August 18, 2022 / Mom &… Podcast Episode 84 / Guest: Julie Cole
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This week’s guest, Julie Cole, was a successful lawyer who left the law behind to start a business. A lot of people in her life thought she was crazy, but she and her co-founders (who also happen to be family members) knew that they had something special. If you’ve ever labeled a water bottle, school supply, or everything in a camp trunk, you probably know Mabel’s Labels.
We talked about making that career shift, even when everyone around her expressed doubt. Julie shared how she approaches conflict, why core values matter, and how she manages her time. One of our favorite things she says is, “Don’t let anything live rent-free in your head!”
More About Julie Cole:
Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She is an award-winning entrepreneur, best-selling author, and sought after speaker and emcee. Julie is no stranger to the media, having appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, HLN’s Raising America, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, CP24, among many others. Her articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, The Globe and Mail, Profit Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, and numerous websites.
When she’s not juggling her busy family and professional life, Julie is an engaged community member serving on boards and volunteering. She is passionate about women’s issues, mentoring young entrepreneurs, and social justice.
Topics From This Episode
- Missy is still complaining about the heat
- Mabel’s Labels
- Career pivots
- Career choices defined by motherhood
- Transitioning out of roles
- Adjusting to new roles
- Managing relationships, especially when they’re not working anymore
- Core Values
- Advocating for yourself
- Time management
- Starting a business
- Misery by Stephen King (see Look, Listen, Learn below)
- Susanne’s blackberry compote incident (see Look, Listen, Learn about Erin Pepler)
Connect with Julie:
- Buy the book! – Like a Mother: Birthing Businesses, Babies, and a Life Beyond Labels
Look, Listen, Learn
- Roomba (nobody tell Susanne how much they cost!)
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Watch This Episode On Our YouTube Channel
Transcript is auto-generated by a robot. Apologies in advance for misspellings or errors.
[00:00:00] Missy: Welcome to the mom and dot.dot podcast. I’m Missy Stevens, mom and dot.dot writer, foster child advocate. And this week, I’m just learning to accept that some of my plans aren’t making it through this summer. Are you tired of me complaining about the heat yet?
[00:00:41] Susanne: I, there’s a theme. There’s a theme.
[00:00:43] Missy: Yeah, there’s the theme.
[00:00:44] Susanne: And I’m Susanne Kerns, mom and dot.dot writer, LGBTQ and sex ed advocate. And today closet cleaner. I was really inspired by our interview with Judith gaan and I am diving in today. . Our guest is Julie Cole, mom of six and dot.dot recovered lawyer. Co-founder of Mabel’s labels and award-winning entrepreneur also a bestselling author of like a mother and a sought after speaker and MC.
Her articles have appeared in The Huffington post today’s parent. The globe and mail, profit magazine, working mother magazine and numerous websites when she’s not juggling her busy family and professional life.
Julie is an engaged community member serving on boards and volunteering. She is passionate about women’s issues, mentoring young entrepreneurs and social justice. Ooh, those are all the things we like too. Missy. I love it.
[00:01:35] Missy: Yes. And you know, we love a reformed lawyer. Those are some of
[00:01:38] Susanne: Oh, my gosh. Yes. It just had one of those on the, well we interviewed yesterday, but it was probably last week’s episode with Judith. Kaan welcome. We are so happy to have you here.
[00:01:49] Julie: I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for having me.
[00:01:52] Missy: We are glad, glad you’re here.
[00:01:54] Susanne: And I’ve got to meet you at mom 2.0, which was just so exciting because it was the last night. I didn’t have anything to do. Missy had left me and I did just one of these hail Mary, just like, Hey, is anybody, you know, to the mom two group,
[00:02:10] Julie: And
[00:02:11] Missy: wanna eat?
[00:02:13] Julie: a blast that night was so good. Like it was only a few of us left. We were flying up the next day and, uh, yeah, we had a great time. That was,
[00:02:22] Missy: I
[00:02:23] Julie: yeah, that was a hoot.
[00:02:24] Susanne: I need a picture of our tall boy, Coors lights we had in front of the target. I
[00:02:30] Missy: have that. I think you sent me that somewhere. All right. Well, we did talk a little bit about your incredible bio and we wanna jump right into it and talk about how you got from where you started to where you are and the any major things that impacted your decisions along the way.
[00:02:46] Julie: Right, right. Okay. So where I started. Okay. Well, I guess, you know, just regular old kid, I’ve got three siblings who I adore. I’ve really. I have really. Parents. I went away to university, then I, I was very involved in student politics. I thought I wanted to be a Dean of students or kind of be in that. So then I went to NYU and I did a master’s in education administration, and then I ended up in law school.
and why I’m a recovery lawyer? right. Well, look, there’s a couple of reasons. I. Loved law. Um, I was doing family law. going after deadbeat dads. I did a lot of like restraining orders. I worked for a women’s legal service behind, Bulletproof glass, because those were the kinds of partners that our clients had.
Um, but then, as motherhood happens to go, I had, um, Well, we started MAs labels and we started MAs labels for two reasons. And one was motherhood, at the time. I had a newly minted three year old and who he already had two younger siblings, but he received an autism diagnosis. And at that point I didn’t think the traditional workforce was gonna suit, suit me anymore.
I wanted, you know, I wanted to be able to set up a program for him. I wanted to be able to advocate. And like I said, he already had two younger siblings. So it was kind of, you know, pretty, pretty busy times anyway. So that was kind of the first why behind MAs labels. Now the second, why behind MAs labels was that.
There was a product missing from the market. You know, we were using masking tape and, and permanent marker and it didn’t work. We thought there must be something great out there and there wasn’t. So at that point, you know, Mac got his diagnosis and I said to my co-founders okay, you know, we’ve been talking I’m out this business, maybe now’s the time.
And they’re like, let’s do this. And that was 20 years ago.
[00:04:41] Susanne: oh my gosh.
[00:04:42] Missy: I have, I almost brought them in here and I forgot cause I got frantic at the last minute, but I have still stacks of MAs labels. And we at one point just ordered some, my husband’s name is mark. And so we’re both M Stevens. And so we just ordered M Stevens. They’re still on everything we take to every swim meet.
Like we are a MAs
[00:05:01] Julie: Well, and you know what?
[00:05:03] Missy: you did that.
[00:05:03] Julie: That is the secret sauce, cuz people are like, you know, tell me why MAs labels is such such a success and there’s lots of reasons for it. But to your point, Missy, we do what we say we’re gonna do. They stay on, they’re durable, their microwave, safe, their dishwasher safe. The clothing tags will go through in, uh, industrial washer and dryer.
So, you know, knowing our market is momed and we want products that actually do what they say they’re going to do. The secret sauce is.
[00:05:32] Susanne: Oh
[00:05:32] Julie: MAs does that.
[00:05:33] Susanne: yeah. And you know, I gotta tell
[00:05:35] Missy: still on, like, I give kids clothes away and I have to like, feel it off. Cause it’s still on those tags,
[00:05:40] Susanne: cut it out.
[00:05:42] Julie: So friends who like, and even my kids, they’re really into thrifting, like my big kids love thrifting and they’ll go thrift shops, like other people’s clothes. MAs labels.
[00:05:51] Missy: Yes. I’m sure ours are out there cuz I know I’ve missed some when the peeling. Yeah.
[00:05:56] Susanne: Well, I mean, originally I remember when I got my, someone gave ’em to me for bottles, like if you’re going to daycare or something, whatever. But now as my daughter’s getting ready to head off to college, I’m like, oh my gosh. I mean, the stuff that she’ll probably need for, you know, the communal shower or whatever your shampoo and like
[00:06:14] Julie: For sure. And you know what I love that you say that because, Susanne, as our kids have grown, so have our styles, right? So like we had little kids the time then, you know, then I had tweens, so we’re like, oh, we need to have cooler tween labels. Let’s get some skateboards going. Let’s get some, you
[00:06:30] Missy: had the skateboards.
[00:06:31] Julie: Yeah, yeah. Right. And then now, you know, we have, I have three kids away at college and they still lose stuff and need stuff labeled. They do communal living. They live in residence, blah, blah, blah. And I mean, now, like this, this back to school season, we’ve got our stylish, uh, back to school combo and it’s like, it’s good for like me.
You know, it’s, it’s beautiful. It’s the, the designs are so creative and artistic and mature. So, and also as we’ve aged, so of our parents, we’ve had a lot of our OG customers say I’m putting mom in, in a home and we don’t wanna lose. So now we’ve, we, you know, we, we, our original customers are now buying for their parents too.
Now that we’re kidding that sandwich generation, right?
[00:07:13] Susanne: Oh my gosh. Yes. I mean, they’re for everything. And they’re on the bottom of every like plate and Castro dish that I’ve ever taken to like a school event or anything.
[00:07:22] Julie: wanna get that back, man?
[00:07:23] Susanne: Yes.
[00:07:24] Missy: That’s right. That’s right. I don’t lose my stuff cuz it is all labeled
[00:07:28] Susanne: my gosh. And you know, we’re obviously talking a lot about labels cuz of MAs labels, but I loved how the first line of your book is as women. We wear a lot of labels because yes, you know, pun intended um, as far as We talk a lot here about the identity crisis that women have when they pause their career and this something that has been their label and their identity for so long.
And like Missy said, we have a lot of guests that are former lawyers and go through a lot of identity crisis from losing that label. Did you feel that, did you get a lot of pushback in your life from people being like, oh, you know, what, what are you doing? Stop pausing that.
[00:08:09] Julie: Oh, yeah. Look, I’ll tell you probably the thing was, so I started the business with my sister and my sister-in-law and, actually an aunt. I, I have a young uncle and she met him through me and they got married. So she’s like two years younger than me, but she’s my aunt, you know? So anyway, it was kind of a family, like a, you know, family business as well.
And so when we started it, we, we had a financial planner. We had a teacher, we had me a lawyer and then we had a graphics, manager and everybody thought, I mean, What are you doing? You’ve been in school for so long. You guys are making good money. I remember my grandfather just being, you know, he’s like you girls, what are you doing?
Um, so a lot of people thought we were nuts, right? Like here we are leaving great careers. I mean, it took us a while. Like a bunch of people stayed in their careers until we can make a go of things. You know what that is like, this was the side hustle for a while. but it was, it was pretty wild when eventually we were able to tell my grandpa that we were making more money from our.
our little label business and we were in our careers and he was like, what? All of a sudden, then we weren’t so crazy. Then he was like, oh, my girls are amazing.
[00:09:18] Missy: They’re so smart.
[00:09:19] Julie: yeah. And then he owned it, but yeah, a lot of people, you know, when you leave your career and especially like you say, I don’t think. The identity crisis really came for us then because we quickly identified with being an entrepreneur.
And we really loved what we were creating and we loved connecting to our community. What I will say, where the identity crisis often happens for entrepreneurs. And this would ha I would say this happened not so much for me, but five years ago, we sold the business. I’m still in the business full time.
and it still runs exactly the same it’s MAs labels, which is why we agreed to sell it the, when we did also. But we can talk about that if you’d like, but that might be a whole other podcast about exiting your business. Um, but I did find some of my partners who were really involved operationally when they left, they had a harder transition because they identified as being the co-founder of Mabel’s labels.
And they were, you know, on that shop floor and then they, you know, they left and they were like, now, who am I. Right. And I do think it’s difficult for entrepreneurs. And I think it’s difficult for mothers. I think it’s difficult for anybody who, when you transition out of that rule, I see this with moms who, if you’ve been like a full-time mom and then your kid’s like me, if I had had the three kids and they’re all off at college, then it’s like, whoa, where’s what do I do?
Now? You have to reinvent yourself. You have to find, and it’s, it can be a real struggle. And it is. And I find it’s especially hard for those moms when, you know, I feel like women get less power as we get older. Cuz when our babies are young and our little ones are young, we’re making all the decisions.
We’re running the household. We’re making the financial decisions in the household. Mostly we’re, you know, we’re running things. And then as our kids age, We have less power, but if you have a traditional relationship and a male spouse, as their careers are climbing, they’re having more power. So at, at their work.
So there becomes this power imbalance. And I think a lot of, couples as their kids kind of fly out of the nest, you know, really, really struggle with that. Any transition is hard. Let’s
[00:11:25] Susanne: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, that’s our whole goal of this podcast is to get women are running start. So when they hit that phase, whether it’s, launching, when your kids go off to kindergarten or it may be when your kids go off to college, it depends what your launching point is. But so that you’re ready for it.
[00:11:42] Julie: And I think you can kind of get in front of it to your point. Like, I think for me it was, when we sold MAs labels, I mean, obviously I’m still, still there full time. So, you know, it’s, I, I still really identify with the company and I’m, you know, the spokesperson and do all the PR and, and things like that.
but I think. Making sure you don’t identify with any one thing too much from the get go. Like I’m a mom of six, but like, you know, as you said, my first line in the book, like when am I I’m, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a, I’m a mom of six. I’m an autism mom. I’m a mom of queer kids. I’m a, community volunteer.
I’m a board member. I’m like, we’re all these things. And I just kind of, don’t put all of my self value or self worth or self identifying in any single one thing.
[00:12:29] Susanne: Yep. And that’s the mom man.dot
[00:12:32] Missy: I was gonna say, I think that’s our whole message.
[00:12:34] Julie: That’s what you’re saying. You’re like, what else? You’re a mom. And what else? Because you know, again, eventually things happen and also we want the, what else too. I mean, even if you’re home with kids, you wanna make sure that you have like a social, you wanna make sure that you’re feeling intellectually stimulated.
He won all, we need all those things.
[00:12:54] Susanne: yep.
[00:12:55] Missy: Yeah, for sure. In fact, community, you mentioned like having all these things and community is a big part of that. And if you are in the middle of a transition, whatever that may be, sometimes your community suffers Maybe you leave people behind, maybe you’re not intentionally, or maybe you’re just in a time where you don’t or you’re not spending that time on building those relationships. And we’ve talked a lot recently about friendships and midlife and, you talk about it in like a mother. So we wondered if you could share a little more about how to build that part of your ellipses, that part of your.dot dots.
[00:13:27] Julie: Well, I always say your net is your net worth, and I think that is true for your business. And I think that’s what women in business do very well. We are very good socially. We are good at leaning on our networks. We’re good at saying. I don’t know something I’m not afraid to ask. We put our, leave our ego at the door.
Like when we serve MAs labels, we would, anyone we knew were like, can we take you for coffee and pick your brain? Like we were taking advantage of our networks who were accountants, entrepreneurs, neighbor, kids who were good babysitters. Everyone was involved in. My mom was licking envelopes in the basement, you know, mailing out like we used everyone.
and I do think, you know, socially as well. I know as a working mom, I’ve. Very heavily on some of the school moms who are at home and, you know, I. If, if I can’t get there in a pinch, sometimes my school mom, friends are there to back me up. And then, I was going to New York to speak at an event.
I brought my daughter and I brought one of the, the, her friends along because that mom helps me out all the time. So I think we really need to, you know, we all bring different value in different ways and it’s okay to ask for help. Um, I also think. That, I’m a big fan of the nondramatic exit, you know, like you don’t have to stick with a relationship just because you’ve been in that relationship for a long time.
Let me explain. I kind of goes back to, you know, don’t clinging to a mistake just because you spent a long time making.
[00:14:53] Susanne: Mmm.
[00:14:54] Julie: And I found, we did this at work. You know, we had this one employee who we didn’t, we just didn’t wanna fire because firing sucks. Like, you know, if you ever sleep the night before you fire somebody, you are truly dead inside.
Right. So we kept being like, oh, well put them on a performance plan and performance improve plan. And we’ll do, and then it got to the point where like, this is ridiculous. We talk about this employee. Like every meeting for two years, Time to let them go. This was a mistake. So we learned a real lesson about that, about how holding on for too long.
Uh, to employees, you know, you wanna get the right people on the bus. That’s the most important thing. Your corporate culture depends on it. Your other, employees dependent, they don’t wanna see their friends fired, but they do sometimes wanna see them gone. And it’s very important for your business. And it’s also very important for your family and for your social life and for your friends.
You know, I see, um, you know, I’ve got this friend who complains about this friend. She went to high school with, and they’re still friends. I mean, Luke, we’re 50 and, and I’m like, She’s like, well, we’ve been friends for so long. I’m like, that
[00:15:59] Missy: not working anymore.
[00:16:00] Julie: yeah, you can let that go. We don’t like, if something’s toxic, let it go.
And I think it’s good role modeling for your kids. Like you don’t have to make a big deal of it. You can just exit in a nondramatic way. And I, you know, I, I try to model that to my kids and, and try to be, you know, if I don’t get invited to something I’m never bitter, I’m just like, you can’t invite everyone.
[00:16:21] Missy: Right.
[00:16:22] Julie: So if they don’t get invited some I’m like, Hey, don’t take that personally. Come on. Like, what’s the big deal. Like we can’t just like you could invite. So, so, like for a family with so many kids, like there’s very little drama that goes on here and I really role model the non-drama.
[00:16:38] Susanne: Oh, that’s such a good lesson. I was just talking to a friend who happens to be a, a teen life coach. And, and she was just talking about how important it is for teenagers to learn that lesson early. That it’s okay. To say goodbye to a friend, if it is not serving you, if they are toxic and how important it is and how little parents actually do model that, because we don’t wanna be like, we don’t wanna show them the negativity, or it seems like a failure or who knows what it is, but
[00:17:12] Missy: feels like failure, like as an adult who knows better, like intellectually, I know. It still feels like failure. And I have with a couple, couple relationships in my life spent years wondering why, you know, why? And probably it was just time,
[00:17:29] Julie: It was just time. And that’s the thing. I remember I had one of my daughters she’s in her 20, late 21 now, but she, you know, she and a friend just out kind of group each other in about grade nine or 10. And she actually found that the kid was a little bit annoying and just not and whatever. So, but then I get a message from the mother saying, oh, you know, the girls, what queen do.
I’m like, we do nothing. We do nothing. This is not my business to get into my teen’s business and try and forge friendships. I see mothers do this with their teens and I’m like growing apart is a very natural process or they get like too involved or too interested in their kids. Like. First boyfriend or first girlfriend or first partner or whatever.
And then they get devastated when there’s a breakup. I’m like, why are you so invested these teenagers? Like
[00:18:21] Missy: I heard a story, not long ago about a family that put the girl like high school girlfriend, first girlfriend, whatever, put her on the Christmas card,
[00:18:29] Susanne: Oh,
[00:18:29] Missy: in the family pictures. And guess what they broke
[00:18:32] Julie: work out.
[00:18:32] Missy: January,
[00:18:33] Julie: let me guess. You know what I see when I see women and moms doing this on social media too, like, you know, and they go to Facebook, they’re like, I’m taking a break. It’s been too, just go, don’t tell us about it. I don’t wanna see, they get taken a break. like, if you wanna take a break, take it.
You don’t need us be like, oh, are you okay? Or are you like, just do the quiet nondramatic exits.
[00:18:58] Missy: go take care of yourself
[00:18:59] Julie: go, do you? Yeah. Do you, I know and that’s what I’m saying, like with the role modeling, and I’m telling you with this parenting gig, we can tell the kids what we want to, what blue in the face. We can teach lessons.
We can read to them, all the things. It is a role modeling gig.
[00:19:15] Susanne: yeah.
[00:19:16] Julie: 100%. You know, if you don’t want whiny complaining kids, don’t be a whinny and complaining parent
[00:19:24] Susanne: That is such a good point. Oh my gosh. And this all kind of comes back to we talk, we haven’t talked about it for a while. Missy, we’ve been really involved in, I think the middle-aged friendship stuff, but core values, core values. We were on a kick of that for a few months there . But, but,
[00:19:38] Missy: So important.
[00:19:39] Susanne: and I. Yes. And I love that you had a chapter about family core values and really interested in, I mean, obviously knowing what your core values are, I’m sure helped you make a decision about leaving the law and feeling confident in becoming an entrepreneur that meant.
It aligned with your values and then, but with a family of six kids, I’m sure that they all have their own personal core values. That like, how do you fit that then into your family core values, but still honor their individual, selves. So
[00:20:15] Julie: Right. Right. So I think first of all, where I really got interested and understanding of core values was through the work. So, you know, when you start a business, you’re in a unique position to create the culture that you want. And, and we did that. Like, it was funny when COVID hit and all these companies were scrambling.
They’re like, how did people work from home? And how did we were like, it’s our time to shine. Aren’t people were already set up. They can leave halfway through the day and go to their kids’ Christmas concert. They can spend the, as long as your work’s getting done, we’re happy. We’re not micromanaging people.
Nobody has to minimize their screen cuz it’s on Facebook. when we walk by, like, we don’t care as long as you’re getting your work done. and. To us at MAM’s labels, we spent a long time creating refining and revisiting our core values and hiring by them. You know, I can teach somebody how to make label.
But can I teach somebody to be aligned with the things that are important to our company? And, you know, when we first created our core values, we interviewed everyone. We interviewed the, the founders, every, all the employees from label maker to marketing manager to, and really tried to understand our core values.
And then once we, it was a year long process. And once we got it, you know, these are not things that just stick on a wall and we give lip service to, we do hire and fire by. These are things that, and you make a great point. It helps you make decisions.
[00:21:40] Susanne: mm-hmm
[00:21:41] Julie: I can remember an example where, a company wanted to do a co-brand with us and it would’ve been a really great co-brand for us, cuz it was a big brand and we were smallish.
and at the end of the day I said no, because they had a chemical in their product that I was not happy with. And I, my poor marketing manager. Julie come on. And I’m like, no, we can’t like go to our core values. I mean, like we spent so much time building up loyalty, we’ve got so much trust in our brand brand trust is we’re fierce about that.
And yes, sometimes you wanna chase the money because that’s. Like you wanna be able to pay your people. You wanna be able to go to next level growth and all that, but I’m telling you I turned to the core values and they told us what to do. So we said no. And then, you know what inevitably happens.
You align with other awesome brands that do. Align with your core values and you get success there and guess what? You can sleep at night and then your customers are loyal. And if they’re loyal, they talk about you and we’re in mouth and they buy from you and they say good things. And that’s why Naples labels has a community of over 200,000 Facebook fans, a hundred thousand Instagram followers.
We have parents everywhere, sharing stories of them, labeling their back to school gear on their T tos and on their, and that’s because we don’t compromise our core values and. Again, it’s so amazing when that can guide your decisions. So, you know what, it was just that experience and being like, we have such a big, robust family with so many different personalities, but what are the things that align us and make us us?
And that’s when you sit down and think what are, and they are things like, you know, be quick to forgive. You know, like that’s one that we can’t hold grudges around here, Um, we do things like we’ve got the bro code. So the bro code is basically, we know things about each other that are sensitive and they never come out in a fight.
[00:23:42] Missy: Mm.
[00:23:43] Julie: fair and they never come out at school. Like you don’t, you don’t on the school bus. Talk about your brother’s crush. You don’t in the re in recess. Talk about how your sister’s a bed winner. There are certain things that they know are the bro code and they never come outside of this family. so those, and, and then revisiting what those things are.
And I feel like when you raise kids with good judgment and have these conversations, you don’t even have to tell them what things fall under the bro code. They know, they know, you know, and, and the fight fair piece is like you don’t name, call you don’t bring up something from the past. You stay, you fight about what the fight is.
[00:24:24] Missy: Right,
[00:24:25] Julie: Stick with the fight. And then, and again, parents can role model that you can role model that with your kid, you can role model that with your spouse. I’ve never been a hide, the fighting from the kids. Like I like them to see that we can disagree on politics that we can disagree on and how to have healthy conversation around it.
And then to move on and be like, Hey, what do you guys wanna do for dinner tonight? Or daddy, would you mind? And then’s like, yeah, sure. You know, like my parents were the kind of people who. Going hot. and I thought they never fought. And I thought, mom, how can you not be standing up to him right now?
And she’s like, I totally did, but just not in front of you, I’m like, no, I needed to see that, you know, we need to see that. Especially with our girls people.
[00:25:06] Missy: yeah. And I think that’s a really important point that people fight. Whether, whether it be at home in business or whatever, I mean, it’s a different kind of fight in business, but you have disagreements
[00:25:17] Julie: A hundred percent.
[00:25:18] Missy: learning how to advocate for yourself and teaching your kids to advocate for themselves is huge.
I wish I had known it earlier.
[00:25:26] Julie: conflict is a good thing. Conflict can bring out like opinions and discussion. It’s how you deal with it. Right. And I think like part of I found this like with my siblings, you know, four kids close in age. I can remember, even as teenagers, I had a friend over and, or maybe we were like 12 or something and me, ASISs got, we called my sister, SIS, got in a fight.
And um, then five minutes later, I was like, we’re going to the store for pop schools. You wanna come? And my friend was like, how can you just invite her to come with us? You guys are in a big fight. And then we were like, no, we’re not. And we, it was over. That was, that was so five minutes ago. And I don’t know if it’s a, a thing about big families, but you just have to move on for goodness sakes.
[00:26:10] Susanne: Or you never get anything that,
[00:26:12] Missy: no.
[00:26:13] Susanne: and I’m so curious how that played out for Mabel’s labels, the four founders being, you know, relatives and friends, how did that work for the delegation of roles
[00:26:26] Julie: Such a great question. I mean, it’s hard enough having one co-founder right. When there’s a group of four, couple of things about it. It, it was great in a lot of ways, especially at startup, like, you know, I feel, I see my solo entrepreneur friends, and they do absolutely everything. Right. So in our early days it was like, okay, you do what the finance is already.
Press releases somebody research, uh, materials that can work well, you know, we could divide and conquer. We also had four very different brains come in the table. So you had four very different skill sets, which again, amazing. Cuz you can fill gaps, you know? so that was awesome. Obviously. There were hard times because we have different opinions and, you know, different ideas.
But again, we had to learn how to fight fair and, you know, we, because we’re relatives and we had to be in that board room, have that feisty conversation and walk out and be like, Hey, are you bringing the potatoes, um, sun in and dinner? Or. know, don’t forget when we go to the cottage, you said, you’d do the barbecue Saturday, you know?
So we had to, or you all, all the cousins are coming for a swim tonight. Right. So we had to make sure that that still happened and we didn’t get it right all the time. And what we learned was we, we tried to learn about each other’s. Personalities and communication skills. And we did personality things. We had people come and facilitate stuff.
We got a coach, we got somebody eventually who was like a mentor, our, coach, a mentor. And he came to all of our meetings to make sure we facilitated and, and respected each other’s communication styles. Cause I’m very like abrupt. I’m like, there’s a problem. Let’s deal with it. But then there might be another partner who has to hear like 15 minutes worth of good things before you can hit the conflict.
Whereas I’d be like, we don’t have time for. Right, but you have to make time for that because everybody’s got different communication styles. So learning about those and then accommodating those. And then when we made mistakes, we’d be like, we’re practicing. We’ll get it right next time. We just, you know, move on.
We’ll we’ll try, we’ll learn from it and move on.
[00:28:25] Missy: totally speaking our language. We that’s how we started. This was let’s figure out our personalities and help the people listening, figure out their personalities. It just helps you understand how you react to the
[00:28:37] Julie: there’s no right and wrong, right. There’s no right or wrong. And people I find in leadership always think that, and they think there’s this like one idea of leadership. I love the leaders who are like, sit at that table and like, listen. And then every time they open their mouth twice, but when they do we’re all like captivated, right?
Like you can be an introvert and be in a pact leader. Like it doesn’t leadership does not take one particular. You know, and I find that women, women entrepreneurs often feel that way. And they’re like, well, I’m not the personality it’s like, come on now, come on. There’s not one style of leadership that works for every organization.
[00:29:13] Missy: right. Well, I wanna, we’re getting so close to time, but I want to get into some nuts and bolts because Susanne and I love NS and bolts. And so do our listeners. I cannot say nuts and bolts today. Just cut it out,
[00:29:25] Susanne: And butts
[00:29:26] Missy: but NS and buts. We like those too. Um, But in talk like in, just in talking about all of this in the back of my head, like time management, how do you do it all?
You’ve got six kids. You’re an entrepreneur. You’ve written a book, which you’ve barely even touched on the book, but everyone needs to go read that for sure. do you have any just time? I don’t know. I hate to ask people for time management tips, but is there something that you fell back on that it’s like, this is how I survive.
[00:29:53] Julie: There’s a bunch of things, honestly. oh my gosh. There’s a bunch of things. So I do use a lot of productivity tips. Like I do a lot of, you know, I do the eat, the frog, the thing I wanna do last. The thing that I’m progressing. I do, I try to do first. Um, I try to do the touch, eat the frog. So I try to do the touch at once.
Principle. If I open an email, I deal, I deal with it right then and there. Uh, if I’m working on a project, I turn off my notifications. you know, you get the ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, turn that off. Um, if people want to, pick my brain because they’re starting a business, that’s fine, but I’m not meeting for the them for coffee.
what I will do though, is I set up in a coffee shop, like for a half day. Every six weeks and you can book a time with me. So then I’ve got a half day, every six weeks that I do instead of talking to somebody every day and using that way, I can still give back, but I still can get my stuff done, which means make labels and raise children.
So a lot of my nos are a lot more like boundaries. And I talk a lot about this in the book, like with the kids, if they came home from school, Mom, I need two dozen cupcakes tomorrow. I would laugh and laugh and say, are you new here? Have we just met never gonna happen? If they forget their lunch, I don’t drive to the school.
They can go hungry for the day or find a granola bar somewhere. I can’t spend my life chasing these humans around and, you know, the, the expression is, and I did, I, I put this in the book was your lack of planning does not constitute emergency.
[00:31:21] Missy: Mm-hmm
[00:31:22] Susanne: So good.
[00:31:22] Julie: And that goes for staff that goes for kids that goes for friends that goes for, you know, like, it’s it, that’s your emergency.
That’s not on me. So yes, a lot
[00:31:31] Missy: kid the other day and he was like,
[00:31:33] Julie: what
[00:31:35] Missy: Let’s just step back and think
[00:31:36] Julie: So good. So good. Right. So a lot of productivity stuff, raising kids to be independent, you know, like they have to do their own things like investing your kids, teach them young. I don’t do for a kid what a kid can do for themselves. So, you know, that’s, uh, I know sometimes at short term, easy, it’s easier just to do up their coat and do up their shoes at whatever to get out the door.
Get up 15 minutes early, teach them to do it. And then they’re getting themselves out the door from there on in. Right. So a lot of parenting stuff, which with six kids, you have to do. I’ve got friends with only who really struggle with that, cuz they’re like, oh, it’s just so much easier. I’ve gotta really not do it for them.
You know, I, I stop myself because I know that this isn’t gonna help me long term, but it’s just so easy in that moment. I’m like, I know I didn’t have the choice. So I had to teach them right.
[00:32:22] Missy: you could not do every little shoe and every little button.
[00:32:25] Julie: No, exactly, exactly. And honestly, um, again with time management, I’m not afraid to get help. You know, I got a nanny when my fifth kid turned one, three kids too late.
Get help people. I’m not a perfectionist. I don’t sweat in the small stuff. I don’t make perfect dinners. My house is a mess. I don’t care what people. I come on over right now. You can see it’s a mess. If you’re like, Julie’s house is a bit messy, I’d be like, you’re right. I, I wouldn’t care. So I can
[00:32:52] Missy: If it bothers you grab ’em up. Like
[00:32:55] Julie: basically. So, you know, by not caring about what people think and sweating that stuff, it saves a lot of time and, and emotional energy. And, you know, I gave up mom killed five kids going, like I don’t, I don’t let anything live rent free in my brain that shouldn’t be there.
[00:33:10] Missy: a great life lesson.
[00:33:12] Julie: it frees you up. to get all the important stuff done.
[00:33:15] Susanne: yes.
[00:33:17] Missy: I. I feel like sitting down and making a list of the shit that lives rent free in my
[00:33:22] Julie: Right.
[00:33:23] Missy: Like,
[00:33:23] Julie: And also make a list, make a list of all the, you know, how we all have these like ridiculous to do lists, make a, do, not do list. What are you doing? That you should not be doing. I mean, at work, I mean, at home, is it time to get a virtual assistant? One of I do not do, I’m not on stacking a dishwasher.
That is not my time. Well spent. I got six humans who can on stack a dishwasher. Well, I’m maybe like helping my little guy with ADHD. Figure out some time management stuff, himself or executive functioning. Oh my God. The executive functioning turns me crazy. So
[00:33:56] Susanne: Oh,
[00:33:57] Julie: yeah. So do not do list folks.
[00:33:58] Susanne: Yes,
[00:33:59] Missy: one of our other guests had a, to not do who was
[00:34:02] Susanne: I’m try. I was just thinking the same thing. Okay. We’ll put it in
[00:34:05] Missy: I like hear the conversation in my head, but we’ll have to put it in the show notes and you have to edit us out going, who was that? But, um,
[00:34:13] Susanne: yeah.
[00:34:13] Julie: be
[00:34:13] Missy: to not do
[00:34:14] Julie: Probably somebody, somebody, he was listened to me.
[00:34:18] Susanne: someone who just read like a
[00:34:20] Missy: yeah.
[00:34:21] Julie: pretty much.
[00:34:22] Missy: He has it to not do, and I loved it.
[00:34:24] Susanne: it makes so much sense. And probably most of my to-do list is a do not do list. I’m full of shame. Uh, I
[00:34:32] Missy: Well, cross that off your list. Shame is
[00:34:35] Julie: Shane’s there?
[00:34:36] Missy: not be, yeah, let it
[00:34:37] Julie: Brown.
[00:34:39] Missy: Yeah.
[00:34:39] Susanne: I know I’m so bad. Oh my gosh. Okay. So I think. Maybe we just got, since we’ve all decided that our look, listen and learns are gonna be very fast and short today, I’m gonna do one more little question just as a, like a nugget of inspiration for any other listener out there who maybe has their own MAs labels not to steal your business idea, but their own nugget
[00:35:01] Missy: A business idea.
[00:35:02] Susanne: new business idea and is considering, either leaving a career or maybe leaving a stay at home mom.
Position to do this? What, should they be thinking about? What should they be doing? Baby steps?
[00:35:15] Julie: Okay. So, um, couple of things, first. Yeah, just, you know, follow people like me, talk to people like me, email me nos are free. Like I said, my can, you might as well put the ask out there. Nos are free. So ask again, back to your net. Is your net worth right? Ask a lot of questions. join groups, Facebook groups do all that stuff.
The other thing too. you know, 60% of women started a side hustle during COVID, don’t romanticize entrepreneurship. I feel like there’s a lot of that that goes on. It’s like, okay, I’m gonna start a business. I’m gonna make a bazillion dollars. I’m gonna do a Ted talk. I’m gonna write up. Book, like a lot of us are in line for 20 years before that happens.
Like this is not a lot of this stuff is not overnight. Entre. Entrepreneurship looks a lot like making labels in a basement till 2:00 AM. When you’re pregnant with your fourth child, then getting up at 6:00 AM and putting a full day in with kids. And then going back to a basement and making labels, it’s not.
Watching Netflix, when the kids are in bed, it’s not lying down. I couldn’t lie down with a kid. I couldn’t risk falling asleep and losing two hours of productivity time. Right. So I never laid down with a child. Basically. Story time was darkness. No, I’m kidding. I did read so.
[00:36:32] Susanne: I’m like,
[00:36:35] Julie: Um, so yeah, it’s not like having one when the kids are in med, it looks like a lot, like not being able to go on holidays, giving up a good salary or, you know, so please just don’t romanticize it. And my other two would be, make sure your family knows you’ve gotta manage expectations. Like, are you gonna be giving up a salary?
Does your spouse actually realize if you have a spouse that you are literally gonna go and be doing your side hustle every, like that’s your spare time. If you love a lot of me time, like, if you wanna go get your nails done, if you wanna go to the gym every day, if you wanna do these things, I, I would say don’t have six kids and start a business. Like, like don’t like have one maybe, or have like, just whatever, it’s just do what you’re capable of. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Like, know what your needs are. If you need me time, if you need to go have a coffee and flip through a magazine, do it, but I’m gonna tell you. There was no doing that for me at that time with six babies, one with autism, you know, and, uh, and, and running a business that just didn’t happen.
So, don’t let other people project onto you what your needs are, know what your needs are, make sure they’re fulfilled and then do what fits around that
[00:37:52] Susanne: And I think it comes back to that
[00:37:53] Missy: to knowing
[00:37:55] Susanne: Oh,
[00:37:55] Missy: I just saying the same thing, is that values knowing yourself?
[00:38:00] Julie: for sure.
[00:38:00] Susanne: Oh my gosh. Okay. So, I mean, we’ve barely scratched the surface of all of your wisdom here. So everybody needs to go by the book, uh,
[00:38:10] Missy: Yeah. And follow Julie, where can they follow you?
[00:38:12] Julie: Yay. And there it is. I’m putting the book up in the video. Um, yeah, like a mother birthing businesses, babies, and a life labels. It can be found on Amazon, um, Barnes and noble. Any of your favorite book sellers go to their website and you will find it there.
[00:38:26] Susanne: and
[00:38:27] Julie: And they can find me. Oh yeah, yeah. Oh yeah. Maybe you can drop the link.
Um, and also, yeah, you can find more about email@example.com slash Julie Cole. And, uh, you know, I’m on Instagram at Julie Cole, Inc. And at MAs labels and all the usual places.
[00:38:44] Susanne: Great. And yeah, we will.
[00:38:45] Missy: all of it.
[00:38:46] Susanne: Exactly. Well, I think it’s time for our condensed look. Listen, learns
[00:38:52] Missy: Super fast. Look, listen. Learns.
[00:38:54] Susanne: we were just saying that it’s summertime, we’re all busy. We haven’t learned a lot. And Missy and I just, just had an interview yesterday, which ju gaan, which I think will be airing a week.
Before this. So go back and listen to it if you haven’t. but we used up all our look, listen, learns on that. So it’s gonna be a quick one today, but if you are joining us for the first time, welcome, we’re so glad you’re here. And the look, listen and learns are just an opportunity for all of us to share something we’ve been either watching or listening to, or learning about that.
Maybe you can incorporate into your.dot dots and your ellipses. So.
[00:39:28] Missy: Yeah.
[00:39:28] Susanne: We don’t wanna throw any our guests into the hot seat first. So, Missy, what, what have you been look and learning?
[00:39:36] Missy: Okay, super fast. I found this, of course I found it on TikTok. That’s where I spend too much time talk about not using your time wisely, but I’ve found some great stuff there. there is a creator I follow who is just, she talks about running, but she just also talks about being a mom and what she likes, whatever.
But she mentioned that she has some friends that they have this thing called the creepy book club. And they read a creepy book every month and they met online. I may not be telling this right, but they met online and then sometime last year they had had a retreat together and hung out at the pool and talked about their creepy books.
Well, everyone was like, we wanna be in the creepy book club. We think that’s so cool. So they’ve opened it up and now there’s a TikTok account called
[00:40:17] Julie: Okay, hold on. I think the creepy book club should be meeting in a haunted house. And should be like dos and like get real, not around a pool in spa.
[00:40:29] Susanne: I agree.
[00:40:31] Missy: On brand I’ll send you her link and you’re gonna be like next year’s your treat needs to be creepy. Um, but they recommend all these creepy books, which occasionally I love a good creepy thriller suspenseful read. Um, so if you like that kind of thing, there’s. Lists and lists of books and they actually have a book club book every month.
You can go and join the discussion, but that’s probably not gonna happen in my life, but I do take their list of books on my to be
[00:40:58] Julie: Missy. I have to tell you if you like creepy books. So I did joke when I was writing my book that I, cuz I was one of the cottage to write for about a
[00:41:05] Missy: Yeah.
[00:41:06] Julie: and I made a joke about, remember Steven King’s misery. And I said, I needed an Annie Wilkes to come up and hobble me so that I could just sit on my laptop.
[00:41:17] Missy: One of my favorite creepy books and movies ever is misery. Like, I just feel like
[00:41:22] Julie: When Kathy Bates in that book, in that movie. Oh,
[00:41:25] Missy: my God. So good. Just one of the scariest characters ever. Ugh, love it.
[00:41:33] Susanne: Oh, I
[00:41:33] Missy: So that is my reading recommendation. And then I wanted to, I forgot to ask you French speaking people, how to say this.
I think as UE. J O U E R.
[00:41:43] Susanne: Sure.
[00:41:45] Missy: a cosmetic brand. That’s how Texan say it. Um, but they have these multis sticks that I’m a cosmetic slash product who I don’t really do my makeup a lot, but I’m a sucker for trying new things. And
[00:41:58] Julie: Marketers delight. You are Missy. A marketer’s delight.
[00:42:02] Missy: freaking marketer’s dream. The ultimate consumer. But this one is broing and then this is like cheek and lip tint. And I love them. They go on really well and I can just like slap ’em on and rub ’em in and they’re done. So I will link to those too, but I really enjoyed those
[00:42:18] Susanne: see now we’ve learned something
[00:42:20] Missy: There you go. That’s what I learned is that I don’t know how to pronounce this French
[00:42:24] Susanne: ju.
[00:42:24] Missy: but I do like it.
So what about you, Julie?
[00:42:28] Julie: okay. So what am I look? I, so I’ve got a lot of my kids are 13, 15, 17, 19 21, 22. so I have to admit probably not doing a whole lot for myself at the moment. For me, staying connected with my young people is super important and I find a great way to stay connected to them is to jump into their.
[00:42:49] Missy: Yep.
[00:42:49] Julie: So that means sometimes watching Minecraft and watching like them play video games, and watching their shows like right now, my, I have a son obsessed with breaking bad.
So I just finished the first season of break bad, which is far too gory for me and not at all, um, in my wheelhouse, but he’s watched it all. And he’s because I’m, he’s so passionate about it. He’s watching it with me to watch me watch it, you know?
[00:43:12] Missy: Oh,
[00:43:13] Julie: and, and then to have those conversations of who’s your favorite character and why, what did you think of this scene?
So it’s a great way of com keeping communication, open with the teens and same with the music, I’ll try to go to concerts with them or listen to the music that they’re listening to. And actually they do like really great music and it exposes me to, You know, something different and their podcast.
I’ve got a couple kids who love like creepy podcasts. So when we’re in the car, we’ll put on the creepy podcasts and listen to those together and then talk about them. Of course. So most of my stuff really is about them. I also do try to read books that my friends have written. I’ve got a friend, Aaron Pepler who just wrote a,
[00:43:50] Susanne: We love Erin.
[00:43:51] Julie: Oh, do you love Erin?
Okay. So she lives in my, we live in the same town and she usually gave me a really nice shout out in her book, which was so sweet. Um, so send me into the woods alone. she wrote that and then my sister-in-law’s also, my co-founder just wrote a book called big gorgeous goals. And it’s about women who are trying to do big goal setting like professional women and helping them and her name’s Julie Ellis.
So I’ve got a couple friends who have launched. Lately. And I feel like, I mean, I have a bunch of book, all their friends, so I do try to support them
[00:44:21] Missy: that’s right.
[00:44:23] Susanne: out for Erin and the, you know, moms or women supporting women. It was at a mom, two conference God, a zillion years ago. Where do you remember this? Missy, when I dropped the Blackberry right on my white jeans at
[00:44:37] Julie: You didn’t.
[00:44:38] Susanne: and I was walking around in the hallways and pass the,
[00:44:41] Missy: picture was strategically
[00:44:43] Susanne: my hand over my leg, like trying to look normal.
[00:44:46] Missy: We’d take like the program and be like, Ooh,
[00:44:49] Susanne: I, yeah, all my pictures look like I’m doing this little sassy, like, woo, cuz I got my hand on my, like and I posted about it on Instagram. Like, oh my God, I’m such a mess. You know, first thing in the morning, blop, I get this Blackberry. Erin comes over me during a conference. She’s like, Hey.
And she gives me a little tied stick. was like, there is no way this is gonna do anything, but thank you. And I go, but halfway through the presentation, it
[00:45:13] Julie: you probably got you probably gotta stand out just in time to pour red wine on yourself
[00:45:17] Missy: Yeah, right, right.
[00:45:19] Susanne: it’s a Iris awards.
[00:45:21] Julie: yeah, exactly.
[00:45:22] Susanne: my God. So yes. I love her for many reasons, but that will forever be in my heart.
[00:45:28] Missy: I had
[00:45:29] Susanne: Yeah. Carry is tear, carry stains, stick y’all. And you. Forever people will be
[00:45:35] Missy: Yeah, so awesome that she, no, like she noticed it on social media and was like, oh, she’s
[00:45:39] Susanne: And then came over very quietly. She was like, here, let me just boo. Boo. Boo.
[00:45:44] Julie: she’s the best.
[00:45:45] Susanne: up. I was so nice.
[00:45:46] Missy: so awesome.
[00:45:47] Susanne: Oh, okay.
So I got two minutes and it’ll only take
[00:45:50] Missy: minutes. What are you learning?
[00:45:51] Susanne: look, listen and learn. Cuz it’s all the same thing I have been looking at and listening to. And learning about our new Roomba. And I have not even been so much looking at it. I’m looking at my husband looking at it because like, I don’t think he’s gotten any work done in the past few days.
He watches it. There’s an app on your phone. It maps out your house. He’s like, look at how well it knows our house. And like he’s watching
[00:46:17] Missy: it gotten stuck anywhere?
[00:46:19] Susanne: know cuz yeah, I
[00:46:20] Missy: we have an old Roomba and
[00:46:22] Susanne: and it can
[00:46:23] Missy: it’s a boy in my mind and he gets stuck all the time
[00:46:26] Susanne: Yeah,
[00:46:27] Julie: gendered.
[00:46:27] Susanne: I
[00:46:28] Missy: gendered. And I’m like, where is he? And he is like, ramming his head. And so maybe we need to upgrade to a newer model.
[00:46:35] Susanne: I used to have a section of my Pinterest called Roomba shaming, and I would just like put little post-its on places that it managed to get lost or stuck in the house because yeah, we’ve had several and it was not great. But the thing we run into is we got two super furry dogs and I mean,
[00:46:51] Julie: You ever put them on the Roomba for a little ride?
[00:46:55] Susanne: that was the thing, the sound of it made the little one bark at the big one. For some reason, like it was bear’s fault that the Roomba was there. I don’t even know it and
[00:47:04] Missy: you shed more than I do?
[00:47:06] Susanne: It would get full so fast that it, it didn’t even like it couldn’t do its job or you spent your whole time chasing it around and emptying it out and then putting it back in.
So this new one has a thing where it’s like O I feel full and then it knows the map of your house. And it goes back to its little place. And I thought. When I’d always seen it. Yeah. I had always thought it just kind of pooped the dirt out. I was like, there’s no way it can poop out as much dirt and stuff as it’s gonna get, but it doesn’t, it sucks it out.
So it vacuums the vacuum. When it goes to its dock, all of a sudden you hear this like
[00:47:41] Missy: right, you gotta send me the link
[00:47:42] Susanne: and it sucks it out and then it fills it. But that was my husbands. Like, he’s like the one problem is it looks like there’s a little toilet sitting in our,
[00:47:55] Julie: Love
[00:47:55] Susanne: uh, but yes, so that is, we I’ve been listening to it because it does not make the dog bark. So it’s like a different Octa or decibel or whatever. So it’s a ni it’s a more dog peaceful one, no dogs are barking. And again, we’re looking at it because every time my husband’s looking at his phone, I was like, are you looking at the Roomba map?
and he’s like, it’s very efficient today. Um,
[00:48:19] Julie: It’s the little things in life.
[00:48:21] Susanne: Yes. And I
[00:48:22] Julie: It’s the little things in life
[00:48:24] Susanne: I know. And because he is the resident vacuumer, I’m like, whatever you need. So that’s, that has been my look, listen and learn this week. Thank you, Roomba. If you’re making it
[00:48:34] Missy: All right. I’m getting the link from you. Cause we need
[00:48:36] Susanne: Yeah. I don’t even wanna know how much it costs.
So if you find out how much it costs, you not tell me cuz I’ll cuz I’ll be like, take it back. We
[00:48:42] Missy: I won’t tell you. I’ll tell you it was free.
[00:48:44] Susanne: Thank you. Yeah, exactly. Oh my gosh. Well, I am so
[00:48:48] Missy: thank you. Thank you, Julie.
[00:48:50] Susanne: with you, Julie.
[00:48:52] Julie: Oh, it was so nice. So nice to be here. Thanks to, and great seeing your faces and hearing your voices. Oh
[00:48:57] Susanne: I know. And yet, if you find that picture of us in front of the target, send it over. We’ll include, we’ll include it in the show
[00:49:03] Julie: And I hope you’ve, I’ve already registered from on 2.0 next year.
[00:49:06] Susanne: Yes, I have, I did it before we even left. So yeah. We’ll, we’ll see you there, if not sooner. And yeah, everybody definitely go get like a mother, Missy, and I have it on our, usually we show the book, but you tell him a Kindle. It doesn’t.
[00:49:22] Missy: end all this time.
[00:49:23] Susanne: Well, there you go. Thank you. And we’ll put a nice big screenshot in the show notes too.
All right. Well, thank you so much. Have a great rest of the day.
[00:49:32] Missy: a good afternoon.
[00:49:33] Julie: Thanks guys.
[00:49:34] Susanne: All right. Bye bye.