031 – Getting the support you need for your worklife

Dr. Maelisa Hall and Amber Hawley look at the networks you need to support you as a woman entrepreneur.  They discuss the options:  Biz Besties (a dedicated sounding board); masterminds; tribes; 1-on-1 and group coaching.  We also discuss options of how to structure these network options, why women aren’t as good at leveraging their networks, and making sure you overcome the isolation of entrepreneurship.  Both are licensed therapists, yet both have different non – therapy related second businesses (including their joint podcast show).

Show notes

  1. The isolation of entrepreneurship and how to overcome it
  2. How they met each other, and became each other’s entrepreneurial support system
  3. Get Stuff Done (GSD) retreats, and how to structure them.  The power of a focussed week or weekend to move your business forward.
  4. The difference between Masterminds and Tribes and Group Coaching and which they would choose and why
  5. Being clear about what your needs are to determine which type of support you need – they all meet different needs
  6. Why women aren’t as good at leveraging their networks, despite having many different networks
  7. Why both of them have online businesses in addition to them being licensed therapists
  8. How to create a successful business accountability relationship – a “biz bestie”
  9. How to learn to systematize your work and networking
  10. How to leverage conferences to network
  11. Why it’s important to Network
  12. The shift from 1-on-1 mentoring to online mentors such as authors / bloggers / niche leaders in the entrepreneur world

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Transcript

Speaker 1:           00:00     Welcome to Working Women’s Wealth, where we discuss what it takes to build real wealth in a way normal humans can understand. Here’s your host, Lisa Linfield.

Lisa Linfield:       00:09     Hello everybody and welcome to Working Women’s Wealth. Today is a first for me as I interview two women at the same time, so let’s hope this goes well. They are far more experienced at this because these two women, Maelisa Hall and Amber Hawley are two people who host a podcast together and they are also, do amazing things of hosting to other people. So they’re used two foursomes. Personally, I’m on twosome, but this is going to be a good stretch for the first one. How are you both today?

Amber Hawley: 00:52     Good, thanks.

Maelisa Hall:       00:52     Hi. Wonderful.

Lisa Linfield:       00:54     You guys have a host called My Biz Bestie. Why did you start a podcast for business Besties?

Maelisa Hall:       01:03     Yeah. We started because we are Biz Besties, Amber and I and as we started talking about it and as we had more experience working with other people and chatting with other women in business, we realized that we have not only one another but also a larger extended network of other women who are entrepreneurs. And because of that, we’ve never really felt this sense of loneliness in business that a lot of people talk about. And I think as women especially, it can be a little bit more isolating because a lot of the more traditional business information is more directed towards men. And a lot of things that women struggle with is a little bit different than what men struggle with. Things like, mom guilt and things like that. So she and I have had this great support network and we wanted to share with other women how they could have the same thing.

Lisa Linfield:       01:59     What is a Biz Bestie?

Amber Hawley: 02:01     Well, a Biz Bestie is someone who … It comes from your, like Maelisa said, a little bit bigger network, but it’s that one person that you can call upon to give you support when you’re having one of those rough days, because in all businesses there’s ups and downs. Or somebody who could help you with strategy or motivation or just listen to you talk things out and be kind of a sounding board. And for so many people, they don’t have that person and that’s where again, where Maelisa was referencing the isolation that we hear about so much in business.

When you’re on Facebook groups or going to live events, you hear this a lot repeatedly from people over and over. And so I think the Biz Bestie is somebody who you have this relationship with where it’s very reciprocal and supportive, and how you structure it though, really looks different. And that’s why on our podcast we’ve been interviewing people who have biz besties, but every single person structures it in a different way.

Lisa Linfield:       02:58     How did the two of you meet?

Maelisa Hall:       03:00     We met in an online book club. There was a group of people through a lot of different circumstances that were forming this online book club on Facebook. So we were all reading a book together called Get Rich, Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield Thomas. And I forget how we all had this shared interest at the time, but we were all interested in reading the book and so we even met over Zoom web conference a couple of times to chat about the book. It was fairly unstructured, someone would maybe just post like, “Oh, it’s our first week reading the book, what chapter are you on and what did you think of chapter one?” That kind of thing.

And then as we all started talking and getting to know one another a little bit better, at the same time, this conference was opening up for registration and everyone was talking about, “Are you going to the conference next year?” And then people were saying, “I’d rather have a time to just get things done, and instead of going to a conference and learning more, I’d rather … All of us inside this group have so much knowledge ourselves. We could spend that time sharing, helping one another and getting our work done.”

There were 10 of us that self-selected to all, rent a big house together and go away on this trip. And we all went to Las Vegas and yes, we actually did get work done there. We all just spent an entire week together sharing and getting things done. And most of the time was literally spent around this giant dining room table, all on our laptops, working and then sharing information. That was actually the first time Amber and I had met in person. She and I didn’t specifically talk to one another a lot inside that book club. So it wasn’t like I went to that retreat thinking, “Oh I’m going to hang out with Amber.” But she and I hit it off right away. And after that, we started talking a lot more regularly.

Lisa Linfield:       04:45     So is this something that you think is worthwhile in terms of getting things done? Is it a worthwhile practice that you recommend?

Amber Hawley: 04:56     You mean having a Biz Bestie?

Lisa Linfield:       04:58     No, getting things done kind of period away?

Amber Hawley: 05:01     Oh yes. we’re big advocates of, we call them GSD Retreats. It’s either get stuffed on or the other. There’s another word to do as well. And it depends on the person and personality I guess. But I think a lot of people find value in it because it gives you an opportunity to step away from your life, step away from your business and really work on your business and be able to do things, whether it’s a bigger project you’ve been putting off or getting things caught up and cleaned up. And then the day to day business that can be hard to do, especially if you have your family and your responsibilities and all of that. So we’re huge fans of the GSD. Ever since then we’ve been doing little mini ones where we go away for like three to four days or we do an annual week long one with these. Now it’s nine women total and we go every year somewhere.

Lisa Linfield:       05:53     So you called that group, you referred to it much more in one of your podcasts as a tribe rather than a mastermind. What is the difference between the two in terms of creating support networks for yourself?

Maelisa Hall:       06:07     Amber, do you want to take that one?

Amber Hawley: 06:08     Yeah. We’ve done an episode about mastermind specifically, like how they’re structured and we actually just interviewed Natalie Eckdahl of Biz Chix Podcast and masterminds whether they’re pure lead or having somebody that you’re paying to lead them are very structured and specific. There’s the level of accountability that is a part of that kind of structure and so you’re saying like, “Okay, I’m going to work on this task and you’re going to check in about it.” I think masterminds really help you up level your business in major ways, but as far as the tribe goes, we call it either our tribe. We call our tribe The Mavens. We were the money mavens because we read that book about Money Mindset and so there are times where we’ll do that right before we go on our annual retreat.

People will say, “Oh, this is what I plan on working on, but there isn’t the followup and structure to say, “Okay, here’s the accountability.” You could ask somebody like, “Hey, I need some accountability in this. Can you check in on me?” But the reality is it’s a very free flow. So you might say, “Oh hey, I just designed a new landing page, can everybody give me feedback on it or here’s some copy I wrote, can you give me feedback or what do you think about this? Or I’m having this dilemma business.” So we’re really more of a support group as opposed to a structured mastermind that’s working on specific things and asking for a certain level of accountability.

Lisa Linfield:       07:30     So if you were to choose one, which would you choose and why?

Maelisa Hall:       07:35     Oh, that’s hard. I don’t know. I guess-

Amber Hawley: 07:40     You know what? Oh sorry. Go ahead Maelisa.

Maelisa Hall:       07:42     Oh Man. I was going to be like, yeah, I want to hear your answer first. I think I feel like for me maybe the tribe is more long-term and the masterminds are more specific and they don’t have to be that way, but for me they tend to be more short term things, six months to a year, that kind of thing. Whereas the tribe, I feel like that’s something that can go on indefinitely. However, I will say I think that the tribe is only helpful to me because I do have closer relationships within that, like having Amber as a Biz Bestie and if I didn’t have that then I’m not sure that the tribe would serve that extra level of support that I need sometimes in the accountability part.

Lisa Linfield:       08:26     And do you Amber?

Amber Hawley: 08:27     Yeah, I would say, I mean, I really, really don’t want to accept your challenge and the reality is, it depends on what’s your intent. So I will say right now I am in a mastermind. It’s a industry specific mastermind because in addition to the podcast, Maelisa and I both have other businesses and I’m a group practice owner of a therapy practice and so I’m in a mastermind. I have my little tribe, my Mavens, the group of nine. I have my Biz Bestie, I have some backup bestie and then we’re in a group coaching program as well Maelisa and I are. So I really feel like I need multiple levels of support based on what I’m trying to do. So if my goal was to grow my business, I’m absolutely the mastermind, if my goal is I feel like my business is going well, but I’m feeling isolated and I want support, then I would go with the tribe.

So I think you have to go with where your need is. Where is the need strongest? And I think your question is good because even though I want to reject it, is that you do have to start and focus and pick one thing at a time. So I think is it more emotional support you’re needing? Not that that group of [inaudible 00:09:36] doesn’t offer me business insight. They do, but again, it’s not to the same level as a mastermind. I would say go where your need is. Is it emotional support, is it personal connection, is it strategic business growth and then pick accordingly.

Lisa Linfield:       09:52     Amber you mentioned group coaching. What is the difference between a mastermind and a group coaching session?

Amber Hawley: 09:58     Yeah, we love this one too. We think … Well, we don’t think, this is kind of like a known thing. Like masterminds should be really small. They should be six to eight people. There is a specific structure to it. Group coaching tends to be a lot bigger group. Another key factor is in group coaching, it’s one person disseminating information as opposed to in a mastermind there’s a collaboration of ideas and there’s usually a rotation of people get in the hot seat if you will. So they say, “Okay, here’s the struggles I’m having.” And they’re asking for feedback about their business as opposed to group coaching is more like, okay, this week we’re going to cover how to hire an employee or something like that. It’s more didactic

Lisa Linfield:       10:42     And why do you think we, maybe it’s all humans, but probably particularly women are really bad at creating and leveraging the networks that we need to support us?

Maelisa Hall:       10:53     I think a lot of times it’s that women do have actually really extended networks and honestly I think a lot of times there’s a lack of confidence about things like business and being able to reach out and saying, “Hey, this is my business, this is what I have going on.” So there’s that part of just sharing what it is that you are doing as a business owner. And then I think that also ties into being a little bit worried that if you’re asking for help, you’re going to be perceived as a newbie or you’re going to be perceived as weak. And it can always be scary to be vulnerable and obviously you don’t want to go and be vulnerable with anyone and everyone, right? You want to choose who those people are wisely. But when you do that, your growth is exponential.

Lisa Linfield:       11:45     Amber, any thoughts.

Amber Hawley: 11:46     Yeah, I agree with Maelisa and I think the other thing I see beyond the confidence is feeling like they don’t have something of value to offer. Not recognizing how much they know or how much they can contribute. And I think another thing, going to my therapy practice, because I am a therapist, I see a lot of women that are so overextended in all that they’re doing. So it sometimes feels like another to do on their to do list and not understanding the support and the growth that really comes from utilizing that networking. And so a lot of people don’t prioritize in parts of networking, which I think is extremely valuable or even online networking. And so maybe there’s not an understanding of how much value it can offer you.

Maelisa Hall:       12:33     It makes me think of that quote about meditation and how you hear that you should meditate for 15 minutes a day, but if you’re extra busy than you should meditate for an hour a day, it’s something like that. Right. And I think it’s counterintuitive, but we do that with everything, with self-care, with working out, with meditation, with taking time for ourselves. And also a part of that is having a support system, and that’s going to look different for everyone. For us, Amber and I are really extroverted so we’re gonna probably have a wider support network. Whereas maybe someone who’s really introverted wants to have a smaller group and that’s fine too. But that is an essential part of being a business owner. And it’s an essential part of being a female. Having other female friendships as an adult too.

Lisa Linfield:       13:19     And many of us have, I may not look at myself, maybe I’m a bad taste sample of one, but many of us have lots of personal friendships but not a really good business network. And even in my personal friendships, I don’t think we discussed that much what’s happening in your business more than what’s happening in your life rather.

Amber Hawley: 13:38     Yeah, and that’s okay to have that, to have that separation because sometimes you need that break, but I think a lot of people realize, you don’t want to be the person who just goes on and on and on about their business when you’re with your friends. But sometimes letting your friends know what you do. There’s been a lot of examples recently in these groups that were a part of where people talk about that of actually letting people know what they do in their business and then they’ve gotten connections from a friend of a friend who are like, “Oh yeah, I just heard so and so talking about that.” And so there’s these random connections that can happen just by sharing what your need is or just what you’re doing. So I’m not going to sit and talk business to my mom friends that I hang out with locally per se. But if I’m hiring a new therapist I might just talk about that or just put it out there because you never know who knows who. Right?

Lisa Linfield:       14:30     Yeah.

Amber Hawley: 14:30     But I think it’s okay to have that separateness. But I think if all you have is that, none of the people that you’re friends with are entrepreneurs or understand the specific struggles and the journey of an entrepreneur, I think that’s where the isolation comes in.

Maelisa Hall:       14:46     Yeah. Then you start to feel crazy because it can be a little crazy doing all this stuff and you start to even use terms. Like I remember talking about Zoom with my husband and he’s like, “What is that? What are you even talking about?” And you have to teach people these terms and explain things. And so it can be nice to talk with people where you have this shared language because you’re using a lot of the same tools and doing the same things. So I know that for me personally, as my business has grown, a lot more of my friends, whether or not we get together and talk about business. Do tend to be business owners.

Lisa Linfield:       15:21     Yeah. It is a whole different language that many people don’t understand. And being an entrepreneur has unique sets of challenges that if you don’t have them or you’re not familiar with them, said anything of empathy and a struggle to really relate.

Amber Hawley: 15:36     Yes. Because I think people can say, “Oh look at you, your schedule is so flexible and you can go to all these things so you must not be working that much.” And not understanding that we might attend a child’s event or go to something during the day, but then we could be up till 2:00 AM working on stuff. So it’s like you don’t punch out the clock. It never ends. Right?

Lisa Linfield:       15:36     Yeah.

Amber Hawley: 15:56     So I do think that those are things where there can be those misconceptions that’s ultimately not such a huge deal unless you’re feeling really worn out and lonely by that. And it’s funny because I was just reading a thing this morning and I was reading about how we should all have hobbies, which again, as a therapist I truly believe and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is it that I want to do and something different and fun. And for me it would definitely be something physical because my job is so cerebral and I sit a lot in my job and so I was thinking about the hobbies. Then I realized I have a lot of hobbies, they’re just very business oriented. So during certain seasons of your business you might be putting a lot of time and focus on that. So like Maelisa said, she’s hanging out with a lot of business owner friends, but it’s like we naturally gravitate to that. I think when we’re in our growth mode, in our business.

Lisa Linfield:       16:47     So you are both licensed therapists and yet you’ve both started different online businesses and business related to and some not related to your kind of therapy training. Why did you do that?

Amber Hawley: 17:03     Short answer is because it’s fun. Yes. We would actually say the, My Biz Bestie Podcast, I kept saying that is my hobby actually. It’s our fun project because we wanted to help female business owners find their support system and we absolutely love talking to people. As Maelisa said, we’re both extroverts and we want people to feel supported. So I think that that’s very much in line with our therapy work in the sense that, my specialty is relationships and I want people to have fulfilling relationships. And so this is just another avenue of that.

Maelisa Hall:       17:38     Yeah, absolutely. I think it is about following your interests and I know I am a licensed psychologist but I don’t do any kind of therapy anymore. I have an online business providing continuing education for other therapists. So it’s still related to my degree and I have to keep my license to be doing what I’m doing, but I found that I really liked training and I really, as I got into this online business world, really enjoyed it and so that’s what I’m doing. And I guess having fun is kind of the big thing for us. It’s just what it was enjoyable and what seems to be working too. I think you keep going with what’s working.

Lisa Linfield:       18:18     And was the transition hard or is it hard to do these things? Or did it just because you’re both extroverts come quite naturally to you?

Amber Hawley: 18:25     Well, I think what we’re doing is we’re trying to teach other people to do what we do naturally because we are both extroverts and really love connecting with people. That’s what I said earlier about sometimes we might undervalue what they already know and we realized like, Oh, this is actually unique for people because people kept asking us like, “How do you meet a Biz Bestie and how can I get one?” And so it’s just helping people figure out what I think came naturally to us, but for me, before becoming a therapist, I actually worked in the dotcom world, so I did Internet operations and I absolutely love the online world and marketing and business. So it’s something that’s always been an interest to me and a passion to me. And so being able to blend the two of them is just the cherry on top.

Maelisa Hall:       19:12     Yeah. And I think it’s an ongoing transition to like with the podcast, we just decided to start the podcast not knowing anything about what it might turn into and we still don’t know that and we’re starting to try things out a little bit, but we don’t know where those things are going to go. But for us, I think part of it too is our personalities. We each have personalities where we like and almost need to have different things going on at the same time. So although we’re trying to be smart business women and zero in and focus on our businesses, we do understand we also need to have these outside things. And that actually gives us a creative outlet and gives us something enjoyable to do and helps us to funnel our energy in different ways and those things actually do end up benefiting our businesses I think as well.

Lisa Linfield:       20:04     So you’ve interviewed a lot of biz besties, so you have your own biz bestie relationship as well as you’ve interviewed a lot of other women who also are biz besties. They don’t necessarily have a joint project together like the two of you do, but they have this business support relationship. If you would be in wanting to find a biz bestie and structure a relationship, from all the interviews you’ve done, have you synthesize trains or a recipe or a pattern or something that you could share with people?

Maelisa Hall:       20:41     Yeah, I think two trends that I’ve noticed so far, I would say our sample is still small, is number one, that people find one another by being open and reaching out. So whether that’s people who have actually sent an email to someone and said, “Hey, let’s get on a Skype phone call and get to know one another.” And then they really hit it off. Or whether it’s like Amber and I going to a smaller event together and hitting it off. It’s people who are willing to put themselves out there. They’re making an effort, so they are actually trying to get to know other people. And then the other thing is, it seems like a lot of the Biz Besties we’ve encountered across different industries, they do end up being in similar or the same industry.

So Amber and I are both therapists, other people we’ve interviewed are both Amazon sellers or they’re both coaches or we’ve interviewed other people who are both therapists and so I do see that being a trend. I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think that you’re able to support one another in your efforts a lot more that way.

Amber Hawley: 21:47     Yeah, I’d agree. And I would say the other thing is we always liken it to dating. So sometimes there’s just that magical spark and I think you still need to take time because you don’t want to just go full board with somebody and after a first date and move in. Because that could go very badly. You want to take time to get to know somebody and build up that relationship and the amount of trust and support that’s in it comes over that time. And a lot of people, they have been friends in a bigger group, like they go to a networking thing or some event and then as you continue to spend more time with that person, you just realize you have much more in common, you click the way you support each other really works. It’s very symbiotic. So those things can happen. There are those lightning strike moments, but I do think I would really suggest that people take time and kind of date a little bit before making it exclusive. So how

Lisa Linfield:       22:48     There you go. So do you guys structure your relationship, how do you structure the support you give each other?

Amber Hawley: 22:55     I laugh because we talk a lot.

Maelisa Hall:       22:57     Yes. And because of we call it like our non-structure.

Amber Hawley: 23:03     Yeah, we have an unstructured structure where this might not work for everybody and that’s why we don’t advocate it, but I think Maelisa and I pretty much talk every single day at least Monday through Friday. And sometimes it’s several times a day, sometimes we’ll go days without talking to each other because our schedules are so busy but I feel like there’s the personal component where I called just to talk about my day or how I’m feeling or my lack of sleep or whatever. And then there are times where I’m calling and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I have all these things going on. What should I do?” And she can give me strategic support. So I feel like we do talk a lot. We text, we laugh sometimes because there have been times where we’ll be texting and then we’re Facebook messaging two different conversations at the same time. So yeah. So we might not be the norm.

Maelisa Hall:       23:52     And then we also over the last year have been trying to get together about once a quarter and especially with the podcast, it’s even been a little bit more often. So whether that’s going to a conference or an event together or it’s actually meeting up just the two of us and going somewhere or even I’ve stayed at her place and then we’ll spend the whole weekend working in her office.

Lisa Linfield:       24:17     And you’re just working on different things or is it because you now have this common thing of the podcast together?

Amber Hawley: 24:23     Well, even before we had the podcast, there was a year in which we really did see each other probably once a quarter as well. We would work on independent things. It was more of our GSD, where we would get together and we would each do our own thing. But we would, talk out things like next steps or directions or just get feedback about the general direction of things I guess. So it doesn’t have to be a shared project. So we did decide to launch this podcast, last, was it July?

Maelisa Hall:       24:57     Yeah, yeah, that’s when we decided.

Amber Hawley: 24:57     It was like a 15 minute conversation and then we’re like, “Oh, okay.” So we signed up for podcast movement, which was a month later and both purchased a course by Pat Flynn about podcasting because we were like, okay, we’re going to do this and that all happened really within 15 minutes.

Maelisa Hall:       25:12     Yeah. And then after that we saw each other probably once a month for a few months in a row as we were mostly around getting started for the podcast, but also for other things we were doing.

Amber Hawley: 25:24     Yeah, because we wanted to start networking outside of our industry, so it just so happened in a one month period, there were three conferences or events that went on, one of which we were speaking at. So we obviously had to go to that, but yeah, so we’ve definitely just spent. I think that in person time is really wonderful and I know not everybody else can do that much. Can travel that much. We’ve been really fortunate and we don’t live in the same town. That makes it even easier of course, but I do think when you get to spend that time face to face, it really does solidify that Biz Bestie relationship and it makes it even better.

Lisa Linfield:       26:05     So Maelisa part of your other kind of business and other day job is helping people systematize and put in systems and structures in place to help make their businesses more efficient. When you talk about a business support system, is that what you’re talking about or are you talking about systematizing your networking?

Maelisa Hall:       26:26     I think it’s actually more about learning the skill of networking and even with the systems that I’m teaching people online, so I help therapists with their paperwork. I’m actually digging deeper into why is it that you do paperwork and what’s the reason behind it and helping people connect the meaning to it. And I find that that often helps them solve their problems a lot more easily than if I just gave them a structure and said, “Here, write it this way.” Because just like with relationships, there is no one way to capture a therapy session.

It could be so many different things and I can never give someone a prescription that’s going to work in every situation. So I feel like we are doing something very similar with finding your support system and Kinda like Amber was saying with the Biz Bestie relationship for different people, different things work. And for us we tried an app called Voxer that’s Kinda like a voicemail app that you can use to leave voicemails to one another, and it didn’t really resonate with us whereas other people love it and that’s the majority of how they communicate together in their biz bestie  relationship. So I think it’s about experimenting with different things, knowing what works for you and knowing what it is that you need and then identifying that and then setting those structures in place.

Lisa Linfield:       27:47     So I am probably, well I testify myself in some of the world’s worst networking people. So last month I went to an investment community conference as a wealth management kind of service. In my other business, all the advisors go to this conference and we learn about the latest in investments and what’s going on. And to me it’s my abstract idea of hell because you rock up there, and the break comes, there are thousands of people and you’ve got to shuffle off to a station to find a cup of coffee and then you’ve got to make small chit chat or the people around you. And I find the interactions very short, very superficial. And I look at these people that say you’ve got a network at these events. And I think to myself, I clearly don’t have the skill, so how does your structure for networking cater for those of us that are not necessarily that great at this whole game?

Amber Hawley: 28:43     Well first I’ll say a lot of people don’t like that small talk. I think that one even as extroverts we’re ENFPs and that means we don’t really love that small talk either. And so I think that’s a real struggle for a lot of people. But I think what you have to do is get strategic about it. It depends. Does this conference have an app? Because a lot of the conferences we’ve been attending recently, they’ve had an app when it’s a really large conference to allow people to connect, so you kind of looked people up ahead of time and see if you connect with them. Or like we went to FinCon and they had a very active Facebook group.

So there was an opportunity to connect with people before the conference. The other thing I would say is, you kind of just got to be you and talk about things that are interesting to you in a way. And when people resonate with that, you have that connection. And sometimes it’s being deliberate. Like we jokingly say we stalk people, I mean it’s not really a joke. We kinda do, but we specifically say, “Oh, we really love this guy’s podcast or I love their work and we’re just going to follow them and try to see if we have an opportunity to talk to them.”

We’ve done a couple of different episodes about this, but one suggestion is, does the conference have a VIP option? Because that can be really nice if there’s an option where there’s a small, a specific VIP room so you can network with the smaller group of people and have more personal connection as opposed to that small talk. That’s an excellent strategy and I think it’s really worth the investment.

Maelisa Hall:       30:15     Yeah, and I think with all of that, if a large group seems intimidating, I think for anyone it can be difficult to actually make a meaningful connection in a very large group. So you have to take it one person at a time and maybe I’m totally picturing the scenario you’re describing, with everyone trying to get coffee at this one table all at once, during the 15 minute break or whatever. And so maybe that’s not the greatest place to meet people, but then when you sit down at whatever session you’re at, that can be a great place to look to the person next to you and start a conversation and say something. Because you know if you’re both in the same session that you already have something that’s more of interest and you can probably start a conversation that has a little bit more meaning to it. You could ask them about why they’re interested in that session or what they’re hoping to get out of it. And I’ve had some pretty interesting conversations just through that.

Amber Hawley: 31:11     Yeah. And I would say lunch is probably a better opportunity to have a meaningful conversation because it’s more extended, right?

Lisa Linfield:       31:18     Yeah.

Amber Hawley: 31:19     As opposed to a coffee break. I would expect a coffee break just to be like casual jokes and chitchat, sometimes that’s how we’ve met people. We like to say we collect people at conferences, because we are extroverts, so sometimes it’ll be because I can’t help myself, I’ll be making jokes or I’ll say something and we might connect and laugh and then I might see them later and then it’s like multiple touch points. Just like getting a client, you’re going to have multiple touch points before somebody wants to invest anytime in you. So think about it that way too in the sense that you’re putting it out there and then if somebody doesn’t respond well, you’re like, okay, then not my person.

Maelisa Hall:       31:58     Yeah, and I think a lot of it too is if you’re the one to be brave, a lot of people really respect that and are grateful for it. So a lot of people in a conference like that don’t know anyone there and are looking for someone to have lunch with or something to do. And if you’re the one that says, “Hey, would you like to grab lunch and talk about this more?” Or, “Hey, what are you doing for lunch?” A lot of people are really open to that. Or if someone says that to you, if you go in with a mindset of, I’m going to be really open to experiences here because a big benefit of conferences is the networking that you can do.

And if you go in with an open mindset of okay, anyone who invites me to do something, unless I completely get a horrible vibe from them. I’m going to be open to it and I’m going to try it, I’ll go have lunch at this place or I’ll go with them for a drink afterwards or something like that. So I think those things can go a long way and a lot of people will really appreciate it if you’re actually the one to lead that effort.

Lisa Linfield:       32:57     Why do you think networking is so important? Why should someone who it scares the [bajibas 00:33:03] out of be brave, why should they do that?

Amber Hawley: 33:07     Well, we’ve talked about just the emotional support of being a business owner and having not to feel lonely to feel like you have people that you can get feedback from that you trust and respect and not having to pay them for it. Sometimes it’s worth paying people for it like a coach or a mentor or somebody, but sometimes it’s not and sometimes it’s nice to have that feedback without having to do that. But I would say I think it’s important for any business, but especially brick and mortar, as a therapist with one, your top of mind when you network or reach out to somebody, they’re like, “Oh yeah, I just saw so and so and oh, that’s right they have that business selling gift baskets and I needed to send a special gift to somebody.”

So it’s just one of those things where you just keep reminding people because let’s face it, we’re all inundated and overloaded with information and it’s not that we may really love and enjoy somebody, but we just forget. And so having somebody who reaches out to you that you respect as a person and you’re like, “Okay, hey, I’m going to refer to this person.” So I think that’s a huge asset. I think it really improves your bottom line to be honest.

Maelisa Hall:       34:15     Yeah and I think even as a professional person if you’re working in a job. I’ve gotten jobs because of networking I’ve done. Because I know someone or I’ve been open to applying to a certain place because I knew someone that worked there and could ask them questions about it ahead of time and really know what I was getting into. I know so many people like that. I actually, just had someone reach out to me today who is a former coworker. We used to work together. That company, everyone got laid off after I left and she was letting me know, “Hey, I’m still looking for work.” And so I was like, “Oh hey, I didn’t even realize that.”  So now if I hear if something in my network, I’ll reach out to her and let her know, or if I hear that someone needs someone, I can let them know, “Hey, this person’s great. I’ve worked with her already.”

So I think regardless of whatever business you have or capacity that you’re working in, it can be so useful and you never know how. You can’t predict you’re going to get a job or you’re going to get more business. It could be you learn about some great new tool that’s game changing for you or it could be that you meet a best friend. It’s hard to quantify it, but there’s so many benefits to putting yourself out there.

Lisa Linfield:       35:22     This conference I was telling you about, one of the things I went to and I said, okay, I’m going to see how I can help anybody else, and I think it relieved the pressure of me trying to find someone to network me or my goals. It was more kind of like how could I help someone else and support someone else. Which I think was a pressure relieving technique rather than a purely philanthropic one.

Maelisa Hall:       35:43     Oh, I love that.

Amber Hawley: 35:44     Yeah, I was going to say, I’d also say that’s actually the best strategy, because in networking it’s about building relationships. I think it can be really overwhelming to think, oh, I’m networking with this person or this business. Then it’s really like you’re building relationships and when you offer help to somebody, again, that’s the way to go. I think you carry favor by not just asking because there are those people and they feel kind of slimy. That immediately haven’t asked of you and I don’t mean like a simple thing for some reason they think they’re super important and you should do things for them and that never feels great. But if you’re giving, I think that that’s when people are like, “Hey, this person’s all right.” And they really feel more connected.

Lisa Linfield:       36:27     So do you guys, in addition to all these networks of people who are in either similar industries or also have interest in online businesses or things like that, do you have all the main tools or one on one relationships or are you mostly into the communal networking?

Maelisa Hall:       36:45     I think they can both be really important. I mean, me personally, I would say the mentors I have right now are not people that I’m meeting with in person. I would consider a lot of the coaches that I followed to be mentors at this point, but I may or may not be actually paying them for anything, but I follow their advice and have chosen to sort of put on some blinders to other people’s, I mean there’s just so much out there. You could follow everyone if you want to, but that’s too much.

Amber Hawley: 37:14     I try that, I don’t recommend it. It’s just a lot more of email.

Lisa Linfield:       37:20     I think it’s quite an interesting shift. More and more of the people that I interview seem to look to … They [inaudible 00:37:28] was not actually being in the traditional theory of someone in a corporate or someone in a like a wise old person. A lot of people I’m interviewing at the moment seem to have books that they read as main tools. People that they follow as main tools, the ability to gain business insight, not necessarily as you mentioned in a one on one relationship.

Amber Hawley: 37:48     My friends that are in corporate. They still have that structure, which I think is wonderful and it would be great to have more of that in the entrepreneurial structure and I do think some people do have it, but for the most part I feel like yeah, it’s a lot of following certain people, like you said, reading their books, listening to their podcasts, purchasing their programs and really feeling like, okay, this person gives me solid content or wisdom. But yeah, it’s not the same traditional kind of mentorship. Yeah, I think it’s just kind of different. Because there’s so many differences and nuances in business and for those who have found one, good on ya, cause that’s awesome, but I do think it’s harder to find that.

Lisa Linfield:       38:29     Yeah. So you’ve both mentioned extroverts, introverts, things like that, and you’re both therapists, do you think it’s a value to people to have some form of structure against which to think about the people with whom they’re networking?

Maelisa Hall:       38:44     Like a personality structure?

Lisa Linfield:       38:46     Yes. Like your Myers Briggs profile that you mentioned or something else.

Maelisa Hall:       38:50     I think it can be. I don’t think you have to have something like that, but I know for me it’s been helpful to learn a little bit more about that because I have learned things like, okay, most introverts, just to use a generality, don’t like small talk and so I can do small talk but I don’t have to. So if I notice that someone seems to be struggling with that, I can go a little bit deeper and most people don’t mind that. I think it’s also helpful for me to know that things like if you’re an extrovert and you are at a conference, you’re probably like, yes, let’s do this and this and I’m there all day and then I’ll go to the party later and now I can recognize that someone who’s introverted may not want to go to the party later and it has nothing to do with them not wanting to spend time with me or not wanting to spend time with others.

It’s just that they need that chance to recharge or they need to go back to their room instead of having dinner as well. Right. So I know for me it’s just kind of helped with expectations I guess.

Amber Hawley: 39:50     Yeah, and I don’t have a specific structure either because I think who you click with, it could be somebody that is very different with you and what you’re needing as well. So for Maelisa and I are, like we said we’re both ENFPs with ADHDs so we’re very similar in many ways yet very different, because we’re human beings. But I do feel like to me, that is so helpful in so many ways because we need the same energy level and like she said the need for having other things going on at the same time. Whereas other friends of mine would be like, okay, you need to focus and stop doing that other stuff because that’s actually really good advice. But it just wouldn’t work for me personally.

But I do like having people in that group of nine or even in other people I network with. I like having people who are different because one, I’m getting more ideas with the diversity you get different kinds of ways of looking at things. But also there are times where Maelisa and I can get very excited about things and having somebody who can be like, “Whoa, let’s slow this down and take a step back here.” I think that’s really helpful as well. And so for me, I’ve had a previous Biz Bestie who she was very different and so she was a good balance with that. And my husband is like that for me, he’s part of my support system because he’s very supportive and he lets me talk about business stuff all the time and his approach would be very different.

So I think there is value in having the diversity, but I don’t think it’s like you must go out and find an INTJ. It could be really helpful actually to have somebody like that working for you, somebody who balances your strengths with their strengths. But yeah, I think it really depends on what your needs are.

Lisa Linfield:       41:39     So where to for the two of you, where’s your next journey?

Amber Hawley: 41:45     World domination.

Maelisa Hall:       41:48     I don’t know. That’s true. That’s true.  Step by step.

Amber Hawley: 41:51     Yeah. As far as the, My Biz Bestie Podcast, we’re in the beginning of season two and we have a lot of exciting things coming up, we’re going to be hosting a small retreat for women to kind of GSD and get their work done and we have some other things in the works that are coming out shortly, so there’s some new stuff happening in a way to help people I guess.

Lisa Linfield:       42:12     That’s wonderful. So for our listeners out there who’d like to follow up and get more in depth into some of these topics, how do they get hold of?

Maelisa Hall:       42:21     Go to mybizbestie.com and you can either sign up to get notified as some of these new things come out or you can just check out the podcast if you type in, My Biz Bestie into iTunes search or what are these other? All of these others.

Amber Hawley: 42:21     Stitcher.

Maelisa Hall:       42:21     Yeah.

Amber Hawley: 42:38     You can tell she’s an iPhone person, right? That she only knows iTunes. I think we are [inaudible 00:42:45] I think we’re literally in every single app or think possible like we’re on iHeartRadio, a few other in the radio stations, Stitcher, of course, iTunes and a few others that now, of course I’ve forgotten now that I mocked you, I forgot. But yeah, we’re pretty much anywhere. I think that’s a great way to hear the podcast. But like Maelisa said, if you go to our website and sign up for our email list or you go to our Facebook page, then you can get notified of all the other, new, cool things that we’re doing as well. That’s probably the best place.

Lisa Linfield:       43:14     Well, it has been great having you both on the show and I’ve really learned a lot, so thank you so much for joining us.

Maelisa Hall:       43:21     Yeah, thanks for having us.

Lisa Linfield:       43:22     All right. Cheers. What a fun interview with two great ladies who are supporting each other as business besties. And so if you want to listen to anything more that they have to say, please do visit their podcast, My Biz Bestie and I really would suggest that each one of us thinks deeply on which of the networking and support techniques we can implement to support ourselves in achieving our objectives. I’m Lisa Linfield and this is Working Women’s Wealth, and I’d love you to rate, review and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes. It’ll help us to teach more women about money as it’ll rank us higher. Take care. Bye.

 

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