198 MINISODE Lena Elkins: Love and Business
Melinda Wittstock: Lena, welcome to WINGS.
Lena Elkins: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: I’m excited to have you here and really always interested on these Friday minisodes to know what is inspiring you right now.
Lena Elkins: Yeah, you know, I feel like it’s a new thing every week but right now I actually just got married.
Melinda Wittstock: Congratulations, how exciting.
Lena Elkins: Thank you so much, I know it’s amazing. And what’s especially great is my now husband; he works full time in the business which has been such a cool thing to just see evolve, not only as our team in the business has grown over time, but that he’s taken such an important role. And now not only are we married but we get to continue the growth of our business together and just been like so exciting and positive and it’s just really motivated and inspired us a ton recently.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh that’s wonderful. That’s exciting, it’s tricky. A lot of people struggle to when they work with spouses or partners, what’s the secret to getting that right?
Lena Elkins: Well I’m not going to lie, we haven’t been doing it for so many years so I guess I’ll have to let you guys know. But I think that since he’s been working full time in the business I’d say it’s been about six months. And the biggest thing that I’ve learned is to realize when it’s time to have conversations about your relationship and your family and everything like that and when it’s time to have conversations about business.
So I’ve seen so many couples where things just get so intertwined where they end up laying in bed at night stressed out about something going on in the business and that just ends up completely taking away any kind of really romance or love that can go on. So I think knowing that okay at 5:00 p.m. or at 6:00 p.m. we’re done talking about business, we’re going to go out we’re going to see our friends, we’re just going to focus on the relationship. So being able to find that separation has made a huge difference for us.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah that’s so important really all about boundaries.
Lena Elkins: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: And so every business and every entrepreneur has challenges. What are some of yours?
Lena Elkins: Our challenges, well I would say that the number one challenge is we actually live very far away from where most online entrepreneurs live. We live in Tel Aviv, Israel. And so because of that, sometimes, although I’m very fortunate that being an online entrepreneur I’m able to have connections and clients and everything all around the world, but sometimes it does feel a little bit isolating. And knowing that there’s all these live events and conferences and meet ups and things that I see so many of my peers in this space being able to participate in. Sometimes it can feel really isolating being so far away. So that’s one challenge that we’re still kind of figuring out how to overcome. We’re trying to see if we can split our time between half in Israel, half in the States. I’m actually originally from California, from San Francisco. So if we’re able to do that so that’s been a really big challenge.
And I think also just growing a team has been harder for us than we thought it would be. We decided to start onboarding some team members about a year ago and it’s been such a learning curve for me about leadership and management and being a motivating boss and really making your team feel safe and good and supported, you know, has been a big learning curve I would say for both of us. But yeah those are two things that are very real for us at this time.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, yes that’s interesting. It’s interesting about the isolation because one of the things women, in particular, struggle with is making sure that they’re surrounded by the kind of networks, professional networks, personal networks, mentor networks. Right?
Lena Elkins: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: Lena, this is a great opportunity to segue now into what your top three go-to pieces of advice are for women in business. And of course, you are kind of coaching a lot of coaches and consultants in this. And so what would you say the top three things are, particularly for women?
Lena Elkins: Yeah that’s a great question and it’s interesting that I would say even though we don’t only work with women, 95% of our clients are women and so I see a lot of these things that come up specifically on the business side. But so much of it has to do also with standing out and feeling really good about where you are as a woman in this space as an online entrepreneur where the vast majority of the people are men at least in my experience. I’m just going to share a few of the things that I really try to share over and over and over again with my clients, with my community. And these are things that maybe some people will think, you know, I already know those things but they have to be reminded time and time again in order for it to really get solidified in that positive mindset that we’re all trying to build up.
But the first piece of advice that I always like to give is to stay in your own lane and ditch all comparative bias. And in my experience, it’s one of the number one reasons that women end up giving up or quitting in their businesses because they’re so obsessed with scrolling through Facebook, seeing their competitors. Thinking how they could be doing something better than someone else or not knowing exactly how they can do that. That can be so defeating and overwhelming. One of the best advice I can give is follow your intuition and stay in your own lane. And instead of becoming just a nonstop consumer of everyone else’s content, really allowing all that comparative bias to come about, become a creator of content.
Follow your gut, follow what’s being real in your life and share that instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing. That will really help you to stop comparing yourself to everyone else and simply realize that you have a unique message. You have a unique purpose in the online business space, a message that only you can bring. And there are people out there right now who are just waiting to find you. But that’s going to make you really figure out what makes you unique and staying in your own lane so that they can find you instead of you copying everyone else because you’re feeling inferior. So that’s the first piece I would share.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s so important. Really when you think about competitive differentiation as well. When you’re being authentically you, nobody really can compete. Because you are aligned with your true purpose and mission and hopefully your business is aligned with that as well. So what is number two?
Lena Elkins: So number two is something that you know if at first people hear this and they think, “Well doesn’t really make sense but hear me out.” The second piece is to make decisions from the mindset of your future self, not the person that you are today. And people are kind of like, “Huh, what does that mean?” Because if you think about where you might be in business five years from now or 10 years from now. Let’s say that you’ve made it. You’re somewhere in the seven figure marker, the high six figure mark, you’re feeling really confident, you’re really able to live the life of your dreams, you’re able to travel the world, spoil your loved ones, whatever it is that you want to do.
When you are at that place, how would you feel about yourself and how would you approach decisions? You would probably approach it with a lot of confidence and that security and knowing I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. I prove this to myself that I can do this. I am in control of this situation. So what I always challenge people to do is to take that mindset and adopt it today. And make decisions from that point of view instead of the one that you might be in right now which might be feeling very insecure, or not making all the money in the world yet or not feeling so great like you have enough experience. But when you’re making decisions often and kind of viewing the world in what you’re trying to do from that mindset it’s going to be very difficult for you to grow. But instead, think about your future self and make a list of kind of where you want to be at mindset wise then and adopt those ideas today. And that’s going to allow you to become that person so much faster.
Melinda Wittstock: Beautiful. Okay what’s number three.
Lena Elkins: Well number three, gosh it’s so hard because there are so many that I can share right now but I think one that I always have to say is execution over perfection. And I know that a lot of people have spoken about this. Gary Vaynerchuk has famously spoken about this but it’s so, so, so true. Don’t be focused on creating this perfect thing, whatever it is. Whether it’s new course you’re coming out with, whether it’s a talk you’re going to give. It doesn’t matter, don’t be focusing on the perfection because it’s never going to be done. And really the people who end up standing out in this space are the people who are just executing full force, unapologetically, even if it’s not perfect.
So I think that as you’re really getting started as an entrepreneur it’s so important to not just keep studying, studying, studying, working, working, working but instead actually showing up and sharing your unique gifts even if it’s not perfect yet. Because really nobody cares if it’s perfect they care about hearing your unique voice, they care about the unique value that you can bring to the table. No one’s looking for that perfection so don’t just allow yourself to get caught up in the perfection which can easily turn into procrastination and instead just put yourself out there and I think that you’ll see that people are so much more welcoming and forgiving than you ever think they’re going to be. So just execute at full force.
Melinda Wittstock: This is so important, especially for women, we all seem to have this perfectionist gene we think that there really should be some sort of AA for perfectionists in the entrepreneurial space. So Lena, how can people find you and work with you?
Lena Elkins: Yeah, so you guys can learn more at lenaelkins.com. I’m pretty much Lena Elkins across all social media handles. I also have a Facebook group Millennial Go Getters, you’re all welcome to join.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s wonderful. Lena thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Lena Elkins: Thanks Melinda.