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Last Updated on October 12, 2022
If you’ve ever wondered how to start an agency so you can scale your business and serve more clients, or if you’re looking to get organized with systems and operations, we’re sharing tips and strategies in this episode!
If you’re a solopreneur or freelancer, you likely know what it’s like to be frustrated that you:
What’s the solution?
One potential lucrative and successful business model is to start an agency. An agency is a company that provides specific services to other businesses, and has almost infinite growth and scalability potential. If you get more clients, you can always hire more people and create more capacity.
Here’s the type of entrepreneur who is typically an ideal candidate:
If your interest is piqued, you’re going to love this episode!
My guest today, Tasha Booth, is an agency owner, coach, and podcaster. She is the Founder & CEO of The Launch Guild, a Course Launch Support & Digital Marketing Implementation Agency supporting established coaches and course creators with course and podcast launches, operations and systems management, and content management and repurposing.
Her team is over 20 members strong and works together to support their clients in being able to focus back onto their zones of genius. Additionally, she mentors Virtual Support Pros (VAs, OBMs, & PMs) who are passionate and ready to grow their businesses while living life on their own term. Tasha is the host of the How She Did That Podcast, a podcast for Virtual Assistants, Online Business Managers, and Project Managers to learn business and tech tips.
Tasha is an Air Force wife to her husband Scott, stepmom to Grace & Meredith, and work from home dog mom to Stanly and Boomer. In her spare time, she watches true crime tv, sings karaoke, and tends to her organic vegetable garden.
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.
Also, please leave an honest review for The Success with Soul Podcast on Apple Podcasts so we can improve and better serve you in the future. Plus, you could be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts to get automatic updates. My goal for this podcast is to inspire those who seek flexibility and freedom in their lives by making something happen with holistic, soulful, step-by-step strategies from me and other experts.
An agency is a company that provides specific services to other businesses. Most agencies either offer a single service (like social media marketing), or a variety of services.
Someone who is already an experienced soloprenuer or has a small team can more easily make the transition from a “me” business to a “we” business with an agency. You may be a good fit if you’re making consistent income ($6K+ per month) in your business and have no more time left to take on more clients or scale. You need to be a great leader, feel comfortable having a team, and feel capable of steeping into the CEO role in your business.
A successful agency is based on: creating and following very clear operations and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), being skillful at project management, hiring employees who are intermediate to advanced at their craft, fostering team spirit, and having a team adept at both delegating and implenting.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:00
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to the Success with Soul podcast. I'm your host, Kate Kordsmeier. And we are chatting with Tasha Booth today. So if you are a service based entrepreneur in particular, this episode is going to really help you likely get out of the burnout that you have been trying to do everything yourself with only 24 hours a day, and tons of clients, Tasha herself as an agency owner, coach and podcaster. She's the founder and CEO of the launch Guild, which provides course launch support and digital marketing implementation for coaches and course creators, whether it's launches, operations and system management, content management and repurposing, she has over 25 people on her team and works together to support their clients and being able to focus back onto their zones of genius. She also mentors virtual support pros. So VA is OBS project managers who are passionate and ready to grow their businesses while living life on their own term. And she is the host of the how she did that podcast, which is a podcast for those same people. So in today's episode, we're really focusing on the agency business model, which is just an amazing scalable strategy that helps you transition from me to we even if you have no interest in growing an agency, I think you'll get a lot out of this episode because everybody, all entrepreneurs could use some systems and operations, support and strategies which we have plenty of. So without further ado, let's do it. You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast with Kate Kordsmeier x journalists turned CEO of a multi six figure blog in online business. But it wasn't that long ago that Kate was a struggling entrepreneur who lacked confidence, clarity, and let's be honest, the money. But all those failures, experiments and lessons learned helped Kay create a thriving business that impacts 1000s and brings freedom, flexibility and fulfillment to her life. If you're ready to do the same and make something happen with holistic, soulful, step by step strategies from Kate and other experts, you're in the right place. here's your host, writer, educator, Mom, recovering perfectionist, bookworm and sushi connoisseur, Kate Kordsmeier Kasha Welcome. I'm so this has been such a long time coming.
Tasha Booth 2:27
I am so excited to be here. I feel like we've been talking about it for years. Now. It hasn't been years, but it feels like it.
Kate Kordsmeier 2:34
Well, we were just saying even before we hit record, Tasha and I are both big fans of batching. And that one of the downsides can be like when you schedule something, if you're like, well, I only record once a month, or I only record one week a year or something. It's like, well, your book in six months in advance. And so behind the scenes for y'all listening, it's like there's there's a lot that happens before we actually get to sit down and have a conversation. So yes, totally. I'm glad we're finally here. For anybody who doesn't know you, can you give us kind of your quick elevator pitch of who you are and what you do? Absolutely. So
Tasha Booth 3:09
I am the CEO and founder of the launch Guild. We are a full service launch support team working with established coaches and course creators. I have a team of 25 at this point, which is absolutely amazing. And we do everything from the strategy for launches all the way to management, implementation, all that stuff. In addition to that I coach and mentor virtual support Pro. So VA is OBS and project managers all the way from starting their business all the way up to scaling their business and to an agency model like my own. Wow. Okay. 25 employees is a lot.
Kate Kordsmeier 3:42
Yeah. And are those all full time employees?
Tasha Booth 3:45
Yeah. So we have five full time at this point. We have one part time and then the rest are contract contract.
Kate Kordsmeier 3:51
Okay. Yeah. And now as sort of like a systems and operation expert yourself, do you have to have somebody else on your team that is like, you're like, because you're the entrepreneur in this case. So then you have like your own OBM or operations person managing your your business, or do you do
Tasha Booth 4:09
1,000%? Oh, no, absolutely not. That was like the one of the first things Yeah, and it's one of the first things I teach people to get rid of now. So I have a full time Director of Operations Jayla Ray, she was our first full time person to come on board. I also have a OBM that runs all of my personal launches now at this point, okay, then also an executive assistant that like handles my inbox and my calendar because I would be lost without all of them.
Kate Kordsmeier 4:34
Okay, so you and I have very similar ideas of like the order of who your first hire should be because mine is sort of cross depending on what stage you are in your business of having a VA or an executive assistant, and OBM are a director of operations and then somebody to help you with the marketing side. Which sounds like what you're kind of OBM for the launches is more of like the marketing and I'm sure it's just like project management and stuff. But yeah, yeah. Okay, very cool. So I know we're using some acronyms that people may not be familiar with. I think at this point, most people know VA virtual assistant, can you tell us the difference between VA and OBM? Which is online business manager?
Tasha Booth 5:15
Yeah. So I think of a virtual assistant as task based. So you give them a task or a number of tasks, they do it and then they come back to you and say, Hey, great, I did those. What else do you need to have done? And OBM is kind of the management piece of that. So if we think of it as similar to like an office, where you have people doing the tasks and offices implementing the past, and then you have people managing those people, and also managing kind of the overall vision for the thing. So in my case, what Lindsay who is my OBM, for the launch guild side, or for the Tasha booth side, which is the courses and coaching side of my business, what she does is creates the project plan assigns it to everyone make sure you know, quality control, that sort of thing is happening on that side, instead of her being in the nitty gritty of like actually doing one of the tasks, right, yes,
Kate Kordsmeier 6:03
right. Yes, this is a lesson I feel like I've learned the hard way in the last few years of hiring, whether it was contract or full time, but it seems like generally speaking, it's good to have the doers, like the people who are actually implementing what and doing the tasks, and then you need the people that are managing the doers?
Tasha Booth 6:24
Yes, absolutely. Because what ends up happening is it feels when you get your first VA and they start taking some of those tasks off your plate, it feels amazing for a while, right? And then you're like, Oh, this feels great, I'm gonna hire like a second VA, or maybe I'm gonna hire, you know, a copywriter or graphic designer or somebody else to support you in a different way. And then what ends up happening is they're still coming back to you to get your approval on things, ask you questions about things. So you've brought yourself back into being the bottleneck. So really getting out of being the bottleneck for those sorts of things, really requires somebody else that is managing those people and managing those tasks. So you don't have to be doing that. And that's where an OPM or like something like short term, like a project manager would come in, right? Yeah, I
Kate Kordsmeier 7:05
think at first, exactly. Like you said, you start delegating, and you feel like, this is so amazing. And if you just have the one person, then it's not too bad, because, you know, it makes sense. Like, you don't need a manager for one person, necessarily. But you are still very involved in deciding a lot of things. And like coming up with the vision, giving them the task, reviewing the task editing, you know, giving them edits, whatever, like it's all on you. So, one person, okay, that might be all right. But as soon as you add two, three people, even if they're contractors, it's like, oh, my gosh, now my whole day is spent not moving the business forward. But in managing all of these people.
Tasha Booth 7:45
Right. And when I got to that point, I knew that I was at that point where I just needed Jayla, right, who actually started off part time as a team lead. And admin, right hand and chief and team lead was her official title. But she started off in that because I was like, I am in Slack, you know, five times a day, just giving people LastPass access, like I did not spend my life in LastPass in slack doing that, it's not a good use of my time or my energy. So that's what I knew that it was just time to, you know, have somebody else in that role?
Kate Kordsmeier 8:16
Yes. Okay. And do you feel like if somebody is listening, and it's their first hire, maybe they're still a solopreneur, doing everything themselves, but they're at that place where they know they need support? What do you feel like is not only the best first hire, whether it's VA or OBM? or something else, maybe? And then do you feel like it should be full time or contract?
Tasha Booth 8:41
Yeah, I would definitely say first of all, probably start off with a contractor. It just feels for me, I know that it felt easier. And and for everybody that I've worked with everybody that I coached, I know that having an employee just feels like a different kind of weight and responsibility. And so if people aren't ready for that, they wait too long. And you know, they kind of just kick the can down the road. So yeah, start with a contractor, I would normally suggest probably starting with a virtual assistant first, because you are going to need that implementer, that primary implementer before you're ready for somebody who's managing the implementation pieces. But the first first piece would be to take about, you know, five to seven days, write down and do a time inventory of where your time is being spent. And look at the things that can be actually outsourced and what the commonalities in those tasks are, so that you really know that you're hiring the right person, because there's different kinds of ways to write there's like creative vas who would be great with like, you know, content support and like repurposing your content. There's administrative vas who be great with like onboarding clients and doing like email management and inbox management and those sorts of things. So you just want to make sure that you're not setting yourself up for failure by looking for a quote unquote, unicorn that doesn't exist. There's not a person who's going to be great with graphic design and copywriting and admin and you know, all of the things and social Find that find that person or that role that is the primary need at the moment, and then hire additional people as needed. Gotcha. Okay, I love that advice.
Kate Kordsmeier 10:11
So I want to kind of switch gears a little bit, but it's related. So we're talking about hiring when you just decide like, Okay, I need more support, and especially with just getting some tasks off your plate. And I think this is related to just the agency business model as a whole. I know a lot of people listening are service based entrepreneurs, and they do something like manage Instagram, or are graphic designers or something like that. And of course, there's pros and cons to this business model. But one of the cons is that, if it's just you, there's only 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you know, you can only take on so many clients, especially before, like, physically, it's literally impossible to go beyond a certain point. But then also if you want to just maintain your health and sanity and family and things like that. So where do we go first? With this question? I'm thinking like, you're ready to bring on that support. But it would be basically having somebody that's supporting the service that you provide other people, which is a little bit different than just like having somebody come in and write your own Instagram copy or what, right?
Tasha Booth 11:24
Yeah, so when we think about those people who would be implementers, for the work that we're doing for our clients, they're considered subcontractors. So they're coming in under the umbrella of our agency, or our company and working within our company on client work. So that's different than like you were saying, if they're doing your specific social media, right, or something for you. So a lot of times when people come to me, and they're starting to think about this agency model, they are at a point where they are 80%, or more booked out. So they're either booked out or almost at the point of booked out, they're often at the point of burnout. And they're they're maxed out on the number of hours that they can work. And the other thing that I found, the reason that I started my agency in the first place was when I look at myself as a solopreneur. I asked myself, like, is this fulfilling the reason why I started my business in the first place, right. And the reason why I started my business was having the ability to say yes to things, right, having the ability to kind of be spontaneous in things sometimes, and get to go on vacations with my husband, and go on long weekends when I felt like it. And as much as I was loving my business, I wasn't loving the fact that if I went on a week long vacation, it meant that I wasn't making money. And because I wasn't, you know, in the business, or it meant that I was bringing my laptop along with me to that vacation to answer client questions and like, do as much as I could in between, you know, going to the beach with my husband. And that didn't feel like it was honoring my why. So a lot of times people are coming from that space of like, this doesn't feel the way that I thought it was going to feel. Because either things stop or I never get to stop. And I'm overwhelmed into the, you know, close to a point of burnout.
Kate Kordsmeier 13:02
Yeah, right. Yeah, as I was a former journalist, and I was freelance, so it was kind of similar and that, like, I had a lot of flexibility and freedom. But if I wasn't physically working, I was not making anything, there was no passive income. There was no like, I have a funnel setup. And like, Yeah, no, it was you work, you get paid, you don't work, you don't get paid. So the agency model is sort of the answer to one of the answers that you could, you know, use to solve this problem. So, can you just tell us just in your own, like, personal experience with having an agency, what are some of the pros and cons of this model, compared to not just being a solopreneur? I guess, because that's one option is just like stay solo, and just accept that that's sort of the way that it is. But then I think a lot of people then feel like, No, I don't want an agency, I want to, you know, create a course or a program or something like that instead.
Tasha Booth 13:59
Yeah. Well, and I really believe that, like, there are so many roads, so like, whatever you want, and it's just our job to like, narrow those roads down and pick one and kind of pick a starting road. Right. So that was the agency for me. And since then I've done you know, the coaching and core side of things as well. But I think for me, there were a couple of reasons why I chose the agency model. Number one, I really enjoy people. I love working with people. I've always been a collaborator that really enjoys that collaboration kind of spirit of it. I managed people in past careers and past jobs before and so I felt confident in my ability to do that, even though like the agency has been my biggest hurdle and biggest joy and like learning as a leader and learning to step up and leadership. I also saw it as the the way that like no matter how big it got, I could make it bigger if I wanted to, because I've removed myself completely as a bottleneck. So what I mean by that is in my agency, I'm out of 100% of the implementation 95% of the data Day. And if we have learnt like if we get more clients, we can always hire more people and create more capacity. So I've eliminated what is what is normally a ceiling that people can't break through, no matter how they structure it if they're a solopreneur, right. So those are kind of the big the big pros in it that it can be scalable as as big as you want it to be scalable. And also you can take yourself from implementer to 100%, being management leadership, fully, really being the CEO of your company, instead of being the bottleneck of your company. If you structure it the right way, I would say the biggest cons for is that people are hard, and people are messy. And people management is sometimes not fun. Yeah, I've had to fire people, I've had to have hard conversations, I've had months where I'm just like, Hey, you know, this is a down month for us. And we're not going to have as much work for you. Like, that's never a fun conversation. But at the same time, like so I would say that you have to go into it, knowing that you enjoy people enough to like stick through it, even when it's hard, and it's fun. And then the last con of it would just be that I think this is also a promo. You have to in order to make an agency truly work, you have to systematize everything you have, it has to be processed, and it has to be processed based and templatized and systematize. And that can feel hard in the beginning. But like the other side of it, which I'm finally on the other side of it, where like we have an SLP for everything, you know, that feels really good. And that feels really supportive for both me and my team. Right? Yeah. So
Kate Kordsmeier 16:37
this systematizing thing brings up so many questions for me from different angles. And we're going to get to a little bit later in our conversation kind of how entrepreneurs even if you're not following this agency business model, how you can bring more systemization into your own business, and kind of work on the operations piece. But I want to ask you a question that so I've hired I've had full time employees, I've had contractors, I've worked with agencies, and there's pros and cons to each like, like everything. One of the cons that I have felt as a business owner who's hiring an agency is sometimes I've worked with agencies that are so systematized, they're so rigid in their ways of doing something. And if it doesn't work for you, the paying client, you're like, well, it's not really working for me. Do you ever, but like run up against that?
Tasha Booth 17:26
Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's a matter of knowing like, what is a must have versus what is a nice to have, you know, like, there's always those rigid lines that like, for example, like we don't work in Trello we don't work in Trello, because we know that with large teams. Trello just breaks and doesn't work. You know, we've, we have the historical evidence to show that. But you know, if somebody is just like, you know, I'm not really great with Slack, or can you send me my tasks? You know, I know that they're going to be in Asana, but can you let me know them inbox or something, we have clients that are like that. And we understand that, like, they need something slightly different. So it's a matter of the agency having the the must haves and the business owner also being like, I understand that you have policies and procedures, or agency just like I have in my business, and then the nice to haves in terms of just the communication of like, Hey, this is feeling off or this isn't working. Can we have that conversation about something that may work better for both of us? Yeah, yeah, I
Kate Kordsmeier 18:22
think the communication piece is the area that I've struggled with, like, I like to use voxer for everything. I'm not in slack. I don't email me. And a lot of agencies are like, those are the only options you have to be on our Slack channel. And I'm like, I don't really want to create a Slack channel for one thing. That's like, you know, I don't do anything else there. I can't voice memo you like I like boxer, please talk to me in boxer. And I think some of them are just so rigid that they're just like, No, we can't manage it. And I get it. It's like I get that they can't manage. They have 50 clients and they all want to communicate a different way. But it is it's tricky. I think. So it's probably just finding the right agency for you. And right, we're needs as well.
Tasha Booth 19:07
Exactly, exactly. I think like part of that you'd come up against even if it was a solopreneur. Because when I think in terms of like, why we use mock servers when we when or why we use Slack, like slack is searchable and voxer is and so if I have a client who sends me 10 to 20, voxer messages a day and I don't have the time right then and there to answer or listen to all of them, then I have to go back and listen to all of them to get the task out of that, you know, and that's hard. So I would I would say even when I was a solopreneur if somebody came to me about that, I would be like, Oh, we need to find a different solution because and here's why. Like I want to make sure that I'm not missing anything. I'm probably gonna miss something if like I have to listen to you know voxer message
Kate Kordsmeier 19:50
boxer isn't perfect. I'm still waiting for the most basic feature mark is unread so that I come back and like if I couldn't respond to it, then then it's just like gone forever. But I will say anybody listening who has struggled with the same thing with voxer, my team and I have implemented this thing. And it works really well where every time we before or after we leave a voice memo, we'll put a note of like, I'm talking to you about this with an arrow pointing down to the message. So then it is searchable, or even if you're not actually able to type in what you're searching, but you can scroll up and go, where's the message where she said the thing about the rebrand and then you find it that way. So that has helped a little bit with that brands, great. I love all that you have to share. Your Side hustling blogger or aspiring blogger looking to make more money by working less, then you probably already know that you need to improve your blogging strategy, or create one from scratch. But why would you start from zero when I have a proven method that worked not just for me, but for so many students in my six figure blog Academy as well. Look, I'm gonna guess that you're feeling totally overwhelmed by all the things you need to do, and you have no idea where to start. I've been there, I get it. And I got you. What have you had a roadmap that told you exactly what you need to do step by step, minute by minute to create a six figure blog, my free 99 step checklist will get you from overwhelmed to profitable blog in no time. I should know following it is how I was able to grow my blog to $150,000 in revenue in just three years. Get the only roadmap you need to make money blogging about what you love at Katekordsmeier.com/roadmap. It's free. What do you have to lose? That's Katekordsmeier.com/roadmap.
Okay, so going back to agency business model, some of the most like, I'm sure common hesitations you hear are from people who are thinking, well, but my clients are hiring me. And what happens if do you tell the clients you know that it's not you doing the work anymore? Well, let's just start there, because I'm gonna just throw like, 10 questions at you.
Tasha Booth 22:20
Yeah, no, I get this question all the time. And this is like the biggest, most common pushback to age to creating an agency, because we do feel like, you know, we have created this camaraderie with our clients. And we've created this relationship with our clients. I understand all of that. But one of the things that I go back to is I was having a conversation about this topic with somebody on clubhouse a couple months ago. And she was saying, you know, how she has some high profile clients, and they just want to work with her. And you know, it was like a mini me thing. And I think of when we're going from a solopreneur to an agency and call that going from a me to a we right. And so a lot of it is around realizing that as amazing as you are as a person, if you started doing terrible work, all of a sudden, for those clients, they would not be your clients anymore, right? Even if you were a great person. And so they are Yes, coming to you, in part because of your soft skills because of your communication styles and your personality. But 90% of the reasons that they're coming to you is because you do great work and reason that you do great work is because you've created a system and a process around you how you do that work. Even if you don't think it's a system and a process it is because it's repeatable, you consistently do great work. And so once we can get that system in our and process from out of our heads onto a piece of paper onto a Google Doc, then it becomes that, oh, we can train other people on the system and process. And then we hire also not just for the hard skills for what they know how to do, but also for the soft skills and we ask questions around, what would you do in certain situations? How would you communicate if this was the problem? Like, those sorts of things so that we're finding personalities that mesh with our company style and our company culture? Without it having to be us?
Kate Kordsmeier 24:05
Yeah. Okay, that makes a lot of sense. And then at a certain point, you know, maybe it's one thing if your clients have only worked with you as a solopreneur, then you have to have the conversation that says, You know, I, I've started an agency and so you can still expect the same great quality work, but we have some other people on the team now that are going to be in your account or whatever. Versus like, once you're an established agency, people just come to you knowing like, they don't expect that you owner are going to be the one you know, doing all of the tasks. Exactly. And that's a messaging
Tasha Booth 24:38
thing that's moving from the meat to the we model in terms of by the time people at this point come to the launch guild and have their first conversation their their discovery call. They've seen on our social media, we always say our team are we and that sort of thing. And then when they go to our website, it's all we our instead of me and my and then when they have that discovery Call the discovery call actually isn't with me either. It's with our intake coordinator, Brianna. So there are layers to making sure that they understand and you're infusing that team spirit into it, even before you've had that first call with them.
Kate Kordsmeier 25:13
So smart. I think the positioning and the meeting, we is so important. And even on the flip side, like, you know, a lot of group coaching programs, something that I've learned now that as we're scaling, and we have, you know, more clients than just one person, me as the CEO could handle, we're making that same messaging transition to like, one of team k K's dedicated coaches, rather than coach with my case. Yes, exactly. I
Tasha Booth 25:40
just made that switch. I started that switch in my coaching programs to this year, and it was scary. I was like, I'm back to where I was, when I first started my agency, all of the same fears are coming out. But I think it was it was easier to self coach myself through that, you know, having gone through it once before. But yeah, it's the exact same thing that Yeah, you're just making sure that people understand that, that you are not the only person behind the company.
Kate Kordsmeier 26:02
Right. Right. And so as the CEO of an agency, how much reviewing are you doing of people's work on your team?
Tasha Booth 26:10
Yeah, 0%. I love to hear. Yeah, it's magical. And it's amazing. Yeah. And the way that it works is that we have for, you know, for every single one of our launch clients, for every single thing that we're doing, we have multiple places and layers in terms of review. So jailer ray is usually in there, one of our project managers is definitely in there, the virtual assistant or the tech VA, or whoever is actually setting things up, does a couple rounds of review before it goes to the client. So by the time it's client facing, there's been at least three people, that's our minimum number of people that have looked at it and then have seen it. And none of those people are me.
Kate Kordsmeier 26:52
Amazing. And I think, again, this is agency or otherwise, one of the questions I wrote down is how do you get sort of like your systems out of your head? How do you download your brain, what you would look for if you were reviewing it, so that when other people do it? You don't? So you just don't have to be a part of the day, day to day processes of everything?
Tasha Booth 27:13
Yeah, so there's definitely layers to it. And where we're at now was not where we were three, four years ago, when we first started this thing. So it's been slowly pulling myself out of parts of it. And what I would say is, the first thing is to do a brain dump of like, everything that you can think of in terms of what you and your team or your company does, right? So if you're still solopreneur, what do you do think in terms of like I, you know, how I onboard people, how we do this process or this service, how we, you know, do that service. And then you basically started as a punch list of let's work on creating an onboarding, SRP first. So SRP standard operating procedure, that's going to be the step by step by step of how you do that one process. And so I know that, like our onboarding, SRP is probably really a collection of 10 smaller slps in terms of, then we you know, we customize the contract. Here's how we do that. So we took the time to really deep dive into just that process and and doing it as much as possible. So I would create and start a loom video on it first, and just show like, this is me doing it right. Then I hand it off to Jayla Ray, who then actually does it and puts it down into the Google Doc. Yes, my purpose in life and my ministry is not slps I was gonna do them, they would they would die on my on my desk. So but the other thing that is helpful in that is that Jay ray is able to then ask me the questions and be like, I noticed you didn't do this. But it looks, you know, or I noticed you did this, but it doesn't look like you do this for every con. Right. And you explain. So that helps us get the holes out of it. so that by the time it's actually team member facing and the team members going through it, she's been able to get you know, most of the kinks out of the process.
Kate Kordsmeier 28:59
Yes. I think the loom video is so genius too. Because sometimes, if you're just if you're not actually doing the task, and you're like, Okay, how do I do this thing, and you were to just try to write it down on paper, you're going to forget, like, 90% of what goes into it. But if you just record yourself doing it once, then it's like, okay, now they see it, there's, I mean, you might still forget a couple things. But then like you said, then they can watch the video, they can ask questions. And I know for rsvps you know, some of the more straightforward ones, it's one and done. But sometimes it's like, this is a multi step process. This is complicated. There's a lot of tech involved. And so, you know, it might take a few times of them doing it and then Oh, I got this thing this time. What do I do and you have to go back and like right at it the sob but that's okay. And like, eventually it gets to the place where it's like now we can hand this to anybody and technically anybody could do it. Exactly, exactly. What about for the more like creative tasks that maybe aren't so, so By Step objective, you know, kind of tasks that are more like, how do you download your brain to somebody, if you are an agency that operates, I keep going back to this, I have a friend who's an Instagram manager. And so I keep thinking, like, how does she tell somebody like, this is what makes a good caption? This is how to write well, you know, it's, it's a lot of stress,
Tasha Booth 30:22
right? It is a lot of skills. And in our agency, we're looking for people who are already at least at intermediate, if not advanced, you know, and experts at what they do when they're coming in. So it's not like, here's how to write a caption, or here's how to use dubsado. Like, they already need to know that right? Right. But my suggestion would be, let them have their first pass at it with your slps and everything. And then you go back to loom, you record a video of your screen sharing their caption, and you say, here are the changes that I would make, and here's why. And so what we want to make sure of is that it's not just like, here are the changes that I would make, because I'm me and not you. But there's really a reason for it, right? There's a conversion reason for it, or some reason behind it. Because the reality is, you know, people are all different. And so we have to separate, like, what is just our personal preference, which is sometimes going to be different than how other people are going to do it versus liking what needs to happen. Because reason XYZ, because it's going to convert better, or whatever it is, maybe because it doesn't have the keywords that it needs in it. So if you can give them that, you know, and tell them like here is why, or here are the things that I would change in this one. And then that way, they're starting to understand how you work in terms of it and your reasoning behind it. And then the next time they come on that caption, they're like, Oh, you know, okay, we'll
Kate Kordsmeier 31:40
do it this way. Because let me fix these couple things. Right, right. And I think the right people who are critical thinkers are able to, you know, take the knowledge that they already have, and then apply your preferences and things to it. So that kind of brings me to like, how do you find the right people and the right fit. I mean, one thing you just said was that you're hiring people who are already kind of expert in this thing. So you're not. So you don't for your agency, in particular, you're not going to somebody who's like just starting out, you were looking for a different level.
Tasha Booth 32:11
Yeah, we we tried doing that work, they're just starting out, we're going to train them, and we don't have the time to train them. So we have the time to onboard them and make sure they're supported. But we needed people that were already exceptional at what they did. So the way that you find people and the right fit people is by once again, really looking at what the core goals and needs are of that position and not looking for, you know, a jack of all trades, but really looking for somebody specific for each one of those roles, and also taking your time. So we have a three step hiring process. The first two steps are applications. The third step is an interview. And then we sometimes have a fourth step, which is the test test project with us. And all of that is because we want to make sure that by the time we are offering them a position at the launch Guild, we 100,000% know that they're going to be a great fit, not just skill wise, but also you know, culture fit in terms of camaraderie, and all all of those pieces that make it really important that are really important and make longevity something, you know, that we can be proud of in our in our age writing. And for that test project, do
Kate Kordsmeier 33:21
you pay for them to do the test project?
Tasha Booth 33:24
Yes, absolutely. So we keep it at about an hour. So we ask them to send us an invoice for one hour of their subcontractor rate, whatever, you know, we know that that's going to be and then we we have them do it, we have them time themselves for it. And then we also usually have them like show their work in some way. So a lot of times that test project, depending on the role is something that is like multi layered. So for example, if you're hiring like a tech VA, what is something that your company does all the time that can show proficiency in different ways in being a tech va? Same thing with like, if you were hiring somebody for you know, Instagram strategy, what is something that can show proficiency in that in multiple ways, right?
Kate Kordsmeier 34:03
And do you find that hiring for your team, whether it's for your team team internally, or your agency that like you would not do a test project or this intensive approach and interview process for a contractor? This is more just for full time people? Or you do it across the board? We do it across the board?
Tasha Booth 34:21
Yeah, we absolutely do it across the board. Because we don't want people that, you know, come in, and we're like, oh, we were wrong, you know, we thought we thought and so at the end because like it's just, it's jarring to the rest of the team. I think one of the reasons that we're so successful at what we do is because our team has been together for like some of them have been been on my team for going on for years at this point. And so we were working together all the time. We understand the ins and outs, we understand people's work schedules and how they work best and everything. And that doesn't happen if like you have people just floating you know, in and out all the time.
Kate Kordsmeier 34:56
For sure. For sure. Yeah, it's hard. I mean, we have it same same and that I have some people on my team who have been with me for four plus years. And it's I love the longevity because it's just like nothing requires explanation anymore. Like I can just give you this thing and you just know my brain so well and like what I look up, you know what I'm looking for? It's hard than like when you have new hires come in, and you're just like, you don't get me yet. I'm sure the SRP is is a huge part of this. But any other tips for creating consistent quality without micromanaging? When you have multiple team members representing you?
Tasha Booth 35:37
Yeah, I would say the slps are definitely a huge part. One of the other things that's been really helpful for us is having final checklists. So this has been really great, especially when it comes to design pieces across the board, just like looking for what is high converting design for like sales pages for thank you pages, even those sorts of things, and making sure that like that checklist is checked off all the way through before we finish. So you know, do not just do like the buttons click through and everything. But you know, are we using enough images? Are we using header fonts? Like, all of those pieces, you know, how do we feel about the SEO piece, so that when it pops up in on a Facebook page, it's got a picture, and it's got, you know, the right title to it, and all those little things that really matter and make the difference? So just having one of those final checklist kind of things. Yeah, it's been really helpful. Yeah,
Kate Kordsmeier 36:30
yeah, that's great. Any other tips for keeping yourself from being a bottleneck and really staying in your visionary Lane?
Tasha Booth 36:39
I would say that it's definitely something that is a different skill set than being an implementer than being a service provider. So really giving yourself time and grace on the fact that it's going to be a new skill set to delegate to other people, and to just breathe and let them do their job. You know, I had a really hard time with that for a while and a coach that I was coaching with, she was like, but what a gift you are giving your team members to like shine and learn and come through when you just step out of their way and like trust them. And I was like, Oh, you're so right. And ever since then, like even when I'm like, Oh, I you know, I could have gotten this done in like three seconds. Why is it taking them three days? You know, I just let them do it and let them shine. And then also let them learn to? Yeah, so I would say get out of your own way by allowing your team to be delegated to and let them do their job. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 37:36
Interrupting this episode with an important PSA, you are more than your business. You are a whole person, though you created your business to have freedom and flexibility hopefully, while also creating massive impact and income. Sometimes you feel like your business is running you instead of you running your business. But it is time to change that. That's exactly why I designed the Success with Soul incubator. I've learned that the bigger you grow, the more self care you need. But you can't do that without self managed teams and hands off systems which I teach you how to create inside the incubator. This is for all the spreadsheet nerds who are ready to dig into their data actually know what to do with it and grow their team and support system so you can spend less time in your business and more time enjoying your life. holistic systems are just one part of my signature six part framework, which you can learn more about by going to Katekordsmeier.com/apply when you apply now for your spot inside the incubator, you'll also get access to our exclusive to our private workshop for accepted applicants. This is a private invite only advanced level workshop, where you'll learn exactly how to scale to 50k a month on autopilot without live launching paid ads, social media or selling your soul. The application only takes five minutes and there is no obligation to enroll. Once your application is accepted. You'll learn my exact six part framework to grow your traffic organically scale your passive income with evergreen funnels, and do it all without burning out. I'll explain everything you need to know about the incubator program. So come on over and apply now. Again, that's Katekordsmeier.com/apply.
What about when critical feedback is needed? How do you like to deliver that? Do you have you know, are you a compliment sandwich type of gal or are you direct? Like you know that I'd be really challenging, particularly if people are struggling and you know, especially in the beginning a lot. I sometimes feel like Gosh, I don't want them to feel like everything they do is wrong. But I also want them to learn and I mean, I'm glad that you said like becoming a leader and managing and delegating is a skill. I mean it seems like The surface Oh, it's easy. You just give them the work. It is so much. Yeah, it's been really difficult for me. So it's something that I feel like takes a lot of practice.
Tasha Booth 40:12
Yeah. And I think that there's two things that I live by number one having clear expectations from the beginning. And so what that means is that when they first come onto the team Jayla Ray and I are very clear with like, you're probably going to get a lot of feedback at first. And it may feel like we're constantly telling you what is wrong. It's not that we think everything that you do is wrong. It's just that we know that there's a lot that we do specific ways here that you may not have been doing before. So just be prepared for a lot of feedback, you know. And also, like, if you're not understanding something, please speak up, communicate with us, let us know what's not working, we're here to help you. We also give them a lot of opportunities to basically ask questions. So Jayla Ray meets with them multiple times within those first couple weeks, to make sure that they have a container for their questions and to give them the feedback that they need. And then the other thing that I live by is that clear is kind and unclear is unkind. Right? Renee Brown, added that to our company, like our Yes, boy handbook. And it's so true. Because if things aren't feeling right for you, they're not feeling right for them either, right? You're both feeling things, and you're not saying so saying the thing is one of the things that's so hard, because we're people pleasers, we don't want people mad at us, or sad, or whatever the case may be, but not saying the thing isn't making it feel or be any better. So just saying, you know, like, this is felt wonky, or like, I feel like we've had a conversation or I've had to give you feedback on this thing multiple times. And it's still not exactly right. Can you tell me what's not working? Or why you're doing it that same way over and over again? You know, like, let's have a, have a conversation about it. And then I feel like, it just gives them the ability to say, you know, what isn't working for them as well? Yeah, yeah, that's been so helpful. So helpful.
Kate Kordsmeier 42:00
I also always recommend the book radical candor, and I make everybody on my team read it, too. And it's sort of naturally how I was. But now once I read it, I got a little bit more like intentional with being that way where I don't know if you've read it, but it's challenged directly and care personally. So like, you're gonna get really direct, honest feedback. But it's going to be delivered in a kind manner, because I care about you, and, and even outside of receiving feedback, like you have to show your team that you do care about them, and that you care about their whole life, not just the work that they do for you.
Tasha Booth 42:36
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that people respond to feedback so much better when they know and they already have that history of like, Oh, she does care about me as a person. And so when she's coming to me with this, it's not because she's mean or evil. It's because something's not working. And let's figure out how to make it work. Yeah, right.
Kate Kordsmeier 42:55
Yeah. And I think setting those expectations of like, expect feedback, like everybody's gonna get it, it doesn't mean you suck, or you're terrible, or we're going to fire you like one of the things that I have to remind my team about sometimes, too, especially when we're onboarding somebody new, is like, if I didn't think you could do it, I would just let you go. The fact that I'm giving you feedback means I know you are capable of this. And I just have a very specific vision for what I'm looking for. And so like, basically, if you're getting feedback, it's a good sign. Otherwise, I just be like, you can't do this job. Yeah. Yeah. Right. You don't have the skill set? Yeah. Yeah, totally. Okay, so moving a little bit away from agency business model and just speaking to entrepreneurs as a whole. What are some of your like project management tips? Or do you have tools or resources you like? Like, I know you mentioned you don't use Trello. I also don't like Trello. What is your project management system of choice?
Tasha Booth 43:56
Asana? 100%. Okay, yes, yeah. are you on? Click up? Yes. Okay. Because if people aren't on Asana, they're on click off now. Yes. I used to be. Yeah, our team's thought about it last year, but we are we have processes that just work at this point. Yeah. Asana, like, you know, I know the click up is brilliant. And I've heard so many great things. But my my big thing is, find what works for you and your team and stick with it and know that there will be something brand new and shiny coming out every other month. Yes. And you will drive yourself and your team crazy if you just jump from thing to thing, because it's got one new shiny feature that the other thing doesn't so find what works for you. So yeah, we we had that conversation last year and my team was basically like Tasha, we will stone you if you move.
Kate Kordsmeier 44:48
Something that's working like we left Asana because it wasn't working for us. And I just felt like there was something about the interface that just like it wasn't how our brains worked. And so we tried, click up and down. going great, but every now and then I'll hear you know something else about Asana or one of the other ones like, oh, maybe we shouldn't like, same thing. No. Yeah. I feel like I like rule of thumb unless it's really not working for you is like, stick with it for a couple years before
Tasha Booth 45:13
you move on. Yeah. Before you move. Yeah. Because it's so easy to just go down the rabbit hole of like, trying system after system. Yeah. And a lot of times, it's not the system that's not working. It's like you not following the systems that you created that. Yeah, working a lot of times too,
Kate Kordsmeier 45:29
or like really learning what the system can do. can do. Yeah, like there's, I mean, obviously, every software company has its own, like internal trainings and webinars and, you know, tutorials and stuff. But there are people out there that like, specialize in teaching teams how to use Asana, and I and same thing, like click up all the things, and I'm like, yeah, that is a good investment. Because I'm always thinking, there's probably stuff that we could be doing better or more efficiently, or things we don't even know that we could be doing that, like we're just totally missing out on.
Tasha Booth 46:00
Right. Exactly, exactly. And I would also say, Don't feel like you have to use all the features. Like we have the paid version of Asana, which has like 7 million features. We're just like, do we but do we actually need that? Or are we going to take a lot of time that we don't need to, like set something up that like is fun and shiny, but not actually helping us or recording us? You know, in a guy? Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 46:22
Yeah, very true. Very true. Any other tools or resources that you use for project management?
Tasha Booth 46:27
Yeah, so I would say a combination of Asana and Google Drive are the two big things that we use. So those are kind of like where our home bases are for everything. And we really like to set it up. So that like, basically, for our slps, we've created an Asana project plan that is our SLP library, and that has sections for each one of the slps. And then in each one of those tasks, basically, in that section of Asana, it links to the Google Doc of the actual recipe. So it's a great like one stop place for our team, our team knows that they can go to that Asana project plan and find the SLP that they need. But then, you know, the the entire thing is, is in Google. So yeah, we try to keep it really easy and quick, so that anybody who onboards the team can can figure it out pretty quickly.
Kate Kordsmeier 47:15
Yeah, my ops person moved us everything to Google Drive this past year, which has been huge, because of course, we were using like Google Docs and Spreadsheets and stuff. But then some things were in Dropbox, some things were in, we use a service called sync, which is basically Dropbox. And then we also had Google folders for certain things. And it was like things in too many different places. And instead of like switching everything to sync, but then still needing to use Google Docs or stuff is like, Well, wait, we could put this all in one place. And Google is so searchable. So now it's so easy to find stuff. I mean, when things are like organized and where name where they're supposed to be named, and things like that. But now it's so great. Like, I can just log into the kk drive and just type in what I'm looking for. And it's like, bam, right there.
Tasha Booth 48:04
Exactly, exactly. Yeah. And that's the thing, you want to make sure that whatever you create as the process, processes make different sense for different people in different ways. And that's okay. But just make sure that you're following whatever your processes, so whatever your naming convention is for folders, write files, make sure that you and the people on your team know and understand it and are following it. And I'm also saying that to myself, because I'm renowned for starting a new Google Doc, and then not naming anything. And then my team's like, Where's that thing? And I'm like, Oh, I didn't name it. I mean,
I don't even know what I do that.
Kate Kordsmeier 48:40
I know, that is I just wrote down like naming conventions, because I feel like even that is something where we sometimes will get like, half the things are named one way and then the other half are like there's no rhyme or reason to it or something. I'm like, okay, yes, that's it really helpful for everything, even like the way you tag leads in your email management software, like using a consistent methodology for that is huge.
Tasha Booth 49:05
Yeah, you know, I have to thank for me being really good at that most of the time, Meghan mins, so I was her VA and OBM for a while, like years ago. And she was so like, strict about that. Yeah. And at the time, I was like, doesn't even matter. Why does it matter? And I was like, oh, it doesn't matter. Like it really does matter. And so yeah, I have heard a thing. So shout out. Megan. Thank you.
Kate Kordsmeier 49:29
That's so funny. Yeah, it is one of those things. A lot of these things are things that feel like they can't be that important. But particularly the bigger you grow, the more things you're managing, it becomes so important and you will be you know, you'll thank yourself if you start it now when things are still kind of small and easier than waiting until you've grown and then you have to go back and redo everything. Exactly, exactly. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Any other like automated I'm all about like, how can I automate everything that we do instead of having to manually you know, go in and do things. So what are some of your favorite like automation hacks.
Tasha Booth 50:10
So I know you're not a huge fan of slack. I love Slack, we my whole team is on slack. We're in there all the time. And one of the things that we do is have reminders for literally everything. So Archie, who's our operations assistant, she goes in, like when we have a new client, and we're putting in like their birthday, or when their launch actually is like, we have reminders that are set for a week before their birthday a day before their birthday, so that we remember to send them a birthday card. Yeah, also, so that we can tell our team like, hey, Kate's birthday is next week, don't forget to say, you know, to tell her happy birthday and everything, or when invoices are due or any of those pieces, so that we don't have to remember and, and hold the space in our brain. Remember to do those things. slack does a great job with that. It's uh, it's one of those slack integrations that you can use inside of slack. Also, just having like looking at what are what are the other integrations like Asana integrates with Slack, I think click on does as well. So if somebody says, you know, Hey, can you do this thing? You can click on that in slack. And you can create it in a task. And yeah, or click up? So finding, yeah, finding all of those ways to automate the little things that just take up space in your brain that's on Yes.
Kate Kordsmeier 51:21
Yeah, for sure. Love it. I know, a part of me thinks I need to, like get it real training on slack because maybe I would love it. But every time I've used it, because an agency we've worked with have used it. I've been like, I hate this. And it's I can't figure it out. And I'm usually thinking, what does it do that voxer doesn't do. But I think the search ability is is big.
Tasha Booth 51:43
It is it the search ability piece is the is I think the biggest, most important piece and love being able to integrate and connect with other like tools and software that we use. For example, one of our favorite slack channels is our money train Slack channel that anytime we get a new sale, it comes in and that's like so and so. But your thing is
Kate Kordsmeier 52:05
Okay. Yeah, no, slack does not have the ability to like voice memo each other right? It does,
Tasha Booth 52:15
it does. Now, there is a thing called record fi that is an app that you can add to slack and inside, and it's, I think it costs like $1 a person per month. So it's super type.
Kate Kordsmeier 52:26
Yeah. Because that is my main thing is that most of the time, if I'm going to voxer to talk to my team, it's like, I need to explain something in more detail. And so I want to be able to talk it out without having to schedule a meeting. And that was the main thing that I felt like was always missing from slack.
Tasha Booth 52:45
Right? Absolutely. Okay. Well, you're, you're kind of making me feel like I need to go look at slack. We'll have a coffee chat. I'll walk you through my Slack channel. Yes. Well, speaking of that,
Kate Kordsmeier 52:57
we're coming up on the end here. If people are interested in working with you and your agency, or there may be a OBM or a VA themselves and wanting to you know and enhance their business there.
Tasha Booth 53:09
How can people work with you? Yeah, absolutely. So we I have two websites, one for the agency and one for my coaching and courses. So it's the launch guild Comm. I'm also the launch guild on Instagram, which I'm always on. And then Tasha booth calm is my website for coaching and courses, you can head there if you're interested in in coaching or love looking at some of my courses. And Instagram is the Tasha booth lead.
Kate Kordsmeier 53:34
So before we go, we always do a little lightning round of questions at the end. Just rapid fire. What is your favorite way to make time for self care?
Tasha Booth 53:44
naps? Yeah, I know, at least once a day and for 60 to 90 minutes. Oh, my gosh, that's
Kate Kordsmeier 53:52
like a legit nap to catnapping it. No, that's great. I love it. One tool or strategy you use to help with time management pomodoro method
Tasha Booth 54:03
definitely. So setting a timer for 25 minutes and just going until that timer stops.
Kate Kordsmeier 54:09
Now do you feel like that helps you when you're like procrastinating? Are you really need to get something done? Or do you like it for any type of just like it's just a good way of like a rhythm to get into?
Tasha Booth 54:21
I use it mainly when I'm procrastinating I have adult ADHD. So if something is like, Oh, it's been on my to do list and it's three days overdue at this point, and I'm just like, I just need to bang it out. Like Yeah, that's when I usually set that timer. Yeah, gotcha. Okay.
Kate Kordsmeier 54:35
I've used it for that purpose, too. But I always wonder like, do people just work like this all the time? Like, I wonder if that is that? I mean, it probably is beneficial to just remind yourself to get up and take a walk around even just like, you know, stretch for a second but yeah, okay, what's one of the most powerful business or entrepreneurial books you've read? Hmm,
Tasha Booth 54:57
okay. We should all be millionaires, which is I'm not quite done with it yet, but I'm Oh, good. Yeah, it's by Rachael Rogers and I really am enjoying it. And I love just the realness about it. Yeah. And great solid tips as well as some real good realness. Yes.
Kate Kordsmeier 55:16
I'm so excited because I have a two hour road trip by myself tomorrow. And so I'm like, I'm gonna listen to the book and like, I'll probably finish it. It'll be amazing. Yeah, that's great. Okay, what? Let's see, do you have a quote or mantra or affirmation that you're telling yourself lately?
Tasha Booth 55:32
Yes. So anytime. My birthday comes up as the time so my birthday is March 24. So anytime it's 324. I say $1 million this year. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So I don't know if you
Kate Kordsmeier 55:46
notice this. So my birthday is 928. And I swear, I never miss a day of looking at the clock when it says 928. And do you feel like you see now 324? a lot. Yes, yes, I absolutely do. My husband's always like, it's not that you are like only looking at it at that time. You just like notice it because that number means something to you. But I'm like, No, but every day I see when it's 928. Like, I don't see what the every minute is. Right? Right. Yeah, exactly. Okay, so the podcast is called Success with Soul. What does Success with Soul mean to you?
Tasha Booth 56:22
Success with Soul to me means living your life in a way that feels really gratifying and really intentional. And really fun. Yeah,
Kate Kordsmeier 56:32
It was so fun chatting with you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Wait a minute. I know I know. You're eager to get back to your life. But before you turn off this episode, I want to share something super quick with you. I know you're probably sick of hearing other podcasters ask you to leave reviews. But here's the deal. If you like a podcast, and you want them to be able to continue delivering you free episodes every week, we need your support. If you subscribe on the apple podcast, Google podcast, app, Spotify, or wherever you listen, it makes it possible for me to continue to provide free helpful content and bring you amazing guests. And if you take it one step further by giving us a rating and review with your honest feedback, we can improve better serve you in the future. And you could even be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Because if we don't get the reviews, we don't get the rankings and it makes it a lot harder to continue justifying the cost and time expense of producing a podcast every week and convincing amazing guests to come on the show. And of course your reviews are super helpful and motivating to me personally and I love hearing from you
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We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.
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