Episode 11 | Finding The Lessons In Business Growth With Stephanie Andrews


Episode 11 | Finding The Lessons In Business Growth With Stephanie Andrews



We’re here for you!   

This episode is brought to you by the Full Focus Planner


-Click Here to check out this fantastic planning tool today!

In this episode, we speak with Stephanie Andrew who gives us a perspective of what it is like to scale your business and then have it acquired! BUT Steph also touches on some real raw realities about running your own enterprise... how money can become tight and the balance between "work" and "life" can become lopsided. We also touch on how our own perceptions of our "life" can place extra stress and how we can combat this ongoing dialogue we have with ourselves. THIS episode was epic! You can follow Step on Instagram @itsstephanielyn and on Linkedin at Stephanie Andrews! You can follow Quill on Instagram @quill.inc and Origins Media Haus @originsmediahaus


Yes, we all need a little guidance at times, especially in business. And this is exactly why we started Boss It Club! So you can lean on us when you need a little extra push or some real practical advice. Remember.. we've been there.. so we understand the struggle. Apply below for your chance to be mentored on our podcast ... get our insights and learn from our experience.  Apply at: https://bossitclub.com/pages/apply-to-be-mentored-on-the-boss-it-podcast

How did Also Sophia launch in Walmart? Was it luck?? It may have been... but luck will only take you so far! Join our Behind-the-Scene Mentorship Program to receive the inside scoop... including our little black book of manufacturing contacts. Sessions will include our work plan for launching products, weekly group Q & A Sessions, strategic marketing tips + our exclusive contact list to help with manufacturing and distribution. Please apply below to see if you are ready for the next best step in your product-based business. https://bossitclub.com/pages/behind-the-scene-mentorship-program

Now it’s time for you to make a solid plan and take action. But first, remember to subscribe and follow the Boss it Podcast so you receive a notification whenever we drop an episode. Remember to leave us a 5-star review on Itunes! Take a screenshot of your review and share it on Instagram as a post or story and tag us at @bossitclub. If Instagram is not your thing, no worries, email your screenshot to podcast@bossitclub.com.  As a massive thank you, we will be sending you our Top 50 Tips for Starting and Scaling a Business. This list is exclusively for podcast reviewers... So don’t miss out. Please Note: Itunes takes 48 hours before your review is visible- so make sure you come back to the review page and take a screenshot when you're listening to the next episode. 

Now remember Bosses, make a plan, and take action in all aspects of life! Yes, you can have it all. 

xoxo 
Sophia

 

Show Transcript! 

 

Laura: 

Welcome everyone here at Boss It. We would love to hear from you. Join us in our Boss It community by heading over to our website, bossitclub.com and join our mailing list. As we grow, we will be launching our community of fellow Boss It BFFs, and we want you to be a part of it. Okay. Sophia Noreen. Let's dig into this

Sophia Noreen: 

Hello, everyone. Welcome to another amazing episode of the Boss It podcast. And today we have an interview with Stephanie Andrews and I am so happy for you guys to hear Stephanie's story. She actually has a company that was acquired, but she had to go through a lot of hurdles with her co-founders before they were actually acquired. So I'm going to give you a short bio of who Stephanie is, and what I want you to listen for is Stephanie's story is how she had to come to the realization that society may have actually been influencing her perception on her life and work balance or her work and life harmony. She was glad to accept an acquisition earlier this year because she realized that she needed to take a step back. And at the same time still wanted to be part of her company that she founded with her co-founders. I'm going to give you a short bio of who Stephanie is. Stephanie founded her Origins magazine in 2014, That was a platform that was sharing the raw realities of the entrepreneurial journey. And then in 2016, she joined Chatter Research, which actually was acquired by Stingray later on. And she was their head of marketing. And she noticed that time that there was a real need for audio first content. So after that, she shortly realized that podcasting was the way to go and she pivoted her entire Origins magazine to Origins Media House, which was a big teak platform for podcasters. Then she took that leap of faith and she left her full-time job and became the CEO of Origins Media House. As I said, her company, Origins Media House was acquired by Quill and we actually interviewed quills co-founder Fatima. If you guys want to check out that interview with spot, it was also quite inspiring and educational for all of us who are aspiring to move forward in that direction. During this interview with Stephanie, she mentions Fatima's name quite a bit. Yeah. And that's who she's referring to. If you want to go back and listen to that episode, that is episode number eight, and it's called Advocate for Yourself with Fatima Zaidi. So definitely go and check out that interview as well. And that is who Stephanie is referring to and she is referring to Fatima and Quill. Before we get started. I also want to give a shout out to lash1 32 who left a review and thank you so much for leaving this review. It means so much to us. She said "Much needed information. You are such an inspiration for all women out there who are ambitious to share their gifts and talents with the world. And this podcast is a great initiative to give more insight into what goes into building a business and balancing work family life. "Thank you so much, lash123, that is such a nice review and I feel extremely humbled to hear that. I know that a lot of people aspire to start businesses and that's the reason this podcast has started So with that said, let's get started. Welcome to the Boss It Podcast. My name is Sophia Noreen and I took an Etsy startup and launched it in big box retailers within 12 months. As a creative with an entrepreneurial drive, I left my full time career in healthcare to find better harmony between career, family and self care. We believe you can have it all. Yes, you can launch and run a successful scalable business while maintaining harmony in all aspects of your life. We believe we can learn from each other and draw on many experiences to create the best life possible. During each episode, we will share proven life hacks that will keep you on top and striving every day. There should be no hesitation.Make a plan. Take action. We are here for you. This episode of the Boss It Podcast is brought to you by the Full Focus Planner. Guys, trust me, it's super difficult to run a business, plus have yourself organized with everyday life. Trust me. I know. We have found that the Full Focus Planner is the best planner to help me and it's the best planner that will help you stay focused every day. What I love most about this planner is that this, it does a really good job of breaking down your quarterly goals. And then it helps translate them into weekly goals and daily goals. Head over to the link in our show notes to check out this fantastic planning tool. All right, guys, let's get started. Hello, everyone. Welcome to another amazing episode of the Boss It Podcast. My name is Sophia Noreen and I'm your host for today. And I have Stephanie Andrews with me. Hi, Steph. How's it going?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Good. How are you? Thank you so much for having me.

Sophia Noreen: 

We are so excited to hear your story and have you on the show. So all our listeners have heard your introduction and we are super proud of you. You have exited and you started a company and you pivoted and we want to hear it all. But first we're gonna get philosophical and we want to hear your mantra.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. So my mantra, I was actually thinking about this before the podcast, because I realized I'm like, do I have a static mantra? Because usually what I do is it really depends on the circumstance or every week I come up with. Something new to focus on, but I would say my main mantra is never stop learning to live.

Sophia Noreen: 

I love that. That's amazing. And how did you tie that into your journey so far?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. So I personally am a person that doesn't really believe in coincidence. I think everything in our lives happens to us for a reason. And I think it happens to us for a reason to draw some kind of lesson out of that situation or meeting that person. So I've always found that everything in my life has always been interconnected. And so specifically in business, in life and friendships, relationships, whatever, it might be, whatever situation I'm in, I always try to find the light and the lesson in it, whether it's maybe not the greatest situation, and I've been in many terrible situation. But I think that having, being able to do that really puts a positive spin on things and allows you to continue evolving and moving forward.

Sophia Noreen: 

I love that. That is such a good lesson. Find the light and find the lesson in every circumstance. And say your mantra one more time?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Never stop learning to live.

Sophia Noreen: 

Never stop learning to live. Yes. Lifelong learning. It's connected to that as well. So that is wonderful. Okay. So what is your story now? Tell us your journey as an entrepreneurship. How did you make it happen? Give us everything, give us the good, bad, the amazing,

Stephanie Andrews: 

Oh so much happens. So my story actually started really young. So I was 16 years old and basically I grew up with an entrepreneurial family. I watched my dad move our family to Arizona for two years to build an apple cider business and then move back after he sold it. And. I just remember seeing him do all of these crazy things when I was younger. And when I was 16, he basically shoved Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" down my throat and was, like, this is what you need to read to understand life. And I was like, okay. So I read it. And it really, my surprise changed my philosophy on work, and it really changed my philosophy on having a nine to five or stable job versus actually working for yourself. And what I found was interesting is I'm, by nature, a total Type A control freak. And I was like, you know what? Having my own business actually puts my fate in my hands instead of my feet in someone else's hands, because I'm never going to lay myself off, ideally. Fast forward, I got into a university I'm super eager and excited and I walk into my first year entrepreneurship class. And the first thing they tell me is 95% of startups fail. And I'm like, awesome, this is great. Yeah. And so again, being that Type A control freak, I was very scared of failing at 18 or 17 years old or however old I was. I decided to start interviewing the 5% of entrepreneurs that were successful. So I ran around and grabbed a bunch of friends in my program and built this volunteer team. And we did over a hundred interviews with random entrepreneurs over the past two years. So that was probably my first two, like third year of university and was lucky enough to make a ton of different connections. And really what I loved about it was finding this correlation of telling these stories and being able to ask people what their definition of success was. And the most intriguing thing to me was that people's definition of success was never like a monetary value and it was never material. It was always happiness or finding balance or growth. And that always really inspired me and it showed me that I was on the right path. While I was doing the magazine, I was lucky enough to have a bunch of opportunities. I was offered jobs at, like, tech companies. And basically right before I went full time with, origins and we pivoted, I basically landed what I thought was my dream job in the tech industry. And I was leading marketing for this tech startup and we were traveling. It seemed really great, but there was something missing about it. And I couldn't really figure out what that was. And ironically, at the exact same time that I was having those thoughts, we at the magazine were playing with podcasting and we started our very first podcast. We were interviewing entrepreneurs, similar to what you were doing, but, different. I think yours is probably better because ours really sucked.

Sophia Noreen: 

No, come on girl. You're, you're being too humble. I'm sure it was amazing. I'm sure it was amazing.

Stephanie Andrews: 

I think we're good now. There's always like that initial step where you're like, ooh, you look back and you just cringe. That's what I think of.

Sophia Noreen: 

You're so hilarious. I know. We're all, we are so hard on ourselves and I know you being Type A perfectionist. I'm very similar in nature. Me and Steph have a lot in common, guys. You're going to keep learning about how much we have in common. But, yeah, a hundred percent. There's always room for improvement is what she's trying to say. Like your first iteration should not be your best one. And if it is, you've waited way too long to get started.

Stephanie Andrews: 

A hundred percent. And even if it is perfect in the first version, it's not perfect. There's going to be something wrong with it. So definitely keep evolving yourself. But yeah. So we started this podcast and I fell in love with audio. I was just, like, this is amazing. Being, like, someone who is constantly on the go. To give you an idea, like, I was working full time with this job where I was traveling, like, once or twice a month. I was in school still trying to finish my degree. And then I was also building the magazine on the side. So...

Sophia Noreen: 

A busy time for you, for sure. And you're finishing your degree at the same time.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. Yeah. I didn't go to a lot of class, but I tried.

Sophia Noreen: 

Why would you? Like, you're busy.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Maybe, like, writing essays that I, before, like, trying to get it in. And it was just so bad. So yeah, I basically fell in love with audio because it was a way for me to consume information that was convenient. And I was, like, this is amazing because I felt like I could build relationships with hosts that I really liked. And I felt like I could have a personal connection with them. And then also be consuming all of this information and, like, learning new things while walking down the street. Or, like, at the gym or whatever I was doing. So I was obsessed and working. My full-time job was in the B2B tech space. I noticed that. there was a lot of brands, especially in the tech industry, that weren't really connecting with people. It was more like all of this, like tech jargon on this Omni channel, blah, blah, blah, that no one actually understands. And what I never understood about that is just because you're a B2B company doesn't mean you're targeting, like, business. It means you're targeting the people in that business. So you need to be able to connect with them in a way that is humanized. So that's why I really love podcasting because I felt that it was humanizing. It was convenient. And so long story short, we pivoted Origins Magazine into a full-blown podcast agency. We took that summer to do that. And at the same time I quit my full-time job and went full-fledged into entrepreneurship. So that was back in august, 2017, I think. Yeah, I think it was August, 2017, and we started building. Piece of advice for anyone who wants to quit their full time gig: think about the financial implications before you do that, because I did not.

Sophia Noreen: 

Oh, no. Oh no. So this is the ugly part. So she's going to tell us guys, cause I know a lot of people who listen to this podcast might be on that brink or they're wanting to jump in, but you're going to be honest with us, Steph. Go ahead.

Stephanie Andrews: 

It was so hard. Oh my God. It was amazing, like, best journey of my life. I will never regret jumping full time. I think there's so many benefits to doing it. We grew so much faster as soon as all three of us went full time. But for me, I didn't think about the financial implications. And I had this job and I had saved up some money from that, like, maybe three or four months worth of, like, personal runway, like rent money and stuff. But I didn't really think that through because when you're in a startup situation, you can't expect to be paying yourself like a full-blown salary in that amount of time. So luckily for me, because I was also still trying to finish my degree at this point, cause it took me, like, five years to do this. I had student grants and everything that kind of covered me, for the money that I didn't have, which was really lucky. But there were moments, like, in those first, like, I would say four to five months where it was: you land the client or you can't pay rent. And it was extremely stressful. And that also really affected your decision-making as well. It affects your mood when you're really stressed out and affects how you treat other people. Like, my poor mother was always like, are you okay? And I'm like...

Sophia Noreen: 

I love it because as a mom, we, were okay with that. Like, we understand. So it's okay. Steph, that was okay. I'm sure your mom doesn't mind.

Stephanie Andrews: 

I know. She's told me that now. And I'm just thinking back and I'm just like, oh, that was such a nightmare.

Sophia Noreen: 

I love it. It's so funny. It's, I love it because it's, you're reflecting on it and you're like, wow, I can't believe I acted that way. But in the moment you were, you're so invested in the company, but it hasn't producing what you needed to produce so you could continue to live the life that you wanted to live, like, financially. This is the struggle for so many entrepreneurs. I think a lot of people quit at that point and go back to their full-time job.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah, a hundred percent. And I'm so glad that I did it honestly, because having that freedom was, oh my God, it was the best thing ever. Because what I realized was missing in the full-time job that I had was control. And it was like, I felt like there were certain things that could be done better in that company. And there were holes that I can pick out. It's like a curse and a blessing that I've always had is being able to poke holes in things. And when I was running my own company, that's a huge strength is to be like, okay, like here's a whole, we need to patch this up. We need to figure out what's wrong, how we can do this better. Like, how we can constantly improve. Whereas, like, at that job, I found it was almost a weakness because I would point it out and people will be, like, stay in lane. And you don't want to step on anyone's toes, but at the same time, you want to try and make sure that the company is continually evolving and getting better and improving. So that's what I really loved about running my own thing. And then we were lucky enough that we landed a major clients and the first year, which ended up being a major mistake and screwed up, which...

Sophia Noreen: 

Oh, no.

Stephanie Andrews: 

...if you want.

Sophia Noreen: 

Oh no. Yes. Definitely. Tell us. Tell us but you don't have to reveal who the client was, but why did it end up being a major mistake?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. So this client was, I definitely can't say their name, but they were basically a huge organization that we read about in our marketing textbooks. And I could not believe that we got a meeting with them. I was like this is... me and my co-founder Brett, we went in, we had this amazing meeting and what they wanted to do was this whole really cool initiative that connected students to mentors basically. And I was all about that because building a business in school, I knew how hard it was to make those connections and how hard it was to be taken seriously as a young person. So I still struggle with that a lot. We thought it was a really cool contract. And what happened was in the negotiation phase, they brought me in and they were like, look, we don't have a huge budget for the first year, but we have a really big budget for the second year. So sign-on for this, like, kind of honorarium-based, like, pricing for the first year, and then we'll renew you after. And I was like, okay, sounds good. And when we were in the contract, I didn't get a lawyer to look at it, first of all, which was a huge mistake. And then second of all, they, in the contract, were adamant about it being a deliverables-based contract rather than a retainer contract. So that was another big thing that I signed off on it. So I was like, we're gonna be delivering every month anyways, what's the difference? That would probably be fine. Long story short: we get into this contract, being drastically underpaid for what we were worth. Like, I remember me and my co-founders were living on literally two grand a month under the poverty line in downtown Toronto. My rent was $1,600 and I was getting paid $2,000 so it was really bad. Really tight times. And I was so stressed out. We were staying up until five in the morning, like every other night, trying to get these deliverables out for these clients. They were, like, complete nightmare to work with and they basically wouldn't let us do our jobs. So we were signed on to do social media and video. And. for video, like, they literally wouldn't book our shoots, so we couldn't produce any videos. We couldn't create. And what we ended up getting terminated around, I think it was July. And when they went back to the contract, then, like a pre-paid retainer, like, they had done, I think. It was, like, two thirds of it. They had deposited into our accounts of the annual sum. And I was like, okay, great. we should be, we refunding this amount because we worked for this many months and they're like, no, like this is a deliverables based contract. So we actually need like X amount and it was much larger than what I was thinking. And it basically wiped out our company finances, right from the start. So it was awful. And I remember like me and my co-founders just the good thing about us is we laugh at everything and everything's funny. So we all laughed and we got a bottle of wine and we went and he stopped the car beside our office and we just drank. What are we going to do? so bad. we ended up being able to pay it, but it wiped out our HST accounts that we had saved up,

Sophia Noreen: 

Oh my

Stephanie Andrews: 

wiped up, like everything. So you're basically, yeah, it was really bad. And then that was on a Monday. And then I remember ironically. and this is, I always think like things happen for a reason, but on the Friday we landed another client that was actually ironically about the same amount, the same retainer amount, that was going to start in, August. So yeah, we ended up landing it and so it was like very close, but we ended up making back the money and then, eventually we were able to build up, the business. We're fine. But yeah.

Sophia Noreen: 

That's crazy. So is there anything, when you're reflecting on the story, is there anything with that first client that stood out to you now that you'd be like, no, don't go for it. Don't proceed forward. What, was there anything that stood out?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. And I wish I would have trusted my instincts with it because I noticed, when we were interacting with him, he generally was like, condescending. Very, like, I knew everything kind of thing. We did get along with him, but it was very clear in the early days, like, within probably the first three weeks that this was not going to be a great culture fit. I remember there was a girl that we hired on our team who was amazing at script writing and, he decided he didn't like her and basically...

Sophia Noreen: 

For no reason? Did he have any reason for that? Did he see her work or...

Stephanie Andrews: 

Nope. Not particularly. She hadn't even worked with him yet. It was really strange. And so I obviously defended my team members. What? I don't understand. I'm like, why are you judging this person then? She's done nothing to you. And then eventually, like, they saw her work and they seem to pay, but that kind of, like, the weird taste right from the start. And it was always just constant battle of, like, us trying to get things done and trying to get them to help us. Okay, if you don't want us to book these videos, then, and you want to book these videos, then you need to do them, please do it. And it was just this constant back and forth. And there's a lot of tension all the time. And I really wish that within the first three weeks I would have fired the client, and that it should have, just wasn't a fit. And then on top of the fact that they low balled us so hard and they were like, we only have this much money, would you be willing to do it for this much? Like, they knew how much each of us were getting paid. To put us through that amount of, like, stress and work and hours, knowing how much we were getting paid and knowing where we live. Obviously that's my bad. You can't blame the client for that necessarily. But at the same time, when you're expecting someone to do full-time hours and full-time work as an agency, you need to be compensating them accordingly. So I think that was also a big red flag from the beginning that I should have noticed as well.

Sophia Noreen: 

I'm just thinking, like, you spoke to boundaries, they were crossing those boundaries, in regards to the amount of time. And did you tell them, did you give them ever, like, a breakdown of the hours that were required to do the deliverable. Or was it, am just, I'm just digging a little bit in the contract. Did they just give you the deliverable without having any of that other information?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. So they just gave the deliverables, which is you're totally right, you should, we absolutely should have pop out in there.

Sophia Noreen: 

Like your billable, your billable hours, I'm guessing, would have been something to put in your contract to say, it's actually the billable hours versus the deliverable.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah, exactly. That's what we should've done. Absolutely. But we did not. We, it was just straight deliverables and they wouldn't put in anything about billable hours and we're like a flat rate retainer that was like, okay. monthly. We got paid this because had we have done that in the case of termination, the company itself, like, aside from us, like getting paid where we were getting paid, like, the company would have been okay. Because the company was protected that way. Cause, like, jigging the numbers enough that the reason we were all getting paid so little was that the company was making some money off of it. So it would have been okay had you been getting the monthly sums that I was expecting. But the, like the fact that it was deliverables-based, there was nothing we could do. We hired a lawyer to try and get them to give us something and they wouldn't do anything. They were like, nope.

Sophia Noreen: 

You know what, but you grew from there. So after you've left them, you got another great client and then they stayed on. And how does your company work with podcasting and media? You do video, you podcast and you do copywriting as well?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. So podcasting was our main line, video was probably our secondary. And then we also did, like, basic marketing work. We've had social media clients, copywriting, action stuff as well. We just don't do websites because I am scared of websites and I just don't do them.

Sophia Noreen: 

That's okay. That's enough that you do. Like, the podcasting and the video and the content delivery on social media is massive. That's massive for companies these days because they have somebody else doing their websites for them. So they don't need that part. That's been taken care of, but this new world of reaching out through audio, like you said, is massive. And of course, everyone knows that video is always trending. So that's fantastic. And then tell us a little bit about 2020. How has this year been going for you?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Oh, wow. What a year? Ironically, good year for us. I always kind feel guilty saying that since there's so many people who, like, are not in any kind of good situation right now. But for us, 2020 started off and we really thought it was going to be like our year. And it turned out to be that way. So we started off the year. We were working with Quill very tightly, I would say, since the summer of 2019, just helping Fatima, like, pitch projects, that kind of stuff. And then we started really landing clients with Quill, I would say in the beginning of 2020, when we started partnering together. And then I realized it's oh, I'm like, I really like working with you.

Sophia Noreen: 

The connection, the chemistry was there.

Stephanie Andrews: 

It was like, oh, it was like, okay, this is great. Cause like before we had only pitched together and, like, we knew we liked working alongside of each other and we'd spoken together a few times, but like we'd never actually, like, done a project, then let's work together. I was, like, okay, this is like a really good thing. And I noticed that she brought so much value that we didn't have, and we were able to bring value to her that she didn't have. And so it was just this beautiful partnership. And so we started landing a ton of clients with them, and then the pandemic hits, which was really crazy, lockdown happened. It was just wild, but for us in the podcasting world, podcasting went crazy Brands needed a medium to communicate with their customers. That was, like, easy. That can reach a lot of people. And so podcasting really became like this huge thing. And, I'm sure you noticed, like, all the mics on Amazon sold out, it was...

Sophia Noreen: 

oh, yeah.

Stephanie Andrews: 

craziness. I think everyone and their mother just decided to start a podcast and I was like, okay, that's fine. Like I'm not complaining. Sure.

Sophia Noreen: 

You're like, it's good for business. Go ahead. I'm here to help you.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. So it was great. And, luckily during lockdown, like, I was working so much, I honestly didn't even really notice being by myself And I felt I was just so busy. It was crazy. And really, I think what was interesting of quarantine for me with, finally, because everything was on pause and I was working a lot. But I also would have these moments in the evening where I would need to sit with myself. And it was the first time that I was forced to literally sit. And you, like, so how are you today? And....

Sophia Noreen: 

To yourself. You were asking yourself this question.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. And a lot of the time it was like, I'm not okay. Like, I'm really not feeling great today. And they all started to notice was when you're by yourself for that amount of time, you start to notice your own antics. And there were certain things that, I did not like that, I was doing, like, very toxic habits where in the morning it was like, I would drink my coffee. I'd forget to eat all day. I was not taking care of myself or something happened with a client and then I would be in a full blown panic, like freaking out and it seems like it's a big deal. And it was really taking a toll. And I was like, is this because of the pandemic or is this because of me. And what I noticed and what I realized after reflecting on it was this was because of me. And the pandemic just highlighted it because I had to be alone with me for the first time in years. And we ended up, so me and my two co-founders ended up going to BC for the month of July. And I think what it took for me to really recognize what kind of mental health situation and toxic situation I was in was for me to be disconnected from the surroundings that my business was in and my network was in. And Toronto, I love Toronto. I think it was a great place to build my career. And I'm so grateful for every single person that's been along the way with us. But there's just such a toxic work culture here. And everyone is just so mindlessly hustling and bustling. And it's like, why are you doing that? Why are you living to work and not working to live? And that's really what that realization that kind of came to me while I was in Vancouver was I was like, you know what, first of all, the mindset out there is totally different. And the people there just blew my mind with how balanced they were. I was like, wow, like, you can shut your laptop off at five and you don't care. This is crazy. The whole place I just realized, I was like, you know what? This gave me a time to disconnect and realize life is more than work. And I thought about, my values and what I've been missing over the past five years, because I'm like, no, I've really not treated my mother very nicely. I feel like I've lost a lot of friends. Like I've lost a lot of family connections. And I think about that and the people that were in my life and I'm like, you know what? This isn't worth it to me. Like, I loved having a business. And I loved like building this thing, but what is that compared to the people in your life? And prior to the pandemic, I realized, like, constantly comparing myself to every person in my network, constantly wondering, like, why am I not good enough? Why am I not there? Am I, like, worthy? And it was like this constant, feeling of that. And this constant anxiety of not being to a place where I thought I needed to be and everyone's on their own path. I don't know why, but yeah, that's the big realization that I had during the pandemic. And then ironically, there in Vancouver, Fatima approached us about the acquisition. And at that point I was, yes.

Sophia Noreen: 

You're ready. What a great time, like, timing was perfect because had you been approached by the offer maybe earlier, you might have said no. But you were going through this self-actualization. The self-realization that you're not living to work. You're, you want to have that balance. And I just, the story really hits home for so many people who are in that hustle mentality or hustle culture. Because truly, I do think we're products of our society. You being downtown Toronto core, that's what you see all the time. That's your norm. And you had to be physically removed to BC. You may have had some moments prior to that led you to BC. But when you went to BC, you actually were like, nope, this is the lifestyle I want. I want to have that balance. And so what perfect timing for an offer like that to come. And give us a little bit of the backstory. How did that pan out for you guys?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah, for sure It was the craziest timing. I agree. I, even, when I was telling that story, I'm like, wow, this is really interesting In terms of the acquisition, so Fatima and I had actually talked about earlier in the year. I think around January of 2020, we started. It wasn't anything like serious necessarily. It was just yeah, would you be open to it? And I was kinda, like, maybe, I don't know. And then ran back to my co-founders and I was like, oh my God, we may get acquired! But obviously we were playing it very cool because we didn't want her to know that we were all, like really on board with this.

Sophia Noreen: 

Yeah, of course a little posturing is always good. It's good for business.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah, so we had talked about it earlier in 2020 and, yeah, nothing has really come of it. But then we started working together a lot more like when, the pandemic hit, like, we landed RBC and a bunch of really cool clients and really big retainers. And so we realized that this was something that was going to be long-term basically. And when she approached us and when we were in Vancouver in July, she was like, okay, so here's the deal. Like we need to acquire you guys or we need to sign some kind of partnership situation, or we need to go our separate ways because this, doesn't make sense really for us to be separated. And we agreed honestly, me and my two co-founders Allie and Britt, we had all had these real life realizations ironically at the same time. And we also just felt like there was so much more growth potential with Quill. The biggest thing that we always found annoying about OMH was that it was just a straight agency model and there was no technology or nothing like scalable necessarily about it. And so we really liked Quill for that reason because we're like, you know what, we could do so much more with this. And we felt that it was a good place that we could actually expand across and learn something well. So being able to take a step back and live the nine to five life for a little while and sort ourselves out, essentially like for me, I know I have lots of things that now that I've uncovered from this period, I really need to sit with myself some more and figure out. So it was just good timing and yeah, we went through the process. It was a lot of paperwork but we got done and yeah, happy as one team now.

Sophia Noreen: 

Yay. And having that support is, you can't put a price tag on that, right? Like you, your team has grown now because you've, Quill has their team members and you guys remained with Quill and you're heading production. Is that how that?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah.

Sophia Noreen: 

Okay. Amazing. And I know Quill had to quickly pivot and go into production. So it only made sense for them to acquire the best company out there to help them with that process. So that is a fantastic story. Now, one of your goals was to have some more time for yourself and to decompress and find yourself a little bit more. Have you been able to do that now since the acquisition?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah, actually, what I've started to do is really prioritize my time instead of company time. And I really tried to disconnect from work, which I think because it's not technically my own company. Although, OMH,is definitely a part of it. I've been able to do more of, because I don't feel the same pressure. It was crazy because the night that we accepted their offer, it was like this huge weight was just lifted off of me. And it was just, I just felt relieved. I was like, oh, finally, it's crazy because I've had that weight on me since I was 17 years old. I had it, growing into my adult life. And now I think it's time that I actually learned to be a proper adult and take care of myself.

Sophia Noreen: 

That's it.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah, I've been definitely making a lot more time. I've been really dabbling into my home practice for my yoga. I'm meditating a lot, which has been really nice to reconnect with that side of me. And just also trying to do some more like hobbies and stuff and we'll see what happens in the future.

Sophia Noreen: 

That story is so inspiring. I like how you went through the ups and downs. You told us the nitty gritty. You told us what worked, what didn't work, and then it ended so beautifully with you basically not just being acquired, but realizing that this was the right time to do, like, you needed to let go of, I guess that control and hand it off to somebody else and then grow your team. So you feel you're more supported in this journey as an entrepreneur. But I still want to listen to your advice. I want to hear one piece of advice you'd give yourself prior to starting your entrepreneurship journey.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. So I've actually thought about this quite a bit because I always, ironically I have this notebook that I was writing in since we started the company and it's just like a bunch of lessons that I put in. So one of them that really stands out to me that I think a lot of people don't think about is patience, and you don't need to have everything all at once. And that's something that I've had to repeat to myself so many times. And I find sometimes I just have to get up in the morning and be like, you don't need to have everything all at once. This doesn't need to get done today. You just, you don't need to be this person today. Life is about walking up a ladder and you do one step at a time. You don't go from the first step to the last step because that's impossible. You literally can't do that. And if you did just go from the first step to the last step, then you wouldn't even know what to do when you're up there. You wouldn't know how to act. And I think the beauty of just life in general, as well as business is, the process of getting there. So enjoy the process and just remember that it's okay to be where you are right now.

Sophia Noreen: 

Perfect. Yes. I think we're very impatient, especially entrepreneurs. I think that is one of the qualities that makes an entrepreneur. We want to see results quickly. We know that we have the ability and we want to drive home those results every day. But we forget that we are also human beings and we need to take that time for ourselves. We also need to pace ourselves and that's definitely very good advice for everyone. Okay, great. So now how do you... this actually ties in very nicely to what you said. So your goal setting and managing your time. Because I know we do more during a day than we probably should. So how are you managing your time management?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. So this is something that is always going to be work in progress for me, because I like to do. As much as I say, you don't need everything all at once. I do have to say that to myself and give myself that advice because I do want everything all at once, all the time. And so every day I make a to-do list of usually, like, 20 things that I know I'm not going to get, but I try and do it anyways. And it's nuts. So what I've started to do is I book things in my calendar, usually on either Sunday, evening or Monday morning, before things got really crazy. I have some time to think about what I want my week to look like. So whether that's going to yoga, I make sure that I block out that in my calendar, at the beginning of the week. And I have my entire yoga scheduled for the entire week, because if I don't have it in my calendar, then it won't happen. And then that sucks. I also place blocks in my time for things that I know that I'm going to need time to work on. So for example, if it's like editing a podcast, I know that I can take up to sometimes six, seven hours of my time. I make sure that I put that block in my calendar. I have it planned out. And if I can visually see that it's going to get done, then I feel calmer. And I also try not to be too hard on myself. So when I make that crazy to do lists of like 20 things, I usually star three or four things where I'm, like, these things absolutely need to get done today. But the rest of it, if you don't get it done, that's bonus points for you. That's like a good job. That's a gift for yourself for tomorrow, but if you don't get it done, that's okay.

Sophia Noreen: 

Yeah, I love that. I love how you're prioritizing self care and that's definitely going to be our next question, but I like how we were touching on it now that you're blocking off the time and you're prioritizing it. And then you're also blocking off, I guess when you're doing big projects, how much time do you block off two hours, three hours? How would you block that time off?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah, so it really depends on the project and it depends on what the time demands for that. So if it is something where I think that two hours, I can probably get it done, then what I started to do lately, like this has been in the last week is I've started to book two and a half. If I think it's going to be two, then I book two and a half because you never know; you get distracted. Sometimes you miscalculate. So I've been doing that a lot lately as well. I just find that I also try to time it, like, when I'm in the task. So for example, podcasts editing, I know takes generally, can take up to seven hours because I've done so many of them that I'm like, okay, I know that this is about the time that I'm going to need at this point. I can't book a three hour block and expect to be through podcasts. That's not going to happen. But if it's something like a plan or a s cript or something like that, then I know that I can rip through that and I probably only need half an hour to an hour, max. I think that just depends on the task and the weight that you're giving to it. If that makes sense.

Sophia Noreen: 

No, it's a hundred percent. I love that, I like how you do, like, that one chunk of time. We call it time blocking. And we have talked about this on the podcast. One of our past episodes had this concept of time blocking, which is a strategy that I think everyone should implement because it's very difficult to prioritize your tasks, like big projects. And I know a lot of people when they get started, that's one of the biggest limiting factors for them is time and how they manage their time. I also liked how you spoke about planning your day. Like, you start on the Sunday or Monday, you look at your entire schedule and you plan ahead. So that's really nice. That's a really good take home for everyone and for myself as well. I tend to, I'm a very interesting individual. Like I'll prioritize meetings like this one or those types of things, but my work time is also a work in progress. Oh, I guess I do it in the evenings, everyday from nine to 12. I know I work really late. But that's when I work on my products. That's become part of my daily routine. Do you have anything like that you do weekly, that you have set there? Every week you'll do something specific at the same time.

Stephanie Andrews: 

I'm trying to think, this is actually funny. I think the only thing that I have set time for is my Sunday morning, Moshi Yoga.

Sophia Noreen: 

Listen, girl, this is probably why we're the same. I also had a Sunday morning yoga class at 9:15.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Oh, I love that! Yeah. It's like church class. That's what I call it.

Sophia Noreen: 

Oh, my goodness. That is a name for it: church class. Yay. I love that. I love that. So that ties into our last question, which is how do you check in with yourself mentally and physically? So it sounds like yoga is a big part of that.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Oh, it is. Yeah. My yoga practice is so important to me because it has taught me so much about life and just so much about myself and. I'm sure as a practitioner yourself, you are familiar with Yin. But one thing I love about Yin Yoga and I have taken off the mat with me is the philosophy of finding your edge. So whenever, you know, you're in a pose and you're going to hold it for five minutes, you have to get to that point where you're pushing yourself, so you feel it. But you're not pushing yourself so far that you're falling off the edge and you're hurting yourself. And I find that if you take that off the mat, it's actually a beautiful metaphor for life. And you need to be pushing yourself. So you're pushing your boundaries. You're constantly challenging yourself and evolving you don't push yourself so that you're mentally and physically falling off the edge. Cause you're giving yourself anxiety or panic, or maybe not taking care of yourself physically. So that's how I really run my life. I think that balance is never going to be a beautiful 50-50 scale that I think a lot of people like to think of. It's always going to be, one way is having you one way or the other. I think it's about how you balance the right versus the left side. Sometimes you're going to be at 10% family, friends and 90% work, but that just means that in other times we need to be 10% work and 90% friends and family and. That's really, to me, what it's all about. And knowing what your values are and sticking to that. I always think about Stephen Covey's seven habits and his second chapter, the one that really stood out to me was when he was talking about thinking about your funeral and what people are going to say about you at your funeral. And this is something that, like, while I was going through my reflection period, I really realized it was, like, I feel like people are gonna say that I worked a lot. I don't want to be known as the person that worked a lot at my funeral. I was a lot more than that, I would think. So that's what I try and base my life around as well is okay, how do you want to be remembered? What legacy do you want to leave as well?

Sophia Noreen: 

Oh my gosh. Yes. And that book is very good. Actually. I haven't read it in a while. I probably should go sit down on my bookshelf. And it's very interesting because as entrepreneurs, we do work a lot. That's unfortunately part of the entire journey of being an entrepreneur because you're starting something from scratch. But yeah, sometimes stepping back and realizing that you don't want your entire life to be work. We need to strike that balance or harmony or however you want to refer to it as I think that's very important. And just how you touched on your yoga practice, helping you reflect even deeper on that level, pushing your boundaries to the edge, but at the same time, being able to say, okay, I've gone far enough. I have to manage this. I don't want to push myself to the edge and then potentially push myself into having an anxiety attack or having heightened emotions around some situations. So I love that. I love how you connected everything, which is really nice because that's exactly what it's all about. It's not siloed, right? Our life is not siloed. It's, you have your practice, your yoga practice, your friends, your family. You're going to have your entrepreneurship journey. And it's beautiful that you've been able to go through this year and then really realize that. I think, before 2020 just based on your story, it doesn't sound like you had been there. You were in the hustle, and of course it's because you've been in society. Like society has created this expectation of ourselves. And it's wonderful that you've come to this realization at this point. And you're quite young still, which is great, because not saying that young should be defining you, but you're still early in your journey. So now that you're moving forward, you can at least take these lessons and be like, yes, I've gone far enough today. I'm turning off my laptop or I've done my big tasks for the day. My starred tasks for the day, I love it all.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Thank you. Yeah, you're totally right. I agree with you. Like, all of that is bang on. I definitely wasn't any kind of mindful before this year and I think in a way. I wouldn't say I'm necessarily thankful for this time because it's been hard and it's been crazy. And like I said before, there's so many people who are in awful situations, but I'm grateful for the pause and I'm grateful for the ability to reflect. And yeah, you're totally right. I'm just thinking thankful for everything that I have in my life. Thankful that this did happen to me at such a young age. And that's something that I always say too is I think back on my entrepreneurial journey and I've complained about it before. And there's moments where I'm like, ugh, that's cringy. I can't believe I did that. But, like my entrepreneurial journey this was the absolute best thing I have ever done in my life. And I'm so glad that I did it. Everyone who, like, wants to start their own business, do it because it's not just like a practice and learn how to run a business. It's, like, about learning about yourself and that's what I find the most beautiful about entrepreneurship.

Sophia Noreen: 

Oh my gosh. What a great way to end this entire episode. I quote, I'm totally taking it Steph, that quote was amazing.

Stephanie Andrews: 

I'm glad!

Sophia Noreen: 

I'm so happy. Okay. So our listeners are going to want to follow your journey. They want to know more about you. So tell us where we can find you on social media.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah, for sure. So you can follow me on Instagram. It's Stephanie Lynn. So on LinkedIn it's Stephanie Andrews. Feel free to connect. I'm always more than open to chat with anyone who is curious about the story or needs, if anyone needs advice or I always just like to connect with people so you can give me advice, too. Also feel free to follow Quill as well. They're Quill Inc across all platforms.

Sophia Noreen: 

Nice. And so in regards to, if we have any podcasts or friends that are listening, if they need services, do we go through Quill and just contact Quill?

Stephanie Andrews: 

Yeah. So we have two options for that. Quill is actually a marketplace that pairs freelancers with indie podcasters that are trying to create their own podcasts. So you can go to quillt.io to find freelancers that are reasonably priced that can help you build out your show. And if you're a larger podcast, maybe you have some sponsored dollars or a brand, then you can contact us directly and you can access our full service production team as well.

Sophia Noreen: 

Thank you so much, Stephanie. So amazing. I love this interview. I love that you're a fellow Yogi. And I just want to say guys, go check out Steph's profile on Instagram. If you follow on Instagram, if you need any services from Quill, they'll hook you up. And, that's all we got for today. So remember, make a plan and take action and yes, you can have it all.

Stephanie Andrews: 

Thank you so much.

Sophia Noreen: 

Thanks, bye for now guys. So my fellow bosses, did you enjoy that episode? Now is time for you to make a solid plan and take action. But first, remember to subscribe and follow the Boss It Podcast so you receive a notification whenever we drop an episode. Remember to leave us a review on iTunes. Take a screenshot of your review and share it on Instagram as a post or a story and tag us @BossItclub. If Instagram is not your thing, no worries. Email your screenshot to podcast@bossitclub.com. As a massive thank you, we will be sending you our Top 50 Tips for Starting and Scaling a Business. This list is exclusively for podcast reviewers. So don't miss out. Now remember bosses: make a plan and take action in all aspects of your life. Yes you can have it all.