Good People, Cool Things: Ways to Grow Your Small Business with Jessi Burg

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Good People, Cool Things: Ways to Grow Your Small Business with Jessi Burg
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It’s a good old fashioned podcast swap with Good People, Cool Things! I really enjoy this show, and the interview we have queued up for you is great.

This is a conversation with Jessi Burg, who started Outgrow Your Garage so she could answer the questions and develop the resources for small business owners that she wished she had when starting out as a business owner. Some of the top highlights include how to overcome common struggles for business owners, the benefits of online courses, and why she encourages an airing of grievances among employees. Be sure to stick around until the end for a good question and a corny joke!

In Build Something More, I give you a behind-the-scenes look on how this happened, and the future of the members-only part of this podcast (don’t worry. It’s not going away).

Show Notes


Transcript

Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by Ahrefs, an all in 0ne SEO toolset that gives you what you need to rank your website in Google and get tons of search traffic. And now you can use their Webmaster Tools for free. Ahrefs has been instrumental for me in increasing traffic to my sites. Over the holidays, I had the best quarter for affiliate income because it showed me my most popular pages and topics and I was able to optimize and update accordingly.

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Joe Casabona: Today’s episode is a little different. It’s a good old-fashioned feed swap that I’m doing with Joey Held, the host of Good People, Cool Things. And I’m really excited to bring you this show and this episode in particular that Joey has sent me, which is ways to grow your small business with Jessi Burg.

It’s a really fun interview where Jessi Burg started a company called Outgrow Your Garage, so she could answer the questions and develop the resources for small business owners that she wished she had when she was starting out as a business owner.

So she talks about how to overcome common struggles for business owners, the benefits of online courses. I really love her perspective on how she presents her online courses, by the way, so definitely listen for that, and why she encourages an airing of grievances among employees.

What makes Jessi really unique, I think, is that she had a trade business essentially. So she worked a physical and a digital business. She did outdoor work for one of her businesses. And it’s really cool to kind of see her perspective on both. I am a computer person through and through. I always joke that if computers didn’t exist I wouldn’t be able to make any money. But this is a really cool episode.

So again, it’s called Ways to Grow Your Small Business with Jessi Burg. From Good People, Cool Things. Definitely check them out. There’s a link in the description. It’s all over in howibuilt.it/294. So subscribe. I think you’re really going to enjoy this episode.

And thanks to Joey for doing this podcast swap with me. All right, enjoy.

[00:02:59] <music>

Joey Held: Good People, Cool Things is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians, and other creatives. Get inspired by their stories to do your own cool thing. And here’s your host Joey Held.

Welcome to Good People, Cool Things. Today’s guest is Jessi Burg, the founder of Outgrow Your Garage. And Jessi had a small business, realized, “Wait a minute, there’s not that many helpful resources out there for small business owners, I’m being asked a lot of stuff and I’m like, ‘What? Why is there nothing out here for it?'”

So she went ahead and created Outgrow Your Garage, which offers courses and resources in easily digestible formats, which is always a delightful thing to see, for small business owners. So if you own your business or are aspiring to own a business, and you’re like, “I have no idea where to get started,” or “I don’t know what to do about hiring people,” or “I don’t know anything about financials,” Outgrow Your Garage has resources for all of those things in nice animated videos, in transcripts, in audio, whatever your preference. You’re getting all the goods. And that is some good things, haha, just like the name of the show kind of, the twist because it’s good people and cool things you know.

If you’d like to get in touch with the show, you can reach out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @gpctpodcast. Even better, head on over to goodpeoplecoolthings.com, sign up for the newsletter which gets sent to your inbox and it has all kinds of goodies, from resources, tips, interviews that share all of this wonderful content for you so you can make your business brand grow even better than it ever has. So nestle in and lean back, enjoy this conversation with Jessi.

[00:04:47] <music>

Joey Held: To kick it off, can you give us your name, an elevator pitch, and also the type of elevator that we’re running on.

Jessi Burg: My name is Jessi Burg, founder of Outgrow Your Garage. We do accessible business development for people who don’t have time or funding to do a lot of business development in the world because they’re busy actually running their business.

And let’s see. What kind of elevator? I always like those old birdcage elevators, like when you go into the old buildings in like San Francisco from the early 1900s and you got to close the cage and then close the other door, and then the elevator moves up, that was something real fun. Nice art deco elevator.

Joey Held: Definitely want to talk about Outgrow Your Garage, but you kind of got the idea for that after starting another business. So how did you get into business in the first place?

Jessi Burg: So I have spent my entire life working in trades, services, and seasonal businesses. I’ve worked at summer camps, I’ve worked in environmental education, and I’ve worked in farming. My dad was a mechanic, my mom worked in printing. My first job was loading a Stitcher in a print shop at 12. Which, fun fact, definitely violates child labor laws. But definitely, luckily, child labor laws don’t apply to family-owned businesses.

Joey Held: Oh, wonderful.

Jessi Burg: So no harm, no foul. So I’ve really spent my whole life working in these businesses that just don’t fit neatly into what we think of as business, right? They’re not office based, they’re not corporate. In order to grow them, you have to scale by hiring people, right?

Even at a factory, you still need people to run those machines, right? So you have to hire more people who are able to run machines. And when I started work 25 years ago, computers running machines were not as common as they are now. So eventually, I wanted a savings account, right, I hit my 30s and I went, you know, “You know what’d be neat? Savings accounts. That would be cool.”

And then the seasonal world at the time I was working in farming and landscaping, you really only make money by owning the business. Otherwise, you’re changing jobs every year, you’re looking for new jobs all the time. But the people who own the business get to save for that offseason, they get to set the prices, they determine how much they can pull off the top.

And so I wanted to start my own business, I wanted to be able to treat my seasonal staff better than I had been treated at a lot of the jobs that I had, and I wanted to really do some good in the world of business.

What I found was that sustainable landscaping was a lot of fun. I loved being my own boss. I really loved training staff. I really loved working with clients. I did not love how few resources there were for people building that kind of business.

So I would show up to… I’m from Colorado, and we passed a really cool PTO law couple years ago that said everybody’s entitled to PTO, every company has to provide PTO for their employees, whether they are part-time, whether they’re full-time, whether they’re seasonal. Here’s some funding and resources for employers to make that work.

I showed up to every single learning session and said, “But how will this apply to seasonal employees?” What happens it says, you know, you have to kick their PTO back in if they come back within a year. But what happens if part of your regular workflow is laying people off and then hiring them back two months later. And they went “Well, there’s not really enough seasonal employers in Colorado for us to worry about this.” “We’re literally known for our ski industry, guys. Come on.”

So that type of experience… I kept having that kind of experience and I kept having that kind of experience. And so what ended up happening is I had a lot of opinions publicly and people started asking me how I was running my business and how I was working around those issues and I was developing reputation for being a good business owner. I had zero staff turnover in my landscaping company, which if you know anything about seasonal businesses, turnover in seasonal businesses is a huge, huge issue. And I just had none.

So I was starting to teach people about business. And then some of you may remember in 2020, 2021, we have this big global pandemic that affected lots of things. And in general-

Joey Held: I can recall, yeah.

Jessi Burg: Right, yeah. You know, we kind of remember these things. I always think we’re gonna listen to these podcasts in like two years and be like, “I’ve totally blocked that out of my head.” What happened is the cost of living in Denver skyrocketed, just astronomically skyrocketed in 2021. And at the end of 2021, every single person on my staff was leaving the state because they literally could not afford to live in Colorado anymore. The cost of living had gotten so bad.

And I went, “Well, that’s a really clear sign to transition out of this business and into doing this other business, Outgrow Your Garage, that’s focused more on that advocacy and how do you build a business that doesn’t fit neatly into these other styles of business.

So that was the path to how I got here. Now it’s been about a year since I made the shift and I love it. I never thought I would really like running an online business, but as it turns out, it’s great.

Joey Held: Again, we’re going to talk about the pandemic a little bit. I think that’s something that people have kind of looked into more is like, Hey, I’m stuck at home but I would be interested in being my old boss and running a business. Like the foray into online and digital I think is an appealing prospect for a lot of people.

But having done both physical work versus an online business, what have you learned from, I guess both of them that you can apply to the other? And has there been something that’s kind of surprised you along the way?

Jessi Burg: I mean, they are a lot the same, and then there are a lot different between the two styles. One of the things that I found a lot with the specific type of physical business I ran, which was landscaping is there were all the things nobody ever talks about that goes running into a service-based business.

So you have to pay for not just the amount of time that somebody is providing that service, but you have to pay for the gas to get there and the time it takes them to go to estimates, and all the estimates that didn’t turn out into actual sales and the back end office people who never do anything billable, but are absolutely vital to running the business.

Because when you call a plumber, you expect somebody to answer the phone and say, “This is when the plumber is going to show up.” So you need somebody to do that. But that person does not ever come out and fix your plumbing. So they’re straight deadweight in terms of finances. So you have to pay for all of those pieces that happen.

And when we think about a service, we don’t think about all those back end things. And when we talk about how to build a business, we talk about overhead, but we don’t talk about variable overhead. The cost of gas is skyrocketing right now, which affects all of your construction projects, it affects all of your house cleaners, it affects all of your roofers, it affects all of these different mobile businesses, it affects your food trucks.

And so figuring out those pieces was huge in my personal business journey on the physical side. But then on the online side, there were all these other pieces I had to learn about that weren’t in my scope of vision. I know more about back end tech solutions and API’s and things about how different programs integrate with each other, and how to evaluate that and look at that, which are things I never needed to know as a landscaper.

But that now because I have that experience as a landscaper, I can look at it and go, “This will work for somebody who’s operating their business from their phone. This will work for somebody who’s primarily working in an area that doesn’t have cell reception. This company has a solution for how do you take credit cards when most of your clients do not exist in a place with cell reception or you can’t guarantee that.”

Colorado, we have lots of mountains, we have lousy cell service in a lot of places. And that’s true in a lot of rural areas, too. And so how do you solve some of these issues? And knowing exactly what those are has been really beneficial in working in the online world.

The flipside to that is I can still work outside. So I have my nice patio table and patio chair and I can still go sit and work outside so I can still get that hit.

Joey Held: Is there a certain area that you found most business owners gravitate towards needing help with? Or is it kind of the whole shebang of business?

Jessi Burg: I think for a lot of people it is that whole shebang. A lot of people who go into business, they know a lot about the thing that they do and almost nothing about running a business. And so commonplaces of struggle that everybody knows about are like finances. Everybody knows you don’t know anything about taxes and finances, and you should hire professional about it.

But a lot of people don’t think about that piece of you have to at some point delegate a part of your business to another person. And that delegation piece I think is the most stressful for a lot of business owners, partly because we’re not really trained in how to do it well. We really exist within this culture where you’re supposed to be good at everything, even though everybody knows you’re not.

So figure out what you’re good at and what you’re not, particularly when you have more time than money. But also figuring out that piece of “how do I just let this go?” You have to decide that you’re going to help somebody else. And however they do it, it’s still gonna get done and it’s going to be okay, even if it’s not how you would do it.

And I think that’s the least talked about and single most stressful part for anybody who’s just starting to grow a business or anybody who’s a first-time manager. It’s kind of all in that same ballpark of “but how do I let somebody else do it and trust that they’re going to do it right?”

Joey Held: And how do they?

Jessi Burg: Write it down? Write down how you do it. This is the huge thing that I think a lot of people miss is they go, Why can’t I do it? Why can’t this person do this? How do I do this? How did I do this last time?” Write down your processes and procedures, even if it’s just you and your business, write down what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

Twofold. One, if you don’t do it that often, you’ll remember how you did it the last time so you don’t have to spend that time figuring it out. But also because then when you do want to hire somebody, whether that’s a virtual assistant, whether that’s an actual staff office person, whether that’s a person to drive trucks, whatever that first hire is, usually it’s either someone who’s going to bring in billable hours and work for money producing tasks, or it’s going to be somebody to help answer the phone. That’s almost always one of those two is what gets brought in.

And so if you have those processes and procedures written down, then you skip that entire thing that’s happened to every single person on the first day where you go, “Oh, hi, welcome to your first day,” and they go, “What do I do now?” And they go, “Here’s some paperwork. My lawyer says you have to fill it out.” Like, awesome, great. That’s not an onboarding process.

So have all that stuff together so then you just say, “Oh, yeah, I need you to do this today. Here’s the process for it. Let me know if you’re frustrated.” And that makes your whole process easier.

Joey Held: I can’t remember what the stat was that I just read that was something of like a bad onboarding process is the reason why some absurd number… like close to like half of workers leave a company is because they had a bad onboarding experience.

Jessi Burg: Oh, yeah.

Joey Held: And it really is baffling to hear some of the tale. Like I don’t think I’ve ever worked at a company that was like truly horrible about it, but I have heard stories from people where I’m just like, “Oh, yeah, I would also have a terrible taste in my mouth after that too.”

Jessi Burg: And one of the things that happens, mostly in bigger companies, but that is easy to let happen in some smaller companies, particularly startups where you’re working with a recruiter, is the person doing the hiring, and the person who is managing that new hire don’t agree on what the job description is.

So the hiring person hires for X job, and then the person shows up, and they’re really doing Y job. That leaves a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths. I personally have left jobs for that reason, where I’m like, “You hired me to do this and then all these things that you didn’t hire me to do now you’re expecting me to do. And that’s not the job I signed up for. So have a nice day, I’m done here.” And I think a lot of people do that.

I have looked at large companies and gone, the number one key to staff retention is make sure your onsite manager and your field manager agree with the hiring manager about what the job you’re hiring for is. And it was a whole lot of like, “Oh, we better write that down. That’s a great idea.” And I’m like, That should not be like the key thing you’re taking away here. That should be like a starting point we’re all working from is everybody agree on the job description. But that’s the thing people were taking away.

And so I think it’s important to remember what the job description actually is when you hire because that’s what the person signed up for.

Joey Held: We don’t want any crazy surprises for these people.

Jessi Burg: Right? No one likes that.

Joey Held: Outgrow Your Garage has courses and workshops for business owners. And I think I like to say that the… I really don’t like to say this, but I’m gonna say it. Like I say this often. But since the pandemic started, there’s definitely been an influx of online courses because, you know, there’s something you can record from home. You don’t need crazy amounts of people coming to like a live event or anything like that.

And I think generally people like doing things that they can do from home. They don’t have to go anywhere for a course. So the issue with that is that the sheer volume of it, you’re gonna get a lot of duds. I’ve attended webinars or sign up for courses where it was like kind of similar to a job listing like that, where it’s like, this wasn’t exactly how you advertised it. Maybe you touched on it a little bit but not anything like that.

So kind of a two-part question for you. What format do you kind of have your courses in in a way that is engaging for people? And how do you continue to develop content that’s actually helpful for people and not just like smoke and mirrors?

Jessi Burg: So as background here, I spent about a decade of my life teaching middle schoolers ecology outside. And these were like three middle schoolers who were coming into the backcountry and going, “Oh, man, I’ve never seen this many trees before.”

A lot of people have that experience. You hit sixth or seventh grade, your school takes all the fifth graders, sixth graders, seventh graders, whatever, out for a week, and you spend three to five days at some outdoor education school and you do ecology and you play around outside and you learn about science. So I taught in that world for a long time.

And I assume that everybody who runs a business has about the same level of attention span as those middle schoolers who are easily distracted by every bird that flew by. And I think that’s a really key thing when you’re thinking about how to teach to adults, particularly in this online world where we spend a lot of time on our phones, we spend a lot of time on the computer, we just spend a lot of time kind of staring at screens. Even if you’re not inclined to it, you still end up doing it.

And so all of our courses, they are online, but they’re broken down into these little modules. So there’s not a single video that’s more than 10 minutes. They are also closed captioned or not closed captioned. They are animated. So they have some movement and stuff happening. They’re also available as audio files and transcripts.

So it doesn’t really matter how you learn. If you want to listen to the courses in little 5 or 10-minute pieces while you’re cooking dinner, great. It functions like a podcast. If you want to read it while you’re feeding your kids dinner, great. There’s a transcript for that.

If you want to watch the video while your spouse is sleeping and you are laying in bed, and you’re still awake because your brain won’t turn off because you have 37 things going on in the business and so you can’t sleep yet, great, you can watch the night without sound. So it’s really set up for whatever your learning style is, wherever that time is. That’s one piece of it.

And then the other one is everything has activities with it. So you’ll watch your little 10-minute content video, and then we have these three sample businesses. There are landscaper, a moving company and house painting company. And each of those three businesses operates on a different level of technological utilization, let’s say.

So one of them is, what’s the technology? I use none of it, I take cash, I take check, I talk to people on text message, sometimes Facebook Messenger, all the way to we do everything electronically. And so we really look at how do you implement these ideas, whatever that idea is to your business? And how does the business that is like yours do that?

And then there’s an actual activity that says, “Okay, here’s the content. Here’s a list of questions for you about your business. This is how you apply the content. And so it really sets up that idea, example application. And you go through that process four or five times in a given course depending on what that course is on for whatever the topic is.

So the hiring course goes from, what how do I hire when I don’t know what I need? What’s even the list of tasks and things that happen to my business? All the way through how much does it cost to hire? How do I read a job description? Where do I post it? You know, so you have all these pieces. So you end up with an action plan about that topic at the end. And you never had to spend more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time doing it?

And then the other piece to answer that question about, I don’t want to buy something if I don’t know what it is, great. We make the interest all of our courses free. So you can go into any course and you watch the little introductory video. And then part of that introductory video has a summary of every single individual module. So it says, “This is what you’re going to do, and this is what it’s about, and this is the activity.” And so you have a really clear idea of what it’s going to be.

So if you’re really interested in staff training and onboarding, and you look at our hiring course and you see it’s mostly about what do I need and how to write job description. You’re gonna look at that and go, “Oh, that’s not what I need. I probably need this other course over here that’s called staff training and onboarding.”

So, you know, so they’re really clear in terms of that. I never want somebody to purchase something and be like, “No, that wasn’t what I expected.” I want them to know exactly what they’re getting. And then we also do co-working sessions. Sometimes we call them co-working, sometimes we call them Outgrow Your Garage office hours.

And those happen twice a week. And those are free. So people can always drop in and ask questions about our courses and say, “Hey, here’s my business, here’s how it is, do you have a course that meets my needs?” And we can say, “Yes, we do,” or “No, we don’t but here’s the release date for that,” or “No, but that’s a great idea” and we’ll add it to the list. And so we’re really on top of that. And so that information is all on our website too.

Joey Held: What’s one of the most unusual questions you’ve gotten in an office hour?

Jessi Burg: Unusual. Not unusual, I would say. But earlier today, we were talking about grants and how to find a grant for your small business to generate some of that startup capital, because as small business owners, a lot of us don’t have rich uncles to conveniently come in and give us startup funding. Some of us do, but a lot of us don’t.

And so figuring out how to do that early stage funding was a big one. So that’s one. Grants wasn’t a common question. And sometimes there are and sometimes there aren’t. That was one.

But then another one was about like how to use TikTok. And somebody asked me the other day about like, “Well, how do I use TikTok? I hear it’s owned by the Chinese government. Can I safely use TikTok to my business?” And I was like, “I don’t know enough about TikTok to answer that question. Does your client base use TikTok?” That’s your first question. But I don’t know anything about the technological, digital safety of your business on TikTok. I just know that a lot of people use it and if that’s where your clients are, then you can try that.”

Joey Held: I think the Chinese government, like, rumor myth, I think has largely been debunked. But that was good enough to scare me off of TikTok back in the early… I was like thinking of downloading it and then I read about that and I was just kind of like, “I don’t know.” And then people will send me TikTok videos and most of the time I’m kind of like, “I don’t know if I wanted to watch that. I feel like I just wasted a few minutes of life.”

But then I’ve also had several people tell me I would thrive on TikTok. They’re like, “I’ve seen what you post on Instagram once a month. You’d probably do pretty well on TikTok.” I was like, “I really don’t want to start another thing.”

Jessi Burg: Right. That’s kind of how I feel about TikTok. I’m a little bit like, “Oh, the kids these days use the TikTok. I couldn’t remember what it was called earlier and I called it a TicTac. And I was like, “That’s not right but that’s funny.”

Joey Held: TicTac is pretty good.

Jessi Burg: I’m just gonna call it that candy app, you know, the TicTac. And that would really drive my 17-year-old niece nuts.

Joey Held: Nothing drives kids angrier misquoting actual products.

Jessi Burg: Exactly.

Joey Held: It’s the greatest. It’s the greatest. On a candy-related topic… This is very off-base. But the last time I took a flight, I saw someone playing Candy Crush and I was very… Apparently, it’s still a pretty big market. And I thought it really dissipated back in its heyday of whatever that was. 2018, maybe 2017.

Jessi Burg: It might have even been earlier than that. I started the landscaping business in 2017 and I feel like it might have been done before that. Or maybe that’s when I ran out of time to play computer games because I started a business, and that was all I did for many years.

Joey Held: Another question I always like to ask is a question you wish you were asked more frequently? I say because it’s less work for me, because you’re providing the questions, which is always good. But how can service-based businesses meet the needs of employees who want flexible schedules and remote work options?

Jessi Burg: This is a question that comes up all the time, right, where somebody says, Okay, people really want to work for smaller companies, or they really want to try working outside, or they really want to work for a trade service, because they want to work with our hands but they also want to be able to work remotely, and they want to be able to have these flexible schedules.

And I think it’s really two different questions that are being asked there. One, is how do I let people work remotely? And the answer is, your admin people can. You know, there’s not necessarily any reason your admin people can’t work from home.

Maybe you have a co-working space that they can come and work in if they need, you know, something that’s not their house. Plenty of people have kids and pets and spouses and construction and apartments and all kinds of reasons they have no desire in life to actually work from home but maybe they want to go work at a co-working space. And that could be a lot less expensive than having an actual office space.

So these creative solutions around remote work of: does everybody in your office actually need to come in? Can your warehouse staff do database or emailing or data entry or whatever from home? If you have an all-staff meeting, can you do that virtually? And sometimes that makes more sense.

Where we used to have our landscaping meetings, we would do our all staff meeting every other Monday at seven o’clock in the morning. And we always did it virtually because it seems dumb for somebody to drive all the way to the warehouse where we kept our stuff from one side of town and then go all the way back to that side of town to go to the job site. So we don’t want to make people do that driving. We don’t have to.

In terms of those flexible schedules, you have this idea that everybody has to be working on the same schedule. But that’s really not true. So you can have somebody who starts at 5 a.m. and works till 1:00, and then somebody else who starts at noon and works till 7:00. And they can kind of shift that schedule a little bit to go, “Okay, that’ll work.”

And you actually get more hours of work done in a day while you’re offsetting your schedule. And so you can look at solutions like that. You can look at: do you want to have some carve-out spaces for timing for people to drop off kids in childcare? That’s almost always why people want those flexible schedules is they want to be able to handle childcare.

And so with that childcare option, what is the school time that your people need? Talk to your staff, find out what they need. And if you ask the staff and say, “Hey, what do you need? I would really like to be able to offer this. I don’t know how,” eventually they’ll have some good ideas because they’ve spent a lot more time thinking about that than you have.

And that I think is the thing we miss a lot is we think we as business owners, we as bosses, we as managers, we as leaders need to have all the answers. But if your staff have a problem, your staff probably also has an idea of how to fix it.

Joey Held: That’s how a lot of the best ideas are born anyway, right?

Jessi Burg: Yeah.

Joey Held: Where you see an issue and you’re like, “Wait a minute, this could be better.”

Jessi Burg: Yeah. One of my favorite things I have ever done at a company that I instituted with the landscaping company is in October of every year we sat down, sometimes virtually, sometimes in-person, it kind of depended on scheduling, and we did a seasonal airing of the grievances.

And that’s exactly what it was. We wrote down every single problem that anybody could think of and everything they wanted to change. And there was no trying to solve it. There was no judgment. There was no anything. I facilitated it and I did not contribute at all, specifically to preclude the idea that I’m going to talk anybody out of anything. All I did was scribe and write it down.

And that gave me a state of the union of my company. I knew exactly what people were dissatisfied with that I wanted to work on for next year. Everybody felt like their voices were heard. So nobody was sitting on anything and grumbling about it and going, “There’s this problem and Jessi is not addressing it.” Right?

So they always have this. So you have this open line of communication. And that really contributed to that staff retention piece. I kept my leadership staff year over a year. And that’s also pretty uncommon for staff that you’re laying off all the time.

Joey Held: Was there something in the airing of grievances that totally took you off guard, you were like, “I was not expecting that at all”?

Jessi Burg: Not super often. I can’t think of any instances across the top of my head. But usually I talked to my staff a lot, and I was on job sites fairly often. So I usually knew what the problems were or I was… sometimes I knew I was the cause of them.

I definitely tried not to be the manager to… My staff was always really competent. So I tried not to be the manager who gets in their staff’s way too much. But I have a pretty wicked ADHD so I definitely sometimes think that I have told my staff something and I did not, in fact, actually say it out loud to them. And it turns out that thinking I said it and actually saying it are two different pieces. And my staff did not always appreciate if it stayed in my head.

So sometimes that would come up. They’d be like, “We need you to be better at the communication.” And so new people were always like really hesitant to say that and my staff who have been with me for a long time will be like, “Jessi, stop being dumb. Use your words.” I’d be like, “Thank you. I will work on that.”

Joey Held: I’ve just encountered something similar where person just thought they had said something. I think that’s good. That’s a good skill to always be honing on really, is saying words instead of fully thinking in my mind.

Jessi Burg: Communication is real. I hear people like it. You know, we can all be better at it.

Joey Held: All right, well Jessi, you’re almost off the hook here. We’re gonna take a little bit of a left turn here for your top three, which is your top three bands to see live.

Jessi Burg: Oh, man. So I really love live music and I really love live music that’s a proper experience. For context, I grew up in the Ska punk resurgence of the late 90s and early aughts. So all of my early concert experiences were like full of horns and bopping around. And that is what I think a good concert is.

And so bands that I really love live are… currently touring bands I really love live are Mustard Plug. Puts on a great show as a newer Ska punk band. Sometimes they tour with Reel Big Fish which I have seen Reel Big Fish a pile of times. I love it every time. Other bands I really like live this Sturgill Simpson. Puts on a spectacular, spectacular live experience.

And then my favorite surprising bands that I like live is The Decemberists, who I did not like until I went to their first show. Somebody invited it to me back when I was living in Philly a million years ago. And they said, “Hey, I have this extra ticket. Do you want to go see this band?” And I was like, “Yeah, their album is okay, but I’m not doing anything. I guess so.” But they’re awesome live. And so that was a really big surprise. So yeah, those are kind of my top ones or ones I can pop around to are always like boppin-

Joey Held: Love a good bop. You might appreciate this as well. In college, I took a public speaking course, that was a required course we had to take. And one of the speeches we had to give was a persuasive speech of some kind. And mine was why you should go see Reel Big Fish in concert, because I had recently seen them and I was like, “Oh, this was really good.”

And everyone else in the class that was there would like take notes and give you kind of like an overview of how you did. And the girl in the class who was like the smartest by far and just like very good at everything she did, said, “I’m convinced. Where can I buy tickets?” And I said, “Boom. That’s a good persuasive speech.”

Jessi Burg: Right? Yeah. And they are great live. I recommend everybody go and see them because there’s so much fun.

Joey Held: Yes. Second it. Second it. Right. Well, Jessi, if people want to learn more about you, about Outgrow Your Garage, see some of these videos in action? Where can they find you?

Jessi Burg: So the easiest way, of course, is our website, which is http://www.outgrowyourgarage.com. We’re also on Facebook and we’re on LinkedIn. I personally am on LinkedIn. I’m fake on Facebook. I’m sort of there. But mostly I just promote my own stuff on Facebook but my LinkedIn has actual content. And yeah, those are the main ways.

If you sign up for our mailing list, you get fun and exciting emails every Monday that are just the next four co-working/office hours, our most recent blog entry and then usually one other thing. They are specifically designed to be skimmable in less than 15 seconds, and they only come on Mondays.

Joey Held: Love a good skimmable. That’s one of the promises I make with the newsletter for this podcast as well. I’m like, “We’re not gonna give you 3,000 emails every day.”

Jessi Burg: Yeah. I give you one every Monday, you can skim it. It’s easy-peasy.

Joey Held: Love it. Well, Jessi, thank you so much for taking the time to chat. This was fantastic and excited to check out… I poked around a little bit but I’m excited to check out some more videos.

Jessi Burg: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to have found somebody I can talk a little Punk rock.

Joey Held: Yes.

Jessi Burg: Always a good plan.

Joey Held: When you reached out you dropped some jokes. So you know that we have to end with a corny joke as we always do. And you’re welcome to share one of yours as well. But I’ve got one, so you don’t have to be put on the spot for corny jokiness here.

Jessi Burg: We can swap corny jokes. My actual favorite joke is, what’s red and smells like blue paint? Red paint.

Joey Held: Love it.

Jessi Burg: That is mine. Now I want to hear one. You have to tell one back now.

Joey Held: Well, I tried to make it business-themed as well. Why was the hot air balloon business doing so poorly?

Jessi Burg: Why?

Joey Held: It just couldn’t take off.

Jessi Burg: I like it.

Joey Held: Good People, Cool Things is produced in Austin, Texas. If you’re a fan of this episode, go ahead and hit that follow button. That helps more people hear the show. You can send me a message at Joey@goodpeoplecoolthings.com. Thank you to all of the guests who have been on Good People, Cool Things. Check out all the old episodes via goodpeoplecoolthings.com. As always, thank you for listening, and have a wonderful day.

[00:36:42] <music>

Joe Casabona: All right, I really hope you enjoyed that. Once again, the show notes, which will be pretty light, but there will be a link to the Good People, Cool Things website over at howibuilt.it/294.

In the members-only portion of this episode, I’m going to talk about two things: how I put this podcast swap together and why you didn’t hear any ads. I guess that would be one a and b. And then the future of this membership a little bit more as I flesh out the details.

So if you’re interested in that, you can head over to howibuilt.it/pro and sign up for 50 bucks a year. That is less than five bucks a month. But thanks so much for listening to this feed swap episode of How I Built It, which was really Good People, Cool Things. Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, which you heard at the beginning, Ahrefs. And until next time, get out there and build something.

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