The Secret to a Thriving Business - Love Your Customers with Jeanne Oliver

[00:00:00] Made Remarkable Intro: Welcome back. And thanks for tuning into the made remarkable podcast, hosted by Kelly Winn. Today's guest Jeanne Oliver, believes in building connection handwritten notes and the joy of growing a business while raising a family. Jeanne is a firm believer in being a lifelong learner. As it not only benefits us, but also enriches our ability to teach and connect with others. She and Kellee delve into the challenges and rewards of building a multidimensional business. The power of connection with your community. And the importance of aligning our desired life with our priorities. Don't. Forget to check. The show notes and transcripts for more information about Jeanne. Promotional offers and any other links or names mentioned in the episode? Kellee loves connecting with listeners. So don't be shy. Reach out on social media and together let's build a community that celebrates the remarkable. If you want to be notified every time a new episode hits the airwaves, just hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform. Thank you so much for listening and now let's get to the good part. Introducing Kellee Wynne and Jeanne Oliver.

[00:01:04] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, hello. Hello. I'm Kellee Wynne, artist, author, mentor, fiercely independent mother and wife, and the founder of a multiple six figure creative business, and I love my life. But I've been where you're at. I was slogging away at this art business thing for more than a decade. Once I finally connected with my true calling, unlocked the magic of marketing, and built a system that could scale while I realized I could make an impact and make a substantial income, I'm finally running a business that I love and it makes all the difference in the world.

My biggest dream is to help you do the same. Let this podcast be the catalyst to your biggest success. You already have it in you because you are made remarkable.

Hello, Jeanne. It is such a pleasure to finally meet you. We were just chatting for a little bit that I've been a long time admirer and I'm glad that our circles are finally colliding. 

[00:02:02] Jeanne Oliver: I am too. Thank you so much for having me. 

[00:02:04] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, so many of the audience, the people who are listening, know you for like the art courses and an incredible aesthetic around how you live a very creative lifestyle.

And I also see that you have like your fingers in all the different. Honey jars. Right. So the first thing that piqued my interest, especially as an entrepreneur, as a creative, as an artist. Like, I wanna make the art, I wanna make the products, I wanna make the art course, I wanna host the retreats.

I wanna like, yeah, you have a book published, I had one published a couple years as well, and I just realized that all these things, mm-hmm They add up to a big, beautiful business. But it's also so much work. And where do you put your focus? I was just like, what is it that's driving you right now, Jeanne?

[00:02:51] Jeanne Oliver: Well, when I look at all of the different ways we've diversified based upon the things that I really love to do, really when it comes down to it, it is saying, and I always have to start off with this because I think it will set the foundation for the rest of our conversation. I'm really big about how do you want your life to look and feel.

To get really clear on that, how do you want it to look in your home? How do you want it to look with your customers? How do you wanna look with your, like with your business and your day to day? How do you want it to look with your making and your family, and your health and your travel, whatever your thing is.

And then that shifts and changes because when our business started, our kids were really little and then now we have one at home, one in college, and one graduated from college. Right? And then you're starting to get close to our, you know, two years till our youngest is out of the house. So then it's again like, what do, just the two of us, how do we want our life to look and feel?

And, and so you're gonna constantly be shifting that. So it's not something set in stone, so for me, and we're gonna have different things that are important to us for me. home and garden and downtime and rest and time in the studio just for fun and play, and to travel. Like those are some of the big things in our family, right?

So it means I'm going to say yes to the things that bring me closer to those things. And I'm gonna say no to the things, even good things. Right. That's been the hardest thing sometimes when a really, really good opportunity. Is presented to me, and I know it's a good maybe business decision, but it's actually a bad life decision.

Yeah. Right. And so it's constantly saying, what are the yeses? They get me closer to how, not just how I want our life to look and feel like how my husband Kelly does and how the kids and, and getting input from everybody. Because every single Yes. Whether it's getting you closer or farther away, It's taken you away from what you should be doing, right.

So yes, we do have a lot of different areas that we've diversified our business, and I think it can be, maybe misleading that we're doing them all, all the time. And so, yes, I had the Painted Art Journal that was this amazing opportunity and it was this bestselling book and it was so wonderful.

But I did it once. Right, but I still can talk about it and I can still sell it and it's still of really great value. But I'm not consistently writing books, right? That's not something that I want to do, and it's not something I am doing online classes. I may only do a true full-length class, maybe once a year.

And then maybe I'll do something smaller, maybe one other time of year. And there's some new things I've been doing that to kind of even adjust that, that works better with my life, like live Zoom classes, because they allow me to now connect with people and teach something small in a short amount of time that doesn't take me weeks to film.

And. Then in our live workshops, we only do those for a few months of the whole year. And we used to do eight to 10, and now this year we're doing six. But it's in a very short period of time, and then, teaching for somebody else, that's very rare that I'll say yes to that.

That has to be a really good yes, in my life. For me to do that now. Right? And that's like once a year, you know, most, and even product and things like that. So there's all these things, but just kind of remember that we're not doing all of them. All of the time, to the point of excellence.


[00:06:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Especially that, yes, every yes means a no to something else. Absolutely. Right. So I am hearing you and I still think, wow, that's a lot to figure out and juggle in a year, but, I also am going to make a big assumption that you have a lot of help because this is not a job for solopreneur. 

[00:07:03] Jeanne Oliver: No. Well, and that's the thing too.

When we first started, our kids were little. My husband was working full-time, for a different company. And it wasn't until about seven years ago that my husband came full time. But he was still doing a lot of help. I think the misconception is that we have to do this by ourselves, right?

And we can't, so I can't do it by myself. I never did it by myself. My husband was always helping me. Like my very first class, Christie Tomlinson had asked me to do an online class for her. This was 14 years ago, 13 years ago, something. Yeah. And if my husband wouldn't have said, oh, you film it, I can edit it and I'll get it to her, I would've cried through the whole editing process.

I'm sure I could have figured it out, but that helped me say yes a lot easier. And that really helped me to say yes to a lot of other things going forward. And so, yes, I do have that help. I also have help, just people helping me gather inspiration. And I have people that help with our SEO and, you know, lots of things like that.

So these aren't all like a, a full-time staff like Kelly and I are full-time, but everybody else are contractors that are doing what they do very well and we get some of their help. 

[00:08:25] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Right, exactly. So let you stay in the position that only you can do, which is creating the art and showing up as you recording the podcasts and all of those kinds of connections.

And then hand off the things that maybe. Isn't your ideal job to have to do in your business or that someone else knows better. 

[00:08:46] Jeanne Oliver: And there were lots of years that I had to do those things too, not the editing. Yeah. But like there's a lot of things that when we did all of them, and that's why, sometimes even now, there's things that I do because I need something quickly.

I'm not a graphic designer. You know, thank goodness there's things like Canva and PicMonkey, and. Websites like Tonic and things like that, that really give us great templates that make it, make it easier for us to have nice looking graphics. But, that stuff has come a long way, a long way in the 15 years since, like we started our business.

And we also have kids that have grown up in our business and our kids actually do a lot of things and they get paid for it. Yeah. Whether it's working at our life workshop, our son, reviews the podcast and gives us the notes, or he does our promo videos and do, you know, like, so, so our family has been very involved using their gifts and finding a place for them to also be a part of it.

[00:09:48] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's really cool. I had my middle son doing video editing for a very long time. He started learning in high school. He's like, this could be useful. Like, oh yes it can. 

Thank you very much. And this year he finally sent in his resignation. I was pretty bummed. So we've had to outsource somewhere else.

But it's really fun when the family is involved because I really feel like it's opened up my children's eyes to possibility. Yes. You know? Yes. Entrepreneurship, creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness. It just changes how they look at the world, that we can actually have some semblance of control over our future rather than just being another cog in the wheel of the machine.

[00:10:33] Jeanne Oliver: And I think too, if our parents went, my dad was an entrepreneur, but he sold real estate and, but he went away. He went away to do his job. So it can be very abstract of like, so what's he doing? Or what's that take? And that was an entrepreneurial job. So now add, like Kelly, he worked for, you know, IT for the government like half the time I didn't even know what he did.

You, I would give a, I would give a description of his job to someone. He's like, I don't even do that. You're like making up.

[00:11:03] Kellee Wynne Conrad: No it's the same for me, my husband does work for the government and half the time I'm like he does some sort of computer stuff. Don't ask me. 

[00:11:12] Jeanne Oliver: But your kids saw, they see what you're doing and they're seeing what you're building and the thing that's so beautiful about it, and not just your kids, the people that are listening to this podcast, the people that have been following you for a long time, they've seen you use building blocks.

Yeah. And so they've seen you start one place and slowly move forward to what's next for you. So that's a gift for everybody. When they can look and see some progression. 

[00:11:41] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Which means it's possible for anyone. Right. But if you stay in it for the long haul, that's the key. Right? Right. I mean, if your first course was 14 years ago, look at how much you've been able to build in those 14 years.

[00:11:55] Jeanne Oliver: Yeah. Well, and that was 14 years ago, teaching for other people. And then about 12 years ago, like offering my own first class. 

[00:12:03] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Right. So when did you start the Jeanne Oliver Network? 

[00:12:07] Jeanne Oliver: You know, that actually was probably about 12 years ago, the original version, which was on Kajabi and so, but not Kajabi like it is now. Wow. Ka Kajabi that when I look back, it kind of felt like, did you have one of those like. What were they? The dot, uh, what were the printers when we were little that Oh, yeah.

Yeah. They would, yeah. That's how that, that's how Kajabi used to feel like you couldn't control anything of how it looked. It was you went to the class and you would have it listed in your lessons and a gray background, and that's just what it was. Super, super simple. And then we went to Ning. After that.

Oh yeah. I remember. As, as we, yep. And so we had all of our classes on Ning. Once again, what we were dealing with is we had no control over how anything looked. Right. That's what I'm trying to say. Anybody in business entrepreneurial stuff right now, you're really in a good time for it because now Kajabi is. Amazing. Right? It can look exactly like your website. It's a seamless, back and forth between your website and hosting classes. You would never almost think you're jumping to someplace different, right? You could think you're staying on their site and the biggest, biggest people are using Kajabi.

That's just not what was available at the time. So we were at Ning and then we thought at the time our only option was to. Host everything on our own. Yeah. When in reality now there's Kajabi and things like that. Yeah. And so it was maybe five to six years ago that we actually just had that hosts all of our classes, maybe a little more than that time-wise.

And so, you know, we have over 170. Paid classes. Plus we have another 40 free things. Plus, we have over 121 teachers from around the world and we have over 70,000 students taking classes from us. But it's like we now manage this whole site and you don't have to do that. Right. We wouldn't even have to do that now. 

[00:14:15] Kellee Wynne Conrad: The barrier to entry is so much easier at this point. Yes, yes. You know, you record with your phone. You can even edit on your phone. And create content that easily, and like you said, canvas's come a long way. Yes. I never really wanted to get into Photoshop and designing, but Canva, like everything can just look beautiful now and much, much, much more easily creating each of these things.

But there's. Other elements about the business that are probably harder than they've ever been. And I would say that that's getting to the point of understanding marketing in this new age, like since 2020 marketing has changed so much, have you noticed a huge shift? It's almost like we're all like clawing through the wave pool.

Like just get me to the top of the wave so I can breathe before I get pulled back under again. 

[00:15:07] Jeanne Oliver: That's why I would say, 'cause there's a few things that come to mind instantly. And part of that is, even our customer base used to be a really big part of that marketing. And I feel like with Facebook and then Instagram and now there's lots of content online. It used to be, I like, I remember, and then there was blogging too. Yeah. So blogging, you would actually have longer discussions. People would share more, not just little snippets of things. I actually think bloggings, I, I think it's coming back.

I think you're right. I really think people want to connect more. They would rather say, here's a couple of businesses I'm really connect with in lots of different ways, and I would rather dive deep with a smaller amount than kind of, have a little bit of contact with a whole bunch. So I do think that depth and relationship and that is definitely coming back, but it used to be that people would be so excited because it was actually rare that you could kind of step into the mind and the creativity of another person and you could watch it and learn and take something away and then go build it.

So you would have not only everyone super excited. Yeah, they would also be sharing a lot also, and it's become so common. Yeah. That things that are honestly still a really big deal. Like teachers, like creatives, they're pouring their heart and soul into something, and you just don't always have the fanfare that it's actually still deserves, I believe.

I believe that. I see that. A lot. Right. And it's just because people become so numb to having so much beauty offered to them all the time. 

[00:16:53] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And that's a good point. We're overloaded with the information, yeah. And so and so, I mean, a lot of us will shut down. Like I'm actually finally taking an intentional break from it.

But a lot of us will shut down. Even like, it's not even fun to scroll anymore because it's like, okay, it's all just this big sea so I think we really have to rethink how we're doing our business, how we're showing up, how we're connecting. And like you said, blogs are coming back, podcasts are working still really nicely, but I feel like as it's these intimate spaces we need again.

Yeah. Not for the big huge concert hall, but maybe the small little venue, you know? And so creating connection in a way we haven't seen in a long time. Everyone, everyone jumped on in 2020, and I'm excited about that opening up more opportunity for a lot of people. But at that same point, it just means.

We're gonna have to have far more clear voices and connection with other people if we're gonna be seen and heard 

[00:17:55] Jeanne Oliver: And take care of the people that already love you, instead of worrying about the people that haven't found you yet. And that's such a really big thing. I think that so often business owners can be thinking of like, Who else can I get?

Or I want my numbers to grow or I want my bottom line to grow. Of course, those are things everybody wants. But I don't care if you have 50 people that love what you're doing and you start treating them like really well, that grows to 75 and then a hundred, and then a thousand loyal people that know you appreciate them, take care of them, and so much of, even like our newsletter every Wednesday.

In fact, if I don't have something of content to give our customers on Wednesday, we don't send a newsletter. And that means either it's a free technique video, maybe it's my beauty roundup. I do beauty roundups from all around the internet. So it's like a newsletter, just about a free stuff that you can watch or read or download, whatever it is.

Throughout the month, we have some core things we do. And I love that. We'll hear all the time from our customers. Thank I went and got a cup of coffee and I got into a cozy chair and I sat and I listened to that music and I downloaded that ebook, or I listened to that interview or I watched that beautiful video or you know, and I just left super inspired

[00:19:23] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So you're giving value instead of just selling every time you show up in a 

[00:19:27] Jeanne Oliver: Right. And I'm saying like really important, Hey, these are things I think are beautiful and I think you will too. And I had to share 'em with you. And are we taking care of our customers? Yes. We run a business. My family relies on our business.

My husband works full-time. Like everything that we are doing obviously is because we have this business. But how can we love on our customers well while we run this business? Because without them, we don't have much at all. 

[00:19:58] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, I said this the other day in my coaching group, customer service is a strategy.

Mm-hmm. In and of itself when you're like looking for like, do I need to do reels? Should I be on TikTok? What new thing do I need to do? And that's when I was like, customer service, that's the strategy. Like you said. Love the people who are there. Have them feel so good that they can't help talking about the experience that they've had so that you can welcome more people into that kind of community That's nurturing.

I think it's in a lot of ways it's forgotten. I, I, my son again, back to the kids who are super smart because they're paying attention to what we're doing. Now he comes to me all the time. I've been watching this marketing video. I'm like, so are you gonna be a marketer? Because you'd be pretty dang good at it because there's different kinds of marketing.

Mom, you know, there's, there's the, before somebody buys it, he goes, but think about how Apple. Operates, most of their marketing budget goes to reinforce the customer they already have that they're happy with the product that they've already bought. Yeah. So it's this internal marketing and I'm just like, that's that moment where the light bulb goes on and you're like, okay, wait a minute.

So honestly, I spend so much energy on the outward, the marketing to find that one new follower on Instagram. If I just make this one reel, when honestly what I need to do, What we all need to do is basically what I'm saying is focus on, like you said, reassurance and nurturing and loving the people who are already there, who've already given to you and participated in what you have to offer.

Yeah. Customer service is a strategy. Absolutely. 

[00:21:37] Jeanne Oliver: Yeah. No, love them. Well, and they'll love you right back. Yep. 

[00:21:42] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Absolutely. And we do work really hard in my business to make sure that people feel cared for and listened to. Mm-hmm. It's important. Well, how do you do that with 70,000 customers? 

[00:21:54] Jeanne Oliver: Well, I think I told you this when we were just chatting before we got started.

Sometimes for me it's a very abstract thing working online because I am very much a homebody, I'm actually an introvert and I really like rest and slow days and making and time in my garden. And so to also have this whole thing running. Separate from that it actually allows me to do those things too.

But sometimes the, the large number doesn't register until our youngest, Ben, is very good at saying, mom, this is a picture of. Um, this, like, I had a reel not too long ago, go to like 225,000 and that's big for me. Like, that's not normally how many people like see my reel. So that's a very big reel for me.

And I was like, huh, well that's, that's so crazy that this reel like connected with people. So he, he found a picture online. He goes, mom, this is what 225,000 people look like. He had a picture. I'm like, That's so crazy. You know? Or we recently were at a Harry Styles concert and when we were in London coming home from a trip, and, and that stadium was like, probably had about 50,000 people in it.

And Ben goes, mom, there's more people that are on your network then are in this stadium. And that's sometimes, whoa. That's so true because I actually don't think of people like in that number. I say the number usually so people know we have a legitimate business.

Because I think of them more like in our Facebook groups. I think about this person and oh, they are really loving people's art. And so to me, because I am not Harry Styles in front of 50,000 people singing, that doesn't register even. So I. Honestly, think about people as we're wrapping up their art supplies or we're connecting with them on Facebook.

And when they come to our studio, we only have room for 25 people at a time. So we have 25 people that we connect with and see face to face. So to me, everything feels. Small. Smaller. Yeah. It feels more intimate. It feels like Facebook groups and one-on-one or it feels like s, you know? Mm-hmm. And so, you should ask Harry Styles how he, because I can't imagine actually being in front of everybody.

Yeah. So how I look at it is we just really look at, at it 1% at a time. We look at it like, this person's having a problem getting into their classes. How can we help them right away? This person wants a special order of art supplies. How can we get that for them? Or handwritten notes in every package and we try to put extra things in it to make them know.

I want people to feel like they're getting a gift when they order something from us. So that number off to the side is a big number, but, that is not how I look day to day at everything we really right. Because we know people's names and we get to see them face to face. Obviously not everybody, but I guess when I'm sitting and thinking what do, what do our customers need?

Those are the people I'm thinking of. The people that do come to our site, the people that do reach out, the people that order things, the people, like, I picture them in my mind, even right now when we're talking, I'm thinking of very specific people and what they need our site to be. 

And the thing is, our business could grow and be 500,000 or it could be 10,000, and that's the same mindset. I think we would keep the whole time.

Right. Because nobody at one time can make a half a million people happy, right? No. It goes back to customer service. It goes back to customer service. 

[00:25:57] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Come back to that and, and making sure you have the team in place. Do you work with, I mean, I've seen many. A really amazing entrepreneurs, women in this industry have their husbands work with them.

I can think of, a few right off the top of my head. How has that transition been for you? I mean, obviously it's great help to be able to bring the family in and, and have them support you and your husband, and you work together as a team. But I would be terrified to do that with my husband. 

[00:26:29] Jeanne Oliver: It's not for the faint of heart.

It is very hard and there's good days, there's bad days, you literally will be the worst version of yourself and the best version of yourself. Mm-hmm. And it takes a lot of work to understand how somebody else ticks compared to how you tick and then helping somebody else understand how you work.

And, like I said, to completely like, there's great days and there's hard days, and. To learn how to build something together. I think what makes it it all, it could be easier is that my space is separate from his space. We don't work in the same space all day just because aesthetically and how we work is so very different.

And so I think separate spaces and then you come together for meetings, and discuss things and what you need to do. But we also have really clear guidelines of what we're each responsible for, and so he's over. Customer service stuff and he's over, the tech aspect and he's over, even like, I find the teachers and he then works with them and he's the one that reviews their videos and do you know what I mean?

Like we have very separate jobs, of what we do. And so that probably helps a lot. And for each person to really know clearly. What they are needing to do for success, and I think it's hard to come in on something if Kelly would've built something on his own and I'm coming in and trying to find my place.

So for anybody listening and they're starting to build something and they would like their spouse to come in and start helping them understand that you kind of already have the idea that it's yours. Mm. But if your spouse is the 

[00:28:17] Kellee Wynne Conrad: question that 

[00:28:17] Jeanne Oliver: I wanted to ask, if your spouse is gonna come in, then it's, and it's your spouse, right?

This is not somebody else coming in onto your team, it's your spouse. It's hard to let go of that, that this is mine, because now like, It has to evolve and grow and change, which means you have to let things go and you have to kind of get softer into that idea. And, you have to include the bubble to be this other person. Right. And that's hard. That's hard to do. 

[00:28:51] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's hard to do just being married in general, to learn how to communicate well, and that give and take. And then you add the other layer of business, 

[00:28:59] Jeanne Oliver: Oh, and my name is on it. Do you know what I mean? Like my name is on it. That makes it even worse. And so 

[00:29:07] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Is there ever a power struggle over it?

Do you get the final say or do, have you worked out a way in your relationship? You don't have to have it be that way. 

[00:29:16] Jeanne Oliver: Our personalities are very different, but I think, he's more likely to fight me on things when it comes to like, tech stuff. Okay. That I need to do. It really bugs him. I do everything on paper.

He does everything in like Google Calendar. Mm-hmm. You know, and I'm just a paper person. And there's a lot of things that are literally, he has a whole separate world of things that I don't even come into usually, unless SEO or uh, are like, The webmaster or things like that.

I need to be a part of something. So I think he has his world. He runs and then I have the world I run. But it, you know. Right. The umbrella is for both of them. 

[00:29:59] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Right. You're, you're still the visionary though of the business and where you wanna drive it. Take it. 

[00:30:04] Jeanne Oliver: Yes. And how Visually he would never be the last word, visually, like I would be the last word of it, because that's just like, he doesn't care about that.

Right. But he would tell me that's this strong aesthetic. And you know, and even our spaces. At one point we had talked about having a joint workspace, like a computer space, like an office space. And not to be mean, I really did it as a gift to him. I'm like, this needs to be your own space.

You need to put up. Fluorescent art and you need to put up like nano leaves and you need to put up those car collections you have and it needs to actually be a space that when you go into it, you feel as good as when I go into my studio, you know? And so I think that.

He has this one space where he can buy whatever art he likes and he can listen to whatever music and whatever lighting he likes. And our aesthetic is so different. That mine shouldn't always win. Right? Like even though it's strong for the business, it shouldn't steamroll his own personal space. Right. 

[00:31:14] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I understand that completely.

That gives you still some autonomy in the way that you guys live your lives and, and build things together. So where is the vision for the whole Jeanne Oliver network and workshops, and I know I was, I watched you took a pause, especially after 2020 to not do international trips for workshops, but I think that's shifting back again.

Are you doing that with people or just for yourself? You're traveling. 

[00:31:48] Jeanne Oliver: I had decided in early 2019, that was gonna be the last year I did the Living Studio International. So that just happened to be like, Just very good, decision making, um, because it probably saved me a lot of hassle if we would've sold spots in 2020 or things like that.

But I had decided, this is, once again something good, but it actually was bringing me farther away from how I wanted my life to look and feel. Right. So I. Took that break and we've actually downsized lots of things. We used to have like 25, uh, new online courses a year.

We are down to like six to eight. Okay. Like we're doing six to eight. So, I might have a few more of like, 'cause I'm now doing some live zooms, those will end up being like classes too. and that might fill it in a little more, but that's substantial. Last year it was like 10. This year I mean it's gonna be under 10 this year.

And to go from 24. To like even less than half. That was a big shift and I felt like that was needed. I think think it was needed because kind of like what I said to you earlier, when a teacher that has, um, collaborated with us, comes on our site, pours their heart into soul and soul into something, I want it to be celebrated.

Yes. When there's so many classes everywhere, everybody has classes now you can literally learn from the best of the best in almost any industry now. Very, very easily. Whether it's, like a author you love or photographer or an actor, anybody, a chef, you can learn so easily. So it felt, also for us, and we have 170 classes, it was us saying, Hey, how do we start looking at those 170 classes?

And then how do we promote and like, share those? And then the thing is too, we used to have like 10 live workshops here. We're down to six a year. Okay. And then I did say yes for the first time in, gosh, I don't even remember the last time I had said yes to someone else teaching. I think it had been like five years.

And I think, Collaborations are one of the most beautiful things that has helped our business grow over the years. And collaborations have also taught me the biggest thing about make sure your collaboration's a good one. 

[00:34:24] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:34:26] Jeanne Oliver: And so it's hard when you put your name on the line on a collaboration, but so does that other person.

So I just think I said yes to an overseas collaboration when I felt like I could feel really good about it again. 

[00:34:41] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. So is that coming up? 

[00:34:44] Jeanne Oliver: It's coming up in October. It's gonna be in Tuscany, and in fact, oh wow. The first one sold out so fast. It sold out within minutes that, we scrambled and she goes, do you think?

And Stephanie Lee's teaching with me also. Yeah. And we'll teach several days. And they're like, do you think we could like, Would anybody wanna do a second week? And so the next day she opened up another 22 spots my and those sold out with like, that's so yes. 

[00:35:10] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That is brilliant. So when, the time is right, it's still.

An amazing opportunity to teach either in your own space or overseas. Absolutely. Although that's more of a collaboration. It's not probably like as heavy lifting as you did in the past teaching internationally. 

[00:35:26] Jeanne Oliver: Oh, no. 'cause when I would do the living studio, I mean, I feel like it's kind of, it's a kind of dreamy, I get to go show up, I get to enjoy the women, I get to enjoy the event.

I teach for a couple of days and. You know, I don't think I'll ever lead overseas workshops again. But I appreciate so much the, opportunity to teach for someone else. 

[00:35:51] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Teaching for someone else. There is an ease in that, and I have had the opportunity to teach at different workshops before, and 

in person just changes everything about how you teach? Yeah, it does. 'cause you have an opportunity to really see the response, the, the struggles, the questions, the, the change and the transformation when you are in person. There's just nothing like that. And I still really encourage. The wider audience who's become very accustomed to buying a class online, which is great because it makes it accessible.

We can watch from anywhere. People who don't have the means to travel now have an opportunity to learn, like you said, from anyone and everything across the globe. But there's still nothing like gathering in person. 

[00:36:40] Jeanne Oliver: Can I tell you why I think that is though too? I think as adults No, I agree. It's amazing that we get to do online classes, but this is the thing about online classes versus something live so online I could watch it and I could rewind it.

I could actually go stroke by stroke on whatever they're doing. And then I could pause it, go do something, come back, and then watch what they're doing intricately right. And literally slow mo something if you wanted to. Very comfortable. It's in your own space. It's great. Online is great, but this is what I think about as we get older as kids, we were all out of our comfort zone probably multiple times a day.

And as we get older, we can build a life, myself included. That is very. Comfortable. You know, you could just keep going along and not get out of your comfort zone if you want to. And I think it's to our detriment, and this is the thing that I love about a live opportunity, so I understand.

  1. Like literally not everybody's gonna be able to go to Tuscany. It's a really big deal for people to even come for two days to our workshop. But if you have something in your area that is even a few hours, or if it's a one day or it's worth the sacrifice to, I would like to say it will change you and it changes your brain and it changes how you.

Handle being out of your comfort zone. Because when I watch people come into a live workshop, sometimes people who are really out of their comfort zone, like there they struggle that first day. They have to make a decision. They either make a decision that's like, this is ridiculous. I paid for this, I wanted to come to this, I want to show up.

And, and if they can get out of their head, they come the next day and they're like, I am leaving that behind and I'm gonna push through this. Because it is not normal to make art in a room with 25 other artists. You're not gonna make your best art ever. That's not what it is. It's getting out of your comfort zone, pushing yourself, doing something that you're not in control of.

Somebody else is bossing you around and telling you what to do, and you're going from one thing to the next and you're gonna have to meet new people and. Some of you're gonna love, some of you're not. You're going to eat different foods. Do you know what I mean? Everything about it is out of your control.

And every single time I have gone as a student, as an artist, and as a student to a live workshop, I have left with literally so much goodness that I would've never grown. Mm-hmm. In the safety of my own space. Right. I've had in person 

[00:39:32] Kellee Wynne Conrad: that in-person situation leaves you in a vulnerable state really, 

[00:39:37] Jeanne Oliver: and you have to choose what you're gonna do with it.

[00:39:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Right? Absolutely. That's a really good point. It's, we are awfully comfortable in our homes and I'm a home body, but I know that when I. Take that chance on doing something outside of my comfort zone. It does stretch me, and I've taught art classes in person recently, but I haven't taken one.

And so that's a good reminder. No matter how far along you are in this journey, putting it in that position and learning again, and especially if you want to be a teacher or you are a teacher, Being in that position as the learner, again, the student again helps transition how you're looking at what you're doing.

So it's highly recommended. I know a lot of artists would love to teach, and there's a whole lot of different ways, like I encourage those who wanna make a business out of their creativity, to think outside the box and really come up with a new way to connect. It's not always about selling art or just teaching an art course.

What advice do you have as they're coming online now? Like all these amazing, talented artists who had never thought about teaching before, and now they have that opportunity, like you said, it's easier than ever. And I know you do business coaching, I know that you help mentor other businesses. What would you suggest for those who have dipped their foot in, they have the videos now, they're like, okay, now, but how do I make the next step?

How do I connect with the audience? What do I do to get the word out there? 

[00:41:05] Jeanne Oliver: I think the first thing I would say, if you're wanting to teach, whether live or in person, make sure that the content you're sharing is yours. Make sure that what you have, that you've gotten good stuff from, that you've worked out of that.

To your own stuff. I don't think we should ever teach until we have worked our way out of inspiration around us. So that's my first thing. Love it. 'cause, 'cause we'll get a lot of people that send things to us and they're like, I would love to teach for you. And I know exactly whose class they took. I can tell.

Like, like, you know, and they did a beautiful job. But, this is the thing too, between online classes and a live workshop, an online class, you can literally slowly in private and then safety make something and that's great. That is there such a place for that. But guess what's gonna happen when you do stuff live?

You're gonna make ugly stuff. It's okay to make ugly stuff. And so the, what happens is from the comfort of online classes to live workshops to you, then taking that knowledge and then bringing it into your own art, right? You're finding you. And so you can be taking the best online courses in the world.

You can be learning so much from people. But if, if you make something, and I think it's Kelly's. You would be so sad. So I love nothing more. 

[00:42:34] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Not hiding your voice first. Be proficient in your own style first. 

[00:42:39] Jeanne Oliver: Right. 15 years ago, people weren't like, oh my gosh. I like, I know, I knew that was a Jeanne Oliver before I knew it was a Jeanne Oliver.

Now they do. Right? And the thing is, I would just say now you have a great idea. You come up with something that you really wanna share with people and you know, like you feel really good about the content you've created. Um, I would say the very first thing I would say that people need to do is you need to start, you need to have a website.

You need to have a way to capture people's names and emails. Mm-hmm. And you need to be growing your email list immediately. It is the only thing you'll own. So if you want to sell classes, if you want to sell your work, you have to have something. You own Facebook, I don't own Instagram. I don't own Pinterest.

I don't own all these other things. I don't own them. And so the only thing. If Instagram went away tomorrow, it wouldn't matter how many follow me there. Right, right. And so few of of my followers see my stuff unless I'm paying, and even when I pay, they're not. So are you building something solid?

Like take your website, do it simple. It doesn't have to be fancy. Have an opt-in, which means just a pop-up that says like, give them something that you think they would like, whether like your favorite art supplies video or something like that, that they'll trade your name and email for that video.

And I don't want you to compare yourself to anybody. If you have five email subscribers, love on those five, and then you'll get 10 and then you'll get 15. Be okay with growing. Slowly. People that are acting like you can be making all this money in a short period of time, and you can have all these followers in a short period of time.

I'm telling you. Yeah. Loyalty is slow and steady. And, trust is built slowly and over time, and it's worth the effort. But start right now. Start right now building that email list. So when you have a new class, you're literally guaranteed to get into the inbox of those 20 people that love what you're doing, and then make sure that you're not just reaching out to them when you have something to sell.

At least make sure that if you have something to sell the next time, make sure it's something that's of value to them. Right. And the nurturing in the Yes inbox, yes. 

[00:45:16] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Like you said, you design these great newsletters to send and you are providing value weekly. And I think that that's really important is, that we're there to give as well and to serve as well, and to show up and inspire and encourage and.

Hopefully in the exchange we're building our business and we can sell our work or our courses or whatever it's that we have to offer. 

[00:45:38] Jeanne Oliver: But my first thing really would be to to grow your email list. And the next thing I would say is because everything good, everything that's come out of our business has come from collaborations.

Yeah, it's come from, you don't have to do this alone. You don't have to be in your creative space all by yourself, like against the world. Start connecting with other people and start sharing your customers with each other. It really helps you grow quicker and you don't feel alone. and you'll be inspired.

And so I just really think collaborations, whether it's being on someone's podcast, and find people that are the same as you, right? Find people that are just starting out and them sharing you with their Facebook, you know, community or their Instagram. Slowly, you can have a much bigger following yourself.

[00:46:28] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. Power and community again. Yes, coming back to that. Absolutely awesome. There is a offer you have for the listeners that ties in with sales and getting your name out there and being heard, and I just wanted to give you an opportunity to remind everybody to come take advantage of. 

[00:46:48] Jeanne Oliver: So we've created this little ebook and it's called Are You Losing Sales?

And it's seven time proven tips to Boost. So they're just simple things that I think can make a big difference. There's nothing, it's not anything that's splashy, these are just really key things that I think people are sometimes missing and, and they're little tweaks. These are just little tweaks how you connect with your customers.

How you offer your product that, are going to get attention more than what I see a lot of people doing. So I would hope, uh, if, if you guys are interested in more sales or looking at maybe what some of these little tips are, I would love for you guys to take advantage of that. 

[00:47:30] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Absolutely, and we will for sure be putting that in the show notes and everything else to make sure that, thank you.

We have that opportunity. I think it's a great idea. We need a little tips or what you don't know, what you don't know, so thank you for offering that. I love to ask one important question at the end of every podcast. Okay. I'm gonna put you on the spot a little bit. Okay. This is your big audacious dream.

[00:47:54] Jeanne Oliver: Oh well. Honestly, if I think about my big audacious dream, I would have to tell you when I think of in the future. Mm-hmm. Um, Literally my kids and Kelly that like everything is for them. So I just that we continue to adventure together. We just got back from five weeks in Italy, uh, four weeks in Italy, one week in England, and next summer, like everything I work hard for or what we sacrifice is, so we have these adventures.

So when I think of going forward, just these adventures together as a family, as long as we can do that. And I think too, when I think of myself older, I really picture myself by the water. So the ocean is usually where I think of my, myself and that I paint for the rest of my life.

So my dreams aren't, uh, I am a lifestyle entrepreneur way more than anything else. Everything I work for is for the lifestyle I wanna lead. One of my favorite living artists was, was living, was Francois ot. And she died at 101 just recently. In fact, when I was in Italy and she was Picasso's common law wife, they had two children together.

She was a great artist in her own right, but until the last few years, she was still painting every single day. And so if you are a maker, if you are a creator, if you are an artist, I would say over everything else, live your life like you are one. And don't save it as a reward like when the mundane is in life is done and then you'll get to your painting or your gardening or the beautiful things I say make.

You're a maker. So live like you're a maker and make that every part of your life. And so for me, I just hope I'm an old lady. I hope I live a long time with the, and that I paint the whole time 

[00:49:49] Kellee Wynne Conrad: and take adventures with the family. Yes, which is my. Biggest heartfelt dream as well. That's all I wish for, is more adventures with my family.

And aren't you so blessed that even as they're growing older, 'cause I think our kids are very similar in age, they still wanna travel with you. I mean, isn't that a miracle? Cultivate that by the way, we live our life and model it to our kids. 

And I think that that's, that's beautiful. Thanks. Thank you so much, Jeanne.

[00:50:20] Jeanne Oliver: Thank you for having me. It's been a beautiful discussion. 

[00:50:23] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's been wonderful. 

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