Welcome To the Join Up Dots Podcast with Sylvie McCracken
Introducing Sylvie McCracken
Sylvie McCracken is todays guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast is a lady who has niched down and is working with a client base with a huge problem.
While healthcare professionals may be excellent at helping people heal from injuries and sickness, help patients make choices that will lead to healthier lives, and provide the comfort and security we all need when health scares arise, they’re (admittedly!) often not great at the day to day business of providing that healthcare.
Luckily, that’s where Sylvie McCracken steps in to help and enables health care professionals to heal their own businesses from the administrative gulag that hounds them.
Since most healthcare providers’ income is directly tied to the number of patients they see and a near endless stream of appointments, it’s the personal freedom, family, and often their own health that pays the price for financial wellness.
How The Dots Joined Up For Sylvie
Through identifying passive income opportunities and helping entrepreneurs to execute and sustain those initiatives, Sylvie helps doctors, dentists, pathologists, nutritionists,
She loves passive income as believes its essential for every entrepreneur (going without it is like driving a car without insurance).
Creating passive income with ebooks, outsourcing, delegating and managing your online dream team (‘cause you didn’t ditch the day job to have your business run you)
and building her clients biz while working a full time “day job” (like I did!)
So how did she juggle everything to get into the position to step out on her own
And was her business like it is now from the very beginning or a very different version of what we now see?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Sylvie McCracken
During the show we discussed such weight subjects with Sylvie McCracken such as:
We share the hardship of entrepreneurship, and the manner of somehow being out of your control but still living it.
Why Sylvie’s personality can often repel clients from her life, but thats ok as the great clients stick around.
Sylvie reveals that although she loves working in her business she truly loves being on her own and often needs that space to function.
We talk about the moment when “The dream job” that everyone thought she was crazy to leave, left a whole in her happiness.
How To Connect With Sylvie McCracken
Or of course you can check out thousands of podcast interviews in our archives here
Interview Transcription For Sylvie McCracken Interview
David Ralph [0:01]
Once upon a time there was a guy with a dream a dream. He’s Jobs for himself online and have a kick ass life working when he wanted him where he wanted across the world. Little did he know that dream would lead him into a world of struggle, burnout and debt. Until he found the magic ingredient and knows drunk was became a thing of the past, of course, was bad person. And now My dream is to make things happen. BU Welcome to Join Up Dots.
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 [0:56]
Yes, hello there, everybody. Hello there and welcome to Join Up Dots. I’ll tell you why I love having an online business. You won’t believe how many issues go on behind the scenes to make it seem like we are professionals and we know what we’re doing. But I think we’re there. I think we’re there and we’re going to bring a good show to you because today’s guest joining us on the show is a lady who is niche down and he’s working with a client base with a huge problem. While health care professionals may be excellent at helping people heal from injuries and sickness, help patients make choices that will lead to healthier lives and provide the comfort and security we all need. When health scares arise. They’re often not that great at a day to day business of providing that health care. Luckily, that’s where our guest comes in, and she enables healthcare professionals to heal their own businesses from the administrative gulag, but hands room now since most healthcare providers income is directly tied to the number of patients they see, and a near endless stream of appointments, it’s the personal freedom, family and often their own health that pays the price for financial wellness through IN can’t even say I’m so excited through identifying passive income opportunities and helping entrepreneurs to execute and sustain those initiatives. Our guest helps doctors, dentists, pathologist, nutritionist, and everyone else care for the bottom line so they can better take care of themselves, their families and their patients. Now she loves passive income and she believes it’s essential for every entrepreneur going without it is like driving a car without insurance. She says creating passive income with ebooks outsourcing, delegating and managing your online Dream Team, because yet didn’t ditch your day job to have your business run you she says and building her clients business while working a full time day job like she did can take its toll. So how did you juggle everything to get into the position to step out on their own and was her business like it is now from the very beginning? Or a very different version of what we now see. Well, that’s why now as we bring on to the show to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Sylvie MacCracken. Good morning, Sylvie. How are you?
Sylvie McCracken [3:01]
Oh, my goodness. Good morning, David. Thank you for that great introduction. So happy to be here. I’m happy you’re
David Ralph [3:06]
here as well, because we had a few issues, didn’t we? But we, we just relaxed and I stress from this and did I sound like I was stressing?
Sylvie McCracken [3:15]
No, not at all. You kept your cool. So yeah, we figured out the technology. Sometimes the tech Gremlins are upon us that you figured it all out. Here we are.
David Ralph [3:22]
I think it is a metaphor for entrepreneurial life. Because I remember the very beginning if something happened, that meant that I couldn’t record a show. I used to think oh my god, I’m letting the person down. Now. I just sit there and being okay with you and not the time we’re so around the issue where we breeze around, is that something that becomes more and more evident that there’s always a way around the obstacle?
Sylvie McCracken [3:49]
Oh, for sure. I mean, you know, it’s it’s one of those things where you just become adapt, I think at handling the fact that there’s going to be hurdles and if you can’t, you know, overcome those words. Then maybe entrepreneurship isn’t for you. Because the reality is that that’s the only guarantee.
David Ralph [4:04]
And how do you think entrepreneurship is because I eSports? Because I used to think it was for everyone. And then I used to think it was not nobody. And when I sort of lurch between the two, is it for somebody that is just purely bloody minded and determined, or is it somebody creative? Because you see, great entrepreneurs go under, and you see other people that are quite frankly, they seem like idiots. Rubbish, right, rather well,
Sylvie McCracken [4:33]
right? Yeah, you know, I mean, I think I agree with you. In the beginning, I was the event the entrepreneur evangelist, right, where everyone, you know, grab random strangers in an elevator and a Lyft, as you guys call them, and just, you know, try and convince them and the reality is, like you said, you know, it’s not for everybody, and people that are completely comfortable in their nine to five and in their day job and receiving that salary. As long as they have a pulse. Then, you know, great, that’s great. You know, who might have saved that’s not A great life. But I think entrepreneurship is for those that are you know that that that sounds like death that working a nine to five working for someone else, you know, is something that they’re absolutely not willing to do that they have this passion or this, you know, idea or this thing that they want to do they want to control their own schedule. And I think this is the big and and the big sort of requirement is and they’re willing to take the risk and they’re willing to deal with it’s not an overnight success. And it’s not get rich quick, and it’s not easy sometimes. And it’s definitely not easy in the beginning. So there is that sort of cost of entry, which is you’ve got to really go through that, you know, that that those hurdles in the beginning where you’re working for zero dollars an hour, and it’s hard and you’re making mistakes, and you’re getting told no. And that’s kind of the barrier to entry to entrepreneurship, if you don’t make it in that first year or three years or whatever it may be. Then, you know, and that’s when a lot of people quit and say, You know what, actually my job is not as bad as I thought it was.
David Ralph [5:59]
Well, I’m gonna Jump back on something you said were working the zero hours because I’m a member. When I started, I was earning less than zero hours because I had costs costs that were going out. But I wasn’t. Yeah. And I look back on it now. And I can’t actually remember how I survived. But I did. I survived. And I scraped around and I sorted things out. And I had a couple of lucky tax breaks, which brought some money in which allowed us to do one or two things and stuff. But yeah, it was amazing at the time, where I was only seeing money go one way, and it wasn’t going into my bank account at all.
Sylvie McCracken [6:35]
Yeah, right. It was going back. Oh, yeah. I totally agree. And I think that that really speaks to well, how bad do you want it then?
David Ralph [6:42]
How bad do you want it now compared to when? At the beginning because when you when you get to a certain point, and I’m going to preempt guys, and laziness comes in, where you lose track of who you was, I used to be Hustle, Hustle, Hustle, Hustle. Then once you started going well, it was like a weight off, I can relax. And the more I relaxed, the more I realise I didn’t actually want to do what I was doing anyway. Right. And I kind of lost myself for a while. What about yourself?
Sylvie McCracken [7:12]
Yeah, yeah, no saying Absolutely. And I think it’s part of it is you go into autopilot mode, which is, for me, at least what I’ve operated on a good part of my life. And so of course, that’s kind of a hardwired pattern that I have to, you know, kind of sometimes wake myself up out of and say, Oh, wait, what are we doing? Again? What’s the big picture? Because I’ll get into the minutia of a certain day and what we’re doing that day, and I’ll forget the big picture, and then I’ll find myself, you know, carrying out a project I don’t even really want to finish. So I think, you know, that’s a really great question. And it’s actually something I talked to my clients about recently. That was, you know, really because I was asking them like, you know, especially in the early in the first year, how bad do you want it? What are you willing to sacrifice? What are you willing to give up? Are you willing to give up your evening and weekend for a while around your day job? Are you willing to shut down Netflix and you know, really give up your free time and do this Because that’s kind of what’s required. And but the interesting thing is I said, but just so you know, like, what I’m willing to do today is I’m not willing to sacrifice almost anything. And so that’s, you know, the interesting thing and the, I guess the good part of that is I no longer have to write so right, you know, at today 2019 2020. I have, you know, a business that I’m able to fit around my lifestyle and not the other way around. But I’m very, very clear that those early years it was hustle, and it was evenings and weekends around a day job, and it definitely was sacrifice and that was what was required to sort of buy into entrepreneurship. And nowadays, I really don’t care about, you know, going for the next revenue hurdle, right? We did that. We chased that for a while. Once we hit seven figures, I was like, Okay, I got the T shirt, and now I don’t really care about it anymore. It’s one of those things where I’m like, well, what’s the profit? What’s the how many hours? How little hours Can I get away with to run this business? There’s other metrics that I’m focused on now. And am I able to, you know, put everything aside and go to a salsa Dancing festival if I want to for a long weekend, am I able to take my daughter to a doctor’s appointment at one o’clock? Because I want to be there, you know? So those are the metrics I look at nowadays.
David Ralph [9:10]
Ryan. Okay. I agree with everything he was saying. And I also agree that the majority of people out there haven’t got it. I’ve now answered my question. When we said at the beginning, who is entrepreneurship for? I think it’s almost like, it’s for somebody that hasn’t got a choice anymore. It’s for somebody who’s in too much pain, you know, I had a boss from hell. And I just got to the point where I can’t do this anymore. I just cannot spend one day more. Now. In fact, Boss wasn’t there. And I had a nice boss, who knows I might have still been there. But it was the pain point that pushed me out. And so when people speak to me, and I said, David, David, I’d really like to start my own business. They don’t seem to be in pain enough to really Want to push through? Yeah,
Sylvie McCracken [10:01]
yeah, it’s a nice to have not a must have, it has to be a must have. It has to because a nice to have, you’re not really willing to do that much for a nice to have you know and I and my health care professional clients deal with this a lot to where sometimes they’re helping people where now they’ve gotten a diagnosis of Hey, you either turn around your health or your end up in a wheelchair, and now they’re willing to listen now they’re willing to change their diet, but when it was, Hey, you know, you need to lose 20 pounds. Okay, well, whatever, you know, so it’s the same with with just about everything I think.
David Ralph [10:31]
Now the interesting thing about you, Sylvia, and this is gonna sound like an insult, but I’m going to say hello, I
Unknown Speaker [10:36]
can’t wait. It’s a
David Ralph [10:38]
bit of an insult, but it’s gonna lead into a lovely compliment. Now, before you came through, I get pitched people and I have a name and the name gets given to me now in the United Kingdom. Sylvie is like a 70 year old nanny, basically. It’s like, I never knew that there is an old lady’s name and so So I wasn’t expecting but glamorous and vibrant you see I’ve built it up into a compliment person. And when I went over to the website I thought this is interesting because first of all, it moves it there’s a video alone and a lot of it is very kind of like Meghan Trainor, you know, making train this video’s very bright and very cheerful. And your whole website is very different from most that I get to look at through the show. And it should be by surprise. Was that kind of bright leather jacket is driving around, was that part of the master plan? Or did that just sort of naturally occur over a period of time?
Sylvie McCracken [11:44]
You know, I usually I defer to my team who they’re all so much smarter than I am. And in that particular case, that was the work of Sarah and como Ashman years ago now, I think that website went up either 2015 or 2016, probably 16. And it was all her creative direction. It was all her ideas. Very little input from me or every time I put some input, she’d be like, you know, we’re doing it this way. And so she directed the whole thing starlet Fortunato did all of the photography. And it was, you know, at the time we weren’t serving healthcare professionals, that’s the hilarious part. So, you know, but we were doing I mean, my, my vision has always been the same as far as what I bring to the table, which is this efficiency piece. And so she really wanted to tie it to fuel efficiency, and you know, and that car theme, and so she did a lot of got just just the creative direction around that and the branding. That’s
David Ralph [12:34]
what you said, Man was the key point. I think that was the question in my mind. I was expecting some old lady walking out of a doctor’s surgery where, you know, being very focused on the health care professionals. And when I got over there, I thought, My God, this isn’t this. There’s a sort of juxtaposition of what I was expecting, but actually was more engaging because I realised that I was tapping into who you were, and not what somebody wanted me to see. And, you know, I look at so many websites that they bought me, they bought me stupid, you know? It doesn’t come across with you, and how does that work with the healthcare professionals? Did they come across and go? Be speaks to me or actually, this isn’t what I was expecting.
Sylvie McCracken [13:23]
Right. You know, I think that’s a really good question. I mean, obviously, there are a lot of people that don’t resonate with me. And the reason for that David, and we chatted a little bit before we started recording is I have a little bit of an irreverent style. So there are people that will watch our webinar and will literally will send emails into my team saying, Oh my god, she’s so unprofessional. She calls us dude. And I’m like, Yeah, I do because that’s what I feel like saying so if you don’t buy but then no problem but then keep going because this is what I do. I’m a big fan of, you know, I sort of want to normalise doctors as other humans. Everybody poops and You know, there’s no there’s no title ism, there’s no The doctor is better than the nutritionist or the nurse or anything like that in my world. So if you come into my world and you become a client, you basically acknowledge and accept to be treated just like everybody else with respect, but I’m going to say, Hey, girl, and I’m going to say, Hey, dude, because that’s my style. And if you don’t like it, that’s totally cool. But that’s how I roll So, so there’s that and then there’s, you know, I mean, I use I use rap lyrics as quotes. And, you know, my clients, the ones that do make it past all of those different filters that we’ve got, basically, they find it hilarious half the time, they don’t know who I’m quoting. But you know, that’s just kind of what I bring to the table. I’m a little bit a typical I grew up in Argentina and in the US back and forth, so I speak both languages fluently. You wouldn’t think I’m Latina, based on the last name McCracken but there you have it. And so you know, I’ll do weird things like that. I’ll bring in lyrics that from all over the world or references and I’ll actually make them into my materials. We’ve got literally You know, rap lyrics put into our workbooks. So that’s just kind of what you got when you’re in my world and for whoever it fits awesome. And for whoever doesn’t fit, that’s fine too,
David Ralph [15:09]
because I’m slightly pivoted because through Join Up Dots. If you go back maybe two years ago, I used to do a lot of singing on the show and just sort of city stuff, which entertains me, entertain me. And a lot of people would come through to me saying, you know, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite what I expected from a business podcast. And I thought that’s that’s the point. That is exactly the point. Yeah, yeah, I’ve pivoted slightly because I realised, once I started dropping off the overtly me things. My bank account flourished. You know, it was almost like, people couldn’t accept that somebody could do that and be bad at the same time. They couldn’t accept but I can show them how to create an online business that literally only takes a few hours a week to operate, you can do it anywhere you want, you know, if I was singing Bon Jovi songs on the show, but I still, I still can’t break free from knowing that ultimately, I will come back to that, ultimately, there comes a tipping point where you realise that you can actually be whoever you want to be, and the world goes, and that’s what we want you to be.
Sylvie McCracken [16:26]
Yeah, well, I just feel like you know, I mean, I, you know, I feel like in a traditional environment, you have to morph yourself into whatever is allowed, right? And, and my employees have told me this multiple times as well of like, you know, Oh, I’m so glad that you don’t care that I have blue hair or that I have this piercing or whatever it is, of course, I don’t care and they’re on, you know, our team photos and whatever with whatever hair they have or don’t have. And, you know, and I hate that there’s, there’s these you know, sort of weird rules you have to conform to in these traditional investors. I created a business so I could do whatever the heck I want. So I really, I don’t know I stand by this idea of I am who I am and it will resonate with those it’s meant to resonate with and it will repel those. It’s not meant to resonate with but I don’t want to have to put on the suit and act a certain way while I’m working in my business and then go back to being myself after five o’clock I’d rather be myself the whole time and even if that means it will repel a certain crowd, it’s probably meant to so you know, if I showed you right now, the Facebook group of our year long clients where there’s several MDS and DS nutritionist licenced marriage and family therapist, you’ll see GIFs you know, we use GIFs a lot of times to communicate, you know, will will, you know, put GIFs in the Facebook group and they’ll join in as well right we kind of keep it funny and light and, and that’s just, you know, that’s just how we do it. Whether we’re having they’re having a hard day and something happened or whether they’re celebrating an incredible win. Why not keep it funny and light and fun.
David Ralph [17:59]
I agree. Yeah, I agree with you 100%. And I’m going to play some words from a man or Sheila believes that as well. He’s Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [18:06]
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 [18:32]
Now, do you think those words are correct? Because I used to, and now I love between how do you know the love unless you try anything?
Sylvie McCracken [18:44]
Yeah, and I think you know, here’s the thing to David is the older I get, the more I realised what I don’t know. You know, so I agree. Like there’s things I sought out to you know, at 20 or 25, or whatever, thinking this is it, this is the right thing and the reality is I agree you don’t really know whether you love it, hate it or whatever else until you try it on for size. And then also, you can reserve the right to change your mind. So I’m
David Ralph [19:09]
going to jump down, I’m going to jump straight in now, because I’m talking about this a lot, my and I want to get your point of view from your clients, where people say to me, I don’t like doing this, I want to do what I love. And I say to them, let’s just try and learn in the process. Let’s let’s learn how that occurs, you know, don’t say how to get to somewhere, but you don’t know that there’s a car available, there’s a pass available. Let’s just try stuff, and then see the process. But I get a lot of people that want to go from I hate this to sexy and I go there’s a bit of a journey between it.
Sylvie McCracken [19:48]
Totally. And the reality is, you know, for example, choosing what business model fits you. You know, it just depends. I mean, for some people, they want to work with a lot of people, they’re really extroverted. They want to be around people all day every day and there’s other people People that are more introverted and would love to be by themselves in their yoga pants with their laptop and seeing one human a week. And you know, sometimes they don’t even I mean, you think that’d be a basic knowing about yourself, but the reality is sometimes you build a business model and you’re like, Oh, actually, is this what my week is going to look like? I hate this. And that’s okay. I mean, you know, you’ll figure a lot of that out, unfortunately, in by trial and error.
David Ralph [20:20]
I used to have horrible days when I would look at it and think to myself, I might want to stay at work. But that boss, that boss wasn’t actually as bad as I think I made. Yeah, she was she. Yeah, she was terrible. But I used to convince myself I actually, I’d made a mistake in my dog, my dark mind state of mind. If somebody came along goes, how’s it going? I’d go, Oh, it’s brilliant. I love it. It’s the best thing I ever did. And then I’d sort of like slink back into my shell again, thinking, Oh, I haven’t seen anyone for six weeks and nobody speaks to me. And now I’m very aware as we’re recording here, it’s November and I’m very aware when November comes my wife who still works for companies, she’s doing a Christmas do every night. And every night there’s a Christmas party, and she gets invited to it. And basically, she’s pretty pissed from now till January, literally literally every single night. Now, as an entrepreneur as myself, I don’t get invited to anything. And I wonder, does that something that you find liberating but you don’t have that in your life now? Do you have to create Christmas cheer? How does it fit, really great manifested?
Sylvie McCracken [21:34]
So you know, it’s interesting because you wouldn’t think so. But I am a little bit more I kind of test on the cusp of introvert extrovert but I am a little bit more introverted, so I love my alone time. So even though we have an office for the team here, downtown, which is about I don’t know, six blocks away from my house. I choose to most of the time work from home on my own. I love being on my own and I get a lot of interaction. You know, by doing client calls once a week that I do, I batch all of my calls So I do all my group calls with my clients. And I have meetings with my teams and whatnot. So all that’s virtual. Now as far as physical face to face interaction, I do what’s called driven dinners. And so I kind of drag out entrepreneurs and we do these kind of networking dinners. So I create those myself. And then the other very social thing for me is I like to dance salsa and bachata And so that has a lot of sort of active things in the evenings and weekends and festivals and congresses and all of that jazz that’s very social and very, you know, just just that’s a lot that’s what a lot of my energy goes these days. So I don’t know if that answers and as far as holidays go you know, it’s funny because yeah, there’s like the the dancing group gets together for a holiday thing. And you know, then our team is very virtual. So we usually will do like a champagne party on zoom. Because we have people all over the US we have someone in the UK, we have someone in Spain, we have someone in the Philippines, you know all over the place. So we’ll do that but they basically we send them all about a bottle of champagne, and we Do that we do a toast in December. And you know, that’s about it. And for me, that’s plenty. But I’m not the type of person that wants to be out every night. I am a person that loves being in my pyjama pants as early in the evening as possible with a cup of tea.
David Ralph [23:14]
It’s interesting you say that because it is prevalent with the people I speak to. And it’s certainly in a case of myself, that I have to be on my own a lot. And I actually don’t want to see people. But then when I do see people, I really kind of burst into life, and I enjoy it. And then I come back, and I always call it my Batman and my Bruce Wayne. And my Bruce Wayne kind of just sits there not doing anything, and they send out the bat signal and I go off and I do stuff and I sort of enjoy. Now, I see that time and time again with people I speak to so do you think that could be one of the who’s perfect for an entrepreneur, somebody that actually is quite good being on their own, so they can actually Work through things themselves.
Sylvie McCracken [24:02]
I mean, you know, I don’t you know, I, I guess nowadays, I would say not necessarily, I would say any type of
personality would work. It’s just depending on what type of business you build. So for example, for me, I find it hard I found it really hard as my team started to grow from just a handful of people to more like a dozen people because now I found Oh my God, I’ve got a relationship with a dozen different people who each have families and children. And I found that really difficult because usually my circle my tight circle is very small. I like to go deep vs wide with relationships. And now I found, you know, that had this new family had created of a dozen people and and growing. And so I found that to be a little bit more challenging. I think that you know, you just need to kind of, you know, it just depends on, you know, what you like so, for example, if you’re a person that likes to work with other people, you more so than I do, I’d probably be down at the office downtown right now or I could talk to people all day, right? My assistant would be there. And my editor would be there and so forth and so on. I find that really, really distracting and I’d be exhausted at the end of the day if I had that much interaction. So for me, it means that they are over there and I will pop in when I need to for meetings or this or that, or they’ll come by they need to get something from me that needs to be signed or something like that, because it’s very close by but I’d rather be by myself, you know, barefoot in at home.
David Ralph [25:20]
Does that make sense? It makes total sense as just makes me wonder why we because humans are basically you know, we’re we’re herd animals really, you know, we we fall. That’s why we all live in New York and we live in London, there’s very few people that end up living on an island. But more often than not, is an island, and you spend time that people come to your island. And with the way we do it, it’s through zoom and through the internet, and then they disappear. And it’s just pop as my pondering, I ponder booties podcast, whether this is this is a fundamental thing, but I should say to people, when they say Should I go for it? Do I say do you like to be surrounded by people or not?
Sylvie McCracken [26:08]
Well, that’s a really good point. Because I do ask when I hire, I asked that because we hire virtual positions. So most of our people are on their own. And that I find, you know, if they if they do like to be with people, they can go work at a co working space or something like that. But in general, they’re going to be on their own. I mean, I’m not having meetings with them all day, every day. And they’re interacting with our team on our kind of project management software. But in general, there’s not this loud, bustling office with the water cooler. So I don’t know. You know, it just depends. And and that’s kind of an important question, I think, for me for hiring because if that’s, you know, when I asked What did you like most or what did you dislike most about your previous job, if a big part of it was that I got to chat with people all day, every day, well, this is probably not going to be a fit because my company is very virtual.
David Ralph [26:54]
I want to talk to you about that moment that you had when you was doing job and I really have the website because it’s intrigued me. Okay. Yeah. It’s entitled shifting gears and you said when I started my first business in the health and nutrition field, I was working full time as a celebrity life producer to support my family of five I had a couple of toddlers and a teenager. So extra time was non existent. And I had a decision to make. And this this leads up to the question, I could either whine about my lack of time and stay in a job that a million gills would kill for that was slowly killing me. Or I could roll up my sleeves and figure out how to get from point A to B as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality or purpose. Now, you obviously killed that previous job, the job that so many people would have wanted. It’s a difficult position to me because I left a job that pretty much nobody wanted. But when somebody say you’re in amazing position, and you know and you’re doing this and doing is that doubly hard is that alone is heavier.
Sylvie McCracken [28:00]
I definitely I definitely got a lot of like looks from my family, for example, in particular of like, you know, you’ve gotten this job at the time when I got the job, I didn’t even have a college degree. And, you know, six figure job and they were like you’re insane and ungrateful and who knows what else they might have added to that. And it was hard. I think the harder part was not so much the job that everybody wanted. So it was so easy for me to fill and the person I filled it with, I knew and loved her greatly, and she’s the absolute perfect fit. She’s still there. They both are, I still joke with both of them that I take credit because I put her in there and they’re both so happy together. So it’s awesome. So, you know, but the reality was, the hard part was that I was so responsible for my family. I was the sole provider. So my husband was a stay at home dad and there were five of us and Los Angeles ain’t cheap. So, you know, it was more that it was the betting on myself to that degree. There was a lot of Who do you think you are that you’re going to be able to do this and but I also was Like, well, I can’t, you know, I just can’t hate life every day, like, how much longer Can I go through that. And then I also knew kind of like the Jim Carrey thing that you just played. I also knew as much as it was great. And as much as I’d worked for this particular person for eight years, and you know, every time I asked for a raise, I got a yes. And you know, there was no I knew at some point, there was a ceiling, I knew he wasn’t going to lose his mind and at some point, pay me a half a million dollars, I knew that it couldn’t go on forever. And I thought, Well, what do I want to do be wait till I’m 5560 years old, and then make a career switch or jump now where, you know, I could really kind of create my own thing. And so it was a real sort of journaling process. It was a real talking to my shrink and process. It was a it was a process. It wasn’t a decision that came to lightly it wasn’t one second or one moment, you know, it was kind of a journey.
David Ralph [29:53]
Well, your whole life is a journey because to be honest, I have looked at your website, but now I’m getting through it. I’m thinking to myself, I should read this because there’s bears on here. Like when I was 18 I was kicked out of my religious private school for getting knocked up that that that interested me when I found a crappy cockroach infested apartment and started to hustle as a freelance English teacher to big companies. After a couple of years of hard work and hustle and with a three year old in tow, I packed up three suitcases and moved to Los Angeles just as Argentina was starting to fall apart. You are You know, you’re somebody that can can take a few punches in the mouth and keep going.
Sylvie McCracken [30:35]
Yeah, for sure. Which is why entrepreneurship You know, when people complain about oh, you know, I made this pitch and I gotta know I’m like I roll you know, it’s just because it’s it’s you know, of course it’s like you know the and I have to give myself that same you know, slap upside the head sometimes when I’m you know, getting into my whoa is me, pity party when I’m having a hard first world problem nowadays where I’m like, you know what, what’s really hard is not having somewhere to live and Not knowing how you’re going to die the next aka diapers. So that’s what’s really hard. Whatever I’m going through today is not hard, get back up, do it again.
David Ralph [31:09]
Great, great sort of coach or does that make you somebody that really has lost touch of, you know, my wife, I won’t go into it, but my wife had a very hard life. And so literally any storey that somebody throws at her about how rubbish their life is, she could always out do it big time, right? So she finds it very hard to find the sympathy for people because she’s just breezed for herself.
Sylvie McCracken [31:35]
Well, you know, so I would say I’m definitely a tough love coach. So the ones that come to me they know that they can absolutely bring me their storey. And I am going to be a tough love coach. But I do have sympathy because I think that we each have our own barometer. And I think we each have our own, you know, like, I mean, even even today, it’s like when I have my quote unquote first first world problems. They are my problems of today, right? And I know for lot of my clients, you know, when they’re doing the I hate my $400,000 a year day job, I mean, I get it. And also it’s what most people would kill for right? And so it is one of these things where I kind of will lovingly but tough lovingly coach them back into their possibility and into their choices and into the fact that they can absolutely, you know, they can absolutely go ahead and make the jump, and are they ready to make the jump and maybe make the jumping, make 100 K to start and give up that lifestyle that they have for 400 K, but be free or whatever it may be right and really just talk them through that. And then of course, I’ve got coaches on my team that are so much smarter than I am with things like mindset and performance, and all of that jazz that helped them do breakthroughs on that end that have to do with childhood trauma. I’ve got a lot of incredible clients that are incredibly successful today but come from a background of, you know, again, just very, very difficult life and with some of those things unresolved. They’re playing out now in their 40s and 15 years and in their careers, if that makes sense,
David Ralph [33:03]
it makes total sense. So so where where are all your? I know you say they’re scattered around the world because not on the site. Normally if I go to a site, people are listed as a team and they say this person here that person on your bed, but not so
Sylvie McCracken [33:18]
I know. Yeah, they’re low income, you know?
David Ralph [33:20]
Yeah, we said dripping in so that people really know what they’re going to get when they sign up with you.
Sylvie McCracken [33:26]
Yeah, well, you know, so a lot of it is me. So a lot of it right now in terms of the coaching is run by me and we have sort of an adjunct team that really helped us make it happen, but I am the primary coach on will definitely on our year long programme, and then on one of our eight week programmes, and then we have, man, where are the coaches? So a lot of our team is US based. So we’ve got let me think two in California, we’ve got one in Wisconsin, we’ve got one in Texas or designers in Wisconsin, one of our editorial coaches is in Wisconsin. is in Texas. We’ve got a coach in the UK we’ve got an assistant who’s been with us for ages in the Philippines, we’ve got a video editor that’s in Spain. Oh my goodness, I got to here locally in Ashland, Oregon, I like to have some local peeps as well. And then we have very, very part time contractors, we have people that we pull in as needed. So for example, our designers, we don’t have them on staff or anything like that. But when we’re going to create a workbook, we’ll bring them in. If we’re going to do a video thing, we’ll bring in a video. What’s it called a videographer and stuff like that. So it just depends, right? We have very, we have a pretty lean team. I mean, everyone is, you know, incredible at what they do. And I like to hire specialists versus generalists and other than admins that we have full time everyone is sort of part time and contractors. So when we run programmes, we have them and if we decide to close the programme, then there’s no need for the coaches for that particular skill. This is you know, in six years, this is kind of blown me away really because I think nowadays, there is no reason why somebody can get onto artwork, get onto any of these freelance sites, resource, test a few people out, and then say to them, Look, I’m not going to pay you. But when the work comes along, you do the work.
David Ralph [35:19]
I’ve got this myself, this is what I’m saying. And then I’ll take 20% of what you charge you keep the 80% and you know, job done, or whatever way you want to do it. You don’t actually have to pay these people. They’re actually using your experience your networking, your base of actually getting customers that they wouldn’t otherwise get. It seems amazing to me, but people haven’t grasped the fact that you can have a team but don’t actually have to pay them.
Sylvie McCracken [35:46]
Yeah, I mean, you know, and I, I’ve resisted the like agency model. So we don’t do any done for you. So I don’t do that. But you know, for the most part. Yeah, I mean, it’s something that when we have clients, we have work and more work and when we have clients, we have less work and so forth and so on. And the only thing is, you know, I like you know, I front load things in terms of will have things designed. And so anytime we start something new, we do usually kind of pay the designers and all that Jobs before we’ve sold, it depends on the product, and then some products we sell first, and then we created after we’ve sold it. So it just depends.
David Ralph [36:21]
And how do you do that? Because that that is one of those things that I suppose in many ways, is something that where confidence comes where at the beginning, I think we all make that really stupid decision of creating a product or creating a service, spend six months doing it, and then nobody wants it. Well, if you can find out that somebody actually wants it and then sell it to them, and bank go out and do it. That seems the you know, the obvious way of doing it, but I know that there’s a competence bridge you’ve got to cross to be able to say, I’m going to take some of these money even before I’ve got the thing.
Sylvie McCracken [36:56]
Yeah, I don’t know if it’s confidence. I think it might be courage. You know, I think the confidence comes after because it you know, it really is, I mean depends on the type of product but with our clients and you know, we’ve done it multiple times as well is we really outline, for example, if it’s a coaching programme will outline a coaching programme and we’ll sell it and say it starts two weeks from now. And now we’ve got two weeks to create the first week of content. And so, you know, I really like doing it in that way. Because that way, if the offer needs to shift a little bit, or if the client ends up shifting, if the client we thought we were going to sell it to a more newbie type client and the client we end up selling it to is a little more advanced, okay, good to know, now we need to, you know, kind of shift what we were going to create, and it’s going to be a little bit more of an advanced content, we have a little bit of time to make that happen. And also, you know, so for me nowadays, for example, if I don’t sell if I’m going to create a new programme, let’s say, if I don’t sell however many spots it is that I want, let’s say it’s 10 spots, then I won’t create it, I would go ahead and refund let’s say we sold three instead of 10. I would refund them and say you know what, it’s not going to happen. And that’s that You know, unlike I mean, I wouldn’t recommend that to someone who’s just starting out, I would say go ahead and do it for three people. But for me now My time is too valuable too. If it really isn’t resonating that much with people, then I wouldn’t go forward with it.
David Ralph [38:12]
Well interests me as well is you’re a lovely looking lady. No doubt about that. You can certainly talk YLU not visibly on my podcasts and video, everything I’ve seen about you, is you behind the scenes, why are you not out there? You know, giving it that everybody else does.
Sylvie McCracken [38:34]
I you know, I think I’m just I mean, I like to joke that I’m too lazy. And it’s funny because my team and my whole family is like, there’s not a lazy bone in your body, but I call it too lazy just in that I’m kind of one of these people that is like, well, what’s the least that I have to do to get the results that I want? And then what else can be done by my team? So I’m very big on you know, how much can the team do and call me in when it’s absolutely necessary that it be me, but I don’t really want the silver I don’t really want you know to I don’t know work that hard do that much, you know?
David Ralph [39:06]
So So where’s your traffic? So spin Sylvia, how are you getting people to you
Sylvie McCracken [39:12]
so on depends on which business so on our health business on Hollywood homestead com our traffic is mostly organic, and affiliate base so our partners drive traffic to us as well. And then on the coaching business, our traffic was primarily grown through Facebook ads was probably where 80% of our traffic came through. And you know, there’s some organic traffic as well and referral traffic and social media traffic and then podcast, interviews and stuff like that. But for the most part, it was Facebook ads, and that was because we had kind of a profitable engine of, you know, our coaching programme and we knew how many dollars we needed to spend on Facebook ads to you know, get a certain amount of dollars on output. And so we just ran that as a machine and again, that was from laziness of if I don’t have to do it. thing other than put money into the machine then great
David Ralph [40:03]
because I love crunching the numbers before I do anything. And more often than not people come to me, we work together, and I have a chat with him and then I go behind the scenes and I start looking at potential traffic sources and stuff. And it blows my mind. Why people even though you’ve done it, I spending all their money on Facebook, where there’s so much easy traffic to get through organic through SEO. And that’s why I’m just saying to somebody last night if you’re only getting one customer but that customer is the perfect customer for you. And it’s easy to get Then why aren’t you going for them? And they were saying Yeah, but there’s only one I was saying Yeah, I know. I know the traffic is hardly bear is non existent. It’s like so low, you’re not even getting rating. But I know that that person is your ideal customer. Why you not targeting I still going for the bears 90,000 people a month looking at that person and I go, No, go for the two people a month. That’s you. I don’t customer.
Sylvie McCracken [41:10]
Right? Yeah. And I think you know, I mean, the I think the answer as far as Facebook ads versus SEO is simply speed. And so it’s just that it’s sort of speed and automation. And you know, SEO takes a minute to build. I mean, we’ve certainly done it on our health site. And with our coaching business, when I started my second business, I wanted it up and running as fast as humanly possible. And so that’s the answer there. So it’s not that we don’t do any content. But it’s just something that of course, I love diversifying. Of course you shouldn’t depend on one traffic source but as of right now, every time we’ve tried to beat Facebook in terms of effort or dollar spent for output we haven’t been able to yet so that’s just that you know,
David Ralph [41:51]
we don’t make it easy on Facebook today because you know, every time I go
Unknown Speaker [41:55]
there mind everything. Oh,
David Ralph [41:57]
yeah, every time I go and have a look at it is a different system. The one before and I think I can’t be bothered. You know, I knew how to do it two years ago now I’ve got no i
Sylvie McCracken [42:07]
do i know i do it as well. And then when I when I heard out someone to do the Facebook ads for me, because I started pretty much doing everything myself, whenever we start something new, I get in there and get my hands dirty first, and then I hand it off. And it’s been so long since I handed it off that every time I go in there now I’m like what kind of Greek is so I don’t know that I’d be able to successfully start and run my own campaigns today. I’d have to definitely do some re learning for sure.
David Ralph [42:30]
Yeah, I certainly wouldn’t. You know, I used to do Google ads. I used to do Facebook ads I used to do and it was quite common sense now. But now you look at it is a PhD? Yeah. I don’t know why. Why do you think that somebody you know that that’s their business model. Everything’s free, except for the advertising and the boosting a post. Why do you think they make it so difficult?
Sylvie McCracken [42:51]
You know, I don’t know. I mean, it’s funny because we had, you know, some issues with Facebook. I think it was it this year last year. I can’t remember now, but you know, where we were getting things disapproved. And this And we were trying to appeal and I was like we were spending at the time. Our the most we’ve ever spent is 30 $30,000 in a month, and at the time we might have even been we might have done 20,000 at that time, or I don’t remember, but it was a good amount of money and I thought, you know, how can we not expedite this? Because they would, it would it would shut it down. That would mean we were spending zero dollars and we were also having zero ads running and I was like, don’t they want my 20,000 but then of course know what they want is whatever Coca Cola is spending or Nike or what you know, I mean, our money is small potatoes so they’re not really focused on that they’re kind of what you know, they’ll get to us when they get to us but the reality is they’ve got such an you know, incredible client base spending so many oodles of money that you know, we really are nothing to write home about.
David Ralph [43:43]
And he still wears grey t shirts every single day. He
Sylvie McCracken [43:47]
I love it. Yeah, that’s exactly right. Yeah.
David Ralph [43:50]
Unless, unless he gets dragged into naughty boy territory and everything else. Yeah, great. Well, let’s play the words. But somebody who He did have his own outfit, and he wore the same outfit time and time again, it became what he was known for, as are these words, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [44:08]
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 leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [44:43]
So looking back, you’ve had so many different dots you’ve had so many ups and downs is it’s a movie it’s a movie ready to be made of your of your life. Is there any key one that really jumps out of you? But you think yeah, that really was when my mind life changed around.
Sylvie McCracken [45:02]
Oh man, I’m a key one might have been where I went, I jumped from one job to the next. And I was making I’ll never forget, I was making $46,000 a year. And my starting salary at the next job was 72,500. And I was 26 years old, I had no college degree, I had an eight year old and seven or eight year old and, you know, was sharing a room with her. And, and I remember making that jump and I saw I was I was so I was like, I was terrified to ask for that amount of money. But I did and I got a yes. And I was thrilled and ready to vomit at the same time. And what was really impactful about that moment, in addition to of course, I no longer needed to share a room with my daughter. This is in Los Angeles. I is how many people were shocked, you know, including very close family members of like, why would they pay you that money, you know, the implicit thing, the implied thing was, you’re not worth that money, whether it was because I didn’t have a college degree or whatever else. And that was one of the turning moments where I realised it was just me my fan club was, was a party of one and I needed to believe in myself. And I really needed to hold that vision and continue ploughing forward and some people weren’t going to come with me on the journey. And that was I just remember sitting and crying and crying and crying with that realisation, but it’s something that I mean, nowadays I’d be I’d be, you know, mad at a $72,000 months at the time, you know, people didn’t think I was worth 72 a year. So anyway, that was a very key turning point for me for sure.
David Ralph [46:40]
It’s been a big resonance. And I remember signing up my biggest client, and we’ve moved past that, but it was about 30 grand at the time. And I said to my mom, I said, you know, I’ve got this, this client signed me up at 30 grand and she said, How are you worth that much? Who’s going to pay that? fO fO fine. Thanks very much, ma’am. And also I went back in and I was really annoyed. But now I look at it. And I think No, that was just her reference. You know, she she couldn’t break free from her.
Sylvie McCracken [47:09]
Right, right, right. Yeah, that’s all they know. And a lot of a lot of times it’s well meaning people that want to keep you safe. And sometimes it’s just dysfunctional, you know, dysfunctional people, whatever it may be, but the bottom line is, at the end of the day, if you don’t believe in yourself, who the heck are you going to enrol in that belief? Right. So yeah,
David Ralph [47:24]
I agree. Totally. Well, let’s bring the show to an end. This is really one of those episodes, I think we could we could do three or four of and still keep going. But on this one, we’ve been on a journey and that’s to take you to the Sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Sylvie, what age would you like to speak to him? What advice would you give her? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme. And when it beats you up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Here we go. Living with the best. The show?
Sylvie McCracken [48:15]
Yeah, so I would speak to 18 year old 17 year old Sylvie and really let her know that despite the private school kicking her out despite being kicked out of her house, that you know, you are worthy and you everything will turn around and this is a key turning point. This is a turning point where you realise you are your biggest advocate and you are the person still in charge no matter what cards, lights, life deals, you you are in charge of how you play them. And there’s a lot of different ways that you can choose your own adventure and it can end incredibly. So that’s what I would say.
David Ralph [48:56]
Great stuff. So Sylvie wants the number one best way but how or Audience who’ve been listening can connect with you.
Sylvie McCracken [49:03]
Yeah, so I am Sylvia McCracken everywhere on social media and the website is Sylvie mccracken.com.
David Ralph [49:09]
We’ll have all the links in the show notes. So we thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. Please come back again when you’ve got 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. Sylvie, thank you so much.
Sylvie McCracken [49:25]
Thank you so much, David, for having me. It’s been a blast.
David Ralph [49:29]
So that is a lady that’s had ups and downs. She’s got hustle persistence, and she’s made it happen. And yeah, if you go over to our website, Sylvie mccracken.com, you can find it at Join Up Dots. There’s a bit of a storey bear. And yeah, many times looking at that she could have just stopped and said, this is where it is, but she’s decided to go but what she wanted. Not easy, of course, but little by little she’s made that happen. And now as you heard on the show, she’s in a position where She can decide what she wants to do each day. And she’s making a very nice living as well. I want the same for you. Until next time, thank you so much for listening. Anybody who needs my help in any shape or form, come across to the Join Up Dots. You can book a time to speak to me and we will make something happen. Until next time, we’ll see again by
Unknown Speaker [50:19]
Jesse and Join Up Dots. You heard the conversation. Now it’s time for you to start taking massive action. Create Your Future. Create your life easy only live. Will be back again real soon. Join Up Dots Join Up Dots Join Up Dots