How to Ditch Your Perfectionist Mindset

My guest today is a serial entrepreneur, speaker, blogger, consultant and coach at Systems Scientist, podcaster, and author of Owning It: Embrace the Best and Worst Parts of You to Thrive in Life and Business.

She is the Founder of Mydzik Media, the host of The Off-Road Millenial podcast, where she talks about the future of work and millennial entrepreneurship, and she writes about personal branding and life-work balance for her personal site.

She is a scientist by trade, so she uses a mixture of her analytical and creative mind to help others identify their deficiencies and strengths within their personal lives and businesses.

Now, let’s hack …

Mallie Rydzik.

In this 34-minute episode Mallie Rydzik and I discuss:

  • The two essential elements of successful entrepreneurship
  • Knowing when to ask help, when you need it
  • Learn things, if you can’t, outsource
  • Not over-scheduling yourself with projects
  • Giving things a couple of chances before finally giving up on them

The Show Notes

How to Ditch Your Perfectionist Mindset

Jonny Nastor: Hack the Entrepreneur is part of Rainmaker.FM, the digital business podcast network. Find more great shows and education at Rainmaker.FM.

Voiceover: Welcome to Hack the Entrepreneur, the show which reveals the fears, habits, and inner battles behind big-name entrepreneurs and those on their way to joining them. Now here is your host, Jon Nastor.

Jonny Nastor: Welcome back to another episode of Hack the Entrepreneur. It is so very, very cool of you to decide to join me again today. I’m your host, Jon Nastor, but you can call me ‘Jonny.’

My guest today is a serial entrepreneur, speaker, blogger, consultant, and coach at Systems Scientist. She’s a podcaster and the author of Owning It: Embrace the Best AND Worst Parts of You to Thrive in Life and Business.

She is the founder of Mydzik Media, the host of the Off-Road Millennial podcast, where she talks about the future of work and millennial entrepreneurship, and she also writes about personal branding and life/work balance for her personal site. She is a scientist by trade, so she uses a mixture of her analytical and creative mind to help others identify the deficiencies and strengths within their personal lives and businesses. Now, let’s hack Mallie Rydzik.

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Welcome back to another episode of Hack the Entrepreneur. We have a very, very, very special guest today. Mallie, welcome to the show.

The Two Essential Elements of Successful Entrepreneurship

Mallie Rydzik: Hi, Jon. How you doing?

Jonny Nastor: I’m doing excellent. Thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate it.

Mallie Rydzik: Yeah, of course.

Jonny Nastor: All right, Mallie. We’re going to go straight into this if we can.

Mallie Rydzik: Okay, I’m ready.

Jonny Nastor: Mallie, as an entrepreneur, can you tell me what is the one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your successes so far?

Mallie Rydzik: This is interesting, because I was listening to another one of your guests, and they were talking about how planning had really contributed to their success. And I’m going to go completely the opposite here and say that my flexibility has really contributed to my success.

When I was growing up, I was an Army brat, and so I learned adaptability really fast. I’ve really applied that to my entrepreneurial journey. That means when things get thrown at me, there’s failures, like everybody has, I feel like I’m bouncing back faster because I no longer have that perfectionist mindset of, “It has to be this or it’s nothing else.”

Jonny Nastor: Wow. I like that. Did you say an ‘Army brat?’

Mallie Rydzik: An Army brat. Yes. Those of us that grew up as children of military parents.

Jonny Nastor: Oh, okay. That’s what I thought, but then I was like, “Does that mean you were in the Army and just not good at it or …?”

Mallie Rydzik: … and I was a jerk. Yeah. I was a jerky soldier. No.

Jonny Nastor: Oh, wow. So you mean lots of moving around, that sort of thing, and adapting to new environments?

Mallie Rydzik: Yeah, it was lots of moving, getting to know new environments, new ways of working. It seems silly when you think about it. It’s like, well, how difficult is elementary school and middle school? But as a kid, you have to learn those skills pretty quickly, or you’re going to not make any friends, or you’re going to do poorly in school, not have any extracurricular activities. So by learning how to be adaptable back then, I really feel like that’s helped me today.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, exactly. I don’t think we should say, “How hard is grade school?” and stuff because it means everything when you’re a kid, right? It’s your whole world.

Mallie Rydzik: That’s true. Right.

Jonny Nastor: There’s nothing more important because you’re in the trenches, literally, to bring the Army brat back to it, at that point. You are, and it’s hard, right?

Mallie Rydzik: Right.

Jonny Nastor: It’s interesting because people ask me about my daughter. We travel, do stuff, and they go like, “How does she deal with it?” I’m like, “Well, I didn’t know anything really about kids except that I was one at one point, but they’re super adaptable. They’ll adapt to anything.”

Does this get bred out of us as we get older? Because I think you’re right. I think it’s a super-necessary skill to have, especially as an entrepreneur and going for big, cool things. Not just, “Well, I’m going to go to this office for the next 30 years,” because not a lot of adaptation needs to go on at that point.

Mallie Rydzik: Right, right. I’m sure some people who are still working in corporate would say, “Well, you have to be flexible with where you are on the ladder and everything,” but it’s a different world in the entrepreneurial spaces, as we both know.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah. Okay, so from Army brat to now an entrepreneur. There seems to be this time in every entrepreneur’s life when they realize one of two things: either they have this calling to make this big, giant difference in the world, or as seems to mostly be the case, they find they simply cannot work for somebody else.

Mallie, could you please tell me where you sit on that fence, or which side of that fence? Hopefully, not on the fence. Maybe. And could you tell me when you discovered this about yourself?

Mallie Rydzik: I was never really approaching work as, “Okay, I’m going to do the 65 years of working.” I don’t know. How long do you work? How long do normal people work?

Jonny Nastor: I have no idea. What do normal people do?

Mallie Rydzik: Like my father-in-law, who’s been at the same company for 35 years. If it were back in the day, it would have been the golden-watch type of thing, but again — man, I feel like a therapy session here. With my father being in the military, he retired from the military after 20 years and completely had to find a new career when he was 42 or whatever it was. He was an Army test pilot, but he got a degree in accounting. Those two things don’t really go together, so even though my parents weren’t entrepreneurs, I still have that model of, “Okay, sometimes people do things differently.”

Then, as I was growing up, I was focusing a lot on school, because as we moved, I found I was good at school, so that was what I really liked to focus on. So I went to college. I went to grad school. And I was actually in a PhD program. When I was in the middle of my PhD program, I had a bit of a mental-health breakdown. Obviously, it was very difficult at the time, but I ended up with diagnoses of OCD — obsessive/compulsive disorder — chronic depression, and an eating disorder. That really threw me for a loop.

Knowing When to Ask for Help, When You Need It

Mallie Rydzik: Sometimes, people feel a little weird that I’m so open and talking about this, but I feel like it’s good to show that you can come through these things if you’re adaptable, if you go get the help that you need. So really, my path was never intentionally corporate. It was academic, so from there, I really had to re-evaluate how I looked at work, how I looked at life.

I realized that, “Okay, I’m already kind of taking this academic path of, ‘eh, I don’t really want to work for somebody else.’” Then I also realized, “I don’t want to work for somebody else, but I also want to make a difference.” I was wondering how much academia I was really going to be able to make a difference in it.

To very succinctly answer your question, kind of a mix of the two. I think it was really both a mixture of not wanting to work for somebody else and also wanting to make a difference.

Jonny Nastor: Wow, I love it, and I really, truly appreciate the honesty. It’s interesting. I guess it’s the all-American dream: college to grad school into a PhD. That’s taking it to the ultimate end. Then you obviously hit these huge stumbling blocks and made it through the other side, and then it changed your path. That’s really interesting.

I guess that could be brought back to your flexibility, your adaptability. You dealt with something so massive — I mean, between OCD or depression or an eating disorder, any one of those takes a person down oftentimes. You put three together, and wow. And you still come out the other side stronger.

Mallie Rydzik: I’d like to think so. I feel like I definitely came out stronger. The path wasn’t really clear from academia to, “Oh, okay, well, entrepreneurship is a lot like academia.” I had to go through a couple of hoops to find that connection, and it is interesting. Now I’ve written a couple of blog posts of, well, my goal as an academic was to have my own lab, get my own funding, run a small team of grad students who would help me with my research. That’s kind of the entrepreneurial path, but different. I’ve always found that pretty interesting.

I left academia. I got my master’s degree instead of my PhD, and I did a couple of odd jobs. Those included dog walking, nannying, those types of things. Then I started to discover this online business world, and so I took on some work as a freelance writer. What I found was a lot of people were really interested in people who had science degrees who could also write.

I never had to go into those content mills, the people that are getting paid cents on the dollar. I was able to jump in. I wrote for USA Today. I was hired by a local company to help with their science editing, and that was super helpful. Now, I was doing this all while working a corporate job, and I took the corporate job just because I knew I wanted a steady paycheck. I didn’t really know exactly what I was going to get out of this online business world, but honestly, after like two days, I knew that corporate wouldn’t work for me.

Jonny Nastor: Two days!

Mallie Rydzik: Going back to the previous question.

Jonny Nastor: I love that.

Mallie Rydzik: I was so not happy. Yeah, you can ask my husband all about how exciting that time was for both of us when I would come home, and I was like, “This sucks.”

Jonny Nastor: Wow!

Mallie Rydzik: But I’d had that taste. I’d had the taste of grad school and the freedom that came with that, the idea of academia, and I was working online already. The bureaucracy and everything that went into the corporate space was just mind-numbing to me, and I’m sure plenty of your listeners agree. That’s why we’re all here.

After six months, I gave my two-weeks’ notice — or I think I gave them three-weeks’ notice so I could help with the transition — and just hopped off and took on a bridge job, a part-time job as a tutor, and continued working my freelance and building that up. Then from there, I went and tried an e-commerce business, drop-shipping fulfillment for a pet-store-supply website. I built up the freelance bit. Tried out life coaching. Tried out an Etsy shop. I’m so not artistic, so that was really silly.

Then that’s when I really started to find my niche of coaching. As people were watching me do these things, they started asking me, “How are you doing this?” I realized there was this space for business coaching.

Jonny Nastor: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. I love it. Wow. The very beginning of that answer, you said, “I didn’t know where I was going, or it didn’t make sense at the time, but now looking back …”

Mallie Rydzik: Right.

Jonny Nastor: It’s like imagine if you would have, at the very beginning, been like, “Okay, this is exactly what I’m going to do,” and it was this crazy zigzag path. There’s no way. There’s no way you could have known that in advance.

Mallie Rydzik: That’s right, and it would have been really boring to know, “Okay, you’re going to do this weird zigzag for seemingly no reason and end up here.”

Jonny Nastor: Exactly, exactly. Interesting, though, freelance writer, especially with science, and getting paid well for it. You’re right, not like the content-mill people, like $10 an article.

Mallie Rydzik: Right.

Jonny Nastor: Did you ever go through … I mean, they call it ‘impostor syndrome,’ but I don’t know if it would be the same. I don’t know anything about academia, but I have a brother-in-law who’s a PhD, so I know when you write something, it doesn’t just get published. It’s a huge process. Now, you’re writing for USA Today, and it’s going through an editor or two, but then it’s published.

Mallie Rydzik: Right, right.

Jonny Nastor: Was that hard? Were you like, “Should I be doing this? Is this right?”

Mallie Rydzik: It seemed too easy coming from academia. Actually, I have two first-author papers from academia, so I’ve been through the wringer of the peer-review publication process and going back and forth with the revisions. I have a paper that never ended up seeing the light of day after three years of work.

With USA Today, they were like, “Hey, can you write this article?” and I did. Then the editor checked it, and she was like, “Oh, cool,” and then she published it. I was like, “I don’t … This seems wrong.” Yeah, so I definitely had … if that’s what you’re asking.

Jonny Nastor: I totally am. I was wondering. But it’s also cool, because you started out in the hardest possible way. To most people, they think, “Wow! Writing for USA Today would be the hardest thing ever,” and you’re just like, “Wow! Is it that easy? It shouldn’t be,” because you started with this PhD hurdle. I mean, writing for academia is hard.

Mallie Rydzik: Right.

Jonny Nastor: I love that. So now USA Today is like, well, that’s easy for you.

Mallie Rydzik: Yeah, yeah. It was strange, and then everybody was like, “Wow! USA Today!” I just kind of was like, “Hey, here’s my work and my portfolio of things that I’ve written,” and they were like, “Looks good. Write this.”

Jonny Nastor: That’s so awesome.

Mallie Rydzik: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: Okay, so your one thing is your flexibility, your ability to adapt. Then everything else after, that we’ve discussed, has all been really all about that.

Mallie Rydzik: That’s true.

Jonny Nastor: You just kind of deal with things as they come, and it’s helped you really flourish.

Every blog post, every expert — possibly every business coach, I’m not sure — talks about the 80-20 rule. Do 20 percent, and you’ll get 80 percent of the results. Do what you’re good at, but delegate the rest.

Mallie, within your business, can you please tell me something that you’re absolutely not good at?

Learn Things, and If You Can’t, Outsource

Mallie Rydzik: I am great at everything, obviously, and that’s what I teach my clients. I say, “If you’re not good at everything, you get out of the business.”

No. I am horrible at design. I am actually, right now, taking a painting class because it’s so outside my comfort zone. I have this very scientific background, and I do not see the same way that artists see, so I definitely have been outsourcing a lot of my design. For the parts that I’m not outsourcing, I use because they have pre-made things that look nice, and I’m like, “Okay, I can work with that.” I definitely outsource that.

When I had my e-commerce site, I had one team of VAs and then a separate VA just for social media, which is interesting, because I consider myself pretty good at social media, but for the e-commerce site, it wasn’t very interesting. It wasn’t promoting my personal brand or promoting a business that I was exactly passionate about. It was a business that I knew I could make money from.

Jonny Nastor: There’s nothing wrong with that.

Mallie Rydzik: I was really focused on the business part and the four-hour-work-week approach of, “Okay, well, if I hire somebody to do this …” So yeah, I’m fairly comfortable with hiring out those types of things.

What I really want to hire out soon is my podcast editing, because I’m okay at it, but I definitely know that my production quality could be better, and it’s really annoying to sit and go through all of the podcast editing.

I don’t know if you’ve ever done it yourself or if you outsource it, but it’s a pain. You know?

Jonny Nastor: I did my first, I think, 34 episodes, and I thought I was so good. I go back and listen, and it’s just like, “Oh.” I mean, it was cool because I really got hands-on what format I wanted and all that stuff, but as soon as I got it to a pro, it’s like, “Oh, my God.”

Mallie Rydzik: Yeah. That is on my list. I actually have a whole list, because I’m wanting to hire a VA by the end of the year. I don’t have it up right now, but I definitely have a list of, “These are things I’m not terrific at and I would totally have a VA do,” so I’m all about the delegation.

Jonny Nastor: Are you a good manager of VAs and people?

Mallie Rydzik: My corporate job, I was on the project-management team, so they pretty much hired me to do the managing of people. It was so funny, because I was coming off of this mental-health breakdown, where I basically learned I have an anxiety disorder and have trouble keeping things straight in my head, and one of my supervisors came up to me, and she’s like, “You know, you’re really the most relaxed person we have on this team.” I just cracked up. I realized it is because I feel like managing people does come somewhat naturally to me, which is a very strange thing, because it was definitely never a path I was intentionally taking.

Jonny Nastor: Wow. That’s cool. It can often be a real struggle with entrepreneurs, at least the hundred or so I’ve now interviewed.

Mallie Rydzik: At least most of us. Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah. We’re really good at the ideas and doing it, but we oftentimes get stuck doing everything ourselves just because we’re afraid to let it go. I am totally guilty of this myself.

Mallie Rydzik: Yeah. I also recommend therapy for that. When I was going through the therapy process of how to let go of control, especially for the OCD aspect, man, I think I took that to the extremes.

Now I’m like, “What can I outsource?” I’m joking, but I’m also serious. It’s really helped me let go of a lot of the perfectionism that I was struggling with beforehand, and I think a lot of that perfectionism is what we as entrepreneurs do have issues with. We have to have it perfect. We have to do it the best, and we can do everything. By learning, “Oh, I can let go of control,” it was something that helped me be comfortable with delegating.

Jonny Nastor: Wow! “I’m joking, but I’m also serious.” Wow, I’ve never had that told to me yet during an interview.

Mallie Rydzik: Write that down.

Jonny Nastor: “Here’s what you need, Jon. I’m joking, but I’m actually serious.” Fair enough, fair enough.

All right, Mallie, we’re going to move on to projects.

Mallie Rydzik: Cool.

Not Over-Scheduling Yourself with Projects

Jonny Nastor: ‘Projects’ is a loose term. It can be any new venture you want to go into or just something new you want to go into within your existing business. I know early on in our businesses, things come across our email, across our desk, and we can get that shiny-object syndrome — what to do, where to go — and we can go in too many directions. I’d love to know if you have a process for determining what is a new project that you and your business should go into.

Mallie Rydzik: Oh, that’s really interesting. I’m definitely, with everyone else, guilty of the shiny-object syndrome.

I think this may catch you off-guard. I’m an introvert, which a lot of people are like, “What? But you have a podcast, and you’re talkative,” but I’m just somebody who really needs a lot of time to recharge. I tried not to schedule anything around this interview because I knew this would be my energy expenditure for the afternoon. So I do try to make sure that I am not over-scheduling myself. That’s part of how I decide what projects come onto my plate, what go onto later projects.

Really, it’s interesting, because I have this constant pipeline of, “Let me try this.” If it doesn’t work, I toss it out. It goes to the back of the pipeline of, “We’ll try that again later. Let’s try the new thing on the pipeline.” I wouldn’t say it’s a process in the same way that I have a lot of things systematized in my business, but it’s definitely something that I keep in mind: how much time, how much energy do I have? I really focus on energy management in the least woo-woo way possible instead of time management. I think the two really tie together.

Jonny Nastor: Nice. So, “Let me try this,” and then if it doesn’t work, maybe you’ll put it on the side and then come back and try it later?

Mallie Rydzik: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: So you decide, “Let me try ‘this,’” whatever ‘this’ may be. It’s a direction you’ve decided to go in. How long does it take you before you’re like, “Okay, that doesn’t work,” or are you one of these stubborn entrepreneurs that are like, “No, I’m going to make this thing work no matter what”? Like there’s that whole dip, right, Seth Godin?

Mallie Rydzik: Yeah, yeah.

Jonny Nastor: I mean, the harder it is through the dip, the more the reward is on the other side. Where do you know that, “Okay, I’ve got to put this aside,” and, “No, I’ve got to just struggle through and get it to that point?”

Giving Things a Couple of Chances before Finally Giving up on Them

Mallie Rydzik: Well, one thing people have commented about me, which I think is interesting from an insider perspective of myself, is they say that I get things out really quickly. I have really high turnover of actually, “Here it is. Here’s the sales page. Here’s all of the product,” and so I think it’s more market research and responding to what my audiences seems to be wanting at the time.

But you’re right. I don’t think I really have a solid thing where I say, “Okay, if I don’t get 10 percent of my list signed up for this thing, it fails,” or, “Oh, I need to retry this launch.”

I had a group program that I really wanted to work out at the beginning of the year, so I went through the typical launch process in January with my list. I had like two people sign up or something, and I was aiming for 10, so that’s 20 percent of the people I wanted to have. Then I launched it again the next month, and I did what I thought was pretty much exactly the same launch process, and I filled up the full 10-people group.

So it’s a little strange, because for me, coming from a science background, realizing that business is not an exact science has been very frustrating, but I do try to give things a couple of chances before giving up on them.

But again, with the therapy, it’s really been easier for me to let things go if I give them a couple of chances and my audience just doesn’t seem to be responding.

Jonny Nastor: Wow! I can see why you were serious about therapy because most people, myself included, probably would have just — even though I know that I need to give it another go — would have just scrambled on to something else and just been like, “Okay, then I’ll do this.” You went back and did the exact same thing a month later, exactly what I think the definition of insanity is supposed to be, is doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result, yet you got a completely different result.

Mallie Rydzik: Right, and I’m technically insane, I guess, so maybe that works.

Jonny Nastor: We all are. All right, Mallie, this has been a lot of fun. I want to wrap up on something I am toying with calling ‘the entrepreneurial gap.’ It’s this gap that we live in as entrepreneurs, as sort of dreamers of big, cool things, not wanting to, I guess, to be flexible and see where it brings us, right?

Mallie Rydzik: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: We’re always looking forward, one month, three months, six months, a year, five years, 10 years, which we have to do, I totally agree, yet before we even hit those goals – “When my business gets there in six months, everything will be good” — we set five loftier, bigger goals into the future, and we never quite get to where we want to be.

I would love you, right now, to stop, turn around, and look at where you’ve come from — an Army brat all the way through everything you’ve been through — what you’ve accomplished in your different business ventures, and where you are right now, and tell me how you feel about what you have accomplished, what you’ve learned, and where you’re going.

Mallie Rydzik: I love this. Now you’re sounding like my therapist. I think it is difficult for a lot of us to step back and say, “You know what, self? You’ve done a good job,” because our focus is always forward-looking. We’re always saying, “What’s next? How can we do better? How could this last launch have gone better?”

I think I’ve done a really great job of being flexible and accepting that the path that I was told was the right path — the college, get a good job, white picket fence — trying that and realizing it wasn’t for me, kind of shifting direction there, and I feel like I’m in a good place with my business right now. I’ve got some good clients. I have more things coming up on the pipeline.

But I’ve not really set those hard-and-fast five- or ten-year goals the way that I might have in the past because I know things are going to change. If I look back five years, I was still in grad school. I would have no idea that I was going to be here right now and still being successful in a completely different area than I expected to be.

Jonny Nastor: Wow. That’s so awesome. That’s so awesome. This has been a great conversation that I’ve really, really, really enjoyed. We’ve got to talk about your business in passing. I honestly, truly believe that your services could help a lot of my listeners, so I would love it if you would take a moment to tell the listeners specifically where they can go find out more about you and your services.

Mallie Rydzik: Sure. Yeah. You can find the hub of all my work at I’m sure you can find that in the show notes of how to spell that.

You’ll find that I’m doing a handful of things, but if you’re really wanting to work with me as a business coach and consultant, click the link to my Systems Scientist site. I work with new and upcoming entrepreneurs that are in the first two years of their business to really help them get clear, focused on a good sales-funnel setup, what clients they’re serving, setting up their marketing. I also work with entrepreneurs that are two years and beyond in their business that are really wanting to systematize things, set up good processes, and automation.

Jonny Nastor: That’s awesome. I will link to, You also have a podcast, the Off-Road Millennial podcast?

Mallie Rydzik: I do. That’s right. The Off-Road Millennial. If people are interested in being a guest, that’s another one of these entrepreneur interview shows. My focus is showing people in their 20s and 30s that it is possible to go off the path that they were taught is the correct one, and I think a lot of people are doing that. You don’t have to be a millennial to be on the show, just there to inspire millennials.

Jonny Nastor: Excellent. Excellent. I will link to all those in the show notes, so they’re very, very easy for everyone to find. I again strongly urge you to go check out Mallie’s services for you and your business.

Mallie, again, thank you so much for everything that you’re doing, and for taking the time to join me today. I really do appreciate it, and please keep doing what you’re doing because it is awesome and inspiring to watch.

Mallie Rydzik: Great. Thanks so much, Jon. This has been a really fun conversation.

Jonny Nastor: Mallie, thank you so much for that great conversation. I had a lot of fun in it, and I hope that you out there listening enjoyed it as much as I did. Mallie is on a great path, a great trajectory to do some big, cool things. She’s been through a lot, as we heard, and she’s come from academia. What a strange place to come from and end up as an entrepreneur, but this just goes to prove that I don’t think any of us are born entrepreneurs. We step up and do it.

I really do appreciate the conversation, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, but we go back. We go through this conversation. I just keep going back to this one spot, because although she said so many smart things throughout the conversation — she did, she truly did — but she said that one thing, right? That one thing. You know you heard it, too, so let’s go back, because we need to find it.

Did you get it? Let’s do it. Let’s find the hack.

Mallie Rydzik: But after six months, I gave my two-weeks’ notice — or I think I gave them three-weeks’ notice so I could help with the transition — and hopped off and took on a bridge job, a part-time job as a tutor, and continued working my freelance and building that up. Then, from there, I went and tried an e-commerce business, drop-shipping fulfillment for a pet-store-supply website. Built up the freelance bit. Tried out life coaching. Tried out an Etsy shop, and I’m so not artistic, so that was really silly. Then that’s when I really started to find my niche of coaching.

Jonny Nastor: That’s the hack. Mallie, yes, exactly. I love this because this shows how you didn’t know exactly what you were going to do. You realized that the job or a job wasn’t for you, and then quit that job, took a bridge job. You do what you have to do to pay the rent, do whatever, eat, support your family, if that’s what it takes — but then she tried different things. Freelancing is a brilliant way. Take what you already do as a job, and try and do it as a freelancer. Take one of your skills and hire it out.

I know that people like to have a product or something they can sell and do the whole passive-income thing, but sometimes you need to bridge that gap between having a business that sort of runs itself and is totally passive and where you are stuck in a job. So you bridge it with a bridge job, like she did, freelancing. Slowly work on building up the freelancing, and then she just tried things. She went from e-commerce drop-shipping into life coaching and then back into building up more freelancing, and then finally found what it is she was supposed to be doing.

We rarely know this when we’re starting. We don’t. We need to take that leap, and we need to try different things. Every one of us who has businesses of any sort of caliber or that support ourselves and our families now at this point have this litter of websites and businesses and ideas we’ve tried online. It’s the nature of the beast. It really is, and you have to do these things. You learn as you go, and it slowly evolves into figuring out what it is and where you belong online and where you belong in business.

I really love this, Mallie, because although you’re still in it and growing, you now know what it is you’re supposed to do, at least for now, and that’s all that really matters. It’s an adventure. It’s a big, long process, and we have to be willing to jump into it before we know where we need to end up. So thank you so much, Mallie.

All right, it’s been a lot of fun, as always. Thank you very, very much. is the website. Check it out. Get on that email list. You’ll see my nice face at the top there. Put your email in there, and I’d love to be able to email you once a week every Sunday. My best writing is going up there, and it’d be great to have you.

That’s it. It’s been fun, and please until next time, keep hacking the entrepreneur.