Badass Your Brand In Less Than 25 Hours A Week
Are you ready to go next level and BADASS your Brand?
My guest, Pia Silva, is an Entrepreneur, Forbes Contributor, Author and Host of the new podcast, “Show Your Business Who’s Boss.” Pia’s best-selling book, Badass Your Brand, put the “full-service branding agency” scene on notice. Now she schools service-entrepreneurs about what it really takes to badass your brand and business by showing your business who’s boss – the attitude adjustment you need to grab that life you’ve been chasing.
In today’s episode, Pia shares one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when it coming to personal branding, her best piece of branding advice, and how she runs her business in less than 25 hours a week!
Connect with Pia at http://www.piasilva.com or on Instagram @pialovesyourbiz
FREE GIFT: Price to Freedom mini-course https://www.piasilva.com/price-to-freedom
Full transcription available at the bottom of this blog post
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How would you like to bad-ass your brand? Yep. I just said that! Your brand is about to go next level with my guest Pia Silva. Pia is an entrepreneur Forbes contributor, author, and host of the new podcast. Show your business who was boss in 2017 P S bestselling book. Bad-ass your brand put the full service branding agency scene on notice. Now she schools service entrepreneurs about what it really takes to bad-ass your brand and business by showing your business who’s boss, the attitude adjustment. You need to grab that life. You’ve been chasing. Let’s dive in.
Excited to welcome Pia to the show. Hi Pia, how are you? I’m great. Alison. So good to see you. You too. And before we dive into branding and how you run your business in less than 25 hours a week, which blows my mind, please tell us more about you and your business. Sure. So, uh, I own a company called worst of all design. I own it with my husband. Um, we brand one to three person service businesses in one to three day intensives. That is our done for you service. And that was the first business that we started. Once we did that and we started increasing our prices solely and then very quickly, and to a point where we priced ourselves out of so many of the smaller entrepreneurs that we love and love to work with. Um, I ended up designing and building a bootcamp to sell at a lower price point, um, and writing my book.
And so I have morphed into also a kind of teacher consultant, coach training people on these methods so they can do it themselves. So they’re really two aspects of my business. Now there’s those done for you services, which frankly I’m doing less and less of as I continue to scale up, being able to teach people in group formats through DIY programs and just creating lots of content. Well, I love what you do, and I love how you help small businesses and entrepreneurs pretty much bad-ass their brand and PR I think it’s no surprise to you, but I read your book. Bad-ass your brand. And I loved it for our listeners. I highly recommend reading PS book to truly understand branding and how to your expertise
And to profit. Now I talk about branding a lot on the show. Pia, how would you define or describe personal branding and why it’s important in business?
Hmm. Uh, well, so I define, so branding is such an elusive topic. Um, right. Some people think it’s visual brands, logo website, if you’ve learned anything about branding and that’s not it, you know, that it’s more about the way that people feel about your business. Um, I think, uh, Jeff bayzos maybe said, it’s what people say about you and you’re not in the room. I kind of liked that, uh, that definition. Um, I define bad-ass branding specifically since that’s what I do, um, as having two critical characteristics, um, it has to magnetically attract ideal clients and is okay with, and even actively trying to repel everybody else. That’s one and two, uh, it charges a premium price, so you can charge more than the competition and still win the business. Um, and you know, that goes for branding, small businesses, which is the space that I plan and personal branding because personal branding and small service businesses are often one in the same. And they really should be if you’re trying to build a super profitable, uh, ex business based on expertise, which is what my book is about, right? Like turning expertise into profit, you’re the expert. So it’s your brand.
That is so cool. And what do you think, because I think like you said, branding is an elusive term and when people are trying to figure out their personal brand, you know, fine tune it, define it, they look to others for inspiration. So what do you think is one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when they are coming up with their brand?
Yeah, it’s a great question. Um, and an answer that has evolved over years, because there’s quite a few mistakes. I think the obvious one is probably copying other people, right? I mean, I think that’s what a lot of people would say copying other people. Um, I would say it’s thinking that it’s an external thing that you create versus trying to find it inside and pull it out of you. Um, my, the process I take clients through and that I let people go through on their own. And my bootcamp is about you asking yourselves the right questions to get to the heart of what your brand is. And, you know, I can say that and if you’ve never done it, it’s like, Oh, that sounds nice. But if you really do answer some deep questions that maybe you’re not thinking about it can help you discover it. And that’s what a really good brand is. It’s something that you discover in yourself as opposed to like coming up with a snappy line. And that I see that is very surface level.
And I think you referred to that in your book, you refer, there’s a section in your book where you talk about going from a me too brand to a badass brand. And that resonated with me. Cause I think we all start at that point in our business and brand where we look to other entrepreneurs and we, we are impressed or inspired by them and we love what they’re doing. So we try to mimic what they’re doing and put our spin on it. And that really doesn’t work. And I like how you said you have to go internal. We do think personal branding can be external, but it really isn’t. You have to start internally and I’ve loved that. You said that for sure
To add to that, that there’s nothing wrong with looking outside, getting inspiration, mimicking, especially when you’re starting out. And I do that too. And I continue to do that as I grow into other areas that I’ve never done. I mean, it’s, it’s how you learn, right? You look at somebody and you mimic them. It’s how you learn when you’re an artist and you’re drawing a face. You, you mimic other masters first. So I just want to say that because I think a lot of people feel like, well, if I’m not allowed to make other people and I don’t know how to brand myself and what am I supposed to do, I think it’s part of the process. Just understand that that is you like feeling your way through it. And you’re not, you are going to get to the place where you’ve done enough of that work, where you can then go internally and look at those things. So I just want to give people permission. Like, I don’t want you to go be a me too brand. Absolutely not. But I understand that it is part of the process and learning.
I think for me, part of the process is getting on Pinterest and creating all of these secret boards when it comes to like either podcasting or photography and just finding like styles that resonate me and then, all right, cool. How can I put my own spin on it? Or how would I do it differently? So, yeah, I mean, I’m still doing that to this day with my own photography, you know, we need, we need inspiration. Right? Sometimes it always doesn’t come with it
Steal like an artist. Yeah.
What was the best piece of advice you can share with the listeners who are just confused about the brand or just simply stuck?
The best thing you can do is take action. So action. In the form of, um, writing action in the form of working with people when people are newer in their business, I don’t think, and they haven’t had a lot of experience either with clients and or through articulating what they know. And there, again, expertise like explaining your expertise. Um, you don’t have a lot to go on. So my advice and, and I give this advice literally to my, you know, I have a couple of cousins who are in their early twenties or all think I’m their life coach. What do I do with my life? I always tell them, just write, just start writing, because writing is such a, a great way to flush out your ideas and flesh out the things that, you know, and through act of writing. And I have coached people, pushed them through doing this when they didn’t want to.
And when they got to the other side, they saw how much clarity it gave them. Um, so I think that’s one of the best things you can do is to write and to work with people. Cause the more experiences you have with other working with clients, the more you can draw on for your expertise and the more you can draw on to start to fine tune, where am I most valuable? Like who do I work best with? What, what do I like most? So these are some of the kinds of questions that I ask people when I’m interviewing them to find their brand. You need enough information in order to answer those with, with confidence. So that’s what I would recommend.
That’s awesome. Now we’re going to shift gears of it and chat about your work week. You run your business and less than 25 hours a week, where did the 25 hours come from? And how did you shift into that model?
It’s going, gonna sound very romantic. I went on a trip with my husband about three years ago to Europe for seven weeks. Um, basically to see if we could not close our business down, we could just go on this adventure and travel and just leave the lights on. So we didn’t really post about it. And we just kinda kept doing minimal amounts of work, the entire trip. And we weren’t sure what was gonna happen. It was kind of a test. And by the time we, at the end of the trip, we realized that we had made just as much money as we had spent. So we basically came back even Steven. Um, and that gave us a lot of insight into the fact that wow, we were being so much more effective and efficient with our time because we were working a few days a week, a few hours at a time, like we really weren’t doing full any sort of full work schedule.
Um, and we said, wow, we got so much done in so much less time because we had restricted ourselves to that time. And wow, we enjoyed ourselves so much more and we were so much more energetic when we were doing that work. I mean, I’m talking about, you know, working at 4:00 PM on a Tuesday to do a client interview after spending a day at the beach, you know, that’s something I would never consider in New York. Um, so by the time we ended that trip, we realized we want to bring this lifestyle back with us. And so before we came home, we coined this phrase, Spain brain as like the idea of how can we keep living, like we’re in Spain at home and keep our business going. And so we came home and we said, we’re only going to work 25 hours a week. We’re going to work one to six and we’re going to put things in place to make that possible.
So I would say two of the very actionable things that we did that any entrepreneur can do, or I guess three, one of them was to put strict boundaries in place. We only work one to six. Okay. So if we want to work one to six, but we want to get the same or more done in that time, then we’re going to have to do two things. We’re going to have to be really clear. What about whatever we’re doing. So no time wasted, I’m working those five hours and I’m getting big things done and we’re going to have to outsource more stuff. So we got really good at outsourcing and we got really good at, um, we had a goal setting process already, but really good at sticking to our goal setting process. So that every time I sit down, I know exactly what I’m working on and what I’m working on is not some low level tasks that I can outsource. It’s only the very high level stuff, which by the way, even five hours is too much to be doing really high level work. Um, so it’s, it’s, I, I now have systems for taking breaks and stuff, but yeah, if you’re working at a very high level in peak performance for 25 hours a week, um, you can run a very successful business. That’s what I found.
And you kind of introduced me a little bit to that concept in your book. And that was probably one of the biggest takeaways I had was your 50, 25, 25 rule. Do you want to touch on that a little bit?
Yeah, absolutely. So what’s funny is that the 25 hour a week thing happened after I wrote my book. So that was like the next level of it. Um, first I started with this concept of 50, 25, 25, which is basically, um, at some point I realized we had clients coming in. We were just taking them whenever they came, we were making lots of money. It seemed really good. But what we ended up doing was not, uh, not putting aside any time for ourselves. So at a certain point, we said, wait a second. This is the game is not just make as much money as you can and work all the time. This was before I had, uh, a child to, uh, the game is to have the life that we want and work. So, uh, again, I needed to put some structure in place. So what I did was I said, okay, well, how much money do we need?
And I came up with a monthly number and then I said, okay, well, let’s say that we want a full week a month just to do our own projects. Um, you know, Steve is an art, my husband’s an artist we wanted that free time. So that was 25% of our time. And then the second week we said, well, we need time set aside to work on our business. You know, we want to continue to build our brand. We want to continue to create content that attracts people to us and build our thought leadership so we can keep increasing our prices. Um, so that’s another 25 hours a week. I mean, I was a little, uh, it was a little arbitrary, but it ended up working out perfectly, you know, a full week. I said, that’s a lot of time if I was working a full week a month, you know, I’m talking about for a 40 hour work week on my business.
I think my business would be doing pretty well and so fine. I have the last two weeks to work on my, uh, to work with clients. And so that was the other 50%. So that’s where the 50, 25, 25 role was born. And it ended up being such a powerful ratio that I started using it, um, to, I use it to price my services. Okay. If I have 80 hours a month to work with clients, then that means I have to charge a certain amount in order to make that money. Um, and so I’ve used this since then so much with my clients and I, you know, I have it in my program. Like I teach people how to do this because if you know what you need to charge and what that price is at that 50, 25, 25 rule, then you have a very clear goal of what to hit.
And it’s not about how much money can I make or how much money can I charge. It’s about clearly saying, I need to charge, let’s say $5,000 for this. So I need to make it worth $5,000. And I needed to work within this amount of time. And just having that structure, you’d be amazed at how creative and clear-headed, you can get about how you position and package and price your services. Um, so I’ve just watched it completely transformed people’s businesses when they back into a price and a structure, as opposed to what feels like I kind of call it the more and more, more strategy it’s like, I’m just trying to charge as much as I can. And I’m, I’m gonna work really hard to do a really good job. It’s like, none of that is gonna help you get that balance and that freedom that you want.
And so to me, the 50, 25, 25 rule is the first goal. You want to know what it is? You don’t have to be there right now, but once you know what it is, you can work towards it. And then once you get there and then you can keep going farther and decrease it. I mean, at this point, Steven, I really am like a, we’re like at a 10% client, you know, like instead of 50, we’re like 10% or less of our time with client work. So that ratio can change over time. But 50, 25, 25 is a good starting place.
And that ratio has actually shifted how I run my business. Cause you’ve said something so key in the beginning when we started talking about this is we are just working and working and working and we forget, why did we want to be an entrepreneur? Well, it was either for time freedom or financial freedom, or really both. I think that’s the two goals, but we’re not getting that time. Freedom because we’re spending so much time in and on our business. And when I read that part in your book, I mean, I highlighted all of it. Cause I was like, I’m missing out on my kids’ summer. If I’m sitting at my desk and you know what, I’ll tell you that 50, 25, 25 rule has really changed how I run my business, how I streamline it when I do my interviews. And just last week I spent the entire week up at the Lake with my kids. Like that was life changing for me. And I’m still working it out. Like you said, I don’t have it. Perfect. Right. Yeah. So it’s never done. Right, right.
Awesome. To hear. I’m so happy that you really took it to heart. It’s a game changer.
It is a game changer. And I talk about it all the time. My Instagram stories, I’m like, you have to do the 50, 25, 25 rule. People are like, what? Yeah, it’s your business. Right. Build it the way you want and stop mimicking what other people are doing. Because just because they’re working whatever from Dawn to dusk, that doesn’t mean you have to do it.
Yes. And you know, I’m a big, I know a lot of people don’t like, I love numbers. So I try to be the, I try to carry the flag of like, don’t be scared of the numbers. The numbers are fun. The numbers in the numbers is the, is the time at the Lake. You know, like I embrace the numbers. That’s where you find all that free time. And so the fun thing about playing with these numbers is they’re also not fixed. You know, you can increase them, you can decrease them. You can make things, even you can spend even less time. I mean, it really forces you to look at, okay, this is the lifestyle I want, but I could also do without those things. And then I work even less or I want to make a lot more. Okay, great. Then I just have to raise my prices.
How can I do that? So it’s very much a, how can I make this happen? Which I don’t think a lot of people are in the habit of thinking. I think it’s like, I hope this happens. I’ll try this. Like, no, no, no, no. This is what it’s going to be. This is what I want. So then how do I make that happen? And it might take me a month longer than I think, or it might take me six months longer, but I will make that happen compel or high water. And that’s gotta be the attitude and moms are like that. So I think, you know, we make sure shit happens. Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. We need to write our own rules and stop following other people’s rules.
Well, Pia, I can’t thank you enough for this awesome conversation about branding and creating the lifestyle that we want. So I would love for my listeners to connect with you, where can we connect on social media? Sure. Well, you can follow me on Instagram or Twitter at Pia loves your biz, the IZEA or you can go to my website. [inaudible] dot com. I have, I think it’ll, it’ll pop up right now. It’ll pop up. Um, this crash course called the show, your business who’s boss crash course, which has a calculator for the price to freedom. It’s like a very simple calculator plug and play and it’ll spit out the price that you charge. Yeah. So people, people love that because then they don’t have to do math and you can just plug it in and find out what you need to charge to get this lifestyle. All right. I will make sure that all of this information is in the show notes. So thanks again. PEO loved having you here. Thank you. My pleasure.
Thank you for tuning in today. If you love today’s episode, then please head over to iTunes, social media for mompreneurs and leave a review. Your review helps grow the show and don’t forget. Head to boss, lady, and sweatpants.com to grab all my freebies and hang out with me on Instagram at Alison Shoals. I’ll see you soon.