Jessica Wright and Tracy Hornik Minisode Transcript
Women Innovating Networking Growing Scaling – that’s WINGS … I’m Melinda Wittstock, my mission is to help women take flight to soar to the success of our dreams in business and in life–creating and growing businesses in alignment with our passion and purpose.
On our Mentoring Minisode of Wings of Inspired Business … we talk about why it takes a village … of women … to build a successful business. Just like we say at Wings, we increase our own chances of success when we are willing to “lift we climb”.
Here with us today to provide their insights and inspiration is …
Jessica Wright and Tracy Hornik.
Jessica and Tracy are the co-founders of “She’s on Top” – a platform by women for women. Their mission is to celebrate, encourage and connect women entrepreneurs, empowering all of us to reach the top of our game.
Jessica and Tracy both have award-winning backgrounds in the entertainment industry – and both believe as I do that the best content is connection and conversation.
Jessica says she’s been a passionate storyteller for 30 years – and as a former executive producer and director, she’s created, developed, written and produced award-winning factual entertainment, docusoaps, documentaries, comedies, children’s live-action and animated programs, as well as shorts and commercials. Her credits include The Lab, Till Debt Do Us Part, Disaster DIY with Bryan Baeumler, and HGTV’s Family Renovation.
Tracy started her career as a litigation lawyer and caught the entrepreneurial bug to build one of Canada’s most successful wholesale gift companies. Then she translated her childhood passion for photography to build a successful photography business before moving on to make documentary films.
Jessica Wright & Tracy Hornik will be here with their advice in just a moment on our Mentoring Minisode and first a question for you…
Both Jessica and Tracy joined together to bring their video storytelling, broadcast media, and entertainment skills together … first with a channel called channel eztvonline … and now, She’s On Top.
“She’s on Top” is a digital platform celebrating, encouraging and connecting women entrepreneurs, and empowering all of us to reach the top of our game through content, conversation and connection.
Today Tracy and Jessica share how to find the balance between work and play, leave guilt at the door, why we need to be flexible, coachable and adaptable to succeed – and more.
Melinda Wittstock: Welcome to Wings, Jessica and Tracy.
Jessica Wright: Thank you. We’re excited to be here.
Tracy Hornik: Yes, very excited.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, me too. I always like to begin these mentoring minisodes with what’s inspiring you both right now.
Jessica Wright: You want to take that first, Tracy? Tracy’s going to go first.
Tracy Hornik: I think what’s inspiring me right now is the fact that so many women out there are collaborating and really coming together to support each other. I just love that.
Jessica Wright: I think so too. I’d say something pretty similar. It just seems like daily there’s changes and opportunities, and women seem to really got the bit in their teeth for working together and are moving ahead with it.
Melinda Wittstock: I read somewhere that our DNA, it’s in our DNA to collaborate. We actually release the feel-good chemical, oxytocin, when we collaborate, so there’s some science behind that.
Jessica Wright: I think that’s true. This is Jessica speaking. I think that I always use that quote, “It takes a village to raise a child”. That’s what I think is a very female thing. We’re much better, as you said, creating a village to raise a business.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh gosh, so true. We all have challenges in business and in life. Often, with the right conscious mental attitude, those challenges make us stronger and better. What are some of yours?
Tracy Hornik: This is Tracy. I think some of the challenges for us, is because we’re a small business and we’re a startup, it’s hard sometimes getting found. It’s like chicken or egg, what comes first. To get out there, it really is hard. When you’re on social media platforms, you need lots of followers in order to … if you were to find you, how do you get those followers when you’re so small. I think that’s a challenge when you’re a small business is getting found.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, it’s really true. How about you, Jessica? Do you have anything that’s particularly challenging beyond that?
Jessica Wright: I think the challenge, it’s a daily practice, which is to stay calm, to not be reactive. Social media, you can get caught up in a lot of the how-to’s and this is what you should be doing and likes and comments and how other people’s businesses are doing. We interview a lot of women. Whenever you get caught up in a comparing, it can get you a bit spinny. I find that the challenge is to stay calm and just realize that your business is unique and to stay focused on where you want to go. You make decisions from that place rather than out of reaction which can get you into trouble.
Melinda Wittstock: Gosh, that’s true. Avoiding comparisonitis, I call it, and reaction. The only thing that we could really control actually is how we react to things. Often there’s a lot of things, as entrepreneurs, that are beyond our control. What are we going to do with those inputs? I love that, Jessica, just stay calm and everybody has their own journey. It’s not the same as yours.
Jessica Wright: Exactly. Tracy and I are really always try and pull ourselves back to it. We really work from the philosophy of the [inaudible 00:03:31] acts like the universe is rigged in your favor. Everything’s come here to help you. Even something that can feel negative, you’re like, it’s only a negative if I choose to believe it’s a negative. It might be something that’s pushing me in the right direction. It’s all my choice. It’s all within how we react.
Melinda Wittstock: Let’s move in the mentoring part of our minisode. I’d love it if both of you could share your top three pieces of advice for female founders and women in business that you’ve learned along the way.
Jessica Wright: I’ll let you go first, Trace.
Tracy Hornik: Yeah, I think mine, again, goes back to collaboration. I think it’s really key to find other people that you can work with, that you can collaborate with and support each other. I think having support, not just in friends and family, but from other women in business in key.
Melinda Wittstock: Jessica, what would be your number one?
Jessica Wright: I would say adapt and allow. What I mean by that is there’s a famous Darwinian quote where he said, “It’s not the strongest that survive in the species. It’s the ones that were able to adapt.” It’s a combination of having an idea where you want to go with your business but also leaving room to adapt and allow so you can stay open to opportunities and maybe shifting gears a little bit to be like oh, even our business, we had an idea when started of what it was going to be. It actually looks quite different. It’s a positive way quite different because we were able to listen and react in a slow calm way to this is what’s happening, this is where we’re getting some great feedback. Maybe this is a direction we can go in a bit. I’d always say adapt and allow rather than staying rigid to one thing.
Melinda Wittstock: Very important advice. Number two, who wants to take number two first?
Tracy Hornik: I’ll go for number two. This is Tracy. I’m going to go for number two. Number two for me is to be able to find balance between work and play. I think it’s really important to keep play in your life. I’m a single mom. I have three children. I want to be able to enjoy my time with them and as well as putting my time and effort into my business too. I think for me, it’s really important to find that balance.
Tracy Hornik: One bit of great advice we got, we interviewed a fantastic woman entrepreneur. Her name is Judy Cole. She runs a company called Mabel’s Labels. She has six children. She said she left guilt at the door. I think it’s really important not to feel guilty when you’re having fun and not to feel guilty when you’re working and to find that balance.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. I’m a single mom with two kids. Yeah, it’s the same thing. I think it’s curious, actually, that I find that my entrepreneurship makes me a better mom and my mothering makes me a better entrepreneur.
Tracy Hornik: I find the same thing.
Melinda Wittstock: You do have to really create quality time for both. If you’re running around in guilt the whole time, that doesn’t really help anyone. Jessica, how about you? What’s your number two?
Jessica Wright: I would say it’s something that we found through all the women that they do and that Tracy and I do which is to get some kind of outside coaching or counseling. Tracy and my partnership, I think, works well because we’re both highly accountable for our behavior. We actually see the same counselor, and it makes night and day into our business. When you’re in a business partnership or when you’re in a business, it’s like a marriage, it’s a rocky road, it’s quite stressful. To have that calm outside voice that has your best interest at heart who can reflect back to you something that you may not see, it’s been huge.
Jessica Wright: Most of the women that we’ve talked to who are successful entrepreneurs have said they will either get counseling if they’re a couple or they will have a business coach, but I think it’s key.
Melinda Wittstock: Really, really true. I think of all the breakthroughs in my business that really only happened when I learned to ask for help and I surrounded myself with mentors and coaches, plural, people who had done what I was doing before me. Why not learn from people who’ve already done it? It makes so much more sense. It’s a natural accelerator. Let’s move on to number three.
Tracy Hornik: This is Tracy. I think number three for me would be that there is no wrong or right way to do anything. Sometimes we feel we have to work 9:00 to 5:00 or we have to do certain things. I think that you can make it work for you. If you’re more effective from 7:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon, that’s okay. Then maybe you take a break and you go back to it later. I think there are no rules, that you create the rules that work best for who you are. I think we work differently. We have to recognize that fact.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, we absolutely do. Jessica, final word to you, number three.
Jessica Wright: I would say one of the most important pieces of advice that we got, whenever we’re launching any idea or anything, we go out and we get a lot of feedback. Negative feedback is just as important as positive feedback. It’s business. It’s not personal. The negative stuff, it’s hard. When you put your heart and soul in something, it’s hard not to just want everybody to say it’s wonderful. You have to go to people that you trust, that have your best interest, but the negative feedback can save you a lot of time and heartache. It’s just as important to see how what you’re doing is received as opposed to what your intent is. Your intent may not be how it’s coming across and you need to know that.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. How wonderful. Ladies, how can women find you, work with you and be part of the Women on Top community?
Tracy Hornik: We have a website, shesontop.com. We’d love if you’d go there and sign up for our newsletter. Through our newsletter, you find out about everything that we’re doing. We also have a YouTube channel. You could go sign up on the YouTube channel. We release a video maybe every two to three weeks. We would love you to sign up. Also, give us your feedback. When you go on that YouTube channel and you watch a video, let us know what you think, did you like it, was it helpful, what would you like to see.
Jessica Wright: Both things are important. The newsletter is great because we share a lot of stuff from our community, and we also share things that you won’t see on our YouTube channel which is things that are inspiring us, whether it’s videos, podcasts and stuff. It’s great. You can see how the bigger community that we’re creating works.
Jessica Wright: The YouTube channel is really important to us too for people to go on, like, make a comment because we’re almost at 1,000. At 1,000, you become an official YouTube partner. We’re so close. We’d be super grateful for any subscriptions or people to sign on. It would be really fantastic.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful. All right. Thank you so much, Tracy and Jessica for flying with us today and grabbing your wings.
Jessica Wright: Thank you. This has been a total pleasure.