Podcast

Q&A with Michaela: Answering questions from Instagram

by Michaela fong

Podcast

Q&A with Michaela: Answering questions from Instagram

3 THINGS I DID TO GROW OVER 150K FOLLOWERS ORGANICALLY
WHY YOU NEED INTENTIONAL BRANDING FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
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I'm MICHAELA!

I am a small European town gal with big dreams who immigrated to Canada and built a multi-six-figure business from my living room floor and kitchen counter! I accidentally grew it into a small business community and became a small business educator along the way.

Now am here to empower, teach & inspire you to grow your business and create the life of your dreams with strategy, confidence & without burnout.

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Ever struggle with motivation or fear of failure? Then this podcast is for you.

Today, I am diving deep into a topic that hits close to home for many of us. From staying motivated and rising from setbacks to asking for help and how to plan to make your goals happen – in this podcast episode, I will be answering questions small business owners in our community submitted on Instagram stories for today’s Q&A episode.

You will leave empowered and equipped with actionable steps from each question!

Questions answered in this episode:

  • How do I plan my years to make my goals happen?
  • How do I stay motivated?
  • How do I rise back from setbacks or failure?
  • How to create a connection with your audience when you are uncomfortable showing up on camera?
  • How many team members do I have, and how did I find them?

Q: How do you plan your year to make your goals happen? I feel like I’m always running behind when it’s time to release new product and market it.

For me, it really boils down to a lot of planning.

At the end of the year, I spend a good chunk of time reflecting on the previous year – what worked and how long specific projects took me. That way, I can get a realistic idea of how much time I need to allocate in the next year to accomplish my goals without stressing out.

I the beginning of January, I plan out my whole year ahead, including all the launches and big projects I want to tackle. I’m old school — I print out a calendar for each month and start marking down when I will launch products, collections, or resources.

During this planning time, I also plan my personal life with my husband. We block off specific weeks or months when we want to take it easy and weeks and months when we’re ready to dive headfirst into the work. We also plan our vacations together and create a vision board for how we want the new year to look.

It helps to set us up for success because we’re focused on the bigger picture compared to getting swayed by day-to-day events and getting off track. It allows us to be intentional about what we put on our schedule during those specific months.

So, if we know that certain months will require hard work, and someone asks us to go on a weekend trip, we simply have to say no because we have our priorities straight.

Once I have a general idea of how the year will shape up, I dig deeper into the planning. I get down and dirty with each launch, writing down all the tasks I’ll need to do to make it happen. I mean, everything—research, content creation, emails, photos, website prep, you name it.

I’ve learned the hard way that things always take longer than we think. I write down how long I think each task will take me, trying to be as realistic as possible. The more detailed I get here, the better.

Once I have that task list, I take a good look at it and estimate how long it will realistically take me. That way, I can plan my schedule accordingly.

Let’s say I’ve planned a launch for the end of April, and I figure it’ll take me about six weeks to get everything in order. In that case, I would mark the first weeks of March on my calendar as the time to start working on those tasks.

As I go through the list, I circle any tasks I could delegate or outsource. I’m always looking for ways to make my life easier and save time.
And finally, when the time comes, when it’s all marked in my calendar, I roll up my sleeves and get to work—one task after another.

Q: What keeps you motivated?

I think for me; it’s looking to the future compared to being so stuck in the present and focusing on the challenges I’m overcoming now.

I want to be present for our family when we are blessed to have a child one day without feeling pressured. I want to have financial and time freedom and do work that is meaningful to me.

I think both scenarios are hard, whether we live the life that we settle for because we are unmotivated and unwilling to do the work. Or whether we choose to do the hard thing, work on our business, and build the life we envision.
I’m rather going to work hard for myself than settle for a life I don’t love, don’t you?

Every single day I look at the vision board for my life and all the big goals I have planned, and I do this literally every day.

I look at where I want to be at the end of the year, how I want my day-to-day life to look and how I want my everyday life to feel.

More importantly, I think about who I want to be. What transformation do I need to go through, and who do I need to become to make my goals happen? Do I need to change where I invest my time and financial resources? Do I need to work on my habits? Do I need to start waking up earlier? Do I need to surround myself with high-achievers? Do I need to educate myself on specific skills?

I know that results come after deliberate work, learning, showing up and focusing on day-to-day progress compared to expecting results to show up tomorrow. I focus on my transformation, and that’s how I stay motivated.

I think if you struggle with motivating yourself to get to the action, chances are that you haven’t really done the internal work with yourself and faced the reality of the hard questions.

How will my life look like five years from now if I don’t take action today? How will it affect my happiness, health, and well-being?
How is it going to affect my family? And then look at the other side of the coin and what how it could look like if you do take action.

It’s a choice we make every day about how we want to feel and how we want to act.

Q: How do you rise back from setback or failure?

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t really believe in failure.

Most people call it a failure. But really, they are just setbacks. And for me, all the setbacks have been huge learning lessons.

As entrepreneurs, I think it’s essential to realize that this is an uphill battle. It’s not supposed to be easy, and no one has a green light all the way.

So setbacks and failures and lessons are what we experience every single day that allows us to grow forward. And if you know that you can’t reach the end goal unless you overcome this challenge you are having right now, then you must keep moving forward and figuring it out.

And if things feel like a mess, I take a step back, do something that fuels my soul and give myself a break to reassess the situation.

So after you recharge yourself and give yourself a break, you can look at things from a bigger perspective and ask yourself different questions like, what have I learned through this?

Because then you realize that those failures or setbacks are just the lessons you had to go through to become the person you need to become to make your goals happen.

Q: How to create connection with your audience when you don’t want to show yourself on a camera?

I love this question because I am an introvert myself. Showing up on social media just a few years ago would terrify me.

But coming back to the mindset and motivation we talked about earlier, I knew that if I really wanted to use social media to grow my business, I had to start doing uncomfortable things.

If you’re stuck and unsure how to move forward, working on your mindset is the first step. Then, you can gradually start connecting with your audience, even if you’re not ready to be on camera just yet.

Let me share three ways to do that:
First, try creating time-lapse videos of yourself working behind the scenes. You don’t have to be close-up or show your face. You can add text overlays or use voiceovers to maintain that personal connection with your audience.

Second, consider creating carousels on Instagram. Share your photos or use text to share your story, personal opinions, and thoughts. It’s about giving your audience something personal to connect with that shows them a real human is on the other side of the screen.

Finally, leverage Instagram stories to connect with your audience. You can share pictures of your workspace or daily life, even if it’s just your working hand or surroundings. Use text overlays and engagement stickers to engage with them. Share what you’re experiencing, what you are working on, or show parts of your daily routine. Let them get to know you as a person.

Q: Wes said in the 3rd episode three that you have a team behind you. How many people is that, and how did you find that team? I ask because social media makes it look like we are doing it all ourselves and can overwhelm people and make them wonder why they can’t do it all. It can also affect our mental health, thinking we are not good enough.

Although my husband called it a huge team, we have three people on board right now. It feels more significant because, in the last half a year, I’ve made substantial changes in my life and asked for help that impacted not only me but also my husband and our lifestyle.

Because of fertility struggles, I have a lot of stress juggling between business and personal mental and physical health. I started working with a therapist, a naturopath and going to acupuncture sessions. These amazing women have become a crucial part of my support system, even though they’re not officially on the team. They’ve helped me navigate burnout, fertility struggles, and balancing life and business.

As for the official Small Biz Babes Community team, we have a Pinterest manager, a virtual assistant (who happens to be my little sister), and a podcast manager. They handle tasks like creating pins, editing the podcast, and other time-consuming tasks that free up my time to focus on revenue-generating aspects of the business.

Now, let’s talk about how I found my team members. I found the Pinterest manager and podcast manager on Instagram. For me, it’s essential to connect with people on a personal level and get a feel for their energy and work ethic. I like to check their social media profiles, see the information they share, and assess the effort they put into their work. This helps me choose individuals who align with my values and goals.

In the past, when I had my product business, I found an assistant through Facebook local groups. The process was similar—I wanted to gauge their character and see if they were hardworking and trustworthy. I’ve also had positive experiences outsourcing tasks on platforms like Fiverr. If something is taking me too long or requires a specific skill set, I consider finding someone to help me with that particular task.


For more significant projects, I work with contractors with expertise in areas that would take me forever to do myself.

I hope that answered your questions. If you’d like your question answered on the podcast, you can submit it by messaging me on Instagram DM at @smallbizbabescommunity.

If you’d like to listen to more detailed answers, you can tune in to this podcast episode here ?.

Talk soon,

Michaela

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  1. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that will make the largest changes. Many thanks for sharing!

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