The Entrepreneur Unpacked With Angela Kristen Taylor
Episode 396: The Entrepreneur Unpacked With Angela Kristen Taylor
The entrepreneurial lifestyle is all about hustle, but good hustle. For you to succeed, you need to be willing to put in the hours and blur the distinction between your working time and downtime. Of course, if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, that wouldn’t be a problem. But it is one thing to do a lot and quite another to be actually productive. For this, you might need some professional tools to help you. Integrative productivity expert Angela Kristen Taylor invites you to take the 5-day productivity challenge and join their coaching program. In this episode, she sits with Mitch Stephen to unpack the entrepreneur, the entrepreneurial lifestyle, and the secrets to productivity. Tune in and learn about what differentiates the entrepreneur from the non-entrepreneur, and what you can do to maximize all the time that you have for your business.
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I have Angela Kristen Taylor on. I feel like a fool because she coached me a long time ago back in my lost and wandering days to help get me straightened out. She did a fine job but she had a different name. Anyway, she’s progressed in her life too. She’s now happily married. I’m very happy to have her here. Angela, how are you doing?
I’m doing great, Mitch. How are you doing?
You’re sitting in the Flowery Branch, Georgia. Georgia and Texas have the same real estate laws. The Texans claimed that Georgia copied us and then the Georgians will tell you that Texans copied them, but it doesn’t matter. We have the same foreclosure process. We’re not here to talk about real estate necessarily. We’re trying to talk to all screwed up entrepreneurs, ADD and OCD. Where do we start? Let’s talk about the main subject here which is productivity. We don’t have any trouble staying busy as entrepreneurs. The problem is what are we producing? Are we just filling up time and we’re doing busywork? Are we doing what makes the money? How do you start out this conversation on productivity?
The thing about productivity that a lot of entrepreneurs miss out on is that people are busy and they’re not necessarily producing. When they stop being busy, they’re fearful that if I stop doing, then I’ll stop earning. That’s the opposite of what’s true. I’ve been working in the real estate industry for many years and I’ve been coaching for years. What I’ve found in entrepreneurs, sales professionals specifically is that when you run into productivity problems, you’re running into issues from your past. Productivity is rooted in emotion and how you feel on the inside directly correlates to how you perform on the outside. Entrepreneurs have chosen that path for a reason. The reason relates to their past in the sense of if they are coming out of their childhood saying, “I didn’t have control over anything that happened to me. I wasn’t happy with how my childhood went and now I want to be in control. I want freedom. I don’t want anybody to tell me what I’m worth, how much I can earn, what I have to do when I have to be there, or any of that, then I’m going to do things on my own in my own ways.”
What happens is they get stuck in what I call the clutter cycle. What that is all this emotional clutter. Everything that we’ve experienced in our lives is sitting in our subconscious like little dirty piles of laundry that were trailing behind us. We push it down and say, “That’s the past, I’m moving forward. I’m beyond that. This is me now.” Because we haven’t processed it or dealt with it, we still are triggered by those events so that emotional clutter manifests itself in our lives as physical clutter. This is when we are constantly feeling like we need to stay busy. We attract a lot of chaos into our lives by being nonstop, go, overbook ourselves, don’t give ourselves any time for quiet time, me time or rejuvenation time. We’re constantly going and going.
Oftentimes, they’re so focused on, “I need this tool, program or something to fix my chaos and disorganization,” they then go into financial clutter. They don’t know what they’re spending, what they have, or what they don’t have. That leads them to a feeling of overwhelm and eventual shut down because they’re going all the time. When they shut down, then they get to a spot where they’re like, “I can’t stop. I need to keep going and earning.” They go back into physical clutter and say, “I need this planner, tool, coach, program that’s going to fix the problem.” When in reality, the problem is the emotional clutter that started off this entire cycle. That’s the root of the productivity problem.
How do you, as a coach, get to the bottom of what the clutter is?
That part is easy because when people book an introductory session to talk to me, I have a form in the appointment scheduler and the form asks specific questions about their life, business, childhood, and their past. When they answer those questions, I find that I’m able to see the pattern. That way, when we do get on our call, I’m able to address that pattern, dig into it right away, and help them connect the dots between what happened then and what’s happening now.
It’s amazing to me how many things go back to our childhood? I’m not even well-studied in this but I can see the older I get I start to see how people’s childhoods are still with them even in their 50s and 60s. You would be embarrassed if they saw themselves that they’re still talking about this thing 40 or 50 years later. It is a driver, I see that too or it can go both ways. It can make you quit, give up, or it drive you. It depends on what a person you are. I have always preferred to make my problems or the things I don’t like to make them my angst like, “I’ll show you, you son of a bitch.”
That’s how most entrepreneurs take it.
They’re like, “Hold my beer and watch this.” You’ve got me thinking about my childhood. I’m wondering why because I had the most perfect childhood on the planet.Productivity is driven by emotion. Click To Tweet
This is the thing that I found is that it doesn’t have to be an intentional thing. For instance, I’ve worked with people who said, “I had a horrific childhood.” They describe horrible traumas. All kinds of abuse and it’s very dark and negative. I’ve talked to who say, “I had a great childhood. I had perfect parents.” “What’s going on?” I had one real estate agent and she was struggling with being seen and heard, and feeling like everybody’s talking about social media, video, and all these different marketing tools to build your audience and business. She wanted to do those things but the thought of doing them was terrifying for her. This is a beautiful woman. You’d never think she’d have a problem with that. Come to find out that her childhood wasn’t difficult but she had an older brother that used to pick on her all the time and tell her she was fat, ugly, stupid, and nobody wanted to hear what she had to say. That alone was enough to create problems, how she was marketing herself and her business. It doesn’t have to be an intentional thing. It could be a jerk of a sibling, which is an older brother being an older brother.
He didn’t mean to screw up her whole life?
Not at all. He’s just being an older brother. I had one who had a father who nothing was ever good enough. It was like, “If you didn’t bring home that A++, then you failed.” For her, it was this feeling of perfectionism, “If I don’t get it done perfectly, then I shouldn’t even try. I shouldn’t even put anything out there if it’s not going to be 100% perfect.” That stopped her several times throughout her life. It’s overcoming perfectionism and realizing that you put something out there and that’s how you perfect it. There’s a lot of different things that can affect us but it doesn’t have to be dark trauma. It can be but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a normal daily life.
At around 28, I learned through a circumstance something I was afraid of and I bolstered up and said, “Give me all of that.” They said, “What?” “This thing.” They said, “Why do you want all that?” I said, “Because I’m afraid of it.” They gave it all to me. Within a day and a half, I had whipped its ass. It’s like, “It was no problem anymore.” I was embarrassed that I was even afraid of it and I’m like, “Why was I afraid of that?” I didn’t know it. I learned a long time ago that you get nose-to-nose with your dragons, they tend to shrink or you tend to grow or a little bit of both and they are not that big of a problem. The biggest thing I recognized was that overwhelming action conquers fear. Being still and afraid is a horrible place to be.
You figure out some way to go forward, address the fear, get active, start attacking the fear, and be on the move. My deal is I want to be so busy. I’m trying to figure out how to beat this fear that I don’t have time to be fearful. I don’t know where I got that from. It’s maybe from all the little things and the people like you that come in my life who knows how we get and where we get. Peace has a part like your childhood has a part, positive or negative. People that we meet, we choosing engaged, believe, follow, or listen to. That’s why coaches are so important. I want to ask you, what is it about entrepreneurs that are different? Why are they entrepreneurs?
It does come from that experience that what you said, “Hold my beer and watch this.” They have this need to prove themselves to say, “I’m better than what happened to me. I’m not who you think I am, I’m this.” One of the reasons that drove me into being self-employed was when I was a kid, my parents always came home, complained about their jobs, how miserable they were, and how much they hated their lives. I thought, “I am not going to do that. That is not going to be me.” I wanted to go out there and do something that I was passionate about that I loved. I bought my first house when I was nineteen and by the time I was 22, I owned four homes. I was renting them out, fixing them up, and moving forward. I loved every second of it. That’s what got me into real estate.
Did your parents ever get jealous?
No. In fact, my parents constantly tried to pull me into their lifestyle, telling me that I needed to give up this dream and I needed to get a real job. I love my parents, but they tried to take me off of my path because they felt my path was insecure. It wasn’t realistic. I had to fight very hard to keep doing what I was doing and live this in their mind was a very risky career in life. Honestly, it has been. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve had times when I had no money and times when I had tons of money.
The people that had jobs didn’t have any ups and downs, getting laid off, getting fired, or getting a crappy boss. It doesn’t matter which way you go. It’s going to happen to you one way or another.
It does but there’s this false sense of security with I’m following the tried and true path. I didn’t do that. It does set us apart as entrepreneurs that we have this desire and passion inside of us that comes from something. It’s either from something in our childhood or that’s born inside of us where we have this drive to go out there to achieve, to succeed, to be passionate and to live our lives in our terms.
You may be pointing out something. I’ve always wondered, can you learn to be an entrepreneur or do you have to be born with it? You might be suggesting something in the middle as you can be driven towards it probably at any point in your life because of something uncomfortable or distressing to you that you feel like it. I was an entrepreneur my whole life but I was never very successful. I was learning that it took two years to get any business off the ground. I thought when you started businesses, you would know right away if they are profitable or not. I was starting and quitting a lot because they weren’t producing and I had it figured out that it would take a little time to get some wind under their wings. I hit a glass ceiling working for people and I took having a job off the table and force myself to see what you would do. Do you think entrepreneurs are born or they can learn from people on the ground?
Honestly, it could be both. For me, I don’t know which it was. I don’t know if I was born this way or if it was something I was driven to through hearing my parents complain. I have seen people that I’ve worked with personally that they had corporate jobs for a long time and then had a layoff or had something that took their security away. Their feeling of, I thought I was on this tried and true path. I had this job and I was secure in my life was certain. I faced uncertainty and insecurity. I figured if I had to take this risk and it was out of my control then I was going to take a risk that was in my control. That’s what drives them towards entrepreneurship. It’s always a need to control your own environment. Whatever point in your life, you get to that.
As if we can control anything but we like to feel that we can control something. Are you born an entrepreneur or were you driven to be an entrepreneur?
I don’t know because listening to my parents happens so much so early on in my life. I remember being five years old and my mom taking me to work with her on a Saturday because she couldn’t get out of it. She worked at SunBank at that time but SunTrust now. She ran the checks order machine. I remember sitting on the edge of it, waiting for her to finish, and her complaining the whole time. It happened so early on in my life that I was hearing that, recognizing that I didn’t like that and that I didn’t want to be that. It drove me my entire life to not do that.
I was born with it. I was figuring out how to make a buck ever since I could remember. It sure helps to have the drive. What pushed me over the edge is I got left for a very wealthy gentleman rancher one day and I would have left for him too if I was there. This guy had a lot of money, fun, and ranches and I couldn’t even get mad at her. I looked in the mirror and said, “That’s never going to happen again.” I don’t care what it takes. I’ll sleep on the floor. I’ll eat beans. Everybody has a group of people like your parents. They’re trying to hold you into what they think you are, who they thought you were. Sometimes to get away from that, you’ve got to get away from them.
I made this decision early on that if you weren’t backing me, then you were out. If I love you, then you were set aside for the minute I got to put you over here because I got to get away from me because I got to go get this. If you weren’t important to me then you were gone. I strike you off the list. I didn’t care if I ever heard from you again, I don’t throw away your phone number. I was pissed. What I did learn that I was going to have to draw a lot of lines. I have to keep people out and then only let certain people in so I got where I was going. Do you see this a lot?
I do see that a lot. I understand what you say about like, “I love you but I’m going to put you over here for a little.” It creates some separation. What I’ve found is that there are people who want to bring you down and there are people who need a shining example of what’s possible. When you talk about the people like you’re gone, you’re done, I’m done with you type of thing. You have to separate that group into people who want to come with you or people who don’t want to come with you. That’s for them to decide. It’s not for you to decide, but it’s you saying, “I’m going here and you’re welcome to tag along.”
That’s exactly what I said, “I am going on a path and anyone who wants to come with me can go but if you don’t want to come with me, then get off my train because this train’s not getting off the track. I don’t care how bad it is.” I was living pissed at myself. My wife was not an entrepreneur. We got married within 30 days and I had $250,000 worth of credit card debt I was trying to hide from her. I got into about one day after we got married because I was buying houses with credit cards. I had $500,000 worth of free and clear houses. I’m trying to explain that to someone who’s not an entrepreneur and that you were hiding it from. It only took me 30 days to figure out that you don’t hide crap from your wife.
It is a delicate path that you walk when you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t understand that mentality. My husband and I have a great relationship and he is definitely more that company man kind of guy. He has a great job. He works for a wonderful company, they’re amazing, and they love him. His job is very secure. However, he sees what I do as extremely risky and it makes him nervous all the time but he sees the results of it. He believes in me and he has faith in me. He knows that even if every client I had dropped off the face of the planet and have no income all of a sudden, he knows I could recreate it in a second. He believes in my ability but that took time for him to get to know that. You said with your wife, you got married in 30 days, we moved in together three weeks after we met. It was this instant bond and connection. It was wonderful but he didn’t know what he was getting himself into yet.
My wife thought I was nuts. She thought I have married a freaking psycho and he’s going to take me down. He wanted me for my money even though she didn’t have any money. When I coach people, that’s one of the questions I ask, is your spouse on board or not on board? Do they want to be a real estate investor? Fifty percent of the time the spouse is not on board and that’s a scary place. You have to do everything differently. I call it, we have to get hush money in the bank. It’s like, “Honey, I made more than you make in a year. Be quiet and watch me work.” My wife was screaming at me, “You don’t have a job. You need a job.” I said, “I made more last month than you made in the whole year. What is the problem? I’ve got twelve months to make another check.”
We’re talking about how our productivity is driven by emotion. We have to realize that someone else’s productivity is also driven by emotion and that their reasoning for not being an entrepreneur is as powerful as our reasons for being an entrepreneur. Their thoughts of what we do are like we are their worst nightmare in a lot of ways. We’re not consistent.
That’s interesting because her father died when she was eight, her mother died when she was 21, she had two men defect on her and leave her with two kids. She spends her whole life trying to make the rent payment or that she had enough to buy the groceries.Someone else's reasoning for not being an entrepreneur is just as powerful as our reasons for being an entrepreneur. Click To Tweet
That’s the thing is, here now, gone tomorrow. She seeing that in your income. There’s money there now but what happens when it’s gone? What if you can’t reproduce the same result? What happens then? It’s not a consistent, steady, guaranteed thing. As we said, even though a job is not that either. A lot of people see a job as that. They see, “If I lose that job, I can always get another one and have another consistent paycheck I can count on coming in the door.” What they don’t see is that an entrepreneur can create loads of income in a small amount of time. It’s not consistent but there’s enough there to last until the next paycheck rolls in.
When you pay them in a corner, they’ll come out and go find it. It’s a big problem for my spouse. I’d like to stay on it because I know it’s a big problem out there for a lot of people. She calls me and it’s 2:00. She said, “What are you doing? I’m about to finish lunch.” “You’ve been at lunch for three hours? You don’t work.” I said, “You don’t understand what I do. I need money to operate. They need a return on their money. We couldn’t make it fit. It’s not about eating sweetheart. It’s about getting to know each other.”
When I put out my first book, I wrote this quote from James Michener. You may have heard it but many of you may have not. After she read this quote in the book when the book was out, she said, “For the first time in my life, I think I may understand you.” This is what she read. She said, “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor, and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever it is that he does. Leaving others to the side, whether he is working or playing. To him, he is always doing both.” The reason that’s in there is I finally understood myself when I read that because I can’t tell when I’m working or playing.
I would like to talk to you and have this conversation whether it was on Zoom or not. Am I learning? Yes. Am I working? Definitely. We’re doing this for monetary reasons in the end. We’d like to help people but it has a monetary function. That’s the whole life. As an entrepreneur to launch a business, you have to work 14 to 16 hours a day in the beginning. There may be some anomalies people that don’t have to do that, I don’t know, but I’ve always figured you got to put in some extra time up front. If you begrudge those hours, you’re not going to make it because you have to put in too many hours upfront. It’s too long.
If you’re the person who is so passionate about what you’re doing, that you look up and go, “It’s 9:30 at night. I started at 6:30. Where did the day go?” You then are in the right place because you’re able to put in the hours and they don’t seem drudgery. You’re highly passionate about it. It’d be a mix between you’re shooting for something or a certain monetary thing and I love what I do. I didn’t wake up one morning and I said, “I want to buy and fix up houses.” What a glorious life it would be. I saw some big ass paycheck. I said, “I think I can do that.” I got good at it, I fell in love with it because it paid good to be in love with it. We have to trick ourselves sometimes, don’t we?
Go back to that quote. If you look at what an entrepreneur does for fun, you’ll see that it’s different from what a working person does for fun. A working person for fun, they’ll sit around the house and clean up, work in the garden, or have a hobby of some sort. For us, our work is our hobby oftentimes. We’ll go to a seminar, we’ll read books, and we might read books while we’re laying in a hammock in the woods somewhere but we’re curating our entire experience. To us, our experience is the life that we’re building. It’s curating an entire life. Our passion is what drives it. For them, their work is what they have to do to pay the bills and everything else is what they get to do to relax from that work. We don’t need that to relax.
We don’t need to relax, we just need to change gears. I need a different setting. I told my wife, I said, “Let’s go on vacation. I want to finish writing my book.” She doesn’t flinch anymore with that. The person with the job would go, “Why would you go on vacation to write a book about your work?”
It’s because you need to decompress so you can let that energy flow.
You’re giving away a five-day challenge to become more productive. This is what you specialize in. You help people become productive by figuring out where their clutter is. If you are interested in taking this five-day challenge. I hear it’s live but it will be evergreen. I want you to go to 1000Houses.com/productivity and take the five-day challenge. Figure out where your clutters are at, what’s caused it, and how you’re going to clean it up. Get a little help from Angela. She also does some private coaching. She was my coach for a very long time ago when I was very lost. I’m not sure I’ve ever quite found myself but I’m getting close. When you start to get familiar with your surroundings, you dump yourself into another place that you don’t have any idea what’s that.
You are constantly up-leveling.
I don’t know what you do if you don’t do that. I might be curious because if you’re not doing that, you’re dying. That’s where I’m at.
That is the working man’s life. They are not up-leveling, they’re staying consistent. Their concept of an up-level is a job promotion that they may or may not get.
They may not even want it. More work with less pay.
There’s rarely passion associated with it. The passion is what they do nights and weekends if they have time.
Tell us about this co-working space that you’re developing because it sounds like a way for me to offload or dump some of my crap.
You know how entrepreneurs oftentimes are working independently. They’re working on their own especially when they’re starting out or even sometimes when they’re successful, they don’t have a whole team around them. They don’t have that support.
We’re all a one-man show at one point. We don’t have any money so we don’t feel like we can hire anybody. It should be exactly the opposite or find somebody who works for commission but we don’t.
There’s a desire to work in our own space. We want to work from home. We don’t necessarily want to have to go out there, fight traffic, and be part of a commute. That’s stressful. That’s one of the reasons we don’t have a day-to-day job so we don’t have to do that. Co-working centers have popped up all over the world. They’ve given space for entrepreneurs to work together to feel that they have support around them. There are other people around them and they’re not lonely sitting at home by themselves. Oftentimes, they struggle being at home and getting work done. The thing is that there’s this desire to be around other people when we’re an entrepreneur. We want a team around us.
We want to support and people to talk to. We want people to say, “Can you look at this? What do you think about this email subject line? What do you think about this video I created? Do you like my logo? What do you think? These are three different logos my logo designer created. What do you think? Which one looks best?” We don’t have people to go to for that. A lot of coaches have sprung up over the years who create these year-long programs that are $12,000 and up that give entrepreneurs a support group. They pay that money to be part of a support group, so they can be part of a Facebook group and have the training and things that they don’t take part in. They want to be part of the group.
When the year is over, the group is over and now they got to start over again. What I built is I partnered with a software company that has a virtual campus and we have a private space in there. It looks like the floor of an office and we have 36 private offices, two boardrooms, two big meeting rooms, a reception desk, a bunch of common areas, sofas and things in the middle. It’s like a video game. In a video game, you’ve got your little guy, you dress them up, and then you take them through some fantasy world or something but this is the same except for you’re walking into an office floor. Here are six different types of coaches all geared towards helping you with all of these aspects of productivity, emotion, life, business, and all of this.
You can say, “I’m going to walk into Bill’s office and have a conversation with him.”
You’re sharing your microphone on and you have a conversation. You’re like, “Can you take a look at this email I wrote or this sales page I wrote.” You’re like, “Put it up on the screen.” There’s a screen on the wall and you upload it right there, you share your screen, or you get on your video and you show them what you’re talking about. They can see it right there with you. Aside from having the different coaches in there, we also have a team of service professionals like your logo designer, graphic designer, podcast producer, virtual assistants, marketing specialists, brand strategist, and all these different people in there that are the team that you need when you don’t have a team and then there are classes, workshops, trainings, and all of this stuff in this space.Our experience is the life that we’re building. Click To Tweet
We created it so that entrepreneurs can have space where they can still be in their homes, but psychologically there is this, “I am at work now. I am in this space, I am working.” They have focused and dedicated time to work. They have a place where they can get support whether that’s coaching or a service professional to put another pair of eyes on something or whatever they need. They have the support of all these other people who are like-minded, passionate, driven, entrepreneurial people who were in the space with them that they can talk to and have a conversation. We made it so that it’s affordable enough for people to make it part of their everyday business model, not something that’s a year program, and then it’s over.
It sounds incredibly interesting. Heaven only knows how it might’ve helped me if they had this back then because I needed some environment to ask questions from professionals. The internet wasn’t what it was but now, we can have these professionals all over the globe.
One of our coaches is in South Africa.
When it comes to things like VAs, there are people from the Philippines, India, and all these places. They can be in this office too. It sounds wonderful. You say affordable. I always like to preface if we talk price. You may or may not want to. We have the right to change our prices anytime we want. What are you thinking about charging for this? What do you think it’s going to be?
We have three tiers of membership. The first tier of membership starts at $247 a month. It’s very affordable. It gives them access to everything except for private coaching. If they want private coaching, they can go up to tier 2 or tier 3, depending on how much coaching they want. If they wanted a private coaching session every single month, that’s our tier three. They would also get these Go Deep Masterminds, which are small groups along with private coaching every month. That’s less than $550 a month. It’s very affordable.
It goes from $247 to $550. That’s very affordable. If you can’t get a coach and make back $550, I don’t know what to tell you.
With this, you’d get six coaches.
Is there anything I should ask you or add before we wrap it up? Did I get to it okay?
You did a great job. Thank you so much.
That’s when I get off into some room, I don’t know that well.
One thing that I want to make sure that everybody who’s reading this understands that productivity is rooted in emotion. If you feel you’re too busy, you’re stressed out, you’re disorganized, your life is full of chaos, then you need to look at the emotions that are driving your productivity. You need to look at your energy, time, and tools. Those are the three most important parts of driving your productivity to the right place because it’s one thing to be busy and it’s another thing to be productive. In order to truly be productive, you have to combine worktime with downtime. If you’re not getting enough downtime, which is hard for us as entrepreneurs, you’re not going to be as productive or efficient.
It’s a point of diminishing returns. If you’re not worth anything in the last two hours, then you’re wasting your time. Take a five-day challenge to become more productive, go to 1000Houses.com/productivity. Also, check out the upcoming co-work space. Raise your hand to be informed when that comes along if you think you might need that. What a great place to be if you’re a one-man show to have six coaches. It’s probably with referrals and everything. These people know. It’s limitless. Thank you so much. Thanks for being my coach a long time ago.
We’ll have to catch up some time and tell you how far I went with all that information that you’ve given me. I appreciate you for being on.
Thank you, Mitch. Thanks for having me here. Take care.
About Angela Kristen Taylor
Angela Kristen Taylor is an integrative productivity expert who helps ambitious entrepreneurs and sales professionals overcome chaos so they can create the life and business they want.