product structure. And I know you’re finding the same
Samantha Riley (03:29):
100%. And I think that over the last few years, if nothing else, we’ve really realized you’re really sort of tuned within and gone. This is what I really want to do. And I’ve been pushing it down for all these years, because other people said that it wasn’t possible or it wasn’t right. Or maybe even we have judged ourselves that oh, maybe the market isn’t ready for this, or this is a bit woowoo or, you know, this is very different to what I was doing. And so I really are we really wanted to open up this conversation over the next three episodes to really deep dive into how you can make this reinvention or this transition because you absolutely can. But there are a lot of moving parts to this.
Paula Brennan (04:15):
Yeah, and I think I mean, I I find this really close to my heart right now because I actually have done this a few times in my career. I’ve done total massive reinventions. And one of the hardest things I came across was others people’s opinions of what I was doing in the moment. Really specifically, I can remember a time when I was doing I had a really successful wedding business down in Sydney, right? And it was a beautiful business. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely loved it. I loved my clients, but I was ready. I was at a certain stage in my life where I was chasing brides on beaches and doing things like that. But it was a really, really safe business model. Right. It was something that was very secure. The bookings are made two to three years in advance and it’s sort of from the outside in I guess it didn’t make sense for me to want to change I desperately knew that I just wanted to work with women, particularly women over 35 over 40, I wanted to help them with this confidence piece that you were mentioning up at the start, I wanted to make them feel good in themselves. And I knew that I had that skill set. I just wasn’t exactly sure of the exact mechanics of how, yeah, I remember sitting and having conversations with my family and friends, and most so particularly my partner at the time was, was trying to be supportive in his heart, but he just logically couldn’t get over the fact that there was this, you know, multiple six figure business sitting over here. And that I wanted to go chasing what I can see might have seemed like a pipe dream. But I knew the stats were there, I knew what women were willing to spend on themselves, I knew that there was an opening in the market, I knew it in my gut. But I just let other people kind of infiltrate, you know, but then some part of me a little rebellious part of me, I guess, just to go and do it. And so I jumped ship, I kind of, you know, changed transitioned into a different business model. Now, I couldn’t do it overnight, because of the way the wedding business was. Yeah. But I was able to successfully do it, because I just followed my heart. And I followed the market. And I really like knuckle down. And I kind of used a lot of what the naysayers said, as my ammunition if I’m really honest, yeah. And within six months, I was able to turn six figures out of that new business, which I’m super proud of, because I think that, you know, I was really happy that I was able to do it. But it did take a lot of struggle, it did take a lot of awkward conversations with people where I had to push back. And that’s why I really wanted to sort of open up this conversation with you today. Because I just think if anybody out there is going through the same thing and having naysayers in their life with partners or anything, or even industry professionals sort of telling them that they can’t I want to stay here and say you can you absolutely,
Samantha Riley (06:47):
absolutely. And I couldn’t agree more. I’m very much or anyone that listens to my podcasts will know I say all the time, cookie cutters are full of cookies, we’re not cookies, we are able to build something that is unique and authentic to us. And in our gut, we know what that is. And there are two pieces to this conversation. And we’re going to be diving deeper into this, that we need to know within ourselves what we want that to be and then we also need the strategy. Yeah. But I think that we talk a lot about either the, let’s call it the woowoo side, or the strategy side. And we’re here to have this conversation to bring both of these parts together. And I think the very first piece of this, and you’ve already touched on this is really to stop listening to others and stop listening to yourself. This can be a little bit tricky. This isn’t normally where the clarity starts. This is just the beginning piece of going, Well, I really want to do this thing. But just remember, you can’t read the label from inside the jar, you probably will need the help of other people. But it’s about curating who those people are. I know, Paula, you mentioned that you’d worked with people that didn’t necessarily agree with what you were doing. And they were saying to you that no, we think should go down this path. So it’s this is a really tricky piece. Because it’s not that you don’t want to listen to anyone. It’s just that you really want to listen to the right people.
Paula Brennan (08:21):
Yeah, I 100% agree. I mean, I was saying to you before this call that I actually myself have paid for coaches and for black for coaches in particular, who have maybe sort of led me down a path because of lack of information or just from a narrow perspective. And so I really think it’s really important that when you’re kind of getting coaches or getting guides along the way, that you’re looking at them if they’ve got a scope of working with different people from different walks of life. Now, in my industry in photography, you definitely as an educator and as a mentor in my industry, I definitely am very well first to speak to people who want to come specifically down my lane. But what about when you’ve got sort of ideas, and there’s no one who’s done it before you? Or perhaps you don’t necessarily wanted to go in your industry and do what everybody else has done? Well, then you need to look at having somebody who’s looking at it from an overarching business perspective, right? And who has your best interests at heart, rather than looking at maybe having a selfish or a sort of self centered perspective in there? Do you agree?
Samantha Riley (09:23):
Totally. And I think this is something that I bring to the table. I’ve just had my 30th anniversary in business. And why this is important in this conversation is when I have someone say to me, I’m thinking, you know, this didn’t work. And I say, Well, have you tried this or this? Or maybe we could try this? And they’re like, Wow, I’ve never thought of that or I’ve worked with a coach before and they’ve never said that. And let me tell you, it’s because you learn. By getting out there and doing things you learn by things going wrong. You learn by getting the feedback from the market or from different things that have happened in your business. And so when you’ve been in business for such a long time, like I have in, in so many different industries, you realize this, and I don’t love this metaphor, but you know, there’s so many ways to skin a cat. So when something doesn’t work, you’re able to see something else. If someone, or a coach that you may have worked with, or you’re looking at working with, has only been doing something for a short amount of time, it’s not that they’re doing anything wrong. It’s just that they’ve got this really limited perspective. And they don’t necessarily understand that there’s so many different ways to do you know, anything, really.
Paula Brennan (10:33):
And similarly, I mean, if you’re sharing this with your mom, your dad, your best friend, or even your partner, who doesn’t have their feet firmly planted in your business, how can they possibly be good reflectors, or have the right sort of perspective to help you to make key important decision decisions in your business? Like, it’s huge to me how many people come to me, and when I’m sort of like, on the phone, and like digging down a little bit, you know, a lot of the time it’ll bubble up that such and such in my life doesn’t necessarily approve, or, you know, they sort of feel like they’re kind of having to push against. And I think that that’s not the right person to be asking to make decisions in your business,
Samantha Riley (11:12):
you know, and in actual fact, I have a rule in my business, that I don’t speak to my family anymore about business, because they don’t understand and they may, without, and they’re not doing it on purpose, they’re doing it from a place of caring. If I’m talking about, maybe I’m talking about money, and my family is they don’t like to have money conversations. And what happens is they’ll give me their perspectives or their opinions, and it’ll start to affect the way that I make decisions. So be really, really careful who you’re speaking with. And like I said, that you may have someone in your family that’s really good to speak to, personally, I do not speak to my family about business at all, just makes it so much easier.
Paula Brennan (11:55):
And look, we talked about this earlier. But I think that whole point of like listening into your own sense of intuition, you’re in it, you know it, and there’s usually a little bubbling murmur down there that slack, you know, that screaming at you something, it’s saying there’s a market here, there’s, there’s an idea here, there’s something that we can sort of, you know, maybe follow up down here, but a lot of the time, just the noise of your own business can get in the way right to the day to day that you do listen to everything, it doesn’t allow you the space to be able to listen in, to tune in, and to figure out what you want. So when you’re working with people, Sam, I’m really curious, how do you help people to get like, you know, clear, like, how do you help them to sort of tap into that intuition? And what sort of questions are
Samantha Riley (12:36):
we asking you? Before I even go there, I want to touch on something that you so briefly touched on. But it’s such a huge piece of this, you need to create the space. And the reason is that people don’t do this is because they may have a business that’s earning a certain amount of money. And they’re afraid to let go of that to go step over here, you talked about it in your little story, there’s got something working over here. And they don’t really have the proof over there. But it’s really important to take a step back, take time out and I’m not talking take weeks out. But maybe you want to take two afternoons a week off, and completely just, you know, put yourself in a really great place like maybe you want to take your journal to the beach, or maybe you just want to, like you know, sit out on your balcony with a cup of coffee or a cup of tea and just take some time to dream however you do that. For me, it’s a lot of journaling. I like to sort of start to work through what is it that I really want. I’ve got a friend who calls this CEO time, and that is actually withdrawing from the business. I call it dreaming time. So part of my human design is to actually dream and think about what if, and I think that’s the very first question to ask yourself, what if? What if money wasn’t an object? What if this was a thing that was going to work? What if this really lit me up? And this meant that I was going to live this life that I wanted to live? What if I could actually spend more time with my family or travel more or in sit anything that really lights you up? And just start with the what if because you don’t need to know how. But you do need to know what it is that’s in you. What is it that’s lighting up your soul?
Paula Brennan (14:15):
I can honestly speak of this from an over thinkers perfectionistic point of view. In the past, I haven’t even been able to get past the what if because I’m too busy putting the house in front of it. And it’s just one of those things that I feel like so many of us to particularly women because we just need to know the answers. You know, we need to know what the final thing is. And I think that the beauty of that of like not of just letting that be the only overarching question that what if if you can just allow yourself the space as you say, to go down that lane. For me. It’s fair, I’m a visual person. So it means like so many whiteboards, so many big pieces of brown paper around my house. And I had this beautiful coach a few years ago who said like literally give you a Sell for like three hours if you can to just literally explore because sometimes I think we only give ourselves like 1520 minutes on a task like this Yes, and you hit a limit, and you just don’t let yourself go any further down the stream, right. And it’s like, allowing yourself to really paint out that picture, I think is so important for me. And I know that for so many of the women that I work with, just giving yourself that space to be able to do that is it feels impossible, but it can be life changing,
Samantha Riley (15:30):
or it is life changing, and start to really like, understand how you work best. So I’ve discovered that road trips for me twice, I will stare out the window for 20 minutes not saying anything, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I’ll always have these really amazing thoughts. So I always take my iPad on road trips, because I start drawing things. I’m very visual as well. It doesn’t usually happen in words, it happens in models, and, and colors and all sorts of things. So if I’m in a really frustrating place, there’ll be like, you know, I’ll say to my husband, I think we need to go camping next week, not because I want to go camping, but because I want to get in the characters go because I know something needs to come out. And I need to give myself that
Paula Brennan (16:10):
space. Minus walking the dog to
Samantha Riley (16:13):
Yeah, it’s always these meditative types of things. Like for me, it’s the beach for being on a road trip. Or, and I know many of my clients say this being in the shower, because we’re taking away the pressure of coming up with the answer. And just letting it be just letting it organically come out of us.
Paula Brennan (16:32):
I love that idea, just letting it be. So we did sort of, I guess, talk and we do need to get I guess a bit more granular about how to make this sort of fit into business. Right. So. So how do you sort of then take that sort of overarching picture, I guess, and then bring it down into something that is more actionable? How do you work that when you’re working with clients?
Samantha Riley (16:57):
Yep, totally, totally. And I just want to touch on I’m always doing this just I want to touch on that how that you mentioned before and write this down? Because I want you to really, really understand this, how is the most unreasonable question you can ask yourself. So once you’ve gone into what if, then it’s about really getting granular. And this is where the strategy starts to come in. Once you know, what it is that you could want to maybe want to do, you do start to need to look at what you’ve already got within you. So the first piece, so this is the what I call the key principle. So the first piece is knowledge. So this is what it is that you put on a resume. So what are the jobs or the degrees or the trainings that you’ve currently had, because you do need to make sure that you’re still in your lane and not doing something that’s just so far out of your lane, that’s not going to work? So start to brainstorm what are all those things in in your knowledge?
Paula Brennan (17:56):
I love that you say that, because a lot of my clients tend to leave a lot of that previous experience on the table if they don’t think it’s relevant. You know, someone who’s done like a communications degree 20 years ago, who hasn’t worked in communications would easily discredit that. And I just think it’s so nice that you’re making sure that you do an inventory of all of those kind of like trainings or, you know, professional advantages that you have over someone else who might be in your space.
Samantha Riley (18:22):
Totally, because it’s something that you and I spoke about when we first spoke, so many people throw the baby out with the bathwater. And I’ll give you an example of this. So for 20 years, I ran a dance studio. And a large part of that is running events. And I’m talking events where there were 1000s and 1000s of people involved. And whilst I don’t have a degree in event management, I am able to work with, you know, front of house staff, back of house staff, all sorts of, you know, people behind the stage, you know, 500 dancers on stage. That’s a real life experience that I’ve got. So when I went into the coaching space, I was like, Well, who do I need to speak to to run events? Dirt, Sam, you’ve been doing this for 20 years. So also understanding how these, this knowledge and how these skills actually crossover? Because sometimes you
Paula Brennan (19:12):
don’t realize this cross over there. Yeah. 100%. So,
Samantha Riley (19:15):
so the knowledge is the first piece when we’ve got the next piece is experience. So what is your experience between those? And I’ve just alluded to this here, what is the experience that you’ve had, that is maybe different to other people in your industry? So maybe you are an accountant, and maybe other people in your office, were constantly coming to you and asking you about the specifics of self managed super funds. So what is that experience that you notice that people come to you for? Or maybe clients come to you for? It’s something that you’ve organically over time, or maybe curated where you’ve got this specific knowledge within a broader topic. Then we’ve got Excel Sorry, that was expertise, then we’ve, oh my goodness, I’ve completely stuffed that up.
Paula Brennan (20:04):
That’s what it was experience, expertise, expertise,
Samantha Riley (20:06):
then we’ve got experience, your experience of what what are these life experiences that you can bring to the table, because this is this is where you can start to weave in your very personal life experiences that make what you do unique. So maybe you have, you know, had a life changing health issue, you know, maybe you’ve had something and come out the other side, maybe you’ve maybe you have six children, and you’ve got a very different perspective on on how to be a parent, maybe you’ve had a divorce or a partner separation, whatever these are, all of these experiences actually change the perspective in your business. So sort of, you know, what are those life changing experiences. And then the last piece is passion. Now, I think I’ve got a little bit of a different take on passion, because I don’t necessarily think that you should go into business, specifically, because you’ve got a passion. And I’ll give you an example of this. I had a client once that wanted to rescue dogs in Bali. And she was really got, she was tearing her hair out trying to figure out how she could create this business of rescuing dogs in Bali, she’s like, I can’t understand how to make money from this. When we dived into it, we realized that that was her passion, outside of the business, and she needed to have a different business where the money was made to fund her rescuing dogs in Bali. But you still need to understand your passions, they can be used in different ways, like in that experience, where you fund your business or your job to have to find a different passion. Maybe it might be having some sort of passion that you use in your methodologies, in your branding, in your metaphors in the way that your messaging is. But just by writing it all down, you can start to see what golden threads are. And it’s like a mixing desk. So you get your knowledge and your expertise and your experience and your passions. And you know, like a mixing desk and moving the dials up and down while you’re doing the same to start seeing what’s this golden thread? And what could this business look
Paula Brennan (22:12):
like? That’s fantastic. I think that from a lot of my clients that mostly what happens in that on that passion level is that that becomes part of their brand, you know, it becomes part of the person, the way that they attract audiences to them. And also, I guess the way that you start, you know, values alliances with attracting peoples. So if you are using the dogs and donating to dogs in Bali, and helping and supporting them and keeping them alive, that people who are dog lovers are definitely going to be like so attracted, and they’re going to want to work with you more. Right? So yeah, totally. Yeah, I think that that’s where for me, I would be Yeah, cuz I can’t see that there would be a massive business potential, unfortunately, in the original sense. Exactly.
Samantha Riley (22:51):
Right. So we, and I’m sure you see this to so many people like really tearing their hair out going, I can’t figure out how to make this work. But it’s about looking at different perspectives. Paul, I would love to talk about in getting clarity on all of these things, I think it’s really important to be clear on what you don’t want. And that is as important on getting more clarity on what you do want.
Paula Brennan (23:17):
Yeah, 100% agree. I think we’ve all been through this in different stages, if you’re in business, where you’ve ended up in a position where you’re just not really enjoying your work. And you kind of get to a point where you go, how did I get myself here. And you know what, every decision that you made along the way has led you to get there. And I think if you’re in this phase of transition, if you’re in this phase of trying to go through reinvention, it’s really important for you to have a look at different aspects of particularly I guess we could start with, like your business model, right? And the things that you want to deliver, like the services that you want to provide or how you’re going to actually serve your clients, and what does that look like? How many hours? Are you working a day? All of these sorts of things? Don’t you agree?
Samantha Riley (23:57):
Totally. Let’s go back to that business model and the deliverables, let’s start to like dive into this just a little bit further. And the reason I want to is because I want the people that are watching this or listening to this, to start being able to ask themselves the questions that are really important to get clear. And so we’re talking business models and deliverables. And I think this speaks to what you were talking before Paul, or about, you know, coaches saying that there’s this way to do it. And one of this way to do it is a lot of people saying, you know, get rid of one on one and only do group coaching. That’s one of the just one of the business model deliverables that you could be thinking about. But I think that there’s room to do both. There’s many people that I speak to that actually still want to run VIP retreats one on one with people or they still want to have this one on one component where they can deep dive with the client do VIP days. So it’s about getting really clear on what it is that you do want. Then on the other side, you may be you know, as I said before, you may be a parent of six that doesn’t have very many hours in the day. Maybe you only want to do group coaching. So get really cool You’re on what it is that you don’t want. So you can get clear on what you do want to what that business model and those deliverables look like, and how you feel from that.
Paula Brennan (25:07):
I can’t tell you how many of my clients come to me and they go, Well, I want to be a speaker. So I have to write a book and I’m going to write have a create an online product. And then I’m going to be running retreats, and I go, how does that feel? If you if you started writing a book, I’ll get curious, you know, and I’ll be like, Yeah, tell me about that book that’s in you. And they’re like, I have no idea. I don’t even like writing. But I’ve been told that this is what I have to do. And I like, I go, Oh, gosh, this is gonna be a hard road for you, if you go down this path, because pulling a book out of you has to come from a place of love, a place of service, it can’t come from A to another to do that you’ve been told to do big on social media, right? It’s just, that to me just feels horrendous. And I think from the get go, you’re now creating a business doing things that you already don’t like, you’re just not clear about this, you haven’t asked the question, you’re just doing it because you think you have to.
Samantha Riley (26:01):
And let’s talk about this from an energetic perspective, if you’re creating something with the wrong intention, or because it’s not energetically aligned, it doesn’t matter how we where you are or not, it is fat, that energetically, you’re not going to attract the abundance or the kind of business or the kind of clients you want to. Because that’s just the way it works. It needs to come from that place of ease and that place of love, like you said, to be able to attract what it is that you want to attract.
Paula Brennan (26:32):
Yeah. And I think that people can feel if there’s an incongruency in there, too, because I know for I see it all the time on social media, you know, when you see like, let’s say, in someone’s marketing, you can feel it when they’ve just putting up a post because they think that they have to, and there’s no real sort of direct purpose in it. And I think it’s the same in your deliverables. If you’ve got a menu of items on your thing, and you can’t speak with true passion about any of it, I know that the audience can feel it, and that that just won’t sell. And it’s just taking up unnecessary real estate, as far as I’m concerned, on your website.
Samantha Riley (27:06):
Oh, my gosh, that’s so good. That’s so good.
Paula Brennan (27:09):
I’d much prefer to land on a website where I’ve got a very clear idea of what you do, and you don’t do, by way of the way that you’ve languished it. And so then that way, as well, as a customer, I’m really clear, I understand your boundaries, too.
Samantha Riley (27:22):
Yeah, totally on that I remember landing on your website years ago, and you had a line now I’m paraphrasing, because I can’t remember exactly how it was written. But and just to put this in perspective, I was a dancer, I was little tiny, I put on a lot of weight in a very quick amount of time, once I left dancing. And I remember landing on your website, I said, I see you, I see that you weren’t don’t want to have your picture taken until you’ve lost weight. And I was just like, Oh, Hello, Paula, you do see me you know exactly where I’m at, then that was because you really, really knew these people that you’ve worked with? Yeah, well, I
Paula Brennan (28:02):
know that I don’t want to work with models, I know that I don’t want to work with people who necessarily, it’s not that they are comfortable with being seen. But I understand my audience really well. I love working with people who are reluctant to come to a photoshoot who desperately want to be seen, but feel kind of like they don’t have, it’s not that they don’t have value, but they just don’t feel qualified to be seen. I love the fact that I can help to bring that out in them. And I’m really, really clear exactly about who it is that I’m serving. And I think that that really is something for us to discuss here. And to help people to get clear with is I know who I want to serve, and I know who I don’t want to serve. And I think that sort of comes down to asking yourself these questions and really understanding the market that you want to deliver to don’t you?
Samantha Riley (28:47):
Oh, 100% 100% I remember a mentor telling me years ago, Sam, you should work with real estate agents. And I just knew energetically is it isn’t who I wanted to work with. I’ve got nothing against real estate agents. I just knew that working with only real estate agents all day every day wasn’t going to set my soul on fire. Yeah, and I think
Paula Brennan (29:06):
that’s, that’s sort of a lot of the battle. I think a lot of people who are in this transition, or this reinvention phase can go through is that you sort of can get a little bit murky around who you want to serve, because you feel like you have to serve everybody. And we’re going to go into this I know on another discussion, but this really is you getting clear and listening in and understanding that particularly I guess if you’ve worked in corporate culture or you’ve been an employee all of your life, we are here to give you permission to say you don’t have to work with everybody. It’s totally okay for you to have some what’s the what are those guards up that you have when you are
Samantha Riley (29:43):
like the bumper rails when you go rolling?
Paula Brennan (29:46):
You can have and this is all about setting up those bumper rails in your business but particularly around the people that you let into your business or let take up space in your mind. Because we all know that if you are dealing with people who you find difficult who you don’t know saralee align with that they are going to suck up so much oxygen out of your life. And they will take, they will really, really exhaust you. I call them energy vampires. And you really want to make sure that you’re staying away from that. Because at this stage, when you’re in this transitional phase in your business, you have the opportunity to ask yourself the question, and get super clear, and make decisions that are dramatically going to affect your happiness, your success in your business, and ultimately, of course, your bottom line.
Samantha Riley (30:27):
Paula Brennan (30:28):
Yeah. This is really what it’s all about at this level, isn’t it?
Samantha Riley (30:32):
Absolutely. Let’s talk about working hours. Because I think that this is something that you need to be unapologetic about. Don’t think about what is the norm, or what society thinks is lazy, or what society thinks you should be doing? How many hours do you want to be working in your business? If it’s 50 hours a week, so what just because everyone says he shouldn’t be if you want to be, go for it, if you want to be working 10 hours in your business, but you’re worried people are gonna say you’re lazy, don’t worry, go for it. But be really clear about what you unapologetically want. And you need to be clear on this so that you’re creating a business you love, but also that you’re creating a business that works to that. And I know, Paula, you mentioned before that you’d spoke with someone that wanted to be working 10 hours a week. But you said they wanted a podcast, and they wanted to write a book, and they wanted to have all these different programs, and they wanted to run retreats. And we’re like, as if you can do that in 10 hours a week, it’s not going to happen.
Paula Brennan (31:30):
Yeah, I think it’s being realistic about what you what expectations you set for yourself, but also, I guess what you’re setting for your clients as well and what they can expect of you. So it’s interesting that you were saying, like, if you want to work 50 hours a week, I personally love working, it’s like my happy place. I love to tinker with my business. But I will never ever answer a message to a client on a weekend or outside of my business hours. Because I’m trying to manage their expectations of what they’re going to get out of me. It’s up to me if I want to sit and taller on my laptop on the weekends. But I don’t want to set up that relationship where they can you know, where they can expect for me to answer outside of hours. And so be okay with it. As Sam said, I love like I love the quiet time that comes of working out on my business in odd hours. And I’m a single mum. So I’m kind of, you know, trying to work within a nine to three weeks so I can drop at a school, pick her up after school, those are my happy times. I say no to clients about working on weekends all of the time, and feel very okay with it. Because I’ve set these boundaries for myself.
Samantha Riley (32:31):
I love that you said that I’m exactly the same. I work a lot of hours. But I learned not to message clients. You know, I think about a time that someone sent me a messenger message at 10pm one night and I missed him straight back. And I got really angry at that person. I’m like, that was so rude. Until I really thought about it. And thought well, it was probably top of mind for them. But I didn’t set the boundary. It wasn’t them. It was me by messaging back. So set your boundaries, you’ll be much more comfortable.
Paula Brennan (33:02):
Yeah, absolutely. Now, uh, we’re going to talk about maybe hiring teams, because I know if you’re in transitionary fields, stages of your business, it can be really, really awkward to think about bringing in people to help you. But you know, you were telling me before about this client of yours that’s, you know, surfing towards a million dollar year in a business. And she wanted to try and go it alone. Yeah, totally.
Samantha Riley (33:23):
This particular client had had multiple businesses prior. And always the friction point for her was having team now in her mind team were full time employees in her business. So when I said we need to talk about team she bought at me, and I knew she was going to say I was ready for it. She was like, No, no way, not ever not going to happen. And I said, You do understand that team aren’t necessarily full time employees. She kind of looked at me like, Hmm, I don’t get it. So there are many ways that you can look at teams. So they can be full time. They could be part time. They could be contractors, they could be people that you bring in on a project base, they can be you know, onshore, they can be virtual or offshore. They can even I want you to think about teamers, who are the people that you need around you like mentors, coaches, accountants, attorneys, or lawyers? They’re all of the people that you need to bring in to be able to grow and scale your business. Well, I was gonna say as quickly as possible, but I guess, and in whatever capacity you want it to be, but it’s not going to happen alone.
Paula Brennan (34:34):
No, and you and I are very lucky in both of our businesses. One of the things I love about what I do is I get to become part of people’s marketing team. And you’re part of they’re all of the team right with what you do. Yeah. And I have to say, like, as part being on that outside part, and you know, I might only get a phone call from someone once every two years, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to see them grow in their business. And I think a lot of the time when you hire Hiring people, you have that feeling that there needs to be some sort of long term commitment, or there needs to be some sort of consistency. And it depending on the the person who you’re outsourcing to, it doesn’t have to be, it’s totally okay to have people around you, that you just bring in as you need them. And as I say, they’re going to be grateful to you, I you’re giving them work, you know, but also you’re returning to them, and you consider their services reliable, consistent, you know, affecting, so you’re going to be hiring them again. So I think that there’s like, like, I love that you’ve knocked out on their head, about sort of the blocks that you might have around bringing in people in your business, because you just need to bring them in as you need them. And as you said, it’s as your business grows, I’ve had sort of times in my life where I’ve had more on my team than I have got right now. And there’s different seasons for your business. So you don’t need to think that it all has to happen overnight.
Samantha Riley (35:50):
And it doesn’t happen overnight. That’s such a limiting belief, like things happen over, you know, over weeks, or months or years. But also take away that perception that everyone wants to be employed in a long term, phase, or they want that security. Because there’s many people out there that love doing projects, they love coming in creating a quick win and just leaving going I’m done. So you know, always think there’s different people with different knowledge and experience and outcomes that they can bring, that will come in and out. Definitely. And I’m
Paula Brennan (36:24):
also just going to speak to one thing is that just because you can do something in your business doesn’t mean you should.
Samantha Riley (36:31):
Oh, thank you for mentioning that.
Paula Brennan (36:33):
I am notorious for like tinkering with things way beyond what I should do. And I’ve learned the hard way that you shouldn’t be doing anything in your business that you can outsource for $25 An hour or less. So you sitting there and like, you know, being neurotic over the font on a particular page of your website, that’s not the best use of your time, particularly when you’re in this transitionary period, if you do have the funds to be able to outsource and get help to do things within your transitionary stages, I highly recommend you do that. Because there’s lots of bigger thinking projects that you need to be putting your attention on, rather than fussing and being neurotic about the small details.
Samantha Riley (37:13):
Yeah, that is a perfect form of procrastination. It’s not going to help you grow your business. And like you poor life transition many times or even I call it refinement. Back, I think it was around 2015, I launched a new group program. I had the the idea I can remember it so distinctly and had a dream. Now I got up in the morning, had a cup of coffee, and went let’s explore that. And I grabbed a piece of paper. And by about 7:30am, I’d come up with this new group program. For me it was the first thought was how can you know how do I know if this has got legs? Easy take it to market? I was like, Alright, who do I need to get on the phone to Who do I need to message. So I spent that entire day messaging people. By five o’clock in the afternoon, I had 10 clients in this group program. I was like, bonus, this is great. This has legs now what needs to happen next, the very next thing I did was hire some contractors so that I could work with those clients and start to unpack my IP and create the deliverables which at that point I could do, I did not want to be, as you said fussing over finance putting a membership site together, putting together a new, you know, web page on my website. So I actually hired someone that same day, as soon as I had 10 new clients. Yeah, that’s
Paula Brennan (38:26):
incredible. And I think the thing here is that sometimes you need to have somebody else in this phase to help you to see clearly where you should be putting your attention, right? Yeah, because I know so many times, I’ve gotten caught in the weeds, and I just don’t have the right guide to be able to sort of help me to figure out where my attention should be. Because I’m so busy in the creation of it in my head, that I want to be part of the creation of it in action as well. And I know that that’s not the best place for me to be in the doing.
Samantha Riley (38:57):
Yeah, totally, totally, totally under percent. And then we’re talking about getting clear on what you do want and what you don’t want. Let’s talk to the elephant in the room that a lot of people are afraid to talk about. And that’s money, how much do you want to be earning from your business, and again, be unapologetic about it. If you want a million dollar business, then just own that, that you want a million dollar business, if you want 250k in your business a year be okay, like be unapologetic about that. But be really clear on what you want your life to look like because your income needs to be able to support that life.
Paula Brennan (39:31):
That’s what I wanted to speak to because I think that a lot of the time, when I’m working with my students, a lot of them, they just puking numbers out of the sky and they’re not actually attaching the numbers to any kind of real life or changing things. And so it makes the numbers just like, you know, they’re out there. They’re there as this kind of illusion but I don’t believe that they really believe that they can actually happen either. So I think to a certain extent, it’s important to just submit the numbers in what it actually He means in terms of how it’s going to change your life.
Samantha Riley (40:03):
Totally. If you want to be traveling overseas four times a year, and you want 10 rental properties, then there, that’s great. But you’re not going to do it on 100k a year.
Paula Brennan (40:14):
And what does that look like? Yeah, you
Samantha Riley (40:16):
need to be really, really clear. So get clear on what it is you don’t want and what it is you do want. So you can start to reverse engineer what this business looks like.
Paula Brennan (40:24):
Yeah, I think also, too, when we’re talking about income, it’s important to make sure that your goals are aligned with what you want, because a lot of the online world at the moment is smashing that seven figures is the goal. And then when you get to seven figures, it’s all about getting eight figures. And I know that I myself sort of chased after that for a while and kind of fell into that bro marketing trap, where it’s all about the numbers. And then I started to look at the income and I was like, How many people do I want to serve? And how can I do this in a way, again, that’s aligned with all of the other aspects of my life, to then bring the number to a realistic level, that’s going to make me happy. But it doesn’t need to make anybody else happy. Yes. Really important. Yes.
Samantha Riley (41:04):
Oh, my goodness, if you’ve just listened or watched that, just rewind that three times and listen to it, because that is a massive value bomb, and it’ll completely change your life. It is that simple. It’ll change your life. Thank you for sharing that.
Paula Brennan (41:21):
I just wanted to make sure that that gets out there, because I think I have been Yeah, followed so many other people’s goals for their business, and forgotten to just look inwards. And that’s what we’re talking about today. Isn’t it? Really, it’s this part is all about looking inwards, and making sure that you are drumming to your own beat? Yes, yes, absolutely beating to your own drum.
Samantha Riley (41:43):
Absolutely. So the last thing I think that you need to think about when you’re getting clear about your business, and also, you know, what it is that you don’t want is how do you want to be perceived. And I think that this is a big thing that you and I spoke a lot about when we were fleshing out this episode. This is one of the largest pieces. And it’s also something that a lot of people don’t think about, like how do you want to be perceived. Because most people or a lot of people get afraid of making this transition, because they don’t want to be perceived as a failure. Or they don’t want other people to think that they’ve got something wrong or that they’ve failed, or you know that they’re being judged by other people around them, either you know, where they’re currently working, or in their business, on social media, all of those things. But here’s the thing, you are going to be judged anyway. So just understand that and move on. Because these people that are going to judge like so what really, at the end of the day, they don’t matter to your story. And I can say that this is something that I definitely let get in the way for a while. Because I’ve got these, as we mentioned at the beginning, I’ve got these two sides, I’ve got this woowoo side where I talk about my clients, their human design, and I talk about energy, like in our group call each week, we do an energy forecast, and I talk about, you know what planets are in alignment, and what they’re going to be feeling and experiencing. So I’ve got this woowoo side. But I’ve also got this really like deep strategy side, where you know, things have to be done in order or that’s not going to work, we need to bring in this tool. And I bring these two parts together. But for so many years, I didn’t talk about energy, or I didn’t talk about all of the spiritual practices that I’ve used personally, to be successful in business. Because I didn’t want people to think I was flaky. I didn’t want people to think I was no good at the strategy. So I kept it hidden, even though it was a major part of why I was successful. And it wasn’t until probably about three years ago that I went, you know what, I don’t care anymore. This is what makes me successful. And I leaned into that, because I was afraid I’m going to lose some of those clients, because they’re going to think, What is she talking about? But you know what happened? Those clients were like, Oh, my God, that’s incredible. Tell me more. I started to attract more clients that were interested to hear about my energy forecast on my group coaching calls, and how that worked in with their business and why they were feeling that way or why they were procrastinating or when is the best time to you know, lean into doing certain things in their business. So I was holding myself back because of what I perceived other people would be saying about me. And what actually happened was by leaning into who I authentically was, I was able to attract my Bollinger clients to me, and I talk about this in my clients. We’ve got Bollinger clients or champagne clients, the ones we love to work with. And then we’ve got beer clients there, okay, we don’t mind a beer every now and again, but we we don’t want to be surrounded by them all the time. So you need to be really authentic and true to yourself and how you want to be perceived.
Paula Brennan (45:00):
I love that you’re sharing this because 99% of the women who come to me to have a photoshoot are afraid of what they look like or getting it wrong, as you said, like being seen all of those sorts of things. But it’s incredible to me, I’ve got, I can literally say, I’ve probably got about 30 or 40 clients that have had this exact same sort of transition. And when I’m interviewing them, I say to them, oh, my gosh, we need to bring that out, you know, and they go, Oh, no, I’m not sure if I want to share that. And we’ll take one photo of that aspect of their life. And then when they come back to have another photo shoot, 95% of their photos are on that, you know, sharing all of that, because they recognize that that’s the stuff that people are really interested in, and really want to see of them. So we get rid of the jackets, and the shoulder pads and the stiff suits and all of that kind of thing and outcome the you know, the Camilla captains and the sort of the more flow ish. Yeah, yeah. And it’s amazing that that’s what people want to see they want, they want something different, they’re not looking for what everybody else is offering. So I love that you share that.
Samantha Riley (45:57):
And I’m sure that you would see as well. It’s not just because of how they look or how they’re perceived. But there’s that sparkle in their eye, there’s that energy that you just, it comes through the camera, it comes through the screen, because they’re being who they really are.
Paula Brennan (46:13):
That’s the thing, there’s that whole element of, of I think it’s about letting go as well and being okay to be you. And I think that’s, you know, it has come as well, I have to say a lot from people who have made the move from maybe like a more corporate environment where they sort of have felt and let’s face it, when we were younger, we were all taught that you had to write in a certain way. So it’s been very hard for us to learn how to underwrite in essay form, when we’re writing our social media posts and things like that. They were taught that they had to present in a certain way, and you had to wait to your speak to your spoken to. And so I think for a lot of us, women, maybe of a certain demographic, we’re taught to sort of it’s not play small, but it’s play by the rules. I think when you start to learn to play by your own rules, when you let go of those kind of, you know, anything that’s holding you back, that’s when you start to really find success in yourself and in your business. And you’re starting to attract people, as you said, rather than repel people, and you’re not going to be for everybody. And that’s totally okay to when I’ve transitioned from doing weddings to doing portraits and working solely with women. Yes, my email list, it went down by a slight bit. But it was very funny for me that a lot of the people on my email list, were really, really the ones that were going to be my clients for life. They were like, Oh, my God, we’re so happy to see what you’re up to. And we’re so excited for you. And they’re still my cheerleader, when I did their wedding 15 years later, do you know, it’s the thing is the people will come with you who are meant to come with you, and people will drop off. And that’s totally fine. It’s okay to change direction. It’s okay to make a change and make a change that feels more congruent for you. People will come with you if they want to. And some people won’t. And that’s totally fine. You could say thank you see you later, we’d love.
Samantha Riley (48:03):
Absolutely. So if you’re listening, or you’re watching, and we’ve spurred or started this little fire within you, then awesome, because that’s what we’re wanting to do here. We want you to really go within and feel that soul starting to, you know, to light up and start getting that excitement in your body, you know, the tingles, that feeling in your gut of Yes, I can do this, I want to do this. So you’re we’ve talked a lot today about reinvention transition. This is just the first episode in this three part series. And Paula, what are we going to be talking about next episode.
Paula Brennan (48:38):
Next episode, we are going into both of our Happy Places, we’re going to be digging deep into your niche market, we’re going to be talking about how you can position yourself to really make sure that you’re standing out in the marketplace. And then we’re going to go into the messaging. So this is the language that you can use during this transitionary period and going forward so that you can make sure that you are bringing in the right kind of people that are going to light you up as Sam said,
Samantha Riley (49:03):
Totally. Thanks so much for listening, and we look forward to seeing you in the next episode.
Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Influence By Design podcast. If you want more head over to influencebydesignpodcast.com for the show notes and links to today’s gifts and sponsors. And if you’re looking to connect with other experts who are growing and scaling their business to join us in the coaches, thought leaders, and changemakers community on Facebook, the links are waiting for you over at influencebydesignpodcast.com
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