Episode # 25 - Why I Am Doing This Business Thing
We have reached 25 episodes!!! And in the great tradition of 25 being a quarter life crisis, I thought I would take a look at why I have this agency and how I got here. How I have come to see my business as the best way to do all the things I want in life, see my family once in a while and even have financial security.
In this episode of the Sink Handle Podcast I reflect on the first 25 episodes and take a few minutes to talk about the reasons for being an entrepreneur. This episode covers:
- Why my first business didn’t work
- Comparing online businesses to other businesses and to other kinds of work
- The instability of a job (even with large companies).
- Doing a job vs. Looking like you can do a job
Hello, everyone and welcome to Episode 25. 25 seems like that number where you have a quarterlife crisis, and then you start reevaluating everything. And I don't think come there. For 25 episodes... it's a big deal. Like this was a little tiny idea in the beginning of the apocalypse, and here we are. I'm really proud of that, I just read some statistic that most people don't make it past seven episodes when they start a podcast. So making it to 25 that's, that's something to be proud of. And in the middle of crazy, it's a good thing to look and see what you've accomplished. So at some point, I had made these plans. And I'm looking through all these plans. And first thought is, "Ooof you sweet summer child, you thought you're really actually going to leave this house in June." The other thing is, how many of those things I can check off for this summer,. This crazy, wild time or all hell is breaking loose. Now with school being back in and even more hell breaking loose, looking back and kind of seeing where I've come from the last six, eight months, that made me feel a lot better. I feel, you know, because I've been in a little bit of funk that I'm not getting enough, done. And looking back and seeing how much I did get done... it helped, it helped my brain a lot. So today, in that kind of reflective mood that I've been in, I thought I'd share with you why I'm here, like, why am I in business? And why I love being in business. And there's a couple different reasons. A lot of people ask what your "why" is and sometimes that gets a little woowoo. But I think it's a valid question, what is your "Why"? Why are you doing this and I have a bunch of "whys" most of them are last name Reynolds. So today, I thought I would go through just some of the reasons why I'm in business and why I love it. And the first one is definitely that freedom and flexibility that I did not get in corporate. My business is built to like ebb and flow with all the crazy in the world. I've been able to work around lockdowns, homeschooling, all of this crazy. And my business is doing better than it's ever been. September was my best month ever. I was a little crazy, because it was a lot at once. But it's the best it's ever been. So I know there's a lot of people out there, especially online businesses, that, you know, you're not doing so terrible right now, this whole pandemic and everything going online, you already there, and you were ready. That freedom and that flexibility to kind of adapt quickly has been killer for us. And the fact that I can make my own schedule, I can block off time, if I need to do something with my son for school. Or if we just have to do something at the house, I can block off time that I won't have meetings in, I get to say that like I'm not I don't take meetings usually on Mondays and Fridays. Those are left for maybe podcast interviews or a DOO call, like coaching call or something like that. Other than that clients are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. But even then I could just block off my schedule, people can't book around them. And then that has made everything in the apocalypse way easier. I can work at night, I hate it...I hate having to. I like working, I hate having to (let's put it that way) making sure that I can be there for my family and be there for my clients and be very flexible. And that makes sure my family is safe during all of this stuff has been incredible. If I was in corporate, there'd be no way I'd have to be online, I'd have to be in meetings, I would not have that kind of autonomy and flexibility to make this work. The next big reason I love this is that I get to use my brain and do what I'm really good at. When I was on Wall Street, I was there for 11-12 years, something like that. I got to use my brain, I got to figure things out, I got to help clients, I got to, you know, develop systems to make things work faster. And when I left there, I was so burnt out, I volunteered to get laid off. That's how bad I was like just getting me out of this building. And after that, I'm sure I meant to this but I had a business refinishing furniture in my basement, like I just couldn't deal with people anymore. What to do with business, nothing. And it was an enormous amount of manual labor with very little money. Everyone wants to pay me nothing. When I started looking around for a part time job (because I had a small baby and I wanted to be able to be flexible) the jobs that are out there. And what I was expected to take by other people who were like, you should just be happy that you could have this part time job. They were mind numbingly basic data entry jobs. I was like I used to be on a team that manage over a billion dollars like I'd actually sent a billion dollar wire through the fed fund system. I dealt with all this money. And I've been trading, I had three licenses... all this stuff. And then somebody wanted me to come in and file something and be happy about it, just smile and be happy. And I just was like, This is so mind numbing, I can't, there's no way I can do this. Besides the fact that you want to pay me like, three cents an hour. What's the point of me being here, I'm making no money. I'm not using my brain. This sucks. I did, I got turned down for the bank teller job. The bank teller job, like, I had been dealing with billions of dollars. And they were like, I don't think you're qualified for this.
So hard to find something where I could use my brain, I wanted to be challenged, I wanted to be useful. And I also, you know, wanted to make some money. That was the whole point. And so I could help my family, you know, pay the bills. And so having this business, I get to figure things out, I get to work on strategy with my clients, I get to try to figure out financials and plans and marketing and all of the stuff that keeps my brain completely engaged. And I also feel like, I'm respected for being smart again. Instead of people saying, "Oh, well, you're a mom now. That's just how it is, you're never going to be smart again." Ugh... Being able to use my brain again, and create something, especially when everyone told me I was never going to do anything because now I was a mom. That's awesome. So the third thing, not in any particular order, obviously, because these people are my main focus of my life is my family. I like seeing them. I like them. This house gets smaller every day, just by virtue of all of us being in it constantly with this craziness. But I couldn't imagine going back to the city and working these crazy long days. At one point, my husband got laid off, and I started interviewing for real jobs, again, things were getting very tight and scary. And I was like, okay, you know, vacations over, let's get it together, right? The real money around here, I live in New Jersey, I live at the top of the shore, if I go about a mile down to the water, you can see in New York City across the water, it's very close, in theory, to get from here to there takes between an hour-and-a-half depend (if you take the very expensive boat) to an hour and 45 minutes or two hours each way to work. If our wonderful transit system is late, which it's late, almost every day, it will take much longer. There have been times where it took me six hours to get home. If it's even on its best day, an hour-and-45. And everything's on time, and I work an eight-to-five gig; that means I leave at 6am and I'm home at eight o'clock at night. I would see my son on weekends. And I couldn't handle that. A lot of moms out there will understand when you have a job in corporate, I had my son after I left corporate, which was a blessing. But when you're a mom and you have this baby, and you're like, Oh my god, I never want to leave you all of those things you're like, I'm gonna go right back to work and blah, blah, blah. And then you see this tiny little face and you're like, "Oh, my God, I never want to leave you. I never want to leave you." And now I have to go back to work. A lot of people get back to work. And they're like, I hate this. And I have heard that story from a lot of different really successful online business owners that they just didn't want to leave their kids all day. And that was a huge, huge problem. If I was going to go back into the city, right? I was never going to see my kid again. I'd see him on weekends. And that would be it. And I cried all the way in the city on that train. And my suit that I had more than a long time. I cried all the way in just tears rolling down my face. And then I went through the interview and I tried to want it. And I didn't. I tried. But I I think I did good on might some of those interviews, but I cried all the way home.
It sucked. And luckily, it was a couple interviews I had to go into the city for before we figured out another way, Brian got a different job, like the 11th hour, he got it a different job. And I didn't have to get the city and then I had a little bit of leeway to figure out something else for myself here and build this business. But that is a huge part of all this. And I think that's a big reason a lot of us do it. We like seeing our families. So the next reason I do this, this is a sticking thing for me with the reasons people get hired their qualifications that are required for jobs, especially when I know some very qualified people that do not have a certain degree. That would be fantastic in these jobs and would be a much better fit than some of these people who went to college, who you know, Daddy paid for it and really... actually too much. So I think that the online business world is much more about what you accomplish, and where you went to school and the never ending bull of brokers talking about where they went to school. "Oh, I went here I was in this fraternity", whatever it was constant, who they knew what team they were on what's fraternity they were in, like, all of it. It was this never ending like, you know, this is a clean show, but 'showing whose is bigger', it was ridiculous. And these people were talking about it. They hadn't been in college in 20 years. So whatever their degree was 20 years ago, it's not as applicable today as you would think. Right? Online business, no one has even ever asked me if I went to school. No one has ever said, Did you go to business school? What was your GPA? No one cares. They want to know if I can do the job. That's the gig here. And I love it. It's so much more of a merit based system. And if you get in here, and you are good at it, people will hire you and you will be successful. And you can work and you can learn. Look, I have certifications, right? I've the OBM certification, I'm a Director of Ops, those things are helpful because I took the classes so that I could learn more about this industry. But I feel like here as long as you can do the thing. It's so much less about what the letters are after your name, then if you can do the job. And I love that. I love that because it's so spunky and more entrepreneurial, and I love it. And then the last one, my business has brought me security. And you're gonna say Wait, Kelly, don't you talk all the time about how business is risky? Right? Like I say that. Yeah. Yeah, and Sure, sure, it's risky. But I mean, so life, life is risky, you walk off your curb and hit by a bus, right? Most people think that having a corporate job is a safe bet. And I want to explain to you why I think it's not at all. So for those of you don't know, I worked at Lehman Brothers, the famous Wall Street institution, for a couple years, a long time. And I worked in private client high net worth, where we handled really rich people's money. So I had a front row seat, to watching that entire thing go down. There was entire sections of that business that were good and solid businesses, but when other sides of the business are not good it and rumors start. That's it. So we went from a company that was around for 150 years, it was one of the oldest institutions on Wall Street. They never advertised because it was so high level it was like you had to ask the password to get in. And that all went away. In the blink of an eye. We went from "Huh, this market's kind of crazy. Oh, look, Bear Stearns is going out of business!" to "Oh my god, this is happening to us!" And Lehman Brothers had such a culture there that you really stuck there you you bled Lehman green is what they used to say. There are people that have been there for 30 years. And they had incredible benefits. Like if you had paid for your medical insurance while you're working there. They pay for your medical insurance when you retire, which is insanity. We had pensions, it was one of the "10 Best Places to Work for Women". There was some crazy list like we were always on it like it was I look back now and realize that it was a really great place to work. And it all was gone in an instant. All those things, all those people who were about a year away from retirement, and they were going to be set... gone. The pension fund was gone. Everything was gone. And I luckily was with a team that we found another job at a different bank. But everything was gone. And that was extremely impactful on my thinking, my life; watching people that were- had worked so hard, had followed the rules had done the thing they were supposed to do right moved up to the ranks, and they got the titles, and they got the corner office. And these are not evil people. These were not the people who were stealing. These were just hardworking people that went to work every day. And then they lost everything. They had to sell everything. They had no life savings, a lot of what you got paid was paid and Lehman stock, which was then held for a while until you vested. All of that was gone. Right, Lehman stucked in the matter. This is a lot of information just for me to explain to you that I had a front row seat to watching all of your eggs in someone else's basket. And they just drop the basket. And that's it. You're out. It's it your whole life. You've worked for this one thing and it's gone. And then that happened in September of 2008. And then two months later, Bernie Madoff got arrested. And it happened all over again. I had a front row seat for that as well. Not my money. Luckily. Luckily, all of these things that happen that decimate entire industries... decimate people. And that was that they had nowhere to go. And if you are 62, and about to retire, you had to go find another job and have no savings. That to me was just, that was not right. And I never will trust one other person like that one other company to take care of me.
I watched it all from the front row, and it's these events that informs so much of what I talk here about, and why I built my business. It is the reason I know I am the best thing to invest in. It is the reason I talked about figure it out in this last week. It's the reason a lot of this where I say I have multiple clients, multiple streams of revenue, that means that no one place or thing has all the sway over my life. If I lose a big client, I can go find another client. But I still have other clients to help me with. It's the reason I will never be full time anywhere else ever again. because no one's ever gonna want me to succeed more than I want to succeed. I know, I can make it work like crazy, because I'm investing in myself and I can do it. And I'm on this journey of figuring it all out just like you guys. I do not have it all figured out. I am figuring it out as I go. As we all are, especially in crazy times. I work too much. Sometimes I worry way too much. I've had my jaw clenched for about a month. But I have so much potential that I can barely contain my excitement about what lays ahead. I am so excited to map out my future and work so hard to get there. And I just want to say 'Thanks' for coming along on this journey with me and give you a little background as to why I am preaching all of these things. Every week to you. I'm seeing so many things has really had my thoughts coalesce around how important it is to take care of ourselves and invest in ourselves, work hard and build something for us. What is your "Why"? Why are you doing this? Why did you build this business? Because when you start thinking about all the craziness and really hitting a rough spot, that thing the reason you're doing this is the thing that will keep you going. It'll keep your head on straight a little bit. Good luck, guys. I'll talk to you next week.