Going Backwards Isn’t Always Going Backwards – Episode 50

Merrymaker Sisters

In life, we are always expected to just move forward and grow but sometimes this isn’t always the case. The Merrymakers Sisters are my guests on this special episode of the Business & Life Conversations Podcast and we are going to explore why going backwards is something that you might need in your personal or professional life in order to get you moving forward again. Emma and Carla will share their inspiring journey to building their business, moving backwards and regaining the joy the once lost.

This episode is sponsored by Angela’s 4-day, 3-night Women in Business Retreat happening in Australia on October 24-27, 2019. Click here to learn more.

Important Links Mentioned in the Show:

Merrymaker Sisters Website

Merrymaker Sisters Instagram

Merrymaker Sisters Facebook

Merrymaker Sisters Pinterest

Australian Business Collaborative Facebook Group

Finding Balance in Business Women’s Retreat

Angela Henderson Website

Angela Henderson Active Business Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Facebook Business Page

Angela Henderson Instagram

Prefer to read Going Backwards Isn’t Always Going Backwards? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Episode 50.

Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. My name is Angela Henderson and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both. By having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life and in business.

Hey there, welcome back to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast and I am so thrilled that you are tuning in today. I’m your host Angela, from Angela Henderson Consulting, where I’m a Business Consultant; helping women in business to develop the foundational framework and strategy they need to grow sustainable and profitable businesses. On today’s podcast, I’m excited to have my first ever duo interview and I couldn’t ask for any better duo in the world than two of my favourite people from the Gold Coast, Emma and Carla Papas from The Merrymaker Sisters. Today’s episode is a little bit different. It’s a little bit, what would I say, it’s a heartfelt episode, really. We’re going to explore why going backwards isn’t always going backwards in business. And how sometimes going backwards is exactly where you need to be in order to move you forward; to give yourself permission; to grow; to find joy, and to be present.

But, before we jump into this episode, I just want to let you know that this episode is specifically sponsored by my 4-day, 3-night Women in Business Retreat, where we focus on women having the chance to connect, refocus, learn, and grow, in order for them to grow both in business and in life. This amazing event is going to be held October 24th through October 27th at the Gold Coast here in Queensland, Australia, and it is an exclusive event with only 50 tickets being sold. From having 8 of Australia’s top female entrepreneurs speaking, to surrounding yourself with amazing people that will lift you up both at conference and after the conference, to daily masterminds to get individual help on your business from both your peers and the speakers, to amazing food, being able to sleep in, and of course eating a meal uninterrupted; you’re not going to want to miss out. To learn more about this event, and to purchase your ticket, head to www.angelahenderson.com.au. And also, remember, we do have payment plans available in order to help with your cash flow. So again, just head to angelahenderson.com.au and click on Retreat to buy your ticket today.

Alright. Let’s dig into this amazing episode with Emma and Carla. Hello, hello. Emma and Carla, two of my favourite people in the world. How are you ladies today?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Oh, we are so good, Angela. Thank you so much for having us today.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. We’re super pumped.

ANGELA:

And I’m super pumped, too. You guys are actually my first guests that I’ve ever had to do a duo. So yes, you guys are the first ones. Welcome, welcome.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Oh, I do love that.

ANGELA:

You did. Well, I love it, too.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

…a lot of people actually.

ANGELA:

Yes, I wonder why people don’t do it more often. Maybe it’s because; like you guys met Ryan and James down at James Schramko’s event. And we’ve been talking about like doing one with the three of us. But I just like; the more think of it, I think the guys would just drive me crazy potentially. So I was like, “No, I can’t.” We’re going to start with two of the fabulous ones, which are you two. So I’m glad you guys are here today.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yey.

ANGELA:

And now listen, I was trying to think about the first time I met you. And I think the first time I met you, you guys were wearing hoodies at ProBlogger at the Gold Coast. I can’t remember what year it was. It was the year where they had like the big white party that was outside in the back.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Yes, and that was when I first met you guys. And I said something like, “Oh my gosh, I love these girls.” But I was like kind of fangirling at the moment because I’ve only just kind of known about you guys. And I was like, “Please don’t ever change.” And that was all I think I said to you. And then, we then met up in The Philippines at Chris Ducker’s ‘Tropical Think Tank Event.’

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Where we again hang out; what a wild time that was. You know, when you’re drinking mojitos in the pool, talking about business, friendships form very, very quickly. And from there, we don’t stay in touch all the time; but we’re always kind of in each other’s back of mind. And we chat when we need to. But it’s always so lovely being able to hang out with you guys again. So, yes, welcome to the episode.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Oh my gosh.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Oh. Thank you so much. And we feel the exact same way. Yes. It’s not often that we get to hang out in. But like, when you know someone’s there for you, it’s just the best feeling, ever.

ANGELA:

Yes. And I know sometimes when we’re down; because you guys are at the Gold Coast and I’m in Brisbane. We’ll catch up for lunch occasionally. But it’s one of those beautiful relationships where you can just pick up where you left off. And there’s like none of that awkward like, it’s just, it is what it is.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Exactly.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. And that’s the magic and so important when you have your own business because it does get; time is precious, right? And when you can just skip all that awkwardness, it’s like, boom. Yes, this is a great relationship.

ANGELA:

Totally. And it’s also that relationships again, where, there are some relationship that just aren’t healthy, right? And so sometimes, it’s like, as much as you want to stay in contact with people, you’re just going to like, “Man…” When your time pouring, your family only gets a certain amount of time, you can only go, “Okay, I’m there a couple of hours.” But I always know that when I’m with you guys, it’s like we’d only talk for hours and hours, and then we’re like, “Oh, shit, we got to go, dude.” And just like I said, it’s always good to be around that positive energy; we always laugh a lot, we always giggled, so it’s always a lot of fun. So I’m glad that you guys are here today.

So, yes. So now, before we jump into the episode, I always ask a couple of questions so that the listeners can get to know you guys a little bit more. So my first question is for Emma. I know you guys are definitely into mantras. You guys do it on your podcast and again I’ve seen you guys. So what’s the current mantra that you’re living by?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Oh my gosh. Holy moly.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

On the spot.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

You know what. It’s my old one. It’s ‘Follow your bliss.’

ANGELA:

Follow your bliss.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

That’s the first thing that came to my mind. I mean, there’s a bazillion others, but follow your bliss.

ANGELA:

And when you say, follow your bliss, what has that mantra meant to you over the last year or so?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Well, the last year, in particular, I think it’s just all about being in alignment to your bliss. So the bliss is the thing that, like is that joy, that whatever you’re doing; it’s like time disappeared. It just creates this amazing feeling. And the thing that I realized in the last year or two years is that; that bliss can change. So, I guess that’s how we got into what we do. We found our bliss, we followed it, and here we are. But then, it’s like this guide, right? It’s like the way to stay in alignment to your heart and yourself. So it’s kind of like this ever-changing thing. And I don’t know; I feel like follow your bliss creates a life of depth, it creates a life with love, and it creates a life of openness; where you’re just like, “Yes, come on life. Come at me.”

ANGELA:

Yes, bring it. Bring it. Bring it. And I love a good, what’s it? Not challenge, I’d say; a good embracement of all the good. Because you guys really focus also about, you embrace when things go bad, but you’re not; you two both collectively aren’t there to just sit and you wallow. You guys are very much about, “What do we need to learn from this particular…” People would say failures, I would call them lessons. What lesson do we need to learn, and then you guys are very proactive about moving through that.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Thank you.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Yes. And so Carla, for you; so okay, find your bliss is yours, Emma. Now, Carla, my question is to you now. I know you both love to cook. But I think, Carla, in my time of watching you guys, The Merrymakers Sisters, I said that kind of some of those food things is your kind of zone of genius. So I could be wrong but that’s just how I observed, I mean you’re a bit of the tester. Now I want to know, out of the hundred…

THE MERRYMAKERS:

This is the hundredth queen.

ANGELA:

Exactly. Yes. You said it. Not me. So the sweet treat queen.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

I love food.

ANGELA:

But of all the recipes that you have made on the Merrymakers Sisters website, what is your all-time go-to-recipe?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Holy moly.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Oh, my all-time go-to? Oh gosh.

ANGELA:

Or favourite, it could be; it does not have to be like go-to, this one’s quick and easy. But what’s like the one you’re like, “If I can have that breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m all over it.”

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. Well, probably the recipe where I was like so excited and like so proud-of recipe was our Beetroot Mud Cake. And I think because it just reminded me of, I don’t know if you’ve had it before, but those Sara Lee Frozen Mud Cakes; and they were like the cakes we would have as kids.

ANGELA:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

When, all of our birthdays, that’s what Mom would get. And this mud cake, this healthy Beetroot Mud Cake took me back to those memories and I think, it’s like, “Stay with me forever.” Like, “Oh my God. I made a healthy mud cake with beetroot.” It tastes like childhood.

ANGELA:

You’re like, “Oh my goodness.” So again, on your website, we’ll talk more about that. But yes, so the beetroot mud cake, is you’re all to, kind of you’d at eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Totally. And it’s so easy. Because you’ll just whack everything in a blender and you blend it and you put it in the freezer. And then, boom – mud cake.

ANGELA:

Boom. Have a great day. Thanks for coming. Yes. I know your; I’m going to mess it up, but the salted caramel square, is it right?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Yes, dude, that one. I remember when you guys were doing ads for that for a 5-day challenge, I think it was.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

It was like, if this caramel tart, I think I even messaged you. I was like, “Someone needs to start baking this and send it to me.” Because I was like, it is following me everywhere when I come online.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Seriously, that is probably our most ‘favourited,’ is that how you say, recipe. Like that just went viral when we shared it the first time. We were like, “Oh, yes. That happened.”  

ANGELA:

Yes. And it was crazy. Like it was, legit viral. It was everywhere.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Like people are making it all weekend. Like, there’s one weekend; I remember me and Emma were sitting at home. All these people were making the slices sending us photos. It was outrageously amazing.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

It was really cool.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Like, that’s how it began.

ANGELA:

Yes, that’s right. The square, the caramel, salted caramel tart; thank you for creating viralness.  Now, listen. Today you guys have had a bit of a journey from where you first started your business to where you are now. It’s been lovely to see you guys grow and go through those stages. But I guess today’s conversation that I really want to have on the podcast is to allow listeners the ability to know that change is okay; that it’s not a bad thing. And that going backwards isn’t always going backwards. And so, I just want you guys to share a little bit about your journey, about where you started. I know you guys used to both be government worker, and there’s a funny story about how I think you had resigned, but you didn’t actually tell your mom about resigning. So that would be cool. It’d also be cool about where you guys started in business; not like super in depth, but enough to give people the information that we need to let them know about how going backwards isn’t always going backwards. And then, again, will just go from there. How does that sound with you guys?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Amazing.

ANGELA:

Alright. Cool. Let’s start. Start us in the journey.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Well, a long, long time ago. So, yes. Carla and I both worked in government and we were in desk jobs, and we pretty much pay to them, really. Like it was just, this is where we ended up. And I remember, we were driving to work one day because we work in the same department.  And we’re like, “Sure your life is meant to be more than this.” Like, I’m pretty sure, I grew up thinking life was going to be better. And we were just like starting to question everything. And at this stage, I actually had been going through some health stuff. So I found out I was gluten-intolerant. I felt sick every day. And I was like, “Man, I’m like 23, 24. I should be feeling great.”

ANGELA:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And, so that was when I just kind of went down this like internet wormhole about health and gluten-free and discovered this Paleo Diet. Read all the stuff; and I was like, “I’m going to try this.” Sent it to Carla; she’s going to try it. And then, like a week later, we’re like, “Man, we feel really good.” And then, we literally just started sharing zucchini noodles, and sugar-free this, and sweet potato, lasagna; whatever we’re making at the time on Carla’s Instagram. And next minute, there’s like a thousand followers and we’re like, “Oh, this is kind of cool.” And we looked at each other, we were like, “We should do something with this, right?”

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. Well, we were kind of getting sick of all these questions they were giving us, like, “What’s the recipe? And how did you make it? And why sugar-free?” And blah, blah, blah. And we realized, like, “Oh, people are actually interested in this.” Like, “Is there a place where we can put this stuff, our story, on the internet?” And back then, we thought the internet was for checking the weather, and going on Facebook, and seeing the movie times and things like. We had no idea the world we’re getting ourselves into. And so, then, Emma googled, ‘How to start a blog?’

THE MERRYMAKERS:

No, I think I literally googled, ‘What is a blog’ first. Because I don’t know the difference. What’s a blog? And then we googled, ‘How to start a blog.’ And then, that’s when we discovered ProBlogger and Darren Rowse. And, okay, so we’re maybe, like half of our work time was dedicated to reading ProBlogger. And because Carla is one of this like, amazing humans, right? Where she would like to read something, and watch a tutorial, and she’d be like, “Oh, I can do that.” And then she just does it. And she won’t stop until she gets it done. And she’s usually pretty, bloody fast, too, which is awesome.

ANGELA:

Like, double win, double win.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Best relationship ever. But yes. So we just started making this blog and started writing. We got so passionate about it. And you know what, like it wasn’t even; we didn’t even have the idea that it was going to turn into a business. It was just the joy of sharing, the joy of connecting, the joy of working on something that brought us this feeling of, “Oh my gosh. We are doing something awesome and potentially helping people.”

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And when we first began, that’s where kind of the name came from because we were wondering, you know, what would we call this blog? And we scroll these names at the world, like, Fit & Healthy Made, Paleo and Fit Made; and that was actually our name for a little while.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And then we were like, “No, that’s not it. That’s not the thing.” And then, we realized like this new way of living brought us so much joy. And that’s what we were sharing, that’s what we were most passionate about; that joyful feeling. And so merry make means to bring joy, too; and that’s why we call ourselves Merrymakers Sisters because, yes, we’re real-life sisters.

ANGELA:

Yes, you are. That is true.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And then I guess, like, just went from there. Like, we went to conferences. We learned everything we could. We were just like, I don’t know, just like having so much fun with it. And then we realized…

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Moving fast forward.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Oh, fast forward. And then I give you some, like what the business turn into…

ANGELA:

Yes. So tell me, so what was it that you guys…

THE MERRYMAKERS:

So we loved the cooking, we loved the food. And that was what the business was about. Like it was a blog about recipes. So we realized, “Oh, okay. We have this massive community, but we don’t sell anything. But we want to make this a full-time thing. How the hell are we going to do this?” And so we made a recipe book, an e-book, and that went amazingly. So we made six more e-books. And then we decided that we would self-publish a recipe book, so we did that. And then, we did that again.

ANGELA:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And then we made an app with Jarrod Robinson, again, that’s called Get Merry. And then, we started programs and challenges all about eating real food. And this is where we would create meal plans and a community where people can hang out for four weeks, feel really amazing, eat really amazing food, and then, that was that.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. And then, it got to a point where, we were just like, cooking all the time, and making these meal plans. And yes, we loved it, but also, we realized, this creation process is no longer bringing us joy. And we actually are really sick of talking about food. Like, we don’t want to talk about this anymore.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

We didn’t want to share it anymore. That was a big, black yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Kind of sign.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And Carla had also just done her Yoga Teacher Training and like just had this life transformation, where, I guess, she; I just watched her kind of blossom as a human, and it was quite amazing to see. And at the same time, I was going through a breakup so I was really miserable. And then I started my Pilates Teacher Training, because I was like, “Man, I need to focus on something other than my misery.”

ANGELA:

Go do something. Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. And then it was like, “Okay, so we don’t like our business anymore.” And now Carla is a Yoga Teacher and I’m a Pilates Teacher, “Hmmm, what should we do?” And then Carla was like, “Let’s do something with Yoga and Pilates.” We love Yoga and Pilates and it’s still so closely connected to food because, like, exercise and food creates health.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And most importantly, what it was mostly connected to was that…

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Joy.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

…joy-filled feeling. That Yoga and Pilates brought so much joy to movement. And if we go back again, the six years of when we first started, it’s like, full circle. So where I was, when Emma found she had a gluten-intolerance was that I actually was completely obsessed with going to the gym, and completely obsessed with counting calories, and losing weight. And for me, the gym was actually punishment. It wasn’t anything joy-filled. It was, “You go to the gym, Carla. You work off those calories. You can’t eat until you’ve gone to the gym for an hour this afternoon, an hour tomorrow morning, and an hour the next afternoon.” Like, this is the life that I was living; completely un-joyful.

ANGELA:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

That’s for sure. And so, I was blown away that I had found this way of moving – yoga; that actually felt amazing and I actually wanted to go. I was like, it wasn’t punishment; it wasn’t forcing. I was like, “When is the next class?” Like, “I’m there.” And so, that was so exciting. And I think, when Emma did her Pilates, she felt the exact same way. And we were just like, “Man, this is really cool.” And we had decided, “Yes, we’re going to do something with Yoga and Pilates.” But we had no idea what that was going to be.

ANGELA:

And so that instance, were you guys like; would you say, when you were doing, when you started the yoga and then when you had to sit to the breakup, is that when you guys really started to calculate or really started to assess like, “Hey man. Something’s got to change here. Like, we’ve got to, do we…” Were you guys seemed to go like, “Hey, we got to get rid of the food side of things.” Were you guys thinking like, “Hey, we need to bring something different. We need to close up shop.”

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Like, what was is that you guys were thinking about? Did you guys take a break during this time?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Like, what happened from a business point of view also?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

It’s pretty interesting, like when we think back to our story, there’s definitely been moments where we have gotten ourselves to a point where we are like, “We don’t want to do this anymore.” And that’s a really scary moment, especially when something has brought you so much joy; and then, suddenly, it doesn’t. And you’re just like, “Oh, I don’t want to do this.” And you know, that’s also something to keep in mind if you ever have a partnership as well. It’s something really important that you focus on building a great relationship because some of those moments were actually caused by us. Like, being really mean to each other and just not working well together. And so that’s another thing that we’ve had; that’s a huge focus for us to make sure we are still sisters and we are also really great business partners.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. And I guess like at this point, we actually had a discussion with Brigit Esselmont from Biddy Tarot. And she just gave us this advice, because we pretty much go on the Skype call, you know, as friends. And she just said like, “What’s going?” And then Carla burst into tears. And then it was just like, “We don’t know what we want to do in business anymore. We hate it.” And she just said, “Stop. Like, take some space. Like, literally. You need to do whatever you can to go to the beach. Meditate. Go walk in the rainforest.” Like, I mean, we live on the Gold Coast. Like the best place to go walking.

ANGELA:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And we did that. So, and we have to say here, that our business had stopped. We weren’t making any; like we had decided to stop, but we weren’t making any income. It was great that we’ve received that export marketing grand.

ANGELA:

Oh yes. The export grand. Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

It was a perfect time that Brigit had said, “Can you afford to stop?” Because stopping and finding space is actually such a privilege, like for someone in business. It’s like, “Actually, we can.” And so, we, it was so nice to set back and realize our greatest fear; was our fear was that we were not going to take action. Because we are these people who are like, “We are just going to keep doing, keep trying; we’ll just go, go, go.” Now, when someone told us like, when Brigit said, “No, you just need to stop,” I was really scared. Because I was like, “Yes. But what if we don’t find it?”

ANGELA:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And so, we have to trust.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. We spend like; I remember we have all these like tons of the ocean just like lying on the beach, and then we go in the ocean and yell out to the world, “We surrender.” It’s kind of weird and hippy like that. Like we did that. And then, all of a sudden, it just started coming together; like this idea of Merrybody began. It was like, so different to what it is now. But it slowly just pieced together. And if we had not have taken that space, we had not have stopped making money…

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And if he had not trusted, it wouldn’t be what it is here today. So like, even though, like our income went down; like our annual, like that year, our income went down. Like significantly; I’m pretty sure, I’m going to try and think back to like a tax form. It would have gone down by a third.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. And you know, when you’re on business, it’s like, grow, grow, grow, Right? Like you want to increase your annual revenue. And so, that was really weird and scary; but also the most magical, amazing thing ever.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

It made us also realize, “Man, we don’t actually need that much to have a great life; because we still had a great life.”

THE MERRYMAKERS:

It was the best time ever.

ANGELA:

And again, too, I guess, there have to something to be said about, as we know with creativity, right? From what you’re saying, it sounds like that element of creativity was becoming more of a chore. Whereas, when you guys took the space, and you gave yourselves permission to take that break, you trusted the process; you gave yourself space to become creative again; to actually explore what was important again. Would you agree?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes, definitely. And yes, sometimes, it’s like, you feel your weeks and your days is so much; so many things to do and you’ve got this routine. And routine is so great, and it’s so awesome; and it makes you so effective and productive. But then if you feel every last minute, then where is the space for those magical moments? Will a new idea just float into your head? And I know Liz Gilbert, author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love, she talks about this is all the time.

ANGELA:

All the time, yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And I freaking love it. And it gives you permission. It’s like, “Here, have a day off. Go and walk. Go to the beach.” And yes, that’s like feeling your soul; you’re taking adequate rest, which is so important for your health as well. Because if we’re just going overtime, then when do we ever repair and when do we ever restore? So it’s giving yourself permission to have that space and also trusting that, yes, your next idea is coming. And sometimes, you just have to be patient. And these are all such big lessons that the creation of Merrybody has thought us. And that we now continue to bring into our business as well. We are very conscious of that. Merrybody is now like; it’s amazing and we love it and we love creating it. But we also still leave space, because what’s next? Like, it’s always going to be evolving. And yes, we have to leave that space for.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. So even when we have so much work to do, because like really, like we’re blessed, right? Like the work is never-ending; so lucky. And we have to force this break because we love what we do.

ANGELA:

So you guys really hone in on about really looking at things from a grateful abundance, right? So tell me a little bit more; the couple of times in this particular episode, you guys were talking about being blessed to have the work.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Can you tell me a little bit about how you guys have refrained or I shouldn’t even be making an assumption. Have you always thought of work as being blessed? Or have you kind of looked at it as you had to really think about that from a different viewpoint? And I guess, what I mean is, I think you shared that one time when we were speaking somewhere; I think that we are podcasting, and you use an example about a customer who used to email you all the time and you really used to get quite upset about that?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. This is a great example. Yes. I think we got to the point, and I know that lots of people would have had these feelings where there’s so much work to do, and you feel like you always go, go, go. And then suddenly, the work, you’re like; get annoyed by it. And you start to resent it. And you’re like, “I don’t want to post that to Instagram,” and like, “Oh, that person is emailing me again,” like, “How dare they email me? Like, take out my time.” And then, we decided one day, we decided, “Man, that’s a really awful way to work and it’s not bringing any goodness. Like that kind of feelings toward our work isn’t bringing more joy; isn’t bringing more goodness. And so, we decided to flip it all. And we decided to start to believe and act; that’s very important. You can’t just believe and not act in the same way; that, we are so blessed to have this work and to do what we love. And in doing what you love, sometimes there are moments like receiving an email from a customer. And we decided to flip that on its head and be like, “Wow, we are so grateful that this person is spending their time to email us; they’re spending their money to work with us or to buy our product. Wow. We’re going to sit for a moment, send them some gratitude, and also take the time to send them a beautiful email response back.” Because Angela, I know you speak about this a lot, that human to human marketing. Like, not only are we helping them by responding to this email, but also completely, definitely changing the way they think about us. And hopefully they keep; keep thinking about us in the future, in that, “Wow. They really looked out to me. Wow, I really love them. Wow, they’re so kind,” kind of way.

ANGELA:

100%. And again, as I talk about I think in pretty much every episode, is conversation is conversion. So whether or not that’s your email, or whether or not that’s your phone call, whether or not that’s in a Facebook group, is whenever you have the ability or the chance to speak and connect with someone, obviously you’re doing it from a place of yes; you just want to have that conversation. But also, when you do have that business element because we all do our businesses…

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

…is that you also go, again, “Well through this conversation, they may never buy from me, and that’s okay. But maybe they will because I’ve left a positive impression. But at the end of the day, I still treated them like humans and not like a number.”

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And as Emma was saying before, our to-do-list is never-ending. And we always say, you know the day that we don’t have anything to do, will be such a sad day because we would have would run out of ideas. It means that we aren’t feeling inspired and things like that. So now, whenever we are writing list; and we write list a lot. We’re like, “Oh my gosh. Look at those great work.” And I get really excited about it, especially when it’s a thing we’ve never done before. When it’s a new thing that we’re trying out in the business; and that can be really scary when you’re like really changing something that you’re used to. And you’re like, “It’s good work.” It’s like, “Man, I’m just so inspired as you as well.”

THE MERRYMAKERS:

But I also want to add like there’s always this element, you know when you do have a huge list, and especially when you bring in the new work, there’s always an element of like, “Oh, I don’t want to do this.” And it’s like, actually, we do have to consciously bring in this way of thinking.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

So it’s not automatic.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. It’s not always natural. I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that. Because this is like it’s a whole mindset thing that we brought into our lives and it’s been a game changer for our business; but also a game changer for our lives as well, right? Because that stuff happens much; like shit goes down, stuff blows up in your face, when you thought you’re going this way, and then, boom – you’re going that way. And it’s like, if you can bring in this gratitude, if you can look at this obstacle as a blessing, or that will potentially make sense one day, and you’ll be like, “Oh, that’s why I had to go through that?” that’s like living this life in flow. That’s like surrendering to the universe. And I feel like that is where; like that’s where we want to live, right? Like, that’s our goal; to live like that and to do business like that. And it’s freaking awesome.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And it all comes down to awareness.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

So around everything; awareness about thoughts, awareness of our actions, awareness of our behaviours and past beliefs that maybe aren’t serving us anymore. When we start to bring that stuff to the light, you know, just because you’ve done one thing the same way for years and years and years, doesn’t mean you can’t change it; doesn’t mean it can’t be better or a different way. So being aware and consciously thinking and consciously being aware of what you’re thinking is going to absolutely change your life. Because if you start to realize, “Wow, I think really bad thoughts about every single email that comes into my inbox.” Imagine if you began to think really amazing thoughts or just like calm thoughts or joy-filled thoughts about every email. Imagine if you started replying to every email like that. You would probably get your inbox done in such a better way. And it might not be quicker, it might not be more productive, but the end result is that you finish your inbox in a joyful state.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And also potentially creating new customers…

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

…and getting your prospect clients.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Instead of like just sending a one-word answerback, you spend the time to send two sentences back with a love heart and a smiley face; that’s what we would do. And yes, you feel so much better about it. And that’s what it’s about. It’s those small moments that make up the days, that make up the weeks, that make up the months. So it’s those small moments that really do count.

ANGELA:

And it’s also, I can only assume, here again, is that it’s about that energy, right? Is that, if you’re having negative energy when you’re responding to an email, that’s obviously going to clearly come across to the person receiving it potentially.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. 110%. Agree. Agree.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

We’ve all felt that, haven’t we? We’ve all felt…

ANGELA:

Yes. You’re like, “Oh. What was that about?” Like, “Do they have a bad day?” And then you start questioning your own stuff, and you’re like, “Hold on.” So again, if you choose to sit it and respond in a nice, joyful, etc. way, that again, it will only be better not only for the person receiving it but for your own health, for the people around you. And I can also, again, you go back to, I think it is important because I do see a huge trend in the business world. And a lot of times, listen, I work with a lot of my VIP clients in my 8-week coaching clients on strategy and foundational elements, but at the same time, I’m still tapping into the mindset side of things. Because entrepreneurs who have a strong growth mindset versus a fixed mindset; you can actually see them a direct correlation with scalability and success. But I would also say that those who have a strong growth mindset are in a different spot from a welcoming abundance, being grateful, having gratitude. And they just seem a little bit more on the happier side. It’s not as big of a; it’s not chore, right? So I guess that I’d say, and that’s a whole another episode around mindset, but I would be saying that…

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Oh my God. We’ll talk about it for like five years.

ANGELA:

It’s like, it’s so good. But it’s just stuff that I don’t think business owners are really honing into. Especially; not saying that everyone doesn’t; but what I’m saying is, especially if you’re listening to this and your a new business owner, just as much as strategy and the foundational elements that are necessary to grow sustainable and profitable businesses, you must also be looking at changing the mindset. And that could be looking at; I was talking to you before, these important talks about what your identity is and how that was created when you were a child. What your subconscious is saying? What are the stories you let your parents told you that, yes, you’ve concreted? What are your beliefs? But as you said, that as you guys are showing, is you, I believe you have choices. And a lot of people have said to me over the last 16 months, having 4 significant deaths; so my grandmother, my brother, father figure, and then our dear friend, Kelly Exeter’s husband passing; we have choices, right? I can either sit and cry every single day and give my business up and do X, Y and Z. And there’s times that I do cry. I’m not minimizing that. I’m not saying that you push your grief to the side. But at the end of the day, can I change what has happened? No. But what can I do to own the future? And I do think that comes down to choice.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Everyone has choices when you wake up. Like you said, respond and return email as a douchebag, or respond nicely. The choice is yours. And that, as business owners, you must start taking responsibility for the actions and choices that you do, and not say, “Oh, I didn’t get this because the course didn’t do this,” or “Oh, I didn’t do this because I’m unhappier.” But at the end of the day, if you take a course and you don’t action it, then that’s on you.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Exactly. This is our jam, right?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

We see it all the time. People will be like the victim. This didn’t work because of this. That’s the reason. And it’s not them, it doesn’t fall; the responsibility is never with them. And this is where; I don’t know, I guess, naturally, we are just like that. We’re like, “Okay, this didn’t work. Okay, what can we do now? Let’s take action. Let’s not sit and wallow. Let’s accept.” And this is all yoga, as well. This is all these lessons that we kind of learned ourselves in business and life. But also, then we do yoga; and it’s like this ancient philosophy. And this is why yoga, just like was this massive amazing ‘aha’ and connection for us because we found this way that was like how we already were. And now, it’s like, “Oh, other people are like this.”

THE MERRYMAKERS:

It’s like, there was always this formula like they’re written for us and we didn’t know. And now, we can delve even deeper and learn even more about it. And that’s exactly why we love yoga, because everything you learned on the mat is then transferred off the mat, and you’re like, “Where does this happen in my life? Why am I pulling out of this really tough pose? Why can I not hold here and breathe in a calm way? How come I’m puffing and panting and going out and pulling out of the pose?” It’s like, “Oh, where else am I doing that in life? Where else am I not going all the way and jumping with two feet in?” And I think, that’s why moving with Yoga and Pilates is so magical because it really teaches you about yourself. And when you know yourself, man, that is when you’re like, “Wow, I do that. And I want to change that.”

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. And it’s the most empowering thing when you realize, “Oh, yes. Like that behaviour actually sucks. That behaviour has been with me since I was a kid. Whatever was my childhood, whatever environment I grew up in, whatever mindset I was surrounded with from my family; that’s how I have it. But I can make a change, but I have to take action.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

So I have to choose to make a change and choose that this isn’t how I want to be any more.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

So I think, and the best thing you can do, is just like vocalize it and that’s where support is awesome; like your family, your partners, your whatever. Like, we’re so lucky that we have each other and we’re on this journey together because I can be like, “Yes, I realized I do this and that kind of sucks for our business and also my life. I’m going to make a change.” And then, I have this accountability and someone where I can discuss it with. And, I mean, sometimes you can get, like over analytical of yourself. I don’t know, I’m one of those people who over analyze myself sometimes, I’m like, “Oh, why do I do that?” And then it’s like, “Just go live your life.” And, so it’s kind of important to have that balance and also, have fun in this self-reflection and self-discovery and know that it could be scary. And, you know, sometimes getting really honest with yourself is awful, because you’re like, “Oh, I actually do that.”

ANGELA:

Yes. “I actually do that type of stuff.” Yes, “Is that me?” And then, you’re like, “Oh, that’s not who I want to be.” Right?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Exactly.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

So what do I need to do change it? And I guess, and that’s where if we go back to going backwards isn’t always going backwards, right? Is that again, and so for you guys and this transformation that you guys have seen since you started on business six years ago, ‘til now. So you left the corporate job, you did the recipes; you then guys took that break. And now you guys grow all into the Yoga and the Pilates and really honing in on the MerryBody Online Studio; you guys talk about, correct me if I’m wrong, ‘Move your body, find your joy.’

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

What advice would you give out there to people who are saying, “Okay. Great. Actually, you guys had some home truths today; you dropped some truth bombs on me about looking at my own beliefs and my own stories.” What would you say that, if people are wanting to start working through this, and so that they, too, could go, “Okay. I’ve got to work backwards. By going backwards isn’t always going backwards, there’s so much good that can come from it.” What would each of you say from a little tidbit? Or what advice would you give to those listening now?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. Well, I think, like number one is get still and get quiet. So take that space even if it’s just the five minutes away from the normal routine that you’ve created for your own life.  And just breathe; and there’s no, nothing to come of this, that’s just the action. Go get still and breathe really deeply. And if it’s just for five minutes, and then, see what happens. But there’s no expectations; that little five minutes is going to bring some greatness to your day and maybe something else as well. And keep doing that until you feel grounded and you feel connected to yourself. And I think that’s something that we’re all missing, like a lot. We’re doing, we’re doing and we’re doing, and we’re doing, and we’re doing, and we’re doing; and we forget to just stop, and be still, and connect to ourselves. Because when we connect to ourselves, we allow ourselves to be honest with what we want; to actually think and start to see what we want from our lives. Because sometimes, we think we’re doing the thing we want, but we’re just doing what we think we should be doing. Because that’s what we’ve always done, or that was my idea six years ago so I’m just going to keep doing it. And just because it was your idea six years ago, and you wanted to do it so much six years ago, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it. You can stop.

And the biggest thing about backwards ain’t always going backwards is, yes, we went backwards in one aspect of our lives. That one aspect was finances. And what we mean by backwards and was going backwards is that we went forwards in so many other aspects, and the biggest one was joy. By going backwards in our finances, we allowed ourselves to create something that created so much joy in our lives again. So we went forwards in that aspect. We also went forwards in realizing who we were as individuals; like getting to know ourselves. Man, that’s big forward steps. We also went forwards in our own sister relationship. Like our business partnership and our sister relationship has never been better. And so by going backwards in finances, we allowed ourselves space, not only to realize what we wanted to create next, but it also allowed us to focus on other things. Like other magical parts of life; because we weren’t just born to make money.

ANGELA:

100%.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

We’re born for so much more than that. And by going backwards and creating that space, we allowed space for other things to truly blossom.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

That’s beautiful. And I can just say ditto, but I think, one thing that I always like to also talk about is just bring alignment. Like whatever brings alignment to your life, do that. And it’s going to be different for everyone. So it’s like, this idea of staying connected; your heart, your thoughts, your actions, your words, right? Like it all; like that feeling of alignment while you’re speaking your truth…

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Keeping your integrity.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. Integrity; like that is such a thing for us. Like that’s our highest core value in business and life, in general. Just like, staying on that path, you’re path, right? Because, there’s so much happening around us, there’s so much like sparkly lights like, “Do this. Come this way. Use this opportunity.” But the most important thing really is to live in alignment to yourself and your heart and what is your truth. So you know, like, I’ll give you my example. My example is, get out in nature. Go stare at the ocean. And I’ll do that, I’ll do that, and it’s like, “Here I am, here’s me. And this is what I’m doing with my life.” And okay, but there, boom; anchor drop, reminder. And it’s important to feel through these little moments throughout our days, and our weeks and our lives, right? Because it’s so easy to fast forward, “Oh, there’s ten years gone. Oh, crap. I’m not doing anything I want to do. Oops. That happened.” So this way, if we have this anchor, daily or weekly or whatever it may be, connection to self; it’s always going to kind of lead us in this magical path of truth.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And Emma is talking about being present.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And this is like, in the life that we lead, it’s so easy to be in worry, and feel anxious about the future. We’re like, “What’s going to happen. Oh my gosh. Am I going to have enough? I want that house. Am I ever going to get that? I just don’t know. I want to be over there, not here. Especially, I do not want to be here, that’s for sure.” And this happened in the past, “Oh my gosh. I feel so guilty. And I just don’t even know what to do about that thing that I said yesterday. I’m just going to keep thinking about it and thinking about it.” And you realized, suddenly, that your present moment, the here and the now, the only moment where life itself exists; because life doesn’t exist in the past and it sure doesn’t exist in the future, it’s not here yet. When it comes, it’s the now. So we forget to live right here and right now. We’re too busy doing, doing, doing; and thinking, thinking, thinking. But if you place these anchors in your life like Emma was saying, you get present; and only in the present moment can you allow your true inner self, your heart, your inner truth, to get loud for you to hear it. Because we’re so busy doing. We never hear it. We never listen.

ANGELA:

And so I guess if we were to kind of summarize though because there are some valid…

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Just in one point girls. One point.

ANGELA:

In one point, I know, but that’s what I love about you guys, is there’s so much more depth, and we could literally, if you guys know me, I’m a bit of a talkative girl, this is why our hour lunch has turned into 3 hours, and then we realize, “Oh gosh. What happened?” So this is literally what happens. So that’s why I love about you guys. But really, if you think about it though, for those of you out there who are going, “Okay. Shit. Something tells me to give. I don’t know where to start.” Kind of the five key takeaways that I took from listening there is: Get still, get quiet and breathe. 2. Give yourself permission to stop. 3. Start to explore your joy and what is it that brings you joy? How can you refine the joy? 4. Explore your alignment and how to stay true to yourself and what that means for you. 5. Be present, which is that kind of anchor, if you’re present, and you can be still, like quiet and breathe; everything will start to come back. If you’re present and looking at your current joy; that be present is kind of the underlined anchor that will look at all those other points that we talked about.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Totally. I love that.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

I love the summary. Thank you.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And like, isn’t this cool that all of these, that isn’t just about your business, like this is your life. Imagine if you began to be more present in your relationships. Imagine if you began to be present even when you’re driving in your car, like what magic will you notice if you start to bring in this presence into your every day? And how will you change your life and also the people’s lives around you? Because when you start to get present, when you start to welcome this in, it’s not only you that changes; you are the freaking ripple. Like you’re that stone that’s been thrown into the water and then the ripples just go out and go out and go out. Because you’re so present you’ve made someone smile; you’ve made their day. And then they go out, and they get happy, and they make someone else smile. And then, oh my gosh, it’s infinite.

ANGELA:

It’s an ongoing.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

ANGELA:

So listen, I appreciate you ladies being able to talk with us about going backwards isn’t always going backwards. And I think it’s going to be a super valuable episode for those that are listening, potentially confronting for some, you now, depending on what space they’re in. But for those listeners that want to connect with you both, where’s the best way that they can connect with you and get a little piece of the Merrymakers sisters?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Oh, thank you so much for having us, Angela. And for getting real deep with us. Ooopps.

ANGELA:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

You can find everything at getmerry.com; everything we’ve spoken about, the app, the books, and Merrybody Online Studio is there to check out.

ANGELA:

Yes. And on socials, where can they find you ladies on the socials?

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes. At Instagram @themerrymakersisters; also Facebook, The Merrymaker Sisters. And I think like, we’re starting to like try to get on Pinterest; kind of. But we’re more on Instagram. I feel like, that is where we kind of hang out the most.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes, we love talking at Instagram.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes, Instagram is fun; the stories’ fun. We do lots of IGTV; come and play on Instagram.

ANGELA:

And you guys are about to hit the 70k mark on Instagram, which is super exciting I know.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

This is a great episode. 72,000 we were. And now we’re going backwards. And I am really excited about this because I think that this potentially is going to be an episode on our podcast. Maybe something will speak about or many other people’s podcast, like, your followers, it doesn’t mean that you’re going backwards in every other aspect of your business. Because, we’ve gone down, but then other aspects of our business have gone up.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Like, more important aspects. Like your income.

ANGELA:

Exactly right. But again, more than likely there, too, it’s about the quality of the people that are following you. So going backwards is as you’ve got rid of people who don’t actually really care about what your messages are. And that’s okay, it’s alright. But, what you have done is you’ve gone forward with the quality of people who are there.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

Yes.

THE MERRYMAKERS:

And we’re starting to share exactly what we want to share.

ANGELA:

Yes, and again, they’re either going to stay or not, and that’s okay. Well, listen, ladies, as always, it is a gem to be with you. And for the rest of you listening, please remember that my team and I will also be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at angelahenderson.com.au. And of course, I cover all sorts of related business and life topics inside my Facebook community, The Australian Business Collaborative, of over 5000 amazing business owners. So head over and join us today. Have a fabulous day to the rest of you. And I look forward to having you join me next week for another amazing episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. Have a joyful day everyone. Bye.

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Merrymaker Sisters. www.angelahenderson.com.au

Angel Henderson Consulting

​​Founder of the highly successful online store Finlee and Me, Angela taps into the decade's worth of knowledge of how to grow a thriving enterprise and pours it into her business consulting clients. As a business consultant, she partners with start up and small businesses to grow their brands through hands on support, ensuring foundations are laid in order to leverage growth. Her skills were honed at the helm of Finlee and Me, where she learned everything from branding, PR, sales funnels, email marketing, website, copy, SEO and more. She knows what it truly takes to have a strong brand, consistence sales, steady growth and over all dedication. Angela has been featured in the media including Talking Lifestyle with Ed Phillips and David Koch, Inside Small Business and on numerous Australia and International podcasts.

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