The Importance Of Building A Community And How To Get Started with Dana Malstaff

  • When it comes to raising a family and running a business, everyone is trying to find their own way. Whether it’s finding value in nurture, in security or in finance. If people are doing something different to you, remember it all comes down to how you feel valued as a human being.
  • Guilt and sadness all comes down to believing you are making a good decision. If you are being made to feel that you’re not making a good decision, you will start to feel that guilt.
  • Naturally women want to multitask, which shows when it comes to both our family-life and work-life. Although it’s natural, it results in burnout.
  • Try to see it as an opportunity to involve your children in your work.
  • You can teach them about the world of work and the importance of earning money. It’s also important to teach them about problem solving and the things that they enjoy.
  • Give your children a chance to do something else whilst you’re working.
  • Whether it’s filming a video or drawing a picture for your client, if they have something to focus on it will make time away from them that little bit easier.
  • If you don’t have time to create a community, it’s important you’re creating a ‘sense of community’ instead.
  • People want to feel as though they’re protected in a community, so creating a space where people feel as though people are protecting them, you will gain trust. Once you put trust with the authority you have, you will gain loyalty.
  • One of the most important aspects of having a community is responsiveness. You need to ensure you’re responding to everyone that takes the effort to reach out to you.
  • A Movement Manifesto is designed to help you discover your true values as an entrepreneur.
  • To build your own community, you need to become micro-famous in someone else’s. To do this, join Facebook groups that are relevant to what you’re known for and search for keywords and start answering questions that you know you can help with. Spend 20-30 minutes a day becoming known.
  • Don’t feel as though you need a huge community in order to benefit your business. Love and nurture the people that are already in your community. Work on the things you can control and the outcomes will happen.

Work doesn’t have to be a negative word and can be incredibly positive if you find the things that light you up. This is what you need to teach your children as you run your business.

  • Introducing Dana Malstaff – 11:50
  • Struggling as a New Mum and an Entrepreneur – 16:21
  • The Biggest Challenges and the Benefits – 22:00
  • Building a Strong Community in Business – 36:30
  • Your Movement Manifesto – 44:00
  • The First Steps to Building a Community 49:09
  • 5 Places to Use As Opportunities To Build Your List
  • How to Produce A Webinar (Blueprint)
  • Creating A Good Sales Page
  • Boss-Mom
  • Dana’s Instagram
  • Dana’s Twitter
Transcript below


Hello and a super warm welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How the devil are you? Have you had a good week, has it had a good start? What have you been up to? Well, my week has been pretty good. I'm actually recording this on a Friday and I'm quite looking forward to the weekend although very absolutely for today's podcast interview. I'm about to talk about my daughter and you'll see what it's apt in a bit.

Anyway, tomorrow, my daughter is performing in a carnivore. So she does dance at school and as part of that, they're going to walk with the carnivore and probably do a little bit dancing and then we have this big sort of park area where we live and lots of events happen in that park area. And afterwards, they will all commune in there and she does a performance. And the horrible mother that I am just thinks, “Oh man, it's going to rain tomorrow and I don't want to be stood out on the street watching all these kids go by and clapping.” Is that awful? Am I honestly the worst mom?

Like I said, it's really apt that I should be telling you this today because in today's interview, we talk about what it's like to be a working mom. Anyway, I'll get to that in a second. I got a few things to tell you about it before we get to that bit. First thing is, I wanted to let you know that in a couple of weeks time, I'm going to be doing a live masterclass. In fact, I'm going to be doing three in one day. I've done it before, I thought it was going to be really hard work because I don't know if you've ever done anything live like a webinar or a masterclass. It takes a lot of energy but you know what, because I love teaching and I love answering questions and I love helping people, it actually just seems to like completely give me energy.

So I thought to myself three in a day is too much and everybody said too many, do one every day for three days. And I was like, “You know what, I think I'm going to be all right.” And they were adamant that I couldn't deal with it and I'll be exhausted and I wasn't, I was absolutely fine. Honestly, by the time I got off the third webinar, I was buzzing and it took me a little while and a few gins and probably a glass of wine or two to calm me down before I could then go to bed but I loved it. It was so, so good.

So I'm going to be doing, like I said, another masterclass. Now, the details are coming together, I don't have them all because I'm recording this, as always, quite in advance. So I'm having to really work out my diary and it's really tricky. Because first off, I don't want to announce something and then decide I need to change the day. That wouldn't be ideal. Or I don't want to … I'm obviously not sort of planning the details yet because I'm not close enough. And I try and keep these things fairly fluid because I really want to understand from you guys what you need me to teach you on.

But to give you a bit of an idea, I have been working on a formula that I feel is a very easy and simple way in which to sell and market products online, as in digital products or yourself or a brand that basically use digital tools and tactics in order to market and sell yourself. And I've decided to call this formula the MTC Method, so Marketing That Converts Method. Tell you what, it took my assistant and I a little while to come up with that because I was trying to think of these different cool names and I'd seen an example of something method and it worked really well and it was their sir name. And I thought, the Heath-Wareing method is not going to cut it. I'm not happy with that.

So anyway, we did a bit of going and digging around, a bit of thinking and we decided obviously we have this whole brand now around marketing that converts so why are we not using this? Marketing That Converts is too long so we abbreviated it to the MTC Method and I'm much happier with that. Anyway, so I'm going to be talking through that method but I'm also going to be giving you in section of that method, some really good tips and tools and some strategies that you can use in order to market your business.

It's going to be a really, really good one. We're going to include some social media stuff. And you know me, I love to add value so I promise you, if you sign up for this masterclass, you are not going to be wasting your time. There's going to be some good stuff in there. And obviously, totally straight up because you know I'm very honest, at the end of it, I'm going to offer you my new academy which also is going to be really cool. I am personally very excited about this. Like I said, one of the things I love to do more than anything, is teach and train and help. And I kind of can't help myself.

So I'm really excited about that. I'm going to be talking about that on the masterclass. But please don't feel like you're going to come on to the masterclass and I'm going to see to you for now because I promise that is not the case. I've had really good, lovely feedback from the stuff that I've done before because I don't want to waste your time and I want to make sure that I'm giving you some good value. If you're like me, I've done a tonne of webinars, a tonne of masterclasses and some of them are really good and I'm so glad I spent that hour doing it and others I just think, “You've told me nothing and you've just sold to me the entire time.” So I don't want you to feel like that and that's definitely not what I'm going to be doing. I'm definitely going to be teaching you some really cool stuff. And I'm going to be showing you this new method which I'm really excited about.

Anyway, if you do want to find out more about that, you can go to my website So just search that, I'll obviously put a link in today's show notes. And by the time this airs, I would have figured out all the details and it'll all be on that page so you can have a proper look about what we're going to cover, what I'm going to teach you and why you want to come along to that masterclass.

Anyway, let's get on with today's episode. Today I am interviewing the very lovely Dana Malstaff. She is the CEO and founder of Boss Mom. She's a mother, an author, a business strategist, a podcaster, blind spot producer and movement maker. She is the author of Boss Mom: The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Business & Nurturing Your Family Like a Pro. She has over 20,000 students in various courses and a 30,000 strong community with over 10 years experience in content creation, marketing, sales, community building and business strategy. Dana grew Boss Mom brand into a six-figure business in less than a year.

Her Boss Mom movement is all about losing the guilt when it comes to raising babies and business at the same time. And she believes that pursuing our passions and building our dreams while including our children in the process is the best way to build a thriving business and families. And you know what, it was a really good on actually. I really, really enjoyed talking about it. And one of the things I think I've said before on the podcast, is when I first started my business, I was in … It's a local networking where it's a lot of men and we didn't talk children.

And therefore, I almost acted like I didn't have a child which sounds really bad. And it wasn't that obviously I was trying to exclude her from my life, it was just the fact that I genuinely thought I wasn't going to be taken seriously if I suddenly then talked about having child care issues or having to go to a school play or working what I was going to on a weekend when I've got her or whatever it was. I just didn't want to talk about it because like I said, I honestly felt that they would think that I was not as good as them or I couldn't manage my business and raise a child.

And then suddenly about two, three years ago, I realised that actually what am I doing hiding away the fact that this is part of me because it totally is and it's a big part of me obviously. So it was really nice to talk to Dana about this, to discuss what it's like raising a family or having other commitments because it just doesn't have to be that you've got children. It could be that you've got parents you're looking after or animals that you look after or other commitments in the community or whatever. So it was just really, really good to talk about the balance between the two.

One of the things I loved about this is she felt like when she started the business, she was the only person or the only mamma there that wanted to work and have a family and have her children and that obviously there must have been something wrong with her or she was being really selfish or she wasn't doing a very good job because she wanted both. And that really resonated with me. I don't think I've ever said before but when my daughter was born, she was born in November and I was back at work by the February. Now, I'm not saying like go me brilliant, I went straight back to work because actually that wasn't the intention.

What happened was, we couldn't afford for me to be off. My ex husband and I couldn't afford to not have my salary because I had a good salary. So I then had to go back to work fairly quickly. Now, I did go back part-time for a little bit and then I returned full-time. But my daughter was a teeny-tiny baby or I certainly felt that way when I went back to work. And everybody told me, “You're going to hate it, you're going to be in tears. It's going to be awful.” And the funny thing was, I wasn't. And I thought, “Oh man, I must be like the worst mom in the world because of the fact that I'm not sat here sobbing.”

But I actually quite enjoyed having those roles where I was being mom and then I was being work person. And I still enjoy that and I've said before that my daughter does a week with her dad and a week with me and that allows me to be mom when she's here and focus more on her. And then when she's not here, I get to really knuckle down and get work done and focus on the business. So it was great to talk about that, to talk about the guilt that we feel because man, do we feel guilt.

I always feel like I'm doing one thing probably okay and the other thing terribly. So if I'm feeling confident in the business and things going right here, I immediately think I'm doing a terrible job being a mom. And if I'm doing a good job being a mom, I immediately think, “Oh God, I'm letting my business fail.” So we talk about that and that was great to talk about that.

But the other thing we talked about which was really important in terms of Dana's world, is that she has built this amazing community. And one thing that she's really good at is building communities. So half of the podcast is focused around how she built that community and what advice and tips she can give us when we want to build a community. So it's not just about the mom stuff, it is about also community building. And like I said, she gives some great advice around how we can start to find our tribe, find our community and some of the key things that we need to be doing. So she says some great stuff in here actually. I think some of the stuff you're really going to resonate with and also some of the stuff you're going to be like, “Oh, do you know what, yeah, you're right.” Because there was a couple of things she said and I was like, “Oh, I probably don't do that enough.” So I think you're going to love this one so let's go.


Introducing Dana Malstaff


So it's my absolute pleasure to introduce the lovely Dana Malstaff. Dana welcome to the podcast.

Oh, thank you so much for having me.

Thank you for agreeing to come one. I'm really excited about today's episode. We were just-

Me too.

We were chatting before we came on and I just said that talking about kind of being a parent, a mom, in business is not something I've done a huge a lot about because I came from a corporate world. So I'm really excited to talk a little bit about that and a few other cool stuff. But in case my audience don't know you, can you give us just a really brief update as to who you are and how you got to do what you're doing now.

Yes. Well, I'll give you the short version because obviously I could talk about it for days. So I quit my corporate job six or so years ago. Everybody took me out to celebrate and got me drunk and I got pregnant by my husband at the time. So I became a mom and entrepreneur literally on the same day. And basically I'm not built to be a stay-at-home mom. I was in director level when I was in corporate, I've always liked to lead teams, leadership positions, always knew I wanted to run my own company, always worked for startups. And so I knew I wanted to work and I very much grappled with the fact that I didn't want to be a stay-at-home mom. And once I got pregnant, wondered if that meant maybe I wasn't a good mom and found myself wanting my kid to go to daycare so that I could work and establish my business.

And trying to figure out this balance which is no longer really a word I use anymore but at the time, trying to figure out a balance between the two was isolating and sad and scary. And I didn't know what I could tell people because they judge me about it or I didn't know who to talk to. Fast forward a little bit, we were in Columbus, Ohio, we decided to move to San Diego and San Diego became this place where all of these women were starting businesses and it was full of entrepreneurs. And I started to open up and realise I wasn't alone and I wasn't crazy for wanting to have a business and babies and do all these things.

And I ended up writing a book called Boss Mom, which is The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Business & Nurturing Your Family Like a Pro. And I created this community that I wish I would have had that is about really not being judged and really about what now the Boss Mom brand is truly about, is finding a place where we all belong where we just don't feel crazy. Whether that's for Boss Mom or whether that's what ever other community you need of with people who love to rock climb or people that love to bake weird things. That the thing is that we just all want to feel that the things that we like and love and who we are naturally is not a bad thing and we want to be creating communities where we all feel like we belong in a very judge-free space and that we could all help each other like a think tank.

And that's what I wanted for Boss Mom and it just caught on like wild fire and we are now four years in to having Boss Mom. I just put out my third book, the community is growing continues to grow. Now I go out and speak about how to build community through Facebook and other ways that we do it. And we're Boss Mom and we slap Boss Mom on all the things we can. Why not?

Brilliant. I love it. So I want to pick up on a couple of small things that you said though, which completely resonated with me. When you said that you just realised you're not a stay-at-home mom, for me I was exactly the same. When my daughter was born, I went back to work fairly swiftly. I was very lucky that I had to kind of part-time my job where I could work from home, so that helped as well. But for me it was like I always knew there had to be something other than …

And it's not saying that obviously if that's your thing and you want to do them then absolutely fine and great but for me it wasn't. But I felt that there was something wrong with me. Like I remember someone saying the first day you get back to work, you're going to cry and cry and cry and I didn't. And I thought, “Oh God, I'm not a proper mom. Like I should be absolutely sobbing and I'm literally like, ‘Bye, see you later.'” So I'm so glad that you said you felt like that because I did too.

Oh yeah.


Struggling as a New Mum and an Entrepreneur


So obviously you start the business and what is it in particular or what do you think it is in particular that's about the difference for moms compared to dads? Obviously we'll have both listening to the podcast but what do you think it is that we struggle with as moms that really kind of mean we need that community?

Yeah. Well and interestingly we started, last year, we start the Boss Dad podcast because I wanted to start hearing from dads as well and make sure that I wasn't so in my woman bubble as somebody had told me I was in my woman bubble. Which is funny because when I joked with a friend we asked what's the last book you read that was written by a man? And I was like, “Oh, that's a good question.” I didn't know. And I was like, “What's the last book you read that was written by a woman?” They're were like, “Hmm.” We're like, “Oh, so we both live in our gender bubbles.”

So that's why I started to expand out. But having interviewed both, I actually interestingly have a better insight into this now besides just what I assumed. And one of the things that I think is the challenge is that women just naturally have this nurturing component. And so what we want, is because we yearn to nurture, a lot of women find value in the validation of nurturing. So for those of us who don't necessarily find fulfilment in doing things for our home and doing things for our kids and we find fulfilment in doing things from a business perspective, we need that validation and we need it in a way that's different than it is at home. And then women who do enjoy staying at home but then sometimes they'll get bored or they want to figure out how to make money.

And so everybody's just trying to find this way where there's this weird crossover between finding value in the way that we just are and validation for who we are and what we're capable of, like our intellect and our compassion and all those things. And then the financial component and finding value financially. And so, basically what it is, is these women who do want to quit their jobs and stay at home, have this massive value issue between maybe I'm not valuable because equating money value to what child rearing value is, is very hard to do. So they have issues feeling how to be valuable if they're not making money. The women who are leaving are saying, “Well, if I'm not the one who's with my kid all day long then how am I valuable as a parent?”

So really, it all comes down to how we feel valued, how we feel validated as human beings. And we can say all day long that, “No, no, no, no. I don't need all that. I don't need to tell people that I'm great. I don't need for people to tell me that they love me.” But we all need that. We all need validation that we're doing a good job. And really, this is what it comes down to after many, many years of research. We all need to know that we're making good decisions. That's what it comes down to.

And guilt and sadness and all the things that come with being a parent or being an entrepreneur, being anything, as human being, it comes down to if we don't know that we're making a good decision, if there's no validation from the outside world and from within that we're making a good decision, then we feel guilty and we feel scared and we feel alone and we feel worried and all of those emotions. And we are parents and entrepreneurs. We're constantly making decisions. We don't know if they're good decisions or not.

Yeah. Literally, I feel like most of the time I'm flying by the seat of my pants [crosstalk 00:19:41]

Yeah. And the funny thing is that what I found from men is that men are just problem-solvers. They're just more naturally simplistic problem-solvers and that's not in a bad way. I'm actually very jealous of that in a lot of ways. Where every time I've interviewed a man, they say, “Well yeah, I had to solve this problem but I thought hey, let's find a way to fix it.” And then they go and fix it. There's very little emotional component. However, I have only interviewed because the podcast doesn't run as frequently as Boss Mom does, Boss Dad only is on like 30 episodes, something like that. Boss Mom is 400. Already, I've only had I think one woman cry on my Boss Mom podcast, I've had five men cry on my podcast.

And the reason why is because when it comes to business, let's do it, let's get it done. But when it comes to their family, they feel like they can't provide and protect because for men they want to provide and protect. Protection is the ultimate thing. So women that are out there trying to tell their husbands they don't them like, “Oh no, no, no. I don't need you. I've got it, I've got it,” stop doing that. Let your husbands do things for you because their ultimate value is feeling of providing and protection. And so they're scared every day that they're either working too hard and they're not providing for you from a love, connection standpoint or they're worried about whether or not they're going to provide and protect you from a financial standpoint. And they weep about it, like literally weep about it. It's crazy.

And it's funny because you just assume that the women because we are, we do tend to be a bit more emotional, we'd be the ones breaking down but that's really-

But we talk to each other, men don't talk to each other about this stuff. Like we do weep, we just don't have to get onto an interview to weep because we've already discussed it 15 times with our girlfriends. Asking a man how having a family impacts the way he runs his business is not a question they get.

No. I can't imagine they speak about that a whole lot so yeah, it makes sense now. So what do you think some of the biggest challenges are to mom, entrepreneurs in particular? Do you think that there is a difference being an entrepreneur and a mom and the stuff we have to deal with?


The Biggest Challenges and the Benefits


Yeah, absolutely. And I think that the number one thing is prioritising and time management, always. It's always going to be the issue. Because just like you and me, I have an interview at 8:00 and then of course, everything, my children there's a hole in their sock and they need seeds for planting something at school and I realise that I didn't put the laundry in the dryer so I've got to go find clothes for them and all of those things. They're hungry but they eat breakfast but now they're still hungry.

And so timing is always very precarious. It's not very black and white. It's not I get up, I go, I do. And that's constantly a problem, which is hey, my kids are at home but the nap could either be 30 minutes or it could be two hours. Or they're like or my kid gets called home sick and they have a fever, which means they're home for the next few days. And [inaudible 00:22:54] whether it's required in our relationship or not, we voluntarily give up the I'm going to pick everybody up, I'm going to get them to school, I'm going to put them to bed, I'm going to do that thing.

And we do that because one of the biggest challenges for women is that we just yearn to be helpful, that nurturing component. We want to take over that whole idea that like women are multitaskers and men are sort of one track. And that is a bit of a joke but it's true. We take that on ourselves to do all of the things. And we do that in business too so that doing from a mother perspective and a home perspective, we do that in business too. Which means we end up trying to be really helpful and we don't end up being very impactful and we end up being burnt out.

Yeah. And I think for me, one of the biggest things that I've struggled with is when I'm … Because I worked from home which I'm very lucky to do that and I liked that I could work at home. And my daughter goes to this very nice school but they have very long holidays so she gets about 10 weeks off during the summer. And luckily, because of my own situation, my daughter does a week with me and a week with her dad so I only have to deal with five of those weeks. But still it's five weeks, it's a long time.

And she will ultimately be here in the house with me. And of course, all day everyday she's like, “Can we play now? Can we do this now? Can we do that?” And I having to explain to her and I find it so hard or in an evening when I've got a late Skype or a late interview or whatever it might be, to say to her, “Darling, I do have to do this and I'm sorry that you want me to do this but I have to look over here now and do this thing.” And that can be I think definitely more than how I felt previously when I was employed. Because when I was employed, you tend to do your job at that place and come home whereas I'm here, it never ends or I've always got something to do or I obviously make my days really long. So I think that for me is one of the biggest challenges.

Yeah. So I've flipped it around to try and see it as an opportunity. Because one of the things that kids and young adults and even us were not armed with is understanding work, is understanding what work is and understanding what money is and how work and money work together and how happiness and fulfilment can be mingled in there with work and money. And so we have this unique opportunity to teach our kids.

My kids are only … My daughter is just about to be four and my son is just about to be six and I'm constantly saying, “Okay, so if Saturday what I like to do, this is not that I have to do, this is how mommy likes to start her weekend. Is I get a cup of coffee, everybody gets up in the morning and you guys you can watch your iPads in the morning on Saturday or you can play games. That's fine. But until 11:00 AM, we are not leaving this house and mommy is going to do work or do anything she wants, that's mommy time. I don't care that you don't have school, like mommy gets some mommy time so that I'm a nicer human being for you for the rest of the weekend. This is going to benefit everybody.”

But I've conditioned them so when I'm working they'll say, “Okay, so mommy you're going to work.” And then I'm like, “Yeah.” Like why do I work? They're like, “Well, so that you can make money.” And I'm like, “Well, what does money allows us to do?” And they're like, “Well, money allows us to do the things we want to do.” And I'm like, “Okay great, so money allows us to do things we want to do. So there are things that you want to do and we want to live in this nice place and we want to do nice things and mom works.” And I was like, “Luckily, mom does work that she loves. So if you were going to do work while mommy does work, what would you like to do?” And my daughter would be like, “I want to open up a store and sell hotdogs.” And I'm like, “Great, you open up a store and sell hotdogs.”

So I like that it actually forces us to have the conversation of work and value and money. Because I think it's important that kids know that. And then the other element too is our kids just want to be just like us. Like that's both amazing and scary all at the same time. They want to be like us, which makes it very clear sometimes when they repeat you some of the things that you say or limiting belief.

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:27:00]

Yes. But one of the things that I like to do is I'll print out worksheets that I have that I would give a client or I print things out or I have an extra microphone that doesn't work anymore and I set it up and I'm like, “Okay, mommy's going to work and you guys come over here and I want you to film a little show. Or, okay, mommy's going to do this thing and while I'm working on this for a client, how about you fill out this paper over here? You know what, my client was having a bad day, why don't you guys draw her a picture and that would be really nice.”

So I actually try and incorporate them into my job because my daughter, I don't know if this will be too much information, but my daughter this morning literally she got up. And I was like, “Joe.” Because she's at this age that she's just a tiny little human being that is … Like I never thought that I would not want my kids to grow up because I like that they're growing up but she's just this … Oh my gosh, she's so cute and she says the funniest things. She's like, “Joe, are you sure you can't just stay the same size?” Then she goes, “Mommy, I have to grow up, I have to get hair down there, I have to get boobs, I have to get work and I have to drink coffee.” And I was like, “Yap, that basically sums up what being an adult is.”

Yeah, you got it, brilliant. That is just funny.

That's about right.

She had this done, she's got her priorities, strictly coffee, get a job. Well done. No, she didn't say get a job, which is great, she said got to work.


Love that. Love that, love that.

Work, coffee and women parts and that's basically …

That's what growing up is. Done, boom. She's got it, that is hilarious. At her age it's so funny, so funny. But it's interesting because I do totally have those conversations with my daughter and with my step children. And before I started my business, I don't think I really talked about work like I do now. And the kids are like … So this just blew my mind. So my daughter is at school and she's got to do some IT thing on the computer. And she decided she was going to do this project on me so she googled my name. And if you google my name, like yours, I come up and there's pictures and there's various things and I have websites and whatever.

So she puts together this project and my mommy is this person, this, this and this. Here's a link to her website. And then she said to me, “Oh, we worked at the NIT,” she's nine, “We worked at NIT. We can listen to music, like if we go online so I watched one of your videos.” And I was just like this is really … “Someone interviewed you, a lady, and we googled it.” And she was like, “Yeah, I watched that.” And I was telling my stepson this and we were laughing and the next day he comes in from school and he goes, “Tee,” because obviously I'm not mom, I'm Tee. “Tee, when you said yesterday that she googled you, I didn't quite realise that if I google you, you literally are everywhere. Your face is everywhere.” And I was like, “Yeah, babe, yeah.”

And like you said, we talk about the fact of the reason I do the work I do, the fact that I love what I do so it's not hard for me but sometimes we have to make sacrifices, I have to make sacrifices. I travel a lot and that's an interesting thing because people are very much like, “How could you leave your daughter for two weeks while you're in California?” And it's like, “Well, when have you been to California? And two, I have to.” And I'm very lucky that like I said she goes to her dad's and I trust him implicitly, he's a great dad for her and I don't worry about her. And I think maybe I'm slightly more male at this but I do compartmentalise fairly easily once I'm in it. But it is a huge challenge but I do love the fact of pushing on forward.

Yeah, okay. So my mom told me … I wrote this in my second but we did Confessions of a Boss Mom was my second book and it was a collective of stories from women of all different situations. So you would all have somebody in this book where you'd be like, “Oh good, I'm not crazy. Like somebody else is dealing with the same thing.” So the beginning it starts the story. I went to the very first time my husband at the time and I were going to go on a vacation for … It was only like three days, we're going to go to Vegas and no kids. And I went and dropped the kids off at school and then I went to get my mom to take me to the airport and I go, “Oh my gosh, I forgot the kids' lunch. They have no lunches.”

And I was just like, “Oh my gosh, worst mother award of the year.” And I call and they're like, “We'll give them lunch, we'll just charge you for it or whatever.” Like, “Great.” And my mom goes, “That is so incredibly pompous of you to think that you are the only mom that has ever forgotten your kids' lunch. Like who do you think you are? What, do you think you're special?” And she framed it and so it literally changed my life. And the next week I went in and some dad came in behind me and he's like, “Oh God, I forgot lunch. You guys got me, right?” They're like, “Yap, putting it on your tab.” And he's like, “Thanks guys.” And he walked away, not a worry in the world. And I have this idea, oh my gosh.

And the fact is I like to tell women, “Stop being so selfish, your kids are fine. Your kids are fine.” Like you leave for two weeks, you leave for a weekend, I mean, don't be gone forever, obviously. Like if you kind of want to be with your kid sometimes. But your kids are fine. It is selfish to think that your kids need you 24/7. And when we reframe it that way, like I don't say that as to be mean, I say that to truly jolt women out of this feeling like if they're not there all the time then they're a bad parent. No, no, no. You not being there some of the time is actually a really good thing. Kids just need to learn to be independent. They want to love you but not depend on you. Those are two different things.

And I agree. Like I think about the fact of what she sees. So she sees that mommy is in Dubai because she's got to do some training, mommy's gone to California because she's at an event. Mommy's wherever. But she sees what I do but sometimes, very rarely but sometimes because I still do local stuff here. And if I do and she's around, I'll take her with me and so she can sit there and watch me and Harvey, my stepson, he came and watched my TEDx talk when I did a TEDx talk. And again, he was just like blown away by the fact we were at TEDx and the other people speaking and then for them to see, I just think I didn't have that. That wasn't something … My parents aren't entrepreneurs and they didn't travel. And I just think for me it's just like broadening a horizon.

And also, just one quick other thing I wanted to talk about with this before we move on was how much do you feel or what are your thoughts around the fact that … So my stepson is going through his exams at the moment, my daughter I obviously in school and there seems to be hardly anything that's, not over here anyway, entrepreneurial. So everything is about when you get a job, what job are you going to do? What job career? And I'm so grateful for the fact that I can show my daughter that I have my own business and therefore that is an option for her if she wanted it to be.

Yeah. What I've tried to do and what I try and tell everybody is who cares what job you have, let's talk about what problems you solve. Like that's really all entrepreneurs do. You want you solve problems, whether you do it as a volunteer, whether you do it as a job, whether you start your own thing, whether you have a job and start a thing. Let's talk about what problems we solve. Like how do you want to make the world better? What do you wish worked more effectively? Like what do you wish felt better, was a better experience? Like what do you actually care about?

Because the biggest problem that we have growing up is we don't actually know what we enjoy. Literally in school, we are not taught to understand what we enjoy, we're taught to know stuff, which is not valuable at all because knowing stuff is easy come easy go. And those things and those things that we learn. Like if you were an MBA in marketing from 20 years ago, it's completely irrelevant. We don't even market the same.


Yeah. In fact, it's probably hindering.

Yeah. My degree … Well, this stuff didn't even exist. So if I hadn't moved with the times and learn as I went along as well, I could not sit here and say I do marketing because that is not the same marketing as I learned. I love that.

Yeah, so it's just about with our kids, with ourselves, with our clients. Like how do we want to change the way the world works? Let's talk about that and then think about the things you get really excited about because all the things I want to change about the world are about human beings and the way we interact and the way we connect and the way we belong and the way we feel belonging. And you'll hear me talk about this not feeling crazy. Like that belonging is feeling like we're not crazy. Like, “Oh, I'm in the right place with the right people doing the right things. I make good decisions.” Like all of my passion in the world deals with human beings.

But somebody from my team that is my tech director, all her passion comes in from a digital aspect of building things online and then seeing it visually come to life. And that freaking lights her up, she'll work till 4:00 in the morning voluntarily with all excitement. And so that's the thing, is if we just think about how we want the world to be better and try things out, you'll find where you're actually excited about something. And then it's not work. Work doesn't have to be a negative word, work can be a positive term if we're finding the right things that light us up.


Building a Strong Community in Business


Love it. So that is perfect now to move us on to the next part where I want you to talk about … Because one of the things you talk about is obviously community and I am a big believer and a big fan of building a community and I like sharing my world with other people. And I love it and I get it all the time and I'm very lucky when people listen to the podcast and they reach out and they say, “Love this, thank you so much. This was … I resonated this or whatever it was.”

And I'm very much the opinion that I am me and if you like me and I'm for you then awesome. If I'm not for you, then that's okay because I am who I am. And I want people around me, like you said, people around a community where everyone can go, “Oh yeah, actually we fit here.” I want them to feel the same in my community. So tell me a bit about your take on the importance of community and building it, especially in this online world we're in.

Yeah. And one of the things I like to differentiate is because there's a lot of people that go, “Dana, I don't really want to build a community or I don't have time or the energy or I'm scared to build it. Or what I do wouldn't make a good community.” And I do like to say that's okay because the most important thing is you create a sense of community. So one of the best example, Apple. Apple has no online presence. They don't have an Apple facebook group community, they haven't as a company done any of those things and their community part, like their stores feel very welcoming but they don't want people like Lululemon wants you to work out with them after the doors close. That's not the same thing.

Apple doesn't create a physical community, they create a sense of community. They create a sense of belonging because we identify. Same with Nike. People get tattoos in a [inaudible 00:38:17] talking about a guy that has the Swoosh tattoo. How much commitment is somebody to that brand and the belonging to what that brand stands for is a sense of community. But that doesn't mean that that guy goes to Nike support groups or that they all commune on Sundays and talk about Nike.

So I want everybody to understand that community doesn't have to mean a gathering or people. It means a collective amount of people that feel the same way about something and there's a sense of belonging, a sense of community so you don't have to have a Facebook group or whatever it is in order to build a community.

So that's the first thing, it's important because I think it scares a lot of people. Community sounds like a lot of work but the important part is, and I know you know this from a marketing standpoint, which is your brand has to exude something so important. The whole saying like in order to have a position in the market, you have to have a position, you have to stand for something. Like everybody has to decide, if you want to build a community, you have to decide what it is you care about and not just about what it is you sell and what you care about from a business perspective but what you care about from the essence of who you are and what you want to talk about and don't want to talk about.

So we have a very hard stance in the Boss Mom community that we don't talk about politics and religion. It's a group right now of 40,000 women in a digital space. There is no possible way for us all to agree on even parenting and all those things, let alone everything else. And so we keep that space very safe and protected. So a few elements of community building, whether you have a physical one or you're creating a sense of belonging, is one we have to create trust. And if we want to create trust, I love distilling things down into like a little tiny formula. There's two things required for your business, for your life, for whatever it is, to create trust.

One, is that people feel like their voices are heard, which means if you're selling them something, they need to feel like if they have an issue with it or they have a question with it, you're responsive. From a community perspective, if you ask a question that you want to hear what their answer is. And that they have a voice that if they want to say something they can and that people care about it. So feeling like their voice is heard.

And then the second one is that they're protected. If anybody is attacked in our space, if anybody feels like they're being judged, if any of those things happen, then we are fierce protectors of our community. Like fierce protectors. We keep the space … I spend money and I spend time and we spend a tonne of effort to make sure that our community is super protected. So if you can create a place where somebody's voice is heard and they feel protected, then they all of a sudden have this trust.

Then the second element is your authority. So you can show that you know what you're talking about. Like you're getting interviewed on a podcast and maybe you have your own authority platform like a podcast or a YouTube or your own blog or you're out talking about things. Maybe you've written a book, maybe you're just out doing lives every day or stories or whatever where people feel like you know what you're talking about and you become an authority on that particular idea or concept. And when you put that trust with that authority, you create loyalty.

And loyalty is this beautiful thing where people keep coming back to you and coming back to you. And they do what every marketer hopes somebody does, which is they tell people about you. And then you get that subset of people that are committed loyalists. Those people are the ones that get the tattoo of Boss Mom on their back and it's on their computer and it's on their car and they tell everybody about it and they've got it on their website and all of those things. And you have that committed …

So what we want when we talk about community is we want to first create that trust. So when we're thinking about what we want to be known for in our business and what we're selling, we also then have to ask ourselves the question of what do I care about? What kind of culture do I want to create in my space? That if somebody came to website, if somebody came to … They're going to feel playfulness or seriousness or inspiration or what is it that they're going to feel? And then how am I making sure that everybody in my audience feels like they could be heard? How responsive am I on social media? How much do I tell people stuff and how much do I ask people stuff?

Like one of the simplest ways to create a community is just stop telling people so many things that make you think like you have all the answers and start asking your community to help you make decisions. Have them vote on stuff. Like think of them as a highly hyper focused focus group that wants to help you think tank stuff and probably knows more than you do about what they want, crazy thing. So that's one of the biggest things, if you want to create a community, stop telling people so much stuff and start asking people. It's just a good first step.

So there's a couple of things there that first off responding and community because again, I think a lot of people think they can build a community based on just like you said, talking down the internet at them whereas you've got to have that responsiveness. One of the things that I do every single time when people e-mail me and if I send the e-mail every Wednesday and people respond, and it might take me a week or two to get back to them but I physically respond to every single person that does that. Because that's really important to me, that's not something that I would iterate to one of the team because actually if they've taken the effort to reach out to me, then I'm going to take the effort of getting back to them and speaking to them.


Your Movement Manifesto


The same online. And the other thing that you said that was really interesting is when people come so that they get a sense of who you are, for me that's really, really important but that's a skill. That's a real skill and sometimes you need a designer to help you with that or you need certain photos to make sure that they view you that way or whatever. It's not necessarily people, it's something that they get easy. It's not easy to [crosstalk 00:44:18]

Yeah. There's the brand story and things like that so I'll help people work through … We have what we call a movement manifesto and defining your tribe so understanding what you want people to … Like what are their favourite phrases, what do they talk like? What are the things they don't like to see or hear or experience? And for you, when we do our movement manifesto for Boss Mom, there's things that are light-hearted like the three statements. One I think is I believe, I want to live in a world where and this is what I know to be true.

So I believe, these could be the light-hearted things or they could be heavier. So I believe I should be able to wear yoga pants and still be smart. Like I believe that I can send my kids to school and work at home and still be a great parent. Like those are things … Or I believe that I should be able to wear heels in my pyjamas so I could feel like a lady for five minutes a day and those things.

And I want to live in a world where the things where we don't feel like it's true. Like I want to live in a world where somebody doesn't look at me like I'm crazy because I'm a work at home mom and my kids go to school. That's often, right? I want to live in a world where my kids look at me and think that work is a positive word. I want to live in a world where I never wake up and question my value. So those are things that I don't always feel are true, so things you wish were in t world.

And then this is what I know to be true are your values. Like this is what I know to be true is that you're a smart, capable woman, I'm a smart, capable woman. We both have great ideas and we should be able to live and connect and collaborate in a world where we don't judge each other but we connect with each other. Like that's something that's a true core belief system of me. Like I believe that loving our business and our babies doesn't detract from our love from each other, it just builds more space for love. Building out our movement manifesto and the exercise we do with a lot of our clients is so helpful because it takes us just out of the I want to be known for or the this is what my business does.

And it takes us into what are my true values as a human being and what are the core key values that I have and what are the way that I wish the world work? And all of those things become marketing words, they become our memes and they become the gifts that we use and they become all those things. And you start to see that half of my staff is snarky and has a sense of humour so I'm going to pick things and talk about things. And my photos, when I tell somebody, always needs to have a silly element. Like the stuff that I post, my operations director on a scooter or me trying to do the floss which is really actually quiet hard. It feels extremely awkward.

I love it.

But it's a playfulness as opposed to different … Like I feel awkward when we're posting pictures where I look serious. Like taking myself too seriously I don't believe in it. I believe we live serious lives so one of the things in our movement manifesto is like if you can't laugh in the middle of the day, then something's wrong, like something's wrong. Let's figure out what's wrong because laughter has to be the thing that brings us back to centre. And if nothing is funny anymore, then we need to get in there and do something about it.

Yeah, laughing is one of my favourite things. I'm not even kidding you. I just did an event with James Wedmore and you had to do this exercise and it gave you your top three values. And obviously bearing in mind there was loads of values that I started and laughter ended up in my top three. Like you said, if you can't laugh, I don't know what I can do in the world to be on this. So that's what we do and that's our thing.

Yeah. But I have a friend who she said, “Dana, I wish I could make people laugh like you all. Everybody always cries when they're at my events.” And then I spoke at one of her events and I saw why. Because her tone is inspirational and slow and longing and she pulled out these ideas and memories and sense of love in people that was really beautiful. And I was like, “Don't change anything. If the whole world was just trying to make each other laugh then it'd be too much.” It'd be too much.

It's not authentic to her. It's authentic to you, it's authentic … If that's what your personality is like then what your branding and your marketing and your whole persona has got to do is basically if I meet you I should go, “Oh yeah, great.” Like it should be the most perfect connect. I shouldn't meet you and think, “Oh, that's weird. I thought you were this fun, loving, going, happy, laughy type person,” and then I meet you and you're just depressing and grumpy. No I'm not saying that to you obviously. Just giving an example.

So if I wanted to start building my community, so if I'm out there listening to the podcast and think, “I really want to start building this community. I really want to start having that sense of belonging, what is your kind of first steps? What do you think we should do?


The First Steps to Building a Community


Yeah. Well, my biggest first thing before you try and build your own community is to become what I say micro famous in somebody else's. It's the easiest thing to do. So you go and you find a couple of groups. And we have like a two-week process where you go and you find five to 10 groups, you search, Facebook is where I hang out so keywords where you find some communities, you join those communities. And what you do is you don't post telling people. Like I said, the best way to build community isn't to tell people stuff. And we don't even allow … Like if you post a long teaching post we delete it. Nobody asked you to teach us something. I'm sure you have super valuable, wonderful information but nobody asked you to tell us that thing.

So the best thing that I say is you go into those groups, you search the key words for what you are known for. So if it's marketing, if it's life coaching, it's whatever. You know your kind of keywords. You search for those within the group to see what post are relevant to those and you just start answering questions for people. And what you do is that after two weeks, you spend 30 minutes a day for two weeks in these different groups and you'll know by the end the two or so groups, maybe three, usually like one to two groups that are your space. Like people get you, they're responding, you found some people that you really connect with, you're actually like what other comments are. But you've mainly just engaged in the comments, you aren't necessarily posting your own stuff.

And then you get rid of all the other ones. So don't waste your time in 10 groups. You can't become micro famous in 10 groups, you can only become micro famous in one. So you find your one. And a lot of women have done this now in Boss Mom and when I got started, I did this in other communities. And you just start engaging in that space. You get in there everyday for 20, 30 minutes. You do the same thing, the first thing you do is search for things that you know you have good answers to. You answer those questions, you connect with people and you just spend 20, 30 minutes a day becoming known.

And what starts to happen is someone will ask a question and then all of a sudden someone will say, “Oh, you need Teresa. Oh yeah, she's going to answer this question for you. Oh, you need so and so.” And all of those things start to naturally happen. And so then you start to understand what does everybody know you for? What are they starting to recognise, say, “Oh, you need Dana for this. Oh yeah, you need Mary for this, whatever that is.” You start to become micro famous in that space.

Now all of a sudden if you want to start your own group or start your own thing or tell everybody about something, it's way more accepted, it's way more connected. And the only thing I will tell you as a caveat is be careful that you don't try and find your community in a group where the leader of that group is a competitor of yours because they're not going to want you to become micro famous in their space.

No. Not too much.

Yeah. And even I like I love the competition. I say if someone's going to hire you instead of me then I'm not doing my job right but I'm also not going to … I don't bring a massive amount of [crosstalk 00:52:05] business coaches that do exactly the kind of content strategy as me on my podcast or do things like that. Like even I am strategic in understanding who my competition is. So just be conscious of that but that's the best thing. Is don't try and do your own thing right off the bat and then there's crickets because nobody comes to your party because they don't know you. Start becoming micro famous in somebody else's community and then it's way easier to bring everybody along with you.

And do you think … Because with everything that I talk about, I always talk about consistency and that things do take time. So the downloads I have now on the podcast which obviously are going to be very different from your downloads because you've been going such a long time. They take time. The more I do one speaking gig someone sees me there, they get me for another speaking gig. All this takes time to build, doesn't it? So it that what you would say with the community as well? That this can't happen overnight.

Yeah, but then I also say though that big doesn't have to happen for you to be successful. So I looked back because we're on episode like 400, the first 200 episodes of Boss Mom didn't have more than 300 downloads per episode. We were doing three episodes a week.




I had no idea. I had a multi six-figure business at this time with Boss Mom at two to 300 downloads per episode. It wasn't until 200 episodes that all of a sudden I don't even know what happened. I'm trying to figure out what happened. All of a sudden we popped up to a couple thousand downloads and then it just kept growing from there. And then we went to two episodes a week and actually we got more downloads and then we moved to one episode a week, we got even more downloads. So it's just recognise that I made a tonne of money when Boss Mom was a 200-person Facebook group or a 500 Facebook group.

I had my first 36,000-dollar launch of the very first thing I ever really put out and did put real effort into with 500 people on my list. So don't think that in order to be profitable or in order to have what people feel is a community or to feel that sense of belonging, has to be in the thousands or tens of thousands. That absolutely takes time. The impact that you have doesn't have to take time. That can happen pretty quick.

And I love that because I think especially when we talk about the social media space, everyone wants numbers. I want my followers to be this, I want this much engagement, I want this much. And it's like, how about you just love the people that are doing what they're doing now because they are your best and biggest advocates. And then if you do that really well, you are going to attract other people. But people are too busy trying to chase the big number that they're not appreciating the people they've got already.

Yeah, my favourite way to equate this to is way back in the day I used to do a particular kind of leadership training for nurses for a wellness programme that a company had. And we talk about how when someone says, “My goal is I want to lose 10 pounds,” that is not a goal, that's an outcome. A following or a revenue is not a goal, it's not an outcome. The way you lose 10 pounds is that you stretch every day, you get rid of all the chips in your house, you eat fruit once a day, you have this … Whatever those things are that are the, what we'd called performance goals that are the actual things you could have control over, those are the things that you're going to do that lead you to an outcome that you lose the weight you want if that is what you want the outcome to be.

Same thing with following, is your 10,000 people on Instagram shouldn't be your goal, that is an outcome. What you want are performance goals, the performance goals are going to be that you get on for 30 minutes a day and you search for these people. Is that you're putting out a blog or an episode or something. You're going and engaging with other people's groups. You're asking to be on interviews five times a week. Those things are the things we can actually control and it makes us feel like we're in control. The outcome is that we grow and sometimes that happens faster than others.

When I got interviewed on Pat Flynn's podcast, the first time it was massively helpful. And then there was a time where I got John Lee Dumas on EOFire. Love him, he's amazing. He keeps trying to get on Boss Mom Podcast, I'm like, “Until you pop a baby out honey, you can't come.”

Unfortunately [crosstalk 00:56:34]

He's amazing but I got nothing from being on his show and he has a bigger following than Pat. And so you just have to recognise that some things work, some things don't but you just have to stop thinking about your numbers and your revenue as goals. They're not, they're outcomes. Work on the things you can control and then the outcomes will happen.

And I love that because actually like you said, we can't control those outcomes, we can't control our numbers what we can control is what we can physically do. And as long as we're showing up every day doing the things we're doing, then actually we can pat ourselves on the back for that. And it'll come more if you've sat there like 100 episodes and gone, “This is pointless,” and just given up the podcast because you thought it's not really getting the traction.

Like you said, it took to a certain point and you were still making money. That's the hilarious thing, like people think without one they can't have the other and it's just rubbish, isn't it?

Yeah. And the one thing I will say to that is always tweaking and refining. Tweaking and refining, tweaking and refining. Because if you're being consistent and nothing is changing, if you're consistent and nothing's changing, then go, “Okay, what is it? Is maybe I'm confusing the market, maybe I'm telling … I've got too many things I'm talking about. I need to hone in on what I'm talking about.” It's the same thing, like if you were showing somebody how to do a funnel. I was just looking at this with a client the other day.

And I said, “Okay, the rate of people that are going from your sales page to your checkout page is too low. We should have more people clicking to the checkout page. Something's wrong with your sales page. And so I know that's the thing we look at, not fixing 18 other things, I'm going to focus on the thing that's not working. So if being consistent is important but assessing what's working and not working in that consistency is going to help you to make tiny, tiny tweaks. And those tiny, tiny tweaks equal the new homepage that's going to convert better for you. It's the tweak on the sale …

I have a friend who actually just changed the name of her programme and it converted better. Like it's amazing. So totally consistency coupled with assessment, coupled with tweaking and you're going to have a seven-figure business. Like that's literally the simplest formula.

Brilliant. I love it. Dana, thank you so much. It's been great to have you on, great to talk. Not just work stuff, community stuff but also mom stuff as well because it is something that we don't talk about enough. And I don't think I talk about enough because of coming from a corporate world where you just didn't talk about it. So you acted like you didn't have kids whereas now it's like very much part of my world and I feel like I'm slowly changing that I can start talking about it. So thank you so much for being on the podcast. It's been great to have you on.

Thank you for having me. It's been a great time.

What did you think? That was cool, right? I really enjoyed that. I felt she gave some great advice about community building, some really interesting stuff around trust and authority and giving people a voice and a safe place. And I actually really liked the fact that she talked about listening more than offering advice and I think sometimes when we're good at what we do and we have a passion for what we do, we can't help but go and I do it. Here's saying I do, here's loads of good stuff. Here's another podcast, here's another blog, here's another freebie. And we just throw all this stuff at people but actually she's so right. Sitting and listening to what you guys are saying I think is crucial.

So I really enjoyed that one. I thought that was a great episode and I hope you did too. Now, obviously I'm going to link up to everything for her in the show notes and don't forget that I mentioned that masterclass. So Go and found out more about what it's about because I would love to see you live on that. I think that would be ace. I have such fun doing these things and people say that they really enjoy them. So I'd love to see more of you on there.

Okay. Have amazing week, I will see you back here next week. Until then, take care.