Our 2021 Plans

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Welcome back to the Action Driven Podcast! In this latest episode, Ross and Talia talk about how they did in 2020 and their goals, plans and aspirations in 2021.

The transcript

Talia:

Welcome back to the Action Driven Podcast. In this episode, Ross and I talk about our own businesses. We’re actually going to discuss 2020 and how we did, 2021, all our goals and aspirations, and break down the different things that worked and didn’t work for our businesses. Let’s get started.

Ross:

It’s the new year, 2021. Maybe it’s February. It’s been a month or two. Maybe you’re listening to this and it’s December. That’s okay. Either way, it’s a new year. And like every new year, gyms begin to get full, unless it’s COVID. Lots of rooms at yoga studios begin to get full, unless there’s COVID. And typically, a lot of people are motivated and excited around the whole idea of new year, new me, new goals, new strategies, new techniques, et cetera. But instead of going into this year and just setting a bunch of New Year’s resolutions and never actually sticking to them, we’ve decided that we’re going to take you folks behind the scenes into the way we think, the way we plan, and the way we develop our own strategies for our own businesses. This is the Action Driven Podcast. We want this to be actionable, but at the same time, we’re going to give you guys a glimpse into the way that we actually do things so you can take inspiration from it.

Ross:

So, without further ado, let’s start at the beginning. Let’s go back into time into last year and discuss our situations that we were essentially able to kind of ride the wave of all the chaos. Get away from 2020. A lot of people have been saying the 2020 felt like it happened twice just because it was so long. But let’s go back into time a bit and discuss what happened then, and what got us to the point we are today, and where we’re essentially going. So, Talia, I’m going to pass the mic over to you. How did 2020 treat you and your company?

Talia:

I was actually sitting here while you’re doing the intro, I’m like, “What did happen in 2020? It’s like a blank.” It was such a crazy year that it’s like complete blank. Yeah. I mean, 2020 was intense. For me, I feel my business was one of the businesses that actually kind of had a surge in it because so many [inaudible 00:02:21] and people were moving online. So, companies, clients that I was already working with were getting more interest and there was a lot more work coming in for me and my company. But the struggle, the challenges that I actually faced were more actually on the family side because I suddenly had my kids at home. So, the biggest challenges that I had was balancing that stuff and trying to figure out how do I grow the business, but also be a full-time mom while my kids are at home. And I think that was the biggest thing. I do have to say that it was probably the best year for my business.

Ross:

Awesome.

Talia:

Yeah. And I think the best thing about it other than the revenue, of course, and the profits is that it taught me a lot about the way I run my business and how much time I actually need to get stuff done. And it’s also shifted a lot of my decisions for next year, which we’ll talk about in a minute, but… Not next year, 2021, contractors, hiring people, scheduling, even prioritization. And it really showed me that I could work, so it’s not one of those hacks, but not work less because I was still working really hard, but repurpose my time in a better way, I guess, and still grow the business. Does that make sense?

Ross:

It does, a hundred percent. No, that makes sense. And you had to kind of be smart about it because you have little ones that you’re watching as well, so you’re kind of forced into how do I make this all work. And the worst job to fail at would be parents. So, let’s double down on that a bit and take care of the business at the same time. So, yeah, no, that makes complete sense. Kudos to you for being able to deliver it. That’s awesome. That’s exciting.

Talia:

Yeah. How was your year? How would you summarize 2020?

Ross:

How would I summarize 2020? I’d say I’d summarize it with the beginning of 2020 felt amazing, as of January. Right? Going into it, I was like, “This is going to be it. This is the year everything’s going to get exciting, and career’s going to take off. Business is going to take off. Foundation’s going to take off, amazing.” Fast forward to February, starting to see this thing about COVID and I’m like, “Hmm, let’s buy a hazmat suit. I don’t know what this is, but I’m going to buy a hazmat suit. I’m going to order a bunch of gloves, et cetera. But it’s just me being me. That’s kind of what I do.” March happens, then it’s like, “Oh, this is real. So, I shouldn’t have bought a hazmat suit. I should’ve sold all my stocks. I should’ve probably started outreach. I should have probably done some other things instead of buying this hazmat suit that has no purpose now.”

Ross:

Then I realized, “Oh, public speaking’s not going to happen. Oh, these events are getting canceled. Oh, they still want me to go to this event. That’s not happening.” So, then I started to just go into a mode where I was like, “All right. If all public speaking is gone, that is probably going to ding us a couple of hundred thousand dollars. That’s going to hurt.” So, at that point, I went into panic mode. I was like, “All right, I’m not taking a salary. I’m just going to pay for the employees, and I have to start figuring out how to sell products. So, I need to send a bunch of emails, ship products, ship products, launch a cheap product so I can sell hundreds of them. Doesn’t matter if it’s going to result in me burning out, et cetera. I just need to get money in the door.”

Ross:

So, that was like Q1, Q2. Chaos. Let’s go. I need to figure things out. Then I press publish on a piece of content that just took off. It was a piece about Canva and their backlink empire and-

Talia:

That was so good.

Ross:

… just shook up the entire mind of Ross Simmonds, where I was like, “Oh, I’m getting more leads from this than I did from other talks that I was doing on the road when I would have to fly, I’d have to get away from my kids and family, et cetera. This content thing that I’ve been preaching about for years actually works. So, let’s double down on that. Let’s create more pieces like this.” Did that. Revenue started to come in, lead started to come in, started to hire to fulfill the demand, et cetera, closed some of the biggest contracts of our company’s history, got to a point in December where I was like, “Okay, team, this is a whole different org. We’ve got a bunch of heads and salaries and people to pay. This is interesting.” But it went by in a flash.

Ross:

In addition, bringing in a new child into the world, taking paternity leave, and stepping away from the business for, I think I took a month and a half off where I was just like hanging out with the kids and the wife. It was wild. But then, again, December came and it’s like, “Okay, what’s going to happen in 2021?” So, now, we’re in an aggressive growth period. And now we’re talking about our plans and implementing some of them while we continue to maintain that growth.

Talia:

Yeah, that’s incredible. That’s amazing. And I love the way you described it because as I was telling you, we’re currently in lockdown number three in my country, and I feel the difference. If lockdown number one was complete chaos and I had no idea what was going on, I was trying to grab onto a bunch of things, this one is so peaceful. There’s scheduled things that are going on. We’re used to it. It’s good. It’s fine. We’re like, I’m head down in work. All good. It’s amazing how quickly you can adjust to change, and we’re so reluctant to accept it. But that’s, I feel like it’s a different topic. But it sounds amazing. It sounds like your company, your business has been growing tremendously and I love, love, love that you just said, “Oh, this thing I’ve been talking about for so long actually works,” because I actually had something very similar happen to me, which is why I’m doing a few different things in 2021.

Ross:

It’s awesome.

Talia:

And I guess that does lead me to ask you… So, okay. Your business has grown. You’ve got new headcount. You’ve got new companies, new clients coming in. What are your goals for 2021?

Ross:

Yeah, big question.

Talia:

How do you set those?

Ross:

So, myself and our VP of ops have spent a lot of time in Q4 figuring out what do we want to do, what do we want to accomplish, how do we make sure that this thing is moving in the right direction. And the key focus is extending the existing relationships with clients. So, making sure that those clients are happy, that we’re delivering excellent work to them, and they’re looking to extend our contracts or relationships, or potentially even expand their contract with us to take on more work and opportunity. So, that’s the bread and butter. That’s number one.

Ross:

The second piece is generating more subscribers to our newsletter. So, we want to really double down on our newsletter lists. We’ve feel that it’s something special. So, I think we set the goal of 50,000 subscribers by the end of the year. Then we have the goal rounding new biz and generating new pipeline, which is essentially the act of me going… Creating content, et cetera. And then, as a result, having that pipeline and then nurturing those leads, et cetera. Those are the key ones. Right? Those are the key focuses. If we can do those things, then we’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to have an even better year than last year, which will be saying a lot, but that’s essentially where we’re at. What about you? What’s the new year looking like?

Talia:

I love it. By the way, I love how you’re basically dividing it into retention, which is the biggest, most important thing that companies so easily neglect. Retention, retention, retention. And then, okay, and now I’m also going to focus on new channels, and new growth, and new clients, but first and foremost is retention.

Ross:

A hundred percent.

Talia:

Yeah. Pretty similar, I think. As you know, similar to you, our business is kind of divided into two. There’s the service side and there’s the students’ side and the training side. So, on the client side, I am definitely focusing on continuing work with the clients that we’re already working with and growing the business with them. Also, taking on new clients which is a big thing for us, and just continue to grow that pipeline for us. For me, I found that a lot of that comes from content creation and a lot of word of mouth which is something that is very hard to kind of bank on. So, it requires more kind of unpacking and figuring out, okay, so how do I actually turn this into something bigger? So, that’s kind of on the client side, on the service side.

Talia:

And then on the training side, we are definitely focusing on growing our email list. That’s a huge goal for me this year. And then also, we’re launching, well, actually relaunching a program that used to be branded in a certain way and used to have a certain content. I opened enrollment last year, I think it was May, and figured out that I was speaking to the wrong people. And it was a super interesting journey to figure out that the thing that I was offering, which is so funny because I basically did the exact opposite what I preach all the time. I opened enrollment and I was speaking to a very certain type of person, figured out that everyone who enrolled was a completely different type of person.

Talia:

So, now we’ve completely rebranded the program and I’m reopening our doors in April, and that’s a huge project. It’s insane. The amount of work that’s going into it in terms of content production, in terms of promotion, and the team that I’m going around it. And there’s definitely, this year I’m focusing a lot on headcount, getting more people into the company on both the service side and the training. So, there’s a lot going on and I really have set aggressive goals which I don’t usually do. I’m not the kind of person that sets revenue goals, but I have this year. I’ve committed to it.

Ross:

That’s awesome.

Talia:

So yeah, let’s see. Let’s see how it goes.

Ross:

So, as you look at these big, hairy, audacious goals that you’ve set, what plans do you have in motion for what you’re going to actually execute on in 2021, month over month, week after week, quarter after quarter? Let’s dive into the tactical things. How are you going to accomplish the revenue goals?

Talia:

That’s a great question. I have to say that there’s two things that go into this. Number one is I’m actually getting out of the way. So, this is a mindset that I’ve had such a hard time actually acting on it. I’m hiring people to do stuff. I’ve literally hired, I’m just looking at my board, one, two, three, four, five, six different people this month.

Ross:

That’s amazing.

Talia:

Look, some of them are contractors. Some of them are in-house. but I’ve hired people on both the service side and the training side to do a ton of stuff that I usually do, and it’s just too much. And I figured out, I kept looking at like seven-figure businesses. I’m like, “The biggest commonality is that they get out of their own way. They focus on what they know to do well and they have a kick-ass team.” And that’s basically what I’m focusing on.

Talia:

I’m just focusing on getting the best people in place, so we can talk about those roles in a minute if you’d like, but getting the best people in place to do the walk, and to trust my team, and train my team, and grow that team so that I can focus on what I do best, which is training, creating content, speaking on that side of the business, just actually teaching, and doing the content work and creation. So, that’s super, super exciting. The other thing kind of relates to what you spoke about before, which is, oh, everything I’ve been speaking about actually works. I finally hired a social media marketing manager.

Ross:

[inaudible 00:14:06] That’s awesome.

Talia:

Oh my gosh. It took so long to act. I don’t know why, but it just took a ton of time. And I hired someone and she’s doing an amazing job. Essentially, what we’re doing is the biggest piece is not the posting itself, though that’s what you’re feeling. It’s more the repurposing of content. I have vowed not to create any new content over the next two months in terms of big blog posts because it just takes me so long. And then, as you know, we create these pieces of content and they just disappear because I don’t publish them anywhere. I saw Rand tweet about that by the way, which I thought was incredible. His tweet was me, yes, I should definitely publish. I should feel confident in promoting the article that I wrote for 20 hours. Also me, I can’t, I can’t do that, I just can’t do it.

Ross:

It’s just no good.

Talia:

So, we’ve started out repurposing my content and putting it all over the web. And I’m literally getting people are joining our Facebook group. There’s people on reaching out on LinkedIn. There’s new leads coming in.

Ross:

It’s awesome.

Talia:

That’s so cool. I’m like, “Okay.” I write all the posts or I work with her on the post and she just does everything. And I’m like, “This is incredible, and it actually works.” Yeah. So, that’s big stuff. What about you?

Ross:

Yeah. So, similar, I’m definitely getting more people on the bus and getting more of the right people on the bus. That’s been a massive play for us. That’s been happening since 2020, but the big shift is bringing in and what we’re currently hiring for are roles that I’ve never hired for in the past. So, we’re looking to bring in like a VP of… Or a director of client service, account management, et cetera. So, someone who oversee all things related to our delivery and our ability to retain these clients, to ensure that the work that we’re doing is strong and high quality, build those relationships and ensure that they’re growing in the right direction. The other role is sales. So, I’ve been a one-person salesperson for my whole life. So, getting someone to join the team to lead our sales efforts is going to be key.

Ross:

Our pipeline is ridiculous. We’re now signing clients for April. We’re telling folks we can’t onboard you until April which is a good problem to have, but it’s not a problem that I really want to have. So, we need to have someone in sales who can not only manage those relationships but also give me the time to say, “Okay, how do we structure our company in a way that we can service all of these people who want to work with us?” Because we’re not able to right now, unless we wait until April. So, we need have a faster ramp-up which means I need to spend some more time thinking, give also our VP of ops more time to think about org chart and resourcing, et cetera. So, all of those things need to be considered as well. So, there’s a big undertaking happening around people that needs to be looked at and managed.

Talia:

That’s amazing. So, when you look at the business, do you see it as this big agency that you’re growing to grow into, or you’re trying to keep it more lean, or what’s your dream for it?

Ross:

Good question. So, the vision for it is definitely in large org. Early on, I wanted to continue to be relatively small, but the more I look at what do I want to create, and what kind of results do I want this thing to have, the only way to do it is really to kind of build the team beyond the current size. So, as I was doing some org chart management review today, it’s like, “Okay, we probably have a need for like 20 to 25 people by the end of this year.” So, that would be kind of this year’s team potential. Fast forward, I could see in the next 10, 15 years, the organization being like a hundred-plus people, over the course of time, of course. So, those-

Talia:

That’s amazing.

Ross:

It’s kind of where it could go, but it gets bigger as we start to innovate our business model. So, the traditional agency model I’ve always believed is relatively broken in the sense that you live and die by your clients, and that’s all you do. We believe that you need to diversify, like we’ve been talking about, through things like product and content, et cetera. So, in 2021, what’s also different about Foundation is we’re going to be launching an entire media section of our site where people will be able to pay to get access to exclusive research, exclusive content, things that [crosstalk 00:18:50] available. So, they’re going to get some things that we’re just creating for them. And that’s taking us up market where we’re now creating things that are going to compete with the Gartners of the world, et cetera, for that research budget and for budget that is related to that.

Ross:

So, those are the two areas of focus for us. It’s let’s provide amazing, excellent service to our clients, but also, let’s elevate our entire industry through content that we create free. But also, those who have the budget to subscribe and want research, insight, data, et cetera, we’ll have a solution for them as well, as well as training for their teams. All of those things would fall into that category.

Talia:

I love it. I absolutely love it. I love the vision. I love the idea. I love diversifying. You know that I’m definitely in on that with you. And I feel like whenever I’m asked, I’m like, “I don’t know, there’s the agency part, which I really want to grow and there’s the training part, but I also want to grow.” So, there’s all sorts of moving parts to it. And it’s great to be able to think about it as one business and not as oh, I can only be this or I can only do that. I think that’s what definitely kind of builds great companies is that you’re not only built on this infrastructure where if there’s no client you’re gone which is definitely the old kind of agency mentality.

Ross:

Yeah.

Talia:

Yeah.

Ross:

For sure. So, when it comes to the Facebook group and your list and partnerships, et cetera, I’d love to hear your take on how you’re approaching that. What are some of the things that you’re doing to ramp up your content? I know you were mentioning weekly videos, for example. That’s a big undertaking.

Talia:

Oh my gosh.

Ross:

That’s one of my ongoing things has always been I need to do YouTube content. I need to be better at this. I still haven’t done it. It is my plan. I haven’t done it. I’ve been looking at how do I set up my office appropriately. I’m going to, I think it [crosstalk 00:20:46] Q3-ish, maybe Q2, depending on how crazy this month and next month are. But how are you going to actually do all of these things while also juggling the Facebook group, your lists, and now these new hires? How are you going to do it all?

Talia:

Yeah. So, I mean, the idea of hiring all these people is in order to take off a big chunks of the work that I’ve been doing. A lot of the technical stuff that I’ve been doing so far I’ve now passed on to someone else. And hopefully, she can grow even more into like an ops position and role in the company. So, for me, the one thing that I actually love doing, and I know that you love this too, is creating the content. And when I was thinking about, okay, if I can keep my happy… By the way, the way I judge if I love what I’m doing is if it’s the weekend and I’m thinking, “I can’t wait. I can’t wait to open my computer and stop working.” That’s how I know that I’m in my happy place.

Talia:

And when I was thinking about, okay, what makes me happy, I was like, “I want to create more content. I want to support my community more. I want to work more hands-on there, but I’m also very hands-on with clients. I still do research. I still do a lot of that stuff and I enjoy it. And I feel like to basically be good at what I am, I definitely still want to be doing that and still constantly be testing and doing stuff.” So, what I did is I basically hired a lot of people in around me in order to take stuff that I shouldn’t be doing by now. So, a lot of the posting of the stuff, I’m not doing anymore. I think I’ve filmed and edited three videos. So, what I’ve decided is it’s easier for me to think about them as batches of content.

Talia:

So, right now, I’m doing a free crash course on landing pages and it’s 10 videos. Each one is 10 minutes and I’m essentially just weekly spending not enough time. Literally, I block out, I think, four hours that week, and that’s what I have to create the content. So, what I did first is kind of sourced the content from all the communities and asked them like, “Hey, what do you want to learn about landing pages?” Built a very kind of simple outline and said, “Okay, here’s what I’m going to do.” And now, those four hours a week are dedicated to me filming the whole thing and editing it which is something I’m going to put out to give someone else. But right now, I’m doing that. And then my VA is uploading the whole thing and putting it in Facebook so that I can focus on creating more content.

Talia:

And I was kind of obsessing about the setup and the lighting and the thing, and I was like, “If I just… It’s never going to happen. It’s just never going to happen.” So, I’ve committed to just doing this weekly. Hopefully, I have a plan until May. That’s my…

Ross:

That’s awesome.

Talia:

Yes. So, hopefully, that’s going to keep going. I have this spreadsheet, I can share that with you, and keep going with that. And I feel like I constantly remind myself when I do this, I really enjoy it. So, that’s kind of like my happy place. The other thing that I do is I now divided my days in my schedule to client work versus company stuff, like training and community and growing my list. So, there’s two days a week where I’m doing client work and three days, which is a lot, but three days where I’m spending on the growth of the company, so creating content and publishing and training the team, and all that stuff.

Talia:

And I think that this is the mind of an entrepreneur. And I was actually talking about this with Tara Robertson a few hours ago. And I said, “I think the biggest thing an entrepreneur can do in their mindset is understand that this is right for you now. This is your mindset. This is what you’re good at right now. This is what you’ve planned for right now. And maybe in two months down line, it’s not going to work and you’re going to shift to something else and that’s fine.”

Ross:

Yep.

Talia:

Yeah.

Ross:

[inaudible 00:24:36] Yeah. I 100% agree. I think that is the entrepreneur through and through. You got, okay, this is where I am right now. I’m going to do these things, execute, execute, execute, execute, and then you fast forward, and it’s like, “Oh, okay. I did all of these things. Now, what’s next?” Kind of thing. But yeah, no, I 100% feel you in that regard. If you do all of the things that you’re describing, how confident are you that your goals will be accomplished in terms of where you’ve set them?

Talia:

Oh my gosh, I have such aggressive goals.

Ross:

How aggressive are we talking? 20% growth, 30%, 100% growth? What are we talking?

Talia:

So, I have set minimum, which is 20%. And then what I’m wanting to achieve, which is 50% and then maximum, which is 100%, which I want to grow. And it’s different for service, and it’s different for the training part of the business. On the training side of the business, I’m really hoping to get at least the 50% growth. It’s quite aggressive because our numbers are already really good, and I’m really happy with what it is, but I just… Always the optimizer. So, we have quite aggressive goals for list-building and also for courses. And the course that we’re launching in April is going to be, it’s the first time that I’m doing a 12-week program. There’s a ton of live content in there and implementation. So, I have really big goals for that.

Ross:

Cool. That’s awesome.

Talia:

Yeah.

Ross:

I love it. I think, similar in my end, we’re looking at minimum 30% growth. But I’m always the ridiculous guy and I’m like, “Let’s double it, let’s double it,” every single time. So, I want to do two X what we’d done. Can we do it? We’re going to see. But that’s the goal.

Talia:

Yeah. When you measure your success, when you say, “I want to do double,” do you look at it as client work and training and everything together as a business of Foundation, or do you split it into two?

Ross:

It’s holistic. So, it’s the full revenue across service and product in terms of doubling. And it’s purely from a perspective of revenue in. Our margin really always are looking to run anywhere from 40 to 50% margin. So, we are always looking for that buffer after headcount, et cetera, which is nice. So, it will be very interesting, as you grow and as we scale. We’re intentional of wanting to grow right now. So, that requires an investment. At the same time, there’s so many new people that need to be trained to understand this is the Foundation way, et cetera. So, with that growth, it’s very… Agency is humans. Right? At the end of the day, we’re people. You sell to people, you then service through people. It’s not as simple and cut and dry as software.

Ross:

Software is very cut and dry. You build it once. Somebody gets it. They get the same software as the person who gets it next week. There’s no shift. There’s no different person that they’re interacting with except for the person who sells them the software. So, it is a very different world in that regard, which is why I also love product because product’s like that. The product is the same every single time.

Talia:

Yeah.

Ross:

You don’t have to spend any time, et cetera. So, yeah, long story a little bit longer, essentially, my hypothesis is products are the gold and where we want to essentially do a lot more of our work, while also servicing clients with extreme excellence. But the training of people is so important, so [crosstalk 00:28:31].

Talia:

It’s huge. It’s huge. And I have to say, so when I think about our products, I know that I have these goals. I know what I need to do. I have a plan. I know who I need to hire. I know how I need to run it. And that’s very helpful for me. And I know that I can two times or three times that, fantastic. I have that. The piece I always struggle with is the service side because obviously, I mean, you can only take a certain amount of clients when you’re a certain size of company. And when I used to run a conversion optimization agency, we had 25 people in the business and I did not enjoy it. It was so hard. I think a lot of it was, and I think you and I have an episode about this is that you train people for so long and then they end up leaving because also, on one hand, it’s very hard to offer the same salaries as in high-tech, and startups, and B2B companies.

Talia:

But it’s also, you spend a lot of time training people within the company to do the stuff. And that’s kind of, I find… Because you mentioned, “Oh, I want to grow to this big, huge… I want to grow big. I want to have this agency.” And I think about I’m still at that place. I’m like, “Is there a way? Is there a way where I can stay lean with the least amount of people, but still deliver the best service and still kind of somehow take on more clients?” I don’t know if I’m going to figure it out. I might break and just go big.

Ross:

Yeah.

Talia:

I’m still at that mindset.

Ross:

I hear you. It’s a lot of value in automating through courses and serving lots of clients through content and courses. There’s no question that it’s also viable, that it’s more profitable too. Right? You sell a product and it’s 100% every single time. It is ridiculous. I follow some folks on Twitter who all they do is they create Gumroad courses. They tweet about them every single day.

Talia:

Oh my gosh. So much money in that.

Ross:

Yeah, some of them are pulling 1.5 mil a year. So, there’s a business to be had just focusing on creating excellent content and then selling it. Now, the biggest gap is most of those people who are making that type of money are selling products and solutions that are higher up in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. So, they’re selling things along the lines of fitness and health. They’re selling things along the lines of here’s how you can make more money. They’re selling things like here’s how you can find a perfect spouse. They’re selling things like how to be a great dad or a mum. They’re selling things that are further high up in the hierarchy of needs than let me show you how to create a Facebook ad. Let me show you update a blog post. Let me show you SEO. Right?

Ross:

The niche is such a smaller space versus someone to be on Twitter, tweeting about hey, I can make sure that you never struggle again. Like, “Whoa.” I will show you how to trade options and make a million dollars. Everybody can use that. Everybody could benefit for that versus [inaudible 00:31:50] page or content. My mom would never benefit from my course, but she would probably benefit from learning about options. Right? It’s a gap.

Talia:

But still, I mean, when I look at my friend, Marie, she has an entire course on notion mastery, just how to master notion, and she’s killing it. She is phenomenal. And she also has a bunch of templates on Gumroad and I had a call with her last week, and she’s like, “You have all these templates. Let’s turn them into notion templates and sell them on Gumroad.” And I’m like, “Okay, It’ll try. That fine.”

Ross:

If it’s there, it’s like, okay, you’re attaching to something a little bit bigger than just yourself. There’s always value in associating yourself with those up-and-coming businesses that are going to thrive. Whoever was the first partner with Salesforce is now rich. Whoever was the first partner for Facebook is now rich. Whoever created the first partnership with Snapchat, also rich. So, you have these opportunities where you can see this company is going to take off, let me create something in their world. And I think there’s a lot of value there as well. But this is a good conversation because it’s also giving me ideas. It’s like, “Okay, this is a very straightforward model. I can also apply this to Foundation.” It’s like, “All right, what tools are we using that are relatively new in the market that we can collaborate with and use to sell training on, et cetera, as a course of some sort?”

Talia:

We’ve already agreed that this podcast is basically just for you and I to brainstorm. We’re just sharing. We’re just sharing it with people.

Ross:

And hope [inaudible 00:33:34] folks will be able to get some inspiration from there along the way. [inaudible 00:33:38]

Talia:

So, to wrap things up, tell me about a personal goal that you have for yourself for 2020.

Ross:

Yeah. So, my personal goal is same as it was last year and it’s always the same. It has not changed. It hasn’t always been the same. It changed two years ago when I had my first, but essentially, prior to it, it was always to be an amazing husband. Now, it’s still that, but I have publicly stated oftentimes that I want to earn this mug every single day, best dad ever, and that’s what I want to accomplish. And if I can do that, then I’ll be able to die happy. So, for the next, let’s say, 18 or so years, that’s the goal. It’s to, of course, be a great husband and to be an amazing partner to my wife. But at the same time, being the best dad and earning my mug is key. I think we, as in men, typically make the mistake of over-indexing and over-optimizing for career success to the detriment of our own ability to be in the lives of our kids. And I don’t want that. So, for me, it’s all about making sure that I earn that mug every single year. So, that’s a [crosstalk 00:34:54]-

Talia:

I love that.

Ross:

… personal goal. That’s what it is.

Talia:

I love that. And I have to say, Ross, just as a side note that I feel like you, and also my husband and a few other fathers that I know are setting such a great example because at the end of the day, mothers can scream at the top of their lungs and say, “Equality, and we should all have maternity and paternity leave,” but men run the world. And I feel like I can see, even with my husband, he runs an entire dev team and he has many colleagues and employees, and they see him every day say, “Dad time, bye-bye,” and he just goes. And that’s it. And I feel like that’s such a huge and important thing because it gives other people the legitimacy to understand that that’s where they should be, Seymour at Harvard is the same in so many great fathers that I know. So, it sounds incredible. Yeah.

Ross:

So, what is your personal goals though for the new year?

Talia:

My personal goal is very similar. It’s a combination. It’s a combo of putting my family first and kind of constantly being the best mom that I can. And also it’s being kind to myself.

Ross:

Right. That’s good.

Talia:

And reminding myself that it’s okay. I’m doing my best on all accounts on everything and my kids will… Yeah, it’s fine. That’s my biggest thing. I’m constantly finding this, the word balance. I love that. Life, work-life balance. It doesn’t exist. But the whole idea of wanting a career plus being a mom, and I want to be amazing at both. So, my challenge is always reminding myself that I’m good at both and I can do it. And it’s okay. Be kind to myself.

Ross:

I think that’s key. I think it’s easy to be your hardest critic always. I can [crosstalk 00:36:57]-

Talia:

Oh, yeah.

Ross:

… talks and after the talk, you’ll be like, “Oh, that didn’t go well.” And I do this into my own talks, oh, that didn’t go. But Twitter is lit up on fire and they’re saying, “Oh, Talia, you killed it,” And I’m say, “Talia, you killed it.” You’re, “No, no, I didn’t do this right. I didn’t do this. Shouldn’t have done that.” Blah blah blah.

Talia:

Forgot this joke.

Ross:

Forgot this. It’s easy to fall into that trap, but you have to be kind to yourself. You have to recognize that as long as you are giving it your all, then hey, that’s enough. And I think that’s a key takeaway. And we can probably wrap this episode up with that because I love that.

Talia:

Yeah.

Ross:

Even our listeners will probably appreciate it. So, folks, as you plan for 2021, or 2022, or 2025, who knows when you’re listening to this, our hope is that you are kind to yourself throughout the process. Recognize there will be bumps along the way, and we wish you nothing but greatness and success. That’s it. Thank you so much. Don’t forget, as always, leave us five star-reviews if you’re listening to this on Apple or Spotify. Smash that like button if you’re watching the video on YouTube or any other channel. Hit the like right now.

Talia:

We finally did video. You got to appreciate that.

Ross:

Exactly. Thanks, folks. Appreciate it. Talia, always a pleasure to see you and we’ll be chatting soon.

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