Welcome to Slowpreneur!
This is my new podcast about slow & steady entrepreneurship for thoughtful, values-based business owners!
On this first episode of the show, I’m explaining why I’m starting a new podcast now, and letting you know what you can expect from future episodes of the show. Tune in to hear my real thoughts on the business coaching industry, why slowness is an antidote to so much of the toxicity in our culture, and what I actually mean when I say “slow”.
I hope that this podcast feels like a soft place to land for you as an entrepreneur, and helps you feel less alone as you build a business according to your values.
- The Slow Growth Academy from Matt D’Avella
- Kelly Diels’ Feminist Business Values
- White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun
- Sarah Von Bargen on Energy Units
Let’s get into it. Welcome to Slowpreneur, thank you so much for joining me for this first episode of the show. I’m really excited to be starting this podcast. Fun fact, this is actually my fourth time starting a podcast. Yes, that’s right. And I’ve really missed the medium. I’m going to talk a little bit about why in this episode, I’ve decided to start a podcast specifically. And I also want to share a little bit about the subjects that I’m hoping to cover on this podcast.
But first, a little bit about me, my name is Stephanie, hello, if we’re not already friends, I’m excited to be connected. I am a business coach in Toronto. And I really love to help values-based entrepreneurs to create a business that feels sustainable and fun for them to run as the business owner. It’s not interesting to me to just set business goals specifically, I really think that any successful business also needs to be successful for the person who’s running that business. And for them to feel aligned and alive and happy as they’re doing the everyday work that it requires to keep a business afloat, especially over the last couple of years.
So that’s a little bit about me, I’m really excited to connect with you. If you want a few more fun facts about who I am, I can tell you that I’m a big fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race and drag in general, I love to read, I’m always setting reading challenges for myself. And I read no holds barred across pretty much every genre. I’m a part of three different book clubs, including one that I started that’s devoted to only reading romance novels. It’s amazing. It’s the best book club in the world, in my opinion. And I have a really cute dog named Bruno, who is my little buddy. And we are in the process of training him right now to be a good citizen of the world from a canine’s perspective. So that’s me.
Now let’s talk a little bit about why podcasting. So as I mentioned before, this is my fourth time starting a podcast, you can look in the archives for previous iterations of different shows I’ve been a part of. And I think a big part of why I’ve chosen to start a podcast now is that since December, I have pretty much been off of Instagram. So on and off, I have been posting a couple of posts here and there, I’ve posted a couple things to my stories, but I haven’t really gone on my own stories with my face, I used to go on all the time and talk to you and connect with you and tell stories, front to camera. And I think over the last several months, pretty much since getting my puppy in September, it’s been feeling harder and harder to do that. And less and less fun to show up in that particular space online. I’ve been hearing this from a lot of my friends and clients as well that Instagram is becoming a really stressful place to spend time and not a place that feels authentic for us to use to connect with people that we want to connect with.
So I hadn’t been seeing much traction, in my business on Instagram, even before discontinuing my use of the platform, or mostly discontinuing my use of the platform. And I think the fact that I had just been feeling so disenchanted with even spending any time on it from a personal perspective, I’ve basically deleted the app off my phone over the last couple of months, and don’t even really use it in my personal life. I was noticing that there was sort of this hole in my marketing. And we talk a lot in marketing, about building trust and also building expertise. So obviously you want to provide value to the people who are following you. And I think it’s really important when you do your marketing to have certain elements of your business that help build you up as an expert. So that could be a blog post that’s a tutorial for how someone could do something that you’re really skilled at in their own business or in their own life. It could be a YouTube video, that’s a how-to of any particular skill that you’re really good at. But you also want to have things in your business that help build trust with you as a person and this is particularly true if you are a service based business owner.
But I would argue that it’s also kind of true if you are a product based business owner, because you do want your clients to connect with either you as a person or you as a brand, and really trust and believe that you’re going to keep your brand promises to them when they buy from you. And I was noticing that Instagram Stories specifically and the way that I had been showing up there with my own face, and my own personality, my own voice, and really kind of being my silly, goofy, not so buttoned up self on my Instagram stories, that had been a really great way to connect with people, and let them see me, let them see my personality, and to get a taste of what they would be getting if they joined my program or signed up for coaching with me. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was noticing that there just wasn’t as much connection. I love my newsletter, I love the YouTube videos that I do. And I think that they provide a lot of value, but they weren’t providing a lot of personality or trust building. And I think one of the things that podcasting does so well is it really allows you to connect with people, or to feel that you’re connected with the host, just by listening.
Because it’s such an intimate medium, right? It’s in your ears, you’re taking it into parts of your life, like cooking dinner, or going for a walk, that feel very private, and intimate. And so letting someone into those spaces can really help you feel connected to them. And I feel that for myself, I am an avid podcast listener, I listen to tons of podcasts every week. And I always feel very connected with the people I’m listening to. So that’s kind of reason number one. But reason number two is the title of the show is Slowpreneur. And I was really feeling like I needed to move towards platforms and marketing efforts and formats that allow me to be a little slower. And Instagram stories are not slow. Instagram stories are fast, they are temporary. They are fleeting, and they don’t allow for the kind of deep thinking and slow processing that I really feel that I need as a person and as a business owner. But I think that many of us need, I think we are being bombarded with information these days. And it’s really stressful.
And especially on a platform like Instagram, or oh my goodness, my favourite and also my least favourite TikTok, I love TikTok but it feels like I’m being slapped in the face for an hour. Because I always stay on for an hour, I can’t help it. The constant scrolling to new and interesting and creative things is a lot to take in and process. And I think for me, I really love this idea that the platforms I’m gravitating towards are ones where I choose to listen to something or watch something. And for the duration of time that I’m listening or watching. I’m only focused on that one thing. I’m not having other interruptions, I’m not having a scrolling format, right. I’m literally just in that one YouTube video for the time that I’m watching it. And yeah, sure, we could argue that a YouTube video is still pretty short. It’s not like watching a movie, although some of them are getting to be that kind of length these days. But it’s still longer than watching an IG TV, right, it’s still longer than watching an Instagram story.
And so I think for me, if I’m feeling for myself a pull towards giving myself a little bit more room to breathe and process and learn, then I think I want to show up in places that allow me to offer that to whoever is consuming my content or learning from me. I really want people to feel that when you’re choosing to be part of this podcast, you’re just in it for the time that you’re in it. And hopefully it can be a bit of a sanctuary or a respite or a confirmation or validation that you’re on the right track. And to feel like you’re building a business in a way that feels aligned for you. So I wanted to offer that space and that time to people, not just the content of what I’m talking about. But the format itself lends itself to what I’m hoping to cultivate both in my clients but also in myself. Right. So I chose podcasting because I think it’s a format that is slower. And I think we all need a little bit more slowness in our lives.
This episode of Slowpreneur is sponsored by The Profoundery, a coaching and community program for thoughtful entrepreneurs run by yours truly, if you’ve been looking for a supportive group of business besties who share your values and really get it, this could be the perfect membership for you because these people are truly amazing. Every month in the program we have a bunch of different calls, for example, Productivity Parties to get our work done together workshops on things like project planning, balance and boundaries or goal setting. And we often do Creative Think Tanks that offer custom group coaching for members for whatever they might be struggling with. We also have a really supportive Slack community with weekly check ins. We have a resource library full of recordings and interesting workshops, and a business book club so that you can learn about business from interesting and diverse authors. If this sounds like your cup of tea, I’d love for you to come check it out. You can learn more and get your first productivity party pass for free by going to stephaniepellett.com/profoundery, I would love to see you there.
Okay, so speaking of slow, let’s talk about the name Slowpreneur. Why did I choose this as the name of my podcast, I do think that we have a kind of knee jerk reaction in our capitalistic patriarchal culture, that faster is better, and so slower is worse. And especially in the context of entrepreneurship, I don’t think we’re used to hearing many narratives or much advice that recommends slowness as an approach to business. I want to change that I don’t think I’m single handedly changing it, but I do think that the industry hopefully is moving in that direction. Because the speed at which we are recommending things in the business world lately is not sustainable. And it’s not even possible for most people who are going to be trying to follow the advice of many business coaches and quote unquote, gurus.
I also think that with the rise of the slow living movements and minimalist movements, we are starting to see this approach to slow living that feels more accessible. For most people, it feels more attractive for most people. Matt D’Avella has a new business and course, called The Slow Growth Academy. So it’s really starting to become a new movement, I think, in the world of business, for us to change things for the better.
And there’s this phrase that I really love that turns out when I was prepping for this podcast episode, it comes from the US Navy SEALs, I did not know that. But it’s this idea that slow is smooth and smooth is fast. So ironically, I actually think that by taking a slower and more sustainable approach, in the long run, we probably will save time, we probably will save energy, we probably will have success. And isn’t that what we’re all going for is success and time and energy for ourselves. And I think it’s really important that we don’t necessarily equate doing something in a slow way to doing something in a bad way.
I also don’t even necessarily mean that as a slowpreneur, your business itself is going to be really slow to grow. That’s not really what I’m getting at in this podcast. I think what I’m saying is that we want the pace of your business to feel slow, in a good way: manageable, sustainable, possible for you to continue at this pace for the foreseeable future. We want our businesses to fit in with our lives and our personal goals. And I think if this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that I can’t go at the pace I was going. Before the pandemic I was out all the time, I was going to all kinds of networking events, I was just busy. And I think that in the pandemic, when I realized that my service based business is really really dependent on me and how I’m feeling as a person from day to day, I realized that something needed to change because if for some reason I wasn’t feeling on my A game, then it would have a direct impact on my business. And I have seen over the last few years, loved ones going through illnesses or medical challenges or health challenges or emotional, mental health challenges. And all of those things can happen to any of us at any time.
So I think it’s really important that we all take measures and steps to try to design a business that can flow in certain directions, depending on the amount of energy that we have to devote to it. And this is something I’m really exploring in my own business. How do I add in more buffer for myself? How do I add in more pacing for myself so that I don’t have to be operating at 110% in order for my business to function properly?
Kelly Diels, who is a teacher and leader that I really respect and admire her work, she talks about feminist business a lot and one of the concepts that I love that she shares is that any business that’s going to talk about being feminist in the world has to first and foremost support the feminist who is running the business, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything more true. So it’s sort of the same concept, whether you’re talking about feminist business or values-aligned to business. In order for your business to have an impact in the world, you also need to make sure that it is like supporting and having an impact on you as the business owner and feel sustainable for you as the business owner.
Over the last few years, I’ve also been learning a lot about white supremacy and how it shows up in so many of our institutions and businesses without us even realizing it. And one resource I found really helpful in this regard, is the paper white supremacy values by Tema Okun. And one of the values that they outline in that paper is urgency. That in a white supremacy, culture, work culture or otherwise, urgency is always present. So it’s this kind of urgency that they define as making things difficult to take time to be inclusive, or to take time to encourage thoughtful and democratic decision making, or to be able to think long term and consider long term consequences. All of those factors are often not present in a workplace or institution, that values urgency, quick turnarounds, short term thinking, short term profit.
And so as I’ve tried to learn more about white supremacy in general, and how it sort of affects my own life and my own business, I’m starting to find urgency less than less appealing in almost every arena, but also in my business. So I think it’s worth mentioning, in this first episode, how much I think slowpreneurship can actually be a antidote, or a remedy for some of these toxic ways of being in the world that we are inadvertently replicating in our own lives and in our own businesses. I really love that in that paper, they talk about some of the antidotes to urgency being realistic work plans, you know, work plans that you can actually work towards in a sustainable way, leadership that understands that things are going to take longer than anyone expects. That’s huge, right? I see that all the time in my own coaching work, that we, as individual business owners think that things will be so fast and so easy.
And so one of the remedies to that kind of thinking is to realize that things will always take longer. And also, we need to discuss and plan for what it means to set goals for inclusivity. And diversity, particularly in terms of time to learn from past experience, how long things actually take to write realistic proposals with realistic timeframes. And to be clear about how you will start to make good decisions in an atmosphere that encourages urgency. So I really recommend checking out that paper, there’s a ton of other values that I think are also really important to learn about, including perfectionism. But for the purposes of this podcast, I thought that urgency was the most important one to mention. And I think that when we think about it in that way, we realize how insidious this idea of hustle culture and progress culture, you know, this idea that we always have to be striving for more and better and bigger and faster, all the time, how tiring and exhausting and impossible it is, and how inadvertently actually upholds some of the systems that many of us want to divest from.
I think another reason why I love this concept of slow entrepreneurship is that it really reflects my own personal philosophy to always play the long game to always prioritize long term thinking long term success over short term wins. And I think the reason why is because I’ve truly fundamentally believed that the long game is actually the only game in town, I don’t actually think there’s a world in which you can fully write off your long term plan to only prioritize short term quick wins, because I don’t think it works. I see this everywhere in every industry that so many of the problems we’re facing as a culture and as a world are because people are prioritizing short term thinking over long term thinking. Once you see this, you’re gonna see it everywhere. It’s really annoying.
But instead of choosing to invest in better infrastructure, or systems, or just policies that will benefit all of us in the long term. Many times the people who are in power or ourselves in our businesses are choosing to make choices that will help us out or make things fast in the here and now, but will probably shoot us in the foot in the long term. So I really think that it’s important to measure success in years rather than in months or in months rather than in days. Right. It’s not important to me here that my business grow from April to May, it is important to me that I’m seeing a slow and steady climb from 2020 to 2022. Maybe that range is not the best one to choose, because there have been a ton of other factors. Those are just the most recent years I’m sharing. But you get what I’m saying, in general, it’s just this idea that over the course of a couple of years, give or take a pandemic, we’re seeing slow and steady progress. And also that progress doesn’t necessarily only need to be financial.
So if you’re looking at those last two years that I just mentioned, and saying Steph, these were not, here’s where I saw a year over year growth in my business, totally get it makes complete sense, no judgment whatsoever. But did you see other kinds of progress? You know, did you see that you’re working fewer hours? Or you’re able to hire somebody or you are able to connect with more clients? Because your word of mouth recommendations are going more smoothly? Or is your marketing faster to sell out your courses? What are you seeing in terms of payoff over time, whether it’s financial or otherwise, I also think it’s really important to recognize that long term and slow growth is probably going to happen more for those of us who are not really willing to totally abandon ourselves and our personal lives in order to make our businesses work.
But speaking of what I said just a couple of minutes ago about how that never really works. Here’s a perfect example of that. Because if you decide to prioritize your business in the short term, and you put everything into it, and you hustle, and you stay up really, really late, and you burn the candle at both ends, and you think it’s okay, it’s just for the short term, it’s really going to pay off, guess what, you are actually sacrificing your long term success for that for those options, because you’re gonna burn out. And if you burn out, you’re not going to be able to have a successful business over time. So that’s what I mean, when I say it never really works. To prioritize the short game, in my opinion, prove me wrong, I’m willing to have a conversation about this. But more and more, when I pay attention to things like this, I just don’t see it working. I don’t see it happening for people.
There’s a concept that I love from Sarah Von Bergen that she calls energy cubes. Basically, it’s this idea that you’re only given a certain number of, quote unquote, cubes to play with, and you can put them towards various areas of your life. So for example, you could put a bunch of cubes towards fitness, or nutrition, or your friendships, or your romantic relationship, or your career or your business. And if you choose to put a bunch of your cubes behind one area of your business, you’re probably going to see more progress in that area, at least in the short term. And so if you’re choosing to put some of your cubes behind every area of your life, you’re probably going to see less overall progress in any one given area, but more progress across all of them, that I think will be more sustainable progress over time. And I think this goes for business as well. So if you see someone who is really, really successful right now, in their business, it could be that they’re putting almost all of their energy behind their business.
And maybe some of their friendships are suffering, maybe their romantic relationship, or their family relationships are suffering, we have no idea. We don’t know what’s getting sacrificed. But I think she’s just pointing this out to remind us that if we as human beings are choosing to diversify, where energy goes, which I would argue is probably a really good strategy for smooth, long term sustainable progress, we are probably not going to see as much explosive growth in any one area in our lives at a particular moment in time compared to someone else who might be putting all of their energy eggs in one basket. And so I think it’s really important for us to remind ourselves of that, that yes, it might be a bit slower, to build our businesses in this way, in a way that also prioritizes our health, and our relationships and our friendships, it might be slower, it might be slower than if we put everything into that one area of our businesses and just watch things grow.
But I would argue that it’s also not going to work the other way, at least not long term, it might work in the short term, for you to be able to put all your energy behind your business, neglect everything else in your life, but I don’t think you’re going to be happy. And I don’t think you’re gonna be able to keep it up for a really long time. So sure, if there’s a particular period or a season where you know, you’re gonna have to give everything to your business to make it work. It could be a worthwhile trade off. But for most of us, we don’t have that luxury. You know, we have responsibilities, we might have caregiving responsibilities, we might have other elements of our lives that require attention for various reasons.
And so if you’re not able to give everything to your business at this particular moment, just know that that’s okay. And that most of the time, that advice is given to people who don’t have dependents who are single, who can give everything they have to their job, their business or their workplace. And that’s what our culture considers to be the ideal worker, just know that if you’re feeling self conscious about the fact that you can’t put as much into your business at any particular time, you are the rule, you’re not the exception. It’s actually the exception to be a single childless person with no caregiving responsibilities, who is able to just give everything they have to their business, or their company. And I think business needs to change to accommodate the fact that most people have other things that they need to prioritize in their lives.
I’m also hoping that this podcast will be an opportunity for me to slow down and re examine the industry that I am a part of. So I’m a business coach. And that word, that phrase probably comes with all kinds of weird connotations for you. Because I think if you are a business owner, you have encountered so many weird scammy manipulative business coaches, and advice givers out there online, that just want your money, they just want your money, they want to convince you that you are not good enough yet that you don’t have enough information yet that you can’t trust yourself. And all of these are tactics that are used by colts as well, right, they are ways that we manipulate others into thinking that they need something from us. And a lot of my work over the last few years has really been attempts to decondition from some of these scammy, manipulative multilevel marketing style tactics that we see in this industry. And instead, try to recommit myself to what I think people actually need.
I think people need mirrors that help them find their own answers. I think they need space and oftentimes accountability to prioritize their own projects. I think they need to be asked good questions that help them look inward, and find out what matters to them. And I think that those are things that we can provide as coaches. I mean, that’s ultimately what coaching actually is. But this industry has started to prioritize so many tactics that again, just prioritize that short term success. I’m trying to convince people that there’s a magic bullet, a specific answer out there, that’s going to solve all of their problems. And the longer that I’m in this industry, the more I realized that that stuff just does not work, at least not long term, you’re going to be burning bridges. If you’re doing things like you know, just the advice that you get his just go on Instagram and post and then tag a bunch of people in the post.
Okay, well, now we’re seeing people getting really pissed off, rightfully so to be tagged in posts that have nothing to do with their businesses, by somebody who has never even taken the time to get to know them as a human being, or even what their business stands for. And so we’re starting to see that that’s a perfect way to burn bridges, to erase and eliminate trust that anyone might have in your business. And it’s just not going to work long term. And so we ask ourselves, why are people doing that. And the reason that I’m seeing that people are doing that is because some business coach somewhere who is proclaiming themselves to be a guru told you to do it, they told you to go out there and be unapologetic. And don’t hold yourself back and don’t have limiting beliefs and blah blah, blah, blah, blah, and just go and just post and then tag people, and then that’s a perfect way to get more people interested in what you have to say.
And again, maybe in the short term, maybe one person that you tag is gonna say, Oh, what is this? I don’t know. And I guess this is just the price I pay for being online. So maybe I’ll check this out. And that’s the kind of reason that these people think that these things work. But 99% of the people that you tagged, are gonna say, Wow, gross, I hate that. Please stop tagging me. That’s so weird. I did not ask to be a part of this. And you’re not trying to have a relationship with me. And I really think that the things that work in the long term, are to genuinely create relationships, right? Create trust, create relationships, create a sustainable business, make genuine connections, and provide value to people. If you can do all those things, if you can increase your word of mouth marketing, if you can connect with people in a way that they feel is valuable and supportive. I think that that ultimately is what’s going to work long term. None of these scammy manipulative strategies that work in the short term to get attention on you are what’s going to work in the long term to make your business sustainable.
So I’m really frickin tired of the business coaching industry. I’m sick of it. It’s annoying. It’s gross. It’s part But the reason why I’ve been so like wanting to get off Instagram because it’s hard to even watch, you know, people posting these income reports that are such BS considering that all they did was teach people how to use Pinterest. But the whole, the only way that they’ve been successful is by having a course that teaches people how to use Pinterest, right? It’s not like they were successful for another type of industry using Pinterest, they were just successful on Pinterest, selling this thing that’s teaching people how to use Pinterest like it’s it’s an MLM.
So all that being said, there’s a lot of reasons why I’m being drawn towards this idea of going slow, slowing down, reevaluating some of the claims that are being made by my peers in the industry, reevaluating what I want out of my own business, what I want to provide to others, how I can support business owners to do this for themselves in their own businesses. So on the show, we’re going to talk about a lot of different topics that I think a lot of them are related to entrepreneurship may not always seem at first, like they’re related to entrepreneurship. So things like misinformation, cultish, language, like I just talked about, burnout, personal development, building longevity and resilience for yourself as a human being. And also in your business. I think these things are all related. My philosophy is that you’re a human being first and a business owner second. And so we got to talk about things that affect you as a human and recognize that those will have an impact on your business.
I also want to have conversations with people who can help me think differently about business who can help me think bigger or deeper or wider about what it means to be a business owner and to build a sustainable business over time, one that aligns with our values. I think that’s really important.
And I also want to give you the caveat that on this show, I am fully admitting that I don’t have all the answers, right, I don’t know what it looks like to have a fully slow entrepreneurial life, my business is going through transformations over the last couple of years, it’s going through shifts and changes, I’m coming up with new ideas all the time of ways that I can make my business feel more sustainable for me. So I don’t have all the answers, but I’m looking for them. Because I’m really disillusioned with a lot of what I see. I am feeling really alienated by a lot of the rhetoric out there and feeling really disheartened that I’m seeing people going down the rabbit holes of misinformation and fear mongering that a lot of bad actors are trying to provoke in us. And so I’m really recognizing the importance of the things that I really love and believe in so things like community and connection, and personal transformation that starts from within. And I really believe in helping people work through the messy middle and coming to their own conclusions.
And I’ve known for myself that one of the ways that I work through the messy middle of my thoughts and learning more about what I believe in, is to just have the conversation, right? To write it out or to talk it out. And through that process, I always find more clarity and ideas that helped me make sense of my own life and my own business in a different way. So I’m really hoping to do that on this show. And I’m also really, really happy that you’re here with me, I’m really excited to continue this conversation. I am not on Instagram that much. But I am always open to connecting with you by email, specifically, to see if there’s anything that this sparks for you or any ideas that you have, or anything that you think I should look into. On my journey to learn more about being a slowpreneur and interviewing slowpreneurs. I am so excited to continue this conversation. And I want to thank you so much for tuning in. The first episode of any podcast is always the hardest to record because you want to get it right and you want to make a good first impression.
But I’m reminding myself that the whole idea of the show is to work through it slowly, that we have time to get it right, that this is only one piece of the mosaic, it doesn’t have to be the finished product. So thank you for giving me that space. And thank you for being here. And I really hope you’ll join me for future episodes.
Thanks so much for listening to Slowpreneur. If you liked this episode, please share it with a friend or reach out and let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to hear from you. As always, you can find show notes for this and all episodes at stephaniepellett.com/slowpreneur. Thanks for listening and I’ll talk to you soon!