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Episode 74: How to Automate Your Business

Save tons of time and money by following a few simple steps to successfully automating your business.

Listen to Episode (35:44)

Synopsis

“Socially Nina” Thomas is a marketing and education consultant helping small businesses and entrepreneurs leverage the power of technology. She joins the podcast to discuss the process of automating your business—from deciding what to automate, to choosing your automation software. Learn from Nina as she shares her own experience with automation and highlights a few key steps that a lot of people miss when they first decide to invest in automation software.

To learn more from Nina, check out her YouTube channel, or visit LearnedIt.Online, her online training hub for small businesses and the “not-so-tech-savvy” entrepreneur.

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Transcript

Chris Davis: 00:24 Welcome to another episode of the ActiveCampaign podcast, I’m your host, Chris Davis. On this episode I have Nina Thomas aka Socially Nina and she is a marketing and education consultant that helps entrepreneurs, small business and entrepreneurs leverage technology without becoming overwhelmed. And what’s really important about this podcast, is we really got to nerd out with one another when it comes to the process of automation. And there are some preliminary steps that many people overlook or just are not aware of that position you for being continually successful with automation, or being able to leverage automation at a higher scale. Nina talks about it all in this episode, she breaks it down. She takes us behind the scenes in her business and even highlights a couple of areas in her business that she’s focusing on automating as well. Which will let you know it doesn’t matter how far along you are in business, there’s always something that could be made more efficient with the aid of automation, it’s all in this episode, go ahead and enjoy.

Nina, welcome to the podcast, glad to have you on, how you doing?

Nina Thomas: 01:43 I’m good. I’m real good. Happy to be here.

Chris Davis: 01:44 Great, of course happy to have you on. Introduce yourself to your listeners, tell them a little bit about your background and your business.

Nina Thomas: 01:53 So, my name is Nina Thomas online I’m known as Socially Nina. My background, it’s funny because I’ve been all over, but my background is all IT. I’ve always, I’ve done everything from support, to I wanted to be a developer so I was doing programming. I’ve been an IT project manager, IT trainer, just a variety of things in my nine to five. You know, when I say my old corporate life, I was just everything in IT and I loved it. And now, I’ve taken all of those and I’ve built a business, Nina Simone Consulting, where I focus on helping entrepreneurs just use technology and not be so overwhelmed with technology. Just use it to save time and make more money, ’cause that’s what we’re all trying to do, right?

Chris Davis: 02:45 Yeah. Now tell me, just briefly, as an IT professional, where, for you, where was the connection to entrepreneurship and helping small businesses. Was that something easy for you to figure out or was that something that came over time that you were just kind of like, “whoa wait a minute, hold on, I can do this for a business”.

Nina Thomas: 03:05 Right, well you know it’s funny because my brother always says, he’s like “you were an entrepreneur when you were little”. Because I was the one that, I used to sell ice to my neighbors, sugar water, and I’d freeze it or I’d use the little, we used to have jolly ranchers, and you wrap the caramel around it, and I’d sell that at schools. So, I’m definitely a true believer that some people just have entrepreneurship in their bones and in their blood. My parents have always support that. So, I’ve always had some different, any kind of business that was out there, I thought I was going to make money.

And I think when it turned was, I did a trip with a group called Urban Professionals and they were in Las Vegas and it was all of these people who had their businesses and there were V.P.’s of bank and all of these people having fun together and they were all African American and it’s the first time that I saw that. And when I went to that, I created some shirts and everyone wanted the shirts, and I paid, I’m sorry, I sold enough to pay for my entire trip. And I was like, “oh this is amazing, I sold some t-shirts and I paid for the trip.” And then, people were asking me to do their logos and their websites, and things that I was like, “oh I can do that”. Just, you know, and I was bartering and then it just turned into a business.

And I had a friend in Atlanta who, two friends actually, Angela and Tamara who encouraged me to move out to Atlanta and start my business. And it just kind of snowballed from that. I think if you pay attention to things around you, and people around, and what people are asking for, it just, what you love to do just becomes a business, so.

Chris Davis: 04:48 Yeah, it’s a term I often tell people is lead with the need.

Nina Thomas: 04:55 Yes.

Chris Davis: 04:56 Understand what the market needs first.

Nina Thomas: 05:00 Yes.

Chris Davis: 05:00 Don’t lead with your product.

Nina Thomas: 05:01 Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Chris Davis: 05:02 Don’t lead with what you want them to have.

Nina Thomas: 05:05 Yes, and be mad.

Chris Davis: 05:08 Right.

Nina Thomas: 05:08 I spent all this time and no one bought it. Yeah, but did you ask what they wanted?

Chris Davis: 05:13 Yes, yes, and another piece to you is, of course you hold a place dear to my heart. I am biased, everybody knows that I am biased towards IT professionals and engineers. Anybody that is technically inclined or thinks very analytically I personally feel that once you couple that with some business acumen, you become dangerous immediately.

Nina Thomas: 05:36 Yes.

Chris Davis: 05:36 Right?

Nina Thomas: 05:36 Yes.

Chris Davis: 05:37 And it’s because they can do stuff like you’re doing now. You spend a lot of the time in your business educating people on how to properly implement technology in their business.

Nina Thomas: 05:50 And I’d be overwhelmed, because it’s funny, I always say this, because I teach, so I teach this to entrepreneurs, but I also teach Microsoft courses to actual corporations right now. But, one thing I have to remind people is it’s not going to blow up. If you see something pop up, for the most part it should be able, you can undo it.  And I think people are just so afraid of technology. And for me I’m always like no just push that button, just try it out, just.  And of course that opens up a whole world for me, where I can figure out things in a few minutes and then record a YouTube video and teach people. But, my goal is to help people realize that technology is your friend and if you’re not so overwhelmed and you just kind of sit back and think about logically, where would I click to find this. You know, you can kind of find it instead of being so overwhelmed and worried about where things are and am I going to break it and what’s going to happen.

Chris Davis: 06:49 Yeah, yeah, absolutely, absolutely, and people need that. They truly need that guidance in this age because everybody, there is no barrier for anybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re a child or an adult, anybody can get a business or I should say, anybody can have the appearance of a business.

Nina Thomas: 07:10 Oh, yeah. You can get yourself a little phone, get your son, daughter, or your little nephew to take some pictures of you. You know, you use Canva or PicMonkey and create you something. It’s the year and actually it’s the age of the do it yourself. And I didn’t get into YouTube early, but I got into YouTube early enough to know that you can find anything on YouTube, like how to. You’re going to go somewhere and you need to learn how to tie a tie. Do that. If you want to learn how to create your own logo, do that. If you want to learn how to sell on Ebay. You just, with Google, and searches, and YouTube, and videos it is amazing what you can do and I’m here for all of that. So, I love that.

Chris Davis: 07:51 Yeah, it’s really removed the excuses there. No longer can somebody sit, and just be like, “I don’t know”, or “I can’t figure out”. It’s like you could have said that earlier.

Nina Thomas: 08:00 Exactly. There is no excuses. ‘Cause you can Google anything, right?

Chris Davis: 08:05 Yeah. Everybody has a phone. Everybody has a phone, everybody has a computer, and if you don’t have either of those you have friends that have them that you can borrow theirs.

Nina Thomas: 08:13 Yes.

Chris Davis: 08:13 So, it opens up the market for any and everybody to get in which is good. The tough side is seeing the overwhelm when it comes to the technology, and what I wanted to do is give the listeners a raw view of what some of this stuff looks like. They may think it looks a lot prettier than what it really is, you know. And then when they go through it and it’s not as pretty, they think they’re doing something wrong.

Nina Thomas: 08:42 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 08:42 But, that’s not the case, it’s like, “no, you’re on the right track”. And what I mean is, right now in your business, you’re making a very much needed transition,

Nina Thomas: 08:53 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 08:54 To position yourself for growth and that is turning some of the automation that was outgoing to get customers and all that, to now the inside of your business.

Nina Thomas: 09:03 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 09:04 How can I operate and operate my business more efficiently with the aid of technology. So, I just wanted to give you the floor and kind of walk us through some of the processes that you’re currently executing in your business and how you are and planning ahead going to be.

Nina Thomas: 09:21 Yeah, it’s funny because when you say planning ahead, I have so many things that I get so excited about what I’m getting ready to do for my audience. That I’m like, “oh if you only knew what I was working on”, but it takes time. Online it looks like you get ten days and ten thousand dollars, but one of the things, one of my big projects right now is automating everything. And before I talk about this, I do want to say, because a lot of people try to automate all of these things before they really, truly, figure out their business.

Chris Davis: 09:53 Yeah.

Nina Thomas: 09:53 And so, two years ago I had some things automated, but my business two years ago and my business now is very different. And so, right now and actually over the next two weeks, I’m starting to implement some of these automations I have been planning. And so, I use ActiveCampaign and I use for sending out emails and things like that, and I use Thinkific for my courses. And one thing that I want to do, and I want to bring up Airtable because my whole project management is in Airtable and I love that.

Chris Davis: 10:28 Yes.

Nina Thomas: 10:29 And then Slack. So, those are my four like I can never live without them anymore apps. Is ActiveCampaign, Thinkific, Slack, and Airtable. And so, what I’m trying to do is move all of these things that I’ve had outside of ActiveCampaign, and doing in email, and doing in different apps into ActiveCampaign, and all give you a couple of examples.

Chris Davis: 10:51 Okay.

Nina Thomas: 10:52 Since I have my YouTube channel, my YouTube channel focuses on, and it’s called Socially Nina. It focuses on technology, Facebook, or social media, Facebook, Instagram, and all of that kind of stuff. Now that I’m a little over six thousand followers, I have a lot of partnerships that are coming in and they’re asking questions and I’m doing the same thing over and over again. Sure, I would love to review your item, can you give me a login and can you tell me, what’s your budget, right? Because nothing is for free, we’re entrepreneurs. And I’m noticing I’m doing that over, and over, and over again. And so, thank goodness my boyfriend is a copywriter, shout out to Gary. I give him this list of things that I want to say to people and we have maybe about twenty-five to thirty different emails and responses and things like that. Now, that’s going to go onto ActiveCampaign. So, I’m going to respond and say, “hey, thank you for reaching out, if you wouldn’t mind clicking here to fill out this form”. I’m moving my forms into ActiveCampaign since I have those fields, right?

Chris Davis: 11:58 Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Nina Thomas: 11:59 “And we’ll get back to you within twenty-four hours.” And so, of course depending on what they put in and what they select, it can respond with my rate sheet. Do you know how much time that saves me?

Chris Davis: 12:11 Yes, yes, Nina.

Nina Thomas: 12:12 ‘Cause you know what? If they don’t fill out the form, you know what, you don’t really want to work with me.

Chris Davis: 12:17 Yes, exactly, right?

Nina Thomas: 12:19 People forget that you need, and when I say people, let’s be honest, I forget sometimes that you need to put a barrier between you and the people who say they want to work with you. Because sometimes people aren’t serious and so that’s something very simple, like partnerships. But think about things like when people ask you about refunds, or billing, or how to work with you. So, all of those scenarios, I literally made a list and it’s Active, I mean first we put it in Airtable, and basically there’s this calendar in Airtable and Gary knows what copywriting to do. I’m mapping out all of my automations and my V.A. is going to start putting to those into ActiveCampaign. And the reason I’m doing this, is because I love my business, I love working on my business, but there’s times where I don’t want to work seventeen hours. And when I look at seven of those hours are responding to emails, or sending out things, or writing things like right on the spot, I need to cut that out, and I need to work smarter. I want that, four hour work week kind of thing in my life. So, I think my focus right now, not I think, my focus right now is really automating.

Chris Davis: 13:32 Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Nina Thomas: 13:33 And I’m just amazed at why I didn’t do this sooner.

Chris Davis: 13:38 Yeah, yeah, and even as you’re talking and describing just one process in your business. I keep going back to what you initially said is that most people, they try to automate too early without understanding their business.

Nina Thomas: 13:52 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 13:52 And you look at you and over the time, what you’ve done is you’ve grown very familiar with your business. You’re like, “wait a minute, I’m always getting these requests”.

Nina Thomas: 14:01 Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Chris Davis: 14:03 And now, it’s not that I don’t want to entertain the partnerships, but the time that it’s taking for me to do something that’s important in my business is too much.

Nina Thomas: 14:16 Yes.

Chris Davis: 14:16 So, I can drop it. I can’t ignore it, but

Nina Thomas: 14:17 That brings the money, but.

Chris Davis: 14:20 So, it’s like, it creates the perfect formula for automation.

Nina Thomas: 14:25 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 14:25 I get it done, but I can’t be the one doing it.

Nina Thomas: 14:28 Yup. And so, I consider myself a workflow expert and what that means is looking at your processes, your procedures, and your resources, and figuring out basically the shortest path. How to make more money and save more time, right?

Chris Davis: 14:28 Yeah.

Nina Thomas: 14:46 And the thing is, a lot of people jump into either automation or even hiring people for their team and not knowing their processes, procedures, or what resources they have. So, you hand over to your V.A. saying, “okay, automate this,” and she’s like, “okay well what am I automating what do people usually say”. So, you have to actually look at everything. So, what do you do. I always tell people. Spend a week looking at what do you do daily, write it down. All you need is like a sticky, right? I’m a sticky person. I have stickies all over, or a notebook. And what do you do daily? What do you do weekly? What do you do monthly, quarterly, annually, right? After you have that list, then you can see what things that you’re repeating, right?

Chris Davis: 14:46 Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Nina Thomas: 15:31 And then, you look at, so technology doesn’t fix things, they actually help you. So, then you look at okay, so I have this that I’m doing everyday. Now what piece of technology or person, ’cause a person is a resource, a V.A. or outsourcing something. How can I actually take this and not do the same thing everyday? How can I save time on this? How can I not spend so much money on this? And once you do that, then you can do your workflows and get into something like ActiveCampaign. You don’t want to just jump in and start doing it, you want to map it out on paper. You want to understand what your process is first and how you do each step which is your procedure, each step that you do, and then you go to your resource which is ActiveCampaign or Thinkific or whatever you’re using. And then you map it to how you already work. And so, I think people miss that and they just kind of jump in, they purchase stuff, and they’re like well it didn’t work because it didn’t save me time. But, they didn’t think about how they were working already and they didn’t actually document it.

Chris Davis: 16:30 Yeah, which is huge and it’s really the most important part. If automation is the game, mapping out your processes and procedures is practice.

Nina Thomas: 16:41 Yes. Oh I’m going to steal that, you shouldn’t have said that, because I’m about to say that everywhere. Let me hashtag, quote that all over my Instagram.

Chris Davis: 16:50 It’s all yours, right? So, it’s like you could have all of this talent, and you’re like yes I’m ready, we got a championship team, let’s go, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t take the time and to the practice which is mapping out those process. Because they then become what you execute too. Now the piece that I love that you introduced is the third, is the resources.

Nina Thomas: 17:14 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 17:14 Right? Like one you, and this is everybody as you’re listening, this is something that I highly recommend you just do right now. If you’re sitting down and to a point where you can either type on your phone, or write it out. This is an easy exercise Nina, right? You sit down and just write out, it doesn’t have to be pretty, or perfect, or anything, right?

Nina Thomas: 17:14 No.

Chris Davis: 17:33 Just write out, what are you doing in your business, right?

Nina Thomas: 17:33 Yup.

Chris Davis: 17:35 In one column and then on the next column, what resource is doing it? Nine times out of ten, your name is going to show up.

Nina Thomas: 17:44 That’s how you figure it out. Yeah. So, I have this course that I have on how to outsource and I know people always think that you’re going to jump into like, what do you need, what personality traits, all that. No, you need to figure out. First make a list of what you’re doing and what resources you have already, right?

Chris Davis: 18:01 Yeah.

Nina Thomas: 18:01 Do you need a V.A. to do this or do you already have a system to do this, right? Have you look at the systems that you already have to see what features that you didn’t know they had, right?

Chris Davis: 18:10 Right.

Nina Thomas: 18:11 The other thing is purchasing software. People always jump into software because they heard it from a stage somewhere or such and such that is making six figures uses it, but did you ever think, does that work for my business. You have to write down your processes, what you do, what you need, how you work, then you go find the software. And this is a secret I always tell people. You just send a message to their support and say, “hey these are the features I’m looking for”, or their salespeople, and just say, “these are the features I’m looking for, do you have it or is it coming?” And I have never had a vendor say, “oh no, we’re not going to tell you”. They want that sale. So, they’re like, “yes we can do a,b, and c, and even though we don’t have this, this is a workaround.” And you can do that before you even purchase software which is again your resources.

And so, if you do that in the right way, you know, concentrate on how you work. If you have that sticky, ’cause you now you forget what you do all day. If you have that sticky, and just every time you start something new, just write it down and you’re going to look and see all the stuff that you do. Make that list. Figure out how can I map this to a resource, which is a person, or technology, or some software and then it will be a lot easier. Especially when you get someone in or you’re talking to the implementation person of that software. You can say, “okay well this is my process, this is what I do daily. Can you tell me how to do it in your system?”

Chris Davis: 19:33 Yeah, and I’ll tell you, the people who sign up for ActiveCampaign, and sign up for a one on one, those are the people that get the most out of everything the fastest. When they’re like, “look, listen I’m doing this, I just need to know how it’s done here.”

Nina Thomas: 19:48 Yup, and stop being cheap. Because people will be like, “I don’t want to pay for that or I don’t want to get that level” and da, da, da, da, but how much time do you want to save? And in the long run all of those uh oh’s that, “oh I wish I would have known that feature was there”. You know having those consultations with people who know the application is awesome.

Chris Davis: 20:07 Yeah, and you know what happens is it becomes very much part of you.

Nina Thomas: 20:13 Yup.

Chris Davis: 20:13 Right? When you start being attentive to making sure you’re documenting what you’re doing. You start with sticky notes, but after awhile it just becomes, you can do it without a sticky note, you’re just. Just like you did, you’re like “wait a minute, hold on, I’m answering.”

Nina Thomas: 20:31 Yup. I just said this yesterday, right?

Chris Davis: 20:35 And you’re like, “you know what, I need to automate this”. So, you start with the sticky notes, because most people have never seen their processes, right?

Nina Thomas: 20:35 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 20:44 I liken it to raising your child in the dark and then someone turning on the lights, and you’re like, “that’s what you look like. The babies not as cute as we thought he was”. And some of us are like, “oh you’re a beautiful baby, I didn’t realize”. But, until you write those processes down, you don’t know what they look like.

Nina Thomas: 21:08 Yup.

Chris Davis: 21:08 And once you have that visual, it’s a lot easier to commit to whatever plan is going to help you move forward and go the direction your business,

Nina Thomas: 21:18 Yup. And I want to do this because I know that a lot of people don’t understand the difference between process and procedures, because I want to make sure that when they’re doing this and they do this exercise, they do it right. So, not that there’s a wrong way to do it, but there’s a Nina way and then there’s other ways. So, you can, a process is kind of overall.

So, your process might be, when you tell your kids, go brush your teeth, right? So, you go and you say, “brush your teeth”, and you come down and you smell one their breath and you say “did you use toothbrush”, I mean “toothpaste”. No you just said to brush ’em, right? So, that’s your process. The process is you want them to go brush their teeth, right? And to come back downstairs. But, if you tell them, “I want you to go upstairs, turn on the light, take your toothbrush, put your toothpaste on there, brush your teeth for one minute, two minute, three minutes”, right? “After you do that, use the mouthwash, turn off the lights, then come back down.” You’ve given them direct information.

And so, when you start out, like I said with those stickies, you’re just writing down kind of what you’re doing, your processes, but when you start working with other people or with applications, you really want to get into those procedures so you understand really what’s going on. And so, the reason why I say this is when you’re doing it when you’re a solopreneur and I’m writing down, like for instance my YouTube videos, and how I do my thumbnails, and update, and SEO research. If I write that down and then I’m overwhelmed for a week, you can go to Upwork, you can go to Fiver, and say hey I need you to do these steps, and this is the procedure, right? Instead of just saying hey help me with my YouTube videos, it’s here this is what I do.

So, don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed and you need help. Do it while you’re actually doing your process and that also helps, like I said when you’re selecting software. When you’re trying to get people in to help you and it’s already done, and you’re not in the thick of it trying to explain to them what you do.

Chris Davis: 23:12 Yeah and I think it’s important to note too. Is sometimes we’ve just got to slow down, right?

Nina Thomas: 23:12 Yes.

Chris Davis: 23:20 I get it, we’re in the information age and you may just think you’re going on social to catch up with a few friends, look at a few quotes, get some inspiration, but you can’t help but be bombarded with all of these images of people who are quote-unquote successful and have done this,

Nina Thomas: 23:38 This figure this, that figure that.

Chris Davis: 23:38 Yeah, right.

Nina Thomas: 23:41 In only three days and you can do it too, just buy my program, right?

Chris Davis: 23:42 Yup and it doesn’t matter who you are. If affects you, it affects me. I know that there’s no such thing as ten million in ten days.

Nina Thomas: 23:50 Uh-huh.

Chris Davis: 23:51 But, when I see it, it still does something to me to be like, “man I need to move faster.”

Nina Thomas: 23:55 I do need to see it though. ‘Cause she’s showing me receipts, right?

Chris Davis: 24:00 Yeah, right, right, like they’re not photoshopped or their hers, they’re actually theirs. But, so it doesn’t, it’s not like we can turn off human nature. Human nature sees and internalizes just second hand.

Nina Thomas: 24:11 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 24:12 We can’t do anything about it, but what we can do is remind ourselves, okay, what is my way? Okay, let me slow down before I jump and grab this tool that they said I can use to get ten million dollars and I don’t know their process, I don’t know their procedures and I don’t know their audience.

Nina Thomas: 24:31 Right, and not even that. You don’t know what they were doing the first thirty, forty years of their life, right?

Chris Davis: 24:36 Yes. Yes. You don’t know none of that.

Nina Thomas: 24:38 Because people think of me as, you know marketing so good, and you know this, and you can get all of this technology, you just learn it so quick. No, that’s because I was in IT and I went to school for Computer Information Systems and all of that stuff comes into play. So, what you do on your daily basis, what you went to school for, all of that plays in. Their trial and errors and fails. I failed a lot of times and I mean a lot throughout the years, right? And I’m still failing, and that’s okay. You know when I quit my job about a year ago. And you know of course everybody quits their job and it’s fancy, now you’re just the boss, right? No, you have other problems to deal with. I didn’t realize that I had to plan my own day, and each quarter, and all of that kind of stuff. I’m like wait this is different then when you’re doing it part time, right?

Chris Davis: 25:24 Yeah right.

Nina Thomas: 25:25 And so, one of the things that, I have a group in Facebook called Pink Boss Club and it’s about three thousand entrepreneurs and what I have to remind them, and I tell them all the time is when I make mistakes, when I do things. Because it’s not how you see it on Instagram, you’re going to have to push through it, but it’s not, you see other people and you’re like man I’ve been doing this longer than she has, but she’s making this much money. But, did she buy a fifty thousand dollar product or did she put a hundred thousand into Facebook marketing? You don’t know what other people are doing so you have to kind of step away from comparing yourself. Even though it’s hard ’cause you see those people are you engage with those people and you do have to slow down and you have to be able to revamp when needed. Because maybe you think that, and I’ll give you a perfect example. Blab, do you remember Blab?

Chris Davis: 26:16 I do, oh man.

Nina Thomas: 26:19 It was my thing, that was what put me over the top. Periscope and Blab, that’s when I started getting some really good high paying clients, right?

Chris Davis: 26:28 Yeah, just real quick Nina, let the listeners who haven’t hear of Blab, ’cause it was so quick.

Nina Thomas: 26:33 Yeah it was quick and if you weren’t on it, right?

Chris Davis: 26:35 Yeah, break down the platform.

Nina Thomas: 26:37 So, I’ll put it like this. I would say Blab is kind of a combination of Google Hang Outs and Periscope. Okay. So, Periscope came out, and you know you were talking at people, right? And everybody loved it, and you got your hearts, I jumped on that. And then Blab, was basically you can have four squares of people and in the comments, people can comment. So, it’s kind of like your own T.V. show, but what happened was all of us nerds that were early adopters meaning we jump on things really, really quick. We were getting in there and we were making friends and we were connecting with people and I’m talking about like, what was it Mike from, Michael from Social Media Examiner,

Chris Davis: 27:16 Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Nina Thomas: 27:17 He shouted me out one day and he was like, “I would have never met people like Nina”. And I was like “oh wait, I’m famous”. But, it was allowing you to connect with people and it was amazing. You were having hundreds of people and you kind of had your own show, and series, and stuff. So, again it was like Periscope where you can have four people talking, get people in, and it was great. We were staying up till late at night talking and nerding out.

Chris Davis: 27:17 Right.

Nina Thomas: 27:44 Okay, but this is the issue. So, say I put all of my business, I’m like okay yeah, Blab is bringing me business, this is what I’m going to do from now on, right? But what happened is Blab was like we’re not making enough money, we’re going to shut it down, here’s your videos, right? If I would have done that, I would have been like oh no, I don’t have any other source of income, right?

Chris Davis: 27:44 Yeah.

Nina Thomas: 28:06 What you have to do is again, going back to your processes and procedures and all of your kind of workflows, whether you’re on Periscope, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Blab, it’s the same kind of process and strategy that you’re using. And you have to think, you’re going to have setbacks so maybe you’re making that you know fifteen thousand a month, ten thousand a month, and then the next month that technology’s gone or whatever that wave is, is gone.You have to be able to pick up the next thing and keep going as an entrepreneur. And so, I think a lot of times we think okay, we’ve got to this, we need to get to that one level where we’ve made it and we can relax. But, it’s not that.

Chris Davis: 28:46 Yeah, right, right. It’s a continuation of levels throughout your entire career. There’s never a “I’ve plateaued”

Nina Thomas: 28:57 Yeah. No, no, no, Yeah.

Chris Davis: 28:59 The top level, nope there’s another, there’s another. Now it may be one that’s uncomfortable. So, you may have reached a certain level where, “okay I’ve made ten million dollars just with me”. Maybe the next level is doing twenty million with a team, right?

Nina Thomas: 29:13 Right, right.

Chris Davis: 29:13 Doing twenty million with a team, maybe the next level is selling that, you know so there’ always,

Nina Thomas: 29:18 You’re constantly uncomfortable. You constantly are uncomfortable. Because I went through hiring different V.A.’s from everywhere from U.S., to India, to Philippines, back to U.S. And the thing is, it’s trial and error, and figuring out how to teach people, how to work with them, how to. You know it’s different when it’s your own business, but all of that’s really uncomfortable and you feel like, “oh my goodness, what did I get myself into” and then the week after you’re like, “oh my goodness, this is working, it’s the greatest thing in the world”. So, you’re going to have to be in several uncomfortable situations whether that’s technology, working with people, pushing yourself to be on video, or do a podcast, but when you’re in charge of your money, and giving yourself a bonus, and giving yourself a vacation, you will find out how to be uncomfortable very, very quickly.

Chris Davis: 30:09 Yes. Yes. Nina this was so valuable. This was so great. Listen, the reason why if I don’t stop now we can continue, because when you talk about the process of automation, right? The steps in order to be successful, these are the things that are getting glossed over with all of the quote-unquote guru’s.

Nina Thomas: 30:30 Yup.

Chris Davis: 30:30 They want to jump straight to, “I’ve automated this and made ten million”. It’s like, “well wait a minute, how do you position yourself to be able to leverage”? ‘Cause it’s not that the story isn’t true,

Nina Thomas: 30:41 Right.

Chris Davis: 30:41 It’s just told out of sequence and taken out of,

Nina Thomas: 30:44 Yeah, there’s a lot of things behind it yup.

Chris Davis: 30:46 Right, yeah. So, now if you allow someone who’s technically minded like yourself or myself to say, “okay let’s take a break, let’s pause, tell me the sequence of a stranger of a question mark to a dollar sign. How do you turn question marks into dollar signs? Let’s just talk through it. I don’t want to hear anything technical, just tell me what you do.” And that becomes their very first time of truly having someone, a, listen to their entire process repeated back to them and a lot of times map it out for them.

Nina Thomas: 31:17 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 31:17 And then they’re like, “oh”. Now everything becomes easier because like you said, if I need to hire, I know exactly which part of the process I’m going to hire for.

Nina Thomas: 31:28 Yup.

Chris Davis: 31:28 If it’s a person or technology.

Nina Thomas: 31:29 Exactly, exactly.

Chris Davis: 31:31 So, Nina, thank you again. Where can people connect with you and find out more about you and your business?

Nina Thomas: 31:38 Thank you for that. So, I am Socially Nina everywhere except Twitter, it’s I am Socially Nina, but all of my handles are Socially Nina. I would suggest you start with my YouTube because I have tons of videos there. Also, at my school learneditonline.com. So, I have several courses there including my Pink Boss Academy which is only, it’s a month to month subscription. So, I introduce new concepts every month, but I would love for you to just wherever you find me, Twitter, Instagram, wherever you live on the internet. Just let me know where you learned about me from so I can kind of give you a little shout out.

Chris Davis: 32:21 Great, great, and we’ll put those links, the social links and the academy links in the show notes of the podcast. Nina this was great, again thank you for taking the time to jump in on the podcast and add value to our listeners.

Nina Thomas: 32:34 Thank you for having me, this was great, it was fun.

Chris Davis: 32:37 Yes. I’ll see you online.

Nina Thomas: 32:39 Bye.

Chris Davis: 32:41 Thank you for listening to this episode of the ActiveCampaign Podcast, three letters PPR, processes, procedures, and resources. Are you aware of all three of those before you jump into a particular tool, whether it be automation or any other area in your business that you’re leveraging technology to help you out in. I think that Nina did an excellent job, an excellent job reinforcing what, let’s be honest, a lot of you who have been listening to the podcast and following a lot of the educational material. You are aware of this, you know the importance or processes. You understand how to map out using a flow chart, or just using a whiteboard or a napkin exactly what you’re doing in order to tell automation what to do for you. But, if your not, this is your first time hearing it, it is going to save you tons of time and money if you just follow the steps outline by Nina.

If you are new to the podcast, this happens on every episode. This amount of value happens every episode. I want to send a personal invitation to you to join the partners, the partnership of listeners. Okay and I say partnership because all of you listeners are potential guests on the podcast to explain, instill, and reveal your processes. What’s working in your business and I would like to invite you to be a subscriber and a potential guest on the podcast. We are in iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and SoundCloud. So many I have to remember them and anywhere that you can subscribe to a podcast, listen. We are there, the ActiveCampaign podcast is there. Once you subscribe, do me a favor and leave me a five-star rating and a review. It helps get the word out and let the value not be unseen or unheard in the terms of the podcast.

If you’re studying ActiveCampaign and you need some help, we’re here for that as well, activecampaign.com/training is a resource for you to go and sign up for a one on one. Sign up for a one on one with somebody from our Success team. They are waiting personally to help you with your specific situation or complication. Whatever you’re facing that’s preventing you from moving forward. Last, but not least, if you want to take a more self-guided approach we have the education center that’s activecampaign.com/learn. That’s where you’ll get the podcasts, videos, webinars, guides, manuals, courses, anything that you need to learn at your pace is all in the education center. This is the ActiveCampaign podcast, the small business podcast to help you scale and propel your business with automation. I’ll see you on the next episode.

 

 

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