Hi, I’m Yarrow.

I create handmade WordPress websites and support people in building sustainable businesses that are aligned with their values and fun to work in.

Since I am not on social media anymore my newsletter is the best way to stay in touch!

Fun fact: I’m hosting a free virtual business retreat on July 24th & 25th that you’ll get an invite to in addition to my monthly-ish newsletter full of small business magic. 

Transparent, authentic and kind communication

Abundance and mutual care instead of fake scarcity

Systems that are sustainable and supportive

Wild creativity rather than cookie cutter businesses

Accessibility and collaboration for resilient communities

#53 How to build more resilience into your business

#53 How to build more resilience into your business

Hey everyone,

thanks for your patience on my next episode!

As you might have heard I have broken my leg on new year’s eve, so this year so far has been a great lesson in taking it slow and really thinking about the foundations of my business and how they stabilise me. I have talked about this before, but between the pandemic and my accident I have really wanted to revisit the subject of resilience for small business and share some ideas. Here is what I talk about in this episode:

  • A key question I think we should all ask ourselves to identify where we need more resilience
  • What it can look like to make space for restructuring and evolution in your work
  • Some thoughts on insurance and risk mitigation
  • Working in cycles, making space for the unexpected and staying in touch with our numbers
  • Why building a list and having different income streams is so important

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Love,

Yarrow

Listen to the DIY Small Business Podcast

on Apple Podcast // Stitcher // Spotify // Soundcloud

 

⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow and I am your host.

My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a small business with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I interview other small business owners and offer solo episodes in which I am answering questions around tech, strategy, more ethical marketing and creative livelihoods.

You can learn more about my web design, tech support, mentoring and community offerings at YarrowDigital.com

Sign up for my newsletter below if you'd like to hear from me about once a month! ⋒

Transcript

Hey, everyone, my name is Yarrow and you’re listening to the DIY small business podcast. Thank you so much for joining me and also for your patience. It’s been a little while since my last episode. And you might have heard that I broke my leg on New Year’s Eve. So I’m still taking it pretty easy. And I’m not as fast as I usually am with new episodes. But I’m excited for this year, I have real ideas. And I’m doing another interview today, for example, I’m excited to share. So it will all come trust the process. And also, it’s given me so many thoughts around, how do we build more resilience into our businesses, because I’m really relying on this kind of groundwork that I’ve done for myself in the last few years at the moment. And I want to share some ideas and resources around that, that I hope might be helpful for you, as well as we all are navigating pretty uncertain times at the moment. So before I begin just a few small updates, the embody business community has sold out last month, and really grateful for amazing people that have joined us. And yeah, we have live calls almost every week workshops, co working spaces, really good discussions around things like pricing, and accessibility and marketing that feels good, and all that kind of stuff. And we’re gonna open 15 more spots again, later, in either late April or early May, I haven’t decided yet. But if you’re in the newsletter, you’ll be the first to know. Otherwise, I’m looking further into for the future for web design projects. So at the moment, I’m blogging for me. And that’s just because again, I’m taking things a little bit easier. I’m doing just one project at a time. And I have some ideas around restructuring in my business that I also want to give some space to. So if you’re interested in working with me in the summer, do reach out now book a feeler call and we can talk about it. Alright, so I’ve already mentioned the word restructuring and evolving, I’m approaching my sixth business birthday in just two weeks, which I’m really excited about. And I’m going to record a kind of bigger, looking back at the past six years kind of episodes around that time. But for now, I just want to say that that’s This is such a great milestone to reach. As you surely know, not many small businesses make it that far. And and it’s also been a really tricky time in some ways for many industries. Not necessarily including the web design, online space, you know, but generally, it’s been a wild year. And I was just so glad that we’re all still here, you’re still listening, I’m still moving and shaking things in my business despite my broken leg. And that is just something to celebrate. I think that’s really important. And as I kind of am home now, having left my house in five weeks, and cannot walk and won’t be able to walk for another few months. I’m obviously thinking a lot about, you know, what, how can I create spaciousness for myself right now? And how can I make sure I’m still being creative, and responsive and open rather than just reactive to these different kinds of crises between the pandemic and not being able to walk and all that kind of stuff. And I want to talk about how you know what I’ve done in the past two years, not necessarily to prepare for this particular kind of situation, but just generally for myself to create a base of stability that I can now lean into. And so as I share kind of what comes up for me, I invite you to maybe even visually, or at least in writing, map out what comes up for you, because those are the three key questions and your business, right? They’re not things that you just want to do. Kind of like in the two,
two minute thinking out loud kind of situation. This is important stuff. And so the first question I want to share with you is, in what ways is your business vulnerable? And I know maybe, you know, maybe there’s some resistance or even looking at that, and that’s okay. But give it some thought really, and and ideally made me make a mind map or a beautifully colourful illustrated map, talk to a friend. You know, really think about this, and I’ll share a little bit of what comes up from me that I’ve identified as kind of vulnerabilities in air quotes. Though, I don’t see them as something negative I have, I feel like I have a good relationship with that work and word and if you don’t feel that way, maybe choose another word. But anyway, one of the vulnerabilities and accurate and my business is that I don’t really have a team and so if I get sick like I did, when I spend 10 days in hospital at the beginning of the year, it’s not that easy to delegate stuff very quickly. And there’s not a team of people that’s kind of really in the depths of my work, having all my passwords, having access to my email, inbox, all that kind of stuff. So that’s something to think about. And I am still really happy with my decision of not building a team. I’m not really good at delegating. And I know that something that I could learn and it is important, and I know I’m here for the emotional labour of that work. But I just also feel really happy working with myself by myself 100% in my own wisdom, and feeling really happy around minimising the amount of cause I do each week so that I can be really present with the calls that I choose to do, for example, in the embody business community, or with my clients, when I just feel that I really don’t want to add, having to communicate a lot with my own team. And I also know that if I had a team and I hired people regularly, I would really want to have good, ongoing, connected working relationship with them. And that’s not something that I have space for, I want to make space for my life right now. I have hired someone wonderful called Emily Crosby. And we’re working together on my podcast, which I really want to dive deeper into. But this is kind of project based work. And it’s not, you know, it’s not a part of my day to day business operation at the moment. So that’s where I’m at. And I’m just kind of really openly identifying that as a small vulnerability, if I’m getting sick, then there’s not a lot of people that can pick something up for me. So it’s one thing that would be on my vulnerability list. Another thing that I’m identifying or have identified in the past is not so much an issue for me anymore is that a lot of my kind of engagement or space to share my work was coming, especially in the beginning of my business, from social media, and I identified that, that can affect my mood in some ways, like I have definitely, like I said, and mentioned before, had good times on social media, make great connections, received inspiration and all kinds of ideas. But it’s also been really draining at times. And there’s definitely been the first three years moments where I just didn’t feel like posting, I felt private and didn’t really have something to share. I didn’t want to make something up. I wanted it to feel meaningful, and it felt like a lot of work. And so back then I ended identify that as a vulnerability that I really wanted to kind of resolve in some way. And the several things that I’ve done around that, for example, podcasting, writing my book and my other business, really building my newsletter list and making sure that social media was never the only space I shared my work. And so this is kind of also around I think diversifying the kinds of spaces that we inhabit, and really being mindful with how and where we’re spending our energy and how that’s feeding for us. For us as people you know, who are people within our businesses, which is so important to remember. Another thing that came up for me is the amount of structure that I need really shifts and changes. And so I think, in the beginning of my business, I was much more focused on linear progress, I was making goals based around what I’ve seen other people do. And you know, I didn’t really make a lot of time for rest and downtime, and just having cycles of joyful stagnation, I almost want to call it and I’m doing much more of that now. And that really feels like a big piece of resilience for me and my business. And so I think goal making Yeah, that’s, that’s really important to me. But I haven’t, I have kind of found my own way of relating to numbers, two episodes back,
you can hear me talk more about numbers and how I relate to them and my business. And that feels really important to me, it has eliminated a lot of I don’t want to say negativity, but just complicated feelings that felt like heavy weight I really didn’t need to carry around with me. Another thing that’s probably true for not just me, but a lot of people is that there’s a vulnerability and having a good chunk of your income come from services when you’re getting sick or for whatever reason, you can’t work or need a break. And that is true for me and I still really love my one on one web design work. I’d certainly want to update my web design course when I have time probably next month. But really still love working with people one on one I love supporting them with business mentoring. I don’t offer tech support to non hides anymore, but that’s for different for different podcast episode. So I love this work but I’m obviously also noticing right now if I can work less than there’ll be less income as you Very simple. And so insurances in the last few years have become a bigger focus for me, it took me a while, but I finally took out income protection insurance. And so in UK, and then my policy, how this works is that I pay a monthly amount, which is, is not so low. But but then whenever I’m sick for more than four weeks, I receive a fraction of my normal income paid by the insurance. And that just feels really good. I mean, this is great to be able to rely on right now. And it just kind of also takes a lot of fear off the table for me, I think in the bigger picture of my business. So I think, you know, insurances always have these different layers, is it really about the money or is it maybe also, the feeling that you can buy yourself knowing that you have created a sense of stability, for for things that could happen in your future, and for me, it really feels like that’s making me a little bit more creative. And that’s obviously amazing for my business, that’s the space I want to be in. Another insurance that I have that feels obviously really great right now is accident insurance. So this covers me if I have a permanent injury from an accident, and it doesn’t have to be big and dramatic, a car crash, I just slipped down the stairs on black eyes. And so if, for example, I wouldn’t be able to walk anymore after this accident. And I would need a significant amount of cash to remodel my house so that it’s fully physically accessible in a wheelchair, then that would be my security net. And that x axis insurance is pretty affordable. I think I pay about four pounds, because it’s just so unlikely that that would happen. But you never know, right. And so I can’t speak for insurance options in different countries, of course, but I just invite you to think about whether it is any fear that you’re holding, or any risk that maybe you could build an insurance around that would feel good for you. And as I mentioned, income protection insurance is a little bit more expensive, because naturally, the risk is higher. And I just want to name that I wasn’t afford, I wasn’t able to afford that in my first year in business necessarily. So if that’s you right now, you’re not alone. But I think there’s just something that’s good to keep an eye on and make a party, you want to be able to really put that on my on your goal list as part of other things to make sure that you can afford the level of insurance that you want and need in your business. And, yeah, so So again, I would invite you to map that out to a little bit of research around what you can find out and really think of your goals as something that’s very holistic, I think, sometimes we think just about, you know, putting a number x on how many clients you want to enrol this quarter, or how much money you want to make. But it’s so reasonable and important to identify other needs as well. Like maybe this is something like I want to feel like I’m able to take time off, I want to feel that if I have an accident, or I get ill, there’s things in place for me to let that be okay. And that makes me feel good, right. I think another thing that many people identify as a vulnerability that they could build more resilience around in their business is the fact that we often work kind of in our businesses, rather, on our businesses. So practically, what that would look like is that you may be really engaged with your client work, you’re creating, you know, new staff you’re teaching, you’re educating, you’re reaching out, and that’s your day to day work. But how often do you make time to really look at your year head at your bigger picture visions,
and maybe your your vulnerabilities that I just mentioned, and that’s just important work for any business owner. And it’s, I think it’s, it’s really vital that we schedule that into our calendar, it builds resilience, because it means that we’re spotting structural problems or things that are misaligned much quicker than we do when we just kind of our, with our heads down in our day to day, business work all the time. Another thing that I think is important about overhead is to find a way of staying in touch with our numbers. So this is really unique, right? Like everyone is different and how we relate to numbers maybe looking at your ex she doesn’t feel that great. Maybe you actually really beautifully set up with a software system that you use for your bookkeeping, maybe you met you know what you make and don’t make every day or maybe it’s something that you only visit once a month but you need to decide for yourself how much information or how much kind of real life info you need around your money and relief. The rhythm of staying in touch with that. So I think when we, when we get into this law where we’re like, oh, I think I make enough, you know, you know, this is X amount amount of money on my account right now, that feels right. But we kind of are not really clear how much we’re making week by week or month by month. And there can, again be structural problems, I think that take much longer to spot. So one thing could, for example, be if you’re not tracking the time that you’re spending on each project, and it’s kind of bleeding into time that you had allocated for other things, then maybe it will take you longer to recognise that actually need to up your prices, because the way you’ve worked on each project has changed. I know that was definitely true for me in the first three years of making websites for people where things would just expand and expand. And I wanted to be generous and do another round of this and another round of that. And before I knew it, I was really spending much more time on each project and it justified that I was asking more in constant compensation for that. So I really invite you to have a routine of checking in with yourself. And the number is another thing that’s I think, quite important as being able to ask for help. So that doesn’t have to look like hiring out it can do if there’s tasks that you feel you don’t want to do and your business anymore, or that feel just overwhelming and you have the budget for that by all means that’s great. But it could also look like just swapping logins with someone. So when I was in hospital, for example, I had a live class schedule that week. And I luckily had a friend that I really trusted and shared my password with and I just messaged her and said, Hey, can you log in there and just leave a message for people to know what’s going on with me. And yeah, that was heaven sand. And it’s also made me think that, you know, the next time this happened, I actually want to have a weird system in place where maybe I messaged just one person, and she has all my logins totally trust her. And and then everything, you know, the most immediate stuff will be taken care of, we have hopefully I won’t have to go back into Hasbro at any time, I don’t plan to have any more accidents, but you never know, right? And it might be really nice to have that in place for you as well. Another area that’s good to think about I think is building in different income streams in your business. So obviously, the pandemic has changed so many things for so many of us real life interactions, as I just find few in between many people have had needed to cancel local classes, or retreats or just in person work that they would have usually done. And so I think now more than ever, it’s a really good time to think about different income streams that you have. Is it just one on one services? Can it be online and local? Are you maybe wanting to teach classes? Do you maybe want to lease some products into your business that you’re shipping, as a really mapping out where your money is coming from right now. And what would happen if one of those income streams would fall away? Maybe that’s a scary thing to think about right now, you know, but if you have the capacity and the headspace, I really invite you to just explore that a little bit more.
And then finally, what I want to share is that building a newsletter list and I have shared many episodes about this is so important because it’s it’s a resource and a way to connect with people that is really resilient, because it doesn’t depend on the algorithm, or the rules and trends on any kind of platform just gives you a way to stay in touch with people and share what’s going on for you. In a way that’s pretty intimate because our inboxes are kind of sacred, right. And that also gives you so much space to express yourself in the way that you want to express yourself. You can embed videos, you can record audience, you can make graphics, you can really just make your newsletter completely your own. And I think that is quite special. So to recap, I’m really inviting you to my time and space to think about vulnerabilities and how you can vote within and around them in your business. And that could look anything from like anything from asking for help sharing your password with a trusted person. Thinking about income streams, think about insurance, thinking about just making space for yourself to be human in your business to need downtime and to have periods of rest and rejuvenation. I really wish that for you and for everyone. And I hope that this episode has been helpful.

Where to host my online course? A 2021 round up!

*there are some affiliate links in this post, meaning I might receive a payment if you use them

I love online courses and am excited that you are considering making one!

Over the years I have worked with different platforms myself and have created dozens of course systems for my clients, so I figured it’s time to write a little round up as I often get asked about what I recommend.

Before you make a decision I recommend that you ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What format will your course be in – audio, video, text or a mix?
  • Will it run live or be an evergreen self-study course?
  • How many sign ups are you expecting for your first launch (this might be tricky to answer, but is relevant because some platforms will take a percentage of your sales while others require a one off investment)?
  • What kind of student experience do you want to create? This is interesting to think about – for shorter courses for example it might be okay to deliver all your content in emails while larger, more in-depth courses might require an “archive” that students can revisit.

 

Choosing between onsite courses and offsite courses

WordPress plug ins give you the option to create courses on your own website, meaning that you are completely in control of the design and handling the finances. Many of them are pretty easy to deal with, so with a bit of tech background, time and patience it should be totally doable to set something solid up. If on the other hand you would rather focus on just creating the content while someone else takes care of payments and hosting, then choosing to build your courses on an external platform might be more sensible. 

Depending on your location and the nature of your course you might have to charge VAT for it, which some external platforms can handle for you to make things easier.

WordPress plug ins for courses and membership platforms

Learnpress has a free option and offers you a chance to develop and sell simple courses on your own site. You can add quizzes and questions and are able to get in touch with your students any time.

Course Cats is another onsite option that also includes a premium WordPress theme as well as tech support and starts $59/ month.

External platforms on which you can create and host courses

Podia is what I use for my online courses. I love it because of the easy to use design and all the features (like cross-selling, Zoom/webinar integration, newsletter) they offer. I think the pricing is reasonable considering that Podia might replace other software as a more all-in-one solution and the fact that they don’t take a cut from your sales. You can set up an affiliate network, create a membership and build your newsletter for example without needing to integrate into another piece of software. I think the student experience and ease of navigation is great too, which is an important factor for me.

Teachable is the platform I have used before switching to Podia and I would still recommend it for some folks. It’s fairly easy to set up and use and offers all kinds of features you might need for a larger launch such as coupons, an affiliate network and the possibility to bundle your offerings.

Mighty Networks is a fantastic solution for people who want to create very interactive, community based courses. You can think of your network as its own Facebook, expect just for you and your business. Everyone has their own profile and you can create different spaces and events for discussions and shared organising. I use Mighty Networks for my Embodied Business Community and absolutely love the way it’s bringing people together!

As you can see there are many, many options. I hope you are feeling empowered to make a start!

 

 

#52 Business Dreams for 2021 & the Embodied Business Community is open

#52 Business Dreams for 2021 & the Embodied Business Community is open

Hey dreamers,

happy new year! This is a short and sweet solo episodes with some updates on business dreams for 2021. I shared:

  • That I broke my leg and will be in a cast for 4-6 months
  • What this means for my business, what I am hoping to learn and how it’s changed the way I think about priorities and sustainability
  • An invitation for all of us to celebrate the ground work that is already done before we rush into new year’s resolutions
  • Thoughts on making the most of this season by resting and dreaming intentionally
  • An invitation to join the Embodied Business Community here: https://yarrowdigital.com/diy-business-school/

Enjoy <3

Love,

Yarrow

Listen to the DIY Small Business Podcast

on Apple Podcast // Stitcher // Spotify // Soundcloud

 

⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow and I am your host.

My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a small business with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I interview other small business owners and offer solo episodes in which I am answering questions around tech, strategy, more ethical marketing and creative livelihoods.

You can learn more about my web design, tech support, mentoring and community offerings at YarrowDigital.com

Sign up for my newsletter below if you'd like to hear from me about once a month! ⋒

Transcripts

Hey, everyone, my name is Yarrow and you’re listening to the DIY small business podcast. Hi, wow, it’s been a moment. I’m gonna share why I took an unexpected break in a moment. But yeah, just wanted to say Hey, welcome back, and welcome to this new year. Really glad you’re still with me. And I’m excited to see what this year will bring for all of us. And for this podcast. I have many more ideas up my sleeve, but but we’ll get to that and time, not just yet. I’m really sorry if the sound quality of this particular episode isn’t so great. That’s because I’m sitting in bed recording just with my computer. And I couldn’t get to my microphone. But I’m also happy to say that I have heard the wonderful Emily Crosby to help me with podcasting, tech will start with my other podcast they do involves, which you might enjoy as well. And we’ll just kind of see how we can improve the sound quality for each episode. And also do some background tech work together that hopefully will make the whole thing more exciting. And yeah, I’ll said, I will say more about that process when when it’s more towards completion, because I know some of you are podcasting as well or thinking about starting a podcast. So that might be interesting to explore together. But anyway, today, I just want to give you a few updates I want to share about where I’m at in my business and planning the year and riding the waves of this new year’s resolutions energy with as much grace and arrest as possible. And I’ll also say that the embodied business committee is open with three more spots being available, and say a little bit more about that as well. So first, my update is that I broke my leg in a really wild way. I know this is going to be funny one day right now it’s still too painful to be funny. But basically our New Year’s Eve is going to be home alone us we’re feeling really content, I had already had almost two weeks off because I planned a longer winter break this year. And I was kind of in the space of like, Well, you know, the pandemic really sucks. Obviously. I miss friends I miss casual cuddles, I miss my family. But I was kind of in this like kakuni space of reading lots and being off Instagram and just kind of not rushing into the new year but taking it easy and I was feeling quite okay about things. And then a New Year’s Eve I wanted to audit takeaway didn’t feel like cooking. And there was lots of eyes outside, you know where the story is going. I opened my door and literally just one step out of my door. Don’t do that kids are dangerous. And I slipped on black eyes, and I broke my leg in such a weird way. Like I was brought to hospital Dean ears first. It was a bit of a nightmare. Not gonna lie because of the pandemic and everyone you know, everyone was super kind and really did the very best. But at the same time, everything is so overstretched. It’s truly heartbreaking to see that from the inside what it means for for healthcare systems to collapse, really. But again, that’s another story. And anyway, I was brought into hospital and everyone kept saying like, wow, like how did you do that just falling over. This is such a weird break. I broke both my bones and the left leg and then the ankle was affected as well. So I needed a lot of metalwork, which was hard not going to lie again.
I’m still wrapping my head around having so much metal on my body now I can feel it. It’s hurting obviously. I’ve just been. Yeah, it’s just been 10 days that I had surgery and I needed to wait nine days to have surgery in hospital. So I was in there for 110 days, which is obviously unusual for a broken leg. It’s usually not that big of a deal. But that was because my surgery kept being cancelled. And because it was just so overloaded. The hospital eventually I did have surgeries very long, took four hours to put things back together. And now I’m home and I’m really really grateful to be home. I think I’m feeling pretty well. And I’ve been there can hospital ones I have another appointment on Thursday. And it is it is exhausting and frustrating sometimes because I have two dogs and I I’ve hired people to walk them, which is mainly going really well. But obviously is costing a lot of money. I really miss my walks. We used to be out hiking every single day like rain or shine. That was something that really got me through the winter months and the lockdown and now I’m completely stuck at home which is different. And I think there’s a lot to learn here for me And I’m really open to that. And I want to embrace that, but also not bypass the frustration that I’m also feeling in the pain. That’s really real. But yeah, I do think that I have a lot to learn about patients. And yeah, really rooting down into my home, I have not been in this home for very long, but I already really, truly deeply love it so much. I bought this home last summer. And it’s my Yeah, it’s the first place you can I own I have a mortgage now. It’s very small and very sweet and simple. And that’s, that’s given me a lot of freedom, because we see it’s much more affordable than renting in terms of monthly expenses, and it’s just nice to be in my own space. And to put down roots in this way that I never have before. I have a garden now I planted like 100 spring bulbs, and they’re just coming up now. And it’s interesting, because when I was planting them, I really thought like, Oh my god, you know, like, there’s so much gardening stuff that really I’m still growing into, I don’t have a much I don’t have a tonne of experience, there’s not much I know. But I was like spring bulbs, you kind of can’t go wrong with them, like they either come up or they don’t, and they’re going to be beautiful. And I really planted them with this feeling of like, by the time they come up, I will really need them. But I had no idea how much I would really meet need them. And I think that that makes me think a lot just about how cyclical being in business is as well. And how much we do for our future selves and how it’s really kind of like this bio path of revisiting certain questions like, how do I do this? And capitalism? How do I stay true to myself and my values? How do I price my work? What do I really want to do? How do you want to spend my time and those questions, I think never fully go away. But I think with each year and each cycle that I go through these seasons, it becomes clearer and easier. And what I’m feeling really strongly right now is that I’m not reinventing the wheel, I no longer with these really big question of questions. I’m like, who even Am I in business? What do I want to do? It’s much more about refining, and simplifying and making things easier and nicer. Which is so nice to see. Because the first few years were different and harder in lots of ways. And that’s no longer true. So. So where I’m at with business planning for this year, I think is bad. I don’t want to rush into New Year’s resolutions, I think the time is not right for me. I’m so still literally, I really want to honour the decisions and the groundwork that I have already done. And in the community work that I’m doing. I’m really wanting to encourage people to do the same regardless of where you are in your business. Even if you’re just two weeks in right now, there are things that you have already done. And it’s really nice to take a moment to just appreciate yourself for doing that. And having done that already. And so an example could be in my business, for example, I have really good software systems, like I have a Patreon account, and they use mail Ed for newsletters, and have a bunch of other small things. And they’re all pretty simple. They all integrate really well meaning that as much as possible, it’s automated. And they’re also not too expensive. My software costs overall pretty low.
You know, in comparison to how many different aspects my business hat has in that and teaching courses and I have a newsletter and you know, all that kind of different stuff. And that makes me happy because I’m sitting in bed now really needing bees needing to be so intentional with my time and energy because I mainly just need to be still and heal my leg. And I’m seeing that nothing is collapsing because I have built good foundations and and that took time. I’m approaching my sixth birthday now and so my seventh year, but it’s not rocket science, you know, that stuff can be figured out. And that just yeah, that’s cool to see. And I really invite you to take a moment here at the beginning of the year before you set intention to just honour yourself for everything that you have already done that’s already in place for you, that has maybe carried you through the pandemic in some way. And even if your business has really suffered, I know that’s true for so many of us. There’s so much you know, uncertainty, anxiety, all those feelings are valid as well. But you have held on to an idea at least or a vision that you’ve had, and you’re still listening to business podcast, which means you still believe that you know, you are in business in some way. That’s really cool. So let’s celebrate that. Yeah. And I think Yeah, embargo is coming up at the beginning of February, we’re beginning to see spring spring coming through, and how can we see that in our own bodies in the way that we relate to our energy levels, to really just plan these tiny seeds right now and giving them a little bit more time and recognising that this season is still it’s cold. It’s about intentional dreaming and resting. And I know that so easy to resist, like I’ve been, you know, on some level thinking about resting for years, and that’s something I often talk about is really important to me. And it’s really important to me in the context of being an anticapitalist person. But being in hospital for 10 days, I was really noticing how much I waste energy, just resisting rest, just fiddling with my fall and trying to stay up on you know, on top of the news and organising things and voice messages and stuff, it’s hard. It’s really hard. It’s such a long process. And I’m really committed to it. And I think something that has helped me is to really ask myself what it means to be intentional with my rest of my dreaming. Because I think sometimes unintentional rest is totally fine to like, the last two weeks, I spent of time just watching crappy stuff that it was nice to switch my brain off, I think. And I didn’t feel like reading, I didn’t feel like just sleeping or looking at the ceiling or something. I wanted to do something and I wanted to be a bit distracted. And so I watch stuff. And that’s cool. But there’s also other been other periods of more intentional wrestling, where I would do like, meditations around pain relief, or falling asleep, and then having a nap. And that felt really nice. And there was just yeah, more of the sense of like, Yeah, really going into this with the intention of healing and making space when your ideas to come through that. Maybe I’ll work on in the spring or somewhere. And I think, yeah, another aspect that makes this intentional to me, I think, is also keeping track of ideas, and really keeping a journal and holding on to all these little sprinkles or like glitches that come through. And even if we don’t want to work with them right away, just noting them down, I think is telling the universe in my mind that I’m appreciating them. And I’m open to more. Yeah, that’s where I’m at. I’m gonna offer a business clarity workshop, which I usually do in at the end of January. But I just don’t feel ready right now. But it is going to come in February. And I trust the timing will be just perfect, announced that I’m here and alumni newsletter. So if you Yeah, look out for that. I’ll announce that soon. And the other news is that the MIT business community is open. We have three spots left, there’s 15. So I open the community three times a year for 15 new people. And that’s because I want to keep it intimate and not too big.
And, and most of the spots have gone to the people that have already been on the waitlist. But there’s few spots left to have a look in the link in the show notes. If you’re interested. It will open again in summer. So this is definitely not the last time that you can join. But yeah, it’s a year long programme. It includes a course at the core, which has 10 modules. And it teaches everything that I know about business and have learned over the years. And you can take that in your own time over the year, you can trigger an email sequence that kind of leads you through it week by week, if you like. And we also do a live version of the course from September to November 8 here. And then we have so many live things. I think there’s around 30 calls that live per year. So there’s really a lot that you can dip into if you want to. We have monthly tech support hours where you can come with any tech problems and or share screens and find a solution. We have themed workshops, which you can request. There’s at least one a month and we often talk about things like pricing, money accessibility, building a Patreon social media, newsletter building, all that kind of stuff. Then we have a monthly co working space which is a two hour blog in which we just quietly work together and should get shut down. That’s kind of a bit boring. And at that we’ve maybe been technically collecting and people always say like that’s really cool. And I really just do the thing and then it’s done. And we have group support sessions once a month, which really sweet and people just bring whatever is present in their business at the moment that they’re working on. And then we talk about it together. We have quarterly is planning sessions which allow us to kind of take more of a bird’s eye view and look at the bigger picture, and journal together. And then of course, there’s the network on mighty networks, which we turn about in every week. We have Monday, accountability posts in there, where you can state what you’re working on that week, and then you can see how that goes. And and then you also get a 30 minute one on one session with me to kind of get you started. And, yeah, I think the benefit of it being a year long thing is like, I always strongly felt that building a business doesn’t fit into like an eight week or so there’s just so much stuff. And it’s really hard to work through something so deep, that opens up so many questions by yourself in a short period of time. So I wanted to offer something that’s really much bigger, that has a lot of community support in it. And that allows you to also work in a cyclical way. So people definitely, you know, they sometimes step back, sometimes they have periods of much deeper engagement, where they get a lot done, and they come to cause every week and are really excited. And then and then rest, and that’s okay. And there’s always enough people for to find someone in there, who is where you are at right now and who has similar questions and wants to talk to you. And that’s important to me. The downside, of course, is that you have to take responsibility for your own experience in the programme. There’s nothing forcing you to take the programme and they’d weeks and show up to every single coil. It is up to you to kind of think about what you want to get out of it and to communicate that and to ask for what you need and what your questions and to share your journey and your wins and your struggles and to really let us celebrate you and that. So yeah, I’ll link to that in the show notes. And like I said, it also opens again in the summer. Okay, I think that’s all for now. Thank you so much for listening. Bye

Important questions to ask yourself before starting a web design project

*there are some affiliate links in this article, meaning that I might receive a payment if you use them. 

Preparing for your first or new website is exciting and a great next step for your business, but it can also be a little overwhelming. Wether you do it yourself or hire a web designer (like me!) to support you it’s important that you gather a few things and get really clear on the vision you have.

In this post I’ll give you an overview of the questions you can ask yourself to help you prepare a great brief.

Which platform is the best for your web design project?

For me, without a doubt, it’s WordPress.org. To me WordPress.org is easy to handle, incredibly flexible in terms of design and there are thousands of plug ins that let enable you to extend its functionality. Be aware that WordPress.com is a little different – this is a platform that hosts WordPress for you, which might make the process a little easier, but also offers you less freedom. For most entrepreneurs it’s best to go with WordPress.org as it offers much more flexibility and scope for growth. 

Which WordPress theme should I choose?

I personally love Divi by Elegant Themes – it’s the most popular theme on the market and offers a wealth of ready made layouts to work with as well as the possibility to create something very unique with the drag and drop builder. Customer care is great and Divi integrates well with all kinds of other software that you might want to use to build your business with courses or memberships for example. 

When looking for a theme that you like I would recommend to see how flexible it is and how much easily understandable documentation you will have access to. Very often you can see a demo online and it might be good to chat to customer care just to see how responsive and helpful they are. You also want to make sure that there is a view of updates in the years to come so that you are not stuck with an outdated theme after spending a lot of time working on your site.

Where do I start with branding?

Colours, images, fonts and symbols are a beautiful opportunity to share your visions and ideas non-verbally and let your audience connect with you on a deeper level. To create a professional first impression, it’s important to be clear, consistent and appealing to your target audience. A good place to start is doing some research on other people and organisations whose online presence you love – what colours are they using? What is resonating with you? Next I would recommend to start picking your core colours – Design Seeds is a great resource for colour palette inspiration and over at Colour Lovers you can create your own compositions.

When you’re working with a web designer you’ll likely receive an intake form that will allow you to get clearer on your ideas and preferences. To give you an idea of what that can look like here are the questions I usually ask my clients:

  • How do you want people to feel when they first come to your site?
  • What colours, symbols or design elements do you feel would best represent your business vision?
  • Can you show me other websites (from my portfolio or elsewhere) that you love and tell me a bit about what you enjoy about them?
  • Where do you want to draw attention? What is your most important message?

 

Can I do this myself or should I hire someone?

Good question! I would say this really depends on how much experience you have with web design, what your budget is, how much time you’re willing to invest and how quickly you want to launch. I do think that the technological developments of the past few years have made DIY projects a bit easier, but I also often see business owners getting stuck with a half-finished project that gives them website shame. Ultimately I think a website is a major priority for any entrepreneur – without a compelling, well converting site it will be hard to get things off the ground.

If you do want to hire a web designer I would recommend to shop around, look very closely at portfolios and ask around for recommendations.

How do I brief a web designer?

Every web designer is different of course, but generally I would say the following steps are great:

  • Be as specific as possible and give examples of websites that you love. If you are really unsure, say so and see if you can get extra guidance on creating a brief
  • Think about the functionality and the user experience you want for your website in addition to the wishes on the design you are communicating
  • Prepare your content for the agreed start date – you will usually need your copy for each page, your hosting account and the images you want to use ready (or let them know that you want to work with stock images). If you are unsure about writing your own copy, I can highly recommend Sophy Dale’s course Write your Site. Be realistic about your own schedule and your ability to provide content and feedback to avoid delays for both you and the designer. 
  • Be very clear on your expectations and make sure to sign an agreement with a project outline and deadlines. If you need additional services such as an e-commerce set up, social media campaigns or ongoing tech support, make sure to negotiate the conditions before you start.

 

Where can I find great stock images to create my own graphics?

These are some great sites to find free stock images:

https://unsplash.com/

https://www.pexels.com

http://www.lifeofpix.com/

If you are looking for more specific photographs and/or want to prioritise diversity it might be good to invest in premium images from a place like Creative Market.

#51 How to shift the ways in which you relate to numbers in your business

#51 How to shift the ways in which you relate to numbers in your business

Hey friends,

I am coming your way with a little solo episode about shifting the way we relate to numbers in our businesses.

This time of the year is usually so much about planning – income goals for next year, reflections on this year, thinking about where we’re at and if it’s “good enough”. For some of us this is right, but I wanted to share some reflections around how we might shift our relationship to numbers and goals in a way that feels good. Amongst other things I talked about:

  • Lowering the bar way down for the sake of our wellbeing
  • A trick I use when I think I don’t get “enough” likes
  • The questions I ask myself to come to clarity with my financial numbers
  • How I track my time
  • Some thoughts around “valuable investments” in my business

 

Enjoy <3

Listen to the DIY Small Business Podcast

on Apple Podcast // Stitcher // Spotify // Soundcloud

 

⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow and I am your host.

My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a small business with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I interview other small business owners and offer solo episodes in which I am answering questions around tech, strategy, more ethical marketing and creative livelihoods.

You can learn more about my web design, tech support, mentoring and community offerings at YarrowDigital.com

Sign up for my newsletter below if you'd like to hear from me about once a month! ⋒

Transcript

Hey, everyone, my name is Yarrow and you’re listening to the DIY small business podcast. Welcome back, really glad to be sitting down and recording this for you. This season is attending again, we’re going towards a deeper winter and a new year. And I thought it would be a good time to record a bite sized episode just to run numbers because they can have such a big impact on us in business. And I, in the last few weeks had a few moments of really pausing and thinking about how we relate to numbers, how I hold myself accountable. What matters to me in numbers, and how did shifted this year. So I wanted to share that with you to hopefully maybe ease the stress of New Year planning and goal setting and little bit because I think all of us deserve more Gentlemen, I really love them that relic who is my business mentor, she does complete different work around self love and self marriage. And her podcast is called the soft shoulder which I adore. But she is talking a lot about courage, compassion, size, and everything. And that concept or that idea really feels so true and, and potent for me in all kinds of areas of life. But yeah, like I said, the last few weeks I’ve been specifically thinking about numbers and what it means to really meet them with compassion. So one thing that I want to offer us this year, just to kind of set the scene as that it’s okay to lower the bar all the way down. I certainly had different plans. At the beginning of the year, I had more specific ideas about what I wanted to do and what my goals were. And they felt really good at the time, I think I was in a playful, intuitive exploratory process of kind of defining them. And yet, when the pandemic head, they also just kind of shifted very quickly. And I put love and attention and energy into different things. And I think I also want to say that maybe from the outside, it looked like I have done a lot this year, I published a book and wrote it obviously in spring in the first bigger follow up down here. And I have grown the embody business community, which I love. I was fully booked with web design work most of the time, but I’ve also rested a lot. And I really, really lowered my expectations of myself, I gave myself a lot of time off social media, a lot of time off client calls, I limited the time that I’m available each week for people to book time with me, I said no to some projects. I said yes to some other things. And I am really such a planner. So I think you know, it’s, it’s easy to say we can just go with the flow. But that takes a lot of energy to some times, for me at least to keep adjusting to things and to keep listening to myself. That’s a practice that I really intentionally have to come back to. And I invite you to think about what that means to you. And just to honour yourself that you’re still here, you know, it’s the end of 2020. And you’re still listening to business podcasts. And that tells me that you are committed to this in some way that feels right to you. And that what that exactly looks like might change over time. And that’s totally okay. So again, just just giving ourselves permission to lower the bar all the way down.
I recently had a session with someone called Emily crispy, she’s great. And she does a lot of support work around podcasting and media production. You can find her at Emily Crosby media.com, in case you’re interested. And that was really insightful because I prepared for the session with her and pads by looking at my numbers and really thinking about what I wanted to get from that session. I haven’t I haven’t ever really heard something out in my business apart from a roofie a few years ago. And so this has been a new experience to really say, Okay, I want to bring some outside support and and so I made a kind of sheet with my goals in business for my two businesses and kind of gave her an overview of where I’m currently at in terms of how many listeners I have, what I’m promoting at the moment what my week looks like what the goals underneath all of that are. And that was really interesting. And I want to kind of flesh that out a little bit more in a moment. And so yeah, I am excited also that both my podcasts are going to receive a little bit of an uplift from working with me because there’s so much technical stuff that I never really had time To pay attention to. And I hear people say sometimes like, Oh my god, you have two businesses where they’re born. And then you run, you know, so many different projects, and you do one on one work. And it’s so much. And I think this session also kind of illustrated to me in a really kind and gentle and positive way that it’s possible for me to be doing all these different things, because I’m not a perfectionist at all. And there’s actually quite a few things around my podcast around NIDA descriptions, and SEO and the way of recording the sound quality that I haven’t had a chance to pay any attention to. Just because I allowed myself to do it in the easiest way possible for me. And that was totally right. I don’t regret that. And, you know, I think that’s just been a really good day a good way for me to, to just get stuff done. And now I’m at a place where I can pause a little bit and say, Hey, like, Is there a way to set this up in a way that’s better, and that’s going to produce a better outcome in terms of sound quality, for example, or in terms of the people that can find a podcast that maybe hadn’t heard of it before? So I’m excited to implement that over the next few weeks. And I really hope that in the new year, I’ll have yet more exciting episodes to share with you. And and it will be noticeable in some ways. And of course, if you have any feedback, or if you have any topics that you want me to talk about, I’m really open to hearing that. So try to not to ramble too far, and come back to my subject of what is enough? And how do you relate? How do we relate to numbers? I think where I would like to begin as an invitation to think about why we look at numbers and why they matter to us. And is that this this sense of the matter? Is that inherent to our goals and what we believe in in business, or is that an external story that we have internalised in some way. I think this unlearning process of these external stories is really kind of an ongoing thing. For me, it’s not like waking up one day and being like, Well, you know, I totally play by my own rules. Now, everything is totally clear to me understand my own intuition. And motivations is often not that simple. But it’s really important and beautiful to be engaged in that process of questioning what is really true for us. So one number segment, for example, that I am engaged with in my work is the time and how I spend it. And when I, when I work with someone on a website, for example, I usually give them a package offer. So there’s like a fixed price that they pay upfront or in instalments. And then I work on the site until it’s completely beautiful, and then the way that they wanted to be. And that means, of course, that the time I spend on each project varies a lot. So I have to price based on Kevin average. And that also means that I have to get to this average by kind of tracking my my time, over a certain amount of projects to get a good feeling. And this is something that I’m trying to come back to, because of course changing. And in some ways, the website I have built sometimes have been coming more complex have more features such as membership integrations are more complex shop setups, and in other ways that become faster, because I’ve done it longer. And so really thinking about the way we spend our time, I think it’s beautiful, and something really worth revisiting at least once a year.
I don’t have a particular tracking tool, but I just use an Excel sheet where I note down, you know what I’ve done each week, I don’t do this every week. But when I’m in a period of deeper tracking and rethinking my prices, then I do that. And that feels really insightful to me. And when I think about pricing, I’m also making sure that I’m really naming what I’m spending each month on time that isn’t directly paid. So that would be social media, writing newsletters, doing PR outreach, doing other kinds of admin. And I’m just kind of really acknowledging myself for doing that work and putting that time in and putting a number on that as well. I think it’s really good. Another angle in which I’m thinking about numbers, is what do I really need? I think this year has obviously brought up so many questions about how we live what is good enough, you know, what, what do we really need as people? What is important, what kind of industries do we want to rescue? How are we we’re structuring on big global scales, but also in our personal lives, like what really matters has become the question in so many ways. And yeah, money is a tricky subject. I don’t want to dive too deeply into kind of money mindset work here, but one thing that I want to offer is to occasionally ask yourself what you really need or what it means to be good enough or right sized. You might relate to this word differently. But to me being right sized, are really exciting to explore this year. So to thinking about how I can actually embrace limitations that I’m living with in a really positive way. So for example, in the depths of the first lockdown, really acknowledging that I needed to cut the work load ahead each week, way back, because I was not feeling the same levels of energy, I needed more or less time to integrate, because being in shock in some way, being creative, just being outside with my dogs in the woods, by myself. And that impacted my income, of course, and whenever I was feeling waves of anxiety around that it felt really helpful to sit down with an extra sheet and really ask myself, what do I really need to to make sure that my basic needs are met. And for my own experience, in my first few years in business, even though I was living with so much anxiety about money and basic needs being met, I wasn’t always clear on that. Which seems so strange to me now, because clarity is something for me, that really eases anxiety. And so I don’t want to live with this fuzzy feeling of feeling like, Oh, is it enough? Like, am I allowed to spend eggs? Can I really justify that am I going to be able to be okay, and pay my rent next month, and so forth. So, you know, like having this kind of extra sheet and having that clarity might not change the income that I have. But at least it gives me the chance to really name what I need to be okay. And then I can work towards that and believe stabilise that myself in that, and then grow from there if I want to. But coming back to limitations, I think this year is also felt good to me to really think about the idea of an upper limit. And I know in a lot of maybe law of attraction, or online inter business stuff, we would It’s often said, you know, like, an upper limit is a bad thing. So something we should like go off, and the sky’s the limit. And I understand to some extent, a sentiment and I really am. So for people dreaming bigger, and you know, growing beyond what they can imagine right now, and you know, just reaching for whatever feels exciting to you. I’m really for that. But I also really like asking questions around what is a sustainable lifestyle? Like, if if everyone in the world had the same lifestyle as me, would we deplete the planet beyond repair, which in some ways, obviously, is already what we’re doing anyway.
Which is probably a subject for another episode. But having moved into this home that I am now has really just satisfied something inside of me that I’ve been feeling for a long time, I’ve always craved secure housing, I always wanted to own my home, Panda was growing guidance, and few really rooted in one place. And I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to make that happen for myself this year. And having that need met also made me feel like Oh, actually, I don’t want to reach beyond that, like, this is good enough. For me, it’s enough space. It’s a beautiful, you know, it’s a beautiful home. And I’m also really happy that I am limited in some ways by the storage space that I have. Because it means I have to be really intentional with the things that I bring in here. And I really embrace that I welcome that. I think that’s really beautiful. And in the same way, in my business, there’s a sense that, yes, I have a little bit of debt left that I really want to repay. And I would love to be able to donate more money or actually, the better read is just redistributed. More of the money that I’m bringing in to causes that I believe in. You know, I certainly have goals, but there’s also a sense of, not continuously and forever be in a mode of growth, and really being able to embrace that nation, and rest and turning inwards and asking questions and processing experiences as well. I really value that. And so, yeah, just coming back to the question, what is good enough? What did what does it mean to be right size? And what do you really need in order to feel financially secure in numbers, and also in feelings if you want. And another thing around numbers that I wanted to share is the way it can come up on social media Oh, and the way more generally how our work is received. So this could be you know, I had X amount of likes, is that enough? I had X amount of followers. What does that mean? And that’s interesting, isn’t that and I think we’re all again in this process of I’m learning, comparison and scarcity. And it’s not an event, it’s a process that will be ongoing. And I know you probably have heard this idea before. And I just wanted to mention it again, because I think it’s really powerful. But what if we pause more often and really amend? Imagine the people that have liked something, or bought something from us or are on our newsletter, and imagine it standing together in a room or on a street or in a park or something. And that’s feeling so beautiful to hold, you know, to really imagine these people standing there, saying yes to you, and showing up for your work. And even if there’s just 10 people right now, like 10 people, you know, imagine them standing there, and really sending them some love and inviting more people and but also being really present with the people that have already said, Yes. Before we ask, How can I grow bigger in numbers and recognition? And I think for me, touching on recognition has also been something around asking, what is it inside of me, or in my younger self, that still craving recognition so much that I care right now about those numbers? And how people respond to my work? And how can I need that younger part of myself maybe, and give myself some recognition in my own way, like from myself? Because I think, you know, we’re living in consumer culture and some way, it’s tempting to always reach outside of ourselves to kind of meet that need, but what can we give ourselves in terms of being seen and recognising and pressing the like button for ourselves? Ah, yeah, I think it also brings up questions around what it means to be creatively fulfilled. So I started a small print making practice, for example, recently, and this has been such a joy, I really enjoyed working off screen and doing something with my hands and sharing some creative ideas I had with the world on Instagram. And I want to be really honest, it didn’t matter to me how people didn’t take like, or that some people buy prints and supported my work in this way. And I think I’m just sitting with that for now. You know, I’m just noticing that in myself, like, I really appreciate that. And that’s the truth. And what does that mean for my work? And, again, how can I kind of build more resilience in myself by giving myself some of that feedback that I maybe wanted from other people? Another thing I run into Instagram that I found interesting is
thinking about effectiveness. And in terms of numbers, how, how much time are we putting into this? And what are we getting from it? So I think there’s so many beautiful reasons for wanting to be on social media that actually about numbers or newsletter signups or sales, or whatever. And I think it’s important to name them and we think about them, of course. But I think it’s also valid and human as a small business owner to think about, you know, okay, I’m putting X amount of numbers in and beyond the beautiful feeling of connection and being seen, what does it actually do for my business, I took a six month social media break into tears 19, which was really beautiful and refreshing and important for my business. And lots of ways. I wrote a lot of scenes in that time. That was kind of the bridge towards writing the book that I wrote this year. And what before I did that, I was, of course, worried that maybe I couldn’t afford that, or people would forget about me, or I needed to find some other big way of kind of bringing, bringing that attention to my business. And what I found was that an average, I’m actually just receiving 100 clicks from Instagram, to my different business sites a month. And I know that because I have a custom landing page that I built on my website. And so in my stats for my website, I can see how many people have landed on that page, that you only get two from Instagram that particular month, and it’s 100 people. And I think that’s a great number. Again, I want to imagine, you know, these 100 people standing somewhere clicking on that link, and why they can click on so many different things on Instagram and the internet at large. They’ve decided to spend some time on my website and that’s really beautiful. But I think especially before I took that social media break, I really had the sense that I was so present on that I was spending so much time on Instagram and really making an effort of creating nice graphics and being part of a conversation and always being in touch with my direct messages. And you know, all this kind of stuff that goes into it and then to see like the result of that is 100 clicks a month was kind of A little bit sobering in a way because I was also using a time tracker. And I noticed that at the time before I took the social media break, I was spending on average 10 hours a week on Instagram. And I know, this is a shocking number. And also, I know I’m not alone. This is very common. I also know of course, that not all of that time was spent on business activities, because it’s also an account in which you know, through a day, connect with my friends and see what they’re up to, I search for inspiration, all that kind of stuff. And so I can say, Well, I have put 10 hours into this. But nevertheless, on average, I was spending about 40 hours a month on Instagram, and I was getting 100 clicks. And that’s so disproportionate, right like that, that is just a terrible use of time, if you want to really look at it from that numbers point of view. And that kind of really opened my eyes and made me think like, Hey, you know, if my, if my goal is to create connections with people to have conversations, to bring attention to my work to do visual research, maybe that is 40 hours a month, really, the right thing to do for 100 clicks. And of course, there’s been other stuff that I got from it. But still, you know, this is an interesting question. And I asked myself, Well, what if I spend 20 of those hours on reaching out to other podcasters inviting people to be guests on my show? and researching stuff, reading books, people wrote interesting pods. And yeah, that that was a something that really kind of in a big way changed my relationships to my relationship to numbers and also how to how to track things and relate to my own goals. And it really allowed me to soften a little bit and, and ask some more questions. So I hope this little ramble has given you some food for thought as well. And maybe some space to kind of expand your definition of what a goal for the next year is and what you want to pay attention to end what you even want to track in terms of numbers because maybe we don’t want to track anything right now. And you just want to exist and that’s okay, too.
I have my interview session in the year which I’m excited about. Tea and by the business community is going to open on the 13th of January for 15 new people you can get on a waitlist if you’re interested in that. It’s going to be $300 or three payments of 100. a whole year of group coaching and life workshops, a big horse and lots of lovely people to be in a community with. Let me know if you have any questions and as always, thank you so much for listening.

#50 Joyful business pivoting with Gina Wisotzky

#50 Joyful business pivoting with Gina Wisotzky

Hey everyone,

we got to episode 50, woo! Thank you so much for all your support and cheering on. I really fucking love this project and I could not be happier to share my interview with the wonderful Gina Wisotzky to mark the occasion. Listening back just now my heart is so full – there was so much inspiration, acceptance and truth in what Gina shared. Here is some of what we talked about:

  • Navigating the pandemic with grit and clarity
  • Being present with ourselves in our businesses and really listening to what is needed
  • Boldly changing directions when the time is right
  • Making space for intuition in our decision making processes
  • DIY media and walking away from social media

I’m so happy to know Gina and to know I am not alone in working all these strange, difficult and exciting things out.

Gina Wisotzky is a tarot reader, teacher, writer and the creator of Incandescent Tarot. With four years’ experience reading professionally and almost twenty practicing and studying the cards, she believes in tarot’s power as a transformative tool anyone can use. When not reading tarot, writing, or doing intuitive work, you can find her gardening, cooking over-elaborate meals, and wrangling her menagerie of animal companions in Durham, North Carolina.

http://incandescenttarot.com
https://incandescenttarot.substack.com/

Here is more info about the Embodied Business Community I mentioned: https://yarrowdigital.com/diy-business-school/

Listen to the DIY Small Business Podcast

on Apple Podcast // Stitcher // Spotify // Soundcloud

 

⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow and I am your host.

My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a small business with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I interview other small business owners and offer solo episodes in which I am answering questions around tech, strategy, more ethical marketing and creative livelihoods.

You can learn more about my web design, tech support, mentoring and community offerings at YarrowDigital.com

Sign up for my newsletter below if you'd like to hear from me about once a month! ⋒

Transcript

Yarrow Magdalena 0:00
Hey, everyone, my name is Yarrow and you’re listening to the DIY small business podcast. Thank you so much for joining me, this episode is really special for two reasons. Number one, as we have come to episode number 50, which is really cool. This podcast isn’t as old as my father one day two awards, which is approaching 100 episodes soon. So that’s pretty cool. But it is also really close to my heart. And I’m just really happy to have gathered this body of work and to get to speak to so many different people and also answer questions and solo episodes. So yeah, celebrate with me. And the second reason this is special is that I interviewed Dina from incandescent Taro and I, I just listened back to this episode. And I don’t say that lightly, but my heart is so full, because it’s been really beautiful to, to just speak to Gina and feel less alone and navigating everything that’s happening this year. I really loved watching her journey and the ways that she has pivoted in her business creatively and structurally. And there’s just been so much nodding along in this episode, really. And I hope that you’re listening and feeling inspired to find courage to bring more of your own intuition into your business decisions. And really remember that you are running a small business because you want to make the rules. And that you get to do that. And that you really get to listen to yourself and what you need and how you want to be a service. That’s some of the stuff that I’ve taken away from listening. So yeah, I really hope this serves you well. And not any updates from me, I’m recording this intro mid November and kind of winding down for the year, I have one more exciting project for web design that I’m working on this year. And otherwise, I’m taking a long break over the holidays, for three weeks make hand is blocked, because I want to give myself time and space to process. And if you can, and if that’s available to you, I really encourage you to go ahead and lock your calendar as well. Because it’s been a lot and you deserve that downtime. As we all do, really. In the New Year and mid January, I’m going to reopen the embody business community and there’s going to be 15 places you can get on a waitlist if you like I’m going to link to that in the show notes. And that’s probably going to be the main way you can work with me in 2021. Because I’m I’m limiting the one on one work that I offer to focus more on the community, which has become such a beautiful place to be in. There’s a lot more live content. Now we have a monthly live tag drop in support session now. We have group support session or group coaching, if you will, tonnes of live workshops, co working spaces, and just a lot of engagement in the community on mighty networks. And I feel it’s really become the beautiful, creative and supportive space that I always wanted it to be. And so I want to give this all my love and attention. And I also think that financially it’s a more affordable way for people to receive long term support as an alternative to working with me one on one for a shorter period of time. So yeah, I hope you’ll take that out. And I would love to hear what you think about this episode. Thank you for listening. Hey, everyone, I’m so happy to bring another interview session to you. I haven’t interviewed a lot of people for the business podcast this year. So I’m extra excited to have Gina of incandescent Taro here today to talk about well many things we’ve just said there’s so much on our minds and like we really open. But I think part of the reason I’ve invited Gina is that I followed her story for a few years. We first met on Instagram and I almost want to say in the old days when this is where I used to meet people because I want to already live in a future where we freed ourselves from social media basically. So anyway, Gina and I met back on Instagram and the old days and I’ve received readings from her I so so love and appreciate her newsletter and I’ve seen her pivot and her business a few times in ways that really deeply inspired me and I think we’re recording this at the end of October 2020 pivoting has been a big thing for all of us. So I thought this is a beautiful thing to dive a little bit deeper into. So Gina, thank you so much for making time. You’re so wonderful. I love your work and I’m so excited to talk to you.

Gina Wisotzky 4:45
I’m so glad to be here and the feeling is like beyond mutual. I remember you were one of the first people I found on the great wild internet and I love that we can say like old timey style back in the old days of him. To gramme, which I feel like has gone through 20 iterations since then. But you were one of the first people that I found that I really resonated with. And so it’s really lovely hearing you say those things about my work, because I feel like you were sort of the, the leader of all those changes, and I watched you do it. I was like, okay, like, here’s someone who’s really being authentic, and present with themselves. And that was so nice and refreshing to see online.

Yarrow Magdalena 5:30
Oh, Tina, thank you so much. I had no idea that, yeah, I had no idea. So that’s really sweet to hear. Thank you so much. I want to begin by just kind of giving people an overview of what you do. And I know you do different things, but in your own words, like what feels true at the moment.

Gina Wisotzky 5:49
I really like that you say in the moment, because I’ve been trying to find, you know, good, a good name for myself, without self descriptions, not always my strong suit. But at the most broad level. I’m calling myself right now a tarot reader and a spiritual writer. So I do a lot of tarot readings online. I’ve been reading since I was 12. So almost 20 years Exactly. And I’ve had my business for about four years now, which is crazy to say out loud. So I offer a lot of tarot readings, I used to teach a lot. And now I’m trying to transition to online teaching, which is my exciting new frontier. And then I also do you click basically consulting sessions around spirituality and intuition.

Yarrow Magdalena 6:35
Yes, I love them. And I think you’re holding such a beautiful place for people to really have a sounding board. I remember my last reading that I had with you. Wow. Which was just yeah, it was really a peanut stir is with me today. Because I think, especially in a time, like this year, where so much is changing. And it really just brings up more questions than it gives us answers, it’s really good to have that kind of space to feel stuff out. And also not to do it alone all the time. Because obviously, I do read for myself as well. And I really value that as a practice. But oh my gosh, like I can just, you know, things can just amplify and bounce between the walls of my brain. No one else is around. So yeah, thank you. That’s, that’s beautiful. And I would love to kind of hear what the pandemic has been like for you so far, and what it has shifted in your business, you’ve already mentioned that you’re shifting more to online teaching, and I would love to hear more about that. Wow.

Gina Wisotzky 7:37
I mean, the pandemic has been such a wild experience in so many ways. And for all of us, you know, I was really, I think, in the circles we run in and the people we work with, there’s a lot of highly sensitive people, people who are really in tune with their feelings with life itself, and its uncertainties. And I’ve noticed a lot of them saying and my experience as well being that there was something clarifying about the pandemic, and that a lot of the injustice and inequalities and the, the toughness of life became suddenly a topic everyone was discussing. And so it’s a weird feeling to have that sense of acknowledgement, like, oh, finally, we’re talking about these things. It’s really scary and sad and tough. That for me, personally, I was surprised to have a sense of relief around it as well, like, now Now we can see how high the stakes are a lot of the times and you know just how uncertain Our world is. And I for me that brought a lot of clarity. It made it a lot of things I was hemming and hawing about, like no longer issues. It’s like, Oh, I just have to do this. Like, there was an end, you know, a lot of that was not so spiritual and lovely. It was also like financial and like, what am I working with? How can I support myself? What are my skills, what really matters to me.

Unknown Speaker 9:14
So

Gina Wisotzky 9:16
it’s been a wild ride to be tossed into this new normal, as we all like to say, and to just have to ride everything as it comes in to be more creative and innovative in the moment. And it’s such a trade off, you know, sometimes it’s it’s exhilarating, sometimes it’s incredibly stressful. But I think it has made me realise just how much I value certain things and how I don’t have the time to personally put that off or you know, devalue it. And do all my weird Weasley like, oh, now’s not the time or I can’t do that or, you know, that’s not really important. So there has been some clarity there. But also a lot of chaos.

Yarrow Magdalena 10:03
Yeah, totally for sure. I feel really similar. There’s been so much clarification and at the same time, a sense of urgency, but also this deep need for rest and slowness. And sometimes there’s bouncing between these things and finding, like real gold and the middle, where I’m allowing the urgency of like, Oh, yeah, I really need to cut these things out. Like, this is ridiculous. I don’t have time for that anymore. And I need to urgently come back to myself, and what’s important to me, and that’s also rest, and so on. And so maybe that change will take time. But I really feel so strongly that I do want to let this time change me and my business. I think that’s really important. I don’t want to look back five years from now and be like, well, I don’t know I was at home, I guess that’s what happened in 2020.

Gina Wisotzky 11:02
I wonder, you know, if, like, if just noticing the people who I didn’t realise the deep extent to which I am like an at home person by nature, I was doing a lot of just like, if you were to like, give me a label, I’m like an introvert with extrovert tendencies. And so in the before times, it was really easy for me to just like, spin out into the extrovert tendencies and think that was sustainable. And a part of the pandemic has been really kind of amusing to me. It’s like, Oh, I really like having space and time and quiet. Those are actually totally non negotiable. And I think a lot of people who are similarly oriented are like, looking around their house, like, I could just be here. This could be a regular feature of my life. And I didn’t know that beforehand. That’s been kind of a surprising thing. Like, no, this is really good for me.

Yarrow Magdalena 12:01
Yeah. Yeah, totally. And I think, yeah, it’s really good to develop language around holding both these things like the grief and the chaos and the stress fullness of it. And the pain of seeing so many people really suffer. And also saying, like, oh, wow, I’m so lucky, I have this home, I get to be and then it’s really quite cosy in here. And I enjoy my own company in the company of the people and animals that I live with. I know you’re living with some really cool animals that they say I think, you know, it’s a pandemic, so

Gina Wisotzky 12:36
you can’t run away from yourself, like I just stuck in my house or stuck with my creatures. And there have been in my business, you know, there just been a lot of things where I’ve tried to weasel out of my true nature. And one part of my true nature is that I’m always gonna have a lot of animals around me, even though I like to talk the talk of, you know, simplifying, and, you know, one day we’ll travel because we’ll have one dog instead of three.

Unknown Speaker 13:04
But yeah, right now, I

Gina Wisotzky 13:05
think it’s two, yes, two dogs, we found a bird. So now we have another bird, we have a pigeon, and a cat. So they’re delightful. They’re all crazy. They have to be corralled. Now, because they make a lot of noise. So this babysitting

Yarrow Magdalena 13:27
sounds like an amazing pag. You already touched on something that I kind of want to expand on, which is this, like, being in words and keeping some things to ourselves. And I want to kind of see how that fits into social media as well, because you’re not on Instagram anymore. But you’re exploring other platforms. And I love I would love to hear more about what that’s been like, and whether that’s kind of scary. And like, what is what are you gaining from that?

Gina Wisotzky 13:54
That was a really big one for my business. I actually, when I started my business four years ago, I wasn’t on Instagram at all, not even personally, and I actually didn’t know how Instagram worked. I thought you just followed people like there is no like avenue to see anything else randomly. So it’s pretty funny to just dive in. And I quickly got sucked in and overwhelmed. And so I was on Instagram for about three years. I think I had a personal account. At one point I spent most of my time on my business account, I had a Facebook, I tried to tweet, it was not successful. I was just lurking and looking at other people’s tweets, which is really entertaining and very dangerous for me. But it was an interesting experience since I had not much exposure. I had kind of gone in and out of social media before then too. And I didn’t even sort of the classic, you know, like a frog in the pot of water that flows. gets turned up. And eventually it’s boiling. I wasn’t realising just how much my brain was getting clogged with information about other people about their businesses, about how you should be doing things, how much you should be sharing. And so, in a way, just diving into it, I didn’t have a moment to really ask myself what I wanted. And it was also my first solo business, too. So I was feeling this intense pressure to do everything and be really visible and just make it all happen. But the funny part about it was that it completely paralysed me. So I was doing, like five things really poorly, and feeling a tonne of pressure, and then like, irritation and guilt around that, like, Oh, well, I should be doing this. I should I be posting more regularly on Instagram. I’m just bad at it. It was a really big ol swamp that I was getting stuck in all the time. And I mean, it took me like, three years to get out of it. And I think there’s so much there’s so much pressure around it. And there’s no right or wrong answer. That’s another thing too. Like for me, I just had to really look at myself and the quality of life and be like, is this helping or hurting me. And some people can use social media and like the most amazing, fluid authentic way. And I was just running up against this brick wall time and time again, I was like you are not one of these people, there is no middle ground for you, you are going to get sucked into rabbit holes, you’re going to get caught in comparisons. And interestingly to like, all of that had a really big creative spiritual component to it as well, because I was taking in so much information. And I wasn’t allowing or even I don’t think it was possible. Like there was no way for me to cultivate an equal or greater amount of space for my own creativity, my own spirituality, my own business savvy to come through. So I got really stuck. And, you know, I wish I could have said that, like I took a big stand like during the like heyday of my full time business. And it was like no longer. I didn’t I have like a crisis. I was like about the scrap my business completely. And so the prelude to that was getting off social media. And the pandemic kind of saved my butt because I was really close to getting rid of everything at that point. And then I had to get scrappy and creative with income and what I was spending my time on in my home. And then I decided to just try without social media, like really in a concerted way. So it’s been a rocky road. And it’s definitely been something that I was, I had to be like, fully immersed in and like struggle through to see like, is this worth it for me? Is this worth it for my life, my business? who I want to be as a person and how I want to spend my time because, you know, I think the biggest thing when I look back is like it was so much time. And a lot of that time was not. I don’t like the word productive because it feels like we should always be productive. But it wasn’t productive on many different levels, in terms of feeding my soul and what makes my life positive and beautiful and complex and not always positive but rich.

And it definitely was like a huge volunteer on my business because I was just like hobbling around like, oh, nothing’s adequate. I’m just spreading myself so thin. So I’ve been really surprised at how open and inspired I am not spending time in those spaces.

Yarrow Magdalena 19:07
Yes, I was just nodding a language people can hear. See. So yeah, just want to affirm that I resonate so deeply with so much of what you said I have a similar experience of really feeling this openness and inspiration and the the knowing that the overwhelm can come so quickly. And I think the narrative is so strong, especially when you’re starting out like you have to be on there all the time and ideally on multiple platforms, whether or not they actually skewed your message or the kind of environment that you want to be and like Twitter being such a good example. I took that really serious in the beginning and I build up to I think 4000 followers before I deleted it because Fucking hell like it’s so fast paced that I just don’t, I’m not suited to those kinds of conversations, right? Like I have an idea and then like, you refresh two minutes later and because they It’s like on the ship has sailed. Totally. And so like, if I had had the courage and the mindfulness or like, the intention in the beginning of my business of really sitting down and be like, what kind of content I might actually enjoy and creating, like, what is sustainable for me to do on a regular basis, it would have been so clear that that’s not rich. But then on the other hand, I also want to have so much compassion for us just doing this thing that we didn’t know how to do that we’ve done for the first time that really no one teaches you how to do. And of course, you look around yourself, and you’re like, Well, you know, like, what’s working here? What can I do? And what can I do? That’s free as well? Like, what’s the starting point? that’s relatively low risk, at least financially? And I think that brings up another interesting question, because people always say, well, social media is free. But I really want to question that and say, we are pouring so much energy into creating free content. And that is a currency and that is taking time away, that we could be making money in other ways. So this is not free at all. I am on Instagram at the moment, which is alright, but I think it is alright, because I don’t have a smartphone anymore. So I don’t have an app, I can scroll in bed, you know, morning or evening, I can just open it in my browser occasionally. And I go to specific people that I want to see. And then sometimes I post through my browser, but that’s like, I’m just like you, I also would have otherwise felt unable to find some kind of middle ground or balance. So that works for me. But last year, between August and December, I took a complete break as well, and wasn’t on at all. And I really saw that my business just wasn’t crumbled. That crumbling the way I had always thought it would I had more time to record podcast episodes and write themes and connect with people and lots of other ways and really came to appreciate them so much. And so I’m sorry, this isn’t a nice. I would love to hear like what have you found that is exciting? Or like, when you’re you know, you’ve regained so much time now? Where are you investing that and what feels good in terms of connecting with people and building community?

Gina Wisotzky 22:25
That’s such a good question. You just have so many things. I was like, remember that amazing point. And it’s so true, you know, to go way back to the beginning, you know, when he said that, that’s really good to have compassion around these things. I totally agree. And I think, you know, even though it was such a slog at times, and I really felt like in it, I’m the type of person where I really need to experience something fully to, you know, and that this can be a flaw sometimes, because that was a lot of time of my life. But I really have to feel like I’ve explored all the options or veto exhausted is probably a good word because I felt pretty exhausted. But exhausted the opportunities out there. Because I think those realisations to really lasting because you have this sense of thoroughness. And like no, I really, I really did that for me that those platforms were, were not the right place. And, and back to what you’re asking. I think that’s kind of the missing question that I have to frequently return to. It’s definitely not a done deal. But like, Where do I communicate the best? Where do I feel inspired to create? That’s been an really interesting thing to see. I think, you know, when, when I was younger, I had the sense of limitless possibility. And also, it was very like cocky about my abilities. So it’s like, well, I can learn anything, I can make myself do anything. Sounds healthy.

Unknown Speaker 24:00
What fun,

Gina Wisotzky 24:01
but recently just realising, you know, just because I could, doesn’t mean I should, and then more disturbingly, the older I get, and the more I grow, to know myself and what I need, there’s this kind of like, Oh, I actually can’t make myself do that anymore. Like, I will rebel. Like I will drag my feet, I will not be sharing, or I will not be creating. And it’s not because I’m not trying hard enough, it’s because it’s not the right place. Which is a little bittersweet, because you want to think that you could just do anything. But why torture yourself. So when I got rid of social media, it was a lot easier to look at the Internet as a place where you could really work with things creatively. Like I think back when Instagram was like, baby platform and everyone Do you see this with like any platform like Tick Tock now, which I feel like has gotten more solidified. But people, it’s like the Wild West. Everyone’s like, okay, we have this new place. But we could do anything here. And so there’s all this innovation and sort of like open minded engagement with technology. And so when I got off of Instagram, which was really tough for me, I started looking at other platforms and being like, how can I just use these platforms as myself? Like, how can I use, you know, my newsletter? In a way that feels really inspiring to me? Like, how do I communicate? Like, how do I like to share? It’s not through like monthly long communications that take a lot of editing, like that, for me, like anything that I have to edit a time is where like, my like, demon side comes out, like, as complicated as possible. Let’s torture you with indecision. And, but somehow, you will think that this is going to be this will make it better, it never makes it better. I often never even share those things, because I’ve just tangled myself up in the corner. So I found that, you know, having a newsletter that’s more frequent and more like inspired like fresh in the moment, what I’m thinking about, has been so much fun. And has it’s really been kind of a like a trust fall, you know, like, it takes a lot to walk away from these places that are so established are these ideas about how we should be doing our businesses are sharing online. But I’m always shocked at how much I get responses to things that I’m sharing from a place of inspiration, versus that sort of perfectionist of how do I make the ultimate Taro course. Like, that’s something that I’ve been just bumping my head up against some hilarious ways, because like, you’re doing it the old way, Gina, like you’re doing it the old way, you’re not having fun, and you’re not creating something that you really believe in, because it’s, you’re trying to fit it into this box. But, you know, I feel like if I were to be a person who put post it up on their Wall, my house would be covered in them. For where do you feel inspired and energised? Like, work from that place? Yeah, so that was very rambling.

Yarrow Magdalena 27:24
No, yeah, that’s great. I really feel that yes, that’s so true. And I, I want to name also just for people that are interesting, interested in this, because I’m always like Geeking on about software and alternatives. So you are using substack, I think, for your newsletter, right? And then have a mighty network as well,

Gina Wisotzky 27:44
right? Yes, I do. And I really like both of them. You turned me on to mighty networks, which is amazing. And I feel like that place has so much potential to sort of create a social media esque experience without all of the clutter and noise from advertising outside sources. It feels like such a cosy, safe space. I don’t have any paywalls for it, so it’s free, but you have to request to join. And I feel like that’s really like has this muscle of glow around it where anyone can come in. And you know, you can stay as long as you’d like as long as you’re not being a jerk. No jerks allowed though. But that in and of itself, I think is just for me being a tender soul a nice place to share and I’ve seen people really share in authentic beautiful ways there too. And I really am enjoying substack so I was on MailChimp for a while I wish their interface was more intuitive. I have such a I was always annoying. My my husband complaining about MailChimp, right? He had no clue what I was talking about.

Unknown Speaker 29:01
You need to know.

Gina Wisotzky 29:03
So I finally know that the bullet and jumped ship and then sub stack is just so streamlined, it really works for me, because it’s very simple. And you can just send things out. It’s really affordable, free, actually, which is chef’s kiss delightful. And something about that like uncluttered space really helps me just share spontaneously, and without as much pressure. there’s not as many analytics I think, you know, if you’re the type of person who wants analytics, that’s maybe not the best place for you, but I can get bogged down in that stuff. And it’s not a metric that I’m measuring my success off of. So those are my two main areas right now and then I’m maintaining my my website, which is lovely, but it’s Funny speaking to the days of when free content was, like, expected everywhere. I have so much free content on there. And it’s really nice to just after all those years of creating it, have it be in its little home. And it’s really lovely, how many people it reaches? But I’ll still share it smaller tidbits there as well.

Yarrow Magdalena 30:21
Yeah, I think that’s such a good point about the free content and how that that culture is finally shifting, because I think that’s another thing when we were starting out, I started this business in 2015. And Facebook groups are really big. And the other things that was really big was like one or two page, PDFs, that were like guides that you would offer as a free download to people who would sign up to your newsletter. And it was really aggressive, sometimes like the things people did to build their newsletter list. And then, but also the overwhelm that we created just kind of throwing around all this free stuff and not being mindful of what we could actually engage with, like, how much can we hold at any given point in time and really take in, and then also building these huge newsletters of totally disengaged people that have like maybe used a newsletter address that they only use for spammy stuff, or like, you know, inviting, like 100 newsletters into your inbox, and then never reading any of them. And like, obviously, that’s, that’s totally okay, if that’s your jam. And I don’t think it’s wrong. I think it’s just what we did. And it was okay. And again, we can give ourselves grace. But I really love also seeing that change. And people recognising that small is beautiful. And it’s much more powerful to have a small group of really committed people who just really love what you’re doing, and they want to be hearing from you whether you give them a free PDF

Gina Wisotzky 31:52
that was so popular, and I still have you know that I have a pop up where you can get this. Oh, man, I so extra, like this PDF. If y’all want it like it’s Primo PDF, it was like probably 30 pages long. It’s like its own little mini Tarot instruction booklet. But I remember I would make so many things like that. And it would take me so long, and I you know, never get paid for it, which is say lovey, I am glad to see the shift away from that, because I think it created this huge glut of information. And I actually think it really overwhelmed people to you know, just, you have all these resources, but how do you actually like, integrate and digest them. But it’s funny, because with my newsletter Now, like I have, probably about half of the people came from the PDF zone, and then half of them actually want the newsletter. So whatever I look at my statistics, like this is very evident.

Somebody who just don’t open it, which is totally fine. And then the people who are like,

no, I really want to hear what you have to say. And internet is kind of funny like that, you know, we put out all of these things. And it’s so you just don’t know what they’re going to do what they’re going to bring back into your orbit. And there’s something very magical about that kind of like fishing. Like, yeah, it’s going to find these who’s going to actually get something out of them.

Yarrow Magdalena 33:22
Yeah, I agree. And there really is no way of knowing. And I think sometimes free stuff can also be beautiful. Like I think especially if we do work that is so intimate and personal. It’s really nice to give people a chance to get to know as in a way, like maybe hear your voice, whether that’s in writing or in an audio or video, but just some kind of way of saying like, this is what it feels like to engage with what I do. And you can try that for free. I think there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. It’s just that it has blown up so much and becomes such a series of rated things that I do, like, everyone just feels overwhelmed by. So yeah, that’s really interesting. I’m so happy that you found substack is like a space that really works for you. And yeah, I had another follow up question cut their brain, my pandemic brain. I know for a newsletter. free stuff. Oh, yeah. Yes. Yes. Yes. So you were talking about the content that’s now living on your website? And I think that’s another interesting aspect, isn’t it? Because I think, well, it has so many beautiful aspects to it. Like one I really like seeing how our perspective change over time. And I want to be honest, like I few weeks ago, I deleted a podcast episode for example, because I was so embarrassed. I interviewed someone I was really admiring and still admire this person so much and I was just really sounding like a 15 year old teenager who was like, not, not at all able to string a sentence together. Who hadn’t really prepared I had actually prepared, but I was just reading those in the moment. And I just felt like that episode was just not providing any value. And I was just feeling embarrassed about it. And, and also, there’s other stuff on my website that I look at back and I’m like, yeah, you know, like, that was just a different time in my life I’ve learned and things have grown. But I, I wouldn’t have grown had not given myself that space to do the things and just try it in the first place like Otherwise, I would still be at an employment probably. Oh, gosh. And so. And then the other component is, I think that, like you said, like, you kind of like you’re putting your fishing that out there. And you never know what happens. And it’s so interesting how people sometimes again, ugly, just through Google searches, still find really old content, but really resonate with that. And then and then kind of like, you know, explore whole thing and our world and become subscribers or work with us. And I have a blog post, for example, please don’t look it up, I think I really hope I have, like, we’re all like, have our pens. I think I wrote this when I was 27. It was called What if I want to be single forever? And? Well, it’s just super awkward. Like, I still like the idea. And I think it was an important question to ask at that point in my life. But it was just so it was just there was so much self consciousness and the writing. So it feels really, really awkward. And like, just like cringy anyway, but for years and years, every single day, people would learn an article who had googled What if I want to be single forever. And so you really never know that. So that’s the magic of the internet, right?

Gina Wisotzky 36:47
That is so beautiful. And I’m just like, it’s really fascinating. You I think, every day, I kind of forget how the internet works. I have stuff out there and like people find it. I look at like my website traffic, and people are looking at very sappy y’all. But there are some funny things that you’re just like, this really resonated. And it’s almost like its own little ecosystem that’s formed, like, you know, maybe you, you started the coral reef, but everything’s growing off of it, and you go back and you look and like, Whoa, this is this is really resonating. And there is something so strange about. I mean, I think it’s also the nature of our work too, because it is much more, you know, ephemeral, spiritual, however you want to put it, you know, it really invites intimacy in a different level than say, like, blogging about finance. Who knows, maybe there are some deeply intimate exchanges in that realm. I don’t know about but, you know, there is a really odd and kind of magical thing about like, your past self is almost communicating with people. And I think there’s something really tender about seeing that, like, I have some blog posts to where I’m like, Whoa, girl, like you were, you were in it, and you just put it out there. And yeah, the writing of like, okay, I can see you second guessing yourself. every paragraph, but there it is. And, you know, people are still clicking and reading and finding something. But you know, it is odd, it’s like being a private person, and then having that just be be out in the world. And there’s something really beautiful and i i think that’s too with like the free content. Like I don’t have a lot of regrets around it. I know, I spent a lot of time. But you know, part of my business ethos is really like fostering space for people and inviting people into Tarot and spirituality and intuition. Because I believe it’s accessible to everyone and should be. So even though my, my older, my younger self was like, had no boundaries, it was like, take my 60 page PDF, so I have five. I don’t regret that because it really did give a lot of resources to people. But you know, now my writing is different. Now my sharings different and that’s wonderful, too.

Yarrow Magdalena 39:23
Yeah, I feel like everything we covered in the last 10 minutes or so also speaks to how important that is to play the long game. And I’ve been thinking like this year about what I need to stay committed and almost like, I love the word devotion and this idea that at some point, discipline can become devotion, but really only if we’re doing something that feels truly true for us and is sustainable and regenerative and healing to us on multiple levels and just kind of is what we need to do and I wait before I carry on What was it? Like? I think in that narrative of what I just said, I also want to say, I don’t mean that in a flat, just follow your heart kind of way because I think we glorify that in a way that devalues, feminised, labour and care work, and all the other things that are also part of life and that we should never try to grow beyond if that makes sense. I think there’s something around like, accumulating wealth by following our heart to a point where we get everyone else to do the crappy shit we don’t want to do. And that’s not what I mean, either, right? But I think, yeah, like, how can I How can I create working conditions for myself that that can really be the long game for me, I would love to hear what that means for you at the moment.

Gina Wisotzky 40:49
There’s so much there. And I really like that You, you, oh, my God, that’s another that’s a whole nother podcast discussion.

There’s Judo,

I think, especially in this line of work and with the culture of the internet over the past, you know, 510 years, leading to all these, like wonderful businesses. And around a lot of this, you know, feminised work, which is like the slick, very emotional, sort of holding space, fostering communication in these areas that don’t get a lot of airtime in our culture. And a lot of times the big growth narratives are really intense and sort of stifle or devalue that, you know, like, you should be moving away from it. Or, you know, and there’s no easy answers to those questions. I think that was one thing that I was really missing in the business narrative was that it’s going to be different for everyone. And you can say, like, yeah, I need strong boundaries, which is like, the buzzword, you know, like, everyone’s talking about the strong boundaries, but those can change. And, you know, a lot of the questions around what that looks like for you, they’re actually really challenging, meaty questions that you have to continually wrestle with. And so, I think, for me to the idea of success was really it came with a tonne of baggage on surprisingly. And I found myself striving for this very, like competitive version of success that really didn’t fit. And it’s been funny, I feel very grateful right now actually, just thinking about it. Like, all the times I felt something was off, have been really important for me personally and professionally, even if they’ve been extremely confusing and frustrating, because they always have that wisdom of, I think you’re trying on something that doesn’t fit you. And I think you’re adopting some goalposts or measurements that you don’t believe in. So that idea of success being like, Oh, I’m gonna make a tonne of money out of my Tarot business. No, I don’t make a tonne of money out of my Tarot business. And I love it so much more, when I don’t. And that’s not to say that there will not be some golden future where I’m raking it in and feeling fulfilled, that would be lovely. But right now and overall, like, my idea of success is more about connecting, honouring the work that I do, and in really working with the people who need to be working with me. And it’s been very interesting to see how much cosier I feel in that space. And I was like this sense of what should I be wanting more like, shouldn’t I be you know, wanting to push myself or like build up my numbers. Whenever I get in that headspace. I kind of lose my train of thought.

Unknown Speaker 43:49
Like, I don’t even know what I want to

Gina Wisotzky 43:50
share anymore. But like all of a sudden, I’m thinking about like what people might like to hear. And that’s usually for like, first siren call off my

Unknown Speaker 43:59
path. Like,

Gina Wisotzky 44:00
how do I manipulate this to, you know, get more followers get more engagement? That’s not really what I want to do. But it’s so insidious is so just there all the time.

Yarrow Magdalena 44:12
And really, as Yes, I loved everything that you just said, I have both my podcast yesterday published an episode called exploring voluntary simplicity, because I never really resonated with the expression of voluntary positivity because I think poverty actually is violent. It’s hardly ever chosen. It’s way more complicated than that. I would never say yeah, that’s what I choose, but really choosing simplicity. It’s like Yeah, totally. Oh, yes. This feels so good. And wait again, there was a really important thing I wanted to forgot. Oh, God, I Oh, yeah. Okay, sorry. Got it back. Got it back. It didn’t slip too far. But what you were saying about like, just I think the phrase redefining Success isn’t even capturing it, because that’s also so overused. And it doesn’t really feel quite true. But I think you’re totally right. It feels so cosy if we’re just focusing on working with the people that were meant to work with us right now. And that feels really good. And also to give ourselves time to not always reach for the next big thing. And, and money is a part of that definitely like in in March, when things first really kicked off, I got so anxious about money, as I am sure many of us were and I lost a few projects that were local businesses that had to shut down. So they weren’t investing in the way that they had initially planned, they would. And so I was really freaking out and just kind of took a moment to allow myself to be with the fear and be like, okay, but what do you have to tell me, like, what is really happening here? And trying to engage with that fear? And I think there’s, there was a younger part of myself that felt so insecure and like so unsupported in the world, and like, having to figure everything out by myself. And I was done asking, like, Okay, what would I need to never worry about money again, and I allowed myself to do this thought experiment of being like, Okay, so how many millions? Would I actually need to have like, a grand a month for the rest of my life, where I can just like, live a small, simple life on a grand mountain, but like, how many millions is like, what do I really need to be able to maybe either live off the interest is something and obviously, like, that’s not something that I that’s in any way within reach, but I was just like, allowing myself to go there. And, and it really, I think, after a few days of panicking, came back to I think this is so much more about creative resilience of experiencing myself being able to pivot in a moment of stress, and trauma, and seeing that I still have really good skills, and I have experience, and I don’t know what it looks like. But it’s not something I can put a number on. This is not about having three or 4 million in the bank, it’s about allowing myself to be human and being part of a community and staying open to creative solutions and working with people. And also accepting limitations, because I think, especially as white people, it’s so important that we ask ourselves what it means to to be right sized, and to kind of serve in the way that we can and, like offer our work to anyone who finds it useful. But not to trip beyond that it’s not necessary anymore. And that is something maybe that’s also not so easy to let go of, because again, the narrative is so big, that bigger is always better and like a bigger following as just more security and tonnes of whatever happens next. And I don’t necessarily think that that’s true.

Gina Wisotzky 47:57
So moving is like an ulterior over here just because really resonate with that. And yeah, there’s something so money is such a triggering topic. And like that idea of scarcity, how much we need to survive. Those are really real, big and important questions. And I think for me, the pandemic really forced me to kind of confront them head on, they had a very similar experience to you where I was like, I’m going to crunch the numbers like, I’m going to actually like, write this down, I went through like this crazy budgeting phase for like, my household finances and my husband and I finally, like really combined our finances and like started practising having a marriage where we were talking about money every week, which has been like shockingly, I mean, maybe not, but it’s very intimate. It’s really cool, actually. And healing to sort of weave in what I think we divorce from meaning or spirituality back in there. You know, I think about the Pentacles and Tarot, like, our money is something we can, we can use, it’s a tool, it can give us stability, but it’s not, you know, we’ve kind of like desecrated the idea of money by making it this like capitalist kind of Boogeyman almost to the point where we’re not really aware of what we’re working with. Because even you know, I do the same thing. I’m like, Alright, I’m gonna put it all on the table. I kind of see it, and I’m like, but Okay, cool. Like, I’m actually not the type of person who’s gonna, like, strive for this, because that’s just not how I operate. It’s funny how you have to kind of balance between the two things. But you know, rewinding a little bit like I think, you know, being like a spiritual entrepreneur, however you want to call it or you know, self employed. Honestly, straight up in any area is really hard. And really, it’s lonely because you’re doing it yourself. You know, you may outsource you may have a team of sorts, but Like, you’re really making a lot of decisions. And I got really burnt out in my business for after the first three years kind of doing too much unpaid work, spreading myself too thin not being not letting myself use social media for my business rather just kind of getting swept along. And so I almost I, you know, kind of wrapped it up, I was like, I’m done. And I thought I did a total 180, which is pretty hilarious. So I was like, No, I need a lot of money now. Like, I can’t live like this, I can’t be scrappy. And so I tried to, to become a software engineer. And I was like, I’m interested in anything like, this is cool. It’ll be fun. And I really enjoyed learning about it. But when it came time to actually make that dream into like, an a career, it was insane how there’s just my whole body, my whole self was like, This isn’t for you, like you could younger you maybe could have pushed through and like, found yourself on the other side with this career. But this is actually not going to feed you. It might give you some money, but that exchange is actually not worth it. And I was just shocked that that was the answer I was getting, and that it was so unequivocal. And so the pandemic, interestingly, kind of brought me to a place where I have a very similar lifestyle as I did before that decision, like I’m doing multiple things for income. And my business is one of those things, and it is so nice, I have such a new appreciation and understanding that like, a little bit of instability is worth it for me if I have creative freedom. And if I’m doing work that spiritually fulfilling like that is really worth so much.

And now I can actually see if I were to do side by side comparison, I could actually give that a number.

It’s not worth that big salary that I could have gotten as a software engineer. And that is kind of insane. But I know now, and I think that’s the strange thing about, you know, having to really own your agency as as a business owner, and also to see what you’re comfortable with in terms of, of instability, however you want to define it. But also recognising to the immense privilege that I have to have had a bit of cushion to figure all of that out, to not be strapped and scrambling. And that is not because I’m smarter than anyone else. It’s because I’m lucky. So, you know, I’m really glad that you brought that up just because I feel like we don’t talk enough about money and like how, how much is going on when we talk about money. Like I could say like 7000 word things. I said a lot.

Yarrow Magdalena 53:07
I mean, and I loved everything that you said, and I could talk to you forever. And I don’t know how but an hour has passed. Oh

my god, I don’t really

want to be respectful of your time and energy. And wow, like time really passed so quickly. I feel like I needed this conversation on so many levels. And so grateful to talk to you, and so excited to share it with everyone. So thank you so much.

Gina Wisotzky 53:31
I feel so rejuvenated. It’s always it’s been such a pleasure to share this time with you that’s really cathartic and inspiring to talk with someone who’s, who’s really been there, and it’s doing so much wonderful work.

Yarrow Magdalena 53:47
Thank you. I just know where people can find you before we go. Yes, so

Gina Wisotzky 53:51
you can find me on incandescent Taro calm. It’s like my central hub. You can also find me on mighty networks. There’s all linked on the website. So if you search for me on mighty networks, I’ll be there and then on substack as well. If you would like to stay in the loop, I am developing a class which I’m very excited about which now I’m like I really needed this talk to like get those juices flowing. But that’s going to be launching in the next month or so. It’s a self paced. It’s a self paced course that really any level of experience can take but it’s going to be focused around Taro and integrating it into your everyday life, sort of finding your own connection with the cards through your experiences as they’re happening. And so I kind of wanted to create like a cosy sweep over or around it because there’s so many courses out there that are very kind of helpful and by the books, but this is a lot more personal and has a lot of my tried and true exercises I do for myself to like dive into Tarot on a deeper level. If I will, thank you so much. Bye bye

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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