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Vanessa Bell Mumbition the Podcast

Mumbition

The Podcast By Mums & Co

Episode 56: Use your legacy to supercharge your business

Sarah Nelson

Founder of Sarah Nelson Advisory

January 17, 2023
Want to learn how you can harness your life experiences to help you succeed in business? Searching for a set of simple, yet personal, principles to guide you each day? Ready to embody your personal values into the way you conduct yourself in business?Want to know more about how Sarah Nelson can help you define your legacy to supercharge your business?

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Sarah Nelson Advisory

Credits

Produced & Edited by - Morgan Brown
Interviewers - Carrie Kwan and Lucy Kippist
Guest - Sarah Nelson

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Episode 48 Transcript

00:00:24:12 - 00:01:20:16

Carrie Kwan

What does legacy mean to you? And what impact does that understanding have on the day to day running of your business and your experience of life? These are the questions you'll be asking today's guest, Sarah Nelson, a woman who wears many hats. Some of you may know her as Mums & Co’s chief of staff and a valued member of our expert program.

Like many of us in our community, Sarah also runs a side hustle. A consultancy business, Sarah Nelson Advisory, gives strategic guidance for female business owners to improve general performance based around the creation of their legacy statement. She joins us on Mumbition today with that hat on. Sarah, welcome, we're delighted to have you as a guest.

00:01:22:01 - 00:01:25:18

Sarah Nelson

Thank you, Carrie. Hi, Lucy!

00:01:26:20 - 00:01:48:13

Carrie Kwan
Now, I know you intimately know that we love helping educate, upskill and foster confidence in pitching. So we'd love to hear a little bit more about your advisory services. Please give us your 30 second elevator pitch.

00:01:48:18 - 00:04:00:16

Sarah Nelson

Thank you, Carrie. I'm going to be a good student, one of the many pleasures of working with Mums & Co is sometimes delving into the upskilling that we provide. So this is the pitch that you helped me craft through the Confident Pitching for Business Women course. See, I'm so committed, plug, plug! But seriously, legacy. 

So you know how increasingly we're looking for more meaning and purpose in life? Thinking about legacy is a way of identifying that for you. I have created a process which guides you through understanding the impact of your life experiences and makes a plan for the legacy that you would like to live in every moment. Because being proactive with legacy and aware really helps you live that purpose in every decision and activity.

I find that very motivating. It helps organise all aspects of your life and so to help all business women, not that you need a job, not that you need a business, to help anyone define their own legacy statement, I've created a worksheet as a resource you can download and work through at your own pace. Or, I work one on one or in a group environment as a legacy advisor. 

Legacy should be like a superannuation. The more, the earlier, the better. It's that sense of that statement, your manifesto, your mantra. It really is a guide, weaving in and out of everything that you do. It can be quite functional, you can use it as a gap analysis. If there's something wobbly or stressful or just off in your life, you can ask, “what's my legacy?” and then you can address that gap once you have the statement.

I think now is a really important time, because there's that heaviness hanging around. Maybe it's just as we race towards the end of the year, it's recovering from a pretty full on few years. It's really important that we do have that sense of purpose in everything we do.

00:04:00:16 - 00:04:31:02

Carrie Kwan

It's such a powerful thing to have this question answered, to be even thinking about it, or even just going through that process of what is your legacy? You don't have to know exactly what the answer is, but the fact that you're thinking about it, I know you’ve walked many of our members through that process of helping them actually find what they’re really passionate about and what they really want to stand for. That is like a lighthouse, it literally is this beacon that guides you on all the decisions that you make, so love the work that you're doing there. 

Now, we know that you have a busy job, I know it intimately, being my right hand woman. But here at Mums & Co, you've got two young girls, beautiful girls, and beautiful as in brave, kind and clever, and you're building a new family home at the moment. So why at this time of life is having a side business so important to you?

00:05:08:11 - 00:07:33:16

Sarah Nelson

But there's three reasons why my consulting business is so important. But first, I wanted to comment on how I have it, like so many of the Mums & Co community, initially to help myself, but then the awareness of how it helps other women. Just that community feeling of we're in business to help, we're in business to help each other is such a special thing for anyone, regardless of the scale, whether it's like mine, a tiny micro consultancy, or whether it's the business that is your main source of income for you and your family.

Three things. I'm very experiential. I learn and think and produce by doing, not in theory. So that whole process of considering, the marketing and the planning really takes me into that flow state. Often I think through Mums & Co stuff in my own business and I think through my own business in Mums & Co stuff. So it's nice, it’s almost like a litmus test, practicing what we're preaching. It's a process, it's creativity and it's also a whopping dose of integrity and helping other women is just a huge energy source, it's a business with purpose.

Then it's increasingly becoming a requirement. I've heard from Paris Cutler told it to me first, and then I heard it from another lady in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, that we need to start to be thinking about having five, at least, if not seven, different sources of revenue in your life. I liked how Natalie Coulson was talking on another episode of Mumbition that sometimes your side hustle can be your main thing, and then sometimes you can switch it and you can have another main thing and then your side hustle kind of turns down a little bit. So that option, that flexibility to turn it up or turn it down. 

Insurance, process and community are the reasons why it's so important to me to be doing what I'm saying. 

00:07:38:14 - 00:08:39:16

Carrie Kwan

Satisfaction from running their own business. You know, it's making an impact on your own terms. It's balancing what's important to you, whether that be across community, or across what you're doing with work and the type of impact that you're making there. I definitely think that that resonates with why we actually put in the effort to add another thing to our plate.

It's also that balance of financial security, right? Right now, it's fascinating to hear that we're looking at different sources of revenue as women, as a strategy to want to do meaningful work, but also to spread that risk across, spread that investment across different portfolios, to make sure that they're all firing.

00:08:39:16 - 00:09:27:08

Sarah Nelson

Can I quickly jump in? Lucy, it reminds me of sometimes when you say it's five, I think about the 5 to 7 different sources of income, and initially like 5 to 7, that's a lot. But then when you actually tally it up and Lucy, you’ll remember the conversation we were having the other day, it's amazing.

So often, it’s pretty close, if not more than that already. It's one of those funny financial mindset things that once you've got that figure and again, you go through that process, it can be a wonderfully empowering thing to create. I think about your main investments, and then your business, and then your salary and superannuation, that's four already. So ladies, you are well on your way, go find your seven.

00:09:28:16 - 00:10:04:21

Lucy Kippist

It's a bit like a reworking of that expression ‘don't put all your eggs in one basket’. It's like looking at where your energy goes and obviously where your money goes, but making sure you’re not just channeling everything into one avenue. So Sarah, as you are so good at, you have beautifully described the why behind what we're doing, all the balls and the juggling, but I'm just curious to know, what have you actually had to stop doing to make all of these things work together?

00:10:04:21 - 00:11:22:00

Sarah Nelson

I learned very early on that it's very new territory and so I had to share more about my personal story than I perhaps thought that you would, maybe comparing it to having a job. You know, you don't bring a lot of your personal self if you're marketing the brand that you're employed by. But when it's your own business and you're a sole trader and you're leading a group workshop, you have to stop the subtlety.

I really have had to stop thinking and stop playing small. I would initially go into the first few workshops that I hosted like, oh, but they don't want to hear my story because that's my story and it wouldn't be very professional of me to just talk about my experience because maybe it's going to make my business sound small, or my experience sound limited, and I actually still have to stop worrying about that because clients are for the story, clients are buying my perspective of the world.

00:11:26:14 - 00:11:43:12

Lucy Kippist

And they're attracted to you because of that, so you become a magnet for those parts of you that you're sharing. So, correct me if this is incorrect, but you started your business in 2020.

00:11:43:12 - 00:11:46:15

Sarah

The legacy. Yeah.

00:11:46:15 - 00:12:08:05

Lucy or Carrie

So it’s gone in various capacities over the last couple of years. But at the moment, as Carrie mentioned, you're working with Mums & Co in this busy role and you've got everything going on at home. But what is the biggest challenge for the business at the moment right now as we're talking?

00:12:10:03 - 00:14:28:01

Sarah Nelson

I caught up with Flippa yesterday and we were talking about the… I'm married to a business owner, so I live, work and play with the realities of the commercial realities of small business ownership. The challenge of viability is a very real thing. There's no way Legacy is supporting me full time. I have to have that salaried job and my, what's that, five other revenue streams that we were talking about before.

Hats off to women that have their own business as that main source of financial security. Because I see you, I'm married to one. We know we're building this community of phenomenal business leading mothers and the challenge of attracting and retaining clients, getting your pricing right and then budgeting, my hilarious misstep early on was because I wanted to be there for my children and so starting a business was a great source of flexibility. 

I budgeted for 12 months but I forgot about school holidays, my girls have sixteen weeks. So it's not how can you charge divided by 52 or what do you need divided by 52? It's what you need divided by 52 - 16, and then you’re a sole trader so it's your own sick leave, it's your own annual leave. So, just basic maths was a great challenge!

But no, I think viability is definitely important and if Legacy was to be my main, if consulting was to be my main source of income, pricing commercial sustainability is a challenge. Getting that mix right is a challenge for me and all power to everyone listening, filling hard and running beautiful revenues. It's very hard, bravo.

00:14:28:01 - 00:17:23:02

Carrie Kwan

There's a lot of moving parts to that. As you are saying that, I think how a lot of our communities actually approach their business is they may not be working on it full time in the very beginning, right? They're actually testing the waters, they're actually testing and sort of dispersing that risk across their day to day job, so to speak.

I think that's how they approach it when they start a business and it might take a little bit longer because they're not spending as much time on their business. We hear sometimes that they're only spending 4 hours a day on their business because they've got the other full time job that they're also doing, potentially raising a family and running the domestic side of things.

So it seems like a bit of a longer journey, but one that you can actually take in stages and approach in stages. I think on the flip side, I'm just trying to wonder where the challenges come from, because I'm just going to pause for a second because I've literally got a naked child that's crawled into the podcasting room.

I don't know, sweetheart, I'm trying to be graceful about it. Normally, I'm like, I don't apologize for my kids playing, but it's like, you're naked. You should just. I just need something for the room. Will pop back into the recording, man. Anyway, I think I've lost my train of thought there. But you know, I'm just saying how we approach running a business, we have to remember that typically, we're not dedicating a full 8 hours or more to running our business.

The side hustle is an opportunity for us to actually see and test the waters if it's going to fly, but it's just going to take a little bit more time. That's what we're really so passionate about here at Mums & Co, connecting you to the right experts so you can actually get to that point faster.

You can actually go, “what mistakes have you made?” or “what should I avoid?” Or “Where should I actually put my focus right now?” So, to get you to that point faster, but also be able to respect that it will take a little bit more time because you're spending less time on it. 

So this question I actually already know the answer to, but let's ask it anyway. Do you like to network? I know that you've got some great traction on LinkedIn and Instagram. You are an absolute natural in front of the camera and get thousands of people engaging with you there. What rules do you set out for yourself when you're making a new connection?

00:17:23:13 - 00:19:20:20

Sarah Nelson

I love to network! I'm in Melbourne with Mums and Co this week and we had an amazing number made up on Tuesday and just the energy that you get, whether it's the relief of being back in person or just the those facilitated meaningful business introductions, it really is a life source again because I think, whether you work from home or whether you're a sole trader, it's really lonely.

So, suddenly when you're out in the world and you've got that permission, because it's a networking event, to talk about your needs and challenges and being really ambitious and being really vivacious, all about your business, it's just the best. I really feel it's a shoulder to the wheel, we all have to be in it together.

If we do want your friends and your colleagues and your network to succeed in this new entrepreneurial world, you've got to be there for them. You've got to register and attend events that your people are hosting in the way that you would like those people to register and attend your events.

It really is that collective and that community of support. But I probably over-resourced it for sure. One of my former bosses would quite ruthlessly only attend for 15 minutes at an event. I've seen people, for example, on LinkedIn, they devote LinkedIn time in the way that people talk about email time. You might have an hour of emails that start at the end of the day, so I think that's sort of always on LinkedIn, staying too long at a physical event is something that I do need to be careful of.

00:19:20:20 - 00:20:11:14

Carrie Kwan

You are a consummate connector and I think that since we weaved that into your job description, you're allowed to spend a little bit more time there. But I feel like.

But the point that I'm hearing is that it's actually about being efficient, right? So it's like that meeting that you have, you know you've got a meeting. But if you haven't actually sent out an agenda, if you haven't actually kind of got an objective and you know who can potentially help you get closer to your goal, make sure they're invited to that particular meeting.

It's just like being that more efficient about the networking time that you do have and going there with some sort of clear actual steps that you can take.

00:20:18:16 - 00:21:11:00

Lucy Kippist

I will also throw in there, we don't often get to reflect on it on the podcast guest in the way that we are with you Sarah, because we know you so well! But I feel like you've taught, well, certainly me, a lot about the importance of etiquette around networking, like the etiquette of, as you say, RSVPing, registering, doing the same for people that would do unto others the way you would like people to do to you.

That is a huge, hugely uncelebrated part of connecting meaningfully online. If you can do those things, that's helpful and you do that really, really well. Not only that, but you encourage our team to do that and I really appreciate that. I think more of us could do that more of the time, it's powerful.

00:21:11:22 - 00:22:25:03

Sarah Nelson

Thank you, Lucy. It's very much a practice. I learned to fast email respond from you. I think it's funny how we forget, I heard the analogy that, in terms of social media, if you were to ignore a like, let alone a comment, is actually like being a keynote speaker and it's a question from the audience and you just leave the stage.

Can you imagine? So rude! So that digital etiquette is really important, let alone event etiquette. I mean, even if you do pay for a ticket and then you can't pay and not attend without letting the event host know that I've got this ticket, that something's changed, I can't attend, you can't just pay to go something.

So yeah, bring back the events etiquette and bring on the digital etiquette! I'm sorry if anyone's listening to this thinking like, “Oh, Sarah totally goes,” because it's definitely a practice, that was my disclaimer.

00:22:25:03 -  00:23:36:02

Carrie Kwan

I think that's something that we need to just pay a little bit of attention to because everyone went digital during COVID, right? Everyone just kind of got dumped with it and we have to remember that that level of intensity and that type of social connection is relatively a new practice. Whilst we had a very steep learning curve, things had not been established in terms of the etiquette, perhaps as much.

We just have to remember that good manners, always, always break it down to good manners. That experience is a little bit different in the digital world than what it is like in the physical world. So the example that you just gave us is really kind of obvious when it's in real life.

It's not so obvious when it's in a digital environment. I think we just have to kind of pay attention to those cues and think about what that experience is that we're giving off and what sort of impression as if it was in real life.

00:23:37:18 - 00:23:53:17

Sarah Nelson

Manners is transferable skill number 6437 between business and motherhood. Consider how we're raising our children and how you would like them to behave and behave like that in your business. Simple.

00:23:55:14 - 00:24:14:08

Carrie Kwan

So not having manners is a form of risk to running a business. It's a nice segway into my next question. How would you describe your relationship to risk and how does that play out in terms of thinking processes in a business like yours?

00:24:14:08 - 00:27:13:10

Sarah Nelson

So many comments flooding my brain. How do I make sense? In one answer, I wanted to say that considering risk and planning for risk is that moment of taking yourself and your business seriously. It's dropping the just and turning that “Oh, it's just an idea,” to “it's just my first client,” to okay now I need insurance or I need a website or I need to create a template, like a briefing template, or something to send to a new client. So it's that moment where it becomes real. 

I love that, it's a very creative question. What's the risk here? What's the risk that I'm mitigating? And for me, linking back to an earlier question, time is a huge risk. I shared how I got that wrong, the school holiday versus the financial plan in my first few years.

Carrie, I really liked what you were saying before about allowing a new business the time to find its legs or its product market fit, however you like to refer to it. I was advised it would take two years. So beginning of 2020 and in 2019, beginning of 2020, working with the coach, it's like, well, this is a two year undertaking.

I think the COVID years have made that ten, so seven years to go. We hear about the ten year overnight success. Even just this morning, I was reading an article in Forbes. Jane Lynch was interviewing the CEO of Fiverr and he was saying, if you're starting a business now, give it 6 to 12 months.

If you’re starting a business now, it should be at a good place by the end of a very bumpy next year to take dividends. So yeah, that risk of time, but really and mitigating that risk of time is things like planning your finances. So have you got savings? How long will they last?

Will they get you through that six, 12, two year period? Do you need to keep your day job while you're exploring that side hustle? Really over prepare, over communicate with your partner and your co to allow your business idea to drop the just and then allow the time to your business idea to truly find its feet. I'm constantly chastened and inspired by the fact that even Frank Lowy, who founded Westfield, kept his day job when he was building Westfield.

00:27:13:10 - 00:27:48:23

Lucy Kippist

I love that phrase “drop the just'' and it also connects to the question I'm going to ask you next. I'm wondering if it relates to it. You've shared some real advice there from the risk financial point of view, but what would you say to a woman listening to this and no doubt being inspired by the fact that it is possible to do both things, have the job and a side hustle? What advice would you give to her if there was just one thing?

00:27:48:23 - 000:28:23:17

Sarah Nelson

Scrutinise how you spend your time and then prioritise according to what you want to achieve, which is very Kate Christie of me to say, one of the Mums & Co experts. A specific example is, and now I'm blanking on her name, who's the fabulous lady that talks about cheaters? It's not Brene Brown, she's married to Abby, a soccer player in the US. Oh, my gosh, what’s her name?

00:28:23:17 - 00:28:24:02

Lucy Kippist

Oh.

00:28:27:00 - 00:28:32:24

Sarah Nelson

We're all blanking. We’re going to have to do this again. What is it? I don't read the book.

00:28:34:11 - 00:28:36:05

Lucy or Carrie

All I can think of is Abby now.

00:28:36:22 - 00:28:37:02

Sarah

Is it?

00:28:37:03 - 00:28:37:11

Lucy Kippist

Abby?

00:28:37:23 - 00:28:51:16

Sarah Nelson

Abby Wambach. Abby Wambach is her wife. Glennon Doyle! There we go, can we do that again? Let’s ask that question again. Untamed by Glennon Doyle, there we go.

00:28:51:16 - 00:28:53:06

Lucy Kippist

Okay. You want me to ask you from the top?

00:28:53:17 - 00:28:54:04

Sarah

Yes, please.

00:28:55:19 - 00:29:20:20

Lucy Kippist

Okay. So you've just given some fantastic insight into how to mitigate risk and how to consider your finances when you're planning for a business. But what would your number one piece of advice be to a woman who is no doubt listening to this and feeling very inspired and thinking, yes, I can not only keep my day job but take on a side hustle this year. What would you say to her?

00:29:20:20 - 00:31:08:20

Sarah Nelson

Have two pieces of advice. I'm going to call Mums & Co team rights. Yes, you will have flexibility. However, you will never really be off, so just consider that you're always on as a business owner. 

My second tip is linked to that because it's time. So scrutinise how you spend your time and prioritise according to what you want to achieve, which is very Kate Christie of me, one the Mums & Co experts. It's also very Legacy of me; do the things towards the life that you wish to live. An example is Glennon Doyle, the very beautiful motivational author, she spoke about not watching TV and that was her trade off. She stopped watching TV at night time so that she could get up earlier and write, and that was Untamed, the book, because you’re never really off, it's an either or. You're either at your job or on the side hustle or with your kids or sleeping. Yeah, you're always on. 

Everyone has to get really good at time, but especially an employed business owning, generous woman living her life according to her phenomenal legacy statement. Go, girl!

00:31:08:20 - 00:31:47:00

Carrie Kwan

That is pertinent for us. Now, switch into this mode where at Mums & Co we talk about it as a harmony. Harmony to us is this triangle of ambition, of livelihood and well-being, where all parts are important. 

All identities are important, and we want to try and make them harmonise with each other because we can't stop being mum. We don't want to necessarily give up our ambitions and we want to be unapologetic about doing that. So can you describe the shape of a good life for you?

00:31:47:00 - 00:32:24:07

Sarah Nelson

The shape of a good life for me is definitely a triangle. All the things I want, the ambition of that great joy, productivity and purpose of work and career, then I want the livelihood. I want everything to go to plan, time with the family, your financial well-being. And then, of course, that own individual sense of self and creativity and pilates and sleep. So a perfect life is a very equilateral triangle.

00:32:24:07 - 00:32:32:02

Carrie Kwan
Amazing! You're awesome. Thank you so much for joining us on Mumbition today. I'll see you in the office on Monday.

00:32:33:13 - 00:32:51:16

Sarah Nelson

What a treat! I think that's why I enjoyed the member meet up on Tuesday so much; talking about it, feeling it and sharing it, it's such an honor. Thanks for having me on the podcast at Mums & Co.

00:32:51:16 - 00:33:48:11

Lucy Kippist

Thank you for joining us, Sarah, and thank you all for your company. If you'd like to find out more about Sarah Nelson, you can find her on the Mums & Co directory, LinkedIn or Instagram @chieflegacyofficer. You may also like to attend her 18th of January workshop to learn how to craft your own legacy statement, so register on the Mums & Co platform.

We hope today's story has inspired you and we would absolutely love to help support your business in 2023. At Mums & Co we help women in business grow three tiers of membership, provide strategic advice, access to deep networks and opportunities to be more visible. Head to mumsandco.com.au for more details and to book a 1 to 1 with me today. 

Remi

What is your legacy statement?

00:33:48:11 - 00:34:30:23

Sarah Nelson

Thank you, Remi. My legacy statement is rebranding Australia through the Divine Feminine, which means in a language other than fluent Sarah Nelson, is telling the stories about our phenomenal country, Australia, in a way that's very sustainable and inclusive for our future. Because I think you guys and the capability of our kids, our businesses and a history over many, many, many, many, many thousands of years is very exciting and we've got some fabulous stories that we should be telling.