DiscoverI Make a Living
I Make a Living

I Make a Living

Author: FreshBooks, Damona Hoffman, Paco Arizmendi

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I Make a Living is a podcast for people who work for themselves. Whether you are a freelancer, small business owner or entrepreneur, our mission is to provide a space for insightful and candid conversations about what “making a living” means to you.

The topics and conversations in each episode revolve around the self-employed community—your community. We talk about what it means to carve your own path, define success on your own terms, and build a business that brings you satisfaction. We also talk about mistakes, struggles, and the unglamorous side of working for yourself.

New episodes air every Monday. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as they become available!
41 Episodes
From this episode, here are 3 ACTIONS to make your business more inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. If we’re looking to make lasting change, we need to continue the conversation around workplace intersectionality all the time - not just in reaction to current events.Encourage use of pronouns - not just for queer employees but for everyoneRevise company policies - act in accordance with the law and your values on everything from workplace dress codes to hiring and firing practices Rethink how you categorize your customers. Should you be making gender binary products or would your customers and business benefit from being more fluid.This isn’t a one and done kind of thing - we’re all learning and growing together and so should our company policies. So keep thinking about diversity and inclusion and how you can be a leader and not a follower in business.GUESTMina Gerges - Website
Guest- Eric Williams The Silver Room 
Some of us want to be Lay's Chips—national! popular! instant recognition!—but Terry O'Reilly thinks we could learn a few things from Utz, Baltimore's hometown favorite chip brand that outperforms Lay's by a huge margin. In other words: small can be excellent. Terry O'Reilly is the host of the marketing podcast Under the Influence, and has 30 years of experience directing marketing for brands big and small.In this week's episode, O'Reilly reminds us to put on our marketing hats at least once a week (hey, if it worked for Steve Jobs...) and experiment with boldness. “Does your idea make your hands start to sweat a little bit?” he asks; it's a clue that you're on the right track. He outlines his "Shish Kebab" theory of brand unity that you can start using today, and tells us why small businesses shouldn't get too wrapped up in what their competitors are doing.He also takes questions from our #imakealiving audience about scaling businesses on a shoestring budget, how to use social media for market research, and how protect your business from toxic clients.GuestTerry O'Reilly- WebsiteThe Apostrophe Podcast Company- Website 
While today's bonus episode focuses on the government programs set in the U.S., we believe that the experiences and tips shared by our financial expert guests are relatable to everyone, regardless of where you are located. Thank you to our guests Phylecia an Oona and the 3 entrepreneurs who shared their experiences with us. Find them all below. GUESTS-Phylecia Jones - https://www.keepupwithmrsjones.comOona Rokyta, CEO and Co-Founder, Lance - Kline, Host of Solving Me Too Podcast - https://solvingmetoo.comMeegan Czop, Owner of Great Lakes Yard - https://www.greatlakesyard.comBen Yee, Co-Owner of The Camera Department -
“Artists starving? There’s absolutely no reason for that.” Sonja Rasula is the founder of Unique Markets, a Los Angeles-based pop-up market showcase for artisans and makers. In this week's episode, she talks to us about her hands-on approach to training small business owners in the art of selling their art, why she launched Unique Markets during a recession, and why hitting the pause button now can help businesses recover down the road.Rasula, who got her start in retail and later launched websites like NatGeo and FoodTV, understands the path between creating beautiful products and actually selling them. She ensures that her carefully selected vendors are trained on how to talk to shoppers and use tools like social media and branding to grow. Our conversation with her also includes the power of a drive-time epiphany, why she she's as busy during a shutdown as she was in her launch phase, and how she chose conscious consumerism in the first place.
Allis Markham describes herself as “An artist with a really strong stomach.” She's the founder of Prey Taxidermy, a Los Angeles studio that serves clients ranging from luxury brands like Gucci to natural history museums all over America. We chat about her transition from Director of Social Media Strategy for the Walt Disney Company to running her own shop that's for the birds...and foxes...and armadillos.Markham walked away from a six-figure job "explaining social media to boardrooms full of old white men” to follow her passion: creating beautiful taxidermy. Volunteering at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles netted her both a mentor and a deeper understanding of her craft. She decided to take the plunge into full-time when she realized she could become the go-to taxidermist for the Los Angeles set: people who loved art tinged with luxury. We talk to her about the importance of a business motto, how teaching classes helps her fine-tune her practice, and why YouTube and outsourcing help her say yes to more.Guest-Allis Markham-
"Always have a hustle that’s paying the bills," says Steve Barnes, who knows plenty about hustle. Barnes, who got his start as a radio host and actor, combined his love of travel with a passion for content production to launch Barnes Creative Studios. Now, he travels the world shooting promo videos and VR for brands and destinations that make us want to book that vacation time.In this week's episode, he talks to us about getting ahead of the pack with technology (and how working with camera drones ten years ago has led to an interest in VR), how to talk budget with a potential client without scaring them off, and why honing your listening skills and taking the time to build trust can help answer questions your clients aren't even asking yet. He also shares why driving for Uber (in a Tesla, no less!) isn't off-brand for him.
Feeling a little...unmotivated? You’re not alone. With most of us working from home, we've lost some of our best productivity tools, and we might not even know it. In this week's minisode, Dr. Sahar Yousef of UC Berkeley chats with us about why setting clear cognitive boundaries between "work" and "everything else" makes a difference when all our days feel kind of the same.She shares insights on how we can recreate and reinvent go-mode triggers for the home: setting up rituals that prime our brains to focus, using calendars to hype ourselves up subconsciously, and why we should never work from the couch. She walks us through "focus sprints," her recipe for conquering your to-do list and producing results. She's even got something for the kids: she talks about how homeschoolers need triggers and transitions into schoolwork just as much as their high-achieving parents. It's time to put your phone in a drawer, close all those tabs, and get down to business.Guest- Dr. Sahar Yousef - Website
Pat Flynn- Masterclass

Pat Flynn- Masterclass


In our special Masterclass episodes, we collect questions from real-life entrepreneurs at our live #IMakeALiving shows around the world, and ask our favourite experts to weigh in. From social media to scaling, from advertising to work-life balance, we get insights and guidance from folks who have been there.When Pat Flynn was laid off from his architecture job in 2008, he wasn't sure what to do next. On a hunch, he developed a test-prep course for architects in training; over the next year, his course brought him over $200,000 in revenue. Flynn had seen the power of passive income. Instead of developing more courses, though, Flynn started training others on how to do the same."Truly passive income pretty much doesn’t exist," says Flynn, but he knows from experience that designing products that reward you for investing in and building them—and pay out time and time again—comes pretty close. In this week's conversation, we talk to Flynn about his three P's of mapping the market, why entrepreneurs should cultivate their superfans, and how bringing your human side into your business can improve everything from work-life balance to audience relationships. He also takes questions from past #IMakeALiving live-event audiences about interviewing guests on podcasts (and why you should ask “why?”), making the most of your passion-project time in a day-job world, and how to maintain our learning mindset even as we grow into our roles as thought leaders.Guest- Pat Flynn Website- Pat- 
Notes: How does a mother of eight balance a thriving design career with a family the size of a baseball team? Well, for starters, she doesn't sweat the mess. Lisa Canning is an author, coach, and design expert, and this week, she joins us to talk about how entrepreneurs can get family life and work goals to align, even during a pandemic. She counsels us to let go of perfectionism, schedule deep-focus time, and to delegate household chores to the kids. Most importantly, she says this unique time can give us a chance to figure out what really matters—for both business activities and parenting—and to to loosen our grip on the other stuff.  “The main goal for us, during this period, is forming greater connections with our families.”Guest- Lisa Canning 
Do you find your brain buzzing when you look at your to-do list? Rich Jones knows that feeling. As host of the personal finance podcast Paychecks and Balances, creator of the podcast consulting business Showstarter, and as internal communications manager at Google, Jones has a lot on his plate. On this week's episode, we do a deep-dive on the tools he uses to make sure that everything gets done.Jones suggests doing a bit soul-searching to figure out what's important to your business, and which tools might help—they might not be the ones everyone else is using. He uses tools like Slack, Evernote and Trello, along with automation software Zapier, in order to streamline communication and tasks. He's also thinking creatively about his networks: by introducing affiliates to his business model, Jones creates value for his ability to connect people with the products and services they need. Overall, he takes an experimental approach, and doesn't focus too much on mastering the programs he uses. As long as they're doing what he needs them to, it's good for his business.
 When you're trying to manage stress levels, tapping into simple strategies can make a big difference. In this week's minisode, John Kim of The Angry Therapist talks to us about why we're feeling worried, and what we can do about it. He touches on why getting some exercise can help structure your day, why a flow state can be the best kind of distraction, and how we can use this time to connect with audiences online. It's self-care for the shelter-in-place entrepreneur.Resources:Stages of Grief- Kim's Website- Texts from the Angry Therapist 
Can you get your business to one million dollars in revenue without any employees? Not only is it possible, but Elaine Pofeldt has written the blueprint. As the author of The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business, Pofeldt tapped into years of experience writing about business, and running her own successful business, to give a guide to scaling up.Pofeldt started as a staff writer, and launched her writing business in 2007 in order to balance the needs of her growing family against her bottom line. She spent the first two years of her independent business learning the ropes: being open to retainer arrangements, asking for deposits, and diversifying her services to include ghostwriting, coaching, and editing. “If you think of how you can be of service to people,” she says, “people will come to you.” We dive deeper on why saying yes to everything can sometimes backfire, why you should outsource work, and how to consider investing your profits back into professional development.GuestElaine Pofeldt- Website
Everyone knows something: whether it’s mortgage expertise or breastfeeding advice, we all have pockets of knowledge that make us everyday experts. Imagine being able to reach an online audience with that info, and charging them to learn it. Ankur Nagpal has this vision, so he created Teachable to help people earn money from what they can share with others. Nagpal, whose background includes both real-life teaching and tech development, was a Forbes’s 2019 30 Under 30 Education honoree. This week, we talk to him about how to keep a relatively sane work-life balance (no all-nighters is a personal rule for him), how to hire and retain great employees (including an unorthodox stable of engineers), and how he’s come to recognize what Teachable really offers its clients. “We always say, No one wants your course,” he explains. “What they want is the outcome. They want the transformation. Your course is a way for them to get there.” He shares some of his knowledge with us, free of charge.--
On this week's episode, we chat with Michael Kass, the founder of Story and Spirit. Kass has tapped into his deeply varied background—think theatre, financial management, breath work and vision quests—and now uses the power of storytelling to help people and businesses transform.The importance of storytelling as a business tool has been highlighted by Harvard Business Review and Google as a key skill for success. It goes past the “why” of the business and into the “who,” as in how who you are drives what you do. We chat about why, while telling those stories might take a big cultural shift, doing so helps democratize how we know and learn about each other and our work. In childhood, Kass was moved by the realization that fairy tales hardly ever included regular people; as an adult, he's working to change that, and making a successful business along the way.We talk about the power of certification, the 80-20 rule, and defining success when you’re the first one on your path. Kass also walks us through the basics of a breath work exercise designed to help release emotion and get grounded when things seem turbulent.GuestMichael Kass- 
Gritty Birds Podcasting has been developing podcasts since 2014. Owned by producer and artist Jeni Wren Stottrup, Gritty Birds started as a music podcast interviewing label runners, lawyers, magazine owners, booking agents and more in the PNW community sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine. Wren had been deeply active as a singer, journalist, festival producer and in media sponsorship, with a desire to explore how create a successful career in music and audio production.Guest- Jeni Wren StottrupJoin Jeni for a free workshop- 
NOTE: In light of the Covid-19 outbreak and the current landscape for entrepreneurs, and small business owners, we are working hard to bring you more resources and conversations to get you through these difficult times. Stay tuned for some special episodes in the coming days and weeks.  Stay strong, you are not alone! Follow our community at know you like podcasts, but have you ever thought about starting one? On this week's episode, we talk to two women with ample experience in the field. Jeanine Wright is the COO of Simplecast, which helps launch podcasts, and has a special focus on analytics. Fatima Zaidi co-founded Quill, which connects podcasts professionals to folks with a dream in order to get a project off the ground. We get the inside story on what goes into podcasting after the microphone is turned off: podcasts are one of the most powerful marketing tools available to companies, but they also need to find their own path to success. As Zaidi asks, “What kind of brand do you want to be seen as?”We also talk to Wright and Zaidi about their experiences on opposite ends of the investor spectrum. Zaidi weighs on the value of running a bootstrap operation, while Wright shares her three criteria for considering an investment opportunity. Both also offer insight into their experience as women in a male-dominated sector, where there are opportunities to break new ground and create a work-life balance that works for you.Guests-Jeanine Wright- SimplecastFatima Zaidi- Quill  
Lisa Carmen Wang has spent a lot of time falling and even more time getting back up. As a rhythmic gymnast, she took home Pan-Am Games gold and was the US National Champion for three years running. In 2015, she founded SheWorx, a platform devoted to launching and scaling female-headed businesses. In this week's episode, she talks to us about her newest project, The GLOW.“How do you get your foot in the door when you aren’t born in a rich family and you aren’t born into these Silicon Valley circles?” she asks. SheWorx provides part of the answer: networks of mentors, peers and allies who can help guide and amplify women's voices in the entrepreneurial space. But Wang knew that the business side was only part of the answer. The GLOW—which stands for The Global League of Women— takes a holistic approach to female success, training women to love their voice, their bodies, and their spirit. The end result? Boosted confidence and what Wang calls "enoughness." In our chat with Wang, we touch on the importance of resilience, how men can be great allies in business (and in life), and the power of a good self-care ritual.
James Beard award-winning restaurant, Guelaguetza in Los Angeles’s Koreatown, puts Oaxacan cuisine and culture at the forefront of today’s dynamic culinary scene.Bricia Lopez - Bricia Lopez is an entrepreneur, cultural ambassador, and a key figure in Los Angeles’ gastronomic scene. The New Yorker called Bricia the “Queen of Mezcal.” This year she opened Vegas’s first ever mezcal bar – ‘Mama Rabbit” inside The Park MGM. Launched the Super Mamas Podcast with Paulina, that has become a lifestyle media company, complete with annual events, and corporate partnerships with major brands. Bricia Lopez was appointed by the Mayor of Los Angeles to the Board of Convention and Tourism Development on March 2019. Paulina Lopez-Velazquez - CFO and Director of Catering and Special Events. Super Mamas Social, a parenting festival that takes place yearly in Downtown Los Angeles. Paulina currently sits on the Board of Directors of City Charter Schools, a K-12 Los Angeles Based School organization that promotes diversity, culture, and bilingualism. Most recently, Paulina was awarded Women of The Year in the Council District 54, by Assembly Member Ridley-Thomas.
Something we've heard a lot from the female entrepreneurs at our I Make A Living live events, is that so many of you have trouble with sales. Even though we know what we have to offer we sometimes feel uncomfortable asking for what we’re worth.Carmelia Ray is an internationally acclaimed matchmaker for high achieving men and the quality women they’re searching for. She’s also a renowned TV personality from Mom Vs. Matchmaker, The Real Housewives Of Toronto, and A User’s Guide to Cheating Death (Fall 2018).A frequent media contributor, Carmelia’s advice and expertise have been featured in notable outlets including AskMen, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, OK! Magazine, Global News, Cupid’s Pulse, The Marilyn Denis Show, CHCH News, Elle, Playback, and countless others. Her wealth of wisdom and experience has also attracted in-demand partnerships with major dating companies including, Lava Life, Instant Chemistry, and more.Carmelia is a great example of selling confidently and being bold about getting paid for the value she offers others.Here’s a summary of what Carmelia taught us today:Focus your sales pitch on the value proposition for your clients rather than minutia of the product or service and try not to sound desperate even if you areGet organized and plan as much as you canAlways incorporate time with family and loved ones into your schedule, no matter how busy your business getsNetwork like you would make friends - the more relationships you build, the more robust your sales networkCollaborate, Collaborate, CollaborateSee what Carmelia is up to at or on social media @carmeliaray. GuestCarmelia Ray- Website
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