How to Set Networking Goals with Nikki Rausch #56

Nikki Rausch is ready to teach you how to set networking goals by using her Stride 5 list on this episode of My Biz Bestie. Nikki is Your Sales Maven, a sales coach, author, and speaker. She teaches entrepreneurs and business owners how to sell without being salesy. Nikki prefers to build strong relationships in an authentic way before ever engaging in a sale. Learn how to build authentic relationships first by setting networking goals on this episode of My Biz Bestie.

Why is it important to build relationships first?

You may be thinking that building relationships prior to a sale is a waste of time, but it's not. Making sales starts with relationships, so understanding how to build authentic relationships is important to the sales process. Consumers are constantly bombarded by advertising these days. They are much more savvy and skeptical and don’t want to buy from every person trying to sell them something. The selling process gets easier when you build a relationship first. Most entrepreneurs are not just selling a product they create a story behind it. When you can tell your story well it engages with your audience. And once your audience connects with you they are more likely to buy from you.

What is the Stride 5 method?

The Strive 5 is method is a way to set an intention around the people you want to connect with. The next time you attend a live event make a list of 5 people who you really want to connect with and have an interaction with. The whole idea behind the Strive 5 is to dream big, In your wildest dreams who would you like to meet? Even the smallest interaction can lead to something bigger down the road. Nikki’s Strive 5 doesn’t always include people she wants to sell to. Often it includes people she simply wants to be around and learn from.

How to use the Stride 5 list to set networking goals

Networking at live events can be tricky. You only have so much time at a conference so creating a Stride 5 list and setting networking goals can help you from feeling overwhelmed. There are a million ways to get sidetracked from your true intentions if you don’t have concrete networking goals. The Stride 5 list is a way to focus your intentions on those you really want to meet. You’ll meet plenty of other people as well. But you can put yourself in situations or take opportunities to connect with the people on your Stride 5 list. Listen to this episode to hear Nikki Rausch explain how she uses her Stride 5 list to set networking goals.

What should people who are just starting out focus on?

When you are just starting out you may have different intentions than someone who has been doing this awhile. It is important to update your list frequently. You can even have multiple lists. When thinking about creating your list focus on the connections you intend to make. Why do you want to meet that person? What can you learn from them? What can you offer them? Remember that building a community is an important way to build your business. The stride 5 list is a great way to help you up your networking goals and build your community.

In this episode...

  • [6:12] What is her Strive 5 method?

  • [10:22] Having a premade list helps you push past your comfort zone

  • [16:44] Does she share her Strive 5 list with others?

  • [19:34] Even a small connection can lead to a bigger one later

  • [21:51] What should people who are just starting out focus on?

  • [25:22] What has come from her Stride 5 list?

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Nikki Rausch

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

Subscribe to My Biz Bestie on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or Spotify

Friendship Through Frugal Living with Jen Smith and Jill Sirianni #55

Jen Smith and Jill Sirianni are frugal living experts and cohosts of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Being frugal is what brought them together in friendship and what inspired them to start a podcast together. They share frugal living advice as well as advice on how to expand your circle by stepping outside your comfort zone on this episode of My Biz Bestie.

How did frugal living bring Jen and Jill together?

Jill is a social worker and therapist that has always used frugality and lived in nontraditional ways since being a social worker isn’t the highest paid gig out there. Jen is a personal finance writer who documented her journey in paying off $78,000 in 2 years. She met Jill through a random chance meeting while on a road trip and living in her RV. The two couples hit it off by discussing frugal living. After bonding in a KOA hot tub they knew that their friendship could stand the test of time.

How did they start the Frugal Friends Podcast?

Jen began working a 40 hour a week job writing for the Penny Hoarder which meant that she was limited in what she could write on her blog and for other sites. Her husband is an audio engineer and posed the idea of her starting a podcast. She was totally against it. Writing is her thing, not podcasting. But the more she thought about it, the more it made sense. There were no other podcasts about frugal living. She knew that Jill would bring a different point of view on frugal living and bring balance to the show. And so the Frugal Friends Podcast was born.

How did their friendship transform through the podcast?

Jen attributes the podcast to keep them in touch. They produce the Frugal Friends Podcast weekly and have a chance to chat both before and after they record. They have grace with each other and since their schedules fluctuate, so does their recording schedule. They love that recording the show is like hanging out with a friend with everyone listening in. They never really communicated how they would divvy up the work. They divided their roles naturally since they know each other’s strengths. Jill is a great interviewer and connector, and Jen is a natural researcher.

What words of advice do they have on finding business friendships?

Jen’s advice is to make yourself uncomfortable. Put yourself out there even if you aren’t comfortable doing so. When you step outside of your comfort zone you open yourself up to new opportunities. To find people to connect with think about your interests. What are you good at and what do you like to talk about? Find someone you admire that is good at things you want to be good at. These are great ways to make connections.

In this episode...

  • [5:42] How did they meet?

  • [10:22] How did they start the Frugal Friends podcast?

  • [13:30] How did their friendship transform through the podcast?

  • [15:54] How do they communicate?

  • [19:56] Do they have other biz besties?

  • [28:22] What words of advice do they have?

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jen and Jill

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

Subscribe to My Biz Bestie on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or Spotify

How These Biz Besties Began a Software Startup with Jennifer Barcelos and Sandy Connery #54

Sandy Connery and Jeni Barcelos met through a course that taught how to begin a software startup. Sandy had a successful brick and mortar business selling custom orthotics in Canada. She knew she was burned out and needed a change when she stopped caring about her work. She liked the idea of creating an online business so that she could stay at home and not have an inventory. Jennifer was a human rights lawyer who traveled to the scarier parts of the globe. They were brought together by a software startup course and have been meeting the male-dominated world of software head on ever since. Listen to their biz bestie story on this episode of My Biz Bestie.

What is their biz bestie relationship like?

These biz besties didn’t start out working together, that happened over time. But when Jeni needed a co-founder to receive a B2B accelerator she knew just the woman for the job. They both attribute their success in working together as due to their honest communication with each other. They both have mutual respect for one another and keep it real. Their business partnership allows them to take turns falling apart or taking breaks at the helm. They both have a real sense of accountability since they both care so much for each other and the company.

How do they communicate?

Jeni and Sandy don’t have the type of relationship that relies on schedules and boundaries. Their conversations slide back and forth between work and their personal lives. Every day is off the cuff and their side conversations happen in real life and online. They feel like their communication is structured much like being in an office where you stop by someone’s office to have a chat to take a break from the busyness of work life. They use Zoom and Slack daily as their main communication tools. The one conversation they do plan is a monthly meeting where they run the numbers of their business. How do you communicate with your biz bestie?

What is Namastream?

Namastream is Jeni and Sandy’s software company. It is an online learning platform that allows people in the wellness industry to teach online. It was developed for yoga teachers but they have expanded to include the wellness industry as a whole. Namastream allows wellness companies to create a membership site, teach courses, and do live streams. Namastream is an easy-to-use online tool designed for people who are not techy.

Do they have any advice for women who may want to run a software startup?

Jeni’s advice for women who want to get their feet wet with a software startup is: do it! She feels that the world is now being created and defined by software. Since there are not many women in the software industry there is a strong, supportive community of female entrepreneurs. There is a lot of generosity from other female members. They are willing to share advice to those just starting out. Right now is an amazing time to be a woman in tech. Sandy’s advice is to ensure that you have a trusted CTO by your side if you are not writing code for yourself. You should also make sure that there is a need in the market you want to serve. Aim high and expect to be paid your worth.

In this episode...

  • [3:12] How did they meet?

  • [8:45] Did they plan on staying in touch after the conference?

  • [12:14] What challenges did they face working together?

  • [16:39] How do they communicate?

  • [22:35] What is Namastream?

  • [29:04] Do they have any advice for women who may want to start a software company?

  • [34:02] Do they meet up IRL?

Connect with Jennifer Barcelos and Sandy Connery

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

Subscribe to My Biz Bestie on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or Spotify

How to Create a Community with Purpose with Pat Flynn #53

Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income joins Maelisa and Amber today to discuss how to create a community with purpose. Pat wasn’t always a podcaster and an entrepreneur but stumbled into his position after losing his job as an architect. He learned how to sell online due to his sheer desperation but found success in his hard work, research, and failure. He created his podcast because he wanted to share his knowledge with others. He knows that his podcast helps to normalize what other entrepreneurs are going through. The community he has built is full of raving fans and through it, he has learned how to give and how to ask. Listen to Pat’s advice on how to create a community in your space on this episode of My Biz Bestie.

How to create a community of raving fans

Pat’s first goal of his work wasn’t to create an amazing community, it just sort of happened. His motto is to “serve first.” And with that motto creating a community just sort of falls into place. His advice to create a community is to find the commonalities of the audience and to create inclusion. When you purposefully include your audience in decisions then they become invested. He doesn’t hand over total control to his audience but engages with them. Much like people do on a team, he simply passes the ball to a teammate when asking for questions or ideas. Then his audience becomes more likely to interact and engage. Eventually, he created the Ask Pat podcast to be able to answer more and more of his listeners' questions.

Why is creating a community so important for your business?

Your community can support you in many different ways. They are your hope and support and can even become your raving fans. They can help you fight the internet trolls and help you to focus on growing your business in an authentic way. It is important to give as much as you can to your community, but it is just as important to ask as well. Sometimes you will get back things in return without even asking. But as long as you are giving you will receive. It is important to learn that you can serve and sell at the same time. Give, give, give, but when you have something worth selling then sell it.

Do you know your purpose?

As a business owner, you need to ensure that your business has a direction and purpose. You can give and give, but if your community doesn’t know how to give back they won’t be able to reciprocate. Think about how your goals and mission fit into the life that you really want and from there you can create ways for your community to help give back to you. This is an important way to create a community without overgiving. You can sell and serve at the same time but you have to be able to make money at what you do. The more capital you have the more you can serve your community and purpose.

How did Pat’s mission evolve over time?

His first mission was simply survival. When he first began his business, he was just looking for a way to make ends meet. His survival instinct was helpful, though and it led him to be bolder than he ever thought he could be. His next goal was to become financially secure which then led him to set a goal to be able to pay his kids’ college tuition before they turned 3. Now his goal is philanthropy. At every turn, he kept leveling up his goals. Every new goal that he has met has unlocked new goals that he had never thought of before. And as his goals changed his inspiration has changed as well.

In this episode...

  • [2:12] How did Pat get into podcasting?

  • [11:50] How has Pat created such an amazing community?

  • [21:05] Challenges create a fun way for a community to interact

  • [28:05] Serve first and see what you get in return

  • [34:40] How did Pat’s mission evolve over time?

  • [39:02] How do you build a community with all the noise that is out there?

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Pat Flynn

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

Subscribe to My Biz Bestie on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or Spotify

Can You Become a Successful Entrepreneur and Have it All? #52

You may feel driven to become a successful entrepreneur, but what are the costs? On this episode of My Biz Bestie Maelisa and Amber examine the 4 burner theory to see if successful entrepreneurs really can have it all. Everyone wants to be successful, but is it possible to become successful in all the major areas in life? Listen in as Amber and Maelisa unpack this interesting theory about life balance, what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, and what success really means.

What is the 4 burner theory?

The 4 burner theory states that everyone has 4 main components that make up their lives. The 4 burners are family, friends, health, and work. The theory goes that in order to be successful in one area you must cut off 1 burner from your life, and to be wildly successful you must cut 2 burners from your life. Think about those you know that have achieved success, and then think about the wildly successful people that you are familiar with, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, etc. Do you think they have a work/life balance? Can you become a successful entrepreneur and still be successful in other aspects of your life?

TWEET THIS: The thing that makes us most unhappy in life is having unrealistic expectations and then not living up to them.

Can you become a successful entrepreneur and find balance in your life?

Do you find it hard to juggle it all and find balance in your life? This may be because you are trying to pursue all the things. It is impossible to create a perfect family life while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, an active social life, and excelling as an entrepreneur. You may feel like you can succeed in all the areas, but this is often when people become burnt out and frazzled. If instead, you realize that you can consciously turn off one of the burners temporarily, you will realize that you are in control. Don’t try to pursue success in all areas, it’s unrealistic. The thing that makes us most unhappy in life is having unrealistic expectations and then not living up to them.

Are there ways to cheat this system?

The 4 burners theory is one way for you to get to realize that there are trade-offs in life. But wouldn’t it be great if there were ways to get around this theory, or to cheat it? There are 3 ways that James Clear says you can cheat the 4 burner theory.

  1. Outsource. There are various ways that you can outsource in the different burner areas. If you want to outsource part of the work side, then you can hire people to help you out. In the family area, you can utilize child care. If you would like to outsource some of the health tasks you could hire someone to cook for you or clean your house.

  2. Embrace the constraints. Rather than lamenting the fact that you don’t have more time on your hands, accept that your time is limited. Instead, you can learn how to maximize the time that you do have.

  3. Acknowledge the seasons of life. Think about what season of life you are in. Should you really be focusing so much time on your business right now?

Are there burners that you have off in your life?

Now that you know all about the different burners, analyze your life. Do you have burners that are already turned off or are you trying to do it all? Think about what is important to you right now. What can you turn off (or down a bit) so that you can succeed in other areas? Remember that when you turn one of your burners down for a bit, it doesn’t have to be forever. You are in the driver’s seat of your own life. Leave a comment to let Maelisa and Amber know which areas you are turning down in your life so that you can succeed elsewhere.

In this episode...

  • [2:12] What are the 4 burners?

  • [7:45] What is really important to you?

  • [9:37] Why you should never turn off the health burner

  • [13:56] Are there ways to cheat this system?

  • [20:47] Pursuing success in all the areas is unrealistic

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

Subscribe to My Biz Bestie on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or Spotify

Why Finding a Biz Bestie with the Right Business Mindset is More Important than Being in the Same Industry with Pam Andrews and Paula Kinney #51

Pam Andrews and Paula Kinney may not share the same industry but sharing the same business mindset drew them close and brought them to be biz besties. Pam Andrews is known as the Scholarship Shark and is a college admissions consultant. She gives moms more joy and less stress as they embark into the scary world of college admissions. Paula Kinney is an interior designer who offers virtual interior design services and runs the Love Your Next Kitchen Design Studio out of Cleveland, Ohio. These vivacious biz besties join Amber and Maelisa on this episode of My Biz Bestie to talk about their biz bestie relationship, business mindset, and how they don’t need to be in the same industry to be biz besties.

How did they meet?

Their biz bestie love story began when Paula and Pam met at Biz Chix Live a couple of years ago. Paula had actually heard Pam on some podcasts and was interested in her since her daughter was in high school. She was really excited to meet Pam and was a bit stalker-esque (but in a good way). They started talking that very first day on the cruise. Although Pam thought Paula was a wee-bit crazy there was an instant connection. Just a month later Paula came to Pam’s house and they have been biz besties ever since.

The power of having a biz bestie

Paula and Pam don’t mince words. They give each other direct feedback. They aren’t overly sensitive with one another, so there is no need to tiptoe around. Their helpful feedback helps them to get out of each other’s funks. They both know that if they are stuck in a rut for any reason that they should call each other to hear what they need to do to get back on their feet. Are you looking for an honest friend that can lift you up, or do you already share that with your biz bestie?

How is their relationship structured?

Pam and Paula talk whenever they feel like it. That can range from several times a week to several times a day. They text, call, and even Facetime, although neither is into Voxxer. They love the freedom of their relationship. It knows no boundaries. They are able to talk deeply about work, kids, husbands, money, vacations, you name it. They think that being in similar stages of their business journey is helpful to their friendship. It also helps that they are in similar stages of life. They are relatively the same age and their kids are close in age as well. Do you think that it’s important to have a structured bestie relationship or to keep the relationship loose?

Why is it important to find a biz bestie with a similar business mindset?

Pam and Paula are in completely different fields but find it quite easy to support each other in their business journeys. They find that they don’t have to explain the small stuff to each other. They feel that they speak the same language since they listen to many of the same podcasts, recommend books to each other, and they have even been in the same masterminds together. They feel that their biz bestie relationship thrives since they have the same business mindset and they are in similar places in their business journey. They are both goal-oriented and help steer each other along the right path and they are there to pull each other out of a rut when the need to. Listen to this episode of My Biz Bestie to hear why a similar business mindset is much more important in a biz bestie relationship than being in the same industry.

In this episode...

  • [3:12] How did they meet?

  • [9:32] The power of a biz bestie

  • [14:00] How is their relationship structured?

  • [17:41] Had they ever had a biz bestie before?

  • [21:34] They love that their kids see a great female relationship

  • [29:15] What are the benefits of having a biz bestie?

  • [34:55] How often do they get together in person?

Connect with Pam Andrews and Paula Kinney

Connect With Maelisa and Amber


Subscribe to My Biz Bestie on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or Spotify

How Can Learning Your Money Archetypes Improve Your Money Mindset? with Denise Duffield-Thomas

My Biz Bestie biz hero, Denise Duffield-Thomas, joins the besties to talk about money archetypes, personality tests, and her new book Chillpreneur. You have probably heard Maelisa and Amber gush over Denise Duffield-Thomas (or DDT to the biz besties) on previous episodes. She is actually part of the My Biz Bestie origin story! DDT is a money mindset mentor that helps you understand your relationship with money so that you can actually make money. She has written 2 previous books: Lucky Bitch, and Get Rich Lucky Bitch, and most recently she has published Chillpreneur. Listen to this exciting biz hero episode to learn how you can use the money archetypes to better your relationship with money.

What is Chillpreneur about?

Denise Duffield-Thomas’s previous books Lucky Bitch and Get Rich Lucky Bitch were game changers for so many women entrepreneurs. So many people are excited to read her newest book Chillpreneur. Chillpreneur is all about finding your own path to business. Everyone is in a different phase of their life and Chillpreneur will help you find the essence of what works for you in your business. Many people think that to be an entrepreneur you have to work super hard all the time, but the truth is your business should work for your lifestyle. If your definition of a first-class life has changed over time then your business needs to change with that mindset.

TWEET THIS: Listen to this exciting biz hero episode of #MyBizBestie to learn how you can use the money archetypes to better your relationship with money

How do you decide what the next step in your business will be?

So if you do realize that your business is no longer working to help you achieve the kind of life that you want, how do you change it? You need to learn how to Konmari your business. Ask yourself, does it spark joy? Think about what the next stage of your business should look like. What kind of mental and energetic space does your business take up in your life? Being more deliberate with your time and your business will help you decide how to level up. No one is going to graduate you to the next level. You have to do that yourself. You may even have to leave some clients behind if you don’t find that they fit into the new definition of what your business is.

How can knowing more about yourself help you in your business?

Any personality test can help you with your business. The more you know yourself the more you can apply that knowledge to your business. Personality tests can help you understand your strengths and your weaknesses. When you understand your personality traits you can better understand what you value and how to work with people. Do you have a favorite personality test? There is a short list in the resources section if you need some inspiration.

What are the money archetypes?

Knowing your money archetype can help you understand your relationship with money so you can make more of it and become a more successful entrepreneur. Here are the money archetypes explained:

  • Nurturers are over-givers with big hearts. They can have a hard time becoming entrepreneurs because they just want to give, give, give. Nurturers want to create more good in the world

  • Connectors bring people together. They have an eye for collaboration and match-making.

  • Alchemists are idea generators and manifestors. They can change the world.

  • Accumulators are really good with money. They are often quite frugal and balk at the idea of debt.

  • Romantics love ease and flow and beauty. They can be lazy but should embrace passive income.

  • Celebrities also love flow and beauty but they want the spotlight all on themselves. They have the ability to teach self-worth and self-care, but often don’t want to live with the reality of their money situation.

  • Mavericks are risk-takers and rebels. They are bold and can be great entrepreneurs.

You can take the free money archetype quiz to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to money.

In this episode...

  • [5:12] What is Chillpreneur about?

  • [10:22] How can knowing more about yourself help you in your business?

  • [15:47] Learning the money archetypes

  • [26:35] Learn more about Denise

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Denise Duffield-Thomas

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

Subscribe to My Biz Bestie on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or Spotify

Networking Ideas to Make You and Your Business Stand Out #49

Are you looking for networking ideas to up your networking game? Is one of your new year’s resolutions to network more? Then you’ve come to the right place. On this episode of My Biz Bestie, the social mavens are here to teach you how to reach out. Networking is imperative to growing your business but there are unwritten rules that you need to follow for it to be effective. Thankfully your favorite biz besties have navigated these waters for a while and can teach you the ins and outs of networking on social media or in real life and they can show you how to kick up those business relationships and form real connections. So listen in to episode 49 of My Biz Bestie to hear their latest networking ideas and tips to ensure that you and your business stand out from the crowd.


Don't be annoying on social media


There are many faux pas that you can make on social media. One of the most irritating ones is to friend someone solely to get them to like your business page. Not only does this not help your business page, but it is also annoying as well! Another huge turnoff that some people do is to direct message someone with the sole intention to sell them something. Have you ever had someone add you to their email list without asking you? Not only is this super spammy, but it's also illegal! Social media is a fantastic resource for networking, but you must use it wisely. What are your social media pet peeves?

TWEET THIS: Listen to this episode of #MyBizBestie to hear tips for #networking or check out Maelisa and Amber's Networking Master Class to learn how to be a networking master.

Share but don’t solicit


There is a fine line between sharing information and trying to solicit a sale. Sharing is caring, but soliciting without a relationship is just plain yucky. Before you begin soliciting clients you must first build a relationship. People don’t want to be hit up for a direct sale from everyone they meet. If you are trying to hook someone into buying something the relationship feels inauthentic. Connect with people from a place of interest in them, not solely to get people to jump into your funnel. Making connections and building relationships are what networking is all about.


Give when you are reaching out


When you reach out to someone don’t just ask what they can do for you. Build the relationship first. You have to give something before you can ask for something in return. Love him or hate him, Gary V has a great rule of thumb about asking --- give, give, give, then ask. A great way to reach out to a new contact is to highlight how you can share value. No one wants to connect with you just to talk about you, so offer up a value bomb first. If you do have a need, ask the people you already have a relationship with rather than someone you don't know. Are you trying to figure out how to reach out to someone? Listen to this episode to hear tips for networking or check out Maelisa and Amber's Networking Master Class to learn how to be a networking master.


Creative networking ideas


Reaching out doesn’t have to be so serious. You can actually have fun in the way that you connect with a new contact. If you connect with someone in a Facebook group thread and you feel that you have made a connection you can always ask if you can DM them. A virtual coffee date is a fun way to connect personally with someone online. Online networking is one thing, but how do you reach out to someone that you have met at a live event? One fun way to make an impression is to send them a short video message. This is a creative way to make a connection and really stand out from the crowd. Do you have a fun way that you have connected with people?

In this episode...

  • [2:42] A big Facebook don’t

  • [6:25] Don’t private message people to try to sell something

  • [10:29] A big LinkedIn don’t

  • [13:48] How to go about the ask

  • [16:58] Step outside your comfort zone

  • [23:05] How to follow up with someone after you meet them at a live event

  • [28:09] A recap of how to network

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

Subscribe to My Biz Bestie on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or Spotify