Ebonie Allard Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Ebonie Allard
Ebonie Allard is our guest today on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business podcast interview.
I have so many guests on Join Up Dots who have interesting back stories, but not many that start with “Before I was seven years old I had lived in a house truck, on a commune, in France, in New Zealand, in Ireland, and several homes in England.
I had been bathed in a sink, had a pet goose called Lucy, and I think it would be fair to say that my parents gifted me with a curiosity for the world.”
So upon hearing this I knew that I had to invite this lady onto the show, but wow what part of her history do I tell you about in the introduction because without a doubt as she says “Life has been a bit of rollercoaster!”
Starting her career after gaining a BA in Theatre Practice and Scenic Art from the Central School of Speech and Drama, she went on to have a successful and (eventually) well paid career as a Freelance TV & Film Production Buyer, Stylist, and Project / Event Manager.
She worked hard and played harder.
However her energies could only last so long and she would suffer from burn out at the end of every job.
She had money, and so she would take herself off to Thailand and engulf herself in fasting and raw food, or Egypt for a yoga retreat.
Recharge the batteries to blaze even brighter in the entrepreneurial world.
How The Dots Joined Up For Ebonie
And this was certainly the case, as upon returning she started one of the forerunners in the VA sphere and early adapters to Location Independent Business.
As she says “It was a wonderfully brave and stupid thing to do. I was homeless and sofa surfing, massively in debt and knew nothing about running a business. Which meant I had nothing to lose and gave it everything I had. Bootstrapping a business when you are desperate and resourceful can be a wonderful thing, and I was given opportunities to learn from many wildly inspirational Entrepreneurs, Businesses, and Private Clients.”
But of course this was just the beginning of everything that would lead her through some seriously dark moments, even contemplating suicide.
Her life was a roller coaster of working till she collapsed and then ‘retreating’ around the world.
And so the time came when she had her first pangs of “Is this it?!”
She wasn’t satisfied, there was a huge void in her life, she felt empty and in the midst of the impending recession she set up My Girl Friday Ltd, providing Freelance Personal and Virtual Assistance to Creative Businesses & Private Individuals in the UK and across the globe.
And that is where we will start today’s episode as now life is very different, but how has she made it the life that she wanted?
How did she take the entrepreneurial venture, and willingness to put the effort into a new business, but structure it that it didn’t bring her to her knees too?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Ebonie Allard.
During today’s show we discussed such weight subjects with Ebonie Allard such as:
Why she now sees that her parents were new age hippies, and is grateful for the creative attitude to life that her upbringing gave her.
Why you should only pick two things in your life and do them as well as you can. Dont get bogged down with everything else you have to do…just become the best you can at those two things.
How she likes making plans, but believes that those plans are made to be broken too. Total flexibility.
How she knows that being unique, weird or a misfit, is such fun and will bring into her life even more and more success
Ebonie Allard Books
How To Connect With Ebonie Allard
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Ebonie Allard 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 there everybody and welcome to a Join Up Dots Episode 509. And I tell you what, you never know what you’re gonna get on this show. And even before we started recording, my guest today had to go next door because as she said, there were sexy things going on there was banging there was no it wasn’t really it was properly builders next door, but she went, she went and she waved her fist so she’s she’s feisty. She is feisty. So I don’t know what we’re gonna get today. But she is an absolute delight to have on the show because she is a lady that I suppose has got one of the most in Interesting backstories It’s not often I start with before I was seven years old, I’d lived in a house trapped on a commune in France in New Zealand in Ireland, and several homes in England. I’d been bathed in a sink had a pet goose called Lucy. And I think it would be fair to say that my parents gifted me with a curiosity but a well now, Upon hearing this, I knew that I had to invite this lady onto the show, but wow, what part of our history do I tell you about in the introduction, because without a doubt, as she says, and Ronan Keating said life has been a bit of a roller coaster. Now starting her career After gaining a BA in fear to practice and signing up from the Central School of Speech and Drama. She went on to have a successful and eventually well paid career as a freelance TV and film production buyer, stylist and project Event Manager she worked hard and played harder. However, her energies could only last so long and she would suffer from burnout at the end of every job. She had money. Yeah, money’s good. So she would take yourself off to Thailand and golf her In fasting and grow food, or even go off to Egypt for a yoga retreat recharges the batteries to blaze even brighter in the inter entrepreneurial world. And this was certainly the case as upon returning, she started one of the forerunners in the BA sphere and early adaptors to location independent business. As she says, it was a wonderfully brave and stupid thing to do. I was homeless and sofa surfing massively in debt, and knew nothing about running a business which meant I had nothing to lose and I gave it everything I had. bootstrapping a business when you are desperate and resourceful, can be a wonderful thing. And I was given opportunities to learn from many wildly inspirational entrepreneurs, business and private clients. But of course, this was just the beginning of everything that would lead her through some seriously dark moments, even contemplating suicide. Her life was a roller coaster of working till she collapsed and been retreating around the world. And so the time came when she had her birth pangs of Is this it? Is this what my life is? Gonna be she wasn’t satisfied. There was a huge void in her life she felt empty and in the midst of the impending recession, she set up my gal Friday limited providing freelance personal and virtual assistance to creative business and private individuals in the UK and across the globe. And now, that is where we will start today’s episode as now life is very different. But how Has she made it the life that she wanted? How did she take the entrepreneurial venture and willingness to put the effort into a new business, but structure it but it didn’t bring her to her knees too? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Ebonie Allard. How are you?
Ebonie Allard [3:40]
I’m speechless. I’ve never heard it all in one go from someone else. It sounds like it does sound like quite a life, right?
David Ralph [3:46]
It’s a film and a half in there. It really is right from the very word go. It’s funny when I do sort of research that there’s certain guests that come along, and you you put a bit of poetic licence in to sort of boost it up. You don’t have to on that one do yeah, that’s that is as it happened.
Ebonie Allard [4:04]
Yeah. It sounds so much more dramatic and you can make it sound good when you’re living. It doesn’t feel anything like that, you know?
David Ralph [4:14]
Well, you must do, doesn’t it? You know the fact that you’re sitting here now it’s 10 o’clock on a Thursday morning. You went next door and you wave your fist at potential sexy activities, which was it? But you’d be honest, was it what was going on next door?
Ebonie Allard [4:29]
No, I also didn’t go next door. I picked up my phone and phoned my neighbour and said your build has been really noisy and I’m on the radio can they please be quiet and she said that she would bribe them for me for an hour so we have an hour. You’ve got
David Ralph [4:42]
the telephone number of your next door neighbour. I don’t even know the names of my next door neighbours.
Ebonie Allard [4:48]
Yes, she did put it through the door when the night when the builder started a little while ago. And they have been very quiet for a couple of weeks now and then it just started again and I dug the piece of paper out of the recycling Gotta find her
David Ralph [5:01]
up at Chico. Well, that cow, they’ve hardly made a noise for three weeks and the first time she’s around there banging on the door.
Ebonie Allard [5:09]
I’m sure she did. But either way we have quiet and it worked
David Ralph [5:12]
good. That’s what we do. We’ll make the most of it. So So let’s go back in time, like we like to do on Join Up Dots. And you you have had a very eclectic background was your mum and dad. See, we want to repin yours. Well, why were you travelling around as much as you were into communes and, and being involved in a sink? How did that all occur?
Ebonie Allard [5:33]
My parents are wonderful people when they are hugely private and I so I always find it quite interesting, trying to find a way of talking about them without talking about them. But they were at what I now call, kind of now HTTPS because they weren’t the kind of hippies that existed in the early 80s. They were very forward thinking and and they wanted to travel and to see the And they wanted to do that with us, I think. And, and they also were very young and didn’t really know what they were doing. So there’s a lot of Join Up Dots that I can see in their lives now, but I think they really made it up as they went along. And I think I learned a lot from that. So we lived in New Zealand, because that’s where they wanted to move to a family illness meant that we came back and then stayed back here. And I don’t know why we were in a commune in Ireland. I do know that I had a gift called Lucy and it’s one of my earliest memories as he’s living in New Zealand and seeing huge big blue skies and loving the kind of space and the freedom of being outside in a warm country that gave me so there’s there’s a lot of a lot of that sort of early part of my life that for them now was just a small part of their life since then, they’ve been relatively normal, but it was the the opening chapters of my life. So It really set the scene for me.
David Ralph [7:01]
So would you describe yourself as normal now?
Ebonie Allard [7:05]
I don’t know what normal is anymore. I spent such a long time trying to be normal and chasing normal. And and the more I learn about people, the less I think normal exists.
David Ralph [7:19]
But would you if I sat you in a bar and I said like I’m not gonna buy you a drink Ebony until you admit you’re either normal or nutcase which which way would you go?
Ebonie Allard [7:28]
Oh, absolutely not. Okay. Absolutely.
David Ralph [7:30]
Yeah. And you’ve got to be kind of having you I think, in the entrepreneurial well, because you have so many obstacles that rationally should knock you on your feet. You know, it’s easy to be an employee. It’s easy. It may not feel easy at the time, because you’ve got to be there and you’ve got pressures and you’ve got targets and you’ve got all that kind of stuff. But ultimately, it’s sort of rational, easy, were entrepreneurial is many ways nutcase.
Ebonie Allard [7:59]
I think You’re right. And at the same time, it is impossible for me to be employed. I know you say it’s easy for most people it is I think for normal people it is to show up and do what you’re told. And I’ve just never been able to do what I’m told. And, you know, I A few years ago, I thought I’ll get a proper job. You know, it wouldn’t be really nice just to have a salary and, and also to show up and twiddle my thumbs and still get paid at the end of the day. Like that would be incredible. And I really tried and I got a job. Eventually, it took a really long time and and I was there for 24 hours before I couldn’t handle it anymore. And I just had to leave. Yeah.
David Ralph [8:40]
Oh my god. What did they say to you after 24 hours.
Ebonie Allard [8:46]
He got the boss I had was very upset. And he we’ve been through the whole process and him saying, you know, you’ll get bored and you’ll leave and you won’t like it. And and so when I left did say this and I wasn’t a board. I just there’s so many things I want to fix. And you won’t let me so Can I, can I make this better? Like, can I show you all the things that I can see that could make this business more efficient or more fun or more? And he just looked at me and said, no, no. So I said, well, that that’s why I’m leaving, and I can’t do it. I’m too bored.
David Ralph [9:21]
How did you grasp all that information in 24 hours? How did you go in there and said, right, you got to change this, you got to change that. Because I was a manager in city of London for years and years and years. I love staff to be proactive. But if on the very first day, they’re not just looking, where to get the coffee and where the toilets are, but they’re looking to change things. I think, hang on, I’ve got a big problem. Yes,
Ebonie Allard [9:43]
exactly. Yeah, I don’t make a model employee. I don’t know. And I, you know, I just I just don’t know, I could see that there were other employees who weren’t happy and I listened to them. And, you know, they told me things, you know, the people that were training me and you know, This is how we’re supposed to do it. But this is what would be better. And so I can’t just sit with that information I need to act on it.
David Ralph [10:08]
So let’s bring what you do. Because obviously, you are now totally unemployable. You can’t work for anyone unless you get a contract for less than 24 hours, and you’ll probably be the greatest employee the world’s ever seen. But that’s not gonna happen. So you’re unemployable. So tell the listeners what you actually do on a day to day basis? How do you earn an income?
Ebonie Allard [10:31]
I’ve several different revenue streams, but I’m known as the entrepreneur enabler, and I help misfit entrepreneurs to create lives, that feel as good on the inside as they look on the outside. And that can fit that sounds kind of esoteric. So in real terms, in practical terms that can be working with groups of people taking them through a system and a programme, an online course that I’ve developed or working with them one to one, and really getting clear on what it is that They want out of their life, why it is that they do what they do. And putting all the pieces together to create a life that works that’s got a system a procedure that involves day to day, day to day activities that they actually really enjoy. And the kind of confidence and clarity of being a human being that they’re proud of, as well. So it’s lots of talking, lots of having conversations with people. And I have a book that I wrote that I sell, creating more physical products for my store as well. And I just like to create lots of new things that will then create lots of little pocket residual income streams for me so that eventually I can sit on a beach, maybe chat to one or two people a week about their lives, and the rest of time have little streams of income coming through to support support me and haircuts and tattoos,
David Ralph [11:51]
haircuts and tattoos. I wasn’t quite expecting that that’d be a great band name.
Ebonie Allard [11:56]
I don’t know where that came from. But that is what I spent my money on.
David Ralph [12:00]
Some tattoos, right? Okay. So what you described for many of our listeners out there would seem more than the dream, the fact that you can create a lifestyle that you love, you can do work that you enjoy. You can have an element or more than an element of playfulness, and being creative and finding different ways of doing it. And then sitting on the beach, having tattoos and haircuts. Do you think that VAT is the first mindset that people have to overcome the fact that hang on, this isn’t a dream life? This is a life that you can create if you take the necessary steps.
Unknown Speaker [12:38]
Yeah, I do. And you know,
Ebonie Allard [12:41]
easy and difficult are words that come up quite a lot and you know, haven’t got the time to do that or I don’t know how to do that or obstacles that come out for people often and you’re right, the first thing you need to do is believe that it is possible. And the second part really is wanting it enough. And then it’s prioritising because if one more person tells me I don’t have time, so you do have time, but so amount of time as me as David as Beyonce, you know, but you’re just choosing how you use that in a different way from us. And that’s way Okay, I’ve got no judgement around it. But it is about how you prioritise your time.
David Ralph [13:20]
I was laying in bed this morning stretching out with my three wives next to me now and my one wife, and I was thinking about that I haven’t got time because that is my big bugbear. I get that so much from people, and actually with guests now one of the things I do and you did very well, is that you’ve listened to some of the shows beforehand, so you get a flavour of what it’s all about. And I particularly asked her about it so that people come along and they know that it’s not going to be the prescribed questions that they might have heard on our shows. And if somebody says to me, Oh, no, don’t worry about it. We’re just record because I haven’t got time to listen, I don’t even have them on the show anymore because I think what you can’t even make 50 minutes out of 360 Five days to listen to a show and put your best foot forward. So is that your big bugbear like me that you haven’t got time?
Ebonie Allard [14:09]
I just, I feel like everyone wants everything. And they run around, trying to have it all. And doing none of it very and do know that none of it very well. And so I think my thing really is like pick one, two, maximum three things to work on, or that you want out of a given period of time of your life. And do them really well and be really present in your life and enjoy it. And then see whether you want those other things and move on to something else. But to try I’d rather have one thing and do it well. The 50 things that I’m doing really badly and I’m not really enjoying them because you can’t physically do or enjoy more than one thing at once. You might argue that that you can and you know, women can multitask but actually giving something
David Ralph [14:58]
present like they I can’t multitask. I’m not having this at all. This is something that gets thrown at me all the time in my house that Oh, yes, we can multitask. No, they don’t they just kind of do half good work in many different areas where a man might just do one thing, but it’s brilliant. It’s brilliant. That one thing. So now multitasking is half quality Ebony, and you’ve got me on a rant there.
Ebonie Allard [15:25]
We can leave that where it is. Well, the part I’ll agree with you on is that giving somebody your attention and your presence is the best thing that you can give them.
David Ralph [15:35]
I agree with you. As long as you say I’m right, say I’m right.
Unknown Speaker [15:39]
Of course, you’re right.
David Ralph [15:40]
So absolutely, you say that this is a once you’re on the radio, once on the radio, you have to do that because it’s there forever in a day. Now, wave yourself, then what is your super talent because that’s what we call it on this show. There’s one or two things that you do better than anybody else, and more often than not you enjoy more than anybody else. So what is Super talent that you have, but you go Yeah, ultimately, if I develop this to its maximum potential, a lot of the issues go away and I can create a life that I love.
Ebonie Allard [16:13]
I’ve been trying to work out what this is if I enter in a way that isn’t just really fluffy. I really love life. And I really love giving people that feeling of, of importance that they matter. So sometimes that looks like listening. And sometimes that’s cheerleading going in and really helping people see how amazing they are. And other times it’s challenging them, like giving them a kick up the ass and saying, you know, I call bullshit. You are lying to me and you’re lying to yourself. So it’s tough love, but I I love other people and I’ve learned to love myself enough to do what it takes to have a really good life.
David Ralph [17:00]
Now that’s a key thing, isn’t it? loving yourself, you know not that you’re going around kissing mirrors and all that. Oh, you might do? I don’t know. But it does come down to that, doesn’t it? But if you love yourself, but you love yourself in a high, I think I’m great way not kind of arrogant, cocky way, but just you really think that Yeah, I deserve to be gaining the value because I’m putting it out I’m doing the do that is I think when really all starts again, this is one of those key points you’ve got to overcome.
Ebonie Allard [17:31]
It really is. And there’s a part in my book that called the riddle and you know, we’re given ourselves as a riddle and we’re in the key to our own lives. And once you understand yourself, once you get all of the different facets of yourself or once you can look into the shadow East parts of you, and not recoil or look away, then you’re in a place that you can really exist calmly and with confidence and that Isn’t arrogance like you say it’s very, very different. It’s just about taking up the space that you were given. And so many of us occupy our lives in in shame or, you know, not being all of ourselves for fear that other people won’t like us or that we won’t fit in. And it really isn’t about any of that. It’s about getting to know and love and trust and honour yourself really,
David Ralph [18:24]
in those shadowy things, if I’ve got shadowy things in our life, we’ve all got skeletons in our closet and I kind of look back at certain things. And I just kind of try to blank them out now because they kind of embarrassed me I was younger, you do things when you’re young, and they’re a bit stupid. Do I need to be looking at those and go Yeah, actually don’t just sort of close the door on them and pretend they don’t exist actually go. Yeah, that was part of the journey as well.
Ebonie Allard [18:49]
I think so. You know, you wouldn’t be who you are without them. I definitely wouldn’t be as compassionate as I am as a person. If I hadn’t been through some tough stuff. You know, I wouldn’t have I wouldn’t be able to connect with people who are going through a hard time because why would they listen to me? You know, now I’m able to connect with people because I’ve had some hard times and because I’ve been in some shadowy places I’m, you know that that means actually that there’s nothing that people can’t talk to me about. And I love that people really understand that I have no judgement. And I only have no judgement because I’ve been places and I realised it’s not worth judging someone on an experience that they had.
David Ralph [19:36]
So let’s play some words. Now that really emphasise what you were just saying that it’s, it’s a journey. It’s your life. just deal with everything that comes your way, but keep on moving forward is my mate. He’s Rocky,
Rocky Balboa [19:49]
you, me and nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How many You can take it keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.
David Ralph [20:05]
Well, you obviously have got that kind of Rocky the hustle muscle, you’ve got that going through you because one of the things that came out big time in the introduction was you were willing to put the effort in. And actually that was your failing, you put too much effort in and it wasn’t sustainable. Do you look back on those days when you were working hard playing hard as what we do when we’re youngsters? Or if you could go back in time? Would you do it a different way?
Ebonie Allard [20:37]
I don’t know. I don’t idea whether I’d do it a different way. And I wasn’t planning it at the time and I am still not much of a planner, you know, make plans but they’re there to be broken. I what I would do differently is relax a little into life and trust, know that it’s all going to be all right and I wouldn’t know where my limits Saw. And I think it’s important to find where those edges are find the boundaries. And you know, now I can relax a lot more because I know what happens if I push too hard. But if I didn’t know that, I wouldn’t know that. Does that make any sense?
David Ralph [21:15]
It kind of makes no sense in all sense. Now, if I was talking to you, and I’ve never met you before, that would make no sense at all. But the fact that I’ve done 500 plus of these shows, it makes total sense. And what you’re saying is you I’ve got a beer mug or something by the side of my bed, not a beer mug that sounds like I’m an alcoholic, a beer man for my coffee. And it says something along the lines and I see every single day so I should be able to quote it, but only Bose but go so far can possibly find out how far they can go or something along those lines. And I think that’s what you’re saying. You’ve got to actually get to that point where physically you are at your end to be able to then recharge and know when You need to go again. And when you slightly I look at that, that life is about you’re trapped in a big balloon and you’re pushing it and you’re pushing it and the more you push it, you can slightly push it a little bit further and a little bit further. And that’s because the balloon is getting slightly slacker and your muscles are getting a little bit stronger. But if you just stand in the middle of that balloon, you’re not gonna gain anything and you’re just living in a balloon world. That’s probably madness coming out of my mouth, but in my head, it sounds quite right evany
Ebonie Allard [22:28]
I love that. That’s great. Yeah, I want to also have something along the lines of rock bottom was the solid foundation on which I built my life and anyone for me that hasn’t had some kind of a rock bottom. I kind of think, oh, you haven’t really lived happy like you don’t. And that might sound weird, but you know and and, and in the time and in the moment, being on the floor and thinking what am I doing isn’t a good feeling. But all the best hero’s journeys, all the best adventures and stories Have that texture, and you’ve know who you are and the world suddenly makes a lot more sense when you are at the edge.
David Ralph [23:09]
Well, you have obviously had some seriously dark moments, as we said, even sort of contemplating suicide, which is, I can’t quite grasp talking to you now how you could get to that point unless it was just like exhausting because you do seem to be somebody that has a freedom of boat or freedom of character, you’ve got a positivity, you know, if you’ve got to the point of contemplating suicide, you must have thought no more tattoos, you know, and they need need one or more before I finish it all off. Would you be that kind of person again, or is that is just something that life kind of overcome you somehow.
Ebonie Allard [23:48]
I remember kind of crying in a pet. I was screaming at the sky. And the reason was, I felt like I’d done everything. I felt like an There’s a kind of there’s a formula for suicidal thoughts and it’s the three P’s. It’s when something feels permanent, pervasive and personal. And I felt like that I felt like it did not matter what I did, nothing was gonna change. There were certain things in my world and in my life that I couldn’t change and I just didn’t know how. And I, you know, that whole kind of screaming at the sky, please just show me another way. And, and what has changed since then, is my ability to handle uncertainty. More than that, though, really to embrace uncertainty. Before that point in my life. I was trying to control everything. I really believed that I had some kind of control over the world. And since then, I realised that I really don’t. And once you figure out the rules, then you can play the game. But if you’re trying to live in a world where you think the rules are different from malaria, It’s always gonna be very difficult. So now that I understand, I cannot, I’m not God.
Unknown Speaker [25:08]
I have a much better life.
David Ralph [25:10]
God can multitask. You know, I think that’s the only person who can multitask.
Unknown Speaker [25:17]
Yeah, I’m still having that conversation.
David Ralph [25:19]
I’m not letting it go, I’m gonna keep on going on. But you know, I was I was in the shower, I was in the shower. And I was thinking about certain things. And I spent a lot of time in the shower, just letting the water flow over me. And my show now is going amazingly well. It’s going better than I could possibly think. And I suddenly realised, and I was thinking, How do I explain this to people because I get invited on lots of shows. And because my show is going up and up and up, and I’m not doing anything based around what other people tell you. So when you start a podcast, one of the things they say, Oh, you’ve got to promote it. You’ve got to do an Instagram, you got to do a Pinterest, you got to do tweets, you got to do Facebook, you’ve got to do all that and I don’t do any of that. Because it just bores me stupid. And I realised the other day that my business now I’ve started to put the right oil in the right engine. And for years, I was sticking anything in hoping would work. So I’m working with the system and not against it. And suddenly things have become so much easier for me and every single show I release gets more downloads than the one before. And then it just keeps on moving moving forward. That to me sounds a great metaphor for life, isn’t it? If you can put the right oil in the right engine? It’s gonna work easier, but more often than not, we don’t we just kind of reach into the cupboard, find some vinegar throw it in, and hopefully it works.
Ebonie Allard [26:42]
Absolutely. And more than that, somehow, quite a lot of us feel as though it ought to be hard. You know, there’s this thing when I grew up, everyone around me said, you know, you need to work hard for your money, right? And there’s, you know, had a good work ethic instilled in me, and I still agree that it’s not great to be lazy and you want to do things right to work and put effort in. But that’s different from having to work hard. The work that I do isn’t hard. Actually, I finally learned how to do the things that come easily to me that other people find hard and charge money for them. And then everyone wins. See, that’s your super talent,
David Ralph [27:24]
isn’t it? That is the thing we’ve spoken about on every single show. But that is the bit that is so hard for people to grasp. You know, the fact that I do this show, and I basically make all my money through doing this show. And I know there’s people out there that listen to this and go, that sounds easy. I’m gonna do that. But more often than not, I haven’t got that super talent, which I don’t know, infuses inspirational content or it motivates or whatever the reason why you come to Join Up Dots every day and you listen to the show. There’s a reason for it, and Fortunately, I can provide that naturally. So that’s my super talent. But all the other stuff that I can’t do very well and it’s hard, I’m trying to get rid of it. So do you do look at that and go hang on this is this is really, really fun. This is fun. I’m just losing hours of my life because I’m doing stuff that just is enjoyable to me. And, and people are willing to pay for it.
Ebonie Allard [28:24]
Yeah, I still hilarious and at the same time, I don’t take it for granted. You know, I put the hours in, I show up for my clients, they get my you know, that presence, that attention we’re talking about? A lot of people don’t get that in their life. And that’s so so important, but it is brilliant. You know, I’m, I do still feel incredibly lucky when I talk to strangers and they, you know, inevitably asked me what I do and I tell them that I isn’t that I completely made up job and I Yeah, it’s completely made up. I love that.
David Ralph [29:05]
Yeah, but then I understand what you do. Because I say to people, I just went and bought a new car recently for my wife. And they said, What do you do for a living? I said, I’m a podcaster. And they just looked at me blankly. Absolutely they’ve got no idea. And literally, nobody knows what a podcast is. It’s amazing. I’m getting anyone listening to this bloody show because nobody knows what a podcast is. So when you say your job did I kind of go Oh, yeah, I understand what you’re doing even though it sounds made up or do you even have to explain it?
Ebonie Allard [29:33]
It depends which circles we are in you know, cuz I know what a podcast is. And a lot of my friends listen to podcasts all the time and absolutely love them and and so there are some worlds where and where people get it and more often than not people do often get so you’re a life coach or also you’re a business coach. And in my case, I’m kind of something in between you know, I’m I’m a life and business coach for a very specific group of people, you know, misfit entrepreneurs or creatives. There aren’t hundreds of them. But there are absolutely enough to sustain me. I can only work with, I only want to work with a certain amount of people at a time. So yeah, it really depends a lot of the time so I’m going to be brutally honest. I’m on Tinder quite a lot at the moment. And and exploring my options in terms of looking for a relationship. No one on Tinder has a clue what I do at all.
David Ralph [30:25]
I’ve never been on Tinder. Obviously. I’ve been married since I was four. It seems.
Unknown Speaker [30:30]
Well, you’ve got a million children Haven’t
David Ralph [30:31]
I got more than a million I am so productive is untrue. It really is. I go for the 8020 principle in reproduction. I just I just Bash him out really quickly. But what
Unknown Speaker [30:43]
is Tinder? I don’t get what
David Ralph [30:45]
Tinder is. Isn’t Tinder just like a home for serial killers, isn’t it where people just kind of connect in a weird way?
Ebonie Allard [30:52]
Yeah, it really is. And if you’re as fascinated by people as I am, it’s just weird. You don’t have love hate relationship with it in the same way as I do with most technology. You know, I think it’s I you know, I am an Instagram person, I absolutely love Instagram. I think it’s about finding your own voice and the way that you share on there. And you know, when you are a personal brand, you do need to allow people to get to know like and trust you. So Tinder quite often, there are these people who aren’t self employed and have no personal brand and have never had to sell themselves before. And it is quite an issue because you’re trying to be real life people, but it’s a marketing job. And so I am I’m mostly on there just because it’s fascinating to see what pictures people choose to put up to represent themselves.
David Ralph [31:48]
Well, he’s weird, isn’t it and I’ve been talking about personal branding a lot in the episode recently because there is certainly on the website on your yours is great personal branding. When you look at your website and people go over to the show. notes and you’ll find the link for Ebony’s website that you know you you can see it’s you and it’s it’s not hidden behind a glossy Corporation kind of website there is humour there’s that you understand who you are basically. Now, is that the best way of attracting business or the right business? Or is it better to promote yourself as I can do anything? I’ve been sort the wheat from the chaff.
Ebonie Allard [32:31]
Personally, I like my life to be as easy as possible. So I, you know, I am What you see is what you get. And I don’t want people to have a surprise because how is that effective for me, right? So I don’t want to have conversations with people that that are attracted in and then go but but you’re not who I thought you were and I go warm. You’re not who I thought you were. And it’s a whole waste of a conversation that I could be sitting on a beach having a tattoo or
David Ralph [32:55]
a hacker, but I had a surprise with you to jump in. I was honestly And I don’t know if anyone said this before and I hope it doesn’t sound rude. I thought you were black just because of the name Ebony I just assume naturally and when I came over, across and you were why it really surprised me the do other people have that as well.
Ebonie Allard [33:16]
And not for a long time but yes, it has happened before
David Ralph [33:21]
that use unusual name, isn’t it Ebony Allard? Yes.
Unknown Speaker [33:25]
And it is my real name. It’s on my birth certificate.
David Ralph [33:28]
So when people come across to you, what do you think it is, but they connect with you most? Why do they want to work with you?
Ebonie Allard [33:36]
Because I’m real, because I’m no different from them. Because I’m weird and no one else has ever publicly been weird in their sphere before you know that I embrace all the elements of being what I call a misfit of being slightly unique and not necessarily conforming or fitting in and it’s refreshing I think, for people to come across someone who isn’t shine and polish not got an awesome life. And it’s, I’m very lucky to have it and but it’s very evident that I’ve done the work. And I think people connect with that.
David Ralph [34:11]
Do you think I’m weird, Ebony?
Ebonie Allard [34:13]
I do I think you’re wonderfully weird.
David Ralph [34:15]
Because I do as well. I think that I am for years and years and years. I was weird without knowing I was weird. So I would go into a corporation and they used to say, and I talked about this a lot, and it used to really warm me up. People used to say, you’re a maverick, you’re a maverick, or you just got No I’m not. No, I’m not. But now I wish I could go back in time and go Yeah, bloody hell I am. Yeah. And and deal with it. Because, you know, I might stay here for more than 24 hours in a job. But I’m still weird. I’m still willing to do my own thing. And I think that is a real signal that people should look out for. If you are, if you go for a job, for example, I could never work in McDonald’s because I couldn’t wear the uniform. If somebody told me that I had to wear a uniform that is That is a no, it’s not gonna happen. I would be wearing jeans and flip flops or something and get sacked after about an hour. I can’t do that. And I think that is one of the essences that we’ve got to look at. How do we feel when we’re in a company? Do we feel good? Do we feel our natural selves? Or are we playing a part? It’s a key thing, isn’t it?
Ebonie Allard [35:19]
So much. So you know what? I remember the I mean, I’m bringing it back to tattoos again, but they are important into as part of my identity, the first one I got that was visible, and was a gift to myself to say, I will never work in a company or a corporation or for someone else again, and it was a you know, a marker of an important decision. Really?
David Ralph [35:41]
Wait, where do you have, because I don’t get tattoos. I understand the ones that people can see as you say that’s visible, but what’s the point in having ones that aren’t visible? What’s the point in that I don’t get that.
Ebonie Allard [35:51]
So I think it’s different for everybody. And you know, some people do it because it looks good, or they feel as though it looks good. I can only really talk From my own personal experience, and there’s two things, one, I talked about it quite a lot in the work that I do. And it’s not a surprise, I had a lot of issues with how I looked, and how I felt in my body and having art or things that I found beautiful, put on my body and going through that process enabled me to learn to love parts of myself that I would have otherwise hated. And also, they are all markers of adventures that I have had in my life. Now I would love nothing more than to be an old lady with a grandchild, you know, going into sitting on my lap and stroking my arm and saying where where are you really have that one granny and I you know, when I can’t remember much, I’m hoping that they will act as anchors and remind me of the adventures I’ve had in my life.
David Ralph [36:50]
I tell you what, that’s the greatest podcast I could ever do. We we we strip you naked and I just point at things and say, tell us the story about that. That would be brilliant. For downloads,
Unknown Speaker [37:01]
I’ll come back in 50 years,
David Ralph [37:03]
I wouldn’t want to in 50 years. That is not an image that I’m going for. So where are you now, obviously, you are in the south of England, but wherever you sort of mentally once you get to a certain point, and I found this, there was struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle, and then things became very easy for me. And for a while, I coasted and I just had a lovely life and I just came up and recorded shows and then and then I started looking around and thinking there’s more to life than this, you know, this just seems boring somehow. But I’ve got to this point. Where are you now? Are you in that plateau? Or are you looking around thinking Hang on, how do I take this to the next level
Ebonie Allard [37:45]
I’m in a place where I worked really hard last year to produce a book and run clients and grow a programme and you know, really kind of shaped my business and put a lot of work in and I knew that that would mean that I want to at a slower year that I wanted a personal life that I wanted to create some kind of separation between my business and myself. And that’s what I’m doing this year. So I still, you know, show up for work, absolutely love what I do have a lot of new stuff coming out and working on new content all the time, but also really consciously creating separation and more personal time in my life. And for the first time in my life, I’ve kind of stopped going, what do I do for fun? Like, I love what I do so much. I don’t really have any hobbies anymore. So that’s where I’m at, at the moment trying to find some hobbies. But do you need
David Ralph [38:37]
hobbies though? That’s the thing. That’s the million dollar question. Because when I’m not doing this show, I’m working on this show, because it’s so fun. It really is. And so it’s kind of a hobby work. Isn’t that utopia? Isn’t that what people want?
Ebonie Allard [38:52]
I don’t know. I, I’ll tell you at the end of the year, like I’m really expecting, like, I just think it’s all a big experiment and at the moment My experiment is, what do I love to do outside of what I love to do?
David Ralph [39:07]
And what do you love to do outside what you love to do?
Ebonie Allard [39:10]
In the moment, I’m really enjoying and hanging out with my friends who have families connecting with other entrepreneurs whose lives don’t fit a nine to five mould. So I really enjoy going into town on a Monday. And it being really quiet and doing all of the fun things that people normal people doing perhaps on a Saturday or Sunday. I really love doing them with one of my friends on a Monday and you know, not having to wait to find a parking space and not having to queue to pay for things that is so much fun.
David Ralph [39:45]
Do you know what I love doing everything? I tell you?
Unknown Speaker [39:47]
Yes, please do.
David Ralph [39:49]
Nobody listens to this so this might rock your world. But on a Tuesday morning, our local cinema does these kind of over 60 Cinema days. When you Over, you get a cup of tea and some biscuits and you can watch a film. And I’ve started going to those, and it’s just me and a load of old people and they sit there sort of with their cups of tea and stuff. And I never lose the enjoyment of going to a film when nobody else is there. I just love it. I love it, especially if I can go to one and there’s no one in there other than me, and I’m sitting there and I think this is it. I don’t need to be any happier than this. Everyone else is at work and I’m watching the Millennium Falcon fly past me is brilliant.
Ebonie Allard [40:31]
is so good. I went with a friend of mine recently and she is the coolest 70 year old you’ll ever meet in your entire life. And I got to eat all the biscuits because all the other old people didn’t want them so I all the old people’s biscuits in the cinema on chain sounds wonderful.
David Ralph [40:45]
Do you ever lick a biscuit and just put it back? No, come on. You must have done well. You just kind of lick the jam at the middle and slipped it back. These old people they don’t know.
Unknown Speaker [40:57]
I’m not that kind of person.
David Ralph [41:00]
Yeah, you are, you are deep down, yo, yo misfit. What why what is your, um, your sort of branding say, misfit to Maven, why not sort of expert? Why not? What’s the Maven sort of definition to you?
Ebonie Allard [41:16]
So a Maven means I trusted expert through understanding someone who understands it’s an old Hebrew word. It’s, for me, that was really part of something that was really important because it is about understanding, understanding myself understanding other people understanding the world, an expert, sounds kind of exclusive. Sounds like not everyone can do it. And I really believe that everybody can master themselves or master their craft.
David Ralph [41:46]
So before we send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic, I’m just gonna bring the words of Steve Jobs onto the show. He created the format of this show. He is a very proud man. Now he knows that he’s done this. And then we’re gonna ask you the million dollar question that we asked. Every single person. So this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [42:03]
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 [42:38]
So here’s the big question that I like to ask everyone. If you look back over your life, what was the big dot that led you to where you are now was a conversation. Was it a situation? Where did it occur?
Ebonie Allard [42:52]
You know what, I’m still not entirely sure, but I think it’s got something to do with that misfit part that I have centred on. This business around really now because I just never felt like I fit it in. And as soon as I realised that that was okay, I was at home within myself, then I became comfortable being the Mr. And then I attracted hundreds of other misfits, and now I belong. So I think it was the realisation that I was missed it and that that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
David Ralph [43:29]
I think that’s spot on. That is authentic self isn’t it and that is when you just basically you get up and you wear what you want. And you know, I would love to go to these these high power business meetings in now I don’t actually want to go to those at all, but in my kind of weird head and just turn up wearing a tie pair of speedos and some snorkel wear or something like that, just to see how people would react. And if they’re reacting to me because of the clothes when the wrong type of people if they’re reacting to me about the content, and what I can bring To them, they’re the kind of people that I would work with. Let’s do that Ebony, let’s create a business where you go off in a tight bikini and some snorkel where I do the same and we see what kind of business we can create.
Ebonie Allard [44:13]
David Ralph [44:14]
You’re never gonna do it though. Or you’re just gonna let me go to London in my in my tight speedos, and you’re not going to do it. I know.
Ebonie Allard [44:22]
Well, it’s a good thing you know, but you might do it anyway.
David Ralph [44:26]
I like what you’re doing. I like what you’re doing. You’re sort of weirdly grooming me. This is like Tinder, you’re pushing me in a weird direction to do what you want.
Ebonie Allard [44:35]
I’m not arguing with you.
David Ralph [44:38]
But after could go on just argue once. I haven’t had an argument with a woman for ages. You’ve also nice on this show. Not gonna happen. Right? Well, this is the part of the show that we’re gonna send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And this is what we call the sermon on mic. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger buddy, what age would you choose and what advice Would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the theme tune. And when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [45:15]
With the best bit of the show
Unknown Speaker [45:21]
Ebonie Allard [45:31]
Hello, 14 year old Ebony. I know that you don’t like to listen to anyone, and you’re probably not going to listen to anything I’ve got to say. Anyway, but just in case some of this goes in. When you’re 35 one, you’re still alive. I know, too. You’re happy and life is really, really good. And I want you to know that all you need to do is be yourself. You don’t listen to, or try and impress anybody else, the only person that you need to impress is yourself.
David Ralph [46:11]
Ebony was the number one best way that our audience can connect with you.
Ebonie Allard [46:16]
best thing to do is go to entrepreneur and enabler.com and everything else that you want to find out. We’ll be there.
David Ralph [46:22]
We’ll have over links in the show notes. evany, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. 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 paths is the best way to build our futures have been added. Thank you so much.
Unknown Speaker [46:38]
Thank you, David.
David Ralph [46:42]
So that is a lady that absolutely embraces the fact that she’s a bit of a misfit. She’s a bit weird, as she says, but it inspires people who also feel slightly slightly unusual. It’s your tribe and it doesn’t matter what kind of tribe you’re looking for. Hers is About type yours might be something else. Once you start connecting with people across the world, then really, it’s it’s so easy to build an audience and build a great audience. People love you, and the people that don’t like you don’t have anything to do with you. And that’s the way it is. Now, if you’re listening to this show, after the first of April, she’s got a book out on Amazon, which is a great read misfit to Maven. The story of art are by Ebony Allard. And it’s a real inspiring book for misfit business rebels. It teaches you how to be extraordinary, and how to be inspired and how to build a life that is as extraordinary as you are. It’s a great read, and it’s going to be half price for the whole of April 2016. So jump over to Amazon misfit to Maven. And as I say you’re in bed with Ebony every night. Could you want anything more? Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Join Up Dots. always enjoy it. This is David Ralph. That was Join Up Dots and we’ll see again soon, Cheers. Bye bye.
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.