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What We Talk About

There are hard skills and soft skills in everything you do – including running your business. In this episode, we’ll talk about what soft skills are essential to growing your business and seeing the success you want. 

These 5 critical shifts are what will help you succeed, implement everything you learn, and ultimately grow and scale your business the way you want.


Episode 49 – How to Lean Into Who You Are To Scale The Right Way with Rachel Pereryra

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:03
Look, here's the deal. This is episode number 114. And if you've consumed a 10th of these episodes, a third of these episodes, any number of these episodes, you've gotten kind of a firehose of information, right? Jenny and I don't hold back, we will tell you what to do. Math would say that if you've implemented some of the stuff that you've learned, you're doing pretty good. But if you haven't implemented anything, or if you haven't, you're still struggling, it is possible that what we're talking about today, is the missing component. And I'm gonna preface all of this by saying that Jenny and I are not mindset experts. We're not self-development professionals. We are not therapists, we are not all of that. What we are, are people who have been on our own development journeys for a while, who run successful businesses and who work with a whole lot of other business owners, and have seen some really important patterns. So we're going to break those down today. And what I want to start with, is this learning thing that I just mentioned. Are you learning stuff for fun? Or are you learning stuff to achieve a goal, there's nothing wrong with either one. until it comes time to put it into play. What happens with me a lot is, I learned something, and I think it's gonna be fun to try. And then I try it, I just kind of throw it at the wall, because it's fun. And my own journey has taken me away from that and really being more intentional. But I know it happens because I see it happening to others all the time. And this is kind of a sign that you're playing in business. Alright, so the first thing that I want to share with you is stop playing at business. Are you playing? Or are you building I want you to decide right now, right now, this very second decide. If you decide that you're building, awesome, we are here for that we are with you 1,000%. If you decide that you're playing, there's no judgement, there's no shame, but understand how you're coming to it. And don't bemoan the fact that you're not more successful if you're still just playing. Alright, so if you decide that you're building, the first thing you need to do, is really create that right foundation. And I hate that I have to say this to you right now. Because I want you to have fun every single minute of every single day. The boring stuff matters. The financial, the legal, the paperwork, the processes, the slps, all of that back office bs matters. Because what it does is it not only sets you up for success, and scale and growth, and all of those things that we ultimately want. But it shows you in the world that you're not playing at this. You need to

Jennie Wright 3:34
I really just want to say how awesome I think what you're saying. It's 1000s right on the money, you need to 100% understand what's going on. You need to know all the factors and the back end of your business, how are you going? How are you going to know if your business is going to be successful unless you know all of that backend stuff, and you learn all of the boring stuff. One of my friends really likes the fun part a lot. And everything they don't like literally gets shoved in a shoe box. It's the shoe box of receipts, it's the shoe box of all the stuff and

Alyson Lex 4:17
they don't even look at it. This can show up when you're actually doing the front end stuff too. You can decide hey, I really love creating product and creating content. But when it comes time to actually follow through and promote and do and profit if it's not fun for you don't you don't do it. So I don't want to sit here and say the boring stuff is only what quote unquote the world or Allison deems boring. It's whatever you think is boring, but you know you should do anyway.

Jennie Wright 4:57
For me, that's Posting blog posts. For me that's the boring stuff is stuff in my email for organizing stuff in Google Drive, which is why I'm so glad I'm friends with somebody who likes to do that stuff. By the way, there's another tactic, know somebody who likes to do the things you don't do and partner up. Although I'm kind of joking, but it's true.

Alyson Lex 5:22
Well, that, that can be dangerous, too, though, because fun doesn't mean it's worth it. True. True, I think it's super fun to organize and reorganize. But what that is, is a stall tactic to keep me from doing anything profitable.

Jennie Wright 5:34
This is also true. Also, I was playing in Canva, amongst other things, where we, you know, look, Alison, and I have been on a path of really up leveling our stuff, we have a mantra that we say to each other, like, Are you being the CEO of your business right now? And if the answer is a hell yes, then it's crap. No, I'm not. And what are you going to change about it? So we really try and hold each other accountable for that, because that's been a big thing. And that's how you got to show up, like, decide how you're going to show up in your business. Allison said right now, decide whether or not you're playing it business? Are you actually in business? So how are you going to show up? I want you to decide that right now. Are you going to show up as the CEO with that mindset Are you going to go in and you're just going to look at things with a super clear defined eye on how you're going to approach this? Or is this your side hustle. And this is part and parcel of showing up consistently. In your business, I still think we all should get tattoos that say consistency. I will always say that I will show up one day with one of those tattoos just gonna say. And I'll have like some cursive writing, maybe it'll say like no regrets or something just for giggles. But it's 100%. being consistent, it's a thing, it's an absolute thing. And you have to set a schedule and stick to it. You have to stop giving yourself Hall passes. Doesn't Know what I mean by that. Hall passes or when you wake up in the morning, or you've gone through a day and you're just like, I, I don't want to do this. I don't want to record the podcast, I don't want to write that copy. I don't want to have that call with that client. I don't want to do this in my business. Well, you know what, that's part of being a CEO, I don't want to do X, fill in whatever that is. But I'm going to do it. There was a time when Alison and I were kind of giving each other quite a few Hall passes. Like she would message me and just be like I am. I'm so not in this. And we would and I would have the same thing. Like I'm just today's not the day, you know, I can't do this today or whatever. And we would give each other Hall passes a bit and a little bit more through the COVID times when things were a little bit crazy. And it felt a little heavy and heavy. And sometimes you know what, everybody needs a mental health day. But there is an allowance for Hall passes. I think Allison and I have decided to give each other What is it one a month or something that we give each other Hall Pass.

Alyson Lex 8:14
It is and you know, it's really important, I love this idea of Hall passes because, again, it adds intention into it. And when when you and I hold each other accountable with our Hall passes, and you know what I even do it on myself. Because I've already used my hall pass for the month, so I'm I'm done. Or, you know what I just had a hall pass yesterday, having something to refer to it as, rather than the self care Mental Health Day, which I'll get to in a second. But calling it something really what it is. I'm giving myself an okay, I'm giving myself the excuse. There's a difference between using it as an excuse and excusing it for a reason. Alright, I think that it's really important. One is trying to absolve you of guilt of something you know you shouldn't be doing. And the other is giving yourself grace. It's a fine line. And it's one that I have in the past struggled to walk because I would vacillate between taking all of the days and taking none of the days because I really struggled to find that middle ground and that's part of my own personal journey that I'm working on. Alright, but the thing that I'm learning is you don't have to be the hero. It's okay to take care of yourself. It's actually responsible, responsible business practices to take care of yourself because who is going to take Take your place if you burnout. When I push too hard, when I work too much, when I'm too stressed out, I get stress tension in my neck, well, I have a previous pinched nerve in my neck, which re pinches very quickly, it's already injured, it's just it's a thing that happens, the doctor said it would happen, right? When it happened, he's like, this is gonna happen a lot now. But if I push too hard, if I work too much, if I stress out too often, I've re pinched the nerve in my neck. Because of this, the tension that I carry, well, I'm injured, like physically injured, and potentially on painkillers. So now who's running my business, taking care of yourself is the responsible thing to do as a business owner. And so giving yourself a hall pass appropriately, is a good thing. You don't have to do at all, and you don't have to do it all yourself. That's the other side of this.

Jennie Wright 11:12
It's a good point that you don't have to do it all yourself and reaching out. There's this other part that we have to talk about, which is that your success in your business really is your own success. When you're your own boss, there is no real safety net, that somebody else is going to come in and be the owner of your business and tell you what to do and give you the parameters like maybe you had when you were in corporate, or if you were working for somebody else, the only person who's really going to take ownership is you, the buck stops with you, you have to be the person that says, if this didn't succeed, or if this didn't work, then it technically it's on me as the owner of the business. And that's the real truth. If you're always scapegoating, your success, or lack of success on other things, and not taking ownership of both your successes, and your opportunities, then you're really not being that CEO in your business. Because you're always finding some way to put the blame somewhere. But take the success for you. And this really plays in if you have, if you had the opportunity to grow a team, if you have the opportunity to have a designer or a virtual assistant, or anybody who's working with you in your business. If you have somebody that is full time even, I know lots of online business owners who have actual full time employees working 40 hours a week, right. So if you get help, if you have somebody assisting you, it's still your responsibility, it's still you, you are the at the end of the day it is it's definitely your thing. And you know, that's massive, when it comes to the success mindset. Because if you understand that you're, it's you and there's gonna not gonna be anybody else, then you're not going to be looking at making those excuses.

Alyson Lex 13:30
Well, and the truth is, nobody's going to be more passionate about your thing than you are. Nobody's going to be as invested in your success as you are. And, you know, if you hire somebody full time, or you have a part time VA, or you get, you know, expert help, like the content and I offer, of course, they're gonna want you to succeed, that's their job. But it's their job. It's not their life. When I was when I was working at Glaser, Kennedy, I was so invested in the success of that organization, I was legitimately obsessed at times. And I still got in my car and went home at the end of every day. And I didn't bring my computer and I didn't have my email on my phone. That wasn't a thing for me. So that's how it is, and that's okay. And that's expected. This is you. This is your life and your business. Your attitude matters here. It matters be and how you react matters. how you react to your team, how you react to mistakes, success can not thrive in that chaos. All right. So I want you to really be objective and take a look at yourself. When there's a looming deadline, when there's a mistake, when there's something that happens, do you just get it done? Or do you freak out? make it worse? Do you create chaos? Or do you solve chaos? Are you intentional? Or are you reactive? How do you approach this business thing?

Jennie Wright 15:35
I will say that as you grow, certain things get solved as you grow. But certain things continue to be a thing, it will always be a stressor to do a live launch, you will always be a stressor to add somebody new to your team. However, it's a different type as you grow, and the only person that can make the change in terms of the mindset of how you're going to approach it is you, if you look at every single launch, or every single opportunity as a negative thing, then you're breeding that negativity into it before it even happens. And you're not giving it its best possible opportunity for success. Because the phrases that are coming out of your mouth, or your intention is I've tried this before it didn't work, it's not going to work again, or I worked with a VA before it didn't work, it's not gonna work again, or I hired a team, and it didn't work, they were terrible, it's not going to work again. These are really important things. And growth in chaos is incredibly limited. You can't achieve the success that you want, when your mind is completely overtaken by these feelings of nobody can do it like me, I can't do this and the chaos. If your mind is that turmoil, and it's constantly feeling like you're in this swirling mass, how far can you really grow when it's just always crazy in your head, if you're too busy solving the problems and putting out fires, that you can't look at the future and you can't plan then you're never going to get

Alyson Lex 17:29
there. And you mentioned a little bit about a team, and who who's helping you. And growing with a team and all of that in chaos. When you have this kind of chaos, when you're struggling to figure things out all the time, you end up making these kind of hiring decisions that are chaos based. They're very singular. They're very re again, reactive is a big word here. Because you think, Oh my gosh, I have 85 graphics that I need to have created for this event that's starting tomorrow, I need a designer. And that might fulfill one small need. And it might might be nice to have a designer on staff, right? I need to have a designer on staff all the time. But what you really need is maybe an executive assistant, who's going to get you to all your meetings on time, who's going to help control that chaos, who's going to pre plan things, so you're not scrambling around at the last minute. Trying to get stuff done. It was done three weeks ago with a freelancer that you found somewhere. Right? So look at what you need to be successful, not what needs to happen right now or what you want. Yes, I want to control everything. I love to control everything. I have a control thing, okay, just ask my husband. But right Jenny's pointing at herself. Like, she got that.

Jennie Wright 19:13
Oh, cuz you steamroll or you used to? It's a kind of

Alyson Lex 19:17
more, it's a control thing. But well, and the steamroll was more about it's actually was more chaotic, right? Yes, it was. Because I would have all of these big ideas. Oh, and we could do this. And we can do that. And we can do this. And it limits the growth because there's

Unknown Speaker 19:32

Alyson Lex 19:34
there's no rhyme or reason behind it. And that chaos when you hire does the same thing. There's no rhyme or reason behind who you have on board because you haven't thought things through. You haven't. You haven't really looked at what is missing. What are the holes in your organization in your business? And how can they best be filled and this kind of goes back to not being the euro, and not having to do it all yourself, and letting go of some of that controlling, putting yourself in that CEO mindset that you're gonna think things through, you're gonna plan ahead, you're gonna let go. And it's hard, it's hard as heck to do. It's really hard to do. Alright. But when you're looking to build your team, when you've decided you need help, think about what the hole is that needs to be filled rather than the job title. Because then you can find the right person. And we've learned that from a couple past guests, Rachel Pereira comes to mind, how do they do on the rolling are there You did good, Brock did good. And we'll put her episode linked in our show notes, because she had some really valuable insight there as well. But it all starts with intention. And that's kind of everything we've talked about today is really about approaching your business with intention, taking a beat, figuring things out, slowing down, and going into it with a plan. Alright, so I kind of want to, like talk about everything that we just landed on for the last few minutes, stop playing it business. Don't be a hero, your success belongs to you. So do your failures. Success doesn't thrive in chaos. And you've got to build the team you need, not the one you want, or that you need right now.

Jennie Wright 21:38
I will say and as part of thinking about this, while you've been talking, the way that we got from where we were to where we are, and we'll share that is by reading some really good books. Those depend on what are good for you. But I like to read some books by people who have mastered some of these things and give you really good ideas on how to do it. Also, if you have a lot of head trash therapy might be an option. Also, my again, totally not therapists totally not experts in this space. We're only speaking from our own personal journeys, which have included a lot of work in therapy. Yeah, so you know, and therapy for Allison has been amazing. Like, I've seen a huge transformation in her in the past, you know, 16 months, or there abouts. And it's been incredible. And I've benefited from the fact that Alison has gone to therapy, because Alison models, what she's learning, and I'm like, Ooh, I like that. And then I, and then I model it back. And it's been incredibly helpful.

Alyson Lex 22:44
I really like that as a good strategy, actually. So one of the quotes that I've been interacting with lately, in a couple of different situations is that don't be the smartest person in the room. Find people who are either on or ahead of you similar journeys of growing and, and hang out with them and look at what they're doing be be a little creepy with it, like, how are they reacting to that situation? How are they approaching this? How are they doing that? Don't just model their marketing, model their behavior? Yep,

Jennie Wright 23:19
I am absolutely huge on the model the behavior, but I'm also huge and this is the last thing I'll say on this. But I'm also huge on providing real time feedback, and saying, Wow, I've really noticed a difference and how you're approaching ABC or XYZ. What have you been doing that has made the difference for you, and just finding out what has made the difference. There's somebody I'm friends with on Facebook, and we chat through messenger occasionally, several years ago, we could not stand each other, quite honestly, we got on each other's nerves a lot. We had to work on a project. And we struggled very hard to make that work. And I was in my own head trash. But they were also in their own head trash. It just happened at the same time that we were both in our own stuff. And it clashed. I have done a lot of work since then to be a better team player with in any of the teams that I work on and things like that. And you know what she said to me a couple of months ago and we've we've you know, we've hashed it out and had a good chat about it. She goes well, you come across as so professional now. You come across this so together. And that's a huge compliment, especially from somebody that I just wasn't working well with. So it's really, really cool. And I'm going to I'm going to leave that to my first takeaway, which is you know, deciding to be the CEO is a huge part of up leveling. It's one of the first things that I had to make my mantra and it's going to work for you so decide, are you a CEO Are you playing, if you're playing no judgment, but if you're a CEO, what are you going to change and how are you going to make it happen?

Alyson Lex 25:00
I really like that I like that challenge that you just issued. So my takeaway and my challenge is there's a difference between self care and giving yourself a hall pass. giving an I don't want to say giving yourself a hall pass in general, but between self care hall pass and excuse Hall Pass. Okay, so I'm breaking it down that way. And so if you find yourself giving yourself a hall pass, I want you to say, Is this necessary? Or is it an excuse, and be hard on yourself? Alright, necessary is, I went to bed at 11, I woke up at two I needed to this is, I'm giving this example because it literally happened today. I went to bed late, I woke up early for whatever reason, could not go back to sleep. had to do the mom in the morning stuff, and said to Jenny, I need to delay our recording today, in order to take a nap. You notice I didn't cancel it. I wanted to guys, I wanted to really bad. But I didn't delete it. Because I needed to. That's self care. But that's also not giving yourself an excuse, I'm gonna still get it done. I just need a minute. Cool. So really consider how that's coming across. That

Jennie Wright 26:39
is so important. And I love the distinction and being able to do that. And I don't think originally You and I were figuring out the difference between either one we just knew we needed the space but you know, we gave each other a lot of Hall passes back in the day. A lot. It's It's It's incredible how many we did. But you know, we've learned a lot. And one of the things that we've learned also, and we've experienced and we're sharing with you is chaos does not allow for success or growth. Chaos, keeps you stuck exactly where you are. It is a mechanism, a coping mechanism, a way that you're dealing, it could also be that you're not ready for growth, and you're using it as a way to stay where you are, because you know what it's kind of comfortable to stay where you are versus pushing and having to do different things. Just ask Alison about putting on a summit, and the earlier parts of this year and what that was like, and the pushing that had to happen and the discomfort she had to go through it would have been a lot easier for Alison to stay where she was versus doing the summit. And Allison doesn't build chaos into things just FYI, that's not her thing. Not at all. But there was you know, with, with some people, chaos allows you to stay where you are. And you're so busy putting out fires, and solving problems and also blaming other people that you're not allowed, and you're not giving yourself the opportunity to grow.

Alyson Lex 28:09
Really like that. And again, I keep coming back to the word intention. And I think maybe it's kind of my I'm picking up on it a lot because it's something I'm really working on is being intentional with what I do. And when you're intentional when you take that beat, you just take a beat and think things through it stops that chaos and it also allows you to really fully take ownership not just of the failures or the opportunities as we like to reframe them but allow yourself to celebrate the wins with your team and you know I love giving credit where credit is due and you absolutely should we have a client that and she actually has a whole episode coming out later this year she talks like oh yeah no the the copy and the design and the strategy of this that you guys provided is what made this a success. That's awesome of her to say but she wasn't taking the wind either because she came to it with the right attitude and the right you know the right decisions behind it. So share the winds and own the failures. Okay, because they're on you

Jennie Wright 29:28
this has been one of those episodes that actually really makes me feel good about how we're helping people you know, some of the episodes that we do are really hey do this 123 ABC and this one is a little bit more here's how to make your life better. Yeah, here's how to really do the things you know there's all these there's hard skills and soft skills. And this is a soft skill and the soft skills are harder for some people to learn. pointing at myself, guys, okay, really pointing out myself. So thank you, Alison, for you know, being vulnerable and sharing about this. And this journey that we've been on for the past, while together has been amazing in terms of building this kind of stuff out of really up leveling ourselves and also being able to help others up level. I never thought we could do that. But here we are. And that's amazing.

Alyson Lex 30:19
I think so too. And I think just one last thing I know I've talked a lot, but find somebody find your own journey. You can't have mine, find your own journey that you can talk to about this stuff that you can work next to like maybe you know, not necessarily host a podcast with but that you can hold each other accountable. That you can share what you learned in therapy, that you can challenge one another,

Jennie Wright 30:47
to be better. And model behavior with

Alyson Lex 30:51
and model behavior with and Jenny and I have conversations all the time. Just before we recorded this, I said hey, I see something that I see you working on and I want to help you.

Unknown Speaker 31:07
And she does that with me.

Alyson Lex 31:10
And the rock and roll song is different. And the way you're Yes. But having somebody on your team like that can be really, really helpful. So if it's possible, find someone to to up level with. Good point.

Jennie Wright 31:26
Thanks so much for listening, everybody. We hope you found this to be an interesting episode, something a little different, a little off the cuff in terms of how you can actually build your business with those soft skills that we've been talking about. If you enjoyed this, we hope that you were following and liking this podcast wherever it is that you're listening to podcasts, you can find everything we talked about today on System to in our show notes as well as the link to Rachel pedas awesome episode. I can roll those hours pretty easy. So you can check that out, as well as all the other episodes that we have for System to THRIVE. And I just want to encourage you to leave us a comment. Let us know what you think. And stay tuned for all these incredible episodes we have coming up. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back again soon answering another big question.



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