[151] Being Boss with Emily Thompson


Have you heard of the Being Boss podcast? If so, you’ll know my guest today – one half of the BB duo – Emily Thompson.

If not, you’re in for a treat.

In this episode, I interview Emily about what it means to be the boss of your business and your life.

We cover a lot of juicy mindset topics, and we discuss Emily & Kathleen’s new book – Being Boss.

I loved talking with Emily, and I hope you get a lot out of this episode!

In other news… I introduce you to something very exciting happening on the pod in July!

Listen below to find out more!




Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • Emily started with her first business at age 18 and her career has shifted and changed many times since then.
  • It is very unlikely that you are going to find the things you are going to do for the rest of your life early on.
  • Confidence is a muscle – the more you work it the stronger it gets.
  • “Find the ways to remind yourself that you are awesome at what you’re doing or you will figure it out along the way.” {Emily}
  • Being stuck in fear will not allow you to lead a fulfilling life and work.
  • “Confidence is something you will have to practise and you will always have to practise.” {Emily}
  • Look for proof in your past experiences of times the thing that scared you worked out.
  • Take a breather from the problem – get some perspective and change gears and then come back with fresh eyes.
  • Entrepreneurs are making it up and figuring it out as they go along.
  • “We are all experimenting. You have to be willing to do the experiments and take the risks.” {Jess}
  • The more you try the more you will fail – get comfortable with failure to allow you try new ways and new things.
  • When things are no longer fulfilling in your business it is time to let consider what you need to change to get back to fulfillment.
  • “There are times when a dream job is no longer dreamy.” {Emily}
  • Systems and process are very important to business it is important to leave space to be creative.
  • “You can systemise yourself into a rut where you don’t have the space to allow your creative juices to be flowing.” {Emily}
  • Find out more about Emily, the podcast, and the Being Boss book here.


[146] Set up Good Systems with Marina Darlow


I’ve got an epic interview for you this week!

My guest – Marina Darlow – is a systems expert & productivity geek.

An engineer by training, she helps impact-driven entrepreneurs to get 10-20 more productive hours a week, stop leaking money, and prevent stress-fuel breakdowns.

In this episode we discuss why systems matter, how they can help you become more creative, and outline a number of examples specific to makers.




Highlights and quotes from this episode:

  • Business systems are there to support you so when unexpected things happen your business does not fall apart.
  • “Good systems are what allows most people the space to create without other things infringing on it” {Marina}
  • Systems create clear boundaries in your work processes and allow you to divert your energy to important tasks with a greater focus.
  • Jess recommends the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.
  • Establish how you work best and build systems to protect and support this creative time.
  • Schedule your creative blocks for when you are most productive and have the most energy and consider this on a daily, weekly and monthly scale.
  • Marina recommends the book Deep Work by Cal Newport.
  • The energy required to switch between tasks can be significant. Schedule the time for this transition into your systems.
  • Utilise the power of ritual to start and finish work and manage transitions. This can be something very small such as packing your tools away or getting a cup of tea.
  • “Systems make you more resilient” {Marina}
  • Utilise systems to manage your time through calendars and reminders.
  • Establish systems around money to remove anxiety. Establish systems for payments, custom orders, invoicing and budgets. And make sure you check in on these regularly!
  • “You can actually find joy, excitement and motivation in tracking your money” {Jess}
  • Streamline your communications with systems to manage your materials, suppliers, marketing and team.
  • Communication templates are an invaluable system that saves time, energy and money.
  • “Have meetings with yourself and assess the elements of your business – if you never stop and do that you can never make progress on improving your systems and processes of business” {Jess}
  • Jess recommends the book The Story of Telling by Bernadette Jiwa.
  • Start setting up your systems with one small step. Avoid getting overwhelmed by focusing on the next small task, complete it, celebrate, and repeat the process.
  • If you are stuck on which system to start first, visit Marina’s website for her tips and take her free mini-course.
  • Loved this episode? Keep an ear out for Marina’s upcoming podcast Systems Meet Humanity which features me as a guest.



[145] Erin Dollar of Cotton & Flax


My guest today is the inspirational Erin Dollar.

Erin is a textile and surface pattern designer who specialises in minimalist designs with an eco-friendly focus.

She creates boldly patterned home decor for Cotton & Flax, which she founded in 2012.

In this episode, we have an in-depth chat about her business journey, her thoughts on social media, time management, business direction, and much more.

BONUS: Erin is going to be joining me and the Thriver Circle community for a live chat on Tuesday the 24th of April at 10am, AEST (the time in Brisbane, Australia). If you’d like to join us for that, make sure you’re a member of the Circle, and look for the event in the Circle FB group.




Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on iTunes.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle – without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible.



Quotes and Highlights in this episode:

  • The focus of Erin’s business has evolved over the years.
  • “There is something really interesting in looking at the micro-level of your business and making a plan to shift and pivot to follow what is successful.” {Erin}
  • Moving into design allows for artworks to become more accessible at a lower price point and can open up avenue for collaboration.
  • Your business focus will ebb and flow over the years with periods of higher and lower creativity.
  • “It’s okay to have seasons of fluctuation.” {Jess}
  • As your business grows moderation is important to avoid burnout.
  • Setting clear boundaries and maintaining a work/life balance create a sustainable business.
  • “Build some boundaries into your workflow where you can early in the process.” {Erin}
  • Social media can be a powerful business tool but be wary of comparing yourself to others.
  • Create authentic connections and build a community for the long haul.
  • “Your website and your mailing list are the two tools you can really control.” {Jess}
  • “Don’t rush. There is going to be time for all the amazing things you want to put out into the world.” {Erin}




[133] Outsourcing Production with Britta Boeckmann

Have you ever thought about outsourcing the production of your handmade goods?

Maybe you want to grow beyond what one person can achieve. Perhaps you want to outsource the making so you can spend more time dreaming and designing.

Whatever the reason, figuring out exactly HOW to do this is a big challenge.

My guest on the show today – Britta Boeckmann – has done exactly that.

She has worked out how to outsource the making of her beautiful resin-based jewellery overseas in a way that is affordable and ethical. And in this episode, she shares her experiences of the process.

BONUS: Britta is going to be joining me and the Thriver Circle community for a live chat this Friday the 19th of January at 12 Noon, AEST (the time in Brisbane, Australia). If you’d like to join us for that, make sure you’re a member of the Circle, and look for the event in the Circle FB group.




Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts + Stitcher or any other Android App.)


Heads up! I’m going to be giving a 10% discount off the cost of my Shop Scrutiny service to Thriver Circle members in February.

So if you want me to critique your online handmade shop, make sure that you’re a member of the Circle in February to get access to this special offer!



Quotes and Highlights from this Episode:

  • As demand for her product outstripped her manufacturing capacity, Britta changed the direction of her business by bringing on a business partner, Michael, and exploring outsourced production.
  • It took eight months to find the right production partner including research, liaison and site visits in the Philippines.
  • Have clear guidelines as to what you need from a production partner including working conditions, wages, sustainability of resources and technical expertise.
  • To kick start the partnership, Britta designed and made a collection and sent these pieces and the technical drawings to the production partner. They, in turn, created a sample set and returned it for approval.
  • “When you start something like this you have to be aware that its never going to go completely smoothly” {Britta}
  • There are significant investments of time and money when pursuing outsourced production but there are significant benefits.
  • “Outsourced production frees you up for more design work” {Jess}
  • Take a long view with your business and plan accordingly for growth.
  • “You need to have a vision otherwise it is very hard to invest the time” {Britta}
  • After having her work profile grew, Britta saw lot of replication of her designs. This spurred outsourcing production to free up creative time to develop new ideas.
  • “There is no reason to be sad about it – when you do something good there will always be copiers” {Britta}
  • BoldB’s designs do not work to fashion house seasons – if the design is selling it is continued for sale.
  • “If you want to be successful you need to put all your energy in the one idea” {Britta}
  • See Britta’s work on Etsy and her website.



[122] How to be a Misfit Entrepreneur with Kate Toon

Do you ever feel like you’re not a ‘real entrepreneur’?

Yeah, me too. And so does my guest this week, Kate Toon – who happens to be the author of How to be a Misfit Entrepreneur.

I met Kate at the Artful Business Conference this year, and promptly invited her to come on the show, because I loved the way she approached ‘being an entrepreneur’.

We have a lot of laughs, and chat about what it means to grow a business YOUR way – and how to own that and be proud of it, rather than feel like you’re somehow not doing it right.


Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on iTunes.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle – without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible. (Membership is open on September 27th!)



Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • Most of us don’t fit the myth of the yacht owning, hammock lazing, one-hour workday entrepreneur.
  • Develop your own style of entrepreneurship to fit the lifestyle you want to lead.
  • Business growth for the sake of growth is not mandatory.
  • It’s okay to align your goals to personal wants rather than business outcomes.
  • “We can keep doing what we’re doing and it is okay. We don’t always have to be doing something new or different or exciting to be happy.” {Jess}
  • Keep expectations of your business growth realistic, avoid comparisons and get on with your own journey.
  • “Nobody is immune to the feeling of an imposter or not being good enough. Even if from the outside if they look super successful.” {Jess}
  • There will always be someone doing things better than you – stop focusing on others and focus on building your business.
  • “Stop consuming and start creating.” {Kate}
  • Looking for inspiration? Don’t go to your competitors go to your customers.
  • Criticism and difficult customers are part of the entrepreneurship journey.
  • Take the high road but you do not have to cave to an unreasonable customer.
  • Kate recommends The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.
  • Develop your business direction with your core values in mind. These will change and grow as you do.
  • Chase interesting ideas and stray from your path. Some ideas will work and some will crash and burn. Let these ones go.
  • “The whole point of having a business is getting some satisfaction and enjoyment out of it – not just money and customers.” {Kate}
  • Time management and organisation is essential – structure your day, keep motivation high, track time and establish tasks.
  • Kate recommends the Pomodoro technique for time management.
  • Find out more about Kate and buy her book here.



Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

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