Stephanie Sims | Knowing your Worth and Moving Forward in an Uncertain Economy

Julie Musgrave 16:54

I like it that you’re recognizing that each day is a new day. You can put into it however, puzzle pieces fit right? Is there anything that you wish that you’d done differently?

Stephanie Sims 17:09

I laugh and it. It’s not that I would have done it differently. I think there’s there’s all kinds of amazing things that happen. And I think I wish I knew then what I know now, right, but everybody does. I wish that I had been less focused on impressing other people and worrying about what some of the folks that I worked with thought and maybe a little bit more willing to speak my mind. But some of that’s us, right and some of that experience and I think you can only you can only go forward from where you are and the truth is I wouldn’t trade anything, because then I would be somewhere else and I really like where I am.

Julie Musgrave 17:52

It’s a good spot. I would. Let’s talk a little timely now timely issue. Of course everyone’s dealing with Coronavirus Maybe someone just launched a business before all this happened. Maybe they were in the middle of trying to get that business launched. What advice do you have for moving forward once all this finally gets settled?

Stephanie Sims 18:13

That’s a great question. And the first thing I would say is that you’re not alone. There are plenty of folks who I’ve worked with personally, who were in industries that have been terribly hard hit, you know, people in food and beverage, specifically, people in retail, who had great ideas, and we’re getting a lot of traction prior to COVID. I’ve been incredibly impressed with the way that some of those folks have pivoted. So they’ve basically said, What can I do with the technology that would allow me to serve folks during this period, but preserve my ability to go back to my original business model later? And then there are some folks who decided, you know, what, some of them it was a side hustle, right? They were about bout to quit their job and move into the business full time. Obviously, most of those have decided on this stick with my job. And I’ll move to the side hustle a bit later. And I think there are some folks who, who maybe have been thinking about it. And perhaps they’re deciding now, this isn’t the business of my dreams. Right? They’re looking at it. And they’re asking themselves the question, do I want to take on this much risk? And so I guess my biggest piece of advice would be to try to understand what feels like the best fit for you. And just because you had committed to something, if this has made you rethink that, don’t feel like a failure, if you choose to keep it a side hustle or you choose not to pursue it. Maybe this is the opportunity, you needed to recognize that there’s something better that could come from that experience, but it doesn’t have to be that business or that idea.

Julie Musgrave 19:53

Yeah, it’s so hard to kind of manage those expectations because January 1 2020, we had no idea, And let’s say that someone decides that they do want to stick with it. How do we move forward? I know there’s some stimulus programs and how, how do we manage this in a positive way?

Stephanie Sims 20:15

That’s a great question. And I think a lot of folks are early days, right? So say six weeks ago, when when we weren’t really sure how long this was going to last. And we’re still not sure, but maybe we have a little bit better idea, right? I think there were a lot of people who were sort of holding their breath, you know, figuratively, they were like, well, I just have to survive the next four weeks. And I’m, I’m hopeful that most people have kind of recognized that it’s not about just surviving through the end of stay at home or shelter in place. It’s about really rethinking your business model, and understanding if it’s a fit for the way that things will be in this new era. There are some industries that are significantly more effective than others, you know, retail food and beverage, anything with an in person component, I think one of the best things you can do is not just try to understand what you have to do legally, right to be able to reopen. But to really understand how you could serve your customers better in this new environment, like what are your customers going to be asking themselves? What are they going to be worried about? And is there an opportunity there to leverage what you’ve already built, to be, you know, to position yourself differently, to put yourself at the forefront of folks who really want to help their customers and also grow their business.

Julie Musgrave 21:39

I like your use of the word pivot earlier. Just try. It’s almost kind of forcing business owners and entrepreneurs to really get creative and find and maybe this can escalate their ideas that they hadn’t even realized before. So there’s a positive

Stephanie Sims 21:55

we could take as well. And I don’t remember, I think it’s Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin? The right intensity is the mother of a game. You know, it’s amazing how creative you can be when you don’t have any other choice. And while I, I certainly have a ton of sympathy for anyone who’s been impacted by COVID, I do think it’s going to help a lot of folks move to a very different level. And we’re going to see a lot of innovation coming out of this.

Julie Musgrave 22:22

I know you’ve discussed before this feeling of you have to know all the answers to every question that’s going to get thrown your way. And I and I think that’s especially important. Right now, in this atmosphere. We don’t know all of the answers, but I think a lot of us probably picture an episode of Shark Tank where they’re all asking you Well, what’s the answer to this? And if you don’t know it, then they walk away. And that can be so intimidating. So how should you go about it instead? You say that you don’t necessarily have to know all the answers.

Stephanie Sims 22:57

Exactly. And I think There’s a balance to strike there. Right, you need to be prepared. And so a lot of that preparation can come from having a very good understanding of your business and metrics, right, you know how you measure success inside your own business. But I think once you’ve done that preparation, I think there’s this aspect of being open, as opposed to seeing a question from left field as an attack. Maybe it’s also a little bit of reframing around how do you perceive that as an opportunity? Right, so if somebody asks you a question, I mean, again, people can be jerks. I’m not saying that you’re always gonna be nice in the way they asked the question. You know, why do you think you know, whatever? It’s a learning moment. Exactly. But I do think that if somebody asks a question that just hadn’t occurred to you. It’s always better to say it No. And I will find out. You know, here’s how here’s my initial reaction to that. Because sometimes people will ask a question that may not apply, or that shows that they haven’t understood what you’ve already explained to them and it’s an opportunity to say what sounds like there might be a misunderstanding. Let me clear that up. But if you don’t know the answer, I think you need to commit to finding it. But trying to pretend that you know something you don’t just make you look silly and frankly, kills any credibility you built up until that point, yeah. Okay, that reminds me to go back to pivot you just

Julie Musgrave 24:37

figure it out. You figure out on your way there. Let’s end with a personal thing. Who do you credit most for getting where you are today?


Oh, my goodness.

Stephanie Sims 24:51

Um, well, I think it’s, it’s got to be my family. You know, first my parents who not only obviously supported me as I traveled all around the world and decided I didn’t want to just stay in Texas. But also for letting me trusting me to help them with their business when they were ready to sell. And you know, now it’s my husband and my kids as well who give me the freedom to work from home and enjoy as my kids say, they’re all in online school right now. And quite often I’m like, Okay, I’m about to get on a call. You know, they laugh about it, but to put up with me, they’re like, you know, we know that look, we know that I’m about to get on video look. And, and so I think it’s just knowing that I have that support that’s been really, really instrumental in helping me push myself and try things that that I probably would never have tried if I didn’t feel like I have that backing me up.

Julie Musgrave 25:48

Support is I think something that we can all rely on right now and that we all need, especially during this time, but we certainly appreciate your advice. Stephanie, thank you so much for joining us today and Giving such great advice. I think we can all relate in so many ways. Stephanie, where can folks find you?

Stephanie Sims 26:05

If they’d like to reach out to me the best place is on LinkedIn. I’m Stephanie, Jason’s on LinkedIn. Or if they want to find out more about all the different things I’m up to, they can go to Stephanie Awesome. Thanks so much. You better take care.