What it's like to Have a Full-time Employee and Work with Family
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 13
April 1st marked one year since my sister started working for me full-time! In this episode, I open up about what it has been like to have someone work with me full-time. I want to pull back the curtain on what it’s like to hire and pay a full-time employee as an entrepreneur and what it’s like to work with a family member! I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work with my sister every single day, it is a true dream come true. If you are thinking about hiring a friend, family member, or even a stranger, this episode is for you.
Tune in to hear:
- What it was like to hire my first full-time employee as a small business owner
- What it is like to work with a family member from the perspective of my sister and me!
- Behind the scenes look at my business from the perspective of my only full-time employee
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Leah Gervais: Hi everyone. And welcome to this recording. Whether you are listening on the podcast or whether you were here live, we are happy to be with you. I am Leah. Hi Abby. Hi, I’m Abby. So today marks one year since Abby started working with me full-time, so congratulations, Abby.
Abby Gervais: Thank you. I’m very good. Thanks for having me on today. And yeah, I’m feeling good. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I mean, it’s, it’s crazy. Just even working this morning. I just was reflecting back on how I felt, you know, a year ago today on how everything worked and, you know, I was very much a beginner on my first day working with you, but still it’s just crazy how far I’ve come and how far we’ve come. So I’m very grateful.
Leah Gervais: Well, I’m really grateful to congratulations and thanks for taking a chance on me. So I thought we could just have a fun conversation. You can ask me anything too. And, um, we’d love to hear from those of you that are here live. We wanted to share a few things. One what it’s like, I wanted to open up about what it’s like having someone work with me full time. I think that I’m commonly at the stage in business. I’m at income wise for a lot of online business owners. They have a team, but it’s not always a full-time person, which is just a personal choice. I don’t think that that’s a good or a bad thing, but oftentimes there’s a lot of contractors involved. And, um, so I have a full-time Abby is my only full-time person on our team.
We have, I think, five contractors additionally, and we have a really awesome team of all women, but we do kind of have this somewhat unique perspective of having her be on payroll full-time um, I pay her taxes, you know, I pay her salary and um, we want to pull the curtain back on what that looks like, because even though she has her job title, she definitely does so many different things because we’re a small business. Um, the second thing we wanted to be open about is the fact that we’re sisters and what it’s like together, working as sisters.
I know that a lot of people dream of retiring their spouses or working with, you know, a friend or things like that or siblings. Um, and we are so blessed to have the opportunity to do that and to work together every single day, especially over the last year during quarantine. Um, we didn’t, you know, it’s probably the least we’ve seen each other potentially in our lives because we just couldn’t travel that much, but we still talked three times a week over zoom and every single day otherwise.
So I don’t want to speak for Abby, but one of the best parts of my whole business is being able to work with her every day. Um, but that has its own dynamics. I don’t know. I don’t think it’s been that challenging honestly, but we can talk about that too, if anyone’s nervous about it. Um, and then I guess the final thing we also, I wanted to just kind of ask Abby on is some of her insights because she now has kind had an inside look at, you know, we work with over a hundred clients a year. Um, and she’s gotten to know many of them she’s seen a lot of their journeys. So you guys have heard my entrepreneurship at nauseum. Maybe you want to hear a little bit from Abby and her behind the scenes. So let us know if you have any questions, Abby, is there anything in particular you want to share or that popped out as I was saying those things before I just kind of ask you questions?
Abby Gervais: Well, I mean about working with each other, I feel like it hasn’t been as hard as I think a lot of people would think it would be as sisters and just having the family dynamic and like the business, um, part of our relationship. But I think it’s very helpful that we have a good relationship, um, you know, as sisters first and foremost. Um, so I don’t know. And I think we do a really good job of separating our personal and business conversations. Um, so I think we’ve done a great job of that, but it also makes it fun working together as, as, um, sisters and everything. So, yeah, that’s great. And um, if you want to ask me questions about the insights or if you just kind of want to hear my general, um, thoughts on it right now, I can share it.
Leah Gervais: I have a few questions for you, but yeah, I do. I think we should point out that like we, we text about sister stuff and we Voxer about work and sometimes they grey over like, if we need something urgently and the other has a checkbox or in a few hours or something, but usually we try to keep that separate and then we have our calls. And I mean, I, I would say that on our weekly calls, we usually talk about life for like 10 minutes and then we talk about that, but it’s to do that, you know, like I just don’t feel like I don’t know that we would talk as much as we do just naturally if we didn’t get to work together.
Abby Gervais: I agree and especially with quarantine, even though we were in New York city together for the first few months of it, we never saw each other, like I’m started right at the beginning of, you know, um, and so we actually have never worked in person together other than maybe I’d say like a week total, you know, I visited you in Miami a couple of times this past year and that’s it, but so it’s crazy, but it works and, you know, we’ve made it, we’ve made it work.
Leah Gervais: It’s the best. So, um, I want to ask you about risk-taking and I’d love for you to start a little bit about, uh, like a little bit from where you were at this time last year and rewinding to your decision to, to leave your very stable job, to work with me. And you know, the risk behind that. I mean, I know you were young and everything, but still I’m small business. I had never, I was like just being able to pay myself, let alone, you know, a second person. So let me share with us what that decision was like for you and how you navigated that risk. And then I’d also love to hear at this point a year later, learning so much how you think about risk.
Abby Gervais: Okay. So I think what my first thoughts were when we were talking about me coming on board full time, more that you had full faith, that we could do it. Um, you know, you believe that you, we can make it work. I mean, you’re the one that suggested it. And so that for me was enough. Um, I was at a stable job, um, prior to that, but my job was the last thing I actually wanted to be doing in my life. And so it almost felt like this was such an opportunity to put right in front of me that if I didn’t take it, it would have been crazy not to. I mean, I would, I knew that I dreamt of not being behind a desk, um, you know, nine to five. And I kind of just felt like I was just doing the same thing every day and working with you was extremely appealing and I knew that you were on like bigger and greater things than I would’ve ever been doing at my job.
So, I don’t know, I guess the risk wasn’t too scary for me because I love, I love taking chances and I knew that I would learn so much and I knew if I didn’t take this, you know, I guess, I don’t know what else, what other risks I would have taken. And, um, I was interested in and learning about this. I mean, uh, how, how could I not, I mean, it was your business. Like I knew so much about it, which was extremely helpful. It wasn’t just like having a job interview of just some random job.
I was like, Oh yeah, it sounds kind of interesting. It’s just like, no, I knew your business very well. I knew what you did, um, who you helped. And so that was, that was very helpful, but mostly, yeah, it just, it seemed very appealing to me to try something new. I was ready. I had been ready for a long time. I was interviewing for other jobs for a while before that. And so, uh, when you, when you mentioned it, it just seemed like it clicked and it felt perfect and yeah, so it, and it’s, it’s been great. And now looking back at how I pictured risks now and how I, you know…
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Or let me, if I can interrupt you really quick. So a lot of people listening to this show are probably wanting to quit their nine to five jobs, or they’re considering starting a business to quit their nine to five, or maybe they’ve already quit, but they’re still not seeing maybe as much momentum as they wanted. So you had a little bit of a different situation in the sense that my business was already a brand and you weren’t starting from scratch. And so it seems like you didn’t feel like there was that much risk, but you also like taking chances, knowing what you know now, how do you think, like what advice would you give to someone who maybe would be in the situation of just having to start from scratch or maybe having a little bit more of a net, but wanting to quit? How, how would you tell someone to think about that?
Abby Gervais: I guess if you have an inkling, something deep in your core telling you that you want to do this, I would, I would suggest taking it. I think, um, when someone realizes that they, that there’s something else out there and there, and fear is the one thing holding them back and the, that risk that they may or may not want to take is holding them back. Um, I would say just take it because even if, and, you know, I’m not saying that I don’t believe in people can’t do anything that they want, but even if it does fail and it probably will fail at first or maybe a couple of times, it take some time to, you know, find the success that you’re looking for. It you’re learning so much on the way. And I feel like there’s just so much to say about taking chances and, um, you know, I dunno, I think it just says a lot about somebody and it builds character. You learn so much. I mean, just being able to take that risk, I think is the hardest part. And then, you know, learning as you go, it’s, it’s scary, but I think it’s fun and something you can’t really learn anywhere else.
Leah Gervais: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I am. I obviously agree. I think it’s important to take big risks and like, if this wouldn’t have worked out, you just would have gone and gotten another job.
Abby Gervais: Like there’s always something to fall back on. It’s not like, this is the one thing that like, if it doesn’t work out your life’s over, you know, it’s just like, and you know, for the most part, I feel like people are doing this at a little bit younger of an age, but even if you’re not, that is totally fine as well. There’s never a better chance in life than the present, to just take a risk and do something that you think you might love. And, you know, you’ll learn very quickly if it’s not something that you want to do.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Yeah. So what, when, like, if you can go back to a year, um, I know that you were familiar with my business, but you really had never done anything with online marketing, email marketing, WordPress. I mean, what, like, what did you think that I did? And what were you surprised by everything that goes on behind the scenes?
Abby Gervais: I knew about your skill, your side hustle program, and I think you had just launched your first mastermind. So I knew you did a lot of coaching. I was very familiar with your newsletters that I had read, but I had no idea what the behind the scenes were of everything that went into it. And then when you started introducing me to everything, it was like, this is so logistical and, um, you know, very tedious in not a bad way. It’s just like, there’s so much that goes into it that you don’t realize.
I mean, the Facebook ads, the emails, the marketing, the constantly like, you know, creating content and, you know, just sharing your story. I mean, it takes a lot. And so I didn’t realize, yeah, I guess all, all of the, the behind the scenes that went into what you do, I knew you coached people. I knew you had a program. Um, but yeah, I also didn’t know that you had all the modules that you do and like scary side hustle. I don’t know why. I didn’t know that. Um, so that was something else, but yeah, so there’s been a lot. Yeah.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. There’s a lot, there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes and I didn’t know about it going into it either and it’s, it can be a little overwhelming, but it can also be really powerful. And I think that one of the reasons our business has continued to go up, up, up and up is because we’ve always leaned into like all those things behind the scenes and try not to just resist them. Sometimes it’s, sometimes it’s a lot, sometimes it feels like it’s, you know, threatening your creativity, but it really does make a difference. You just kind of put your head down and do the work. I think
Abby Gervais: Also I love how personal your businesses with your life. You know, all of the emails that we write are very personal. I mean, I have to, you would think that we’d have like templates for everything that we do when it comes to launches, but it’s like, no, you don’t have to go through them, read every paragraph because every paragraph paragraph might be talking about something that happened in your life a few months ago, you know? And you’re like constantly trying to, I think, keep that, um, personal aspect into the business because obviously you want people to relate to you.
So I think that’s really special. And I, I just realized that a couple of weeks ago, and I I’ve been editing emails and everything, and I have to, you know, we’re just, we’re keeping up with the present. It’s nothing like it’s not repetitive. Um, you know, a little bit of it is. Um, but I feel like we’re just trying to keep up with, I mean, just, I think the president and I think it’s important, you kind of have to, because things are changing all the time. And like, all my marketing is changing all the time, but you always manage to like, um, come back to who you are and what this means to you. And I think that is great.
Leah Gervais: Thank you. Well, you do a good job too. So when you started, our business was making around 15, $20,000 months. Um, and it had been for, I think around six months around then, you know, give or take a few thousand dollars. Um, and so that was around April of last year. And then by the end of last year, actually like six months after you were on, we started hitting six figure months. Do you have any kind of feedback? I have a lot of thoughts, but what do you think did that, what do you think? Is it something you think I did? Is it something you think we did? Is it something you think about the business? Like I’m sure people are interested to know how you make that kind of jump.
Abby Gervais: I definitely think it’s what we did. I don’t know. And I’m maybe speaking wrongly here. I don’t know if he would have been able to do that without me. You probably could have eventually, but I think, I, I think I have opened up a lot more time for you to do other things and, um, you know, create more content and whatever you have to be doing. So I like to think it was a team. It was a team effort, a hundred percent. Yeah, I think it totally was. So obviously it was a lot of what you did, but we also, I don’t know, we’ve, we’ve really kept with, um, you know, our, our meetings and our goals for the month. Like we don’t, we’re not super intense about them, but I think we talk about them and we get them in our heads and we’re very good at just believing it’s going to happen. We work hard obviously, but, um, yeah, I just, I, I think that we work with, we work really well as a team in terms of, you know, what we each has to do to make the goals happen for the month. Yeah.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. So pulling that out for someone listening who wants to kind of make a quantum leap in their income, the things I am hearing are one, if you are the head of your company, start looking at how you can buy your own time back so that you are not doing things that someone else could do, and you can start doing things that no one else could do. Um, you know, having Abby helped me definitely helped me, uh, have more time to create content and coach, um, which those are the biggest ways that we make sales and our company. So it was, you know, I was able to do more of that. That’s certainly true, but whatever it looks like for you, look at how you can buy your time back. I think the second thing that we do do a very good job of I agree is, um, we’re, we’re, we just have very clear monthly goals.
And we look at our monthly goals, importantly, not from the perspective of what needs to get done this month, but what is moving us forward this month? And I think that that’s how we got so much momentum is because we, I’m very, very thoughtful about making sure that on our momentum, we do a monthly momentum planner. It’s not just like, well, this month this program starts and this month we need to send newsletters. It’s always like, okay, what are we launching? What are we creating? What new things are we doing? What are we launching in three months? What do we need to sign people up for? What do we need to interview people for? Like, how are, how are programs going? It’s very much about momentum. That’s why we call it that. So, yeah, I agree. I think that that is a great thing. And then I also will add, um, having Abby helped, made me be held me to more accountability.
I felt like if I decided I wanted to do something and I told her about it, uh, I, it’s not even that she didn’t let me back down, but it’s almost like I didn’t even want it. I didn’t even want to try after I told her, I would just sort of be like, Oh yeah, that’s what we’re doing. And, you know, before having her full time, I think it would have been a lot easier- I’m sure I did talk myself out of things more and just say like, Oh, I don’t know if I can do that.
That’s too big of a goal or that’s too big of a milestone. And having her just sort of be like, okay, this is what you want to do. We’re going to do it. How do we need to do it? It makes it so real right away. And it just makes it not even like, it’s, it, it feels like I don’t even have time to back down because like we’ve already started working towards something. And I think these, do you feel like that?
Abby Gervais: Totally. And I feel like you’re such, you have always been a person of, like, you want to, you have another project on your mind, like every single day. And sometimes there have been times in the past where we’ll have a meeting you’ll spill this whole idea to me. Like it will never be spoken of again. And it’s just like, I don’t know if she forgot about that or if we’re just like holding off on it, but there’s, I don’t even, I can’t even like give an example. It’s happened many times where I’m just like, that’s fine. Um, and so, yeah, I think it’s great, you know, the times that we do decide to actually go through with it, um, I’m there for you. Um, and I think you have the very much creative mind. I’m much more organized and, um, helpful in that aspect.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Yeah. I really agree with that. Um, there was a question that I wanted to ask that came, but, um, Oh yeah. Okay. So do you, how do you deal with one thing that I don’t think people consider when they’re building a business? Like this is how many different projects we have that we’re working on at once behind the scenes, even though I’m very intentional with on the front end, trying to really only focus on one thing, because I don’t want to overwhelm our audience and I don’t want to look sloppy. And it just doesn’t feel that helpful to talk about 50 things at once. Yet, we often are working on like 50 things at once. So behind the scenes, how do you deal with that?
Abby Gervais: Um, just like staying organized, um, part of that, um, and having a million things to do at one time. Um, I prioritize very well when you say something to me that needs to be done, you know, I’ll, I’ll find out what’s the priority here, what needs to happen? Um, faster than other things. And I have four to do list on my computer at all times for different days, different projects. So I do that, but it is kind of overwhelming because sometimes I’ll be confused as to like, when you’re talking about these emails, was it about this program or this program? Like, does it, you know, um, I have to kind of come back to our conversation, like what we’re launching and like put it into a puzzle, you know, and just figure out, okay, okay.
This is what we’re doing because it has been overwhelming at times where I feel like I’m like, I don’t know what I’m working on right now. I’m just like, I’m editing for something. I feel like shouldn’t be edited. Um, that’s happened a few times and obviously I’ll communicate with you if I’m confused. But, um, for the most part, I’ll come back to just like, okay, w you know, what are we focused on focusing on this month? And like, what do I actually need to, um, you know, be, be working on that’s more important than other things. So, like I said, I’m very organized. I have a lot of lists on my computer to keep me in check.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Yeah. I think organization is definitely one of your strengths. Um, how would you say that your lifestyle has changed since getting to work in this type of business? Um, do you like, do you feel stressed? Stress is so common when the work life of nine to five lives in corporate America and definitely for entrepreneurs. Do you feel stressed? Do you like working from your computer? Like, what is different about your life in the past year than it was before?
Abby Gervais: I love it. I really do. I don’t like stress. I don’t, I really try not to let myself get stressed out there. Of course there are times in our work that we are stressed because, you know, I feel like times when we were launching, we try not to make it stressful, but they can be, you know, there’s just like a lot going on sometimes and that’s okay. But for the most part, um, I don’t feel too stressed. I would say 80% of the time. I feel like I’m very calm and put together. I never let things like, um, you know, be, be put off to the point where I’m procrastinating and I’m getting things done very quickly. Um, so yeah, I love it. And I just feel like in your very near and advocate of not being stressed out, I mean, I’ve learned that firsthand from you that you hate it and I’m, I’m like right there with you.
And so I think we do a good job of not stressing each other out and we know we have to do. And so, I don’t know. I think we have a really good work dynamic too, to prevent any of that coming onto our lives. Um, I mean, I’m just speaking for myself. I don’t know about you, but, um, yeah, I mean, it has changed. I like, like I still have a boss, you are my boss, but I still, I feel like you are so much more of a leader than my old boss was my old boss, never rewarded, never made it feel like we had something important, you know, uh, to work on or something that was gonna benefit me. It just was all about him and how he could make more money. It was a terrible dynamic for a team. I mean the worst.
Um, so working with you, although you’re my boss, you include me in all of the ideas that you have. You want to hear my opinion. We have, um, three meetings a week, so I’m always in the loop. I never feel like I’m, you know, being left out. And I think that’s very important, um, when it comes to working with someone and if you want a business to be successful, you have to be in it just as much as the next person and actually have it be meaningful to you. And so that has, that was great to finally like work with, because now I feel like I’m actually working towards something that is, you know, benefiting other people, you know, our clients and you and me and I’m learning so much and I’m still learning back in my other nine to five job. After the first year I could do it in my sleep. I hadn’t learned anything new.
And I was there for two or three years. I can’t remember. Um, but after the first year I felt like I hadn’t put anything new into my brain and I had no motivation to, because I didn’t care about the work that we were doing. It was so, and, you know, some people might’ve really cared about what we were doing. It was kind of interesting, but at the same time, it was just kind of like the way our team worked and how my boss treated us. Um, you know, there was no motivation to like, do better. We just did what we had to do.
Abby Gervais: And it was like, it was Groundhog day, every day. It felt like that is not the case here. And so that’s, that has changed. Um, I, yeah, and I just feel like you’re very understanding of if I have to step away from work for an hour or something to like go to the gym or go to an appointment and I don’t have to feel like, like ridiculed or anything. So that’s also amazing. I think that’s important. So
Leah Gervais: Like that should be the bare minimum, like that shouldn’t even have to be a good thing. It sucks. It like that is, you know, something that feels luxurious when in reality, everyone at work should be able to like attend to their mental health needs in their own personal needs. But yeah, I mean, you definitely are part of the decision making process with pretty much everything we do.
I think that that’s really cool and I love that and it, it is cool that we’re, you know, I was 27 last year when you started, you were 24 and here we are, you know, making decisions together about what, you know, last year was over a half, a million dollar a year for a business. And so it’s, it’s, it’s really exciting to do it together. I’m definitely glad to hear that you’re not stressed. And I really do think that our business does well because we’re not stressed, not the other way around.
Like, it’s not that we’re not stressed because everything’s perfect. Not everything is perfect, but because we choose not to be, I think our work is just so much more like thoughtful and not chaotic. And that really does help. I’m still a human. I don’t want anyone to think. I don’t have my moments, you know, of course, but like we do very consciously try to stay chill. Um, is there anything, uh, well, okay. I have two questions. I’m a little nervous to hear your answer here. Why don’t we share what we think each other from a professional standpoint, like biggest strengths are, I don’t really know if there’s a reason to share each other’s weakness, unless it’s like kind of ingest. I’m not going to like put on the internet.
What I don’t think you’re great at, but, um, if there’s just like, I don’t know something, or maybe it could be like one thing that I think you’re really good at and the other that I’ve seen new grow in a lot that sounds more positive. And then you can do the same for me, which I’m nervous about. Um, but I think for you, your biggest ver your biggest strengths are you’re super organized, which I think has been critical. Like you said a lot. You’re definitely more organized than I am, and I’m pretty organized, but I just definitely get, like, I struggle to, to bring together my creative brain with my, uh, organized brain.
And I ended up just having a million spreadsheets and like a million Excel spreadsheets. And everyone’s just like, what in the actual hell is going on. Um, but I think you’re very organized and I think you’re very proactive and I didn’t really, that was something I was really, um, like tickled by. I don’t want to say like surprise, but just like, I, you know, you are the, probably the Shyer of the three sisters.
I’ve always been the loudest and the most outgoing. And it’s just been such an honor as your older sister to see you, um, like step into your power and really come to me with things and say like this, this is what I think we should do, or this is what I want to do. What do you think of this? Or, you know, like you said, when I give you kind of something that we’re working toward, you do it usually that day, you don’t procrastinate and things like that. And I think that, I don’t know if you’ve always been like that professionally, but I’m really like in awe and proud of how great you are at work. I’m doing that.
Well, thank you. It definitely, I feel like I got better at that in college it’s and I think it comes back to the being stress thing. I don’t like that. The thought, I mean, procrastinating gives me stress, right? If I hold this off, like the long-term effects are going to be so much worse than me feeling that I don’t want to do it right now. Yeah. And I reward, I reward myself when I do something as well. Yeah.
Yeah. That’s good. But even not just like, from a productivity standpoint, but like from an opportunity standpoint, I think you’re good at coming to me. You’re not afraid to be like, Hey, I know you want to do this, this, what if we did it differently? I think that this could be different or like, Hey, I want to start trying to do this. Do you think I could do that? And I think that that is you play a part in the reason that you make decisions. It’s not just that like me letting you, you, you have the voice, you know, when you speak up, it’s a really good thing.
Abby Gervais: Thank you. That makes me happy. Cause I’ve always been, yeah, definitely more hushed. Not like I’m being hushed, but I have always been so much more of a listener than a speaker. And I think it has its benefits, but it can have its doubts as well. Um, okay. So for you, I think your strongest suit is probably, you’re just like creative and driven mind. Like the things that you come up with, new ideas or projects just to add to our business is pretty incredible. And I don’t like when you’re talking to me about it, I’m like, how did you think of that? And when you ask for my feedback, I’m like, or, you know, if I have any ideas and like, Hmm, give me like a week. And you’re like, Oh, a week is so long in entrepreneurial world. Like, we don’t have time.
I’m like, okay, well, I don’t have anything, but I just feel like I also just have, I think it has something to do that this is like your baby, like, you know how to navigate it. Um, so like, I think that is one of your strongest. And um, but also I think that can also kind of latch on to the thing that you might need to work on a bit more is that you have so many ideas. You don’t know how to execute it. I mean, you, you can execute them, but I just feel like you don’t know how to organize them and like figure out how to do it. And I, it’s not a bad thing. It’s just, um, you know, you have so many ideas and we’re like, again, maybe yes.
Leah Gervais: Well, I think, I mean, not to like defend my own that your critique of me, that’s totally fair if that’s, what if that’s, you know, that, that’s what you said. I totally agree. But I think that it’s better. What I’ve had to learn to do is the ideas they come to me. I there’s something I can do about it. My, my it’s, it’s a mix of, I have a natural entrepreneurial mind and this is my, my baby, my business. And so between the two, I’m always thinking of what I could do next, what I could create. And I love working that way. But what I’ve had to learn to do is, is to not execute on everything and because then nothing gets actually done. So, you know, it is kind of this, it’s this chaos of internally of like, I have all these ideas, but we probably only actually move forward, like one out of the 10.
And it can feel like there’s so many, there’s like an idea graveyard, but I’d rather have an idea graveyard of, or an idea list that we can maybe move forward on later on, then 10 things halfway done, which will lead none of them to be actually successful. And then that, that hurts. I mean that you take that personally, when it’s something you tried to birth out into the world and it doesn’t work, it totally sucks. And that wouldn’t have been because the idea was necessarily bad. It would be because we have way too many things going on to actually see if it, so I try to hold myself back from trying to execute every single thing. And as a result, I end up having a lot of things that we don’t do or haven’t done yet. But I think that that’s the lesser of two evils than trying to do them all.
Abby Gervais: Totally. And it’s better to have a ton of ideas than no ideas. Yeah. It’s a good problem to have is. Yeah. So yeah, it’s, that’s what I’m saying. It’s not really a negative thing. It’s just, sometimes it’s like what signs on bad. It’s not like overwhelming. It’s just kind of funny.
Leah Gervais: Is there something- I that you’ve, you know, more about my business than anyone, you probably also know more about me as a coach than anyone. Is there, are there, is there anything that you feel like most people don’t know about me as an entrepreneur or as an, as a boss or as, or coach or anything?
Abby Gervais: I think that you’re, I mean, I don’t want to say that you’re more laid back cause I know that behind the scenes, you know, you’re, you’re always working, but I also think people might not think that you’re as laid back as you are. And I think you’ve, you’ve come this far. You’ve created your business to what it is to be able to just kind of enjoy yourself, still, you know, you see entrepreneur entrepreneurs all the time who are just like out of control, just like going, you know, it’s always onto the next thing. And, um, you know, working insane hours, not seeing their families or whatever, but I feel you do a really good job of balancing your life. And I know you talk about on social media, how you do that, but you know, you, you very are present in like everyone’s lives around you. And I don’t think a lot of people would expect that of you with like what you’ve done and what you’re doing. So I think that’s really impressive and something that, you know, I think it takes a lot of work to get there, but you have, um, yeah. So thank you.
Leah Gervais: So thank you. Yeah. I’m sure I come off as pretty intense,
Abby Gervais: Always like you’re on, you’re on social media all the time. You’re sending emails, but it’s like, they have no idea. The RBS behind the scenes work is a lot, but like we make it work to the point where we can still have normal lives and just feel like we can actually be present in our friends and families lives as well.
Leah Gervais: Totally, totally. I agree. Thank you for sharing. Um, what would you now having seen so many of our clients and seen so many seeing what it takes to be successful and, and heard me talk so much about, you know, what goes into this, um, what advice would you want to give an entrepreneur? Who’s, let’s say trying to hit their first five figure month they’ve started, they’re going, but they’re just kind of trying to get to that next level.
Abby Gervais: I would tell them to just remember that fear is probably the only thing standing in your way. And, um, the thing that makes you special and unique as opposed to everyone else who you think might have your idea is it’s the person that actually executes what they want to do and start a business that, you know, makes you unique. And, um, it’s th the, I think the hardest part is just getting over that fear and just putting yourself out there. Um, I mean, I’ve seen it firsthand, you know, everyone has a content, they ha they know what they want to do. They know what they can offer. They offer great results, but they’re scared to sell. And I think that’s kind of interesting, you know, because it’s like, they, they, you know, that they want to do this. This is something that they’re very passionate about, but there’s so much like holding them back. Um, and it’s not with, it’s not with everybody, but I definitely do see that. Um, but just take, take a risk because if you don’t, you’ll regret it and you’ll learn from it no matter what, if it’s good or bad.
Leah Gervais: So you think income jumps come from your mind, not from like a strategy or a secret kind of way.
Abby Gervais: I think mindset work is the first thing you need to work on when trying to start a business, you need to get in a different mindset and then work on strategy. Absolutely.
Leah Gervais: Every at every level, I think, I think in the beginning and at five first five figure month for six, eight years, all of it.
Abby Gervais: Yeah. And I’ve learned that from you a lot, just, you know, always going, it doesn’t matter. Yeah. Where you are in your life and your business, you should always be working on, um, keeping yourself in a specific mindset to just stay successful. And, um, it’s hard, it’s hard work. It’s not easy, but you can do it and it’s so worth it.
Leah Gervais: Totally. Would you agree? Oh my God. I mean, I feel like mindset progressively becomes more important. Like just when I think I like have mastered it or I’ve done so much of it or isn’t it now time for me to really hone in on strategy. It never fricking is, ever. And I like, I’ve talked about this a lot. How, like last year, I think when we hit the quarter of a million mark, um, I remember just being like, Whoa, like when I was like three or four years ago, if I would have known when I was super struggling. I mean, I, I don’t know. I don’t like to say super struggling because I don’t think I have this like, you know, um, victim story where my life was actually bad, but it was, I really was counting every penny that I had, which was by choice.
It’s not, you know, I’ve just chose to work at a job that didn’t pay me enough. I chose to not take risks, blah, blah, blah. But the point is I was very, very much just getting by. And if I would have known that in a few years, I would have had, I remember at the time it was quarter of a million, obviously now it’s a lot higher. Um, in, in a year I would have thought that that would have been because I would have cracked some sort of brilliant funnel marketing, fancy like, well, if someone clicks on this email, then they’ll get this sale and they’ll, the copy will be perfect. And like, that’s what I would have thought. I would have thought that it would have been so advanced. And the thing that mattered, I remember exactly feeling like the thing that matters the most right now.
And the reason that this is happening is because of my own, my own energy, my personal development work, that I’ve done who I am, and that really does drive our entire business forward. If I don’t pay attention to my energy or my mindset or myself, then I don’t, I’m not going to be a good leader. I’m not going to be able to drive this team forward. I’m not going to be good at coaching and I’m going to be freaking terrified to do anything. So that has been, I mean, that’s been the theme of my whole business is that every time I want to go to a new place and I’m looking outside, online on Instagram, on whatever to how to do it, usually that’s the sign that I need to just like look right inward. And sometimes that means getting help on looking inward. I’m obviously a big fan of coaching.
That’s why I do it. I always hire coaches for myself. Um, I’ll talk to Abby, uh, you know, I’ll take time for myself. I don’t think that you need to do the internal work alone, but you have to do the internal work every single time. And it’s, what’s getting us to our next financial goal right now as well. Very much. So my mantra right now is that I’m going to make more money because I got a puppy because I want to make it true because she’s so much work, but I don’t want it to feel like she’s taking me away from work.
Abby Gervais: Yeah, totally. I know. I agree. Just constantly working on your mindset in yourself is the single best thing that you can do for yourself. And I think once you start, you, you don’t want to stop. It’s fine. It’s very fun. And it’s so, I mean, it’s like the best project you’ll ever work on is yourself. And if you can constantly keep working on it, which you can, it’s never like you’re going to finish it. Um, it’s like addicting and it’s interesting to see yourself from like, you know, a few months ago to what you are now. And it’s, it’s great. And change is scary, but it comes with growing and yeah. I just think people need to realize that. Yeah.
Leah Gervais: Yeah, exactly. And it’s fun because it becomes, life becomes a playground. When you realize that just through your own thoughts, you can shape your beliefs and through your beliefs, you can shape your actions and through your actions, you can live be, do have anything that you want. If you break yourself free of chains, you didn’t even know that you had.
Abby Gervais: Yup, exactly. I’m reading the big leap right now, which I know you and Ellie suggested and yeah, it’s, awesome. It’s like reading kind of what you, what you preach, which is interesting. But, um, yeah. It’s, it’s very true. Yeah,
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Yeah. The big leap was one of my, um, one of my favorites earlier on, I remember shopping in fairway. You remember the fairway across the street from my apartment. I’d be like, be going after my nine to five and I’ve listened. And I would just be like, Oh please, God, like, I’ll do anything for it to get out of my nine to five and to make this work. And I’ll never forget those things. I I’m actually grateful. It took me so long for my business to took off, to take off because I feel like, you know, everyday now I still kind of wake up and I’m like, Oh my God, I don’t go to a nine to five. Like I get to work for myself. And it never gets old to me. You know,
Abby Gervais: It hasn’t gotten old for me either, especially with my boyfriend who has had such an intense job. I mean, he’s been remote, but still I’m just like, I’m so happy. I’m nowhere near that life. Or like, that’s, I’m so miserable and he’ll look at me and we’re just always so calm and like, it’s exciting. We’re working together and like working on new projects and he’s just like, Oh my God, you guys, his work life is amazing. And it’s, it’s very motivating. It’s very inspiring. And I love seeing all of our clients thrive. Yeah.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. But it’s, and it’s also available to everyone. This didn’t fall into our labs. That’s another important note. Everyone, everyone can have this.
Abby Gervais: Exactly. And I tell him that he wants to hear it goes right over his head. He’s like, what? I’m like, I can’t even start like with, with this right now. It’s fine.
Leah Gervais: Totally. Well, do you have any final words on your last year on our business, on what you want to say to our clients or people who are listening, anything at all?
Abby Gervais: Well, I guess I’m kind of interested in like what you think the biggest change, or like, like difference that you think that your, to adapt to having me on the team this past year and with being in coordinating, like how you think of it affected our business, if you think it did. Um, and just, yeah.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. That’s a great question. The first thing I want to point out is that in a sense, so a lot of new entrepreneurs have to think about big investments. They have to think about hiring coaching. You know, maybe you want to join scalar side hustle as an example. And that’s a $5,000 program, which is, I think, while worth it, but it’s still not, you know, exactly people don’t usually just have that laying around. So you have to think about making these big investments. And that, that can be, those are really hard decisions. A lot of the time and what hiring Abby really taught me or reminded me, or like showed me it, you know, cause I had made big investments in my business before, but the commitment of a full-time person is the, is the biggest one I had made like not in the first month was it the biggest obviously, but knowing that I would need to be able to do this time after time for, you know, for the foreseeable future.
To continue going up was it was nerve-wracking was a big financial decision. So it felt very similar to the decisions people make when they have to decide if they want to hire a coach or, or, or invest in their business, et cetera. And, and the fear that comes with that and what I really was, what was it became so apparent to me is that I think we think so much about investments in terms of the return you’ll get on it. And that isn’t, that is a good way to think about them. Like, yes, you want to logically think, okay. If I spend $20,000 on my business, am I going to make at least 20,000, if not more back from that investment or my case, I needed to think about, okay, I know I’m going to have to pay Abby this much and I’m going to owe this much in taxes and fees and all this stuff from New York state.
Do I think that paying her that is going to make that back in my business, if not more, I mean, she’s my sister and I wanted to work with her, but if I didn’t think I could do that, no one wins. Then my business would, would fail and neither of us would have a job. So, you know, that was the thing I had really taken into consideration. And I think that that’s good, but what I don’t think people think about enough and what I really loved about the whole experience was that the money I made back from having Abby was actually secondary to who I got to become by having that commitment. Because when you make a big investment like that, you have to step up, you have to go to your next level. You don’t have a choice anymore. And I don’t mean that in a pressure way, but it’s, it’s kind of an honor.
It’s like now I don’t have a choice, but to make this amount of money every month for all my business expenses, plus now this, I don’t have a choice. I can’t have a moment where that doesn’t happen. And that’s why we got to six-figure months because it forced me to step it up. And I think that that lesson for me, and being able to share that is such a gift. And it’s so powerful because I think we all need to zoom out of the nitty gritty of the numbers a little bit and get excited about when we make investments or when we make big decisions, not just what we’re going to get out of it, but who we’re going to become because we did it. So that was a huge honor. That was a really cool thing to see. And that was a great lesson for me as a leader, to just know that every time I make a decision, um, not only can it grow the business, but it can, it can grow me, which can then grow the business too.
So yeah, that’s kind of a personal one, but that was a really cool thing to see. I think obviously from the business standpoint, I mean, having someone to like help me make decisions and speak through, I can’t imagine doing it without you now. I can’t, I can’t remember what it was like to have, to make all these decisions on my own and to not have anyone to talk to about it and to not have anyone, you know, when I’m having a rough moment to just be like, Whoa, it’s okay. Like, you know, step away. And another thing Abby has really taught me is, um, I think she’s helped me with boundaries and I think she’s helped me stick up for myself. I think that I’m usually a pretty confident person, but when it comes to my business, I’m vulnerable, I get scared that something could happen. And Abby’s really good at just being like, no, no, don’t be scared. Don’t back down. You did the right thing, you know, stick to your guns. Um, yeah. So I think that, that has been, those have been like from business and personal, the biggest changes I’ve seen in the last year and just the joy of getting to work together every day.
Abby Gervais: Yeah. It’s been, it’s been great. And like you said, at the beginning, I don’t think we would talk as much as we do. I mean, we talk every single day, all day, all day. Yeah. I mean, not just like texting, but on Voxer, um, you know, just all day, so whatever it is, but, um, yeah, no, it’s been great. And it’s funny that you say that about boundaries because I feel like I always was the one who was very much more of a people pleaser, but when it came to your business, I feel like, you know, you’re a little bit more sensitive and, um, about it and decisions that you make. And so I think I definitely did help you in that sense.
Leah Gervais: Yeah, yeah, you definitely did because I don’t think I’m a people pleaser like in my normal
Abby Gervais: Always. Yeah. You’ve always been very like you stick up for yourself. So it was interesting, but I think this was just a different dynamic that you had so that it could help there
Leah Gervais: With COVID. Um, I think that, I don’t know if this is kind of a morbid thing to bring up, but you know, like by all, for all intents and purposes, not that much changed, our business was already virtual. Um, we already worked with PR people virtually nothing really changed from that sense. If anything, I think more people were interested in becoming virtual and wanted to learn more about it. But what I think, um, a lot of our clients went through last year, especially people who joined scale your side hustle in the last year is COVID kind of made them have this like moment of realizing how short life is and realizing how precious it is and realizing that they don’t want to go back to doing something that they never really loved anyway, and that they wanted to really be more bold and just take life more in control.
And I can relate to that so much because when dad passed away, that was exactly how I felt probably on a honestly more extreme level than COVID, although I’m not trying to undermine people’s experiences, especially if you’ve personally experienced it. But my point is, I feel like I was really able to connect with our clients and support them through that experience and to, you know, help them see that, that, that moment, that realization of life is short. I’m not going to spend another day doing something I don’t love. I’m going to do what it takes to figure something else out.
It’s such a strong and grounding feeling that you can come back to at any moment, no matter how hard things get, no matter how hard business gets, no matter how many rejections you have when you kind of have developed and really can tune back into that moment of like, no, no, no, I have to make this work no matter how many rejections I get. Um, that’s really when you make it. And so I think that that was such a theme by, for so many of our clients last year. And it’s something that I hate that I had the experience in, but I did have the experience in. Um, and so that ended up just becoming something that really came to the surface. And, um, I don’t think that it’s necessarily a bad thing to have moments like that because I do think it can become so foundational for your future. Um, and I’m glad that so many of our clients turned it into something so powerful.
Abby Gervais: Yeah, absolutely. Yep. Proud of us.
Leah Gervais: We talked about a lot. I thought we were going to do it in half an hour. Here we are an hour later. That’s okay. Well, thank you so much for talking with us. Did you have fun?
Abby Gervais: It was so fun. Thanks for having me. Yeah. I hope we can do this every year.
Leah Gervais: I like teared up when you were just talking about the fact that we get to do this together. I’m watching the last season of the Kardashians. And so it’s basically like,
Abby Gervais: I love that when we first started, we were just like, you know, I don’t know why we would always refer to the Kardashians, but like they thrived working together and I think it was like, this is so cool. And like, they could not have spoken highly more highly about working with family. And I feel like a lot of people, when I tell them I’m work, my sister they’re always like, Hm, how is that? And I’m like, Oh great. I’m like, could not have, like, I don’t think we’ve had any major fights as sisters or as business partners, like since we started working together. Um, which is incredible. Uh, I just, I think we’re very mature in that way as well though. We just, we like, we know if we’re overstepping boundaries or whatever it might be.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. And we communicate so much, which I think is the really helpful thing. Like if we in business feel like something is happening based on like our relationship as sisters and how well we know each other, we just can like ask the other person and it’s usually not. And it’s just like, Oh, okay. Not a problem then like talk to me about it later. Yeah.
Abby Gervais: We don’t really allow ourselves to not know what’s going on. Like we don’t allow room for mistakes for the most part. So yeah.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. I agree. It’s amazing.
Abby Gervais: I’m so thankful. And thank you so much. I’m so excited for this next year and what I’m going to learn. Um, huge steps to come and I can’t wait. It’s really cool to see and be here to experience with, uh, with you. So,
Leah Gervais: Oh, well thank you. And congratulations on here and all you’ve done. Here’s to many more to come and I’m really grateful. You shared this all on the podcast today. Love you.
Abby Gervais: Love you. I’ll talk to you later.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. All right. Bye everyone. Bye.
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