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What We Talk About

We’ve all had those moments when things don’t go right. But if you look at each story you have, you can find something you’ve learned from it. In this episode, Jennie & Alyson share some of their stories and what they learned along the way.

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

Alyson Lex 0:00
On today's episode, we're answering the question, how do you make it work when things don't go as planned? The big question is this as entrepreneurs, coaches and business owners, how do we consistently sell our products, programs and services without making our customers feel like we're only in it for the almighty dollar? How do we serve the way we know we're meant to serve and still run a profitable business? How do we put good into the world while we put dollars into our pockets? How do we change the lives of our community while also

Unknown Speaker 0:32
bettering the life we lead? It's not a zero sum game.

Jennie Wright 0:36
It's not an either or scenario, it is possible to thrive while serving your clients to the best of your ability. This podcast will show you how. I'm Jennie Wright. I'm Alyson Lex, and welcome to the System to THRIVE.

Alyson Lex 0:51
All right, we've all had those moments when we planned and planned and planned and then it starts and it goes Those two pieces. I know Jenny's had those moments. I know, I've had those moments. And I don't know who's listening. But you've had those moments too. So you need to hear this because we're going to share some really personal stuff. We're going to get vulnerable. We're going to get transparent. We're going to talk about the times in our lives and our businesses when things didn't go as planned what we did to redirect ourselves and make it work anyway.

Jennie Wright 1:27
Absolutely, things do not go as planned. Let's just be honest. Okay. Those, you know, Instagram images and the Facebook posts where a person gets on a plane to Cancun, and they make $400,000 during their four and a half hour flight, like, seriously, no, they may happen, but they also come with a lot of stuff, a lot of baggage and things that have happened many times. So we're going to share like Allison said, some pretty cool stories and things like that. You know, we've learned our lessons from a lot of these And quite honestly, some of these happened years ago and some of them happen even recently. We're always evolving. And we're always trying to improve on how we do these things. So I want you to imagine that Jenny me a couple years ago, running a summit actually is more than a couple years ago was 2014. My first summit, I'm going to make millions y'all millions off of this thing. Can I just tell you, I'm that good. And it's the first day of promo I've worked my tail off for three months on this thing, waiting expectations, building all this stuff. I'm like, super excited. And I'm waiting to add hundreds of new subscribers to my list on day one. Super excited. And I wake up to crickets. One, because my experts didn't promote. And there's a huge story around that. But too little did I know but the opt in video, the thing that was going to actually was on And it was actually not even a video, it was an audio. The opt in audio wasn't playing. It wasn't even showing up. Total tech fail on outside. And I ended up not having anybody opt in for the first like four days. I was like, I'm a total loser. But I had to rally and keep going. It was. It was hard. It was really, really hard. So we're, you know, Allison is going to tell you one, I'm going to tell you another one, and then we're going to tell you how we kind of get around these things.

Alyson Lex 3:32
So I did a summit in 2013 my first summit, I keep saying my first it was my only summit. I did my summit It was a telesummit because video wasn't as big back then. And I have pre recorded all of the interviews with my guests previously because that's what you do. And I kept putting mine off and putting mine off and putting mine off because I was going to have a solo presentation and I wasn't at the point where I could feel like I could get there and teach for any length of time without someone as a buffer. So it I think it was the day before. And I was like, whatever. I'll just do it live. Cool. I actually had people show up. It was really cool. I was watching my numbers on instant teleseminar the dashboard and I had people there. And I was on my phone, I have a landline. So I had a landline because I didn't trust my cell phone. And my phone service dropped four times during that session four times. The one time that I need it to like be a landline and not suck. It sucked.

Jennie Wright 4:46
The one time a landline isn't actually going to work.

Alyson Lex 4:49
Right. Hello. So and you know if we want to go into deeper about that the results of that summit were not great either. had spent all this time planning it. And I didn't make, I think I made 100 bucks total. And that includes like lifetime value of the leads and things like that. I just didn't make any money. So what did I learn from this, that I can and have used in my business moving forward is to double check everything. And really just prepare things in advance if it's going to be important that the technology works.

Jennie Wright 5:36
That's a great learning. And I learned the same thing from mine as well, which is why they were both like really good stories to talk about. I also learned that I'm not going to be an overnight success. I really thought I was going to be Yeah, I really did. I thought I was you know, and there was a lot of there was a lot of gut checking ego checking. It took me down about four or five pegs. Real quick, real quick, you know, and we learned a lot from it. So here's another example. And this just happened to us not too long ago, in the quest of running a podcast we have been bringing on guests as you, if you're listening for a new period of time, you would know. And it has happened where we've had a guest be like, an hour before. We can't make it. It's a personal emergency or a family emergency, whatever the case is, and they haven't been able to make it to the podcast recording. And what are we going to do because quite honestly, as a major planner, and as a second, you know, as another major planner, Allison, I like to have our stuff planet. We had planned out the rest of the year for the podcast. And now we had a whole and we couldn't move any of our other guests around because all of those spots related to

Unknown Speaker 6:51
what the episode was about,

Jennie Wright 6:53
and the promotional schedule of the guest. So now we have a whole how are we going to fill it? What are we going to talk about and how we're going to make that happen, weirdly enough. It has been a, you know, it's been a really good lesson on plasticity, almost like being flexible, and not getting worried about that kind of stuff, which is where I can go down that rabbit hole. Right? And Allison's, like, why don't we just do this? Why don't we just you know, why don't we just talk about this one thing, and we'll we'll come up with a really good idea. But and we actually took the time, you know, to look, I think it took us like 10 minutes just figured idea to figure out what we were going to talk about. And we came up with a really good plan for an impromptu episode to fill that spot, and it actually works. We're not going to get butthurt that somebody has got a problem. Why would we of course not stuff happens. I've had to cancel podcasts. But moreover, it's, you know, when you're working with somebody, and you've got a co host and everything, it teaches you to have that flexibility and to rely on your partner, you know, and that's That's really, really good. It was really great.

Alyson Lex 8:03
Yeah, so what Jenny's not telling you is that you are currently listening to the episode that came out of that. And what I'm taking from it is that everything that happens is an opportunity. So if something doesn't happen the way it's supposed to, or when it's supposed to, it's an opportunity to create something else. And I saw I forget who said it, but I really liked this concept of creating a story bank own stories that you can then share and relate to, for, um, for business or what have you. And this will actually relate to my next story, but this is now one of those stories, how we took x and turned it into y. Yeah, another way I did that. So in 2019, I had an addition put on my house that did not go as planned. If anybody's ever worked. with contractors that never does, one of the things that happened is one of them left the door open and one of my cats got out. And he was gone for 43 days. And this was on the heels of a very stressful five month construction process, during which my whole life was uprooted. Literally, there were holes in my office walls. I could not work from my office, I had to buy a little Chromebook work upstairs, that was banging booming, scale, it was crazy. And that did a number on my own mental health and it kicked off a depression that was probably a year in the making, but a depressive episode. I checked out of life and business for about six weeks. And the only thing I was doing was looking for my cat. But what did I do with that? I used it as a story. And I wrote a blog post about it, called 43 days. What I learned about business from searching for my cat and I actually drew business lessons from it and publicized it and what it did is it reached people in a way that I think those lessons on their own wouldn't have. And it taught me the importance of story and personal sharing and being vulnerable. And that is something that helped to get to this platform that Jenny and I are building about being super authentic and radical transparency and all of those things. So we all work together.

Jennie Wright 10:20
Yeah. And when I go ahead,

Alyson Lex 10:22
I was gonna say, just bringing your personal self into your business is a really good lesson from something like that.

Jennie Wright 10:28
Correct? Because before that, let's just let's just talk about that for a second before that. When Allison used to post on social media, it was mostly like I'd say 95 or more percent, just about the business stuff. We weren't seeing the personal stuff. We weren't hearing about Allison, we weren't hearing about you as a person. And what you know, it was really, really crazy. And I was so sad for you. And I was like, checking up on you all the time while this was happening. And it was really I mean, it was just terrible. Your cat and it was cold. No, it was hot. It was summer. Oh, it was summer. It was hot. It was August. It was August. That's right. And it was it was hot. It was hot, stormy and warm. Yeah, it rained and all this kind of stuff. Yeah.

Alyson Lex 11:11
So wild animals. I was just terrified that something was going to happen to them. And I was never going to see it again. Yes, home by the way, he's fine. He's fat again. Like,

Jennie Wright 11:19
yeah, I'll let you know. It ended well and everything. But what it what it really did is it did I'll allow for Allison to start sharing and connecting with the fact that she's a human being and all these kinds of things. And it, it did get us to where we are now I'm honestly don't know if the podcast would have come from anything else, or System to THRIVE or all of those different things. So I really do think it had a profound effect. And it allowed the space to kind of be where we are, which is great to be to be people. Yeah. And in the end of the spirit of being people I have about the two times that I planned to massive lunches. Oh, yeah. And moved through both of them. Oh, and let's add to the fact that they were both in the middle of summer.

Alyson Lex 12:08
Oh, yeah.

Jennie Wright 12:09
And let's add to the fact that through both of them, I had incredibly limited time. And yeah, it was insane. So the first time was in 2018, when I decided to launch us on it. And I plan the summit in I don't know, like May, and a week later decided to move like I, you know, gave my notice. And so I knew the summit was gonna launch on x date in July. It was the I think it was like mid July. And it I tried to time the move

Unknown Speaker 12:43
to be

Jennie Wright 12:44
after the summit, but it didn't work out that way. It actually ended up happening the exact week was insane. So my office at the time in my old place, had to stay put together until the very last minute, I got my interviews pre recorded, which was great. But I had to because there was some live components. I had to keep the office looking stellar until pretty much 24 hours before the move. And the other thing is, is that I got sick. So I did the move for I really pushed myself it was super super hot By the way, it was like really, really warm. It was like 108 degrees the day we moved, I swear, not exaggerating, uphill both ways. And it was super hot. And I got sick, I got heat, heat exhaustion, and I was sick for about two days from it. And then I got a cold like, you know, thanks world for that. And it just it was insane. The second launch, I moved again, super fun. I don't know why I do this to myself. And yeah, that was awesome. I also launched a Facebook group

Unknown Speaker 13:57
whilst moving

Jennie Wright 13:59
and it workshop series. So not only was it launched, but it was a brand new Facebook group with a weekly workshop series. Yeah, it was it was brutal I the lessons that I learned from that. And Allison is going to add in a couple things here. But the lessons that I learned from that one, don't watch when you move, but if you are going to launch when you move, holy crap and be organized. And I also learned self care. So now when I launch because I've actually launched five times since November 2019. So at the time of recording this, we're, you know, we're in September, so it's less than a year, and I launched five times in that period of time. And if I hadn't learned the lessons I learned when I launched when I was launching and moving, which was like self care, organization, all these kinds of things. I wouldn't have been able to do five launches. In you know, six, eight months would have been impossible.

Alyson Lex 14:51
So, you mentioned that you learned a lesson of not launching when you move Did you though Yeah. 2020 you launched a podcast while you moved in the middle of a pandemic?

Jennie Wright 15:04
Oh, that's true. That's actually Yeah,

Alyson Lex 15:06
I just realized it. Yeah,

Jennie Wright 15:10
that's right, because we recorded the first four episodes before I moved. And then I literally I'm yeah, I moved and then we recorded an episode 48 not even 24 hours after I moved.

Alyson Lex 15:25
Yeah, we actually had to push it. I think it was like 36 we pushed it until the next morning. Yeah, because your office wasn't set up yet. And you quickly went you did that. It's right that you can all you set up with your desk and your backdrop.

Jennie Wright 15:38
That's it. There was nothing else that place was an absolute mess. And if you ever go back I think it was I think it was Episode Five. And we've we've since had it re edited because the original audio for Episode Five. I sounded like I was down a dark tunnel. Because you had no carpet. I had no home furnishings, furniture. It was a complete Like it was an echo chamber. Right? It was a total echo chamber, and nobody could fix it. Nobody was like we were struggling to get it fixed. I was just learning about podcasting at the time. And I was just learning about editing. And it took me probably another three or four weeks before I was watching a YouTube video and the guy's like, hey, if you want to remove echo do this. And I'm like, Oh, my God, I also have the fixed. And it was like, go back, re edit Episode Five, reload it. Yeah, it was crazy. It was just great. So that's three times three times three times, three years. I did move three times in three years.

Unknown Speaker 16:35
I don't

Alyson Lex 16:36
Yeah, no, I've done that, too. I've moved on five times in four years once and then when my husband and I moved into this house, I looked at him, I said, I'm dying in this house. I'm never moving again. I hate moving. But you really have every single year you've gotten more organized and better. And I think it also helps when you choose your partners that you launch with. So I think the first time you launch by yourself Yes, I can time you launch with a couple of partners. Yeah, I know because I was one of them. And then the third time you launched with me, and so choosing your partners wisely, so you know that they're okay. Handling at least their end of things. Oh, and you took on so much for the podcast. One thing that I was like in the throes of anxiety spiral, and I was up at three in the morning just working yet. So I launched with a partner. I launched with a JV partner. Okay, so I want to back up in November of 2019, I launched a product. This product is cool, guys, like it's really a good one. Unfortunately, I launched it on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which, as you know, is a really bad time to launch. I also didn't have the social presence. So as Jenny mentioned, I hadn't really been sharing a lot about myself for a very long time. I hadn't built up a super loyal following. And so when I launched I had all these expectations. I'm going to be I'm going to be so I only need to sell equities. But I didn't have the presence. I didn't have the list. I didn't have the audience. And I think the offer was a little bit of a mismatch or maybe the pricing or something like that. So it didn't do well. So then somebody that saw it, loved it and wanted to launch it as a JV to his list. And so we did that we rebranded it, we launched it to his list, and we didn't sell anything. So and we actually increased the price which I think it was too high. There are things that I think happened. And so what I learned from that is one, when you launch something or when you do something really look at the calendar and think critically about the dates not just for a move but for national or you know national holidays if you're in the US or other countries, but really just look at what's happening in the lives of your customers. Are they going to want your thing but to if you are launching with a party Make sure you're on the same page, make sure that you're, you know, you're both really in it to, to succeed and that you're willing to kind of test things. Maybe don't go against your gut when it comes to the pricing when when we raise the price I was unsure. But I didn't listen to my gut and, and all of those things. And again, just coming down to expectations, I'm not going to rule the world with this product. What can I do to use the content that I've created and still help people and still make money and I've come up with some other ways. So

Jennie Wright 19:34
yeah, I know it's worked out for you in the long run. I've joint venture with a few people. And there's been some highs and lows. I did joint venture with somebody to launch a challenge at one point, really nice person, no issue with the person. But for whatever reason, there was and I think I you know, I take responsibility for my own. Let's just be honest, I'm a Dewar. Okay, and I have a lot of expectations around how things are going to go when it comes to the technicals. So I'll usually pipe up and Allison does the same thing. I'll usually pipe up and take up, like maybe take on more than I should. And so I was like, Yeah, let's do a challenge together. And I ended up doing all the technical work. I wrote all the emails, I did the landing page, you know, I did all of the things and nothing against this other person. But I started feeling resentment. Because to me, I was doing all the things and this person was just showing up. What came from that, sadly, is we actually didn't grow the list in any particular fashion in the way that I wanted to. Because in the end, it didn't end up being the right offer. What I've learned about joint venturing, and you've got to be really careful. Like if you're like me and Alyson were like, Yeah, let's do it. And we just like jump in practically headfirst into a frozen bond. And we can't do that, you know, and I've had to learn and I've got some some knocks and bumps along the way, and so is Allison Working with somebody and working with somebody like Alyson as an example, Alyson and I have been friends for years. Okay, we met each other in a Facebook group. You know, we started talking about marketing and stuff like that. Then it was this huge conversation about her honeymoon, which she had just recently gone on, you know, in the cruise to Germany and stuff like that and giving her husband his hockey jersey. And that was like this whole conversation. Yes, Alison, I remember all the details and forming a friendship, you know, from there. So when Alison and I actually started doing System to THRIVE together in this year, and then during the podcast, it wasn't like we didn't know each other. I know, Allison strengths, and I know her weaknesses. And she knows mine. And we happen to complement each other really well. Like we're the perfect Venn diagram. There's a lot of overlap, and it's freaking awesome. But at the same time, right, we Can we can, Alison and I can co what's the right word here, we could almost push each other's buttons in the right way, but also in the wrong way where it's like, letting each other off the hook too much. Right? So we do that. Yeah, we do. We're like, yeah, no big deal. Meanwhile, we've got to like, like today. Today, we, you know, we were feeling like being on camera. Neither one of us want to be on camera. Let's just be honest. And if you're listening to this episode, we have been recording the video of them with full transparency with the hopes of these getting up on YouTube at some point, but we didn't want to be on camera today. But I was like, No, we can't let each other off the hook. We gotta you know, we got to show up. We got to keep showing up. She's, there was a couple really cool words she used.

Alyson Lex 22:43
No, I was like, You know what, I feel guilty. Okay. But I think it's also really important that we talk about the fact that we are friends. Yeah. And we are in essentially in business together. We have are we have maintained our own separate businesses. Yes, we take on clients that we share, but we don't mingle finances together. It's just genuine awesome. But getting into business with friends is not for everyone, either. And Jenny, and I did not go from being Hey, we're going to talk about our day friends to, hey, let's, let's run all of this together. We had done things together that are on a smaller scale, but smaller commitment, and lower risk crap. Or we did this. So we had experience working together. It was not a zero to 60. And I've gone into business with a friend before that business is no longer in the friendship still is. So that's something really important too. Are you able to compartmentalize?

Jennie Wright 23:47
Yep. Because sometimes Allison has to put her friend hat on and other times Allison, or Jenny has to put his partner hat with his partner hat and say, dude, you know, and that's how like that happens. Right?

Alyson Lex 23:59
And we I'm going to I'm going to biz hat you right now. Oh, yeah, actually a term I picked up with my other partnership, we would have to biz hat or friend hat. And it just allows you to set the expectation for the tone of that conversation. So I just wanted to kind of bring that up. Lest everyone think, hey, it works for Tony and Alison. I should go be business partners with all of my friends.

Jennie Wright 24:22
Yeah, yeah, exactly. There's a I mean, now, now that we've both done it with other people and we've had issues happen or good things happen. There's good and bad. There's a real vetting process that I put anybody through before I want to joint venture with anything. And there's a huge lesson to be learned from that. What I want people to take from this is this whole episode quite honestly, is the flexibility. If you get your if if you allow things to bring you down, they absolutely can. I have had some seriously Hard Knocks

Unknown Speaker 24:59

Jennie Wright 25:00
It also has to I had a webinar planned. This was a couple of years ago before my three moves

Unknown Speaker 25:05

Jennie Wright 25:07
I had a webinar plan that was supposed to launch a brand new program. And I was like super excited about launching this brand new program. And I was sitting on the couch at the time working from my laptop and I've been sitting for a while and I got up wanting to go to the kitchen. Yeah, this is so bad and I i actually tripped over like my, I was wearing like sleep pants, comfy pants and they were super super long. And I tripped over the leg of the other sleep pant. Use with my foot and my legs caught together literally like caught together and I went down like face first on to hardwood flooring. My hands didn't catch because it was just so quick. It just went right down on landed on my nose, bust my nose Open wide. You know, all the things happen blood all the things and now I after coming back from hospital. I had two black eyes. And that was probably four weeks. So I had a webinar plan. I had a program I wanted to launch, what the heck was I going to do? So I ended up doing the webinar audio only with a PowerPoint presentation. And I told people up front Look, this was supposed to be a different way. I'm sorry. But I'm just going to keep my camera off. And I'm just going to try and deliver the best message I was really upfront about it. And it actually helped people kind of relate to me and understand me. And because I followed through on it, I didn't let the fact that I looked like I had you know, gone in the ring with Mike Tyson for all the three seconds because he would punch me out. But I you know, I didn't let it bring me down to the fact that it stopped my business because I've had things happen in my life where I've, I've let it stop me. And if I do that, the business stops if I stop the business stops If the business stops, then the next sequence events that happen aren't good. So I can't let it happen.

Alyson Lex 27:06
I think too, that was probably the start of your transparency journey. Yeah, it was where it's like, Okay, I'm gonna let people see in side, my head a little bit. See inside my life a little bit. I'm gonna Yeah. And it sucks that it takes something traumatic, you know, and I know that there might be people out there who are like, your cat got out, okay? It was traumatic, okay, I'm a crazy cat lady. It was a big deal. Or, you know, hey, you fell down, okay, like, but these are kind of negative things that really just throw you for a loop in your business. And it sucks that that's what it took for Jenny and I to put ourselves out there and be like, this is the person behind the business that I run. And so Jenny's big lesson for this is flexibility. Mine is personality. And that's really what we're sharing with you here. Yeah. I'm an open book about all of the things that have gone wrong in my business. I've been a hot mess guys. But I'm taking it and I'm being more successful year over year. And that's the point. And so it doesn't detract from my ability to teach good marketing and good business. It adds to it. The fact that people get to know who I am

Jennie Wright 28:28
humanizes it and allows people and I love that I love that and so from people they do they buy from people I love it. So take something from this if you can hear the stories about you know, Allison and her cat which was completely understandably traumatic Honestly, I get it. And you know, the fact that I actually launched three times during three moves, you know, all these different stories that we just shared with you and just related to you the whole point is poops gonna happen craps gonna happen in your business, how you deal with it is incredibly important and how you Spin, manage, change, evolve, grow, do all the different things that all matters in the evolution of your business. And don't forget the stories. The stories matter. These are not stories that you know, I talk about all the time, but they happened and how we take the learning from them is the important thing. So I think this has been a really, really good episode to talk about. Thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate you being on the show. You know, listening to the show with us, being involved with us and hearing what we have to say, and we will be back to answer another big question next time. Thanks again for watching or listening to this podcast. We hope we've answered some of your big questions today. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast anywhere you're listening and leave us a review.

Alyson Lex 29:47
Also, make sure you've checked out the thrive collaborative podcast community, our Facebook group for listeners and entrepreneurs. Find us on Facebook or online at System to



Episode 164 – Real Talk About Numbers, Scale, and What It’s REALLY Like To Grow a Business with Tara Newman

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