Today we have the queen of podcasting, Emily Thompson on the show! You may know her as the co-host of the super popular podcast, Being Boss. I had the luck to live near this sweet lady during our short stint in Chattanooga back in 2018. I love her energy and excitement, her willingness and curiosity to try new things. She’s kind and genuine and a total boss!
Hear how Being Boss came to be and how her winding path of entrepreneurship, beginning at the ripe age of 18 when she bought a tanning salon, has all played a part in who she is today.
WILDFLOWER SHOWNOTES : shannaskidmore.com/emily-thompson
Emily Thompson (00:00):
A lot of people have a hard time sort of coming to terms with whatever windy paths they're on, and I was the same way for a really long time. But as I've done, especially my work at being boss, I've really seen that the best journeys are not straight and totally purposeful.
They do take the opportunities that come to them, they explore what is interesting and I've come to really appreciate the sort of windy path that I've taken to get where I am because it's really all fed into the skillset and the mindsets and the abilities that I have now to do what I do. And even though as I was doing it, it didn't really make any sense, now I can look back and absolutely see how where I am now is has followed, has sort of taken each of these threads and woven them together in a really beautiful way that I would not take any of it back.
Shanna Skidmore (00:52):
You are listening to Consider the Wildflowers the podcast episode 34. Today's guest needs no introduction, but for real we have the Queen of podcasting, Emily Thompson on the show. You may know her as the co-host of the super popular podcast, being boss, I had the luck to live near this sweet lady during our short stint in Chattanooga back in 2018. I love her energy and excitement, her willingness and curiosity to try new things. She's kind and genuine and a total boss hear how being boss came to be and how her winding path of entrepreneurship beginning at the ripe age of 18 when she bought a teen salon has all played a part in who she is today. If you dig professional bios, here goes. Emily Thompson is the co-founder and host of Being Boss, a resource community and podcast for creative entrepreneurs with over 11 million downloads and the founder and CEO of Almanac Supply Company, a retail brand that makes and curates products that help people connect with nature.
For over a decade, Emily has worked closely with creatives to help them make money doing what they love with a focus on building online business models and growing creative businesses. She's also the co-author of Being Boss, take Control of Your Work and Live Life on your Own Terms. Okay, formal introductions over, let's dive in. Hey, it's Shannon 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 Turn 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 shape 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, Emily, I am so excited to have you for so many reasons to hear your business journey, but also I have missed you and I'm excited to catch up. So welcome to the show.
Emily Thompson (03:03):
Thank you. I was so pleased when I got this email that one you are back at it again, which is very exciting, but also that we could just chat and you're still alive and doing things in the world.
Shanna Skidmore (03:17):
I know. So I know I told Emily before we hit record, I was like, I feel like need to say hi old friend because we used to live like we were neighbors and now I don't get to see you I r l and that makes me sad.
Emily Thompson (03:30):
No, but you are relatively nearby again, so just a couple hours away. We'll have to make some special plans soon.
Shanna Skidmore (03:37):
We'll make it happen. Okay, so when was the last time I saw you was 2018 or 19 is my guess.
Emily Thompson (03:45):
Oh my, that was a lifetime ago.
Shanna Skidmore (03:47):
That's been a minute. So before we catch up on life in the last five years,
Emily Thompson (03:53):
Oh my God, yes. Tell
Shanna Skidmore (03:54):
Everybody who you are and say hello.
Emily Thompson (03:57):
Perfect. So I'm Emily Thompson. I am the co-founder and host of Being Boss, which is a podcast community and resource for creative business owners. I've been running that company since 2015. It is so much of what I do and have been doing for the past eight years. It's been a journey that I've really enjoyed and I really love cultivating that community and creating the content that helps creatives do business. That's been the place where I've been playing for the longest amount of time. And then in 2018 I launched my on purpose business is what I like to call it. This is the business that I started on purpose. I started a retail brand where we make and curate products that help people connect with nature and seasonal living. We started as an online store almost entirely though. We've always sort of dabbled in the in-person stuff and we opened our first brick and mortar in July of 2021. We moved to a larger space in May of 2022 here in Chattanooga. So I also run a brick and mortar store and online retail company.
Shanna Skidmore (05:02):
You have a brick and mortar now? I do. That is I do has happened since I've, so when we left Chattanooga, sadly you were just getting this business started.
Emily Thompson (05:12):
Yeah, now its, and I have a brick and mortar, a beautiful beast.
Shanna Skidmore (05:15):
I'm coming over. You
Emily Thompson (05:16):
Should. It is such a vibe. I'm not lying whenever I'm in there. I don't want to leave whenever the employees are in there. They don't want to leave Whenever customers in there, they just mill about sometimes for an hour or more. It is maybe the best place in Chattanooga.
Shanna Skidmore (05:32):
Probably is. I mean what a happy, happy place. And also, I'm not going to lie to you Emily, it's a little bit intimidating to podcast with the queen of podcasting.
Emily Thompson (05:41):
Oh, well, don't, we're just having a chat just weirdly into microphones. We all do it differently. It's always so much fun to be on other people's show to be able to respond to a conversation as opposed to lead the conversation. I am to be here and queen of what
Shanna Skidmore (06:00):
You're the best. What were you doing before being boss and how did you get into this entrepreneurial world?
Emily Thompson (06:08):
Sure. So I mean I think the entrepreneurial world came, one of my favorite stories, favorite personal stories is actually bought a tanning salon when I was 18. Yeah, you did. So I had a brick and mortar business before businesses had Facebook pages. That wasn't even a thing way back then, so I sort of stumbled into it in a really interesting way and I ran that company for about two and a half years. Then I decided to move away and finish my degree at a school that was more specialized in the degree that I was getting. And so I sold that business. So I bought and sold a business before I could legally drink alcohol I think, which is cool how I got bitten by the buck. I remember as I was selling that business, sitting in the parking lot of the tanning salon thinking I'm going to be back.
This is not my last foray into business. And so I left and I finished college and as I was finishing college, I discovered online business. I discovered Etsy and it was those first couple really magical years of Etsy. If anyone remembers Etsy in the mid two thousands, what it is now is not what it was. It was this really beautiful magical place of creatives and community and Etsy was doing a lot then to cultivate that community amongst creatives that they don't really do now. But I was in that space then. And so I was really enamored by this idea of making things and selling them online. And I started dabbling in it and I was making jewelry and then I decided to use some website skills that I picked up in high school to build a website for this little jewelry business that I was building.
And then all my Etsy creative friends were like, we want websites too. And next thing I knew I was actually building a web design company and what would grow into an agency that employed, I had several employees, a couple full-timers, a couple and some contractors. I think at the height of us we were 15, 18 people in and I worked with creatives for about another eight years or so there building websites and really online businesses for my kinds of folks. And so I found myself really digging into business models. That was the fuel that fed into the creation of being boss.
Shanna Skidmore (08:29):
Yeah, that's so interesting. And I love that just curiosity kind of led you or this is what I'm good at, I'm going to try this, how about that, let me help another creative do their website. I just think those organic first few years are just so special. I feel like.
Emily Thompson (08:46):
Yeah, they are. And a lot of people have a hard time sort of coming to terms with whatever windy paths they're on. And I was the same way for a really long time. But as I've done, especially my work at being boss, I've really seen that the best journeys are not straight and totally purposeful.
They do take the opportunities that come to them, they explore what is interesting and I've come to really appreciate the sort of windy path that I've taken to get where I am because it's really all fed into the skillset and the mindsets and the abilities that I have now to do what I do. And even though as I was doing it, it didn't really make any sense. Now I can look back and absolutely see how where I am now has followed, has taken each of these threads and woven them together in a really beautiful way that I would not take any of it back.
Shanna Skidmore (09:40):
Yeah, I think that's that so beautiful. I mean, I don't know in what part of life we're like, here's the path, but it I am the same way. I can look back now and see all the things that didn't quite make sense. Now it's like, well of course Abby, that makes sense.
Emily Thompson (10:00):
I needed to meet that person or pick up that skill or take a moment to rest or whatever it was. It does all make sense in retrospect.
Shanna Skidmore (10:10):
What made you want to start being boss?
Emily Thompson (10:14):
Oh, I call this my big magic moment. If anybody's read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, there's this idea that inspiration visits you <laugh> and it's like it's, or big inspiration or special kinds of inspiration visits you and you get this idea and you either take a hold of it or you don't and it sort of comes out of nowhere. And what happened to me in December of 2014, I had my big magic moment of just this hit of inspiration of Oh, I want to start a podcast and I want to start it with my friend Kathleen, and we're going to share stories about what it's like to be creative business owners. And I just sent an email and I was like, okay, I had this crazy idea, I want to do this thing with you. And she was in and within a month we had launched the Being Boss podcast and it was only supposed to be a podcast.
We were both looking at it as a marketing sort of avenue for each of our individual businesses, but also just a creative project we were going to do together. And within a couple of months we had our first sponsor coming to us. We had our audience wanting a place to gather online, wanting to do events, all of these things. And it just sort of fell into a business in a way that was glorious. So came from a spark of inspiration and a desire to create something fun with a friend of mine, but that was only supposed to be a little passion project and it was from this need that we were able to fulfill both from this sort of sponsor side, but also from an audience side that it really grew into a business that made money.
Shanna Skidmore (11:49):
Podcasting in 2014 was likely very different than podcasting in 2023.
Emily Thompson (11:57):
Shanna Skidmore (11:58):
How did the podcast grow its audience? Were you sharing, was it through the sponsor? Was it social? I mean social media even then was baby. So what do you feel like got you some traction with being boss other than clearly it resonated with your audience?
Emily Thompson (12:16):
Yeah, I mean I think that early on we were filling a hole in the podcast market. There were very few, actually maybe none, not a single podcast, single business podcast that was led by two women talking business. There was a couple that had female hosts, but they were like Shalene Johnson. There were big names in the space already that had these shows. And then also lots of dudes as you can imagine, as there still are, very much so and so. And no one was talking business in the way that we were in a way that was completely approachable by people who had never taken a business course where we are there. Neither Kathleen nor I had ever taken a business class, though we were both successful business owners at that point. And so we were able to talk about the things that we were doing in a way that just sort of regular folks could understand and we're funny
Shanna Skidmore (13:12):
And there's that. I mean,
Emily Thompson (13:14):
And we were friends and we have really great chemistry. And so it was just sort of this perfect storm of being in the right place at the right time that really helped us tap into the market of people that were already listening to business podcasts, which at that time was not very many people, but there was definitely an audience there and they were just waiting for us basically. And so there is that piece. And then when it comes to the growth that we initiated ourselves, it was email marketing. It was using the email list that we already had in our individual businesses and sharing the thing that we were creating with those people. And so even to this day, I'm not on social media these days, both of my companies have a bit of a presence, but it's like it is a last sort of thought scenario when it comes to what are we doing on our social media these days? And so even now, emo marketing is if you're going to do any online marketing, really great search engine optimization is number one, and then a really great emo marketing is number two because that was the marketing platform on which being boss really gained the most traction.
Shanna Skidmore (14:23):
Yeah, I think when I hear you talking li, it's like you're talking about things that people are focusing on in the last three to four years. Yeah. Emo marketing, s e o, what, that has been such a big conversation more lately. It's like you guys were 5, 6, 7 years ahead of the curb. Did you feel that way?
Emily Thompson (14:43):
Yes and no. Yes, in that I've always had my finger very much so on the pulse. I'm very, I pay to everything all the time in a way that drives my family insane, but that's the perspective I have of the world and especially when I'm really deep into something. So yes, I have the subject line to the email that I sent Kathleen whenever I pitched this idea to her, it was something along the lines, got an idea that's going to change the world or something like that. And so yes, I had this inkling that doing the podcast was sort of a big weird move and I've always recognized that how it is that I'm doing things because I've been so plugged in for so long is in some cases years ahead of people who are just getting started or even in essence have only been in for five years because I've been here for 12 and so I've seen the ebbs and flows.
I remember what it was even doing online business before social media, even doing business before online. And so I see what works and what doesn't work from this perspective that is significantly longer and larger than what's been happening with the Instagram algorithm for the past six weeks, which allows me the ability to say, screw Instagram <laugh>. Like that is not where anything is ever going to happen. Let's look at everything sort of on this other level. So then there was an essence of that. I understand everyone is throwing everything At that point, Twitter was the really big thing. We didn't really do Twitter at that point. We were doing what we were comfortable with. So there was that, but also I had no idea. Yeah, I really did not have any idea what we were getting ourselves into when we were creating this. I had hopes and I had dreams and visions, but when it actually started happening I was like, holy cow, this is cooler and crazier than I ever could have imagined. What
Shanna Skidmore (16:40):
Started happening were you seeing your audience grow, your email list, grow people reaching out sponsors? I mean, tell me, walk me through this snowball,
Emily Thompson (16:49):
All of the above. It was really mind blowing to us. Actually there's this one day, I can't remember how many episodes we were in, not very many within the first 10 weeks, so first 10 episodes or so. I remember a Tuesday coming along because we've always published on Tuesdays and I remember my Instagram blowing up, what is blowing? I don't even know what that means anymore. <laugh> blowing up in 2015 is like I got five likes on. Exactly.
Shanna Skidmore (17:16):
I got double digits
Emily Thompson (17:18):
Right though today, isn't it kind of back to the same thing.
Shanna Skidmore (17:21):
Yeah, I have no idea. You haven't been on there since 2017.
Emily Thompson (17:25):
Not worth it, not worth it. But I remember having a lot of people reposting our graphics for our quotes and saying that they love the episode and all of these things, and I remember being like, wow, this is kind of crazy that so many people are responding this almost in real time. This just went live at midnight or whatever it was, and it feeling kind of a big deal. Our email list did start growing. We started getting a whole lot of requests for a place for bosses to connect with each other, and that was a big one for us. Not even that they are listening to us and they want to connect with us. They want to connect, they want to find their own business besties in the same way that Kathleen and I were sort of existing and showing up in the world, but definitely Fresh books at the time. They're the company that came to us first, them coming to us and wanting to sponsor us before we, we had said between ourselves that we would not reach out to a sponsor within X number of episodes that we wanted to get everything in there and going before we started shopping around and figuring out what that looked like. And so them coming to us before we had even met that milestone for ourselves and there were people on the team who were fans of the show, so
Shanna Skidmore (18:38):
How cool is that? Cool
Emily Thompson (18:39):
Is that way too cool way? It was totally mind blowing. And so those sort of sorts of things started happening and it was amazing and very exciting and we were really blown away by it, but it was sort of across the board. There were everywhere where there was a touchpoint and even places that we didn't even realize were touchpoints, people were connecting to what it is that we were doing. Yeah,
Shanna Skidmore (19:01):
I mean that's so awesome and it just is really neat to create something. I think all of us as creators, that's our dream to create something and people love it and resonate with it and it encourages them and impacts them and to see the fruits of that so quickly, I'm sure, and I want to get to this in a minute, is really good and also probably came with its own little sets of challenges, but I'm wondering, Emily, how did you teach yourself podcasting and editing and microphones and all the things?
Emily Thompson (19:34):
Oh, we just jumped right in. I remember again one of those first emails to Kathleen being like, because I knew what her sort of stop gap was going to be. I remember telling her, don't worry about the tech, I'll figure it out. You just figure out the branding, which was her specialty. And so I just figured it out for the first many episodes, probably at least dozen or two, we showed up with just our apple headphones, like our wired headphones with a mic, and that was our microphone for the first couple several episodes when it came to editing. I had never used garage band in my life before. I showed up to edit our first episode of the show and I figured it out. I did a lot of Googling and trial and error within a couple dozen episodes. We had handed off the editing to, at the time it was my website manager or my website assistant, I guess he was managing some projects within my website company or web design company. So he came on to do the sound stuff and he's still doing it to this day. I've worked with him now for almost 11 years I think, which is crazy to think about. And so I figured it out. I did a lot of Googling. I've always been okay with doing that <laugh> with self-educating as needed. And I think with enough desire and enough curiosity and enough, not even drive or motivation, but just stick to itness. You can figure out basically whatever, and that's what we did.
Shanna Skidmore (21:00):
Yeah, I love that. Okay, so I'm wondering when was there a point where being boss, which you thought would be a passion project but became a business, what happened with your web design business and did that ever get to work? I can't do both of these and just talk me through how that all happened.
Emily Thompson (21:20):
For sure. I definitely got to that place and it really started happening just a couple months in, honestly. I remember once we started getting sponsors, we were like, wow, this is its own business and it needs its own bank account, so let's make it its own LLC and sort of start walking down that road. And then there was just lots of things that needed to be done, and I found myself really torn between the client projects and this passion project that I was working on. And so I made a decision that I would start winding down the web design business as being boss was beginning to ramp up. And I remember making a call, I can't remember exactly when, it was probably 20 16, 20, maybe 2016. So about a year, year and a half into it that I would stop taking new website projects and I would begin a for real transition into doing being boss.
And that felt big and exciting and scary. Kathleen made the same call, but then very quickly was like actually, I don't think I want to do it like this. And I was like, that's fine, you don't have to. But this was something that I wanted to do. And so I jumped in and I did it and I very slowly, I finished up some long-term website projects that I was working on and then I stopped taking new ones. And I remember when the last one ended, it was very bittersweet and I sort of kept things sort of lightly open. I was still managing a bunch of websites or the team was still managing a bunch of websites. We were still doing hosting and all of those things. And I remember that the last straw really got sort of pulled for me or whatever when my website hosting platform in 2018 send an email saying they were shutting down and that we needed to migrate over the course of the next year, all of our websites onto new platforms. And I was like, absolutely not. Yeah, I have no desire to do this thing. So I told all of my clients that I was going to stop websites partially because this website platform was going to be sunsetting over the next year. It ended up, they extended it multiple times. It took them three years to fully sunset the platform, but I was able to sort of hand those clients off to friends and team members that had been working with me for four years and I dismantled it.
Shanna Skidmore (23:33):
Emily, I don't know if you want to share, but if you're comfortable closing a business has to be, like you said, bittersweet. Will you talk through, I mean, how did that go with your team? Did, I'm assuming you let them all go, what does it look like to close a business?
Emily Thompson (23:51):
Sure. So man, it was so many phases. It was really over the course of what, 18 months. So it wasn't something where I showed up one day and I was like, all right, we're over in two weeks. Here's your notice. It was nothing like that for a couple of the people on the team. Most of 'em were contractors, so it was just letting them know. And they all knew that once these projects were over that they were working on that, that may be it. And so really this is going to be it. And they all went and continued their work. Other places, I had a couple of part-timers who ended up at about the same time getting other jobs that they were doing or whatever it may be. So I didn't even have to let anyone go. Everyone's lives and careers just sort of took them in the directions that they needed to go.
And then there was Corey, who's still with me, <laugh> all these years later, and he was the one that became such a part of being boss that he made the transition with me, which was really, I'm very grateful for that. He continues to stick with me through all the transitions as they may be, but it was a long process. It was one I probably should have done a little bit faster and sooner. I actually still have that old email account and still have some subscriptions <laugh> on that email address. So there, there's still this essence of it that still exists, but because it was such a long sunset for me or for that company as well, it wasn't a hard, fast, difficult thing. I hung onto it because there is still some very, there's some Mendel gymnastics you have to do around it. There's some mindset work you have to do.
If this thing is something that I built, I'm done with it. I'm not going to sell it. I talked to a couple of people about acquiring the projects and the client list and all of those things, and none of those things really felt good for me or anyone else. So it was really just, I'm going to shut this thing down and no one's mad. Right? I still have great connections with those team members and especially the contractors. They still use a lot of the contractors now even, which is great. It was a long process. I'm grateful that it went down the way it did. The hardest part was definitely internal in my own head of shutting down something that I had worked so hard to
Shanna Skidmore (26:00):
Build. Yeah. Oh, for sure. Okay. Oh my goodness. I could talk to you for days on end. This goes by so fast. Let's talk about, I want to hear just with being boss and then because I definitely want to talk about what you're doing now as well with being boss, I just want to hear about how did you create this passion project became a business. So figuring out what you're going to offer, pricing it, figuring out how much you needed to pay yourself, I'm assuming from it, we just kind of talked to through the logistics of creating that, the offers of being boss, and you're also teaching that to your clients, so I'm assuming online business ownership. So how did you figure all that out?
Emily Thompson (26:42):
I'm still figuring it out every day. <laugh> every single day. That's actually the hardest thing about being boss, I think because it started as a passion project without this defined business model under it, it really has one of the most fluid business models of anything I've ever been involved with, which is both amazing because I can show up and do whatever I want given the season and what people want and need and all of those things. But also I'm kind of reinventing the will on a yearly basis, which is tiring in its own. And so it really is a constant evolution because it is so connected to the ebbs and flows of the online world, and we all know how quickly those ebbs and flow I have to show up in that space in that way as well. And so it really begins with being very connected to our audience and our community.
We do a big audience survey every single year and we're asking them, what are you interested in? What do you want or need? How can we support you? Because it's really what the brand has really become about is supporting folks and it sort of has to look like whatever is in most need and in to be consumed in the way that people most want to consume at the time, which changes also every six weeks. It feels like <laugh>. So it's been a mixture of what people want and need and also what we're interested in doing. So the first time we ever made money from our audience was an event Kathleen and I wanted to go to New Orleans together for a business bestie podcast co-host, like High Five vacation together. And we thought, wouldn't it kind of be fun if we were to invite our audience to come with this thinking 5, 6, 12 people may show up 80 people later.
And we had a legit event and we were learning event planning and how we were going to do live podcasting and all of these crazy things. And over the years events until 2020 was one of the biggest ways, it was probably one of the most ongoing ways for revenue generation and otherwise being an important part of our business model. And we've filled that in with working with sponsors in whatever ways podcasts are working with sponsors at any given moment and creating digital products and whatever way is trendy in the moment, always centered around our values and what it is that we're here to create for our audience. But we do have to ebb and flow a whole lot in this company. Yeah.
Shanna Skidmore (29:10):
Yeah. All right. That's so helpful. And then tell me how your newest company came to be.
Emily Thompson (29:18):
I'm going to talk about a lack of ebb and flow, talk about the rock business.
Shanna Skidmore (29:24):
Emily Thompson (29:24):
It. Which is one of the oldest types of mercantilism, if that's even a word in the world. And it still works in a lot the same way as it did even maybe thousands of years ago. So I'm definitely one foot on two very different sides of offense. So I started Almanac in 2018 because I had gone full-time being boss, and I found my contribution to the conversations that we were having at being boss, getting very lame. I was podcasting about the business of podcasting as opposed to podcasting about having some other sort of really amazing creative business. And I felt it getting a little meta and I saw an opportunity to do the thing that I wanted to do. And so for years I had been building websites for other brick and mortar stores or other makers and product entrepreneurs, and I was always so sad that I wasn't launching them for myself.
So I decided to take the leap and do the thing that I wanted to do, and I had these ideas of how I wanted to pair a maker business with curating products from other makers and from all over the world and how I wanted to start online and then build offline and all of these things. And so in 2018, I launched Almanac Supply, our core products. We make candles in house and we source crystals and rocks from all over the world and we have lots of products in between, but those two are really the core of the business. And we started online with the idea that we would grow it slowly and purposefully and all of these things. It would give me some interesting things to take to the podcast and I didn't do it just so I could talk about it. Obviously this was something that I really wanted to do, but I knew it was going to help our audience in a way that I wasn't going to be able to otherwise. And over the past couple of years, it slowly grew and then we had the opportunity to open a store here in Chattanooga and we took it and it has just boomed over the past. I guess 12 to 18 months have been amazing, and I'm really getting some NAS legs on it.
Shanna Skidmore (31:45):
You know what I love Emily about this is because so much has shifted where it's, oh, I want to be online. I want to move my business online. And you have seen your online business boom in a retail space, in a brick and mortar, and I just think that is so beautiful about just saying what the culture values and that your shop, I'm sure is just a place people love to be. Just I feel like people are getting back to, I remember in 20 12, 20 13 when I was just getting started with my business workshops, so everybody, like you said, we love those workshops. And then of course with Covid, but we kind of got away from workshops, everything started going to online courses and now I'm like, workshops are back coming back. Yeah, you heard it here first. No, but yeah, I love that it's booming. That's so exciting.
Emily Thompson (32:37):
Yeah, it's amazing. It's a ton of fun and for me it does. It validates a lot of things that I've had inklings about for years, and now I get to actually see it happen where for years I was convincing brick and mortar stores to get online and then the pandemic hit and everyone's like, oh my God, I should have gotten online already. And I'm like, I didn't say I told you so to a single person, but they should all know that I wanted to.
They should all know that I absolutely wanted to, but I did it the other way around and that had us bolstered and just sort of ready to ride that really awful wave. And now that we're in brick and mortar, I've been able to dance back and forth between the two knowing that I'm doing it in a way that very few people have. We're still just on the cusp of this online business thing, and I've been there through so many of these early years that I'm, see I see first what works and doesn't work in a way that I absolutely capitalize on and I'm making decisions for my business in that way. And also just totally recognizing that that Almanac really is at the forefront of something that is just getting started and the way that we have done what we have done and the way that we are strategically moving forward. I can't wait to see what we're going to be doing because the power of doing both of them really well and strategically in a way that has them beautifully connected is something that has not been explored barely at all yet. And I can only imagine what it's going to look like when that little toddler business model grows up and has the world laying out in front of it.
Shanna Skidmore (34:25):
Yeah, I mean, do you think cause of your platform with being boss and getting to see the ins and outs of online business, I love that you said it. I'm so intrigued. Tell me more, Emily, and then I want to ask you about money, but I want to hear you said online business is just getting started. Will you tell me about that?
Emily Thompson (34:44):
Yeah, I mean, business has been around for thousands of years. There have been people selling things and people sourcing things and buying in bulk and making better profit and being in strategic locations and all of these things for thousands of years, online business has been around for 10
And the internet, I don't think it's going to go away. Yeah, I think it's going to stay. I think this is our future. We are just on the baby little cusp of it and I think in the span of our lifetimes, I mean that's a third of my life, which feels like, oh, it's been so long and we're ju but we're really, really just getting started. And we've sort of seen, we're starting to see the blend of the two where 10 years ago I was trying to get brick and mortar stores online while I was helping people who never wanted a brick and mortar store start an online only business, right? This both division, but also desire to blend, but the desire to blend only really got kicked off in 2020 when brick and mortar could no longer do what they were doing without online. And now all the online people who have been here for so long and are so tired of looking at their zoom screens are like, how do I reincorporate a physical presence into this brand or company that I'm building? We're just on the very cuspi nest <laugh> of that blend as well. And while everyone is figuring it out, I've been doing it even
Shanna Skidmore (36:19):
<laugh>, Emily, I'm telling you were before you are years before the time, so everybody listened to Emily because that's the whole thing about the workshops. Oh, we're going online course now we're swinging back. People want to be in person. You are blending both you little genius. You.
Emily Thompson (36:38):
I know. Thank you. It's about
Shanna Skidmore (36:39):
Time. Smart, smart. Emily, you have grown three incredibly successful and three incredibly different businesses. And I would love to pick your brain if you're down for it for just a second, about the numbers side of running these businesses. What do you feel like has come really naturally or easily to you when it comes to the financial side, the number side of business, and then what would you say hasn't come as easy struggles, lessons learned? I would love to hear that.
Emily Thompson (37:13):
Sure. So what comes easy is I love spreadsheets. That's probably, or I love spreadsheets and I have a very analytical mind if you all haven't noticed. So I'm very creative and can really get in there nothing. I love few things more than a really great outfit and a stunning color palette. I am a hundred percent there with just creative aesthetics. Yes, all day please. And I love spreadsheets and I love p and l reports and I love to be able to dig in and forecast and model things out and oh, few things bring me more joy than getting ready at the beginning of the year for a new year, creating all of my revenue projections for all of the things and modeling out new ideas to find out when it is that we need to launch them and do all the things. So I have this really great dual view of business and that comes really natural to me, and I think that gives me a leg up on the creatives who are trying to do business and the business folks who don't have a creative eye for anything. So I have the ability to see both of those things that gives me the opportunity to pair them together that I really love for me. Yeah,
What it gives, I absolutely see it as one of my strengths that I, my right and left brainer, both doing the job at the same time. Yeah, what I struggle with, what do I struggle with? That's such a great question. When it comes to money, one of the biggest things I've had to work on over the past 10 years has probably been mindset and making projections real I think are probably two of my biggest struggles. I've gotten much better at both of them over the past couple of years especially. And here's the thing, especially since getting in brick and mortar, it is so hard to do any kind of projections for online business. And I think that it wasn't so much of a weakness as it was, you just can't, in the world of online business in a way that really makes sense because things ebb and flow so quickly. And since I have gotten into almanac and it's all literally I'm moving rocks, you want to talk about the most grounded, steadfast, <laugh> product that one can sell, being able to get in that space and work with projections in a way that actually pan out in the way that I need them to has probably even helped my mindset stuff even better.
Shanna Skidmore (39:40):
And when you say mindset, Emily, will you expand on that a little bit more? Is it, first, let me say, I love what you said, creating projections and then learning how to create projections that will be actual is so different and takes time to figure that out. But when you're saying mindset, what kind of mindset work do you feel like you've had to do?
Emily Thompson (40:00):
Sure. I mean, I definitely came into business with a lack mindset. I grew up poor. My parents were right at the poverty line and the entire time I was growing up, so money was not something that I had access to super openly as that was growing up. And once I started making it, I've very much so fluctuated between saving to my detriment and then spending all of the money. And so it took me a couple of years of oscillating between those two things and really just getting comfortable with the idea of having money, of making money consistently of it, being there when I needed it, of it being mine. And I did this and there's a lot of baggage, a whole lot of baggage, and I spent the first couple of years most not working on it so much as observing it, being really aware of what I was doing and why I felt like I was doing what I was doing.
And a couple years into it, I actually handed off some of the big money management things to my partner so that I found myself getting a little obsessed and watching the money a little bit too much as opposed to just letting it do its job. And I've found myself, I think in a really happy, good place, at least for, I'm proud of where I've made it to over the past two decades, but it's, it's been a lot of work around managing money, feeling good about money, not feeling bad about having money, lots of money, mindset
Shanna Skidmore (41:32):
Stuff, so much money with that stuff. When I worked in finance, I was telling somebody this the other day, we focused on the numbers, the formulas, what made sense on paper. It wasn't until after, and one of the big reasons I started my business and why I love what I do, money is so much about psychology and so kind of what you were saying earlier about how the threads come together and weave something beautiful, I always thought it was so I never know how it fit that I have a psychology degree, I love psychology and I have a finance degree, and I'm like, well, duh. So much of money is about the mind and behavior and habit training and just so many things, so thank you for sharing that. I always kind of like to wrap up that money conversation and ask all of our guests before we go into a quick fire round, what would you say is the best thing that you have learned about money?
Emily Thompson (42:31):
Good question. I think one of the things that set me the straightest <laugh> and is the one that I see people bumping up against constantly because now I facilitate some money mindset work with the business owners that I work with, is that money is neutral. I feel like we go into it with so many feelings around money. Most of them are even conflicting, which makes it even heavier and weirder to deal with this idea that we love money, but we also feel maybe it's a little evil or we should want it, but we or we shouldn't want so much of it, but we absolutely need it or whatever it may be. There's so many feelings around money that one of the biggest shifts that I made was this realization that money is neutral, it's going to be there whether you want it to be or not, it's going to help you or hurt you. You make money what it is. And so if you can go into it readjusting your own mindset that money is just neutral and you decide what it is, then it makes it easier to enter into whatever transaction you need to from a more grounded place.
Shanna Skidmore (43:39):
Yeah, so good. Such a good lesson, Emily, you're so smart. Oh, thanks. Thank you for sharing your business journeys and all that you're learning and have learned. I would love to go into quick fire round, put you in the hot, let's do that seat and ask you some questions. Okay.
Emily Thompson (43:57):
Shanna Skidmore (43:58):
First, what is one thing you would be embarrassed if other people knew?
Emily Thompson (44:03):
I can't whistle.
Shanna Skidmore (44:05):
Emily Thompson (44:06):
Is that embarrassing? It's a little embarrassing. I think Real answer, less so embarrassed, but I feel like everyone's always really surprised to learn that I'm just a big goof. I'm actually really a very goofy person, and whenever people get to know me and hear me actually make jokes or not talk business, they're like, wow, <laugh> actually just a big goof. And I'm like, yeah, sorry, not sorry,
Shanna Skidmore (44:29):
Not sorry. You're get in business mode and yes, and I think you have a very well podcasting, your voice is very clear, your thoughts seem very congruent and so
Emily Thompson (44:41):
Shanna Skidmore (44:42):
<laugh>, even in this podcast prior to editing. Yeah, so that's fun that it's like, Hey, we be serious and do business. People always joke, I have what I term it, my thinking face. I have my thinking face on, so I'm sitting with clients and they're like, is everything okay? And I'm like, oh, sorry. That's my thinking face. You're not in trouble. I'm just serious right now. So yeah, I love that. Okay, love it. Second, any regrets or wish you could do over moments
Emily Thompson (45:13):
In college? I promised myself I would never regret anything, so no regrets. I'm still holding very true to that. Everything happens for a reason, even if it feels like a horrific mistake, things I could do over. Absolutely. And I think the biggest ones are hiring moments over the years. There definitely been some people that I've chosen to join the team that I shouldn't have. There have been times that I've let people stay on longer than I should have those sorts of things, so hiring I, I've become much better at hiring because I've hired some not great people.
Shanna Skidmore (45:47):
Yeah. Oh, hiring's tough. Yeah, it's okay. Big win or pinch me moment.
Emily Thompson (45:53):
Oh, every time I'm somewhere new, especially if I'm with bosses. I love that there's something about when I love to travel to, whenever I get to travel and be with members of the bean boss community or of the audience, there's just this moment of like, wow, podcasting did this. Yeah, and that's always very big. Pinch me moments.
Shanna Skidmore (46:13):
That's so fun. I love that. All right. Best advice you've ever received or just really good advice?
Emily Thompson (46:21):
It's a weird one. Whenever I was in the fifth grade, I was put into a gifted program as you do, and my instructor was this really wonderful older lady who said something to me once that has stuck with me always, and I, it's always my answer in this situation because it shaped me in ways that I probably will never even actually recognize. She literally, while looking for Four-Leaf clovers, she told us to look for what's different, and for whatever reason, that stuck with me and I repeat it to myself so much as I'm navigating through spreadsheets, <laugh>, or interviewing people for a new position or picking out new products or whatever it may be. It is a shift in perspective pretty similarly, yogis, if you go into an inversion, you're shifting your perspective. This piece of advice shifts my perspective and helps me see things in a different way, look for what's different as opposed to our innate desire to always enjoy what feels the same. Yeah,
Shanna Skidmore (47:27):
That's so good. And with marketing too. Yeah. Okay. Last quick part question then we'll wrap this up. What are you working on now or what is one resource you would love to share?
Emily Thompson (47:39):
Oh, what am I working on now? I am up to my eyeballs and employee performance reviews for the first of the year. <laugh>
Shanna Skidmore (47:45):
Emily Thompson (47:47):
Right? I am right in the middle of two weeks of almost daily reviews because between the two teams I, I'm back up to about 15 employees, which is a ton of fun, but that's a lot of meetings, and so that's just definitely what I'm working on. I've been building out a whole new process for it, and I'm implementing it and using it for the first time, so there's the extra layer of process izing while I do it. That has been incredibly consuming. And then a resource I'd like to share it is still January as of recording this. Yes. C e o day kit continues to be one of the coolest things I've ever created. I recently went through two weeks of doing it about five times. I did it for myself twice. I did it for the community two or three times. It is a really great piece of awesome resource that I've created and I continue to use it year after year and is definitely worth this share. Okay. Being post club slash ceo,
Shanna Skidmore (48:39):
CEO E O day kit, and we will link it below. Perfect.
Emily Thompson (48:42):
Shanna Skidmore (48:43):
Okay. <laugh>, it's coming to an end and I'm sad.
Emily Thompson (48:46):
Shanna Skidmore (48:47):
What would you tell yourself, Emily, now looking back, go all the way back to the tanning bed biz or <laugh>, your first web design business. Just looking back, what would you tell yourself now on day one?
Emily Thompson (49:00):
Stay hydrated. <laugh>.
Shanna Skidmore (49:03):
Amen, girl. Because,
Emily Thompson (49:03):
And really nothing else matters. Like if you are just drinking all of your water every day, and that's the one constant you can bring to your life, everything else is going to shift and change. The problem that you're dealing with now is not going to be the same in a week. Just drink your water.
Shanna Skidmore (49:21):
Some things will never change. That's one enough indeed.
Emily Thompson (49:25):
<laugh>. Indeed. And you're going to be way better off if you're
Shanna Skidmore (49:27):
Hydrated as well, and your body will feel better. Yes, indeed. So many and your brain will be clear. Yes. As I look at my water that I haven't drunk in like three hours. <laugh>, Emily, thank you so much for your time, for sharing your story, your journey, your wisdom. I'm so grateful to know you, and seriously, I need to see you soon
Emily Thompson (49:47):
Indeed. Thanks so much for having me. It's been so great to catch up and absolutely. You name the date and I'm there.
Shanna Skidmore (49:54):
Hey, wildflower, you just finished another episode of Consider the Wildflowers the podcast. Head over to consider the wildflowers podcast.com for show notes, resource links, and to learn how you can connect with Emily. One final thought for today from Seth Goden. The magic is that there is no magic. Start where you are. Don't stop. As always, thank you for listening. I'll see you next time.