Consider the Wildflowers

008. Jen Olmstead: When Living the Dream doesn't feel Dreamy.

September 01, 2022 Jen Olmstead
Consider the Wildflowers
008. Jen Olmstead: When Living the Dream doesn't feel Dreamy.
Show Notes Transcript

How this self-proclaimed “accidental entrepreneur” built a multi-million dollar business in less than ten years and what she did after realizing the successful business she’d created no longer aligned with how she wanted to live her everyday life. 

“Don’t let anyone trick you into chasing a dream that isn’t yours. It’s important to constantly reevaluate what you need, what you want, and how you can show up in your business. The reality is, the business doesn’t decide what kind of life and work we want for ourselves; we decide. We get to determine the why, and there’s so much freedom in that.”

✓ A permission slip to design a business on your own terms, I’m here for it! 

✓ A reminder that if something feels off, we can stop and course correct at any time.

✓ A rallying cry to get back to the basics, put energy where it counts, and show up in a way that only you can! 

I laughed. I cried. I nodded in agreement.  This episode is pure gold!


Jen Olmstead: (00:00)
Don't let anyone trick you into chasing a dream that isn't yours and in this last year of evaluating our business and really honestly, I can't even say the past year, in the past few months of evaluating that it's really been this, this gift of thinking through, why do I do what I do? Why did I start this business? What was I in pursuit of? What was I hoping that would be the outcome of when I went to work every day. And I think that we can get lost so quickly in success. We can get lost in the, the power of being able to please people of being able to make something that other people need and want. And so it's so easy to forget that it's also, what do we want, what was this business designed for? And so I've begun to just redefine what harmony looks like for my life. Cuz I would've told you if I was on this podcast a year ago. I would've been like, yeah. I mean, I'm kind of, I'm kind of living the dream in some ways of, I have three children who I love and a husband who I love and a life where I get to do what I'm best at every day. That is, that is harmonious. And I'm finding increasingly that what I was beginning to lose was, um, really what I'd been pursuing all along, which was freedom.

Shanna Skidmore: (01:20)
You're listening to consider the wildflowers, the podcast episode eight. If you could do anything, what would you do? It's a question that changed the trajectory of my life. Freshly married, quitting our jobs, moving cities and . Toward a new dream fast forward. It's been years now of chasing that dream, doing the thing, making the money and loving it. But you look around and you find you aren't actually where you want to be. In today's interview my friend Jen shares exactly when that moment happened for her. When she realized that she was on the verge of losing what she'd been pursuing all along. Freedom. Meet Jen Olmsted, my own website designer, and one of the founders of tonic site shop. Her story is incredible. I cannot wait for you to listen in. If you dig professional bios here goes, Jen Olmstead is the lead designer and co-founder of tonic site shop where she makes customizable stunning designer websites at a fraction of the cost. Former journalist total type nerd and lifelong fan of a good story, Jen loves bringing design and story together in both beautiful, engaging websites and personal story-driven marketing. She eats gluten so you don't have to. Her love language is witty banter and she's always up for a craft cocktail. Formal introductions over let's dive in.

Shanna Skidmore: (02:38)
Hey, it's Shanna. And this is Consider the Wildflowers, the podcast. For the past 15 plus years, I've had the honor to hear thousands of stories from entrepreneurs around the world. As a former fortune 100 financial advisor turned business consultant, I have a unique opportunity to see the real behind the highlight reel. I'm talking profit and loss statements, unpaid taxes, moments of burnout and those of utter victory, or as my husband says, the content everyone is wondering, but not many are talking about. And now I'm bringing these private conversations to you. Hear the untold stories of how industry leaders, founders, and up and coming entrepreneurs got their start, the experiences that shaped them and the journey to building the brands they have today. Stories that will inspire and reignite, encourage to redefine success and build a life and business on your own terms. Welcome wildflower. I'm so glad you're here.

Shanna Skidmore: (03:32)
Okay, Jen, I'm so excited to have you on the podcast today. Welcome. Welcome. I can't wait for you to share your story and I just want you to kick it off. Just kind of take us back to those early days of business. What were you doing before and how did you get started?

Jen Olmstead: (03:47)
Oh man. Throw it back. Well, first of all, it's so great to be here. I feel like this is just a long awaited kind of perfect conversation, cuz I feel like all we did when we first met was just like talk for hours about business and how we got started. So now we can just do that on a podcast, which is perfect.

Shanna Skidmore: (04:02)
I know

Jen Olmstead: (04:03)
oh, so fun. Yep. So getting started for me, you know, was a little bit different than a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners because I had no aspirations of starting my own business. Um, I had no aspirations really of being an entrepreneur. And I think, I didn't realize that really I'd been an entrepreneur all along that in college, you know, I'd have friends that would ask me to design wedding invitations and I was like, yeah, sure. I can do that for you. Or my college was like, Hey, can you help us? You know, we'll get you to the Adobe creative suite, if you can help us with some marketing campaigns. And I was like, yeah, sure I can do that. Um, but I never had the mindset of, this is what I'm supposed to do. I always thought like, no, no, no, I will get a job in journalism. I wanna be like the editor of Wired or the graphic design editor of Wired or the New Yorker or something like that. And then what began to happen is just the, this little side hustle of designing things for friends essentially just began to take off more and more and more. And it changed from friends asking me to design wedding invitations, um, to, Hey, can you do a logo? I know you do invitations. Can you do a logo? And I was like, I mean, a logo is just like fonts, right? Like I could probably figure that out. So how hard can it be? And then after I designed a few logos, I was like, well, well now I need something to put my logo on. You know, I, I really need a website too. And that's where I kind of drew the line of like, well that I don't know anything about  yeah, I don't, I don't have the necessary skills. I know I'd ruin some poor coder's life by like making him move pixels. You know, one to another telling him things are misaligned for days on end. So I can't do that. And then a good friend of mine, Sarah Bradshaw was like, Hey Jen, stop saying you can't do websites. You can totally do websites. There are tools now that you can use, even if you don't know how to code. Don't, don't keep saying that. And so she introduced me to the platform that I use now called showit, which is just like a little baby business back in the day. And so for me that was just, just like discovering my first playground of like, oh wait a second. If I can dream it, I can design it. I have so many opinions about what people's websites should be and how to tell their stories. But the cool part was that because I had zero formal training, I had no conception of like what a brand of our website had to be. And so I had lots of vision for what it could be. And so, um, with that, I designed my first couple of websites and because they didn't look anything like most people's websites, they had this kind of instantaneous recognition from people in the industry that were like, oh, this is different. And it was fascinating cuz I think it was my first entry point in realizing when something's different, we immediately are attracted to it and we're really hardwired to, you know, be attracted to something different. That's just how our brains work. We see a bunch of white circles, we look at the one black circle and our brain goes, Ooh, that one that's interesting. That's kind of how I got started in design really was just that after a few of those initial websites hit the market, there was a lot of name, you know, a lot of, um, referrals that came from those first designs, even though in retrospect, they were kind of terrible and there are some rules for websites that are important, like have a menu that people can easily find. You know, don't, don't make people hunt for things on your website. That's just a good rule of thumb. So those websites, um, led to other websites, led to other websites and more and more clients and more and more kind of caliber of clients and dream clients. And I all of a sudden ended up with this business that I had never set out to have. And it was, it was super interesting to get started. That way kind of was an accidental entrepreneur.

Shanna Skidmore: (07:38)
Yeah. I love that. What, tell me like what year was all of this as reference?

Jen Olmstead: (07:45)
Yeah, so this was probably around 2011 and 12. That's when I was first started designing and that's where my business started happening. And then around that time, 2013 is when we actually with my business partner, Jeff Shipley, that's when we founded tonic site shop. That's when it, when it really all began. So we're about to hit our 10 year anniversary next year, which is pretty insane.

Shanna Skidmore: (08:08)
Oh my goodness. I started 2013 too. So that's really fun.

Jen Olmstead: (08:12)
You Did. Oh that's awesome.

Shanna Skidmore: (08:12)
Yeah. So how did it come about with Jeff? How did that partnership happen?

Jen Olmstead: (08:17)
Yeah. Well, as you know, you achieve some level of success in your business and you began to say yes to clients, you begin to take on more and more projects and then almost immediately you end up like totally overwhelmed having taken on too many, too much work, too many clients. And weren't able to do the thing that you started out to do really well. And so that's really what happened to me is I just began to have a volume of inquiries every day. That felt like a blessing, but also extremely overwhelming. And so, so many people were asking me to design their websites and I was highly complimented and also had a very difficult time saying no. And I, I hated that at the time that basically your options were, you know, invest in a very expensive custom design with a talented designer, with a waiting list of a year or have a website that you hated. And now we are like blessed to have just a deluge of beautiful website templates on the market. But in 2013 they did not exist. There was like one or two template shops. Most of the templates were like a hundred bucks and you were like, this is objectively not great. You know, it just felt like a whole different solution until you could find something better. And so Jeff was also a custom designer at the time and we just thought like, what if website templates didn't suck? Like why is there not kind of like an alternative to custom design that felt like a luxury website template at a higher price point that people would be proud to have, um, that had all the benchmarks and earmarks of a custom design, but wasn't at a higher price point. And then also felt like something you could have. Right. Right then that day. And there were too many people that we knew as, you know, you, you meet this amazing person and you're like, oh my gosh, I have to work with you. Yes. What's your website and what does it, what do they say? They say like, don't go to my website. It's super terrible.

Shanna Skidmore: (10:04)
That's exactly what they say. Yes.

Jen Olmstead: (10:05)
Yeah. They're like, don't go to my website and I'm like, no, no, you are too cool to have a crappy website. So that was the problem that, that Jeff and I set out to solve was just boring template website syndrome essentially. And so we launched tonic in 2013 with a collection of 12 customizable website templates made for people who didn't think they like website templates and somehow it worked.

Shanna Skidmore: (10:28)
Yeah. Yeah. That's an amazing, so did you immediately stop doing one on one custom work or talk through that transition?

Jen Olmstead: (10:38)
No. Um, no, I did not. So I knew enough to know, I don't know how I knew this. Someone must have told me this at some point, but that passive income was the lifeblood of the creative. I knew that. Um, and so I had this idea of like, oh wait a second. We need to somehow have passive income. Passive revenue is very important. So that was really what tonic set out to be was just like some passive income that we could depend on each month. And that was just totally going to be a side hustle. Custom design was still my bread and butter. Jeff was still a custom designer. And in fact, um, custom design was, you know, still a huge component of our business up until really recently we'd still done custom design, but really what happened is we just began to do less and less and less because as I'm sure we'll talk through in a minute, we started looking our numbers and realizing like, wait a second, custom design is generating 98% of our stress taking up 98% of our time and generating 2% of our revenue. Um, I'm not great at math, but that just did not add up. And so increasingly now, um, we typically only take custom projects that are likely also to benefit tonic as a template site shop. And a lot of our customers for example, will choose one of our templates and will just do a custom design based on one, one of those templates. So, um, that's really changed our business model, but uh, for probably I would say seven, you know, six or seven years custom design was still a big proponent of the business.

Shanna Skidmore: (12:03)
Yeah. Okay. So I have this like burning question inside. When you, did you work in journalism while you started? Was it a side hustle or did you just dive right in and I'm doing this thing or take me back there.

Jen Olmstead: (12:19)
Yeah. So I majored in journalism in college. That was always my goal all along is I love to write ever since I can remember. And I am, you know, I was the editor of the school paper and founded a school magazine. My husband and I actually founded an online magazine for college students while we were in college. That was a portion of our credits in school was founding that. And so that was always just a big part of my love. And it still is now it's actually a, we'll get to this I'm sure in a minute, but now there's a huge correlation between journalism and what I do. But basically what happened is I was still doing some freelance writing right, right away outside of college. And then I realized that all of the skills that I had learned in journalism, in storytelling, in writing headlines, in figuring out what made someone's story interesting and how to tell that well, that all translated to design. Um, because the truth is like people pay more attention to great stories told beautifully, and that's what good design does. It just takes a great story, translates it visually and helps people understand what it is from the first moment they experience it. So all of those things that I thought, well, I'm not really a journalist. I'm not doing that anymore. Increasingly now know like that actually is exactly what I do and being a good writer and being able to write and communicate has been a huge informant of our business in our, in our success. And that's something that we've begun to lean into even more and more even this year.

Shanna Skidmore: (13:43)
And your first clients ok so you said Sarah Bradshaw was a friend, I'm assuming a friend of yours. Was it just word of mouth, those first clients and you just kind of made it up as you went.

Jen Olmstead: (13:58)
Oh yeah. I mean, it's kind of embarrassing. I didn't even have a website for, for forever. I mean, it was a classic cobbler children's story, but I didn't have a website. I never did any marketing. Um, whatsoever. In fact, I would've said up until a few years ago that I didn't like marketing. Um, now I love it. It's my favorite thing. But at the very beginning, I mean, it was one of those things where I think I just really tried to do a great job for each client. And because of that, those clients immediately kind of were a billboard for my business because I wasn't ever like, oh, I did the, this person's website, this person's website, this person's website. But the emails that I would get are people that would be like, oh, I just realized that the same person designed all of my favorite websites, and it's you. And that was so cool to hear. But I think my goal as a designer was always just to like disappear as much as I could into each project. So I, you know, if that makes sense, I didn't wanna like brand each person with my style. I wanted to like, so be a chameleon that could dive into their style so that people were like, oh yeah, this is the website Shanna should have always had. Or like this is the website Jenna Kutcher should have always had. And so I think that was just like a differential, cuz I didn't know enough to know that I should have a style as a designer.

Shanna Skidmore: (15:11)
yeah. I mean, did you know when you started doing and designing these websites, were you like, this is it for me? Like I love this.

Jen Olmstead: (15:18)
Yeah. I mean, I think all a sudden and it became clear because it was like, wait a second. I loved like designing greeting cards and print shop product in high school. And I always like knew of strange amount about fonts. You know, I was like the kid in the movie theater that was like, oh, I know what font that is in the opening credits. Um, so it was this weird realization when I kind of turned three, six or not 360, I guess that'd be fully around when I turned 180 and was like, oh, looking back, all of this makes sense that this is kind of the perfect continuum point for all of the things that I love. I love people. I love conversations. I love storytelling. I love writing. I love design. I love aesthetics. This is, was the perfect storm of all of that put together. And I think I did have that moment of like, this is what I'm supposed to do.

Shanna Skidmore: (16:05)
And I love how you said you're an accidental entrepreneur. It's like really the stars. It sounds like the stars kind of aligned, I mean, show, it was just getting started. Yeah. And you got great clients from the beginning that really spread the word. I mean the stars aligned for you, Jen

Jen Olmstead: (16:22)
yeah. I mean, I feel like that's kind of a crappy story to tell people like, isn't that so nice. The stars aligned for me and there were so there's so many difficult things that we've experienced, but looking back, I do see all of the steps that led me there. And there is such a peace in that of like, oh no, no, no. Like regardless of what I choose to do now, I know that I'm here for a reason and that there's purpose in where I am and where I've been led. So then how do I commit to show up in this space well?

Shanna Skidmore: (16:52)
Yeah. I love, I always used to say, you know, you've heard me say this before. Like I felt like a misfit puzzle. It's like, how does somebody with a degree in psychology and art and finance, like how does that all marry together? And then the, like, it it's like the moment it clicks though it clicked. And then it's like, oh right. For just this moment. I mean, this is the perfect place for me and my calling and what I'm doing. So for you, it's like you took all these steps and then one day it's like, okay, here it is. Let's do. So I wanna of course talk about the numbers for a second, but were you already married at this time? And did you have financial goals for you? Like, were you like I have to make this much money or were you just like, I'm gonna take what comes in, you know, was there a plan?

Jen Olmstead: (17:36)
Yeah. That's, that's so fascinating. No, I mean money for me was never something that I was after. I honestly, I just never was someone that had big financial or revenue goals and that's something that, that I've really only stepped into in the past few years is I've begun to view financials as just data of a metric of like, is this working? And so I did know enough to know that if I was doing business, it should be profitable. So I had that, that standpoint and, and my mom was an entrepreneur and I watched my mom struggle as a realtor. And, and she, you know, in real estate, you only, you only eat what you kill, you know. If you don't make the deal, it doesn't matter how many hours work you worked on it. You don't get any take home revenue. And so I really understood like, wow, it's important to have a business that makes money, that you're not just pouring hours into and not getting anything out of. Um, cause that's just a really hard hobby . And so I think that's something that I knew enough to know, but I didn't have a financial plan. My husband I'm, I'm really fortunate in that he is like super financially planning oriented. And so we did, we were careful with our money. We didn't spend a lot of money. Um, we budgeted carefully about what we did spend and we were very much aligned in that. But I think what I, I, I was surprised even realized how much money I was making, what money I was making. And that's something that I'd had to grow in is just taking ownership of financials and what I'm making in my business and being a part of that instead of just kind of letting it happen, really saying, no, no, no. Like this is where I wanna go in the business. This is what it's doing now because it, a thriving business does grow and you do wanna see their business grow and thrive. And if it's not thriving, you need to know that so that you can make changes. And so, I think that was my, husband's also an entrepreneur. He has a landscaping business and I saw him be like, okay, wait a second. Like payroll is expensive, you know, like, yes, you have to make sure you're making a lot more than your payroll. Otherwise your business doesn't work. So, so I, I, I had witnessed really good entrepreneurs teaching those things and I I'm so grateful to have benefited from that. But from the outset, I was just like, oh, it'll be great if I make a little side income, you know, that was my goal was to contribute. So that's, that's definitely shifted over time. So much to have to grown in my understanding and kind of be more empowered to take ownership of what income looks like and what revenue looks like and can look like and make projections and have KPIs and things like that. Um, but it didn't start out that way.

Shanna Skidmore: (20:06)
Yeah. Which I wanna talk about that tension of. I think there's this place where it's like, I love what I do. And then there's this place with like, wow, this is a big business. And you know, like do the shift of making even a couple hundred thousand dollars to making more, more it's like, there is this moment where it's like, is this still bringing me joy? So you started tonic with Jeff. You guys are doing these amazing, beautiful templates. Talk through the growth and just walk us through the last 10 years in about five minutes.  yeah.

Jen Olmstead: (20:44)
Yeah. I can condense that. No problem.  no. Yeah. Let me give you a trajectory. So we started out 2013, killed ourselves to launch. I think we launched with 12 templates. That's one of my things looking back, I'm like, oh, poor sweet Jennifer and Jeff like, calm down. We don't have to do this. So we, we killed ourselves. Cuz we had this idea in our mind that we wanted to have something for everyone. We wanted some, every person who came to our shop to go like, okay, this one is for me, this one was designed just for me in mind. And so that's one of the things I look back that we did, right. Is we knew our audience. We knew who they were. We knew what they needed. We had avatars for each one of our templates of like this one would be for Shanna, cuz she wants something like this. She probably likes these colors and images like this. And this is the kind of cocktail she would drink because if you've never heard of our business tonic site shop, each of our designs is based on a cocktail. So there's like a French 75 and a Manhattan and a margarita. And you can kind of imagine, you know, what a margarita would look like. Right. Personality. Yeah. So that's something that we did. Right. And looking back as we, we knew our audience and we knew what their needs were and we knew that we wanted to people to immediately felt like those needs had been answered, that they didn't even have to voice them. So that's kind of how we started out. And then for the first couple of years, you know, it was, it's really cute looking back cuz we did, we did some really adorable things. Like we tried to start an email list from the very beginning. So you had to join our wait list. Oh good job guys. But the, but then the, the downside was that like it was a manual email list. So every time someone emailed, we would have to like type their name into our mailchimp list, you know? And I'm like, oh good idea guys. Bad execution. Great idea. So we had some really nice organic growth in that, in that first, that first, first year we weren't selling a ton of templates, but we did sell templates and that was immensely encouraging to be like, wow, like this is the thing. We also saw the power of like brand building in that year because people liked our brand. They liked that it had this experiential factor and it had a cocktail component and it was designed cool. And so we saw the power of that is that people were buying into something bigger than just website templates. So we be, we began to understand that. And then I think the business, you know, tonic really began to take off when we got a few higher profile clients that were able to say, Hey, if you want a website like mine, then go get one from tonic site shop. And so we saw this level of kind of alignment really with influencers I think is what, you know, we didn't know about influencer marketing, but that's essentially what we were doing was realizing that when people had an audience and we would work with them and did a good job, um, then there was power of leveraging that audience and, and having something to offer them. And so that's when our business really began to take off. That was probably about six years ago. I did launched a site, just one of many clients at the time. But Jenna Kutcher at the time was, was one of my clients and this is our first website. So we, we designed a website. Right after that Jenna's business really took off. She went majorly viral on Instagram, suddenly had this big following. I was the first guest on her podcast and there was this kind of perfect storm of like, oh, suddenly all of these people loved her website, which I had no idea about at the time. I was like, sure, I guess some people are gonna see this, but people who loved her website and then came and bought our templates. And. And that was kind of the beginning of understanding some brand partnerships and how important that was for us. And so I would say, you know, that was six years ago when we launched her website, she just texted me yesterday and she's like, it's six years. And uh, so we launched her website and then one after another, we kind of began to understand a little bit more about what we were doing. We learned about marketing. We started an email list ourselves, a real one. And we began to figure out exactly how we wanted to use that. And we got better at doing template launches and learning about how to launch. And so really the past, I'd say five, five years has just been a huge period of growth for us of like. You know, seeing our revenue dramatically change probably in the, in the last three years and like experiencing the possibility of like, wow, this could really be something. And then, wow, this really is something, this is like a real company now. And then how the hell do we operate as a real company? Because we've just been doing this ourselves this whole time. We don't know what we're doing. And then having to grow into that as well as, okay. Now, like how do we build a team? What kind of CEO do I wanna be? You know, how do we lead a team? How do we, how do we show up? How do we decide what we don't wanna do? Which is just important, as important as deciding what we do wanna do. So I would say like the, the arc is like lots of growth revenue increase panic.  realizing that we somehow needed to like do things the right way, which spoiler alert there is no right way. And then in this last year going, okay, wait a second. We've built this huge business. All of sudden, it's getting like really intense. What do we actually want from it? And that's kind of the period where we've been the past couple of months is like, okay, our business is more profitable than we've ever imagined, but all of a sudden we set out to build a business that would give us our life back and we're handing over more of our life to our business than we want. So if we are in control, what do we say this is going to be, and that's, that's the, that's the tension that we're living in right now, a really beautiful tension, but a tension nonetheless of that, a profitable business wants to grow and your business will take you anywhere and you better decide where it's taking you because otherwise it's gonna decide for you. So that's um, that's why that was that the overview we're looking for, because I can,

Shanna Skidmore: (26:27)
I mean, that was five years and five minutes, I think. I mean 10 years and five. I mean that's good, Jim. Crushed it. Good. Great. I mean, love that. Okay. I mean, you definitely crushed it. Okay. Talk about, did you, was it just you and Jeff, did you have a team in those early days? And then how did the team start to grow? And if you will share numbers, share whatever numbers you feel comfortable with as far as like revenue growth, when you say a big company, like what does that mean? Give us some reference points.

Jen Olmstead: (26:55)
Sure. Yeah. Our business. It was just me and Jeff for many, many, many years. I think probably five years ago is when we hired our first amazing team member. Christina, who actually is no longer with us. We love her dearly, but she started her own business, which is we're, you know, super supportive of, but so five years ago we hired Christina and we're like, oh my gosh, how did we live without Christina?  she was, how did we do this? Cause we answered every email ourselves. We did all the support ourselves. Oh my goodness. We did everything ourselves. For so many years. And that's like, looking back, that's the thing that I would say is like, don't do that, you know, hand over the keys to the city earlier because you need help in the city.  and uh, you're, you're not a Citadel don't do it alone. So we hired Christina. We saw the benefit of that. And then I think really in the past two years is where we've now scaled and have I think 10 team members. And so that's, that's kind of a dramatic growth is from going from like one to, to 10. And we had a few freelancers, so it kind of went like one to three to 10, but you know, revenue had reached a point where we were now a multimillion dollar business and it did not make sense to operate with, you know, four people,

Shanna Skidmore: (28:06)
Three people  Jen. Yeah. How did you sleep? Let's just talk about your sleep habits.

Jen Olmstead: (28:13)
I do need sleep a lot. I mean, you know, you know, once you've had children, I think my body has been conditioned to like operate on very little sleep. So I was like, no, what are you talking about? I don't need to sleep. I'm fine. Um, but I've seen now in the past, in the past two years, how much scale can happen when it's more than you operating the train? Um, and when you can go to sleep and someone else is still driving the train that's even better. So that's, that's been something, but we had gotten so comfortable in, I think really the honest truth is that I think I had a lot of fear over transferring some of our profits to invest in the business because we had been so lean for so long and our profit margins were insane cuz we had no overhead. None. And so I was like, I'm not crazy. I like, I know how this works. Like you're not supposed to decrease those profit margins. If you've watched shark tank one episode, um, you know, like great profit margins are a good thing, but I think that's what, I'd, what I'd began to just fear is like, wait a second. Will we like not be as profitable if we bring on more people, I don't wanna be one of those people. That's like not making any money from their business. Or as like worried about payroll. So I waited too long really to, to begin to hire and well, I think it's so I stand by the, the fact that like a lot of people talk about how important it is to grow a team. And they're like in their first year of business and they can't. They're not even able to pay themselves and they're, you know, trying to pay five team members. That's I think that gets dangerous really quickly. So I think there is a balance in making wise decisions, looking at your revenue and what you can actually afford to spend and then making choices that reflect the business, um, where you want it to go, not just hiring for the business you have, but hiring for the business that you want to have.

Shanna Skidmore: (29:57)
Do you feel like there's been for me, what I hear is, and I feel this too, like it's a mindset shift as much as it is like a business. I mean you're a business model completely changed. And do you feel like with it, there's this mindset too, of like, like you said, I'm a real business now, you know, talk me through like how are you adjusting to, okay, okay. Like this is, this is different now, you know?

Jen Olmstead: (30:25)
Oh, I mean it's constant. They they're all the time where I'm like, Ooh, can you afford that? And Jeff was like, are you kidding me? You know, like this is like $12 a month. And so like, okay, that's a good, that's a good point. And so I think what I have, you know, there are a few things that I've realized, number one, each employee that you have should be generating their salary for your business, um, or they should be generating that much value for your business in terms of the time you get back or the value that you're experiencing from the company. So that's just a good, like a good margin to keep in mind when you're hiring is like, is this likely to do that? Is this doing that? What would make this, do it that, you know, how could this role generate this much, but then being able to just have some tangible things like that, of understanding, like what is the right amount to invest in the business? And I think for me it was just like talking to really smart people about financials and getting good advice because I think that's the hard part about, um, entrepreneur ship in general is that it seems like there's just not a roadmap for so many decisions. And so you're like operating in the dark of like, well, this person has a team of this many people. I bet their revenue is this like, so that means maybe this. So I've just asked people, you know, talk to my brother. Who's an amazing CMO at a startup. I've talked to Jenna, I've talked to my husband. I've tried to just normalize numbers as much as possible. Um, so I don't have to fear them anymore. And that is, that is the mindset shift is just not operating out of fear, either operating out of understanding or abundance of like, okay, the business is successful. This is what we can afford to spend. And this is great. This is a good decision. Those things have just been a huge balance that we've had to achieve of. And then knowing just when to trust like, oh, this is a leap for us, but our hypothesis is that it's going to generate this.

Shanna Skidmore: (32:20)
I love Jen clearly what you said, normalize the numbers. So I don't have to fear them. I just think that's so true. And that's clearly, I mean, I have these conversations all the time and why I'm so excited about this podcast is to bring more light to conversations other than just like, I'm a seven figure business and I'm over, I'm sitting over here. Like that means nothing.  like, what are you even saying? You know? And I just think that's all that's out there on social media is I have multi six figures or I do this. And I'm always like, well, there's so many other things. And so thank I just thank you. And I'm honored

Jen Olmstead: (32:55)
And I'm always like, wait a second. Do you mean that you just hit seven figures over all figures in your business? Do you mean

Shanna Skidmore: (33:01)
Which people say

Jen Olmstead: (33:02)
All the time. And I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. So was that this year was that over six years? I hate that. Cuz I, I don't know. Lots of times it's obviously accompanied with like a sales pitch of like, I've made figure seven figures. And so you can too. And I'm like, no, no. Tell me more about that. Like, did you send six, you know, six, multiple, six figures in ads to generate that because that's not the same. Um, so I'm just super passionate about like being actually real with numbers. And we even realized that when hiring people is that it was so helpful to be like, how much are you guys paying for this salary? What's normal because we were like, are we underpaying? Are we overpaying? We don't wanna underpay. So how do we find out? And it was just really empowering to have conversations, especially with other women about numbers. Because we're smarter than we think we are and we know more than we think we do. So I think just viewing other business women, especially, um, as assets, but then also not being afraid to like ask for specificity because like you just said, you know, I can tell you that we've made multimillion dollars in a year.  And I'm happy to say that that's that's, that's great. And I, you know, I know what profit margins look like and, and those things, I know how much we generated in passive revenue last month versus active revenue. Those are things that it's important to know. So just don't fear those numbers. There is so much power in data and numbers are just data. They are just numbers on a page. They're powerful. Yes. But they're not going to control you. They're going to empower you to make better decisions for your business.

Shanna Skidmore: (34:31)
I mean, I'm over here, like preach Jen, because , I mean, that's, I mean, that's why I do what I do every day because I, I see these stories and I think I, and I think oftentimes people are well-meaning um, I don't, I don't think people are trying to be deceptive. Maybe some people are mm-hmm  they probably are, but I don't think some people are trying, they just are repeating what they've heard. And I'm just like, I had a, a really good friend of mine mention that she had a seven figure business and I knew she did not  right. I see the number. And so I was like, Hey, let me just ask you a question. And she was like, oh, over all my time. Like as a business owner. I'm like, that's different. Um, and so right. I just think there's so much misinformation, misconception MIS you know, and I just, I'm grateful to have these real conversations in hopes that what you said, we can empower each other to understand what is a profit margin. So with that said, as someone who has learned along the way, it sounds like, what would you say? It sounds like just asking others, not being afraid to ask what you pay someone or what you, how have you learned all these concepts about money?

Jen Olmstead: (35:42)
That's a great question. I mean, I feel like, again, it's surrounding myself with people smarter than I am about some of these things, you know, I just asked my little brother some advice recently on Facebook ads because it's, again, something where I don't really know what I'm doing. I've like learned. And so I'm looking at our numbers that are at agency as showing me, and, and they're saying like, this is amazing. And I'm like, is this amazing? I don't know if this is amazing. I have nothing to compare it to. And so I've asked my brother who has experience in that area and he was telling me like, this is what this means. Like, okay, if you're getting, you know, a 12% return on your ad spend, that's fantastic. That's like less than you'd have to pay any affiliate to sell your product. So wait a second. If you're putting, you know, 12, if you're putting $1 in and getting $12 out, you see what a great investment that is? And I was like, oh, I didn't think of it that way. You know, I was just looking at numbers, going, I don't really know how that translates. And so as soon as someone who understood, could explain the numbers in a way that made sense to me, that was a game changer. And that's really been true in every area of our business when it comes to numbers of going, you know, even this last month we were like looking at our numbers and I was like, this is weird, cuz it seems like we're down. But then all of the other metrics are up, um, for our month's revenue. So like, you know, leads were up, um, users on our site were up. And so I began to like wonder, okay, is there a problem what's going on? And then we realized that, you know, the numbers that we were seeing, weren't reflective of the full amount of sales we actually had for the month. They were just showing actual intake of money. They weren't showing how much product we'd actually sold because we have payment plans, payment

Shanna Skidmore: (37:25)
Plans. Yep.

Jen Olmstead: (37:26)
And, and so that to me was just so indicative of the power of numbers cuz we could have panicked and been like, oh crap, numbers are down. What do we do? Like what do we what's going wrong? And that, because I was able to make sense of the numbers and we could look at the data that we didn't have to panic. We didn't have to go, okay, something's not working, let's fix something. That's not working. We would've spent a lot of time agonizing on a fix that didn't even need to be made. And that's where I think if you don't look at your numbers, if you're too afraid to do that, then you're not going to experience the power that comes from being able to be sure of what you're doing. And, but what it's easy to do. And I have a friend of mine that I was, I was talking to a couple of years ago and she was telling me about kind of her next big idea for her business. And I was asking her about, you know, things like sales and like what her margins were and cuz we were doing this kind of like mini mastermind. And when she was sharing with me, what, you know, she was like in big debt in her business and certain things like that. And I was like, wait a second, like no new ideas, you know, don't immediately run to this new idea. That's going to be like theoretically, a cash injection for your business. Like I think maybe you need to fix the model you already have or solve for that. Like is this working, you know, and make that decision. But I think as business owners, it's so tempting to run from the numbers and run into creativity or run into, well, I just need to market a little bit differently or run into maybe I just need a bigger audience. I'm just gonna grow my following on Instagram. And that's where I think numbers hold power to us because they can tell us when things are working and when they're not, when our offer is priced correctly or when it's not. And so I'm just so grateful for what you do, which is just helping creative people, make sense of numbers and understand them.

Shanna Skidmore: (39:18)
Yeah. Yeah. I love it because I think there's freedom. Just like you said, I mean, I'm like repeat what Jen said, cuz she's a journalist. Um,  you say it so eloquently and so beautifully, but that's it like, there is such freedom in knowing, and I think so often people just don't know even where to look and what to look at. And I think what you said is just well ask somebody, just ask somebody. And ask them. Um there's so there's such good information if we just ask, so I love asking this question on every episode, what would you say is the very best thing that you've learned about money?

Jen Olmstead: (39:51)
The best thing I think I've learned about money. I think it's essentially what I just said. That money is data. And so when you kind of de weaponize money because we all have weirdness about money, right? Like it's like, well we grew up having it. We grew up not having it. We grew up wanting it, we grew up, we wishing that we could make it. There's so much of a stigma about money. But when you began to view money as data, it's just numbers, it's numbers on the page that are trying to tell you something. And if you don't understand them, you can ask questions that help you understand what they mean. So I think that's the best understanding that it's changed and shifted for me is just viewing money as data. It doesn't have to mean more than it is. It's just data.

Shanna Skidmore: (40:36)
Amen. Yeah. I love that. That's so good. Okay. So this podcast is called, consider the wildflowers and it's beautiful and I love it for so many reasons, but one of the reasons, and one thing I wanted, you have grown a very large business in 10 years and it's probably felt, you know, you felt every single step of those 10 years. And I just would love for you to talk through. I told you I was gonna share this, but I received your email a couple weeks ago. Just talking about the growth that you've seen in your company and looking at yourself and saying like, is this what we still want? Is this freedom? So will you just talk through, how do you find harmony between you're a mom of three and growing this business? Which until recently, apparently you did basically with you and Jeff  talk me through that wrestling and finding harmony of being a CEO and being a mom and all the things.

Jen Olmstead: (41:27)
Yeah. I mean, I think the thing that I keep coming back to is just, don't let anyone trick you into chasing a dream that isn't yours and in this last year of evaluating our business. And really honestly, I can't even say the past year, in the past few months of evaluating that it's really been this, this gift of thinking through, why do I do what I do? Why did I start this business? What was I in pursuit of? What was I hoping that would be the outcome of when I went to work every day. And I think that we can get lost so quickly in success. We can get lost in the, the power of being able to please people of being able to make something that other people need and want. And so it's so easy to forget that it's also, what do we want, what was this business designed for? And so I've begun to just redefine what harmony looks like for my life. Cuz I would've told you if I was on this podcast a year ago. I would've been like, yeah. I mean, I'm kind of, I'm kind of living the dream in some ways of, I have three children who I love and a husband who I love and a life where I get to do what I'm best at every day. That is, that is harmonious. And I'm finding increasingly that what I was beginning to lose was, um, really what I'd been pursuing all along, which was freedom and a good friend of mine. Alana said it to me recently that, you know, we started out of, we start our businesses, um, to like forge a key, uh, for, for to unlock new possibilities and freedom, but we can end up without even realizing it, building a cage that keeps us where we are that keeps us kind of trapped in a, in a daily life that we don't actually love. And so I think that that's what I had, what I began to realize is that I'd built a business that was, that was keeping me in a place that I didn't love that was having me more, more and more work, more and more hours away from my family that I, you know, designed this business. So I could spend more time with. And just to be honest, realizing like, oh, I started this business to make passive income and it's the least passive business possible right now. So I think harmony for me just looks like continually reevaluating what you need and want and how you're committing to show up in your business in each new season. And there have been seasons of my life where I've barely been able to work. I've had new babies and I had to step away and my business survived that, um, and there have been seasons of like hustle where my business needed a lot of me to survive and I was able to be that and I was able to drive the train when I needed to. And I'm grateful for that cuz I don't think our business would be where it is otherwise. But now I think the ongoing harmony is found in like not trying to, you know, keep everything super divided where like, well I'm only working these hours and I'm with my family these hours, but in finding just joy and, and integration of like, what does it look like for me to be a mom who loves business and my children and who homeschools, but is also, you know, heading into a podcast. What can that look like? Because I can forge whatever path I want to there. Um, I don't necessarily have an avatar of like, oh, this person is doing it exactly how I want to. And there's freedom in that of being able to define I'm an entrepreneur for this reason. Cuz I get to say what I want my business to look like. And if I say, I don't wanna post on Instagram five times a week, I'm gonna do it this many times. I can do that. Or in our case, you know, if I don't wanna send the same marketing newsletter that every other company does, then I don't have to, I can send something I actually enjoy instead. So I think sometimes we forget the power of entrepreneurship that we get to decide. And that's the cool thing. That's the gift. And so if we don't embrace that freedom. We're really missing out. So that's what I'm just walking in right now is like, no, no, no I, the business doesn't decide. I decide, we decide together. Jeff and I, my husband and I, our team and I, we decide what we do and we can lean into what we're best at. And we can, as my little brother advised me, do less but better. So that's what we're we're walking in right now is just integrating that back into our business and our company and refining so much life in that.

Shanna Skidmore: (45:46)
Do you feel like it was just a slow, like kind of a slow walk away or like a undefined path? Or what do you feel like how did you get to this place where you're like, we need to have a meeting. We need to have a redefining session.

Jen Olmstead: (46:00)
no, it was literally a pile up. I mean, it was one of those things where we just had so hilariously, we had like our most successful launch of all time, this spring, you know, the revenue generated by that month was amazing. And we were like, this is incredible. And then we were, I was like, why don't I feel happy about it? Like this is the dream that this is the whole point. Like we did the thing, we did it exactly how we meant to do it. And I realized that it was stressful and our team was stressed and we were stressed and we were like, this is so great. And I couldn't fully celebrate it because it didn't feel aligned with how we actually wanted to live our every day. And it was just this powerful realization of like, something is off. We're not entirely sure how we got here and that's okay. And nothing was horrible, you know? Like we still enjoyed our daily life. But it was out of alignment. It was just enough where we felt like, wait, we're missing it. And so I'm just fortunate because you know, Jeff and I could have been on the, on a different page. He could have been like, no, no, no, I want this outta the business. Like I wanna work 90 hours a week. And so like, you know, I want, but, and fortunately I'm so grateful. We were on the same page, same page. Our team was on the same page. My husband, everyone was so aligned and like, yes, this, this company is amazing, but it, it is not the only thing. And how do we approach it in a way that's life giving, not just for us, but in every single person that we encounter.

Shanna Skidmore: (47:26)
I am soaking this up so much because I feel like, you know, with having Madeline, I'm still learning, I'm still learning. We're going into, you know, two big launches and it's like, I still am learning. And I like how you said life is integrated. I used to be a person who's like, I need to turn off and turn, turn on and turn off, like it's all or nothing. And so I'm still learning how to be like, it's okay if I put, Madeline into bed and now I'm gonna go work. You know? It's like, I am still figuring out how to integrate that. Well, yeah. So I think that's beautiful. And I think just hearing that, have you guys, did you sit down and journal? Did you have a team meeting? Like how were you coming back to alignment?

Jen Olmstead: (48:04)
We did have a team meeting. Um, yeah. So beforehand I really sat down and kind of wrote out what I was thinking and feeling of like, wait a second, I think this is what we started for and this is where we're missing it. It actually started as a newsletter that I was writing because I was write I had like seen a quote and I was like, wait a second. Um, it was that quote that I just mentioned that I, like, I wrote down, you know, that don't let anyone else trick you into chasing a dream that isn't yours, because we always have people telling us what we should do. You know? And if you're anything like me, you take that very seriously. Cuz I'm like, oh, you need help. Like, yes, I will help you. . And so I, I think I started writing this note about like, you don't have to release a course. You don't have to become an educator. You don't have to do this. You don't have to do this. No one gets to decide what you do with your business. And so I had had a conversation with someone at a conference. Well, they were talking about that as well, about how they, you know, everyone kept telling them they needed to do a YouTube channel or they needed to do this because they were good on video. And I was just so annoyed, you know, by that concept. Um, and maybe that's just a strong personality in me, but so I started writing that newsletter. And then in that, just the verbal processing of it, I had space to, I think, to consider it. And so then yes we did do, I did a meeting with Jeff and we talked about it first and then we brought it to our team and then we began to make a business plan of like, okay now practically, what does this look like? Cause it's easy to be like, oh, we're gonna do less but better. But what is the practical outworking of that? So then we talked about, okay, well instead of releasing, you know, nine templates, we're gonna release four templates or instead of posting this much on Instagram, we're gonna do this. We're going to like repurpose this content this way. And that to me was like a really tactical approach of, of taking an idea into reality. So that's been really beneficial in the last month or so is just walking in that more.

Shanna Skidmore: (50:01)
And are you seeing the shift, do you feel like coming back to where you wanna be?

Jen Olmstead: (50:06)
Yeah. And you know, what is the crazy part is like every aspect of our business has grown as a result of that decision. And I think it's fascinating because like, theoretically if you start doing fewer things, then you're going to see a drop off of like, oh, well we have fewer things out in the world what's actually happened in, in our case, is that because we've had a, a more intentional approach with every single thing that we're touching each one of those things has been done more, has been done with more excellence. And so people have responded to it astronomically more than they would have had. We just been, you know, focused on production and focused on volume. And so I think that's just been a huge shift and it's, it's hilarious. I was telling Jeff on Instagram, it's so funny because you know, I think our account has grown like by like 5,000 people in the last two weeks and we've been, we've had an Instagram account for like six years, you know, we've had this forever, but so I'm like, what the hell? But really what happened is like all of a sudden we were like, okay, like what's a really good piece of content. We're only gonna do two pieces of content. So each one better be like really good. And that's the, that's what we're taking into every aspect of our business of like, if we're going to do it, it's going to be good. And I think, you know, Instagram in particular has us all running on this like hamster wheel of like, oh, I've gotta post 20 times this week. So the algorithm loves me and that we've just found is a lie. And also just traps you of, into like doing something so that you can do the thing so that you can then move on to the next thing. And that's just not a great way to live life. So it's been interesting just to see and me feel so much better. We felt so much better. Our team has been closer. I, you know, left for The Bahamas with my family was offline for a week. And that was one of the most successful weeks of our year thus far. And I was like, well, do I just need to leave more? You know, that

Shanna Skidmore: (52:03)
I'll go back to The Bahamas. Sure. Yeah.

Jen Olmstead: (52:05)
Is that our new plan is I just did not hear but I was like, okay, like how do we optimize for that? You know, that, how do we optimize so that like anyone on the team could be on a boat or in a, in The Bahamas or, you know, offline with their family for a week and it's fine. And we, we, we can see that be successful. So I think that just gave us new eyes for like what's even possible for us. And it's really exciting at that point to go, okay, if that's the goal, then how do we do that?

Shanna Skidmore: (52:33)
Oh, this, I feel like I just breathed the big sigh. Like, okay, let's go back to the basics. And you know what? I teach every single day too, like what's working, let's put our energy where it counts. And I mean, I love that you shared the vision and then also the practical, thank you so much. That's so helpful.

Jen Olmstead: (52:53)
You have to have both. And it's the whole Pareto principle. I mean, if you've, if you're listening to this and you don't know what the Pareto principle is, the Pareto principle is that likely 20% of what you're doing in your business is generating 80% of the results. So 20% of what you're doing is generating 80% of the results. I like break it down to, this is like, there are probably like three levers in your business that are generating the most success. But what we do as entrepreneurs is we go, okay, those levers are doing fine. I'll go find 10 other levels to pull.

Shanna Skidmore: (53:24)

Jen Olmstead: (53:25)
. And, and that's what we do. Like, it's just hilarious. That's what we're wired to do is like, okay, those are fine. Like let's now do other things. In reality, we would generate so much more life and growth in our business. If we just pulled harder on those three levels or put more effort into those three things. And like the nice thing about that is if you're, if you're anything like me, I'm like, I can do three things well. I can do that. Like, okay, like our newsletter is super successful. Let's just do an even better job with the newsletter. You know, I don't have to start a YouTube channel  so that to me is where there's just so much freedom again. And I feel like I keep coming back to that word, but there's so much freedom in being like, what am I great at what's working? How do I do more of that? How can I like find a bigger audience for that thing and not thinking, man, there's just so much, I'm not doing, I feel terrible that I'm not doing that thing. Everyone keeps telling me I have to do that. I really should be doing that.

Shanna Skidmore: (54:20)
Yeah. Oh my goodness. Okay. I have two quick stories and then I wanna go into kind of a quick fire around. One. I have this hot pink binder. It's my goal setting binder.  I started it when I was a senior in college and it's totally off brand now and it's, I keep it cuz I love it. And it's falling apart. It's hot pink. It's awesome. But on the first page of it, I, I wrote year, like I think I was 21 years old my first year and I started in finance and I wrote, am I thinking more about what I have to do or what I want to accomplish and I was like, geez, what a little genius back then. But I talk about that all the time. I'm like, yes, that is it. And so on that in 2017, when I quit, decided to quit Instagram, I received an email from a, a person months after I had quit and she emailed me and, and she said, you're not on InstagramsSo I joined your newsletter because that's the only way I could find you. And I was just like, isn't that? Thank you. And it's just this moment of like, I think so often feel like we have to do all the things and I have found. And what you shared is when you don't do all the things, especially the things that just Instagram was not my jam personally. It just didn't fit with me. And when I quit it it's like the other things work better. So I just love that so much. Jen, thank you for sharing your story and just talking through what I feel like I needed to hear today about realigning with what does freedom look like for you? And that's the beauty of entrepreneurship? Like that's it.

Jen Olmstead: (55:52)
Yeah. And to tag onto that just really quickly. I think the other thing is like, for example, we had a newsletter for many years that I wanted to quit because I did, I hated it, writing it every week. I hated it so much. Um, I dreaded doing it. It just like, I was like, why would anyone read this? You know, does it like, it just doesn't make sense, but everyone told us, like, you will have to, you have to have a newsletter. Um, you need to share a bunch of products, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then I just finally released myself from the expectation of like what it had to be. And I treated it as like what it could be and what it got to be. And I realized like, wait a second, I'm a writer. I love to write. I have this audience of people who signed up to read stuff for me and I'm dreading writing them. So what if I just wrote the newsletter I'd actually want to read? And, and instead, so I didn't have to quit, but I did have to completely reframe what that looked like for me to be there. Same thing with Instagram. Like if you hate Instagram, you stop creating the content that you don't like. Create content that you do like that you think your people like. So I think again, that just goes back to like taking ownership of like who you're committed to be and in the season that you're in and where you're going to show up. And I think that there's a lot of power in that of, of realizing if I don't wanna do this, I either don't have to do it or I can do it differently.

Shanna Skidmore: (57:10)
Yes. Okay. That was so good. I, I need to write that. Yes, that's so good. And PS, I'm only subscribed to maybe four newsletters. Yours is my favorite. I read it every single week. Every single word it's so good. And I love what you said. I feel the same way with content for years. I have felt so horrible. I'm a slow writer. I'm a slow reader. Like, so blogs took me forever and I'm terrible grammar, horrible . And so blogs took me forever. We, we do some YouTube videos, but we can't produce those every single week and we really we've never put energy into. Yeah. And so I always felt shamed cuz I have this amazing people on my email list and I emailed them like once every six months I felt horrible. And then yeah, like I was just became a mom and started commuting to drop Madeline off. I'd never been a podcast listener, started commuting to drop her off. I was commuting sometimes up to two hours a day, like an, you know, 30 minutes there, 30 minutes, two times a day. Wow. And podcasts. And I was like the, and now I look forward to this, you know, I get to have these conversations that I have anyways with people like you, who I love. And I haven't got to catch up within a while. And so it's like find the right medium, do it. But do it in a way that works for you or will always be drudgery. And that's so good.

Jen Olmstead: (58:26)
Yeah. If you didn't listen to anything else, just hear what Shanna just said. That's the truth.  that's the whole point of this podcast. Do it your own way. Find a way that works for you. Have the free, find the freedom in that you get to decide there's power. There's freedom. There's joy in that of showing up in a way that only you can doing what you do best which no one else can do. So. Yeah. Embrace that.

Shanna Skidmore: (58:49)
Yeah. I love that. And your newsletter's amazing. I'm gonna put a link. Everybody join. They're so good. Okay. Let's do a quick fire round. Okay. And then we'll, we'll do a sendoff, just some quick questions. Some of them are easier than others. The first one would be what is one thing that you would be embarrassed if people knew, and this can be business or personal. One thing

Jen Olmstead: (59:09)
That I'm super type a, when it comes to design and I'm super type B about most other things. And so things like my closet is usually generally a mess. Um, my car could always use a clean out that level of like, I hate Asana. You will drag me kicking and streaming into a task list of any sort that's, that's my secret shame that I'm trying to improve on. But it's definitely true is like organization is like my fatal flaw. So that's my, that's my, I'm not, I'm not that embarrassed about it because everyone has their thing, but it is embarrassing sometimes.

Shanna Skidmore: (59:43)
okay. Second question. I don't love the word regrets, but I do. Uh, is there any kind of wish you could do over moments?

Jen Olmstead: (59:52)
Yeah, I mean, I wish we'd hired help earlier. Um, I wish I had gotten off of my fear surrounding that and my level of control freakness and would have brought talent to people on who had skills I didn't have earlier cuz I've seen the power that it has in our business.

Shanna Skidmore: (01:00:06)
Okay. Tell me third question about a big win or a pinch me moment.

Jen Olmstead: (01:00:12)
Yeah. I mean, I think we had one of our bigger launches earlier on, we had a six figure sales day and that as someone who would like not cared about money at all, up until that point, that was definitely like a, whoa, wait a second. Like that's that, that happened. That really opened up new possibilities for me that I hadn't seen before. So that was, that was pretty cool.

Shanna Skidmore: (01:00:36)
Yeah. I love how you said that opened up new possibilities. Like wow. Okay. This is significant.

Jen Olmstead: (01:00:41)

Shanna Skidmore: (01:00:42)
Okay. What is best advice you've ever received or just really good advice.

Jen Olmstead: (01:00:47)
I've gotten so much good advice. Yeah. I mean, I think the, the advice from my little brother really recently was, Hey, what if you just do less but better. Yeah. And he was actually telling me that that's been his kind of personal mantra and I was like, how do I not know? This is your personal mantra until now?  yeah. Um, but yeah, do less, but do less but better that has like reframed so much for us. And I, I love how it's aligned with excellence in serving people well, it's do less but better.

Shanna Skidmore: (01:01:16)
Yeah. That's so good. Okay. Last quick fire question. What are you working on now and or what is one resource you would like to share?

Jen Olmstead: (01:01:24)
Sure. So we're working on our fall collection of templates, which is really exciting. I'm actually gonna be designing, um, the rest of one of our new ones right now. So if you're interested in that, you can just follow along with us on Instagram @tonicsiteshop or join our newsletter. And you'll be the first to know when those get dropped. I'm really excited. And then yeah, a resource. I think, you know what, one thing that we did well from the very beginning, as I mentioned is we knew who our audience was. We knew what they needed. We were able to speak to them, using their words and that's made marketing make sense to us from the very beginning. So we actually put together a really great guide for that and it's called the attract and repel guide. And it basically just helps people figure out who their audience is, what they need, how to speak to them and then how to position themselves in the market to make it clear that you can meet their needs. So if you go to, you can snag that guide as well.

Shanna Skidmore: (01:02:17)
Okay, perfect. And we'll put the link in the show notes, so that's awesome. Thank you, Jen. Okay. I want you to send us off and just take us and yourself all the way back to the beginning. And what would you tell Jen, looking back now on day one.

Jen Olmstead: (01:02:32)
I would say lean in to what makes you different. I think we can often feel that we are being capsized by the parts of our story that don't make sense. You know, the Shanna that majored in art and finance, you know, or the Jennifer who has no formal design training and instead realizing like, wait, no, no, no. I am someone who understands financials and creativity. That's my power. I am someone who understands the magic of words and design and how they can come together and tell a story. That's my power. And in almost everyone that I know who's a master of their craft. They have that thing. There's the thing that makes them different. That sets them apart, that they could have felt disqualified them or made them weird. And it's not, it's their power. So lean in to what makes you different. Don't try to get rid of it. Do more of it.  make it clear. Because other people are looking for it and they won't be able to find you if you don't show up really in the fullness of who you are, even with your weirdness, even with the things that make you a difference, that's really, that's really your power,

Shanna Skidmore: (01:03:37)
Jen. I mean, this has been amazing. It's been such a joy to hear your story. And also I feel like I've taken like a page of notes  which is so good. Thank you for your time. And for sharing just the real kind of behind the highlight reel.

Jen Olmstead: (01:03:53)
Oh, of course.

Shanna Skidmore: (01:03:53)
I'm grateful to know you

Jen Olmstead: (01:03:56)
Grateful to be here. Thanks Shanna. For just like providing a container for these real conversations. I think it's just so rare for podcasts to look like this and it just makes it a joy to be a part of a joy to promote. So I hope that I hope this resonated with your listeners and it was really cool to be a part of.

Shanna Skidmore: (01:04:11)
Yeah. Thank you so much.

Shanna Skidmore: (01:04:13)
Hey, wildflower, you just finished another episode of Consider the Wildflowers, the podcast. Head over to for show notes, resource links, and to learn how you can connect with Jen. One final thought for today from today's guest, Jen Olmstead, because it deserves to be repeated over and over and over and over again. Do not let anyone trick you into chasing a dream that isn't yours. As always, thank you for listening. I'll see you next time.