#076 MEG BRUNSON: Earning money in a way that works for your family

#076 MEG BRUNSON: Earning money in a way that works for your family

You can listen to this podcast episode on iTunes or Spotify.

“There’s no shortage of people who need whatever it is that you have to offer.”Usually, you don’t hear me talk about family finances. But I know the under-employment and unemployment and extra costs that often result when families are caring for kids with disabilities. It’s a problem, and it’s worse right now for so many people.

This week on the podcast, Meg Brunson talks about how to make money starting right now using skills you already have, how to move past worrying about what people might think, and how to jump in before you’re ready!

Meg is a mommy blogger turned Facebook employee who left the 9-5 for a life of freedom and flexibility. She’s currently RVing across the US with her family, while empowering other families to live their dreams, by pursuing their passions together. 
Her clients are increasing influence online – leveraging the power of Facebook and Instagram marketing to build their businesses while spending more time with their families. Meg is a professional speaker, children’s book author, host of the FamilyPreneur podcast and CEO of EIEIO Marketing.

Meg’s take on marketable skills:
“Everybody’s got marketable skills, and it’s just figuring out what it is, what you’re interested in, what you’re good at and how it can benefit other people. And that’s what I did…And I have that soft spot in my heart for parents, for moms who want to spend more time with their kids because that’s, I mean, that’s my story.”

…on overcoming your fear of sales: 
“I can’t tell you how many times I hesitated to start to pursue a business concept to pursue an idea because I didn’t want my family and my friends to be like, “Oh, there she goes, starting another Facebook page. It’s okay…Don’t care what other people think. Care about the impact that this is going to have on your life and your family.”

…and on how no one is ever ready to have kids or start a business:
“It presents itself with business. Yeah: ‘I’m not ready yet.’ ‘I don’t have enough time.’ ‘I need more money.’ ‘I need more stability.’ It also presents itself with having kids. Like how many of you – speaking to everybody listening – had children when you were absolutely 100% ready? I mean, is there anyone?“

Transcript

Genia:
Welcome to the Good Things in Life podcast. I’m Genia Stephen. I’m a mom hosted the podcast and I run the Inclusion Academy, a monthly membership for parents of kids with disabilities. And I offer online courses for parents as well. The Good Things in Life for Kids with Disabilities generally fall into four categories: family life – things like home, health, finances, etc. – School life, community, life, and friendships. Usually though you won’t hear me talk on the podcast about family finances. It’s not what I teach. But I know and have experienced the underemployment and unemployment and extra costs that often result when families are caring for kids with disabilities. It’s a real problem that many of us face. And the COVID-19 pandemic has blown this problem up in a big way of people have lost their jobs, have their hours cut. And many, many people have required social assistance while they’ve sheltered in place at home. Finances are an even bigger stressor than they are usually.

Genia:
I remember when my son was still a baby, sitting in a coffee shop with my dear friend, Beth French. And I asked her, “Is this it? Is my career over even before it’s really begun?” I don’t have many or even any role models, or I didn’t then, moms of kids with disabilities who had successful thriving careers and still supported their kids in the way that they wanted and needed to. Beth me straight in the eye and said, “No, it’s not over. We will figure this out.” Beth has since passed away, but her support made such a powerful difference in my life and that influence still continues. And now I want to pay it forward to you. This podcast episode is part of a series on moms of kids with disabilities, who are paying the bills and raising their kids. My hope is that these mompreneurs will be your role models of what is possible and a resource to you as you consider your own income earning options.

Genia:
Our guests today, Meg Brunson is a mom blogger, turned Facebook employee who left that nine to five for a life of freedom and flexibility. Currently, she’s RVing across the US with her family while empowering other families to live their dreams by pursuing their passions together. Her clients are increasing influence online, leveraging the power of Facebook and Instagram marketing to build their businesses while spending more time with their families. Meg’s a professional speaker, children’s book author, host of the FamilyPreneur Podcast and CEO of EIEIO Marketing. Meg, thank you so much for joining me today. I’m really excited that we are connecting.

Meg:
Oh, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Genia:
And you know, we both you know, before we started recording, we were just talking about sort of where we are and what’s going on in life. And you are recording this podcast episode in your car because you are RVing across the US and are currently in, you were saying more than a 100 Fahrenheit heat and surrounded by your children. And I keep asking my kids to be quiet and yet they are still thumping and banging and talking. And so hopefully there’s not too much background noise at my end. You know, this is like, this is summer life and this is a family life and COVID life, you know? So, but we’re making it happen.

Meg:
We are.

Genia:
So thank you for that. Meg, I wonder if you could start by telling me just a little bit of your story and your family’s story.

Meg:
I feel like, like most people, I was raised thinking that I would go to college. I would get a degree. I would enter the workforce career, climb the ladder, retire, and, you know, life would kind of fit into that basic timeline. But things changed for me. I mean, they were always a little different. So I always had this little entrepreneurial spark. I always had a little side hustle or a little way to make some extra money on the side. I consider myself a creative. So I used to paint things for people like little commissioned works, like nothing spectacular, but little things little crafting businesses, just little things here and there. Then when I was pregnant with my third daughter, everything, everything just changed. My whole world was tipped upside down.

Meg:
I knew early in the pregnancy that things weren’t right. You know, I, this was my third baby. I knew things weren’t right, but my doctor couldn’t put his finger on it and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but my health was deteriorating quickly. I left my nine to five and “medical leave” when I was about 22 weeks pregnant. My doctor took me out at my request. However, there was no medical reason for me being taken out that they had found yet that they didn’t find it until I was 27 weeks pregnant and almost died. So a long story short at that point I had, like I said, two older kiddos, my oldest daughter who was about five and dealing with some issues in school, we suspect that she may have ADHD and she was having some issues with, you know, fitting in the box if you will at school.

Meg:
My two-year-old at the time had some severe disabilities and delays, maybe delays is a better word. So she was nonverbal. She was, she did not walk. She never crawled She rolled everywhere. So she just had this unique little way of being but the hardest part was that my strength was deteriorating so quickly and my muscles were deteriorating and I couldn’t pick her up anymore. Which really limited my ability to parent her alone because she was completely dependent on me for mobility. What ended up happening was that I had a condition with my kidneys where my muscles were breaking down after having the baby, my body rebounded. Everybody was fine. But that was the point where I told my husband, I can’t go back to work. I lost my own dad two days before I turned 12 and getting

Genia:
Sorry to hear that.

Meg:
Thanks. Being that close to death myself was really hard to come to terms with. It’s always been a fear of mine that I would leave my children prematurely. And I feel like I got really close to that. And I said I can’t go back to work. I have to spend more time with them. And it also, you know, I just needed that time to heal from that, the damage of that experience. Now I’m going to fast forward a little bit. I had a fourth baby. And then I was offered the opportunity. I applied for a job at Facebook and was hired. So I did return back to the corporate world. At that point, I thought that my trauma had been healed. I was ready to return to “normal” employment. You know, and I did, I went back to work and it was short-lived. I was at Facebook for about a year. And again, about nine months into the process, my daughter had a Thanksgiving play and I had 1.67 hours of paid time off to use to attend to that play. And it was kind of the straw. It was like I can’t do this. You know, I’ve got four kids.

Meg:
At this point, two of them were getting therapies for various delays. My oldest still dealing with ADHD. And my youngest, my fourth kid was kind of the average kiddo in our household, which doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have her own unique needs. But trying to juggle all the things, CSE meetings and CPSE meetings and IEP meetings and 504 plans and all the specialist appointments. And it all took away from paid time off at work. And I just realized when I had been an entrepreneur for those couple years, I was able to contribute to the income and to all those things. And if I left the workforce, my husband would keep his job. He’d be like the breadwinner if you will. And then I would just be able to focus on making you know, supplemental income. And so that’s what we did. I left that job but don’t you know, the universe works in mysterious ways. It was eight months after I left my job, maybe even seven that he lost his job.

Genia:
Oh no. Yup.

Meg:
And then it was like, the carpet had been pulled out from under us. And we had two choices. Like we could sink or we could swim. And so when he lost his job, I went and joined the local Chamber of Commerce. I took advantage of the fact that he could now be home with the kids and I could hustle a little harder. And I had been building these foundations for months. And I feel like that was actually the best thing that could have happened to us because it allowed us to really, it forced us, it didn’t allow us, it forced us to jump in with two feet and make this work. And that’s really what brings us to today.

Genia:
It’s scary, right? It’s scary to

Meg:
Oh my gosh, terrifying.

Genia:
To try and build something on your own. And I mean, you said that you’ve always had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit, but most of us were not raised that way. Or, you know, we weren’t raised to be to start our own business, to take risks to, and most of us have no idea how to even get started. And then on top of that, all these other layers of parenting that are taking up our mind and our time and our energy. So yeah, it’s a pretty scary thing to contemplate. So tell me what you built.

Meg:
Sure. So let me take a quick little step back to that period of time after my third kid was born and before I went to Facebook. So I tried all the things, cause like you said, I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit. But don’t let that lead you to believe I knew what I was doing.

Genia:
Right. Okay. That’s a very important clarification.

Meg:
No, no, no. So I tried all the things. I mean, I told you, you know, I, before kids, I had done some like commissions paintings. After I started having kids, I had a hairball business. I have all four daughters so hairballs were one of those like kind of fun ways for me to be creative. And also, I dunno, [inaudible], my kiddos. So I did craft shows. Then I was like, ooh, network marketing and direct sales. And so I started, I tinkered around with some different direct sales companies for different reasons. And I was trying to find like the solution, right? Like the, like what was the answer to a successful business? I knew people who were getting into direct sales and then climbing that ladder and getting the cars and vacations and stuff. And so I thought I can do that.

Genia:
Tell people what direct sales are in case people aren’t familiar with that area of business.

Meg:
Oh, sure, sure. Sorry.

Genia:
That’s okay.

Meg:
So that’s going to be like Tupperware Sensi, Young Living. I mean, I’ll be honest. I still am, I am with Young Living. I just don’t sell it. Like I’m not, I don’t sell it as a direct salesperson or so as I just use the discount because I love the products, but there’s all those kinds of programs. So this is a business that somebody else owns and you join as an independent consultant and you typically will pay like I dunno about a hundred bucks or so to get your new consultant kit, which gives you things that you can use to start your business. They’ll give you resources, you get a website. It’s, I mean, and there’s a lot of negative press, if you will, towards direct sales or MLM, multilevel marketing. Honestly, it taught me a lot about business. Like just for somebody, I went to college, but I was a criminal justice major. Okay. Like I have never taken a business

Genia:
Yeah, not helpful in the business world. Yeah.

Meg:
The only business class I took was the first day of freshman year where I accidentally went to like a 300 level econ class.No, no.

Genia:
That’s funny. I got lost one day and ended up in a business class for a few minutes. That’s the business training that I had. Yup

Meg:
I tried to stay through the whole class cause I didn’t want to look dumb walking out.

Genia:
Right.

Meg:
That’s its own story. But I didn’t know what I was doing. So like I said, it’s that I think I did learn a lot about customer service and just money, managing the money and figuring out profitability and things like that. But the disadvantage is you don’t really own anything. You’re selling somebody else’s product. You’re getting a commission based on that. It’s not a pyramid scheme. A lot of people refer to it as a pyramid scheme or they’re slightly, they’re different. I mean, when you think about any business, it’s kind of like a pyramid, right? There’s one CEO and there’s tons of entry-level employees. So it’s the same thing for multilevel marketing. It’s harder to climb the ladder, you know? And so I tried a lot of things. Jan Berry was one, it was like nail decals. They’re not around anymore but [inaudible]. Ultimately what works for me was that I found, it is similar, a similar structure, but more like a franchise with a mommy blog here in the States.

Meg:
They might be in Canada too. I’m not sure, but I joined this mommy blog network. It was a small, like a $50 a month fee to be a part of it. And you got your website and you’ve got a bunch of training. And then basically I blogged. So I blogged, I reviewed local things around my community. I got money from people who wanted to advertise on the blog. So that’s how I made cash money if you will. But I also got tickets. So like to review things. We got to go, I got to bring my whole family to Disney on Ice. Right. And this is right after I’d been out of work since 22 weeks. At this point we are on food stamps. We are on public assistance. We had, we were paycheck to paycheck before that happened. So being pulled out of work three months before I planned to, you know, that hurt us financially. And just having those bartering opportunities allowed me to give my kids a lifestyle that I wanted them to have.

Genia:
That you couldn’t afford in cash.

Meg:
Right. And I, from there, that’s where I really got into learning about advertising and marketing, which got me the knowledge I needed to get hired by Facebook. Then after I left Facebook, now where, I’ll jump back ahead. After I left Facebook before they did was simple, is I leveraged what I was doing for them. I realized every, I mean, everybody in air quotes, “everybody” who’s an entrepreneur, a small business owner could benefit from that.

Meg:
But you can’t just call up Facebook and ask for an account rep. You can’t. You have to be meeting certain levels of ad spend. You know, and I remember working at Facebook, one of the clients that was in my book of business, if you will, she was a mom. Her kiddo was two years old and she was pregnant and she had a great business and she was doing really well, but she was on the low end of ad spend for my book. And so my instruction was one call and done. I wanted to work with her because I related to her. And so honestly I took what I was doing at Facebook and I made it my own. And I started offering it to people. And it’s this concept of, you know, everybody has marketable skills. I don’t care if you were working at McDonald’s last year, like think about what you were doing last year.

Meg:
And then really think about it. Like not just surface level, like I, you know, you’re upselling French fries, but like dig in and figure out what you were really doing customer service, you know? And then how could you take that customer service or whatever skill it is and how could other people use it. Everybody’s got marketable, marketable skills, and it’s just figuring out what it is, what you’re interested in, what you’re good at and how it can benefit other people. And that’s what I did. And for me, it was Facebook marketing. And I have that soft spot in my heart for parents, for moms who want to spend more time with their kids because that’s, I mean, that’s my story. And I knew how much it hurt me and I knew how much work it was. And I also know that I’m the kind of person who like will keep fighting until I get it, but not everybody has that same drive.

Meg:
So if I can make things easier for people so that more moms can take back their time and still have an impact on the world, still have an impact on their wallet but be able to make more memories with their kids, I don’t know how much longer I’ve got. No, I’m not, you know, critically ill or anything. Nobody knows. That’s the thing, nobody knows. And after that brush, I’m just not willing to risk it. So I want to make every day as impactful as possible. And it does lead into this whole issue of balance, right? Like work-life balance. But I know I’m spending more time with my kids now than I would if I was in a traditional nine to five and I feel better about it.

Genia:
Yeah. Yeah. So your business then, I just want to go back to this idea of essentially marketing your skillset. So I wonder if you, I know that you’ve worked with lots of moms that have done this. Can you give me a few examples of how other moms have done this?

Meg:
Sure. So I think the easiest example is transitioning to a virtual assistant. I know I’ve got a handful of people that I’ve worked with in some capacity who come from a background of, you know, being a teacher or, I mean, teachers are great. When you think about all the things that teachers do to, for a class and then to be able to take their, that organization, that attention to detail, that ability to learn and create systems and processes that other people can follow and offer your services to an entrepreneur who is ahead of you. So somebody who’s been in the business for a year or two and, you know, just need somebody to some of the stuff that, I have virtual assistants do create graphics in Canva. Not hard, it’s just, I don’t have time to do it because I have other things I need to focus on. So things that you can do for other people who just don’t have time to do those things. Do you know what I mean?

Genia:
I, yeah, I absolutely do. Yeah.

Meg:
I work with, I’ve got one client right now who is a twin mom. She’s very organized. And she teaches people how to organize things, specifically focus on project management tools like Trello and Asana, you know, to help keep people organized. So it’s figuring out what are you good at that other people need? And oftentimes it can be hard because usually it’s like the simplest thing to you right. Where you’re like, nobody would pay for this because it’s way too easy. It’s not easy for everybody.

Genia:
It’s not easy for everybody. Yeah. So Trello and Asana are apps that people use to run projects. So it’s like keeps people organized and keep lines of communications open and that type of thing. So yeah, I mean, there’s, I am aware of a mom whose kids are all at home and she teaches Minecraft. And what she does is she creates these little Minecraft courses where kids are learning about things like geometry or excuse me, geography, math, maybe geometry, you know, and they’re, so they’re playing Minecraft and that’s what she does. That’s what she teaches. So like it can be, it really can be something that’s super, super simple or something that is complicated for something somebody else. Or as you said, it can be something that is super simple, but save somebody’s time because time is our, truly our only like nonrenewable resource as a human [inaudible].

Meg:
Yeah. And I’ll tell you my business and a lot of businesses I work with are what we call B2B so that the business to business. So I’m thinking of, you know, I do marketing, I know people who do copywriting, I know people do graphic design, but you brought up the Minecraft is B2C, which is business to consumer. So those are things that you’re not marketing to a business owner. You’re just marketing to the average shopper, you know? And there’s, there’s, I mean, there’s some crazy businesses out there. My hometown, in New York, there was a woman who had a business, like an in-person business. They can’t be open right now. She was a professional cuddler.

Genia:
Yes.

Meg:
I kid you not. People paid her to cuddle.

Genia:
Right.

Meg:
There’s no idea that’s too crazy. I mean, I know people who are, I know a ton of bloggers and content creators and from blogging, like you may think, well, how do I make money off of that? So the one, like the easiest way to think about it is you can sell ad space, right? So if I have a blog that is, and now I’m using my personal example from when I was in New York, very focused on one specific city in New York. And all of my subscribers are parents with kids. And I’ve done surveys. I know that their kids tend to be under the age of 12. Businesses in my area want to reach those people so I can charge them to run an ad or an email or just some other way to put them in front of my people. And I get a little bit of money off of that. The other side of it is you can create a product for those people. And this is something that I’ve done too, is I realized when I was in New York, my daughter took a class called a home alone class when she was like eight to prepare her to be home alone.

Meg:
Like if [inaudible] after school or whatever. When I moved to Arizona, it didn’t exist. I couldn’t find one for my next kiddo. So I did the research. I put together a little course on how to prepare your kids to be home alone. It guides you as the parent as much as anything for making sure that you’ve checked all the boxes and you know, is your kiddo really ready? And now I’ve got a product I can sell through my blog. It was something that’s mine. And it’s already created and it’s pure profit if somebody buys it. So there’s lots, there’s affiliate marketing.

Genia:
What’s affiliate marketing?

Meg:
What that means is, so let’s say I’ve got, so there’s a couple of ways to look at it. I’ve got a product, I’ve got my home alone class and you have an audience of people who want it. I can say, if you market it for me, I will give you 50% of the profits. Now you are going to market my product and keep 50% of the profits. And on a different scale, you can do that with Amazon. It is not 50%. Let’s just say [inaudible] Amazon, it’s pennies. But those pennies can add up. So there’s tons of these affiliate programs. I’ll tell you, one of my most successful affiliates right now is a diaper company, a subscription diaper company. It’s not huge, but I get about a hundred bucks every month for a blog post I wrote a year ago.

Genia:
Right.

Meg:
Because it generates

Genia:
That’s right. That piece that you just mentioned, I think is really powerful for people to think about is that some of these ideas are things that continue to earn you money once they are, like the course, once you’ve created it, you no longer have to actually work on it in order to deliver it online. And then something like that affiliate link for that diaper company. You wrote that a year ago, but it continues to exist. People continue to find it. And so it really kind of start to accumulate over time. And for some people, the need is to be able to, you know, fully pay all of their bills. And you know, and that business is going to look very different from the mom who’s just, just, they’re just living right at the margins. And they don’t need a lot. They don’t need to replace, you know, a ton of income, but they, gosh, do they need a little bit of breathing room? And you can imagine that with your diaper affiliate, diaper company affiliate blog posts, that if you did a little bit more work on that, like didn’t let it sit for a year and do nothing else that you’d be able to earn overtime. You’d be able to build up your monthly income

Meg:
You are preaching to the choir cause I haven’t done anything with it. And I’m like, man, I should really spend some time optimizing it on Pinterest. Because if I spend a couple of hours optimizing it on Pinterest, or even if I paid somebody, what if I put one month’s worth of my income, that hundred bucks into like paying somebody else to make me some graphics that I could use on Pinterest. So you hit the nail on the head there and that’s something nobody’s perfect. That’s something I need to do too.

Genia:
Well. And in other aspects of your business, you do invest your time in order to make the growth not sort of what’s, there’s, there’s a term, but I can’t think of what it is right now, but its exponential. That’s the word I was looking for. So in other aspects of, like the diaper affiliate link is not actually the focus of your business.

Meg:
True. Yes.

Genia:
Yeah.

Meg:
And I think that brings up another good point too, is that with my marketing agency that is what pays my bills. So like everything else is just kind of little extras. And I think it’s important that you diversify that you have other branches because if something happens, let’s just say Facebook disappears tomorrow, you know, whatever, I’m going to have to figure out what I’m going to do.

Meg:
And don’t get me wrong. It would be a shock. It would be a rug pulled out from me, but I’ve got enough other like six in the fire or whatever the phrase is, I’m going to be able to pivot and climb out of that. So when I started the agency though, there’s a lot of things I could have done. I could have done one-on-one clients. I could have created a course. I feel like those are the two extremes, right. Working with somebody one-on-one or creating a course. And the course is more passive, like you mentioned. But the clients are more profitable. So I often recommend that people go with that one-on-one work in the beginning because you can make more money doing it. And it’s also its own form of market research because after I worked with 10 clients, now I’m beginning to see trends, weaknesses that they all have, questions that they all have.

Meg:
And I can start to pull those out and make note of those. And those are gonna turn into blog posts and courses and things like that. So I definitely think, you know, like you mentioned, everybody has a different, they’re coming from a different place. And if you’re places that you need more money now, then you don’t want to start with affiliate marketing. That’s going to take a while to build up. You can start with the one-on-one work, which is going to be, it’s going to be harder to acquire a client, but once you acquire that client, they’re going to be higher paying and it’ll snowball from there.

Genia:
Hey there. Even if you can’t yet, imagine what you might teach in an online course, but you’re intrigued by the idea, I’ve got a resource for you. My go-to digital course creation coach Amy Porterfield just released her new free 19-page Ultimate Course Creation Starter Kit. You can find it by going to goodthingsinlife.org/guide. It’s been incredibly helpful for me. And I wanted to make sure that you got a chance to download it for free. This guide unpacks how to figure out your winning course idea and get the perfect topic that sparks interest and engagement from your community. It covers what to name your course based on the six different types of course names, because you can’t let something like naming your course, hold you back. And these examples will make sure that you’re past that potential roadblock and self-doubt and off to the races. This starter guide is exactly the kind of tool that will help you get from intrigued by the idea of creating an online course to excited about your plan for an online course. Again, you can access the free guide at goodthingsinlife.org/guide.

Genia:
And, and then, well, I think for people who have never even considered starting their own income or like their own stream of income, yes, diversification matters, but you don’t have to start with a diverse set of income or income streams like that. First of all, don’t don’t because you’ll completely snow yourself. And it will be yeah, way, way, way, way too hard. And also the client workpiece, the one-to-one piece, it’s a powerful tool, both because you can earn like it’s a higher price point for people. Also because of everything that you’re going to learn as you were saying. But I know people that have had that, they started their business making a product on Etsy. And you know, like your bow business and they make something that they know how to make and that they enjoy making.

Genia:
And they sell that in an Etsy shop and they build from there. And so there are lots of ways that you can consider just entering into the idea of being an entrepreneur and try out an idea. Your story is great for that because you were saying, you know, well, I did this and then I did that. And then I did this. And while those things didn’t turn out to be as successful or as exciting to you as the marketing agency that you have now, they produced a little, at least a little bit of income for a little while, while you were on this journey to figure out, you know, what was going to be your passion and your, you know, a successful, significant income earning business.

Meg:
And you have to realize too, that that’s normal. Like, yes, it’s my story, but I’m willing to bet. I know this is a series I’m willing to bet every person you’ve interviewed, they’re not working on their first business right now. That’s right. Like “successful” entrepreneurs everywhere have pivoted and changed. And you know,

Genia:
Failed.

Meg:
And failed. And one of my biggest, we celebrate failures. My kids still sometimes question me if they fail and I’ll be like, “Great job!” And my kid will be like, “That means I lost.” I’m like, yeah, but you have to lose. You have to fail in order to get better. Like, what did you learn? And then how are you going to apply that, learning towards taking your next step? But this, I feel like if I could go back in time and tell myself something, it would be

Genia:
That’s actually perfect. Cause that was going to be one of my questions.

Meg:
Oh! Sorry.

Genia:
Excellent. No, that’s great.

Meg:
Sorry to do your job for you. But it would be to understand that concept of accepting failure and not to be so concerned with what other people would think. I can’t tell you how many times I hesitated to start to pursue a business concept to pursue an idea because I didn’t want my family and my friends to be like, “Oh, there she goes, starting another Facebook page.” You know, because I had already done all these direct sales and this, that, and the other thing in my bow business. And it’s okay. It’s okay. And if they’re bothered by it, people are bothered by it, they’re not for you. I mean, that’s just do your thing. Don’t care what other people think.

Meg:
Care about the impact that this is going to have on your life and your family. And I just feel like if I didn’t have that hesitation and that fear of how other people would perceive my next business idea that I’d be further even than I am right now, because all of those hesitations delayed me actually taking action. And you have to just take action and let it be messy and let yourself mess up and let yourself fail and then dust yourself off and learn from it and take the next step. And there’s going to be a lot, like I said, a lot of failures, you may have a lot of Facebook pages that ends up dying off, but if I had never started that bow business, would I be where I am now? I don’t think so. You know, I just don’t think so. I don’t regret anything.

Genia:
Yeah. I think that’s really powerful and really true. And as you were talking about your past and you know, what you would say to yourself in the past, I was thinking about myself and where my head was and my body. Like just the sort of wear and tear of stress and exhaustion when my son’s health was at its worst for the first six years of, but basically it was the whole first six years of his life. And thinking, could I have could I have done, could I have started Good Things in Life then? I’m not, I don’t know if I could have done that. I’m not actually sure, but I could have done something because even at that time when I didn’t have a lot of brain space and I was exhausted all the time and terribly frightened and worried all the time I still looked for and benefited from some pursuits that were outside of like, it used different parts of my brain and that were outside of you know, what I was doing as a parent.

Genia:
And I think, you know, if I had, I wish I had been thinking about this at that time, because the conversation that I was having with my friend Beth was around my career as a midwife. That’s what I was focused on. So I was thinking about work. And I in fact, was working towards like taking steps towards that. But I wish that I had started earlier and not, like this journey with good Things in Life and not been so concerned about the limitations of how little progress I was going to be able to make, given my current reality. You know, like the, and also how I wish I hadn’t been so concerned about the possibility of life-changing really dramatically. And you know, well, I’m not going to start cause I might need to figure out something different at some point in the future. You know, that kind of thing, which is still a mindset issue that I have. You know, I worry about that.

Meg:
And it’s a mindset issue. It’s so funny. I talk about that all the time. It presents itself with business. Yeah. I’m not ready yet. I don’t have enough time. I need more money. I need more stability. It also presents itself with having kids. Like how many of you speaking to everybody listening had children when you were absolutely 100% ready? I mean, is there anyone? There was always, there’s always something that could be done differently. And I think you brought up a really good point that don’t like, don’t compare your today to somebody else’s, you know, year four. I mean I’ve been, I’m not sure. I’m so bad with time. Three or four years, I’ve been working on the marketing business. Three, I think. And so you can’t look at what I’m doing and compare yourself if you’re still in your first year. Like it’s not fair. And I still go through seasons where I take smaller steps than other seasons. That’s totally normal, you know, you’re trying to balance everything and life does happen. But any forward motion is good forward motion.

Genia:
Yeah. Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. And I think about how long it took me to just like, get a website published and it’s not because publishing a website has to be a really super complicated thing. But because I only had a little bit of time, you know, a very small amount of time and zero know-how. And so it was really, really, really slow. You know, and same with the podcast. And so that’s, it takes time, but you know, things then build on the steps that you took previously. So yeah, I totally,

Meg:
It’s kind of like, there’s that quote where it’s like a year from now, you’ll be glad you started today. And it doesn’t matter if that means you’re two steps ahead of where you were today or 20. You know, it’s just getting the process moving. And I think if you’re really stuck, like if even if after listening to this, you’re like, I still don’t know what I would do. You know what I mean? Like I still don’t. Ask people. Like, it seems so simple, but like go to your friends, like your best friends and be like, you know, if I could, if you could outsource something to me, if you could give me something to do for you, what would it be like? Would you have me cook for you? Well, maybe you’re a really good cook. Could you, could you share recipes? Could you write a recipe book?

Meg:
Could you teach other people like secrets of cooking. No, I’m not cooker so maybe that was a terrible example for me to use. But do you know what I mean? Like there’s, how can you leverage that? I mean, even you talked about the bows and from the bows, I didn’t take this route, but I could have, you know, I make bows, I could have created a course on how to make bows. And now there’s something that other people could buy this course on how to make bows. If I wanted to, maybe I put together a kit where you can get like a box with all the things you need to make your first 10 bows. Like there’s ways to just be creative.

Genia:
Or you could sell a subscription so that people get the things to make a new bow every month.

Meg:
There you go.

Genia:
Yeah. Yeah. And making bows, you can look that up on YouTube.

Meg:
Oh yeah.

Genia:
But it doesn’t like the fact, this is I think a really common limiting belief people have is, well, if the information is out there or if somebody is already doing it or, and especially if I see that they’re doing it better than I can do it today, then it’s not a valid business idea.

Meg:
You’re wrong.

Genia:
Tell me more about why I’m wrong.

Meg:
Okay. So first of all, nobody’s going to do it like you do it, right? Like nobody’s going to do it like you do it. There are all sorts of weird reasons why you like some people and you don’t like other people. Maybe you don’t like the sound of her voice. Maybe you don’t like how fast she talks. Maybe you don’t like, and I’m just trying to pick things. And I’m not saying, you know, it’s just preferences. You’re going to find somebody who entertains you. And it’s going to be different from somebody who entertains me.

Meg:
There’s no shortage of people who need whatever it is that you have to offer. One of my favorite examples a lot of times people will say, it seems like the market is over-saturated. So it seems like the market is oversaturated with Facebook ads experts as a Facebook ads expert. And I do see that. I perceive that. Now think about the last time you bought a car, like whatever car it was. Right now, I’m sitting in a gray Ford expedition. Okay. So I went and I bought this gray Ford expedition and I’m like, “Ooh, it looks good.” Right? Like this is, this is the car I wanted to buy.

Genia:
Okay, you’re feeling it. Yup.

Meg:
I get off the lot, gray Ford expedition. Oh my gosh, there’s another gray Ford expedition. Oh my gosh I have the most popular car in the world. The most popular car in the world. They’re everywhere. They’re not really everywhere. It’s just, that’s what you’re looking for. And so it jumps out at you. And I feel like it’s so true every single car I’ve owned, you see the same, your twin car everywhere. It’s the same thing. Don’t let that stop you though. And one of the reasons is it from a consumer standpoint that YouTube isn’t in itself, it’s not a good way to learn things because what you need to do is you need to find one person who you resonate with and you, you know, know, like and trust or whatever. However you want to term it. And you need to stick with them.

Genia:
That’s right. Yup. Not drown in the [inaudible].

Meg:
So I have an online, we just got a puppy and I have an online dog trainer. She’s based out of New York, we’re living in Arizona and traveling the US. I don’t watchdog training videos from anyone, but her, because everybody has a different opinion. And it’s like parenting, if you jump from like technique to technique, to technique, nothing [inaudible].

Genia:
You’ll break your children, and yourself.

Meg:
Right. You’ll break your kid. You’ll break your puppy. You know, you have to find one person to follow them. So, yeah, I’m sure there’s like a bazillion bowmakers out there on YouTube. But there is something to be said for people will find one or two that they really like and resonate with, and they’re going to follow those people because they know that those people are at the forefront of their trends that, you know, they’re watching other people to make sure that they’re teaching the most up-to-date resources. And that’s the thing. You could follow a hundred ads managers. You may see some different information, but you’re going to notice it. A lot of it is similar, but people have to have slightly different focuses and slightly different slants. I talk about kids a lot. You know, I compare the algorithm to a two-year-old child. So I think people can relate to that, but I definitely had that same, it’s known as imposter syndrome. You know, when I first started leaving, even leaving Facebook where I feel like that gives me a decent amount of credibility, but I still had that imposter syndrome. There were other gurus out there teaching Facebook marketing, who am I?

Genia:
Right, right. And the, I don’t think imposter syndrome ever actually goes away. But one of the, one of the interesting things though, that’s true, that’s a fact is that you actually only need to be just like one or two steps ahead of the person that you are teaching or selling something to. So, you know, you bought a gray Ford expedition. And if the car sales place, I’m losing words here, if the car sales place if the car salesman had tried to sell you like a gray I don’t know. What’s like a sup, like a Denali, maybe. I’m trying, I know nothing about vehicles. But if they tried to sell you something else that was like super way, higher-end than that, and had way more features and was way more technologically advanced, you would have just walked away. Cause the perfect fit, not, not that I’m not jealous of your gray Ford Expedition. So I totally am. But you know, but still it’s like, it is incremental, right? So you don’t need to feel like you have to be you know, the highest and most advanced you know, gray truck on the market in order to appeal to people and

Meg:
Like a Cadillac Escalade, I feel like that’s a good [inaudible].

Genia:
There. Okay. That’s great. Yes.

Meg:
That’s like a big, fancy expensive statusy one.

Genia:
Right. You don’t have to be you don’t have to be that in order to have a business that will earn you some helpful money. And you know.

Meg:
And you don’t need to have, oh, sorry. You don’t need to have a million followers.

Genia:
No, that’s right. Yeah. I just had a recent,

Meg:
Go ahead. Sorry.

Genia:
Sorry. I just had a recent experience talking to, just in this past week, two people one who is the friend of my sister. Like it’s not somebody I know super well, but we just started having a conversation about business and he runs a very successful salvage business. So he goes in and takes out old stuff out of like huge buildings and, you know, so that clears it all out. And it’s a highly-skilled, what he does is like really highly skilled. He’s very successful at his business. It’s booming. And we were talking about some of these little pieces around business and marketing and he was like, how much would it cost for me to hire you for a week? Because this little piece is something that actually I know nothing about.

Genia:
And I am not a business expert. Right? Like I’m not a business expert. I am still trying to figure this out. You know how to get the podcast out to more people. How to, well, basically the reason that, you know, I’m attending your summits, right. To learn what, you know, cause I don’t know any of this stuff. Right. But that piece around just like not letting you’re feeling like an imposter, like you have nothing to offer, but that shouldn’t stop you in your tracks. Because if you explore, like you’re saying, ask friends, like, what am I good at? Like if you were to list my top three skills or top, what’s really awesome about me, those kinds of things. You would probably find that there’s something there that you have to offer that other people need just like you said.

Meg:
And like piggybacking off what you said when somebody asks you to do something, sometimes, I mean, sometimes it makes sense, there are times where it makes sense to say no. I don’t want to say you should always say yes to stuff. But like if you’ve got the bandwidth and you’ve got this time and stuff say yes to i. Give it a shot, get some feedback. Did you like it? And if you did, turn that into something, ask for a testimonial. Maybe you charge less, like you charge something low. Cause that’s not normally what you do. You’re not really sure how it’s gonna play out and then you can build off of that.

Genia:
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And you know, my intention is not to become a business consultant.

Meg:
That you never know.

Genia:
Well maybe, maybe I never would have anticipated so many things in my life. So, you know yeah. But not currently on the table. But that point around just like, it can be surprising how quickly when you start to explore your options, that you can find that you, in fact, even though you’re nota Cadillac, you still have something to offer.

Meg:
Yes, exactly.

Genia:
Yeah. Yeah. So Meg, where can people find you if they want to follow up?

Meg:
The best place to go is megbrunson.com. So that is my website. There’s information there related to my podcast to Facebook marketing. I’m going to be adding some more travel stuff soon. I’m launching a new podcast on education specifically on lack education in America. So I know that you’re in Canada, so it may not be totally relevant, but there’s a lot of stuff, at least in America that we weren’t taught in school. And so I’m exploring some of those topics and podcasts and about them as well. So that’ll all be at my website megbrunson.com.

Genia:
And if people are, you know, thinking like, “Oh, this is interesting”, but truly I just can’t get this started right now. I don’t know what I’m doing. I have no ideas and I have no time. Podcasts are something that you can be listening to, you’re listening to this one. And podcasts like the mompreneur podcast FamilyPreneur. I was like, as it was coming out of my mouth, I’m like, no, no, no, no, it’s not mompreneur. You teach mompreneurs, but it’s the FamilyPreneur Podcast. And we’ll link to all of this in the show notes of course is one way that you could be getting you know a Cadillac level education while you’re still figuring things out.

Meg:
Exactly.

Genia:
Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Meg, do you have any parting advice either for me and you know, Good Things in Life or for any of the listeners who are just exploring what this could be in their lives?

Meg:
Oh gosh! I feel like we went over so much. Like I think I’m just going to go back to the just do it element. You know, don’t hesitate. Don’t doubt yourself. You’re, I almost want to reference. So in the States, Kanye West just announced he’s going to be running for president. And I saw a meme that said something like, I’m going to paraphrase this. Note this is not my opinion. This is a meme I saw, but it was like if Kanye West thinks that he’s qualified to run for president, you are qualified to do anything you want to do. So don’t limit yourself, you know, like don’t limit yourself. Do what you want to do, take a risk, be willing to fail, be proud to fail, just get yourself back up and take another step having learned into your lesson and you will get there. Like, I don’t know where you’re going to end up. You might end up being a business consultant in three years. You never know. I, part of me is still like, I don’t know what I’m going to be when I grow up, because my role is consistently changing. My offers changed. Right?

Meg:
But I’m able to build the life that I want to live today and give myself a future that I’m excited about, you know, walking into.

Genia:
Thanks very much, Meg. That’s awesome. And as I said, we’ll make sure that all of the links to your content, your website, your podcasts, are all listed in the show notes so that people can follow up with you and hopefully follow you and learn from you. Because I know that you’ve been a huge resource to me. And I’m so grateful that you’re on the podcast. It’s so grateful that you’re doing the work that you’re doing. Thanks.

Meg:
Thank you so much for having me.

Thanks for Listening!

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Special thanks to MEG BRUNSON for joining me this week. Until next time!

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