Stacey Brown Randall is a first-time author whose new book hits the market October 16, 2018. Stacey is an expert on generating business referrals and has helped clients across the world grow business simply by learning how to generate referrals but never asking for them. Prior to the launch of her book, I got a chance to chat with her. I hope you’ll enjoy this interview as much as I did!
Why did you write your book?
I think access to information is one of the greatest privileges of our lives. And as an entrepreneur who wants to help people, I believe it’s an honor to provide that information to help. Publishing a book is one avenue to get information into the hands of as many solopreneurs and small business owners as possible.
And I’m the daughter of an author and my father and I were highly competitive. He’s published 20+ books, so I at least had to publish one! I just needed to find the topic I was passionate enough about to sit down and write 30,000 words.
What is your favorite part about your business?
I think my favorite part is knowing that I am helping people all over the world. It’s such a cool and huge and awesome responsibility. To know that people, not just in the US, but in the UK / New Zealand / Australia / Canada find value from what I have to offer. It’s cool knowing that the circle I have the privilege to influence is bigger than just the US.
The other thing I love is that I don’t actually tire of talking about this topic.
What was the best part of writing the book?
Writing a book is a labor of love. But it’s hard as sh*t. So, I found that my environment is important to encourage me to dive in and push through even when it was hard. The first seven chapters were written on a porch at my favorite bed and breakfast in Asheville, where I was blessed enough to sneak away from my entire family for a week to write. The rest of my book was written in my favorite neighborhood Starbucks.
What do you most want people to know when they finish the book?
I want people to feel encouraged, inspired, and motivated that they can run a successful business and do it in a way that is authentic to them. That you can debunk conventional advice when it doesn’t serve you and still be successful. In this case, debunking the conventional advice about how to generate referrals, which is to ask for referrals. I discovered a methodology, a process for how to generate referrals WITHOUT asking and hundreds and hundreds of my clients are proof that it is possible.
And I want them to believe – in their souls - they deserve referrals but to be very aware that they are never owed them. So be prepared to do some work to receive them without asking.
How did you keep going when your first business failed?
I think in beginning, I created a narrative that made me feel better about reality. And that narrative was that I had a great opportunity to join this company and was stepping away from my business at the time.
There was no truth in that narrative.
It was the story I spun so I could look someone in the eye and tell them why I left my business and went and took a job. I think it was a necessary defense mechanism at the time. Two years later, after I started my second business and finally had the courage to tell the story of my business failure, I realized the reaction I received wasn’t one of pity. But one of strength and curiosity to know how to avoid the same fate I had. It made me a better business owner, business coach, and supporter of others trying not to end up where I did.
My failure, though I couldn’t see it at the time, was single handedly the best thing that ever happened to me (well except for marrying my husband and having my kids). Which is how we typically look at bad things in hindsight. It sucks going through it, but when you come out at the other end, you see its purpose. It’s crazy to say this, but I truly believe my business failure is one of my greatest accomplishments because I was willing to learn from it. And then share that knowledge with others – freely and openly without worrying about what other people think of me.
You are a mom, wife, and business owner? Any tips for balancing life?
I choose to be a wife, mom, and a business owner which means I want all of those things in my life. So, I have to figure out how to make each a priority when they need to be. Call it balance. Call it engagement. Call it attention. Whatever… at the heart of it, it is an intentional choice that I make every day to show up in each of those three areas of my life. Some days I’m on fire in all three areas. And some days I should just go back to bed.
I find that creating permanent boundaries, and getting really clear on my daily expectations, help me be the wife, mom, and business owner I need to be. And because I am a business owner I get to set my schedule. When home needs more time, I can give it. When work needs more time, I can give it.
I have specific routine tasks I do every day. There is lots of scientific research about the importance of daily routines, rituals. For example, I do a load of laundry every morning when I wake and as part of my routine it starts my day with a sense of accomplishment. (Don’t you judge my sense of accomplishments!) And it keeps me from being grumpy about doing laundry all day on a Saturday and Sunday.
Also, my family could not live without our command center in the kitchen. That is the catch-all of everything going on in our life from a schedule perspective, to-do list need, and not to be forgotten reminders.
I close every article with the fun game, What’s Your Favorite. So…
Restaurant: The Melting Pot (last time I mentioned them in print as my favorite, they sent me a gift card unexpectedly… fingers crossed!)
Sports team: Boston Red Sox, Carolina Panthers, USC Gamecocks
TV show: currently I am digging Billions
Movie: this changes too often to have a favorite
Book: any of my father’s, Steve Brown!
Place to work out: ummm… no comment
App: Starbuck mobile order app (I’m pathetic, I know)
New thing in CLT: When we add bikes lanes to all streets and covered areas at
every city bus stop, that’ll be my favorite new thing in CLT!
Old thing in CLT: My hubby (kidding Norm!)
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