Embracing Collaboration – Collaboration Tips and Mindset Bits


Disclaimer: Work Wife Wine Time supports the responsible consumption of alcohol and always remember mindset and confidence go hand in hand in your business and don’t compete. It’s not worth it.

Gemma 0:24
Hello, and welcome. Wonderful ladies. Happy Friday. Happy bevvy o’clock here at Work Wife Wine Time, which means it’s now time for our next podcast this week. And it’s Gemma here with you today. And I am ever so excited to connect you with our guest speaker and a copy mentor of mine, Kate Toon.

Kate 0:47
Woohoo! It’s lovely to be here. Thank you for having me, Gemma!

Gemma 0:50
Oh, hello, Kate, thank you so much for being here. First of all, for those who don’t know, Kate Toon, can you tell us what it is that you do?

Kate 1:02
Well, I guess I would call myself an entrepreneur. I like to call myself a misfit entrepreneur, because I run multiple businesses, but I don’t really follow the whole path of being an entrepreneur and lying on a car, counting my money and all that kind of stuff. So I have three core businesses, The Clever Copywriting School, which teaches copywriters, how to be better copywriters, The Recipe for SEO Success, which teaches business owners and ecommerce store owners and as marketers how to grapple Google, and drive more traffic and conversions. And then also my third business The Digital Masterchef, which is a membership educating people on how to use digital marketing to build a business, whether it’s online or not. So that’s kind of a mix of different things. And in all of that I’ve got podcasts, as I said, lots of courses, events, books, resources, there’s a lot of moving parts in my business.

Gemma 2:01
Wonderful. So just a couple of things in there, right?

Kate 2:05
Yeah, just a few.

Gemma 2:06
So before you became an entrepreneur, and I know you’re not a big fan of that word, because like you said earlier, before I didn’t hit record– can be a bit wonky, right? So before you are an entrepreneur, tell us about your past work life. What were you doing?

Kate 2:29
So I mean, I started off in corporate worlds. And, I never really thought I would start my own business. I worked in events. And then in digital marketing, working in agencies in London and in Australia, Ogilvy and RMG. And mainly as a producer. So as somebody that organised the work rather than was a creative. I did take a big pay cut at one point to become a copywriter. And I got to work on great brands like Qantas and Microsoft and Telstra. And then I went back to the production side, because honestly, it paid better. And at that point, that was what I was about. And I was working my way up to very senior roles. I was the general manager of an agency with big teams under me on the board, making big decisions, hiring and firing. It was utterly miserable. I really hated it. But I couldn’t really see a way out. Because I didn’t know what I would do as a business. It just seems stupid now. But I I don’t know if I’d ever have taken the plunge. I talk a lot to people about the risk of running your own business. I don’t if I did take a risk. I just got pregnant, which meant I could no longer keep working. Because I was a contractor. And I knew I wasn’t going to get maternity leave. So I had to very, very quickly find some way of making an income because I was the breadwinner. So about five months pregnant, I built my first website katetoon.com. And I gave up my job and I just did anything to begin with. I was a graphic designer, I was a project manager, I was a copywriter that I really focused on SEO copywriting and then in about 2017. So about five or six years in I started setting up all these kind of passive income things which is now my business today. And today I don’t do any copywriting for clients anymore. It’s purely all this digital stuff that I do. There you go. That was a monologue. Sorry.

Gemma 4:23
It was but you also answered the next question. I was going to ask you, what brought you to work for yourself? So it was a perfectly answered question. And then finally, can you tell us a little bit about you? About Kate Toon, outside of your business?

Kate 4:41
We were talking about this before, I think there wasn’t much of a Kate Toon outside of my business for a long time. Obviously, when I had my little boy I was focused on him and then as he went to school and the world opened up, I really poured all of my energies into work and I kind of realised about a year and a half ago, like I don’t have hobbies anymore, like I used to read, I used to paint, I used to kickbox, I used to– And I let a lot of those things go because as you know, with a small business, it can just seep into every crack of your life. And every time that you free up, it can fill and you’ll never have enough time and and there’ll always be more things to do. So this COVID year has been great for me. And I know it’s been horrendous for most people. But I think it’s been eye opening for a lot of people. And for me, it stopped me being able to speak at events, which was a huge time suck, and kept me home more, obviously, house bound. I wasn’t in Melbourne, but we had a brief lockdown. And I think we’ve all mentally been locked down whether we’ve been locked down or not. And so I’ve started to rediscover my hobbies and my life. I’m big into swimming. And I’ve just recently learned to drive, which was a big challenge for me and something I had a big mindset block about, getting back into my ‘my time’, my kickboxing and getting back into reading and just having a more rounded life. So yeah, it’s if you’d have asked me that question a year ago, I’d have been like, ‘I don’t know, working?’ But now it’s a bit broader. Thank goodness.

Gemma 6:11
Yeah, that’s wonderful. And that’s fantastic. Getting back into kickboxing. I do kickboxing myself, so I’ve been getting back into that after my extreme lockdown is wonderful. So–

Kate 6:24
Yeah, it’s very cathartic, isn’t it? And I like the strength being strong. I think that’s really important.

Gemma 6:34
Absolutely. Wonderful. Well, everyone, before we get into the juicy goodness of today’s podcast, which is all about collaboration over competition, which we love here at Work Wife Wine Time, but since we have you the SEO Queen yourself, can we have a little SEO chat? to begin with?

Kate 6:56
Yeah, let’s do it!

Gemma 6:58
Let’s do it. First of all, the big terrifying question. What the heck is SEO? What even is it?

Kate 7:07
Yeah, I don’t think it is terrifying. It’s interesting that you use that word because I think a lot of people are terrified of SEO, so they just ignore it. And they’ll spend hours and hours on Instagram posting graphics, really, because it’s easy. And because it’s pretty, whereas SEO is very powerful. I read a stat today that said 80% of all transactions, whether they’re b2b, b2c, whatever, start with a Google search. So I think what that means is, whatever you’re doing on social, video, networking, email, marketing, print, press, whatever, all of it is ultimately going to lead to someone heading to a search engine and typing something in. Now if you’ve done a good job of all that other stuff, they’ll be typing in Gemma Lumicisi, they’ll be typing in the name of your podcast, they’ll be typing in the name of your business. If you haven’t done such a good job, they’ll be typing in SEO copywriter, or they’ll be typing in ‘florist in what Woop Woop.’ So either people are searching for who you are, or they’re searching for what you do an SEO is really just the job of helping Google connect the dots. I like to say that it’s like trying to make Google fall in love with your website. And we’re imagining that Google’s a very fussy person and has 200 things on their list that it wants from the dream website. And you have to tick those off. And, again, most of them are common sense. Like we all hate websites that have pop ups, we hate websites that take ages to load. We hate it when we click on a search result. And we get to the page and it’s got nothing to do with what we’re searching for. So a lot of it’s common sense. And it’s part of your holistic marketing. It’s not a checklist to be ticked, it’s not something to do once, everything you do relates back to SEO, because ultimately, even if you post on Instagram, someone might not click on that particular image, but they might remember you. And then three months later, when they need your service, they probably won’t be able to find you on Instagram again, because it’s search on Instagrams appalling. They’ll go to Google and be like, ‘what was the name of that woman? What does she do? Let me try and find her again.’

Gemma 9:11

Yeah that’s fantastic. But getting back to what you said about the the sort of checklist the comments. Because I have many clients come to me and like, ‘right, let’s do SEO.’ Okay, let’s do this! And then they sort of have an expectation that okay, everything’s there. Now. It’s done. It’s ready. But you need that initial bits and pieces in place first, right before anything is going happen.

Kate 9:40
Yeah, I mean, there’s really three phases to SEO. And the first is the site, your hub. How it’s built, where it’s hosted, how fast it is, is it mobile friendly, can Google see every page? And that’s what you would probably call technical SEO, and people get overwhelmed by that, but it’s the most important bit because I’ve had people come to me who’ve been blogging for two years, but they have a small tech problem with their site, which means none of those blogs have been indexed. So no one’s ever seen them. And the next is copy and keyword research, which is where people like you and I come in, but we can’t undo bad tech, just with copy alone. And then after that, it’s everything else. It’s what you do to build backlinks. It’s your brand presence on other websites, guest posting, directory listing. So it’s big, it’s expansive. And I think, when you get clients coming to you saying, let’s do SEO, and then you say why? And they’re like, ‘I don’t know, because we’ve been told to do it.’ It’s really important to go back and say, ‘Well, look, the goal is not to rank, the goal is not to tick off boxes and shove out blog posts every five minutes, the goal is to make more money.’ So you know, what words at the moment, what keywords are people typing into Google to actually make you money? Because a lot of the time, we see in Facebook groups, somebody’s going ‘Oh, look, I’m ranking number one for this phrase!’ and you look at the phrase and go, ‘No one has ever typed that phrase into Google ever.’ And even if they did, they’re not going to buy anything from you. So it’s pointless. So it’s often as an SEO copywriters, that our job is often to educate clients about what SEO really is, and what it’s going to take. Because it’s not quick. It’s a slow burn.

Gemma 11:20
Mm hmm. Thanks. That was fantastic. And I guess at the end of the day, when you said it’s there to make money, right? So it is such an important part of your overall digital marketing efforts.

Kate 11:38
Yeah, totally. Unlike ads, which obviously you pay, you get your click, you stop paying, you don’t get your click. SEO is harder, it’s like a big, heavy flywheel like it’s quite hard to get started. But once it’s going and you get momentum, it can last for years. So I haven’t touched my Kate Toon copywriter website now for probably two years, but still consistently, it’s ranking in the top three in hundreds of phrases, and I probably get 20 or so leads every week through that site that I can then pass on to the Clever Copywriting community. And that is work that I did years ago, still paying off now. So it is more effort, it is a learning curve. But it really can make a massive difference.

Gemma 12:21
Yeah, amazing. I love it. So let’s get into the juice of today, here to talk about collaboration over competition. So first of all, what does it mean to you? And for your business?

Kate 12:40
Oh, I mean, the reason I thought this was such an interesting topic to talk about, is because I’ve grappled with this, and I still am to some degree. And I think people who pretend that they never think about competition are utterly either lying to themselves or lying to us. So for me, it means, embracing other people who do what you do, rather than kind of, like at school when you put your arm over your exam results. And make sure no one could copy. It’s like going, ‘look, I’m doing me, you do you, there’s enough work for everybody.’ And it is such a hard lesson to learn. So yeah, I’m still learning it.

Gemma 13:20
Yeah, that’s really interesting. So throughout your learning of it, when you started to embrace other people within your industry and things like that, what did it start to do for your business?

Kate 13:33
Well, I mean, when I started out as a copywriter, I was utterly oblivious. As I said, I started that website and off I went, and I kind of wasn’t really conscious that there were other copywriters out there, I just kind of was like, I’m gonna do this. And then, I put ‘copywriter’ into Google and all these people came back and I was like, ‘How the heck am I gonna compete?’ But also, while I’d written copy in an agency, I didn’t really know what it was to run a freelance business because as we know, being a freelance copywriter or freelance designer or whatever, you probably spend about 50% of your time actually doing your skill and 50% of your time running a business, marketing, finance, legals, team, all that kind of stuff, which I knew nothing about. And so my first sort of foray into embracing competition was I set up a group on Google Plus as it was back then. It was a long time ago and I just randomly invited 20 copywriters off Twitter to come and join and some of those now have gone on to do great things you’ve got Belinda Weaver and Brooke McCarthy, Beck Lambert, who runs the Freelance Jungle and, lots of people who’ve now gone on to do amazing things, lots people who are now no longer copywriters, but the early years of that community, we all just shared our ideas, and everyone was open about it, even though we all did the same thing. And I learned so much that I’m now passing on to other people, but it was amazing. Like it was better than any course, better than any book, because you could go into that group and I could say ‘how do I deal with this situation?’ and there’d be someone there either more experienced or less experienced, but they’d just had that thing happened to them. And it was just amazing for me, it was really so helpful.

Gemma 15:12
Oh, that’s really interesting. Is that why you went on to create these sort of communities as well for yourself?

Kate 15:21
So I had that little sort of hub group, and, those kind of groups, they have a lifetime, do you know what I mean? People come and go. And so I created a bigger free group, that was for anybody. And then after a while, I was like, I’m giving away a lot of my IP and my ideas, maybe I should have a paid version of this, where I can scale it, whatever. And that became the Clever Copywriting Community, which I started six years ago. Now, we just had our six year anniversary for our first couple of members. And, yeah, it’s as much for me as it was for the community. I mean, I’m no longer a copywriter, I still write a lot, I have just one terrible client, which is myself. And I still write a lot. And, I’ve built that group. So it’s not 100% reliant on me, we have ambassadors and other people in the group. That is the group that I wish I’d had when I started, because I had two or three years of being on my own, not knowing what the hell I was doing. And if I’d had that group, it got to where I am now, or to where I want it to be so much faster. And just with so much less stress, so stressful, running around business, and I had no one to talk to about it. So yeah, I’m really proud of that community.

Gemma 16:35
Absolutely. It really is wonderful. I was saying, that’s why I joined initially, when I started freelancing overseas when I was living there, and came back and, ‘I’m gonna make this into a business,’ and ‘I have a marketing degree, business degree.’ And, once you’re on your own, it’s like, what do I do?

Kate 16:54

Yeah, it’s funny, isn’t it? The real life application of those skills is completely different. It’s crazy. So yeah, absolutely.

Gemma 17:05
And it sort of goes back to that, I was doing it for years, for clients in the corporate world, but there’s something about doing it for yourself, so ‘well, is there anyone else out there doing this? Can I join something that someone will have some tips or ideas or something?’

Kate 17:24
Yeah. I’m always amazed about how many copywriters there are, I mean, I think we’ve got 300 plus people in that community, and that’s mostly Australia, and we’ve got people from all over the world. And I think this is a really important thing, there’s only something that I realised recently is my attitude to competitors changed when my business changed. Because as a copywriter, I only had 20 hours a week, I could only ever service maximum 10 clients a month, and therefore this notion of abundance, and there’s enough people to go around really works, because you can’t literally serve everybody, like, you’ve only got this much time. But when you move from a one to one model, to a one to many model, there is no limit to the amount of people you can serve. So competition becomes much more of a thing. I’ve got an SEO course, you’ve got an SEO course. Are people going to do both? Or are they going to make a choice? And, therefore the competition becomes realer, and it has more of an impact on your business. And so I think that was when it kind of ramped up for me,, when I started to launch these passive income products, the fear of competition.

Gemma 18:33

Yeah, that’s interesting, actually. So how about we sort of delve into and discuss mindset and self confidence around that? Since you said it was something you were grappling with, and in your journey towards opening up to collaborating? How was that self confidence and all of that, and mindset helped you there?

Kate 18:58
Well, I think, when I started out, as I said, I was oblivious that there were people doing what I was doing, as you spend more time in your industry in your niche, you discover that there are just 1000s and 1000s of people doing exactly what you’re doing. And that brilliant resource you’ve just created, someone else has created it, in fact, not just someone else, 200 people have created it, and there’s is better, and bloody hell, and they cost less or whatever. And it’s overwhelming. And, you get to the point where you just can’t look anymore. Because you’re not doing competitive research. You’re not being inspired, you’re actually having your spirit crushed. Because if you kind of think of the sheer weight of people doing what you do, you would never do anything. And but on the flip of that there are just so many people who need those products and services. And because you’re in your niche, you know about all these other people who do this thing, but other people don’t have a clue like if I talked to my partner about Gary Vaynerchuk or Amy Porterfield, Pat Flynn, these very famous entrepreneurs that we know about. They’d be like who? What? Just like if you’re a professional cyclist, you know the name of all the cyclists, I don’t know, I couldn’t name one. So, we can become very obsessed, and we can very much spiral and start to question our own self worth and what we have to offer. And I think that’s why it’s so tied to confidence and believing that you are enough, which is a big challenge for most people, you are enough not because you’ve got a degree or because you’re nice or whatever, just because you are. And that also, there is abundance. But at the end of the day, obviously, there’s a lot of people out there, but of course, people do make choices, and they do decide to buy this rather than that. And the reason they decide to do that really often isn’t about price, about features, about benefits. It’s just about, they like the cut of your jib. They like you, there’s something about you that clicks with them. And you have probably very little idea what that really is, you can try and work out why people like working with you. You can read reviews, but sometimes you don’t even know. Like, why do I like that person on Instagram? But that person I’ve had to block because even just the sight of the face makes me annoyed. I don’t know why they’re lovely people, but they drive me crazy. I don’t know. Do you know what I mean? Does that make sense? Yeah.

Gemma 21:21
It’s really interesting. Actually, I really love that you’re speaking about abundance. And we see so much information out there at the moment with mindset and coaches and everything. And this word abundance is everywhere, which is amazing in some parts, but I guess, thinking about abundance in business of, every client in the world you could have, that there really is only so many you can serve and take on yourself, right? Yes, I find that–

Kate 21:53
Yeah. And it’s important to think about that. Because, a good question to challenge yourself with is, ‘what if tomorrow, I wave my magic wand, and you were famous? And you had 100,000 followers on Instagram, and you had 200,000 people on your list? And how would that change your business? Would it change your business?’ If someone said to me tomorrow, right, in the next round of recipe, you can have 5000 people on it. Would I want that? No, I absolutely wouldn’t, I couldn’t cope with that, I have systems in place, but it’s not who I want to be. And also, this sounds a bit cheesy or whatever. But it sounds like something that people with money, say, but I’ve been poor for a very, very long time. So, how much money do you really need? And what are you willing to sacrifice for that money? Because it is a sacrifice, it is an exchange, there is no such thing as absolute passive income. So like, if you take that the abundance approach, but also go, I don’t want everybody because I couldn’t cope with everybody. And I don’t need that much in my life. I’d rather have fewer clients and more of a life. I don’t know, that’s another perspective on that I think.

Gemma 23:04
Yeah, absolutely. And I’m thinking about enoughness, as well. And going back to, being poor, and then all of a sudden having 5000 people sign up, which you don’t want, I find so many people that they search for their enoughness through validation from something, so ‘I am, but once I get 5000 people sign up for my course, then I’ll be enough’ but they get there. What’s changed?

Kate 23:32
Exactly. I’ve been there. And I think I call it summit syndrome. I don’t think that’s my term, it’s someone else’s. But you get to a certain point, you set yourself a goal, and you reach that goal. And then you find that it’s ultimately very unsatisfying. So, that goal could be financial. So for me a long time it was driven by money because I needed to replace income, and then I would set these goals. And then you get to the financial point, and it’s like, it doesn’t fill your soul. It really, really doesn’t. So then maybe you look at numbers of people or levels of engagement or whatever. Again, it’s not satisfying. But the truth is, none of it’s satisfying, because then you can go into productivity ‘well, I’m not going to measure myself by how much money I make. But how much work I do,’ again, not satisfying, ‘okay, well, I won’t do that. I’ll think about my contribution to the world and how I’m helping people and the positive feedback I get.’ But then again, it’s not that satisfying, lots people telling you, you’re brilliant. At the end of the day, it’s like great, you know they’ll always be somebody tells you, you’re not brilliant, and you’ll listen to that more. So as you say, all these things finance, productivity, love, fame, ego, none of them actually make you feel enough because it’s internal. And none of those external factors can influence that. And that is, I guess, the ultimate lesson not just of business but of life and it’s a very hard one to learn. And I think that you have to be an extremely strong person not to be impacted by ‘oh look at all this money’ or ‘oh look at all these people liking me’ and to just keep on going like flatline and not be up and down every day by external factors. It’s very hard.

Gemma 25:07
Absolutely, I mean, it’s real human right?

Kate 25:13
I have found over the years that that up and down, that roller coaster has evened out, has levelled out a lot. And, I don’t really get impacted by positive feedback anymore. That sounds really horrible because of course, it’s nice, but if you let that impact you too much, then negative feedback really hurt. So you have to, treat them both the same. There’s a really odd Kipling poem, if which is, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, you have to treat everything as the same and not let it impact you too much.

Gemma 25:48
That’s, yeah, wonderful. So what was it, whether it was perhaps a mindset shift for you, or rather, not worrying about competitors? And the billions of people out there doing what you do, what was sort of a turning point in, in your business?

Kate 26:07
Yeah, I’m not sure if I’ve had a turning point, like not a hairpin turn, I think it’s been a really lazy arc of slow realisations. I used to be quite, it’s not litigious is not the right word. But I was on it, I was holding on really tight. And when I saw someone, even, like putting a toe into my space or copying something, I was on it, I was on it, like, you’ve copied this, you’ve copied it. And a lot of the time people wouldn’t own it, or they would not even realise that they’ve copied, they’ve just been inspired. And we all don’t, you know, that happens to all of us. And then you realise that there’s very few new ideas. And again, you realise that it’s not about the content you deliver, or even the service, the words that you write, or the product that you sell, it’s how you sell it, how you write it. It’s how you talk to people. And I think, the pivot for me was kind of starting to like myself a bit more and realise that, maybe some people like my sense of humour, maybe some people like my writing style, and that’s why they follow me. So I don’t know if there’s a definite turning point, I think speaking at a lot of events really improved my confidence. I spoke at 37 events in one year, and went from, being sort of the speaker that falls over on stage, which I did it we are podcast, and mumbles and grumbles through a presentation to being able to turn up and talk about anything. And that was big for my confidence, because you get to see people responding to you good or bad. But yeah, I don’t know if there’s been an actual turning point. Maybe I’m still turning, I don’t know.

Gemma 27:44
So then can you share your top tips, to us of what helped you, I guess, embracing competition, rather than fighting it?

Kate 27:53
I think it’s everything we’ve talked about, feeling confident in your own abilities. And that, yes, there’ll always be someone out there who’s better, faster, younger, cooler, richer, whatever. But number one, most people don’t know about them. Like, we think that everyone knows all the people in our industry, they don’t, they’ve never heard of them. Number two, again, there’s just this inexplicable reason why people will buy from you. But only if you express your you-ness. A lot of people hide behind a kind of vanilla facade. And the more you you can be the more you’re gonna, yes, repel people. But the more you’re gonna attract your people who like you, and who will stick with you and buy from you and work with you. Regardless, because they’re not about price. And they’re not about features. And they’re not about inclusions. They’re about liking you, the human, building that know like and trust. So my tips would be, sharing more of yourself, being brave enough to do that. And not letting any negativity, negative comments, get you down, like keeping on going, finding your little gang of people, I don’t like to use the word try, but your gang of humans that support you, you don’t want to live in an echo chamber, it is important to have other people’s viewpoints that challenge yours. I think we’ve really seen that this year with the whole Black Lives Matter issue that some of us are living in this little universe of white privilege, and not really getting what’s going on. And it’s good to have those opinions, but don’t let them slay you. And just to keep on keeping on. I don’t think I’m necessarily successful, because I’m a genius. I think I’m successful because I persisted. I kept on turning up. And I learned from my mistakes, and I just kept on going, there’s a lot to be said for just wearing people down. And eventually they buy from you. So I don’t know if that was a great answer. But yeah, and try to have a bit of a sense of humour about it all as well. Like we’re not curing cancer, literally, we’re making social media captions. It’s not that important at the end of the day, and I think a big year like this year has shown us what really is important and that perspective. Looping back to your first question of like, what do you do outside business? Having a healthy life outside your business is so important because it’s so easy to get lost in your business and think that tiny things are huge things.

Gemma 30:16
Absolutely, it’s really true. I’ve done it myself as well. It’s just my whole life is my business. That’s it. It’s not healthy.

Kate 30:27
Yeah, it’s an easy trap to fall into because, if you love your business, which I do love, man, I love what I do. I do think it’s very much part of who I am. Does it define me? No, but it’s definitely part of the definition. But yeah, it’s easy to slip. And you really need to have some good friends, colleagues, both in your business and outside to go ‘Hey, come on, Gemma. What are you doing? Why are you obsessing over that? Like it’s a Canva graphic, move on’, you need someone to just shake you by the shoulders and say, ‘You’re being an idiot right now.’ And thankfully, I’ve got lots of people who are very willing to tell me I’m an idiot, and thank goodness.

Gemma 31:04
Yeah, that was gonna be my next question actually. Because we created Work Wife Wine Time out of myself, Rowena and Mikala being what we called Work Wives. And that’s exactly what we would do. Whether it’s a phone call of ‘tell me if I’m being ridiculous. Just say, Gemma stop,’. Or the other way. ‘I just did this. How cool is this?’ So have you had a Work Wife or a Work Husband somewhere along the lines of those people that you could call?

Kate 31:37
I think I’m not monogamous. When it comes to Work Wives and Work Husbands, I’ve had many over the years and continue to have many, because different people feed different parts of you. And yeah, people that you can celebrate your successes with, who aren’t going to see you as being arrogant or showing off-y, people who you can say, ‘look, what would you do in this situation?’ And you can get a different perspective and people who can talk you down from a moment of rage, of foolishness and stop you doing something stupid. I used to have a post it note on my computer that said ‘don’t react,’ to anything. And that sounds really bad because I don’t want to be an unemotional business person. But, that nasty email you got, don’t react, that client that didn’t pay, don’t react, the copycat, don’t react, just let it sit with you for a few days, and then choose your course of action. But having a group of people who can hold you back, it’s like the virtual friend who holds your hair when you’re over the toilet. You need that person! You need that toilet friend! I don’t know what I’m talking about now. But yeah, we all need a Work Wife or a Work Husband, and I’ve had some amazing ones in my time.

Gemma 32:47
Absolutely. Oh, perhaps we should rename it to our toilet friend. I do like that

Kate 32:53
Horrible, horrible. Don’t do that!

Gemma 32:57
That’s fantastic. Now, just before we finish up, what’s your final thought of the day, one final thought, final tip, anything you can give our amazing audience here?

Kate 33:11
Well, I think in the theme of this episode, and the whole vibe of your podcast, I think, you can waste so much time looking at what your competitors are doing. If I use Toggl to track the time I have spent looking at other people’s stuff, I’d be appalled. And every hour I spend looking at their stuff, I’m not spending an hour looking at my own stuff. So don’t think that by following people who do what you do you’re being collaborative, necessarily. That’s not community. Sometimes it pays to not be on someone’s newsletter, to not collaborate, especially if they trigger you. Like if there’s people that you see on social media who like always make you feel a bit poo about what you’re doing or, like, ‘Oh, god, look at the opportunity they got!’ And it makes you feel a bit poo about yourself that can slay for days, that can ruin your productivity, and really bring you down and don’t feel bad about that. Because a lot of us felt like that. I get to talk to some of the biggest names out there big entrepreneurs, they’re exactly the same. We’re all looking at Sue over there who’s doing amazing things, feeling bad about ourselves. So don’t look would be my biggest piece of advice. And if you want to look anywhere and look to your customers, ask your customers what they want and make your business decisions, your marketing plan about what they want, not about what your competition are doing. That would be my final tip.

Gemma 34:34
That’s a very good one.

Kate 34:38
Thank you.

Gemma 34:39
Yeah, we, here, started doing similar things, because you do realise when you just fall into that rabbit hole of endless scrolling through and looking what other people are doing and oh that person’s done that and it does slay you for days.

Kate 34:56
I mean, I even got intimidated by your Instagram feed the other day. I sent you a little message saying how cute your Instagram feed was. And I was like, ‘mine looks rubbish, What’s she doing?’ But we’re mates. So it’s okay, I just said your Instagram feed looks great. And I moved on. Unfortunately, I actually have unfollowed some people who I consider quite good friends, simply because they’re just too fabulous at the moment. And especially if I’m not feeling fabulous, I can’t sometimes deal with that every day, it’s really hard to get up and motivate yourself as a small business owner, every single day. So you have to really look at what de-motivates you, and you have to eliminate it and be strong about that and not feel guilty about it.

Gemma 35:36
Absolutely. And yeah, we do the same thing, if following that person is then affecting your productivity, unfollow. And you’ll already automatically find like, ‘Oh, look at my productivity, I’m actually back in my business doing stuff and not falling down the rabbithole.’

Yeah, and these people that you, we all have periods in our life where we almost, we create running mates, or we create people who we aspire to be, or we see someone who’s doing good things and we’re like, ‘I want to be like them.’ And then suddenly, that can go from being inspired by them to being a bit jealous of them. And they can really dominate your mind. And then you find that if you just unfollow them, it’ll be like, a year later, and you’d be like, ‘God, I have not thought about such and such for a year. And yet, I used to think about them all the time. I was reading their newsletter and checking the thing.’ And you’re like, ‘if they just go away, they go away,’ and you fill that space up with better thoughts and different things. And that’s better for you.

Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. It’s amazing being even on the same page with this. It makes such a difference to your business. To even sometimes your mental health, right?

Kate 36:49

Gemma 36:50
Because when you’re working so much on your business and everything’s in there, then it just really starts to affect everything.

Kate 37:02
Yeah, it really does. You can really spiral and I know that it’s especially a problem I think for creative business owners, because we are empathetic creatures. We do feel things deeply. And I think we underestimate what an impact these things can have. So yeah.

Gemma 37:11
Well, I guess that brings us to the end. It’s time for that’s a wrap, I guess.

Kate 37:18
Yay! Well, thank you so much for having me. I’m loving your podcast and I think it’s a great theme to cover, so thank you for having me today.

Gemma 37:27
Thank you so much for being here, Kate. And as always, all of you kick ass women, fellow work wives. Remember you’re not alone, because collaboration is power. And most importantly, we all get it.