Laura Roeder Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Laura Roeder
Laura Roeder is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
She is the founder of MeetEdgar and is thriving on making social media easy for all of us.
She is also a lady who boldly states “If you are a small business owner who is feeling overwhelmed by ALL the different pieces of technology you need to run your small business, you are about to loooove me!”
And certainly I have heard her name mentioned by many of the on-line luminaries of the world, who don’t just loooooove her, but really like her too.
She is the founder of LKR Social Media, where she used her expertise to help small businesses with social media and on-line marketing.
She is also the founder of Edgar, which is is a tool that helps with social media scheduling and marketing automation.
But more than that she is big on building a business that supports the lifestyle that she loves.
She believes that social media is part of a new way of running a business – a business that is internet-driven (even if you don’t sell online).
Flexible, scalable, and provides you with a life, not a grind, which means that she can travel frequently and recently spent 3 weeks in India and 2 weeks in South Africa totally unplugged.
But how is she doing this?
How The Dots Joined Up For Laura
Well she earned a degree in Advertising at The University of Texas, while teaching herself about web and online communications on the side.
However when she graduated at age 20 she moved to Chicago to start her professional career.
Unusually this didn’t then set into a decade of working her way up a ladder, just to find out that it was the wrong ladder.
Instead with limited business knowledge she took the leap started her own company and the rest is history?
So what made her different from so many people who wait with fear and apprehension till their mid forties before going for it?
And does she look back at the hustles, and struggles with fondness, or a “Thank god I don’t have to go through that again?”
Well let’s find out as we start joining up dots, with the one and only Laura Roeder.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Laura Roeder such as:
How she has created a life that she loves built around her belief “That if you don’t want to do it, then just don’t do it!”
Find out why she loves to allow her employees to watch movies on a Friday in work time…..yes seriously!
How she took her first steps into the business world, and worked conscientiously on building the biggest network that she could in the shortest time.
Why it is so important to focus on the development of your staff, to allow yourself the freedom to have a life away from the business.
Why Laura is such a fan of the “Transformational Speaking” book by Gail Larson, and how it allowed her quickly to become the speaker she wanted to be.
Laura Roeder Books
How To Connect With Laura Roeder
Check out Laura’s new course: https://paperbell.com/
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Laura Roeder Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello, everybody and welcome, of course, to the first Join Up Dots after Christmas. You’re all laying now on the sofa wondering why you went so many brussel sprouts, but this is when it all starts getting going again, because we’re building up to the new year. And Episode 470 as it is, is gonna be a good one because we’ve got a lady on the show today, who boldly states if you’re a small business owner who’s feeling overwhelmed by all the different pieces of technology you need to run your small business. You’re about to love me and she says it with loads of z O’s as well. Certainly I’ve heard her name mentioned by many of the online luminaries of the world who don’t just love her, but really like her too, because she is the founder of lk our social media, where she used her expertise to help small businesses with social media, and online marketing. She’s also the founder of actor, which is a tool that helps with social media scheduling and marketing automation. But more than that, she’s big on building a business that supports the lifestyle that she loves. She believes that social media is part of a new way of running a business, a business that is internet driven, even if you don’t sell online, flexible, scalable, and provide you with a life not a grind, which means that she can travel frequently and recently spent three weeks in India and two weeks in South Africa. Totally. Yes, totally unplugged. But how is she doing this? Well, she earned a degree in advertising at the University of Texas while teaching herself about web and online communications on the side. However, when she graduated at the age of 20, she moved to Chicago to start her professional No career, but unusually didn’t Ben set into a decade of working her way up a ladder, just to find out that it was the wrong ladder. Instead, with limited business knowledge, she took the leap started her own company, and the rest is history. So what made it different from so many people who wake with fear and apprehension to their mid 40s before going for it? And does she look back at the hassles and struggles with fondness or thank God I don’t have to go through that again. Well, let’s find out as we start joining up dots with the one and only Laura Roeder, how are you Laura?
Laura Roeder [2:31]
Im wonderful that was like this is your life Laura Roeder, the whole intro I loved it.
David Ralph [2:37]
Did you have that programming America Do you have this is your life
Laura Roeder [2:42]
I don’t remember watching it but I clearly know the concepts so I’m not sure
David Ralph [2:47]
we used to have it in the in the 70s. In the United Kingdom, obviously you’re you’re a young lady. You probably don’t remember but yeah, that’s a little before my time, a little bit before the time but bang on my time. That’s what you’re saying. So yeah, now It is it is this is your life because you have had a hell of a life. And I’m going to go straight to that word, which is the word that box so many entrepreneurs down. It box so many people down in their general life, but you seem to have sort of thrown it off grind. You don’t believe a life should be full of grind isn’t a new way of thinking or have you always had that?
Laura Roeder [3:24]
I’ve always had that. I think something that kind of surprises people about me is that I’ve never been a workaholic. Even when I was first starting my business. It was unusual for me to work on the weekend. I’ve never pulled an all nighter working. I’ve just always been someone who is big on enjoying my work and having a life outside of work as well. But how
David Ralph [3:46]
do you do that? Because I’ve been in the grind and I’m not in the grind. Now quiet. Don’t tell anyone, Lola but it’s easy to say the least. But I have had the sort of the all nighters I’ve had to sort of 20 hour days. No way. canes and all that kind of stuff. So how have you managed to do that? Because it is different, isn’t it? I know you say people are surprised. It’s not surprising that they’re surprised.
Laura Roeder [4:10]
Well, yeah, I think one of the ways that I’ve done it is just to choose not to do it as funny as that sounds. I mean, you always, whenever you’re saying, okay, I, you know, I have to finish this thing. Tomorrow morning, you always have an option of or I’m just going to tell the client that it’s going to take another week, or I’m going to take some time to hire a freelancer to help me out with this or maybe I miss estimated the project in the first place. You know what I mean? You’re never really forced to work all night, you kind of create a situation for yourself where that happens, or maybe you’ve taken on more work than you can really handle. I mean, obviously, right? If you’re, if you’re weeks and weeks working 15 hours a day, then then you’ve taken on, in my opinion, more than what’s really healthy and sustainable for one person. person to take on. And I’m a big believer and not trying to do it all myself even in my early business. Right from the beginning, I hired assistants to help me now I have a bigger company with a great team of people that are that are doing all the hard work where? Well, I get to do the easy, fun stuff.
David Ralph [5:20]
But it wasn’t always fun, though. Surely you have had to go into rooms and shake hands when you didn’t know when in there and hustle your way up? Definitely, definitely. And so when you look back at those hustles and those struggles, do you as I said in the introduction, do you go, Oh, my God, thank God, I don’t have to do that anymore, or do you kind of go? Well, actually, actually, that kind of made me somehow?
Laura Roeder [5:44]
Yeah, I think it’s definitely a little bit of both. So when I first started working for myself, first of all, I didn’t freelance on the side first the way a lot of people do. I was working as a designer and ad agency in Chicago and I decided I want to To do freelance design, so I just quit my job. And then I had to find a client. I didn’t have any clients. I’d never freelance before. I really had no idea what I was doing. And also, I was sort of new to Chicago. So I literally did not know a single business owner in the city of Chicago. You know, I was like 21 years old. So I thought, Okay, well, if I want to build websites for small businesses, I better meet people who own businesses, where can I meet people who own businesses, I’ll go to Chamber of Commerce events. And in Chicago, since it’s a bigger city, all the major neighbourhoods have their own chamber. So there are a lot of chamber events. So I just started going to all of them. If you lived in Chicago at that time, and you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce, we definitely met. I went to so many of them and just sort of talked to everyone. So on the one hand, I got definitely incredibly sick of doing that. But on the other hand, I mean, I learned how to talk to people. I learned I mean, that’s where I learned everything and how to run a business and a huge way that I learned how to run a business were through some of the incredible people that I met. Just things like a lingerie store, a woman who was a huge mentor to me ran a local lingerie store in the suburbs of Chicago. And she taught me, you know, how to put basic financials together for your business and what a proposal was and how to write one. So I didn’t only find clients, but I found the people that that were actually doing this and were very generous and showing me how it works.
David Ralph [7:30]
Right. Okay, million dollar question. I know now that you’re a mother, and I believe you’ve got one child. Yes. Okay. One child. If you was at that point, now, would you just walk out without a job? Or would you do the slide of faith and do that side hustle beforehand, you’re you’re 21 you just went for it? Would it be different now?
Laura Roeder [7:51]
Yeah, I mean, of course, it’s a lot easier, the less you have to lose, right? But my situation now even though I have a job Child and I have more financial responsibilities, I still have the same safety nets that I had then, you know, if you’re lucky enough to grow up with, with any kind of family that you’re still connected to, you probably are in the situation where it’s going to be a long time before you’re homeless. Or, you know, if you live in the UK, maybe you can just get some free government anyway, right? People people often get, you know, very scared of these situations like I’m, you know, I’m not going to be able to feed my children, I’m not going to have a home, it would be a long time before I would get to that point, right. Like, if the business didn’t work, then I would get a job. If I couldn’t find a good job, then I would get a bad job. You know, I move in with my parents if I needed to, if they wouldn’t have me, I’d call up some aunt or uncle and move in with them. So I do think that if I actually am a fan of really thinking out okay, what is the worst case scenario? At that time when I was quitting my job? The worst case scenario is I would have to find another job. You know, which just put me back to where I already was. I mean, I guess Worse than that, maybe it would take a while to find a job as good as the one I had. I mean, the one I had wasn’t very good to begin with at that time. So, yeah, now I have more responsibilities, but the scenario really plays out the same. You know, if I had a great job, and I was quitting to start my own thing, well, yeah, if I totally failed at my own thing, I would just get another job. But But have you got close family? I don’t want to get too personal but your mom and dad and sort of siblings, are you close? Yeah, I’m an only child. I recently moved back to my hometown of Austin, because my parents are here was a big reason for our move. My son is 10 months old. So he still requires a lot of child care which they’ve been very helpful if
David Ralph [9:45]
you can afford child care. You don’t need to get your mom and dad to do it.
Laura Roeder [9:50]
Well, we have a nanny too, but they they love spending time with him. He likes it too.
David Ralph [9:55]
So as a lady as a daughter, now I’ve got $5 I have four daughters and a son. Now, I would imagine that on that big decision when you want to quit the job, you don’t just do it yourself. You probably sat down with your mom and dad and sort of said, you know, this is what I’m thinking of doing. Or maybe you didn’t. But did. Did your parents say to you? Oh, no, you’ve got a job for life. Laura, you’re in there. This is what you were working towards? Or did I use or say, I will just go for it. If you’re not happy, just go for it?
Laura Roeder [10:24]
Yes, I don’t think I really discussed it with them. But I’m very lucky in that my my dad is self employed. He’s an architect and my mom runs the business or he’s retired now. But basically, he would do the plans and she would do kind of the bookkeeping and back office and stuff like that, in addition to another part time job, and so I think a huge advantage that I’ve had and being an entrepreneur is it’s never seemed crazy to me because that’s how my family always made their money is being self employed. So I know a lot of people have the challenge that their family is very unsupportive and consistent The idea, my parents obviously didn’t think it was a crazy idea. Because, you know, being a freelance designer is not so different from being a freelance architect, and they obviously saw that that could work out.
David Ralph [11:12]
Did you have discussions with them at all? Did you have confidence that you sort of sat and said, Look, I’m thinking of quitting. And because we see time and time again, it’s the old adage about the crabs in the bucket that the people closest to you will try to keep you in place. Did you have sort of drunken evening conversations, when you say to the person who sits next to you in that desk and a job you didn’t like? I’m thinking of leaving here, and I sort of hold you in place.
Laura Roeder [11:39]
Now, because it really wasn’t such a big deal to me. It wasn’t one of these things, where I’m like, agonising about it for years. And I mean, the way it played out for me is I had I had the idea that that’s something I would like to do. I mean, I had been considering I wasn’t happy in my job and I considered, you know, do I want another job do I want to maybe work in a different field, but once I had this idea doing freelance design, it just seemed like a good idea. It seemed like a good match for me. And I actually asked my company if I could go part time because I thought, well, that’ll be best of both worlds, I can have the steady income from working part time. Also, I was really, I really have very little to do at my job, which was one of the reasons I didn’t like it. I definitely didn’t have anywhere near full time work to do. So I would just sort of have to sit around all day. So I’m like, you know, I don’t have enough work anyway. You guys can just pay me a part time. And then I thought I could start freelancing part time and they said yes to that. But then right before I was supposed to start part time, they came back and they said, No, they said, If you work part time, everyone’s going to want to work part time. Of course, now, as a business owner, I think like, well, that would have been a good idea because no one had anything to do, but, you know, they didn’t think so. And so then, you know, when they said that, I was very clear by at that point that I did not want to work there full time. So then it was just like, Okay, well then, you know, then I’m done,
David Ralph [12:58]
though, isn’t it so you jump in but it’s been But so many companies have that mentality of I can’t give it to one person. You know, everyone’s got to have it. That’s just madness. Why can’t Why can’t everyone have it? Why can’t one person have it? Why do we have to have this kind of, I don’t know, flock mentality in corporations?
Laura Roeder [13:16]
Yeah, I mean, I agree it really I mean, looking back at it actually was a great idea. And it would have been a great win win for both of us, but I think they were just kind of concerned about rocking the boat and anyway,
David Ralph [13:29]
do you like to rock the boat? In your own company when it gets a bit sort of, um, the waters get flat? Do you kind of put your hands over and stir it up a bit do you like?
Laura Roeder [13:40]
Yeah, I think so. Actually, I mean, one I’m always aware of are things feeling a little boring or things feeling a little slow, especially if you don’t have some big exciting goal to work towards. We found this in our company recently because we had you know, we launched Edgar about a year and a half ago. We had gotten to a lot of the big goals that we set for ourselves. And so we kind of noticed that I had this feeling that everyone was just just kind of like churning along but maybe had lost a little bit of excitement so we did set another big goal to achieve so and we put like a fun reward around it. So yeah, I do look for like, Are things feeling a little stale? How can we make it more exciting?
David Ralph [14:23]
So we’ll come in to boss Are you are you this screaming and shouting? Oh, are you the one that arranges Limbo dancing afternoons? What kind of boss are you?
Laura Roeder [14:33]
I’m neither i’m i’m very a laid back it is actually very hard to ruffle me. I’ve definitely never yelled at anyone. So I’m very laid back. I give a lot of responsibility to everyone who works in my company. I mean, that’s the you know, secret for how I’m I work part time now. And that’s how we have grown so much as a company with so little involvement for me is that everyone at my company really takes charge of their own domain without really much interference from me. So I’m kind of I think the sort of relaxed overseer, the person who does kind of manages like operations that my company she’s the one who’s good at all the fun stuff actually I’m not very good at like thinking of fun ideas like she we’re we’re a virtual team. Everyone’s in North America but we all work from home so she does, like movie days or on Friday afternoon. We all watch a movie together at the same time and chat about it. She does fun stuff like that.
David Ralph [15:31]
So if any of those employees are listening to this, just email us at Join Up firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm that she is a good as she sounds. Is she making it up on the podcast? I would love to work in a company that does feel more afternoon’s what what how’d you get a film that everybody likes? You can go like chick flicks or Toy Story for something.
Laura Roeder [15:54]
We talked about, you know, we use slack so we have a discussion in slack. The last one was Labyrinth and the one before that was Cool Runnings, stay No, no movie. I do
David Ralph [16:04]
know Cool Runnings. That’s the one with john candy and the the toboggan team.
Laura Roeder [16:10]
Yes, exactly. So we try to go for irreverent movies, I guess you could say,
David Ralph [16:17]
No. Does that kind of atmosphere does does that actually hold a company up? Or does it allow a company to flourish because I’ve come from the corporations in London. And it was always cracking a whip. It was like, I used to say it was going to war. It was going to battle. I’d worked in places as soon as you opened the door, you could feel the atmosphere. Now you’re creating something that sounds fun and vibrant. But when something new comes to the company, did I kind of think, Oh, this is this is holiday time this is this is great, or do they really buy into it?
Laura Roeder [16:49]
I don’t think they think it’s holiday time. And I think that’s where having so much personal responsibility comes in. Because when you’re in charge of something at the company, it’s yours. So it before becomes very obvious if you’re not doing it or if you’re not doing it. Well, you know, we have one person, Tom, who’s in charge of the blog. So he does that editorial calendar, he writes all the blog posts, if there’s any tweaks we want to make to the look of the blog or whatever, he’s in charge of making that happen. So it’s very clear, right? Like if we, if the traffic starts dropping off on the blog, or if we don’t publish a post every week, you know, you kind of know who’s to blame and,
David Ralph [17:27]
Tom, Tom, is it you walk straight in there and you point your finger and say you’re fired?
Laura Roeder [17:33]
Well, no, we wouldn’t. Yeah, we do it like that
David Ralph [17:37]
is Tomas, dodgy ground here. Is he struggling to do some online coaching for Tom?
Laura Roeder [17:44]
No, luckily, and the blog traffic has actually been increasing a lot lately. So Tom, is doing very well.
David Ralph [17:51]
Yes, if Tom Yes, safe until at least after Christmas. And then I think we need to talk we need to talk to just make sure that the Grim Reaper dressed Lower isn’t gonna be sort of coming around to your desk to do do you actually have to do any of this or dirty stuff that that have to do? And how do you do it? Because you seem like a lovely person. I can’t imagine that you could go and find anyone.
Laura Roeder [18:12]
Yeah, I mean, we we hire people regularly. That sounds bad. But, um, but we do. I think it’s so important to maintaining a great culture that anyone who’s not a fit and really needs to leave as soon as possible because it really drags down everyone else, whether it’s just kind of their attitude and motivation, or if their works not getting done. I mean, again, if you’re so responsible for what you do, you don’t want to look around and see other people who are kind of half assing what they’re doing, you know, because it just creates this like, Well, why am I working so hard if that other person isn’t so we are pretty diligent in in letting people go that are not a good match for you know, a lot of various reasons for our company, and I’m almost always the one who has that conversation. I just feel like it’s like a dream. In a job that I kind of have to take on as the owner of the business.
David Ralph [19:03]
Do you love it deep down? Do you
Unknown Speaker [19:05]
really hate it? Do you
David Ralph [19:07]
feel powerful, don’t you? Did you spare? Do you wear special outfit? Do you do have your firing outfit?
Laura Roeder [19:13]
It absolutely wrecks me that is like, though, just by far, by far the worst part of owning a business. I’ve gotten better at it not wrecking me as much. I used to be so upset for a week before I knew it was happening. And now I’ll just kind of wake up nervous that morning, if it’s not the whole week, but it’s it’s horrible.
David Ralph [19:31]
Because I used to wake up in the City of London and I used to have to sack a lot of people. And I actually quite liked it because I didn’t care enough for the people because they weren’t very good at their job. Do you know what I mean? It was my job as a manager to man manage the Department for the benefit of the company. And I used to see it like a gardener I’d go in and I would cut off the dead bits that you don’t want, which allows it to flourish and grow a little bit better. So used to go in there and think what if I get rid of that person, then that person and that person that would allow more growth of the team and it works that way?
Laura Roeder [20:08]
Yeah, I think I think you have the right attitude. And, and I believe in that philosophy, I just find it very hard to actually have to do it. But But I do it.
David Ralph [20:17]
What you should do is just get me to record a special podcast and put them in a room. They just listened to it. And then they come out in tears and walk back to their desk and it’s done and dusted.
Unknown Speaker [20:27]
Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know about that.
David Ralph [20:30]
So if we take you right back to that stage, obviously, where you are now is a million miles away from the person that was looking to build websites for small businesses. And bizarrely, that was my idea. When I quit my corporate gig. I was going to be a web guy doing the same thing and lasted three days before I realised it really bored me terribly. So how did you transition from that first idea of this is good to where you are today. Well, what were the steps you took
Laura Roeder [21:00]
So when I was doing web design, I would also help people kind of with everything around their websites just because I thought that’s what web designers did. So I would talk to them about how does your website fit into your sales process? How are we going to get traffic to your website? Basically, online marketing stuff, just, again, I just thought that’s what everyone did come to find out. A lot of web designers don’t do that. But because I was helping people around all these topics in 2008, social media started to become an interesting thing to small businesses, and they wanted to know about Twitter, and people were just starting to use Facebook for business purposes. So I would talk to my clients about these things and people kept telling me, you know, you could get paid just for talking to people about social media. And I thought that sounds like the best job ever. That sounds a lot easier than building them a website right? Just talking about social media Sign me up. So that’s, that’s what I did. I I told all my clients, I wasn’t doing any web design. work anymore. So I completely burned the ships completely cut ties because I did not want to have that as a crutch. I didn’t want to do web design anymore. And I knew that people would keep coming to me with little jobs and and I just wanted to force myself to switch over to social media consulting. So I started doing social media consulting, and that quickly turned into social media training, online training courses. And then in 2014, I launched Edgar, which is social media software. So I’ve stayed kind of in the same world exploring different business models,
David Ralph [22:30]
because I, I don’t actually like social media, and it just seems this too much on it is you’re either looking at Facebook, or you’re looking at Twitter, or you’re looking at basically you’re looking at that. And people say to me, oh, I tweeted you four times last week. I can’t see four tweets out of 900 million. Well, what am I doing wrong? How come I can’t see everything coming towards me?
Laura Roeder [22:52]
First of all, it sounds like you’re not looking at your replies. So that would be step one.
David Ralph [22:57]
I don’t look at it at all. I don’t I don’t You’ve just spoken in a foreign language.
Laura Roeder [23:03]
Right? That’s where all the messages are that people have have sent you. You just look at your at replies. And then you see just the conversations to you, and not just all the tweets that are being posted.
David Ralph [23:12]
So when we’re gonna have to buy you a drink, and you teach me how to do this, because I’ve got no idea and people find it bizarre, but I’ve managed to create what I have based on sort of lack of knowledge in certain areas. But did you need that? Do you need to have social media or can a business rise up without it nowadays?
Laura Roeder [23:32]
You don’t have to have it. I mean, you know, social media is a one way to do marketing. There are lots of ways to do marketing. What I think is so amazing about social media is when you watch Shark Tank or Dragons Den and you see one of those stories where they’re like, you know, we started out of our garage, and now we’ve sold 4 million products, and all the sharks or dragons, or like, That’s incredible. How did you do it? It’s always the same as social media. They’re like, we built up a following On Instagram, we built up a following on Pinterest, we built up a following on Facebook, the fact that there’s this global platform that any small business from their garage can use for free to collect this huge audience is really powerful and really incredible. There are certainly lots of businesses out there that that don’t use it don’t have other ways to do marketing or just word of mouth in their local area or whatever. But it is it is a pretty amazing set of tools that we have available.
David Ralph [24:28]
If somebody invited you onto Shark Tank as a shark, or a dragon as we have over here, would you like it? Or would you feel it’s hard to sort of squash on people’s dreams?
Laura Roeder [24:39]
Oh, no, that is that is my dream in life. I would love it.
David Ralph [24:43]
So why can you not you struggle to sack somebody but you could have some stranger come up with a flip chart and go, that is rubbish. I’m keeping my money to myself?
Laura Roeder [24:52]
Well, because I would think that I was being helpful. I wouldn’t think I would be nice to them of course, and so I wouldn’t think I was crushing their dreams. I would like give them some advice that would that would help them along their way.
David Ralph [25:03]
Because I created something a little while ago and I’m gonna give this out to you because this is the bright greatest idea ever. What takes more time in your life than anything else Laura and I’ll give you a clue. It’s very comfortable. And you sleep at night.
Laura Roeder [25:18]
Sleep under it. I mean sleeping takes a lot of time. Is that what I’m supposed to say?
David Ralph [25:22]
No. What do you sleep under? What keeps you warm and comfortable? Like in Dubai? Dubai. Yeah, Dubai. Why do they just make the hole at one end? Why don’t you have it that you sort of open it up like a burrito and then lay all in and fold it all up? Now that if I take that into the Shark Tank, would you say that it’s a good idea poppers on two sides?
Laura Roeder [25:44]
Well, you know, we don’t really use those in America. So I’m just shooting down your idea right there.
David Ralph [25:48]
Well, your your your your thoughts. You can’t see you can’t see the possibilities of it. What do you mean you don’t have to base
Laura Roeder [25:55]
now people just use come it’s really weird. It’s really weird to Europeans because most Americans just He’s comforters but they don’t have which is like a buffet but we don’t have like a cover for them. So it’s just like a disgusting comforter that that never gets washed.
David Ralph [26:08]
That’s That’s disgusting. That’s like being a homeless person. So you’d lay under the same sheet for years and years and years and never wash it. Yeah. I have learned something new. I’ll tell you why. No wonder we’re so civilised over here. We do things in a totally different way. Well, that’s a it’s a brilliant idea. And it’s going to take the world by storm as was a seafood toaster. I created a seafood toaster 15 years ago, so you could see when the toast was going brown at the perfect time.
Unknown Speaker [26:37]
What happened with your toaster?
David Ralph [26:39]
I didn’t invent it but somebody else has now I’ve seen it but that is that not the brilliant idea instead of waiting it to pop up and you think oh my god, it’s burn. You see when it’s perfect. I mean, just press the button and out comes perfect toast. Yeah, yeah. You know, having Elliot you are not having it at all. So building your business. What is the struggle We’re building a business because I, I’m very much solopreneur I don’t really want employees because I kind of almost feel but then I’ve got a responsibility to keep doing it. Because I’m paying for their wages somehow. It’s is that a difficulty for you? Would you sometimes dislike to just walk away from it and go, Oh, I’m happy with what somebody bank balance always says something more to you than that.
Laura Roeder [27:23]
You know, I really, I really don’t feel it as a burden. I know a lot of people do feel a burden of having employees, but I don’t because, I mean, if I wanted to shut down the business, I still could right there. It’s kind of like we talked about letting people go. I mean, everyone who works in my company is very talented people that would able be able to find a great job. So I don’t feel a responsibility for employing them for the rest the rest of their lives. I mean, obviously, as long as the business is going, Well, I’m going to keep them around. Because why not continuing, you know, continue this, this grand experiment. But No, I don’t. I don’t think Feel like an obligation because I’m not. I’m not their mother, I’m not handing them out money, something we talked about a lot of my company, we call it value for value, where everything needs to be an even exchange of value. So the value that my employees get from the company should be fair to the value that the company gets from the employee. And it’s a two way street. It’s not, they’re not Yeah, like, they’re not my child, and I’m just taking care of where we’re, we have a mutually beneficial relationship.
David Ralph [28:27]
But is it more to you than a company? Is it a vision? Is it dreams? What makes the company grow for you in a satisfactory way? Is he how the staff are being developed? Is it the profits? Is it the vision What is it?
Laura Roeder [28:44]
I mean, a big part of it for me is creating a place that’s great to work is definitely a huge, huge motivation for me. And, you know, we always say that one of our metres for success is that we, we want the people that work at our club. Money, when you talk to your friends and your friends pitch about their job for the people that work at Edgar to be like, sort of embarrassed because they’re like, Oh, I kind of like my job and I don’t really know what to say. And now I feel like a jerk because everyone’s complaining about their job. So I think a lot of companies just get that so wrong. I mean, I have very, very little work experience. I started working for myself really young, but my my one agency job, everyone was was kind of mean was kind of mean to each other at work. And that’s very common. And now that’s just crazy to me, like we just we don’t have we have zero percent of that we would never tolerate it. And it seems like so many workplaces are so deeply flawed or have these weird, bureaucratic rules that no one likes and no one knows why they’re doing so i’m i’m very inspired by the idea of creating a workplace that people actually enjoy showing up to every day and and find very fulfilling.
David Ralph [29:56]
Well, let’s play some words. Now. That takes us to the second start of our company. Association and these are the words from Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [30:02]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [30:29]
That’s exactly what you did, isn’t it? You You took a chance, but did you know that you’re gonna love it? Or did you just take a chance because you weren’t happy?
Laura Roeder [30:38]
I didn’t know that I was going to love it. I and I still view everything as an experiment. I think. I know for me, I get really tripped up trying trying to figure things out too much. Like when people talk about what’s your purpose, just like, oh, it doesn’t, it doesn’t send me anywhere good. Trying to figure out my purpose. It just makes me feel really confused. And I’m like, maybe I’m doing the wrong thing with my life. Whereas if I’m just like, Maybe I’ll like doing this, I’ll give that a try. Because now I’m at the point in, in my company where I have a lot of freedom in how I spend my time. And it can really send me down the wrong path to try to figure out like, how what’s, how do I want to spend my time and what am I the most talented at? It’s much more valuable just to try stuff like, do I want to spend more time in the financials of the business? Okay, let me try that out and see if I enjoy it. And if I don’t, I’ll shift to something else. So that’s kind of how I view everything. Let me just give it a shot and see what happens. I think I know what your passion is. Didn’t you know what your passion is or what it should be?
David Ralph [31:40]
What I think it is to show the world how to do what you’re doing, because it seems to me what you’re doing is spot on. You’re loving it. You’re creating a successful business. Your employees love it. The morale is good, which is so unusual. I think that is your key thing to like, take away everything else. have worked through crappy company after crappy company, that I haven’t had anything like that. And the fact that you can go in, you give them responsibility, you allow them to flourish, but you’re having a free life and you’re successful. You are the you’re the poster girl for business for me now, Laura voda. And I think that’s your passion.
Laura Roeder [32:19]
Okay, I’ll think I love that. I’ll take it. Thank you done. I know my life purpose.
David Ralph [32:23]
There you go. And every time you stand up, just have a big picture of Join Up Dots behind you on in the crowd. When you do get up. Obviously, you’re doing a lot of sort of presentation and stuff. But it’s something that I know from experience, because I used to do a lot of it. It takes a while to get up to speed. How did you proceed through from the 15 people in a room to the 200 to the 3000 What was your What’s your biggest one that you’ve stood up in front of?
Laura Roeder [32:50]
Um, I’m maybe around like 500 people and is the largest that I’ve done. I really, really enjoy public speaking and the The go to book resource for public speaking in my mind is called transformational speaking by Gail Larson. She has a book and she does weekend workshops, and I did one of her weekend workshops. And I absolutely love her because she is all about showing up really authentically on stage and really making a genuine personal connection with your audience. Something that I think about every time I speak that I learned from her. I remember in the workshop, someone asked her, okay, but you know, a lot of times when you speak, you’re giving your sort of signature talk, right that you’ve given a bunch of times before, maybe you’re telling the same stories that you’ve told before? How How can that not sound just sort of rehearsed and trite and boring. And she said, Will you tell it however, it’s true right then. So if you’re telling a story, you know, like the story that I told today about when I quit my job, I’ve told that story. You know, I do a lot of podcasts, whatever. I’ve probably told that story 100 times, so to keep it from being boring. For me and for you, I don’t tell it the way that I tell it. I actually think about it right now I think, you know, what was it like? What did it feel like? What do I remember from that time and I tell it, however, it’s true now. And I might end up using words that I’ve used before I might end up using different ones. And I love that style of speaking where you’re really showing up and being honest, in the moment,
David Ralph [34:22]
I used to stand up and I used to lie a lot. And but I used to lie in a kind of believable way. It was so close to the truth, that it wasn’t really a lie. It was just a sort of an extension. And more often than not, I used to do it for comic effect. So you could spin off in different direction. But you do have to keep that theme, don’t you? You got to keep that that essence of why they wanted you there in the first place. Do you? Do you sometimes get halfway through and think Oh my God, I’ve gotten some fall off the track. I’m not sure where I am.
Laura Roeder [34:52]
No, because I’m not saying that. It’s just like free form. You know, train of thought like you still have your your plan and your topics. Just like exploring that topic, again, you might literally be saying the same thing you’ve said before. It’s just the difference between you know, memorising it and explaining it however you feel like explaining it right now.
David Ralph [35:12]
Right? lavota I’m gonna send you an invitation. And it’s 20,000 people in Madison Square Garden. I don’t know how big that is, but it’s probably about 20,000. And they want to hear you that 20 minutes. Would you go up? Let me on, or would you go? Oh, my God.
Unknown Speaker [35:29]
I would be excited. Yeah.
David Ralph [35:31]
Oh, you would just go for it, would you?
Unknown Speaker [35:33]
David Ralph [35:34]
Well, well. How would you project big oven, because that seems to be a key thing for you as well. You’re not fazed about the next step in your personal progression. You’re not willing to keep yourself small. So you’re saying Yeah, okay. 20,000 people, I’m out there, get the big screens up, and then you know, I’m going to do what gets you out to get bigger.
Laura Roeder [35:59]
Well, it’s kind of like When I said just thinking about kind of playing out the scenario and examining realistically, what what am I really scared of? I remember I heard a talk one time from a guy called Todd Herman and he was he was talking about just sort of pointing out how ridiculous it is that will be actually fearful of something like doing a webinar. You know, the idea of doing a webinar brings up a lot of real animal fear in people and being killed is is scary, right? Like, there are things that we actually should be scared of, like, maybe I’m gonna get in a car wreck and I’m gonna die. That should be scary doing a webinar, there’s really no way that a webinar can bring harm to your person. You know, the thing that you’re scared of is that you’re going to be embarrassed or you won’t do well. And and so what right if I give a talk at Madison Square Garden, and I get so nervous that I just like sit down in the middle of the stage and cry, like that’s probably like the worst that could Go. That’s kind of like the worst thing I can think of, for what could happen there. But my life would go on, you know what I mean? Like, what what does it really matter? The only reason it matters of is if it I, I choose to obsess about that for the rest of time. That’s the only way that it can upset me is if I choose that and I wouldn’t choose that. So what is there to be scared of?
David Ralph [37:22]
I’m amazed but your worst case scenario is sitting on a stage crying, I could go a lot more than that. I could be standing there and all my clothes drop off or, or whatever. But that is your worst case scenario having a little blob on the stage.
Laura Roeder [37:35]
Oh, yeah, that’d be pretty embarrassing. Like I can’t give the talk. I just like clam up and then I just like sit down and cry in front of everyone. That would be pretty bad.
David Ralph [37:43]
Now you’ll still be my post again, I promise you. So moving forward to the next stage. Obviously, with what you’re doing, as you’re saying you’re looking for the chance to stimulate those waters and let that that company grow bigger. What’s your plan? For 2016 are you somebody that sets goals and plans? Are you somebody that does it very organically?
Laura Roeder [38:07]
A little bit of both. And, you know, I refer to a big goal that we set up my company. So we have a goal of getting to 5000 customers by the end of March 2016. And right now we’re at like 3600 3700, something like that. So that’s a big goal that we have. But a lot of it is is kind of less whiz bang is just making really great software and just improving Edgar making the experience even better for our customers will continue to grow the business and grow the number of employees but we do that very organically. We do that just okay. Basically, you know, do we have plans that aren’t getting done? Well, then we need more humans to execute those plans. So let’s bring on some more people
David Ralph [38:52]
and easier to sort of improve Edgar. Now you’ve got customers then at the very beginning, I imagine at the beginning you’re almost creating something throwing it to the world and going do you like this? And now you must get feedback saying, oh, wouldn’t it be good if you could do this and do that? Is it easier now?
Laura Roeder [39:09]
It’s definitely easier now. Yeah, the hardest part is coming out with that first version, where you’re totally just guessing and you have no idea if anyone’s gonna like it. I mean, we really don’t know if anyone would buy it. But we figured, well, if no one buys it, we’ll have a tool for our own company that, you know, we can use and we can get a leg up that way. So yeah, it’s much easier now. I mean, now we have too much feedback now. Now, the problem is, how to make our customers happy, even when we don’t implement their suggestions because we get a lot of suggestions.
David Ralph [39:39]
And and how do you filter that out? Then you’ve now got a tsunami of feedback coming? And some of it you might think, yeah, that would be great. But hang on, the expense is terrible. How do you sort of filter that out so that you provide the nuggets of gold that is going to be good for them and you?
Laura Roeder [39:56]
Well, we’re actually very big on being driven by our own vision for Edgar and not implementing all the little things that our customers are asking for. Because while our customers have a lot of valuable knowledge about what they’re trying to achieve, the way we look at it is not what feature Did you ask for, but what outcome Are you trying to get to because you have to remember your customers don’t design software for a living. So often their ideas for how to get to that outcome are really not the best ideas, but the things that they’re looking to do that the software doesn’t do. That’s what’s really valuable. So it’s definitely a tricky dance of ignoring a lot of the feedback and also people will tell you that they want a more complex tool but we found that keeping the tool simple is actually incredibly important in keeping people happy, but people will tell you, oh, I want something all in one. You know, I have these five different tools and I want one tool that does everything. People always say that they want that but I have never seen an all in one tool that people are actually having With because they’re inherently incredibly complicated and inherently hard to use. So you have to stay really focused on, you know, what’s our vision on like the one core thing that Edgar does really well that we want to keep delivering on these
David Ralph [41:14]
sort of ironic that the fact that it is social media, and all of us are trying to find ways of automating it. So it just happens automatically. We’re we’re trying to find those ways that takes the social aspect out of it only.
Laura Roeder [41:27]
Yeah, yeah, I mean, you know, our philosophy at Edgar is that you shouldn’t be spending your time doing the parts that the software can do. So what software can do is actually, you know, posting the status update because your audience doesn’t know and they don’t care whether you were on your phone or whether you’re on your computer, you’re using Edgar you are using another tool. That part doesn’t matter. You know, the manner in which the status is posted really does not matter. The part that you should be spending your lifetime on is talking to people and engaging with people and building those reasons. So the idea with Edgar is use Edgar to do all the postings. So you’re not spending any time on anything that software can do. And you can spend 100% of your time on social media on the stuff that only you can do.
David Ralph [42:12]
I’ve changed my mind about your passion, I now think that it’s probably relationship building, isn’t it? I think that’s the key thing, whether it’s with your staff, or with your customers, or with your network, or whatever, I think your passion is relationship building. I’ve gone 360 in about the last 15 minutes.
Laura Roeder [42:29]
Well, now you see why it’s so hard for me to figure this out.
David Ralph [42:33]
Just have both of them just just be a woman and just say I take them both. Well, what we’re gonna do now, just before we sort of get near the end of the show, it would be wrong not to play the words of another computer legend and he’s no longer with us, but he has left these words and they’re hugely powerful. And they have created the whole theme that is Join Up Dots. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [42:52]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [43:27]
So dude, those words sort of relate to you. Do you have any resonance to what he’s saying?
Laura Roeder [43:33]
Yeah, the the part that really resonates with me is I’ve made a lot of decisions that feel very right. But from the outside, it’s really not clear where they’re going to lead. Or they almost seem like a bad idea. You know, I mentioned earlier in the interview, how I got rid of all my web design clients, and that was that was pretty hardcore. I had one client that was paying me more Then my old salary per year, because I was just doing so much work for them. I ended up just doing all sorts of things for their office just because I was sort of reliable and they could pay me to do things. So having, you know, no plan forward and saying, I’m cutting you off, I’m not letting you pay me. $1 seemed like a crazy idea. But I just had this feeling like this is what I need to do to move forward. And I’ve done quite a bit not knowing how it’s going to play out. But as he says, of course, in retrospect, you can always see how it all comes together.
David Ralph [44:32]
So what would be a big.in life? Laura, when you look back on everything leading to where you are today, was there a conversation, there was a moment? What kind of led you to where you are.
Laura Roeder [44:45]
I mean, one big thing that we haven’t even gotten into is another business that I started which is B school with Marie Forleo. So we it’s an online training programme for female entrepreneurs and We started it as a side project, it got massive very quickly. And just about two years into it. And I told her that I wanted to leave the business and I didn’t want to do it anymore because it had become so big that I really saw that that would need to be my my core business. And I just wasn’t ready to give up on everything else that I was doing. And that was a really difficult decision for many reasons. I mean, it had huge success. I was close friends with Maria and I loved working with her as my business partner. So that was really difficult, but it’s been such an interesting experience leaving I mean, one of the biggest lessons that I learned, so due to our partnership agreement, I ended up making much more money from it after I left than I ever did when I was in it, which I never thought that was possible. You know, that was definitely not my intention in life. I didn’t think I would make anything after I left. So having that lesson of, you know, it really is possible to make a lot of money without being the one doing the like, everyday hustling. It was sort of a belief that I had kind of, I think wanted to have before, you know, that I was leaning towards, but I hadn’t really seen to be true. And once that happened, I really thought, Oh, this is true. And this really is possible. And now I understand how people really start to leverage their money and their time into these bigger opportunities. So there, there have just been so many lessons that have unfolded for me from that decision.
David Ralph [46:37]
It really does come down to belief, isn’t it? The belief that you can do it belief that it’s possible, whatever, but take away that inherent belief, and then you just lost somehow on you?
Laura Roeder [46:49]
Yeah, yeah. Because I mean, you know, another thing I always try to remember is that we don’t know how anything is going to turn out. Right. I talked before about you kind of look at the worst case scenario but Cuz you, I think we have this fantasy that if we think about something for long enough that we’ll know, right? Whenever you talk to us, like, like, we talked about people for years, or like, I’m thinking about quitting my job, like, what do you think is gonna, you know, do you think like God will appear before you and be like, yes, you should quit your job is definitely the right decision. You know, like, that’s never gonna happen. But we kind of hope nonsensically that that it will. So we never know how anything is going to turn out. So yeah, all you have is your own sort of hunch. Like, this feels like a good idea for me. And sometimes you’re wrong. And sometimes you’re right.
David Ralph [47:38]
Well, I think you’ve had more right times been wrong times. And and funnily enough, more often than not, it’s the wrong times that you really learn from it. You don’t learn as much from the right as the wrong, dear.
Laura Roeder [47:48]
David Ralph [47:50]
Well, this is the end of the show. I don’t want this show to end but this is the end of the show when we’re going to send you on a journey to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to young Laura What age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out in a moment, because I’m going to play the theme. And when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [48:19]
of the show.
Laura Roeder [48:33]
All right, past Laura. This is pressive Laura. So I’m 31 now, so I’ll choose 10 years ago when I was 21. So when I was 21, I was just about to start my first business just about to quit my job. And the biggest advice I would give myself I feel like I’m sort of ripping off Jim Carrey, but I have to say it’s kind of I think the most important thing is That anything takes hard work, you know, whatever field you want to be successful in whatever endeavour you want to be successful, and it’s going to take hard work, and it’s going to be a long path to get there. So you might as well choose what you actually want to do. And someone has to be the one to be successful at anything. It’s really, really hard to make money as a comedian, but Jim Carrey has, and a lot of other people have as well. And if anyone can do it, then you can do it too, right? So someone has to be the person. So don’t waste your time on anything that you feel like you should do because it makes more sense. Or maybe you don’t really want to do it, but you feel like you have skills there and you feel like you should use them because you’re going to spend a lot of time trying to get there might as well put all that effort towards what you what you really truly want from your life.
David Ralph [49:52]
Well said Well said. So what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Laura Roeder [49:58]
Yes, you can find Edgar meet edgar.com or Meet Edgar on Twitter and Facebook or you can find me on Twitter at L kr.
David Ralph [50:07]
Noah, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Laura Roeder, thank you so much.
Laura Roeder [50:21]
David Ralph [50:24]
And that was lower Rhoda a mother, a business lady, a top class boss love to work for that company, and somebody who believed in doing things the right way, you can totally see why she’s getting the success that she has. Now, if you personally listener are looking to change direction in your life, create your own business, or simply to break free from the grind. Then come and join our amazing group mastermind today we have access to 24 hour support online training tutorials, coaching members only podcast and so much more. We’ll show you how you can discover your true reasons For Life, and then turn that passion into a business that you love. Dream starters Academy is the place to allow your dreams to grow wings. So connect with us at get the dream at Join Up dots.com and take a look inside with our seven day free trial. test this out and start with Dr.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.