Episode 45

How Community Can Help You Grow Your Business with Shay Bianco

December 1st, 2021


Today we’re chatting with Shay Bianco, Founder of the Kickass Collective, a digital and IRL community.
We dive into:
    • Bringing a fresh pair of ears to a business conversation
    • The social opportunities in community
    • How Covid restrictions changed the community dynamic
    • Being empowered to take action
    • The value in finding your people

Connect with our fabulous Speaker

Shay Bianco| Kickass Collective
About Shay

Shay is the Founder of the Kickass Collective based on the Mornington Peninsula. The Kickass Collective is an IRL and Digital business and social community. Shay’s unique vision of connecting and educating women-led business owners on the Peninsula and beyond, has led to a growing community of Kickass women who are building businesses on their own terms. Her open and honest approach about the challenges women in business have, has women supporting and cheering each other on in a fun and uplifting space.
Shay believes it takes a community to grow a thriving business and surrounding yourself with heart-fuelled women is key.
Connect with Shay on Instagram
Shay’s Website


Connect with Nicole on Instagram.

Visit Nicole’s Website.

Get the Action Takers Guide to ClickUp here.

Join the Take Control with Nicole Facebook group here.

Join the waitlist for The Members Lounge here


Full Episode Transcription

Nicole Smith 0:02
Welcome to take control with Nicole. As business owners we experienced firsthand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you’re looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go!

Hello, and thank you for joining me for this fabulous episode of take control with Nicole. Today I have the amazing Shea Bianco here with me and we are going to be talking about how community can help you grow your business. But firstly, I would love to introduce you to the fabulous Shay. Shay is the founder of the kickass collective, which is a digital and in real life business and social community based here in Victoria on the Mornington Peninsula. Shay believes it takes a community to grow a thriving business and surrounding yourself with heart fueled women is key to that success. Well hi Shay, how are you?

Shay Bianco 1:17
Thanks for having me. I’m so excited.

Nicole Smith 1:20
It’s so lovely Shay, and I actually met in a Play Centre, originally. Little kiddies playing around, but it’s yeah, it’s since then we’ve had sort of interactions and connections. And it’s so exciting to have you here because I love everything about what you do. So shall we jump in? I want to know, let’s go. Yeah, let’s share with the community who you are what you’re all about. What What’s is, who is the Kickass collective even? And, yeah, share your sparkle with us?

Shay Bianco 1:53
Well, you’ll definitely remember the name being kickass. Which is a bit of fun. And that that is intentional. I wanted a name that stood out that that basically empowers kind of women. And yes, I think it certainly does that you do remember the name. So I call us a supportive business community. And that’s really my purpose behind the kick ass collective. And the community actually came first before the business. So I kind of did it the other way around. Which was really interesting in reflecting back on how I did it. And yeah, it’s really interesting. So I can’t wait to share more with you. And we are based on the Mornington Peninsula and Gippsland. And we basically help women lead business owners, we educate them, we support them, we provide a community and connection, which is their big wine. That’s what we do.

Nicole Smith 2:52
And connection is such a key element, isn’t it? Especially when you’re you know, you may be first starting out and it’s just you going on this business journey. And you know, when you’re in a in a corporate land or an established business with a team, you’ve got that inbuilt sort of support network already there for you. When you launch your own business, you go out into the world, you kind of have to find your people. And being able to have a community that’s established that, you know, you can see that they’re all just fabulous kicking ass doing all the fun stuff. It’s what a great opportunity for someone new to, to come in and join and experience what what it’s like to be part of a community.

Shay Bianco 3:35
Absolutely. And that’s how I started Kickass. I wanted to find my people, I wanted to find a business community and I knew I had to do it starting my own business. There’s so much to learn. And I knew that I would get lonely and I knew those times would come. So finding community was was key for me. And boy, did I have some disasters at the start, you know, walking into a room and immediately asked for your business card and you call love and all those terrible moments.

Nicole Smith 4:07
What are you going to what are you going to give me if I give you something like that.

Shay Bianco 4:11
Exactyly, it was just terrible. And I’m like, You’re not my person. I’m never gonna interact with you outside this room again. It was just a disaster. So I thought there’s got to be a better way I went searching and there just wasn’t one for me. Yes, for me, you know, one that I could feel comfortable in. So I started really big party. Basically, like, yeah, I invited everyone I could find on Instagram that notice their location as the Mornington Peninsula. And we had all the local businesses kicking and we just threw this big party. I thought you know, a couple people would come and ended up being 100 people. Wow. And everyone was like, This is amazing. What’s next? And I had no idea.

Nicole Smith 4:58
Isn’t that fabulous? Though like when you go searching for something, and it’s not there, you’ve got that drive to be like, Well, I’m gonna make it a thing. Like, I know that it’s not just me looking for this thing. And obviously, if you’ve had 100 People come to that first event, you’re like, Okay, it’s a thing now, like, this is a thing. Now we’re gonna make it a theme.

Shay Bianco 5:21
Yeah, quick thinking after that, that’s for sure.

Nicole Smith 5:24
Awesome, and so where did you go to from there? Did you just sort of make it a thing? I guess? Like, what happened next?

Shay Bianco 5:32
Well, I had just started an ecommerce business, I was selling family travel gear, because I’m a big traveller with my family. So you know, making it easy to travel with children. So that’s kind of Yes. And now we can travel again. Yeah. So that’s kind of how it started. And then from the party, everyone was like, we need to do this again. Okay, well, alright, so I kind of threw another one. And then it kind of, we had to have a name, didn’t we? Like, we just had to kind of make it happen. And then it just kept evolving. And everyone kept joining in. It was it was all about the referrals. And everyone was like, This is so good. Because it’s, it’s not business like, yeah, it was more about like minded people just getting together and having fun. And I really wanted that fun element to it.

Nicole Smith 6:23
It’s so important that I found that my most the strongest connections that I’ve had is actually where we’ve kind of removed the business. Yes, we’re actually connected, because ultimately, we are humans. We are and we we seek that similarity to connect with people that you know, that they’re not exactly like us, because I like to be challenged. I like to, you know, be have that kind of, you know, really into, like conversations that are actually meaningful, not just so yes, today I did this. And then I did that, and I’m so good at this and like yuck.

Shay Bianco 7:05
Yes, but it’s also nice to have someone to have those business conversations with because, you know, that’s what lights you up when you find someone that is so like, hi, but sounds amazing, you know, whereas if you talk to your husband or your parents, or they’re like, Oh, that’s great love. Yeah, yeah.

Nicole Smith 7:23
People Who Get IT? Yes, yeah, they understand what it’s like to run a business or to start a business or, you know, and you don’t have to explain the ins and outs, you could be like, Ah, this happened, and they’re like, I get it. I’ve been there, this is what’s happened, or I’ve seen someone who’s done that, or you need to go and talk to this person. Because this person is for you. And that’s how I found it. You know, I’ve been known as a connector. That’s what people call me. Yeah. So good, isn’t it, and it’s known, it’s not coming from any place other than I know a person who you would perfectly align with, I think you you need to connect, like you need to talk because I know you’re going to get together and be have fun. So, so fabulous, isn’t it to be able to create that environment for people to make those connections? It’s so good. So we’ve sort of talked about kick ass collective and the talk will talk to people in your community. Is it a particular type of business owner or is it widened? Very varied.

Shay Bianco 8:27
Yeah. Yeah. Well, also being based on the Mornington Peninsula, we have a lot of creatives. So we have you know, pottery makers, and we have artists and you name it. We’ve got lawyers, accountants, ecommerce businesses, like we’ve got farmers. Yeah, it’s really, really broad. But it’s, it is so great to see the commonality shine through and it doesn’t matter, you know, where you’re from, or what stage of business you’re at. Yeah, there’s always common ground and throw up to say, that’s kind of where the magic happens.

Nicole Smith 9:03
Yeah, that’s right. It’s bringing that from your perspective, it could be the topic and everyone’s got that different viewpoint on it. And bring it creates this beautiful conversation and awareness of things that as individuals, we may not have had enough focus before. Yeah, no, yeah. I love that that those types of diverse conversations and experiences and bringing it into a room and you just never know what you’re gonna learn if every conversation brings something different, doesn’t it?

Shay Bianco 9:34
And everyone is always so willing to help each other out and support each other and there’s there’s never what am I going to get from this? I just never surfaces and it’s always I you know, I can help you if you thought about this, and giving constructive feedback in such a beautiful nurturing way. And it’s, it’s what we need, because we’re so invested in our business half the time So those conversations bring so many golden nuggets. nuggets there that are amazing.

Nicole Smith 10:02
Yeah. And I think we’ve had this conversation before, but like when you are in your business, you’re almost in the box. You know you’re in you can only really see so far. When when you bring somebody outside, even if they don’t know all the ins and outs of your business, it’s probably even better. But your perspective that you haven’t thought about before it could be right in your face.

Shay Bianco 10:22
So valuable. Yeah, big time. Yes.

Nicole Smith 10:27
So good. What’s the favourite part about the community? What do you love about it? What’s makes what keeps it? Guess? What makes you keep it going? If that makes sense, it must be some sort of special little, just the whole thing.

Shay Bianco 10:46
It lights me up. It really lights me up every single time I get together with I call them kickers affectionately. Every time we get together, no joke, I walk away. And I am so energised. Yeah, and I am so pumped and driven to just keep going, because I just see the magic happen, I see the connection. And I see how much they get out of it as well. And you know, they’re starting to form their own little, you know, coffee, catch up groups and that type of thing. And it’s just, it seriously warms my heart, and I don’t care about money or anything like that. That is what fuels me. And that’s what keeps me going. Yeah.

Nicole Smith 11:24
And when it comes from that point like that, you know, it’s going to be a good thing. Because it’s coming from a real beautiful place of ego, creating this space for people to come connect, be their beautiful, unique selves, and be safe, be in a safe community.

Shay Bianco 11:44
And like, I always say this, that I probably bang on about it too much. But I’m like, everyone is welcome. And it’s so true. You know, like we have, we have people from different backgrounds. And it’s, it’s just a place to really feel a sense of belonging. Yeah. And I, the number of times people have said to me, Shay, I walked in and straight away, I knew this was my place, I had found my people, and they just felt you could just see their shoulders drop, you know, and I’m like, okay, my job’s done.

Nicole Smith 12:18
I’ve been to one of your one of your events. And it wasn’t a Wowzers it was an event, like, you throw a party, I have to say you throw a good party, so but I had that feeling as well, like you walk in and it was instantly like, I didn’t know any I came with a group of people. But I didn’t know anybody else in the room. And by the end of the night, we were like all on the dance floor dancing together. Just like having fun as if we’d known each other for ages. And it was an instant comfort that you could still be yourself. I was dressed in full eight, because if I do costume, I’m doing it properly. Like there is no half way of doing costume. Right. So it was at saying that we will full costume. And we’ll just like doing blogging all the things.

Shay Bianco 13:05
So much fun. And I think it’s so important that there’s such a social element within a community as valamint Yes, we do our workshops, and retreats and all that type of thing related to business. But we are so big on the social scene as well. So we hold our wine nights and we’ve had pottery classes. I wanted to try aerial yoga. So I was like, oh, let’s just put it out there to everyone. We tried aerial yoga, which was hilarious. Imagine me being stuck upside down just absolutely giggling. But yeah, I mean, and that’s the social side of it is really important as well. Because, you know, we often talk about work life balance, and whatever that means to you. Yeah. But it seems important to have the social and the fun aspect and to allow us to be ourselves outside of our business.

Nicole Smith 13:53
Yeah, exactly. And I think in the world of social media, you can have this like, need to be perfect appearance all the time. And being able to just be yourself and know and experience that in a community of business people that you can be yourself, you can hang upside down from the ceiling and it’s fine. You know, so it’s wonderful to I guess, reaffirm that we are all amazingly fabulous. When whatever way we are, and just show up as you like me, I am always an object. We’re just I’ve got another new headband on today, everyone and she’s fabulous. And and everyone’s like, Oh, you’ve got you always look so you know, done that and I’m like, This is me. Like, weekdays, weekends, whatever. This is exactly how you see me. And so there’s no difference, right? Yeah.

Shay Bianco 14:52
And I think that’s that’s a big thing, as well when you are building a community is to be authentic and to be yourself, and to just follow it with your purpose and just be, you know, just be true to yourself. I mean, the guys know me, I never, I never wear makeup, I’m a converse Birkenstocks kind of girl. You know, that’s how I roll. If you see me in a dress, then something’s really wrong. But that’s part of my brand. That’s part of us. And that’s, that’s kind of our point of difference. So it seems to be working.

Nicole Smith 15:27
It definitely is working with me about. So we’ve obviously had an interesting couple of years with COVID, and all of the fun things. And obviously being in Victoria, we’ve had the restrictions a little bit more than other states. So how has that I guess, not impacted? But how has that changed the way that you’ve supported the community during that time?

Shay Bianco 15:54
Well, I think the word of 2020 was pivot, pivot a friend’s theme with the couch. And I had to do that really quickly. Because we were predominantly and a face to face in person business. We had an online presence without resources and things like that. And the we’d always had the intention of launching a membership. But I hadn’t quite got there yet. So all the groundwork was kind of done. And I was due to launch the day before we went into the match lockdown last year. 2020, like the worst possible timing. And so I scrapped it pretty quickly and went, Oh, my God, I can’t do it. But then I thought, hang on. This is community, we need the connection, we are going to need this more than ever. Absolutely. So yeah, ended up launching very quickly. And we had an amazing uptake in the foundation membership, which was absolutely amazing. And I had never even taken a zoom before. Yeah, so I had to learn pretty quickly. And technology’s really not my friend. So I’ve had many tech challenges, but I mean, that’s, that’s evolving for you. So yeah, and a lot of the community just weren’t, didn’t really have a website or an online presence that they needed to. So from my point of view, I was helping a lot of the businesses in particular e commerce, the bricks and mortar stores, get online and get online very, very quickly. Yeah, and I’m talking we had to build websites within a week. We had to do all the legwork and get it up as quickly as possible because the money needed to come in. And yeah, so I went from being steady to being absolutely crazy.

Nicole Smith 17:48
Yeah, so you were right on the ground then right? You were fighting the fires there and really supporting more this and that’s like a step beyond the community right I just had a weekend in Dallas furred and happens brings Johnny absolutely stunning we started this gorgeous little house in Hepburn springs and you walked out the door up to the main street and there was the general store and his beautiful clothing store and the the restaurant in sight three minutes walk Sunday and I went for dinner and like it was just such that feel and even doubted itself like talking to all the business owners and as I may have done a little bit of shopping but he did support so I’m going to say support like But that sense of like that sort of community that you imagine that happens in that sort of the smaller communities right? Being able to see instantly that my community needs help. There’s stuff going on here and they may not have the skills right now but they need it so being able to really jump in and that’s such a fabulous thing to be able to help them.

Shay Bianco 19:01
Like we have, the backbone of of Kickass is obviously community but we’ve also been very very big on supporting local from the get go and this came to the forefront more than ever. And it really tested me as as a leader because I was going through this with my own business yet I was seen as you know as a support system for so many so I had to really kind of step up and come forward and help so many were really I probably needed the help to myself. That was a really delicate balancing act for me at the time. And to be honest kickoff nearly went under because I was spending so much time and getting so much energy into to helping other businesses that I got mine. Yeah. Nearly came back to bite me and I was like, oh my god, I can’t leave kick ass because this is the community that they need. And it was a balancing act. And and yeah, let’s just not go there again.

Nicole Smith 20:07
No, but it sounds like you’ve you through that experience you’ve become really aware of, and which is what I talk about all the time is that remembering that we are the drivers of our business, and we are humans ourselves. And if we neglect ourselves a little bit, and we focus all of our energy outwards, then it’s only it’s it’s never gonna end. Well.

Shay Bianco 20:34
Yeah, and even burn out, like I nearly burnt out and I luckily, I recognise those signs and went, Okay, hang on, I’ve got to pull back here. And luckily, I didn’t get to that point. But yeah, I was very close, that’s for sure.

Nicole Smith 20:46
I am very happy to see that you’re still here. And it’s going super well. And, you know, growing community each and every day. So just so fabulous. And I am assuming that the businesses that you helped are still chugging along and doing well as well.

Shay Bianco 21:03
Thankfully, yes, yeah, we rallied the troops, and we definitely supported each other, and we came through so yep.

Nicole Smith 21:12
That is you know, going back to talking about the small, you know, smaller communities of locational communities, you know, like little towns and things like that, it’s, that’s what would happen is they would come together and support whoever needed that help. So it’s, it’s just so lovely that you see that in business? Because I know, when I first started, there was this underlying like, oh, competition copy, Who’s your competition data? And I’m like, but he’s my competition. Like, I’m me. There’s enough clients out there for everyone who needs the help, you know, and so I don’t I’ve never really looked at people as direct competition to me, you know, like I want and there’s what I do is very, there’s not many of us out there. And so when I find someone, I’m like, Yes, I found someone who speaks my crazy language. Come and be my friend, come and talk to me.

Shay Bianco 22:16
Love it. Yeah, absolutely. It’s, it’s gold. When you find your people. It’s just like, you hold on to them tight?

Nicole Smith 22:23
Absolutely. Definitely, you know, over the last couple of years has it will be two years in January for my business, and the last year in particular, has really solidified who my core people are. And it’s so important to find who those are to help you, yourself, you know, have your business besties. So.

Shay Bianco 22:48
Yes, oh, my god, I love my business. besties. Absolutely. And, you know, through the community, we’ve made not only friends, but I’ve made true friends. You know, and that’s the difference. And I’ve reconnected with a childhood friend as well. Yes, it’s a really cool, so yeah, lots of positives. That’s a shot.

Nicole Smith 23:06
Isn’t it an amazing as well. Over the last few weeks or months, I’ve had all of these small world connection experiences. The most one that was like, with a new client of mine, is her client is my childhood best friend. I’m very sorry. It’s not even like, you know, and I didn’t even know my client beforehand, or, you know, anything like that. And I’m just like, how, and, you know, how was that? Buddy? Is that, like, actually asking the questions, having those conversations that are deeper than when you’re having for lunch? You know?

Shay Bianco 23:48
Absolutely. And when you think of building a community around your business, I mean, obviously, community equals connection, and you’re providing that place for your people to come together to form those bonds and, you know, common ground over values and things like that. But it’s also an amazing marketing tool. Yeah. You know, when you actually kind of really look at what a community does for your business, it’s, it’s helping you create a really strong brand. Yeah. And you’re tapping into your target market on a deeper level. You know, you can do that research that you that you need. So much easier than for example, doing a survey. Yeah, you know, that one conversation can just produce gold. And that obviously helps you with your content, your marketing strategy, building your brand, all those types of things. And he loved doing it. So that’s a bonus.

Nicole Smith 24:53
Yeah. And it’s, there’s something very genuine about, you know, we’re both connectors that work. bit of math connection. Like, I know, the majority of my clients have come that way to me. And that’s from engagements that I’ve had with other people. And they’re like, You need to call. And it’s this just something and I know I get the same if I’m looking for someone, and they say, you need to go and speak to Da da da. I might Yeah, I’m there. I met yesterday, because I trust that trust is already there. Yeah, yeah. So that’s so true with them. I know that you specialise in marketing, don’t yet your babies or anything else, like from a marketing point of view, then that you, you’ve really seen been,

Shay Bianco 25:36
I think, I think you really have to be a little bit strategic. I mean, I know I kind of instinctively started that community, and organically happened. But when I actually go back and think about it, there was definitely a purpose there. Yeah, sure. So it would be to be purpose driven, would be number one, and to be deliberate in your decision making, and how you’re creating the culture. Yeah, is really, really important. And that’s where, you know, being yourself, it’s showing that how you show up all those things, how you communicate, your tone of voice, all those types of things, they all come into play. I mean, I rock up on Instagram Stories, no joke, you know, wet hair from the shower. I’m like, if I’m feeling it, I’m jumping on. Yeah, that’s what resonates, you know, with with the kick ass community. And kind of finding the right tools, obviously, you need the tools to help you execute, because building a community, there’s a lot of admin, that it’s, there’s a lot of time involved that people just don’t realise a lot of behind the scenes. So you need those tools there to help you. And those tools can include other people as well. You get that you need other people. And accountability. I’ve got a couple of accountability buddies. And this is what really helps me and they’re in my toolkit. Yeah. So that’s amazing. What else, I would say probably, you really, you want to empower, you want to provide value, and you want to empower your community to take action in whatever form that is. Yeah, you know, and if that’s if they are an introvert, and it takes a lot of guts to come to an event and you get them to that event, then that’s empowering them. You know, if you’re getting them to show up on Instagram stories, and they are petrified of video showing their face, and they take that action, you’re empowering them. So I think that’s that’s kind of a big undertone to have as well.

Nicole Smith 27:43
Just interrupting this episode for one little message. If you have been listening and love what you hear and want to come and connect, we have a Take Control with Nicole Facebook community, right over there on Facebook, that I would love to invite you to come and join us. We are a supportive community, we are looking to really take action in our businesses and change the way or evolve the way we’re working right now. So I invite you to hop on over and join our community and connect with us or community is the essence of everything, your business, being able to really build those relationships that you can nurture, and grow and support and celebrate each other. Oh, how fabulous, I hope to see you over there, pop on over to Facebook, take control with Nicole, see you soon.

I really love that. And that’s very much the way that I I am as well, because I’m also building a community with the members lounge. And it’s funny when I first started, I thought it was one thing and then I realised it is that still but it’s all these other things as well. And ultimately, it’s the people that are attracted to me. And my people, they’re the people that are in there. So I like that’s who I’m talking to.

Shay Bianco 29:05
And you are only going to attract those people that you align with. I have not had one bad experience yet, because I’m not attracting those people. That’s right. And they know what they’re getting into with kickass Because I’m fully transparent. Yeah. And I know the words are authentic, and genuine can be thrown around a little bit. But they are so important. You just You just have to show up as who you are. And you can tell the ones who are fake, I’m telling you straightaway, you can tell that something’s not quite right there. And you know, the red flags go off. So it’s important to to be yourself and and own who you are.

Nicole Smith 29:46
Yeah. Do you know that’s um, so yeah, I absolutely agree. And I think about my journey when I first started, you know, like I’ve always loved the headbands and all the things and I’m just using headbands as an example like sparkly nails and like all Of all the things that make Nicole Nicole. And when I started my business, I thought I had to be corporate. And I thought I had to tone down my passion and who I was. And so that’s what I did. And then COVID hit no fun stuff. And anyway, I had a conversation with another community leader, Les Brown from she mentors, and we’ll just talk, you’re just about to launch the website. And I just had these photos done with Sister scout in the beautiful venue that, uh, you know, says yes, she’s amazing, so fabulous. And I have this the image that everybody knows now of me with the hands, and I was showing Aly and she’s like, that’s the one I like, really. She’s like, that’s the one you need. That’s just you, that’s you. And I’m like, oh, yeah, but it’s not professional enough. Just like, stop it.

Shay Bianco 30:51
It’s so funny because I had the same experience with my photoshoot. And I wanted to be so true to myself. And no joke. I’m wearing jeans. I’m wearing Converse. I’m wearing a Rolling Stones t shirt. And they came back and I went, ah, what have I done? This is, I don’t know, can I use these? And then I’m like, yes. Just embrace it, and just go with it. And like, that’s what I use today.

Nicole Smith 31:15
Yeah, I love your photos. But that the thing the key thing is here is that they’re you. Yes, exactly. Just like mine a mock me. Like if you i That’s my like, I haven’t bought that dress specially like I had that outfit in my wardrobe that I just put on. You know, so I am the girl who wears all the dresses and the jewellery and the hair like that is made to a tee. So and I am a little bit big with the hands and the Can’t you and you know all those. Me. And I almost like you need I needed that permission. I didn’t need it. But I needed it. Yeah, I know what you mean. Yeah, yeah, ever since it’s just been so empowering for myself to lean more into who I am. It’s then in, in turn given me confidence to you know, it’s just that rolling, evolving thing from that moment in time, that one conversation from a person in my community? Yeah, that’s just flowed on to, you know, give me all the fabulous things.

Shay Bianco 32:27
Oh, my gosh, I love it. Yes. Yeah. Bring it on, embrace it.

Nicole Smith 32:31
Yeah. What do you think your biggest reward is from you know, having starting your community, or something that you’ve maybe seen one of your community members, their biggest thing?

Shay Bianco 32:45
We do get a lot of collaborations forming to pictures, which is beautiful, and a lot of referrals. So we really do refer, you know, work amongst ourselves, if our schedule is getting a little bit full, you know, always say how about you go to, you know, x y z. And I think that, in itself is is beautiful. I love seeing that. And I think people just coming out of their shells as well, just naturally, you know, and we’re nearly five years old now. So I’ve there’s been, you know, a lot of people who have been from, you know, with us from the very, very beginning, and just to see how much confidence and how their business has grown. It really feels my heart to see how their businesses started. And then I am in such a privileged position to be able to go along the business journey with them. You know, I think that’s, that’s really special.

Nicole Smith 33:48
It really is. Yeah, I really agree with you to be able to, you know, see, see the journey from behind the scenes. Yes. Because, you know, we all have these businesses, and they, they may appear to be all bright, shiny and fabulous. But each and every one of us has our own things that go on. And yeah, that’s just business. That’s life. That’s a journey that’s we’re learning something new every every time we wake up in the morning. Yes, and it’s yeah.

Shay Bianco 34:20
And just having that point of of call, you know, that safe place to go to when you’re having those really down days, you know, it’s like, well, I’ll get messages and shy I’m just having a crap day, you know, this happened that, you know, can you help me pull myself out of the funk type thing and we’ll have a conversation. It’s just, it’s just really nice to know that people come to me when they’re having those days, you know, that, you know, just one conversation to kind of pull them out of the funk and they can get going again. You can see it just lights me up. I just, every time I talk about kickass, I’m beaming.

Nicole Smith 34:55
It’s almost like I know with with my business besties it says something was that I just need to be weak that just need to be witnessed. Yeah. And so I start the message with this is just to be witnessed, and then I just go, uh, blah, blah, blah, blah. I love that line, because then they know that there’s no expectation there. I’m not asking them to solve my problems. I don’t want them to give me anything else. I just need to share. And then once it’s released, and as witnessed, I feel like it move on to whatever else. Sorry. Yeah, it’s really fun. Oh, yeah. I mean, this guy was, it was calorie fun. And time has flown. Oh, my goodness. So is there anything else you want to share? Before we jump into the three questions?

Shay Bianco 35:39
Ah, no, not really. I just want to employ you that if you haven’t found your people go out and find them. Because the the value that those connections will bring you not only to yourself, but to help you grow your business grow. It’s invaluable.

Nicole Smith 35:55
Okay. Let’s jump into the three questions already. Yeah. Okay. What is your go to app that creates ease in your everyday?

Shay Bianco 36:04
Oh, definitely Canva. Oh, my gosh, I could not do without Canva. I use it multiple times a day. I’m also a Trello. Girl. Yep, Sorry ClickUp.

Nicole Smith 36:16
That’s okay. Everyone has a way of working.

Unknown Speaker 36:21
Definitely Trello. This helps me organise my content and also my calendar for the kickass club as well. And good old Google workspace. I mean, yes. Got everything, doesn’t it? Yeah. Probably the three main ones.

Nicole Smith 36:37
That’s so good. You’re the first person that said Canva. But I absolutely agree, we’re in there daily. Oh, yeah. Absolutely. And how fabulous it is Australian.

Shay Bianco 36:48
Yes. And now that you can schedule straight from from Canva. Hello.

Nicole Smith 36:53
I haven’t I haven’t played with that. Is it? Yeah, yeah, I might have to play with that. Awesome now online, paper, combo. To Do Lists lover?

Shay Bianco 37:07
I’m definitely more of a paper person. I haven’t tried to migrate over but I always go back to the diary. And I get on that person that gets really excited at office works about stationery.

Nicole Smith 37:23
I also am that person.

Shay Bianco 37:27
So every year when I get to order my diary, I’m pretty excited. Yeah, so all the main things going there and then I’ll use Trello. So a bit of a mixture, but mostly paper, yeah.

Nicole Smith 37:38
Do you have a favourite diary? Do you have one that you loyal to each year? Do you explore all of the options?

Shay Bianco 37:43
Just a Kikki K basic one. I’ve tried all I’ve tried the planner ones. Yeah, you know, with the goals and all those types of things. But because I’m a little bit wing it type person as well. Doesn’t really flow with me. Yeah. I do have quite a lot of fancy notebooks. And other fancy. Yes. There’s no system attached to the fancy notebooks that just our roll.

Nicole Smith 38:07
Yeah. Yeah. If it works for you works for you. Yeah. I agree. Like some of the planners have in the past I bought these beautiful like even like had my initials imposter. Yeah. And they do all those fabulous things. But I never used those bits.

Shay Bianco 38:20
I never used them. No.

Nicole Smith 38:22
And because I am, I am very heavily online. Like I just have always been that way. But there is something about paper to PAL and a good pen as well as like just the feel of writing with good quality paper. And so you are here. Yeah. Okay. What would you do if you created more space in your world?

Shay Bianco 38:45
I must admit, I’m, I’m pretty good with space. Yeah, I have to say because if I’m not feeling it, and I have a client obviously booked in, then that’s okay. I’m okay to walk away for the morning and come back when I have the energy. I’ve got to be in the flow. And if I’m not, it just doesn’t work. And I have started blocking out thanks to Nicole. I’ve started blocking out, you know, got personal time to you know, go and have a lunch break. Make sure I do it. That type of things that are personally I think I’ve got the space that I need.

Nicole Smith 39:24
I love that. Yeah, that is so such an empowering thing to do as well just to listen in. It’s something that I all I talk about and encourage people to do. I know a couple of weeks ago. It was when I think lockdown had just been announced we were it was ending and it hit me hard, you know, and so I did stop and just close and walk out in the sun. You know, and being able to do that and have the choice to do that is so powerful, so good on you.

Shay Bianco 39:55
Yeah, I can get so much more done when I’m in flow. You know, in the zone, then if I’m if I’m not, and I’m just faffing about.

Nicole Smith 40:05
Well, it’s hard if you try to, you know, push something off a hill. It’s hard, so yeah, absolutely.

Shay Bianco 40:14
And I use the Pomodoro method, which I know, you’re a fan of. Yeah, it really works to me. It really, really works. And I find that that my productivity just absolutely soars. And the amount of times people who are just new to the community say are are Hey, guys, hey, team, I’m like, no, no, it’s just me. Yeah, like, how was it? Just you? How do you get all this done? And like, because when I’m in the zone, I am in the zone.

Nicole Smith 40:44
Yeah. That’s awesome. So good. Well, thank you so much for joining me and having this conversation. It’s been so fun.

Shay Bianco 40:53
It’s been so much fun. It’s just like us catching up over coffee. I love it.

Nicole Smith 40:57
Which we are going to do because we only live not that far away from each other. So sure. That in the diary of me stop pressing record. Where can we find you? Well, I know where to find you. But where can everyone else find you? With you?

Shay Bianco 41:12
Our favourite platform is Instagram. So is that kickass_collective, and also just kickasscollective.com. That’s it. Perfect. Yeah. We’re everywhere else. But they’re the two main ones yeah.

Nicole Smith 41:26
Yeah. Absolutely Instagrams a little bit of fun, isn’t it? Yeah, I love it. As always, we’re going to put all those fabulous ways to connect with shea in the shownotes. And thank you so much for joining me. You’re welcome. Well, everybody else who is out there listening today, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and enjoy creating space and time freedom bye now.

Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on social shares? If not, please come on over say hi, I’m on all the platforms at the artisan solutions. So I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me and I’d love it if you could leave a review. And of course share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week and until next time see them


Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.