March 14th, 2015 By: Ash
ASH: You’ve been instrumental in growing the business well beyond a six-figure monthly income and made $433,000 in February 2015, which is pretty awesome.
KATE: That’s definitely very awesome. Thanks for all your kind words, Ash. I really appreciate it. You’re also the brains behind the explosive growth of EOFire, and you’re constantly working with your partner, John Lee Dumas, to develop and refine the growth strategy.
JOHN: Hey, this is John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur On Fire. You’re listening to my friend Ash Roy.
ASH: Welcome to the Productive Insights Podcast for entrepreneurs and professionals, where we discuss how to leverage your business. Head over to productiveinsights.com for over a hundred free tips, articles, videos, and podcasts that help you increase your productivity and maximize your profits to fund the perfect lifestyle.
In today’s podcast we speak to Kate Erickson, who has worked with John Lee Dumas in growing Entrepreneur On Fire into one of the most successful podcasts. Kate, your story begins in corporate America where you worked in human resources. Having decided fairly early in your career that the corporate ladder wasn’t for you, you chose to blaze your own trail as an entrepreneur. Since you’ve joined Entrepreneur On Fire you pioneered the Entrepreneur On Fire blog and I’ve also done some guest blogging on behalf of EOFire. You’ve also been heavily involved in Podcasters’ Paradise, of which I’m a proud member, which probably is the best resource online when it comes to learning podcasting.
You’re also the brains behind the explosive growth of EOFire and you’re constantly working with your partner, John Lee Dumas, to develop and refine the growth strategy. You’ve been instrumental in growing the business well beyond a six-figure monthly income and made $433,000 dollars in February 2015, which is pretty awesome.
KATE: It’s definitely very [00:02:00] awesome. Thanks for all your kind words, Ash. I really appreciate it.
ASH: You’re most welcome. These achievements make for a very spectacular resume, particularly for somebody who’s such a young entrepreneur. Could you spend a minute telling us about your entrepreneurial journey, Kate?
KATE: Sure. Like you said, I kind of started off in corporate America. I thought that’s where my career would lie. I never really thought that entrepreneurship was for me. I didn’t really understand how I might go about attaining that. I was quite comfortable in corporate America until, like you said, I was pushed over the edge I guess you could say, finally and very luckily. I’m so grateful for that. At the time I was not grateful for it but I certainly am now.
When I took my first entrepreneurial leap I tried to start my own business, which was a copywriting service for online businesses. I was trying to help local businesses in the Portland, Maine area, which is where I was living at the time, optimize their sites and improve their online presence through copywriting. That did not work out so well for me. A few mistakes and six months later I was already ditching that business idea. I went back to corporate America to work at an advertising and marketing agency because I did have a project management background, and landed a job that I absolutely loved. I learned so many amazing things about branding, marketing, budgeting, project management, advertising, which have of course really helped me along my way here at Entrepreneur On Fire.
While I was working in that advertising and marketing agency that’s when John started Entrepreneur On Fire. He launched in September 2012. Again, at the time I was still at this marketing and advertising agency. In April of 2013 I left my job in advertising and came onboard to be partners with John. That has brought me here to Entrepreneur On Fire, and [00:04:00] we’re just loving every day of providing inspiring and action-packed content to help other entrepreneurs really get their start.
ASH: Cool, and I’m sure the project management skills and the marketing skills that you gained in your previous job are very useful in your role as a key contributor to Entrepreneur On Fire’s spectacular growth.
KATE: I absolutely use them every single day for sure.
ASH: I know you start your day with a good workout, which is a hallmark of great achievers. Could you take us through your daily routine and how that helps you to create a highly productive day?
KATE: I’m really big on morning routines especially because I think that sets you up, like you said, for a productive day. I can definitely tell the difference when I wake up and I kind of deviate from my regular routine, what that does for the rest of my day. What I really love to do is I try to get out of bed and be doing something by 6:30. Usually that is going for a run, heading to the gym, doing some type of workout like you said. I really like to do that first thing in the morning. Gets my blood flowing and wakes me up right away.
Then after that I’ll usually come back home, make a good breakfast. I love cleaning my kitchen in the morning because then it’s not a distractor the rest of the day. I’ll usually come home, clean the kitchen, make a cup of coffee. I’m a big coffee drinker. Then jump in the shower, do a good stretch, and then start my day. Really each of my days is different in terms of what I’m working on for the business, because I theme my days. That’s been really, really helpful for my productivity. Picking certain themes that I’m going to be working on for an entire day really helps me focus in on a single project. Instead of coming to my desk and then saying what should I work on today, I come to my desk, I know exactly [00:06:00] what I’m going to work on. It helps me just dive right into whatever tasks I have in front of me.
ASH: Yes, I think having a theme for your day is fantastic. I think another great point you’ve made is starting your day the right way. I know that the days that I start with a workout, they’re much more productive, and I need to do that every day, which I don’t do at the moment. In fact, I met with Chris Ducker and we had quite a few conversations over the Super Fast Business Live Conference last week. He was saying how he starts his day with yoga, and he’s really disciplined about it. That has made a massive difference.
KATE: Yeah, absolutely. That’s great that you were able to connect with him. Chris Ducker is a really great guy, good friend. I’ve heard him talk about yoga as well. I know that his [urz 00:06:44] is very into yoga and has some incredible skill in that area. I’ve tried to get into that because I really do enjoy the heated yoga, but that’s fantastic that he’s been able to make it a part of his routine and not only help his productivity but stay healthy in the process. Yeah, that’s awesome.
ASH: In fact, he showed me a photo of him doing this hand stand which was amazing. He just holds his entire body weight in the air with his hand, and he holds it for about a minute. It’s absolutely transformative, the power of yoga and doing it every morning.
KATE: Wow. Yeah, that’s crazy, for an entire minute. I can’t even do a hand stand at all.
ASH: Same here. Could you talk about the biggest challenges that you’ve faced on your journey and how you overcame them?
KATE: I think one of the biggest challenges that many of us, and I’ve certainly faced it here, is the imposter syndrome and having that fear that perhaps you’re not really an expert or perhaps you don’t really have something of value or something of importance to share. That’s been definitely a struggle for me, especially coming from corporate America where I was always having somebody tell me [00:08:00] what to do. I would go into the office and I would take direction from people. Becoming an entrepreneur, as you know, is very different from that. You decide what you’re going to work on, and you create tasks, and you create projects, and you create ideas.
That shift being part of the struggle for me, and the other part of the struggle not only being that I’m now coming up with my own tasks and projects and managing my time solely, it’s up to me, but then also feeling that fear of the ideas and the tasks and the projects that I do come up with, are these going to resonate with our audience. Are these going to make a difference? Do I matter enough to even be talking about this kind of stuff? I think that’s something that we all struggle with at one point or another.
What’s really helped me move past that …. Not necessarily past it because I think we’re always going to feel that fear to a certain extent, but what’s helped me face that fear and overcome it time and time again is just really focusing on the outcome of what it is that we’re creating, focusing on all the people that we’re able to reach through the podcast and through our website, and through our content, and through our communities. You mentioned Podcasters’ Paradise. Any time I feel fear about anything, all I have to do is look at how many incredible members we have in our Podcasters’ Paradise community.
At the end of the day, those are the people that we’re serving. It’s really been helpful for me to not focus on the fear itself but focus on the outcome of what it is that I’m creating. That always helps me get past that fear.
ASH: Those are some fantastic tips, Kate. You’ve talked about how you’ve overcome the imposter syndrome by just focusing on the outcome and just delivering results. That is definitely something I can take away from this conversation.
Also, I have become friends with James Schramko, who John Lee Dumas has interviewed in a previous episode. James [00:10:00] talks in one of his podcasts about how when he starts his day now as opposed to when he was an employee before, his days are complete open slate. There is absolutely a whole range of choices that he has. There is no structure and it’s up to him to create it, which is a challenge in its own way. I have also struggled with that. I find that a really good way to deal with that is to make a list of my to-dos the day before. That gives me an opportunity to just get into it without having to decide on what to do.
KATE: Yeah, I love that. Planning ahead and putting something in place so that you’re not stuck in a moment where you’re thinking what should I work on right now, because whenever I find myself in that moment where I think what should I work on right now, the first thing that happens is I either go to my inbox, which is a black hole, or I go on social media, which is always also a black hole. I definitely think that’s very important, what you’re talking about, to set yourself up either for the next day or even for the next week so that you have that plan in place and you have that structure. Yeah, I love that.
ASH: The other thing I find really, really helpful is following what John Lee Dumas says: focus. Follow one course until success. I have been applying that and I focus on just one thing, only focus on that and nothing else, so that I’m not overwhelmed with the whole myriad of tasks that I have to complete.
KATE: Yeah, definitely. That focus is so key. When you have competing projects and different things lingering that you’re thinking oh, well I have to work on this but I also have to work on this, that’s just going to kill your productivity before you’re even able to start doing anything.
KATE: Choosing one thing to focus on and not letting yourself get distracted until you’re able to accomplish that one thing is very, very important.
ASH: You talked about being focused on outcomes. It’s a fantastic segue into our next point. Your greatest wins as an entrepreneur and how [00:12:00] you’ve helped your clients the most either through Podcasters’ Paradise or through Entrepreneur On Fire. Would you like to talk a little bit about that?
KATE: Ash, like I mentioned before, Podcasters’ Paradise has been so incredible to watch the progression from John and I’s standpoint, the creators’ standpoint. This community was literally built on what our audience was telling us that they wanted and needed. To go from failed project to failed project, which we definitely did do before we came up with the idea to create Podcasters’ Paradise, we had other podcasting ideas that failed. People did not want or need them.
To see that progression over time is a huge win for me. Even though we started out failing, we’ve now come to create something that is truly helping other people make a difference in their business and make a difference for their audience. It’s very much this ripple effect that we’re starting to see now. That feels really, really great, to not only know that you’ve helped somebody accomplish something that they want to accomplish, but then in them accomplishing that, they’re helping their audience accomplish something as well.
That’s been a really huge win for us in terms of creating this community who isn’t all about what can I do to better my podcast, how can these other people help me, me me me. This community is really about helping lift one another up and helping support one another on our podcasting journey. That’s something that in my corporate background I never was in a position or never worked at a company where other people were trying to help me get a promotion or where other people were trying to help me improve my skills. It’s very more like a cutthroat experience for me in corporate. Coming into this entrepreneurial space [00:14:00], especially in the podcasting space, and even more so with Podcasters’ Paradise, I’m so proud of this community because everybody’s in it to help each other. That just adds to what we’re all able to accomplish together.
ASH: yes, I think having worked for 15 years in corporate Australia and in the UK, I had exactly the same experience. Most people I worked with were in it for themselves. It really wasn’t as collaborative an environment as it has been since I started as an entrepreneur. I find working in the entrepreneurial environment people are just a lot more creative and willing to help each other. When you have your own business you can be very focused on your clients and getting outcomes for your clients. You made some great points there. I also find something that is very valuable as an entrepreneur is Kate’s Take.
KATE: Thanks for that, Ash. I have so much fun with Kate’s Take, and I really created it in order to try and reach more people with that content. I’m very much a systems and processes person, and I loved writing about that on the blog. I have a great love for writing so that seemed to be very natural for me to take the skills and the behind the scenes things that I know from being here at Entrepreneur On Fire and sharing those. Not everybody likes to read blog posts so I’ve had a lot of phone recreating that content, repurposing it into an audio blog which is, like you said, Kate’s Take. I’m really glad that you’re enjoying that and that you’re liking the content.
ASH: Yeah, I’ve started narrating some of my blog posts as well, and it’s very good because it’s a second modality, audio content, which people often consume while they’re driving or at the gym. It’s extremely convenient and very useful.
KATE: Tell me if you feel the same way, but I definitely feel like it’s helped me grow so much, become more comfortable with speaking [00:16:00], become a better speaker and become more comfortable in my own skin I guess. Episode 64 was released today and I just now feel like I’m really starting to recognize my voice. I’m really starting to recognize what it is that resonates most with my listeners. That’s a really good feeling because it’s helping me grow at the same time that I’m helping other people.
ASH: Yes, I’ve definitely found that it’s helped me improve my speaking skills, and I’m really looking forward to hitting my stride like you have.
ASH: One of the questions I had to ask you was about overwhelm, but I think we’ve touched on it making lists of tasks the previous day, focusing on just one thing. If you don’t have anything to add on that point I’m happy to move to the next thing.
KATE: Yeah, sure. I definitely think that that covers a couple tips for people who are expressing overwhelm, is to really just focus in on that one thing. Just to repeat what you just said, create that plan for yourself. Schedule it in your calendar. Actually set a date and deadline that you’re going to have stuff done by so that you don’t find yourself being caught behind on projects and stuff. I definitely think that that’s great help for overwhelm.
ASH: When I spoke to Neil Patel in the first podcast in this series I asked him what’s the most important advice you can give to budding entrepreneurs or young entrepreneurs out there. He said do what you love, focus on doing what you love. Don’t do it for the money. I am very keen to hear your take on it. What do you think? What is your advice for somebody who’s starting off as an entrepreneur? Is there any key takeaway that they can implement from this conversation?
KATE: I love what Neil has … his advice. I think that’s really great advice. Definitely don’t be in it for the money. Related to our conversation here today, I would [00:18:00] say a major takeaway for anybody who’s getting started or who has already started is to not let that fear stand in the way, because like I said, that’s something that I definitely struggled with. I know that many other entrepreneurs struggle with that. We’re all going to feel fear. You’re not alone in feeling that, so you don’t need to feel singled out by it or as if you’re dealing with something that other people don’t have to deal with. Human beings deal with fear. Everybody feels that. The trick is to face it, not let it hold you back. Getting out there and testing things and figuring out what’s going to work for you, even if you fail that’s going to be a great lesson learned that you can take with you. Failing isn’t fun necessarily, but it certainly will get you to the next step on your journey. That’s enjoying the journey, knowing that failure’s going to be a part of that process, and just facing that fear and moving forward.
ASH: I think that is a very good point you’ve made. Face your fears and act in spite of them, because you’re going to learn from them. Failure is inevitable. It’s not always pleasant at the time it’s happening but it’s almost always a learning experience.
KATE: Yeah, definitely. I think it’s important to look back at our failures and really dig out what those lessons learned are because it can certainly help us along the way.
ASH: How does the Productive Insights community get in touch with you if they wish to know more about your business or they would like to sign up with Podcasters’ Paradise?
KATE: You can head over to eofire.com. That’s the home base. That’s our website. You can pretty much find out anything about us, our business, what we have to offer you, over there, eofire.com.
ASH: Eofire.com. Fantastic. Thank you so much for your time, Kate. That brings us to the end of our interview.
KATE: Ash, thanks so much.
ASH: Thank you. Head over to productiveinsights.com [00:20:00] for over a hundred free tips, articles, videos and podcasts that help you increase your productivity and maximize your profits to fund the perfect lifestyle.
John: Hey, this is John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur On Fire. You’re listening to my friend Ash Roy.