Episode 37: How Five Years of Consistency Have Built a Brand with Molly Stillman
Transcript Episode 37
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, welcome back to 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast! I’m your host Stephanie Skryzowski and today I have an awesome guest on the podcast Molly Stillman.
She’s the founder and creator of Still Being Molly, a life and style blog started in 2007. And the host of the Business with Purpose podcast started in 2016. She’s a speaker, teacher, writer and loud laugher with a passion for inspiring women to know that they were created on purpose, with a purpose and for a purpose.
Molly’s writing has appeared in publications such as Patios, Christian Parenting.org, Compassion International, Faith Wire and Scary Mommy. She is honored to have been featured in such publications and media as US News and World Report, The 700 Club Carry Magazine, Midtown Magazine and was named as one of the Carolinas 75 most stylish people by Carolina Style Magazine.
She’s a wife to John, mama to Lilly and Amos, dog-mom to Taylor and Audrey, lover of Jesus, Diet Coke and all of the Chipotle burritos!
So Molly was actually one of the very first podcasts that I started listening to years ago. And she was in fact, the very first podcast that I was ever a guest on. So I feel like we have this long journey together, even though we’ve never actually met in person.
Anyway, Molly and I talk today about her journey, and all of the different multifaceted pieces of her life and her business that make up that journey.
I’m really excited to share this with you today, especially if you are sort of a multi-passionate entrepreneur that’s got like different irons in the fire. We talked a lot about Molly’s podcast, and what has helped her be consistent to publish a podcast episode, every single week for five years. FIVE years, every single week and episode has gone live.
So, we talked about what has helped her do that. What’s really kept her going over the years. I was telling her I don’t know if there’s anything that I’ve done every single week for five years. Like that’s a long time!
I can’t wait to share with you a little bit about ethical and sustainable fashion, a little bit about podcasting, and lots of stuff in between.
Without further ado, I will let you listen to you and enjoy today’s episode with Molly.
Hey, everybody, welcome back to 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship! I am your host, Stephanie. I’m really excited to be here today with Molly Stillman.
Molly, first of all, welcome to the show!
Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be on the other side of the mic. From the last time that we got to connect, you we’re on the other side of the mic on my show. So this is fun!
Yes, exactly. We were just chatting before we started recording that it’s been over two years since we last spoke. I was thinking, Molly, I think your show was actually the very first podcast interview that I had ever done. Like you were the first podcast I was ever on. So, thank you!
Oh, hey, you’re welcome. I love it!
You inspired the journey. I just remember being really worried about my internet connection, and also talking about Dave Matthews, because I’m fairly certain the conversation went to Dave Matthews at the end.
It had to be, it had to.
Anyway, I would love to hear about your journey and what that has really looked like. I feel like you have done a number of different things. You have a blog, you have an amazing podcast with like over 250 episodes published. You’re really into the sort of sustainable fashion space, what does that journey look like? How did you get to where you are now?
Yeah, so I started my blog, actually, when I was in college. I was a creative writing major. It just sort of became this avenue where I could put my writing out there and I wanted to be a comedy writer. I actually wanted to be on Saturday Night Live. That was my dream for the longest time!
I would just sort of put my writing on this blog – this live journal. When I graduated, I was working in politics, and then I was working as a high school English teacher. Those were, I mean you know, you can be creative as a teacher, but they were just not like the most creative outlets for me.
So, I transitioned my blog over to WordPress, and that was in the summer of 2007. Fast forward many years, I obviously did not end up on Saturday Night Live. I did not end up becoming like the onion. And my blog just sort of transitioned, as my life did.
I realized that people were reading it, that weren’t my family and closest friends. And I realized that I had this passion for just writing and sharing my life with people. And I realized that there was power in that. It was fun!
And over the years, it evolved just at kind of, like I said, kind of as my life did. A lot happened in my personal life from the years 2007 to 2012. I always kind of joke that it’s like that quarter life crisis era of my early adulthood.
So as I was documenting that, I realized… I began to kind of uncover what were really my passions. What did I really enjoy writing about? And to kind of, again, fast track to where I am now.
As I was transitioning to more of a lifestyle blog, I had been sharing my journey getting out of debt. I was in just a lot of consumer credit card debt after I’d gotten out of college. And I was in this space in my life, where I was unlearning all of these mistakes that I had made. I was rethinking how to be a consumer and a wise steward of finances.
And one of the pieces of that was in the summer of 2011, I had gone on a mission trip to Kenya and on our last day in the country, we had about probably like eight hours before we had to be at the airport and we had gone and toward this factory called Kazuri.
Kazuri was this, you know, just small fair trade brand. What they made was they took basically clay and they like fired it into beads, and pottery and they made like sandal, I mean, all these different things. Like home decor, and, you know, Christmas ornaments, stuff like that.
But they had been around a really long time, and that what they were doing was really unique. And so we were touring this fair trade factory, it was the first time that I had ever really seen what fair trade looked like.
For so long, I just thought like, oh, fair trade is, you know, coffee, tea and chocolate. I realized that it was so much more.
So I came home from that trip, and just dove headfirst into the world of learning as much as I could about fair trade and ethical fashion, and what that really looks like, but you got to remember this 2011. So there just were not a ton of resources out there about this information.
And I felt like I was feeling my way in the dark, trying to figure this all out. So over the years, I just began to kind of share what I was learning. And eventually, it kind of transitioned on my blog as it has over time to where that became the majority of what I was writing about.
I felt so called to be able to share what I was learning with other people so that other people could know and be empowered in their purchasing and know that your purchases do matter. They do matter! And they add up over time… and all those kinds of things.
And then in the summer of 2016, I launched my podcast and we’re coming up on five years now, which is just insane to me.
So, that’s called Business with Purpose and that sort of just an extension of my blog. I wanted to create this platform in this space for these incredible business owners and brand owners, and people like you and people who are really trying to make an impact in the world through their businesses.
And so here we are! Yeah, we’re like 250 plus episodes in and there’s no slowing down now.
And then to cap it all off. This spring we moved to our farm. My family and I bought a farm. I’m surrounded by nature and I have 22 chickens and 12 guineas and 5 turkeys and we are getting goats soon. We have bees and a garden and fruit trees, and all of the things – so that’s my crazy life.
Oh my gosh, I love it so much because I feel like nobody’s path is a straight line from point A to point B.
Oh, no, not at all.
And you’ve got all these different offshoots that have led you to where you are right now. So, quick question about the farm. Did you grow up on a farm? Do you know…
I did not. No.
Nothing about farming?
That’s so exciting.
I mean, no, I did not grow up on a farm. My husband did not grow up on a farm, he did grow up on five acres. So he grew up on some land. But no, he did not grow up on a farm. It was just something that we had, the vision evolved over time.
But from the time we were dating, we started dating in July of 2010. From the time we were dating, we always kind of talked about that that would be something cool to do would be to like, buy some land and build a house.
And as conversations do just over time, as we got engaged, and as we were married, it was always sort of this like, Oh, well, 10 years down the road, we’ll buy land and build and you know, and then “Oh, maybe we’ll like have chickens” and like, “Oh, well, we’ll have a big garden”, and it just, you know what I mean? It just evolved.
But I’d probably say about four or five years ago was when we really were like, okay, we always knew that this was something we wanted to do. But probably four or five years ago, we were like, Okay, I think we really want to do like a homestead.
You know, again, we’ve been praying about this and planning for this for years, but we started pretty aggressively saving.
And so we just every month, we had a certain amount that we would earmark and we just throw it into a land fund, like october-november of 2019, is when we really kind of realized like, Okay, we’ve got a good amount saved, like we could probably start kind of looking and so we began that whole process.
That’s a whole ‘nother story for another day. But then here we are, you know, a year and a half later, and we’re living on the farm and our vision, and our dream is coming to fruition. And it feels surreal.
Honestly, a day does not go by where my husband and I don’t look at each other. And go, I can’t believe we live here. Like I can’t believe we get to do this. So it’s just an immense feeling of gratitude. It’s also hard. But we went into that knowing that, but it’s 100% worth it!
Yeah, that’s amazing. I love watching dreams evolve, and then actually come to fruition. I feel like so often, we’re dreaming these things and then we’re not taking the action along the way to get there. And I love how you were like “We talked about actually wanting to make this happen and started taking the action steps.”
I feel like often, we can just kind of get stuck in the dreaming phase and dreaming is fun, but it’s more fun when you can make those dreams come true.
I love that. Oh my gosh, there’s so much I want to talk to you about. So this sort of ethical, sustainable fashion that you really got into in 2011. After your trip to Kenya, like you said there probably at that time, there were not a lot of resources on it.
And even still now I feel like there’s so much opportunity for this purpose driven entrepreneurial space, as you know, like we work with nonprofits and purpose driven businesses in what we do with our CFO and bookkeeping services, and specifically on the sustainable ethical fashion and fair trade.
What has that journey looked like with you? I know you’ve partnered with lots of different brands in different capacities before and over really the past 10 years.
What has that looked like for you?
Yeah, like I said, I’m a storyteller. By nature. I think that’s just, my mom was a writer, I was a creative writing major. I am just a writer and a storyteller by nature. So I believe in the power of story. I believe that story has the power to connect us. It has the power to humanize us, it has the power to level the playing field. It has the power to break down barriers, break down walls.
The more that we get to know one another and we listen to each other’s stories that have the power to change hearts, change minds, change systems. There’s so much I could say about that.
And so, you know, if I partner with a brand and a business sense, I don’t want to just showcase their products, which that’s a part of it, obviously, like you want great products like above anything is, you need to have great products in order to be a successful business. Let’s just put that out there.
However, I think when you have a great product that then is coupled with a really interesting or unique or powerful story, that is where you can really move the needle in your business.
And so just something that I’ve tried to do over the years is approach partnerships in a really unique way and just not try to just be like, “Oh you should buy these sandals because they’re great sandals” like, “Oh, let me tell you about these sandals on here’s all the different ways you can wear them. Oh and also let me tell you about how these are sustainably made or how this particular product was made by this really unique talented group of craftsmen or whatever.”
Whatever it might look like, that’s a big passion of mine. And so you know, I don’t. And I don’t know if your question is logistically, like, how do I work with brands, but that’s just sort of my own mission.
One thing that I did when I started to monetize my blog, because you got to remember like, I started blogging in college, and then I transitioned to WordPress in 2007. You know, this was before, like… I mean, blogging, just people didn’t really know what that was. You had some of the bigger, like Young House Love, and some of these bigger blogs that had been around for a little while. It was not what it was today.
And obviously, like, Instagram wasn’t around, and Facebook wasn’t used for these kinds of things. So it’s just a very different market. So I didn’t start monetizing till 2012. This five years that I was not making any money doing this. And when I did start to earn an income, it was not a lot.
Like still, like people always like, “Oh, you wrote…” I promise you. Do not try to do this, if you want to get rich, okay, you’re gonna burn out real quick, okay? Trust me. But if you approach it with a sense of humility, and a sense of earnestness, and honesty, you can make a living.
When I started to monetize, that was a thing that was really important to me, it was like, I will never take $1 from a brand if I would not write about it, or talk about it for free. And that was just something that I ingrained in myself very early on and has served me well over the years.
Yeah, that’s really interesting. So in that period of time, from 2007 to 2012, I mean, you were like, “Yeah, I hadn’t monetized at this point.” I mean, were you thinking of your blog as a business?
Or at that point were you thinking of it as a way to document your life and your interests and your travels to Kenya and different things that kind of you had going on or… what were you thinking of as a business at that point?
I was not in a lot of ways I thought it was going to be a Avenue in order to get the job I was looking for or the job I was hoping for or whatever I don’t know exactly like what specifically I at the time might have been my mindset but certainly becoming a like full time blogger was nowhere near my radar.
I would say probably towards the end of 2011 and into 2012 is where I began to really start to think about, Okay, I think I can do this as a business.
I’d say it was more gradual towards the end of that era before… and then once I kind of made that mental switch which I would say I was thinking about at the end of 2011 and then at the beginning of 2012. I got married in February of 2012. And I remember around that time into the spring like I was treating it like a business.
Like I was treating it like okay, I think I really want to do this and take this seriously.
I think that people, and when I say people I guess I kind of mean myself, when we think about ethical or sustainable or fair trade fashion. I wouldn’t say like, fashion forward is what we’re necessarily thinking.
But what I will say is just following you on Instagram, you kind of changed my tone about that because the stuff that you are showing and the things that you’re wearing they are cute and they are chic and they are stylish and not what you would imagine like your hippie grandmother wearing or something you know.
Yeah like it’s so is that been something intentional that you’ve done or have I just been like missing out and not looking at the right brands or something?
No, definitely because there is a very common misconception, you are not alone, that people outside of the ethical sustainable fashion industry.
They hear that, they hear Fairtrade fashion or they hear ethical fashion and they immediately think macrame vest in a sunflower field. Like wearing flower crowns singing Kumbaya, like that is 100% what people think.
And that is a valid thought because that for a long time is pretty much what I think, there was a stereotype for a reason like so. But no, that is not the case anymore.
There are so many ethical fashion brands that are very fashion forward on trend. You know make beautiful, stylish clothing that is absolutely something that you would, you know you can put up against some of the biggest brands.
So yeah, it is something I’m really intentional about to just be like guys, it’s not that hard, it can be done.
You can wear cute, stylish clothing that is well made that is ethically made. It takes some intention and it takes a little bit of extra work, but it can totally be done.
What would be your tips for somebody that’s trying to like dip their toe into that world and be a more conscious consumer?
I feel like with so many things, we’re super conscious about it, you know, we’re recycling or composting and but then when it comes to the jeans that I wear, like, no, don’t really care about being a conscious consumer.
So how does somebody who is, I would say, kind of mainstream, sort of dip their toe into that water? Like, what’s a good place to start? or What should we start thinking about?
My advice? Because I get this question a lot. And my advice is always kind of two-threefold.
Number one is I say, always just start small, like start with one thing.
So if you are a shoe person, like you really like shoes. It’s really hard for you to not buy shoes, just switch to buying ethical shoes – find the category. So there are so many incredible ethical shoe companies, The Root Collective, Duma, The Fortress of Inca, Abel.
If you know, if you’re looking for sneakers, you’ve got, I don’t know if it’s pronounced Veha, or Veja. Veja, I thought it was they ha, somebody corrected me, I don’t know, whatever, V E J A. Yeah, there’s so many shoe companies out there that are ethical, and beautifully made. And so that is a great, easy switch.
Jewelry accessories, there are a kajillion ethical jewelry and accessory brands.
So start small, do not try to overhaul your entire purchasing habits overnight. Because you will burn out, you’ll be like this is too hard, I can’t do this, you know. So start small, start with one category.
The second tip I have is use resources that are out there. So I mean, I’m biased, but I have an ethical brand directory on my blog, so you can go to stillbemolly.com. And right at the top, there’s a little, in the navigation, it says brands, you can click there. And that is a whole searchable, ethical brand directory that has over 400 different ethical fashion and product brands.
I mean, I have it broken down by category and tags, and you can search and click and shop right from there. So super easy, there!
And then the third thing is if that still seems too hard for you, shop secondhand.
Shopping secondhand is one of the most ethical and sustainable ways to shop. It’s the most affordable way to shop and with the you know, kind of the advent of, or the invention of sites like ThredUp and Poshmark. You’ve got eBay and Facebook marketplace, you have so many, it’s not just thrift stores anymore.
There are so many places where you can shop secondhand, The RealReal that are just, at this point, I’m like there’s no excuse. It’s so easy. Like you can buy literally anything.
I mean, I think about the other day I walked into church and my best friend walked in and she was wearing this dress that I was like, “Oh my gosh, I love that dress. Where is it from?” And she was like from Target like three months ago. I was like, Okay, well, I need to know the brand. And I’m now going to like stalk poshmark. I found it on Poshmark.
So not only am I buying the cutest dress ever, but it is you know, a target brand. But I’m getting on Poshmark new with tags for half the price that I would have paid at Target. So there’s so many ways to do it. It’s really easy.
It’s just yeah… those are always my three main tips, is start with one thing. Use my ethical brand directory to search and if you still don’t want to do that just shop secondhand.
That’s so good, because I feel like our listeners all want to make an impact in one way or another. And for some people that are listening, it’s through their business. For other people that’s not what they’re doing. For others, It’s like working for a nonprofit and for somebody who’s not thinking about making an impact through their business, this is an amazing way to do that. To really be you know, be the cause of some positive change. I love the fact that you mentioned shopping secondhand, I have used ThredUp for my girls, my little ones.
My kids like they’re gonna grow out of these clothes so quickly and you can get amazing brands for really cheap. So, I’ve done tons of shopping for my little girls on ThredUp and actually just started selling a bunch of my stuff on Poshmark.
I’m on your directory right now because I’m in the market for a new handbag and I’ve been standing in department stores not finding anything that I really liked.
And I just found a site and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, they have beautiful things here!”, So thank you for that!
It’s really good everybody! If you are looking to make a change in one area or another and like Molly said, she’s got it broken down by different categories.
If you want bags, you can click and find all the bag vendors. And if you want clothes, and jewelry and home stuff, and this is really good.
Where applicable, I’ve also included, some of the brands have been very generous to provide discount codes, certainly not all of them. But some of the brands I’ve reached out to and said, “Hey, you know, like I have you in my directory.” And just as a way to encourage people to shop, some of them have discount codes.
So (*clicks*), way to go!
It’s really good. Well, I will definitely be shopping your directory and clicking through your website when we are done because I have not found a handbag at any of the department stores that I like.
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I want to talk about your podcast. You to me are like one of the original podcasters because I am fairly certain back in 2016, I don’t think I even knew what a podcast was back then. So you’ve been doing this for a long time.
Like I said in the beginning, I just went over to Apple podcasts. You have over 250 published episodes of your podcast. And like I said, you were the very first podcast I was ever a guest on and really one of the original ones that I listened to.
I can imagine that it’s been a journey, like coming up on five years of podcasting.
What has that been like, what made you start a podcast? What have you learned along the way? And also, that was a lot of questions.
What tips do you have?
No, that’s okay!
Yeah, so what made me get started was, so I used to work in radio. So that was one of my other previous jobs. I worked in radio for a few years. And I just loved, kind of that format of just conversational, the audio experience. I always enjoyed that.
I’ve actually done some stuff on some podcasts back then that was like when podcasts were really, really in the infancy stage. And so like, I don’t even know if those podcasts you can still find them anymore. Like that’s how long ago they were. So because this was like 2008-2009.
And then I started working in radio in 2009-2010. I really enjoyed that. And then over the years, I would say like, I should do a podcast, like I’m good at that kind of thing. I think I would enjoy it.
So, I just talked about it forever. And finally, one day, my husband was like, “Oh, my gosh, stop talking about it and do it for heaven’s sake.”
And so, I mean, this was like, over probably two years where I’ve been like, I should do a podcast, “blah blah blah” like, where I would just talk about it and my husband just finally got fed up with me and was like,”Okay, we’re sitting down today you’re deciding on a name, you’re deciding on your format we’re doing this.”
I mean, it was like, we’ve got to it and so that was the summer of 2016 and my husband owns two companies. He’s a financial advisor but he also co-owns a media company so they produce podcasts and radio shows for people all over the country.
I was very thankful that I was set up for success at the beginning as far as like having a producer and podcasting equipment.
But even if you’re listening and you’re interested in doing a podcast, you don’t need all the fanciest equipment. You know, you can do it. It takes work. It is hard and even though I do have an editor it is still, it’s a lot of work.
I mean, I plan and record and schedule. And there’s emails. And then, there’s once you’ve got the the show done then you have to do the show notes and the graphics and the headliner, audio grams… I mean just all these things that people just don’t realize like how much work and time and effort goes into each episode.
So yeah, for almost five years, I mean, I’ve never missed a week I have published weekly and sometimes I’ve had bonus episodes. So there have been some weeks where I’m, you know, publishing two episodes a week.
Whether rain, snow, holidays, like I’ve never, never missed it. So It’s been a journey. It’s been really fun. I’ve learned a lot along the way. And I’ve just, I found something that I really care about and is really fun. But yeah, it’s definitely, it is a whole different beast than anything else. And I think people don’t realize how much goes into it.
Absolutely. Oh my gosh, I know, what has been your process for being so consistent for five years? That’s like, trying to think Is there anything in my business that I have done every single week for five years? Aside from client work, I’m pretty sure there has not been anything I’ve done consistently for five years.
So in terms of like, practical, do you have workflows? Do you batch your content? How have you been able to maintain that consistency?
Yeah, that’s a great question. I think finding routines, my episode always goes live on Wednesday mornings at 6am. So I schedule things throughout the week, and I’m in a good routine. And this is, kind of always been my routine. The only time it changes is if I’m traveling. So I will batch a little bit more, if I know I’m going to be gone, the next week or something like that.
But typically, a typical week is on Tuesdays, like Tuesday is my big day where I’m doing all the prep for the episode that goes live the next day.
So I’m doing all of the, kind of the nitty gritty, the show notes, the graphics, all that kind of stuff. Getting things scheduled, getting things uploaded to the various platforms where they need to get uploaded to, and all of that set to go out Wednesday morning.
Then once the episode goes live on Wednesdays, that’s when I go into the routine of I email the podcast guest, like, “Hey, your episodes live, here’s all of the information, here’s all of the resources that I’ve created around this.”, and then I begin the social media promotion of it.
So then that’s when I’m starting to post some of the promotion for it on social media, then I have a different promotion I do for the episode on Thursday, and then different promotion for the episode on Friday. But then… that’s for that week’s episode.
But then I’m also thinking a week ahead and I’m recording my intros and outros for the next week’s episode, I’m getting all of that information to my editor. So she can finalize it.
And then I have somebody now, this was not always the case. But I have somebody now who helps me with just, like the nuts and bolts of the show notes. I still do all the actual uploading of it, but she kind of compiles it for me. So that’s all happening at the same time for next week’s episode.
And then in the midst, I’m also interviewing guests and scheduling guests and kind of planning out and I work months in advance.
So like right now I’m already planning and scheduling my content that’s going to be airing in like late October, November, early December. I plan way, way, way out in advance.
And so I think that because of that, and I found this routine, once you create that habit, it’s just kind of hard to break. When you care about something and you really are passionate about something, it’s just you find a good flow for it.
Yeah, I think you’re so right. Like you can kind of build a process or routine or workflow, whatever you want to call it for anything. And it makes that thing feel not so difficult. I was really worried about this podcast like four months ago. I’m like, okay, I can very easily sit down and record episodes with people like that’s fun. But like, what about all the stuff that has to come before that. And after that, that seems not really that fun, and also incredibly overwhelming.
But I worked with my assistant and our operations manager to help put together a process for it. And now for me, it’s like I record the episode, and then the process just kicks off and all that magic happens and it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
I had somebody recently say like, I literally do not know how you have a podcast and all these clients and a business and a team. And I was like, “Honestly, the podcast is like the least of my worries, because we built this really solid workflow.”
So nothing feels like I’m reinventing the wheel. And it sounds like your workflow. So every week that you’re releasing the episode, you’re not like reinventing, “Oh, what email Do I have to send?” Like, let me manually type it all. Like, I’m sure you’ve got your process.
Yep, absolutely. Yeah, workflow, templates, all those sorts of things are LIFE SAVERS.
Yeah, exactly, exactly. You’ve been able to interview, first of all, a lot like a large quantity of guests, but also some really prominent names, business leaders and authors and other public figures that have amazing stories.
How do you connect with these people? I mean, you seem like you’re like a natural connector. But I imagine you haven’t met all these people in person.
So how do you connect to great people?
It’s a combination, I would say at the beginning, I was really aggressive in reaching out to people.
And I still do some, like, if there’s just somebody that I’m like, I want to interview that person, I will reach out to them.
Sometimes I get a no, sometimes I just don’t get an answer, which is fine. Like, I get pitches a million times a day as well. So I get it.
But if it’s somebody I really want to interview, I’ll be persistent. And if I don’t get an answer, then sometimes I’ll reach out to somebody who I’m like, do you have a connection to this person? It was more so like that in the beginning.
I’m now at a point which I’m really thankful for. Where the majority of them come to me and the majority of them, I’m getting pitches, like from their agencies, or their you know, their PR agencies or their agent’s marketing teams, things like that. So the majority of the time, I would say their teams are reaching out to me, which is really cool.
And the fact that I’m like, “Oh, you want to come on my show? Okay, cool. Yeah!” You know, and I get tons of pitches all the time from really interesting people. Sometimes it’s really hard because I have to, like, sometimes I have to turn them down because it’s just not a great fit, or it doesn’t really make sense.
Like I’ve, I’ve gotten some weird pitches over the years. Where I’m like, “I don’t think you know what my show is about.” I’d say the most random pitch I’ve ever received. And I was like, trying to find an angle, how can I interview this person but I didn’t, was Randy Jackson.
As in like, from American Idol. You know, like “It’s a no it’s a no for me dog” Randy Jackson.
Yeah, I just remember being like, “Wait, what?” So I did not have Randy on. I couldn’t figure out what the angle would be like. I mean, maybe other than it would just be fun to interview him. Maybe I should have just been like whatever. I’m going to interview Randy Jackson.
But yeah, I think that’s probably the most random pitch I’ve ever received to be like, what oh, and then last week, I just, sorry, this complete tangent, but I got pitched, this guy who was the co-founder of Studio 54!
You know, like the Studio 54 in New York, like what, there was a movie about it and all that. Yeah, like the co-founder, but then I was googling him and he was like, in jail for a while. He was pardoned by Obama. Like, I don’t know!
I was just probably confused as to why you are pitching me.
But anyway, so maybe that was more information than you were really curious about but that’s where we are.
No, I love that. I mean, I have to say like props to you for not interviewing Randy Jackson because it wasn’t in alignment with your mission and with your values.
Maybe with your values I don’t know but you couldn’t find the angle. I feel like so many times in business or other things were just like, “Oh, this could be cool. Yes. Like I’ll say yes!” or this you know, some sort of famous whatever “Yes, I’ll do it.” But if it’s not aligned with your values with your mission, I gotta give you props for being like “No, I don’t think this is going to be a good fit even though he’s an American Idol guy.”,
Oh, thank you!
So, funny. Speaking of “worst pitches”, I wasn’t necessarily going to go there but actually maybe on the flip side, are there any, not strategies, I hate using that word but what is the pitch, when you receive it you’re like “Oh, this is really good. I feel connected with this person. I really want to interview them.
Are there certain things that you find that are kind of consistent in pitches that are really good?
Yeah, I mean, I would say I am not a negative person at all but I would say it’s almost easier sometimes to say like “here’s what not to do.”
Here’s what is going to pretty much elicit a delete from me right away, if you don’t address me by name in the pitch.
I’m like guys it is not that hard to figure out my name is, like it’s just not I’ll get like “hello podcast post” or sometimes I get “Hello still.” Like, no. I’m like guys, it’s really not that hard. Or if they don’t even get my podcast name right. Or if they like very clearly have never listened to an episode and it’s just like, you don’t know what you’re pitching like, come on, do better. So some of those things.
Also emails or pitches that are just way too long. Or I’m like guys, you know how many emails I get a day like I number one, not fantastic at email, just being completely transparent because I get so many and my inbox gets really overwhelming and then it stresses me out and then I start to get hives and I itch.
So people who are quick and to the point are going to get read and so getting read, getting the email read is like number one.
If I open up the email, and it is seven paragraphs like, you could be the best guest I’ve ever had, I’m not reading that email and I’m deleting it and like because somebody will be like, that’s really terrible. I don’t have the time.
Like, if I read every email that was seven paragraphs long, like I would choose, I would never see my children, my chicken would starve.
So quick to the point. So, high level, here’s who I am, here’s why I think I’d be valuable on your show. Here’s some topics I can talk about. If you want to know more information, here’s how you can contact me, kind of thing. So like, quick to the point is key. That’s what I would say.
And I think, understanding, okay, here’s what your podcast is about. Here is how I can provide value to your listeners, like in a topic that’s interesting. So if it’s a topic that we’ve covered a million times, like, some people are probably gonna get real mad at me when I say this.
But like the amount of life coaches, and mentors and business coaches, and people like that, that I get, every single pitch looks the same.
And I’m just like, “How are you different?” and I’m not saying that you’re probably not a great life coach, or a great business coach. But your materials and your pitch looks exactly the same as every other life and business coach that I’ve ever seen.
I have had some life and business coaches on my show who are incredible, but have a unique story to tell there’s a unique angle.
So that’s the thing, there’s a million podcasts out there!
But what makes yours different? What and what is it about that that is unique?
And at the end of the day, the answer is you, you as a person, you make it unique, because guess what, there’s nobody else out there like you. But if you make yourself look like everybody else, then how do you differentiate yourself?
Anyway, clearly, I have thoughts about this. So I’ll get off my soapbox for just a moment.
I think it’s so true. And you know, I have definitely pitched myself to a lot of different podcasts. I haven’t been on the receiving end too much. I’m still very new in this. But I feel like in the online business space, especially, we just want a quick win, like you want things immediately.
And pitching yourself and podcast, like it’s a long game.
So putting the time and attention and effort into each pitch that you put out there is really important and so that’s what’s gonna make Molly read your email, is if you put some time and thought and attention into it. And also don’t make it too long. But that also takes some time and attention as well.
So I think that you know, everybody’s looking for this instant solution. And podcasting and being a guest on a podcast is just, it’s a long game. It takes time.
And I mean, we’re, we pitch podcasts for me to be a guest on every single week. But guess what we do like two or three a week, because we put the time and attention into it. So, sometimes it feels like you’re moving at a snail’s pace, but you’re gonna get the results that you want. If you really, if you do it right.
So thanks for those tips. That’s super!
I’m excited to receive my first pitch for somebody really crazy. That is totally not a good fit, but possibly a story.
Oh yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s weird.
Oh that’s so funny. Oh my gosh. Well, I’m gonna wrap this up. I feel like we could chat forever because I love all of these different arms of your journey. And I feel like I could just keep asking you questions, but let’s wrap it up.
So I have just a couple of questions that I asked at the end of each episode. So you’ve got a lot going on. You got a farm, you got the podcast, you got you know, your blog and business stuff.
What would you say is your favorite productivity hack or tip or trick that you use in your business or your life?
So this is like the most basic and maybe it’s even embarrassing, but this is what works for me, because I get very admittedly scatterbrained and I can forget to do basic, everyday tasks. I’ve done paper planners, I’ve done Google calendars, I’ve done all things. That is just not what works for me.
So about two years ago, I finally was like, maybe this just seems so rudimentary, but I opened up a note on my phone and the little yellow Notes app.
I created one called daily to do list. And every 60 days, I go in and I type out the next 60 days, and every day, so like, I’m looking at it right now.
So I see Tuesday, and I can still see what is left for me to do today. I have the basic things. So I have a template of “here’s what I do every single day.” So like my Bible, reading my journal, reading a book, and I write these things down. I literally write all of it down. Watering my plants.
Like these are daily tasks that I do every single day moving my body, whether it’s working out in the gym, or going for a walk, like some thing that I’m more I’m physically moving my body. So I have all those things written down, and then I delete them throughout the day as I accomplish those tasks.
But then I also go in and like, I have “record a podcast with Stephanie.” The way that I’ve done it over the last few years, has allowed me to hold myself accountable because I can get to the end of the day, and I can visually see, here’s what I was able to do today.
Here’s what I did not get to. It also allows me to prioritize because I’m like, “Okay, if I look at my list, and I’m like, okay, all of this is not going to get done today. So what do I need to kind of triage? Like what needs to get done today? And then what can I bump to? tomorrow or next week?” Things like that.
But yeah, that very rudimentary thing has been a life changing thing for me.
I love that. And you know what, it doesn’t have to be the fancy planner, or the new thing that looks like an iPad, but it’s like an electronic thing that you write on like a notebook. I feel like I’ve seen it all over Instagram ads and stuff, doesn’t have to be that fancy.
So yeah, whatever helps you focus and prioritize. I love it. So good.
Let’s say that you have a weak day, like completely free from work from obligations from anything, just a free day for you.
What do you do?
Honestly, right now, at this stage of my life, grab a book, sit on my porch, with a fountain Diet Coke, and read. That is what I would do. And then I would take a nap. That’s how I don’t get very many naps, I really enjoy a nap. But I would say that, to me, that is like a Sabbath, like a rest.
So that’s something that my family and I have kind of implemented in the last few months is being more intentional. That’s kind of what our Sundays look like is, we go to church and we go get some lunch afterwards.
And then we kind of come back and sometimes I’ll just sit on the front porch and read or sometimes my husband and I will take a nap. And then we have family movie night, we make pizza and you know what I mean? Like that’s, I’m at a stage in life where like I, that is like my dream day.
We went to the beach a few weeks ago, and we had a good time. But it was the first time both my husband and I were like, I just, I miss home, I want to go home, I want to go back to the farm. Because this is what we’ve dreamed of. This is our vision and we love being here. And so just being here with my family and enjoying the beautiful.
We have just a beautiful view and there’s deer and birds, like every bird you can imagine, and rabbits.
Sometimes I feel like I’m Snow White as I walk out to my chickens in the morning and I’m just like “Good morning deer! G’morning birds! Good morning rabbits! Good morning barn cats!” Like it’s just comical sometimes.
Oh my gosh, I love that so much. That sounds glorious. And I love that you have set aside intentionally one day for the whole family to just, you don’t do that enough. So that’s beautiful, and how amazing that you have just such a glorious space for you to rest in. So, I love that.
Yeah, we’re really thankful.
Molly, where can our listeners find you?
So, you can find me on the internet, Al Gore’s internet. But that’s a really old joke. So people who grew up in the 80s will get that joke.
Millennials would be like, “I don’t understand, who’s Al Gore?”
Al Gore’s internet, at stillbeingmolly.com, or stillbeingmolly.com/podcast is where you can access all my podcast stuff. I am on the internet @stillbeingmolly or @businesswithpurposepodcast.
And if you are interested in our farm life stuff, we do actually have a farm Instagram account called is @selah, S E L A H, @selahfarmnc. So you can follow our farm journey there. I mean, I do share about it on my personal account, too. But that account is strictly farm stuff. So if you’re interested, that’s where we are!
Oh, and my podcast. It’s called Business with Purpose. So obviously, you can get that wherever you find podcasts!
You must listen, it’s good. She has amazing guests. And if you have some spare time, she has 250 plus episodes for you to binge.
Yeah, Lots to binge!
Yes. Oh my gosh, thank you so much, Molly. It was great to chat with you and great to catch up. And it’s been two and a half years. Thank you so much!
That was so fun. Thank you so, so much for having me.
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Transcript Episode 37