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Oct 20, 2017

Personal branding expert Samantha Ettus sheds light on her inspiration for her bestselling books, “The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know how to Do” and “The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction,” and gives valuable advice on how to live a happy, successful life while still tasting the goodness of every slice of the pie. From the “flex-time fantasy” eating away at your work time to nonexistent boundaries with clients disintegrating your personal life, Samantha reveals the fool-proof methods that successful women entrepreneurs have used to regain control of their relationships, their health, and their business. 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:50 – Samantha’s Inspiration
    • 00:55 – Graduated business school and felt many CEO’s were boring and not intriguing
    • 1:40 – She wondered how CEOs “with a spark beyond their job title” managed their speaking engagements, press, and personal brand?
    • 2:00 – She decided to start a talent agency for personal brands
  • 02:06 – Samantha’s Entrepreneurial Journey
  • 02:10 - She pursued her first client, Strauss Zelnick, former CEO of BMG Music and media mogul, and built her client portfolio from there
  • 02:34 - Thought she could survive only on commissions, but the percentage she got from ancillary projects wasn’t enough to sustain her firm
  • 03:04 – She started taking a retainer because people would pay for PR
  • 03:35 – Came up with a book idea: “The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know how to Do”
    • 03:50 – She asked experts in their field to write a chapter to contribute to the book
    • 04:06 – Book became a bestseller, she was signed for 3 more books with Random House, she closed her firm to focus on her books and babies
  • 04:21 – Soon the books weren’t keeping her busy enough and she was seeking the “next thing”
    • 04:47 – Samantha launched a talk show and Gary Vanderchuyk was her manager and producer
    • 05:00 – Show was called “Obsessed TV,” and she interviewed amazing people
    • 05:20 – Gary became more popular and didn’t want to manage/produce anymore and show was closed
  • 05:30 – She got back into personal branding
    • 05:39 – Learned that you can’t discuss personal branding without discussing the “elephant in the room”: How that person was managing their personal and professional life
    • 05:45: Dedicated last 6 years to the study of this and concluded that we have faulty frameworks for how to think about work and life
  • 06:00 – New model, new book: “The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction”
    • 06:10 – Book consists of 100 interviews of 100 women discussing how they manage their personal and professional lives for success
  • 06:15 – Advice for women entrepreneurs?
    • 06:21 – Entrepreneurship is very different than the work/life of corporate America
    • 06:30 – Entrepreneurship is much more difficult than people think, you are the only one accountable for your own boundaries and business success
    • 07:15 – Beware of the “flex-time fantasy,” where you say yes to everything because of your “flexible” schedule; the attention your business needs will be compromised
    • 07:50 – Don’t always be working/available to clients because your personal life will disappear
  • 08:08 – The most successful entrepreneurs set clear boundaries
    • 08:12 – Example: Writer who set work hours 10am-2pm, made it easier to say “no”
    • 8:28 – Set your work hours
  • 09:00 – Advice on cultivating friendships as an entrepreneur
  • 09:04 – Never say your “friend well is full,” every seven years the average person loses ½ their friends
  • 09:30 – As you go through life phases your needs change
  • 09:50 – Breast cancer study: those with 10 or more friends have a 40% higher survival rate
  • 10:15 – Entrepreneurs sometimes feel guilty hanging out with friends
  • 10:30 –The most successful women don’t have guilt
  • 10:49 – Productivity habits
  • 11:00 – Time is a mindset, you can always have time for what you want to do
  • 11:30 – The busier you are the more you can get done
  • 11:44 – Samantha worked with woman to save her 6 hours a month of commuting
  • 12:15 “Live within the golden triangle/line”: Home/office/(school) – Do all errands within that line or triangle to save time
  • 12:37 – Wake up an hour before the earliest riser in your home
  • 12:56 – Planning as far in advance as possible and using a calendar
  • 13:28 – American Airlines saved $40,000 a year by eliminating one olive from each food tray in first class – Small changes make a big difference
  • 13:45 – Discussing Perfection
    • 13:50 – The best pies aren’t the perfect store-bought ones, they’re the messy, gooey homemade ones
    • 14:02 – Perfection portrayed on social media (it’s the highlight reel)
    • 14:37 – Don’t compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel
  • 14:50 – How can we fit health into our busy entrepreneurial life?
    • 15:00 – Just get it done – things will be messy, undone, put off
    • 15:38 – Woman crying and feeling guilty because she “can’t” work out
    • 16:07 – Finding a way to find a solution while partner watches kids
    • 16:47 – Samantha goes on walks with friends or husband to fit relationship and health time “slices” into her schedule
    • 17:00 – Scheduling doctor’s appointments for herself, not just her kids
  • 17:15 – “Blending your slices” – Incorporating time with kids
  • 17:22 – Share work with kids (logo contest with 6 year old son)
  • 18:40 – Son became so passionate about his involvement as a “national judge”
  • 18:57 – Former CEO of Harper-Collins Jean Friedman example
  • 19:00 – She went to book parties every night and would share the exciting story with her kids
  • 19:35 – Son is so proud of his mom
  • 19:48 – You can live in guilt, apologizing for leaving/going to work/ etc., or you can show your kid that you are doing something exciting/good/that you love
  • 20:00 – Child is more likely to love what they do and lead a life they love
  • 20:30 – How to find out more about Samantha
  • Samantha Ettus on Twitter and Facebook
  • Website

3 Key Points:

  1. They key to personal branding is how you manage your personal and professional life – it’ll never be perfect so don’t compare yourself to others.
  2. Successful entrepreneurs set clear boundaries so they maximize their productivity.
  3. Friends and family are important – “blend your slices” so that you have time to cultivate those relationships while still respecting your health and designated work time.

Resources Mentioned: