Barrie Davenport’s main blog Live Bold & Bloom isn’t about online business per se, but she does write about one of the most important things an entrepreneur has to master: the mental game. She was a Public Relations professional for 25 years. She’s also the editor of The Daily Brainstorm and A-List Blog Marketing.
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- “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman click to tweet!
- Barrie has had some major challenges to overcome. One of them was being computer illiterate. Find out how she overcame this obstacle.
Entrepreneurial AHA Moment
- If you do something that makes you come alive, success will follow. This AHA moment resulted in Barrie living her life doing only the actions that made her “come alive”.
- Barrie reveals her brand new blog, BarrieDavenport.com. Lots of exciting things going on here. Tune in!
Small Business Resources
- Think Traffic: Build a thriving and profitable audience for your site
- Smart Passive Income: The Smart Passive Income Blog
Best Business Book
- Supercoach by Michael Neill
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John Lee Dumas: Hire Fire Nation and thank you for joining me for another episode of EntrepreneurOnFire.com, your daily dose of inspiration. If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support by leaving a rating and review here at iTunes. I will make sure to give you a shout out on an upcoming showing to thank you! John Lee Dumas: Okay. Let’s get started. I am simply electrified to introduce my guest today, Barrie Davenport. Barrie, are you prepared to ignite? Barrie Davenport: I am, indeed. There’s smoke coming up from my feet. John Lee Dumas: [Laughs] Oh, perfect! Barrie’s main blog isn’t about online business per se, but she does write about one of the most important things an entrepreneur has to master – the mental game. She was a public relations professional for 25 years. She’s also the editor of The Daily Brainstorm and A List Blog Marketing. Barrie, I’ve given a little overview about your business. Why don’t you tell us a little more about who you are and what you do? Barrie Davenport: Yes. I’m so delighted to be here, John. Thank you again for inviting me. Yes. I run Live Bold & Bloom, and that is the main platform for my business. I’m a coach and a personal development writer. I’m coming out with a book in November called The 52-Week Life Passion Project. I’m also about to launch a new site, barriedavenport.com, that will be focused on just helping people find and live their life passion, whether it’s through their work or through an avocation or a hobby or a lifestyle. My passion is just really about helping other people reach their fullest potential, move forward in their life and find a way to feel like they’re doing something meaningful. John Lee Dumas: Well, we are all about living with our passions here at EntrepreneurOnFire. So I’m really looking forward to delving a little more into that later in this chat. Let’s move on to our first topic here, which is the success quote. Here at EntrepreneurOnFire, we like to start every show off with our guest’s favorite success quote. It’s kind of our way of getting the motivational rolling. So Barrie, what do you have for us today? Barrie Davenport: Yes. I love that. I think that’s a great thing to do. I have a quote by Howard Thurman, who is an African-American author and philosopher. It goes as follows – “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” John Lee Dumas: Wow! That seems to fit in so well with your entire business makeup. I just really love that you pulled that quote. I’ve heard that once before in the past and it really resonated with me. So I look forward to linking that up in the show notes and maybe we can learn a little bit more about – it was Howard Thurman, you said? Barrie Davenport: Yes. John Lee Dumas: Perfect. I will make sure to link that up in the show notes. So Barrie, how would you say that you actually apply that quote to your everyday life or mentality? Barrie Davenport: Right. Well, as you mentioned at the outset, it’s really what my work and my life is all about. What I’m centered around right now is helping people find what makes them come alive. And of course that’s what makes me come alive. When you’re passionate about something and really engaged, you’re fully engaged not only in your passion, but you’re engaged in life because the passion that you have for whatever you’re doing spills over into all different areas of your life. So if you’re loving your work, people around you are going to feel it. They’re going to be more attracted to you. It’s like putting sunglasses on and the whole world looks better. There’s a huge energy exchange going on when people are passionate. It serves themselves, but it also serves the world at large. John Lee Dumas: Great! Thank you for sharing that. So we’re going to move into really our first main topic, which is failure. Well, not specifically just failure. It could also be a major challenge or an obstacle that you’ve encountered at some point in your life because at EntrepreneurOnFire, we really delve into the journey of our spotlighted entrepreneur. And that’s you today, Barrie. So we’re really excited to hear about your story, and just like every entrepreneur, we’ve all experienced a failure or a challenge or a major obstacle and we don’t let those failures per se define us as a person, but we really use them to make us grow as a person. We learn from them and we move on, either in a different direction or forward through that failure. Can you give us an example of a failure that you’ve encountered and how you reacted to that failure? Barrie Davenport: Well I guess the failure would be that I lived for a long period of time in a state of fear and self-doubt. I was really at a point in my life when my oldest child left home to go pursue her own passion – she’s an aspiring ballet dancer. I spent a lot of time helping her and focused on her career. Then when it came time for me to refocus on myself and on my career, I totally didn’t have any passion or enthusiasm around the work the work that I had been doing in public relations. I felt like I didn’t have a passion. I felt like I was too old to learn new skills, that there wasn’t anything that I would be good at, that it was too late for me to learn something new. That fear and those beliefs that limited me were really my failure because without them, I was able to do great things. But with them, I stayed stuck. John Lee Dumas: That means a lot because you really gave the kind of aerial view of where you were at that point in your life and how you reacted to that. I would kind of like to dive down now to the ground level, and let’s go to a point at where you’ve already launched your career in the online world. What was a major failure that you came up across or a major obstacle that you encountered early on in that journey? Barrie Davenport: The major obstacle for me was the technology of actually creating a site, and understanding HTML and understanding how to just navigate the whole online world. I came of age when computers were really dinosaurs. So I was not familiar or comfortable at all with developing a website or creating a blog. I didn’t even know what a blog was a few years ago. So overcoming that fear of technology was huge for me. Fortunately, the passion that I had for the work I was doing – for the coaching work and the self-development work and helping other people – was enough to drive me past that limitation and that fear around me. John Lee Dumas: So let’s kind of pull out some major lessons that you feel like you’ve learned from these failures or challenges that you encountered. Barrie Davenport: Well, I think the main lesson is to never underestimate yourself. You’re capable of far more than you think you’re capable of. And often, the things that you fear are the things that you really need to push through the most because just taking the time to learn a little bit about computer technology has opened an entire new world for me. By resisting it and holding back and thinking, I don’t like that, I can’t do that, it held me back from something that was really amazing. I took the time to take a course on blogging and I’ve read and researched. I’m bright enough to figure out some basic things. It’s not rocket science or brain surgery. It’s not my favorite thing in the world to do, but I do it because it’s a means to the passionate end that I really love and what drives me every single day. John Lee Dumas: So you gave an example that you took a blogging course. Let’s pull out a couple of really specific examples of actions that you took to get over these hurdles in addition to that. Barrie Davenport: In addition to taking the blogging course? Gosh! Well, I read a ton of great blogging blogs and online blogs like Think Traffic and Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income, and ProBlogger and Copyblogger. Then of course I took that course with Leo Babauta called A-List Blogging and became a member of their Bloggers Club. So you learn a lot through just reading and taking courses. Also, I made a real point of interacting with other bloggers. I think that’s huge in the online world. That you reach out to other people who can be your mentors, who can support you, who might eventually be able to partner with you. It’s unusual in the online world that unlike in most businesses, there isn’t that level of competition. There’s a network of support and collaboration, which is really beautiful. It’s just a very unusual model in the business world. So it was well worth my time to sincerely reach out to other people and see how I could help them and how they could help me. John Lee Dumas: I really just can’t stress enough to our listeners how warm the online community is. You just have no idea when you’re kind of outside of that community and you think that it may be a closed off community or people may be kind of stuck in their own world, but as Barrie just alluded to, it was so incredible to me to come in to this online community and to have such a warm reception by so many people. It’s just such a unique and special place. That’s why I really try to stress to our audience here at EntrepreneurOnFire, until you really actually dive in and give yourself a chance to experience the online community, you really have no idea just how open and welcoming it is. Is that what you found, Barrie? Barrie Davenport: Absolutely. I absolutely did find that, and everyone is so excited about what they’re doing. Of course you work in isolation a lot because you’re by yourself with your computer. So the energy combined with the desire to connect with other people really makes it an exciting place to meet people and to learn new things. What’s interesting to me is that everyone has something slightly different to bring to the table. Some different level of experience or expertise that can balance out what you have to offer and what you might be missing. I find that I’ve done some collaborations with people who are stronger in areas where I’m weaker, and weaker in areas where I’m stronger. So it’s been a beautiful kind of partnership. That’s always fun, is being able to connect with other people who provide that balance for you. John Lee Dumas: It is so much fun, and two of the people who you’ve brought up – Pat Flynn and Corbette Barr – Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income and Corbett Barr From Think Traffic are both friends of mine. They’ve been on the show. They’re just great, great individuals. I really enjoyed having them on and getting to know them as people. They’re just both very genuine and open and willing to talk to somebody that is interested in what they’re doing, which they are so passionate about and it just really shines through. Now, speaking of Corbett Barr specifically, and you said you have taken some online blogging courses, have you ever taken his How to Start a Blog That Matters course? Barrie Davenport: I haven’t taken that course, but I have worked with Corbett one-on-one. He has been really instrumental in helping me with my new site that’s about to come up, the barriedavenport.com. So a lot of what he teaches in that course, he and I worked on together on a one-on-one basis, and that was wonderful to me. Corbett is so full of integrity. That’s another thing I find in this online world, is that you – of course there’s a whole group of people that you have to be careful of, but there’s definitely a big pool of people who have so much integrity and really want to go about this in a professional businesslike, but warm manner, and that’s refreshing. John Lee Dumas: That definitely is refreshing, and I’m really glad that you’re sharing that with us. So we’re going to transition now into the next topic, which is the aha moment. Now, obviously as entrepreneurs, we have little aha moments every single day and they help inspire us and propel us forward into our new venture. But every now and then, we do come across this huge light bulb moment where this light just comes on and it’s so clear to us, and we know that this is just going to resonate so well with our audience, with our clients, with our listeners, whatever medium you’re using. Barrie, have you had an aha moment, a major one? Barrie Davenport: Yes. I think I had a major one when I had just finished up that blogging course that I mentioned to you – the A-List Blogging course. The woman I was working with on the course, she herself had learnt so much about the technology around blogging and she was a right-brainer like me. I was an English major and I write about personal development. I remember asking her, “How did you do that? How did you learn all that? How did you not get frustrated?” She said, “You know? You just do it. If you want to get it done, you find a way and you just do it.” I realized that’s absolutely true. You don’t have to sit around and ponder, can I do this? Is it going to be hard? Am I going to be able to figure it out? You just start doing it, and somehow, it all unravels for you. You find a way. That was an aha moment for me realizing I don’t have to limit myself to the things I thought I was only good at. I can become good at other things. John Lee Dumas: So what were some specific actions that you took following this aha moment? Barrie Davenport: Well, I don’t know if I remember specific actions immediately following, but I will tell you that within the last year, I started a site called A-List Blog Marketing that’s all about helping people with their blogs and marketing their blogs and creating blogs. So I was able to translate my fear into knowledge and that knowledge into action, and that action into something that helps other people. So it transformed from a fearful idea into a successful reality. John Lee Dumas: Barrie, have you had an I’ve made it moment yet? Barrie Davenport: An I’ve made it moment? Well, I think I have those moments regularly when I realized that I’m actually doing work that I love from my home, sometimes sitting in my pajamas, and getting paid for it. I don’t know that I’ve had this moment where I think, “Oh my gosh! I’m a huge success!” I don’t feel that way, but especially when you’re working by yourself, it’s kind of you don’t think about that. But I have it when I’m thinking, I can get up and go take a walk right now, or I can grab my computer and go up to Starbucks and have a coffee and do my work. It’s just being able to create a lifestyle that sustains you both emotionally and mentally and financially that is so exciting. I can’t encourage people enough to give it a try because it really is an amazing way to live. John Lee Dumas: I’m truly glad that you have that outlook because one of the blessings and curses of being an entrepreneur is you never really feel like you’ve “made it” because you’re always pushing yourself to that next level, to that next goal, and as soon as you reach it, you just set these new goals higher and further up the ladder. It’s so important to kind of take a deep breath, look at your surroundings, see what you’ve created and really appreciate it, and then continue to move forward in that direction that you have set for yourself. I’m really glad to hear that you are able to do that. A great thing to do is to really write down just positive things that you’re accomplishing on the course of every day because sometimes you can look back and just say to yourself, “Man, I feel like I have so much to do and I’m just not accomplishing much,” but that little journal of just bullet points of positive things that you’ve accomplished can be such a mental positive that I just really recommend it to everybody. Barrie Davenport: Yes. John, you know, actually in my coaching work and when I was trained as a coach, that is a huge, huge thing that we encourage clients to do. It’s called acknowledgment. You need to stop and acknowledge yourself for the things you accomplish because you can get lost in the doing of things and forget about basking in the successes that you’ve had. John Lee Dumas: That’s a great way to put it. In a way, it’s kind of a subconscious imprinting on your mind when you’re actually writing this stuff down. You may not think that it’s actually doing good for your mental psyche, but subconsciously, you’re imprinting that you’re accomplishing stuff and you’re going to take on that persona of a personal accomplishment, which is so key in the online world. Barrie Davenport: Absolutely. John Lee Dumas: So Barrie, let’s move forward now into your current business. You’ve shared with us some challenges you’ve had in the past. You’ve shared with us an aha moment that you’ve had that has allowed you to reach the levels that you’re currently operating at today, which is so exciting. What’s one thing that’s really exciting you about your business right now? Barrie Davenport: Yes. I would say it’s the work that I’m doing to create this new site that we’ll launch in about four weeks, barriedavenport.com. It’s the next level for me. You just mentioned we all have these goals and wanting to reach the next level. I’ve been really excited that Live Bold & Bloom has created such a nice community of people. I’m up to about 13,000 subscribers right now, and a lot of my subscribers are very interested in how to find their own thing that makes them come alive. Then even more importantly, how to put that into their lives because it’s one thing to say, “Yes, I have this dream to be a writer, but when you’re trying to pay the bills and make ends meet, how do you actually transition from your job to being a writer, or if you can’t transition, how do you become a writer on the side?” So that’s what this new site is all about, is helping people figure out, uncovering that thing that’s inside of them that really resonates with them, and then how to find a way that practically and logically fits in to their life, and pull that passion into their life in a way that works for them. So I really enjoy doing that work and that’s what I’m going to be doing on this site. I also love starting new projects and working on collaborations. I’m working right now with Leo Babauta and another blogger, Katie Tallo, to launch The Habit Course self-study program. This is a course teaching people how to create new habits that stick with you for life and how to create sustainable habits. We’ve taught that as a live course, and now we are releasing it as a course that people can follow on their own. In fact, we just launched that today, that self-study course, and we’re really excited about that. John Lee Dumas: Wow! Well, you have a couple of really exciting things going on. Thank you very much for sharing those with us. It’s really exciting to see where you’re taking your business. Barrie Davenport: Yes. It is exciting. John Lee Dumas: So Barrie, the word “entrepreneur” is a mystery to most people. They just scratch their heads sometimes and they’re like, “What the heck does an entrepreneur do during the course of a day? I don’t get it.” At EntrepreneurOnFire, we really like to pull back the curtain and show that being an entrepreneur can have a lot of differences to a typical traditional job, but at the same time, there are a lot of similarities because we all have tasks that occupy a good portion of our day, every day. Although no two days are identical, there are a lot of commonalities. So can you share with us two specific tasks that you find occupy a good portion of your day? Barrie Davenport: Sure. The main one would be writing. I post regularly on my blog and I really try to write posts that are very solid. As Corbett would say, “epic posts,” that have a lot of good information, practical information that provides solutions for my readers. So I take a good amount of time writing these posts. Often, they require a little bit of research. Then once you write the post, there’s a lot to do after that in terms of just laying it out and choosing a photograph and spreading it on social media. So that can take three hours or four hours of a day, depending on the length and the depth of the post. Then another thing that I spend a lot of time on is my coaching work. I get clients through my work as a blogger, and so I do spend time doing one-on-one coaching with people, either by Skype or telephone. So that’s not specifically related to handling my blog or my site, but it’s work that comes through my site. John Lee Dumas: Perfect! Barrie Davenport: Yes. John Lee Dumas: What vision do you have for the future? Barrie Davenport: Well, my vision would be that I continue to connect with more people around the world. That’s the exciting thing for me once I discovered working online, is that you’re not just dealing with people who live in your town or your city. You can reach millions of people around the world. I want to do that of course through my sites, my blogs, my books, courses, the articles that I write. So I will continue to do the writing. I’ll probably come out with some more books and more courses. But what I really love doing through those things is pushing people past their perceived limits and helping them define what makes them come alive. John Lee Dumas: I love how you keep saying “come alive.” It ties so well back in with your quote and just a great mentality to have really come alive. Barrie Davenport: Yes. Absolutely. John Lee Dumas: So Barrie, we’ve now reached my favorite part of the show. We’re about to enter the Lightning Round. Barrie Davenport: Okay. John Lee Dumas: This is where I provide you with a series of questions, and you come back at us with amazing and mind-blowing answers. Does that sound like a plan? Barrie Davenport: [Laughs] I hope I can provide amazing and mind-blowing. John Lee Dumas: I have no doubt, Barrie [Laughs]. Barrie Davenport: Okay. John Lee Dumas: What was the number one thing that was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? Barrie Davenport: It was not truly believing that it was possible to make a livable income from being an entrepreneur. Thinking that it would just be little drips and drops of things coming in. That I really couldn’t create an income that could support me. But that is not true. You can make a great income working online. John Lee Dumas: What is the best business advice that you’ve ever received? Barrie Davenport: The best advice I received, and I received it recently, was from a client of mine who is actually a marketing expert, and I had some questions for her around this new site. Her advice was “be yourself.” I think that is hugely important for people in the online world because you see so much hype out there and so much marketing speak and things that feel false. When you let your own personality shine through and you’re real and authentic with the people that you’re connecting with, it makes such a huge difference. People want to know the person behind the blog or the product or the book. They want to know the real you. John Lee Dumas: I love that answer because it is so important to be genuine and to be yourself. That answer just also leads us to the fact that if you are really engaging with your clients, with other people in the community, you’re always going to be learning. You’ve been doing this for quite some time now, and just recently, you’ve heard what you called “the best advice you ever received,” and it was from one of your clients who you were giving advice to. So it’s so important to engage, to talk, to just have conversations with people in the industry, and I definitely applaud you for that. Barrie Davenport: Well, and I would add to that that it’s really important never to think that you are too big to keep learning. That you’re too big to hear something new from somebody who is a smaller blogger or a younger person or less experienced because everyone has years and years of something behind them, and their something behind them is different from yours. So I’ve learned so much from people who are a lot younger than me. I’ve learned from people in their 20s things that have been life changing. So it’s not just learning from the mentors that are hugely successful. It’s learning from anyone from their own struggles and their own journeys along the way. John Lee Dumas: That really does tie back in to the fact of be a genuine person. In the short time that we’ve spent together, I can truly tell, Barrie, that you are of the mindset “be humble and be happy.” You’re a humble person, and that’s a great aspect to that, and that allows you to be open to this kind of information and knowledge from people who, even if they are paying you for your advice, you realize that there can be a two-way street of dissemination of information. Barrie Davenport: Absolutely. John Lee Dumas: What is something that’s working for you or your business right now? Barrie Davenport: Something really big that’s working for me is the idea of focus. This is something Leo Babauta has talked about for a long time, and reading his book called “Focus” has been very helpful for me. There are so many things when you’re running an online business that pull you in different directions and distract you, and you read so many things that tell you what you should be doing and what you should be focusing on and you need to handle this social media or that new plug-in, and it’s easy to get fractured and distracted. But I’m really learning to narrow down my day to what are the top three things I need to accomplish and focus intently on those things throughout the day and complete them without getting distracted. Then I try to clear my desk off, shut down different tabs and browsers on my computer, and really just focus intently on the task at hand. John Lee Dumas: I love the word “focus.” Personally, I love that word. Do you know what that famous acronym for focus is? Barrie Davenport: Tell me. John Lee Dumas: “Follow One Course Until Success.” Barrie Davenport: Ah. Yes, I love that. John Lee Dumas: [Laughs] Barrie Davenport: I don’t know why I’ve never heard that before, but that’s great. Can I steal that for my blog? John Lee Dumas: 100%. You don’t even have to link to me, but you can. No, I’m just kidding [Laughs]. Barrie Davenport: I will. I don’t mind linking at all, John. John Lee Dumas: That is funny. So this is something new that I’ve just recently thrown into the Lightning Round, so I’m kind of putting you on the spot, but I think it’ll be something you’ll be able to come up with pretty quickly just being engaged as you are in the online world. Do you have a resource that you can recommend to our listeners that you really love or that you really “can’t live without”? Barrie Davenport: There’s so many of them. I would definitely say that Think Traffic is a resource that I refer to that site every single day because there’s something on there that helps me understand how to build my business. That’s a great resource. Then I also love Smart Passive Income. That’s a great resource. Yes. Those are the two that are my main go-to places when I want to learn something new, and I feel like I’m learning something coming from people with integrity that I can trust. John Lee Dumas: Perfect! Thank you for that. Barrie Davenport: Sure. John Lee Dumas: What is the best business book that you’ve read in the last six months? Barrie Davenport: There are so many great ones. The one that stands out for me in the last six months is a book called “Supercoach” by a great coach called Michael Neill. Really, it’s not only a resource for coaches. It helps coaches really learn how to teach other people to live their best lives, but anyone can read it to learn more about how to transform your thinking, your relationships, your productivity. Just how to stretch yourself in general and become the person that you know yourself to be inside, but are having trouble realizing. John Lee Dumas: Wonderful! I will absolutely link that up in the show notes. Barrie Davenport: Great! John Lee Dumas: The last question, Barrie, is my favorite, but it’s kind of a tricky one. So you can take your time and digest it before you answer. Barrie Davenport: Okay. John Lee Dumas: If you woke up tomorrow morning and you still had all of the experience, knowledge and money that you currently have right now, but everything about your business had completely disappeared, leaving you essentially with a clean slate, which is where many of our listeners find themselves today, what would you do in the next seven days? Barrie Davenport: Okay. Well then, that makes it fairly easy because I would rebuild a site very similar to what I’m doing right now with barriedavenport.com, setting myself up as an expert – creating something called an expert site, which presents yourself as the expert in a very narrow niche. For me, it’s helping people find and live their passion. I would hire a designer to help me get the site up and running. I’d probably immediately start offering my coaching services on the site so I could bring in some income right away as I begin to build courses and write books and continue to write articles. I’d probably write a free guide or some kind of free product to provide to subscribers in exchange for their subscription email. Then I’d probably just begin connecting with other bloggers and mentors and other people to start creating connections and buzz around what I’m doing by offering maybe interviews or guest posts and that kind of thing to spread the word, and maybe focus on social media. So that’s a lot [Laughs] in seven days, but that’s what I would do. John Lee Dumas: You’d get to work, basically [Laughs]. Barrie Davenport: Yes. I would get to work. John Lee Dumas: So Barrie, you’ve given us some great actionable advice today, and we are all better for it. Give Fire Nation one last piece of guidance, then give yourself a plug, and then we’ll say goodbye. Barrie Davenport: One last piece of guidance would be don’t give up. That it takes some time. You’re not going to like start making millions in your first six months. You need to really give yourself a year, or even two years to start building that business. Then treat it like you would any other small business that you’re creating. Give it focus and energy. You have to put a little bit of cash into it. Not as much as the traditional business, but you do have to put some into it. Then focus on the task at hand. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, focus on what you’re doing, and keep moving forward. Then before you know it, you’ll look up and you have a successful business on your hands. John Lee Dumas: Barrie, thank you so much for joining us. I’ve so enjoyed this interview, and getting to chat with you has really been a pleasure. We here at Fire Nation will catch you on the flipside. Barrie Davenport: That sounds great! Thanks so much, John. I really appreciate being here.