Oct 14th, 2021
The Mass Business Podcast
Season 2, Episode 9 – Self-Reflection And Being Better Than You Were Yesterday, with Katie Leigh Morvan
Katie Leigh Morvan has almost a decade of experience working with nonprofits, fortune 100 & 500 companies. In 2019, she decided to no longer be a cog in the corporate machine and left a stable career so that she could bring her catalytic energies and her expertise to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Whether you need help revamping an online presence, revitalizing your goals, creating content, planning any event, reviewing or implementing an entire marketing strategy from scratch, or simply having an extra set of eyes to review your approach, she’s your lady. This episode is about recognizing your strengths, self-awareness, and networking. We learn Katie Leigh’s strategy for recognizing her strengths and making herself better than yesterday. Are you ready? Let’s go!!
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Matt Ward 00:00
Hey welcome back to a new episode of the Mass Business Podcast. My name is Matt Ward. I’m so excited to be your host today and bringing you another great guest. My guest today is an ex corporate sales and marketing expert turned solopreneur Katie Morvan, Katie Leigh has almost a decade of experience working with nonprofits, fortune 100 & 500 companies. In 2019, she decided to no longer be a cog in the corporate machine, and left a stable career so that she could bring her catalytic energies and her expertise to small business and entrepreneurs. These people are looking to get a finer focus on what they’re doing and where they’re spending their time. And she helps them do that. Whether you need help revamping an online presence, revitalizing your goals, creating content, planning any event, reviewing or implementing an entire marketing strategy from scratch, or simply having an extra set of eyes to review your approach. She’s your lady, I’m going to dig in to Katie’s business and how she grew it to where it is today. In this episode, are you ready? Let’s go.
Matt Ward 01:26
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.
Matt Ward 01:57
Hey, Katie, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining me.
Katie Morvan 02:01
Hi, Matt. Thank you so much. I’m grateful to be here today with you.
Matt Ward 02:05
I’m so excited. You know, we had a one to one quite a while ago. And it’s been a while and so I’m, I’m excited to have a live one to one with you now, and dig into your business. But before we do that, if you could just share with our listening audience on all their favorite podcast platforms, and also those viewing on YouTube, what it is you do and under 30 seconds or so that would be great.
Katie Morvan 02:25
Absolutely. So I am an intuitive business coach and marketing strategist. So what that means that add a little bit of Woo, to what I do. And really, I am an igniter for positive change within my clients, I work with entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and small businesses to help them get a finer focus on what they’re doing in their business so that they can put in some strategies and really hit their goals. And so we do a lot of intention work, we do a lot of goal setting. And we really analyze what they’ve been doing, or what they need to do so that they can have a strong foundation to build and pull in and attract their ideal clients to them.
Matt Ward 03:01
So what do you, the people you work with, what’s the biggest challenge? Is it the goals that they don’t have them? Or they’re not achieving them? What the big challenge there?
Katie Morvan 03:10
That’s a great question. So it’s actually a lot of times Funny enough, it’s the planning, a lot of these business owners get so excited and jazzed up to just run out the door and help people with their offers or with their services. And they don’t have a business plan, they don’t even have a marketing plan down. And so essentially, they also don’t have goals, they just want to make money, and they don’t really know how, and they’re spinning their wheels all the time and wasting so much time throwing spaghetti at the wall and not getting the results that they are looking for. So I come in and help them set up a day plan that works for them a week plan. And so they can start actually seeing things progressing in their business, whether that’s sales, or that just getting more engagement with their audience, depending on what they’re doing.
Matt Ward 03:54
Got it. So you have an innate ability to see what others might be missing. My question for you is do you have an innate ability to see what you might be missing?
Katie Morvan 04:06
Oh, that’s a good question, Matt. And I would say
Matt Ward 04:11
like, I always like to tell people you can’t read the label from inside the jar.
Katie Morvan 04:16
No. But I would say that with consistent self awareness, I have been able to recognize not only my strengths, but my weaknesses so that I can understand where can I improve, what can I do better, and I really value being better than I was yesterday.
Matt Ward 04:36
So that’s that’s what I want to dig into is this is this self awareness because self awareness, I think is is a skill, right? And it’s a skill that I think that many business owners don’t have when they go into business. They want three things, they want more money, more time, and more freedom. But in my new book I wrote about how to achieve those things, but the problem is we often aren’t self aware of what we’re good at, and what we’re not good at. Because we don’t take the time in the practice to build the skill set that makes us more self aware. What are you doing every day? Or have you done as you built your business to be more self aware?
Katie Morvan 05:20
Yeah. So I would say one of the biggest things for me to be able to be where I am now is check ins. So whether that’s daily check ins to what I had planned for the day, am I staying on track? But more importantly, I like to call them weekly resets. So on Sundays, the perfect day to just analyze what’s coming up in the week what do I have to do, was there anything last week that has to come over to this week? And just understanding and being also gentle with myself if I don’t reach those things, so that I can just try to have that positive can do attitude moving forward. Because if you don’t put in habits, daily habits and weekly habits, and even monthly habits, whether that’s checking your analytics, or understanding your financials, or seeing, hey, did that marketing campaign go as I wanted it to? If you’re not analyzing what all those things are, then you’re just kind of swimming in a sea of Unknowing.
Matt Ward 06:14
Okay, so if business owners want more time, more money, more time, and more freedom, and they’re not getting the time, whether it be the time, externally, outside the business, or the time internally to do the work necessary, what do you suggest they do to create the habit for self awareness?
Katie Morvan 06:39
I would suggest two things, if they’re really, you know, unsure and wondering, like, Woe is me, why is nothing working, I would schedule on something as free as Google Maps or free task tracker to know what are they doing in their day, because all of a sudden, you can have all these grand ideas at the beginning of the day, you’re gonna do this, you’re gonna do that everything’s great. But then it comes to five o’clock, and you’ve gotten nothing done, because you went through a social media scroll, when you pinch your next quick thing, and a lot of people don’t realize those daily unconscious habits, that they’re just in the humdrum of things. So it would be utilizing Google calendar or a time tracker to understand where are you spending your time in your day? And then, in addition to that, I would recommend coming up and batching your time. So for instance, on Mondays, are they for marketing? Are they for your admin stuff? Or would that be a better day on Friday, depending on the way that your week is working? And the only way you can do that is to check in with yourself and to also use an accountability partner, sometimes. That’s really helpful for a lot of people. And I find that a lot of my clients say that I am that for them. I’m not only their accountability partner, but I’m their cheerleader to get them going to make sure Hey, did you do what you said that you did? Okay, why didn’t you do it? Do you not want to do it? Or do you not have the resources to do it, and then go from there?
Matt Ward 07:59
I think it’s the calendar piece is a big piece, right? Many people say that they, they have task management issues, they have time management issues inside their business. And I have found that the more you, I don’t do time blocking in the sense that the skill set was originated, or the books have talked about time blocking. But what I do do for myself, is I will block full days off, I will block full days off as days that I’m actually not working. And those days are more self reflective, right? They’re like, okay, where am I at? What do I need to do next? Where am I going with this? What programs or things that’s how I developed the podcast is I had a day off and I started thinking, How can I bring value to people in a more hyperlocal place? That’s why I made it the mass business podcast versus just a general business podcast, right? And so I think that when we are intentional, intentional about taking time for ourselves, and intentional about doing it alone, we can reflect on what we’re doing. I had a business coach many, many years ago, Jim Derosiers, and he said to me, ask yourself four questions. After you do everything, they are, what did I do right? What did I do wrong? Would I do it again? And if so, what would I do differently? And I’ve literally asked myself those questions all the time, about everything in business, and even in life. And I find that there’s always some sort of self discovery that comes out of that. And then growth in in that helps the business grow. Talk to me a little bit about when did you start your business?
Katie Morvan 09:49
I started in 2019.
Matt Ward 09:51
Okay, so you’ve been going out in about two years. You were at the height of the economy before the pandemic and you’re like, yeah, I’m gonna do This. Unfortunately, you weren’t in the business of destroying COVID. So COVID was in the business of destroying us. So yeah, I mean, there are many businesses that have thrived during COVID. Right? How are you doing throughout the past two years with COVID? Now into 2021?
Katie Morvan 10:20
Yeah, I’m gonna be really honest and realistic with you, I had to close my doors. So to say, when the pandemic hit, that April, May time, the clients that I was working with they, they were just freaking out, and they had to focus their money on literally keeping the lights on. And I was like, now’s the time to strategize, you have to figure out what to do. So you can pivot, and we can hold. Like, the biggest buzzword. So how have you pivoted in your business? And so I did for a little bit, I would say, maybe three months, I kind of went in a little bit of the dumps, and I was like, Oh, that’s okay. So I was just doing pro bono work, just trying to still help people, a lot of my friends, and just colleagues with, getting them up and running. And so I also use that time to go in, I was sharpening my pencil, so to say, and adding some more things to my toolkit so that when the doors opened again, I was ready to really hit the ground running with my new program with my three month coaching program with people and I knew what I wanted, how to target them. So it was a good and a bad thing, because it was that reflective state. But I would say that a big thing is just being intentional with everything that we do, you know, not only does the self awareness come into things, a big, big issue in pain that I hear a lot of people saying when they’re an entrepreneur, they wear all the hats, they do all of the things like you didn’t start your business, to do the marketing, you started to do that passion project that you wanted to do. And so they get really burnt out because they’re in that hustle culture of they have to do all the things all the time. And I’m trying to switch that from the hustling CEO boss babe culture, to an intentional CBO, which is a conscious business owner, to understand and go out knowing your strengths, knowing your abilities, and asking for help and support when you need it.
Matt Ward 12:10
So speaking of asking for help and support, what’s your biggest weakness?
Katie Morvan 12:16
Matt, I would say my biggest weakness and this could sound a little funny, but it’s my it’s twofold. It’s my perfectionism of my Virgo mind, of overanalyzing everything too much, which is kind of setting some of the things that I want to put out. It’s just slowing it down. Because, oh, I can make this better I can I can do this, I can do that. And next year, I would say that’s that’s pretty much it.
Matt Ward 12:41
Yeah, you know, I’m a Virgo, too. And I live by the theory that done is better than perfect.
Katie Morvan 12:47
Yes, that’s so powerful man. And
Matt Ward 12:51
That’s a learned skill, though. Because, consistently, I’m always trying to make something better. I just choose to release it before it’s perfect. Right. And I think that that’s part of the iterative process. In my, in my new book, I talked about the definition of shitter rate, which is you throw it against the wall, and you keep what works, and you throw the rest of the garbage out. And I think that there’s this idea that, as small business owners, especially solopreneurs, we have to be perfect in everything that we do. And we have to do it all, like you were talking about wearing all the hats, and I’m a big believer in outsourcing and in, you know, figuring out how to get the stuff done as quickly as possible. You know, when you talk about your strengths, where was it that you started to realize? I mean, did you know that you had certain strengths before you started your company? Or have they evolved over time to improve? You know, once you’ve had your company?
Katie Morvan 13:59
That’s a great question. Sorry, I had to let my cat in she’s picking at the door. They’re animals. But I will say that. It’s I’m sorry, can you repeat the question Matt, I’m so sorry
Matt Ward 14:14
Just how did you grow your strength? Where did you recognize your strength before you started your business? Or did you grow it after?
Katie Morvan 14:20
I would say it was a little bit before. Because I was realizing, hey, I’m really good at being the extra set of eyes and from a bird’s eye view, looking at what’s going on. How can I use this for myself to get that money, time, and freedom out of that cog machine, right? And so I was really looking down not only for myself with the self reflection, but also asking other people, colleagues, partners that I’ve worked with, friends and just saying, hey, what am I good at? Like, what do, What have I helped you and then kind of molding and melding all of that together to come up with Katie Leigh consulting.
Matt Ward 14:54
Okay, so I want to dig into that. You asked external people, friends, colleagues, co workers, What am I good at? What did that feel like when you did that?
Katie Morvan 15:04
It was awkward. It was awkward, because I didn’t want
Matt Ward 15:08
cause you’re about to be judged?
Katie Morvan 15:09
Yeah, exactly. Are you gonna judge me, gonna say something I don’t want to hear, you know, I was ready to come up with a constructive criticism because I asked them what I’m good at, but also, what am I not so good at? And it was awkward. But it came to a point where I was like, you know, this is it, we have this one life to live, it’s our time to shine to keep to do these things. So I want to know, I want to know how I’m doing in my life, and what we can do from there. And honestly, everyone was really great. I would say that the hardest person was a co worker that I had worked with who was much older and he gave it to me real and I couldn’t appreciate that more.
Matt Ward 15:43
So then what do you do with that information? Right? So now that we asked the people, which is a big step in small business ownership, what am I good at? What am I not so good at? What do you do with the information? When you hear it? How do you how do you mold that into, into modeling it inside your business?
Katie Morvan 16:04
I would, I’m gonna kind of relate this to the SWOT. You know, as business owners, we always hear SWOT SWOT, SWOT and the thing and that methodology is trade weaknesses, opportunities and threats. So once I knew what I was good at what I wasn’t so good at, I looked at them like, okay, where are my opportunities here? Like, how can I use my strengths to build this business to come up with this? And also, what can I do? And how can I plan out to sharpen some things like one of the main things, I talk very fast, I get so excited, I’m just like, I gotta get everything out. And so taking a public speaking course, to just slow down and do those things. So taking that training and finding ways that I can improve, because I truly believe that every day you can be better than who you were yesterday, if you’re diligent, step by step, inch by inch, everything is a cinch. And to go back to us, my weakness of not pulling the trigger. So to say, it’s because we live so much in our imagination, and not so much in reality, we’re just what are people going to say? Are they going to judge me? Are they going to say that’s bad looking, are they going to say that whatever, you can have so many different scenarios that you make up in your head, but it doesn’t really do very much good. So you’re better off hoping for the best case scenario, putting your put your best foot forward and just doing it and and failing, failing if you have to fail, and then doing better from there.
Matt Ward 17:22
Yeah, I mean, it’s so interesting, this, this whole, a imposter syndrome that keeps us from putting product out like, like, the work we do isn’t good enough, and then be the need for approval, which is putting something out and being afraid of people who will judge us. And one of my coaches, Tamsen Webster, she taught me I this has sat with me ever since that day, I heard her say, and she said, You got to know who you’re for and who’s for you. Not every client is for us. We don’t need 100 clients, we don’t need 1000 clients, it all depends on the business that you’re in. Right? And knowing how many clients you need, and then working toward that number. It, it’s very, it’s very comforting to let someone self select out who’s not for you. You know, I mean, I know that there’s a lot of people out there that say that they work only with women, right? That’s a target market that they specialize in, which allows them to have men self select out of the services, you know, I think that’s good. Tell me a little bit about how your networking strategy has gone since 2019, when you started your business.
Katie Morvan 18:34
Yeah, um, I love networking that and that’s how we connected I just love people. I’m an extrovert and that’s a strength of mine too on the Myers Briggs, I’m an ENFP. And so I love going out I mean, during the pandemic, that kind of hit a halt and I was lonely and so that’s where the zoom virtual is all of these opportunities to come out and get to meet people from all over the world. So I just kind of went on a little loop on Google and on Facebook trying to find local networking groups near me so I could have that local connection joining your wonderful networking the big Connect, and then a little plug for you. Who’s not in there join us connect awesome groups but just trying to meet people and connect with them on different levels because that six degree thing The world is this big every single day and I swear the more people I keep meeting I’m we know someone we know someone we have a mutual friend. And it’s just, it’s amazing. So you never know who you can meet or what you could do for them, but also how they could change your life in a second. So even at the grocery store. I I swear sometimes man, I have an arrow pointing at my head that says come tell me the weirdest thing ever. I’m like, What is going on? Like it happens all the time. People just come up and start conversations with me and I’m like, okay, the other day I was at TJ Maxx and this woman was like, I don’t know what to do my best friend’s coming and I need to find the napkins that are perfect for her. Perfect And I was like, Okay, and then I talked her for half hour. And I was like, all right, and I was like, I should get that lady’s number. So I could have asked her, how them how the napkins went over. Oh, that’s so great. Yeah, so just everyday is an opportunity. And I know that you value that too, because you are the networking King.
Matt Ward 20:20
Yeah. And I mean, that’s, that’s the thing is the networking piece leads to referrals, right. And growing a small business, a solopreneur. Company, it relies so much on the referral so much on the relationship driven aspect of being in business. And it’s also you know, as a solopreneur, it’s a, it’s, it’s a lonely business many times, right? We struggle, the, we’re behind computers on our own, we’re not always, like, we don’t have team members in the office, so to speak, because we’re solopreneurs. And so networking allows us to build a network of people around us that can support us, even if they’re not buying our service. And that’s an amazing feeling, like to be able to call up a networking friend, and talk to them and bounce an idea off of them. That’s amazing. And networking isn’t always just about finding the prospects and getting the sale. Sometimes it’s about growing numbers. And one of the things I’ve always been a big fan of is these peer advisory groups, whether it’s the alternative board, or or Vistage, or any of these other groups that that you know, cost money to be a part of which many business owners small business owners don’t want to pay for. The value comes in the other side, right? The ways in which the advice you get from these peer advisory groups allows you to make decisions that increase the revenue, and dial in your customer base dial in your target market much better, then then, then just being alone, you know, and I found a lot of value in that. Talk to me about referrals, how long did it really start to take for you to get referrals in your business?
Katie Morvan 22:07
I am very lucky. And that honestly, most of my business comes from referrals from word of mouth, because of knowing a lot of people, I have just even been involved in a lot of organizations, nonprofits. And that’s a great way to meet people to local, just volunteering and getting some new people to that way. And so I would say it was from the beginning. That was my first client, it was from a referral. Someone said, Oh, hey, I know you can help me on this. I’m doing this event. Can you help me make this more successful? And I’m like, Yes, let’s do it. It’s so just getting all of that and getting that momentum behind that is powerful.
Matt Ward 22:41
Can you talk about your launch strategy, when you first came out in 2019? From the corporate world to solopreneur? What did you do to get the word out,
Katie Morvan 22:50
I posted on my Facebook page, I just said, Hey, celebrate with me, I’m starting a business. If you know anyone who needs help with boom, bam, bam, bam, bam, send them my way. And so starting there, and telling the people that were closest to me, my loved ones that I was going on this journey, and that I would appreciate their support was important, like, Don’t hide the fact that you’re launching this. And so having that done, but also having a business plan to launch. And so I started my website, I was getting on the social media platforms that I knew my audience was living on, and just starting to turn things out there and starting to just look around and engage with people. And
Matt Ward 23:26
did you ever send one off messages to people on LinkedIn or Facebook? No. So that’s a strategy. I tell people all the time, you know, when I when I made the switch from web design owner to solopreneur, and I sold my agency, the very first thing I did the very first week was created a message and I put it in LinkedIn right in the into the messages to individuals. And it basically said, Hey, I made a big shift in my business, love to tell you about it, love to learn more about what you’re doing. Do you have time for 20 or 30 minute call just to catch up. And I sent out 50 messages. And I think I got 46 responses and appointments, because I wasn’t trying to sell anything, and also was interested in what they had to offer. You know, I wanted to learn more about what they were doing. And so that one on one message strategy works really well to connect with people and kind of build out the contacts fear in the world. So if if anybody watching or listening, is getting ready to launch their own business, consider using LinkedIn messaging, to re establish a relationship that you’ve already got to some degree because you connected with these folks, and so don’t don’t don’t avoid the social channels. I mean, Katie was talking about how she used social media made a couple posts, and then people were responding to that. So use the tools that you have to reach out to people And really reconnect and re establish and reignite those relationships. So that you can start to, to have conversations that lead to prospects and referrals down the road. During the pandemic, how did you shift? You obviously went into zoom and zoom networking more often. Are you still doing a lot of that? Are you getting out at all? Now? What’s your strategy at the moment?
Katie Morvan 25:30
Yeah, it was a lot of zoom. During the pandemic, I definitely was like a networking psychopath. And I was like, I’m gonna just meet all these people do all these things, well, things are slow. And so I also was hosting webinars and just trying to teach people as well, how they could holistically market their business when doors open back up, so to say, so I was providing value to those that needed it while still growing my network. And I would say now, I’m just so happy that I can go to an actual event. And so I’ve just moved as well. So I’m looking and I’ve been meeting and joining some group meetings for local groups in my town here. I live near Foxborough near patriot hats. Um, but so I’m just looking to find those local groups because I thrive off being around people. And I want to host more local events with more community events around here too, and have a bigger impact where I live for not only the community, but the planet. So just getting out there showing up and getting out there and having fun with it.
Matt Ward 26:34
Cool. Yeah, I mean, I think that there’s a lot of people that are really trying to get out and about now. And they’re trying to do it safely, right, whatever, whatever their comfort level is, I’ve been to a number of in person events in 2021. And we’ll see how it continues to develop, especially as things get a little bit cold, I’ll probably be more you know, zoom basted depends on the timing. I don’t like to go out when it snows. Like the set inside in the warmth as much as possible. So that’s an important thing, too. Is it folks as you’re as you’re listening or watching this on YouTube, you need to think about what your strategy is going to be moving forward, whether it be for winter, or for COVID. Right? And so be thinking all the time, do I have a backup option? Do I if if I love in person events, but they don’t exist anymore for some rhyme or reason? Do I just go back to zoom? Or do I just go more one to one so you have to kind of think that through? You know, it sounds like Katie’s done that and she’s continuing to evolve and that’s the most important thing I think in a solo business is is are you moving forward? James Earl Jones said a long time ago in a Verizon commercial. It’s make progress every day. And I can’t say like James Earl Jones made progress or whatever. I don’t know. I would sound like Darth Vader I guess. But that’s the goal, right? Is we gonna move our business forward to some degree each and every day, whether we’re doing activity on online networking or offline networking that produces those referrals long term and that’s how you grow a business like Katie Lee consulting has done and Katie at Katie Lee consulting so cool. So, Katie, if people want to network with you down in patriot place, or in the Foxborough area, where you live, whether it be in person, or even on zoom online, or wherever it might be, how can they get ahold of you? How can they reach out to you?
Katie Morvan 28:37
Yes, I would love for anyone who watches this to set up a meet and mingle with me so you can go to my website or connect with me a little bit more personally on Instagram, my website is k lc llc.org. And then my Instagram and my all my handles are Katie Leigh consulting. But also I have a group that if you consider yourself conscious business owner, you want to stop that hustling. Join the conscious business owners collective on Facebook, we have conversations in there, you get to meet other people from not just mass but other places. And so that’s would be the best way and I would love to get out of a virtual meet and mingle with somebody. So
Matt Ward 29:15
a virtual meet and mingle. Yes. Sounds like I can’t wait. It sounds like there’s gonna be bacon there. Nick, meet and mingle. My version of a meeting mingles with Vegas. Um, but yeah, so we’ll put all those links in the show notes. So make sure you check that out. If you’re listening on your favorite podcast app, make sure you subscribe so that you get all the episodes of the mass business podcast on your favorite podcast app. And if you’re on YouTube, make sure you smash that subscribe button and hit the notification icon so that you see all the great episodes of all our great guests here in Massachusetts that we’re bringing to you each and every business day. We’re really excited to to meet Katie and see how she grows Through her business through the pandemic. I love the stories the origin story of how you left the corporate world. And I love what you’re doing with the conscious business owners out there. I love that that niche and that target market that you’re playing, and I think it’s so unique. If you’re a conscious business owner, make sure you check out her facebook group. We’d love to have you guys on. Thanks so much for watching, for listening and for paying attention. And until next time, don’t forget to live happy. smile a lot. And high five. Yes, everyone around you. Love it. Love it. Love it.
Matt Ward 30:48
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 favorite platform and share out this podcast. This show has been produced by Heather Grant music by Cailte Kelley, all rights reserved. I’m your host, professional speaker, author, and word of mouth referral consultant, Matt Ward. Don’t forget to live happy. smile a lot. And high five. everyone around you.