Episode #58: Preparing Your Business for an Atypical Holiday Season

DRIVEN: A podcast for modern entrepreneurs. DRIVEN: A podcast for modern entrepreneurs. Preparing Your Business for an Atypical Holiday Season.

In today’s episode, we’re having a conversation about how to approach the holidays with your business this year.


Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and if we can find ways to put that offering on a silver platter. Like; hey. I know that right now time feels a little more strained. The kids are home going to school, or whatever the case may be of your particular customer, recognizing that and saying; yes, I see you. So I’ve decided to create this. Let’s find a way to support people.

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: In today’s episode, we’re having a conversation about how to approach the holidays with your business this year.

Topics:

  1. What’s on my plate [1:07]
  2. Shop Talk: Preparing for the holiday season in your business [22:23]
  3. Finding a way to give, no matter where you’re at [38:09]
  4. Tip of The Week: Brainstorm your generosity [47:52]

1.  What’s on my plate [1:07]

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses, and in our lives for the week. Cassy, what’s going on this week?

Cassy Joy: It is a whirlwind outside this pantry door, Diane. {laughs} That I’m hiding in right now. We are finishing up the book. And is this not just the nature; this is a real, we’re just going to nod along with each other and reminisce on our horror stories about books. But is this not how a book goes? You set a great plan, and you’re like; we’re going to build this huge, comfy cozy schedule. And then something happens, or several things happen, and then all of a sudden it feels like a mad dash to the finish line.

Diane Sanfilippo: Always.

Cassy Joy: It seems always to happen that way. And I feel; am I naïve? Ignorant? I don’t know what the appropriate word is. But I’m constantly thinking; this time will be different.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: But it’s going to be good. I’m actually really excited. We’re finishing up book 3 photoshoot tomorrow. So the manuscript is done; got that back from the editor. It’s all compiled into one document. Which is such a milestone of a moment. And we have essentially half of the food photos still to take. Which we pressed pause on because of COVID, and then baby, and everything.

So Kristen Kilpatrick, our food photographer, will be back. We have a digital editor who is there to help organize files as we go. And we are photographing 20 dinners a day for the next three days. And it’s {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s insane.

Cassy Joy: It is aggressive. It is an aggressive schedule. I think; I was reminiscing. I think with Fed and Fit, my first book; which I did by myself. I think at most I did 16 dishes in a day, and my mom was there to help. And that was a day that kicked my booty.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. I was going to say; about 10 to 12 is really more of a maximum, with 5 or 6 being reasonable and not too hard.

Cassy Joy: Yes. Exactly.

Diane Sanfilippo: Depending on what it is, right? There’s a sauce, there’s something where it’s a small thing or just an alternate. The chicken before it goes into something. But yeah, I would say 10 to 12 is much more of a normal heavy day.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: For a photoshoot for a book. 16 is extremely aggressive, and 20; well, I mean with the team. It’s still totally nuts, but.

Cassy Joy: Right! {Laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But get it.

Cassy Joy: Anything is possible.

Diane Sanfilippo: If anyone can do that.

Cassy Joy: It’s going to happen. These ladies are just incredible, Diane. I’m actually going to; I feel myself getting a little choked up when I think about how hard they work. And they just take such pride in their work. And it really shows. It’s amazing to watch happen. But I’m sitting here in this pantry; there are so many groceries I’m surrounded by, and they’ve just organized themselves so beautifully. And Amber, we just got finished going through our production schedule. Because she’s producing a show, essentially is what she’s doing. Our managing editor.

So Amber did a fabulous job organizing all of our materials for these shoots, and essentially has this; anything is possible. I’m just saying this to say; anything is possible. I think if you’re organized enough, very aggressive things are very possible.

And the reason we’re having to cram it all in is because of these other contractors that we’re bringing in to help us execute the book. It’s such a small window that they could actually do the work on. Which is understandable and also, it’s just; unfortunately, par for the course how these things kind of happen. The team, we’re going to be working Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday to get all of this done straight. And then hopefully we’ll all take a nice long real weekend after that.

I have a note here; and it’s just a note. I was just thinking about when I was sitting down. So this is my third book. I’ve done several other very large projects and undertakings in my time as a professional. And it just hit me how important project management skills are, y’all. Even if you’re only managing yourself, putting on your project management hat is crucial. When you sit down, and you figure out how to organize your time. How are you going to approach XYZ; even if you’re more of a; oh, what is it? Right or left brain. I can never remember. But more of the creative thinker.

I think if you tap into your project management skills; how can I organize? I have this vision, I have this goal. How am I going to get there? And then you actually go through some of what feels like the paperwork steps to get prepared and organized in how you’re going to plan and schedule things. It just makes a world of difference.

I’ve launched things and I’ve developed things where I wasn’t quite as organized and thoughtful; I just thought I would see where the wind blew me. And things still worked. I still published whatever it was, or released whatever it was. But it felt more hurried, and it didn’t feel quite as polished as when I actually take the time to sit down and organize myself. And now with the team organizing all the things that are on their plates and part of their task sheets, it’s been neat to see.

So anyways, that’s everything to do with the book. It’s going to be wild, but hang on. If you’re following along on social media, you’ll have seen this all come together a few weeks ago.

And then my last big update; and I’m really excited about this. I can’t believe I didn’t tell you; it’s a little bit of a, I will admit, it feels a little bit of a geeky update. But there’s this thing called Aggie 100. So I went to Texas A&M University, and my family is one of those; my sisters and I, we all were Aggies. We all went to Texas A&M University, that’s where I got my degree in entomology; the study of bugs, of all things. And I love it; my mom and dad are also Aggies. They’ve been recognized as parents of the year.

And there’s this annual honor, they call the Aggie 100. They don’t go out and choose you; you have to apply for it. But they recognize 100 of the fastest growing Aggie-owned companies, of which there are tons and tons. And lots of businesses apply to be on this list. And of course, if you’re in more of a different kind of business; let’s say it’s a pest control company, for example. Thinking about my degree. Then you might apply for this, and then you get listed as an Aggie 100 company. It just acts as this extra form of validation to the public.

For me, honestly it boiled down to pride. Because I’ve wanted this recognition so badly {laughs}. Because what we do at Fed and Fit is legitimate. It’s real work. We’re building something big. And when we started online businesses, Diane; at least for me, I felt like I still would show up to a party and have to explain what a blog was. You know; someone would say, “You make money from that?” You know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally.

Cassy Joy: It was just always so confusing, how can this be a business. And even still people think all of my money; all of our income comes from book sales. Which is also not true. I mean it can. A portion of it can come from that. But that’s not how we built a really balanced, sustainable business. So it just feels like this way to show; hey. We’re playing with the big dogs now.

So Fed and Fit got chosen for Aggie 100 because of our CAGR, which is our 3-year, it’s a year over year growth rate. They take an average of the last three years. And in order to be eligible you have to have, I think it’s 200 or something like that thousand dollars in revenue. Gross, not net. Not like I have that just in my pocket every year. But gross revenue. And then a growth rate on top of that. So I’m just so freaking proud of the team. I’m proud of this vision coming together. It’s like; I get to be recognized along with these big construction companies, and oil companies, and incredible big doctor corporations. It’s just so fun and it just feels so validating. Is it so silly that I wanted it so bad?

Diane Sanfilippo: No. I mean, that’s something that’s been on your radar, especially, with your parents having business of a certain type. And just seeing that out there in the world; for sure. I think that’s awesome. I think it does something to help also legitimize the type of businesses that a lot of people don’t know about or don’t understand how they break down and how it works.

You actually gave me an idea; we should talk about on a future episode, I know we’ve talked about it in the past. But what are all the ways that somebody who has a blog, a website, a business. What are all the different avenues that we might be using to sort of monetize and create revenue streams. Because I think it’s very unclear to a lot of people, to your point. People don’t understand. Or they think we’re “influencers”. And to me, an influencer is a totally different thing.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: So it’s really interesting. But I love it. That’s awesome; congratulations. I love that that’s such a big thing in your family, too. I know how important that is to just kind of have in the family. So very cool.

Cassy Joy: Thank you so much.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love it.

Cassy Joy: What do you have going on? I want to hear about the shop.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, aside from the fact that it’s completely apocalyptic outside here.

Cassy Joy: Oh, yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’re in two totally different worlds. We’ve got the rain, and then the no rain. So I’m in California for those who may not remember. Northern California. And I’m in San Francisco, so we’re essentially surrounded by a moat. We’ve got the ocean and the bay, and I’m not particularly afraid of fires in the city, because that’s not our climate. But around us, in a lot of places, there are fires burning. And what that does in the city, it makes the sky smoky very often, where there’s ash just falling on our little patio in the back, which is so bizarre. It just seems so insane to see how far away that is. And then that happens in our yard.

But right now what’s happening is the smoke is so thick, but it’s actually really high. I wouldn’t have known any of this until this experience. But the smoke is sitting above the fog or what’s called the marine layer here. That means essentially it looks outside what happens on your computer screen when your flux app kicks in, and it pulls your screen super orange. That’s what it looks like outside, except it also feels dark.

So it’s looks like it’s 8 or 7 p.m. outside when really it’s 11:40 in the morning. Because it’s super dark, but it’s also really orange. So it’s very, very strange. It’s kind of messing up our circadian rhythm. We’re having trouble getting going today. Because we don’t have that blue sun daylight outside. So it’s very, very strange. But that’s literally what’s happening outside.

But yes, the shop. Moving things along. Slowly but surely. I was picking paint colors; as some of you who follow on social media know, and was looking at two different whites. We were literally watching paint dry last week. {laughs} Scott and I each painted a swatch, and picking a white is not that easy. So anyway, picking that, picking a navy. Because the shop is going to be mostly clean white with some deep navy accents then the mural.

So the painting should start next week, when we’re recording this. It will be a little bit ahead of when the show airs. So maybe by the time this airs, you’ll see some progress photos on social media of the painting. And we are having commercial painters do that, because the ceiling is just super high. It’s essentially a two-story inside, but the whole front of the shop, it’s open. So we are not doing that ourselves, but I’m really excited about that.

Excited to see some progress on the mockups that we have for the mural, as well. It’s been a really interesting process with the woman who is going to be painting that. Going back and forth a bit, sharing my vision, seeing what her ideas are, and kind of marrying those up. So, very excited about that.

Realizing that the cooler I bought is quite large {laughing}. So, I was like; oh. I have to fill that. {laughs} I know that sounds really kind of silly, but luckily Scott had a great idea this morning. So for those of you who will see the shop eventually, honestly thinking about filling it with product that will have an expiration date is a little daunting. Even thinking about putting kombucha in there, however many there may be, and then the fact that I need to sell them by a certain time. Right? Because they don’t last for forever. His idea was just make sure I fill up the rest with bottled water. Some San Pellegrino or something. I was like; oh yeah. Duh. Obviously.

But honestly, I thought about it this morning and I was like; what am I putting in there? {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: For anyone that thinks I know what I’m doing, I do not. I absolutely do not. To the point that I literally bought a cooler that’s probably twice the size of what I need it to be. I mean, I could have bought just a single door fridge and a single door freezer and all of this would have been fine. But of course, my heart got excited when I saw this stainless two-door cooler. I was like; ooh, googly eyed.

Cassy Joy: Heck yeah!

Diane Sanfilippo: How could you not?

Cassy Joy: I would have totally; you’ll never regret having that extra space.

Diane Sanfilippo: It will be fine. But then I’m watching Schitt’s Creek, and I’m looking in the store; they open a store on this show. And I’m like; oh, they have a single door cooler. It kind of holds a lot.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Anyway.

Cassy Joy: The things you notice now.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, totally. So I finally ordered these shelves that are going to be attached to the walls. I completely pivoted from the original concept I was going to be following. We had these wood and metal shelves just in our garage from World Market where I had gotten them years ago. I used this one shelf as a prop shelf. It’s actually an amazing shelf. If you need any recs; {laughs} any recommendations, this shelf is actually fantastic. It holds so much stuff. It’s really good looking. But I just; I don’t know. I completely changed my mind when I thought about the idea of white shelving instead of this wood and metal look. And I think it just fits so much better with my branding. I mean, our products are so brightly colored that I think having the white is going to be the right backdrop.

So, you know. We were talking recently in episodes about decision fatigue and all of that. I think what happened was; the whole thing of signing a lease and just making this happen was definitely a big deal and overwhelming. And I kind of made the decision relatively quickly. But it was such a big decision that then I just fell into this default for some of these other things. And instead of being more intentional and thinking through; what do I really want. I just was like; oh, we have this shelf in the garage and I can get a couple more and I’ll just use that. I just didn’t really think it through.

So before, actually pushing the button and buying those other shelves, I sat with it a little longer. And came across these other ones that I think are going to really work. So fingers crossed, because they mount to the walls. {laughs} So hopefully I won’t have a Diane moment and just want to change my mind. Because that’s how I am.

But usually when I feel really good about a decision, and it’s one that involves; this is a little tip for everyone. If it involves something that’s less stylized. And what I mean by that is; I’m painting the walls white. I’m painting the front navy. These are decisions that I cannot regret. There’s no style going on there, where I’m like; oh why don’t we add this gold here and paint this little piece like this. Yes, the mural is going to be a style. And that’s a big deal. But that’s why we’re going back and forth on it so much. And I’ll be there for the process if something looks weird or whatever, we can redirect.

But the more basic I go with these sort of structural elements; the tables, and shelves, and all of that. Then the more wiggle room and the more playful I can be with other things. It’s almost like picking a couch that’s really basic so that you can change the rug and the pillows whenever you want. But if you pick a bright color for a couch, which there’s nothing wrong with. Some people are great with that decision. I know you have a pink couch in your place.

Cassy Joy: We do!

Diane Sanfilippo: Another friend of mine; which, pink is actually kind of a neutral, if you think about it. But you know; anyway. Just kind of circling back to this idea of; if you have a big decision to make and there’s something that can be a little more of a baseline of something that you can edit around, you won’t regret that. And I’ve felt that way about websites, as well. Like, less is more, keep it simplified so that you can keep adjusting as time goes on. But anyway.

So those are a couple of updates. And the painters should be starting soon. So I’m really excited about that.

And then, a couple of other; I don’t know {laughs}. Shrouded in mystery types of updates. We’re finally going to be sending some labels to print for some new, oh, I don’t know. Seasonal holiday blends. I know a lot of you have been following me on social and you’re watching what I’m putting in my coffee in the mornings. I’m not going to reveal everything. I think everyone will be excited because it’s more than I had even imagined doing. But we have four different fun sweet things coming.

Cassy Joy: What?!

Diane Sanfilippo: And it’s not going to be; I’m not doing a pumpkin spice, or any of that. Because I feel like those exist. Not to say I don’t have other things that exist; like a taco blend and things like that. But I also don’t use pumpkin spice very much. And I know that people tend to buy what I use and share about. #Influencer, I guess. But yeah. I’m really excited. And we’re going to be sending those labels to print. We’re in those final stages of finalizing. {laughs} Final finalizing. Just picking the colors that I want to go with for these.

They will be a limited edition. And then I’ll make a decision after the fact of what will potentially stay around. So that’s just been a really fun process to be able to do this kind of smaller run limited edition, and then see the response to it. Make a decision from there. Because somehow with the limited edition spices that we did, I guess I just really wasn’t sure what to expect. But I think those are all so strong, that they will stay. We still only have them in limited edition in terms of the labels and all of that. So Super Garlic, Super Onion, and Super Trifecta. We will probably just bring those to the line when we’re out of what’s labeled limited edition. But that’s not always going to be the case. I might shoot my shot. {laughs} I don’t really know what that’s about. Is that graphic?

Cassy Joy: I have no idea! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Is it a basketball expression or is it, like, something else?

Cassy Joy: I think it’s like; we’ll just pretend it’s a basketball expression.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. We’ve been watching the Last Dance. So I’m going to say that. But you know; I like to guess that I know what people will love and respond to. And what I mean by that is buy. Right? People can say they’re excited, or they can answer a poll and say they want something. But until somebody buys it, I don’t believe it. Because that’s really the ultimate data. What did they buy? I don’t actually survey that often these days because I just watch buying behavior and buying patterns. Because to me, that’s the survey. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ultimately, what you bought is what you really wanted. You know? So yeah. We’ve done really well with that. But I really don’t think we’re going to keep all four of what we’re going to release. So long story short. Limited edition. I’m really excited. Of course, I’ll have to be sending out some packages, so you’ll get some of these goodies to try, I’m sure.

These will be really fun to keep in your office, I think. I think you’re going to like that. I’ll tell you when we’re not recording.

Cassy Joy: I cannot wait.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, it’s going to be fun. So those are some updates on that front. And if you didn’t hear last weeks’ episode, we do have a new menu out for Balanced Bites meals. So, if you’ve been wanting to try our meals, make sure you check it out. Because our new fall menu has launched, and we have two recipe collaborators. Charlotte and Jenni, two friends of mine. And that’s just been a really fun process, too. I’m psyched to eat food that was not my original recipe. I don’t know. It’s just been much more interesting for me to take a bite and be like; oh, this is so good. So yeah. Those are the updates.

2.  Shop Talk: Preparing for the holiday season in your business [22:23]

Cassy Joy: Shop Talk. In this segment, we discuss topics that are related to business and entrepreneurship that are on both our minds and yours. This week we’re talking about how to approach the holidays with your business this year. What do you think about that, Diane? {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Well, I love it because I’ve been thinking about holiday for this year since holiday last year. And then of course a lot changed in the last 7 months, 6-7 months. And we did need to do a little bit of a pivot. I was hoping to be further out on what we were doing. I actually had a completely different idea for what I was going to do for this holiday than what has ended up happening. And a lot of that did have to do with just pivoting because of the global pandemic, and what was available, and what options we had.

So, I think the theme for holiday this year in terms of my approach, or the couple of themes I’m thinking of. One is just how can we pivot a little bit. Maybe it’s a full 180. Maybe it’s a smaller degree of a pivot. And what I mean by that is just adapting to what’s going on, and making sure that we’re still on a track. But maybe we’re just not going in this straight line that we had anticipated.

I also think we need to remember that the holidays still are going to happen. And I almost feel like, especially this year, it could be something that a lot of people are looking forward to, even more as; I don’t have a better word than a distraction. Because that seems negative. But really, something to take our minds off of what’s happening and finding ways to have that celebration. Finding ways to give gifts to ourselves or someone else. Finding ways to take care of ourselves. Self-care, I think, is going to be a really big thing for the holidays.

I think there’s a lot that’s worth discussing that people do want to consider just having these small adjustments in their business to head into the holiday season.

Cassy Joy: I love that. I love that we’re going to have this conversation. For those of you who; the holidays, let’s say before 2020, the holidays always snuck up on me. I don’t know about you, Diane. But they always snuck up on me. Because I think that for so much of my business and this big content editorial that we were building and trying to run. When it comes to the holidays, I always felt like I was behind. because once holidays; October, November, December are there, thinking specifically about content. And we’ll talk about service offerings and how to really nurture our community more this year in a second.

But I always thought that I missed it. I missed my opportunity to do something. Because I needed to think so far in advance; like the thing you just teased about, I still don’t know what it is.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: But she’s thinking about that, and it’s the beginning of September. Right? So that’s why I think it’s good to have this conversation now. Whatever it is, it’s a good idea to kind of start thinking about mulling over what is it that you could do this year? What kind of service could you bring to your clients? Because like you said, this is such a big time of the year as far as, it’s an opportunity to our consumers, our audience, our customers, our readers. They’re listening this quarter more than ever. More than ever in the year. And it’s just such a precious opportunity to be able to really provide them with a service or a product. Or community. Or resource that they could really use.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: And I know that’s how you and I both think about our businesses; would this be useful to the end person? Would this be helpful? Would this improve someone’s life in some sort of way. And the holidays is just a great opportunity to do that. Not to mention the fact that you can really use this as an opportunity to grow your business. Maybe build another revenue stream, whatever it is. It’s just a great opportunity. So encourage you to just think about how holidays could play into your business and how you could offer something that’s special.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think the one thing, too, for me; the reason I have traditionally. Listen, I’m not always prepared well ahead of time. But most of my background is in retail, and in the retail business, you think about holiday as soon as the last holiday ends, or when it’s not even ended. So just kind of that last quarter of the year.

And also the fact that for a lot of retail businesses, the term Black Friday, for people who aren’t aware, has nothing to do with black people, or African American people. And I feel like that might get a heightened attention at this point. But it really was to indicate when businesses went from in the red to in the black. Meaning, over the course of the year, your books may not be showing any kind of profit. And Black Friday was really the day, right after Thanksgiving, where everyone is paying attention to holiday shopping and gifting and all of that. And suddenly, businesses start to flip over to being in the black. Meaning, they’re not in the negative for the year.

And for those of you who think that sounds like scary or strange, it’s really, really typical that when you have a retail business and your business is based on inventory and you need to move through that, it takes a long time to sell enough to get to the point where there’s some profit. It’s just very, very challenging. And I think that’s not something that everyone is used to hearing. Or used to being aware of. But it’s great to know that if you do sell a service, or you don’t have to own your own inventory, that’s a wonderful position to be in. It’s a big advantage.

But I do think, to your point; there’s this question; how early is too early to think about holiday. And I don’t think there’s ever a time that’s too early to think about it. It just may or may not mean you’re talking about it. I think thinking about it. I think thinking about it; so if this year you’re like; oh my gosh. I don’t know that I can get myself together to do something big. You can still do something small. And then once we move through this holiday season, have that hindsight of, what was going on to then think about next year.

But, for this year, I love the idea of thinking a couple of things. How can I serve people? Because that’s always ultimately what we’re here to do, is find ways to serve other people. Whether it is through a product or service, etc.

To your point; how can I create a resource or update a resource? I know we both have holiday eBooks, and that’s something that my team and I talk about; how can we update that this year and recirculate it, make sure people have access to it. Perhaps there’s something you’ve sold in the past that is no longer something you need to sell. And I think in this case; I think for us we may have had the Holiday eBook as something we sold for a very short period of time. And not long thereafter, we were giving it away. Sign up for our emails, we’ll send you our Holiday eBook.

So if there’s something that you have like that, depending on where you are in your business. Or maybe there’s a service that you typically charge for, but you can offer it for free. Or when they buy something else, they’re getting this service. I think if there’s a way that you can provide a resource where you’re gifting it, in a way. I think that’s really warm and welcoming to your community, to your audience, and to your customers.

And then I love the idea of surprising and delighting people. Whether that’s something you give them, or; what I think we’re doing with the products that we are going to release, I think it will be really surprising to a lot of people. Maybe not everyone. But I think it will be a surprise and delight type of product. Something that we can have fun with. I think it’s really important for holiday time for us to have a little fun with what we’re doing with our business. And be generous. And find ways to give, not just putting things on sale, or any of that.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: You know what I mean? Like, what is it that you’re giving, even if someone is paying for it? {laughs} I really think I’m giving a moment of delight in somebody’s life with these products we’re going to be releasing. So I think just kind of focusing on the mood is that you’re creating.

You and I talked about this; just brainstorming for this episode. We know a lot of our listeners are in the health space. So maybe you’re a health coach, and you’re thinking; what am I going to offer to people? People don’t always buy the service for someone else, it’s really for them. You can really be thinking about what’s the mood this year? There’s definitely this air of; we’re looking for more ways to take on self-care that are pretty low maintenance. Easy entry, you know. Like a low “buy in” I don’t have to spend a ton of time doing it. I don’t maybe want to spend a ton of money on myself right now. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t.

But I know, some of my friends out there; Beth Manos Brickey. She’s been doing something where it’s like a community-based coaching that’s a little less specific on something like keto, which she’s done in the past. But it’s just this; kind of a softer landing. And I know my friend Robin has been offering these guided meditations. Just finding different ways to connect with people.

So if maybe you typically sell a group coaching for hormone health, maybe there’s something that feels a little more lightweight of; how can we have balanced happy hormones through the holidays. And it’s something that’s not this intense detox protocol. And it’s not this intense elimination diet, and a bunch of supplements. It’s something that’s just a little softer. Does that make sense?

Cassy Joy: It does. It does make sense. I really like that idea. It’s almost like a taster. And also keep in mind that when it comes to the holidays; at least what I’ve found with my audience. Folks don’t really want to throw themselves into any sort of a more rigorous challenge, because this season tends to take up a lot of our mental bandwidth. Where family; spending time with family. Focusing on the home. And I’m curious and interested to see how that evolves this year and deepens that aspect this year.

But folks don’t usually have a whole lot of bandwidth left over to really overhaul and do a major self-care activity. But it’s kind of like self-care light; how to fit it in kind of attitude is one that I’ve found really tends to resonate really well.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And if we can find ways as coaches and creators and business owners to put that offering on a silver platter. Like; hey, I know that right now time feels a little more strained. The kids are home going to school, or whatever the case may be of your particular customer. Recognizing that and saying; yes, I see you. So I’ve decided to create this. Let’s find a way to support people during this time.

Cassy Joy: I love it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I hate to even say that. But you know, that’s kind of how it is. So yeah, those are kind of my thoughts on it.

I also; we had our call with my Beautycounter team this week. We always do that call on Tuesday, so when we sit to record on a Wednesday, that’s always fresh on my mind. But with people who are in a business where traditionally we were in person a lot more, and then people are online, and now we’re kind of back to this place where some people can get together more. Things aren’t open 100% everywhere, but we have ways and different approaches that we can take to slightly more socially distant togetherness.

And I think we’re seeing a little bit of this sort of boomerang effect on, maybe last year at this time, people didn’t want to come out of the house and get together as much. Right? We’ve been in this wave of sort of social media and, I don’t know, a little bit less human connection time. There was this resistance to getting together by a lot of people for a while. People didn’t want to just put on the pants and go see other people. But I do think we have a little bit of a boomerang of; we’re itching to be social. We’re itching to see one another. Sorry if that’s a weird expression to use. But we’re eager to see one another in real life.

So if you’re in a place where you can invite people into a space, whether that’s outside or safely distanced inside. Whatever is right for you and your business. If there’s a way to create community where people can be together in a room safely, I think there’s a lot of power to that, as well. You know? You may have pushback from some folks. You may find some who are like; oh my goodness. I cannot wait to actually see other humans besides significant other and my own kids, or whatever it may be. I just think people are getting to a place where we would like to see each other again. We are a social species. We kind of need that connection.

So that’s something to consider. Is there a way to safely offer some kind of exposure to your product, or to offer your service? If you’re coaching, especially. Can you do something where people can actually get together safely in a space, again, or outside, and share in something over the season.

Cassy Joy: I love that. I think that’s beautiful. And I think you’re right. I think people are; I use the phrase “itching” all the time {laughing} so that jives with me. But I think people are itching to have community now more than ever. Especially in person; to be able to see their people. However that can be done safely. Y’all are smart, creative, forward thinking folks. And I know you can figure it out. You will find a way to offer that. And I think that’s a great way to offer it.

And it reminds me; every year I try to do some sort of a big community activity. The first time I tried it; did I ever tell you about that dinner that I hosted? The progressive dinner?

Diane Sanfilippo: When?

Cassy Joy: It was in November two years ago.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes.

Cassy Joy: Oh my goodness.

Diane Sanfilippo: I remember hearing about the planning; and I was like my friend is totally nuts!

Cassy Joy: {laughing} Oh, was that an adventure. {laughs} I definitely overcommitted. Don’t do what I did. But I love this; I’ve since dialed it back and last year was very nice and way less intense. And it was really a way to bring my Beautycounter team members together. But really just also open up the doors to any reader, or local client or member, to be able to come in and take part in that community.

Again, I don’t know how that would look this year. I’ve got to put my thinking cap on and get really creative to make sure that it’s a safe space, and there’s still a way to do that effectively. But to your point, an event is a generous offering. It’s a generous thing to do during the holidays. And that would be a really neat thing to do. It doesn’t necessarily have to be; it can be a resource. It can be a product. It can be a service. Or it can be a way to give people what they’re really craving right now, which just might be community.

3. Finding a way to give, no matter where you’re at [38:09]

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. So to circle back on this other thing I was sharing about this other idea; if you are a content creator, if you’re a coach. If you’re someone who has created something like an eBook or maybe meal plans or something along those lines that you’ve sold in the past, and you no longer really need to rely on that for income, I would consider finding a way to either offer that exact item, for free perhaps. Or maybe an abbreviated version of it. If it’s too big, and you just sold it recently and you don’t want to just give it away because there are people who did buy it, and that doesn’t feel genuine to do that to people who just purchased it.

But, again, that example where maybe you created a small eBook that you would sell years ago. But now you’re like; wait a minute, I could probably give that away to some people. Or even ask them to just sign up for my emails and they’ll get this thing for free. What do you have that you can offer people for free?

I think, even to the idea of a coaching group, if you are someone who has a service like that, where you offer some kind of coaching, I would consider offering a free 30-minute group Zoom call about whatever the topic is. And let people come in and ask questions. And it’s something you can create some community, create some space, but give of yourself. Find different ways that you can do that. Especially because people are obviously used to using Zoom now, and I think that could be something that we could do, as well.

I remember a few years ago we had done, through the holidays, we did this healthy for the holidays live calls once a week. I think I made a Facebook group. I was on there once a week for a live call. And it was really almost a prelude to kicking off a 21-Day Sugar Detox in the next calendar year. Because people are obviously always really excited to do that come January. But how could I offer something through the months of November and December when people are aware that maybe they’re consuming more sugar, or booze, or whatever it is. And they want to kind of keep an eye on that. And how can I offer support through the holidays, and then be ready as another landing when we start the year and people are looking for a program that they want to follow.

Cassy Joy: I love that.

Diane Sanfilippo: So maybe think about that as well. Like, how can you offer support now? Maybe it’s not something that’s for sale at all. Maybe you’re just, again, creating community so that heading into the New Year, you’re also going to be there for people. And you might have something that you do sell at that point. So I think those are different ways that we can look at that, as well.

Cassy Joy: I love that. That actually brings to mind I think what we’re going to finally, finally launch, is probably the self-care club this holiday season. As a way to provide just that. I think that’s wonderful. And I think all of this, what Diane and I really want you to feel is; I hope, inspired to be able to look forward with some hope and optimism, and just excitement for what can you bring your audience, your clients, your community that would help elevate, serve your community in a really wonderful way this year.

Something else that I’m thinking about doing; oh my gosh, Diane. I sat down with my team on Tuesday after I posted this on Instagram. And {laughs} they were like; what were you thinking? So on Saturday, I had 5 minutes of not working. You know. To do. And this is a problem. I thought; what can I fill this space with? And I thought; wouldn’t it be neat to help people personal shop this holiday season. And really, what I really want to do, is help be a conduit between sustainable, ethical, more diverse brands. Right? I’m building pretty robust gift guides. And we always publish those on the website, but they don’t really serve people the way that they used to anymore.

What if we could help customize some of these gift suggestions for folks who are wanting to holiday shop? It’s like; how can I check off several boxes at once, right? Provide something generous to our readers. Make sure that I am doing everything I can to use economy as fuel for change. Right? Putting dollars towards these really wonderful companies. And also if there is an affiliate link anywhere in there, then it monetizes our efforts and covers essentially the hours we would be billing. The team would be billing.

So, anyway. I put it up there, and I said; I think I’m going to be bored as soon as we turned this book in. And Amber pulled me aside; well, not pulled me aside on a serious note. But she was like; Cassy, you are not going to be bored. I don’t know what you’re talking about! We have the rest of our job to do!

But again, thinking outside the box.

Diane Sanfilippo: I get that, though.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: I get that feeling, though. Because the churn of the day to day, week to week work is not what lights us up.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, while we can stoke that fire and keep our teams moving and all of that matters and is extremely important, and it is the meat of the business. As the leaders of our businesses, we need that forward thinking and that kind of other creative blob that’s like; oh, what’s this other shiny object that I’m going to start developing. Because we need to constantly be moving forward. And we actually can’t move forward when we’re in the churn of the hamster wheel for content.

Cassy Joy: That’s so it. And you know; would you guess she’s a, as far as Human Design goes, Amber is a Generator. Which come as …

Diane Sanfilippo: In a shocking turn of events.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Right, I know! That’s what I said. And she’s incredible. She is the definition; the personification of a Generator. Anything you would think that means. And it’s just amazing. And so it’s interesting because we tend to give advice, or I guess our take of the world is what would apply to us. And that would make sense. Amber is like; we have so much to do! {laughs} Yes, but where’s the extra burning fire in the corner?

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m like; you have so much to do. {laughing}

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: How lovely for you. Yeah.

Cassy Joy: I got sidetracked. But just another example of thinking outside the box. How can we blend this season of giving with all of the things that we know now about the world, whatever that is and how you want to move more mindfully through it this holiday season? I think there’s a way, and just tap into your creativity and your skill. You can figure out something neat to do.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think the last thing I want to say is, for me, a cherry on top of this conversation. To find a way to be generous however you can. So if you have the financial means; so for example, Beautycounter has our presale for our consultants right now, and our holiday season is kicking off. I love the idea of having some extra product that we can gift to our customers. Some of our best customers. And we’ll give little goodies and all of that.

But we don’t all have to do that, and there’s no better or worse way to gift. I love the idea of just having a hand-written, thoughtful note to show your appreciation for a customer. It’s a very low-cost, a little more time intensive thing to work on. But you can give your gift of gratitude and thanks in a note.

Think of this scale of; we’re going to spend time, or we’re going to spend money, or we’re going to spend something in the middle, right, where it’s a little bit of time a little bit of money. So giving an actual physical product gift; that is probably the most highest financial investment. A notecard, you’re going to pay for the notecard, you’re going to spend time on it. That’s going to cost you a little bit of time, a little bit of money. And then there’s also a way to offer just more service. Kind of what you were talking about, maybe through Fed and Fit somehow having a personal shopping type of thing.

But if you’re somebody who is like; I don’t really have extra money to be spending, the point of the holidays for you might be to earn more money. Great. You can offer more of your time. And you’re offering a little bit more concierge service. You’re presenting options to people saying; here’s what I can do to help you. Or maybe you just spend time recording different videos that you can send to people, or share them on whatever social platform. And I think that could be really helpful, too.

Like, maybe you aren’t sure who needs what. Maybe you’re not sure who is shopping for a man in their life, or for kids, or whatever. And maybe you find a way to just put your phone on, record a 5-minute video about some gifts that people can get from Beautycounter; from wherever. And you’re like; here’s what I think would work. And then you can share that with anyone. Once you’ve recorded it, you can send that to people. So you’re spending your time without spending money.

So I think if you’re in a place where you don’t have a lot of cash to spend to be generous, then focus on how you can spend your time for people. And if you don’t have as much time, but you have a little more cash, then you can move to the other end of the spectrum. Or somewhere in between. I think that’s just something to really consider. Because I know everyone is in a different place. And there is always something we can give, no matter where we’re at.

4. Tip of The Week: Brainstorm your generosity [47:52]

Diane Sanfilippo: Tip of The Week! In this segment, we give you one tip that you can take action on this week to move your business or life forward. Cassy, why don’t you give us a tip?

Cassy Joy: Ok. So the tip; I bet you saw it coming! To think of what generous thing can you do this holiday season, cue for your audience, your readers. Like Diane said, if your goal is to build your business, giving generously usually does come back in full force in the future. So lean into that. Lean into the generous spirit, whether that’s a creative way to serve your clientele with a product, a service offering, free video informationals, taking an old resource that you can dust off that you use to sell and providing it for free. Reworking it. Figuring out a way that you can really serve people with what they might need in these next several months.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Instagram @TheDrivenPodcast. Cassy is @CassyJoyGarcia as well as @FedandFit and I am @DianeSanfilippo as well as @BalancedBites.

Tune in next week for another brand-new episode.

1 Comment

  1. Hi there! I would love to hear an episode on how Cassie balances her work and family time. I know she has a big team that helps with fed and fit, but does she also have other people who help at home? Does she have a house cleaner, does she actually cook all of her own meals at homes since she spend so much time cooking for fed and fit? Does her husband work or is he a stay-at-home parent? I would love to dig in a little bit deeper into how she manages to balance all of these things.

    Thank you!

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