Sept 24, 2021
The Mass Business Podcast
Season 1, Episode 20 – Touch Points With Referral Partners, with Kathleen Lawson
In our last episode of the Season, I interview Kathleen Lawson. She’s a business strategist who helps entrepreneurs make a bigger impact in the world by helping them create the structure and routines to get things done, achieve their goals, and to implement their vision. She prioritizes goals and creates action plans for success. We talk about learning, outsourcing, and how repetition and consistency are important parts of networking. Are you ready? Let’s go!!
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Wed, 8/11 9:29AM • 41:22
Matt Ward 00:00
Welcome to the final episode of season one of the Mass Business Podcast. My name is Matt Ward. I’m so excited that you’re here and I have a great guest for you today. That’s right. My guest is Kathleen Lawson. She’s a business strategist who helps entrepreneurs make a bigger impact in the world by helping them create the structure and routines to get things done, to achieve their goals, and to implement their vision. Kathleen’s focus is on prioritizing goals, creating action plans, implementing processes and systems and maintaining accountability to execution. Kathleen runs 12 week accountability groups and also works one on one with clients. You’re gonna love this conversation because if you’ve been listening for the last 19 episodes, you know, we talk a lot about process systems and improvement. And we’re gonna dig into that today with our guest, Kathleen Lawson. Are you ready? Let’s go. Welcome to the Mass Business Podcast where small business owners, also known as risk takers share their stories about the growth of their business and themselves. Our interviews, and our content is focused on growing a small business and understanding networking and referrals. I say it all the time. And I’ll say it again today. You never know where your next referral will come from. Hey, and welcome back to episode 20 of season one of the Mass Business Podcast. Welcome to the show, Kathleen.
Kathleen Lawson 01:57
Thank you, Matt, I’m excited to be here.
Matt Ward 02:00
I’m excited to have you because you, you speak and serve audiences and business owners in a way in which I just, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. So why don’t you in just a quick synopsis, under 30 seconds or so tell the listening audience on their favorite podcast platform or the viewers on YouTube, what it is you actually do?
Kathleen Lawson 02:23
Well, you summed it up well in the intro, but I work with business owners who have a vision for their business. And they just, they’re challenged by how to get there. And so I help them get there. We prioritize the goals, we break it down, and put a plan in place. We dig into processes and systems and get those set up. And then we really focus on execution, which is about how they get the things done week in and week out, a lot around accountability. And they end up moving right towards that vision that they’re trying to implement for their business. So that’s what I do.
Matt Ward 02:58
All right, great. Now, let’s dig into the stuff that most business owners don’t want to talk about. How did you get here? How did you Kathleen, get to this point where you were helping others be accountable? Because I know, and we’ve talked about it on this podcast already in the first 19 episodes, that getting things done, time management related issues are a problem in small business and solopreneurs. How did you get to where you are today?
Kathleen Lawson 03:28
Well, you know, it’s funny, because I think a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with it. Because they’re idea, people. So they have lots and lots of ideas. They’re big picture people, they’re risk takers. And so they’re up there and they love and I think like implementing the ideas, is never as much fun as coming up with them. And that’s where a lot of entreprenuers live. They live in that……
Matt Ward 03:54
Yeah, no, that’s a definite issue. Like they’re in that creative mode, the visionary, so to speak, that that one book, Traction talks about what Gina Whitman, they’re the visionary, not so much the implementer.
Kathleen Lawson 04:09
Right. So I came up through the other side of the world, I have a background, I came up through project management and marketing and operations and all that kind of stuff. So my corporate background, I came up through that side of the world. And then for a number of years I did as working for myself, I did a lot of coaching. So yeah, a couple years ago, when I started this business, I sort of took all those pieces and put them together. And that’s how I ended up really on this side of things working with people on the structure, on the systems, on the processes, on all those things to get the things done.
Matt Ward 04:55
Yeah. So that’s interesting, right? So you didn’t come from the visionary side of things, you came from the implementer side of things. And I kind of think that that sort of, I mean, I don’t know if this is the right analogy, but I think of it like left brain, right brain related stuff, right? It’s like, either you’re good at that, or you’re not I was, I’m never good, I’m an action taker. But I’m not a completer.
Kathleen Lawson 05:20
Right. You know, I think one of the things that sets me apart and allows me to really help people is that I kind of, I kind of ride that rail, I can do both, I can see the big picture. But then I can dig into the details. So that’s what’s helped me to be able to translate, I think, for people. But, but yeah, I that I find that probably 85, 90% of the entrepreneurs I work with, when we start talking about the details, they just get this funny look on their face. It’s not natural for them to, to live on that side of things. So, so yeah, so we try and try and help them put the systems and the structures in place that they can live with. But that’s going to help them get things done. Because the thing is like, if you spend, if you live in the winging it world all the time, you’re never going to get very far, there’s only so many hours in the day. And you can only get so much done, if you’re doing it all and you’re just sort of like winging it, you need to put some sort of structure in place at some point in order to grow bigger.
Matt Ward 06:25
Yeah, and I guess that’s part of the problem too is that I see a lot of small business owners that want to grow, but they often don’t have a plan in which they want to grow, or a way in which they want to grow. And they often don’t know the direction in which they want to grow. I see this all the time, I saw this a lot, I see that in my coaching business with the referral side of things. But I also saw it when I owned the web design agency, is that I have had friends who would say the first person I’m going to hire is a salesperson. And I’m, like no, that’s usually the worst person, it’s usually the project manager or the coder or the action oriented person. And the brain of the business owner is thinking No, no. Well, so I love to do those things. And so that’s what I do and I’m like, No, you don’t understand, you’re the best salesperson like you will never sell, you know, they will never sell as much as you typically. And so the easiest way that I’ve seen to grow is to have an individual who is going to add a production oriented person, and have and free up more time for the owner to do the sales and business development stuff. Do you see similar things?
Kathleen Lawson 07:46
Yes, absolutely. Um, on the sales side, like you, you shouldn’t be thinking about sales people until you, you have to be pretty far down that road, you have to have a really proven offer before you bring somebody in as a salesperson, because there’s a kind of a rule of thumb out there or a thought that a salesperson should be bringing in, I think it’s like four times or eight times or whatever the salary, that you’re paying, whatever you’re paying, and they should be bringing it in that much more in business. And so in order to do that one you have to have, you really kind of have to have a proven offer in order for them to do that. And But yeah, I think for a lot of business owners, the first place is sort of that you I think, would you say doing, the kind of the doing stuff, the administrative stuff? And it’s really, yeah, getting you, getting the business owner out of a lot of those, a lot of those details are not very good at or that they don’t want to do that they’re not good at that’s taking up their time. I mean, when you think about it, people get into business, because there’s some they have some skill or some passion. And that’s what they want to bring to clients. But the minute their business starts growing, they take them they spend more time on all the running the business stuff versus what brought them in in the first place. So yeah, like a VA is a real common first step. And it could be somebody doing administrative things. It could be somebody doing social media, it could be you know, all that kind of stuff. For what your business is, there may be some bit of the client or the service delivery that somebody can help with depending on what it is. But that’s Yeah, the sales and then plus, like the point that you made to about the you know, your passion for the business and your understanding of it and all that kind of stuff. I mean, I think the sales, the sales help needs to come further down the line.
Matt Ward 09:44
Yeah, it’s so interesting because we always are looking for the new sale. We’re looking for the new customer all the time scratching and scratching and clawing our way. But it just it doesn’t work like we invision it, It’s the same reason why it doesn’t work if you don’t find a target market, right, you find the target market, you become the expert in that field in that industry consistently. Every day, everybody knows that you’re the VA for web developers, you’re the VA for public speakers, right? Because here’s the thing, a lot of people miss it, I’ve been approached a lot as a professional speaker, by people to help me. Right. But if you already work with professional speakers, you already know the challenges, the struggles, the pain points that a professional speaker, you know how to submit a call for speakers. If you don’t, you have no idea what to call for speakers, even is, you’re like, I’m calling people? No, you’re submitting….. like this is a problem, right? And so when you immerse yourself in that, and so many small business owners don’t do that, right. And so that’s a struggle. I’m really curious as to, you came from the execution side of the house when you were in the corporate world, right? And now you’ve had to do many, many other things right, for your own business. Right? Yes. So you’re doing sales, you’re doing bookkeeping, you’re doing I love to say payroll, many of us don’t have staff, right? Creative ideas on new service offerings, and how I’m going to go to market and doing marketing and social media. What’s that been like for you?
Kathleen Lawson 11:24
Humbling. It is, I mean, yeah, you learn that yeah, you can’t be great at everything. You know, there’s some things that are more challenging. And, and then, you know, it’s interesting, I was just talking to a client this morning, and we were talking through something that she is really struggling with. And I was like, Why don’t, let’s just hire somebody to do that. Like, why are we, you know, why are you spending so much time trying to, like, you clearly don’t enjoy this. Clearly, it’s not like in your wheelhouse, let’s just hire it out. And, you know, that’s what I chose to do, too. There’s some things that I chose to hire out, rather than spend a lot of time on it. And plus, like, it’s the mental thing, like, you know, you can something it shouldn’t take you, you know, 10 times as long to do something. But sometimes, you know, we get so caught up in the mental energy around something that we just can’t wrap our head around that it’s just not worth it.
Matt Ward 12:24
Yeah, it’s so interesting, because there’s the time trade of money, right? The idea of what it costs you to spend this time, and learn how to do something and figure it out and struggle and struggle and struggle and struggle. And some people are so headstrong in small business, that they’re like, I have to know how to do this before I can outsource it. And other people are just like, you know what, no, I don’t know how to do this. If you say as my coach that I need to be on LinkedIn, and I want nothing to do with it, I’m just gonna hire somebody to do LinkedIn. Right. And there are people that that, that believe in that. There’s a great book, I’ve talked about it many, many times. That it’s it. It’s called Who Not How, and it’s about finding the right person, and not how can you do it. And one of the things I effectively did with my web agency years ago was I read the E myth. And then in there, there’s an exercise where you create your ideal organizational chart, and you put the name of everybody who does the task including taking out the trash, and you put the name in the box. And then you slowly start replacing all of your names with other people’s names. And it’s like, oh, this is how this works. And so then I was able to build an agency with eight employees, and grow to the point was able to sell and I think, and by the way, when I sold that I was working three days a week. Yeah, like this was, not this was a lifestyle business at some point, too. So we got to think about that. And so how are you, how do you learn new things? How do you grow and stay up to date on what’s going on? Whether it be with industry knowledge, business knowledge, you know, client knowledge, how are you staying up to date?
Kathleen Lawson 14:19
Um, well I’m in a couple of programs that you know, that I invest in that are in areas that I want to work on and then you know, the different workshops and webinars and things that people do. My issue with all that is like, I could learn all day, I love learning new things. And so I have to really kind of watch that, that I don’t spend too much time on that. But, that’s what I do. And the other thing too is because of what I do for work, I need to kind of stay, at least I need to kind of know even if I don’t have a real in depth knowledge of things like I kind of need to know what’s going on because my clients bring up all sorts of different things, so I kind of like to know, at least something about different things, because also, things come up.
Matt Ward 15:10
I don’t know, are you like me? Do you just Google something and then hit the videos tab and then go to YouTube and watch the How To Videos? Right now they have a feature. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Google has a feature where it will outline the time stamps in a video. Where they talked about certain things. That is really cool. I learned how to reset a lockbox the other day on that now.
Kathleen Lawson 15:33
There you go. Yeah, I you know, what, I’m definitely a figure it out kind of person. And, and that in, frankly, I mean, those are the people I kind of like to work with, or if I’ve helped people hire people. I mean, that’s what I’m always looking for, like, you know, sometimes you get somebody that’s like, No, I don’t know how to do that. And they don’t say anything else. It’s like, Well, how about, I don’t know how to do that. But you know, I’ll figure it out. Or I’ll learn or, you know, I kind of like that sort of mentality?
Matt Ward 15:57
How long have you been in business for yourself?
Kathleen Lawson 16:00
Um, I have actually worked for myself for 20 years in different, different things. But this, but what I’m doing right now, I’ve been doing about three years.
Matt Ward 16:09
And I know you do a lot of networking, because we connected through networking. So how much networking are you doing? And how has that been advantageous or not so advantageous for your business?
Kathleen Lawson 16:26
Oh, I built my business on networking. I am I actually have a couple targets. I try and do six events a month. So that’s like, you know, a bunch of people at an event, and then at least 16 one on ones.
Matt Ward 16:42
I love it. Like, you know how many people I talked to that have no number in sight for the one to ones or even the events? I love that you know those numbers, six and 16, those are great. How did you come up with those numbers?
Kathleen Lawson 16:57
I think, I’m trying to remember, I think the 16 that’s four a week. And that seemed like, okay, you know, a good number. It wasn’t too much. But it was enough that and you know, and it’s funny, because some months, like, they’re just like, I start, you know, beginning of the month, I start tracking them in before I know, you know, I’m at 17, 19, whatever. And some months, it’s like, Alright, I’m halfway through, and I only have this many, like, let’s go. And it’s you know, it’s easy. Like literally in a day, you can fill up the whole calendar if you just start messaging people. And then I think the six was like that’s, you know, somewhere between one and two a week. So?
Matt Ward 17:32
And are you doing these one to ones with people you don’t know, or people you do already know?
Kathleen Lawson 17:38
People I don’t know, usually it’s people I’ve met at the event. So when I go to an event, I usually kind of eyeball two or three people that seem interesting, or that you know, just for whatever reason. And I’m one of these people, I really believe in networking without agenda. I’m, I mean, if there’s somebody that kind of lands in front of me that I think, Wow, this would be a great person. But I’m also like, I’m kind of willing to talk to anybody. Because I’ve, I tracked, like where my clients come from, and so forth. And my most of my clients have come from networking referrals, so not people that I necessarily worked with, but people who I’ve met networking have referred me so I’m willing to chat with anybody, because and I also love to connect people and given what I do, I often, I do a lot of connecting. And I’m often helping people hire and find people for different things and so forth. So, so I love just meeting people.
Matt Ward 18:36
It’s so interesting, you mentioned that the majority of your referrals have come from people that you network with, not necessarily your clients. And I wrote in my first book, More Word Of Mouth Referrals: Lifelong Customers & Raving Fans, that clients refer one to three people over a lifetime. And partners refer one to three people a year, this centers of influence, the spheres that are around you that are serving the same markets you’re serving are referring you, even if they’re not doing business. But yet so often, Kathleen, I meet with people, and they literally say no, all my clients refer me and I’m like, Okay, show me, show me. And they can’t show me, they say, Oh, yeah, I track and I said, Okay, show me. They can’t, they can’t show me. So what happens is people believe that that’s the case because they got a referral from a client, right? And so that’s what they remember. And because that creates the dopamine hit in their head, and they’re excited that a client referred them. But here’s what’s really happening. What’s really happening is clients aren’t referring you because they don’t want to share you, subconsciously, they don’t want to share, right? You they want coaches and service providers to be available when they need the help. That’s why they don’t refer and the second reason is they’re not in a position to refer because When’s the last time you know, you were talking to somebody and You know, if you said like, literally like a handyman, like, think about a handyman for a second, when’s the last time you had a conversation where the handyman you use for something came up in conversation? It just doesn’t right? Guess Who does, where that does come up, it comes up. When the plumber’s in my house fixing stuff, the carpenter’s in my house fixing something, the air conditioning person’s in my house fixing something, and I have a conversation with them. Now they’re in a position to refer the handyman, right? And that happens more often than people realize. And so I just keep telling people like, I, and that’s why we opened this episode, as I always like to say you never know where your next referral is gonna come from, you gotta keep doing the one to ones.
Kathleen Lawson 20:50
So true. So true. Yeah, I am just thinking. I just like in the last week, I’ve just signed three new one to one clients, and one of them was actually from a client referral and two were from networking referrals. I didn’t work with the other, either of the two people.
Matt Ward 21:13
See that? I mean, and that’s repetition. It’s consistency. It’s showing up in networking all the time where they in networking groups that you’re in?
Kathleen Lawson 21:21
Um, yes, yeah. Yes, yes.
Matt Ward 21:24
Yes. I know, when you talked about running one to ones you do 16 a month? How often, You know, what’s your follow up like on that? Like, how, what are you doing after you do the one to one?
Kathleen Lawson 21:34
I connect with them on social, I always ask people where they hang out? Are they Facebook? Are they on LinkedIn? And then I, I track them. And then I just try and stay in touch, kind of depending on like, how we connect, and if we, you know, if I’ve got like a referral for them, or if you know, just depending on kind of how that goes. But I try and go back and look at my list and stay in touch with people, I also kind of make a point of reaching out to a certain number of people a day. And so a lot of times, it’s just people I’ve connected with a few months ago, like, Hey, what’s going on?
Matt Ward 22:12
that’s all you have to do. I tell my clients all the time, it’s a number of reach out to do. Yeah, more often you do the reach outs, the more often you do the one on ones, I refer to them in my business as touch points, the more touch points you have with other people, the more referrals, you get.
Kathleen Lawson 22:29
Things bubble up, like, the minute you start connecting with people, no matter how minor it is, I tell you things bubble up. And there’s, there’s got, you know, not to get woowoo but there’s something energetic about it, I’m convinced, you know.
Matt Ward 22:42
Let me tell you about this. So So first of all, I don’t believe that people do business with who they know, like, and trust. I believe that people do business with who they know, like, trust, and care about. And when you show up to a one to one with no agenda, with no interest in selling someone something with simply an interest on focusing on them, and caring about them, and sharing the world with them and understanding who they are. And then you follow up and you connect, that connection is so much deeper. That it’s, it’s a huge key for creating further relationships and producing a lot more referrals. And the reciprocal factor kicks in. Right. And that’s that energy thing that you’re talking about and and how the world comes back and shows up because people know, and I say this all the time in my talks, if you care about people to get the referral, they will know and it will not work. If you care, however, because you care, then you will get referrals. And we can see through it right? You get on these calls with networking calls in 20 minutes in, it’s going, Okay, it’s a struggle. You’re asking questions, they’re not asking too much. And finally, you say something like, well, who’s a great person I could connect you with? And they say, well, Kathleen, you know, I’m sure you got some life insurance. We could talk about you moving that over to me. Yeah, that’s awkward. That’s gross. Like we don’t want that. That’s not what networking referrals is all about. Right? I had that. Recently. I was connecting with somebody and boom, they threw the water filter thing at me and I’m just like, Yeah, no, I mean, I have a water filter. Yeah, but I you know, I’m telling you benefits of ours. Okay, but I don’t have a problem. Yeah, it’s not broken. Like it is not good. This is weird it’s odd. You know, we don’t want to do.
Kathleen Lawson 24:43
I think the one that like sticks out in my mind the most that I’ve never forgotten it. And this probably goes back about three years ago, I was at a live networking event and a woman walked up to me and started telling me what she did. And I said, Oh, I said I do that. And she like in the middle of my sentence, she turned on her heel and walked away, like, while I was talking. And obviously, like, I’ve never forgotten this, it made such a big impact. Like I couldn’t do anything for her. So therefore, she had no interest in even letting me finish my sentence.
Matt Ward 25:14
Oh my goodness.
Kathleen Lawson 25:17
So that I mean, there’s a big lesson in that, like, you know, and it’s what you just said. It’s about just talking with people and getting to know them and being curious and finding out….
Matt Ward 25:29
it’s so interesting, because, um, I was at a trade show, it’s almost similar happened, checked this out. I was at a trade show, I was walking the trade show floor. And I had an embroidered shirt on that said, at the time, my company was called central mass web design. It said central mass web design. And a guy walked up to me and he said, Hi, how you doing? I said, great, we shook hands. And he said, oh, here’s my card, I do websites. And I said, I’m good. Thanks. And he said You don’t want my card? And I said, No, I’m good. Thanks, though. He said, Well, but surely, you know, someone that needs websites. For me, I looked at him and stared him in the eyes. And I said, and why? Why would I send them to you? And I pointed right to my shirt, where it says Central Mass Web Design. And I just realized at that moment, I wrote a blog about it. I said, it was called don’t be the Pez dispenser, where you show up at a networking event, and you just spit out cards, business cards, like you’re a Pez dispenser. It’s just so wrong. Right? And there’s nothing natural about that.
Kathleen Lawson 26:44
And who’s gonna want to do business with that?
Matt Ward 26:47
No. And so those folks, the people that turn around, while, very, very rude about that. It’s great, because those are people like I talked about my new book. Yeah, they don’t bring us joy. Right? We’re not trying to do business with people like this. We want to do business with people that make us smile.
Kathleen Lawson 27:05
Right? Well, you know what I get? I just had one a couple weeks ago, I’m I had a one to one with somebody and we got through a half hour call. And that person hadn’t asked me one single solitary question. And I wrote at the top of my page, I’m like, don’t, don’t follow up. I’m not interested
Matt Ward 27:23
I do the same thing. I mean, I think I definitely skew the time toward the others. I’m perfectly fine with that. Yeah. If we get to a point, there’s a number of red flags in networking and one to ones. And then we could go on and on about this. I don’t know if this is gonna be a two hour podcast and season one. But there’s a there’s a couple of red flags that I think are super bad when it comes to one on ones The first of which is you scheduled a one to one with me in my calendar within the last 72 hours. And then you either cancel or no show. And you want to reschedule? No, I’m good, like your time is not more important than my time. And this is something I think people really need to understand that no showing and rescheduling last minute…… I mean, look, things come up, I get it. But there’s a there’s a complete way to handle this. And most of the things I’m dealing with, are not reschedules or cancellations. They are complete ghosting, like not showing up and they get four, they get a one day reminder, a four hour reminder, and a 30 minute reminder. Like I don’t know how it works. That’s one issue, then showing up on a zoom call and not being on camera doesn’t work for me. I don’t know who I’m talking to, how am I supposed to trust you? So this is something that I think a lot of people, I’ve done some videos about this on my YouTube channel. But humans are ingrained that we want to be able to see your hands. And when zoom, we can’t really see your hands but at least we can see your face.
Kathleen Lawson 29:05
Yeah, it’s awkward.
Matt Ward 29:06
I’ve been taught as professional speaker to never put my hands in my pocket when I’m on stage because the audience cannot see my hands. And that is a safety and security issue subconsciously in a lot of people’s minds. So that’s that’s a big issue. Seeing people on zoom is a huge red red flag with that. And then the thing like you talk about is 20, 30 minute call or like 20 minutes and you’re getting ready to wrap up and there’s no question or it’s just like, Oh, that’s cool. And then there’s like, no question and I’m like, okay, you know, or I get on a call with somebody who I thought was a business owner. But there was no clear indication that they’re not a business owner, that they work for somebody else or they’re just networking and sales pitching type of stuff. So, you know, unfortunately, we see that flags sometimes then sometimes we just seem too late, we can’t really stop the call. But these things are lessons, right? I mean, they build up our, our at bats, so to speak for identifying red flags in the future. That’s awesome. And so, um, tell me about your biggest challenge when it comes to learning new things, whether it’s through networking or other things, what what are you challenged with? And not even so much learning new things. But what’s the biggest challenge for you in your business? You’re a solopreneur right? I mean, there’s a lot of solopreneurs listening, they want to hear what the systems and process person struggles with.
Kathleen Lawson 30:42
All the same things that everyone else does.
Matt Ward 30:46
Wait, you know, you’re not perfect?
Kathleen Lawson 30:49
You know, what’s funny, I just had this conversation. I mean, I think a lot of us have this conversation a lot about how much we struggle with the same things that we help our clients with. It’s like, what’s that saying about the medicine you need is the medicine you prescribe, you know, however, that goes. But I do the same things. And you know, and I have my days and my weeks, where everything’s just kind of crazy. And, you know, and I need to, like, let’s figure out what we’re doing here and put a plan in place, and let’s work towards it. So. But I think, like, for a lot of people, it’s Yeah, I mean, it’s putting the processes in place, figuring out how we’re going to get the things done, it’s figuring out what we’re going to do versus what we’re going to outsource. You know, yeah. Like, for example, like one of the things you had asked me in our questionnaire is, what is something you’ve learned recently, and I recently have attempted to learn QuickBooks. And I actually did it for two reasons. One, this isn’t real complicated. So I don’t, um, my books are pretty, pretty basic. And a lot of the bookkeepers I was talking to, like, a lot of them have moved away from quarterly clients only doing monthly and I just didn’t feel like my business warranted like monthly, somebody, you know, outsourcing it monthly. So I was like, You know what, maybe I’ll just learn it. And the other thing too, is I have a lot of clients who are trying to work that into everything they’re doing, and they’re doing their own QuickBooks and their own, their own their own books and everything and managing in the with everything else you’re doing. So I was like, well you know this would be good for me to learn this, because then I’ll understand the pain of all of this. And so then I was like, Alright, well, how am I gonna learn this? And do I dig in? Do I take a class and I ended up, there was somebody I met networking. Met at a networking event, had a one to one. She’s a bookkeeper, she tells me Hey, you know, I’m getting ready to do this, you know, like, what’s going on in your business? Like, well, I’m going to do my very first course, I’m going to teach QuickBooks over four weeks, and like a week after I decided, I’m gonna, like, look into this. And I decided it was sort of a sign that Alright, I should do this. Because here it landed, like, right in my lap. I was thinking about it. So I ended up taking her her course.
Matt Ward 33:13
Is that Beth?
Kathleen Lawson 33:14
Yeah! Beth Blaney, that’s awesome.
Matt Ward 33:20
That’s so great. Yeah.
Kathleen Lawson 33:22
Yeah. So she ended up I mean, we were on a networking call and she ended up with somebody in her course. So like, you know, you don’t know how things are gonna go.
Matt Ward 33:30
Yeah, and that’s incredibly rare that it happens that way. But obviously, you had a pain point you were looking to solve, she had the solution. So it worked out. It also probably wasn’t, like, you know, you saying, hey, yeah, I’m looking to grow QuickBooks. It’s probably more like she’s telling you an update of what you’re doing. And you start thinking about, oh, hey, I could use that.
Kathleen Lawson 33:53
Oh, yeah. Yeah, I didn’t bring it up at all. Yeah. So. But that was something that I recently learned. You know, I mean, I guess one of the things about learning something new is, you know, you, I think sometimes we underestimate what it’s gonna take
Matt Ward 34:09
Yeah, the time.
Kathleen Lawson 34:12
Yeah, the time and that. So I mean, I see that a lot with because, like, I’ll help people implement, like, say, a task management program, or like a CRM or something that they’re, you know, putting some structure into what they’re doing and some systems and, you know, it’s, there’s a lot of things that go into it. First of all, if somebody is not real tech savvy, then they’ve got like that to kind of deal with on top of the specifics. And then if you’re not, and, you know, it’s like a new habit and a new routine. And there’s like so many things that you’ve got to kind of put in there to implement something like that because you’re, now I’m going to run this CRM, or now I’m going to run this task management program. And it’s like, there’s like a lot of things tomake that, and you just can’t expect to turn it on and have it all of a sudden change your business, like it takes time. And that’s why like, the whole accountability thing is so, so critical, because then it’s somebody every week, you’re like, Okay, where are we now? And then what do we need to do? And what do we need to do and staying really focused on it. Because when it’s hard or it’s not in our wheelhouse, it’s so easy to go, you know, what, I just I don’t even want to look at that, you know, and, and just drop it. But is that good for your business? I mean, if you went down that road to begin with, it’s something that you know, you feel is going to be an important piece to help you become even more efficient, or to help you to drive sales or what you know, whatever it is, it’s something you need to do. And now we got to figure out a way to implement it and make it work for you.
Matt Ward 35:42
Yeah. Yeah. Good stuff. And you brought up some project management software. One thing I like to ask all our guests is what piece of software in your business that you use personally use that you’d be pissed off if I showed up today and took it away from you. What’s the game changing software in your business?
Kathleen Lawson 35:59
Matt Ward 36:01
Oh, you use click up? Okay. Great. Yeah, that’s a project management tool.
Kathleen Lawson 36:04
I make all my clients use clickup.
Matt Ward 36:06
You make them? Yeah. Or you show them the benefit of it?
Kathleen Lawson 36:11
Yeah. I’m just teasing.
Matt Ward 36:13
That’s great. And then I also like to find out are you a reader you like to read?
Kathleen Lawson 36:17
Oh, I read a lot. Yeah, I’m a huge reader.
Matt Ward 36:21
What’s the best business book you could recommend to the listeners listening on the podcast or viewing on YouTube?
Kathleen Lawson 36:28
You know what my favorite book is? It’s the 12 Week year.
Matt Ward 36:32
There you go. The 12 week Year. Great book folks. It’ll kick your butt into gear, folks. And I’m in the process of working on my first 12 week year right now. And it’s, it’s really pushing me through the process, the 12 week year is the great book. Well, we’ll link to that in the show notes. So check it out.
Kathleen Lawson 37:02
The one I’m reading right now is really good too, it’s Clockwork. Have you read that?
Matt Ward 37:06
Oh, by Mike Michalowiczs? Yeah. So yeah, Mike is a good friend, he actually endorsed my new book coming out. That’s exciting. Yeah, Clockwork is a great book. Yeah. Did Beth tell you about clockwork to?
Kathleen Lawson 37:19
Matt Ward 37:20
She loves that book.
Kathleen Lawson 37:23
Yeah, I’ve known about it and I just hadn’t got around to it. And somebody actually sent it to me. So…
Matt Ward 37:28
Yeah, so for folks listening Clockwork is about automating your business and the systems in your business and things like that. It’s a great book, another great book from Mike Michalowiczs, perennial small business author. My favorite book by Mike is Profit First. Pumpkin Plan is great. There’s just some great stuff he’s come out with over the years, and I’m super honored to have him endorse my book. It’s exciting.
Kathleen Lawson 37:55
Oh that’s very cool.
Matt Ward 37:56
Yeah, yeah. It’s gonna be good.
Kathleen Lawson 38:00
it’s a good book for small business owners, because it really gets you thinking about, like, what you’re, you know, all the stuff you’re doing versus kind of pulling back and designing a business that works for you instead of being in the in the weeds all the time.
Matt Ward 38:13
Yeah. And he’s got, he’s got a new book coming out in the fall of 2021. And another one in 2022. He’s constantly cranking out great work. So it’s exciting. Kathleen, it’s been a great conversation with you. I really enjoyed it. If the folks listening on their favorite podcast platform or viewing us on Youtube want to get in touch with you either do networking, partner with referrals, or even possibly consider hiring you for your services, how would they get in touch with you?
Kathleen Lawson 38:44
Well, my website Kathleen-Lawson.com. I’m also on LinkedIn, and then Facebook.
Matt Ward 38:57
We’ll have all the contact information in the show notes, so make sure to check it out. This is a wrap for season 20. I can’t wait to talk, season 20…I meant a wrap for season one. This is Episode 20 of Season One. I can’t wait to have the listeners jump into what season two is all about. And I’d love to give you all the details right now of who we’ve got lined up and the small business owners we’ve got lined up for season two. But if I did that, well, how about if I give you this one. We’re gonna have @&^%$#^*&$@ Oh, sorry. Am I breaking up? Alright, there you go. Anyway, you got to tune in. We’ll be back with Season Two very shortly. Until next time, don’t forget to live happy, smile a lot, and high five everyone around you.
Outro – Thank you for listening to the Mass Business Podcast where we focus on growing a small business and understanding networking and referrals. Don’t forget to like on your favoriteCailte Kelley. All rights reserved. I’m your host, professional speaker, author, and word of mouth referral consultant, Matt Ward. Don’t forget the live happy smile a lot. And high five everyone around you.