When people think about entrepreneurship and building a business, they often think about the creative pieces and the awesome aspects that come along. What we forget to think about is all the strategic work that comes along with it (hello book keeping, invoicing and more)! Today’s founder is Dorothy Kolb, CEO of DK East Associates, which provides high touch, c-suite level support in finance and business strategy to growth-stage businesses so they can focus on the work they love.
Dorothy tells me about her previous work as an accountant and then in broadcasting and how she liked it because it gave a full picture of the business and not just the financials which many people look at. Then life hit and she was forced to start consulting so she could balance single motherhood and time with her kids while making money. She talks to me about how she has been working from home before COVID and how it has been better since, because people are now used to the kids and pets interrupting! One thing I loved about this episode is when she opens up about her continued struggle on weather to build her brand into something bigger or doing just enough so she can still be a mom and other things when work is done.
We finish with her giving me some (much needed) tips on time blocking and a MIND BLOWING take on imposter syndrome. Plus she joins a growing number of guests who dive into getting rid of clients that don’t fit with her and how it has opened doors for her to find ones that are better fit.
Whether you are a business owner who needs a little insight on the parts of your business you don’t like doing or not, this episode will give you so many insights and take aways. Make sure to head to their site, Instagram and LinkedIn to learn more about Dana and her team!
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Dana: Are you dying at the thought of missing a single one of your baby’s first would have no idea how you’d give up the security that your nine to five job brings. My name is Dana Graham and I had no clue how to escape that vicious 40 Hour Workweek cycle either until I did, as the wife of a traveling husband and mom of two tiny humans. The terrifying and totally bizarre thing from Health Insurance Group to successful newborn and family photographer, all with the amazing craziness of a two year old and a newborn and I’m not the only one. I’m so glad you’re joining me as I chat with other moms who took the leap into entrepreneurship and created the ultimate festival worlds life doing it all in the midst of the house.
Hi everybody and welcome back to another episode of amidst the chaos, I am your host Dave Ramsey, and I’m here today with Dorothy, and we are going to talk about all the things. Mom and entrepreneur and her journey and I am severely outnumbered with Dorothy and number of children that she’s been managing and running a business at the same time so I am so excited for her inside of her to tell us all about her business. So Dorothy, welcome. Thank you so much for being here.
Dorothy: Oh, my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Dana: Well, great. So tell us what you do now tell us about your current business and what it looks like as of today so that when we back up the kind of finish line is a little bit insight.
Dorothy: You got it. So right now I’m offering outsourced CFO and is the strategy to small and midsize kind of enterprise companies in Creative Social Impact and medium production spaces. And that really means that when they’re ready for kind of the CFO strategy type stuff, and they’re not ready financially to hire one on full time, that’s when they come to me and I help them with all that
Dana: awesome, and that so this is clearly something that comes with experience and with lots of years put into the thought of starting this business, it’s not something that somebody could just pick up tomorrow and be like, This is what I’m going to do. So I want to hear. I want to hear the story of back from when you started in the workforce, originally and then how that played into you having children and what your life looked like and how you got to where you are today so start back from when you were just in the workforce before children were in the picture.
Dorothy: I don’t remember that far, no. I actually started as a CPA at Deloitte in New York City, way, way, way back, and that was, I feel like my life has been a bunch of unintentional missteps that led to something better. I didn’t intend to be a CPA, I majored in accounting because I was being the wise but to my dad who said I had to pick something, and I think the first thing in the course catalog. So I was, I worked for Deloitte for a few years and then I went into broadcasting, I was with CBS Sports Fox Sports and worked for NBC for a bit HGTV and Food Network, and a local TV station, and CBS Radio in DC. And a lot of that was stepping outside the finance and accounting area I was doing production and operations and programming. And the great thing about that was that it really gave me a broader sense of the business rather than just looking at it from like the finance perspective which so many people do and then all they’re looking at is a spreadsheet and numbers and they have no idea how decisions made at that level, affect the rest of the company and the people who are doing the work and all. And then I worked for a sports company out of DC as their CFO and they are a 100% virtual company so I’ve actually been working remotely, since 2013 really well for COVID. But I got laid off from that company because they were running out of money and I honestly fell into this entrepreneurial thing really by accident. I was at the end of my marriage. I had four kids, I had no financial support, I didn’t get alimony or child support or anything like that. And I had the choice of Okay Do I go start looking for a job, and, you know, going since I had been working from home for, you know probably four or five years at that point, you know, the thought of commuting, you know, leaving the house at seven o’clock in the morning and working all day coming home at 738 at night. It just wasn’t doable. I mean, not with four kids, a single mom, it just was not doable so I was forced into finding another solution and honestly, I started as just taking a couple of bookkeeping jobs off of work. I mean honestly, and then I realized, well wait a minute I’m clearly above just a bookkeeper, what can I do to turn this more into, you know, more of a CFO higher level. And with those two clients I just started, you know, what if we worked in these services. And that worked, and then they referred me to others and they referred me to others and all of a sudden I look backward and I said, Wow, I just launched a business here. So it was completely accidental.
Dana: Yeah and I think, you know, for you, I don’t want to speak for you at all. So tell me if this is true, but it seems as though you were like okay, I have to make ends meet, and I can’t physically work in an office 40 plus hours a week because I have to get there I have to do all the things I have to be available for the kids shuffle the extracurricular shuffle. But you didn’t say okay I’m going to start a business, you said, Okay, I have to make ends meet. Yeah, you said, let me find something that I can do. And I think that’s fine. I think that’s great I think so many people, myself included, skip over that step, They skip over the step that says, Okay, I can just do a little bit, at that time you didn’t need it to be anything crazy you just, you had to do something. Right, right, had to do something and I and I love that you recognized quickly that you obviously had the skill set that was needed to be taken advantage of at a higher level, but in the interim, You said okay I just need to do something, and I need to get it done and I think people are like oh well I don’t have a website, I don’t have this I don’t have that and I fallen into that trap too but I think that knowing that okay I have to do something, is a great stepping stone to just get your foot in the door and say okay this is what I could do in the meantime,
Dorothy: it is and, frankly, I mean, I had in the back of my mind okay if I need to do something else. At that point it would only be part time, right, because I had this other work that I could do, so that mentally gave me the place to think okay, it does not have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be that I work 4050 hours a week. You know far away from home, or I do this other thing, and try to do it on my own. To be honest, one of the first clients I had was a W two, that was just super part time, in the same kind of realm and I just kind of worked that in and then slowly turned them into a client, instead, and kind of worked up the rest of the business that way but I was looking for you know what could fit into this while I’m still doing this, launching this kind of unintentional business.
Dana: Yeah and so how do your kids play into all this. What were their ages, how did that logistically I guess work for your family with you starting something new, and having to do the shuffle and do it all on your own.
Dorothy: Yeah, so this is what four or five years ago so they’re, they’re all teenagers now so at that point they were like, 9,11 and 14, I have twins who are 14 So 9,11 and 14. And I found when I separated from my ex I made sure I found a house that was at I’m looking right now out my window, I made sure I had a house that was walkable to schools. And so I, you know, did the drop off in the morning, and then they would walk home from school. In the afternoon, and that way I didn’t have to worry about, you know I have to leave and go pick them up and that kind of thing which was enormously helpful I mean just enormously helpful. I will say that COVID has actually easier and more acceptable for the loud noises in the background, the dog barking. I mean, I will tell you I used to say things like, Oh my God, who brought their dog to the office today I cannot believe I can hear that. Or, oh my god, somebody must have brought the crying child in, and it was just I constantly made stuff up, I had a backdrop behind me if I had any kind of like video conference so that it looked like I was in something super, you know, professional rather than my office at home you know that was clearly obvious with some cat walking across or something. So, yeah, yeah, so I just kind of thrilled that my kids rolled with it, you know, they were like okay, and maybe working from home prior to that was helpful because they were used to seeing me yeah house, and, you know, but that barrier of this is my office, that’s always been a you know a struggle in fact I was on a zoom call. Two weeks ago, and I need full zoom call with a, like a board of directors for one of my clients and my 14 year old walked in and just a towel asking where something was and I, I felt like nobody on the call even batted an eye because they’re used to this, but of course the height was like. And then he like kind of ducked out, you know,
Dana: I do, I think you’re right, I think it’s so much more acceptable and people really understand I mean, the loneliness that’s come with COVID for anybody who works even in a regular company in a corporate situation where you have a team and all the things there is an element of loneliness and that nobody really understood that people who work from home kind of peppered through and especially you know for you recently separated and you know with your kids in school like that’s a big shift so how did it go for you because you were working from home with your job before, but then you’re kind of turning into your own boss. So how did that work with managing your time and being really, you know, kind of strict on yourself, like okay, I’m technically my own boss, but this is where I need to spend these hours in a day. How have you managed to kind of control that as an entrepreneur.
Dorothy: It has been a learning process. I’m not gonna lie, I know that early on, I would take my, you know, not my left I wasn’t that bad but games or practices or things like that I would always have my phone like all of us do, right, and I would take a call or check email or something while the game is going on and I realized you know what the client is never going to remember that I took that call while I was at my kids gave my kid will remember that he looked in the stands and mom was sitting there looking down the whole time. So that is something that I just, I just had, like, okay, no I in fact now. I block off game times off my calendar so it can’t even be scheduled if somebody hits my, you know goes into like Calendly or whatever and wants to schedule an appointment. I don’t have I have my not available there. And I think, especially with COVID happening where, like you said, people are more used to working from home. It seems a little bit more acceptable to say hey, no I’m gonna, you know, I have my kids practice or I have to be out for a school event or something far more than it was five years ago. I think we have a long way to go, where it’s acceptable to have to admit, you have a personal life. I mean, when I look back on my career. You know early on, even, even middle of my, you know, career, it was you had to almost pretend you didn’t have a home life, you know, you had to pretend that okay this is, this is Dorothy at work and any other Dorothy doesn’t exist. And when I had my kids, it was, you know, when I was still working in corporate that was really hard because it would be you know when my you know my son has this recital at school or something and you know I would feel like I had to make up an excuse of, you know, it was a doctor’s appointment instead, or he’s sick or I’m sick or something like that because it felt like making space for family things just because you’re not gonna do that.
Dana: Yeah it did and I felt, working in a corporate job and my bosses were super understanding of that but I still felt that I still felt that horrible, horrible guilt and I think this is really interesting because what I did to avoid that was quit and start a business. But what I should have done was said, Okay, maybe society needs to change a little bit and we need to all view this separately and I love that you are viewing it that way instead of saying okay how can I change my life to make this work. You said, maybe this is a bigger like culture thing going on. Maybe we should take a step back and look at everybody else and recognize that this is the majority of parents. problem This is a pain point for the majority of working parents out there. And I think that that is going to benefit a lot more people than what I did, which was just fix it for myself, so I lo I fix it for myself as well. I like to, I like to try to think that I can push out in the universe, you know, we should do this shift.
Dorothy: Yeah and I think I do think COVID has made a huge, huge highlight and impact on in general and that it is going to be more widely accepted and, and people are okay and more confident saying that, but it’s always going to be a problem, especially in certain industries, it’s always going to be that level of guilt and issue that so many people feel as employees of any sort of a company, so I’m glad that as an entrepreneur, you can say with authority that hey, these are the times I’m off, and I do think that, remembering that that was one of the goals, to begin with, is really important for a lot of people like for me I did quit intentionally to spend more time with my kids, but to also not necessarily work less, but to work during hours that they were not at their best, right. They’re asleep, I don’t want to work from nine to 1130 in the morning when my toddlers are happy, like and we can go to outside and do something fun and the weather’s not too hot or whatever it may be and I think that I’ve gotten away from that a little bit just because you get so wrapped up in the work you do, you get so wrapped up and I think, especially when you’re starting something new and you’re excited about it and you want it to succeed and do well, it’s hard to separate and, and remember why you actually started this in the first place. Absolutely,
Dana: absolutely, and I I have to keep reminding myself that and it’s funny because you think when your kids are toddlers that’s when they need you the most and you know you have to have that one on one with them or two on one, or whatever, but when they’re teenagers, it’s a different set of worries. And so you don’t want to be gone, you know, all week long while you’re just doing whatever and you have no idea where they’re at and what they’re doing and mine will come home and talk to me about stuff that I am still frankly shocked that they talk to me about but I’m glad. And I think it’s because I’m always here. Right, I’m always in around whatever and so it’s not like, yeah, it’s not like they have to wait until mom gets home, or dad gets home or whatever. And then, by that point they’ve worked it through their head or they’ve pushed it back in their head or something like that it’s fresh, and I’m there when it’s fresh and I think that’s super important, but I have to keep reminding myself, I go back and forth between two I want to grow this to be like some really big thing, or do I want to have just enough that I can still have the freedom to do the mom thing, I have the freedom to do some other thing when they’re gone, you know,
Dorothy: Right, but I’m still working that through right now you know how much success I want and what does that success look like to me.
Dana: And I think that’s a question that it isn’t going to be answered, maybe ever, honestly because if to me, thinking like oh my gosh, when my kids are in school full time, Like, I can, I will have an empire, like, I will have all the time to do the grass is always greener, you don’t know what you don’t know until you’re there, you know, and I have had this vision in my head and actually recently I was just thinking I was like, I don’t think it’s gonna be that different. I think they’re gonna meet me in different ways and it’s one of those things that just shifts and cycles back around and I, I love though that it changes to an accessibility point right you’re not taking care of cutting their banana and fixing their lunch every second of every day, whatever snack they’re having next, but you can say, Hey, go and do that for yourself, but they still need you to be accessible to them. And I think in an emotional way, having that accessibility is really important and I, I appreciate that perspective because it’s one of those things that, again, you don’t know until you know it, but it’s something to look forward to, like that is exciting for me to, you know, my mom always says she never thought about having adult children, and what that would be like having me have kids, you know, she never thought about that part of her life, and was never really you know never even thought about it, let alone got excited to be able to be that grandma figure and hop in and out and have that part of her life but I think that it’s great that we’re talking about this from a business perspective because your business is going to shift a little bit, but a time that you have for it is always gonna kind of remain what you make of it, you know, how much time you put in and it is okay to want to have more time with your family and if that’s success to you, then that’s fine but I agree, parts of me are always going to want to be bigger and better and, you know, build it into something that it’s not today and take it to the next level. But, is that right for our life. I don’t know, and I don’t know that I’ll ever know that.
Dorothy: No, but I think it’s just having the ability to make that choice. I think yes we’re allies.
Dana: Yeah and there’s no no accountability there in terms of a boss telling you hey this is one of the goals we have to meet by the end of the quarter and it’s great to have goals and you should, if you’re listening and starting a business you unique goals, but it is nice to be able to have those be flexible and change with your business as it grows, and I appreciate that you have kind of brought that to light. So tell me about how your day to day schedule looks with client to client because you are someone that manages a lot at once. And so how does that work to lock out your day and how it works to juggle all of those different things and provide the attention to everybody that needs it.
Dorothy: Yeah, you know, I, it’s a moving target all the time. Well part of my whole thing is I have this kind of high touch, very personalized service that I give to my clients so they’re dealing with me even though I might have contract accountants who work on their day to day, lower level bookkeeping stuff, the client is used to having contact with me and I don’t want that to go away I don’t want it to become oh yeah it’s just this big company and we get shuffled in and, you know, Dorothy brought us in and we never saw her again. Right, so I was kind of struggling with that for quite some time on hopping from one thing to the other to the other and lists everywhere and all that and I felt like I would get to the end of the day and want it to be done at five o’clock and realize I only got like a third of that done and three quarters of that was like, gosh. And so what I started doing which is, you know, I look back now and like, it’s like time blocking, you know, in my calendar, and not just having it in my calendar because I’ve done that for a while where it’s okay I’m working on next client from nine to 11 or whatever, but I into 11 would go by, and then I realize, Oh, I never got to that and then I panic, but now I have it on my calendar and I actually like shut down everything else just to work on that one client, and I realized, because I always thought my clients are gonna be really upset if they try to reach out to me, and I’m not immediately available. And I think it’s might be from that corporate background where your boss calls you and if you’re not answering you. Even if you went to the bathroom for five minutes it was like, you know, some big. I need that spreadsheet that was you know not due for four weeks but we need it right now. So, I started to pop back a little bit from it and not answer immediately. I mean I’ve got clients who had me on Slack, they have my email, of course, I’m on their email as a white labeled email account, they have myself and if I just don’t answer it, I mean, some of it I’ll answer right away, because I can tell it’s something important, but if it’s not urgent, urgent. I don’t take two days to respond to them, but to worse, two hours for sure is totally acceptable generally acceptable and I was putting the pressure on myself. Yes to respond like that. and once I took that pressure off me. I think I actually ended up being, you know a better partner to them because I wasn’t scattered all the time. And I was definitely a better partner to myself because I was not crazy, but I think the corporate world makes you feel like you have to have this immediate response time because your boss is always right there or the department you’re dealing with is right there, and they have this immediate access to you. And I think one of the luxuries of having your own business and working remotely is that you have, you can make that space and utilize it.
Dana: Yeah and I think getting to that point is really difficult because it’s been ingrained in you for however long you’ve been in the workforce, even before that even just in school it was kind of the same way you know and I think getting out of that mindset and moving to Okay, I am the one in charge, I can pick how the day is gonna go and realize that two hours is just fine, you know, to spend just two hours and focus time and the amount that I can get done what I really do shut everything else down is insane. It really is so much more focused and it’s a better quality of work, and faster, like, we need to be doing this more often and I think that giving yourself that permission is definitely the first step but Oh really, really hard one to take. If you haven’t been doing it for a long time so what, what’s your kind of best advice for somebody that isn’t shutting everything off to get focused on one portion of their business, how would you necessarily start?
Dorothy: I had to start it in little blocks of time 15 minutes to do this project and it came about because I had a deadline, you know whatever deadline, it was and I realized I was up against it and maybe I only had 15 minutes left to do it. I told the client I’d have this two by 12 and it’s now 1145 And, oh my gosh, focus on it, get it done. And you have this relief of. Wow, okay, that is done it’s checked off I move. Okay. And I think, you know, then if you think about it like okay I can back that, and if I had just done that, maybe 930 This morning, and had it ready to go and you know, it would have been a lot less stressful leading up to it, but definitely starting with smaller chunks of time, then maybe you don’t shut down everything you leave open you know one thing or something for somebody to contact you in case of an emergency because it’ll make you feel better that oh yes if there’s something urgent, they can still get in touch with me, but not across all platforms.
Dana: Yes, literally every single platform it is crazy how many ways people can get in touch and I’m like okay I need, I need to shut some of this down. Absolutely. So Dorothy talk to me about your actual business and how you’ve kind of changed, obviously you know you started into those bookkeeping jobs and knew you needed to level up, but how did you know that this business model that you currently have is exactly what you wanted to do, what were the steps that kind of went through your head of, okay, I need to be doing something a little bit more than a bookkeeper and here are my strengths and how did you go from there. Like how did you get to where you are today.
Dorothy: Here’s the interesting thing, so everybody has that imposter syndrome. Right, yeah, everybody, everybody. Yep. If you look back in your career when you first started your first job, it probably didn’t, you probably were like, I got this, I deserve this. I got this great job and you know I belong here like everybody else does, but I feel like, over the course of your career, however long it is, the company you have worked for has worked really hard to make you feel like you are not worth what you’re worth, because they don’t want to pay you that much. They don’t want you to come in and say, I should have a raise, I should have that promotion, they always come up with reasons why you can’t, and it’s always in a way that makes you feel like you didn’t deserve it. Not that it was something on their side that they, you know, gave it to the wrong person, oops sorry Dorothy should have given it to you, I, I’ve heard that before too, but they, you come through your career feeling like you are super lucky to have this job in fact when I was in entertainment, all the time. There are 100 people waiting for this job if you don’t want it. You know and so you feel like, I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve it and so when you get out on your own, you’re thinking, nobody else is going to nobody, they’re gonna figure out that I don’t know what I’m doing, and then you work, and they value it. And that’s when you start to build the confidence, or at least I shouldn’t speak for everyone but I, I started to build that confidence of, oh, I can do it, and somebody does value it at what I think I’m worth. Hmm. And I just continue to build on that and it has, and then I then I really figured out what type of client I really liked working with that gave me, you know joy, if you will and, and some clients do right sometimes you’re just like oh my gosh, I can’t wait to work with them today. Some clients you’re like whoa, if they call me one more time I’m gonna just, but, but I really narrowed the niche of the companies and industry spaces that I work with so that I do approach my day, excited to work with it. My dad worked for NBC for almost 40 years, he would say, he would have paid NBC to work there. That’s the kind of like modeling that I grew up with I was, I should love my job so much that I don’t even need a paycheck. I mean, it’s nice to have but and I think I only got to that place, really was when I started my own business and I really felt like I got to pick who I work with, not only as clients but as you know, employees, contractors or whatever, I made those choices. And so it gave me a lot of control, and that in turn gave me a lot of confidence. And, you know, I’ve just moved forward from there and it’s just, I mean, that part’s just been amazing, that the personal growth through it, it’s not just a business growth. It’s your personal growth. Yes,
Dana: I totally, totally understand and it’s super interesting that perspective, I’ve actually never, ever thought about it that way. You’re right. When I first went into the job to my first job, I was just thinking that like, I definitely was really grateful, and I was excited. But you’re right, I didn’t have imposter syndrome, I was very much like okay, I’m new here like, teach me what you need to teach me, and I’ll do a great job with whatever you teach me how to do, you know, but I didn’t have imposter syndrome, I didn’t feel like that. But you’re right, as you’re going through the cycle of a corporate career you do start to feel like, oh gosh, you know, I don’t know if I should ask for that like I don’t know if I’m really worth that like bah, bah, bah, but I didn’t. That is exactly how it feels when you start a business and now I’m like oh my gosh, did it come from, did that feeling if I had just become an entrepreneur right after out of college, like what I have had imposter syndrome. I don’t know, I don’t know. It’s so interesting and I think that this next generation of entrepreneurs and people who are coming into the workforce and having to be a little bit more creative because of COVID constraints or maybe their job openings aren’t happening or maybe they just see so many entrepreneurs, being successful that they’re going to start doing that it’ll be interesting to see if that conversation in your head shifts a little bit and see if they think something different as they as they come into the workforce because I think you’re right that’s been the culture, pretty heavily in most corporate arenas, thus far.
Dorothy: Yeah, I, you know, even with my own kids, I’ve got two who are freshmen in college, or they just finished their freshman year of college. Oh, gosh. And I you know looking at what their careers might look like they’re not tied to like I was tied to this, this idea that I had to you know go to college in four years. Originally I want to go to law school and that’s three years you know and then you get your corporate job and you work until you retire and that’s it. And I’m really super grateful that they all four of my kids but, you know, those two, because they’re closest to that they’re not looking at it like I have to go get a corporate job after this, they’re looking at it like, what do I want to do that I that I really want to go do every day, kind of like I was just talking about and so the fact that I’ve maybe modeled that for them and subway is kind of cool, like, you know, in the way that my dad modeled to me even though he worked for the same company for 40 years. You should love what you do. I hope that my in my turn modeling it’s you should do what you love, and it doesn’t have to fit into the box that everybody else is doing.
Dana: Yes. And the tricky part with that, though, that I’ve seen recently and don’t ever want to be like is also, you say okay, here’s what I want to do and this is what’s going to bring me joy in my life and this is going to be, you know, make me feel satisfied and fulfilled, but also that you have to work hard, because I feel like sometimes people skip that. People think, oh, that’s what I want to do I’m gonna do it, and it’s owed to me because I want to do it, that I should just be able to do it, but like, there is still that factor which is the same in the corporate world, it’s the same, is that you have to actually work hard and do the work and be good at whatever it is that you want to do, just because you love it doesn’t mean you’re great at it right off the bat and I think that seeing parents work from home, even just through COVID Like, even if they’re working their corporate job at home, that’s going to be so I’m so excited. I’m like, actually such a nerd about this, I’ve been reading so much that’s like, it’ll be so interesting to see what this next generation of the workforce looks like in terms of what they expect out of their day and how much work they can get done and how efficient they are because they’ve seen their parents have to juggle so many balls at the same time. And so I think it’s going to be really really cool to see what happens and I think that you’re setting this example for your kids on multiple levels, both the working hard and doing what you love, is only going to serve them so well in their upcoming years.
Dorothy: I hope so. I mean, one of the reasons that I have no longer with their father is because he had the mindset of, if I just, he was. He’s very into the you know law of attraction which I completely about but it was law of attraction but I don’t have to work hard. And so, you know, I, it should just come to me. I don’t have to work I don’t have to go anywhere, it should just come to me and they see that, and I trust me I’ve used that as an example of this. Don’t let this happen to you, but they see the difference between wanting something, and working hard for it, and wanting something and expecting it.
Dana: Yes. Yeah and I being, and recognizing that and being that model for them is going to be invaluable experience that so many people don’t have and I, I am excited because I think kids are really seeing how hard their parents work even my kids, they’re tiny and they recognize it, I mean, I’ve been an entrepreneur since my daughter was two and my son was a newborn so they will never know anything different from me, but they don’t get to see my husband work he works so hard but they don’t see that. And that, I don’t know that how I would feel about them, never seeing anybody work, you know what I mean, like, it just seems so foreign to me as a mom like my parents and generations before them, that was not the norm at all. You didn’t see your parent work ever in any situation, there was no virtual anything. And so for me I’m just excited that so many kids are getting to see their parents, their parents work and do and do their job as stressful it is, as it has been for so many in this past year because it’s been really crazy. Okay So Dorothy give us some advice for someone who’s feeling defeated Have you ever felt anything in since becoming a mob, I say, Have you ever felt. I know the answer is probably going to be yes. What has made you feel a little bit defeated what has been hard for you because I know we talked about all the good things and make it sound so great but there are really hard things about being an entrepreneur. So what’s been kind of tough for you that you’ve kind of figured out that you need to learn how to navigate,
Dorothy: I think, you know, because my, my business is all client based. And so it’s a matter of whether or not I have a client that is on a retainer that I am expecting to have for a long time and it doesn’t work out, or it’s a project that I was hoping would turn into other projects and it doesn’t work out, But the hardest thing for me to navigate was that kind of churn of clients, I haven’t had a lot of churn but I have had some where you could see it happening where you were working with them for a few months and you’re like, This doesn’t just doesn’t feel good, like it’s I don’t like when they call, they don’t like me, but you’re looking at that money that’s coming into your account, you know when they pay their invoice every month and I just don’t want to deal with not having that. Yep, and then invariably either you pull the plug or they do and you know it’s over. And there’s that moment of panic, but what I have found is that it, getting rid of that negativity, it really it sounds so like transcendental and all this but when you get rid of that negativity, it does open up this space for positive right, and every time I’ve gone through that, knock on wood, a client that is a much better fit with me and my ideal client avatar will always come in and fill that space. And that’s how I built my business is getting rid of these ones that, whether it’s my choice or theirs but getting rid of these ones that is not working and getting one that you’re like, oh, yeah, that’s exactly where I want to be and it’s helped me actually narrow my niche, quite a bit with what I’m trying to attract to myself and to my business, and the, you know the clients that I’m working with and, and that’s, It’s made me a happier person less stressed and more motivated because I’m now working in the kind of space that I want to be in.
Dana: Yeah and I think being okay with that is really hard, especially when you’re in the early stages of business I think I’ve talked about this before but it’s really hard when you need the money. That’s what you’re viewing as successful and there’s very, it’s very hard to view anything else in your business as a success and to me now. When this is actually a good example. So right now I’m totally booked, and I know that, technically, technically I could add a 50th person. A 50 a session on to my calendar, and it would be a great successful monetary win because I am booking another client, but what it doesn’t do is give me the time that I need to get the other aspects of my life, done either whether it just be regular editing or regular work or something for the podcast or something that is for family related and spending time with them, it’s, it’s causing me more stress and now, to me it’s success to say okay, well it would be great to have the extra income, it is not going to benefit me in the long run, to take this extra client and you really don’t see that you don’t see that success can be something else, especially when you’re first starting and you need that income.
Dana: Again, this is one of those things where you can’t understand it and really, really get it until you’re there, but once you do, you’re like okay, this makes sense now. So I love that you kind of gotten there along the way and said okay this is helping me do more than just get rid of a bad client it’s helping me figure out which clients are going to be better. And what about that avatar of that client that didn’t work so well. I need to find I need to change and having a different aspect of the one that is going to work and I think that that’s a really valuable lesson for people who are building their business if you have a client that it didn’t work out that great or maybe just wasn’t the best experience made you feel kind of grow, you can say okay what about it, didn’t I like, so that when a new client comes along, you can already see that red flag and say, No, this is not going to be a good idea, and be able to hold success in the fact that you said, No, not a good idea.
Dorothy: Absolutely, yeah there is success in knowing what you do well and with whom you do those things really well, and eliminating the excess that will just make you crazy.
Dana: Yes, totally. I, I really think that in terms of mental health, it’s important to kind of figure out that relatively quickly and I think if you’re just aware that this is a thing, it is a thing. It’s okay to not say yes to every client. It’s okay to not have everybody and that’s really, really hard, especially when you need the money but eventually you will get there as long as you keep going with your business because you will you will figure it out but knowing that that is a thing is really helpful.
Dorothy: Yeah you know the other interesting thing about the clients that you don’t really like or the customers or whatever is that they’ll often refer others just like them. And so then when you’re stable with all the same stuff that you don’t like. So that’s the problem there too is you know I’ve had that happen to where you’re like, oh, this client. And then they refer somebody. Okay, I’ll start working with that and then you realize it’s so no overhead.
Dana: Yeah and I think that comes with experience too and knowing that, but even just hearing this podcast and knowing that Hey, it’s okay if it didn’t go well like that just it doesn’t mean that you necessarily mean you could have done something wrong, but it doesn’t mean that that’s what the answer is, you know, it could have just been not the best fit for you and not your perfect ideal client, and recognizing what made that difference is really important for your business and and kind of growing from there. Well, Dorothy thank you so much for coming on and doing this podcast with me, tell us where we can find you on all the places Instagram, your website contact all that good stuff.
Dorothy: Sure, we are at DKeast.com, DKeast on Instagram, it’s DK east, assoc (so DK EA s t a s s OC), LinkedIn it’s under me Dorothy Kolb, and I am not on Facebook, I mean I’m on Facebook but not for this right. Well, perfect. Well
Dana: thank you so much for doing this I think this is going to be really really helpful, especially for those you know, who have kind of began a career when their kids are a little bit older, because I think that it’s having your perspective of still showing that that your kids need you and need that attention and need that time and how to balance that with your business has been really beneficial. So thank you so so much and it was great to chat with you. Thank you so much to. I am so honored you spent any minutes of your day listening to me babble about living this entrepreneurial life amidst the chaos in any mom’s normal day to day. If you love what you’ve heard, any more snippets of knowledge about this mob boss life, head over to our website at amidst the chaos podcast, calm. For show notes and links to anything mentioned in today’s episode. If you’re really feeling inspired, it would mean the world to me and my family if you take the time to rate and review. Thanks for joining me, amidst the chaos.
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