[00:00:08] BS: Hi there. You’re listening to Love Your Enthusiasm, a show where creators, teachers and explorers talk about what makes them tick and how they make space to pursue their greatest passion. I’m your host, Britt Skrabanek. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Case Lane, who is the Founder of Ready Entrepreneur.
In this episode, Case shares her enthusiasm for achieving lifestyle freedom. Case has a really interesting background as a former diplomat, consultant and corporate executive, who set out to build a business with more freedom and flexibility. Now she shares that passion with other aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start online businesses. If that’s you, you will get a lot out of this conversation with Case.
Remember to subscribe to Love Your Enthusiasm’s newsletter on the website, to receive a roundup of recent episodes once a month. Subscribe on your favorite listening app, so you know when the latest episode comes out as well. Please enjoy the next hour with Case.
[00:01:22] BS: Hello, Case. Welcome to the show.
[00:01:25] CL: Well, thank you. It’s great to be here.
[00:01:26] BS: It is lovely to have you here. We had already started getting into some of your background before we hit record. Now, I want to rewind –
[00:01:37] CL: Absolutely.
[00:01:38] BS: And hear that story. We were talking about your name and your family and where you grew up, but I will let you take it from here, because I’m fascinated already.
[00:01:50] CL: Okay. Well, I don’t want to take up the entire show with just my backstory. This is actually going to be the quicker version of the long story. Well, my name is Chinyere Emeruwa. Many people call me Chi. If you’re looking for me on LinkedIn, you’ll find me under Chi Emeruwa. If you’re looking for me everywhere else, it’s Case Lane.
My father is Nigerian. My mother is Jamaican. I was born in England. I grew up in Canada. I emigrated myself to the US. I went to school at UCLA. Before that though, I had a career in the Canadian Foreign Service. I was a diplomat. I served in the Philippines and then Colombia and then Chile. I think that if I touched almost every continent, except Australia, that I have a direct connection to.
In my foreign service career, I was working in trade policy, working with diplomats and business people in free trade. I decided to get an MBA. That’s how I ended up at UCLA. I did international management, of course, and went into corporate from there. I was working in Hollywood behind the scenes. I was in operations at one of the big studios. I was talking to a lot of lawyers, especially around digital media. We were in digital media in its earlier days. I decided to go to law school.
I went to law school and I started eBook self-publishing while I was there. I was always wanted to be a writer as well. I started publishing my own books and became fascinated with what was happening with online business. I could see this road ahead, where we had all these opportunities that people have to go directly to the people who are looking for what they have to offer. As a writer, you can go directly to readers, no more middle man.
As any other business, you could go directly to your potential customers, your clients. That took me off on this entire tangent towards online business. Because I started as a fiction writer while I was in law school, that’s why I created the pen name Case Lane. I built my online profiles and everything as a fiction writer, as Case Lane. People started asking me what I was doing and how does this online business work and all of that thing, that’s when I realized that there was another opportunity to help people get online and start an online business.
I started Ready Entrepreneur, but I decided to keep using the Case Lane name, because I had already established it out there. I have the writing career. I actually have a couple other pen names as well, because I write a lot, under multiple genres. I write under seven different genres.
[00:04:30] BS: Dang. Okay, wait. How many books have you written?
[00:04:37] CL: I have 19 books under three names and seven genres.
[00:04:41] BS: Holy shit. I say that, because I am also a fiction writer. That’s my background, self-published. I’ve written four self-published books. They are they are across a few different genres, but definitely not that many. You’ve got me beat.
[00:05:03] CL: I love to write. I mean, if I could stay in my cave writing all day long, that’s probably what I would be doing. Because there’s a bigger world out there, you have to participate in the marketing, the promotion of the selling of what you’re working on as well. I actually have an overall theme. People like today, “Oh, you’re writing. Seems the overall theme is around preparing for the future, I would say.” Because even in my fiction, I write techno thrillers about the future world.
The future world which happened a lot faster than we thought it would with everybody now working online, but it’s a world that I see that this opportunity, again, I’m watching what’s going on and I see, okay, here’s the opportunity. So much going on with technology. So many possibilities. I write about that in fiction. Then, I also write about it in non-fiction and how you can actually turn the fiction into a reality for yourself.
[00:05:49] BS: Okay. How did you come up with the name Case Lane?
[00:05:53] CL: There’s a couple of things. My name is Chinyere. You know at Starbucks and everything, people ask you for your name. Well, there’s no way I’m saying my name, because I can’t have 10-minute conversations with everybody. I just say Chris. Chris is my Starbucks’ name.
[00:06:10] BS: Now, do you use the same name when you go to a restaurant and you have to give your name, or do you have a different one for restaurants?
[00:06:16] CL: It depends on the situation. It’s funny you say that, because I have a couple of friends, where we just love to give different names at restaurants. If I’m with them, I’ve had all sorts of names, because that’s part of the fun is whoever gets the question, whoever gets the question makes up the name. That’s part of going out for dinner with those guys.
When I was looking for something close enough to Chris, I got to Case. Chris is very common across multiple languages for various versions of it. I looked at some of the Scandinavian, or German word, like Carsten and that thing is all the same derivatives. I somehow got the Case from looking at all of that. Then the Lane comes from the fact that my very, very, very first career was as a reporter. Who’s the most famous female reporter you could think of?
[00:07:07] BS: Lois Lane. I know this one. That’s so funny, because I was thinking that, but then I didn’t want to be an idiot and be like, “Is it Lois Lane?”
[00:07:18] CL: Yes, it is. I will I happily say it’s Lois Lane. When I was a kid and I was looking for who are the female reporters, yes, there’s others, obviously. You look at who’s got – who seems to be having the most fun, it’s the one who’s interviewing Superman.
[00:07:32] BS: That’s great. Awesome. Okay. Well, thanks for sharing that background. Then, I love hearing about your whole journey, because now you are doing your own thing. It’s so interesting to hear that you went from being a diplomat and all of these other jobs, basically, and then into running your own business. Let’s get into that conversation, because your enthusiasm is lifestyle freedom. I feel this is one of those phrases that definitely has been thrown around quite a bit. It sounds like you love The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
[00:08:08] CL: I do.
[00:08:09] BS: I do too. I have a whole story with that. I mean, that really helped me take the leap from a salaried position into running my business full-time, Superneat marketing. Let’s talk about lifestyle freedom and just start with the definition. What does lifestyle freedom mean to you?
[00:08:27] CL: It is actually being able to manage your agenda, your day the way that you want to. That means that you don’t have somebody else telling you when to get up and when to go to work and went to leave work. As a business person, as running your own business, you have many, many, many obligations. You probably would work longer hours, but you organize that time in the way you see fit.
If you’re a morning person, you get up early and you do everything early in the morning and you go for a long walk in the afternoon. Obviously working, I’ve had fun careers. You could enjoy life in the 9 to 5. It’s those times when you want to do something else. I am a big global traveler. I absolutely love to travel. It’s always difficult when you’re working and you’ve got a week, you’ve got two weeks and you’re somewhere where you’d like to stay for a month or two months. Well, when you’ve got control of your own schedule and you’re doing your four-hour work week, running your own online business, you can make those decisions. You still have your obligations to your business, but you’re doing it all yourself and you’re making all those decisions yourself. That’s what I feel it really is.
[00:09:42] BS: Yeah. I totally feel you on the travel thing, I remember. Obviously, that’s been completely disrupted for all of us, with everything that’s gone on in 2020. That was a big motivator for me to work for myself was to be able to travel whenever I wanted. Not to say that I had the means to just travel all the time on my own dime, but it was more about focusing on that and making that a priority in my life, because that was always a source of tension at my jobs.
Even if you had a decent amount of time off, if you could get a job that was more flexible, that could be very difficult with timing. Then, they’re wanting you to take your laptop with you and answer your e-mails. I’m like, “No, no. I’m trying to get away from this. Don’t you understand? I need to disconnect.” As a creative person, especially a writer having that downtime and stepping away from things is so important, but it was always very difficult to explain that to the CEO, or my boss, because they had a very different mindset.
[00:10:52] CL: Yeah. When you’re working for somebody else, or a big corporation, whatever, you’re fulfilling their work also. When you work for yourself, hopefully, you pick something you really want to do. That’s one of the joys of online business. You pick something that really is purposeful, that you want, that you’re interested in. That way, the work that you’re doing is not as difficult.
When you’re working for somebody else, you’re doing work, maybe that’s not your thing. You’re having to do it on their timetable, whenever they feel like it. Even when you get the time to the time off, let’s say, to get married or something like that, you still end up with this – people looking at you funny, and all of that. I just think it’s not worth it. I mean, obviously, it works for some people. In corporate, you can have a great job and all that thing.
If you really don’t like that, if you don’t like that constant idea that you’re letting people down, or something like that, or you have to fulfill these obligations. When you feel in your own life, you’ve got other things you want to be doing, then that’s the time when you really need to seriously take a look at it and see if it’s time to walk away.
[00:12:01] BS: Absolutely. I think this is also very relevant now, as so many people are working remotely, how you’re talking about being able to manage the day your way. I think, people are getting a glimpse into what that can be like. From what I’ve seen from a lot of research on LinkedIn and stuff, is people are starting businesses left and right, because of everything that happened this year. Not necessarily because of even losing their jobs, but just because they got a little taste of this lifestyle freedom that we’re talking about here and they wanted more of it.
[00:12:37] CL: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. The cutting out the commute is one thing. Cutting out the wasted time, the wasted meetings, the hanging around. Yeah, suddenly people realize, “Wow. I’ve actually got more time in my day, and I could be looking at doing something else.” I think, just some of the practical aspects of it as well.
The pandemic shutdown in 2020 put people in – for a lot of people in difficult financial positions, because they’re literally living paycheck-to-paycheck. Or, just even if they were fine, they kept their jobs and so on. There was this idea that other people seem more comfortable and other people seem to be more relaxed during this time than they were. Maybe, it was time to build up that second source of income.
I think that we’re going to go from saying that two income households are talking about two income people. I think, it’s going to become more of the norm to have – if you have your 9 to 5, you’ll have that, but you’ll also have something that you’re doing online to earn additional income as well.
[00:13:34] BS: Yeah, we’re definitely seeing more and more of that. I’m excited about it, because I’ve always been a champion of that.
[00:13:40] CL: Me too. Yeah.
[00:13:40] BS: It’s where I wanted to be for so many years. Then now, I’ve been running Superneat Marketing, my consulting business for going on four years. Over three years of that was without a salary at all. I’d quit my full-time job at that point. I’m in it for the long haul. There’s lots of ups and downs, but I’ve always been very supportive as other people have been exploring those avenues and encouraging too. It’s not for everybody, running your business, especially if you’re doing it without a safety net, or you just really need that sense of security with the salary. It’s going to be difficult, but you can definitely do a side hustle and do something that you enjoy more and you’ll learn a lot of new skills that could supplement your job.
[00:14:24] CL: Yeah, and I agree with you a 100%. I’m a big champion of just entrepreneurship in general. I think there is a much bigger swath of us in the economy that are going to have to be the independent, self-sufficient entrepreneurs. People should not think of it the way maybe we have in the past, where it was some guy in his garage with his computer. That’s the only way to become an entrepreneur. That’s the image a lot of people have.
[00:14:48] BS: Oh, yeah. The garage.com or startup.
[00:14:50] CL: Yeah, exactly, exactly. In fact, entrepreneurship today, because of online business and because of what’s happened with the Internet and everything, it means delivering solutions to people’s problems, no matter what it is. You could start information products business online. You could be teaching. You could be organizing your favorite hobby and creating a community around it and that could be a business.
The idea of entrepreneurship is much broader than I think that most people think about. Therefore, yeah, maybe you’re thinking, “Oh, I’m not that type of person, but actually you could be.” Give yourself that extra opportunity. I think it’s something that we – yeah, a champion all the time. If you’re interested in it, I certainly encourage you. I see it all over the world as well. This is something that struck me when I lived – I lived in the Philippines and there was a seamstress who used to work – she used to work at all the different houses around the neighborhood, but she didn’t have her own sewing machine.
Microfinance was not really developed then and that thing. The sewing machine used to just move around from house to house and she would go to house to house and do this work. The work was fantastic. I thought, this is the thing where you have a talent and you build up a community and people hear about you. You’ll have this endless work to do. It’s not like you couldn’t buy clothes in the store, but people wanted her making beautiful clothes for them.
That’s the thing that goes on all the time, all over the world. There’s entrepreneurs in every country, even if it’s not a particularly open economy, or something, there’s bound to be an entrepreneur. There are people who find a way. I think, it’s just something that we should be encouraging that more people should do and especially take advantage of the online resources that are available.
[00:16:33] BS: Absolutely. I know, since we both grew up in Southern California, I felt the Mexican community, just such a strong entrepreneurship in their blood. It’s like, you would see them everywhere just running their own businesses. When I went to Mexico, it was the same deal. I mean, they will sell you anything. They have their taco stands, or they’re selling something on the street. They’re very charismatic. I mean, that’s how they’re making their living and it’s everywhere. When I went to Mexico City, especially, I was just blown away by the entrepreneurial vibes everywhere. It was like, “Wow.”
[00:17:16] CL: Yeah. This is one of those things. So many of us think, “Oh, the poor developing world, or they’re just poor people or something like that.” If you actually go into so-called poor neighborhoods, you go into what looks to us to be shanty towns, or slums, you will find those entrepreneurs. There is that kid who strung the electricity wires, is charging everybody a penny a day for electricity. There’s the salon, there’s the dressmakers, the shoemakers. All these people that are just –
Some will say, okay. They were forced to do it, because there’s no economy or whatever. These are people that actually did it. In a regular economy, they probably have their own businesses too. I think, it’s just something again that that’s just with us as human beings, there are those people that are going to do that, to be entrepreneurs. That if you feel that instinct, if you’ve got a business idea in your head, if you’re one of those people is always going around saying, “I could fix that, or I could do a better job, or whatever,” then you’re probably the entrepreneur. Yeah.
[00:18:14] BS: You probably won’t be satisfied, until you become an entrepreneur, so you might as well try it.
[00:18:18] CL: Exactly.
[00:18:21] BS: Okay. I’d love to talk about productivity a bit with you, because earlier, you mentioned your writing cave, which I totally understand and I always find it interesting to talk to writers who have become entrepreneurs, because tend to be more introverted, happy doing things a certain way, being in our writing cave, a little bit more shut off from everybody else. Inevitably, your productivity gets zapped by something. Name your top three productivity zappers and how you deal with them.
[00:18:54] CL: Yeah, I’ve done a lot of work on this, because when you make – especially when you make the transition from corporate life to working on your own, one of the first things you realize is you no longer have that set agenda that we were talking about. We talked about lifestyle freedom, but you do have to tell yourself when you’re going to work and how you’re going to get it done. You will start to feel probably, especially if you’re on your own, if you’re not talking anyone and so on. Yeah, how you keep up the momentum to do that all the time.
My key thing that I always focus on is going back to why I’m doing it. When I’m actually in the midst of writing, I get into my zone, and so I – If I sit down to write the book, I’ll write it in a couple of weeks, or whatever it takes to get it done, I’ll just do it. When I’m working on the Ready Entrepreneur business and working with business people, with entrepreneurs and say, putting together information and all that stuff, what it always comes back to when that lull sits in, it’s to be something like, “Well, I’ve got to do this.” There are people waiting. You have an image already of the people who are waiting for what you’re trying to deliver.
Even if you’re just starting out and you haven’t even got there yet, you don’t have your first clients, think about who you’d like to be delivering for. What was that problem that you identified that needs to be solved? There are people waiting for you to solve that problem. You just have to channel your inner strength to address it, because you’ve decided that you wanted to do that.
I would definitely do that. Then also, take the time to take a break. I think part of the entrepreneurial guru culture, especially online, the hustle culture and the grind and all that stuff, there’s a certain point. You know what? If your body’s tired, it’s tired. You need to take a break, take a break. If you need to go for a walk, get some fresh air, do that. You want to watch an hour and a couple hours of Netflix, try not to watch 20 hours, but a couple hours of Netflix, go ahead. Because those are all signals that your body is giving you, that you need to just take a step back and actually focus on yourself and give yourselves a chance to just re-energize.
Then, I’m a big fan of The Miracle Morning. You know Hal Elrod? Do you know this book and this movement? Yeah. The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod is a very inspirational guy and he put together this book, which is now a movement and it’s now a movie too, I think coming out this month. Actually, it should be out in December. Yeah, now in December 2020. The miracle morning is about putting – he put together the basically, the six things that people talk about all the time is motivational methods. Journaling, meditating, doing your affirmations, reading, exercising, visualizing.
What he does is just puts it together as something to do every morning, to do all six. You could do each one for one minute, do each one for five minutes, 10 minutes, whatever you like, but just make that your earlier morning. Get up earlier, so that you can do all six of those things to start every day. That helps you just set where you want to be. Even if it’s a day, where you don’t want to keep working on something, when you reset, what are your affirmations? What are you telling yourself? What are you visualizing? What’s that life that you really want?
Read something inspirational. Put something in your journal. If your frustrations, put your frustrations in your journal. Exercising. Even the meditating. Meditation, give yourself a few moments of silence. That’s just another method that you can use to help you be productive every day, by actually putting yourself in that mindset, by going through something like – that’s the six steps of The Miracle Morning. That’s basically my process.
[00:22:49] BS: Cool. I’ve had a couple of guests on the show who have talked about affirmations. I’m going to ask you the same question that I asked them, which is do you mind sharing any affirmations that work for you, because I think a lot of people don’t really know where to start with affirmations and sometimes it’s helpful to hear some examples of what’s working for other people.
[00:23:12] CL: Yeah. I mean, I should have them memorize, but I don’t. I’ve written them all out. I know I always start with self-confidence. That is one which is so huge, especially when you do something like, walk away from big-ticket careers and big-ticket education and go out in business on your own. You’re out there in this online business world, which is still fairly new in comparison to the rest of the economy. You’re looking at the gurus and you’re thinking, “Wow. How did those people become successful? What do they have that I don’t have?” Touched on marketing and promotional.
One of the reasons writers don’t like to do that is because yes, we are shy and introverted and we don’t want to talk to anyone. We don’t want to be selling our stuff. How do you actually make it if you don’t do these things, right? You write yourself some self-confidence affirmations. I’m a big fan of the book, Think and Grow Rich as well and they’ve got some very good ones in there too. You tell yourself just every morning. You know what? It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. It’s probably not even going to happen for years. Slowly, you have to give yourself some simple wins. Just give yourself that message every morning, that you have the self-confidence. Give yourself credit for what you’ve already done.
If you get your book out there, if you get it finished, if you hit publish, you put it up on Amazon, it’s there for other people to see, that’s a huge step. You just have to write it in a way that you want to say it to yourself. I know that sounds so strange. There’s a lot of stuff. You could go online at affirmations, or you could even – in Hal’s book, he has – in The Miracle Morning, he’s got some. You have to rewrite these things for the way you like to hear them, because this is just for you. This is your thing.
What makes sense to you? How does it sound powerful and useful to you? You don’t have to copy verbatim what someone else is using, but just think of the concept and then rewrite it in a way that if you were waking up every morning and you’re most – your favorite person was telling you you’re self-confident, what would you be saying? What are the words? Then, make sure those are the ones that you put in your mind every morning.
[00:25:29] BS: Love it. I’ll never forget, when I was first learning about affirmations on this show, it was from a guest. Her name is Meena Azzollini and she’s from episode 10. She had a really good one that I have used, which was even being thankful for your bed and just saying that at night as you’re going to bed, or starting to wind down. I loved how simple that one was and also, that it was a nighttime one, instead of a morning one, because I usually meditate in the morning.
To just more sit in silence, rather than get too focused on words, especially because I know my whole day is going to be filled with words, whether it’s on this podcast, or from writing, or whatever. I love that one. I thought that was really simple. That one stuck with me, because before that, I hadn’t practiced affirmations. I’ve been a yogi and meditator for a long time, but I’ve slowly been bringing those in, but I know those can feel a little too woo-woo for a lot of people, but it doesn’t really have to be.
[00:26:34] CL: Right. Right. You could also write them in the form of goals. I’ve heard that. People will say, you write the positive sentence like, “I am absolutely thrilled that my business is thriving.” That kind of thing. Then, you say that to yourself every day. You want the feeling. The woo-woo part that I absolutely believe in is that your mind is controlling everything. If you give yourself the feeling of happiness and success and aspirations, inspiration, whatever, you will actually get there. You will feel it and you will keep going in that mood, because that’s what you’re telling yourself to do.
I think that works every time. There’s all sorts of research on it. There’s all sorts of people who live it every day. If you get into that pattern for yourself, that’s something you can just do for yourself, that helps you so much in this process of becoming an entrepreneur, or any other path that you’re on, that you want to do something different.
[00:27:35] BS: Case, you just mentioned happiness and success. Do you believe in success, or do you prefer to focus on something else?
[00:27:44] CL: I do believe in it, but you define it for yourself. It’s very difficult in this day and age, where everything online is like, “Oh, success means a mansion and a swimming pool and a Lamborghini or whatever.” Yeah, that Instagram life is fake.
[00:28:02] BS: Oh, my God. What my husband just told me the other day and I just died. He’s into weightlifting and he was telling me that some of these guys on Instagram, and not just not just men, men and women actually use fake weights. What? So, it looks like, they’re doing something really badass with these heavyweights and they’re fake.
[00:28:26] CL: Yeah. That’s exactly the story. The same with the pictures of the big houses and the pools. I mean, Southern California, LA Light, you can go rent anything, okay. Let me just put the reality. Here’s the reality check, folks. You can rent anything. You can rent a mansion and a Lamborghini and a swimming pool and even people to pose around the pool for you and show that life. If you spend a lot of time online looking at all those pictures and thinking that you’re not going to get anywhere and all these people have better life than you and all that stuff, you’re wasting your time. You could actually just define for yourself what you believe success is for you.
That could be anything. Especially if you’re starting a business, make it those first things. Making that first sale. Having that first client, say the product made sense to them. Any of those things that happen. Again, even for some people, it’s just getting to the lifestyle. They want enough to live off. Enough money to just pay the bills, so that they can have the lifestyle they want and do whatever they want. If that’s you, then do that. If your joy every day is that the fact that you have an extra three hours where you go for a nice walk, or you play with your kids, or you hang out with your partner or whatever, make that your definition of success. I always say, it’s whatever you want it to be.
[00:29:48] BS: I love that answer. Thank you, Case. I think it’s just so easy for us to get caught up in this idea of what we’re seeing. Information is coming at us faster than the speed of light today. It’s so easy to get caught up in these make-believe worlds. I always joke about it. It’s like, everyone’s showing the party, but not the hangover. That’s the world that we live in. I mean, I wish that we had maybe an unInstagram, or unInstagram day where everyone could just show something else, something real.
All right. Let’s talk about a moment in time when your enthusiasm helped another person.
[00:30:38] CL: Yeah. The Ready Entrepreneur business has all come about just because of that, because of enthusiasm, where that I was telling other people about. When I got into this, I didn’t know anything. I’d done the eBook self-publishing part, but all of it – I didn’t even know the terminology, like landing pages and reader magnets and all these things that people were doing. I could see where it was all going. I could see this potential. As I would talk to people and they could see it too and say, “You know what?” When somebody would say, “I think I’m going to start something online.” That was really what I was thinking. Okay, this is actually more than just passing on the information.
Like I said before, a lot of us need to be doing this to change the dynamics of society. If there’s a lot more of us doing work we really love and solving problems, providing solutions to people, we probably have a better world.
[00:31:34] BS: Absolutely. That’s what I always say. Imagine what the world would be like, if we were all doing something we were interested in, that was challenging us, that we loved in some way. Maybe it’s not fully, but even if we partially love what we’re doing and we’re putting our true talents and skills to use, I think that the world would be a very different place as well.
[00:31:55] CL: Exactly. Exactly. I keep that message with me all the time when I’m talking to people. I talk about it not just being about making it a bit of extra money, or just having a side hustle, or something like that. It’s about this bigger process that we’re all under, think about what the impact it would have if you’re just always enjoying yourself in life. What impact does that have on you, the people around you and what you can do beyond that as you go forward?
With the different people that I have worked with building their online business for the first time. Because I come from corporate, and so most people I talk to are second-career professionals. Most of them kept their 9 to 5. It’s hard to walk away from obviously, from the corporate package and all of that. What they started to do as they got into building their business was looking at the bigger picture long-term. I was working with someone who was looking actually at a physical products business, but what they could do online with it.
The big eye opener was that the business already existed. It was okay and they were buying this business, but there was no online presence. As we started getting into what we could do online and what the different opportunities were, this person was really enthusiastic about being able to take an existing business to places it had never been before, and opening up more opportunities with the clients and so on.
It was really interesting, because I think this is something that a lot of other businesses have had to think about, especially since 2020 with the shutdown, there were so many physical world brick and mortar businesses that it had to figure out an online presence. See, that this was in 2020. I think a lot of businesses in the beginning were thinking, “Oh, this is only going to last a couple of months or something.”
Now, it’s like, yeah. If you’re going to have a physical world business, you’re going to have to have an online presence. We say online business today. Someday, it will just be business and it will automatically mean online. To be able to see somebody come to that realization and then be excited about what they could actually be doing and how they could use the online resources, it was exciting for me as well. Really helps show how far this entire process can go with the online business world.
[00:34:22] BS: In case we have any listeners who are aspiring entrepreneurs, which I imagine we do. I would love to get into this next question, about this particular audience. Why do aspiring entrepreneurs have trouble getting started? How do you help them move forward?
[00:34:42] CL: Yeah. A lot of people have trouble, I think, from what people like to call the imposter syndrome, which is this idea that you’re just not that person, that somehow, entrepreneurs we mentioned before, maybe they have some – they get a special – like Harry Potter, they get that letter one day that says, “Now you could become an entrepreneur and you get to be successful.” They’ve all got somebody in their background. They had a mentor. They had somebody help them. They got money from somewhere, whatever. We all think that there’s all these other reasons why somebody is a successful entrepreneur. Even if you have business ideas in your head, it’s not you.
All these excuses start to come into play. Like, “Oh, I don’t even really, I don’t have the time to do it. I don’t have the money to do it. Or, it’s going to take away too much from my other activities.” People just don’t get started, because they start making up excuses, but I believe those excuses are coming from fear and a lack of confidence.
What I like to do is say, you build that confidence by just getting started; roundabout answer. I work on very specific things. The first thing, just take a deep breath. Just take a deep breath and think about what you want to do and why you want to do it. Then I start with very practical things. Setting up a place to work. It sounds silly, but it turns out that when you start – it’s a momentum thing. When you start figuring that out, I know in the 2020, a lot of people had to figure out where they wanted to work at home.
For those who haven’t done it yet, it’s okay. This is going to be the place where I’m going to work just on the business. Some people make that decision in five minutes, some people, it takes them a whole week. They end up cleaning out a closet, or a part of the basement or something. It gets the idea going in your head that this is real.
Then, just get all your tools together. When you work in corporate and you go to work the first day and HR is there and they tell you, “Okay, here’s where you’re going to work and here’s where the paper is kept and here’s where the coffee is and all that stuff.” I’m like, do it for yourself. Take the time. Get yourself organized. Where’s the water? Where’s the coffee? Where’s the supplies? Get that all set up as well.
Again, you start getting into your head, okay, this is real. This is happening. Then, remove distractions. Make sure that you don’t have another excuse based on what’s around you. Not just the regular distractions, like the kids are running in or whatever, but stuff – if you’re working, you picked your place you wanted to work at home, or let’s say you want to work at a local coffee shop or something. Then, you realize that it’s next to a school with bells ringing all the time, or something like that, or there’s a lot of noise, or there’s a lot of delivery trucks and all of a sudden, oh, now. Then another excuse comes up. “Oh, it’s too noisy. I can’t work.”
Always figure that out as you’re setting up your place, what are the distractions you need to get rid of. Obviously, if it’s a family, you have to work around them. Figure out. Make sure you know that. Then set your schedule. We talk about lifestyle freedom, yes, but you still have to get the work done. You have the freedom to create your own schedule now around what does that day look like? Set it up formally, because when you go to work at a regular job, you end up getting into a schedule, even if you don’t set it up formally.
You know what time you have to get up to go to work. You know what time you have to be at the office. You know what time you get to leave and what time you get home. Set that up for yourself in your own business and again, going through those steps, it gives you momentum, it starts to feel very real.
When you’ve told yourself that you’re going to work every day from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on the business in this particular spot that you’ve established, where all your supplies are set up, where nobody’s going to bother you, then you’ve run out of excuses, and then you can really get started and you get into the actual building of the business part.
[00:38:24] BS: I can tell that you personally, have a lot of determination and perseverance, even though I’m just meeting you today. I know you work with a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs, but then you have your journey as well. Case, can you talk about a time you hit a wall and how you moved past it.
[00:38:46] CL: I don’t know if I can really call it hitting a wall, in the sense that I have been on my own – I immigrated to the US by myself and I’ve always had to pay my own bills and pay my own education and all that thing. What that does is force you to constantly work, because there’s no other thing. Nobody’s going to bail you out. That’s my attitude.
You get into that when you are working and I talked about this before. You have to give yourself a break when your body is screaming that you need a break. If you’re literally falling asleep at your desk, you’ve got to go and take a nap. For me, I would say it’s a short-term thing, where I will get up from the desk and go and do something else to talk about get the productivity moving and something like that again.
I don’t have, what I’d say, is the luxury, I guess, of being able to just stop, because that would then – like I said, I have to do myself, so that I can’t just stop. I have to just balance. That’s why I really encourage people to take those breaks. You might have started your online journey, hearing about. You have to hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle. What I say is you set your goals and you work on those goals to achieve those goals. If that means taking a break when you need to, you do it. It does not mean that you just get to the point where you just can’t do anything, because you’ve completely run out of energy and momentum.
[00:40:13] BS: Do you have any recommendations for alternatives to travel? Because I imagine for you and for me and a lot of us, I mean, especially entrepreneurs too, were you okay, like the big motivator for me was oh, cool. I’m going to run my own business and then I can work remotely and travel and then all that’s been taken away. It’s been quite an adjustment for a lot of us to try to figure out how to enjoy those benefits of lifestyle freedom. Then also, just trying to take a break and get away from it all. Do you have any other recommendations for taking breaks? I mean, that’s at the time that we’re recording this, it’s – God, is it December today, or are we still –
[00:40:53] CL: It is.
[00:40:54] BS: Holy moly. It’s December 1st. There’s no telling where we’re going to be in March by the time this episode actually releases. I imagine in a semi-similar position.
[00:41:07] CL: Yeah. Yeah, semi-similar position is probably the term.
[00:41:14] BS: So wishy-washy, but I think that’s the term. Semi-similar.
[00:41:22] CL: Yeah, that’s a good question, because it is very tough when you have built a life the last couple of years around your break being travel, or going to a movie or something like that.
[00:41:35] BS: Anything to get yourself out of the freaking house.
[00:41:38] CL: Exactly. It’s scary, because I’m not a healthcare worker, or frontline worker, or anything like that. When you’re working as an entrepreneur, what you normally do for breaks don’t exist, so then you just keep working. Then you realize, yeah, you have to take something. I’m a big reader. I’ll read fiction and get into novels I haven’t read, or that I’ve thought about reading, just didn’t think I could take the time before. Do something like that.
I actually, probably have socialized more on the phone and over Zoom than I normally would, because you end up talking to people all over the world and catching up with everybody a lot more frequently than you would before. You end up doing stuff like that. It is difficult to think of what can be your other outlets. Maybe you’re athletic, you’re into sports, something like that, you could take up that you can look at all the different – anything you’ve ever wanted to learn; a musical instrument, something creative, all of those things that you didn’t think you had time for. This is probably the time to do it, because you need to replace what used to be your travel time with something else that gives you as much interest, but it doesn’t – obviously, it won’t feel the same way, but it will give you something else to do.
Oh, and then the other thing, which of course I do is I plan travel. Full disclosure, I still plan travel, which was always an outlet thing to do before anyway.
[00:43:16] BS: Oh, me too. Planning is the best.
[00:43:21] CL: Now you can just expand it. You can look at documentaries, all the places you want to go to. Check out YouTube, read the books about the places. Do all your research online. Get everything ready, so that you know you can go.
[00:43:35] BS: Yeah, learn the language or whatever.
[00:43:38] CL: Yeah, learn the language. Yeah, absolutely.
[00:43:41] BS: Those are all great recommendations. That’s what I think too. We still need to find a way to escape and explore. There are ways to do that creatively, even taking a walk, or focusing more on your wellness as well. I mean, all of those things are great.
[00:44:00] CL: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:44:01] BS: If you’ve been an aspiring entrepreneur, who is having trouble focusing on their goals, what guidance would you offer?
[00:44:09] CL: Yeah. I think, one thing and this is very common, what you say. It’s a good question, because so many people will have the idea, they want to be an entrepreneur, but don’t know what to do, or they have a hundred ideas, but don’t know where to start. I get a bit maybe a bit of a roundabout, but you have to pick one. There’s a process you go through for picking the one place to start. What I always tell people, I’ll give you two examples that I think will sound familiar. There’s a company that started by selling books and they started by selling not just books in general, because there were bookstores back in those days, but they started selling books people couldn’t find. That’s what Amazon focused on, books that people couldn’t find. If anybody was looking for a book, they started to learn that they should go to Amazon and look for the book there.
[00:44:55] BS: Oh, I remember.
[00:44:59] CL: Not only are they a store of multiple – grand global proportions.
[00:45:07] BS: I was like, biblical proportions? Can I say that?
[00:45:13] CL: Basically, they sell everything under the sun. Not only that, they have their whole cloud business. They’ve got the marketing thing and they have an affiliate program and they’ve got the publishing and all that. You could be thinking you’ve got a hundred ideas and you’ve got all these grand visions. I’ll give you another example you’ve probably heard of. There was a place where if you were looking for movies that were not at blockbuster, you see, there used to be this thing called Blockbuster, which was the only place where you could get movies.
[00:45:39] BS: Also, familiar. I love Blockbuster. I was just talking about that with my husband the other day. I’m like, “Oh, I miss that.” Because we used to go there for dates and shit.
[00:45:48] CL: Yeah. Just talk about replacing what you used to do. Blockbuster used to be a thing that people did.
[00:45:54] BS: Yeah, it was a date night thing too, where you go there with your friends. Oh, man. Those are the days.
[00:46:01] CL: This little company comes along and they’ve got big ideas, but they say, let’s just start with movies people can’t find. They’re movies that are not at Blockbuster. If you wanted to find the movie that had one, like the accounts film festival or something, you would go to Netflix and you would have Netflix send it to you in an envelope, in this thing called the mail. Again, I don’t know what ideas Netflix had when they first started, but the first time I heard about it was because people who couldn’t find movies that they were looking for went to Netflix to get those movies.
Think about of all the grand ideas you have, of all the ways that you’re thinking of building a company and all those different things, you can’t pick one. Think of one, first of all, where people spend money. People who are looking for books you can’t find, probably have the money to buy those books. People who want to watch movies you can’t find, probably the money. Look at the place where you can start, where you have a built-in niche audience. Start small. You can build it all out later. You can go out to every single social media platform. Eventually, you can do everything eventually.
Pick that one where you think you have an opportunity right from the beginning to address, again, you’re solving a problem, delivering a solution for a set group of people, for a niche market. Continue to plan your grand business that whatever it’s going to turn out to be, but start with that very first place out of all your possible ideas, where you could actually get things going.
[00:47:30] BS: Awesome. Case, can you let the listeners know how they can stay in touch and find more info about you and your business?
[00:47:37] CL: Yeah, absolutely. Come to readyentrepreneur.com. You can join the community on any page on the website. Just scroll down where it says ‘join the community’. I will then be on my list and I will keep you up to date with all the different tips and strategies and ideas that I have all the time. I also have the Ready Entrepreneur Podcast.
[00:47:57] BS: Love it. I will leave all of those links on the show notes. Case, I really enjoyed our conversation today. Thank you so much.
[00:48:04] CL: Well, thank you. It was really great.
[00:48:09] BS: I hope you got a ton of inspiration from Case today. To receive a monthly roundup of the latest episodes, please subscribe to the Love Your Enthusiasm newsletter on the website loveyourenthusiasm.com. That’s also where the show notes are located and we now have transcriptions for all the episodes, which is awesome. If you need to know immediately when new episodes drop, make sure you subscribe on your listening app of choice.
As you move through the rest of your day, remember to love your enthusiasm. I’ll see you next time.