Paul Kemp: Welcome to another episode of The App Guy Podcast. I am your host, this is Paul Kemp. What I do is I really do try and inspire you, the listeners, the appster tribe. The whole show has been set up because we live interesting lives as app developers, as app entrepreneurs.
I've done many recordings from Bali, and let me just give you a quick back-story of how this next guest came to be. I was on the show The Eventual Millionaire with Jaime Tardy - now Jaime Masters - and she introduced me to this guest who was going to be in Bali around the same time as I'm going to be there.
Now, we're actually doing it from two different parts of the world, but I'm glad we got together because this is all about being an adventurous entrepreneur. I've got a coach who is actually coaching entrepreneurs to be adventurous. It's going to be a fascinating episode, so please do stay tuned.
Let me introduce Emily Utter. You can find out more from EmilyUtter.com. She is coaching for adventurous entrepreneurs. Emily, welcome to The App Guy Podcast!
Emily Utter: Thank you so much for having me, Paul. This is awesome!
Paul Kemp: It's fantastic. Now, we were to meet up in Bali; it never happened because you have just come back from a trip over there. Where else were you, just out of interest?
Emily Utter: Yeah, I spent most of my time in Ubud and Canggu, and I couldn't seem to tear myself away from either place.
Paul Kemp: You know, they're two of my favorite places. In fact, I'm just about to leave to go to Canggu and then Ubud. What is fascinating is there's hundreds of entrepreneurs out there. Did you meet a lot of interesting people?
Emily Utter: Oh my gosh, every day my schedule was booked with coffee, yoga, all different kinds of social dates with cool entrepreneurs that were either people I knew before or people I met through connections, the way you and I met. It was so cool, and I think the community is really growing over there, and the infrastructure to support entrepreneurs is growing, so yeah... I definitely spent pretty much every day hanging out with awesome entrepreneurs.
Paul Kemp: Yes, let me just get some of the appster tribe excited here, because Canggu, for a start - when I lived there, I'd get up in the morning at 5 AM, jump on scooter, go for a surf for a couple of hours; it's got some amazing surf sunrises... Have a cup of coffee at Monsieur Spoon, and then go and connect on the internet to some superfast broadband at the local hub, meet some great entrepreneurs, and then maybe have some beers on the beach in the evening. It is absolutely paradise, and it's just so undiscovered.
Comparing that to Ubud, which is very spiritual - lots of yoga, lots of meditation... I usually live near a monkey forest. What people are missing if they haven't gone to check out Bali?
Emily Utter: Well, this may sound funny, but I have to say it's the food. For me, the food in Canggu was just totally off the charts. And it really is those lifestyle things you're talking about, because there is something that feels so free about waking up in the morning - for you it's surfing, for me it's yoga; doing our physical movement, sitting down to some ridiculously delicious food... Everything from total vegan, raw, all the way to the carnivore which is the end that I'm on.
I grew up in Vermont, which is a state that has snow sometimes up to nine months of the year, so for me to be somewhere hot, where I can get good internet, good food, hang out with cool people... I honestly can hardly think of anything better, and for anyone who's kind of curious about what that lifestyle looks like, oh my gosh... Bali is really the place to go, for sure.
It's also really affordable. People who are in the hustle, earlier stage startups or newer coaches, for example, it's a great place to go because you can have an insane lifestyle there without having to spend a ton of money.
Paul Kemp: That's right. So let's talk about what you do then, because this is fascinating, and I don't think I've come across too many coaches who coach entrepreneurs for adventurous lifestyles. Let's start with what is it you do to help entrepreneurs have these adventures?
Emily Utter: Yeah, I love this question. So here's the thing - most of the clients I work with right now fit in the category of coach, healer or consultant, and the consultants generally tend to be doing something great for the environment or something great for people, because everybody I work with has a really purpose and mission-driven company.
People come to me wanting to learn business strategy. Most of my clients - although this is shifting - are a little bit more early stage, so they're just excited to get their income stable and actually be able to have a great lifestyle.
One of the things that I include in every conversation around strategy for my clients is "Okay, so how does this fit into the lifestyle that you want to have?" Not everyone that I work with wants to travel, although most of my clients do. Whenever we sit down and actually start to plan out their launches or whatever they want to create in their business, the first question that I always ask them is "Okay, so what's non-negotiable for you in your personal life, in your lifestyle?" Because I came to this business because I just knew that I could not do the 9-to-5 thing ever again. And I've actually had a business before this one, but I went back and got a job, I ended up getting fired, and it was the best moment ever, getting fired and walking out that door and knowing there's no way in hell I'm ever going to have a boss again.
So I took that pain point in my life, even though I was seriously really happy when that happened - I took that pain point moment and I realized that there were so many other people like me who were just fighting to get out of the 9-to-5 and being told what to do and having to sit at a desk all day, inside and all of that, and that's what really inspired me to create this company.
So when you ask me how to coach my clients to be adventurous, there's nothing in particular that I ask them to do, but what I do really invite them to do is look at how they can structure their business from the very beginning in such a way that they put their lifestyle first. I see a lot of entrepreneurs who start out and they burn themselves out because they're working so hard and they feel like they have to get to a certain point before they give themselves permission to have the lifestyle.
I really want to turn that whole conversation on a tad and say "Hello?! Remember why we're doing this, because for lifestyle entrepreneurs - we didn't start our own business so that we could have a shitty boss that's actually us." So that's why I want to kind of flip the conversation for newer entrepreneurs who haven't been at this, and really say "You can build your business around the lifestyle." So even details such as what time of day I run my mastermind calls is based on the fact that I tend to go to South-East Asia twice a year. So I'll actually not have to do a call at two in the morning because I've planned my entire business around that, I've planned my sales periods around when I want to be traveling... My whole business goes on pause when I go to burning man.
Those are the thing that I decided were really important to me, and because I just freakin' own it, I draw clients to me who want the same thing. That's kind of a long-winded answer to what I do, but I just think it's so important for us to remember why we started this thing in the first place. Obviously, it's to make a difference, but I really believe we cannot make a real, genuine difference if we're not taking care of ourselves first.
Paul Kemp: Well, Emily, one of the reasons why I was so excited about getting you on is I absolutely believe that it can be genuinely valuable to have guidance when you're in an early stage startup.
I'm personally celebrating ten years of being boss-free, and I'll tell you, it's been an up and down road, and I really wish I could go back and have more direction at the start, because there is a transition from being that corporate employee to then doing your own thing. And to have help, a mentor, advice, coaching to help you understand that it's not all about -- for me it was about getting back to the level of income that I was on, and actually it took me a while to figure out, "Hey, I can just go and live anywhere in the world and do this thing."
So what's the biggest mistakes you feel people are making that transition from a corporate lifestyle to then being their own boss?
Emily Utter: Well, you just answered it, and that's trying to do it alone. I think that is the number one mistake that people make. The coaching industry is becoming a really big industry, and there's such a range of how quickly people get to a certain number. Some people could argue that I've built very slowly. Other people would say like "Holy crap, how did you build your business so fast?"
Let's pretend that the people listening are in the latter camp and would look at me as having created a certain level of success only four years in, and it's because I chose to hire a coach on day zero.
I didn't even know what this coaching company was going to be and I hired a coach. I feel like my choice to do that, as well as my choice to actually be coachable and follow what my mentor asked of me is what allowed me to create the level of success that I see today and that I experience today.
So I would say that's the number one mistake that people make in the beginning - thinking that they can figure it out on their own. That actually connects in with another challenge that I see, which is I see not just a lack of focus, but I also see people focusing on the wrong things. As social media marketing has grown and we all see tons and tons of ads on our Facebook feeds, it can be really easy to get caught up in thinking that we found the next silver bullet, the thing that's going to help us explode overnight. Any of us who've built a business know that none of that is real, and it does take work and it does take failure.
I think not choosing to just focus on a few strategies and seeing them all the way through, that's another mistake that I see people making. In terms of me and big mistakes that I would say I've made, one of them really is not giving myself permission in the beginning to really be in my personality, and that's something I've started to really speak and teach on a lot more, actually.
In the beginning, I didn't feel confident running my business from anywhere, and I actually felt like I had to keep it a secret because I created this judgment that it was irresponsible, that I couldn't responsibly run my company from another country, and I had to really get honest with myself about that.
There's so many different things that fit into this conversation, but to boil it down, I would say the biggest mistakes people make are not investing in support, being unfocused and then not being freakin' authentic to who they are. In my experience - and maybe you have something to say about this - I just think it's so important that we authentically care about what we're creating, that we give ourselves permission to be self-expressed.
Paul Kemp: Absolutely. We're coming out of a world that has been manufactured as very structured, the branding is very organized, and to actually have authentic human beings that we connect with - that's what a lot of people are seeking nowadays.
Let's talk about your journey, because one of the big challenges of the appster tribe listening to this podcast is that it's sometimes quite challenging to make an income selling apps, in-app purchases and monetizing your app and all this sort of stuff... Many of us do have expertise in the areas that we have, and we want to move into coaching. I wondered, in terms of your journey, coaching, what's been your greatest marketing technique for winning clients? Have you got any great tips on something that you've found in terms of what the best way of winning clients is?
Emily Utter: Yes, and this might surprise some people, because the truth is I really hit my first six figures through mostly speaking and networking. If I look at the very first clients that I ever had, it was almost all people that had some personal connection to me. I actually recently did this when I was in Ubud, I spoke at the co-working space there, and I built some awesome relationships and it was just honestly the most fun speaking gig I've ever had... But I would do the same thing out of the co-working space in San Francisco where I lived for many years, and it was through getting to know people, and then those people would tell other people about me... That's how I sold out my first programs in my private coaching - it was really through building relationships.
Some people may see that as like, "Wait, that's not even really internet marketing" or "That's so old-school, it's so grassroots", but the reality is there's no warmer lead for the coaching industry, because people really have to trust you to choose to work with you... There's no warmer lead than somebody who either came through a referral, somebody who knows you, or somebody who's had the opportunity to be in your energy.
So even the really big names, the huge multi-million-dollar coaches, you'll see that they're actually still out speaking on stages. So that was really the thing that allowed me to really build out the stability of my income.
I would say for newbies, if you've developed an expertise in a particular area, that would show me that you already have great connections and that there's people in your network right now who could be clients. My very first client came from LinkedIn. They came from people that I met at conferences, they came from people I met at networking events, and I was just bold enough - and this is the hard part - to actually put myself out there and make an offer.
So for anyone who's thinking about going into that world, think about who do you know right now already who could either refer somebody to you, or who do you know in your network who would actually be a great client for you based on your expertise. So that's definitely what my business looked like in the beginning, and that's how I really built up my income in the first year and a half or so.
From there, I actually did move into doing online list building. I've built my e-mail list - it's not huge, but I do have several thousand people now that follow me and read what I put out there, and I did that actually through doing interview series where there was an opt-in to get to watch the interview. That's added many thousand followers... Now I'm branching into Facebook ads and things like that, but in the beginning I think the best strategy - because it costs very little or no money at all - is actually going out and speaking and networking and talking to people.
Paul Kemp: You know, it's fascinating... You've picked up on one of the big themes of this podcast, Emily, which is networking - the importance of networking. We often forget that there is real people out there, outside of the social media that we tend to focus on.
In the last few minutes we have together, I wouldn't mind steering us back to adventurous lifestyles. You work with many people, and I wondered if there's any sort of really interesting client or anyone you could talk about who has a pretty compelling lifestyle, running a business but doing some pretty awesome stuff in between.
Emily Utter: Yes, absolutely. The first client that comes to mind is also a friend of mine. His name is Derek, and funny enough, he and I met a year ago in Ubud, because another mutual friend of ours said "Hey, you two have to meet." We met at the Yoga Barn, which I'm sure you know the Yoga Barn. We went to an awesome class with one of my favorite teachers, who used to teach in San Francisco, and then we had lunch together and we just had this really cool conversation.
Several months later, he decided to join my adventurous entrepreneur mastermind. Derek is a new dad - I think his baby is probably about five months now, I'm not sure... He's a new dad, so he and his partner and their son are traveling the world together. Since he started working with me I can't even tell you how many places he's been. The ones I can remember are that he's been in Mexico, he's been all over the US, he's now in Croatia. In fact, the local news just did a story on them and their family and their alternative lifestyle, which is so cool.
We do a fun thing in our Facebook group - we have a private Facebook group for the mastermind where people post a photo and then they say "Today's office." So they'll post pictures of where they are, where they're working from, whether it's by a pool, it's in a foreign country, it's an airport, whatever. It's just a fun thing that we do to keep track of each other.
But Derek's been all over the place. He's traveling the world this year with his partner, their kid, and this is actually partly what he helps people with, too. He's also supporting people to grow businesses that they can run from anywhere. He travels with his bicycle and he goes on these crazy -- he used to be a pro cyclist, so he'll go on these crazy 50-60 mile bike rides and post photos of the wild horses, and animals, and all kinds of cool stuff he's seeing. So he's really living a lifestyle...
I have another client who has just been in London and she just got back (today or yesterday) from Japan, where she took her son for a momma/baby trip; not baby, I think he's about 12 years old.
They're really doing it, and for me it's one of the most fun things and it actually keeps me on my toes, because when I see my clients traveling a lot, I'm like "Dang, I gotta catch up. It's time for my next trip!" when I see them just posting from all over the place. It's cool.
And then I have clients where their adventure is actually that they get to be home with their kids. Everyone has their different version of it, but it's so fun to watch what they're up to.
Paul Kemp: Yes, because I compare this to when I was working in corporate finance, and you would go to lots of different cities around the world, but you'd end up in an airport, and then the local hotel, maybe a bar. You would see nothing of the local culture, you would not have any adventures. It would be very, very staged, kind of cosmetic.
Now the podcast is going to continue whilst we go and see the Komodo dragons in Indonesia, and go and live aboard a boat - all this sort of stuff. It's fascinating, and I do hope that anyone listening can be inspired...
Finally, what would be your advice then to get over one of the biggest hurdles, which is actually quitting, and sort of saying goodbye to that safety net? What advice would you have for anyone contemplating quitting their corporate career?
Emily Utter: That's such a good question. The first thing I would ask anyone who's having that thought to consider is "What are you afraid will happen if you leave and something doesn't work out with the business?", because I think that's what really keeps people stuck. They create this huge story around this worst-case scenario. So think of the worst-case scenario and then ask yourself what would you do if that happened.
The reality is, as much as I don't want to ever have to go get a job, I know how to get a job. And if I had to go get a job and something happened with my business, it exploded or some horrible thing happens that I'm not anticipating, I know that I'd be able to figure it out. So it's almost like you have to remind yourself how powerful you are, who you are, that you've already created success in your life, and the business is just the next adventure.
So that's what I would have people consider - what will you regret more? Will you regret trying it and having it just completely fail, or will you regret never knowing what you could have created? Because I'm sure every single person that you speak to, Paul, could tell you a story of failure. Anyone who's created any level of success can share with you a happy story, as well as one that really hurt and was painful and that they weren't sure they were going to recover from. We all have those stories.
It's funny when I got fired, because I had actually decided that I was going to quit, but I didn't know how to quit, so I just was kind of sitting on it... And I ended up getting fired, which was so perfect, so I didn't have to take that step of quitting. But I just knew that I wasn't going to be satisfied if I didn't try.
I think it's a question to ask yourself, "How bad do you want it?" and "Are you willing to take the risk for the possible reward?", which I say often, Paul, I feel like I'm in this secret society. I feel like having a location-independent business that actually brings in great money, I feel like I'm in this secret society. Life can be so amazing over here if only you try to make it happen.
Paul Kemp: I think sometimes you often forget what it is like to go back to a corporate job. I'm tempted to go back to an office for a few weeks just to remind myself how bad it can be in terms of having a very narrow outlook on life. You're right, absolutely.
This has been fascinating, absolutely lovely. How can people best reach out to you, Emily? What is the best way of getting in touch?
Emily Utter: I think the easiest way is to just check out my website and you can hit the Contact Me button. That's EmilyUtter.com. I'd also love for you to find me on Facebook, Emily Utter - that's a fun way to connect. Those are the two easiest ways to find me.
Paul Kemp: That's EmilyUtter.com. Wonderful. Emily, thanks so much for coming on and sharing these wonderful journeys of your clients, and your success as well. I wish you all the best, and thanks for coming on The App Guy Podcast.