How to keep on keeping on

Today we’re tackling what I think is a really important attribute of being an entrepreneur, misfit or otherwise, and that is persistence.

What does it mean to keep on keeping on in the face of adversity?

How do you motivate yourself to keep on going when all around you is falling to pieces, and when do you decide that enough is enough?

So, if you’re struggling to find the mojo to keep your misfit entrepreneur business going, this is the episode for you.

Tune in to learn:

  • The definition of persistence
  • What persistence means to Kate and Amanda
  • The benefits of persistence
  • The dark side of persistence
  • Why defining success is so important
  • How to deal with that annoying voice in your head
  • Why showing up is the key
  • Do you have bouncebackability

With contributions from Nikki Weelan, Anne Alison, Charlotte Calder, Kylie Singh and Litsa Barberoglou.

Psst Hang until after the episode finishes to hear more about Gibbons.

Success is 80 percent showing up

I checked out the source of this quote and it has a chequered past.

Butter buns

About Amanda:

Amanda Van ElderenAmanda is a working copywriter, not a non working copywriter, she’s a working copywriter based in Brisbane, she belly flopped into freelancing after 18 years in comms marketing media, and established work words in 2016. She applies her copywriting mantra to pitching and client management, make a connection. Amanda works with big brands like Michael Hill jewellery, Fox Sports, and lots of others that I don’t want to read out. She has a BA in Communications, and finished her Masters of Communication and Media studies bouncing a baby on her knee.

Born to write, loves to laugh, and used to be cool enough that she’s been to over 500 live music gigs.

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Notes

  1. The Helicopter was pursuing two robbers on foot! How exciting.
  2. This is a gibbon.

Young Pileated Gibbon (1 year old) – Hylobates Pileatus

Transcript:

 

 

[00:07:30]

 

 

 

 

Today we’re tackling what I think is a really important attribute of being an entrepreneur, misfit or otherwise, and that is persistence. What does it mean to keep on keeping on in the face of adversity? How do you motivate yourself to keep on going when all around you is falling to pieces, and when do you decide that enough is enough? So, if you’re struggling to find the mojo to keep your misfit entrepreneur business going, this is the episode for you.

 

 

 

Hello, my name is Kate Toon, I’m the author of Confessions of a misfit entrepreneur: How to succeed in business despite yourself, and today I’m talking with Amanda Vanelderen. Hello Amanda Vanelderen.

 

Amanda V: Hello Kate Toon.

 

[00:08:00]

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

 

 

[00:08:30]

 

I’m going to read out your bio now, so get ready.

 

Amanda is a working copywriter, not a non working copywriter, she’s a working copywriter based in Brisbane, she belly flopped into freelancing after 18 years in comms marketing media, and established work words in 2016. She applies her copywriting mantra to pitching and client management, make a connection. Amanda works with big brands like Michael Hill jewellery, Fox Sports, and lots of others that I don’t want to read out. She has a BA in Communications, and finished her Masters of Communication and Media studies bouncing a baby on her knee.

Born to write, loves to laugh, and used to be cool enough that she’s been to over 500 live music gigs.

 

Really is that true?

 

Amanda V: I’d say it’s closer to 1000, but hey I need to amend that, because I’m still cool, baby, I’m still cool.

 

Kate Toon: Are you? I’ve met you, and I don’t think that’s true.

 

Amanda V: Lots of people listening won’t have met me, and I might be able to fool them today.

 

[00:09:00]

Kate Toon:

 

Something exciting happened just last week.

 

Amanda V:

 

 

 

[00:09:30]

Yes it did, yes it did. Finally after, what, almost two years of not actually sitting in my real corporate job seat, and being on maternity leave, I quit. Yes it’s official, I no longer have a real job, which I hadn’t done in two years anyway, and I’m not feeling anymore like I’m experimenting at being a small business owner, at being a misfit entrepreneur, I am one. This is life now.

 

Kate Toon: Fabulous, so do you actually call yourself an entrepreneur, or would you be more happy calling yourself a business owner, or a copywriter?

 

Amanda V:

 

[00:10:00]

I think entrepreneur has those connotations that sometimes you don’t want to associate yourself with, but you know I don’t go around and introduce myself in that way, Amanda Vanelderen, entrepreneur, but I also think that it’s okay to take the word back from some of those types that have made it look wanky.

 

Kate Toon: Did you just say wanky on my podcast?

 

Amanda V: I did.

 

Kate Toon: And, now I’m going to have to use the explicit thing now, thanks.

 

Amanda V: I was going to ask if you had a swear button, actually, because you know how I roll.

 

Kate Toon: I do know how you roll. Now to listeners who are listening, because that’s what listeners do, you may be able to hear the sound of a helicopter overhead, I have no idea what’s going on, it is not in my imagination, can you hear it?

 

Amanda V: I can hear it now.

 

[00:10:30]

Kate Toon:

 

Yeah, this is one of those podcasts where I don’t edit out stuff like that, because hey who has the time? So, we’re all just going to have to live with the helicopter, and I will find out what the mystery of the helicopter was at some point, and add it to the show notes.

 

Kate Toon: Yes. Now Amanda and I both like to talk, so we’re going to develop a safe word for this episode, before we get stuck in, what do you think it should be Amanda?

 

Amanda V: Given some of your walking video that I saw this morning, I’m sure you’d like to go with Gary V.

 

[00:11:00]

Kate Toon:

 

Gary V. Yes, I did a walking video, not trying to be cool, did that come across as really entrepreneur-y? He does it in the back of a car.

 

Amanda V: I thought it was cool, it was like look at me go, I’m too busy to stop, and look directly at my screen. I’m hustling baby.

 

Kate Toon: I was actually walking the dog, it’s not actually that.

 

Amanda V: That’s not hustling? Hustling pump along the road.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:11:30]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:12:00]

It’s misfit hustling. Anyway, let’s crack into the episode, I think our secret word, secret word? Safe word should be hedgehog, it’s hedgehog, we’re going with that. Okay, I like to shart, start, I like to shart bleh.

I like to start the show with a definition. When I say I like to do that, I’ve only done it once, but I enjoyed it so I’m going to do it again. So, we’re talking today about persistence. What does persistence mean? Well, it is the fact of continuing in an opinion, or course of action, in spite of difficulty or opposition. Wikipedia gave a dreadful example of this, Cardiff’s persistence was rewarded with a try. It took me ages to understand why the city of Cardiff was persisting, but I think it might relate to rugby, does that sound rugby-ish?

 

Amanda V: I think it does.

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

[00:12:30]

Okay, so we could have gone with tenacity, determination, resolve, resolution, resoluteness, firmness of purpose, doggedness, I thought that was something illegal, but we’ve gone with persistence, and just for the etymologists amongst you, it comes from 16th century France, persistence, from the verb persister, influenced in spelling by the Latin persistence, continuing steadfastly. That was a lot of things to say. I don’t know why I repeated all of that.

 

Amanda V: I liked the persistence. That was good.

 

Kate Toon: I did like that, my husband’s French.

 

Amanda V: If you could pronounce it like that throughout the rest of the podcast, that’d be fabulous, persistence.

 

Kate Toon: I will do that, persistence. Can we hear the helicopter now? It’s literally above my house.

 

Amanda V: I think it adds a sense of urgency.

 

[00:13:00]

Kate Toon:

 

It does, any minute some ropes are going to drop from the helicopter, burst into my Toon cave, “Kate, your podcast is really irritating, shut up!”

 

And drag me out into the back garden. Anyway, let’s keep going. Now, you might be wondering why I’ve invited Amanda on the show to talk about persistence, well it’s because I think she’s a persistent human.

 

I’ve known Amanda now, how long has it been? It feels like …

 

Amanda V: Definitely over a year.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:13:30]

Over a year, yeah, so Amanda is a member of my Clever Copywriting community, and she also helps me with CopyCon, which is the copywriting conference in Sydney in May, buy your tickets, it’s going to be awesome.

 

And, one thing I’ve noticed of you is that you really just keep on tracking. You really work, you keep on pushing, you work hard, you try things, you’re a doer, and I think you’re persistent.

 

So, what does persistence mean to you, or sorry persistence, mean to you?

 

Amanda V:

[00:14:00]

 

 

 

 

[00:14:30]

Look, I think it’s something that you don’t even really think about having that quality. Sometimes you are just a doer, and it’s just part of who you are.

 

 

For me, it’s doing the thing, it’s putting your hand up, and being prepared to be shut down, but putting your hand up anyway, and if you are shut down, well put your hand up again. Sometimes it’s a little bit of blind faith to it, put your blinkers on and you just do something, and without sounding, I’m not going to use that W word again, but sometimes it’s about having a confidence that you didn’t even know was there, and just refusing to think about there being another option.

 

I’m going to keep doing this, I’m going to try again, I’m going to have dumb ideas, but I’m going to keep trying. I think another really important aspect as well, is not being afraid to be first.

 

Kate Toon: What do you mean by that?

 

Amanda V:

[00:15:00]

Well, something was on my mind thinking about this morning, was in my family, I was the first to graduate from high school, I was the first to go to university, I was the first to do a whole bunch of things, travel overseas, any of that kind of stuff, because it never occurred to me that I couldn’t do it.

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

[00:15:30]

Yeah, well that’s good. It always occurred to me that I couldn’t do it, and that held me back from doing a lot of things.

 

I mean, I think I’m a persistent person, and I think for me persistence means, some of the things you said, so having dumb ideas, and other people say tell you are dumb, and doing them anyway.

 

I think it’s a lot for me to do with turning up, I talk a lot about this in the copywriting community, turning up.

 

Sitting at your desk, and doing the work, even when you don’t feel like it, even when things are going wrong, you get your bum on your seat, and you sit there for the time that you have, and you do something, because everything helps.

 

 

[00:16:00]

I see a lot of people flagging by the wayside, and going, “I haven’t got any clients at the moment, I feel a bit lost,” or people daring to have free time, and saying, “I didn’t have much to do today, so I went to the cinema, or I took the afternoon off, and actually had a life,” and it’s like no, who do you think you are?

 

Get back to your desk, but I think you have to be happy, but I do think it’s about working pretty hard.

 

 

 

 

[00:16:30]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:17:00]

I don’t think you need to work yourself into an early grave, but you have to work hard, you have to turn up, you have to try, you have to try again.

 

Another thing I wanted to touch on here, because I see it mentioned a lot in the misfit entrepreneur group, is when things aren’t going as fast as you want them to go. Do you know what I mean by that? People who are like, “I started a Facebook group, and it’s only got five people in it, I’m just going to give up,” and I think that a lot of the time, you need to get comfortable with living with small numbers.

 

Things don’t take off overnight. There’s always that story on Facebook of somebody has this amazing thing, and overnight it burst into billions of dollars, but the truth is that most entrepreneurs, it’s a slow burn.

 

You’re in my copywriting community now, Amanda, and you love it, I’m sure.

 

Amanda V: It’s my life. I don’t even know if I’m being sarcastic, actually.

 

Kate Toon: No, I don’t either. Most often you are, so we’ll just …

 

Amanda V: I think I started to say that in a sarcastic way, and then had an epiphany half way through that sadly it is my life.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:17:30]

Well you know, when I started that, there were for the first six months, there were maybe 20 people in it, and now you know there’s not 6000, there’s only about 130, or something, but that’s pretty good, but I loved those 20 people hard, and I persisted, and

 

I kept going when no one was making conversation in the group, and no one was posting, I turned up, I posted, and it takes time.

 

It’s a slow burn, I kept on going on.

 

So, for you would you think of yourself as a persistent person, and do you think it’s a wholly good quality, or do you think it has some negatives as well?

 

[00:18:00]

Amanda V:

 

 

 

 

[00:18:30]

 

I do think I’m persistent, and I think one of the words you touched on earlier, tenacity, that always comes to mind for me, because I think sometimes it’s about being tenacious, it’s not just doing the same thing day in, day out and persisting with that same thing. It’s that courage, or blind faith if you will to just do something different, and the turning up thing, I think gets lost often, and people talk about, “Why isn’t this thing I’m doing taking off?

 

Why isn’t my business doing this, or isn’t doing that?”

 

Well, it’s good to have dreams, and it’s great to chase them, and that’s what a lot of us are doing in having a small business, and being misfit entrepreneurs, but hard work gets overlooked some of the time.

 

 

[00:19:00]

 

 

 

 

 

 

[00:19:30]

As you say, you need to do the things you say that you’re going to do, and I sometimes come back to this corporate framework that I used to us in the real world, of people, business as usual, business development.

 

So, people always comes first. So when you’re talking about a solo business, or a small business, well that’s gotta be you and anyone around you. You have to come first in your needs, you have to work on that business as usual, the stuff that you’ve gotta day, the deadlines that you have, showing up and getting it done, and then you can work on your business development as well, and they are the three crucial things.

 

And, I think they’re crucial in that order, and that helps me be persistent with a lot of the things that I do, to come back to that framework and go, “Am I putting myself, and people first, getting the stuff done that I need to, and then chasing some other dreams as well?”

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

[00:20:00]

Yeah, I think that’s a great framework, I think I’ve always had that attitude as well.

 

 

One little mantra I always have is that the first little thing that I do each day should earn me some money, so that I feel like I’ve started the day well, and then I can faff around if I want to, but at least I’ve done one constructive thing that is tangible, and has brought a return.

 

Amanda V: Oh gosh, the first thing I do in the morning is log into Xero and see if I can send an invoice to somebody.

 

Kate Toon: Yes, exactly.

 

Amanda V: Which, kind of damages my creative credibility maybe, but we’ve all gotta pay our bills, and it’s okay to balance that with, “I love my business, or I’m passionate about this thing that I’m doing,” great but let’s keep roofs over our heads as well.

 

[00:20:30]

Kate Toon:

 

Well, that’s it, if it’s just you’re passionate about it, but it’s not making any money, then it’s a hobby, it’s not a business.

 

 

The nature of having a business is that you actually earn money from it. Just touching on it, though, do you think there’s a dark side of being persistent?

 

I know over the last year you’ve worked yourself hard at times, do you feel sometimes that your tenacity and persistence works against you?

 

Amanda V:

[00:21:00]

 

 

 

 

[00:21:30]

 

 

 

[00:22:00]

Of course, I mean, one of the things I’ve had to really relearn over the last year is how to say no. But, even when I’ve worked in corporate, I was the same.

 

 

I’d take on more than I could realistically handle, I wanted to be involved in everything, I had a lot to say on everything.

 

 

I’m lucky in that I’m very passionate about the kind of work that I do, and the career that I’ve made, so yeah it can have a dark side. You can put too much pressure on yourself, you want to be everywhere and do everything, and sometimes when that starts becoming successful as well, that brings its own set of challenges. I’m a small fish in a very big pond, but I get so sick of myself. I see an article pop up, and I see something, oh I’m on Kate’s pod, and I’m doing that, and I’m like, “Shut up Amanda Vanelderen.”

 

 

And I think sometimes your persistence can be mistaken by others for being a bit of an ego trip, or who does she think she is doing all these things?

 

 

I don’t think I’m anyone, I’m just doing my thing.

 

Kate Toon: Yeah, I mean obviously I’m the same, I’m out there a lot, I publish a lot of content, I’ve got a lot of published content that I’ve automated and republishing, I feel like I’m constantly coming up with new stuff, and often I think people must think, “Kate Toon, just shut up, go away.”

 

Amanda V: Oh look, I do on a daily basis, but that’s more on a personal level, so that’s …

 

[00:22:30]

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

 

 

[00:23:00]

 

Yeah, I feel it about you too, in fact even before this podcast I was like, “Shut up Amanda Vanelderen.” No I wasn’t.

 

I think sometimes people will be looking at what you’re doing, and feeling that way, but that generally says more about them, because maybe they’re feeling like, “I’m not doing enough,” and the imposter syndrome kicks in, that we talked about that in episode with Sharon Chisholm on, “Look at Amanda, she’s doing this, this and this,” and I mean even I’ve had that with you.

 

I see you’re publishing blog posts and all these guest posts here and there and I’m like, “God, I really should do that, why don’t I do that,” it’s absurd.

 

Amanda V: Because, you’re doing 74 other things.

 

Kate Toon: Yes, I was just about to say, it’s absurd.

 

Amanda V:

 

 

[00:23:30]

You have other people looking at you going, “Oh wow Kate’s so prolific, Kate’s here, Kate’s doing this, isn’t that fantastic?”

 

There’s room for everyone in so many different spaces, and I get this comment a lot, “You’re so lucky, You’re doing so well, you’re so lucky,”

 

 

and the next time I hear that I’m going to beat someone about the head with a wet newspaper.

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

[00:24:00]

Yes. It’s maddening, it’s maddening, isn’t it?

 

Because, it’s not luck, it is hard work, but yes I think persistency can have a dark side, I think I mentioned earlier about these crazy people who leave their desk and have a life.

 

I think I have persisted to the point where sometimes where I have no life, when I’m working long hours, working weekends, taking on way more than I should, creating problems for myself that I then have to solve, because once you get into this keep on keeping on attitude, it can be difficult to know when to stop, and when to pull back and go, “No, that’s enough, I’ve done enough for today.” It’s something that I’ve got a lot better at recently, just going, “I’ve recorded three podcasts, I’ve written this, I’ve done that, that is enough for anybody, just give yourself a break.”

 

 

[00:24:30]

So, I think that’s important to know, but my next question is not so much about the negativity of persistency, but we can say to people, “Keep on keeping on, you’ve gotta try hard, you’ve gotta try new things, be brave, dream big,” but when do you know enough is enough?

 

When do you get to the point when you have to say, “I am flogging a dead horse, I started this entrepreneur misfit business, I’ve really put my heart and soul into it, I have worked hard, but it’s just not happening,” how do you know when to stop, when enough is enough?

 

[00:25:00]

Amanda V:

 

 

 

 

 

[00:25:30]

 

 

 

 

[00:26:00]

 

When enough is enough. I’m not familiar with that phrase, it does not compute. Look, the truth is sometimes I don’t know when enough is enough, sometimes I do flog a bit of a dead horse with different aspects of things that I’m doing, and I keep on going with things, but I think key to responding to that is thinking about what’s your definition of success?

 

If you have this small business, if you want to work for yourself, and be a misfit entrepreneur, then what’s your success here?

 

Is it being a full-time entrepreneur, is it being full-time in that business that you’re working on? Is it, as you say, is it a hobby rather than a business?

 

And being okay with that being the case, if it is a hobby, if it’s something that’s, what do we all call it, the side hustle, if you have a side hustle, where you make your pottery on your weekend, and you might sell it at a market, or you have your Etsy store, or you do something like that, don’t have to feel the pressure of making that into Pottery barn mark two.

 

If you’re happy with it being a little hobby, and something that can make some money, that’s all right as well.

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

 

[00:26:30]

Yeah, I really agree. I think this idea that every idea we come up with has to be built up into some kind of rock star empire, it kills the soul, and often kills your passion for the thing, if you take a thing that you’ve loved, and you try and make it into, yeah you might make a little bit of money, but if you try and make it into a huge global enterprise, you suck the love out of it.

 

 

I pretty much did that with copywriting, I beat myself to the point where I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore, so I do think knowing your why is important, the whole Simon Sinek attitude of understanding, why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place, and setting up some success metrics, and success is a topic we’re going to tackle in a future podcast, because the problem with that is, there every shifting goals.

 

Amanda V: Oh yes.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:27:00]

What would be your … Do you have a definition of success, have you got a benchmark for yourself?

 

Amanda V:

 

 

 

[00:27:30]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:28:00]

I think as you say, the goal post changes all the time.

 

When I first started, and I joined the copywriting community, and it’s something I’ve been doing for almost 20 years or what have you in house, and I think the first definition of success would have been, well to get my first freelancing job. To get one thing, and when I got that, I seriously undercharged this person, and over serviced, and gave them amazing things for 99 dollars, and then it becomes getting the next one, and then it becomes next thing you know you’ve got some regular clients.

 

Then it becomes, “Hey maybe I need to get some clients on retainer, then I’d have a regular income,” then it becomes, “I need bigger brands,” so there’s always going to be something, and success is always going to change as your business evolves as well, and that’s okay and it’s also okay for it to change, and you want it to roll back a little bit as well.

 

Kate Toon: Yeah, I mean I measured a lot of my success, sexcess? I’m definitely not a [crosstalk 00:28:11].

 

Amanda V: I didn’t hear about that, that’s another podcast.

 

Kate Toon:

 

[00:28:30]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:29:00]

That’s a whole … Yeah, but putting aside sex, I started off just wanting to earn a certain amount of money, I think I started off wanting to try and replace the salary I’d had as a digital director at an ad agency, which is frankly absurd, and I was very money driven for a long time, as well as ego driven, I did love the dopamine of people liking my posts, and sharing, and writing comments.

 

 

And then I got into I wanted to be a bit famous, I wanted people to know who I was, which is ludicrous, because nobody knows who I am. It’s like we mentioned people like Gary V, and Pat Flynn, who are amazing people, mentioned them to my husband, hasn’t got a clue who I’m talking about.

 

We’re all in this bubble of people, we’re all in different bubbles.

 

 

 

 

 

[00:29:30]

 

 

 

 

[00:30:00]

So, I was obsessed with that, and then the reason I wrote the book, just a little plug for the book Confessions of a misfit entrepreneur, you can but it online at Amazon, when I wrote the book, I think the truth was that I got sucked into the six figure thing, and I made my six figures.

 

I launched a round of the Recipe for SEO success, and six figures in a day, which bloody hell that’s pretty awesome, but it was utterly unsatisfying. I’m going to sound like a giant penis now, but I didn’t think, “Yes I have done it, hurrah, I can climb down off the donkey of persistence, and lie in a pool of champagne.” I just thought, “Oh okay, now I’ve gotta do it again, what happens if it doesn’t sell next time?”

 

 

 

Neh, neh, neh. So, now I’m trying to re-find my success metrics, so that I know why I’m persisting, and I’ve realised that a lot of it for me now, is around helping other people. That’s when I get my real Ready Brek glow, for the British listeners listening, when I start to get that tingle in my nether regions and feel, “This is good, I changed some aspect of a person’s life.”

 

Amanda V:

 

[00:30:30]

 

 

 

 

[00:31:00]

Yeah, and it’s good to take a second to recognise that as well in yourself, to go, “Hey I worked really hard to get to a point where I can stop and reflect for a minute, and think what does butter my buns?”

 

You know. You know what I’m saying? Like, that’s a measure of success in itself, to be able to take a breath and say, “Where is it that I want to concentrate my time?

 

What do I actually get joy out of in my work? And that’s a way to also balance the fact that yes you’ve gotta take time for yourself, and put yourself first, and self care and all of that, but balance that with the hard work, and make some do the hard work stuff that you actually enjoy. It’s okay to do that.

 

Kate Toon: Yeah, and also I would say it’s okay to enjoy working hard. I really enjoy my business. We’re all told about this work/life balance, and often I think people are thinking, “Kate, take a break, do something different,” I do take breaks, I have an awful lot of time where I lie around watching Netflix, hanging out with my family, walking my dog, but I very much enjoy what I do. I’m lucky in that respect, and I don’t find it hard work.

 

[00:31:30]

Amanda V:

 

No, I’m the same in a lot of ways as well, and a lot of people will sometimes say to me, “Oh and you’re everywhere on social media, and you’re doing this on LinkedIn, and you must be working so hard.” I don’t know who that imaginary voice, it could be just one from my head.

 

Amanda V:

 

[00:32:00]

 

 

 

 

[00:32:30]

But, the fact is that you see stuff that I post on social media, or blogs that I’ve written or stuff getting around, and you see the outcome of it. You don’t see yeah when I’m sitting there with my family watching ABC kids, and when I’m sitting there bingeing out on

 

 

Transparent, or when I’m doing nothing, or I’m sitting quietly staring at a wall. Having five minutes to myself, or when I’m hiding in the toilet, trying to get five minutes to play Words with Friends. Some people have, and it goes along with that, “You’re so lucky,” thing of, “How do you find all this time?” And sometimes it becomes a little bit of a, “You must be neglecting your family, you must not ever take a break, you must be a workaholic.” I’m not, but I know how to sit at my desk, and work, and do the things that I’ve said I’m going to do. I persist every single day with a to do list, and I get it done.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:33:00]

I love that, that’s one thing I wanted to touch on.

 

 

I think persistence is a lot about saying you’re going to do something, and doing it. Just getting it done, and it is sometimes putting the blinkers on, and it is ignoring what everyone else is doing, and ignoring the inner voice in you that says, “You can’t do this,” just persisting and doing it regardless.

 

But, look I wanted to move into taking some comments from members of misfit group, and various other groups, because as you may know I have about 732 Facebook groups.

 

Amanda V: You’ve cut a few out then.

 

[00:33:30]

Kate Toon:

 

I have, about 50%

 

So, the first one is from Kylie Sim who’s a member of the Clever Copywriting community, and she says, “I think an interesting perspective is persistence in the face of self doubt and fear. To push through that voice in your head day after day, or is that just me?” So, how do you squash that voice in your head? Do you have a voice in your head, does it talk in that annoying voice?

 

Amanda V:

[00:34:00]

I have multiple voices in my head, and Kylie Sim, no it’s not just you.

 

I have this strange ability to appear on the outside like I’ve got everything under control, and I’m supremely confident, and I’m just doing the things, and putting myself out there, but I’m a hot mess, just like everyone else.

 

And, I have those doubts all the time. I mean, I think about giving up my business between seven and 32 times a day. So, an average of perhaps 21 times. So, it’s not just you Kylie, and I think a little bit of self doubt actually pushes you onto better things.

 

[00:34:30]

Kate Toon:

 

I think it does, and I think one of the best ways to cope with self doubt, if you’re having that little voice, is to just share those feelings. We see posting in the misfit group a lot about, “I wanted to do this, but I don’t think I can,” and then everyone piles in and goes, “You can do it,” and obviously sometimes that’s all you need. You just need someone to grab you by the sh-sole-shoulders, I can’t speak today, grab you by the shoulders.

 

Amanda V: I blame the helicopter.

 

[00:35:00]

Kate Toon:

 

Yeah exactly, shake you back and forth and say, “Shut up and get on with it.” That’s the voice that’s in my head a lot, so I do have, “Look at them ehhh,” that’s the voice in my head, it’s really whingy, “Why are they so much better than me.”

 

Amanda V:

 

 

[00:35:30]

Something that I’ve learnt being in some of the Facebook communities, like joining the copywriting community, and even being in a group, the misfit entrepreneurs group, is that sometimes it’s okay to ask for some of that validation, or some of that tell me I can do it. It’s okay to ask for it sometimes. It isn’t being needy, and I think we’re super lucky in that group that we have that safe environment, where people feel okay to ask for that.

 

Kate Toon: Yes, we all need it. A lot of us are working on our own, at home, in our pants, we can maybe talk to our partners about it, but unless they are in business as well, they don’t get it. And, even if they do sometimes they don’t get it, or they just don’t want to talk about it. So, it’s fine to reach out …

 

[00:36:00]

Amanda V:

 

Yeah, sometimes you need someone to tell you that you’re pretty, and you’re special, and get you a drink.

 

Kate Toon: Yeah, what’s that line from the Help? “You is kind, you is …” “You is kind, you is beautiful, you is something …” I love that one. Do you know the one I’m talking about?

 

Amanda V: No, now I’m traumatised, but thanks for sharing it.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:36:30]

I’m going to look it up on my phone. Someone’s ringing me, why is someone ringing me when I’m doing a podcast? Go away. I’m going to look it up. Have you not seen the film the Help?

 

Amanda V: I don’t think so.

 

Kate Toon: Oh my gosh, you see you’re too busy working.

 

Amanda V: Dude, the amount of TV I get through, there should be some sort of award.

 

Kate Toon: Yeah. I want to find this quote, because it’s annoying me now. I’m on my phone.

 

Amanda V: Maybe don’t do the voice.

 

Kate Toon: You is kind, you is …

 

Amanda V: Maybe don’t do the voice.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:37:00]

I’m going to play it for you, shut up a minute, I’m going to play it for you, let’s see if it works, I’m playing it on my phone. Oh no hang on I’ve got to turn my phone up. Oh is she speaking? Oh here we go. I’m going to do it again, that didn’t work.

 

The Help: “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.”

 

Kate Toon: There you go.

 

Amanda V: Oh my gosh.

 

Kate Toon: Did that move you?

 

Amanda V: It did a little bit.

 

Kate Toon: Yeah, well she does it better than me Yeah okay, well the next comment comes from Charlotte Calder.

 

Amanda V: Lovely Charlotte Calder.

 

[00:37:30]

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

[00:38:00]

 

The lovely Charlotte Calder, and she says, “The start of persistence is actually jumping in and giving it a go. Who was the famous person who says three quarters of success comes simply from showing up,” and I’m going to take this one first, Charlotte, because Charlotte was actually integral, is that the right word? To me getting my book Wobbly Jim, available at katetoon.com, published.

 

So, Charlotte rang me up so randomly one day, I’d never heard of this woman and just said, “Hi, I’ve got a problem with my website, can you help me fix it?”

 

And then she just started talking, and it was like, I don’t even know who you are. But, randomly I was feeling kind that day, and I did help her, and then she got back to me and said thank you, and she said, “Oh well I’ve seen on Facebook that you’re trying to write a children’s book, I happen to have an agent and have published 10 books, and won awards, would you like some help?”

 

[00:38:30]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:39:00]

And she did, and I never thought I would get my book published, and she helped me sign up to Curtis Brown, I got my book out to lots of famous publishers, all of whom rejected it, by the way, there you go persistent, but they all said that it was beautifully written, and that they would read anything else that I wrote.

 

 

Of course, since then I’ve written nothing, but what the moral of that story is, because there is a moral, I do have a point, is that she’s someone who’s persisted. She’s a highly successful author, but she wanted to be a copywriter, and she was impressed by my persistence as a copywriter. I wanted to be her, because she’s an author, and I’m just a copywriter. So, it just shows doesn’t it? But, you have to give it a go, you have to try.

 

Amanda V: Of course you do, and …

 

Kate Toon: You have to push yourself.

 

Amanda V:

 

[00:39:30]

I so agree, to get on the famous quote bandwagon, what’s the one about you miss all the shots you don’t take, no one’s going to come to you with a silver platter, knock on your door and say, “Here’s a fabulous business opportunity just waiting for you.” You don’t just think something up, and it becomes so. The hard work’s gotta go into it. But, and idea is nothing on its own. The persistence to actually follow through and do something with it, it’s like … Okay ages ago, this is very hard to believe, but I started running. I don’t run anymore.

 

Kate Toon: That is very hard to believe.

 

Amanda V:

[00:40:00]

It is, but it’s in my past, let’s not say running, let’s say jogging, and I did the whole couch to five K thing, and they used to flash these motivational quotes up, and the one that always sticks with me is even if you ran two Ks, you’ve just lapped everyone who’s still sitting on the couch.

 

Kate Toon: Yep, that’s true. I like that.

 

Amanda V: So, even having a go means more than having an idea and just thinking, “That won’t work, so I just won’t even try.” Well boo hoo, get on with it.

 

[00:40:30]

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

 

 

 

[00:41:00]

 

Boo hoo, get off the couch, although I do like my new couch, I’ve got a new couch, and I never want to get off it. We have a lot of comments here to read out, we might have to cut it down a little, but there’s a few here that I want to read out. One from Anne Alison, and she says, “I’ve nearly wanted to give up on my business many times, quite a few times, but two thoughts in particular lately have made me feel so focused, they are remembering why I started, because I so believe in my mission and purpose, and that I just need to persist.

 

 

That is all, and I am, and in a funny way I feel like a weight has been lifted.” So, I think that we keep coming back to that why, remembering why you started in the first place, and just holding on. It is tough though, because you wonder is success just around the corner? But, then as you said, what is success? I don’t know, it’s a tough one isn’t it?

 

Amanda V:

 

[00:41:30]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:42:00]

It is a tough one, and there are days when, look every day, you know as I said, between seven and 32 times a day I’ll think about, “Should I just go and get another job?” But, the why is important, and it doesn’t always have to be the big why. Some days it’s about coming back to, “I started this because I’m passionate about writing, I’m good at writing, I want to help other people communicate better,” and other days it’s bringing it back to those smaller little victories. S

 

 

ome days it’s about I don’t have to sit on a bus for two hours a day anymore. I don’t have to get my lunch together, and take it into work, and I don’t have to sit listening to people trim their nails in an office anymore. Sometimes it’s about those little small victories that can be part of your why as well, and that can keep you going on those days.

 

Kate Toon: It can, I don’t have to smell somebody microwaving tuna in the office microwave anymore. That’s one of your faves isn’t it? Are you still there? You went quiet there, what happened? You just went into a dark silence. I think maybe just the helicopter around, and I suddenly couldn’t hear properly.

 

[00:42:30]

Amanda V:

 

They’ve caught the gibbon.

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

 

[00:43:00]

They’ve caught the gibbon, the gibbon has been caught.

 

The final one that I’d like to read out is from Nikki Whelan, and she says, “At my son’s school they’ve been learning about persistence a lot. They all came home talking about bounce back ability a while ago, which I loved, but it sounds a little odd coming from a bunch of four and five-year-olds.

 

 

They also have a mantra, that it’s not that they can’t do it, it’s just that they can’t do it yet.” I like that, “Which is a great way to think about it. I think persistence is so important to instil at such a good age, as you can get a long way in life.” I agree, I mean everyone has children, and they get into something, and they don’t want to keep going, and your kid starts swimming lessons, and they’re like, “I don’t want to go anymore,” and you’re like, “You’ve gotta keep swimming,” but many of us refuse to keep swimming. We’re like, “Nope giving up, too hard, don’t like it.” So, I love that, I love the …

 

[00:43:30]

Amanda V:

 

Yeah, and just the term bounce back ability, I think that’s so cool. We can talk about resilience until the cows come home, but it’s a bit of a boring word. Just pause while I register bouncebackability.com. Done.

 

Kate Toon: I’ve already done it, sorry.

 

Amanda V: Damn it’s rejecting me.

 

Kate Toon: You can have .com.au, I’ve got the .com.

 

Amanda V: The next book from Kate Toon, Bounce Back Ability. Now, I’m just picturing you pinging around a room like a bouncy ball, but anyway.

 

[00:44:00]

Kate Toon:

 

I could have a cover, you know those fancy things with the little ears that you sit on?

 

Amanda V: Yeah, I do.

 

Kate Toon: Well, don’t tell me you don’t know what that is either?

 

Amanda V: No, I do know what they are, what are they called? They’ve got a name.

 

Kate Toon: Things with ears on them, but I could be on the cover just bouncing on one of those.

 

Amanda V: There’s a name for them.

 

Kate Toon: Bouncy things.

 

Amanda V: I wanted to say pogo stick, but it’s not a pogo stick.

 

Amanda V:

[00:44:30]

I sound like I live in an actual cave, and never come out. I’m telling you, I have a finite brain capacity, and at the moment, it is full of other things, and stuff like bouncy things with ears, and quotes from the help. There’s just no space for them right now.

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

[00:45:00]

 

 

 

 

 

 

[00:45:30]

Okay, well fair enough, but I’m going to be emailing Nikki Whelan, to see if I can steal that. It won’t be my next book, who knows when I’ll write my next book, hopefully soon. The final quote, I said that was the final one, but I’ve got another one, because I’m just a big teaser, Litsa Barberoglou, what a great name.

 

 

I probably said it wrong. She says, “Seven years later, a business that has morphed more times than I can remember, more debt than I’ve ever had, family encouraging me to give up, my words not theirs, and go back to the corporate world. If anything I’m very persistent, but I believe my vision is finally going to be realised. I am most definitely a misfit, and proud of it.” So, seven years in, I’m nine years in to my business, and believe me it looks completely different to when I started, and there has been a lot of periods when I felt like giving it all up and running away.

 

Amanda V: I still feel like that. I’m only a year and a half in, so I’m a baby.

 

Kate Toon: You are a baby.

 

Amanda V: But, there are days when I seriously think, “Could I just delete my website, delete my email, change my phone number, and literally just walk away from it all and never look back?”

 

Kate Toon: And you could.

 

Amanda V: I could.

 

Kate Toon: And you could, and the horrible thing is, not to be rude to you, but no one would care.

 

Amanda V: No, no one would care but me.

 

[00:46:00]

Kate Toon:

 

Yes, I feel like I’ve got all these people and things, and whatever, and sometimes it feels a bit pressurised, but I’m like honestly, if it all stopped tomorrow, honestly a few people might go, “Aww,” but then they’d move on, and in two days they’d probably forget that I’d ever existed.

 

So, I don’t know what that’s got to do with persistence, but it’s helpful. Let’s finish up with some tips. What would be your tip for keeping on, keeping on when you kind of don’t want to, when the mojo’s gone?

 

[00:46:30]

Amanda V:

 

You know, sometimes I have to trick myself, if there’s something that I really don’t want to do for whatever reason, and it feels like it’s too big, and it’s too hard, and I just don’t want to do it, I trick myself, and I use, as mentioned in Kate Toon’s book Confessions of a misfit entrepreneur, available on Amazon …

 

Kate Toon: You’ve learnt well.

 

Amanda V: Pardon me?

 

Kate Toon: You’ve learnt well, that was good.

 

Amanda V:

[00:47:00]

I have learnt well, haven’t I? Yeah, I use the tomato timer that you talk about in the book, I use that, and break things into 25 minute blocks, and if there’s something I really don’t want to do, I will trick myself, and say, “It’s okay, just sit down, put the timer on, you don’t have to get right into it, you don’t have to finish it, just potter away at it for 25 minutes.

 

That’ll be okay, just do 25 minutes, and then you can move on. And, most of the time that gets me going on something, and I keep going.

 

[00:47:30]

Kate Toon:

 

That works for me as well, that’s exactly what I go, I’m like, I’ve got this huge, mammoth task, and I’m like, “just do five minutes of it, you only need to do five minutes, and then you can have chip.”

 

Amanda V:

 

 

[00:48:00]

Yeah, and I think the other really key thing for me, is don’t be afraid to be Steven Bradbury. I knew you were going to say that. Steven Bradbury, for those uninitiated people, is the Australian guy who went to the Winter Olympics, and in the speed skating, and everyone else fell down in the race, he was near the back of the pack, everyone else fell down, and he won the gold medal. And he is now a shorthand for, “Oh gee don’t do a Steven Bradbury,” or, “Oh she’s done a Steven Bradbury,” by just hanging in there and being persistent, and keeping on going when other people don’t you can get the gold medal.

 

Kate Toon: I like that, there you go.

 

[00:48:30]

Amanda V:

 

And now he’s like a motivational speaker, and to anyone who gives Steven Bradbury a bit of stick, “Oh well you won because everyone else fell down,” but he was in the final of an Olympic event, okay. He had to get there. He didn’t just walk in off the street.

 

Amanda V:

[00:49:00]

He didn’t just walk in off the street, and strap some skates on and someone handed him a gold medal. He persisted, everyone else fell down, he kept going and he won. Steven Bradbury, Google him.

 

Kate Toon: Well, there you go, don’t be afraid of being Steven Bradbury, I love that, I thought Steven Bradbury was going to be some boy you snogged in like year two or something.

 

Amanda V: I was more interested in books thank you.

 

Kate Toon:

 

[00:49:30]

Yeah, I’m sure you were. Well look I hope that has helped any of you that are struggling with persisting and keeping on, keeping on. Amanda, thank you so much for being on the Confession of a misfit entrepreneur podcast.

 

Amanda V: Well, thank you so much for having me.

 

Kate Toon: It’s been wonderful. I apologise about the air, it sounds like Vietnam in the war in my back garden with the helicopters.

 

Amanda V: Are there a lot of gibbons in Vietnam, is that their natural habitat?

 

Kate Toon: Resist the gibbons, let the gibbons go.

 

Amanda V: A gibbon is just not what I thought it was.

 

Kate Toon: Well, we’ve learnt a lot today, the Help, the gibbons, Steven Bradbury, and I’m sure there was something else as well.

 

Amanda V: There’s a lot for me to work through now.

 

[00:50:00]

Kate Toon:

 

There is, a lot for you to process. Thanks very much.

 

Amanda V: No worries.

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

 

[00:50:30]

And thanks to you for listening to the Confessions of a misfit entrepreneur podcast. If you enjoyed the episode please head to the blog post for the show, and show a blurt of appreciation. It will make Amanda and I weep salty tears of joy. Also, for the love of all things furry, please subscribe to the show, so you never miss any of our future ramblings. If you have time you can also leave a rating, and review as well, and that would be fab, and of course if you liked the show, you’ll most likely like the book. You can buy it online at www.katetoon.com/misfits, or on Amazon. Amazon, jeez those guys are stingy with their royalties, so if you’re in Australia, do me a solid, and by it from me. I’ll even sign it for you and draw a picture of Steven Bradbury in it.

 

Amanda V: I’ll buy another one if you’ll do that.

 

[00:51:00]

Kate Toon:

 

Yeah I will do that for you, and you can also head to the misfits entrepreneur group on Facebook, and join that as well. So, that’s it for this week misfits, keep on keeping on. You’ve got this. There we go.