Rebel Diaries

Jodie Cook - Scratching Your Entrepreneurial Itch

July 18, 2022 Jodie Cook Season 1 Episode 14
Rebel Diaries
Jodie Cook - Scratching Your Entrepreneurial Itch
Show Notes Transcript

Leave Scott a voicemail and possibly get featured on the show:

Jodie is an entrepreneur, author and athlete on a mission to see what she is capable of and help others do the same.

She built and recently sold the marketing agency she started at age 22. She writes books and articles on the topic of entrepreneurship, including for Forbes, and she competes for Great Britain in powerlifting.

Jodie writes about how to run a business without it running you, how to live an extraordinary life while running a business, and how to bring the best version of yourself to every single day.

Her books include Stop acting like you’re going to live forever and How to raise entrepreneurial kids. Her new book - Ten Year Career: Reimagine business, design your life, fast track your freedom - is available now.

What Scott discusses with Jodie Cook

  • Her journey starting her own business to go on to selling it
  • The difference between a kid entrepreneur and an entrepreneurial kid
  • What steps to take if you're thinking about taking the leap yourself
  • Playing the rejection game to get successes
  • Trusting others to do the work you used to do in their own way
  • Hoe the phrase Jack of all trades, master of none was used to describe William Shakespeare as a compliment
  • The four stages of the entrepreneur journey, and why so many people get stuck on stage one
  • The hiring mistakes Jodie made ignoring red flags in interviews
  • A simple technique called a life audit you can perform with one piece of paper

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Intro teaser

[00:00:28] Jodie: And so if someone believes, "oh, it's easy, anyone can do it". And then goes down that route and then can't make it work. They probably feel like a massive failure because "why can't I do it? Everyone else seems to be able to do it". And then yeah, they probably drop out and go back to whatever safety net they had put in place.

[00:00:44] Jodie: It can be the biggest scariest leap, especially if you are a very conscientious person who wants to make sure that the standards are still upheld, it can be really hard to find someone who's going to take everything exactly as seriously as you do and put everything into it.

[00:00:59] Jodie: And I ended up hiring this person because we needed someone so badly that I ignored all those red flags that were absolutely screaming at me. And I continued to hire them because I saw enough good I thought it made up for the bad. 

[00:01:12] Scott: Jodie is an entrepreneur, author and athlete. Have you ever had an entrepreneurial itch you've always been too afraid to scratch?

[00:01:19] Scott: Do you think education is set up to support future entrepreneurs or to push all of us into corporate life? 

[00:01:25] Scott: Join Jodie in this episode where she shares her journey and lessons that apply across businesses, not just for budding entrepreneurs.

Main show

[00:01:32] Scott: Hi, Jodie Welcome to the Rebel Diaries podcast.

[00:01:35] Jodie: Hey, Scott,

[00:01:36] Scott: Thanks for joining for everyone's benefit listening, would you mind giving a bit of a background yourself, your journey and what you do?

[00:01:43] Jodie: I would love to. My name is Jodie Cook. I would describe myself as a entrepreneur, an athlete and a writer. So entrepreneur, because I set up a social media agency when I was 22 in 2011 and I grew it and I built a team and then I sold it in 2021. Along that journey I wrote. Lots of books and articles, including as a contributor for Forbes on the topic of entrepreneurs, I'm a bit obsessed with entrepreneurs.

[00:02:13] Jodie: I really love that topic. And I really like talking to people who are thinking about taking the leap. And I love talking to people about every stage of their entrepreneurial journey. And I also do power lifting and I compete in power lifting sometimes for Great Britain.

[00:02:28] Scott: So what got you into being really obsessed with helping and speaking to entrepreneurs? 

[00:02:33] Jodie: So when I was younger, my mom was self-employed and I remember that me and my sister would be at home during school holidays and she was working from home and we had to be quiet. And so she would be on calls and having meetings and doing different things in her business.

[00:02:52] Jodie: That was a marketing consultancy. And I remember thinking, I didn't really know what she did, but I knew it was important. And so when I left university left a graduate scheme, I thought entrepreneurship might be a root forward for me because I'd had experience of someone else doing the entrepreneurship thing.

[00:03:10] Jodie: Even though I didn't know exactly what it involved. And then, so for me, this was setting up a social media agency and starting to get clients and go networking and do all the stuff that it involves. But in talking to friends who had gone into jobs, about whether they could take the leap into entrepreneurship or about whether they thought of it as an option for them.

[00:03:29] Jodie: They all said, "no, it's far too scary. It's too much of a risk. It's something that I would only consider for myself later on". And that's when I realized that the presence of an entrepreneurial role model is such a massive factor in whether someone believes it's possible for them. And so I went on this journey.

[00:03:48] Jodie: Speaking to people about their childhoods and what's given them certain beliefs and what's led them down a certain path and then realize that there's lots of things that we can do in people's childhoods to mean that they believe that anything in the future is possible. And it doesn't have to be starting their own business because that's not the root for everyone.

[00:04:04] Jodie: But it's just, going down a route that might not be the normal route, like the education conveyor belt or the career conveyor belt, they have the opportunity to choose for themselves. And so a lot of my work now is about creating that freedom and possibility for kids and grownups.

[00:04:22] Scott: It's been a long time since I've been in education, but my memory of it is it is geared up to get a nine to five job and grow your career. I don't know if it's changed now, whether education is more supportive of entrepreneurship and encouraging people to consider that route, or is it still very much geared towards get the, the nine to five corporate job?

[00:04:42] Jodie: I think schools, universities, colleges, I think they have elements of it in, but if you think about the fundamental structure of the school day and the school system, It's geared up to create factory workers. If you actually explain to someone what the school involves, you would think what . So things like having to move and do something else every hour.

[00:05:06] Jodie: Even if you are really engrossed in something it doesn't matter if you're in flow. It doesn't matter if you're learning something. Or if you're getting something out of this, you have to move on to a new subject. Now, the fact that we also move to the sound of a bell which is scary when you think about it.

[00:05:21] Jodie: And then also that the onus is all on learning things, regurgitating them for an exam and then forgetting them and knowing what the mark scheme is, having a teacher who teaches you how to learn something in accordance with a mark scheme, and then doing the minimum required to get the grade that you want.

[00:05:42] Jodie: None of that is conducive to success. On your terms. So I guess I'm not here to bash school, but I think that there are opportunities for people to learn outside of just that rigid structure.

[00:05:55] Scott: Yeah. And it sounds like what you said earlier about people seem, "oh yeah, I'll be an entrepreneur later, once I've done the corporate life", but you are clearly focused on doesn't have to be that way, you can be an entrepreneur during school these days.

[00:06:08] Scott: You hear some amazing stories of young kids that have made lots of money and almost " do I have to do the school thing anymore?"

[00:06:15] Jodie: Yeah, it's interesting because I co wrote a book with Daniel Priestley and in it, we talk a lot about the difference between a kid entrepreneur and an entrepreneurial kid. And I guess we're not really looking in the book to create kid entrepreneurs, but entrepreneurial kids is a really good thing because it's creative, it's resourceful, it's positive.

[00:06:34] Jodie: It's just giving things a go and not really minding where it does go. And a lot of the feedback we've had is that grownups could benefit from the messages. And from that kind of way of thinking, because if we don't question the way that we are thinking and the things that we are doing, we will end up on this kind of beaten path that probably doesn't really serve us..

[00:06:54] Scott: Yeah you're conditioned to think "this is the path I must take". I've spent a long time in 20, just over 20 years in corporate life and public sector. And it was that safety net, so you get the guaranteed income and I'm now a year and a half into my entrepreneur journey and it is very different, took a long time to adjust to, and it's quite scary. And I see how a lot of people probably maybe jump too soon. Do you think people do that cuz it can take time can't it? To start to get results. What was your experience? How quickly did you grow the business that you started?

[00:07:25] Scott: How long before you got to that kind of critical point where you could employ people?

[00:07:28] Jodie: When I started out, I wasn't trying to create a business. I was trying to create myself a job and I think there's quite a big difference. And so I didn't really have a business plan. And if you'd have asked me my business plan back then as a fresh face, 22 year old, trying to get clients, it was, that was my business plan.

[00:07:46] Jodie: Get clients. My strategy for doing that, although it definitely wasn't a strategy at a time. I don't think I even had a company name when I went to my first few networking events. It was just meet as many people as possible. Turn up and say, hello, I'm a social media manager and tell them a bit about what I thought I could do for them.

[00:08:03] Jodie: And then, because. There wasn't actually many social media managers around in 2011. And because I was just going to so many networking events, it was inevitable that some people would come up and say, "Hey, I wanna speak to you about what you're doing". And then my strategy there was just to follow them up and keep following up until they had a meeting with me and until they became clients.

[00:08:27] Jodie: I think the naive past version of me didn't realize that someone would say "Yes I'd like to talk about social media with you" and not really mean it or was just being polite. So I would just keep following them up and think "you said you wanna talk about it, let's talk about it". And then that, that led to clients and that led to more clients.

[00:08:44] Jodie: I think if someone was considering the leap, it's very easy to think about all those things you have to do. Whereas really it's one step in front of the other and it's taking baby steps towards getting set up, getting established, getting a website, going to an event, telling one person what you do, telling one more person, what you do, and then it builds up from there.

[00:09:03] Jodie: It's not like you're suddenly gonna get dumped in the deep end and have to swim. There is, there's a kind of, there's a ladder into the pool.

[00:09:10] Scott: I don't know the percentage, how many people maybe quit after a few months cuz they don't see traction quick enough. Do you think people have unrealistic expectations?

[00:09:19] Jodie: Possibly, I think there's two schools of thought on this. I think there's either having unrealistic expectations and therefore not meeting them and believing that you are there for a failure and believing that you therefore have to go back to whatever safety net you put in place. Or there's a kind of growing narrative, sometimes of people who are selling courses and things based on, oh, it's easy anyone can do it. And so if someone believes, oh, it's easy, anyone can do it. And then goes down that route and then can't make it work. They probably feel like a massive failure because "why can't I do it? Everyone else seems to be able to do it". And then yeah, they probably drop out and go back to whatever safety net they had put in place.

[00:10:03] Jodie: So I think firstly, it requires really knowing yourself and knowing what you want to do. And then it requires just not giving up so much of this is just staying in the game and making tiny, incremental improvements every day and meeting one person every day that leads to 300 people in a year 3000 people in 10 years and all these tiny little gains that then stack up to huge results over time.

[00:10:26] Scott: Yeah, it's hard not to take things personally, I think as well. So I've put in some bids for some work that I was competing against an unknown number of other companies, I didn't get them. And it's very hard to not take that personally that, "oh, is it me or, what did I do wrong?" it's quite different from that corporate life.

[00:10:44] Jodie: Yeah I think it can be really hard to not take things personally. I think my antidote to that was seeing everything as playing a game and even. In things like writing proposals and putting pitches out there, you could see yourself as playing the rejection game, which is where you try and get rejected as many times as possible.

[00:11:02] Jodie: And just by the nature of trying to get rejected as many times as possible, you'll prob probably hear a few yeses and they're the clients that you'll get on board. And then. It definitely worked like this for us, but once we had one client, we could then talk about that experience and that helped us get the next client.

[00:11:18] Jodie: And then once we had a few more, we could put their logos on our website and that helped us get more. So it does start to snowball, but you just have to remember that when you are hearing those first few nos that you'll get to the yeses, eventually it will happen. 

[00:11:32] Scott: Yeah, I like thinking of everything is an experiment. So actually keep trying that doesn't work. What can I learn from that? How can I do better next time? That's key isn't it if you get that learning, you don't always get that feedback in my experience to say why didn't I get the bid?

[00:11:46] Scott: Some really good and give you some feedback. Some don't.

[00:11:49] Jodie: You don't always get feedback, but I think if there was an exercise of self feedback I think he could probably work it out. I think if someone submitted a bid for something and then didn't get it, if you wrote at the top of your journal, all the reasons why I didn't get that client and then journaled on it, something would probably come up. And I think that would be a really useful exercise.

[00:12:12] Jodie: And it might be well, to be honest, I didn't really put everything into that proposal or, I didn't really want it, so I didn't really go for it or there's something in there. And I don't think you always need to rely on the the prospect to tell you what actually went wrong. 

[00:12:25] Scott: Yeah. I think you're right there I probably could reflect a bit more and there was a couple that I thought I'm not sure I really want this maybe that came through in the bid!

[00:12:33] Jodie: Yeah, that's so interesting because if we've got even a tiny little inkling and oh, do I really want this? That will come out in the actions that you take. And so then if you don't really, if, imagine if that manifested in not proofreading or, leaving it too late to submit it or not putting the whole effort in, that's gonna be such different energy to the person who's " I want this so much".

[00:12:55] Jodie: And therefore it's just, it could just go to whoever wants it more, which I think happens in work and sport alike.

[00:13:01] Scott: Yeah, I got caught out when I had left uni and I ended up having three job interviews after a few months trying, getting nothing. I then had three job interviews in the same week and there's one I really wanted, which was the one that I got in the end. And that was my 20 year career. But there was another one that it was a bit of a salesy job drive around in a company car and the money would've been good, but I didn't really want it, but it was a job interview and they actually fed back. "You didn't really want this job, did you?" So clearly I didn't have a very good poker face in the interview.

[00:13:31] Jodie: Yeah, and it's not, and it's not even just what you say. It's everything I think, your body language will probably be different. You'll just act differently. And I think people can feel it, even if they don't know why there's so much, we give off without even saying anything. 

[00:13:44] Scott: So on your journey from being on your own what was that path like for you to then start to scale up? How long did you take?

[00:13:51] Jodie: So when I started out, I was only doing recurring work for clients. So it was quite easy to work out when to hire, because everything was in a certain number of hours per week. And when I was at 40 hours per week, that's when I thought "I'm at crossroads here". So I could either just stay freelance on my own and keep doing that.

[00:14:12] Jodie: And that would be totally fine. Or I could start to hire. So that's when I started to get one team member and then two and then three and build it up from there. It was straightforward to work out when to do that because it was when I had another 30 or so hours of client work a week. So I think after the first two, that was when I didn't have any client work myself, but everyone else did, but I was still the kind of main point of contact for every client.

[00:14:37] Jodie: And then I started doing some training sessions and running individual sessions for clients and then I hired a trainer after that. And then I was still doing sales. So then I hired a salesperson after that. So it was very much of a case of what am I busy with? Is this what I want to spend all my time doing?

[00:14:53] Jodie: How do I progress this tiny part of what I'm doing to the next stage by teaching training and trusting someone else to do it within my company..

[00:15:02] Scott: You had to reflect, on what excited you the most is that fair? Because the entrepreneur certainly when you're starting out, you're everything aren't you? You're the accountant, the salesperson, the, and some of that stuff I really don't like doing so it's what can you outsource and finding what you really enjoy doing? Isn't it?

[00:15:18] Jodie: In the first stage of the entrepreneur journey, which I call the execute stage, you are just everything. You're, you are busy, you are saying yes to everything. You're doing the things that don't scale. And you're also wearing all of the hats in your business. And this is a time that I affectionately refer to as the Jodie show, because it was just me, even though I had people that, that worked for me, they were extensions of me rather than team members in their own right.

[00:15:44] Jodie: And one thing I realized is that all my team members had progression plans and appraisals, and I knew what their future would look like because I was helping them to work it out within my company. But no one was actually doing that for me. It was up to me to do that for myself. And so many business owners are a guilty of really looking after their team members and not looking after themselves.

[00:16:06] Jodie: And so part of looking after myself was doing an audit on what am I spending my time doing? And what could be someone else. And the goal was to move away all the periphery things to focus on what only I could do. So that was the exercise that was going on at that point. And yeah, so it kept developing, but it meant that kept progressing.

[00:16:26] Jodie: I eventually in the time, just before we sold, got myself out of the business completely because I kept. Up like training, hiring, trusting, and letting other people run pretty much everything.

[00:16:36] Scott: Yeah. So there's, it's that bit that the entrepreneur adds to grow the business. Isn't it there's a phrase I picked up from Daniel's training course and it stuck with me. It was you wanna be working on the business, not in the business. And that really was quite a profound statement for me but that's that critical path I've gotta get to cuz at the moment I've gotta work on both.

[00:16:57] Jodie: It can be the biggest scariest leap, especially if you are a very conscientious person who wants to make sure that the standards are still upheld, it can be really hard to find someone who's going to take everything exactly as seriously as you do and put everything into it.

[00:17:12] Jodie: I think it's the biggest challenge, but getting over that first hurdle can mean that there are no blockers to growth because you are not the bottleneck anymore. Cuz you've only got a certain number of hours in the week. So at some point someone else has to do some stuff.

[00:17:26] Scott: Yeah. And it's letting go of that. " That's not how I would've done it, but it's still ok".

[00:17:30] Jodie: Yes yes, exactly. That's a huge part of it and I think this is part of entrepreneurs not really wanting to let go. And actually maybe being a bit afraid of the success that they might just be on the cusp of. And so they mistake someone else's version as the wrong version and just because someone else has done it doesn't mean it's wrong.

[00:17:48] Jodie: It's just maybe not how you would've done it, but if it's within 10% or if it's still a really good way, or if, even if they might do it better and that's what you're looking for and to be able to say to a team member, "wow, you did this so much better than I could have done" because that's amazing and everyone wins in that case.

[00:18:05] Scott: Yeah. When I had a team, I, I still do miss having a team. Yeah, I would often say, and I've said it on this podcast probably a few times. They're smarter than me. I've employed them as experts with specialist skills that I don't have. And my job is to help them be their best at that. But I guess from an entrepreneur perspective, sometimes you start with those skills and you then have to let go of that and say "this person can do it differently and maybe better and that's okay. I'm comfortable with that".

[00:18:32] Jodie: Have you heard the phrase Jack of all trades?

[00:18:34] Scott: Yeah, 

[00:18:35] Jodie: So you'd normally think of it as a bit of an insult. So Jack of all trades, master of none and you think of someone who does everything like a bit of a dodgy dealer type character, who'll just do anything to make a quick buck.

[00:18:46] Jodie: But actually that phrase was originally used for someone who was hanging around the theaters and this person was getting involved in acting and costume making and directing and just learning things and being around. And the extended phrase was originally used to describe William Shakespeare and the extended phrase is: Jack of all trades master of none but a master of many is better than a master of one. 

[00:19:13] Jodie: And it's the idea that it is better to be a master of lots of things than just one and in entrepreneurship that is so the case. Because if you are a master of one thing, you're an artist and therefore you have to get other people to do the business side of things so that you can hone your craft.

[00:19:27] Jodie: But if you're an entrepreneur, you could be a master of sales, team building, the work that you actually do, you could be a much of so many things and it's very necessary to be as well so that you don't miss anything along the way or so you don't have to hire people to cover your blind spots.

[00:19:41] Jodie: So I think it's a really good thing that you are very good at a lot of things at the same time.

[00:19:46] Scott: That's interesting. So you mentioned some stages in the entrepreneur journey. The first one, was it execute? 

[00:19:53] Jodie: Yes, there are four stages and this is the 10 year career framework from my new book. And the first one is execute. The second one is systemise the third one is scrutinize and the fourth one is exit. And so many entrepreneurs are in execute because that's the one that we start with and getting to system.

[00:20:11] Jodie: Requires completing the execute stage and then working out how to systemize your business so that there is a process, a method, a written way of doing things, a manual or a series of SOPs that other people or outsourced people can follow. So that by the end of systemized, you feel like you're running this well oiled machine, and then you get to scrutinize, which is where you step back, you look at it and you think, "what do I want to do next"? And then that's when you might decide to go back into execute and start again on a different level or get involved in some of the projects in your business, or you might proceed to exit, which is where you either sell your business or you step back completely.

[00:20:54] Scott: Okay. And what's holding people back from going through those stages. Do you think it's the stuck in the execute phase, for example, is that just busyness or fear of employing new people to help? What's holds people back in your experience?

[00:21:08] Jodie: So many things. So in my view, the goal of execute is to essentially find product market fit, but this pretty much takes three different forms. So firstly, it's finding your flagship product or service that, stands up to testing that, everyone's happy with. The second is finding your target customer and being able to describe them in so much detail because you know exactly how your product or service matches their needs and they are lining up to buy with you.

[00:21:35] Jodie: They're ready to buy and they want to work with you and then the third thing is the way of reaching them. So the one channel that you have got that, works. So whether that's networking or Google ads or Facebook outreach or whatever, it might be that the person, the product and the way of reaching them. So once you found those three things, it's time to move.

[00:21:58] Jodie: To systemize. But what we know is that people get distracted in the execute phase. So other people give them advice that isn't right for them when they follow it, or they start side projects and they register new domain names or they don't test something enough. So they don't realize that it's actually never going to work and therefore they should move onto something else.

[00:22:15] Jodie: They just continue trying to work with it. Yeah, there are so many pitfalls of the execute stage, but some of it involves not doing enough and persevering with something which isn't actually going to work.

[00:22:27] Scott: Okay. And do you think that's ties into the whole busyness thing that people are like, "oh, I'm busy. I feel I'm doing stuff", even if it's not actually making a difference, cuz they don't have time to measure it. They just keep doing stuff and feel they're adding value " hey, I've added new stuff to my website yay". But that may be completely the wrong thing to do.

[00:22:46] Jodie: Yeah. And it's so interesting because I think in the early stage as well, it is really difficult to know what is making a difference and what isn't making a difference. Cuz. My strategy in the execute stage was to go to as many things as possible and meet as many people as possible. And when you go for a coffee with someone who wants to pick your brains, and then you go for another coffee with someone else who wants to pick your brains, and then you speak at an event, and there's only 10 people there and all of those different things, I just did them.

[00:23:10] Jodie: But then afterwards it's " did that really make a difference?" And you don't always know. So sometimes you need just this one metric that you keep control of and you keep monitoring. And it's, if that metric is going up then something that you're doing is working. And for me it was inbound inquiries.

[00:23:28] Jodie: It was the number of people who said, "oh someone's told me to speak to you about this work that we need doing". And I would work out if I'm getting first it's one per day, then it's two per day, then it's four per day and then it's eight. And if that's happening, then there is something in this madness that is working.

[00:23:45] Jodie: But if your ultimate metric wasn't rising then you probably are just being busy.

[00:23:51] Scott: Yeah. In my experience, I've found that speaking at events is the thing that's getting me interest. So I just spoke at an event last week. And at the end of the presentation clearly landed. I put a big QR code and said anyone who wants a copy of my brochure, 10 people at least scanned it cuz I've had 10 inquiries from my brochure from that talk. Whereas putting stuff on social media is good, but that hasn't generated much if any work for me. But then is it having an impact? Is it just keeping the presence there again, it's hard to measure some of that stuff isn't it? Cuz some of these things you won't get a client for a year, but they remember you.

[00:24:26] Jodie: But if you know that speaking at events is your thing. See if you can double down on that for a month and see if you do five times more events, do you get five times more inquiries or does it have a kind of natural plateau.

[00:24:37] Jodie: But that could be your one channel. That then means that. Okay, great completed the execute phase and now it's time to systemize.

[00:24:44] Scott: Have you got any war stories, anything that if you had your time again, you would do differently in your journey with your company?

[00:24:50] Jodie: If I was starting an agency now I would really niche down so in 2011, it didn't feel like we had to niche down because social media was just a new thing. So the clients that we were getting on board, we were convincing them that they should be on social media. And then a lot of the time we were setting up their social media accounts for them, which is just unheard of now that just would never happen.

[00:25:13] Jodie: You now, the day you open a business, you open a Twitter account as well, but then it very much wasn't like that. But if I was starting again now, I would not just do everything on social media for any type of small business, it would, or small, medium, or large business, to be honest, it would be LinkedIn for dentists or Twitter for vet practices or there, there would be a platform and there would be an industry because now I think that niching down in two different ways is a really good way to run an agency. And actually you could scale more because you are so hyper relevant to that person that you are, that the marketing manager, for example, that you are gonna work with.

[00:25:52] Jodie: The main war story I can think of is any hiring mistake I ever made, came from ignoring red flags in an interview. And that came from being in a rush to hire. So there was one in particular that I can think of where in the interview they complained loads about their former employer. And slagged them off said they weren't very good.

[00:26:15] Jodie: And I ended up hiring this person because we needed someone so badly that I ignored all those red flags that were absolutely screaming at me. And I continued to hire them because I saw enough good I thought it made up for the bad. 

[00:26:28] Jodie: So the analogy I think of is you imagine there's a boat and the boat's sailing in the sea and no water can get inside whatsoever.

[00:26:36] Jodie: But now imagine that inside the boat, there's a person with a hammer. And they are slowly hammering on the side of the boat. And at first you can hear it a little bit and it's there, but you don't nothing really happened. You don't really notice it. And then all of a sudden there's a little crack and then the crack's bigger.

[00:26:52] Jodie: And then all of a sudden it's a massive hole. And then there's all the water gushing in. And then the boat sinks. And I feel like that is the effect of making the wrong hire. And for me, that was when I hired in a rush. So after making that mistake, I vowed to never again hire in a rush and always make sure that we could be proactive with our hirings process rather than having to take someone that wasn't actually right for the company.

[00:27:17] Scott: I like the analogy it's when they start attacking other people on the boat with the hammer, then you're really in trouble.

[00:27:22] Jodie: Yeah. Yeah. Luckily that didn't happen, but but yes, that would've been horrible too.

[00:27:27] Scott: Yeah, I had a previous guest said that interviews are a terrible way of actually finding out if somebody's a good fit for your organization. It's very easy to sit in an interview and say the right things.

[00:27:38] Jodie: Yeah, I think a real good way of getting ahead of the hiring. Just the hiring process in general is put a lot of effort into your company's personal brand and your personal bran and develop a following. And then you will find people who gravitate towards you and tell you that they want to work with you.

[00:27:54] Jodie: On my agency's website, we used to have a careers in social media page. And we would talk to people about what it was like to work with us, and then they would be able to register interest. So in the future, it meant that we could go out to that list rather than go out to job boards.

[00:28:08] Jodie: And they were people who had proactively found us and said, yes, I want to work there. So we would try and go out to them before we actually needed to hire someone. And then sometimes it's magic how you go out to people and then all of a sudden the work appears and it is the right time to hire them and it can happen.

[00:28:24] Jodie: It can happen in a nice way around if you do that.

[00:28:26] Scott: One of the things that I'm passionate about is helping teams and people avoid burnout and overload at work and wasted noise and demand. Have you got any tips for entrepreneurs, cuz that can be quite tough again, being an entrepreneur, wearing all those different hats any tips for people?

[00:28:43] Jodie: So many. I think about this a lot I think the first thing to get good at is recognizing the signs that something isn't quite right. And it might be that you are snapping at someone that you shouldn't a little bit too much, or it might be that you're not sleeping that well. Or you feel like you want to eat rubbish food or those tiny little signs are probably a sign, that something isn't right.

[00:29:05] Jodie: And therefore something needs to change. And how I personally get to the change is perform an audit of my life. And one of the exercises I really like doing, I call stop, start more or less. And it's where you take a piece of A4 paper or just any paper in your notebook. You split it into four quadrants.

[00:29:25] Jodie: And at the top of each of the different quadrants, you write, stop, start more, less. And that's when you audit your life and you decide what you want to do more of, less of stop doing and start doing. And it requires a lot of honesty. But if you just imagine, no one's gonna see this piece of paper, it's just for you.

[00:29:43] Jodie: But if you know that you should put on there, start exercising, stop watching TV so late. Start, all these things, you can probably think of some right now that would go there, but I find that to be such useful exercise. And then sometimes I look at that exercise and I think I need to make, I need to make real change.

[00:30:00] Jodie: And some of the processes on that, I need to make sure they happen. So then I take it one step further and I'll turn it into a 30 day challenge and I'll take about six of them. Write them down. I've actually got one right next to me, but write it down and then put the date on top in my little table and then tick off each one as I do it every single day, just to make sure I'm focused on taking this life audit seriously. And I think that so much of avoiding burnout is doing less, but doing it better and doing less involves taking out the stuff that does not need to be in your life.

[00:30:35] Scott: That's brilliant. And a lot of those things are linked into how you perform aren't they? The classics, like more sleep and diet, then have that knock on effect. You may not want to binge TV. If you've got more energy, for example, they're all intrinsicly linked aren't they?

[00:30:49] Jodie: I think the less you try and fit into your day as well, the more you can show up for the things that you do have booked in and then the more you enjoy them and the more opportunities come from the ones that you do say yes to. So yeah, absolutely. I think it has a knock on effect to every part of your life and your health and your sleep and your happiness.

[00:31:05] Scott: Brilliant, Jodie. Thank you. One question I ask all my guests. If you had one book you could take with you to a desert island, what would it be?

[00:31:13] Jodie: This is hard. That's hard. My cheat answer, if is I would take my Kindle because it's got about 2000 books on it and I would be able to read them all. 

[00:31:19] Jodie: If I had to pick one book at the moment, I think I would pick The Alchemist because it's a beautiful story.

[00:31:24] Jodie: It's got a lot of really cute messages in it. It's one of those rare nonfiction books that you can read before bed, because rather than tell you what plans you need to put in place, it plants seeds in your head in a really nice, gentle way. So I think I take The Alchemist right now. 

[00:31:41] Scott: Brilliant. Thank you. So if anyone wants to get in touch with you or get hold of your book how do they do that?

[00:31:47] Jodie: I am at So j o d i e c o o k . com. Everything about the book is at There's also a quiz at, which is where you can find out where you are in your 10 year career and find out what you need to do to progress to the next stage.

[00:32:06] Scott: Brilliant. Thank you. I'll put those links in the show notes for people.

[00:32:08] Scott: Jodie. It's been great having you on the show. Thank you very much.

[00:32:11] Jodie: Amazing. Thank you so much, Scott.

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