Ep 290: Creating Community to Grow Your Side Hustle with Kelly McCausey

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If you’ve listened to Pep Talks for Side Hustlers for any length of time, you know that once a month I give you a look behind the scenes of my business into not only the financials and the strategies, but also the journey of me running up against my limiting beliefs and having to work through my fear and self-doubt on my quest reach the goals I’ve set for myself.

And just like any good quest, I meet people along the way who reveal the path forward for me, and my conversation with today’s guest was another one of those transformational moments.

Kelly McCausey is the founder of Love People + Make Money, a membership program for female entrepreneurs, especially single moms, to help them build up their communities and businesses.

One of the reasons I was so excited to have Kelly on the show is that just like me, she’s all about building a business through relationships and community.

Kelly and I did this interview at the end of January and at the time, I was just closing out my biggest revenue month ever, and like I told you back in my January 2020 Income Report that one of my podcast guests mentioned the book “The Big Leap” to me in an interview. That was Kelly.

And she probably doesn’t know this, but her recommendation sent me on that four-month long journey that I talked about in my April 2020 Income Report to rewire my mindset around money, my self-worth, how I value my body of work and what makes me happy.

That’s the kind of person Kelly is, and that’s the kind of impact she can have on someone in a single conversation, so I’m super excited to introduce you to her today so you can connect with her and change your life too.

Today we’re talking about:

  • Kelly’s journey from starting a work-at-home-mom radio station to building a community around her podcast.
  • How she creates connections and community.
  • How she started monetizing without trading hours for dollars.
  • How she sets herself apart + finds success in a saturated market.
  • Why building real, genuine relationships will build your business.
  • What a typical day looks like for Kelly.
  • Her best advice if you’re struggling to grow your business.
  • The one belief Kelly had to change about herself to get where she is today.

My favorite quotes from Kelly:

  • “When you're brand new, the most important thing you can do is take a stand and have something to say.”
  • “If you want people to know that you're legit and that you care about them, then then show it”
  • “Create content that gives value, create experiences that deliver value. Create the opportunities for people to see you the way you want to be seen.”
  • “A great brand comes out of knowing yourself and knowing your community so well.”

Shannon Mattern: Kelly, thank you so much for being here on pep talks for side hustlers today. Can you share a little bit more with our listeners about you and what you do?

Kelly McCausey: Sure. I'm so happy to be here. Uh, so I'm a [inaudible] content marketing and community building freak. Like, uh, I'm a business coach. I'm a blogger, I'm a podcaster, affiliate marketer. Um, but it's all about building a community around content, publishing content. I'm proud of helping other people publish content they're proud of. So that they can attract community people, they're going to love to serve.

Shannon Mattern: So how did you get into becoming a freak about content? What's your backstory?

Kelly McCausey: So, well, if we go way back to 2002 aye. Mmm. So I'm broke. I am working full time. Uh, I love my job. I'm working for my church. I just, I love what I do, but they can't afford to pay me very much and my phone keeps getting shut off and my propane tank is running empty and I'm always freaking out about money. Um, but people that, uh, people at the church were often coming to me ask you for help with their, like an invitation for a graduation or a wedding. And someone suggested I start a business doing that sort of desktop publishing. So I whipped up a website to sh, you know, let people learn more about what I do. I never got even one single desktop publishing client, but I had people say, Hey, can you build me a website like that? And so it just, I kind of tipped, uh, accidentally into web design and graphic design, which brought me online into, I fell into the work at home mom community.

Kelly McCausey: I got a, I needed help with my hosting at one point and another work at home mom helped me and that I found forums and Yahoo groups and I was fascinated with all the different ways that moms are making money at home online. That led to the following year I started an internet radio show for work at home moms. It was work at home moms talk radio and that was just me being a curious enthusiast, being passionate and wanting to ask people lots of questions. But the following year, podcasting was invented and I went from, this does the little thing. I was doing two [inaudible] big thing that I was doing and that I was one of the first podcasters, um, one of the first female podcasters and uh, Apple, uh, iTunes, iPods. Like my, my listenership went through the roof and my gosh, my whole life just started to change. And it was all about this content I was creating. I didn't know when I started the radio show that a community would grow around it and be interested in each other just as much as they were interested in my guests. And that's what that was a surprising and amazing thing because that podcast became a [inaudible], opened the door for a paid membership site, open the door for lots of affiliate marketing and uh, product creation and led to me getting debt free and quitting the day job within a couple of years.

Shannon Mattern: I have so many questions. I have a real strong urge to ask you like technical questions cause I am a geek but I know most of my listeners like are probably like I don't care what she bought her website on in 19 or in 2002 and I don't care how she did her internet radio show back then before podcast. So I am going to spare them those questions because I'm just like Oh my gosh, I want to know what she was using, where we're using this. I want to spare that my listeners those questions, it's like go for ones that will be more useful for them today. And we can save that conversation for another time. But um, you know, so that grew in to the content that you were creating. It sounds like you were just creating something that like you were just really, really interested in learning more about and having conversations with other people about inquiry and really just getting into the online community to connect with other people who are interested in similar things. Um, things that you were interested in. At what point did you, and you talked about how you monetize that content, but at what point did you realize like, I can monetize this?

Kelly McCausey: So, so 2003, two, four work at home mom community, I S I launched my show with a little bit of sponsorship. I had a friend who ran internet based moms.com. Uh, that was Alice Seba. She said, if you start the show, I'll sponsor you. She said, I'll give you $150 a month just so that you can pay the hosting bills. And then pretty quickly other sponsors were coming along. So in that first year back then, like I often had sponsorship of about a thousand dollars a month. Um, not a ton. Like it doesn't sound like much today, but back then it felt really significant to me to get that money just for just for talking and interviewing people. And um, so sponsorship was my first income stream. Now the membership site that was also ours. Um, Alice said I think we could create a paid membership site for work at home moms.

Kelly McCausey: Um, she had the big vision for it, you know, [inaudible] I would like to say that that things are different today, but they're not that different. There is still a lot of scams and just really creepy crawly icky things that are in the work at home moms space. So when you, back then when you would go to a forum and say like, I would like to make money from home or how could I make some more money there? It's like vaulters just jumped on you with all their crap and uh, and there were really good, smart people with legitimate business opportunities and strategies for like maybe getting started as a virtual assistant or starting a consulting business or creating a product, but sorting through all the crap we thought a paid membership site where that stuff just doesn't fly. Right. You know, everyone is there because they're paying to be there and they have respect for themselves and others and want to build a legitimate business.

Kelly McCausey: Um, that was, that was my masterminds and um, it was successful from the get go. Um, as a paid membership site, we launched, uh, we launched it $25 a month and then body within about a year, it was $50 a month for a forum and some monthly training around traffic and list building and search engine optimization and creating services and all of that. Mmm. And it was just the natural outgrowth of what was already happening for us on our websites and on the podcast. You know, people want to engage with each other and learn and they're willing to pay for, for getting access a group, but serious about doing it legitimately. Okay. And um, building something that's more than about making a buck today.

Shannon Mattern: Right, right. So how do you set yourself apart from everybody else who's just interested in making a buck today versus, you know, really showing that you are in it for the long haul with people? I mean there is, I'm sure there was just as much, you know, just as many people online who yeah, you have your vultures and your scams, but then you also have the people who really are like, let me come in here and make as much money as I can and I'm not really looking at these people as people. And then you have people who are like, you know, looking at them as people and being invested in the future. Like if you're that kind of person wanting to start a business in today's online world, how do you set yourself apart from everybody else and, and, and distinguish that that is who you are.

Kelly McCausey: You are. That's a, that's a great question. And I, and I, that's the desire of so many people. I have, you know, the advantage for us back then was, uh, we were the first ones to offer a paid membership site. So we didn't have competition. Um, we had a basis of our content that people could explore and learn about us. Fast forward to today, I have this, I had this benefit. I remember back then thinking, Oh, I can't wait until I can say I've been in business for 10 years, you know, and now it's, you know, dot. Got it's 18 years. Um, people meet me, they visit my site, they check out my content, they see the longevity and the depth and the lack of hype and BS. Um, but when you're brand new, the most important thing you can do is take a stand and have something to say.

Kelly McCausey: Like if you want people to know that you're legit and that you care about them, then then show it. Create content that gives value, create, uh, create experiences that deliver value. Find the opera, create the opportunities for people to see you the way you want to be seen. Uh, and gosh, neighborhoods matter. Mmm. And the online space. So I'm always looking for people to be a guest on my podcast or to speak at one of my events. And, uh, if I am always looking for someone new and fresh because it's so easy to just get stuck in your own little circle of friends. Um, but when I go out to find somebody brand new,

Shannon Mattern: uh,

Kelly McCausey: what you have to say about yourself matters, but I'm way more interested in what other people have to say about you. So I'm checking out like who, who is she linked, who's linking to her, who's friends with her, who else has featured her, where else has she been engaged? And if in that process of trying to loop back and figure you out, like where are you, where you are spending your time [inaudible] if in that process I see a lot of hanky crap,

Shannon Mattern: you know, I just move on like

Kelly McCausey: who you, who you joint venture with and who you spend time with. It matters to how you want people to see you. Um,

Shannon Mattern: and so

Kelly McCausey: gosh, seek to surround yourself with people who you respect.

Shannon Mattern: I think that's so important, especially as people who, you know, I serve a lot of new entrepreneurs coming in, coming onto the scene and do you just set a few things that I'm like, yes, yes, yes and yes. Like the lack of lack of hype, right? Like that is so huge to me because I think when people are coming in and they're brand new and they want more than anything to, you know, really be able to succeed, they're not quite sure what that looks like yet other than like a monetary figure that's going to like let them quit their day job or, or whatever that is. And, and it's easy to get sucked into TEDx seeing your traffic and exploding your pin page views and all the things that people talk about. And you know, I think people get caught up in, that's how I have to be too.

Shannon Mattern: If I'm going to be successful, I have to have these hyperbolic promises of what results I can get people. And, and all, all the things, and when, and then they start, they lose themselves completely. Like there's no more personality in here. It's either, it's like, it's either I'm going to be ultra corporate professional, no personality person who doesn't want to rock the boat. And, you know, um, like you said, take a standard and opinion for one way or another, or it's, you know, I can get you proven results with this secret, like whatever it is that nobody's talking about. And it sounds like you're saying just like be a real person. I mean [inaudible] I think that is the best advice like I could give anybody, is to just be yourself and, and you know, like you said, stand up for the things that you would stand up in private, you know? Yeah. One of my favorite people is

Kelly McCausey: I'm Jessica LaRue over@thesellingfamily.com Jessica [inaudible] in that space, uh, where she teaches people how to create, uh, an Amazon business, uh, selling fulfillment by Amazon. Right? Familiar.

Shannon Mattern: I am. So there's a lot of scammy people in that area.

Kelly McCausey: So, but Jessica is a young mom who just like started selling on Amazon, figured it out, was making a really nice income and set her husband free from his day job and it became their, their business. And people just begged her to tell them how she did it. Yeah. And so she was never like that quote marketer. She didn't go to tune, go learn from someone on how to set up a marketing business or how to create information products. She just said, okay, well if you really want me to tell you [inaudible] buy my course and I'll make the course. Like she just, she didn't know any of the rules. She didn't have any perspective on what was right or wrong. She just did it. And, uh, of course people did pre-buy her course and now she's gone on to build an amazing seven figure information marketing business, serving this market. Um, but when you go to, to the selling family and you see, just get her husband, I mean, they're just so clearly real people. There's nothing hypy there. There's no false promises. There's only just, here's the real deal. Uh, I set myself free from the day job and now look, I've helped tons of other people do the same. That's just truth. That's not height. I have shoes. Go guys, go take a peek at her website and see just how simple and real they are. Mmm.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. And I'll link that up in the show notes. Um, because I've, I'm actually on it right now. Um, so one of the things that I do is I teach people how to DIY their website. Like that's how I got my start. Uh, DIY your website in just five days with WordPress targeted toward people like me who were trying to figure out how to grow their business online. Um, and the one thing that I see people get stuck on, which is why you guys need to go to Jessica's site and see how a mall, like a seven figure business owner, what her website looks like is just a normal website. Very, like, it's not like some, you know, $50,000 website that's so, you know, trying to suck you into a funnel and you know, whatever it is. I'm sure she has some very strong like hitting in place. Oh yeah. But you know, you guys don't have to put on the air that you might think that you need to put on in order to be super successful.

Kelly McCausey: Don't, I mean, so, uh, Jessica is going to laugh. I have to have her listen to this. Jessica could have gone a different way. She could have said, Oh, you guys want me to create an information product, let me go take a course and figure out how to do it. And then maybe she would have run into some, you know, pink, sparkly business coach who would have said, okay, here's how you do it. Just like me. And she could have went through the little a Stepford wives marketing reproduction system and who knows, uh, it might've ruined her

Shannon Mattern: because your race, your personality.

Kelly McCausey: Yeah. It would have taken all that simple. Here I am Jessica and, and you know, made something plastic and it, and it might not have ever resonated with anybody and the selling family never would have been born. And, and uh, God bless it. I mean, I am friends with some really amazing speak part pink sparkly business coaches. I'm not saying that pink and sparkles is automatically assigned that someone is a Stepford wife knucklehead. But you know, you do have to set all the pink sparkly aside to find the legit depth of their experience to know whether or not they're real

Shannon Mattern: well. And it just means that you don't have to be somebody, you're not to be amazingly successful online and you don't have to, um, you don't have to sanitize yourself. You don't have to look a certain way or have your, you know, Oh, if you want people to pay you X number of dollars, your marketing better look like that too. Like the, all of that is just myths and I'm so glad that you, um, you know, that that's your perspective, that, you know, it's really all about like creating valuable content and building a community. So I want to hear a little bit more about, um, about how you, you know, help people or guide people to, um, you know, create a community and why that's so important in your business. More than just like, I think people spend a lot of time wanting to create products. Like why should we be creating community over spending our time creating products? Yeah.

Kelly McCausey: Well, I, um, I teach some people what I call a big tree business philosophy and uh, it all starts with knowing yourself really well. Like, what are your skills? What do you want to do? What do you want to build? Um, and then knowing who you want to be of service to. How was that community that you want to, to solve their problems, meet their needs, spend your time with, for crying out loud. Um, once you know yourself and you know them, then you can sink your roots deep into that community of people and grow this amazing tree, this amazing business, a brand. I'm not a branding professional. Um, but a great brand comes out of knowing yourself and knowing your community so well. Um, so sink your roots deep into that community and, and let that tree grow. So, um, creating content for a community with a community, seeing how the community responds to it, that's how every product I've ever created has come to pass because maybe I went live on Facebook one day about how I manage my ideas and keep my head straight and the questions from it, uh, sparked an idea for me, which led to, uh, uh, I had product called idea hoarders and, and that idea hoarders teaches them how, how I just really keep my, my ideas straight by having a now next and maybe someday filing system for my ideas. [inaudible]

Kelly McCausey: and guess where my time and attention goes. So the now ideas, guess how much time and attention then maybe some day ideas get none. They're filed for a reason that, you know, that product was born out of seeing how my community reacted to my idea. Like a little short video became a big old product. Um, and now I'm leveraging that product. I mean, that product is like three years old now. I've just leveraged the heck out of it. Um, so if the heart of your question, I imagine somebody saying, I'm going to become an information marketer, I'm going to sell digital products. And so they, they go lock themselves off in a bubble and they create a product and then then you know, that takes months and months and then they have to craft, set up the shopping cart and set up the sales page and the funnel.

Kelly McCausey: And that takes months and months. And then, you know, six, nine, 10 months later, hello people, here's my product and they're going, so what? I don't even care about that. Like you didn't even ever, ever check in on whether or not there's any interest or desire in your community right now. So everything I do comes out of interacting with Mike community through content, whether it's an email, a video, a podcast, a blog post, a graphic. You see how they react to it and I engage and, and I feel it. Like I just feel like, Oh my God, there's so much energy around this topic right now. Boom. That's my next product.

Shannon Mattern: I love that you said all of that because, and I think it's even, I don't even know that it's necessarily digital marketer or digital product creator or information marketer. It could be like a life coach or a health coach or a graphic designer or a web designer. But before I can launch, I have to go, you know, and I put that in air quotes for those of you who cannot see, see me air quoting, I'm going to go launch this thing. And they don't have anyone to launch to. There's no community even to even to get feedback. And that's the saddest thing to me because I think it comes from like a very pure place of, I have this really strong desire to help people. I really do have like a skill, um, that I can offer to two people. And you know, I also want to do it, you know, I don't want to limit myself to just people.

Shannon Mattern: I know I want to do this thing online. And they think that they have to have, you know, they have to have the whole thing built before they can even start. And, and I'm saying they, cause I'm talking about me back in 2014 when I first started my business and I made some quote unquote mistakes that were like the best mistakes I could have made because they took me off that path of having, having the whole thing done before I launched it. Um, but I think I love your, your method or your analogy of the tree. It's like, you know, you're kind of creating this thing as you go. It's growing, it's growing along with you. You don't start at the end, you, you're open to how, how it's going to even be like you don't even have any expectations of what the outcome's going to be. You're just going at it from a service first place and seeing where it leads you. And I think that that's just such a, such a refreshing perspective then, you know, give me the method or the strategy or the steps or the system or the [inaudible] the thing to like, go build this and then you haven't even nurtured any kind of community. So it's like Tada. And nobody's there for your big reveal.

Kelly McCausey: Yeah, yeah. I've aye. Yeah. I love what you said about the, the big tree that, that because a tree grows naturally based on the ground at sin, you know? Sure. A tree, a tree can, I can say, Hey, my tree is going to grow 14 feet this year, seven new branches. But if I don't get much rain that year, that's not happening, you know? So, so I'm going to have to leverage what I've got, you know, if I'm not going to get growth per se, and there's a, there's a tree is very organic in my, the way I've interacted with my community over the years has been very organic. I'm noticing what they want, what they need and yeah, with service providers too, the same thing applies of if you go off in your hidey hole and design, this is what I want to do for people, then then you've got to work hard and go find those exact people who need that thing versus if you just show up in your community and notice what they need and create what they need and then boom, they're like, heck yeah. So how do we

Shannon Mattern: either find or create the community? Like, do you recommend finding an existing community, creating your own community? It's like we've established that it's so important to not just, I love the word hidey hole, like hang out in your hidey hole by yourself and make this thing. How do we tap into a community?

Kelly McCausey: So that I'm, I was really hoping you would ask that question because I imagine especially newcomers saying, well, gosh, it's easy for someone to say if they already had one, you know? Um, the, what happened, the amazing thing that happened at mom masterminds way back in 2004, 2005 was that, uh, they came to learn from Alison I, but then they proceeded to learn and implement together. Yeah. And we, I learned, I brought my, the best I think I brought with me into my business was, and appreciation for community that people don't need a, um, an authoritarian leader. They need a facilitator. Um, so I've seen amazing things happen within my community where people meet each other and find ways to collaborate. And so yeah, take advantage of other existing communities. Invest yourself in a few. Don't, don't run off to Facebook and join 50 groups.

Kelly McCausey: Um, but find like three groups who you resonate with, the, the leader facilitator, and then invest yourself in some conversations and relationships and then, you know, take those, take those relationships to the next level by having conversations. Um, I just recently moved my community off of Facebook. We went back to, um, I always had a forum until 2016 my community w, uh, staged a rebellion and demanded Facebook groups. And so we've done that for three years, but now we're all kind of sick of it again. So we've gone forward. We have a forum, mastermind hub.com. I actually cooperate on that forum was several other a coach consultants. So we've got this space to, to organize. Um, I would invite any listener to come join us at mastermind hub. Um, find a community, invest yourself in. And, um, gosh, there's so many, there's a couple of people right now within my community who are building something pretty amazing from within my community and I love every minute of it.

Kelly McCausey: Mmm. One gal is, um, very, uh, techie, geeky about all the tools that people use for social media and this and that. And I don't want to talk about that. Mmm. I might, I mean, I make a choice about a tool, but I don't want to geek out and review all the tools she does. And so she's, you know, within my community and she's just that person who everybody asks those questions of. And now she's created coaching programs and trainings and such. You know, she's, she's building a community from within my community and others, uh, some people think, uh, well it would be rude to go into someone else's community and then start making offers and, and the, there's two answers. That question is like, if you show up and on the first day you throw out offers, yup, that's rude. But if you show up and invest yourself and create relationships and get a feel and a vibe, then, I mean, I literally backed people to share the content that they've designed, that they're proud of. I love to join venture with people. Like if, and I have no concept of competition, God bless Alice Seba. She taught me that early on. Like we just, we have no concept of competition. I don't care if you do, I don't care if you say, I am all about content marketing and community building. This is my heart and my vibe. I would say, great, I'm glad you're here. Like there's so don't,

Kelly McCausey: don't feel like it'd be rude. Just just take your time and, and make it your home. Like there's, there's communities I love to engage in and be part of and I love people to come and engage and be part of mine and yours will grow. You know, as you find your sweet spot and, and take those stands, you're going to draw people to you who are hungry for what you've got right now.

Shannon Mattern: So there are so many things that you said there that I absolutely love. But I think my biggest takeaway from everything is like build real genuine relationships with real people to build your business. Like that is, that's the bottom line. And it's like, you know, sure you can drive traffic with Facebook ads in all the tactics and strategies and that's a numbers game. And if you have a ton of cash and you want to throw that into it, fine. Like I'm not the teacher for you. But that's okay. That's, that's a strategy that people can take. But what I find for me as an entrepreneur who started in like 2015, so I've only been at this for five years, it's like my business flourishes and thrives when I'm focusing on building real relationships with real people, providing real value and always just figuring out like, how can I help someone and it, uh, dries up when I'm like, okay, how can I invest enough money in Facebook ads to hit this number, to get this conversion percentage to make this much money?

Shannon Mattern: Like I can literally look back at all of those times and my revenue reflects it. My level of happiness reflects it. How much I love my business reflects it. And so, um, any of those of you out here listening that like, you know, do you pay to advertising or whatever? Like, I'm not knocking you, I'm just like, I'm not at all, it's a tactic, but it's just like, I, um, I just feel so much more grounded in my business and like very sure about what I'm doing when I'm growing it through growing relationships rather than trying to like write the exact marketing copy that's going to get you to click on this thing. Yeah. So that's, that's like my biggest takeaway is just like, you know, and also the thing you said about there is no competition. I, I have, I hear so many people and there's probably a lot of you guys listening right now that are like, well, there are too many people out here are doing the same thing that I do. And it's like, great, go make friends with them, learn from them. We should all be, uh, we all have something to offer, you know, and it's, it's

Kelly McCausey: not, you know, they don't have the Mark the corner on the market of all the people in the world who want that surface. Right. I am. Aye. Oh gosh. Um, my coaching, my private coaching program is full. Uh, so [inaudible] aye. Gotcha. If I met someone who I like the thought of working with them just made me want to pee my pants. I could imagine making space for one person. But yeah. Other than that, like my, I don't, I don't operate in a, a full time coaching model. I take eight private clients and I work with them for a year and that is that. Um, I'm sorry my cat is, that's hilarious. Um, uh, my, so I limit the number of private clients I can work with. So aye. That's what I say. I have no concept of competition because if your coach, even if you're coaching, I have very similar themes.

Kelly McCausey: I'm like sweet. I bet we'll be friends. And I host events. So I've, since 2013 I've hosted or co-hosted a 12 live multi-speaker events where I'm literally putting people on stage who are my competition and they're making an offer for coaching at my event. And I'm grinning about it because your going to be drawn to the person that you want to be like, uh, you're going to, people want to work with me because they want what I've got. And, and so if I put my friend, Michelle says, I'm on my stage, who is, who has a very different business, more of a coaching business model, you know, then there's, there would be a really good reason for you to hire me or Michelle based on who do you want to be like, like, what business model do you want to operate in? The fact that we're both business coaches is, is like saying we're both coffee when we're talking about Starbucks and you know, Taster's choice. Like there's just, there's such a variety of, of interests. [inaudible] Mmm, okay. Gosh. Yeah. So all this to say, gosh, please feel comfortable jumping into communities and putting yourself out there. If there is, you will go into communities where the leader is authoritarian and it doesn't want you there because your competition, that's okay. You know, don't let the door hit you on the behind, just get out. But there's way more communities out there where people have just a hunger to cooperate.

Shannon Mattern: I love that. So you talked a little bit about your business model. I want to hear more about that because, um, you know, you, you talked about the early years, how you started, how you built the membership site and grew through, you know, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, all those things. What does your business look like

Kelly McCausey: today? So I continue to accept sponsors on my podcast for about four years. Um, when I had built up my own business product offerings to the point where I could make more money giving myself the exposure than a sponsor exposure, then I just stopped accepting the sponsors. [inaudible]. Um, today my business is, um, I do, I create information products and coaching programs in challenges that run several times a year that people pay to participate in. I do have a weekly mastermind group. There's actually four different groups that meet every week. That's a ongoing continuity membership program. Um, my private coaching program, like you said, it's, I take eight each year for that. And then everything else I do is affiliate marketing where I'm partnering with someone else to introduce them to my audience and share their resources. Uh, I have, uh, I own a hosting company, voted a mom web since 2004 I and I partner in a couple of re brandable content companies.

Kelly McCausey: Are you familiar with PLR? No. PLR stands for private label rights a done for you content. So think about all those brochures you see at the doctor's office. You know, your doctor didn't write that brochure yet. It has his name on it. Like that's an example of rebranded private label content. The same thing exists online for, for all kinds of different niches. So I've come a company that develops content for business and self development. Um, and then the, the, the glyphs, the glimmering glittering jewel of my business. Uh, aside from my own stuff, Mmm. Is beach printers. I partner with Nicole Dean on hosting retreats and events for women entrepreneurs at the beach. That sounds amazing. It totally is.

Shannon Mattern: So what is a typical day look like for you? Because you have a lot of different moving pieces and parts for your business. And you mentioned you're now next, maybe someday model, but I want to know like how do you prioritize, how do you move through your day? What's your schedule?

Kelly McCausey: I organized my day. I organize my week to be coaching on Mondays and Thursdays, usually no more than three or four hours on either of those days. I take eight private clients so that 16 calls a month that I'm, that I'm coaching. Um, and those fit on those two days. Um, I try to, whenever possible, keep my podcast interviews on those same days. So those are like my phone days. Um, and then, uh, two Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Fridays are more project oriented days. So there's no, I don't have a rhythm of my day because my days of the week are going to be really different. But what I do have is the siesta lifestyle. So I typically don't begin my day till 10, and I'm, and I like, my brain starts to shut down around three, which is not today though, because we're recording this

Shannon Mattern: three. No, I'm the same way. I saved conversations where I don't have to be very intense with my thoughts until later in the day. This is like, it's easy to just have a conversation with someone in the afternoon

Kelly McCausey: stay means I haven't been on the phone with four people already. Yeah, yeah. Well it's like, Oh, I get to chat with Shannon now. Um, but so, so usually around two, three o'clock then, then my schedule is closed and I'm, I often take a good nap, like I'm a serious mapper. Um, and then I might come back on, uh, seven or eight o'clock at night depending on the day of the week. I tend to do webinars at night, a Q and a follow ups to products I do at night. So it's just different. The days are different. But at the end of this week, the Saturday I fly to Florida and I'm going to be down there for five weeks. We have a beach condo retreat the first week of February, and then we have a beach house retreat the first week of March. And in between those two, I'm on hiatus. Um, so I'll do a lot of nothing.

Shannon Mattern: That sounds amazing. I'm in Columbus, Ohio. I don't know where you are, but like to go to Florida right now would be,

Kelly McCausey: Oh amazing.

Shannon Mattern: I am in Michigan. Okay. I'm feeling, you know, you know you're probably worse than me. Right. So I have a couple of questions that I always ask every single person that comes, comes on the show and one of them is, you know, what's your best advice for someone who's really struggling to, to

Kelly McCausey: grow their business? I would like to [inaudible] I'd like to challenge them to track them, their time and talents for a solid week and take a look at where they're spending their time. I'm actually one of my plans for this spring is to run a tracking challenge. Have you ever read the book the big leap?

Shannon Mattern: I have not. But you're like the third or fourth person that's mentioned it in the past month. So it sounds like something that I need to read

Kelly McCausey: that

Shannon Mattern: it's on my list right now. It is the best.

Kelly McCausey: But if you want us, if you want to put a pin in it and read it with me in March, that's when we're going to do the challenge cause I want people to book with me first. Gay Hendricks introduces the concept of the [inaudible] of four zones. You can spend your time in the zone of incompetence, meaning you don't know what you're doing. The zone of competence, you can do it, but a whole lot of people can do it better than you. Okay? The zone of excellence, you do it better than your average bear. Okay? Like you're recommended, you're sought after and then there's zone of genius. You do it like no one else. If someone says to me, I'm struggling to grow my business, I feel like I'm spinning my wheels, I'm going to look at, I'm going to watch them track their time and review with them and probably find that they're spending time in incompetence and competence.

Kelly McCausey: Cause that kind of activity is is only ever a wheel spinner or just getting by kind of thing. You only start to see growth when you are operating in your zone of excellence. And you, there's so much to say about that and we don't have enough time. But even as a zone of excellence peop some people get frustrated because they, even though they're highly recommended and sought after, they've started to get bored with it like that, that's very common for zone of excellence. Is there something you're really, really good at but it is not the heartbeat of your creativity. So if someone's not growing, I want to know where they're spending most of their time and challenge them to aim as high as possible all the time. Because the more time you spend in the zone of excellence, the more likely you are to spot your zone of genius and that.

Kelly McCausey: And then at the same time, the more time you spend in competence and incompetence, the farther and farther you get from ever knowing what you were designed for. That is fascinating. So can you give me an example of, you know, what someone might be doing if they're spending their time in, in competence versus competence and what that might look like when they're move, when they move into excellence and genius? Yeah. So in competence for me, anything to do with bookkeeping and taxes. Okay. I, I have, I was sort of same because it's just flat, dangerous, dangerous for me to be in charge of the numbers. Um, competence. When you think about, uh, managing your own email inbox. Yeah. That's competence. There are a few people out there who are truly excellent at it, but email is no one zone of genius. Like it's, it's the, it's the business is compared to doing their fricking dishes. Like it just has to be done. If I'm, if I'm spending time in my email, I'm in my zone of competence. Yeah. Um, zone and probably avoiding genius or access. Yeah. Yes. When you spend time doing something that someone else could do better or faster. [inaudible]

Kelly McCausey: zone of excellence. For me, web design and graphic design is my zone of excellence. It made me a very good living, but I closed that down in 2011 when I started to get really bored and annoyed with clients. I started charging more and more for projects, trying to scare clients away and they just kept giving me the money and I'm like, Ugh, I'm so sick of it. I don't want to be known for this anymore. I'm bored, I'm done. That was my zone of excellence. I shut that down. But for me, a zone of genius is in facilitating community. Yeah. It is in creating a space [inaudible] for people to discover themselves, to create relationships, to stretching, grow to see their value in the eyes of others. That's my zone of

Shannon Mattern: and Mmm aye. You never get bored with your zone of genius. Like some people will say, Oh, I'm really good at this. This is my zone of genius. And maybe it is maybe why not? I mean, Hey, if you're having fun, but the minute you start to say I'm bored, that's your clue. Oh wait, that ain't it. I haven't nailed it yet. I haven't found it yet. So it's time to explore. That's so interesting. Cause like all the things that you just said, I'm like yep. Book keeping and competent, competent. I can, I can find lots of reasons to spend time in my email. Um, when I'm avoiding zone of genius, um, zone of excellence, web design, working for clients, doing one-on-one web design work for clients, which I shut down in September. Um, because because I recognized I was spending so much time in my zone of excellence and it wasn't serving me, um, I'd finally gotten it to the point where I, where I was like, Oh, I have all the boundaries set, I'm good, I'm liking what I'm doing, I'm liking the clients I'm attracting, I'm liking the money that I'm making, but I'm not fulfilled and this is not, you know, and then the zone of excellence is just like empowering people to yeah, no, be able to go after them more for themselves, whatever, whatever that is.

Shannon Mattern: So I have never really had a framework within, you know, to see that. And it's like, I know me and I know like, I'm like, Oh, we could get on a whole nother topic. For me, I go into competence when I'm uncomfortable with what the next step is. You know, I'm like, Oh, I'll just stay where it's easy. Yeah. It's very easy to just answer emails and say, I don't have time for my zone of genius or two on that. You are going to love that book. Yeah. He, he talks about some about upper limiting Hmm. When, when your, this is outside of this the zones conversation. But when you've got this key suggest we have a thermostat setting for how happy loved, uh, successful, recognized, appreciated. We have this in this thermostat setting on it and when we hit that setting, we upper limit. Like all of this is, this is good, this, ah, it's almost too good. Like something bad might happen if I enjoy this too much. And so then we, we downed zone ourselves to bring the temperature back down. Like, you know, like, Oh my God, I think I need to go file something. I need to clean my desk. Yeah. That's so interesting. I'll link up that book in the show notes for everyone. But I have one last question for you that I ask everybody that comes

Kelly McCausey: on the podcast and that is what belief about yourself did you have to change to get to where you are today? Just one. I'm sure there's only one. Mmm. Then I'm lovable. Mmm. Yeah. Just if it's just one that I'm lovable. Um, that I'm tagged. The, the conversation of self love has been huge in my life over the last, uh, five to six years. Um, because I'm, I am a recovering judger and I judged others and I judged myself really harsh. And when I realized how attached I was to doing it right, um, being seen to be right, that judgment really kept me from loving and accepting myself. And it kept me from loving and accepting others cause you can always find something wrong with someone else. And when I decided to just lean away from that habit, doors opened. I'm not a big movie person.

Kelly McCausey: Um, but I have, I really focused on my own self development, self love, letting go of judgment. And, and from the end of 2017 to the end of 2018, nothing changed in my business but me, like I didn't try some new strategy. I didn't significantly raised my prices. I didn't do anything different. It was just me. I showed up different and my income doubled from 127,000 at the end of 2017 to 248,000. At the end of 2018. And I didn't even realize, I knew I was making more money, you know, but numbers like that's my zone of incompetence. So it wasn't until I went to pull a report for my taxes that I went Holy crap. Like what happened? And it was, it was my belief about myself that I'm lovable. I am worthy. That and as I judge other people's last, uh, as I judge you less, I give, I, I create a space where I'm judged less. I could talk to you for another hour about this. Unfortunately, I have to wrap this up,

Shannon Mattern: but you let everybody know where we can connect with you, where we can become part of your community and just um, you know, learn more from you online.

Kelly McCausey: Yeah. Well my home base is loved people, make money.com and that my community, I share a community space mastermind hub.com there. There's a, I'm going to give you a secret, my name Kelly, just there's a $79 pay wall at mastermind. Had to keep the spammers out. Okay. But I'm assuming there are no spammers listening to your show, so I hope you're not enter the code Kelly and I'll just let you hop right over that and get into forum.

Shannon Mattern: Very cool. So I'll link all of that up in the show notes. Kelly, thank you so much for being here and for sharing your story and your passion for community and all your amazing advice. I'm not even joking when I'm like, Ooh, the self-love topic would make a fantastic follow up episode cause it's like definitely something I'm working on with myself right now. Um, but we'll have to save it for another day, unfortunately. But thank you so much for being here. I really, really appreciate it.

Kelly McCausey: Thank you Shannon. This was really bright, really fun.

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Bio:

I got my start in 2002. A single mom with one young son, I made graphics and websites for other home based business owners. I worked hard and charged too little for my time.  Thankfully, I learned quickly there are smarter ways to build an income online.  For many years now, I no longer trade hours for dollars. I blog, podcast, design, partner, create information products, run membership programs, hold live retreats and coach others to get where they want to be in an online business.

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One Response

  1. Great episode. Especially loved the topic about being ourselves when we’re building our businesses and a community. This is so important. From personal experience of trying to continue forcing myself to stay in a niche where I had to pretend to be someone I wasn’t… it didn’t work. Once I let that go and started doing what I do now, where I am unapologetically the real me, it’s amazing how much easier it is to find my tribe – they connect to the real me. Kelly said it best: “A great brand comes out of knowing yourself and knowing your community so well.”

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