How To Take A Sabbatical From Your Business With Ebonie Allard
TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED Diane: Hey, today's guest Ebony Allen is an award winning coach, author, artists, podcast, host, and priestess. She helps self-selected misfits free themselves from invisible cages and thrive, but right now she's on a sabbatical from her business. But agree to break it, to chat with me about how she set up her business to facilitate this with no impact on her business or her clients. Hey, Ebony, welcome to the show. Ebonie: Hey, thank you for having me. Diane: please. I'm excited to hear about this. So let's just start with a bit of background about your business journey Ebonie: so I'm one of those rare breeds. I've always been self-employed, I've never had a proper job in my life. I mean, I have for like 24 hours, I'm terrible at it. And I kind of go in and go, you should do this. And everything would be more efficient and more effective if you did it this way. And it turns out people don't really like that. They never have. So. I started making homemade cards and like doing things like that, like really creative stuff. And like, then I, and my first kind of career I suppose, was in the TV industry and the film industry. And I, there's a, there's a whole load we could get into there around kind of burnout and, and breakdown. So, I have experienced both of those things and sort of burnout off the back of the film industry and then a breakdown off of my first I'm going to run a business experience. And my first business was called my girlfriend today. And I actually started that business in 2009 at the height of the recession because there was no work in TV and I had had this other idea for awhile. And I was living in London. I was living in Herne Hill in a very nice area, in a very big apartment with a very big house, with some friends living way beyond my means because I was owning ridiculous money working in the TV industry. And so when that all stopped I found myself very quickly homeless and in a lot of debt. So essentially I often say I started my girl Friday from 25,000 pounds worth of debt living off of my friend's sofas, my car, and from my laptop. That's how I started by got Friday. And so within three years I had made my. Best friend, my business partner, I had 17 freelancers working for me across the globe. We were winning awards and on the outside, everything looked like this fantastic business. I was being put up in hotels. I had like all sorts of, you know, very, very kind of influencing stuff. Michael Friday was one of the first personal assistant virtual assistant businesses when people were still really wary about employing someone who wasn't in their bricks and mortar business with them. And yeah, so three years in everything looked wonderful, but I was absolutely business route. Like I was absolutely miserable and my business was running me, not the other way round. And I felt trapped by it. I felt stuck by it. And I ended up essentially breaking down and handed my business to two friends who I was working with and said, I need a break. Like if I have a business, when I come back, great. If I don't have a business, when I come back, I go don't care. Like at this point, I can't see beyond, you know, the end of my nose. I need some time. And I sold the car that I had been living in and I bought a ticket to Bali and I arrived in Bali with a plan of doing nothing for a little while. And we did six weeks of living in Bali. I had recreated my whole life and somehow I had six entrepreneurs that I was working for and making a lot of money and assisting them on retreats and doing their online meet social media and all of their staff and kind of had this moment where I was like, Oh wow, wherever I go, I'm there. Like, it's me, that's the problem here. If I am in paradise, surrounded with, with the opportunity to actually stop and I'm still going, because I don't know anything else. I need to look at this in some way. So I did, and that's when I really stopped for the first time ever. And that was December, 2011. And. I, I came back to new business, just the end of that story. So, I started again and I actually trained as a coach. And so what I do now is, is born from, that was born from, I want to create a business that is profitable, it's sustainable, and it's fun. That really feels as good on the inside, as it perhaps looks on the outside and will evolve with me. And from that place what started off as the entrepreneur enabler and then evolved into misfit enterprise. And he's now a misfit for life, right? Is exactly that it's a coaching and education company that works specifically with people who feel like they are a misfit. So they are too innovative, too creative, too geeky, too full of heart to clock in and clock out of a job or a life. And who wants to be the change that they want to see in the world. And so we help them to create exactly that profitable, sustainable, and fun businesses and lives, where the metrics are much more people based than fiscal. Yeah, so that, I guess that kind of takes us up to now and, and, and just to be really clear, I also have another business, so I've reached a point where I have grown misfit into something. I now run with three other people. And that was a dream that kind of started about four years ago. It was something I really wanted to do. And we'll dig more into that. And I also have Ebony unlimited, which is where I do the more spiritual processy artists. Artisty whatever the hell I want to do stuff because I can. Diane: I have so many questions. I'm not even a hundred percent sure where to start. I think because I said it in the intro because you've just brought it up. I'd really like you to explain to people what the priestess side is, because I think they're going to have a lot of questions about that and be unable to focus on anything else until we explain that piece to them. Ebonie: So. In the for the online business world and the personal development world are kind of my mainstay, I guess, that they're at where I spend a lot of time. And for people who haven't seen or don't know about this kind of area of personal development, that leads into spirituality, essentially a lot of people who have online businesses or into personal growth are seeking something. And so there is this faith based extra piece that I see a lot, and that can show up in people talking about the law of attraction or universal laws in general, or You know anything to do with needing to trust beyond what we already know. And so that can lead people down some kind of spiritual path. And I see a lot of people, what I call self-proclaimed precesses who say they are doing priestessing, which is often very ritualistic and can be quite in interested in exploring faith, but also the divine feminine, whatever that is in some way. And I honor all of that and what people are doing. And that isn't what I do for me. Priestess is not some priestessing is not something I do. It's something I am priestessing for me, or the role of a priestess is to communicate and honor both the divine and the human. And so for me, ever since I was very, very small, I have been able to see multiple ways of living multiple time zones or realities, or, you know, really able to in what used to be very confusing for me as a child, actually be able to have those sliding door moments where I can see possible futures for people and, and all of that kind of thing. And I have the ability to Talk and listen to nature. And that can scientifically be explained as a level of synesthesia in some ways. And all of that has been something that I have not wanted to push as a business because for me, it's not a business. It's just who I am. It's something that I can do. And so it's an exploration of the spiritual and the human and how, in some way, we are all liked beings having a human experience. We are all divine souls having a human experience and. That is fascinating for me and I don't proclaim to know everything actually for me, the role of the priestess is lots of question asking and then waiting for, or being in quite a yin or receptive state. And so to add into that, I suppose is also an element of alchemy. It's like, say I am the priestess of alchemy. And for me, that is really working with the shifting energy and shifting state and also really working on refining fortifying yeah. Make and, and, and making the very best medicine of who we are, because I feel that we are here as human beings to have a a human experience where we heal and we grow and we evolve all of that to say it is half very scientific, kind of quantum energy based and half very feeling, very spiritual based and of, and is in many ways, a very feminine way of operating because it inquires rather than leads. And so there isn't a supposition after supposition of like, this is how it is, but rather asks questions and inquires and follows what might be. I don't know if that's a very helpful answer, but there you go. Diane: It's interesting for me to hear you describe it because the thread that I see between the two businesses, when you were talking about shifting state, when you were talking about making the best of everything that we have is very much in both of your businesses Ebonie: yeah. And, and very much for me, the. Misfit has always been almost the opposite of genderless, right? So when people say color less, that's up, that's not that's problematic in many ways, because color exists. Right? And so for me to say, it's genderless, it's also problematic because gender exists and for me, and what was very important at the center of misfit was to make sure that the work I was doing was available for men and women and anyone else who identified as anything else in between, or found that their insides didn't match their outsides because that's a lot of what being a misfit is really about. And so that work and is very much what I do inside misfit. And when I bought Jonathan into the business, That enabled me to step away and go, okay. Now I really also want to do women's work for anyone who identifies as a woman or who wants to go deeper into the essence of the core of what it means to allow your feminine energy to be the one that leads. And that's what I do in Ebony unlimited in, and the priestess work is very much working with the feminine energy at the core. And that is not to the exclusion of everything else, but, but having that lead, Diane: Okay. So when I hear you talk about both of these two businesses, the thing that comes at to me and always has come at me about you is you're deeply passionate about your work. I think, you know, people who have gone through burnout and then find something usually are deeply passionate. So my question is. What was behind the idea for the sabbatical, because it doesn't feel like you're at a breaking point. Like when you left my goal Friday and you were like, I need a break. It came from a need perspective. Whereas this feels like it's coming from a different place. Ebonie: it absolutely is coming from a different place. It's actually coming from having spent a year, allowing myself to honor that before anything else, I'm a woman and that I haven't ever fully allowed myself to stop and be in a place of receptivity on purpose and. I, and the other thing is I was bored, right? Like I love misfit and I love the programs that we deliver and I love it. The people that we work with, like you can see, and you can hear the passion that I have. And after seven years I'm really bored. And I need a break of saying the same thing all day long every day, right? Like I'm also an artist. I'm actually more of an artist than an entrepreneur. I think at some point we have to make a choice and entrepreneurs make more money than artists generally. And so I made the shift into being an entrepreneur and doing what it takes to, to monetize in order to survive and to thrive and to help more people and all of those things. But at my core, I'm an artist, which means I love to create for the sake of creating and, and feeling as though, or having to repeat the same thing over and over again. I've reached a place for me where I wasn't going to be doing my best work anymore, unless I took a break. And so both for my people, for my community and for myself, I wanted to press pause before I burnt it down before I destroyed other, because actually this time I'm coming from such a healthy place and there is enough space to do. So I realized I didn't have to destroy anything. I could just press pause. And that's where this sabbatical comes from. Diane: right. So the previous one was more a case of, I have no choice, but to leave. And this one is I have a choice so I can leave. Ebonie: Yeah. How cool does that have created that? I mean, it took 10 years, but it's feels, I'm so proud of myself for that Diane: Yeah. It's it's amazing. Cause how long are you taking as a sabbatical Ebonie: a month. It's an Ebony months. It's actually five weeks because Easter was at the beginning and I was like, and there's another bank holiday. I'm like, I'm taking five weeks. Diane: I mean a month ish, you know, who knows? Maybe it's six, maybe it's full. Who knows? So I want to talk about the part that obviously is going to excite me the most about this. And it's probably the least exciting about this for you, which is the kind of run-up to it. How many weeks, months, days ago before you started the sabbatical, did you go? Hmm, I think I can do as a sabbatical. Ebonie: okay. So there are two answers to this. so the first one is about three years ago. I knew I was ready and I was done and I needed some space and some time, but there was no way my business was ready for me to step away from it. And so that's the first answer. Right? And so it's taken three years to find the right people, the right systems, the right infrastructure. So that that business is an entity entirely separate from me and can run without me. And the second answer is two days before I didn't come to work anymore, I went, I think I should just not be there. I think that would make it easier for everybody because so a year ago I bought Jonathan into the business as the COO he's been in the business now for a year, he redid, redid our entire infrastructure, which I can, you can imagine what that process was like for the pair of us. It turns out when you take on a COO, they want to make everything their own. So that was fun. And then about a month ago, we bought in my best friend and someone who has been, has done every program I've ever delivered and is an incredible coach in her own, right. She came in as our head of delivery or chief of delivery and. She felt like I was watching her and I, and I don't want to put words into her mouth and she may say this slightly differently, but after three weeks, she said to me, I don't know that I can do this. Our friendship is more important than any job will ever be. And I'm finding it really. Yeah. And I said, there are more options than this, you know, and we talked about it. And I realized that I'm surplus to requirements and I'm getting in everyone's way and they're feeling like they're being watched by me and everyone wants to make sure, you know, they don't want to let me down and they want to make sure doing it right. Which means they can't really be themselves. And they can't really step into those shoes. And so I said to her, well, what if I just wasn't there? Like, I want you to know how much I trust you. I trust you implicitly. I would not, you would not be in this role, but didn't think you could do it. If I didn't think you could do it better than me and I'm watching her face is really interesting. And like just listening, you know, watching it land within her of like, I can do this without you. Like yes, you both can. And actually that'll give you a chance to learn how to communicate with each other. And also you keep coming to me for information I haven't got, because I don't keep that information anymore. I'm the CEO. I know nothing about our systems anymore. And actually I, you know, destroy them daily because that's what CEO does, right? Like I'm like, Oh yeah, I'll just find this thing and, and go about it completely wrong. Right. So that's, that's where it came from. So on the Saturday, her and I talked on the Monday meeting, I said to everybody, how do you all feel about me taking a break? And they were really happy. I didn't know whether to be upset. Diane: Yeah, I think it's such an interesting space where when I talk to people about bringing team on the thing, I always find people rub up against is that delegation of being able to. Empower somebody to take on a result versus just delegating little tasks. Ebonie: And I did the first for three years, right? Like I, when people genuinely, when they talk about taking on a team, particularly in the online business world, they talk about outsourcing, right? And so you're outsourcing someone with a specific task and it's very task oriented and it's very time for money oriented and you're paying them for their time. And we reached a point in the business where that no longer was working, where, where all of the responsibility was on me. And I didn't have any of my fingers in those pies. And so it, it stops working, right? Like there's a point where having assistance is no longer what you need, what you need is someone who's going to take ownership. And that shift was really hard for me in many ways. Diane: It's an interesting journey to watch somebody have a team for the first time, because there's that control of the task of not wanting to let go of the task, but also not wanting to do the work. So I see some people just abdicate and be like, I need you to do these 10 tasks. And they get really irritated that they weren't done properly, or they give the 10 tasks and then micromanage within an inch of their lives. And then they bring on someone that they really trust to step into a bigger space, which requires even more of a release of control of something. That's your baby. Ebonie: yes. And from the other side, actually, what happened when I said to the team I had in place, we need to shift this so that you no longer work for me, but that you work with me and that you take ownership for your results and that it becomes outcome based rather than time based or effort based. They didn't want to do that. And they left. And so I had to, you know, as a, as a business owner, it's a really difficult thing to navigate because you have to, and I personally don't know any way to shortcut it. Right. But you have to outsource to assistance first, and then you have to make that shift into ownership. And if you can do it with one team, congratulations. Diane: Yeah, because you are like, you're asking something of someone that you haven't employed them full. And I think your ability to look at that and be like, okay, they've left and it's not really about me. It's just, this is not what they want from our relationship it's such a growth step. I think like as a person to be able to be like this isn't personal, Ebonie: thank you. I'm still really good friends with the two people that left and made that decision. I really honor that decision because my job also is, is as a, as a coach and a leader and a priestess, right? So I want them to continue to grow. I want them to keep walking their path. I don't want them to say yes to me because they like me or they feel like they own me, or they want to be part of what I'm creating, but it's not right for them that that wouldn't work. And so it's, that's where the overlap again comes for me. You know, always being an adult as much as possible. Diane: Yeah, I think one really interesting piece of entrepreneurial business advice that I was given a couple of years ago was whenever you're thinking about a team, you have to remember one thing. They will never, and can never love your business in the way that you love your business. And therefore, when they leave, it's not about you and your business, it's about them and their gross. Ebonie: Yes. Diane: But I don't think that's the same for your partners that's a different relationship completely because it's their business as well. Ebonie: is really important to me. And I'm glad that you could see that because I reached a point where I realized for myself that I was never going to that the kind of person I am. And you said it to me in the beginning, you know, your businesses, you're very passionate about it. It's, it's in the healthiest way. That is possible. It's my life. Right? Like I care so much about it. This business is, is essentially a child. I kind of have a 10 year old. Right. It's and so I didn't want to. Give that 10 year old to some childminders. I wanted to give that ten-year-old to them. It's godparents. Right? That's like the analogy for me. And so, they are investors, you know, we, we divvied out shares. We have our, an arrangement that feels good for everybody. And that is part of the reason why it took three years to get there, because it's not something that no decision that anyone took lightly. Diane: And so if we go super practical, so somebody is probably listening to this thinking, this sounds amazing. I can't wait three years. I need like a long weekend or like a week off. Just a week. Right. I'd have to think about my business. What do you feel like the practical steps are that you took? I know you said Jonathan came in and redid all the systems, but how did you get to a point where you could pull all your fingers out of the pot? Because that's not, you just decided today. Okay. That's it. I'm not touching anything. This has been a progression for you. Ebonie: absolutely. And even before he came in, I could have stepped away from the business and had to stepped away from the business for a week at a time. No problem. Without anybody else running it and infrastructure is the thing, you know, I am incredibly organized, even if he didn't like how, how I had organized it and also we'd outgrown the systems. Right. So, I very much was a bolt on and gaffer tape, tight kind of per person. I'll give you more details about what that means, but by the time he came in, we were ready for an upgrade and we literally built a bigger boat. So what I mean by that is that when, when I was working before he came in the practical steps I had taken where, you know, I was managing. All of my domains under one roof, but I was doing it all manually. I had built every site, myself, every membership area, myself. I had Google drive with very, very clear folders and systems. I had a sauna that I was using as well. You know, we we. Yeah, we had kind of these different, lots of ad-ons or lots of things that worked together. And I felt like in that growth stage, I never did it. But in that group stage, like Safia is your friend, right? Like you're trying to group glue together, all of these different technology, you know, forms of technology. Yeah. You all going to allow your systems on your infrastructure to talk to one another. And the only difference is that when he came in, we essentially moved everything to Kajabi and went in-house on, on one system. So that, and you Slack for everything. And then, and now I've moved to notion and away from sauna. So that's the kind of stuff on a very practical of, I love the, I love that you will be loving this go. Hmm. But that's what we did. Right. We like, we grew to grown up toys like infrastructure rather than lots of smaller and things it was. And you know, that was hard for me because I had felt very. Clever for having bought lifetime deals on all of this stuff. So I had a cart system that I loved and I had, you know, I was using a web system that I loved and I had learned it all inside out. And he came along. I was like, you have outgrown these systems, we need new ones. And so practical steps are it doesn't really matter. You know, I'm not saying that bigger is better. It's like have the appropriate systems for your business, make sure that, you know, your client onboarding journey and their off-boarding journey, where do they where do you pick them up? Where do you drop them off and what happens to them in between and make sure that somebody else could understand where they are in that journey. If they were coming to look Diane: I think even that journey is really important if we reduce it from a month to a week or two weeks, you know, that was a very standard vacation period in my corporate job, my corporate job didn't like, I looked at profit and loss statements daily for , all of my desks, so that doesn't go away because I'm lying on a beach somewhere. And I think being able to see where your client is in that journey is the thing for you to be able to say, okay, in those two weeks, these are my expected calls. These are my expected deliverables. This is what's likely to come up. Have I got all of that covered? Ebonie: Yeah. And I mean, even before that, for the last five years now, I think I've taken August and December off. Right. And those are pretty standard because so many people take them off that there's less people around anyway, but I take August and December off. And that again, it's like, if you understand. What the deliverables are for each client, what the journey is that they go through, then you can, I mean, that's so many people just don't plan their businesses in, in advance, which as someone who really enjoys creativity and freedom, like structure is my friend. Right. So I need to be able to look forward two weeks and go, Oh, if I wasn't, you know, what is due to be happening in two weeks time so that if I wasn't there, who can I pass that to? And is it a case of just rescheduling that call or is it a case of asking someone else to step in? And for me having a schedule or a map of what is happening in the business, when on and, and for me, we use to, I divide it in two ways, what's happening inside the business and what's happening outside the business. So do we have any public launches? Do we have any public marketing staff? You know, what does it look like is happening in the business from the outside to the world? And also what are we working on in-house for the future, but also for delivery. Does that make sense? Diane: yep. Completely. Cause I think those are two different angles that I think most people think a lot about the outside, but not necessarily so much about the inside when they're thinking about taking time off. So what have you got in place for your return? Because generally what happens when we go on holiday as that first week, where like, I have forgotten how to relax, must do many things. And then we remember how to relax and then we get that like, Oh, I'm going back to work. Kind of, I don't want to say dread, but it's that little bit of anxiety that you're like, I wonder what's waiting for me is that first week back going to be really tough because I need to like catch up quote, unquote or pay for my break. Quote unquote. So what have you thought about, with returning? Ebonie: I'm smirking at you. And no one can see it because I don't know. And part of this break. So I'm going to be really honest when I announced, and this is on Instagram already. There's an LG TV about it that you can go and watch if you want to. When I first announced that I was taking a month off, I did. So from a place of, I'm going to share this with everyone. Am I going to be so excited for me? They're going to be like, you are the poster girl for freedom. This is going to be amazing. And they're all going to like clap me and celebrate with me. My friends did that. A lot of people on the inside were really upset and they felt duped that we'd just done a launch and they had felt like they were going to get me. And now that they weren't, they were, they felt like they'd been sold my team and not me. They were concerned that I was leaving and that I would never come back. We have worked through all of those concerns and everybody really understands and feels a lot better now. But that initial kind of, ah, what are you doing? You're changing my expectations and I don't like this. I do that a lot, by the way, I, you know, it's my, it's my company, it's my business, and I've got to enjoy it. And if I'm not. So, so part of, and, and so I've promised all of these people I am coming, and that is true. And I don't know, and what that will look like yet, because the real truth of the matter is I haven't had a break. I haven't had a break ever. You know, like I said, I've been self-employed my whole life, like from my teams. And there have been small that small break in Bali for like four months when I was not, well, if I'm really honest, and that doesn't count as a break to be open to listening to what's coming next. And for me, this is an opportunity to, to spend some time. Feeling into thinking into listening into what is next for me. And the other part of that, which I think is really interesting. And I think you'll understand this as well. I turned 40 this year and I'm at this kind of tipping point in my life where I don't know what I want for my business in the future and the way that this vehicle worked for me before and the vehicle that I was driving to have freedom may very well look different in the future. You know, when I was 20, I wanted to really show him a Sadie's soft top that I could drive really fast. And now I'm quite her. Like, I want something more comfortable or practical with more space, right. And that's literally how I feel about my business as well before I wanted something that was fast and showy and expensive. And now I want something that is spacious and lets me meander a bit more. Diane: I guess also you have to think about what that's going to feel like for that your two partners, because you've not given them space to step in and step up and you can't necessarily just go back in and be like Kevin, I need you to back off again. Yeah. Ebonie: and that's part of the plan. Right. And so actually, so there were three other partners and one of them. In the last, you know, as, as they stepped in, realized that they needed for them needed to be in a much more advisory position, they wanted to be less hands-on in the day-to-day. And so understanding that and navigating that has been interesting for all of us to be like, Oh, okay, well, how do I feel about that? And is it okay ultimately, yes. Right? Because we can navigate what everybody wants. That's the point. And we have a plan for what misfit will look like in the future. And we have a plan for where we think that we're going as a collective and what each of us want to do, but plans on paper and plans when you're living them are different. And so the truth is. We have my job is to have an idea of the direction that we're going in. Right? Like that is my job to understand what the vision for this company is. But part of that vision was co-creation. And so it, like you said, it isn't my job to walk back in and go, thank you for covering for me while we're we're because they're not covering for me. Like I said, they're not, they're not babysitting. They're not it's their baby too. Right? Like they get to parent however they want. And that is a really interesting analogy for me because I'm not coming back and going, Oh, I'm picking up the reins. Now I'm actually coming back and saying, Hey, what did you learn and discover? And they can tell me that. And I can tell them what I learned and discovered, and we can make a new plan or an iteration on the plan with new information. Diane: That's such an interesting aspect because we very rarely hear in the entrepreneurial space. We hear people talk about contractors. We have people talk about employees, but we very rarely hear about people allowing. Their business to grow by adding partners in this collective way in, in a non-employee sort of style. So I think it's very interesting to hear how differently you think about what facilitated your sabbatical, what it's gonna look like as you reintegrate into the business in some way. So would you say that the communication would you have changed your communication with the client side, with the inside the business side? If you were to do this again, like if you could go back in time, or do you think actually it was what needed to happen for certain conversations. Ebonie: both. If I'm allowed to say that, right. Like if I choose to have a sabbatical again in the future, I would like to be able to do so with knowing myself that it was coming right. Like if I knew that it was coming, then I would have communicated that differently. We would have planned our marketing. Our launches are all of it differently. As was, it was a necessary part of a different goal if you like. Right. So the goal was to bring in the partners and to move from a one woman, you know, one woman led business to a collective led business and that resulted in the need for me to take a sabbatical, which also coincided with something I really wanted to do personally. Right. But it wasn't the plan. Whereas I think if we'd planned it, I would have communicated it for me and for my own kind of personal growth and relationship with my clients and all of those things, it was a necessary exactly as it was, was perfect. Right. Because. I ended up talking about things that I wouldn't have talked about. Like you're buying my company, not me. You're buying my work, not me. Like nobody actually gets to buy me. That's not how it works. Diane: And I think amazing that they were comfortable enough to actually bring that confrontation, I guess, or conflict to you rather than just, you know, heading off onto the Instagram to talk about you, abandoning them or whatever that you were able to work through it. So I know that people are probably drooling over this kind of break and maybe they're not ready for the full partnership level. Let me take a complete sabbatical. Maybe they're just like, how can I start to build this in more regularly? Where is a great place for any self identified misfits to get started with you? Ebonie: So we have a very specific journey at misfit which is the best bit to Maven journey. And if you go to miss it for life.com forward slash playbook, you will get to watch an animation. And we taken on a journey. We're given a map and a playbook that explains play by play exactly what it is that I have done and all the misfits that I have worked with have done. And the journey that they've been on so that you can absolutely follow that journey on your own with a map or pick a level at which you might be supported in that come and play with it. Yes, Diane: amazing. You always have like the most fun things in your business. It's always like innovative and creative and like out of the Ebonie: honestly, I've tried to follow all the things that other people do. Right. But whenever I do them, they don't work for me. Diane: yeah, I can't imagine you with a, say, simple webinar funnel or. Ebonie: done so many. I just that's so boring. Diane: Yeah, well on that note, everyone, who's everyone who's done your webinars, not boring. It's just boring for Ebony to do though. Ebonie: no, Webinars themselves are a fantastic tool for getting information across. And it's for me, it's that piece again, right. Of believing that I had to deliver the same thing over and over again. And actually when I put myself in a place where it's really allowed not to protect that whole kind of thing that happened for a while where people pretended a webinar was live, when it wasn't like that blows my mind. I don't understand why you would bother. Right. So for my people, it's like I have recorded this thing. It was live when it was live. If you would like the information, please watch it. And so that's what I mean, like the elements of. Of pretending that stuff is personal or that it's live. I find that really boring the information and the way that you put it across is beautiful. I'm sure that, you know, whatever it is that you're doing is perfect. And so for me, that involves making it more Ebony, you know, Diane: This has been so much fun. So to finish up, I always like to ask my guests a couple of questions. First of all, what is the number one lifestyle boundary you have in your business? Ebonie: Sundays are my day. No one gets my Sunday. My friends don't get my Sunday, my business, you know, no one gets my Sundays and it's my, if I wear a a phone or some kind of electronic device, it's the day that I get put on charge and it works best when no one else interrupts it. And that is my one. Like non-negotiable boundary everything else. Like sometimes on a Saturday I might just F but no one gets Sundays. Diane: that's really interesting because, you know, we have a few people who say like, you know, Sundays off a family or Sundays off for church, but I don't think I've had anyone. Who's boundary is like, this is the one day where nobody gets me. Ebonie: No, right. If I have fully recharged by like two, 3:00 PM, if someone's like cooking, like I won't ever cook for anybody else, but the Britain me, I live in Spain, but the Britain me, if someone else is cooking a roast, like I'll show up for that. Right. But as I have to, I'm not cooking it. I'm not washing up. I'm not doing any of the things. I'll bring wine. Like that's my limit on a Sunday. Diane: And I'm like, not confirming that. I'm definitely coming until like five minutes before. Just, just make enough food just in case you're you're. Ebonie: No, me now. Right? Like Sunday is my day is the day where I'm because I am so available for everybody so much of the time. And I genuinely think about them and what's going to give them the best experience one day a week. It has to be me first. Diane: Mm, I like that. Okay. Finally, what is the worst piece of cookie cutter advice you have been given in your entrepreneurial journey? Ebonie: Came to mind actually was, and I've shared this story before, but the first time I ever was ed paid a lot for a marketing program. I was working with an incredible credibly well-known marketing coach. And I told her that I wanted to refer to my people as misfits. And she told me that was an absolutely terrible idea that no one identified as a misfit, that it was too negative, a word, and that I needed to pick something different to talk to my niche. I'm so glad I did listen. Diane: did you listen at first? Or you were just, Oh, you listened at first and then were like, actually, this doesn't feel like me. Ebonie: so I worked with her three months and I spent the first six weeks of that. Not being able to move forward with anything else in the program, because I couldn't get this first piece. Right. Right. Like I couldn't follow half formula to name my people or to name my program. And, and, and yeah, it was good. It taught me in many ways how to listen to the fundamentals of what people are sharing and then make it my own. And ultimately, you know, I, I did continue and, and everything that she shared has value and is how the marketing world works. And as we have learned, you know, I don't do things like other people anymore. Like, so it is like, what can I give them that will give them a taste of my world? Absolutely. That was the point of that. Not, you must do a webinar. Right. So I listen for the, the, the fundamentals now. But there's a lot of cookie cutter stuff that doesn't work for me. And so, yeah, I could, I could less than many, but that was the first one that really hit home for me. Diane: So this has been incredible, and I know people are going to want to follow you, watch the priestess side of you. Watch the coach side of you, check out what you did on sabbatical. Where's the best place for them to continue that conversation with you. Ebonie: Yeah, all of those things exist at Instagram, agony allied in Instagram and there I am. All of me I have given up trying to separate and compartmentalize. So from there, you can also find Mississippi life or Ebony Allard, which is where the post-test stuff is. But yeah, I opening out on Instagram is all about, Diane: Amazing. Thank you so much for this. Ebonie: thank you so much for having me.
Dreaming of an extended break from your business but not sure how to take more than a day off?
Ebonie Allard walks you through her 5 week sabbatical from her business from why she needed it to how she prepared and what she thinks returning will be like.
A true sabbatical takes careful planning and setup. Start small by preparing your business for more manageable breaks.
We talk about
- What burn out looks like from someone who’s been there twice
- Why you might need a sabbatical
- How long it takes to plan for it and what to think about
- How your clients may react and what to do about it
- What happens when you return from an extended break
- Ebonie’s lifestyle boundary for her business
- The worst cookie-cutter advice Ebonie’s been given on her lifestyle business
Ebonie Allard is an award winning International Coach. She’s a Misfit turned Maven, an author, an artist, a podcast host and a Priestess. She’s the creator of The Misfit to Maven Way, The Value Filter™ system and the CEO and Founder of Misfit for Life.
She empowers self selected Misfits to free themselves from invisible cages; flourish and thrive. It is her mission to help 100,000 Misfits know that they belong, reclaim their power and live fully rounded, FUN and self-governed lives.
Professionally; when she is not advocating for Misfits, you'll find her being The Priestess of Alchemy. Personally; she's a pussy cat – curled up in a sunny spot or off chasing her tail or a rainbow.
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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.