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Noelle Stary – 20 Lemons – A Marketing Company
You have found
Authentic Business Adventures, the business
program that brings you the struggles
stories and triumphs and successes
of business owners across the land.
Past episodes can be found on the podcast
link at DrawInCustomers.com.
We’re locally underwritten
by the Bank of Sun Prairie.
My name is James Kademan, entrepreneur,
author, speaker and help for coach, to
small business owners across the country.
And today we’re welcoming/
preparing to learn from a second time.
Noelle Stary, the founder of 20 Lemons and
the author of Main Street Moxie. Noelle,
how are you doing today?
I am doing great.
Thank you so much for having me back on.
Yeah, this is exciting because it’s been
it’s been a changing time
almost on a used to be daily level,
but I imagine now it’s more weekly.
I have to tell you.
So to your point, I feel like when I’ve
been working with people,
they generally have been saying, hey,
I can figure out what I’m
doing today and this week.
And now I’ve got people telling
me here are plans for the summer.
We have progressed from like a month,
a week or a day to like saying this is
what I’m doing the next three months.
And it’s been pretty exciting.
That is cool.
I’m going to call that progress.
Yeah. Maybe. It’s interesting.
Earlier this morning,
I had a company try to sell me on a phone
system, which we were,
I’ll call it, lukewarm on.
But one of the things one of the caveats
with the they wanted
a three year contract.
And I’m like, no, no.
One, because contracts of any term,
I kind of.
That’s 1985 stuff and three years? I’m like,
who knows what’s going
to happen in three years?
And the guy’s like it’s not a big deal if
you have to get out of the contract,
you only owe us half of the value
of the contract remaining.
That could be thousands of dollars.
So anyways, it’s interesting that someone
had the stones to ask that,
but whatever all the power to them.
How has 20 Lemons been doing?
20 Lemons, we’re a full
service marketing agency.
We’ve been busy.
You know, I, I had put out
the book that we talked about last time,
Main Street Moxie back in January
and some point around January
You know, I was talking to business owners
and they were essentially either saying,
I’m 30 percent up, I’m 30 percent down.
I can’t handle the stuff
if we’re up, I can’t handle
the stuff we’re down.
And I would say that,
you know, I’m talking to business owners
now and they’re saying I’m ready
to start doing some long term planning.
Hey, we’re still a little down,
but my team is stronger or hey,
we’re a little bit down,
but I’ve situated my new products and I’m
clear that we’re changing our market
space over the next nine months.
I feel like people are getting some
clarity for like where they want to go.
And they are absolutely
investing in driving forward.
No one’s sitting, no one sitting
on their hands like
there’s no one that I’m talking
to that said, I’m just keeping
status quo and everything’s moving.
Tons and tons of change is happening
on on daily, weekly, monthly basis within
businesses to try to push things forward.
You know, it’s funny you say about the people
that are just sitting on their hands.
Any time I talk with those people,
I’m like, I don’t need
to talk with you anymore.
It’s like, you kind of bring me down.
When you’re when you’re talking about just
sitting idle and just
watching what happens.
Like you’re just watching
a kid on a diving board.
Let’s just see how this plays out.
You need to be active the master of your
own destiny kind of thing.
I’m seeing tons of traction
happening all over the place.
Different media channels or marketing
channels than were previously?
I think social media has been like,
let’s kind of start with a conversation
around social media.
Social media has
during this process gotten noisy.
Like a lot of people that weren’t
on social said, I need to get on to social.
Changes have been happening on Facebook,
on, hey, we’re not
giving out as much data.
We’re cutting down.
We’re giving more we’re
putting privacy back in.
Facebook has? Facebook. Really? Facebook.
Like from an agency standpoint,
I think management of Facebook, managing
client accounts has
become more challenging.
They really and it’s kind of a really
interesting perspective for a spin,
if you think about it,
what they’re attempting to do
from my my opinion,
what they’re attempting to do is they’re
saying, I don’t want there to be what’s
occurring or I don’t want there
to be fake news occurring.
I want to make sure that everything is
kind of coming authentically
in real time from someone who’s engaging.
we’re seeing certain things where videos
that you’re putting on one platform
can’t be utilized on multiple platforms.
Really? They want the content that you’re
showing to be authentic to their platform.
And so in one sense,
they’re trying to drive the user to have
more loyalty and not really just say,
well, I’m on twenty platforms and I’m
just repeating data all over the place.
Yeah, so, so, so it’s changing this
ecosystem where you want to be,
where people are talking.
Let’s even talk like what’s do you know
what the hottest new social platform is.
Clubhouse, I heard so many talk about
Twitch today, but. So I’m seeing tons
of action happening on Clubhouse,
so like Clubhouse. What’s clubhouse?
Just gave away my age here.
I’m going to invite you to Clubhouse.
So clubhouse is kind of a platform
that allows for people to jump
in and out of audio chat rooms.
So no video.
So here we’re all Zoom fatigued.
Oh, my gosh.
I can’t jump on to more video chats.
I don’t want to do it.
You have an opportunity here to kind
of say, hey, I want to see who’s talking
about small business marketing
on Clubhouse and different chat rooms
open up and you can jump in and you
can listen or you can chime in.
I have colleagues of mine that are are
running chats and people
come and they listen.
And so it’s like an engaging environment.
I it’s kind of new.
I mean, we have we are not
we are not managing or working
with clients on Clubhouse,
but we are working with clients that are
utilizing it themselves at this point.
Who who or what type of business would be
ideal for that Clubhouse?
So people that I’ve seen on Clubhouse
right now, I have an event
planner who’s on it.
So they’re talking about upcoming trends.
How do you run parties outside?
How do you run socially distance parties?
How do you handle corporate training
events when people are
getting back together?
A second person that I know that’s very
involved in it, she’s
in the meetings industry.
So, again, same industry
to people in the same industry.
I have a book publisher that’s starting
to look at it and dabble on it.
Some of the early adopters,
I think they’ve kind of mentioned they’re
like so-and-so invited me
to be on a panel on clubhouse.
And so it’s multiple people that are kind
of getting together to kind
of create engaging dialog.
So, again, instead of the idea of him
picking up my phone and I’m reading
articles about what’s going on,
I’m getting real time
dialog that people are talking about
on topics right now,
today, right this second.
But it’s audio? It’s audio.
Strictly audio? Strictly audio.
So how do you scroll and just
kill time with audio?
I don’t I don’t think
that’s the objective of it.
I really think the objective of it is
to almost like get people off of scrolling
right hand and listen, I’ve not seen it.
And so maybe when I’m doing stuff,
so I’ve had so one of my girls that I work
with who’s in event planning,
she she actually kind of to your point
about, oh gosh,
how do we handle the scrolling situation,
she says, I kind of get off a clubhouse.
She’s like, I have my kids at home.
I’m like running errands on my phone.
And I just keep clubhouse and I keep
jumping from room to room to room.
And they’re talking
about different topics.
And so she just kind of leaves it running.
It’s almost like when you’re home and you
leave the news on in the background just
so that you’re like,
I just want to hear what’s going on.
So I think there are people are
using it a little bit like that.
It really changes the idea of I want
to know what people are talking
about or thinking about this minute.
And does it?
Boy, so many questions here
when somebody posts something
on Clubhouse, is it live
or is IT a recording and then.
No, it’s live.
And then how long does it stay on there?
Does it stay on there.
So now you are starting to ask me
questions that are out of my realm.
I haven’t played with it that much,
but I guess I guess where I’m really kind
of going to, it is, you know,
we’re seeing people using
traditional social, we’re seeing, to your point,
you even mentioned another platform,
we’re seeing new platforms kind of still
kind of coming out,
new styles that people want to interact.
And so I think where the challenge is,
is there’s a ton of noise in the channel.
And so social in the social channels.
I don’t think that that that’s
necessarily a bad thing.
If you’re going to start diving
in and saying, no,
I want to get more niche,
I want to talk to her, what I want to talk
about or what I want to listen to.
And so I think you’re going to get some
more of these opportunities
to just get into these
for where you want to be.
Well, I’ll have to check that out.
I’m almost afraid to check it out.
It’s a little scary because, like,
I never really got on Instagram because
from my mind,
there’s one more thing to suck time.
I don’t need any more time sucks.
I don’t I’m probably not going to become
a smarter person by jumping on there.
So therefore, no time suck. I’m out.
I pay my people to throw stuff out there.
So it looks like we’re on there, but I
don’t, I don’t need to deal with it.
So it’s interesting like oh another one
which I get because I wouldn’t mind
a shift, I guess the social media shift.
I think that’s necessary.
I don’t want to be a player in that field,
at least not on a personal level.
Maybe on a business level
you can outsource it.
So I think I think we’re seeing a ton
of that type of stuff that’s happening.
I will even tell you some of the stuff
that we’re pushing or
that we’re talking about.
And I think there’s some validity to it is
we’re going back to some old school direct
mail pieces to your local neighborhood.
You know, it’s interesting that you say
that with the window company that I have
going on that has given us the most
success. I believe it because you’re home,
you want to be doing stuff local.
You you know, we’re doing we’re,
we’re pitching a lot of the concept
of just around the corner.
You know, like we’re not asking you to go
from New Jersey to Manhattan,
New Jersey to Philly.
We’re saying, hey, by the way,
you’ve been in your house.
Did you forget that we serve this awesome
pizza right down the street from you?
And then you’re like,
oh, my God, I forgot.
I love that place.
I just forgot about because I keep sitting
in my own, like, ten by ten
office in my basement.
I don’t know.
We’ve got a little bit of,
like, nicer weather coming up.
I think that there’s opportunities
for people to go back to their roots
with like local town
and community based marketing.
People want to stay
and thrive where they are.
So we’re kind of that, huh?
Interesting how we tried online marketing
a different channels, social channels
and some banner ads.
Ad words, all that jazz, but good old
fashioned direct mail actually produced.
Isn’t that crazy.
I know, because at some point you would
have said no one’s even looking
at their mail right now.
But, you know, it’s funny.
My mailbox is my adventure.
Pretty much my whole life on my house.
What showed up, I give
my Amazon box didn’t show up.
My mailbox came.
So I check out one or the other and it
kind of gives me an opportunity.
And I’m not I’m not eating
lunch with 20 people.
I have a chance to actually look
at least what’s kind of coming through.
That’s a good point.
That’s so interesting.
I remember getting made fun of
maybe a year and a half two years ago
when I was talking to some people
about using postcards and mailers.
And they’re were like, oh,
my gosh, what is this?
Nineteen seventy nine.
Come on, there’s a whole Internet.
I don’t know if there’s something
to be said for when the mail comes in.
You have to look at it
and make that judgment.
Do I ignore this, do I toss it or
whatever or do I look at it.
You can’t not look at it
but you have to make that judgment
where I feel like with a lot of banner ads
or a lot of online ads,
we’re so used to seeing them that we
almost ignore them intuitively.
So I don’t know.
I have no scientific
evidence to back that up.
Well, there I think there is some
scientific evidence about that.
You know, like we get used to seeing
things in certain spots and then
we become blind to them.
And so you have to actually switch where
they are, switch their color,
switch their whatever
to start noticing it again.
Yeah, that’s kind of fun.
You know, it’s kind of funny.
I mean, I draw like what I’m really
thinking about is you’re saying is this
know my boyfriend jokes with me about how
I keep tinkering with stuff in the house
like I thought were set,
I thought were set.
And then I’m I start moving
stuff all over again.
And I guess I guess kind of to the point
that you just said, I’m like, I guess
I feel like I need a new environment.
I just keep switching it up a little.
You know, they get different.
You see it so often.
Eventually you’re like,
I need a change of scenery,
even if it’s the same scenery that I’ve
seen just moving it around it.
Oh, that’s funny.
So have you added clients or the clients
that existed to expand with you? It’s OK.
We, we’ve kind of a little
bit of all of the above.
I think the existing clients
what I’ve seen is existing clients are
still kind of going through ebbs and flows
of, hey, we’re doing a push,
you know, sorry.
Let me let me take a step back.
I think where people are is they’re
like I still have a lot on my plate.
And so with existing clients,
people are saying, hey, I can make
a big push on something right now.
And then they get busy operationally
and then they say, OK,
we made some changes operationally,
let’s make another push on this.
And so that’s what I mean by when I’m
saying the ebb and flow component.
we are seeing new increase coming through.
We are seeing interest in
getting new information out there and this
is the part that I think is interesting,
is I think people are being creative
about what they want to do.
I think people are saying they’ve had
enough time where they’ve had stuff
shifting around in their heads and they’ve
had enough stuff where they’ve been able
to think about, well,
what is this really going to mean?
Or How can I bring something to market?
And I, I am specifically working with it.
I’m happy to mention their name
and working with a really interesting
pair of women,
a leadership development book called Grit,
Grace and Gravitas,
Grit Grace and Gravitas.
And they come from a really strong
and training background.
And the book was ready in the summer,
actually, and they actually said
we’re waiting until after
the election to put this out.
And and now that we are in the process
of putting it out and it’s now
Like one of the questions is why now?
Like, why why are we distributing
this now in March versus
August or September,
when it was ready to go, it was done
and the book and I really love the subject
matter and I love to talk about it for a
second, is Grit Grace and Gravitas.
And it says,
when and I am very summarizing this book.
It says, when leaders
are in a state of stress, they move in to
task and time delegation who’s getting
stuff done and when is it
going to be in my hands?
The difference of what makes an exemplar,
an exemplar, a very and a leader who sets
a good example
and gets the best results with the best
team is able to connect with their
team on a very human level.
And when they’re starting their
conversations instead of jumping
into what’s the task and when it’s done,
it’s, hey, how are you today?
What’s going on with you?
Where are we at?
How can I help support
you to get this done?
When are we going to have it done by.
And they have this sense of grace.
And the conversation was as a country
during the month of August, September,
there was a lot of stress on the ecosystem
that even if you gave this book to someone
who isn’t in a leadership position and you
said to them, hey,
you should read this book,
it’s going to help you get through
the hurdle that you’re at,
the person would go
in theory, great.
I’ll put it on the side and I’ll
get to it when I can get to it.
That’s what happened to my book all
the time. Or or they’re going to look at
it and they’re like, that’s really great.
There’s really good stuff here.
I’m really busy.
I got to go back to what’s the task?
What am I getting it done?
And they’re not going to be
able to implement it.
And so when I talk to a lot of business
leaders and by the time December rolled
around this year, they were basically
like, I’m burnt out, I’m exhausted.
I can’t think and so I feel like,
you know, I’d love January a little bit
because I feel like it’s a little
bit of the great hibernation.
And as much as God gave us the pandemic,
he also gave us a whole
lot of snow this year.
And I think I think what it actually did
is it gave everyone a chance to be like, I
can’t even go to the food store anymore.
Like if the food store or my mailbox was
my big outing,
maybe we’re not even getting mail today.
And so it kind of, I think,
slowed stuff down, enough right.
And we’ve had all these other
things that have been slowing down.
That as we’ve emerged from January,
February, the business owners are saying,
all right, I know what I want to be
doing for the next three months.
And so the idea of releasing this type
of book now also brings to the market this
idea of, hey, we’re going to meet you
where you’re at and the market’s
now ready to read this.
So we’re so and so, you know,
CEO might have been busy and slammed
and couldn’t think straight.
In September, October, November,
maybe as we’re coming into this new
season, there’s a chance to say.
Maybe we all just need to slow
down a little to speed up, right?
We’re not just trying to survive.
We’ve kind of moved past survival mode.
Now, how do we
figure out how do we work more effectively
with who we’re with and how
we’re with them?
And so so that’s that’s an example
of someone that we’re
working with right now.
And we were just having this conversation
because we’re getting ready
to put the press out.
And one of the questions that we’re
really answering is why now?
And I think their answer is.
Like they said it and I and I thought
to myself out of the other 30 or 40
business owners that I work with,
this hits the nail on the head.
And this makes sense to me,
because these owners are at a point right
now that they could read it and actually
absorb it and implement it where I don’t
think that that was the option
six or eight months ago.
You know, it’s interesting.
We were in a.
And we’re almost in a fight or flight
story like what’s going
to happen next kind of thing.
What new mandate is going to come down
to try to smack us in the face as a small
business or as a business,
regardless of size?
What new challenge we’re going to get
from working with the general
public or employees?
Stuff like that.
So I could see how they’d want to pause.
And I have to tell you, when
when these conversations were
happening in August and September.
I didn’t get it.
Like and I think and I think that’s OK,
right, like I think there’s this, like,
acknowledgment that has to happen
in business to like you don’t you
definitely don’t always
know what’s going on.
And, you know, when the pandemic started,
the conversation was, hey,
we’re all busy building parachutes
while we’re already out of the plane.
And by the way, they didn’t even give you
the material to make the parachute yet,
like you’re hoping to catch it midair.
We got a great little sheep.
Like, I’m going to grab
whatever I can get is going.
And and it’s kind of like we’ve made it
past the point of jumping out
of the airplane, getting the parachute.
We kind of made it to the ground and now
we’re like, all right,
what else is on the ground that I could
use to, like, move things forward?
And and so I think we I
think we as a nation are.
I see it when I talk to.
People by coastal, I see it when
I talk to people internationally,
so it’s an interesting spot.
And then I think the next part becomes
and I know you and I touched
on this for just a second, is is.
How do you start thinking about
your long game again, right?
Yeah, it’s no longer about survival.
By next week, yeah, it’s OK.
This has been going on for years,
so we should have adapted by now.
And it’s time to move on.
I mean, in your opinion,
do you feel like you’re seeing.
Are you how far out do you think
people are thinking at this point?
So I like to use my wife as a as
because her and I came from different
perceptions in regards
to the whole pandemic.
I was like initially.
So March, we’ll call it early March.
I’m like there is no way that they
would shut down the economy, no way.
And then I was wrong,
and then I said there is no way
that they’re going to spend trillions
of dollars, which is the better part
of our annual gross domestic product
to try to crush this thing up.
I was wrong.
And then I thought, there’s no way
that people are going to be afraid to go
places just universally because they think
some zombie apocalypse is going to happen.
I was wrong.
My wife is like, bolt the doors,
lock it up, board the windows.
I mean, the zombie apocalypse is here
and we are ill prepared
not to the point that she was hoarding
anything or anything like that.
She was just example number one,
we would go out to breakfast
every Sunday morning.
Oh, it’s kind of fun.
We’d always try to hit a different
diner or some different place.
Just we’re in Madison.
There’s cool restaurants.
We try to hit different
places every Sunday.
It’s kind of fun.
Little family thing.
So March rolls around that hit the skids
like, no some like, hey, we’re going to
breakfast and she’s like, are you crazy?
There’s a pandemic, right?
The scary little word.
And I’m like, I think
we can still eat eggs.
I don’t think we’re cool.
People wash their hands.
And she’s like, no way.
So that we hadn’t gone out to breakfast
for, well, up until two weeks ago and I
was like, how far do I joke about this?
Do I say, you know what I mean?
Like, I I have to tell you, we are
going on our first dinner date tonight.
I was trying to figure out.
I don’t actually know when
we fully stopped going out.
I was trying to think about this actually
today because today’s today’s the day.
Falchi says it was one year ago today
that I made my first public
announcement about them.
And I remember definitely doing St.
Patty’s at our house last year.
And I absolutely know that I didn’t shut
my coworking spaces down
until end of March.
So I definitely know.
Must have been end of March.
But once, to your point, once we
kind of like lock down that was it.
Like we just didn’t go anywhere.
And today, today, sometime in the next few
hours, I will be going to my first
restaurant for dinner.
Get the hazmat suit ready.
Oh, it’s so funny.
It was interesting also because
my wife and I went to dinner,
I think it was a couple
of weeks ago as well.
And the restaurant that we went to is
first time we went
to this restaurant ever.
And you could tell that they used to have
I don’t know if you’ve ever been at one
of those restaurants where they have
a long bench and then they have the tables
and then so one person’s on a chair,
the other person’s on a bench,
and it’s like a speed dating set up.
Yeah, but you could tell this used to be
like that, but now they’re six
feet apart between the tables.
No one’s looking around and I’m thinking
this is cooler now than it would have been
if it was set up like
that whole speed dating thing.
Because I don’t want to have
a conversation with the person next to me,
because if I wanted to, I would
have asked them out to dinner.
So it’s just a weird like there are
certain things that are positive.
And it was it was Thursday
night and that place was.
I wouldn’t call it perfect,
but I would say there was
a surprising number of people.
I think people are so OK,
so back to the barometer of your wife.
So where’s where’s her
temperament right now?
Like what she’s doing?
So I kind of I make fun
of her a little bit.
We’ve been married a long time, so I can.
I take it back, I made
fun of her all the time,
we got a seven year old kid,
seven year old kid really likes baseball.
We traveled with him in order for him
to play baseball because locally
there was fear rolling around.
does the virus not travel out of town
like it stops at the border
or something like this?
I had no problem with the kid playing
baseball, but she was like,
we can’t do anything right.
Like we can’t go to breakfast,
but we can play baseball.
kind of weird.
So now that springtime and eventually
summertime are rolling around,
we’re gearing up for all these sports.
See, you’re on the three month out plan.
You’re thinking summer
and I would be ready.
It was nice enough.
I thought I’d be like,
let’s play ball today.
No problem with it.
But I would have said that in December
or April, I had
from my point of view, I was just like,
I don’t think this is that big of a deal.
And this is
my wife and I have had that argument
way too many times, way too many times.
Your clients, if you had to split them,
are they 50 50 on the side? Like,
do they tend to hedge more
on one side or the other?
The majority of my clients are service
based and typically service based.
We’ll call it 75 percent where
they’re going into people’s homes.
So so they have to be on the side
that it’s not a big deal.
They have to be for their livelihood.
So they take precautions.
I even have a
She’s not going in people’s houses.
People come to her,
but they had a rocky time.
And I wouldn’t say if I feel like they
made a couple not great business decisions
in closing up and stuff like that.
Well, for a very long time,
but I think they were a whole,
like ready to go experiment with some
virus somewhere kind of thing.
Yeah, just kind of creepy when you think
of getting a massage by someone
in a hazmat suit or whatever.
adopting in their own way.
But the majority of our clients,
some of them would do stuff where they
would ask the homeowner
if they’re comfortable being in the house
with them or if they want to be
in a different part of the house or just
whatever. Because you’re talking about
like an electrician or a plumber coming
in to fix some little thing,
you know, where they’re going
to be in there for an hour or two?
Yeah, it’s like one,
you probably want to be in the house
just from a trust point of view.
But you also don’t want to be breathing
down my neck because
breathing is a bad thing now.
Yeah, so I would say.
Man, April, May of last year,
they had stuff figured out.
And there are a lot of them are
in the construction trades,
so construction here is going gangbusters,
construction has been off the charts.
I think it looks really phenomenal.
I jerseyed today.
I don’t know where you guys are at 4:00 or
I don’t know if it’s today or tomorrow.
I kind of lost track for a minute,
but we’re essentially moving from 30
percent capacity to 50 percent capacity.
Gyms are moving to 50 percent capacity
for restaurants and bars.
You’re talking restaurant bars.
We only a week ago or something like
that moved to 50 percent, 50 percent,
which was a huge behind you.
Like, I have to tell you, the 30 percent
didn’t really seem like a big deal.
And then all of a sudden we got to 50.
And I’m like, that’s a pretty that’s good.
I mean, well, we’re moving.
Yes, 50 percent.
I’m like, OK, now at least if your.
If you were ahead of the if you’re doing
well as a business before the 50 percent,
you’re not doing well,
but you may be able to survive
at twenty five percent or 30 percent,
even if you’re at 100 percent capacity
of the 30 percent, you’re losing money.
There’s no there’s no survival
there if that’s long term.
So that’s why I’m like,
there’s no way they can shut down
an economy because like all of a sudden
when they open up, there’s no
restaurants, then what do we do?
Yeah, I used to joke.
I’m like, if you want to get in the
restaurant business, just wait a year.
They’ll be for sale for cheap.
I mean, I, I think, you know,
I’ve seen some of my restaurants switched
from selling BTC to going to like, hey,
we’re going wholesale and starting
going into retail stores.
I’ve seen some of my restaurants do that.
Some of my guys were in the process.
We’re talking about, hey,
we’re going to be doing more.
We don’t want to be
doing as many practices.
We’re going to close breakfast
because no one’s commuting.
We’re going to be doing
lunch and dinner businesses.
So people are kind of shifting their times
is to the point that we
talked about before.
Some of them just said,
I’m totally you know,
I have a I have a catering
facility that does have already pre-built
outside structures that were in place.
So they don’t even have to do tents.
They have outside pre-built spaces.
And their wedding business is up
almost no other wedding venues
have that traditionally as part of their
stock standard locations, right?
I see corporate starting to kind
of come back and booking.
Fama’s coming back and starting
to book stuff that’s
really hot off the press likelast week.
Fama’s finally starting
to open up their gates.
So we’re kind of, you know,
I see stuff, move it.
And this is the part where I start saying,
oh my gosh, like in six months,
are we going to be like pandemic?
It’s like, you know, you kind
of start asking the question, right?
That’s when you start thinking about
what does the future look like?
But are we going to do
cutbacks again come next winter?
You know, like and the conversation that I
was having with a colleague of mine this
morning was whatever systems you put into
place to make yourself pandemic ready.
We’re not just lost.
if we have another reoccurrence or issue
or something comes up next fall,
you’ve already kind of figured out,
all right, how do I operate
in my new ecosystem?
You’ve been there before.
You’ve done it right.
And so you’re able to kind
of make some shifts with that
because it’s I know I was trying
to figure out our our masks here to stay.
God, I hope that
the conversation I had this morning was,
yeah, I think they’re going to be part
of like a longer term plan for a while.
And to your point, you know,
I’m like, summer is coming.
It’s getting nice.
People are opening stuff up.
I, I think
people really are running the gambit still
for like kind of almost like you you do
your wife like I think you
guys live in the same house.
You have a kid together and like you’re
still probably pretty
opposite on a lot of thoughts.
So definitely I think I think the general
economy is going to feel that way,
too, for a while.
you know, I don’t think that the money
that’s being invested
in the economy is being wasted.
I think I’ve seen a lot
of innovation come out.
I’ve seen a lot of teams be rearranged.
I see people spending.
I see people wanting to buy,
changing their market.
We talked about it last time
that we talked about the book.
I think businesses audiences have changed,
like they have changed the services
that they sell and they’ve
changed who they’re selling to.
Yeah, I think.
What if you have.
I hate to use the word pivot because I
feel like that’s been overused,
but in the end, people understand it.
I mean, there’s a
there’s a lot of industries that I think
have had to change their way
of doing things ready or not.
I’d be interesting if this fires back up
in the winter again, I think it’s
going to be a different game.
And I mean, I say this
with full disclosure that I’m
terrible at predicting the future.
The government was kind of helping people
survive and they’re helping a lot
of businesses, from my point of view,
from what I’ve seen,
a lot of businesses weren’t profitable
that well before the pandemic.
Now they get this crutch money
and it’s helping them limp along
and blaming covid for like,
oh, you know, we’re surviving.
Think we got that P.P. loan,
which for some businesses,
that was a that was a life saver
to get over this little period.
But for other businesses, it was like,
well, thank goodness that happened because
we didn’t know how we were going
to survive this year before the pandemic.
So I wonder, in the wintertime, 20, 21.
Can we afford to crush those businesses
again, or do we have to find some
other means to not need that crutch?
Yeah, I mean, I definitely think part
of the krutch part of the crutched money
really needed to be used to restructure
businesses to be able to handle next year
if it’s with the big if. If you had to go
back to a 30 percent occupancy,
what does your new 30 percent
occupancy situation look like?
Yeah, well, but I mean, but, you know,
like we talked about,
it is X amount more money coming
from virtual or coming from X or coming
from new partnerships
that you’ve developed.
And so have you been able to kind
of create new things to to get there?
Yeah, that’s fair.
That’s fair to be.
Maybe diversify your income a little bit.
So you’re not just relying on like
in the restaurants case for line on your
Friday and Saturday nights
to bring home 80 percent of your profit
when like, well, crowds
aren’t a thing anymore.
So, yeah, you know, you’ve got
to rely on the whole week.
I definitely don’t have
answers in that regard.
It’s going to hope it goes away by then.
And it’s kind of like the whole 9/11 thing
where like we got TSA and all
that because of this.
And now that’s your reminder that this
happened, you know, years ago.
It’s kind of funny.
Someone mentioned compare
this a little bit to 9/11.
You know, I’d love to hear your opinion on
that because they were basically saying,
yeah, like it was kind of well,
or I’m guessing this is
where you’re going with it.
You’re like, hey,
it’s an outside influence that just
came in kind of bomb the thing.
we’re adapting to it and then we’re
shifting into like, all right,
that set some new baselines or framework
for us and here’s our new framework.
I feel this is probably more of an
insult to society than anything else,
but I don’t think that we have the
attention span for something really bad.
So 9/11 was a really bad thing, and then
things happened from that and kind of.
Just as the general like that’s 20 years
I mean, generations are there’s people
that can vote now that
didn’t experience that.
And you and I both know exactly where
we were when we saw that going on.
Like, you were just like, whoa.
And we didn’t know, like, what does
that mean for the next two hours?
What does that mean for the next month?
Like you’re just in shock.
do I go to work?
And I suppose you’re I imagine
you’re right down there.
So that was a million times worse
than it is for us in Wisconsin.
Like that would be crazy.
I can’t even imagine what it was to be
within one hundred miles of that place.
But then eventually we’re just like.
But it did, it didn’t stall us out.
Like I’m not stalled out from having
made other decisions in my life.
To some degree.
Like you’re like, OK,
this was a moment in time.
there were repercussions and then we
moved on to the rest of our lives.
So are you afraid to go
in a tall building?
I mean and I’m sure
that there are some people.
But I mean, I think as a majority,
we we are an adaptive creature, really.
And those social adaptive creature.
So I feel like this just adds that,
like, we got to be social.
We’re social animals all the way.
So this a month
after a year, I was hoping I was going
to be three months because I saw the hope
multiplier like twenty two point five,
like, oh, it’s going to be
done in three months.
We can do that kind of thing.
I definitely remember
thinking when it all started.
Right, like you have like
a very different perspective.
When you think back, I’m like, why would
they be doing all this crazy stuff?
We’re not going to need this.
This doesn’t make sense, right?
hindsight, twenty twenty
kind of thing, yeah.
Yeah, but I mean but I definitely feel
tons of more positive energy
when I’m talking to people.
A lot of hope.
A lot of
here’s my plans for the future.
I don’t I don’t get a huge
sense of fear when I talk to.
Business owners, totally fair.
yeah, I don’t I mean,
you guys have a typical winter,
just like we do in Wisconsin.
So I mentioned there’s the typical
hibernation that happens.
And then springtime,
when you start getting warm weather,
the doors are open, closer coming off.
Not all of them, but some kind of thing,
you know, like it’s this new if you’re
out of the cocoon kind of thing.
And that’s every year.
We’re just used to this every year.
So I think.
You know, and I’m just spitball in here
not to think about it like a lot of places
got snow this year that did not normally.
Texas way West Coast,
all that kind of stuff, or they’re just
like, what is this white powdery stuff?
Yeah, you know,
so they kind of get to experience maybe
on a lesser scale or maybe arguably
on a bigger scale,
since they’re not used to it.
This whole cocoon thing
into the butterfly.
It’s a cleansing.
Well, and this is the thing.
I think they’re I mean, listen, right.
Like people talk about like
the beauty of seasonality for a reason.
I do think.
You know, there is still
spring before summer.
I do still think that we have to
we’re not just emerging, right?
We’re not we’re not fully cocooning.
Hey, we went from winter to summer
overnight in enforcing this
transition period right now.
And I think that people are coming out
of this definitely in a different spot
than when where they went into it.
Totally agree, totally agree.
Yeah, it’s certainly changed things,
but I feel like we’re coming out of it.
I feel like I don’t trust me.
Yeah, I feel like we’re coming out of it
in a clean way, whether it
made us better people or not.
You could argue both directions.
But, yeah, I believe
we’re coming out of it.
I think we’re I think
we’re coming out of it.
And I do think I’m seeing most
of the businesses that I’m working
with coming out of it with new sense
of clarity as to how they’re running their
business or how they’re
managing their business.
You know, I think a lot
of the restauranteurs that I work
with said I’m going to cut all my staff,
I’m going to go back to doing everything
myself to again,
like you’re managing cost.
As a business owner, your you know,
I remember when this whole thing happened,
I remember my business coach said to me,
the only objective you have
is to not kill your business.
You just need to let it survive to get
through like and I remember
in the beginning, I’m like the like,
again, like almost like when you talk
about the people, you’re like, what,
two point three, two point five
times the amount that’s crazy.
Like, you know, I, I don’t think
restauranteurs might have said
I’m going to get rid of my staff.
This is only going to be
a month, two months.
I can kind of run it.
And then and that’s where I think
the burnout kind of kicked in.
But I think people are starting to say,
wait, I can work differently or I can work
with a different set of team or,
you know, most of my restauranteurs as
we’re going into the summer,
they’re basically saying,
I am bringing up I will have a totally
brand new staff than I’ve ever had before.
Now it’s almost as if
it’s almost like opening a brand new
restaurant, like some of our biggest bar
locations said it’s not worth it to try
to stay open through the winter.
We’re just going to start in the spring
was to try to bring people back.
We’re just going to try to do this.
We’re going to do that.
And and part of the logic to it was at
some point you were killing the morale.
When it was like less staff or no one
in or people kept getting sick or you’re
shutting your closing or
opening, you’re shutting.
And so again, I think.
They’re really like at some point needs
to almost be a kudos to the business
owners as they’ve gone through this,
because being able to kind of keep
the morale and positivity through those
time periods, I think
has been a challenge.
And so when I go back and I start talking
to my clients that have this book coming
out, great grace and gravitas,
gravitas to me in March of twenty twenty
one is a whole different story than if
someone gave me this book in February or
March of twenty twenty,
definitely March, you know, really,
really different story, you know,
but I think we’re at a different point
where we’re hearing that story different
today than we would have back then.
You know, it’s interesting you say about
keeping the morale with the employees,
I will actually still do
I guess it’s one of the positive changes
here is that there was I realized
that there was some talk among the ranks
and I only have four employees, so it’s
not like I was in them or anything.
There’s talk among the ranks that they
were worried, probably from watching
the news or whatever,
that we were going to shut down or
that we were going to cut employees
because they’re hearing, you know,
they’re like a sewing circle.
So I imagine they can circle
the drain just like any other group.
But they probably hearing from some of our
clients that they’re worried as well.
And universally, there was just this
this big question mark in the air.
And I reached out to them, said, look,
no one’s losing their job,
like my job is to keep my promise to you,
which is that you will have a job.
It’s all I got to do.
And then we have to do our job to make
sure that we answer the phones and take
care of the business that we got for our
clients, that they can do
the same for their employees.
There’s no there should be
no fear about losing a job.
Like outside of some nuclear fallout or
something like that,
where phones don’t exist or I
can’t even imagine the scenario.
and I was sending emails every month
to our client saying, we got your back,
whatever you need, we got your back,
we’ll take care,
help yourself from whatever we can do.
And it was interesting because there were
some clients that I normally don’t hear
from that sent me an email thanking me
that it was almost a morale booster
for them because they were kind
of feeling down in the dumps.
Well, I mean, even, you know,
like so I run a marketing company and then
I we have some coworking spaces
that we’re involved in and.
To your point, marketing is a sport
to most business owners, right, like
we’re not a corporation where support.
And so I was like having
the conversation where I said.
You know, our job was to kind
of like cheer on our our.
Cheer on our
clients and then at some point,
like even to you, to what you’re saying,
some of them came back at some point
and they said, by the way,
how are you guys doing?
You know, like they’re like you’re
so busy kind of taking care of us.
Is anyone checking in on you?
And we do have other
people checking on us.
We get support elsewhere.
But it’s like sometimes everyone was just,
you know, it was like you had
to pass the love around, right.
Like you did.
Who could give it?
The objective was just everyone
couldn’t need it the same day.
Like you needed someone who can pass
it or give it or whatever the case is.
And this is where I think this is also.
As opposed to 9/11, this is the first time
because I didn’t feel it
in 9/11, but I felt it.
Now this is the first time
I really felt how
interwoven my different industries
were or my different locations were.
Sure for, you know,
people that are working overseas or,
you know, I felt this is the first
time effects on global global effects
that I’ve never felt I
haven’t felt before.
I haven’t felt when there was a recession
here, I didn’t I did not feel it in 9/11.
And I might have just been too
young or green for that.
But this is the first time that I felt
it on like a very global perspective.
Yeah, that’s fair.
Like, the whole world was essentially
going through something
similar versus 9/11.
It was more observation
from the rest of the world.
Or, you know, like some of the programmers
I work with are overseas or different
teams that I work with are overseas in.
And, you know, like me saying, hey,
we’re finally being let out of certain
stuff and they’re being set and they
tell me, I can’t leave my house.
There’s a little guy with a gun outside or
I like you.
We are we I like it.
But it goes back to that like.
All right, then I need to recognize wait
a minute, maybe they’re kind of having
a bad day or maybe they’re having a bad
day because maybe they’re thinking,
you know what, I’d really
like to go outside today.
I’m not allowed to ride.
And so being able to work with your team
differently to kind of understand where
they’re at, I thought was really
important through this process, too.
Yeah, that would be tougher.
There were times, I guess I felt like I
was in a very large prison because you
can go outside, but it was 20 below.
And like you’re in your house,
it was kind of like you can go anywhere,
but where would you go?
Yeah, I feel like the big joke when I
spoke to a lot of people are they’re like,
I’m actually using all the rooms
in my house now,
like like, oh, that’s the dining
the formal dining room that no one uses.
And now you’re like, you know,
I, I use every room in my house.
That’s our office.
I think the coworking space is probably
a good metric for what is going on.
So is going.
So coworking has been really interesting,
I would say for the greater last several
months, the average the average office
space utility has been ten percent.
So when we think back to the comment
that we had about restaurants and can
restaurants operate at twenty five,
30 percent capacity,
and you kind of look at it and you’re
like, no, at least if we’re going 50,
you’ve got options.
And even before you had
to still get creative,
most offices have not
been operating above 10 percent.
as we are starting to see a little bit of
the weather changes as we’re seeing some.
Really, I feel like it’s weather changes
because even most of the other
coworking spaces that I know that do.
That started implementing more virtual
programs, virtual programs are great,
but if at the end of the day,
your metric is office space rental
and utilization, unless there’s butts
in the seats in the doors coming in,
your metrics is not that right?
And we are seeing increases in inquiries.
We’re seeing people saying, hey,
I want to make sure that I have enough
space allocated for my team to come back.
So how teams are starting to come back
is starting to look a little different.
I we there has been predictions
in the coworking environment that bigger
companies are going to be shutting down
their bigger offices and trying
to relocate to local places.
And for months, this has been the.
This is what we’re going to see,
but I hadn’t started seeing it.
I am just starting to see
those increased come in now.
Like they’re they’re like, hey,
we’re starting plan for two,
several months out,
but the inquiries are coming in.
So I do think that there are
some positivity with that.
I think people are definitely going
to want to be getting out and
I don’t know if people are going to be
going back into major high
rises out of the gate.
I don’t think I don’t see a ton of that.
I do think local community bases,
places are going to do great.
I think we’re going to do
great in that perspective
for this particular industry.
I think it’s like you’ve
just got to ride that wave.
So you guys wouldn’t be at 100 percent,
100 percent of the time.
So what was the norm,
let’s say, in 2019 and of 20, 19?
Percentage wise, we’re talking
over one hundred percent capacity, I mean,
over 100 percent while you operate, right.
Like part of how coworking
works is like a gym.
If every single member of a gym showed up
at the same time,
there’s not enough equipment.
OK, but you’re working on the objective of
not everyone’s going
to be there all the time.
And so it works very similar to that.
We probably won’t be doing as
much turnover in common areas.
More spaces will become more dedicated.
I do think you’re going to see
teams coming in.
I am hearing from some of the bigger
corporate that they’re expecting their
full teams to be coming in as long as I’ve
been in coworking, I think that there is
commentary that that happens.
But I think in actuality,
it does not generally happen.
So I think people are going to come
in like so like what I’ve been seeing
in the spaces is people
earlier in the pandemic,
I felt people were coming in,
but it was like, hey,
I have a dedicated space,
but I’m showing up for an hour
once during the course of a week.
Oh, like very select periods of time.
I think people are starting to know I’m
going to kind of come
in several days a week.
I’ll come in a little bit here and there.
I’m not seeing like, you know, we also,
as we’ve got when we get busy,
I see more people coming in on weekends
and nights or early mornings.
I’m not seeing that yet.
Like, I’m I’m still seeing people
picking periods of time that they come in
during traditional work hours right now.
So. Interesting. If I start seeing changes
there, that will be different,
you know, right.
The month before.
The pandemic or the month of the pandemic?
The search for coworking
in the United States was at the highest,
it was at a five year high.
Oh, so we literally went
like this and like this
however, that the search
terms are coming back.
So we know people are looking
and now it’s OK and we start getting
the environment to feel right
to bring the people back in.
It’s been it’s been a whirl.
It’s been a whirlwind, you know,
but that’s probably been more challenging
than the marketing piece, I would imagine.
Definitely more challenging.
Definitely more challenging,
so just kind of waiting.
So part of it’s been a waiting game,
kind of like what the rest of the
restaurants have been a game day.
There are so many changes you can do,
but then you’re still capped by.
The general environment, right,
and I think that’s a little bit more
coworking has been in office space
in general has been so I think it’s been
more about how do you change terms?
How do you change plans?
How do you change like there again,
kind of like the restauranteur that says
I’m getting rid of my staff
to cut costs for a while.
Office Space Management is how
do I manage leases different?
How do I manage management
How do I manage?
You know, I think you’re just
managing different things.
Yes, fair, yeah, that’s fair,
yeah, interesting, interesting times,
definitely so how you’re
a keep on the same marketing Moxie, Main Street Moxie.
I just attach you to marketing, so I’m sorry.
Main Street Moxie.
How is that book going. Main Street
Moxie is doing great.
So, you know, I mean, I wrote it and put
it out during a time that I felt like.
Kind of like what we talked about a little
bit before, I wanted business owners
to feel like someone’s got their back.
Someone’s there with them.
They’re not totally alone.
I talk about it a lot of stirring the pot.
Hey, you may not know everything,
but we can at least kind of come up with
some thoughts or ideas of how we want to.
You know, you know,
like I talk about in marketing,
when we’re coming up with marketing plans,
hey, we’re going to stir the pot, we’re
going to come up with tons of ideas.
We’re all going to use a few of them.
And the other ones we’re going
to put on a shelf for a little bit.
And I felt like Main Street.
Moxie was the way that I wanted to get out
and let people say, hey,
let’s stir the pot so we can come up
with some ideas for how to go forward.
I feel like when I’m talking to people
today, they’re kind of saying
the piece that they love the most about
the book is it’s relatable,
like they’re like, I’ve been there.
I get it.
I feel you, you know, and I think
I think it’s that idea of just letting
people know, like you’re not alone
and you’re getting past things.
And then really, I think for me,
the biggest eye opener, though, was,
you know, I forget how
much leg during this.
There were companies like Schwinn
that turned around or took bikes and they
said, wait a minute, I’m 30 percent up.
I’m stressed because I have no idea
how to handle this type of like.
So so there was stress on both sides
whether you were down or you are up.
So so everyone had
different had challenges.
They were just coming to them
from different angles.
You know, that’s fair.
That’s very interesting.
Interesting times to be a business owner,
that is for sure.
And then twenty one.
It’s a T-shirt.
Well I’m sorry.
Now I was going to tell
you one funny thing.
I saw a meme this morning and it was like
a little chubby boy on a bike riding
really fast, like a home exercise bike.
And it said, I thought we were
riding off twenty, twenty one.
But now I know summer is around the corner
and everything’s opening, you know,
and and I think that’s kind of like I
thought it kind of hit the nail
on the head like, you know, I,
I think we kind of said we don’t
know what we’re going in for.
We don’t know how long
we’re hunkering down for.
But you know what?
Like we’re all starting to see some
light at the end of the tunnel.
And and now we’re like, well, gosh, is it
coming faster than I thought, you know?
Yeah, that’s cool.
But that’s good.
Yeah, I open it up.
Kick open the doors.
How can people find you Noelle?
you can find Main Street Moxie
online at Amazon
or if you want you can definitely check
this out for our marketing company
at 20Lemons.com. 20Lemons or the coworking space.
We are just in Jersey so we’ve got
an awesome website,
I love it.
That’s super cool.
Well, Noelle, I appreciate
you being on the show again.
Thanks for having me.
Yeah, this has been a lot of fun.
challenging, but interesting times.
We’ll just call it that.
Hopefully next time I talk to you will be
full on summertime, right? Oh,
butterflies come out .
We can break out of our cocoon.
New beginnings here.
This has been
Authentic Business Adventures the business
program that brings you the struggles
stories and triumphant successes
of business owners across the land.
We’re locally underwritten
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My name is James Kademan
and Authentic Business Adventures is
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for service businesses across the country,
on the web at CallsOnCall.com. As well
as Draw In Customers Business Coaching offering
business coaching services
for entrepreneurs looking for growth,
on the web at DrawInCustomers.com.
And of course,
The BOLD Business Book.
A book for the entrepreneur in all of us
available wherever fine books are sold.
We’d like to think you our wonderful
listeners as well as our guest,
Noelle Stary, the founder of 20 Lemons
and author of Main Street Moxie.
Noelle, thank you so much
for being on the show.
It’s been super cool.
I’m excited to talk
to you in summer again.
See how everything’s rainbows and unicorns.
Past episode can be found morning, noon, and night
at the podcast link found at
Thank you for listening.
We’ll see you next week.
I want you to stay awesome.
And if you nothing else,
enjoy your business.