Ep. 107: How Cher Hale is Using Entrepreneurship to Fight Racial Inequality.

    This week I am thrilled to have Cher Hale on the show. What I love most about Cher's story is how she demonstrates that we can each find ways, in our own lives and work, to right the wrongs we see in our society. One of the best part about entrepreneurship is that you have the freedom to do things your own way. And that's exactly what Cher is doing!
    Cher started out as a waitress on the Las Vegas strip and freelanced on the side. We talk about how she never had a formal PR education but found a fantastic mentor who inspired her to dive headfirst into entrepreneurship instead.
    Cher is the founder and director of Ginkgo Public Relations, a company that specializes in amplifying marginalized and underrepresented voices. After working in PR and realizing that the same voices were getting all of the attention, Cher decided to focus her attention on changing that. Her company now aims to reduce inequity in the media landscape, stop the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes, and offer much-needed representation across all sectors.
    Make sure to check her out here:
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    Show Transcript:
    Hi friends. Welcome to another episode. I am so excited to have you here. I took this last weekend to completely disconnect and every time I do it, I realize how important it is. And then I don't do it for a really long time and I'm committed to doing it more. And I highly recommend, especially right now when there are, you know, lots of things vying for our attention and a lot of heaviness. I think it's really important to disconnect for a little bit and get your mind, right? So that's what I did this last weekend. And I am raring up to get back into the real world that also kind of plays into the book that we're reading in July. If you are new to the podcast, I do a book club every month. At the end of July, we will talk about Deep Work by Cal Newport. And I just started digging into that book and I'm already questioning everything that I do.
    And I think it's really important to think about how distracted and connected we are constantly and how much we really need to learn to disconnect in order to do better work. So make sure you pick up that book and we will talk about it at the end of the month. I am so excited for this conversation with Cher Hale. We actually recorded this conversation before a lot of this current civil unrest that's been happening since the murder of George Floyd. And it was important then, but it is so much more important now. So I'm so excited to be able to bring this to you. Cher started out as a waitress and server on the strip in Vegas, and she began freelancing on the side. We'll talk about how she never had really the formal education in PR, but how she went about finding a mentor and then deciding to take the plunge into entrepreneurship to start her own PR agency Ginkgo public relations.
    Now, the reason I think that this conversation is so important is that her public relations firm focuses on helping underrepresented and marginalized and entrepreneurs steal the national spotlight so that we can reduce inequity in the media landscape, stop perpetuating harmful stereotypes, and offer the much-needed representation across all sectors. As a Taiwanese black American woman chair is passionate about leveraging the power of media to tell these diverse stories so that she can help in reshaping how our society views, social justice, and feminism and multiculturalism.
    And what I love about this story and what we will get into is that the beauty of entrepreneurship is you can fill a void that you see, you can see that things are not equal and you can do your own part to fail that. And I love that she has the power to say, listen, there are tons of PR agencies. And my mission is not to just get clients and make money, but it is to provide a much-needed spotlight to a group that typically gets overlooked. And in her own way, help create more equality and more understanding in this world.
    A lot of times we try to answer the question of what I should be doing with my life or what, you know, what is the purpose and, and figuring all that out. And I constantly say on this podcast that there isn't one way of doing things and there isn't one purpose. And I love that. Like in anything that you're doing, you can figure out a way to tie it back to some.
    I think that means something to you to fill a void that you see in this world to do something, to leave it a little bit better off, and you're not going to fix everything, but you can do something that makes you feel more fulfilled and helps leave this world a little better than you found it. So I love what she is doing. And I'm so excited to have her here to talk about our story without further ado. Let's jump in.
    Goli: Hi Cher. Thank you so much for joining me today.
    Cher: Hi, thanks for having me on.
    Goli: I'm so excited to have you on. And I can't wait to jump into the cool things that you're doing with your own PR business, but we like to start back at the beginning. So why don't you tell us what you were doing before you started PR and maybe what your career looked like before that?
    Cher: Yeah, it was what can best be described as kind of spaghetti on the wall? I had graduated from college with a communications degree, but I didn't know what that meant and I didn't know what to do with it. So in the meantime, from 17 to my mid-twenties, I was working as a hostess and then a server at a restaurant. And around the time before I began to go full time and business, I was working as a server on the strip and a pizza restaurant. And I was freelancing on the side with some people that I had met in business circles over the years.
    Goli: And what does that mean? Like freelancing, freelancing, doing what?
    Cher: Sure. I had learned some PR skills and some marketing skills through a couple of internships that I had created for myself with people that I knew the community. And I thought, you know, I really want to own a business someday. I really wanted to leave Las Vegas someday was my original intention.
    And I thought that the best way that I can do that right now beyond getting a job, which feels constricting and not fun, was to do something on my own. And I had a few mentors in the space who had their own businesses, so I knew it was possible. And I knew the process to make it happen. So I thought if I start freelancing now, let's just some of those contacts. Maybe I can create a client base for myself. So one of the things that I was good at back then, it was doing a lot of just like a virtual administrative work, helping people set up their systems and their funnels and their email lists. And I didn't read that really intuitively. So I offered those services and I also offered just some backend marketing stuff. So like some copywriting and editing and then some formatting of whatever content they might need a format.
    Goli: You said that you had met some mentors through the space... How did you meet people that were, you know, doing these types of businesses so that you could see what was possible?
    Cher: At first, it was an accident. So I actually, I went to running start in high school, which was a, the college high school program. And I had enrolled in a woman's studies course at the wrong campus, but it was already too late to drop the class and get a new one at my campus. So I just thought, okay, forget it. I'll just go. I went to this class and the fester was Alexia Vernon, and she was an adjunct professor. And on the side, she was doing career coaching and she was about to self publish her very first book. So at the end of the semester, she had chosen like four or five students to ask, to apply for an internship to help her launch this book. And so I applied, got the internship and she taught me how to do all of the stuff.
    That's kind of like the admin work of PR. She wrote all the pitches, but I helped her send them on her behalf. I cold-called producers. I amassed media lists, all of that stuff. And in the process I realized like, Oh, you can just ask someone to put you on TV, even with very little experience. And if the message is the right fit, they're going to do it because the had no experience at all. But we landed huge segments in New York City on NBC and CNN and the lots of low cost, I guess, media. So I thought, well, I'm sitting here like probably there around 19 years old, realizing that I had all this power just from using my voice and from asking people or giving them an option to say yes.
    Goli: Yeah. Amazing. Isn't it so funny. A lot of times when like the curtain is pulled back, you think things are so strategic or tricky and you're like, Oh, I just have to,
    Cher: It's so insane. I know people, over-complicate so many things, especially with PR and marketing and I find that most of it is just building a connection and then asking.
    Goli: Yeah, I love that. Okay. So you started kind of learning those skills. And then when you said that you started freelancing, so you started offering these services to be a VA, a virtual assistant to - What did that look like?
    Cher: You find people where you were just randomly cold pitching people like, Hey, let me do your work online, so kind of in the middle, between my internship and starting to freelance, I also asked another online entrepreneur, Natalie Sisson, if she needed help with the product she was working on. And she said, yes, and she hired me and they worked with her for about a year and a half. And I learned all of the backend of marketing. So in the meantime, from Lex and from Natalie, I was building up a digital network of people who had their own businesses. So at the time that I was ready to go on my own, I knew probably like 10 or 15 people who might need me and who knew the quality of my work. So it had already spoken for itself in lots of ways. And I just had to say, Hey, here's what I'm doing now, here are the prices. Would you be interested? And it was very much that clean ask. And I think I landed my first round of asks, maybe two clients and the first client I landed worked with me for probably two years in first year of that.
    Goli: Wow. I love that. And around when you're asking people and when you're first pitching people, how old were you?
    Cher: Oh, I must have been 22. Yeah.
    Goli: This is the reason I'm asking. I normally wouldn't ask that question, but I guess it's more... You know, so many of us want to do something like that, but we don't think we're qualified or we don't have, you know, I don't know whatever it is. We need to have some more business acumen or so we don't go for it, especially I think younger women think that there needs to be, you know, you need to check off some boxes or have some degrees or somebody has waiting for some kind of permission, you know, whereas it's just like, all it is, is really asking and seeing if you have services that you can offer other people. So I'm just wondering what kind of headspace were you in when you were, you know, basically starting a business at 22 and putting out there and being responsible for other people's deliverables. I mean, did you have imposter syndrome? Did you feel like, who am I to do this? They're going to figure this out or did you know, like I can deliver, so I might as well do it.
    Cher: You know, there were a lot of things happening in my head, but for me, I think one of it was just straight up like beautiful, innocent naivety. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into at that age. And I miss that a piece of that youth so much now at my age. And I hesitate more often, right? Like things are just riskier and back then nothing felt risky. I think I also had the benefit of having really strong female role models in my life. So Alexia and Natalie and a few other women who I just saw leading amazing businesses. One of the programs that Alexia ran was called influencer Academy. And she actually got a bunch of women from all the corporations in Las Vegas, like all like the MGM. And like I said, in one room and to help invent their leadership skills. And I watched these women come in this room already powerful, already successful and just grow in that way. And so I think having them around me helped a lot too, just to build my own confidence. And then a lot of it was just, you know, putting in the work and having people trust me and believe in me and just being really personable. I'm a make sure that I could do what made them happy in their businesses and what worked for them.
    Goli: Right. Right. I love that. Okay. And so you started with freelancing and I'm just wondering if at that age too... You're, I know you're Taiwanese-American and I'm wondering like, did you get any pushback from your parents or family members or anything to like, you know, maybe you should get a job in corporate America. Like maybe you should use these marketing skills and get a stable career.
    Cher: Yeah. I never heard the end of it. Actually. It's funny because my stepfather is black and my mother, my biological mother is Taiwanese and she was never the one who said, you know what? You shouldn't do this. You should consider a more stable career. She might have been thinking it, but she never said it to me, to my face. And my dad on the other hand, who was a corrections officer, always said like, you should be at MGM and marketing. Like, you should be doing these things. You need a pension, your retirement plans. And I just told him, like, I just don't have any interest. I don't want to do that. And we thought about it for years until just recently when I was able to show him like, here's like what I do now. And here's why it matters. And here's what I make. And he was like, Oh, I get it. I'm actually doing things that like, make a difference and you can feed yourself. So it all worked out.
    Goli: I love that. And I think that that takes a lot of strength because especially again when you are young and I think we so often just look to the people that love us to guide us. And I think that we don't trust our own intuition. And so many of us get kind of funneled into something that isn't right for us, because that's just what we're told is the right thing to do or is, you know, the smart thing to do.
    And, you know, it's well-meaning, but it doesn't mean that they know what is right, because there's so many different ways to kind of make a living. And I think especially right now with the speed at which technology changes, I think so many people in previous generations don't understand all the possibilities online and how much simpler it is to set up a business. And so they're coming from a different paradigm, but it's still really hard to stand up to that. I think a lot of times, so many of us are stuck in this wanting to please our parents or wanting everyone to be okay. And really when that's coupled with our own self-doubt and not knowing whether we're good enough to make it in something like business, we end up letting that self doubt take over and putting away our dreams. So I think it's, it's amazing to be able to like really prove that you knew what you wanted and you went after it.
    Yeah. I mean, to be fair, there were plenty of days where I did freelance work until five and then went in for a night shift at the restaurant until 11. And I thought I'm not making enough money to even rent my own apartment. Like what am I doing with my life? Right. And I really had to get quiet and listen to, I think what I wouldn't have called them what I would call now, my intuition and just know that like, if I kept following this path, I've seen it work for other people and it can work for me too. I just have to readjust. And one the major, I think aha moments that I had along that path that made me, it gave me some reassurance that things were going to work out was when a very incredible mentor retouching. And she said, Hey, I noticed you're charging these prices. Here's what you should be charging. And here's how you can have the conversation with your clients, that you can increase your prices and hopefully not lose any of them. She actually like role played with me over Skype, back in the day. And it has immensely helped me not only have that conversation but charge accordingly so that I can make a living wage.
    Goli: That's incredible. That's wonderful to have people like that in your corner. And I love that you mentioned that because that's actually something I've really wanted to focus on more on the podcast and we tend to maybe gloss over, but it's something that Brene Brown in her book, Rising Strong that we talked about on the podcast calls the messy middle, because I think a lot of times we think about, you know, the decision to start a business or to whatever do a career change and a lot of the fear and the conversation around it and how do you prepare and actually making the jump.
    And then on the podcast, we talk a lot about kind of the like hero's journey and like how, you know, they, people have gone on to create these incredible things. And I think we sometimes skip over a little bit, the messy middle, where it is a lot of the part where you've already decided to kind of go on all in and do this, but there are so many of those nights where it's like, what am I doing is this evening?
    And I think it's really helpful for people to know that everybody goes through that, right. Because you don't just set something up and become an overnight success. There's no such thing like it all takes work. And so can you talk a little bit more about like, when you were going through that and you said, you know, having that intuition or that faith, that it would work out, like you've seen it work out. I mean, how did you know? Cause I think a lot of us end up throwing in that towel because we can't see when we're going to make it over that.
    Cher: Yeah. That's such a good question. And what comes to mind first is that in my early twenties, like most people in their early twenties, I did not know how to manage money for the life of me. And that was a huge barrier, keeping me from going full time in business. And it wasn't until I made the connection that I had to have some kind of like security fund. If I wanted to make this a reality that I began to get really serious about it and that the question became less of, can I do this and more, how do I do this? So I worked really hard as a server for about two years saving up money so that I could move from Las Vegas to somewhere else and go full time in business. And that was like, I was tunnel vision focused. And that's like, the thing that stands out to me the most is that I had enough money to survive for at least a little bit.
    And then it didn't work out. I had a home to come back to and not everyone has that privilege to be clear. Yes. But I definitely did. I'm grateful for my parents. Let me live at home for a little bit, probably in the first few years of my 20th. So I was able to not have to pay rent. And then I had a partner for two or three years to where we paid half of all of the bills. And so, you know, that makes a big difference. If you're trying to start a business and risking it all for this thing that you don't know is going to work out, but I saved the money and then I moved to Portland, Oregon, and I chose to move there for two months just to see what it was like. See if I wanted to live there forever.
    And actually during that time, the first two months I worked probably 12 hour days every day for two months because I was so intent on building an agency. I wanted to build a marketing agency. That's kind of like what I told my clients. And I just thought if I had any chance of making this happen, I have to give it my all. And so I used that time to be a hermit and give it my all. And I actually did leave Portland. It wasn't the place for me, but I'm not sure I gave it a fair chance either.
    Goli: And so how did you decide to go a marketing agency? How did you go from VA freelancing to starting your own agency and focusing on marketing and PR?
    Cher: Yeah, it was my clients. So I heavily, at that time had three or four clients and I would constantly be in communication with them and just ask them, like, what are you meeting? What are you finding? Isn't working in your business and how could I help? And every time they answered those questions, I adjusted accordingly just to make sure that I was being most useful to them. So by the time I got to Portland, it became pretty clear to me that everyone online with selling marketing, how-to advice. So like here's my eight-step blueprint for like maximum success, but no one was helping them to implement the marketing tips that they offered. And so I thought this is a huge gap in the market. Like I could be the person who's executing for them and they could be the leader of their brand and like, you know, the content creator, but I can help them make sure all the pieces flow together and get published and go out into the world. But they ship things essentially because everyone was taking in so much information at that time, but no one wants to really ship it. At least my clients weren't.
    Goli: What kind of clients do you typically work for? Like who do you help
    Cher: With marketing? So back then it was mostly consultants and coaches. And I would say it hasn't changed that much at this point either, but the level of business owner has changed. And you mean like the level in which like revenue and stuff that they make. Yeah. So all around. So I used to work with primarily fellow entrepreneurs and now our clients do have teams of like five to 20 people, millions in revenue, the different level in those clients were back then.
    Goli: Right. And I mean, I love that you say this, like this has come up a lot on the podcast. And I think it's just so relevant. People struggle with figuring out like... What is the thing they should do? Or what is the business that they should have? And my advice has always been to just start trying things like do things and it will lead you to where you need to go. It's like, you're not going to think your way to the end.
    I've seen this happen time and time again, it happened with me, even with this podcast. It's like, I had no idea what was going to come out of the podcast. But once I put it out there, it's like people came to me with their questions. So I saw what people needed more. Like I saw the gaps where people weren't getting information and where I could help out. I think it's just such a great way of finding a niche because then you're not getting curious of, Oh, are people gonna like this? Like you already know people need this. And so it sets you up for success.
    Cher: Yeah. I see. I don't know about you, but I see so many people get stuck in like that analysis paralysis, because they're just not trying anything. I have so many ideas but are too scared to put any into the world. And so it makes sense that they get stuck.
    Goli: Yeah. I mean, that's like, I feel like everybody I talked to and I'm not trying to, I really am sympathetic. Cause I was like that for a really long time. I still am. I sometimes get stuck in that, but I think once you've gone through it once and you realize all of the clarity comes from taking action, all of the clarity comes from trying things and seeing what you like and what you don't like and what other people need and how that fits together. And so how can you create something that people actually want and that you actually like creating none of that can happen, like by just thinking your way through it, you know? And so often we waste so much time trying to make like the perfect thing and then we put it out in the world and like nobody wants it. And so much wiser to just start. But I think obviously it's like the fear of failure and the fear of what other people are gonna think that stopped people from doing that.
    Cher: Yeah. I mean, I think that a lot of us, you know, we've been socialized that way, right? Like even the role of business is you have to have a business plan before you start anything. And then that's never been the case for me. Right. I still have a pretty low-end business. You know, I don't have any kind of like investment funding that I'm doing, stuff like that. So it's a different type of business. But I do think that we, you know, we oftentimes just think ourselves into a hole, like you said.
    Goli: And that's honestly one of the reasons I wanted you on the podcast. You know, I am a believer in the fact that like you can't do things that you don't know are possible. Like we have to see examples of things so that we can see what is possible for so long. The only idea of business for people is like a brick and mortar shop or, you know, some kind of product-based business like shark tank. And that's what we've seen typically. That's how it was maybe before the Internet. And one of the things that I really wanted to show what the podcast was just this world of online business. Right. And how much, not that it's easy, but how much simpler it was to set up. Like, you don't need seed capital.
    You don't need tons of employees. You don't need a business plan. You know, you need a service that you can sell to people. And people really overestimate how hard it is to actually set up. You know, I, I really like showing that, like, you can just decide, you're going to hang up your shingle. Like I'm just going to offer this service. If people want to pay me for it, they can't, I can, you don't even have to have a website, you know, like it's just so much easier to do now. And I really want people to see that, like, this is also not just like any businesses, these are very lucrative and successful and fulfilling businesses that people are doing in all different avenues. And there's just so many different holes in the market that you can decide to fail if you want.
    Cher: Yeah. I mean, especially now we're post quarantine, we're still in a pandemic with an impending recession. People's slides are upheaval and there's a lot of gaps in the market here that we can fill, especially the how little overhead it costs to be in an online business, like to your point. And it's always interesting. I'm curious to see how the landscape going to change even in like our bubble of online business in the next six months.
    Goli: Yeah, absolutely. Me too. Okay. So tell us a little bit more though, about your business. So your clients were needing, they weren't implementing the marketing and so you started offering and like, what are your packages typically look like? What do they typically charge? If you don't mind, you don't have to tell us if you don't want to. But I think a lot of people that are listening don't really understand this type of business. So I'm just trying to give an understanding of like how long you work with people, how much it costs and how you run it.
    Cher: Yeah. So to connect the dots though, marketing for about a year and a half before two or three of my clients began to ask me if I could pitch podcast for them. So I had all the PR foundation and I thought, sure, why not? Like I can try this. And within six or nine months, it was my number one referral package, like the service that everyone asked me about. And it was also the number one revenue generation in the business. And so I thought, Hmm, there's something here. Maybe I should look into this. And I fully pivoted into podcasts for the first year we did just podcast pitching. And then after that, we added on all the traditional PR services. So editorial, TV, radio, and now we do some speaking engagements as well. I love that the full suite of what we do now. And we work with clients typically on retainer.
    So I have three different packages. I have a podcast pitching package at 1650 a month with a minimum of six months for the agreement that I have an editorial end podcast package. That's 25, 50 a month for six months minimum. And then I have a full like brand amazing amplification service package. That's 35, 50 a month for six months. And that includes influencer outreach. They can get outreach, all the good stuff. And we typically at the end of around five months ask that they want to re-up and all of my clients were with me for about a year to two years.
    Goli: That's incredible. That is amazing. I love again, that you just said, you know what I mean? You started seeing what they needed, but then again, you quickly went into other fields and you're not like stop being yourself because, Oh, I don't have this experience to be like a PR agent or I don't have experience pitching big publications or brands or whatever. It's just kind of figuring it out as you go along. I think we put too much emphasis on like needing some kind of qualification or permission to start doing something.
    Cher: I agree. And also I did look for some mentors in this space to help educate me because I knew that I was missing a lot of the skills that I needed as a publicist, but I also took the other side too. And I hired journalists and I hired producers to look over my pitches and to look over my strategies, to get their feedback and see what their advice was for me on where I need to fill in my gaps. And I think that was the key that has made me stand out in a very saturated market.
    Goli: That's amazing. And so can you tell us a little bit about what the mission or the focus of your agency is? I know that you tend to specialize in a certain group of clients. So can you talk a little bit about how you've got?
    Cher: Yeah. So as you mentioned I am Taiwanese-American and my heritage leads so much of what I do now, you growing up and I, maybe you have this experience too, but there weren't nearly enough Lucy Lu's or Brenda Wong's in the world to satisfy me. And even when crazy rich Asians came out in a big way, I still felt this visceral gap in the market between the people in communities and what I was seeing in mainstream media. And it wasn't until my mother passed away unexpectedly at age 49. So really young that I had a moment to pause and think about what am I doing with my time here? You know, she was in retail for her whole life, but was writing three novels on the side. She's a romance novelist. And her biggest goal was to publish her books and to be known for them. And she didn't have a chance to, and I thought I have this skill set and I've helped so many people, but when it comes down to it, I'm not helping the people that I want to be helping.
    And to be very frank, all of my clients were white female life coaches. And I was just so bored of telling the same story over and over again and not really making an impact inside. So I thought, what if I focus entirely on helping people who are underrepresented or marginalized in our society, and I help them take their narratives back from the media and reshape them so that we can disrupt unhelpful stereotypes and rebalance a largely inequitable media landscape that gives higher treatment to women and men who don't look like the vast majority of us. And so now we work with people who are LGBTQ plus, who are minority, who are disabled, have chronic illnesses, all the spectrum across what makes somebody diverse, because those are the stories that I want to be telling.
    Goli: I love that so much. And I think that's the coolest part of entrepreneurship. I never thought of myself as quote-unquote, a business person. And I see how ridiculous all of that was, but one of the things that I've loved in my own journey and then watching, you know, people like you, you get control over your narrative and you get control of like how you want your business to look. And there's no greater feeling of realizing that you're not only making a living for yourself and making a good living and creating, you know, a business that is contributing to the community. But you get to focus on things that you want to put out in the world.
    Like you get to shape how this world looks in whatever way that you want. And that's such a cool thing to take advantage of and know that you have the power to do that. And I love that you've decided to pivot so that, you know, I think it's easy, easy to get caught in a comfort zone. And it's like, okay, well I could just make a good living, having the same type of clients and just keep adding them on and being referred, but like to make a conscious decision that no, I want to stand for this thing and I want to help get more eyeballs on these types of people. It's just such a cool privilege to have in such a strong stance to take. I really, I admire that.
    Cher: Yeah. Thank you. It's one of the things that lights me up every day, you know, pure heart can be a really tough game. I get rejected probably 20 times a day and it just something you have to get used to. So knowing that I have this mission and this end goal to put as many diverse voices into the mass media as possible, it helps me stay focused and stay positive, honestly, at the end of the day.
    Goli: I love that. So do you have any tips for people that are listening maybe who are starting their business and maybe they want to get a little bit of PR or they want to get a little bit of media attention or get on a podcast, any tips that people can use to make sure that they kind of put their best foot?
    Cher: Yeah. I would say spend some time first with your story and your message. So what do you want to say and why does it matter right now to the people that you're targeting? So we're never talking to everybody, right? Like I don't expect everyone to want to hire me and my PR agency. I expect the right people. So I make sure that all of my messaging and all of my speaking points are directly tailored to those people. So I would say spend some time figuring out, you know, what are your stories that you want to tell and how does that lead into the meshing or the message that you want to tell the world now? And once you have that all tied up, you can start to look at, I mean, simply who else is in your industry at maybe a similar or a bit higher level than you, and where have they been featured?
    What are they doing right now, or your peers, and look to your friends and to your colleagues to see what they're doing just to even get a start or some practice or some advice about what to do first, especially if you're one of those people that likes to overthink things. And then, you know, the Apple podcast store, isn't the great search isn't in the most amazing search engine, but it is one place to start and PR it can be a complex process getting from finding a show to booking an interview and then having to go live, but getting started there first and maybe just making the connection on Instagram and saying, Hey, listenig to your show. I love this episode with this person is a great way to start building that relationship.
    Goli: That's great advice. And so what is your business looking like now? Is it just still you or do you have employees?
    Cher: So I work primarily with subcontractors and we're all virtual. So I have like an office manager who helps do all of the bookings and all the admin work and all, she helps a lot of the content creation on that end. And then we have a couple of publicists subcontracted that we bring in from time to time for accounts, depending on what their expertise is and who the client is. And then I just help match-make that. So I am still the account manager for all the clients. Like they talked to me first and they talk to me always, but when we have a big project or a big launch, I bring on subcontractors to help me with those pitches.
    Goli: Very cool. And where do you kind of see this going, are you looking to keep growing the agency or are you kind of focused on being in a smaller niche and serving that niche as best as you can?
    Cher: Yeah, my dream is to be the tiniest agency possible to make my life as uncomplicated as possible. So I never want to have more than three employees. The goal is to eventually go hire some people full time. So maybe I have one admin assistant and one other lead publicist. And so we have like our team of three and we're the happy trio. That would be the best-case scenario. I also though would love to start some kind of investment fund to just putting money away every month so that I can take on clients who can't afford me, but who are the exact right person is part of the longterm vision.
    Goli: I love that. You said that, I didn't know you were going to say that, but I love that so much because clearly you've given it thought. And I think that we so often get caught in like other people's idea of success. We very easily get caught on this like hamster wheel of hustle and more and more and more, and like for business. I think a lot of times we measure that success only by revenue or how, you know, numbers and how big you can get and how many clients. And it's so refreshing and nice to see that like that, but you don't have to want that. And so many people can make great businesses that really serve their lifestyle and they're doing something they love and they can make it as uncomplicated as possible. I actually recently saw a past guest Casey Morris on her Instagram, and she was talking about the same thing about how she kind of got caught up in all these people in the online space telling her cause she had this great audience and she had the multiple six-figure business and like forcing her to kind of grow, grow, grow, and add more teammates.
    She did it for a while and then realized she was miserable and completely has cut back and cut back her product bound. And she's like, I'm the happiest I've ever been because I don't want that kind of a business. Like I didn't want 10 employees. I just want to employees. And I want to keep serving as many customers and having this great lifestyle and making great money and leaving that. And I think once you really know what you want or an idea of successes and what you want, it's so much easier to put the blinders on and run your own race as opposed to like looking at what everybody else is doing and what you like quote-unquote should be doing. Yeah. And it can be tough out there.
    Cher: I totally get that. I need to, or like the desire to compare or to fall in a comparison trap because there are so many like online gurus who appear to be killing it, but that's the time when you have to stop and get serious about self-reflection and just say, here's, what's really important to me. Here's the lifestyle that I want because for me, it's always been lifestyle first. And if I really want that, here are the ways that I'm going to build my business around my lifestyle.
    Goli: I love that. Well, Cher this has been awesome.
    Cher: Thank you so much.
    Goli: Are there any parting words that maybe you have for somebody that wants to jump into entrepreneurship? You know, hasn't done so yet, and maybe is feeling like I don't have the experience or I don't know what I'm doing.
    Cher: Yeah. I would say find one service that you can offer and then tell a couple of people about it, put it in an email. You don't need a website or an email list, or even an Instagram. You just need access to email and to say, Hey, here's what I'm offering. Here's how much it costs. Do you know anyone who'd be interested or would you be interested? And that's the best way to start getting some experience.
    Goli: Oh, I love that. Thank you so much, Cher. Where can everybody find you and follow along with all the amazing things you're putting up there?
    Cher: Yeah. If you want to actually begin to pitch yourself, I do have something called the pitch list. So if you go to Ginkgopr.com, that's G I N K G O P R.com/subscribe. You can get access to tons of podcasts that I vetted sorted by industry. So you can begin to easily find shows a picture yourself.
    Goli: Well, I will link that into the show notes as well as all of your social media handles. If people want to find you. Thank you so much for joining me today, Cher.
    Cher: This was awesome, thank you for having me. It was fun.
    Goli: How awesome was Cher? Okay, here are my three takeaways. Just start and then pivot. This comes up over and over again, but I love her example of her business. She just started out as a VA, not knowing what she wanted to do. Saw gaps in the market saw where she could add value. And she went in that direction. That's literally the only way to build a business. So just get started and you'll take it.
    You're down to sometimes the people that love you most don't always know what's best for you. I know this one's hard to accept and we don't want to upset people and we doubt ourselves, but it takes a lot of courage to trust your own intuition and understand that other people, people are looking out for you, but maybe they don't see the vision that you have. So you have to trust yourself so you can go after it. And three, learn to define what success means for you.
    The reason so many of us end up in places that we are unhappy with. This is because we went after someone else's idea of what success was or what we should have done. And we realized it didn't work so on the next pivot, make sure you know what it is that you want to find it for yourself so that you can start creating it. If you guys liked this episode, reach out and let share note, and I will see you next week for another one. Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes. It'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at lessons from a quitter and on Twitter at Twitter podcasts, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.