J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast episode number 178. We're talking about entrepreneurship today. Whether you've thought about starting a business or not, you're going to learn a whole heck of a lot about productivity and mindset today. Stay tuned.
Hey there, Jen here and welcome back to Vibrant Happy Women. I am so glad you're here, and I'm excited to talk about entrepreneurship today. Now, many of you listening might say, “Ugh, I'm not an entrepreneur, never going to be,” stay tuned and listen in because my guest, Stacy Tuschl, is talking about how she went from teaching dance in her parents’ backyard during high school for free to having a multiple 7-figure per year business; it's crazy. And she tells exactly how she did it, she gives you a formula for how she spends her day, “Where does she create the time? How does she have time for her kids? How does she balance it all?” Whether you're going to be an entrepreneur or not, this episode is for you because Stacy is a spitfire and a go-getter and I learned a lot from her. So without further ado, let's go ahead and dive in and hear some great tips about productivity and entrepreneurship.
S: So back when I started my business, I was just about 3 years in when I realized I really had no idea what I was doing, and I… at the same time, I found this postcard in the mail that talked about a conference, I decided to go to it, and my mind was blown. And I kept going back to that conference year after year and I started going a few times a year to certain ones. And what I didn't realize at the time was, as I was starting to learn and implement, not that I was outgrowing my mentor because my mentor was much more successful than me, but I realized that I was outgrowing the basic principles that this person was teaching.
S: And that happens time and time again is we find a great mentor, we keep looking up to them, we want to do what they're doing, but you can outgrow what they're teaching without outgrowing your mentor, and I think we don't realize that sometimes. So I always am pushing and looking to go, “Where can I go next? Who can I learn from? Who is teaching more advanced kind of next level principles?”
J: Yeah, that's great. And how would you apply that, let's say just as a mom for example if you didn't even have a business?
S: Yeah, okay. So I would say, I mean, as a mom I love the quote about being around, you know, the average… “You're the average of the 5 people you hang around.” So I look at that in, not just my business, but in my life too. So when I'm looking at, you know, the parents that I'm hanging around, who do I want to be hanging around that's going to be a good role model for me? How about couples? You know, if my husband and I want to continue to grow a strong relationship, I want to be hanging around people that are in great relationships versus the wife that's always, you know, nitpicking or talking about their… her husband, because you can get sucked into that, right?
J: Oh yes, for sure.
S: It becomes very normal. And I think we have to be very, very cautious of who we're hanging around and where we're putting our energy, because it could be family, it could be friends, you have to be very cautious of that negativity because you don't want to be turning into that, you will be the average of those people. And they say that goes for weight, it goes for your bank account. Look around, who are the 5 people that you are constantly talking to every single day, hanging out every single day, and you probably look like them or maybe financially look like them, there's a lot of similarities we just don't realize.
J: Wow, yeah. I never thought of it in terms of weight and bank account, wow.
S: I mean, you think about it, if… and this kind of happened to me. When I would go to dinner here in Wisconsin, I would be eating the deep fried foods and just not good healthy eating habits at all. And as I started to go to specific business conferences in California, I had no idea the effect it had on my… my eating habits. And when everybody's ordering salad and I'm used to ordering the deep fried, you know, appetizer, the sampler platter, I feel a little funny ordering that when everybody's just selected a salad, you know?
S: So all of a sudden I started to make better decisions when I was hanging around specific people when it comes to finances, eating habits, working out, all of the things that we want, we need to be hanging around those types of people.
J: Mm, that’ such good advice, I love that.
S: Thank you.
J: Let's go… take us back. I mean, you've had a really successful career so far, I know you were just named Wisconsin's Small Businesswoman of the Year, right?
S: Yes, yes, that just…
J: Woo! Congrats! (Laughs)
S: Thank you, really exciting. And I'll tell you, I was just in DC with… there were 53 of us because there's a couple, you know, territories, Puerto Rico, things like that, and I bet there was maybe 10 women out of the 53 people.
S: So it was pretty incredible to be 1 of those women representing women in small business.
J: Yeah, that's fantastic, so 1 in 5; okay, we just bring that number up.
J: Everyone listening…
J: … start a business (Laughs), I love it. Well, take us back to your parents’ backyard and what were you like in high school? What kind of a person have you always been to…
J: … become successful like this?
S: Yeah, I've always… I mean, back then, I was called bossy, right?
S: Now, it's leadership skills, right?
S: And I think that naturally just was always in me. I always wanted to lead and be in charge, or if there was a position to be the captain of something, I wanted to be that person.
S: And, you know, you don't really realize what that means when you're little, but now looking back, it makes so much sense that I would be an entrepreneur owning my own small business. But I think, for me too, I always wanted to learn something new or try something new. I never said, “Oh, I don't think I would be good at that,” I just wanted to try and see what happened. And I think I've always had that kind of like experimentation in me of, “Let's just see what happens,” and that kind of always trying to be the best. Like, as much as people think sometimes looking at me, “Oh, she must be a perfectionist,” for me, I always just tell people, “I just have very high standards. If I'm going to do something, I want to go all in, I want to give it my all,” and that has definitely continue to show up in my life in my business as well.
J: So some people say to do things at 80% or you'll get stuck in perfectionism.
J: Does that not apply for you?
S: I 100% agree with that because I see so many people just trying to be so perfect that they just wait and wait and wait. I think my 80% is a little bit higher up than most people's, if that makes sense.
S: So I think I'm at the exact same thing as you guys are, is I'm really trying to go, “This doesn't need to be perfect, I'd rather just have it out and, you know, get it out there versus having it be perfect and waiting 2, 3, 4 months. I'm too impatient to be perfect,” that's what I always tell people…
J: Yeah. (Laughs)
S: … is I probably wish I could be a perfectionist, but I'm just… I'm too impatient, I want things happening yesterday. So, yes, I absolutely do I would say a group that 80% or what we call like the B-, the B+. But at the same time, I think my B+ might be what some people shoot for in an A because I just really want to put out that best version that whatever I can do to really up my level, up that game.
J: Will you say no to some things when you know you can't give it your all? I mean, how do you prioritize and choose when there's so many things you could do?
S: Yeah. So it depends. I think there's stages where we hustle a little bit harder and we say yes to everything because we don't know what that amazing opportunity is going to be. And then I think the more successful you get or the busier you get, you have no option but to start saying no. And in the beginning, you're not hearing that many requests or things I think because you're not as in demand, so it's easier to say yes. But at some point, you realize there's just not enough time on your calendar to be able to say yes to everything.
J: Yeah, that's true, that's true, for sure. Well, so in high school you were bossy…
J: … a leader. I can relate, I think I was too.
J: And how did you start the…? Well, I know what the business was, but tell everyone else what you did in your parents’ backyard.
S: Yeah. So when I got into high school, I actually came from a private, a Christian school into a public school and I knew nobody. So there was going to be 450 freshmen, I had 0 friends, nobody from my school came here; Oak Creek High School, so if you're familiar with the area, you'll know. And one of the things that my mom said was, “If you join a team, you'll make friends.” So the first auditions were dance, it was the dance team. Even though I have no dance experience, I thought, “Okay, I'll just try it.” And somehow I made it, and thankfully because it became my passion; I was obsessed with it, I just loved it so much. And when I was graduating, I realized, “Let's be real here, I'm not going to be a professional dancer,” but I didn't want to give it up. So I thought while I was going to school, I'm going to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I decided to start teaching dance classes in my parents’ backyard just for free, selfishly, for me, to continue to be able to be involved in dance somehow.
J: Mm-hmm. And so how many people came?
S: We had 17 girls that first summer. And I was not a business owner, I wasn't marketing, I wasn't doing anything, but I was just so focused on having that be the best experience for them, and within 3 years, we had 100 kids still coming to my parents’ backyard.
J: (Laughs) How’d you find them? Did you just put fliers in the neighborhood?
S: Yeah. So the first year, I put a few fliers around and we had a first like free meeting at the local community center so I could talk to the parents and tell them what I was going to do. And then we had an audition after that, and that's how I had the 17 kids. And after that, I did no marketing, literally those 17 kids or their parents started to tell their friends and it just snowballed.
J: That is so cool. Yu know what I love about that story? We know where it led, you became really successful, you turned it into a business, but you gave away something for free to begin.
J: And a lot of people think, “Oh, I don't know, I don't know what kind of business, I don't know what would make money,” and I've often thought, “You know, just go help people and see what resonates for you and for them,” and it's easier than we think, and you did that.
S: Absolutely, yeah. It's funny because as I was doing it for free, I started to have some moms say, “You should really start charging us, like this should not be free.” I was spending all Sunday teaching these 100 kids like back-to-back classes because I was a full time student, I was working 2 different bartending jobs because I couldn't make money any other time, I was teaching at a local dance studio as well as teaching these students every Sunday in the backyard. So I was booked solid as, you know, somebody from 18 to about 21.
J: Mm, wow, that's amazing. So hearing your schedule, you're obviously a more energetic person than average. Now, I want to talk a little bit about your identity, was that always your identity? Do you think it's all genetic? Did you just decide that's who you were? Where did that come from?
S: Yeah. So I grew up in a very hard-working family. So my grandfather started an excavating business, so kind of construction, we dig basements for houses, and that company has been around now for almost 50 years. My grandfather has passed, but my family continues to run it. And I remember back in the day when they started it that it was, you know, the sun came up and my dad was gone and the sun came down and then he came home.
S: Yeah. And, you know, it's funny because I was talking to somebody and they said, “Oh, do you miss… do you not have a great relationship with your… your dad or your grandfather? You don't speak about them a lot,” and it was because they were such hard working men that it was kind of like the girls hung out in our family. It was always my mom and my grandma and my sisters because the guys were off, you know, doing what they needed to do, working from sunup to sundown. And, you know, I could see them working hard, but then I also saw my mom and my grandma, you know, working hard at home as well. So I think I just always experienced that hard work ethic and it was just my normal, I didn't know any other way; we were very hard workers. And growing up in a construction business, my family always felt like, “Well, we could do this, we're handy, we could…” you know, so we were always the ones doing the landscape or things that people would have to hire out, my dad would say, “Oh, we'll figure this out.” So I always just got my hands dirty, I mean, that was something that I just remember growing up.
J: Mm-hmm, and what about the confidence? A lot of people work hard, but they don't have the confidence to take the risks that you take, like, “Hey, let's start a business in the backyard,” whoa! No one does that, right?
S: Right, right. I think part of it, I definitely had a couple things going for me. First, I was so young that I was so naive, you know, the older I get, the scarier things get because I realize now, you know, as somebody in her 30s, it is a little bit scarier versus when I was 18, you have no idea what you're taking on, right? So I think that it was just the luck right there…
J: Yeah, yeah.
S: … because I was just so naive to go for it, but I also think I surrounded myself with people like, again, that averaged 5. When you surround yourself with people where that's the norm, okay? I was very fortunate to have grown up in an entrepreneurial family because they looked at what I was doing and said, “You should do this,” right, “You could build this.” And now if you're thinking, “Well, I don't have that,” no, but you can find it, you can find other people in business, you can find other people doing what you want to do, right? So, again, it's like grab that average 5, go out, go find them, and when you hear what they're doing, it becomes an easier yes, you gain confidence because you're hearing it can be done.
J: Yeah, yeah. Well tell us about your husband, and the reason I asked that is some people listening are thinking, “Ugh, but my husband is not like the average 5 I want to be around, but I’m already stuck! What?”
J: So how did… you know, did you marry well? Has he shifted with you? Has he grown with you? What does that look like for you guys?
S: Yes. So we met really young, I'm here in Wisconsin, I feel like you get married very young.
S: So we… I met him when I was 20, we were married by the time I was 23. I wasn't really into personal development, I mean, not like I am today. So of course, it wasn't like I attracted somebody like that because I wasn't doing it myself.
S: But I will say he's like your typical guy, right? He's not somebody that's going to go, “Oh, I want to read this nonfiction business book on the airplane.”
S: He's going to read, you know, something more fun. But I will say that the more I do things, the more it’s kind of overflowing into him, if that makes sense.
S: And I'm not trying to push it, I'm not trying to make him, but naturally, it does happen. He's gone to a conference here or there with me and I always thought, “Oh, this will be so fun.” Sometimes I see, you know, spouses working together or going together, and I think you just have to figure out what works for you. And he's been very, very supportive, but he's not somebody that's fully in my business hands-on, if that makes sense.
J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
J: And so he has his own career then?
S: He does, yeah. So my husband is on the SWAT team for the City of Milwaukee.
J: Wow! That’s fun. (Laughs)
S: Yeah, so he is just as busy, if not busier than I am.
J: That's cool, that's cool. So you started the business and you started to charge people, then what happened from there?
S: Then things got really complicated.
S: Money made it a lot worse and a lot harder because before, there were no expectations, the program was free. Nobody was complaining, nobody was expecting anything because they were just so happy we were doing what we were doing. And then when they started paying for it, now all of a sudden there is a much bigger obligation on my end, right?
S: And I realized very quickly, “I don't know what I'm doing.” And just because I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, it's not like I was learning specific things or they were teaching me along the way, that wasn't how it was; I was really just observing the family business. And when I realized, “Well, this is really hard,” it wasn't like my construction family business was able to consult a dance studio, they had no idea. We didn't grow up in dance, it wasn't something anybody was very familiar with. So I realized really quickly I needed to find a mentor, I needed to find somebody who knew this industry really well because I'm very teachable, I'm very coachable, just tell me what to do and I'll do it, but you have to find that person that you resonate with or want to be in their position, and I was on a hunt, like I was on a mission to find that.
J: Mm-hmm. And who did you find?
S: So, I mean, this was years and years ago when I was 21, I found my first business mentor, his name was Sam Beckford.
S: I feel very fortunate to have found him. He was in the dance studio space, so again, it was really great to, not just go to a generic business conference, but something that actually really dove in deep to what I was doing.
S: And I followed him for many, many years and really, truly, I owe so much to him because those foundational years are so important. And I think the reason we were able to grow so quickly was because I had a great role model to follow.
J: Mm-hmm, that’s awesome. And then…
J: … you eventually turned it into a 7-figure business. How do you go from the backyard into… (Laughs)
J: … 7 figures? Like crazy.
S: Yeah. I think a couple things I had to realize very early on was, if you want to grow this business into… you know, it was really a hobby, it really was, I mean, that's how I was treating it, it wasn't making money. And when I could see at these conferences that there were successful people in the room, I all of a sudden realized, “Okay, I'm going to really start to go all-in here. I realize there's some strategies that I need to be doing,” and one of those strategies was kind of like, “Get out of your own way and stop being the solo entrepreneur,” because there were so many things that I wanted to do, but I couldn't do them alone, there was just no way that was going to happen. So immediately coming home from that conference, I hired people right away because I knew this vision was too big for me to do in my own.
J: Mm, that’s smart. And one of them was your sister, right?
S: Yeah. So actually, she didn't come on board until… we've been doing this now for the last 17 years this summer, and she's only been with me the last 11. So in the beginning, I think my family really was looking at like this as a hobby. I don't know that people looked at this and said, “Ooh, I want to jump in,” because you can't predict it's going to be a 7-figure business, right?
J: Yeah, right.
S: So I think at the time, we were all just doing our own thing. And I was really looking for people that had a passion for dance as well, I wasn't looking at the administration side of, “It's going to take a whole lot more than just dance teachers to grow this business. Like, we need dance teachers who are amazing in the classrooms, but we need people in the administrative position that can really grow and market and provide this amazing customer experience when you walk into the building,” and all of that. So there was a lot more that had to be done, but yeah, we now have a team of about 40 employees. And honestly, growing a team has been one of the best ways that we have really been able to, I mean, just make it more of a well-oiled machine and have systems in place for everybody to follow along and make sure that we are all on the same page.
J: That's awesome. And so now, you're doing something different in your entrepreneurial world, tell us about that.
S: Yeah. So naturally when you start to have success, some people will look at you and they'll just envy what you're doing and they'll never approach you. Some people are smart enough to say, “Can you tell me what you're doing? Like, how is that parking lot so full and how are you growing so quickly? And you're getting media here.” And so many people started to ask me and, for free, I just started to give away all the good stuff. I just started to tell people, “Here's what I'm doing. Try this, try that,” and it started to happen more and more often. And it was just the local karate studio or I had a dance mom who started a choc… like this phenomenal chocolatier company, and I had a friend who her husband's a doctor and he was leaving to start up a medi spa, like something like that, and they just knew, “Okay, she knows what she's doing, let's ask her,” and I started to coach people for free. And then eventually, it started to turn into, I'd go to these conferences and somebody who wasn't local to me would ask me how to do it and I started kind of doing some Skype calls, and one thing led to another and I thought, “I wonder if I have another business here.” It's funny how it started like the studio for free, it was exactly the same in the coaching world.
J: Mm, I love that. I mean, everyone listening, we all have things we can share for free, even if we haven’t…
J: … don't have the courage to monetize it yet, that's sometimes easier to just start for free (Laughs); I love it.
S: It is. And I think too, when you do it for free, again, they're not expecting you to sit there and coach them forever or do whatever, right, they're not going to ask for a lot, but when it's really good, what happens is they come back and say, “Listen, I'm not going to take an entire day from you for free, can I pay you for it?” So that happened in the dance world, it was like, “Okay, I know she's coming one time, but we want her to come a couple times,” and you're never going to be able to do that for free. Like, people understood that and they wanted more. So I think when you can provide something with so much value, they are going to be willing to pay for it.
J: So that's really interesting that you spent a whole day. I guess I'm thinking in my mind, “I'm always so protective of my time, I don't know if I would give a full day.” So what was going through your mind, “Oh yeah, I'm going to give him a full day and help him out for free,” I mean, where did that thought process come from?
S: Oh, so I guess I should say it would turn into like an hour or something, but they would request like, “I really want to pick your brain for an entire day and I know I'm going to have to pay for that.”
J: Mm, gotcha, gotcha.
S: “Like how much?” yeah. So I agree. I think even back then, I had a lot more time on my hands. It was pre-children…
S: … which is I always say it's like cheating when you don't have kids because there's so much time. So it was pre-children and it was when my studios were really doing well and delegation was just so big, but I didn't have the online business yet. So I had so much time, I was actually looking for things to do. Then I say started my other online business coaching and consulting, now it's like I couldn't even do it if I wanted to because I just don't have enough time. I have 2 children, several businesses, we have rental properties, so now I have to be so selective with what I'm saying yes to.
J: Mm, yeah. Well, tell us more about how you balance work and home, what does your schedule look like? I mean…
J: … I can hear you're such an achiever, but a lot of people up listening think they couldn't have a business and be a mom or…
S: Do all of it.
J: … do all that they have to do, yeah.
S: Yeah. And I think people, they assume, “She's working like crazy, she doesn't get sleep.” And I will tell you I work Monday through Friday 9:00 to 3:00, Wednesdays, I get a little tiny bit of a longer day maybe until like 4:30 or so, and I sleep minimum 8 hours every single night. I am with my kids in the morning, I pick them up from school and I'm with them until they go to sleep, and I really am trying to be so good about no work in the evenings and no work on the weekends. And I think we have to come understand that our to-do list as moms or as business owners, the to-do list will never stop. I think we're on a mission to get the to-do lists to be done and it'll never be done because we will always have 5 more things to add to it. So I had to start to say, “I am going to set aside this many hours and whatever I get done is all I get done. Even if there's a million more things to do on that list, it can wait till tomorrow or it can wait till Monday.” So I just think we have to let go of thinking we're going to have 100% completion, it will never happen.”
J: Mm-hmm, that's great advice whether people have a business or not.
J: Fantastic. Alright, well, Stacy you are amazing, but have you ever struggled with a low point? I hope the answer is yes or else you're superhuman and bionic. (Laughs)
S: Yeah. I really feel the more successful of a person you see, the more failures they've had. I mean, the bigger they get, the bigger their lows are. And at DC, I was sitting and Linda McMahon who is the co-founder of WWE, she was even sitting up there, who she's just this phenomenal business owner, has had so much success, and you'll hear things like bankruptcy and starting over. And fortunately, I haven't had that happen, but again, you look at that and I think, “Well, maybe it's… I'm not risking enough, you know, maybe I'm not doing,” because we really do take big risks, and with big risks come sometimes massive failures. So this is one of those questions where I'm like, “Hmm, which one of the 25 can I pick right now?” because there's so many that come to mind. But I think there's a lot of ways that I can go with this. And the one that really is popping up to me mostly right now is this struggle I had when I first had children of kind of losing my identity of this high achiever, you know, working woman to almost like I wasn't sure if it was what I thought I should be doing or if it was more of what people thought I should be doing or maybe what I thought people thought I should be doing, right?
J: (Laughs) Yes.
S: There's so many struggles there. And I think, for me, I had this thing in my head of, “Well, people are going to think because I work from home that of course I need to be a stay-at-home mom,” it just… it didn't make any sense. And for 18 months, I had my oldest at home with me while trying to work.
S: And it was going miserably.
S: I mean, absolutely, horribly, I was miserable.
J: (Laughs) Yes.
S: She was getting no attention, I mean, it was just… the big aha, like the lowest of low is when she came over and like would slam my laptop down and it was just… she couldn't even speak yet, but it was literally her actions were so much louder than any word could have been and it was just like, “Mom, get off your laptop,” right? And I had this huge identity crisis because I wanted to work, I liked working, but I felt like people were going to judge me if I sent them off to daycare, right, like how could I do that when I'm at home? And it took me 18 months before I said, “Okay, I'm going to send her 1 day a week,” and I took her just on Mondays to an in-home daycare, it was somebody I knew I trusted really, it was one of those people I'm like, “Okay, I love that I know this person.” And I sent Tanner to daycare on Mondays and it was life-changing, it was like…
J: … the best day ever. Monday was the day that I just felt like myself again. And it wasn't like I shut off being a mom, I was still with her in the mornings and we would, you know, play together in the mornings, and then after I picked her up, it was all night long. And I realized after doing just Monday's for quite a few months, I realized that Monday's were the best days. And when I realized that, I said, “Okay, I need to do more than just Monday. I need to get back to figuring out, ‘Who cares what people think of me? Who cares what I think people are thinking of me?’ and what feels right.” And I added on a second day and then added on a third day, and that's kind of where we ended. So my kids were going to daycare 3 days a week, and then the other 2, I was kind of like having my husband watching them in the mornings for a little bit before he would go to work and then I'd have them in the afternoons, and it really has been our sweet spot. Tanner is now in kindergarten so now we have Tegan who is doing kind of the same routine, she'll be going off to kindergarten in 1 more year. So I think the moral of the story here is I felt so guilty and ashamed of, “Can I do this? What are people going to think?”
S: And, you know, trust me, I've had the money failures and all of that, but I think one of the biggest things as a mom that we struggle with is, “What do our children think of us? What…?”
S: You know?
J: Yes, for sure. (Laughs)
S: Because I realized it kind of came down more to, “What does my 3 and 6-year-old think?” versus, “What do people think of the way that I'm raising my kids?” And now, you know, as I'm, you know, in my online business and I get a lot of speaking opportunities and traveling, I'm gone a lot and I started to go, “Oh, what do people think about me traveling so much?” right? So then… and I had to go back and now, my kids are old enough where I’ll even say, you know, “How do you think about this?” or, “What do you feel about this?” and they can tell me like, “No, mom I want you to stay home,” or, “No, go. I'm going to stay at Grandma's house,” and they're super excited. And I think that was the biggest thing was figuring out, “What is best for our family?” involving the children in some of those conversations the older they get and really just going, “I don't care what anybody else thinks.”
S: Like, “You do you and I'm going to do me.” And honestly, that has been just like the biggest takeaway is to be able to figure out what's best for us.
J: I love that. And it reminds me, yesterday I asked my nine-year-old daughter, Jane, just to see how she felt about business (sometimes I like to weigh in with them), and I said, “When am I a good mom?” and she said, “When you cook for us.”
J: And I said, “What would make me a bad mom?” she said, “When you yell at us,” but she didn't mention business at all.
J: I don’t even think they notice. So you're absolutely right, yeah.
S: What's funny is I was having this guilt about traveling a ton, and one time, I was talking to my oldest and I said to her, “Who works more, mom or dad?” I'm thinking the obvious answer is me, and she's like, “Dad, for sure.”
J: Oh, that’s crazy! (Laughs)
S: And I was like, “Interesting,” yeah. But I think it's because, you know, dad is gone from home, right, so when dad works, he is visibly not here.
S: But when I'm home, I'm really here, really engaged, and it's funny their perception, you know what I mean?
S: So… and I even asked, like I was afraid to ask this question, but I said to Tanner, I'm like, “Am I a good mom?” and she said, “You're the best mom.”
S: I know.
J: That’s awesome.
S: And it kind of broke my heart and I'm like, “Why do I care what this other mom who doesn't know me, who doesn't… she's not in my home, she doesn't see what's going on. Why do I care so much about what she thinks…”
S: “… when my kids are so happy and so great?” And that's where my focus needs to be, and I hope other moms can take that away here.
J: Yeah. And have you actually had comments from other women or moms about all the work you do or have you…?
S: Yeah. So what's funny is I actually have never heard anybody say anything…
J: (Laughs) That’s funny.
S: … but I feel like it's happening. You know, it's like…
S: … in my head that there… people are thinking these things or saying these things, but I've never had anybody say to my face. And it's so funny how something can be so real in our minds, but we have no proof of it.
S: It's just crazy.
J: And what do you hope your daughters will remember about you, you know, when your life has come and gone, what's the legacy you hope to leave for them?
J: Big one. (Laughs)
S: Okay, I'm going to… yeah, I’m going to answer your question, but this might not be answering it. I hope my daughter's become entrepreneurs because of what they've seen and experienced without me ever saying, “I think you should be an entrepreneur.” I hope that they are watching and observing how I'm living my life, I want them to look at that and say, “Why would I not want to do that? Why would I not want to, you know, be present be here?” And I think that's the legacy I want to leave them is that, “You really can do it all, like you absolutely can have the life that you want on your own terms.”
J: Mm, that's great. Well, let's take a quick break for our sponsor and then I want to talk about a little more about your time management and we'll talk about intuition and some of your favorite things.
S: Okay, great.
J: Alright, welcome back, everyone. Stacy, tell us more about your morning routine and how you keep your cup filled, because to be honest, I think a lot of people listening would think, “Wow, her life sounds exhausting,” but you get the…
J: … 8 hours of sleep a night. So…
J: … what are you doing to fit it all in? How do you manage yourself with screen time, for example? I assume you don't have a lot when you're not working because you have to squeeze other things in, right?
S: Yeah, yeah. So first, I'm completely being honest here, and there are some moments when life is exhausting and we have these seasons. So this past week has been a very exhausting week for me, hence why I'm so sick and I'm losing my voice. And here's the thing though, next week or this summer is going to feel so light and so easy and I get to truly just kind of take a break and rest. And I think that we have to be okay with certain times are going to be crazy and other times we have to make up for it. So, for me, my morning routine is waking up around 6:00, but not necessarily. If I wake up at 6:00 and I am just not feeling like I'm rested enough, I will not just hit the snooze, but I'll just turn my alarm off or I'll make it till 7:00 when I know the kids have to get up for school. But then there's other times when I wake up at 5:45 without an alarm and I'm feeling amazing and I just get up and get out of bed.
S: So I'm not a crazy like, “You have to wake up at this time.”
S: I really know the importance of sleep and I want to make sure that I'm feeling my best. So really, I'm waking up on average around 6:00 AM, I usually am the first one up, I go right into my office and I will do a very short like 5 minute meditation and I use something called the Muse headbands. Do you know what that is?
J: Yes, tell us about it.
S: I love the Muse headband, and the reason why is because I am so bad at meditating that I need to kind of have somebody almost like a teacher help me figure out how to do it. So I've been using the Muse headband for a couple years, and I'll try it without it a few times and I'll go back to see, “Ok, am I…” it kind of scores you, it actually measures your brainwaves and it tells you how calm you were, how distracted you were. The first time I ever used it, they give you a percentage based off of 100, I got 1%.
J: No! (Laughs)
S: I'm not even kidding 1%. I'm like, “Wait, is that… is that good? Am I at the high…? No, I'm at the low end,” because I was… I didn't know how to calm down my brain. So, for me, again, it's like you've got to figure out what works for you, and I'm one of those people that my brain does not shut off. I mean, I was getting no… I was sleeping for 8 hours and getting no deep sleep because my brain physically like could not shut off. So I've realized there's certain things I have to do to slow my body down, even though I don't want to be slowed down, but meditation, a quick like 10 minute yoga stretch, anything, again, just to take a moment to breathe and relax. So that's what I really try to squeeze in in the morning before I kind of jump in to my workday. Now, in the morning, I’m very creative, my mind works so much better in the morning than it does in the evenings. So I used that time for any type of creative work that I need to get done, most of that is writing. So that's kind of usually what I do, and I only get to do that until somebody wakes up. So that's probably around 7:00 or so, so I have about an hour to myself. And then it's mom time, from 7:00 to 9:00 is mom time and then I'm right back into it from about 9:00 to 3:00 that day. But my mornings vary. I'm not… I love the Miracle Morning books, if you've read those, I highly recommend it. I don't get through all of the things they say to do, but every day I kind of go, “What do I need today? Today, do I need to journal? Do I need to do a little bit of longer stretch because my body is aching? What is it that I need this morning.”
J: So I know you're a very fit person, when are you working out to keep in shape and to have that energy?
J: Or is the yoga thing mostly it?
S: No, I will do weight training 3 times a week, so… and, but only for 30 minutes. I don't have an hour or 2 to go to the gym, I'm working out from home, I work out Tuesday, Friday, Sunday. And I love that it's so specific because that's when I don't miss it. When I know, “Okay, this is the day this is the time,” versus, “Do I feel like working out today?” because I used to be like that.
S: And when I… I rarely ever felt like working out. Now, I'm going, “It's Friday, I need to work out today. This is the day that I work out, this is on my calendar.” And, for me, I need structure in my life or things just don't seem to happen, if that makes sense.
J: So you just find a good time in the day or is it a set time?
S: Yeah, so I actually have it set in my calendar and it has to go in the 9:00 to 3:00 window because I'm not going to be able to do it when I'm getting the kids ready, I don't want to do it really early in the morning because I don't want to wake them up. So, yeah, I do it usually first thing in the morning between like 9:00 and 3:00. And, again, to me, I'm doing it to… you know, more weights to stay strong and healthy.
S: I used to always want to be skinny. As a dancer, I mean, that is just something that of course, we are looking at body image and things like that. And the older I got, the more I started to say, “I need to be healthy.” I'm very scared of dementia and things like that, I've seen it in my family, and I'm like, “I want my brain to be healthy, I want my body to be healthy, I want to live a good life.” And the more I started to try to be healthy, I don't have to think about being skinny because it comes with it.
S: And for so long, when I tried to be skinny, it didn't work got like that. So, for me, it's more about brain health, productivity, how to just be energized throughout the day. And people always say, “How many cups of coffee did you have?” I just started drinking coffee this past January. I'm 34 years old, I have not had coffee ever. My first hot coffee was this past year, I never even had a coffee before.
J: (Laughs) Wow.
S: Because I didn't need it, I'm just…
S: … like, “Let's do this,” right?
S: And, for me, now I started drinking a Bulletproof coffee in the morning, not because I needed coffee, but because I like the health benefits of that Bulletproof diet. So, again, I just think the more you can focus on really the why behind what you're trying to do, all of a sudden these extra benefits come along with it.
J: Yeah. So what time do you get into bed at night to make sure you get that 8 hours? I guess 10:00. (Laughs)
S: Yeah. So my big goal is… I have a 3 and 6-year-old, big goal is both of these children are sleeping by 8:00; that's my goal, that doesn't always happen. But my goal is that they're sleeping by 8:00 so that from 8:00 to 9:00, I can have just a little break. And I want to watch a TV show, I want to just do something to let my brain not be thinking business; so I try to do that. And most people are like, “Oh, I read before bed,” no, I watch like a guilty pleasure, something that you're like, “I can't even believe she watches that,” but I think I need that little reward at the end of the day. So my goal is 9 o'clock I am in bed, TV off, and hopefully sleeping by about 9:30.
J: Mm, nice, perfect.
J: What is your favorite way to relax and recharge besides the guilty pleasure TV show?
S: Yeah. My favorite way… and I don't get to do this often enough because of where we live, but I love so much going for a walk on a nice day by myself with no headphones in and I just can think. And I know that might sound so crazy, but when I tell you my mind doesn't shut off, I need time to just sit there and not think about anything. And that is one of my most favorite things to do is just go for a walk. Now, again, I live in Wisconsin, that is not happening when it's -240 outside.
S: I skip those days. But, for me, I'm very aware of whether I need to go get a massage or go to acupuncture or I'm always asking myself like, “What kind of self-care do I need?” People think those are luxuries, those are necessities when you are a busy mom, for sure.
J: How often do you get a massage?
S: So I used to go weekly, literally every Friday, that was my reward. And I recently acupuncture and I have fallen in love, which is so crazy because I just love massages so much, but a massage was really great in the moment, it wasn't really giving me the effect after, which is why I had to go every single week. And when I discovered acupuncture, I was actually getting several days or a week after of actually feeling the stress come out of my body, which has been amazing. So, for me, I've been going to acupuncture about every other week and I'd like to start going to massage maybe like even just once or twice a month.
J: Yeah. So with acupuncture, you went the first time, do they just know what to do for you? I mean. do you tell them…
J: … what you're struggling with?
S: Yeah. So the first time I went, it was a 2 hour consultation.
S: And… yeah, I was like, “Wow, we are getting deep here,” asking so many questions, things you're like, “I can't believe I'm telling her this, but okay, here's the information.”
S: And then… because everybody, there's different pressure points or places they need to place the needles.
S: So every time I go, they ask me questions to really make sure that they're getting what needs to happen. And I will tell you, I'm one of those people that I carry the stress in my neck and my shoulders…
S: … where I always have knots in my neck and back.
S: And after going to acupuncture a few times, my body has never felt as amazing it is… as it has going to acupuncture; it's crazy.
S: It’s absolutely crazy what it does.
J: So I did it once…
J: … and I didn't go back, but maybe I just didn't find the right…
J: … practitioner. (Laughs)
S: That's possible. And my person made me come… this sounds intense, but she made me come twice a week for 3 weeks…
S: … because she said we have to get it going. Like, there's something that happens in the beginning of it, and then after you've kind of done that, then it's more maintenance. So I will tell you, that really helped me.
J: And how did you know which provider to select? I mean, how did you decide?
S: Yeah, so that's kind of scary because you're like, “Oh, you're putting needles in my body.”
S: I basically went online, searched for ‘acupuncture in my area’, and there was 1 that popped up that had a million 4 and 5 star reviews and everybody else kind of was non-existent, and I had to just kind of trust that I was going to test her out and see, I really liked her, she knew her stuff. When she said the word ‘podcast’ and things like ‘bulletproof’, I'm like, “Oh, I'm hooked.” Like, she called herself a biohacker and I'm like, “Yes, this is my first…”
J: Oh man!
S: Yes, so…
J: I should drive to Milwaukee now and see her. (Laughs)
S: You should, oh my goodness. So I think you to… you go with your gut, you figure out, “Who do I try?” and then you see if you like this person. And if you don't, you don't go back. But I mean, the fact that she was a podcast listener and all that, I'm like, “Oh, she's my girl, she's definitely my…”
J: Yeah, for sure. Well, let's shift and talk about intuition a little bit. Have there been times in your life when your gut instinct or your intuition or God, whatever you call it, you felt to do something and it worked out…
J: … but you didn't know logically it was going to work out?
S: Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. And I think there's a lot. And here's the thing, when you go with your gut, there's sometimes when, yes, there will be failures, it's not always, “Oh, that… that was the right choice.” The most recent one that's coming to my mind is I recently rebranded my podcast, and I was nervous because I actually went to a branding specialist who said, “No, don't do it.”
S: And I'm like, “I'm paying all this money, she's an amazing expert, she coaches all these amazing people, and I'm going against what she told me to do,” right?
S: That's a little scary. But I do think nobody knows you and your business or you as a mom or your household better than you do. And that's when I said… you know, and if you're not feeling something, just because people are telling you you should do it, but your heart's not in it…
S: … it's going to show. And, for me, I really kind of had to rip the Band-Aid and say, “Okay, I know this is not…” people are saying, “Don't do this,” but, for me, it just felt like the right fit. And I've had the best reaction, I mean, it's only been 24 hours since this has happened, but I had somebody yesterday who said, “I have been really struggling in my business, I've been praying for guidance or a mentor or somebody,” in her brick-and-mortar business, and she said… this would happen last week, and then yesterday, we announced the change, but we're kind of heading at helping people with physical locations, and she said like, “You are the answer to my prayers.” And that right there is going, “Okay, I trusted my gut,” and this was one of those big, “You did the right decisions,” you know?
J: Ah, oh, that’s really cool. And you got that…
J: … instant validation because you changed…
J: … the name just yesterday, right?
S: Yes, yes. And that happened already last night where I’m like… you know, and you're kind of waiting, “Are people going to like it? Are they not liking it? Are they nervous that you're leaving them or you're not going to give value to them anymore?” And I think the validation that I needed, I already received within those 24 hours.
J: And I know a bit about the entrepreneurial marketing space and there's really not anyone talking about foot traffic (Laughs) so it’s kind of brilliant. (Laughs)
S: And here's the thing, that was the thing is, it's nerve-racking when you're going, “No one's doing it. Is it for a reason? Is it because they're not listening? Is it because they're not out there?” And, no, sometimes it's just an under-saturated market and people are waiting for you to come out and do that. And, for me, that's exactly what it felt like.
J: Mm, way to go, I love that.
S: Thank you.
J: Now, tell us your favorite book.
S: Okay. So my favorite book (I have so many), I'm going to go with ‘The Compound Effect’. I think it's a great book for anybody looking to change a bad habit or incorporate a new good habit. So… and it could be anything personal or professional, it's such a good book by Darren Hardy.
J: Okay. And your favorite easy meal.
S: So I order something called Factor 75 every week to my house.
S: And they come precooked, not frozen or anything, just like fresh, ready to go, and we do it every single week. And every time I eat lunch, I think, “This is why I do this because I would never be eating a good healthy meal and I need convenience more than anything right now.”
J: And so all your meals are precooked or like a percentage?
S: I mean, about 80%.
J: That's really great. And is that a local place? It's not a box…
S: No, it's…
J: … delivery service?
J: It is.
S: It's nationwide, it's… nope, it's nationwide, they’re…. I don't even know what states they're in. And with it, every Tuesday, I get an entire box of meals sent to my house. They're fresh made like the day before and you can… basically, you have to eat them within the next like 5 or 6 days, and every single week, they come to me. And we have never been this healthy because we have always have options that you can never open my refrigerator and say there's nothing to eat, that doesn't exist.
J: Factor 75?
S: Yes, I'm a big fan of them.
J: Oh, I’m going to check it out.
S: I’m not sponsored or anything, I've been eating their meals. I'll tell you this, in case you already have tried them, I ate them a couple years ago and I got really sick of them really fast, and then about a year plus ago, I had to become gluten free out of nowhere.
S: And I was nervous so I went back to them because they're 100% gluten free. And they must have a new chef or something, their food is so good, I've been eating them consistently for over a year and I am not sick of them, and they bring out new recipes all the time. And you pick from a menu every single week.
J: So that… that's what you do for dinner?
S: I do it for lunch and dinner. When my husband's home, he works weird shifts so we don't get to eat dinner together, but when he's home, he's the cook, so then I get my home-cooked meals on the nights he's off.
S: I know.
J: And what do you like to do for breakfast?
S: Breakfast, I do… so I read this book, ‘The Bulletproof Diet’, so I do Bulletproof coffee in the morning and I do intermittent fasting, so I don't eat until noon every day.
J: Okay, Bulletproof Diet.
S: Yeah. And the reason I love intermittent fasting is just it's so convenient to not… like, “What do you have for breakfast? Nothing, I just have a coffee,” which is amazing, and it's with the coffee with like the collagen and the grass-fed butter (and what else goes in there?) and some brain octane oil for productivity.
J: Ooh, brain octane.
J: What brand do you use?
S: So I do Bulletproof everything.
S: Yeah, I highly recommend reading that book.
J: Yeah, thank you.
J: And you stop eating at what time at night?
S: I eat between like 12:00 and about 6:30 every day. That's kind of… so I have lunch around noon and then I have dinner around 6:00 o'clock, I'm done eating for the night around 6:30, 7:00.
J: And what does it mean for you to be a vibrant happy woman?
S: So I always say it means doing what I want, when I want, with who I want, and really being have… like having that freedom and flexibility just to have those options and to be able to control what I want to do.
J: Mm, that's good, that's good. And a challenge from you to our listeners, and we'll say goodbye.
S: Yeah. So I'm going to… we're… let's go back to the average 5. I'm going to challenge you today, write down on a piece of paper, like go back in your phone, who have you been recently texting? Who are you always talking to, messaging? And just kind of take a look at them and decide, “Am I in the right group? Am I happy with this? Or do I need to think about maybe, you know, putting some other people in my average 5 to really level up and be the person I want to be?”
J: Ooh, that's good. Well, thank you, this was awesome, Stacy, I appreciate you being on the show.
S: Oh my goodness, thank you so much, Jen, it's been so fun.
J: Take care.
I told you Stacy is a little Energizer bunny and I love all of her tips. The coolest thing is she gets at least 8 hours of sleep at night, she's not burning the candle at both ends. She is very careful to balance her health with her family with her career. And I love how she gives herself permission to order the box meals because why not? So you kind of have to prioritize what's important, and Stacy does such a good job of that. Now, speaking of entrepreneurship, I want to let you know that Vibrant Happy Business Builder is open for enrollment and you can join us at any time. It is a phenomenal program that will take you from no idea at all to having a functioning profitable business. You can learn more and sign up at jenriday.com/businessbuilder. Well, I thank you so much for listening and I will be back later this week with the Happy Bit as usual. And until then, make it a productive, vibrant happy week. Take care.