Transcript: Mythical Makers Episode 8: Extending Education as an Entrepreneur

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Babs Rudlin: Hi there, and welcome to the Mythical Makers podcast! These are weekly ramblings from myself, Babs Rudlin, Fiery Phoenix and…
Karen Moffett: I’m Karen Moffett, Mama Dragon.
(short musical clip)
Karen: Welcome to Episode Eight of the Mythical Makers Podcast. Today we’re discussing the question, “Should you invest in learning?”
Babs:  Karen, what do you think? (Karen laughs) Should we invest in learning? Actually before we get to that, what’s on your needles?
Karen: Oh, well let’s see. Um, I’m gonna be working on a pair of Knitted Knockers today.
Babs:  Ooh!
Karen: We have a new group that we’re gonna be providing for that’s in, it just went out of my head. I think it’s in Nigeria. Um, we’re sending some knockers over there. Which is a little, it’s been a little bizarre kind of leap of person-knows-person-knows-person, for us to get hooked up with this women’s clinic over there…
Babs:  Yeah.
Karen: …but we’re gonna be providing for them, and that’s, I think, the fourth clinic that our local group has picked up.
Babs:  Okay, now when you say knitting knockers, do you actually mean boobies?
Karen: I do, actually! Um, they are for cancer survivors who have had mastectomies.
Babs:  Aha. Yes.
Karen: Because there’s a period of time in between the surgery, um and the, because you go and have the mastectomy first, and then you have to heal from that before you can have the reconstruction.
Babs:  Yep.
Karen: So it’s not, you can’t do it all in one go.
Babs:  Mmmhmm.
Karen: And in that interim, people’s skin is very, very sensitive, um, especially if they’re getting chemo, that makes it that much worse.
Babs:  Mmmhmm.
Karen: Um, so they need to make sure that anything that they use as far as temporary prosthetics doesn’t have a seam, or…
Babs:  Yes.
Karen: …you know, is made out of um, nice soft yarn, and, so there are very specific restrictions for what types of yarn you can use, and there’s a, there’s a specific pattern that you use to make sure that there are no seams on the inside, and that sort of thing.
Babs:  Oh, excellent. That’s really cool!
Karen: Yeah, it’s a really great program and, and they are, the knockers themselves are given to the patients for free.
Babs:  Mmmhmm.
Karen: So it’s um, the people who knit them volunteer their time, and then a lot of people who are not able to knit will donate money or donate yarn.
Babs:  Okay. Well, we can definitely put a link to that underneath the podcast for today. So um, definitely that, that’s really, really cool. And I am…
Karen: What’s on your needles today, Babs?
Babs:  As always, it’s gonna be socks! (both laugh)
Karen: (mock dramatic gasp) Socks!? Oh, my goodness, what a surprise!
Babs:  Never! As if! As if it could be socks! Well, I mean, I was showing you earlier, my six new sock designs, they were all socks by the way, those patterns that I was sort of flashing briefly across the screen at you. Um, and, so yeah, that’s six sock designs. So I’m finishing up um, the toes of my #22’s and uh, and then I shall be moving on to some more test samples for the next couple of patterns that I’ve, I’ve got scribbled out, so that will be really cool, I’m looking forward to that.
Karen: So are you finding hard and fast favorites for toes and heels now?
Babs:  Um…
Karen: Now that you’re doing so much designing?
Babs:  I love a toe-up cast on.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs:  But I’m finding that the stitch patterns that I like to use, that I feed into the cuffs, are currently working better going cuff down for the stitch design.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs:  So um, I, I have a mix of toe-up and cuff-down. Uh, and if it’s a cuff-down, then that means that the cuff is probably going to be quite an exotic-looking cuff, with…
Karen: Haha, yeah.
Babs:  …with obscene ribbing and something exciting happening on it, as against just being a bog standard knit one purl one rib. (Karen chuckles) Um, but I’ve, yeah, I’m really enjoying it, and I, so each one basically has a different heel, and, it probably doesn’t have a different toe, because I think toes, once you’ve found your ‘perfect toe’…
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs:  …you want to keep using that toe. Um, but if I was doing something that was all stars all over the body of the sock, I’d probably use a starburst toe, to just match that, so thematically it would match. Or if I was doing a spiral heels, I’d want to do a spiral toe to match. So, see, I’m writing down more ideas as I’ve talked to you now. (both laugh)
Karen: That’s okay! That’s good!
Babs:  Because I can’t help myself! Um, you know, so there’s that sort of thing that’s, that’s going on. Um, and I, I want to be playing with colour more, rather than texture, of stitches, over winter. So um, where I’ve been using raised stitches and cables and lace through the summer, over winter I’m gonna be looking at colour change, so that you end up with two layers of yarn running through your socks, which gives them a bit more warmth.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs:  And it becomes a bit squishier, because you’re doing, the slipping stitches for your color changes, but I’m really looking forward to working on some of those.
Karen: Yeah.
Babs:  So that’s um, it’s all good.
Karen: Yeah, I think, I think when we ah, interviewed Tineke, you mentioned you had done a pair of brioche socks before.
Babs:  Mmmhmm.
Karen: That sounds, that sounds super cozy!
Babs:  (chuckles) They’re lovely for winter. (both laugh) When winter is chilly, or if you live in Alaska, then you want those double layer socks, that you don’t really realize are double layer. So um, so that’s really cool. Now we’re sort of building on what we were talking about last time, in Episode Seven, about encouraging kids to run their own businesses, or not run their own businesses, and so forth. And one of the things that actually came out, that we kept talking about a lot was, was education. Um, and so that sort of inspired the session for today, which is, should you continue to invest in learning? Because we were talking about how hideously expensive universities can be, and sometimes people just skip university, because they don’t wanna start life with this massive debt around their neck.
Karen: Yeah. Definitely.
Babs:  But if that’s the case, does that mean that you just give up on educating yourself? Does it all just stop? Or, you know, what’s your thoughts on that, Karen?
Karen: Um I, I am a perpetual reader, a perpetual learner, um, so the idea of not continuing to learn is just…are there people like that? (both laugh) Um I, I pretty much devour everything that’s available out there. Um, so that’s, that’s how I got, I’ve gotten into a number of knitting groups, just because being part of those groups, we learn from one another.
Babs:  Yeah.
Karen: And not just, not just from the leader of the group. Um you know, your group, and Frenchie’s group, and um, I mean, there’s, like I said, there’s several groups that I’m part of, and just, everyone kind of feeding off of one another, everyone learning, you know, I’ve got this particular strength, and I’ve got that particular weakness and, and asking questions of one another and saying, ‘Hey have you done this before?’ Um, it’s just a great way to constantly improve yourself.
Babs:  Yeah, and for me, so it’s a really good sign of a living, thriving group, when people are asking each other questions, and they’re all answering it, as against the, the only person who’s allowed to ask or answer a question is the host of the group.
Karen: Yeah.
Babs:  Um, I think it shows that it’s a wonderful community thing. It’s a community-led environment when everybody’s asking questions and everybody’s pitching in. You can still have a voice of authority from the person who runs the group.
Karen: Yeah, sure.
Babs:  Um, and you know, they can still have their specific take on something, if someone’s got a specific question for them, but I loved seeing when other people just pitch in and start having conversations, and giving advice, ‘well this is what happened to me, and this is how I dealt with it,’ or you know, I, ‘this has suddenly happened and it’s never happened to me before, who can point me in the right direction.’ It’s like, ‘I’ve been asked this question and I haven’t got a clue how or why I would want to do that.’
Karen: Mmmhmm. And sometimes it’s just nice to be able to vent. (both laugh)
Babs:  I love it. ‘This is a venting post.’
Karen: Because we all have those same shared frustrations.
Babs:  Hashtag vent, and so everyone else is like, ‘Yes! Just, just yes, to all of this!’
Karen: Yep. Me too. Yep.
Babs:  So I think that’s, that’s very important. But the question is, not just ‘do you want to continue to learn,’ because I think you’re very much like me, in that I don’t stop learning. I am always learning. I’m always trying something new, I’m always experimenting with things, even if I get it wrong, I’m still trying stuff out all the time. Um, but there is a difference between going online and looking at a video, to work out how to do something and then trying it, trial and error at home, um, and then paying someone to look at a video that you’re then gonna go and work off of.
Karen: Yeah. Yeah.
Babs:  Um, and then you’ve got other things that are not just going and looking at video, but then you’ve got people who are actually selling courses, you’ve got people who um, sell entire signature series training sessions, um, now is that something that you think people should continue to invest in, to build their learning, or…?
Karen: Absolutely. I think, as you are able to, turning at least some of, of what you make in your business back around into learning new things, becoming a better business person, um, all of those sorts of things. We, we talked a lot last time about um, apprenticeships…
Babs:  Yep.
Karen: …but uh, and I feel like mentorships, uh, those sorts of relationships fall into that category really. Is you’ve got someone who has more experience in this specific business and um, they’ve kinda taken you under their wing, and… like you have with me! Um, (laughs) and they, you can see that this person is already succeeding in what it is that you want to do, and so you can um, learn from them, and like you said, not reinvent the wheel.
Babs:  Mmmhmm.
Karen: There’s no point in putting effort into figuring out how to do something that somebody else has already figured out how to do. You know, that’s, that’s just silly. Um, so I feel like that, that mentor relationship is just crucial, especially when you’re really starting out. Um, and it’s so easy to go, ‘ooh, I can’t really put any money into it, because I haven’t really made any money yet,’ but you know, there’s that kind of balancing act um, between if I, if I do invest in this, then it’s going to make me more successful that much sooner.
Babs:  Yes. I think the, the other, the other part to that is that you are more likely to value and take action on something if you’ve paid for it, than if it’s just a freebie that you downloaded.
Karen: Yes, that’s true.
Babs:  It’s, it’s like we’ve got this dropbox of doom, (Karen laughs) where all the files that I’ve downloaded and things that I’ve signed up for, and they’re just sitting there, gathering dust.
Karen: Challenges and challenges, and, do you do that too?
Babs:  Why did I sign up for this? I can’t remember. I mean it was relevant then, it’s just not relevant now. But it’s, and I think that’s absolutely key, is that you need to experiment with different people, because you’ll find that different mentors will work for you on different topics, so there’s, there’s someone that I work with for sales and launches, and there was somebody else that I worked with around branding, and somebody else that I’ve just signed up with for a, a sixteen week course over the summer holidays, what was I thinking? (Karen laughs) Really, what was I thinking?
Karen: Not the best timing, huh?
Babs:  But, the value of what these, these people can offer is massive, and so that’s why I think that it’s very important to invest in yourself. Um, and in your business. And it’s something that I do. It’s not just something that I sell or something that I offer other people, but it’s something that I do for myself to grow my own business, and to be the best that I can be to help my audience and, and my customers. Um, and so…
Karen: Well, and some aspects of business just come naturally. Um, there may be some parts that you don’t have to put a whole lot of thought and effort into um, doing a good job in a particular area. If you’ve, you’ve got an area that just comes easily for you, um, chances are you’ve got another area that you really have to struggle for.
Babs:  Absolutely.
Karen: So it may be, it may be the business part of things, it may be the, the copy writing part of things or the branding, or maybe you’re just not really good at tooting your own horn.
Babs:  Mmmhmm. Oh, yes. Thumbs up to that one.
Karen: And those things are… Yes! Me too. That’s probably my biggest weakness. I’m super good at shouting out for other people, but I’m not, not so good at, at uh, praising myself. So yeah, that comes difficult to me. But ah, if you have a mentor, they can encourage you, and they can see, you know, from the outside, those areas where you need to have, you need to improve.
Babs:  Yeah, and I think it’s something where, if you’ve got the feeling that someone’s holding your hand, someone’s got your back…
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs:  …there’s somebody there who you can just, you know, within office hours you can go and sob at, and then they’ll say ‘Okay, well you’ve done five minutes of sobbing, now pull yourself together and actually do something to sort the problem out.’
Karen: (laughs) Yeah.
Babs: ‘I’ve listened to you, but this is what you need to do. You need to go fix the problem, rather than just feel sorry and have a pity party.’ But if you’ve got someone that’s got your back and that’s able to do that for you, and can point out the positive in whatever you think this latest disaster has created, then you’ll be able to get back on track and refocus so much faster than if you’re just wallowing around in your own pity party.
Karen: Yeah. Yeah.
Babs:  Thinking, ‘The world hates me, why am I doing this?’ When somebody else could just look at it and go, ‘Yeah, you just missed one piece of the puzzle. Try tweaking that and give it another go.’ And because, you know, what you’ve got there is actually valuable content. It’s, it’s a good design, it’s excellent yarn, you know, whatever it is that you’re, you’re feeling that you’ve got an issue with. And it could be that people just didn’t want to buy it at that time, but the other benefits of you doing the launch, and doing that process, far outweigh the fact that you didn’t sell anything.
Karen: Yeah.
Babs:  Um, because you’ve increased your exposure, or you’ve um, got a load of new followers, or people now realize that you’re doing something that they didn’t know that you did to start off with. So you know, there’s always a positive, even if something goes horribly wrong, there is always a positive that can be found. But you can’t necessarily find it for yourself, because you’re in that, that moment of ‘the world is over.’
Karen: Yeah, you need that outside view.
Babs:  Exactly. You need a different perspective. And whether that is working one to one with somebody, or whether that is being part of a master class, or um, a mentor group, um, you know, I think that if you have invested in something like that, then you can reap so many more benefits than just the, ‘I’m learning how to create Facebook ads.’
Karen: Yeah.
Babs:  You know, if you’ve got a Facebook ad course, or a Facebook ad download, or you’ve bought that, then there’s generally a group or community that you can join because you’ve paid for it, and that means everybody else in that group has also paid to further their business.
Karen: To learn that same thing.
Babs:  Which means they’re serious about business, they’re serious about growing, they’re serious about development, they’re not just looking for all the freebies around the edge and just trying to pick everything from around the edge. They are looking to grow their business in a meaningful way.
Karen: And there’s lots of stuff out there.
Babs:  Mmmhmm. There is so much.
Karen: But you’re right, you’re much more likely to actually be dedicated to following through with it, and actually putting time into it, if you’ve paid for it.
Babs:  But I think also, if you’re in a group with people who’ve also made that financial commitment, and it doesn’t have to be a massive commitment, um, you know, it could just be a twenty dollar course, or a twenty dollar download or something. It doesn’t have to be, you know, two grand’s worth of stuff.
Karen: Right.
Babs:  Um, but people have made that commitment, which means that if you then end up doing some sort of joint venture with them, then they are just as committed as you. They are, you know, that is far more likely to get joint promotion and success, than if you just join up with some random person that you don’t know, who’s in the free group, who is just taking the freebies from ‘round the edge.
Karen: Yeah. Yeah.
Babs:  You know, you’ll have more success by linking up with somebody who has made that same commitment to you. So you know that you’re both in the same sort of place.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs:  And then you can grow together, which is awesome. Do you think we’ve answered that one, do you think we should invest in learning?
Karen: I do. I think we should.
Babs:  Well that’s, that’s cool. I mean, you know, people might say, ‘Well Babs, you know, you’re saying that because, because you sell courses,’ but I also, I don’t just sell you know, mentorship and the Embark Mastermind, but I also offer, through Yarn Academy, for other tutors to sell their own courses. So if you wanted to teach, if you wanted to encourage other people too then, then we’ve got the, the ability for you to do that. So you can host and run and sell your own courses through Yarn Academy. So it’s not all about ‘you must come to me to learn from me.’ It’s just I’m enabling other people to teach and to sell their, their knowledge, and to share their skills. Um so, so yeah. I mean, obviously I think investing in learning is important, because that is a large part of what I do, is I, I educate people, and encourage them to educate others in turn. Um, but I think it’s a discussion that people should have more frequently, as against, ‘Oh, I’m out of school, I don’t need to think about that any more. Done. Shut the door on learning. That door is now closed.’
Karen: Yeah. Yeah. (laughs)
Babs:  And the same with, with people that just constantly look for freebies, whether that’s free challenges, or free downloads, or free patterns, or free yarn, or free learning. You can nibble around at the edges, but you won’t get any of the real value until somebody’s taken the time to sit down and put it piece by piece in the correct order, so that you can follow it through, and really get the best out of everything.
Karen: And a lot of times, those free challenges are a good way to um, really kinda figure out who, who would be a good person to work with.
Babs:  Exactly. You need to …
Karen: So it’s kind of a microcosm of, of what they offer in their courses, um, and usually that’s why they offer those free challenges, to let you see, hey, this is what the paid content is like.
Babs:  Precisely.
Karen: This is just a small nibble of what the paid content is like.
Babs:  Because, I mean, this is one of the things I was talking about in the interview I did with the Yarnpreneur Society for a Q&A session. Expert Q&A, oh how flattering! (both laugh) It was all around mentorship, and, and I said it’s absolutely key that you find a mentor that you are comfortable working with. And the mentor is comfortable working with you. Because if you’re not, that is a relationship that won’t work.
Karen: Yeah, absolutely.
Babs:  Um, so that is um, I think that’s, that’s very important. But um, I think if this has been useful, then you should really sign up for more of these podcasts; make sure that you’re a subscriber. And if you’ve got any suggestions, or questions, or comments, then pop ‘em down in the box below, and let us know, and we’ll see what we can do to answer them. And if you’ve got any suggestions for topics, or people that you want to see interviewed, let us know, and we’ll do our best to get all that sorted for you. Until then, bye for now!
Karen: Bye-bye!

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