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Transcript Episode 21

Transcript Episode 21: How to Build Genuine Relationships in Business with Rohana Olson

Transcript Episode 21

Stephanie Skryzowski 

Welcome to the 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast, the show for purpose-driven entrepreneurs who want to get inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, expand it to your purpose and grow your business in a big way. I’m your host, Stephanie Skryzowski, a globe trotting CFO whose mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers to grow their impact and their income. Let’s dive in!

Hello, hello! Welcome back to the 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast. I’m your host Stephanie Skryzowski and today I am here with my friend Rohana. Rohana Olson is a wedding photographer based in Minnesota and has been photographing weddings for just shy of five years. She has a heart to serve and encourages others to chase their dreams. When she isn’t out photographing love stories, recording podcasts, or mentoring new business owners you can find our Rohana whipping up a new recipe while dancing in the kitchen to Frank Sinatra with her husband, or playing snuggle monster with her little girl. Rohana specializes in documenting a couple’s unique love story through romantic photographs capturing unforgettable moments and treating all of her clients like they are a part of her family.

So Rohana is an incredibly talented photographer, who really started her photography business as a side hustle and grew it into the business that it is today, and has added coaching to what she does. And we just had such a fun conversation. I feel like this was very much like chatting with girlfriends over a cup of tea or a glass of wine. So I hope you enjoy our conversation today and really learning from her Rohana, the path that she took and the journey that she took. And it wasn’t always a smooth or an easy one to get to where she is now. There were a lot of challenges along the way, a lot of times that she was really outside of her comfort zone and give a listen to how she really breaks through to the other side and really staying true to herself and her business when it is hard and typical, then you kind of feel like a failure sometimes. So we had an awesome conversation. I think you’ll enjoy this one. And I’ll see you on the other side.

Everybody, welcome back to the 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast. I am so excited to be here today with my friend Rohana, Rohana welcome!

Rohana Olson  

Thank you. I’m so excited to be here too!

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Yes. So I always like to start our show with talking about how we know each other because my whole like, first season of episodes are all people that I know very well that I have worked with or met or like we’re online business besties. And so you and I, I think we met at a conference in 2019. Is that right?

Rohana Olson  

Yeah!

Stephanie Skryzowski  

We met at Creative at Heart?

Rohana Olson  

We did meet at Creative at Heart in 2018, Yeah.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Yeah. And I think we’ve been following along with each other on social media ever since. And we’ve worked together.  And yeah, I just thought you would be a great person to have on the podcast.

Rohana Olson  

Thank you for having me. I’m so excited. It’s gonna be fun.

Stephanie Skryzowski   

Yeah! So tell us a little bit about what you do.

Rohana Olson  

Well, I am a wedding photographer. I’m a wedding and portrait photographer out of Minnesota. And then I also do business coaching as well. And education on the side.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Oh, nice! How did your business journey sort of start? Where did you begin? Where did you maybe think you would end up? How did you get to like the photography and the business coaching piece now.

Rohana Olson  

So my journey was a little bit different. I wasn’t the kid that had the camera in their hand their whole lives. I actually worked in corporate America as a finance manager at a hospital and I loved it. But I went through this stage where my grandparents, it all started from my grandparents, they were married for 74 years. And I always liked photography. My grandfather was a sheriff for 20 years. And so he taught me how to use film on film camera. And I always loved that aspect of it. So I really liked film before I loved digital, but it was just something that I played around with and did for fun. And when they passed, they only had five photographs of the two of them, just the two of them together over their whole span of their lives together.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Oh my gosh.

Rohana Olson  

I mean there was always like grandpa with the grandkids or grandma with the grandkids, but never the two of them. And I had some discussions with my cousins so that I could get my hands on one of the photos and I just I cherished it so much. And that’s kind of when the love for merging photography and weddings came along because I wanted to at least gift everybody that was getting married. A good picture of the two of them together with that importance to be able to pass on and that’s kind of where the love of it started. So I was working my full time job. I was doing photography on the side, and then we got pregnant with my daughter and I just decided not to go back to work.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

I love it.

Rohana Olson  

I’m in the business. We set a plan. My husband, I really set ourselves up to figure out the best way to go full time, in a way that wasn’t going to affect our family, finances, I guess at all and set some goals and I ran for it definitely worked my butt off.

Stephanie Skryzowski   

Yeah, that is a pretty big leap going from what I’m sure felt like a very stable job as a finance manager in a hospital, which I did not know that you were a finance person. I’m like, that’s why you’re so good at your bookkeeping.

Rohana Olson  

Because I love numbers. I am the creative that loves numbers.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Oh my gosh, you’re my favorite person. I love that so much. There’s a lot of change, leaving a full time job starting this new business and welcoming a new little baby into your house. So how did you deal with that transition was that scary?

Rohana Olson    

It was very scary going from the consistency of a regular paycheck and the income to you’ve got to figure out where your next dollar is coming from was very stressful, there was a lot of planning that got put into place, goals that we had to hit that we knew financially, you have to hit this, we need to make this much income. And we built up a savings before. So we kind of knew that I was going to be staying home with our daughter. But we didn’t know exactly what I was going to do career wise. So we lived off my husband’s income for the whole year that or not the whole year I was pregnant, but the nine months of that year! And that really helped to plan it out.

And then Freya, was really easy. I got really, really lucky with a very easy child. And so I was like the nap time working Mama. And my husband had an irregular schedule at the time. So it worked out really well, because he could help out. And then I could still get sleep and we could still work. And it was very helpful to have a plan. And knowing that when I went into business, I love being the creative side of my career. Like I love creating beautiful photographs. I love working with clients. But going into it with a business mind, I think really helped myself, it’s because I already had a love of business and numbers, where that piece came easily for me to transition to.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Hmm…Yeah, I love that. And I think that when there’s something scary that we’re trying to do, and it feels like just this insurmountable kind of terrifying thing, like leaving a job and having a newborn and starting a business, the fact that you had a plan that made it less scary, if you have everything sort of mapped out, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. And it’s not something that you have to stick to, because I’m sure that there were shifts along the way. But like at least just having that plan. It seems like it made it a little bit less scary.

Rohana Olson  

It made it a lot less scary and like good, better, best, right? So you have your your good, like love this, and then this would be better. And then yet, let’s really shoot for those number. And that was very, very, very helpful with the journey and just having a lot of support, I’m a people person, I love people. So that really helps just to put myself out there and talk to people.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Since you sort of you left the job, the businesses full time. How has that grown and evolved over the past how many years you’ve been in business? However old your daughter is 6,7,8?

Rohana Olson   

5! She’s been in business for five and a half years, probably making like full time income in like four and a half years. Let’s be honest, that first year and a half, I got really scrappy, which has been interesting because I feel like now with our current world state have gotten scrappy again. So, I built really strong relationships when I knew I was going to go into weddings. I never did the jack of all trades that a lot of photographers will do when they first start out. You know, I loved my baby, but I am not a very quiet human being. And so I’m super calming when it comes to newborn sessions.

Stephanie and Rohana  

(Laughing)

Stephanie Skryzowski  

I like that you know that about yourself.

Rohana Olson   

So I really started out with families and business head shots, that was very easy. That was an easy transition where I just rent out a space do a ton of head shots for my peers, get them in the door. And then from that kind of grew into weddings, because I had a few where I’d like work with a college and do some head shots for graduating students. Yeah, they’d have like a LinkedIn profile picture that wasn’t them their car. 

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Yeah.

Rohana Olson    

And that actually turned into the first couple of weddings that I got, were kids that were getting married, that knew me just from that, and it was an easy working relationship to transition. And then it was word of mouth, I didn’t spend a lot of money on advertising, I didn’t really have a lot of extra in the budget to do that. So a lot of it was word of mouth and getting to know people that would run the venues and setting up styled shoots, I mean like I will do whatever you want me to do. And I would look at their website. And sometimes it’s venues, they’ll have the photographs of the couples and the families and the wedding party, but they don’t always have pictures that they’re getting ready spaces or what the spaces look like empty. So I would just offer to photograph it for free.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Hmm…

Rohana Olson   

Go in, do that, meet them, they get to know me. I get to give them some nice photos and hopefully it turns into a working relationship and nine times out of 10 it did.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Love that. I know that you’ve really spent a lot of time like building those relationships and your business. And I’m sure it helps that you are such a people person. But are there specific strategies or tactics that you’ve used that maybe would apply even beyond the wedding industry for building those genuine relationships?

Rohana Olson    

I cannot remember exactly who it was a taught me this. So this was not my initial idea. But I was always told that when you go to like network with people, or you’re meeting new people to never give out your business card, you get theirs. You get their business card, and then you note to yourself, like you want to learn one personal fact about them something about their business, and then something that interests you about that conversation that would stand out. So you have to like, ask questions and fish for details. And then you get their business card. And you just tell them “Oh, I’m sorry, I just gave out my last one”, or “unfortunately, I’m getting new ones”, you come up with a good excuse other than I’m not giving you my business card.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yeah.

Rohana Olson    

And then you go home. You wait until you get home. And if you get home at a decent hour, then you just send an email and be like, “hey, so and so it was so lovely to meet you. I love this aspect of our conversation. We’d like to get to know you better,” that has served me and my business. So well.

Stephanie Skryzowski   

Interesting. So why, what am I missing? Why not give them your business card? It’s really like that you reaching out to them? 

Rohana Olson   

Mostly, because a lot of times people will just I mean, I don’t know if you do, but when I would get business cards, before I had this strategy into play, they would just sit on the counter. And how many people take that business card and go follow up? Like if you’re giving your business card? Are they actually going to email you and this way, you have a detail to note to yourself to give to them. And it forces you just broke a conversation with them. Because if you just give your business card, you can just let go period go. So nice to meet you and then walk away. 

Stephanie Skryzowski   

Yeah. And you’ll never talk to him again. 

Rohana Olson    

We’ll never talk to him again.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yeah.

Rohana Olson    

And you won’t be able to find out like, “Can we have a working relationship? Or is there something that I’d love to get to know you better? Or how do you find those common denominators to even build any sort of relationship?” 

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yeah, I love that. And I think it’s so much about being proactive about meeting people and sharing a genuine or showing genuine interest in them. Like you have to be proactive about it. Because at the end of the day, we’re all so busy, they might not come to you. And that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to work with you. It just means like, when they got home, they had to cook dinner for their three kids and crazy and the business card got thrown in the trash and whatever.

Rohana Olson    

Exactly.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

So I love that you like have this proactive strategy. Does that also apply to like finding or connecting with potential clients?

Rohana Olson    

Yeah. No, it’s worked through that too, with potential clients. The best story I have is, is that I booked a wedding from an airport.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Like you met someone at an airport.

Rohana Olson    

Yep, that’s one of the it was a gentleman that I was flying with I had a shoot in Washington, DC, it ended up being like my flight mate, I guess when we call them. We had just struck up a conversation and talked and he had called me. And it was a wonderful conversation. But I didn’t actually get a card from him, I wouldn’t have a way to follow up. But I had given him my card, unfortunately, because I don’t have one. And I was like, are you using my trick? 

Stephanie Skryzowski    

“Stealing my strategy”

Rohana Olson    

You’re stealing my strategy, so I give him my business card and we had chat and it was wonderful. And then like six months later, he had called me out of the blue via email like, “hey, do you remember me like we sat on this flight and chit chatted and he was like, my fiance and I are getting married. Unfortunately, a wedding photographer had a conflict. And now she’s unable to photograph it. Can I fly you out here and we do the shoot?” And I was like, “sure, sweet, this is awesome!”

But it was just all from setting and having a conversation I think we just talked about like our careers and life. But I think that helps because couples in I think any industry that you’re in, you want to build a relationship with whoever you’re working with, so that they feel seen and heard and valued. And not just from a client perspective. Like we all are humans, we want to feel that connection. So I think if you can find a quick win and a quick way to build rapport with that person. It goes such a long way.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yeah. And I can imagine to especially with your wedding clients, this is somebody that is going to be spending like eight to 12 hours with you on one of the biggest days of your life, like you kind of want to like them. 

Rohana Olson    

Yeah, do you need to have like a good qualifying question of, “Hey, we’re gonna spend eight to 10 hours together like we need to dive personality-wise.”

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Exactly. “Do we like each other? Because this is like a big day for you. So you don’t want to hate me and I don’t want to hate you.”

Rohana Olson    

Exactly!

Stephanie Skryzowski    

I love that. Well, that’s a good lesson to me that maybe sometimes I need to talk to people in airplanes. I’m the person that puts the headphones on. It’s like, “do not talk to me. Just want to be alone.”

Rohana Olson    

You shouldn’t sit next to me in a flight.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

I’m the person that’s like, “yeah, okay,” put the headphones in and like hopefully they stopped talking introvert – #introvert. Oh my goodness. So throughout the course of your business, I’m sure there have been times where things didn’t always feel so great. And I’m not trying to focus like on the negative. But when things are sort of feeling like you’ve hit a wall, are you feeling like you have failed? How do you really keep pushing through that and stay true to yourself and stay true to your business? When you’re like, “Oh, I just feel like this is not for me, I feel like a failure.” I imagine that in some of your business coaching work, this is probably things that you help the people that you coach and teach as well. So how do you kind of help people get past it when you’re like, “Oh, this sucks, I feel like a huge failure.”

Rohana Olson    

It’s so hard. And it’s so frustrating. And I think part of is you have to lean into it just a little bit, set yourself a timer, I do this myself, I give myself like 10 minutes or even 15 gets a wallow – wallow in my misery, sometimes it takes longer depending on the situation. And then I always like to evaluate it. Even if it’s something really small, or if the small mistake to a big mistake, evaluate it, figure out this one great, this didn’t go great. This is what I have control over. This is what I don’t have control over and really look at it. Because some situations you don’t have control, other situations you do, you know. And so you have to take a look to see what you could have done differently. And then don’t beat yourself up over it just build a strategy moving forward. But I like to have a folder on my computer called the good stuff. And this folder is just full of either really sweet emails from clients, or really good reviews or personal wins that I’ve had, or nice things people have said to me, so that I can go look at it on the days that I feel like the worst person in the whole wide world. So I remember that, like, “hey, my clients do Love me. And, you know, my mentors do gain value with working for me and I do matter. And this is what matters. And this is why I do what I do.” And I think that’s where having a vision for your business and having your values and having all of that somewhere where you can see it. So you can always refer back to like, this is why I do what I do. And then you remember ’cause there’s days like, do we all get up in the morning and are super happy to do our business and rock it out. There’s always going to be bad days, there’s always going to be days. I mean, especially in our current state. As of right now, with the pandemic going on. There’s of course, there’s days that you’re tired, you don’t want to go to work, you don’t want to do those things and having the motivation on why you’re doing it really helps.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yeah, you are not the first person that has told me that they keep a folder or a binder or something of like good things. I think you’re actually like the fourth person that has told me in the last two weeks that they have a binder of good things. And you know what, I’m missing out, I need a binder of good things. I need to like come back through emails and find all the good things. Because sometimes, man, it’s like one little mistake that maybe it is your fault. Like maybe you legit made a mistake because we all make mistakes. And you I say you I’m like talking about myself here like I make a mistake and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I’m the worst. I don’t deserve to have this business. I’m really bad at what I do.” And if you have a little folder of all the good things, you can go refer to that and think like, “Okay, I’m not so bad after all.”

Rohana Olson    

Exactly. And even say you made a mistake. I mean, I remember worst mistake that I had. That was very eye opening for myself and not over complicating my life is is that I had two weddings back to back. It was a doubleheader weekend sort of Friday wedding and a Saturday wedding. And I delivered the sneak peeks to the wrong couple.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Woops.

Rohana Olson    

They got flip flopped. And I was so embarrassed, and I felt so bad. And one of the couples handled it very, very sweetly was very gracious, the other one was really confused. They’re just a little confused as to why they’re showing pictures of not themselves, and their email, and I felt horrible. So then, of course, I sit there and I edited like 30 more photos to make it better delivered the proper gallery, like the proper sneak peeks to the proper people. And I, you know, we’re our own worst critic. So I made me like internally chewed myself pretty heavily for it. And then the couple that first wasn’t so happy came back after I delivered their whole wedding gallery four weeks later and thought it was the funniest thing in the whole wide world. And I kept that email because it was like I need to remind myself that even mistakes can happen, but people are gonna give you grace too. And as long as you try to make it better and do your best. I mean, it’s a simple it was a small like in the grand scheme of things worst things could happen. But to me, it was pretty epic.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

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I can’t imagine and I feel like for any business owner, if you’re looking from the outside, you’re like, that really wasn’t a big deal. But when you’re inside and you’re living it, you’re like, is the worst thing in the world. So…

Rohana Olson    

Exactly.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yeah. And I mean, I think that looking back with hindsight, it’s like, “Okay, that was actually kind of funny, like, these people are getting pictures that aren’t themselves, haha like no big deal.” But I’m sure the moment you were like, “Oh, my gosh, I’m the worst.”

Rohana Olson    

And so much stuff can happen. And that’s where like, I’m sure you have it to where you have like a process for everything. I mean, I’ve been really lucky where will am very type-A, so that helps. But coming from, like my past career background, it made me having systems and processes really easy. But I mean, I’ve heard horror stories of accidentally reformatting a card that has all the pictures on it, stuff can happen, knock on wood, my camera has never had an issue. And I always have backups with me. And I’m grateful for those things. But that’s something that I tell my mentees all the time is like, hey, like have a process, have a system have a backup plan and typically have a backup plan for your initial backup plan. And that way, it takes some of that stress away too. So you can feel more like thriving instead of just surviving.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yeah, exactly. There’s always a way out, you’ll never get to a point where you feel just like really, really stuck. And I was just talking to somebody else about this today. And you know, just thinking about mistakes and hard days. And I saw the quote somewhere like you have survived 100% of your hardest days, like you’re still here, at the end of the day, nothing is really in the grand scheme of things that big of a deal. You know, we’ve survived it all.

Rohana Olson    

I love that quote so much.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

It’s a good reminder.

Rohana Olson    

That needs to go in your feel good folder.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yes, exactly, exactly. I know. You know, I’ve been collecting quotes this year, I got a new notebook slash planner thing. And I’m not a paper planner person for appointments and stuff. But I’ve been using it just for calendar and like note taking and I’ve collected a lot of quotes, I’m not really a quote person, but I’m like, Now, I am a quote person I guess. Because I’m collecting, I was gonna write that one down.

Rohana Olson    

That’s awesome. So I’ve been using the Save option on Instagram, I see quotes, as I’m scrolling that I’m like saving all the time. And then I didn’t realize you can go into that folder and look at everything either. Like, “oh, man, I’m collecting a lot of this stuff from these different accounts”.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yeah!

Rohana Olson    

“Here’s a quote, I’ll probably save it.”

Stephanie Skryzowski    

You’re just saving it. And like you would never look at it because you didn’t know that you couldn’t find it again. That is handy, then thank you Instagram. That is so funny. So obviously, you know I’m a CFO, but I really love hearing how other business owners manage their numbers. And I know that obviously we work together. But you were always super on top of your numbers. Like when we started working together, your bookkeeping was caught up, everything was in the right place. You are not one of those people that are like, here’s some paper I like wrote last year’s revenue on like, No, you have QuickBooks, you’re good. What’s your process for managing your numbers and kind of understanding your finances.

Rohana Olson    

I like numbers, that helps, and having a finance background was very helpful. And I knew… So my mom had a small business. She just retired. But she had run her own business for years. And so I kind of grew up helping her. And my mom, hopefully she’s not listening or she is and she’ll laugh, but she would give me boxes of all of her receipts at the end of the year. Because I would do all her book work for her and profit for tax time. So I just remember years of going through all these receipts and being a little frustrated by it. Balancing the checkbook when cheques were still a predominant thing. And I actually still enjoy using a checkbook. So I knew when I started my business, I didn’t want to do the same thing. I didn’t want to have just boxes and boxes of receipts. And so something I set up very early on was I started out with just a basic Excel spreadsheet of all of my numbers. So I knew all of my expenses, but I built out percentages of what I wanted to spend in different areas. So what did I want to spend on continue to add to what did I want to spend on my equipment, because the equipment is a little expensive in the photography world. And I went into it thinking my overhead was going to be very low. That was a lie. I learned that in the first like six months.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yeah.

Rohana Olson    

So I set budgets for myself of okay if I bring in this much this has to go to taxes. This can go to equipment, this can go to gear, it just started in Excel. I didn’t actually get QuickBooks until like two years ago, when I had a little register in my cart, jot down my mileage every time I got into it. So QuickBooks is a game changer for me, because then I could just import it all in. And I wanted to see the growth. And so I would be able to go in and track, I have a lead system for when I have leads coming in that I track in an Excel spreadsheet to this day, but I can track that and see the patterns of like, when are leads coming in one of my booking things and then bump that up to my books to know, “hey, January, February, are quiet months for me. So I need to pad the budget in November and December to utilize down the road.” And so yeah, I always wanted to make sure I had a system in place. But then I brought you on because I was like, I don’t know, is this right? Is this wrong? Where’s the growth? How do I measure this and just fine tune it even more, just because I feel like, I wanted to make sure I was setting myself up so that I can give back more and that I can bless my family more and bless other people more with the financials and seeing what that can actually do.

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Yeah. I love that. I love that like even before QuickBooks, because I feel like a lot of people aren’t think like, Okay, well, if I gotta get on top of my numbers, that means I have to get QuickBooks and like, I can’t deal with another software, I don’t want to learn on their software. It’s confusing, blah, blah, blah, like, it does not have to be like that. And I love that you started out just really simple. Okay, well, here’s how much I want to spend on this. I know this is important in my business, here’s how much I want to spend on that. Here’s when money is coming in. It can be as simple as you need it to be. And I love that you’re like, Yeah, I don’t want boxes of receipts that are funny because like, I don’t have paper receipts for anything. I buy everything online. I don’t know the last time I went to a physical store and swiped my business credit card, you know, like, I’d have to print everything out. That’s bonkers.

Rohana Olson    

And I still have some printed receipts and I have a folder in my inbox. It’s like just receipts and then I file it in the folder for every single year. Yeah, so I have it at least in one spot. And then I still balance it. I mean, I go in if I have Finance Fridays, so every Friday, I go in, I look at all my numbers, I look at where things are at. I reconcile any transactions, I make sure it matches my bank account.

Stephanie Skryzowski   

And it’s so easy, like, it’s easy, right?

Rohana Olson   

It doesn’t take long. Like once it’s set up, it really doesn’t take that long. Honestly, I think you feel such a good sense of control. When you know your numbers. You know what you have coming at you, you know, when you can do big purchases, you have a plan for that. And I think it’s going to grow your confidence to yourself. That’s a really good way like I’ll have quick wins, I’ll go in and like sweet. This is where I’m at I got to put this much in retirement. 

Stephanie Skryzowski    

Mm hmm. Exactly, exactly. And I know that one of the things that you mentioned was really having a strong business foundation when you’re starting your business. And I think this is part of that. And I think it’s something that you have really done well since the beginning of your business, or at least like for several years is the finance piece. And that is one of the strong pieces of the foundation that is going to make your business strong, and it’s going to keep you going. And I think that you’re just like a great example because I know you do like numbers, but you’re also a creative person in a creative industry where I feel like a lot of times people are like, Oh, I’m a creative. I can’t do numbers like no, that’s not No, it’s

Rohana Olson 

It’s not hard. Oh, really, they’re not they’re not as scary as they seem. And I see a lot of people in the creative industry that I love to pieces that I’m just sit down through numbers, like just for 10 minutes and go through them. And then you’re gonna have such a better sense of self and a better sense of your business. You could be missing things or you could just not be setting yourself up properly. And that gets really scary.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Yeah, are there other like pieces of the foundation things you feel like you did really well that every business owner should make sure they’ve got these other pieces of the foundation in place.

Rohana Olson  

I would say finances, contracts like to have strong contracts in place, don’t just Google it and put it together. My first year in business I actually I didn’t know at the time like I know now there’s like the legal page and the law tog and I know like there’s the artists lawyer with Maggie Fisher. There’s different options out there for contracts. I didn’t know that when I was starting out. So part of like my first initial is I went and found a small business lawyer and was like, Hi, I need a contract to cover myself. You so I went the unquote old school. Yeah, old school.

Stephanie Skryzowski 

Old man down the street. Yeah.

Rohana Olson  

But you know, and then I had control over that. So definitely say like, know your numbers, have strong finances, know what your business values are. And have an idea of where you want your business to go. And also set your boundaries early on in your business and when you’re working and when you’re not. Because I personally fall into the trap of being a workaholic. And you know, the first strong year where I left my full time job. I have like a I think she was four months old when I officially like cut the ties with my work. I had no boundaries like I was working 24-Seven around the clock, I loved it. And I loved where I was at, like, I didn’t feel tired and frazzled and stressed. But then after that year, my husband looked at me and he’s like, “hey, sweetheart, like, I really love you. But I don’t think you left your full time job to work this much. Is it gonna be good? Let’s prove it more financially.”

Stephanie Skryzowski  

If you did, then where’s the big bucks?

Rohana Olson  

Exactly! Then where’s the money? And so that was our lesson is just set strong boundaries. And, you know, if it means that you need to write up all of your emails at night and put them in your drafts folder and schedule the sun in the next day or Boomerang, I think is what you can use to do that.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Yes.

Rohana Olson  

Do it. So your clients at least don’t know. Because if your clients know that you are working around the clock, then they’re going to expect you to work around the clock. And then you’re going to burn out really quickly.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Yep, I Boomerang everything. Because at the end of the day, like yeah, there are some times that I’m working at night, but do I want my clients knowing I’m setting up financials at 10pm? Like 100% I do not. So then get boomeranged for the morning. I’m not on call at that time. If I’m sending them financials, I don’t want them to be reviewing them at 10pm and then sending me questions back like, it’s not a back and forth situation right now. So yes, oh my gosh boomerang. So true. Boundaries are so important. And I think you’re right. It’s so important to set those from day one, somebody use the phrase with me, like begin as you mean to go on. So basically, like set things up, right, the way you want them to continue in the future, like Don’t make excuses or don’t do things now and think it’s only gonna be short term, like set things up the right way from the beginning. And I wouldn’t have even thought about boundaries. But that’s so important. And I’m also a workaholic, because love what I do I mean, I do do that part of it’s good.

Rohana Olson  

When you don’t feel like you’re working all the time. But then I think, especially if there’s creative say that they don’t have a family yet, but they know at some point they’re going to want to family, it’s going to be really hard adjustment, where I think I kind of came into it at a good time, because I had to learn that very quickly. Because I was growing my family and building my business at the same time because I’m crazy.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Me too, my business was born the same time that my daughter was. So…

Rohana Olson  

That’s awesome.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Yes.

Rohana Olson  

It’s great.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Awesome. Oh, my gosh, I feel like we could just chat all night long. But I wanted to ask you, I have three little quick questions that I like to ask at the end. And you can just share, like the first thing that comes to your mind. So what is your favorite productivity hack or tip or trick in your business or your life?

Rohana Olson  

The focus app, you get it for Mac, I don’t know if you can get it for PC. So I’m really sorry to PC users, because I’m not really sure. Okay, but it’s called focus. It’s like $10 for a lifetime membership. You can go in and you download it to your computer, and you can get motivational quotes, and you put them on there. And then you tell them all the websites you cannot be on. Anything off on your computer. So like you can’t get into messages you can set if you want who to talk to you. So it takes a little bit of setup time. But it tracks it. You can do up to like 90 minutes at one set time where it shuts everything else out except what you need to do. And it is the best if you like to find squirrels and not always stay super focused on your tasks.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Hmm. Oh, I like that one. I’ll have to definitely check that out.

Rohana Olson  

I swear by it and then it like when you go to a website that you told yourself that you weren’t going to go to it comes up with a motivational quote. You just got a motivational quote. And you can keep on going.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Oh my gosh. That’s so funny. I like that. I like positive reinforcement. I don’t want to yell that because I like want to go check my personal email or something.

Rohana Olson  

Exactly. Yeah, it’s amazing. I found it. I think four years ago, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

That’s a good one. I’ve not heard of that. Okay. My second question, what is a favorite book you’ve read? And let’s say a favorite nonfiction book doesn’t have to be business, but favorite nonfiction book.

Rohana Olson  

Deep Work by Cal Newport.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Oh, I’ve not read that one. I feel it need to though.

Rohana Olson  

It was a game changer for me. And then digital minimalism right after that.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Yeah, I’ve heard of both of them. But I haven’t read up. Maybe I’m a little scared. I don’t want to have to give up Instagram.

Rohana Olson  

I did not super follow the process of digital minimalism as well as I was supposed to. But I did find a lot of freedom in it. But I really really loved deep work and just being able to set up my process and what I wanted and where I wanted, and helped me build my vision of what I was really diving into my business.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

I love that.

Rohana Olson  

But I love, I read nonfiction business books all the time. They just keep coming to my house and my husband’s just like, “when are we gonna stop buying books?” No, absolutely not.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

Absolutely not. I love that. Well, yeah. And I think that’s the thing is like, even if you get just a couple little nuggets from each thing that you’re reading, like that’s a lot of personal development and growth and you don’t have to follow everything to the tee. I just grabbing a couple nuggets, it’s awesome. Okay, last question. Imagine that you had a weekday completely free from work and all obligations, what do you do?

Rohana Olson  

Take a nap. Probably, I don’t know, like an ideal weekday, I have no work and like even I can just be by myself it would be to like, make myself a really nice, big breakfast, pour a really big cup of coffee and just sit in silence, like just silence hanging out with my dog and a weighted blanket. Just really peaceful.

Stephanie Skryzowski  

I love it. I love that that’s your ideal day and you’re an extrovert. You’re like I want some peace and quiet. Even though you are an extrovert.

Rohana Olson  

I’m an extrovert, but I so used to always call myself an introverted… errr… an extroverted introvert because I love being around people. They make me so happy, like I definitely get fueled up, but I definitely need that step away like time to myself and quiet.

Stephanie Skryzowski

Yeah. I love that. That sounds like a lovely day. All right. Well, before we wrap up, where should our listeners go to find you to learn more about you? And is there anywhere in particular you want them to go?

Rohana Olson

Instagram is probably the best place to find me. It’ll be @rohanaolson, and that’s the best spot I’m popping my DMS send me messages. I love talking. That’s the thing. I will always message back. I won’t leave you hanging. Sometimes live in video messages just to say hi. So you can put a face to the name. But I love Instagram conversations.

Stephanie Skryzowski 

Love it. Love it. I feel like we voice message before.

Rohana Olson

We voice message quite a bit, I think.

Stephanie Skryzowski

Yeah. And I do that with other people too. It’s kind of fun. It’s especially with somebody that you haven’t really connected with before to do the voice message that feels a little more personal.

Rohana Olson 

So I think I voice message a lot during the day even versus text messages. Now instead of typing it. I’ll just press and send a voice message

Stephanie Skryzowski

So much easier. I know. Crazy. Awesome. Well, Rohana this was so much fun. Thank you so much for being here!

Rohana Olson

Thank you, this is so much fun. I’m excited!

Thanks for listening to the 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship podcast. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100degreesconsulting.com/podcast. Make sure to snap a screenshot on your phone of this episode and tag me on instagram @stephanie.skry and I’ll be sure to share. Thanks for being here friends, and I’ll see you next time!

Transcript Episode 21

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