social slowdown

A podcast to help you decrease your reliance on social media & find new ways to market your business sustainably. Get new leads & clients … without needing to be constantly attached to your phone.

Ep. 17: Case Study – Burning Down the Machine With Jo Gifford

Welcome to our second case study on the Social Slowdown podcast, where we interview someone who has taken a step back from social media and figured out how to run a successful business without depending on social media.

Today I’m interviewing Jo Gifford, an author, podcaster, writer, creative thought leader, and prolific human connector. You’ll hear about how Jo hustled to create a business with a huge following – and how that hustle led to burnout. She’ll then talk about why and how she decided to pursue a more intentional business that brings her more joy every day.

Trigger warning: In this episode, we talk briefly about the grief of losing a parent, so please proceed with caution if this topic is sensitive for you.

Read the full transcript

Meg Casebolt 0:01
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro-businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double-edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lip sync, send cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started. Hello, friends, you’re listening to Episode 18 of the social slowdown podcast. On most of our podcasts, we’re talking with entrepreneurs and small business owners about how they structure and market their businesses to fit their lifestyles without becoming overly dependent on social. But every month I also want to be sharing a case study a story of somebody who has taken a firm step back from social media, and figured out how to have a thriving successful business without being dependent on it. Today, I’m interviewing Jo Gifford Jo is an author podcaster writer, creative thought leader and prolific human connector. But instead of asking Jo to share creativity tips or copywriting suggestions in this interview, we’ll get personal Jo’s sharing her story of how she hustled to build a business with a huge following that led to feeling burned out. And she’s going to tell us how she decided to let it all go to pursue a more intentional business that brings her more joy, and how she’s able to share her feelings and her personal experience in her social media now, and it’s led to new opportunities that aren’t necessarily the way that we think about monetizing our businesses. Quick trigger warning here we do talk very briefly about the grief of losing a parent. So if that topic is sensitive for you, please proceed with caution. And without further ado, here is my interview with Jo. Jo Gifford. Thank you so much for being here on the social slowdown podcast. I am so thrilled to have you here.

Jo Gifford 2:13
Oh my gosh, thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here to chat with you.

Meg Casebolt 2:18
I am so glad to have you. I wanted to tell people that Joe and I actually just recently connected because we work together with the same client and we got on the call with that client. And I looked at her and I looked at her name. And it was like, How do I know her name? What do I know her from and it took me 20 minutes to realize that I read your book.

Oh, it’s in my Kindle. That’s how I know her. So it was this weird kind of like getting to meet your heroes woven.

But since then we’ve become friends and it started to really get to know each other in that way. So Jo, just if you don’t mind, share with our audience who you are, where you are and what it is that you do.

Jo Gifford 3:00
Oh, I love that and it’s been it was so funny having that moment of connection and I was back channeling you gain it please can we talk I really like you please can be. So my name is Jo Gifford. I live in the UK. As you can probably hear I’m drinking tea just to anchor in the brightness a little bit more. near Cambridge. I am a content marketer for changemakers. So I help people hold space to find their voice. I literally write copy for some people, I write long form. I write social posts and that kind of thing. I’m an author, and a podcaster. So essentially helping people articulate their brilliance in the world is what I do.

Meg Casebolt 3:49
That feels really clear. I help people articulate their brilliance and get found for their brilliance. And how did you get started with all of this?

Jo Gifford 3:58
So I my first career was a graphic designer actually. So I came in through the visuals. So I was approaching marketing from that side of things. Initially, I was a design manager and loved looking after clients and I worked in London with that role. And I began writing case studies and stuff for my agency and I always loved the human connection and creative thinking piece of design. And started really playing with that about 1617 years ago, I was just expanding what I did outside. Oh my god.

Meg Casebolt 4:31
216 years ago, women were like 10

Jo Gifford 4:35
Oh, I love you. I love you. I’m 45 right now, but I will absolutely love Yeah, years ago so I was still in corporate in London doing the thing. Just had this real itch to do my own thing. You know, I’ve got the free spirited vibe and I’m like I love always loved my job, wanted to explore other ways of doing it, and what self employed And so began exploring a portfolio of things really I was, I had a mixed calendar that would involve some copywriting clients. Because by this stage, I’d realized that actually words really lit me up as well. And I really built up my credentials and experience by literally pitching ideas to people and starting to write. And really quickly, I was becoming published in various online sites, I had some great clients. And I kind of have this like lab stage of kind of playing with, I’m teaching some people over here, literally, in university, I was helping people when a cause I was writing, doing some design stuff. Not long after that I had kids. So that kind of

Meg Casebolt 5:45
throws everything into the balance.

Jo Gifford 5:48
So the lab was kind of like, oh, this is interesting. And really what evolved was, as the online space as the social media, you know, I’m sorry, this is back in 2009, my babies were born, this whole new world was opening up, right. And actually, when I left, just skipping back a little bit, when I left my corporate job, I began blogging. And if you remember, back in the day of blogger, that’s the platform I was on, because I started to find solace in documenting only for myself, literally, for myself, because there was nobody reading this.

Meg Casebolt 6:23
I was similar, but mine was in Live Journal or Zynga. Yeah, you start to get on Blogger early when it would, you know, because blogger wasn’t what blogger is now. But you chose the right platform for the long term, apparently, so well done with that random decision.

Jo Gifford 6:40
And it was back in the day where you have a blog role, and you’d be reading other people’s stuff, those are interesting. Birth wasn’t it of that time of people, you know, writing and documenting life and I found that, you know, that was a pivotal life moment, for me leaving that life and literally, that life, that boyfriend, that whole thing, kind of explored something new and moved back up here to the Cambridgeshire sticks and the countryside. So this seed of life documentation online became a thing. And I followed that when I had the kids, I was still documenting how it is to live up here, you know, be a mum in the creative industries, you know, juggling all that stuff, and started really quickly building a following in a way that I hadn’t expected. There was something about sharing my voice and you know, sharing experiences of motherhood or postnatal depression, of getting back to exercise of, you know, how I work, you know, how I’ve created hacks to be able to, you know, juggle my business and my kids. And so really, what I did to cut a very long story short is to weave in all those elements of creative thinking of design thinking of online as the thing was emerging to explore what that would look like if that became my business if I supported people to share their voice, but I went fully in the online space in 2013. And that started a rabbit hole of what you should and shouldn’t be doing for success mag.

Meg Casebolt 8:09
Yeah. And I think also the place where you started have this is my self expression. And this is the format that I want to take. And this is how my experience in my personal life and my corporate experience can be beneficial to other people. That wasn’t something that was really like the blogger format of things was much more like, here’s what I did today, it wasn’t educational in the way that we think of blogging now, it wasn’t like, let me teach you something and then guide you towards a sale, which is often what we’re using content marketing for now. And so I think sometimes now with the content marketing understanding of how things are in, you know, the 20s as opposed to the arts, people still think of blogging as but I don’t want to share every detail of my life. Oh, right. And even then, when you were doing it, when when people started to follow you, it wasn’t just like, here’s I had toast for breakfast today. It really was let me integrate and synthesize these experiences and that was what gave you the the confidence that sounds like to go into the online business marketing

Jo Gifford 9:14
space lately. And you know, I was blending in this platform that I, you know, began building up because I loved it, I would literally go and block things out and you know, bring to mind I had, you know, very young twins. This was an outlet for me. And the opportunities that opened up for me sharing this I mean, big brands came and collaborated with me with Nike and sweaty Betty. Yeah, because I and I really quickly built up this voice, which I think was that mixture of realness. It was reality it was humanity. But then I was also running a business alongside kids and discovering how to work smart how to help my workflow. to become better how to receive emails that you only want to see on the go, while you’re walking your kids to nursery, like, you know, if you’re juggling, I was beginning to integrate tech into my life to help support that. And that confidence grew into, I can write articles well, like, let’s explore what it looks like if I do that in different fields. And so I began, you know, writing for tech and fashion and beauty, and literally was playing, which was such a joy. And this was a very emergent kind of, I mean, although blogging itself had been around for some time, as you say, it was very much associated with deep musings, and all this kind of thing. But this was bringing in kind of it was business, and it was humanity, and its human connection, essentially.

Meg Casebolt 10:48
And then as you were building up this client base, and you know, these brands were coming to you and saying, we see that you’re doing this new blogging thing, can you do it for us? How did then your personal brand grow from there around that, that service you were offering?

Jo Gifford 11:05
So I decided to really see if I could make this work as a thing, and did what a lot of people I think do, which is try and brand myself when I didn’t really know what I was doing still, rather than owning the fact that, hey, I’m still playing, I’m in the lab. I’m Joe Gifford, I’m just doing these different things, I don’t need to put a stamp on this at the moment, I put a stamp on it, and wasn’t really sure what I was stamping. And I think we see this quite a lot in people who were like, I’m going to make a business, I’m going to try and you know, have a strap line that explains it all. And I mean, it was a huge learning curve for me, because I kind of went through this branding process had a full singing or dancing website, because I thought that’s what you needed to be successful. I essentially what I did was I joined loads of different groups invested in, like the first course and then the first coach. And then the next one, following what everybody seemed to be telling me was right, so having gone from this organic, oh, let’s play over here with portfolio career that’s kind of, you know, voice this stuff online over this is great, I have a great range of clients now. Oh, now I’ve got to package it up in a box and tell people a thing. And I’m only successful now if I have goals like you have. And if I’m appearing to be a certain way, and I’m suddenly telling you how much I earn. I kind of stepped into this, right? How do I do this, with some success, actually, with some success in that I kind of established myself, you know, I had great credentials, I was featured in various places, I was asked to speak as expert in a lot of places. I had the whole empire as you should have it, I have the funnels, the ebooks, the audio books, the you know, the high ticket offers all the all the things

Meg Casebolt 12:56
right ascension model of people join your list, then they buy your book, then they get a course then they go to coaching and they don’t. And they kind of work their way up. And the closer they get, the more they pay, the more access they get. And all of that was built into that funnel. Yeah,

Jo Gifford 13:10
ascension model all over it. Right. I was I was doing all this and found myself in this thing where I would have some months of great success at that point viewed as success to be high revenue. Some months of wondering where the hell my next paycheck was coming from, right? Didn’t talk about those months did i all i was to all I was kind of ingrained to see was the was the good months. And what people saw of me in the online space was that, oh, she’s successful. She’s got a big audience, she’s respected by this person in that person, because you’ve got to have the social proof of the people who approve of you, right?

Meg Casebolt 13:50
The people that they know, and then you get their approval, but you get their approval, because you’re joining their program and you pay them the thing. And yeah, you know,

Jo Gifford 13:57
I was in this web, right? You’re kissing rings, I was SIG rings all over the place, and was in this kind of really odd place of being seen to be successful, but also in frantic anxiety. Because I had young children. And now I’m paying for the software to run the things I have the funnel to, you know, this wasn’t a lean business. This was a mindset of, but everyone’s telling me, I got to have all these things to get to the next bit. And when will I actually stop crying at night and when will I be less stressed because this has gone from feeling painful and expensive and organic to actually really stressful and I’m feeling a lot of anxiety. And this was kind of my journey for a few years I would be in that cycle of here’s a new product or program. Hustle, hustle, hustle, please buy it piece by piece by oh they bought it. They’ve approved me Okay, great. Great income, crash and burn. Repeat.

Meg Casebolt 14:58
Right and then build the audience. between the launches so that you have new people to buy from. So you’ll have to always be promoting yourself and all the places so that way you have new people coming into the funnel so you can sell to them. But then you have to create a new product for the existing audience. And like the churn of, I should say, the emotional toll that it takes on people to be in this constantly growing the constantly hustling space, when it sounds like it’s not what

Jo Gifford 15:24
you wanted. I didn’t realize it wasn’t what I wanted. And you see what I’d gone from. When I first went self employed, I was still doing graphic design I was doing, you know, I started this copywriting thing. I just had referrals left, right and center. So my whole business was, hey, you need Joe. Here’s Joe. And literally introduced, I had a really strong network of people, I never had to think about suddenly funneling 1000s of people into a list. And I this switch, I literally thought that this is what you have to do now to create an income. Also, my goals have now changed, because I’d stepped into the into the lion’s den of my humble goals was suddenly not quite right, because now you’ve got to have income that’s astronomical, to pay for the house that you should have to be seen to be successful, because no one’s gonna buy from you. They actually say you have a small house, and you know, all of this stuff, right? And you need

Meg Casebolt 16:20
to be able to show people the house, but also show them the income statement that says that you’re making X amount of money, which does not show how much you’re spending on your software and your team and your everything. The business running a business that’s that big, especially if you aren’t building it in an intentional way to be that big is very expensive.

Jo Gifford 16:39
Oh my goodness, but I look back at you know, 2015 or 2016. Jo, I just want to give her a cuddle and say, Look, just stop it. Pause. I had a team to pay, I had all this software to pay I had no boundaries. With you know, my groups I was running. There’s a lot of joy in there a lot of expansion. But also I just remember this constant hamster wheel. And I yeah, this kind of carried on and off for a while. And there was one particular year where my pipeline was actually looking really great. I had all the big approved names were asking to buy stuff. For me, it was just the weirdest weirdest start to the years, this is 2018. Now, so I’ve been in this for a while. And I’ve been creating things that were selling really well. But all of a sudden, this pipeline just went cold. And, and I I don’t know, I still to this day, I’m not quite sure. The only thing that I can think it was like an energetic thing, almost it was like, this is not where you need to be that like stop is. And actually it was a gift because I thought this for quite a while. But you know, I literally pulled the plug on all of the software and the things and the list and the people and the ABS and the whole shebang and just said, I’m closing my business down as it currently is not working. Like I had costs that were far, far beyond, you know, the revenue quite often, the margins were just absolutely not worth the stress that I was going through, you know, I needed a break, I needed just to pause, and to reassess. And to just go hang on a minute, what, what is this? Right? And I just literally stopped it all. And I had this feeling of okay, what does this mean? And, you know, a little bit of grief for the identity that I thought I wanted that I was working towards the goals I had subscribed to for some time. But then when I had time and space I checked in I was I don’t think those goals were actually mine. appropriated them from the communities I was in from the people I was around, feeling some resonance with them, but actually deeply. They’re not mine. And I gave myself permission to have a couple of months. Really Fortunately, you know, we have some savings. I was okay. My partner was incredible about this at the time, so of course just stop, let’s reassess. No joke. Within two weeks, people were knocking on my door to hire me for stuff. It was almost as if as soon as I dropped this hustle anxious kind of push approach. People were just flooding in. Wow. But for really cool projects as well. Like I was hired really quickly for like a FinTech content creation project, which went on for a while. I then worked with a startup in New York that was creating learning design content. I was booked out beautifully, brilliantly with really smart people who weren’t in this messy online bubble space, and I was doing really cool smart things and being paid beautifully for it right. The online world felt that I was unsuccessful at this time. A lot of the People like her, she’s dropped off like, oh, yeah, poor thing. I was away from it all just happily, in my zone like loving the fact that all these skills I’ve built up were finally beautifully seen and paid for, amazingly, with super smart people, and discovered that actually, there is a space away from this web business is done in a way that’s not just who’s got the fancier font and is shouting louder, which is, I think, how it was at the time, or certainly how it felt often. And so I had this realization of, I can also do it this way, it’s kind of I started to come back to this circle of being recommended of having a portfolio sort of set of staff of working on different projects that lit me up in that anxiety that hustle that funnel that how do I get 1000s of people to buy my sort of 999 thing and make the million dollars that I’m supposed to in the next month?

Meg Casebolt 20:56
And when you when you had that bigger business when you had that bigger audience? Do you mind if I asked like how many people did you have on your email list? Or how many did you have on social? Like, what was the follower count? What was the body count? Sounds like

Jo Gifford 21:11
I had a nice healthy list, I had about 5000 people on my list. I had a nice, juicy audience. I think on Facebook, I probably had maybe up to 10,000 on my page at the time, the Joe who I am now can see Absolutely. It was not strategic. I look back with fondness and kindness and compassion to myself. And but yeah, I had numbers I had the list, I had all the sequences running to all the things. But it was down but down 5000 people which has really actually quite violent, but you know, the numbers on the list people the numbers on the list.

Meg Casebolt 21:46
There was no like

there was no bloodbath when it comes to burning down your business. It was not an arson situation,

Jo Gifford 21:57
out into the interwebs. So I’d literally if you think all those people, and I was in this hustle and burn cycle, just stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. And even if it was the act of just taking a breath that brought me that space. And actually my partner could see this coming for quite some time he was he was gently like, can we stop the madness? No, because this is how you do it. This is how you become successful. Okay, but you’re okay. And I stopped and then entered this different part of my journey, which was being booked for really cool projects with really cool people. And realizing that these really cool people are not chatting on Facebook every day, they’re not worried about what somebody in that group thinks about this person over here. They’re just smart people growing businesses. And that was just a wake up call that I needed, that it was a beautiful reset. And since then, I’ve been exploring a lot of different projects, different people always by referral at the moment. And I’ve gone back to my roots of of blogging, or writing long form on on medium or my own site, clients of exploring that creative edge and sharing my voice in a way that literally is I had toasts today, or this is what I’m doing with the kids on Instagram. And finding that my voice in a particularly through the last couple of years, which has been talking now in 2022, the last couple of years have been a wormhole to hell little Yeah. Yeah. Discovering that, again, that cathartic sharing, has taken me to incredible new places.

Meg Casebolt 23:42
And one of the things that I love about what you’re doing now, is that when you are sharing, it’s not here’s how I made X amount of dollars and how you can do it too, or trying to exploit you know, what are the life experiences that I can extrapolate into a lesson that can then become, you know, something that people can learn to trust me and therefore turn it into some sort of revenue generating content, like your the way that you’re talking about swimming is just, you know, it’s bringing people back to life. So can you talk a little bit about that shift of, you know, you’re still on social media, you didn’t fully burn down everything, but the focus of what you’re doing is not about how can I get people to a sale, even though you’re a copywriter, it’s, here’s what’s happening in my life, and I don’t need you to hire me because I’m fully booked out. I just get to share what I love. So tell me about that experience.

Jo Gifford 24:35
Oh, yeah, this has been glorious. And so yes, I am on social media. And I also take big swathes of time away from it. If I feel that actually this is I need to have just a break. I think it’s always good to have a habit reset. It’s something for me that works, step away, whether it’s through week a month, whatever I will do that now without fearing that my whole income and revenue generating module will fall down. So Really this again, if we go back to the start of 2020, my dad actually passed in 2020. In the first wave of COVID, he had dementia, he was in a care home, he passed. And my partner was made redundant, there was just so so many things happening for so many people, right. And I found such Catholicism in sharing some posts on grief, when I felt able to when I wanted to talk it, you know, knowing that other people in the world are probably going through something similar and literally sharing from my heart. And the notes I would get from people I’ve read every day of the week, but I thank you for writing that, you know, thank you. It was like medicine. And I’m like, okay, great. I’m writing this for me. But if it reaches you, that’s amazing. And during that most incredibly stressful year, of grief, of stress of all the things, I was just walking, walking, walking, walking every day, literally trying to put one foot in front of the other in a similar way as I could. And the place where I live and the place where I’m from here in Cambridge chairs right by the river. And

I know I was at walking one day, and it was summer time. And I just, I got in, I literally stripped off and got in in a very secluded spot. I should add it but I just felt this like I just need to be in that water. This looks really inviting. Like, it was like a call to rewild has any way I can describe it, like got in and just felt this aliveness that I had not felt for such a long time with all this deep grief. And I was like, oh, that’s that field I didn’t know about was swimming. I didn’t know this was a thing. And just began going back to the river every day. Like I would literally have my practice of journaling, you know, walking, I’d pop to the river. And because I was sharing this on social, then some people would be like, Hey, do you really want to swim with me? I’m like, Yeah, and I didn’t know that cold water Swimming was a thing I was aware of Wim Hof I was aware of, you know, cold water emotions hadn’t put it together in my head. And then someone said, Hey, do you fancy swimming with me, you know, through winter. Thus began this most incredible unfolding of, of wildness, but also creativity again, because my trips to the water were the things that were keeping me sane, healthy, you know, mentally healthy during lockdowns in the UK. And I began sharing about these swims, which escalated so quickly to the point where I had my own group of 1500 people swimming locally, not you know, not in person on Facebook. I have been featured in the press. Like the BBC, ITV, the Telegraph’s are in Destiny tops on a woman’s out like loads of people, because my story was resonating with people. And so who I am completely non business related thing, right, nothing to do with content, or trying to get people to buy my stuff sharing from the heart about water. And several things have happened from that. One is that I now have a book of poetry that’s emerging, which is completely interesting thing for me, because when I share my words, in some of the swimming groups, like they’re, they’re flying, they’re going viral. They’re absolutely you know, 1000s and 1000s, and 1000s of shares. And I’m giving talks for charities about you know, mental health and water and it’s taken me back to those roots take me back to I’m finding joy in sharing these words. Here’s an experience that is incredibly valuable for me, I’m sharing it. And of course, hilariously, either people are seeing my work, nothing to do with what I do. And I’m getting people go, I’ve seen your words, can you write copy and content? And, you know, can you help me? Yeah, that is what I do. And so it’s almost like the more I steps away from anything to do with hustle, but stepped into the most creative expression of that work. It’s had all sorts of incredible things unfold I’m setting limited prints in next week of my of my words with a gorgeous lino cut, you know, artists where, you know, my poems are flying, I’ve got a, you know, sort of publishing the, with this book that’s coming out and all of that from sharing my voice. And, yes, in my professional life, I’m blessed to have the most amazing clients who are doing incredible change in the world. And we share one who’s just a gorgeous soul and a dear friend of mine. And I’m there creating learning design content, I’m writing it long form, I’m writing Social, I’m holding space for clients to find their voice. Because I think it’s all of these things. You know, you can’t I don’t think have a strategy if your soul isn’t going to it, because, right? What makes me so sad is that all the templates and swipe files and things that we see if you’re buying them and they don’t work as your because it’s not from your soul, it’s from someone else’s thing that worked. Like I couldn’t sell you have nothing to, you know go by and you know have loads of swimming because it just have right? If you were to if you

Meg Casebolt 30:26
were to try to sell a course that’s like how to how to write your poetry to sell a book and market it, it wouldn’t work because what worked for you was completely organic from your own creativity. It wasn’t you going, huh? What do I need to post today in order to get a book deal? That wasn’t the goal.

Jo Gifford 30:43
It wasn’t. But interestingly, my old mindset would be like her have these results. I’ve gone viral. I’ve got all this press, I can package it. It’s like, oh, my gosh, no, no, no, no, no, no, I’m so far away from that now. And you know, my website doesn’t fully you know, I don’t have a whole kind of fully branded smart like, this is like a sassy way to work with me. And you know, when you asked me, like, in the beginning, I had quite a rambling I do this, I do that. Because I’m not trying to. I’m not trying to be like super sassy. And here’s how you hire me. Because right now the right people find me. And I love that

Meg Casebolt 31:20
you maybe they don’t even find you the right people are told about you, they are the right people, I want to make that distinction. As the SEO person who helps people get found you’re not being found, you’re being shared, you’re being told you’re being introduced, you don’t always need to be found, you don’t always need to be nurturing to a funnel, you know, it can be an showing up as who you are getting to know the right people who like you enough to introduce you to the next person to introduce you to the next person. It doesn’t always have to be this contrived

Jo Gifford 31:52
process. It really, really isn’t. And it’s just so like, I can literally feel like oxygen in my throat, lungs of my shoulders. Unhatched because I am expressing myself again in a way that is really aligned with who I am, you know, I’m pretty Whoo. I’m out there, you know, doing my wild thing in the water. Like I’m wearing a dry rape Half the time I just had a nap. Megan, I’m having gorgeous. I am not in that module that I pursued so desperately. So doggedly. So, you know, I put so much into it. And I was perceived as having it all. And I think that so many people we may look at and go, they’ve got it all sussed have they, how Lean is their business? Like how, you know, are they inspired, did like, success to me now. And I think about this every day is I want to be with the people I love having last one very, very dear to me. And like a lot of people in the last couple of years have passed. I want to be with people I love I want to be able to go to the river on a Wednesday morning, have a gorgeous swim in the frosty water, have a coffee afterwards, and then go write some poetry, knowing that any work that’s needed in my slack, whatever all of my clients know exactly how I roll, they will know where I’ll be. They not only expect it, but they love me for it. And not only that, they’re like, Please will you be with me more I don’t want to show you. Because it’s you know, when you are loved and trusted. And you’re and I’m honored to work within the most amazing teams, I have, like a handful of incredible clients that I love dearly, who are all aligned exactly with the Jo who is here right now with the one who is human and raw and still working through grief. And now we have perimenopause and in the sandwich generation and all of these things, and I now know that you can be honest in the right spaces with the right people, you can be both honest about these things and in your zone of excellence. And I can create and hold space and you know write copy for people in a way that is working amazing things for their businesses. And I love that because actually right now I don’t want to be the one that’s worrying about all the income coming in. You know, I don’t want to be you know, the main face of everything, you know, I’ve got my own my own projects going on on many things. There are

Meg Casebolt 34:29
there are business models where you want to be front facing their business models where you want your face on the Facebook ad and you want people to see you recognize you trust you, you know you need to be out there and you need to be growing and there were phases in every business when you also need to be doing that there are phases where you do have to put yourself out there but you can also scale back and have a business that feels good. That doesn’t require a lot of energy to market. And and I think one thing that you haven’t talked about here but I know is like you You’re not working 40 hours a week,

Jo Gifford 35:02
oh, God, I’m working like 15 tops.

Meg Casebolt 35:05
And this is one of them.

So when we think about, like, what was the life, like, when you were building the Empire, it was probably much more time consuming much more stressful, and you didn’t have the space for the creative pursuits that are now leading into future opportunities for you, because you, you have the space to be creative now,

Jo Gifford 35:29
completely, I was terrible with boundaries at that time, because I was hungry, and I was learning all the things, right. And that, you know, there’s a lot of, you know, good things about very steep learning curves. I had, you know, sort of clients all around the globe. Great. But, man, I was tired, right. And, you know, I have chronic fatigue and tiredness is something that I have to you never really managed. And actually, right now, this works fine. Because if I just need to switch around a couple of hours of doing something, nobody will even know. And I am earning way more than I was. Because guess what I’m showing up, I’m able to be with people who light me up who, you know, I have a mutual trust in the way that I work. It’s consistent revenue, there’s no collaboration, there’s jayvees, there’s all that kind of stuff is happening. But in a way that is just so much freeing, and there is an openness there. Is that creativity. And yeah, no, I literally, I mean, this is like literally timed working hours, like on my toggle, because we know that our brains are always allowing for ideas to drop in. But I need that white space, I need that time to be an introvert to be on the yoga mat to be out walking to be with my kids to be my cat to watch, you know, stuff on TV, because I can’t, I can’t be at my best if I haven’t allowed that space. And it’s just so freeing to own that. And every single one of my clients like, also is kind of working on their own version of that, you know, that is, to me,

Meg Casebolt 37:11
you know, what I’m hearing is you’re saying that is it’s the difference between like pursuing and receiving. You know, and this is a little woowoo. But we know we were, when you were in the hustle mindset, it was like you were like, that is the goal, and I need to get there and I will do anything to get there. And I will do all the work to create the brand to build the audience to go Go, go, go, go, go go. And then when you stepped back, and you went, I’m just going to take a break from that business, then the client started coming to you, and you were able to receive the the referrals and receive the space to go swimming and, and be open to possibilities as opposed to having a tight leash on what you wanted things to happen. And you have to be the one to do it

Jo Gifford 37:57
completely. And that’s what I meant with that, you know, I wasn’t sure how were we gonna be on your podcast make but, um, you know, when that,

Meg Casebolt 38:05
you know, that

Jo Gifford 38:06
would that pipeline went cold, I knew it was an energetic thing, because I done all the things it was as if I literally couldn’t, you know, pursue this particular line. And it was and every time I’m feeling almost in that more, you know, call it’s masculine energy, like, you know, as productive, you know, really focus. I was like, I love working in that way. But I need to as soon as I feel myself going too far that way. For example, this afternoon, I’ve had a really busy couple of weeks, in a busier than usual, I’ve worked more than my 15 hours. And, you know, we’ve had sort of half stuff going on, but maybe has all this kind of stuff, right? normal family life. And I’m like, Hmm, I need to lean back, I need to lean back to receive because otherwise, a it has crash and burn right over it be I’m not happy. You know, we just need I need to be able to pause, breathe and receive, which and I’m a true believer as well, if you’re, you know, my clients are changemakers I think if you’re here to use your voice to create change in whatever way that is. You need to be sharing stuff from a place of alignment. Because if you read posts, you know, copy that’s written from a place of anger, of angst of jealousy of either anything that’s kind of really either comparison itis we feel that. Yeah. You know, which is why my words about water go flying because they’re from the heart and I don’t ever post anything until I you know, and it’s like, Oh, that feels good post. I mean, obviously in a business sense. I’m a little more strategic than that. We do literally have plans if I’m working with with other people’s coffee, but there was so much to be said for that if you are your personal brand. If you are writing on your own behalf and you’re sending out stuff in the world that’s just horrible. And we see all the time. It’s like, you know, that’s not helping you. It’s not helping people. Reading you. And we can’t take a step back if we’re just always in it in the scroll Rogan write cycle.

Meg Casebolt 40:07
So true. Okay, so Jo, if people want to read about a read some of your poetry about the healing water, or if they want to work with you how, if they want to actually come and find you? How do they get in touch with you? How do they follow you?

Jo Gifford 40:24
Do you the best place to come and say hi is on Instagram, you can find me I’m at the Jo Gifford that links to my poetry staff, you’ll find me sharing my day, my you know, my, you know, my usual writing stuff. And that will take you to other places. So I would love to meet anyone that comes in through your gorgeous podcast. And thank you, Meg, for allowing me to explore that journey with you today.

Meg Casebolt 40:46
Yes, and thank you for sharing. I know sometimes it’s not about learning what you can be doing or how things can be changing, but it’s just hearing how somebody else has slowed down and taken that step back and what that looks like for them. So thank you for your transparency and your authenticity and your willingness to share. I appreciate

Jo Gifford 41:03
it. Appreciate you darling. Thank you.

Meg Casebolt 41:08
Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social slowdown.com and sign up for our email list so you never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown comm slash review or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media. Talk to you then.

Please forgive any typos as this transcript was automatically generated by otter.ai.

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