biz bestie interview

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

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

Building Business Relationships Through Social Media and Networking with Eboni Harris and Eliza Boquin #43

Have you ever wondered if you building business relationships through social media could actually lead somewhere? Eboni Harris and Eliza Boquin were curious if they were the only minority therapists in Houston. After meeting each other through social media they knew they had to meet in person. A short time later they knew that there must be more therapists of color. Their first happy hour event for therapists of color was attended by a surprising number of guests and they knew they were on to something. Both Eboni and Eliza share a passion for spreading mental health awareness in minority communities and have created a podcast, a national directory of therapists, and a networking community. Listen to their story on this episode of My Biz Bestie.

How they built their business relationship through social media and networking

Their biz bestie love story is pretty amazing since they are the first My Biz Bestie interviewees who actually met through social media. Finding other black and brown therapists was a challenge. Both Eliza and Eboni are relationship therapists in Houston with a passion for changing the face of therapy. Although only one of them thrives in the networking environment they both understand the power of networking which is why they have created networking events to connect therapists of color.

How did they work out the logistics of how to partner together?

The besties agree that it helped that they were not friends first before starting their partnership. They were both businesswomen first and foremost and understood that they were filling a valuable niche in their community. Both were very clear in their expectations from the getgo and laid out a contract from the beginning. They attribute their successful partnership in their communication skills and the fact that they are both therapists who understand the importance of clarity. Listen to Eliza and Eboni discuss the importance of communication in their bestie relationship and in their business on this episode of My Biz Bestie.

How do they communicate?

As biz besties that are also biz partners, they have different communication channels for different types of communication. If they are just chatting socially they text. Eboni and Eliza love using Slack, Trello, and Dropbox to communicate business needs. They find the different channels in Slack to be helpful for arranging chat topics. Trello can be fun and pretty, especially for those that are visually inclined. They also schedule a weekly meeting where they go over their goals for the week and discuss the previous week’s happenings. How do you communicate with your biz bestie?

How do they encourage others to find community?

These ladies are passionate about finding community. They know that their relationship helps them balance their strengths and push each other to be their best. They have learned from each other and challenge each other to do better. Their advice to others is to test the waters of a relationship first. Also, if a relationship isn’t there, then create it. Many people are out there sitting on the sidelines afraid to put themselves out there. Sometimes you have to be the one to make the first move. Are you ready to make a move and find your biz bestie? If so, check out the My Biz Bestie Networking Master Class. This class could help you find the biz bestie you’ve been waiting for.

In this episode...

  • [1:34] How did they meet?

  • [6:35] When decide to begin building business relationships through networking

  • [10:15] How do they figure out how to partner together?

  • [12:27] How do they schedule communication?

  • [18:57] No matter how different they are their core values are the same

  • [24:44] They even promote healing in other ways

  • [27:58] What kind of systems to they use to communicate?

  • [32:04] How to find community?

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Eboni Harris and Eliza Boquin

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

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


How to Effectively Communicate Your Needs with Your Biz Besties with Adria DeCorte #41

Maelisa and Amber welcome Adria DeCorte from the Unforgettable podcast to episode 41 of My Biz Bestie. Adria is here to talk about the bigger challenges of the biz bestie relationship. Adria knows all about pivoting and evolving your business. She actually helps business owners pivot and clarify their messaging. Her ability to effectively communicate has not only helped her grow her business but it allowed her to maintain her biz bestie relationship triad even after she decided to leave their joint business. If you are curious as to how she was able to pull that off, listen to Adria describe how important communicating effectively is to preserving friendships.

Take imperfect action rather than perfect inaction

Deciding which way to take your business can lead to paralyzing inaction. Sometimes it seems as though you need to have everything perfectly planned out before you can move forward. But you never know what the outcome will be unless you don’t act at all (then you know you’ll go nowhere). Adria uses her expertise in communication to help business owners bring about a brand evolution. She has brought her love for messaging and effective communication to help other people evolve their own businesses.

The biz bestie triad is more challenging than the dynamic duo

Having a biz bestie triad is a bit more complicated than having just one friend. But the 3 biz besties found a deep connection that has lasted several years. Their friendship evolved from meeting up locally each week to co-work all day at a local coffee shop to transitioning to a long distance friendship. After being besties for years the trio finally decided that it would be a great idea to collaborate on a business. Nurturing their friendship over time helped them to maintain their biz bestie relationship through thick and thin. They all found that they needed to effectively communicate so that they could remain friends first as well as business partners.

Finding the ideal business arrangement means communicating effectively

At first, the triad shared each and every task equally, but Adria didn’t find this to be an ideal arrangement. It took a lot of time and energy to split tasks in this way. After effectively communicating with her bestie business partners they arranged a different way to share the workload. Each partner instead focused on their specialties and created tasks that were based on their own strengths. But still, collaborating with 2 other people is a challenge. There always seems to be one person that feels left out or ganged up on. Listen to this episode to hear how Adria handled the challenge of working with her besties.

A solution-oriented discussion is the best way to begin a conversation

Even after splitting up tasks to highlight everyone’s strengths, Adria still found that the business partnership wasn’t working for her. Telling her biz besties that their arrangement wasn’t working for her was a huge challenge. It wasn’t as if she were in a toxic relationship -- that would have been easier to walk away from. Adria had to find a way to tell her friends she wanted out of the business, yet still remain friends. Rather than just bring up her complaints, she realized that a solution-oriented discussion would be the key to effectively communicate her needs. Listen to this episode to hear how Adria managed to remain friends while extricating herself from her biz bestie business partnership.

In this episode...

  • [2:12] Adria helps business owners evolve their business

  • [6:06] Her biz bestie triad journey

  • [11:35] Collaborating with her besties held her accountable

  • [15:52] How did their business tasks flow?

  • [23:11] Not everything was sunshine and rainbows

  • [26:44] Telling her biz besties that their business wasn’t working for her was a challenge

  • [34:33] The key to keeping the relationship going is to be solution-oriented

Connect with Adria DeCorte

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

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

Discover How Biz Besties Stick Together Through Business Growth with Jaclyn Mellone and Jessica Stansberry #38

Jaclyn Mellone and Jessica Stansberry from the All Up in Your Lady Business podcast join Amber and Maelisa on this episode of My Biz Bestie. In case you were wondering, All Up in Your Lady Business is a business podcast. . . not a gynecology podcast. These biz besties discuss their whirlwind biz bestie romance and how their relationship stays strong after 3 years into it. If you think a biz bestie relationship is something that takes time to develop, Jaclyn and Jessica are here to prove you wrong. Listen to this episode as the marketing strategist and the mindset guru describe how their biz bestie relationship helped them with business growth.

These besties had a whirlwind romance

Jaclyn and Jessica became fast friends after what was to be a quick call about becoming an affiliate. Jessica was offering a course and Jaclyn wanted to use her extensive Instagram influence to become an affiliate for the course. Their quick business phone call turned into a 3-hour conversation. For those of you that think that you need loads of time to cultivate the perfect biz bestie friendship, you need to listen to this episode to hear Jaclyn and Jessica describe how they met. Listen to this episode to hear about their whirlwind bestie romance.

TWEET THIS: For those of you that think that you need loads of time to cultivate the perfect #BizBestie friendship, you need to listen to this episode of #MyBizBestie to hear @JaclynMellone and @Jessfluential describe how they met.

When did they decide to do their podcast?

Shortly after Jaclyn and Jessica became such fast friends they rushed into another big decision. Jessica proposed that they begin a podcast together. Jaclyn, being as savvy and entrepreneurial-minded as she is, negotiated the terms of their deal and just weeks after becoming biz besties, the All Up in Your Lady Business Podcast was born. Shortly after deciding to launch the podcast they met in real life for the first time. They had their first photo shoot and the rest is podcasting history. Listen to this episode to hear how Jaclyn and Jessica’s whirlwind romance turned into a successful business venture that has been going 3 years strong.

Similar pacing is important in a biz bestie relationship

Over the past three years that Jessica and Jaclyn have been friends both of their businesses have changed, shifted, and grown. They attribute their support for one another as a big factor in each other’s success and business growth. These biz besties constantly push each other to do more. Their businesses have grown at about the same pace. The biz besties agree that similar pacing is an important factor in maintaining a business relationship through the growth of businesses. Listen to episode 38 to hear how important it is to have a biz bestie through your business growth.

Having a business support system is just as important as having a biz bestie

Jessica and Jaclyn don’t just rely on each other to help them stay focused on their businesses. They also rely on their own inner circles to help them set goals, stay focused, and grow their businesses. They have also learned that having a circle that understands their business is important to their business growth. Within their inner circles, they can speak the same language of their business and discuss goals with people that understand the ins and outs of their business model. Listen to this episode to hear how important it is to have a network of people who understand your business.

In this episode...

  • [5:22] Jaclyn and Jessica tell their love story

  • [12:34] How did their first in-person meeting go?

  • [17:00] They both have been able to grow their business

  • [19:01] How do they communicate?

  • [23:20] Have they had any other biz besties?

  • [28:19] What other benefits have they seen in having a biz bestie?

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jessica Stansberry and Jaclyn Mellone

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

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


How to Maximize Your Conference Networking Experience with Chris Browning #35

Biz bro, Chris Browning, joins Maelisa and Amber in this live interview from the Podcast Movement conference. Chris hosts Popcorn Finance, a podcast which gives financial tidbits in about the time that it takes to make a bowl of popcorn. During this super special interview with everyone’s favorite financial guru, the biz besties pick Chris’s brain to learn how he maximizes his time at conferences. Although Chris hasn’t been to that many conferences he has learned how to get the most bang for his buck. Listen to this episode to hear how to up your conference networking game.

How does an introvert push through to maximize his conference experience?

Chris is a self-proclaimed introvert and an INFP. Even though he can sometimes get stuck in his own head, he knows how important it is to network at conferences. Chris first met Maelisa at the airport on the way to FinCon. He spent about 10 minutes internally debating with himself about whether or not he should go talk to her. Thankfully the networking side of him won the debate and he ended up becoming a biz bro. Chris thinks that networking at conferences gets easier as time goes on since people open up more. Listen to this episode to hear how hearing yes makes conference networking easier.

TWEET THIS: Listen to this interview with Chris Browning @PopcornFinance to hear how to up your conference #networking game.

How to maximize your time at conferences

When Chris went to FinCon he expected to attend 6 sessions, but he ended up meeting so many people after he got over his initial hesitation. He ended up doing 13 interviews for his podcast at FinCon over the 3-day conference. Chris realized that conferences are a great way to expand his network since he gets to meet so many people face to face. Chris loves the fact that he can meet people in real life and read their body language which is impossible online. Listen to Chris’s tips on how to maximize your time at a conference on this live interview from Podcast Movement.

How did FinCon change the trajectory of his show?

Chris’s experience at FinCon actually changed the trajectory of his podcast. Before that conference, he had only done 2 interviews on his show. The process of interviewing people was completely new to him. But after doing 13 interviews in a row he became more comfortable with the format. It was like a crash course in conducting podcast interviews. He felt that interviewing people in person helped give him a better feel for how to hold a dialogue with someone on his show successfully. You can’t read people well over the internet, so interviewing people in person gave him an advantage of being able to read their body language as he asked questions. Listen to this episode to hear how Chris learned how to interview people on is feet at FinCon.

Did his previous conference experience shape his expectations?

At FinCon Chris Browning knew that he wanted to attend several sessions. But instead, he learned to network and talk to people. He came into the conference knowing that he would get so much value from networking and talking to people. Chris wanted to make connections and realized that he may get more value from networking at conferences rather than attending as many sessions as possible. The sessions are great, but the connections made by conference networking is even greater. Listen to Chris’s conference experience to hear how this introvert made the most of conference networking.

In this episode...

  • [3:12] How long has Chris had his show?

  • [5:17] How does Chris maximize his time at conferences?

  • [7:55] How did Chris end up with so many interviews?

  • [12:57] How did FinCon change the trajectory of his show?

  • [15:12] Did his previous conference experience shape his expectations?

Resources Mentioned

Connect with Chris Browning

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

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


How a Business Friendship with Someone in a Different Niche Can Help You with Julie Fry and Nikki Rausch #30

How a Business Friendship with Someone in a Different Niche Can Help You with Julie Fry and Nikki Rausch #30

Biz besties, Julie Fry and Nikki Rausch, join Maelisa and Amber in episode 30 of My Biz Bestie. Just because these two run different types of businesses doesn’t stop their business friendship. They have found that having a biz bestie with someone in a completely different niche to be really helpful…