In today's episode on the Systems Made Simple™ podcast, learn the secrets to scaling a business quickly and staying growth minded despite unexpected obstacles.
If you are a course creator, service provider, or a digital business owner who is looking to scale a business beyond six figures without sacrificing your family’s quality of life or hustling yourself to death in the process, today's episode is for you.
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Courtney Elmer 0:00
Hey there, welcome back to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast! You're listening to Episode 69 about how to stay growth minded when scaling a business. I have a very special guest here with me today who grew her company from zero to $4 million in under four years, from her kitchen table, and without a huge team, simply by staying growth minded when scaling her business. So if you are a course creator, a service provider, or a digital business owner who is looking to scale a business beyond six figures while raising your family, without hustling yourself to death in the process, then today's episode is for you. Stay tuned.
My guest today, Wendy Jordanov, is the founder and CEO of an incredible company called Huggaroo®. A mutual friend introduced me to Wendy, and when I hopped on a zoom call to meet, I thought, this woman is one of the most delightful, smart, funny, and inspiring women that you will ever meet. As the CEO and founder of Huggaroo®, she has your comfort and your relaxation top of mind. You need to look up Huggaroo® if you haven't heard of them before. This is a family-owned company dedicated to creating top-of-the-line products that provide pain relief and comfort for busy people. What is so interesting about Wendy’s story is the explosive growth they've experienced in scaling a business in such a short time.
Today, she's here to share with you how being growth minded helped her scale a business so quickly, and give you her secrets for scaling a business quickly by implementing the same, growth minded strategies. What Wendy has built is is absolutely incredible. I can't wait for you to hear the secrets that she is going to share with you on scaling a business without sacrificing your family in the process.
Wendy has a PhD in educational psychology. So she's a woman after my own heart, because with my psych background, and the way that psych and business intersect, we could have gone on so many tangents on this show. But where we focused was on the secrets behind scaling a business while maintaining your emotional well-being, and how to equip yourself, your kids, and your entire family with a growth minded attitude. Because in addition to being an expert in scaling a business with a growth minded approach, she is also an expert on well-being, and on psychological and physical health.
She's here to give you her advice on how to grow while balancing your family life in the mix, and how to empower your kids and your family to be growth minded and include them in the process of scaling a business.
She's also got a few valuable practices that she's going to share with you to help you overcome mistakes and failures faster, simply by being growth minded. We also talk about why having something called a fixed mindset could be preventing you from growing in the way that you want to and causing you a lot of frustration in the process of scaling a business. We also reveal, of course, what you can do to eliminate those frustrations so you can keep making forward progress when scaling a business. So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to my dear friend, Wendy Jordanov, who's here today to share her secrets about how to stay growth minded when scaling a business.
Courtney Elmer 7:20
Wendy, welcome to the show! I cannot wait for our conversation today about how to stay growth minded when scaling a business. I'm so glad that you're here.
Wendy Jordanov 7:27
Hi, Courtney, thank you so much for having me on your show to share about two of my favorite topics, being growth minded and scaling a business! I'm honored.
Courtney Elmer 7:31
You've built an amazing company. Tell us a bit about Huggaroo®. How did that come to be?
Wendy Jordanov 7:48
Huggaroo® is a family-run company. I am sitting at my kitchen table now. This is where I've been since 2016, working on scaling a business. It is a labor of love. It began because of a need. We have two little boys who got had trouble sleeping due to nerves and anxiety, and we needed something to help. So we started coming up with ideas of things that we could do to help them fall asleep faster and sleep better through the night, and developed a weighted blanked to help them. Then at the same time, I have had migraines for many years. I was needing something to help relieve the pain in the back of my neck and help me relax and reduce the stress and tension I was feeling every day. So that was our second product. We launched both of those. And Huggaroo® has grown from that.
Courtney Elmer 8:42
I love how this was born out of this need. I remember you telling me this story about your son would have trouble going to sleep. And how having these weighted blankets helped him to cocoon him and give them that sense of security. I'm someone who has struggled with migraines over the years, too. Even though they’ve gotten progressively better as I've learned how to better manage my stress and be mindful of the pressures that I put on my shoulders, there's still every once in a while where I will get one and to have something to help mitigate that is so needed, especially when scaling a business. A lot of the people listening are entrepreneurs, and as entrepreneurs, we see ourselves coming and going every day, trying to scale a business. We're up when the sun comes up, we go to bed long after the sun goes down, working in all the nooks and crannies of the day.
When it comes to scaling a business, it's important that we take care of the human behind it, which is why I was excited to bring you on because your company is dedicated to taking care of people. What would you say were some of the pieces of your journey that prepared you for being able to start this company and scale a business so successfully?
Wendy Jordanov 10:35
My background is actually quite crazy and has been a series of adventures. When I was in college, I volunteered to go overseas and teach English as a second language. During that experience, I met people who helped me realize that wanted to do something to help people feel better and reduce stress. At the time, I thought, maybe I want to go into psychology and learn about how we deal with the stresses and problems of life and ways to better handle that.
So I got my degree in educational psychology, human development, and learning, which is where I was first introduced to what it means to be growth minded. I became a professor and taught for several years. I loved working with my students and helping them explore the world of psychology and become growth minded as well. Then when we got pregnant with our first child, I started looking at my calendar and thinking, How in the world am I going to do this? I realized something had to give. So I ended up becoming a stay-at-home mom, being with my kids here at home playing lots and lots of Legos. When they started school, I started to wonder, Okay, what's next? Do I go back to teaching or do I want to try something new and different? At that time, it was when kids were struggling with sleeping. So I started looking into ways to improve sleep, and I realized I'm not the only one who was weary and exhausted and frustrated and feeling overwhelmed. There are tons and tons of parents out there who are struggling, especially when scaling a business. I wanted to share the tidbits that I was learning about being growth minded, and the techniques and the tools and anything that I could get my hands on that would help my kids. Then I thought, I need to get this out to other people! And so Huggaroo® was born.
Courtney Elmer 13:18
Wow. I always find it so fascinating how the things in our past that might seem completely unrelated to whatever it is we're doing now, actually do inform what we're doing now when scaling a business, in many ways. This desire that you had to help people and how you did that for so many years teaching, and then transitioned and became a mom and then transitioned again and started this business, you've been helping people all along the way.
That's what I want to point out here. Because for those listening, sometimes we have these desires in our heart that I believe God places there for a very specific reason. Sometimes they're not always fulfilled in the way that we expect. I remember when I had my son and became a mom, and I'm sitting here thinking, How am I going to scale a business now? because there's no way that I can show up to zoom calls and coach people and help people and speak from stage and do all these things — I have a newborn at home!
At the same time, my own desire to help people to serve others to help people flourish in their lives was being fulfilled, but in a different way, through my calling as a mother. I find it so fascinating when we look back over time and can connect those dots and see how even though having a background in whatever we have our background in may not directly relate to what we're doing now, that it still informs it and we can still draw from that experience. Part of my ability to do that came from being growth minded, but there were a lot of lessons along the way.
So take us to 2016. You're sitting at your kitchen table, you're dealing with these migraines, you're realizing the need that your boys have, you're recognizing that other people have this too. And in almost five short years, you’ve scaled a business — a multimillion-dollar company — from your kitchen table, which is absolutely amazing. What would you say was the defining moment for you when you realized you had something here, and that it was going to help a lot of people?
Wendy Jordanov 15:39
It has been so exciting and full of adventure. At first, I thought, I needed to do this in a very systematic, organized, calm, professional way. Scaling a business did not turn out like that at all. It has been episode after episode of errors and mistakes and problems and failures. This is where being growth minded comes into play, because I had to learn from those and pivot and persevere and get back up again. Back in 2016 I thought, let me do a small little business that’s local. Maybe I can talk a boutique store into carrying some of our products, and we can start small. Scaling a business on a grander scale wasn't even on my radar. I thought, we can learn as we go, and then we'll grow. Instead what happened is it went viral, because the message of Huggaroo® resonated with people who wanted to feel better and less stressed and to have more energy and focus. I’ve literally learned everything as we go — that's part of being growth minded. But that’s been the biggest lesson — that you CAN learn as you go! You can jump in and take a leap of faith and do the best you can do. Then if you make any mistakes, you learn from those, and you build on that, and you keep on plugging away (and enhance your growth minded outlook in the process).
Courtney Elmer 18:15
There were so many little gold nuggets in what you shared. Even going back to the beginning, you had it in your mind that you’re going to be organized, and start small. And how sometimes, we don’t manifest our dreams but they manifest us in a way that invites us to step up to the plate — this is part of being growth minded too. You said, there were so many mistakes and problems and failures along the way in scaling a business, but your growth minded attitude throughout it all has been to pivot and persevere. That’s a motto people can take away from this episode, write it down, put it where you're going to see that every day, because those obstacles are going to come. Yet when you look at it through that lens — pivot and persevere, pivot and persevere — that can become the anthem to which you march every day and keep going. I'm curious, what were some of the ways in which you specifically overcame those obstacles when scaling a business? Were there certain techniques that you used to stay growth minded? Or did you have a certain approach for working through the problems that came up for you when scaling a business over this time?
Wendy Jordanov 19:34
When I was in grad school, we studied an author named Carol Dweck. She talks about two different choices of mindsets: you can either have a fixed mindset where you say, I either know it, or I don't, I can either do it or I can't. If you come across something that you can't handle, you give up and you stop trying. OR, you can develop a growth minded attitude where you focus life in a way that you believe you can grow, you can change, you can learn, you can build your skills, and you can overcome obstacles.
After reading about her and learning the differences between a fixed and a growth minded outlook, as well the studies that she did on how children blossom and grow and feel so much more confident if they are growth minded, at that point, I thought, okay, if I ever have kids, I want them to be growth minded. And if I want them to be growth minded, well, I need to be growth minded. So I need to let go of my insecurities and my fears, and self doubt, and instead, approach things from a view that it's okay that I don't know the answers, it's okay that I don't have all the skills, I can work on those. If it's important enough, I can put the time and the effort and the energy in and I can develop those, and then be able to do the things that I want and to fulfill the dreams that I'm going after.
Courtney Elmer 21:09
You make it sound so simple. And it is! I think that's the biggest hang-up, at least it was for me in the beginning of my journey in entrepreneurship, where it almost sounded too simple to be true. That’s TOO easy. We’re supposed to work hard! We’re supposed to put in the hustle and grit and work our way through it, it should be painful. But as I've learned in scaling a business, being growth minded does make things easier. Even though the problems will still come, even though the challenges are still going to be there, being growth minded equips you to handle them differently.
How awesome that you're instilling how to be growth minded in your kids too. I relate to that so much — instilling a growth minded attitude with our son is something we've been working on. As I've been on my own journey of undoing all of the mistakes that I've made and the mindsets and the beliefs and the stories that I've adopted over the years, and working to rewire those and shift and change those, something that’s been so important to me is to live in a way that my son can emulate. This doesn't mean I'm going to get it perfect 100% of the time, but I think that's the beauty in equipping your kids to be growth minded because they can see that, yeah, you're going to fall down, there's going to be hard days. As I was explaining to him yesterday, (and he's not even three yet, so I don't know how much of this goes in his head), but I was explaining to him, Mom feels tired. Sometimes I lose my patience. Sometimes I raise my voice. And I'm sorry for those times that I did that. And this is how I'm choosing to handle it. Planting those little seeds, because it breeds resilience, and it shows that we don't have to get it perfect. But that we can pick ourselves back up, reset, and keep going to work through that. And I think that's so valuable.
Wendy Jordanov 23:11
That's beautiful. I agree.
Courtney Elmer 23:12
Have you worked with children in particular in any way in your career? I'm asking because child psychology has always been so fascinating to me. With your background in psychology and emotional and physical health, I'm curious because we've got a lot of people listening who do have children. And they're trying to scale a business with children in the mix, which as you know can present challenges of its own. What advice might you share with someone who wants to become more growth minded, and equip their kids to be growth minded, but maybe they're struggling now to juggle at all when scaling a business, and they're not sure how to stop treading water and start swimming in the direction they want to go?
Wendy Jordanov 24:00
That is a great question. Yes, we're exhausted as entrepreneurs working constantly. Even when we’re not working physically, we’re constantly working in the back of our mind — the ideas never stop. For me, a beautiful thing that I have realized and that I'm trying to do on a daily basis is that even while doing the work to scale a business, I let my children know that I see them and I hear them and I am connected to them. Instead of nodding my head and saying Yes, yes, Uh huh. Whatever you say, okay, go play, I want to have quality interactions with my children and to let them know that I do want to connect with them. I want to know what they're thinking and what they're feeling and how they relate to what's happening to them during their day and nurture them in any way I can.
We often as a family will say, okay, we need to focus on each other and not think about other stuff outside of the family, but spend time together. This also helps kids become growth minded because they feel safe, and nurtured. So we do fun things like play charades and act them out. It’s a beautiful fun time for us to relax and giggle and laugh and enjoy each other. Activities like that can help us connect on a level that might be missing if we're rushing through our day and packing lunches and washing clothes and getting things together and making sure everybody's brushed their teeth and got the pajamas on. And helping them use their imagination can help them become more growth minded too It's key to take a little bit of extra time, and bond with those around us to make that personal connection, and to enjoy each other's company, even when scaling a business. And to treasure these moments because they are fleeting, and our lives are flying by. Focusing on the now is a key way to get the most out of each and every day while scaling a business. What can we be thankful for today, and what can we enjoy today, by following our bliss, and loving on those around us.
Courtney Elmer 26:37
I love that so much. And how practical that is, too! Something I often teach our students is to pay attention to their feelings as they go throughout the day. Your emotions are there to guide you in the right direction. Learning how to manage your emotions is part of being growth minded, too. When you feel that sense of worry, or that sense of anxiety, that sense of frustration, or stress, or you're exhausted, those are such telling moments when you can now notice those feelings and say, Hey, this means I need a timeout too. Maybe it’s alone time you need, maybe it’s family time. And you can say our family needs a timeout. Let’s come together and take it to that level deeper, to connect, and to bond and have that quality interaction. You’re right, that is so, so important, not only in the development of your children and in helping them be growth minded, but also for you. It nourishes your soul in a way that other things can't.
A lot of students will complain to me that they have young children and all they want to do is play play, play. And as the mom you’re often saying ok, as soon as I finish this email, ok, as soon as I unload the dishwasher. It's always this tendency to push away. Maybe it's not intentional, but it’s like trying to close the tab in your brain first, then feeling like ok, now I can sit down and play with you.
But in this story, it said, do the opposite. A mother was trying to scale a business and was struggling with this exact scenario with her son, and she flipped the script. When he asked to play, she would sit with him and give him 10 minutes of phone free, quality interaction. After that, he would go on and play on his own independently, because his cup was full. He didn't need to be nagging the whole time asking for his cup to be filled. And it was such a perspective shift for me that has stuck with me. I'm definitely guilty of those times where I'm like, hold on, honey, I'm unloading the dishwasher right now. But remembering that and orienting and ordering our life in that way, can be so powerful. So thank you for sharing that.
Wendy Jordanov 29:24
Thank you for reinforcing that. I am excited to flip that script and play first!
Courtney Elmer 29:31
Yeah! And it saves time in the long run too, right? When you think about it, it’s 10 minutes. That's nothing. It's such a small amount of time, but yet, it's so much time from a child's perspective, especially when they're little and they don't have a sense of time.
Wendy Jordanov 29:49
Yes, and it's such high-quality time. It doesn't have to be a lot of quantity, but quality.
Courtney Elmer 30:03
Completely. So Wendy, I'm curious to hear, especially in light of developing a growth minded attitude when scaling a business, what does it mean to you to live an EffortLESS Life?
Wendy Jordanov 30:31
For me, it’s following my bliss while scaling a business. That means helping people, and being creative, and thinking outside of the box. As long as I can keep doing that, then it takes away the burdens of feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted. It balances out.
Courtney Elmer 30:54
Mm yes, feeling in that flow. Following your bliss, whatever that is for you. Wendy, thank you for all that you shared today about staying growth minded while scaling a business. It has been such a joy to have you on. I know that our listeners got so much out of this conversation. You are a wealth of knowledge and a source of inspiration for so many. Thank you for the work that you're doing in the world.
Wendy Jordanov 31:27
Thank you, Courtney, this has been delightful. I appreciate you having me on your show.
Courtney Elmer 31:32
Where can people connect with you and find you online?
Wendy Jordanov 31:35
I’m on Hugarroo.com. And then also on Instagram, @Huggaroo_Comfort, or Facebook or Twitter.
Courtney Elmer 31:54
We will link up all of that in the show notes so that people can find you and learn more about Huggaroo® and try out your products.
Wendy Jordanov 32:29
Oh, thank you, Courtney.
Courtney Elmer 32:31
Isn't Wendy amazing? I could sit here and listen to her talk all day, especially about scaling a business and developing a growth minded attitude, two of my favorite topics. If you felt inspired by something that Wendy shared about scaling a business or being growth minded, we'd love to hear about it. Send us a DM over on Instagram @theeffortlesslife.co and let us know your biggest takeaway from today's episode about scaling a business and being growth minded.
By the way, on this month's upcoming live workshop, I'm giving you an insider's look at our step by step playbook for building your dream team while scaling a business. So if you want to get your hands on it, keep listening because in a moment I'm going to share how you can register for that workshop and get access to our exact interview and hiring system that we use here at The EffortLESS Life® to help you find the right people, hire the right people, and train them the right way to support you in scaling a business and achieving your greater vision.
Coming up next week on the Systems Made Simple™ podcast, we are answering the burning question that many entrepreneurs are asking themselves, which is, Should I hire overseas? I don't know. Should you? You'll find out next week. If hiring overseas is something you've tried or something you're considering, you don't want to miss this episode. I'm going to show you the mistakes that we have made when it comes to hiring overseas and how to tell if hiring overseas is the right fit for you. And if it is, how to do it right. So we'll see you back here next week. Until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.