#All The Things: Stream of Consciousness Podcast about the Struggles of Entrepreneurship & Finding Your Niche
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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Hey guys, I'm trying something a little bit different on this episode. It's a solo episode like I've done before. But I kind of had a random bunch of topics I wanted to talk about. And so I'm calling this a stream of consciousness episode, I watch grace helping a lot on YouTube. And she always does a stream of consciousness videos, where it's basically just a random continuous flow of information that's kind of in her brain. So a lot of the stuff I'm talking about today is just things about struggles of entrepreneurship tips that I have for visibility, finding your niche, that kind of stuff. So if you guys are interested in that, let me know after the podcast how you liked this episode, because I'm calling it hashtag all the things because there's just so many things that you go through as an entrepreneur, and I wanted to kind of run through some of the biggest ones, and kind of how I dealt with them. If there's a specific topic you want to talk about, again, on an episode, or you want me to bring a guest in, please send me an email Jenna 20s collective calm, because that would be really helpful. So hope you guys enjoyed this episode. And let's just get started. Hey, whats up guys is Jenna from Twin Cities collective. Today, I am going to be talking about the entrepreneur journey that we all go through. Obviously, if you haven't heard, I am leaving my position at Studio cork, and I'm going back to being a full time entrepreneur. And I wanted to kind of discuss that and like, just kind of talk about some of my experiences with being employed versus being on my own having clients, and just kind of what it's like. And also just talk about kind of the struggles that you can go through the ups and downs. Basically, a lot of people call entrepreneurship, a roller coaster. And so I kind of wanted to talk about that. Because, no, I mean, people talk about it, but they kind of don't they kind of skim over the actual issues that people run into. Because I think what everyone, at least before, a lot of my friends have different views on entrepreneurship, the people that aren't entrepreneurs who don't want to be entrepreneurs, they just don't really get it, they don't understand why you'd want to work for yourself. They want to be, you know, employed and have that stability. And then there's the people that really want to be entrepreneurs who are sick of, you know, having to work, you know, for somebody else they want to work on their own. And that's why most people end up becoming entrepreneurs is they have that drive to find something else for themselves. And I think that it depends on the person. And sometimes people like for myself, when I went to college, I did not think I was going to be an entrepreneur until about a month after I graduated. And then I was like, what, wait, why do I have to have this full time job. I don't, I was just kind of like, I felt like a wild stallion where I was like, I don't want to be, I don't want to be like forced to be anywhere and like and have to do things I don't want to do like I want to have my control over what I choose to do. And I think that's why a lot of people do it. But the hardest part on the other end is there's absolutely no stability with that unless you have some sort of amazing system set up. And and and sometimes that takes years and years and years of building, and understanding how to monetize how to build a profit, how to sustain, and how to, you know, grow your audience, there's just so many things that are factors in how you build your business. But one thing I did want to talk about is, there's a lot of people listening, that are side hustlers, people that are doing it for fun. And I kind of want to just to talk about some of the stigmas that come with being either a blogger or a hobbyist and all of these things that maybe the outside world, people that aren't listening to podcast, people that are just, you know, working regular jobs, they maybe aren't really taking creative leaps. They're just kind of, you know, you might get a lot of comments from people being like, Well, why are you doing that? Like, like, I don't get it like I don't understand. And I think that's one thing that happens is collectively offer is that community of people that get it people that understand like, okay, I you're very similar to me, you want this in your life as well. But I want to talk about some of the stigma. So it's kind of funny, I feel like I have stigmas both ways I have stigmas from my friends who are entrepreneurs, and ones that aren't. So for example, when I went on my entrepreneur journey and went full time in January of 2017, all my entrepreneur friends were so excited for me, they're like, Oh, yeah, you're doing the leap, like, Aha. And then I had, you know, friends and family that were like, what, why? Why are you quitting your job? Like, why? Why are you doing this, they just, they, it was like a fear mentality of Oh, you know, that's a stupid idea. Like, like, don't do it. And then when I ended up in August, realizing, you know what, I really need to have more consistent income, and then I ended up getting the job here. A lot of people
were also happy for me, but I was like, ashamed, I honestly was ashamed. I felt like I had failed, because I had to get a job again. But what I've realized over time is that literally, you have to be able to provide for yourself. And you can't always do that. I think that the idea that you're going to be successful the first time or you're going to be successful forever, is kind of not realistic. I think that honestly, it takes a long time to figure out not only what you're good at, but how to make money doing it. And I spent eight months learning so much about myself and about what I needed to do that I don't regret doing that. I also don't regret getting a job, because that job has led me to a lot of awesome things. And I think that having a job is not a fit a sense of failure, because I was spending all of my other time rebuilding a different side of my business. And so I think what I realized is people don't really care as much as you think that they do. Like, there's like, they're so worried about their own stuff that they don't really care what you're doing. I mean, they want you to be successful, but they are not judging you, if you get a job or you leave a job or you whatever, I'm the kind of person that I can't stay at a job more than a year, honestly, like I get bored, I want to do something else. And so for me, I'm not going to be a long term employee and going into a job, I always tell people that I'm like, I'm going to be here for maybe a year, year and a half, and then I'll be gone. And I will provide as much as I can for you while I'm here. But I'm just not going to be some working somewhere for 30 years. And I am also working always on the side doing something no matter what it is, if it's 20s collective, it's if it's my new business, or if I have an old business, like I'm just always doing something. So one of the things I've been struggling with, so I took the leap, and I'm going to be leaving here at the end of the month. But one of the things I'm struggling with, for my business is figuring out what my Nisha is because I've had lots of different issues in the past, I was a wedding videographer, I've done stock photos, I've done, obviously tons is collected, like people know me for that doing Instagram workshops, you know, like so many different things. So for me, my biggest struggle right now is figuring out what I want to be known for. Because there are so many things that I've done and know how to do but I'm like, do I want to be known for that. And I think that a lot of people are in the same situation as me they're, you know, an unbeliever, or they have multiple passions. There's so many TED talks about those. But I think once you do find your niche, it's so easy for people to remember you. I tend to tag people a lot that I'm like, Oh, I remember they do that. And it's easy for them to get business. I know the people that are most successful in the Twin Cities that I know, are known for one thing. And for me, that is like the hardest thing that I'm trying to overcome is I want to be known for multiple things. And it's hard to reel it in also decide, okay, well, I really want to be known for this. But I also want to be known for that. So that is my issue right now that I'm really working through. So I just wanted to share that because I think everyone thinks Oh, you probably have it all together. And you know what you're doing? Sometimes I don't I really don't. And I feel like I figure it out over time. But it's like, right now I'm struggling because I'm like, I really want to launch this thing and launch this thing and launch this thing. But But how do I reel it in and make it a niche and make it better. I'm actually just got a book. I haven't read it yet. But it's called the pumpkin plan. I was actually listening to a podcast where it's all about like knitting, and about like kind of figuring out what your core offering is. And she mentioned that book. And so if you haven't read it, I recommend it even though I haven't read it yet because somebody else recommended it to me. It's by the same guy who wrote profit first, which is also a book that I've read. And so I'm really excited to hopefully this weekend read this book. But another thing I wanted to talk about is why not what you're creating is a hobby versus a business. Because I was talking about this earlier, when I first started my blog, it was 100% a hobby, it was just for fun. I just started my YouTube channel just for fun. And eventually it turned into a business in a different way where I learned how to create a website, and then that was able to do that. But I think that, honestly, it's it's something that you have to decide for yourself. But you do have to make that decision. Because there's a lot of people trying to grow something and I'm like, but why is it for fun? Like you're putting so much of your time and money into something? Are you planning on making a return on that? Or is it just for fulfilling your time. So that's something that I think a lot of people need to really look and reflect on themselves. Because if they are going to want to turn it into a business, you're going to have to make a profit. Because if you're spending all of your time on this thing, and you're not making any money, and you're like, oh, but this is my business business, it's not going to work. And that's something that I've learned as well is okay. If you're not making any money, and you don't want to make any money. That's a hobby, not a business. Another thing that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with is, is getting a profit or making money because a lot of us are creatives, like I'm such a creative person, that it's hard for me to think about the business side of things, I just want to be creating all day, and not worrying about money or finding in sales and finding my clients like I want to just be creating. And so I think that one of the things that I'm trying to figure out is how can I help all the creatives do that, because I'm also wanting to help myself. So that's another thing about being an entrepreneur, and part of the entrepreneur journey is figuring out your weaknesses and your strengths. Some people are really good at you know, spreadsheets, I'm not some people are really good at photography I am. And so hiring each other and kind of working together. And collaborating is the best way to really grow your business in a way that makes sense and is able to be sustained. Another thing a lot of people struggle with is when to hire someone. Or if you should do it yourself, that is something that I have struggled with a lot. And there are certain things that I think are worth the money. One of them is branding, getting your logo designed, getting your colors, your fonts, your voice, figuring out what does your brand represent? That is like the first thing you have to do when you're starting a business. You need to figure out what the business is you need to figure out why you're doing your business. And I think for me, I have my branding. But now I'm at that point where I'm like, Well, what do I want with this business? What do I want to offer? What is the product that I want to give out? And so another thing a lot of people struggle with is visibility. So once they have their product, and they they're like, okay, now what I know I gotta sell it. And so how do I get it out there? How do people find me, I actually put a post in our Facebook group about top 10 Top 10 visibility tip. So I'm actually going to run through them real quick. I think I did another podcast episode about visibility. But really, honestly, these are things that I, myself, I've kind of I feel like I've gotten control of, and a lot of people still are at the point where they're like, I don't know how to do any of this. So I'm actually I'm finding it real quick on my phone. I think that. So here it is. So number one, talk about what you do. So this is something that I think especially people in Minnesota for some reason, we don't like to talk about ourselves, we don't like to post on our personal Instagram, what we're doing for our business. And I think that's really, like sad, because I think a lot of people really want to know what's going on with us. And I'm always shocked at all of my friends who are not entrepreneurs that are seeing what I do and try and understand it because they want to, you know, talk to me about it. And the next one is posting on Instagram and using hashtags. Obviously, we just came out with our Instagram growth courses. So if you haven't checked those out, go to Twin Cities, collective teachable, calm, and you can get all of our courses, we did one on Instagram growth, Instagram, stories, and Instagram TV. So Instagram by far is one of the best ways to get some faces on your business, I think, because it's so easy to do. And it's so easy to build an account and get followers. I just launched a dog Instagram account yesterday from our new dog, I got 50 followers in a day, like I was like, dang, like people like dogs, people want to follow all these accounts. And so I've only put up one photo and I got 50 followers. So it's like you got to know what you're doing a little bit. And that's why I recommend taking the course. But I just use hashtags and tagged different dog accounts. And honestly, I got so many followers that I was shocked at, I kind of forgot how fast you can grow in Instagram, if you kind of know what you're doing. But um, I think Instagram is definitely by far one of the best ways that we've made ourselves visible to the Twin Cities community. The next one is networking. Oh my gosh, I haven't like really talked about it as much as I should. Because honestly, networking is by far one of the best ways that I've grown. People knowing who I am and people just like getting what I stand for going to networking events, going to events, just just reaching out to people, I do this a lot nowadays, I just reach out to someone who I find interesting and say, Hey, can we grow coffee? I'm not trying to ask you anything. Because I already probably know a lot of what you're doing, I just want to meet you. And honestly, that's like the best way to do it is to find someone who's at a symbol, similar level to you, and just kind of reaching out to them. And then once you talk to them, you just kind of ask, Hey, is there anyone else that you should I should meet? And that's exactly how you build a network. Following and interacting with the right people, I think who you follow on social media is really important because you need to find the right people that are potential clients or people that you look up to that you should follow. And I think it makes sense to really reach out to those people and interact, comment, you know, support them as well. Joining Facebook groups and giving actual advice, honestly, this is something I totally think it has completely revolutionized my business. When I first was getting started, I started joining all these random Facebook groups. And over time, I realized how important and powerful they are. Obviously twins, this collective is one that I have modeled from a lot of the groups I'm in. And so people are like, Oh, this is a great group. And I go Well, that's because I have spent two years learning from the mistakes of other groups or learning from groups I've been in. I'm like, I wish that they did this in that group. And so that's why I think twins this collective it does so well with engagement is because of just all the experiences I have. And another thing that's really powerful with Facebook groups is commenting on other people's posts, giving your advice coming off as an expert, but not being too salesy. Because I've found so many people that way where I go, oh my gosh, this person is really smart. They know what they're talking about, I'd hire them. So that's a super huge one for your visibility, posting blog posts and giving them space on Pinterest. We haven't really talked about Pinterest yet, but I will have a Pinterest expert on in September. I'm really excited about that. And we're going to be talking about how you can kind of grow your traffic to your website with that. Obviously making videos, we will be talking about that more soon, I'll be doing a lot more videos on our Facebook and Instagram, as well as hopefully YouTube in the future.
I mentioned this again and talk about what you do and make sure you talk about the benefits. So what are the benefits of your business? Like why should people hire you, creating as much content as you can, honestly, creating content brings people to you, they find out about you if it's good content, if it's content they're looking for, that's the best way to get eyes on your business. And then finally, being a podcast guest is by far one of the best ways that you can spend your time because it only takes maybe you know, 20 minutes to an hour. But honestly, if someone's listening to that and they connect with you, they will remember you they will reach out to you, they will know that you're the expert in that field. So those are just 10 tips I had on visibility. I've already talked about this a little bit, but I honestly wanted to reiterate it because it's something that I see all the time people struggling with. Another thing I did want to talk about is I've gotten so many emails over the past few weeks that I just want to bring this up. People have been asking me about job opportunities, or do I know of anyone hiring in the creative realm, there's two answers, I have to this. Number one, check out some of the creative recruiting agencies around town, I like creative circle or celebrity sign up for their emails, because I get emails every single day saying this person's hiring here, this person's hiring here, I actually will put a link in the podcast about some of the different groups around town that do this, you can actually go in and meet with them and tell them what your what your we're looking for. And they can add you to a lot more lists or even just email you when they have something available. The other one is to meet with recruiters. And there's a few creative recruiters on LinkedIn. So I would just type in like creative recruiter and find a few and then actually reach out and say, Hey, I'd love to meet with you. Because their job is literally to find creatives to fill business spots. So if you are creative, but you don't want to be an entrepreneur, I highly recommend or you don't be entrepreneur or you're just looking for a job with some more consistent income and revenue. Honestly, check out both of those options. job boards can be kind of limiting, because there's probably a lot of applicants or they're missing a lot of the jobs I've had a very misleading and what they actually are. So I think by like looking and networking, going to job support groups, there's just so many ways to find a good job these days that I when I left here, and I was like, You know what, if I have to get another Jonathan feature I can I wasn't that worried, because I know that there's a lot of options out there. Some other struggles that entrepreneurs see that I see all the time is tech issues, a lot of people are scared of technology, in terms of like the little things that they have to do. But honestly, if you're going to be an entrepreneur, in this day and age, especially an online entrepreneur, you're going to have to understand technology. And for me, that is something I love doing. So I've actually launching a lot of different consulting. So if you have any questions about technology, I'm also going to be launching more online courses. My next course, is going to be like, kind of like, what pod what is podcasting? And like, how does that work? Because that's going to be something that I'm really excited about. A lot of people have asked me like, like, what, what, why, how do I promote my podcast? How do I do all that stuff? So that's going to be something I'm going to be working on. And I'll be talking more about that soon. Another issue people have is pricing and products. Those are probably the ones I also struggle is, well, what what are people willing to afford? Or how does this bring value to people? So I think figuring that out, there's some awesome, you know, podcasts, books about how to price out your products, I really started listening to the profit plan. I think it's called the profit plan podcast. It's all about planning for profit. And I think that there's some really awesome, like strategies out there that really teach you how to price out your products, as well as some sales people. There's the Angie Lee show is one that I just recently discovered. And she talks all about sales. And there's just a lot of different topics on there. It's a little it's a lot, that episode or that podcast is a lot. So yeah, so those are just a few of the things that I wanted to kind of just go over on what are some of the biggest struggles that entrepreneurs have. And kind of a few examples of ways that you can kind of go through that. And I think the nice thing about Twin Cities collective is we're kind of going through it together. I think that it's something that if you ever have any questions or struggles, please post them in the group, because I know like 80% of the people in there are going through the same thing. And they might have some helpful resources, especially if they've gone through it already. And I'm just kind of really talking today about things that I'm seeing a lot of, and that I just kind of wanted to go over. Because I think honestly, it's it's a hard thing. And I think that being an entrepreneur, one of my biggest mistakes that I had, when I
left from my job was I focused way too much on the little things, the things that weren't really making me money, but I just felt like I had to do. That's what I spent like 80% of my time on. And it honestly wasn't bringing any any revenue. And so for me, I'm like, how do I make all of these things happen without spending as much time on it. So coming up with systems. For me, dub Sato by far has been the best investment my business because it's allowed me to have workflows, it's allowed me to automate things that I haven't before I can see how how many people are signing up for things are all of that. So getting a CRM or getting a system that allows you to be organized do to do lists, I recently discovered, click up, which is kind of like Asana and Trello. And I really, it looks really cool. And I'm like, it's free. And I want to try it out. There's just so many options for productivity. Another course I eventually want to come up with is a productivity course and how to kind of set up your systems for when you were an entrepreneur and working with people, especially the Sato. That's my favorite and just working with some of those apps. So I think honestly, all of this stuff is so important as an entrepreneur, but you always need to know what's actually bringing you money, because you're not going to survive as a business if you don't have the oxygen for it, which is money. So that's about all I want to talk about today. Guys, thank you so much for listening. If you have any questions for me about my experience or my journey, you can email me at Jenna at Twin Cities collective calm. I'm also going to be coming out with some new services and new products from my own website as well. So Jenna Redfield calm, I already have stock photos on there. I also offer different things like speaking and all that. So that's going to be updated over the next few weeks, because I'm going full time again. So thanks guys so much for listening. Make sure to check out our online courses as well as the circle. We have an event coming up September 8. So check that out as well. And I'll talk to you guys soon. Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Make sure to click subscribe if you haven't already. And make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks again for Ian at Studio Americana for producing this episode, as well as Melanie Lee for designing the podcast art and thanks MC Lyte had less for the use of the song in the intros outros.
Unknown Speaker 24:03
Thanks so much again, and I'll see you next time.