jeff felten imperfectly empowered podcast with ahna fulmer

Building A Business To Live Instead Of To Work

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Constantly feeling drained by your job?  In this episode, marketing expert and serial entrepreneur, Jeff Felten, discusses the practical and motivational difference between working to live versus living to work, and how building a business to live instead of to work is possible no matter what your dream is.  

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  • The difference between Passion and Purpose in entrepreneurship 
  • Jeff’s life lessons from playing baseball
  • The ultimate secret to achieving success in life and business
  • How to power through a midlife Crisis
  • Tips to fire you up for success
Constantly feeling drained by your job?  In this episode, marketing expert and serial entrepreneur, Jeff Felten, discusses the practical and motivational difference between working to live versus living to work, and how building a business to live instead of to work is possible no matter what your dream is.


Jeff has helped dozens of business owners build a solid marketing foundation – from local businesses and startups to nationally and internationally recognized names. He is a personal brand strategist with the Brand Builders Group and is passionate about helping others to build and monetize their personal brands.

Constantly feeling drained by your job? In this episode, marketing expert and serial entrepreneur, Jeff Felten, discusses the practical and motivational difference between working to live versus living to work, and how building a business to live instead of to work is possible no matter what your dream is.


Ahna Fulmer Signature

I try to be really intentional with just making sure I don’t lose sight of the things that I really enjoyed, that I’m doing this for. And I chose the work that I do, partly because it gives me that flexibility. If I was going to work for some corporate company, I wouldn’t have this luxury come to the M perfectly empowered podcast with leading DIY lifestyle blogger on a.
We’re women are inspired with authentic stories and practical strategies to reclaim their hearts and homes by empowering transformation. One imperfect day at a time. Welcome back to the imperfectly empowered podcast. I am your host on a filmer and today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Jeff.
Felton. Jeff is an independent marketing strategist and personal brand coach. He is passionate about helping business owners step fully into their purpose and do more of what they love. He has started three successful businesses since 2012, including a coffee shop, an e-commerce brand and a marketing agency.
He has helped dozens of business owners build a solid marketing foundation from local businesses and startups to national. And even internationally recognized names. He’s a personal brand strategist with the brand builders group and is passionate about helping others to build and monetize their personal brands without further ado.
Welcome marketing guru and my own personal brand strategist, Jeff. Hey Ana. Hey, how’s it going? Welcome. Sorry. I’m doing it on my smartphone because I figured the camera’s better and I can do the phones. I can’t do it. The headphones on my computers. There’s no Jack. So yeah, no, that has been a whole experience.
I figuring out how to use the fact is our cameras have better video capabilities than even like these Logitech webcams. It’s hard to figure out what’d you do to your face? I actually cut it this morning. Cutting a bagel with the Serena.
Yeah, well, hopefully it’s not arresting night either. Well, we desperately need new knives anyway. Oh my gosh. We need to put it on our Christmas list. Really bad. You actually more likely it does. You’re more likely to slice yourself with a rusty knife than you are. Uh, or with an old knife. My mother-in-law has, well, she just got new knives, but forever she was using these just like hodgepodge set of Dole knives.
And so she’s. I’m trying really hard. And we were like, share it that that’s going to end up badly. Like you need a new seminar. Well, what’s hilarious is working in the ER, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten the story that, well, I just bought a brand new knife set and you forget how doll your knives actually are until you buy a new set and then you just slice right through whatever you’re cutting right into your finger.
But they’re usually really clean cuts because they’re so. Right. I’m like, that’s going to be us. We’re basically going to chop off a finger because our knives are so bad. Yeah. This one, I was holding the bagel in my hand. So it was kind of user error. Just a poor life decision. Yeah. That sounds very familiar.
Made one or two of those. Well, Jeff, you and I met for the first time. What was it? Two months ago now? I think you’ve been my brand strategist for what, two months now? There’s three meetings. Yeah. Time flies when you’re having fun. You, um, I initially started with another brand strategist. So for those of you watching and listening, Jeff and I are both with the brand builders group, which is a company to help build and monetize personal brands.
And one of the incredible things about this program is that they have. Experts in their fields and they hire them as brand strategists to help partner with those of us who have no idea what we’re doing. That would be me. And you get these one-on-one coaching calls. And I was with Elizabeth Stevens.
Who’s also coming onto the podcast. She’s got an incredible story. They have her on. She has amazing. And so I was with her for maybe like six or seven months, and then she took a different position. And then you became my brand strategist and we bonded instantly because one of the things that you’re frequently asked when you’re working in this entrepreneur world is people want to know what your goals are.
It’s a very Frank conversation, like tell me your income goals. What are your influence goals? Where do you want to go with your business? And I shared mine with Jeff and he’s like, yes, me too. Because ours are a little unique. We’re not looking to endlessly scale our businesses. So it tells me a little bit about.
Your approach to your goals and your business and how we bonded there, because we are similar in that regard. Yeah. Work has always been, I guess, a means to an end for me. It’s not really, I mean, I like what I do. I enjoy it, but I’m not passionate about work. That’s not in me. So for me, it’s always been important to.
Just to clarify this as the man who started up three businesses, let’s not let anybody get confused here. This man is a hard worker, but your end goal is not work. Yeah. And I figured I have to do something to pass the time. So I might as well do something. I enjoy that. Doesn’t always feel like work, but really like I enjoy being away from work.
I enjoy hiking and traveling and golfing and eating. Cool new restaurants. I really enjoy those things. And those things are the reason that I work. And so I try not to lose sight of that, especially when you’re building your own brand. It’s really easy to get caught up in the hustle culture and the work work work.
And I try to be really intentional with, you know, just making sure I don’t lose sight of the things that I really enjoy that I’m doing. But yeah, and I chose the work that I do, partly because it gives me that flexibility. If I was going to work for some corporate company, I wouldn’t have this luxury. So, and your earlier years, did you see this in your future?
Were you always the entrepreneur type that you wanted to create things from the ground up? Or was that something looking back on you’re like, yeah, this has always been me or was that developed over years? I think it was developed to experience. I think it was there. I just didn’t know it. So I, baseball was my life until I was 22.
And I really didn’t have a plan other than that. But I knew when I graduated college immediately that going to work for some big company and climbing the corporate ladder, it, wasn’t not saying I had an interview with enterprise Rent-A-Car who has a great entry-level management position, and you can climb the ladder really quickly there and make good money.
And I absolutely tanked my second interview there because I just realized in that interview that this is not what I want to do. I don’t want to do this. And I didn’t know that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t know that I wanted to start businesses. And honestly, the reason I say that I start businesses often is because I can’t find something around me that I want to do.
So I’ll just start my own. And I started a coffee company because we didn’t have a coffee roaster in our town. That was really good. And so, okay. Well I want to do that, but there’s nobody here doing it, so I’ll just stay. Is it something that you feel like you’ve always, you were kind of nurtured to be an entrepreneur?
Or was it something that you’ve just kind of always wanted to do? You’ve always been. Well, and interestingly, both of my parents are entrepreneurs and I didn’t really. Yeah. And I didn’t really catch that until a few years ago. My dad and mom both worked for the same construction company growing up in Columbia, South Carolina.
So it was like an hour away and they both did that all the way through when we were in high school. And when we left high school, my dad left the construction company and started his own renovation slash. Building business. So he actually started flipping houses themselves and got his builder’s license and started building houses.
My mom left the work scene and started a, what do you call it? It’s a boutique children’s clothing business. So she, and she’s really stinking good at it. She’s really good. And she’s built this following people who, anytime she shares something on Instagram, people just beat down the door to buy it. But so they both have that entrepreneurial thing about that.
And I don’t necessarily know if I inherited that from them, but it is interesting to go back and look and say, well, both of my parents did something like this, so maybe it is kind of in my DNA. Yeah. Or that you at least saw that growing up, that idea you’ve mentioned the concept of, instead of trying to fit yourself into what already exists, trying to create what doesn’t exist, like coffee, who doesn’t have like an essential, I can’t even imagine moving to a town that doesn’t have.
Coffee shop, but I think that is an incredible example of why the entrepreneur world is so exciting because you’re ultimately creating what isn’t there. You’re filling a need. Right. If you don’t do it, maybe someone else will maybe they won’t. So I love that concept. If you’re miserable in what you’re currently doing, maybe you need to look around and say, how can I fill a need that exists?
What I find fascinating right now is that like, if you look at the landscape, like there’s so many new unique companies that 20 years ago, nobody could have even imagined would exist. And so the potential has never been better. If you have an idea, Um, go out and do something about it. Or if you see a hole, any kind of hole in the market, it’s so easy to go out.
I shouldn’t say easy, but it’s easier than ever to go out and fill that hole. And so there’s less barriers for sure. If there’s more resources than ever. Yeah. And there are just so many different kinds of things that you can do now where 20 years ago, I don’t know the numbers, but I’d be interested to see how many jobs exists now that didn’t exist 20 years ago.
Oh my gosh. I mean, the internet alone has created, oh, my word, thousands and thousands, I would think. Yeah, it’s a great point. And even just a possibility to do maybe a kind of work that existed, but the ability to do it somewhere else now. So like for example, my wife has. And she’s done litigation. And she spent, I think, a few years in litigation, but before she actually moved into litigation, we were trying to figure out for her.
She was trying to figure out what exactly do I want to do these days? You don’t have to just go become a lawyer at a litigation firm. Like there are so many things you can do with a law degree. There are so many different needs for somebody. With the skillset of an attorney. And so I find it fascinating that there are just so many different things that you can do.
If you’re willing to think outside the box just a little bit, you can find something or create something really, really interesting. How have you you’ve started up three different businesses and the concept that you’re communicating, where you’re willing to think outside the box. I think one of the greatest challenges to that is there.
So. Little control. And we like something that is safe. We like as part of that, nine to five job sort of experience you clock in you clock out it’s safe, but you mean, you may be underpaid. You may be undervalued. You don’t set your own hours. And I think there’s a lot of people in that position who the scariest thing to them is they’re now out of control.
Well, how do I know how much money I’m going to make? What if I can’t? What if, what if, what if, as somebody who has started at three businesses, how did you move past. What if point and become willing to embrace that lack of control and take ownership of it? How do you move past that mindset? Yeah. I mean, I don’t know that you ever really moved past the, what if point?
I think there’s always some sort of risk and truth be told there’s actually a risk in the nine to five. We just don’t really like to point it out that the company could go under and you could lose your job like that. And so I think there’s always some sort of. I wonder if we just kind of have it innately inside of us that the risk is worth to pay off.
Maybe again, going back to my wife, we’ve every now and then she’ll throw out an idea of, oh, I should do such and such. And I’m like, oh my gosh, I’ll help you build a business about it. We can do this and this. And she’s just like, no, like absolutely not. She loves interior design. That’s one of the things that she used to really enjoy and she likes.
Magazines and helping people think through their rooms and stuff like that. And I’ve even suggested like, well, you should one day, turn that into a little side hustle or a little business or something. She’s like, absolutely not. She just does not have that bone in her body. No, it’s good that we’re married to people like that because those of us who were like, oh, absolutely, we can do this, this, this, and this.
And we don’t have that sense of, uh, my husband laughs at this all the time, my internal. Mode of operation is not, can I do it? It’s how can I do it? I don’t immediately look at something and think I can’t do that. I inherently look at it and think, Hmm, how can I do that? Even though there is no stinking way that is going to happen, I will try to make it.
Yeah, kind of test you. So it’s going to be married to the people who are like, that’s not happening because we need to be brought down sometimes. Yeah. I don’t even know if I have that in my body. I think for me, it’s a little bit more of like, I don’t want to do that. So what do I need to do to not do.
Yeah, well then you’re smarter than me is really what we’re getting at here. That’s my internal, like honest get real. That’s not happening. Yeah. We cannot install crown molding without a Microsoft. Yes, we can. We did, actually, we did. I will say we had no idea what we were doing. We use day tables around handsaw to install crown molding and our very first fixer-upper who does that?
We did. Did it take you longer? Forever. You don’t install crown molding with a, just the round like table saw hands-on you need a Microsoft for the angles. And I was determined and bless my husband’s heart. He made it happen and I used a lot of caulk,
but the point being. We need everyone. We need everyone. We need the realistic people. We need to, people like you who are super intentional and strategic. You assess the whole scenario. First. I want to go back to, you had mentioned baseball. We love the world of sports over here. So I always like to latch on to those conversations because I think there’s so much to learn in the athletic world.
That goes way beyond the field or the court or wherever, how. Did a sport or baseball, you said that was such a huge part of your life. How did that experience mold you into where you are today? What did you take away from your experience in baseball that has helped you? Hmm, interesting question. I think that’s a risk of sound.
A little cliche. I think that it taught me perseverance more than anything because I was a good baseball player in high school. And I didn’t really have to work too hard. I did work hard. I worked harder than a lot of my teammates, but I was pretty good. And I kind of had a little chip on my shoulder and I went to a small high school in a small town.
And so the world’s really small there. So when I got to college and started playing in college, I realized really quickly. I’m not as good as I think I am and that everybody here is better than me as good or better. And so I had to step it up and work harder. And I mean, ultimately it didn’t really pay off the way I wanted to.
I didn’t really play a whole lot in college. Didn’t get as many opportunities as I wanted. But the one thing about playing, especially like a college sport, is that when you’re doing training or when you’re in practices or when you’re slumping, you can’t. You have to, you know, when you’re doing morning runs at 6:00 AM and your legs are exhausted and you feel like throwing up, you can’t stop.
You have to dig deeper and find a little extra to keep going, because otherwise you’re probably going to be sitting the bench or running extra tomorrow because you didn’t run today. And so I think I just learned. That there’s always a little bit more than you think in the tank and to keep going. I told you I wasn’t very good in college.
I sat at the bench a lot. I tell people that I played the bench. That was my possession, but I wanted to be better. I wanted to play and you can’t just kind of roll over and say, oh, this is the way things are like, you have. Find ways to get better. You have to go to the cage and hit some extras. You have to text more fly balls, you got to do what you can to try to get better.
And so I think that that’s probably the biggest life lesson that I learned from my years in baseball was just that you always have a little bit more in tank and just keep going, just keep trying. And maybe I always say that the most important while I was taught this the most important determining factor, a small business that succeeds or fails is perseverance.
And so maybe that’s why. Um, able to keep going is because when things get difficult and they do with the business, I think that I’m probably a little bit more able than some to. Just kind of find a way to keep going and keep taking. So, yeah. Well, I think there’s so much to pull out of those analogies, whether it be a sports or business, the concepts that you’re conveying, I think are applicable to so many areas of our life.
It’s this idea that even if you are on the bench, that does not inherently mean that the hard work that you’re putting in is not paying off. Sometimes we have this idea of what success looks like or what results look like when sometimes. The greatest results that we’re seeing are not external. It’s internal, it’s that sense of building resilience?
And like you said, perseverance, because at the end of the day, I do think success really happens. And the results come when you are willing to show up and you put in the hard work, even when you can’t see. The results and sports are a great analogy, but also they end, right? Like nobody plays sports for their entire life, but the concepts that are there are applicable to so many other areas of our life that are lifelong lessons.
And I love the word perseverance. I think it’s key to so much. Well, yeah. And that’s an interesting analogy that you kind of connected there. I think another part of that is when we don’t see the results as quickly as we expect, because that’s something that I’ve run into personally. And that I see a lot with my clients, especially when people are investing money with me and marketing, to work with me, you know, they want to start seeing results right away.
But, and especially even in brand builders, when we do a lot of our work, a lot of my clients are expecting to start making money, hand over fist right away when you’re starting from scratch. The truth is like, it just takes like, this stuff just takes time. Like you didn’t build your business overnight. It didn’t happen overnight.
It’s taken. A couple of years, a few years of just showing up consistently and that’s especially true. And in the work that I do and brand strategy and marketing, email marketing, like you have to consistently just keep showing up SEO for goodness sakes. Like SEO is not an overnight thing. You have to consistently work at it for six months before you see anything really.
Yeah. That’s another, especially in this kind of, I guess the microwave culture that we live in, like, we want things to happen quickly at the fast and it just, especially when you’re building your own business, it just doesn’t work like that. Yeah. I think it, everything in life, it does not work like that.
The concept that I’ve said before that, I don’t think there’s no such thing as overnight success. There’s only overnight sensations. Okay. The fact is there’s people who are overnight sensations, but then they have not been putting in the work to be able to sustain success. The people who truly are successful are the ones who, even if they’re an overnight sensation, they have been putting in the work for years to establish this foundation that they.
Can then live out on. So it is that idea of, it seems sometimes like somebody is just this overnight success results have happened quickly, but in reality, they have probably been putting in the work day after day for sometimes many years. And I think that goes for just about anything in life, whether it be relationships or jobs, success, or sports music, I just think it goes on and on.
That concept of perseverance. I love that the key to achieving success in your words is perseverance. I think so. Yeah. Yeah. I mean a lot of businesses I think give up really early because something hard happens and to be fair, like a lot of businesses, like sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it.
Right. But I think the ones that find a way. To keep going when it gets tough, especially COVID one of my best friends back in South Carolina has been planning to launch a restaurant to open a restaurant for past two plus years now. And since I think like 2018, he started working on this thing and he went through a bunch of delays with the contractors and all of a sudden it was just a mess for like two years while he finally got the green light to open in April, 2018.
So like a month after COVID really hit us. And so in his mind, he was like, really, like, after all this, I have to open in the middle of a global pandemic. And I mean, for a year, he’s just been just finding ways to robbing Peter, to pay Paul and finding ways just to get people in the door and keep things going.
And I think that that’s the kind of stuff that for his business, especially like it’s going to pay off in the long run, just because he’s had to find ways to. Just make it. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, I think it’s, he could have easily folded. He could have folded in April and said 2020 and said, man, it’s just too hard right now.
Like nobody’s going to come to a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic. We’ll do this some other time. So yeah, I think perseverance is absolutely crucial. Yeah. You just take it one day at a time persevere one day at a time. Yeah. So. Those of you who are familiar with my Jeff was the one who really together, we came up with this idea for a digital magazine, which is now the imperfectly empowered journal, but from a magazine standpoint, what’s funny.
Here’s one of my funny mistakes is I submitted this last Christmas to try to get my home featured in several magazines. What you do is you go from page the inside and you find the publisher. There’s usually an email to be able to submit your home to, or your pitch or whatever, for anyone who wants to get featured in a magazine.
Well, the one magazine that I submitted to, I saw that the email And I thought, oh, her name must be Meredith. That must be the person who is the head of this company or the chief editor or whatever. Well, for anyone who is not familiar with magazines, Meredith is a massive publishing company.
It’s like this huge owner of multiple different magazines. So I literally address my pitch to dear Meredith. When in reality I was actually, that was like the massive, so. One of those things where you just laugh at yourself and if you’re going to start up a business, as I’m sure you have seen, you have to be willing to laugh at the stupid things that you do roll with it.
Hope you’ve made somebody else’s day by your, in stupidity and oh yeah. They’re going to happen. Yeah. Yeah. And I’m sure, I’m sure I have a dozen stories like dear Meredith. I’m sure I do. Oh, dear Meredith. Okay. That’s the new title for that story? Dear Meredith. Oh my gosh. I’m probably made somebody laugh that day.
Sure. Hey, that’s good. That’s good. It’s the only way you get through life. You have to laugh at it. So stay tuned. We’re going to come back after this short break with Jeff, we’re going to play a fun round of this. And we’re going to hear his tips to overcome a midlife crisis or in his case, a quarter-life crisis.
And talk a little bit about what you can do to feel more fulfilled in your work right after this break, save time, get practical inspiration delivered to your inbox. Every month with exclusive access to the premier digital women’s health and home magazine for just 1499 a month, you will get delicious and nutritious recipes, essential cleaning and organization hacks must have product recommendations, helpful fashion ideas, practical DIY tutorials, creative fun for kids.
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All right, we are back here with Jeff Felton. We’re going to play a round of this or that you have two options. Don’t think about these answers too hard. First one ice cream cone or. Oh, my gosh. Oh, I got him on the first one. First question. Well, I love both. I mean, ice cream, we literally drove to get ice cream last night and it’s 45 degrees here.
I mean, my, yeah. There’s people who, this is a serious dilemma here. I would have to say ice cream. It used to be milkshake, but no cakes do things to me now that they used to not. So milkshakes are also less forgiving. I feel like ice cream, generally speaking is good, no matter what brand, but milkshakes can be really, really iffy burger or hot dog coffee with creamer or black country or pop music.
Was that like a Hmm. And, or a new. You were hesitant? Well, I liked some country like Sturgill Simpson, and I don’t like modern, I guess I don’t like mainstream country, but like I like some of the nineties countries really good. Sturge feels really good. There’s a couple of like Tyler Childers, I think is considered country.
I like him or Childers, but then pop man. I think pops just good. Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, there for me, that’s an ant. I love all the above Kindle or old fashioned. Personal yacht or private jet jet in an airplane or in your private jet crying baby or adult who doesn’t stop talking. We’re speaking enough, crying babies.
When is your crime baby coming? January 1st. Oh, that’s so exciting. Just wait,
wait. They’re worth it though. There’s cute. At least crying. Babies are cute. Where the adult who doesn’t stop talking it’s LA LA or New York neither. Ooh. Okay then let me follow up London or Paris terrace, water skiing, or scuba dive. Scuba diving. I’ve never been, but yeah, it’s kind of like an above the water under the water type of a question.
Yeah. Okay. At a movie candy or popcorn. Oh, what people have, I’m telling you movie goers. It’s funny. I feel like they know exactly which candy too. That’s what they get when they go to the moon. Yeah, my wife is a popcorn person. And when we go to the movies, it’s popcorn and if they have it a little sleeve of caramel popcorn to mix in, and she makes us that with the sweet and salty.
Oh yeah. That’s. I like that. Sweet and salty popcorn combo. We usually just do pop the popcorn combo together. I don’t get candy because it’s like 20 bucks to get a bag of candy. So you’ve got to like mortgage your house. Second time to buy something at the movie theater. Right. For real. Okay. So you mentioned that you’ve had what you would call like quarter-life crisis.
And I love this idea because I think especially with COVID, there is more of this quarter-life crisis. I think I’m a great example. Definitely had a quarter-life crisis. I was working in the emergency department. I just was not feeling fulfilled like I had at one time and I wanted to branch out. I mean, that was definitely a quarter-life crisis.
And I think more and more people are experiencing that than ever for a whole host of reasons. Tell us a little bit about your quarter-life crisis and what brought that about. Yeah. So I mentioned earlier that for 22 years of my life, baseball was my life and. Foolish me. I never really can stop to consider what else, like what I could do other than baseball.
I just thought that baseball was going to be it. So whenever baseball ended, I didn’t really have any sort of a backup plan, as I say, and didn’t really know what else I enjoyed. I think that’s the big thing. I didn’t know what I enjoyed what I wanted to do. And so I ended up out of college helping to start a coffee shop.
That’s one of the businesses that I helped. I was not the owner of it, but I was kind of there from ground zero and helping kind of manage the place. And it was incredible. It was a ride of a lifetime. It taught me a lot about running a business. And I think probably sparked that entrepreneur spirit that I have.
But at the end of the day, it wasn’t what I really want to do for me. It was exhausting to be behind the counter for 40 hours, working with people with customers, 40 hours a week of. I was not just not cut out for that. So I was doing that and I was starting to get unhappy with it, starting to just feel really, really burnt out and exhausted.
I mean, I would literally come home and like cry because I didn’t want to do it anymore, but I didn’t know what else to do my buddy. And I ended up starting a roasting company to roast coffee, and that was a lot of fun, but it was really a side hustle. I mean, it didn’t really, it wasn’t anything to really pay the bills.
We lived in a small town, so we just didn’t really have the opportunity. To easily grow into something that would be a sustainable revenue source for parts. So it was a side hustle. I knew I enjoyed it, but I knew it wasn’t going to be something that was really long-term for me. So I was at this point where I had this little side household that I was doing and it was fun, but it wasn’t paying the bills.
And then I had this coffee company that was my day job at the coffee shop. That was my. That was just absolutely exhausting me and I didn’t want to do it anymore and I wanted to leave, but I couldn’t do the roasting company because it isn’t viable. So I remember I was dating my now wife at the time and she was kind of, she was empathetic towards me, but at the same time, she was like, Jeff, you got to pick a direction.
Like you got to pick something to do. You can’t just sit and. I guess meander and wait. Yeah. Like, and I was kind of torn because I didn’t know what to do. My options were pretty limited for me at the time. Like the best option was to go to the local hospital and take a job in supply chain. And so I actually worked in the Orr for two years.
Managing supplies and working in like shipping and receiving there. And whenever that kind of became apparent to me that I was going to have to go work at a hospital and take this job that I didn’t like, because I didn’t know what else to do. And I needed a job with benefits. I mean, I think that was probably 2017, which I was 29 at the time.
So that’s what I’m saying. Quarter-life crisis. Hopefully I live to be 120. I hear it. Listen, I’m not counting in the wash. But, yeah. So like when I’ve realized that if I’m not going to do the coffee shop, this is really the only option I can see, but I absolutely don’t want to do it. And this is not what I want to do, but I don’t have a choice.
And it really, like, I remember sitting in the floor of my coffee, little roasting building and just letting it all like, just sobbing because I was, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t even really know what I’m doing. And so there was just this kind of resignation in me that, well, I guess I’ll do this.
You almost feel like a lack of purpose. It’s the sense of like what it really was. Yeah. As it usually happens like that job at the hospital gave me it played a good role because it gave me plenty of time to actually think about what it is. I enjoy what I want to do for the most part. Every day I was unpacking boxes and stocking shelves.
And so I would put my headphones in and listen to podcasts, listen to books. And it was then that I really was able to slow down and do some really good thinking about what I enjoy. So I started thinking about the coffee shop and. The roasting company and started thinking, okay, I enjoyed part of those, each of those, but not all of it.
I didn’t enjoy, I don’t want to roast coffee forever. Like, it’s fine, but I don’t want to do that 40 hours a week. I definitely don’t want to sit behind the coffee machine and talk to people about. So, what is it that I enjoyed? And I realized that what I enjoyed from both of those jobs was the building of the brands of doing the marketing for them, watching the brand kind of take hold in this city.
And people be proud that we’re their local company and start engaging with us. And just kind of that, the whole idea of building a brand and an army of raving fans, I realized like, that’s what fired me up about these, these two things that I started. And so I then kind of had the. Okay. How do I do more of that just then?
And that led me ultimately to marketing. I started. Really pursuing marketing as a copywriter because I’ve always written. I wrote for a couple of newspapers when I was younger and always journaled. So I started as a copywriter and it’s led me to multiple other things that just kind of finding more and more about what I really enjoy.
Yeah, that quarter-life crisis was due to just a, really a lack of purpose, not really ever stopping to think about what I enjoy and what I’m good at. And then how do I do more of that? I liked the way that you transitioned to the idea of what fires me up. What do I really enjoy? Because I think that is such a huge part of.
When work meets service. It’s that sense of, I am not just working to work, but I want to work to serve in such a way that one, I am firing myself up, but two I’m also benefiting other people. And I think you just communicated that it’s watching other people succeed is what fires you up specifically in growing.
Businesses. And I think that’s a takeaway for me is that sense of, and it was for me literally, I mean, that’s part of my own journey and story. But for people listening, who might be feeling that sense of, I just don’t feel any sense of passion in what I’m doing. I don’t feel fulfilled. I don’t feel like I have a clear purpose.
And I think especially the primary audience here are women. And I think we can struggle with. Even if we’re not working outside of the home, even within the home, as a full-time mom, which is, there is no clock in clock out. And so you’re a professional mom. Really. There can still be that sense of. I don’t feel passionate about what I’m doing.
Doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids, but it’s the sense of, I feel purposeless. And what I’m hearing from you is no matter what your position is in life, start thinking about what fires you up, what really fills up your cup, kind of gives you energy and then figure out how you can pour that out in service of other people.
And I think you just highlighted that so well, In hindsight, looking back, there are a couple of things I would tell my younger self. I really would love for young people to really take the time to do this is number one, just stop and think about the things that you really enjoy. As we mentioned earlier, there is no better opportunity to get paid, doing something you enjoy.
You actually enjoy it when our parents were older and even we’re both millennials. So probably. We’re kind of in between where the generation, right before us, maybe they, you just had to go get a job. Like you just get a job. That’s what you do. It doesn’t matter if you like it, you just get a job and you worked there for 30, 40 years, but now more than ever, we have the opportunity to actually find out what it is we enjoy and find a way to get paid.
Doing it. I mean, that’s the work we do with granddaughter’s goodness. And so I would tell people, I wish the work that I would have done earlier would be to stop and think about what I really actually enjoy and what I’m good at. And then kind of combine those two, maybe write it on a list and then say, what can I do where I can do both of those things where I can do something.
I really am. And I’m good at it because I think where those two things align. My father-in-law says this all the time. He’s like a renowned heart surgeon or no cardiac anesthesiologist in the United States, but he says that all the time that where something you enjoy and your skillset aligned, you’ll never be unfulfilled and you’ll run after it forever.
And so does the things I just didn’t really do again, I was. Locked in to baseball that I never stopped thinking about anything else. Well, we’re not programmed to do that. I mean, I think back, I don’t know what high schools are like now. I mean, my husband’s a high school teacher. He could maybe speak to this, but when I think back to when we were in high school, do you remember taking those tests that would determine what you should be?
Did you ever do those? Like, oh, we did it in school. I don’t remember what class it was, but you actually took like. Kind of like a personality test and it was like a career assessment to help you kind of align your skillset with the career options out there. And any guesses of what mine was. This was usually what came up, which is hilarious.
It’s pretty consistent when I would take these interior design. Lawyer lawyer is what came up for me so many times. And I guess I love to debating in high school. I don’t know what my problem was, but, so I guess my point being what’s interesting is I don’t ever remember included in those assessments.
What do you enjoy? It’s all about your skillset. Are you good at communication? Are you good at debating? Are you good at organization XYZ, but there was never that sense of what fires you up. What truly makes you feel fulfilled? What is your heart’s passion, as opposed to just, what are you good at and to speak to your point?
I love this idea. Even when I think about raising my kids, we need to start incorporating that sense earlier on to help foster that. Okay. What do you really enjoy, plus? What are you good at? So that’s one of my takeaways here is I need to be more mindful of that because that’s not how we were nurturing.
No kidding. No kidding. And I grew up, like I said, really like Backwoods, South Carolina. I grew up in between two small towns that tells you anything. And so it was really, really. I guess it was really blue collar and just the options. Like, not that the options weren’t there, but like I just didn’t see many options.
I didn’t know that there were things that existed. For example, like when I was doing the coffee shop, one of my buddies was in school at the time for graphic designs become a graphic designer. And I remember watching him work and designing things on the computer. And I remember thinking you can do that for a little.
Like that is so cool. How did I not know? Like I might, would have done that. Had I known about it? So yeah, I mean, I think just taking the time to really think about what you enjoy, you know, gosh, like if somebody now says, Hey, I really enjoy hiking. You could figure out a way to get paid doing that now or taking pictures.
Let’s say there’s somebody listening. There’s going to be those people. There’s going to be those people who hear this interview. And they’re instantly thinking like, this is what I would want to do. Like, this is my passion. Like, man, I really wish I could build a business doing X, Y, Z, but it seems so far-fetched, if you’re listening to this right now and that’s you, I want you to stop for a second and hear me when I say.
It is possible as Jeff just mentioned. So pause before you instantly tell yourself that’s not possible. Nobody is going to be able to make money doing that. And I want you to hear this. So if there’s somebody listening, which there is, who’s thinking, man, how could I get paid to do XYZ? What is their next step?
Because that is always the question. It is what I didn’t know. When you move from a nine to five job. To one that the possibilities are endless and you have no idea where to start. Where do you tell that person, what do they do next? Where do they start after their dream, Google or Instagram or wherever, like go on to the internet, find out if somebody else is already doing it, or, I mean, gosh, Google is incredible now.
Like, I mean, you could literally, if I was sitting at my computer, I could literally go and say, how can I make money hiking? And I guarantee you there’s something out there about that. I say, go to Google or Instagram or some other medium and just find out if somebody else is doing it. And if they are start to kind of reverse engineer what they’re doing, okay, what’s their product?
What channels are they on? How are they making money? I think just go ahead and start looking to see what everybody else is doing. And my mom is another example, as I mentioned earlier, she’s always, so she showed us clothes. When we were kids, she showed us backpacks, all kinds of stuff. And so when she left a kind of corporate nine to five, She started with something that she enjoys.
She said, well, I’d love to, so, and I’m pretty good at it. So I’ll see if other people want it and they did. So I think just the practical. So here that again, those of you listening. If you have a dream, that’s what you need to do. You need to Google, how do I make money? Fill in the blank. I mean, for Pete’s sake, cause there’s people who literally take pictures of cats all day and they’re millionaires.
Like the sky is the limit. And if you have something much more beneficial to offer the world than pictures of a cat, sorry for all your cat lovers, then we need you. We need you in the marketplace and it very well may be possible. So you have content Is that right? And that is your marketing business.
So if somebody currently has a business, but they need more of the marketing help, which is probably most of us, that is a place that they can find you to help with marketing services is www dot content, And again, all these links will be on the show notes on my blog, but. For a lot of the people who we’ve kind of been talking to who kind of have a dream, or maybe they’re just already at the startup level and they’re feeling lost, don’t know where to go.
You are a brand strategist coach for the brand builders group, and they can also hire you as a one-on-one brand strategist to help build and monetize their dream. Right. Yeah. I mean, obviously you have to go through brand builders and sign up with them and you can request me and I can help you build your brand.
But yet, if that’s you brand builders would be a great place for you to start. It’s a great program. It’s literally their mantra, I guess, is to help mission-driven messengers build and monetize a personal brand. And so. If you’ve got this thing for a lot of people that come into brand builders, it is a mission is some struggle they’ve been through it’s that they’re now passionate about helping other people overcome.
It’s just something that they’re really enjoyed doing, and they just want to figure out how can I do more of it? How can I get paid doing it so that I can do more of it. And it’s really the work that we do at brand builders. Yeah. And there’s so many amazing coaches. Jeff is awesome. We clicked instantly.
I love. We want as much time as we do money. So it’s all about that passive income. You mentioned that we don’t want to live to work. We want to work to live. And that being said, what is one goal that you hope to achieve yet in your lifetime work-related or not? Yeah. I mean, probably really similar to you.
My biggest goal, I don’t have goals of scaling to an agency with a lot of people, a lot of businesses, or, I mean, a lot of employees, my goal honestly, is to stay a company of one, but to make enough money that my wife doesn’t have to work and we have a good. Solid living that we can travel a good bit and enjoy good sued when that crying baby.
Yeah, exactly. Kidding that sweet baby. Yeah, I can’t wait. Yeah, but also like similar to you, like when you said this, I totally agree with you that I don’t want to work 50, 60 hours a week, to be honest, like eventually I don’t want to work 40 hours a week. And I think that the possibilities are endless now that we can make a good living working 30 hours a week, 30 to 32 hours a week.
And so that’s really, my goal is to be able to do all of those things that I enjoy. And still have plenty of time with my family, plenty of time to go travel and hike and eat good food and play golf and do nothing. Exactly. Yeah. For those of you that don’t know. I don’t think I had said this earlier, but one of the first things that I had to do and I started this entrepreneur world is you want to really clearly define what are your goals and the brand builders group has this great idea of classifying it into income goals and influence.
Sort of an objective and maybe somewhat subjective type of goal for your business and your brand. And from an income standpoint, mine is to net six figures a year and half of the normal work week. I don’t want to endlessly scale. I don’t need to be a millionaire to me. Money is just a vehicle. It’s not the destination.
So I just want to get to that point where there’s some advantages that is travel, being a huge one special things that we can do for our family, but also for other people with a greater income. But just that second. Of truly figuring out what you want, but you said I’m reading a quote here from you, build your business to serve your life.
Not the other way around or somebody else has said. Live to work, but work to live. And Jeff Felton, you guys can help you do that as he is. I’m still working on it myself. So, but that’s just, it is part of the journey and the concept of perseverance that you’ve talked about. So well, is. Exactly what this podcast is all about.
The idea of you want to see transformation happen in your life. Then number one, you need to show up persevere just because something’s hard or it seems impossible. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen. You just have to be willing to put in the work and keep showing up day after day. And as we talk about here, just embrace the imperfect progress.
Understand that you’re not going to get it right. You’re going to make stupid mistakes, but in the end, It’s worth it. The results will come as long as you keep showing up. So I appreciate you and all the help you’ve given me. That’s for sure. Yeah. It’s a pleasure. It’s a pleasure. I love your journal. I think that it’s doing good.
You’re doing really good with that. So yeah. Thank you. I’m excited to see where we can go with that and I’m excited for your family and I just pray God’s blessing over your home and that sweet baby to come.
I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see the baby most likely be on the calls with me when we have our strategy calls. Ooh, that is exciting. Oh, and then I’m going to want a folder. Oh, well that is exciting. Well, God bless you guys. And thank you so much for sharing your. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast.
It is my honor to be here with you. I am so grateful for each and every one of you. If you are watching on YouTube, be sure to click the subscribe button below. So you don’t miss a show and leave a comment with your thoughts from today’s episode. If you are listening via your preferred podcasting platform, would you help keep us on the air by rating our show and leaving an honest review of your thoughts from today in case you haven’t heard it lately, your story matters and you are loved.
This is your host on a former, and I will see you here next time on the, in perfectly empowered podcast.

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