To Learn More about Suzanne Tregenza Moore [click here] to view her Media Kit.
Janine Bolon: Hi. Welcome back to The Thriving Solopreneur. This particular show, we highlight people who are not only business owners but who started off a lot of times at kitchen tables and in their dining room. This is how their businesses started. Everybody talks about the basement business, the garage business, and basically, that’s pretty much what has happened with a lot of the folks we have here. Today, we are lucky enough to have Suzanne Moore who helps solopreneur women, basically. Focus on bringing in revenue into business rather than playing, you know, that game whack-a-mole with your to do list. As one woman said to me, I have a to-do list in its ever-growing in an ever-present, ever ever there, and it never seemed to get any accomplishments done.
In order to prevent that kind of burnout, Suzanne’s here to help us with that and she left a six-figure corporate career. She was employed as a MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship. Not only did she have a lot of personal experience from living in the weeds of her own business, I always loved the way she writes Living in the Weeds. She also supports her clients, not only was strategy and marketing but helps with technology how to delegate things and that all important thing, your mindset regarding your business. Her clients have described her as invaluable and a gentle buttkicker. I’m more like Thor. I’m a hammer. So, you may want to really pay attention to Suzanne. She’s a lot more gentle. She also has helped them unleash their vision, help them cook, run their coaching businesses.
Suzanne is the founder of Hanover Area Chapter of Polka Dot Powerhouse, and Women’s Connection in a networking group. She has a lot going on. She’s also a wife to her husband Kevin. They are parents to two sons and a Labradoodle daughter. They live on the South Shore of Massachusetts. Her first book, Hang on Tight, happened to launch this month, September 2021. We got the pom-poms out. Congratulations, Suzanne. Thanks for being on our show with your first book.
Suzanne Moore: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I’m delighted to be here to connect with your audience.
Janine: It’s awesome that you have so many different elements going on regarding not only your business but your first book. I was lucky enough that Suzanne and I met. I was in desperate need of somebody to write the forward of my book and her book was coming out. So, it’s been a delight working with you over the last several months, as we got to know each other better. So, let’s talk about this wonderful book, Hang on Tight, because there’s a kind of three areas to business building and these are true of anyone. We really want to take it from the woman’s perspective just because we have to deal with different mindsets than the guys do and for the guys. We’re going to talk about… you may not understand leadership quite the way that it is needed now that we’re past 2020. So, we’re going to describe it. Whether you’re male, whether you’re female, or whether your pronouns are they/them. We just want to let you know, there are different mindsets depending upon those different perspectives. Let’s talk about the number one thing with business, fear factor. Woohoo. [crosstalk]
Suzanne: Oh, yes.
Janine: Yes, the fear factor. Talk to us a little bit about some of the fears that you do with your clients.
Suzanne: Well, my clients, how about me? I mean, it’s not like I don’t have them. I see a lot of consistencies and a lot of fears come up for people. I see a lot of women… I primarily work with women, that’s what I usually talk about. But I don’t think the guys are completely immune to this. I see a lot of perfectionism. A lot of, ‘Well, I can’t do X because I don’t, I have not yet done why. I can’t go out and sell a program because I don’t yet have a website, or I don’t yet have a sales page, or I don’t yet have headshots,’ or whatever it might be. The reality is that there are no rules, you can go out, and do anything you want. You don’t have to have a website yet to be in business. You don’t have to have a logo to be professional. I’m not saying those things aren’t good. What I am saying is, don’t let things get in your way unnecessarily. Just jump in, move forward, and recognize that along the way you’re going to make mistakes because there isn’t a person out there who hasn’t made mistakes in their business. Most of the time, the action taking is going to yield very positive stuff rather than the hesitancy of that perfectionism. So, that’s kind of one of the number one fears that I see people have.
I also see a lot of no fear of acceptance, right? This part, you know, people aren’t going to think that I’m as good as someone else. People aren’t going to think that I’m capable of this because I’m too young, too old, too fat, too thin, right? I mean, we all can come up with a million reasons in our heads why something isn’t going to work. The reality is, is that usually, things work because you’ve tried them. Then it worked a little bit and you’ve retooled. Then you’ve tried it again and then you’ve retooled. Then you’ve tried it again and then you’ve retooled. Usually, it’s those people that have the overnight successes that have been retooling something for twenty years, right? So, just get out there, do your thing, do it as well as you can, and get help along the way, you know.
Janine: It’s a lot of fun to be able to talk with business owners who’ve been in business a long time because we all discussed that overnight success when things finally start working for you and people are like, how did you get here? What was the idea? It’s like they try to boil it down that was a single action, a single activity, a single program that got you where you are. It’s like no, I just became known for that. For example, I’ve run fifteen different online courses. I have run a total of three hundred and eighty-five different classes online. Then all of a sudden, I had an explosion when 2020 hit, and I had all kinds of people sign up for things and people thought it was an overnight success. It’s like, no, I’ve been doing this since 2007 when I used to have a camera strapped to my computer, you know. It was one of those [inaudible] of things.
Janine: So, I agree with you when you start doing that. I also want to talk about building something on the fly. There’s a rule in academies and universities like myself as a university professor and that is, always always, you only need to stay one chapter ahead of your students. So, you only need to be building one page or one piece of content or one class ahead. So, all of it has the whole course, has to be done before I offer it, is kind of bogus. I have built so many courses while my students were going through the content. So, talk to us a little bit about how that perfectionism really hampers people’s ability to make cash.
Suzanne: Well, I absolutely love what you just said because it’s so true. People will say, well, I have to have a whole course created before I can step forward and offer it. No. No, no, no, you do not. What you can do is, you can sell it and you can say, I’m going to start delivering it. I’m going to sell it for this week. Then I’m going to start delivering it the following week and guess what you’re doing that week. You’re building it. I mean, it’s not that you can, it’s not that can just go out willy-nilly and ask for people’s money without having a clear idea of what you’re delivering to them. The reality is that, if you can’t, if you can’t tell them what the value is that they are going to receive for the, whatever it is they’re investing then you’re probably not going to sell anything, right? But you don’t need something already created in order to sell the value of it.
Recognizing that you can say, you know what, this is the course I intend to offer and these are the pieces of it. If you want in on it, now’s the best opportunity. You can totally do that. Then maybe you’ll be in a position that, okay now it’s a rinse repeat situation. Either you can sell it as a packaged course or you can redo the course, but you’ve got a lot of the materials again. That’s all good. The concept of, “Oh, if I don’t have the perfect things in place,” I mean, that’s just you’re shooting yourself in the foot and getting out there and getting people to invest, not only shows you that people are willing to invest but it helps you get some cash flow. Maybe get support with the development of the course so that you can not be doing everything yourself.
Janine: I think that’s part of it, right? You’re not doing everything yourself. When you start off as a solopreneur. Yes, you are doing everything. Then you get a little bit of money and then you start hiring out. You hire out a little more, you hire out a little more and then eventually you find out that you’re heading, you know, seven or eight teams of people. So, talk to us a little bit about the differences between community and leadership because some people get that confused. They think they have a huge following, they have a huge community, therefore they’re a leader. When in actuality, that’s not quite right. So, talk to us about your perspective on that, especially, because you bring it up in your book. That’s what I love about it.
Suzanne: Yes. First, I’ll talk about community, which I think as an entrepreneur is so important. I think it’s probably true for men and women but has never been a man. I can’t a hundred percent say that but I know for me as a female who is, I’m also really extroverted, right? So, my communities are extremely important to me. There are times where I need validation. There are times where I need someone who, “You know, Suzanne, don’t give up. You’re on the right track. You just need to retool something.” Right? There are times where… I mean, I just launched my book. I knew that I could do everything in terms of getting the word out. If I didn’t ask for my community’s help in getting the word out, it would not have reached enough people for me to achieve the goals that I wanted to achieve in terms of sales, attention, and all that, right? So, there are so many different important things about a community, particularly as an entrepreneur. If you don’t have entrepreneurial communities around you, I think you’re going to really suffer and you’re going to really struggle.
Leadership, I believe is very, very different. Right? So leadership is not, “Oh, look. I have three thousand people following me on my Facebook page.” Leadership to me is about what people get when they follow your work, when they listen to your advice, and when they connect with you as someone who can help them. To me, leadership is not about the leader. It’s about what that person delivers to the people following the leader, whether that is in terms of… as an entrepreneur, that’s about their success, right? The followers’ success. In business, in corporate environments, I believe that’s about how those under the leader develop. When I was younger, I used to think that leadership, being a leader was getting involved in things, right? Like, when I was in high school, I was a cheerleader. I was the editor of the school newspaper. I was in the drama stuff. I thought I was a leader because I did those things. But really, I realized I became a leader when I started to create value for other people and helped them to create value for themselves and for other people. That’s to me what leadership really is.
Janine: That kind of comes through in your book, Hang on Tight. I like the fact that you have the roller coaster on there. Enjoy the roller coaster ride because here we go. Talk to us a little bit about what you feel. Are there personal attributes for entrepreneurs, for people who are about ready to embrace this whole crazy game, this wonderful, I think is a wonderful ride but you better enjoy the circus?
Suzanne: Yes. Absolutely, right. Well, I think in terms of personal attributes, the best thing you can be is resilient and also accepting of yourself, right? Accepting the fact that at times, there’s going to be a failure. At times things are going to be difficult. So, I definitely think that. I think what’s really important is… there are so many people out there who are trying to convince other people in one way or another that they should be entrepreneurs. They’re talking about it like, it’s such an easy thing to do, right? Whether it’s joining this network marketing company, not that I have anything against network marketing companies but… I don’t care if you’re in one of those. I don’t care if you create your own widget. I don’t care if you are doing professional services, that you are really good at in the corporate. Now you’re saying, “Oh, I’m going to do this as an independent consultant,” and suddenly you’re like, “Oh, I have to find clients,” you know.
There will be ups and downs to that process. There will be challenges. Don’t be fooled into believing there won’t be. Even if your first three years are fabulous, I’m telling you, there’s going to come a time where it’s not. If you aren’t grounded in what you’re doing and you aren’t, you know, you don’t have a certain amount of self-confidence. You don’t have people around you who are willing to say, “Oh my gosh. The same thing happened to me, you’re going to be okay.” It’s a tough ride. It’s tough ride.
Janine: Since you have your own experiences with all this, tell us a little bit about what motivated you to write the book then. What was the trigger? Not everybody is like, “Oh, I’m gonna wake up today. I’m gonna write a book about everything that’s happened to me.” You know, that’s not really the go-to.
Suzanne: Right. Right. About five- five and a half years ago, I heard some stuff about writing a business book. It was one of those things where it came to me in several directions, right? I was like, “Yeah, so I got to write. I got to write a book,” and I started one. Of course, I was completely convinced that I would go the self-publishing route and I was, you know, all about that. I probably got 70 to 80% into a solid first draft. Then somebody offered me an opportunity to do something else. I let myself get sidetracked. I kept telling myself to come back to this. Guess what happened? I didn’t, right? I let a lot of other things get in the way and I did not focus on it.
So, just about a year ago, end of August 2020 or early September, I thought, “Well, Suz, you’re not going anywhere. You got no social life because everyone is hiding in their houses,” right? I called it hiding in our hidey-holes. Perhaps now is the time to take those files back out of Dropbox, see what you have and if it’s time to get going on it again. So, once my kids went back to school, I did just that. I pulled them out and I said, “Okay, what do I have here?” I read what I had and I was like, “Yes. This is totally not the book I want to write.” So, I scrapped it. I sat down. I started outlining the one I did and want to write which was much more mindset oriented, much more heartfelt, much less a manual, and more of a story that helps or I should say a collection of stories that I hope will really help people learn from different experiences that I’ve had and integrate those teachings into their own experiences.
This time I connected with a friend who’s an independent publisher. I joined the cohort that she was running. That made all the difference for me because I had again that community of women around me who are helping me when I was like, “I can’t believe I have more at its,” or, you know, whatever the case may be or the feeling of fraud factor, right? They helped me through it. Now, here I am. I have a published book. I guarantee it’s not the only one I’m writing.
Janine: It’s one of those things that when you actually do get into your community, you feel the power of it. As a writer, I always like to share with folks. It’s very solitary. A lot of what we do is solitary. However, it’s wonderful when you know that in two weeks time you’re going to be reading this chapter with people who will be giving you advice on how to make it better, how to help with your storytelling, how to be more linear in your thought process, or how to be more verbose without just adding the words. You need to get with more descriptors. So, yes, there’s always a benefit to being a part of a writing group after you’ve done the solitary work that’s required. So, tell us a little bit about your own journey when it comes to being an entrepreneur. You started off working for Corporate America and decided to drop out. What was the impetus for that?
Suzanne: Actually, I had wanted to leave Corporate America for a long time. I had intended to and then the economy was kind of tanking. This was back in 2008. I ended up sticking with it because I was like, “Well, I don’t want to leave a good job now,” kind of thing. Right? But a few years later, the CEO of the company I was working for and a man I was directly reporting to, got to let go and so did many of the people who worked for him including myself. At the time, my boys were one and three I think, and my husband said, “Well, you’ve always wanted your own business. So, maybe now’s the time.”
Once I got things going, I started a virtual assistant business and I really hustled in that business. It was a great business for me in many ways, but I burned out big-time. So, a few years into it I kind of transitioned into coaching which is what I knew in my heart I wanted to do all along but I felt I couldn’t do it because I hadn’t run my own successful business already. I thought, “Well, how can I coach people on running a business if I haven’t done it myself?” So gradually, I morphed out of the virtual assistant business and into full-on coaching. I really, I’ve loved it. Absolutely, loved it. It’s so rewarding.
Janine: That’s one of the things if you’re not happy with your business, if you don’t like what you’re doing, get out because you’ve got to have a fire burning in the pit of your stomach. Even during the really dark days that sometimes can happen with entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. The way that you get out of it is you make the decision. No, this is what I’m going to do. This is how it’s going to happen. I will find a way to make the bills, right? [crosstalk]
Suzanne: Absolutely. Yes.
Janine: I will find a way to pay my people, right? So, thank you so much for being with us. Anyway, how do you want people to find you if they want to learn out more about you?
Janine: And this is Suzanne T. Moore. She is the author and business owner of Hang on Tight. Learn to love the roller coaster of entrepreneurship. She has a lot of wisdom in between those pages. I’ve enjoyed reading the contents of it. I really enjoy how she talks about leadership and mainly because as a solopreneur or entrepreneur, that’s what you need. Thanks so much for being with us today on the show. This is Janine Bolon with The Thriving Solopreneur. We broadcast every Friday. Starting October 3rd we will be broadcasting on KH and C. Our schedule will change to Sundays at noon. We will be broadcasting on three different radio stations on four different states on forty-two different platforms. So, you will see a shift in our scheduling. Please stick with us and we will guide you through how to find us in the future. This is Janine Bolon. Have a great day.