Love This Journey Podcast: episode 4 – Jeremy Lopatin

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A little bit business journey. A little bit personal journey. A lot of bit awkward.

 

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[00:00:00] : Welcome to love this journey uh podcast that's a little bit business journey, a little bit personal journey and a lot of bit awkward journeys. I am Emily Maguire your host and owner of flourishing grit, an email marketing and automation studio which is who brought you this podcast today. We're gonna talk about journeys through business careers, personal successes and how we didn't lose our marbles along the way or did we is the big question to answer. If you are listening to this podcast now please subscribe, leave a review rate us. We would so appreciate it. And now we're going to start talking to, Well first of all I also have to introduce my co pilot here, Shelly, Shelly Costello finger guns, how to say it. You can't just say it out loud for all the people who are not only listening already getting aggressive. Shelley is gonna be uh co piloting with me today and asking some questions to our guests, which I'm so excited to introduce you to. Our guest today is Jeremy Le Patin, the president of climb marketing. Uh They are a marketing agency based in ANn arbor as well. I've got a local here for you and I'm just gonna read you his bio because it's very impressive and I don't want to mess it up because Jeremy will be so mad. No he won't, he won't be back. So Jeremy is the founder and president of climb marketing, a boutique digital marketing agency that drives targeted online visibility for B. Two B. Organizations via search engine optimization A K. A. S. C. O. And digital advertising management. Jeremy got a certain digital marketing as an entrepreneur building an online retail business from the ground up with his wife Aubrey, which I can't wait to hear about. He quickly discovered that using digital marketing to grow that business rather than running the business itself was his true passion climb marketing was founded on Jeremy's passion for digital marketing and his love of values driven business. They focus their work on organizations that make a positive social or environmental impact on the world Every single day, the team at crime marketing strives to elevate their clients, marketing programs, their colleagues growth and the communities that support them. Love that. Love it. Just straight to the heart when he's not busy leading the team at climb, you'll probably find him overindulging in sushi, making a mess in the kitchen or traveling to far flung destination destinations back when that was the thing, you know, back in the before times welcome Jeremy and so thanks for having me. Yeah, so you get your own round of applause Personal round of applause. So I have to know more about this business, you started with your wife questions about that so totally about how that's where it all started. Well, you know, um when my wife and I were young and dumb um and I had I didn't have a lot more hair but more of it was brown than it is than gray. Um yeah, like back in 2003 um we were young professionals doing completely unrelated things and um my wife had an epiphany as she often does that she wanted to you know make a significant career change and not that she makes significant career changes all the time but that she had an epiphany an insight and uh and she decided she wanted to open like a tea room and we thought like okay well let's try to do that and you know we were foodies and and kind of interested, we're excited about you know hospitality in general and stuff like that. And so we uh delved into the world of T. And we learned all sorts of stuff about T. And we started to build a network and get you know educate ourselves. And I fell totally in love with T. As a as a beverage from a culinary perspective from a social and historic perspective it's just t. Has everything going for it, it's fascinating and delicious and all that. So we said all right well let's do this And you know realized very quickly that we don't have any cash like we didn't have any money to open a tea room you know with the help of our dear friends at the S. P. D. C. Give them a quick shout out, they helped us put a business plan together and figure out that we could not do it. Um But by that point you know we had already uh like falling in love with tea and and we were just sort of thinking like, what else could we do? Um You know, could we, how else could we engage in this industry that has maybe a lower barrier entry? And so we were like, well do it online, we'll sell T online to people. That was already a thing. There were already some companies that were doing it, but this is 2003, like you know, less than half of people at that time were buying things on the internet, right? So it's still like kind of in its infancy. And um and so, you know, I we I remember distinctly being at a dinner party with some friends, some folks that we knew that we're sort of in, you know, digitally oriented careers and whatnot. And we told everybody we were going to start this online tea company, We've already got all our products, we got our packaging figured out, we got the name, we got, we just don't have a website, you know, and like, it was like, you know, the people who knew were like, okay, that's kind of ridiculous. Um and and we like made a connection at that dinner party to a gentleman who already was experienced professionally in managing e commerce for like enterprise level companies. And he's a really dear sweet, a guy named Lawrence who, you know, we love so much and one thanksgiving weekend, uh we traded painting his kitchen for him building us a website so we like rolled up our sleeves and painted a kitchen and a dining room. And uh and he built us our first website and off we went, that's amazing. And what were you doing before? Oh my God, so, so as I mentioned earlier to you guys off camera, or we're on camera but not being recorded um that uh I'm from ann arbor, I went to school at the University of Michigan. I've never left, I mean, I've traveled, but I've never actually left. Um and uh so I got my degree in environmental policy from the School of Natural Resources, actually, it's like called something else now, but anyhow here at U of M. And um when I realized that I could not pay off my student loans as an environmental activist, I tried to figure out what else I could do, but still sort of tap into that my eye, my ideals and you know, hope to do good in the world. And so I went into urban planning and I was an urban planning consultant and totally different universe, right? I was pretty good at it um for better or worse. And but it was a really grueling job and uh, you know, shout out to all the folks who are still doing that good work, but it's really hard to do, especially in the state of michigan and I was happy to entertain a change. And so the company that my wife and I started ended up being this wonderful forum where we could control every aspect of it and um imbue it with our personal uh you know, values and you know, it's it's rooted very deeply and sustainability, Organic and Fair trade and things like that and yeah, is it okay if I give it a little plug, should I say okay? I don't wanna around. Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah, I know my wife still runs that business, it's called Arbor Teas. Talk about them. Yeah, so that's that's my wife and I yeah, I was actually, so I'm gonna talk to ANn Arbor for a second because I know somebody do better there another creative or creative agency which is different than climb and I know the one of the owners well and I went to her office one day and it was right in the same little compound as Arbor teas, I was like, I had no idea this existed. Yeah, yeah, you should stop in next time you're there and say hi to my wife. Yeah, that's so funny. Um it's a delightful business and of course I went and signed up for their emails. Oh man, I've been well I've been chatting with the her email production person just giving her some tips because I didn't know that. I'm just like, especially small businesses that I'm just like, I love that you're here, I love you exist, I want you to be around. So here a couple of texts totally. Yeah, email is a big deal. Like, you know, emails, it's a thing. Yeah. Yeah, so our booties dot com for everybody and into ann arbor michigan. Yeah, so so you know, I got started uh you know, and then, and then that same friend that helped us build our first website was like, you know, you should really know more about things like web analytics and so you can understand like what's happening on this website and you might want to consider paying for traffic, like google Adwords, it was called Adwords back then. Um you know, like that it's called Adwords anymore. No, it's just google ads. They dropped the words a couple of years ago. So a um Yeah, right. So um and so, you know, like I set out on a path to learn more about that and um uh you know, ultimately actually like, and and got more and more enthusiastic about that and and like turning the crank on processing orders and managing inventory and you know, like I I guess I just don't have the patience and sort of operational focus that my wife does to to do that, which she does very well. Um and and so like as my expertise in those areas grew and we kind of figured out how to make it successful for our liberties. I just wanted to go and figure it out again for another business and another business etcetera etcetera. And so I actually like took an opportunity with another agency in the, in the region and um you know, doing that work for lots of companies and I exited that company as part of its leadership team uh and went into private practice and then climb happened very shortly after that because as soon as I was out on my own like within months like I was booked and then like then I started needing to sub work to folks that I, you know, I love dearly and were available and uh and we didn't know it at the time, but we were building the sort of the start of an agency. So so cool. So how long has climbed been in existence for? Yeah, we just four days ago celebrated our seventh birthday. I know right. Yeah. You know one of our team has been part of it, you know, since practically the beginning as well Robbie our head of client services and taylor are technical services director. He was shortly behind him and we got some some tenured folks on our team so far so good. Yeah. You know like we've got happy clients and more work than we know what to do with. We are hiring. Um So if you happen to know anything about search engine advertising, I'd like to talk to you. Well you must be doing something right culturally if you've got two employees who have been there for almost the whole time. Yeah. What do you think your secret to success is for keeping people around? What's your secret sauce? I mean, I don't know, like I, I think that um, just being, I hate the term straight shooter, you know, but like being, you know straightforward with people and trying to be transparent, you know, I mean like the values that our company is founded on are largely like derived from the values of the initial cohort of people that coalesced around, you know, this work and, and transparency is a big part of it and accountability is a big part of it. And so just being like clear with people on what your expectations are and what your kind of vision and hopes and dreams are, uh, and just being straight with them about, you know, how you see them fitting into the whole thing. I think people just want to know where they stand and what to expect. People don't like surprises. They also don't like inconsistency and I am, you know, like I'm a pretty consistent guy if I tell you that I'm gonna do something, I would usually follow through on that and, and stuff like that. Um, so, uh, so yeah, and I mean, you know, I don't know if it's like, I don't like in our team to like a family in that sense. It's, you know, like some people's family experiences might not be all that might not be a good comparison, you know, for some reason, but right? But like, but um, but we're super close knit, I care deeply about, you know, the personal welfare of everybody on my team. And I hope that it shows, um, uh, you know, and so I just, I think, uh, you know, we've managed to build a great deal of trust, you know, and, and as we've grown and added new team members, um, you know, we've just really tried to, to do what we can, to continue to cultivate, you know, trust on the team and, and structure and order, right? So that like things that people don't like chaos, you know, or most people don't, I don't want to work with anybody who relishes chaos. So, um, yeah, so so far so good and you know, like, and, and those same, you know, just in the same fashion that we have like, you know, longstanding employees and, and um, you know, a really cohesive tight knit team, like the same could be said for our client roster. You know, we have the first four clients that we got in the early years of our company are still clients. Um, like our average renewal rate I think is like 95%. So 19 times out of 20 that a client of ours has the opportunity to stay or go, uh they stay, which is just as huge of a compliment, you know, as as employees wanting to stick around and I think it's for all of the same reasons, you know just being us sticking to our core values and and trying to do right by the client. That's amazing. Yeah something you need to brag about that on your website. We we are in the process of redesigning our website. So everybody goes to climb marketing dot com. You know, we're we're mixing it up. We're trying to get a little bit more of our sort of sort of the mission oriented nature of the company out there and just just a little bit more of the culture to the front, right? It's easy like when you I mean here's the thing we operated for two or three years with you know several full time employees and no website like we were non existent on the internet right? Like we were just you know, kind of a digital marketing world's best kept secret I guess. Um But um but having a website is important but when you build your first website like you're really focused on or at least for me, maybe maybe not for everybody, but like you know like what you do and what you're supposed to be considered the experts of and whatever and like and this happened actually in the start of our liberties with my wife and I wasn't until like later that we kind of really brought a lot of the values orientation to the fore in how we marketed the business. Um and so uh you know, with climb, we um you know, we're the first, the first go at a website is really more about like, you know what we're, what we do and and stuff like that and less about kind of how we try to make an impact other than Doing good work for our clients, you know? Right? Yeah, that's great. Well I can't wait to see the updated one. so what would you say has been your biggest lesson learned through all this man that it is hard to be an entrepreneur and uh you have to have a stomach for it, you know, I talked to people frequently about starting businesses and like, you know, there's, I have lots of advice for people, what are, what are your biggest do it when you're young, do it before you have Children do it, you know, before you understand the full implications of what you're deciding to do, you know, because if you really understand all the risks and the uncertainty and unpredictability and and whatever, like anybody in their right mind wouldn't never start a business, do you know what I mean? Right? Like I, but um you know, and I think, you know, we were, I was in a starting climb, like I was in a really fortunate position that like our booties was established and it was doing well, my wife was like very like competently like at the helm, you know, and that like there was no, you know, like it helps to have a spouse that has another source of income to buoy you or somebody else, a sugar mama or somebody because it's tough right? Like you know like i in the early days of of climb like I, you know like um it's your, your own personal finances are one of the only things that you can like adjust to make the books balanced right? Like you've got, you know, like I don't want to put that on employees, you know, like things Arlene like you're gonna have to, you know, cut your paycheck or whatever and so you know, you end up having to make sacrifices and and stuff like that just to kind of keep the gears turning and keep everything afloat and yeah, so so far so good. But I mean that that's a big, that was a big lesson learned um on the flip side, I mean, gosh, the ability to shape your own future and like control the circumstances within you, we, you within which you work and the people that you work with, like you will never have a greater agency in those kind of things than owning your own company and doing, you know, and building that team yourself in that business yourself. And so I mean that's been super satisfying and that's something that I really geek out on, you know of like kind of fine tuning the engine right and tinkering and like okay well how can we make this better and it's like every day, it's like conversations but like we should do that differently or like how can we avoid doing that or how can we make this better or whatever? And um and so while my original passion was like you know, S. C. O. Research advertising or whatever, like now it's kind of become something different, it's like how do I optimize this workplace, How do I optimize this customer experience? How do I, you know, it's it's optimization, it's just targeted at something different and something that I like, you know, never expected like when you go into business unless you are planning to be a solo preneurs like your whole career, like you are essentially like setting out to create a workplace for other people and that ends up as the founder more often than not and becoming your like biggest you know like preoccupation which is kind of wild. Yeah. Yeah. It's it's pretty it's pretty crazy like I you know, I never set out to do that, you know, I have lots of conversations with my wife about that because she feels kind of the same way that like, you know, you start out like we're gonna start tea company and like you think, oh man, she must just sit around and like taste tea all day and like do this and the reality is like t is maybe 5% of her workday, and the whole rest of it is like managing people and processes and systems and transport and blah blah blah, you know, and and making sure the bills are paid and all that stuff and like, so that's another big piece of advice out there for folks, if you like, you know, that's that's just the reality of being a small business owner. Yeah. You mean you don't get to focus on just doing the one job you want to do really well. No, because if you if you want to do that, you didn't get that job, trying to find a good place to have that job, you know, and there's no shame in that, that's like, great if that's what you were put on this planet to do. Yeah, I love that. Yeah. And two things that pops to mind to me for me, one is I compare entrepreneurship to parenting a lot because it's very high, highs, very low lows, so you have to be able to weather those storms. Yeah, absolutely. And something else that popped out for me while you were talking was, I think it's fascinating, you started, you know, with the intention of being um in environmental advocate slash advocate activists and um what you've ended up doing is creating social impact in a totally different way and I could never if you told the, you know, 21 year old or 22 year old me graduating from college, they're like, yeah you're gonna go on, you know after your career in urban planning, you're going to start an online tea company and then you're going to start marketing agency and like I would be like who are you talking about? Like that sounds you know Exactly yeah, but like I think there are ways that people, I think there are sexier ways that people think that there is um ways to make an impact, right ways to make the world a better place. But how real change often happens is behind closed doors, very small actions that are hard to measure. Um but they still make a really real world impact whether that's creating a work culture that is supportive and not totally dehumanizing or you're helping organizations and businesses grow who are doing really great things. Right. Right. Yeah, I mean my attitude you know in in all entrepreneur efforts but you know here at climb like is that this company should be an engine of good and you know we try to you know live that out in the clients that we help so we can help them do more good in the world either either because of like what they do is inherently good or the way they do, it is good. Um and then also just like the way we behave as corporate citizens, you know and trying to do the best we can as a and try to set establish a model for like this is how we think about our role in all of the economy and the systems that were plugged into, you know? So yeah. I love that. I love that. So how do you take um other people on this journey with you? Mm hmm. Uh do you mean clients or employees? Or talk about clients? I want to know how you take clients on a journey. What does that look like? Where do they usually start? Yeah. How do you guide them? Right. Well, so, you know, it's often the case that a client uh will come to us because they they know they have a problem because maybe like their chief executive tried to google something important to their business and they couldn't find their company, right? That's not always how that conversation starts. But let's assume that that's how that starts. And then their marketing team is like, oh yeah. We haven't done anything about S. C. O. Or we know S. C. O. Is a thing. We just don't know where to get started. And so then our team and that's you know, S. E. O. But uh you know, some some of our clients are starting from a place where they they're more minded towards like paid media. And um they've tried to do things like managed search advertising for themselves and realize that it's like deep water, right? It's it is complex. It's nuanced. It's easy to spend a lot of money really quickly with very few measurable results. Um and then they're like, oh you know the freelancer that we hired is not doing justice, you know, to this company, we need somebody like a professional to come help us. And so in either of those cases, whether it's on the paid side of the organic side, like you know, we come in and we we start by doing you know, a fair bit of discovery, right? We we explore their sort of the topic landscape that they operate in right? Um and understand like what you know how those ideas and topics relate to their target customers and the journey that those people are going on from, you know, awareness to conversion and um and then we, you know, we help them understand like where their best opportunities are for like okay, well these are the, I mean and you know, we have a really structured methodical process for doing this, but at the end of the day like 80% of our recommendations are like pretty obvious. Like it's kind of like, well duh, looking back on it, it's like wow, like yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It's like because you're not going to be found on google unless you're either running an ad for that topic, that keyword or you have content that's squarely addressing that idea. You know? And so a lot of our work is just helping them work through, okay, what are all the keywords that are relevant to the various aspects of your business needs of your customers etcetera and then help them kind of work through, you know? Well what does that look like in terms of content? Like a content plan for your website and we helped them properly optimize it and things like that. But um it's just kind of it's kind of getting their house in order right? And then for larger, more established, more ambitious like clients like we are, you know, then frequently like brought on as they're kind of the the voice of S. C. O. In their marketing apparatus and we're just ever present sort of a member of their team and we're just helping kind of optimize identify opportunities, you know, ebb and flow. So the thing is like the search environment never changes. I mean never changes. It always changes, right? And like it's never it's never like a steady state competition is doing different things. Uh you know, the algorithmic lee google is doing different things, right? So things are always changing. And so for companies that sort of have reached a point where they appreciate that, you know, being visible in search is super important to, you know, becoming, you know, on their target customers radars, um you know, they realize that like it's a it's a constant process, you know, refinement and and whatnot. So so we help them with that. Yeah, I love that. It's it goes from somebody trying to google themselves and they're like why can't I find us on google? Yeah, that's right, Yes. And then it's just like we just need to find somebody right, and then, it's well, no we need to find the right person. Um and I totally relate to like the 80% of the stuff that needs to happen is pretty basic, but like that also speaks to expertise. It's pretty basic for you. Yeah, well, I mean it's like, it makes sense after you're done and you look back on it, you're like, oh yeah, well yeah, sure that makes sense. But like you need to kind of go through the process and sometimes everybody's got some blind spots and you discover interesting opportunities that you didn't really think about until you started digging into the data and like, oh that's kind of cool, you know, the thing that we get into the most with so many of our clients on the search side and we do more than search, but that's our deepest area of expertise, but uh is like internal jargon and like industry speak versus what clientele actually say and use in search, right? Like people use acronyms and really like, you know, you know, insider talk that like their their prospects that they're trying to sell to like might not even, I kind of appreciate or understand or when they have a problem, they're often using, not always, but like they're often using much more, you know, um straightforward language or just different language and so helping companies understand that and making a shift or understanding like the nuances or the distinctions between, you know, okay, people who say this seem to want this and people who say this, you know, whatever. So yeah, it's interesting every, every engagement that we have, we discover jargon and into inside speak that we need to kind of quash or like temper and we discover kind of like interesting, unanticipated opportunities that are in the search landscape that if only they had a piece of content addressing it, they could get people who are their target audiences to their website. Yeah, that's so called the finding process. Well, a um there's always that that layer up, you're in your own business and you can't see it from the outsider's perspective. Absolutely, yeah, like, yeah, it is so hard. Like I struggled with that with my own business, you know, Emily you do a great job. So either you're getting outside help, but like, I don't know what you're doing a great job, you know, packaging and positioning your, your business. Well, Shelly helps me look at that face. Um, so I want, so one of my questions is uh double Q. Pew guns. I have a question which you already answered a little bit, but I'm curious when I asked what your answer is gonna be. So what values guide your work in order to maximize success and you've already talked a lot about your values but can you just steal them down to one that sort of permeates everything you do? It took us a lot of work to distill it down to five. But yeah so I mean clients core values are accountability, like I already mentioned transparency which I think in the marketing and advertising world is super important um balance right? Like we are whole people and work is just one piece um and there's lots of moving parts in all spheres of our lives that need, you know balance intrinsic motivation. Like we're looking for people who kind of are wired to um do the right thing to do things well and constantly improve right like that. They just have this sort of inherent motivation to to do well and to do better. Um and uh and then lastly forward thinking right? So people who are not who are able to sort of understand like the the cascading ramifications of a course of action, they can look into the future and they can understand like okay if I do this now, that means this then and and stuff like that. So so that's kind of like the D. N. A. Of the people that make up our team and I you know accountability and transparency are the easiest to talk about and they are sometimes the things that are most um evident right in day to day interactions but like the people who are really going to be that serve their clients best sort of this company, the best also have those other attributes. You know the forward thinking and the sort of intrinsic motivation and stuff like that. Yeah we did a good, I think we did a good job. Well if you're an S. E. O. Person you need to apply to work with jeremy right now, that's right, we probably later in the year will be hiring for S. C. O. But search advertising if you're a google ads person, if you're a google ads person and you want to work for a pretty sweet team, you talk to me not a google ads. Adwords Yeah, because you're living in the past. Yeah, you're not forward thinking. Yeah exactly. Um so what has inspired you throughout your journey, books, podcasts, spot leaders, artists or anything? You know, I mean one of the things that was a big inspiration for me early in the founding of climb and continues to be. Um so back and I mean the company is called climb marketing, not just because it kind of has innuendo and insinuates, you know upward mobility and stuff, but um um I have a background in rock climbing and mountaineering and and uh you know at one point in that career I had the honor of doing some climbing in the alps and a friend of mine who I was climbing with was good friends with a guy who's actually at the time, I think one of europe's only americans licensed as a european mountain guide and to be a european mountain guide is a really rigorous um thing and you want to talk about accountability right? Like you literally have people's lives in your hands as you're taking them up a mountain or whatnot. And so we did a lot of climbing with this gentleman and and it really like made an impression right? Like the and and me as the sort of, you know, as a client or you know, tag along uh you know the comfort that I had knowing that I had somebody a professional of that caliber, you know, guiding the way um you know, and and just the rigor and expectations that were in place um you know for those people to even be certified or licensed in the first place was a big deal and um you know, I would like to think although we do not have people's literal lives in our hands um but you know that that the responsibility and the requirement for preparedness and kind of knowing the path and having trod the path, you know countless times, so you know how to get for me to be safely and successfully, like you know, I hope that some of that has kind of found its way into our approach um some of the team is into rock climbing um but it's not a requirement, we have done some rock climbing together which is kind of cool. But yeah, so that's one thing. Yeah. You know, I don't know other than that, I mean, you know, we run our agency runs on us. I don't know if you're familiar with us the entrepreneurial operating system. Um, but you know, it's based on the book a traction by Gino Wickman and um, that applying, I mean that actually I would say because I was already familiar with that methodology for running a business before I started climb, we started climb from day one running on that system and uh, you know, and Robbie and taylor who were doing it with me. Like they were familiar to and so we were speaking a similar language and we were very organized and I would say that for still a relatively small company, we have a high degree of organization and structure and maturity about how we do what we do and, and the methods we used to run because we committed so early in that process. Um, and uh yeah, so that that was a big deal. So go out and retraction crack. Then I, you're the, I have not read it and you are probably the third person this month who has mentioned it to me. So it sounds like it's all the signs. Yeah, yeah. Um, so now the part of our internet internet will be on the internet. We are currently on the internet. What is it? It's just a series of tubes snow bag. Um, uh, this is the part of the interview where we're going to do the rapid fire fun questions Shelly's gonna do. And as she warned you before we started recording, she gets to determine if they're right or wrong and then we're gonna have to come up with some sort of consequence. I don't know. I don't know. Yeah, Shelly can fire jeremy Shelley trying to fire me regularly anyway, over to Shelly over to Shelly. Hi. Okay, great. Do you have your seatbelt on? Are you ready? I am as buckled as I'm gonna get. Okay. Your go to karaoke song is, yeah, I knew this one was coming. So, uh, it would probably be something really cheesy from the eighties in Stevie Wonder's playlist or song list like Ribbon in the Sky or like Overjoyed. I mean like, it would be something really cheesy, you know, from that. You know, the stuff that I heard on the radio growing up, you know, that's, that's perfect. You can come to our party. Okay, what are you binging right now to be a show or music? Yeah, I will tell you what my family has been binging lately. My wife and daughter have been binging Gilmore girls. So that's been a significant presence in my mind, uh, in the very small amount of time that I have to watch, like any, uh, you know, uh, media of my own choosing. I have actually been kind of hooked on shameless. Um It's a it's a thrill ride. It's uh no, I mean it's it's it's interesting. I mean it's uh if you like to vicariously experience other people's debauchery and degradation, like it's a good show for you. Oh my god. I can't believe. I mean I'm like in season five and I've been at it for a while now and I don't know if I can I feel like I need to switch it up like wheel of time just came out and now and I'm like I really want to watch it on amazon but like that means I need to not watch shameless. So I don't know what I mean. What are you gonna do so many choices? You know it's really hard. You know, it's like one hour. What do I want to do for myself? Yeah that's right. Sometimes sitting quietly in a room by myself sounds really appealing to. Right okay. In the la bree what is the most frivolous? Oh frivolous you purchase? Yeah. I mean I had this fantasy that if I that that I could convince a book publishing company to give me $1 million dollars to eat a million dollars worth of sushi in a year and write a book about it. So like that like that to some would seem frivolous. That is fun. Yes, that's frivolous, A million dollars worth of sushi in a year? I could do it. Yeah for sure. If you go to the right places you could for sure. Did you ever see the documentary? Jiro dreams of sushi tried to I have not but I tried to watch it with my family the other night and I got vetoed. So uh so I've started it, I watched like the first fragment of it and then I don't know what happened, but it's on my list. It's I mean it's shameful that I haven't watched it at this point. Okay. You are on a desert island. What are three things that you bring with you? I'm on a desert island. I probably won't need my bite splint because I won't be stressed out and clenching my jaw right now. What would I bring? I mean, I'd probably bring at least one chef's knife, right? Like I just and maybe I'd need a wet stone to to keep it sharp because that would be I couldn't function. You know, without, you know, I could probably fashion a cutting board. Yeah. Uh and then I guess an MP three player and some headphones, like I don't know how I get music otherwise, unless they have the Internet on this Right MP three is a file format. Yeah. Okay. I think I know the answer to this one, but if you can one food again for the rest of your life. What is it? Oh yeah. There's no question. I'm trying to put it to the test in every week of my life. But yeah, I'd be sushi. Yeah. But I mean, as soon as I say that, then I get sad about all the other food because you know, it's still, I'm a foodie at heart and like that would mean no more thai food and no more chinese food and no more, you know? Yeah, I don't wear tacos and so that would be sad. But I'd still be pretty happy. Those are great answers. I approved. I'm not fired. You're not fired. Perfect monday triumph. Well, jeremy, thank you so much for being on the podcast. I'm so glad. Yeah, so glad you said yes. Where can people find you? Well, I'm broadcasting to you live from my office in my house. So that's where you find me. But online you could go. Yeah, yeah. No, we're not gonna do that. Um uh, climb marketing dot com is where you can find our company's website in its current incarnation and we're reasonably active on linkedin to and stuff. You can find us there. And yeah, and you know, if you need t I've got a connection, Jeremy knows the guy. Yeah, I know. That's right. Well, thank you so much for joining us. Like rate and review on the podcast wherever you find them or wherever you found this podcast and you can find me and Shelley at flourish. Great dot com. Thanks for joining. Bye bye

SUSTAINABLE EMAIL MARKETING

Revenue at all costs is not sustainable.

AFTER MANAGING AND SENDING LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF EMAIL CAMPAIGNS, I HAD A LIGHTBULB MOMENT.

 

For every business I’ve worked in, the goal is to make revenue at all costs, and I did. At one company, email campaigns made $20 million annually.

But the cost was too high. List churn, burnout, stagnation.

There were tech and executive roadblocks around every corner. The saddest part is that this was not a unique problem to them.

I’ve seen it time and time again as I get into others’ businesses.

A hyperfocus on the bottom line dehumanizes and disconnects us from why we started doing this work in the first place. To help.

IS REVENUE IMPORTANT? ABSOLUTELY. (HELLO, EXPENSES AND PAYROLL!)
Is it the ONLY metric we should be looking at? Absolutely not.

Revenue at all costs ignores the human toll of work – on those who execute email campaigns and those who receive them.

We are all drowning in a sea of dysfunctional marketing practices and overcrowded inboxes.

I want to live in a world that prioritizes impact as much as dollars.

In my corner of the world, that’s email marketing. That means making email marketing sustainable.

Revenue at all costs is not sustainable. It's a race to the bottom as you burn through resources (mostly human).
Sustainable
EMAIL MARKETING
is a framework that organizes repeatable processes to create email campaigns that feel great to send and receive.

 

Love This Journey Podcast: episode 3 – Karen Boehl

PODCAST

A little bit business journey. A little bit personal journey. A lot of bit awkward.

 

TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] : All right, welcome to the Love this Journey podcast which is a little bit business journey, a little bit personal journey and a lot of the awkward journey. What are we exactly going to talk about? Well, we are going to talk about journeys through business careers and personal successes and how we didn't lose our marbles along the way or did we? This podcast is brought to you by flourishing and email marketing and customer journey agency. And please don't forget to follow this podcast on your favorite podcasting plat platform and leave us a review. So I am Emily Maguire, I am going to be your host today. I am the founder of flourishing grit and along for this journey, this podcast journey is my copilot, Shelly Costello. Hi Shelly, that wasn't high, that was not a high said yeah, so we can move on. Um and then we are going to be talking about or talking with Karen Bowl today, who is the Ops manager here at flushing grit. Shelly is the marketing coordinator. So you're getting the full flourishing grit team all three of us to chat your faces off with my amazing we are right, yes, it is a cold wintry day here in michigan were all in michigan. I know what's your favorite uh, a snuggly piece of clothing to layer on when it gets really actually this sweater that isn't a sweater and Shelly is all in on michigan because she's into flannels now? Yeah, totally. Every episode. Do it. Did you ever think you'd become a flannel person, oddly enough, when in Los Angeles flannels are also very popular. It just doesn't really ever get cold enough to wear them. So you just hear them as like a fashion thing and not as like a actually useful tool to keep warm. Do you think tying flannels around your waist is going to come back in? It actually went out, I don't know what you're talking about. I think it went, oh well, I've been missing out on wearing my flannel around my waist. I don't know, I still love it. All right, well, let's uh, let's get into talking with Karen today. Like I said, Caron is our ops Manager over here at blurry vision grit. He has spent over 10 years overseeing marketing and operations in fast growing small businesses. She geeks out on, on efficiency tidy spreadsheets and helping others achieve their best pre pandemic. Karen loved to travel, but these days she gets her adventure from gardening, watching her daughter grow and trying desperately to teach your dog to talk with those buttons she saw on instagram. Welcome Karen and I have to know, I don't know what those buttons on instagram are technically from Tiktok, but I see all the Tiktok stuff on instagram. Um, there is this dog, well, one person started it. She's teaching her dog to talk with buttons basically. You know, you start with like outside or something like that. But then soon the dog starts understanding like I am a dog, you are human, we are family. Like the dog is expressing these things like asking questions around them. Like mom, are you a dog? Okay. No, you're not a dog. Yeah, I cannot get, but I have a chihuahua. So chihuahua mix and she's harder to teach. I think because the dog on instagram is like a poodle something mix. Okay. Oh, I don't know, poodles are smart dogs. Yeah, they're like the smartest and I think chihuahua, they're probably not the smartest on the other end of the spectrum. Well, keep working on it because I want to see your dog talk and ask your mom, are you a dog? Are you, are you my mom? Um well, cool. So I want to know, I mean we're talking professional here, but of course it's always infused with a little personal, Well, a lot of personal, right, can't turn off who you are once you start working. Um so, uh, since you geek out on tidy spreadsheets, I want to know where that journey started. Like way back when I was a kid. Really? Um, I always my mom, so I come from a really big family, There's nine Children in my family and my mom was a stay at home mom, sort of like the classic, classic stay at home mom. She had everything rocking and she would, of course she wasn't doing this on the computer because it was like the 80s, but she would create her own little spreadsheets for the week, her own little calendar and I remember watching her do this and then you know, mimicking it myself like trying to organize things or you know, make a plan. Um and then I even would play like school just so that I could have like a grading worksheet so that I could put like grades and then get an average for every student and it was just fun to like get averages. That was like my play. Oh my God, your mom sounds pretty hardcore to nine kids. Holy crap. That's some hard bombing right there. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, but I love that you're like, I'm gonna mom to spreadsheet, let me grade average your class. Yeah, but what I I really want to hear about is um because I know that you did the digital nomad life for a minute. How did that, how did you get, I mean how did you manage to do that first of all? Yeah, so this was in 2013. Um I had just left the marketing agency where I was working and I started working for my brother, he had a travel media company and he was in Seattle at the time, He had one employee in New York. Um another one in the Philippines and then I was the fourth employee and I was in michigan. No, I was in Chicago, sorry. And uh and then it was a remote, so it was a remote job and there weren't as many remote positions back then. So it's kind of like new and different and like can I do this? Um and immediately I was like I gotta, I gotta get out of here. So I think the first thing I did was I went to Mexico, oh no, I went to new york for like two weeks, it was the longest time. I never just like gone somewhere uh like for two whole weeks just being there not like on vacation or you know, and uh and then after that I went to Mexico for like a month and then my sister got a remote position as well and we were like let's do this, so we got rid of our apartment and we spent the money that you would normally spend on rent, you know all that, you spend it on flights and then you get really cheap housing wherever you go by just renting a room on Airbnb somewhere. And so financially it was like you know you're traveling the world but it's totally possible, it's not like you have to be, you know, right, I mean is there any other way to trouble them private jet? Um I like I hadn't thought about that before, the like, oh well you're just gonna spend your rent budget on travel and that that makes so much sense. I'm so jealous and I'm so glad that you've got that um that experience in because so many people and I'm talking about other people, not myself. You're very jealous. It was the time of my life, one of the times of my life. Yeah. So when did you make the transition from marketing to operations or were you did you just sort of do the operations and marketing and move on. So this is like the big part of my journey from the beginning has been sort of this like swapping between things. So even when I was in college I was getting a fine art degree, I started out doing fine art and then and then I was like no I'm going to do communication and I just ended up double majoring so I just like couldn't decide and I had already was already in so far with the fine art and then I immediately started working in operations right out of college and then I got an operations role within a marketing agency. And then that turned into like project management, account management and then I was a digital strategist and then I went into marketing with my brother in travel media and then back to operations because after working for my brother it was like, oh I just I can't go work for the man, I've got to find something else that's you know that I feel is about damn the man, Yeah, it's got to be something that matters and food. I've always been interested in food. So then I went and worked for the bribery and that was that's I mean, that's where you learn operations as manufacturing so complex layers and layers, pricing layers and layers of supply chain layers and layers of customer levels and mm hmm. Yeah. A lot. A lot of fun. So many spreadsheets. I would imagine. Do you dream about spreadsheets? Karen, I do. I dream in Excel. Actually I am not lying. I've had dreams where I'm inside cell cells. I love that waited tables. I used to have dreams about waiting tables. So I was just curious if it translates, you know, totally. Yeah, That's so funny. Um and it's but I didn't realize that you double majored in communication. And what was the end? Final painting? Yeah. That's so funny because I majored in communication and creative writing. Yeah. Yeah. We gotta have the both sides. So, um, if anybody else is on like a similar path as you where they're sort of, you know, um flipping between role types or trying to figure out how, what they get got on fits into their careers. What advice would you give to people who are on a similar path? I would say be careful about the talents that are showy. So art is really showy talent. Everyone sees it and it's really celebrated, especially when you're young people really are like you can draw and then it's like, oh I'm a drawer And uh and that can confuse you. And especially early on when you're trying to, you know, that's why I majored in it because I thought that was my thing. Um, a talent like being good at organizing things in a spreadsheet is way less showy, it's less visible, it's way less celebrated, its way less celebrated for women too. I think it's like, it's just not as exciting. Um, nobody's like, wow, you're really good at being a manager. It's like, you know, nobody wants to be a manager, but that is what your talent is and it is kind of where you geek out and what's fun for you, then you have to just know that inside yourself and you can't rely, you just can't rely on feedback from other people to tell you like, Yeah, and, and just watch out what are those talents that you have that are showy and that are maybe getting more attention from other people and maybe it makes you think that it's more important to you than it is, you have to just sort of separate yourself and, and think about what's really fun when you're sitting down for an eight hour day. Yeah, no, that's great advice because that's like, you know what, you know, we all have these grand visions of who we're gonna be when we grow up and of course we're gonna gravitate to the more, you know, like sexy things like I want to be an actor or a baseball player or an artist, but, you know, nobody is talking about, you know, don't you want to be a project manager when you don't, you want to be a B. I analyst, you know, like when you grow up people like accountant, you know, and it's just those are the most simple or not simple but most visible roles I think that everybody knows about, right? Yeah. It actually occurred to me recently that accounting would be a total like match for me. I haven't done it. I might in the future, but But it's told it would I would love it. But of course if you had told me 10 or 15 years ago, like you can't think about accounting, excuse me. Who do you? Have you met me? Yeah. Yeah. My sister got, she's an account, well she got her degree in accounting and a master's now. She does B. I. Um dev and analytics and it's like I thought, yeah, yeah, she really geeks out on it and I'm like, oh, I kinda like that too. But um no, that's such a good piece of advice. Like just because it's showy or or more visible or more celebrated doesn't mean that it has to be your calling. Um And I like it's, you know, I do enjoy art that also makes it confusing because it's like, I do like it, yeah. Is it what I want for a career doesn't meet, doesn't check all the boxes. Right. Well and you don't need to turn turn every passion into a career or the way you make your money, like that's a whole other level of pressure that for some people can remove or yeah, totally negate the pleasure of that work. And yeah, I hate the saying follow your passion because like, yeah, like I don't want to ruin my, my creative outlets or my passions by monetizing them. That's a whole other bala wok. So, so what would you say? Um what values guide your work in order to maximize success? It sounds kind of weird to say that about spreadsheets, but we all have sort of the primary baseline that we approach all of our works. I'm curious what's yours? Yeah, I like this question because it makes me think uh in a way that I guess I didn't like sort of illuminate something. I didn't realize that. I think I approach everything. There's a saying about giving advice um that you should approach it like a surgeon where you make the smallest cut to do the most good and I think I approach everything that way I'm trying, it's not totally the 80 20 rule. I'm trying to get like 100% of what I'm doing, but with the most efficient um cut and especially if if I'm in a role, you know, as a manager, sometimes feedback can be hard to give people or things like that. Um So I'm trying to do the most good with the least harm all the time. And, but it comes back to also just like efficiency. Like I wanted maximize what I'm getting done here and, and make the least mess. I love that. Yeah, I haven't heard that. Can you repeat that thing about the surgeon? What was the one about the surgeon again? Oh, I wish I actually knew what it was, but it was, you want to make the smallest cut, you know, in order to have the greatest impact to the patients. Yeah. Yeah, I love that. Um, yeah, that's funny because, Um, for me, I noticed, I am like an idea generator. Like I can just be like, Oh, have you tried this by that? Try this, try that. And it's not helpful, uh, to dump 10 ideas or pieces of feedback on people because that's overwhelming? That's too much. And so like keeping, thinking about the one thing that's the one thing you can focus on that will, um, that will make the biggest impact is brilliant. I'm stealing that. I want to, I want across stretch of that, whatever that surgery quotas. Um, so what has inspired you throughout, um, your professional journey? Um, and like really, it sounds like you've been through a whole process of, um, you know, just because you're passionate about it doesn't mean you need to make a living from it. And like what are my skills and how do I, how do I max or how do I make a career out of those things that I enjoy, Right. Um So what what has what has inspired you along the way? A couple of blogs that I follow? Well there's Mark Manson, he's the very familiar with him. He's the millennial Tony Robbins I would say. Yeah. Is he the guy the subtle art of not giving a work? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Um He's got a really good article, I can't remember the title of it, but it has to do with making big life decisions. Um And I really liked the criteria and one of the things and it was sort of um that article that made me realize that art maybe wasn't so important to me because it was anytime you're making a decision, make sure you remember to evaluate how it affects your reputation because that is affecting how you're making decisions and you want to pretend like you're above it all and I don't care what people think, but you're a human being, we live in tribes, you know, we evolved in tribes were gonna care what people think it's okay b you know, make sure you shed light on that. So Mark Manson and then um wait, but why? It's my absolute favorite blog, I don't know how to describe it. Um He just goes, it's really long form blog posts where he goes really deep on a topic and it will be like some obscure thing that you're like, do I really understand that? I don't think I do I hear about it in the news all the time. I know it's important. But do I get it? And he will make you get it with stick figure drawings. Yeah, that's my favorite blog. And then, and he's got a really good article about choosing a career and he's got a little picture of like an octopus and each of the different legs has different values on it and it helps you realize like, okay, these are the things that matter to me when I'm making decisions or or just choosing my life path. These little different different legs are important to different people, different things. I love that. That's cool. And then of course dolly Parton always inspires me in every way. Of course, I've got a little sign right on my wall above my computer that I'm looking at right now. Let's just pour yourself a couple of ambition, just a dolly Parton quote. Um She is really cool. Uh well we will definitely uh grab those, we'll go find those links to those two inspiring um articles and put those in the show notes. Uh so now is the best part of the segment which is a rapid fire questions and I'm going to hand that over to Shelly um to put Karen on the spot, Just are fun questions so we get to know her a little bit more. Don't be afraid, Karen, I'm afraid. Okay, here we go. Question number one, what is your go to karaoke song? Noah's son. A novella by munchy and Alexandra. But it's because I only sing karaoke at christmas in the Dominican republic with my husband's family. Very specific requirements for karaoke. Yeah. I think the last time I sing it here was like 20 years ago. But if I sang here in the states, I'd probably choose a database or in sync Backstreet boys. Yeah, yeah. We have to get a bowling alley for some karaoke. Oh yeah. When we can go to, whenever you're gone, is it hard to sing through a mask? I don't really know. I love that you have, this is my Dominican republic. Uh, karaoke song and then everywhere else will choose space. Okay, what are you binging right now? Show podcast, book, music. Oh well, I just watched um, Crew L. A. And I didn't binge style because I've got a six month old baby. So I can't watch anything for very long. So I had to like come back to it. So I felt like I was binging it. How was it was a good, I haven't seen it yet. You know, I heard it got bad reviews, but I really liked it. Mm hmm Karen gave it the thumbs up. Go watch it. Um, okay. If you win the lottery, what is the most frivolous thing that you are buying frivolous. Yeah. I can't be like generous. Not giving tulip bulbs? I'm sorry. What you look bulbs to lip. I thought you meant. I thought you were saying to lip bulbs. I was like, what's the lip bulb? No, the flowers. I'm gonna get a bunch of bulbs and get them in the ground. That's what you would do. I mean frivolous. No, that's not frivolous. Here and try again. No, that's not comfortable, uncomfortable. Yeah. Extravagant like. Yeah. Yeah. I would I would take a cruise. I've never been on a cruise. I would do is just like from California to Alaska or something. That would be cool. All vote for yourself. There you go. Yes. The cruise. Is that a thing? Sure. Probably. I think it is a thing. Okay. If you're on a desert island and you have the option to bring three things with you. What are they? The first thing that came to mind was my dog. That's a good one. Okay. Oh, so now I'm like, well I only have three family members. So my husband, my dog and my baby. Does that count? Okay. Okay. Three things that I bring on a desert island. I need my phone, my phone charger and my earphone. There you go. You got it. You got it. I hope there's an outlet. I hope there's an electrical outlet. But like some sort of Yeah, like a mill, whatever this thing. Yeah. Like you have solar power or you? Yeah. Yeah, for sure. On that desert. Um okay. You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. Blueberries. Blueberries, that was quick. You don't want to think about it. Blueberries, they're the best there, like, tasty. They taste good there. Like super healthy. They're amazing. I don't know what blueberries would never a little rocky there for a second class. Yeah. I make a lot of tulips though. I'm talking like, like unreasonable amount of tulips. Okay, that's the whole yard is tulips. Yeah, that would be kind of cool. I love that tulips. Alright, now it's time. That's the end of our interview portion. Some for us to wrap up. Thanks again for Karen for coming on the podcast. Even though you didn't really have a choice because I made you how um how can if you want people to connect with you online. This is totally an option. Where can people find you. Okay, go find Karen on linkedin. I mean that might be I know people might be into it for more episodes like this. Don't forget to hit subscribe please like and review on any of your favorite podcasting platforms and you can find the three of us at flourish script dot com because we work together. There's these two are stuck with me. Come find us at dot com and thank you so much for joining us. Bye bye

 

Love This Journey Podcast: episode 2 – Shelley Costello

PODCAST

A little bit business journey. A little bit personal journey. A lot of bit awkward.

 

TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] : Welcome to love this journey uh podcast that's a little bit business journey, a little bit personal journey and a lot of bit, a lot of it awkward journey. This podcast, we talk about business journeys, careers and personal success says and how we didn't lose our ship along the way or did we? That's up for you to decide. This podcast is brought to you by flourishing grit and email marketing and automation studio that specializes in you guessed it customer journey. Welcome. Hi, I am Emily Maguire. I am the owner of flourishing grit and I will be hosting your podcast today so sit back and relax While we welcome our 1st and 2nd guess our second guest. Not first guess. I'm number I first day. 2nd guessed. Yeah. Yes. Number two Shelley Costello Shelly worked in hospitality, theater programming and project management for over 15 years and she's moving her skills into the marketing world because we need those project management skills. Shelly is a California native but calls michigan her home. Her daily workout is chasing her kid and she loves a good glass of some classy Costco wine. It, I mean it is good. Nobody's just boxed wine I've ever had in my life. Welcome to the podcast Shelly, I'm so glad you're here. Thank you for having me. You're a real get I know I know your schedule so busy packed, but I'm so grateful that you could, you know, fit us in. Yeah. You know, it's not like, I mean I just live like over there over there. Yeah, just outside my door. You've pitched a tent in my front yard. I just live uh socially is joining me today from our recording studio, which right now is my living room that doubles as a house double so utilitarian. Um so Shelly, let's talk, what, what, what brings you to flourish and how'd you get included in this podcast? Let's tell that story. Yeah. Uh you know, I lived in California for a really long time, did a bunch of stuff that qualifies me to do a bunch of other stuff and I have always been interested in marketing, I love being marketed to, I know that sounds weird but I love like hearing the different types of marketing that come towards me and um you and I met through our four year olds who are then too, but now for um and I had really wanted to kind of move into this marketing world and you were awesome enough to talk to me because I'm super awkward and we decided that this would be a good place for me to start and now it's been almost a year and I basically like crush it. So yeah, so for all of you who don't know the Shelly works for me right now. She is an employee, which is weird to say I have an employee and Shelly is my employee, there are also very good friends because you know kids that will do it to you mom ng hardcore and you need a, you need a fellow um person in the battlefield with you, Another Villager, another Villager and Shelly wanted to get into marketing so we've been trying it out and guess what shocker she's good at it, shocker. So um tell me um you know as you've been, as you've progressed in your career like I mean I think it's fascinating what you did in California. So I talked to talk to me about what you were doing before you moved to michigan. Yeah, I was so I'd done restaurants training and development and restaurant management for like eight years at a bowling alley that's really popular called Lucky Strike Wayne's And it was really a very strange environment because it was in Hollywood, so you have all these like famous people coming to this bowling alley and I was 24, like what's happening in my life right now. Uh but the Nights are long and exhausting and I wanted to get out of working until three or 4:00 AM. Um so I decided to look in another direction and I got an interview for an internship at AMC theaters and uh the woman who interviewed me, it took like a month because they had so many people interviewing for this job because jobs like that are like gold. Um and I was looking for the corporate office right? Yeah it was for the corporate office in their independent film department which was like brand new at the time um and the VP of that department needed a team, which was me. Um, and we, you know, I helped her grow that department from nothing to helping find films get them on screens and grossing millions of dollars. And it was awesome. So it basically like talk back and forth with independent filmmakers and independent distributors and watched movies all day. I think one year I was, because I had to keep track of all the movies I watched. There's one year where I watched over like 1000 movies at my desk. Um, and it was super fun and I love movies and the industry is great. But then I met my then boyfriend now husband and uh, he trapped me and I moved to michigan. Just kidding. I love it means the best. We have a 10 year old and four year old and we're insane. So it's so fun. So I haven't told you this story, but Last night, my 10 year old, he's a sleepwalker. He came to come into our bedroom this morning and he says, do you, did you guys take monkey bear Ray ray? These are his stuffed animals. Did you take them out of my room while I was sleeping? Like, no, we can't find them. We don't know what's going on. We get ready for the morning, go downstairs and his stuffed animals are downstairs under the dining room table. Um, he had, yeah, it's really scary all the way downstairs without anybody hearing him had the floor, like the bandwidth to carry these stuffed animals downstairs and like, oh my God, so my husband and I are like, we need to get locks on the doors. I don't know, something. I've read stories after he's been doing this for a very long time. You can just like, we'll open the front door and just walk out panic mode. Yeah, we up, lock it down, lock it down, clock his door put on nice away. Yeah, so, uh, steel springs. Yeah. So, um, I think it's really funny because we've talked about sort of our career journeys and I went a little bit more of a traditional path where I went to college and then got a master's degree and um, you didn't do that, I didn't do that. No, I had finished high school and just went to the junior college in my hometown for a couple of years. Uh, and then I was like, I gotta get the hell out of here. I moved, I lived in the bay area. I moved down to Huntington Beach. They had a really great community college down there, uh, which is also great because it's like near the beach and it was always funny, so I did that for a few years. I got my associates degree and then I just went right into restaurant management because I thought I could either do two more years in school or I could just do the job Right now and learn the job while I'm already there. I had already been waiting tables and training team members for, you know, since I was 18 was like, all right, well I'll just do this. So I just jumped right into restaurant management and I loved it. I mean, I still love, I love restaurants, I love everything about them. But you know, when you get older and then you have some tiny humans, it's like, I don't want to not be home and you have to work on weekends. Yeah. Work weekends. Yeah. The sign of getting old. I can't work. I don't want to work evenings or weekends anymore. Um Well, I just think it's funny because we all talk about, you know, how are, especially when you have kids, right? You're talking about their future and what you want them to do. And it's like, I mean, so many people who go down so many different paths and are still able to be, you know, fulfilled and successful in what they do regardless of their education. And I just think sometimes higher ed can be a little overrated. Although I don't have a lot of room to say that because I went through the whole rigmarole, but maybe I do have room to say that because I've gotten a peek behind the curtains. Um you know, you have a kid, you, you want him to do what he thinks is best, but you also want to instill in him that like this week we go back and forth at our house too. It's like, of course I want the kids to go to college. If that's what they want to do. Uh, do I want them to struggle out there in the world because of a lack of education? Like, of course not. But also if that's not what they want, I don't know how I can't force them to go to college. Right? Exactly. Well, because you also have to think about, you know, you know, I feel like there are two things to career satisfaction. One is finding the things that fit your brain, right? That help you geek out and to, um, finding the way in which you want to do it, that fits your lifestyle. Um, I mean if you're a great surgeon, you should definitely go to college. Like there are things that you, there are fields that you definitely need. Some of those higher education, you know. But my 10 year old wants to be, he wants to be famous. So like he wants to be a basketball player. You want to be a singer. Like, okay, well you could get a scholarship and do basketball and that will work for you. You could, you could be on american idol. I don't know. That could work. Yeah. Just get a smartphone and hang out on youtube's. Yeah. Yeah. These days, what are you talking about? Let's get on the Youtube and Tiktok, Youtube and Tiktok. Yeah. And push your 10 year old assign, he'll have his time. Yeah. So that's um, So I have a question about, you know, what advice would you give others on a similar journey is you? But I think what I really want to ask you is, you know, when, when your kids are 17 and they are looking at, Um, uh, what they want to do after high school and I see that's already depressing you. Um, what would you now? Because you know, in whatever 10 plus years, you might have a different answer. What, what, what advice would you want to give them? Also assuming that they would listen to you. I certainly won't be cool enough for them to listen to me. I would tell them that No matter what they decide at 17, they can always do something else. Like if they, I think 17 and 18 is just so young to be putting somebody in a position where they have to pick what they want to do for the rest of their life. So if they go to school for um, marketing and they get a marketing degree and then they get into the marketing world and they do that for a few years and they recognize they want to do bio science or whatever. It's probably not even a word. But then then they can figure out a path to that. I don't think that people need to be stuck in one career for 100 years just because that's what they studied in school now. If you love it or it's working for you and your family. Unfortunately sometimes people do things they don't love because everything else around it works, then that's their decision. But you know, I just think there's a lot of pressure at such a young age to commit to something because your tastes and interests change as you grow older and those things sometimes don't work for you or your family. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I totally agree. I think it's unreasonable to ask teenagers to figure out the rest of their lives um at such a young age and also like you, it gets people get stuck in that sort of sunk cost fallacy in so many ways in their lives, but like, oh, I put all this time into a career, I don't want to start over and it's like, well do you want to be miserable or do you want to actually try and find something fulfilling? Um Absolutely. So, um, so I mean, you've just found a fascinating career journey and now, you know, you're reaching your peak working with me, where do you go from here? Oh man, I gotta say like part of working for me is making sure that people that I work with, I'm totally not like trying to blow smoke up your leader. I would say the same thing. I take it, it's the best part about a job and like working with teammates who have a great sense of humor and understand where you are in your life. You know, I have a 10 year old toddler, so sometimes I don't, I can't hop on something right away, I have to go do X, Y, Z or there's a doctor's appointment that just popped up or you know, like having the ability to to not feel scared. Oh my God, my boss that I can't, I can't get on until 11 instead of 10, you know, like that type of stuff feels awful. And I've worked in environments where it's like if you're a minute late, you're in big trouble. Um or there's no sense of humor involved in any of it and it's it's awful. Um So I see myself making sure that I'm with people that continue to contribute to my growth in a meaningful way and also feel like, you know, I'll use term feels like family but feel like people that I care about because I don't really like to be at work and not care about the people that I'm working with. It feels very mhm. That's like a thing by myself with people I like and care about in an environment that is somewhat flexible, but I can still continue to grow because I've been here for 10 months and I'm I've learned so many tools and I'm like in that generation of people who didn't grow up with computers until the end of high school. So sometimes and I'm sure you're like Shelly, I'm like, how do I turn this microphone on instead of that one? It all sort of feel like a dinosaur, but you know, having learned all of these marketing tools and this technology has been great. Not just because I'm like, oh cool, I'm learning it, but like it gives me some confidence in myself and that I can do new things. Yeah, absolutely. And I'm just real quick. No, I mean if anybody tries to come and put Shelly from me after she's just talking about how awesome she is. I will cut, I will come after you. But so, and do you love how I just turned that around on me and made it about? Yeah, it's about you this podcast. Um, no, I mean, yeah, I mean part of learning anything new is just being willing to make mistakes and like it's all hard, right? It's all a learning process and it doesn't matter what it is you're doing. It's all a learning process. So if you mess up, you're never going to try. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Um, something is better than nothing all the time. Um, so what's inspiring you right now? Are you reading any books or podcasts or any influencers air quotes Yeah. You know me mobile, those influencers, I just started listening to the burn a brown podcast with Brett cold steve who plays Roy Kent on ted lasso out. You don't have apple tv, right? I don't have apple tv. I want to watch it so that somebody who is phenomenal and Roy ken's character is great. And so, um, I listened to that and then I listen to smart list podcast mostly just because I love Jason Bateman and I love Lorna and I love Sean Hayes and they give me good laughs and I like to laugh. But yeah, like Sean Hayes is the heart of that podcast. It's just in general, like ice cream inspires me. Ice cream inspires you. I mean how couldn't it, couldn't it? All right, now we're going to transition to our rapid fire fun questions. I got five questions for. You don't overthink it. You need to um, just give me your first answer that comes to the top of your head. Ready? What's your go to karaoke song, Whitney Houston. I wanna dance with somebody. Mm my name. You talk to somebody. Um, what are you binging right now? Only murders in the building on hulu. It's only one I've heard about one season. It's good. Heard about um, you win the lottery. What's the most frivolous thing you purchase a yacht. Oh, I love that. It's frivolous in my head. It was like a music label. Like something that would help make me money and I could be, uh, I'm like frivolous, a yacht. I mean kind of a music label just for fun is kind of frivolous. I would say I'll give you a pass on that one. Music label would be first and then, uh, you're stranded on a desert island, but you get to choose three things that you bring with you. What are they? Um, an endless supply of ice cream. Okay, because it's make believe, right, ice cream, um, a Spotify somehow speaker or something. Okay, We'll narrow down music. I would bring um, my Ben folds music. Oh, I didn't know you were that into Ben folds. Oh yeah, I'm a big Ben folds, nerd like way too many times. I have this book. Wow, he's fantastic. He is really good committed. That was to um, and maybe like a towel. I mean, that's really good. Yeah, don't, yeah, don't forget your towel. That's a classic hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Yeah. So versatile. I love that. It's good interest and I think I know the answer to the last question. You can only one food again for the rest of your life. What is it that I scream dad. Yeah, brush the hands off. All right, that wraps up episode two. I love this journey. Thanks Shelly for um, letting me force you into being interviewed for this. Um, do you want, do you have anywhere on the internet? So you want people to find you and hang out with you. Oh man. Um I'm really bad at the internet. I think I have instagram. Shelly Schultz Scholz is my, I mean before, but you know, dude, don't whatever, it's cool dude, don't hang out with me. Don't hang out with me. I don't care. I'm cool without you or whatever. I don't need you. I'm 100. All right, that wraps up. I love this journey. Thank you so much for joining us today. You can find this podcast on all podcasting services. Tell your friends. Don't forget to follow the podcast and give us a like in a review. We would appreciate you and send you so many good vibes, but thank you. Thanks Shelley, It's time to sign up by.

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