As entrepreneurs, we have a lot of crossroads to face and decisions to make. It’s hard.
Despite investing thousands of dollars in sales and marketing, we often find ourselves struggling to move ahead – stuck in one place.
What are some of the critical path items that can really make things click for your success?
Shawn Wenner is a media company founder and has built 2 brands. After a decade in culinary education, it became apparent to him that more resources were needed for foodservice professionals, so alongside some incredible people, Shawn took it upon himself to build them.
His second brand, Pastry Arts, took off. Pastry Arts Magazine inspires, educates, and connects pastry and baking professionals as an informational conduit for the trade.
In this brief and informative discussion with Adam, Shawn sheds light on the reasons that helped him grow the pastry arts brand rapidly and shares some of his secrets to help you on your journey towards building a great brand.
Check Out Shawn’s Pastry Arts Magazine:
Throughout His Discussion with Adam, Shawn Sheds Reveals:
- What is his brand – “Pastry Arts Magazine” all about?
- Shawn’s entrepreneurial spirit – A sneak peek into Shawn’s past business ventures, rollercoaster ride and what prepped him to launch Entrepreneurial Chef Magazine followed by Pastry Arts Magazine.
- How did Adam & Shawn connect?
- The shift from corporate to entrepreneurship – a journey filled with hurdles, failures and life lessons
- Shawn’s transition from Entrepreneurial Chef to Pastry Arts Magazine – why he made the changes?
- Shawn shares his secret to building a rock-solid foundation:
- How to catch people’s attention?
- What to do with it?
- The difference between Entrepreneurial Chef and Pastry Arts Magazine.
- What makes baking more complicated than cooking and how did the focus on consistent learning help Pastry Arts Magazine took off?
- The importance of narrowing your focus – when it comes to your niche and your target audience – how it helped Pastry Arts Magazine appear in the “Trending” section?
- The journey from tiny little niche magazine to a popular multimedia platform
- The importance of matching your brand’s visibility with the back end experience.
- How has Shawn and his team mapped out different flow points to deliver an outstanding customer experience? And how does it tie back to consistent branding efforts?
- Shawn’s advice for people struggling with their entrepreneurial journey and how they can gain clarity and focus on their next steps?
The road to success is never an easy one. It’s filled with hurdles and to level you not only do you need to focus on your brand’s product or services but you also need to focus on narrowing your focus, delivering a great customer experience and mapping different flow points to gain insights into the steps you should be taking next.
Throughout this episode, Shawn has shared some actual meaningful insights – and it doesn’t matter if you run a media company or a retail shop, these insights will definitely help you build a clear roadmap to success.
Every single week, I love e-meeting with marketing experts or amazing business professionals like Augie to help you guys dive deep into stories and gain relevant insights that could, maybe, help you throughout your journey.
And I really hope you guys loved today’s video. And if you did, do support me and my show by leaving a 5-star review on iTunes. Every single review matters.
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If you’re serious about your business and ready to turn your website into a conversion machine that positions your brand as a trusted authority then we have your back. Learn more here.
We Also Recommend:
- Chris Kneeland: Mastering Meaningful Audience Engagement
- Uyi Abraham: From $100 in Your Pocket to an 8-Figure Company
- Mickie Kennedy: Get More Visibility & Traffic Using Affordable Press Releases the Right Way
- The Truth About Why 88% of People Buy From Brands Today
- Jake Orak: Skyrocketing Your eCommerce Brand From Zero to 7-Figures
Episode Transcript (unedited, will likely have typos):
Adam G. Force 0:00
How do social entrepreneurs and small businesses create an authentic brand people love so they can get the edge they need to stand out, create Predictable Revenue and compete against the big guys. That’s what we’re here to discuss. I’m Adam forest, the founder of change creator, and this is the authentic brand mastery podcast.
All right, what’s up, everybody? Welcome back to the authentic brand mastery podcast brought to you by change creator, this is your host enforce. So the last episode that we put out if you missed it, I did a conversation where I talked about what 88% of people said that they need in order to make a purchase. So it’s a big conversation on trust. And I talk about some of the data and some of the things that we can actually do a build that into our business, right. So if you missed that, go back, check it out, I think you guys will get a lot of value out of that discussion. And this week, we are going to be talking with my good buddy Sean, who is the founder of actually two brands. One is the entrepreneurial chef and the other is Pastry Arts. And he has a really interesting story where about building these brands. And I think there’s a lot for you guys to pick up on. So we’re gonna get into that and talk about how he’s developed. And you know, one of the last summits he ran, I don’t know he had 20,000 people show up just on the first attempt, right. So now this is becoming an annual thing. So what’s really making that kind of stuff work. And we want to dig into this because it’s going to help you guys build your brands, right. So some really important stuff that we’re going to get into here. Guys, we have as we reached the end of December here, at the time of this recording, we have one spot left open, okay, in our Brand Studio, and I’m really looking for actually an E commerce brand to work with. We’ve had some incredible success, I have some one of my ecommerce brands is actually converting new leads at a conversion rate of 82% right now, and they’re getting paid for it right. So we want to replicate that system, we want to build your leads your sales system, and really step up your brand. So if that’s you if you have an E commerce brand, and you’re looking to really kind of take it to the next step with your online presence and your sales system, I want to work with you closely to make that happen. And I will continue working with you until we are profitable with that process. So reach out to me just go to change creator.com And you’ll find our services, you can book a strategy call. Let’s just have a quick chat. And we’ll figure out if it’s a good fit. Alright guys, let’s dive into this episode. Okay, show me the heat. No. Hey, Sean, welcome to the authentic brand mastery podcast. I don’t today, buddy.
Shawn Menner 3:00
I am doing excellent. And I am so excited to be here with you. It’s an absolute honor my friend.
Adam G. Force 3:06
Yeah, yeah. So full transparency. Sean and I met a few years ago. And, you know, we’re both kind of just stayed connected, because we were in the media space with our businesses. And, you know, we build our networks, right. So Sean’s a super cool guy. And he has a hell of a journey, lots of big successes and wins, building his brand, multiple brands, to be honest. And we’re gonna get into that stuff today. Cuz there’s a lot of really important insights that I think we can all take away from Sean’s experience that will demonstrate basically real life examples of some of these key things about building your brand. So, Shawn, why don’t you first just give everybody that little bit of a nutshell. I always like to know, like the point of drama first, because I’m a storyteller. So I always say, what’s really exciting right now, and then back us into how we got there.
Shawn Menner 3:56
There we go. Yeah. So So today, I own pastry arts magazine, which is a multimedia platform in the food space, also another one called entrepreneurial chef, working on a third entity for launch next year. So it is it’s fast moving, it’s fun, it’s exciting. I wake up every day enjoying what I do, you know, that thirst for life. And I’m blurring the lines between work and personal life. To be honest, it’s a it’s a very interesting place to be in because what I do for work, I enjoy it personally, and some of my hobbies of what I enjoy doing are now turning into my profession. So it’s a very, very, very cool space to be in.
Adam G. Force 4:41
I love it and tell me just a little bit before now, entrepreneurial shop. Was that your first that’s the first business or did you do anything before that? I don’t remember
Shawn Menner 4:50
a couple failures, for sure. So basically, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I worked at a culinary school. I won’t Way back. But let’s just start with the culinary school. I started there in 2005. And I worked there until 2016, I actually bounced to another place for about two years, and then back over to that one. So all in all about eight, nine years, but I worked in the education space. So even when I bounced away from the culinary schools and educational space, yeah, so about 10 years, almost 11 years total on education, and I got the bug for education, but then I was laid off. Now prior to being laid off, as I mentioned, I had entrepreneurial spirit. And I started a couple of like side hustles, if you will, so I won’t even name them. It’s not even important. But I want to say there was 123, probably in total, two big ones, but then three in total. And they had a little bit of success here and there, but it was really nothing. And then I was laid off in 2016. And I kind of had one of those back against them all well, moments where I said, I can either try and find a job get into another place, or I can use this as an opportunity to start something. So so that’s that’s what I did. Now, here’s where the drama comes in, I had, I want to say was close to a full blown identity crisis, about 90 days after I was laid off. And the reason was because I had worked in the education industry for so long that that became a part of my identity. And so I kind of had one of those moments where I realized that if I was not in education, then who am I? It was it was a tough pill to swallow. And, and from a drama standpoint, I was married in September of 2015. I was notified that I was laid off by December 2015, I was going to be laid off by January 2016. I was laid off by February my wife became pregnant with our first child. So in six months I went from married top of the world have this career to I’m laid off to now we’re pregnant. Oh my gosh, what am I going to do? So to be honest with you that that was the catalyst right there. And I feel like the entrepreneurial spirit coupled with some of the side hustles was what really prepped me and the the kind of real world experience I got working in the education industry that all prepped me for what would have come starting 2016 When I decided to launch entrepreneurial chef and then taking through all the way till now.
Adam G. Force 7:29
Yeah, yeah. Wow. And I think a lot of people have that moment of identity crisis, because we have a story that we create about ourselves that we believe. And once that story is like shooken up and like your life changes like well, if I’m if I don’t identify myself as this now, and I’m not this story, then what am I? And it’s kind of hard to kind of see yourself in a new perspective, right. But yeah, we kind of plow through and, you know, so Shawn started entrepreneur shaft, which was an app, which was a magazine app on Google, and you know, iTunes, and that’s where we connected to because we had change creator magazine, which was Google iTunes. So we were like, actually, that’s what it was, it was we were on the same platform, right? We use the same service.
Shawn Menner 8:14
And the service provider asked us to connect and some of the top customers and asked us to give them feedback, and then we got connected that
Adam G. Force 8:23
way. Yeah, that was it. That was it. So from that point on, yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. So tell me I know, there’s been some big changes, obviously, over the years, and we’ve had had those conversations, I want to share some of that, because, you know, just like you mentioned, there were some failures up front. You know, I did too. I was like, I had a hemp water bottle. I had the blue dot post media company. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, right? And that’s funny, because you’re a super smart dude, you came out of corporate like John’s a master like salesman, and like, he knows his shit when it comes to business. But when you’re shifting from corporate to entrepreneurial, and you have a clean slate, it’s a totally different ballgame.
Shawn Menner 9:03
It is. You think you’re prepared for it? Like I remember thinking when I worked in, like that kind of corporate position, as you said, I remember feeling so confident that I could step out at any time and do my own thing. In the problem. It’s funny, I was thinking about this this morning, there was something that came up and it was I started thinking about how when things change, that a lot of times we don’t adapt to what is now and we think about how it should be right so and there’s some people that caught it get caught up into this frame of mind on you know, something may happen and they and they reject what happens the reality and they think about what should have happened, what could have happened, all these different things and so and so I feel like I feel like, you know, when I stepped out, I didn’t accept the reality. right away, but I was so confident brought prior to stepping out on my own that I could do this. But wow is it’s a totally different ballgame when you step out on your own and in the realities that you and then the emotions hit you. And, you know, it’s very, you know what I’ve been able to do. And I’ve totally redesigned my life, right, completely redesigned my life. When you look at the steps on paper, it’s relatively easy. Right? I’m going to say that it’s relatively easy when you look at the steps on pay. Yeah, the problem is executing against the emotions that hit you day in and day out week in and week out emotions, about money, emotions, about family, like all of the different life things and navigating it. It’s exactly right. And in in working towards something that is so uncertain. That’s the other thing working towards something that is so uncertain. Yeah. And that that’s the hardest part is what when do you fish? When do you cut bait? When do you push forward? When do you stop? Like, so? Anyway? I won’t go on a tangent there. But yeah, it’s very difficult. So for anybody that that is in that in that path right now. Just yeah, I feel for you, I understand it. But but in a lot of ways, oh, just
Adam G. Force 11:20
right. It’s kind of like, unfortunately, you there is a lot of uncertainty. So you can get mentorship. That’s why people do push that it’s not just about getting a sale. It’s like, the mentorship is valuable. Like because you can save a lot of trial and error, which, you know, I’ve spent in my first couple years $100,000 My wife’s like, Where’d all our money go? Like, that’s stress, dude, like, I was like, not in a good place, you know? Because now you’re using your own money, and you have a lot of other responsibilities to worry about. So you’re right, the emotions really spike. And they can dictate your decision making and emotional decision making in your entrepreneurial journey. Not good.
Shawn Menner 12:04
stuff. So but I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to take your tracks back. They’re saying entrepreneurship essential, right?
Adam G. Force 12:09
No, I think that’s also helpful. Like, that’s kind of like, you know, there’s a lot of people, whether you’re earlier that you’re even in your third or fourth year of business, you may still be struggling. That’s not it, you see a lot of people like, Oh, I just started my business. And in the first year, I made six figures, like, that’s not the normal thing guys like, so don’t feel bad, just kind of like, stay the course, like you may change the the approach, but you don’t need to change the destination, you know, this stuff can take time, and don’t put so much pressure on yourself, just be smart and try to reduce your risk. And you’ll figure it out. Right. So let’s get into more of the brand development stuff now that we got that part of the conversation out. I, you had a big transition. And I know you are a guy that also likes to like when we’re building magazines, they have to have a good experience for people, right? Are they not going to want to use it or you’re not going to get good engagement and you know, all that stuff, right? No word of mouth, whatever. And we also have to have like an impact make a good impression with the visuals and stuff. So I’m curious because Shawn made a transition from entrepreneurial chef to pastry arts magazine. And the intention was not to stop producing entrepreneurship in the beginning, right. So can you just talk about that transition? And what points of clarity came to mind for you? And like, why you made the changes you made? So just kind of walk us through that a little bit?
Shawn Menner 13:32
Yeah, absolutely. And I’ll say this holistically for everybody. Because what we will talk about now is a multimedia platform or a magazine business, right? And someone may think, Well, how is that applicable to me? That’s not what I’m doing. But but so I’ll say this, before I jump into that, at the end of the day, what I thought about was, how do I get attention? What am I going to do with that attention when that attention comes? Right? So again, that is the foundation of from from like a business, right? So whether you have a product that you’re selling a widget, whether you’ve got a media company like myself, or you know, magazine, like how do you get people’s attention? And what are you going to do with their attention, right? How are you going to keep it? Are you going to sell them, whatever that’s going to be? So that said, when it came to entrepreneurial chef, you know, I came out of a culinary school in the thing that I knew was that Collin Ariens people that know how to cook or bake, they are very entrepreneurial. They want to have their own restaurant, they want to have their own catering company, they want to have their own business of some sorts. So that’s where the idea of entrepreneurial chef came in. It’s basically it was it was a platform to help food entrepreneurs become successful build and grow business and become successful. Alright, so once once I got into that and kind of built that up. I then connected with a couple of individuals who then explored To me that the pastry niche professional pastry and baking niche, but I’ll just sum it up and say the pastry niche was lacking with a multimedia platform similar to entrepreneurial chef. And this is where the idea of pastry arts came into play was going to be a multimedia platform that’s specific to pastry and baking professionals, or serious enthusiasts now. Now, I had a couple of I had a really big insight between those two platforms. And that was Pastry Arts took off like a rocket entrepreneurial chef was very much pushing a ball uphill, right? We pulled out all the stops. Yep. And it wasn’t until I had both until I was managing Ryan, both that I look back and remember my culinary days, and that was this. in culinary school. Typically, the pastry students were the ones that were more studious. They read more, they paid a little bit more attention in class at times, but they were more mathematically inclined, they read more, they were just better with their academics as an average, right? So the pastry students typically their grades, your GPA average was typically higher than the other like culinary, we’ll say savory students. Now this is this was big for me because it was a you got to know your customer moment, because I started entrepreneurial chef, which was a magazine for more of the savory type individuals. Yeah, not really remembering that they were not the types of interval individuals that enjoyed reading. They did not enjoy reading, right? They didn’t have to when you’re when you’re cooking food, not baking, you don’t have to it’s not an exact science, you can taste on the fly, you can adjust on the fly. With baking and pastry work, it is more of a science you have to read you have to understand things they are these individuals are accustomed to reading word for word, they are accustomed to memorizing, learning having formulas. So this was the difference in why one did so much better than the other coming out of the gates, right? Because the costumer it was a perfect fit for the customer. Whereas entrepreneurial chef, a magazine is not you know, for the savory chef’s was not really I’m not going to capture the mass market that way. Right. Right. It’s more of a subset. So it was a very big no your customer moment for me that I had to think okay, then I’ve heard you’ve heard this before you the last thing you want to do is build something that doesn’t you don’t have a market for right. Yep. And you spent all that time. That’s exactly right. And that that was a very big lesson. So what was going through my mind initially was just to be honest with you, as it was when I was starting paste yard. So with these individuals, I thought, wow, this is fun, I get to build something. And I’m a creator, I like to build I like to get my hands in. And I wasn’t even thinking about that insight, that insight came afterwards, which now moving forward, that’s on the forefront of my mind before I start building and creating
Adam G. Force 18:11
Yeah. Because you started diagnosing, saying, Why is this like crushing it? I remember we had patients when you’re like, dude, this thing is taking off. Like, it’s just going nuts. I was like, Oh, that’s amazing. And you’re like, but I haven’t figured out exactly what the the reason is like, yeah, why is it doing so much better? And so this is, you know, time that Shawn put in to diagnose and figure out well, what was the real the game changer, and that was that product market fit was better. But you know, as we talk about brand, blueprints, brand strategy, whatever you want to call it, you know, getting the identification of your perfect customer, but also the positioning, how do we position in the market for that perfect customer. That’s what starts making that gives clarity on exactly what Shawn is talking about. So we’re really differentiating, getting that product market fit and knowing who we’re talking to. So you could just see and that’s, that’s one thing I love about Shawn stories, you could see the results of that actually, the stars aligning right there, you know, Oh, yeah. Tell us about the success of your pastry arts just to give like a summit and some of the early success of your subscriptions. And also, the other beautiful thing that Shawn did as a smart sales guy is he set it up so that even before he launched pastry arts magazine, he had advertisers lined up.
Shawn Menner 19:31
Yeah, you know, one of the one of the big moments for me was when when Pastry Arts was a top 25 app. I think it was number 18 is the screenshot that I took in the app store. Yeah, this little niche, tiny little specific niche magazine was trending that high and we you know, we just just 1000s and 1000s of downloads that we were getting, so it was very cool, but the reasons because we narrowed, we narrowed our focus We had our customer really dialed in, right? We just had the customer really dialed in. And that that was a very, that was another pivotal point. And in a lesson for me and anyone else is that, you know, you may have heard people say, your customer avatar and who are they and in till you actually put paper to pen and kind of just, you put out some thoughts as it relates to who your customers that titles that they have, where they work, what they like, you know, in some of it is a guessing game that can be refined over time, but you just have to start somewhere. And that’s what we did we started with, what are their titles? What are associations that they’re involved with? What other magazines do they read? What products do they buy, right? And that’s how we were able to back in to having such good success is because we were able to find either companies, organizations, associations, things that fit with our customers and just really attack the market as a whole. In what I mean by that in which you would asked is that we we started a summit, right, so we did a pastry Summit. And so this is where we have professionals and organizations record instructional videos. So now that the first summit we did was in the pandemic we had, we had over 20,000 people that attended that thing. You know, over the course of about six to eight months, it was an evergreen Summit. So it didn’t just have a particular set time. We ran it for several several months. And to come out of the gate as our first summit in our email list wasn’t even that big at that point. It just absolutely blew up, right. So yeah, we’ve been able to grow it to where we’ve got a podcast, we’ve got the magazine, the site of social media is pretty strong. We got about 230 240,000 people that follow us there. And then the summit, now we do the summit every year, it’s gonna be an ongoing thing. We’re planning for the 2020 to one. So we kind of grew from this tiny little niche magazine to now this multimedia platform. That’s a bit of a dominance in our small niche
Adam G. Force 22:03
niche. Yeah, that’s the key, right? Because now you are more visible, you become more visible when you do dial into the group like that. And you stand out to those people. And I bet you if you were doing a brand strategy discussion, and you’re identifying your market with somebody, and you’re like, hey, you’re going into you’re doing this entrepreneurial chef, so you’re already a niche, it’s entrepreneurship for chefs, and you’re like, oh, that’s narrow enough. But if we proposed, like Pastry Arts, you’d be like, oh, there’s just that’s not going to be big enough, right? But look at Shawn ran this summit, and he had two out of the first 120 1000 relevant customers that now have built up this business. I mean, that’s a gigantic number for such a niche, right, so and now every year that will probably grow, grow, grow, and you’re gonna have word of mouth, you’re gonna have more revenue, it’s just gonna be something that snowball. So that’s just proof in the pudding of how impactful that stuff is, right?
Shawn Menner 22:59
Mm hmm. Absolutely. Yeah. 100% Yeah. 100%. And, you know, back to that customer experience that the thing that we’re always thinking about is, what is the experience going to be like, what is that? What is that flow, right? Because the visibility of your brand is one thing. But then the back end experience has to match that initial, like visibility, that initial impression. So you may have an incredible, y’all use a US storefront, right? You’ve got an incredible storefront on a store a brick and mortar store and you walk in and it’s complete garbage, right? It’s a mixed match. Right? Yeah. And that’s kind of people are gonna look at your brand and perceive it one way. And it’s just, it’s so prudent to think about that experience all the way through, you know, having those consistencies all the way through. And that’s what we do. I mean, we literally map out what is the customer experience of x, right? So the podcast has its own flowchart of customer experience, the out summit has its own flowchart of customer experience, the magazine, and then we have a master diagram that talks about or not talks, but it shows how they’re all interconnected, right. From an email standpoint, from a social media standpoint, from a Facebook group standpoint, how is it all connected together? What’s the total experience? Where are the Logos is all the consistent messaging there. It’s just so important, even when you have a small you know, we’re not a multi multi national corporation or anything like that. We got a nice couple of nice publications, but that are doing really well. And a lot of it has to do with that consistency in that branding, that experience that they get.
Adam G. Force 24:44
Yeah, a company called lithium did research and they found that when you have brand consistency across all touchpoints online, that alone can increase revenues by 30%. Right, because the experience is consistent. It’s not confusing, and so you just get more out of it, especially when you’re when you’re doing summits and you have 20,000 people and people are looking you up and going around online and stuff like that. So there’s a lot of value in that consistency. But the other part of it is, and I’m always going to be tying this back to your branding, because the experience is also a way you communicate well, what what kind of company is this? Right? It’s it’s also telling your story of who you are your values and all that stuff, which is where we really dig in on that brand strategy. So to Shawn’s point. I mean, guys, look at what he’s done. He’s mapped out all the different flows to make sure he understands the touch points, how are they interconnected? And there’s consistency, which is going to be really valuable for that experience. And what does that do? Shawn gets reoccurring revenue, he gets word of mouth, and then that just elevates the business like substantially, right. Yeah. And
Shawn Menner 25:50
like I said, it’s so important. It on paper, it’s easy. Remember when I say that it’s easy on Pei steps that I’ve taken? Yeah, it’s you can you can map it out. The hard part, is that executing, it’s executing against emotions, it’s executing against stress, it’s executing against the highs and the lows and all of those different things. But yeah, it’s not rocket science, for sure.
Adam G. Force 26:16
No, yeah. Well, you feel that way, probably more now than you did five years ago. Tell me, like, based on now, where you are, and having, you know, learned a lot through trial and error, failures, successes, all that stuff? What is something that, you know, let’s say somebody is, you know, still under $100,000 a year, or they’re struggling a bit? Just from your experience, I think people, you know, people get overwhelmed. And they’re not sure where, like, with the decisions they’re making, right? It’s kind of like, yeah, there’s a million things I could do. And you feel like a little bit like in the stock lost in the startup wild, if you owe any advice on, you know, how to just kind of find some comfort and clarity and just getting focus and focusing on next steps or, you know, stuff like that anything you would share with somebody?
Shawn Menner 27:09
Yeah, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say, most people do not create at least some type of business plan for the idea that they have. I’m gonna say that confidently, and people can prove me they want to, but most people do not do that. Right. I did not do that I was one of those people as well. Right. And this is not one of those biases that I have that now I’m projecting because I didn’t do it. Now. I believe everyone else doesn’t do it. No, I really think that this is the case. Right? And I think there are stats out there that could prove this. That said, the reason why I did it, and I’ll get to answering your questions, because I had a mentor, who told me that I was like a butterfly flying around from idea to idea, right. And, and that really stuck with me, right? It was kind of like an ego. You know, it was like a punch in the gut. And I took the SBA free the Small Business Administration, their free business plan, and I sat my butt down, and I worked and I worked and I worked and I created an official business plan right. Now there’s variations of this to this day, and one of them is the lean, lean startup planner, the lean canvas, I think is what it is. And so I’ve also done one of those now I’ve got like a Asana board where we’ve got that so whatever it is that you do there is there’s so much value in doing that right. Now one of the things that I thought about that held me back from doing that is that I just don’t know for sure how to answer certain questions I don’t know how to answer projections and financials you know what’s going to happen or whatever but it least you can take an educated guess and get it out of your head yeah TypeId right was the biggest problem for me is that I had idea after idea after ideas swirling around in my head and I was like this butterfly that was just going around from idea to IDM thought to thought and I would feel overwhelmed and the reason why I feel overwhelmed is because I’m trying to mentally keep track of all of these things in my head. Yeah, and it is effing exhausting to do that. Right. So the most valuable thing that I did like I said as I put it down and then I created an
Adam G. Force 29:33
official plan made a freakin plan and that
Shawn Menner 29:35
and that is simple as it sounds that that’s what did it for me. And that was really how it ignited me. That second step was that I got this from someone I forget who it was maybe it was like the guy that did his name’s Dave something but he did the the productivity and it’s not coming to me they did this whole productivity system. But anyway, regardless is that I do a week The brain dump, right. So what I do is I literally right on top of my paper, brain dump, and everything that’s in my head, I just write it down, I don’t try and organize it, I don’t try and catalogue it, I don’t put it in a hierarchy, I just do a brain dump. And I can’t tell you how freeing that feels. Because every idea, everything that’s circling in my head, every meeting that I need to make sure that I’m there for every proposal that I need to get, I just get it all down every single week. And I don’t care if yesterday, I had, like, gonna create a list that already have most of this stuff on there. It’s a habit thing. It’s a habit thing that I stick to every single week. And what I can tell you is that it’s so freeing to put all of those things down there, and then you can organize it and then you can build your week around it, and then you can execute against it. And and those were the things that really were in hindsight, that have helped me keep going faster and faster and refining and executing against us, because I just articulate those things out. Yeah, I built this habit around getting things out of my head, over leaving my mental energy. And the last thing, what was the one other thing that I say about mental energy? You don’t realize how exhausting little decisions are in your life. Right? And, and, and I didn’t realize this until I got older, I’m turning 40. And like, you know, nine days, which freaks me out, but it all of the little decisions that you make throughout a day, they just eat away at this like willpower that you have, right? Yeah. And so when I started reducing the amount of brain power that I have in certain areas, that also helped me. So once I got to a certain point, I hired experts in whatever issue I was having. I was quick to hire somebody to get immediate answers, as opposed to researching for an hour or two and figuring out could I do it? Yes. Could I save money? Yes. But what is the opportunity cost? Right? Yeah. And at some points, you couldn’t do that. Like, I couldn’t do that when I was starting out, because I didn’t have you know, the amount of money that I have now to be able to allocate resources like that. So sometimes you have to do that flow once you can kind of get over that point, right? Yeah, I encourage whether it’s a coach, like, I have a personal training certification. I grew up in martial arts, right? I know how to train people, and I know how to train myself. But do I have a trainer? Absolutely. Why? Because I don’t want to think about it. I want to think about right. I don’t want to spend any ounce of energy that I don’t have to on things other than what are my most important priorities, whether it’s my kids, my family, building my business. And so that’s the other thing that was a game changer for me when I realized, wow, stop using your brain power. And it’s okay, right and find answers faster, a mentor or coach or expert in a certain area, whatever it’s going to be. So if I were to look back now, those are the things that really, really helped me out, at least on a macro scale.
Adam G. Force 33:05
Yeah, I love that. And I love that you did the planning. And, you know, don’t get tied up on like, there’s many ways to do it. Like Sean said, you can have the canvas, you know, he went to SBA, you can know what your goal is, and say, what is the critical path, that’s what I call it, like, we want to make sure we’re doing things on the critical path to the outcome that we’re trying to produce, right. So it’s like, you can map out like, here’s my plan for the next whatever, 12 months, and my plan to get to this outcome is these things, anything else is irrelevant, right? So it’s like, you really want to map that out. And then you know, every decision you’re making has to be part of this plan and this critical path. So it kind of like reduces overwhelm you do weekly, I do like daily, a daily planner every day where it’s like, I know what I’m doing. Because you’re to your point, I’m only making a couple decisions each day. That’s it. I mean, and and you’re like, Oh, I got this list of to do’s, I only could do like one, two, maybe three things in a day. And it just depends. So you start learning these processes. And I do love that you mentioned kind of like this journaling process, because that kind of like brain dump and reflection, you really can think through things. And the only layer I’ll add to that is ask smart questions. So you’re thinking about the business, like, you know, instead of just being like, how do I do X? It’s like, why would I do X? And how do I get there and you kind of like get a little more specific in the question. So smart questions always lead to much better results. So and writing that stuff down, Shawn, I think you hit the nail on the head that that brain dumping exercises. Super cool. So we’ll wrap up on that, man, I appreciate it. So where do people learn more about paste your eyes? Let’s give him some insights and directions. They could check you out.
Shawn Menner 34:48
Sure, yeah. You know that there may be a couple people that are in the audience that enjoy you know, high level pastry or banking. If that’s the case, we’re just we’re Pastry Arts mag COMM The pastry summit technically it’s a free summit for four days. And then we’ve got an extended pass. But you can see everything for free. That’s pastry summit.com. So just pastry summit calm, or Pastry Arts mag on Instagram or Facebook so they can learn a little bit more. They’re a little bit more for professionals, but serious enthusiast, but we have a little bit more elevated pastry stuff. Me personally, I’m not really big on social media, I haven’t really kind of put myself out there. I’m on LinkedIn. So people tend to kind of connect with me on LinkedIn, but admittedly, I’m not even really active on LinkedIn to it and then I’ve got a I’ve got a secret Twitter account that I don’t really tell anybody just so I can kind of, you know, look and see what’s going on. So, but, you know, you can always email through paste yards if you have any questions to me about, about this stuff
Adam G. Force 35:45
here. Awesome. Appreciate you being here today. Shawn. Always good to chat with you, man. Absolutely. Likewise, I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Thanks for tuning into the authentic brand mastery podcast. Don’t forget to stop by change creator calm for more information, fresh articles, content, and our services if you’re looking to build a brand that people love, and please stop by iTunes, leave us a five star review. We appreciate your support.