Episode 77

Sustainable Growth for Building Big in Business with Kristy Robinson

August 3rd, 2022

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Today I'm chatting with Small Business Coach, Kristy Robinson. Kristy helps business owners with aligning with not only what they want for their business, but what they want for their life.
We dive into:
  • Identifying what lights you up
  • Series of educated guesses in business ownership
  • Having the right support around you
  • Being okay with failure
  • Sustainable growth in business
About Kristy
Through her coaching programs and the Run Your Business Like a Boss
podcast, Kristy helps Small Business Owner’s wade through the messy middle to create a sustainable business, they genuinely love.
Kristy is a mum of 2, a wife and founder of two businesses. She knows first-
hand the entrepreneurship rollercoaster: Doing all the things and working all the hours, with too much overwhelm and too little fulfilment.
She believes who you are as a person and a business owner, are interlinked.
Her conversations and strategies help her clients and audience take their
business to the next level, without the hustle and burnout!
With more than two decades of experience spanning business ownership,
operations, coaching and state-level leadership in her toolkit, Kristy helps her
clients identify their version of success, set meaningful goals that align with their vision and ultimately grow the business their way with confidence.

Connecting With Our Guest
Connect with Kristy on Instagram
Kristy's website
Listen to the Run Your Business Like A Boss Podcast
Find out about Kristy's Run Your Business Like a Boss Academy 
Connect with Nicole on Instagram
Nicole's website
Join the Take Control with Nicole Facebook Group here
Join The Waitlist for the Member's Lounge here

Episode Transcription

Nicole Smith
Welcome to Take Control with Nicole. As business owners we experience first hand 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

Nicole Smith
Hello, hello and welcome back to this fabulous episode of Take Control with Nicole today I'm speaking with amazing Kristy Robinson all about why reaching six figure businesses doesn't mean you'll love your business. Lover of podcasts, personality tests and pounding pavements with her dog chia. Kristy is a small business coach, founder and host through her coaching programmes and the Run Your Business like a Boss Podcast, Kristy helps small business owners wade through the messy middle to create a sustainable business that they genuinely love. Mum of two, a wife and founder of two businesses she knows firsthand the entrepreneurial rollercoaster. Doing all the things and working all the hours with too much overwhelm and too little fulfilment. She believes who you are as a person and as a business owner are absolutely interlinked. Her conversations and strategies help her fabulous clients and audience take their businesses to the next level without the hustle and burnout. With more than two decades of experience spanning business ownership, operations, coaching and state level leadership in her toolkit, Christie helps her clients identify their version of success, sets meaningful goals that align with their visions, and ultimately grows the business their way with confidence. That sounds amazing. Welcome. Hello. I'm excited for this conversation.

Kristy Robinson
Me too, Nicole, thanks for having me.

Nicole Smith
So exciting. Well, first of all, I'd love you to share a little bit about you tell us all the magic.

Kristy Robinson
Okay, so my first business, I launched that back in 2010, I left a corporate career behind. So I'd been in corporate by that point for 10 years working for blue chip organisations. So at the time, I was working for a top tier investment banking firm handed in my resignation, and knew that this was, you know, my destiny to run a small business. So set about embarking on my first business, which was a bricks and mortar business completely different to what I do today. But that business essentially was a fine food store, or a providore based in neutral Bay in Sydney and we sold beautiful artisan products from all over Australia. And we loved being able to promote Australian producers inside of the store. So we launched that, well, I signed the lease Nicole for that store and a couple of weeks later, I found out I was pregnant.

Nicole Smith
It's always good timing, isn't it?

Kristy Robinson
It is it is and it was it was an unexpected bump in the road. And we were faced with a decision. What do we do? Do we press on with the business? Or do we take a pause, have bub, figure it all out later. But at that point, I felt like we were so far down the journey that there wasn't a choice in a way that we needed to keep on pressing ahead. And so that's exactly what we did and launched the store to the point where on the day just leading up to bubby being born, we didn't even know, like I didn't even know what I was going to do with with the store. And so to paint the picture, I was ordering stock in the maternity suite, there was no switching off. And I'd go to mothers groups and everyone was talking about their dirty nappies. And I was thinking about well, I've got a business to run. And, you know, it was it was it was a it was an interesting time. I loved the business. But it was incredibly difficult to run a bricks and mortar business. It's not like you could only work in that times, you had to be in the store. I had to be in the store. And so navigating motherhood, and the business was yeah, it had its highs, but it absolutely had its lows. And I was working all the hours, doing all the things and frequently waking up, you know, at all hours of the night looking at the roof thinking what am I going to do next? How am I going to take you know, how am I going to take the business to the next level? How am I going to grow? How am I going to do these things and be a mum at the same time. So after a few years, we reached this point where it was have another baby or have the business and it was an it was an all situation. I couldn't see how we could have bring a second child into this situation that we were in and so I made the difficult decision to sell. And it was not an easy decision. But it was in hindsight 100% the right decision although I wouldn't have said it for many years afterwards, I'd beat my myself up over that decision. I had a hard time grappling with did I walk away? Was I a failure? Did you know all the things, a huge narrative around failure and whatnot. I then took up on other positions, I worked for an organisation where I worked up from sales position, like a Sales Consultant role all the way through the leadership ranks. So when I left my first business, I was completely burnt out, working seven days a week, not having any respite from the business, not being able to see the forest from the trees,

Nicole Smith
And a new mom,

Kristy Robinson
And a new mom, exactly. So then I went into this new position. And then over time, all of those, I'm sure, you can probably relate Nicole, as an ambitious person, I can get addicted to work, I'm not gonna lie, like, I love working, I get into my, you know, I can get into this cave where I just like I'm working away, and I love it. And so I kind of behaved as like an intrapreneur in this next role. And I got to a point where I was quite burnt out in 2017. And I took a sabbatical to get my daughter settled into school. And in that sabbatical, I had this realisation that I can't keep doing things, the way that I've always done things like it was at that moment that I really realised that I had to make a change. And it was also at that moment that I realised that I wanted to set up this coaching business that I wanted to be able to help other business owners and to use my experience as a business owner, as well as the toolkit that I'd learned as a leader in the roles that I'd had since to help others. However, the universe had another plan for me and my company came back to me and offered a new position at state level, and I couldn't turn it down, Nicole, I just knew that I had to give that a go. And I knew that the skills that I'd learned in that position would really support the coaching business that I'd ultimately have. So it was at that point that I then continued to develop my coaching experience and all the skills that I definitely bring into this business. But I started to rewrite my story. And I went into that role with a very clear intention, that I wouldn't be working all the hours and doing all the things. And I really set the stage for that. And proudly, I held to my word. And then we made the move from Sydney to Brisbane. So I left that job. And it was at that time that I knew I had to start this business. But then our old friend imposter syndrome, jumped in and had other plans for me. And so it was at that point that I thought, oh, and who am I to do these things and dah dah dah dah all these, you know, stories that I think that a lot of us experience, right? Like fear and imposter syndrome was all wrapped up in this narrative that was really not very helpful. But I started the business with more done for you work around sales and marketing. And then I realised no, this is not what I was going to do. I wanted to create a space for the person that I needed all those years ago. And so I had to stay true to the big vision of my business. And so since that time, I have been coaching entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them to develop a business that not only aligns to the big vision of what they want for their business, but also what they want for their life.

Nicole Smith
My ears are just singing, just love it. Absolutely. Because that's what I'm all about as well is to helping people design a business that they love working right love enjoying and being in and when you've experienced that what you have that burnout that yes, we love working. And when it's for ourselves, sometimes telling us that story of oh, just rest, just you don't need to do all the things like it's very hard, because you're so passionate about it. And you love what you do and you love your business. And you want to see it succeed, especially I imagine as a bricks and mortar business, it's, you've got customers daily coming in and out and seeing the excitement when new products come in. But really, I know when you find that beautiful rhythm between how you want to live as a human in the world, and what you want to be doing with your time in your business space. When they align beautifully together, there's this just moment of clarity, everything's clear, it feels good, you can actually make decisions easier. So it's so good that someone like you is out there that is helping business owners to step into that world and understand and have the courage to take that step in that direction.

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, and I think the thing is, is we talk a lot about boundaries from clients, boundaries from friends, boundaries from family, boundaries from all these things. But we need to create boundaries from ourselves. And so being really clear that working all the time and doing all the things is actually really harmful in the long run. And if we want to have be in business 10 to 15 years from now, we have to build boundaries for ourselves, so that we're not working all hours because like you said, when you're working all the time, it's so hard to have clarity. It's so hard to feel like things are easy or with ease. And so that then results in making poor decisions. I know that was certainly the case for me and unable to see what is that next step as well.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, it's when there's lots of decisions, it's really hard to make a decision, don't you find as well,

Kristy Robinson
Oh totally.

Nicole Smith
When there's all the things being thrown at you. I know, I can't remember who was talking the other day about doing a bit of a clean of your business and just making things simple, you know, not boring, because we love our businesses, but simple that we have that clarity to be able to make those decisions to move forward. Because ultimately, we're building a business and a life that we want to be living. And so if you're sitting there feeling this doesn't feel right, something's not aligned. It's not lighting me up. How like, I guess there's techniques, I'm guessing you support your clients with that, if they come to you, and they're like, something's just not feeling right. Like, what can I do?

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, well, the first thing that I want to just pull out of what you just said, Nicole is the word simple. And I think that as human beings, the more I observe, I'm, I'm I love watching and observing human beings, I think that we go to a cafe, and I'm watching all the people. But it's more the thing is, as humans, we want to create significance for ourselves. And one of the ways that we do that is by overcomplicating things. And it's like, if it's simple, it can't be important, or it can't be valuable is this narrative that we have for ourselves, I don't even think we're even conscious of it infact. But for me, I truly believe that simplicity and simple thinking is my superpower because I take complex challenges or problems, and then turn them into simple solutions. And I'm sure that you can relate even with your business as well. And I think that we need to stop trying to create complicated businesses, and really think about how we can simplify things, 100% agree with that. But coming back to your question around, you know, yes, my clients come to me with all different challenges. And this is the thing about being a coach is you don't put people in a production line and pop out the other side and everyone's you know, at the same place, right? Everybody comes to you with a, you know, a different journey, a different set of things that they've experienced prior to their business, in their business and so I work with them to help them to figure out, well, where do we go next? My clients are business owners in that messy middle stage, as I call it, which is that coming out of startup stage, you've got the clients, you've got the business, and on paper, it looks and sounds fabulous. But behind the scenes, they're the people that are now lying in bed, looking at the ceiling, trying to figure out what to do next.

Nicole Smith
Like, why is this feeling so like weird? It's like, I, I'm not even trying hard, the clients are arriving and loving what I'm doing, but it just feels feels not right. Like,

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, 100%. And part of that, Nicole is that when you start your business, it's like you're using a series of educated guessing, because you've never done it before, right? So you're packaging up your services, you're putting it out there, you think you're gonna enjoy doing the things that you're going to do. But when we come from corporate roles, or even any other position, we're only responsible for one element of delivering that outcome. We're not responsible for the marketing and the copywriting and the website and the you know, customer service, it might be just that you're responsible for that one piece. And so you've got to do all of those things. And we're all of those hats, because in the beginning, you have more time than money, of course. But back to the point of you're having a series of educated guessing you think you're gonna want to enjoy working with this type of client, you think you're gonna want your services to look like this. But then over time, it's so hard to then create space to make the changes that you need to make. And that's why we find ourselves in this situation where we're potentially offering things that we don't love working with clients that are totally wrong, and doing all the things without the support and structure to be able to handle that load. And that's when I think a lot of people come to me with this, what do I do? How do I get out of this? And it's a totally normal place to be.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I found for my journey. So I'm just over two and a half years in now. And each iteration has been a fabulous journey. Because you think you're going to work again in this space and offer this service and work with this type of person. And you arrive to that moment and you're like something's not working something's not, what is it? And then how I normally do I take a step back. And I think about the things and when you have that space and also I've got my my people that I bounce ideas off, which is so important in small businesses oh in many business, isn't it? I mean, that person that may have may not have done the things a few steps forward but has a different view on, you're not in it, you know, in the box.

Kristy Robinson
Yes, yes. And the analogy that I love to use, and I think we all know, like being in the weeds, but the analogy that I like to use is that when you're the business owner, it's so easy to be on the dance floor, and you only see things from like, you know, chest up, right, so you can't see the full picture. So as a coach, my role is to get you onto the balcony, so you can see the full view of your business. And that gives you that perspective, right? Like, it's exactly like, what you were just talking about Nicole, is that you have these people in your life and in your business, that can help you to see a different perspective or to guide you into place so you can see a different perspective.

Nicole Smith
So good, I love dancing, I'm like all these words, you're saying I'm just like, yes, that's amazing. And it is it's having those that space that held for you as well.

Kristy Robinson
Oh 100%.

Nicole Smith
Because I think as a person who likes to support other people, you can tend to hold some of that, especially when you first start. And you're still trying to find your feet as you're going through. And those transitional points, you know it is, it's not like you go to your manager and ask for permission to do the thing, because you are the person that's making the decision. So having and working with someone like you to, to guide them through. And also be aware of there are other ways of doing things is that like, you know, business models and processes and procedures and systems in their businesses and just some of that lingo that you've heard floating around, you know, having that clarity through conversations with, say, you and your clients, that must be some really big lightbulb moments for people.

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, firstly I just want to loop back to what you said. And it's such a valid point is that when you hire a coach or work with a coach, our role is to hold space for you. And you as a business owner, you're holding space for all your clients and doing all those things, you need someone in your corner doing that for you. And so that's why it's so important. I invest in coaches as well, because I need that in my business too. And to have that opportunity to bounce off someone else and whatnot. So the first thing about coaching, is that true coaching philosophy is, is that you're the expert of your life, and you're the expert of your business. And I truly believe that to be true. And I think that this is where with my coaching practice is that I'm really asking the questions to help you to come up with the answers, but giving you that this is where you look, take a look over here, what do you see? What do you want, what's not working, what's working and all those things. But because I work specifically with business owners in the messy middle, and at that transition point, which is what you keep mentioning is that you're coming out of startup phase, you've got this sense of understanding getting your business going. But also you're going to reach this point where there's a whole bunch of things that aren't working. And so what we do together is the first piece of the puzzle is to audit the business. So we look at the business more in a macro view. So again, back up on that balcony, what's going on, what are you enjoying what feels good, easy, simple, aligned, but then what doesn't? What are the kind of, you know, pinching points in your business that need to be addressed? And really targeted and specific questions to, you know, get you thinking, because there are certain things that may happen, right, like there are trends across the different types of businesses. Once that clarity, or that kind of reset is put into place, then we start to look at the business foundations, what I call the business bedrock, which is your vision, your mission and your values, and those things aren't typically looked at, in the beginning of the business. And that's okay, because you are just figuring out all the things and you've got to, you know, it's like triage, right? You know, the, the nurse isn't going to send the person who's got a broken leg in before the person with a heart attack, because they arrived first, you know, it's not gonna happen.

Nicole Smith
You would hope not.

Kristy Robinson
You wold hope not! And that's what it's like with business, you have to triage, right? Like, you got to get the website done, you got to get your first bunch of clients, you've got to, you know, deliver things to your clients. Like those are the things that are most important. Setting a business vision, mission and values may not make sense at that point. But it does make sense in this stage of business. And the reason for this is because you you have a level of understanding. But if you want to be intentional about growing your business and growing your business so that a, it aligns to your, you know, your big goals but b, that it's going to work for you and your life, then you have to pause and you have to take stock of what that actually looks like. So we spend time looking at that. And then we start to look at the business model. Okay, so now we understand what the challenges are in the business. And then we start to think about how do we create a plan around fixing the challenges that you have and aligning the business model back into where you ultimately want to be for your vision, which is say like your 10 or 15 year range goal.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I know that's the exercise that I've just done with one of my good friend, she's a linguistiologist, but she specialises in message alignment. And we've just looked at all of my brand voice and in particular, those values of my business. And I find now that I'm aware of those values, they've always been a thing for me, but I've never had them clearly outlined, right? I'm so aware, I can feel it instantly. If something's not easy, or I'm not enjoying it. I'm like, oh, hang on. That's not aligned with me. Why is it not aligned? I've made a decision now I know, that's not, that's clashing with my value. But you're right, two and a half years ago, I imagined the business to be something completely, not completely different, but different to where it is now. I went through this journey of listening to everyone, they were telling me what to do, had to do all the posting and do all the things and you know, all of that. And over time, I've cut that back, cut that back, I'm going to keep you, I'm going to remove you, to find where I am now. But I know that I'm probably going to evolve again over the next two years, five years, whatever it might be. So yeah, like the people who work with you are probably in a very similar stage to where I am right now, in that moment, and that clarity of your message, your values, your goals. I use bigs. So my bigs, make it so much easier. So much easier.

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, you raise a really valid point is that when you don't know what those things look like, it's so easy to follow the noise of the internet. And think, oh, you know, oh, yes, I have to be posting reels to be able to attract these things, or I have to be doing these things. And we're not full time content creators or not everybody wants to have, you know, one too many offers. And there is no one right business model. And there is no one, right revenue objective. So it's really about what is most important for you. And this is where you the business owner, or the expert, you just need to know where to look. And you need support in making those decisions as you go. And that's, that's what's so critical in it.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. And each time you do something, you obtain a new piece of evidence that it's possible.

Kristy Robinson
Oh, totally.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. Mindset, I think is something we're talking about here. Right? That courage to know that it's a thing and we spoke about imposter syndrome before little little lady on the corner on your shoulder there was specially that might be like, you can't do a thing? Yes, you can. Oh, that back and forth. I know that there's lots of tools out there, are there any that you particularly love that you use yourself or that you support other people to use?

Kristy Robinson
With mindset?

Nicole Smith
Yeah, with mindset, yeah.

Nicole Smith
Just interrupting this episode for one little message. If you have been listening and love what you hear and want to come in 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 come on over and join our community and connect with us all. Community is the essence of everything in 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.

Kristy Robinson
I think that the biggest piece of advice that I can say to someone is to have self-awareness. Honestly, if you've got self-awareness that's gonna ripple on to every aspect of your business and your life, who you are as a person. So if you're finding yourself getting stuck in, I'm not good enough stories, then you need to pay attention to that. And you need to try and do something about it. Or if you are feeling crippled by fear and the what ifs. And the self awareness probably is the biggest thing I would say.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I know again, something from my stories and people listening have probably heard this before, but I'll share it with you, when you get to a moment and say your clients are dwindling off, right? And you really want more clients but you're actually focusing over there on not getting the clients and so what ends up happening is that you don't get the clients because that's what you're focusing on. Whereas if you're flipping it over and you're like I'm so excited to welcome in this new client and or this is the new way I'm gonna work with people and you're thinking about it and then all of a sudden like this has happened to me this week. I've redesigned how or and more senior offering that I'm going to bring on haven't even shared it with anyone had a call this morning or this week I mean. And there's my first client. So it's just putting it out there and knowing that it's possible in whatever format it is, it's probably messy and it probably feels a little bit not quite right yet. But sharing that out even just verbally with yourself in your own room. Knowing that is possible. I found that to be really an amazing experience.

Kristy Robinson
I love that. Yeah. Amazing that just even admitting to yourself that you want that is a big thing.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. Yeah. And I think as well, knowing that it's okay and absolutely 100% celebrated to reach out to people for support in an area that you need a little bit of help with, be it mindset, be it business development, be it process systems, whatever finances, you know, I think, is that something as well, do you find through some of the clients you work with that resistance to I can do it all, and maybe not want to ask for the help?

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, I mean, it's a mixed bag, everybody's different. But you know, definitely having the right people around you is important. And also thinking about who those right people are for you. What's right, for one person isn't right for the next. And I think that sometimes we we take sort of what we think is the prescribed step in who to bring into your business. And that may not be the right thing for you. There are different ways to skin a cat, hate that saying, but it's true. It's true. Like there's different ways to do it. And you've got to figure out what's what's right for you, for sure.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I think I don't know, one of the first people that I bought him was a VA, was it the right time? Hmm I got some, I got experience out of it. I got some evidence to know that the way that that was the level that I had engaged, I needed someone that could out-organise me. You know, so it was a great experience. But not everybody needs a VA. But it's very pushed, isn't it out there? You need assistance? You need this, you need that? Whereas do you?

Kristy Robinson
Do you, exactly. And that was the exact example I was thinking of I just didn't say it. But yeah, absolutely. I mean, there is this rhetoric that the first hire is a VA, but maybe that's not the right step for you and your business. It's really it's yeah, it's very personal, I think.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I know, for me, I did engage even an OBM, which is the next level up, and it was a big financial commitment. And, unfortunately, not one that paid off, you know, at that timeframe. So but again, that sort of learning now, I now know who I need in my world. So we do make mistakes, right? And sometimes their financial.

Kristy Robinson
Yeah,

Nicole Smith
But we learn from them.

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, absolutely. And sometimes you do need to go through those mistakes yourself to understand and I think that it comes to another point that I was thinking of, in terms of mindset is that fail forward, and I know that we all talk about failing is a good thing. And sometimes we even give that lip service and we don't believe it ourselves. It took me a long time to really be okay with failure, and even still, as a type three Enneagram, I'm still probably not, you know, do take it hard, but I bounce back quicker. That's the difference these days. But I think that having the ability to be able to know that it's okay to make mistakes, and it's okay to fail. And the difference between failing at something and being a failure. I think that's the other thing is we often call ourselves a failure. And we'll that becomes a name as opposed to an action, and you can recover from failing. But if you see yourself as a failure as a result of something that you did, then that is something that is hard to recover from.

Nicole Smith
That is so true, isn't it? It's it's an action that's happened. It's not you.

Kristy Robinson
It's not a noun.

Nicole Smith
That's right. Yeah. You just said a word Enneagram?

Kristy Robinson
Enneagram.

Nicole Smith
Enneagram. Now, I've seen this floating around. Are you happy to share a little bit about that? Or maybe I need to go on Google and do some research but it's just funny because it keeps popping up.

Kristy Robinson
Is it a sign for you that's a sign for you.

Nicole Smith
I keep seeing elevens everywhere and I was never entered the numerology thing, but like so many elevens over the last month

Kristy Robinson
Ohh that's a very good sign.

Nicole Smith
And I've been aware like so many screenshots in my phone of like the time it's, I don't know why but anyway, it's lots of things happening. Sorry. Keep going. Yes.

Kristy Robinson
No, no, that's good. Eleven is an angel number that yeah, it's supposed to I think it's supposed to mean, I'm not an expert. So if anyone's listening and they're an expert, and they like she doesn't know what she's talking about,

Nicole Smith
Please message me and tell me

Kristy Robinson
Yeah come back to Nicole actually, I won't even share my what I think it is. But back to Enneagram. So I'm a little bit obsessed with personality tests. I cut my teeth on disc, so disc was which you're aware of obviously, I don't, do know your disc.

Nicole Smith
Oh not off the top of my head.

Kristy Robinson
I think I'm guessing you're an I in there for sure.

Nicole Smith
Oh yeah. Hang on. Is that top right.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah,

Nicole Smith
I think I was a high I think I was two. It might have been that way

Kristy Robinson
i n c or i n s maybe yeah, I'd say

Nicole Smith
I'm gonna have to go and look now,

Kristy Robinson
Actually i n c if your your reverse to me on the camera. So it would be INC if it's the direction that I'm thinking but yeah, so I'm a high I as well and a high D. And yeah, so I'd love to disc, because disc is quick, it's a great way to be able, like I can pretty much guess people's discs by just interacting with them. And that makes it my ability to adapt my conversation to the other person's energy style. And so that's what I love disc. But Enneagram is actually more about you, and you understanding your inner drivers. So disc is more about your outward representation, whereas Enneagram is your motivations. So I'm a type three achiever is my type, which means that we can be very goal obsessed, you know, very like, you know, the achiever, right? That's what it's called. And it was such a, again, coming back to my point around self-awareness. This really was such a big eye opener around why I do the things that I do. And the good thing about Enneagram is it actually tells you what it's like to be a healthy three and an unhealthy three. So what is someone who is a goal achieving personality? Is that an unhealthy goal achieving personality is that at all costs, it's that what do you have to do to do that? It's the blinders not accepting, and I've been that unhealthy three, I'm very healthy three these days. But that's having having the Enneagram has been very powerful for me to uncover blind spots that I didn't know about myself.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. Every time I do one of these things, it does bring home. And it's not even that it's new information. It's like, you know, deep down, like the human designer had one of my friends on who specialises in human design, and I did the thing. And the one thing I got from that is that I always make decisions from my gut. And I always have, I'm like, is it feeling good or is it not feeling good? Okay, it's feeling good, or that's something we need to look at. And that's what the results were. That's where my decision making power came from. And the other one I did was the Strength Finders.

Kristy Robinson
Oh, yeah. That's cool.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. So this was years ago, mind you, I did this, I would say, oh my son's seven this year, so probably eight years, eight or nine years ago. And I still reflect back on it. And it's absolutely, where I am now is where that told me I was almost going, you know, that think I was strategic developer. Empathy is that one, I don't know, anyway, was really good awareness and to be able to check back in and just make sure that it's still feeling like, I'm still aligning with those in the actions that I take but, um, I think I mean, I have to look into Enneagram, as well.

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, there's a lot of free tests for that. What I love about the Strength Finder is that it gives you not just the knowledge, but positive psychology is such that you want to build on what you're already good at. So I think that you can't do that in isolation or looking at your blind spots. So that's probably my more pragmatic side. But if you want to really, you know, align your actions and where you want to be to your strengths, it's so powerful. So I think that that's a really good tip for anyone who's listening to also look at the Strength Finder as well.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. I love all these tests as well. Dive back in, I love data and all the things. So anyway,

Kristy Robinson
We're very similar in that respect. I do too.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, it's so much fun. Okay, so one area that I'd love to talk to you about is the six figure business owners and how that sort of looks and really finding and designing a business that you love. So this is something that you support your fabulous clients on their journey to discover. I'd love you to talk a little bit more on that.

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, I think that there's one of the things that I just want to touch on when it comes to six figure businesses is that there is this rhetoric that you have to have a six figure business and the faster you can get there, the better you are. And I have this belief, and I think Nicole you might share it is it's all about sustainability, sustainable growth, and setting your business up for success. And too often, I see business owners that have grown so quickly, that their systems and their business model is unable to handle that growth. And that beautiful client experience and client journey they took their clients on in the early days when they had more time to do so has gone out the window. They're rushing through mistakes are being made. There's no whitespace again, which is what you talked about before. So I think that we need to stop talking about six figure businesses and talk about building businesses that we love in a timeframe that works so that you're able to support the growth.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I talk about building big, whatever that means to you. Because you're so right. There are so many people, you've got to do this and you've got to get to this big shiny number and you've got to do it this way. And you feel like oh, well, I haven't achieved that and I'm not getting there quick enough and it's just oh I'm I'm a failure, because I'm not getting there. But if you really stay true to yourself and think about what your big is, even if it's your big for right now, you can change your big, you know, it's not stuck in stone. But yeah, totally agree.

Kristy Robinson
Yeah. And I think the other thing is, is that you can, you can have someone that's reached six figures, and they're like powering that business with loads and loads of outsourcing and, you know, their profit is little, and then you've got someone who, you know, maybe earns 90k. And they've got a really lean business. And it's, you know, turning around the profit is far outweighing and so I think that it's a dangerous game to be talking about metrics that don't mean anything unless you actually see the backside of it. But at the end of the day, if you have a business, regardless of whether it's a six figure business, a five figure business, or a seven figure business, if the business is a business that you don't love, and that you're unable to, you know, cope with that growth, or that you're lying awake all night, trying to figure out your next steps, or how you're going to be able to manage the clients that you've got in the door, or how you're going to manage your financial commitments, because you've built an empire that looks like this, based on this. Again, it's all wrapped up in the business model. And so yeah, to your point, it's really about designing what your big looks like, but also being able to know, how am I going to manage my business with what comes with a bigger revenue stream?

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I have clients that arrived to me at this exact moment as well, that they've, there business is so successful, they're doing all the things, but it's, they're doing all the things, and you open up the door and have a look at the back end of the business. And it's just a bit, there's a lot going on there. And I'm like, no wonder you're feeling like this, because you have no clear whitespace. You, there's no space for you to be the driver of the business the you know, the inspirational person to think bigger and make those you know, actions to take you where you want to go. Yeah, it can be a dangerous cycle to get in, if you just keep going on that hamster wheel. And don't allow yourself to go, oh, this isn't working. We need to, we need to look at this.

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, you're just, the problem is, is that when you're in that place, you're just reactive, there's nothing strategic about your business, you're just trying to play catch up. And you know, and if you're and if you really can't handle the clients that you've got, then it's not going to make you feel good about what you're doing either, because you're not delivering on, yeah, sure, you might be able to deliver on the service or the transformational promise. But if it's not done in a way that feels aligned to your values, or how you've done it in the past, then that's going to be so stressful for you, the business owner.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I've just had this myself, to be honest, I have my sort of, my, was my first one to one offering, Step By Step. And I found 50% of my clients were really getting fabulous success. They were the ones that were doing the work in between right, then then we're the other 50% that, maybe isn't right, but let's just use it split for this conversation. Were getting the experience, but they weren't implementing the actions that we discussed through our sessions. And sorry, I real, probably two weeks ago, I made this realisation. And so I've evolved the way that Step By Step looks now. So they get the one on one with me. But they also get the members lounge community so they can actually implement it. And if they don't fit in that, then they are a true one to one, which is All that Jazz, where we're going to build it for you. Because you've got the business to focus on, we can help you implement the things, which is the most important step with any of this stuff we're doing right? Mindset, business structure, operational, any of those things, if we learn the things, that's great, if you don't action and implement to make that change, you're gonna just stand still, you might move, but you know, you're not going to be dancing smoothly around that dance floor.

Kristy Robinson
Totally. And to your point, if you don't have space for, if you don't have whitespace, then you don't have ability to reflect. And so for you, if we use your example that you just shared is that you had space, you took a moment to look at, well, what's working, what's not working, this is the outcomes they are and aren't getting, how do I bridge that gap? How do I better serve them? But if you're in this space, where you're constantly just trying to deliver, you're just pumping out work and you're becoming very task focused. You're not really thinking about the client, you're not really thinking about how we can make that better. How can we refine things so that the client is getting the better outcome and that you're able to, you know what I mean? Like, that's what's so important about this piece is that you can take all the action in the world, but if it's not, you know, really, from a place of intention or strategy, then it's it's not going to lead you to a better place.

Nicole Smith
That's right. Yeah, you're just gonna take the, you're gonna go left instead of right and end up in the same place. six months down, or even two weeks down the line, wherever. Yeah. So good. Is there anything else you want to share today? Before we jump into our three questions?

Kristy Robinson
No, I think that, you know, in summary, it really, it really is about, to your point creating that whitespace. Having that, those people in your corner to support you, whatever that looks like for you and your business. And, you know, making a plan is the is the only other thing that we didn't touch on. It's one thing to know what to do, but how you're going to do it is such an important piece of the puzzle. And I really believe in quarterly planning. I don't know if that's how you do yours Nicole, yep. And so having that quarterly planning, which is essentially, you know, like a small range goal that feeds into your annual goal, which ultimately feeds into your vision will keep you on track to moving in the right direction, as opposed to, you know, following the wind of the internet. So I think that having that strategic plan, or that growth plan is essential to be able to make the right changes in the business as well.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, totally agree with that. I love a plan. I've always been the person with the list, the person with, we go on holidays together, and you've got an itinerary. And now it's in clickup. And it's got pages per day, like we went to the huddle in Orange earlier in the year, which is amazing. The girls in our house, they got experience of my itinerary. So

Kristy Robinson
I think I just definitely established you're an I and a C, that's 100% on disc, yeah. Established established.

Nicole Smith
Oh, this has been amazing. And just so I said to one of my recent guests, whenever I have someone on the podcast, the universe is bringing us together at the exact right moment for a conversation I need to have. So I just love it. What creating this space here for whoever else is listening as well is just love it. Thank you so much.

Kristy Robinson
You are the perfect host! Thank you, I've loved this conversation.

Nicole Smith
Well, let's jump into our three questions, because this is a fun little thing we do with all of our fabulous guests. So the first question is, what is your go-to app that creates ease in your day?

Kristy Robinson
Look, I have a lot of apps that I use, but I can't go past Dubsado. It really for me it just the ability to onboard with click of a button like the whole thing. I loved upside I couldn't run my business without it.

Nicole Smith
Fabulous. So good when you find that that tool or that app that makes it nice and easy. It's just fabulous. So good. Online, paper, hybrid to-do lists lover?

Kristy Robinson
Definitely hybrid. And I think that I love the modality of pen and paper. So I think I have to do that. I can't just plug it into, like into the computer, I need to have that tactile element. But yeah, definitely hybrid.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I love it. I find for planning as well, sometimes getting it out first and moving it like we've got one of my good friends and colleagues, Serena loves a mind map or a post it notes on our wall. Like it's just so good. What would you do if you created more space in your world?

Kristy Robinson
Well, I'd love, I don't need more space, because I've already done it.

Nicole Smith
Good! Yay, that's good.

Kristy Robinson
Yeah, I embody what I live and breathe it, I embody what I share with my clients.

Nicole Smith
Amazing. So good. That's exciting. And it's also another piece of evidence for people out there that it can be a thing. You know, keep keep looking at what you actually want and how to design your life, not just your business, but how you want to live, how you want to spend time with your family and friends and your puppies and your travel or whatever it might be. And just keep on aiming for there and you will get there with the plan in place. Well, thank you so much for joining me, where can we find you?

Kristy Robinson
So I have a podcast Run Your Business Like a Boss. That's where I, every Tuesday have new episodes. So go check that out. Otherwise LinkedIn or Instagram are my two social platforms.

Nicole Smith
Fabulous. We will put all those details in the show notes as always, please pop over and connect and listen into your podcasts every Tuesday. Fabulous. Thank you so much for joining me.

Kristy Robinson
Thank you for having me. I've absolutely loved this conversation Nicole.

Nicole Smith
It's so good. I'm excited. I'm gonna go and look at Enneagram after our talk. Wonderful. Well, for everybody who's out there listening. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and enjoy creating space and time freedom bye now.

Nicole Smith
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 socials yet? If not, please come on over, say hi, I'm on all the platforms @theartisanssolutions. So I'd really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoyed 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 you then

 


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