S2 EP6: How Keldie Ran a Successful Online Business without a Website or Social Media
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Today’s guest is Keldie Jamieson, founder of the OBM Leadership Academy. Keldie’s career as an online business manager began in 2010 when she realized she could leverage her experience in project management and operations to build a location-independent business.
After struggling to find ideal clients for a year, she took the Certified Online Business Manager® training and soon after landed her first 7-figure client. For more than 10 years, Keldie ran a successful OBM business with no online presence whatsoever – not even a website.
Today, Keldie focuses on her work through the OBM Leadership Academy, where she teaches professionals how to leverage their operations, project management, and administrative expertise to build an OBM business of their own.
In this episode, Keldie shares:
- How she managed to build a successful online business with ZERO online presence
- Her #1 motivator for starting an online business (simultaneously a heartbreaking and heartwarming story)
- The biggest mistake she made in her first business and how you can avoid it
- Her best tips for networking (and why you need to build relationships with people in your industry)
- And more!
- Free Download: OBM Essentials Kit: Discover how you can transition your business administration expertise into a lucrative and legitimate online career and business as an Online Business Manager
- Free Download: Certified OBM® Training Course Syllabus
- OBM Leadership Academy Website
Note: This transcript was automatically generated and may include typos.
Welcome to the Dollar Sprout Podcast, where it’s all about building a business that offers consistent income and flexibility so you can live life on your terms. And now your host, Megan Robinson.
[00:00:18] Megan: Hello and welcome back to the Dollar Sprout podcast. Thanks so much for being here today. I’m coming to you today from my, uh, office that is mid redecorating, so apologies if there is an echo here.
[00:00:35] Hopefully Zach, our editor can, uh, help me out a little bit with that one. Um, yeah, so. Things may look clear behind me, but trust when I say if you’re watching this on YouTube, that every other direction of the room is a little chaotic. So apologies if the sound is a little weird, but appreciate you being here.
[00:00:57] Anyway, um, today’s episode of the podcast is a recording that I did with Kel Jamieson of the O B M Leadership Academy. Um, this was, uh, I think the first episode that I did an interview for. It was the first interview that I did for this season of the podcast. Um, so it was a little rusty really on just.
[00:01:21] Having a conversation with another person, . Um, I, I work alone a lot. I, uh, don’t talk to very many people during the day, so appreciate Kelly’s patience and your patience with me as I kind of got back in the flow of interacting with another human being. I don’t know, maybe some of you can relate with working home more the last couple of years.
[00:01:42] Anyway, it was a great conversation. Um, Kelly has been an O B M for over 10 years and she now has the OPM Leadership Academy, where she trains other people to be OMS or online business managers. And you’ll learn a bit more about that, what that entails. Um, but it’s the certification that I did this year in 2022.
[00:02:06] Um, and, uh, yeah, OBMs do a lot of project management and team management, um, and metrics tracking and the back end of businesses. Uh, yeah, we’re, we’re usually the back end of businesses. We’re not, uh, typically the face of a business unless it’s our own sometimes. But in Kelly’s case, which you’ll also hear more about in this episode, she very much was not kind of the public face of her own business because she grew this business over the course of 10 years.
[00:02:36] With zero online presence. She did not use social media to promote her business, and she didn’t even have a website for 10 years running an online business, which is really cool and also kind of crazy to think of. Um, so yeah, you’ll hear more about how she grew a successful business with absolutely zero online presence.
[00:03:00] Um, also, I completely forgot. In the end of this episode to have Kelly say where you can find her online. Um, so what I’ll say is, again, she runs the om leadership Academy, om leadership academy.com. Um, and any resources, she has several free downloads. If you’re interested in becoming an O B M, um, you’ll, after you hear more in this episode, kind of about what that is, um, and Kelly’s business, then you can go check out her website and also check out her free downloads.
[00:03:33] Um, one of her downloads is the syllabus for her O B M training. Um, and another download is the O B M Essentials kit, which is, you know, how you can take the skills that maybe you’re already using in corporate if you have, um, project management experie. Team management experience, that sort of thing. Um, and use that to, or how you can yeah, translate that experience and those services into an O B M business.
[00:03:59] So definitely go check out Kelly’s website and those free downloads. I’m so sorry, Kel, that I completely forgot that. Um, but yeah, without further ado, please welcome Keldi Jameson.
[00:04:14] Keldie Jamieson: Thank you so much for having me. I, I’m happy to be here. It’s nice to, uh, meet you in person, virtually in person, Megan. So, uh, yeah, I’m happy to, to be here and talk with your audience.
[00:04:26] Megan: Awesome. Well, our audience I’m sure is gonna love your story. So, um, before we kind of jump into the nuts and bolts of it, um, can you just give us an overview in your own words of what it is that you do in your business? What is it that you sell, any products or services that you offer? What does that look like?
[00:04:45] Keldie Jamieson: So I am a certified online business manager and a licensed trainer for the International Association of Online Business Managers. And what I sell is training, uh, other people to do and become online business managers, which is something that I discovered about 10 years ago. Um, I love helping businesses understand their data and with their day-to-day, um, as a trainer, what I really love is giving back to the next generation, as I call it, because so many, um, entrepreneurs that are online actually need hi help behind the scenes because.
[00:05:27] Very good at whatever it is that they decided to do in business. And sometimes they need help from someone in the, in the behind the scenes area of the business so that they can literally just focus on what they’re delivering. So I love working with new people coming into this industry. There’s so much talent out there, there’s so many businesses that are unique.
[00:05:49] And, uh, just seeing that next generation of O B M, that’s the acronym for an online business manager. Um, just seeing that next generation come in and the talent, um, and the caring and the geeks like me, uh, come in who love things, organization and systems. It’s, it just really does light me up. Uh, and I love my students.
[00:06:10] I love helping them, you know, with their mindset and learning the new skills. Uh, it just, I guess I found a calling in becoming a teacher of this as well. It’s really, really fulfilling to me as a career.
[00:06:25] Megan: Yeah. And it is, it is fun to kind of geek out with other OBMs. I I just took the ob m training and got certified this year as you know, as we were talking about before this call.
[00:06:36] Um, and yeah, it is, it’s such a great community and it’s, it’s fun to, you know, be around other people who love processes and systems and metrics and like tracking all the nerdy backend business stuff, . So, um, selfishly I’m very excited to have this conversation with you cuz I am very curious about your own O B M business.
[00:06:56] Um, awesome. So you mentioned a couple of metrics that you were comfortable sharing on the show, one being the number of email subscribers that you’ve been able to build because you have been in business for over a decade. Um, and I know your business has changed, which I would love to talk a little bit more about here in a bit.
[00:07:17] Um, but what does your current email list look like? Is the first number I would love to get from you.
[00:07:23] Keldie Jamieson: Sure. So I love this, this number because it’s going to not impress a whole bunch of people, but it’s a great number for me. So I have 1700 people on my email list who are interested in becoming, uh, online business managers, and that just lets you know right there, uh, and that’s on my list.
[00:07:43] And I laugh because when I started my business just a little bit, it was all based on word of mouth referral and I didn’t have an email list at all until I became a trainer. So it, this number for me is, uh, a great number because I am actually not necessarily the biggest fan of email and I try not to email when I don’t need to.
[00:08:02] So I like to have, uh, people that are really relevant on my list. So it’s about quality over quantity. Um, so I’m not into the vanity numbers. of an email list. So I like my small little 1700. I think it’s a big list for me. , it’s more than enough for me.
[00:08:19] Megan: Yeah, I think that when people first like get started or think about starting an online business, there’s a lot out there about building your list and people, some people start out thinking you need to have like a huge email list before you can make any money.
[00:08:34] Um, and that’s just not true. That’s way putting the cart before the horse. Um, so I love that you know, that you don’t have tens of thousands of email subscribers. You can have a great business with 1700 or with no email subscribers. Um, so that’s great. Thank you for sharing that. Um, and then the next thing that I wanna know about the current state of your business is, , I know your schedule, the way that you work probably looks a lot different today than it did 10 years ago, you know, or when you first started your business.
[00:09:08] But what does that look like? What’s a typical workday for you, and how many hours a week do you spend working?
[00:09:15] Keldie Jamieson: So what I do in my business right now is I open my door at 9:00 AM Please don’t ask me to do anything before 9:00 AM. My brain doesn’t work that way. I’m not a morning person. So I’ve set my business up to accommodate that.
[00:09:29] And then I have a, uh, a thing on my phone that reminds me to close my office at 3:00 PM Sometimes I’ll go past that a little bit. But, um, for my family, my husband is one of those early risers, like at four in the morning. Um, and so he’ll come home from work at about two. So I’m trying to make sure that that happens.
[00:09:49] Sometimes I’ll work till about four. , then I’m done. And Fridays, uh, I don’t take any calls on Fridays. I don’t talk to any students, any prospects. Uh, Friday is my day to work on my business. If I choose, or it’s an a long weekend, which is usually what happens on Fridays, is it kind of turns into more of a long, uh, long weekend for me.
[00:10:11] So I typically work four to maybe five days a week, but I’m really in there only from about nine or 10. So if there’s nothing at nine, 10 to three is sort of the hours that I like to work on my business. And then I am, uh, shutting the door. So that is it. It just works for me. Part of be becoming a trainer in the first place.
[00:10:34] What, where I am now was so that my husband and I could travel the world. And, you know, we had the, uh, someone I know calls it a, the banana ramma that came, that happened for people. Um, and it kind of stopped us from traveling. , but that was the whole point of transitioning my business to the model that I’m in right now, was that we could travel.
[00:10:56] Um, as an online business manager, we are managing the business, which a lot of times means we’re in the day-to-day, which was what I loved, and I couldn’t travel the way my husband likes to travel, which is to get up at six in the morning, hit the ground running, drop on your bed at eight o’clock at night and start the next day at six in the morning and continue.
[00:11:14] So if I travel that way with my husband, it would make it difficult to run somebody’s business. And so I’ve chosen this model instead. So now I train and I set myself up to have a shorter workday and a shorter work week for myself because that’s really where, um, I mean, I get in, I got into this business for my own lifestyle, like I’m building my business around what I want to see in my life.
[00:11:41] That’s why it’s set up the way that it is. So I guess I’m working, what is that? Maybe five. So 25 hours a week, let’s say. Somewhere in there.
[00:11:53] Megan: Wow, that sounds amazing. I, uh, I’ve done something like, I’m similar in that I’m not a morning person. Um, and I don’t start working in my business until 10:00 AM no meetings before 10:00 AM That gives me time to like wake up and go to the gym and become human.
[00:12:12] Um, but I make up for it at the stage that I’m in, in my business. I make up for it by working late at night. A lot of time . So it’s nice like hearing that. Oh yeah. There are actually people out there. Like I can get to the point where I’m only working 25 hours a week in my business. I think that. , that’s aspirational for me.
[00:12:33] Keldie Jamieson: Well, and here’s the thing, that we set our businesses up to work for us. And so when my children were at home, I did work in the evenings because I chose to, to have that afternoon period with them in different times. So I do like that you’re asking how many hours we’re working in it because that, you know, when we do it doesn’t really matter.
[00:12:54] It’s about, you know, how much effort or how much, um, how many hours we’re putting in does help with your energy. But it is about energy levels as well. So you and I both agree. Don’t ask me for things first thing in the morning. My brain doesn’t work. I’m really great, actually late at night, but I have made a shift in the last year to be very conscious and intentional about my hours, um, co co whatever, coinciding with my husband.
[00:13:21] So that’s an intentional thing. But if I could work, you know, from, um, six to eight, my brain’s really good at those hours. , you know, so it’s all about whatever works for you. It really is about what, what, what works for each individual person.
[00:13:37] Megan: Yeah. It sounds like you’ve been able to really, like you said, just create a business that works for your lifestyle.
[00:13:43] Um, so I love where your business is today. I also wanna talk about before you started your business, what was going on in your life? Um, what were you doing in your career? And also what was the motivation for starting a business to begin?
[00:14:00] Keldie Jamieson: So, um, I’ve been doing, I’ve had my business for over 10 years, so prior to that I’ve been working in corporate.
[00:14:07] So I was doing, uh, as a general manager. I had started off in administration and, uh, bookkeeping many, many years before that. Uh, event management, live events, weddings, corporate events, and, um, when I was working for a electronic, um, I shouldn’t say electronic, but a mechanical engineer and we would build all these great products.
[00:14:32] Uh, I worked there for quite a while, went off to do something else as a general manager, and then was asked to come back and run that business. And I did. And then when that business, um, was looking to sell and then closed, I was at a point in my life where I had some choices to make in that time, even though I was working, let’s say a typical.
[00:14:55] You know, nine to five job, which a lot of people think is ideal. And I would go home and things would be great. I was also commuting to work and so from an early age, my children were in before school care and then after school care and didn’t know the parents cuz I couldn’t hang out cuz I was working all the time.
[00:15:16] So basically from about, you know, seven in the morning until sometimes six o’clock at night, my kids were not with me. They were in before school care, after school care. And what I had noticed over a period of time was that my youngest daughter stopped instigating hugs. So she would give me a hug if I went up and hugged her, but she would not come and hug me.
[00:15:40] I don’t know if she was aware of it, but it was something that I noticed. And so when the opportunity came with the business closing that I was working at in the corporate world, world, I was like, I need to be home now. Like I cannot go get another job. I didn’t even look for another job. I just intentionally started working on my business plan.
[00:16:00] I’m going to, uh, transition my career online. I had been thinking I might be a virtual assistant who, you know, does all the work. I took training on how to build websites and do shopping cart things. Um, my heart was still in management and team, uh, because that’s where I’ve been working as a, as a GM for that many years.
[00:16:20] Um, but I, I decided I needed to leave corporate so that I could be home with my children. And what was interesting was, A lot of people wanna be home when they’re younger, and I totally get it. It’s very informative. Years for your children. For me, this was an opportunity to be home when I felt they really needed me the most, but when they felt they didn’t need me, so I needed to be that presence of I was the house that they could come to with their friends, I could pick them up.
[00:16:48] I could let my children now do activities after school, let them find themselves through sport or other activities that they were interested in, and then be that, be there to hear things, to see things. I didn’t want latchkey kids. And so with my daughter not hugging me in this opportunity, I literally decided that’s it.
[00:17:08] I’m leaving corporate and I’m going to be uh, there for my children. And that was sort of what had me move over. Um, and then if you don’t mind me sharing, I’ll actually tell you what happened. So I, I left corporate and so the in between is like, like when I left corporate, I started my business and I became a project manager for the person that actually taught me how to become a virtual assistant.
[00:17:36] She had an agency as well and she taught courses and. , I said, Hey, you know, I’ve learned all these things from you. Um, if you’re looking for a project manager in the future, would you hire me? And she said yes. So within a few months I had bookkeeping clients from the corporate world, which was not my ideal.
[00:17:53] But then I had this pm uh, project management role with a virtual assistant agency, and I really got to taste what it was like to work online. That’s where I discovered the term online business manager. And that’s what I transitioned my business to. So in this transition, um, of becoming my own business and then starting to work online as an online business manager, I ended up taking the training from the association, which transformed my business within a year of taking that.
[00:18:23] Um, so then I knew what I didn’t know about working online. And what it allowed me to do was then to start to travel with my daughter. So she, her, she tried gymnastics, she tried dance, and then she finally did, uh, cheerleading. And that’s where she found a little bit of both. She loved it. And so then she was like all in for her activities.
[00:18:45] So over the years, I would travel with her because I could still work with clients with my laptop. We could, you know, go away for the weekend long, weekends, in the middle of the middle of the week. I could work with my clients while she was in doing her activities. A lot of. In that period changed and within two to three years, very intentional of me working this way.
[00:19:07] We were the place where all her friends would come, I would pick them up after school. I would work in the evenings cuz I chose to be very available during the time that she was, you know, not in school, after school. And what was really in interesting and nice was, uh, there was one event that I couldn’t go to.
[00:19:24] So it’s about three years, almost three years in to me being a business owner. And I dropped her off at someone’s house because I couldn’t travel that weekend. So I went to get her bag out of the trunk and she was up at the door and I brought her the bag, uh, her suitcase, and she hugged. and said, mom, I’m so sorry you can’t come with me.
[00:19:47] We’re going to miss you. I love you. This is so exciting. I, you know, it’s too bad my daughter had no idea. I’m not even sure if she actually knows this at, even at this point in her life, that I had been on an intentional journey to build back that trust and that that relationship with her. So when I left, um, I drove down the street and I pulled over and I immediately called my husband and I said, you know, she hugged me and I was in tears.
[00:20:18] And he was like, oh my goodness, you’ve been working so hard at this. Cuz he knew this was very intentional, this rebuilding of the relationship with my kids. And to have that happen finally, where it was very recognizable, she came up and hugged me, uh, was a, was a big deal. Um, and yeah, so I never regret my business cuz that’s literally the intention.
[00:20:43] For me was there was something broken and I needed to fix it. And becoming a business owner and doing what I do to be able to work remotely and take my laptop wherever I needed to go, uh, was, was the vehicle that got me there with my daughter. So, um, I just want everyone to, I, I love that story, even for myself.
[00:21:05] I get teary whenever I talk about it. Um, and it’s because when we’re intentional, when we know our why, what, what is motivating us to do this, when there’s things in our business we don’t like the why and our passion possibly for what we do is what’s gonna carry us through. And I don’t regret anything that happened in my business, um, at all because of the result that I got from that.
[00:21:31] Megan: Yeah. That’s such a heartbreaking but also beautiful story, a heartbreaking story with a beautiful ending. Um, and I appreciate you. Sharing that. Thank you so much. Um, I, I am curious, how old was your daughter when you made this transition into your business, and how long did it take to repair that relationship?
[00:21:54] Keldie Jamieson: So I started to see things around my daughter would’ve been in grade four or five. So 11 or 12 was when I started to actually notice this happening. Um, and then I, that was, so that was, yeah, grade four. So she was going into middle school was when I got to leave corporate. Um, and so that would’ve put her into like grade six or seven.
[00:22:18] So she would’ve been about just like, I guess she was like 12, 13 going on what, I think she was 12 because I think I kept calling her a preteen. So she was right there at that, that age. And it took about three years. So it was, uh, about closer to 14 and 15 years old when that changed happened. And then that’s.
[00:22:36] Not an easiest time for any, uh, parent child relationship going on, but I was able to turn it around in that time by being that parent who was there in the background. I didn’t have to lecture, I have to tell you, any parents out there, um, teenagers in a car, captive audience, like I, it was a really great way to connect when you’re commuting, cuz we, we did have some commuting to do, but I could do it.
[00:23:03] I could listen, I could enjoy, um, my daughter interacting with her friends. I mean, it was just a really, um, it was a longer process than I had hoped, but it was still intentional. So it was, it wasn’t about me forcing anything. It was just showing. It, it just, being a business owner, like doing this work allowed me to just show up.
[00:23:30] It allowed me to create my own, uh, timeline so I could work in the evening. I didn’t have to work during those periods of time. I could work while she was in school. I set my schedule around being available for my children. It was a big difference.
[00:23:47] Megan: Yeah, and that’s, yeah, one of the amazing parts, I’m not a parent, but you know, I know a lot of parents who their children are their why, for why they started a business, because they wanna be more present.
[00:23:59] They wanna be able to spend more time. And it’s just one of the many amazing benefits of being a business owner that, you know, you can build your business intentionally so that you get that time back and. , I’m glad to hear that you were able to rebuild that relationship with your daughter, even if it took three years, you know, that you were able to build a business that allowed you to, to be present for your family and your kids in the way that you wanted and the way that they needed.
[00:24:27] But teens would never recognize that they need, you know, their mom or their dad or their parent, uh, as much as we do when we’re in those middle school years. Those are, those are tough years for a kid.
[00:24:41] Keldie Jamieson: I agree. And you can, and it’s not just family, that you can build it around like your children. You could build it around anything.
[00:24:46] If you have a lifestyle or an activity that you love, your own things that you’re doing, this is what I, this is what I really love this people. Uh, a lot of times people think that people wanna build a business just for money. And I think most of us are motivated from a lifestyle perspective. , what are we not getting when we work a job versus what do we get if we get to, um, set our own time?
[00:25:10] And don’t think in the beginning I was working 25 hours a week cuz that wasn’t happening. Right? I was working a lot when I was building that business, right? Entrepreneurs, it’s hard for us sometimes to even shut off our brain even when we’re on vacation because we are the owner of the business. We’re responsible for people on our team, we’re responsible for, uh, you know, to get things done for our customers or whatever it is that we’re supplying.
[00:25:32] So even though we can change our hours eventually and get there, um, intention is the, is the key word here. Building your business with intention. What is it that you want it to do for you? Um, and whether that’s money or time, freedom, whatever that might.
[00:25:48] Megan: Yeah. And that’s, yeah, absolutely. And that’s true for me.
[00:25:52] The time, time freedom is what I’m building my business around. So getting to the point where I can work just 25 hours a week and being able to spend the rest of the time, you know, with my partner and with my dog going hiking or just hanging out with him, training him, um, and doing nothing. I’m a person who really enjoys a lot of space, you know, so that’s why I like time freedom, or I’m pursuing time freedom in my business because I just, I feel like I need a lot of, a lot of brain space.
[00:26:23] I need a lot of, a lot of free time . So yeah, that’s, that’s my goal. Um, I am a, a crazy dog parent, uh, no kids of my own, but I am building my business pretty much around my dog and around, uh, the idea of having more time freedom . So
[00:26:43] Keldie Jamieson: I love it. Yeah, I love it.
[00:26:45] Megan: Um, well, I’d love to walk through, we’ve talked about where your business is now, and we’ve talked about where you were before you started your business. I’d love to talk more about that middle point of how you got to where you are today. Um, I know you, your business started out differently than it is today, and you said you took your virtual assistant training, um, or you started out as more of project management, virtual assistant. Um, I guess from 0.0, would you mind to talk about what led you exactly into project management and virtual assistant work? Um, and then what was the very first step you took in making money in your business? What was that first dollar that you made?
[00:27:31] Keldie Jamieson: Here’s the thing, I just wanna point out something else. I’d actually started a business like years before, uh, when my daughter was born and I got a valuable lesson out of it, just.
[00:27:42] Just, just to let you know that I had started a business, but I had no idea what I was doing. And I was, uh, creating a product. Somebody said, oh, I’m gonna take it across the country for you salespeople. They took my product across, we’re gonna get me all these orders. What they did was they took it and they got it knocked off.
[00:27:58] It was in the clothing industry. Um, and I was out of business as soon as they came back from taking it to my competitor and having it knocked off by a national brand. So with that, what I learned was contracts, contracts, contracts, and that, because I wasn’t passionate about that business, I didn’t know anything about the industry, which is why I said that when I started this business, it was like, I’m gonna do what I know how to do.
[00:28:22] Um, I love planning. I love strategy. I love numbers. I did a lot of bookkeeping. Um, I thought the bookkeeping was easy. And so when I first started my business, I had a lot of networking that I had done when I was in corporate. If, you know, if you have a chance to network and talk to people, um, it’s a great way to get started in your business.
[00:28:43] And so I actually said, does anyone know anyone looking? This is what I wanna do. I want to, uh, be someone’s virtual partner. I didn’t know how to describe it, but I mentioned things like, um, you know, managing the back end of their business and project management and understanding those things. Um, and then what happened was someone said, Hey, I know a business that’s looking for a bookkeeper.
[00:29:06] Well, when you’re starting your business, sometimes you do things just because it’s money coming in. And I was like, raise my hand. Went and talk. Got a, got a bookkeeping client. That one actually stayed with me for many years to the point where I finally had to convince them to hire someone else because I just didn’t wanna do that anymore.
[00:29:23] And, um, it was holding me back. In my time availability to work with ideal clients. So I, uh, needed to offload them, but my first dollar was probably from that bookkeeping opportunity. And then some of the corporate people that I knew online hired me to run their office when, um, somebody went on maternity leave.
[00:29:45] And so when they were off for maternity leave for months and months, um, I’m in Canada and so we get like almost a year of maternity leave. So that’s a big position to fill. So I would run their office remotely. But what I was noticing was that was not lighting me up, it wasn’t finding me the clients. Um, so starting with, uh, project management and then finding out about O B M, then I took the training.
[00:30:08] And what was nice was all of a sudden, as soon as I took the training and uh, learned about actual online business strategy and the stages of business and what people were doing, and then because I joined the association, we had access to requests for proposals. I didn’t have a website up. I have to tell you that too.
[00:30:26] For 10 years, my website was coming soon, 10 years coming soon, um, maybe not quite 10 years, but really close. I got all of my clients through word of mouth referral and through the R F P process. And so that allowed me to then just work with clients on a longer basis. I loved the day-to-day. I was all in as a partner with people in that business.
[00:30:50] Uh, so I had long-term clients as well. And I then started, you know, I still did the bookkeeping on the side as a side hustle thing. Um, but I worked with one really big client. And my ideal client at the time in the, in, when I was working as an OBM was women empowering women. I didn’t care so much about what they did.
[00:31:10] My, my mission was to empower other women in whatever made them feel empowered. And so then working in the back. The back end of a business and being behind the scenes, what was great for me was I know for a fact that I impacted thousands and thousands of women’s lives through empowerment by helping one woman and her team.
[00:31:33] And it just gives me no amount of joy to know that by me helping another woman who empowered other women, no matter what that was, health business, coaching life, whatever it was, when I let her stand in the light is what I call it, stand in the light. She would take the praise and the criticism and she would change those women’s lives by helping her and the small team behind.
[00:31:56] I literally impacted thousands of women’s lives. And that for me was like, that’s a big passion of, of mine and a big why as well, um, to be able to do that. So yeah, it made a huge. Uh, a huge difference in like taking the training. And so for years I worked with some pretty influential, uh, women entrepreneurs and, um, sometimes their business could be a little chaotic because they’re so focused on their own clients and making a difference that they just didn’t have the capability to help behind the scenes, to run the team, to be there when the team needed support themselves. Um, and so I took a lot of joy in that. And then my business went along like that for years. And then the opportunity came to become a trainer. And, um, I knew that when my husband needed to sell his business for us to travel in a certain way, I’m like, I’m not gonna be the reason we’re, we’re not traveling.
[00:32:56] And so I literally, uh, became a trainer for the association, which I love. They’ve supported me for years. Never been alone. Um, and then I was still working with my client and then I decided, okay, I’m gonna work one less day a week for my client to work on my business. You know, you gotta know your personality when you’re an on an entrepreneur as well.
[00:33:16] So what happened for me was I still put my clients first over myself. And so then my own coach had to remind me, you need to rip the bandaid off. And so I went all in on training and I ripped the bandaid off and I no longer take o b M level clients because I needed to be able to focus on me. And once I did that, it was amazing what happened for my business when I ripped the bandaid off and was all in on myself and on my students, it made a huge difference.
[00:33:46] So I’m all in with my clients, um, normally as an O B M. And then when I became a trainer, I was all in on for my students as well. So I got to take that same energy and just redirect it. So yeah, it’s just, it’s been a wonderful in between, but it did take building and. , you know, we all learn about boundaries.
[00:34:06] We all learn like, so business will show you things about yourself that are good and not so good. Um, it’s, it’s like, I’ve heard that before, but it is so true. You will learn that, you know, maybe you’re not good with setting a certain boundary or maybe you’re not so good at that, or, you know, I’m not great at copywriting, but I love to read copy.
[00:34:26] I know what good copy looks like. I can’t write it for myself. So I learned to hire. My weaknesses over, like, over my strength. So this whole journey has been, um, wonderful for me. I would make an awful employee now. . Totally awful employee.
[00:34:44] Pete: Same.
[00:34:44] Keldie Jamieson: I could never go back to corporate. Same?
[00:34:46] Megan: Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. Same. And I, I think it’s, I love that you brought up that, uh, business is essentially, I mean, being in business for yourself is, it’s such a personal growth journey.
[00:34:58] I am somebody who loves reading about personal development and, you know, always trying to get better about my habits and improve my mindset and all of that. But the two things in life that have helped me grow the most as a person, Being in a relationship, number one, because that’s hard communication and all.
[00:35:21] Um, and then number two, having a business. Um, those are the two things that I think have so much potential to help you just grow as a person. Um, and yeah, I’ve also found that in business it is just, yeah, you learn a lot about yourself.
[00:35:39] Keldie Jamieson: You do, I I I, I find it interesting. But we do learn so much and I love that you’re into personal development.
[00:35:45] Um, I can never get enough of a lot of that stuff as well. Uh, even this past year even. So we all, I’ll have to get, uh, have clients that have coaches. And so this year I invested in myself as well and got, um, a coach, went through a coaching program for a year and. It was interesting to learn about, um, subconscious stories or messages that we have or that we tell ourselves that when we speak them out loud, we know they’re not true.
[00:36:16] Um, and, you know, figuring out where the story came from so that I could, you know, bust that belief system. Uh, so it’s really interesting this whole journey. So you don’t think that your personal life actually affects your business. You’re thinking, oh, that’s business and this is personal. I actually don’t believe that anymore either.
[00:36:34] There is a lot of things from being a child or younger and learning things, and even things that we learn just by working and, you know, living life. And we have these stories that can actually get in the way of your business. So if you’re feeling like you’re stuck, having someone help you is also beneficial.
[00:36:54] because I’ve been doing this for, for 10 years and this last year I was like getting really curious about beliefs that I held. Like why do I believe that? I know it’s not true. I have evidence from my clients that my belief is not true and yet it’s still there. And so, um, just know that even as an entrepreneur, please seek help when you need it, cuz you need that support system.
[00:37:16] We can’t do it alone. You know, everything is about community and relationships buying and selling to people, but if you feel like you are needing that, you know, I encourage people to go seek that out. Now, I didn’t realize how important it was until this last year when I experienced it to bust through some myths that I had about business.
[00:37:38] Megan: Yeah. And I think a lot of people deal with that in business around money, you know, limiting money, beliefs. Um, I know that I have, especially because, I mean, I’m a B2B business. My business is. , you know, being an O B M now as well, . Um, and so if you’re selling high ticket, you know, B2B packages or services, then that’s very different.
[00:38:03] That’s a very different level of transaction than, you know, working for an employer or, um, selling smaller service packages. And so to ask somebody to give you 10,000 plus dollars, there’s just, if you have those beliefs, there’s, there’s a really big leap that you have to make there. And, uh, it’s, it’s work, uh, recognizing that in yourself and then also figuring out where it comes from and how to get past it so that you don’t sabotage yourself in your business and you can actually make money and sell the things that you wanna sell.
[00:38:37] So, I 100% agree there. Um, I also wanna ask you, so you said that your first dollars. Your first few dollars, your first few sales in your business came from reaching out to your network. You didn’t have a business or you didn’t have a website for years. Um, I am curious, did you have any fear or hesitation around doing that outreach to your network?
[00:39:02] Keldie Jamieson: I personally didn’t have any fear just because I had made a point of, uh, networking heavily when I was in corporate. I actually was, uh, a director for the Chamber of Commerce, and I don’t like networking the way a lot of people do it. So I love to go and hear about people and how can I help? And I would always serve first and didn’t ask for anything in return, even though a lot of people were there just to sell, sell, sell, sell, sell.
[00:39:30] You know, and it, it would be disheartening a lot of times to go to those events. I did give back because that was, I felt like that was sort of like my volunteer work. And I also knew that being a member of the Chamber of Commerce and then volunteering to be on committees and then I was a director, what I learned was from so many other business owners that were way ahead of me, cuz I knew eventually I was gonna be starting my own business and not, you know, working as, as an employee.
[00:39:57] And so I got that benefit. And then because I just gave and gave for, you know, probably three or four years of just giving while I was an active, uh, member of the chamber. What happened for me was when I went out into business, I didn’t have a problem. Uh, I literally went out and said I need help with a business plan.
[00:40:18] I found out that I could get a government grant to help me write my business plan where I was, and I went and got that help. I have Sinced help other helped other people with that. Um, but I’m, I literally just went out and said, Hey, I have starting my own businesses. Anyone know anyone that needs this type of service that I can do for them?
[00:40:38] And that’s when I had people say, Hey, I know a business that’s looking for a bookkeeper. It wasn’t my ideal, but it was money coming in like that. Like it was easy for me to go and I had the confidence to do that. And then as my business progressed and I didn’t have the website for 10 years, I literally would have, uh, coffee chats and I with people.
[00:40:59] And I know a lot of people say, oh, don’t, don’t do coffee chats. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. It worked for me. How can I help you? I would have a conversation, what is your ideal client? Who are you looking for? Um, and when I was filled with clients, I would still have those conversations of people who wanted to hire me that were referred and I would refer them to someone else.
[00:41:19] And when I worked with team members, team members are great referrals. Um, I even had someone that I actually had to fire. Hire me on her team, in her agency after that situation. And then even when I wasn’t working with her anymore, when I had another opportunity that I was open for a client, cuz I always had long-term clients, a year or two years.
[00:41:40] Um, I reached out, she didn’t have anything for me. Five minutes later she reached out again and said, actually I have a client for you. So networking has always been big for me. It’s just how can I help other people? And then when I needed to ask, I didn’t feel bad asking cuz I know that I gave first for so long that when I said, Hey, does anyone know?
[00:42:03] And I would just like, no pressure. Hey, I just so you know, I’m gonna be open for a client in the next 30 days. I, I’ll be available to start. Do you know anyone? Do you have any leads? Please? You know, let them know. And I always. Something that came up for me, and that was because I gave first. So having the coffee chats referring even when I wasn’t accepting clients, I would have the free conversation with someone.
[00:42:26] What’s going on in your business that I think this is what you need? I, I don’t have room for a client right now, but I know these three people that I’d like to connect you with, and it just seemed to pay. For me.
[00:42:39] Megan: Yeah. Did you feel like you had a lot of people in your network who were your ideal clients at the time? Or who knew your ideal clients? Um, that’s, yeah. Okay.
[00:42:51] Keldie Jamieson: No, no, I’m just, I’m shaking my head, but No, no, I didn’t actually. Um, it was literally from, well, let’s, let’s talk about that for just a minute. So the request for proposal thing that came through my association that I’m a part of, that started the journey for me.
[00:43:06] That’s where things turned around. So as soon as I got my first client, um, one of the first clients I got was an ideal client. Um, on paper, I’m gonna say that on paper . And what I loved was I had the ability to hire my dream. So people that I had been following for a long time that were experts in different areas, uh, it was affordable for that team to be created from this client’s budget that they had.
[00:43:33] And so then I got to work with all of these people that I had always wanted to work with because I would interview with them and bring them on board for this big launch thing that was happening with that client. And she already had some great people on her team. It was a wonderful experience. And then I started networking from there, like just, oh, I know this person and I know this person.
[00:43:53] And it just kind of expanded. And then I learned that I networked heavily with my own team. I got to know my team. So as an O B M, I’m leading the team, but I got to know the virtual assistant, the executive assistant, the associate coaches, the contractors coming in to develop a program and help with the marketing.
[00:44:09] So marketing experts, copywriting experts. I got to know them on a personal level. And I just kept naturally networking beyond that over and over and over again. Who do you think I should follow to learn more about this? I would ask them, oh, I follow this person and this person. And then I, I just kind of kept expanding my network.
[00:44:28] And so I think that’s really important to not forget about your teammates. Like who’s on your team? Who do you know? And ask them who do they follow, who do they recommend? And then I would become part of those communities and I just learned to keep expanding in the niche that I was in. Um, yeah. And give and just giving back.
[00:44:50] And so again, I had many coffee chats. Like I am known for that when I talk to my students and they’re like, how do I find clients? I’m like, networking. And I encourage you to go have 10 coffee chats with other uh, colleagues, not with, don’t think of them as competitors cuz we’re not, we’re all colleagues.
[00:45:07] Go have those conversations and find out who likes to do what. So I think earlier I asked you about what you like. in your business about being an obm and I told you, oh, I hate that. Like, I love using it, but I don’t wanna do that. And that is the kind of stuff that I learned about other people. So that when, uh, a client would come, you know, in front of me and I still have clients that reach out and ask me, um, for referrals to OBMs, this happens all the time.
[00:45:35] I ask them about their business and then I’m like, oh wait, okay, okay, you’re looking for that and that, oh, I know someone who’d be a great fit. I can look at what you’re doing. And I know that that appeals to them, what you’re doing as a mission and vision for your business. And it just kind of comes back.
[00:45:49] So I also encourage you when you do those coffee chats to have like a little spreadsheet. Sort of sounds like cheating, but put down what it is. Like what is it that they’re looking for? Um, are they open for clients? Maybe you might know someone and they’re like, I don’t ever wanna work for a client for like 40 hours a week.
[00:46:05] Okay, well I know this person’s looking for that, so I’m not gonna refer that one. I’m gonna go down to the other person that’s got room for, you know, a bigger client or something like that. It’s always just about knowing, um, that first initial conversation and then revisiting it. You can even reach out, Hey, I have someone that’s looking for an O B M.
[00:46:24] Do you have, you know, do you have room for a client? Oh, I don’t have room right now. Okay, great. You know, and just a little bit of a catch up. What are you doing? Has anything changed since I last talked to you? Okay. I put that in my notes and we just kind of go from there. So please don’t be afraid to reach out.
[00:46:39] It’s, you don’t have to come from a place of desperation. It’s like there’s an opp, it’s a, it’s an opportunity. Hey, if you know anyone looking, cuz so many people are looking for uh, workers right now too. Like, it’s like a hot market. Um, , everybody seems to be looking for employees and or help with their business, whether it’s online or offline.
[00:47:00] So if you have an opening, tell your friends, tell your family, um, you know, tell your other colleagues, Hey, if there’s a client that’s not a great fit for you, um, you know, this is what I’m looking for. And, you know, please feel free to pass it along to me.
[00:47:16] Megan: I love that you networked with so many different people, because what I’m facing right now, I’m also, you know, well, and I’ll also say I think probably the non-tech savvy people out there are like jumping up and down like, woo, I don’t need to build a website or whatever. But the introverts are probably like, oh my God, no. I have to network. And I’m on that side of things. I am like huge introvert. Never been great at networking, but I am starting to do that now and I feel like I don’t have a lot of people in my network, friends, family, colleagues who, um, are my ideal client or really know my ideal client.
[00:47:58] But I think that. what you’re saying, or part of what you’re saying is that you first of all never know who’s gonna be a good connection. You never know who knows who. Um, and secondly, you don’t just have to go out and try to find your ideal client. You can talk to people in your industry or, um, my business coach talks about like your shoulder industries, right?
[00:48:23] So people who kind of do what you do, but maybe have a, a different focus. Um, so like as an obm, I’m more systems focused. I like creating processes and documentation. Um, but there are other OBMs who love launch planning. Um, and there are other OBMs who love metrics tracking, you know, and all of that. And so, um, yeah, just networking with people who also do what you do and not seeing it as competition, but seeing it as like, how can we maybe help each other?
[00:48:54] How do we, who do we know that we can send each other to? And um, yeah, just, just. Telling people what you’re looking for and also, um, being able to serve by understanding what they’re looking for and looking for connections that you can send to them. So, um, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated and as an introvert, it’s just something you might have to do in the beginning of your business.
[00:49:20] Keldie Jamieson: So think about, I mean, you and I met in person on Zoom here for the first time, and I feel like we are learning things about each other and I don’t feel like you’re shrinking away from me. We’re just literally having a conversation. And this is what those coffee chats can look like. And, you know, if you’re other, if there’s other team members or clients you can say to your, you know, if you’re really upfront with your client, Hey, I love what we’re doing here and we’re only working this many hours, I have room for another client.
[00:49:50] Do you have a biz bestie or someone else that’s maybe even not in your industry that you think could benefit from working with me to help them? It, it can sound, uh, stressful to ask that question, but it can just come up in conversation. It, you don’t have to always be selling yourself. It can be a casual conversation, and this is why I love coffee chats, especially for introverts because a lot of times introverts, um, come alive once they feel comfortable.
[00:50:18] Talking to someone and there are so many introverts in our industry as online business managers, and so you’re probably gonna talk to another introvert like and introvert. Doesn’t mean that you’re afraid sometimes it’s just an energy level thing as well that you are very conscious of how you spend your energy.
[00:50:36] So I think there’s lots of ways that you can do it. I am not a fan of the in, I love networking in person, but I am not a fan of, always feel like feeling like I’m being sold to. And so if you do go to those events, my recommendation is ask other people about themselves first and um, offer to help them or give them ideas.
[00:50:58] And then if there’s time, they will naturally ask about you and you can just come across as. Whatever’s naturally coming out of your mouth about your business at the time, don’t feel like you need to sell someone. I know we’re supposed to have an elevator pitch. Um, I actually did an, uh, a networking thing for our association if you ever go listen to it, where, you know, I help people do X so that they can do y unlike others that do Zed, which is actually something from Mel Abraham that he has a podcast episode on how to stand out.
[00:51:30] Um, and he actually did something for my community where he did a training on how to be seen as your customer, your ideal customer’s only solution. Um, and he knew that he was coming in to speak with OBMs about that topic. We don’t have to always be selling ourselves and putting ourselves out there.
[00:51:48] Behind the scenes. I love being behind the scenes. I love being that person behind the scenes that’s letting that person stand in the light. Because I’ll tell you, as much as we look at influencers and think their life is great, I’m sure that it is great. But at the same time, there’s a lot going on. They take a lot of negativity.
[00:52:06] It takes a certain personality to be able to, to do that work, to take all the praise, but to take the criticism that comes with that every little mistake that’s seen. So actually love what I do because we’re behind the scenes, , it just, it, you know, we’re making a difference, but we’re making a difference in our, in our quiet way of making a difference.
[00:52:32] And I love that just as any business owner. So you don’t think that whatever you’re doing means that you have to show up as this influencer to have a business? Cuz that’s not true either.
[00:52:45] Megan: Yeah. And I, I love that you are the perfect example of, um, being able to grow a thriving business without having a huge online presence.
[00:52:55] You know, and networking sounds like was the key to that. Um, yeah. I’m assuming you didn’t do a whole lot on social media over that, you know, 10 year period or whatever it was that you didn’t have a website. Yeah. . So
[00:53:09] Keldie Jamieson: I did not do that either. I am, yeah. I’m like a social media stalker. I love to read everybody else’s stuff.
[00:53:15] Megan: Same.
[00:53:16] Keldie Jamieson: Every once in a while I will publish something or put it in, or because I’m supposed to, which I just did hand quotes for that supposed to, um, I am, I, I think I’m like an introverted extrovert. So I do, when I feel comfortable with people, I am really, really, uh, like to have a lot of fun. I don’t take my business too seriously.
[00:53:37] So for all of you that are thinking about that as well, the business is there to support me and it’s supposed to be fun. I love talking to people. So there’s that part of me that thinks I’m extroverted, but at the same time, I don’t necessarily wanna be the person that is the face of, of the industry or of the, of whatever.
[00:53:58] I like to, um, I just like to help and be of service and at the same time know that I’m making a difference and empowering other women. So again, it’s both your mission and what you’re trying to, with intention of what you’re trying to get out of it. And so, even though my business transitioned from being the O B M and then working my way up and learning, and then helping these women to now being a trainer, , it still meets my mission.
[00:54:24] My mission has never changed. Women empowering women. And this time it’s me empowering others to show up for themselves. And that you can have, you can do whatever you want in business. That’s the other thing, like I, I like to point out as well. Um, whatever lights you up, like what is it that lights you up?
[00:54:40] I happen to be training people to do what I did, but I am not, um, like if you love to push all the buttons for tech, oh, please go be a virtual assistant because we need more of you. Um, we can’t be an O B M without you. If you love coaching women, if you love making products, um, you know, selling on Etsy or what, like, I never care what someone wants to do in business.
[00:55:06] And I love business as a vehicle to empower, uh, empower women. I mean, and it does empower men too. I don’t wanna exclude that. I think we all come from a place of. things in our life that might have made us feel a certain way. So at one point in my life, I felt a little bit disempowered. And so because of that, um, I’m all about empowering women.
[00:55:28] Does does that make sense? So that’s where that, that passion comes from.
[00:55:32] Megan: Yeah. And I love that you have that kind of twofold mission on your, you know, in your personal life with your family. That was the reason for starting your business. And then also on the business side, you know, empowering women. I think that it’s great that you have both sides of.
[00:55:48] Um, that kind of drive what you do in your, in your business. Um, I know we’re coming up on time here. I have so much more that I feel like I could ask you, but, uh, I do want to ask you a few rapid fire questions, if you don’t mind. Does that sound good?
[00:56:04] Keldie Jamieson: Yep. Sounds good.
Rapid Fire Questions
[00:56:05] Megan: So my first question is, what is one of the best or most worthwhile investments that you’ve ever made in your business? And it could be an investment of money or time, or energy, anything.
[00:56:17] Keldie Jamieson: Uh, hands down, it was, uh, joining the International Association of Online Business Managers. It took my business that first year. I wasn’t really doing much. I wasn’t having ideal clients to getting ideal clients and then finding a community of mostly women in that community, but finding that community that supported me, I never felt alone in all of these years in business.
[00:56:39] Um, I have my geeky friends who all seem to like similar things to me, and it’s just been a pleasure and a joy to build my business with, with them as my support system. Yeah, yeah. Hands down, yeah.
[00:56:51] Yeah. I
[00:56:52] Megan: am also in that community now. Having gotten certified this year, and I can say without a doubt, it’s been an amazing investment and, uh, yeah, it’s just a great community.
[00:57:02] I’ve only been in it for like four months, but I swear probably every other week I post a, a question to the group and people are so helpful. So it, it really is an amazing community. . Um, next question is, what is a common myth or misconception about running an online business or a lifestyle business that you wanna clear up once and for all?
[00:57:25] Keldie Jamieson: Um, that you don’t have to work or do anything, and that clients are literally just gonna fall in your lap. Um, that is not true. We do have to work at it. There is work that needs to happen so you can have a side hustle, uh, but if you build it, they will come, is not necessarily true. . So just because you have a website doesn’t mean that people are going to find you.
[00:57:46] You do still have to either market or network or do something. Um, it doesn’t mean that you, it can’t come easy for some people, but don’t think that, I mean, I didn’t have a website for 10 years, but I networked. So it’s not like I didn’t do things to promote my business. So just because you build it doesn’t mean that they will come.
[00:58:02] It is not the field of dreams. , yes. I’ve learned that lesson so many times in my own business. I like, I just keep relearning it, , hoping eventually it’s gonna stick.
[00:58:14] Megan: Um, so last question that I have for you is, how has a failure or an apparent failure set you up for later success in your business? And do you have a favorite failure in your business.
[00:58:27] Keldie Jamieson: So my favorite failure was actually in the first business I learned, oh, um, to read contracts, um, to not let the money. That’s what happened. Um, someone promised me a sales rep that was in my indu in that industry, in the clothing industry, but in that niche, um, literally say we can make, oh, you, you can make tens of thousands of dollars.
[00:58:48] Give us your samples. We’re gonna take it. We’re we’re just leaving. I didn’t get a contract signed. I did none of that. Um, it took me months to get my samples back. And then when I was talking to cl to the clients that I’d already been selling to successfully, They said, oh yeah, those guys, they took your product and the big box company is now making that product for us and they can sell it to us for half the price that we were getting at wholesale from you and then reselling it.
[00:59:15] So, unfortunately, we love you, we love your product, but it’s cheaper over here. Like they’re very honest. It just shut my business down. I didn’t have a contract. I didn’t read a contract. So now what I’ve learned a and as an O B M I ask for contracts. I read contracts, I point things out to people. I let money, the dollars thing influence me into thinking that I could have this really simple business that money was just gonna fall in.
[00:59:43] Again. You have to like thinking I didn’t have to work. Um, it was a huge lesson for me of not knowing my industry. because I wasn’t really all that passionate about it anyway. And I let dollars get in the way and I didn’t read a contract. So, huge lesson for me about setting up of expectations, um, and covering your butt.
[01:00:05] Yeah. Like really like looking out for yourself. So yeah, that was a huge lesson, was my favorite lesson because, you know, years I went back into corporate, but when I was ready to go into business again, I knew that I needed to set expectations and read and understand what I was doing. Yeah. It was a good lesson for me.
[01:00:26] Megan: Yeah. Well thank you so much, keldi. I learned so much personally from our conversation and I’m sure that our audience is gonna get a lot of value out of it. So thank you so much for being here.
[01:00:38] Keldie Jamieson: Thank you for having me. Um, and you know, if you’re thinking about starting a business, I’m like a hun, I’m behind you a hundred percent. Read your contract, set your expectations, find your passion, find your why, and I think you’ll be successful.
[01:00:52] Megan: Yeah. Yes. And work on that mindset.
[01:00:55] Keldie Jamieson: And work on that mindset. Yes. Thank you so much for having me, Megan.
[01:00:59] Keldie Jamieson: Thanks so much for being here and for listening to the Dollar Spa podcast today. Be sure to check out the show notes for any links and resources that were mentioned in today’s conversation.
[01:01:09] And if you enjoyed this episode, then don’t forget to like, subscribe, and leave us a review wherever you’re listening to this podcast. Thanks again for being here and for being part of the Dollar Spout community, and I will see you in the next episode.