Today my dear client-turned-friend Abbie Smith of Paragraph Branding House is stopping by to share her journey from solopreneurship to CEO of her business.
We chat all about:
Full shownotes at www.joytolead.com/abbie-smith
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You're listening to the joy to lead podcast and today's episode is so exciting. I am over the moon to share this episode with you because I am conversating with a dear friend and client, Abby Smith . Abby is the founder and owner of paragraph branding. She is a brand designer who is incredibly talented, incredibly intellectual and amazing and she does amazing branding for intuitive humans and I have been so honored to work with her this past year and today we're diving into her story, how she has been able to go from a hobbyist mentality in her business to a CEOs mentality in her business and how she's preparing for her next strategic hire and how that compares to her first experience in hiring an intern, which took place last year. So she's sharing all about her story, her journey up until this point and how she made a shift to her CEO mentality. It is so good. This may be one of the best episodes yet on the show. I'm really excited for all of you guys to tune in.Speaker 2:
[inaudible] I think we can all agree that growing our business alone is pretty dang hard. But here's the bright side, we don't have to go alone. Welcome to the joy to lead podcast where we're all about rising up the next generation of leaders and building teams of purpose and world change. My name is Kaitlin Thompson , leadership and team building coach for entrepreneurs like you. Each week we meet with business leaders to bring you life , giving strategies and encouragement to help you grow your team, scale your business, and step into the leadership role that you work created for. So warm up that cup of coffee for the second or third time. And let's dive in to today's episode.Speaker 1:
Hey Abby , thank you so much for being on the show today. This is really exciting. This is the first time that I'm doing any kind of conversation with my clients . So this is really cool. Um, thank you for agreeing to be on here today. Yeah, of course. It's a , it was an easy yes to agree to. We'll introduce us for everyone who may not know you. What do you do? Who are you and why do you love doing what you do? Yeah, so my name is Abby and I am the owner of an online branding and web studio called paragraph branding. So I am a brand strategist. I do identity design and then I design websites. So , um , I like to say that I work with intuitive humans, so I like to work with people that are really wanting to have a clear picture of who they are and are wanting to weave more of that into their work. So we work really hard together to uncover kind of the strategy and the deep dive of what makes sort of their heartbeat for their brand. And then we turn it into their messaging and their visuals and then eventually into a website. It's very, very fun job. Yeah, and you guys, you need to go follow her on Instagram. She's posting snippets of behind the scenes of her work and some of the deliverables that she creates. You guys, her work is just amazing. You're a true artist. I love watching you thrive in what you're doing. Um, so we've been working together for a little while in various capacities. So we started working on crafting your hiring plan and then we're kind of working in some leadership growth areas as well. But I just want to ask you about what life looked and felt like before we started working together. What, how would you describe your stage of life and business? How did things feel at that time? And this was back in October I think, or even, yeah, I think we first connected in October. Um, yeah. So at that point I had taken, I decided that 2019 was going to be the year that I stopped thinking of myself as a hobby, like something in my job as a hobby. I had a lot of limiting beliefs around what I was doing and where I wanted it to go and this feeling of being worthy and all of that. So I took a lot of 2019 to really start taking my business seriously. And I very quickly saw like massive growth from there. I like almost doubled my income from the year before. And yeah. So needless to say, it went really well. It was awesome. Um , but with that came a lot more work and a lot more hustle and a lot, lot more staying up, staying up late, a lot of late nights and uh, yeah, just, just a lot. Definitely feeling that burnout and that kind of never, never the ability to like work on my business. I was just constantly like in the, the sludge of client work consistently. Um, so anyways , so I knew that I needed help. I had an intern over the summer and I had, I absolutely loved her, but I had zero plan for when she came on. It was a very, it was only for the summer, so it felt very short. I like immediately missed her as soon as she was gone. Uh , but that definitely left me thinking, okay, I think I need more of this, but I think I need to do it like smarter this time around so that I feel like I have worked for her to do. I feel like a lot of times she would come to work and I'd be like, ah, you could do this. I was just, I wasn't a very good in that capacity. Uh, so I, when I found you, I was very interested in not only this idea of like helping me move and transition into the hiring process with my business, but also this idea of what is my leadership style and how can I bring that into my hiring. And so that was a huge draw for me wanting to work with you. For sure. I'm curious what, so I know that we've been, we've been working together in this too, but I want to hear it from you. How would you describe your leadership style and the way that you've grown into it over the past several months? Yeah, so I think one of the most exciting parts of working with you was, I think even like our , I think it was our very first session and we really kind of got to the heart of like what my strengths are and also like how I want to lead and how I want my employees to feel working for me. And I realized I am very much like , um , I want you to grow at your own pace. I want you to be in this for you, not just for me. So definitely like a team oriented person, but also like a personal, I encourage personal growth. I don't know how else to say it, but like that's very much I think my leadership style is how can I help you be your own leader? Yeah. And I love how that helps you find clarity on who you want to hire because somebody who is not internally motivated to continue their own self-development isn't somebody that you want to partner with longterm . So that's really interesting. Yeah, definitely. Legs . I really want to compare the two circumstances or situations in which you're going to be hiring. So think back to this past summer in 2019 when you did make that first hire and now you're getting ready to move into your second hiring process. How do things feel different? What are the differences there and how are things kind of progressed? Yeah, that's a really great question. So I, when I did hire last summer, I had interviewed a few people for the position and I sort of knew immediately in my gut that the hire that I made was the right, was the right choice. And I feel like especially after working with you and really outlining some of my motivations and sort of what I'm looking for in a type of person, I feel like that's going to be something similar that will happen for me. Um, but I think that I will be much more equipped now to be able to outline and say, these are for sure the things that you're going to be doing and this is kind of the why behind it. And here's the vision for all of that. Yeah . And you know, this person, you know, we talked about during some of our calls that they're going to be a strategic hire and that they're going to be with you for a long, a long period of time and you want them to be someone who invest part of themselves into the future of your brand. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That is, I mean, that's huge. I, I definitely think that I am at the point in my business where I don't want to go at it alone anymore. And I think that a little bit also speaks to my leadership style. The previous question is that like, I really am looking for a teammate and I'm looking for someone that can bring their own strengths and their own , um , skills and talents and goals for their own future. I want someone to bring that to the picture because I don't, I don't need to be the one that's totally paving the way and I don't need it to be a singular vision. Like I want to share my plan for growth and like where I see the future of my business and I want someone else to come in who wants those same things out of their life and wants to help make that a reality. Um, so I definitely think like working together, we've outlined not only the type of person that I want, but the way in which I want them to work with me. And that's, you know, kind of being a leader on their own as well. Yeah. Awesome. You know what I just realized like leadership is a resource. So I'm reading a book called executive and action. He outlines a few different kinds of resources and those are money, knowledge and people. And I think pulling knowledge and our personality together into our leadership style can be a resource that produces ROI in our teams by encouraging them to be leaders as well. And I see that in you and every time we talk I'm so intimidated by you a little bit too because yeah , yeah. For real. Um, and because I see that so strongly in you and I'm just really excited to see the ways that your team members grow in their own leadership because of your leadership. And that's going to be a cycle and a ripple effect that happens that's truly building a legacy. So that's really cool to see in you. And I just wanted to speak that into you. Well thank you so much. Yeah, I definitely, I definitely feel so, so excited to start building that team and like really build it with intention and with goals for the future. And I definitely don't think that I would have been able to even see what that future could look like without working with you. So I mean, the process has been so wonderful for, I mean not only just for the tactical pieces of it, but for just seeing that big picture. It's really helped me see that. So that's so awesome to hear. Um, Ooh , as we wrap up, and thank you so much for this great conversation. I would love to know, so there's been a lot of great movements happening in your business and in your own leadership. How would you summarize and maybe bottle up your own transformation? Um, if it had to be bottled up I guess, and described in one way, how would you describe it? Yeah, I definitely think going from being, feeling like what I do for a living was actually a hobby is, was like, I think maybe me at maybe my lowest point and now through, you know, deciding that I want to take my business more seriously. [inaudible] making that decision and then being very strategic with who I partner with and who I ask for help from, to be able to really step into that role as CEO, as someone that is the holder of the vision of my business, of the growth of my business is, I mean, I , it kind of is surprising to me how quickly that that shift has happened and I don't, you know, I don't spend my days browsing Instagram and comparing my work to other designers or comparing my business to anyone else because it's not, I don't, I don't so much care anymore because I, I care about the growth that is important to me and that's gonna leave a legacy for my clients and for my team. And for all of that. And I, it's shocking how quickly that learning who I am as a person and as a leader and what I can be for my team has helped me see the bigger picture for my business and its impact as a whole. So I definitely, I would say that that's, it's been a very quick shift and it's been a very large shift and it's been really wonderful. That's awesome. And it's been so incredible to watch. I've been so honored to be a part of this journey and it's all 100% you. I'm just so just honored to be a part of your journey, so thank you for sharing your story here on the podcast today. I hope it inspires so many people as well to move from that hobby mentality and to really focus on their growth as a CEO for their business and focus on the impact that's at that that is going to have for their clients and their future team members as well. So I'm excited to see the ripple effect here. Thank you so much for your vulnerability and honesty and sharing your story today. Absolutely. Thank you so much and thank you so much for all the hard work that you put into our time together and all of that. It's been truly a really, really wonderful process. I know that, and there's more to come. Yay. I love it.Speaker 2:
Thanks for tuning in to the joint lead podcast. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a single episode. To access this episode, show notes. Head over to www dot [inaudible] dot com backslash podcast to dive in. If you love today's episode, I'd love it if you share it with a friend or if you really loved it, gave the show a review. So thanks for tuning in and remember, you already have everything you need. The drive, the courage, and most importantly, the choice to lead.